Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Saturday, May 6, 2023

Cool | Moonlight | AVUSD News | Arena Day | Hung Jury | Senior Meals | EV Chargers | Beltane | Budget Pressure | Political Fungi | Bunyan Poolside | Audit Failures | Wagner Show | Dog Attack | Mockelry | Pondside | Mona Lisa | Boonfire SNWMF | Esther Nichols | NYT Appearance | Saunders Brothers | Yesterday's Catch | Marco Radio | Near Dalai | Young Belafonte | Farmworkers March | Woolf Essay | Lakeport Vista | Fantasy Beliefs | Sweet Catsup | Your Rulers | Breaker Boys | Dinner Blockade | Pretending | Cheap Plywood | Debt Crisis | Hat Day | Bolsonaro Humiliated | Plucking Gray | Belmarsh Invite | UK Gate

* * *

COOL AND SHOWERY weather conditions are forecast through early next week. Dry and warmer weather conditions are expected mid to late next week. (NWS)

* * *

(photo by Carol Brodsky)

* * *


Dear Anderson Valley Community,

Spring is in the air with prom planned for this weekend. We appreciate all of the efforts of the students in creating a special event memory to last a lifetime.

Bond funds are already at work. We have hired a district painter who is diligently refreshing the buildings. This is a much more cost effective method than hiring a contractor. We welcome Miguel to staff. He is currently working on the elementary exteriors.

We also are delighted to relate that the elementary septic bids were opened on Thursday. The bids came in lower than expected, which is good news. We will have more information on time-frame as we move  forward in the process.

A couple of important items that I would like to invite you to attend include our Drug/Bullying Committee on Thursday, May 11th at 6 PM in the high school gym. This is district wide. We will have a nacho bar BUT WE NEED A RESERVATION TO ENSURE WE HAVE ENOUGH FOOD. A presenter from Behavioral Health will be visiting with us to discuss current drug trends in the Valley and what parents should know. We will also show you the Stopit App that is an anonymous reporting tool for bullying.   On Wednesday, May 31 is the high school open house at 3:30. This is a work exhibition in the gym and everyone is most welcome.

We are hiring numerous positions in the district. I have a library certificated position that would permit anyone with a bachelor's degree who would like to provide intervention services to apply for this position. We also have a community liaison that is grant funded. We have numerous aide positions as well.   Please look at or contact Sarah Hayward at

This past Sunday through Wednesday, I was in the Chico area as part of WASC evaluation. That’s a long four days of observation and evidence gathering as part of an accreditation team, but I always walk away feeling good about all the things we do right and learn plenty of things we can do to improve our system. We will be rolling out some of those strategies that the school is currently doing successfully to see if we can increase support and achievement for students.  The items include Aries notifications via text with any missed classes and grade updates, so you can check in with your student or excuse the absence.  Other  innovative things they are doing relate to career and college readiness with our enrollment CTE pathways.

This coming week is staff appreciation week and I want to express my gratitude to them all for their hard work and effort for the students of the Valley. We try to do a lot without much ADA funding and the extra effort and time is appreciated. We do have a number of retirees that the Board of Trustees will celebrate next Tuesday at 5:45 in the high school library. Please join us as we offer thanks Jenny Moore, Susan McClure. Sid Frazer, Deb Pichler, and Leslie Hubbert as they  wrap up their careers and look forward to retirement pursuits!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Louise Simson


Anderson Valley Unified School District

* * *

* * *

HUNG JURY on simple Mendo DUI case

A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Thursday afternoon to announce the twelve were deadlocked (11-1) and unable to reach a verdict against the trial defendant.

After making further inquiry, the Court declared a mistrial and the twelve were excused. 

Given the split, the case was immediately reset for a new trial to commence on May 30, 2023 in Department H of the Ukiah courthouse.

Defendant Julayne A. Ringstrom, age 36, of Ukiah is charged with driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater.

As always in all criminal cases, the accused is presumed innocent until the contrary is proved in a court of law beyond a reasonable doubt. 

The law enforcement agencies responsible for investigating the alleged crime is the Ukiah Police Departrment and the California Department of Justice crime laboratory. 

Deputy District Attorney Nathan Mamo is the deputy prosecutor handling this case.

Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Carly Dolan was the bench officer who presided over the three-day trial.

* * *


We're expanding our Senior Meals-On-Wheels program to Redwood Valley! Today we launched a new route covering Calpella and Redwood Valley area. If you or a loved one is in need of our services, please contact us at 707-462-8582 or by emailing

* * *


At our club meeting, May 1, we unanimously voted to support the Board of Supervisors seeking funds for the installation of high speed EV Charging Stations.

If you wish to speak up for this item, see May 9 Board of Supervisors Meeting, agenda item 3.e.

Here's our letter:

To: Mendocino County Board of Supervisors From: Coast Democratic Club of Mendocino County Re: Agenda Item 3e, May 9, 2023 Board of Supervisors

On August 3, 2021, your Board adopted a Resolution in support of a Carbon Free Mendocino. You declared your intent to take actions that will reduce and eliminate the County’s carbon footprint.

The Coast Democratic Club wrote to you in support of that Resolution.

Today, in that regard, we urge you to support the appropriate grant applications proposed to add EV 3 high speed charging stations on the Mendocino Coast and inland.

High speed charging stations must be part of Carbon Free Mendocino. We want Mendocino County to be a place that is climate conscious and forward planning for an electric powered future. Our residents and visitors depend on your actions. Without EV 3 charging stations, driving to places around our vast County in reasonable time will not be feasible. Let's do our part in keeping with the State's 2030 climate goals. Gas powered vehicles, practically speaking, will be something of the past in another decade.

Thank you for your consideration.

Karen Bowers

Coast Democratic Club Chair of Mendocino County

* * *

Celebrating the blues of Beltane (Mary Pat Palmer)

* * *


Sonoma County, famous for poaching Mendo employees with tempting offers of increased pay but more traffic and a potentially longer commute, is poised to give their employees a new contract with a 13% raise over three years, starting with a 5% boost in July, plus an “equity adjustment” of over 4% for the lower two-thirds of those employees.

* * *

A READER IN UPSTATE NEW YORK WRITES: “Enclosed is a check for another year’s subscription. Keep going. Thank you. I wish the little old town I live in, rife with opaque machinations and arrangements that don’t smell right had an organ like the AVA to scrutinize the political fungus that grows in the shadows.”

* * *

Paul Bunyan Days, Fort Bragg, Early 1970s

* * *


by Malcolm Macdonald

This is a tale of audit failures. Bear with it, we have to slog through some technical data, but, I promise, there will be a plot twist and punch lines.

In July 2020, the firm of Dingus, Zarecor & Associates (DZA) completed its audit for the Mendocino Coast Health Care District (MCHCD). Within the audit's section on “Long-term Debt,” multiple references pop up with cautionary wording like, “The promissory note requires the District to submit audited financial statements within 120 days of year's end, which the District was not in compliance with for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020.”

That quote was attached to a discussion of the long-term debt payments for a Help (Healthcare Expansion Loan Program) II loan. MCHCD still owes an annual debt of well over $100,000 annually to the California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA), which runs the Help II program. The Healthcare District owes about $400,000 yearly on its revenue bonds. Within Section XXIII of the basic agreement on these bonds is this statement, “The District shall deliver to the Office within thirty (30) days of the receipt by the District of its audited financial statements, and in any event within one hundred fifty (150) days after the end of each Fiscal Year, two copies of its audited financial statements as of the end of such year...”

Let's move on to state laws. The California Health and Safety Code, in Section 32133, has a basic requirement in regard to financial responsibility for the board of directors of a special district like the Mendocino Health Care District: “At least once each year the board shall engage the services of a qualified accountant of accepted reputation to conduct an audit of the books... The financial statement of the district with the auditor's certification, including any exceptions or qualifications as part of such certification, shall be published in the district by the board pursuant to Section 6061 of the Government Code.”

Here comes the first punchline: Despite those warnings in July 2020 about getting audit reports to the creditors behind their long-term debts, the Mendocino Coast Health Care District failed to perform any audits for fiscal years 2021 and 2022. Where does the responsibility rest?

