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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, August 20, 2022

Inland Heat | Ed Notes | Caspar Concert | Fire-Chief's Report | Team Nozall | JDSF Vision | Pink Ladies | Suspicious Fires | Tiny Homes | Violation Notice | Mendo Mill | Search & Rescue | Worst Story | Samson Sentenced | Chance Meeting | Yesterday's Catch | People's Park | Chickens Grace | Grotesque Shadows | Serious Question | Pigeon Girl | Hothouse Earth | Marilyn's Caddy | Rethink Racing | Debt Slaves | SF Horrors | Ethical Doctors | Bob & Joe | Rushdie Cause | Dog On | Candidates Climate | Land Backer | Marco Radio

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HIGH PRESSURE will ensure mainly dry weather through next week. Inland temperatures will heat up today, followed by subtle cooling with a deepening marine layer through early next week. (NWS)

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ED NOTES

SHOCKED AND SADDENED by the death of Dave Smith, a long-time friend, and the most dedicated atheist I've known, posting nearly daily debunks at life after death and kindred mystical beliefs. But for his sake, I hope this smart and funny man will somehow live-on.

MIKE KALANTARIAN WROTE: A favorite memory, when visiting Ukiah, was dropping in at Mulligans, Dave’s bookstore near the corner of Church & State (actual street names). He had a couple easy chairs up front and the time would comfortably pass in conversation, Dave nursing his perpetual cup of green tea. He knew so many interesting people, and the longer you hung out the more of them you would meet. Mulligans was one of those great social nexus spots, and it was a big loss when it closed. The hole is bigger now that Dave is gone. Rest easy, friend.

THE LATEST IN CRACKPOT-ISM: An off-campus co-op for students at the University of California, Berkeley named the “Person of Color Theme House” has banned white guests from entering common areas of the house. A list of house rules revealed that occupants were told “many POC moved here to be able to avoid white violence and presence, so respect their decision of avoidance if you bring white guests.” While the student house aims to have an “inclusive” environment, the rules specifically state “white guests are not allowed in common spaces,” according to the list, which was posted on Reddit. The accommodation, which is located close to Berkeley's campus, is a five-story, 30-room home that can house up to 56 students. But the “rules,” which were leaked on social media, have caused many people to correctly call them “racist.”

CORRECT-THINKING COASTIES will vote for Burkey and Felicich.

A PACKED HOUSE at the high school Thursday night enjoyed a fine grilled chicken dinner orchestrated by the maestro of large-scale dining, Terri Rhoades, with big assists from husband Steve, Nick Rhoades and Rod DeWitt at the barbecue while Marilyn Pronsolino, Estephany Arias, Wanda Johnson, took care of the many other everything else's. A wonderful community event we can never have enough of. And now a word from Superintendent Simson:

“My community stepped up tonight. My community showed up and showed out. I am so grateful and thankful to All Of The Parents And Guardians That Came Tonight. We Are Grateful.

I am grateful to Coach Toohey for resetting the expectation of a scholar athlete. I appreciate Mark Fiero for giving parents/guardians some factual information about the dangers of vaping and what to look for.

And I appreciate your participation. Our School Is Wonderful, But We Have Some Kids That Need Some Help. Parents/Guardians Need To Work Together With The School To Stop The Vaping And Cannabis. It Is Impacting Kids’ Education. I Am Your Partner, Reach Out.

Please read the attached letter with your student, and let me know how we can support you. I have also attached the Teen Center Schedule. We want kids to have lots of opportunities to be together and enjoy one another. Good stuff!

A shout out to Terese Malfavon for her translation. We greatly appreciate her skill and expertise.

We are going to have these dinners several times a year. I hope you will make the time to come. We Appreciate You.

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

WHERE WE ARE AND ALL THAT WE CAN BECOME

by Louise Simson, Superintendent, AV Unified

(Afterdinner speech to new students, parents, friends and residents)

I want to take a moment to talk about where we are and all that we can become. I joined you last July. In one year this community stepped up and we passed Measure M, a facilities bond for $13 million dollars. We passed it with 72% of the vote. Nobody does that. Do you know that? People across the State are calling me and saying how the heck did you do it? And I explain, because the community knows that these facilities are old and need support. We did it because the community knows that education is important. I applaud you. WHAT THIS Community did is unprecedented.

But we have a lot of work to do. What I am asking you tonight is to pass a bond of expectation. I want you to expect your students to come to school on time. I want you to expect your students to do their work. I want you to expect your students to be respectful. I want you to expect your students to be successful. So many of you do that already, and I applaud you. The first week of school shows me that Anderson Valley is expecting a new day. It has BEEN GOOD.

BUT, right now, I have a handful of kids that are completely hijacking the learning experience in this school for the other 200 students. I have met with their parents and guardians. They are in different grades and classes but their presence is felt and I need some help. DON’T BE SCARED. I HAVE CONTROL OF THIS SCHOOL. BUT ON A BROADER THEME, THIS COMMUNITY IS THE SOLUTION. You can help by extending your support to kids that maybe need it.

It starts with things like dress code. I’ve had young men in my office whose pants are so low the front of their under shorts are completely exposed. That’s embarrassing to me. Some of the shirts that people wear are so low cut, I feel so uncomfortable. This is a school and working environment, and we need to shape students to be ready to go out into the business world. It’s difficult for our staff to engage in those conversations and it puts them in a difficult spot. So, that’s one of the easy problems to fix. Please take a look at your students when they leave the house. There are weekend clothes, and fair clothes, and then there are clothes for school.

Here’s a bigger problem:

I don't want to see kids coming to school STONED and I assure you they're coming to school stoned. I have parents in my office who flat out tell me “I don't care if they smoke or vape weed so long as they don’t do it at school.” REALLY? , and so I say to you “What’s your nexus for that? Is your nexus, I don't care if they smoked 2 hours before school, an hour before school, or on the way to school–What is your nexus because I see your kid is stoned and they cannot access their learning and THEN that is my problem. Sometimes in meetings, I sit in partnership with you and I feel like some parents are raising and excusing children to not access their learning. I care about your kids, but I care about my staff too. My staff is tired. My staff is tired of trying to teach AND TO parent– and yes, I know your flip side that some of you are tired with some staff who maybe don't teach and engage kids to their full potential, and I hear that too and we're working on it. FOLKS, THIS CANNOT CONTINUE. We have to work together and the drugs need to stop.

I understand more than a decade ago there was a real methamphetamine problem in this District. I understand, the community banded together and said enough is enough and we're not going to do this anymore. SO I ASK YOU TONIGHT, What is it going to take in this district for kids to NOT come to school stoned and not come to school and sell dope? What is it going to take–a preschooler getting killed in a car with their mom or dad on their way to Peachland because one of my kids is so stoned driving on an illegal license? 

Let's fix it before it happens. I have a dozen or so kids that are ruining the educational experience for the other children. How can I help you get control back as a community? How, as a community, can we work together to support those kids and families? I have RESOURCES LIKE KEYSTONE THERAPY. REACH OUT. Yes, we have had two years of Covid HELL, but we need to put the boundaries back–put the expectation back–put the Excellence back.

 I don't want to look through the report cards like I have the past year and see multiple Ds and Fs. That is not OUR DISTRICT. I don’t want to keep busting for vape and multiple detentions for disrespect and defiance. THAT’S NOT OUR DISTRICT. 

