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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023

Mostly Sunny | Red Dawn | Gualala Rebuilding | Veggie Starts | AVUSD News | Fletcher Inn | Library Booksale | Rice Appointed | Chamber Music | Whale Festival | Unity Club | Logger Dan | Park Vandals | Seaweed Exhibit | Grimes Book | Celtic Music | Ed Notes | Extinguisher Service | Napkin Art | Disaster Declaration | Quick Verdict | Kimberlin Talk | Wildlife Films | Yesterday's Catch | Murder Investigation | Visiting Mendocino | Social Security | Moderna CEO | Touring Oregon | Bucking Giants | Slave Wages | Birthday Billie | Congressional Freaks | Atomic City | Marco Radio | Jesus Inked | Super Goddess | Fort Point | Real Life | Don't Match | Last Days | Pinball Prohibition | Ukraine | Third Coming | Marble Repair | Popping Balloons | Mesmerized

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A NORTH PACIFIC HIGH will keep skies clear and temperatures mild into early next week. By early to mid week, a low pressure system with colder air will bring lower temperatures throughout the region, rain and low elevation snow. The low pressure system will impact the region through the end of the week. (NWS)

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Boonville sunrise (photo by John Toohey)

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The Gualala Community Center ("GCC") experienced a devastating fire on the morning of 2/13/2023 and the main hall and adjacent clothing room are a complete loss. The GCC Board appreciates the amazing outpouring of support as we begin the process of rebuilding this iconic and historic centerpiece of our community. We have created a fund that we will use to accept donations earmarked for use as part of the rebuilding project. The Board will share more information about how you can donate to this fund as soon as all the details have been finalized. If you would like to donate in the meantime, we are accepting checks made payable to "Gualala Community Center". Please write "building fund" on the memo line and mail to: Gualala Community Center PO Box 263 Gualala, CA 95445

Thank you for your support - The Gualala Community Center will be back!

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AV Farm Supply: Our new veggie plants are in! Come check them out in our greenhouse. We have broccoli, cabbage, kale, lettuce, tomatoes and more!

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One fine day…

Oh boy…. Do you know when you have so much stress and tension that your whole day is just one too-tight wire? Today, I finally, after two years, felt a little bit of relief…because what I see every day for our kids is not what happens in other school systems. Because I see our kids grateful for a hallway being painted and plastic lawn chairs placed around a campus, when I know in my heart they should be outraged that they have to pee in a porta-potty. Today, I see hope. Today, I see maybe a way to help our kids have equity in education equal to other campuses in the county and state, and I am grateful.

Today, we were thankful to host three representatives who traveled all the way from Sacramento from the Office of Public School Construction, along with staff representatives from Assembly Member Wood, Senator McGuire and Congressman Huffman’s offices. 

We spent the day together. We toured… We saw the rot, the decay, the failing septics. We smelled the mold that our kids learn in every day, we saw the classrooms that look like a Doc Ricketts’ lab. And today, I felt hope. I felt hope when OPSC said they would be with us until we crossed the finish line.

This is going to be hard and arduous, folks. We have some buildings that aren’t seismically fit. I hope to replace the agricultural domes and the shop at the high school along with the septics, science wings, library wings, preschool, and rotten gym. We are eligible for replacement funding but it is more paperwork that a tiny district office of five people must get done, but we are going to get it done for your kids. I have two jobs now. If I need to do three, I will do it. It might not be two years or three years, but we are going to get it done — because your kids deserve it.

Your political pressure helped this to happen. I will keep you informed. I will ask you for help, I will celebrate the agencies and representatives when we get it done. Today was a good day. I look forward to seeing all that Anderson Valley Unified can become.

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent

Anderson Valley Unified School District

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Captain Fletcher's Inn, Navarro River (Jeff Goll)

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This Saturday, tomorrow the 18th is the Mendocino Community Library booksale. On the corner of Little Lake St and William St in Mendocino, from 10AM to 3PM. Outdoors. Books, DVDs, CDs, we have it all!

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BARBARA RICE HAS BEEN APPOINTED Trustee on the Mendocino-Lake Community College District Board representing Trustee Area #5 which includes the communities from Caspar and Fort Bragg and north to Leggett. Ms. Rice was formerly a trustee on the Redwoods Community College District Board from 2009 – 2018 when the Mendocino Coast area was transferred to Mendocino College. She had a long career in community colleges in Oregon and served for six years as the Campus Vice President of the College of the Redwoods, Mendocino Coast Campus. She will serve until 2026.

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CHANGE IN PLANS (Opus Chamber Music Series)

Due to illness, Neave Trio is unable to perform this weekend.

To our great relief and joy Robert Howard (cello) & Amy Zanrosso (piano) have opened up their schedules to come up and perform a full program for us. The concert will include L van Beethoven Variations, a movement of a G Fauré Sonata, C Franck Sonata and F Schubert's Arpeggione Sonata.

Sunday, February 19, 3:00 pm - Mendocino Presbyterian Church

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The March 2nd meeting of the A.V. Unity Club will be held at the A.V. Historical Museum, in the Rose Room at 1:30. As part of our 100 years programs, we will feature a presentation designed around Women's History Month; "Celebrating Women Who Tell Our Stories". There's no better place than the Anderson Valley Historical Museum to talk about the women who united 100 years ago to serve the greater Valley Community. Beverly Dutra will be introducing the panel of presenters. Our hostess team for this meeting are Shirley Tompkins, Valerie Hanelt and Janet Lombard. Join us in this celebration of 100 years of the Unity Club's service in the Community.

I have heard it from a reliable source that we have met our goal of collecting 100 cans of food for the A.V. Food Bank. Thank you to all who contributed to this important project. I'd like to add that our "100 cans project" was taken up by the A.V. Junior and Senior High School classes in 2022. 2 grades were able to collect over 1,000 cans each. The administration was so pleased that the whole school was treated to an Ice Cream Party, with sprinkles. A good idea can go a long way.

I've been reading a lot lately because I caught the cold going around the High School. Alexander McCall Smith and Sharon St. George have been my companions during my confinement. Presently, I'm reading a David Baldacci novel I somehow missed in 2019. If you come to the lending library on Tuesdays from 1 to 4 or Saturdays 12:30 to 2:30, you can pick up a novel or 4 at only $0.50 each. I paid $17.99 for my latest Allende novel. Big difference. Hard bound books go for $1.00 each, which is still a great bargain. I'm donating some of my large print paperbacks, so come on in and get the pick of the litter. New books are also available to check out; our children's and young readers sections are a great treat for the young at heart. Visit our lending library and travel to wherever the words take you.

See you on March 2nd at the A.V. Historical Museum in the Rose Room at 1:30, for our Women's History Month celebration. Happy 100th Anniversary A.V. Unity Club!

Miriam L. Martinez

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Local logger Dan Kuny relaxes on a break in the forest.

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VANDALS DAMAGE UKIAH SKATE PARK FACILITIES; City Addressing Unwanted Activities In Local Parks

by Justine Frederiksen

The bathrooms at the Ukiah Skate Park were closed for at least a week this month after a porcelain sink was “shattered” in the latest incidence of vandalism to facilities at the popular city park.

The Ukiah Police Department responded to Low Gap Park around 7:20 a.m. Feb. 9 when the vandalism to one of the sinks was reported, and Community Services Supervisor Jake Burgess said that both the men’s and women’s restrooms were then closed to allow for repairs, as well as for “self-policing” to occur.

To show that the vandalism was “not just someone writing on the walls with a Sharpie,” Burgess said photos of the damage were also posted on the bathroom doors.

When asked how the city was attempting to combat the vandalism, and if it had considered posted cameras outside the bathrooms to record suspects, Burgess said at this time, the city is not considering installing surveillance, but is asking other park users to report any vandalism, or other inappropriate activities, they witness.

