Cooler | Pink Ribbon | Info Dribble | Mendocino 1959 | Ed Notes | Okolona Gang | Unacceptable Behavior | Laura Heeser | Planning Agenda | Millsite Sunset | Huckleberries | Ford Kids | King Hops | Yesterday's Catch | Red Sun | Ukraine | Ammo Depot | Climate Emergency | Analog Reader | Family Separation | Freud Boys | Old Joe | Greatest QB | Guevara Reader | Library Cat | Mar-a-Lago Raid
SLIGHTLY COOLER and moister than normal conditions are expected to continue for the interior through tomorrow, especially in smoke filled valleys. A deep marine layer will keep the coast cool and mostly cloudy, with some scattered afternoon clearing. Drier and warmer weather is expected for interior areas late in the week. (NWS)
AT LAST TUESDAY’S Supervisors meeting, County Employees Union rep Patrick Hickey told the Board that they still do not have the information from the County to engage in good faith negotiations:
“We’ve been waiting since November for a variety of information requests,” he said. “And the county continues to drag its heels, has failed to present the information that we’ve needed to analyze the budget…we did finally get a dribble of information from the county last week in our negotiations. They provided a small portion of the information requested regarding the more than 402 unfilled vacant positions in the county…based on the limited amount of information provided, it’s clear that there is certainly funding available to provide county employees with a reasonable COLA to address the current high level of inflation. Based on the current budget, a lot more attention is being paid to taking care of the buildings, rather than taking care of the employees. Some of those projects are not imminent or urgent and certainly can be postponed and that money can be rededicated to COLAs…there’s a sizable amount of money set aside to buy new vehicles. The County has a large number of vehicles that are not even used on a regular basis, that are just sitting in parking lots, getting old.”
We presume that the “small portion” Hickey is referring to is the list of funded vacancies that the County released last week. Hickey is right that useful as it is, that list is only a small part of the staffing and finance picture. There has been no explanation why most general fund departments are on or close to budget while they are maintaining significant vacancy rates.
In addition, we’ve heard several reports that the County has several under-used buildings, some of which are the result of the ongoing vacancies. Others due to various staffing changes and outside contracts. Back in 2011, lead by Supervisors Pinches and McCowen, the County inventoried their buildings and consolidated some offices and sold some empty buildlings to help shore up the budget in those lean years post-the Great Recession and accompanying layoffs. It’s past time for that exercise to be updated along with the vehicle utilization review that Mr. Hickey mentioned. But we don’t see anyone on this current board that is even interested in the subject, much less pushing for it like Pinches and McCowen did back in 2011.
CULTURE CRITIC: INFOWARS WILL RAGE ON: “Is this the end of Alex Jones?” wonders Ben Sixsmith at Spectator World. “Having confidently declared that the Sandy Hook school shooting was a hoax and that the parents of the dead victims were actors,” the bombastic radio host just lost a lawsuit and is “ordered to pay almost $50 million,” with “more trials ahead.” Truth was never the 9/11 conspiracy theorist’s strong point: “This is a man who hawked a brand of toothpaste as a cure for Covid.” But progressives are wrong “to believe that to slay the monster of Alex Jones is to slay the monster of populist cynicism towards mainstream institutions.” People “raving about jet fuel and steel beams did not engender as much cynicism as the invasion of Iraq.” Jones “did not create the world we live in. He exploited it.”
LAST WEEK, a lead story in the Press Democrat featured the pathetic soul pictured here as a “sexually violent predator” paroled to Boyes Hot Springs. The headline suggested that the 62-year-old would be rampaging through the neighborhood children, not mentioning until deep in the story that she’s “of limited intelligence,” the euphemism for mentally retarded, and that it was her husband who had molested the unsupervised children of drug-addicted young women in the couple’s Santa Rosa apartment complex. This lady is about as dangerous as a bag of marshmallows. Of course the PD just had to run her photo with its inflammatory non-story.
LOCAL MEDIA also seem to have whipped up so much emotion in the sordid Edward Two Feathers Steele case, that he’s been charged with murder, brandishing one of his maniacal booking photos in confirmation. “That guy? Who would turn over children to him?” The facts of the awful matter, though, insofar as they’re known, indicate that Steele simply walked off, probably in a drug haze, and left his two children in the 90-degree heat of the Ukiah railroad tracks, which is more like manslaughter than a deliberate murder by an obviously unfit father.
