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Mendocino County Today: Wednesday, Dec. 7, 2002

Pearl Harbor | Sunny | Ukiah Snow | Navarro Rising | Lady Hoopsters | Sandbar Watch | El Rancho | Skyhawk Radio | Hoopa Residents | Budget Deficit | Cornet Band | KYBU Celebration | Nelsons | Food Drive | Slash Burner | Community Chorus | Crawford Women | Ed Notes | Crabbing | Dinner Canceled | Humboldt Valley | Local Photographer | Police Reports | Arcata Band | Solstice Singalong | Turkey Vulture | Art Contest | Yesterday's Catch | Thurston Gig | Clapter | Bird Shredders | Santa Hazard | Mischief Memories | Aggressive Geese | Trans Kids | Polish Baseball | Garoppolo Injury | Fast Eddie | Cookie's Client | Corruption | Oak | Biden Again | Senator Warnock | Overboard | Wind | Ukraine | Krampus | Oppression Architecture | Metropolis | Sci-Fi Future | Summertime

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WEAK HIGH PRESSURE will remain in control today and promote cool and dry weather. Cloud cover will increase later today ahead of an approaching low pressure system and associated cold front. Widespread rain, wind, and mountain snow will spread across Northwest California starting tonight. (NWS)

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Ukiah Snow

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NICK WILSON reports on the Navarro:

There is an unexpected surge in river level of the Navarro River happening right now. The NWS Navarro Gage chart show it surging to 3.91 ft up nearly a foot overnight. There is a high tide of about 6 ft. at 9:07 AM.

State Parks closed Navarro State Beach yesterday.

I'm heading there now to take a look.

See the NWS chart at

If the sandbar doesn't breach this morning it might cause some water over Hwy. 128 at the 0.18 mile marker.

A much larger surge is predicted for Saturday that would open the sandbar for sure if it comes as forecast.

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Arcata Lady Hoopsters with Crutches

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The Navarro River had a rapid rise today from 2.66 ft. to 4.13 ft., bringing it to within 1 ft. of the Hwy. 128 roadway at the 0.18 mile marker, just east of the Hwy. 1 bridge. However the level appears to have stabilized and is not likely to rise higher in the next 24 hours. State Parks has closed Navarro State Beach due to flooding of the beach parking area and the access road from Hwy. 1 at the south end of the Navarro River Bridge. The shallow flooding is caused by river water backed up by the sandbar blocking the river mouth.

The river level has reached a critical level at just over 4 ft. at the USGS gauge located about 5 mi. upstream from the mouth. The flow has started to erode the sandbar from below, and will continue as long as the water level remains high enough. The process of the natural breaching of the sandbar is under way. I can't predict when it's going to happen, but in no more than a few days, I think, based on the last few years of observations.

Just after a very low tide, -0.53 ft. at 4:18 PM today, I used a flying camera to check the sandbar for signs of an impending breach. I found two zones where accumulated floating green plants (duckweed?) accumulated against the estuary side of the sandbar, close to Pinnacle Rock. The plants were left behind when water flowed into the sandbar. There were small rivulets of water escaping from the sand on the ocean side at several locations both south and north of that rock.

That's how the river breaks through the massive sandbar accumulated over the summer. The sand in the bar is very coarse, allowing water to flow through the space between the grains. When the flow rate is great enough the water carries some of the sand grains with it. Sand above the water flow falls into the newly vacated space. The result is a gradual drop in the height of the surface of the sandbar. As the weight of the sand over the water infiltration zone becomes less and less, the rate of water flow becomes faster and faster, until eventually the force of the backed up water in the estuary is able to push the remaining sand out of the way and open a channel through the sandbar. Once that open channel flow begins, the rapid flow carries sand away very fast, the sides of the channel cave in and the channel can get as much as 50 ft. wide in a matter of a couple of hours.

Meanwhile the National Weather Service forecast for the Navarro predicts a rapid surge to 8.3 ft. or a little higher this Saturday evening and over night. If that happens as forecast it will open the sandbar late Saturday afternoon or evening when the level reaches about 5.0 ft. However, the forecast is frequently updated, and usually changes quite a bit as to both the timing and level of the crest as new weather information comes in.

Here's a link to the NWS Navarro gage forecast chart.

Right now it looks like people traveling 128 Saturday afternoon and evening should check the road conditions first. You can do that by dialing 1-800-GAS-ROADS or go to the following link and type in 128

I don't claim to be an expert. Just passing on my observations of the Navarro sandbar over the past several years. Hope you find it helpful.

Nick Wilson

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EL RANCHO NAVARRO (later Shenoa and more recently the Land), Philo, California, circa 1949 (via Marshall Newman)

Photograph from the UC Davis Library Digital Collection (part of the Eastman's Originals Collection of postcards).

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Host Chris Skyhawk’s continuing series “Surviving Late Stage Capitalism What’s Next?” Thursday, Dec. 8, 2022. His guests will be Mike Mease of the Buffalo Field Campaign and bodyworker James Humecky Mike will talk to us about the amazing resilience of the Buffalo and the lessons they have for humans as we navigate troubled times James will discus his bodywork and the healing modalities he has developed and practices and how healing our personal traumas can contribute to a greater vision of how life on earth can be At 90.7 and 91.5fm and also at

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Hoopa Residents En Route

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by Mark Scaramella

Tuesday’s “budget workshop” was so laid back and aimless that onlookers could only conclude that not only is nobody running the Good Ship Mendo, but nobody much cares either. 

Although the books are still not closed from last fiscal year (which ended five months ago), all of a sudden, that supposed and oft-cited budget problem didn’t stop CEO Darcie Antle from announcing that the budget deficit for this fiscal year is now estimated to be $6.1 million (so far?). The deficit stems mainly from well-known expenses already committed to for facilities (including the ever-more overrunning new jail expansion and future staffing costs) and computer upgrades on top of the ever-growing health plan deficit and ever-diminishing pot tax revenues which, to the surprise of no one but the Supervisors, are millions of dollars lower than in prior years.

Supervisor Williams Contemplates Budget Deficit

A “budget ad hoc committee” of Supervisors Glen McGourty and Ted Williams came up with a short list of embarrassingly vague ideas that might save some money — fewer vehicles, deferred facilities maintenance, etc. — but most of their items had no accompanying savings estimate nor a schedule of when they might occur. Not to mention that even if they were implemented — which is doubtful given Mendo’s monumental levels of hidebound inertia, lethargy and complacency — they would not produce savings this fiscal year.

The Supervisors gabbed extensively about off-loading the County’s widespread local parks to local organizations (none of whom have been consulted), rejiggering some present and future pension payments, maybe offering county employees a whopping 2% COLA… Supervisor Gjerde even brought up Sheriff Allman’s long-ago suggestion about consolidating the County’s highly redundant dispatch operations, a good idea but is years away from even being white-papered.

But this Board has demonstrated that they have zero capability or intention to actually implement any cost-savings proposals — the affected departments were not even consulted — so this pro-forma “workshop” has negligible budget value. 

At the end of the “workshop” the three other Supervisors pity-thanked McGourty and Williams for their nearly worthless ideas, then they boldly voted — UNANIMOUSLY! by roll call vote — to, wait for it… continue the discussion next week. 

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Arcata Cornet Band, 1893

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KYBU Round Valley Community Radio volunteers powered-up the transmitters and began broadcasting to listeners at 96.9FM in Covelo/Round Valley on December 11, 2011. 

Now, after 11 years of broadcasting music, talk, news, public affairs and more, KYBU is celebrating with an event at the Round Valley Public Library Commons from 6pm to 10pm on Friday, December 9, 2022. It’s a Supporter Appreciation party with beer, wine and soft-drinks for sale, and fun with fellow KYBU supporters. All donations at the door and proceeds from the bar and silent auction will go towards operating expenses for Round Valley’s all-volunteer radio station.