Fiscal years 2021 and 2022 were the first after Adventist Health took over day to day operations of the coast hospital. The MCHCD Board of Directors found itself more or less bereft of support staff during that entire time span. Nevertheless, the full board should have been able to contract out an annual audit. During those 2021-22 years the MCHCD Board Treasurer likened himself the district's CFO (chief financial officer). He did so very publicly in a failed bid for countywide office during the spring of 2022.

Remember the long-term debt for the Help II loan? The California Health Facilities Financing Authority (CHFFA) remembered. On January 13, 2022, a CHFFA official sent the MCHCD Treasurer an email asking why no audit had been completed for the fiscal year ending (FYE) June 30, 2021. There is much documentation to show that the MCHCD Treasurer was well aware of the need for audits in FYE 2021 and 2022. He notes the need for an audit in supporting material for at least one board meeting. Yet, no audit was forthcoming for either FYE '21 or '22.

So, where do we look for responsibility beyond the board level at a special district? This takes us to the next punchline: California Government Code Section 26909, paragraph (a)(1), which states, “The county auditor shall either make or contract with a certified public accountant or public accountant to make an annual audit of the accounts and records of every special district within the county for which an audit by a certified public accountant or public accountant is not otherwise provided.”

At a September 13, 2022 Board of Supervisors meeting, Mendocino County's Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector stated, “The County Auditor and the county have not performed the specific audits of the special districts. The auditor's office does receive the audit reports from the special districts. We do track whether they have been audited recently... We have not pursued contracting for an audit for a special district at this time nor have any of my counterparts in the northern auditor region.”

So, multiple excuses and ironies apply here. A fundamental part of the Mendocino County Auditor's response was that we don't follow state government code because others in the region don't either. Always an effective answer when a student doesn't turn in their homework, say no one else did it either.

Pressed by supervisors to provide a simple pdf checklist of special districts, providing information such as when their audits are due and which ones are compliant, our county auditor claimed she would need more staffing to do this task. Questioned further as to a specific number of staff additions needed for this task the county auditor did not give a response.

The Mendocino Coast Health Care District Board of Directors failed to perform audits for FYE 2021 and 2022 in part because they lack sufficient staffing. California Government Code requires the county auditor's office to compel an audit of special district's like MCHCD, but our county auditor claims there isn't enough staff to do so. Keep in mind that immediately prior to speaking with the Mendocino County Auditor-Controller-Treasurer-Tax Collector the BOS chair stated that an ad hoc committee had met (via Zoom) with the state controller's office. The takeaway, according to the BOS chair, was that this was a local problem. After the September 13, Board of Supervisors meeting, the county contracted Regional Government Services (RGS) to provide assistance to the county auditor-controller-treasurer-tax collector. Nearly six months later, it appears that the county auditor-controller-treasurer-tax collector has yet to utilize RGS' services.

A bit of good news about the Mendocino Coast Health Care District: In early February, a new board of directors contracted with DZA to finally conduct audits for FYE 2021 and 2022. However, three months later, no substantive status update has been provided on the audit. The MCHCD board seems more preoccupied with quibbling over sentence structure in their bylaws.

* * *


Ed note: I've admired this guy's work for a long time. Happy to see he has a showcase.

* * *

POLICE BODY CAM Reveals the Brutality of Recent Fort Bragg Pit Bull Attack

Two Fort Bragg women were severely injured when two pit bulls attacked them on April 22, 2023, requiring emergency medical care which later led to the euthanization of the violent animals. 

One woman had three partially severed fingers and had to be flown to an out-of-the-area hospital, one woman had a severe bite to her face, while a third dog that attempted to stop the attack was mauled and is still under a vet’s care.

Body camera footage from the pit bull attack provides a glimpse of the brutality wrought by the animals that day.…

* * *


(The annotated candidate.)

This guy is endorsed by all of the sitting supervisors and by retiring supervisors, McGourty and Gjerde. You could say, given the functioning of the supervisors, it's a reverse endorsement, a great big buyer beware.

Dear fellow Mendocino County residents,

Today, I am filled with an overwhelming sense of gratitude and excitement as I announce my candidacy for the position of First District Supervisor of Mendocino County. 

(Hold it right there, Trev. Gratitude for what?) 

My career to date has been dedicated to serving my community, and I believe that I have the experience, values, and vision necessary to make a real difference in the lives of all those whom I hope to represent. 

(He'll wash your feet, heal your wounds.)

As a lifelong resident of the First District, I have seen firsthand the challenges that our community faces daily. Mendocino County has faced incredible difficulties, from prolonged and damaging droughts to sudden and devastating wildfires. This is to say nothing of the human toll - I have seen families struggle to make ends meet, students struggle to receive a quality education, and businesses struggle to thrive in a constantly changing world. 

(The rest of us haven't? And name on thing you or your padrone, Mike McGuire, not to mention your retro political party, have done to make life better for the people of this area.)

But I am not deterred by these challenges. In fact, they motivate me even more to work tirelessly to create a better future for all of us. I believe that by bringing together our diverse perspectives, ideas, and talents, we can find innovative solutions to our problems and build more equitable and just solutions to the challenges we face.

(How about uniforms, would that help cool out diverse perspectives?)

Securing the future of the First District will be a three-part challenge that requires a delicate balance between water, fire, and agriculture.

(Cheap water forever for wealthy people growing grapes, a frivolous crop as dependent on cheap water as it is on cheap labor.)

Water is a precious resource in this district, and ensuring its sustainable use and conservation is critical for the future. At the same time, the threat of wildfires is an ever-present danger that must be addressed through proactive fire management strategies. Finally, agriculture plays a vital role in the district's economy and must be managed carefully to ensure its long-term viability. Balancing these three priorities will require careful planning, collaboration, and innovation to ensure that the needs of all stakeholders are met while preserving the district's natural resources for future generations. 

(The only ag industry worth encouraging are the small farms that provide real food for real people. The grape and wine industry is a net drag on the life of this region.)

Throughout my professional career, public service has been the cornerstone. I've had the honor of serving in various capacities, including staffing and legislative work for two California State Senators in their Capitol offices. 

(Pause here for a group recitation of the Jesus Prayer.) 

I’ve also had the privilege of serving as a Field Representative for the California State Senate, overseeing Mendocino, Lake, Trinity, Humboldt, and Del Norte Counties. 

(The double cipher effect.) 

I've gained valuable experience working for First Five of Mendocino County (a jobs program based on a ripoff of the cigarette tax), Mendocino County Public Health…

(irrelevant to the health of the people of Mendocino County) 

…and the City of Ukiah City Manager’s Office. 

(A wildly overpaid office mismanaging the sclorotic City of Ukiah, the worst managed town in the county.) 

These diverse experiences have helped me hone my skills in policy analysis and advocacy, data analysis, emergency operations management, community outreach, and other valuable areas.

(We'll take your word for it, kid.)

I pledge to listen to your concerns, engage with you, and work alongside you to create the kind of community that we all want and deserve. 

(Which is? That's what McGourty said.)

I am running because I believe that we can do better. I am running because I believe in the power of our collective potential. And I am running because I believe that together, we can build a brighter future for Mendocino County. Thank you for your consideration, and I look forward to earning your trust and support in the coming weeks and months. 

(Christ save us all!)

* * *


I am supporting Trevor Mockel in his campaign for 1st District Supervisor in 2024. I have worked with Trevor when he was a Field Representative for State Senator Mike McGuire, and found that he is responsive, empathetic, professional and communicates well with people. He has great working knowledge of the different levels of government having worked for the City of Ukiah, the County of Mendocino and as a staffer for the California State Senate. He is a Mendocino County native yet gone off for an education, worked outside of the community, but returned to make a life here. He understands the important local issues and will know how to source help from other places when needed. He is dedicated to public service and already has shown professional competence in his career. All these attributes add up to someone who will be productive from Day 1 if he is elected to the Board of Supervisors. I strongly encourage you to vote for Trevor Mockel for 1st District Supervisor.

