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INTERIOR TEMPERATURES WILL BOTTOM OUT TODAY with highs in the low 90s and upper 80s. A weakened marine layer along the coast will allow for some afternoon clearing. The threat of isolated thunderstorms persists this afternoon and evening over high terrain. Slightly warmer and drier conditions are expected midweek. (NWS)
TONY PARDINI: LIFE SAVER
Be it a lucky coincidence or providence but a couple weeks ago it was a true blessing for a young girl that Tony Pardini of the legendary Anderson Valley Pardini logging tribe was having lunch in one of the Ukiah Subways when she began choking. The mom started screeming, the Subway manager rushed to start patting the young girl on the back. She was turning white and going limp. Having been taught the Heimlich, Tony sprang into action and taking her in his arms he gave the first upward thrust with some reserve fearing that because he was so big and strong and she so small and frail he might do damage but it didn’t work so he immediately went for a robust second shot and out popped a wad of saliva and lettuce. The girl started crying, her color came back and with relief Tony knew that she would be all right. He, indeed, had saved her life.
When I first heard the story from a third person, I choked up a bit and when I did talk with Tony he said both he and his wife Melanie who was with him at the time having lunch, cried afterwards. Saving a young girl’s life can certainly be a moving experience. And I know that I will always picture a medal on Tony’s chest that labels him a “Life Saver.”
The reason for bringing up the logging connection in the beginning is because of the conundrum found in the fact that it is a requirement for those that work in the woods to get first aid training that includes the Heimlich Maneuver and that the manager of an eating establishment where the Heimlich might be far more likely to be needed apparently had no such requirement. In fact when I learned the Heimlich Maneuver I was told that patting the back actually helped to drive the obstruction down deeper.
So if you find yourself moved to hug a tree out of respect you might want to take the time to also hug a logger for the same reason. I do believe Judy Bari did.
SCHOOL BOND OVERSIGHT
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
The AV Unified School Bond Oversight Committee for Measure A and Measure M will meet on Tuesday. All are welcome. The meeting is at the high school library or available electronically.
Anderson Valley Unified School District
Bond Oversight Committee Agenda
August 2, 2022 4:30 p.m. at the High School Library or Via Google Meet
- Agreement to serve
- Committee and Agenda process
- Update on Measure M
- Review of Measure A expenses
- Next meeting dates
All are welcome!
Anderson Valley Unified School District
It is almost time for the Redwood Empire Fair! We have 4 first time fair exhibitors! They have been working very hard on their livestock market projects. Nathan Burger, Carmen Malfavon, Jose Alvarez, and Samantha Espinoza (with goat) will be showing and selling their projects this next week.
(Beth Swehla, AF FFA)
NOT A CARNIVAL RIDE
Twice in the last few weeks letters to the editor referred to the Skunk train as a carnival ride. Even in its diminished state, the Skunk is no carnival ride. The Skunk was once, and if they ever repair the collapsed tunnel, may again be a working railroad for passengers and freight, a welcome antidote to some of the traffic on Highway 20.
But even if the railroad only continues to carry tourists and railroad buffs and wide-eyed kids, the Skunk, unlike a carnival ride, is a working, living piece of Mendocino County history. The lumber companies that built the county’s railroads may or may not be appreciated by those of us with the benefit of 100 years of hindsight, but those railroads impacted the county in ways still being felt today, and like the rest of the county’s history deserve to be remembered. The Skunk is the last and only reminder of that past, and some people see it as an amazing real-life way to view history, out in the open where the history was born.
The Skunk is not a carnival ride. It has been continually operated for 137 years. It’s two diesel-electric locomotives were built in 1954.The motorcar was built in 1925. The magnificent steam engine was built in 1924.The restored coaches are from the 1940s. All are operated and maintained by skilled railroad engineers and mechanics. None of these people are carnies.
The history of the Skunk (officially the California Western Railroad) as well as the Northwestern Pacific Railroad, and the dozen other Mendocino County railroads whose tracks and all signs of where they once operated are long gone, is preserved and available to anyone interested in our county history.
The Redwood Empire Railroad History Project, an addition to the Mendocino County Museum built with a grant from the State of California and maintained today as a self-supporting non-profit, houses a comprehensive collection of books, newsletters, historic documents, memoirs, photographs, videos, models and artifacts about the California Western, as well as the NWP and the other railroads throughout Northwestern California. We are located in the county museum, 400 East Commercial Street in Willits, open to the public most Wednesdays through Fridays.
We even have a few books on carnival trains.
B.B. Kamoroff, Director, Redwood Empire Railroad History Project, 707-272-3472
MENDOCINO COUNTY WORKERS’ UNION Files Unfair Labor Practice Charge As County Management Breaks State Law by Continuing to Hide Vital Financial Information
The union has been requesting detailed budget information since November. County management has refused to share it as required by law.
7/26/22 — Last week (July 12), the union representing hundreds of Mendocino County employees, SEIU 1021, filed an unfair practice charge with the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) for violating state labor law by refusing to share information critical to current contract negotiations. The County claims, so far without evidence, that its financial position does not allow it to provide wage increases to employees, who are grossly underpaid relative to neighboring counties and who have been resigning in alarming numbers, endangering critical county services.
