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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022

Cool Day | Original Fair | Structure Fire | 7 Freshmen | Rentals Proposal | VP Cervenka | MCBG Burgled | Vintage Parade | Voter Information | Mighty Carrot | Planning Cancelled | DeHaven Preserved | Bankers Row | Earth Sculpture | Barrel Rider | Cannabis Survey | Yesterday's Catch | Real Outlaws | Bucking Bronco | Aquafarm Appeal | Sarah Songbird | Nuclear Danger | Big River | Animal Welfare | Horsewoman | Still Screaming | Roadrunners | Sweet Wine | Video Magazine | Fundraising Beast | Political Cycle | Heroes & Patriots | Security Division | Swizzle Sticks | Stupid Reality | Sleepy Chicken | Book Collector | Waking Up | Bellamy Salute | Rewriting Snowden | Pict | Ukraine | Riot Gear | Abusive Relationship | Glutton | Worldview | Commuters | Cooking Skills | Ecomobile | Meeting Trotsky | Cycling

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A WEAK FRONTAL BOUNDARY moving onshore this morning will aid in light shower activity and relatively cool temperatures through the afternoon hours. Warmer and drier conditions will then develop across the region during the second half of the week. (NWS)

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Original Mendocino Apple Fair, Mendocino, 1914

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ON MONDAY AFTERNOON AV Fire Department units responded to a structure fire on Josephina's Road in Philo and found an old unused RV style camper on fire. The camper was fully involved when units arrived and there was limited extension to the nearby vegetation with no threat to surrounding exposures. The fire was knocked down immediately and firefighters remained on scene for approximately half an hour for complete overhaul and extinguishment. No cause was determined and it is not considered suspicious at this time. (AV Fire Chief Andres Avila)

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THESE 7 FRESHMAN got up early Monday morning, the day after fair. It was even a no school day. They traveled to the Greenhand Leadership Conference in Petaluma. A good time was had by all. (Boonville FFA)

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WEDNESDAY’S KAREN OTTOBONI RADIO SHOW: Elizabeth Swenson will be talking about the current status of the Housing Action team's SHORT TERM RENTALS proposal to the county and what seems some possible next steps in trying to get county to deal with short term rental and housing issues with Karen Ottoboni on - Wednesday, 9/28/22 @ 9:00 am

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I AM HUMBLED TO HAVE BEEN SWORN IN TODAY as the 2nd Vice President of the California Peace Officers Association, representing over 23,000 law enforcement professionals across the state. (Neal Cervenka)

Fort Bragg Police Chief Neal Cervenka

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Dear neighbors, 

A number of key items have been stolen form the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens over the past month including a John Deer Gator that was taken last night (9/25)! This Gator was donated by our nonprofit support group, Friends of the Gardens, and will be hard for us to replace.

Other expensive missing items include 2 new Husqvarna weedwhackers, 1 STIHL hedger, and 1 ECHO hedge trimmer.

Please keep an eye out and let us know if you have any information that might help. Email the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens at or call 707-964-4352 x 10. We love and miss our equipment... Thanks for your help! 

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Vintage Boonville Fair Parade

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Please note that there has been a change in date for the Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board candidate forum.

Prepare to Vote

This month voters will have several opportunities to learn more about the candidates and measures on the November ballot. A list of candidate forums and proposition explorations taking place in October follows. Please note that there have been several changes in dates from previous announcements.

10/7: Albion/Little River Fire Protection District Board candidate forum, held by the League of Women Voters on Zoom at 6 pm, featuring incumbents Pam Linstedt & Steve Acker, and candidate Dan Gates. League Co-President Paula Cohen will moderate.

10/9: Willits City Council candidate forum and informational meeting on Measures O & P, from 2 till 5 pm at the Little Lake Grange in Willits. Eight candidates will run for three seats. League member Carole Press will monitor the time. This event is sponsored by Little Lake Grange, Willits Economic Localization, LWV Mendocino County, and the Mendocino Women's Political Caucus.

10/11: Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board candidate forum, held by the League of Women Voters on Zoom at 6 pm. Pat Dunbar will moderate the forum, which will feature incumbent John Redding, and candidates Susan Savage, Jade Tippett, and Lee Finney for 3 long-term seats, and new short-term appointee Paul Katzeff. A set of interviews with the candidates conducted on Sept. 21 by Mendocino TV is available at andidates-forum-for-board-of-directors/.

10/14: Fort Bragg City Council candidate forum, held by the League of Women Voters at Town Hall from 6 to 8:30 pm. This will be a hybrid meeting. All eleven candidates will respond to three questions posed by moderator Pat Dunbar, and then given an opportunity to choose another topic to expound on. Nancy Kleiber will assist.

10/18: Pros & Cons of all the state and local ballot measures, presented by the League on Zoom at 6 pm. Nancy Kleiber will lead several more League members to review the background of the seven California and three Mendocino County measures.

10/19: Informational Meeting concerning Measures O & P, presented by the League on Zoom at 6 pm. Nancy Severy will introduce advocates for passage of these countywide propositions, who will state their case. The League supports both measures.

For more information, call 707-937-4952.

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MARY O'BRIEN: Mendocino County Fair was this past weekend in Boonville. Our local Grange won 1st prize for “Lettuce Turnip the Beet”! 

I am the mighty carrot, bringing up the rear.

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The Planning Commission meeting cancellation notice for October 6, 2022, is posted on the department website at:

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by Westport Village Society

A 26 acre oceanfront property a mile north of Westport will be preserved and kept accessible for public use thanks to a partnership among the nonprofit Westport Village Society, the land owner, the State Coastal Conservancy, and the California Coastal Commission. The property extends a half mile south of Westport Union Landing State Beach, encompassing the headlands and much visited beach at the mouth of DeHaven Creek.

Conservancy and local supporters touring DeHaven Beach September 21, 2022 (WVS photo). 

The State Coastal Conservancy unanimously approved a grant to WVS at their meeting held September 22, 2022 at the Fort Bragg Town Hall. The previous day WVS hosted a field visit to the property for Conservancy staff, SCC Board members, and the interested community. Visitors had a chance to observe the diverse habitats and resources present on the property including a perennial stream that supports salmonids, a beach and tide pools, headlands, and wetlands.

The conservation project was initiated a year ago through the collaboration between the WVS and the owner of the property, Donna Medley. A purchase agreement was reached early this year predicated on joint funding by WVS, the owner, and grant funding from the SCC and CCC. 

The endeavor was strongly supported by the community, local tribes, Congressman Jared Huffman, State Senator Mike McGuire, the State Department of Parks and Recreation, the Mendocino Land Trust, Audubon Society, and many others. WVS raised over $25k and Ms. Medley contributed funds to help close the deal. Award of the SCC grant has now clinched the deal. The WVS could not have realized this once in a lifetime opportunity without the involvement of its partners and the generous support of the local community and tribes.

The acquisition is expected to conclude before the end of 2022. Work will then begin on the preparation of a management plan that defines conservation goals and public access improvements. Building on conversations initiated this year, public and tribal input will be sought in an inclusive process. If you are interested in helping WVS manage this property or wish to offer comments please contact For more information about WVS and its activities visit

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Bankers Row, Mendocino, 1910

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by David Wilson

The core of the Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the “All Happy Now” Earth Sculpture at Humboldt Botanical Gardens in Humboldt County, California. Information on the sign reads, “Peter Santino’s All Happy Now Earth Sculpture is the only one of its kind in North America. It is a merger of two ancient landscape architectural features, the ziggurat and the labyrinth. Based on a mathematical equation named Fermat’s Spiral, the 100-foot diameter earth mound is covered with grass and features two non-intersecting quarter mile pathways which take the walker to the center and back down out the opposite side.”

