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DRY WEATHER with warmer interior daytime temperatures are forecast through the weekend. Some coastal low clouds and fog will burn off by late morning. Otherwise, expect abundant sunshine. A weak frontal system will clip the northern portion of the area, bringing a chance of light rain to Del Norte County Tuesday night and early Wednesday. (NWS)
BREAKFAST AT THE WHITESBORO GRANGE THIS SUNDAY!
Have you been craving a hearty breakfast? Well crave no more! Make a point of joining us from 8AM to 11:30AM for our monthly Whitesboro Grange Breakfast!
Our traditional pancake breakfast not only includes orange juice, pancakes with either maple or homemade berry syrup (or both!), ham, eggs your way, and coffee, tea or hot cocoa, but has the added bonus of friendly service and great conversation from our volunteer cooks, support and wait staff! All you can eat only $10 for adults, $5 for children 6-12, and FREE for children under 6. Grange proceeds are used to support local families in need as well as other community service organizations such as the Albion-Little River Volunteer Fire Department, Project Sanctuary, Redwood Coast Senior Center, 4-H, Hospitality House, Veterans, and food banks. Located one mile south of Albion, turn on Navarro Ridge Road and head east for 1-1/2 miles. Turn at the Whitesboro Grange sign.
HIGH SCHOOL UPDATE
Fair is here! Have a wonderful and safe time!
Some general information for the week ahead:
Monday is a NON-STUDENT DAY. Staff are involved in safety and threat response training for the unlikely event of an on-site emergency. The afternoon includes additional training for our piloted curriculum and work on our accreditation report for WASC. We will see students on Tuesday.
We are grateful to Behavioral Health for providing us with NARCAN. This is a powerful antidote that is used for Fentanyl overdoses. I was on a recent conference call with the Health Department and Fentanyl overdoses have become huge in the county. Mendocino has the second highest overdose rate in the State. In the event of an emergency, we will be able to respond immediately until help arrives. We are also very lucky to have an EMT, Angel Davies, on our district office staff. We plan for the worst, and hope for the best.
Our Cannabis/Vape presentations are almost completed. Every student received three sessions. It was effective and brought up some great questions from the students.
I have been through all of the progress reports and am reaching out to parents/guardians for students that we are concerned about. We will help support your student’s achievement. Our scholar athletes are doing better with keeping their grades above the cut off level.
At the brief rally this morning, Palma Toohey was honored for her decades of service to the school with her amazing volunteerism. She continues to create events and memories for another generation of kids. Please help her! A shift in the snack shack or some set up for homecoming is appreciated!
Gate for the week: we need some help with supervision on the master spreadsheet! Gate duty
Our 10th-12th grade students will be going on an incentive, pre-paid, social field trip to Scandia Fun Center. Their pool trip was canceled by the facility, so this seemed like a fun alternative and the kids are looking forward to it.
What a great evening it was at the fair! It was wonderful to see the girls’ soccer team at play. They have spirit and drive. I watched the goalie fend off three concurrent strikes in a row. That takes guts. I am proud of those young women! Boy’s soccer took the field afterwards. We expect sportsmanship and citizenship in all our athletes. It was a wonderful evening at the fair.
I also have to say, I ate the most delicious baked potato ever. Travis Wilson and Ani Ellis served it up along with Willow Douglas-Thomas and Noah Sanchez. It's funny when you have a baked potato that's packed with butter, sour cream, cheese, and Tapitio and you muse to yourself that it is the healthiest option at the fair. But I will say it was the best baked potato I've ever had. Well done. Thank you to the parents/guardians that were there to support these efforts. The FFA exhibits were stellar – go Team Swehla. It certainly takes a village for these types of events. I saw John Toohey, Arthur Folz, and Matt Bullington walking all over making sure that everything was well and taken care of. I was delighted about that.
On another note, I saw many staff members enjoying personal time with their own students at the fair. That's what makes Boonville so special. Our staff members aren't just teachers, but they are community members. Whether I was talking about the giant apple with two wonderful families in front of the pumpkins, or connecting by a ride as someone waiting for their kids to come down their slide or a car ride, it is a reminder of how beautifully personal and interconnected our relationships are with one another. A beautiful time for sure.
On a more serious note, I want to thank Robbie Lane for facilitating the issuance of Narcan at our high school site. We have a huge problem with Fentanyl in Mendocino County. The district will now have the antidote on site in case we have a drug overdose. Do I expect that to happen? Not sure… Do we have students that use Fentanyl, YES. It is a highly addictive substance and it's cheap to make and cartels traffic it. Here is a scary little video. It’s real, it’s a PROBLEM. Look for it….
On a beautiful note, we celebrated Palma Toohey today at a brief rally for her service and commitment to the many decades of students at AVHS. Talk about giving from the heart….
Emergency septic repairs start on Monday at the elementary school. This is a temporary solution until we get through the permit process.
Thank you for all of your time, care, and partnership with our staff and kids.
Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017
Fentanyl project update:
After having spent the summer trying to get funding for a Narcan vending machine to place here in the valley, to no avail, (thank you so very much, Ted Williams, District 5 Supervisor, for doing absolutely nothing), I have elected to go another route. I met with a representative from the County Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, who supplied me with a few doses of the opioid receptor blocker to have on hand in the event that I know someone in need.
If you, your child, or anyone you know uses drugs, you owe it to them and yourself to obtain and carry this life saving antidote. It can be obtained, free of charge, at the Mendocino Public Health Office located at 1120 S. Dora St in Ukiah.
I have contact information for the representative that I met with today. She can provide a greater volume of Narcan, and the nominal training requirements to administer the drug if you prefer. Shoot me a PM and I will pass along her contact information.
The life you save could be your child, your spouse, your neighbor,..
Let’s get this done.
CONTROVERSY IN THE EYES OF WHO?
by Mark Scaramella
When Community Services District board chair Valerie Hanelt pulled a copy of a dark red county notice concerning the upcoming update of the County’s General Plan (last “updated” in 2009) out of last Wednesday’s reading file, she said she hoped that the update concerning unincorporated areas of the county might be helpful in her years-long crusade to plan for and install modern water and sewer systems in Boonville.
The reporter present reminded Ms. Hanelt and her colleagues that Mendo’s General Plan has a pretty ugly history. It is a multimillion dollar boondoggle which has never had any effect on anything in Mendocino County and which constitutes the largest of many dust collecting, consultant written documents in the County’s burgeoning archive. (Soon to include the Supervisors’ pointless “Strategic Plan.) The reporter also suggested that the board revisit the sensible Anderson Valley input to the 2009 General Plan update when several dedicated local women went to considerable trouble, twice — the first submission was “lost” in (former) Planning Director Ray Hall's inbox — to assemble local general plan recommendations addressing such things as roads, parking, infrastructure, public services, etc.
