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TEMPERATURES RETURN TO NEAR NORMAL over the next few days as cloud cover and a cooler airmass moves across the region. Coastal areas will also see more marine influence with cooler afternoon temperatures and areas of morning low clouds and patchy fog. Scattered showers are possible today across the region but little appreciable rainfall is expected. (NWS)
UKIAH SHELTER PET OF THE WEEK
As people walked in and out of the shelter’s Meet & Greet room during her evaluation, Candy was curious and engaging, though she can be a bit shy and nervous meeting new folks. Candy enjoys getting outdoors for walks, sniffing, and exploring. A home where Candy will have more exposure to new people and experiences will help her gain confidence. This beautiful, young girl is waiting to meet you, so head over to www.mendoanimalshelter to find out how to begin the adoption process.
If you can’t adopt, consider fostering. Our website has information about our Foster Program, the on-going Dog And Cat Adoption Events, and other programs, services and updates.
Visit us on Facebook at: facebook.com/mendoanimalshelter/
For information about adoptions, please call 707-467-6453.
SCHOOL BUS HICCUPS
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
I thank you for your patience, as we worked through mechanical issues with our bus fleet. We appreciate Marcia Martinez’s work on these repairs.
We will be resuming our regular three bus run on Monday. I again ask for help on driving students to games in our vans. We had to forfeit a match in Santa Rosa for girls’ soccer, as we did not have a second driver.
I appreciate everyone’s patience during these unforeseen mechanical events.
Also, your student must have a current sports physical to play sports. We will be furloughing students who haven’t had the required physical.
If your child is in 7th, 8th, or 9th grade and has a signed permission slip, please remind them to pack their swimsuit for the Fort Bragg Pool field trip on Monday.
Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017
GIVING CREDIT WHERE IT IS DUE
by Mike Geniella
Remember a month ago when Mendocino County Supervisors created an uproar by asking the state Controller to step in and take a hard look at County finances?
Things seemed so bad then that the public was left wondering if anyone at the county administration center had a true grasp of the County’s $355 million annual budget, and whether income was keeping pace with spending.
Board Chairman Ted Williams at the time brashly claimed then that the county had “three sets of books,” leaving him and the other four supervisors confused and unable to decipher the County’s true financial condition. In an era when the County’s overall monthly operating costs total in excess of $29 million, Williams’ claims grabbed headlines.
So, imagine the surprise the other day when Williams boldly announced that actually all seems well with the County’s coffers.
In an official county press release Williams bragged about an upgrade in the County’s overall creditworthiness by a key credit ratings service and suggested the current board had triggered some kind of fiscal turn around.
Williams said there are several key factors for the S&P Global Ratings credit rating upgrade to “AA,” including the County’s “improved financial position, supported by enhanced financial management policies and practices that (S&P) consider strong.”
Williams, of course, credited the current board and a change in leadership at the county administration center.
“Leveraging a newfound drive to bolster professionalism, staff and the Board were able to convey the state and trajectory of County finances with inordinate transparency,” boasted Williams.
“When people asked for the County’s good news, I answer without hesitation: our hard-working staff. Their diligence is reflected in our new, upgraded credit rating, which will benefit bottom-line County finances for many years to come.”
All good and well. But in reality, the improved credit rating has more to do with what was accomplished over the past decade by staff, and not in a miracle month suggested by Williams.
Former County Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Schapmire said Friday the budget dance orchestrated by Williams and other county supervisors is clumsy at best.
“The county was in a true financial crisis a decade ago. We didn’t even have a contingency fund,” said Schapmire.
Schapmire said county officials then pulled together, dug deep into County finances, and worked diligently to restore stability.
“It took a lot of effort, time, and hard work but the County enjoys improved credit ratings thanks to the work done over the past decade, and not something done in recent weeks,” said Schapmire.
Despite the impression Williams suggests about the credit upgrade, Schapmire said, “There’s been no quick fix.”
Schapmire, a respected veteran county employee, repeated her past concerns about a push by current board members for a new Office of Finance that County supervisors would oversee rather than oversight being the responsibility of other elected county officials led by the newly combined Auditor/Tax Collector office.
“We really need to have a checks and balance system in place,” said Schapmire.
“Board members clearly did not understand how difficult they have made the jobs of others, and how necessary it is for independent oversight of the county’s budget process.”
Carmel Angelo, the county’s former Chief Executive Officer, also weighed in Friday on Williams’ pronouncement this week. Angelo retired in May after 15 years with the county.
“Elected and appointed county officials for a decade worked to bring Mendocino County out of a global economic downturn,” said Angelo. “Those were the people who were responsible for meeting payroll, developing a very health reserve, and improved credit ratings.”
Angelo said past board members studied the County’s budget, and “knew where the money was and how to stretch it.”
Angelo specifically recalled how former Supervisor John Pinches “carried the County budget book with him in his truck. He could tell you what page to find any information on the county budget.”
Angelo credited former Supervisors John McCowen, Dan Hamburg and Carre Brown for spending “many hours in the CEO’s office figuring out how to assure the County could meet its payroll, pay off our debts and set aside money for the next economic downturn.”
The County’s Debt Committee then was made up of Angelo, retired Auditor Lloyd Weer, former Treasurer-Tax Collector Schapmire, Janelle Rau and others who developed long-term policies that “…helped assure financial accountability, and an ability to secure low interest funding to pay off County debt.”
Angelo said credit ratings for municipal governments do not happen by chance, let alone seemingly overnight. Ten years ago, the county’s credit standing was admittedly shaky at best, she said. Governments at all levels had been hit hard by a global recession, Angelo recalled.
“To say this Board of Supervisors is responsible for an improved credit rating and a transparent form of government negates all the good work of the hard working, ethical supervisors and County staff over the last decade,” said Angelo.
For Williams to suggest a financial miracle has happened on Low Gap Road during the last month is laughable. His pronouncement underscores a public perception of fun and games in the boardroom at the expense of hard work and diligence.
BROCKWAY PLEADS, GETS 21 TO LIFE
Defendant Robert Henry Brockway III, age 35, formerly of the Albion area, was sentenced Thursday in the Mendocino County Superior Court in Ukiah to state prison for 21 years to life.
The defendant was convicted by guilty pleas entered on August 3rd of murder in the second degree and residential burglary while someone was home.
The defendant had earlier claimed that he was not guilty by reason of insanity of the charges, but withdrew his NGI plea and entered guilty pleas in August while a jury was being picked to hear the evidence in the October 2020 case.
The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence supporting the guilty pleas were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, the California Department of Justice DNA crime laboratory in Redding, and the District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigations.
The attorney responsible for bringing this defendant to trial and marshaling the evidence against him was District Attorney David Eyster.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder has presided over all the court proceedings and was the sentencing judge on Thursday.