Soul Circus will perform live music starting at 7pm. Soul Circus is a Mendocino County funk band whose members have toured internationally for 40 years. The band features Derek Soderquist on bass, Pat Sisneros on guitar, Roni Zadik on drums and Robin Kellerstrass on vocals. 

No outside drinks, food, or dogs. KYBU will follow all current health orders and recommendations for COVID safety. Do not attend the event if you or anyone in your household are experiencing, or have recently experienced, fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

This event is sponsored through generous contributions from Keith’s Family Foods, M&M Feed and Supply, and Round Valley Auto Care. Event and silent auction contributors include North Coast Brewing Company, Barra Wine, Vichy Springs Resort, Benbow Inn, Little River Inn, Frey Vineyards and Husch Vineyards. 

KYBU Round Valley Community Radio is an all volunteer, member supported community radio station broadcasting a mix of music, talk and public affairs programming and streaming online at thanks to a grant from the Mendocino Community Foundation’s Fund for Round Valley. KYBU is a project of the 501(c)3 nonprofit, Friends of the Round Valley Public Library. Everyone is invited to join! 

For more information, contact KYBU at

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Captain Henry Nelson and Family, Mendocino

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Canned food count: seniors are still in the lead

Numbers have been updated:

7th grade: 188

8th grade:169

9th grade: 55

10th grade: 97

11th grade: 117

12th grade: 211

Celeste Echeverria

Anderson Valley Jr./Sr. High School

Site Secretary

(707) 895-3496 Ext. 505

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ARCO Mill north of Orick, 1970s

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The Redwood Community Chorus will hold a free Holiday Concert at 7:00 pm, Friday December 9, at the Mendocino Presbyterian Church in Mendocino. Everyone is warmly invited.

The program will feature a beautiful piece of new music, Unconditional Love, composed last year as a tribute to the losses, the sacrifices, and the triumphs we all made surviving our recent Covid pandemic. Several special holiday songs will round out the program.

Chorus director Jenni Windsor has invited one of her former students, soprano Anna Leach, to be the principal in Unconditional Love. Anna, an incredibly talented new diva to our Coast music scene joins second principal Laura Vague with stirring solos in Unconditional Love’s beautifully rich musical tapestry.

No tickets are needed. Voluntary donations at the door to support the Redwood Chorus Music Fund are always appreciated. Masking is required in the church — but will be available also at the door.

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Portrait of the Crawford Women (Arcata)

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NAPA COUNTY will make forgivable loans available to help people build accessory dwelling units — commonly called “granny flats” — with rents meeting affordability standards.

MENDO? Offhand, I can't think of a single creative, innovative program to come outta here, but we live in hope.

A LADY asked me the other day if I felt like she felt. Try me, I said. “I feel overall that a giant shoe has dropped and now I'm waiting for an even bigger shoe to drop,” she said. I agreed, and said I liked her metaphor for the low hum of anxiety many of us feel, fed by the pessimism that the deteriorated quality of the leadership has no idea, and less motivation, to do anything about anything, let alone the Big One — climate change. Adding to the general despair is today's news that Biden will soon announce he's running for a second term. Another term for him is certain only to speed up The End of Days.

THE SUPERVISORS might create fewer problems for themselves, and fewer major probs for us, their captives, if they weren't so arrogant, so mindlessly rude, with long-time employees and administrators cursing the Supes as they scurry out the door. The Supervisors continue to scapegoat Ms. Cubbison for their unwise, unilateral consolidation of the Treasurer's and Auditor's office, which caused a spate of departures of experienced people, with the sorely put upon Ms. Cubbison suddenly thrust into multi-taking as Auditor, Controller, Tax Collector, and Treasurer. Hell, why not make her Dog Catcher, too? Supervisor Haschak was the only Supe who dared point out that the crazy consolidation was being done hastily and with no planning.

PROBABLY not all that big a deal, but it's mildly frightening to see County Counsel Curtis sitting in the chair heretofore occupied by the CEO, with Curtis, the rhetorical heir of Professor Irwin Corey, answering a lot of the questions, the ostensible CEO, Ms. Antle, sitting behind him apparently mesmerized by her computer screen.

Curtis is one of these guys who puts out a lot of words with no audible links between any three of them. His first sentence is usually in meaning's ballpark, but after that it's free association time, verbal Scrabble.

THE PRESENT FUNCTIONING of the Supervisors reminds me of that scene from The Magic Christian where a chimpanzee, togged out in a business suit, is solemnly introduced as the new CEO of a major business. If you introduced a chimp to our Supes as, say, the County's new personnel director, someone might think, but would never dare say, “Funny looking little dude, but Curtis says he knows his bananas, so we better not express any misgivings or the County could be looking at a discrimination action.”

THAT SABOTAGING of the North Carolina electric substation that left 40,000 homes without power rings a faint bell that a Coast guy once opened fire for the pure hell of it on Fort Bragg's power station. Given the level of estrangement in our fragged society, it's not surprising that the terminally alienated don't attack similarly vulnerable installations, most of which, coast-to-coast, can't easily be defended. The Fort Bragg vandal didn't have a political motive, as I recall, but groups like The Proud Boys and the Oath Keepers are much more ambitious.

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Our apologies, but looks like we'll have to cancel our Spaghetti Dinner for this Saturday, December 10. Also, please remember that there is no pancake breakfast during the month of December. We thank you and want you to know that we appreciate all your support this year! A happy holiday season to all and we hope to see everyone back at the Grange in January!

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Humboldt Farmstead

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Greetings Community! 

I hope this message finds you and your family’s very well! I wanted to let you all know that I’m running a holiday special on my Photography sessions for families and individuals. I support businesses with personal photography branding sessions and individuals with mirroring your beauty out into the world. My photographic style is cinematic and candid with a poetic edge. It would be such a joy to document you and your loved ones or create some photography magic in our stunning, misty, winter landscape.

Please inquire with me if this sounds like something of interest! I’d love to chat with you and see if we can put together a special experience for your family or personal photography desires. 

Please check out my work here so you can get a feel for my offerings. - portraits , weddings & commercial - Documentary Photography, Filmmaking & Cultural Portraiture 

With warmth,


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Willits Police Department Chief Fabian Lizarraga has confirmed a suspect to a brutal beating was apprehended in the last hour. In the early morning dark of Monday, December 5, 2022, 33-year-old Christopher Roy Kirsch is suspected of entering a Willits home and beating an occupant’s head and face with a baseball bat.

Christopher Kirsch

Lizarraga told us the victim sustained “pretty serious injuries” and law enforcement conducted a county-wide search for any sign of Kirsch.

The alleged attack occurred at a home on East Mendocino Avenue in Willits at 2:35 a.m. Monday morning. Scanner traffic indicates Kirsch entered the residence with a “baseball bat and another personal body weapon.”

Chief Lizarraga did not have insight into the motives of the attack nor the nature of the relationship between Kirsch and the victim. It is unclear if the victim was actively living at the location, or just “staying there” temporarily, Chief Lizarraga added.



On Wednesday, November 30, 2022 at approximately 7:45 PM Deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to a report of two intoxicated subjects.

A Deputy arrived in the 13000 block of South Highway 101 (Hopland) and located the two subjects.

Immediately upon arrival, one of the two subjects began walking away from the Deputy who would later be identified as Johny Nunez-Garcia, 18, of Hopland.

Johny Nunez-Garcia

Nunes-Garcia was told to stop and instead of obeying the verbal command, he began to run away from the Deputy and a foot pursuit ensued. The Deputy quickly caught up to Nunes-Garcia at which point he attempted to detain him when Nunes-Garcia tried punching the Deputy.

The Deputy moved to avoid being punched and another foot pursuit ensued. The Deputy again caught up to Nunez-Garcia and he again resisted the Deputy's efforts of being placed under arrest.

A civilian who observed the struggle assisted the Deputy in placing Nunez-Garcia under arrest. It was clear to the Deputy that Nunez-Garcia was heavily intoxicated and was unable to care for the safety of himself or others.

The Deputy suffered minor injuries from the incident and experienced physical pain from the minor injuries.