Board member Francois Christien suggested caution in using that local material because, he said, it was “controversial.”
We disagreed, saying it was a collection of straightforward, practical suggestions which was ignored by the highly-paid consultants who prepared the General Plan Update in 2009.
After the meeting we went back to our archive to see if we could find anything that was remotely “controversial.” And indeed, we found our coverage of the 2009 Planning Commission meeting at the fairgrounds in Boonville. One particular recommendation might be considered “controversial” — at least in a febrile, hyper-sensitive minds of the local wine mob.
Among the many sensible and practical recommendations was one which proposed that new retail tasting rooms should require a minor use permit (which is typically a rubberstamp but which allows neighbors to comment on the proposal), and be limited to the Highway 128 corridor, not up in residential areas — requirements that apply to anybody else considering opening a retail business.
What an artificial uproar this seemingly simple recommendation caused. The wine mob saw the recommendation as a direct attack on them and claimed that it would lead to their demise and the collapse of the economy in Anderson Valley.
Several non-wine mob people took the opportunity to complain about the wine industry in general and their privileged position, where they are exempt from rules other businesses must follow, and their many nuisances which are exempt from complaints and regulation. They also cataloged the many negative impacts the industry has on the Valley — social disruption, water consumption, pesticides, increased housing costs and reduced housing stock, etc.
To the wine industry representatives on hand who are not used to hearing criticism, this may well have been seen as “controversial,” but most of the comments had nothing to do with the specific recommendations proposed by the local women.
Of course, the General Plan is not even in the purview of the Community Services District and the discussion was off-topic to begin with.
In the end, as expected, the consultants and the County ignored all the local input and the wine industry went back to their unpermitted tasting rooms, many of them in residential neighborhoods in the hills.
A few years later, the Valley added the wine indutry’s dozens of giant ear-splitting, sleep disrupting, unpermitted wind machines to their long list of complaints about the local wine industry.
August 15: At our regular meeting of the Great Redwood Trail Agency we approved the financials and received an update from Karyn Gear, Interim Director. Staff is reviewing the budget to see if there are additional funds coming in from the State and will bring that to the next meeting, need to audit the former NCRA this is a priority, working on a fresh website for the GRTA Alta Planning has been selected as the consultant and we are waiting for contracts to be signed to be able to move forward with the community engagement plan.
TICKETS TO SF, AIN'T TOO PROUD TO BEG
Tickets are still available for this outing, contact Mary if you are interested ASAP.
Hey there, theatergoers.
I’m looking forward to our trip to the Golden Gate Theater in SF on Wednesday, 11/16 at 1:00 pm. Right now, there are 9 signed up (Me, Linnea Totten, Cynthia McMath, Heidi Knott, Cindy Wilder, Kathy Cox, Vicky Brock and Alice and Ric Bonner). I have a couple of other people who might be interested, but if you could also spread the word, it might help get us enough ppl to qualify for a group discount of $85. If we don’t reach 15, ticket prices go up to $106 or so. I need your final confirmation by Friday, 9/30, so I can give the box office an exact ticket count. When I know the total cost, I’ll notify each of you so you can reimburse me. We have plenty of time to work out carpooling, but if you’re willing to drive, let me know.
Thanks so much, Mary O’Brien email@example.com
FROM THE SEPTEMBER 20 MENDO PLANNING DEPARTMENT STATUS REPORT:
The volume of activity means that turnaround times on permits is still slower than desirable, with plan review services taking approximately 6 weeks. Issuance of permits is also based on Fire Department approvals, Environmental Health approvals, School Impact fees, and other outside agencies facing similar staffing issues which is further adding to the delay for permits.
THE AV SENIOR CENTER NEEDS HELP NOW: the large freezer is suddenly failing. Anybody have a chest freezer we could borrow PDQ call Philip-707972-5620. Thank you to all the good people who called and offered freezers. We have a loaner until we can fix or replace the senior center freezer. Vickie Brock rocks!
FLARE GUN LINKED TO UKIAH FIRE, TEEN SUSPECTS IDENTIFIED
by Colin Atagi
Three teenagers are accused of arson for a fire ignited with a flare gun last month in Ukiah, police said Thursday.
Two are in custody but investigators are looking for the third in connection to the Aug. 22 fire east of Airport Road, according to the Ukiah Police Department.
One is identified as Ukiah resident Gabriel Ruiz, 18, but police are withholding names of the others, including one out of custody, because they’re 17 years old.
The fire was reported just before 1:30 p.m. Aug. 22 in a dry field near Costco.
Witnesses reported someone fired a distress flare from a car before fleeing, police said, and smoke developed in the field moments later.
The Ukiah Valley Fire Authority quickly contained the fire. No damages or injuries were reported.
Investigators used license plate recognition cameras to identify the suspects and their vehicle. Further investigation verified a flare gun was used, police said.
The 17-year-old driver was arrested Aug. 25. Mendocino County sheriff’s deputies arrested Ruiz on Sept. 19 for unrelated allegations.
Each suspect is accused of arson, conspiracy and arson during a state of emergency. Police didn’t specify which person fired the flare gun.
WE'RE TOTALLY IN LOVE WITH THE NEW SPICY TOMATO PRESERVE. It's chunky. It's rich. And it's got the right amount of heat from the addition of our Comapeño chile powder. Honestly, we're not sure what else this is like on the market - and we think that's a good thing! It's much different than a tomato sauce, ketchup, or sweet tomato jam. It's spicy, incredibly tomato-y, and we keep finding new things to spread it on.
Here's some ideas to get you started:
- Slather it onto a piece of crusty bread for the perfect appetizer!
- Spoon it over a piece of pan-seared fish!
- Put it under a fried egg on a piece of toast!
- Add it to a charcuterie board!
- Spread it on a grilled cheese sandwich!
- Swirl it into a bowl of pasta!
This preserve is made with peak season early girl tomatoes from Windrift Farms in Petaluma and does have a bit of sugar in it (not too much!). Other ingredients include apple cider vinegar, pectin, and Comapeño chile powder.
ALBERTO ALDACO is running for the Fort Bragg City Council. He has lived in FB for eight years. Prior to Mendo, he lived in Sacramento. He makes his way in a business he owns called Tech Guru. Aldaco writes on his Facebook page: “So my political campaign sign got taken down by a “mysterious” person/entity, who won’t be named. But regardless, it’s disappointing to see that the only Spanish speaking person of color, sign got taken down. It’s more symbolic than anything, it is not just a disrespectful throw at me but more importantly, it’s a slap in the face to the Spanish speaking community. We need to do better guys, as a community. We are all part of the same community and we are only going to improve as one unit together. Together, we can!”