Previously: "The Mooneyham Murder"
During my stay here in the Mendocino County Jail I have noticed an ever growing problem: the mixture of severe and persistent mentally ill inmates with the general population. I work in the mental health field for four and a half years, so I have a keener eye for the situation than most. An example: a severely mentally ill patient taking the soap from another inmate the other day not knowing in his mind that this would or could cause issues for himself. In his eyes he was merely cleaning himself, but in the eyes of another it was seen as theft and disrespect, an avoidable issues for this individual.
I seem to remember that former Sheriff obtained a $12 million grant to build a mental health wing for the jail. I remember supporting this. My question is: where is this wing? Why has nothing changed? What happened to all that money?
A concerned inmate
Mendocino County Jail, Ukiah
* * *
MARK SCARAMELLA REPLIES: Sheriff Allman and Mendocino County received a $25 million grant from the state to build a new mental health wing which is currently in the final stages of design review by the state (it’s taking years which has added to the cost). Although Mendo put up 10% ($2.5 million) as the local share, the (over)design has taken so long that the project is now estimated to cost at least $8 million more than the $25 million grant, even after several features were removed to reduce the cost. So the County has borrowed $8 million to cover the projected overrun instead of going to the state, even though all five supervisors supported asking the state to cover the overrun. By borrowing the money for the overrun the County will end up paying about $16 million, assuming there are no further overruns. Construction could begin in 2023 if the various pieces fall into place. The new mental health wing might be open as early as the year 2025.
I enclose my payment for a two-year renewal to your excellent newspaper. I await its arrival each week with intense curiosity about the continuing drama of Mendocino County politics. My own county of Monterey has a similar cast of characters and shenanigans but there is no reliable local print media to keep me apprised of the details of this debacle. I suppose these are two microcosm of the macrocosm shit show of this nation and the world. I find that I must think of it as perverse entertainment in an attempt to maintain some sanity. Please wish me luck.
I salute you and your fine staff. Please keep fighting the good fight.
SPEAKING PUBLICLY, SO TO SPEAK
by Jim Shields
Frequently people tell me that Mendocino County’s website is not very “user friendly.”
I’m not very adept at navigating all the various different modes of electronic communications but I can usually figure out how to get messages and comments transmitted to the intended recipients.
But recently I’ve been having problems sending so-called “eComments” which allow you to address specific items on the Board of Supervisors meeting agendas.
I just found out why that’s the case.
Here’s the story.
Mark Scaramella, long-time political reporter for the Anderson Valley Advertiser, wrote this week:
A few days ago, in her Supervisors report on Mendofever.com, KZYX/Freelance reporter Sarah Reith said:
“The public is also no longer privy to correspondence with the Board of Supervisors on matters of public interest. Up until the beginning of June, comments addressed to the Board about items under discussion during the meetings would be attached to the pertinent agenda item. They were often plentiful, and they ranged from expert opinions to angry one-liners. But a new system, called Granicus, requires commenters to create a password-protected account, which has not caught on.”
Very correct. “Not caught on…” is an understatement. Reith continued, “Since then, only county documents have appeared on the agendas.”
Apparently, even the memo that elected Auditor Controller Treasurer Tax Collector Treasurer (ACTTC?) Chamise Cubbison wrote to the Board last month complaining about their misinformation and failure to include her in budget clarification discussions was unable to be posted as a comment to the Board’s ill-considered agenda item.
Other documents from well-known and well-established people and organizations which rightfully should be attached to relevant agenda items have also gone astray from Cannabis growers and groups to municipal advisory councils.
If even people like elected office-holders, and representatives of local organizations can’t get their comments to the Board and public or the Board, what about the rest of us? And what about that “accountability” that some local organizations say they plan to demand when the Board misallocates sales tax revenues? If the public and the Board don’t even know about their failures, how can an elected official be held accountable?
According to BOS Chair Ted Williams, the problem is caused by a case of the “shorts,” as in the County is short on cash and employees.
“We simply didn’t have staff time, based on the number of comments,” Williams explained. “I’m not saying that we shouldn’t have that simplified model that we had before, but it’s a struggle, and it’s not just in the clerk’s office. It’s across the board. Every problem that we look at, we say, we don’t have enough personnel to carry it out. Yes, it’s a problem…I don’t know what that solution is today. It’s not as easy as directing staff to put back in place what was in place previously. Because we simply don’t have the staff time to carry it out.”
With the advent of so-called “hybrid meetings,” the Supervisors need to get this problem straightened out immediately because the Brown Act requires that all meetings of a local government body be open and public and that all persons be permitted to attend and participate either in person or via electronic means, whether it be the previous eComment system or the newly implemented Granicus system.
To deny citizens the right to comment by electronic means at public meetings is a clear violation of the Brown Act. If the Board’s Clerk Office is short-staffed, then the Board needs to hire additional employees so the public can be heard.
After all, it is the law.
California’s Failed Bottle Deposit System
I’ve always thought California’s preeminent citizens’ advocacy organization is Consumer Watchdog (“CW”).
This week, the group urged Governor Newsom to reform a hopelessly shattered bottle deposit system via a budget trailer bill as the group unveiled its top 10 signs of the system’s collapse.
They’ve got a lot of work to do though because there’s two weeks left in the legislative year.
“We need Governor Newsom to clean up the deposit system’s glaring problems by investing hundreds of millions of dollars in a targeted way,” said CW’s Liza Tucker. “California needs to join the most progressive bottle deposit states by installing automated technology at redemption centers and at major supermarket chains. Those chains must be required to refund bottle deposits so that returning empties and getting deposit refunds is as easy as buying beverages in the first place.”
Consumer Watchdog says, “Over the last decade, the state’s inadequate subsidies have starved a network of redemption centers into closing while supermarkets aren’t universally required to refund bottle deposits. Many that are required refuse. A survey of over 500 California retailers obligated to refund California Redemption Value (CRV) of a nickel or dime found that 100% of Walmarts, 75% of Ralphs and 60% of Costcos illegally turn consumers away.”
Here’s CW’s Top 10 list of the state’s failed bottle deposit system:
1. Only 58% of California CRV containers were redeemed last year, making California 3rd to last among ten bottle deposit states.
2. Californians paying roughly $1.5 billion in bottle deposits each year get back just little more than half.
3. Fewer than 550 convenient redemption sites in supermarket parking lots exist to serve 40 million Californians.
4. Up to two thirds of legally obligated retailers refuse to redeem deposits.
5. Many residents of rural Northern California must drive up to 50 miles or more to get CRV refunds.
6. Thirty-one out of 58 California counties have five or fewer redemption centers.
7. Sixty percent of Californians would redeem containers if the system was convenient.
8. Less than one in four Californians redeem bottle deposits while more than three quarters lose CRV to curbside bins.
9. One-third of containers thrown into curbside bins are landfilled while haulers bill the state for CRV.
10. In 2020, 13.4 billion beverage containers in wound up in landfills, incinerators or as litter .
(Jim Shields is the Mendocino County Observer’s editor and publisher, firstname.lastname@example.org, the long-time district manager of the Laytonville County Water District, and is also chairman of the Laytonville Area Municipal Advisory Council. Listen to his radio program “This and That” every Saturday at 12 noon on KPFN 105.1 FM, also streamed live: http://www.kpfn.org)
NORTH COUNTY DUI DRIVER CONVICTED
A Mendocino County jury returned from its deliberations Friday to announce it had found the trial defendant guilty as charged.
