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A COLD STORM SYSTEM will continue to bring snow to the mountains and rain to valleys and the coastal plain through Tuesday night. In addition, isolated thunderstorms with small hail are forecast today. Thereafter, dry weather is expected Wednesday afternoon through Friday. Another front will then approach the region during the weekend and could aid in additional light rainfall. (NWS)
YESTERDAY'S RAINFALL (past 24 hours): Boonville 1.40" - Yorkville 1.32" - Fort Bragg 1.12" - Leggett 0.88" - Ukiah 0.84" - Laytonville 0.68" - Mendocino 0.67" - Covelo 0.46"
TONIGHT! Support Our Skate Park!
Tuesday, November 8 @5:30pm, our Anderson Valley youth NEED YOU to show up at our AVUSD Board Meeting to support their efforts to bring a SKATEPARK to Boonville! Come join us to prove to the board that the AV community stands behind a skatepark.
WHAT: AVUSD School Board will decide whether to transfer community park property to AV Community Services District (CSD), making or breaking the possibility of a skatepark.
WHEN: Tuesday, Nov 8, 5:30pm
WHERE: AV High School Cafeteria
HOW: Show up and WEAR GREEN to show your support! Or show up early and buy an official AV Skatepark t-shirt!
LEARN MORE : Visit avskatepark.org to learn more, sign the petition and donate.
ANDERSON VALLEY TAXPAYERS were shocked by their November property tax bill this week when they saw that the “Anderson Valley Unified Bond” tax add-on was a whopping 16% increase over their base property taxes. Measure M, the June 2022 ballot measure for School Facilities that was approved by a large margin by local voters said that the Measure would impose a $60 per $100k of assessed value. Which would be an increase of about 6%, not 16%. What happened? As we understand it — and the County Auditor tried to explain it in a confusing presser a couple of weeks ago, but nobody really understood it or its dollar amount implications — the old school bond measure, Measure A, is still in effect, but because of glitches in the implementation of the County’s new property tax software, the Measure A taxes were not billed or collected for last year. So now, basically, this year’s bill is a “catch up” bill for the amount the County — not the School District — failed to bill for last year. We still don’t know the details of how this screw up occurred. The current county tax bill lists the local school district office phone as the number to call about the bond measure tax — which is wrong because the County made the mistake and the County should answer for it. They didn’t even include an insert or number to call for the County. No matter how you slice it though, a 16% tax hike, even if it’s just this year, is going to produce a lot of unhappy property owners in Anderson Valley.
LEGGETT CRASH KILLS SF MAN
On 11/05/2022, at approximately 11:55 AM, a Toyota Tacoma being driven by Fredy Ceron Franco was traveling southbound on US-101 near mile post marker 83.77. Franco drove the Toyota at an unsafe speed for the roadway at the time which caused the Toyota to lose traction with the wet roadway and spin in a clockwise direction and travel off the west roadway edge of US-101. The Toyota continued to travel in a southerly direction and overturned several times before coming to rest on its wheels against a tree. The passenger was transported to Howard Memorial Hospital for medical care and the driver succumbed to his injuries at the scene.
The California Highway Patrol, Cal Fire, Leggett Fire, Laytonville Fire, Cal Trans, and the Mendocino County Sheriffs Department all responded to the scene. This collision remains under investigation by the California Highway Patrol – Garberville Area.
THIS POS physically assaulted a bartender [female] at Dick's Place in Mendo, the reason...he was asked to leave.
If anyone knows his name please let us know…
— Dicks Place
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE: List of Events
MENDOCINO COUNTY FISH AND GAME COMMISSION MEETING POSTPONED
Due to unforeseen circumstances, the November meeting of the Mendocino County Fish and Game Commission has been postponed to Thursday, November 10, 2022. The meeting will be held at the Willits Museum, 400 E Commercial Street, Willits, at 6:00 pm and via Zoom.
An updated agenda is attached. The agenda may also be accessed on the Commission's webpage. The Zoom link will be posted to the webpage this afternoon.
AV UNIFIED NEWS
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
The boy’s Soccer playoff game against Waldorf is scheduled for Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. at the soccer field. PLEASE NOTE: We are NOW allowed to accept cash for tickets. I apologize that the cost of the game is too expensive for many of our families, and I am raising this concern with the league. We do not set the prices. Please note that the cost is:
$12 for an adult
$5 for student or senior
You will not be charged the electronic ticket fee. If you have already purchased an electronic ticket, simply show the ticket at the gate.
Please note that all spectators must check in at the high school gate not the park gate. The park is for athletes only. Once you check in at the high school side, you will be allowed to access the other side of the field.
Coach Toohey needs two adults to help with the gate. Please reach out to him at email@example.com. Gate attendants DO NOT have to pay for a ticket.
Again, my apologies for the expensive cost of this game. We will work on a long-term solution for this, but I am very appreciative that we have been offered the cash/not electronic only ticket option.
Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District, Cell: 707-684-1017
THE ETERNAL PROJECT
Navarro Point thistle removing this Thursday, 10am-noon
Hello. Mendocino Land Trust staffer Ed Welter and I invite you to join us and other volunteers as we remove the ever-dwindling stock of thistles at beautiful Navarro Point this Thursday, 11/10, from 10am til noon. The weather prediction is “Mostly Sunny” that day. We hope to see you there!
Navarro Point Stewards Navarro Point Preserve, 1 & 3/4 miles south of Albion village on Hwy 1, is owned and managed by Mendocino Land Trust. We rely on volunteer stewardship workdays to maintain our network of public access trails and beaches. Volunteers spend 2 hours removing invasive plant species, picking up trash, maintaining the trail, and taking in the beautiful scenery. Stewardship workdays are scheduled for the 2nd Thursday of each month and are open to all ages and experience levels. Bring a space and hand clippers if you can.
When: 2nd Thursday of each month
Time: 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon
Where: Navarro Point
MENDOCINO ART CENTER: FREE FAMILY ART NIGHT, NOVEMBER 13
Sunday, November 13, 5pm-6:30pm
The Mendocino Art Center hosts a hands-on “Free Family Art Night” for children of all ages with Julie Karlonas! Stop by the Art Center and paint a gourd and enjoy refreshments. All materials will be provided. Special thanks to Harvest Market.
The art night is a preview of Julie’s “Art with Julie” six-week art sessions packed with exciting art projects specifically designed for four different youth age groups, starting in January.
More information: mendocinoartcenter.org/youth-arts
Mendocino Art Center, 707.937.5818 x10
THINGS ARE HAPPENING at the AV Grange.
FIRST, this weekend, Friday and Saturday Nov. 11 and 12, doors open at 6' the final performances of MAGIC MILK a Silent Musical. Not to be missed. Amazing, they didn't have to bring in any ringers because the ringers were already here. Original music matched to an original script, staged and played by locals. There is magic afoot, (or should I say ahoof), in the Grange this weekend. PS, Don't forget that Friday nights performance is a masked up show.
AND if there is any Magic Milk left from Saturday nights performance we will have it in the pancakes Sunday morning Nov.13 at the Grange PANCAKE BREAKFAST 8:30-11:00. We will be welcoming back the Deep End Woogies who add such a nice musical touch to the congenial gathering, though last month music was ably provided by Jeff Moss and Greg Krouse.
LATER in November, Saturday the 19th, 7pm, the Anderson Valley Film club will be screening THE BOYS WHO SAID NO, a documentary on draft resistance and the Vietnam war by Oscar nominated director Judith Erlitch, who will be there for a question and answer session. WOW, pretty rare in Anderson Valley.