THIS KID seems quick to play the race card, but it's sure to resonate with the Green Hairs. But, dude! Everyone's campaign signs get taken down. That's how you can tell it's election time in Mendocino County. You're not being singled out.
L&R FARM (ROSA AND DAVE):
Hello everybody, During the month of September we will be open on Wednesdays and Sundays only. Same time 10-4.
During the month of October we will be open Sundays Only. Same time 10-4
This change is due to our inability to keep up w/ the demand for our produce and the beginning of fall.
We experience this every year.
We still have produce and apples, but the quantity of what we have has peaked.
The Bear has hit our lettuces, but not all of them.
As with all farm stands what we have changes w/ the seasons.
David picked our first pumpkins and butternut squash.
We still have chard and kale too.
At present, my flower cut is dismal, but it sure was a great season of bouquets and I am already working on beds for next year.
Thanks again to all our faithful customers, and new ones too.
We all appreciate you driving slowly on the gravel part of Middle Ridge Rd. due to the dust.
Still located just past the 2.25 mile marker on Middle Ridge Rd.
David and Rosa / L&R Farm
POMO ARTISTS PANEL — OCT. 1, GRACE HUDSON
On Saturday, Oct. 1, from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m., Pomo artists Katie Williams-Elliott, Donna Ramirez, and Eric Wilder will discuss their work in painting, drawing, and photography at the Grace Hudson Museum. The work of these artists can be found in the Museum's latest exhibit, "Gathering Time: Pomo Art During the Pandemic."
This groundbreaking show features the artwork of 15 different contemporary Pomo artists, representing 10 Pomo tribal groups that span Mendocino, Lake, and Sonoma Counties. Encompassing multiple art forms, the artists reflect on the heartbreak of COVID and the cultural traditions that provided hope and sustained them.
Admission to this panel is free with Museum admission. The Grace Hudson Museum is located at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information, call (707) 467-2836 or visit the website at https://www.gracehudsonmuseum.org.
ALBION FARM STANDS
Note the schedule for L&R Farm (Dave and Rosa) for September and October. September open days will be Wednesday and Sunday; October will be Sunday only.
Special Deals at Greenleaf Gardens, 2 and a half miles up Albion Little River Rd. from Highway One.
Most of the potted Raspberry plants have been sold, but now we have an even better option. I have too many excellent raspberry plants, now bearing ripe red raspberries, and with many green canes around 3 ft tall starting to bud and berry now. They give berries all fall and into December, and multiply unless you keep them in containers.
Please call for an appointment, tell me how many you might want, or choose them at your visit and we will dig them up.They are $5 or $6 depending on size and number of canes and will transplant easily because they have never been root bound and you don’t have to struggle to get them out of a pot.
The flower garden is a blaze of color. See my beds of perennial and self seeding ornamentals in bloom. You can order plants you want and we will dig them up at the best time for you to transplant, often after they finish blooming. We also have herbs and other plant varieties, but seeing is worth a thousand words.
The Deal: You buy $15 or more of any combination of plants and I will gift you with one of the few remaining potted raspberries or another gift plant or tested organic seeds of your choice. Also, I am open to exchanges.
If interested, please call 707-937-0430 to make an appointment and get directions. Your visit is only for you and your party so you have all the attention and help you want. I love garden visits and happily give transplanting and other garden advice — but only if wanted. For questions or pictures, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you, Judith
I have a new batch of my shampoo bars in Rose Petals scent, the same scent as my best selling bar soap. The shampoo bars have a different formulation to produce a dense, luxurious lather and to be extra gentle for use on your scalp. This soap is all natural. Price is $8 per bar, which is sized to give you many shampoos, probably outlasting most ordinary bottles of liquid shampoo. And that gets to one of the main advantages: doing away with plastic bottles for an essential product that has traditionally required them in large numbers! I’m selling at the Mendocino, Fort Bragg and Gualala farmers markets and by arrangement, send email to email@example.com for more information about this or any of my line of natural soap products.
ALBION-LITTLE RIVER PUBLIC MEETING
Members of the Albion, Little River and Mendocino communities (and other interested folks) are cordially invited to attend one of three presentations to learn about our new proposed fire station and apparatus bay to be constructed behind the Albion Grocery Store at our present location of Station 810.
Meeting Dates/Times/Locations Are:
- Tuesday, October 4 at 7pm, The Woods, 43300 Little River-Airport Rd., Little River
- Wednesday, October 5 at 7pm, Whitesboro Grange, 32510 Navarro Ridge Rd., Albion
- Thursday, October 6 at 7pm, ALRFPD Station 810, 33900 West St., Albion (behind Albion Grocery Store)
October 6 meeting available on Zoom: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/85254809885
The history and current status of challenges our fire district faces today.
Discussion of budgets and funding opportunities and recruitment and retention rates of volunteer firefighters in the face of increasing training requirements.
New fire station design and why our aging fire stations need to be upgraded.
Speakers: Michael Rees, Fire Chief Albion-Little River Fire Protection District; Diana Wiedemann, Architect; Board Members, Albion-Little River Fire Protection District
Light refreshments courtesy of our Auxiliary will be provided following each presentation.
For more information or questions email: firstname.lastname@example.org
CALIFORNIA TO EASE HUNTING LIMITS ON FERAL PIGS UNDER NEW LAW
by Austin Murphy
It will now be easier — and cheaper — for California landowners and hunters to kill more feral hogs, an introduced species with few natural predators that has wreaked havoc on farmland, suburban yards and wildlife habitat across the state.
The legislation, authored by state Sen. Bill Dodd and signed into law Thursday by Gov. Gavin Newsom, seeks to spur private efforts to control California’s growing feral pig population.
The omnivorous hogs do tens of millions of dollars in damage every year to crops, open spaces and private property, and can now be found in 56 of the state’s 58 counties.
“By increasing opportunities to hunt them, we can reduce the threat to our state,” Dodd, D-Napa, said in a statement.
The opportunistic swine now number between 200,000 and 400,000 in California, are not native to the state, but have descended from domestic pigs introduced by European settlers as far back as the 1700s.
“They’re very prolific, and they’ve been expanding steadily for a couple hundred years,” said Eric Sklar, a Napa resident and member of the California Fish and Game Commission.