Defendant Desiree Leilehua Johnson, age 27, of Carmichael, was found guilty of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, a misdemeanor, and driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater, also a misdemeanor.
The jury found true a special allegation alleging that the defendant’s blood alcohol was .15 or greater. The evidence presented at trial was that the defendant’s blood alcohol was .24/.24 at the time of evidentiary breath testing.
The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence leading to Friday’s guilty verdicts were the California Highway Patrol and the Department of Justice forensic laboratory in Eureka.
The prosecutor who presented the case to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Carlo Sosa.
Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Victoria Shanahan presided over the four-day trial.
A LITTLE MORE LIT CHAT:
Wait, “The Shipping News!” Thank you to Pam for mentioning Annie Proulx, because I can’t believe I forgot that wonderful book, which was my first glimpse into the delicious minutia of small-town journalism!
* * *
I remember this kid from a ship I was on, all he talked about was Thomas Hardy. He was from out in Palookaville, Nebraska somewhere, used to wear cowboy boots and a cowboy hat on liberty — a real sh#tkicker, but he knew about Thomas Hardy. It was uncanny.
* * *
- Wise Blood by Flannery O'Connor
- The Wild Palms / If I Forget Thee, Jerusalem by William Faulkner
- Miss Lonelyhearts by Nathanael West
- Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene
- The Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhyss
- The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
- The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West
- Reflections In A Golden Eye by Carson McCullers
- The Nazi And The Barber by Edgar Hilsenrath
- Memoirs Of Hecate County by Edmund Wilson
- The Company She Keeps by Mary McCarthy (she and Edmund Wilson had a brief, disastrous marriage! Imagine the fights and the booze!)
- The Patrick Melrose Novels By Edward St. Aubyn
- The Lonely Passion Of Judith Hearne by Brian Moore
- The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles
- The Lay Of The Land by Richard Ford
- The Orphan Master's Son by Adam Johnson
- One Good Turn by Kate Atkinson
- The Collected Stories Of John Cheever
- A High Wind In Jamaica by Richard Hughes
- Quartet In Farewell TIME by Mary Durant (my mother)
* * *
Stephen Rosenthal #2
I read mostly non-fiction, but after perusing my bookshelves, here’s a few I failed to include in my initial post.
- Don Quixote – Miguel Cervantes
- My Uncle Oswald – Ronald Dahl
- Complete Stories – Edgar Allan Poe
- Tropic of Cancer/Tropic of Capricorn – Henry Miller
- Wind, Sand and Stars – Antoine de Saint Exupéry
- Stranger in a Strange Land – Robert Heinlein
- The Royal Game – Stefan Zweig
- Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie
- To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
- Gray’s Anatomy – one of the most important books I own. If you want to understand the human body, this is the book.
* * *
Annie Proulx, ‘everything.’ I’ll second that and add Paul Theroux, everything plus Evelyn Waugh almost everything.
* * *
Two books that every American should read: The Cool Million by Nathaniel West, and Johnny Got His Gun by Dalton Trumbo. These will tell you everything you need to know about capitalism and war. On the human condition, Freedom at Midnight (1974) by LaPierre and Collins is the best.
* * *
Posted this once before, but: Louise Erdrich from first to last in order without a break, twice.
Also: Margaret Atwood’s trilogy beginning with Oryx and Crake. The science in those novels, even more prescient than Handmaid’s Tale, contains nothing that is not feasible with current technology.
* * *
As I looked through my books wondering where the female authors are I spotted:
- Geraldine Brooks – People of the Book
- Karen Armstrong – Jerusalem, One City Three Faiths
- Francine Klagsbrun – The Fourth Commandment
- Nikki Keddie – An Islamic Response to Imperialism
- Deborah Lipstadt – The Eichmann Trial
- Karen Armstrong – The Battle For God
…It was then I suddenly realized that the majority of female authors on my shelf are writing on the subject of religion and specifically Islam or Judaism. Now of course those are common topics on my bookshelf but it seems to women write quite successfully about Religion and spirituality. Also as far as books I have on Jewish topics it seems women are quite well represented there throughout. Just my personal observations…
I thought I would see more books I know and have but I am heavy towards the nonfiction so I get it. I loved seeing Stephen Kinzer “All the Shah’s Men” and Ambrose Bierce “The Devils Dictionary” both books in my collection and when I went back to read all the way through the picks I was delighted to see the Major had also selected Ryszard Kapuscinski “Shah Of Shahs” as I did. Quick enthralling read at less than 150 pages. I did not include “The Mother of All Questions” or “Men Explain Things To Me” but I think Rebecca Solnit is an absolutely extraordinary writer! Nikki Keddie is an Islamic scholar of whose several great books on Shia Islam and Islamic History I possess. As George Hollister noticed several of my choices were on the subject of Judaism. These are all used books I have come across in Berkeley so my reading is really reflective of what is available used in a college town as such. Fascinating even to me. And thanks for the shout out. I found my copy of the San Quentin Story down in San Jose several years back on a work trip at the only bookstore I could find in town which was a high end collectible store. After seeing absolutely nothing I was interested in spending money on I was transported to heaven when I found Warden Duffy’s book in hard cover for $30.
* * *
Paul Theroux: meant to include his fairly recent book, On the Plain of Snakes, in my list.
* * *
Dave Smith’s book To Be Of Use: The Seven Seeds Of Meaningful Work, best express the ideals by which he strove to live his life–and how he inspired so many of us who knew him. Yeah, he often argued Atheism. (To borrow from Shakespeare, I often told him, he “doth protest too much, methinks.) But he nevertheless tells us that he based his book, and the ideals of his life, on the seven cardinal virtues of the early Christian church: faith, hope, justice, temperance, prudence, courage and love. His heroes were the “Creative Action Heroes,” people who through their work made their own lives, and the world around them, a little better. The last lines of his book tell it well:
“Meaningful work comes alive with love of others as well as ourselves, and that requires you and me.”
In the end, Dave chose to live by ideals that transcend formal ideologies. Not a bad way to go!
* * *
- Yertle the Turtle/Dr. Seuss
- On beyond Zebra/ditto
- The horse with the high heeled shoes/louis slobotkin
- Born Free
- Lad a Dog of course!
