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Mendocino County Today: Saturday, April 15, 2023

Mostly Sunny | Lake Mendo | $10k Reward | Hoax Update | Wildflower Show | AVUSD News | Wilderness Park | Fentanyl Man | Bunyan Scholarship | Ed Notes | Snow Mountain | April Is | Tempting Fate | Mo 2024 | Glory Years | Looking Ahead | County Names | Yesterday's Catch | Marco Radio | 1923 Schoolroom | Dystopian Society | Unregulated Militia | Downtown Denizens | Tea | Arresting Ishi | Hell Hole | Ukraine | New Clydesdales | Sowing Disorder | Iron Tail | Evil Order | House Afire | 911 Spell | English Spring

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A WET AND COLDER PATTERN will begin on Sunday with light rain and gusty southerly winds. More widespread precipitation arrives Monday through Wednesday when rain, mountain snow, along with varying bouts of increased southerly winds will occur. Rain chances will continue into late next week. (NWS)

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View from Lake Mendocino Overlook (Jeff Goll)

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FAMILY OF MURDERED COVELO MAN OFFERS $10K REWARD for Information Leading to Suspect’s Capture

A little more than two weeks ago a Covelo man was murdered. In the days that followed, law enforcement publicly announced a suspect described as “armed and dangerous”. To bolster efforts to find the suspect, a band of Round Valley Tribe members and the family of the victim have amassed $10,000 dollars to offer a reward for anyone that provides information that leads to the capture and prosecution of Lee Anthony Joaquin, the lead suspect in the brutal murder of 20-year-old Nicholas Whipple.…

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by Mary Benjamin

In an interview with Councilmember Lindy Peters, posted on Mendocino Coast Media, Fort Bragg Police Chief Neil Cervenka provided new details about what happened during the hoax call incident on Monday, April 3, directed at Fort Bragg High School, and what law enforcement now knows.

Chief Cervenka described the caller as someone with a heavy foreign accent, uncommon in this geographical area. The caller gave specific details to the dispatcher about the classroom where he was hiding and another room number where four students had been shot.

Two officers arrived to provide the initial response but did not locate any shooting. To be thorough, one officer went to another Fort Bragg school to check room numbers. Due to the caller’s heavy accent, a modified version of the call that gave more clarity to the caller’s words confirmed the location of the shooting at Fort Bragg High School.

Since Fort Bragg and Ukiah police departments share the same dispatch system, the call-out on police scanners alerted multiple law enforcement agencies to send reinforcement, including ambulances by ground and by air.

While the response effort at the school was ongoing, Ukiah Police dispatch received a similar call regarding Ukiah High School and recognized the caller’s voice. At about the same time. Willits Police Department received a call as well in reference to Willits High School.

Chief Cervenka noted that the Fort Bragg schools offices and the police department office were flooded with calls spreading through the community based upon misinterpreted information from the police scanner. Police officers at the school site were also inundated with calls on their personal devices. All calls, in general, were not answered.

“This critical event demanded our full attention,” noted Chief Cervenka. He added that the officers “had a job to do, and that job was to make sure everyone was safe. They did that without question.”

Chief Cervenka also advised the community that information on police scanners does not portray the real situation. “It’s not fact unless we’re saying it,” he stressed.

The Fort Bragg Fire Department secured Dana Street and blocked the public from coming onto the school site until police declared it safe. Chief Cervenka commended parents on the scene for following law enforcement directions.

He pointed out that some police officers on the scene were emotionally stressed as well about their own children on campus.

At this time, Chief Cervenka confirmed that his department is working with a federal agency that may have tentatively identified the hoax caller as “someone from another country that does not have extradition rights with the United States.” As a result, law enforcement cannot pursue the case.

“In my opinion,” said Chief Cervenka, “this was an act of terrorism on the United States because the definition of terrorism is causing terror and panic.” He stated that other calls across the country had occurred as well in the city of San Rafael, in the city of Monrovia last year, and in Nevada and Wyoming this past Tuesday.

Considering the outcome, Chief Cervenka acknowledged, “The police department is not perfect. We made mistakes in this. We found a lot of ways we could do things better or more efficiently.”

He added that he would be meeting with Joseph Aldridge, the Superintendent of Fort Bragg Unified School District, to adjust plans for active shooter protocols and procedures that they have been working on for the past eight months.

The interview concluded with a “sincere thanks to the community” from Chief Cervenka, who acknowledged the difficulty for parents when they stand by and are unable to help their own children. “I know that fear. It can be very overwhelming.”

He continued, “Despite that, almost one hundred percent of the parents there respected the boundary, knew what we were trying to do, listened to our people, and stayed out of the way so we could protect their kids. In allowing us to do our job, the community was a large part of the success of this.”

(Ukiah Daily Journal)

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Dear Anderson Valley Community,

I hope you are having a wonderful Spring break. We look forward to seeing your student at school on Monday.

Just a reminder regarding a few dates to mark on your calendar:

Panther Squad Parent Volunteer Training at Elementary School: April 19 5:00

This is an important initiative to bring more parents/guardians into our school family to help build connections with kids.

Junior/Senior High Honor Roll: Thursday, April 20 Gym

Celebrate your student’s hard work and watch them honored with their certificate and gift card.

Drive In Movie Night by Student Council: Saturday, April 22

Dual Enrollment Credit and Process Explained: April 25 5:00 p.m. Cafeteria

Learn how your student can earn important college and career units while in high school!

Panther Squad Parent Volunteer Training at Elementary School: April 26 4:00 

This is an important initiative to bring more parents/guardians into our school family to help build connections with kids.

Elementary Open House: Celebrate your child’s classroom experience with a family visit: April 26, 5:00 p.m.

Drug Task Force Parent/Guardian Meeting: May 11 in Gym 6:00

The new websiteis under construction. It will be fully rolled out by July 1 and include an on-line absence reporting system and many other features to connect you to school information quickly! It also has an immediate “Translate” button so all content will be offered in English or Spanish.

State testing will be occurring at both sites throughout the next month. It is important for students to try their best on these tests. They are not used for placement, but are an accountability measure for our school system and also an opportunity for us to develop areas to strengthen our program. We make it a comfortable low -pressure experience but it is important for students to try their best.

A huge thank you to Ali Cook and all of the chaperones that led our students on a whirlwind adventure in Puerto Rico this past week. An experience of a lifetime and a gift from the heart by these adults. Thank you to the Education Foundation and numerous donors for the generous funding.

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District

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You'll find the entrance where Laurel Street dead ends. Seven acres of towering redwoods and fern-filled draws. Follow paths along Pudding Creek and feel all the feels of the forest.

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Experts consider 2 milligrams of fentanyl to be lethal, but many counterfeit pills contain up to 5 mg (more than twice the lethal dose). The fentanyl that defendant Roberts possessed for sale had a net weight of 15 grams (or 15,000 milligrams). 

