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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Coastal Blanket | Noyo Hill | Free TV | Afterschool Job | Historical Society | Sunflower Glory | Murray Sentencing | Redwood Drive-In | Karen Mathes | Crush Time | Ukiah | Petrol Siren | Ed Notes | Football Panthers | Healthcare Barriers | Abortion Access | Getting Happy | Willits Blues | Boontling | Yesterday's Catch | Mexican Food | Poetry Readings | Ukraine | Ten-Mile Bridge | Kasparov Excerpt | Hare-Creek Surfers | Uncharted Territory | Lumber Chute | Xi Pooh | Physical Condition | Roy Blosser | China Drought | Alpha Rocks | Sea Day | Sidewalk Ballerina

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DRY WEATHER with above normal interior temperatures are forecast to prevail through the end of the week. Stratus will continue to blanket coastal areas, mostly during the night and morning hours through the end of the week. (NWS)

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Fog on Noyo Hill (photo by Dick Whetstone)

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FREE TV: The Village has a 32” Panasonic LCD flat screen television with remote to give to any member for free. It is a Panasonic model TC32LX14 includes remote and instruction booklet. It is not a smart TV. It has two HDMI inputs plus the std. array of RCA Jack plugs. It is a Cable ready TV. Contact Philip if you interested: (707) 895-3595 or cell (707) 972-5620

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We are looking for an energetic person to help out during our afterschool program! 


-3:30-5, 4.5 hours a week

-Play with kids

-Monitor children on the playground

-Help with afterschool classes

-$15 an hour, about $2000 over the school year!

-Perfect for a high school or JC student looking for a little extra cash!

-Must be at least 16

-Must be able to get to the school in Philo, possible ride home.

Please email us at if you are interested!

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A GREAT OPPORTUNITY to help the County and the Historical Society

The Historical Society of Mendocino County is currently seeking two board members! 

The Historical Society of Mendocino County is a 501(c)(3) organization and its board of directors is comprised of nine volunteer members from all over Mendocino County dedicated to the organization’s mission of collecting, preserving and sharing the diverse history of Mendocino County. 

On the HSMC grounds in Ukiah, the William J. and Molly Toney Archive houses the collection, the HSMC Headquarters and a research facility, and the Held-Poage Memorial Home is currently under restoration and will become a historic house museum set in 1927 that reflects the life of the Held-Poage family.

The HSMC is looking for individuals who have experience in a variety of areas including, but not limited to, strategic planning, grant writing, museums or archives, fundraising and nonprofit management. A board director is part of a team which the HSMC membership trusts to make informed decisions and provide strong and sound governance. 

For more information about the HSMC and its board of directors, or for an application, please contact the HSMC at or call (707) 462-6969.

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photo by Larry Sheehy, Ukiah

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by Mike Geniella

Mendocino County probation officers are arguing for a 12-month suspended jail term for former Ukiah Police Sgt. Kevin Murray. It is a move vigorously opposed by the high-powered defense team who negotiated a plea bargain that saw prosecutors agree to strike three sex felonies from the disgraced cop’s criminal case.

The probation call for a suspended jail term is a new twist to the planned sentencing of Murray, now scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A suspended sentence is where a judge orders jail or prison time, but delays imposing it in order to allow a defendant to serve time on probation. If a defendant violates probation, the judge can impose the original term. In criminal law, a suspended sentence and probation are two different things. A suspended sentence is a type of court-imposed penalty for a crime. Probation, though, is a lesser type of alternative to jail where a defendant serves his sentence in the community under the supervision of the judge or a probation officer.

As part of his plea deal with Mendocino County prosecutors, Murray entered no contest pleas to a felony charge of intimidating a witness — the woman in the motel room — and a misdemeanor false imprisonment charge related to a person identified in court documents only as “Jane Doe,” but believed to be the woman in Lake County who has said Murray twice in 2014 forced her to perform a sex act on him. 

In its unreleased report, the Probation office apparently cites objections to a non-jail sentence from the Lake County victim as among the need for a 12-month jail term to be imposed.

Santa Rosa defense attorney Stephen Gallenson late Friday filed a formal objection to the probation office recommendation with Superior Court Judge Ann Moorman.

Gallenson contends that the Probation department is going beyond the terms of an analysis and evaluation agreed upon when the plea deal on Murray’s behalf was negotiated. 

“Extensive discussion took place between the Court and the counsel prior to the change of plea in this matter,” Gallenson wrote Judge Moorman.

“This was a negotiated disposition and the Court indicated that it did not intend to impose any additional jail time so long as there were no surprises regarding Mr. Murray’s background,” said Gallenson.

Now, citing in its report a letter from the Lake County woman, Gallenson said the probation office is asking for a suspended 12-month jail term.

“The Probation Report confirms Mr. Murray’s lack of criminal history, his service in the military, the time already incarcerated, and his remorse and recognition of the negative impact of his conduct,” according to Gallenson.

Gallenson said Murray remains sober after attending a 30-day alcohol treatment program since his firing, and he is “actively engaged in mental health treatment.” 

Judge Moorman is being asked by Gallenson to “…follow its initial indication and impose no further jail time,” suspended or otherwise.

Gallenson filed letters of support in favor of probation only for Murray, from his third wife, and friends and family members.

Heather Murray said she and Murray started dating later married after he completed a 30-day inpatient alcohol treatment program in early 2017. Together they are raising four children ages 7-17 at their home in Lakeport.

“We have struggled to shelter our children from the hateful comments on social media, and the backlash of being in the public eye,” wrote Heather Murray.

Heather Murray is a nurse by profession. She said, “My decision to stay married to my husband amidst the multitude of allegations has cost me friendships I valued, respect I worked hard to earn, and the ability to move on with my life but I would have missed out on the opportunity to love someone unconditionally.”

“Any further jail time will not only hinder his personal progress but will also be extremely detrimental to our four children who have had to watch this chapter in our lives unfold from the sidelines,” she wrote.

Jennifer Sperber, the mother of Murray’s two oldest children, also wrote the court in favor of no further jail time. She said they met in 2003 while both served as military police officers overseas in Iraq. They were divorced in 2011, in part because “he struggled with alcohol throughout our marriage.”

But now he is sober, maintaining his sobriety, and actively engaged in rearing his children, she said.

“He is consistent, and dependable, always putting the children first.” 

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Next week the Redwood Drive-In gets NEW pumps & will have diesel back.

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Karen Alveen Mathes was born in Oakland, California, June 24, 1951, to Aili and Joseph Mathes, the oldest of five children. She grew up in the Mountain View-Sunnyvale area back when it was semi-rural. Her father was an airline pilot and as such, often absent. Her homemaker mother had health issues, and Karen was early on saddled with parental duties to her younger siblings.

Karen Mathes

She thrived in school, got excellent grades, and in high school often took classes above her grade. She excelled in philosophy, poetry, advanced literature and French but had no use for math, physics and the likes. She graduated from Awalt High School in Mountain View in 1969.

The suburbs became confining during Karen’s teen-age years. The Big City was beckoning, its counterculture siren call irresistible. In the Summer of Love ’67, she immersed herself in the Haight-Ashbury scene in the company of free, young people and musicians. 

She was a hippie.

In 1970 she married Alan Cordell Clarke, a gifted drummer, with whom she roamed San Francisco’s spectacular rock-and-roll scene, rubbing shoulders with all the big names. You name them, she’d seen them.

It was a rip-roaring time, but food had to be on the table. Living in a commune, she took a job at Kentucky Fried Chicken, back when food was actually cooked there. This was her entry in to the culinary world. She often brought home leftovers to her hungry communards. She had found her calling: feeding people.

