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Mendocino County Today: Friday, Nov. 4, 2022

Wet Weekend | MCHCD Candidates | Finnish Mural | Opening Night | Art Walk | Vaccine Clinics | Westport Saturday | Mill Operation | Wild Mushrooms | Cookies | Ed Notes | Early Cleone | Bookshop Events | Symphony Concert | MEC Mystery | Gualala Mill | Craft Fair | Roof Turkey | Youth Arts | Big Tree | Local Ecology | Yesterday's Catch | Lion Encounter | Sea Ranch | Legalization Woes | Dandelions | Hastings Case | Lily | Town Destroyer | Forest Edge | OneTaste v Netflix | Therapy | Smoking | Chicken Tracks | DePape Account | Jail Food | Poet Lucan | 1968 | Journalism | Trickle Down | Ukraine | Voting Against | Endless War | Wake Up | Capitalism | Billy Bones | Free Speechy | Miracle Cure | Collaboration | Angel Piping

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LIGHT RAIN or sprinkles as a warm front move onshore today, mainly for the northern portion of the region. Another storm system will bring widespread rain to the area on Saturday. A colder storm system will bring more rain and mountain snow to the area on Sunday, with precipitation potentially continuing into early next week. (NWS)

RAIN NOTE: Following a completely dry October, the first couple days of November brought a quarter inch of rain to Boonville and a half inch to Yorkville. More appears to be on the way this weekend.

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HELP MCHCD CANDIDATES WITH GOTV LITERATURE DROP - Plan Modified Due To Rain

The trio who are offering themselves up to straighten out the misdirections of the previous boards at the hospital in Fort Bragg. From left they are Susan Savage, Jade Tippett and Lee Finney (photo via Liz Haapanen).

In Fort Bragg in between the rain showers this weekend:

WHERE: NW corner of Rite Aid parking lot - look for green Subaru and Lee Finney

WHAT: Pickup a packet of MCHCD candidate handouts, a clipboard, pen, rubber bands (for attaching handout to doorknobs, handouts have a hole punched), targeted addresses, precinct map. No door-knocking needed, just leave our handout.

WHEN: Friday, 11/4 from 1-2 PM, or Saturday, 11/5 from 9:30 - 10:30 AM

THANK YOU!

Lee Finney, Jade Tippett, Susan Savage

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LAUREN SINNOTT: The Finnish mural is finished! I painted the last brushstrokes around 5pm on Halloween. After two months’ work, going from shorts to snow boots, and painting the last 21 days in a row, this post is a celebration! The champagne party will come later, and my next posts will explore the families, the portraits of people and buildings, but for now let me share the last busy weekend.

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Join us at 11am this Friday for my presentation at the year’s first Ukiah event sponsored by the American Association of University Women. The AAUW has been advocating for women and girls since 1881, and this brunch/talk will take place in an equally historic location, the Saturday Afternoon Clubhouse! Which happens to be right across the street from my big mural. I will be talking about my life as a working artist and how it came to be, starting with emulating my artist mom at age 2. Then university education in art practice and art history was another huge part of it!

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Opening night is Friday at the Grange - come catch one of the 4 shows - we’re promising udder absurdity!

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UKIAH FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK - NOVEMBER 2022

Art Walk: emphasis on Art and Walk. Ukiah is a very walkable town. Join artists and their hosts for an evening of art, music and refreshments as you stroll from one venue to the next; each showcasing local art and artistry. Held in Historic Downtown Ukiah on the first Friday of each month, the First Friday Art Walk is the perfect way to relax your body, mind and soul. This enjoyable evening begins at 5:00 p.m. and promises to delight your senses; all while enjoying the company of others. For more information contact (707) 391-3664

Art Center Ukiah, 201 S State Street: Opening Event Friday November 4th 5pm - 8pm "Our Safety, Our Sovereignty” Exhibit in Art Center Ukiah Gallery uses textile art as a means of telling the story of Native American People of Mendocino and Lake Counties created at a series of art quilting workshops. Participants include Pomo and Indigenous community members. Representations of the ongoing and unexplained disappearance and presumed death of a high number of Native people as well as the ongoing and unresolved issues of tribal sovereignty over land, language, food and culture are also represented through paintings, photography and sculpture as well. This exhibit facilitated by renowned basket weaver Corine Pearce. Meet the artists Friday, November 4 5pm - 8pm. Exhibits runs through the month of November. 201 S. State Street Ukiah Gallery hours 11am - 5 pm Tuesday thru Saturday.

Corner Gallery, 201 S. State Street: Opening Event Friday November 4th 5pm - 8pm, November 4th — November 29th 2022 The Pomo Weavers Society exhibits a collection of weavings and baskets created by local members. The Pomo basket-weaving tradition in Northern California has been passed down for generations. Local Weavers use the art of basketry as a vessel for healing and understanding through the holistic practice of weaving, from native plant cultivation and preparation to weaving in community. Because of the botanical diversity of the area where the Pomo people lived — now Lake, Mendocino and Sonoma counties - baskets are made from more types of materials than anywhere else in the world. Visit the Corner Gallery in the month of November 201 S. State Street Ukiah, 11am -5pm Tuesday thru Saturday.

Bona Marketplace, 116 W Standley Street: Bona Marketplace is pleased to feature art by Katie Kight during the November First Friday Art Walk. Katie will be exhibiting a variety of her watercolor paintings, from vineyard inspired images to the Golden Gate Bridge and more. Stop in to say hello, grab a bite and peruse the beautiful artwork.

Medium Gallery, 522 E Perkins Street: The Deep Valley Arts Collective invites you to join us for the First Friday Art Walk Ukiah! Medium Art Gallery will be showing their current "Memento Mori" art show and will have music, beer, and snacks. Come make paper flowers or add to the community altar. First Friday Art Walk: Friday, November 4th, 2022, from 5:00-8:00 Music. Beer and snacks available. Community Altar: Come join us to build our community altar. Bring something or create something to add to the altar in remembrance of those who have passed away, but are not forgotten. Paper Flower Making: Learn how to make paper flowers that you can add to the community altar or your own. Supplies provided. Current Exhibition: ”Memento Mori,” which in Latin means to “remember that you must die.” We seek to explore the inevitability of death and its impact on all of us. During the pandemic, we’ve had to let go of old ways of thinking and being in the world and adopt new ways of living. Death, in all its forms, can provide an opportunity to adapt, appreciate, honor and value the lives we are currently living. Remembering that we all will die one day allows us to be present in the world and more present in our lives. Death reminds us that each moment of life is sacred. The exhibition will be on display through Sunday, November 20th. Gallery hours are Friday 12-8 p.m., Saturday 12-6 p.m., and Sunday 12-4 p.m.

For more information contact (707) 391-3664

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WESTPORT DAY OF THE DEAD, NOV 5

New Location: The Westport Day Of The Dead (Dia de los Muertos) celebration has moved to the Westport Community Church from 4:30 to 6:00 followed by the movie, Coco, next door at the Community Center, about 6:30.

Pot luck appetizer dishes are a welcome addition. Bring a photo and any items of significance to your loved one for an alter on the table. There will also be a pinata, music, and face painting and Sean Hathorn will be playing Spanish style guitar. Pan Muerto and Hot Chocolate will be served at the community center.

This is free family, multi-cultural event is a collaboration between the Transition Learning Center from FBUSD, the Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund, and the Westport Cemetary District.

If you have any questions please contact Erin Brazill, Juliana Sanchez at the Children’s Fund at community@mccf.info, 707-962-8111

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Bull Team at Gualala Mill Operation

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WILD MUSHROOMS

Jug Handle Creek Farm and Nature Center invites you to "Walk on the Wild Side" Sunday, Nov. 6th with naturalist-guided mushroom identification hikes starting at 1:30 pm.  The event will also feature mushroom - based refreshments, a large local mushroom display and a presentation by mushroom  enthusiast and entrepreneur Eric Schramm. 

Jug Handle is located at 15501 North Highway One in Caspar, CA. The event starts at 1:30 p.m. and will  end at 5 p.m.

Mushroom Identification forays onto Jug Handle's surrounding nature trails will be led by expert local naturalists.

Before the hikes, enjoy warm, toasty mushroom-based finger-food refreshments served with cheese, crackers and mushroom spreads.  The large mushroom display will be prepared by local mushroom enthusiast Eric Schramm.

After the guided mushroom ID walks, help yourself to mushroom - based soup, salad, desert and drinks, many featuring mushroom recipes from the Wild Mushroom cookbook. Enjoy the food and warm drinks while hearing an interesting presentation about fungi by Eric Scramm, founder of the Mendocino Mushroom Company.

Cost of the event is $35 per person.