So, you may be saying, “Oh Louise, she doesn't know adversity, she doesn't know about hard parenting, but I want to tell you about my son–my son got into horrible trouble. My son was in an environment he couldn't navigate and he did something super stupid and brought me the biggest pain in my life and two years of turmoil and misery…. But to his credit and through his owning his stuff, my kid made it through–that kid got a Bachelor's and a Master's degree and now he's a special ed teacher. I SPEAK TRUTH TONIGHT from a place I understand–I understand BUT SOMETHING'S GOT TO CHANGE. I AM CONFIDENT IT IS GOING TO CHANGE. 

The fact that all of you showed up tonight shows me that you care about your kids. We need more parent involvement like this in our school. I need drivers, I need people to work the games, to volunteer for events and activities and leadership meetings, and I need people to check in with the kids that maybe aren’t their kids. We can’t run this wonderful sports program without some help. Most of all, we can’t educate our kids unless we do it as a community.

Tonight, Let’s pass our bond of expectation and excellence. Thank you for caring enough to be here—we are lucky to have you. EVERYONE HAS THIS LETTER. TAKE IT HOME AND READ IT TO YOUR KIDS. PUT IT ON YOUR REFRIGERATOR.

What the kids are using is vastly different from what you've seen before. I am delighted that Mark Fierro is here tonight to show you what these kids are doing. 

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SUMMER CONCERT SERIES, CASPAR BEACH

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ANDERSON VALLEY FIRE CHIEF’S REPORT

August 16, 2022

Fuel Depot

The fuel system has been ordered and has a two plus month delivery estimate. The Fair Board discussed the proposal at their August 15th meeting. They requested Jim Brown to work with AVFD to get more details on the project before discussing it again next month. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend and present the idea in person. A legal use agreement needs to be developed along with some more details on the installation and possible impacts to the fairgrounds. This month, Jim Brown and I will need to decide if this project is practical in order to submit plans to County Planning and Building in a timely manner. P&B staff said they would work with AVFD to get this through quickly as it is a public safety issue to not have a fuel station. See the attached site layouts for the Fairgrounds and the contingency site at the Philo Fire Station.

AV Elementary School Water System Update

Last week I was finally able to connect with the Elementary School’s water contractor to identify the campus water system problem and a good solution for their fire suppression needs. The water system had an old problematic pump installed, the hydrant supply valves were partially closed, and some of the plumbing had been reduced in size limiting volume. The valves are now open again and supplying limited water for immediate use. My solution was to install a direct draft hydrant with an inlet Fire Department Connection (FDC) to allow a fire engine to pump all campus hydrants (instead of the electric pump) and at a larger volume. An FDC would allow pumping to continue during power outages as well. After we met, I was told by the school that the contractor has been approved for the repairs as were discussed which will increase the availability for fire water into a better condition than the original water system. I need to disclose this to the AVCSD Board because the situation is not ideal with the buildings now being occupied. This along with the Office of the State Fire Marshal (OSFM) now holding the Board and the Fire Chief liable for fire inspections and code enforcement, I will monitor this repair closely and report to the Board on any developments. 

Summer Interns

Two high school students successfully completed 80 hours of work here at the fire house. The intern program is sponsored by the Anderson Valley Education Foundation and pays the students only if they complete all of the 80 hrs. required. The interns worked well and assisted us with routine station maintenance, creating community maps, washing engines, attended trainings, etc. 

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AT THE BUCKHORN, EVERY OTHER THURSDAY — Trivia night with Team “Nozall”

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CAL FIRE ANNOUNCES MODERNIZATION PLAN FOR JACKSON DEMONSTRATION STATE FOREST

New Vision For The Jackson Demonstration State Forest Prioritizes Tribal Co-Management, Cultural Resource Stewardship And Restoration Ecology

(Mendocino County, CA) Following months of collaborative discussions and consultations with community members, tribal leaders, conservation organizations and forest operators, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) released a new vision this week outlining how the Jackson Demonstration State Forest will be managed in the age of climate change. The document is available on our website.

Shared as a series of action steps—some already taken, with others to be incorporated by the Jackson Advisory Group into future management plans—the vision grounds the Jackson Demonstration State Forest in a foundation of science and equity.

One of the most prominent additions included in the future vision: introducing a new forest co-management concept with sovereign tribal nations that regard the area in Mendocino County as their ancestral home.

The vision also includes guiding principles to inform an updated management plan. Other key items include CAL FIRE and California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA) leaders devoting an added $10 million to support forest operations, aiming to remove any potential pressure on timber harvests to cover costs. Several new seats have been added to the Jackson Advisory Group, including a tribal member and a redwood scientist, and CAL FIRE requested an update to the Jackson Management Plan four years early. Specifically, these additions include:

  • Updating the 10-year Jackson Management Plan to focus on climate science and research, restoration ecology and economies, and further exploration of the multiple benefits of restoring redwood forests;
  • Expanding the Jackson Advisory Group to incorporate a breadth of expertise and experiences as the group advises CAL FIRE on JDSF management issues;
  • Establishing a Tribal Advisory Council and dedicating percentages of revenue generated from the forest for tribal priorities, among other activities to come from co-management agreements;
  • Dedicating $10 million in General Fund dollars to cover administrative and management costs, thus alleviating revenue pressures on the forest while seeking permanent funding for implementing the new vision;
  • Revising operations so that current timber plans focus on smaller trees and halting removal of trees over 48 inches in diameter, including permanent protection of large, specified trees for enhancing future carbon sequestration and prioritizing forest management that demonstrates climate resiliency outcomes and large, complex forest conditions.
  • Continuing efforts to prioritize communication and public engagement efforts throughout this work.

“We are proud to share this new vision for the future of the Jackson Demonstration State Forest, one that reflects the many different perspectives that cherish the forest as we do,” said Deputy Director of Resource Management, Matthew Reischman. “We’ve arrived here because of the commitment of many to come to the table and find solutions with us on critically important forest management issues. We are proud that months of tough discussions have come together for a historic path forward for forest management in California—and a vision that both aims to fulfill previous commitments while launching new opportunity.”

CAL FIRE and CNRA’s new vision was released at the Jackson Advisory Group regular meeting today, where it was shared in a public forum. The Jackson Advisory Group represents a broad spectrum of natural resource, community, tribal and conservation stakeholders and serves as the advisory body for reviewing management activities for the forest.

“This has been a long and thorough process focused on the first steps of modernizing the Demonstration Forest model. We couldn’t be more grateful to the Tribal leaders who have been front and center with the conversations, the community around Jackson Forest, CAL FIRE, and the California Natural Resources Agency for all of the incredible time and effort they have put into this endeavor,” Senator Mike McGuire said. “Obviously there is much more work ahead with the advancement of the master plan, but I believe this is an excellent start. Refocusing Jackson to be a place of research on the climate crisis and wildfire resiliency is crucial to so many of us on the North Coast and around the state.”

As operational details are further developed for implementation, staff will continue work on previous contractual commitments for the remainder of the year with the actions listed above incorporated immediately into these operations. This includes ongoing government-to-government consultations with tribal partners and regular public updates to the JAG and others.

