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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Showers | Houndstongue | Spring Sprang | Daffodils | Turkey Rail | Students Recognized | Casino Closure | Ed Notes | Welcoming Committee | Tsunami Test | Caspar Mill | Unity Club | Culinary Associate | Variety Show | Signs/Pennant | Thousand Calls | Yesterday's Catch | School Strike | Trump Toast | Math Problem | Petaluma Hatemonger | Giant Camera | Pizza Amleto | Expensive States | Divided/Conquered | Big Joe | Retirement Age | Mister Softee | Edna Beasley | Homecoming | For Posterity | Girl Run | Ukraine | Got This | Get Putin | Protesting War | Family Portrait | War Criminals | Tingling Spring

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A STRONG AREA OF LOW PRESSURE to the south of the area will bring clouds and some light rain and breezy winds this afternoon and evening to mainly Mendocino and Lake counties. Wednesday afternoon additional light rain is possible across the area. Thursday a period of heavier rain and snow is expected followed by occasional light rain and generally cloudy skies through the weekend. (NWS)

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Houndstongue, Cynoglossum officinale (photo mk)

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MITCH CLOGG: In case it got by you, Spring sprang this afternoon, 5:24 PM east coast, 2:24 west, something-or-other 24 in the entire northern hemisphere (happy autumn, southern hemisphere). Just in time. Winter '22 - '23 was getting very, very old. Whatever your newspaper, iPhone, TV, radio or streaming device (or my hearing trumpet) says otherwise, this is way, WAY more important than Donald Trump. Congratulations, all. Mama Nature ain't done with us by a long shot, but spring's SPRING, goddammit!

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Fair Daffodils, we weep to see 
You haste away so soon; 
As yet the early-rising sun 
Has not attain'd his noon. 
Stay, stay, 
Until the hasting day 
Has run 
But to the even-song; 
And, having pray'd together, we 
Will go with you along. 

We have short time to stay, as you, 
We have as short a spring; 
As quick a growth to meet decay, 
As you, or anything. 
We die 
As your hours do, and dry 
Like to the summer's rain; 
Or as the pearls of morning's dew, 
Ne'er to be found again. 

— Robert Herrick

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(photo by Kathy Wylie)

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STUDENTS OF THE MONTH--Junior and Senior High School


It is with great pride and celebration that I am pleased to announce that the following students received Student of the Month awards for citizenship, responsibility and effort at the Junior/Senior High School. The students were nominated by one of our staff. Students received a Mosswood certificate and a letter to the family acknowledging their award will be sent home.

Congratulations to:

Alexis Valencia–nominated by three teachers Mr. Labowitz, Ms. Honegger, Ms. Farber.

Daniel Martinez–nominated by Ms. Cook

Jatziri Gomez–Ms. Jenderseck

Aster Arbanovella–Mr. Bublitz

Nate Burger–Mr. Howard

Mariana Zavala–Ms. Suarez

Soleil Cornejo–Ms. Burger

Areli Reynoso–Mr. Corey-Moran

Zoey Crisman–David Ballantine

Tricia Anguiano–Beth Swehla

Take care,

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District

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ALTHOUGH LEGGETT'S MELISSA ROSENTHAL went to all the 2020 redistricting meetings to lobby for the far north county to remain in the 3rd District where it's been for a hundred-plus years, and where Leggett also belongs although it was shoved into the Fort Bragg-dominant 4th District years ago, the deep outback — places like Iron Mountain, Spy Rock, and much of Bell Springs — were gerrymandered into the 4th District. There remain suspicions that some of the impetus for gerrymandering the deep hill country in the northeast of the county into the coastal 4th to ensure that the popular Johnny Pinches wouldn't be tempted to run again for supervisor in the 3rd District. 

BE THAT AS IT MAY, as Ms. Rosenthal insists, the recent storms that took out this forgotten and politically orphaned area made it physically clear that the parts of 3rd arbitrarily attached to the 4th were on their own as the roads closed, big trees fell and the snow piled up. She rightly credits North County volunteer firefighters and other purely local first responders for coming to the rescue while county help was so slow in coming that it never arrived. The only outside agency that reached out to offer help, Ms. Rosenthal says, was the Community Foundation of Mendocino County, a non-governmental entity. ”We were out of power for 12 days, got it back for 36 hours, then it was back out for another two days. The people doing the work during this long emergency in the forgotten corner of the county came through for us, but the county? No.” 

THIS WEIRD GERRYMANDER ought to be re-thought, but because it was based, theoretically on the Census, a re-districting committee, appointed by the supervisors, won't be counting heads again until 2030.

WHAT HAPPENED IN 2010 was some effective sabotage by former 4th District supervisor, Kendall Smith. The simplest way to have numerically balanced out the districts according to the Census's suspect head count would have been to leave the northeast corner of the county in the 3rd district where it historically has rested since Mendo was a county by moving Mendocino into the 4th District, thus placing all the lib candy arses, so to speak, in the 4th District. But Smith and Mendocino feared that without Mendocino in the 5th, there would be at least a chance that an Inappropriate Person beyond the control of the lib-labs might become 5th District supervisor, someone like, say, John Redding, who was easily defeated in the last elections by incumbent 5th District supervisor, the Albion-Mendo-Conservative Democrat-basted Ted Williams.

AS MS R. points out, people in her county-ignored area tend overwhelmingly to be self-sufficient, and able to handle whatever comes their way. But you have a large number of people — 500 to 700 — paying local taxes for scant services in return. “During the recent emergency,” Ms. Rosenthal remembers, “the people on the Drury Ranch on the border of Mendocino and Humboldt counties got help right away from Michelle Bushnell, the supervisor for Southern Humboldt County. As it stands here, for example, the people on the west side of Spy Rock are in the 4th District, the people who live on the eastside are in the 3rd District. It's crazy.” 

SPRING officially commenced at about 2:30 this afternoon (Monday), and didn't the goddess give us a perfect Spring day?

THERE SEEMS to be this assumption about “grant money” that it's free, floats down out of the sky to fund failed public programs like Mendo's pot licensing fiasco. But most grant money is “granted” either by the state or federal government, and that grant money truly derives from taxes. 

THEN THERE'S FOUNDATION money. Foundations are large sums of private money organized as non-profits by very rich people to avoid taxes on their stashes. Foundations also pay other rich people to sit on their oversight boards, and also often pay incompetent relatives for comfortable sinecures doing absolutely nothing. The foundation scammers advertise their own virtue on the PBS television stations. “This program is made possible by the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Megarip, ‘Working to meet America's unmet needs’.”

MY GRANDCHILDREN attend Brookside Elementary School in cutting edge San Anselmo. Their school is hiring a new principal. Two 4th graders are on the interview committee. “How do you feel about ice cream machines in our classrooms? Would you let us bring our dogs to school?” Etc.

A BOONVILLE PERSON: This town really needs something to do, some venues with good old fashioned bonfires, maybe some competitions like a miniature golf course or live music events.

BOONVILLE USED to have annual bonfires at the high school enjoyed by the whole community, there's disc golf and live music weekends at the Brewery. There's also silent contemplation of the rural splendor all around us, more for the ancients than for the hormonal young. Kids used to try to jump over the high school fire, and at the last one a lad named Joe Recchia, who previously had dabbled almost fatally in fire eating, tried to leap the flames, coming down in the middle of the pyre from where he was rescued by peers with only minor burns. And that was it for bonfires. Other than the school grounds, I can't think offhand of another potential site for an annual community fire. They were fun and quite convivial back in the day, back before insurance agents took over to define fun out of existence.