For Reservations please contact: Helene Chalfin, jughandle.ed@gmail.com, or call 937-3498

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Cookies at Boonville General Store

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ED NOTES

SUPERVISOR DAN GJERDE has not attended a board meeting since the covid shutdowns. He mails it in, so to speak, via Zoom. Small wonder he didn't recognize deputy chief auditor-controller, Kiki DeLong, as the supervisors blame her and her boss, Chamise Cubbison, for tardy completion of basic fiscal tasks, a mess created by the supervisors when they consolidated two offices, Auditor/Controller and Treasurer/Tax Collector without consulting any of the persons with long experience in both departments and without a plan. A $100,000 "consultant" is assisting the county to get payroll done.

MS. DELONG said it plainly: 

“It is really painful for our office to watch these board meetings. It strikes me as somewhat hypocritical, the way you address Chamise [Cubbison] specifically with regard to wanting her to name the departments that she is asking for a little bit more support from and analysis before sending materials to her for input. Against her will, she named the CEO's office, asking that they review the materials a little more. Then you took her to task for getting personal and having a personality conflict, maybe being difficult to work with. It's really obvious to our department that the agenda here is to see her fail. You pay lipservice to trying to provide support, but she is basically being used as a scapegoat. You basically blew up our two offices by forcing this consolidation against both offices' will; Against Schari [Schapmire who retired early saying she couldn’t work with “this board” anymore] and Julie [Forrester who just quit] and Chamise and Lloyd [Weer, former Auditor Controller, now retired] and several of the community members speaking out against this. They were not just against it, they just wanted a plan to be in place — until you did a study, not just because they did it in Sonoma County which is close to the Bay Area and has access to employees. You said, We can just do it! There was no study to see if there would be any savings or efficiencies for our county. There was no action plan. You just took her to task for not having an organization chart! You need to take care of this stuff. Because you basically blew everything up and created this urgency ordinance to appoint her to clean up your mess and now you can blame her for everything that's not being done through the departments? No! That's not how it works. We all have to work together. … There is just this stonewalling of our department from the board, from the Executive office. It is getting really frustrating. We are all working very hard to try to carry the load of not having enough staff and not enough hours. And when we watch these board meetings and see the two-facedness where you seem to be wanting to support us, but then you take every opportunity to make Chamise your scapegoat. It makes us all want to just take a vacation — which I have not done. I have not used any vacation since becoming an employee of Mendocino County four years ago. Because we have always been understaffed, and it's not because the positions are not there. It's because you can't attract people to this area, this market. It takes so long to fill a position. From the time applicants apply before you get around to calling them in they have already accepted an industry position. Industry fills these positions in 21 days. Government fills the positions in two months or more. That has to change. If we need to get butts in seats and get work done, we need to be able to hire people quickly and competitively. That is not going on right now. We have a lot of empty desks and we have a lot of people trying to do two jobs. I don't like watching these board meetings. It makes me want to just quit. I stay out of respect for Chamise. But I do not feel support from the board. The board blew up our offices and now you are not happy because you are not getting things in a timely manner. Maybe you should've thought about that before your legacy went forward. You have no plan. You drove away our Treasurer Tax Collector. You drove away our Assistant Treasurer Tax Collector. And then you appointed Chamise and made her responsible for everything. She was not the previous Auditor Controller. She was brought in to take care of that job, and Schari's job and Julie's job. You did not appoint her when Lloyd left last year so she was not able to hire an Assistant Auditor Controller. She was doing Lloyd's job and her job last year. And now she doing Julie's job and Schari's job? And now you are whining about what's not being done? You created this mess. And I -- I've said my piece. I'm done.”

HERE IT IS, FOLKS, America's premier beauty spot, the fall poplars at the Indian Creek bridge, Philo. Catch the annual show before it leaves (sic) for another year.

$240 A WEEK. That's what it will cost you to live in your trailer at the Boonville Fairgrounds, and one more reason lots of people are unhoused and living wherever they can shelter themselves.

THE SUPREME COURT will end Affirmative Action in June. As a lib with lab tendencies, I think AF has been a good thing, but the Asians bringing the case against Harvard for discriminating against them in the application process, are correct: Harvard obviously has been limiting Asian enrollment because many more Asians meet all the academic standards than do all other ethnic groups, although some Asian ethnicities do better than others. A truly blind admissions policy would see many more Asian students admitted than are admitted now. Why? Gosh, it may have something to do with ambition and respect for education often absent among many other American ethnicities, but that's just a wild guess.

A LOT OF REPUBLICANS are denouncing the enfeebled Biden as a "tyrant" for his slurred teleprompter speech yesterday where he said this election was between democracy and autocracy. Biden also said that "democracy means the rule of the people, not the rule of monarchs or the moneyed," as if the DNC is a gang of paupers; as if the billions spent on this mid-term election were all spent by Republicans. Seems from here — Boonville — that we already have a bi-partisan autocracy funded by Very Big Money, and not much democracy beyond the county election level. 

A NEWS CLIP last night described the one issue that scares hell out of millions of Americans — inflation. The news seg was about recurring food bank shortages as more and more people depend on them to feed themselves and their families. A 71-year-old woman said her fixed Social Security income was not enough to keep up with inflation, and one more reminder that it's the economy that's on most people's minds, not abstractions like democracy vs. autocracy. 

29 million households ALREADY cannot pay bills and families are buying fewer groceries to keep the lights on — study says cold weather and rising costs will deepen the crisis

  • 23 percent of households could not wholly pay an energy bill this past year 
  • 34 percent skipped groceries or other basics to settle their utilities 
  • A fifth of Americans say home temperature is 'unsafe or unhealthy' due to costs
  • Texas, Mississippi and West Virginia are the worst-affected states 
  • Americans collectively owe $16 billion in unpaid utility bills
  • Consumers could pay 28 percent more to heat their homes this winter
  • White House unveiled $13 billion plan to bring down energy costs for hard-up families 

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The Little Valley Lumber Company Store, Cleone

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GREAT THINGS HAPPENING AT GALLERY BOOKSHOP IN NOVEMBER!

November 10th, 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm, Poet's Showcase Featuring:

  • Steven Rood | Naming the Wind
  • Larry Felson | Dawn Out of Order
  • Joe Smith | Sappho's Island

November 17th, 6:30 pm to 7:30 pm, Open Book Book Club talks about: Comeuppance Served Cold by Marion Deeds

More information at 707.937.2665 or gallerybookshop.com

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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MEC?

Eliana Yoneda wrote: I am helping close out an estate and i would like to know if the Mendocino Coast Environmental Center still exists? All phone lines and websites associated with it are down and guidestar says it has lost its 501(c)3 status. There were Two different non profits. The Mendocino Coast Environmental Center defunct and the Mendocino Environmental Center Alive and growing. I have sent yr email to Betty Ball to respond

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Marco here, Eliana. If you mean the Mendocino Environment Center, to my best knowledge they haven't paid rent on their shop space for years, being carried by their landlord Michael McCowen, out of the goodness of his heart. Their internet service was shut off because of being six months in arrears. And they unplugged their radio station, KMEC, to save two dollars a week on electricity and not have to let people in the building to talk or play records into it, the internet and phone being off.

I emailed the return address I found on the MEC email newsletter every time I got one for over a year with no reply.

The other email contact I could find was Naomi Wagner. In 2020. I wrote to her and called her for months simply asking for a reply and got none, but finally I got a strange shaky-voiced phone call from her, or someone who claimed to be, where she told me that they do everything by /consensus/, that she doesn't like it when people tell her what she has to do, that Michael McCowen had been very good to them (the MEC), that she would appreciate it if I would ask people for money for them, and that she was the only one to tell people to contact. Later someone else told me that was a load of crap, that Naomi had nothing to do with the Environmental Center anymore, but I don't think that's true. I've seen her name and email address as recently as last month on notices of crucial environmental action regarding Jackson Demonstration State Forest, for example.

Here's the address for Naomi Wagner: nomiwagner@yahoo.com

That's right, nomiwager, not naomiwagner. Good luck.

Also regarding the MEC, almost thirty years ago I was on a print and delivery run, distributing /Memo/ newspapers all over the county, and a steaming-sweaty woman in shorts and a tank top directly in front of the MEC offered to sell me what she called tweak, which I gathered was illegal drugs. I pointed to the courthouse across the street and said, "Do you know that's the hive of policemen, there." She said, "So?"

To my best knowledge, they haven't paid rent on their shop space for years, being carried by their landlord Michael McCowen, out of the goodness of his heart. Their internet service was shut off because of being six months in arrears. And they unplugged their radio station, KMEC, to save two dollars a week on electricity and not have to let people in the building to talk into it, the internet and phone being off.

I emailed the return address I found on the MEC email newsletter every time I got one for over a year with no reply. Annie Esposito's name was on that.