- One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich/Solzhenitsyn
- Silent Spring
Adult (and that’s debatable)
- 100 Years of Solitude/Gabriel Garcia Marquez
- Humboldt’s Gift/Saul Bellow
- American Pastoral/Phillip Roth
- A Confederacy of Dunces/John Kennedy Toole
- The Alexandria Quartet/Lawrence Durrell
- Rabbit is Rich/Updike
- Crime and Punishment
- Angle of Repose/Wallace Stegner
- White Noise/Delillo
- Empire Falls/ Richard Russo
- The Year Of Magical Thinking/Joan Didion
- The Handmaids Tale/Margaret Attwood
- The Kite Runner/Khaled Hosseini
- Death in Slow Motion/Mendo’s Own Eleanor Cooney
- The Sportswriter & Independence Day/ Richard Ford
- The corrrections/Jonathan franzen
- Tinkers Paul Harding
- Lincoln in the Bardo/George Saunders
- Lab Girl/Hope Gahren
* * *
- Walden by Thoreau
- Joy of Man’s Desiring by Jean Giono
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Basho
- Collected Poems by Gary Snyder
- Collected Stories by Paul Bowles
- Break the Mirror by Nanao Sakaki
- Lord of the Rings by Tolkien
- Fiskadoro by Denis Johnson
- Dharma Bums/Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
- Tales of Ordinary Madness by Charles Bukowski
- Robin Hood by Howard Pyle
- Revenge of the Lawn by Richard Brautigan
- Collected Stories by Hemingway
- MAD magazine
* * *
To add some unnamed books by women authors to the list, these come to mind:
- Willa Cather, My Ántonia
- P.D. James’ mysteries
- Annie Proulx, everything
- Flannery O’Connor, Everything That Rises Must Converge
- Jesmyn Ward, Salvage the Bones
- Donna Tartt, The Little Friend
- Constance Helmericks, Down the Wild River North
* * *
- Chesapeake, James Michener
- Centennial, James Michener
- Hemingway, Kenneth S. Lynn
- Zodiac, Robert Graysmith
- Undaunted Courage, Stephen Ambrose
- Fly Fishing Through the Midlife Crisis, Howell Raines
- Winning Everyday, Lou Holtz
- Jack London – An American Life, Earle Labor
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 10, 2022
MARIC ARRIAGA, Ukiah. Narcotics for sale, controlled substance, resisting, failure to appear.
IVY BODWIN, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation. (Frequent flyer)
GAGE GRIFFIN, Laytonville. Probation revocation.
BRYAN GRIZZLE, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation.
ROBYN HOEL, Redwood Valley. DUI.
WILLIAM HOLLETT, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ALEXANDRA LONG, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
PABLO MARTINEZ II, Covelo. Controlled substance, under influence.
CARLOS OGAWA, Fort Bragg. Resisting.
ARNOLD PARTRIDGE, Willits. Domestic battery.
JACK POLLACK, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia.
NICOLE SANDERSON, Branscomb. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia, conspiracy.
EDGAR VASQUEZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
INDOOR MASKING, STILL WISE
by Aidin Vaziri
Dr. Bob Wachter is still doing everything he can to avoid the coronavirus even though most Americans have decided to move on.
UCSF’s chair of medicine reiterated this week during an appearance on MSNBC’s The Mehdi Hasan Show that he is happy to follow basic mitigation measures to avoid getting infected.
“There’s still a fair amount of COVID around, and I still don’t want to get it,” Wachter said. “I’m perfectly comfortable traveling. I’m perfectly comfortable doing everything outdoors. But taking easy steps like wearing a mask in a crowded indoor space or avoiding indoor dining seems prudent to me while the case count is as high as it is.”
Wachter said the dominant omicron BA.5 variant is so infectious — “the most infectious variant yet,” he had previously called it — that there is a high chance that those who choose not to wear a mask indoors will catch it.
“I prefer not to,” he said. “I haven’t gotten it so far. As the prevalence continues to go down — as it has gone down the last month or two — I will rethink those decisions.”
He repeated that the metric that may change his mind is when case rates fall below 5 for every 100,000 people in a region, based on metrics used by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Wachter said that is a relatively low number compared to his previous benchmark of 10 or 20 per 100,000.
“The reason I’m using 5 is because we are missing four out of five cases because of home testing,” said the doctor, who has cultivated a huge social media following since the onset of COVID-19, offering prodigious, data-driven threads about the disease. “We can’t fudge that.”
San Francisco is averaging about 10 cases per 100,000, and California about 17 per 100,000.
“So probably in a month, if cases continue to come down, we’ll reach my threshold,” Wachter said. “Given the amount of COVID in the air right now, if you have a group of 10 people, there’s about a one in four chance that one of them has COVID even if they all feel perfectly fine... That just seems high to me.”
Wachter, who recently compared unmasking to reckless driving, conjectured that the reason so many people have decided to move on and resume their normal lives despite the ongoing toll of the virus is “exhaustion.”
He also noted that the pandemic has evolved over the past two-and-a-half years.
“It still is a threat,” Wachter said. “I think people are looking at the incidence of severe infection and making an appropriate assessment that if you’re fully vaccinated... your chance of getting super sick and dying is very low.”
But he still doesn’t want to get it.
“The main reason is the data we see on long COVID is very concerning,” Wachter said. “Not just the chances that you’re going to feel crummy a few months from now, which is a real number, but the chances that you’re elevating your long-term risk of a heart attack or stroke, or diabetes or dementia. Those are very real.”
Wonder how pandemic workplace defectors survive? At least some noticed the demand for “pandemic pets” and started breeding dogs (and cats) for big profits. The number of ads on local Craigslist for puppies swelled from about 100 daily pre-COVID to about 500. That usually means 500 litters. For a while, a lot of puppies got adopted, often for thousands of dollars each. Not only trendy Frenchies and doodles, but also pits, rotties, huskies, shepherds, etc.
Alas, once the lonely, impulsive, fickle, often heartless buyers headed back to work and realized how much time, energy and expense pets require, many surrendered their dogs to shelters, or worse. And breeders are dumping “inventory.” Now, shelters and rescue groups are slammed with dogs and cats, especially pits and other bullies, shepherds and huskies — all dogs that aren’t necessarily easy keepers and who many landlords and insurance companies discriminate against.
Shelters are killing dogs in numbers not seen for years. The euthanasia progress we made evaporated. We desperately need to require licensing to breed animals. Until that happens, please don’t buy from breeders. There is no such thing as responsible breeding when millions of adoptable dogs are being killed. Please be part of the solution and adopt a rescue dog.
HUMBOLDT PROGRESSIVE DEMOCRATS ENDORSE LOCAL CANDIDATES IN NOVEMBER GENERAL ELECTION
Humboldt Progressive Democrats endorsed several local candidates at our endorsement meeting August 31st. Using a virtual remote meeting platform, each candidate spoke to members about their vision and platform and answered question from members. Topics ranged from election integrity to police oversight to affordable housing.
Members voted to endorse the following candidates in the November 8th General Election
Arcata City Council: Kimberley White and Meredith Matthews
Eureka City Mayor: Kim Bergel
Eureka City Council, Third Ward: Mario Fernandez
Humboldt County Clerk/Recorder, Registrar of Voters: Juan Pablo Cervantes
The November election will be critical at both a national and local level. Election integrity and working class values are on the ballot as well as democracy itself. As noted by Vice-Chair Michele Walford “These candidates embody our progressive values - transparency and accountability in government, justice and compassion for all in our rural community, as well as the vision and capabilities to make it happen in the most efficient, eco-friendly, and human-centered way possible. We are fortunate to have in our community such a wealth of experience, knowledge, and caring as displayed by our endorsed candidates.”
