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DRY WEATHER will continue for at least much of next week. Temperatures will continue to moderate into next week, with warming to above values by late next week. (NWS)
CANCELED: November 20 Opus Concert
Sadly, one of the Santa Rosa musicians scheduled to perform in this Sunday's Opus concert just informed us that they tested positive for Covid-19.
We are working on re-scheduling the concert for January 8. We'll keep you posted! For questions please call the Symphony office at 707-964-0898 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PUPPIES OF THE WEEK
Cuteness Reigns Supreme at the Ukiah Animal Shelter--because we're overflowing with puppies!
Meet our “C” Puppies--they're from Covelo and as cute and sweet as can be. Right now, all C puppies are living in a wonderful foster home--getting loads of attention and TLC, plenty of puppy exercise, and meeting lots of people and other dogs. For more about these cutie-pies, visit mendoanimalshelter.com and click on the puppy link.
If you're interested in adopting a puppy (or a dog or cat or kitten), you can begin the adoption process online by clicking on the FORMS link, and filling out the online ADOPTION APPLICATION. For questions about adoption, call 707-467-6453.
by Miriam Martinez
Come to the A.V. Unity Club's Annual Holiday Bazaar Dec. 3rd in Apple Hall from 10:00 to 4:00. Admission is FREE.
For weeks you've been hearing about Black Friday. It used to be 1 day out of the year when shop keepers offered a few great deals to get folks into their stores to shop and bring their bottom line out of the red. Now it’s a 3 week event trying to make people believe that the only way to express love is to buy gifts beyond their budget. I say “Shop Local” and “hand-made” means Love. We have more hand-made items than you can shake a stick at, in the Holiday Bazaar. All the baked goods and preserves are Grandma-made. You can't beat Grandma's cinnamon rolls or triple chip cookies. Many of our local artisans and entrepreneurs will be there with fine selections of their goods. The A.V. Agriculture Institute will be selling their wreaths and swags again this year. You may also enter your bid at the Silent Auction for their beautiful wreath covered in money.
Other items at the Silent Auction are provided by our local merchants. Maybe your bid will win a dinner at Lauren's or the Company Restaurant or a basket of fruit from Gowan's. New this year is the Unity Attic, where you will find gently-used and new items we were given but never used.
Feeling peckish? Waltz over to the Teen Center's Canteen for food and sodas or coffee.
Santa Claus will be there from 11:00 to 1:00 for photos with all the good boys and girls of every age.
Our local Lending Library will feature a special collection of premium books and series during the Bazaar. Open extended hours, the Library is in the Home Arts Building, across the parking lot from Apple Hall. Look for book bargains from 10:00 to 2:30; hard bound $1.00 and paperbacks $0.50. It’s not hoarding if its books, I'm telling you. Get books for gifts and for yourself. Just as there's a rainbow in every drop of water; there's an adventure in every book.
Let us not forget our young ones. The Parent Teacher Alliance will hold their amazing and fun Craft Corner in the Dining Room, across the breezeway from Apple Hall. Children can explore their creative side building ornaments and treasures.
Mark your calendar for Saturday December 3rd for the Holiday Bazaar brought to you by the Anderson Valley Unity Club.
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE
A FATAL OVERDOSE IN A FORT BRAGG PARKING LOT Evokes The Dark Reality Of Mendocino County’s Opioid Crisis
At approximately 10:20 a.m., first responders in Fort Bragg were deployed to the Safeway parking lot on the 600 block of South Main Street where a subject was reportedly in a vehicle in the midst of a drug overdose. Moments after the initial callout, Fort Bragg Police officers on the scene relayed to the dispatcher that the patient had died. Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputies were on route to the scene to process the patient. This morning’s death is a somber reminder that in 2021 Mendocino County experienced the second-highest rate of opioid-related overdose deaths in the Golden State.…
USE PERMITS FOR VACATION RENTALS?
by Mark Scaramella
The Mendocino Planning Commission is made up of five earnest, deliberative people, any one of whom would probably be an improvement over any of the Supervisors who appointed them.
So it was disappointing to see them attempt to address the short-term rental problem with an narrowly construed zoning/permit approach instead of the much simpler and more enforceable Sonoma County idea which simply prohibits outside corporate ownership of such rentals.
Nevertheless, the proposal to restrict airbnb style short term vacation rentals last Thursday at the Planning Commission meeting would “classify the occupancy of an entire single-family residence or accessory dwelling unit being used for transient habitation as ‘Transient Habitation – Lodging (Limited),’ a commercial use type. Under this proposed interpretation, a Major Use Permit would be required for all entire-home transient habitation use.”
The discussion became convoluted to such a degree that we had difficulty following much of the Commission’s legalistic discussion lead by deputy County Counsel Matt Kiedrowski.
To give just a flavor of the confusing nature of the discussion, here’s the core of the original proposed resolution:
Paragraph D. “The Planning Commission further finds that Section 20.024.135(B) Transient Habitation—Lodging (Limited) shall be interpreted to include a Vacation Rental as defined by this resolution, whether such Vacation Rental is the primary single-family residence on the property, or an accessory dwelling unit. A Vacation Rental is permitted in the following zoning districts with approval of a Major Use Permit: S-R Suburban Residential District; R-R Rural Residential District; A-G Agricultural District; U-R Upland Residential District; R-L Rangeland District; F-L Forestland District; TPZ Timberland Production Zoning District; R-1 Single-Family Residential District; R-2 Two-Family Residential District; R-3 Multiple-Family Residential District; R-C Rural Community District; C-1 Limited Commercial District, and P-F Public Facilities District.
Paragraph E. “This interpretation shall apply to all Vacation Rentals within the areas of the County governed by the Inland Zoning Code as of the date of adoption of this resolution; provided, however, that all Vacation Rentals that have received a business license and all related approvals, including but not limited to a major use permit, from Mendocino County prior to the date of this resolution shall be considered legal non-conforming uses pursuant to Mendocino County Code Chapter 20.204.”
Commissioner Marie Jones, who drafted the original resolution, said that about 3% of Mendo homes are now used as vacation rentals, adding, “and those are the legal ones.” That’s about 1,000 houses taken off the market and converted to vacation rentals in the last ten years, said Jones, adding that was more than the just over 800 new homes that were built in the County in that same time period.
In other words, in the last ten years because of vacation rental conversions, Mendo has had a net loss of about 200 homes despite the more than 800 new ones built. Jones attributed the problem largely to the ease with which homeowner’s can make the conversions from residential to commercial rentals and the $20k to $30k per year or more that they can make on them while still being available for the owners own occasional vacation use.
Ms. Jones noted that she personally rents five houses in the Fort Bragg area to local people and that whenever one becomes vacant, “I have more than 25 people come within an hour to look at it,” forcing her to make difficult choices about who to rent to.
Jones said that the use permit approach was selected because it would allow neighbors to have a say in the conversion process. They weren’t restricting any actual conversions.
Commissioner Diane Wiedeman, the other member of the ad hoc committee who drafted the use permit resolution, noted that the Supervisors have already reduced the cost of the use permit for these kinds of conversions to half of what a normal major use permit would cost.
Commissioner Cliff Paulin thought that the proposed resolution would do nothing to help alleviate the housing shortage and impose too much of a burden on homeowners wanting to convert.
Predictably several members of the wine-tourism-real estate axis opposed the idea.
Courtney DeGraff, speaking for the AV Winegrowers Association, told the Commission that any attempt to restrict or regulate the lodging industry in Anderson Valley would be a bad idea because it would restrict tourism, lower property values, reduce transient occupancy taxes and other horrible things.
Anderson Valley Vintner Kristy Charles had a similar viewpoint adding that restrictions would reduce transient rentals and associated attendance at wine and tourism events and other related local businesses.
They urged that more housing be built, as if that’s any kind of simple finger-snap policy decision, not impose restrictions on vacation rentals.
They also complained that it can take a long time to process a use permit. One caller said that the use permit requirement would be hard to enforce and predicted that if they required use permits the lodging-wine-tourism-realty axis would sue the County.
Everyone agreed that an county-wide lack of housing has many negative side-effects, especially making it hard for public and private employers to attract new employees.
After extensive discussion, the Planning Commission voted 3-2 for the use permit resolution with grandfathering existing (inland) “non-conforming” vacation rentals and to require use permits only for rentals that are not on County roads. Or so we gathered. (We’re not sure; it might be the reverse.)
Unfortunately, the original proposal and the Thursday discussion were confusing and legalistic with lots of back and forth on minor word changes. Apparently there is still some work to be done defining what a “vacation rental” is and what a new inland zoning ordinance will say. The proposal also does not address vacation rentals in the “coastal zone” where most of the conversions are.
Commission Chair Alison Pernell, who supported the use permit resolution in addition to its two preparers, concluded that there was much more work to do and the housing shortage problem “will not be solved by zoning alone.” Neglecting to note that it won’t be solved by zoning at all.
The question will probably come back to the Commission and the Supervisors at a later date for formal incorporation into Mendocino County Code.
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
MARIJUANA BEFORE THE FALL: The solstice and harvest parties. The absolute best! It was an honor to experience. We would take rotations on the mountain who was going to host the next potluck. No pun intended. Fabulous feasts and incredible local musicians. Didn’t so much carry guns and have dust ups. If you were there it was because you were supposed to be. If you were not invited do not bother. Respect and common sense held the boundaries not found today. Outsiders weren’t really a thing. There were no trimmigrants. A lot would have family though that came from outside areas to assist through the season. The trimmigrant thing didn’t really start hitting hard until about 2008.
Large bowls of pre-rolled joints and loose buds on the buffet table. Gourmet dishes from around the world. The parties all wound down and everything was put away around January, through March the hills were empty, most were in tropical locations. Used to rain pretty much Non-Stop from January until April. The Tweekers that were around kept to themselves. The severe thievery, missing workers, slain crew members was never an issue like it is now.