A Mendocino County jury returned from its deliberations in less than an hour Wednesday morning to find the trial defendant guilty as charged.

William Roberts

Defendant William Cecil Roberts, Jr., age 57, of Willits and Missouri, was found guilty of transporting fentanyl for the purpose of sales, a felony.

After the jury was excused, the defendant’s matter was referred to the Mendocino County Adult Probation department for a background study and sentencing recommendation.

It is anticipated that the background study will be somewhat more extensive than normal due to the defendant’s record out of the State of Missouri, where he has amassed a record of at least eight prior felony convictions.

Interestingly, defendant Roberts was sentenced in Missouri in 2018 to ten years in the penitentiary on a drug charge but released after serving two years and placed under parole supervision.

The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence used by the prosecution at trial to convict the defendant were the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Justice crime laboratory.

The prosecutor who presented the People’s evidence to the jury was Deputy District Attorney Jamie Pearl.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Victoria Shanahan presided over the three-day trial.

Judge Shanahan will also preside over the sentencing hearing now calendared for May 12, 2023 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department B of the Ukiah courthouse.

(Mendocino County District Attorney)

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AS A FORMER BUDWEISER DRINKER forced into retirement by age, I never once, in all those happy years of imbibing, did I even consider drinking Bud Light, preferring to go with the genuine beer- flavored Bud regular. Bud Light finally has a mascot consistent with the drink.

THE CEO of Bud Light's parent company Anheuser-Busch addressed the mass boycotts over the company's marketing Bud Light with a trans person. “My time serving this country taught me the importance of accountability and the values upon which America was founded: freedom, hard work and respect for one another. As CEO of Anheuser-Busch, I am focused on building and protecting our remarkable history and heritage.”

THAT YOUNG DOOFUS arrested for posting military secrets to wow a bunch of high school kids reveals a couple of things — how un-secret a lot of “classified” material is — who hasn't known that Ukraine is on the ropes militarily — and who doesn't know, or at least suspect, that all the world's competing forces know all there is to know about each other. And of course it took a whole FBI SWAT team to arrest the lad. 

TRUMP SAID YESTERDAY, that if he's re-elected, he'll get rid of all the “radical marxist prosecutors.” Of which there are exactly none in the United States, but conflating libs with the left, of which there is also none in the United States, the fascist political right hopes to convince its duped foot soldiers into believing that all the present ills besetting the country are the fault of the political other half, as if the other half is a gang of subversives. Deluded, wacky — yes. Radicals? Har-har.

BIDEN'S IRISH ANCESTRY is less genuine than my Scottish ancestry or Mark Scaramella's Italian ancestry, and I have identifiable kin in Scotland and there's a whole village of Scaramellas in Italy called Delebio. Biden hasn't had an immediate Irish ancestor in 150 years. His trip to his alleged olde country has, of course, been as farcical as it is pointless, one more junket at public expense.

FORT BRAGG'S “CHANGE OUR NAME” group is led by a recently arrived retired college professor named Zwerling. I managed to get on the Change email list. This morning (Friday) Prof Zwerling wrote, “Friends, first a reminder that Change Our Name meets this Saturday at 2 p.m. We meet vaccinated, socially distanced, and out-of-doors. Please contact me if you would like to attend…”

I WROTE BACK to ask where the meeting would be.

PROF Z REPLIED: “Yes, Bruce, as long as it is not for publication. We’ll be at 932 Cedar St., Fort Bragg.”

I REPLIED to the professor, “Sorry, but everything's for publication.”

TO WHICH THE PROF REPLIED, “Then please do not attend or send a reporter.”

JEEZ, I have proof of vaccination and I've been socially distanced for much of my adult life, but I'm still not welcome? 

SPEAKING OF TRUMP: It was refreshing to read the New Yorker’s sensible description of NY DA Alvin Bragg’s case against Trump in two related items this week. 

Writer Amy Sorkin noted that Bragg’s case is “the flimsiest” of the cases against Trump, adding that paying off a porn star is not illegal. If, however, it was done to defraud or conceal another crime, it might be a felony. But nobody yet knows what the alleged “fraud” was or what other crime(s) may have been concealed. And Ben McGrath pointed out that Trump’s alleged crimes are “old, if tawdry news. Basically, hush money improperly classified [34 times]. Or, in legalese, ‘The purpose of the payment was to avoid negative attention to the defendant’s campaign by suppressing information about an allegedly sexual encounter between defendant and an adult-film actress’.” (Mark Scaramella)

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Snow Capped Mountain Seen from Orr Springs Rd (Jeff Goll)

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APRIL IS THE CRUELLEST MONTH, breeding Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing Memory and desire, stirring Dull roots with spring rain. Winter kept us warm, covering Earth in forgetful snow, feeding A little life with dried tubers. 

— TS Eliot

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"TEMPTING FATE" is a satirical sideshow entertainment reflecting the house of mirrors called climate change. Balk at the science, bemoan the social impacts, and scream in horror at the political divide. You’ll find yourself laughing at the grotesque hyperbole, and the fantastically fecund characters bedecked in disdain and hubris. See Mother Earth talk trash to those who bite her tit while suckling her life-giving abundance!

Ross Travis teams up with legendary clown pedagogue and director Ronlin Foreman to create an original one-man bouffon show. Tempting Fate is full of climatological characters, from a tempestuous Harpy straight from the land of mythology bringing an ominous reminder from the gods to a former Oil Executive, now a sustainable farmer at a Climate Changers Anonymous meeting, struggling with the difficulty of his new off the grid life in a yurt with a backed up compostable toilet.

Tempting Fate premiered at Little Boxes Theater in 2019 with hopes of touring that were crushed by the Coronavirus pandemic. At the time, the show was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle by Lily Janiak and was nominated for seven Theatre Bay Area Awards, including Outstanding Solo Production, Outstanding Direction of a Specialty Production, Outstanding Creative Specialties for Mask AND Puppet Design, Outstanding Costume Design, and Outstanding Sound Design. The show won for Outstanding Creative Specialties for Mask Design. The Tempting Fate team is excited to tour this work and be a part of the Point Arena Fringe Festival.

Showing: Sat, Apr 22nd, 7:00 PM @ Arena Theater:

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1) Is it safe to talk the truth that weed growers and overcrowding the market with oversupply was the real reason that there was a reality check on prices?