“That helped curtail activities in another park,” said Burgess, explaining that when a user of Riverside Park at the end of East Gobbi Street called the UPD earlier this winter to report that people were using Airsoft rifles inside the park, officers responded to explain that such activity was not allowed inside a city park.

“And we were able to make and put up signs alerting other users,” he said, explaining that while such activities are “really most suited to private property,” he did say that it might be possible for certain similar activities to be held in the future “if we are notified ahead of time, and can section off areas, such as at the softball fields. But it is really not appropriate to be (shooting Airsoft rifles) at a park where people are walking their dogs and birdwatching.”

Burgess reported that he was also inspecting the inside of the skate park Thursday to evaluate the cracking in some of the concrete.

“It’s 13 years old, so that is to be expected, but we want to make sure that it’s around for another 13 years,” he said, explaining that much of the cracking is due to the elements, such as the sun and cold.

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Dear Friends, 

Many of you are aware that one of my post-retirement passions has been writing. Indeed, some of you have been kind enough to oblige a request to read a draft or two over the years. 

Well, today I'm pleased to report that this soon-to-be-82 year-old rookie author has achieved an unforeseen milestone: My 193 page paperback work of fiction has been published by Amazon and it's available here for $13!

Voices at the Quarry. My novel is set in a small Appalachian Christian college town. It begins in 1960, a time of both optimism of a growing economy and the JFK presidency and the growing concern with the Cold War with Russia capturing the moment and threat of the Cuban Missile Crisis. 

I have zero expectations that it will be a commercial success (or even sell a few copies) and I do not see the identity of any buyers. But if you are in between reads and in search of your next book, I'd be pleased if you give it a look. The author will, of course, promptly respond to any questions or comments!

Bill Grimes

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2/26/23 - Kevin Burke at the Abalone Room, Little River

3/5/23 - Mollie O'Brien and Rich Moore at the Abalone Room, Little River

3/12/23 - Patrick Ball at the Abalone Room, Little River

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TUESDAY, the morning of the three-minute snow in Boonville, I drove over the hill to Ukiah half-expecting a regular blizzard up top, but the road was clear, and the Boonville Caltrans guys were posted here and there in anticipation of a big snow that never came.

ON SOUTH STATE, headed towards Talmage, traffic was stopped while a deranged woman on a drug-fueled fast-walk veered across all four lanes of the busy roadway without so much as a glance in either direction. Fortunately for her, drivers in both directions were alert to the contemporary Ukiah civic fact that the county seat has become a combined open-air drug market and outdoor mental health clinic. A lot of the town's street people obviously have easy access to methamphetamine, although you'll see here and there a lost person immobilized in mid-air by, I guess, fentanyl, or versions thereof.

IN UKIAH, aberrant public behavior is restricted to State Street and points east. The cops keep it out of the Westside where the main stream doers-of-good make their untroubled homes — the non-profit czars and czarinas, the enthusiastic Democrats, the lawyers and judges, the thinkers of appropriate thoughts, the people who put the lib in Mendolib.

TURNING EAST on Talmage, Remo McCosker, also apparently on a speed run, veers across the pot-holed street, his jaws churning, insane determination tight across his cadaverous features. That made for two careening mental cases in as many blocks. 

Remo McOsker 2022-Now

I HAVEN'T made a trip to Ukiah in years where I didn't see at least one person on an accelerated journey to early death, and I'll bet every one of them represents a funding unit for a bunch of well-paid people allegedly helping them back to normal functioning. We're now as used to free range crazy people as we are to mass shootings, inured to public suffering and sudden mass public death.

Remo McOsker 2018-2021

I DON'T KNOW how many years I've seen Remo in the Sheriff's log. Like a lot of disturbed persons in Ukiah's unattended community, he obviously has no prob getting street drugs which, of course, exacerbate his mental deficits. I've heard from a person who knows him that Remo, lately, has been breaking windows and committing other acts of vandalism, a regular feature of Ukiah retail. Maybe his property violence will escalate, maybe it won't. Who knows? The street drugs are clearly making him more of a roaming menace, if not physically, certainly this one guy chips away at our sense of civic peace.

Remo McOsker 2014-2017

THE SUPERIOR COURT judges must be on a first-name basis with Remo. Versions of Remo fund them, too. He's in and out of the system regularly, so isn't it past time he at least got on the waiting list for a state hospital commitment? Or first up for a few months getting the drugs out of his system in the County Jail?

OF COURSE REMO'S wild excursions are confined to a small town in the California outback while a depraved multi-millionaire, with an audience of many millions looking on, including millions of young, many of them very young women, grabs her crotch while she “sings” a song called, “Bitch, Better Have My Money.”

THANK YOU, REV ANDERSON, for today's sermon, but really, has this country lost its way, or what? 

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THE AV FIRE DEPARTMENT is hosting Ukiah Oxygen on March 10, 2023 from 10am to 1pm at the Boonville Firehouse at 14281 Highway 128. 707 895-2020. Locals can bring their extinguishers and have them serviced, Ukiah Oxygen will inspect and service them starting at $15.50. There is a limited supply of extinguishers for purchase starting at $65 to $75. 

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US DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE (USDA) PROVIDES DISASTER DESIGNATION For Severe Winter Storms, Flooding, Landslides And Mudslides In Mendocino County, Usda Loans Available

On January 14, 2023, President Joseph Biden declared a major disaster declaration FEMA-4683-DR, due to Severe Winter Storms, Flooding, Landslides and Mudslides beginning on December 27, 2022. As a result, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Farm Service Agency Emergency Loan Program has been made available.

The designation makes USDA assistance available in the form of emergency farm loans for both physical and crop production losses as a direct result of the disaster, up to a maximum of $500,000. The application deadline is October 2, 2023, and the assistance is available to farmers and ranchers who conduct family-sized farming operations.

To apply: Contact local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office in Ukiah at 707-468-9223. Hearing impaired individuals should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at 202-720-2600. Additional information can be found at the USDA website:

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A Mendocino County Superior Court jury rapidly found the trial defendant guilty in less than half an hour late Thursday morning.

Defendant Timmy Kent Cooper, age 60, formerly of Ukiah, was convicted of felony assault with a deadly weapon, to wit, a chain. 

Timmy Cooper

The jury also found true a sentencing enhancement that the defendant personally inflicted great bodily injury on the victim, to wit, a broken arm.

After the jury was thanked and excused, a follow-on court trial was conducted. 

Based on certified records entered into evidence by the prosecutor, the court found true allegations alleged by the District Attorney in the charging document that the defendant has suffered four prior Strike convictions. 

The four prior Strike convictions found to be true were for residential burglary, two counts of robbery in Los Angeles County, and a bank robbery using a deadly weapon in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

With both the jury trial and court trial segments completed, the defendant’s case was referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation Department for a background study and sentencing recommendation. The defendant’s state prison exposure is up to 43 years to life.

The law enforcement agencies that gathered the People’s trial evidence and provided trial support were the Ukiah Police Department and the District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigations.

A special thank you is extended to the emergency department doctor who testified before the jury as to the nature and extent of the victim's injury.

The prosecutor who presented the People’s evidence at trial was Assistant District Attorney Dale P. Trigg.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Keith Faulder presided over the three-day trial. 

Judge Faulder will also preside over the sentencing hearing now calendared for Friday, April 14, 2023 at 10 o’clock in the morning in Department A of the Ukiah Courthouse.

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BILL KIMBERLIN: "Safety Last" Harold Lloyd, 1923. How did they do that?

Find out March 19th at the Anderson Valley Historical Society where I will be speaking.

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The Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP) is proud to again host an engaging selection of award-winning films from the International Wildlife Film Festival (IWFF) of Missoula, Montana. The first screenings begin on Friday, March 3rd at the Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue. The series will continue at the same venue for two more Friday evenings ending March 17th .