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Disaster's Welcoming Committee

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When: The National Weather Service will be conducting a communications Exercise on March 29, 2023, between 11:00 AM and 12:00 Noon.

Where: Mendocino, Humboldt, and Del Norte counties.

How: The exercise will be testing the Emergency Alerting System (EAS) which will have interruptions on TV and Radio Stations, and activation of NOAA Weather Radios, and Tsunami Sirens. The Civil Air Patrol will also fly the coastline testing their public address system.

Why: This exercise is designed to test the Tsunami Warning System to ensure that it works properly during a real tsunami event.

HOW THIS TEST WILL AFFECT YOU: If you are watching television between 11:00 a.m. and 12:00 Noon on Wednesday morning, expect to see a crawler at the bottom of the screen indicating that a tsunami warning has been issued, and hear a voice indicating that it is only a test. If you don’t hear the TV audio, please remember that this is only a test. If you are listening to the radio, you will hear alerting tones followed by a voice announcing that the test is occurring. If you have a NOAA weather radio with the Public Alert feature, the radio will automatically turn on and you will hear the same message as broadcast on radios. In some areas, you may also hear the sounding of a tsunami siren, an airplane testing its public address system, or receive other communication tests in some local jurisdictions. The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system will NOT be activated for this test.

Please help us by providing any feedback regarding this test by emailing:

When you hear or see the warning test on March 29 between 11:00 a.m. & 12:00 Noon:

  • You do NOT need to take any action
  • Do NOT call 911 or local authorities
  • Do NOT evacuate your home or business


PREPARE: Find out more about preparing for earthquakes, tsunamis, or any other disasters on the North Coast at:

America’s PrepareAthon!

The Great California Shakeout

and The Tsunami Zone ( are also great places to get preparedness information for natural hazards.

The test is conducted by the National Weather Service, the California Office of Emergency Services, the Offices of Emergency Services for Del Norte, Humboldt, and Mendocino Counties, and Tribal Governments. For more information, contact: National Weather Service at (707) 443-6484.

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Caspar Mill, circa 1868 (photo by M.M. Hazeltine)

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by Miriam Martinez

Spring has sprung. The grass is riz. I wonder where the flowers is? They're all at the Wildflower Show!

Preparations have begun for our Annual Wildflower Show to be held April 22nd and 23rd, with students' show on the 24th. Weekend hours are from 10 to 4. Admission is FREE.

The April 6th meeting will be another opportunity for signing up to help prepare for this important educational event, and our major scholarship fund-raiser. We will also spend time on our Standing Rules amd Bylaws. The State has required us to present both in order to be recognized as participating members of a Women's Club. The committee has worked tirelessly to complete the package for our review and acceptance.

Dues are due. Please bring your $28 check to the April 6th meeting, which will commence at 1:30 in the Dining Room, Fairgrounds. Along with our department reports, Beverly Dutra. Alice Bonner and Miriam Martinez will report on the 100th Anniversary projects under way.

Our hostesses will be Alice Bonner and Liz Dusenberry. They'll provide snacks, coffee & tea.

Library hours are Tuesdays 1 to 4 and Saturdays from 12:30 to 2:30. Come in to check out one of our new books. Or come on by to adopt a gently used book for $1 hard bound or $0.50 for each paperback. See you April 6th at 1:30, and bring your dues please.

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The dates to remember are Showtime Friday May 12th and Saturday May 13th. But NOW is the time to get together and dream up, think up, develop, practice and polish your act for the show. Our highly trained associates are waiting by the phones. The numbers to call are Abeja at 707/621-3822 or Cap Rainbow at 707/472-9189. 

There are usually about 20 acts a night with different acts each night. That's 40 acts of about 4 minutes. How do we do it in 'lil 'ol Anderson Valley? The real question is how do YOU do it. Truth be told we don't care where your from, you can be from the moon and that's just fine, but the show is very valley-centric, or really very Mendo-centric. A super talented guy showed up one year, think he was from Elk, and as he played a stand up bass he told a story about gnomes on 3 wheelers in a forest. It was enchanting, however at the tech rehearsal a week before the show we suggested that he change the generic forest to Hendy Woods, a place that everyone in the audience knows. It was a connection to this place and the audience loved it. It's an old traveling circus gag. 

You make a positive reference to the town you are in and people relate. We are talking about a connection to PLACE that we in this nation have mostly lost. Here in Mendocino County, and we think, particularly in AV we still have some of that connection. The Variety Show celebrates that. Hey, not to say we don't embrace stuff from all over and we hope to expose us yokels to amazing things from all over the world. But we count on all of us to get creative. Remember, this is a live show, we want live people and animals doing lively things. So don't hesitate. it can be your 4 minutes of fame in front of 400 people. 

(Captain Rainbow)

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Circa 1925. Man pointing at California State Automobile Association signage; woman with pennant reading Boost The Redwood Highway. (via James Marmon)

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To the Editor:

Have you ever made 1,000 phone calls to get an appointment for anything? And still not gotten an appointment? I have.

HEAP is the Home Energy Assistance Program that redirects funds from PG&E to low-income residents to help them with their energy bills. It's a great program that has helped me out tremendously for 20 years.

But to get the benefits you have to spend hours in a torture chamber. You see, the way you get the benefits is after the first of the year, to get the lump sum payment for the new year, you have to call them on a Monday morning starting at 9 o'clock, competing with other low-income people all calling at the same time, to get one of the appointments that are available for that week.

However, there are too many people using this system and it has broken down. So far this year, every Monday morning, I've awakened early and started making the calls at 9:00. Its always busy so I hit redial... over and over again, stopping only for pee breaks or when my phone battery dies, ending up making over 100 redials until at around 10:45 the call goes through to their answering machine which means they have filled all of the appointments for that week. I'm out of luck for that week.

It's now been ten weeks or so that I have done this for 2023 benefits. It could be that I've made over 2,000 attempts, and still I have no appointment. The weeks go by and I worry that my PG&E bills will go unpaid while waiting for the benefits, so each week that goes by another dread grows in me: that a month or two from now I still won't have an appointment, my bills will be overdue, and my electricity will be shut off.

There is nobody you can call to talk to in person until your call gets through and someone sets up your appointment.

Didn't any of these people ever read Kafka?

Why in the 21st century can't we go to a web site, fill in a form and get an appointment, even months away? I would certainly prefer to go to a web site and get an appointment for two or three months later, than to futilely call week-after-week for months and still be left hanging!

Until covid, those appointments would be for a half-hour meeting in Eureka, requiring a 130-mile round trip drive from Garberville. And it's the same meeting every year, showing the same video on ways you can save money by being energy efficient in your household (how about being energy efficient by not making us SoHum residents drive 130 miles in our cars and trucks!)

The information I provide them has been EXACTLY the same every single year (I live in the same place and my income is from my disability checks). So why do I even need an appointment for anything? Why can't I just go to an online portal where I can confirm the information is the same as the previous year (or make corrections... I did get a new phone number two years ago) and click a button that says apply for 2023 benefits?