(2) Sure it is. It used to be something because it was a little more rare special. And impacted all of our economy so up and down the entire State of California. People didn’t recognize it; they failed to understand that the cash economy was driving everything. If you consider if you kept your scissors busy and your tray full at times you could pull an $800 a day easy if you were so inclined. Everyone benefitted. Single moms were able to send their kids to trade school. Beauty College. 1986-2012 the GLORY YEARS. Many local store owners I’ve had recent conversations with lament that actual cash in the till, cash receipts down by 90% to almost nothing. The trimmigrants, love ’em or hate ’em, also spent big bucks. Go to a local store known to sell supplies now. Used to be on any given day you had to park down the street, the lot was FULL. Now two or three cars it's hopping. Most of the store staff laid off long ago. It's the elephant in the room. Hard to talk about, but that is the reality for so many whether they know it or not. For a lower income person the chance to make some extra cash here and there rapidly spent on spoiling kids, paying bills, buying a li’l comfort was appreciated. Now that is not happening and people have the next struggle. Pray for us all. Sometimes hope is all we truly have.

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Mendocino (one of the original 27 counties of the State of California): Created 1850. The county derived its name from Cape Mendocino, which was probably named in honor of either Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, 1535-1542 (who sent the Juan Cabrillo Expedition to this coast in 1542), or Lorenzo Suarez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583. Mendocino is an adjective form of the family name of Mendoza.…

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, April 14, 2023

Cross, Morris, Mosher, Nava

MAKAYLA CROSS-STURGES, Willits. Failure to appear.

FRANKLY MORRIS, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, ammo possession by prohibited person, destruction of documentary evidence.

LYNN MOSHER, Covelo. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun, battery, fighting in public, indecent exposure, failure to obey lawful order of peace officer.

JOSE NAVA-GARFIA, Cloverdale/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

Ray, Rivera, Rodriguez, Shoopman

JEREIAH RAY, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

ANGELA RIVERA, Ukiah. Controlled substance for sale, armed with firearm in commision of felony, ammo possession by prohibited person.

ANGEL RODRIGUEZ, McAllen, Texas/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, more than an ounce of pot.

TRENTON SHOOPMAN, Fort Bragg. Probation revocation.

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MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio show all night tonight!

Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is about 7pm. If you can't make that, send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week. Next week is fine.

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.

Furthermore, any day or night you can go to and hear my last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night I'll put the recording of tonight's show there. And besides all that, there you'll find a kaleidoscopic personal panopticon of rabbit holes to get lost in until showtime, or any time, such as:

Moyun (guzheng virtuoso) - Playing God. Seasick camera sails around thrilling fingerwork.

Password123. (Epilepsy warning: high-speed flashing montage.)

And Molly Tuttle's bluegrassy cosplay rendition of White Rabbit.

Marco McClean,,

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One-room school, 1923

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by Marilyn Davin

Last year 4,007,908 teachers toiled in our nation’s public schools, 3,197,000 of them in California. The last few years have been rough on students nationwide, what with pandemic lockdowns, distant learning, social-media saturation, and general isolation, the long-term cumulative effects of which we won’t fully understand for years. It’s been rough on teachers, too. A national survey taken late last year by EdSource found that 1 in 5 teachers said they will likely leave the profession in the next three years, including 1 in 7 who said they will definitely leave. This discouraging trend is reflected in California’s ranking as the state with the third-highest teacher shortage; the California School Boards Association reported that the state needs to hire an additional 100,000 teachers.

I have yet to hear a teacher say that he or she went into teaching for the money, but as far as pay goes, teachers in California receive the second-highest salaries (behind the state of New York) in the country. The average salary for a California public school teacher is $65,500 per year. Public school annual teacher salaries in California range from $27,500 to $102,500 depending upon, among other things, skills and experience. As public employees, teachers also receive defined pensions, a once-upon-a-time common benefit nearly as rare as the dodo these days—plus they get summers off. So what gives?

For the third straight holiday dinner, after the dishes had been cleared away and the gingerbread cake crumbs brushed aside, I sat across the table from my daughter as tears rolled down her beautiful face. She’s been a public Bay Area high school teacher for over a decade now, and had recently gone through an especially emotional lockdown after her school received an anonymous report of an armed shooter on campus. Though the threat was ultimately deemed a hoax, nobody knew that at the time and my daughter stood amid her panicked and sobbing students as she listened frantically for the number of emergency bells that would signal the severity of what was going on outside her classroom. In the eye of this emotional storm students reflexively pulled out their cell phones and called their mothers. “They always call their moms,” she said tearfully. In that moment there was little else to do outside of barricading themselves in their classroom according to protocols put in place to increase their survival odds if the unimaginable happened and an active shooter breeched the door. 

U.S. News & World Report recently reported that, according to data from the K-12 School Shooting Database, there have been 664 school shootings nationwide where at least one victim was killed or physically wounded. Fifty-three of those shootings happened in California, besting even gun-crazy Texas with its 52 school shootings. School shooting hoaxes – known as “swatting” - are also on the rise; according to, schools across California, Michigan, and Vermont all received false shooting threats over a single week in February that required lockdowns and dramatic police “swarms,” just like at my daughter’s high school. 

There is no shortage of opinions about what to do about all this. Democrats want to ban guns; MAGA Republicans want to arm teachers, among thousands of other fruitless ideas across the political spectrum, all desperate measures doomed to failure under the long and lengthening shadow of the NRA. But the problem with gun control is that guns, like diamonds, are forever; the WWII carbine I inherited from my dad shot just fine more than half a century later when I turned it over to my then-local volunteer sheriff’s department in Humboldt County.

Most proposed solutions to this latest evidence of the unraveling of our shared society involve punishment. Somebody must be to blame, or, in the new law enforcement vernacular, “held accountable.” A list of blame candidates has sprouted from every corner: social isolation, ubiquitous social media, online violent images, drug addiction, and domestic violence, to name just a few. The answer: all of them. Add readily available automatic assault rifles designed for the battlefield to the toxic stew of our country’s unraveling and you get exactly what we’ve got.

About punishment. Do we have less violent crime since kids can now be tried as adults, or that some murders have been elevated to hate crimes? In the larger world, have embargoes and other trade restrictions ever stopped a war or improved the lives of the ordinary people who are the real victims of those “punishments?” 

I recently reread one of my favorite novels: Mr. Bridge, by Evan S. Connell. It’s the male half of a Kansas City lawyer’s take on his life in 1930s Kansas City. The book’s companion is Mrs. Bridge, which for me is far less interesting. In the manner of the day, Mr. Bridge was expected to determine how best to punish his children when he got home from work. During one such incident where he sat like Solomon before his squabbling teenage daughters, he had an epiphany:

he had touched a truth half buried like a root in his path, stumbling over it—the futility of punishment. But at once his instant of enlightenment lay in ashes while logic reasserted itself, pointing out that from the beginning we have believed in punishment, we have ordained it, therefore this precept of society must be valid.

There is no simple solution for how to unwind what’s happening to kids in our violent, dystopian society. The only true solution is to redefine what’s important: that’s why the simplistic solutions offered up by those in power do not and will never work: They maintain the status quo instead of changing it.