Participants are invited to enjoy live music and snacks starting at 6:15 p.m. with films beginning at 7 p.m. Series tickets are available at the Mendocino Book Company and at the door for a suggested donation of $30. Individual tickets can be purchased at the door for $10 for adults and $5 for children. Most films are appropriate for older children, but parental discretion is advised.

IWFF is one of the nation’s oldest and most respected wildlife film festivals. Each year the organizers select some of the most noteworthy films for a Post-Festival Tour. RVOEP has organized these 2022 winning films into a themed presentation for each Friday evening of the festival.

Opening night on March 3rd will inspire viewers with films that feature bees, butterflies, and birds. This night provides an opportunity to meet a wide variety of native bees up close and learn about the amazing migrations of monarch butterflies and a threatened and rapidly declining shorebird, the whimbrel. Live music will be provided by Bob Laughton.

Friday, March 10th brings the theme “Wildlife Warriors — Kenyans Fighting for Kenyan Wildlife.” Three 28-minute films from the award-winning series “Wildlife Warriors” will be featured ---- “Making Way for Rhinos,” “The Beautiful Bats of Kenya,” and “The Royal Elephants of Samburu.” Live music is provided by Kim Monroe.

The Wildlife Film Festival wraps up on March 17th with “Predator Night — Bears, Coyotes, and People.” Music will be provided by Steve Hahm.

Purchasing a series ticket is a great way to support the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project. The RVOEP is a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education field trips and classroom programs to over 2,000 students a year. For a full program of the films and more information about the RVOEP, visit its website,

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, February 17, 2023

Case, Claborn, Gott, Gutierrez


CASEY CLABORN, Gualala. Hit & run with property damage.

ROBERT GOTT, Ukiah. Protective order.

GUADALUPE GUTIERREZ, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, trespassing, resisting.

Lane, Meinecke, Miller, Montes

CHRISTOPHER LANE, Lakeport/Willits. Assault, criminal threats.

DANIEL MEINECKE, Leggett. Parole violation.

BOBBY MILLER, Fort Bragg. Under influence.


Simpson, Vassar, Velasco

GERALD SIMPSON, Willits. County parole violation.

BRIAN VASSAR, Redwood Valley. Resisting.

LUIS VELASCO, Ukiah. Short barrelled rifle.

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FATHER SEEKS INFORMATION ON CHRIS GIAUQUE, A Southern Humboldt Man Believed Murdered In 2003

by Kym Kemp

Chris Giauque

Six foot tall and lanky with 4′ long dreadlocks, blue eyes, and a full beard, Chris Giauque stood out in even the busiest crowd. But on August 09, 2003 he disappeared only two weeks after getting married.

Though Chris, age 36, was last seen driving his 1994 blue Toyota extra cab pickup truck on Spy Rock Road in Mendocino County, he lived in the Salmon Creek area of southern Humboldt County and his vehicle was reportedly parked on the Avenue of the Giants just south of Elk Creek Road late the next day.

Chris, a well-known marijuana grower and activist, had gone to the Spyrock area in the vicinity of Simmerly Road to pick up a large amount of money from a partner in a illegal cannabis grow near Iron Peak Lookout. He never returned home.

Yesterday, his father, Bob Giauque, contacted us and requested that we post the following information in hopes someone will come forward and help bring justice for his son, Chris.

“Help Requested to Identify the Ownership of a Vehicle Used as Part of a Cold Missing Person Case.

During the evening of August 9, 2003, Chris Robert Giauque disappeared in the Spyrock region of Mendocino County. The following day during late in the afternoon, his vehicle, a 1994 blue Toyota extra cab pickup truck was driven down Elk Creek Rd. to the Avenue of the Giants in Humboldt County. The vehicle turned south on Avenue of the Giants and was abandoned after traveling for a few hundred feet, and parked by some redwood trees. 

The blue dots show one possible route the vehicle could have been driven from Spyrock Road to the Avenue of the Giants. Please note that the ending and the beginning of the route do not represent the exact areas that Chris was last seen nor where his vehicle was found. These are very rough approximations.

The driver of Chris’ truck jumped into a following 1975-1980’s full sized brown Ford pickup truck. The left brake light of this truck was covered with red tape. The vehicle had significant damage on the left-hand side with a crunch to the driver’s door all the way to the back bumper. The truck had oversized tires and was very dirty. 

Help is requested to identify the ownership of this vehicle. If you have information regarding this vehicle please contact Chris’ father, Bob Giauque at 707-865-0933 or Private Investigator, Dawn King at 707-287-7603. Sources can remain confidential.”

(Kym Kemp Notes: Chris was a neighbor and a friend. I attended his wedding two weeks before he disappeared. He was a warmhearted outlaw with a wild streak even among those who made a living illegally growing marijuana.)

Additional Information gathered by Chris’s father and his investigators:


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“Mendocino is such a beautiful California seaside town, famous for so much and so over-the-top picturesque it almost seems completely contrived, but if you peek around the refurbished bed-and-breakfasts and expensive shops and cafes, you can still see the heart of the town — a charming and somewhat funky seaside paradise of close-knit community built around hardy coastal living, a once-thriving fishing and timber industry nearby in Fort Bragg, a love of gardens and all growing things and a passion for fantastic California-focused food and drink.

There’s a deep peace there by the sea, and that’s why I keep returning to it as often as possible, though time and tragedy and change have reshaped it somewhat. Even now, living much closer to this part of the world than I used to, the views I have of the Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge from my home in San Francisco emotionally pale in comparison to my heart-memory of Mendocino and its crashing waves, its beautiful blue skies, its chilly foggy days and its friendly, gentle people.”

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Joe Biden denigrated efforts to modify Social Security. Nowhere does it state why these changes are being considered.

Here are the facts. The Congressional Budget Office projects Social Security will be insolvent in 2035. We are all living longer, and there are fewer workers supporting an aging population. Revenue for Social Security is declining fast. That means in 2035 a mandated program solvency trigger kicks in. For an average couple, their payments would be reduced $16,600. If you are 55 now, are you factoring in a $16,600 reduction in your benefits when you retire? For low-income couples, this is devastating — a $10,100 reduction.

We should have made these changes 15 years ago. We are now at the point where the needed changes are going to be painful. Our politicians continue to fail us with their partisan cudgels. This is not a left-right issue. This will affect us all.

Don’t believe me? Do your own research. Start with the bipartisan Committee for a Responsible Budget, available online.

Kevin Baughman

Santa Rosa

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Mark Scaramella notes: Every few years right wing Social Security chicken littles recycle the same tired old doom and gloom projections, always inserting their favorite word “entitlement,” as if having basic medical care or a minimum retirement income that the recipient pays into is some kind of generous gift from the wealthy and/or a welfare scam. The tip-off for this particular “bipartisan” front group that Mr. Baughman suggests is right there in the first sentence of their wikipedia page: “The Committee focuses on many issues including deficit reduction, entitlement reform, fundamental tax reform, improving the budget process, and other topical issues as they arise.” Their “projections” always fail to note the simplest fix of all: removing the social security (FICA) earnings cap so that social security contributions (and they are contributions, not taxes) are applied to incomes over $160k (the current cap). Most of these “bipartisan” politicians are closely connected in one way or another to Wall Street, therefore the entire propaganda show is a front for turning our basic retirement incomes over to the Big Casino, similar to the (unfortunately mostly successful) attempts to convert working people’s pensions into 401k “investments” since the bloated and rigged Wall Street ponzi scheme is supposedly so gol-durn much better for most ordinary people who have no idea how rickety the whole financial house of cards is.

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by Katy Tahja

The 1967 song by the WHO “I Can See for Miles and Miles…” could have been the theme for a recent 1,500 mile jaunt through Harney County in south central Oregon. If you live in a wet redwood forest and want a change of scenery the Great Basin high desert in Harney County is the place to go.