WE DON’T like to think about it, but there are millions of children being raised by versions of Steele and Ms. Aralleno. Used to be that the impoverished could simply deposit the children they were unable to properly care for at an orphanage where they would be raised in safe conditions. There are lots of fond memoirs by men and women raised in the pre-Children’s Protective Services orphanages, which flourished everywhere in the land up through the early 1960s, one of them on the Westside of Ukiah called the Albertinum presided over by an order of nuns. Kevin Starr, the well-known California historian was partly raised at the Albertinum.
ORPHANAGES were supplanted by… well, uh… supplanted by psychologists, medication, poorly educated social workers, and people who should not have been responsible for the welfare of children, a mercenary system feasting ever since on the children of the poor. An alienating rung in the dependent child system, an unstable, expensive system infamous for producing criminals and another generation of dependents.
WHAT SHOULD BE DONE, Mr. Wizard? The very first time a child comes to the attention of the authorities he should be removed permanently from his parents and either put up for adoption or placed with a fairly compensated family who promises to raise him as their own. Or versions thereof. Steele and Aralleno should never again have custody of their surviving son.
A LETTER in last week’s ICO says a witch hunt at Point Arena High School has gotten a popular principal named Marty Wilkes fired. The reason alleged is that Wilkes either quoted or referenced a “racist” author during his speech at graduation. No one we can find will reveal who the forbidden author is or Mr. Wilkes side of the story. If he sees this the mighty AVA would like to talk to him.
THE OKOLONA (MISSISSIPPI) GANG
On Friday, August 5, 2022, at approximately 8:56pm, CHP was notified of a shooting victim in the area of US 101 and West Road. The victim’s Ford Expedition was struck by gunfire and disabled. The victim was not injured and reported that three subjects ran from his vehicle after the shooting. It was determined that the victim and the occupants, along with a Cadillac Escalade, had been at a location in Willits prior to the shooting. An altercation ensued and the two vehicles fled the location and were followed by several other vehicles. One of the occupants of a pursuing vehicle discharged a firearm. The Expedition was then struck by gunfire and became disabled, blocking the number 2 lane of US 101, southbound. The victim remained with the vehicle while the three occupants fled in a westbound direction. The Escalade also fled the area. The Escalade was later located in Hopland on a tow truck.
Two subjects (Wallace and Blanchard) associated with the Escalade were located and found to each be in possession of a handgun. They were also found to be in possession of a large amount of processed marijuana and US currency. The three subjects who fled the Expedition were later located in the area of Uva Drive. The three subjects (Collins, Judd and Brown) were transported to the CHP office for questioning. All 5 subjects were arrested and booked into the Mendocino County Jail, in Ukiah, Fortụnately nobody was struck by gunfire. CHP is currently working with the Mendocino Major Crimes Task Force and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office to identify the shooting suspect. The investigation is ongoing and several leads are being pursued. Any information is regards to this incident can be directed to the Ukiah CHP Office at (707) 467-4420.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Human trash comes in all colors. And the trash needs to be taken out - or at least recycled or composted! Here’s a different story of a black man in Mendocino County… Guy is driving north on the highway near Laytonville in a rental car. CHP is driving the opposite direction and gets a look at him (maybe not notice of skin color, maybe it was just profiling because it’s a rental car?) And the CHP pulls a u-turn and pulls him over. Relentless questioning leads to a search of the car over the black man’s objections. No drugs of any kind are found but there is a bunch of cash, about $150,000. They arrest him for the cash and take him down to Ukiah to the jail. Down in Ukiah he is arraigned on the felony charge of having over $100,000 in cash. The reported amount is about $110,000. Hmmm….. About $40,000 in cash is missing. Hmmm… Do you think this would have happened to a white guy driving north in a rental car? Anyways, this guy from another part of the country was coming north to look at land offers and of course he thought he could get even a better deal if he brought cash because yes it does work that way. He also has documentation of where all the money came from and it was not drug deals. So we should all expect yet another major lawsuit against the Mendocino County sheriff’s department and a huge payout for the violation of this guy’s civil rights. And the citizens of Mendocino County will pay for it just like they’ve paid for all of the other police corruption… And the lying stealing police officers will be allowed to continue in their jobs and they will continue to do the same thing. Because black people are bad? No. Because all the police are corrupt? No. Some black people are terrible gangsters and some police officers are corrupt liars… And we need to get rid of those assholes. No skin color involved - just extremely unacceptable behavior.