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SLOW DOWN ON SHERWOOD ROAD
I have been extra careful on Sherwood. A recent fatality brings to our community a heightened need for caution in a neighborhood with an extremely dangerous road ….throw in the numerous deer, bears, cats, dogs…and occasional human….you would think that our neighbors might slow down a little bit.
However, the opposite is happening! I am a 50-year-old teacher. I have a great driving record of 30-plus years. I have a long dangerous commute. My own neighborhood is the absolute scariest part of my commute. Whether I am leaving my house or headed back home, I end up with some brainless fool riding on my bumper with their high beams absolutely blinding me …
Why are the numerous police in our neighborhood not doing anything at all about this? It would be easy to install a camera and catch these idiots!
I am used to being patient and not allowing people to rush me in my job as a teacher, but it is so hard to maintain a safe speed or to pull over safely when blinded by these maniacs riding right on my bumper!!!
I’m so glad I don’t let them rush me because there is always a deer or a person right where these people strive to drive so dangerously!!!
My daughter is about to start driving and I cannot even think about her being forced into these insanely dangerous situations.
On my way home last night a neighbor flew around me into the oncoming traffic lane because they apparently didn’t approve of me driving at a safe speed.
A camera can easily be installed so that when these criminals put their, our, and others’ lives at risk. and eventually, cause a death or critical incident…and no cop is ever there …they can be persecuted to the full extent that the law allows!!!!!!
Kelly Heather Stevens Andersen
SAN FRANCISCO, ALWAYS ON THE CUTTING EDGE: People applying for San Francisco's new transgender low-income scheme must choose between more than 130 genders, pronouns and sexualities. Those who want to apply for the guaranteed $1,200-a-month package can fill out a 10-page form online which asks about contact details, income and social security.
I TRIED real hard to understand crypto currencies, doggedly reading up on it, conscientiously as all heck plumbing the research depths, but to little avail, finally concluding that value is established by the electrical power it takes to create it plus suckers willing to buy in with government-backed currencies of specific value. And come on, Bernie Madoff unfailingly offering 20 percent returns for years upon years as the SEC and the Wall Street Journal waved off skeptics? I think his investors should have gone to jail, not him. Ms. Holmes blood diagnosis machine? Right up there in plausibility with the orgone box. Yes, I play the lottery every week. Why do you ask?
THE STATE Attorney General’s Office has turned down Mendocino County District Attorney Dave Eyster’s weasley attempt to hand off prosecution of defrocked Ukiah police chief, Noble Waidelich, for an alleged sexual assault, in uniform, on a former Ukiah girlfriend. Eyster has had the investigative findings on the charges for what, three months now? It's not a complicated matter: Did the then Chief attack the woman? If he did, prosecute him, if he didn't drop the charges. A third alternative might be to organize another show trial like the one arranged between the DA and the Superior Court for that other priapic Ukiah cop, Kevin Murray, a plea deal that got that multiple rapist and speed freak, probation. Of course letting another badged Ukiah rapist off the hook might be a little much even for Mendocino County — everyone up for the mantra “Where history starts all over again every morning, and you are whatever you say you are.”
RON EDWARDS, well known in Mendocino County for his marijuana advocacy, and a close look-alike with KGO weatherman, Spencer Christian, is in a tight race for a seat on the Healdsburg City Council with Brigette Mansell, with Edwards ahead by less than fifty votes. With all due respect to Edwards as a part-time Mendo guy, here's hoping Mansell beats him because she's the only candidate in that fast disappearing town alarmed at the crazy development of what was, only a few years ago, a pretty and coherent little place. It's recently been vulgarized and over-built by the wine industry in tandem with the usual bullet heads from So Co's chamber of commerces.
COULD THERE be any political development more ghastly, more absurd than a '24 repeat of Trump vs. Biden? Excluding WW III and mass murder, of course.
FORT BRAGG’S NEW HOUSING PROJECT creates neighborhood of seniors, families and homeless
by Frank Hartzell
Ronald Davis, 55, left more than a decade of homelessness behind when he moved into The Plateau, Fort Bragg’s new very mixed-use housing project. The 4 acre complex opened Nov. 1 across the street from Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Hospital at 441 South Street in Fort Bragg. It’s no exaggeration to say The Plateau has been about the happiest place in Fort Bragg for the past two weeks. All the residents interviewed were thrilled the developer had finally let them move in. Earlier proposed dates for completion in April and June had passed. Landscaping didn’t get put in, leaving bare ground for the rainy season, but all the buildings were completed and passed all final inspections. Many, but not all, residents have moved into the fully rented complex.
“It’s great. I can’t say how much I appreciate this place,” Davis said.
Juli Rogers, manager of The Plateau, said it nearly brought tears to her eyes to see homeless people like Davis she has known for a decade finally get housing after trying so hard for so long. “This is such a great new beginning for so many people that have been trying and hoping for this kind of opportunity, ” said Rogers, a former employee of The Hospitality Center, Fort Bragg’s program for the homeless.
Rogers said the delight people experienced came partly from surprise.
“It was nicer than they expected. There is a really strong positive effect on the psyche when that happens, when people see a place that is not just clean and new, but very well built and comes with top-notch amenities. It feels like other people really care and have gone above and beyond for them.”
Hundreds of eligible people applied for a spot at the rent-subsidized Plateau, from which 68 people or families were chosen. Davis and other new residents are part of a bold experiment by Arcata’s Danco Group and the City of Fort Bragg to house the homeless, elderly and families all in one neighborhood. The project contains one- and two-bedroom stand-alone units and two-story duplexes for families. Seldom before has this mix of housing been attempted. There are meeting and activity areas for all three groups and even basketball courts.
The opening of The Plateau was a triumph for Mayor Bernie Norvell, who pushed the plan harder than anyone else. All of the council supported it. He said the city has put all its efforts to create something as good as this project will be once it becomes a seamless part of the neighboring community, which consists of numerous senior and other apartment complexes. Norvell said other efforts he has observed where supportive or homeless housing was tried by itself had problems that he doesn’t expect at the integrated model being used at The Plateau.
“In the integrated community, the people can fit together into a neighborhood. I think this can be a model of how to make it work,” he said.
And then there could be more.
“When the community sees what an amazing project this is, we will be able to sell more like it down the road. It really takes the entire community buying into something like this to make it work,” Norvell said.
He said there were bumps along the way, like not having beds and dinner tables in the units when The Plateau opened. Most of the homeless and many of the families did not have beds, tables and supplies of their own. The problem was resolved with some quick ordering and fundraising and volunteer work from the likes of Fort Bragg city employees, including police officers. Norvell said Mary Kate Mckenna, executive director of the Mendocino Coast Healthcare Foundation, had made a huge difference in finding ways to fix the problems. He said Sarah McCormick had played a major role in the success of the whole project.
“Mistakes were made and I’m willing to accept the responsibility for that. I took it on myself to make this successful,” he said.
Things seemed worrisome the first few days, with people needing many things, but the road evened out quicker than expected and residents were patient.
One man moved into the wrong unit (although the correct number) and had to be help move over to where he was supposed to be. He was assisted in moving to his assigned unit by a large group of volunteers.
“These situations were remedied and once fixed, we got together and discussed way to make sure these kind of things don’t happen again.“
Affordable housing in Fort Bragg
While The Plateau cannot house all of Fort Bragg’s homeless population, estimated to be between 100 and 150, it’s a strong and unique start. The section of the project where homeless people now live is called “permanent supportive housing.” Studies across the nation have shown that providing support to people in transition allows them to keep housing they almost certainly would have lost otherwise. The project, with an estimated $27 million building cost, also benefited from a variety of other Gavin Newsom administration programs for affordable housing and combating homelessness. Rents are subsidized. How much does rent cost for the residents? “It varies based on each individual, but it ranges from $452 — $1,048,” said Jonathan Gutierrez, director of marketing for Danco.
The permanent supportive housing section is being handled by Redwood Community Services (RCS) and other agencies now funded to provide services ranging from rides for seniors to their appointments, to others utilizing substance abuse recovery programs; it also helps rebuild basic living skills. There were volunteers and workers on site every day, including a sizable contingent of helpers from the police department. Police Chief Neil Cervenka was there setting up tables on Monday. He was waiting for the delivery of beds on Tuesday. He said sealed bed-in-box latex memory foam beds make delivery and setup easier and more hygienic.
“This place is really good quality,” Cervenka said “This has an obvious effect on people, making them feel at home, that they have something new and nice, after having seconds and hand-me-downs for a long time, they feel a real sense of pride and ownership. The impact of doing things in this way is huge.” Cervanka said the project has already eased the local homeless situation and relieved some pressure on the winter shelter program.
The entire Plateau is surrounded by a fence (other than street access). The supported living area for the formerly homeless is entirely fenced in and isolated from the rest — a fence within fences. Entry to the area is controlled. Several of the formerly homeless people interviewed said they and others want the protection of the fences and liked the constant police monitoring. They want to be safe and they want to recover, which means breaking some cycles with the street. Contracts reveal that the process of how the homeless were chosen was intensively selective, not a competitive lottery. While there were dozens of seniors and families competing for every open spot, it was a much more arduous process filling the supportive housing spots, making sure these were really 100 percent homeless people and evaluating factors like health, vulnerability and potential for success. The Hospitality Center has also had programs to provide housing and living support services for many years.
Not all has gone well at the supported section of The Plateau. There was an arrest that was reportedly followed by an eviction, and some incidents in the first two nights, but police, management and residents reported quiet since. This reporter was invited to visit The Plateau by several seniors and formerly homeless people, but their names are being withheld out of their worries that anything could ruin their good fortune. Many seniors and families were also living rough and were as thrilled to be here as the former street people. Three homeless families were moved into the section for working families, two from Ukiah’s Project Homekey motel renovation program.