My husband and my idea of a great get-away includes wide open spaces, few people, dry roads and a rockhounding destination. It was a cold snowy trip full of visual rewards and shiny rocks. Given the temperature was in the teens at night with two feet of snow on the ground this was not a camping vacation.

Our first choice for accommodation would have been the Field Station on the Malheur Wildlife Refuge south of Burns OR. Heated dorm cabins with shared living/kitchen/bath space are a great bargain in a beautiful location. Unfortunately they were having water system problems and couldn’t host visitors (I HIGHLY recommend them). We ended up in a motel in Burns.

Traveling up I-5, then east on Highway 299 and north on Highway 395 we saw a lot of open dry highway and interesting roadside distractions. I’d never seen a food truck offering Biscuits & Gravy but folks were lined up waiting. A kerosene pump in a gas station means some people some place must still be illuminating and heating with it. Bright snow poles atop roadside reflectors guide snow plows down highways covered in snow.

I love the Abert Rim north of Lakeview OR. It’s an exposed fault of layer upon layer of basalt rising 2,000’ precipitously over the roadway and the valley floor. It featured frozen waterfalls, avalanche paths and lichen blooms in red and green. There are roadside warning signs for crossing Big Horn Sheep.

Sightseeing you realize there is a whole science around the placement and design of snow fences over highways. This was open range country where cows have the right of way. Migration paths for wildlife also included wild horses, deer and antelope. Alkali Lake had sand dunes along the highway and a road sign read “Next gas-118 miles”.

Ice in its many shapes and forms is part of the winter landscape. Lake Abert showed reflections of mountains and clouds in its still waters, but variegations of ice strips often filled open waters. We drove with caution when shade from trees prevented ice from melting on the roadway. We passed miles of rolling sagebrush hills that had never been fenced, ranched, mined, or had side roads built through it, it’s just there. On straight stretches you could see for miles in front and behind your car and there were no other vehicles. I’d guess we passed a car every 20 minutes, but we were not alone. Bald eagles watched us from atop telephone poles.

Maybe because everything was white and frozen solid a brown cow really stands out in a snowy field…and thousands of them are really noticeable. I realized for the first time how truly extensive cattle ranching is from the CA border north. Mother Nature provides a snow pack that melts in the spring and waters hayfields. That hay is what keeps the cows alive come winter. We saw cows stampeding after tractors as they shredded and spread the hay in long rows on feed lots. Corrals had saddled horses tied up and real cowboys tending cattle. Stock dogs barked on top of hay bales being towed by tractors. Fencing was juniper fence posts and corner posts made of wire baskets full of rocks as wood is in short supply.

In the Blitzen River Valley we went to Peter French’s Round Barn. A rancher in the 1880s built a 100’ round barn around a juniper tree trunk, with circular rock stalls around the center and the indoor space was to break and train saddle horses in the winter time. Walking around inside I was fascinated by the oval irregular sun light patterns on the floor. I looked up and realized it was the late afternoon sun shining through the knotholes in the exterior siding that provided the light show.

Stopping at the Riley Store we were accosted by a flock of ducks in the parking lot. At another stop the cafe had chicken livers and gizzards on their cafe menu. Another restaurant featured instrumental Bible hymns as background music.

More roadside attractions…We were on our way to visit family in NV driving south through Catlow Valley and my husband and I both said “Did you see that?” Since there was no traffic as far as the eye could see we backed up a quarter mile and sure enough…there was a herd of fenced Buffalo. Turns out they were once native to the area up until about 500 years ago when everything dried up due to climate change. Hopefully some rancher is reintroducing them to south Harney County.

Oh, and about rockhounding? Check out Harney Lake’s south side. A typical high desert playa lake, it can have a shoreline of 100 miles and be only 5’ deep. A wide variety of rock were spit out by volcanos in the Cascades to the west and wave action in the shallow lake rolled and tumbled agate and petrified wood, among other rocks, for eons and gravel banks of those stones around the lake are full of shiny pebbles going “Pick Me UP!”

As a rockhound always hoping to inspire youngsters (rockpups) to collect stones I always gather enough to take to the Comptche School. My grandson is in third grade there and I read a picture book about rockhounding to the kids and let them each choose a rock from my stash to take home. I did this with Obsidian from Glass Buttes OR in the past and the students loved it.

On the way home an amusing sight was cows trying to walk on ice, ungraceful yet comical. There were mule deer herds in downtown Lakeview and Burns and wild horse herds in the city park in Dayton NV. A frozen dead cow with it’s feet in the air in a desolate part of NV made me wonder what killed it and why no other critters had eaten it?

It was a nice 5 day escape into the great outdoors and mountain ranges I’m used to seeing in then summer dry heat during treks to Burning Man were glistening snow covered precipices reflecting sunset colors. I love Comptche, but I love the Oregon Outback in winter too.

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Dan Robles bucking windfall trees on the trail of the 100 giants in California (photo via Everett Liljeberg)

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Regarding restaurant coalitions attempting to deceive the public via an upcoming referendum, I think the term “minimum wage” should be replaced with “minimum living wage.” Minimum wage should be redefined as “slavery light.” Problematic, I realize, comparing a paying job to slavery, but if you consider that what sustained the overwhelming profitability of the Confederacy — free labor — then it’s only halfway to a truly moral economic system when “minimum wage” is an acceptable standard of remuneration.

If the viability and profitability of any business depends on ongoing subsidy by the labor force in the form of underpayment (minimum wage), then that business isn’t a viable business in a democracy any more than cotton was in the Confederate states.

Any product being produced and sold must reflect the actual cost of a living wage for those who labor to produce it, then those who can afford that must pay that price. If enough people aren’t willing to pay that price, then it is not a viable product in a democratic, capitalist system and must fail.

The hours someone spends at any job are gone permanently from their life, regardless of the skill level required to do that job. Everyone deserves a living wage as compensation for those precious hours.

Nathaniel Roberts


* * *


Billie Joe Armstrong

Here’s a photo of Billie Joe Armstrong on that day in 1988 when I asked his band to do a record on Lookout. What, you don’t believe me? Listen, that kid has always looked super young for his age. In fact, I was trying to tell them we should use this for the cover photo, and maybe call the record “Look For Love,” too. Still don’t understand why the band told me to shut up and forget about it. Anyway, it’s this kid’s birthday today, and though he’s now 51 in earth years, he still hasn’t really aged very much. We all wish him many happy returns, and hope he remembers that he no longer needs to “look for love” because love - not only from his family and friends, but also from millions of others around the world - has already found him.

* * *


by John Arteaga

My God, is the recently seated new Congress a benchmark on our nation’s road to utter failure as a first world society? I mean, today’s Congress seems to have departed completely from any sense of decorum and rationality and now looks something along the lines of the Star Wars bar; an absolute freak show!

I mean, when you have a spineless jellyfish like Kevin McCarthy (R Fresno), who would sell his mother down the river for the opportunity to be House Majority Leader, appointing people like Marjorie Taylor Green, Paul Gosar and Lauren Bobert (you couldn’t even make up names like the these in a work of fiction) to important committees, what is their first order of business? Removing the metal detectors that were installed at the doors of the house chambers! At the same time, many Republican House members, including world-class liar, George Santos (if that’s his real name) came to work wearing little silver AR-15 pins on their jackets. Why? Because they are in favor of mindless mass slaughter, or is it just de rigueur these days for all Republicans to pledge undying fealty to the NRA and the political funding stream that flows from its millions of single issue voters?