OF COURSE WE HAVE PLANNING…
The Staff Report(s) and Agenda for August 18, 2022, is posted on the department website at: mendocinocounty.org/government/planning-building-services/meeting-agendas/planning-commission
Please contact staff with any questions.
Brooke Larsen, Commission Services Supervisor, Mendocino County Planning and Building
HUCKLEBERRIES, Five comments (Coast Chatline)
 No huckleberries this year? I'm in Little River, a mile from ocean. I notice my wild huckleberry bushes have no berries — zero, zilch. nada — this year. Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon or is it just my little corner of the world? There were no blossoms or small berries earlier either, so I know the birds and wildlife didn't just eat the green berries.
 Same here a mile up Albion Ridge.
 Bushes often produce less berries after an abundant year.
 Not an expert on Blueberries, but we did have some late frosts and I am wondering if that may have affected flowering and pollination.
 I've just checked the huck bush on the property here and only one small bush is barren but the others are about half filled with berries and they're just beginning to ripen. Come September, I may gather about a gallon of sorted berries. They're of a good size. (Last year they were very small and a bit tart.) So I hope they'll make for some good preserves.
IN 1890S, HOPS WERE KING CROP AROUND MENDOCINO AND SONOMA COUNTIES
by Arthur Dawson
Hopland, a small community on Highway 101, is located in Mendocino County just north of the Sonoma County line.
When the local post office took the name in 1891, it was a testament to the success of an experimental hop farm, the first in the area, established by L.F. Long two decades earlier. By 1890, the Ukiah Daily Journal reported that hops cultivation was so widespread and lucrative that it had become “the first of farm products” in the county. The Journal “assumed that hop-yards will always remain among the chief industries of our section.” And that held true for many years — there were hop yards all over Mendocino and Sonoma counties.
Back then hops were king.
Hops have been key to flavoring and preserving beer for more than a millennium. Though probably originating in China, their first appearance in the historical record is from eighth century Germany. Hops are related to cannabis and share some of its aromatic qualities. Grown on tall trellises, the hop ‘bines,’ produce flowers, called cones, which are harvested and dried.
The basic beer recipe has four ingredients — water, malted grain (usually barley), hops and yeast. In the brewing process, the wort (liquid containing the malt), is boiled with the hops before yeast is added to start fermentation. Hops comes in two main types: bittering and aromatic. The type used depends on the beer being made. India Pale Ales or IPAs, rely on bittering hops for their flavor.
Originally brewed in the 19th century, IPAs were designed to survive the voyage to the British colony of India. By the time they got to their destination, the beers were still drinkable. The bitterness from the hops acted as a preservative.
Harvested from August through September, hops is a quintessential summer crop.
Before automobiles, road trips and modern vacations, thousands of San Franciscans and their families spent working vacations picking hops. Grandmothers watched toddlers and made meals for the workers. Older kids filled sandbags and dammed creeks to make swimming holes. People gathered around campfires in the evenings to share stories and music. Many families credited seasonal hop-picking with helping them survive the Great Depression.
But things soon changed.
When Florian Dauenhauer, from Santa Rosa, invented a mechanical hop-picking machine, armies of pickers were no longer needed. The public taste was shifting toward milder, less hoppy brews. And fertilizer made from surplus World War II bombs created conditions for the spread of downy mildew, a fatal plant disease. By the 1950s the hop industry had shifted north and Sonoma County’s last harvest was in 1961. The name “Hopland” became an anachronism.
But few things disappear forever. In 1983 the Mendocino Brewing Company opened the first brew pub in the state — serving food along with its own beer — in Hopland. Like Long’s 19th-century hop yard, that experimental business was so successful that the idea quickly spread far and wide. And with it the demand for hops. Given the millions of dollars generated by the release of a single Triple IPA, and our history of hop growing, we can justly claim the title of ‘The California Beer Country’ or even the ‘Beer Flag Republic.’
CATCH OF THE DAY, August 8, 2022
ANTONIO ALVAREZ, South Gate/Ukiah. DUI, suspended license.
JEFFREY ANDERSON, Lucerne/Ukiah. DUI.
EDGAR DELAGUILA-PEREZ, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
GERMAN DOMINGUEZ-GALINDO, Lakeport/Ukiah. DUI causing bodily injury.