With vacancy rates averaging 20 percent but reaching 40 to 67 percent in certain classifications like social workers and mental health clinicians, drastic measures are needed to stanch the bleeding. County management continues to insist the county is unable to provide so much as a cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) to employees, yet has repeatedly failed or refused to provide budget information to back up their claims. One particular issue is information about how many vacant positions are included in the county’s 2022-2023 fiscal year budget, and how many allocated positions are unfunded.
“This information is essential for us to have to understand the true economic picture of the county as we negotiate our new contract, as well as to identify places where savings could be found and allocated elsewhere,” explained SEIU 1021 Mendocino County Chapter President Julie Beardsley, who is a senior public health analyst. “We want to work with the County, but it is possible the County may be including many vacant positions they have no intention of filling in the budget, in order to justify their claims that they cannot afford even a modest cost of living increase or equity adjustments to keep county workers from leaving.”
The numbers being requested exist – the county board of supervisors examined them during closed session at the July 12 meeting where county workers filled the room to overflowing and spoke passionately about how short-staffing is affecting services, residents, and workers alike. Yet when the union requested once again to see them, county management again refused to provide the information, saying that their “finance expert” would explain it to the bargaining team in a presentation.
“The long delay in providing information feels very disrespectful to our employees who have come to work every day, often putting their own health on the line, during these past two years of the pandemic,” said Beardsley. “The implication is that we couldn’t possibly understand their numbers without them explaining them to us. But the only actual reason for them to refuse to give us the information outside the context of a formal presentation, is because they know that reasonable people who know as much about the way this county government works as we do would interpret the numbers differently from how they are choosing to explain them. We need the information to be able to make our own calculations and understand the county’s actual financial position. If their interpretation is correct, what do they have to hide?”
THE MCKINNEY FIRE, near the California/Oregon border, started on July 29th, and as of last night was at 52,498 acres and 0% containment: fire.ca.gov/incidents/2022/7/29/mckinney-fire/
ASSIGNMENT: UKIAH - FREE AT LAST TO DRINK 24/7
by Tommy Wayne Kramer
If you’re thinking about when to retire you should quit thinking and start partying like it’s 1999, back when you were younger, smarter and better looking.
Putting off retirement because your Social Security check will fetch more if you wait until you’re 72 means you’re looking down the wrong end of the rifle barrel.
Jump. Your check will be a bit lighter but you’ll be a lot younger when you get it. You can always recycle aluminum cans or sell your wife’s car if you can’t afford good liquor.
I feared an endless assembly line of misery: mentoring children or volunteering at the library or going to the senior center to play hopscotch and eat soggy greenbeans. It’s better than that.
When you’re retired you can start drinking as early as you want and your boss won’t say a thing. You don’t have to not get things done until the weekend because you can just not do them period. Was that a sentence?
Retire now. Stay home. Get a hammock and check things from a list:
1) Sell your lawnmower. Tell people it’s eco-something or other, and to prove you’re serious sell your garden hose. Feel the burn! Embrace the drought!
2) Sell your car. You’ll save money on fuel, car payments, insurance, registration and repairs.
3) Better yet, sell your wife’s car and hide the keys to your own.
4) Burn down the garage. All you’ll lose are heaps of rubbish accumulated during the last half century. Do it right and you’ll get insurance money for those autographed first edition collectible books you had stored out there, and the yacht and the gold ingots and the Rolls Royce. NOTE: Do not discuss this plan with your insurance agent until after you talk with your lawyer.
5) Throw away all your clothes except the ones you’re wearing and whatever’s in the laundry basket.
6) With no clothes in your closet there’s no reason to keep a washer- dryer. Hello eBay.
7) Attend a lot of funerals and memorial services. They’re free, plus you can pick up tips on how to run a funeral in case your wife dies first. Afterward there’s free food and single women.
8) Get a dog. You’ll need companionship once your wife finds out you sold her car.
9) Whenever you meet new people be sure to spend a long time boring them with stories about how busy you are. Provide details about all the hours you volunteer at the library, mentor children, pick up relatives at SFO, etc. This will eliminate anyone thinking you might be available to help them make a dump run, clean their garage or pick them up at SFO.
10) Fill out whatever Publisher’s Clearinghouse sends you.
11) Forget Bucket List rubbish. Nothing’s more pathetic than frail baby boomers hobbling around Machu Picchu or having their picture taken at Wrigley Field. Life ain’t a checklist. If you’re worried that friends will review your thin list of accomplishments (visited Poe’s grave at midnight, got Joe Montana’s autograph) you’re better off dead.
12) Don’t bother keeping up with technology because you can’t. And who cares? It’s like trying to keep up with pop music. You spend money and time on new music and for what? Headphones vomiting (c)rap into your ears. Same with increasingly difficult techno advances providing ever-diminishing satisfaction.