Glenn McGourty

* * *

I support Trevor Mockel’s candidacy for Supervisor. Trevor is a can do person with deep roots in the community. He listens to and cares about people. I have worked with Trevor on many issues and have found Trevor to be hard working, persistent, and capable. He is a person of integrity (Evidence?) and understands the issues facing the 1st District and the County. I enthusiastically support Trevor Mockel as Supervisor for the 1st District of Mendocino County.

John Haschak

* * *

I’m happy to lend my early support to the Trevor Mockel's campaign for First District Supervisor. Trevor has the right combination of experience, connection, and energy to help guide the County of Mendocino into the future. I have worked with Trevor in several governmental roles and have found him to be a critical thinker and a problem solver. He has a strong understanding of our local issues and a willingness to communicate and be educated as new situations arise. I endorse Trevor Mockel for 1st District Supervisor.

Mo Mulheren

* * *

I am proud to endorse Trevor Mockel for the First District Supervisor position. Trevor is a dedicated and hard-working individual with a deep understanding of the needs of Mendocino County. He has a proven track record of public service and is committed to serving his community. In my opinion, Trevor is the best candidate for the job and I strongly urge you to support him in the upcoming election. (Smack! as lips strike buttocks)

Ted Williams

* * *

Dan Gjerde has endorsed Trevor Mockel for the First District Supervisor

Full endorsement letter coming soon. (We can't wait.)

JOE BIDEN is no accident. Why, right here in Mendocino County, the cold, dead hand of the Democratic Party corrupts everything political, as the copious evidence above proves beyond all doubt. These boilerplate endorsements, following the vacuous statements of the candidate, are, together, a signal to the grinning Democratic squid to tighten its grasping tentacles on the doomed people of the Northcoast.

This guy Mockel, the self-alleged Mr. Clean of Redwood Valley. To clear-headed people like, ahem, ava readers, the message is clear — Anybody But Mockel.

JOHNNY PINCHES was the last adult-type person to function as supervisor, and before him, Jim Eddie. Downhill ever since culminating in an unbalanced, probably psychotic CEO, mercifully departed, and five supervisors who functioned as auto-votes for whatever she put in front of their cringing pusses. And here we are, in a broke county going broker.

* * *


* * *

‘MONA LISA IS MISSING’ is the title of a fascinating short documentary that aired a few months ago on PBS, after having been on the DVD/streaming circuit for a few years. 

Here’s a short recap from Philadelphia-based

The Mona Lisa was stolen? Surprisingly, yes – on August 21, 1911. And even more shocking – it was taken by a simple Italian immigrant, Vincenzo Peruggia, who hid it in his dingy tenement room in Paris for more than 2-1/2 years. How did he do it? Why did he do it? The answers to those questions and are revealed in the award-winning documentary, Mona Lisa Is Missing, (

Philadelphia native, Joe Medeiros, Writer/Director and former Head Writer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno spent over 35 years obsessed with discovering the true story of the most unthinkable art theft in history by the most unlikely of thieves. In 2008, Medeiros discovered that Peruggia’s daughter Celestina was alive and still living in Dumenza, Italy, the thief’s home town. 

“We both wanted to know the truth why Vincenzo did what he did,” said Medeiros. “With the help of Celestina’s son, Silvio and her daughter, Graziella, and their team they journeyed to Paris where Peruggia had lived and worked, to Florence where he brought the painting, to the French and Italian archives where the they waded through thousands of documents from the time of the theft, and ultimately to the truth, which they shared with Celestina – a truth they were not sure she would want to hear…”

THE LOCAL ANGLE: Boonville-based primo documentary film editor Len Feinstein edited the video, converting it from the producer-director’s large collection of material into the smooth-flowing and entertaining documentary it has become. Feinstein told us Thursday that one of the most interesting aspects of the production was that Producer/Director Medeiros was very good at producing or assembling illustrative graphic animations for points of the narrative where they didn’t have much photographic material to work with when they needed it. Highly recommended.


(Mark Scaramella)

* * *


Boonfire seamlessly blurs the lines between rock, reggae, and everything in between. The entire band was raised on a healthy diet of Jamaican reggae, 90’s Seattle grunge, and old school hip-hop, giving them a unique musical perspective that is sure to excite fans of multiple genres. Boonfire has been a band for over five years and has played many venues throughout Northern California and is making its second appearance at SNWMF!

* * *


April 25, 1965 - Artist Esther Nichols was killed in a tragic traffic accident on Interstate 5 near Albany, Oregon. She had traveled to Oregon to deliver a stained glass window she had completed for a church there and to attend a religious retreat in Beaverton. Esther was on her way back to her home in Mendocino when the accident occurred. A rear tire on the car she was driving blew out, causing the small sports car to careen out of control into the freeway median, hit a culvert, and roll over several times.

Esther had visited Mendocino in 1964 to take Dorr Bothwell’s Color and Design course. While she was here, Bill Zacha was converting the water tower located on Albion Street near Kasten (most recently occupied by Loot & Lore) into a novel home. 

South side of Albion Street, 1966. Double tank water tower and surrounding structures on the south side of Albion Street near the corner of Kasten Street. At this time, the water tower housed an artist's studio. The building to the left was a laundromat, then later the “Compass Rose.”

The space was described by the Beacon as “three levels, each with a practically 360 degree visibility through the windows. The tiny top floor room can look out over Mendocino, all the way to the ocean.” The levels were connected by a spiral metal staircase that arrived in pieces “like a great tinker toy set,” and a group that included Ted and Jean Spazek, Jim and Anna Louise Myers, Bob and Sue Erlenkotter, Chuck Stevenson, Dorr Bothwell, Erma Gillaspie, Jennie and Bill Zacha, and Esther helped install the staircase.

The water tower became Esther’s studio and home. People were so curious about the finished tower that she proposed a studio tour for the 1964 Mendocino Art Center Fair. The tour, which also included the studios of Dorr Bothwell and Charles Stevenson, was the highlight of the fair, with 172 people touring the three studio apartments.

Esther was an enthusiastic member of the Mendocino Art Center and devoted many hours to assisting with major projects and working in the gardens. In addition to her volunteer work at the Art Center, Esther was involved in Catholic Action and St. Anthony's Guild and taught weekly catechism classes for young children. A special mass was celebrated at St. Anthony’s Church in Esther’s memory, and she was buried next to her husband in Denver, Colorado.

(Kelley House Museum)

* * *

BILL KIMBERLIN: This guy was on the front page of the New York Times this morning, not at his usual spot at Mosswood Cafe, Boonville.

* * *

MY GREAT GRANDFATHER William Scott Saunders and his brother Albert Pope Saunders were appointed as the mill boss and sawyer boss, respectively, of the Ten Mile mill in 1885, and shortly thereafter became the planer boss and sawyer boss, respectively, in the Fort Bragg mill when C. R. Johnson moved the operation to town. In 1898 these two enterprising individuals saw an opportunity and took over the running of a saloon on Fort Bragg's Main Street in a building owned by John Ketchum. It was initially known as Saunders Brothers Saloon, but later more commonly as the Elk Horn Saloon. 

In 1900 they put in a "nickel-in-the-slot machine" that was described as "the best finished and most expensive machine of the kind ever brought to this section." I'd love to have that machine (and some of the nickels) today. They ran this bar together for a few years, and then Scott ran it alone from 1901 to 1915. John Ketchum, the landowner, became ill and in 1903 was staying in a back room of this saloon when he cut his throat in a fit of delirium, ran out into the street, and died. In 1913 his remarried widow sold the land to Scott for the whopping sum of ten dollars. Scott retired and sold the land and the saloon for five hundred dollars in 1915. In 1901 Albert moved two doors north where he partnered with Theodore Chester in another saloon commonly known as the Old Corner Saloon. He worked there until he died in 1907. This photo was taken between 1898 and 1901 and shows Albert behind the bar in front of the north wall of the Saunders Brothers/Elk Horn Saloon. If a person were to walk out the back of this place even up to the 1940s there would have been a number of small cabins known as the Redwood Rooms and occupied by "single" women. The spot today would be where Cowlick's sits, the north half of 250 North Main Street. The site of the Old Corner Saloon would be on the southeast corner of Redwood and Main where the Club Fort Bragg was and where a tourist shop is today.