Let’s look at a few of these bizarre characters who our president, whatever his limitations may be, who is actually trying to do good things for the vast majority of us, has to work; Ms Taylor Green, a blonde with that eyes-set-too-close-together look of a border collie, seems to have won her seat originally with a campaign ad showing her blasting away with an assault rifle at staged explosive signs reading various bogeyman of the right wing. I guess that really won over the yahoos in her cracker district. She was prominently featured in last night’s SOTU speech, jumping up like an agitated baboon in her white fur (baby seal?) Costume to cup her hands and bellow “liar” at the president. Such class. Both she and her comrade Lauren Bobert (or as I pronounce it, Bimbert) are both all-in adherents to the mental derangement known as Q-anon.

If you’re not familiar with this virulent strain of apparently contagious mental illness, it revolves around a belief that our government is dominated by a highly secret cabal of Democratic officeholders and their minions who not only steal children for international sex trafficking, but then kill them and drink their blood. Oh yeah, and there’s something about lizard people. These are supposedly educated adult people who believe this nonsense! Of course the former president gives his full throated support to these nuts. Why not?! They support him! It’s just transactional, as is every relationship the emotionally stunted comb-over has ever had.

Then you have Ms. Bobert, who seldom manages to cobble together something that sounds like a rational sentence. How she managed to attain national high office is a study in how utterly our political system has been sold off to the highest bidders; since so many districts have been either gerrymandered into a configuration that manages to completely subvert the will of the majority of the people, or has, in the name of ‘secure elections’ succeeded in disenfranchising enough of those who might, statistically, vote the ‘wrong way’, elections have become, not an actual guage of the will of the people, but a disgusting mud wrestling display for the most politically committed, that is, those most wound up by the right wing bs served up daily by multimillionaire propagandists like Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson. Thus our political leaders are selected way early on in the political process by a tiny minority of eligible voters who get out there and vote in their primaries, in their heavily gerrymandered districts.

The case of George Santos is both instructive and amusing; after fabricating a whole cloth fiction about his and his family’s lives, including his parents escape from Nazi death camps (they didn’t), family members dying in the 9/11 attacks, graduating from various prestigious colleges that he never attended and working for top level Wall Street companies who never employed him, as well as being a gay man even though he is married to a woman, it may be that he has recently taken a bridge too far when it turns out that he performed as a drag queen down in Brazil where he is from. All the other prevarications being mere peccadilloes in today’s Republican Party, the drag queen thing may just be his downfall in the Republican Party, who at this point would confirm a bologna sandwich as a representative as long as it had a R before the name, given its razor thin majority.

Let’s face it, the Republican Party of today is no longer a good faith political actor; they have no program for political leadership, and their sole mandatory creed is simply to cut any spending involved in doing anything for the American people in order to fund ever greater tax giveaways to the ultra-wealthy and giant corporations.

For decades, ever since Reagan began cutting taxes for the wealthy, I have often wondered at what point would they be happy; as every election cycle provides more deductions and loopholes and while the IRS has been steadily starved of the resources it needs to enforce tax laws on the wealthiest, with their phalanxes of lawyers, I’m reminded of a quote from the great Michael Parenti, “there’s only one thing that the rich have ever wanted, and that is everything!”

With taxation of the rich almost to the point where it is voluntary (the chance of the well-heeled sophisticated filer being audited is now infinitesimal), sure enough, the next thing on the Republican agenda is to ‘privatize’ Social Security and Medicare so they can get their greedy hands on that enormous tranche of our money.

No amount of yelling “liar!” at the president can change the facts.

Find this and other columns at:

(John Arteaga is a Ukiah resident.)

* * *

During the 1950s Las Vegas added atomic bomb detonations as the many attractions Vegas had to offer and promoted itself as "Atomic City".

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as anywhere else via Also the schedule is there for KNYO's many other even more terrific shows.

Live from Franklin St. in Fort Bragg all night Friday night!

Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 6pm. Or send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week. There's always another week and there's no pressure.

I'm in the 325 N. Franklin studio (next to the Tip Top bar) tonight. To call and read your work in your own voice, the number is 707-962-3022. If you want to come in and do it in person, that's okay, Be advised that I'm not putting on a mask until you show up, and you have to wear one the whole time, and then I have to keep mine on for a few hours after you leave. So if it has to be in person, that's okay, but I'd prefer that you call instead. First preference: email your story. Second place: call and read your story over the phone and maybe chat for a few minutes. Third place: Come in and contaminate my life with your germs and maybe bring your instrument and play some music. Either way, if you just naturally swear in conversation or writing or singing, wait till after 10pm, so not to agitate the weasels.

The real sportsball halftime show: the ASL translator. I like that the sign for money is you slap one hand with the back of the other hand and scowl Italianly. Also I remember the original weird video for this song where the singer drives around in a convertible with two other singers, with the entrunked kidnapped girlfriend of the man who, we presume, owes her some money, and they stop in various places in America and let her out and torture her a little, then they eventually bring her back to the guy and kill him and get their money… Oh— no, I think I have it confused for Bitch Better Have My Money. That's a different popular song entirely. Never mind. (via Everlasting Blort)

Lennon be bangin', yo. (That's how kids talk now.)

And a deep lesson about public domain images and films that begins with historical footage adulterated with the Getty Images watermark. This project reminds me of the BBC mini-series Shooting The Past, that you should find and see. Like this lesson, Shooting The Past requires the attention span that people used to have, so give it a try and if you can't stand it, no harm done.

p.s. Last time I looked, donations are approaching the $5000 goal toward getting KNYO's antenna back up to full height after the disaster and replacing some crucial equipment with new stuff that has that delicious new radio smell. I know times are tough, but if you have a little money left over in your life, go to, click on the big red heart and help out. At KNYO no managers or other parasites take even a penny of your money for themselves. It all goes to keep the machinery of radio dry and connected and radiating and legal.

Marco McClean,,

BURT BACHARACH NIGHT... Join me & Marco McClean

Good Evening and Happy Friday

I hope you can join me on the Marco McClean show tonight when I'll read my new piece about the day I spent with my Mom and Burt Bacharach in 1969. That's tonight, one night only on Marco Maclean's Memo of the Air, on KNYO, 105.7

The radio program gets underway roundabout 9:00 p.m., though I won't be rolling in till close to 10:00.

The pleasure of your company is cordially requested.


Andrew Scully, Mendocino

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* * *


by David Yearsley

The land was parched, its people too. The rivers that had raged through the Nation’s once-wild Southwestern desert shrank in their canyons. Vast man-made lakes shriveled to puddles behind massive dams, cathedrals of leisure, irrigation and electricity transformed into towering monuments to vanished abundance, implacable wailing walls of hubris and shame.

The ancient king perched perilously on his throne far away in a White House built long ago by the enslaved. Crowned only by a tuft of transplanted hair, the ruler spoke through false teeth of a better-built tomorrow. From the old play book/prayer book, he read his litany of Hope. Few listened. Fewer believed.

The thirst was not just for water, but for spiritual renewal, mental and physical health, environmental redemption, political reconciliation, and cultural rebirth—all the better if these could be had at a member discount and made to arrive in a single, recyclable package with no extra-charge for same-day delivery.

In spite of vague assurances and tax-incentives for the sustainably minded, all knew that the catastrophe was underway and gathering momentum.

Thus the annual ritual of expiation took on eschatological resonance. Super Bowl LXVII was itself one big Hail Mary.

The acolytes and priests were divided into two orders.

The Eagles soared southwest from a sea of asphalt in the City of Brotherly Love (512 homicides in 2022). Their totem was the symbol of the Nation. White wings spread across their helmets that were the color of money. The choirs of the faithful sang “Fly, Eagles, Fly” and flapped their arms like the noble bird of prey they prayed to.

The opposing denomination of celebrants in this Mass for the Masses came from the once fertile Plains, now scarred over and saturated with poison and arms. These Chief priests dressed in vestments bright as fresh blood. Their headgear was adorned with a technology of death—an arrowhead. This tribe’s faithful conducted a solemn liturgical dance at the appointed times, chopping with their arms and chanting a mystical, made-up war song that also mocked the peoples that their own forbears had brutally conquered. There was no respect for the vanquished (though victorious tight-end Travis Kelce would later scream for it during the postlude like a zealot possessed), merely a fervent belief that it was and is better to be Red than Dead.