But the times they were a-changing. City life lost its allure and the young hippies went looking for something more meaningful. There was talk about going up to the country. But where to?

They drew circles on a map, around nuclear power plants, weapons storage facilities and other military installations up and down the West Coast and found the best place this way: Mendocino County.

In 1974, scouting forays in a VW bus found Karen and Alan a 6 acre ridge top plot in the dense forest near the no-where town of Elk. At the end of an overgrown driveway sat a cabin, as simple as can be, barely 10’ x 20’ with a door, a window and 7’ ceiling. But it had a roof, a floor and 4 walls, and even though it had only a shallow well with a bucket hoist, no running water and no electricity, Karen thought this was a very, very fine house.

She soon got a job at the venerable Harbor House Inn in downtown Elk, 4 miles away, doing rooms. When a cook quit, Karen was asked to fill in by the owner, who ran the place in a hands-off manner and let the crew of local women (mostly) manage itself. 

Karen’s culinary skills now came to full flourish, and she ran the kitchen for the next 14 years. That kitchen was such a joyful and easygoing place to work. In the after-hours it became the place to be for many of Elk’s young men-folk, a scene of legend.

Meanwhile, life at the cabin in the woods became constrained. Alan was playing in various bands and set up a drum set in the cabin (double bass drums). Together with a bed, a stove and a table there was no space left. Not physical, not mental, not personal.

The situation slowly grated away their marriage and in 1980, Karen moved out of the cabin, into rentals here and there around Elk. A good friend and fellow urban refugee asked her an irrefutable question: why not build your own cabin, you already own the land? They drew up a plan right there and then, on a paper napkin.

In the summer of 1982, with loving help from good friends and fueled by Karen’s food, a 16’ x 24’ cabin was built for $8,000. Another $2,000 paid for a well with an old-fashioned hand-crank pump.

An outdoor shower was fed from two 60-gallon drums, 30 feet up a big fir tree near the house. A hundred pump cranks gave Karen a 10 minute trickle shower. Those 100 cranks warmed up her body perfectly for the open shower, especially in winter. A 5 gallon propane tank fueled both the on-demand water heater and her cook stove. Kerosene lamps and candles brought light at night. Things were as they should be. Who could ask for anything more?

The new cabin didn’t have phone or electricity. Karen didn’t want it. These amenities cost money and lead to buying gadgets and tools and electronics. They infringe on nature, waste resources and eat away free time; you have to pay for it all. Even Harbor House kitchen didn’t have a Quisinart. 

Karen was a luddite. 

She wanted an abode on her terms and here it was, her own. It was very quiet and peaceful.

The Harbor House machine was running smoothly. There was a sense of equality among the crew and much friendship. Many young women, born and raised in Elk, worked at the inn, on their way to form their own lives. Karen was here a big sister, a tutor, a trusted friend, a helping hand without forethought. One Saturday night in April 1983, a dinner waitress was in a bind. A band was playing at The Sigh Of The Whale in Point Arena. A hot date was waiting for her there, but her car had just broken down. She persuaded Karen to take her there. After the shift, 4 or 5 of them hit the road to Point Arena in Karen’s station wagon.

Heads turned when the crew filed in. One young man at the bar exchanged glances with Karen. He was a tourist/drifter from Denmark, a curious blend of happy-golucky and sincere intent. A school teacher back home, he happened upon a boatbuilding apprenticeship in Gualala while hitch hiking the West Coast, overstayed his tourist visa, devil may care.

He was of farm-raised progeny, drawn to stories of stone age and frontier life. His mother had told him we don’t kill anything unless we eat it. He saw animals as food, nature for her utility. It was a creed of sorts, but without thought. Tools and skills were necessities, boatbuilding their highest achievement. He wanted fish.

He believed in luck and worked diligently for it.

Karen Mathes, meet Ejler Hjorth-Westh.

When the band played Brass in Pocket, a Pretenders song, they danced. There was nobody else there.

Karen was still married to Alan in ’83. She wanted to end the marriage, but was hindered by her dislike for all things paperwork. Finally in 1986 she got her divorce. Shortly thereafter, Ejler, still an illegal alien, was threatened with deportation. He asked Karen to marry him so he could stay. Karen balked. She had been married already and that didn’t end well. Here was a chance to reclaim her independent life. She relented in the end; she must have liked the guy allright. They married in 1987. Two years of immigration process earned Ejler a green card.

At Harbor House things were changing. The owner wanted to sell, making life changes for herself. The crew made an attempt to buy collectively. It went nowhere. The inn was bought by a couple from Beverly Hills, with some experience running an inn. They had ideas.

Rank and uniforms were implemented. Rules were rules. What was once a bottom-up self-enforced operation became top-down and tight. Cohesion was a casualty. Folks quit. The warm kitchen lost its glow.

Karen quit her job in 1989. It was one of the hardest things she ever did. She knew she would miss the majestic building and its spectacular view, the crew camaraderie, the social anchor Harbor House had always been for her.

She now embarked on culinary ventures too numerous to detail. Standing out were opening Bridget Dolan’s Irish Pub in Elk, running the kitchen and staff for 3 years; opening and running the (late Queenie’s) Road House Cafe in Elk as chef and manager, breakfast, lunch and dinner, for 4 years. She also had numerous shorter gigs at BnBs up and down the Coast.

Karen got to know the hospitality industry inside and out. She was loved by guests and patrons for her genuine generosity and selfless, friendly and helpful personality. Countless cards and letters expressing appreciation for her food and hospitality bear witness thereof.

The people she worked for were another story. Her generous portions were sometimes frowned upon, her selflessness and friendliness often mistaken for weakness, fostering condescension and patronizing attitudes in the sometimes little minds among people running hospitality. Being conflict-averse, Karen rarely stood her ground in spite of her extensive knowledge and experience.

One day she decided she didn’t want any more bosses in her life.

In 2001 Karen started her catering business. She quickly established a sprawling clientele, from the intimate dinner for two to the large family celebration to the megawedding. She recruited trusted assistants when needed from the many people with whom she had worked in numerous kitchens. She did her work deftly and fearlessly.

She was dutiful to a fault and conscientious beyond reason. Her assistants thought she was the best boss in the world, and brides, and especially their mothers, absolutely loved her.

Karen never made any money to speak of and she didn’t care. Material wealth meant nothing to her. She rarely spent money on herself, expertly scouring thrift stores for her wardrobe and catering equipment. Her cooking gear, however, was top-notch.

She earned enough to keep her cars running and her larder brimming. Karen had found her sweet spot and she was very happy. Both she and her husband worked from home and the little place in the woods flourished.

They had slowly built it up as they went along, on a shoe string budget and entirely without permits. However, in the late ‘80s things changed for this kind of easy living. The county board of supervisors showed their irritation with “those hippies” who had built without permits, by passing an “amnesty” ordinance: turn yourself in, meet minimum code, Class K, avoid hefty fines when we find you sooner or later. One author of the ordinance, a flinty entrepreneur-type, thought everybody should share her vision of how to live, as is their wont. 

When faced with protest over the sudden shift of over a million dollars from the poorest to the likes of Baxman Gravel she replied: those hippies will thank me later. 

Perhaps she was right.

Karen and her husband joined the program. Two years and $20K later everything had changed. They now had power and plumbing, phone and fax, bathroom and washing machine, stereo and television. Karen and her husband had been dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 20th century.

Her husband now enrolled in the Krenov School Fine Woodworking Program in Fort Bragg on the prospect of making a living as a woodworker with a home shop. He graduated in ’92 and immediately went to work.