Dodd’s bill “is not going to eradicate them — I think eradication is probably impossible,” said Sklar. “But it will help us reduce them in areas where they’re doing the most damage.”
To kill one of the hogs now, hunters must buy a $15 permit, called a tag, that is good for one animal. Before killing a feral pig on their property, ranchers must get a depredation permit from the Department of Fish and Wildlife.
The new bill will allow landowners to kill the animals without a permit. For hunters, it would replace the single-animal tag with a season-long validation, which allows an unlimited number of harvests.
That validation will cost $25 for residents and $90 for nonresidents.
Stacy Martinelli, a Santa Rosa-based biologist with the state Department of Fish and Wildlife, told The Press Democrat in February that hogs in Sonoma County are doing most of their damage to vineyards, ranch lands and rural residential properties largely in the Cloverdale, Geyserville, Healdsburg and Cazadero areas and off the Russian River.
Dodd’s legislation was opposed by some hunters. By allowing “validation” holders to kill unlimited numbers of the pigs, they contended, Dodd’s bill could make it more difficult for other hunters to take a single one. Critics of the bill also expressed concern that it would end up hurting outfitters and guides who take clients on private lands to hunt.
The law prohibits “any new contained hunting preserves, also known as canned hunts,” Dodd said in a statement.
In a compromise to owners of those facilities, the bill grandfathers in existing hunting preserves.
In a letter to Dodd in June, the Sonoma County Farm Bureau said it could not support the bill, due to its “ambiguity” around the way the state would determine how long “an enclosed hunting preserve will be deemed to have been ‘in operation.’”
With the bill having been amended to its satisfaction since then, the bureau removed its opposition, Executive Director Dayna Ghirardelli said in an email Friday.
“These are nuanced matters,” noted Sklar, who applauded Dodd for “doing a masterful job of finding compromise between stakeholders with different perspectives.”
The fact that Senate Bill 856 passed unanimously in both the state Assembly and Senate before Newsom signed it “is a testament to the work Dodd did to get this bill passed,” he said.
The lone swath of public land open to pig hunting in Sonoma County is the Lake Sonoma Recreation Area, where an archery-only season runs from November to March.
STEVE ELLIOT'S FAVES:
Trying to hit some not already mentioned.
Barbara Tuchman: The Proud Tower, The Guns of August, The Zimmermann Telegram. (Call these three a WW1 trilogy and count 'em as one.)
Stilwell and the American Experience in China. (Great background on American relations with China and a great WW2 story.)
William Shirer: Memoirs: A 20th Century Journey (3 volumes). From Iowa to Paris, Vienna, Rome, Berlin and everywhere else. I'm such an ignoramus I still haven't read Rise & Fall of 3rd Reich except as serialized in the Reader's Digest when I was in junior high in 1962. Shirer was consistent, principled, and on the left.
Scott and Helen Nearing: The Maple Sugar Book. A good entry into their books. Much of is it how-to-do practical stuff, but the more enjoyable for all that. If you're interested in farming, forestry, gardening, arboriculture, homesteading, check out Scott and Helen!
George Eliot: Middlemarch... and everything else, especially Felix Holt (he's a radical), Daniel Deronda (looks at Jewish life), and Romola (Florence at time of Savonarola).
Emile Zola: L'Assommoir/The Gin Palace… and the whole Rougon-Macquart series, especially Germinal, Nana, The Masterpiece.
Ivan Turgenev: A Sportsman's Sketches. If you won't read or re-read this, I'm gonna come and kick the piss out of you! Sorry, but it's for your own good!
Victor Hugo: Les Miserables. Get a good audio version. It'll blow your ass away!
Gabrielle Roy: The Tin Flute. One could call this French-Canadian author the godmother of that whole generation of great 20th century Canadian women writers.
Vladimir Nabokov: The Defense. For us chess freaks, and one of his best things.
Neal Bascomb: The Perfect Mile. For us track freaks. Lots of fun, the story of the 4 minute mile and more.
Paul Gallico: Farewell to Sport. Funny, and with sharp insight into the mechanics of trying to do anything in sports. A sweet period piece about New York in the 20's and 30's. Roger Kahn's entertaining biography of Dempsey put me onto Gallico, who also comes up in Shirer's memoirs.
OK, by my count, that's twelve.
Note that ALL of these books are on Our Side, with the workers, the farmers, and the performers. Except Nabokov, all of these authors are more or less decently on the left.
CATCH OF THE DAY, September 22, 2022
EDWARD BLAKELEY, Eureka/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs.
ANDREW CEDILLO, Redwood Valley. Domestic abuse, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, offenses while on bail.
SEAN FLINTON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MICHAEL FREEMAN, Covelo. Protective order violation.
ARI FREEDMAN, El Cerrito/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, excessive speed while DUI, child endangerment, resisting.
CHARMAYNE HOAGLEN, Covelo. Failure to appear.
DEVIN KESTER-TYLER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, vandalism, county parole violation.
RITA LAVENDUSKEY, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
RYAN LOOMIS, Ukiah. DUI with blood alcohol over 0.15% reckless evasion, suspended license.
KAYA MCCONNELL, Willits. DUI, suspended license for DUI, child endangerment.
ELEVTERIO MONTALVO-PEREZ, Ukiah. Robbery.
CHRISTINA TORRES, Hopland. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
MONICA WRIGHT, Nice/Ukiah. Burglary.
MARIA ZARATE, Ukiah. Domestic battery, use of another’s ID without permission.
HELP AL GET A TV
My name is Alan Crow and I have stage 4, end stage, liver disease. A terminal illness. I am without family to speak of and my friends are non-existent. I am alone in a California prison where soon I will be transferred to a medical prison where I will spend most of 24 hour days in a cell. I ask for your forgiveness for asking for your assistance and compassion in helping me purchase a small television to help me pass the time and keep me distracted from focusing on my pending demise. I know that most of you folks work hard for your money and this type of request from an inmate does not sit well with you. I understand and again apologize for my manners. If by chance you find it in your heart to make a contribution please know that from the deepest part of my heart I thank you!
Simply call 1-800-546-6283 and tell the package vendor you would like to make a deposit in the inmate pre-paid package account for Alan Crow, CDCR # BS-9754. My goal is $200.
You can confirm my stage 4 end-stage liver disease with my investigator, Justin Cozad at the public defender's office in Ukiah, 707-234-6952.
I send my love and prayers to each and every one of you.
Alan Crow BS-9754
North Kern State Prison, D-206
P.O. Box 5005
Delano, CA 93216
YES TO BOTH
I wonder how many people have actually read Propositions 26 and 27. I have. Proposition 26 is straightforward. It legalizes sports betting in California at tribal casinos and four horse tracks. It further legalizes craps and roulette at tribal casinos. This benefits gamblers, because craps can offer better player odds than slots or other games.