JAY JACKSON, Willits. County parole violation.
JENINE QUINLIVEN, Ukiah. Controlled substance.
SWEETMOLLY RIOS-ADKINS, Eureka/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)
MELISSIA TURNEY, Clearlake/Ukiah. Protective order violation.
UKRAINE, MONDAY, AUGUST 8TH
The US announced $4.5 billion in additional direct budgetary support to Ukraine and $1 billion more in military aid drawn from existing Pentagon inventory.
Russia told diplomats it’s ready to welcome international monitors at Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant, which the International Atomic Energy Agency said was at risk of a “nuclear disaster” after it was shelled last week.
Ukraine’s sea port of Pivdennyi said the first cargo ship left its waters since Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion as commodity shipments from the war-torn country kick into higher gear.
Russia Invites Nuclear Monitors to Visit Shelled Ukrainian Plant
Grain Corridors Still Need Ships to Ease Food Crisis
Sanctions May Freeze Veon’s Network Rollout in Russia, CEO Says
Turkish Banks Are Adopting Russian Payments System, Erdogan Says
Russian Weapon Systems Rely Heavily on Foreign Tech, Report Says
On the Ground
The Russian military pushed further into settlements to the northwest and southwest of Donetsk and continued efforts to break Ukrainian defensive lines along the Avdiivka-Donetsk city line of contact, the Institute for the Study of War said. Kremlin forces unsuccessfully attempted to advance east of the city of Mykolaiv. Ukraine said it hit two bridges in the southern Kherson region -- now occupied by Russia -- that serve as important crossings for Russian supplies, military spokeswoman Natalia Humenyuk said. Ukrainian troops also destroyed several Russian munition depots, she said without elaborating.
When I was a child, the thermometer hit 117 degrees once; my father said it was likely the hottest day we’d ever experience. If only! “Global weirding” is unpredictable, but it’s hot. Red hot. In May, parts of India hit 121 degrees Fahrenheit. Birds dropped from the air. Human activity became impossible. More people die when temperatures rise, sometimes even if they have air conditioning and abundant water. Heat messes with our systems.
Don’t stop reading. It’s upsetting; we’d all like to enjoy our summers. But extreme heat is happening in Oregon as well as in the global South. Experts agree we have little time to slow, let alone reverse, climate change.
We must leave fossil fuels in the ground, greatly accelerate clean energy use and capture way more carbon. We must prioritize the global South and low-income communities to invest in climate justice. And we must defend fair and free elections, so our government listens and acts.
Please urge President Joe Biden to declare a climate emergency, whether or not Congress passes his important Inflation Reduction Act, which funds critical climate solutions. I shudder to think of the roastings my great-nephew will suffer if we don’t pull together fast. Now. Urgently.
THE SECRET HISTORY OF FAMILY SEPARATION
by Caitlin Dickerson
As a therapist for children who are being processed through the American immigration system, Cynthia Quintana has a routine that she repeats each time she meets a new patient in her office in Grand Rapids, Michigan: She calls the parents or closest relatives to let them know the child is safe and well cared for, and provides 24-hour contact information.
This process usually plays out within hours of when the children arrive. Most are teens who have memorized or written down their relatives’ phone numbers in notebooks they carried with them across the border. By the time of that initial call, their families are typically worried, waiting anxiously for news after having—in an act of desperation—sent their children into another country alone in pursuit of safety and the hope of a future.
But in the summer of 2017, Quintana encountered a curious case. A 3-year-old Guatemalan boy with a toothy smile and bowl-cut black hair sat down at her desk. He was far too little to have made the journey on his own. He had no phone numbers with him, and when she asked where he was headed or whom he’d been with, the boy stared back blankly. Quintana scoured his file for more information but found nothing. She asked for help from an Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer, who came back several days later with something unusual: information indicating that the boy’s father was in federal custody.
At their next session, the boy squirmed in his chair as Quintana dialed the detention center, getting his father on the line. At first the dad was quiet, she told me. “Finally we said, ‘Your child is here. He can hear you. You can speak now.’ And you could just tell that his voice was breaking—he couldn’t.”
The boy cried out for his father. Suddenly, both of them were screaming and sobbing so loudly that several of Quintana’s colleagues ran to her office.
