Showers Tonight | MacCallums | Best Tenant | Alice Fashauer | Cuthbertson Wedding | Covid Booster | Peace Van | Robert Logan | Swimmers | Crane Murder | Cosmo Fire | Rain Prep | Bunyan Load | Church Service | Survey Extended | Fair Sports | DA Questions | Greenwood Coast | Not Transparent | Strawberry Tree | Cookies Review | Professional Tans | Summer House | Yesterday's Catch | Ecstatic Ritual | Mendo Barn | Marco Radio | Graceful Flatulence | Delta Hearings | City Layers | Healthcare Needed | God Save | Jarman's Jubilee | Two Bodies | Limiting Ourselves | Why Despair | Rope-a-Dope | Dalai Donald | Ukraine | Snowy Mountains
AN EARLY SEASON low pressure system will develop along the Central and Northern California coast this weekend into early next week. Below normal temperatures and widespread showery weather will occur across the region as a result. Drier conditions will then redevelop during mid to late portions of next week as the low exits east and away from the region.
OVERNIGHT SATURDAY, low pressure and associated front off the California Coast moves toward the California Coast on Sunday, producing rain with the possibility of heavy rain over parts of Northern/Central California on Sunday into Monday. Therefore, the WPC [Weather Prediction Center] has issued a Marginal Risk of excessive rainfall over parts of Northern/Central California from Sunday into Monday morning. The associated heavy rain will create localized areas of flash flooding, affecting areas that experience rapid runoff with heavy rain and burn scars. (NWS)
GIMMEE SHELTER: Best tenant… That’s me. Truly. No pets, non-smoker. Quiet. Yard worker (including pruning). My paternal ancestors immigrated to Fort Bragg in the late 1880s, so I’m community invested. I work for a local attorney, and am a personal historian. A 1-2 bedroom home in the country would be lovely. $1600. Julie Parker email@example.com
SERVICES FOR ALICE PEDERSEN FASHAUER will be October 9th. Church service in Ukiah at 11:00 AM at the Ukiah Seventh-day Adventist Church; this will be followed by a potluck gathering at our vineyard at approximately 2:00PM.
UPDATED BIVALENT COVID BOOSTERS ARE AVAILABLE IN MENDOCINO COUNTY and Public Health recommends getting one at the same time as your annual flu shot this fall. The updated boosters are free and provide the best protection against the currently dominant Omicron BA.5 variant of COVID-19, as well as the original strain.
“We’re very happy these updated bivalent boosters have arrived,” said Mendocino County Public Health Office Dr. Andy Coren. “They put our community in a better position to protect ourselves against getting severely ill or getting hospitalized with newer variants of COVID like BA.5. So, it’s very important to consider one of these bivalent boosters for yourself and your children. They are free and available to anyone older than 12.”
“Our hope is that these boosters will slow the spread of COVID in Mendocino County and reduce the severity of any surges this fall and winter. It’s also the time of year to get a flu shot, so it’s very easy to make just one appointment for both flu and COVID at a local pharmacy or with your health provider. We recommend flu and COVID vaccines for everyone older than 6 months.”
The new bivalent boosters are recommended for everyone age 12 and older, while the original COVID boosters will still be used for those ages 5-11. If you have questions about COVID boosters of flu vaccines, get in touch with your health provider. You can also call Public Health at 707-472-2759. The best place to get a vaccine or booster is at a local pharmacy or with your provider. A list of vaccine clinics is also available at mendocinocounty.org/covidvaccine
ROBERT 'MOOSE' LOGAN AND DENISE LOGAN
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved parents, Denise and Robert “Moose” Logan of Oakland, Oregon. After a battle with cancer, Denise passed away on December 7, 2020 at the age of 65. Moose joined his wife on August 12, 2022, at the age of 73.
Married in 1978, Moose and Denise made their home in Potter Valley, California where they raised their five boys. Moose drove for Ford Gravel and Denise worked on the weekends at the Ukiah Auction Yard. Together they ran a firewood business, spending many years on San Hedrin Mountain cutting and delivering firewood. The Mendenhall Fire in 1988 caused Moose and Denise to uproot their family and leave their property in Potter Valley to follow the logging industry. Moose and Denise moved across multiple states including Afton, Wyoming; Cataldo, Idaho; and Oakland, Oregon, where they fell in love with and bought their dream property.
Even though life took them back to California, they continued to work towards their goal of building on their Oakland land. In 2016, after years of living on the road, their dream of building on their property became true. Moose and Denise enjoyed their last years retired with the comfort of a warm fire, running water, and a beautiful home that fit their growing family. It was a place for all their children and grandchildren to come and stay.
Denise Jacklyn Logan was born in Ukiah, California to Donald and Virginia Hammond. The third of five children, she attended and graduated from Anderson Valley Schools where she enjoyed running track, hunting and riding her horses. Denise was passionate about her horses and gardening, and loved being a mother and grandmother. With her “green thumb” Denise could make any place they called home beautiful and full of love.
Robert Jimmie Logan was born in Petaluma, Ca to Jimmie Logan and Genevieve Canfield (Douglas). Raising dairy cattle and farming, his family relocated to Potter Valley, CA where Moose graduated from Potter Valley High School (and raised hell along the way!). After graduation, he was drafted into the US Navy and fought in the Vietnam War, proudly serving on the USS Arlington until he was honorably discharged.
Anyone who knew Moose would tell you that he was the hardest working person they ever met. He passed his work ethic onto his five boys, where they continued his legacy of firewood and logging. Moose was a twelve-time woodcutting champion, winning buckles with his sons and buddies Dave McAsey and Jim Nelson at the Potter Valley Rodeo and Paul Bunyan Days.
The Logan’s are survived by their five sons Jason (Alicia) Logan, Christopher “Critter” (Joleen) Logan, Hank Logan, Robert Tennise (Linda) Logan, and Donald (Alicia) Logan; their ten grandchildren Savannah, Luke, Wyatt, Tinley, Grace, Addison, Aurora, Eli, Hudson, and Peyton; and their two great grandchildren Everly and Easton. Moose is survived by his mother Genevieve Douglas, his brother Mark (Debbie) Douglas, and his sister Jennifer Warden. Denise is survived by her brothers Dwain Hammond and Daryl (Shloma) Hammond.
A celebration of their lives will be held at 2:00pm on October 15, 2022 at the Potter Valley Rodeo Grounds. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Mildred Kanipe Memorial Park (P.O. Box 617, Oakland, OR 97462) in honor of the deceased.
— Savannah Aimee Logan and Alicia J Logan
THE LAYTONVILLE MURDER OF LES CRANE, 2005
PATRICK DUFF: I was good friends with Les Crane, and I will never forget him or the things he did for me, and other people. I am now working with a team of investigators, journalists and attorneys to try and bring some justice for the murder of Les.
Leslie Charles Crane was murdered at 2:30 am on November 18th, 2005 by a group of four to six masked men. Les was a prominent medical cannabis activist, dispensary owner and caretaker to thousands of patients in California. Les came to California with $100 and his dog, where he survived the first few months from the generosity of the local Mendocino County food banks.
This is a timeline showing all of the events leading up to the night of the murder, including newspaper articles, court dockets, and other information compiled from sources on the internet, as well as what took place directly after the murder. This is the first of several information drops that will take place in the next couple of weeks, which will include completely new information never seen before by the public.