The “All Happy Now” earth sculpture by Peter Santino was completed in 2008, but I became aware of it only last semester when one of my students shared a photograph of it in class after an afternoon hike in the Humboldt Botanical Garden (directions below). 

I was mesmerized at the scale of the art piece, by the spiral pathway that takes the traveler up from one side of the dirt track at its base a quarter of a mile to the top, and then a quarter of a mile back down on the other side in perfect symmetry without retracing a step. It is a half-mile, gently sloping walk contained entirely within this 100-foot diameter mound. 

The earth sculpture is situated above a vista I had desired for years to include in a nighttime photograph: a view looking out over the College of the Redwoods campus and across the valley, with the Milky Way in the sky above it all. I was astonished when I found that the “All Happy Now” earth sculpture sat in the foreground of that view. 

In my mind’s eye I saw that at this time of year the spiral mound would interact powerfully with the rising Milky Way, a light spear of celestial origin sent to pierce the earthen ring of light. Or perhaps the earth sculpture was the source of light, and the Milky Way shone forth from the mound itself in some mysterious interaction with the heavens. Or neither? That story will be left to the mind of the beholder. By the good graces of the Universe, circumstances came together for me to finally capture that vista at a time of year when the extraterrestrial elements could line up just so with the “All Happy Now” earth mound.

The word “photography” is a combination of two words from Greek roots that mean “light” (photo) + “painting or drawing” (graph). Thus, I think of Photography as “painting with light.” Sometimes, “painting with light” is more literal than others. This image is literally a light painting.

The core of the Milky Way galaxy rises in the night sky above the “All Happy Now" Earth Sculpture at Humboldt Botanical Gardens in Humboldt County, California. Self portrait photograph by David Wilson. September 16, 2022.

A photograph like this cannot simply be “taken,” as so many snapshots are. Capturing the image was a process that began with pre-visualization and ended after many attempts to paint and capture the light just right. I was happy to have the help of my College of the Redwoods colleague Sean Patton. Over the course of about an hour and a half, we took about 20 photos from this camera position to get the lighting the way I had envisioned.

Sean helped me by staying up with my camera to open and close the shutter as needed, while I “painted” the scene in with light: Time and again, I’d walk around the perimeter, painting strokes of light onto the trail and mound with my light wand like a paint brush. The exposures ranged from 30 seconds to several minutes. After each attempt at painting the scene, I’d evaluate the results and then paint again — for while I am painting I’m unable to see the results; to me and any observer I’m just a guy walking around in the dark with a light. After around 20 attempts, I had the scene illuminated just so.

It struck me as I made this image that it was in some way an asynchronous collaboration between artists. Peter Santino had the vision to create the “All Happy Now” earth sculpture in the early 2000’s. When I discovered this year that it rested within the very view that I had for years coveted for a nighttime photograph, I knew I had to incorporate it in one of my images. While I don’t know Peter Santino personally, in a way we’re now connected through our art.

Humboldt Botanical Garden is a world class botanical garden comprising 44 acres of diverse plant species, trails, greenhouses, and sculptures. It is about eight miles south of Eureka at 7707 Tompkins Hill Road, adjacent to College of the Redwoods, and is accessible from the college’s northern entrance on Tompkins Hill Road. 

Information on the Humboldt Botanical Garden can be found on their website: . Call them at (707) 442-5139 or email .

Fascinating detail on the “All Happy Now” earth sculpture can be found on the HBG page here:

To read previous entries of “Night Light of the North Coast,” click on David’s name above the article. To keep abreast of his most current photography or purchase a print, visit and contact him at his website or follow him on Instagram at @david_wilson_mfx. David teaches Art 35 Digital Photography at College of the Redwoods.

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Barrel Rider

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Dear Cannabis Operator,

During this time of fluctuation and uncertainty, it is critically important that the Agriculture Department accurately depict the amount of cannabis being produced in Mendocino County.

The State has been unable to provide the County with information entered in to the METRC reporting system, therefore we are relying on this survey to provide that information. 

Please take a moment to fill out the attached fillable questionnaire for the 2021 Cultivation Season and return it to the Department of Agriculture. The information you provide is greatly appreciated. 

All the information collected will be kept anonymous and will only be used for the purpose of compiling the Cannabis Crop Report. Please return the questionnaire either by email, snail mail, fax, or in person to our office located at 890 N. Bush St. Ukiah, CA 95482. This is also the mailing address.

If you are an agent or consultant receiving this, please feel free to forward this email to your clients.


Mendocino County Agriculture Department

Ph: 707-234-6830

Fax: 707-463-0204


Aaron Hult 

Assistant Agricultural Commissioner 

Assistant Sealer of Weights and Measures 



890 N. Bush Street Ukiah, CA 95482 

PHONE (707) 234-6830 

FAX (707) 463-0240 


Your cooperation is necessary in order that we might be able to accurately calculate cannabis crop and acreage information for 2021. This information will be collectively used in the preparation of the 2021 Mendocino County Crop Report. Individual cannabis crop and acreage information will remain strictly confidential. 

We would appreciate you completing this survey and returning it to us promptly. Your response is needed even though you may have harvested only a small amount or no cannabis this past season. It is understood that often times cannabis that was harvested in one year, is sold in the following year. So when filling out the survey, total all activities between Jan 1st-Dec 31st 2021, for all categories. 


Aaron Hult 

Assistant Agricultural Commissioner 


State Permit Type:_____ County Permit Type:______ 

Actual Square Feet Planted in 2021: ____

# of Harvests in Year: ___

Total Cannabis Harvested (dry weight):___________

(Green/wet weight if whole plant sold)_____

Total Cannabis Sold (dry weight): FLOWER____ TRIM______ OTHER_____ 

(Green/wet weight if sold whole plant)_________ 

Total Nursery Stock or Seeds Sold (specify which):_______ 

Total Cannabis Sales (Jan 1-Dec 31, 2021): $_______ 

Range in Price Per Unit: HIGH____


Did you have losses due to weather or pests in 2021? Please explain:_________

Percentage of normal crop lost: _____ 

Loss in dollars: $_______

Crop Reports are available on our website at 

Hard copies can be requested by calling (707) 234-6830. 

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CATCH OF THE DAY, September 27, 2022

Anderson, Biggie, Matthews

KRISTOFER ANDERSON, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

ADRIEL BIGGIE, Fort Bragg. Battery on peace officer, resisting, probation revocation.

TOMI MATTHEWS, Gualala. Domestic battery.

McNeill, Morales, Nutt

TIMOTHY MCNEILL, Fort Bragg. DUI with priors, probation revocation.

NATHAN MORALES-SALDANA, Covelo. Under influence.

ROBERT NUTT III, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent Flyer)

Pina, Rosas, Sandiego

MICHAEL PINA, Covelo. Domestic battery.

JOSE ROSAS, Boonville. Disorderly conduct-under influence.

NICOLE SANDIEGO-WRIGHT, Ukiah. Domestic battery, protective order violation.

Snyder, Whetstone, Whipple

RAYMOND SNYDER JR., Nice/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

MICHAEL WHETSTONE, Ukiah. Probation revocation.

KORY WHIPPLE, Ukiah. Wrong-way evasion, offenses while on bail.

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I have enjoyed reading your paper for most of 35 years. It is passed down to me by other Mendo outlaws here in prison. I have not felt compelled to write in and express my opinion until now.

Walter 'Wally' Miller wrote a letter in the 8/17/22 issue which is much too delicious to ignore.