Eventually, the man calmed down enough to address Quintana directly. “I’m so sorry, who are you? Where is my child? They came in the middle of the night and took him,” he said. “What do I tell his mother?”…
HEY, JOE, DON’T GIVE IT A GO
by Maureen Dowd
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a cautionary tale.
She missed the moment to leave the stage, ignoring friendly nudges from Democrats and entreaties from Obama allies. She fell in love with her late-in-life image as a hip cultural icon: “Notorious RBG,” the octogenarian cancer survivor who could hold 30-second planks. She thought she was the indispensable person, and that ended in disaster. Her death opened the door to the most conservative court in nearly a century. Her successor, a religious zealot straight out of “The Handmaid’s Tale,” is erasing Justice Ginsburg’s achievements on women’s rights.
The timing of your exit can determine your place in the history books.
This is something Joe Biden should keep in mind as he is riding the crest of success. His inner circle, irritated by stories about concerns over his age and unpopularity, will say this winning streak gives Biden the impetus to run again.
The opposite is true. It should give him the confidence to leave, secure in the knowledge that he has made his mark.
With the help of Chuck and Nancy, President Biden has had a cascade of legislative accomplishments on tech manufacturing, guns, infrastructure — and hopefully soon, climate and prescription drugs — that validate his promises when he ran. These are genuine achievements that Democrats have been chasing for decades, and they will affect generations to come. On Monday, from the balcony off the Blue Room, he crowed about the drone-killing of the evil Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaeda’s top leader, who helped plan the 9/11 massacres. On Friday, he came out again to brag about surprising job numbers.
Defying all expectations, the president has changed the narrative. Before, the riff was that he was too old-school and reliant on his cross-party relationships in the Senate. Now old-school is cool. The old dude in the aviators has shown he can get things done, often with bipartisan support.
But this is the moment for Biden to decide if all of this is fuel for a reelection campaign, when he will be 81 (82 on Inauguration Day), or a legacy on which to rest.
He could leave on a high, knowing that he has delivered on his promises for progress and restored decency to the White House. He did serve as a balm to the bombastic Donald Trump. Over the next two years he could get more of what he wants and then step aside. It would be self-effacing and patriotic, a stark contrast to the self-absorbed and treasonous Trump.
He offered himself up as an escape from Trump and Trumpism, a way to help us get our bearings after the thuggish and hallucinatory reign of a con man. Then he and his team got carried away and began unrealistically casting him as an FDR with a grand vision to remake the social contract. Biden’s mission was not to be a visionary but to be a calming force for a country desperately in need of calming, and a bridge to the next generation. So he’s a logical one-termer, and that keeps him true to his high-minded point: What does the country really need?
The country really needs to dodge a comeback by Trump or the rise of the odious Ron DeSantis. There is a growing sense in the Democratic Party and in America that this will require new blood. If the president made his plans clear now, it would give Democrats a chance to sort through their meh field and leave time for a fresh, inspiring candidate to emerge.
Usually, being a lame duck weakens you. But in Biden’s case, it could strengthen him. We live in a Washington where people too often put power over principle. So many Republicans have behaved grotesquely out of fear that Trump will turn on them. So the act of leaving could elevate Biden, freeing him from typical reelection pressures, so he and his team could do what they thought was right rather than what was politically expedient.
It would also take steam out of what are certain to be Republican attempts to impeach him should they regain the House and make him less of a target for their nasty attacks on his age and abilities. The next two years could be hellish, with Republicans tearing Biden down and refusing to do anything that could be seen as benefiting him.
Biden’s advisers think if you just ignore the age question, it will go away. But it is already a hot topic in focus groups and an undercurrent in Democratic circles, as lawmakers are pressed to answer whether they think Biden should run again or not. (Axios has started a running tally.)
These are dangerous times — with inflation hurting us, weather killing us, the Ukraine war grinding, China tensions boiling, women’s rights on the line, and election deniers at CPAC, where Viktor Orban spews fascist bile to a wildly enthusiastic audience. It might be best to have a president unshackled from the usual political restraints.
(New York Times)
CHE GUEVARA’S BRAND OF MARXISM
by Jonah Raskin
The subtitle for this book, “Writings on Politics and Revolution,” might have been “Writings on Imperialism and Revolution.” Why? Because for Che, imperialism was a world wide economic and political system. It fostered unequal development, created have and have-not nations, ensured a stark division between countryside and city, and triggered class warfare between the bourgeoisie on one hand, and workers and peasants on the other. For Che, genuine revolutions aimed to destroy that all-encompassing system.