— Marco McClean

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Gualala Mill

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HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS FAIR

The Greenwood Community Church is sponsoring its 22nd annual Holiday Arts and Crafts Fair on Saturday, December 3, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  The fair will be held at the Greenwood Community Center in downtown Elk.  Take home jewelry, pottery, wreaths, food products, bath & body items and other handcrafted delights for all ages.  Come support your local organizations and artisans.  Snacks and lunch will be available for purchase.  Funds raised will help maintain the historic Greenwood Community Church.  For more information, or to inquire about booth rental, contact Mary O'Brien at (248) 917-3369.

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MENDOCINO ART CENTER’S ART WITH JULIE - YOUTH ART CLASSES

Beginning in January — Scholarships are Available

More information & activity schedules: https://www.mendocinoartcenter.org/youth-arts

Each six-week session is packed with exciting art projects specifically designed for children in four different age groups — 2 to 4*, 6 to 8, 9 to 12 and 13 to 15.

Each week we will focus on a different discipline, medium or technique, in a nurturing and positive environment. Students will create a different work of art each week. All activities are open-ended, and designed to encourage children to develop their individual creative imaginations and intellect. Each session promises to be an exciting artistic experience like no other! All supplies included.

For more information on scholarships, please email register@mendocinoartcenter.org

If you have a 5-year-old you would like to enroll, please contact the instructor, Julie Karlonas (juliekarlonas@yahoo.com), to determine the most age appropriate class for your child.

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EXPLORE MENDOCINO ECOLOGY WITH UC CALIFORNIA NATURALISTS

Are you looking to learn about the wonders of our local ecology? The University of California’s California Naturalist class is open for registration once again in Mendocino. The class has not been available to the public since 2019 due to COVID.

The California Naturalist Program seeks to foster a committed corps of volunteer naturalists and community scientists trained and ready to take an active role in natural resource conservation, education and restoration. The course introduces participants to the wonders of local ecology, engages them in the stewardship of California’s natural communities, and introduces cultural connections with the landscape. Classes combine a science curriculum with guest lecturers, field trips and project-based learning to immerse participants in the natural world of inland Mendocino County.

“We’re excited to be able to offer this class to the community again,” said Hannah Bird, community educator at UC Hopland Research and Extension Center. “The class really needs to be in person and we chose not to offer online only classes during COVID to the wider community. However, over the last couple of years we have created a partnership with the California Conservation Corps and have accredited over 80 new California Naturalists from the Ukiah CCC over this time. We’re happy to once again offer classes to the local community as well.”

The class runs from Jan. 11 to March 15, with 10 Wednesday evening (6-8:30 p.m.) lectures and four field trip days. Evening classes will be a hybrid of online and in-person. In-person classes will meet at the UC Cooperative Extension Offices at 890 N. Bush St. in Ukiah, unless otherwise noted.

In an effort to build an inclusive community of participants, the California Naturalist Program is trying something new called equity pricing. Registration is $420 per person (including certification, instruction, some materials and facility costs). For those unable to pay this amount due to low income or extenuating circumstances, an income guide and sliding scale of payment is available to adjust course cost. Minimum payment is $300. A limited number of need-based scholarships are also available to help support registrants. “Generous donors to the Hopland Scholars Fund have enabled us to create a pricing structure that meets our own costs and the needs of our community,” said Bird.

This class will fill quickly so interested members of the community are encouraged to register early to avoid disappointment. Class size is limited to 22 participants, the registration deadline is December 1st or until filled.

Further information and registration can be found at https://bit.ly/CalNat2023

For more information, email hbird@ucanr.edu or call Bird at (707) 744-1424, ext. 105.

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, November 3, 2022

Addor, Aunchman, Duman

CHRISTOPHER ADDOR, Talmage. Controlled substance, failure to appear.

RONALD AUNCHMAN, Los Banos/Ukiah. Protective order violation, paraphernalia.

ROCKY DUMAN, Ukiah. Disobeying court order, failure to appear. (Frequent Flyer)

Fimbres, Golyer, Lyle

ANDHRA FIMBRES, Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance, under influence, paraphernalia, resisting.

DUSTIN GOLYER, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, parole violation.

STEPHANIE LYLE, Ukiah. Petty theft.

Marks, McElroy, Raash, Williamson

DUSTIN MARKS, Willits. Failure to appear, probation revocation.

TONY MCELROY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)

CHARLES RAASCH, Willits. Protective order violation.

JUSTIN WILLIAMSON, Fort Bragg. Burglary, stolen property, paraphernalia. 

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SEVEN SECONDS OF TERROR

Editor,

It only took a fraction of a second for a early morning stroll on a beautiful Fall day to make all my feelings of gratitude and joy disappear, and to replace them with violent shock and numbness. Just a few minutes before I had left my home and headed down the mile-long driveway, slipper-clad and holding my first cup of coffee for the day, completely unaware of what was about to cross my path just around the first corner. The red flags were immediately waving wildly as I first noticed movement behind a large Chamois bush, the outline was not clear yet but it was large and didn’t match that of a deer - and it was CLOSE.

In the next second I saw all I needed to even though my unexpected guest was still not in full view, as the undulating hips and shoulders that rose above the top of the bush confirmed my worst fears - this was a mountain lion! At this point my brain almost exploded with all kinds of thoughts crossing it in nano-seconds, as I froze dead-center in the middle of the driveway with no nearby cover to dive behind. RUN! THROW THE CUP AT HIM! DROP THE CUP AND THEN RUN! TRY TO LOOK BIG AND CHARGE HIM WHILE YELLING! WHY IS HE SO DAMN CLOSE TO THE HOUSE? Running was quickly ruled-out as a fleeting image of the lion’s claws entering my back as I struggled back up the hill dashed through my head, meanwhile the lion had taken three more steps toward to the edge of the driveway.

It was at this point he finally paused and slowly turned his head towards me, and our stares locked onto each other’s. He was a magnificent beast, somewhere near my body weight of 145 pounds, not nearly as large as the one I saw late one night on the Hopland grade from the safety of my car, but plenty big enough to kill me without question. He was 65 feet in front of me and quite close to a path that lions, bears and deer use frequently, with the bears and lions constantly pooping on the other guy’s poop to show them who’s the boss on this turf.

It was at this point I had a truly insane and desperate thought, maybe my eyes and brain weren’t working right and this was just a Bob Cat, so I unlocked my stare from his for a millisecond to glance at his very long and crooked tail - FUCK NO ITS A LION, STUPID!!!! It was decision time now, he turns left and heads for the hills or he turns right - and I’m breakfast. Oddly enough, though I was in a near-panic mode I had remained calm, since deep-down at second number two of the encounter I knew whatever the outcome was I would not be the one deciding it - I was a participant/spectator, nothing more - my survival was out of my hands now.

The lion had acted much like the numerous house cats I’ve had, he seemed embarrassed to have let me spot him first — I think that was his first thought regarding my presence. He was supposed to get the drop on me - not the other way around, and that didn’t sit well with him. Maybe it was the lapse in his watchfulness, or maybe it was my movement as I looked in vain for a short little Bob Cat tail on his butt - I have no idea why but he slowly turned to the left and began trotting up the hill and away from me. 

From start to finish my guess was that about seven seconds had elapsed, and now as I walked back to the house the fear was almost overwhelming — this was WAY too close a call! I had gotten sloppy lately, going for strolls too early and too late, and leaving the pistol behind. What if I had started 15 seconds earlier? He would have hit the driveway right behind me, I wouldn’t know it until his claws hit my back. If I had left 10 seconds earlier we would have arrived at the same point at the same time, another unpleasant scenario to consider. Once again dumb luck had saved my butt, and the weird and dumb idea that maybe I’d see another lion someday but he’d be at a safe distance left my mind for good.

Phil Murphy

Grants Pass, Oregon

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Condominium #1, one of the first buildings constructed at Sea Ranch, and south entrance marker along Highway 1 in 1965.

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LEGAL WEED, BROKEN PROMISES: A Times series on the fallout of legal pot in California

California’s legalization of recreational cannabis in 2016 ushered in a multibillion-dollar industry estimated to be the largest legal weed market in the world. But many of the promises of legalization have proved elusive.…

latimes.com/california/story/2022-09-08/a-series-on-the-fallout-of-legal-weed-in-california

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HASTINGS LAW SCHOOL FILES MOTION TO DISMISS

UC Hastings College of the Law filed a motion today seeking immediate dismissal of a lawsuit filed by plaintiffs who want to stop the renaming of the College, after Governor Newsom signed Assembly Bill 1936 on September 23. The lawsuit was filed last month by a small group of Hastings’ alumni and some distant descendants of the law school’s founder, Serranus Hastings. 