Wally wants the reader to know he is a real "convict." His forte was burglary and theft. Apparently his definition of a real convict is breaking into families' homes and depriving them of their hard earned possessions. Wally Miller then claims to be a "celebrity." His claim to fame of course is refusing to surrender in a Ukiah motel until and unless it was into the loving embrace of his parole officer. Apparently Mr. Convict was not going down without a big hug first. I swear, Billy the Kid is rolling in his grave.

And then we have Mr. David Giusti who beat an elderly homeless man half to death with an ax handle and is also represented in the 8/17/22 edition making a villain of his elderly victim. Come on David, the dude is in a nursing home half dead from your vicious beating. Isn't that enough? Let it go. You are embarrassing yourself!

And last but not least Michael France in his letter in that edition called himself "tempered steel." I once witnessed France file a lawsuit in Mendocino over the nursing staff delaying his stool softener. Tempered steel? Again, Billy the Kid would roll in his grave if he met Wally or these other convicts on one of the Department of Corrections the yards.

There are no real outlaws in this prison world. The real outlaws are the ones out there playing by the rules and committing no "real crimes."

In closing, thanks for the fine publication. I enjoy the articles by the Wallys of the system and also Off the Record.

My best,

Name Withheld

Kern Valley State Prison, Delano

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Buckin' Bronco

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APPEAL OF NORDIC AQUAFARMS APPROVAL To Be Heard By Board Of Supervisors On Wednesday

The Humboldt Fishermen’s Marketing Association, the Redwood Region Audubon Society and 350 Humboldt filed an appeal stating that the county’s Environmental Impact Report (EIR) did not take into account several environmental impacts the project will have.…

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Saying nuclear power plants are clean and safe because they don’t emit carbon-based waste is like saying knives can’t hurt us because they can’t shoot us. Arguments in letters and columns that reactors like Diablo Canyon are "without any emissions that produce climate change” intentionally ignore the elephant-in-the-room truth that dangers in use of nuclear power — mining, production, waste storage, vulnerability to natural disasters and human error — are extreme.

Wildfires create their own weather; nuclear disasters do change our climate. Fukushima, Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia sure have heated things up. Even when nuclear power use goes normally, the risks of nuclear waste storage (for a very long time) are enormous.

Arguments minimizing the threats of nuclear power — civilian and military — are made by those who stand to gain financially from its continued use and by those fooled by moneymakers’ deceit.

Do we kick this explosive can down the road or conserve energy and use safer production means? All energy production methods have environmental health risks. This doesn’t justify the riskiest one. Nuclear weaponry madness is for another letter.

James Connerton Jr.


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Big River Beach, 1940

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ATTA BOY, GAV: “For many families, including my own, pets are beloved companions that enrich our lives every day,” Newsom said as he signed Senate Bill 879. “I’m proud to sign this legislation to advance our state’s leadership on animal welfare by ending cruel and unnecessary testing on dogs and cats, among other measures to protect the health and safety of pets in California.” The bill was written by Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, and sponsored by the Humane Society of the United States.

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Barrel Rider

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Birth Day #73 Message

The very warmest spiritual greetings to all, Please know that on September 28th, 1949 Craig Louis Stehr was delivered by caesarean section at the catholic hospital in East Cleveland, Ohio. Many years later father Donald Louis Stehr observed, "I was present at your birth. You came out screaming, and you haven't stopped yet!" 

I am identified with "that which is prior to consciousness", id est, not the body and not the mind. Rather, that which works through the body-mind complex. Indian vedic scriptures describe this as the condition of the Jivan Mukta, which translates as Spirit Liberated. 

I am presently housed at the Building Bridges homeless shelter located at 1045 South State Street in Ukiah, California, 95482. The telephone message number is (707) 234-3270. My email address is Health is good. The checking account balance is $320.35. Cash and coin in the wallet is $66.00 in cash and coin is $0.88. The staff associated with Redwood Community Services informs me that although I am on a list for subsidized housing, it will be difficult to realize because I cannot afford any rent money, since I am living on $425.00 social security plus $334.88 SSI for a total monthly income of $759.88. I am accepting money at

The reason that I do not have more social security income is because I spent the past 50 years involved in peace and justice activism, which included 23 years of serving the American people free of charge with Catholic Worker and related voluntary social service groups. 

I want to move on. I wish to be active, not passive, on the planet earth in these dire days of environmental implosion, economic instability, and spiritual confusion. I am particularly seeking opportunity in the Washington, D.C. area, where I have been 15 times since June of 1991 as a part of the 24/7 anti nuclear vigil in front of the White House, and also volunteered at the Zacchaeus Kitchen at 11th & G Streets, and bottom lined the pots 'n pans station at D.C. Occupy as a part of the kitchen working group, and have written extensively about all of it, which was published all over the place, both on and off line. 

I request assistance to leave Mendocino County and relocate to Washington, D.C. because it is an alternative to being in Ukiah doing northing of any particular importance, (aside from performing a voluntary chore of taking care of the trash & recycling at the homeless shelter). 

Nota Bene: The United States of America owes me this!! What can I get, and how soon can I get it? Thank you very much.

Craig Louis Stehr

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Cloverdale RoadRunners Car Club, the Fair

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by Sophie Egan

Q. Some wineries add sugar to dry red wines after fermentation so that they taste “smoother” to the American palate. How can I find out how much sugar is in what I am drinking?

A. To find out how much sugar might have been added to a given wine, your best bet may be to contact the producer directly.

Winemakers employ a range of techniques to achieve desired properties and flavor profiles. The addition of sulfites, used as a preservative, must be listed on the label in order to notify individuals who might be allergic, yet more than 60 different additives can legally be used without being disclosed. With regard to sugar, regulations vary by state. In California, for instance, added sugar is not allowed at any point in the winemaking process. There, winemakers may rely on unfermented grape juice to tweak the sweetness.

“Wine is by nature somewhat acidic, and adjustments can help to balance the elements of sweet and sour,” Nancy Light, vice president of communications for Wine Institute, the main advocacy association for the California wine industry, said in an email.Winemakers are permitted by government regulations to make sweetness adjustments after fermentation to achieve desired wine styles.”

According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a five-ounce glass of red table wine typically contains about 0.9 grams of total sugar, while a glass of chardonnay contains about 1.4 grams. A sweet dessert wine, typically served in a smaller two- to three-ounce glass, contains as much as 7 grams of sugar. Depending on where the wine was made, the total may include added sugar or sugar from unfermented grape juice, along with the sugar that occurs naturally in the grapes.

The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend limiting added sugar intake to no more than 10 percent of daily calories, which is about 12 teaspoons, or 50 grams. The American Heart Association recommends limiting intake even further: no more than six teaspoons (about 25 grams, or 100 calories) per day for women, and no more than nine teaspoons (36 grams, 150 calories) per day for men.

Along with adding sugar for the purpose of sweetening wine, some producers add sugar before or during fermentation in order to achieve a certain alcohol level. This process is called chaptalization, and it is more common in cooler wine regions such as Oregon, where grapes ripen more slowly. Alcoholic fermentation occurs when yeast metabolizes a source of sugar (glucose, sucrose or fructose), turning it into ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide. In beer, the sugar comes from the starch in malted cereal grain, typically barley. In wine, it comes from grape juice. Grapes that are riper have higher sugar levels, but if available grapes are not as ripe, a winemaker may add sugar to aid in fermentation and achieve the desired amount of alcohol.

According to Tom Hogue, a spokesman for the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, wine producers may provide nutritional details about their products on a voluntary basis, so long as they adhere to regulations from the bureau. So, while winemakers are not required to disclose nutritional information on the label, for those who choose to do so — whether for sugar or other ingredients — guidelines apply.