I think this process violates the Americans with Disabilities act. For ten weeks, on ten Monday mornings, I have had to go through a process that aggravates my disability (PTSD) by triggering a PTSD attack that lasts all day and leaves me hanging for another week. This is how I’ve had to spend twenty hours of my year so far, in a state of aggravated, mindless numbing hitting redial.

I've complained to the folks at HEAP about this on many occasions over the last two decades. Today I called my state senator's office (Mike McGuire), so we'll see if he can do anything...

Fortunately for some SoHum residents, once a year (usually too late in the year for me to take advantage of it), the HEAP folks drive down here one morning to the Healy Senior Center in Redway where folks just have to show up (no appointments necessary), wait in line for a half hour or so, and they are seen and their applications are accepted.

Andy Caffrey 


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CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, March 20, 2023

Thompson, Valadez

KIMBERLEE THOMPSON, Ukiah. Burglary, petty theft.

ROBERT VALADEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation, county parole violation.

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Tens of thousands of Los Angeles school employees will begin a three-day strike starting on Tuesday, forcing hundreds of campuses to close and canceling classes for 422,000 students.

The union that represents 30,000 support workers in the Los Angeles Unified School District is seeking a 30 percent pay increase, saying that many employees make little more than the minimum wage and struggle to afford the cost of living in Southern California.

The Los Angeles teachers’ union has asked its 35,000 members to walk out in solidarity and to avoid crossing the support workers’ picket lines…

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THIS ONE IS DIVISIVE! Can you solve a 'simple' math problem that has stumped the internet?

There are two possible solutions - but only one of them is correct ... and which answer you come up with depends on what order you do the calculations. Are you ready to try?

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‘YOU’RE RUINING MY LIFE’: I knocked on the door of an antisemitic internet hatemonger. Here’s what happened

by Phil Barber

I had a story about 80% written on the afternoon of March 3. It was a follow-up to The Press Democrat’s recent coverage of Jon Minadeo II, the Petaluma man who posts long screeds defaming and denigrating Jews on his GoyimTV website.

Minadeo Flyer

He’s the guy who created the antisemitic flyers that have recently shown up on sidewalks and porches in a number of Bay Area neighborhoods, most recently in Napa on Feb. 24.

I wrote about those flyers, and we published a subsequent story that explored the fear that hate speech generates in a community and why law enforcement is unable to do much about it. For this latest story, I talked to Minadeo’s aunt, and to several other people who knew him to try and get a better picture of him.

Before filing, I needed to take one more stab at speaking to Minadeo himself. I had made a previous attempt, but found out later I had the wrong residence.

I can’t say I was looking forward to making his acquaintance. But if I was planning to build a profile in print using other people’s characterizations, I felt I had a journalistic obligation to at least give Minadeo a chance to speak for himself.

This time I visited a triplex not far from downtown Petaluma. In a secluded spot behind the building, up a steep flight of concrete stairs, I rang the doorbell.

The front door opened, and behind the screen door was a man dressed casually in T-shirt and sweats. His neatly trimmed beard and central-casting haircut — shaved short on the sides, hanging longer in back — were immediately familiar.

This was the guy I had watched in so many online videos, the ones in which he wove conspiracy theories vilifying Jews, called them slurs that my editors won’t let me say here, and managed to sprinkle in mocking impressions of gay and Black people, too.

“You’re ruining my life,” Jon Minadeo II said to me.

I would argue he set in motion a cascade of events that may well be ruining his life. But there we were.

Minadeo asked if he could record our conservation. I said yes. I asked him if I also could record. He said yes.

Moments later, I was in the midst of a 45-minute interaction with the man who was spawning so much outrage in Sonoma County. I sat shotgun in Minadeo’s parked car while he reclined in the driver’s seat and vaped up a storm.

Press Democrat journalist Phil Barber (left) conducted his interview with Jon Minadeo II (right) in Minadeo's parked car on March 3, 2022. Image from Minadeo's website.

I have worked for The Press Democrat for 18 years, and have been writing stories for a lot longer than that. Never had I interviewed someone so far to the fringe of public discourse, in such an intimate setting. It was surreal.

I didn’t feel unsafe. The people I had interviewed described Minadeo as more of an insatiable attention seeker than an angry brawler. At no time during our interaction was he even remotely threatening.

In fact, I would say Minadeo went out of his way to appear courteous (to me, anyway) and reasoned. To be chummy.

That doesn’t mean I wasn’t uneasy. When Minadeo fixed his smartphone into its perch in order to capture video — I was concerned he would somehow use our conversation in his propaganda network.

I was right on that count. Within 36 hours, he had posted our interview, advertising it with a reference to a “slanderous journalist” who’d showed up unannounced.

Minadeo seemed candid with me on details of his life, and he confirmed a few things his acquaintances had told me.

He said, for instance, that he had dropped out of classes at Novato High School in the early 2000s and wound up getting his GED; that he voted for Bernie Sanders in a presidential race, and attended the inauguration of Barack Obama; that while he hadn’t personally distributed antisemitic flyers in neighborhoods around the Bay Area recently, he had indeed done the dirty work during a similar campaign in Santa Rosa in 2019.

On other points, Minadeo was more evasive. One of them was how he supports himself. Sources say he has rarely held a steady job since leaving Dinucci’s, the landmark Valley Ford restaurant owned by his grandmother, following a rupture in the family. Minadeo said he does some construction work.

He wouldn’t state how much money he makes from advertising, merchandise sales and donations attached to his online stream. With about 3,300 followers, it probably isn’t much.

I have been interested in Minadeo’s evolution from small-time actor and rapper to antisemitic provocateur. When I asked him about it, he framed that development as dogged education, describing himself almost as the Bob Woodward or Carl Bernstein of shadowy Jewish crimes.

Of course, most of the incidents he cites are distortions of real events, if not outright fabrications.

It started, Minadeo said, when he began looking into the chemical company Monsanto. Or maybe it was when he got into acting and discovered the religious affiliation of media moguls. Or was it in solidarity with the people of Palestine? His story was fluid.

This was how we spent most of our time, with Minadeo citing reams of “evidence” of a nefarious worldwide conspiracy. But I had no desire to debate him. Nor am I particularly interested in analyzing his points now. All of them have been thoroughly debunked for anyone who isn’t in the tiniest and most toxic of echo chambers.

Minadeo called his examples “pattern-recognizing.” I call them fantasies, or at least cherry-picking.

I’ll offer one example here. It’s from one of the flyers that led me to this strange moment — the one that trumpeted “EVERY SINGLE ASPECT OF THE BIDEN ADMINISTRATION IS JEWISH” and offered, as proof, mug shots of 12 prominent people surrounding the president, along with their roles.

Put aside for a moment an obvious retort, that Jews should rightfully be proud of their individual success stories after centuries of persecution. Let’s just analyze what Minadeo was positing.

How North Bay Jews are confronting antisemitic hate speech I do believe all 12 of the men and women on the flyer are Jews. But if every single aspect of Biden’s team is Jewish, how convenient to leave out the 18 members of the cabinet who, in fact, are gentiles. Or all four of the United States’ senior military leaders. Or President Joe Biden, who of course is Catholic.

If that argument falls apart so easily, why even bother with an outlandish assertion like “Jews control 96% of American media?”