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by Erik S. McMahon (2004) 

Every fortnight, the San Francisco Chronicle publishes something it deceptively brands a “magazine.” Before they achieved their monopoly, said pamphlet was a weekly — go figure. Overall, we’re talking sorry product, particularly in a city with a (literal) embarrassment of journalistic talent. Travel-book excerpts, bridal-gown fashion-spreads, wine-country get-away advertorials. Delivering the final insult, editors opted to devote four to six pages each edition to “The Circuit,” comprising captioned photos of well-tailored, moneyed, libation-lifting Pacific Heights swells, having a grand time — and assisting the less-fortunate — at charitable events. One quixotic pro still single-handedly strives to save this rag from becoming unopened fish-wrap: Sam Whiting, a slick yet down-home scribe who produces a regular feature, “Neighborhoods.” Whiting hooks up with genuine locals and takes tours of their turf. The result is genially entertaining, proving again the value of Herb Caen’s journalistic approach. Step away from your desk, pound a little pavement, shoot shit and chew rag among real folks. Whiting’s Financial District piece, running mid-December, remained dependably engaging, sneaking in some historical trivia as a bonus. What it overlooked — and, hey, no criticism intended, Sam, you’re valiantly bailing out one woeful collection — was the eccentrics who make that small piece of real estate their lifelong home. Montgomery isn’t Wall Street, but where it meets Market, and heading north toward California, you’ve got some significant pedestrian traffic on workdays. Population density always attracts loons, buffoons, goons, and zealots with an axe to grind. For years, a mad evangelist hunkered above the main entrance to the Montgomery BART station, robotically reciting a fresh, lunatic phrase each day (he’s since relocated to the California Street cable car terminus). “CIA kidnapped Eisenhower’s golf clubs,” was one of my favorites, among his mantras. He'd stare blankly, repeating the current thesis urgently, maniacally, incessantly. Lately, anyone who works in the area will nod if you ask whether they’ve spotted “Impeach Guy.” An Asian-American with thick glasses, even thicker shoe-soles, and synthetic navy blazer several sizes too small. Impeach Guy hauls ass back and forth along downtown sidewalks, toting a protest sign. Initially, he simply promoted impeachment of Presidents; not those in power, but those retired or dead. Truman endured the wrath of Impeach Guy, as did Hoover, Grant, and even Hayes. Impeach Guy’s desire to unseat didn’t end there, though. Soon, he sought recalls of streets: IMPEACH VAN NESS, for example. About that time, he earned the status of “local character,” like those elegantly turned-out, elderly identical twins. Confirmation arrived when Impeach Guy costumes appeared on impostors come Halloween. When last seen, our man had gone intergalactic, warning his fellow citizens about extraterrestrial wrongdoing. The true San Fran punch-line, however, is that Impeach Guy lured sponsors. Ads for such enterprises as Rasputin Records have shown up on the non-hortatory side of his placard (a throwback to days of “Eat at Joe’s” sandwich-boards). Virtually all blocks, corners of each intersection, have been staked out by career panhandlers. There’s the platinum-coifed, patchouli-saturated woman on Sansome; Camouflage-Suit Dude, who paints his dachshund’s paw-nails, on Bush; the hunched, allegedly disabled “veteran” on Fremont. Let’s not forget Professor Profanity, near Citicorp at the foot of Sutter. He sprawls full-length, one desiccated palm extended and cupped. If you don’t grease it, he unleashes a blast of obscene rant and demonically insulting recommendations. I passed him up one evening, and he rasped, “You cock-sucking, motherfucking pissant, try tugging twin dicks in hell.” That captured my attention, and I walked back. “You know, that might not be great for repeat business,” I told him. “Like I give a rat’s ass,” he elaborated. “Why don’t you blow me and eat shit in your ex-wife’s backyard?” He received a dollar for that performance, not that I got thanked. Of all the whacked-out personages who haunt the Financial District, I find two especially confounding. First is an entrepreneur who without fail has a carton of folding umbrellas for sale on bright, clear afternoons (“It will rain again,” he assures passersby). He did a 180 once, featuring sunglasses during a downpour. The other is a slender septuagenarian, invariably draped in khaki trenchcoat, sporting matching stingy-brim. He conceals a tiny pad in his left hand, and, gazing fixedly at office-tower facades opposite, squints, scrawling minuscule notations. I’ve tried to glance over his shoulder. I’ve spied on him from down the block. Not once has he surrendered a clue regarding his research or motivation. Certainly, he could have catalogued and counted those bricks many times over by now, yet his assignment is not complete. For me, and many others, that’s what downtown S.F is all about. We often exchange directions in code. Turn left at patchouli lady. When you see the pedicured dachshund, next door’s the place with good espresso. 

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Tea by Andrea Kowch (born 1986 Detroit, Michigan) is an American painter known for her magical realism paintings of the Midwest.

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by Douglas Sackman

In August of 1911 the phone rang at Oroville Sheriff John B. Webber’s house. He picked up the receiver, and on the other end of the line was Ad Kessler, a young man who had worked for him back when he was in the meat business. “John, I got something out here at the slaughterhouse, but I don’t know what it is. It is partly dressed and partly not. He ain’t got no shoes, and he won’t talk to me. I don’t know if he’s a Mexican or Indian or what.” Ad was now 17 years old, but the Sheriff still referred to him in the same commanding way he did when Ad had worked for him. “Now listen, my boy,” the Sheriff said, “if this is your idea of a joke, and I come out there, I’ll bring you back in irons.”

It was no joke. They had worked hard that day. They would slaughter 400 head of beef that week, mostly to supply the crews of the Western Pacific Railroad. The slaughterhouse was a focal point of the new landscape; cattlemen brought their products in, the butchers transformed them into edible meat for sale, and the Western Pacific Railroad constructed its lines to link Oroville and its environs with the rest of booming America. 

Now, at the end of the day, something had come out of those environs and was hunkered down in front of an oak tree just inside the corral. The butchers tried to talk to the man. They noticed he was different, dressed only in what the men called a sheepherder’s jacket or Chinese shirt, a long shirt that came down around your knees. The shirt was old, the denim faded. There was a knotted piece of buckskin in each of his earlobes, and a stick through the septum of his nose. They didn’t know what he was. Ad gazed at his “big square feet.” He even reached down to touch them, finding that they were “as hard as saddle leather.” He’d never worn shoes. Ad rolled a Bull Durham cigarette. Ishi looked on. Ad thought he wanted one, so he gave him the pouch and a paper, but the man didn’t know how to roll it. He did secret away some tobacco in his one shirt pocket. So Ad took out a paper and retrieved some of the tobacco from Ishi’s pocket. Ishi grinned, caught, and then waited as Ad rolled a cigarette. When the Sheriff arrived the men stood Ishi up before him and made a thorough inspection. The found some dried meat in his pocket and some manzanita berries in his bag. The Sheriff tried to speak to him in Spanish. No reply. The Sheriff had brought along his irons, but they wouldn’t go on Ad. “Well boy, you better put these on him,” the Sheriff ordered. So Ad put the handcuffs on Ishi. Ishi smiled, and they put him in the Sheriff’s buggy to take him into town, two and half miles distant.

