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THERE ARE REPORTS that as of 5:04 p.m. it is snowing on State Route 253 between the Ukiah and Anderson valleys. [Tuesday] offers a break in the storm but the rest of the week is predicted to see continued precipitation and possible flooding of the Russian and Navarro Rivers, which will lead to the likely closure of Highway 128 and perhaps other routes. (mendofever.com)
CLOUDY SKIES and light rain by this afternoon. The next round of wet wintry weather will arrive Wednesday afternoon with the arrival of another atmospheric river. Expect rain, high winds, and flooding mid week and into the weekend. (NWS)
REGULAR MEETING OF THE WATER PROJECTS COMMITTEE
Anderson Valley Community Services District
To be held via teleconference Phone # 669 900 6833 Zoom Meeting ID 845 5084 3330 Password 048078
Public comments must be submitted by 10:00am on January 5th, 2023 electronically to email@example.com
Thursday, January 5th, 2023 at 10:30am
1. Call To Order And Roll Call:
2. Recognition Of Guests And Hearing Of Public:
3. Consent Calendar: Minutes From December 1st, 2022
4. Changes Or Modification To This Agenda:
5. Report On Drinking Water Project:
6. Report On Wastewater Project:
7. Public Outreach:
8. Concerns Of Members:
THE A.V. GRANGE WELCOMES YOU all to a new year with new pancakes, fresh eggs and bacon, coffee, tea and orange juice plus a table full of fixins. It's this Sunday January 8th 8:30-11:00, (as always the second Sunday every month). It'll be a good time to check in with neighbors and friends and see whats coming up in this brand new year. At the Grange itself we are in the process of improving the kitchen, come check it out this Sunday. It's also membership renewal time as well as a great time to become a new member of the Grange and get involved in the valleys community center. Heck, it's elections this month and you, yes you, could get yourself elected. Ask a Granger about it. This year we will complete the installation of a back up generator and improved water system, we sure could use some extra help finishing these projects. AND after a 2 year hiatus there are plans afoot for the 30th AV Grange Variety Show March 10th and 11th. It's about time don't ya think? Time to dust off the tutu, and get the rust off whatever you've got rust on. So come on down and enjoy the best breakfast deal in the valley, see you there. (Captain Rainbow)
MORE IMAGES OF ROHNERVILLE
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE UPDATE: January 2023 Newsletter
We currently have 60 members (46 memberships) and 47 trained volunteers ready to lend a hand!
Call out to Our Talented Community: Please lend your skills, passions and ideas for the greater good! We are looking for participants (members, volunteers and beyond) for the following opportunities:
- We are looking for writers interesting in sharing their work at our Gathering, probably March. This is always a fun event with an amazing variety of authors. Anyone interested should call Lauren 895-2606.
- We are also looking for folks to help breath new energy into our committees– including the AV Village Events, Membership, Volunteer Committees and more, depending on interests. Let the coordinator know if you would like to be on one – thank you!!
Happy Birthday to our wonderful members and volunteers: Gail Gester, Lauren Keating, Steven Wood, Ronnie Holland, MaryAnne Payne, Victoria Center, Val Muchowski, David Severn.
At our December gathering, the rain didn’t dampen our spirits and we burned our cares away in the bonfire! Thank you, Judy Roberto, for sharing your incredible creations and inspiring us with your handmade puppets.
We hope to see more of them, maybe the variety show or a class? Having members share their passions and how they ended up here has really brightened our gatherings for presenters and audience, alike! So much talent, knowledge and experience in this community!
Note: Starting in March our monthly gatherings will be held on the 3rd Sunday of the month from 4 to 5:30 – thank you!
Upcoming AV Village Events
NO KOOLAID HERE
Dear residents of Anderson Valley and parts unknown,
I’m writing to definitively lay to rest any ugly and incredibly misguided rumors that I am attempting to start a cult here in our beloved valley. What I AM doing is trying to gather a group of individuals, regardless of ethnicity, age, theology, political affiliation, sexuality, gender identification, social standing, wealth, lack there of, or any of the endless slew of nonsense that has created the ever widening division that has overtaken this once great melting pot.
(Well, “great” may be too strong a word, particularly to our indigenous brothers and sisters, but that is another matter altogether.)
My end game is simply one of love, fellowship, gratitude, compassion, and service to other, less fortunate members of society, both here in AV, and in our surrounding areas.
My mistake was in utilizing antisocial media as a way to spread my message! While I have had a number of positive responses, the majority of comments have taken on a cynical tone. As I have found, imbeciles are in no short supply in Mendocino County — a number of “Good ol’ boys” elected to flat out accuse me of starting a cult! They further amused themselves by bantering around the question of what flavor of Kool Aid I’d be serving, and in what volume.
A guy can only take so much. Even a guy who is making every attempt to do positive things for his community. Thus, I was forced to reply to their jabs that the Kool Aid would likely taste like my genitals, should they be interested in giving it a try. Maybe not such a compassionate response, but as stated, a guy can only stand so much!
I think George Carlin is smiling over that one.
In any event, should any of you out there reading this have the desire to become part of a movement to share happiness and help those in need, please contact me at (707)489-2915, via text or phone. I can also be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two together are strong. Three are nearly unbreakable. We can do good things for our fellow men, women, and children if we act as one. As I have come to know, it is in giving that we receive.
And “no,” that is not an attempt at securing charitable financial contributions!
I look forward with good faith that some of you out there will see this for what it really is: A purely altruistic attempt to create bonds among a society that has outgrown the tight-knit community that chose myself and my family to settle into and become active members of, nearly 20 years ago.