Here is a link to a timeline of what is known about Les’s murder. rabblerouser.blog/2022/09/15/who-killed-les-crane/
ED NOTE: Glad to see there's some movement on this awful event. With that many perps, got to be information out there.
So very sorry to make this post. This photo is from last year showing Cosmo returning to Noyo from Oregon with the hold of his magnificent commercial vessel Preamble filled with albacore for us all.
He was returning home yesterday, again coming home loaded down with tuna after several weeks fishing the Oregon waters. He was about 80 miles offshore. A fire broke out in the engine room, probably a faulty muffler. He and deck hand battled the fire mightily. Realizing saving the boat was a lost cause, Cosmo considered running through a wall of fire into his bedroom to grab his money, wallet, phone and seven years of fishing journals with contact numbers. At the very last moment he wisely abandoned this idea, he grabbed his cat, sent out a SOS, and jumped overboard. Cosmo had to swim after the freaked cat and finally they all climbed onto the raft and watched the fiberglass Preamble melt and propane cylinders explode. All was lost, and Cosmo and Daniel the cat, freaked, wet, and penniless were rescued by the coast guard. Fishing was excellent that fine sunny day. Cosmo says that had the fire started on a stormy dark night, chances are slim he would have made it out alive.
Today he is remembering fondly the fisherfolk he got to know in the various harbors, from Noyo through Oregon. Wondering when/if he will be back. Also wondering what to do about his empty berth on choice “A” dock in Noyo Harbor. It took awhile to secure that coveted spot!
He did drop off a ton of tuna to be smoked and canned so he can restock Cosmos Tuna.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
NOTTY BUMBO: OK, all those nights dancing naked in the garden are about to pay off! Serious rain headed our way, HUGE front coming from Japan, passing through Alaskan waters, and aimed like an arrow. We might see the first rain late afternoon, early evening Saturday, but for sure by sometime after ten PM, going through Monday, at the least. The rain is coming. Before I can enjoy fat drops I have to spot my wife as she climbs up on the roof to blow off the redwood leaves and yes, clean the gutters, then bring her the rake so she can get all the leaves into the green waste Recology bin. I’m ground support.
COMMUNITY CHURCH SERVICE
September 25th 2022, 8:30 AM, at the Apple Hall, 14400 CA-128, Boonville, CA 95415
Please come and worship with us. Any questions, call Dave Kooyers (707) 895-2325
COUNTY OF MENDOCINO WILDFIRE RECOVERY AND RESILIENCY SURVEY DEADLINE EXTENDED!
The Prevention, Recovery, Resiliency, and Mitigation Division (PRRM) requests that residents of Mendocino County complete a disaster recovery survey. The survey is open to all residents, past or present, not just those who sustained direct impacts caused by the 2017, 2018, 2020, and 2021 wildfire disasters.
PRRM is actively seeking the input of the whole community to identify, track, and address remaining unmet needs, plan for future recovery, resiliency, and mitigation projects, and to update the County Recovery Plan. Responses to the survey are completely anonymous and will inform the type and scope of projects that the recovery team pursues for the next three to five years.
To complete the survey, please visit: surveymonkey.com/r/MendoDisasterRecovery
The survey will now be available until September 30, 2022.
For more information, please see the attached informational flyer or contact the PRRM Division at: mendocinocounty.org/community/fire-recovery
LETTER TO DA
I am preparing a follow up story on the criminal cases involving former Ukiah Police Sgt. Kevin Murray and Police Chief Noble Waidelich.
To date the District Attorney’s Office has not provided any response to questions involving the Murray case, nor posted any version of the outcome including his sentencing. Why?
It is particularly noticeable given that the District Attorney regularly posts online the outcomes for lesser offenses, including misdemeanor DUI cases that go to trial.
Why was Sonoma County Probation not provided “any crime report (s) or other pertinent documents relative to the circumstances of misdemeanor Amended Count 8 as well as Harvey Waiver counts 5 and 6, which are related to the criminal conduct inflicted upon victim Jane Doe in 2014 for the preparation of this report.”
Who is responsible for this glaring omission as noted by the Sonoma agency?
In regard to the Waidelich case, what is the current status?
The independent investigation by Sonoma authorities into a woman’s complaint was launched nearly three months ago. Two weeks ago, the public learned that Sonoma had turned over its findings to the DA’s Office.
When will the Sonoma findings be made available to the public?
Will the state Attorney General be asked to review for possible prosecution in light of the District Attorney’s apparent conflict because of his past involvement in alleged criminal and civil matters involving Waidelich?
Office policies do not overrule the public’s right to know. I look forward to responses to the questions presented.
SUPES BLOW OPPORTUNITY TO DEMONSTRATE TRANSPARENCY
Last month we filed the following Brown Act Complaint to Supervisors Board Chair Ted Williams:
August 18, 2022
To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors Chair Ted Wiliams
Dear Chair Williams:
This letter is to call your attention to what I believe was a substantial violation of a central provision of the Ralph M. Brown Act, one which may jeopardize the finality of the action taken by the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.
On Tuesday, August 16, 2022, you reported out of closed session that no reportable action had been taken on Agenda Items 6a, 6b, 6c, and 6d. Then you added:
“We do need to give direction to staff to come back with a future agenda item to … with a plan to close out positions that are general fund, have been vacant for more than 18 months, are not public safety and not revenue generating.”
According to Government code section 54957.6: “Closed sessions with the local agency’s designated representative regarding the salaries, salary schedules, or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits may include discussion of an agency’s available funds and funding priorities, but only insofar as these discussions relate to providing instructions to the local agency’s designated representative.”
Whatever discussion the Board undertook in closed session to arrive at the particulars in your report out of closed session is not within the scope of that closed session exception.
The Board’s reasoning for directing staff to prepare a list of certain very specific vacant positions (and not others) is a matter of public interest and should be conducted in open session.
Pursuant to that provision (Government Code Section 54960.1), I demand that the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors cure and correct the illegally taken action and that you re-agendize this item for an open public session discussion including the taking of public input before giving direction to staff…
On September 15, just before the 30 day response time limit, County Counsel Christian Curtis, not Chair Williams, responded:
Re: August 18, 2022 Complaint Alleging Brown Act Violation
Dear Mr. Scaramella,
On behalf of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, we provide the following response to your complaint dated August 18, 2022, attached hereto, alleging that the Board of Supervisors violated the Ralph M. Brown Act at its meeting of August 16, 2022. Specifically, you allege that a statement made by Board Chair Ted Williams after the closed sessions conducted at the Board’s August 16th meeting reflected a discussion by the Board of matters that were not properly within the scope of the closed session.
The Board’s agenda for its August 16th meeting listed four closed session items: Agenda Items 6a, 6b, 6c, and 6d. Item 6a was a conference with the Board’s labor negotiators authorized by Government Code Section 54957.6. When the Board returned to open session after concluding the agendized closed session discussions, Board Chair Ted Williams stated, in accordance with Government Code Section 54957.1, that the Board had taken no reportable action during the closed session. Chair Williams then noted, as you recount in your letter, that “[w]e do need to give direction to staff to come back with a future agenda item to… with a plan to close out positions that are general fund, have been vacant for more than 18 months, are not public safety and not revenue generating.”