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Robert Mailer Anderson: Given that Webster’s dictionary defines “insurrection” in its first definition as "an act or instance of revolting against civil authority or an established government” breaking into the Capitol building with the intent of stopping the transition of power of the Presidency certainly falls within that definition. And it was a coordinated effort, but like much of Trump’s actions, poorly coordinated - though the crowd encouraged by him and others, along with other “Election Deniers” and White Supremacist groups who had planned ahead of time to try to breach the Capitol, came very close to stopping that transition that day, and did in fact delay it while mounting a serious and violent attack that resulted in several deaths and hundreds of injuries, plus contributing to police suicides later.

A riot can also happen simultaneously to an insurrection.

But why downplay the fact that Trump and many people were attempting an insurrection.

Also, there were weapons used and brought. But luckily guns and explosives didn’t make it deeper into the fray and Capitol Building.

Again, why the inaccurate use of language that helps portray the day as something less than what it was and Trump and his politicos and “Election Denier” groups as something less than they were?

Do you also think Trump didn’t ask the secretary of state of Georgia to break the law because “finding” votes doesn’t explicitly order someone to break the law?

Very strange.

Otherwise, sorry to miss you at Fair. The rodeo was lots of fun, as was seeing old friends and AVHS classmates, though I missed the sheep dog trials and because of my Celiacs Disease couldn’t eat a couple of corn dogs.

— Your nephew hoping we don’t lose what democracy we have.

Ed Reply: By Webster's definition we've had several hundred 'insurrections' in this country in this year alone, but I agree that Jan 6 pushed riot to the edge of insurrection. Mark Danner, writing in the current NYRB, imagines what would have happened if Orange Man himself had led the charge on Congress as he seemed prepared to do as he stirred up his Stop the Steal mob prior to their attack on the hallowed halls. Apparently it was the Secret Service that refused to drive him to the big event, which is interesting in itself given that OM as president is presumably in charge of them. Like everything Trumpian, Jan 6 was incompetent. A real coup attempt would have seen a planned, armed assault, which Jan 6 was definitely not, but it is probably a harbinger of real deal fascist insurrections to come. Finally, and not to be too cynical, Dear Nephew, democracy is pretty much confined to local school boards and supervisors. Beyond Mendo, and every other county in the country, the duopoly shoves state and national candidates at us that we have no part in selecting and, of course, the two-party dictatorship has made impossible challenges from the outside to their disastrous dual reign. Think your friend Newsom can beat Trump/Desantis? He's the only possible Democrat who might, but the national tide seems to be running strong against what we have left of our pseudo-democracy.

RMA: Just because we have more sophisticated arms in this country (like AKs and drones etc.), doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an armed assault. It means that security measures did prevent guns and explosives and other weapons onto the grounds and inside the Capitol. I’m sure in other past armed encounters, clubs, machetes, farm tools, box cutters, screwdrivers, sticks and stones, weren’t the first choice of the attackers either, but they are weapons and you use what you can get into the fighting arena. And one offensive tactic is to reduce the defense. There was definitely coordinated efforts both inside the mob, and outside - though one of the saving graces of the Election Deniers and White Supremacists is stupidity - using what they could and prior measures like intentionally NOT preparing barriers, or having enough security, or sending in National Guard immediately as things began to escalate, etc. If you have ever been inside or near the Capitol, or through the incredibly tight and high tech security procedures for political events, you would be ASTOUNDED by the breach. 

The fact that the angry mob and “insurrectionists” were so close (at times feet, or a closed door away…) and that security was able to keep many hundreds out or guide groups of them away from the elected officials and their staff is beyond frightening and dumbfounding. I’m shocked more people weren’t hurt or didn’t die. Or that insurrectionist/rioters weren’t shot at bottleneck points like that one women climbing in through the broken glass door… Though that stopped that. But it also speaks again to other things like racism because if those rioters were black or brown, you would have had a spray of dummy bullets and the real flesh piercing thing, firing into that mob not just at the steps and interior doors and corridors of the Capitol, but outside as well, because that whole perimeter was off fuckin’ limits. 

By the way, yes, we have had insurrections before. Which doesn’t mean that this wasn’t one. But we haven’t had insurrections inside the Capitol as our nation was transitioning power from one President to another, while the former President denied the count and with colleagues called for him to keep the presidency, and for an angry mob to help, encouraging them to surge inside one of the most highly guarded building in the US, causing hundreds of injuries, fatalities, and stalling the process of democracy and that transition of power, as among other desecration and acts of violence, breaching of offices and private property, the factions screamed and searched for the Speaker of the House and Vice President and others, calling for them to be killed!

Marching down public streets or taking over a Dean’s office, looting Wal-Marts or burning down ghettos, protesting outside a city hall or rioting in People’s Park is a long long long way from mobs beating down the security and the very doors and windows and offices of our nation’s Capitol and having our elected officials stop the transition of power and scramble for their lives.

You’d have to go back almost 200 years when the British burned the Capitol. And then we hadn’t even been a nation for fifty years. And they were an established enemy from the outside.

Yes, thank god for incompetency. And for the incredible competency and fortitude of an outnumbered group of security that held down the number of casualties and fatalities, and eventually restored the peace to The Capitol. And thank god for good old-fashioned dumb luck.

As for Gavin, we have a long way to go before anybody, including most notably Biden, declares a run for Presidency in 2024. The midterms will be the first large indicator. Then how our economy, the EU, and the war in the Ukraine goes in the next two years. Climate change.

You might as well ask if the Red Sox will win the World Series in 2024?

But the first thing Gavin will have to do is find someone not connected (or seemingly not connected to him) to stab Kamala in the back and cut her off at the knees. And I am not rooting for that. 

As you know, politics is complicated. And what happens in the voting booth on voting day is different than getting on the ballot as a party’s nominee. There are serious repercussions for stepping out of line and for cutting the line too. Of course, there could be the brass ring reward of becoming The President in this case. But pass or fail, people and your colleagues will remember and hold you accountable. And those folks that joined you in your campaign too. In the case of two Californians from the same part of the state, that means family, close friends and dear colleagues, lifelong supporters, businesses, and people you employed and served. It isn't just a matter of what movie you decide to see on a particular Friday night. If you back the wrong horse (or the right one, but then wait for that "right horse" to no longer be on the track and in the White House in four to eight years, what happens then?…), there will be blood. Jobs, contracts, access, support for future ventures of any nature could be thwarted. remember, even politicians can be petty, vindictive, and vengeful. And in the case of Gavin, he will need to find women who will publicly go against their gender, and minorities against their race, and for them to be on record as doing that for the rest of their lives. If he wins, easier to deflect. If he loses, rough being a trader to your race or gender.

So, then, specifically, who and where and what does that look like?

Well, back to the midterms. And the swing states. Keep your eye on whether Stacey Abrams can come from behind in Georgia and whether Warnock holds on against Walker there too (and it looks like Georgia wants to split their ticket but nobody is better on the ground than Stacey…). What will Val Demmings numbers be in Florida, even as she probably loses? How Mandela Barnes does in Wisconsin? Cortez Masto in Nevada. I know that is just a few senate races, but they will have outsized influence and great power (and even if they lose, name recognition and infrastructure set to getting out the vote and fundraising in those crucial states with ready supporters…) and those are necessary swing states Gavin needs, and probably needs early (to get nomination). So, just right there, that means getting the support of three women, and six people of color. 

Silicon Valley will be a bitch too. They know they won’t be able to back both candidates, and won’t want to pay twice the money either! Moving forward with their companies, they will be forced to deal with the consequences of backing one candidate and not the other. And that is a very large amount of campaign money, and tech influence. And knowing businesses like that, they will try to wait as long as they can to make the choice, hoping one candidate drops out. Which will mean millions of campaign dollars normally in play for either of those candidates won’t be in their war chest.

Then each will make a play for NY.

And politically speaking, Schumer and AOC.