And there will be no Kool Aid, of any flavor, ever. I promise!!
As always, very sincerely,
A NEW DOCUMENTARY whose first episode is called “The Bone Yard” (the first part of a three part series called ‘Manifesto of a Serial Killer’) about former Anderson Valley residents, Leonard Lake and Charles Ng, gets off to an encouraging start — Lake's suicide via a cyanide capsule while in police custody when he apparently realizes his sordid rampage of murder and kidnap has ended with his arrest. Ng, Lake's partner, has been in custody for years since, another person who should have been either offed or packed off to a permanent prison years ago but for a turgid legal system that tacitly permits endless appeals, taking whole years between decisions.
LAKE AND NG, plus Lake's then-wife, Caralyn ‘Cricket’ Balazs, made their happy home in Philo in the early 1980s. I won't identify the two addresses to spare the present owners the onus of association with mass murder, but old timers know them well. My memory of the two psychos was seeing Lake and Ng trucking along 128 in full camo, and Lake’s ad in the ava looking for people to play war games with. At the time, he also functioned as an Anderson Valley volunteer firefighter and the organization's recording secretary. “Yeah, yeah, Bruce, he was a nut but he had beautiful handwriting,” was one post-mass murder local assessment of Lake.
I MAY HAVE HELPED get Lake's wife fired from her job as a teacher's aide at AV Junior High when my daughter alerted me that a woman who worked at the school named “Cricket” had asked several of my daughter's classmates to pose for Cricket’s “photographer” husband in a hot tub at the couple's home. Nope, not having it, and Cricket was fired. And life went on in a community then way too tolerant of aberrant behavior, a key tenet of the Do Your Own Thing-ism prevalent at the time.
IN LIGHT of her husband's subsequent rampages, I've always thought Cricket knew a lot more than she ever copped to. (So did some cops, according to the documentary.) Last heard from, she had a new man and was living in Covelo, but that was years ago, and I only knew about it because the new man called to ask me not to mention his wife's new life, as if a person intimately associated with horrific events can simply turn life's corner for rainbows and unicorns, but as many dubious characters before and after her have discovered, Cricket may have fully adopted Mendo's convenient amnesia that declares you are whatever you say you are, and history starts all over again every day.
LAKE AND NG apparently hadn't begun their kidnap and murder campaign when they lived in Anderson Valley, but they had come spectacularly to the attention of federal authorities for somehow stealing a cache of weapons from a Marine Corps armory in Hawaii, and double somehow managed to get them all the way to Philo where, one memorable day, a big black helicopter landed on Highway 128 near Lemons Market, disgorging a black-clad swat unit who soon had an address on Ray's Road surrounded. Lake and Ng were arrested, the weapons recovered and, for their third arrest somehow, were soon released from custody. The Valley's resident deputy, Keith Squires, said after the event that if Lake and Ng had shot it out with the feds “they had so much gear they could have held out for a long time.”
A COUPLE of years later, when the remains of all, or most of their victims were discovered in Calaveras County near the Boonville-size hamlet of Wilseyville, the authorities spent a fruitless week searching for possible remains on the grounds of the killers' former Philo address.
WHAT doesn't seem to be known is that Lake, prior to moving over the hill to the Anderson Valley, had been ordered off Greenfield Ranch, a hippie-heavy collective north of Ukiah, where he had rented a tractor and was building a bunker of the type he later constructed in Wilseyville. He was even too creepy for Greenfield's socially elastic counter-culturalists.
AMONG Lake's depraved papers — he fancied himself something of a philosopher, having been inspired by the novel “The Collector” by British author John Fowles, also about an imagined kidnap of a sex slave — were repeat mentions of a local high school girl who worked at Jack's Valley Store. That kid probably dodged a literal bullet.
THE WORLD CLASS PSYCHOS of yesteryear could afford the rents of Mendocino County up through the 1970s, but they've since been priced outta here.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, January 2, 2023
PATRICK BAUER, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
FLOYD BILLY, Covelo. Vandalism.
CHRISTOPHER CARTER, Covelo. Stolen property, concealed dirk-dagger, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
CESAR DELCAMPO, Ukiah. Under influence.
VANESSA ELIZABETH, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
CONAN HUTCHINSON, Willits. DUI.
WILLARD JACKSON, Alberta. Disorderly conduct-intoxicated by drugs with alcohol.
KYLE MASON, Ukiah. Shuriken, leaded cane-billyclub, controlled substance, paraphernalia.
REMO MCOSKER, Ukiah. Failure to appear.
MYA MORENO, Covelo. Stolen property, conspiracy.
CLETIS SHAFFER, Willits. Protective order violation.
DESMOND SPIKER, Willits. Stolen vehicle, felon-addict with firearm, alteration of firearm ID, ammo possession by prohibited person.
BOLIVAR VELAZQUEZ, Cloverdale/Ukiah. DUI.
KORY WHIPPLE, Covelo. Stolen vehicle, conspiracy.