Pursuant to California’s anti-SLAPP statute, the College has requested that the court dismiss this lawsuit because the decision to change its name was based on activity that is protected under the United States and California Constitutions, including the First Amendment. The plaintiffs cannot show that any of their claims against the College will succeed. The anti-SLAPP statute prevents the filing of strategic, meritless lawsuits that prevent the exercise of the rights to freedom of speech and petition—such as the lawsuit plaintiffs have filed here.

“The College engaged in a thoughtful, deliberate and transparent process as we examined the historical record of our founder,” said David Faigman, Chancellor & Dean of UC Hastings College of the Law. “The name change is a critical and public aspect of the College’s restorative justice efforts. Today’s motion for dismissal is an important step in keeping our community moving forward as we transition toward a new and exciting chapter for the school.”

“Plaintiffs’ lawsuit is exactly the kind of strategic, meritless lawsuit that California’s anti-SLAPP statute is designed to prevent,” said Theodore J. Boutrous Jr., partner with Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and counsel to the College. “What Plaintiffs want to do is prevent the College from exercising its rights to free speech and to petition the Legislature, but those rights are enshrined in both the California and federal Constitutions. And importantly, Plaintiffs’ claims are legally and factually meritless and doomed to fail in any event.”  

In August, Assembly Bill 1936 successfully passed in both the California Senate and Assembly with zero “no” votes and was signed by Governor Newsom the following month. The Legislature took that action after the College’s Board voted last November to remove the Hastings name from the College, and then asked the Legislature to amend the California Education Code to conform to the new name. The Legislature did so, passing AB 1936, which renames the law school University of California, College of the Law, San Francisco. 

The decision to change the College’s name was the result of a lengthy public process that included extensive research, public hearings, and input from a wide range of the law school’s constituencies. That process began in 2017, when Dean Faigman formed the Hastings Legacy Review Committee (HLRC) to investigate the history of the law school’s founder, after learning of his involvement in mass killings of Yuki People in the Round Valley and Eden Valley region prior to founding the College. 

Over the course of the College’s five-year investigation into Hastings’ conduct, and its impact on the law school’s community, there was overwhelming support to pursue numerous restorative justice efforts, including changing the College’s name. Since the formation of the HLRC, the College developed and put in place several other important restorative justice initiatives, including: 

Establishing a foundational relationship with the Round Valley Indian Tribes (RVIT) Tribal Council and its Yuki Committee.

Opening an Indigenous Law Center

Sponsoring students to offer pro bono legal assistance during the summers for organizations and tribal courts supporting California Native Americans.

Curating a commemorative space in honor of the Yuki people on campus.

Establishing a Restorative Justice Advisory Board to inform ongoing initiatives led by the College.

More information about the College’s continued commitment to restorative justice can be found on its Recognition and Reconciliation web page. 

(UC Hastings Presser)

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photo by Larry Wagner

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GEORGE WASHINGTON: FATHER OF HIS COUNTRY? TOWN DESTROYER? 

New Anti-Colonialist Documentary Asks Big Questions

by Jonah Raskin

He’s known as the Father of the Country and as the man who couldn’t and wouldn’t lie about chopping down a cherry tree. But if Alan Snitow and Deborah Kaufman have their way, George Washington will also be remembered as “the town destroyer.” That’s the title of a new documentary that they have written, directed and produced about the controversial murals in San Francisco at George Washington High School. Once slated to be painted over, they are still on the walls and still controversial.

History first: in 1779, three years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and in the thick of a violent revolution, Washington ordered the “total destruction and devastation” of Iroquois villages allied with King George. American soldiers burned forty villages to the ground, and displaced thousands of Indians. Hundreds of Iroquois died of exposure to winter weather. A Seneca leader named Tanacharison called Washington “Hanödaganyas” – “Town Destroyer.”

In recent times, probably no San Francisco news story has traveled as far or as wide as the story about Victor Arnautoff’s murals which subvert the myths and depict the life of George Washington as a foe of the Iroquois and an owner of Black slaves.

Perhaps only in a city that loves its murals, some by Diego Rivera, and hates its murals, could murals painted in the 1930s under a New Deal art program, divide citizens from one another and stir up deeply seated passions. If you thought you could now talk calmly about Victor Arnautoff and his art, Americans Indians and George Washington, think again. “Town Destroyer”—an anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist film— is likely to stir up all over again fundamental issues about censorship, trauma, genocide and ethnicity.

The issues reached a tipping point not long ago when the members of the San Francisco Board of Education listened to impassioned testimony and voted to cover up the murals. The board rescinded its decision, perhaps because it was embarrassed by the national publicity that depicted its decision as a form of censorship.

Snitow and Kaufman try to walk a fine line and to offer a balanced perspective in their 58-minute documentary which includes on camera interviews with well known historians such as UCLA Professor Robin D. G. Kelley, plus famed San Francisco muralist Dewey Crumpler, along with community activists, local political figures, members of Indians tribes close to home and from far away.

The documentary also provides a platform for experts about the representations and misrepresentations of Indians in American culture, including commercial advertisements and the names of military helicopters like Apache and Comanche to Barbie Dolls with feathers and beads. First came genocide, than came cultural plunder or maybe it was the other way around.

The founder of the San Francisco Jewish Festival and its director for 13 years, Kaufman teamed up with Alan Snitow, the former news director at KPFA, to make “Blacks and Jews” in 1997, “Secrets of Silicon Valley” in 2001, and this year “Town Destroyer” which premiered at the Mill Valley Film Festival.

Paul Chaa, a curator at the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C., calls romanticism a “form of racism” and observes that Americans have a “secret obsession with Native Americans.” One hundred years ago, D. H. Lawrence noted that white people aimed to extirpate Indians and then glorified them.

In “Town Destroyer,” the filmmakers focus on the image of a dead Indian lying face down on the ground while settlers with guns stand close-by. One commentary points out that by excluding the face of the Indian, the artist has respected the identity and the spirit of the dead person. California Indian Artist Judith Lowry describes the Gold Rush as “ground zero” for Native Americans and a time when they experienced “searing losses.” She adds that Arnautoff aimed to “subvert” the dominant narrative about Indians, pioneers and settlers.

Black muralist Dewey Crumpler came of age in the era of Black Power. He suggests that Arnautoff’s work ought to be preserved, not destroyed and used as a vehicle to teach students about both the past and the present. Commissioned in the late 1960s to create a mural at George Washington High School titled “Multi-Ethnic Heritage,” Crumpler honors Blacks and Indians.

In Snitow’s and Kaufman’s documentary some George Washington students and their parents argue that the images on the walls are a relic of the past and not history, that they instill a sense of trauma and shame and ought to be eradicated. Pete Galindo, the director of the Great Wall Project, talks about the half-mile long “Great Wall of LA” which depicts the history of the city, including lynching. Art can make viewers uncomfortable.

Near the end of the documentary, Jessica Young, a Native American at the New College of Florida, says she’s unsure which side she‘s on. UCLA Professor Kelley adds that it’s not about choosing sides and that “no one person or group can tell the story.”

Lowry offers the somber notion that “we’ll have to have this debate for another couple of decades before the issue is resolved.” Maybe so. After all, the issues go back to 1779 when George Washington ordered the destruction of the Iroquois villages. “Town Destroyer” will shed new light on our first president. It might also illuminate Arnautoff’s murals that roiled The City and the nation.

Notes.

“Town Destroyer.” Roxie Theater 3117 16th St, San Francisco, CA 94103.

https://www.roxie.com/ai1ec_event/town-destroyer/

Sat. Nov. 5th Benefit for Precita Eyes Muralists – Q & A with filmmakers + Precita Eyes founder Susan Cervantes.

Sun. Nov. 6th Benefit for The Association of Ramaytush Ohlone – Q & A with filmmakers + Jonathan Cordero, chair of Ramaytush Ohlone peoples.

Wed. Nov. 9th Benefit for California Institute for Community, Arts & Nature – Q & A with filmmakers + speakers TBA.

Thurs. Nov. 10th Benefit for The Living New Deal – Q & A with filmmakers + speakers.

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Forest Edge, Hokuto, Hokkaido, Japan, 2004 (photo bu Michael Kenna)

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ORGASM ‘STUDENTS’ SUE NETFLIX TO BLOCK RELEASE OF ONETASTE DOCUMENTARY

by Nancy Dillon

They were seeking a 15-minute climax, not 15 minutes of Netflix fame, a new lawsuit unsealed this week in Los Angeles alleges.

In a complaint obtained by Rolling Stone, more than a dozen one-time members of the controversial “orgasmic meditation” group OneTaste claim that the upcoming Netflix documentary Orgasm Inc.: The Story of OneTaste will use “misappropriated” recordings of their training sessions, violate their privacy rights, and unfairly associate them with “salacious” and “implied” criminal behavior.