Humboldt Progressive Democrats is an official Democratic Party Club, chartered by the Humboldt County Central Committee. We are grassroots, progressive activists mobilizing political participation for social, environmental, & economic justice. Our vision is a free, open, transparent election process where electeds, candidates, and legislation can focus on achieving public needs, free from corporate money and influence. Please join us in making progressive change locally and beyond. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/groups/HumboldtProgressiveDems.
France’s “Sun King,” Louis XIV, reigned for 26,407 days (that’s 72 years, 110 days) and died on September 1, 1715. England’s Elizabeth II, reigned 25,782 days, 70 years, 214 days. I feel like a killjoy, reporting this. She was the second verifiably longest-reigning monarch ever and Britain’s hands-down longest.
About her, John Lennon said, “She knows she’s just a lady.” Lennon returned his Order of the British Empire medal to her over England’s posture regarding a war in Nigeria and her support for the U.S. war in Vietnam. The New Yorker magazine, summed her up as “a quirky little person” in a profile. An American woman, Alice Frazier, greeted Elizabeth in her modest Washington, D.C. home with a cordial “How you doing?” and a warm hug. That was May, 1991. Michelle Obama later did likewise. Protocol commands one to keep hands off queens of England, but this is not England.
It might be a toss-up whether she loved horses or Corgis more. She's been riding since she was three, got her first pony at four.
Reverence for royalty always makes for oddness. Where do the public personage and the private mortal converge? Ellie, typically, pictures the busy preparation of the royal corpse for--what, exactly? Curiouser and curiouser.
I can't say whether I admire her spunk, sense of duty and love of country more or despise the absurdity of her situation, the evil and heartlessness of kings and queens and their empires more. She was perhaps the richest woman in the world, and “standing for royalty” is not a good look, in my eyes. I suppose the Gideon Knot that the phenomenon represents is as good a symbol as any. The factors that accrue to the persistence of dated institutions like regal church trappings, monarchies and celebrity in general are too diverse for me to compute, and nobody asked me anyway.
A recent letter illustrated some of the misinformation being circulated regarding Israel and the Palestinians.
Israel — the state of the Jewish people who have returned to their indigenous homeland — is a state with equal civil and political rights for all its citizens, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. There is not a single right held by an Israeli Jew not also held by an Israeli Arab. The situation with the Palestinian Arabs — a population that has quintupled since 1967 — is indeed different, as they are not citizens of Israel. Half of them are ruled by Hamas; most of the rest are governed by the Palestinian Authority, led by Mahmoud Abbas, who is now in the 18th year of his four-year term, while 300,000 live in areas under Israeli military occupation.
The long-term solution to this situation would be peace between the Jewish state of Israel and a future Arab state of Palestine that would agree to live beside it in peace. Unfortunately, this is what Palestinian leaders turned down in 1947, 2000 and 2008. Sadly, they have made it clear that their main concern is not creating a Palestinian state, but rather eliminating the Jewish one.
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JEFF BLANKFORT REPLIES: Michael Harris’ letter reminded me of a word in Hebrew that was invented 15 years after Israel became a state that does not appear in any other language, the existence of which is virtually unknown outside the organized Jewish community. It was introduced by Meir Amit, the third director of Israel’s intelligence agency, Mossad in 1963 and when one learns what it means it becomes obvious why the latter is anxious to keep it that way.
That word is sayan and its plural is sayanim. As Wikipedia defines it:
Sayanim, (Hebrew: סייענים, lit. Helpers, Assistants) singular Sayan, are Jews located in the diaspora who assist Mossad agents in their operations.
One can appreciate the word’s significance when one realizes that those to whom the term describes largely adhere to the world view of Chaim Weizmann, the Russian-born chemist who headed the world Zionist movement through both world wars and became Israel’s first president.
“There are no English, French, German or American Jews,” opined Weizmann, “but only Jews living in England, France, Germany or America.”
Weizmann’s declaration was and remains the very foundation of Zionism. That the majority of the world’s Jews would, I suspect, be uncomfortable if not in passionate disagreement with Weizmann’s verdict, it has been clear for some time that a significant minority have embraced it.
While the sayanim has assisted and continue to assist Mossad in intelligence operations, including assassinations, as the CIA infamously became known for during the Cold War, it can be assumed that providing disinformation to the public of a target nation about Israel would come within Mossad’s purview. In Hebrew, that term is hasbara, which literally means explaining Israel to the world, and like sayanim, it has no foreign counterpart.
Michael Harris of Bodega Bay presents an ideal vision of the state of Israel in his letter with its usual litany of the Palestinians’ refusal to make peace with Israel, as if he just a concerned American citizen wishing to correct what he believes were damaging assertions about the Jewish state contained in a letter that the AVA ran last week which called out Israel for declaring that six critical, long standing Palestinian civic organizations were linked to a “terrorist” organization and then invading and shutting down their offices and stealing all their equipment and records. That these organizations had been recognized as legitimate for years by the world community and that all of Israel’s major allies, including the US, albeit to a lesser extent, questioned Israel’s decision and the evidence behind, before the office invasions was something that Harris’s letter simply dismisses, without referring to what it said as “misinformation.” That effort, on his part, more than qualifies him as such a sayan.
So Dr. Michael Harris, a San Rafael pediatrician, is not just your average American citizen but one of the founders and leaders of San Francisco Voice for Israel — now the Bay Area chapter of StandWithUs, described by the NY Jewish Forward, as “a major player in the pro-Israel world, with 15 branches in the United States, Israel and Europe, close relations with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and a constantly growing budget.” In 2018, he produced a short volume, “Winning a Debate with an Israel-Hater: How to Effectively Challenge Anti-Israel Extremists in Your Neighborhood,” but he would have to do better than he did with his letter to the AVA in contesting anyone who knows the subject.
His letter is pure hasbara beginning with the claim that “Israel is the state of the Jewish people who have returned to their indigenous homeland — is a state with equal civil and political rights for all its citizens, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. There is not a single right held by an Israeli Jew not also held by an Israeli Arab.”
First, that Hebrews lived in ancient Palestine before it was called that is accepted as fact, based on the number of artifacts that have been unearthed there over the years but for all but ardent Zionists, that fact has little relevance to today. That Jews are indigenous to what for centuries had been known as Palestine, long before the existence of the modern nation state, however, is contradicted by their own sacred texts in which religious Jews fervently believe. They point to their origins as the Chaldean city of Ur in Mesopotamia, what today is Iraq.