* * *

CATCH OF THE DAY, Friday, May 5, 2023

Colson, Davila, Detherage

JASON COLSON, Fort Bragg. Under influence, paraphernalia.


BREANNA DETHERAGE, Eureka/Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

Gottsimmons, Hornlein, Joaquin

CHADLEY GOTTSIMMONS, Redwood Valley. Under influence, controlled substance, paraphernalia.

GARRICK HORNLEIN, Fort Bragg. Paraphernalia, county parole violation.

DAVID JOAQUIN SR., Covelo. Paraphernalia, no license, probation revocation.

Lewiskooy, Limon, Offill

JAKE LEWISKOOY, Ukiah. Petty theft with priors, paraphernalia, probation revocation.


MICHAEL OFFILL, Santa Cruz/Fort Bragg. Attempted burglary, unspecified offense.

Plancencia, Sanchez, Tveit


SAMUEL SANCHEZ, Ukiah. Protective order violation, parole violation. (Frequent flyer.)

JOSHUA TVEIT-LODGE, Redwood Valley. DUI, suspended license for DUI, failure to appear, probation revocation.

* * *

MEMO OF THE AIR: Live on KNYO from Franklin St. all night tonight!

Deadline to email your writing for tonight's (Friday night's) MOTA show is like 5:30 or 6pm. Or send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week.

I'll be in the clean, well-lighted back room of KNYO's 325 N. Franklin studio. To call and read your work in your own voice, the number is 707-962-3022. If you want to come in and perform in person, that's okay, I guess, but bring a real mask to put on.

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

And as always, at you'll find plenty of shiny things to occupy yourself with until MOTA showtime, such as the movie night event in the storefront. Tonight: George Romero's /Night of the Living Dead/ starts at 6pm. A true movie experience, popcorn and everything. The windows are blackout-curtained for this and movie nights to come. Just walk in.

Marco McClean,

* * *

DOUG ROSE: At The Dalai Lama's House

I have no camera to take pictures of the bafflingly beautiful scenery around here, but this video does a reasonable job. I stayed on one of the mountaintops pictured for five days. Today I landed in McLeod Ganj at The Citrus Hotel. It is only two blocks from the Dalai Lama's home and temple complex.

* * *


by David Yearsley

Arrayed behind the twenty-one-year-old Harry Belafonte on the night of his unlikely debut as a singer in January of 1949 was a quartet of modern music greats: Al Haig on piano, Max Roach on drums, Tommy Potter on bass, and bebop founding father Charlie Parker on alto saxophone.

The club was the Royal Roost in Midtown Manhattan, which, the year before, had begun presenting the young lions of modern jazz—Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Dexter Gordon—with live radio broadcasts hosted by the famed jazz disc jockey Sydney Tarnopol who plied his hipster trade under the moniker Symphony Sid.

Belafonte was a high school dropout who, after serving in the navy at the end of World War II, had used his G.I. bill money to study acting at the New School. The program put on some of its plays at the 48th Street Theatre close by the Royal Roost.

When not on stage, Belafonte would volunteer to do props or lighting at the theatre and after the shows walked over to the Royal Roost where he would order a beer for 50 cents, nursing it at the bar at the back of the club and enthralled by the music up front beyond the tables where the rich “swells” ordered expensive drinks. Soon the young man was befriended by titan tenor saxophonist, Lester Young, a regular performer at the club.

One night in 1948, Young and his sideman, along with the Roost’s booking agent Monte Kay, came to a New School production of Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. Belafonte played the Troubadour, a part not in the original play, but one invented for him so that he could set the musical mood with snatches songs by Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly. As made clear in his engaging and candid autobiography of 2011, My Song, Belafonte only allowed himself this public vocal display because it was funneled through the mystical figure of the Troubadour. He saw himself as an actor who could sing when the occasion demanded it. He was not a singer.

After the play Young and the other musicians heartily congratulated the young actor and all went back to the Roost for a festive drink. Belafonte was happy simply that this clutch of jazz elites—including the hippest of them all, Lester Young, a man credited by Belafonte and many others with coining the slang use of “cool”— knew something of his work as an actor.

As 1948 neared its end Belafonte’s G.I. Bill money had run out and his wife, Marguerite, was pregnant. Unable to land other acting gigs, he gave up his classes at the New School. Like his friend and fellow would-be actor Sydney Poitier, Belafonte took a job delivering clothes with a hand truck in the Garment District.

With his artistic ambitions battered, Belafonte went to the Roost one night. The waiters allowed him to sit at a table front of the club to hear Lester Young. In between sets the saxophonist came to talk to his young friend, and Belafonte confided that things looked bleak. Young and one of his sidemen encouraged Belafonte to ask Monte Kay for a gig singing in the club. Belafonte again insisted he wasn’t a singer, but, urged on by Young, finally did make his plea to Kay, who gave him a one-off chance singing between sets.

The problem was that Belafonte didn’t have enough material, so over the next week Al Haig helped him work up a few standards. He was in good hands with Haig, an elegant, incisive, and inventive pianist who’d studied at Oberlin and held sway over a wide range of musical styles and moods, from bebop burners to hazy ballads.

On that Tuesday in January, after Young and his band played the first set, Kay introduced the next act: “Ladies and Gentleman, the Royal Roost is pleased to introduce a new discovery, Harry Bella Buddha!”

Seated at the keyboard, Haig dashed off a flourish for the newcomer, but before Belafonte could start singing Tommy Potter had picked up his bass and was playing along. Then Max Roach took his place at the drum set, and finally Parker strode onto the bandstand.

Haig segued into the planned opening tune, “Pennies from Heaven,” but before Belafonte could start singing, Parker had launched into an effusive solo backed by his rhythm section. Belafonte’s umbrella was indeed upside down as the jazz plentitude rained down around him.

But for a terrifying moment Belafonte floundered in the bebop inundation. He had no idea when he should enter. Soon enough, Haig nodded to Belafonte. He opened his mouth and sang.

His engagement was extended for a week, Symphony Sid now introducing the young singer to his radio live audience: ”Down here at the Royal Roost, we’ve got an exciting singer, Harry Belafonte. Now this is a great story, folks … One week ago he was in the garment district pushing a rack of clothes. Now’s he’s packin’ ‘em in at the Roost. It’s a Cinderella story, is what it is, which is why we call him … the Cinderella Gentleman.”

He was kept on at the Roost for nearly half a year with his pay upped from the initial $70 a week to $200. Later that same spring he found himself eight blocks away singing on-stage at Carnegie Hall.

Soon he had made his first shellac recording: a 78 on Roost Records, whose tagline was “Music of the Future.” Belafonte’s future would be brighter, longer, and far more lucrative than that of the music Roost meant: bebop.

There is no recording of Belafonte’s debut, which survives only as anecdote. The sound of that night can only be triangulated.

That first 78, issued on the house label, was made with the band of another regular Roost performer, the bop trumpeter Howard McGhee. The new music was notorious for the difficulties of its harmonies and tempos, but there is nothing threatening in Harry’s recording debut with “Lean on Me.”

Recordings survive from this period of Parker and the Haig-Roach-Potter rhythm section at the Roost, as in New Year’s Eve broadcast a couple of weeks before Bird’s spirited musical introduction for Belafonte. Symphony Sid emcees the jazz party at the “Metropolitan Bopera House” (the Roost, of course) kicked off with the future music’s eponymous title tune “Be-Bop” careening towards midnight between 1948 and 1949 at searing, celebratory speed.

Later that year, buoyed by his rousing successes at the Roost, Belafonte also recorded ballads and easy swinging numbers with Al Haig and Tommy Potter (with drummer Roy Haynes instead of Max Roach). The mellifluous, but bop savvy tenor saxophonist Zoot Sims was also on board for Belafonte’s rendering of “The Night Has a Thousand Eyes” flavored with the exoticizing spice of mild Latin groove.