The Che Guevara Reader (437 pages, $22.95) is the most recent book from Seven Stories Press to offer Guevara’s writings. I have reviewed several of them for Counterpunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser, including The Motorcycle Diaries, Congo Diary and I Embrace You With All My Revolutionary Fervor: Letters 1947-1967, which serves as a kind of autobiography.
Che aimed to be “the new man” and wanted others to join him. Jean-Paul Sartre, the French existentialist, anti-Fascist and supporter of third world revolutions, though Che mostly succeded. “I believe that the man was not only an intellectual but also the most complete human being of our age,” Sartre said. “As a fighter and as a man, as a theoretician who was able to further the cause of revolution by drawing his theories from his personal experience in battle.”
To read Che’s writings, is to view him on the road toward becoming the new man and yet not arriving at his destination. As he noted, citizens of the twentieth century were all “children” of their environments. No matter how much they tried to break free if it, they were still formed by the order they aimed to overthrow. Che was a child of the old order.
The Reader is divided into four parts: “The Cuban Revolutionary War,” ”The Cuba Years, 1959-1964,” “International Solidarity” and “Letters,” some already published in “I Embrace You.” Imperialism and revolution are two of the main themes that Che returned to repeatedly in the interviews, speeches, letters and also in his talks that were broadcast to the entire nation on Cuban TV. Yes, he appreciated the power of TV and made ample use of it.
A Leninist who argued, as did Lenin himself, that imperialism was “the highest stage of capitalism,” Che saw that system through the eyes of a Latin American and as a guerrilla warrior who tangled directly with the agents of the American empire in the mountains of Cuba and Bolivia and the jungles of the Congo. Like Lenin, he lived much of his life away from his native land. Che died at 39, Lenin at 53.
“Imperialism has learned the lessons of Cuba well,” Che writes in “Cuba: Historical exception or vanguard in the anticolonial struggle?” He adds, “If the Cuban liberation was difficult…the new battles awaiting the people in other parts of Latin America will be infinitely more difficult.” The story of Chile, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil and Bolivia seem to validate his prediction, though Che inspired revolutions all across the continent in the decades after his death.
In the essay, “Notes for the Study of the Cuban Revolution” (1960), Che writes, “one should be a ‘Marxist’ with the same naturalness with which one is a ‘Newtonian” in physics or a ‘Pasteurian.” He goes on to explain that “one can point to certain mistakes of Marx as a thinker and as an investigator of the social doctrines and of the capitalist system in which he lived.” Che argues that Marx and Engels were wrong about Bolivia, Mexicans and “certain theories of race and nationality.”
Some orthodox Marxists will not readily accept Che’s perspective. By the same token, some admirers of Che will be unwilling to find flaws in his writing and thinking. When it comes to questions of race and gender, Che has little to say of significance, though occasionally he makes an insightful observation. “Our hotels—Havana’s great hotels, which were built by foreign companies—did not allow Blacks to sleep here, because the tourists from other countries did not like Blacks,” he writes. (Even while he hated the foreign companies he couldn’t help but admire the “great hotels.”)
In the same essay, he adds, “A woman did not have anything approaching equal rights. She was discriminated against.” For the most part, Che writes about male workers and male soldiers, though he does say that if imperialism is to be defeated, women and children will have to join the struggle. When he writes about women he tends to think of them as “wives,” not as mothers, sisters and daughters. Of course, he was close to his own mother, his two wives and his daughters.
There may be surprises in store for readers in this volume. In “Reminiscences of the Cuban Revolutionary War,” Che describes a story by the American author, socialist and social Darwinian, Jack London, which he read and remembered vividly when, in 1956, the soldiers of the dictator Fulgencio Batista ambushed and nearly killed all the guerrillas. Che imagined his own death and connected it to London’s short story, “To Build a Fire.” He noted that this moment was “our baptism of fire.”
On another occasion, Che ordered one of the guerrillas under his command to shoot and kill a puppy in their midst who was barking so loudly that he threatened to reveal their hiding place. He did so with a heart and a touch of remorse.
Che is insightful on the proletarianization of the Cuban peasantry, the differences between a guerrilla and a bandit, the virtues of state capitalism in Russia in the 1920s and why revolutionaries should support the idea of “peaceful co-existence” in the 1960s.