NEXT, the comeback of the Foodshed and Grange HOLIDAY DINNER Sunday December 4th. A community favorite over many years, we provide the turkeys and mashed potatoes and count on everyone else to bring everything else, breads, salads, desserts and more. It's all free and everyone is welcome. we aim to have music and that wonderful feeling of breaking bread together... it's about time don't you think? If you want to be help out setting up, serving, decorating or would like to cook a turkey or potatoes which we supply, please contact Captain Rainbow at 472-9189.
OUR HARD WORKING BOARD OF SUPERVISORS — or, as Supervisor Glenn McGourty likes to say, our “really, really hard working” Board of Supervisors — is taking a whole month off for Thanksgiving. Their next meeting after Tuesday, November 8 won’t be until December 6. Then just one more meeting in 2022 on December 13. Why not? It’s not like they have anything to do. No books to close. No payroll transitions to manage. No new hinky property tax software to implement. No employees to retain or pay. No vacancies to fill. No projects to track. Who needs them?
YES ON P
The Mendocino County Fire Chiefs Association (MCFCA) fully supports Measure P and urges the public to vote YES on Tuesday. MCFCA is a professional organization that includes all 20 Fire Chiefs in Mendocino County with participation from operational area partners. All 20 Fire Chiefs support Measure P and the allocation formula outlined by Resolution 22-159, passed by the Board of Supervisors July 12th 2022. Our organization is prepared to ensure each dollar is allocated as intended.
There is broad support among fire and first-responder personnel for Measure P. CAL FIRE Local 2881 has endorsed Measure P, because CAL FIRE firefighters value the services that local fire departments provide. Our current and former Sheriff, who are both outstanding partners to the MCFCA support Measure P.
“Mendocino County is very fortunate to have hundreds of volunteer firefighters. Our Public Safety system depends on our firefighters having the necessary and modern safety equipment to protect them while they protect us. This is an opportunity for all of us to support our firefighters without seeing our taxes raised. Please join me in supporting Measure P.”— Tom Allman, Retired Sheriff of Mendocino County
“Mendocino County has experienced some of the worst natural disasters that we have ever seen. The men and women of our local volunteer fire departments have been instrumental in helping keep us safe and prevent these problems in the future. That is why I strongly support Measure P. Measure P will assist us with the tools and the training to help keep all our residents safe. Measure P will not increase our local taxes. Please, vote yes on Measure P.” — Sheriff Matt Kendall
MCFCA knows that all local fire departments are in need of additional funding to keep up with rising costs and services. Emergency response calls are increasing - fire related calls have increased 52% over the past 5 years. Most of our County’s fire personnel are volunteers. These volunteers are on call 24/7 because they are committed to safeguarding their communities. Fire personnel require specialized and up-to-date equipment, high-quality and relevant training programs as well as workers compensation and liability insurance. As it is currently funded, the volunteer fire system is not sustainable. Many of our smaller departments have had to raise necessary funds with BBQs for years. Measure P will give them at least some of the funding they need from an assured source for the next ten years.
MCFCA also sees the need for wildfire prevention programs to ramp up in our County. The Mendocino County Fire Safe Council (MCFSC) has been providing effective but primarily grant funded programs like community chipper days, defensible space for income-eligible and home hardening assessments to enhance wildfire preparedness countywide. To combat the increased risk of wildfire in our County, MCFSC programs need reliable funding and the ability to expand resources. Measure P will provide some consistent funding for essential wildfire prevention programs in our County.
Measure P will not raise your current taxes and will support fire protection and prevention services countywide. Please support your local fire department and vote YES on P. yesonpmendo.com
President of MCFCA
A READER WRITES: “Mendo jail flap and 'One Taste.' The same lawyer is threatening KZYX, Mendo Fever, and Kym Kemp for publishing their stories.”
AS A PERSON who has collected plenty of demand letters in my many years as boss man at Boonville's beloved weekly, I would advise the above besieged to simply print, “We retract.” That should do it. Hell, you've already won by revealing these people as the hustlers they are. No way you should go to the expense of a protracted legal fight with these crackpots.
MY STRATEGY, however, is to simply re-print the alleged libel, thus getting another shot in at the enemy while also having some fun with the legal bully boy or girl hired to intimidate you into an extorted apology.
WITH ‘One Taste’ — a huge satirical target — you could write something like, “We retract any implication that One Taste is a high end sex cult catering to well-healed voyeur-perverts whose principals attempted respectability by inserting themselves into the Sheriff's inmate farm program.”
IT WAS SARAH REITH'S article on One Taste's surreptitious insertion of themselves into the Sheriff's program which was posted by MendoFever and Kym Kemp at Redheaded Blackbelt, hence the demand letter aimed at them from One Taste's legal hack. Ms. Reith's story was first read by her on KZYX. She is always a scrupulously careful reporter whose irrefutable account of what happened with One Taste and the Sheriff, in its irrefutableness, has obviously stung the One Taste cultists.
KURT KIRK VODOPALS PREDICTS: "Regular unleaded is $4.99 in Ukiah today. $20 says it will jump back up to almost $6 after midterms."
SURPRISED that only one person, Brigette Mansell, among the candidates for Healdsburg City Council, is committed to putting an emphatic period to that overwhelmed town's crazy development, as what was once an attractive, coherent little town suffers massive development at its north and south ends.
From the PD: “Mansell is a retired public school teacher and environmental activist battling what she and others see as Healdsburg’s drift toward becoming a luxury destination. Hers is the loudest, clearest ‘community-first’ voice in the field. Mansell is a fierce advocate, not surprisingly, for public schools, and also has the backs of locals, Latinos, workers and many others from middle- and lower economic backgrounds. She is deeply concerned about water and the drought, and would act as a check on development plans because of it.”
THE REST of the candidates are a weird combination of “bring us together” smiley faces and people who want more development.
IT'S CONSTANTLY ANNOYING to listen to slobbery talk from the libs about “healing” and “bringing us together” when what most of us want in government is basic competence. Given the array of nutballs and incompetents running for office these days.... Well, excuse me for not voting for any of the individual candidates on Tuesday's ballot because I see them all as choices between unacceptable and terrifying. I voted NO on all the judges out of personal pique at my unhappy experiences in the state courts, nevermind the obvious injustice built into the justice system, voted for both local initiatives for the libraries and firefighters, and voted on all the state propositions pretty much as recommended by the sage of Garberville, Eric Kirk. I resent in my bones, in my bones, I tell you! that both parties have excluded any and all alternatives to them. Sayanora, Peace and Freedom; nice knowing you, Greenies.
TOTAL LUNAR ECLIPSE TONIGHT but it's cloudy, alas.
Tonight, because of the weather here, our experience of the last total lunar eclipse until 2025 will be: At 1am the cloudy sky, lit by the full moon slightly past overhead, will begin to dim. By 3am the sky will be black, and by 5am the clouds will be lit by the moon's reflection again, but mostly from the west, and then gradually the sun will take over lighting the clouds from the east. Rain tomorrow too.
If you hear the banshee during totality, someone in your family will die horribly, unless you've put a saucer of milk and a gold coin on the windowsill, or you arrange for no-touch energy realignment massage with a properly cross-eyed and certified practitioner, no fakes or phonies.
— Marco McClean
GREETINGS IN GOOD STANDING PORTAL APPLICANTS
The County of Mendocino Cannabis Department notified one hundred and twenty-three (123) applicants October 24 and October 25, 2022, that they were eligible for the In Good Standing portal. The In Good Standing portal opened at 9:00 a.m. on November 1, 2022 and will close at 11:59 p.m. on January 31, 2023.
Please contact our office immediately if you are experiencing difficulties accessing the portal or have questions/concerns about the process.