“The Nature Conservancy supports this new vision bringing tribal expertise and critical scientific questions to the center of Jackson’s management actions in partnership with CAL FIRE. This new vision will help modernize the management of the Jackson State Forest and inform environmentally sustainable forestry practices in the age of climate change,” said Jay Ziegler, Director of External Affairs and Policy, The Nature Conservancy .

“Save the Redwoods League is honored to join the Jackson Advisory Group and help shape the future management of this important coast redwood forest,” said Sam Hodder, President and Chief Executive Officer for Save the Redwoods League. “The Jackson Demonstration Forest is a living laboratory that will help us answer critical questions about how best to restore California’s coastal redwood forests to be a source of resilience and carbon sequestration and biodiversity in an era of climate disruption. We are excited to partner with CAL FIREIndigenous, Tribal, and Native people, and conservation partners in shaping future management activities to promote sustainable restoration and recreation management that can be applied across the entire coast redwood geography.”

CAL FIRE’s nine demonstration state forests, including the Jackson, serve as a living laboratory for how to care for and manage California’s forest lands for multiple benefits, including ecological and watershed protection, wood products and timber production, recreation, and habitat restoration. The Jackson Forest provides unique research and demonstration opportunities in a coastal redwood forest where environmental scientists, foresters, and other researchers can study the effects of various forest management and restoration techniques. Potential Elder Tree (PET) retention, road abandonment for improved instream fisheries habitat, forest thinning to increase forest resilience to fire, and regeneration studies are a few examples of research practices underway at Jackson Demonstration State Forest.

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photo by Laurel Krause

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CLOVERDALE AUTHORITIES DEEM FIRE ALONG RUSSIAN RIVER ‘SUSPICIOUS’ AMID RECENT STRING OF BLAZES

by Alana Minkler

A fire reported Wednesday in Cloverdale has been deemed “suspicious” by authorities following a string of recent blazes in the area.

Just after 6:20 a.m., the fire was reported in Cloverdale River Park, located between Highway 101 and the Russian River. Thanks to favorable weather, firefighters were able to contain it to about an eighth of an acre before extinguishing it.

Since January, the Cloverdale Fire Protection District has recorded 10 to 15 “very, very suspicious fires” along the Russian River in Cloverdale, Battalion Chief Rick Blackmon said.

The fires, including the one Wednesday, are being investigated by the district, Blackmon said. The most sizable of the fires, which had two starts, grew to about 10 acres in July. Two days later there was another fire with two starts nearby.

The fires have not done any damage or caused any reported injuries, officials said.

There are homeless encampments in the park, but Blackmon said it was unclear whether any were destroyed by the fires or connected to them.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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LOUISE MARIANA POINTS OUT THAT IT'S BEEN DONE BEFORE:

"In 1906 after the most destructive earthquake in San Francisco history, the United States Army built 5,610 tiny redwood and fir "relief houses" as makeshift homes for 20,000 refugees. 

Built with their sides practically touching, they were packed into the eleven refugee camps and rented for $2 a month until the city was rebuilt. Designed by John McLare, the "Father of Golden Gate Park," they have been referred to as earthquake cottages, wood shanties, cottages, earthquake memories, unsightly wooden shacks, and "the teeniest, cutest little dovecotes of houses ever seen." (San Francisco Chronicle, October 21, 1906). There were four types: Type A was 140 square feet and cost $100, Type B was 252 square feet and cost $135, Type C was 375 square feet and cost $150, and Type D cost $741. There were 500 Type As built -- the kind shown here. Kitchen and bathing facilities were communal, located outside the shacks.

From "The Tiny Book of Tiny Houses," by Lester Walker

(Ed note: $100 in 1906 is roughly equal to around $3,500 today, according to on-line inflation calculators.)

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BROWN ACT VIOLATION NOTICE filed against Board of Supervisors

August 18, 2022

To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Chair Ted Wiliams

Dear Chair Williams:

This letter is to call your attention to what I believe was a substantial violation of a central provision of the Ralph M. Brown Act, one which may jeopardize the finality of the action taken by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.

On Tuesday, August 16, 2022, you reported out of closed session that no reportable action had been taken on Agenda Items 6a, 6b, 6c, and 6d. Then you added:

“We do need to give direction to staff to come back with a future agenda item to … with a plan to close out positions that are general fund, have been vacant for more than 18 months, are not public safety and not revenue generating.”

According to Government code section 54957.6: “Closed sessions with the local agency’s designated representative regarding the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits may include discussion of an agency’s available funds and funding priorities, but only insofar as these discussions relate to providing instructions to the local agency’s designated representative.”

Whatever discussion the Board undertook in closed session to arrive at the particulars in your report out of closed session is not within the scope of that closed session exception.

The Board’s reasoning for directing staff to prepare a list of certain very specific vacant positions (and not others) is a matter of public interest and should be conducted in open session.

Pursuant to that provision (Government Code Section 54960.1), I demand that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors cure and correct the illegally taken action and that you re-agendize this item for an open public session discussion including the taking of public input before giving direction to staff...

As provided by Section 54960.1, you have 30 days from the receipt of this demand to either cure or correct the challenged action or inform me of your decision not to do so. If you fail to cure or correct as demanded, such inaction may leave me no recourse but to seek a judicial invalidation of the challenged action pursuant to Section 54960.1, in which case I would also ask the court to order you to pay my court costs and reasonable attorney fees in this matter, pursuant to Section 54960.5.

Respectfully yours,

Mark Scaramella

Anderson Valley Advertiser

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Storage Yard and Incline Tramway, Mendocino Lumber Mill, 1930

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AGENCY ASSIST: A BIG ASSIST in Nevada County

On Wednesday 8/10/2022, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services to assist with a Search and Rescue mission in Nevada County. 

The request was for a 3-day deployment in Nevada County to assist with running a Search and Rescue mission for a missing juvenile female. 

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office identified a deputy with extensive Search and Rescue experience to respond with the assistance of 4 Search and Rescue volunteers from Mendocino County. 

The Deputy and Search and Rescue volunteers responded to Nevada County during the late evening of Wednesday 8/10/2022, and assisted with the Search and Rescue Mission until late Saturday night on 8/13/2022.

Each search day included hundreds of Search and Rescue volunteers from throughout California and the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and Search and Rescue volunteers assisted with the planning and operations of the overall search. 

For more information regarding the ongoing Search and Rescue Mission in Nevada County, visit their page on Facebook: Nevada County Sheriff's Search & Rescue.

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HEARTBROKEN

AVA Readers,

I am completely heartbroken at the "murder" of the little boy left in the care of Edward "Two Feathers" Steele. In all my 36 years of living in this county, this tragedy is by far the worst. Just to put this in context: tweeker mom and dirtbag bag boyfriend fight for who knows how long in front of these two babies; mom goes to jail; the two babies are left in the care of some unknown tweakers at Motel 6 where later on Two Feathers takes possession of the kids and then leaves the motel. 

By the way, what cop thought it was a good idea to leave the kids at Motel 6 without so much as a welfare check? Motel 6 is a known methamphetamine haven, the worst this town has had in many years. I would not leave my dog in the care of anyone at the Motel 6. The cops had a responsibility to check on the welfare of the children and provide them safe haven until the appropriate agency could intervene. 

