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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Sept. 2, 2022

Warming Interior | Walker Fire | Merna Falleri | Pizza Party | Ridgetop Windmills | Fish Market | AV Village | Cora's Bookkeeping | School News | Bunyan Days | Waidelich Investigation | Albion Girls | Ed Notes | Rail Bikes | Weed Tricks | Songbird Flies | Craig's Listed | Bottle Recycling | Driving Tip | Coast Hospital | Bark Towing | Eel News | Yesterday's Catch | Oil Setbacks | River Bridge | Rooftop Solar | Chicago Railyard | Ukraine | Moral Hazards | Ransom Capitalism | Retirement Villa | Irrelevant Sissies | Darkroom | Foster Care | Orlando Furioso | Violent Extremists | Bicycler

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SLIGHTLY ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES are forecast through Saturday, followed by hotter weather in the interior Sunday through Tuesday. Much cooler weather with night and morning low clouds and fog will continue for coastal areas through next week. (NWS)

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Fire crews battling the Walker Fire, which as of late Thursday had scorched 109 acres near Willits, were expected to stay on scene overnight. The blaze was reportedly 25% contained as of 10:30 p.m.

Calfire photo

According to Cal Fire, a wildland fire broke out at about 4 p.m. in the Pine Mountain Area near northbound Highway 101. More than 175 firefighters were battling the blaze, which initially prompted an evacuation warning in the Ridewood subdivision, Cal Fire said.

Forward progress of the blaze was stopped and crews formed a line around the fire, officials said. The evacuation warning was eventually downgraded to situational awareness, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

There were no reports of any injuries or damaged property. A cause remains under investigation.

(The Press Democrat)

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Merna Falleri passed away peacefully with family at her side on Thursday, August 18, 2022. She was 92 years old.

Born at the Mary Schafsma House in Santa Rosa on Nov 30, 1929, Merna was the only child of Howard and Zelma Fry. Merna attended Santa Rosa schools until her family's move to Elk, California in 1942 where she resided in what is now the Sandpiper Inn.

While in Elk, Merna attended both Mendocino and Point Arena high schools, graduating from Point Arena High in 1947. It was during that time that a friendship with her dear friend, Norma Falleri, became life-changing when she was introduced to Noma's older brother, Roy, who had returned from World War II, and the rest, as they say, is history. Merna was welcomed wholeheartedly by the large, boisterous Falleri family, and was thankful for the love of her new brothers, sisters, and Mother-in-law, who taught her how to cook Italian and embraced her as a daughter.

While living in Elk, Merna was a housewife and mother, raising sons Alan and Michael in that small, close-knit community. Merna took great pride in her family and home, always attending every sporting event, and she was an active member of the community. Merna, Roy and family later moved to Cloverdale where they resided for 30 years, then later move to Ukiah.

Merna's great joy in life was her family and a favorite role was that of "Nonnie" to her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. In her later years, she enjoyed traveling to their homes and you would often see her cheering from the sidelines while attending their functions and sporting events. Merna loved spending time with friends and family. She was fun, vivacious, and had a quick wit and sharp mind until the very end. Her kind heart, zest for life, generosity, and love for cooking, gardening and animals will live on in the many lives that she has touched and the family she loved so much.

Merna was preceded in death by her husband of 53 years, Roy Falleri, in 2001, and her son Michael Falleri in 2015. She is survived by son, Alan Falleri (Patty Bruder) of Willits, granddaughters Jennifer Burke (Tony) of Danville, CA, and Michelle Dirks (David) of Loveland, CO, and grandsons Shaun Falleri (Jannie) of Hopland and Chad Falleri of Cloverdale. Merna also leaves behind 12 great-grandchildren, Alec and Lindsay Clark, Noah and Maddie Burke, Hannah and Matthew Dirks, Gavin, Aidan, and Gwen Falleri, Dakota Falleri, and Riley and Owen Allen. Special family members, daughters-in-law Sharon Falleri and Jackie Falleri, and step-grandchildren Joel and Janine Berry and Laura Allen, and Godson, Lonn Stornetta, along with numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and friends, all mourn her passing. She will be greatly missed but never forgotten.

There will be a private family graveside service at Evergreen Cemetery in Boonville. Following the gravesite service, friends and family are invited to gather to celebrate Merna's beautiful life at Barra Winery in Redwood Valley on Saturday, September 3rd from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Humane Society of Inland Mendocino County or your charity of choice.

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Come out this Labor Day weekend and join us for our 2nd annual pizza party at the farm stand! We will have extended hours on Friday (2pm-7pm) and normal hours Saturday (11am-4pm). Do your weekly shopping and then enjoy a pizza and kombucha with friends and family! 

The farm stand will be stocked this week with: apples, prune plums, peaches, table grapes, tomatoes (heirlooms, cherries, and new girls), eggplant, sweet peppers, shishitos, potatoes, green beans, carrots, beets, summer squash, cucumbers, kohlrabi, cabbage, chard, kale, spinach, lettuce mix, arugula, turnips, celery, onions, garlic, herbs, dried fruit (prunes, apples, raisins, peaches), olive oil, quince apple butter, and fresh flower bouquets! We will also have a few flavors of Wilder Kombucha available as well. All produce is certified biodynamic and organic. Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email Annie at with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (with Market Match)!

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GOOD QUESTION from Jessie B: Why doesn't Anderson Valley put up large windmills, along the windiest ridgetops, to power electricity for the entire valley. No more PG@E devastation, like what was done below Mountain House Estates...

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We currently have a record 62 members (48 memberships) and 45 trained volunteers ready to lend a hand!

Happy Birthday to our wonderful members and volunteers: Judith Bennett, Deborah Cahn, Micki Colfax, Chelsea Nieman, Sophie Otis, Amanda Outten, Wallen Summers, Anica Williams (don't see your name? send me your birthdate)

Also, we were nominated to present at the 100+ Women Strong Inland Mendocino event this October -€“ we are excited to share the AV Village program and our wonderful community participation with this great audience. More info

What's for Dinner? Presentation: Rachel Williams gave any inspiring talk about nutrition/food, suggestions for meal planning and preparation, and some ideas for sharing food and meals with each other! She mentioned cooking together as a group, weekly potluck, paella party (where each person prepares their favorite paella recipe to share), soup night (where a group of people take turns making soup once a week or so and others come over and get a bowl full), etc. Let me know if this is something you would be interested in trying, might be good way to get through the fall and winter months. I have the handouts from the presentation if you are interested let me know.