Proposition 27 says that companies that meet criteria established by the government of California can offer online betting if they make a deal with a tribe. The proposition creates a new government agency to regulate online sports wagering.
The state would collect taxes (in unknown amounts). Most of that money (after government expenses) would be used to address homelessness, while 15% would go to tribes that are not involved with sports betting.
The TV ads are misleading. Although online sports betting is illegal in California, the truth is that anyone with an IQ over 3 can set up a presence in any one of the states that allow online sports betting. The internet has no boundaries. I’m voting for both propositions.
MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio live from Franklin St. all night tonight!
Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 5:30pm. Or send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week.
Plus you can phone during the show and read your work in your own voice. I'll be in the cluttered but clean well-lighted back room of KNYO's storefront studio at 325 N. Franklin, where the number is 1-(707) 962-3022. If you can't or won't control yourself from swearing, wait until after 10pm, so not to agitate the weasels.
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 http://airtime.knyo.org:8040/128 (That's the regular link to listen to KNYO in real time.) (Or just go to KNYO.org and click Listen. And the schedule is there for KNYO's many other terrific shows.)
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.
Besides all that, there you'll find a few amusing little numbers to rehearse your tap or softshoe routine to until showtime, or anytime, such as:
A discussion and a short film about solitary confinement.
Even more impressive than the performer's talent is that he's not proud of this. He's sorry he didn't do better, when-- how many people in the whole world are on this level? Four? Six?
And: Toddlers are all drunk, and drunks toddlers. Parents are all exploitative patronizing control freaks.
— Marco McClean, email@example.com, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
It happened at a New York Airport. An award should go to the United Airlines gate agent in New York for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo. For all of you out there who have had to deal with an irate customer, this one is for you.
A crowded United Airlines flight was canceled. A single agent was re-booking a long line of inconvenienced travelers. Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, "I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS."
The agent replied, "I'm sorry, sir. I'll be happy to try to help you, but I've got to help these folks first; and then I'm sure we'll be able to work something out."
The passenger was unimpressed. He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, "DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?"
Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone. "May I have your attention, please?", she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal. "We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him with his identity, please come to Gate 14".
With the folks behind him in line laughing, the man glared at the United Airlines agent, gritted his teeth, and said, "Fuck You!"
Without flinching, she smiled and said, "I'm sorry sir, you'll have to get in line for that, too."
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
What can be done?
That’s the question.
On one hand, the DC underworld elites are fine with the way things are – Ukraine as a laundramat for warmongers, grifters, and politicians on ‘both’ sides. There is no motivation for change.
But for us, here’s a start:
Free the press! Encourage political and governmental transparency. Preserve personal privacy. Free Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Open the electoral system to fairly include third parties, and genuine choices. Secure the vote – hand written hand counted.
Get money out of politics. (how is a whole nother question.) Revoke personhood status of corporations.
The role of our politicians should be to take this list from the people, prioritize, and break down each one into doable steps, and then implement those steps. That is the role of government.
To get the ball rolling, the first thing that needs to happen is to secure the vote. Before November.
MUNICH, 1901 — Not many Russians here, but that is enough. I am working a 12 hour day and feel fine. Somehow my body compensates, improving my health as I load it with more and more tasks. When I become seedy, with headaches and stomach gripings, is when I fear I am wasting time. First six months of the 20th century and still no revolution in Europe or Asia.
Fortunately, I am not popular with students, emigres, and remittance men as I do stumble across in the cafes when I drop in for my rare nightcap. Arguments are inevitable. Not the precise, exact, rational dialectics of serious theoreticians and philosophers who instantly catch each others' references and toss back each other's propositions like a team of jugglers. The way Plekhanov and I used to debate, Axelrod and I still do. Instead, they display the Slav disease of the running mouth. Like Velika, they speak first and interpret afterward, forever wandering off the point into deserts of idealist moralizing, or thickets of romantic ethics. They think that because they feel something strongly it must be true. Even Martov, my favorite marathon monologist, has become a cafe-lizard, basking all night under the gas mantles, a distraction to be avoided.
I have had to develop my counter-defenses. In the cafes I take out father's old turnip watch when I feel any speaker has had time enough to finish his case and announce: "two more minutes, then drink up and shut up."
At the press, I work in a nest of scaffolding, open on three sides, high over the machines. Uninvited visitors are permitted only a distant view of Dr. Jourdanoff on his perch. Nadya blocks the bottom of the iron stairway like a gatekeeper at the zoo: "Starik is busy. If you wish to contact the old boy, write your name on this side of this card, reason for visit on the other."
In our Schwabing suburb, a little town with its own shops, cafes, entertainments, etc., we are safe from most time-wasters. They are too lazy to make the trip. Access to our first floor three rooms is anyway restricted by mother-in-law Elizavita who sits in the hallway, Russian style, like a dvornik or concierge, blocking everyone's path. She has learned from a lifetime of experience with tsarist bureaucracy. All she says, not looking up from her knitting, is "Come back tomorrow."
— Lenin as channeled by Alan Brien
REMEMBERING DAVE FOREMAN
We are deeply saddened to report that Dave Foreman passed away last night peacefully, at home. The founder of The Rewilding Institute who coined the now ubiquitous name for a global movement to protect and restore wild nature, Rewilding.…
UKRAINE, FRIDAY, 23RD SEPTEMBER
Russia has said it is exempting some bankers, IT workers and journalists from being drafted into the army to serve in Ukraine under the “partial mobilisation” announced by President Vladimir Putin, as men fled in droves across the border to avoid conscription.
Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Wednesday that Russia would seek to call up 300,000 additional soldiers to bolster its military in Ukraine.
Latvia says it will not welcome Russians fleeing mobilisation
Flights out of Russia sell out after Putin calls up reservists
‘Thrown into the meat grinder’: Russians react to mobilisation
Russia’s defence ministry on Friday announced some employees working in critically important industries would be excluded from the draft in a bid to “ensure the work of specific high-tech industries, as well as Russia’s financial system”.
The exceptions apply to some IT workers, telecommunications workers, finance professionals, as well as some employees at “systemically-important” mass media outlets and interdependent suppliers, including registered media and broadcasters.
Russia classifies major employers and core companies in set industries as “systemically important” if they meet certain thresholds in terms of headcount, revenue or annual tax payments.
The classification allows firms to get special benefits from the Kremlin such as government-backed loans, bailouts and state investment, most recently seen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Among the media outlets previously classified as such are a host of state-run TV channels, radio stations, news agencies, and newspapers, as well as some of Russia’s few privately-held media outlets.