Given Kamala’s brief run in Senate, and current position as VP, hard to believe Schumer is going to run out and out of line for Gavin. And though she is smart smart smart and savvy beyond her years, AOC is a much more natural fit for Kamala than Gavin for all the obvious reasons.

I’ve heard 60% (give or take) of all campaign funds for presidency will come from California and NY. 

Schumer and AOC are two of the largest fundraisers for the dems, and are positioned to continue to be so come 2024 elections. And it is exponential. There are only a handful of politicians that can raise that kind of money, and do it consistently. Nancy Pelosi is on that short list too. Again, California and NY have the money in their states (California is the 5th biggest economy in the world, forget the US, and NY has Wall Street and 22 million people, plus industry…) and these are the people with the know how, track record and positions (Speaker of the House, leader of the Senate) to fundraise 24/7 which you absolutely need in any election. But also it means they get to help chose the Pres candidate more than others too. And they have already helped fundraise to get everyone where they are. The DCCC is a fundraising beast! So, they can have an influence on other politicians because they are already indebted. Or simply because those candidates want their support in the future.

Anyway, that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Make no mistake, Gavin is already soft running and he wants it, but Kamala is “next in line” until she isn’t, and VP is a horrible job and place to campaign from (until it isn’t), and she keeps bucking the odds by rising up and becoming The First again and again and again - against all historical precedent too. It isn’t a coincidence. She is an amazing politician.

And, of course, she is a dear friend who I deeply love and respect.

Time will tell.

And there seems to be another generation or news cycle every minute. Who knows what climate or economic or political disaster will come? And how Gav and Kamala will navigate it, and how the public and voters will react.

On a side note, personally, I believe Governors more than Senators, and especially congresspeople, have more applicable experience from their jobs to actually run a nation. But there are so many more factors as well…

Yours for politics and the english language.

Ed: Continuing our dialogue of the deaf, as incompetent as Jan 6 was, it's a mistake to think all Trumpers are as stupid as most of the people in that mob were. It was a learning experience for them. In times to come they'll be better prepared. 

Seems to me that the organized Democrats don't understand that the millions of Trumpers aren't against this or that lib policy, they're against the entire lunatic drift of things, which they see as sponsored by the Democrats who, in their present incarnation with Ga-Ga Biden their front man, are objectively ludicrous. I understand it emotionally because, apart from Fetterman, the current crew of big time Democrats also strikes me as a relentless clown show. Newsom is at least smart and articulate, but the rest of them? Spare US.

PS. Re Kamala, apart from our odd family connections to her via you and Cousin Jimmy, I think the Democrats have ruined her as a candidate in encouraging her in an off-putting artificiality. She's a lot smarter and more genuine than she comes across as. She kept it real when she was Frisco DA. She should return to her real self.

TOTALLY IRRELEVANT HERE, but all these abstractions are hurting my pretty little head. I remember the night I met Kamala at that Frisco music fundraiser where you were MC when she stopped by my table to, as they say, press the flesh. As Kamala shook hands with me and the missus, I mentioned to her that my cousin Jimmy worked for her. “Jimmy?” Jimmy Rowland, I replied. “I love James Rowland,” Kamala gushed. “He's in charge of my Domestic Abuse office.” Well, I said, he's in the right slot because our family suspects he's a victim of domestic abuse. He's married to a woman we call The Barracuda. “Uh, it was great meeting you, Mr. and Mrs. Anderson,” Kamala said as she hurried off. Where were we? O yes. The Big Picture. I agree events are moving fast, so fast that it seems at least within the realm of possibility that conventional politics will be subsumed in social chaos, and I fear the fascists outnumber us and are better prepared.

* * *

EVERY CIVILIZATION carries the seeds of its own destruction, and the same cycle shows in them all. The Republic is born, flourishes, decays into plutocracy, and is captured by the shoemaker whom the mercenaries and millionaires make into a king. The people invent their oppressors, and the oppressors serve the function for which they are invented.

— Mark Twain

* * *


On Thursday, September 29, at 9 AM, Pacific Time, our guest at "Heroes and Patriots" is Chip Gibbons. We'll talk about CIA spying on Julian Assange, his legal team, other journalists, activists.


Policy director for Defending Rights & Dissent, Gibbons has a new piece in Jacobin examining the allegations that company UC Global was co-opted by the CIA resulting in violations of civil liberties, human rights, and international law. Based on examination of legal proceedings in three countries, international reporting, and his own original interviews, he concludes that there is good reason to believe the CIA continuously spied on Assange and his visitors and plotted to kill or kidnap the WikiLeaks publisher. While the covert operation initially targeted Assange, it ensnared his legal team and other visitors.

Gibbons writes: “The allegations against UC Global and the CIA constitute a major spying scandal with an international scope. In addition to violating the rights of a political, the story involves breaches of an embassy’s sovereignty and the surveillance of a range of journalists, human rights defenders, and politicians. Whether they were intentional targets or collateral damage in the CIA’s war on WikiLeaks, their surveillance, like that of Assange, remains an outrageous deprivation of human rights.”


Our show airs live, on the first and fifth Thursdays of every month, at 9 AM, Pacific Time.

KMUD simulcasts its programming on two full power FM stations: KMUE 88.1 in Eureka and KLAI 90.3 in Laytonville. It also maintains a translator at 99.5 FM in Shelter Cove, California.

We also stream live from the web at

Speak with our guest live and on-the-air at: KMUD Studio (707) 923-3911. Please call in and meet Chip Gibbons.

We post our shows to our own website and Youtube channels. Shows may be excerpted to other media outlets.

Wherever you live, KMUD is your community radio station. We are a true community of compassionate, informed, progressive people. Please join us by becoming a member or underwriter.

John Sakowicz

* * *

* * *


“Elsewhere an old pair of sneakers was listed and a collection of swizzle sticks. Why he would keep such things is a mystery that a psychiatrist might have an opinion about.”

My response: I actually collect old swizzle sticks, especially if they are from interesting old bars, casinos, restaurants, airlines, etc. They are an interesting piece of ephemera from the great days gone by of America that should be saved and preserved. 

I hope that these were not simply tossed into the dumpster.

* * *

THE MORE STUPID ONE IS, the closer one is to reality. The more stupid one is, the clearer one is. Stupidity is brief and artless, while intelligence squirms and hides itself. Intelligence is unprincipled, but stupidity is honest and straightforward. (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)

* * *


by Steven Shapin

The ‘white bear problem’ in experimental psychology has to do with the unintended consequences of trying to suppress certain thoughts. I tell you not to think of white bears, and – see – you’ve just imaged up a white bear. It’s a bit like when the government tells you not to panic.

On 15 September, the US Food and Drug Administration issued a warning against a recipe for NyQuil Chicken. NyQuil is an over-the-counter drowsy-making liquid cold medicine, like Benylin in Britain. The FDA said that cooking chicken in NyQuil can dangerously concentrate the active ingredients – acetaminophen, dextromethorphan, doxylamine – and, even if you don’t eat the chicken, inhaling the vapours can pose ‘significant risks’.

Comedy videos showing the preparation of the NyQuil recipe, sometimes known as ‘sleepy chicken’, have been around on social media for years: one YouTube video recommended that you use ‘four-thirds of a bottle’ for two chicken breasts. In January, late-night talk shows covered the thing and Forbes ran a piece about it.

What’s not clear is whether anyone had actually been eating sleepy chicken, but these days the boundaries between the real and the ridiculous are hard to police. (After Trump suggested injecting disinfectant to kill coronavirus, bleach-drinking became a thing, though Trump later claimed he was being sarcastic.) The FDA felt it had to act, and now advice not to cook your chicken in NyQuil has gone viral: trending on Twitter, cautionary as well as spoof videos on TikTok. Procter and Gamble, who manufacture NyQuil, made it clear that ‘we do not endorse inappropriate use of our product’ – though, as it’s said, other cough syrups are available.