Nunez-Garcia was subsequently booked into Mendocino County Jail where he was to be held in lieu of $15,000 bail.

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Arcata Band, 1906

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Everyone is invited to join in singing songs of the season and songs of peace, hope, and light, on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 5:00pm. This is the twenty-third annual free community Solstice Sing hosted and led by Inland Valley Women’s Chorus, and our second year by Zoom. The link: Guest leaders include Marianne Barlow (director of the Organic Women’s Choir in Berkeley), Betsy Wise (director of a women’s chorus in Montana), and Diana Strong (Bay Area music teacher). People of all ages, voices, and traditions are invited to sing along. For more information, contact Madge Strong, (707) 459-1493 or

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This looks like a Turkey Vulture to me. I got a few shots of him this morning. Is that correct? My bird books just have nice birds, no vulture capitalism birds.

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CALL FOR ARTWORK ENTRIES — Inspirare: A Members’ Juried Exhibition

Mendocino Art Center

January 6 to February 5, 2023, an in-person showing juried by award-winning international artist and Mendocino Coast resident Robert Rhoades.

Enter Your Artwork

Consider what your artwork's deepest inspiration is, what breathes life into your art ... what, in your artwork, inspires others? The Latin word “inspirare,” is from the word spirare or spiritus (spirit), meaning “to breathe” or “breathe into.” What is the nature or spirit of your artwork? A question that can be infinitely evolving, or shrouded in mystery. Please join our artist community in sharing your work.


First Place: $100 + *NEW!* We are sweetening the pot with the addition of a free two-day class, in-person or online (up to a $320 value)!

Second Place: $75

Third Place: $50

Entry Methods

We will be accepting entries either online, through Slideroom, or in person.

Entry Submission Guidelines

Online submission deadline: December 12. You may also submit your artwork in person, January 3, 11am-3pm.

More Information:

Enter Your Artwork Online:

Not A Current Member?

There is still time to become a member, enter your artwork in “Inspirare: A Members' Juried Exhibition,” and enjoy the benefits of membership.

Join Today!

Mendocino Art Center

45200 Little Lake Street at Kasten Street, Mendocino


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CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, December 6, 2022

Delcampo, Gonzalez, Kirsch

CESAR DELCAMPO, Ukiah. Trespassing.

SANTOS GONZALEZ, Boonville/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, concealed dirk-dagger, probation revocation.

CHRISTOPHER KIRSCH, Willits. Assault with deadly weapon not gun, battery with serious injury, conspiracy.

Olstad, Quinn, Sega

RICHARD OLSTAD, Fort Bragg. Parole violation.

JANELLE QUINN, Leggett. DUI-alcohol&drugs, paraphernalia, failure to appear.

ADRIENNE SEGA, Ukiah. Domestic abuse.

Stone, Weick, Whyburn

PATRICIA STONE, Philo. Failure to appear.

RUSSELL WEICK, San Leandro/Ukiah. Open unspecified misdemeanor warrant.

ALEC WHYBURN, Ukiah. Narcotics for sale, felon-addict with firearm, county parole violation.

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Pat Thurston, the ex-KGO talker, began her new KCBS gig on Monday night.

But, there's a bigger story here.

Thurston's new fill-in anchor position at KCBS is just that: as a fill-in anchor.

She was hired as the eventual talk-show host who will be the centerpiece of a new, probably nighttime format change at all Audacy stations, including KCBS.

The new format, I've heard through industry sources, is probably set to debut around the new year.

— Rich Lieberman, 415 Media

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Croquis pris au théatre (1864) by Honoré Daumier

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OFFSHORE WIND TURBINES FOR HUMCO? On line comment of the day:

There will be a lot of bird blood and guts to clean on those blades of the Biden bird shredders… not to mention the effects of the vibration on the delicate marine environment . Nothing to see here, Just another money laundering scam. The only thing green about them is the money. 205 square gotta be shittin me!

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Remembering back to growing up in the town of Elk, it was also called Greenwood, had to do with the old days in the 1800s, but my memories that drift in and out of Mendocino County as a small child, even a baby over in Ukiah my first recollections of life in the early 40s, I couldn't walk and couldn't talk for hours just a little squirming tag in my father's arms, but I remember the days of the Palace Hotel downtown, and some of the people in it, and our trips over to the coast to see the ranch and Elk.

There are many such rides back and forth over the mountain from Ukiah to Greenwood, or my father would stop at the Oasis in town and visit friends while I'd be asleep in the back of the car, over the years because of my father's various interests in land all over California we traveled a lot, being raised by a single parent I'm sure was not easy for him to juggle a small child, and his business interests all over the countryside, I would wake up from asleep in the back of the car in a different town, over the years we eventually came back and stayed on the coast growing up and eventually making friends, buddies that I could get into a little mischief, all part of growing up in a small town most of my old friends have taken off heaven bound, there are very few of us left, but they were good times although if we did two things that we did hear and elk anywhere else it would probably put us in jail and through the key away, looking back some of our local kids had a little mischief in the back of their mind, it will remain nameless for this article, but I remember when somebody dumped snakes into the mail slot, and you could hear the lady postmasters scream through the entire town, then there was the time of vehicle had an empty dynamite cheese sitting in the back of the seat of the vehicle, it was just an empty box but his third a few people up just because it was there, but in those days nobody cared if they heard the shotgun go off it was just another noise, or in the old days we used to have a pipe behind the hotel, we put a cherry bomb in the bottom of the pipe Tropicana over-the-top it was a mortar of sorts, but the people across the street in the office building didn't appreciate the King chance raining down from above, a few times we went down to what used to be the mill pond or what was left, and tossed cherry bombs that were weighted with rocks so we can see the fish float to the surface, they look like little depth charges only needed is the submarine, I remember the day that, but I told him big chunk of change up to the mill yard over to the house on the cliff Mr. Dangles was not happy this was doing the work part of the day, and my father was even a little more unhappy for a used his Cadillac to do the towing,

I relied on the backs that most of the time my father was busy over the Oasis with a bunch of his friends consuming large amounts of alcohol, hoping that he would notice the mischief that we were all getting into, although there was the time up at the ranch, that some distant relatives showed up we knew they were coming, so we put on a little show. When they came to the front door out racing out alongside of them a Shetland pony, and then a couple of pics came out of the house there were CITY people, really don't realize what it's like in the country these folks turned around on their heels and ran away quick thinking that we were all crazy appear in the countryside, today sales lead go after you on the phone or Internet, in the old days when they become up to the property will make them feel very unwelcome and they usually left a hurry now without us letting a little air out of their tires so that we all over the road as they left.

But they weren't the only problem that ranchers had usually doing deer hunting season you would have a few people, come onto the property trespassers we called up and trying to snag a deer, one time I chased these people out off the property and they didn't take kindly to it, some former candidates said they get hot on the ranch, they took a pot shot at me put a hole in of my Jeep window I don't think they meant to hurt me, but they just wanted to scare me a little bit, I went up to where the car was parked and loosened up their oil plug underneath, as well as their oil filter, and poked a little tiny hole in the bottom of the water hose that was hooked to the radiator, I went up on the hill where my house is now watch through, my binoculars as the car went north by the cemetery was a lot of smoke coming up from the engine, about right front of the cemetery north of the town car came to a screeching halt alongside the road they had no local tow service, a believer tow truck came out of Mendocino something about the engine froze up no oil, needless to say the trespassers at least not the same group, today we call fish and wildlife and they usually pretty fast to get rid of people are breaking the law, all the things that we used to do we could never get away with it now, although we were a lot better than a lot of the kids by far, for mischief was tame in comparison, to what goes on in cities today and even in some of our small towns within the county, have gotten a lot wilder.

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by Paul Modic

Trans kids and the pronoun crew are outdoing the hippies, I have to hand them that. We just smoked weed, got naked, had casual sex, dropped out, moved to the hills, grew marijuana and made babies.