13) Make sure when you die they don’t stage one of those rummy Celebration of Life events. Demand a somber funeral with mourners who aren’t wearing flip-flops and Hawaiian shirts. Rent Hollywood starlet lookalikes to weep and hurl themselves atop your casket as it’s wheeled out by guys wearing black suits.
Pipe in Brahms. Have a dignified gent read from the Old Testament, throwing in some Latin.
14) Most of all quit worrying about whether you’ll be bored. Of course you will. But don’t fall for silly magazine articles telling you to Make the Most of your Golden Years! They’ll have you playing shuffleboard in Florida, learning French and attending singalongs in the music room on Thursday afternoons.
Please tell me you don’t want to spend the last 600 Thursdays of your life singing Blowin’ in the Wind while standing in a circle holding each other’s warty hands.
Time’s running out. Have fun.
(TWK is an imaginary byline dreamed up a long time ago by Tom Hine when he began writing in the old Mendocino Grapevine.)
BUILDING BRIDGES, LIFE AT
Warmest Spiritual Greetings, Sitting here quietly in the common room of Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California, enjoying bhajans from India on the acer Spin 3 computer. Walked around "haiku spelled backwards" in the 100 degree heat all day, stopping at the Ukiah Co-op on three occasions for revivifying beverages. Non-interfering with the Divine Absolute working through the body-mind instrument is the only worthwhile path, which supports the formation of spiritually focused direct action groups, which are the only realistic response to the global hell of postmodernism on the planet earth.
I am available for spiritually focused direct action, and may exit the Building Bridges facility at any time, have roughly $1200 available, health is good at 72, teeth are fully serviced and the insurance paid for it, am eating well, and most important of all, am identified with "that which is prior to consciousness". Let me know when you are prepared to destroy the demonic and return this world to righteousness, as we all dance together, all the way back to Godhead.
Craig Louis Stehr, email@example.com
CATCH OF THE DAY, July 31, 2022
SONO CARRIGG, Ukiah. Parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
KEVIN CHAVEZ-MORENO, Ukiah. Undetectable firearm, criminal street gang member with loaded firearm, loaded firearm, not registered owner.
JESSICA ESCOBEDO-FERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Mail theft, paraphernalia, conspiracy.
JACK FULLER, Willits. Probation revocation.
KEVIN GRAVIER, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CHRISTOPHER HEANEY, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
MATTHEW LIBERTO, Ukiah. DUI, failure to appear.
KYLE MASON, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
ABE NELSON, Laytonville. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
JACINTO NOTARIO, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LUIS ORTIZ-TOLENTINO, Ukiah. DUI, controlled substance, paraphernalia.
RAMIRO RAMIREZ-TAVAREZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license.
DANNY WILLIAMS, Willits. Probation revocation.
on second avenue
I have lost tapes over the years,
a recording of all the beat poets
at saint marks church in 1975
on second avenue, though by
the time ginsberg came on last
the tape had run out--
yoko did a silent song...
patti smith sung there
i remember her armpit sweat
and corso and burroughs and
orlovsky playing his accordion...
— Paul Modic
SUPPORT BILL BEFORE CONGRESS to save local journalism
Legislation would allow newspapers to negotiate with Big Tech companies for fair compensation for use of news content
Since America’s founding, newspapers have played a vital role in keeping the public informed about what’s going on in the world.
Democracy depends on a reliable and shared set of facts in order for the public to exercise control over government and determine its future.
As we have seen all too clearly in recent years, that shared set of facts is increasingly elusive as the primary means by which news and information is delivered has shifted from publishers that gather and report the news to platforms that have built lucrative business models on other people’s content.
As an ever-increasing share of all advertising flows into the coffers of search and social media behemoths, little is left to support local news gathering, facts become scarce and propaganda prevails.
Professional news gathering is expensive, and while we are accustomed to free content from the likes of Google and Facebook, those companies are only able to provide content for free because they don’t have to pay for it.
They do, however, make plenty of money from it: According to the California News Publishers Association, “for every dollar made in digital advertising,” Big Tech companies “take as much as 70% of the revenue, leaving publishers with a scant 30%.”
That’s not only unfair, it’s untenable.
As newspapers starve, communities are deprived of access to professionally vetted and reported information, disinformation proliferates and corruption blooms.
When you scale that up, that leaves the nation with countless millions of people forced to seek information from increasingly partisan and unreliable alternative sources.
The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, a bipartisan bill currently making its way through Congress, will help newspapers better fulfill their mission of providing news and information to the public, holding the powerful to account and ensuring government serves the people.
The bill would allow news organizations to band together to negotiate with Big Tech companies for fair compensation for use of news content in search and on social media.
Similar laws have been passed in Australia, Canada and Europe.
In the United States, this has the potential of bringing billions of dollars back into newsrooms across the country, enabling the strengthening of local reporting and access to reliable, professionally produced information in communities across the country.
The JCPA is expected to go before the House Judiciary Committee later this month. We strongly urge our local congressional delegation to support the JCPA on its pathway to becoming law.
Support local journalism.