Chair Williams’ statement reflects the fact that any decision to eliminate vacant positions is a decision that would be made in public at a properly noticed public meeting subject to the Brown Act’s requirements for public participation. You argue, however, that Chair Williams’ statement indicates the Board discussed a matter under Agenda Item 6a that was not a proper subject of discussion at a closed session conducted under Government Code Section 54957.6. We disagree.
Section 54957.6(a) permits a legislative body of a local agency to hold a closed session with its designated representatives regarding “salaries, salary schedules or compensation paid in the form of fringe benefits” and “any other matter within the statutorily provided scope of representation.” Section 54757.6(a) also provides that such closed sessions “may include discussion of an agency's available funds” if those discussions “relate to providing instructions to the local agency's designated representative.” SEIU had requested during bargaining that the Board eliminate vacant positions from its budget to and realize the savings utilized thereby to increase employee salaries. (See, e.g. https://youtu.be/PxoJsXxd_lM?t=26784) The Board’s discussion during its August 16th closed session on the status of this request fell within the parameters of allowable closed session discussion under Section 54757.6.
In addition to contending that the Board’s closed session discussion on August 16th exceeded the scope of a lawful closed session, your letter demands that the Board of Supervisors cure and correct an “illegally taken action” and place the issue of eliminating vacant positions on an upcoming meeting during open session. The Board did not take action during its closed session under Item 6a at its August 16th meeting. But in response to your concern that the Board decided in closed session to consider eliminating only certain positions vacant more than 18 months, we want to inform you that Chair Williams has asked staff prepare a report on all County positions that have been vacant for more than 18 months, and the cost savings that might be realized by eliminating those positions. That report will be considered at the Board’s meeting of September 20, 2022.
This September 20th agenda item is consistent with the Board’s open session discussions at previous meetings, including the Board’s discussion under Item 4a at its June 7, 2022 budget hearing. (See: https://youtu.be/PxoJsXxd_lM?t=26784) In response to a comment made by an SEIU representative at that hearing, the Board discussed SEIU’s request that the Board eliminate positions that had been vacant for more than 18 months, and noted the importance of learning what cost savings might be realized by elimination of any such positions. Deputy CEO Cherie Johnson stated at the hearing that staff could come back to the Board with a plan to eliminate positions that had been vacant for more than 18 months.
Again, we wish to emphasize that by placing this matter on an upcoming agenda the Board is not acknowledging a violation of the Brown Act. (See Government Code § 54960.1, subd. (f) [“The fact that a legislative body takes a subsequent action to cure or correct an action taken pursuant to this section shall not be construed or admissible as evidence of a violation of this chapter.”)
Thank you for alerting the Board to your concerns about its August 16, 2022 meeting. If you have any questions about this letter, please feel free to contact me.
Office Of The County Counsel
Christian M. Curtis
County Counsel’s response misses the point entirely. The Supervisors/Board Chair say time and time again how they place “TRANSPARENCY” on a pedastal in big block letters and then genuflect toward it for public viewing. But when they get a complaint aimed at implementing actual transparency, they turn to their attorney.
What’s the big secret about how they arrived at the completely arbitrary “direction to staff” with those particular specifics: “positions that are general fund, have been vacant for more than 18 months, are not public safety and not revenue generating”?
With our complaint, we gave the board and its chair a golden opportunity to be open about how they decided to approach a subject they know is of significant public interest. Instead of explaining themselves or inviting public involvement in their decision making by discussing the staff direction in open session, they hide between their attorney’s legal hair-splitting.
So much for “transparency” in the Supervisors chambers.
* * *
MEANWHILE SUPERVISOR MAUREEN MULHEREN claims that she’s been the point person on the vacancy issue:
“I’ve raised this issue during budget time both years since I’ve been on the Board. I’m glad it’s in the agenda for next Tuesday. One of those “we’ve always done it this way” things and our opportunity to change it. Should we hang on to positions we can’t fill, if they are budgeted? If they aren’t budgeted? Should there be a vacancy timeline (i.e., after 18 months it rolls off or needs justification). Looking forward to this conversation with the Board and community.”
FORMER SENIOR AUDIT STAFFER and former Sheriff’s budget manager Norm Thurston replied:
“I've seen various approaches, and each one will please some but not others. At a minimum, each department should be allocated at least the minimum number of positions deemed necessary to run it. Departments will want all allocated positions funded, but if filling all those is not a realistic goal there should be either a vacancy factor, or a number of un-funded positions. Positions that are allocated and funded, yet remain vacant year after year are unavailable for other uses and should be removed. Those funds would better be budgeted to areas that can fill vacant positions, but do not have the funding. Department budgets should reflect the amount they expect to spend, not the amount they wish they could spend. Regardless of which system is adopted, it is important to use it consistently from year to year, unless it proves to be unsatisfactory. Good luck!”
FROM LARRY WAGNER'S LATE SUMMER GARDEN
CRAIG REVIEWS COOKIES
It is no secret that I am residing at Ukiah, California's Building Bridges homeless shelter free of charge on South State Street near Talmage Road. Obviously, there is an array of colorful individuals housed there, who have unlimited information about everything. It was with the curiosity of a cat, that I dropped into Cookies, located one block away, because there has been no talk at all at Building Bridges about the new business. Nobody mentions it. At all.
I was politely ID’d, and then given a tour of what is on the shelves and in the refrigerator. The beverages are guaranteed to give you a certain heightened feeling. The rest of the offerings are guaranteed to give you whatever you desire. The place is well lighted, staffed by friendly compassionate sales personnel, and if you purchase a Cookies gear item, you are ready for you Hollywood closeup. Lastly, the location on the corner of South State Street and Talmage Road is business smart. Every vehicle going back ‘n forth to Walmart, Friedman’s, Applebee’s, The Hangar Steak House, etcetera etcetera will go past Cookies.
Now, given my displacement from my digs of 13 months in Redwood Valley by the trimmers who did not value my vision of a multi cultural-political-spiritual community environment, which resulted ultimately in my present homelessness, you might wonder why I just don’t condemn everything drug related. The truth is that I don’t feel that way. I don’t really care if others get high. I will skip the cookies, but don’t even think of denying me my chocolate milk shake. Peaceout.
Craig Louis Stehr is identified with the Dao, or "that which is prior to consciousness", is available for frontline direct action for the purpose of destroying the demonic and returning this world to righteousness. What are we waiting for?? 😁
Craig Louis Stehr, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
When we were kids, nothing was more exciting to my brother and I, than going to Boonville. Maybe Christmas, but it was close. My mother's sister and her husband owned a summer resort with almost a mile of river front on the Navarro. It was idyllic. I still visit it, and now it is called River's Bend. Back then it was called, Ray's Resort.
I still get excited as I turn off at Cloverdale and head up Hwy 128. These photos I took on my recent trip to my summer house here in the Valley. I was greeted by the pumpkin man at Brock Farm as I pulled in to pick-up the incredible produce Vicki and family produce there.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 16, 2022
JOSE ACOSTA-MURO, Covelo. DUI, suspended license, probation revocation.
ELVETON ANDERSON, Covelo. Concealed dirk-dagger.