Keep in mind that due to the high volume of emails our office receives, it takes an estimated 3-7 days to respond to emails. Please do not wait to complete your corrections and ask your questions!
County of Mendocino, Cannabis Department
Phone: (707)234-6680 ; Fax: (707)234-6337
PG&E WILL BE HOLDING A TOWN HALL next week for North Coast residents. You'll get to virtually meet our leadership team that's based here in the North Coast and they'll be talking about how we are improving operations in our hometowns, along with some customer care programs to help save on winter bills. They'll also be answering questions from customers. Details are in the media advisory below.
* * *
PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC (PG&E) Invites North Coast Residents to Town Hall on Local Projects and Winter Bill Savings
NORTH COAST, Calif. - PG&E invites customers to a virtual town hall for North Coast residents to share its regional approach to improving operations, highlight winter bill saving programs and connect customers with their local leadership team, including Regional Vice President Ron Richardson. On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., PG&E experts will provide a brief presentation, during which participants will have the opportunity to ask questions. The event can be accessed through the below link, by phone or through PG&E's website, pge.com/webinars
During the webinar event, customers can:
• Hear about recent work in your region
• Learn more about programs for winter savings and safety
* Provide feedback and ask questions of the local leadership team, including Regional Vice President Ron Richardson
For the full webinar events schedule, additional information on how to join and recordings and presentation materials from past events, visit pge.com/webinars
More information and resources to help you and your family prepare for and stay safe in the event of an emergency can be found at safetyactioncenter.pge.com
MIGRATORY PEA PICKERS, Nipomo, California, March 1936: "Mam, I've picked peas from Calipatria to Ukiah. This life is simplicity boiled down."
OPERATION GREEN LIGHT
Each year we come together as a nation on Veterans Day to honor and celebrate the hundreds of thousands of brave Americans who have served our country in uniform. Now more than ever, our veterans need our support. In a time when our country is divided on many issues, we can all agree that those individuals who risked everything to protect our country and our way of life deserve support and gratitude.
That is why this year, Mendocino County is joining our colleagues across the nation in launching Operation Green Light for Veterans, an initiative designed to shine a light on the service of our veterans and their families. As part of Operation Green Light for Veterans, Mendocino County is illuminating the Veterans Memorial buildings green beginning on November 7th through November 13th, and we encourage individuals and businesses to join us by changing one light bulb in the entryway of your house or business to a green bulb. By shining a green light, we let veterans know that they are seen, appreciated, and supported. While this event is focused on the week of Veterans Day (November 7th-13th), we encourage individuals to continue to shine the light year-round.
Operation Green Light is also an opportunity to raise awareness of the resources available to veterans and their families. Here in Mendocino County, we are proud to serve approximately 7,000 veterans through The Mendocino County Veterans Services Office. Throughout the year, our county staff are busy connecting our veterans to earned benefits, helping them manage employment needs as well as helping them find veteran peers who can assist with the transition back to civilian life. Veterans and family members can learn more about available services at The Mendocino County Veterans Services Office. This Veterans Day, join us in shining a light of hope and support. Join Operation Green Light and let’s turn Mendocino County green for our veterans.
“I am proud to have the opportunity to work with our Veterans by assisting them with accessing earned benefits and services. This Veterans Day, we honor their sacrifices, patriotism, and bravery by participating in OPERATION GREEN LIGHT,” shares Stephen White, Master Sergeant (retired), USAF and Mendocino County Social Services Deputy Director Adult & Aging Services.
Mendocino County Veterans Services Office may be contacted for services and supports at (707) 463-4226. If you would like information on Mendocino County Department of Social Services, Veterans Services Office, please visit mendocinocounty.org/government/social-services/veterans-services
I was the oldest of the jury, and I was honored to be part of such a thoughtful group, who did act out of love and wisdom.
I am praying for your Spirit to keep you knowing you are beloved. I appreciated you being respectful in the courtroom. I believe you are able to experience and be Love, beyond any personal love you’ve known so far.
No matter where you are, what pain you go through, Defendant, I believe you are completely understood, accepted and supported by your Spirit. Your best is good enough. Please remember — each of us is treasured, and all this Earth offers comfort, nurturance and joy.
Please open to the three meanings of “appreciation” — increasing good (like money in the bank), savoring (like a great taste), and gratitude.
HEARING IN UKIAH TODDLER DEATH CASE SET FOR DECEMBER
by Colin Atagi
A Ukiah man may learn next month if there’s enough evidence for him to stand trial in the death of a 13-month-old boy who was found dead after being left near railroad tracks in August.
Edward Two Feathers Steele is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in Mendocino County Superior Court on Dec. 19, court records show.
Officials with the Mendocino County District Attorney’s and Sheriff’s offices verified the 33-year-old was still in custody as of Monday afternoon. Jail records show his bail is $380,000.
Steele, who pleaded not guilty in September, is charged with second-degree murder in the Aug. 3 death of the toddler whose body was discovered near the 300 block of Brush Street.
A makeshift memorial was later set up for the child at the scene, which is in a small industrial area between North State Street and Highway 101. The railroad tracks run north and south with businesses on both sides.
The boy’s 2-year-old brother, who was found nearby, was briefly hospitalized and has since recovered. Besides the murder charge, Steele has also been charged with child cruelty in this case.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Steele was dating the children’s mother and they had an argument early Aug. 2 in the 1700 block of North State Street.
Sheriff’s deputies arrested the mother on suspicion of domestic violence and battery, and Steele retrieved the children, who were with a babysitter at a motel.
On Aug. 3, a passerby alerted authorities after finding the 2-year-old along Brush Street. Authorities found the younger child shortly after responding to the area.
Steele was arrested Aug. 4 on the Hopland Rancheria, south of Ukiah.
The Mendocino County Public Defender’s Office is representing Steele, who entered his not guilty plea to the murder charge after multiple delays.
GRANT HELPS CHP INCREASE SAFETY EFFORTS WITH TRIBES AND NATIVE AMERICANS
The California Highway Patrol said a new program will be dedicated to the safety of the state’s Native Americans.
The Native Tribal Traffic Education Program, or Native-TTEP, grant will be a proactive program designed to bring traffic safety education to the Native American population with initial efforts focused in CHP Northern, Valley and Golden Gate Divisions.
The CHP officers and other nonuniformed personnel involved in the program will serve as resources to Native American communities and tribes.
The goal of the CHP Native-TTEP grant will be to educate drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists to help reduce the number of fatal and injury crashes involving all users of roads on and near tribal lands in California.
It will also improve service and public trust in tribal communities by implementing many of the safety programs the CHP has to offer.
The topics of the program that will benefit California’s motoring public include seat belts, the proper use of child safety seats, the dangers of driving under the influence, pedestrian and bicycle education, defensive driving techniques, distracted driving, teen/parent driving safety, driver's license requirements, and other educational subjects.
Traffic safety presentations will be conducted at schools, public health fairs, tribal events, traffic safety conferences, bicycle rodeos, Indian education and Native youth programs, tribal Elder programs, passenger safety seat checkup events, and school bus safety training.
“We are excited to offer our traffic safety programs to tribes and Native Americans living in our communities all in an effort to strengthen relationships, reduce traffic crashes, and most importantly save lives,” said CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray.
The CHP Native-TTEP grant is the first safety grant program focused on reaching the Native American communities in California, which is home to the nation’s largest American Indian/Alaska Native population.
Funding for this program was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
FRIENDS OF THE EEL RIVER:
Before we get into all the exciting updates, please click here to vote for Friends of the Eel River to be a recipient of the North Coast Co-Op's Seeds for Change fundraiser next year.