‘WE’RE IN CRISIS MODE’
Garberville is in a bad way. The collapse of California’s cannabis market has devastated the local economy and left communities throughout Southern Humboldt struggling to stay afloat. Businesses are closing left and right, and residents who have built their livelihoods around the region’s prolific cannabis industry fear they will lose everything. Communities nestled in the most remote corners of the county have been hit the hardest, but the cannabis industry’s decline is the most evident in Garberville.…
DR. MICHAEL TURNER on Dr. Hayward’s “Dirty Medical Secrets” article in Monday’s MCT:
“I didn’t find any “dirty secrets” in Dr Hayward’s scattershot recollections. Everybody knows that health care is overpriced and, with the advent of the electronic medical industry, fatally disorganized. A small majority of voters favor a single payer system, which would purge many useless administrators, complicators, and profiteers. But this is no secret. Overall what most strikes me about this article is its disagreeable tone. For example, I’d wager that my own medical training was just as harsh as his. For three years I basically lived in a large teaching hospital in downtown Detroit. It was the 1980’s and overwhelming, not only was it the peak of the crack epidemic we were also dealing with the first brutal manifestations of AIDS But I have zero recollection of this resulting in a house staff or faculty becoming “contemptuous of outsiders”. Part of the training was learning tolerance and professionalism. The unpleasant Dr. Hayward is really just speaking about himself.”
IMAGES OF GARBERVILLE by Andrew Goff (via lostcoastoutpost.com)
BETSY CAWN: An observation on Caitlin Johnstone’s otherwise well-appreciated commentary on the subject of the “Twitter Files” — the only question that comes to mind is why the recently revealed extent of governmental interference in the ostensibly “private” communication among users of social media platforms is viewed as anything new. I recall the advertisers who funded Columbia Broadcast Systems in the 1940s trying to pressure Edward R. Murrow (and his editor-in-chief, Fred Friendly) to stop exposing the abuse of power exercised by then Senator Joseph R. McCarthy. Content “management” by dint of sponsor-driven preferences, fortified over the years by legislative authorities (culminating in the Patriot Act and its nefarious powers) and control of media is nothing new, and must be rejected at every opportunity. The fact that many of us can espouse our own crackpot or “neuro-divergent” opinions on this very platform (and openly dispute their merits with minimal editorial “interference”) is one of the few remaining options in a world where dissent is always characterized as dangerous and threatening. Happy New Keep on Keeping On Year, people.
This is a house I visited with my brother on a trip to Vermont. It is called Hildene and was owned by Robert Todd Lincoln, the eldest son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln, and the only one of their children to reach adulthood.
The house is 14,000 square feet and sits on 412 acres overlooking a valley. Todd had served as secretary of war, a U.S. ambassador to the United Kingdom and later, chairman of the Pullman Palace Car Company, until his death in 1926.
Todd was a serious nonprofessional astronomer and had an observatory built at Hildene. He also had an airstrip and an airplane hanger for his daughter who was an early female aviator.
The most surprising thing about the house was that it was literally built around a huge pipe organ that Todd loved to play. Todd's private Pullman railroad car can be seen in some of the photos.
I was in the army. My civilian friend Jay Howell and I headed east one weekend from Hopkinsville Kentucky to Wilmington North Carolina. We had rented a little place in Hoptown and sort of wore out our welcome. Jay had a family-owned place in NC where we could crash and he would stay. There was a recession happening at the time, and he hadn’t been able to find work around Ft. Campbell. Hard to find anything much around Ft. Campbell, especially around Hopkinsville—and who would want to.
So we drove in my car. Jay would stay in Wilmington, and I’d drive back to Ft. Campbell. Eleven hours each way, give or take, smack through the middle of the Great Smoky Mountains, upwards of 800 mostly mountain miles. No prob. We had a whole weekend to do it. I was hungry to see the sea, and we did that. ‘Tweren’t easy, but we could do anything.
So I got back to base, late for KP on Monday, an offense only slightly less grave than desertion, and the next day I had to see the company commander in an Article 31. Article 31 is a rule in the Uniform Code of Military Justice about “company punishment,” the first step in the military judiciary. No matter that “Military Justice” is oxymoronic, much of the military world is like that: “Kill for Peace.” Standing before Capt. Irwin at attention, I was not about to point that out.
“Specialist Clogg, stand at ease. Are you familiar with Uniform Code of Military Justice Article 31?” We only just began, and Blackjack was already reading. Reading me my rights.
Capt. Jack Irwin was beloved by his men, mainly because he didn’t care much about them. Like us, Blackjack was way more an off-duty guy. Like us, he wasn’t too bright. He was handsome and studly, a captain in the 101st Airborne Division, and he was seen, off duty and off post, in a convertible. He was seen with ladies. They were not always the same. “Blackjack.” Avatar. We were just his day job.
“Yessir, but not since I got in [the army], and maybe I could hear it again...”
Capt. Irwin muttered, “Okay. Jus’ a minnit.” He quickly bent the upper right corner of the UCMJ pages, looking for he knew not what he knew not how. His plucky fingertips did a little arpeggio on that upper right corner. Color rose in his tanned cheeks. Tiny beads appeared at his excellent hairline. The moment stretched too long.
I said, “I guess I remember...”
“No, it’s right here...” Fingers making a “come here” gesture at the top right corner of the UCMJ pages. Nothing came. Too long!
I remembered an earlier experience, my own panic symptoms starting, different from Captin Irwin’s.
I prefer privacy when I have to go to the toilet. Number One or Number Two, I’d rather be alone. (Pee shy!” expostulated an army doctor once, when I was supposed to produce a cc of pee, right there, in a cup. “Bad form,” thought I of the doctor with the Caduceus on his collar. I said, “Sir, I went just before I got here.” He said, “That’s bull, soldier. Urine starts to collect in your bladder immediately after you piss. We only need a couple drops.” He glanced at his aide, huddling with us, me reluctant to hoist out my absent member. “Take him in there.” His assistant was a good-sized Black guy. Deep-South army, Black medic. So I’m pee-shy in front of a white army doctor, but I don’t care if my attendant is black? At least the Black guy got it. We’re in a tiny lavatory. He handed me the little papery cup and turned his face to the window. Before too long, the cup had a few golden drops ((pure gold is actually piss-colored, not gold colored)). So there was that. I do some things better alone.)