Upcoming AV Village Events List

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Hi all, I'm a local bookkeeper based in Ukiah and I just recently started working part time in Boonville. I took over Joy Andrews position at AVCSD doing the financials and admin for the AV Fire Department. 

I'm looking for new bookkeeping clients and I can do a variety of things listed in the flyer. References and pricing available upon request.

Shoot me an email or message to see what I can do for you!

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Dear AVUSD High School Community,

The first two weeks of school have flown by. Sports are in full bloom with Mr. Toohey serving as Athletic Director. Boys’ and Girls’ soccer, Volleyball, and Football teams have all been rostered are all in play. We hope you will come out and support the games. We also need parent support to work the gate and drive. We have two buses under repair, so parent support is even more important than ever for transportation. Please remember students may not have any failing grades or unserved detentions in order to play. Grades are checked weekly. I urge all parents/guardians to check your students' grades online. The kids can show you how it works or stop by the office and we can run you this. This is a great way for you to be involved in seeing their progress.

Next Thursday, we have a Site Council/CTE meeting on Thursday, September 8. This is a very important meeting for our parents and guardians to attend to give input about the school programs. It is virtual or in person for one hour in the high school library at 4:30. I hope you will join us.

PLP Conferences are the week of October 3 and the school will be on a minimum day schedule. Miss Celeste has the arduous and time-consuming job of scheduling these sessions. She will mail your appointment over the next few days. Please call and confirm your appointment when it is received. These appointments with translation schedules are difficult to accommodate, so we would appreciate your keeping the appointment as scheduled.

The first Fort Bragg pool trip was well received. The students had a nice time socializing and swimming together. We have two more trips planned. Maximum occupancy at the pool is about 100 students, so we may have to shift the grade levels a little bit. We do need some parent volunteers to supervise. If you can attend the trips are scheduled for September 12 and September 19 from about 8:30-2:30. 

I sent out a Google Survey to the students to find out how the first couple of weeks of school were going for them and what was working for them and what they wanted to see improve. Their feedback was stellar. I was also touched by the kind comments they made about the school atmosphere and improvements that the staff has worked so hard on over the summer. You have some great kids who were super thoughtful. I appreciate that.

We will keep you posted on the bus schedule as the repairs are underway. At this time, we are on a two bus schedule in the afternoon. Here is the club schedule. We want as many students as possible to participate in sports or other activities. There is no cost to your students. The clubs are supervised by an adult. Please join us in encouraging your students to participate.

A drug educator, Mark Fiero, has been presenting to small groups of students in a three part presentation. His material is very engaging and he has a relationship that is very interactive. He has a “Coach Vibe” and relates to the students. The students I sat in with were attentive and asked some great questions. 

The HVAC units were craned in last Saturday and the electricians have been hooking them up to the existing panel. We hope to have them running shortly. The main panel will ship in October and will be replaced. This will complete phase one of the construction process. This was a $500,000 project funded by the Federal government.

We will be piloting some science and math curriculums, when the materials arrive. I appreciate the hard work and effort of the participating teachers in reviewing our curriculum to determine how we can update it and make it more engaging for kids.

Monday is a holiday in honor of Labor Day. Enjoy the day off. See you at the Site Council meeting Thursday at 4:30.

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017

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by Justine Frederiksen

The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office has completed its investigation into former Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich and forwarded its findings to the Mendocino County District’s Attorney’s Office.

Noble Waidelich

When asked for an update on the case Wednesday, SCSO Public Information Officer Sgt. Juan Valencia said only that the investigation “has been completed and sent over to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office.” When asked for more details, particularly on the nature of the case, he said “No additional information will be released.”

When asked exactly when the case had been forwarded to DA David Eyster’s Office, Valencia said he did not have that information immediately available, and that he had just been informed Tuesday of the case’s completion.

When reached for comment late Wednesday afternoon, DA Eyster said that his office did “receive something, but whether it is truly a completed investigation, I can’t say. Others will be evaluating first what we have received, whether more information is needed and should be sought.”

Also, Eyster said it has yet to be determined if, once the investigation is complete, whether his office should handle the case, or if it should be handled by the state Attorney General’s Office.

When asked for further details regarding the nature of the case, Eyster said his “office policy doesn’t allow comment on reports pre-filing, and then even pre-conviction.”

When Waidelich was placed on administrative leave on June 14, only several months into his new role, the city of Ukiah described the move as “pending an ongoing criminal investigation led by (the) Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office. Because this is both a pending personnel and criminal matter, no further information may be disclosed by the city at this time.”

When contacted for more information regarding the case at the time, Valencia released this statement: “On June 13, 2022, an allegation of criminal conduct involving Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich was reported to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. Due to the close working relationship between the MCSO and the UPD, Mendocino County Sheriff (Matt) Kendall requested the SCSO conduct the investigation for transparency purposes.”

The statement continues: “The criminal investigation has been assigned to the SCSO Investigations Bureau and is actively being investigated. Upon completion of the investigation, the case will be submitted to the Mendocino County District Attorney’s Office for review. We understand this case will have increased public interest. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office cannot release additional information due to the active status of this investigation and to protect the integrity of this case.”

UPD Capt. Cedric Crook has been serving as interim chief since the departure of Waidelich. When asked Wednesday for an update on the city’s search for a new, permanent UPD chief, including whether any candidates had applied or been interviewed, Deputy City Manager Shannon Riley said that the city is still in the process of selecting a recruiting firm to conduct the search for a new chief.