Last week we filed a lawsuit in Humboldt County to protect the Lower Eel River from excessive groundwater extraction during critically dry times. Our lawsuit is based on the public trust doctrine, ancient law establishing that natural resources like water belong to the people of the state of California, and that elected leaders like our Humboldt County Supervisors have a duty to protect those resources for all. See below, or click here to read our press release.
And speaking of the Lower Eel, tune in next week for a presentation about methane biodigesters by Dr. Kevin Fingerman, Associate Professor of Environmental Studies & Management at Cal Poly Humboldt. See below for details and a zoom link.
In case you missed it - the Great Redwood Trail is officially a go! The master planning process has begun and the Great Redwood Trail Agency is eager to hear from stakeholders. On the Agency's new master plan website you can sign up for email alerts and fill out a survey telling them about the opportunities they should prioritize and how you'd like to use a future trail.
If you prefer to listen to your environmental news, be sure to check out the latest episode of the EcoNews Report all about the Grrrrroovy Eel River!
more here: mailchi.mp/6cfcbe2a6d95/9zn31nqzrn-14700261?e=4535228e31
MORE PEOPLE WILL BE ELIGIBLE FOR HEALTH INSURANCE Through Covered California
by Elizabeth Aguilera
Hundreds of thousands of Californians previously shut out of Covered California — the state program that offers discounted health insurance — soon can participate because the eligibility requirements are changing.
Prior to the new rules, individuals who had access to an employer-based health insurance plan through a family member were not eligible for Covered California. Employer plans are often expensive for spouses or children, driving up the cost of coverage for those family members. Those caught in this unaffordable “family glitch” have few choices: buy the expensive plan, try to buy a bare-bones plan separately or go without health insurance.
In April, the Biden administration issued guidelines to fix the near-decade-long problem and last month the federal government adopted the regulation. Starting in January 2023, if a family’s premium costs more than 9.12% of the household income the family could be eligible for federal susidies, or discounts, through Covered California.
According to the UC Berkeley Labor Center, the “glitch” impacts an estimated 615,000 people in California, mostly women and children from low and middle-income families. The center estimates that about 400,000 of those people would be eligible for financial assistance through Covered California based on their income.
“For the people impacted, it could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California, a consumer rights group. “It really does have an impact on the health and well-being of the family and their finances.”
A state analysis by Third Way, a national think tank, found that a California family of four with $53,000 in annual earnings would likely save about $4,340 a year in health insurance premium costs. The report shows that lower-income households would see the most significant savings.
The federal government is footing the bill for the expansion and pays subsidies directly to the health plans based on Covered California’s marketplace prices. The Congressional Budget Office reported that it would cost $44 billion over the next 10 years to cover family members previously impacted by the family glitch.
Covered California pays for outreach to families, including those who have been caught in the glitch, said Jessica Altman, executive director of Covered California. Covered California has a $109 million annual budget for marketing and the bulk is spent during open enrollment to outreach to Californians to sign up or renew coverage.
Open enrollment started this week and runs through Jan. 31, 2023. Coverage can begin as early as Jan. 1.
In San Jose, this is the change Patricia Moran has been waiting for. Moran doesn’t know yet how much she will save when she’s finally able to enroll in a Covered California plan. She is confident it will be less than what she pays now for health insurance.
Moran, 63, has been on her husband’s employer-provided plan for nearly eight years because she got sick and could no longer work. The plan is expensive but she needs it to pay for monthly injections for her aggressive rheumatoid arthritis.
“I’m stuck. I can’t have Medicare or any other help,” she said.
For Moran’s husband, the plan is free. For her, it’s $1,200 a month — almost half of her husband’s paycheck. That’s $14,400 a year, or about 21% percent of the couple’s total income from his job as a maintenance worker at a school and from the child care program Moran runs at her home.
Even with insurance, the injections cost $250 a month, said Moran, who said they give her mobility and the ability to care for the kids in her child care program.
“This is a big relief,” Moran said about the new policy. “It’s going to help a lot. We can have some savings for our retirement. It’s been so hard because we have to pay the mortgage, we have our bills and all of this stuff.”
California health advocates have been trying to solve the glitch at the state level for years but it was too expensive for the state to pay the cost. The federal government had to decide to fix it and fund it.
This change should help reduce the number of uninsured people in California. The state has experienced the steepest decline in the number of uninsured since the federal Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, launched in 2013. Since then, some 35 million people have enrolled in health plans nationwide, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The state’s rate of uninsured residents dropped from 17% in 2013 to 7% in 2021. More than half of the 3 million still uninsured in California are eligible for some sort of coverage, according to UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and UC Berkeley Labor Center. The remainder, about 1.2 million, are undocumented immigrants who are ineligible for coverage through the exchange, although some may now qualify for public programs..
Any change that increases coverage for Californians, especially children, is a boon, Wright said.
“This is a big deal toward the goal of a government guarantee that everybody has access to affordable health coverage,” Wright said of the policy change. “The more we get rid of asterisks and exclusions the better.”
The change comes as employers continue to shift insurance costs to families. According to a Kaiser Family Foundation survey, premiums for family coverage increased 22% between 2016 and 2021.
Nationally, about 5 million individuals are eligible only for unaffordable employer-provided insurance. More than half of those are children. Among adults, more women than men are caught in the glitch.
“It created an unaffordable situation for a small but meaningful group of people,” said Christine Eibner, a senior economist focused on health care at RAND, a nonprofit research organization that published a report about the issue in 2015. “Most of them were enrolling anyhow and paying the higher premium. They could be paying 15% to 20% of their income.”
In California, of the estimated 615,000 who are stuck with high-priced employer insurance plans as their only option, researchers estimated that about 87,000 are uninsured, Altman said. About 35,000 are in the individual market paying full rates and the majority are paying for that expensive employer-sponsored coverage, Altman said.
“There are families that can save thousands of dollars — middle-income families, lower-income families — that it’s going to make a significant change for,” Altman said. “There is value in helping people who have coverage to connect with lower-cost coverage.”
If people are uninsured or have expensive coverage they are less likely to get the care they need.
“This is a big deal toward the goal of a government guarantee that everybody has access to affordable health coverage.” — Anthony Wright, executive director of Health Access California Those who stretch their budgets to sign up for employer-based plans may take the least expensive plan with higher deductibles or catastrophic coverage, Wright said. That could result in people going to the doctor less or not using the plans they have because they would still have to pay out of pocket.
“We believe it’s important to have the whole family covered,” Wright said. “There is a real result of not having coverage. The uninsured live sicker, die younger and are one emergency away from financial ruin.”
The Affordable Care Act requires employers with at least 50 employees to offer health insurance to them and their dependents. Spouses are usually included but not required under the law. In California, 47% of people are enrolled in an employer-provided plan. A national study published in the Health Affairs Journal found that families spend an average of 16%of household income paying employer-based premiums.
Before the latest change, the Affordable Care Act allowed employees to obtain insurance through discounted state programs if their employer health plan cost more than 9.1% of their income, which is considered unaffordable. Employers face penalties if their workers are obtaining insurance through those state programs.
Also, prior to the latest change, the law did not define affordability for family members and employers faced no penalties related to the cost of premiums for family members.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, November 7, 2022
DELBERT ALFORD, Covelo. Failure to register, parole violation.
BRYCE CARLILE JR., Willits. Suspended license, probation revocation, unspecified offense.
PEDRO CORTEZ-AYALA, Ukiah. Domestic battery, witness intimidation, criminal threats.
CARL JOHNS, Willits. Taking vehicle without owner’s consent, stolen vehicle, suspended license, controlled substance, more than an ounce of pot, leaded cane/billy club, unlawful display of registration, smuggling controlled substance into jail.