The Holy Contest that these co-supplicants joined was one of great skill and even greater violence. Unlike the Maya ballgame that is its forerunner, American Football no longer ends in the team captain’s decapitation: this year’s MVP already had way too many commercial endorsements for that. Instead, targeting of the head had been forbidden by the Sacred Council of Football, though there have been near-sacrifices in this just-concluded season. A Dolphin writhed on the turf in Miami like the serpent Quetzalcóatl. A Buffalo Bill was struck lifeless then revived by the gods. But there have been no deaths-in-action on the consecrated gridiron in recent memory. In modern times the mortal sacrifices of brain and body are more decorously spread out over a career of collisions.

Into the Valley of the Sun rode the Chiefs and flew the Eagles. Their pilgrimages ended in a vast sanctuary of sport clad in precious metal that glinted oracularly as the kick-off neared. The Eagle priests were certain that they could read the future in these coruscations: Philadelphia by a field goal. They beseeched their avian myth-mate, the Phoenix (legally speaking State Farm Stadium is in a municipality called Glendale, but mysticism, Dearly Beloved, cannot be gerrymandered), would bestow on them a victory that covered the spread (1.5 points) and fed either greenbacks or bitcoin or both to the Philadelphia Phanatics.

The hallowed pre-game rituals of dedication have been observed since time immemorial, i.e., the first Super Bowl in 1967. These rites have evolved over the ensuing decades, with the latest element of the liturgy for this year’s edition an antiphon of shameless propaganda befouling the memory of Pat Tillman, who, after the attacks of September 11th turned in his pro-football vestments for army fatigues. Kevin Costner’s pious, red meat voice-over shamelessly redacted the annals of heroism, putting the Sharpie through the lines in the missal that would have told the Nation that Tillman had been killed in Afghanistan in 2004 by friendly fire in a war he had lost faith in. This appalling distortion could not cover up the central truth of the Super Bowl and of the Super Power that stages it: the Enemy is US.

After this soldier psalm (presumably to be a fixture from here on out), two bards offered up the National hymns. Introduced as “the R & B legend,” Baby Face strummed a red-white-and blue guitar beneath his breathy “America the Beautiful” that had neither rhythm nor blues. As the cantor eased into song, the television cameras caught Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni spitting disdainfully as if on America itself—which is exactly what he was doing since Arizona has been in America since 1848 when it was stolen from Mexico. Sirianni made up for that apparent blasphemy by shedding buckets of tears for the next item of the service, the Star-Spangled Banner, the cameras lingering on his literal outpouring of patriotic emotion.

A cynic might have said that those tears were shed not for love of country but on account of the scruffy treatment given the anthem by Kentucky Krooner Chris Stapleton, not baby-faced, but instead abundantly bearded. The limping progress of Star-Spangled Banner had no peril or glare, though Stapleton, accompanying himself on his Fender Telecaster, did send a couple of screaming bombs bursting into the air midway through the epic before ambling circuitously across an indistinct finish line. Canny bookmakers had set the over-under for the anthem at 2:03. According to my time piece that’s exactly where it ended. Profound and financially consequential debates over musical cadences and closure quickly heated up among Las Vegas aestheticians and odds-makers.

Whether baby- or bristle-faced, both soloists were themselves relics sedated by nostalgia.

The energy was on high and was not derived from testosterone. The military jets were all piloted by women for the first time in the history of the flyover, another ancient tradition that began all the way back at Super Bowl II in 1968—not coincidentally at the height of the Vietnam War. The female trigger fingers must have itched to send a heat-seeking missile down on Stapleton’s melancholic anthem, but there was no heat to seek.

Instead, these Vestal Virgins of American Air Supremacy merely discharged their duty of softening up the desiccated fans for the much-anticipated arrival of Rihanna in all her glory. After ninety-minutes of ads interspersed with football, it was time for the Halftime Show, Apple taking over sponsorship after Pepsi’s fifteen-year reign.

The Pop Deity appeared first on a platform high above the field. A certain Pharisee of the Fourth Estate (Jon Caramanica of the New York Times) tut-tutted that this was a “gesture cribbed from Ye’s 2016 Saint Pablo tour,” but that’s just angels-dancing-on-the-head-of-a-pin, pop-culture know-it-all-ing. The Goddess could only come from above.

After the fighting female bringers-of-death came the singing female bringer-of-life. This was another first—a pregnant woman taking, in this case literally, the world’s highest stage. Here was the regenerative visual and sonic salve that the Nation needed—America’s amniotic fluid. Rihanna wore red like the blood of birth and of the Chiefs—an augury that she would grant them the laurels. She did not hide the contours of her life-giving body. Her breasts encased in glossy in latex, she repeatedly brought her hand to her crotch, motions that reminded the world where we had all come from and where the new life would come from too.

All around the Earth Mother squirmed first dozens, then hundreds of dancers sheathed in fertilizing white, the fecund goddess poised amongst the irrepressible, writhing urgency of insemination.

“Tell me, O Muse, of the (wo)man of many devices”: the light of thousands of smart phones filled the stadium as the muse herself began to sing. She sang of the riches of life: first of money (“Bitch Better Have My Money,”) then and throughout of more money and even more sex (“Make It Last All Night”—a cheeky wink at the fourteen minutes allotted to the halftime show) and lots of booze, as in the thirst-quenching “Pour It Up.” For the finale she returned to her platform and rose back towards the sky she sang of, goddess and stadium glittering like the title of her last number, “Diamonds” before the citadel erupted in fireworks.

Rihanna was proudly pregnant, and no surgeon general would dare issue a warning against any high-decibel pain inflicted on the unseen womb-dweller. Did the show sound different to the unborn? What was it like inside, this concert of war and worship, this contest between raging consonance and numbing dissonance, this battle—or was it alliance?—between distortion and clarity? And what if the ultrasonic blast broke the waters so that Baby be birthed on the halftime altar high above the fifty-yard line, then pushed miraculously upward through the cervix of State Farm Stadium and delivered aloft by those Flying Navy Midwives to the strains of “shine bright like diamonds in the sky” intoned by the Mother in a state of postpartum bliss?

Yet in spite, or indeed because, of its rapturous totality, this festive liturgy of new life, of Baby’s birth and Nation’s re-birth, could not erase thoughts of earlier deaths.

Pat Tillman’s ashes were scattered not in Arizona where he played football but at sea.

After Rihanna’s supernatural Super Bowl acts, what will rise from the ashes of empire in the stricken desert where she sang?

We can only pray it won’t be another Phoenix.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at

* * *

FORT POINT, 1918 (no Golden Gate Bridge)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began work on Fort Point in 1853. Plans specified that the lowest tier of artillery be as close as possible to water level so cannonballs could ricochet across the water's surface to hit enemy ships at the waterline. Workers blasted the 90-foot cliff at the construction site, down to 15 feet above sea level. The structure was protected by 7-foot thick walls and had multi-tiered casemated construction typical of Third System forts. While there were more than 30 such forts on the East Coast, Fort point was the only one of its type built on the West Coast.

* * *

IT IS ALL MAD AND A JOKE. We are fools; we believe in words, not reality which the words are supposed to describe. Politics -- the bungling management of the affairs of men -- is a game played among themselves by a breed of professionals. What has politics to do with real daily life, as real people live it?