Through the ‘90s the homestead expanded the clearing in the woods, established a magnificent garden and added various facilities. Karen built a commercial kitchen with ample storage and by the time she started her catering business everything was in place.

The sun was shining on their little place. They had plenty of work, on their own terms, and they struck a careful balance. A small piece of slate nailed to the wall by their front door chalked it up: eat, sleep, work, play. They lived by it. Yes, they worked hard at times, but also knew how not to. They worked for each other and for the place. They loved their life and each other and it showed.

Then, in 2012, just in time for Obama-care to kick in, Karen ran in to serious health problems. Imbalances in body chemistry of various kinds led to numerous and often remote doctor’s visits and a brand new alphabet soup of medications. She faced the new situation head-on and without fear, thankful for affordable health insurance.

In 2016 she was diagnosed with cancer. It took a toll. It disfigured her body, robbed her of her womanhood. Even though she faced the tough decisions with her usual fearlessness, she couldn’t stave off depression and anxiety creeping in. Her medications grew, leading to an ever-changing attempt to “find a balance” which never really existed.

Karen came from a work culture where alcohol has always gone hand-in-hand with food. We all know it. She could orchestrate a wedding for 150 people, consume 2 bottles of wine during the event, never lose a step, get up early next morning, take care of the aftermath. 

Par for the course. No problemo.

As Karen’s health faltered, so did her ability to bounce back from that kind of consumption. She cut back on work, dropped the big events, catered to families alone. She found a new routine that worked. But her body didn’t.

All that medicine, all that alcohol, it crippled her, physically and emotionally. In the fall of 2021 it became clear that she could no longer fulfill her obligations to her clients. She delivered her last catered meals in December.

Karen’s marriage had suffered over these last few years. Her husband saw how alcohol damaged her already frayed state of body and mind but his clumsy attempts to intervene only led to further alienation. Pleads from friends and family also fell on deaf ears. The addiction was too strong, the escape too urgent.

During last winter the bottle became the only thing in Karen’s life, when one day in March she couldn’t get out of bed, couldn’t stand, walk, anything. An ambulance took her to the hospital. The diagnosis was cirrhosis of the liver.

Karen and her husband now reconnected on a whole new level. They established a home care routine. They were going to make this work, and they did. An unconditional love came back to the house, family came to visit, friends stopped by. What was once hard and bitter became soft and sweet, all the way to the end.

Karen Mathes

Karen passed away on July 15, 2022, with her husband and loving friends by her side. She was 71 years old.

She is survived by her husband Ejler Hjorth-West and siblings Terri Casolary, Joni Mathes, Jeri Brown and William Mathes.

There will be a gathering in her name at the Greenwood Community Center on October 9. (Ejler Hjorth-Westh)

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People rushin' everywhere
If they'd only slow down once they might find something there
Green trees and timber land
People workin' with their hands
For sure a different way to live
Gonna keep my cabin at hand
Retreat and live off the land
All around Ukiah, woah

The mountain streams that rush on by
Show the fish a-jumpin' and reflect the open sky
The fresh clean smell of the pines
Symbol of unchanging times
All around this sacred land
Strangely, though, I've found my way
Right here I'm gonna stay
In this land Ukiah, woah

The fresh clean smell of the pines
Symbol of unchanging times
All around this sacred land
Strangely, though, I've found my way
Right here I'm a-gonna stay
In this land Ukiah, woah
Oooh, Ukiah

— Tom Johnston (Doobie Brothers)

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Spotted In Ukiah

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GERALD FOGEL'S sign-off, “Warmest puppies” beats “Sincerely” all to heck and back.

ANDERSON VALLEY'S renaissance man — the guy has so many skills I lost count after that art piece of a sailboat he built, and that was 30 years ago — has a new book out. Nope, not his haikus. This one is an autobiography called “Blowin' My Own Horn Or 100 things I've done in the last 75 years, a random collection of people, places and events.”

THE GUY'S packed a lot in his 75 years. The author strode boldly into the murk of the ava's compacted headquarters to hand-deliver a copy, which I knew would be amusing from its title and, putting aside deadlines, read it right through. Sample: “I got a job as a male model,” which is things I've done number 67: “My mother was an artist and in her early career illustrated mostly children's books. You may remember ‘See Dick chase Jane — See Jane Run — Run, Jane, Run’ from your first grade lessons, well, that was my mom’s artwork. She also worked for WonderBooks (‘with washable covers’) most notably the story of Peter Pan. I was six years old at the time and she would sketch me in some pose or other, paying me a penny a pose for my efforts. I still have a copy of that book — come over and I'll read it to you as you turn the pages…”

AND MEN of a certain age will surely relate to this Derwinski poem, item 43:


Dear Mr. Derwinski,

You are hereby notified that

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah


Your Selective Service Draft Board

(p.s. You're Fucked.)

A month later at the

Army's Oakland Induction Center

200 guys in clean underwear

hope that an ingrown toenail

Or a bad case of hemorrhoids

(Bend over and cough)

Will keep them out of Vietnam

As luck would have it…

The Army shrink decided I was


with an

Anxiety Complex


Homosexual Tendencies

(His exact words)


And Unfit for Service

The bright side of homophobia.

ED NOTE: I was one of the mob at a major protest at that induction center. Lots of arrests. I still remember young, pre-hippie, cleancut young guys getting off the induction buses and making their way through the protesters pleading with them not to go. (I'd already been in and out of the Marines and was able to turn in my draft card at no risk of consequences at another famous demo at the Federal Building in San Francisco. I wonder if Derwinski was one of the fresh-faced recruits making his way through the din that solemn day in downtown Oakland, many of them processed right on into the meat grinder in a place they'd never heard of for no reason other than the vanity of old men. By the end of that indefensible conflict, the system was drafting kids into the Marine Corps, heretofore a volunteer organization. When I read that Marines were fragging their officers, I understood why.

BACK TO LITERATURE: I never understood the popularity of Salman Rushdie. Found him unreadable myself, and if you got through ‘The Satanic Verses’ you're probably also going to lie to me and say, “O hell yeah, great book, even better than Finnegan's Wake.” But I did buy a copy of ‘Verses’ in solidarity with the author whose life had been threatened by the ayatollahs and almost ended the other day by one of their robots.

ONE OF SENILITY'S PERKS is re-reading books you read sixty years ago that read brand new all over again. As a Hemingway fan from early youth, so early I didn't know what he was talking about, which is the experience of many young people with books beyond their experience because they haven't lived long enough to have absorbed their own wounds, I picked up “The Sun Also Rises” the other day and read it again, this time with understanding, the book’s anti-Semitism kinda shocking, frankly. Remember the author's letter to James Jones? The author was at least half-cracked. People make excuses for Hemingway's bigotry as reflective of the times etc. but there's always so much good stuff in his books I, too, make the “good stuff” case for him. Our homegrown ayatollahs would ban the hell outta Hemingway if they ever read anything. 

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AV Panthers Ready To Rumble!

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WHEN RELIGION DICTATES HEALTHCARE: Access to Abortion in Humboldt and Mendocino Counties Is Restricted

Abortion remains legal in California, but there have been barriers to access since well before the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade. In Mendocino and Humboldt Counties, religious hospitals refuse what they term elective abortions. And the Hyde Amendment, which prohibits the use of federal funds for abortion, means that Medicaid recipients and patients at federally funded clinics like VA and many community health centers have to rely on secondary insurance or other providers for the service. But the costs of travel and taking time off work can be prohibitive for people who don’t have a lot of discretionary income or reliable transportation.…

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by Oaky Joe Munson

Happy is a 14-pound Chihuahua and Dachshund mix. He is about 9 or 10 years old. Happy is a rescue dog that we got 8 years ago from the animal shelter in Santa Rosa. 