(K.C. Meadows, Editor, Ukiah Daily Journal. Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal.)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
If one graduates from University (say a real one), does one forget all that one learned in high school (say a real one) – or is that earlier learning maintained and fulfilled in the higher?
Does one accept every little thought and feeling that arises because “It’s human” or even better, because “It’s yours”? As Nietzsche said, “Human, all too human.” Needless to say, many thoughts and feelings are unworthy and untrue – even if they are yours.
This life is a school. Linger not. Don’t be the big kid (say a girl like Britney Griner) sitting at the back with a dunce cap on. The point is to graduate not glorify your ignorance or even the school itself.
JAMES LOVELOCK, Whose Gaia Theory Saw the Earth as Alive, Dies at 103
A British ecologist, he captured imaginations with his hypothesis and was essential to today’s understanding of man-made pollutants and their effect on the climate.
“….In his last years, he expressed a pessimistic view of global climate change and man’s ability to prevent an environmental catastrophe that would kill billions of people.
“The reason is we would not find enough food, unless we synthesized it,” he told New Scientist magazine in 2009. “Because of this, the cull during this century is going to be huge, up to 90 percent. The number of people remaining at the end of the century will probably be a billion or less. It has happened before. Between the ice ages there were bottlenecks when there were only 2,000 people left. It’s happening again.”
WESTERN CIVILIZATION is a story of full bellies and starving hearts. Of a feast of information and a famine of truth. Of conveyor belts churning out processed food, conformity-enforcing media and power-serving culture. Enough food to stay alive but not enough sustenance to live.
They keep us alive but they don't let us live. They give us enough carbohydrate to turn the gears of industry, but they keep us too busy, poor, propagandized, confused and crazy to actually drink from the waters of life. To actually experience the beauty of this world. To let the crackling potentiality of advanced terrestrial life blossom to fruition within us.
The modern empire rules us by filling our markets with Wonder Bread and our schools and media with lies. By filling our bellies and starving our souls. By churning out mountains of useless landfill without ever producing anything of real value. By making more while providing less.
They improve food production and medicine just enough to lengthen our lifespans, only so that they have more life to drain us of. They let us populate the earth with more humans only to drain us of our humanity.
We're not people to them. We are batteries. We are fuel.
This is no civilization. It's a slaughterhouse. A fake plastic performance staged to funnel human life into the gears of an insatiable machine. A fake plastic culture designed to keep us on the conveyor belt so that our life force can be converted into fuel for a soulless empire. A fake plastic society built to keep us marching into the food processor.
There are so very many more of us than there are of them. We could crush them like an insect the moment we decided to. But the brainwashing is so very, very effective, and the matrix hallucination seems so very, very real. Our propaganda-induced coma keeps us fueling the machine.
Not until we awaken ourselves from the coma will our adventure on this planet really begin. Not until we can unplug our minds from the empire's life-siphoning control mechanisms we can begin to really live.
We'll either wake each other up, or we'll remain trapped in the slaughterhouse.
— Caitlin Johnstone
UKRAINE, SUNDAY, 31ST JULY
President Vladimir Putin said Russia’s navy would soon be fitted with powerful Zircon hypersonic cruise missiles, which can fly at five times the speed of sound. He signed an expansive new naval doctrine and vowed to respond “with lightning speed to anyone who decides to encroach on our sovereignty and freedom.”
Anatoly Chubais, who quit as Russia’s climate envoy in opposition to the war in Ukraine, said he’s hospitalized in Europe with a diagnosis of Guillain-Barre syndrome. Russian shelling killed a Ukrainian grain magnate and President Volodymyr Zelenskiy urged civilians in the Donetsk region to evacuate in the face of a lengthy ground battle.
Russia’s defense ministry said it had invited experts from the United Nations and the Red Cross to investigate the deaths of Ukrainian POWs in the Olenivka detention center in occupied Donetsk.
Ukraine Downgraded by S&P as Default Becomes ‘Virtual Certainty’
Ukraine’s First Grain Ship May Depart on Monday, Turkey Says
Founder of Ukraine Grain Firm Nibulon Killed by Russian Shelling
Germany May Extend Life of Nuclear Plant to Ease Power Squeeze
Ukraine Sees Grain Export Starting Soon as Zelenskiy Visits Port
ON DECEMBER 26TH IN THE YEAR 1908 Jack Johnson became the first African American World Heavyweight Boxing Champion by knocking out Tommy Burns. For years America would not show this image of a black man knocking out a white man.
WHEN THE JUST GO TO PRISON
When those who expose the crimes of the state are criminalized and sent to prison, tyranny is inevitable.
by Chris Hedges
MARION, Illinois — Daniel Hale, dressed in a khaki uniform, his hair cut short and sporting a long, neatly groomed brown beard, is seated behind a plexiglass screen, speaking into a telephone receiver at the federal prison in Marion, Illinois. I hold a receiver on the other side of the plexiglass and listen as he describes his journey from working for the National Security Agency and the Joint Special Operations Task Force at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan to becoming federal prisoner 26069-07.