— Martha Gellhorn, Travels With Myself and Another

* * *

* * *


The people became wealthy and as a wealthy people they were no longer required to sacrifice anything for their sustenance. No longer being required to sacrifice anything for their sustenance, they needed a purpose to justify their empty existence. So they found causes to create, causes like PETA, women’s lib, the Sierra Club, Feminism, the NAACP or Greenpeace among countless others. If they didn’t create these causes they joined them. Suddenly tribalism is alive in America. Tribe comes first don’t you know? With all this wealth, time and lack of sacrifice, Americans now have plenty of time to obsess about their sexuality and gender, where their next orgasm will come from and how many partners they need when they want it. Now they have plenty of time to obsess over tattoos, piercings, unnatural hair colors and wardrobe. Now they have plenty of time to buy a little weed, heroin or booze and become brain dead addicts unable to think for themselves or control their actions. Now they have plenty of time to sit on their obese asses and meld themselves into the couch while they watch the Bachelor or Tom Brady or Steph Curry as they shove saturated fat laden foods into their crumb crusted pieholes. If they aren’t watching television their eyes are glazed over as their stare endlessly at their phones scrolling through countless postings on Instagram about dogs dancing or making rockets out of soda bottles or other stupid and useless activities. In short, I believe we became this way because we have been blessed far too long and nobody living today knows what it is like to truly sacrifice for our next meal, or live without something or to even communicate with our neighbor. We’ve lost our purpose for existence. We’ve lost our reasons for loving one another. Our hearts have failed us. Seems I’ve read about this happening in the last days somewhere….the Bible maybe? Godspeed to all of us. I wish the end would be quickened. I’m sick of waiting.

* * *

Pinball machines being destroyed during the pinball prohibition. They were banned in NYC as well as other major US cities like Chicago and Los Angeles between the 1940s and 1970s

* * *


Russia launched another deadly round of shelling in Ukraine over the last 24 hours, killing five in the eastern Donetsk regionand three in the southern Kherson region.

This comes as five people were killed in Russian strikes around the embattled Ukrainian city of Bakhmut Thursday as the fight to capture the area continues. Officials have urged the 6,000 civilians remaining there to leave.

Meanwhile, world leaders, including US Vice President Kamala Harris, are meeting in Germany for the Munich Security Conference 2023, where the war is top of the agenda. In remarks via video, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged leaders to act quickly on agreements, deliveries and decisions. 

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said there's "no way" his country will send troops to Ukraine unless it is attacked. Lukashenko is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday.

* * *

WE HAVE WON TWO WARS and a third is coming. This one—will not be so easy. We were at ease while the powers of the world were split into factions: we’ve changed that. We have enjoyed fine dreams; we have dreamed of unifying the world; we are unifying it—against us.

— Robinson Jeffers, 1948

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* * *


by James Kunstler

“When we see a completely insane public policy which has become a universal dogma — such as liberal internationalism in postwar US foreign policy — we are usually looking at the rotten, ossified ghost of a strategy which in its youth was sane and effective.” — Curtis Yarvin, The Gray Mirror

After Commander-in-Chief (ahem) “Joe Biden” demonstrated our ability to shoot down a Chinese spy balloon leisurely wandering the jet stream clear across North America, he loosed the Air Force on every other menacing aerial object hovering in our sovereign skies and… Ira Tonitrus… mission accomplished! It took the President another week to admit sheepishly that the three other targets were “most likely balloons tied to private companies, recreation or research institutions,” not alien invaders from another galaxy, as regime spoxes hinted and the news media played-up for days. Note to America’s hot air ballooning community for the upcoming spring launch season: be very afraid!

If Russia was impressed by the successful balloon op, it didn’t offer any comment. Russia was busy neutralizing America’s pet proxy palooka, sad-sack Ukraine, sent into the ring to soften-up Russia for a revolution aimed at overthrowing the wicked Vlad Putin — at least according to our real Secretary of State (and Ukraine war show-runner), Victoria Nuland, in remarks this week to the Carnegie Endowment, a DC think tank.

Speaking of tanks, our NATO allies are getting cold feet about sending those Leopard-2 war wagons into the Ukraine cauldron. Something about it had a discouraging act-of-war odor, as, by the way, did blowing up the Nord Stream gas pipelines, alleged by veteran reporter Seymour Hersh — though that caper was actually against NATO member and supposed US ally, Germany. WTF? Are the doings in Western Civ getting a little too complex for comfort?

Anyway, it turns out that the thirty-one Abrams tanks America promised to Ukraine have yet to be bolted together at the tank factory. It’s a special order, you see, because we don’t want to send the latest models built with super-high-tech armor that the Russians might capture and learn from… so Mr. Zelensky will just have to cool his jets waiting on delivery, say, around Christmas time… if he’s not singing Izprezhdi Vika somewhere in Broward County, Florida, by then.

The biggest problem Russia has in resolving this conflict on its border, is doing it in a way that does not drive “JB” and his posse of war-mongers so batshit crazy that they resort to a nukes-flying, world-ending, Thelma-and-Louise type denouement. In effect, America put a bomb on Russia’s front porch and now Russia has to carefully defuse the darn thing. The prank itself was just the last in a long line of foolish American military escapades that have ended in humiliation for us, most recently the Afghan fiasco. At best, this one in Ukraine — which we started in 2014 — is on-track to sink NATO, plunge Europe into cold and darkness, and put the USA out of business.

In the meantime, America is rapidly disintegrating on the home front. Is it attempted suicide or murder? It’s a little hard to tell. Things are blowing up from sea to shining sea — food processing facilities, giant chicken barns, regional electric grids, oil refineries. The latest, of course, is a chemical spill from the Norfolk-Southern train wreck in East Palestine, Ohio, set ablaze by a conclave of government officials purportedly to keep the toxic liquids from seeping into the Ohio River watershed and beyond. Of course, in the dithering prior to lighting it up, enough vinyl chloride leached into streams feeding the big river to kill countless fish. And then torching the remaining chemical pools sent up a mushroom cloud of dioxin and other poisons that killed wildlife, pets, and chickens in the vicinity before the evil miasma wafted eastward on the wind to the densely-populated Atlantic coast.

One has to wonder whether an army of saboteurs is on the loose across the land. Considering the border with Mexico is wide open, why wouldn’t America’s adversaries send whole wrecking crews over here to mess with our infrastructure? There’s no question that people from all over the planet have been sneaking across the Rio Grande. Surely some of them are on a mission. America is filled with “soft” targets, things unguarded and indefensible — not least, tens of thousands of miles of railroad track. Of all the reasons to be unnerved by “Joe Biden’s” open border policy, this one is the least discussed, even in the alt-media. But it seems like a no-brainer for nefarious interests who might want to bamboozle and disable us.

The sad truth of this moment in history is that the USA has too much going sideways with our own business at home now to be dabbling in any foreign misadventures — and we couldn’t have picked a worse place than Ukraine to do it. The sheer logistics are implausible. The geography is lethally unfavorable. The place has been inarguably within Russia’s sphere of influence for centuries and Russia has every intention of pacifying the joint at all costs. Peace talks are apparently out of the question for our leaders. Something’s got to give, and that something is probably Western Civ’s financial system. It’s primed to blow anyway, and when it does, we’ll have other things to think about.

(Support Kunstler’s writing by visiting his Patreon Page.)

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  1. Mike J February 18, 2023

    Make up of patient population at Napa State Hospital:
    Incompetent to Stand Trial:



    Lanterman Petris Short:



    Offenders with Mental Health Disorders:



    Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity:



    Napa State Hospital used to have many more beds for conservatees…..many decades ago. Penal code patients now dominate.
    Maybe Remo can be put on a penal code hold??

  2. Marmon February 18, 2023

    RE: REMO

    Things started going downhill fast for Remo after his mother died. She took care of him and kept him out of trouble for the most part. Gloria was a good woman who left us all too soon. I have nothing good to say about the local helping professionals who are getting fat off the lives of those who are suffering and/or killing themselves.