MATHEW CHAILLE, Fort Bragg. Vehicle registration tampering.
STEPHANIE COATNEY-MILLER, Fort Bragg. Getting credit with someone else’s ID.
LEA FLANAGAN, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
NELSON IRIBE-BURGOS, Covelo. DUI.
WILLIAM KAUFMAN, Patterson/Ukiah. DUI.
LINDSAY MURPHY, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MARINE PEOPLES, Stockton/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
MICHAEL POWE, Fort Bragg. DUI causing bodily injury, suspended license.
STACEY ROSE, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance, disorderly conduct-solicitation of lewd act.
ESPERANZA SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MICHAEL TENCA, Fort Bragg. Grand theft.
DANIEL VARGAS-DURAN, Willits. Brandishing, ammo possession by prohibited person, felon-addict with firearm.
LOSS OF ECSTATIC RITUAL
I just finished reading Jonah Raskin‘s article Decrying the loss of ecstatic ritual from modern society. It is a very apt piece. I was reminded of a time that we drummed for the Headwaters Forest. The evil and vile Maxxam Corporation, had cut an illegal road into the heart of the Headwaters Forest then they were applying to harvest the timber using that illegal road. Of course all of us Earth Firsters were vehemently opposed to this plan. The hearing was in Eureka. We all went up there and we brought drums. We decided that forest has a heart and a heart beat. So, for the several hours that the hearing lasted we circled up outside and drummed.
Sure enough, inside the building you could hear it the entire day. At one point my partner — she had to go inside to use the restroom or something — ended up at a window with one of the bureaucrats looking over the scene on the street below. The bureaucrat looked at her and rolled her eyes and said “Only in California.” My partner gave her a great response when she said, “Yes, that’s too bad, isn’t it?”
Of course the forestry department approved the plan because they always did. But I did enjoy that for one day we did in fact bring the heart of the forest into downtown Eureka for all the bureaucrats and the forestry officials to hear.
I could not agree more with Raskin. Loss of ecstatic ritual was designed to separate us from our natural human state into that void; then stepped in the corporate state and monotheism
MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio all night Friday night!
Hi, Marco here. Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is around 7pm. After that, send it whenever it's ready and I'll read it on the radio next week. Or maybe even tonight, anyway, if I remember to look at my phone.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time: http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128
Any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night the recording of tonight's show will also be there. And you'll find a catalog of educational oddments to amuse yourself with until showtime, or any time, such as:
"I did this the hard way. I did not have to share. I want to save us. It took me 50 quarts of maple syrup at age 31 to feel lest hurt. May take 100 quarts at age 62, over 4-5 months." (via MissCellania)
Chinese skyscraper becomes a tower of flames. People trapped inside comment and shoot video.
And let's have more projects like this in the world, please. Pure joy. "Would you teach me your dance move?" "I'd love to," she says.
— Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
STATE TO HOLD VIRTUAL HEARINGS on embattled Delta Tunnel project Sept. 22 & 28 as public weighs in
by Dan Bacher
The California Department of Water Resources, or DWR, recently released the Draft Environmental Impact Report for its Delta Conveyance Project, better known in the region as the controversial Delta Tunnel, for public review and comment.
The public comment period will end on Oct. 27, leaving less than six weeks for Californians to get their comments in.
The proposed 45-mile-long tunnel would divert water from the Sacramento River before it reaches the Delta, and then ship it underground so that it’s ultimately delivered to San Joaquin Valley agribusiness and to Southern California water agencies.
There are several ways to submit public comment on the Draft EIR, including by email, comment form, regular mail or at a virtual public hearing, according to DWR.
The agency will be hosting two virtual public hearings to receive comments on the proposal (one was already held on September 13). Dates, times, access information and other meeting details are below.
Project opponents say different versions of this same gigantic public works project — the Peripheral Canal, the Bay Delta Conservation Plan, the California Water Fix and now the single Delta Conveyance — have cast a dark, toxic shadow over California water policy since it was first decisively rejected by California voters in November 1982 as the Peripheral Canal.
While tunnel advocates claim it will protect the reliability of water transport infrastructure, address the impacts of sea level rise and improve the Delta’s aquatic conditions, conservationists argue it will accomplish none of these things, instead hastening the extinction of Sacramento River winter and spring-run Chinook salmon, the Central Valley steelhead, the Delta and longfin smelt and the green sturgeon. A number of independent scientists have addressed how the tunnel could destroy an already imperiled ecosystem.
“The Delta is being further diminished along with its cultural and traditional resources that Tribes have utilized from the Delta for food, medicine, transportation, shelter, clothing, ceremony and traditional lifeways from the beginning of time,” said Malissa Tayaba, the Vice Chair of the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. “Additional diversions from the Sacramento River watershed will exaggerate an already damaged and diminishing Delta ecosystem and estuary and our Tribe’s ties to our homelands.”
The nonprofit Restore the Delta describes the proposed tunnel as “a 1995 answer to new challenges California faces in 2022.”
“While the Newsom Administration is wasting time and failing to solve serious problems in the present, Restore the Delta is busy tackling the massive EIR document for the latest version of the tunnel,” noted Barbara Barrigan-Parrilla, Executive Director of Restore the Delta.
“We are focusing on operations, climate change, water quality, agricultural impacts, some fishery impacts, flood control, environmental justice, air pollution, and anything that degrades Delta communities,” she added.
The data found in the EIR reveals that the DEIR is less protective of endangered fish species and the ecosystem than the previous incarnation of the project, the twin tunnels. Fishing boats on the San Joaquin River. Photo by Dan Bacher
According to a recent blog post by Doug Obegi of the Natural Resources Defense Council, “Yet, inexplicably, DWR’s draft EIR refuses to consider any operational alternatives. Even worse, DWR’s proposed operations of the Delta tunnel are significantly less protective of the environment than the operations that the National Marine Fisheries Service and other agencies required for the proposed twin tunnel project only a few years ago (California WaterFix), as we explained in this letter to DWR last year.
As a result, all of the alternatives in the DEIR substantially increase water exports from the Delta on average by approximately 500,000 acre feet per year, including significant increases in water diversions in dry and critically dry years (200-300,000 acre feet per year).”
Obegi also writes, “Because the project fails to include environmental protective operational criteria, the DEIR’s modeling (see pages ES-71 to ES-74) concludes that the Delta tunnel (and all alternatives) will reduce the survival of winter-run and spring-run salmon migrating through the Delta, reduce the abundance of Longfin Smelt, increase the number of Delta Smelt that are entrained and killed, and worsen ecological conditions in the estuary (including reducing Delta outflow in dry and critically dry years — see Table 5A-B126.96.36.199-D.). The status quo in the Bay-Delta is awful for our native fish and wildlife, but the DEIR demonstrates that the Delta tunnel project — at least with the proposed operations — would make things in the Delta even worse.”
Environmentalists stress the best available science finds that the Delta and longfin smelt, Sacramento winter run and spring run Chinook salmon, Central Valley steelhead, green sturgeon — and a host of other fish species — need more water flowing down the Sacramento to the Delta to survive and thrive, not less.