On Wednesday, their lawyer filed a follow-up application for a temporary restraining order, asking a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge to block the documentary’s planned Nov. 5 release. The lawyer, Paul Nicholas Boylan, hopes to plead his clients’ case at a Friday morning hearing.

“These are ordinary folks. They’re just people in a class who thought it would be confidential and private, and it wasn’t. They never agreed Netflix could use their images, and they don’t want to be in this,” Boylan told Rolling Stone.

Boylan declined to share details about his 14 “Doe” clients beyond saying “most” were only students of OneTaste. He conceded a “minority” also worked at some point as paid employees.

According to Netflix, the new documentary features “never-before-seen footage” and interviews that will pull back the curtain on OneTaste, spotlighting an FBI investigation into claims of sex trafficking, prostitution and labor violations at the organization as well as the group’s controversial founder Nicole Daedone, known for preaching the virtues of 15-minute female orgasms with messianic zeal.

According to a Bloomberg Businessweek exposé published in 2018, OneTaste morphed from a Silicon Valley wellness start-up promoted by celebrities including Gwyneth Paltrow and Khloé Kardashian into a more sinister enterprise plagued by accusations it resembled a for-profit sex cult.

(Rolling Stone)

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SMOKING (a few on-line comments)

(1) When I was a kid, there were NO non-smoking areas. Both my parents smoked like stoves everywhere they went, including at the table in fancy restaurants. After a (brief 18-year) lifetime of choking on my folks’ smoke, I swore I would never smoke. But then I tried it out for the classic stupid reason — to look cool while perched (underage) on a barstool. And was almost instantly hooked. Smoking went from being a skill to an addiction in what seemed like days. I am so grateful I was able to quit — because of my fear of an ugly, early death.

(2) Smoking is trading oxygen for poisonous carbon monoxide gas which disarms your red blood cells, which prevents your cells from transporting the correct amounts of oxygen and nutrients to parts of your body. I quit when smokes became $3 a pack – best investment choice I ever made.

(3) Good for you… I quit in 1971 when a pack was $0.31 for a pack of coffin nails…

(4) I’ve never smoked, but I miss the ashtrays and lighters in cars. They were handy for other things.

(5) I find it very strange that for so many years it’s been ” Don’t smoke cigs , they will kill you !” but now its smoke pot, legal and the cool thing to do. I don’t care what kind of smoke that’s going into your lungs, it’s not good for you. That’s why mother nature tells you not to stand downwind of the campfire.

(6) When I was a kid, EVERYONE smoked, but they were thin too…

Now nobody smokes, except for hospital employees who are so stressed out that they probably wish they would die…

My Aunt and Uncle died of COPD/Heart Disease and associated smoker’s problems, but Nancy lived to be over 80 and Victor died at 67…

In the 50’s, there were decanters to store your liquor in, and a carton of smokes was about $1.25.

I smoked, and liked beer, but quit at 35, for 25 years until I bought a pack of Shermans at the Redway Shell, and allowed myself one a day…

Quit again in 2014, and I still want to smoke…

Cigarettes ride you forever, and lots of SNF patients try to smoke themselves to death…

You can do this, and it’s really hard, but then I can lose weight…

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* * *

‘WHERE’S NANCY?’

What happened, minute by minute, inside the Pelosi home

by Megan Cassidy

The story was shocking from the beginning. Someone had broken into the San Francisco home of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and swung a hammer at her 82-year-old husband, Paul Pelosi, fracturing his skull.

But in the past week, city and federal investigators have released an array of details that paint an ever-darkening picture of the middle-of-the-night attack, in which a man obsessed with far-right conspiracy theories allegedly tried to kidnap the Democrat who increasingly stars as the villain in those fantasies.

The accused intruder, 42-year-old David Wayne DePape, now faces charges in both state and federal courts. He has pleaded not guilty to the local charges, and his public defender has suggested he may have been vulnerable to disinformation. Paul Pelosi needed surgery but is expected to recover.

The case has raised alarm among Democrats, who see a direct line between far-right rhetoric and such violence. Meanwhile, some Republican leaders, including former President Donald Trump, have responded by promoting additional conspiracy theories about what happened in the Pelosis’ home.

The following account of what unfolded in about half an hour on Oct. 28 is based on court filings by the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office; statements by Police Chief Bill Scott; interviews by Chronicle reporters; and a review of documents, videos and photographs.

A figure in black

Shortly after 2 a.m. on Friday, a private security guard who was parked near the Pelosis’ stately, three-story brick home on a corner lot in Pacific Heights noticed a man in black clothing walking outside of it.

Inside the home, Paul Pelosi was alone, sleeping in an upstairs bedroom in a pajama shirt and boxers. His wife — second in succession to the presidency — was in Washington, D.C.

The guard, who was working for a neighbor in an area with an array of multimillionaires and billionaires, said the man on the street, who police now say was DePape, wore black and carried a large backpack. It’s not clear how Depape got there from Richmond across the bay, where he had rented out the garage of a small home, but investigators said they found Clipper transit cards in the right front pocket of his shorts.

A native of Canada who once registered with the Green Party, and who was once in a long relationship with a woman who fought public-nudity laws, DePape had struggled with mental illness, according to people who knew him. More and more, he had become consumed with far-right politics and conspiracy theories, and he posted bigoted rants on personal websites that appeared to have no audience.

Soon, the guard in the neighborhood — who has not been identified — heard a loud bang, but apparently did not call 911, according to records. The sound, investigators believe, was DePape using a hammer to bash through a glass rear entryway to the Pelosi home. A video shot by a KGO-TV helicopter shows a gaping hole in glass near a doorknob.

Official accounts say nothing about whether the Pelosis’ had an alarm system. But the break-in was captured on a camera feeding live video to the command center for the U.S. Capitol Police, the Washington Post reported. The newspaper said no one was watching the feed in real-time, though.

The breaking of glass did not awaken Paul Pelosi.

Awakened to an intruder

It wasn’t until the intruder was standing over Paul Pelosi’s bedside that he was startled awake. City prosecutors, in a court filing asking a judge to hold DePape without bail, gave the following account of the mens’ conversation:

“Are you Paul Pelosi?” DePape asked, gripping a large hammer in his right hand and white plastic zip ties in his left. “Where’s Nancy? Where’s Nancy?”

“She’s not here,” Paul Pelosi responded.

“Well, when is she going to be back?”

“She’s in Washington,” Pelosi said. “She’s not going to be back for a couple of days.”

“Okay,” DePape said. “Well, I’m going to tie you up.”

Pelosi recalled later that he stood up and tried to escape, trying to bolt into the home’s elevator off the bedroom. DePape allegedly used an arm to hold the door. Pelosi then walked back into the bedroom, sat down on the bed and asked DePape why he wanted to see his wife.

“Well, she’s No. 2 in line for the presidency, right?” DePape reportedly said, to which Pelosi agreed. DePape explained that they were “all” corrupt, and that “we’ve got to take them all out.”

Pelosi asked DePape if he could call anyone for him. DePape, prosecutors said, responded that this was the “end of the road” for Pelosi.

A strange 911 call

Fearing what the intruder would do, Paul Pelosi soon asked if he could go to the bathroom.

DePape agreed, investigators said, allowing Pelosi access to his phone — which was charging in an outlet in the bathroom. Pelosi grabbed the phone, turned it on and called 911 on speaker. DePape stood about three feet away, still holding his hammer and zip ties.

A mile and half away, at the city’s emergency operations center on Turk Street, a city dispatcher named Heather Grives answered the call at 2:23 a.m., according to a court affidavit by FBI Special Agent Stephanie Minor. Officials have said Pelosi kept the line open and, with the intruder nearby, spoke in a sort of code.

“Mr. Pelosi said that there was a gentleman there waiting for his wife (Nancy Pelosi) to come back,” city prosecutors wrote. “But Mr. Pelosi said they would have to wait because his wife would not be coming back for about a day.”

In what prosecutors described as an attempt to defuse the situation, Paul Pelosi told the dispatcher he didn’t need police, fire or medical assistance. Yet he continued to speak in coded language, attempting to relay the urgency of the situation to authorities without upsetting the stranger in his home.

Pelosi asked the dispatcher for Capitol police, saying they were typically the ones at the house protecting his wife. Grives responded with a clarification, reminding Pelosi he was calling San Francisco police.

Pelosi told Grives he understood, then asked out loud, “I don’t know, what do you think?” Grives heard another male voice answer: “Everything’s good,” prompting Pelosi to say, “Uh, he thinks everything’s good. … Uh, I’ve got a problem, but he thinks everything’s good.”