That call Ad had made to the sheriff was on a party line, so word passed along the grapevine that “a wild man had been captured at the slaughterhouse.” Florence Boyle was one of the curious townsfolk who came out to her porch, hoping to “get a glimpse of the captured wild man.” A crowd gathered at the jail, including the editors of the two Oroville newspapers.”

Ishi was taken inside, where the Sheriff sat him down before Undersheriff White. White booked him. First he wrote the date, “August 28, 1911.” Next, he needed a name. White made his entry—‘“Indian, wild. Alias Panama Kid Webber”—nicknaming him after Sheriff Webber and his constable, who called himself “the Panama Kid.” The sheriff decided that he would keep the man in the padded cell upstairs, the one set aside for the insane. It was not that the Sheriff thought he was crazy. It was just that there was no better place to put the wild man.”

Before he was taken upstairs, the crowd gathered around to witness Ishi’s first meal in captivity. He was brought beans to eat and a spoon. He discarded the spoon and ate with his fingers. While eating the beans, he was handed a doughnut. He dropped it, then nibbled from it, and then ate it eagerly. After Ishi was finished, Webber took out his pistol, removed the cartridges, and made Ishi take it from him. As George Mansfield of the Daily Register reported, “The Indian showed no evidence that he knew anything regarding its use.” 

In fact Ishi knew all about guns. His people had fought whites with guns. Ishi himself carried one around, for show. He had dismantled guns. Sheriffs liked to give their captives guns to test them; that was part of Western lore. But in this moment, Ishi used his naiveté about the pistol’s proper use to defuse the situation. The sheriff shrugged and decided it was time for everyone to go home and for Ishi to be taken up to the padded cell for the insane.

Ishi’s first days in Oroville were like that: people kept handing him objects to see how he’d react. More than 3,000 people came to see him in his cell. All manner of things with which he was not familiar were pressed upon him. Matches and cigarettes. Doughnuts. Then a banana; he started eating it peel and all. They laughed. Then he tried to peel a tomato, and they laughed again. Then he was given something else to peel: a locally grown orange, an object being sold to Americans across the country as a little sun-kissed piece of the healthful California landscape. They took him out to see trolley cars, telephones, automobiles, electric lights, motion pictures, and railroad cars. All of these were tests, of a sort. Just how Stone Age was he? Was he a fraud? He passed the tests, showing naiveté about everything they all took for granted.

But would civilization pass the test? Would the man be awed by modern technological achievements? Many pairs of shoes, all different sizes, were offered to him; they were all sent back. There was a trace of insecurity in this barrage of things directed his way.

Like parents wondering if their children will like the presents they bought, they watched his reaction closely and found their sense of self-worth in each item. As they laughed when he tried to eat a banana with the skin on or broke a match trying to strike it, they were hiding their insecurity with haughtiness. Collectively the people of Oroville worried that maybe their things didn’t all add up after all. Maybe all of these things didn’t make them better than the man who had none of them. 

One man expressed this ambivalence in a poem published at the end of the week in the Chico Record: What did “stone age man” think of “our speed and land train...of our houses and churches and clothes, cramped and unaired and confined?” The poet went on, “Collars and manners and fuss: / Let us ‘improve’ you and iron you out, / train you to flirt and to cuss, / Come let us aid you, but sonny, by ’Gee, / What if you’ve got it on us?”

As these object lessons were taking place, the reporters looked into the wild man’s possessions—they were few. Newspapers reported his ragged dress, the manzanita berries and deer sinew in his bag, the “buckskin thongs” in his earlobes, his feet, “almost as wide as they were long, showing plainly that he had never worn either moccasins or shoes.” This catalogue of possessions and attributes amounted to a list of lacks. There were all sorts of missing things about this man of few possessions; that was what made him different, wild.

But as the week went on, scores of things of Ishi’s own manufacture strangely began to pile up before him. Oroville seemed to be the place where all of the Yahi’s missing works were hoarded. This allowed Ishi to reciprocate in the show-and-tell session the whites initiated. 

He was taken to the home of an attorney, William Duncan, an avid collector of Indian baskets and artifacts. Among these things, the newspaper reported, “the Indian was in his glory.” Ishi took a special interest in the arrows and pantomimed how they were made. Later the brother of one of surveyors who had found at a settlement called Wowunupo’mu tetna brought some of the artifacts that had been pilfered: bows and arrows, paints, spears, and the wildcat and coyote capes. If he recognized them, this would be proof that he was one of the wild Indians rumored to live still in the canons, the whites surmised. 

The Register reported, “The Indian instantly seized them, and was transported with happiness.” Ishi acted out the process through which all of these things had been created. He imitated the calls off the coyote, the fox, and the wildcat; he acted out how animals were snared or shot with bow and arrow. He showed how ropes, how bows, and again how arrows were made and decorated with paint. He demonstrated the flaking of arrowheads. A few arrows in the collection were not finished. Ishi asked for feathers to finish them. All of these objects held great meaning for Ishi, and he strove to share with the saltu just how they were constructed.

This was not something the whites could do with their own guns, telephones, cameras, or cars. To whites, their things were magic; the saltu had no idea how they were actually manufactured, in factories far away.

* * *

WHEN I WAS IN THE HOLE in that Florida prison, pounding the walls and screaming at God and finally feeling all the fear that had built up in a lifetime drain out of me. I remembered being in a ring, the lights bright and the ref holding up my bruised and aching fist and saying I was the middleweight champion of the world, and everyone went wild with screaming and cheering, and afterwards how all the radios and newspapers in the world had stories about me, the slum kid from The Bronx. And how sometimes, when I'd pass a crowd and they recognised me, they'd all start cheering and run over to pat me on the back and jump all over themselves just to shake my hand.

Okay, here I was, in a hole as close to hell as I'll ever want to get again, but I knew I was going to get out of there, I was going to fight my way out, but this time I wouldn't be fighting with hate or fear against someone or something, but for myself. I wouldn't be fighting to destroy anymore, but to build. And, maybe, if I fought hard enough and long enough, I would get people to cheer me again.

— Jake LaMotta

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The European Union has added Russia's Wagner mercenary group to its list of sanctioned organizations, along with a Russian news agency linked to Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin.

A member of the Air National Guard accused of leaking classified US documents was formally charged in his first court appearance Friday. The leaked documents included information on Ukraine and Russia, and the Kremlin says it is "critically assessing" the data's authenticity. Follow updates here. 