For the most part, my interview with Minadeo was a repetitive game of cat and mouse. He constantly worked to highlight his more mainstream-sounding views.

He said his main problem with Jews is that they are overrepresented in positions of leadership. He advocated for free speech, noting that several countries have outlawed Holocaust denial (Minadeo believes the number of Jews killed by Adolph Hitler’s regime was far smaller than the accepted estimate of 6 million). And he decried Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

I would attempt to point out the videos he hosts on his site go far beyond what he was telling me in the car. In the virtual setting, Minadeo does Nazi salutes, talks about “these f**king Jews and their f**king schemes,” and tars not just ruthless CEOs, but every member of a faith, and a cultural heritage, that may count 20 million worldwide.

When I brought that up, Minadeo would pivot to another fringe theory or worn-out trope.

The other theme I tried hard to center was the potential for harm freighted in Minadeo’s words. He replied over and over that he preaches nonviolence.

But antisemitic incidents are on the rise in America. The Anti-Defamation League, which has been counting them since 1979, reports that 2019 and 2020 were two of the three worst years it has tracked. It hasn’t tallied 2021 yet.

Jews are living in fear, again — or maybe they’ve never stopped.

As Minadeo denied culpability for encouraging violence, I thought of Jeff Renfro, owner of the Yoga Hell studio in Petaluma. Renfro told me he took his gun out of storage and loaded it for the first time in ages after he fired Minadeo’s girlfriend, because you never know who Minadeo’s followers are.

I thought of Michéle Samson, president of Congregation Shir Shalom in Sonoma, describing how she finds herself watching a dear old lady during worship services and wondering if she’d have the strength to lift the woman out of a window if the synagogue were attacked.

I also thought of my own family. My mother was Jewish, so I am Jewish. I don’t practice the religion, but I lost relatives to the German death camps. My Uncle Louis, now deceased, begged his children never to get tattoos; to him, tattoos were numbers inked onto arms at Auschwitz.

I was surprised Minadeo didn’t ask me about my religion. Maybe he assumed. When he posted the video of our interview, he included a Star of David emoji in the description. Of course, that might simply have been his way of insinuating I’m controlled by the Jews in those spooky shadows of mainstream media.

Anyway, I kept asking Minadeo: Do you not take some responsibility for the terror one of your followers, juiced up on your theories and implications, might inflict on innocent Jews?

“I do not want, and do not ever endorse violence,” he would answer.

Especially violence against Minadeo, perhaps. He said he was assaulted by a Jewish man during a stunt in Florida, and that his neighbor’s apartment was vandalized “by Antifa” during one of Minadeo’s trips to Texas. He claimed he’ll probably have to leave Petaluma because things are growing so uncomfortable for him. He also claimed he was threatened after the first Press Democrat story about him was published.

“I’m scared for my life, man,” Minadeo said. “You gotta understand, a lot of people are willfully ignorant. And those people can be dangerous.”

Scared for his life? Willful ignorance? Dangerous people? He seemed oblivious to the obvious irony of his statements.

Minadeo clearly wants to live in two worlds simultaneously. In one, he goes about his business in Petaluma, running errands and drinking microbrews like any typical dude. In the other, he’s an internet hatemonger, basking in applause from racists and avowed Nazis who gleefully riff on burning Jews in ovens.

The truth is that Minadeo can no longer be both those people, not in Petaluma. And he has already made his choice.

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Camera Obscura on North Ocean Beach, San
Francisco (Jeff Goll)

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by Steve Heilig

Eons ago, in something like the mid-to-late 1990s, there was a period where there was no official place to get a hot dinner out in our little coastal Marin town. The local cafe hadn’t opened yet, the bar offered microwaved hot dogs (yuck), the bakery served only in the mornings through midday, $10 underground pasta and wine dinners at a local house were only on Tuesday evenings, and that was about it. No matter that organic farming and cattle-raising had been pioneered here. This may have been the situation that prompted legendary San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen to quip that this was “not the world’s greatest place for food.” (“Ouch,” some said, but “Good!”, said others, fearing a foreign foodie invasion). It was kinda what is now called a “fine dining desert.”

But that sure wasn’t true if one knew about Amleto’s underground pizza oven.

I ate his pizza often, usually on the nearby beach. And was especially glad I’d been introduced to him and his cooking one fine day when I had a special guest visiting, a rather elegant and maybe somewhat snooty woman who was also a semi-professional foodie, aka a gourmand, aka a food snob. Scary but at least she surfed. This was a “work” meeting and I wanted to impress her, or at least not be too funky. She was dauntingly smart and beautiful and thus made me quite nervous. The prospect of me cooking dinner for us was not promising, and I wasn’t keen to drive miles and miles on winding roads all the damn way to another town - and back - either. I really didn’t want to drive anywhere. What to do?

It had been a classic long hot Fall beach day, with decent surf too. Trudging up the beach ramp, fried and salty and fatigued, I spied Amleto’s place. Bingo! Why hadn’t I thought of him? It was nearing 6pm, when he took pizza orders. I blurted to my guest “How about having the best pizza in the world for dinner?” She looked skeptical but nodded, Well, OK, if you say so. So we veered left up to his gate, walked into his yard and to the downstairs door. It was open so we walked in and I yelled up “Heyyy, Amleto, you here?” And his voice came back, “Sure, be right down!”

We stood waiting and she quietly surveyed the unpromising little kitchen and stove. Footsteps came down and there he was. “Hi, how are you, what would you like tonite?” We both just stood there staring but then I couldn’t help it and laughed. Amleto looked down. He was stark naked except for a big straw hat. Apparently he’d been up top enjoying the sun. No tan lines. He looked back up and just smiled “Oh - Oops!” My guest turned and walked out. Amleto and I laughed again. “Well, just give us whatever’s best today please” I said. And he smiled and said “Coming right up. It will be the best indeed!”

Those pizzas took awhile so we walked up to the one liquor store, got a nice bottle of cold white wine, and strolled back to the sea wall to start on it. When the time came I hopped back up to Amleto’s and got the hot pie. “Should I apologize to your friend?” He gallantly asked as he handed it over and I paid him, but I said of course not. Back at the beach I presented the pizza and when she opened the box the delicious smell wafted up. At first bite she said “Oh…umm...this is amazing.” It was full of his veggies, herbs and spices, some grown right there in his garden. Some locals suspected he added some sort of secret addictive substance, who knows. In any event, “Wow,” she soon also added. Then about three slices in - of course we devoured the whole pie - she said “this… this is the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. It’s a full-on TBO.” 

Huh? “A TBO? What that?”, I asked. She smiled sweetly and replied “A Taste Bud Orgasm - That’s what my girlfriends and I call the best food there is.” I just gulped and went for yet another slice.

The next time I saw Amleto he asked “How did your nice friend like the pizza?”

I grinned and said, “Well, um, she called it a taste bud orgasm.” He looked at me quizzically for a couple seconds and then asked “I guess that means she liked it?”

He kept baking for many more years, privately, and there was a local cult following of his singular cuisine. Fortunately it never spread onto Yelp or any other of the myriad online foodie rating sites. Even my dog partook, once stealing a hot slice and running off down the beach, mouth likely burning from the melted cheese but obviously feeling it was worth it. Bad dog, but nobody could blame him. It was indeed the best pizza many of us ever had.