I suppose we had our own “pronoun society” in a way, our own terms and lingo like when hippie men and women called their partners “my old man” and “my old lady.” When did that start, and when did it end? I don’t recall ever referring to anyone with those terms, maybe by the end of the seventies that one was a little worn out.

Yes, kids these days are weirder than the harmless hippies, taking hormones like puberty blockers instead of just smoking weed, wanting to remove their breasts and penises because they’re convinced something is wrong the way they are, that they don’t feel comfortable with the gender they were born with.

Why is any of this my business? It’s not directly, it’s just an opinion, but when it becomes a political issue which the rightwing runs with to further their agenda of taking over, also known as “the culture wars,” then it becomes everyone’s business.

Coming from the drug culture myself (weed, coke, acid) it might sound hypocritical to question whether children shouldn’t be able to make these important decisions until they’re eighteen, as they’re all addicted to mind-altering drugs, ie, their smart phones and the internet.

When trans is trending, when someone is unhappy, it’s usually something we grow out of, not try to change our gender and hope that will make us feel better about who we are. You know how the internet can be: you see one, then many, then a hundred people expressing their disillusionment and hey, let’s have a sex change, that’ll solve our problems, right? People can dress however they like, act however they want, say whatever is on their mind, but when minors feel they must get hormones and surgery it’s something to wonder about. (Sports? How can anyone think it’s fair to have a trans woman compete against biological women?) 

Why is it when someone like a comedian makes a joke about trans people they’re labeled “anti-trans” or “trans-phobic?” The topic is pretty ripe for humor, along with just about any other topic, and trans standup comics joking about themselves would probably be “acceptable.” So what’s the problem? Trans people are too sensitive, they have it hard enough already? Trans jokes will encourage violence against them? It will normalize discrimination if main stream comedians are encouraged by raucous applause to make more trans jokes? (If I told my friends I had decided to go trans I’m sure they would laugh and make jokes, ridicule me behind my back, maybe organize an intervention, and some smart asses would probably say, “I knew it!”)

What made me first realize what a woke mess the “trans kids” thing might be was when I met a mother of a five-year-old boy, a psychotherapist, who had started working with his school to help him to transition to being a girl. Why did she think her little boy was trans? Because he liked the color pink and The Ice Capades, whatever that is. The boy’s father was a passive man who had probably never tossed a ball or any other “manly” activities with the little ice skater fan.

How do people like the liberal woke therapist come to be? I wondered what her story was, I only met her once about seven years ago, she seemed very nice, and I am curious what happened to her kid. (If my child said, “Daddy, I’m really a girl,” I’d answer, “No, you’re not, and you’re banned from the internet.” And if my wife said, “Oh honey, let’s take him to a therapist,” she’d probably know just the one to go to.

Are gender choices really being discussed in schools with young children or is that more rightwing propaganda, Fox-style lies to gin up the intolerant?

Can we just let let kids be kids? When I was a kid it was hard enough just growing up without having to wonder if I were gay or really a girl. A little more sex education would have been nice, we did get a movie and a lecture in a gender-segregated class in sixth grade, something about sperm meeting egg, and not many details. (I’m wondering if some of my classmates had enlightened intelligent parents who told them more about sexuality?)

Should young children be taught about suicide also? “You know class,” the teacher might say, “if you find life really difficult you could kill yourself. Let’s talk about the ways, alright? And if your parents are mean to you, like if they want to take your smart phone away, you can turn them in for child abuse! Yeah, you could have a whole new family! Isn’t that exciting”

I hope it’s just another fabricated rightwing political talking point and there’s really not an elementary school where the teacher say, “Children, you may think you’re a boy but you might actually be a girl! Think about that, and you too girls, some of you may really be a boy! Isn’t that exciting?”

“But I like being a boy,” a child might say.

“Yes, but can you imagine if you cut your nuts off and turned your penis into a vagina and it made you feel happier?” the teacher says.

“Umm, I guess so, what’s a ‘gina,” says the now-confused boy.

“Do I have to be a boy?” says an alarmed third grade girl.

“You don’t have to but some of you girls really are and don’t realize it yet. Isn’t that fascinating, class? Let’s do an experiment, all the boys will be girls and all the girls will be boys. Now trade clothes with your classmates of the opposite sex for the rest of the day.”

Okay, that’s probably an exaggeration and even if it never happens like that the problem is that people believe that it does, low-info voters who get their news from places like Fox. (And on this topic I am decidedly a low-info person, just trying to get my money’s worth from the First Amendment, and am open to being “educated” by other points of view, just spare me PC catechism.) In politics just one example of some far out teacher or event is magnified by the internet bullhorn into a “truth,” ie, an outrageous example which makes the low-info people think it’s a common occurrence.

Just as the anti-vaccine movement united far left and right (remember when human abomination Senator Ron Johnson was quoted and idolized by local antivax lefties?) common sense liberals and middle-of-the-road normies are sharing political space on this issue with conservative anti-woke politicians like Governor DeSantis, who could very well be our next president.

Politicians love to use the suffering underclass, who mostly don’t vote, as targets and “political footballs,” such as poor women with unwanted pregnancies, the homeless, immigrants, and now trying to ramp up this issue, trying to use the tiny percentage of trans people as a way to alarm the dominant masses of binary people, so when they’re in the voting booth some will think, “Jeez, at least Trump knows the difference between a cock and a pussy!”

After writing and thinking about this for awhile I’ve come around to the conclusion that we should be very compassionate toward trans kids because they’re going through a whole lot of stress, the same way we should be compassionate toward all trans people, anyone else struggling on the margins of society, and everyone else who needs our love and understanding. In other words you’re on your own, nobody cares, life is hard, and it’s about to get harder.

* * *

St. Louis Cardinals Hall of Famer Stan The Man Musial (left) gives some batting tips to members of the AZS Warsaw baseball team before their game on in an international tournament at a soccer stadium in Kutno, Poland. Musial and former major league pitcher Moe Drabowsky, right of Musial. Both Polish-Americans, are on a week-long visit to help Poland’s fledgling baseball program. (I could not find the year for this. I did see that he and Drabowsky made the trip in 1987.)

* * *


Two days after head coach Kyle Shanahan said quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo would need season-ending surgery for his broken left foot, the San Francisco 49ers received far better news: Their starting quarterback won’t need surgery and his season might not be over.

Garoppolo could return in seven to eight weeks if his rehab goes well, a league source said, which raises a best-case scenario possibility he could be back if the 49ers (8-4) reach the divisional-playoff round.

Garoppolo, who was injured in Sunday’s 33-17 win over the Dolphins, would be about seven weeks into his recovery during the NFL’s divisional-playoff weekend (Jan. 21-22). The conference championship games will be played on Jan. 29.

Shanahan said Monday that Garoppolo was still undergoing testing and was poised to be examined by foot specialists. He said there was reason to believe that Garoppolo did not suffer a Lisfranc injury, as initially feared, which would require at least several months of recovery.

“They're starting to believe that it isn't, so that is good news, but it's not all for sure done yet,” Shanahan said. “Some specialists have to finalize it … They're discussing all those things. But we’re feeling like it's starting to get better than that, so we'll see when we get the official information.”

The 49ers did not place Garoppolo on injured reserve Tuesday when they signed quarterback Josh Johnson off the Broncos’ practice squad. And they might keep Garoppolo on their 53-man roster for the rest of the season given how a rash of injuries this season have limited some of their roster flexibility.

NFL teams can bring eight players back from injured reserve and the 49ers have already used six return-from-IR designations. They are expected to use another on running back Elijah Mitchell (knee), who could return in the playoffs, and possibly on defensive tackle Javon Kinlaw (knee), who has been sidelined since late September.

Garoppolo has a recent history of playing in the postseason after suffering serious injuries.

He made three playoff starts last season with a torn ligament in his right thumb that he suffered in Week 16 and he also suffered an injury to his throwing shoulder in a wild-card win at Dallas that required offseason surgery.