Norvell believes the main local obligation is to create housing for local people who have fallen into homelessness so that they can get on their feet and move on to other housing employment and opportunities. However, The Plateau could not chose any Californian and couldn’t ask if they were from Fort Bragg on the application. But almost everybody who won the time stamp lottery and were chosen for the homeless housing ended up being from the Fort Bragg area.
“People from Fort Bragg really stepped up and got in there and applied first,” said Rogers. The entire project is being rented by people whose income was 60 percent or less of the area average.
“That was extremely fortunate, Norvell said. He said the Hospitality Center did a good job of choosing the clients so as to get even more local people into the pipeline of help.
Despite his strong advocacy for The Plateau, Norvell is a strong believer in the Marbut Consulting report, which was produced for the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors in 2018, and which advocates each community treating its own homeless and moving those called “transients” along.
“We can’t become a hub for the homeless,” said Norvell. He said the winter shelter will house anyone the first night, but those from out of town get assistance in moving back to where they come from and are more likely to have family support. Other homeless advocates believe in providing services to everyone, regardless.
Senior and family housing
A group of teenage boys shooting baskets with this reporter now live in the family section. They were upbeat about their new homes. They offered stories of working parents and kids constantly moving or living in packed local campgrounds or in substandard packed housing.
Rogers was right about the quality of these small, but by definition, not tiny, homes. This reporter found luxurious high ceilings, top quality appliances, bathroom rails and other extras, with each unit fronting on interesting shared courtyards.
The seniors and families who applied went through a different process to gain entrance. When the period for application opened in March they went online and claimed a spot. They were given a time stamp, literally each a winning lottery ticket for one among the hundreds needing housing. The units went first come, first served. “We have 300 senior applicants for our waitlist, this usually means a unit will be available for them within 1-2 years,” Gutierrez said.
One new senior resident, a longtime member of the progressive community, was wishing with all her heart it can work but wondering about safety for all.
“I am very glad to see the homeless people getting the chance to move into clean and well built housing. It’s a great start,” she said. “I wonder how they feel about being kept inside that fence.” She liked the idea of everybody working together living together and learning from each other. She said seniors often become isolated in seniors only living.
Another senior was a lifelong Fort Bragg woman from a family that has been here for generations. Her family had been putting her up since her husband died years ago.
“As I understand it, the project was originally supposed to be only for seniors but it has changed into something else, something that I’m not sure they thought all the way through,” the senior citizen said. While it’s true the effort started out much smaller, the vision was expanded to what it is now before the property was purchased by the developer.
The property was purchased from the Nelepovitz/Rossi family on November 25, 2020 for just under $2.8 million, county records show. It was once a family farm that rolled down to Noyo River frontage.
Seniors needed to be 62 years in age or older to apply to The Plateau. Workforce/family housing residents, who have now moved into the 1000-1200 square foot duplexes had to have at least four people in the family, although there are exceptions, such as for families with children of the opposite sex (so as not to be made to share a bedroom) or a member of the armed forces currently stationed elsewhere.
The project has a uniquely engineered set of drainage ponds designed to protect city water and sewers. But they need to have plants in the ground. Fort Bragg’s Public Works Director John Smith said the city was concerned about the state of the drainage and runoff but was satisfied Danco had a plan in place after meeting with company representatives.
The project was predicted to be completed in April, June and then Nov. 1, as the pandemic caused delays in everything everywhere. Accepted residents waited and watched, often with little seeming to be happening on-site. Even as the project opened and residents, police and local social workers were busily at work, Danco workers from headquarters in Arcata have been surprisingly scarce.
Two remaining issues are parking and smoking. More than 60 parking places were provided with original plans calling for covering them. The otherwise empty South Street, on the project’s southern boundary is clearly marked with no parking on both sides of the road. Homeless visitors and residents had parked along Kemppe Way, across from the hospital, for the first week, but that is now all marked “no parking.” Lots of people who live in the project smoke, but the project is entirely no smoking as a condition of federal funding.
“It’s tricky,” admitted Rogers.
Joyce White, 73, who lives directly across the street from the project, said she is rooting for everybody over there but has had problems with people crossing the street to smoke in front of her place: “I’m deathly allergic.” She said the people she confronted were polite and left and told her the new place was smoke-free with no place to light up.
White believes the city started with the intent of only making housing for seniors, then added working families which were still compatible with seniors, then the homeless. “All these things together are entirely different than [they would be] apart,” she said.
Indeed, it was the acquisition of a $3 million Homeless Emergency Action Plan (HEAP) grant by the city that helped the entire project work out. Conservatives and progressives on the council have worked together to push for The Plateau.
Studies nationwide have shown that permanent supportive housing results in improved physical and behavioral health outcomes, and reduced use of crisis services such as emergency departments, hospitals, police and jails. Danco will accept HUD Section 8 rental assistance and housing vouchers when considering tenant applications.
Danco and other projects
The Danco group of companies were founded in 1986 in Humboldt County by Dan Johnson. His grandfather, Carl, and dad Don Johnson were beloved auctioneers in the community and also ran a furniture business and dairy farm.
Dan Johnson’s connected companies have built 38 affordable housing projects in California with eight more in construction and about 30 more on the books in various stages, Gutierrez said. Projects range from converting dilapidated hotels into quality green housing for the homeless to bringing back the old lumber company town of Samoa. Danco now owns the famed Samoa Cookhouse. While many other developers threw up their hands at regulation, Danco has been transforming Northern California with green, well built projects and has learned to work with cities and counties on grants and solving chronic problems with homeless and senior housing.
Danco will be starting a new affordable housing project in Ukiah next year known as Acorn Valley Plaza This project will have 71 affordable housing units for families & individuals, said Gutierrez. He said it would be Danco’s second affordable housing project in Ukiah.
In addition to providing diverse elements of the community, families, seniors, the disabled and the homeless with housing, the project is covered with solar panels. The city and Danco continue leading the nation in “net-zero” energy. This started in 2014 when Danco Group finished the nearby Cottages at Cypress, those brightly colored units located about 150 yards away as the raven flies, on the opposite end of the Adventist Health complex. Rogers is also manager of that project. The Cottages at Cypress got noticed in studies on how net zero energy affordable housing can be created. At the time it was built it was one of the largest such projects in the nation.
One of the seniors moving into the Plateau has friends over there and loves those units and how the project was built and maintained.
“My only wish is that these wonderful places to live could have come with those happy and inspiring colors,” she said. The Plateau features different muted colors on each home, no two of which are exactly alike, which also pleased the seniors.
“People who live over there love those colors. There is always somebody to grumble about anything different, which probably was why they went with more plain colors here.”
Solar rooftop panels provide all of the project’s net energy use. Each unit is outfitted with top rated ceiling and wall insulation, Energy Star all-electric appliances, LED lighting, highly efficient heating, air conditioning, and hot water systems. Five electric vehicle charging stations complete the all-electric project. The Plateau was awarded $345,000 in incentives—$5,000 per home—through Sonoma Clean Power.
Bonds in the amount of $16 million were approved by the California State Treasurer for the project in 2020. Using CalPFA’s Affordable Housing Bond Program, a qualified developer can pay lower interest rate than with conventional financing because the interest paid to bondholders is exempt from federal income tax. In addition, the use of tax-exempt bonds also facilitates eligibility for the federal government’s 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. The bond also forces the owners of The Plateau to keep it affordable for at least 55 years.
This may not be Fort Bragg’s most innovative new housing project, once the Fort Bragg Community Land Trust, established by the council during the pandemic, gets going on its agenda. There is a proposal for the land trust to purchase one of two properties in Fort Bragg and establish housing for the likes of teachers, nurses and other working people, Norvell said. Someone buying a house there would pay only a set amount, with the rest covered by affordable housing money. When they sell the property, the portion paid by the grant would be paid back but they could build equity on the rest.
“Helping the homeless can’t be all we do. We have to recognize that our economy is based on tourism now. We really need housing for people that get up and go to work every day, pay the bills and keep the lights on, Norvell said.
Norvell said the housing project for local working people depends on funding being acquired by Congressman Jared Huffman. It’s unknown the impact a change in party leadership might have on the Huffman effort, now that the Democrats are back in the minority in the House.
“If the funding from the Huffman effort doesn’t come through, we will find another source,” said Norvell.
Just 100 yards away from The Plateau, Redwood Community Services is building a crisis center for the mentally ill, a service Ronald Davis says is badly needed by many people in town, not just the homeless and formerly homeless. No details have been made public about how that center, operated in a building leased from the hospital, will work.
THE SPREAD OF SUSPICION: Today Is The 17 Year Anniversary Of Cannabis Activist Les Crane’s Shooting Death In Laytonville
by Kym Kemp
17 years ago today on November 18, 2005 in the quiet darkness of the early hours of a cold Laytonville morning, multiple gunshots killed social activist, cannabis distributor, and locally well-known disruptor of the status quo, 39-year-old Les Crane. The first evidence pointed to a home invasion, in the nearly two decades since then, the shifting eye of suspicion has landed on everyone from law enforcement to loved ones.
As family members and friends of every victim knows, an oily, black poison spreads from each homicide – damaging almost all who were close to the deceased. And, this is especially true in the case of an unsolved murder. Each person involved, however peripherally, could be a suspect. Family members and friends guiltily wonder if a loved one could be the killer as they try and make sense of evidence that comes to them secondhand from law enforcement intent mostly on gathering evidence rather than giving information or worse, information from someone they sometimes worry might be the murderer and might not be telling the truth. Information is sifted through suspicion, self-protection, and loyalties and comes out twisted and almost unrecognizable. Add in time and the faultiness of memory, then cold, solid facts are hard to find and set side by side to make a truthful narrative.
Motives for Les’s killing offered from different sources and twisted through different stories vary from a love triangle to law enforcement trying to silence Crane because he had evidence against them.