In any event Amleto gradually slowed his open evenings and then stopped, and died this month. He’ll be missed, both as a chef and a man. There are fine dining options in town now but not like what he provided. Bon appetit, and thanks, Maestro.

* * *

* * *



Rep. Mike Thompson has introduced the IRS Whistleblower Program Improvement Act to reduce tax fraud. Didn’t Joe Biden already get a massive increase in money that was supposed to give the IRS more ability to go after people who didn’t pay their taxes?

At the time, many of us were concerned that the IRS would ignore the wealthy donor class and go after everyday Americans, but the president assured us they were going to go after the wealthy. Thompson’s bill, on the other hand, is asking neighbors to turn on each other. This is not how we should be governed, but government never seems to work for most of us, but rather against us.

It doesn’t matter which party the president of the day is, politicians and the national media intentionally keep us divided. And it works. As long as we blame each other and fights about wedge issues, we ignore the economic policies of trickle-down “scamonomics” (from both parties) and austerity and endless war.

As long as we ignore the economic policies, nothing will significantly change. And that’s how the ruling elite want it. Stop fighting your neighbor and fight your government. Love thy neighbor. It’s a universal teaching. Practice it.

Jason Kishineff

American Canyon

* * *

R. Crumb Cartoon still from Me & Big Joe, a wonderful short story written by Michael Bloomfield about his experiences and friendship with Big Joe Williams in the 1960s in Chicago. I read this regularly, it is a tender and hilarious remembrance of a now bygone era. Characters in this story include not only Big Joe and Michael Bloomfield, but also Sonny Boy Williamson II, Tampa Red, Jazz Gillum, JB Lenoir, Charlie Musselwhite, George Mitchell, Lighnin' Hopkins and others.

* * *


“Let me ask you, when you were 25, did you worry about what age you could retire at?”

No, but I should have.

I expect that the minimum age to qualify for social security will keep rising, and I won’t live long enough to qualify.

But at least the rich get to keep their money while the rest of us starve.


Yes, the people of France should sit down, shut up, and eat shit. Just like we do here in the USA.

* * *

* * *


by Caroline Fraser

Larry McMurtry, our principle critic of Texas, once described the condition of women there:

“Years ago someone pointed out that Texas is hell on women and horses. He was wrong about horses, for most horses are considered to be valuable, and are treated well. He was absolutely right about women though, the country was simply hell on them, and remained so until fairly recently.”

We could quibble with that last point but overall it’s still a pretty solid judgment. Texas is currently intensifying the suffering of women, particularly poor women and women of color, with its notorious law placing a vigilante-style bounty on abortion providers and those aiding women who seek to have the procedure. The law has no exception for rape victims or survivors of incest. What won’t Texas do to humiliate and subjugate women? Very little, it appears.

McMurtry had an unerring eye for the casual cruelty and endemic social hypocrisy that made his state a pit of sexual viciousness, long chronicling the local appetite for behavior ranging from bestiality to incest between siblings. In a 1968 essay, “Eros in Archer County,” he revisited a passage in his novel ‘The Last Picture Show’ (1966), the scene in which rural youth copulate with a blind heifer, a practice represented as traditional, cows not being the half of it. “Farm kids did it with cows, mares, sheep, dogs, and whatever else they could catch,” he wrote, calling the scene “sober realism.” Indeed, Texas was keeping its options open on that front even lately. Bestiality did not become illegal there until 2017, when the state legislature made it a felony.

A scholar of state history and a bookseller, as well as a writer devoted to demythologizing the West, McMurtry was always gratified to discover “sober realism” wherever he could find it, often in rare or out-of-print sources that addressed life on the frontier as it actually was. Thus he came to admire, and eventually republish, Gertrude Beasley’s breathtakingly frank memoir, ‘My First Thirty Years,’ which originally appeared in 1925.

Born in 1892 in Cross Plains, a stagecoach crossroads in central Texas, Edna Gertrude Beasley was the ninth child of William Isaac Beasley and Lucy Beasley, and grew up dirt poor in a state specializing in dirt. Her account openly acknowledges bodily functions and features sketches of domestic violence, rape, incest, molestation, bestiality, bullying, prostitution, and abortion. To call her memoir unflinching is an understatement: it’s a virtual encyclopedia of misogyny. For its time and place—and even now—it’s unprecedented.

This scandalous book was published in Paris in 1925 by Robert McAlmon’s Contact Editions, famous for bringing out works of the Lost Generation, including those by Hemingway, Gertrude Stein, H:D., Mina Loy, and others. Beasley and her book would be lost too, albeit literally. After the United States’ 1921 ban on Joyce’s ‘Ulysses’ for obscenity (following publication of a chapter in The Little Review), Beasley’s work was vigorously suppressed, but unlike Joyce she found few defenders, although Bertrand Russell, whom she met on her travels, tried to help her, sending money and recommending a lawyer.

So far as we know, the only public comment she made on this suppression occurred in the January 1926 issue of Hearst’s International Cosmopolitan, which featured a sanitized version of her experience titled “I Was One of Thirteen Poor White Trash.” Packaged as one of the sensational first-person accounts for which the magazine was known, it appeared alongside contributions by Theodore Roosevelt, Ring Lardner, and W. Somerset Maugham. Beasley was clearly trying to promote her work.

Yet the existence of the memoir was mentioned only in the caption beneath her author photo. She referred to the censorship of the book obliquely in her melancholy conclusion:

“Those who have ben through my long road of poverty, family sorrows, and social discriminations, recognize the scars which such a struggle leaves. They are mostly distrust, hysteria, suspicion and fear—the results of an overwrought body and soul.

“There are many women who like myself have hacked their way out of the labyrinth of superstitions, lies, ignorance, unfair advantage and poverty, who have been great warriors in a mighty battle, in a battle so horrible that if they told the truth about life it would take away the last breath of the censors of Anglo-Saxondom.”

Two years after this was published, Beasley was silenced forever. Ten days after her return to the US from England in 1928, she was committed to an asylum, the Central Islip Psychiatric Center on Long Island, where she remained until her death in 1955. Her diagnosis and the circumstances of her committal remain unknown. 

* * *

Homecoming 1945, by N.C. Wyeth

* * *

CHAT CHATTER: OpenAI (Coast Chatline)

David Alden wrote:

It is interesting that CHAT got creates marvelous simulations of humanness, but is very often spectacularly wrong. Right now it is really nothing more than a parlor toy. I certainly would not rely on it for anything.

* * *

Marco McClean here. David, aside from parlor toy, aren't you describing almost everybody we know or know of?

Lately I've been using OpenAI's ChatGPT more for searches. I was looking for an obscure orerry program I remember liking twenty years ago. Google was little help. I asked ChatGPT the way I'd ask a person, just throwing in every impression and half-memory of it, and it came back with the name of the program, details of its inception, and recommendations of fun things to do with it. Then I used Google and went straight to it:

ChatGPT4 is out already. And the various art AIs are doing spectacular work.

The sum of all human knowledge is out there, so much of it unavailable in the noise floor, and AIs are needed now to winnow out what's relevant to us.

Just in my life, my crates of reel-to-reel tapes and audio cassettes and VHS video recordings of projects are oppressively useless already compared to digitized material. Which one of these is the one where Salmon Shook (drowned in Baja) talked about fishing and diving? Where a flamboyant lunatic speed-painted a gallery of paintings in half an hour? Where those three old men (old in 1987, so dead) from a fishing boat in Noyo Harbor played jug band music? Which radio show tapes from KMFB have that high-class prostitute who used to call and talk about being a high class prostitute?