And then, after being in the desert for a number of years, the deity they invented told them to march to the land of Canaan and to take it by force from the true indigenous people of that portion of the earth which, according to Deuteronomy, they did, much as the modern Ashkenazi Jews, with no connection whatsoever to ancient Palestine or the Middle East, would ethically cleanse three quarters of a million Palestinian Arabs from the farms and villages where their families had lived, some for centuries to create the modern state of Israel. In the first instance, it was a case of “God made me do it!” In 1948 it was a case of out and out Jewish supremacism.
That the world allowed this crime to happen just two years after a war to rid the world of such behavior had been concluded was not an accident. It was not just a response to Hitler’s crimes against Europe’s Jews that had shocked the world. It was something the Zionists had been planning well before Hitler and the Nazis took over Germany and launched his genocidal war against the Jews, the overwhelming majority of whom were not Zionists, NOT interested in living in a Jewish state, and who, it must be emphasized, were not responsible for the fate of the Palestinian Arabs.
In fact, in 1942, when news of what had been happening in the Nazi concentration camps was already becoming known to the Zionist leadership, at an historic conference at New York’s Biltmore Hotel to plan the new Jewish state, the fate of European Jewry was nowhere on the agenda!
Israel and its propagandists, such as Harris, love to brag about all its citizens being equal, regardless of their faith, trusting that most foreigners not enamored of the Zionist cause will never visit the country and that those who do will share its prejudices, like the Christian evangelicals. I have, however, lived there, staying with native Israelis, on two occasions, for two months each time over a 20 year span and I have never seen a people as proudly racist as the majority of Israel’s Jews, and ostensible citizens as badly treated as the descendants of the Palestinian Arabs who remained in Israel after 1948.
Harris concludes the portion of his letter having to do with civil rights within Israel itself by declaring that “There is not a single right held by an Israeli Jew not also held by an Israeli Arab.” Oh, yeah, Michael? Let’s skip the fact that no non-Jew would ever be elected prime minister but since when have Israeli Arab citizens been allowed to move to Jewish only settlements or anywhere in Area C, the 60% of the West Bank that Yasser Arafat gave away to Israel as part of the Oslo Agreement and where Israeli law prevails for its Jewish citizens? For decades, as well, there were laws that restricted where Israel’s Arabs could rent apartments within the state and if they were unlucky enough to have Jewish neighbors who objected to their presence, they would be forced to move.
Within Israel, a controversial new national law approved by the Knesset four years ago stated that “the right to exercise national self-determination” in Israel is “unique to the Jewish people,” established Hebrew as Israel’s official language, while downgrading Arabic, still spoken by 20% of Israel’s population, to a “special status” and establishing “Jewish settlement as a national value” and mandates that the state “will labor to encourage and promote its establishment and development” which, by definition, of course, excludes Israeli Arabs.
But the real and growing concern of the world has not been the status of Israel’s Arab minority but Israel’s ongoing and increasingly violent occupation of the West Bank and siege of Gaza while expanding its Jewish only settlements on confiscated Palestinian Arab land under a system which, at long last, obligated the world’s two leading human rights organizations, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch to conduct detailed studies of the situation. Both ultimately concluded that Israel’s treatment of the Palestinians met the definition of apartheid.
The response of the Israel Lobby, in essence, the Jewish Political Establishment whose ranks are filled with sayanim, was quick and predictable. Both of these venerable organizations, despite their heralded reputations, were denounced as “Anti-Semitic” and their opinion was echoed by Jewish Secretary of State Tony Blinken who dismissed them out of hand. As could have been expected, AI and HRW’s indictment of the Israelis was largely ignored by the same mainstream media now absorbed with even the tiniest of details of Ukraine’s suffering at the hands of the Russians and, like Congress, never questions the billions of dollars in weaponry that the US sends to Israel each year without any conditions placed on their use.
The dismissal of the Amnesty and HRW reports by the Biden White House, continues a tradition established under Bill Clinton, in which each administration has shared with its predecessor, regardless of party affiliation, an unwillingness to call out Israel’s crimes for what they are and in the halls of Congress, despite some minor gains, it is still safer to criticize the US president than ANY Israeli prime minister or, heaven forbid, call for a reduction in US aid.
No issue may be more revealing of the power that Israel holds over the White House, Congress and our national media, than the absence of any mention of Israel’s estimated several hundred operational nukes in the debate over whether or not to reengage with Iran in a deal that would, like the JCPOA ended by Trump, delay any plans Tehran’s leaders might have to build its own nuclear bomb. And Biden, like his predecessors, has committed the US to go to war against Iran to prevent it from building a single bomb.
That’s also not an accident. To emphasize the control that Israel, a state with a smaller Jewish population than that of the greater Bay Area and recipient of at least five billions of US weaponry annually, holds over the United States, every new US president, beginning with Bill Clinton, has been obliged by Israel, on entering office, to sign a letter to the Israeli government, pledging that he will not publicly discuss Israel’s nuclear weapons nor exert any pressure on Israel to curtail its nuclear arsenal. While articles have appeared about this letter in The New Yorker and Foreign Policy, the story has been ignored by the mainstream dailies.
That raises a legitimate question: who is the occupier and who is the occupied and the answer appears fairly clear. To answer truthfully is, of course, to risk being labeled an anti-Semite or in my case, a “self-hating” Jew, as well.
Given that background and given the aggressive manner with which AIPAC’s new superPacs, spent an unprecedented $26 million in the Democratic primaries to purchase House seats for men and women who were openly and proudly, willing to become agents of a foreign government, it might be well to read the unmistakable threat contained in what the legendary Zionist leader, Chaim Weizmann, mentioned earlier, had written in the Judische Rundschau, the leading paper of German Jewry, on Nov. 4, 1920, a year and a half before the League of Nations met formally approved the establishment of a Jewish homeland in Arab Palestine:
“We will establish ourselves in Palestine whether you like it or not...You can hasten our arrival or you can equally retard it. It is however better for you to help us so as to avoid our constructive powers being turned into a destructive power which will overthrow the world.”
Which is what we may be facing at the moment with Israel’s threat to attack Iran, deal or no deal, and drag the US in to it.
With regard to Harris’s comments about Abbas and his maintaining his status as the PA’s president more than a decade after his term expired, it should be clear that he remains in office without holding elections because Israel and Washington want him there, exposing the fantasy that the Palestinians under Israeli occupation have any rights that Israel and its US benefactor are obliged to respect.
For several years, however, the English language Israeli press has been running numerous articles expressing concern about what could occur in the West Bank when the 87 year old Abbas is no longer around to do Israel’s bidding. I wish I could believe that Israel has something to worry when he departs but given the apparent submission, albeit begrudgingly, of this generation to Abbas’ rule the likelihood of him being replaced by someone not in Israel’s pocket is slim.
No liberation movement has been so badly led but it’s fair to say that no liberation movement has had to go up against as sophisticated an oppressor with such influence globally. In truth, Abbas is simply following the wording of the Oslo agreement, that the PA would suppress any further resistance to the occupation and he has done that to the extent that he had received frequent praise in Israel’s media for maintaining the PA’s ties with Israel’s security forces, a relationship that more than once he has declared to be “sacred.”