Another time, I was out in the boonies during a training exercise, four or five days out there. Usually, in the woods, I can go a week or more of holding it, without discomfort, but this time was different. Latrine’s are not private. A field latrine is just a couple of slits in the ground, like the topside of a toaster. You straddle one ditch with your foot on the strip of dirt between them. Several guys at once can squat over a field latrine, but for dainty Specialist Clogg, I could squat there ’til hell freezes over and other guys, waiting, are saying C’MON! and nothing would happen. So I didn’t do that. I waited ‘til everybody was having chow, seated on tree stumps and ponchos, and went to the latrine, hoping for uninterruption and a pleasant visit.
Latrines, oddly, have a canvas privacy wall maybe five feet high and open to the sky. When I stepped in, I faced a second lieutenant who was not facing me. He was astraddle the two slits, bouncing up and down to stimulate peristalsis. In the instant I watched, the center strip collapsed and his boot went into the toaster. I backed out of there quick and decided I could wait another day or two. A shavetail lieutenant, bottom rank for officers, can get madder than a wet hen. This one was, and I didn’t want to be the next thing his angry eye fell on.
And it was like that again, with Blackjack Irwin thumbing through the Red Book and starting to steam. I was wondering how the hell I could get out of this encounter. He said, “Get out of here, Clogg. I’ll see you later.” We never met in private again.
Now in my dotage, I can’t always remember why I’m telling a story. Especially when I’m eating a cookie baked with a bunch of pot in it.
Maybe I’ll see you later about this.
DAMAR HAMLIN AND THE MOST TERRIFYING NIGHT OF FOOTBALL
by Kevin Clark
It felt different because it was different. You are smart enough to read faces and you’ve watched enough football to know. Sean McDermott saying a prayer under his breath. Reggie Gilliam looking up to the sky and yelling. Josh Allen and Joe Burrow embracing, while Stefon Diggs wiped away tears and Tre’Davious White was simply unable to look. It all happened at once, around Damar Hamlin, a 24-year-old who made a routine tackle, stood up, and immediately collapsed.
On Monday Night Football in Cincinnati, Hamlin made a chillingly normal tackle on a 13-yard Tee Higgins catch that led to the worst thing I have ever seen on a football field. Only three things matter now: (1) the health of Hamlin and his ability to lead a normal life; (2) the mental and emotional well-being of Hamlin’s family, friends, and teammates, who witnessed something so traumatic; (3) and that whatever happened to Hamlin is so thoroughly investigated that we never have to go through this ever again.
Quite literally everything else can be left for another day, including the game itself, which was abandoned in the first quarter with no makeup date announced and the Bills headed back to Buffalo. The idea that the game needed to go ahead because it featured two top teams playing for AFC seeding is silly and not even all that widespread. Most people agreed it needed to be suspended. Football stakes and life stakes are two totally different things and only one actually matters. The Bills said in a statement that Hamlin suffered cardiac arrest during the play, his heartbeat was restored on the field, and he is currently in critical condition:
In the four hours before that update, we were left with the bare, terrifying facts of the situation. It was the most upsetting event ever broadcast during a football game. ESPN announcer Joe Buck described first responders pounding on Hamlin’s chest; the compressions were not visible on TV but certainly clear to those in the stadium and probably far too visible for the players who packed tightly around. The initial idea of a five-minute break and a warm-up period, as if it were a silly little delay—as if there had been a busted stadium light—was always ludicrous (the NFL later clarified there was never a plan to resume the game), but it was quickly corrected by the teams themselves. Head coaches Sean McDermott and Zac Taylor met and decided to return their teams to their locker rooms to begin to process what they had just seen. From there, seemingly the only path toward playing again would be really good news really quickly. That wasn’t coming. Allen and Burrow looked crestfallen. We all saw their faces on national television and we knew: Playing would have been impossible, even if the NFL had forced it through, which it thankfully did not.
Stopping the game was a significant and necessary act. Football normally rolls on. When a player breaks an ankle in practice, they move the drill, leaving the injured player behind while the business of football continues elsewhere. Earlier this year, on this very same field, we saw Tua Tagovailoa taken away in an ambulance after suffering a concussion, and play resumed minutes later. Players are transported to hospitals and there’s football within five minutes. It is almost impossible to grind the gears of football to a halt. It has now. That should tell you something. The league should move on. There is no right way to finish this game.
So what comes next is just as important: With the Bills planning to return to Buffalo, you can rule out a quick Tuesday-afternoon game and trying to squeeze the Week 18 games into their normal Sunday slots. Perhaps if they played midweek you could delay their Week 18 games a day. This is the best-case scenario and the easiest scenario to lay out on a white board in New York. It is not so easy in a locker room full of players who are probably as scared as they’ve ever been in their lives about the sport they love, and who might feel as helpless as they ever have. There are people whose relationships with football changed forever Monday night, and telling them to channel that into a game in 36 hours may not be advisable. Logistically, the easiest solution would be for commissioner Roger Goodell to find a way to declare this game a tie. This presents its own set of competitive hurdles to work out in such a tight playoff race, but on the other hand: who cares about that right now? Let this night and this game stay in the past.