Hale, a 34-year-old former Air Force signals intelligence analyst, is serving a 45 month prison sentence, following his conviction under the Espionage Act for disclosing classified documents about the U.S. military’s drone assassination program and its high civilian death toll. The documents are believed to be the source material for “The Drone Papers” published by The Intercept,on October 15, 2015.
These documents revealed that between January 2012 and February 2013, U.S. special operations drone airstrikes killed more than 200 people — of which only 35 were the intended targets. According to the documents, over one five-month period of the operation, nearly 90 percent of the people killed in airstrikes were not the intended targets. The civilian dead, usually innocent bystanders, were routinely classified as “enemies killed in action.”…
PRESIDENT BIDEN IS A FRONT MAN. They’re all the front men for the faceless people in the State Department, the neocons who are controlling things. Biden has always been right-wing, just a corrupt party politician. He does what he’s paid to do. He’s unimaginative. He’s brought in some real Russia haters — people who have a visceral hatred of Russia because of their family background under the tsars or under Stalin. Blinken said that his family was Jewish and lost under the tsars, and maybe under Stalin. He wants to kill Russians because he’s so angry at what they did to his ancestors. That is the neocon mentality in a nutshell. It’s a crazy mentality.
The Federal Reserve and the Treasury officials say they were not consulted in the political moves that Biden and Blinken and the neocons are making. There is the kind of single-minded tunnel vision at work. They really are Russia haters and China haters. There is a lot of racism you’re seeing in New York, where it’s very dangerous for Asian women to take a subway. Almost every week, the lead news item is yet another Asian woman attacked or pushed in front of a subway. There’s a new race hatred in America. And they are treating Russians as the Ukrainians do, as if Slavic speaking people are a separate race.
— Michael Hudson
NEWSOM’S NEW GUN CONTROL BILL JUST A STUNT
by Dan Walters
Senate Bill 1327 has to be one of the strangest pieces of legislation to ever be passed by the California Legislature and signed into law.
The brainchild of Gov. Gavin Newsom and modeled after an anti-abortion law enacted a year ago in Texas, the measure he signed last week would, at least on paper, subject manufacturers of unlawful firearms to steep civil damages.
The Texas law allows private citizens to sue a provider, patient or anyone involved in an abortion before six weeks of gestation. The new California law would sanction private party suits against arms makers for selling what California defines as “assault weapons,” plus “ghost guns” that are assembled from parts without serial numbers.
“Texas and Greg Abbott and their Republican leadership, if they’re going to use this framework to put women’s lives at risk, we’re going to use it to save people’s lives here in the state of California,” Newsom declared.
In that sense, SB 1327 is just a political stunt, a piece of Newsom’s very obvious campaign to raise his national political standing by tasking potshots at Texas and Florida and their Republican governors, rather than serious policymaking.
As he was signing the bill in Los Angeles last Friday, three Texas newspapers were publishing ads taken out by Newsom’s re-election campaign sniping at Abbott for restricting abortion while not reducing gun violence — a little gesture to help Abbott’s Democratic challenger, former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, as well as garner some more national media attention for Newsom.
The conclusion that SB 1327 is merely a publicity stunt is bolstered by the details of the legislation itself.
First of all, SB 1327 would self-destruct if the Texas Supreme Court or the U.S. Supreme Court invalidates the Texas law.
Secondly, there is very little chance that there would be a successful lawsuit. The firearms that are specifically targeted by the legislation are already illegal under California law and the major arms makers that Newsom implies would be punished take great pains not to sell the prohibited products.
Makers of black market “ghost guns” could be sued — but only if one could find them, and even if they were identified, they are not likely to be wealthy enough to attract the attention of a fee-motivated attorney.
Various elements of the bill try to make it impossible for anyone sued to mount a defense, including one passage that would require damages — at least $10,000 per gun — to be awarded even if a judge declared the law to be invalid. And if the lawsuit provisions of SB 1327 are declared unconstitutional, the measure would substitute civil penalties instead.
Finally, a federal law — rightly or wrongly — protects firearms manufacturers from liability suits.
The bill is so obviously drafted as a political gesture that the American Civil Liberties Union opposed it for using the “flawed logic” of the Texas statute.
“We believe it is a serious misstep to further entrench that flawed logic,” the organization said when the bill was going through the legislative process. “In doing so, California will be promoting a legal end-run that can be used by any state to deny people an effective means to have their constitutional rights protected by the courts. This will continue to be replicated in states across the country — and with California’s endorsement.”
Gun control is a serious subject involving a specific right to bear arms in the Constitution, one that the Supreme Court has recently bolstered in a way that Newsom dislikes. It deserves thoughtful political discourse, not interstate political oneupsmanship.