The defence ministry said heads of companies should draw up lists of their employees who meet the criteria and can be excluded from the draft.
Russia’s central bank welcomed the move to exclude some financial professionals from being called up and said some of its staff met the relevant criteria.
“Employees who are engaged in critical areas will remain in their positions so the financial system can continue to work smoothly, people can receive their salaries, pensions and social benefits on time, card payments and transfers work and new loans can be issued,” the central bank said in a statement.
— Al Jazeera
SMO to War
"At the press conference in Samarkand last week following the end of the annual gathering of heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Vladimir Putin was asked why he has shown so much restraint in the face of the Ukrainian counter offensive. He replied that the Russian attacks on Ukrainian electricity generating plants which followed the loss of the Kharkov territory were just ‘warning shots’ and there would be much more ‘impactful’ action to come. Accordingly, as Russia moves from SMO to open war, we may expect massive destruction of Ukrainian civil as well as military infrastructure to fully block all movement of Western supplied arms from points of delivery in the Lvov region and other borders to the front lines. We may eventually expect bombing and destruction of Ukraine’s centers of decision-making in Kiev. ...As for further Western intervention, when Russia’s nuclear threat is directed at Washington, as is now the case, rather than at Kiev or Brussels, the supposition till now, it is unlikely that policy makers on Capitol Hill will long remain cavalier about Russian military capabilities and pursue further escalation."
- Gilbert Doctorow
BOB & MIKE
'I had a fight with Davey Moore, Tyson told me he was there in the gallery. At the time Tyson was just a kid, nobody. But he was a fanatic fan of me. Tyson told me he was shadowboxing up there in the shadows, screaming, 'Duran! Duran! Duran!' Tyson told me that experience.' - Roberto Duran
'Roberto Duran is my favorite fighter. When I saw Duran fight, he was just a street guy…Man, this guy is me, I thought. That was what I wanted to do. He was not ashamed of being who he was. I related to him as a human being. As my career progressed and people started praising me for being a savage, I knew that being called an animal was the highest praise I could receive from someone in the ring. I was ferocious and fearless like Duran.' - Mike Tyson
RUSSIA & NATO TRIED TO WAGE WAR ON THE CHEAP IN UKRAINE, But Could Now Be Heading For Total War
by Patrick Cockburn
President Vladimir Putin has been trying to wage war on the cheap in Ukraine for seven months, with disastrous results for Russia. He is now ordering a partial military mobilisation that will take time to implement and may at best only create a stalemate between Russian and Ukrainian forces.
The successful Ukrainian offensive around Kharkiv has fuelled hopes in Kyiv and the West that Russia will lose the war comprehensively and Mr Putin will be overthrown by a putsch in Moscow. Both possibilities exist, but it is more likely that the war will go on and on without producing a victor, as has happened so often in recent military conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa.
The risk is that endless wars have a natural tendency to escalate as opponents try new strategies and tactics to break the deadlock and defeat their enemy. Vicious and destructive though the war in Ukraine has been so far, it is a long way from “total war”, a phrase that became popular to describe the situation in the Second World War as each side used every resource to destroy their opponent.
The current fear is that Russian nuclear sabre-rattling might escalate into the actual use of nuclear weapons. This prospect is probably a long way off, but the possibility of a nuclear exchange is real and nearer than it was a year ago.
The threat of nuclear war is not the only calamity that an endless conflict in Ukraine might bring nearer. Nasty surprises are an essential part of warfare. What would happen, for instance, if Russia knocked out the Ukrainian electricity system by bombarding its power stations, sub-stations and transmission lines, as the US did in Iraq in 1991? Experience shows that countries cannot function without electric power.
Even the suspicion of Russian use of poison gas would be enough to set off a panic-stricken flight of millions of Ukrainians to the West.
As a warlord Mr Putin has proved himself to be one of the great bunglers of history. He has not known what to do since he failed to achieve an expected walkover when he invaded Ukraine on 24 February. But his pretence that his “special military operation” was a limited intervention has finally been exposed. The Ukrainian offensive at Kharkiv, carried out by a quite small military force, led to the Russian front, denuded of regular military units, instantly caving in.
The four or five Ukrainian brigades which burst through the Russian front line reportedly faced only militia and national guard units which promptly fled, abandoning their tanks and heavy equipment. The Russian debacle exposed the bankruptcy of Mr Putin’s strategy, in so far as he had one, which was to fight a long war in which Russian strength of will would prove superior to that of the West and the Ukrainians.
The Russian President has already paid a heavy political price for this small-scale reverse. Russia was humiliated and no other power wants to bet on a loser. China does not intend to become collateral damage in Mr Putin’s war through secondary sanctions. Friendly neutrals like India are distancing themselves from Moscow, while states in Central Asia and the Caucasus that were in the Russian sphere of influence are becoming restless.
Yet in the Russo-Ukrainian war, as in all wars, not all the arrows point in the same direction. Mr Putin may have been hoping to wage war on the cheap, but so too have the Nato powers.
This was to be on two fronts. First, the ground war in Ukraine in which they supply the Ukrainian army with arms, ammunition and training. This has gone well so far, but recall how last year Western arms-length support for the Afghan government and army turned out to not be enough.
Second, economic warfare against Russia. This does damage, but has turned out to be much more of a boomerang than was expected. The daily assertions of Nato and EU unity in imposing sanctions are starting to have a hollow ring. As with other targets of sanctions, it is the decision-makers who are the least affected by shortages while the mass of the population blame foreign powers rather than their own government for the fall in their standard of living.
Mr Putin will have difficulty in explaining to Russians how his “special military operation” has turned into a fight for national existence. But with total control of the Russian media and a sense that all Russians are the victims of collective punishment inflicted by the West, this can probably be done.
What is less clear is how far Russia can quickly turn 300,000 reservists into a potent military force that will change the balance on the battlefield. Providing officers, equipment and training to such a large force may be beyond the resources of the Russian state, going by its dismal record this year.
In the first weeks of the war, Mr Putin might have declared a famous victory and withdrawn, but too many Russian soldiers have died for that to be now possible. For Ukraine, Nato and the EU a negotiated compromise also becomes more difficult so long Putin remains in power. But a total war between 44 million Ukrainians and 144 million Russians is likely to be a long business in which all sides turn out to have bitten off more than they can chew.