(Courtesy, the Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Dot De Rosier, Marie and Grace Shandel, Albion, 1923

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ABOUT THREE WEEKS AGO, we mailed in our $170 check for the extortionate rent of our Boonville Post Office box we've rented for fifty years. Our check was mailed in a machine-stamped Post Office envelope provided by the Post Office with the annual bill. The Boonville Post Office never received our check in the stamped envelope provided by the Boonville Post Office. Wednesday, no mail was placed in our box by either of the two women I've known for fifty years who work at the Boonville Post Office. Thursday, no mail. The Major, a government-vetted, honorably discharged veteran officer of the United States Air Force, asked for the AVA mail at the counter. “You haven't paid your box rent,” Anne pleasantly replied. “But our box rent check was mailed three weeks ago in a Post Office envelope,” The Major said. “Sorry,” Anne said, “we can't release your mail until your box rent is paid.” The Major reluctantly paid on his credit card, and we got the AVA mail, which had been held hostage because the Post Office lost its own envelope in its own mail, and if this isn't one more tiny sign of the Apocalypse, please share yours. 

THE GREAT HEALER addresses The Nation tonight (Thursday) on “The Battle for the Soul of the Nation” after describing Republicans as “semi-fascists.” Which they are, of course, but still. Given that the Semis are half our fine, fat population, the president, even a senile one, should at least pretend we're one big dysfunctional family. 

AND FROM his bunker at Mar-a-Schlocko with its gold-plated bathroom fixtures, Trump has accused Biden of “politicizing” the FBI in an effort to knock Trump out of the 2024 election. 

THE FBI was formed as a political police force, and has always functioned as a political police force, as even a cursory read of the agency's sordid history demonstrates. Until now, the G-Men have always focused their incompentent sleuthing on the non-existent American Left. I agree with Trump. The federal police apparatus is obviously out for him.

MEANWHILE, according to a Quinnipiac University poll Americans are united in one fact — our battered, quasi-democracy is imperiled, with half the Americans polled predicting civil war. Truth to tell, if I had to choose between Trump and Adam Schiff who to shoot first, I'd have to shoot myself.

THE REPORT of the Sonoma County investigation of former Ukiah Police Chief Noble Waidelich has been forwarded to the Mendo's District Attorney's office. Nobody knows what's in it or what they recommend for what is rumored to be an assault on a woman.

PREDICTION: The next thing we'll hear about the case is that Waidelich has hired SoCo attorney Chris Andrian and a plea bargain is being arranged involving no jail time. The DA will issue no press release. The contents of the SoCo investigation will never be public, and when the plea bargain comes before Judge Moorman for rubber-stamping, the Judge will tell the public, “This is NOT to be interpreted as a slap on the wrist!”

FROM SUPERVISOR MO MULHEREN: "Providing feedback can be challenging if you want to be heard. How you deliver the feedback matters. Check out this helpful infographic and see if you can think through some of these as you offer feedback to team members whether they are your manager or employee.

MO, I just wanna give you a big huggsie-wuggsie, and if you'll set aside thirty seconds for me at the forthcoming Boonville Fair....

MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: If you’re not taking public input of any kind, then it doesn’t matter what kind of criticism you receive. 

WHAT THE HECK was the name of that old Vincent Price movie in which whenever Vince was besieged by people angry with him his face would assume a kind of beatific, blissed-out look as he gazed heavenward to the sound of sweet violins? The trick, Mo, is to zone out! (cf Craig Stehr)

UKIAH lost power yesterday (Thursday) afternoon about 1:30 just as the temperature hit 105. Everyone's favorite power monopoly said Ukiah's groaning air conditioners would resume cooling the town's 16,000 sweltering residents by 5pm. Ukiahans will be relieved to know that the expensive back-up generators automatically kicked in, keeping the seat of government crispy-cool while the town they allegedly manage risked mass heat stroke.

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REDWOOD DAN: About 12 years ago I knew of a grower who turned the whole place into a plant nursery in 1 day. He had like 20 trimmers working when the Trinity county sheriffs showed up on his road. They didn’t have a warrant and were trying to come in. He managed to deter them, but knew they would be back. He literally dug up a barrel of money, paid everyone out, and bought a semi full of nursery plants. He paid a handful of trimmers to unload the plants into greenhouses and moved anything cannabis to his neighbors property. When the sheriff came back and cut his locks, he was grinning ear to ear when they were walking around and couldn’t find any weed. Probably couldn’t do that nowadays since weed isn’t worth $2k+ and I would guess there are a lot less barrels of cash buried in the hills these days.

But within 1 day, a person could pull water lines from creeks, update and hang up current paperwork, tag all of their legal plants, cut or move extra personal plants, hide their chemicals, and have their foreign trim crew take a day off.

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Me ’n my guitar are headed east today for #nesr 6 - the New England Songwriters Retreat! It’ll be my first time attending and I can’t wait to dive into the east coast songwriting community with @ellispaulsongs @stevepoltz @theentertainher @catiecurtismusic @buddymondlock @donconoscenti and #lauriemacallister. I certainly have lots to write about with the traumas and trials of the last couple years and I intend to dive head first into some serious #musicaltherapy. Up up and away!

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Something Might Actually Be Happening!!!

I just got a notice from Community Development Commission of Mendocino County that I’ve been placed on a waiting list for subsidized housing. This lifetime, hopefully. After all, I’m not reincarnating. And if they can’t place me in Ukiah, then I’ll take Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., preferably up the hill from the brig >>> You know that i have to get this!! Thank you. ;-))

Craig Louis Stehr

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VIA ESTHER MOBLEY: A bill before the California legislature would change the state's bottle recycling program. Environmentalists were all for it — until a provision was added that could reroute government money to glass bottle manufacturers, most notably the state's largest: E. & J. Gallo.

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As an elder, I was recently admitted to our local Fort Bragg Adventist hospital. Admittedly I was hesitant to go because over the past years I’d heard secondhand negativity which I was also guilty of passing on whenever the subject came up.

I want to set the record straight from my OWN experience. Perhaps a change came from the new ownership (Adventist) but I couldn’t imagine having more nurturing and skillful care from all the nurses and with Chief of Staff Dr. Paul Miller and, in the ER, from Dr. Robin Serrahn.