The Russian ambassador to the US signaled a possible reduction in the number of American journalists working in Russia after the arrest of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich.

Gershkovich's family spoke out Friday for the first time since his detention, saying the journalist was passionate about Russia and felt it was his duty to report there.

* * *

* * *


by James Kunstler

How long do we have to wait before Volodymyr Zelensky opens a disco in Boca Raton? That’s one of the questions raised by the secret CIA documents leaked last week, supposedly by a 21-year-old National Guard airman in Massachusetts named Jack Teixeira. Since that’s about the lowliest rank in the whole US military, you have to wonder how Jack got his mitts on all that embarrassing info, and what it says about the Pentagon’s command structure and its relations with the Intel “Community.”

I guess our cyber-security isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. But then, neither is our war effort in Ukraine. Yes, our war effort. We own this war from tail to snout, lock, stock, and barrel, the whole shootin’ match. We started it (in 2014, when we began the preps there), we goaded the Russians into it in bad faith, and now we’re losing it. Why? Because it was a stupid venture from the get-go. Now, it’s really a matter of how psychotic our government’s reaction will be when the Russians restore order to the place.

Restore order? That’s right. I believe that’s what they’re aiming to do. Our country went into Ukraine to create disorder in that corner of the world — which has been within Russia’s sphere-of-influence for over three hundred years, you understand. Sowing disorder is what we do, usually with very bloody consequences plus a bad outcome. Except for our stunning victory in the Caribbean island nation of Grenada, 1983, this has been our country’s practice in recent decades.

The mysterious “Joe Biden” regime, in its brief two-plus years of service, has proven especially adept at creating fiascos. Are they aiming for the gold ring in this Ukraine gambit, that is, nuclear war? People seriously wonder. Or is something else going on? Blogger (and ex-CIA agent) Larry Johnson says the leak was done for a specific purpose, namely to shove “Joe Biden” out of the White House. Yes, our Deep State is at it again. Why, because “Joe Biden” can no longer be trusted to even pretend he’s chief executive. (Well, maybe they shouldn’t have installed him in the first place.)

Larry also reminds us that, conveniently, an Obama-era whistleblower named Mike McCormick, who accompanied Veep Joe Biden’s delegation to Ukraine in 2014, has stepped forward to detail Biden family grifting operations there, with the help of then-aide (now National Security Advisor) Jake Sullivan. It’s like somebody is laying out a case for impeachment — or resignation. One really off-the-wall theory floating “out there” has Veep Kamala Harris being induced to take Dianne Feinstein’s senate seat (DF, 89, is very ill), and “Joe Biden” then appointing Barack Obama to be Veep — with BHO stepping back into the White House when “JB” exits (or gets exited). Note, the XXII Amendment only prohibits a person from being “elected” president more than twice. No mention of appointment. Now there’s a real Catch-22!

The blogger who styles himself as “Sundance” at the excellent Conservative Tree House website has another theory. He writes, The Leak Was the Op, saying its purpose was to help get the Restrict Act passed. This loathsome legislation, pimped by Senate Intel Chairman Mark Warner (D-VA), would essentially allow the government to censor everything and anything on the Internet, including blogs and comments on blogs and all websites generally — that is, the entire Alt Media. Senator Warner, you might recall (if you followed the immensely tangled story), was one of the prime movers behind the RussiaGate hoax. What a daisy he is!

Where is all this going? I will try to tell you. Since disorder is the order of the day, be aware that things will be going non-linear and chaotic. A lot of events are converging and colliding in the weeks ahead. Whatever the Mike McCormick whistleblower matter means, it’s only an additional layer to the rotten onion of Biden family corruption, the millions of dollars flowing into their bank accounts from all over the planet. This treasonous business has been right in America’s face for three years. The Hunter Biden laptop alone is crammed with hard evidence of felonies that the federal justice system has willfully managed to ignore. Rep. James Comer’s House Oversight Committee sits on a raft of Biden family bank records detailing hundreds of flagged suspicious transactions.

Impeachment hearings can commence at any time. It would only require a 51-percent majority in the House to pass any particular article of impeachment, equivalent to an indictable charge. The hearings alone may be damaging enough to force “Joe Biden’s” resignation. If any articles or charges pass, the matter moves to a trial in the Senate. We have already seen how that works in the trials of Mr. Trump. Given the Democrats’ Senate majority, it might be difficult to get a two-thirds vote for conviction on anything. But the damage is already done.

In the meantime, though, we’re likely to see the collapse of the Ukraine war effort. The recriminations from that should be huge, with calls for General Milley and SecDef Austin to step down just for starters and turmoil through the Pentagon command. Imagine also the confused rage of American voters who watched over $100-billion squandered on this stupid misadventure, including the estimated $300-million that Mr. Zelensky stuffed in his pockets.

Also, in the meantime, watch the rapidly accelerating move away from the dollar in global trade settlements as many other nations lose confidence in the floundering USA. That, of course, will affect the value of the dollar. The Federal Reserve will be helpless to manage the consequences of that, and the problem will be hugely aggravated if other nations start dumping the US Treasury bonds and bills they hold. In short, at the same time the Ukraine is lost and the “Joe Biden” regime falls apart, we get a king-hell financial crisis combined with a cratering on the-ground economy. Things stop moving, including food.


* * *

Iron Tail, Oglala Lakota. His image was used on the Indian Head Nickel.

* * *


Civil war is not going to happen. The American people are too lazy, stupid and only want to be taken care of. 

Nothing happens in politics without it first having been thought out and extensively planned. There is something very dark, evil and sinister going on here. Personally, I believe there is a movement by the Earth-God worshippers and elite mega billionaires to depopulate the planet from the virus that is humanity. They don’t want to save anything or anyone. They want death to all of us.

I am also a Christian and I believe that the second coming of a one Jesus Christ is eminent. What we are witnessing is the overthrow of an evil order that has existed for centuries. It has culminated in power until now and it is on the cusp of an incredible overthrow. Revelation speaks of the fall of the “great beast.” Great and marvelous shall be that fall. We see the great beast. We know who it is. It’s the wealthy elites who now rule and own everything and everyone. 

Frightening but glorious days await us. Christ will usher in a new order and a new era of peace and tranquility as the old order of Satanic wickedness, greed, corruption, murder, filth and decay is swept away. I just hope I am here to behold such a time.

* * *

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We've been trained to think that endless rule by tiny minorities of really horrible people is the natural order of things, but that turns out to be just another lie

by Matt Taibbi

Earlier today [March 24, 2023] Susan Schmidt and I published an article about a series of changes at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), a creepy sub-division of the Department of Homleand Security. It turns out that CISA, which just a week or so ago was busted for scrubbing embarrasing text from its website by the Foundation for Freedom Online, quietly eliminated its so-called “MDM” or “Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation” subcommittee.