Writing this response to Michael Harris reminds me of the time back in the late Eighties when Ariel Sharon’s spokesperson, political scientist Raanan Gissin, then touring the Bay Area, was giving a lecture on Israel’s judicial system in a UC Berkeley class room. After he had told the class that Palestinians under Israeli occupation had ready access to Israeli courts, I felt obliged to interrupt him, and held up an English translation of an article in the Hebrew press which acknowledged that in 94 cases that Palestinians had brought to Israeli courts, they had yet to win a single one of them.
Gissin then jokingly replied, “I see you have done your homework,” and from that point we shared running the class until the remainder of the hour.
ROGAN, ROWLING & CHAPPELLE PROVE THE ONLINE MOB HAS NO POWER
by C.W. Cooke
Why is anyone still listening to the Wokesters? They’re not a majority — or even close to being one. They have no Army, Navy or Air Force. They don’t even matter in the marketplace. The only power they enjoy is the power the rest of us have chosen to give them.
We should stop.
As the events of the last six months have neatly demonstrated, almost everything that the woke demand can be dismissed with a single word: “No.” To be effective, wokeness requires its targets to fold at the first hurdle. If we refuse to acquiesce, there’s no Plan B.
For years now, non-woke Americans have chosen to cower beneath their desks when presented with an ever-more-absurd set of demands, unaware that we could have lopped off the belligerents’ knees with a single, well-timed demurral. At long last, that seems to be changing.
Despite protests from both the public and Netflix employees, Dave Chappelle refused to cave to online critics and his career continues to soar.
Take J.K. Rowling, who has been lambasted for claiming that biological women and trans women are not exactly the same. A steadfast holdout against Internet bullies, the author has not merely refused to bow to the loudest voices within transgender movement; she has begun to make hay out of their attempts to cancel her. Rowling’s latest novel, “The Ink Black Heart,” is a murder mystery about an artist who is “persecuted by a mysterious online figure” for being a transphobe (sound familiar?). Upon release, the book went straight to the top of the best-seller list.
Or take comedian Dave Chappelle, who also ruffled feathers with his jokes about transgender people in his Netflix show “The Closer.” At no point since the online mob began its relentless assault against him has he elected to apologize. Instead, he has said, “I don’t give a f–k, because Twitter is not a real place.” Which, of course, is correct.
Joe Rogan’s employer Spotify faced pressure to cancel him for allegedly spreading COVID misinformation and using a racial slur in the past, but the company stood by him. And the protests stopped.
Online, Chappelle is a bête noire. In the “real place” — i.e., in the real world — Chappelle’s supposedly “controversial” shows have been such a smash hit that Netflix has just picked up four more of them. “If you’d find it hard to support our content breadth,” Netflix wrote in a recent memo to staff, “Netflix may not be the best place for you.”
(New York Post)
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I feel so stinkin sorry for the police. Even if you hate 'em, they have to be around people that make most people gag. I’m not talking about dirty or smelly, I’m not talking about angry, violent dirt bags, I’m talking about creeps that make creeps cringe.
I used to work with parole and probation, and what those people have to deal with, made my caseload look like the glee club. That’s why police don’t like talking about work after work, because it kills their very soul seeing the pinnacle of human's lack of dignity, morals, etc.
That’s why police have a sick sense of humor because seeing shit, getting no respect, and seeing the same dirtbags day in and out.
Anyway, I’m glad I ain’t no officer, even gladder, is I back the badge, not some of the dumb laws they need to enforce. But the people behind the badge, even if I don’t like the cop, it’s the badge I show respect to.
So, be nice to an officer, I try and wave at 1 at least every 10th patrol car I see. Not for them, cause most hate my criminal arse, but for me.
Waving is a means to remind myself, I’m getting older, life is sacred, those poor bastards see the shit so I can sleep like a baby.
So although it fun to say fuck the police, in reality it’s praise these men because their job is a calling that sucks.
IN THIS DISASTER WE ARE ALL, ULTIMATELY, INNOCENT
by Caitlin Johnstone
Whenever I talk about the way our species is sliding toward annihilation via nuclear armageddon or environmental disaster I always get a few people saying something along the lines of, "Good, humans are horrible. The planet will be better off without us."
This attitude generally seems to be born of frustration. People learn about what's happening to our world and begin to see how easy it would be to change course if not for the greed and megalomania of our rulers, as well as the obedience of the rank-and-file public and its credulous acceptance of the propaganda that keeps them accepting status quo systems, and they get frustrated. Frustrated with a humanity that just won't come to its senses, even with all the evidence right there to be seen.
That frustration often turns to disgust as people discover that not only do others fail to see what they see, but they actively avoid looking at it even if you point it out to them. You can lay out the evidence for the corruption and unsustainability of status quo politics and the omnicidal, ecocidal depravity of oligarchic imperialism — lay it out right under their noses — and they'll make up excuses to turn away.
One way of dealing with the psychological discomfort of this situation is to try and distance yourself emotionally from the plight of humanity and say, "Fine, screw it. Let humanity plunge into dystopia and armageddon. The sooner it happens, the better. We deserve it."
And I understand the sentiment, but to me saying humanity deserves destruction sounds a lot like saying a drug addict deserves to overdose.
A heroin addict isn't fully in control of their actions; if they were they would simply quit, because they know from both public knowledge and firsthand observation that it's a destructive habit. Addiction is described — at least by anyone whose mind is worth a damn — not as a personal choice, but as a disease. Just as would be the case with any other disease, addiction is a condition over which they do not have control, because it has taken over their operating system against their will in some way.
Humanity as a whole is on much the same boat. We have a condition which makes us behave in a self-destructive way, and on paper we could technically all just collectively change course, even if a few oligarchs and empire managers tried to stop us. But we don't, because we're not in control.
Those with a substance abuse problem use because they don't know how to feel okay without the substance, and if they ever overcome their addiction they will eventually discover that this was because there were unconscious forces within them which made the experience of sober life intolerable. Forces like psychological tendencies born of trauma, deprivation or dysfunction earlier in life, tendencies which might manifest as experiences like depression, anxiety or self-loathing which can become too difficult to tolerate without their substance of preference.
Human behavior likewise is driven by unconscious forces on the collective level, but instead of early childhood trauma we're talking about our entire evolutionary history, as well as the history of civilization.
It's a ridiculous situation, if you think about it. The story of life on this planet has been about organisms trying to avoid being eaten long enough to reproduce, and our species stumbled out of that horrifying predicament with all the same fear responses and stress hormones and now all of a sudden you find yourself sitting in a cubicle with your heart racing as though you're running from a saber-toothed tiger because you overhear Janice from accounting gossiping about you.
The eat-or-be-eaten dynamic came crashing headlong through the dawn of a new species with a rapidly-evolved cerebral cortex and the sudden capacity for abstract thought, and all that fear and stress kept marching forward from generation to generation entangling itself with this added new element of thought, language and storytelling. This gave rise to societal constructs like religion, government, hierarchy and family power structures, all largely born of the primitive, fear-based desire to control and dominate which we carried with us from our evolutionary ancestors who lived in trees to hide from predators.