In 2017, Happy and Cosmos (a dog we were watching for someone) headed for Forestville from the 43 acres we live on in Pocket Canyon (west of Forestville). A lady caught them and turned them over to animal control. Trying to retrieve the dogs was hard because Cosmo’s owner was traveling in Turkey for two weeks! Happy cost me $185 for an overnight stay and a rabies shot. We got Cosmos back and the owner paid my out of pocket expenses. 

Fast forward to June 18, 2022. Millie, Happy, and I were going to pick up Milo from the Sebastopol skate park when we get a text from Milo’s friend Oudom. It said “Milo got hit by a Subaru.” After that, no communication for 10 long minutes until we arrive at the skatepark. When we pulled up in front there was Milo and Oudom sitting on the bench. I was hugely relieved to see them both! Millie and Happy and I jumped out of the car and ran over to the boys and we said, “What the f___?” Milo said that a senior citizen brushed him with her Subaru but did not even realize that anything had happened! Milo was fine! Then Oudom shows us his arm and back that were scraped up pretty badly and I was like “She f___ing hit you too?!” They said no and that Oudom had gotten speed wobbles and bit it hard at the skatepark!

Oudom’s grandmother is a hard core biker (HD) and the Supervisor for the Monte Rio Park District and I had to return Oudom (damaged goods) to her. Soooo Millie, Milo, Oudom and myself piled into the car and headed to Monte Rio. We dropped off Oudom in Monte Rio and headed home. On the way home, I asked Millie if she wanted to walk the dogs at Armstrong Woods. We have three dogs, we have Happy, Yama, and Taiyou. Millie said, “Yes let’s grab Yama and Taiyou from the house.” Then we looked at each other and said “WHERE’S HAPPY?” “Oh no, he’s at the skatepark!”

We dropped Milo off at the house and headed back to Sebastopol. When we got there, one of the skaters told us that some lady with lots of tattoos and her husband with a pink beard had been hanging out with Happy for a while and then took him with them. 

So Millie and I went home and made a big sign: LOOKING FOR HAPPY! Phone number and all that and posted it at the skatepark in Sebastopol. No calls because AT&T could not turn my phone on for five days (two months off earlier that year). On the 24th I got a letter from Animal Control saying that they had Happy and to contact them by the 30th or they would give him to someone else or if necessary, “humanely euthanized.” 

As it turns out Oudom’s grandmother donates to the Animal Shelter, so I am going to see if Millie and Leslie (the grandma) can get Happy!

I spent three hours over two days trying to talk to a human and it did not happen. I was put on hold for hours before having to do other things around the house. I couldn’t stop worrying that they might put him down!

June 30th! 20 minute wait time and then, then wait, wait for it - a living human! The lady said, “How can I help?” I said, “You have my dog Happy and I don’t have any money to give you.” She said “Come get your little dog, we will work it out.” We got to the Animal Shelter, Oudom, Milo, Atsuko (my wife) and myself. They gave us Happy and I signed a paper saying that I would give Animal Control $366. I told the lady that it might take a minute and she didn’t seem bothered by that. Happy was so excited to see us that he was shaking like a leaf most of the way home. We have two 150-pound guardian dogs that love Happy. Happy weighed more than they did when we got them! The puppies would not calm down for half an hour. 

Now we have our little dog back and I’m lying on my bed petting Happy and listening to Taiyou eating a bear in his doggie dream! 

PS. What does Oaky Joe say when Happy is missing? ‘DOG GONE!’

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by Stephanie Buck

In 1979, Johnny Carson told millions of television viewers he wanted to have sex. But only about a hundred people knew what he was talking about.

“If I was going to ‘burlap’ somebody, would that be good or bad?” he asked his guest, Bobby Glover, a resident of Boonville, California.

“I’d say it would be good,” Glover replied.

“Those people up in Boonville know what I’m talking about, huh?”

“They are rolling on the floor right now,” said Glover. The audience, who finally understood the joke, roared.

You see, Boonville residents had invented their own secret language, called Boontling, around the turn of the 20th century. By the time Carson heard about it, the language contained some 1,600 words built around English syntax. For instance:

Boontling: “The crazeek eeld’m hooted and charlied at the bollnesses branching at the hob.”

Translation: “The crazy old woman laughed and embarrassed all the pretty young women having a good time at the Saturday night dance.”

But before its bounteous vocabulary, Boontling started as a way to talk about sex.

Boonville is a tiny town that plugs the southern tip of the Anderson Valley, a fertile region known for its wine, apples, and cattle just off the Northern California coast. The hamlet’s first residents, about 19 families in all, settled around 1865. For decades, they lived in relative isolation; few visitors traversed the winding roads into Boonville. According to a 1966 essay, “‘Boontling’: Esoteric Speech of Boonville, California,” one man bragged that in his 70 years, he had never left the valley.

The area’s remoteness partially explains how the Boontling language came to be, and why it remained local. But how the dialect grew — to the point it was taught at the local elementary school — is owed entirely to the peculiarities of the town itself.

Though its origins are debated, old timers attribute the language to a group of gossiping women. Around 1890, a young pregnant woman moved to town from Ukiah, about 20 miles northeast. Her family had banished her. She began working in the hop fields alongside the Boonville women. Eager to discuss the scandal, the ladies developed a series of coded words and phrases to evade her attention. Classic mean girls.

Soon, their husbands took to the language and started using it at the sheep-shearing pens where they worked. Children began speaking it to undermine their parents. Schoolteachers had to learn it to keep order in the classroom.

Bahl hornin! Northern California farmers developed a localized term for “cheers” in the late 1800s. (Underwood Archives/Getty Images)

The Boontling language, comprised mostly of nouns, verbs, and adjectives, was crafted around hyperlocal references that only those embedded in the tight-knit community would understand. For instance, a doctor was a shoveltooth because the first resident physician had protruding teeth; a wealthy man was known as a high pockety because Boonville’s richest resident was very tall (i.e. high pockets). One was blue-birded if he got bucked off a horse, a phrase traced to a young boy who, after he was bucked, said, “I got thrown so high that a bluebird could have built a nest on my ass.” An infusion of Appalachian-style humor, Scotch-Irish tradition, Spanish, and local Pomo Indian dialect informed the expanding vocabulary. Boonters called apples gannows, after gano, a Spanish word for a type of apple grown nearby; a keishbook was a Pomo word for pregnant woman. Since the language was mostly spoken, spelling was inconsistent and mostly phonetic. It would make sense, then, that onomatopoeias were common in Boontling — “to ride a train” is to kelockity, and charl is the word for milk as it’s pulled from an udder and echoes inside a tin pail.

Soon, Boontling overtook entire conversations, rather than punctuated slang here and there, à la Clockwork Orange. Some residents would later boast of the language’s ability to abbreviate sentences. Grannyhatchet, shied shaggy meant, briefly, “It was a buck with large antlers; he appeared to be crippled as he ran away.” One might complain to the doctor of feeling tongue-cuppy, the motion one’s mouth makes before vomiting. Local resident Charlie (Shot) Wallach told Smithsonian magazine in 1984, “If we keep workin’ on this Boonville lingo, we can say ‘tweety-tweet-tweet’ and get three days’ talkin’ done.”

The language proved useful in other ways. Boonville soldiers fighting in World War I wrote entire letters home in their local jargon, containing locations and other sensitive intel the military would normally have censored. The local kids’ baseball team signaled secret plays and befuddled opposing teams.