Nevertheless, the possibility of thinking about white bears is out there, and warnings that NyQuil Chicken is bad for you also carry the message that such a dish exists. The FDA says it hasn’t yet had reports of people getting sick from NyQuil Chicken, but now that we all know about coq au cough syrup, cases may eventually turn up. Authorities should be vigilant. Where are the warnings against Fairy Liquid Risotto or Liver and Lysol?

(London Review of Books)

* * *

* * *


Today Edward Snowden was granted Russian citizenship. Snowden had to flee his country, because he released information that proved that the NSA was, and still is, illegally spying on US citizens. The presstitutes will use Snowden’s grant of citizenship as proof that he was a Russian spy, not a patriotic whistleblower trying to alert his countrymen to their danger. Edward Snowden was the second American who blew the whistle about illegal NSA spying on American citizens. William Binney was the first. Binney was a Russian specialist with the National Security Agency. He developed the spy program that was supposed to be used against America’s enemies, but was illegally used against the American population. Binney, despite being the NSA Geopolitical World Technical Director, a high position, blew the whistle on the illegal activity, comparing it to activities of the KGB, Stasi, Gestapo, and SS. As a consequence the US government decided to destroy him. In July 2007 a dozen heavily armed FBI agents broke into his home and arrested him while he was taking a shower. His economic livelihood was destroyed, and the government attempted to prosecute him. However, Binney exposed the illegal spying internally through the official whistleblower program, and he did not take any documents as proof of the illegal spying on US citizens. As a result of these precautions, Binney could not be prosecuted, and the information that the US government was illegally spying on its own citizens did not get out. Speaking before the German Bundestag in July 2014, Binney said that NSA was using totalitarian methods that previously had only been used by dictatorships. He said that Washington’s goal was to monitor the whole American population, including those abroad, which stands in contradiction of the US Constitution. As Binney had taken no documents, he could supply no proof, and the US media disposed of him as a crackpot who turned against his country. Edward Snowden, who knew first hand that the NSA was illegally and unconstitutionally spying on US citizens, took and released the documents to prove it. This effort to wake up insouciant Americans meant that he would be arrested on national security grounds. Snowden realized that and released the documents to Glenn Greenwald in Asia and escaped capture by China permitting his passage to Russia. The US media used Snowden’s escape via China to Russia as proof that he was a spy, and used this false story to prevent Americans from understanding that it was their own government, not Snowden, who was betraying them. What does this tell us? It tells us that it is difficult, and perhaps impossible, for even high government officials who turn whistleblower to awaken the American people. Americans have no idea of anything that is really happening in the world. They only get officially approved narratives handed to a media that serves only as a Ministry of Propaganda. I am a former editor at the Wall Street Journal. There is no one in American print and TV media today who has enough integrity for them to be hired by the WSJ four decades ago when I was an editor. In the United States today dissent from the official narratives that serve secret agendas implies that you are a kook conspiracy theorist and more recently that you are a foreign operative against your country. So, to be clear, in the US today facts not only do not matter, they are dangerous to those who speak them. 

— Paul Craig Roberts

* * *

American Classroom Long Ago (Bellamy Salute)

* * *


In scrubbed piece about Edward Snowden, the Bezos Post offers a preview of how history will be re-written

by Matt Taibbi

A Monday story in the Washington Post entitled “Putin grants citizenship to Edward Snowden, who exposed U.S. surveillance’” began: Russian President Vladimir Putin granted citizenship on Monday to Edward Snowden, a former security consultant who leaked information about top-secret U.S. surveillance programs and is still wanted by Washington on espionage charges.

The story added: Snowden’s disclosures, published first in The Washington Post and the Guardian, were arguably the biggest security breach in U.S. history. The information revealed top-secret NSA surveillance as part of a program known as PRISM and the extraction of a wide range of digital information.

Snowden is America’s most famous revealer-of-secrets, and the way he’s talked about has evolved to an extreme degree in less than a decade, showing how quickly a story about security overreach can be flipped into an argument for more vigilance. The press, which once worked with Snowden in its proper role as a bulwark against government excess, is effectively an arm of the state now, as is shown again in this absurd episode.

This article began as an aggressive rewrite of history and the Post’s own views, but underwent numerous alterations after it attracted criticism online yesterday.

The original version of yesterday’s piece depicted Snowden solely as someone wanted for “arguably the biggest security breach in U.S. history,” noting he’d revealed “top secret NSA surveillance” in the form of the PRISM program, which was not characterized. Written by Mary Ilyushina, the piece quoted former principal deputy director of national intelligence Sue Gordon, who said Snowden’s decision to accept Russian citizenship “takes away any illusion that what he was doing [through his disclosures] was to help America.”

Gordon added: “Knowing what we know about what Russia perpetrates, to become a Russian citizen right now. I think it diminishes any patriotic argument that he might have made back then.” The argument that Snowden was “not a traitor” was left to be made via a quote of Vladimir Putin, taken from a documentary made by Oliver Stone.

Finally, Ilyushina also got a quote from former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, who said, “He exposed so much else that damaged foreign intelligence capabilities that had nothing to do with so-called domestic surveillance… What a great time to become a Russian citizen.” Ilyushina used her own words to note Clapper “acknowledged” that the bulk phone records program revelation “was perhaps justified given its focus on Americans.”

There was no reference to Clapper being inveigled in a perjury controversy for denying that fact, under oath. Asked on March 12, 2013 by Senator Ron Wyden, “Does the NSA collect any type of data at all on millions, or hundreds of millions of Americans?” Clapper responded, “No, sir. … Not wittingly.” A year later, we were still in a world where Politifact could rate an intelligence chief’s words “false.” That seems a lifetime ago, with Snowden in permanent exile and Clapper a paid TV analyst.

As my friend Glenn Greenwald pointed out at 1:51 p.m. yesterday, this was quite a turnaround for the Post, which back in 2014 congratulated itself for sharing in a Pulitzer Prize (which Glenn also received) for publishing Snowden’s disclosures:

Glenn Greenwald 

It's extra weird for the Wash Post of all papers to do this since they enthusiastically congratulated themselves for sharing in the 2014 Pulitzer for Public Service for having published hundreds of Snowden's top secret documents. Then they turn around and malign their own source. 

Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi

I guess we're re-writing the history of the Snowden story to be merely an intelligence leak and not the disclosure of a massive illegal surveillance program. Thanks, @washingtonpost!

September 26th 2022

Back in 2014, the Post noted that “both the leakers and the news organizations that published the stories were accused by critics, including members of Congress, of enabling espionage and harming national security.” But they had it all wrong, said Executive Editor Marty Baron:

Disclosing the massive expansion of the NSA’s surveillance network absolutely was a public service… In constructing a surveillance system of breathtaking scope and intrusiveness, our government also sharply eroded individual privacy. All of this was done in secret, without public debate, and with clear weaknesses in oversight.

Baron added that without Snowden, “we never would have known how far this country had shifted away from the rights of the individual in favor of state power.” They also quoted reporter Barton Gellman, who said, incorrectly it would now seem, “The public gets to have a say on those things.” Finally, the Post in 2014 credited the work of several beat reporters who contributed, including Greg Miller, Carol Leonnig, Julie Tate, outside consultant Ashkan Soltani, and Ellen Nakashima.

The Washington Post in 2014, and the Post now.