Instead, Two Feathers takes them on a grueling walk in the sweltering heat and abandons them on the railroad tracks. Nobody, especially a little one year old child, deserves to die alone scared, thirsty and suffering.

Shame on the responding cops for leaving those kids at Motel 6 without checking on them. I hope Two Feathers gets what he has coming and there are consequences for the cops involved in aiding in the murder of this little boy. It is cases like this that cause me to doubt the existence of a God. If there is a God I hope this little guy is wrapped in His tender loving arms sipping a nice cold soda and safe from the Two Feathers of the world.

May you raised may you rest in peace, little man.

Respectfully,

Alan Sonny Crow

Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah

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LAST MEMBER OF THE COVELO SIX SENTENCED to 31 Years to Life in State Prison for ‘Heinous and Pure Evil’ Crimes

SAMSON JOAQUIN GETS 31-to-Life

Defendant Samson Musselini Little Bear Joaquin, age 25 years, formerly of Covelo, was sentenced in the Mendocino County Superior Court Wednesday afternoon to 31 years to life in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

Defendant Joaquin was convicted by guilty pleas entered in June to two counts of murder in the second degree. He also admitted to personally using a deadly and dangerous weapon to inflict death on the two victims.

The factual basis prepared in writing by the prosecutor – and signed off on personally by the defendant and by his defense attorney — was that “With both express and implied malice aforethought, defendant Samson Joaquin intentionally killed Kyle McCartney and Traci Bland by use of a splitting maul/fire axe in Mendocino County [on November 19, 2020].”

McCartney, Bland

The Mendocino County Adult Probation report and sentencing recommendation prepared for the sentencing hearing characterized the defendant and his 2020 crimes as “heinous and pure evil.”

In turn, the defense argued at Wednesday’s sentencing hearing that the defendant barely remembers what he or others did; that he was really a “victim” of his own voluntary consumption of drugs and alcohol, defense arguments scoffed at by the prosecutor when it was his turn to speak.

Family members of the real victims were present during Wednesday’s hearing, as they have been for every court hearing since the original arraignment.

As part of his June change of plea proceedings, defendant Joaquin was required to waive all custody credits from the date of his original arrest to Wednesday’s sentencing date. He was also required to waive all appellate rights.

Other criminal participants convicted for their varying degrees of involvement in the same crime spree that resulted in the aforementioned deaths are:

top: S..Joaquin, J. Joaquin, Hoaglen
bottom: J.Azbill, L. Azbill, D..Joaquin

Joaquina Patrice Joaquin, sentenced on November 19, 2021 to over 31 years in state prison;

Janet Faye Azbill, sentenced on December 1, 2021 to over 14 years in state prison;

Leonard Britton Azbill, Sr., sentenced on December 9, 2022 to 6 years in state prison; and

Joseph Joshua Hoaglen, sentenced on January 21, 2022 to over 25 years in state prison.

An additional in-custody co-defendant, David Lee Joaquin, Jr., had his sentencing hearing rescheduled from Thursday afternoon to August 31, 2022 due to health issues.

The prosecutor who has been handling these matters is District Attorney David Eyster.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman accepted the defendant’s guilty pleas and weapon admission in June and presided over Wednesday’s sentencing hearing.

(DA Presser)

Background: "Covelo Six Charged With First Degree Murder, Kidnapping, And Torture"

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DIVINE ANARCHY

Warmest spiritual greetings,

An auspicious occasion at the Ukiah, California Cooperative has led to this announcement, that a global movement in the direction of Divine Anarchy is happening. The occasion at the Co-op was interacting with former members of an informal community group from Redwood Valley, in which we "cleared the slate" of the past, and then well-wished one another in the present, for the future. Three generations who had shared adventures and history together, unexpectedly together again at Mendocino county's finest wholistic health grocery store. Hey, that was cool! It brought closure to a lot, which opens up a new window of exciting future possibilities and opportunity. This is freedom in the truest sense of the word.

That said, please know that I am available for spiritually focused direct action on the planet earth. For the past six months, I've been walking around the City of Ukiah watching the activity of the mind, while identified with "that which is prior to consciousness". Physical survival is assured due to residing at the Building Bridges homeless shelter, taking free meals at the Plowshares Dining Room, utilizing roughly $800 in monthly food stamps, plus covered by Medicare and Partnership of California medical insurance. You are hereby invited to join a global movement in the direction of divine anarchy.

Craig Louis Stehr

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CATCH OF THE DAY, August 19, 2022

Bolton, Cooksey, Hawthorne, Medlin

JOHN BOLTON, Laytonville. DUI.

ELIZABETH COOKSEY, Sausalito/Ukiah. Domestic battery, false ID.

KARLY HAWTHORNE, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, false personation of another, failure to appear, probation revocation.

JEREMIAH MEDLIN, Ukiah. Domestic battery.

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REAGAN, REDWOODS, RADICALS AND PEOPLE’S PARK

by Jonah Raskin

Where is Ronald Reagan now that the Regents at the University of California need him? Long gone, of course, to the Republican Party Heaven, while veterans of People’s Park, including Stew Albert, who came up with the original idea for a liberated space—along with some of his fellow conspirators—now live in the pages of legend. A few veterans of the 1960s, who are still alive, helped tear down the fence that was erected recently by UC Berkeley, which, after all these years, didn't expect students of today to take radical action. As long as there’s a campus with feisty undergrads and true blue alumni, like Steve Wasserman and Harvey Smith to name just two—as long as there are tie-dyed T-shirts, and cell phones that seem ready made to draw a crowd instantly — there will be protests against the University’s plans to build on the site and efface the memory of the mini-utopia that irked Governor Reagan. 

That kind of erasure of the past is what the Russians have done and still do in places like Babi Yar where Jews was murdered in Ukraine. Perhaps that’s an extreme comparison, but People’s Park invites extremes: radical slogans and rabble-rising cries, dramatic actions and memorable murals like the one on the wall outside Amoeba Records which Osha Neumann and Brian Thiele painted not long after the aroma of teargas faded from the streets of the place that for a time was known worldwide as “Bezerkeley.” Neumann’s recent piece on the Park which was published in Berkeleyside was a model of wisdom, Sixties style. “It is realistic to be unrealistic,” he wrote. “The impossible visions are the ones most worth fighting for.” 

I wasn’t in Berkeley in ’69, but rather in New York helping to disrupt academic life, along with undergrads like Mark Rudd, at Columbia, my alma mater, though I was also a mild-mannered professor teaching literature. I’m not going to go back to '69 now, not going to unpack my memories of long ago. 

If there’s one thing that really irks me right now, aside from those who deny climate change and want to deny democracy, it’s the veterans of the 1960s who are eager to toot their own horns and make themselves in retrospect into heroes of the revolution. Maybe it's a pet peeve. Maybe I shouldn't be annoyed by the radicals of the past who want to relive their youth. To them I say write about the past, but don’t live on your own laurels, please. Yeah, yeah, I agree, Berkeley needs more open space. The parcel where the park once thrived is a near-perfect location, not for a high-rise but for picnics, basketball, music, poetry, and sharing a joint. Please no wallowing in nostalgia which one 1960s radical aptly described as the flip side of depression.