Football has a way of reminding you about its humanity only when it is too late. Damar Hamlin started Monday as the perfect NFL story: a sixth-round pick who worked hard to replace an injured star safety for one of the best teams in football. His story is well documented. His parents opened a cleaning service to support Hamlin’s football dreams. He gave back to his hometown of Pittsburgh every chance he got. He was making it in the NFL. Earlier this season after practice he said, “I’m cherishing every moment I can.” Football can be a ghoulish, cruel sport. A special person in the midst of a special opportunity going through one of the scariest situations in modern American sports history. A kid with dreams:
The concern now is for Hamlin and those who love him. It’s also for a player like Cincinnati’s Tee Higgins, who ran down the field toward Hamlin and started the play that led to the incident and may never be the same:
Beyond that, Monday and its aftershocks are an uncomfortable reminder that a football field can be dangerous—even if nothing dangerous is happening. The consequences of football’s brutality are mostly hidden anyway. Most people do not want to peek behind the curtain. It is a sport in which “movement in all extremities” is treated as good news and not some grim line delivered with more unsaid than said. I think often of what Dan Le Batard once wrote when Jason Taylor opened up about his series of devastating and mostly secret injuries: “Take a look at what was happening in the dark. He was just a few blessed hours from having his leg amputated. He played games, plural, with a hidden and taped catheter running from his armpit to his heart. His calf was oozing blood for so many months, from September of one year to February of another, that he had to have the equivalent of a drain installed.”
Monday night was all of it in your face. Postponing its final Monday Night Football game of the year. Suspending one of the biggest games of the year. This was as close to a reckoning as you can get for such a violent sport. Football can be beautiful; it can lead you to places you never expected to go and conjure feelings you didn’t know you were capable of having, but it can also be barbarous and brutal, sad and unforgiving. The long-term health impact always seemed in the abstract. As if, sure, some guys were in bad shape but they played in the ’80s. This was a reminder, broadcast in real time, of how unfair the game can be.
Howard Glenn broke his neck in an AFL game and died later that day. Chuck Hughes died after collapsing during a 1971 Lions-Bears game. In both cases the game kept moving. A Hall of Fame player who spoke to ESPN’s Don Van Natta Jr. in 2013 said that Roger Goodell was “terrified” that a player was going to die on the field if the sport didn’t change. The game has gotten safer in the past decade as rule changes have taken some of the biggest hits out of the game, but there is a limit on how safe the sport can be, and that gets thrown into our face every few weeks at the very least.
My mind wandered to two soccer incidents: Denmark’s Christian Eriksen in 2021 and Bolton’s Fabrice Muamba in 2012 both collapsed on the pitch in games I happened to be watching, and both were rattling around my brain on Monday night because they felt the same: the quiet of the crowd, the obvious seriousness of the situation weighing on the faces of the players, the cameras keeping a comfortable distance so as not to show someone struggling for life on national television. Both players survived. Eriksen is playing again and Muamba, forced to retire, returned to the stadium in which he collapsed eight months later to a thunderous ovation.
The best-case scenario is that Hamlin, too, survives this and is able to lead a normal, happy, and healthy life and that this ends up as but a footnote in his bio. Anything else is unspeakable now. Football changed on Monday night—we won’t know how for years—but we know it changed, because the NFL finally was forced to stop. None of us wanted to look. This was a night of glazed eyes, thousand-yard stares, and prayer. We hope we never have to see it ever again.
THE GREAT HOWLIN' WOLF!
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The Jan.6th Cmte had several goals. The overriding one was to increase the power of those on the committee, obviously. These people are politicians. A second goal was to further attack Trump. The Deep State must continue attacking him.
However, the underlying goal was this. To send a message to the 90% out there. You fuckers can run rampant in LA, or Minneapolis, or Denver… or wherever, we in government don’t give a shit if you do that… but if you come to the center of the power – and riot on the grounds of where we work – we are gonna put your ass in federal prisons, to the maximally allowable time under the law.
The Jan.6th cmte was a testament of the hatred & disgust of “the People” that our representatives have towards it.
OF ALL THE TYPICAL PLAINS TRIBES, the Cheyenne were most distinguished for warlike qualities. Few in number, they overcame or held in check most of the peoples who opposed them, and when the westward movement of European civilization began, they made more trouble than all the rest combined. In short, they were preeminently warriors among peoples whose trade was war.
As in other Plains tribes, the warriors of the Cheyenne were organized into societies or orders. These societies were fraternal, military, and semi-religious organizations with special privileges, duties, and dress, usually tracing their origin to some mythical culture hero or medicine man. Each society had its own songs and secret ritual and exacted certain observances and standards of its members.
Of these organizations, none played such a part in the history of the Plains as the “Dog Soldiers” of the Cheyenne.
MEANWHILE, IN THE APARTHEID STATE OF…
The new government in Israel poses a serious threat to Israel’s liberal democracy because it appointed people to critical governmental posts whose reputations for bigotry illuminate the political landscape.
For instance, the New York Times reported that one member of the new government had on his wall for many years a picture of a Jewish settler who murdered, in Hebron, 29 Palestinians in 1994 while they were praying. Yet he will be put in charge of national security, which includes the police.
Another example of a bigoted appointment is a person who wants to segregate — as the New York Times reports — Arabs from Jews in maternity wards and prevent Jewish property developers from selling to Arabs. He will be in charge of some aspects of the occupation on the West Bank.