The nurses were like angels with their attention, seemingly not as a job or duty but rather, far beyond. That they were called to “serve” and that their work is not easy or for the faint of heart. Every person I encountered, from the time I entered the ER, was helpful and friendly and a special shout out to Mellisa, the access coordinator navigating my care and insurance.

Please do pass along the good word. We are significantly blessed to have such an exceptional local hospital. I am filled with gratitude for my experience in my vulnerable time of need.

David Gidley

Fort Bragg

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The Barkentine Willie R. Hume towed by SS Brooklyn, Fort Bragg

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From: Friends of the Eel River <>

This week we notified the Humboldt County Supervisors of our intent to file a lawsuit over their failure to consider impacts to public trust values while managing groundwater use. We will ask the court to require the County to develop a regulatory mechanism for curtailing groundwater use when conditions necessitate. See below for additional details.

While we're focusing on the lower Eel basin, I want to highlight some exciting restoration work and an opportunity to help cleanup the estuary. Recently we toured the Ocean Ranch Restoration Project in the Eel River Wildlife Area. The Eel River Wildlife Area is a 2,600 acre complex in the Eel River estuary (mostly on the north side of the river) that contains salt marsh, pasture, wet meadow, brackish marsh, coastal scrub, and dunes. See below for a spotlight on the restoration project. Later this month you can join us in the Eel estuary for a beach cleanup at Crab Park as part of Coastal Cleanup Month.

And we're still looking for volunteers to help us at our booth during the North Country Fair in Arcata on Sept 16 and 17. Just a couple hours helping to raise funds and share our work can be a huge help! See below for more info.

For the fish, Alicia Hamann

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Protecting Public Trust in the Lower River

There is a significant opportunity to recover runs of salmon and steelhead in the Eel River, and a wide range of entities are working on projects throughout the entire watershed to realize this opportunity. Tribes, state and federal wildlife agencies, commercial and recreational fishing industry representatives, and conservation groups like Friends of the Eel River are all working together to remove dams, restore estuary habitat, and improve water quality. But sadly, the County appears to be neglecting its duty to protect surface flows in the lower river, and thus the public trust values associated with a flowing river.

In the last several years we’ve seen flows in the lower river entirely disconnect, an extraordinarily rare event in the Eel, even with its extreme ranges of flows. We’ve seen fish develop unprecedented disease, including a virus unknown to experts at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, and just last year state wildlife officials had to physically dig channels to maintain connectivity just as salmon were preparing to migrate upriver.

According to data the county generated in the course of preparing their Groundwater Sustainability Plan, groundwater pumping reduces the flow just upstream of Fernbridge by about 14 cfs in the summer. However, during dry summers, minimum flows just upstream at the Scotia gauge range from 15-27 cfs. This means that during especially dry times — which we all know are occurring more frequently — groundwater pumping in the lower river is reducing surface flows by at least 50%, often times far more.

The County has the authority to develop regulatory mechanisms to protect surface flows by monitoring and, when necessary, curtailing groundwater pumping. This is why we have notified the board that we intend to seek a court order requiring the County to prepare a management plan, and in the meantime to cease permitting of new well-drilling in the lower Eel River Valley groundwater basin.

Ocean Ranch Unit of the Eel River Wildlife Area is ancestral land of the Wiyot people. The land was managed by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for the last fifty years using a series water control structures including levees, berms, and tidal gates. Over time, these water control mechanisms have repeatedly failed, leading the Department to discontinue maintenance of artificial wetlands and embrace restoring estuarine habitat.

The Ocean Ranch Restoration Project will restore and enhance tidal marsh and dune habitat, including 571 acres of restored saltmarsh and 279 acres of coastal dunes. The three elements of the project include tidal estuary restoration, which involves removing water control mechanisms and excavating tidal channels; invasive species control of dense-flowered cordgrass (Spartina desiflora) and European beach grass (Ammophila arenaria); and public access improvement including a new parking area, non-motorized boat launch, and trails.

This project is a collaborative effort between the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and Ducks Unlimited, with coordination and input from the Wiyot Tribe and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Refuge System.


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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 1, 2022

Austin, Carver, Deaton

RICHARD AUSTIN, Fort Bragg. DUI-alcohol&drugs, leaving scene of accident with property damage, criminal threats, resisting, probation revocation.

JEFFREY CARVER, Willits. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.

MICHAEL DEATON, Willits. Failure to appear.

Fine, Flores, Golyer, Halvorsen

EMMY FINE, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation, resisting.

CARLOS FLORES, Ukiah. DUI, resisting.

PAUL GOLYER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, parole violation.

NICHOLAS HALVORSEN, Fort Bragg. County parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

Herrera, Johnson, Landrum

JESUS HERRERA, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

MICHAEL JOHNSON, Florence, South Carolina/Ukiah. Leaving scene of accident with property damage, resisting.


Mateo, McElroy Ramirez, Rodriguez

ANDRES MATEO-MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Domestic battery, witness intimidation, damage to electrical lines.

TONY MCELROY, Ukiah. Shoplifting, disorderly conduct-alcohol, stolen property. (Frequent flyer.)

JOSE RAMIREZ, Willits. Domestic battery witness tampering.

JESSE RODRIGUEZ, Redwood Valley. Domestic battery, controlled substance.

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CA SENATE APPROVES LEGISLATION To Create 3200-Ft. Health And Safety Setbacks Around Oil Wells

by Dan Bacher

Despite the millions of dollars Big Oil spends on lobbying the California Legislature and contributing to legislators every year, the Senate late last night by a vote of 25 to 10, approved Senate Bill  1137 to create 3200-foot setbacks around new and reworked oil and gas wells after it had already passed the Assembly on Tuesday.