While the University doesn’t understand that the site of People’s Park deserves to be open space for all the people, some of the veterans from Berkeley long ago don’t understand that many of us would rather not hear about their exploits in 1969, when they thought that the whole world was watching them and still think they’re the center of global attention. Berkeley turned heads around, but so did other campuses that stood at the center of protests.

I won’t name names. That would be impolite. If there’s one thing I learned from my days on the barricades it’s that manners matter, though sometimes manners have to be shelved. Especially if and when a bulldozer comes at you and you have to give it a symbolic finger and utter a four-letter word.

The most telling image that I’ve seen of People’s Park today, after the fences went up and were torn down, is the one that shows a bouquet of purple flowers laid across the stump of a redwood tree. Perhaps it’s not as powerful as the image of a protester at the Pentagon in 1967 inserting a flower in the muzzle of a rifle, but it comes awfully close. It doesn't need a caption or an explanatory text. It speaks for itself. The medium is still the message, as student radicals from Berkeley to Chicago, Madison, New York and Boston insisted long ago.

I still don’t understand how UC Berkeley, which is known as a site of knowledge, gave the green light to guys with chainsaws to cut down trees. Someone at the Regents was surely inspired by our diabolical 40th president. “When you've seen one redwood tree, you've seen them all,” he bellowed.

What now? How about a series of teach-ins in which all sides of the issue are aired and everyone gets to vote: Berkeley citizens, students, faculty, administrators, staff members and the workers who keep the institution up and running. In case you don’t remember, it’s called democracy.

* * *

Grace Maxwell and the Chickens, 1915

* * *

I’M NOT SURE WHAT’S MORE ENERVATING: liberals embracing Liz Cheney or the Left fist-bumping Henry Kissinger. But here we are. We can’t escape two of the most grotesque shadows of our past. No one needs either of them as allies, even fleeting ones. They contaminate all they touch.

— Jeffrey St. Clair

* * *

OF COURSE, THE MORE SOBERING PICTURE is that virtually all American institutions are now incredible, impossible to believe, starting from the top: “Joe Biden” as president. The executive branch of the government is being run by Barack Obama and a claque around him and is being run into the ground either on-purpose or out of astounding incompetence. Attorney General Merrick Garland flamboyantly disgraces the very idea of justice with Stalinesque political prosecutions. FBI Director Christopher Wray flouts every attempt to extract the truth about his agency’s operations, and at least half the country believes he’s turned it into a secret police operation like the Gestapo. The college presidents and deans have dishonored the idea of truth-seeking with their cowardly submission to Jacobin-Marxist maniacs and their program of anti-knowledge. And who, in America really trusts his doctor? (Not me. Mine is the “chief medical officer” of my network and he’s still pushing “vaccines.”)

We allowed this to happen. We tolerated this exorbitant abuse by runaway authorities-gone-criminal. We let them get away with their bullshit about “defending our democracy” when they are actively and visibly destroying it. Serious people must be seriously asking themselves: what will it take to stop them now? 

— James Kunstler

* * *

"Girl with Pigeons" (1942) by Morris Hirshfield

* * *

CAPITALISM WON’T FIX THIS

by John Kendall Hawkins

Bill McGuire is a volcanologist and Emeritus Professor of Geophysical and Climate Hazards at University College London. His main interests include volcano instability and lateral collapse, the nature and impact of global geophysical events and the effect of climate change on geological hazards. He’s written a few books on the coming catastrophes we face as a result of ignoring the root causes of the climate crisis. In this interview, McGuire discusses his latest book, Hothouse Earth: An Inhabitant’s Guide (2022), why techno-fixes for the climate crisis are no solution at all, and why the climate and economy will never return to a previous “normal.”

John Hawkins: You’ve written some books with seriously confronting titles in the past — A Guide to the End of the World: Everything You Never Wanted to Know; Global Catastrophes: A Very Short Introduction; and Surviving Armageddon: Solutions for a Threatened Planet. There’s almost a sardonic edge to the titles. Like you’re selling to people with short attention spans. Where does your new book, Hothouse Earth, fit into this oeuvre?

Bill McGuire: You are right, there is a wry twist to the titles of some of my earlier books. Drawing on my background in volcanology, and geophysical hazards in general, all these books deal with what we call low-frequency, high-impact events — things like asteroid impacts and volcanic super-eruptions. Such phenomena are extremely rare on the scale of a human lifetime, so the risk is very small in any single year. Consequently, I sought to flag their existence to people, to trigger a frisson of concern, but not to terrify, so a hint of the burlesque seemed appropriate.

Hothouse Earth, however, is very different. Global heating and climate breakdown are with us now, rather than a vague 10,000 years down the line. As we confront the greatest threat in human history, there is absolutely no room for whimsy, so the book’s subtitle — an “inhabitant’s guide” — signals that I am seeking, in all sincerity, to paint a picture — however grim — of what our future world is set to be like.

In simple terms, what’s causing the hothouse effect?

Around 2.4 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide have been released into the atmosphere in the last couple of centuries. This is acting as a blanket, keeping in heat that would otherwise head off into space. This global heating has pushed up the average temperature of our world by around 1.2 degrees Celsius as a result, although in places the rise is as great as 5 degrees C. We are already seeing global heating translate into the collapse of our once stable climate with an explosion of extreme weather — drought, heat waves, floods, storms — that is causing widespread destruction and loss of life. As the planet continues to heat up, this is only going to get worse.

Can it be mitigated?

A global average temperature rise of 1.5 degrees C is widely regarded as a guardrail that separates us and our world from dangerous climate change. To keep this side of the guardrail, the world’s greenhouse gas emissions need to fall 45 percent by 2030 — just 90 months away. Although in theory this is possible, in practice I am pretty certain that it isn’t. My conclusion is, then, that it is now practically impossible for us to dodge perilous, all-pervasive climate breakdown that will affect everyone and insinuate itself into every aspect of our lives.

But this doesn’t mean that action is futile — it actually makes it more critical. Hothouse Earth is therefore a call to arms for us to act now to stop dangerous climate breakdown metamorphosing into a climate cataclysm. The near certainty of us shattering the 1.5°C guardrail also means that as well as doing everything we can to bring emissions down as fast as possible, we are also now going to have to work to adapt our infrastructure, lives and livelihoods to a world that is slated to be unrecognizable to the one our grandparents were born into.

In the foreword of Hothouse Earth, you write:

Some early post-COP26 modelling averred that, if pledges were all met and targets achieved, then we might be on track for “just” a 1.9°C (3.4°F), or even 1.8°C (3.2°F), global average temperature rise. Firstly, however, this is a very big if indeed. Secondly, such predictions fly in the face of peer-reviewed research published pre-COP26, which argues that a rise of more than 2°C (3.6°F) is already “baked-in” or, in plain language, certain.

There is some suggestion that, because of inertia in the climate system, the amount of carbon dioxide already emitted will ultimately translate to a global average temperature rise of 2°C or even a little more — a figure that is significantly above the 1.5°C threshold. Whether or not this proves to be the case, it raises the real possibility that our situation could well be even worse than we think.

The world’s greenhouse gas emissions need to fall 45 percent by 2030 — just 90 months away.

In your chapter “Ground Zero,” you talk about the wigmaker Arkwright’s legacy. Can you tell us more about that and how it relates to today’s climate issues?