After my review of Che’s Motorcycle Diaries was published I received emails denouncing Che as a murderer and an assassin. One doesn’t see signs of Che’s murderous ways that in The Reader. In the essay, “Tactics and Strategy of the Latin American Revolution,” Che explains that to get to socialism “rivers of blood will flow.” He’s not against revolutionary violence, though he does condemn the use of torture by guerrilas. “Our great virtue,” he writes in the essay “The Cuban Revolution’s Influence in Latin America” (1962) “is that we have never engaged in torture or other similar terrible behavior…Everybody would find out about abuses and other bad things if there were any, no matter how secretly and far from the public eye they were carried out.” He’s not opposed to torture on moral grounds, but rather because if carried out and publicized it would harm the cause.
The Reader is the most scholarly of the Che books published by Seven Stories. It offers a chronology of Che’s life, which began in 1928 and ended in 1967, a bibliography of all of his writings and many speeches, including a long list of articles he wrote in 1960 that were published under the pseudonym “Sharpshooter.” I wish that The Reader could have offered Che’s article, “Nixon, Eisenhower, Hagerty and other Warnings.” There is also a ten-page glossary with capsule biographies of figures like Jacobo Arbenz and brief descriptions of key places like the “The Bay of Pigs.” The “Introduction” by David Deutschmann, who also edited The Fidel Castro Reader, tends to be pure hagiography.
If I were to recommend one of Che’s books to readers who want an introduction to his bold ideas, dialectical thinking and his concise yet expressive style, I would recommend The Reader. The translations from Spanish to English are excellent and the variety of topics make it appealing. If you want to be inspired, read “Create two, three, many Vietnams,” his “Message to the Tricontinental” in April 1967, six months before he was killed by Bolivian soldiers directed by the CIA.
Yes, that piece is nearly all bravado, but it comes from the heart. “Whenever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear, if another hand reaches out to take up our arms, and others come forward to join in our funeral dirge with the rattling of machine guns and with new criers of battle and victory.”
TRUMP SAYS FBI CONDUCTED SEARCH AT HIS MAR-A-LAGO ESTATE
by Eric Tucker & Michael Balsamo
The FBI searched Donald Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to his Florida residence, people familiar with the matter said Monday, a move that represents a dramatic and unprecedented escalation of law enforcement scrutiny of the former president.
Trump, disclosing the search in a lengthy statement, asserted that agents had opened up a safe at his home and described their work as an “unannounced raid” that he likened to “prosecutorial misconduct.”
The search intensifies the months-long probe into how classified documents ended up in more than a dozen boxes located at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year. It occurs amid a separate grand jury investigation into efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and adds to the potential legal peril for Trump as he lays the groundwork for another run.
Familiar battle lines, forged during a a four-year presidency shadowed by FBI and congressional investigations, quickly took shape again Monday night. Trump and his allies sought to cast the search as a weaponization of the criminal justice system and a Democratic-driven effort to keep him from winning another term in 2024 — even though the Biden White House said it had no prior knowledge of it, and the current FBI director, Christopher Wray, was appointed by Trump five years ago and served as a high-ranking official in a Republican-led Justice Department.
“These are dark times for our Nation, as my beautiful home, Mar-A-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida, is currently under siege, raided, and occupied by a large group of FBI agents,” Trump wrote. “Nothing like this has ever happened to a President of the United States before.”
“After working and cooperating with the relevant Government agencies, this unannounced raid on my home was not necessary or appropriate,” Trump said in his statement.
Justice Department spokesperson Dena Iverson declined to comment on the search, including about whether Attorney General Merrick Garland had personally authorized it.
Trump did not elaborate on the basis for the search, but the Justice Department has been investigating the potential mishandling of classified information after the National Archives and Records Administration said it had retrieved from Mar-a-Lago 15 boxes of records containing classified information earlier this year. The National Archives said Trump should have turned over that material upon leaving office, and it asked the Justice Department to investigate.
There are multiple federal laws governing the handling of classified records and sensitive government documents, including statutes that make it a crime to remove such material and retain it at an unauthorized location. Though a search warrant does not suggest that criminal charges are near or even expected, federal officials looking to obtain one must first demonstrate to a judge that they have probable cause that a crime occurred.