A liberal democratic state rejects bigotry of all kinds. But in the current Israeli case, bigotry is given a prominent place within life and politics.
The U.S. government must condemn Israel for these appointments and make clear that continued U.S. backing for Israel is contingent on Israel doing so as well, posthaste.
Steven M. DeLue
BEING A CHILD OF WEALTHY PARENTS is like being born into a cult whose entire focus is reinforcing class solidarity for the ruling class. Their social culture, academic culture, family culture etc are all dedicated to building an elite commonality that excludes the common riff raff.
That's why the ruling class have such vastly superior class solidarity to the working class. Most of us aren't raised with an acute awareness that we are very different from the ruling class and that their interests conflict with our own, but everyone in the ruling class is. By the time they're mature enough to take the reins, members of the ruling class have been run through an entire cultural processing system dedicated to forming solidarity with their class, while the rest of us have been focused on keeping our heads above water.
— Caitlin Johnstone
“LOVE BLURS YOUR VISION; but after it recedes, you can see more clearly than ever. It's like the tide going out, revealing whatever's been thrown away and sunk: broken bottles, old gloves, rusting pop cans, nibbled fishbodies, bones. This is the kind of thing you see if you sit in the darkness with open eyes, not knowing the future.”
― Margaret Atwood
QUESTIONS & ANSWERS
by James Kunstler
The exhausting toils of the holidays are behind us; the mischief that could be done by the lame ducks in Congress has been done ($1.7 trillion Omnibus Spending Bill); and the time has come for the citizens of this land to get some answers about the escalating trips laid on them by their own government. The House of Representatives is in new hands. You’ll know in pretty short order whether they are capable, trustworthy hands, or just a blur of fast fingers running another three-card-monte table.
The most pressing questions abide around justice, and the gavel of the Judiciary Committee passes from the barely-alive Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) to the very animated Jim Jordan (R-Ohio). He needs to ask FBI Director Chris Wray how it came to be that the Bureau sat in possession of the Hunter Biden laptop during the impeachment of January 2020 and did not offer up to the defense the exculpatory evidence it abundantly contained in the way of business deal memos between the Biden family and officials in several foreign lands, Ukraine in particular. After all, the impeachment hinged on a telephone inquiry Mr. Trump made about just those matters. Was there a good reason for that phone call, or not? Obviously, there was, and Mr. Wray’s conduct looks like obstruction of justice in the highest degree.
Rep. James Comer (R-KY) comes in as chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee. He announced months ago that he would hold hearings on interesting issues such Hunter Biden’s taxes and exactly who has paid to support his new career as an “artist.”
“We’ve got national security concerns with respect to Hunter Biden. We want to know if you remember who bought that expensive artwork when he was an artist for about three days and sold the artwork for half a million dollars. We want to know why the Russian oligarchs who paid Hunter Biden money were mysteriously left off the sanctions list when Joe Biden started putting sanctions on Russians and Russian oligarchs. We’ve got a lot of questions about shady business dealings that Hunter had and whether or not they impacted the Biden administration.”
Next Mr. Wray has to answer for the FBI’s infiltration of social media. How did the top lawyer at the FBI, Jim Baker, come to be employed as the right-hand to Twitter’s chief censor, Vijaya Gadde? How did all those former FBI agents land at the company along with Jim Baker, and what did Mr. Wray have to do with the FBI demands to censor news and persons on matters of critical national importance such as vaccine safety and election fraud? How did more than a hundred former federal agents land on Facebook, Google, and other platforms? How did Mr. Wray decide to shut down the avenues of the First Amendment to the Constitution?
Next up: Attorney General Merrick Garland. On what grounds are pre-trial January 6 Riot suspects being held in the decrepit DC federal lockup without bail on rinky-dink charges two years after the event? How does that square with American due process of law? What did he know about the existence of the Hunter Biden laptop and the evidence it contained? What is he doing about it? How did Mr. Garland happen to target for prosecution parents protesting school board policies on race and sexual matters? Of course, Mr. Garland is going to evade answering by using the ploy that all these questions “pertains to ongoing investigations.” Mr. Jordan had better hire a gutsy chief counsel with some brains to penetrate that bodyguard of lies.
If the Special Subcommittee on the January 6 Riot is disbanded, turn the matter over to the Andy Biggs’ Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security. Let’s hear from Nancy Pelosi’s staff as to why her office (of the Speaker) turned down offers from the Trump White House for national guard protection that day. Let’s also hear from the then-chief of the Capitol Police, Steven Sund, who resigned from that job two days later — in consternation or disgrace? Bring back Mr. Wray and Mr. Garland. How many federal agents were circulating in the crowd the night before and on the day of the January 6 riot? Why was one Ray Epps never indicted for his much-recorded incitements to enter the Capitol? Who opened the magnetically-locked doors from the inside of the building? Stuff like that. What was the decision process for not charging officer Michael Byrd in the shooting death of Ashli Babbitt?
I hope it’s not too impertinent to suppose that the January 6 Riot was engineered by our government to embarrass and punish its political opponents — taking advantage of the First Amendment “right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” which was what that crowd had come to do in Washington DC that day. Interesting how a little tweaking here and there turned that into a convenient fiasco. Entrapment, anyone? And how government control and interference over social media and corporate news reinforced the narrative that the stage-managed riot was “an insurrection” — one of many actual “big lies” of our time nurtured by our government against its citizens.