It would be disingenuous of me to suggest that the English businessman and entrepreneur, Sir Richard Arkwright, was single-handedly responsible for the dire straits we find ourselves in today, but his role is clearly pivotal. The opening in 1771 of water-powered Cromford Mill on the banks of the River Derwent, here in Derbyshire, saw the beginning of mass production, using cheap, semi-skilled labor to manufacture yarn. With the onset of steam power a few years later, mass production exploded across Britain, bringing about the industrial revolution, and the beginning of the large-scale plundering of our world. The day Arkwright opened his mill, the carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). Today, it is 419 ppm and still climbing fast.

Perhaps the greatest political failure in global history is the lack of teeth at the UN, a body that should be ready to override intra-governmental emergency decisions for the world’s benefit. Would you agree with this assessment? And how do we change the calculus?

The UN has played an admirable role in highlighting the huge threat that global heating and climate breakdown present, in particular through giving birth to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and launching the Conference of the Parties climate conferences. The problem, as ever with the UN, is that it doesn’t have teeth. It can act only with the agreement of its members, nearly all of whom have their own agendas. Indeed some, including the United States, would prefer the organization did not exist at all, or if it did, only so far as it rubber stamps what the U.S. wants. The bottom line, however, is that the UN is all we have to push the climate breakdown agenda on the international stage, so we need to support it as much as we can and ensure that its work bears fruit.

Not too many lay people consider the sub-plots involved with climate change, like what’s happening in Greenland and the Arctic region. Greenland’s ice is melting fast and the Gulf Stream is slowing, with unpredictable consequences for future patterns. You’d think folks would be in grief mode, but instead they keenly observe how that melting will open up more oil fields — if we can fight off the Russians, you know?

Yes, it is astonishing that some see climate breakdown as an opportunity, and fossil fuel corporations and some governments are poised to make the most of the melting of Arctic ice via exploring and exploiting any previously hidden oil, gas and mineral reserves that become accessible. This is predicated, however, on the fact that the world will operate tomorrow as it did yesterday. This is wrong.

In fact, by mid-century, it is not unlikely that global society and economy will be failing as climate breakdown bites ever harder. Rather than a new golden age of exploration, then, corporations of all shapes and sizes may well be struggling merely to survive, while national governments will have too many homegrown problems to look and act further afield.

You write:

The problem is that Gaia [Mother Earth] is now sick and getting sicker. While taking ice ages and other natural climate shocks in its stride, widespread environmental damage and diversity loss has meant that Gaia is struggling to handle the vast quantities of carbon being pumped out by humankind’s activities at a rate unprecedented in Earth history. [The scientist credited with inventing Gaia theory James] Lovelock himself is pessimistic that Gaia can get on top of the situation in the short term, and he has expressed the view that civilisation will be hard-pressed to survive the ongoing breakdown of our climate.

What might happen to us and the planet?

A worst-case, or even end-game, scenario envisages a cascade of feedback effects acting to drive irreversible, rapid heating, which could double the global average temperature of our world. Currently, this figure is around 15°C, so this would be hiked to 30°C. And this is the average. In places, temperatures could exceed 60°C, perhaps even 70°C. This would undoubtedly signal the end of civilization, and have the potential, ultimately, to be an extinction-level event for the human race, although it might be possible for small numbers to survive at the highest latitudes. I am still hopeful that this won’t happen, but it cannot be completely ruled out.

What’s your scale of despair looking like?

I have to say I am pretty gloomy. Despite unprecedented scenes on our screens this summer of wildfires obliterating entire streets in English villages, there are still those who refuse to accept that global heating is a thing. These people call themselves climate skeptics, but they are deniers pure and simple, and almost invariably of the libertarian hard right. Climate breakdown offends their worldview, as they see it as a threat to the free-market, capitalist framework that they worship as a god. Indeed, it is a threat to capitalism, and capitalism will not tackle the climate emergency, not survive it. No system predicated on greed and short-term profit, rather than the greater good, will prevail against the storm that is coming, and, ultimately, the deniers will reap the whirlwind along with everyone else, which makes me marginally happier.

The day Arkwright opened his mill, the carbon dioxide concentration of the atmosphere was 280 parts per million (ppm). Today, it is 419 ppm and still climbing fast.

Tell us more about the big questions your book closes with.

There is no bigger question than: How bad will things get? And, as I say in the book, the question could just as easily be: How long is a piece of string? The answer is: Nobody knows. Everything depends on what we do in the next 10 years or so. If we act now to make a serious dent in emissions — and the recent U.S. climate bill is one bit of good news in this respect — then we could limit the global average temperature rise to around 2°C. The world will still see huge changes and society and economy will struggle to adapt, particularly as temperatures would take many decades, if not centuries to return to “normal.” If we do nothing, or not enough, then we could be headed for a climate apocalypse, with global average temperatures up by anywhere north of 4°C, and the progressive tearing apart of human civilization as a result.

There are increasing calls — supported by tech billionaires and fossil fuel corporations — to “engineer” our way out of the climate emergency, by one means or another; the current favorite is to block out the sun by mimicking a volcanic eruption, but there is a long list of reasons why this is a very bad idea. Not least because it tackles a symptom, not the cause, of global heating, and detracts from efforts to slash emissions. Messing with an already messed-up climate, many would also say, is not a very good idea, especially when such a scheme would inevitably trample on the legal and human rights of a large part of global society.

Frankly, there is really only one question that we need to pose, and that is: Are we going to do everything possible to make our world as safe as it can be for our children and their children? And the answer, surely, has to be yes.

(Truthout.org)

* * *

Marilyn Monroe & Cadillac in Los Angeles, 1954 (photo by Milton Greene)

* * *

HORSE!

Editor,

Years ago, I was a regular at Golden Gate Fields, having fallen in with a claque who somehow never seemed to have jobs when the races were in session. I think, sad to say, we thought more about winning a $2 bet than the well-being of the horses.

I’m still a horse lover, not so much a racing fan. Having just read Geraldine Brooks novel “Horse,” I was struck by this passage as spoken by a one of the characters, a vet who once tended racehorses:

“We race horses before they should be ridden, before they’re finished growing … We race them at two and train them hard before then. We pump them full of bute to get them on the track when they’re hurt and should be resting … So many trainers asked me to fix the horse up for one more race. (Sometimes if) the horse managed to run well through the pain I’d masked with steroids and analgesics it’d be just one more after that. Finally, that same horse, that beautiful, brave animal that had given its best would either break down and be destroyed or stop winning and basically be thrown away.”

Maybe it’s time to rethink racing and think more about the horse than a race run and won.

Michael O'Looney

Santa Rosa

* * *

* * *

LIFE IN SAN FRANCISCO THESE DAYS, a reader comments: 

The quiet agreement at SFGov from the top down is to allow what they consider low level crime to flourish. The stolen goods processing facilities in the Mission operate freely from a network of huge 24/7 encampments with luxury vehicles coming and going 24/7. The camps do such a high volume that just the detritus they generate fills the sidewalks daily. At best SF Department of Public Works might come and pick up the evidence as a maid service. There is no action from SFPD whatsoever. Same with the Fentanyl superstore. The only time they react (there never is proactive anything) is when the inevitable horrors happen. Shootings, stabbings, daily tent and vehicle fires. They come and take some notes and leave, and the people responsible maybe move a block away. No consequences. The basic social contract of the American City is being ignored here and look at the results: the Mission covered in graffiti and a crime magnet. The city is experiencing crime in areas once thought safe. Kids coming in from the East Bay to hunt for victims. It’s all caught on camera and reported and the City doesn’t care. People and Companies are fleeing. But if there’s not fast money to be made, the city doesn’t care. Now a $300 parking ticket? That’s their priority.