Senator Lena A. Gonzalez (D-Long Beach) and Senator Monique Limón (D-Santa Barbara) introduced the legislation on August 25 to establish health and safety buffer zones and protect the most pollution-burdened communities in the state from the dangers of oil and gas operations.…

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Bridge over Big River, 1920

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As we experience more 100 degree days, we must consider peak electricity demands related to such heat. Will the increased need for electricity be fueled by burning coal, biomass, natural gas, hydroelectric, nuclear, wind or solar? Nationwide, the answer is yes to all of those modes of generation, but rooftop solar panels and backup batteries help minimize grid overload by delivering power directly to homes and businesses, while some contribute excess energy to the grid.

Despite the obvious benefits to all from rooftop solar, despite the federal government’s support for electrification, despite Gov. Gavin Newsom’s lip service for a clean energy future, he remains silent on the solar tax and net metering credit reduction supported by PG&E, San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison.

This silence can only be explained by contributions these utilities make to Newsom’s campaigns. Newsom appoints the California Public Utility Commission members who are considering the utilities’ request for increased fees on current and future rooftop solar installations. Call and let him know he must speak up loudly and clearly on this issue.

Bob Cipolla

Santa Rosa

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Illinois Central Railroad Depot, Chicago, 1943

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UKRAINE, THURSDAY, 1st day of September, day 191 of Russia's invasion

An expert team from the United Nations nuclear agency plan to stay at the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant after gaining long-awaited access to the site on Thursday. “We are not going anywhere. The IAEA is now there, it is at the plant and it is not moving – it’s going to stay there,” the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Rafael Grossi, told reporters after returning to Ukrainian-held territory. He said a group of IAEA experts had stayed behind at the plant in south-eastern Ukraine and would provide an impartial, neutral and technically sound assessment of the situation.

The physical integrity of the Zaporizhzhia plant had been violated on several occasions, Rafael Grossi said. “It is obvious that the plant and physical integrity of the plant has been violated several times,” he told reporters. “I worried, I worry and I will continue to be worried about the plant until we have a situation which is more stable, which is more predictable.”

Russia’s foreign minister warned Moldova that any actions seen as endangering the security of Russian troops in the breakaway region of Transnistria would be considered an attack on Russia. Sergei Lavrov said: “Everyone should understand that any action that would threaten the security of our troops [in Transnistria] would be considered under international law as an attack on Russia.”

Russia and China launched large-scale military exercises involving several allied nations on Thursday, in a show of growing defence cooperation between Moscow and Beijing and a demonstration of Moscow’s military might. The Russian defence ministry said the Vostok 2022 (East 2022) exercise would be held until Wednesday in Russia’s far east and the Sea of Japan and involve more than 50,000 troops and 5,000 weapons units, including 140 aircraft and 60 warships.

United States federal agents searched properties linked to a billionaire Russian oligarch in Manhattan, the Hamptons and an exclusive Miami island. FBI agents and Homeland Security Investigations personnel searched the properties, linked to Viktor Vekselberg, who is a close ally of the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, and whose $120m yacht was seized in April, NBC News reported.

Germany’s domestic intelligence agency is investigating allegations that two senior civil servants could have been spying for Russia, according to a local media report. Die Zeit, which first revealed the case, said the officials being investigated had close involvement with energy supply issues and held key positions.

A senior Russian oil executive has died after falling from the window of a Moscow hospital, months after his company criticised the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ravil Maganov, the chair of Lukoil, Russia’s largest private oil company, “fell from a window at Central clinical hospital”, the Interfax news agency reported on Thursday, citing a source. “He died from injuries sustained.” Maganov is the second top Lukoil executive to die in mysterious circumstances in recent months.

Children returned to Ukrainian schools trashed by occupying Russian forces on Thursday. Only schools that are fit for use, are in areas that do not face a regular threat of shelling and that have enough students opt for in-person teaching will reopen. School administrations have been preparing for the new academic year by outfitting basements as shelters and training teachers on what to do in case of an attack. All children who attend are told to carry an emergency bag with a change of clothes, any medicine they may need, a note from their parents and, for the younger children, a favourite toy.

Russian forces have been forcibly transferring Ukrainian civilians to Russia or areas of Ukraine under their control, according to Human Rights Watch. Forced transfers were “a serious violation of the laws of war that constitute war crimes and potential crimes against humanity”, it said.

(Al Jazeera)

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by Careth Fearn

As Robert Brenner argued in NLR two years ago, the financial collapse of 2007-8 set a template for government responses to crises that threaten the means of existence. Whether it’s a global financial meltdown, a deadly pandemic or energy bills so high that many people can’t afford to pay them, the policy instrument of choice is the bailout.

In both the financial crisis and the first months of the pandemic, there was a broad consensus that governments needed to make extraordinary fiscal interventions to preserve the means of existence without threatening the economic status quo. Emergency bailouts were used to stabilize the crisis, followed by such further moves as quantitative easing, furlough schemes or – in the UK – stamp duty cuts, which saw house prices rising faster than before Covid.

Bailouts are an ideal intervention for a decaying neoliberal politics: they maintain capital flows, rising asset prices and the upwards redistribution of wealth, while supporting the minimum needs of enough of the population to prevent total social breakdown.

British politicians’ responses to soaring energy prices conform to the bailout consensus. Boris Johnson is promising ‘extra cash’, though leaving it up to his successor to work out the details (Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have so far mostly offered tax cuts). Ed Davey, the leader of the Liberal Democrats, recently proposed an ‘energy furlough scheme’: the government would absorb the cost of rising energy prices and get some of the money back with a windfall tax. Labour soon followed suit, offering a similar cap to energy prices funded through some slightly more creative accounting.

In both cases, energy companies would receive large amounts of public money (at least £29 billion) to enable them to continue charging their customers sums that many cannot afford. With these proposals following so closely behind the pandemic bailouts, which had the backing of all UK parties, we can see there is broad support for such extraordinary interventions with very little thought being given to the causes of the crisis – beyond criticism of the outgoing prime minister’s personality.

The bailout consensus is strikingly similar to the model by which neoliberal capitalism has operated globally for decades. Energy producers and suppliers are extracting profits from the state by menacing the public with unaffordable bills, effectively threatening to remove the means of existence from millions of people. This process, of capital holding the public to ransom, has been going on for decades in the Global South, where countries facing financial, energy and even public health crises have been held to ransom by the IMF, World Bank and multinational corporations based in the US or Europe. Money to relieve immediate social meltdown was provided on the condition of structural reforms and repayment agreements that locked generations of citizens into decades of debt, economic restructuring and austerity to ensure the profits of corporations.