So it was interesting when yesterday’s Snowden piece that was originally bylined just to Ilyushina suddenly appeared in co-byline, along with the aforementioned Nakashima. The changes since are interesting, reflecting an odd back-and-forth (and back) in the Post newsroom. Originally, the Post described Snowden as a pure fugitive-traitor, and relied solely on quotes from intelligence figures for color. The passage about PRISM was now rewritten to include the key, originally-missing detail that the disclosed program was ruled unlawful by a federal court:

This new version of the piece, published by 6:10 p.m., also contained a defense of Snowden from someone other than Vladimir Putin:

“Think what you want about Snowden and Russia,” wrote Jameel Jaffer, executive director of Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, in a tweet on Monday. “He did an immense public service by exposing mass surveillance programs that multiple courts later found to be unconstitutional.”

The update also put Clapper’s “acknowledgment” in his own words:

James R. Clapper, a former director of national intelligence, acknowledged Monday that the bulk phone records collection was one area where “we probably should have been more transparent” given the program’s focus on Americans.

The story was later altered again, back in the other direction. Jaffer’s quote about Snowden having done an “immense public service” is now gone. Bet on more changes, both in the near-term with this article, and long-term with the subject in general, as Snowden’s former partners at the Post are gradually replaced at the organization.

A removed quote

Press treatment of the Snowden story has always been bizarre at best. Even back when the former NSA contractor was lionized enough that a documentary about his story by Laura Poitras could win an Oscar (and cheers from Hollywood’s beautiful people), we saw intense public focus on Snowden the person, and comparatively little about the part of the story that really mattered, i.e. the illegal PRISM program.

At the time, it was already shocking that the government collected the personal data of Americans without cause. How they did it was even worse: direct extraction, without permission or notice, from companies like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple.

The Post yesterday characterized revelations about this betrayal of customers as important because they “damaged the intelligence community’s relationship with the American tech industry”:

[Snowden] also revealed details of industry collaboration with NSA intelligence-gathering in a separate program. Those disclosures greatly damaged the intelligence community’s relationship with the American tech industry.

Even back in 2013-2014, even in publications like The New Republic, we were constantly encouraged to set aside the meaning of leaks and revelations and focus on the motives of those who brought them to us. We were told Snowden had a gun fetish and odious opinions about Social Security, that Glenn defended distasteful characters as an attorney, that Julian Assange had once said the only hope for American politics was the “libertarian section” of the Republican party, etc. Similar stories about John Kiriakou, Thomas Drake, Jeffrey Sterling, and others always appear.

Snowden’s tale isn’t a “who” story. It’s a “what” story, the what being an illegal — or at least extralegal — decision by intelligence agencies to spy on American citizens, with the help of basically every private tech company and, now, nearly all national news media. That he ended up in Russia only speaks to the fact that there aren’t many places for people like Snowden or Assange to run, once the government decides to drop the hammer on them. Surely if Tahiti were an option, we’d find both men there, instead of chez Putin, in an embassy closet, etc.

The object of this propaganda game is to stamp out any space for revealers-of-secrets, even intellectual space, which means even former press partners have to turn on them, eventually. Congratulations, Washington Post, for getting there so promptly.

* * *

A Young Daughter of the Picts (c. 1580) by Jacques Le Moyne de Morgues

* * *


kraine and Poland blamed Russia after blasts were recorded and two gas pipelines were ruptured under the Baltic Sea. The sudden leaks deepened uncertainty about energy security in Europe. 

Leaks in undersea gas pipelines from Russia to Germany after blasts raise suspicions of sabotage.

Putin is expected to annex parts of Ukraine after referendums end on Tuesday.

At United Nations, Zelensky rails against Russia for trying to ‘steal’ Ukrainian territory.

Vote-getting tactics in the staged referendums: Concerts, promises and armed men at the door.

The number of Russian citizens entering the E.U. has jumped 30 percent since Putin’s call for more troops.

Foreign minister denies Iran has sent arms to Russia to use against Ukraine.

As the scramble to escape Russia’s draft grows, call-up papers are served at the border with Georgia.


* * *

Homemade Riot Gear, England, 1970s

* * *

BOTH OF THESE PROXY WARS bring the US into conflict with two other major global nuclear powers. If the progressive pols cannot be against military escalation in cases like this, it is hard to see that they have any claim to be for peace. Strikingly, not only did the "conservative" Democrats vote for the $40 billion that included more weapons of death and destruction for Joe Biden’s cruel proxy war against Russia to the last Ukrainian. All the "progressives" did so, including AOC and The Squad, Bernie Sanders, Ro Khanna, Barbara Lee and all the rest. It was a clean sweep. Working in peace organizations and coalitions, I find many activists who labor mightily for the cause of peace also maintain loyalty to the Democratic Party. And that loyalty extends especially to the "progressive" Democratic politicians. This is most disturbing because on the most important issues of war and peace, these peace activists get nothing in return. And since there is no price to pay for their hawkish votes, these politicians will simply ignore such activists. This is an abusive relationship and ought to be terminated forthwith.

* * *

* * *

PEOPLE WHO DEFEND THE US EMPIRE FROM CRITICISM aren't actually defending the empire, they're defending their worldview. They're staving off the flood of cognitive dissonance they'd experience if they saw that everything they believe about the world is a propaganda-induced lie.

That's why so many of them say things like "Of course our government does bad things BUT-" and then make up some nonsensical gibberish like "you think Putin is an innocent little flower" or whatever. They don't love the empire, they're just flailing around protecting their worldview. Their arguments consistently lack robustness because they're not invested in defending some globe-spanning power structure (people don't usually do that unless they're paid to), they're just throwing up any walls they can that will protect their worldview.

Still, though. Imagine being such an embarrassing, sycophantic bootlicker that you're emotionally incapable of handling the fact that there are a few fringe people on the internet who spend their time criticizing the most powerful and destructive government on earth. Imagine actually seeing that as a problem. There are actual people who sincerely see the existence of empire critics anywhere online as a problem that needs to be solved. How far gone do you have to be to live like that? How much bullshit must you have poured over your mind and heart for that to seem sensible?

— Caitlin Johnstone

* * *

The Tube Train (1934) by Cyril Power

* * *

THERE IS NO DEBATING that it's "better" to cook at home whenever and as often as possible.

It's cheaper, for sure. It's almost always healthier than what you might otherwise be ordering as take-out -- or eating at a restaurant. And it is provably better for society.

We know for instance that there is a direct, inverse relationship between frequency of family meals and social problems. Bluntly stated, members of the family who eat together regularly are statistically less likely to stick up liquor stores, blow up meth labs, give birth to crack babies, commit suicide, or make donkey porn. If Little Timmy had just had more meatloaf, he might not have grown up to fill chest freezers with Cub Scout parts.

But that's not what I'm talking about. I'm interested in whether we should cook as a moral imperative -- as something that every boy and girl should be taught to do in school and woe to him or her who can't. I'm talking about pounding home a new value, a national attitude, the way, during the JFK era, the President's Council on Physical Fitness created the expectation that you should be healthy if you were a kid. That you should, no, you must be reasonably athletic. That at the very least you must aspire to those goals, try your best -- that your teachers, your schoolmates, and society as a whole would help you and urge you on. There would be rigorous standards. Your progress would be monitored with the idea that you would, over time, improve -- and become, somehow, better as a person.

With encouragement, of course, came the unstated but implied ugly flipside: negative reinforcement. If you couldn't keep up, you were, at best, teased and, at worst, picked on.

So I'm not suggesting we put kids who can't cook into the center of a hooting circle of bullies and throw fat rubber balls at them until they cry -- which was the traditional punishment for perceived crimes of "spazdom" back in my time.

But I do think the idea that basic cooking skills are a virtue, that the ability to feed yourself and a few others with proficiency should be taught to every young man and woman as a fundamental skill, should become as vital to growing up as learning to wipe one's own ass, cross the street by oneself, or be trusted with money.

