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Mendocino County Today: Monday, April 24, 2023

Mostly Sunny | Buds | Jamie Missing | Schat's Day | Dog Attack | Blossoms | McGourty Annotated | Little League | Boys & Girls | Garden Coach | Dirt Smell | MCHCD Board | Bible Question | Ghost Gun | Ed Notes | UkiaHaiku Festival | Boontling Classic | Yesterday's Catch | Gellhorn Bio | John Muir | Shasta Tension | Hangmen | Warriors Win | Losing It | Playing God | Baking Bread | Remember California | Debunker Carlson | Republicans | Happier | Idiotic Lifestyle | Mauermanns | Biden Corruption | Poverty | Candidate Kirn | Aging | Avant-Garde | Saltaire | Political Paralysis | Lap Cat | No Nukes | Coal Miners | Ukraine | The Road | Old Woman

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ABOVE NORMAL TEMPERATURES and dry weather will be probable across Northwest California through much of the work week. Cooler temperatures will then return next weekend. (NWS)

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Borage flower buds (Elaine Kalantarian)

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Lakeport Police just notified me that they found Jamie’s car abandoned at the shoreline in San Francisco. Jamie is NOT with the vehicle. There is a light dusting of sand that indicates the car has possibly been there for a while. We are still looking for Jamie. Please keep your eyes out and please keep her in your prayers.

LPD was able to track her car and her last known whereabouts is in Vallejo around 8:30pm last night. This is completely out of the ordinary since she took nothing with her and left in good spirits to Ukiah, so I believed. We are still actively looking for her. If you are in the Bay Area, please be on the lookout.

— Jeannette Case Marshall Miller

Ok, it’s official, I made a missing persons police report here in Lakeport for my daughter Jamie. Again I could be the most overreacting parent but there are just too many things that have me concerned.

Here is information:

Jamie Campos, 5’5, 120-130 lbs, 25 years old 

Last seen leaving our house heading to Ukiah to have dinner with a friend at 5:22pm wearing a light pink/beige hoodie, pink shorts and red Ugg slippers with a black strap. Pink purse with a diamond pattern and gold chain. 

I realized that she had not come home at 11pm, and her phone was going straight to voicemail. At 9:20am her phone came back on but no answer to my calls or texts. At 10:20am the phone was back off. 

She is driving a charcoal, gray Honda Civic possibly 2 doors. Approximately a 2018-2020.

Anyone with any kind of information please let her know I am trying to get in contact with her or please let me know where she is so I know that she is safe. My phone number is (707) 391-0009. You can also contact Lakeport Police Department

I pray that I am completely overreacting and this is all a big misunderstanding. Thank you everyone.

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TWO FORT BRAGG WOMEN suffered major injuries after three pit bulls attacked them while caring for the K9s at their owner’s home. One of the women had to be flown to an out-of-area hospital for treatment. 

One of the dogs has been euthanized, another is in quarantine, and another was evaluated for medical treatment after two of the attacking dogs ganged up on one of their own. 

Fort Bragg Police Chief Neil Cervenka provided us with an overview of the incident. He described the attack as a “fairly horrific scene” adding that “Those dogs would’ve killed them if they hadn’t escaped.”

Officers arrived on the 400 block of South Harrison Street around 11:33 a.m. and found an adult woman standing in the home’s driveway with “deep lacerations to her left forearm and a dog bite wound to the face.” After immediately applying a pressure dressing to the woman’s forearm, the officer learned there was another woman at the rear of the home with the attacking dogs. 

As medics took over care of the first victim, Chief Cervenka said the first officer on scene made his way to the backyard locating a “second adult female victim sitting on top of a hot tub with a large amount of blood covering her clothing.”

The officer noted a door to the residence was open and saw that inside two pit bulls had begun attacking a third. The officer learned that there were no occupants in the home and closed the door to the residence trapping the dogs inside.…

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Crab Apples In Bloom (Skip Taube)

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(Annotating Supervisor Glenn McGourty’s Supervisor’s Report for next week’s board meeting…)

“Budget Ad Hoc Committee: “Supervisor Williams and I serve on the Budget Ad Hoc committee and attended all the department meetings to discuss proposed budgets for the 2023-2023 Budget held April 5, 6 and 7. With sales tax and transient occupancy tax down by at least 10%, the County will have less money for their general fund or discretionary spending, which makes up a little less than one third of the budget. Further complicating the process is a lack of information from the Auditor Controller Tax Collector Treasurer Chamise Cubbison’s office (AC/TTC). Presently the financial books have not been completely closed on the 2021-2022 Fiscal Year, so the ending fund balances and carryovers are not certain. Without this critical information, it is difficult for the Board of Supervisors to create an accurate budget for the next fiscal year.”

ms notes: Ms. Cubbison told the Board she’d have that number in May and they agreed. Now they’re jumping the gun and complaining about it prematurely. The delays have been caused by short staffing, higher workloads of higher priority tasks, additional/new tasks, and the loss of experienced staff in the aftermath of the office consolidation. The delayed closeout is also affected by delays in departmental input for such things as committed but not spent funds. 

McGourty: “As an independent elected official, Ms. Cubbison does not report to the Board of Supervisors and is accountable only to voters. Due to a lack of capacity in the Auditor Controller Treasurer Tax Collector’s Office, the Executive Office (EO) has assumed some of the financial reporting responsibilities including forecasting payroll, salary projections, revenue projections and fund balances. Normally this work is done by the AC/TTC but these tasks haven’t been provided regularly in the last 2 budget cycles.” 

ms notes: Payroll forecasts, salary projections and fund balance estimates are not the Auditor’s responsibility to begin with.

McGourty: Both the Board of Supervisors and the Executive Office have offered resources to assist the AC/TTC in catching up on financial reports needed for us to make a solid budget for the next Fiscal Year 23-23. The lack of cooperation by the ACTC office is truly discouraging. The BOS has authorized a contract to perform a forensic audit and assist with reporting, but we can’t move forward without the cooperation of the AC/TTC. While it is true that the Board of Supervisors has combined the POSITION of Auditor Controller/ Treasure Tax Collector, we did not combine the offices. They both operate as separate administrative units. 

Retired County Treasurer-Tax Collector Shari Schapmire comments: “The majority of this Board, Supervisor Haschak excluded, made catastrophic changes to two financial offices that they knew absolutely nothing about. By making these changes they have destabilized the entire financial engine of the County. Their actions definitely combined two offices as the one Department Head is now responsible for all functions within both offices. As I stated a year and a half ago: When too much financial responsibility is placed without a singular focus on critical functions, important items run the risk of not being attended to. That is exactly what is happening. Unfortunately, this situation is self-induced by the majority of the current Board of Supervisors.”

ms notes: As Ms. Schapmire correctly notes, the Board combined the offices, not just the “position,” despite their self-serving claims to the contrary. At the time they did that they mistakenly thought there would be efficiencies and a reduction in staffing, even after being told that would not be the case because the functions of the offices do not overlap. 

McGourty: “There is a lack of transparency in the AT/TTC’s office on information that even the Executive Office cannot access. The AC/TT has files in Excel format that are not part of the County’s MUNIS finance system. Consequently, there is no independent way to check the true fund balance of the County. This is a serious problem that needs resolution.”

ms notes: “What McGourty hypocritically calls “a lack of transparency” is probably a reference to internal spreadsheets that track financial processes that are dynamic and constantly being updated and not yet official, such as pending grants, purchase orders, invoices, payments, new contracts, and contract amendments (some of which are “retroactive” which the Board refuses to be bothered with). If the Supervisors were really interested in “transparency” they’d ask their CEO for a budget vs. actual report from each department, not from the Auditor-Controller-Tax Collector-Treasurer.

McGourty: A long-term solution would be to create a Department of Finance with no elected officials. This would require a majority approval by the voters to eliminate the AC/TTC elected position. Both Marin and Yolo County have this arrangement and people who handle their finances are hired based on professional qualifications, typically having extensive experience as Chief Financial Officers with degrees in Finance and are usually Certified Public Accountants. This is a model worth contemplating for Mendocino County that would improve financial efficiency, accountability and financial transparency.”

ms notes: Simply creating a “Department of Finance” would not produce a “long term solution” because the problem is larger than the Auditor-Controller-Tax Collector-Treasurer office. Not once has the Board demanded a budget vs. actual report from the CEO (even though the CEO has produced them occasionally in the past), choosing instead to blame the Auditor-Controller-Tax Collector-Treasurer for their own self-induced problems. In addition, a senior “certified public accountant” would be hard to hire from California’s declining number of CPAs. Finding CPAs to do financial audits is becoming harder and harder for school and special districts because fewer and fewer are available. In addition, CPAs are focused on making the numbers add up, seeing that they are properly accounted for, and that they are backed up by proper documentation. Budget management is not an area CPAs are or should be involved in. That’s management’s job. 

PS. Putting this kind of personal criticism in a Supervisor’s report without giving the target an opportunity to respond prior to its publication is very unfair and unprofessional.

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To the Editor:

The Ukiah Daily Journal today kicked off its 2023 annual Boys and Girls Club Spring Fund Drive. The Ukiah Police Department is donating $2,000 from its asset forfeiture funding and is proud to join others as sponsors of the Club this year. This is the community’s opportunity to join the fund drive and contribute to an organization that has served our youth for many years.

Juveniles are most vulnerable during the hours immediately following the school day, when they are most likely to commit or be the victim of a crime. The Ukiah Boys and Girls Club currently sees about 200 school-aged children a day during this time in the afternoons. Volunteers and employees of the Club provide these kids with an after-school snack, an opportunity to participate in organized activities, and assistance with their homework as well as research projects. And these services are offered all day during the summer and holidays when kids are out of school.

But the Club offers even more through partnerships with local businesses and community organizations. Kids at the Club have an opportunity to learn important job skills through on-site mentoring programs, learn healthy lifestyle habits, and even work together in a vegetable garden.

It is these opportunities and experiences that provide our children with improved academic performance and behavioral benefits, which reduces their potential to become involved in criminal activity in both the short and long term. I believe it also provides an equally valuable attribute by instilling a sense of community and of belonging, and many Club attendees return as adult volunteers. It is experiences like this, I think, that help develop adults who are happy and productive, and involved and engaged in their community.

The Club strives to be affordable and accessible for everyone with membership fees of $50 per year and nominal daily charges. A large portion of funding to keep the Club up and running is derived from fundraisers and donations. Supporting the Boys and Girls Club not only keeps these kids “off the street” and out of trouble, but provides an opportunity to invest in the future of our community.

You can join the Ukiah Police Department and other community members and organizations supporting the Club by sending donations to Boys and Girls Club of Ukiah, P.O. Box 67, Ukiah CA. 95482.

— Cedric Crook, Ukiah Police Chief

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HAPPY SPRING! If you’re not sure what to do with your landscape or garden I offer consultation and coaching including: garden and irrigation system designs, materials lists and acquisition. Also, maintenance plans and coaching including plant care, soil care, and pruning lessons. I can also supervise plant and irrigation system installation. Please call Victoria at Victoria Gardens 415-246-4491 and happy gardening!

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MALCOLM MACDONALD: The headline here: Two new members of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board of Directors, who ran last fall on a promise of bringing transparency to that body, have engaged in exactly the opposite, withholding crucial information from fellow board members and the public.