JOSE ROMO-SIGALA, Redwood Valley. DUI-alcohol&drugs, under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia, no license.
SCOTTY WILLIS, Ukiah. Trespassing-business obstruction, trespassing without consent. (Frequent flyer.)
ELON MUSK HAS NO IDEA How To Manage Twitter and the Kathy Griffin Ban Is Proof
Musk keeps changing Twitter policies, with little notice to its users or its staff.
by Tori Otten
Don’t worry everyone, Elon Musk totally knows what he’s doing at the helm of Twitter.
In the past few days, the Tesla founder has implemented a new policy, delayed another, and even reversed some of the mass layoffs that he previously touted as necessary.
“Going forward, any Twitter handles engaging in impersonation without clearly specifying ‘parody’ will be permanently suspended,” Musk tweeted Sunday evening. “Previously, we issued a warning before suspension, but now that we are rolling out widespread verification, there will be no warning.”
The hasty policy change follows a slew of prominent accounts getting unceremoniously suspended over the weekend, after all of them changed their Twitter names (but not their handles) and profile pictures to mock Musk—proving if nothing else, America truly runs on dunkin’.
Comedian Kathy Griffin was one of the first to be suspended after she changed her name and profile to match Musk’s and tweeted, “After much spirited discussion with the females in my life. I’ve decided that voting blue for their choice is only right (They’re also sexy females, btw.) #VoteBlueToProtectWomen.”
Actor Rich Sommer was also on the chopping block after he tweeted, “okay, time to employ plan b, since they’re MAKING me keep twitter. Does anyone know any advertisers who are, like, kind of ‘into racism.’ NOT ACTUAL RACISTS!! Just ad ppl who are, y’know, curious about what it’s all about (racism).”
Musk explained that the new suspension-without-warnings system “will be clearly identified as a condition for signing up to Twitter Blue,” his $8-a-month subscription plan for verified users.
The plan was supposed to get rolled out Monday—which experts warn would have unleashed utter disinformation chaos on the midterm elections—but has now been postponed until Wednesday. Twitter has not given an official explanation for the delay.
The plan would allow anyone who pays the subscription fee to get a blue verification check mark on their account, making it impossible to actually verify who anyone is on Twitter anymore.
Musk—a self-described “free speech absolutist,” except, apparently, when it comes to jokes at his expense—has promised to roll back content moderation on the platform and fired half of Twitter’s staff, including its misinformation-fighting team.
Except…maybe not. After firing nearly 3,700 employees last week, Twitter has now asked dozens of them to come back, claiming they were fired “by mistake,” Bloomberg reported Monday.
Musk said the layoffs and subscription plan were necessary to produce revenue, complaining Friday that the platform had seen “massive drop in revenue, due to activist groups pressuring advertisers.”
Over the weekend, Twitter added a disclaimer to his tweet saying “readers added context” to his claims. The disclaimer linked to several articles reporting that companies were pulling ads from Twitter over concerns about the platform’s direction, particularly regarding content management.
THE BIPARTISAN PROJECT OF DISMANTLING OUR DEMOCRACY, which took place over the last few decades on behalf of corporations and the rich, has left only the outward shell of democracy. The courts, legislative bodies, the executive branch and the media, including public broadcasting, are captive to corporate power. There is no institution left that can be considered authentically democratic. The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost.
— Chris Hedges
KEEPING IT CLASSY, Trump called on supporters to deliver a red wave in Tuesday midterms, as he delivered an eve of election speech in Ohio, blasting Nancy Pelosi as an 'animal.' MAGAS were excited that the orange beast was about to announce he would again run for president, but he only brandished polls that showed he would beat Biden in a general election, commenting, "We will take back our magnificent White House in 2024." At the end of the speech teased a 'major announcement' a week from tomorrow on November 15 at Mar-a-Lago after reeling off a series of Republican candidates he feels should be re-elected, including Ron DeSantis. 'We want nothing to detract from the importance of tomorrow', he told the crowd, leaving his MAGA faithful waiting. He still hit all his favorite targets, from radical Democrats intent on defunding the police to 'animal' Nancy Pelosi, and trumpeting his own border wall.
DEMOCRATS ARE IGNORING THE DEATH BLOW TO THE MIDDLE CLASS
The “Threat to Democracy” issue is just another pretext that obfuscates a more fundamental threat to democracy: the American middle class has been abandoned and is struggling like never before.
Over the last 40 years, a nefarious elected elite of Democrats and Republicans has rigged the system so that the majority of Americans have been cheated out of the American Dream.
“STOP THE STEAL” is but another election canard that is being used by Republicans to rouse the masses with lurid tales of electoral fraud. In 2016 Donald Trump cleverly hijacked an underlying anger and twisted it. But the swindle, the real steal, is how the top one percent has ripped off a staggering $54 trillion from the bottom 90% during the last four decades.
This $54 trillion steal represents the demise of prosperity for middle class Americans — upward mobility, owning a house, getting an education, affording a healthy life — which has been systematically annihilated for the middle and lower classes.
"Wake me up if the polls turn out to be wrong"
SAN JOSE NORTH?
I am an unhappy voter. I am a Democrat, not a progressive, but for the first time since Arnold Schwarzenegger, I will vote for a Republican in one California race. I will vote for Lanhee Chen for state controller. I will leave the remaining state races blank on my ballot.
The controller can measure the effectiveness of our massive state spending. I question the billions spent on homelessness and housing during yearslong droughts and with deteriorating roads and soaring energy costs. Particularly in Sonoma County, I find state mandates for high-density housing and no water an issue, not to mention the threat of wildfires. Are we creating future slums quickly to cover politicians’ need for higher office? Are we to become San Jose north?
It is not healthy for us to have every statewide office and the state Senate and Assembly held by one party in perpetuity. I am making my one small change by my one small vote for Chen. He is eminently qualified. I suspect the state will not collapse by voting across party lines.
THE RESULTS OF A FEW CLOSE RACES could give insight into how Democrats and Republicans are faring more broadly in today’s midterm elections.
Tune in around 8 p.m. Eastern: Polling places in several key states will have closed by then, including in Georgia, Virginia, New Hampshire and Pennsylvania. Watch Virginia and New Hampshire closely; both tend to count votes relatively quickly and could act as bellwethers for the rest of the nation.
Possible signs of a red wave: Democrats won House seats in Virginia’s three swing districts in 2018, during a blue wave. Today, these districts could signal where the rest of the country is going. If Republicans take back two or all three of these seats, their party will likely have a good night. If they take only one, the outcome could be close. And if Republicans lose all three, the polls might have overestimated them. (If you want to look up the results for these races tonight, they are the Second, Seventh and 10th House districts.)
Potential blue defense: In New Hampshire, Senator Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, is up for re-election. Polls favor her by about 3.5 percentage points, according to FiveThirtyEight. If she does better than that, Democrats could have a good night. If she does worse, Democrats could underperform the polls. And if Hassan loses, the party is probably in trouble: If they’re not winning elections in which they’re favored, Democrats are probably doing worse in races that are expected to be close.
The remaining key races: Four closely contested elections will likely be critical: Arizona, Georgia, Nevada and Pennsylvania. If Democrats lose even two, they probably will give up their narrow hold over the Senate.
(The New York Times)
HOW CLOSE IS THE US TO CIVIL WAR?
by Barbara Walter
Americans are increasingly talking about civil war. In August, after the FBI raided Donald Trump’s Florida home, Twitter references to “civil war” jumped 3,000%. Trump supporters immediately went online, tweeting threats that a civil war would start if Trump was indicted. One account wrote: “Is it Civil-War-O’clock yet?”; another said, “get ready for an uprising”. Lindsey Graham, a Republican senator from South Carolina, said there would be “riots in the streets” if Trump was indicted. Trump himself predicted that “terrible things are going to happen” if the temperature wasn’t brought down in the country. Perhaps most troubling, Americans on both sides of the political divide increasingly state that violence is justified. In January 2022, 34% of Americans surveyed said that it was sometimes OK to use violence against the government. Seven months later, more than 40% said that they believed civil war was at least somewhat likely in the next 10 years. Two years ago, no one was talking about a second American civil war. Today it is common.