But mostly, the motive offered is money. Les’s sister, Laura Smith, believes her brother, who had two dispensaries in Mendocino County, had over a million dollars the night he was killed. “From the understanding I had,” she told us over the phone, “there was 1.2 million in the safe.” She said her cousin who had visited just days previous to Les’s killing, had learned about the large sum when he was there.
But, Sean Diriam, who says he handled money for Les, claims that though there were often large amounts of cash, on this night there was a relatively small amount–$7,000.
“I ran Les’s shop in Laytonville–a dispensary,” he told me via phone. This was backed by Patrick Duff, Les’s friend and manager of the Ukiah dispensary also owned by Les. So Sean said he was pretty clear on how much money was there that night. Sean told us that Les had recently given generously to local charities in preparation for the holiday season. “Les had bought a bunch of turkeys to give to food banks that day,” he explained. (Les was frequently open handed with those in need–earlier that year he had donated $5,000 to the Ukiah Community Center Food Bank and even earlier, in late 2004, he had sponsored a clean and sober space for Laytonville kids to play games and eat snacks he provided.)
Nonetheless, the difference between the $7000 said to be there by one person and $1.2 million said to be there by another shows the gaps between the facts that make finding solid footing treacherous.
Two people are believed to have been staying in the home with Les Crane the night he was shot to death–his girlfriend Jennifer Drewry and Sean Diriam, who worked for Les in his dispensary and was just 20-years-old.
We interviewed Sean Diriam and we’ll give his account of the homicide, but we want to caution that many people struggling to make sense of the death of Les Crane dispute parts or almost all of it.
The first thing to know before we get to Sean’s story is that Les Crane was brash and bold and upset many people. As his sister told us, Les had “a typical new England assholishness. You would know his opinion…You didn’t have to agree with it, but you sure as hell were going to listen to it.”
Some of the folks Crane upset belonged to law enforcement which after his death lead some friends and acquaintances to look accusingly in their direction.
Crane opened his first dispensary, Mendo Remedies, in April of 2004. Local law enforcement was not a fan. He has a couple of tussles with them and by May of 2005, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department raided his place, seizing 30 gold South African Krugerands and thousands of cannabis clones.
The next day, in typical brash fashion, Les and his attorney filed a law suit asking not only for the return of the gold coins but money for each clone as if the plants were assured of reaching a pound a piece–with prices reaching thousands of dollars per pound at the time.
A month later he took out an ad in the Ukiah Journal asking all 215 patients “if you had your Garden raided, please call Les Crane at Mendo Spiritual Remedies.”
“What was he up to?” locals must have wondered.
Then, in late summer, seeking to use a religious exemption to allow people access to cannabis, Les tried to open a second church/dispensary in Ukiah. Then on November 2, he was arraigned on charges stemming from the May raid. On November 16, he has another court date but…before going in and pleading not guilty, he hands out a bag full of free cannabis to supporters and passersby.
So now he’s aggravating everyone from religious conservatives to marijuana growers who wish he’d just quit stirring the hornet’s nest.
On the night of November 18, Sean says he helped Les, who he said he felt was like a dad to him, write on his computer. They were at Les’s property out the 307 Road off Hwy 101 north of Laytonville with Les’s girlfriend Jennifer Drewry.
But, according to Sean, Jen had told him he could score some oxycontin cheap if he wanted–a friend of Jennifer’s would meet him out by the gate and sell it to him. (Sean told us, Jen had never before helped facilitate him getting drugs like this.)
“Les didn’t like me going and getting extra drugs,” Sean said. “So I snuck out to get the oxycontin.”
Sean told us he slipped out the back through the room the dogs were kept in and met the friend by the gate. When he came back in, he says, he closed the door between the room the dogs were in and the rest of the house, then went to his room. “I ate the pills and went back to bed,” he said.
In the early hours of the morning, Sean said, “I heard the door get kicked in…I heard, ‘This is a raid. This is a raid. This is a raid.’ I assumed it was the feds. Because Les had said the DEA was watching.”
Sean didn’t want to startle the officers. “I put my hands on top of my covers so I wouldn’t get shot,” he told us. “I wanted to make sure they could see my hands. I was worried about a cop with an itchy trigger finger shooting me even though there were no guns on the property.”
The door was at the end of Sean’s bed. “I was looking at the fucking door,” he told us. “I remember my door getting swung open by a big guy who filled up the door[way]…wearing a hoodie…When I see it is a big guy in a hoodie with a bat that’s when I’m like ‘Oh, fuck, I’m fairly certain this is a robbery.'“
He says the man reached over from the foot of the bed and grabs his shirt, pulls him upright, and hits him with something black that looks like a Billy club. “It is not until I am vertical that he starts beating me over the head,” Sean tells us. “I have three scars on my head from the beating.”
As he was getting hit, Sean said he heard sounds of distress from out of the room. “I recall hearing screaming when I’m getting beaten,” he told us.
Sean said, “I see him coming around for another one. I go to catch the bat.” To his surprise and the intruder’s also, “I pulled the bat from him.”
He told us he said something like, ‘Quit fucking hitting me please,’ before putting the bat up against the guy’s chest and surrendering it to him. “Because what was I going to do?” he asked. “I’m not Rambo here.”
At that point, Sean says the guy “drags” him into the main part of the house where the kitchen and dining room combine. “There is one short guy standing on the treadmill’ in the dining room looking into the kitchen, he explained. “Jen is standing there screaming…One guy has two guns…I remember he was pointing them both of them straight out.” According to Sean, “The guy with two guns was wearing a biker mask. Foam. He had a hoodie. “
According to Sean, when he was dragged out, Jen was at the point where the kitchen meets the dining room.
Later, Sean learned from Jen that she had slept in a different bedroom from Les because they had had an argument, according to her. Sean said that this was “the only night I remember her sleeping in a separate bedroom.” He added that he “didn’t witness the argument…I was already in bed.” According to Sean, he said that when she came out of the room because of the commotion, she was hit on the head.
“I was right next to the pantry where the flooring for the pool table was right near my back,” he said. “The big guy threw me on the floor and he went into Les’s room.”
According to Sean, “My shirt is all fucking torn. There’s blood. I see two guns right in my eyes telling me to stay the fuck down…He was a white guy and he had blue eyes…I’m wondering where this blood is coming from. ‘Oh, it is coming from me.'“
Sean said he looked up “at the dude with the guns” and said, “I don’t want this. I don’t want this.”
Jen, Sean explained, kept screaming wordlessly. “It was ear piercing,” he told us.
“I hear one of them say, ‘She’s being too fucking loud…I see some feet come closer to me…I see one gun pointing at her…I hear a pop. She’s falling down…” And the screaming stops.”
Sean said he thought, “Oh, my god, they shot her. She’s dead. Welp, you’re dead. You don’t just shoot one person and leave the other person alive.”
According to Sean, the man with the gun runs past him back to Les’s room. He says he hears “five…six shots.”
Then all of the intruders, he’s not sure how many, ran out fast.
“Why the fuck am I alive?” Sean says he thought. “I scoot over to the mop closet. I get the phone [that was sitting on the kitchen counter] and call 911…When I was getting my shoes on and calling 911, I heard Jen asks for water and a towel. How is she alive?”
But Sean doesn’t stop dialing 911. He told us, “I needed to get an ambulance because I didn’t hear Les screaming and gunshots happened. That’s not good. I can do one and one.”
He says he heard the operator saying, “911, what’s your address?”
He said he told her, “They shot my dad…They shot my dad.”
The operator keeps trying to get Sean to give details, but he was shook up and according to him said something like, “I don’t need fucking cops…I need a fucking ambulance. There was a shooter. I need a fucking ambulance right fucking now.”
Meanwhile, Jen had gone to Les’s room and found him bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. As Jen related to the Ukiah Daily Journal, “[Les] was lying there. He could still talk. There was a lot of blood. The Count [which was Sean’s nickname] was hiding, talking to 911.”
She said she asked Les, “Who did this to you?” And she told the Journal that he said, “They came to see The Count today.”
Around this time, while still on the phone talking to the 911 operator, Sean moved towards where Jen is with Les. “He’s in the middle doorway,” Sean remembers. “His feet are towards the doorway. [Behind him,] the safe is open…Les is in a big puddle of blood naked…I believe he was shot in the back.”
Jen told the Ukiah Daily Journal that Les was “shot in the back of the head, in an arm and in his abdomen.” She explained though, “There was so much blood I couldn’t see all the holes.”
Sean brought a towel and water to Les. “In the movies, they pack bullet holes with cloth,” he explained. “As I am trying to tear the towel to take care of him, I hang up [on 911.]”
The towel is difficult to deal with Sean told us. “It’s a brand new towel. He [Les] starts losing bladder control. I’m not a very smart guy, but that is not a good sign.”
Sean went on, “He looked like a fish out of water. Mouth open…gasping…Eyes not aware. I didn’t know what to do. I’m a dumb fucking kid. This is not real. This was not even in my possibility of what was going to be in my life.”
According to Sean, Les “comes to some sort of cognition.” Sean told us that the dying man said something like “What…what…what.” He added, “I see he wants to get up.” He helps him up, he said. “When I laid him down on the bed is when he said to tell [his son] he loves him…I get a blanket and tuck it behind his head….I tell him you know I will. You can’t leave me here. I was crying…I was scared shitless.”
A deputy with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department arrives and, to Sean’s fury, checks to make sure no intruders are left before letting the medical personnel come in. “I need a fucking ambulance,” Sean says he tells the deputy. “He’s in the other room fucking dying here.”
When the medical personnel come in, Sean says they attempt to help Jen and him. “I’m covered in blood from fucking head to toe–my blood, his blood, who fucking knows,” he tells us. But he says he wants the medical personnel to get to Les. “I didn’t call an ambulance for me,” he said. “I called it for him. Gunshot wounds take priority.”
The medical personnel go back into Les’s bedroom. When they come out, Sean told us, “I grabbed one and asks one if [Les] is going to be alright.”