* * *

ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY

There are a few ethical doctors around who actually give a damn about their patients and read about the field they practice. Probably about 25% of MDs, maybe a third. 

The problem is that most doctors are authoritarian personalities who derive their own sense of power from their yielding to the power of medical boards and societies. Kind of like, “I was just following orders.” But with a twist.

* * *

Mr. Joseph Borgna and his dog, Bob, 1910

* * *

AGAINST THE ORTHODOXIES

by Edward Said

It is not only a “case,” but a man and a book. Salman Rushdie has suffered unconscionably as a human being. In hiding for four years, he has lost his personal life and all personal tranquility. Forced constantly to move, unable to be with family and friends, he has been a hunted man, ironically in full view of the world for whom the dreaded Iranian fatwa – as vengefully obdurate as it had been stupidly murderous in intent – has been an occasional item in the news.

But we must also remember the book itself, The Satanic Verses, an epic of migration, stability and volatility, it challenges all conceptions of fixed identity with a wit and originality that appreciate in time. Why do readers find it hard to accept its energy? Because it overturns not just religious orthodoxies, but national and cultural ones as well. The Satanic Verses is a great novel and a great challenge to settled habits, to lazy authority, to unthinking unconscious assent. Were it the loathsome curse against Islam that it is portrayed as being, readers could set it aside and ignore it. It is attractive, engaging, funny: it offers not a dour, unsmiling sermon, but a riotous carnival and is much more humane than a counter doctrine or new dogma. So, the author is the book.

Lastly, Salman Rushdie is a cause for writers as well as ordinary men and women who live in the formerly colonized world, in Islamic or Arab countries, and in many other parts of the Third World.

Rushdie is everyone who dares to speak out against power, to say that we are entitled to think and express forbidden thoughts, to argue for democracy and freedom of opinion. The time has come for those of us who come from his part of the world to say that we are against this fatwa and all fatwas that silence, beat, imprison or intimidate people and ban, burn or anathematize books. Rushdie, his books, and his life stand at the frontier where tyranny dares to pronounce and exact its appalling decrees. His case is not really offense to Islam, but a spur to go on struggling for democracy that has been denied us, and the courage not to stop. Rushdie is the intifada of the imagination.

* * *

* * *

WHATEVER IT TAKES?

by Rachel Malik

Conservative Party members have only two weeks left to decide who will be the UK’s new prime minister. Last month was the driest July since 1935. Torrential rain and flash-flooding haven’t relieved the drought. The grass is burnt to dust, jagged cracks have opened up in the ground. The earth is coming apart. The future has arrived, earlier and harsher than predicted.

When asked about climate change, both Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak talk about switching off lights and recycling. The Sunak household is ‘obsessive’ about it, apparently. ‘I know it’s a pain and you need lots of bins, but it’s very good for the environment.’ Truss boasts of her thrift and thinks food waste is ‘a huge problem’. But she plans to axe the green levy on energy bills and is enthusiastic for developing new UK oil and gas supplies, including fracking. As chancellor, Sunak announced a windfall tax on hydrocarbon companies, but they’ll get up to 80 per cent of it back if they invest in UK oil and gas extraction. He would retain the ban on onshore wind turbines. Under the rubric of ‘energy security’, anything is justified.

There is a gulf between the multiple crises facing the UK and the candidates’ responses to them. Problems that can only be tackled by a complete transformation of our way of life are being treated as obstacles to get past so we can get back to normal.

Not that Truss and Sunak’s proposals are small-scale or faint-hearted. Sunak would put the country on ‘crisis-footing’; Truss promises an emergency budget and an orgy of deregulation. The number of rhetorical promises has been giddying, starting with the list of adversaries against whom they have vowed to do battle: China, migrants, Vladimir Putin, civil servants, people who don’t love Britain, naysayers, especially Muslims, civil servants, Nicola Sturgeon, unions and equalities legislation. Both candidates insist they have the measure of the struggle ahead. Sunak will do ‘whatever it takes’. Truss will ‘do whatever it takes to get the job done’.

‘Unleash’ is one of her favorite words, along with ‘deliver’ and ‘I’. Over the past few weeks she has promised to unleash Brexit, investment, British farmers, food, the rural economy, innovation and Britain. The great thing about unleashing or unchaining (Truss was one of the authors of Britannia Unchained) is that whatever needs to be unleashed is already here – optimistic and energetic but reassuringly conservative. She has declared war on ‘benefits’ and ‘handouts’ though she doesn’t like to say that much of the money is being handed out directly to energy companies and private landlords.

The self-image Sunak returns to in interviews is of a hard-working son who did the books at his mum’s pharmacy and worked in a local restaurant while he was growing up: ‘I’m standing here because of the sacrifice and love of my parents. They worked day and night, saved and sacrificed to provide a better future for their children.’ His story, from ‘modest’ beginnings to absurd wealth and political success, is supposed to make him a model Tory, an exemplar of what Britain makes possible.

It’s interesting, though, that a man whose personal fortune from investment banking and hedge funds is partially held in a blind trust, and whose wife’s 0.93 per cent share of her father’s tech company is valued at £700 million, thinks that having seven fillings because of all the Coke he drank as a child is a badge of ordinariness – almost as if bad teeth and too much sugar were part of a nasty stereotype of what it is to grow up poor.

‘I’m fighting for the things that I think are right for this country,’ Sunak says. ‘I’d rather lose on those terms, than win by promising false things that I can’t deliver.’ Truss, too, talks a lot about what’s ‘right’. ‘If you work hard and do the right thing,’ she says, ‘if you save your money, start your own business, or go into work every day – I’m on your side.’ In both cases, ‘right’ is strongly pragmatic, it’s what works now. According to Truss that’s cutting taxes and abolishing ‘handouts’. According to Sunak, it’s a focus on cutting inflation and avoiding ‘immoral’ debt.

It might seem odd that Sunak and Truss can make any claims about their moral credentials, given they were key players in a government that sought to defend the breaking of lobbying rules, was ‘intensely relaxed’ about accepting funding from Russian oligarchs, including significant donations made after the invasion of Ukraine, and was led by a habitual liar – a series of scandals that have led to a clear crisis in public trust in the government.

For the party members the candidates have to persuade, however, trust has less to do with acting responsibly, legally and disinterestedly than it does with loyalty. Sunak isn’t trusted by the membership because he ‘betrayed’ Johnson. Truss is popular in part because she was loyal to the end. When Kay Burley asked her if she’d appoint a new ethics adviser, she replied: ‘I’m someone who acts with integrity and I’m slightly worried about outsourcing ethics to someone else.’