Financial officials are like offensive linemen: if you’re not noticing them, they’re probably doing a great job. Fed chief Jerome Powell had a tough week, and was in the news everywhere. Metaphorically, he gave up about fifty sacks. But he wasn’t the only big headline this week. The top stories:
Free Fat Leonard! Perhaps ending what’s been one of the funniest stories of all time and maybe the most damning indictment ever of America’s security matrix, the notorious contracting swindler Leonard Glenn Francis, a.k.a. “Fat Leonard,” was captured in Caracas, Venezuela, as he tried to board a plane for Russia. As Walter Kirn and I discuss on this week’s podcast episode, Fat Leonard in his heyday might have been the world’s most conspicuous con-man, weighing upwards of 400 pounds and forever wearing improbable suits that inspired thoughts of the classic Robin Williams joke (“Somewhere there’s a couch saying, ‘I’m so cold!’”). This character, visible literally from a mile away, walked right through the American military security system with shockingly small bribes of cash, Versace purses, and prostitutes, inducing as many as 200 military figures to steer vessels to his port services company, Glenn Defense Marine Asia. There, they were gouged via overpriced fuel and tugboats, low-quality supplies, and invoices for non-services to the tune of roughly $200 million. Spending anywhere from a half-million to “millions” of dollars in bribes, he was able to learn top-secret information like the future locations of nuclear carriers, which wasn’t even his goal. Imagine if he’d been trying to learn secrets. After pleading guilty to various crimes in 2016, he was transferred to home detention in 2018, and due to be sentenced this month when he cut his ankle monitor — reportedly, with “heavy scissors” — and sauntered past a predictably missing security force to go on the lam. The enormous missing personage then apparently drove straight from his San Diego home to Mexico (perhaps with a U-Haul, which had been spotted outside his house), and from there to Venezuela. A final perfect irony: because America doesn’t recognize the socialist government of Nicolas Maduro, and imposed what even NPR calls “crushing sanctions” on the country, leaving enforcement cooperation “rare,” the U.S. faces an “uphill challenge” in returning the fugitive to American soil. Though morally Leonard may be a rare 0 out of 100, or at least no Robin Hood, the sheer absurdity of his life path gives all a rooting interest in his story’s continuation. Free Fat Leonard!
King of Pain Clubber Lang alert: the hot headline word of the week was “pain.” How much ‘pain’? Fed to signal more rate hikes ahead, wrote the AP, while Politico went withFed’s Powell to America: Brace yourself for more pain ahead, and the Washington Post trotted outFed Splits the Difference on Labor Market Pain, among many, many others. Conventional wisdom says Jerome Powell in announcing an unprecedented third straight 0.75% rate hike (and the fifth overall hike this year) created the macabre black comedy of well-heeled analysts and financial reporters, many bylined from Oligarch Base One at Jackson Hole, Wyoming, explaining to broad audiences what “pain” is. Powell admitted that “restoring price stability” while “achieving a relatively modest increase in unemployment” would be “challenging,” to which the average person probably thought: “Dude, not sure achieving is the word to use when talking about raising unemployment.” As Eric Salzman notes below (see THREE FINANCE HEADLINES), the Fed’s own projections may have seriously undercut “pain” estimates, and the spectacle of unelected financial technicians in $5000 suits talking openly about attacking inflation by scaring ordinary families with the threat of joblessness so that they’ll hoard cash rather than spend — i.e. “reducing consumer demand” — is going to start to look rather awkward soon. In the 2008 crash it was decided to accelerate a plan to pay banks to hold reserves at the Fed, so while the soaring interest rates mean “pain” for everyone else, it will for the first time since 2008 mean truly massive sums for the banks, including as much as $15 billion in payments just to, say, JP Morgan Chase, or more than 10% of the bank’s expected $129 billion in revenue this year. This puts a new spin on Chase CEO Jamie Dimon testifying before congress this week and giving Powell’s “pain” agenda the big thumbs-up, saying, “Conquering inflation is a very important thing to do.”
We Might Be in a Recession, Again, Again! Another of Dimon’s comments this week tugged on yet another maddening corner of the culture war, predictions of the already-occurring recession. “You have [quantitative tightening], rising rates, more inflation, war in Ukraine,” Dimon said. “All those things have the potential to put the country and the world into a recession.” You might remember a controversy that kicked off in late July, when GDP fell for the second consecutive quarter, triggering a longstanding accepted definition of a “recession,” at which point the Biden administration cleverly filed for the press version of an emergency injunction, demanding halt to “R-word” use pending an official ruling by economists at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the world’s slowest umpires, who take anywhere from 4 to 21 months (read: after the midterms) to make their call. Reporters once might have ignored the tactic, but instead have begun pumping out reams of features on the Are we there yet? theme. “Legendary investor” Ray Diallo says we’re seeing the “classic early signs” of a recession next year, Powell added “no one knows whether this process will lead to a recession,” and even “Dr. Doom” Nouriel Roubini is telling us to prepare for a “long and ugly” recession next year, while we’ve essentially been in a recession since mid-summer. This new press phenomenon of tracking institutional America’s slow progress toward admitting a truth reached a new level of absurdity when Forbes ran a piece called When Will This Officially Be Called a Recession? They noted the average recession lasts 17 months, but we’ve been talking about this one almost that long already, making a race-against-time story: will the stall outlast the economic disaster?
Not So Fast on Averted Railway Strike Despite victory laps by carriers like CSX and BNSF, the Biden administration, and some Republican members in the Senate, there is more and more talk about America’s 115,000 rank-and-file members perhaps voting to reject the tentative deal reached just hours before a strike was set to commence on September 16th. So far, two unions have voted to accept the deal, while one has voted to reject (although the 4,900 members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, District 19 technically granted an extension to September 29th). Nine unions have yet to vote. A survey at one, the SMART Transportation division, suggested 8 in 10 members would have voted to reject the deal. The major looming question is whether votes will take place before or after the midterms. While on the compensation side the Biden-negotiated plan was apparently relatively satisfactory to members, it did little to address the more serious problem of staff cutbacks, longer hours, and especially sick days. The final Biden-and-Republican-approved proposal landed on zero paid sick days and zero unpaid sick days. Only after an objection by Bernie Sanders did the deal end at one paid sick day and three unpaid “medical events.” According to one source involved in the negotiations, the real dispute could have been resolved by spending roughly 1/40th of the $20 billion in profits the industry made last year on more personnel to ease the strain on current workers, but key Wall Street shareholders like billionaire Bill Ackman balked, insisting on “precision scheduled railroading,” which focuses on rigid, “time definite” schedules while de-emphasizing multi-person crews and, some say, safety. Stay tuned.