I think the project to digitize all the pre-web Anderson Valley Advertisers has stalled. I'd like to be able to say, for example, Show me everything the AVA printed that I wrote. I have my old text files from the Mendocino Commentary and from Memo, but I'd like to have the images of the pages digitized - that was all laid out and arranged by hand on light tables. I'm just one person. Think of the river of the products of millions of creative people constantly vanishing forever as we all get old and die and someone carts the entire product of our lives to the landfill in a pickup truck for beer money.

There's a three-episode BBC teevee series from the late 1990s that I'd like you to see: Shooting the Past. It's about a repository of ten million historical photographs and the curators, who know the story behind each one, about to be forcibly retired, as an insurance company has bought the building and needs it empty so they can put a business school there. When that was made, there was no way to save the pictures. Now there is. But who cares?

And the book Rainbow's End by Vernor Vinge. Just one of the future events in it: a university library of millions of books digitized for posterity in a single afternoon by a process of bulldozing them into a shredder/wind tunnel lined with intelligent cameras.

* * *

* * *

UKRAINE, Monday, March 20, 2023

China’s Xi calls for ‘rational way’ out of Ukraine conflict

On his way to Moscow, China’s president is trying to cast Beijing as a peacemaker after more than a year of war.

China's Xi to Visit Moscow Monday in Show of Support for Putin

Chinese President Xi Jinping, who is due to arrive in Moscow later on Monday for talks, has called for a “rational way” out of the Ukraine crisis but has acknowledged it will not be easy to reach a solution.

Writing in the Russian newspaper Rossiiskaya Gazeta, a daily published by the Russian government, Xi said discussions could be based on China’s 12-point proposal for a political settlement published last month.

“The document serves as a constructive factor in neutralising the consequences of the crisis and promoting a political settlement,” Xi wrote, according to a Reuters translation of the article. “Complex problems do not have simple solutions.”

Xi added that the paper reflected “as much as possible” the views of the global community.

Xi’s visit to Moscow is his first since Putin sent Russian troops into Ukraine in February 2022, with Beijing casting itself as a neutral party even after it reaffirmed its close ties with its northern neighbour. The Chinese president will be the first world leader to meet Putin since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him last week.

The Chinese and Russian presidents met shortly before Putin sent his troops into Ukraine, committing themselves to a “no limits” partnership. It is not clear whether Xi was aware of Russia’s plan to invade Ukraine, a close trading partner of Beijing.

Xi has been seeking to present China as a global peacemaker, arguing that a way out of the crisis could be “found if everyone is guided by the concept of common, comprehensive, joint and sustainable security, and continue dialogue and consultations in an equal, prudent and pragmatic manner”.

Putin has welcomed China’s willingness to play a “constructive role” in ending the conflict in Ukraine and has “high expectations” of Monday’s talks with Xi.

“We have no doubt that they will give a new powerful impetus to the whole bilateral cooperation,” Putin wrote in an article written for a Chinese newspaper and published by the Kremlin on Sunday.

He said Sino-Russian relations were “at the highest point.”

* * *

* * *



Will Rogers said it best: “If you want to get out of a hole, stop digging.”

Vladimir Putin just paid an unexpected personal visit to the Ukrainian City of Mariupol. Wonders never cease. Perhaps he wished to place a memorial wreath as a token of how much he grieves for the five hundred lives his bombs killed in the clearly marked hospital. It seems all the more callous and cruel since these attacks also killed hundreds of civilians-including the woman whose baby and she died when she was in the act of giving birth.

Putin’s brutal war on Ukraine’s blameless civilians grinds on. He’s been charged with crimes against humanity by the International Criminal Court in the Hague, Switzertland. Is he trying to outdo other madmen like Raznatovic’, R. Karadzic or Adolph Hitler? Sooner or later he will be replaced in Russia so that some of his own people will arrest him and transport him to the Hague for trial. Or maybe an assassin will pull a trigger and save the world the trouble.


Frank H. Baumgardner

Santa Rosa

* * *


Unearthing the history of protest against the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan March 19, 2023, is the 20th anniversary of the start of the U.S. war in Iraq in 2003. The war in Afghanistan was already underway, having begun a year and a half earlier. Both wars marked a generation, and the war in Iraq is still going on, at least in terms of the ongoing presence of U.S. soldiers.…

Photographs by David Bacon (

* * *

Paloos/Colville family pose with pony, Colville Indian Reservation, Washington, 1900-1910 (photographer: Edward H. Latham)

* * *


The politicians and shills in the media who orchestrated 20 years of military debacles in the Middle East, and who seek a world dominated by U.S. power, must be held accountable for their crimes.

by Chris Hedges

Two decades ago, I sabotaged my career at The New York Times. It was a conscious choice. I had spent seven years in the Middle East, four of them as the Middle East Bureau Chief. I was an Arabic speaker. I believed, like nearly all Arabists, including most of those in the State Department and the CIA, that a “preemptive” war against Iraq would be the most costly strategic blunder in American history. It would also constitute what the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg called the “supreme international crime.” While Arabists in official circles were muzzled, I was not. I was invited by them to speak at The State Department, The United States Military Academy at West Point and to senior Marine Corps officers scheduled to be deployed to Kuwait to prepare for the invasion.

Mine was not a popular view nor one a reporter, rather than an opinion columnist, was permitted to express publicly according to the rules laid down by the newspaper. But I had experience that gave me credibility and a platform. I had reported extensively from Iraq. I had covered numerous armed conflicts, including the first Gulf War and the Shi’ite uprising in southern Iraq where I was taken prisoner by The Iraqi Republican Guard. I easily dismantled the lunacy and lies used to promote the war, especially as I had reported on the destruction of Iraq’s chemical weapons stockpiles and facilities by the United Nations Special Commission (UNSCOM) inspection teams. I had detailed knowledge of how degraded the Iraqi military had become under U.S. sanctions. Besides, even if Iraq did possess “weapons of mass destruction” that would not have been a legal justification for war.

The death threats towards me exploded when my stance became public in numerous interviews and talks I gave across the country. They were either mailed in by anonymous writers or expressed by irate callers who would daily fill up the message bank on my phone with rage-filled tirades. Right-wing talk shows, including Fox News, pilloried me, especially after I was heckled and booed off a commencement stage at Rockford College for denouncing the war. The Wall Street Journal wrote an editorial attacking me. Bomb threats were called into venues where I was scheduled to speak. I became a pariah in the newsroom. Reporters and editors I had known for years would lower their heads as I passed, fearful of any career-killing contagion. I was issued a written reprimand by The New York Times to cease speaking publicly against the war. I refused. My tenure was over.

What is disturbing is not the cost to me personally. I was aware of the potential consequences. What is disturbing is that the architects of these debacles have never been held accountable and remain ensconced in power. They continue to promote permanent war, including the ongoing proxy war in Ukraine against Russia, as well as a future war against China. 

The politicians who lied to us — George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden to name but a few — extinguished millions of lives, including thousands of American lives, and left Iraq along with Afghanistan, Syria, Somalia, Libya and Yemen in chaos. They exaggerated or fabricated conclusions from intelligence reports to mislead the public. The big lie is taken from the playbook of totalitarian regimes. 