And later, Johnny Carson used it to talk about sex. The story goes: Around the turn of the 20th century, two men on horseback rode up to the general store for supplies. Finding no one behind the counter, one man looked in the back room for help. There he found the store owner and his girlfriend having sex on a pile of burlap sacks. “Why,” he blurted to his friend, “they’re burlappin’ in there!” It stuck.

In 1960, a lexicography professor from the California State University, Chico, Charles C. Adams, began to study Boontling, which he called a “fascinating linguistic phenomenon,” though not technically a language. Nevertheless, he spent time with the famously guarded and skeptical residents of Boonville, who called him a gray-matter kimmie (professor) and a bright-lighter (city slicker).

“They take you in by degrees,” Adams would later write. “Boonters are protective of the language because it is intensely personal. Many of the words were derived from and intertwined with the names of their friends and neighbors, and they weren’t always flattering.” The Boontling terms for “drunk” and “tattletale” derive from the names of local residents. As much as 15 percent of the lexicon was made up of words for taboo topics, like burlap.

Eventually, Boonville grew to trust Adams, who compiled a complete dictionary and history of Boontling. In return, Boonters gave Adams his own nickname, B.J., after an earlier resident also called Adams.

By that time, Boontling’s heyday was over. At its height between 1890 and the 1920s, the entire town’s 1,000 or so residents could speak and understand the dialect. But with the increase in transportation technology and new roads to the area, locals moved away and newcomers took their place. Boontling was pikin’ to the dusties, being swept away.

Some traces of it remain today. According to elderly residents, alternating generations resurrect old Boontling phrases from time to time. The Anderson Valley Brewing Company uses it to lend local charm to beer marketing (bahl hornin’ translates to “cheers”). And up until 2010, Boonville operated the Horn of Zeese (translation: A Drink of Coffee), a diner and Boonter hangout where one could order coarp slibs and easters (ham and eggs) or jeffered boos (french fries).

By 2013, the latest numbers available, only 12 or so Boontling speakers remained. And they still blush over burlappin’.


* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, August 22, 2022

Cohn, Cook, Heaney

KYLE COHN, Willits. Failure to appear.

CANDACE COOK, Ukiah. Protective order violation, failure to appear.

CHRISTOPHER HEANEY, Ukiah. Grand theft, criminal threats, protective order violation, failure to appear.

Jordan, Maciel, McOsker

DUSTIN JORDAN, Willits. Probation violation.

RAMON MACIEL, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-intoxicated with drugs & alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

REMO MCOSKER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-intoxicated with drugs & alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)

Mora, Parker, Rogers

PABLO MORA, Ukiah. Appropriation of lost property without trying to return it, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

MICHAEL PARKER, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, controlled substance.

CURTIS ROGERS JR., Lucerne/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

* * *


by Anthony Bourdain

Americans love Mexican food. We consume nachos, tacos, burritos, tortas, enchiladas, tamales and anything resembling Mexican in enormous quantities.

We love Mexican beverages, happily knocking back huge amounts of tequila, mezcal, and Mexican beer every year. We love Mexican people—we sure employ a lot of them.

Despite our ridiculously hypocritical attitudes towards immigration, we demand that Mexicans cook a large percentage of the food we eat, grow the ingredients we need to make that food, clean our houses, mow our lawns, wash our dishes, and look after our children.

As any chef will tell you, our entire service economy—the restaurant business as we know it—in most American cities, would collapse overnight without Mexican workers. Some, of course, like to claim that Mexicans are “stealing American jobs.”

But in two decades as a chef and employer, I never had ONE American kid walk in my door and apply for a dishwashing job, a porter’s position—or even a job as a prep cook. Mexicans do much of the work in this country that Americans, probably, simply won’t do.

We love Mexican drugs. Maybe not you personally, but “we,” as a nation, certainly consume titanic amounts of them—and go to extraordinary lengths and expense to acquire them. We love Mexican music, Mexican beaches, Mexican architecture, interior design, Mexican films.

So, why don’t we love Mexico?

We throw up our hands and shrug at what happens and what is happening just across the border. Maybe we are embarrassed. Mexico, after all, has always been there for us, to service our darkest needs and desires.

Whether it’s dress up like fools and get passed-out drunk and sunburned on spring break in Cancun, throw pesos at strippers in Tijuana, or get toasted on Mexican drugs, we are seldom on our best behavior in Mexico. They have seen many of us at our worst. 

They know our darkest desires.

In the service of our appetites, we spend billions and billions of dollars each year on Mexican drugs—while at the same time spending billions and billions more trying to prevent those drugs from reaching us. The effect on our society is everywhere to be seen. Whether it’s kids nodding off and overdosing in small town Vermont, gang violence in L.A., burned out neighborhoods in Detroit—it’s there to see.

What we don’t see, however, haven’t really noticed, and don’t seem to much care about, is the 80,000 dead in Mexico, just in the past few years—mostly innocent victims. Eighty thousand families who’ve been touched directly by the so-called “War On Drugs.”

Mexico. Our brother from another mother. A country, with whom, like it or not, we are inexorably, deeply involved, in a close but often uncomfortable embrace.

Look at it. It’s beautiful. It has some of the most ravishingly beautiful beaches on earth. Mountains, desert, jungle. Beautiful colonial architecture, a tragic, elegant, violent, ludicrous, heroic, lamentable, heartbreaking history. Mexican wine country rivals Tuscany for gorgeousness.

Its archeological sites—the remnants of great empires, unrivaled anywhere. And as much as we think we know and love it, we have barely scratched the surface of what Mexican food really is. It is NOT melted cheese over tortilla chips. It is not simple, or easy. It is not simply “bro food” at halftime.

It is in fact, old—older even than the great cuisines of Europe, and often deeply complex, refined, subtle, and sophisticated. A true mole sauce, for instance, can take DAYS to make, a balance of freshly (always fresh) ingredients painstakingly prepared by hand. It could be, should be, one of the most exciting cuisines on the planet, if we paid attention.

The old school cooks of Oaxaca make some of the more difficult and nuanced sauces in gastronomy. And some of the new generation—many of whom have trained in the kitchens of America and Europe—have returned home to take Mexican food to new and thrilling heights.

It’s a country I feel particularly attached to and grateful for. In nearly 30 years of cooking professionally, just about every time I walked into a new kitchen, it was a Mexican guy who looked after me, had my back, showed me what was what, and was there—and on the case—when the cooks like me, with backgrounds like mine, ran away to go skiing or surfing or simply flaked. I have been fortunate to track where some of those cooks come from, to go back home with them.

To small towns populated mostly by women—where in the evening, families gather at the town’s phone kiosk, waiting for calls from their husbands, sons and brothers who have left to work in our kitchens in the cities of the North.

I have been fortunate enough to see where that affinity for cooking comes from, to experience moms and grandmothers preparing many delicious things, with pride and real love, passing that food made by hand from their hands to mine.

In years of making television in Mexico, it’s one of the places we, as a crew, are happiest when the day’s work is over. We’ll gather around a street stall and order soft tacos with fresh, bright, delicious salsas, drink cold Mexican beer, sip smoky mezcals, and listen with moist eyes to sentimental songs from street musicians. We will look around and remark, for the hundredth time, what an extraordinary place this is.

* * *

* * *


Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has already killed about 9,000 Ukrainian soldiers since it began nearly six months ago, a general said, in a rare admission on casualty figures during the war.

General Valeriy Zaluzhny, Ukraine’s commander-in-chief, said on Monday many Ukrainian children needed to be cared for “because their fathers have gone to the front and are maybe among the nearly 9,000 heroes who have been killed”.