The look the man gives him makes Sean who is now out on the porch of the house “try to go back inside [but] the cop wouldn’t let me. I was jumping up and down and screaming.”
Both he and Jen are eventually taken to the hospital where he has three head wounds and she has a broken arm.
Sean told us that he can’t forget what happened even 17 years later. “I think it about all the fucking time,” he said. “It keeps you up at night for a long fucking time.”
According to Sean, Les died for “a little bit of weed and what was in the safe..$7000.”
17 years later, family and friends have no answers–only questions and suspicions. Patrick Duff, a friend of Les Crane, has set up a website to collect information about the murder. On the site, is a detailed timeline of what led up to the night of Les’s shooting and what happened after. Duff hopes that people will come forward with any information that they know to help solve the homicide and to help stop the spread of suspicion.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, November 19, 2022
ALVARO ALVAREZ-REYES, Ukiah. DUI.
NICHOLAS GUGLIELMINO, Ukiah. County parole violation.
CODY LADD, Ukiah. Controlled substance, parole violation.
RITA LAVENDUSKEY, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-intoxicated with drugs and alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
KENNETH LAWSON, Laytonville. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
AMERICA LOPEZ-MUNOZ, Ukiah. DUI.
JAVIER MENDEZ, Ukiah. Domestic battery, vandalism, probation revocation, probation revocation.
GRANT MORROW, Laytonville. Battery on cohabitant.
ALEXANDRIA RODRIGUEZ, Fort Bragg. Narcotic-controlled substance and organic drug for sale.
JUSTIN WILLIAMSON, Fort Bragg. Unauthorized entry of dwelling without owner’s consent, concealed dirk-dagger.
“You can't deny Jews control the international Rube Goldberg machine market. Wherever a bowling ball falls on a switch to a fan blowing a paint balloon onto spikes, startling a mouse that pulls a string to raise the curtain on a sign that says EAT AT JOE'S, there's a Space Jew in a throne room somewhere, in a high collar and tight gold and purple helmet, though in black and white, watching it on a round screen on a pole, washing his hands in the air like a fly, smiling with just his mouth, not his eyes, muttering, 'Excellent,” or “Splendid’.”
Here's the recording of last night's (2022-11-18) Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA): https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0515
Thanks to Hank Sims for tech help, as well as for his fine news site: https://LostCoastOutpost.com
Thanks are due the Anderson Valley Advertiser, which always provides about an hour of each of my Friday night shows' most locally relevant material without asking for anything in return, going back decades. Further, thank tiny bravely struggling KNYO itself (KNYO.org). Find the hidden red donation heart there and help the station out with a substantial gift from your own heart. Or try the new iron-rich vibrantly healthy KNYO hot sauce, for vim and pep. (“It's toasted!”)
Besides all that, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:
I don't remember where it comes from, but at one part in a story an old Jew who's been through absolute hell sees something like this and growls, “So the /whole world/ isn't crazy.” I think it might have been Walter Matthau, or a man sitting next to Walter Matthau. My grandmother used to sing this song to herself sometimes when she was working. She was constantly working in her house or in the restaurant. I have no picture in my head of her ever just sitting there thinking about something, though she must have done, because I rode to Ohio in an airplane with her when I was five and all I remember of the trip was the scene outside the window my nose was stuck to. https://misscellania.blogspot.com/2022/11/moon-river.html
What. (Eleven years in prison, that's what, because she frauded a few rich people out of a few drops of their money. Meanwhile the entire Sackler family profited in the billions of dollars from mass murder, drug pushing of the worst drugs on a huge scale, and not a single one of them will even ever spend fifteen minutes in the back seat of a police car, much less be frog-marched across the lawn to it. And they all get to stay wealthy beyond the dreams of avarice, too, and keep all their mansions and golf course hotels and jet airplanes and basketball-court-size sex dungeons. And the Mormon church's multi-billion-dollar tax-free real-estate empire, and on and on, all the religions including, of course the ones with their own cities and countries. I remember reading an article about a poor boy in prison for stealing a cookie. And a woman put in prison for five years because, to get her daughter into a slightly better school, she registered to vote in a school district a block over the line from her apartment. Of course the woman in this creepy A.I.-produced squirming picture should be punished for stealing, but start with prosecuting and pauperizing the royal long-term dynasties of world-class stealers first, how about. (Or) Just stare back at pretty, psychopathic, hypnotic Elizabeth Holmes for awhile, until you wake up, on your feet, in a strange city, with someone asking you, “How would you like to pay for that, sir?” And you say, “Pay for what?” https://i0.wp.com/boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/holmes.gif
And what do you suppose is going on here, for 50,000 uma pulu ribu ruvics? (via Fark) https://pbs.twimg.com/media/Fhr8jsZWQAEElWC?format=jpg&name=medium
*Email me your written work and I'll read it on the very next MOTA. I don't care what it's about, just if there are swears I have to wait till an hour into the show to read it, because that becomes okay then.
Marco McClean, email@example.com https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
CONSTRUCTING INDIAN VALLEY DAM
Indian Valley Reservoir is a man-made lake in Lake County, California, 27 miles west of Williams near State Route 20. The 301,000 acre⋅ft capacity reservoir was created by the construction of the Indian Valley Dam across the north fork of Cache Creek in 1975. The 965 ft long and 201 ft high earth-fill dam was built for water storage, irrigation and flood control. Although the reservoir is in Lake County, it was built by neighboring Yolo County, who own all water rights to the 300,600 acre-feet of water. The dam includes a hydroelectric plant. The cost of the dam and reservoir exceeded $9 million and were funded in part by two bond issues. (wikipedia)
TWK WRITES: I went scrolling through YouTube earlier today and found the final game at Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium played in late September of ’93 (Trigger Warning: Chisox win, 4-0).
Among the milestones that got dragged through the memory mill was the fact Luke Easter hit the longest home run (477 feet) in the history of the stadium. This was when he was 35 years old, and during a Cleveland career that lasted a scant three years.
No need to go into the competition for longest homer honors, but I’ll trot out Mantle, Maris, Williams, Babe Ruth, Ralph Kiner, Harmon Killebrew, Rocky Colavito, Frank Howard, Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Frank Thomas, etc. Municipal Stadium opened in 1931, went dark in 1993. (No one ever hit a ball into the centerfield bleachers, though I suppose 477 feet would have done the job.)
Also saw a quote from the Big Fella in response to some fan who told him that he’d seen Luke Easter hit his longest home run ever. Said Luke: “If it came down, it wasn’t my longest.”
ED NOTE: I saw Orlando Cepeda hit a batting practice pitch so hard it knuckled all the way out to the left field fence at Candlestick. I could still see in those days, and that ball dipped and swerved and rose about five times with nary a rotation of its stitches. And as you will recall, as a little kid I saw the great Luke Easter pump one batting practice ball after another clear outta Seals Stadium into the park across 16th Street.
OBSTRUCTION BY MR. TRUMP
Dear Editor and Friends,
The recent Attorney General Merrick Garland decision appointing a Special Prosecutor regarding to possibly indictment of former president Trump was a good decision, though it may delay the process. The attorney general is in a tough spot since Mr. Trump is a master politician at placing blame on officials in the process of charging him. He’s been able to use rhetoric and vicious complaints at every political bend in the road evading serious legal charges.
However, in the case of the purloined documents found by the FBI after a fully legal warrant, Trump’s luck may be running out. Even his former Attorney General William Barr, in yesterday’s interview, said that the Special Counsel, Jack Smith, can make a very valid case that Mr. Trump obstructed the Department of Justice’s investigation by taking highly classified government documents to his Mar-A-Lago estate. It is pretty clear that by doing so the former president was guilty of breaking the law. Despite whether Mr. Trump gets his party’s nomination for the 2024 Presidential race, he should be indicted. He should stand trial.
Frank H. Baumgardner, III
Among many remarkable moments in the past few days, this was my favorite: Donald Trump finally acknowledged that Joe Biden is the president.
Our most notorious election denier revealed that he doesn’t really believe the election was stolen from him. Because if he were the Sitting President, as his QAnon followers like to call him, he wouldn’t need to run for president.
In a Maryland suburb I covered long ago, a fire chief and his deputy were accused of arson. “Firefighter arson” is actually a term, with its own Wikipedia entry, because it happens more often than you might think.
That’s what Trump sounded like, in his announcement speech, when he said he would “bring back honesty, confidence, and trust in our elections.” The arsonist seeking a job as a firefighter. He is the liar and con man who undermined confidence in our elections. All that baloney about rigged voting has only hurt Republican participation and swung independents and even some Republicans who were sick of Trump to Democrats. But he doesn’t care, so long as he can deflect the blame for his loss.
“As I have said before, the gravest threats to our civilization are not from abroad, but from within,” Trump said at his flaccid, whiny announcement Tuesday night at Mar-a-Lago.
That is actually true, but only because Trump exploited every dark division and base impulse he could find. He would rather blow up our democracy than admit he’s a loser, and that makes him a traitor.
Trump flaunts his faux Macho Macho Man rhetoric. For decades, Republicans have lectured Americans to quit embracing victimhood and stand on their own two feet, and here’s their leader announcing his presidency on a platform of Woe is me! Quit picking on me! Elect me because I’m a fall guy!
“I will tell you I’m a victim,” Trump said to a less-than-festive gathering where Melania seemed like a hostage and Ivanka was a no-show.
His vision was not exactly uplifting: “We will be attacked. We will be slandered. We will be persecuted just as I have been.” It made “American carnage” seem like “Roman Holiday.”
Trump’s martyrdom extends to his life with Melania in an oceanside resort, which he said, “hasn’t been the easiest thing.”
“I go home,” he said, “and she says, ‘You look angry and upset.’ I say, ‘Just leave me alone.’” Fun couple!
It wasn’t really an announcement so much as another Trump scam to fend off prosecutions and to keep raising money from his supporters.
Trump is no victim. He creates victims. Trump is the first former president subjected to a special counsel investigation into whether he masterminded a coup attempt.
That’s mind-blowing, especially since he’s running for president again.
On Friday, Attorney General Merrick Garland tried to remove politics from an inherently political process by appointing Jack Smith as a special counsel to determine “whether any person or entity unlawfully interfered with the transfer of power following the 2020 presidential election or the certification of the electoral college vote held on or about Jan. 6, 2021.”
Fee-fi-fo-fum, Jack stalks Trump to see if he did something dumb. (The reason it is “about” Jan. 6 could be because the Trump-provoked riot at the Capitol pushed the certification into Jan. 7.)
Smith will also run the investigation, as Garland said, “involving classified documents and other presidential records, as well as the possible obstruction of that investigation.”
Trump told Fox News that he “won’t partake” in the investigation, as if it were a breakfast buffet at Mar-a-Lago that he’s skipping.
Special counsels aren’t so special anymore. Bill Clinton survived the Peeping Tom counsel, Kenneth Starr. Trump survived the investigation of Robert Mueller, which concluded without a clear resolution. Not surprisingly, John Durham’s effort to discredit that investigation, which started out with a bad intent, has totally fizzled.
Even though Jack Smith, who used to run the Justice Department’s public integrity section, issued a statement on Friday promising to “exercise independent judgment,” Trump supporters are never going to buy that. And Trump will inflame them by playing the victim, even though he’s the culprit.
Republicans had to pause from plotting their own investigations of Democrats to ponder the news of a new one on Trump. Lyin’ Ted Cruz was first out of the box with his tweet that Biden had weaponized the D.O.J.: “This is Trump derangement syndrome but this time with a gun and badge.” Smith looks a little Eliot Nessy, but he’ll probably be working unarmed.
Garland obviously is trying to avoid the decision of whether or not to charge a past president. But the fundamental point is this: Just because Trump anointed himself a candidate, he shouldn’t be Untouchable.
— Maureen Dowd, NYT
NO, NEW YORK TIMES, YOU DON'T ‘DESERVE BETTER’ THAN DONALD TRUMP.
Trump should spare us all and retire. But his antagonists' lack of self-awareness keeps giving him oxygen
by Matt Taibbi
Among the predictably enormous quantity of horrified responses to Donald Trump’s campaign announcement this week, the New York Times editorial board handed down a beauty: “America Deserves Better Than Donald Trump.“
Is that true? If the question is if Donald Trump should be president, even I’ve been clear from the start the answer is no. But deserve? When the Times reaches for a word like that, they complicate what should be a simple question. Does the Times editorial board deserve President Trump? As William Munny put it with a bullet in Unforgiven, deserve’s got nothing to do with it.
Trump was elected in 2016. That’s a fact. The American political establishment has since refused any honest reckoning about how or why it happened. The closest the Times came to an explanation in this week’s editorial:
“Mr. Trump has many loyal supporters, who regard him as a flawed but effective champion. His rise to power was built on the idea that he is a winner and, for many Republicans, his victory in 2016 was sufficient justification for having supported him. It allowed the party to cut taxes and take firm control of the Supreme Court, opening an era of conservative jurisprudence, including the reversal of Roe v. Wade this year.”
In this fantasy world, Republicans merely put up with Trump, as a means to securing traditional conservative ends like cutting taxes and reversing Roe, because of “the idea that he is a winner.”
You’d have to be high as a Georgia Pine to believe this. There may be some Republican politicians who made the Machiavellian calculation the Times describes, but his voters weren’t thinking that. They just saw a way to send a giant Fuck You to people they hated and distrusted more than Trump.
That means you, esteemed members of the New York Times editorial board, along with the boards of other papers like the Washington Post, and TV and cable networks, both political parties, and most every major American or American-led institution, from NATO to the Fed to Merrick Garland’s Justice Department to the DHS and beyond.
There are probably 75 million Americans who think you’re all less trustworthy than Donald Trump, and that’s not because they think Trump is a saintly Clean Gene savior (the Times featured photos of Trump supporters “praying before Donald Trump”). On the contrary, they know he’s a bullshit artist of the first order. They just think you’re worse. When Trump lies, the average person shrugs, like they did when he tried to sell them on the “World’s Greatest Steaks!” When members of the we-deserve-better crowd lie, they do it with a halo, which makes millions of people want to send Trump rocketing up their poop-shoots. Dave Chappelle nailed it last weekend:
“No one,” shouted Chappelle, “had ever seen anyone come from inside out of that house, outside, to tell all the commoners, ‘We are doing everything that you think we are doing!’”
Trump is still alive politically because he’s succeeded in turning the last six years into a referendum on what goes on inside that house. Every time someone tells a lie about what goes on in there, Trump picks up a vote. The lie doesn’t even have to be about Trump. It can be any phony act of upper-class virtue-signaling. Trump probably even picked up votes when SNL writers stayed home rather than work with Chappelle.
This is all a repeat of the post-9/11 era, when the leadership of the United States walked into a trap set by Osama bin Laden. Accused of being an international force for repression, our leaders embraced torture, kidnapping, assassination, bombing of civilian infrastructure, mass surveillance, and other horrors, all while singing paeans to the shining city on the hill. That didn’t make bin Laden right, but our response to him absolutely lowered our standing in the world, a consequence we earned.
After Trump was elected we saw politicians work with the press to cook up WMD-caliber whoppers about Trump fixing elections with Vladimir McBoogeyman, saw the FBI throttle down a true story about Trump’s opposition, watched anyone who raised a hand to disagree with conventional wisdom about anything denounced as a traitor and national security threat, and most embarrassing of all, saw the construction of a giant space-age censorship machine that all but delivers a shock to your genitals if you so much as click on a video with Trump in it.
I woke up this morning still furious that YouTube censored a factually accurate video from this site, by Matt Orfalea, for the sin of showing Democratic partisans stooping to behaviors Trump later made infamous. The platform is threatening Matt’s livelihood and calling us agents of “misinformation” to uphold the principle of Karine Jean-Pierre, Joe Biden, Rob Reiner and Rachel Maddow not having to suffer such comparisons.
If these people were truly that far above the muck, they wouldn’t need to censor reality to prove it. Same with the Times. They penned that editorial pretending they hadn’t been outed years ago for building their whole newsroom around a phony Russia story. Slate published a transcript of a Times ”town hall” in which Times editor Dean Baquet talked about his paper being caught “a tiny bit flat-footed” by the conclusion of the Mueller probe, because “our readers who want Donald Trump to go away suddenly thought, ‘Holy shit, Bob Mueller is not going to do it.’”
By “a tiny bit flat-footed” Baquet meant his paper was unprepared for Mueller to come up empty because it had ceased to be a news organization willing to embrace guilt, innocence, or whatever the hell the truth was, and instead became a political operation agitating on behalf of “our readers who want Donald Trump to go away.” It openly rooted for one particular outcome and ignored the other possibility, causing the paper to publish one mistaken or clearly biased story after the other.
These ranged from the infamous “Repeated Contacts With Russian Intelligence“ story to the transparent government PR headline, “F.B.I. Used Informant to Investigate Russia Ties to Campaign, Not to Spy, as Trump Claims“ to stories proclaiming the “Nunes memo” about FBI malfeasance to be a mere partisan effort at “defending President Trump from Mr. Mueller’s investigation.” As later revealed in the report of Inspector General Michael Horowitz, the Nunes memo was correct in virtually all its parts. Yet the Times didn’t investigate that story or dozens of others properly, because it was and is now a political organ, not a newspaper.
They also played dirty. They accused people of serious offenses without calling for comment, dragged people under public suspicion based on un-checkable assertions of anonymous officials, and fixed errors late if at all. If new events punched holes in earlier reports, they rarely copped to it. This was all part of a new unwritten rule, that coloring outside the lines was permitted, because Trump.
Democracy needs a press that works independently of political parties, and the Times played a leading role in rubbing out this quasi-functional feature of American society. That’s why it’s impossible to agree that they “deserve” better than Donald Trump. They very much deserve Trump, as does anyone else who cheated and censored and red-baited for the last six years while claiming the mantle of “democracy.” As Chappelle said, Trump is an honest liar. You folks at the Times are the other kind.
HAITIAN IMMIGRANT GAVE US ONLY WORLD CUP WIN VS. UK — And Was Killed 14 Years Later
by Gavin Newsham
This Friday, the United States soccer team will meet England in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar. It will be only the third time the two teams have faced off in the tournament’s history.
In June 2010, the US managed a 1-1 tie against England in South Africa. You need to go back 72 years for the one and only occasion when we actually defeated the soccer superpower in the World Cup.
It was June 29, 1950, and pre-tournament favorites England were expected to wipe the floor with the US when the teams took to the field in Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
The contrast between the two teams could not have been more marked. England was a club packed with superstar players who all played for the country’s top league. The USA, meanwhile, had just one professional player in its team, Ed McIlvenny — and he was Scottish.
The rest of our players were a hodgepodge of occupations, all brought together on the promise of $5 a day for food and laundry. Walter Bahr was a teacher. Frank Borghi drove a hearse. Elsewhere, there was a postman, a carpenter, an undertaker, a trucker and a mechanic. Striker Benny McLaughlin, meanwhile, couldn’t make the trip because he had to plan his wedding and couldn’t get time off work.
Then there was Joe Gaetjens.
Born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1924, Gaetjens had made a name for himself winning two championship titles with his local team, L’Etoile Haitienne. But unable to make a living from the game in Haiti, he changed tack and, in 1947, won a government scholarship to study accountancy at Columbia University in New York.
To help pay his way through college, Gaetjens earned $25 a game playing for a local American Soccer League team, Brookhattan.
Gaetjens was good — very good.
In his first season in 1947-48, Gaetjens scored the second-most goals in the league and by his third season he was the competition’s top scorer.
Today, Gaetjens would not be eligible to play for Team USA but, back then, the national team selectors were only too happy to allow talented foreign-born players like him, and McIlvenny, to play for the country, as long as they expressed an intention to one day gain US citizenship.
Gaetjens breezed through the try-outs in St. Louis, Mo., and took his place in the national team. Upon arrival in Brazil, the Americans’ World Cup run started badly with a 3-1 defeat to Spain.
Four days later, the US faced England.
For 37 minutes, England did all the attacking and a goal seemed inevitable. Finally, one arrived — but, incredibly, not for the English.
The US had staged a rare attack, and schoolteacher Walter Bahr took a shot from 25 yards out. As the ball headed towards goal, Joe Gaetjens leapt in its way, heading it past England’s goalkeeper to score the only goal of the match.
Somehow, America’s band of Davids managed to hold on against Goliath for the rest of the game and seal one of sport’s most unlikely victories.
The outcome was so incredible that when initial tele-printer reports of the result reached the world’s press, they assumed it was a mistake. English soccer commentator Brian Glanville wrote that it was “like a bush-league team coming to the Bronx and beating the New York Yankees.”
Later, the media called it “The Miracle on Grass.”
Despite the global excitement, interest back in America was all but non-existent. Just one US correspondent, Dent McSkimming of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, covered the match – and he had to pay his own way to Brazil. There isn’t even a photograph of Joe’s famous goal. And Joe never talked to the press about his achievement either.
In our next game, Team USA lost 5-2 to Chile and went back home, losers (but also, in a way, winners) of the 1950 World Cup.
Gaetjens returned to New York with no hero’s welcome. But his performances in Brazil caught the eye of some international teams and soon he was offered a contract to play in France, for Racing Club of Paris, where he spent three happy years.
In 1954, Gaetjens returned to Port-au-Prince, settling in the hills overlooking the capital and running his own dry-cleaning business.
“I don’t think he ever had any intention of becoming a US citizen because he just loved living in Haiti so much,” his eldest son, Lesly Gaetjens, 66, now a retired teacher living in Virginia, told The Post. “It was just a chance for him to play in the World Cup and he really wanted to do that.”
Gaetjens’ return to Haiti was not without danger. Two of his brothers, Jean and Freddie, who now live in the Dominican Republic, were vocal opponents of the country’s despotic leader, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier.
After winning the presidential election in 1957, Duvalier had gradually tightened his grip on power in Haiti. In 1961, he was re-elected, primarily because he was the only candidate on the ballot slip. In 1964, Duvalier enacted a referendum that made him “President for Life.”
And he was as brutal as he was power-hungry.
In 1959, he established his own militia, the Tonton Macoute, whose job was to eradicate any opposition. Hundreds of thousands fled Haiti in fear, including many of Gaetjens’ extended family, and tens of thousands were killed or “disappeared.”
But while Gaetjens wasn’t at all political, some of his relatives were — and that made him a target. His family begged him to leave, but he stayed put.
Less than 15 years after he scored that winning goal, Gaetjens was dead, apparently at the hands of despotic Haitian dictator Francois Duvalier. Gaetjens’ family spent years working with politicians and the media to find out what happened to him.
On July 8, 1964, Gaetjens had just taken wife Lyliane out to lunch. As they dined, the Tonton Macoute waited for him back at his dry cleaning business. When Gaetjens pulled up, a Duvalier agent jumped into the back seat, put a gun to his head and ordered him to drive.
Gaetjens was never seen again.
Soon after, a family friend who worked for Duvalier’s government, Daniel Lambert, told Gaetjens’ family that Joe had been taken to the notorious Fort Dimanche jail, a prison where inmates were routinely tortured and murdered.
Inside, 30 prisoners were crammed into tiny cells; outside were mass graves for the 3,000 inmates that would die there.
And now Gaetjens found himself there, too, without charge, trial or conviction.
Days turned into weeks and weeks into months as the Gaetjens family awaited news of Joe.
“I was just a kid. I didn’t really know or understand what had happened or why,” said Lesly. “I just knew my dad had been taken away and that he wasn’t there any more.”
On January 11, 1966, nearly 18 months after Joe’s disappearance and with the political situation in Haiti deteriorating, Lyliane took her three sons and fled to Puerto Rico to start a new life. “We left without anything really, except the clothes on the back,” recalls Lesly.
Lyliane took a job working as the executive secretary of Shell president Leonard Berger. Soon, they were able to rent a new house in Puerto Rico and within five years, the Gaetjens family became naturalized US citizens.
The US national soccer team, which will—yet again—face off against England during the World Cup in Qatar.
All the while, Lyliane continued her quest to find out what had happened to her husband. She wrote countless letters, including one to President Lyndon Johnson. She got a reply too, from LBJ’s vice-president Hubert Humphrey, but they didn’t know anything either.
When Francois Duvalier died in 1971, he was succeeded by his 19-year-old son, Jean-Claude, or “Baby Doc.” In a bid to put pressure on the new Duvalier regime for information, the family held a press conference at New York’s Waldorf Astoria, where they met with Clive Toye, the General Manager at the New York Cosmos soccer club.
A former journalist, he set about organizing a benefit game in honor of Gaetjens at Yankee Stadium to help fund the new Joe Gaetjens Foundation, dedicated to finding out what really happened to the soccer legend.
Toye even enlisted the help of then-National Security Advisor Henry Kissinger. “We were happy to do anything we could to raisethe profile of Joe’s case and try tofind those people that knew anything to come forward,” Kissinger said to Toye.
England’s national football team in London this past September; when they last met the US during the World Cup in South Africa 12 years ago, the two sides ended with a tie.
In 1979, after years of obfuscation from the Haitian authorities, the Gaetjens family finally received a report from the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights stating that Joe was, in all likelihood, dead.
While confirmation of his death brought some closure, exactly what happened to him at Fort Dimanche remains a mystery.
There were rumors he died from an infection, and another that he was shot by guards. One of his best friends, an army captain called Daniel Beauvoir, heard he had been executed within two hours of being detained.
Lesly, meanwhile, believes his father may even have been executed by Francois Duvalier himself, pointing to a CIA document he obtained proving that the president was at Fort Dimanche the night his father was likely killed, July 8.
Decades after winning for the US and dying at the hands of a dictator, Gaetjens is still remembered in his homeland — even if he never received the acclaim he deserved in America.
“There is a lot of evidence to suggest he could have done it and I believe it’s one of the more likely conclusions,” he said.
In 1976, Joe Geatjens was posthumously inducted in the US National Soccer Hall of Fame, alongside other members of the 1950 United States World Cup team.
Although Lesly has precious few memories of his father, people still talk about him in Haiti.
When Lesly returned to his birthplace in 2010, he learned that locals were still trying to raise money for a statue of his dad.
“I think they thought that as I was a teacher in the United States I had a lot of money and could help them out,” he laughs.
Next Friday, Lesly will sit down with his wife, Marie, at their home in Winchester Va., and watch the United States take on England in the World Cup. And it’s not going to be easy.
“I know that the fixture and the goal made my dad a hero to the Haitian people and they will be very proud if his name is mentioned during the match,” he says.
“But I’m sure it will be a very emotional moment for me too… but then it always is every time my dad is mentioned.”
(New York Post)
BRING BRITTNEY HOME
As always and forever, it depends. It depends on lots of things, from how you were raised, to your sense of right and wrong, to whether you have an obstructed view.
Friday in this space, I wrote about the excessively harsh punishment — nine years in a penal labor colony — given to WNBA star and U.S. Olympic gold medalist Brittney Griner by a Russian court for carrying pot oil and a vape pipe.
I wrote that while I was no fan of Griner’s demonstration of turning her back on our shared national anthem, excessively cruel punishment for minor crimes must never be indulged, let alone smugly supported.
In view of Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine, it’s likely Griner’s sentence came attached to geopolitical retribution against a U.S. citizen, thus had more to do with her punishment than her crime.
I expected a mixed response, but not the stridency from those who advocated that she “deserves to rot in prison.”
That was distressing. Just slam the prison door on her, good-bye and good riddance? See ya, maybe, in 2031!
My daughters, now adults, one with two daughters, will tell you about their old man’s Open Door Policy, that when entering and leaving stores I’d hold the door open for others, often for an “excessive” amount of time, they said.
They’d even comment that people often didn’t bother to say “Thank you,” thus I was a double fool.
And every time I explained that I didn’t hold the door for “them” but “for me,” to make me feel better.
Calling for Griner’s punishment to be greatly reduced — if not suspended — has nothing to do with Griner’s personal politics, and everything to do with what’s right, based on her status as both a human and a U.S. citizen.
Who among us doesn’t have a loved one of any age whom we regard as politically naive, even stupid, ungrateful for the freedom to protest whatever they chose? Would we advocate they rot in a penal colony for nine years? Would we allow ourselves to become that embittered?
Or would we actively support their expedited return to freedom as they had been so clearly denied reasonable justice for a minor crime?
Would we not hold the store door open because a man or woman with political beliefs other than ours was approaching? Should we act on our most petty thoughts?
In 1770, John Adams, a Massachusetts lawyer who lent his intellect and soul to the American Revolution and went on to became the second U.S. president, risked his life and liberty to defend British troops accused of murder in the Boston Massacre, which left five colonists dead.
Adams was vilified by claims of his treason and tyranny because he felt the aggressors were not the British, but a mob of his anti-British confederates. The facts told him the Redcoats, about to be engulfed by a throng, fired in self-defense.
That Adams resented the Crown for having shipped troops to Boston was irrelevant. And no matter his personal peril, Adams wanted a fair trial.
Adams won the troops’ acquittal, saving their lives. Physically short and unimposing, he was exceedingly brave.