The cheerleaders in the media for war — Thomas Friedman, David Remnick, Richard Cohen, George Packer, William Kristol, Peter Beinart, Bill Keller, Robert Kaplan, Anne Applebaum, Nicholas Kristof, Jonathan Chait, Fareed Zakaria, David Frum, Jeffrey Goldberg, David Brooks and Michael Ignatieff — were used to amplify the lies and discredit the handful of us, including Michael Moore, Robert Scheer and Phil Donahue, who opposed the war. These courtiers were often motivated more by careerism than idealism. They did not lose their megaphones or lucrative speaking fees and book contracts once the lies were exposed, as if their crazed diatribes did not matter. They served the centers of power and were rewarded for it.

Many of these same pundits are pushing further escalation of the war in Ukraine, although most know as little about Ukraine or NATO’s provocative and unnecessary expansion to the borders of Russia as they did about Iraq. 

“I told myself and others that Ukraine is the most important story of our time, that everything we should care about is on the line there,” George Packer writes in The Atlantic magazine. “I believed it then, and I believe it now, but all of this talk put a nice gloss on the simple, unjustifiable desire to be there and see.”

Packer views war as a purgative, a force that will jolt a country, including the U.S., back to the core moral values he supposedly found amongst American volunteers in Ukraine.

“I didn’t know what these men thought of American politics, and I didn’t want to know,” he writes of two U.S. volunteers. “Back home we might have argued; we might have detested each other. Here, we were joined by a common belief in what the Ukrainians were trying to do and admiration for how they were doing it. Here, all the complex infighting and chronic disappointments and sheer lethargy of any democratic society, but especially ours, dissolved, and the essential things — to be free and live with dignity — became clear. It almost seemed as if the U.S. would have to be attacked or undergo some other catastrophe for Americans to remember what Ukrainians have known from the start.”

The Iraq war cost at least $3 trillion and the 20 years of warfare in the Middle East cost a total of some $8 trillion. The occupation created Shi’ite and Sunni death squads, fueled horrific sectarian violence, gangs of kidnappers, mass killings and torture. It gave rise to al-Qaeda cells and spawned ISIS which at one point controlled a third of Iraq and Syria. ISIS carried out rape, enslavement and mass executions of Iraqi ethnic and religious minorities such as the Yazidis. It persecuted Chaldean Catholics and other Christians. This mayhem was accompanied by an orgy of killing by U.S. occupation forces, such as as the gang rape and murder of Abeer al-Janabi, a 14-year-old girl and her family by members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne. The U.S. routinely engaged in the torture and execution of detained civilians, including at Abu Ghraib and Camp Bucca. 

There is no accurate count of lives lost, estimates in Iraq alone range from hundreds of thousands to over a million. Some 7,000 U.S. service members died in our post 9/11 wars, with over 30,000 later committing suicide, according to Brown University’s Costs of War project. 

Yes, Saddam Hussein was brutal and murderous, but in terms of a body count, we far outstripped his killings, including his genocidal campaigns against the Kurds. We destroyed Iraq as a unified country, devastated its modern infrastructure, wiped out its thriving and educated middle class, gave birth to rogue militias and installed a kleptocracy that uses the country’s oil revenues to enrich itself. Ordinary Iraqis are impoverished. Hundreds of Iraqis protesting in the streets against the kleptocracy have been gunned down by police. There are frequent power outages. The Shi’ite majority, closely allied with Iran, dominates the country. 

The occupation of Iraq, beginning 20 years ago today, turned the Muslim world and the Global South against us. The enduring images we left behind from two decades of war include President Bush standing under a “Mission Accomplished” banner onboard the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier barely one month after he invaded Iraq, the bodies of Iraqis in Fallujah that were burned with white phosphorus and the photos of torture by U.S. soldiers. 

The U.S. is desperately attempting to use Ukraine to repair its image. But the rank hypocrisy of calling for “a rules-based international order” to justify the $113 billion in arms and other aid that the U.S. has committed to send to Ukraine, won’t work. It ignores what we did. We might forget, but the victims do not. The only redemptive path is charging Bush, Cheney and the other architects of the wars in the Middle East, including Joe Biden, as war criminals in the International Criminal Court. Haul Russian President Vladimir Putin off to The Hague, but only if Bush is in the cell next to him. 

Many of the apologists for the war in Iraq seek to justify their support by arguing that “mistakes” were made, that if, for example, the Iraqi civil service and army were not disbanded after the U.S. invaded, the occupation would have worked. They insist that our intentions were honorable. They ignore the hubris and lies that led to the war, the misguided belief that the U.S. could be the sole major power in a unipolar world. They ignore the massive military expenditures spent annually to achieve this fantasy. They ignore that the war in Iraq was only an episode in this demented quest. 

A national reckoning with the military fiascos in the Middle East would expose the self-delusion of the ruling class. But this reckoning is not taking place. We are trying to wish the nightmares we perpetuated in the Middle East away, burying them in a collective amnesia. “World War III Begins With Forgetting,” warns Stephen Wertheim.

The celebration of our national “virtue” by pumping weapons into Ukraine, by sustaining at least 750 military bases in more than 70 countries and by expanding our naval presence in the South China Sea, is meant to fuel this dream of global dominance.

What the mandarins in Washington fail to grasp is that most of the globe does not believe the lie of American benevolence or support its justifications for U.S. interventions. China and Russia, rather than passively accepting U.S. hegemony, are building up their militaries and strategic alliances. China, last week, brokered an agreement between Iran and Saudi Arabia to re-establish relations after seven years of hostility, something once expected of U.S. diplomats. The rising influence of China creates a self-fulfilling prophecy for those who call for war with Russia and China, one that will have consequences far more catastrophic than those in the Middle East.

There is a national weariness with permanent war, especially with inflation ravaging family incomes and 57 percent of Americans unable to afford a $1,000 emergency expense. The Democratic Party and the establishment wing of the Republican Party, who peddled the lies about Iraq, are war parties. Donald Trump’s call to end the war in Ukraine, like his lambasting of the war in Iraq as the “worst decision” in American history, are attractive political stances to Americans struggling to stay afloat. The working poor, even those whose options for education and employment are limited, are no longer as inclined to fill the ranks. They have far more pressing concerns than a unipolar world or war with Russia or China. The isolationism of the far right is a potent political weapon.

The pimps of war, leaping from fiasco to fiasco, cling to the chimera of U.S. global supremacy. The dance macabre will not stop until we publicly hold them accountable for their crimes, ask those we have wronged for forgiveness and give up our lust for uncontested global power. The day of reckoning, vital if we are to protect what is left of our anemic democracy and curb the appetites of the war machine, will only come when we build mass anti-war organizations that demand an end to the imperial folly threatening to extinguish life on the planet. 




  1. Marmon March 21, 2023


    People are already starting to line up in Waco. It will be the largest rally to date. And, it’s a guaranteed entry event.


    • Harvey Reading March 21, 2023

      Lotta stupid people in the US.