When Grives told Pelosi to call back if he changed his mind, Pelosi grew more urgent. “No, no, no,” he said, “this gentleman just uh, came into the house uh, and he wants to wait for my wife to come home.”

Grives asked Pelosi if he knew the man, and Pelosi said he didn’t. The man, Pelosi told Grives, was telling him not to do anything. Grives asked for Pelosi’s name and address and Pelosi gave both. When Grives asked what the man’s name was, it was DePape who responded: “My name is David.”

Grives then asked who David was, prompting conflicting responses. “I don’t know,” Pelosi said. “I’m a friend of theirs,” DePape countered.

Pelosi reiterated that he didn’t know the man.

“He’s telling me I am being very lazy, so I’ve gotta to stop talking to you, okay?” Pelosi said.

Grives offered to stay on the line to make sure everything was OK. “No, he wants me to get the hell off the phone,” Pelosi said — and the call ended.

At 2:27 a.m., Grives issued a high-priority “well-being check” for police to visit the Pelosi home.

Chief Scott said Grives was suspicious enough about what she heard from Paul Pelosi that she soon boosted the priority from a “well-being check” to a “Code 3” emergency. “She just knew there was more to it,” Scott said.

After the call, DePape told Pelosi he had tired himself out carrying his backpack to the residence and needed to sleep, according to Minor, the FBI agent. The two descended down the stairs, with DePape following Pelosi with the zip ties and hammer.

DePape worried aloud that the police would be there any minute, and Pelosi attempted to keep him calm by assuring him they wouldn’t. DePape was unconvinced.

“I can take you out,” he allegedly said, moving to Pelosi’s right and gripping the hammer upright. Fearing the intruder would strike, Pelosi put his hand on the hammer’s handle.

At 2:31 a.m., according to police officials, officers Kolby Wilmes and Kyle Cagney pulled up to the Pelosi home.

Tackled, but too late

Officers Wilmes and Cagney walked to the front of the home and rang the doorbell. Inside, investigators said, DePape ordered Paul Pelosi not to open the door, but he did anyway, leading to a pivotal confrontation in a dimly lit foyer.

“As the door opened,” prosecutors wrote, “Mr. Pelosi nervously but calmly greeted them. When the officer asked what was going on, Defendant smiled and said, ‘Everything’s good.’”

After an officer turned on his flashlight, DePape could be seen holding the bottom of the hammer with one hand and Pelosi’s right arm with the other. Pelosi gripped the same hammer, near the top of the handle.

“Drop the hammer!” one officer shouted.

“Um nope,” DePape responded, then pulled at the hammer, twisting one of Pelosi’s arms as the older man pleaded, “Hey, hey, hey!”

According to the district attorney’s account, an officer asked, “What is going on here?” as Pelosi lost his grip on the hammer. DePape stepped back and swung the tool, striking Pelosi in the head. He was unconscious as the officers rushed into the house, tackled DePape and took away the hammer.

“Mr. Pelosi remained unresponsive for about three minutes,” prosecutors wrote, “waking up in a pool of his own blood.”

‘This was a suicide mission’

DePape was still at the Pelosi home when he began talking, city prosecutors said.

“I’m sick of the insane f— level of lies coming out of Washington, D.C.,” DePape told officers and medics, though none had asked him questions. “I came here to have a little chat with his wife.”

“I didn’t really want to hurt him, but you know this was a suicide mission,” DePape continued. “I’m not going to stand here and do nothing even if it cost me my life. Hurting him was not my goal. I told him before I attacked him, that he’s escalating things, and I will go through him if I have to.”

According to prosecutors, DePape went on to make a full confession.

He reportedly told investigators he intended to take Nancy Pelosi hostage and talk to her. If she told the truth, DePape said, he would let her go. If she lied, he would break her kneecaps. And DePape said he didn’t expect Pelosi to tell the truth.

By breaking the speaker’s kneecaps, DePape explained, “she would then have to be wheeled into Congress, which would show other members of Congress there were consequences to actions,” the FBI said in a court filing. “DePape also explained generally that he wanted to use Nancy to lure another individual to DePape.”

When investigators asked if DePape had other plans, he said he did, that his targets included a local professor and other prominent state and national politicians, as well as their spouses.

Throughout the interview, DePape indicated he was undeterred by the prospect of being caught.

“DePape explained,” federal prosecutors wrote, “that he did not leave after Pelosi’s call to 911 because, much like the American founding fathers with the British, he was fighting against tyranny without the option of surrender.”

(SF Chronicle)

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"I DIDN'T MIND PRISON," Liston says. "I figure I had to pay for what I did. No use crying. I should have tried that before I did wrong."

Indeed, Sonny has said the food at Jeff City was the best he had ever eaten, an opinion not shared by his fellow inmates, who rioted in 1954 in protest against the food. The day Sonny was paroled, Monroe Harrison, who subsequently became his co-manager, bought him a chicken dinner as a treat. Monroe recalls that Sonny stared somberly at the chicken. "Why don't you eat it?" Monroe asked. "I don't know how," Sonny said. 

— Charles Sonny Liston speaking to Gilbert Rogin of sports illustrated on July 17th 1961. 

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POET OF THE DAY, 3 NOVEMBER 

Happy Birthday, Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (3 November 39 AD – 30 April 65 AD), better known in English as Lucan. 

Lucan was an Ancient Roman poet and republican patriot whose historical epic, the Bellum Civile, better known as the Pharsalia because of its vivid account of that battle, is remarkable as the single major Latin epic poem that eschewed the intervention of the gods.

Lucan's Life

Lucan was the nephew of the philosopher-statesman Lucius Annaeus Seneca (Seneca the Younger). Trained by the Stoic philosopher Cornutus and later educated in Athens, Lucan attracted the favorable attention of the emperor Nero owing to his early promise as a rhetorician and orator.

Still in his teens, Lucan became known as something of a child prodigy as a poet. He found success under Nero, became one of the emperor's close friends and was rewarded with a quaestorship in advance of the legal age. 

At age 20, in 60 AD, Lucan won a prize for extemporizing Orpheus and Laudes Neronis at the quinquennial Neronia, and was again rewarded when the emperor appointed him to the augurate. During this time, Lucan circulated the first three books of his epic poemPharsalia (labelled De Bello Civiliin the manuscripts), which told the story of the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey. 

The poem is written in the epic hexameter meter used by Homer and Virgil but contains none of the involvement of Gods and the supernatural that we find in the Aeneid and Homeric epic. Lucan’s style is vivid and highly rhetorical, and he describes the battles of the war in gory detail. Lucan sides strongly against the Emperor Nero’s forebear, Caesar. Lucan idolizes Caesar's republican opponents and their opposition to autocratic rule. 

Pharsaliamade Lucan something of a pop star. 

At some point, Nero became jealous of Lucan and forbade him to perform or publish his poems. 

Five years later, Lucan wrote insulting poems about Nero. Vacca mentions that one of Lucan's works was entitled De Incendio Urbis (On the Burning of the City). Statius's ode to Lucan mentions that Lucan described how the "unspeakable flames of the criminal tyrant roamed the heights of Remus." 

Additionally, Lucan's later books of Pharsalia were anti-Imperial and pro-Republic. 

Lucan's Death

Lucan's criticism of Nero and office of the Emperor may have been the true cause of the Nero's ban of Lucan's poetry. 

Lucan fumed. In 65 AD, he joined the conspiracy of Gaius Calpurnius Piso against Nero. The conspiracy was discovered. Lucan was accused with his uncle, Seneca, of involvement in a plot against Nero’s life, and Lucan was obliged, at the age of 25, to commit suicide by opening a vein, but not before incriminating his mother, among others, in the hopes of a pardon. 

According to Tacitus, as Lucan bled to death, "[Lucan] recalled some poetry he had composed in which he had told the story of a mortally wounded soldier dying a similar kind of bleeding-out death, and Lucan recited the very lines. Those lines by the poet-warrior were his last words." 

Lucan's father was killed in the proscription that followed, but his mother escaped. It begs the question: Who would rat out their own parents? And don't we expect better behavior by poets? Matricide and fratricide are a little over the top. 

Following Lucan's Death

Statius's poem about Lucan was addressed to his widow, Polla Argentaria, upon the occasion of his birthday during the reign of Domitian. 

Lucan's lost works are just as important as the works that survive him. We only know of these lost works by references to them. 

Three brief ancient accounts allow for the reconstruction of a modest biography – the earliest attributed to Suetonius, another to an otherwise unknown Vacca, and the third anonymous and undated – along with references in Martial, Cassius Dio, Tacitus's Annals, and one of Statius's Silvae. 