Just a year ago, the Department of Homeland Security was going all-in on the fight against “MDM.” The notion that America is fatally infected with “Misinformation, Disinformation, and Malinformation” was in fact the animating idea behind the asinine plan the Biden administration announced last April to institute a “Disinformation Governance Board,” which was to be headed by Nina Jankowicz, a self-styled Mary Poppins of digital rectitude:

America took one look at Jankowicz and at most a few fleeting moments considering the “Disinformation Governance Board” plan before concluding, correctly, that it was a beyond-loathsome expression of aristocratic arrogance that needed shutting down before the first Jankowicz presser. Characteristically, the press lied about the public reaction, claiming that the only displeasure was heard from the “GOP.” In fact, all sane people across the spectrum were instantly nauseated, their distress loud enough that the DHS hit “pause” on Jankowicz and the batty MinTruth plan after just three weeks. 

Even that might not have been fast enough, as was discovered by my co-author Sue Schmidt, who’s formerly of the Washington Post but joined Racket this month for a special report a team of us are preparing on what fellow #TwitterFiles reporter Michael Shellenberger calls the “Censorship-Industrial Complex.” (More on that later). Looking through the minutes of CISA’s subcommittee meetings last year, Sue found that the DHS’s little team of self-appointed information guardians was deeply worried about the “rollout” of their war against MDM, worrying repeatedly about how to “socialize” or “pre-socialize” various parties to the idea of a federal truth squad, realizing that just presenting the actual plan to a sentient person without lots of sweeteners wouldn’t go well. 

One subcommittee member, whose name in the spirit of our times is of course redacted, seemed to realize the concept was too hot to discuss in public. She “suggested removing mention of MDM” — this, from a member of the “MDM subcommittee”! — and “framing” the subcommitee’s efforts more in terms of “directing people to clear information about elections procedures.” Another member recommended CISA “point more to state officials and state laws to make the authoritative source of information less controversial. In other words: “Let’s make it sound like someone other than the hated us is running this thing!”

Even two years ago, nobody was paying attention to this world and the public, if it cared at all, was probably inclined to welcome more “election procedures” (as CISA would later call them), not fewer. So the DHS, sensibly one must conclude, dissolved its incorrectly named “Countering Foreign Influence Task Force” — the group spent most of 2020 zapping domestic election posts — renamed it the MDM subcommittee, and began meeting and posting about the need to build “national resistance” to “domestic threat actors.” As Sue just reported, these folks saw “MDM” everywhere here at home, insisting “CISA should consider MD across the information ecosystem,” which included talk radio, cable news, mainstream media, and “hyper-partisan media.”

The architects of this plan not only genuinely believed themselves above such temptations, but saw nothing wrong with asking for massive sums of money — Joe Biden’s first economic proposal sought $690 million for CISA — to captain an open-ended war on American badthink, as defined by [names redacted]. Here again, take note of Jankowicz’s lyrics:

It’s like when Rudy Giuliani shared bad intel from Ukraine

Or when TikTok influencers said COVID can’t cause pain

They’re laundering disinfo and we really should take note

And not support their lies, with our wallet, voice or vote!

This was a group of self-described experts in an utterly fictitious “anti-disinformation” discipline who were so sure it was okay for them to tell you whom not to vote for, one of them sang about it. This, despite the fact that of the ones whose names we know, like Jankowicz, many were open swallowers of the dumbest Russiagate hokum, like the Alfa-Server story. 

I spent a long time covering the 2008 Wall Street crash, which meant devoting large amounts of energy to some of the world’s most unredeeming people. These were swindlers who sold snake-oil mortgage products that put millions out of their homes and wiped out retirement funds of people who spent decades working as toll operators, firefighters, teachers. Such predators were awful, amoral people, but all the same, I occasionally found myself writing with something like admiration. These crooks were creators of truly ingenious schemes who did what they did out of lust, greed, jealousy, and other (at least identifiably human) forms of depravity. 

These [name redacted] would-be censors are different. They have no sense of humor, no imagination, and exactly one distinguishing characteristic: they know what’s best for you. Anti-disinfo work suits them because they all have a Poppins streak that quietly gets off on binning your digital dirty bits (after the voyeuristic thrill of logging on to watch them in secret, with special credentials, which they rub with pleasure in evenings). They’re the vilest kind of snobs, and when they finally were forced to show their real selves to the public — and here I feel safe in thanking Elon Musk for making that possible, via the #TwitterFiles — the public rightfully recoiled from these arrogant power-worshipping mediocrities. 

The Governance Board was already dead, and now the whole MDM mission is being wound down, which feels like a win. Perhaps they’re just publicly retreating from the concept for now, but at this point, I’ll take that. Moreover there are signs everywhere that people are losing their fear of departing from the orthodoxy such types would like to impose, and pushing for a return to normalcy, which for the first time in ages feels within reach. 

There was a ridiculous scene at Stanford law school recently, in which a conservative judge was muffled by a gaggle of future lawyers who’d been led by an assistant Dean in a characteristically moronic shouting-down exercise. The current strain of Junior Anti-Sex League-type protesters who fill campuses from coast to coast now sure do love their “heckler’s veto…”

The Stanford Law School Dean Jenny Martinez was brilliant in response. Instead of doing what the heads of organizations have been doing for years in such situations, instead of doing, frankly, what I did during my own cancelation episode — frantically over-apologizing to people who have no use for or interest in apologies — Martinez sternly called the students out as clowns, reminding them in a long, serious, punishing letter that if they ever become officers of the court, they will be held to a higher standard than “lay people,” swearing to conduct themselves “at all times with dignity, courtesy and integrity.” 

Martinez went further, saying that on her watch, the school would not be doing the usual and committing itself to starter slates of political positions out of fear of reproach. “Our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is not going to take the form of having the school administration announce institutional positions on a wide range of current social and political issues,” she wrote. The age of just giving in to mobs instead of insisting on our right to have different opinions and beliefs seems to be receding. It is beginning to dawn on sane, tolerant people everywhere that there are more of us than there are of them, and this still matters in a democracy. 

There’s a reason why these people are so focused on technocratic solutions, from magic AI schemes to control information to deploying packs of Boston Dynamics robot-dogs, who’ll patrol suburban neighborhoods and peer in windows for visual confirmation of Alexa-overheard transgressions. General Mark Milley just said on a podcast that armies may be fully robotic in 15 years, arousing general neoliberal giddiness (Milley quoted Dylan). These people need tech, because you know what they don’t have? Friends. Organic support. Or, ways to win them, like art, music, literature, or comedy.

I have a theory about what happened to America in this regard. After 9/11, people were scared, and they fell for a succession of propaganda campaigns convincing them that the hole in Fortress America, the chink in our national armor, was our system of democratic rights. 