Are America’s fears overblown? The most frequent question I get asked following my book How Civil Wars Start: And How to Stop Them is whether a civil war could happen again in the US. Sceptics argue that America’s government is too powerful for anyone to challenge. Others argue that secession will never happen because our country is no longer cleanly divided along geographic lines. Still others simply cannot believe that Americans would start killing one another. These beliefs, however, are based on the mistaken idea that a second civil war would look like the first. It will not.
If a second civil war breaks out in the US, it will be a guerrilla war fought by multiple small militias spread around the country. Their targets will be civilians — mainly minority groups, opposition leaders and federal employees. Judges will be assassinated, Democrats and moderate Republicans will be jailed on bogus charges, black churches and synagogues bombed, pedestrians picked off by snipers in city streets, and federal agents threatened with death should they enforce federal law. The goal will be to reduce the strength of the federal government and those who support it, while also intimidating minority groups and political opponents into submission.
We know this because far-right groups such as the Proud Boys have told us how they plan to execute a civil war. They call this type of war “leaderless resistance” and are influenced by a plan in The Turner Diaries (1978), a fictitious account of a future US civil war. Written by William Pierce, founder of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, it offers a playbook for how a group of fringe activists can use mass terror attacks to “awaken” other white people to their cause, eventually destroying the federal government. The book advocates attacking the Capitol building, setting up a gallows to hang politicians, lawyers, newscasters and teachers who are so-called “race traitors”, and bombing FBI headquarters.
Pages of The Turner Diaries were found in Timothy McVeigh’s truck after he attacked a federal building in Oklahoma City in April 1995. Patrick Crusius, the alleged El Paso Walmart gunman, and John Timothy Earnest, the accused shooter at a synagogue in Poway, California, echoed the book’s ideas in their manifestos. A member of the Proud Boys can be seen on video during the insurrection on 6 January 2021 telling a journalist to read The Turner Diaries.
The US is not yet in a civil war. But a 2012 declassified report by the CIA on insurgenciesoutlines the signs. According to the report, a country is experiencing an open insurgency when sustained violence by increasingly active extremists has become the norm. By this point, violent extremists are using sophisticated weapons, such as improvised explosive devices, and begin to attack vital infrastructure (such as hospitals, bridges and schools), rather than just individuals. These attacks also involve a larger number of fighters, some of whom have combat experience. There is often evidence, according to the report, “of insurgent penetration and subversion of the military, police, and intelligence services”.
In this early stage of civil war, extremists are trying to force the population to choose sides, in part by demonstrating to citizens that the government cannot keep them safe or provide basic necessities. The goal is to incite a broader civil war by denigrating the state and growing support for violent measures.
Insurgency experts wondered whether 6 January would be the beginning of such a sustained series of attacks. This has not yet happened, in part because of aggressive counter-measures by the FBI. The FBI has arrested more than 700 individuals who participated in the riot, charging 225 of them with assaulting, resisting or impeding officers or employees. Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the Oath Keepers, will almost certainly go to jail for his role in helping to organise the insurrection, as will numerous other participants. But this setback is likely to be temporary.
Civil war experts know that two factors put countries at high risk of civil war. The US has one of these risk factors and remains dangerously close to the second. Neither risk factor has diminished since 6 January. The first is ethnic factionalism. This happens when citizens in a country organise themselves into political parties based on ethnic, religious, or racial identity rather than ideology. The second is anocracy. This is when a government is neither fully democratic nor fully autocratic; it’s something in between. Civil wars almost never happen in full, healthy, strong democracies. They also seldom happen in full autocracies. Violence almost always breaks out in countries in the middle — those with weak and unstable pseudo-democracies. Anocracy plus factionalism is a dangerous mix.
We also know who tends to start civil wars, especially those fought between different ethnic, religious and racial groups. This also does not bode well for the US. The groups that tend to resort to violence are not the poorest groups, or the most downtrodden. It’s the group that had once been politically dominant but is losing power. It’s the loss of political status — a sense of resentment that they are being replaced and that the identity of their country is no longer theirs — that tends to motivate these groups to organise. Today, the Republican party and its base of white, Christian voters are losing their dominant position in American politics and society as a result of demographic changes. Whites are the slowest-growing demographic in the US and will no longer be a majority of the population by around 2044. Their status will continue to decline as America becomes more multi-ethnic, multiracial, and multireligious, and the result will be increasing resentment and fear at what lies ahead. The people who stormed the Capitol on 6 January believed they were saving America from this future and felt fully justified in this fight.
America’s democracy declined rapidly between 2016 and 2020. Since 6 January 2021, the US has failed to strengthen its democracy in any way, leaving it vulnerable to continued backsliding into the middle zone. In fact, the Republican party has accelerated its plan to weaken our democracy further. Voter suppression bills have been introduced in almost every state since 6 January. Election deniers are running for office in 48 of the 50 states and now represent a majority of all Republicans running for Congressional and state offices in the US midterm elections this week. Trump loyalists are being elected secretaries of state in key swing states, increasing the likelihood that Republican candidates will be granted victory, even if they lose the vote. And America’s two big political parties remain deeply divided by race and religion. If these underlying conditions do not change, a leader like Stewart Rhodes of the Oath Keepers can go to jail, but other disaffected white men will take his place.
What is happening in the US is not unique. White supremacists have leapt on projections that the US will be the first western democracy where white citizens could lose their majority status. This is forecast to happen around 2044. Far-right parties of wealthy western countries have issued ominous warnings about the end of white dominance, seeking to stoke hatred by emphasising the alleged costs — economic, social, moral — of such transformation. We are already seeing elements of this in Europe, where rightwing anti-immigrant parties such as the Sweden Democrats, the Brothers of Italy, Alternative fÃ¼r Deutschland in Germany, the Vlaams Belang in Belgium, the National Rally in France and the Freiheitliche Partei Ã–sterreichs in Austria have all seen their support increase in recent years.
What can we do about this? The obvious answers are for our political leaders to invest heavily in strengthening our democracies and to have their political parties reach across racial, religious and ethnic lines. But here in America, the Democratic party does not have the votes to institute much-needed reforms of our political system, and the Republicans have no interest; they are moving in the opposite direction.
But there is a potentially easy fix. Regulate social media, and in particular the algorithms that disproportionately push the more incendiary, extreme, threatening and fear-inducing information into people’s feeds. Take away the social media bullhorn and you turn down the volume on bullies, conspiracy theorists, bots, trolls, disinformation machines, hate-mongers and enemies of democracy. The result would be a drop in everyone’s collective anger, distrust and feelings of threat, giving us all time to rebuild.
The United States is a textbook example of a country headed towards civil war. The trends increasingly point one way, and while nobody knows the future, little — if anything — is being done, by anyone, to try to prevent the collapse of the republic. Belief in democracy is ebbing. The legitimacy of institutions is declining. America increasingly is entering a state where its citizens don’t want to belong to the same country. These are conditions ripe for political violence.
No civil war ever has a single cause. It’s always a multitude of factors that lead to decline and collapse. The current US has several of what the CIA calls “threat multipliers”: environmental crises continue to batter the country, economic inequality is at its highest level since the founding of the country, and demographic change means that the US will be a minority white country within just over two decades. All of these factors tend to contribute to civil unrest wherever they are found in the world.