As Kojo Koram and others have argued, the IMF/World Bank interventions undermined the growth of alternative political movements and brought post-colonial nations into a capitalist system where wealth is distributed upwards. Practices once applied by imperial nations to colonial subjects have now been turned on their domestic populations. Ransom capitalism and bailouts are not new, but their scope has expanded.

Under the bailout consensus, as with the IMF interventions, the state and its citizens are expected to pay private companies’ ransom demands without taking anything substantive in return. There’s no suggestion that the public might acquire a stake in a company in exchange for the money they hand over. Shareholders and CEOs are provided with ‘protection’ or ‘compensation’ rather than being made to face the downsides of the risk supposedly inherent in investment. The bailout averts a crisis, but keeps things on terms friendly to capital.

There is an underlying assumption that at some point there will be a return to the ‘normality’ of self-regulating markets of private actors. But bailouts without structural change keep us on the path of ever-increasing losses for the public just to sustain the basics of life, while maintaining a failed market system which is not only generating crises but limiting responses to them – as many nations in the Global South have experienced for decades.

High inflation is not unique to the UK, but the capitulation to the energy companies’ ransom demands seems especially acute here, as is the actual rate of rising costs. France is able to lower prices through its state energy company, Spain and Germany have intervened to reduce the cost of public transport, and many of the proposed measures across Europe involve taking equity in energy companies or stricter regulation. But the UK is too far down the neoliberal rabbit-hole even to countenance such mild social democratic policies.

The next prime minister may be tempted to refuse the energy companies’ ransom demands and let people suffer and die as a consequence, but chances are either Truss or Sunak will be pressured into some form of bailout. The center-left opposition parties could take the opportunity to buck the bailout consensus and instead consider substantive political and economic alternatives, such as public ownership, as conditions of another major fiscal intervention. Without these alternatives, especially in the face of climate breakdown, there will only ever be new crises, more bailouts and larger ransoms to pay to sustain the means of existence for huge sections of the public. A key difference between IMF bailouts and what is happening in the UK now is that there are no demands for major structural reform – rather, the demand is that things be kept as they are. That way, the ransom money keeps flowing.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

* * *


Why should a pope going to Russia mean anything? Most of popery business in the Vatican right now involves a bunch of pedophiles addicted to soft living and wearing pink slippers etc. Men wearing feminine clothing and living soft comfortable lives in splendid surroundings. 

What any of that has to do with Jesus is beyond me. Jesus was a hard man with a muscles and scars, he’d been a construction worker before turning preacher. He walked most everywhere he went and likely didn’t smell very good – he was a poor man living on the road and depending on the charity of his fans. But he was a man – not one of the irrelevant sissies in the Vatican. His lifestyle and teachings are the reverse of what the Catholic Church has been offering. 

Take up your cross and follow me? Good luck finding anyone in the Vatican doing that! I doubt if the Russians are interested in anything the Pope has to offer.

* * *

* * *


  • Texas: 47,913 children in foster care as of 2020
  • California: 55,539 children in foster care as of 2022
  • Florida: 30,000 children in foster care as of 2021
  • Virginia: 5,240 children in foster care as of 2021
  • Montana: 3,456 children in foster care as of 2020
  • Alaska: 2,939 children in foster care as of 2021
  • Alabama: 5,682 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Arizona: 13,329 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Arkansas: 4,123 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Colorado: 4,824 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Connecticut: 3,882 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Delaware: 577 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Georgia: 12,888 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Hawaii: 1,604 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Idaho: 1,740 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Illinois: 16,565 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Indiana: 16,023 children in foster care as of 2019
  • lowa: 5,943 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Kansas: 8,001 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Kentucky: 9,113 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Louisiana: 3,929 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Maine: 2,083 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Maryland: 3,689 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Massachusetts: 9,831 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Michigan: 11,438 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Minnesota: 8,261 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Mississippi: 4,011 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Missouri: 12,654 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Nebraska: 3.238 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Nevada: 4,515 children in foster care as of 2019
  • New Hampshire: 1,211 children in foster care as of 2019
  • New Jersey: 4,431 children in foster care as of 2019
  • New Mexico: 2,324 children in foster care as of 2019
  • New York: 15,606 children in foster care as of 2019
  • North Carolina: 11,025 children in foster care as of 2019
  • North Dakota: 1,468 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Ohio: 15,710 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Oklahoma: 8,301 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Oregon: 6,922 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Pennsylvania: 14,912 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Puerto Rico: 2,579 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Rhode island: 2,196 children in foster care as of 2019
  • South Carolina: 4 497 children in foster care as of 2019
  • South Dakota: 1,703 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Tennessee: 8,893 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Utah: 2,335 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Vermont: 1,226 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Washington: 10,151 children in foster care as of 2019
  • West Virginia: 7,211 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Wisconsin: 7,626 children in foster care as of 2019
  • Wyoming: 984 children in foster care as of 2019
  • District of Columbia: 653 children in foster care as of 2019

* * *

Pro Lifer: Well the mother should just give the baby up for adoption if she doesn’t want the baby.

Me: So who will adopt the baby?

PL: I don’t know, there’s lots of couples who want to adopt.

Me: Do you know any couple who is waiting to adopt?

PL: Um, well, not personally but like I know there’s lots of people waiting to adopt.

Me: Do you know what a domestic adoption costs?

PL: I don’t know. $15,000 maybe?

Me: The average cost of domestic adoption in the United States is $70,000 if you go through a private agency.

PL: Oh, I didn’t realize it was that much.

Me: Yep, it’s really expensive. It can be more if you want a newborn straight from the hospital. Up to $120,000.

PL: Well all life is precious.

Me: It really is. I’ve adopted through foster care and am currently a licensed foster parent. Would you be interested in becoming a foster parent yourself?