Lost Works: 

  • Catachthonion
  • Iliacon from the Trojan cycle
  • Epigrammata
  • Adlocutio ad Pollam
  • Silvae
  • Saturnalia
  • Medea
  • Salticae Fabulae
  • Laudes Neronis, a praise of Nero
  • Orpheus
  • Prosa oratio in Octavium Sagittam
  • Epistulae ex Campania
  • De Incendio Urbis, on the Roman fire of 64, accusing Nero of arson

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FROM THE POYNTER INSTITUTE:

"Woodward and Bernstein’s 1972 investigation of Watergate was not only the highest expression of journalism’s calling as a “first draft of history,” but this body of work has stood for generations as a historical record that in America no one — not even the president — is above the law, and that journalists are essential to a working democracy.

Today, 50 years later, the duo’s recount of the pressures they faced and the journalistic fundamentals they practiced have been a timely reminder of values that transcend today’s tensions in the media marketplace. Even as the world debates the strengths and ills of social media or witnesses journalism under attack, here is what’s undeniable: They found records, knocked on doors, had multiple sources, told the stories straight — without fear or favor — and in the process changed a nation and inspired thousands of people to become journalists."

(via Mike Geniella)

YES, BUT… as Alexander Cockburn wrote in 2001:

“In late 1974, after Nixon had been tumbled, Mrs Graham addressed the Magazine Publishers’ Association and issued a warning: ‘The press these days should be rather careful about its role. We may have acquired some tendencies about over-involvement that we had better overcome. We had better not yield to the temptation to go on refighting the next war and see conspiracy and cover-up where they do not exist.’ She called for a return to basics. Journalists should ‘stop trying to be sleuths.’ In other words: The party’s over, boys and girls! It’s not our business to rock the boat.

“She repeated the message in 1988 in a speech to CIA recruits titled ‘Secrecy and the Press’: ‘We live in a dirty and dangerous world. There are some things the general public does not need to know, and shouldn’t. I believe democracy flourishes when the government can take legitimate steps to keep its secrets and when the press can decide whether to print what it knows’.”

counterpunch.org/2001/07/25/the-high-life-of-katharine-graham/

(Mark Scaramella)

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UKRAINE, THURSDAY, 3RD NOVEMBER

The International Atomic Energy Agency examined three sites where Russia claimed Ukraine was building a radiation dispersal bomb but turned up no indications of illicit activity.

The U.N.’s nuclear watchdog finds no evidence for Russia’s claim that Ukraine is readying a ‘dirty bomb.’

Poland’s ability to handle refugees from Ukraine is under strain, but more keep arriving.

U.S. officials met with Brittney Griner, who is ‘doing as well as can be expected,’ the White House says.

Russia’s flag appears to be gone from Kherson’s administrative building. A fight for the city may still loom.

Ukraine’s war has forced more than 14 million people to flee their homes, the U.N. says.

The Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant returns to relying on generators after shelling.

Anatoly Karpov, the Russian lawmaker and former chess champion, is injured in an apparent fall.

(NYT)

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* * *

UKRAINE RISKS BEING LOCKED INTO ENDLESS WAR In Bid For Perfect Peace

Ordinary Ukrainians on the front lines are divided on a ceasefire and negotiations

by Gerard Toal

Talking peace is not popular in Ukraine right now. Given the context this is understandable. Russia is terrorising Ukrainians in their homes with missiles and drones. Its attacks on Ukraine’s infrastructure – its electricity grid, water and heat systems – threaten millions with a cold, dark winter. This follows the brazen annexation of four Ukrainian regions. No one forgets the Russian military’s war crimes against civilians. Russian officials talk peace because they want to consolidate their territorial gains. Ukraine scorns peace now because it has momentum on the battlefield. It wants the peace of the victorious.

It has always been the case that the more Ukraine wins on the battlefield, the more dangerous this geopolitical crisis becomes. Russian president Vladimir Putin cannot countenance losing and has made nuclear threats that US president Joe Biden, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskiy and French president Emmanuel Macron acknowledged are serious. Biden was blunt about the danger: “I don’t think there is any such a thing as the ability to easily use a tactical weapon and not end up with Armageddon.” Yet, as we approach this frightening prospect, talking peace has become taboo.

Last March, Zelenskiy offered to talk directly with Putin. Now, in the wake of Putin’s annexation of yet more Ukrainian territory, Zelenskiy signed a decree banning direct talks with Russia until it has a new leader. Regime change in Russia, it seems, is now a precondition for Ukraine coming to the negotiating table.

Zelenskiy’s stance may be morally justified but it locks Ukraine, and its supporters, into what looks like endless war for perfect peace. Officially the United States, Kyiv’s biggest backer, is content to let the Ukrainians decide if and when negotiations should occur. A senior state department official told the Washington Post recently: “Our job now is to help them be in absolutely the best position militarily on the battlefield . . . for that day when they do choose to go to the diplomatic table.”

The White House reiterated this stance in response to a letter last week by 30 progressive politicians in the US House of Representatives calling on Biden to “seek a realistic framework for a ceasefire”. That letter caught considerable flak from the impassioned Ukraine lobby, and in a highly unusual move, it was retracted and disavowed.

That such a bland letter became controversial indicates how much Ukraine has become a sacred cause in the US and elsewhere. Remember, the Democrats who wrote the letter fully support Biden’s policy of arming Ukraine to defend itself. They simply noted that the catastrophic possibilities of nuclear escalation and miscalculation only increase the longer the war continues. This led them to request “a proactive diplomatic push” alongside financial and military support to Ukraine to seek a ceasefire.

That was too much for Ukraine’s supporters. War is the only acceptable policy in the face of Putin’s evil, and if nuclear war is a risk, then so be it. Giving in to “nuclear blackmail” sets a terrible precedent. Putin is a war criminal who can never be trusted. Negotiations with him are impossible. The path to peace is through battlefield victories and the liberation of all Ukrainian lands. These convictions are declared with fierce fervour. All those who question the costs of moral absolutism, who speak of a ceasefire and peace, are cast as appeasers in league with a diabolical Putin.

Ordinary Ukrainians on the front lines are divided on a ceasefire and negotiations. My Ukrainian colleague Karina Korostelina and I surveyed the attitudes of both residents and displaced persons in three Ukrainian cities close to the southeast battlefields this summer. Almost half agreed it was imperative to seek a ceasefire to stop Russians killing Ukraine’s young men. Slightly more supported negotiations with Russia on a complete ceasefire, with a quarter totally against and a fifth declaring themselves neutral. Respondents were torn when considering whether saving lives or territorial unity were more important to them. Those most touched by the war, namely the internally displaced, were more likely to prioritise saving lives. Other research reveals that those farthest from the battlefields have the most hawkish attitudes.

The White House seems content to prioritise war over peace. Indeed, the seeming subordination of US foreign policy interests to Ukraine’s wartime needs is remarkable. Historically, Ukraine was never a vital US strategic interest. But today the US and its Nato allies are irredeemably entangled in its war. If Ukraine escalates, the US and its allies are pulled along. Crimea remains the most dangerous place. Last week Zelenskiy told an international audience “we will definitely liberate Crimea”. In contrast to Kherson, such a possible liberation would be more about land than people as most Crimeans see themselves as Russians. Currently, western support enables Ukrainian leaders to hold such maximalist war aims. While support is justifiable, it prioritises war over diplomacy, locking Ukraine and Russia into a zero-sum struggle that could go nuclear.

The parties to the Ukraine war are not sleepwalking to Armageddon but marching there with righteous fervour. In the absence of diplomacy, deepening horrors within Ukraine and beyond are likely, including famine in east Africa given the recent disruption of the grain export agreement. Ukraine will continue to fight for territorial liberation, while Russia will turn to ever more radical measures. The progressive Democrats were right to call for greater diplomatic work alongside military support. Searching for peace should never be taboo.

(Gerard Toal is a professor at Virginia Tech in Washington DC and author of Near Abroad: Putin, the West and the Contest over Ukraine and the Caucasus)

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* * *

AMERICA CAN NOT BE REFORMED or improved under Capitalism. Its corrupt, rotten burlesque democracy must and will be destroyed.  Not by any action of the torpid, gelded, stupid people.  It will come, and soon, by financial chaos and meltdown, or by nuclear war.

We are told that unless bold action is taken, unless we find the moral courage to act, unless we come together, get money out of politics, vote for better candidates, unless we do this, that, or the other thing, disaster will follow.  Sadly, that is all nonsense.   In fact, it makes no difference what we do: America, as a viable state, is finished.