Desperate to increase his appeal, Sunak has doubled down on his hard-right credentials. He enthusiastically supports the policy of sending asylum-seekers to Rwanda and will do ‘whatever it takes’ to make it work. He wants to see asylum redefined in a more ‘Australian’ way to reduce the numbers. He has proposed a military-led ‘small boats taskforce’ to stop refugees crossing the English Channel. He not only supports Prevent but would ‘refocus’ it on Islamic extremism, which he calls the UK’s ‘most significant terror threat’ (he has nothing to say about other forms of terror). Part of the point of emphasizing his Hindu faith seems to be as a way of saying ‘It’s all right, I’m not Muslim.’

None of this has succeeded, any more than his latest attack on Truss, claiming that her plans leave ‘millions at risk of destitution’. The most recent Conservative Home poll puts her 32 points ahead of him. While Sunak seems to understand that in culture-war politics, stridency matters more than rationality, it is Truss and her team who really surpass themselves, constructing her as the nation’s champion, defending it against anyone (usually imaginary) who seeks to undermine Britain, its great mythic past and its glorious, already mythological future.

Annual consumer inflation has now reached 10.1 per cent, with food prices up 12.7 per cent since July 2021. Real pay has fallen by 3 per cent over the past year. In October, the average annual energy bill is forecast to rise to £3582, and to £4266 or more in January 2023. There are daily reports of parents going hungry to feed their children, trying to get by on food that requires no gas or electricity, cancelling hospital appointments because of the cost of travel. The Trussell Trust distributed an emergency food package every 13 seconds in April and May, a 50 per cent increase on pre-pandemic levels. One in four people will not be able to afford their gas and electricity bills when the energy price cap rises in October, according to Citizens Advice.

Public services are disintegrating, hollowed out by privatization; approximately one in ten of the working population is in precarious work; the private rental market is out of control; the ‘benefits’ system is deliberately punitive. All this is a consequence of the ‘normal’ that Sunak wants to get back to, the future of ‘aspiration Britain’ that Truss seeks to unleash. A couple of months ago, a woman on the radio described in meticulous detail how she buys food for her family with a very small, fixed budget: the number of shops she has to go to, the comparisons, calculations, recalculations she has to make, the late night supermarket visits in search of better offers. Survival as a way of life. I wonder if this is the kind of saving and working hard and ‘doing the right thing’ that Sunak and Truss profess to admire so much.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

Back to the Lander, Albion, 1975

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio all night Friday night!

Hi, Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 6 or 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on the radio next week.

Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time: http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128

Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there. Also there you'll find a vast library of recycled educational crap to distract you from your problems until showtime, or any time, such as:

Rocket cats of the 1500s. Rocket birds. Further rocket things. They're not really rockets for flying; they're animal-borne firebombs, though in the illustrations they are sometimes flying, especially the birds. Medieval DARPA. Your tax florins at work.

https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/objects-of-intrigue-rocket-cats

1930s mind-control chemtrail tech. Navy peek-a-boo. "What sorcery is this? Where did the ships go?" Hmm. (via TackyRaccoons)

https://twitter.com/ILoveH1story/status/1557904187802808320

And Spanish with a Southern accent. A prelude to romance.

https://laughingsquid.com/speaking-spanish-with-southern-accent/

— Marco McClean, memo@mcn.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com

12 Comments

  1. George Hollister August 20, 2022

    “I don’t want to see kids coming to school STONED and I assure you they’re coming to school stoned. I have parents in my office who flat out tell me “I don’t care if they smoke or vape weed so long as they don’t do it at school.” REALLY? , and so I say to you “What’s your nexus for that? Is your nexus, I don’t care if they smoked 2 hours before school, an hour before school, or on the way to school–What is your nexus because I see your kid is stoned and they cannot access their learning and THEN that is my problem. Sometimes in meetings, I sit in partnership with you and I feel like some parents are raising and excusing children to not access their learning. I care about your kids, but I care about my staff too. My staff is tired. My staff is tired of trying to teach AND TO parent– and yes, I know your flip side that some of you are tired with some staff who maybe don’t teach and engage kids to their full potential, and I hear that too and we’re working on it. FOLKS, THIS CANNOT CONTINUE. We have to work together and the drugs need to stop.”

    The Superintendent certainly said a mouth full there, and good for her. We need more like her.

    • Chuck Dunbar August 20, 2022

      Yes, just read her comments to parents–Good for her!

    • Debra Keipp August 20, 2022

      Yep! Louise IS. The school grounds look better, too. How lucky we are to have her instilling a sense of pride in self and schools.

  2. Chuck Dunbar August 20, 2022

    BROWN ACT VIOLATION NOTICE filed against Board of Supervisors

    “…The Board’s reasoning for directing staff to prepare a list of certain very specific vacant positions (and not others) is a matter of public interest and should be conducted in open session…”

    Exactly right and excellent work, Mark Scaramella and the AVA. Looking forward to the just outcome on this important issue.

    • Chuck Dunbar August 20, 2022

      THE PURPOSE OF THE BROWN ACT

      “Throughout California’s history, local legislative bodies have played a vital role in bringing participatory democracy to the citizens of the state. Local legislative bodies – such as boards, council and commissions – are created in recognition of the fact that several minds are better than one, and that through debate and discussion, the best ideas will emerge. The law which guarantees the public’s right to attend and participate in meetings of local legislative bodies is the Ralph M. Brown Act…”

      State of California
      Office of the Attorney General
      Bill Lockyer Attorney General

  3. Stanley Kelley August 20, 2022

    Good for you, Major

  4. Kirk Vodopals August 20, 2022

    Re: no whites at POC house… I was looking for housing during my years at UC Berkeley in the late 90s. My Dad was there in the late 60s and pledged at a fraternity house (such we’re the times). I believe it was Lamda Chi Alpha. The Greek system (or any system of gathering young men together, particularly young men in their late teens and early twenties) always seemed repulsive to me. I’d hung out at a few frat houses on one or two party occasions and it was disgusting and weird to say the least. But I needed a place to live so I walked up to this frat house that I’d seen in my dad’s photo albums and knocked on the door. A young Asian man let me in. Place looked clean and I thought, what the heck, you got any rooms, fellas? There was a noticeable pause as a few more Asian boys scurried about looking sideways at me. No was the obvious answer. I ended up finding a cheap room on the third floor of an apartment building above the bus stop on Shattuck Ave. The floors were slanted so bad you could put a basketball on one end and it would roll across the room. But I could walk to campus, so it worked for me. I should have stayed at Davis

  5. Jim Armstrong August 20, 2022

    Posting pictures of naked ladies is not helpful to your family newspaper image.

  6. Chuck Wilcher August 20, 2022

    Kunstler writes: “We let them get away with their bullshit about “defending our democracy” when they are actively and visibly destroying it. Serious people must be seriously asking themselves: what will it take to stop them now? ”

    Which side is he talking about? It isn’t the Dems purging voter registration lists, creating new voter restriction laws or electing the big lie defenders as state election bosses.

  7. Margot Lane August 20, 2022

    Wow! Morris Hirshfield’s art caused the director of MoMA to be fired! Love AVA’s unexplained photos & paintings that keep me on the search.

  8. Debra Keipp August 20, 2022

    Prisoner Medlin is the spittin’ image of Putin.

    • Chuck Dunbar August 21, 2022

      I also thought this guy looked like the younger Putin.

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