PL: Oh no, I couldn’t do it.

Me: Why not?

PL: It would just be too much for me right now.

Me: Why is that?

PL: It would be too hard to handle all the issues that came with it. I’ve heard horror stories.

Me: Yep, it can be extremely difficult. But what if I told you that you were required by law to become a foster parent?

PL: What?

Me: What if you had to become a foster parent by law?

PL: They would never do that. That would never happen.

Me: Well, if a woman is forced to bear a child she doesn’t want, and she goes ahead and has that child, someone has to care for the child either through adoption or foster care. You have to do one of those two things.

PL: But I don’t want any more kids.

Me: So you don’t want someone forcing you to have a child in your home that you don’t want or aren’t able to care for?

PL: No, that’s not my job to raise someone else’s child.

* * *

There it is, folks. Have the baby, but we don’t want anything to do with it afterwards.

But, let’s ban abortion.

— Anonymous

* * *

Illustration for "Orlando Furioso", 1877, by Gustave Doré

* * *


by Caitlin Johnstone

Republicans are up in arms over remarks from the White House depicting the Trump-aligned faction of their party as "extremist", which Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre defended Thursday by saying that MAGA Republicans are extremist because they disagree with the majority of Americans.

"When you are not with what majority of Americans are, then you know, that is extreme; that is an extreme way of thinking," Jean-Pierre said.

Every part of this controversy is hilarious, from Republicans thinking they are not extremists, to anyone thinking that MAGA Republicans are meaningfully different from generic brand Republicans, to Democrats thinking they are any less extremist than MAGA Republicans, to Jean-Pierre claiming that you are extremist if you don't agree with mainstream political consensus in the United States.

If you look at who is inflicting the most violence, terrorism and tyranny upon the largest number of people in our world, it's clear from the numbers that the worst offender by far is not fringe neo-Nazi groups, nor violent jihadists, nor communists nor anarchists nor environmentalists nor incels, but the bipartisan political consensus of the US-centralized empire.

No other power has spent the 21st century killing people by the millions in wars of aggression. No other power is circling the planet with hundreds of military bases and working continuously to destroy any government which disobeys it. No other power is starving entire populations with economic sanctions, military blockades and brazen theft. No other power has been interfering in foreign elections anywhere near as often. No other power is terrorizing populations around the world with wars, covert ops, drone strikes, proxy conflicts, and staged coups and uprisings. No other power is using its military, economic, diplomatic and media dominance to bully the world into serving its interests.

The only reason the mainstream views espoused by Democrats and Republicans are mainstream is because massive amounts of narrative management have gone into creating that consensus. The fact that the social engineers of the oligarchic empire have poured vast fortunes into making sure Americans consent to capitalism, corruption, militarism and murder is the only reason those perspectives are so mainstream that they can be labeled "moderate" or "centrist".

When people hear the word "extremist" they tend to think of groups like ISIS or the Ku Klux Klan, but per definition an extremist is just someone whose political or religious beliefs can lead them to do violent or illegal things. The US empire would crumble if it didn't do violent and illegal things continuously, which is why its body count dwarfs those of any of the extremist ideologies the news media tell us to worry about. And it is fully supported by both Republicans and Democrats.

To pick a recent illustration of essentially limitless possible examples, imagine what the response would have been if a prominent MAGA pundit had given an award to neo-Nazis at an event hosted by the US military during the Trump administration. Imagine how Democrats and their aligned media would have responded to such an event.

Can you picture it? Can you hear the shrieking in your mind's ear? Good. Because that's exactly what happened at the Pentagon’s annual Warrior Games at Disney World a few days ago, only it was a liberal pundit and Ukrainian Nazis during the Biden administration.

In a new report titled "Jon Stewart and the Pentagon honor Ukrainian Nazi at Disney World," The Grayzone's Alex Rubinstein shows the former Daily Show star presenting an award to a member of Ukraine's neo-Nazi Azov Battalion who is wearing a t-shirt and a suspicious-looking red sleeve on one of his arms, with another photo showing the same Azov member a tattoo of a Nazi symbol on that same arm. Rubinstein presents evidence that this wasn't the only Nazi-affiliated Ukrainian at the event, which was also attended by musician Darius Rucker.

I keep thinking I've seen the most liberal thing that could possibly happen, but 2022 keeps proving me wrong. I have a hard time imagining how you beat a liberal comedian honoring a Ukrainian Nazi with an award at a Pentagon event in Disneyland, but I'm sure they'll find a way before long.

Biden is advancing the interests of the murderous US empire by waging a world-threatening proxy war in Ukraine whose combatants can't seem to get photographed without Nazi insignia on their person. Trump advanced the interests of the US empire by inflicting death and starvation in nations like Yemen, Venezuela, Iran and Syria, as well as ramping up the brinkmanship with Russia which led to the current proxy war in Ukraine. The Biden administration is the Trump administration with a different soundtrack. The Trump administration was the Obama administration with a different soundtrack. They are all violent extremists. None are superior to the other. They all serve the interests of the most murderous and depraved institution on earth, as does anyone who supports any of them.

Democrats calling Republicans extremists is like ISIS calling Al Qaeda extremists, only Democrats and Republicans have a much higher body count.


* * *

Man riding bicycle (1894) by Edward Penfield


  1. Brian Wood September 2, 2022

    “Why doesn’t Anderson Valley put up large windmills, along the windiest ridgetops, to power electricity for the entire valley”.

    Extreme ugliness, noise, transmission lines everywhere, bird kills, expansion of population capacity, general continued expansion of human dominian over everything everywhere.

  2. Marmon September 2, 2022

    “The average cost of domestic adoption in the United States is $70,000 if you go through a private agency.”

    It doesn’t cost you anything if you go through the Schraeders and Mendocino County CPS. Once they detain a child, they do their best to make sure that child is never reunified with their biological parents. By doing this way, CPS, the Schraeders, and the fost/adopt parents all make big money.


    • Chuck Dunbar September 2, 2022

      Quite a bold allegation, James. As is usual with your posts, you present no factual evidence at all about this issue. There is, in fact, no evidence to support your wild assertion. It is your usual hyperbole, but it goes beyond that to actual slander.