This is intolerably painful to admit.  Every instinct of self-preservation, every human yearning for safety and justice rejects it.  All our training, our education, our immersion in bullshit propaganda screams against it but, admitted or not, it is fact, it is truth, and collapse of America’s baselessly arrogant, obscene, punishing oppression of the compliant world, already tenuous and strained, is coming.   And soon…

It is said to be easier for people to imagine the end of the world, than the end of Capitalism.  This will end soon when it will no longer be necessary to imagine either, because both will have happened.  In the same way that socio-political truth has been screened out by official deceit, environmental truth has been obscured and denied by our own and the world’s rulers.   What Capitalism has done to humans is trivial beside what it’s done to the earth and all living things.  In this, too, we are told that if we can just do this or that the world will recover and all will be well.  It won’t.   No matter what we do.  And that will almost certainly be what we have done up to now: nothing.

Humans, mostly, are large, dull children.  They have a great need to feel loved, protected, pardoned, saved.  That’s why they were given religions by elites that have always owned them.  All dogmatic religions are bullshit by definition, their fatuous fraud shown up by every advance of knowledge from Galileo to the Webb Telescope.

I, like all my kind, wish for mercy and grace, but I don’t look for it in a ludicrous infantile fantasy, or in deluded hope where there is clearly none.  Both religion and science, in the hands of priests and hustlers, have set us up for unavoidable misery and suffering, and arranged for the suicide of our species and the murder of the living world.  There is nothing you can do about this.  We have the ability to love those we hold dear, and the world we have known.  Let that be enough, for it is all you will ever have.

— Paul Edwards (counterpunch.org)

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Billy Bones, Treasure Island

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ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ: “Doesn't seem very free speechy to me,” she said about Twitter Twit boss Elon Musk when he “conveniently” froze her account after she "upset him" by calling him out over his new $8-a-month charge.

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* * *

POINTING OUT THE VARIOUS FLAWS in historical attempts at communism does not address the problem that if we don't move from competition-based models to collaboration-based ones we're going to destroy all life on this planet in short order. We've still got to find a way to change.

Have issues with Stalin and Mao? Okay. Cool. Our competition-based models are still destroying our biosphere and shoving us toward nuclear war. Our survival still depends on moving toward collaboration with each other and with our ecosystem toward the thriving of all beings. Babbling about Stalin and Mao doesn't magically change the fact that we can't keep doing this thing where human behavior is driven by profit and competition.

Leaving aside that many problems with communism have been wildly exaggerated and others are the direct result of sabotage and economic warfare by the capitalist empire, those criticisms never address the problem that capitalism has no solutions for our current existential crises. So we need systems which can address those existential crises. I see no models with any hope of sustainability that don't involve a radical transition from competition to collaboration at every level. We will either accomplish that transition or we will go extinct. It really is that simple.

— Caitlin Johnstone (caitlinjohnstone.com)

* * *

An Angel Piping to the Souls in Hell, by Evelyn De Morgan

26 Comments

  1. Michael Koepf November 4, 2022

    “History first: in 1779, three years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence and in the thick of a violent revolution, Washington ordered the “total destruction and devastation” of Iroquois villages allied with King George.” Compliments of Jonah Ruskin

    Over three thousand settlers to the west of the thirteen colonies were massacred by native Americans allied with the British during our revolutionary war. George had his reasons.

    • Harvey Reading November 4, 2022

      Too bad the natives didn’t murder them all. The Eurotrash had it coming for invading and “colonizing” North America and its peoples in the first place. Washington was a dull-witted thug.

      • George Hollister November 4, 2022

        The Indians would likely have murdered them all because Indians are human., and they certainly tried. But Eurotrash, and Africatrash diseases intervened in their low immunity population, resulting in the largest human die off in history.

  2. Chuck Artigues November 4, 2022

    Oh no, please don’t tell me CJ wrote something actually rational.

    • George Hollister November 4, 2022

      Collaboration-based activity to achieve self interest is found in both private business and government. And the only place competition does not exit is in a monopoly, where corruption is internally inherent. This corruption associated with monopolies exists in both private business, and government. The only way to control it is to give people a choice.

      • Harvey Reading November 4, 2022

        Or, execute the greedy scum.

  3. Marmon November 4, 2022

    “Twitter has had a massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers, even though nothing has changed with content moderation and we did everything we could to appease the activists.

    Extremely messed up! They’re trying to destroy free speech in America.”

    -Elon Musk @elonmusk

    Massive layoffs coming this morning at 9 am.

    Marmon

    • Harvey Reading November 4, 2022

      The guy is a complete ass, and a greedy one at that. I hope he receives his just reward one fine day. I’d be happy to serve as hangman.

  4. Marmon November 4, 2022

    RE: BREAKING NEWS

    Court documents reveal that it was Paul Pelosi who opened the door for the cops, did not flee or declare emergency, walked back to the attacker in the house, then was ATTACKED!? WHAT!?

    Marmon

    • Chuck Dunbar November 4, 2022

      This is, like the slime Kunstler has written about this issue, trash from the gutters. James– and the other James, too –why not try to find something good to do with your lives. Shame on you both.

    • Chuck Dunbar November 4, 2022

      James, it is the repeated, underlying nasty suggestion that something perverted was occurring in this instance, that seems part of your questioning comments. You have no evidence, you just suggest bad -character acts through innuendo.

      You did a similar thing with the George Floyd killing. As you must know from working in CPS, or in reading accounts of true crime, there are always in real life situations that involve abuse or crime, strange parts that do not seem to make sense. Life is like that more often than not.

      • Cotdbigun November 4, 2022

        A true gentleman with good character would not live with Nancy.

      • Stephen Rosenthal November 4, 2022

        Why do you keep trying to reason with this guy? All you’re doing is encouraging him by satisfying his desire for attention.

        • Chuck Dunbar November 4, 2022

          You are right in one sense,Stephen. The thing that gets to me is if we don’t counter their assertions with facts and reason, these kinds of folks may prevail, and that worries me alot. Of course, they may prevail anyway….

          • Stephen Rosenthal November 4, 2022

            I couldn’t disagree more. “These kinds” aren’t interested in facts and are incapable of reason. They’re meaningless pissants. Ignore them and they’ll eventually go away. The ones to fight with whatever method you choose are the politicians and corporate robber barons.

    • pca67 November 4, 2022

      Joseph Goebbels would be proud!

  5. Cotdbigun November 4, 2022

    Another right wing extremist living in a house decorated with BLM and alphabet mafia flags .

  6. Harvey Reading November 4, 2022

    Comptche Store Picture

    Is that a manikin of George on the roof?

    • Harvey Reading November 4, 2022

      The few times I call 911, I always state, immediately, that the call is NOT an emergency, if, for instance, I am reporting a fish and wildlife violation, and want to be connected with a warden. I make the assumption that the enforcement agencies will otherwise consider my call an emergency call. “Plot thickens,” hah!

  7. Marmon November 4, 2022

    “Are we allowed to ask WTF about the NBC report, or no?”

    -Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi

    Marmon

    • Marmon November 4, 2022

      “A scripted segment on such a controversial subject would have gone through a lot of reviews before airing. It was pulled shortly after release without identifying an error. For its own sake, the network needs to explain why. Who made the decision, who if anyone complained?”

      -Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi

      Marmon

  8. Craig Stehr November 4, 2022

    Wake Up Postmodern America. Your ass is on fire!!! Am presently doing nothing of any crucial importance in California’s Mendocino County. I am available for spiritually focused direct action, in response to the deranged earthly civilization’s suicidal environmental behavior, war crazy societies, and general spiritual confusion. Otherwise, I am sleeping at the Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, California, and bottom lining the trash & recycling voluntary chore because it needs to be done. Freely eating at the Catholic Worker Plowshares dining room (Jesus doesn’t care if you are a vegetarian), am enjoying an occasional beer at local sports bars to maintain balance, and constantly sending out these messages which get published online, read over a Fort Bragg, CA radio station, and posted on the Independent Media Center websites in San Francisco and Washington, D.C. which usually take them off and I have no idea why. Maybe they are crazy. I am accepting as much money as I can get. Go ahead and forward this out as far and wide as possible. WAKE UP POSTMODERN AMERICA…YOUR ASS IS ON FIRE!!!

    Craig Louis Stehr
    Email: craiglouisstehr@gmail.com
    Telephone Messages: (707) 234-3270
    Money>>>Paypal.me/craiglouisstehr
    Checks: P.O. Box 938, Redwood Valley, CA 95470
    The blog: http://craiglstehr.blogspot.com
    4.XI.’22

  9. Marmon November 4, 2022

    RE: U.S. SUPREME COURT’S BARRETT DECLINES TO BLOCK BIDEN STUDENT DEBT RELIEF PLAN

    Good, it may not be an illegal plan, but it’s a stupid one, it will only contribute to more inflation and guarantee a Trump Presidency in 2024. You go girl.

    Marmon

    • Harvey Reading November 5, 2022

      Speaking of stupid ones…

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