Serb official visits Moscow, calls sanctions EU ‘hysteria’

US preparing additional $800m in military aid for Ukraine: Report

Calls for restraint as attacks continue near Ukraine power plant

Russia accuses Ukraine of ‘chemical terrorism’ using toxin

Monday’s announcement of the scope of Ukraine’s military dead stands in contrast to estimates given by Russia’s military, which last gave an update on March 25 when it said 1,351 Russian troops were killed during the first month of fighting.

US military officials estimated two weeks ago that Russia has lost between 70,000 to 80,000 soldiers, both killed and wounded in action. It is impossible for Al Jazeera to independently confirm those battlefield figures.

The United Nations says 5,587 civilians have been killed and 7,890 wounded during the Russian invasion of Ukraine, although the estimate is likely hugely conservative.

The UN children’s agency said on Monday at least 972 Ukrainian children have been killed or injured since Russia invaded. UNICEF Executive Director Catherine Russell said these are UN-verified figures, but “we believe the number to be much higher”.

“I feel hate towards Russians,” said Liudmyla Shyshkina, 74, standing on the edge of her destroyed fourth-floor apartment that no longer has walls, in the city of Nikopol. She is still injured from an August 10 blast that killed her 81-year-old husband, Anatoliy.

“The Second World War didn’t take away my father, but the Russian war did,” noted Pavlo Shyshkin, his son.

Ukraine marks its independence day on Wednesday, as well as six months since Russian troops invaded.

— Al Jazeera

* * *

Bridge Over Ten Mile River, 1929

* * *


by Garry Kasparov (2014)

(An excerpt from Russian World Chess Champion, Garry Kasparov's book, ‘Winter is Coming: Why Vladimir Putin and the Enemies of the Free World Must Be Stopped.’ It is very important to remind yourself as you read Kasparov's prophetic masterpiece that he was writing about and reacting to events unfolding in 2014 not 2022. Kasparov gives us a vivid portrait of the anti-Putin, pro-democracy movement in Russia and the problems Putin is having containing it. The book was published in 2015. With a slight tweak to the title it could easily be current events, Winter Has Come. — Reader Supported News)

When Putin’s puppet president in Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, fled the country after the “Euromaidan” protests demanding greater European integration, Putin seized his chance. Citing the need to protect Russians in Ukraine, he first occupied and annexed Crimea and then began inciting violence via Russian-supported “rebels” in Eastern Ukraine. Soon after, despite the Kremlin’s increasingly absurd claims to the contrary, Russian troops and heavy arms turned the conflict into an actual invasion.

A war on any grounds is terrible, but Putin’s dangerous turn to ethnically based imperialism cannot be ignored. Those who say the Ukraine conflict is far away and unlikely to lead to global instability miss the clear warning Putin has given us. There is no reason to believe his announced vision of a “Greater Russia” will end with Eastern Ukraine and many reasons to believe it will not. Dictators only stop when they are stopped, and appeasing Putin with Ukraine will only stoke his appetite for more conquests.

Ukraine is just one battle the free world would like to ignore in a larger war it refuses to acknowledge even exists. But pretending you don’t have enemies does not make it true. The Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union are gone, but the enemies of freedom who built them are not. History does not end; it runs in cycles. The failure to defend Ukraine today is the failure of the Allies to defend Czechoslovakia in 1938. The world must act now so that Poland in 2015 will not be called on to play the role of Poland in 1939.

The Cold War was won not just by military or economic superiority, but on values I, a former Soviet citizen, unironically call traditional American values, ones that the Western Bloc adopted as well. We cannot resolve the problems of globalization with the same legal and economic tools that created it. We need new, morality-based frameworks to confront the dictatorships in Russia and China now that they have so thoroughly become a part of our globalized world. We need new alliances to combat the stateless terror networks that use our technology against us. These frameworks and alliances must be based on moral principles, the only weapon the enemies of democracy cannot match. This is even more obvious when those enemies possess nuclear weapons, making a military confrontation unimaginably dangerous.

The hazy battle lines of these modern conflicts can only be addressed by bright moral lines. The free world’s enemies can be identified by their targets. They know that if liberal democracy and free market policies succeed, then they are out of business—and so they fight for their very survival. To meet these attacks we must turn our principles into policies. We must identify and understand what we are fighting for, and fighting against. We must be willing to defend our values as if our lives depended on them, because they do.

We must resist the distractions, excuses, and straw man arguments presented by dictators and thugs on one side and echoed by appeasers and cowards on the other. They talk ceaselessly of what might happen if the free world stands up to Putin or the consequences of taking direct military action against ISIS. But what they do not want to address is what will happen if insufficient action is taken, if the status quo of appeasement and engagement is allowed to continue. Avoiding a new Cold War sounds like an admirable goal, but what if we are already in one? And what of the actual war and invasion and annexation of European soil that has already happened in Ukraine? Denial is not an acceptable policy. Fretting only about what might happen when the current situation is already catastrophic is a pathetic attempt to defer tough decisions. Ignoring your cancer and arguing with the doctors who diagnosed it will not save you, no matter how much you fear treatment.

There is no way to be sure exactly what will happen if the nations of the free world, led by the United States and NATO, confront Putin in Ukraine (or, for that matter, decide to wipe ISIS off the map). What we can be sure of is that action will eventually be necessary and that it will require more resources, more sacrifices, and more lives lost for every day that goes by. Putin, like every dictator ever known before him, grows in confidence and support when he is unchallenged. Every step he can trumpet as a success to the Russian people makes it harder to remove him and more likely he will feel bold enough to take even more aggressive steps.

It is true that if America, Europe, and the rest of the world’s democracies finally realize the era of engagement is over and strike at Putin and the other thugs by cutting them off and providing overpowering support to their targets, conflicts may worsen before they can be extinguished. This view—the willingness to accept short-term sacrifice for the long-term good—requires the sort of leadership the free world has very little of today. It requires thinking beyond the next poll, the next quarterly report, and the next election. The policies of the Cold War held remarkably firm for decades, across administrations, and eventually ended in a great victory for the side of freedom. Since then, one president after another, one prime minister after another, passed the buck of human rights in Russia until Putin had enough momentum to launch a real war on European soil.

A popular straw man argument is to suggest that intervention against aggression might lead to World War III or even a nuclear holocaust. To the contrary, the only way the current crisis will continue to escalate is if Putin is not confronted with an overwhelming threat to his hold on power, which is the only thing he cares about. If Putin is allowed to go from victory to victory, wiping out any opposition at home while gaining territory and influence abroad, the risk of an all-out war increases dramatically. Adolf Hitler did not attack Poland in 1939 because the Allies stood up for Czechoslovakia; they didn’t. Hitler did not move into the Sudetenland because the world protested vigorously at his Austrian Anschluss, but because the response was so feeble. It was only after all of his early triumphs were accomplished so effortlessly, against so little opposition from the Western democracies, that he had the confidence to go too far.

Of course Putin is no Hitler; that unspeakable evil will never be matched—although those who lived through the horrors of Stalin, Mao Zedong, and Pol Pot may disagree. It is important, though, to remember that in 1936—and even in 1937 and 1938—Hitler was no Hitler either! The adulation of the foreign athletes and dignitaries at the Berlin Olympic Games, the unopposed ease of the Nazi army’s first steps over the post-WWI German borders, the eager capitulation of Chamberlain: these are the things that allowed Hitler to become the monster.

In terms of global influence, Russia’s industrial and military power today is no match for that wielded by Nazi Germany. But Putin has one thing Hitler never had: nuclear weapons. And he is not shy about reminding us of that fact. I forced myself to listen to Putin’s October 2014 Q&A session in Sochi twice because I couldn’t believe he was so casually praising Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev’s terrifying nuclear gamesmanship. But we should all listen carefully to what Putin says, because he has a track record of following through with his threats when left unchecked.

If, however, the leaders of the free world come to their senses in time and present a strong united front against Putin—one with economic sanctions, substitution for Russian energy, diplomatic isolation, and economic and military support for his targets—it will provide a foundation for a new alliance of the world’s democracies. Dictatorships will be given the choice of reforming and joining the community or being steadily marginalized and left behind. The European Union employs this model internally; each prospective member state must meet explicit standards of economic development and human rights. Yet the same EU is happy to do business with brutal dictatorships like Putin’s Russia that it could never accept as members. Ending Putin’s war and ending this hypocritical policy of engagement can happen at the same time.

* * *

Hare Creek Surfers, 1974

* * *


by James Kunstler

In a confab of friends on a warm evening this weekend, someone asked: Do you think what’s going on is due to incompetence or malevolence? The USA is certainly skidding into a great and traumatic re-set featuring a much lower standard of living for most citizens amidst a junkyard of broken institutions. But so are all the other nations of Western Civ. If it’s not being managed by malign forces, such as der Schwabenklaus and his WEF myrmidons, then it sure looks like some sort of controlled demolition. The big question hanging over the 2022 election, then, is: Must America commit suicide?

What provoked the mental illness of the Left? What turned the Democratic Party into the Party of Chaos? It seemed pretty sane in 1996 when President Bill Clinton declared — to much surprise — in his State of the Union address that “the era of big government is over.” Of course, few understood back then how cravenly corrupt the Clintons were, even especially as Hillary launched her own political career once Bill’s turn was over. Few, I daresay, thought at the time that Hillary would come to eclipse Bill in influence — though not so few suspected that the first lady operated as the demented megalomaniac she has proved to be.

Gawd knows what went on in that Shakespearean marriage… but the Democratic Party in the post-2000 Hillary years discovered that its very existence required the government to get ever-bigger because the American economy — the real, on-the-ground economy outside Wall Street’s financialization hall of mirrors — was withering away with the off-shoring of industry and something was needed to replace it. And, by the way, let’s stipulate that the Republican Party mostly abetted all that, even despite transient rumblings from its Tea Party renegades.

Forgive me at this juncture for repeating my oft-stated theory of history: Things happen because they seem like a good idea at the time. Off-shoring seemed like a good idea at the time. Fob off all those filthy, polluting factories onto other countries, and pay the natives three bucks a day to make all the stuff we needed. Plus, pay for the stuff with US treasuries (IOUs). What a racket! But then every activity in America was turning into a racket — which is to say, making money dishonestly — until it became the immersive economic milieu of the land. Even the two most noble endeavors in our society, education and medicine, disgraced themselves with shameless moneygrubbing.

Something weird happened starting in 2004 when one Barack Obama came onstage at the Democratic convention that nominated the haircut-in-search-of-a-brain called John Kerry. The new star lit up the joint posing as a Great Uniter. And four years later he made a fool of Hillary, cutting her off at the pass from seizing her supposedly ineluctable turn — and supreme glass-ceiling-breaking triumph — as president. Where’d he come from? This pavement-pounding community organizer with the 1000-watt smile?

In retrospect, Barack Obama appears to have been manufactured out of some misty Marxist cabal of the Far Left that infested a sub-basement of the Democratic Party. He came on-board in 2009, just as all that skeezy financialization blew up the banks and launched the era of government rescue operations that heaped previously unimaginable quantities of debt on the USA’s already unmanageable burden. Republican George Bush II got the blame for all that and Mr. Obama proceeded to make it a lot worse.

Barack Obama served as liberalism’s bowling trophy, the capstone of the great civil rights crusade: a black president, proof of America’s moral uprightness. He managed to do next to nothing to change the conditions that had wrecked black America — namely, the paternalistic policies that shattered families — but he put up a good front while the country teetered economically. And notice that his DOJ, under Attorney General Eric Holder, managed to avoid prosecuting anyone but mortgage vampire Anthony Mozilo for all the banking crimes of the day. Meanwhile, President Obama took care of Hillary by anointing her Secretary of State, from which perch she grifted tens of millions of dollars into the coffers of the janky Clinton Foundation. Smooth moves there. In the end, Mr. Obama remained an enigma, passing the baton to Her Inevitableness in 2016 — which she commenced to blow utterly in overestimating her own political charm — she had none — and underestimating the appeal of her opponent, the Golden Golem of Greatness, Donald Trump.

Mr. Trump’s astonishing victory apparently disordered Hillary’s mind. She was reportedly too drunk late that election night to even appear at the podium to make the excruciating concession speech. But her Russian Collusion operation ginned up months earlier had already set in motion a great vengeance machine which partisans in the DOJ, FBI, CIA, and State Department ran with through the whole of Mr. Trump’s term in the White House, climaxing in the orchestrated election frauds of 2020, which installed Barack Obama’s empty vessel of a stand-in “Joe Biden” as president.

The amalgamated pathologies of Barack Obama’s reign — which includes the birth of Wokery, the Jacobin-Marxist crusade to trash culture and economy — and Hillary Clinton’s psychotic thirst for revenge has transformed the Democrats into the Party of Chaos, presiding over the suicide of America, and Western Civ with it. Which, of course, prompts the question: Who exactly is running Barack Obama? I don’t pretend to know at this point. Many people I know are sure it is an international banking claque. The part that doesn’t add up is the supposed banking claque’s utter lack of political charm. Nobody in Western Civ is for them, in the sense that they offer any salvation program from either the disorders of Woke culture or the disorders of crumbling economic globalism.

Mysteries abound now, and they are disconcerting to an extreme. How did the polite and rational society called Canada fall under the punishing sway of Justin Trudeau? Ditto the apparently insane Australia and New Zealand? Ditto the Europeans, who followed America’s absurd campaign to make Ukraine a war zone, and who now face a winter with no fuel for industry or home heating — and possibly a descent into new medievalism. Perhaps the Covid bamboozle did that, just drove them over the edge. (And they will soon learn what a deadly con that was, especially the “vaccine” feature.)

Personally, I think we under-appreciate the tendings of history per se, and that tending these days is the set of circumstances adding up to a Long Emergency, a.k.a. the Fourth Turning, a.k.a, Mr. J.M. Greer’s Long Descent. In plain English, we’re exiting the techno-industrial fiesta of the past 200-odd years and entering the uncharted territory of what-comes-next, and that is driving the immense anxiety of the age. Our business model for everything is broken, mostly because the fossil fuel situation has become so uncertain, and it is driving us nuts. Understand that and you will have enough mental equipment operating correctly to stay sane.

Suicide is hardly the only option. Resist those who want to drag you into it. We are going to carry on one way or another. We’re going to make it through this bottleneck. Let the insane bury the insane. Keep your eyes peeled, keep your hearts open, and keep your powder dry.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

* * *

Nip and Tuck Landing, between Gualala and Point Arena, 1888

* * *

CHINA BANS WINNIE THE POOH FILM after comparisons to President Xi

The Winnie the Pooh character has become a lighthearted way for people across China to mock their president, Xi Jinping, but it seems the government doesn’t find the joke very funny.…

* * *


One thing I am noticing more and more is the horrible physical condition of US citizens. Black, caucasian, hispanic with impunity but less so for Asians. Children seem to just follow their “parents?” into a maze of obesity and seemingly disguise their condition with weird hair colors and body/face mutilation. I take pride in my appearance, I’m in good shape, I work out and eat clean. I notice people staring at me like I’m the weirdo. Very underrated in the stigma of the Long Emergency and then we can add in the cardiac/neurology/immune degradation of the jabs.