But the US is more vulnerable to political violence than other countries because of the decrepitude of its institutions. For 40 years, trust in institutions of all kinds — the church, the police, journalism, academia — has been in freefall. Trust in politicians can hardly fall any lower. And there is no reason for trust. The constitution, while unquestionably a work of genius, was a work of 18th-century genius. It simply does not reflect, nor can it respond to, the realities of the 21st century.
The divide between the American political system and any reflection of the popular will is widening, and increasingly it cannot be ignored. The electoral college system means that, in the near term, a Democrat will win the popular mandate by many millions of votes and still lose the presidency. The crisis of democracy will only grow. With around 345 election deniers on the ballot as candidates in November, the Republicans appear to have evolved a new political strategy, seemingly based on the gambling strategy of Joe Pesci’s character in Casino: if they win, they collect. If they don’t, they tell the bookies to go away. Unless there is a completely separate Republican leadership in place by 2024, they will simply ignore the results they don’t like.
The American electoral system is already hugely localised, outdated and held together by good faith. Any failure to recognise electoral outcomes, even in a few states, could result in a contested election in which nobody reaches the threshold of 270 electoral college votes. In that case, the constitution stipulates a “contingent election” — acclimatise yourself to this phrase now — in which each state gets a single vote. That’s right: if no candidate in an American presidential election reaches the threshold of 270 electoral college votes, the House delegations from individual states, overwhelmingly dominated by Republicans, pick the president, with each state having one vote
In 1824, the candidate who won the popular vote and the most electoral college votes, Andrew Jackson, did not become president. John Quincy Adams fudged his way through. A contingent election is one mechanism, just one, by which an American government could be perfectly constitutional and completely undemocratic at the same time. The right has been preparing for exactly such a reality for a while, with a phrase they repeat as if in hope that it will mean something if they say it enough: “We’re a republic, not a democracy.”
Quasi-legitimacy is what leads to violence. And America’s political institutions are destined to become more and more quasi-legitimate from now on. One of the surest markers of incipient civil war in other countries is the legal system devolving from a non-partisan, truly national institution to a spoil of partisan war. That has already happened in the US.
The overturning of Roe v Wade, in June, was both a symptom of the new American divisiveness and a cause of its spread. The Dobbs decision (in which the supreme court held that the US constitution does not confer the right to abortion) took the status of women in the US and dropped it like a plate-glass window from a great height. It will take a generation or more to sweep up the shards. What women are or are not allowed to do with their bodies — abortions, IVF procedures, birth control, maintaining the privacy of their menstrual cycles, crossing state lines — now depends on the state and county lines in which their bodies happen to reside. The legal reality of American women is no longer national in nature. When a woman travels from Illinois to Ohio, she becomes a different entity, with different rights and duties.
The court itself is well aware of the legal carnage it has caused. “If, over time, the court loses all connection with the public and with public sentiment, that is a dangerous thing for democracy,” associate justice Elena Kagan said shortly afterwards. Her conservative colleague Samuel A Alito responded: “It goes without saying that everyone is free to express disagreement with our decisions and to criticise our reasoning as they see fit. But saying or implying that the court is becoming an illegitimate institution or questioning our integrity crosses an important line.” But what anyone says or implies is of little to no importance at this point. The percentage of the American public having almost no confidence in the supreme court reached 43% in July, up from 27% in April. The confusion of legal status of a separate group of persons is a classic prelude to civil war.
The justices of the court, and the American public, are just catching up with the inevitable consequences of the refusal of Congressional Republicans to allow President Obama to select Merrick Garland for the court and then going on to confirm three Trump nominees, resulting in a court skewed six: three to the right. The supreme court feels illegitimate because it is illegitimate. The Dobbs decision does not reflect the will of the American people because the supreme court does not reflect the will of the American people.
Elections have consequences, right up until the point when they don’t. On a superficial level, the 2022 midterms couldn’t matter more; American democracy itself is at stake. On a deeper level, the 2022 midterms don’t matter all that much; they will inform us, if anything, of the schedule and the manner of the fall of the republic. The results might delay the decline, or accelerate it, but at this point, no merely political outcome can prevent the downfall. America has passed the point at which the triumph of one party or another can fix what’s wrong with it, and the kind of structural change that’s necessary isn’t on the table. This is a moment between two American politics. The wind has been sown. The whirlwind is yet to be reaped.
America is rushing headlong into another civil war, and it’s a matter of when, not if. As political scientist Prof Barbara F Walter argues, civil wars are likely in the presence of two factors: anocracy and ethnic factionalism. When one considers the centrality of race to American politics, it is clear that ethno-nationalism is hastening the movement towards anocracy.
Think about the role of race in the first civil war and the one we’re headed towards. It’s well documented that the repulsive nature of the institution of slavery was the principal cause of the civil war, driven by moral as well as economic and political concerns. In 19th-century America, the Democratic party was a relatively reactionary institution in the south, whereas the Republican party was a relatively progressive institution located in the north. Republicans supported the abolition of slavery, whereas 19th-century Democrats were all for it. Regardless of the outcome of the war — driven as it was by the prospect of material gain or loss, moral redemption or amorality — the war came to rest on the fulcrum of race and racism.
Throughout history, political identity in the US has ultimately been driven by the parties’ respective positions on race, with divisions sorting primarily by way of racial identity and racial attitudes. Contemporary Republicans, for instance, tend to be white and relatively racist. Democrats are more likely to draw from a more diverse pool and, as such, are, typically, less racist. To illustrate this point, Republicans are far more alarmed by a diversifying country.
Likewise, white people were and are more likely to support Trump, driven by the anxiety associated with the rapid racial diversification of “their” country. What, you may ask, do white people and the Republican party have in common? Well, 80% of Republican voters are white.
The consequences of the centrality of race and racism to American politics and the threat of internal war are dire. It was racism that was ultimately responsible for the rise of the Tea Party, a reaction to Obama’s (racialised) presidency. The Tea Party (now the Maga movement), in turn, moved the GOP to the right, eventually setting the stage for Trump.
With Trump pushing the “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen, and many Republicansbuying into it, the stage is set for another American war of all against all. We’ve seen this before. The civil war, as it happens, was set in motion by the refusal of the Democrats to accept Abraham Lincoln as the legitimate winner of the 1860 contest given his views on slavery: he thought it morally wrong.
But it wasn’t the economics of slavery that motivated the south’s insistence on maintaining what was known as the “peculiar institution”. Only 3.2% of white southern families owned slaves. Clearly, then, the maintenance of slavery as an economic institution carried no value for almost all white southerners. With economic reasons absent, why were white southerners willing to fight a war over slavery? The southern way of life: white supremacy. As part of southern culture, these people were not ready to forfeit their social dominance, relative to the Black community.
These conditions remain in place. As many white people (Republicans) confront the fear that by 2044 they’ll no longer be in the ethnic majority, they feel the need to take drastic measures to maintain white supremacy. It’s all they’ve ever known. It happened in the 1860s; what’s to prevent it from happening now?
Look for the next civil war to take place after the 2024 election cycle, when the next wave of violence is likely to emerge. Similar to the original civil war, there’s too much at stake for both sides. Then, as now, the threats are existential. In the 19th century, Democrats viewed the newly established Republican party as a threat to their way of life. Republicans, for their part, saw southern intransigence on the issue of slavery as a threat to the union.
Today, Republicans, driven by the existential threat of losing “their” (white) country, will continue their attack on democracy as a means towards preserving America for “real” Americans. Democrats, on the other hand, see the “Magafication” of the GOP as an existential threat to liberal democracy.