First, let's go back to how we got to such a juncture. Last August a slate of candidates, Lee Finney, Susan Savage, and Jade Tippett, filed for the November election to fill three vacant seats on the Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board of Directors. Simply put, their mission was to unseat one member of the then current board running for re-election, John Redding. 

Redding had served three and a half years on the MCHCD Board at that point. He was coming off a failed campaign to unseat Fifth District Supervisor Ted Williams in June. To say failed puts it mildly. Redding barely garnered a double digit percentage against Williams. Much of his tenure on the MCHCD Board was spent as the treasurer. However, in mid-October 2022, with his performance openly challenged by a majority of his board colleagues, Redding resigned as treasurer. He didn't help his campaign for re-election to the MCHCD Board by making social media comments like, “The three women Board members have failed the community with their unserious, irresponsible approach to their jobs.” 

A few days later Redding followed up with his version of an explanation for his resignation as board treasurer, “I grew weary of dealing with the three psychos on the Board.” 

With those three board members working to untangle the financial mess Redding left (draining one of the district's main bank accounts without notifying the rest of the board is one example), the slate of Finney, Tippett, and Savage coasted into the three MCHCD Board of Directors (BOD) seats. By the first week in December their election was certified, but they chose to bypass any meetings of the board that month.

Ignoring advice from multiple people to keep their initial meeting simple, in the first days of 2023 an MCHCD agenda popped up with twenty Discussion/Action items on it plus a fifteen minute organizational presentation. According to the layout of the agenda, this was all supposed to take place within a two hour time slot. One of the bigger storms of the winter prevented that meeting from occurring. 

I was one of those advising new board member Lee Finney to keep their first meeting a simple affair. On January 9th a new agenda appeared. New in that a few words had been changed and one agenda item swapped for another, but still twenty action items and the fifteen minute extra discussion.

I sent a text to Finney, “So, essentially the same agenda..?!”

Finney responded, “It's been pared down some per your advice.”

MM: “That's bogus.” As noted, virtually nothing had been changed. I listed many of the items that appeared unnecessary, yet were still in the agenda for a January 12th meeting.

Finney replied, apparently referring to the MCHCD website where the agenda was posted, “This is the wrong document – many changes made. I will see about getting correct Agenda posted.”

Come January 12th, that same twenty item document was still the working agenda for the meeting. When the agenda was questioned that evening, Finney defended it and voted to approve it. Director Sara Spring, the one holdover from the previous board, was the lone dissenter.

One item on the stormed-out agenda was dropped, a report from the prior board chair. Something had happened that apparently made the prior chair reluctant to participate with the new board. Somewhat innocuously placed in the middle of the January 12th agenda was a Discussion/Action item titled, “Manager of Office 365 accounts.”

Of course, the new board got nowhere near close to completing their overly ambitious agenda on January 12th. Far beyond the allotted time and as the hour grew late, a few items deemed time sensitive were bumped up in the agenda to be discussed and acted on before adjournment. The “Manager of Office 365 accounts” was not one of these. Remember that detail. It is going to come into play later.

On January 26th, the new board at MCHCD held a fifteen item agenda. It contained that “Manager of Office 365 accounts” item again, but once more lateness of the hour shortened the meeting and the “Office 365” item was not deemed important enough to be considered in the waning minutes, though other items were.

A Microsoft Office 365 account allows an organization such as the board of directors of the Mendocino Coast Health Care District to store all of their emails in one place. When the new board held a special meeting on February 8th it became apparent that a majority of the prior board were reluctant to hand over their emails without protective measures being taken. Former board member Amy McColley spoke, via Zoom, at the February 8th meeting. In essence she advised that the prior board would archive their emails, the new board could open a 365 account of their own, and the emails of the prior board could be accessed as needed from the old 365 archived account. McColley emphasized that the prior board's emails should be carefully vetted before opening because of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability Act of 1996 created to protect sensitive patient health information) precautions. 

Alexander Henson, the attorney Finney, Savage, and Tippett insisted on retaining at a January meeting, made a statement to the effect that there was no reason for any of the prior board to have HIPAA information in their emails. Apparently, Henson chose between not paying attention, utter ignorance, or doing no research whatsoever in making that statement. Two of the members of the prior board have worked in the medical world, with patients, on almost a daily basis for years. 

Regardless, the Finney, Tippett, Savage slate voted to take over control of the prior board's Office 365 emails with Chair Finney as administrator. Kerfuffle seemingly over.

Something didn't add up. I filed a public records request for any emails sent by current board members to Rackspace, the parent company for the 365 email account.

When the request was honored, I received a half dozen copies of emails between board member Tippett and Rackspace along with a Tippet email to the prior board chair on February 7th in which Tippett wrote, “I need the log-in credentials for the Rackspace account.”

The prior chair responded that same afternoon, “I do not know them. I never had them.”

The emails between Tippett and Rackspace show him taking control of the prior board's Office 365 email account on February 7th, the day before the MCHCD Board would discuss and possibly take action concerning the 365 email account. At the February 8th MCHCD Board meeting, neither Tippett nor Finney told their fellow board members or the public in attendance that they had already taken the action the day before on the “Action” item the board discussed and acted on a day later. 

That is not how elected officials display an affinity for transparent action.

Along with the email exchange between Tippett and Rackspace, the response to the public records request included a 3 ¼ page, single-spaced, narrative authored by Tippett. Who does that? The request was simply for emails between Rackspace and the new board members. 

Tippett's narrative reads like a defensive excuse. At that February 8th meeting other board members made comments or asked questions that clearly required responses from Tippett or Finney to reveal/announce that they already had control of the prior board's Office 365 email account, but neither even hinted that this was the case. So the Tippett narrative looks like an excuse to cover that utter lack of transparency. He states that he and Finney had “several conversations of concern about the security of the Office 365 resource.”

If that was, indeed, true why didn't Finney or Tippett, say as much at the February 8th meeting. At one point during that meeting Director Savage asked a question of Finney about safeguarding the email account of the prior board. Finney hemmed and hawed for a couple of seconds then said it would be problematic if anything happened to the email account, letting Savage, the rest, of the board, and the public think that the email account was not yet secured.

Let's go back to reiterate that one of the main reasons the slate of Finney, Tippett, and Savage promulgated for running for the MCHCD Board seats was to achieve a greater sense of transparency than they perceived in the prior board. 

Savage has stated that she knew nothing about the 365 email account deceit, but she votes in lock step with Finney and Tippett time after time. In further disregard to transparency, Savage, Finney, and Tippett have engaged in three-way emails about MCHCD Board agenda items without any apparent concern for adhering to the Brown Act which precludes such communications of a majority of an elected body outside of a public meeting. 

As treasurer of the board, Tippett more or less demanded the rest of the board approve a transfer of $4 million dollars to Adventist Health at a February 23rd meeting without any supporting documentation for the transfer because from his point of view it would wreck his relationship with an Adventist Health employee if the transfer was not made more or less immediately. Similar to the proposed transfers of large sums at the March 30th MCHCD Board meeting, Tippett has not yet provided the supporting documentation for that $4 million transfer though he acknowledged such need back in February. It would appear that Finney, Savage, and Finney only bandy the term “transparency when it suits them and ignore it the rest of the time.

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On 04-21-2023 at approximately 9:31 am, Ukiah PD personnel received a call regarding a suspicious social media post reported by a Ukiah High School student. A UPD officer responded to the high school and observed a photograph of a male subject holding what appeared to be a semi-automatic handgun pointed at a camera. It should be noted that the photograph was taken at a residence and not on school grounds. The subject in the photograph was identified by school staff as the 15 year old male suspect in this case.

In addition to the pointed gun at the camera, there was a written caption that was directed in a threatenting manner toward a South Valley High School student. Ukiah Unified School District quickly determined neither of the involved parties were on school grounds at the time. During the investigation it was determined that there had been a physical altercation two days prior between these two subjects off school grounds, but it was not reported to law enforcement at that time.

Based on the evidence of a juvenile being in possession of a handgun, and the insinuated threat to another juvenile, a UPD officer authored a search warrant for the 15 year old’s residence. The search warrant affidavit was reviewed by a local judge and signed.

UPD personnel, with the assistance of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, executed the search warrant at the listed address. During a search of the residence the same handgun depicted in the photograph was located inside a duffel bag. The firearm was determined to be a “Polymer 80” Glock style semi-automatic 9mm handgun. It should be noted that these types of firearms are illegal due to the fact they are not registered, and have no identifying serial numbers on them, commonly referred to as “Ghost guns.” There was also identifying information inside of the duffel bag belonging to Gabriel Aguilar, who was present at the time of the search warrant execution.

Aguilar was placed under arrest at the scene and transported to the Mendocino County Jail to be booked for the above listed offenses, and two misdemeanor warrants. The 15 year old was also arrested at the Ukiah High School following the search of the residence for the listed offenses.

Gabriel Aguilar

The Ukiah Police Department would like to thank the Ukiah Unified School District for notifying law enforcement immediately and their collaboration in bringing this to a safe resolution.

As always, UPD’s mission is to make Ukiah as safe a place as possible. If you would like to know more about crime in your neighborhood, you can sign up for telephone, cellphone, and email notifications by clicking the Nixle button on our website;

Gabriel Aguilar’s Charges:

Possession of a handgun as a minor (Felony)

Possession of non-registered firearm “Ghost gun” (Felony)

Two Mendocino County misdemeanor warrants

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A ROSELAND (Santa Rosa) school board member, addressing a proposed day camp “for queer youth and allies age 9-14,” has apologized for this statement of the obvious: “Rather than focusing on a certain age group why ALL children? I’m sorry this seems totally inappropriate, these are babies 9-14? I can understand 14-18? But Really? These are babies still.” I, too, can understand post-pubes, 14-18, but agree that pre-pubes should be excluded, but such is the perceived power of a sliver of what's left of sensible society the school board trustee was forced to issue a groveling apology for “not understanding,” etc.

RIGHT HERE it's necessary to cite Caitlin Johnson's statement of the obvious: “On every issue that affects the interests of real power the parties are effectively in total alignment, while all the intense emotional debate gets steered toward issues the powerful don't care about one way or the other. Only an idiot would believe this happened by coincidence. To quote Chomsky, ‘The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum’.” 

ADD TO the endless list of things I didn't know, curb service at Ukiah WalMart and Ukiah Safeway, confirmed by a Facebook friend:

“So you guys, you can get the app and do all the shopping from your home, pay for it and set up a pick up time. They bring it right out to your car and load it up. I haven’t had to shop inside with the peasants in months. You can do it at Safeway too. Highly recommend.”

AND I DIDN'T know that if you turn your face to a hundred mile an hour wind your breath will be blown back down your throat. Or so I learned from David Grann's gripping tale of shipwreck, mutiny and murder, “The Wager,” a book more than gripping but a truly scarifying account of the 1742 voyage of a modest flotilla of British warships in the quest of a probably mythical rich Spanish galleon. To intercept the galleon it's necessary to waylay it in the Pacific via the hellish seas of Cape Horn, which isn't the half of it. To put the ensuing catastrophes in context, the prevention of scurvy was still unknown (ligaments melt one's limbs separate from their sockets), typhoid reigned on many ships of the time, living conditions for almost everyone on board weren't endurable by any civilized standard, and even a suspicion of mutiny could get a crewman decapitated. The men and boys — some as young as six, many under the age of 14 — who set out in pursuit of Spanish spoils signed on because they thought they could retire off the profits. 