A few other inquiries in this new Congress that need to commence ASAP: Can we hear from Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas as to how come the US-Mexican Border is absolutely wide open; why his employees are transporting illegal aliens all around the USA; why he is running a program in Mexico to give Venezuelans and other select alien nationals “advanced authorization” and “two years parole,” then sneaking them into the USA through regular ports-of-entry?
Then there is the enormous looming storm-cloud of questions over Covid-19: its origin; the botched trials of the mRNA “vaccines;” the management of the emergency in 2020 by Dr. Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx, and many others; the role of two other principals hiding in the shadows for three years, epidemiologist Ralph Baric of the University of North Carolina, and Peter Daszak of the EcoHealth Alliance; the demonization of early treatment protocols with safe and FDA-approved Ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine to maintain the Emergency Use Authorization that protects the mRNA vaxx-makers companies from liability; the fudging of numbers and scrapping of web pages containing incriminating data at the CDC under Rochelle Walensky; the rising cases of disability and death now presenting via insurance company statistics in the absence of agency reporting; and, again, the coercion of social media platforms to conform to official narratives about the so-called pandemic. (Was it really?)
Then there’s all the darkness surrounding Ukraine, our 51st state, as measured by the amount of taxpayer money funneled into it…. A lot of someones got a lot of ‘splainin’ to do about a lot of things in the weeks and months ahead. We’ll be a better country when we start getting some truthful answers.
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UKRAINE, MONDAY, 2 JANUARY
Ukrainian rockets struck a building housing Russian soldiers in an occupied city in Donetsk early on New Year’s Day, killing 63 service members, the Russian Defense Ministry said on Monday. Ukraine claimed that hundreds were killed, but even the lower figure would represent one of the deadliest single strikes against Russian forces in Ukraine since the war began.
A spokesman for the Russian-installed proxy government in the Donetsk region, Daniil Bezsonov, called the strike in the city of Makiivka “a massive blow.” The Ukrainian military claimed that “about 400” Russian soldiers had died, although that figure could not be independently verified.
Ukraine hit the building using HIMARS, a guided rocket system supplied by the United States whose range of dozens of miles has for months helped Kyiv’s forces strike deep behind the front lines. The system is part of a growing arsenal of sophisticated Western weapons that have helped Ukraine change the course of the conflict.
Russia’s Defense Ministry said that four HIMARS rockets hit the soldiers’ temporary base in Makiivka. The strike, which took place shortly after midnight on New Year’s Day, immediately provoked outrage among some of Russia’s pro-war military commentators, who said it represented the latest example of Russian military commanders’ ineptitude in the war and their disregard for the lives of Russian soldiers.
A former Russian paramilitary commander in Ukraine, Igor Girkin, confirmed the seriousness of the disaster, writing on Telegram, the social messaging app, that “many hundreds” were dead and wounded, but added that many people “remained under the rubble.”
The building, described by both Russian and Ukrainian officials as a vocational school, was “almost completely destroyed” because “ammunition stored in the same building” detonated in the strike, said Mr. Girkin, also known as Igor Strelkov. Video posted on social media showed firefighters at a severely damaged building and piles of steaming rubble.
The Makiivka strike comes as Russian military bloggers, who have become influential opinion makers in Russia amid the censorship of mainstream media, are calling for an overhaul of their country’s military command, which they say is dragging Russia toward defeat in Ukraine, or at least years of heavy losses.
Some bloggers said that the victims in Makiivka included men from the Saratov and Samara regions of central Russia, who had been recently mobilized in President Vladimir V. Putin’s drive to conscript more recruits into the fighting in Ukraine. “No one is assuming the responsibility for the needless deaths,” one blogger, Anastasia Kashevarova, wrote on her Telegram channel.
In particular, the bloggers criticized the Russian state media’s claim that the attack was caused by the soldiers’ use of cellphones, which helped Ukrainian forces pinpoint their location. “Preliminarily, the reason for the HIMARS hit was active use of cellular phones by the newly arrived servicemen,” Russian state media reported.
The bloggers said that this official explanation shifted the blame on the victims, without explaining why commanders housed the recently arrived conscripts in dense quarters in an unprotected building within reach of U.S.-made rockets.
Donetsk, one of four Ukrainian regions that the Kremlin illegally annexed in October, has remained the site of some of the heaviest fighting in Ukraine, even though little ground has changed hands there for months. Intense artillery battles have raged as Moscow attempts to bring in reinforcements, including newly mobilized soldiers.
The city of Makiivka, which forms part of the metropolitan area of the regional capital of Donetsk, is well within range of Ukraine’s longer-range artillery on the other side of the region’s jagged frontline.
The attack came weeks after another long range Ukrainian strike against Russian forces in Donbas, the eastern industrial area that includes Donetsk and the neighboring Luhansk region. In December, an attack on a hotel in the city of Kadiivka, in Luhansk, killed members of the Wagner paramilitary group who were using it as a base, according to Ukrainian authorities in the region. The Wagner force, whose leader has close ties to Mr. Putin, has played a significant role in Moscow’s war effort in Donetsk.
UKRAINE MAY SECURE A VICTORY AGAINST RUSSIA IN NAME, But The World Won’t Escape The War’s Aftermath
by Patrick Cockburn
Seldom in European history has an invading power so exaggerated its own strength, and underestimated that of its enemy to the degree that Russia did when it attacked Ukraine on 24 February. Ten months after President Vladimir Putin ordered the Russian army to conquer Ukraine, the tragic absurdity of his giant blunder remains staggering.
Russia has never recovered politically or militarily from that initial miscalculation about the likely success of an invasion – and it is difficult to see how it can do so in future.