This “Night” points the way to the calypso calm for which Belafonte would become famous, already a long way from those first pennies spouting from Parker’s alto saxophone at the singer’s legendary debut—Belafonte’s terrifying and triumphant baptism by fire, the Banana Boat of his future christened by bebop flames.

* * *

MAY DAY IN MT. VERNON (photographs by David Bacon)

MT VERNON, WA - 1MAY23 - Migrant farmworkers and their supporters march, demonstrate and then party on May Day to call for unions and human rights for farmworkers. The march was organized by Community2Community, Familias Unidas por la Justicia, and unions and solidarity groups. It celebrated International Day of the Child as well. (copyright David Bacon)

* * *


A woman must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction.

~ Virginia Woolf, A Room of One's Own

“A Room of One's Own” is an extended essay by Virginia Woolf, first published in 1929. The essay is based on a series of lectures that Woolf delivered at two women's colleges at Cambridge University in 1928.

The essay explores the topic of women and fiction, arguing that women have been historically excluded from the literary canon and from opportunities to write and publish their own works due to social and economic barriers. Woolf argues that women have been hindered in their creative pursuits by a lack of education, a lack of financial independence, and a lack of physical space to work.

Woolf suggests that in order for women to succeed as writers, they must have a room of their own where they can work without interruption, and they must have an income that allows them to support themselves and their work. She argues that women need the same financial and social freedoms as men in order to pursue their creative ambitions.

Throughout the essay, Woolf uses a fictional character, "Judith," as an example of a woman who could have been a great writer if she had been given the same opportunities as men. She also discusses the ways in which women's experiences and perspectives have been excluded from the literary canon and argues for the importance of women's voices in literature.

"A Room of One's Own" is considered a classic feminist text and is still widely read and studied today for its insights into women's experiences and the social and economic barriers that have historically prevented women from achieving their full creative potential.

* * *

Lakeport 5/3/23 (Jennifer Baker)

* * *

FANTASY BELIEF SYSTEMS, an on-line comment:

I’ve noticed that there seems to be a sort of mental-health issue in this country where people imagine that harms are being intentionally done and then assign blame to groups or to people for those imagined harms. People imagine that the borders are open and that Mexicans are to blame for America’s drug problem. People imagine that China was responsible for Covid. People somehow conflate the LGBT community with pedophelia. People imagine that the scientific community has concocted the climate change crisis we’re currently facing in order to somehow turn America communist… or something.

I think that researching how so many people have become so detatched from reality could be a good first step in making America into the great nation that so many people imagine we once were.

* * *


(According to, a 20-ounce bottle of Heinz Ketchup has about two-thirds of a cup of sugar in it. That’s 5.3 ounces out of 20, or over 25% Sugar, just over a quarter.)

* * *

YOUR RULERS do not care what race you are. They do not care if you are gay, transgendered or nonbinary. They do not care how many bullets you are allowed to have in your gun. They do not care whether you are allowed to have an abortion or not. They do not care if you are racist, sexist, ableist, ageist, xenophobic, homophobic, transphobic or fatphobic. They do not care about diverse representation in politics or media, and they do not care about any lack thereof. All they care about is that we all keep thinking, speaking, working, consuming and voting in ways which keep them rich and powerful and keep us poor and powerless. And they will happily keep us arguing as intensely as possible about the things they do not care about so that we don't turn our attention to the things they do care about.

This doesn't mean those other issues aren't real concerns, and in fact our rulers stand everything to gain by exacerbating the injustices involving issues they don't care about in order to keep attention in those convenient areas. But the solution to the problems our rulers don't care about is the same as the solution to the problems our rulers do care about: overthrow our rulers.

— Caitlin Johnstone

* * *

THIS 1911 PHOTO by photojournalist Lewis Hine shows ‘breaker boys’ in Pittston, Pennsylvania. 

A breaker boy’s job was to separate chunks of coal by hand. As coal came down the conveyor belt, they would break up the coal into common sized pieces and also separate out rocks, clay and soil. The boys were usually 8-12 years old. 

If you look carefully, there are a couple of old men in this group. There was a common phrase among miners: Once a miner, twice a breaker boy. That meant that when miners got too old to do the heavy labor, they went back to being a breaker boy for their final years. 

The practice of using boys this young in the mines finally ended in the early 1920’s, in part because of the photos of Lewis Hine.

* * *


On Saturday, April 29th in Washington DC, as celebrities, politicians, and journalists rubbed shoulders at the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner in the Washington Hilton, climate activists outside attempted to “blockade” the event. 

The demonstrators primarily wanted to disrupt the event to call out President Biden for breaking his promise to approve “no more drilling on federal lands, period,” and the media for failing to call him out on this broken promise. Activists successfully prevented vehicles from entering the hotel grounds through the front entrance. In one particularly tense situation, the group chastised police for not arresting the driver of a government vehicle who pushed into them. 

While vehicles couldn’t pass, activists also blocked people from directly entering on foot, forcing them to go around. Police generally did not intervene in these interactions. 

While the White House Correspondents’ Dinner itself garnered massive attention, as it does every year now mostly as an object of public ridicule, the outside protests were light on dedicated mainstream media coverage. However, protests managed to generate attention anyway.…

Produced by Ford Fischer/ News2Share, with additional footage by Paul Mulholland, for Activism Uncensored, a Collaboration with Racket News

* * *


by James Kunstler

Who would have though in 2020 when they were voting for Joe, that they were voting for the most hardcore accelerationist collapsitarian candidate in history.

— Deep South SR on Twitter

The creatures of the underworld running our country must think the public is awfully stupid. You are expected to take at face value the claim that “Joe Biden” is actually up for re-election. Could it be more obvious that he’s pretending? (Just as he’s been pretending to serve as CEO of our government.) Meanwhile, we are not supposed to notice that the entities behind him are scrambling to dismantle, demolish, and asset-strip what remains of the USA in body and spirit. But enough of us are noticing to make it a problem for them.

First, who are these entities? They are exactly who you think they are. What you see around you is not just a complex system (Western Civ) unwinding and breaking apart — though that is part of the story. It is also the appearance of a controlled demolition by desperate, frightened, and crazy people who want to be the ones left standing when the demolition is complete. The catch is, they are pretending, too. They are control-freaks who cannot keep things under control.

This power underworld is a coalition of large public and private organizations, here and out there in the world, and the folks in charge of them, and they are all out of control, too, pretending that their operations are coherent and efficacious. For instance, the vast consortium of intelligence agencies in our country, the CIA, DIA, ad nauseam, their multitudinous spin-offs, and their international partners (e.g., MI6, Mossad, the World Health Organization). If you want to see how they actually work, watch the Coen Brothers’ movie Burn After Reading. You will see a bustle of perfectly hapless, frantic, and insanely self-destructive activity performed by clueless clowns in nice business suits.

There is also the matrix of banking, including the international regulatory agencies such as the IMF, the World Bank, the Fed, the European Central Bank, and the banks themselves. And the bankers — Powell, LeGarde, Dimon, et. al — and the money managers, Fink, Soros, and their nefarious activities. They are all pretending to be in charge of a money system so burdened with fakery and legerdemain that it’s in the process of flying up the cosmic wazoo and vanishing, leaving Western Civ, functionally, broke.

My guess is that the nominal leader of this underworld in the USA — more like a master-of-ceremonies than an actual director — is Barack Obama. He has been running “Joe Biden” since the 2020 coup against Mr. Trump. The Clintons wanted to be in the mix somewhere, but it appears they’ve lost the fight for dominance — what with Bill in a perpetual doghouse and Hillary wearing that “loser” sign plastered on her back. For now, “Joe B” is a place-holder for the Party of Chaos. Who else have they got? Gavin Newsom? I’m sure. Hair and teeth only get you so far. Just wait until they roll the footage of San Francisco. Kamala Harris? Discussion unnecessary. Elizabeth Warren? (Grandma Oatmeal, we call her.) A bunch of governors no one has ever heard of? For now, they’ll just try ignoring RFK, Jr., since he wants to turn the Democratic Party upside-down and inside-out while rinsing it with Draino.