The 49ers lead the NFC West by one game over the Seahawks (7-5). They are poised to play their final five regular-season games and potentially enter the postseason with rookie Brock Purdy as their starter. The seventh-round pick played his first meaningful NFL snaps after Garoppolo was injured against the Dolphins on the 49ers’ first drive.

Purdy completed 25 of 37 passes for 210 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, posting an 88.8 passer rating. Johnson, 36, who has played with more teams (14) than any player in league history, will serve as his backup.

Meanwhile, the 49ers did not put in a waiver claim on former Panthers quarterback Baker Mayfield, who was claimed by the Rams on Tuesday. Shanahan said Monday that it would “ surprise ” him if the 49ers pursued Mayfield.

(SF Chronicle)


by Scott Ostler

We know Brock Purdy has guts. After the San Francisco 49ers’backup quarterback replaced the injured Jimmy Garoppolo on Sunday and was very effective in the win over the Dolphins, Purdy’s teammates took turns describing his manly courage, using physiological symbolism.

You might say they went nuts.

It would appear, then, that the pint-sized rookie (a shade over 6 feet tall) isn’t likely to choke on his new assignment, quarterbacking a team with Super Bowl aspirations.

But courage aside, does Purdy have what it takes to lead the 49ers through their last five regular-season games, then Super deep into the playoffs?

Searching for clues, I called upon an NFL scout: Rodrik David, who until recently worked for the Atlanta Falcons and scouted Purdy extensively over his final 2½ seasons at Iowa State. David’s time with the Falcons overlapped with Kyle Shanahan’s time there, so David is familiar with Shanahan’s use of quarterbacks.

David said he was impressed with all of Purdy’s intangibles. Hard worker, no-frills guy, three-year team captain at Iowa State.

“I don’t think he knows anything other than ‘I’m going to work for what I’m going to get,’” David said. “He has all the intangibles that you love with a quarterback. I did three or four school visits (to Iowa State), and they always had good things to say about Brock.”

Even though Purdy was the state Player of the Year in Arizona as a high school senior, he was not heavily recruited. As the last man selected in this year’s draft, he certainly had no lock on a job with the 49ers, so, as David said, “He has no problem proving himself.”

But in spite of Purdy’s four years at Iowa State, and the solid intangibles, David said he saw Purdy as, at best, an NFL backup or No. 3 man.

That’s partly because of Purdy’s stature and limited arm strength.

“I always thought (his arm) was good, but is he going to be able to make every throw?” David said. “As long as the pocket’s right, as long as he can step into it, he’ll be fine. He’s not going to be throwing from the hip, where you see Jimmy being able to do that, and I’m sure Trey (Lance) could do that.They have a bit bigger arms.

“I’m sure there are some throws that Kyle’s not going to put Brock in a situation to do. Deep comebacks. Crossfield stuff. That’s where I think the arm strength is probably not quite what Trey and Jimmy were.”

In college, Purdy was a pinpoint QB, No. 4 in the nation in completion percentage as a senior.

“Iowa State was running a lot of big-tight-end sets. They had a great running back. Brock was making a lot of throws to big targets,” David said. “He was at his best in defined throws on the move, short boots, stuff like that.”

Purdy’s non-classic, semi-sidearm delivery is not a red flag to David.

“He comes a little bit three-quarters, a bit wide,” David said. “For me, it comes down to accuracy and repeatability. He repeats (his motion). He was consistent with his windup, the delivery. Not real long with his windup. It’s not as much about what it looks like as it is about being able to put the ball in the right spot, continuously.”

David was painting a picture of a QB who could be a very adequate fill-in, but we’re probably not in danger of having Purdy play so spectacularly that the 49ers have to worry about how they can dump Garoppolo and Lance at the end of the season.

“My problem with Brock,” David said, “was that he was always at his best when he was asked to do less. There are a lot of quarterbacks like that. When we’re really putting the game on your shoulders, I thought that’s where he struggled a little bit, when he was going to have to throw the ball 35, 40 times.”

David added, “When Brock was asked to do more, when Brock got outside of himself and thought he was a more talented quarterback than he is, that’s when you saw struggles.”

You see him as a game-manager-type QB, then?

“Yeah,” David said. “That’s one of those monikers, some people hate it, but I think it’s perfect for him. What Kyle does to set up quarterbacks, with the running game, with the easier throws, the West Coast offense, Kyle does a fantastic job with that, I think it’s very well-suited for Brock.”

Considering the 49ers’ rock-ribbed defense and variety of offensive playmakers, a solid game-manager quarterback could be enough to take them where they want to go. This is Purdy’s chance to win the title of Mr. Relevant.

* * *


by David Eskenazi and Steve Rudman

Not long after Eddie Feigner experienced an emotional reunion with a mother who abandoned him at birth, he began pitching recreational softball in Walla Walla, WA., for Kilburg’s Grocery of the Green Pea League. The year: 1946.  One day – Feigner never could recall the date — his team obliterated a club from Pendleton, OR., 33-0, after which players from both squads repaired to a watering hole, where the Pendleton manager, seething at the day’s humiliation, tossed a snide remark in Feigner’s direction.

An angry Feigner shot back, “You’re so pitiful, I could lick you with my catcher.”

“Put up or shut up,” the manager replied.

“I’ll need four guys on my side to bat,” Feigner said, “and you’ll be sorry. I’d play you with two, but you’d walk us both.”

Far as we can tell, the grudge rematch never happened. But Feigner, intrigued by the concept he’d proposed, selected three players – a catcher, first baseman and shortstop – that he’d known since fourth grade and scheduled a game against a nine-man contingent of convicts on a field inside the Walla Walla state pen. As he became famous for doing, Feigner threw a perfect game and struck out every batter except two — one who got his bat on the ball with a sneak bunt, the other who slapped a grounder to first.

After Feigner’s four-man team routed the convicts 7-0, regional newspapers picked up the story and spread it throughout the Pacific Northwest. Soon came challenges from practically every town and city in the state and, before long, “The King (Feigner) and His Court” were on their way.…

* * *

R. CRUMB: About ten years ago, Alex printed a series of portraits Aline drew using mixed media. When visiting her mother in Miami, Aline would accompany her mother to Cookie's Salon where the great majority of clientele were elderly New York Jews, like Aline's mother. Aline loved it there and really enjoyed their company and stories. She was really amazed by the eccentricities and colorfulness of most of the clients, which is probably why she used such colorful pencils and pastels for the portraits. After the portraits were scanned, Alex printed small giclée editions which were numbered, dated and signed by Aline. This is an example of what most of the portraits looked like. It's entitled Cookie's Client with Necklace.

* * *


by Patrick Cockburn

I used to consider myself something of a specialist on corruption in Iraq, so I was not too surprised when I read of Iraq’s “theft of the century” when $2.5 billion was stolen from the tax authorities in Baghdad in a well-planned operation in which several senior officials were clearly complicit. This is all in the rich tradition of Iraqi kleptocracy. For further details see Middle Easy Eye magazine which has been particularly good on this story.

But the Iraqis are not correct in claiming “the theft of the century” for themselves because Britain may be out-competing them. For evidence of this, look no further than the headline from a report from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee which reads “£4 billion of unusable PPE bought in first year of pandemic will be burnt “to generate power”, published on 10 June 2022.

Go on to read comments by Dame Meg Hillier MP, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, who said:

“The story of PPE purchasing is perhaps the most shameful episode [in] the UK government response to the pandemic. At the start of the pandemic health service and social care staff were left to risk their own and their families’ lives due to the lack of basic PPE. In a desperate bid to catch up the government splurged huge amounts of money, paying obscenely inflated prices and payments to middlemen in a chaotic rush during which they chucked out even the most cursory due diligence.”

Can we compare the $2.5 billion stolen in Iraq to the £4 billion worth of useless PPE equipment supplied under dodgy contracts in Britain? Surely it is understandable that in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic, mistakes will be made, argue British government ministers in mitigation of what went on. Don’t believe a word of this. It is precisely during such moments of crisis that the corrupt of the earth spot their opportunity to bypass official scrutiny – due diligence – and launch their plundering expeditions.