Putin believed that his “Special Military Operation” would face negligible resistance so he could easily install a puppet regime in Kyiv as the Ukrainian government and army fell apart. When this piece of wishful thinking was swiftly exposed as a fantasy, Putin turned out to have no Plan B, as Russian forces faced stiff Ukrainian resistance and failed to capture the capital and other big cities. Soon, a 60hm-long Russian military convoy stalled for weeks on the road north-west of the capital became a symbol of Russian failure.
Putin was seeking to roll back the expansion of Nato influence and revive Russia’s status as a super power. By invading Ukraine, he achieved the precise opposite, as Nato aid poured into the country and Russia’s reputation for military competence was left in shreds. Its army was exposed as an badly-led, poorly equipped, ill-disciplined force that proved unable to capture a city like Kharkiv a few kilometres from the Russian frontier, and it only took Mariupol in the south-west after a two month siege.
In April, Russian troops withdrew from north of Kyiv as Russian strategy unravelled. By then, it had become clear that Russia did not have enough soldiers on the battlefield if it was going to resist a well-armed Ukrainian army supported by Nato. Obvious though this deficiency was to everybody, the Kremlin pretended to the Russian public that it was fighting a limited war and there was no need for a mass mobilisation, something Ukraine had carried out at the start of hostilities.
It was only after a humiliating Russian defeat by a Ukrainian counter-offensive in September in the Kharkiv area, where Russia turned out to have had few regular troops, that Putin ordered the conscription of a further 300,000 soldiers.
As a warlord, he has emerged as one of the greatest bumblers, portraying himself as a master strategist despite being repeatedly caught by surprise. Aside from an inner circle of cronies, few have influence on him, and his frequent reshuffles of front-line generals has failed to make up for basic weaknesses in numbers, training, equipment and organisation. Mass mobilisation when it came was shambolic, with conscripts rushed to the frontline as soon as they learned how to fire a gun. Given that the Ukrainian front line is 2,500km long, according to Ukrainian President, Volodymyr Zelensky, both sides are vulnerable to surprise attacks.
Many Russians may wonder: what happened to their air force? The Pentagon and Nato had promoted Russian airpower as a mighty instrument of war, which could only be countered by vast expenditure on new aircraft, such as the F-35 at $80m a plane. In the event, Russian aircraft were never able to control Ukrainian skies and are reportedly incapable of evacuating their own wounded to hospitals in the rear.
The list of Russian military inadequacies is a long one, but it is important to understand that it has not yet lost the war. Its reverses are humiliating, such as the retreat from the city of Kherson to avoid troops being cut off on the wrong side of the Dnieper River, but the withdrawal made military sense.
The melodrama of the ground war in Ukraine attracts most of the television coverage and gives a triumphalist and deceptive impression of undiluted Ukrainian success. But I remember how, in the Afghan war in 2001, the US and its Afghan allies were convinced that they had conclusively defeated the Taliban. A couple of years later, Washington was declaring “Mission Accomplished” in Iraq after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein, and then found its soldiers fighting for their lives in a war that had barely begun.
I do not believe that Putin can reverse his gross strategic errors in launching the invasion in the first place. Russia’s enemies are too numerous, too well-armed and too united for it to defeat them. But that does not mean that Moscow has no military options. Russia may lose in the sense of failing to achieve its war aims, but what will a post-war Ukraine look like?
Just as jubilant Ukrainians were celebrating the blowing up of the Kerch bridge and the recapture of Kherson city, the Russians started to systematically destroy Ukrainian electricity generating and transmission systems, using precision-guided missiles and drones. This was denounced as a war crime, but 30 years ago the US knocked out Iraq’s power stations, sub-stations and transmission systems by similar means in the Gulf War of 1991. At that time, the US largely monopolised these precision-guided means of attack, but no longer. In 2019, Iran briefly crippled Saudi oil production by the same means and now Russia is doing the same in Ukraine.
More and more Ukrainians have been plunged into darkness since October, without light, heat, fresh water or sewage disposal. Nato powers are rushing in air defence missiles and emergency generators which will mitigate the impact of the destruction of the electric grid. But day to day life is going to be very tough for tens of millions of Ukrainians whose factories, farms and offices can no longer function. This does not mean that the Ukrainians will run up the white flag, but they will pay a heavy personal price for an endless war.
The effect of the war in its broadest sense is being felt far beyond the frontiers of Ukraine, damaging the world economy as a whole, but with countries differently affected. The absence of cheap Russian oil and gas, and reliance on imported liquified natural gas (LNG), hurts Europe more than the US. American leadership of a more powerful Nato has been strengthened. Russia will probably emerge from this conflict as a shrunken power but nothing in war is predictable, particularly in one like this that has so many players with contrary interests.
Nobody knows how long the conflict will go on. Even if the fighting does die down for a few months this winter, Ukraine and Russia both believe that they can make gains on the battlefield. There is more talk of diplomacy and negotiations, but it is difficult to see what a lasting peace would look like. Biden said in early December that he is willing to talk to Putin, but there is no reason why he should let the Russian leader off the hook.
For now, Putin appears to have no rivals inside or outside the Kremlin, but can he survive in the very long term his unforced error in starting a war that never had any upside for Russia? On the other hand, Saddam Hussein lasted 13 years after his equally disastrous invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
The Ukraine war is like an ulcer that is poisoning the rest of the Europe, but so far nobody knows how to cut it out or stop it bleeding.