KEEP AN EYE ON:
More Migrant Madness Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis, the Republican governors of Texas and Florida respectively, continue to send buses of migrants to New York City, whose Mayor Eric Adams is opening two shelters for their care (the city cannot turn them away, thanks to an old consent decree). The Martha’s Vineyard angle to this appears over, persisting only as argument over whether what happened on Privilege Island last week was criminal or funny. Debate centered on a phony Spanish-language brochure made to look like an official Massachusetts leaflet that used an incorrect state flag image, and promised “up to 8 months of cash assistance.”
Amazon’s Perfect Warehouse Hire In yet another you-can’t-make-this-stuff-up story, Amazon reshuffled its personnel to put a former analyst from onetime private prison titan Corrections Corporation of America in charge of training the company’s warehouse workers. As reporter Matt Stoller noted, Dayna Howard’s qualifications included being “good at designing systems to herd prisoners,” making her fit… perfect.
INTERNATIONAL NOTES The Russian government, which has suffered embarrassing territorial losses in Ukraine in recent weeks according to Western news reports, announced a decree which leaves room for as many as a million troops to be mobilized. Vladimir Putin in speech in which he declared that Russia now “effectively stands against the entire collective war machine of the West,” said the real number will be more like 300,000
Because of course they did, the GCHQ — the British version of the NSA — followed up their successful GCHQ Puzzle Book for adults with a new offering, for kids! The agency, which says it wants to boost its number of female coders, had already run some of its “children’s puzzles” in the introduction to the adult book, including this puzzle:
What thirteen-letter place name is hidden in this sentence?
You need the ability to receive clues, e.g. noticing exactly 13 examples of one vowel in a sentence – the letters just before every appearance of one of a, e, i, o or u may inspire your brain to spot the trickiness.
Answer at bottom of page.
THIS WEEK IN COMPARING PEOPLE TO HITLER:
“Astonishing Trump language. The crowd is similar to a Nuremberg rally 1936.” Retired General Barry McCaffrey, on Donald Trump’s recent Ohio rally, Newsweek
“There’s a bit of Hitler and Stalin in everyone, so there's some truth in that.” — Jordan Peterson, Uncensored with Piers Morgan
“Yeah, he stoled [sic] it — little Hitler.” — Duane “Dog the Bounty Hunter” Chapman, on Joe Biden, Deadline
Photos of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, depicted with a swastika on his forehead and a Hitler mustache, and mistakenly identified as “President” Orban, were found all over the streets of Estonia’s capital this week. Flyers comparing the “President of Hungary” Orbán to Hitler were put up in Tallinn, Evropeiskaya Pravda
Rightist Israeli politician Itamar Ben Gvir was depicted as Hitler in a send-up of “Springtime for Hitler” by the Israeli satire show, “A Wonderful Life”:
OH, BY THE WAY HEADLINE OF THE WEEK: COVID Raises Risk of Long-Term Brain Injury, Large U.S. Study Finds, US News
TWEET HISTORY MAY REMEMBER
It’s always fun when elected officials laugh in delight about their staff members moving from the House Financial Services Committee straight to Bank of America:
Twitter avatar for @unusual_whales
This is inexcusable.
A truly wild moment yesterday from the House Financial Services Committee, where they laugh about the revolving door from Congress to the banks.
AND FINALLY, THREE FINANCE HEADLINES by Eric Salzman
Keeping At It As noted, the Fed Wednesday raised the Federal Funds target rate 75 basis points, to 3.25%, making a third consecutive such “jumbo hike.” While they didn’t go all the way to 100 basis points (i.e. 1%) as some predicted, the results of its infamous “Dot Plot” (DP) were a shocker. The DP depicts what all 19 members of the Federal Open Market Committee (12 Federal Reserve Bank presidents and 7 Federal Reserve Board governors) predict the median rate will be for 2023-2025. The DP shocked markets upon release. It showed the Fed’s best estimate of where the rate would be in 2023 to be 4.6%., or about half a percent higher than where the markets thought it would be pre-meeting, a surprise that caused stocks to plunge. The Fed now believes the economy will grow 1.2% in 2023, lowering a previous estimate of 1.7%, and the unemployment rate will rise to 4.4% (currently 3.7%). Both figures imply the potential for a worsening of our aforementioned already-recession over the next months. However, the Fed may still be understating the severity of the recession. Maybe Powell felt he’d cracked the whip enough times already for one day.
God Smites ESG Investing Senator Rick Scott of Florida this week claimed that so-called Environmental, Societal and Governance investing is “the slippery slope to a Chinese-style social credit system. The only logical next step after corporate ESG scores is personal ESG scores. Nothing could be more un-American.” It’s been a tough run lately for ESG investing, with states such as Texas and West Virginia kicking Wall Street institutions like Citigroup and BlackRock out of lucrative financial deals and money management contracts, over their virtue signaling stances on gun rights and fossil fuels. Now, says Bloomberg, even God is getting They/Them/Theirs licks in. Evangelical Christian Robert Netzly is offering Inspire Investing, a “biblically responsible” investment firm creating Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) such as BIBL (Bible) and WWJD (What Would Jesus Do). These eschew stocks like Amazon that support LBGTQ rights and reproductive rights while favoring gunmakers like Sturm Ruger, defense contractors like General Dynamics, and media companies like Fox. Mr. Nezly refers to his ETFs as “God’s portfolios” and characterizes other ESG investments as run by “hard-left liberal activists and Marxists.” Currently, Inspire has over $2 billion assets under management.
Fed Removes Training Wheels, High-Yield Crashes This week, leveraged buyouts (LBOs) and the high yield syndicated loans and bonds that finance them dropped the proverbial turd in the punch bowl, as the third largest LBO in history — the $15 billion Citrix Systems deal — went off the rails. Wall Street banks are now stuck with approximately $600 million of losses. With as much as $50 billion more in LBO deals due to close through the rest of the year, losses are predicted to be in the billions. What went so wrong for a business that’s been going so right? Simple: the LBO business is great as long as interest rates are low, credit is easy, and the appetite for risk is strong, but not so much when those factors are absent. Meaning: all was well until the Fed began raising rates at a breakneck pace. It’s amazing what happens when the Fed stops giving and starts taking. Suddenly, getting rich is almost hard.
Quiz answer: “Bletchley Circle.” Check the first letter before every “i.”
Special thanks to Walter Kirn, Eric Salzman, TK site chief Emily Bivens, illustrator Daniel Medina, proofers Jane Burn and Anne Marie Brown, translators Ahmed Seridi, Susie Lotfian, A. Michael McCurtcheon, and Jakobus Reinhart, and all the subscribers who wrote in with comments and suggestions.