Who will they slot in when “Joe B” gets the hook? Michelle Obama, of course. Seems ridiculous, I know. (Actually, it’s completely ridiculous.) But our country has become so marinated in recycled products, celebrities, and narratives that Mr. Barack Obama (and cohorts) might just be bold enough to try it. Michelle is just another product at this point, like a can of Bud Lite, or a Hostess Ho-Ho, and that’s how they will try to sell her. The public’s collective mind has been successfully disordered to the degree that unreality no longer registers. If they pull this off, it will be Mr. Obama’s fourth term — and the coup-de-grace for the nation.

I don’t think the public will stand for it, but the condition of our country is so grave now that the actual contest underway is not between political personalities but between economic collapse and civil war. In the latter race there will be a winner and a runner up, and it looks like the economic collapse is already well advanced. Inflation is crushing the middle-class and business activity of every kind — except maybe drug trafficking — is falling into a coma.

Meanwhile, the escapades of the “Joe Biden” crime family inch towards critical mass. It’s another sign of the public’s disordered collective mind that so much evidence of grotesque criminality could already stand revealed before them without anyone in authority (hint: the heads of the DOJ and FBI) feeling the pressure of public opinion to act. Merrick Garland and Christopher Wray have foolishly made themselves accessories in all that crime by working to cover it up. Everyone knows it and that is arguably the most demoralizing of all the manifold failures ongoing. Real justice is AWOL.

You’re aware, no doubt of the situation on the Mexican border. Just days from now many tens of thousands of people from foreign lands waiting there will be ushered illegally across the Rio Grande by agents of the US State Department working with a whole bunch of NGOs and the United Nations to enable that rush to the entrance. The inflow will continue indefinitely. The operation has got the blessing of the “Joe Biden” regime, and everybody knows that, too. My guess is that’s what will set off a new civil war: when citizens of the border states eventually take up arms against this invasion, and our government tries to stop them from defending their own country.


* * *

* * *

THE UNITED STATES IS BARRELING toward a debt crisis; the possibility of default on U.S. debt is already beginning to roil markets.

by Paul Krugman

What’s odd about this potential crisis is that it has nothing to do with excessive debt. Maybe you think the federal government has borrowed too much over time. We can argue about such things. But they’re beside the point right now. America in 2023 isn’t like, say, Greece in 2009 or Argentina in 2001, cut off by investors because they have lost faith in our solvency.

Our looming crisis will, instead, be entirely self-inflicted — or, more accurately, Republican-inflicted. If it happens it will be because the party controlling the House refuses to raise the debt ceiling, a quirk of the U.S. budget process that lets Congress prevent the government from making payments that have already been approved through past legislation.

There are three things you need to know about this crisis.

First, whatever courts may say about the constitutionality of the debt ceiling, budget decisions should be dictated by votes over spending and taxing, not by hostage-taking in which the party most willing to destroy the economy gets what it wants.

Second, if the politics of extortion do lead to a debt default, the consequences will be catastrophic.

Third, there is no economic downside to the various ways the Biden administration might seek to bypass Republican extortion and continue normal governance. Contrary to a lot of misinformation out there, things like issuing premium bonds or minting a platinum coin would not be inflationary. They sound undignified, but creating a global depression because we’re afraid of looking silly would be utterly irresponsible.

Here’s how budgeting is supposed to work: Congress passes bills that set tax rates and determine spending, which become law if the president signs them. Much of the time the legislated spending exceeds revenue, so the government must borrow to cover the difference. So be it. But under a quirk of U.S. law, with complicated origins, Congress must vote a second time to authorize the borrowing required by its own previous votes.

What would it mean if Congress refused to authorize that borrowing, that is, refused to raise the debt ceiling? It wouldn’t be a way to restrain spending. It would, instead, amount to preventing the president from making payments Congress has already mandated. It would be like buying a bunch of home furnishings, taking delivery, then refusing to pay the bill.

And it would be hugely destructive.

A new report from the White House Council of Economic Advisers lays out potential costs from a default induced by Republican refusal to raise the debt ceiling. The analysis suggests that a protracted default could cost eight million jobs as a result of shocks to consumer and business confidence, increased interest rates on U.S. debt (which investors would no longer consider safe) and drastic forced cuts in government spending.

Even these projections may understate the likely damage. Until now, the world has viewed U.S. government debt as the ultimate safe asset; as a result, Treasury bills play a crucial role as collateral in many financial transactions. Make these bills unsafe — I.O.U.s that the U.S. may not honor — and the whole global financial system could freeze up.

In fact, this almost happened for a few days in March 2020, and it’s not clear whether a rescue could be engineered in today’s political environment.

So what can be done? Let’s not make a deal: Republicans are effectively engaged in a fiscal version of Jan. 6, using the threat of destruction in an attempt to exert total control even though voters gave them only one house of Congress. President Biden shouldn’t give in to extortion, let alone make any deal acquiescing to demands of the extremists who control the House G.O.P.

It’s possible that Biden could simply declare that he must implement duly enacted fiscal legislation and that a debt ceiling that prevents him from doing so is unconstitutional.

Beyond that, there are those gimmicks. Yes, they would be gimmicks. I don’t have space to explain premium bonds, but they would involve playing games with the definition of “debt.” As for the platinum coin, the law allowing the government to mint a trillion-dollar coin was never intended as a way to bypass debt-limit extortion — but the debt limit was never intended to provide a mechanism for extortion, either.

And there are no significant economic downsides to using these gimmicks. I’ve been shocked to see people who should know better, including mainstream media outlets, report as fact the myth that, say, minting the coin would be inflationary. It wouldn’t; it would simply be a backdoor way to continue normal financing, bypassing the letter of a debt ceiling that shouldn’t exist in the first place.

I’m not sure what specific approach the Biden administration will adopt. But the guiding rule should be to do whatever it takes to get through this — whatever it takes, that is, other than giving in to extortion.

* * *

Kentucky Derby, Ladies Hat Day at Golden Gate Fields (Jeff Goll)

* * *


by Forrest Hylton

On March 30, former Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro arrived in Brasília from Orlando to face justice. “I’m being humiliated,” he said. No more than a few dozen supporters had turned up to greet him. After the failed coup attempt on 8 January, it seems there’s little appetite for direct action among Brazil’s fascists (for the time being). The day after Bolsonaro’s return was the anniversary of the military coup of 1964, which he celebrated annually during his presidency. This year, the army vowed to punish anyone who did so.

In Argentina and Uruguay, the armed forces are banned from politics and hundreds of thousands of people march each year to commemorate and condemn their military coups. In Brazil, however, mass mobilization from the left has been notable mainly for its absence for the past seven years. Under Bolsonaro, the military took over the government and ran it into the ground.

This explains, in part, Lula’s choice of the neoliberal technocrat Gerardo Alckmin for his running mate, as well as his support for the centrist Rodrigo Pacheco as speaker of the Senate and Arthur Lira in the Chamber of Deputies. Key figures including the finance minister, Fernando Haddad, and justice minister, Flávio Dino, are from the left, but Lula’s government is broadly centrist, as he promised it would be on the campaign trail. Nonetheless, in one recent poll, 44 per cent of respondents said Brazil is in danger of becoming communist, and it is worth remembering that last year’s election was incredibly narrow: Lula defeated Bolsonaro by only 50.9 to 49.1 per cent.

As Bolsonaro has noted, no one else on the right can lead, so he is the leader by default (a more capable candidate would probably have won re-election). But can he still lead? Will he? This is a question for Bolsonaro’s followers, but also for Lula’s government. Can the Justice Department and the Supreme Court fence him in?

Unlike Trump, whose litigation skills have been honed through decades of lawsuits, and who may yet snatch victory from defeat by beating the charges levelled against him and raising “huge” amounts of campaign cash, Bolsonaro is in uncharted waters. He appears to have overplayed his hand: it is difficult to imagine him triumphant in the current conjuncture. While Bolsonaro was in Florida, the rising star of the US far right, Governor Ron DeSantis, never met with him; neither did Trump. Both had bigger fish to fry.