COURT REJECTS GOOGLE'S ATTEMPT TO DISMISS Rumble's Antitrust Lawsuit, Ensuring Vast Discovery
An unusual and significant court ruling entitles YouTube's main competitor, Rumble, to obtain long-hidden internal documents on Google's search engine manipulations.
by Glenn Greenwald
A federal district court in California on Friday denied Google's motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging that the Silicon Valley giant is violating federal antitrust laws by preventing fair competition against its YouTube video platform. The lawsuit against the search engine giant, which has owned YouTube since its 2006 purchase for $1.65 billion, was brought in early 2021 by Rumble, the free speech competitor to YouTube. Its central claim is that Google's abuse of its monopolistic stranglehold on search engines to destroy all competitors to its various other platforms is illegal under the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890, which makes it unlawful to “monopolize, or attempt to monopolize…any part of the trade or commerce among the several States, or with foreign nations.”
It is rare for antitrust suits against the four Big Tech corporate giants (Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon) to avoid early motions to dismiss. Friday's decision against Google ensures that the suit now proceeds to the discovery stage, where Rumble will have the right to obtain from Google a broad and sweeping range of information about its practices, including internal documents on Google's algorithmic manipulation of its search engine and the onerous requirements it imposes on companies dependent upon its infrastructure to all but force customers to use YouTube.…
BILL RUSSELL, Bay Area legend and NBA icon, dead at 88
by Bruce Jenkins
Bill Russell died Sunday, and basketball lost its most important historical figure.
Others were innovators, ground-breakers, winners and socially conscious difference-makers, but none had the complete package of William Felton Russell, who passed away at the age of 88.
A social media post said Russell died “peacefully today ... with his wife, Jeannine, by his side.”
Winning 11 championships in 13 years seems a fantasy in today’s NBA, but Russell’s Boston Celtics accomplished that with such legends as Wilt Chamberlain, Oscar Robertson, Jerry West and Elgin Baylor among the adversaries. In 21 winner-take-all games dating to his collegiate years — this takes a moment to fully comprehend — his teams went 21-0. Russell’s USF teams won consecutive NCAA titles in 1955 and ‘56, capturing a then-record 55 straight wins along the way, and he won an Olympic gold medal with the 1956 U.S. team in Melbourne.
These astonishing numbers establish Russell as the greatest winner in sports history, yet he is remembered most vividly for the strength of his will. When modern-day experts rank the greatest centers of all time, they often ignore Russell, recalling his somewhat awkward shooting presence and limited offensive skills. There are few players from Russell’s time, however, who would place Chamberlain, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Shaquille O’Neal or anyone else ahead of him. To have been there, witnessing the sport’s best-ever combination of intelligence, intimidation and ingenuity, was to watch true genius at work.
He rose from obscurity at Oakland’s McClymonds High School to become a sensation in college, but the roots of Russell’s success were in Monroe, La., where he grew up with segregation and poverty but never fully grasped his fate, so strong were the influences of his family. His father, known around town as Mister Charlie, was strong of body and mind, occasionally a little bit wild but a man of principle who, like his own father, stressed the importance of pride, craftsmanship and education. Because of those two men, Russell once wrote, “I knew at an early age that there was a line in myself that I would not allow anyone to cross.”
As for his mother, the striking and powerful Katie, Russell recalled “probably the only woman within a thousand miles who was a match for Mister Charlie,” and a woman whose love was so strong, “I honestly believed nothing could hurt me.”
Bill was 9 years old when his parents, seeking a better and more enlightened environment, moved to West Oakland in 1943. They were living quite happily until Katie passed away, from a sudden and mysterious illness, in 1946. Shattered, Charlie and the boys hauled the casket back by train to Louisiana, where they began the process of healing. It was a common and accepted practice in that part of the country that Charlie would turn his two sons over to an aunt, allowing him to go off on his own, but he wasn’t hearing of that. He returned with the boys to Oakland and raised them himself, selling a lucrative trucking business and taking on a lower-paying job — pouring molten iron in a foundry - so he could see his kids every day.
Impossibly gangly as a high-school freshman, Russell was viewed as an awkward weakling with little self-confidence, and as he struggled to even approach an attractive girl, let alone score a date, he seemed to have no calling as an athlete. He spent most of his time at the Oakland Public Library, devouring great works of literature and art. As late as 1950, as a 6-5, 140-pound junior at McClymonds, he was still too considered too clumsy to make an impact in basketball. That’s right about the time he underwent what he likened to a religious experience, walking down a McClymonds hallway when “something just hit me,” he wrote in his book “Second Wind,” published in 1979. “It was a revelation that shook me out of self-hatred. I decided right then that I was a man.”
As a sophomore, he didn’t make the 15-man basketball team. As a junior, he was only allowed to play when the coach, George Powles, decided that Russell could share the 15th uniform with another player - meaning that half the time, he was watching from the stands. He had “made” the varsity, drawing Powles’ attention for his astounding leaping ability and quickness, but he had gained no notice among the press or collegiate scouts.
It took the presence of Hal DeJulio, a member of USF’s NIT champions of 1949 and one of the Dons’ most active boosters, to recognize Russell’s potential. That junior year, DeJulio happened to attend the only game in which Russell scored more than 10 points. Something impressed DeJulio - and, really, no one else - about the kid’s court presence. Russell attended USF largely because it was the only college that showed any interest in him.