Brittney Griner should rot in a Russian labor prison for the next nine years due to her repugnant unpatriotic positions as a WNBA star with some she-knew-better cannabis oil thrown in? Sure. If that makes you feel better, sure.
— Phil Mushnick, NYP
IT IS ESTIMATED that between 40 and 100 tonnes of space material strike Earth every day, most in the form of very small particles. (European Space Agency)
UKRAINE, SATURDAY, 19 NOVEMBER
The secretary of defense, Lloyd J. Austin III, said at a security forum in Canada that “North America doesn’t have the option of sitting this one out.” Pentagon chief offers defiant defense of continued U.S. support for Ukraine. Ukraine’s energy company races to repair infrastructure damaged in Russian strikes. A rocket reminds a newly liberated town that it is still in danger.
Britain’s new prime minister promises aid as he makes his first visit to Ukraine. Train service between Kyiv and Kherson is restored after nine months. Ukraine’s de-miners have cleared about 300 square miles of land. They may have over 60,000 left to go. As tennis honors Sergiy Stakhovsky of Ukraine, he reflects on shifting his focus from sports to the war.
WHY A DIPLOMATIC SOLUTION TO THE UKRAINE WAR IS GETTING MORE AND MORE ELUSIVE
by Patrick Cockburn
Wars that do not end tend to escalate and spread. This is the message of the missile blast in Poland that killed two people, regardless of whether or not the missile was Ukrainian or Russian.
“From the information that we and our allies have, it was an S-300 rocket made in the Soviet Union, an old rocket and there is no evidence that it was launched by the Russian side,” Polish President Andrzej Duda said on Wednesday. “It is highly probable that it was fired by Ukrainian anti-aircraft defence.”
A fresh crisis over the Ukraine war may have been averted, but other crises will recur as the war continues with no sign of it ending. The alacrity with which presidents and prime ministers attending the G20 summit in Bali jumped out of bed in the middle of the night to confer about an explosion in a village in east Poland shows how fearful they are that the war will spread.
They are right to be worried, yet escalation will be difficult to stop because it happens automatically in any war as each side seeks out the enemy’s weak points at home and abroad.
Ukraine succeeded in blowing up the Kerch Bridge linking the Russian mainland to Crimea. Russia responded by launching six major missile and drone barrages since October against Ukraine’s infrastructure, primarily targeting its electricity generating capacity.
The humiliating retreat of Russian forces from Kherson city is presumably what led Moscow to retaliate by firing 100 missiles and 10 attack drones at key components of the Ukrainian infrastructure on Tuesday. It was the most intense missile assault since the Russian invasion began nine months ago, according to Ukraine. Already prolonged blackouts have become the norm and, despite repairs, this situation will get worse this winter since large fixed targets like electricity power facilities are easy to target, difficult to defend, and take time to repair.
Russia is reportedly not directly attacking nuclear power stations in the west of Ukraine which provide much of the electricity, but it is hitting the high voltage cables and substations which they use to feed electric power to the grid. A danger is that the cooling system or other equipment essential to the safe operating of a nuclear plant will be hit.
As for now, some 40 per cent of the electric infrastructure has been damaged according to the Ukrainian authorities. In the western city of Lviv there is no hot water and in Kryvyi Rih in central Ukraine 100 miners were trapped underground by a power failure and had to be manually winched to the surface.
Any war risks getting out of hand as each side tries to give their enemies a nasty surprise and attack where they least expect it. International concern has understandably focused on the risk of the Ukraine war precipitating the use by Russia of tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield. President Vladimir Putin periodically goes in for nuclear sabre rattling and President Joe Biden brought this up in a meeting this week with Chinese President Xi Jinping. Russia sees this potential threat as a useful pressure point on the NATO powers and on the rest of the world.
But fear of Mutual Assured Destruction is still a powerful restraint on the actual use of nuclear devices. It is also unclear how limited tactical nuclear warfare would improve the Russian position in Ukraine, unless it was to fend off a decisive defeat – and even then it would be a gamble.
In reality, the threatened nuclear warfare is probably not the most likely kind of escalation in Ukraine. Terrifying though the prospect of their use may be, they are a very blunt and old-fashioned instrument whose use may prove politically counter-productive. Modern warfare, as shown in recent conflicts in the Middle East, involves the less risky use of precisely targeted missiles and drones which are no longer a monopoly of the US, as they were in the 1990s. Russia is using them against Ukraine today, but there is no reason why Ukraine should not respond in kind and attack the Russian infrastructure.
Ukraine has won important victories in the land war in the last few months at Kharkiv and Kherson, but none of these were decisive defeats for Russia. Putin apparently still believes that Russia has the advantage in a long war with Ukraine because it is the largest country. Moreover, he does not have much choice but to play double or quits because his self-destructive escapade in Ukraine has so far produced nothing but a string of defeats.
There have been more calls for a diplomatic solution to the war in recent weeks. But it is difficult to see this happening when both sides believe they can still make gains on the battlefield and have no option but to go on. The Ukrainian army will not want a ceasefire which would allow the Russian military to reorganize and reinforce. Putin, who started the war to re-establish Russia as a super-power, cannot admit that he has degraded its status even further by his folly.
Thanks for posting the article by Frank Hartzell. His writing is always informative.
Yes, a fine, detailed piece and really good news overall. Good to hear about a government project that benefits a mix of community people. Bernie Norvell and all the rest who made this happen–Great congratulations on getting this done!
Regarding Baumgardner: They’ll get him for sure this time, this is it, no doubt!
The Biden crime family investigation will be fun as well.
I’m concerned that the DOJ is going to indict Hunter on something minor which will take any investigation of the Biden crime family out of Congress’s hands. Biden’s politicized DOJ is ruthless.
You need a reality check amigo.
re: Longest home runs.
In the 1989 ALCS Jose Canseco blasted a homer in Toronto that was initially said to be 540 feet. Later adjustments put it at closer to 480.
RE: Aliens. Reminds me of a interesting new book I saw just got released, “Cult of the Dead: A Brief History of Christianity” by Kyle Smith.
So Matt Taibbi proclaims Trump an ‘honest liar.’ What kind of bullshit is that?
Taibbi attributed that phrase to Dave Chappelle who used it in his Saturday night live opening monologue. Earlier in the Taibbi piece he quotes Chappelle saying “No one had ever seen anyone come from inside out of that house, outside, to tell all the commoners, ‘We are doing everything that you think we are doing!’” Chappelle’s attempt at irony was probably lost on a lot of people. But it was still a good pointed observation. Here’s the relevant excerpt in more context:
Chappelle: “A lot of you don’t understand why Trump was so popular. But I get it because I hear it every day. He’s very loved. And the reason he’s loved is because people in Ohio have never seen somebody like him. He’s what I call an honest liar. And I’m not joking right now, he’s an honest liar. That first debate, I’ve never seen anything like it. I’ve never seen a white male billionaire screaming at the top of his lungs, ‘This whole system is rigged,’ he said. And across the stage was white woman Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama sitting there looking at him like, ‘No it’s not.’
I said, ‘Now wait a minute bro, it’s what he said.’
And the moderator said, ‘Well Mr. Trump, if, in fact, the system is rigged as you suggest, what would be your evidence?’
Remember what he said, bro? He said, ‘I know the system is rigged because I use it.’
I said Goddamn!
And then he pulled out an Illuminati membership card, chopped a line of cocaine up in it and [mimics sniffing].
No one ever heard someone say something so true and then Hillary Clinton tried to punch him on the taxes. She said, ‘This man doesn’t pay his taxes.’
He said, ‘That makes me smart.’ And then he said, ‘If you want me to pay my taxes, then change the tax code. But I know you won’t because your friends and your donors enjoy the same tax breaks that I do.’
And with that, my friends, a star was born. No one had ever seen anything like that. No one had ever seen somebody come from inside of that house outside and tell all the commoners we are doing everything that you think we are doing inside of that house. And he just went right back in the house and started playing the game again.”
To me, Trump’s lies are petty. They are what to expect from someone who does not want to deal with the truth about themselves being thrown in their face. Their lies are transparent. Adam Schiff on the other hand is in the calculated business of deception. Same for Hilary Clinton. Trump could never pull off a Russian Collusion lie. He is not that kind of liar, or that good a liar, either.
I wouldn’t call Trump a liar, but he can stretch the the truth a wee bit. We MAGAs don’t let that bother us.
Trump can also stretch the truth to himself, about himself. Like Obama does, but more so. That would be called self deception, or lying to yourself. In both cases the self deception is reinforced by willfully blind, and adoring fans.
You Hollister, and MAGA Marmon are a prime example of self deception. So sorry you can’t see what assholes you are.
Speaking of……..how are you today Jurg?
RE: DR. DOOM AND BIG TECH
A federal court ruled that Dr. Anthony Fauci and other government officials must testify under oath about whether they colluded with Big Tech to censor certain users and viewpoints.
“Maureen Dowd, the super whacko who constantly writes so nastily about me, saying things that if ever said about another person, trouble would ensue. This has been going on for years, even before the Times became a financially failing enterprise. Maureen always wants to be so “juicy,” so why doesn’t she write of her Trump escapes, where she bombed sooo badly – over and over again. “Have you no shame?” I once asked her. She’s a sick & angry person, perhaps mentally disturbed. Give it up, Maureen!”
-Donald J. Trump @realDonaldTrump (Truth Social)
Oh, Donald, you are such a sad , pathetic VICTIM. Nasty folks pick on you and make fun of you and sue you and say you cheated them or raped them, or that you are a jerk– it just goes on and on doesn’t it. Go see a therapist, or maybe pray to your god for relief, or just quietly go away and leave our country alone. Or, get back on Twitter, thanks to Elon’s good judgment, and tell the world how sorry your life is and how you feel put upon. Good luck.
Maureen Dowd could run circles around you and all your MAGA douch bags with both hands tied behind her back, so FO Marmon.
I like your insight today Mr. Stoll.