Oil Follies

Only an economist could have thought up the latest attempt to curtail Russian oil revenues by a cap on the oil price paid to them. The idea is that Russian oil exports will still flow so there are no shortages and the price of crude does not go up, but the Russians will not make so much money. Fat chance.

Many problems are involved in implementing this strange and naïve scheme, such as the fact that it requires a degree of Russian cooperation which it certainly will not get. The price being set which may be around $60 a barrel is above what the Russians are getting for at least part of their exports. Currently Europe does get Russian oil – but by way of Chinese oil refineries and other third parties. Here is a mammoth piece from the Financial Times explaining what is happening.

Beneath the Radar

At the heart of the protests in Iran are the Iranian Kurds and they are the prime target for Iranian government repression. This is not surprising as it was the death in custody of a Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, at the hands of the “morality police” on 16 September that sparked the protests. Although she was Sunni, her killing ignited protests among the Shia majority, and most especially among young and educated women.

Thousands of heavily armed Basij paramilitaries are flooding into the Kurdish region in north-west Iran to crush dissent. The government in Tehran wants to portray protests as being fomented by exiled groups and hostile foreign states like the US and its allies. As in Iraq, Syria and Turkey, the Kurdish minority is a scapegoat whose harsh punishment will be a warning to others.

(Patrick Cockburn is the author of War in the Age of Trump (Verso). CounterPunch.)

* * *

* * *


by Norman Solomon

Joe Biden has directed the Democratic National Committee to reduce the danger that progressives might effectively challenge him in the 2024 presidential primaries. That’s a key goal of his instructions to the DNC last week, when Biden insisted on dislodging New Hampshire -- the longtime first-in-the-nation primary state where he received just 8 percent of the vote and finished fifth in the 2020 Democratic primary. No wonder Biden wants to replace New Hampshire with South Carolina, where he was the big primary winner.

The White House and mainstream journalists have echoed each other to assert that Biden would face no serious challenge to renomination if he runs again. But his blatant intrusion into the DNC’s process for setting the primary calendar is a sign of anxiety about potential obstacles to winning renomination.

Unlike all other states under consideration for early primaries, South Carolina is *not* a battleground state. Everyone knows that the Democratic ticket won’t come close to winning in deep-red South Carolina in 2024. But that state -- which Biden obviously sees as vital to his renomination -- has a party apparatus dominated by Biden’s powerful corporatist ally, Congressman James Clyburn.

The Biden plan to reorder the 2024 schedule “includes a subtle but effective ploy to minimize the chances that he’d face a left-wing challenger in the primaries if the 80-year-old president, as expected, seeks a second term,” centrist Walter Shapiro wrote approvingly in The New Republic. “More than that, Biden has created a template beyond 2024 to lessen the odds that future versions of Bernie Sanders will get liftoff in the early Democratic primaries.”

But serious public discussion from candidates with a range of outlooks is badly needed in the process of selecting the presidential nominee. From health care, extreme economic inequality, labor rights and racial justice to military spending, foreign policy and the climate emergency, voters in Democratic primaries need to hear crucial issues debated.

The current prevailing attitudes are retrograde. While Democratic politicians and pundits weigh in on whether Joe Biden should run for president again, his party’s voters are presumed to be little more than spectators. But the decision on whether Biden will be the nominee in 2024 shouldn’t be his alone. A party that has been emphasizing the importance of democracy should not be so eager to short-circuit it in the presidential nominating process.

Very few congressional Democrats have been willing to publicly depart from the party line that Biden would be a fine standard-bearer. The few dissenting voices among them are usually furtive. The New York Times reported after the midterm election that a House Democrat -- speaking “on the condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing the White House” -- said that “Biden’s numbers were ‘a huge drag’ on Democratic candidates, who won in spite of the president not thanks to him.”

Fears of antagonizing the White House have sealed Democratic officeholders inside a bubble that carries them away from the party’s grassroots base. This fall began with most Democratic voters not wanting Biden to be the party’s nominee next time. Even amid post-midterms euphoria among Democrats, they are now evenly split on the question. But Democrats on Capitol Hill and other party leaders remain frozen in place, rarely casting any doubt on the wisdom of renominating this president.

The disconnect from the party’s base is in sync with a refusal to acknowledge the facts indicating that Biden at the top of the ticket would be an albatross around the necks of Democratic candidates in 2024. While voters are evenly divided between the two major parties, Biden’s public-approval deficit has exceeded 10 percent almost all of this year. Nine out of 10 young adults, a key cohort for Democratic prospects -- don’t want him to run for re-election. In midterm exit polling, two-thirds of voters said they didn’t want Biden to run. Yet, when asked about those survey results, the president fell back on "watch me" bravado.

We’re told that smoke-filled rooms are a thing of the past in national politics. But when a president wants to run for re-election, the anticipated mode is not much better. Looking ahead, the only way to inject participatory democracy into the Democrats’ nominating process for 2024 is to insist that the nomination should be earned with the party’s voters, not bestowed from on high.

If President Biden decides to seek the Democratic nomination, as now seems likely, credible primary challengers could enliven an otherwise stultifying process, making it robust instead of a bust. The corrosive effects of stagnated assumptions should be held up to disinfecting sunlight. New ideas should be discussed rather than suppressed.

Conventional wisdom insists that a president has the divine political right to be the party’s nominee for a second term. But a president is not a party’s king, and he has no automatic right to renomination.

 (Norman Solomon is the national director of and the executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. He is the author of a dozen books including *War Made Easy*. His next book, *War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine*, will be published in Spring 2023 by The New Press.)

* * *

* * *


by Maria Cramer

He treaded water for hours in the Gulf of Mexico, withstanding rain, winds and waves before he was rescued. Others have not been so lucky. What happens when a person goes overboard?

The Carnival Valor had been at sea for only a day when calls came over the loudspeaker asking a certain passenger to please report to customer service.

The man, a 28-year-old American citizen, had been reported missing by his family that morning.

It was Thanksgiving, and the Valor, a 3,756-passenger cruise ship that had left New Orleans the day before, was heading toward Cozumel, Mexico.

Crew members soon began searching passengers’ cabins, said Shant’a Miller White, who was traveling with her husband and family. One employee entered her cousin’s cabin and said, “We just need to make sure everything is OK.”

“We didn’t know what was going on,” Ms. White, 48, recalled. Then, at dinner, came another announcement: The ship needed to change course to execute a search and rescue operation.

Ms. White pictured the unknown passenger alone in the water and felt sick to her stomach.

“Did they fall to the bottom? Did the sharks get them?” Ms. White recalled thinking. She began to pray.

James Grimes

The passenger, according to the Coast Guard, turned out to be James Grimes, 28, who had been traveling with his parents and siblings on the five-day cruise. His family had last seen him the night before, around 11 p.m.

But by 10:45 on Thanksgiving morning, when there was no sign of him, the family notified the crew, the Coast Guard said.

At 8:10 p.m., more than nine hours after his family reported him missing, a passing tanker spotted the man near the mouth of the Mississippi River and alerted the Coast Guard.

When the crew of the MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter lifted him out, he was in shock, had mild hypothermia and was extremely dehydrated, said Lt. Seth Gross, who managed the search and rescue operation for the Coast Guard. But he was alive and in stable condition.

Mr. Grimes, whose family described him as an exceptional swimmer, had treaded in 65- to 70-degree water for hours, withstanding rain, 20-knot winds and three- to five-foot waves in the Gulf of Mexico, where bull sharks and blacktip sharks are common, Coast Guard officials said.

“This case is certainly extraordinary,” Lieutenant Gross said. “The survival instinct, the will to survive is just crazy.”

How often does this happen?

Falling from a ship into a vast sea may be a cruise passenger’s worst nightmare. While the chances of going overboard are exceedingly remote, according to statistics from the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), the outcome is usually tragic.

In 2019, 25 people fell overboard, and only nine of them were rescued, according to CLIA.