Two people familiar with the matter, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation, said the search happened earlier Monday and was related to the records probe. Agents were also looking to see if Trump had additional presidential records or any classified documents at the estate.
Trump has previously maintained that presidential records were turned over “in an ordinary and routine process.” His son Eric said on Fox News on Monday night that he had spent the day with his father and that the search happened because “the National Archives wanted to corroborate whether or not Donald Trump had any documents in his possession.”
Asked how the documents ended up at Mar-a-Lago, Eric Trump said the boxes were among items that got moved out of the White House during “six hours” on Inauguration Day, as the Bidens prepared to move into the building.
“My father always kept press clippings,” Eric Trump said. “He had boxes, when he moved out of the White House.”
Trump emerged from Trump Tower in New York City shortly before 8 p.m. and waved to bystanders before being driven away in an SUV.
In his first public remarks since news of the search surfaced, Trump made no mention of it during a tele-town hall on behalf of Leora Levy, the Connecticut Republican he has endorsed in Tuesday’s U.S. Senate primary to pick a general election opponent against Democratic U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal. Trump gave his public backing to Levy late last week, calling her on Monday the best pick “to replace Connecticut’s joke of a senator.”
But in a social media post Monday night, he was much more unguarded, calling the search a “weaponization of the Justice System, and an attack by Radical Left Democrats who desperately don’t want me to run for President in 2024.”
Other Republicans echoed that message. GOP National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel denouncing the search as “outrageous” and said it was a reason for voters to turn out in November.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican who is considered a potential 2024 presidential candidate, said in a statement on Twitter that it was “an escalation in the weaponization” of U.S. government agencies. Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader, said in a tweet that the Justice Department “has reached an intolerable state of weaponized politicization” and said that if Republicans win control of the U.S. House, they will investigate the department.
That Trump would become entangled in a probe into the handling of classified information is all the more striking given how he tried during the 2016 presidential election to exploit an FBI investigation into his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton, over whether she mishandled classified information via a private email server she used as secretary of state. Then-FBI Director James Comey concluded that Clinton had sent and received classified information but the FBI did not recommend criminal charges because it determined that Clinton had not intended to break the law.
Trump lambasted that decision and then stepped up its criticism of the FBI as agents began investigating whether his campaign had colluded with Russia to tip the 2016 election. He fired Comey during that probe, and though he appointed Wray months later, he repeatedly criticized him too as president.
Thomas Schwartz, a Vanderbilt University history professor who studies and writes about the presidency, said there is no precedent for a former president facing an FBI raid -- even going back to Watergate. President Richard Nixon wasn’t allowed to take tapes or other materials from the White House when he resigned in 1974, Schwartz noted, and many of his papers remained in Washington for years before being transferred to his presidential library in California.
“This is different and it is a sign of how unique the Trump period was,” said Schwartz, author of “Henry Kissinger and American Power: A Political Biography.” “How his behavior was so unusual.”
The probe is hardly the only legal headache confronting Trump. A separate investigation related to efforts by Trump and his allies to undo the results of the 2020 presidential election — which led to the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol — has also been intensifying in Washington. Several former White House officials have received grand jury subpoenas.
And a district attorney in Fulton County, Georgia, is investigating whether Trump and his close associates sought to interfere in that state's election, which was won by Democrat Joe Biden.
AP: Hoards of angry Donald Trump supporters descended on his Mar-a-Lago home last night shortly after it emerged that the FBI had searched the ex-president's estate as part of an investigation into whether he took classified records from the White House to the Florida residence. Trump, disclosing the search in a lengthy statement, claimed that agents had opened up a safe at his home and described their work as an 'unannounced raid' that he called 'prosecutorial misconduct.' He accused the FBI of a double standard, claiming the bureau 'allowed' Hillary Clinton to 'acid wash' 33,000 emails from her time as Secretary of State. Those in his camp said the raid was a clear attempt to thwart a potential 2024 Presidential run. Trump has not formally announced any campaign but speculation that he will run again is rife. It was compounded by his appearance at C-Pac this weekend. Last night, his supporters held pro-Trump signs, including ones for a presumptive 2024 campaign and even one for Trump's previous campaign with former Vice President Mike Pence's name crossed out. One was publicly identifying as a member of the far right Proud Boys. The raid on Trump's home intensifies the months-long probe into how classified documents ended up in more than a dozen boxes located at Mar-a-Lago earlier this year.