His true breakthrough as a player occurred just before the collegiate experience. A mid-winter tour was established for Bay Area high school seniors known as “splitters” - those who had graduated in January - and Russell was the only McClymonds player in that category. Traveling on buses through the Northwest, Russell was struck by profound revelations about the game, later saying, “There were moments when new skills seemed to drop out of the sky.” He studied relentlessly, memorizing opponents’ moves and tendencies, but there were moments in a defensive stance when things grew strictly out of his imagination. The essence of Russell’s peerless defense - the footwork, the shot-blocking, the maximizing of angles, peripheral vision and geometric dimensions on the court - was born on that tour. “I wanted to use my gifts in ways no one had ever used them,” he said, and that’s exactly what he did.
His USF experience was graced by a couple of little miracles. He drew as a roommate K.C. Jones, destined to be a Celtic teammate and the most renowned defensive guard in the NBA, and they spent countless hours discussing philosophy - “creating a little basketball world of our own,” as Russell said. He also had the benefit of some tireless coaching from freshman coach Ross Giudice - another player from Pete Newell’s USF teams of the late 1940s - and as Giudice sacrificed hours of his time, Russell learned many of the game’s nuances.
By his senior year at USF, Russell was averaging 20 points and 20 rebounds a game, intimidating full-fledged stars with a brand of defense never before witnessed at any level. On what he considered his greatest play in college, against Stanford at the Cow Palace, he came from nowhere to go airborne from the top of the key and block what had appeared to be a routine layup. What really made that play, he recalled, was the giant step he took to his left as he was building up speed, giving himself just enough of an angle to slap the ball but not land on the player. “That play,” said K.C. Jones years later, “was essentially Russell’s whole career.”
Because there was so little television exposure in those days, and because the Eastern seaboard was considered the mecca of the game, not everyone knew of Russell’s potential. Red Auerbach, coach and architect of the Celtics, was among those who did, having heard rave reviews from people he trusted. He knew he couldn’t get Russell in the draft, but in one of the most life-changing trades in sports history, Auerbach acquired the St. Louis Hawks’ pick (No. 2 overall) for two established stars, Cliff Hagan and Ed Macauley, and gained the rights to Russell, who would fulfill his commitment to the ‘56 Olympic team before joining the Celtics in December.
Russell’s Celtics were an immediate smash, beating the St. Louis Hawks of Hagan and Bob Pettit for the 1957 NBA championship, and Boston fans will forever believe they would have won the ‘58 title if Russell hadn’t injured his ankle in Game 3. As the years went on, though, that seemed little more than a glitch. Assembling some of the greatest talent ever seen on a floor together - Bob Cousy, Bill Sharman, Tommy Heinsohn, Sam and K.C. Jones, and eventually John Havlicek - the Celtics won every title from ‘59 through ‘66, handling even the great Philadelphia teams featuring Chamberlain, Hal Greer, Chet Walker and Luke Jackson, until finally those 76ers broke through in ‘67, knocking off Boston in the Eastern Division finals and going on to defeat the San Francisco Warriors (featuring Rick Barry, Nate Thurmond and Jeff Mullins) for the title.
That was a trying year for Russell. The great Auerbach had retired, and Russell had taken on the role of player-coach, thus becoming the first African American to coach an American professional sports team. There were times when he became forgetful about substitutions, timeouts and other staples of the coaching business. The Boston media rode him hard, saying the assignment might be too much for any man. Russell’s response was to lead the Celtics to the 1968 and ‘69 titles as a player- coach without an assistant - a task deemed inconceivable among today’s coaching fraternity.
The team made a familiar run through the ‘68 playoffs - defeating Wilt’s 76ers in the East and then the West-Baylor Lakers for the title - but by ‘69, with virtually all of the Celtics (save the tireless Havlicek) looking old and tired, the team was given no chance, especially after finishing fourth in the Eastern Division. Somehow, inspired by Russell’s defense and Sam Jones’ phenomenal clutch shooting, they got to Game 7 of the Finals against the Lakers in Los Angeles, where owner Jack Kent Cooke had staged a premature celebration by lining the Forum rafters with balloons.
The party never happened. With Chamberlain out of the game - he had asked to be taken out, and a furious coach Bill Van Breda Kolff never let him back in - the Celtics rode Russell’s presence, Havlicek’s desire and a lucky shot by Don Nelson (off the back rim, straight up in the air, and down) to win the last of Russell’s 11th titles. In the manner of Jim Brown and Sandy Koufax, but in his own remarkable way, Russell had gone out on top.
It is a given among longtime NBA followers that the Russell-vs.-Chamberlain rivalry, a riveting spectacle throughout the 1960s, gave birth to the league’s nationwide popularity. Chamberlain had the numbers (in 1961-62, he averaged 50 points a game) but Russell had the scoreboard. Chamberlain was almost ridiculously dominant and offensively superior, but Russell had the titles and MVP awards (four out of five between ‘61 and ‘65).