In February, a woman aboard the Carnival Valor jumped off the 10th deck of the ship while fleeing security officers who were trying to detain her after she had scuffled with them. Her body was never found.

In December 2016, a 22-year-old man fell off the 12th deck of a Royal Caribbean cruise ship after a night of heavy drinking. His parents sued the cruise line in federal court in Florida, but a jury decided in favor of Royal Caribbean.

Alcohol is a factor in at least 11 percent of falls from cruise ships, which often offer all-inclusive drink packages that encourage drinking onboard, said Ross Klein, a professor of social work at Memorial University of Newfoundland, who researches cruise safety.

“Cruises are viewed as idyllic, safe and secure, and of course those views are reinforced by advertising and public statements,” he said. But the public should be aware of the risks of going on a cruise, which include being pushed overboard, going overboard and being tempted to jump overboard, he said.

How do ships prevent people from going overboard?

By law, railings have to be 42 inches tall, Professor Klein said. There were efforts to make the railings taller by about another foot, he said, after Congress began considering legislation to tighten security on ships in 2005. But in 2010, when Congress passed the Cruise Vessel Security and Safety Act, the railing height requirements were set at the current standard, he said.

The railing height is designed to keep passengers safe along ship promenades, said Brian Salerno, the senior vice president for Maritime policy at CLIA.

“The vast majority of cases are either reckless behavior or some form of intentional act,” Mr. Salerno said. “People don’t just inadvertently fall over the side of a ship.”

Professor Klein said cruise ships could limit the risks of passengers falling overboard if they limited alcohol consumption, increased railing heights and installed technology that senses when a heavy object has fallen from the ship.

The 2010 law directed cruise ships to begin developing and installing such technology, Mr. Salerno said.

It took years to create a video-surveillance system that would be sensitive enough to detect a person falling overboard and alarm a ship’s crew but that wouldn’’t be triggered by other objects, like a sea gull flying by, he said. Some ships have already begun installing such systems, Mr. Salerno said.

Bartenders on cruises are also trained to watch for excessive drinking, said Robert Kritzman, a partner at Clyde & Co., an international law firm in Miami, who advises cruise companies.

“The general policy is the same as anywhere else: Once somebody becomes excessively intoxicated, you stop serving,” he said.

Carnival Corp. said the “only way to go overboard is to purposefully climb up and over the safety barriers.”

“Cruise ships have safety barriers in all public areas that are regulated by U.S. Coast Guard standards that prevent a guest from falling off,” the company said in a statement that thanked the Coast Guard and the mariner who found Mr. Grimes. “Guests should never ever climb up on the rails.”

A spokesman did not respond to follow up questions about the incident or Carnival’s safety protocols.

What happens when the crew learns that a person has gone overboard?

Cruise ships have clear protocols for what to do when a person goes overboard, Mr. Kritzman said.

Once the crew members learn that a person has gone overboard, they immediately inform the Coast Guard, stop the ship and turn around to help find the missing passenger. Often, smaller, fast boats are deployed from the ship to search for the person, Mr. Kritzman said.

The circumstances around the recent fall from the Carnival Valor, including the precise time that Mr. Grimes went overboard, remain unknown. The Coast Guard said it was investigating the incident.

Lieutenant Gross said that after the Coast Guard learned about the missing passenger, it launched a 45-foot patrol boat, a helicopter and a tracker plane to search for him. The Coast Guard set up a search area of more than 7,000 square nautical miles, roughly the size of Massachusetts, he said, and immediately alerted any mariners around the Gulf of Mexico to look for the man.

The Crinis, a bulk carrier, spotted Mr. Grimes about 20 miles south of Southwest Pass, a channel at the mouth of the Mississippi River.

Lt. Gross said he called the man’s mother and stepfather to tell them he had been found.

When he told them their son was stable and being treated at a hospital in New Orleans, he heard them cheer and cry.

Ms. White, who lives in Hampton, Va., and runs an anti-bullying organization, said she was flooded with relief when the ship announced that Mr. Grimes had been found alive.

“That was nothing but God that he survived,” she said.

* * *

The Wind (1910) by Felix Vallotton

* * *


Major Russian bank faces ‘unprecedented’ cyber attack.

Russian airfield hit in suspected drone strike.

by Natasha Turak & Holly Ellyatt

Ukraine faced continuing missile attacks on Tuesday morning, a day after it faced a heavy barrage of missiles from Russia.

The city of Zaporizhzhia in the south is experiencing a particularly intense attack once again, with critical infrastructure facilities and residential buildings damaged, according to a regional official.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said in his nightly address Monday that 70 Russian missiles had been fired at Ukraine during attacks yesterday and that most of them were shot down.

Ukrainian drones reportedly strike Russian air bases

The wave of missile attacks came after blasts at two separate air bases in Russia. Three people were killed in one of the incidents and several people were injured in both. Russia blamed Kyiv for the attacks but Ukraine has not publicly commented on the incidents.

On Tuesday morning, the governor of Russia’s Kursk region, which borders Ukraine, said there was a “drone attack” near an airfield in the region. Kyiv has not yet commented on this latest possible attack.

The claimed Kursk attack followed other, similar blasts at Russian bases, some of which have been located hundreds of miles within Russia, well beyond the range of any prior Ukrainian attacks.

Meanwhile, Russian state-owned bank VTB, the country’s second-largest lender, says it was hit by the largest cyberattack it has ever experienced, describing it in a statement as “unprecedented.”

U.S. approves potential sale $3.75 billion of M1A1 Abrams tanks to Poland

The U.S. State Department has approved a potential sale of 116 General Dynamics made M1A1 Abrams tanks, other vehicles and munitions to Poland in a deal valued at up to $3.75 billion, the Pentagon said.

The sale comes just months after Poland was authorized to buy 250 M1A2 tanks by the same maker. With this new option, Poland could elect to buy a mix of the two tank versions as it seeks to modernize its military and adjust to new geopolitical realities following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The package would include vehicles to recover disabled tanks, eight assault bridges and other vehicles. It would also provide thousands of rounds of advanced munitions including armor-piercing rounds, spares and technical support, the Pentagon said.

The Pentagon’s Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress of the possible sale on Tuesday.

Despite approval by the State Department, the notification does not indicate that a contract has been signed or that negotiations have concluded.

— Reuters

* * *

Krampus Card

* * *

EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT doing anything wrong you’re being watched and recorded. The storage capacity of these systems increases every year consistently by orders of magnitude to where it’s getting to the point you don’t have to have done anything wrong. You simply have to eventually fall under suspicion from somebody, even by a wrong call. And then they can use this system to go back in time and scrutinize every decision you’ve ever made, every friend you’ve ever discussed something with. And attack you on that basis to sort of derive suspicion from an innocent life and paint anyone in the context of a wrongdoer. You realize that that’s the world you helped create and it’s gonna get worse with the next generation and the next generation who extend the capabilities of this sort of architecture of oppression.

— Edward Snowden

* * *

* * *


I don't desire a future for humanity like the ones imagined by our culturally designated future-imaginers. I don't want humans living in Elon Musk Mars colonies or Jeff Bezos space cylinders. I don't want us to fly out into the stars, to disappear into virtual reality universes, or to move away from our humanness by becoming cybernetic organisms.…

* * *


  1. Harvey Reading December 7, 2022


    Hopefully the rate of yuppies falling overboard will increase, and survival rate will go down.

    • Randy December 7, 2022

      And perhaps the board of super could join hin, them or they..

  2. Jim Armstrong December 7, 2022

    Beacon shot at my dog and barely missed us back in the “70’s.
    So I don’t mind suggesting he find a new transcriber or do a little proofreading.