This reporter’s analysis indicates that the entire Delta Conveyance project is based on the irrational and unscientific premise that diverting more Sacramento River before it reaches the Delta will somehow “restore” the Delta ecosystem while providing water supply reliability. I don’t know of any water diversion project in world or U.S. history where taking more water out of a river or estuary has restored that river or estuary. The Delta Tunnel project, if ever constructed, would be no different.
Save California Salmon, an organization dedicated to policy change and community advocacy for Northern California’s salmon and fish dependent people, is encouraging people to voice their opposition to the Delta Tunnel project at the hearings.
“The tunnel will impact the San Francisco Bay, Delta and California’s rivers,” said Regina Chichizola, co-director of Save California Salmon. “At the 2020 scoping hearings on Gavin Newsom’s tunnel, hundreds of Tribal members, youth and others voiced opposition. Newsom obviously did not hear us. Join us for the Delta Conveyance Project DEIR virtual public hearings.
ON THE SHAMBLES of the American Health Care System & the Need For Medicare-For-All
by Bernie Sanders
I understand that there is a lot that is going on in this world today. We’re worried about climate change. We’re worried about the terrible war in Ukraine. We’re worried about inflation and the fact that wages are not keeping up with prices.
We’re worried about massive income and wealth inequality and the increased concentration of ownership that we see in our country – among many other things.
But the American people remain deeply concerned about an issue that by definition touches every single one of us – and that is our collapsing and dysfunctional healthcare system.
While it is not discussed much in the corporate media or here in the halls of Congress, we have today in the United States the most inefficient, bureaucratic and expensive health care system in the world. That’s not just what I believe. That’s what the American people know to be true because of their lived experience with that system.
I would hope that all Members of Congress take a hard look at a poll that was published yesterday by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. And this is some of what the poll disclosed:
At a time when I hear some of my colleagues tell us that we have the best healthcare system in the world, just 12% of the American people believe that health care in general is handled very well or extremely well in the United States. 12 percent.
At a time when we pay the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs, only 6% of the American people believe that prescription drug costs in the United States are being handled very well or extremely well. Six percent.
At a time when COVID has exacerbated the crisis, only 5% of the American people believe that the mental healthcare system in the United States is being handled well or extremely well. 5 percent.
And when so many older Americans have died unnecessarily in nursing homes, and when so many cannot even find nursing home beds, just 6% of Americans believe that the quality of care at nursing homes in the United States is very good or exceptional. Six percent.
The American people increasingly understand, as I do, that health care is a human right, not a privilege and that we must end the international embarrassment of the United States being the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all of its citizens.
Again, that is not just Bernie Sanders talking. That is what the overwhelming majority of the American people believe.
According to this week’s AP poll: 66% of the American people believe it is the federal government’s responsibility to make sure all Americans have health insurance coverage. 66 percent.
Over 86% of the American people understand that it is absurd that millions of seniors lack dental care, hearing aids and vision care and they believe that Medicare should be expanded to cover these basic healthcare needs. 86 percent.
At a time when our long-term healthcare system is in shambles, 81% of the American people believe that Medicare should cover the outrageous cost of long-term healthcare for senior citizens and people with disabilities. 81 percent.
It is hard for me to imagine how anyone could defend a system in which over 70 million people today are either uninsured or underinsured. As we speak, there are millions of people who would like to go to a doctor but cannot afford to go to a doctor because they cannot afford the outrageous cost of a doctor’s visit or a stay in a hospital.
Frankly, I am tired of talking to doctors who tell me about the patients who died because they were uninsured or underinsured, and walked into the doctor’s office when it was too late. And we are talking about some 68,000 Americans who die every year because they are uninsured or under-insured. This is America. This is truly beyond comprehension.
I am tired of seeing working class families and small businesses pay far more for healthcare than they can afford which forces more than 500,000 Americans to declare bankruptcy each year because of medically related expenses. Families should not be driven into financial ruin because someone became seriously ill. How insane is that?
I am tired of hearing from Americans who lost loved ones because they could not afford the unbelievably high cost of prescription drugs, or hearing from constituents who are forced to cut their pills in half due to the cost. Today, almost 1 out of 4 patients cannot afford the prescription drugs their doctors prescribe.
You want to hear about crazy? Crazy is that people get sick. They go to the doctor. They get diagnosed and medicine is prescribed. But they can’t afford to buy the medicine. So they end up in an emergency room or a hospital at great expense to the system. That is crazy.
I am tired of talking with people who are struggling with mental illness but cannot afford the mental health counseling they desperately need. Last year, a record-breaking 100,000 people died of drug overdoses and I will tell you that in my office we get desperate calls from family members looking for affordable mental health counseling and, far too often, that help is not there.
It’s not there because in this system, geared toward the profits of the insurance companies rather than to the needs of the American people, we don’t have enough psychologists, counselors or social workers.
Unbelievable, despite spending far more per capita on healthcare than any other nation, we don’t have enough doctors. We don’t have enough nurses. We don’t have enough dentists. We do not have enough medical providers in general. We have more than enough people who bill us, and more than enough debt collectors who hound us to pay for a bill we cannot afford, but we just don’t have enough people to provide the healthcare that we desperately need. And, by the way, that crisis is only going to become worse as our society continues to age.
At a time of declining life expectancy, in the wealthiest country on earth, your health and your longevity should not be dependent on the amount of money that you have. It is an absolute outrage and grossly un-American that the number of years you live in this country is dependent upon your income. Studies have shown that the top one percent of Americans live 15 years longer than the poorest people in our society.
Healthcare is a human right that all Americans, regardless of income, are entitled to and all Americans deserve the best healthcare that our country can provide.
As Chairman of the Budget Committee, it is not acceptable to me that we end up spending over twice as much as virtually any other major country on health care, while our life expectancy and other healthcare outcomes lag behind most other countries.
Unbelievably, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), we are now spending $12,530 per capita on healthcare. This is an outrageous and unsustainable sum of money.
In comparison, the United Kingdom spends just $5,387 per capita on healthcare while France spends $5,468, Canada spends $5,905, and Germany spends $7,382 while providing universal care to everyone.
The question that we should be asking is how does it happen that we spend so much money for healthcare, but get so little in return.
Let’s be clear. The current debate over healthcare in the United States really has nothing to do with healthcare. Frankly, it is hard to defend this dysfunctional system.
This debate has everything to do with the unquenchable greed of the healthcare industry and their desire to maintain a system which fails the average American, but which makes the industry huge profits every single year.
While ordinary Americans struggled to pay for healthcare during the pandemic, the six largest health insurance companies in our country made over $60 billion in profits last year, led by the UnitedHealth Group, which made $24 billion in 2021.
While millions of Americans cannot afford soaring healthcare costs, the top executives in the insurance industry receive huge amounts of compensation.
In 2020, the CEOs of 178 major health care companies collectively made $3.2 billion in total compensation – up 31% from 2019 – all in the midst of the pandemic.
According to Axios, in 2020, the CEO of Cigna, David Cordani, took home $79 million; the CEO of Centene, Michael Neidorff, made $59 million; and the CEO of UnitedHealth Group, Dave Wichmann, received $42 million in total compensation.
In terms of the pharmaceutical industry, last year Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson and AbbVie – three giant pharmaceutical companies – increased their profits by over 90 percent to $54 billion.
Meanwhile, the CEO of Moderna got a $926 million golden parachute after his company received $2.5 billion in taxpayer dollars from the Trump Administration to develop its COVID vaccine.