The “MDM subcommittee” members think the same way: there’s a section in one of last year’s meetings in which a former Secretary of Washington State notes that the bad countries, “such as Russia, use the First Amendment effectively.” Moreover, in general, “our adversaries… use our Constitution effectively.” They’ve been telling us this stuff ever since the Towers came down. We were told our enemies will use even our open system of justice against us, so forget the admirable streak of America never having had an in-camera criminal trial. Let’s clear the court even for deportation hearings of suspected terrorists, they said. Let’s not even tell the public the names of the deported! 

“The era that dawned on September 11th, and the war against terrorism that has pervaded the sinews of our national life since that day, are reflected in thousands of ways” the Third Circuit Court wrote in 2002, adding: “Since the primary national policy must be self-preservation,it seems elementary that, to the extent open deportation hearings might impair national security, that security is implicated.” 

It was the same with torture, rendition, watch lists, drones, whatever. To respond to terrorism, we were told, we needed to be more “nimble” than old-school democracy allowed. We couldn’t wait for congress to declare wars, or build probable cause, or afford the right to face one’s accusers. The stakes were too high for such luxuries. Even giving “enemy combatants” Geneva convention rights would confer legitimacy to the opposition it didn’t deserve, and we couldn’t afford to give that legitimacy. Our grip on safety was that tenunous. 

No: the new era of a West infected with a borderless evil returned from the 8th century needed a bureaucracy of super-empowered minders, who’d do torturing if it needed doing, and quietly make lists of who gets to fly or open a bank account. Most of all, these minders would make those terrible decisions about who gets to live and die in a drone-patrolled world. The Imitation Game from 2014, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and telling the awful tale of Alan Turing’s quest to crack the Enigma code, was a great movie, but perhaps also the ultimate portrait of the Obama-era political class, whose members all saw themselves as misunderstood geniuses quietly saving civilization through endless mathematical murder, committed from afar, by remote control, without fanfare or appreciation. 

America balked some at George W. Bush as “The Decider,” but was more than happy to let the Community Organizer head up those secret decisions. With the genial and patient-sounding Obama in office, the deciders assumed a new brand of business-casual cruelty. I vividly remember going to a ballgame with a longtime Justice source in those years, someone I liked, who casually told me in between bites of a hot dog that of course we should just drone Julian Assange, because he was a “terrorist,” and the “reality is, you just have to kill them.” 

Each year, more and more of government became classified, and we had less and less access to information about where tax dollars were being spent, or what was going on at places like the Federal Reserve. We let it happen, abandoning the democratic responsibility to govern ourselves, in the process willing the world’s smuggest aristocracy into existence. It wasn’t the worst time — a lot of good TV was made in those years — but while we were napping, these people were turning America into a secret administrative state committed to endless war, mass surveillance, social credit scoring, censorship, and other horrors, a system that’s only just now beginning to show itself. 

The managerial state was held in place for over a decade by a kind of magic spell, which works thanks to the public’s faith in the competence of our minders. That spell held by default for an extra four years while Trump was in office, but it’s been broken now, in part thanks to refuseniks like Musk (who caused all kinds of havoc by opting out of an airtight information-control cartel), but mainly because we’ve now had enough opportunities to examine up close the loathsome nanny-staters to whom we surrendered all those years ago. Whatever hold these people had on us, and it was real — I spent years worrying about regaining the favor of people who were denouncing me as a Russian asset even as they demanded my vote — it’s gone now, and we can start thinking about moving on to something better. 

This is what I choose to think, this weekend evening. We don’t have to concede to a future of always being at war somewhere abroad, and with each other at home. We don’t have to put up with a government that doesn’t tell us anything. Most of all, we can go back to enjoying life, on our own terms, without stressing over an endless succession of panics invented by politically insecure losers. We can do so much better, and we will, because this place is ours to run, a fact the singing censors should never have let us remember. 


* * *



  1. Justine Frederiksen April 15, 2023

    Thanks for introducing me to Andrea Kowch’s work. And as cool as it would be that she painted “Tea” the same year she was born, the caption below the painting should probably read Tea (2018).

  2. Eric Sunswheat April 15, 2023

    RE: …house of mirrors called climate change. Balk at the science, bemoan the social impacts, and scream in horror at the political divide.

    —>. April 9, 2023
    Much of the research around climate migration assumes that people will be forced to move far from where they’re currently living, said Renders, and that there will be a mass wave of people moving north to escape extreme heat and humidity in the south.

    “But there have been more and more studies coming out about how far people relocate after a natural disaster, and it’s only like, five to eight miles, on average, from where they currently live.” In 2021, Redfin found that more people were moving in to risky areas than out of them, and polling has found that most Americans would rather rebuild than move if disaster strikes.

    This suggests that it might actually be policy, not weather, that eventually spurs mass climate migration. Federal officials have begun to publicly acknowledge that the market distortions created in part by policies that fail to address climate change have created a “moral hazard,” which is economist-speak for policies that incentivize risk-taking.

    Think flood insurance. For decades, the federal government has subsidized flood insurance policies, keeping prices artificially low, even though homeowners in flood-prone areas tend to be wealthier than the typical homeowner. The National Flood Insurance Program is at risk of insolvency, and yet people keep building — and buying — homes on the edge of the water.

    Local governments are happy to have these property owners on their tax rolls, since they tend bring in more revenue. But when disaster strikes, it’s the federal government that bears most of the cost…

    One common thread among the current climate migrants is class: it tends to be easier for wealthier people to pick up and move in the face of climate risk than it is for poorer people. That’s likely to increase existing social inequities and put even more stress on an already strained housing market, said Levesque, and other services such as childcare.

    But migration is the only way Maine’s population can grow, as our Baby Boomers have aged out of their childbearing years (the youngest Boomers are now 59) and the number of deaths in the state has begun to exceed births.

  3. Kirk Vodopals April 15, 2023

    Re: online comment of the day…
    My belief is that all the folks like this person who are convinced that these are the end of days and that the apocalypse is near are a huge part of the problem. They’re turning everything into a religious war. Trump was supposed to usher in “The Big Storm.” Fftttt (wet fart noise).
    It has to be the end of days, right? Cuz the world is so messed up and humans are so disgusting and crazy that a big dude in the sky has to come down and separate the wheat from the chaff. IT HAS TO HAPPEN. THERE IS NO OTHER POSSIBILITY.
    I disagree. The shitshow will continue. Reality will always be stranger than the fiction that you create in your head. God is coming so look busy.

  4. Mike Williams April 15, 2023

    Great article about Ishi’s discovery. Here is a link to a talk by one of the people who was there. I believe it was given at Red Bluff High School in the ‘70’s.

  5. Jim Armstrong April 15, 2023

    “Last year 4,007,908 teachers toiled in our nation’s public schools, 3,197,000 of them in California.”
    You learn something every day.

    Ishi, always so sad.

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