Election-related violence generally takes place when the following four factors are present: a highly competitive election that can shift power; partisan division based on identity; winner-takes-all two-party election systems in which political identities are polarised; and an unwillingness to punish violence on the part of the dominant group. All four are present in America now, and will be more amplified in 2024.
We’re almost there. White angst over increasing racial diversity makes another Trump candidacy (and presidency) likely, pushing us into anocracy. Democrats are having none of that. They’ll resist going down the slippery slope to autocracy the same way that their 19th-century counterparts, the party of Lincoln, refused to let the Confederacy bust up the union. Likewise, should Democrats prevail in 2024, Republicans will revolt — the 6 January Capitol attack is a forewarning.
Either way, I’ll wager that a civil war featuring terrorism, guerrilla war and ethnic cleansing will be waged from sea to shining sea. In the end, race and racism will lead to another very American conflagration.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Well, ladies and germs;
The Lottery is this PM. What would you do with the largess?
I would take the 30 year payout. Before taxes, it would equate to approximately $5 million a month. I would then proceed to give the majority of it away.
2nd Amendment organizations.
I figure, that I could give $2 million a month away to legitimate entities that would limit my tax burden to almost nothing.
The remaining would be spent on hookers and blow.
UKRAINE, MONDAY, 7TH NOVEMBER
The Ukrainian military says it still has no evidence that Russian forces will abandon the southern city of Kherson, where a battle for control has been looming.
Russian forces are making conditions ‘unacceptable’ for those still left in Kherson.
Why is control of Kherson important to Russia and Ukraine?
Russian Defense Ministry denies devastating losses in a Ukraine assault.
A polarizing influencer and sometime Kremlin critic has returned to Russia, state media says.
Zelensky says Russia is planning more mass strikes on Ukraine’s energy infrastructure.
India hopes to play peacemaker, if Russia and Ukraine talk.
Thanks, Brute, for publishing my prediction and correctly spelling my last name.
Meanwhile all your buddies at fish and wildlife are driving v8s
Geez, Peter, I’m flattered at all the attention you’re giving me. Would you like to be my Facebook friend?
Elon has always been a Democratic supporter. However, the hate he has been receiving by the Democratic senators is awful. Biden doesn’t acknowledge Tesla. AOC, Warren, & Sanders claim Musk doesn’t pay taxes. That’s why it’s totally justified if he doesn’t wanna support them.
Yes, Elon is so oppressed. Please tell me more
Oh yes, those beleaguered billionaires. How they suffer for the rest of us.
Hey Marmon, why do you care what Sanders or AOC or Biden or Warren claim about Musk? He moved his operations to Texas so he would be protected from unions wanting to represent his employees. As a previous union member and beneficiary of union benefits and having worked a career in a socialist organization that must really sadden you.
KEEPING IT CLASSY
MAGAts are scum.
Thanks for the clarification, Harv.
RE: The corporate coup d’état is over. They won. We lost.
— Chris Hedges
—>. November 04, 2022
A COVID-19 booster, specifically a third vaccine dose, may lower protection against getting infected with the omicron variant again for some people — and there’s a reason why, new findings suggest.
In contrast, two vaccine doses, followed by an initial omicron infection, may protect more against a second omicron infection than an extra jab, according to a preprint study published Nov. 1 to medRxiv, a server run by Yale, BMJ and Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory.
This is due to a specific reaction within the immune system, researchers concluded… But what exactly is immune imprinting?
Fortune explains it as “a phenomenon in which an initial exposure to a virus — say, the original strain of COVID, by infection or vaccination — limits a person’s future immune response against new variants.”
Authors of the Qatar study wrote how they sought to investigate the “phenomenon” by analyzing COVID-19 data recorded in the country’s national databases during the beginning of the omicron wave on Dec. 19 through Sept 15.
The study found that when looking at participants who had received three vaccine doses and had also been previously infected with an omicron subvariant, they experienced more reinfections than participants who had only gotten two doses.
This is the most important day of your lives. If the Democrats win they will arrest and murder your children and historians wont be allowed to write about it.
Sheesh. What are your predictions for 2024? Please enlighten me.
You should communicate with one of your social worker friends before it’s too late… My mom was a social worker, and she’d have recommended a good cure for ya!
Yikes, the boogeyman has come…
Trying to trigger the libs again? We’re triggered, not by your bullshit but by the anti democracy agenda you and your MAGA deplorables want foist on everybody. Keep poking that sleeping dog Marmon, you’re liable to get your ass bit.
The pack team photo is interesting, but I think it is Humboldt County’s Blue Lake, not Lake County’s. I realize you don’t claim otherwise, but you have had a nice series of Lake pics.
“No matter how you slice it though, a 16% tax hike, even if it’s just this year, is going to produce a lot of unhappy property owners in Anderson Valley.”
Another of the many reasons why I always vote NO for any tax or bond measures, regardless of how much “good” they’re alleged to produce.
Powerful stuff today from SEIU folks, etc., at the BOS meeting.
Dressed down of the Sups, at times, and then some emotional truth…
Check it out,
William’s proposal to bring only State and Federal funded positions up to market value and not General Fund folks is an attempt to split and eventually break the Union. I thought about this a lot in 2008, but we decided not to let Carmel have her way. What’s next, bring in Ross Liberty again and give him another shot at breaking SEIU 1021?
Your comments about anything to do with unions is blasphemy. We had a name for your type of union member, it was SCAB!
“Democrats absolutely cannot lose the midterm elections. And with that in mind, they’re already preparing us for election theft, which if you don’t want a civil war, you must passively accept.”
-Tucker Carlson @TuckerCarlson
But if the magas win, the elections were copacetic. Got it.
Most MAGAs were pretty confident of a red wave until Biden and others started warning us that things just may not go their way and that they should stand down and accept whatever they do to us, or be imprisoned or shop if we question. The Democrat Party and their relationship with NATO scares the shit out of me. I’m sure NATO troops have be ordered to prepare for deployment.
I’d love to see NATO deployed in the USA Marmon. How about as peacekeepers at the next Proud Dipshits, Oath keepers rally in the capital aiding the capital police. Your wacked out commentary is starting to show a bit of, how can I put this politely, paranoid schizophrenia? Are the rest of you MAGA cultists feeling the same anxiety, any interesting grievances that makes it worth getting rid of Social Security and Medicare?
Both parties have embraced calling elections fraudulent. So its reasonable to expect factually unsupported challenges to this election from both parties.
How about some substantiation Mr Hollister. I only see the rethuglicans calling any election they don’t win as fraudulent. So lets have some links to anything but the crap put out by the Murdoch/Putin propaganda channel. Your attempt at false equivalency is laughable. Let’s remember whose presidential candidate started the whole election denying farce because his ignorant, narcissistic ass can’t take the truth of his election defeat. Your point is not made and your assertion is pathetic.
Why don’t you quote Herschel Walker, Marmon, he makes more sense than Ruppert’s butt boy.
It’s pretty hard to take officials who complain about people “undermining faith” in our democratic system seriously at the same time they’re asking us to accept absurdly long vote counts as a new norm.
-Matt Taibbi @mtaibbi
I’ve seen that 7000 figure for Mendocino County veterans a few places. Seems like a lot.
The California Department of Veteran Affairs has it at 5000, still quite a few.
But lake County has 200 more.
If I was a board member I would offer Alan “the kid” Flora at least $500,000 a year to come in and clean things up. The work he has been doing for Clearlake is astronomical. The fact that he and Nurse Ratched had a disagreement is reason alone to bring him back. Our loss will be your gain.
Dr. Oz and Hershel Walker? Shit, why not?
You could take all these Yes on P signs and makes a homeless shelter.