Parents who were traumatized by their parents passed their trauma on to their own children because their trauma made them behave in a traumatized way, and those children passed their own trauma on to their children too. On top of this small-scale generational trauma we added things like wars, slavery, tyranny, colonization and genocides which traumatized entire populations, and that trauma would be passed on from generation to generation as well.
And then we showed up. We, the people who are currently alive. That's what we were born into. That's the wave we rode in on. And that wave is still going.
And we wonder why everyone's so dysfunctional and self-destructive.
We never really had a chance to build a healthy world. Our ancestors went from running away from monsters with sharp fangs to burning witches and heretics to fighting world wars to giving birth to us, and that wave of fear and chaos carried forward right into our own psyches and into the psyches of everyone else on this planet without skipping a beat. If you look at where we came from and how we got here, it's amazing we're even as functional as we are.
And that's what we're dealing with here. A heritage of trauma stretching back into an unfathomably vast expanse of time, incarnating in the current form of some eight billion homo sapiens. If you zoom out and look at the big picture with this understanding, it's difficult to find real guilt anywhere, in anyone. Even in the most abusive and traumatizing among us.
Certainly it is in our collective interest to immobilize anyone whose tendencies are dangerously destructive. And certainly establishing culpability and accountability for misdeeds is going to be an important part of expanding human consciousness and creating a healthy world, because we have to understand how and why things are going wrong before we can fix our problems. But even the most destructive among us are simply carrying forward the heritage of trauma which has been reverberating from generation to generation from the deepest recesses of prehistoric life.
Think about a mistake you've made in the past. A real bad one, one that makes you cringe whenever you think about it. You wouldn't make that mistake in the same way again, would you? Of course not, because you now know things you didn't know back then. You are conscious now of things you previously were not. Depending on how conscious you are now in relation to how conscious you were then you might repeat similar mistakes in similar ways, but you wouldn't intentionally repeat the exact same error if you had a do-over. In that small way, your consciousness has expanded.
That's all negative human behavior ultimately is: mistakes that were made due to a lack of consciousness. A lack of empathy, a lack of serenity, a lack of information, a lack of insight, a lack of knowledge that there are better choices, a lack of perception on what's really going on in the world, a lack of clarity on the ways propaganda manipulates us into serving the interests of the powerful — these are all just different kinds of unconsciousness. Different ways that one can fail to accurately perceive reality.
In this churning, chaotic tidal wave of evolutionary trauma that we were all born into, the only thing we really have any amount of real control over is whether we mindlessly repeat our conditioning patterns or start bringing consciousness to them. But even that is greatly limited by how much consciousness we have access to at the time; many people are just barely treading water psychologically and don't often have the space to pause and bring clarity to their own inner processes. A lot of people are just stumbling blindly along, and it's not ultimately their fault any more than the blindness of an actual blind person.
So we're all innocent, in the end. Again, we must of course push to bring consciousness to the parts of humanity that have taken a wrong turn — to the war criminals and plutocrats and managers of empire, and all other abusers and the abusive systems which elevate them. But underneath that fierce burst of light there can also be a deep compassion and understanding born of a lucid seeing of how we got here in the first place.
We're all ultimately doing the best we can while riding the momentum of a chain of events far beyond our control which stretches backward through time all the way to the Big Bang. Everyone is playing with a lousy hand which was dealt to them by the churning tumult of evolution and history while grappling with the puzzle of mortality on a tiny blue world of unfathomable beauty that is hurtling through a universe that none of us understand.
Let's be tender with each other.
ALIENS IN THE PRIME OF THEIR LIVES
“The lights begin to twinkle from the rocks. The long day wanes. The slow moon climbs the deep. Moans round with many voices. Come, my friends, ’tis not too late to seek a newer world.” -Tennyson
Marco here, bringing you the recording of last night’s (2022-09-09) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA), ready to re-enjoy: https://memooftheair.wordpress.com
Thanks to Hank Sims of Lost Coast Outpost here’s a page with not only the above MOTA show but also other ones going back quite a way. And thanks to the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which provided well over an hour of the above eight-hour show’s most locally relevant material without asking for anything in return. And consider wee bravely struggling KNYO itself. Long may it wave. Even longer if you were to help out via the big red donation heart, or merely buy a bottle of Bob’s fresh KNYO hot sauce and enjoy its proven health benefits deep in the furnace of the meat robot you’ve been driving around and abusing and taking for granted all your life. Cleans the whole system out, they say. I’m reminded of the motto of a VW-repair comic book we all had in the old days, which was, “Be good to your ass, for it bears you,” a phrase originally from the Bible.
Speaking of which, when I got to the station, musical prophet Douglas Wayne Coulter’s camp-equipment-laden bicycle and matching guitar trailer were parked in the storefront alcove, so you know what that means: about an hour of Douglas Wayne Coulter, starting about ten minutes into the show. And then the usual everything, not least of which a takedown of nonprofit corporate crooks at midnight by Scott M. Peterson, and a couple more chapters of the book No More My Echoing Song, by Clifford Allen Sanders at 1:10am (4-hours-10-minutes into the show). And starting a little after 3am, the annual read of the numinous masterwork /Aliens in the Prime of Their Lives/ (Kindle version available for 99 cents, as of press time) by Brad Watson, just one of many of his numinous masterworks.
Here are some not-necessarily-radio-useful but worthwhile items that I set aside for you while gathering the show together, found mostly thanks to the fine websites listed to your right:
The 30-year-old Kids in the Hall Chalet 2000 Holiday Special featuring Her Puissant Majesty the hereditary queen of England, played by Scott Thompson. Part 1.
Too soon or too late?
— Marco McClean
YOU TELL ME!
Message from the Spiritual Platform
Warmest spiritual greetings, Identifying with "that which is prior to consciousness", not the body and not the mind, non-attached to the constant flow of activity in the third dimension, there is nothing whatsoever for me to do any further in Mendocino County. I may leave at any time and go forth on the planet earth, to take action in order to destroy the demonic and return this world to righteousness. YOU ARE INVITED TO JOIN WITH ME!
Physical health is good at 72 years, mind is functioning properly, a thousand dollars is available at this time with no debts anywhere, educated, published, and Self-realized. It has been a splendid past six months in Mendocino County: rent free accomodations at the Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, CA, a $21,000 expenditure for a heart pacemaker which the insurance paid for, two stainless steel crowns and a cleaning at a dental office in Sonoma County paid for by the insurance, eye exam plus new eye glasses on the way also paid for by the insurance, and free meals at the Catholic Worker inspired Plowshares Dining Room.
That left $800 social security monthly plus LOTTO winnings to finance an irregular visit to The Forest Club for $3 pints & a shot, playing all of the blues on the juke box, and am welcome back at any time. You tell me: what does enlightenment look like?
P.S. I am happy.
Craig Louis Stehr