— Anthony Bourdain, "Medium Raw"

* * *

Eco Friendly Car

* * *


Nadya brings him right up to my bedside (she never has much sense of occasion) a lanky, long-haired, rather starved looking youngster, pipe cleaner arms and legs but the barrel chest of an opera singer, bird-of-prey's hooked nose, and a mouth that could tear and rend. The whole figure still swirling with London fog. "The Pen is here!" she proclaimed.

The Pen! Hah! I shouldn't laugh. After all I suggested that Party non-de-guerre myself. It doesn't do any harm to butter new young recruits (he's 23), especially one who volunteered to escape from Siberia, cross Europe with false papers, turn up in London in the early hours — all to write for a newspaper. And it seemed an appropriate title for someone who writes with such flashy, impressive, studentish use of color and drama, highlights and shadows, positive charoscuro (as he might put it). It's not any style I could use, or really much enjoy. But I can see it may be a phase (a bit like Marx's beautiful puns and jokes on the Neue Rhenischer Zeitung).

He is a natural polemicist, an orator on the page. Perhaps on the platform as well. Anyway, I need all the fresh talent I can get out of Russia to strengthen my hold on Iskra. "I'm in love with London!" he cried, hovering around my camp bed like a buzzard, then sitting down on my hand under the quilt and practically paralyzing it.

His real name is Lev Davidovich Bronstein. He comes from a highly improbable family (given the institutionalized racialism of Tsardom) of Jewish cowboys in Kherson province. He is traveling under the alias of Trotsky, an identity he took at the last moment, writing it into his forged passport on impulse with his own hand. This is, of course, a very common name in Russia, not quite like Smith and Jones here, but Robinson perhaps. It was only when it was too late to reinscribe it that he realized it was also the name of his head border in Odessa's model prison. That Trotsky was a tyrant of towering build, powerful intelligence, and immense presence.

"What do you think that means? Psychologically, so to speak?" he asked. I remarked that I did not so speak. Indeed, I have to say that I could not understand the formulation of the question. He looked rather disappointed.

He is a master of words, a born tale-spinner. The simplest, most familiar proposition begins to take on the properties of a short story. I warmed to his partner, Alexandra Lvovna Sokolovskaya, the lone Marxist woman in their illegal student discussion group in Odessa. He was then a populist, a romantic conspiritor, aching for direct action, the smell of sweating dynamite, the tremor of illegality. He mocked her political philosophy saying he could not understand how any passionate hot-blooded person could preach such narrow, dogmatic, arid, pseudo-scientific stuff. He even raised his glass at the group's New Year's party to invoke a curse on those -- i.e., the Social Democrats -- who want to invoke hardness, dryness, toughness into all human activities. She answered the toast by demanding how it was possible for a vigorous young fellow with a highly developed brain to fill his head was such with a soft vague, wet idealism.

— Lenin as channeled by Alan Brien

* * *

Going Fishing Down the Gare


  1. peter boudoures September 28, 2022

    Josephina’s Road? Looked more like rays road from here

  2. Marmon September 28, 2022


    It looks like Mar A Lago is going to escape the worst part of hurricane Ian. That’s good news, 45 deserves a break.


    • Gary Smith September 28, 2022

      Can’t see how. He’s had all the breaks for his whole life. The fact that he’s not now in prison is a huge break.

  3. Marmon September 28, 2022


    “Shortsighted leaders don’t understand the most basic tenet of war: it’s unpredictable. What’s very predictable is the suffering it causes. Anyone who cares about the wellbeing of America and the world must push for a ceasefire and negotiated settlement to bring an end to this war.”

    -Tulsi Gabbard 🌺


    • Marmon September 28, 2022


      President Trump has offered to step in and broker a peace deal between Russia, Ukraine and the US.



      • Harvey Reading September 28, 2022

        Thanks. Your comment gave me my first laugh of the day, and it’s nearly 3 P.M.

    • Marmon September 28, 2022


      “U.S. “Leadership” should remain “cool, calm, and dry” on the SABOTAGE of the Nord Stream Pipelines. This is a big event that should not entail a big solution, at least not yet. The Russia/Ukraine catastrophe should NEVER have happened, and would definitely not have happened if I were President. Do not make matters worse with the pipeline blowup. Be strategic, be smart (brilliant!), get a negotiated deal done NOW. Both sides need and want it. The entire World is at stake. I will head up group???”

      -Donald J. Trump


      • Harvey Reading September 28, 2022

        Sounds like he is campaigning while imagining himself as someone else…someone who, to date, refuses to show itself. “Cool, calm, and dry” certainly does NOT describe the orange hog.

      • Tim McClure September 28, 2022

        Do we really have to suffer sooo much Marmon!

    • Chuck Dunbar September 28, 2022

      It’s hard to disagree with Gabbard’s thoughts, though I wonder what is left unsaid, as so much about this war is now politicized and polarized. The suffering part is for sure the truth–all the suffering on all sides. The issues of unpredictabililty and possible escalation are very real and very worrisome. I’ll pass on Trump as the negotiator, an idea that is just laughable and useless.

      • Marmon September 28, 2022

        He did write “the art of the deal” he knows how to negotiate, made billions doing so. His team also negotiated the Abraham Accord which promise peace in the Middle East until the Party of Chaos started meddling with the Iran deal again, which is bringing more instability to that region again.


        • Mark Scaramella September 28, 2022

          Donald Trump likes to brag that he’s a great negotiator. Doubt it. In Trump’s silly self-promoting book “The Art of the Deal” he lists ten “secrets” to good negotiating: “Think big. Protect the downside and the upside will take care of itself. Maximize your options. Know your market, Use your leverage, Enhance your location, Get the word out, Fight back, Deliver the goods, Contain the costs, Have fun.” Conspicuously missing from Trump’s meaningless statements of the obvious is the most important: Do your homework. In other words, do lots of preparation and research about the operations and aims of the other party so that you know more about what they want or need than they do. Trump’s too lazy, too short-tempered, too inclined to blurt, and too much of a blusterer to be a good negotiator.

        • Harvey Reading September 28, 2022

          Did Trump really write it, or did he pull a JFK and have a ghostwriter write it?

  4. Michael Geniella September 28, 2022

    I am with nephew. The assault on the nation’s Capitol was an insurrection. Also, I can hear you with Kamala. As a result, I doubt if you will be in the receiving line at the White House during her tenure.

  5. Bill Pilgrim September 28, 2022

    Why would Russia blow up its own pipelines? They are a major investment for future profit.
    Few are recalling that US Navy vessels in June took part in “training exercises” in the vicinity of those Baltic pipelines.
    “Biden” declared earlier in the year that if Russia invaded Ukraine the Nord Stream 2 pipeline would be “taken out.”
    A former Polish government official has just thanked USA for destroying the pipeline.
    And much more;

  6. Cotdbigun September 28, 2022

    Having just spent 15 seconds reading a list of all her accomplishments as VP, I have to agree that Kamala is indeed amazing . Just imagine the possibility of time to do the work that time allows us to imagine, nods head and cackles. Amazing indeed.

  7. Marmon September 28, 2022

    Multiple MLB insiders believe Aaron Judge is headed to Giants this offseason


    • Bruce Anderson September 28, 2022

      No way.

      • Stephen Rosenthal September 28, 2022

        Agree with Bruce. Ain’t gonna happen.

  8. Stephen Rosenthal September 28, 2022

    As Florida is getting pounded by Hurricane Ian, Governor Ron DeSantis, who earlier this year claimed Biden “hates Florida” and “stiffed the state out of storm funds”, has toned down his rhetoric and has his hands out for money from the Feds. Hypocrisy personified.

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