    • Randy December 7, 2022

      Right on Bobby

  3. Mike J December 7, 2022


    I don’t desire a future for humanity like the ones imagined by our culturally designated future-imaginers. I don’t want humans living in Elon Musk Mars colonies or Jeff Bezos space cylinders. I don’t want us to fly out into the stars, to disappear into virtual reality universes, or to move away from our humanness by becoming cybernetic organisms.…”
    She is urging a focus on inner space, adopting meditation and related practices. That doesn’t have to be in conflict with developments extending our reach into the cosmos, the external cosmos. On that front, an effort akin to that of the fictional Star Trek movie hero Zefram Cochrane (invented warp drive, spurring open contact by the Vulcans) has been born, enabled by experimental developments related to the 1884 equation by Miguel Alcubierre on localized warping of space. The modern day Zefram is Dr Greg Hodgin:

    Danny Sheehan, working nowadays to engineer an exposure of the covert confirmation by waived and unacknowledged special access programs of an extraterrestrial presence, has recently said we are on the verge of a completely different track involving living in a galactic milieu in relations with a variety of beings native of other solar systems. He has emphasized focusing on learning about these beings. (This can be done by studying close encounter cases.)

    This inevitable movement into the cosmos can go hand in hand with Caitlin’s emphasis on exploring inner space. I discuss how that is so here:

    • Mike J December 7, 2022

      Error re date of Alcubierre equation: 1994, not 1884.

      • Harvey Reading December 7, 2022

        You’re living in a dream world. Homo stupidii is on the way out and will be gone before the rich jerks can get a real start on creating a galactic empire.

        Do you watch a lot of original Star Trek episodes on TV? Don’t let them make you crazy, now that you’re a grown-up man. It was all about empire and colonialism, too…camouflaged as “the Federation of Planets”. It seemed great when I was 16, my mind stuffed with BS peddled by football coaches who taught US history and civics. Besides, what Skum and his fellow robber barons want is silly, and a total waste of nonrenewable resources.

  4. Marmon December 7, 2022

    BREAKING: Elon Musk just confirmed data may have been hidden and deleted from the Twitter Files. This revelation follows the sudden firing of James Baker, the FBI cutout who intercepted the files before they were sent to Matt Taibbi.


    • Bruce McEwen December 7, 2022

      The Reverend James Baker was ordained by God to foil that sardonic devil Musk and expose his sodomite butt boy for what a sick animal he is. And I have it on High Authority that anyone who so much as reads his posts will be turned into a pillar of salt, I s y n!

    • pca67 December 7, 2022

      OMG, it’s the 30,000 emails all over again! 🙄

  5. Chuck Dunbar December 7, 2022


    Our trusted editor reports today
    “A LADY asked me the other day if I felt like she felt. Try me, I said. “I feel overall that a giant shoe has dropped and now I’m waiting for an even bigger shoe to drop,” she said. I agreed, and said I liked her metaphor for the low hum of anxiety many of us feel, fed by the pessimism that the deteriorated quality of the leadership has no idea, and less motivation, to do anything about anything, let alone the Big One — climate change…”

    I agree and can say this fits for me, too. Usually kind of a positive guy, I find myself often feeling pessimistic, anxious, unsettled. It is an odd sense of the world. I’m still not used to feeling this way, but I don’t really expect it to change radically, though surely some moments of relief, even happiness come. Being in the garden every morning helps some. We have two teenage kitties, and I watch their joy in play with a bit of envy. They don’t read the news…

    • Stephen Rosenthal December 7, 2022

      “They don’t read the news…”
      I don’t either, anymore.

  6. Bruce McEwen December 7, 2022

    You see your fishing line go from the und of your rod at a right angle down to the water and then through optical illusion it becomes an obtuse angle for as far as you can see into the water. And it’s the same illusion with this et dream. Once physical things go beyond our best lenses, whether it’s telescopic or microscopic, it all turns into theory. All we know for certain is that we came out this world and we will go right back into it. Nuclear theory has given us the means of destroying the planet and every living thing on it; and astrophysics has given us the illusion that it doesn’t matter if we do.

    • Mike J December 7, 2022

      As it turns out, many ordinary people haven’t needed “best lenses”. They haven’t needed to see far far far away. Beings with a very very advanced technology have been sighted and/or interacted with. Here.
      Most people ignore or laugh at the stories in databases of close encounters of the third and fourth kind. That’s okay. This is going to take some adaptation time.

      Let us sit by the camp fire. I have stories to share!

  7. Mike J December 7, 2022

    The UFO related provisions in the National Defense Authorization Act have been finalized. The national security editor, Bryan Bender, for Politico has a twitter thread summarizing some of that:

    Report those UFOs: The final version of the National Defense Authorization Act creates “a secure mechanism for authorized reporting” of “unidentified anamolous phenomena.” 1/
    The provision calls on feds and contractors to come forward with knowledge of “material retrieval, material analysis, reverse engineering, research and development, detection and tracking, developmental or operational testing, and security protections and enforcement.” 2/
    The bill also mandates an “intelligence collection and analysis plan to gain as much knowledge as possible regarding the technical and operational characteristics, origins, and intentions of unidentified anomalous phenomena.” 3/
    And the Director of National Intelligence must provide Congress within 540 days “a written report detailing the historical record of the United States Government relating to unidentified anomalous phenomena” dating to Jan. 1, 1945. 4/
    The history report must include “any program or activity that was protected by restricted access that has not been explicitly and clearly reported to Congress.” In other words, strap in folks. 5/5″

    See this article summarizing more:

    The name of the UFO office is “All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office” and under the Director of National Intelligence and Secretary of Defense.

    • Harvey Reading December 8, 2022

      “Director of National Intelligence”

      That’s a funny title.

  8. Bruce McEwen December 7, 2022

    The fey yarns of stargazing geezers
    Are of no use to chain mail weavers

    — Admiral Stupenagel, CIC, Starfleet XT

    • Mike J December 7, 2022

      Many yarns from our warriors we’re long-ignored until Harry Reid, John Glenn, Daniel Inouye and Ted Stevens stepped in and warrior Lue Elizondo was called to a new duty.

  9. Marmon December 7, 2022

    I predict Trump will win overwhelmingly in 2024, with all the revelations about what was done too him finely becoming public=-he will pick up a lot of Sympathy votes:

    “Please allow me to introduce myself
    I’m a man of wealth and taste
    I’ve been around for a long, long years
    Stole million man’s soul an faith
    And I was ’round when Jesus Christ
    Had his moment of doubt and pain
    Made damn sure that Pilate
    Washed his hands and sealed his fate
    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name
    But what’s puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game
    Stuck around St. Petersburg
    When I saw it was a time for a change
    Killed Tsar and his ministers
    Anastasia screamed in vain
    I rode a tank
    Held a general’s rank
    When the blitzkrieg raged
    And the bodies stank
    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guess my name, oh yeah
    Ah, what’s puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game, oh yeah
    I watched with glee
    While your kings and queens
    Fought for ten decades
    For the gods they made
    I shouted out
    Who killed the Kennedys?
    When after all
    It was you and me
    Let me please introduce myself
    I’m a man of wealth and taste
    And I laid traps for troubadours
    Who get killed before they reached Bombay
    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
    But what’s puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game, oh yeah, get down, baby
    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guessed my name, oh yeah
    But what’s confusing you
    Is just the nature of my game
    Just as every cop is a criminal
    And all the sinners saints
    As heads is tails
    Just call me Lucifer
    ‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint
    So if you meet me
    Have some courtesy
    Have some sympathy, and some taste
    Use all your well-learned politnesse
    Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, mm yeah
    Pleased to meet you
    Hope you guessed my name, mm yeah
    But what’s puzzling you
    Is the nature of my game, mm mean it, get down
    Woo, who
    Oh yeah, get on down
    Oh yeah
    Aah yeah
    Tell me baby, what’s my name?
    Tell me honey, can ya guess my name?
    Tell me baby, what’s my name?
    I tell you one time, you’re to blame
    What’s my name
    Tell me, baby, what’s my name?
    Tell me, sweetie, what’s my name?”

    -Songwriters: Mick Jagger / Keith Richards

    Marmon (aka the Prophet)

    • Bruce Anderson December 7, 2022

      Trump’s done. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

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