  3. George Hollister February 18, 2023


    That certainly would appear to be the case. But will anything be done to address this? No, not until SS becomes a crisis. Medicare appears to be in worse shape. Government is ineffective at preventing future challenges This has always been the case. Look what happened the last time government “saved SS”. There was a payroll tax increase that put the added tax revenue into the general fund, and nothing more. Meaningful government action only happens when a crisis presents itself, and even then the response presents convoluted “solutions” that create future negative unintended consequences.

    So for realists like Kevin Baughman, and the fanciful like the AVA you are playing your rolls. Fantasy sells better in politics, until it doesn’t. But fantasy also plays a roll in finding “solutions”. It is the way it is, and the way it will always be.

    • Chuck Dunbar February 18, 2023

      There’s some truth here, but what is the alternative? Giving SS over to Wall Street and let those leeches start sucking profits out of SS funds? Bush tried for that, good that is failed. Government stepped in for the people to set this system up, not private enterprise, as that would never have happened. When congress gets real and intervenes with a sensible solution to the funding issues (and with SS, as has been noted on and on, the solution is easily at hand by taxing higher earning levels), this issue can be fixed. And, yes, maybe in these fraught times it will take a crisis.

      • George Hollister February 18, 2023

        It will take a crisis, it always does, fraught times, or not. Meanwhile, “do what you can but behave yourself”. Taxing higher earners? I don’t think so.

        • Harvey Reading February 18, 2023

          Taxing the wealthy scum, on their wealth, and raising taxes on their incomes, back to the 1950’s level, would be a good start. You wealthy scum need ta start paying, you no-good, ignorant, lying jerks, who think you’re superior to the rest of us.

          • George Hollister February 18, 2023

            Harv, you make the best case for the superiority of the wealthy scum.

            • Harvey Reading February 18, 2023

              You have a strange way of thinking, rich guy.

              • Bruce Anderson February 18, 2023

                There’s scum with money, scum without money. Scumbaggery makes no class distinctions.

                • Harvey Reading February 19, 2023

                  But only the wealthy scum have any significant say regarding the society that is imposed on those with little or no wealth. So much for fanning the flames of discontent, eh…?

          • peter boudoures February 18, 2023

            It’s not that simple. The intra rich have their assets spread all over. They are basically multiple businesses and not even a person to actually tax.

            • Harvey Reading February 19, 2023

              Then enact laws that do away with that. The religion of kaputalism, like ALL other religions, is based on nothing more than faith in something nonexistent.

        • Gary Smith February 19, 2023

          I don’t consider what those opportunists do to be “earning”. Extracting is more like what they do.

      • Harvey Reading February 19, 2023

        How many trillions in Social Security have been “borrowed” by the federal guvamint and never paid back–with interest–over the decades? Of course, a lot of the theft was for “noble”, “worthy” purposes: funding wars based on lies, waged by our glorious “volunteers” (many supplied by way of the economic draft) in uniform…resulting in millions of dead “enemy” civilians and destroyed infrastructure and cities. “Rally ’round that flag, boyz and girlz….”

        Listen to and believe propaganda (courtesy of outfits like Heritage) spouted by the likes of Hollister at your own risk.

  4. Chuck Dunbar February 18, 2023

    “How the War in Ukraine Ends: An eminent historian envisions a settlement among Russia, Ukraine, and the West.”
    By David Remnick
    The New Yorker, February 17, 2023

    Here are several excerpts from this interview with Stephen Kotkin, a Stalin era scholar. His viewpoints are clear-eyed, blunt—not hopeful:
    Remnick: Last year, you told me, at a very early stage of the war, that Ukraine was winning on Twitter but that Russia was winning on the battlefield. A lot has happened since then, but is that still the case?
    Kotkin: Unfortunately. Let’s think of a house. Let’s say that you own a house and it has ten rooms. And let’s say that I barge in and take two of those rooms away, and I wreck those rooms. And, from those two rooms, I’m wrecking your other eight rooms and you’re trying to beat me back. You’re trying to evict me from the two rooms. You push out a little corner, you push out another corner, maybe. But I’m still there and I’m still wrecking. And the thing is, you need your house. That’s where you live. It’s your house and you don’t have another. Me, I’ve got another house, and my other house has a thousand rooms. And, so, if I wreck your house, are you winning or am I winning?
    Unfortunately, that’s the situation we’re in. Ukraine has beaten back the Russian attempt to conquer their country. They have defended their capital. They’ve pushed the Russians out of some of the land that the Russians conquered since February 24, 2022. They’ve regained about half of it. And yet they need their house, and the Russians are wrecking it. Putin’s strategy could be described as “I can’t have it? Nobody can have it!” Sadly, that’s where the tragedy is right now…
    Remnick:…Would the Ukrainian leadership and the Ukrainian people accept a situation in which they’re in the E.U., but Donbas and Crimea remain in Russian hands?
    Kotkin:Well, you accept it or you don’t accept it—meaning you continue to fight. And, if you continue to fight, your country, your people, continue to die, your infrastructure continues to get ruined. Your schools, your hospitals, your cultural artifacts get bombed or stolen. Your children get taken away as orphans. That’s where we are right now. I understand they want all of that territory back. But let’s imagine that they can’t take all the territory back on the battlefield. What then? We’re in a war of attrition right now, and in a war of attrition there’s only one way to win. You ramp up your production of weaponry, and you destroy the enemy’s production of weaponry—not the enemy’s weapons on the battlefield, but the enemy’s capability to resupply and produce more weapons. You have to out-produce in a war of attrition, and you have to crush the enemy’s production…
    (The interview ends with this lament by Kotkin):
    This war is just—it’s so painful. My whole life was writing about Stalin, and I would get absorbed in that. But then I put that down, and I had kids to hug, and I had a wife who loved me, and I had students that I could harangue in the classroom. Now I put the Stalin thing down—and then I got the Stalin thing again. In the real world. In real time. So it hurts. This whole thing hurts a lot. There’s no relief from this part of the world.

  5. Craig Stehr February 18, 2023

    There appears to be a lot of confusion in regard to a certain segment of the population, often lumped into the category of “the homeless”. First, there is the mentally healthy group in places such as Building Bridges homeless shelter in Ukiah, who have signed an agreement and made and kept all medical/dental appointments, filled out and submitted housing applications, are advocating for themselves, and will be alright ever and ever. Second, there are the homeless who have been “given a bed”, and more or less adhere to the signed agreement, and who fudge a bit insofar as being on the straight is concerned. These individuals however, do get placed in subsidized housing eventually. Third, there are street people who are admitted by the staff for anywhere from “one night only” to a trial period to determine if a “permanent bed” is appropriate. These are the ones who behave in a manner which brings the police around, and they alone are the ones who continue to congregate across the street from the shelter, in plain view, acting inappropriately. There is no solution to their problem except death, and everybody knows it! ~The End~
    Craig Louis Stehr
    Building Bridges Homeless Shelter
    1045 S. State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482
    Telephone Messages: (707) 234-3270
    February 18th, ’23

  6. Marmon February 18, 2023


    President Biden did 36 push-ups, 11 pull-ups (not the type he wears) and ran a mile in just under 5 minutes according to the results of his physical fitness test.


    • Bruce Anderson February 18, 2023

      Ran a mile under five minutes?

      • Craig Stehr February 18, 2023

        Ran a mile under ten minutes is more likely. ;-))

    • Jim Armstrong February 18, 2023

      How can anyone ever believe anything you post?

    • Harvey Reading February 19, 2023

      Or so someone said regarding Biden doing all those things. The brain-dead robot would bust a brain (a big assumption I know that he even has one) blood vessel with all that activity (not that his behavior would be any different since he’s busted so many already). He’s just Obama with lighter skin and senile. Biden’s about on an intelligence par with the orange hog.

  7. Lazarus February 18, 2023

    SF Gate pretty much sums up the collapse of the marijuana business in Mendocino County. Although, anyone who has remotely been following the “slow motion murder” of cannabis in Mendo knows the deal…

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