      The work of CPS social workers and all other staff in child welfare is complex and difficult and fraught in so many ways. One major point to make in this respect: The use by parents of hard-core drugs has made reunification much more difficult, as parents have to get clean and sober before they can be safe. The time- line they face, due to state and federal laws, is relatively short. These drugs take their toll; it is a heavy one, and it is very hard to get back to normal, responsible function and become a decent parent again. This process is not a quickly done one and typically has many ups and downs.

      Accounting for the issue of difficult reunification by alleging it is about “”big money” is a uni-causal, baseless slur on social workers performing hard tasks in a society that is greatly crippled by drug use and other issues like poverty and poor family support systems.

      I know you think you were treated unfairly by CPS in our County, and there may be truth to that. I worked there, too, for many years. God knows, it was and likely still is, an imperfect place with lots of flaws, but not this one you allege. But move on, James, to a better life than posting patently false allegations.about an agency you hate.

      • Marmon September 2, 2022

        No substance abuse treatment available to druggy parents, and the so called Family Dependency Drug Court is a big joke, only available to those in the Ukiah Valley. Most parents blow out of there because it is an 18 month program and they figure that they stand a better chance on their own to get their kids back in 6 months instead of 18 months. Either way the odds are against them. If they need mental health treatment, it is only available through the Schraeders who are also holding their children hostage in one of their fost/adopt homes.


        • Chuck Dunbar September 2, 2022

          James, you wrote: “Once they detain a child, they do their best to make sure that child is never reunified with their biological parents.”

          Now you back-up– wisely– and talk about how tough it is to reunify, and that services are not so easy to obtain and persevere in. That in itself is true, but the fact is, for parents who are in some control and not totally devastated by drug use, if one persists and really means it, one can use the available services, work at coming back to normal and being a safe parent, and regain their children. It is very hard, but doable.

          In my coast CPS unit we worked hard to get parents into services–again, not perfect– and regain their children. That included referrals to out of county in-patient services, which many of them desperately needed to get off and stay off of drugs. We rejoiced for and with those parents who took their efforts seriously and got their children back and were able to keep them. Finances were NEVER EVER a part of our concern, NEVER a part of our analyses of whether a parent should be recommended for reunification to the juvenile court. Had any CPS administrator ever suggested that we should include financial compensation for the agency as a concern, we would have told them to fuck off, to be blunt about it.

      • Stephen Rosenthal September 2, 2022

        “Quite a bold allegation, James. As is usual with your posts, you present no factual evidence at all about this issue. There is, in fact, no evidence to support your wild assertion. It is your usual hyperbole, but it goes beyond that to actual slander.”

        Maybe that’s why he was fired from almost every job he’s held.

        • Marmon September 2, 2022

          Hmmm? I was just wondering how many jobs I’ve been fired from and can only come up with one. That was the Mendocino job and they had to pay me $49,000.00 for doing it unlawfully. Del Norte County never fired me or even ever disciplined me. The Mendocino County Youth Project where I worked at twice never fired me. Lake County and I mutually parted ways after I won a sexual discrimination claim against them, they even had to write me a letter of recommendation.


          • Stephen Rosenthal September 3, 2022

            I stand corrected. Instead of fired, the proper terminology is wore out your welcome.

  3. Marmon September 2, 2022



    • Marmon September 2, 2022

      It sounds like Murry’s wife’s family paid for his legal defense.


  4. Bill Pilgrim September 2, 2022

    re: Want a Child?

    Before you’re born we love you. After you’re born we hate you, unless you’re born again.

  5. Marmon September 2, 2022


    Broadcast networks passed on carrying Joe Biden’s speech in Philadelphia, as the president cast MAGA Republicans as a threat to democracy.

    ABC ran Press Your Luck, CBS went with a Young Sheldon rerun and NBC with a Law & Order replay. CNN and MSNBC carried the address, as did news division streaming channels, but Fox News stuck with Tucker Carlson and his critique of the speech as it was happening.


  6. Eric Sunswheat September 2, 2022

    RE: To pick a recent illustration of essentially limitless possible examples, imagine what the response would have been…. (Caitlin Johnstone)

    —>. In 2009, a series of events occurred that ought to have raised questions in the press. First, the United States began a troop surge in Afghanistan designed to deliver the final blow to the Taliban insurgency.3

    Then the United States provided a $7.5 billion aid package to Pakistan.4

    Around the same time, the Carnegie Foundation published a study which revealed a majority of Pakistan aid goes to the intelligence agency ISI and the military.5

    The problem with these three events is that earlier in the year, U.S. officials revealed to the New York Times that the ISI was funding the Taliban, and was responsible for providing direct assistance and helping with some of their strategic strikes.6

    The press did cover these stories, but independent of one another. Not one media institution connected the dots that the United States was actively funding the harm that its armed forces were simultaneously fighting.

  7. Chuck Dunbar September 2, 2022


    “Former attorney general Bill Barr on Friday said the facts surrounding the FBI search of Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence are beginning to show that the Department of Justice was being ‘jerked around’ by the former president as the Feds sought to obtain classified government records.

    Barr spoke directly to Republican outcries about the nature of the ‘unprecedented’ search of a former president, offering a counterpoint: ‘It’s also unprecedented for a president to take all this classified information and put them in a country club.’

    ‘And how long is the government going to try to get that back? They jaw bone for a year. They were deceived on the voluntary actions taken. They then went and got a subpoena. They were deceived on that, they feel, and the facts are starting to show that they were being jerked around. And so how long, you know, how long do they wait?’ Barr said in an interview on Fox News…”
    Politico, 9/2/22

  8. Bruce McEwen September 2, 2022

    Unprecedented search of the unpresidented.

    • Chuck Dunbar September 2, 2022

      Yes, and nice play on words, sir Bruce.

  9. Craig Stehr September 2, 2022

    “Everything physical and mental is a reflection of the Divine Absolute.”
    Craig Louis Stehr
    September 2, 2022 Anno Domini

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