* * *


* * *

RECORD-HIGH TEMPERATURES AND A SEVERE DROUGHT in west-central China have crippled hydropower generation and prompted the shutdown of many factories there, in the latest blow to a Chinese economy that already has stagnant consumer spending and a deeply troubled real estate market.

Sichuan Province in west-central China, one of China’s most populous and a fast-growing industrial base in recent years, normally generates more than three-quarters of its electricity from huge dams. The summer rainy season usually brings so much water that Sichuan sends much of its hydropower to cities and provinces as far away as Shanghai.

But an almost complete failure of summer rains this year, coupled with daytime highs that have regularly approached or exceeded 100 degrees Fahrenheit, has left rivers and reservoirs with fractions of their former water. The large province’s many dams cannot generate enough electricity even for Sichuan’s own needs, forcing factories there to close for up to a week at a time.…

* * *

* * *


by Manuel Vicent (translated by Louis Bedrock)

The sun rose at 6:55 and its luminous discharge was the same for everyone: for those going to work at this time; for those who were abandoning discotheques exhausted; and for those of us going to fish and swim in the high seas.

I had aquatic headphones so I could hear music underwater, a pleasure that life has given me. It was getting bright when we reached the estuary and we set out the lines with feathers and lures. As we sailed along, hoping the fish would bite, the sun came out in all its glory and, suddenly I recalled how I learned to swim.

I must have been about six years old and was with a group of other naked boys. We were playing among orange trees around a pool of green water which was overflown by dragonflies, filled with slime and with ecstatic frogs, their legs wide open. One of those boys insidiously pushed me. I fell into the pool and began moving my arms around so I wouldn't drown. I haven't done anything else in my life.

At that moment the sun was setting and I remember that the twilight was as sweet as my innocence. Now it was rising, yet I was an old man. After catching some mackerel, some bonito, and a lemon fish, on the way back to port, upon noticing that the sea was extremely rough, I went into the water with my aquatic headphones attached to my parietal. Mozart's symphony began to rise from the depths of the abyss: the currents expanded the music far and wide and served as a sounding board so that the entire sea became a dazzling orchestra.

Generally, sunrises in the movies are filmed at sunset since the cameras do not distinguish the light being born in the morning from the light dying light at dusk. If life is seen as a performance, one can imagine that the sunlight that a person receives in old age is the same that gilded his childhood. It should be accepted as a gift.

* * *

Sidewalk Ballerina


  1. Marmon August 23, 2022


    “The White House stated strongly that they were NOT INVOLVED, and knew absolutely nothing about, the political Witch Hunt going on with me, & that they didn’t know anything at all about the Break-In of Mar-a-Lago. This was strongly reiterated again & again. WRONG! Remember, these are the people who spied on my campaign, denied it, & got caught. Through the great reporting of John Solomon (Fake Pulitzer Prize?), documents reveal they knew everything, in fact led the charge – a political NO, NO!”

    -Donald J. Trump via Truth Social


    • George Hollister August 23, 2022

      What would make one think HRC shared knowledge with Biden, the former Obama VP? It seems Biden is the forever dupe, and getting more so by the day.

  2. George Hollister August 23, 2022


    by Anthony Bourdain

    Pretty spot on, but for one big thing. Why have Mexicans left Mexico? It isn’t because it’s been a nice place to live. On the flip side, why do Mexicans, and others from Latin America put up with what they do here in America? Because doing what they do here is a whole lot better than living where they came from.

  3. Alethea Patton August 23, 2022

    “I never understood the popularity of Salman Rushdie. Found him unreadable myself, and if you got through ‘The Satanic Verses’ you’re probably also going to lie to me and say, “O hell yeah, great book, even better than Finnegan’s Wake.” But I did buy a copy of ‘Verses’ in solidarity with the author whose life had been threatened by the ayatollahs and almost ended the other day by one of their robots.”

    I have to respectfully disagree with you about Salman Rushdie. I consider him to be one of the greatest storytellers of all time. Most people focus on Satanic Verses but some of his lesser known novels are some of the best. Shalimar the Clown, The Enchantress of Florance & The Moor’s Last Sigh are my favorites. Try listening to the books while driving on a long trip – his writing lends itself to being read out loud. He helps people not fall into the trap of stupid polarity by illustrating complexity of a myriad of positions and makes philosphophy interesting. Please give him another chance. I have never been a religious person, but find myself praying for his recovery.

    • Bruce Anderson August 23, 2022

      I just can’t read magical realism, his or Borges or Bloano (except for the middle part of 2666) or any of them, conceding that it’s probably my loss. On your recommendation, Ms. Patton, I’ll give Salman another try.

      • George Hollister August 23, 2022

        If it’s your loss, it’s mine as well.

        • Bruce McEwen August 23, 2022

          Bless you, George, you prove the point of the Salman Rushdie Blaspheme; in that you, as a Christian, waited until an Atheist died before making him bow to your god.; the Moslems seem diabolically impatient by comparison!

          • George Hollister August 23, 2022

            My point is that in the end, it is not for us to judge. That is in the hands of God. That is what a prayer for the recent dead is saying. We like to pass judgement, whether we are Christians, Jews, Muslims, Environmentalists, or Atheists. That is all well and good, but none of us is in a position to truly know the future, to know what will survive, and who/what is on the right path. Jews are on a pretty good roll though.

    • Whyte Owen August 23, 2022

      Midnight’s Children is a must.

  4. Chuck Artigues August 23, 2022

    A very interesting contrast; the sharp, terribly focused analysis of Garry Kasparov vs the slimy unhinged slander of James Kunstler.

    • Cotdbigun August 23, 2022

      That screwed interpretation is a perfect example of slimy , unhinged slander . Viewed through that unhinged left lense it probably makes sense, without said lense, it makes as much sense Brandon.

  5. Kathy Janes August 23, 2022

    I enjoyed the alphabet rocks. How long did it take to collect them?

    • Briley August 23, 2022

      Me too. I wondered the same thing. I’m guessing a pretty long time. Oh but the adventures they must of had trying to find them :-)

  6. Bill Pilgrim August 23, 2022

    re: Ukraine. The disinformation emanating from western media is morphing into a comedy grotesque. Ukraine lost 9000 troops (kia) in less than a week at the start of the SMO.

  7. Eric Sunswheat August 23, 2022

    RE: Petrol Siren
    Spotted In Ukiah

    -> Ukiah – State St, CA
    Status: Construction – 29 days
    1315 N State St
    Elevation 627 ft
    GPS 39.168351, -123.210046
    Hours 24/7
    Stalls 12
    Power 250 kW

    • Lazarus August 23, 2022

      The car’s a little gaudy, but the woman cleans it up just right.
      Is she a local? Personally, I doubt it…Lovely woman.

      • Stephen Rosenthal August 23, 2022

        Instagram booty model is my guess.

        • Lazarus August 23, 2022

          Definitely a looker!
          Be well,

  8. William Brazill August 23, 2022

    Hare Creek Surfers photograph
    If I remember correctly the picture was taken in 1964. We were waiting for the Paul Bunyan parade to start and then we were going to join it. Think the car was a Lincoln.

  9. Marmon August 24, 2022



  10. Debra Keipp August 24, 2022

    Beautifully written life story on Karen Mathes.

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