GRANN, by the way, is also the author of the rightly acclaimed “Killers of the Flower Moon,” soon to be a movie by Martin Scorcese, which means at least an intelligent treatment of the Comanches of the Plains, the only American Indians to live entirely on whatever they could take from settled tribes and settlers. The Comanches would make a beautiful series of visuals for sure, as they circled up on a full moon night and headed out for an evening of rape, pillage and plunder. 

ON A NEARLY perfect Spring day, the winds off the Sunday Pacific that dependably cool the Anderson Valley carry a nip of the chill with them, but the sun's bright and the hills are green, and what else is there to do but put the world's splendor on hold and retreat to the cave-like gloom of the Boonville weekly's editorial offices where the television set has place of honor. Spring can wait, the Warriors are playing the Kings, and what a game it was. Take it away, Ann Killion:

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by Ann Killion

Is it possible Domantas Sabonis did the Golden State Warriors a huge favor when he initiated a Game 2 skirmish that ended with Draymond Green earning a flagrant-2 foul, an ejection and a suspension?

In the aftermath, the Warriors not only found an answer on the postseason chessboard. They also may have unleashed their most potent weapon: their unselfish team culture.

Green returned to the fold on Sunday afternoon for Game 4, but he did not return to the starting lineup. Instead, he took a page from the Warriors playoff history by coming off the bench.

“Draymond just wants to win,” Steve Kerr said.

And his team did win, a thrilling 126-125 victory over the Sacramento Kings to even the series at two wins apiece. Game 5 will be played Wednesday night at Sacramento’s Golden 1 Center.

Before Sunday, Green had started 132 consecutive playoff games. The last time he came off the bench was on April 23, 2014, in Game 3 of a first-round series against the Clippers.

“You do what’s best for the team, and I could see that from, literally, a mile away,” said Green, who watched Game 3 from his San Francisco home.

“We won. I’m a firm believer in if something isn’t broke, don’t fix it. … I never want to reach the point in my career where I feel entitled to something. I wanted to do what I thought was best for the team.”

Green suggested the move to head coach Steve Kerr after watching the Warriors’ floor spacing without him in Game 3. Kerr had already been considering bringing Green off the bench both because of the way the Kings were guarding his team and the ability to get an extra shooter on the floor, opening up passing lanes.

“It didn’t surprise me because he recognized the same thing that I did,” Kerr said. “The fact that he came in and suggested it, that makes it a lot easier.”

What also makes the move easier is the Warriors’ culture under Kerr, dating back to when David Lee took a seat to make way for Green, when Andre Iguodala agreed to be the anchor of the second unit, when Andrew Bogut sat for Iguodala in the Finals, stretching through last season when Stephen Curry came off the bench against Denver. Andrew Wiggins came off the bench in Game 1 of this series.

“We talk a lot around here about doing whatever it takes to win, and everybody being flexible on what their role is,” Curry said. “It’s just being ready, no matter what the situation calls for, the versatility of our team.”

Coming off the bench wasn’t the only adjustment Green had to make. In the second half he drew the defensive assignment of guarding explosive Kings guard De’Aaron Fox, who led all scorers with 38 points.

“We just thought it could be a good idea to give Fox a different look,” said Kerr, who added that the suggestion came from the staff at halftime, but he couldn’t remember exactly from which assistant, saying, “We’ve got like 117 coaches.”

Green was ferocious defensively down the stretch, though he criticized himself for giving up the three-point shot to Fox that put the Kings within one. Green denied Fox the ball in the final moments, leaving Harrison Barnes to take — and miss — the potential game-winner.

In the raucous moments after the win — as loud as Chase Center has ever been — Green ran straight to Bob Myers for an animated discussion. It included his self-critique on the Fox three and also leaving Curry on an island where he was forced to call a nonexistent timeout, the rare mental mistake from Curry (though Kerr said it was 100% his fault for not reminding the team they had no timeouts left).

Green was 3-of-14 shooting, missing a lot of layups. But he turned the ball over only once. He had 10 rebounds, including four offensive boards — the Warriors had only one at halftime — and he had seven assists. Green also got a technical foul early on, 55 seconds after coming into the game: a double technical was called on Green and Fox for jawing at each other.

“I’m still here and ain’t no tech moving me off my square,” Green said. “I am who I am. … You don’t like it, sorry. Not really, but sorry.”

Green is clearly not going to change. Kerr said as much when he conceded that there is no calming Green down on the court when he’s in a provocative situation, like he was in Game 2.

But the NBA has painted itself into a corner, creating “Draymond rules,” and being wildly inconsistent in how it hands out punishment, above and beyond its strange points system for technical fouls. Memphis’ Dillon Brooks, who also has a long history of dirty play, did to LeBron James basically the same thing that got Green suspended for a game in the 2016 Finals (based on his flagrant points). Brooks was ejected, but the NBA did not hand down a suspension.

“Draymond won’t be moved by no Draymond rules,” Green said on Saturday. “I’ll continue to play the game the way I play the game. If I was losing, they wouldn’t be creating Draymond rules. Creating Draymond rules means we’re winning.”

Love him (like the fans at Chase who roared their approval pregame when Green was shown on the big screen) or hate him (most of the rest of the league), Green is not only great theater, he’s a force.

Game 4 was a perfect example of why the Warriors go to bat for and battle with Green, as Kerr said earlier this week. Talk shows and social media have been aflame with the notion that Green has worn out his welcome and can easily be replaced, based on the Warriors’ Game 3 victory.

But Green is, despite the offensive punch of Jordan Poole and his on-court histrionics and all his other missteps, a fundamental piece of the Warriors culture. He said Kerr called him Saturday to double check how he would feel about coming off the bench.

“Who f—ing cares?,” Green said. “I appreciate the courtesy, the respect, but who cares? It’s about winning basketball games at this time of year.”

Over the years, the Warriors have done a tremendous amount of winning. Over the years that has amounted to 103 playoff wins and 45 losses, most of the time while Green has been in the starting lineup.

“Guys on this team are strictly about winning and about the team,” Green said. “If you are not that way, you stick out like a sore thumb.”

Overlooked in the uproar over Green is the voice that might be the most important in the discussion: Curry’s. If Curry wants to continue to play with Green — and you can bet that he does — that may override all the rest of the decision-making process.

In the waning moments of Game 3, Green made his way to the arena and was in the locker room postgame, thanking his teammates for having his back, especially Curry.

“He was a monster on defense, being the disruptor that he is,” Curry said of Green’s game on Sunday. “And that’s exactly how we need to play. Everybody just being ready to take advantage of their minutes and do what they are asked to do, when they are called to do it. That’s the only way we get out of this series and do anything special this year in the playoffs.

“That’s just the way we are built and the way we are constructed. The history of how we have done things over the years.”

The Warriors got a reminder on Sunday of how they do things. Which means doing whatever is needed to do to win.

(SF Chronicle)

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THE BOONTLING CLASSIC is less than 3 weeks away! Register now by clicking the link or scanning the QR code in the attached flyer and sign up to receive an awesome locally printed t-shirt before they sell out! Every race participant is entered in the post-race drawing where amazing prizes await: bottles of wine from local vineyards such as Toulouse, Witching Stick and Philo Ridge, organic apple juice from the Apple Farm, gift certificates for dinner at the Boonville Hotel and Beehunter, wine-tastings at Disco Ranch and Goldeneye, and many, many more! We're very excited to see you all at the race!

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Sunday, April 23, 2023

Alfaro, Cardenas, Davis

BRIAN ALFARO, Fort Bragg. County parole violation.

EDUARDO CARDENAS-CASTILLO, Cloverdale/Laytonville. DUI. 

TIMOTHY DAVIS JR., Covelo. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, resisting, county parole violation.

Fernandez, Langenderfer, Mooney

MARICARMEN FERNANDEZ, Ukiah. Forgery, bad checks, elder abuse, probation revocation.

JAMES LANGENDERFER, Laytonville. Battery, under influence.

JOHN MOONEY, Ukiah. Criminal threats. 

Vassar, Verduzco, Zaragosa

RUSTI VASSAR, Willits. Paraphernalia, probation revocation.

JOSE VERDUZCO JR., Willits. Battery, disorderly conduct-alcohol.

MIGUEL ZARAGOSA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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A READER WRITES: Re recent mentions of Martha Gellhorn — her life, writing, etc. Read the brilliant and detailed biography: Gellhorn: A Twentieth-Century Life by Caroline Moorhead. Supposedly Moorhead was the daughter of one of Martha’s closest friends. From the back jacket blurb: “Drawn from extensive interviews and exclusive access to Gellhorn’s papers and correspondence, this seminal biography spans half the globe and almost an entire century to offer an exhilarating, intimate portrait of one of the defining women of our times.” Wikipedia has more info, but its list of her writings seems lacking.

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John Muir (1838-1914) seated on boulder; naturalist and conservationist who initiated efforts resulting in the creation of Yosemite National Park in 1890.

On this date in 1838 he was born in Dunbar, Scotland. He was a significant figure in the American conservation movement and the development of the national parks system.

A lifelong lover of all things natural, he moved with his family to America in 1849, settling in Wisconsin. At a young age he showed talent for engineering and invention, but he was constantly drawn to the wilderness. After recovering from a factory accident that nearly blinded him in 1867, he turned away from machines and began his life of exploration. 

He traveled extensively from Indiana to Florida, California to Alaska, and all the while studying plants, geology, and all other observable aspects of nature. He lived in California's Yosemite valley for six years, from 1868 to 1874. 

Beginning in the 1870s he wrote extensively about his studies, and penned many essays that advocated for the preservation of natural spaces. His writings were highly influential in the creation of Yosemite, Grand Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. He died in 1914, but left a great legacy of inspiring others to learn about and care for the natural world.

* * *


by Dani Anguiano

In a seemingly long gone era – before the Trump presidency, and Covid, and the 2020 election – Doni Chamberlain would get the occasional call from a displeased reader who had taken issue with one of her columns. They would sometimes call her stupid and use profanities.

Today, when people don’t like her pieces, Chamberlain said, they tell her she’s a communist who doesn’t deserve to live. One local conservative radio host said she should be hanged.

Chamberlain, 66, has worked as a journalist in Shasta county, California, for nearly 30 years.

Never before in this far northern California outpost has she witnessed such open hostility towards the press.

She has learned to take precautions. No meeting sources in public. She livestreams rowdy events where the crowd is less than friendly and doesn’t walk to her car without scanning the street. Sometimes, restraining orders can be necessary tools.

These practices have become crucial in the last three years, she said, as she’s documented the county’s shift to the far right and the rise of an ultraconservative coalition into the area’s highest office. Shasta, Chamberlain said, is in the midst of a “perfect storm” as different hard-right factions have joined together to form a powerful political force with outside funding and publicity from fringe figures.

The new majority, backed by militia members, anti-vaxxers, election deniers and residents who have long felt forgotten by governments in Sacramento and Washington, has fired the county health officer and done away with the region’s voting system. Politically moderate public officials have faced bullying, intimidation and threats of violence. County meetings have turned into hours-long shouting matches.

Chamberlain and her team at A News Cafe, the news site she runs, have covered it all. Her writing has made her a public enemy of the conservative crowd intent on remaking the county. Far-right leaders have confronted her at rallies and public meetings, mocking and berating her. At a militia-organized protest in 2021, the crowd screamed insults.

The response of parts of her community has left her shocked: “This isn’t how it’s supposed to be to be a journalist. I shouldn’t go to my car afraid one of these guys is gonna bash me in the head with a baseball bat,” she said on a beautiful spring day in Redding late last month.

But it has left her with a sense of urgency, a determination to warn readers about a movement that shows no signs of slowing down and could have national repercussions as extremists try to create a framework that could be replicated elsewhere. “I can’t imagine how bad things can get here,” she said.

A community swinging to the extreme right

A lifelong Shasta county resident, Chamberlain became a cub reporter in her late thirties. She went to college later in life after marrying her high school sweetheart and having children. She initially wanted to be a social worker but has always been drawn to scratching under the surface of things, she said, a tendency she attributed to her childhood: after the death of her mother, she and her sisters were raised by a family that was far less kind than they appeared to be from the outside.

For 10 years, she wrote a beloved column at the local newspaper, telling the stories of community characters and sharing her personal experiences, like her son’s deployment to Iraq. When she was laid off, a hundred people picketed outside the newspaper’s office.

With help from her son, she started A News Cafe, an online magazine that documents local affairs, and readers came with her. Just before Covid hit, she had considered selling the website, and then decided to scale back operations and change its focus to town happenings and recipes, a favorite topic of the hobby baker.

But then Covid shut down the state, and laid bare the bitter fault lines that divided this community.

Residents angry over pandemic closures began filling county meetings, sometimes forcing their way inside, and directed their ire at elected officials who enforced only the minimum restrictions required by the state. One local resident, Carlos Zapata, warned the board of supervisors at a meeting in August 2020 to reopen the county or things wouldn’t be “peaceful much longer”.

“When the ballot box is gone, there is only the cartridge box. You have made bullets expensive, but luckily for you, ropes are reusable,” another resident said at a board of supervisors meeting in January 2021.

Religious leaders defied state orders and continued holding events. Bethel church, a Redding megachurch with more than 11,000 members and a major footprint in this city of 92,000, reported hundreds of cases at its school of “supernatural ministry”.

But there was more than just a backlash under way. The anger coalesced into an anti-establishment movement backed financially by the Connecticut millionaire Reverge Anselmo, who has a longstanding grudge against the county over a failed effort to start a winery.

Leaders of the movement sought to recall county supervisors, and produced a glossy documentary series about their efforts to “take back” their county. In February 2022, voters ousted a longtime supervisor, a former police chief and self-described Reagan Republican, and gained control of the board of supervisors.

The climate in the area had shifted, residents said, and those who had expressed support for officials and Covid rules encountered hostility. One man had his tires slashed, Chamberlain said. Others reported being mocked and bullied in public for wearing masks.

Still, the recall election saw low turnout with just 41% of eligible voters casting a ballot. Though many residents opposed the rightwing agenda, they didn’t take the threat seriously, Chamberlain said.

Chamberlain followed the upheaval closely, and the far-right figures driving it, while still writing stories about the joys of loungewear and how to sell old belongings.

She began documenting the political developments through chatty and irreverent opinion columns, with analysis of what’s happening and who’s behind it, and warnings of the danger it poses to the community.

“As the shit storm of civil unrest piles up, the North State has become a tinderbox at the ready, on the verge of ignition. Slogans and memes are the kindling. Calls to action, aggression and civil war are often found on the same Facebook pages as family photos, holiday greetings and birthday wishes,” she wrote in August 2020.

Chamberlain and A News Cafe reporters were also often breaking news: a Bethel church leader officiating his son’s wedding, a large gathering held in defiance of Covid restrictions; a pandemic shortage of nurses temporarily closing a local neonatal intensive care unit; and a sheriff’s deputy promoting far-right extremist content on social media.

Chamberlain described Zapata, the resident who had threatened violence and had become the public face of Shasta county’s anti-establishment movement, as an “alt-right recall kingpin/militia member/bull-semen purveyor/restaurant owner/former Florida strip-club owner”. He lashed out in comments before the board of supervisor that Chamberlain was “coward” who wants to “poison children”.

Zapata told the Guardian he was frustrated with Chamberlain’s “incessant writing” about him and what he described as attacks on his reputation and his family. He argued he was cordial and willing to sit down for an interview, but feels Chamberlain has created a caricature of him by taking things out of context.

“I stand for the majority of residents in Shasta county who want to ensure Shasta county remains a safe and healthy place for our children to grow and prosper,” he said in a statement. “Doni doesn’t like that. That is why she has made it her priority to attack me in the name of journalism for several years.”

Zapata is the only person in Chamberlain’s three decade career whom she has refused to interview, the journalist said. Instead, she has quoted his statements and social media posts rather than speak with him directly. “He has used very abusive language. He has made threats against people. He doesn’t tell the truth often. I refuse to write things that I know are not going to be true.”

Chamberlain has made a point of not interacting with those who attack her directly, and continuing her reporting. But the exchanges, along with the menacing, graphic threats to her and her staff and others in the community, and the lack of action from law enforcement have fundamentally changed how she approaches her job.

Last year, for example, A News Cafe reported that Zapata had threatened a local man in a voicemail, telling him he was a “dead motherfucker” for talking about Zapata’s wife. Zapata apologized and law enforcement forwarded the case to the district attorney, requesting a charge of terrorist threats, Chamberlain said, but nothing has come of it. “Every time one of those guys gets away with saying something like that, with zero consequences, it moves the line a little further.”

Zapata described the incident to the Guardian as a “situation between two grown men”. “It was handled and there hasn’t been any further issue,” he said.

But the threats make doing journalism in Shasta county particularly challenging, she added. Finding sources is difficult. Many people are afraid of speaking out, even anonymously.

And her family worries for her. Her son has put cameras all around the house. For Mother’s Day, he gifted her gel pepper spray. She keeps an air horn next to her bed.

Chamberlain’s twin sister has warned her not to poke the bear.

“I say, ‘I’m not poking a bear, I’m just holding a flashlight, I’m reporting things other people can’t go report,’” she said. “I feel a moral responsibility to let people know what’s happening.”

Amid the rage, a loyal following

Chamberlain has vocal opponents, but she also has devoted followers.

As local journalism across the US disappears, Chamberlain has found a winning formula. Her site attracts more than 100,000 unique visitors a month, according to Chamberlain, and hundreds donate, locally and from across the US. She has several paid editorial staff members, even more than the local newspaper, she says. She’s looking to hire more.

At a board of supervisors meeting in March on the hiring of a new county CEO and the voting system, audience members could be seen browsing her site. (It had just published two bombshell stories: one revealing that police were investigating the county’s top candidate for said CEO job, a leader of a California secessionist group, for an incident with a teenage girl at a local business; the other an analysis from the county clerk about the risks of introducing an untested manual tally voting system in response to disproven theories about Dominion voting machines.) Chamberlain was sitting in the front of the room, her notebook and pen in hand.

In the back of the chambers, Jeff Gorder, the retired Shasta county public defender who came to urge supervisors to keep its voting system intact, said he was a longtime reader of the site. “What would we do without journalists like that to follow up on all of these issues? We’d really been in a world of hurt. Journalism is going away at the local level, so I’m really glad that we have them,” he said. “She’s just very thorough.”

Chamberlain has no plans to slow down and said she pulls all-nighters at least four times a month.

“As a journalist, you couldn’t ask for a place to have a more exciting job because so much is happening here,” she said.

She balances her work with the things that bring her joy: baking, spending time with friends and working on her home.

“There’s so many things that are out of my control. And what’s happening in Shasta county, all that kind of stuff is out of my control. So what I do have control of is planting, I planted hundreds of bulbs,” Chamberlain said. “That’s an optimistic thing to do. And when I was planting them, I was thinking, ‘I wonder what things will be like here when those tulips bloom.’”

Still, she fears for the future of Shasta county and the repercussions it could have. “I think we’re a test case for rightwing folks like [Mike] Lindell,” she said. “These big heavy-hitting wealthy people are using Shasta county, I believe, as this little petri dish … And so far, it’s working. I’m watching it unveil before my very eyes. And it’s terrifying.”


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by C.J. Holmes

The tone was set early in Sunday’s showdown between the Golden State Warriors and the Sacramento Kings. Sacramento forward Keegan Murray made a hard cut to the rim, expecting an easy layup with 5:43 left in the first quarter. But there was Draymond Green, who checked into the game off the bench less than a minute prior, sending the sharpshooting rookie crashing to the deck with a hard foul.

Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry drives to the basket as Sacramento Kings’ De’Aaron Fox hinders his progress in 2nd quarter during Game 4 of NBA Western Conference 1st Round Playoffs at Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Sunday, April 23, 2023.

Green didn’t have malicious intent on the play, but the foul triggered Kings star point guard De’Aaron Fox nonetheless. Fox began jawing at Green. Green didn’t back down. Both were issued technical fouls for the exchange. And just like that, Game 4 had evolved into a grudge match as the two teams traded blows the rest of the day and down the wire.

Golden State survived, escaping with a 126-125 win, but things felt dire for the home team late. After a failed challenge by head coach Steve Kerr, the Warriors had no timeouts with 2:14 left. That came back to bite them with 42 seconds left, after Stephen Curry got trapped in the back court and called a timeout he didn’t have.

Curry missed a 16-footer that would have given Golden State a little more cushion, and the Kings had one last crack at victory. Curry and Green locked up Fox at the top of the key, then Harrison Barnes missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer. Ballgame, exhale, Warriors win.

Game 4 featured 19 lead changes and 10 ties, but in the final seconds of the third quarter it appeared as if Golden State was poised to run up the score and coast to victory. On their final possession of the period, three different Warriors touched the ball through an impressive series of drives and kicks. It finally ended up in the hands of Klay Thompson in the left corner, who capped the team’s 37-23 third-quarter avalanche with a buzzer-beater from deep.

After the make, Thompson kept his follow-through and right leg extended, skipping backwards on one leg while taunting Sacramento’s bench. But the Kings absorbed Golden State’s huge third quarter and battled back. The Kings began the fourth quarter on 7-0 run to make it a 102-99 game, setting up the shootout down the stretch.

The Warriors’ first-round playoff series with the Kings is now tied 2-2 entering Game 5 in Sacramento on Wednesday. Golden State is 18-2 in its last 20 games at Chase Center.

(SF Chronicle)

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by Pete Gregson

Going to PCC, Pasadena City College and taking 18+ units, somehow the paperwork got all screwed up and I got a draft notice. Viet Nam here I come. 

I decided not to fight it, since, after all, this country saved my life. If I had stayed in Germany I would have probably died or at best be a bicycle repair man. 

My dad took me to the induction center in the early morning. We both knew this was a turning point. Either I die or I survive. 

I spent the rest of the day following lines, the red line, the blue line, etc. Until I came to a person who supposedly was a “doctor.” As he looked at my butt, he said, “Hey, your right leg is an inch and a half shorter than your left leg.” Yes, that’s because I broke my ankle when I was younger and that leg never grew again. So am I outa here? No, we’ll still take you.

They put us all on buses. By the time we got to Fort Ord it was early in the morning. On the trip up there we all got familiar with each other. But once we arrived we were greeted by drill sergeants that were screaming at us. Next thing we know they cut off all our hair and dressed us in the same green and we had no clue who we were talking to on the bus.

Basic camp was an eye-opener, but the problem was we were so thoroughly indoctrinated we could barely keep our eyes open. Kept us awake most of the time. If we fell asleep they’d bang us on the head, shoulders or whatever was convenient and wake us back up. We’d be made to go on “forced marches” to, say, the firing range. The fat guys couldn’t keep up. Many times they would fall, crawl around the ground and cry. Then we were made to run around them until the fat guys got up and joined the party. Once back at the barracks and no supervision we would beat the shit out of these guys for being such idiots and sooner than later, they were no longer among us.

I must also say the drill sergeants were just returned from Viet Nam and they did their best to toughen us up, because they knew what we were going to be confronted with. Many times they would tell us we are here to get us ready for what we’d have no clue as to what and where you are going. “You will die and we are here because of our experience to help you avert that death.”

Once I got to Advanced Individual Training (AIT) I was given a room by myself. Since after all I was drafted out of college. The first thing they said to me was “The last guy in this room died of spinal meningitis and we hope you do better.” Holy shit. Getting leave, being in AIT, all my friends told me, “We sure are glad you’re not like you were the last time you came back.” You mean they totally manipulated and controlled me? Aaahm, yes. 

At the end of AIT we had to take weeks of written tests. As I went through all this I could see a pattern. I got this licked. No I don’t like camping. No I don’t like outdoors, no I don’t do any of that. After the weeks of tests the results were put up on a bulletin board. Out of 500, mostly friends of mine from high school, PHS Pasadena High School, I got the highest score in infantry. Viet Nam here I come. The only thing that saved my ass was I could type 70+ words a minute. So out of the 500 only me and one other person were not sent to Viet Nam. I never again heard from any of my high school friends who went.

I was put into the JAG at Fort Ord, but lasted about a few weeks because it was obvious that I was not a candidate for the assignment. So they sent me to Fort Knox, Kentucky. Hot! Not as hot as in California, less hot but seriously humid. You’d sweat your ass off, wake up in the morning drenched in wet but the temp was mild. The California boy was never used to such. 

I ended up being a company clerk. Did my duties, cut orders, made memorandums, etc.. Got to know the Sergeant Major to the point he would bring in some “moon shine.” This stuff was nothing I had ever been in contact with. One thimble full was like a serious acid trip. Hard to even be coherent or many times seemed alive after such. After a while, he asked me, “ I see you are from Germany; want to go back?” OK fine, what’s up? “Just bring me a cuckoo clock. So I cut myself some orders and sent myself to Germany.

Arrived in Frankfurt. This place, an old panzer stronghold, was totally shot up. All the outside walls were littered with bullet holes. After a few days they transferred me to Burblingten. A short distance from where I was born, lived, Gurpingham. Not sure anymore of the proper spelling let alone the umlauts. I ended up being part of a Personal Service Company and my buddies in the other building were the finance clerks. If anyone knows anything about this, the clerks run the show.. You don’t want to fuck with clerks. We’ll not only eliminate all your pay and your accrued vacation but we’ll send you to places you never dreamed of. So most of my assignment was pretty nonchalant. 

When not working we would go to places like Amsterdam to check out the hookers in the windows staring at us, wondering WTF are these idiots doing here? One time we were so “I need a hamburger” that we went all the way to the north of Europe only to be disappointed by a toasted English Muffin, with sausage and cheese.

One morning as we stood in formation waiting for the National Anthem, one of our compatriots put on a record of Jimi Hendricks. We all went nuts, next thing we heard is a loud screech of the record needle traversing the record that was just removed from this morning's wake up call. 

A few of us kept the two units supplied with drugs. There were the alcoholics and the druggies. Not really druggies, but pot, hash, hemp and acid. So we would go to Stutgart and score hash or whatever, and many times it would be right out of the oven. The dealers had just compressed it in their ovens and we purchased it. 

Going back to the train station in the taxis we would have to hold out the window our new found investment to cool it down long enough to be able to transport it. Many times in the train, going back to the barracks we couldn’t resist, so the compartment we sat in was like a smokehouse. Eventually the conductor would come by and start screaming at us as, WTF you idiots? You can’t be doing this on the train. We always assigned one person to act as the arbitrator. He would always, as you see in the movies, speak English with a German accent. Didn’t take long for the conductor to be totally disgusted with us, slam the door and walk off.

In Germany at that time most of the British rock bands would warm up in Germany prior to coming to the US. We would go see them. Had some seriously great times and saw some of the best rock bands of the time, live. But the crazy part was where these concerts were happening the entrance was all glass. As in doors and around the doors. Every time about a quarter way through the concert the Germans would have such a mob outside and push against each other that they would break the glass and rush in. WTF we thought; these people are crazy. But it was always the same. And we’d enjoy the concert, stoned, whatever and if on acid wander back to the barracks late at night, trying to figure out which direction we should go.

My job was to send people to Viet Nam. I was given “levies” from the Pentagon with lists of people who needed to be sent to Viet Nam from the European and Mediterranean theaters. It was my job to cut the orders to send these people to Viet Nam. To their death. That was the scam. The US was only told about the drafting to Viet Nam, but were never told that the drafted who were sent to Europe and Mediterranean were then sent to Viet Nam after six months. Keep the numbers down was the mantra at the time. So after a while, me and a few others decided this is not right. 

At that time there were Regular Army and US drafted. So we decided WTF, these guys volunteered so why not send them? I started to take US draftees off the Levies and replace them with Regular Army. Not a smart thing to do, but being young and dumb I thought it best. I was scheduled to be discharged in early 71. I was caught at the end of '70. Told I would never get out of the Army. “You will spend the rest of your life in the brig.”

Crazy shit went through my head. I was finally told by the AG to get out of his sight, he never wanted to hear or see me again. I spent the rest of the time living in the woods in Germany and only going back to the barracks at night. Finally my friends were able to cut me orders to send me to the US and I ended up getting an honorable discharge.

Totally changed my life, one of the things I will never, ever forget was the AG telling me: "You fucked up, you’re playing God. You sent people to their death.”

* * *

Baking Bread, 1909

* * *


I remember redwood trees, bumper cars and wolverines
The ocean's Trident submarines
Lemons, limes and tangerines
I remember this

I remember traffic jams
Motor boys and girls with tans
Nearly-was and almost-rans
I remember this
History is made
History is made to seem unfair

I recall that you were there
Golden smile and shining hair
I recall it wasn't fair
Recollect it wasn't fair
Remembering it wasn't fair outside

Low ebb, high tide
The lowest ebb and highest tide
A symbol wave I must confide
I guess we took us for a ride
I guess it's just a gesture

I remember this defense
Progress fails pacific sense
All those sweet conspiracies
I remember all these things

I remember traffic jams
Motor boys and girls with tans
Nearly-was and almost-rans
I remember this, this

Low ebb, high tide
The lowest ebb and highest tide
I guess we took us for a ride
I guess it's just a gesture

At the end of the continent
At the edge of the continent
At the end of the continent
At the edge of the continent

— Peter Buck, Bill Berry (R.E.M) 1988

* * *

* * *



I guess by now everyone has heard that Bud Light has a new spokesperson. It’s Dylan Mulvaney, a transgender TikTok star. And the right went crazy. Kid Rock is shooting up cases of beer. Sales of Anheuser-Busch bottled products dropped 30% in a week.

It made no sense to me. Then I heard the following, “In Bud Light’s effort to be inclusive, they excluded almost everybody else, including their traditional audience.” How is anyone excluded because someone else is included? The statement sounds crazy, but it explains so much about efforts on the right to exclude anyone who is not like them: If a gay person is included, I am excluded. If they marry, my marriage is less special. If a Black person is included, I am excluded. If minorities get to vote, my vote won’t count.

I know, that sounds ridiculous. But so do many positions the right has staked out. Who thought that a Bud Light promotion could do so much to explain today’s Republican Party? If you don’t look like me, don’t pray like me, don’t sound like me or don’t love like me, you are a problem for me. Sad.

Lew Larson


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Back in the 50’s when we were small children, we’d play unsupervised games in mixed company – like playing doctor – when adults weren’t around. Yes, back in the old days, sometimes groups of 4, 5, and 6 year olds were running around loose and feral in semi-suburban areas that included large vacant lots, wooded acreage, old barns, and abandoned chicken houses. Some of the older kids had BB guns. We all had bicycles (some with training wheels), and we traveled faster than we could have walking. About the closest most people today will ever get to young living experiences like that would be to watch the ancient “Our Gang” movies or “Little Rascals”. You’d be seeing groups of children moving about on their own with no adults watching or in control. 

We played our own games that time, and with a few of our games, we all figured out at around age 5 and up what the differences were between the sexes and what sex each of us was. And us boyz also had our own exclusive clubs and games that excluded any girlz. Were the girls *that* interested in us? Not exactly. They (girls) also had their favorite activities and games that didn’t include bicycle wrecks, getting stung by wasps, fighting and throwing dirt clods and rotten apples at each other etc. Leave kids alone and they’ll come by it all naturally. They won’t be confused about their sexual identity or about who they are. 

The woke culture is the final end result of an idiotic suburban lifestyle that treats all children everywhere as prisoners under constant 24 hour adult watch. Every single goddamn thing a child does has to be controlled or managed by an adult. And so your society loses contact with reality. 

But reality will eventually win. Suburbia will fail in such a catastrophic way that the survivors will all agree among themselves to never again construct such an absurd syphillization.

* * *

THE ADOLPH AND AMELIA MAUERMANN place on Lincoln Creek in 1884 was, according to the family, “a little bit of a prairie-type area, and they just farmed it and had milk cows there.” Amelia regularly milked the cows on their farm and the cows became accustomed to her skirts. When the men were forced for one reason or another to milk the cows, they were also forced to wear skirts so the cows would provide milk. The spot on Lincoln Creek upon which the Mauermann home was built also drew annual visits by members of local Indian tribes who came to the area for a couple of months each year to hunt and put up their homes while fishing in the swollen waters for salmon. In this 1884 photo, from left, are Adolph, Frank, Fred, Maude, Harry and Amelia Mauermann. Originally submitted by Edith Webster for Our Hometowns.

* * *


by Michael Goodwin

It is said that history turns on small hinges, with the poem “For Want of a Nail” the classic example. 

Another example is unfolding before our eyes.

The sudden flurry of evidence and allegations about the Biden family’s money-making schemes is a direct result of the GOP winning control of the House of Representatives last year. 

The margin of midterm victory was very small — just five seats — but the impact is very large because the majority comes with subpoena power.

And aggressive new Republican committee leaders are eager and willing to use that power. 

After a slow start, they are producing at near-daily pace documentation of serious wrongdoing.

None of this would be happening if Democrats still had control of the House. 

The breakthroughs include testimony showing how a group of retired intelligence officials influenced the outcome of the 2020 presidential election, effectively proving the existence of a corrupt Deep State. 

There are also claims from an IRS whistleblower that federal law enforcement agencies are giving favored treatment to President Biden’s son in a long-running probe and that Attorney General Merrick Garland lied to Congress about the case.

The implications of these developments are enormous and while there is still much to be learned, it is possible investigators are on the cusp of revealing one of the largest scandals in the history of American politics.

The probers believe the president participated in and profited from the corrupt influence-peddling schemes while he was vice president. 

The arrows all point in that direction, with Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, head of the Oversight and Reform panel, producing bank records that show millions of dollars from China being divvied up among as many as nine Biden family members. 

In response, the president emerged from hiding to say only, “that’s not true,” without directly refuting the evidence collected by banks and subpoenaed by Congress. 

Meanwhile, two Ohio Republicans, Rep. Jim Jordan, head of the Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Mike Turner, head of Intelligence, revealed a former deputy CIA director testified that Tony Blinken, then a Joe Biden campaign adviser and now secretary of state, helped provoke the infamous 2020 letter signed by 51 former intelligence officials.

The witness, Mike Morell, said he helped organize the letter after Blinken called him about The Post’s initial laptop stories and later sent the letter to Blinken because he wanted Biden to win. 

The letter falsely suggested the Post stories were a form of Russian disinformation.

It hit the media just three days before the final presidential debate, allowing Biden to cite the letter as proof the laptop stories were false. 

Because of the assumed credibility of the 51 signers, the letter, along with blackouts by Big Tech and Big Media of The Post’s scoops, helped save Biden from likely defeat, polls showed. 

Linking the letter to the Biden campaign is significant because the president himself had to know the laptop was legitimate because the information on it included photos of him and messages and meetings.

As a Post editorial put it, the laptop was the real thing and the intel “letter was the real disinformation.” 

So a Deep State not only exists, it meddled in and tilted a presidential election. 

Part of that sinister force involved the many FBI former agents working at Facebook, Twitter and other tech firms, where they helped government officials censor the laptop stories and others that would have damaged Biden. 

And Blinken is not the only Biden aide up to his eyeballs in dirty tricks.

Jake Sullivan, the president’s national security adviser, worked for Hillary Clinton in 2016 and helped spread the Big Lie that the infamous Steele dossier was true. 

The most recent GOP bombshell involves the IRS whistleblower, who approached Comer and leaders of both parties with claims the IRS and Department of Justice are giving Hunter favored treatment.

By accusing Garland of giving false testimony to Congress, the whistleblower, identified by his lawyer as a “criminal supervisory special agent” who has been overseeing the case for three years, dramatically ups the ante. 

Comer, citing what he called “the Bidens’ tangled web of complex corporate and financial records,” reacted by saying: “We’ve been wondering all along where the heck the DOJ and the IRS have been. Now it appears the Biden Administration may have been working overtime to prevent the Bidens from facing any consequences.” 

The developments are so significant that even the media outlets that usually run a protection racket for Democrats have been forced to start doing their jobs.

All three broadcast networks covered the whistleblower’s claims, as did CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times and The Associated Press. 

These are the same outlets that largely ignored the laptop stories in 2020, even as Tony Bobulinski, a former partner of Hunter’s, authenticated key messages on the device, including one that referred to “the big guy” getting a secret 10% cut of a deal with a Chinese energy company. 

Bobulinski identified Joe Biden as the secret partner, yet most major media organizations ignored him. 

That history and a set of iron-clad double standards that always favor Democrats raise doubts about how aggressive the media handmaidens will be as new disclosures emerge.

The Times, for instance, played the whistleblower story on page 19 in Friday’s paper under the murky headline of “I.R.S. Official Is Said to Claim Political Favoritism in Hunter Biden Investigation.” 

By burying the story and using the phrase “Is Said to Claim” in the headline, the editors inject skepticism into a clear, credible accusation.

The Times had the letter to Congress from the whistleblower’s lawyer, Mark Lytle, that explicitly lays out the claims and the whistleblower role in the probe, so it was disingenuous to imply there is any doubt about how specific the charges are. 

Consider also that Lytle said the agent went to Congress only after he had already made his complaints within the IRS and to the Department of Justice.

The implication is that he went to Congress because he didn’t believe either agency would act on his information. 

For the media, the emerging storylines represent a new chance to cover Biden honestly and accurately.

After years of looking the other way and pretending there was little or nothing to see in the laptop and other evidence, they are going to find it hard to dodge the landslide of incriminating evidence likely to come. 

Still, should reporters, editors or producers be confused about whether to report new developments, here is a foolproof guide: They should simply ask themselves what they would write or say if the same set of charges and facts involved another president, say one named Donald Trump.

(New York Post)

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"I used to fight tough guys for ten bucks. I got my nose broken, my eardrum busted, and my eyebrows laid open in a fight that paid me eight lousy bucks. Poverty has been with me nearly all my life." (James J Braddock)

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by Matt Taibbi

On Walter Kirn for President:

Matt Taibbi: Has there ever been less certainty about who the candidates will be in an American presidential election?

Walter Kirn: Well, you’re usually not this uncertain about the incumbent, unless they’re Lyndon Johnson, but he gave certainty by declaring that he wouldn’t run. Biden seems to be being coy in some fashion about whether he’s going to. He says he’ll “participate,” but, you know, in some sense, I’ll participate in the next election. Will he participate as a candidate is the question.

Matt Taibbi: Walter, you should run!

Walter Kirn: (Laughs)I’m currently cleaning up my past. I have agents out on the street, dealing with all the compromising information that might arise later. So if that cleanup job goes as I plan, I should be announcing it in about 17 years.

Matt Taibbi: (laughs)You would win in a landslide if you ran.

Walter Kirn: Which party would I run for, though? I’d have to invent my own. I’m not even sure sometimes whether the parties are going to be around in any recognizable fashion. The Republicans seem to be having an identity crisis that is bottomless.

Matt Taibbi: I don’t know. If you run on the “Whatever” ticket, you’d be fine. 

Walter Kirn: The “Whatever” ticket. I promise to deal with all the things that we’ve put in the closet over the last 20 years. I could run on the backlog ticket. Here are all the things that we were very excited about, but then pretended weren’t a problem, and I’m gonna bring them back out, set them on the table, and deal with them. (Laughs) That could work. I also think that just being in the debates would be wonderful. See, that’s the only part of the thing I covet. Doing the job, no.

But what is the pleasant part of running for president?

Matt Taibbi: Running? Nothing. Well, that’s not true. You could have fun with it. Trump had fun with it.

Walter Kirn: That’s true. I don’t have the ability to gather Kiss-concert-size crowds and generate vast amounts of swag for people to wear. I don’t yet have a hat designed. You know, all the paraphernalia of modern campaigning. 

Matt Taibbi: (Rolling) “I don’t have a hat!”

Walter Kirn: I used to look through my mom’s drawer. My mom was a very — a sort of small town Republican and she had very high civic ideals. I think she might have been president of a tiny Republican club in our small town, and she kept all her campaign buttons in a drawer, going back to Goldwater or something. And I used to take them out, the way you rifle through your parents’ drawers, and think about the romance of each campaign. And they seem so simple in retrospect. They made a button, they gave a couple of speeches, they had a platform, and then they retired from the scene after losing.

But ever since the invention of pro wrestling, or big time pro wrestling and other fake blood sports, it’s just become a grueling spectacle that never ends. And I might be too old to insert myself in that. Although it seems that the latest qualification for you as president is that you be very old. This is the one field in which I might look young.

Matt Taibbi: You’d look like a teen actor compared to the people who are actually running.

Walter Kirn: Like young Michael J. Fox. I could run on the Fresh Breeze ticket — “A fresh breeze from across the plains. Vote Walter Kirn.”

Matt Taibbi: All you’d have to do is have a platform of promising to do absolutely nothing and say absolutely nothing.

Walter Kirn: I could resurrect the Hippocratic Oath, now that the doctors have let it go. Do no harm first! The Do No Harm ticket. I actually think that’s a winner. I promise that in four years, things won’t be that much worse.

Matt Taibbi: “I will do the absolute least in my power to make sure that things in this country improve…” Anyway, I’m serious about this. I think you’d be a good, good candidate. You’d appeal to both sides, anyway. 

Walter Kirn: Dude, I doubt I could even win my own county in Montana. There are all sorts of conflicting interests, ranchers versus environmentalists and so on. And my problem as a journalist would be my problem as a candidate, which is that after I talk to people for fifteen minutes, I see their point of view, and I like them. Then I go home at the end of the day, and I can’t sort out my priorities, because the last person I spoke to was the most persuasive. That’s why I’m gonna stick with “novelist.”

Matt Taibbi: But imagine how refreshing that would be to go watch a candidate and have somebody stand up in the Q&A and say, “Yeah, you’re an asshole about this and that” — because that’s what always happens — and have the candidate at the end of it say, “Well, yeah, maybe you’re right. I never thought of it that way.” Has that ever happened? Has a candidate ever done that? It would just be so interesting.

Walter Kirn: There are certain maxims that they live by, and they never change their mind on stage — that’s one. Never be seen to change your mind. I could also be the candidate of open minds. You know, “Open minds, open hearts.” That could be my slogan. They always talk about listening tours, but I could actually listen. 

Well, I’m going to keep it in mind. If Jesse Ventura could be governor of Minnesota, I could probably be president of the United States.

Matt Taibbi: I was going to help him if he ran last time. I offered to write speeches for him. I like Jesse. 

Walter Kirn: When Trump was going to run with Ross Perot’s old Reform Party, TimeMagazine sent me to cover him in a hotel ballroom in Minneapolis. And Jesse Ventura was going to be his Vice President. And so I got to see Jesse and Donald in one fell swoop. Wow. Two of the hugest candidates for president that have ever… I mean, two huge guys. And I just remember seeing them stand together thinking like, if these dudes ran the country, I’d be physically intimidated. Maybe we should have physically intimidating presidents. Shouldn’t they be the largest among us? If we had an ancient tribal civilization, that would’ve been obvious.

Matt Taibbi: That would be great if in America you had to be at least as big as an NFL offensive tackle to be the president. In the Constitution they’d add it to the other requirements. No person except a natural-born citizen, thirty-five years old, and at least six-seven with 37-inch arms…

Walter Kirn: Maybe they should just fight for the damn thing instead of all this symbolic combat. I’ve had enough. This symbolic combat is dragging us all down, you know? We should watch them draw blood — pin each other to the mat UFC-style, no holds barred.

Matt Taibbi: Hitting each other with oars, chairs...

Walter Kirn: Exactly. I don’t know if that’s what happens in the movie Idiocracy, how the guy gets to be president, but it would seem that he maybe did it in an open battle. 

Matt Taibbi: What’s his name again? (looks it up) Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Camacho.

Walter Kirn: Right! Like that. 

On the Michael Morell scandal, in which the former acting head of the CIA organized an open letter saying the Hunter Biden laptop story had the “classic earmarks of a Russian information operation,” reportedly at the behest of then-Biden campaign adviser Anthony Blinken:

Matt Taibbi: On August 5th, 2016, Morrell wrote an editorial for the New York Timescalled, “I Ran the CIA. Now I’m Endorsing Hillary Clinton…” And he said, “Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American interests, endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea, and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic states… In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.” This put wind into the sails of the idea of Trump as a useful idiot of Russia.

Walter Kirn: We now know that Morell is a natural ring leader. For some reason, he was the guy that Blinken contacted who was going to be able to get the 50 other people. So apparently he’s got a big Rolodex and some influence. But it not only put wind in the sails, but now I do remember it — it pushed the damn thing off from the dock. To say someone has been recruited is interesting language that suggests there was a meeting, that suggests there’s a deal. Can you be recruited just sentimentally through the atmosphere, or does that require a negotiation somewhere? It would suggest that it does. In that statement, we have the seed of seven years of bullshit. 

As a footnote, we should note that Buzzfeed News, the original publisher of the Steele Dossier, announced that it’s closing, after the scoop of the century. You’d think they could have run for another 30 years!

Matt Taibbi: Remember the triumphalism after they did that? 

Walter Kirn: Oh, yeah. It was the greatest act of bravery and candor on the part of an American press institution ever. Others wanted to sort of shuffle this thing around behind closed doors. But good old Buzzfeed News was ready to stake its reputation, at that point non-existent.

Matt Taibbi: I don’t know Ben Smith, do you? I’ve never met the guy. 

Walter Kirn: I started a policy years ago, especially once I began working at the New Republic, a frankly political magazine, and then Harpers, of not getting to know lifelong political journalists, mostly because I didn’t understand them. I met David Corn, I remember, at the 2016 convention. The guy was so on fire and knew so much and had so many certainties in his system that I thought, '“How can I get to know these people without being in some way drawn into their forcefield?” I still wanted in my little-town way to see the world as I thought it was, in a case-by-case fashion. It seemed that longtime political reporters all had made a career out of some point of view and advancing it. They defended their niche. So I shied away from them. 

Matt Taibbi: I remember at the time when Buzzfeed published that, thinking, “Okay, there’s gonna be a hue and cry from all the media reporters…” At least those people would say, “Hey this is a bit of a dangerous road to go down. Just publishing stuff that you know is problematic factually. Do you want to be owning that later on?” That’s a scary place to be. I’m not sure I’d want to be the person who made that call.

Walter Kirn: But wasn’t it a case of the new ethics, where if there was a rumor that was going around, you had to inform people of the rumor? It was news because it was treated as influential behind the scenes, so people should see it for themselves. I think the rationale went something like that.

Matt Taibbi: That’s the “Reporting the controversy” end-around. Remember that whole thing with Bush allegedly having an earpiece for one of the debates, and this was an internet sensation. And the New York Times did a front-page story about how everybody was talking about Bush having an earpiece for the debates, even though there was no proof that he had an earpiece for the debates. They got around the fact problem by talking about the discussion. Anyway, it was great for Buzzfeed, it was certainly a ratings boon for everybody who talked about it then.

Walter Kirn: Well, Buzzfeed kind of took the hit there. They could be tagged with the original decision, but everybody else just got the benefits. Because once somebody had done it, it was fair game. And no one was shy about talking about the controversy. 

Matt Taibbi: It was even read into the Congressional record by Adam Schiff a couple of months later in on live television. He recounted very dramatically the whole Steele story about the offer of a bribe that would involve commissions on 19% of Rosneft for Carter Page and all this stuff. I was gonna bring this up in connection with my own thing this week, because I was remembering that one of the first splits I had with fellow mainstream media people came over that issue. I remembered watching Schiff on TV and thinking, “Man, this must be true! Because what congressperson would say all this stuff if he hadn’t checked it?” 

So I wrote to Schiff’s office and asked, have you checked this? And they sent me back a letter that blew my mind. It read, “The committee hopes to speak with Mr. Steele in order to help substantiate or refute the allegations contained in the dossier.”

In other words, they planned on checking afterthey already put it out on television. I remember talking to other reporters and, and saying, “Isn’t this crazy?” The consensus was it was cool because it was all in the service of the right political thing, getting rid of Trump. 

This Morell business is being justified on the same grounds.

Walter Kirn: Well, now have the “justification” in quotes. “I wanted him to win.” It wasn’t just anti-Trump. It was pro-Biden. So, going back to the original story, Morrell testified to this scheme. What do you imagine will be the results of that? Are we just to put this one in the great “Nevermind” file? Not only did they not tell the truth, they did not tell the truth at the behest of the campaign. And we now have the series of orders that flowed out. So we can be sure of that, and let’s just forget about it now.

Matt Taibbi: I guess it’s not against the law to lie?

Walter Kirn: For intelligence agents, it’s against the law to tell the truth. (both laugh)No, seriously. It’s their job to guard the truth and keep it like a card in poker, so that only they can see it, until the time the game is played, when they might lay it down, but generally, they are in the deception and information management business. So the idea that intelligence agents have suddenly become authorities on anything is kind of curious. 

On the charges filed against Russians and the African Peoples’ Socialist Party in St. Petersburg, Florida:

Matt Taibbi: Neither of us has spent a lot of time on this, but there was an incident this week involving the Uhuru Solidarity Movement in St. Petersburg, Florida, also known as the African Peoples Socialist Party or APSP. They were indicted this week in a case called United States v. Ionov et al.This is a complicated case, but the accusation is that this APSP, this group of black socialists with a 50-year history [Editor’s note: I’ve since called the group’s representatives]reportedly got involved with a group of Russians. The government asserts they are somehow connected to the Russian security services, and that members of the APSP made statements that implicate them. I want to read a few of the things that they’re accused of, from the indictment, and from the DOJ press release. 

First, from the release, it says, “the APSP repeatedly hosted Ionov via video conference to discuss the [Ukraine] war, during which Ionov falsely stated that anyone who supported Ukraine also supported Naziism and white supremacy, and Yeshitela and another APSP member allegedly made statements of solidarity with the Russian government.”

Then, from the indictment, there are multiple references how the APSP members “made a statement in support of the Russian Olympic team.”

So the charge here is odd. It’s a FARA hybrid, acting as an undeclared agent of a foreign government. I’d never known that you could be charged with something like this without some kind of overt act. If it’s an espionage-type case, don’t you have to do something like deal in secrets, give them to the enemy? 

Walter Kirn: But Matt, the dissolution of any boundary between speech and action is the story of our time. You know, speech is now tantamount to action. We live in an information world in which being responsible for words has a status that used to only apply to having to be responsible for actions. So the question is, when were these offensive statements made, and when did this contact take place? Supposedly this is back in 2016.

Matt Taibbi: But being at a video conference where somebody says that supporting Ukraine is tantamount to supporting Nazism or making statements in support of the Russian Olympic team sounds an awful lot like the stuff that I’ve spent the last five months looking at with the #TwitterFiles, which is this argument that if you have proximity to a pro-Russian narrative, if you retweet it, if you follow it, if you give it a boost, then you’re part of that ecosystem, and let’s lump you all in together. 

Walter Kirn: But at least in this case, it is being asserted that there was actual contact with an actual Russian. It wasn’t just that there was congruence between their opinions.

Matt Taibbi: But in some of the Global Engagement Center reports, some of the problems that landed some people in trouble were things like retweeting the Russia Today account [Editor’s note: And worse. Check Racket News in the upcoming days for more]. So there’s the cyber version of that.

Walter Kirn. As yet, no one’s been charged with a crime for retweeting someone. I mean, that’s another — we have the “Nevermind” file, things that came up that seem to be big deals that then were shuffled off into the ether. But we should have the “What’s next?” file. A couple of weeks ago, I said I was awaiting the first domestic drone strike. I’m also now awaiting the first criminal retweet. Sadly I’m totally serious. We’re probably 12 months off from a time when it will be criminal if you heart something. “A pattern of subversive hearting can be shown with this defendant.”

Matt Taibbi: If I remember correctly, there was a Canadian academic who got in trouble for liking some comment.* 

Walter Kirn: Social media is like the biggest honey pot of all time now. They convinced people to create a record of possibly prejudicial statements that can be used at any time, not necessarily as evidence of a crime, but certainly to make you look more guilty. And we saw it with this leaker last week, where a portrait of him as an anti-Semite or gun nut and other things was immediately assembled. Now his guilt in this leaking case is a legal dispute. But what wasn’t disputed was his status as an ugly person. And that penumbra of statements on social media or wherever other chat groups and so on, was immediately offered as supplementary evidence.

I would think in a way that the people who run these social media organizations should want to stand up for their users and say, “Hey, man, we didn’t mean this. We didn’t create this to be a thing that just constantly gets people in trouble and is used against them, should anything ever happen.” Because I don’t think we had this kind of evidence pre-social media. I guess you could go back and find what everybody said to their friends, but you couldn’t document it. But now you can document and sort of massage a whole picture around anyone that can be used to further prejudice the public against them. It’s another reason why it’s not just one bullet in a chamber of 10,000, but in a strange way, you’ve been firing one one-thousandth of a bullet at yourself every time you tweeted. And then they all merge like a droplet in a cloud and precipitate out when your time comes… I’ve said before, they’re gonna have to pay us to use these platforms, because otherwise, why in the hell would we take the risk now?

*Michael Korenberg, the chair of the University of British Columbia’s Board of Governors, resigned in 2020 after activists learned he’d liked tweets containing links to articles by Dinesh D’Souza on Breitbart. The CBC headline: “Head of UBC board of governors resigns after liking far-right comments on Twitter.”

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IN THE COMMON PERCEPTION, there is something unseemly about young people getting rich. Getting rich is supposed to be the reward for hard work, preferably arriving when you are too old to enjoy it. And the spectacle of young millionaires who made their bundle not from business or crime but from avant-garde art is particularly offensive. The avant-garde is supposed to be the conscience of the culture, not its id. (Janet Malcolm)

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RANDY BURKE in Saltaire, Yorkshire, England

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The longer the corporate state erodes the social bonds that knit us to society and give us a sense of purpose and meaning the more inevitable an authoritarian state and a Christianized fascism becomes

by Chris Hedges

Political paralysis is snuffing out what is left of our anemic democracy. 

It is the paralysis of doing nothing while the ruling oligarchs, who have increased their wealth by nearly a third since the pandemic began and by close to 90 percent over the past decade, orchestrate virtual tax boycotts as millions of Americans go into bankruptcy to pay medical bills, mortgages, credit card debt, student debt, car loans and soaring utility bills demanded by a system that has privatized nearly every aspect of our lives. 

It is the paralysis of doing nothing about raising the minimum wage, despite the ravages of inflation, around 600,000 homeless Americans and 33.8 million people living in food insecure homes, including 9.3 million children.

It is the paralysis of ignoring the climate crisis, the greatest existential threat we face, to expand fossil fuel extraction. 

It is the paralysis of pouring hundreds of billions of dollars into the permanent war economy rather than repairing the nation’s collapsing roads, rails, bridges, schools, electrical grid and water supply. 

It is the paralysis of refusing to institute universal health care and regulate the for-profit insurance and pharmaceutical industries to fix the worst health care system of any highly industrialized nation, one in which life expectancy is falling and more Americans die from avoidable causes than in peer nations. More than 80 percent of maternal deaths in the U.S. alone are preventable, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It is the paralysis of being unwilling to curb police violence, dismantle the world’s largest prison system, end wholesale government surveillance of the public and reform a dysfunctional court system where nearly everyone, unless they can afford high-priced lawyers, is coerced into accepting onerous plea deals. 

It is the paralysis of standing passively by as the public, armed with arsenals of assault weapons, slaughter each other for crossing into their yard, pulling into their driveway, ringing their doorbell, angering them at work or school, or are so alienated and bitter at being left behind, they gun down groups of innocent people in acts of murderous self-immolation. 

Democracies are not slain by reactionary buffoons like Donald Trump, who was routinely sued for failing to pay workers and contractors and whose fictional television persona was sold to a gullible electorate, or shallow politicians like Joe Biden, whose political career has been devoted to serving corporate donors. These politicians provide a false comfort of individualizing our crises, as if removing this public figure or censoring that group will save us. 

Democracies are slain when a tiny cabal, in our case corporate, seizes control of the economy, culture and the political system and distorts them to exclusively serve its own interests. The institutions that should provide redress to the public become parodies of themselves, atrophy and die. How else to explain legislative bodies that can only unite to pass austerity programs, tax cuts for the billionaire class, bloated police and military budgets and reduce social spending? How else to explain courts that strip workers and citizens of their most basic rights? How else to explain a system of public education where the poor are, at best, taught basic numerical literacy and the rich send their children to private schools and universities with endowments in the billions of dollars?

Democracies are slain with false promises and hollow platitudes. Biden told us as a candidate he would raise the minimum wage to $15 and hand out $2,000 stimulus checks. He told us his American Jobs Plan would create “millions of good jobs.” He told us he would strengthen collective bargaining and ensure universal pre-kindergarten, universal paid family and medical leave, and free community college. He promised a publicly funded option for healthcare. He promised not to drill on federal lands and to promote a “green energy revolution and environmental justice.” None of that happened.

But, by now, most people have figured out the game. Why not vote for Trump and his grandiose, fantasy-driven promises? Are they any less real than those peddled by Biden and the Democrats? Why pay homage to a political system that is about betrayal? Why not sever yourself from the rational world that has only brought misery? Why pay fealty to old truths that have become hypocritical banalities? Why not blow the whole thing up?

As research by professors Martin Gilens and Benjamin I. Page underscores, our political system has turned the consent of the governed into a cruel joke. “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence,” they write.

The French sociologist Emile Durkheim in his book “On Suicide” called our state of hopelessness and despair, anomie, which he defined as “rulelessness.” Rulelessness means the rules that govern a society and create a sense of organic solidarity no longer function. It means that the rules we are taught — hard work and honesty will assure us a place in society; we live in a meritocracy; we are free; our opinions and votes matter; our government protects our interests — are a lie. Of course, if you are poor, or a person of color, these rules were always a myth, but a majority of the American public was once able to find a secure place in society, which is the bulwark of any democracy, as numerous political theorists going back to Aristotle point out. 

Tens of millions of Americans, cast adrift by deindustrialization, understand that their lives will not improve, nor will the lives of their children. Society, as Durkheim writes, is no longer “sufficiently present” for them. Those cast aside can participate in society, he writes, only through sadness.

The sole route left to affirm yourself, when every other avenue is closed off, is to destroy. Destruction, fueled by a grotesque hypermasculinity, imparts a rush and pleasure, along with feelings of omnipotence, which is sexualized and sadistic. It has a morbid attraction. This lust to destroy, what Sigmund Freud called the death instinct, targets all forms of life, including our own. 

These pathologies of death, diseases of despair, are manifested in the plagues that are sweeping across the county — opioid addiction, morbid obesity, gambling, suicide, sexual sadism, hate groups and mass shootings. My book, “America: The Farewell Tour,” is an exploration of the demons that grip the American psyche.

A web of social and political bonds — friendships and family ties, civic and religious rituals, meaningful work that imparts a sense of place, dignity and hope in the future —  allow us to be engaged in a project larger than the self. These bonds provide psychological protection from impending mortality and the trauma of rejection, isolation and loneliness. We are social animals. We need each other. Strip away these bonds and societies descend into fratricide. 

Capitalism is antithetical to creating and sustaining social bonds. Its core attributes — relationships that are transactional and temporary, prioritizing self-advancement through manipulating and exploiting others and the insatiable lust for profit — eliminates democratic space. The obliteration of all restraints on capitalism, from organized labor to government oversight and regulation, has left us at the mercy of predatory forces that, by nature, exploit human beings and the natural world until exhaustion or collapse.

Trump, devoid of empathy and incapable of remorse, is the personification of our diseased society. He is what those who have been cast adrift are taught by corporate culture they should strive to become. He expresses, often with vulgarity, the inchoate rage of those left behind and is a walking advertisement for the cult of the self. Trump is not a product of the theft of the Podesta emails, the DNC leaks or James Comey. He is not a product of Vladimir Putin or Russian bots. He is a product, like aspiring doppelgängers such as Ron DeSantis, Tom Cotton and Margorie Taylor Greene, of anomie and social decay. 

Individuals are “too closely involved in the life of society for it to be sick without their being affected,” Durkheim writes. “Its suffering inevitably becomes theirs.”

These charlatans and demagogues, who reject the customary restraints of political and civic decorum, ridicule the “polite” elites who sold us out. They offer no workable solution to the crises besetting the country. They dynamite the old social order, which is already rotten, and cry for vengeance against real and phantom enemies as if these acts will magically resurrect a mythical golden age. The more that lost age remains elusive, the more vicious they become.

“Since the bourgeoisie claimed to be the guardian of Western traditions and confounded all moral issues by parading publicly virtues which it not only did not possess in private and business life, but actually held in contempt, it seemed revolutionary to admit cruelty, disregard of human values, and general amorality, because this at least destroyed the duplicity upon which the existing society seemed to rest,” Hannah Arendt writes in “The Origins of Totalitarianism” of those who embraced the hate-filled rhetoric of fascism in the Weimar Republic. “What a temptation to flaunt extreme attitudes in the hypocritical twilight of double moral standards, to wear publicly the mask of cruelty if everybody was patently inconsiderate and pretended to be gentle, to parade wickedness in a world, not of wickedness, but meanness!”

Our society is deeply diseased. We must heal these social illnesses. We must mitigate this anomie. We must restore the severed social bonds and integrate the dispossessed back into society. If these social bonds remain ruptured it will guarantee a frightening neofascism. There are very dark forces circling around us. Sooner than we expect, they may have us in their grip. 


* * *

* * *


As planned, Germany closed the last of its three operational reactors on April 15. These were kept running beyond their original December 2022 shutdown dates, largely as a political concession to conservative minority partners within the German government, as their electricity was not actually needed. The German winter energy crunch was related to a cutoff of gas imports from Russia, needed for heating. Since German heating is not electric, nuclear power had no role to play in easing that situation.

Amidst all the false propaganda in circulation that the German nuclear shutdown has caused a rise in coal use in Germany, it’s important to note an important historical fact that is the genesis for the German green energy revolution — known in Germany as the Energiewende.

The Renewable Energy Act of 2000 stipulated as a pre-condition, that if nuclear power plants were to be shut down, these would be replaced by renewable energy and not by fossil fuels. And by creating a favorable and reliable investment environment for renewables, this is exactly what happened. Given its starting point in 2000, the growth of renewables has been stratospheric and Germany is well on target for its 2045 carbon-neutral goal. It also plans to phase out all coal use by 2038 at the latest and possibly by 2030. Moreover, while the nuclear share of Germany’s electricity market in 2000 was around 30%, today it is less than 6%.

Recent slight increases in brown coal (lignite) production in Germany were not for domestic consumption but market driven and, ironically, to meet winter electricity needs in nuclear France, which saw more than half of its not-so-reliable nuclear power fleet go down.

More information about why Germany’s Energiewende is working:

* * *

Two men working deep underground in a coal mine near Jellico, Campbell County, Tennessee, 1921

* * *


Ukraine reported a wave of Russian attacks across the front lines overnight, from Kharkiv in the northeast to Odesa in the southwest.

The eastern city of Bakhmut remains a key battleground. Ukraine says Russia is launching nonstop assaults, and the two sides are trading positions, block by block.

Spain is sending Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine, making it the latest Western power to do so. Ukraine has relied on outdated fighting vehicles in its battle against Russia and has appealed for more modern gear. 

Thousands were briefly evacuated from residential buildings after an explosive device was found in Belgorod — the same Russian city that Moscow says its air force accidentally bombed this week.

* * *

* * *

I AM AN OLD WOMAN NOW. The buffaloes and black-tail deer are gone, and our Indian ways are almost gone. Sometimes I find it hard to believe that I ever lived them.

My little son grew up in the white man's school. He can read books, and he owns cattle and has a farm. He is a leader among our Hidatsa people, helping teach them to follow the white man's road.

He is kind to me. We no longer live in an earth lodge, but in a house with chimneys, and my son's wife cooks by a stove.

But for me, I cannot forget our old ways.

Often in summer I rise at daybreak and steal out to the corn fields, and as I hoe the corn I sing to it, as we did when I was young. No one cares for our corn songs now.

Sometimes in the evening I sit, looking out on the big Missouri. The sun sets, and dusk steals over the water. In the shadows I see again to see our Indian village, with smoke curling upward from the earth lodges, and in the river's roar I hear the yells of the warriors, and the laughter of little children of old.

It is but an old woman's dream. Then I see but shadows and hear only the roar of the river, and tears come into my eyes. Our Indian life, I know, is gone forever.

(Remembering the Old West)

Waheenee - Hidatsa (North Dakota)


  1. George Hollister April 24, 2023

    Don’t miss the upcoming event in 2024: The elderly and corrupt deep state enabler, vs. the near elderly and delusional narcissist. The event will generate more revenue, more publicity, more cheering, and more sadness than the Olympics, and the Super Bowl put together.

    • Marshall Newman April 24, 2023

      At least you were correct with the election year. It is a start.

    • Eric Sunswheat April 24, 2023

      —> April 21, 2023
      In RFK Jr.’s telling, his father’s situation was much like his today: running against an incumbent Democrat in the White House, a time of “unprecedented polarization,” and “the liberal press were all against him.” …

      Watching him deliver a smart, carefully calibrated speech — the word “vaccine” never crossed his lips — a scene from the movie “Rocky” came to mind…. “He doesn’t know it’s supposed to be a show. He thinks it’s a damn fight!”…

      Kennedy’s political message was an NPR version of Bernie Sanders’ left-wing economic populism but with a dollop of talk-radio conspiracy theory. While Elizabeth Warren Democrats rail against Big Business, Big Pharma, etc., RFK Jr. adds Big Government — his opposition to “the corrupt merger of state and corporate power.”

      “My mission … will be to end the corrupt merger of state and corporate power that is threatening to impose a new corporate feudalism on our country, to poison our children and our people with chemicals and pharmaceutical drugs, to strip mine our assets, to hollow the middle class and keep us in a constant state of war,” Kennedy said. …
      When he attacked the “corporate media” and its “lies,” he sounded like a talk radio host.

      “The media is at its lowest point because we know the media lies to us — everybody knows that,” Kennedy said to cheers — a scene that could have come straight out of a Trump rally. “And when the media and the corporate media and the corporate-captive government see other voices of truth, they have to brand those misinformation.
      “They either have to censor us, or they have to lie about what’s true and what’s not true.”

      Kennedy even had a few kind words for Trump, saying that the former president’s instincts on the lockdown were right. While he blamed Trump for the national lockdown policy, he added, “In fairness, President Trump will say ‘the lockdown wasn’t my idea, the bureaucrats rolled me. I said we shouldn’t do it.’
      “But that’s not a good excuse. He was the president of the United States.”

      • George Hollister April 25, 2023

        “The media is at its lowest point because we know the media lies to us — everybody knows that,” Kennedy said to cheers — a scene that could have come straight out of a Trump rally.

        Good point. Trump took support away from Bernie Sanders, and Kennedy Jr. could very well take support away from Trump.

    • Bruce McEwen April 24, 2023

      Shenanigans v. Hooligans

  2. k h April 26, 2023

    Doni Chamberlain is a super nice lady and a brave reporter. Shasta County is really a mess, and she’s doing her best to report on the MAGA maniacs trying to take it over.

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