Remarkably, at a time when player fraternizing was considered a sin in all major sports, the two goliaths were extremely good friends, generally sharing Thanksgiving dinner together and learning as much as they could about each other’s off-the-court pursuits. They clearly were fascinated with each other. They called each other Felton and Norman (their middle names; Russell was named after Felton Clark, once the president of Southern University). And they wanted to experience that friendship honestly, on the very perimeter of battle.
Some felt Russell was trying to soften up Chamberlain, the better to gain an advantage on the court, but to hear the recollections of players from that time, Russell had a killer instinct - and a sense of team -- that Chamberlain never possessed. “I certainly never wanted to get the big guy mad, I’ll admit that,” Russell once said. “I just tried to make him feel a little uncomfortable out there. I couldn’t really do anything with Wilt’s fallaway jumper, but that never bothered me, because that shot took him away from the basket. Inside, unless he decided he was going to dunk one on the world, I was able to block Wilt’s shots whenever I wanted. Not enough to get him mad. Maybe just to change the shot a little, make him forever wonder what might be coming. See, the way I looked at it, the idea is not to block every shot. The idea is to make your opponent believe that you might block every shot.”
That statement summed up Russell’s entire approach to basketball, something that has not been duplicated - or even approached - by any center in ensuing years. Russell literally dominated games from the defensive end, blocking shots not to send them into the 14th row, but to keep the ball in play and start the fastbreak. He set a stern defensive tone for a team already laden with fabulous shooting talents. He played with many of the game’s all-time greats, but most felt that Russell would have been just as successful on the Lakers, 76ers or even Cincinnati Royals (with Robertson and Jerry Lucas) of that era.
Offensively, Russell was tremendously underrated. The Celtics had seven basic plays and they all ran through Russell, who knew the quirks and sweet spots of every teammate and tended to deliver perfectly timed passes. Those Celtics were a constant blur, the five of them, always with a second, third or even fourth option. Russell developed a hook shot, with either hand, that served him well in big games, and he was known as a reliable free thrower if a game was in the balance. Mostly, though, Russell was an intimidator and a facilitator. UCLA coach John Wooden called him “the most important college and professional player of all time,” and Knicks great Bill Bradley added, “A great winner is, above all, self-aware. He understands the impact he has on other players. Russell is the first player I would pick to start a team.”
As a man, Russell wouldn’t have made anyone’s all-affable team. He became gregarious and light-hearted as a television analyst upon his retirement - he had one of the most uproarious, endearing laughs ever heard in sports - but few fans were familiar with that side of him. It was something he had revealed only to teammates and close friends. He alienated many fans in Boston by refusing to sign autographs (“The whole exchange is phony; I’d rather look someone in the eye”), and he wouldn’t even accommodate a teammate’s autograph request.
He often said he never played for the fans, only for his teammates and himself, and when the Celtics first informed him of a night they would set aside to retire his number, Russell refused (he relented only when the Celtics agreed to have the ceremony in the late afternoon, before fans were allowed in Boston Garden). In a development even more shocking to some, he turned down his 1959 induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame because after 15 years of existence, generously honoring men he considered racists (Adolph Rupp and Harlem Globetrotters founder Abe Saperstein among them), it had finally gotten around to electing a black man.
These were the “lines” in himself, the ones he knew from childhood that he wouldn’t allow anyone to cross. He admitted developing a “calculated air of mystery,” and as much as fans wanted a closer, more intimate relationship with the architect of those legendary Celtic teams, the evidence piled high in Russell’s favor. People would abide by his rules, accept his almost brutal honesty, let him keep pace with his own private tempo.
It wasn’t until Russell visited his family in Louisiana, in the fledgling years of his professional career, that he became aware of the extreme racism still prevalent in the Deep South. He was shocked by what he saw, and while he said he never became “immersed” in the black revolution of the early 60s, he spoke out against colonialism in Africa, the injustices of the Vietnam war, and white cultural bias in general. He joined Jim Brown and other well-known Black athletes in a public show of support for Muhammad Ali, who faced jail time for rejecting the draft as a conscientious objector. Never quite comfortable around his in-season home, Russell told newspaper writers that he found Boston to be “the most segregated city I’ve ever seen” and “a flea market of racism.”
Later in life, Russell became mellower, more tolerant of the ordinary, willing to sign autographs and devote his time to worthy causes. He wrote extensively of his keys to winning, how they applied to any business or workplace, and delivered lectures on the subject. The staples of his message were clear to people in all professions: motivation, sacrifice, curiosity, teamwork, the ability to listen. Even more than the priceless basketball stories, those lessons are the ultimate value of his book, “The Russell Rules,” a veritable textbook of the man’s thought process.
He leaves us as the most successful and influential athlete ever to come out of a Bay Area high school - more so even than Joe DiMaggio, Barry Bonds, Frank Robinson, Joe Morgan, Tom Brady, tennis greats Don Budge and Helen Wills Moody, or the early basketball legends Hank Luisetti and Jim Pollard. It is quite a distinction. For Russell, it wouldn’t have mattered. He gained his satisfaction on the court. There won’t be another one like him.