Yesterday the federal police went to Bolsonaro’s house in Barra de Tijuca in Rio and took his cell phone. His close associate, Lieutenant-Colonel Mauro Cid, was taken into custody. Cid has been accused of running a racket in fake vaccine certificates out of Planalto, the presidential palace that Bolsonaro’s followers partially destroyed on 8 January. Bolsonaro claimed to have been vaccinated twice in Duque de Caxias, but on the date of the second dose he was in Barra de Tijuca. Even stranger, it took six months for the information to appear in the public health system, just before Bolsonaro and his entourage were set to depart for Orlando.

Bolsonaro went on Jovem Pan, Brazil’s answer to Fox News, and cried about political persecution. (He once claimed that Covid vaccines would turn people into crocodiles, giving new meaning to the phrase “crocodile tears.”) There is little doubt, however, that Bolsonaro genuinely feels he is a victim of a conspiracy. He has now been accused of 21 electoral crimes, which are likely to make him ineligible for public office until 2030. There are also seven criminal investigations underway, with allegations ranging from diamond smuggling to mismanaging the pandemic.

The authorities have the computers that Cid was using in Planalto, as well as his cell phone, which may reveal new facts about the planning of 8 January, since Cid appears to have been the key intermediary between Bolsonaro and the architects of the coup attempt – many of them, like Cid, serving military officers. He is likely to be called before the congressional committee investigating how 8 January was organized. His father, a serving general, lived with Bolsonaro in the barracks, and was part of the same graduating class. Such ties bind: Cid filho is unlikely to give up his boss. Yet he is the missing link.

Unlike Bolsonaro, who was shunned by most of the world apart from Trump and the Gulf monarchies, Lula has managed to maintain diplomatic equilibrium with the US, despite his recent speech in China in favor of de-dollarization and the agreements he signed regarding Chinese investment in Brazil. He has also maintained an independent stance on ending the war in Ukraine through peace negotiations. Should the Chinese peace initiative gain traction, Lula is likely to play an important role in selling it to countries of the Global South. But he’s also looking for Western European investment, and his international moves may have undercut his room to maneuver on the domestic front.

Congress is not co-operating, despite Lula’s support for the re-election of the heads of both chambers: several important initiatives, including a decree facilitating public water and sewage services, which is crucial to the wellbeing of Brazil’s poor majority, have failed or been gutted. Among the congressional sharks, not many of whom would give a penny to help Bolsonaro at this point (including members of his own party), the neoliberal consensus in favor of chaos still reigns.

Meanwhile, central bank interest rates – at 13.75 per cent, among the highest in the world – are suffocating potential investment and economic growth. The promised improvements in the welfare of the (mostly poor) people who voted for Lula have not yet materialized. They continue to wait patiently, but here in Salvador at least the situation is critical, with worsening violence among organized crime factions, both homegrown and imported from Rio and São Paulo. Should the situation continue to deteriorate, the far right may find an issue to run on, even if they no longer have a candidate.

For now, 56% of Brazilians think the country is headed in the right direction. But without some improvement in the material conditions of Lula’s supporters – there are still 33 million hungry nationwide – the optimism may fade, with unpredictable political consequences.

(London Review of Books)

* * *

* * *

A KINGLY PROPOSAL: Letter from Julian Assange to King Charles III

To His Majesty King Charles III,

On the coronation of my liege, I thought it only fitting to extend a heartfelt invitation to you to commemorate this momentous occasion by visiting your very own kingdom within a kingdom: His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh.

You will no doubt recall the wise words of a renowned playwright: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.”

Ah, but what would that bard know of mercy faced with the reckoning at the dawn of your historic reign? After all, one can truly know the measure of a society by how it treats its prisoners, and your kingdom has surely excelled in that regard.

Your Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh is located at the prestigious address of One Western Way, London, just a short foxhunt from the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. How delightful it must be to have such an esteemed establishment bear your name.

It is here that 687 of your loyal subjects are held, supporting the United Kingdom’s record as the nation with the largest prison population in Western Europe. As your noble government has recently declared, your kingdom is currently undergoing “the biggest expansion of prison places in over a century”, with its ambitious projections showing an increase of the prison population from 82,000 to 106,000 within the next four years. Quite the legacy, indeed.

As a political prisoner, held at Your Majesty’s pleasure on behalf of an embarrassed foreign sovereign, I am honoured to reside within the walls of this world class institution. Truly, your kingdom knows no bounds.

During your visit, you will have the opportunity to feast upon the culinary delights prepared for your loyal subjects on a generous budget of two pounds per day. Savour the blended tuna heads and the ubiquitous reconstituted forms that are purportedly made from chicken. And worry not, for unlike lesser institutions such as Alcatraz or San Quentin, there is no communal dining in a mess hall. At Belmarsh, prisoners dine alone in their cells, ensuring the utmost intimacy with their meal.

Beyond the gustatory pleasures, I can assure you that Belmarsh provides ample educational opportunities for your subjects. As Proverbs 22:6 has it: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Observe the shuffling queues at the medicine hatch, where inmates gather their prescriptions, not for daily use, but for the horizon-expanding experience of a “big day out”—all at once.

You will also have the opportunity to pay your respects to my late friend Manoel Santos, a gay man facing deportation to Bolsonaro’s Brazil, who took his own life just eight yards from my cell using a crude rope fashioned from his bedsheets. His exquisite tenor voice now silenced forever.

Venture further into the depths of Belmarsh and you will find the most isolated place within its walls: Healthcare, or “Hellcare” as its inhabitants lovingly call it. Here, you will marvel at sensible rules designed for everyone’s safety, such as the prohibition of chess, whilst permitting the far less dangerous game of checkers.

Deep within Hellcare lies the most gloriously uplifting place in all of Belmarsh, nay, the whole of the United Kingdom: the sublimely named Belmarsh End of Life Suite. Listen closely, and you may hear the prisoners’ cries of “Brother, I’m going to die in here”, a testament to the quality of both life and death within your prison.

But fear not, for there is beauty to be found within these walls. Feast your eyes upon the picturesque crows nesting in the razor wire and the hundreds of hungry rats that call Belmarsh home. And if you come in the spring, you may even catch a glimpse of the ducklings laid by wayward mallards within the prison grounds. But don’t delay, for the ravenous rats ensure their lives are fleeting.

I implore you, King Charles, to visit His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, for it is an honour befitting a king. As you embark upon your reign, may you always remember the words of the King James Bible: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). And may mercy be the guiding light of your kingdom, both within and without the walls of Belmarsh.

Your most devoted subject,

Julian Assange


5 May 2023

* * *

On the journey home to Mendo. Photo taken in Cornwall, UK on Coronation Day. (Randy Burke)


  1. Kirk Vodopals May 6, 2023

    Re: online comment of the day.. people have all kinds of outlandish beliefs.. like the one about the virgin prostitute who birthed a bearded white dude who says it’s perfectly fine to own multiple assault rifles.
    Just because you believe the craziest crap you can find on the internet doesn’t make you enlightened.
    A campaign that aims to find out how all these kooks arrived at their nutty beliefs is like asking what someone’s favorite color is.
    We are awash with twits of all flavors now. Beliefs are sacred in this modern world, no matter how nutty you are. Calling someone a quack cuz they’re ok with juvenile sex changes or Jewish space lasers is sacrilegious. You do you is the mantra.
    But the flip side is AOC and the disinformation police. You can’t regulate belief systems, especially through modern media.
    I say let them believe what they want, but call a spade a spade.
    The currently deteriorating mainstream media trend is a good thing. Lots of these “true believers” who “do their own research” are just following some jackass who strayed off into nutball canyon. I’m optimistic that we’re getting somewhere different. We have to. The established paradigms are cannabilizing themselves.

    • George Hollister May 6, 2023

      Kirk, of course you are right. But who doesn’t have beliefs? Who doesn’t have underlying untested, or false assumptions? It is part of the human condition. Many of these beliefs are taught in school as facts? How many believe America in 1492 was wilderness untouched by human enterprise and profiteering?