And, while over 330,000 Americans died during the pandemic because they could not afford to go to a doctor on time, the CEO of Regeneron Pharmaceuticals made over $450 million in total compensation last year.
The current system is failing the American people. And the American people want change, real change.
In March, I was proud to introduce Medicare for All legislation with 15 Senate co-sponsors. Companion legislation in the House now has 122 co-sponsors.
This legislation would improve and expand Medicare to cover, over a 4-year period, healthcare to every man, woman and child in this country.
That comprehensive health care coverage would end out-of-pocket expenses and, unlike the current system, it would provide full freedom of choice regarding health care providers.
No more insurance premiums, deductibles or co-payments. No more “networks” which deny you your choice of doctors.
And when I talk about Medicare for All being comprehensive it would cover dental care, vision, hearing aids, prescription drugs and home and community-based care. In other words, M. President, it would do precisely what the American people want us to do.
Would a Medicare-for-all health care system be expensive? Yes. But, while providing comprehensive health care for all, it would be significantly LESS expensive than our current dysfunctional system because it would eliminate an enormous amount of the bureaucracy, profiteering, administrative costs and misplaced priorities inherent in our current for-profit system.
Remember: We currently pay twice as much for healthcare as do the people of virtually any other country – all of which provide universal healthcare. So, yes, we can provide quality of care for all at a much lower cost per person.
Under Medicare for All there would no longer be armies of people billing us, telling us what is covered and what is not covered and hounding us to pay our hospital bills. This not only saves substantial sums of money but will make life a lot easier for the American people who would never again have to fight their way through the nightmare of insurance company bureaucracy.
In fact, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that Medicare for All would save Americans $650 billion a year.
Now, trust me. I know the 30-second ads from the insurance and drug companies have told us that if Medicare for All becomes law, your taxes will go up. But what they won’t tell you is that under Medicare for All, you will no longer be paying premiums, deductibles and co-payments to private health insurance companies.
And what they certainly won’t tell you is that Medicare for All will save the average family thousands of dollars a year. In fact, a study by RAND found that moving to a Medicare-for-all system would save a family with an income of less than $185,000 about $3,000 a year, on average.
Now, if Medicare for All was so great, you might ask, why hasn’t it been enacted by now? Why hasn’t the United States joined every major country on earth in guaranteeing health care for all?
Well, the answer is pretty simple. Follow the money. Since 1998, in our corrupt political system, the private health care sector has spent more than $10.6 billion on lobbying and over the last 30 years it has spent more than $1.7 billion on campaign contributions to maintain the status quo. And, by the way, they are “bi-partisan.” In fact, their contributions go to many members of both the Democratic and Republican parties.
But, you know what I believe, M. President?
Maybe, just maybe, now is the time for Congress to stand with the American people and take on the powerful special interests that dominate health care in the United States. Now is the time to improve and extend Medicare to everyone.
(This article is adapted from Senator Sanders’ senate floor speech on Sept. 13th. Bernie Sanders is a US Senator, and the ranking member of the Senate budget committee. He represents the state of Vermont, and is the longest-serving independent in the history of Congress.)
JARMAN’S JUBILEE: FUNERAL MUSIC FOR ELIZABETH WINDSOR
by David Yearsley
The only direct reference in Derek Jarman’s Jubilee to the ongoing celebrations of the Queen’s twenty-fifth year on the British throne comes toward the end of the movie in a brightly lit lunch counter where a game of bingo is underway. Max, the macho man host, flourishes the first prize: a black dildo—“donated by Idi Amin, one of the privates got the chop last week.” Max puts it on top of the hopper which begins spitting out the bingo balls. When one of the two frumpy matrons (Sheila and Maureen) playing the game calls “Bingo” her prize is not the sex toy but “a three months supply of Jubilee knickers, red white and blue.” Max throws the package “to the lovely lady in the white hat,” but she isn’t exactly overjoyed to get it. Union Jack panties and post-colonial cock—an economical and hilarious way to take on British imperialism. The movie is made up of two hours of surreal scenes like this one putting the mace to the monarchy and to British history—or more accurately Britain’s refusal to face up to that history.
The Silver Jubilee of 1977—Jarman’s film was made that year but came out the next—was still a long way from the Diamond mark reached by Elizabeth II at the beginning of 2022.
Although the Silver Jubilee’s observances are absent from Jubilee, every scene crackles with scorn for the celebration and the queen.
Jarman’s idea was a simple: have the first Queen Elizabeth travel to the time of her namesake. The statuesque, white teethed Virgin Queen has her wizard John Dee, along with the fairy Ariel drafted into service from Shakespeare’s Tempest, transport the three of them to the Silver Jubilee year. The first Elizabeth speaks in eloquent pentameters that extoll nature. Back during her reign the island kingdom was, as William Blake would later put, “green and pleasant.” We first meet Elizabeth and her entourage of two in a renaissance pleasure garden. A garden is visited in 1977, too, but it is suburban and all of plastic. Max the bingo man sprays pesticide on the few signs of insect life that remain.
In the present of 1977 nature is dead. London is a wasteland of security walls and barbed wire; bleak rooftops ringed by grim tower blocks rather than trees; squats with only a mattress on the floor. Haunting these doomed places is an unruly and dissension-rent band of punks presided over by Bod, a sex-averse anarchist (“love snuffed it with the hippies”), whose virginity amongst the rampant couplings of her compatriots is a send-up up of the Virgin Queen then visiting the post-industrial city and trying to make sense of the senseless antics of Bod and her bunch. Bod has gotten her crown by robbing it from Elizabeth II then murdering her. Usurping the throne is as easy as snatching a purse. Jarman is not subtle with his trans-historical mirrorings: both Elizabeth I and Bod are played—with breathy poise and gruff dismissiveness respectively—by Jenny Runacre.
In the end the movie leaves London and heads back to nature. The punks and their millionaire host, Borgia Ginz—the pop culture capitalist who is the king of the present age—pile into his Rolls Royce and drive through the countryside of Dorset: “the only safe place to live these days.” The county has a border and passports are checked: “Blacks homosexuals, and jews are banned in Dorset.” Jarman was at boarding school in Dorset in the 1960s.
On a grass ledge above the English Channel, presumably not far from Borgia’s rural palace, Elizabeth I and her attendants walk a grassy ledge on the limestone cliffs above the blue sea as they return in time to a renaissance world that cohered in beauty and reason.
As that time portal opens up, the mystical, awestruck-by-nature worldview of the first Elizabethans is captured by the fragile, uncanny music of glass orbs. These closing sounds of the film are conjured by Brian Eno’s synthesizers and looped voices. The world was still a mystery to be discovered, a place of wonder. Eno’s ethereal effects are heard at much greater length on his Music for Airports, also from 1978. Listening to these ambient sounds as Jarman’s Elizabeth I embarks on her return flight to the renaissance, one can’t help but recall that among Elizabeth II’s Jubilee duties was taking the Concorde for the first time—from Barbados to Heathrow. There is nothing less mysterious and more violently modern than supersonic jet travel or an airport lounge. Eno’s soundscapes in Jubilee ring not with the harmony of the spheres but with irony.
By contrast, the Jubilee scenes with punks eschew musical commentary. There is no underscoring at the bingo counter. But even if Jarman withholds the covering garments of a soundtrack from his renegade rockers—and often strips them of clothes too—he does let them sing. And these moments make for some of the most viciously comic assaults on the jubilee.
As a character fittingly named Angel, the great Scottish actor Ian Charleson sings Robert Burns’ “My Love is Like a Red, Red Rose.” Charleson sings this classic while he’s entangled on a mattress with his bisexual, incestuous brother (Sphinx) and a woman (Viv). Even while lying down, Charleson shifts effortlessly, evocatively between his lowest vocal register and a haunting falsetto. The Romance of Scotland—Balmoral was the late Queen’s favorite residence—rings through the Dockland squat. Fair lasses and pure love are made to confront what was then an abomination. The thrilling beauty of song is pure oxygen to the suffocating notions of sexual deviance.
The movie’s two choicest musical targets are pillars of the monarchy. Charleson’s Angel introduces one of them, Sir Hubert Parry’s “Jerusalem,” the hymn setting of those same Blake’s lines about “England’s pleasant pastures.” Angel stands on a soapbox in front of the Victorian behemoth of Westminster Cathedral: “Save your souls. Welcome to the palace of heavenly delight.” Inside the church an electrocuted parody of Parry’s World War I hymn throbs in the incensed air as naked saints and apostles writhe in an unholy orgy. Charleson’s words are an irreverent prelude to those of the devout homily he utters as Scottish missionary to China and gold-medal Olympian, Eric Lidell, in Chariots of Fire (more synthesizer music, not by Eno but Vangelis). That film appeared three years later and a dozen years before Charleson’s death from AIDS. The disease claimed Jarman two years later in 1992.
Earlier in the film comes the most concerted attack on imperial song: “Rule Britannia.” The original number from the middle of the eighteenth century tacks effortlessly across the gusts of its central hypocrisy: bragging Britons “rule the waves” and “never will be slaves,” yet when Thomas Arne concocted the tune the nation was kidnapping, selling, and murdering Black Africans.
The square-rigged rhythm pitches and purls under the storm unleashed by punk rocker Amyl Nitrate (Toyah Wilcox), fetish-costumed as a Roman centurion wielding a trident in one hand a pink feather fan in the other, her lingerie-cum-armor fronted by a diaphanous union jack breastplate. “England’s entry for the Eurovision contest,” the slimy record producer Borgia informs us. The guitar riff gets stuck in the rut of its imperial routines, and Amyl gets hung up on that Latin name “Britannia” — singing it three times as if in a fit of scorn and self-cancelling pride.
The imperial ravings become those of a fascist lunatic as a Hitler speech is superimposed on the rock anthem. Amyl starts goose-stepping and raising the sex-kitten feather in the Nazi salute, as Brown Shirts spout “Sieg Heil, Sieg Heil” on the backing track. The “Rule Britannia” melody has been unchallenged over the two centuries since its invention, but now it gets a brick through the windshield, one of many hurled in the film. The heroic strains are reduced to farcical yodeling—Eurovisions of a British Beer Hall putsch.
By 1977 these two imperial hymns—“Jerusalem” and “Rule Britannia”—had for decades been sung by the crowds at the Last Night of the Proms, the culmination of the BBC’s summer festival that brings classical music to the people through cheap tickets and radio broadcasts. Flag-waving prommers inside the Royal Albert Hall and arrayed in front of simulcast screens across the United Kingdom— from to Cardiff to Glasgow to Manchester to London—sing along with great gusto, waving their Union Jacks.
It’s no coincidence, therefore, that Jubilee visits the Albert Hall with Adam Ant. He yearns for fame, consequences be damned. Angel and his brother try to dissuade him succumbing to such capitalist seductions. Ruminating on his future, Adam ascends the steps of the Albert Memorial, Victoria’s gilded architectural love letter in Hyde Park to her dead husband. Albert was a man of culture. As Ant regards the monument’s relief figures of the great European composers, the camera lingers on the individual names of Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Haydn. This homage comes not long after all those German Sieg Heils. Here Jarman introduces a rare instance of underscoring—the instrumental introduction and first choral utterances of Berlioz’s Requiem. They’re dead, these composers of yore and everything they stand for. Adam’s ruddy, childlike face, even with its punk makeup, gazes down from the monument at the Albert Hall just beyond the park. In that great rotunda, “Rule Britannia” and “Jersalem” are sung by an adoring public. After “Jerusalem” comes “God Save the Queen.” The park is green. Maybe nature is not yet completely dead in the late-twentieth century city.
The Albert Memorial scene’s underscoring is respectful, but ominous: it is, after all, a mass for the dead. Adam is drinking a pint of milk. He drops the bottle and the glass shatters.
The Requiem is accorded the proper bourgeois dynamic: not overly intrusive. But in the sonic world of film itself the punk rockers shatter ear drums.
“As long as the music is loud enough, they won’t hear the world falling apart,” Borgia the music magnate cackles.
When Charles III is crowned sometime next year Parry and Handel and other musical monuments to the monarchy will resound through Westminster Abbey. But the music won’t be loud enough to distract those who are really listening.
(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
IT'S HARD TO GRASP JUST HOW BADLY HUMANITY IS HANDICAPPING ITSELF by excluding all solutions that can't generate a profit. There's a whole vast spectrum of potential solutions to the troubles we face as a species, and we're limiting ourselves to a very small, very shitty fraction of it. By limiting solutions to ones that are profitable, we're omitting any which involve using less, consuming less, leaving resources in the ground, and leaving nature the fuck alone. We're also shrinking the incentive to cure problems rather than offer expensive, ongoing treatments.
Or even a project as fundamental to our survival as getting all the pollution out of our oceans. The profit motive offers no solution because there's no way to make a surplus of money from doing so, and in fact it would be very costly. So the pollution stays in our seas, year after year. People have come up with plenty of solutions for removing pollution from the sea, but they never get rolled out at the necessary scale because there's no way to make it profitable. And people would come up with far more solutions if they knew those solutions could be implemented.
How many times have you had an awesome idea and gotten all excited about it, only to do the math and figure out that it's unfeasible because wouldn't be profitable? This is a very common experience, and it's happening to ideas for potential solutions to our problems every day.
The profit motive system assumes the ecocidal premise of infinite growth on a finite world. Without that, the entire system collapses. So there are no solutions which involve not growing, manufacturing less, consuming less, not artificially driving up demand with advertising etc.
It's hard to appreciate the significance of this artificial limitation when you're inside it and lived your whole life under its rules. It's like if we were only allowed to make things out of wood; if our whole civilization banned the entire spectrum of non-woodcraft innovation. Sure such a civilization would get very good at making wooden things, and would probably have some woodcrafting innovations that our civilization doesn't have. But it would also be greatly developmentally stunted. That's how badly we're limiting ourselves with the profit motive model.
— Caitlin Johnstone
“WHY THE HELL are you offering despair a seat at the goddamned table?”
— Elizabeth Taylor/Interview with James Grissom/1991
by James Kunstler
Between vanishing livelihoods, car-jackings gone wild, fears of stroking out or infarcting from their mRNA boosters, threats of nuclear annihilation over Ukraine, and remorseless waves of mindfuckery emanating from the evil machine fronted by “Joe Biden,” is it any wonder that Americans struggle to understand what is happening to our country?
Last week, the “president” blurted out “we beat Big Pharma!” That was a shocker. He didn’t elaborate. Did the White House staff and the Pfizer C-suite meet for a volleyball game at Rehoboth beach? Karine Jean-Pierre didn’t say. Nor did anyone mention the government-purchased 171-million doses of the new bivalent Covid “vaccines” the FDA is rolling out. Do you wonder what the price-per-dose was? Go suck an egg… you’re not allowed to know. The compliant search engines will not tell you. Not even the one that goes quack. That was some “beat,” though, huh? Wait for the news about who actually steps up to take this new, virtually untested shot. Hint: people who live under a rock.
This week, the “commander-in-chief” declared that his Inflation Reduction Act quashed inflation. Roger that, sir! You are the King Canute of economics! They had a party on the White House lawn to celebrate. James Taylor came down to fluff the crowd with song, leaving his brain behind in the Berkshires. Then, “Joe Biden” flew into his now-customary ‘roid rage, huffing and puffing and blowing smoke up America’s ass. The stock markets were not fooled. The very hour “JB” was dialing up the gaslight, the DOW landed 1,200-plus points below its morning open. Thud….
They are working this old dog hard as all their narratives shred, the economy heads south, and a karma train chugs down the tracks with a cargo of retribution aimed at the Party of Chaos and all its wicked, seditious, tyrannical flunkies. “Joe Biden” knows that he’s in its headlight. Joshua Philip at The Epoch Times’s CrossroadsET podcast had an elegant theory about the backstage doings concerning the fate of The Big Guy. (Check out shows for Sept 12 and 13.)
What “JB” fears, Mr. Philip says, is that his nemesis, Mr. Trump, following a decisive Red win in the 2022 midyears, will manage to get a few key states to de-certify their 2020 electoral college votes — based on proven ballot fraud — thus triggering a “contingency election” in the US House of Representatives, with one vote for each state, which Mr. Trump would likely win. Far out as it sounds, the machinery for all this is embedded deep in the constitution and federal statutory law.
The so-called Deep State — yes, that one… the administrative Moloch that ate Washington — fears for its existence in such a seemingly far-out case. As it should. Because Mr. Trump would replace the sniveling tool Merrick Garland with an Attorney General interested in restoring the rule of law, which will necessarily require the imposition of said law on a large cast of sinister characters in the federal bureaucracy, plus not a few elected officials, who have engaged in systematic seditious treachery lo these many years.
Among these are the upper ranks of the FBI, whose multi-year illegal antics have climaxed in the August raid on Mar-a-Lago, and the September blitz of late-night, SWAT-team subpoena servings and phone-grabbings on Mr. Trump’s associates and lawyers. Seems the FBI might have been rope-a-doped on the Mar-a-Lago caper. What the FBI confiscated were reams of evidence of the agency’s own misconduct dating back through the RussiaGate op. Then they attempted to hide the list of all that material by redacting the affidavit that accompanied the search warrant. Their aim: to designate all that evidence inadmissible in future proceedings against them due to it being tagged to an “ongoing investigation” that will never end. This has been FBI Chief Chris Wray’s ploy every time he’s been faced with serious questioning in Congress. I can’t speak about ongoing investigations….
Late Thursday, however, federal Judge Aileen Cannon blocked the FBI’s use of the seized material in any criminal probe against Mr. Trump, and, at his request, appointed a “Special Master” to sort out the true ownership and privilege status of the docs. The Special Master is one retired federal judge Raymond J. Dearie. Mr. Dearie has until November 30 to complete his review of the material. By then, of course, the midterm election will be over; the FBI and its parent agency, the DOJ, will be making plans to do some ‘splainin’ to the new Congress come January. Game, set… Mr. Trump. Match to-be-determined.
Two more miscellaneous items du jour:
Is Special Counsel John Durham preparing to fold up his tent? Some observers think so. He disbanded his grand jury. The trial of Igor Danchenko awaits, a subsidiary character in the RussiaGate saga. If it is so that Mr. Durham’s inquiry ends with this minnow, then it will be the most astounding cover-up of an official crime spree in US history. What is the net result of Mr. Durham’s work to date? Conviction of FBI lawyer Kevin Clinesmith for falsifying documents in a FISA Court proceeding — with no punishment. Presiding over the Clinesmith trial was Judge James Boasberg, a FISA court judge himself, who was repeatedly snookered by the FBI in issuing FISA warrants against Trump associates. The mills of the federal judiciary grind mysteriously.
So, after Mr. Danchenko’s case is disposed of, will that be all? Mr. Durham is obliged to supply a final report. But AG Merrick Garland is not obliged to make it public. One sees the sphincter of a cosmic black hole closing.
Last, is the comedy of Governor Ron DeSantis flying fifty illegal immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard, summer playground of America’s Woke-ocracy. Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Duke County officials labeled it “a humanitarian situation.” MV Homeless Coordinator Lisa Belcastro complained that the posh little island lacked “resources” to accommodate the new arrivals. Surely Barack Obama, or some other celebrity property-owner out there, could throw a benefit party to support the brave little band of travelers. Pass the arugula crostini! Massachusetts has eight “sanctuary cities,” but the state as a whole hasn’t claimed that honorific. State Senator Julian Cyr of Cape Cod remarked, “This is deeply disgusting…a cruel ruse that manipulates families that are seeking a better life.” Uh-huh…. Odd, nobody said that about the countless federal flights of border-jumpers from Texas and elsewhere to blue states all over the land the past two years.
(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)
UKRAINE, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 16, 2022
Even the heavy rainfall couldn’t erase the smell of death in the pine forest in Izium on Friday afternoon, as Ukrainian investigators worked their way through a mass burial site found in the eastern Ukrainian city after its recapture from Russian forces.
Ukraine’s Defense Ministry said at least 440 “unmarked” graves were found in the city in recent days. The country’s President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday that some of the bodies found in Izium showed “signs of torture,” blaming Russia for what he called “cruelty and terrorism.”
Izium was subject to intense Russian artillery attacks in April. The city, which sits near the border between the Kharkiv and Donetsk regions, became an important hub for the invading military during five months of occupation. Ukrainian forces took back control of the city on Saturday, delivering a strategic blow to Russia’s military assault in the east.
When CNN arrived to the mass burial site on Friday afternoon, officials were transporting body bags, including one that appeared to be holding something very small, into a refrigerated truck.
Most graves at the burial site are individual graves, with wooden crosses placed at the head of the dirt mounds. Some with names and numbers handwritten on them. One had a number as high as 398. Another with the name of an 82-year-old man. One official at the site told CNN that investigations would have to determine when these people died.
Further down in the forest lies what appeared to be a former military position, with tank positions dug deep into the ground.
A policeman at the scene told CNN that the spot is a mass grave where 17 bodies were found.
“Here are civilian bodies and military ones further along,” Igor Garmash, an investigator at the scene said of the specific part of the site he was examining, pointing to a location nearby.
“Over 20 bodies have been examined and sent for further investigation,” he told CNN.
Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications said on Thursday that some of the graves discovered at Izium were “fresh,” and that the corpses buried there were “mostly civilians.”