    • pca67 March 21, 2023

      Sure they are 🙄

  2. Kirk Vodopals March 21, 2023

    Nice work Phil Barber. That’s probably the only way to deal with the internet nuts: confront them in a public setting. Unfortunately we have droves of them now who follow the nuttiest nut trails into rabbit holes

    • George Hollister March 21, 2023

      We always had the nuts. They just never had access to self controlled mass media before. The problem with these nuts is sometimes they are right, and sometimes they control the government narrative we get spoon fed everyday. So to everyone, be skeptical of everything you hear until what you hear can be verified.

  3. Kirk Vodopals March 21, 2023

    Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan:

    You can never hold back spring
    You can be sure that I will never
    Stop believing
    The blushing rose will climb
    Spring ahead or fall behind
    Winter dreams the same dream
    Every time
    You can never hold back spring
    Even though you’ve lost your way
    The world keeps dreaming of spring
    So close your eyes
    Open you heart
    To one who’s dreaming of you
    You can never hold back spring
    Remember everything that spring
    Can bring
    You can never hold back spring

  4. Craig Stehr March 21, 2023

    After spending the entire evening coughing and expectorating outside of the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center, interspersed with taking cough medicine, cough drops, an inhaler, plus two prescription drugs for high blood pressure and hypertension, it is a wonder that having the lungs “vacuumed”and the bronchial tubes enlarged were never mentioned by the representatives of the American Medical Association who have been offering me health services. Additionally, there is still no “personal physician” because the one recommended by UHC-Medicare Advantage had moved to Lakeport, although his name appears on the membership card pointlessly. So I have no personal physician to be of help. Otherwise, I’ve been advised by Adventist Health in Ukiah, CA that there is no such thing as an wholistically inclined personal physician, and that my dream of actually getting effective alternative health care, with the insurance paying for it, is ridiculous to believe is possible. And by the way, it is obvious that if I were in the women’s health network, the wholistic practitoners would have conducted a healing circle, followed by a sports massage and foot reflexology, and then somehow would provide the necessary lung vacuuming and bronchial tube enlargement. This would be followed by appreciating what I’ve given to this chaotic mess of a society over the past 73 years, and I would be moved into fully subsidized housing for the final chapter of this enlightened life on the planet earth. Of course I am being sane here, but only to provide a touch of variety in Mendocino County. Nota Bene: If anybody actually has any intelligent wholistic health connections in America, please hook me up! Craig Louis Stehr (

    • Eric Sunswheat March 21, 2023

      RE: Otherwise, I’ve been advised by Adventist Health in Ukiah, CA that there is no such thing as an wholistically inclined personal physician, and that my dream of actually getting effective alternative health care, with the insurance paying for it, is ridiculous to believe is possible. (Craig Stehr)

      —>. For those who initially chose private MediCare Advantage for elder insurance, there is a short time frame to reconsider their decision, without penalty to enroll or continue with government administered Original MediCare Part B, that mostly covers 80% of insurance services.

      Part B may be free for low income with reduced assets, who qualify for Part A. A range of patient requested preventive health measures and determinations, may be achieved to close 20% medical cost gap, with top shelf supplemental insurance, MediGap Part G, which costs $170 per month, with yearly deductible of about $233.

      However if MediGap is not enrolled within certain time frames of acquiring Original MediCare, the insurer may consider pre-existing health conditions, to substantially increase coverage cost, or deny writing a policy.

      While being spiritually attuned, it’s important for the spiritually aware to keep one’s feet on the ground, at risk of being at Heavens Gate sooner than expected. Call MediCare or contact at, the state local SHIP counselors, and maybe read MediCare regulations for 2023 online. Grandfather Time is ticking.

  5. Chuck Dunbar March 21, 2023

    Thanks, Kirk, a sweet ode to spring.

  6. jim barstow March 21, 2023

    Rainfall totals are no longer reported by the paper, presumably because the CalFire weather station is offline. I called CalFire and left a message about this but never got a response. Any idea on how to get them to fix it? The rainfall totals for Yorkville or Ukiah aren’t that relevant to the valley.

    • peter boudoures March 21, 2023

      51.1” Philo

    • Marshall Newman March 22, 2023

      I left an e-mail with the National Weather Service a week or two ago. No response there, either.

  7. Alethea Patton March 21, 2023

    My kids grew up eating Amleto’s pizzas. He was such a treasure in our little town. He will be sorely missed. Blessings to his sons, Jordan & Chris.

    • Chuck Dunbar March 21, 2023

      Thanks, Steve Heilig, for this sweet pizza tale.

  8. Chris Philbrick March 21, 2023

    The Boont Tribe’s ad in yesterday’s edition for someone to monitor and play with youngsters a couple times a week falls far short in protecting themselves against potential child molesters. At the very least they should have applicants reviewed by Intellicorp Background Checks or a similar low cost investigative entity.

  9. Bruce McEwen March 21, 2023

    A Spring Fire

    Why don’t we sit around the fire
    And we’ll raise a little tune
    Why don’t we sit around the fire
    And we’ll raise a little tune
    Sit around the fire, raise a little tune
    Sit around here long enough
    We may even raise the moon

    Why don’t you pass me what you’re smoking
    Why don’t you pass it over here
    Why don’t you pass me what your smoking
    Why don’t you pass it over here
    Pass me what you’re smoking, pass it over here,
    If it is what I think it is
    The law will soon be here

    The winter’s finally over
    But the summer won’t last long
    The winer’s finally over
    But the summer won’t last long
    Winter’s finally over, summer won’t last long
    Come this time a year from now
    And we could all be gone

    • Bruce McEwen March 21, 2023

      Why don’t we dance around the fire
      Now that spring is in the air
      Why don’t we dance around the fire
      Now that spring is in the air
      Dance around the fire, spring is in the air
      Throw that winter garment of penance
      Straight up in the air

      (It’s been such a long time since I wrote this song that I overlooked this third, the penultimate verse. Years ago, up in Montana, we used to have spring fires to burn up all the tree branches and sheds that collapsed under the heavy wet snow, way back in hippy days, long ago, far from here.)

  10. Grapes March 21, 2023

    Dorothy Wordsworth 1802
    When we were in the woods beyond Gowbarrow park we saw a few daffodils close to the water side, we fancied that the lake had floated the seed ashore… – But as we went along there were more and yet more and at last under the boughs of the trees, we saw that there was a long belt of them along the shore, about the breadth of a country turnpike road…

    William Wordsworth 1802
    I wandered lonely as a cloud
    That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
    When all at once I saw a crowd,
    A host, of golden daffodils;
    Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
    Fluttering and dancing in the breeze…

  11. Marmon March 21, 2023


    All winter I’ve had three grey doves sitting on a branch outside my workspace window. I think one of them is lonesome. Pictures to come.


    • Bruce Anderson March 21, 2023

      It means Trump’s going to jail but Stormy Daniels gets visitation rights.

      • Marmon March 21, 2023

        Will Secret Service Agents accompany him?


      • George Hollister March 21, 2023

        Trump won’t go to jail, but will get a lot of sympathy, and free publicity.

  12. Chuck Dunbar March 21, 2023


    Chris Hedges writes powerfully about the U.S. invasion of Iraq, and the terrible consequences for that country, and the larger area of the Middle East, of our intervention. I think he is right on this issue, with the clarity that 20 years of hindsight provides. I am less sure he is correct about the war in Ukraine, and U.S. support for that country. The two issues seem quite different to me, not easily comparable. We shall see, though, how it goes, what end comes to it all, what lessons hindsight makes clear.

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