  2. john ignoffo May 6, 2023

    Lovely (though tabloid-like) pic from the ole swimming hole! MCT rules.

  3. Marmon May 6, 2023


    “Here’s how I will dismantle the surveillance state. I will replace the officials that have been instructing tech companies to censor users. I will direct the justice department to stop prosecuting whistleblowers and start investigating the crimes they expose. I will rescind administrative policies that surveil Americans’ communications. In the long term, it is about forging an entirely different relationship between people and government based on respect.”

    -Robert F. Kennedy Jr @RobertKennedyJr


    • Harvey Reading May 6, 2023

      He wouldn’t do sh-t, just like all the other sold-out fasciocrat (or fasciuglican) liars, including his father and overrated uncles.

    • George Hollister May 6, 2023

      I see the conversion happening, a Trump voter going over to RFK Jr, and with company. Meanwhile, Trump is attacking De Santis, and Biden, et al are attacking Trump. Suddenly Biden and Trump are much more vulnerable than anyone knew, and the fickle non-partisan voter just wants a real candidate.

      • Lazarus May 6, 2023

        I watched Stephanie Ruhle’s MSNBC interview with Joe Biden, what there was of it, last night. In my opinion, it showcased a mentally and verbally challenged old man.
        It was uncomfortable to watch Biden mumble and bumble his way through it.
        His family and friends should be ashamed for encouraging this election spectacle to proceed.

        • George Hollister May 6, 2023

          In fairness, Biden has a speech impediment. He did do a good job for the SOU speech. But his memory lapses are another matter. And he needs to be given written instructions on cue cards by aids on where to walk, which way to turn, when to stop, and where to sit. His wife shepherds him around like a nurse.

          • Lazarus May 6, 2023

            “In fairness, Biden has a speech impediment.”

            I’ve watched from afar Joe Biden since the wreck that killed half his family. It’s not the stutter. He loses words so he skips over them and mumbles something unintelligible. Or when he forgets his train of thought, he changes the subject. When a few years younger, he did not do this.

  4. Doug Mosel May 6, 2023

    Mr. Mockel’s endorsement by the present vision-less board of supervisors is all the more reason to support the candidacy of Adam Gaska for 1st District supervisor!

    • Stephen Rosenthal May 6, 2023


    • Lazarus May 6, 2023

      It’s a regional election. Mr. McGourty won easily in his election. I presume the money, among others in the 1st District, like it the way it is.
      The Sups endorsements are sending a message. Don’t worry, nothing for you will change. Need water? No problem…if you elect Mockel.
      Game, Set, Match…

      • Marmon May 6, 2023

        I think his father is James (Jim) Mockel who I used to work with at CPS. Google his name and it comes up that he currently works for the Schraeders as a Mental Health counselor at RQMC. It makes sense because he and Camille are long time friends and worked together at Trinity before she started her own foster care business, and along with others from Trinity took over the Child Welfare system in Mendocino County following the closure of that facility. I could go on and on about this group and what I believed was and is nothing more than child trafficking.


      • Bruce McEwen May 6, 2023

        This business of Mockel coming on board with the current Board of Complacency’s enthusiastic endorsement sounds suspiciously like this week’s JHK column: picture our Ms Angelo in a Hillary Clinton pantsuit behind the scenes (The Deep County) ushering this candidate in as the only viable one the way the sour old cynic Kunstler sees the specter of Michelle Obama as the antagonist in his worst nightmares!

        As my late mother-in-law Lois was fond of saying, “It all has to come down.”

    • Jacob May 6, 2023

      I think Adam Gaska presents a lot of good reasons to support his candidacy on his own. His local small business, Mendocino Organics/Mendocino Meats, provides excellent local meat, which he delivers to happy customers around the county every other Saturday.

    • Jeff Fox May 7, 2023

      Agreed! Although I’m not one of Mr. Gaska’s constituents, I would certainly support him if I was.

      And running around seeking early endorsements from anyone who’ll sign doesn’t indicate a lot of creativity or vision, plus it’s just plain weird this early on in a campaign where the candidates haven’t really had time to state their positions on the issues.

      • Bruce Anderson May 7, 2023

        We’re hoping Jon Kennedy gives it another go. And all five supervisors in one lockstep endorsement? Brown Act anyone?

        • Lazarus May 7, 2023

          “it’s just plain weird this early on in a campaign.”

          Maybe Supervisor McGourdy is planning to resign.
          With Mr. Mockel’s political connections, he could get appointed to the seat by the Brass in Sac.
          No Problem…

          • Marmon May 7, 2023

            If he’s anything like his father, lock up your wives and daughters. Most likely just another silver tongued devil.


          • Bruce Anderson May 7, 2023

            McGourty has announced he won’t run again and, with his four colleagues acting in concert and simultaneously, in clear violation of the Brown Act, they’ve all endorsed the Redwood Valley bullethead.

            • Marmon May 7, 2023

              If I was Carrie Oakley Shattuck I would emphasize that fact. Mendocino County needs some healthy debate, going over the bluffs should not be the priority of Mendo voters. Stop, turn around, don’t jump, groupthink exists. Chuck, stop them.


              PS. My favorite book is the “Catcher in the Rye”.


              • Chuck Dunbar May 8, 2023

                Holden’s honorable task:

                “What I have to do, I have to catch everybody if they start to go over the cliff — I mean if they’re running and they don’t look where they’re going I have to come out from somewhere and catch them. That’s all I do all day. I’d just be the catcher in the rye and all.”

        • Adam Gaska May 8, 2023

          If you want to meet and talk about my campaign and platform, I would like the opportunity to change your mind.


          • Bruce Anderson May 8, 2023

            I think you’re a fine candidate, and I’m glad you’re running. Ditto for Ms. Shattuck and Mr. Kennedy if he takes the leap. For the five present supervisors, in flagrant violation of the Brown Act and the supposed non-partisan status of their office, to endorse Mockel simultaneously with Mockel’s announcement simply because Mockel arrives via state senator McGuire is one more sad sign that the local Democrat Party is wayyyyyy outta control. McGuire, Mockel and the local Democrats, the Democrats who actually go to meetings and take their cues from Democrat Central, have made themselves synonymous with fraud — The Great Redwood Trail, the Northwest Pacific Railroad, two name two of their ongoing scams. The local Democrats think they own the office, and right now they do own it. And look at the sad state of the county.

            • Lazarus May 8, 2023

              So Bruce,
              Are you and the Major going to file a complaint with the FPPC?

              “TED WILLIAMS SAYS: “With all due respect, I don’t think you understand the Brown Act.”
              AVA, 5/8/2023, Ed Notes

              This guy is either a liar or a fool…
              Be well,

              • Bruce Anderson May 8, 2023

                Yup. Too flagrant to ignore. R2D2 has gone too far.

                • Lazarus May 8, 2023

                  I agree.
                  This deal is one of the most blatant violations I’ve seen since a City Council in Willits years ago was rigging the “Revolving Loan Fund” giveaway to cronies and local Stuff Shirts.
                  Thank you,

                • Stephen Rosenthal May 8, 2023

                  Won’t matter. These Supervisors don’t give a damn, they know they’re secure in their position and impervious to any ramifications for any of their actions. That is, unless the Feds start to look into their shenanigans. Even then, what with their connections to the State and D.C. pipeline, I doubt anything would come of it. But I hope you do file a complaint.

              • Stephen Rosenthal May 8, 2023

                “This guy is either a liar or a fool.”


  5. Craig Stehr May 6, 2023

    26th April 2023 Discourse by Swami Sarvapriyananda

  6. Marmon May 6, 2023

    The only person that makes sense to me for the 1st District is Carrie Oakley Shattuck. I’ve known the Oakley family for years, and so do a lot of other folks in that district. She has been on top of things, and has the answers. We do not need any more bleeding heart enviro-mental liberals on the Board. Lets get some real debate among our leaders.


  7. Grapes May 6, 2023



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *