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Mendocino County Today: Sunday, May 21, 2023

Decreasing Clouds | Quail | Small Farm | Dog Amnesty | AVUSD News | AV Events | Skatepark Funding | Machine Fixer | Mendocino | Grewal Case | Pepper Martin | Open Studios | Ed Notes | Sun House | Posers | Farmworkers March | Yesterday's Catch | Graduation Day | Raskin/Eggers | Rental Search | Bragg Carlin | Marco Radio | Martin Amis | Hibernating | Pipeline Whodunit | Reluctant Patient | Fully Exposed | Rats First | Classical Crescendo | Created Something | Ukraine | Tall Guys | Texas Jack | Cat Cards

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BRISK NORTHERLY WINDS will develop today, accompanied by cooler high temperatures inland, and mix of sun and clouds. Low pressure tracking southward along the coast Monday and Tuesday will bring a cooling trend and isolated showers and thunderstorms over the interior mountains. (NWS)

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California Quail off Reeves Canyon Rd, near Laughlin (Jeff Goll)

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This month's writing is inspired by a recent article in a magazine to which we've subscribed for years, Small Farmer's Journal, the Spring 2023 issue (Volume 46 Number 4 184th Edition). Editor/artist Lynn Miller muses on "How Do We Reconcile Advertising?" as small farmers. His poem delineates the challenge:

How do we present ourselves and our products

in this age of the well-lit lie,

of quality as unqualified,

of origin as a moving target

or ingredients as maybe this maybe that,

of professional skulduggery and cyber larceny(?)

of advertising dressed in obnoxious crazy fonts

combining lost children ads

In this world of the unreal, surreal and just plain fake, to advertise Petit Teton Farm's offerings we've chosen to walk a fine line, a line so fine it's invisible except in the heart and soul of each individual assuming they have such. Our approach to marketing our farming business is based on something that I've known for a long time...everything takes time and in the case of farming, a long time, hand made is best, be promptly responsive, and connect with people not their machines. Many people enjoy surprise, the thrill of finding a place they think no one else has discovered, being first. After trying our food, many return, tell their friends and relations about us, and sometimes ask for a mail order. We encourage people to walk around the farm, ask questions, and take photos. We discourage those who are only twitting and tweeting, gibbering and blabbing to broadcast their "find" and make themselves known by finding us. The "becoming known" path inevitably leads to growing bigger, cutting corners, and eventually selling out once the owner and workers are wrung dry and no longer enjoying the work or the place. Our solution to avoiding that outcome is to be farmers with attitude.

With a number of hand made signs along the highway that runs below the hill on which the farm sits, we invite people to come up to the farm. Recently one visitor commented with implied criticism that nothing of the farm was visible from the road except the signs. We were thrilled. It means that only the adventurers dare drive up the paved but steep and somewhat off putting driveway. When someone comes up, my partner and I drop whatever we're doing to greet the guests together at our display shed to show and sell. Once we explain what we're selling and how we raise our animals and produce, we always ask about them...where they're from, where they're going and what brought them up the hill. Often folks are as interested in talking as we and if interest is expressed, we eventually ask about what they do in their lives and encourage them to walk around, even joining them if we have time. Since education is one of the goals of our business, both for us and for them, we enjoy walking and talking about how we got from there to here and what we've learned on the way. Remarkably many exclaim that "you're living our dream". They're often clueless about what that dream entails, but they become our accidental social life and often become regular customers and friends.

Obviously our customers are our primary advertisers. But yes, we also have a website, participate in two bay area farmers' markets with a big crossover to on-farm sales, are on the main road to a touristy coastal area of California, have been written up in a few local magazines, and the editor of our local paper, the Anderson Valley Advertiser, often prints these farm reports. All of the above is advertising without social media, plastic, or middle men. Our approach is hand crafted and person to person.

We've subscribed to the Small Farmer's Journal for many years and admire the magazine for its sentiments, farming education, and beauty so taking a flier in April I sent in several farm reports and some photos. As a result, editor Lynn Miller printed a 4 page collation of the reports plus pictures in the most recent issue. It too is a form of advertising, but the more important result for us is that we've been included in a world wide small farming community with a strong emphasis on hand made and human powered farming.

The hard part of our approach has been to find employees who believe in our vision. The lure to fame and fortune is hard to ignore. Although it's taken years to create our community, we now have nine people working with us and in several cases living with us, who believe in our direction and enjoy their work, whose interest in the farm is based on the creativity it offers...the beauty of place, the joy of inventing new products, pleasure in growing new things, learning new things and observation. People being paid well and doing what they enjoy doing, they too are our marketers and our friends.

Enjoy springtime and stay well.

Nikki Auschnitt and Steve Krieg


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Dear Anderson Valley Junior Senior High Community,

During the week of May 24, your student will bring home a PILE of writing prompts. As you know, I asked teachers to weekly ask students to respond to a prompt created by retired teacher Kim Cambell. I believe that students are successful in career and college when they have the capacity and fluency to write and respond cohesively. Kim and I read and personally responded to more than 8,500 writing prompts this year. Kim scored many of these in different genres and noted an improvement in writing scores of more than 66 percent from the beginning of the year scoring rubrics. Some teachers loved it, and some hated it. But I am grateful to the student effort, Kim’s effort, and the staff for seeing it through. Work and school isn’t always about doing what is fun. It is doing what will help us progress in our careers. Being competitive against other schools when our kids get to career and college is important. Writing is important. Grammar is important. I enjoyed learning what was important to your kids.

Ask your student to see their body of work this year. All genres. Good stuff. We have some impressive authors in the mix. If your kid was a minimalist, I would have a conversation about that. When they get into a job, opting out isn’t an option. Thank goodness, most of our kids opted in.

A huge and grateful thank you to Kim Campbell for setting the standard of the expected.

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A beautiful celebration of adult school achievement was held on Friday night. Most impressive was all of the US citizens that they have graduated through the program.

Many of you know my grandpa was 14 and traveled alone from Norway and lost all his money gambling on the ship. He borrowed 50 bucks to get through Ellis Island, and then made his way across his new country as a young teenager alone. It is amazing to think what support and expectation there is for our community in Anderson Valley.

Congratulations to all. Such an outstanding achievement. Lucy Plancarte you are changing lives here!

Sincerely yours,

Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District

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GARY LEVENSON PALMER: Great to see the Anderson Valley pulling together to develop a skateboard park. They were even given a spot to raise money at the Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Festival.

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As many of you guys know me as the small engine repair guy from the valley. I have moved to Ukiah to pursue my college career. With that I can’t run my business over here. But great news, my dad is going to be continuing the business at the same location I was. He was the one who taught me how to fix the machines and has fixed many of your machines. For anyone looking to get their machines fixed or have any question if he fixes or does a certain job feel free to ask. You can contact me and I will forward you to my dad and we can go from there. Hope you guys all the best and if there are any questions feel free to ask. 

Daniel Garibay, (707) 684-6449

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Mellow Yellow in Mendocino (Lindy Peters)

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WHEN WE LAST CHECKED on former Ag Commissioner Harinder Grewal’s wrongful termination suit against the County back in 2021, the County had raised the amount they planned to pay SF-based Liebert Cassidy and Whitmore attorney to $600k. Since then the case has slogged on with more motions and conferences and appearances. We have not seen any agenda items that have raised the amount any further. But…

On Tuesday, County Counsel Christian Curtis has added two items to the consent calendar on the case. Neither of them have any money budgeted for them.

Item 3s) Approval of First Amendment to BOS Agreement 22-075 with Porter Scott, for Legal Services as Conflict Counsel Extending the Period from June 30, 2023, through June 30, 2024.


Item 3t) Approval of First Amendment to BOS Agreement 22-076 with Cook Brown, LLP, for Legal Services as Conflict Counsel Extending the Period from June 30, 2023, through June 30, 2024.

According to lengthy but cryptic on-line court documents the latest trial date that has been set for the case is in January of 2024. 

According to the attached contracts for these two items, the new “conflict” attorneys are for two Ag Department employees who are named in Grewal’s case. Why they need their own attorneys now, this late into the case, is not clear.

Mr. Grewal’s attorney is Duncan James of Ukiah who has a record of winning lucrative cases against or getting lucrative settlement agreements from Mendocino County.

This case should have settled years ago. The County’s outside counsels have no incentive to settle the case because the longer it drags out the more money they make at hundreds of dollars an hour.

As best we can tell from the court case summary there have been a number of depositions of former and present Ag Department employees. There have also been several “settlement conferences.” But no settlement has been reached. 

Because we have not seen anything in County budget documents about large outside counsel cost overruns in the County Counsel’s office (the overruns are not explained, nobody seems to care), it’s possible that at least some of the lawyer costs are being covered by liability insurance. But that should raise the insurance costs somewhere else down the line.

From this distance, it seems likely that Mr. Grewal has a winnable discrimination case. If he didn’t Duncan James wouldn’t have taken it. 

So however this drawn out fiasco is financed, it’s already cost quite a bit and it’s probably going to cost the County big bucks in the end, and even bigger if Grewal and James win and get penalties and attorney costs like Mr. James has in so many other cases over the years.

(Mark Scaramella)

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Memorial Day Weekend, May 27 - 29, 2023

by Marvin Schenck

Spring has sprung, the skies are blue, the weather warm, and for the first time in three years the free Anderson Valley Open Studios tour event has returned to the Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday – Monday, 11 am to 5 pm. So why not plan a day trip exploring the art and studios of some of Anderson Valley’s best artists while taking in the pleasing pastoral scenery of vinyards, pastures, orchards, and redwoods in our special valley.

This year sixteen artists are represented at ten studios from Boonville to Navarro. Just about every art or craft media is represented, from painting, photography, collage, and printmaking to jewelry, ceramics, textile cordage, furniture, and boat building. Coming from the south on Hwy. 128, or the east on Hwy. 253, start by exploring the Boonville locations on Ornbaun Road and Anderson Valley Way. Then procede along Hwy. 128 to the north of Philo and finally on to Navarro. If coming from the coast on Hwy. 128 simply reverse the order. Our colorful orange and blue A-frame signs along the highway will guide the way. Visit our website,, for a tour map and to learn more about the artists. Additional maps available at the artist’s studios and some galleries, wineries, and museums.

Manchester Barn (2021) by Rebecca Johnson — salvaged barn wood, acrylic paint, hydro-cal plaster on birch plywood panel

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THE FOLLOWING MEME wafted in from cyber-space this morning. 

True enough, but I daresay a large majority of Americans given the choice between being Bezos and Musk and me and Craig Stehr, they'd opt for Bezos and Musk.

SCHOOL BOARDS and school management used to drive me nuts, or further nuts as some people would argue. Lately, though, we have a responsible school board in Boonville, and we just happen to have a school superintendent in Louise Simson who I would put up against any school superintendent in the country, big school district or small. What she's accomplished here in two years to turn around a low morale, physically collapsing school district is simply amazing. I just hope we can keep her, and I'm sure we can because most school districts go for blah-blah artists over the rare can-do person. 

BUT I HAVE one remaining school beef. I've suggested for years, to generations of AV school boards, to re-name the Anderson Valley Elementary School after an eminent local of yesteryear. “AV Elementary”? Really? Rock, Blonk, Cronk, Shronk. The institution could be personalized after, say, Blanche Brown, pioneer local teacher, well-known botanist, founder of the annual Wildflower Show. The late Edna Sanders might also be a re-name candidate; Julia Franklin, too. All three exerted memorable influence on generations of Valley students. 

SO HERE'S WHAT the school board dId the last time I brought it up. They put up a notice containing three punctuation, one grammatical, and one spelling error in a 30-word paragraph that said, “At the AVUSD Board Meeting of June 10, 1997 a community member, Bruce Anderson, suggested renaming the elementary school to Blanch (sic) Brown Elementary School. Blanch Brown was a teacher at the elementary school and a local botanist. If you are interested please sign below.” 

“BRUCE ANDERSON” is school code for “Don’t do it.” But Anderson Valley Elementary School is about as impersonal as a school name can get. Ditto for Anderson Valley High School. The schools don't have names. It would be nice if they did — identity, history, sense of place and all that. The only response was from someone who printed in big block letters, “Julia Franklin Elementary sounds better.” Fine with me, probably fine with everyone, so…?

AS A NEWSPAPER PERSON, I’m on the receiving end of a lot of insults and cliches. The insults don’t bother me. In fact, I enjoy them if they’re creatively rabid. But the cliches get to me. “Yellow journalism” is a cliche and is inevitably inaccurately applied to some perceived offense by the AVA. When the term arose around the turn of the century as Hearst the First and Joe Pulitzer battled for readers on the East Coast, yellow journalism was the term the ruling class applied to some very good populist writing about the real life struggles of ordinary people. The RC thought wage workers weren’t worthy subjects for newspapers in a time most papers were written for the minority of people who considered themselves genteel. Hearst and Pulitzer took newspapers out to everyone.

TODAY, deep into the post literate age, your generic college grad, barely literate in many cases, thinks he’s really getting off a sophisticated zinger when he calls the AVA up and invokes yellow journalism. Or lacking in objectivity, another naive knock. If you think a writer’s class origins, his present social class, his education, his innate intelligence, his life’s experience and, most importantly, his employer, don’t influence what appears in print, well, you’re an irredeemable boob, maybe even too stupid to read newspapers which, after all, are written so 8th graders can understand them. 

SO, CLASS, the AVA is non-objective yellow journalism while the New York Times, owned by multi-millionaires who vet your information of the wider world for you, gives you the truth and nothing but the truth day after day, year after year.

WALTER KIRN: “But the heart of the story is out, despite all that, and pretty baldly stated: Hillary Clinton started the whole RussiaGate gag to take the heat off her own turpitudes. The federal agency heads and their lieutenants avidly used Hillary’s concocted falsehoods to foment malicious prosecutions and drive the naively accommodating President Trump out of office, and stopped at nothing until they succeeded.” 

YUP, that's what happened, the Democrats did it, and their media stenographers signed on, a couple of those stenos even winning Pulitzer Prizes for linking Trump and Putin. Not that Trump also didn't try to rig an election, and on it goes as the political darkness falls all around us.

LOCALLY, we have the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors trying to rig a supervisor's election by endorsing the unknown Trevor Mockel solely because State Senator Redwood Trail Scamarama signalled that their endorsement would make Senator Redwood Trail Scamarama real happy. This is my surmise, of course, but if you have a more plausible one, let's hear it.

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Sun House at Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah (Jeff Goll)

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DOPE, an on-line comment: “Legacy” growers is a crap term. I’ve seen greenrushers grab onto that and represent themselves as such because what-they got here in ’94? LMFAO! How about that “terroir” there, brother? Oh and the “appellation” and umm…”boutique” strains of “cannabis” grown by “farmers” who “stepped into the light”. What a load of bullshit all over this county LOL…Almost forgot about the people who survived CAMP raids as “traumatized victims”. It’s just really hard to stomach without laughing out loud in all the faces of these posers and permit pansies….

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Fausto Guzman, and his wife, Ricarda Martinez, both of Healdsburg, hold signs to support farmworker disaster pay during a protest organized by North Bay Jobs with Justice, as they gather in Giorgi Park before a march to the plaza to demonstrate for farmworkers disaster pay near the Healdsburg Food & Wine Experience, Saturday, May 20, 2023, in Healdsburg. (Darryl Bush / For The Press Democrat)


Demonstrators pass out fliers highlighting demands at food, wine event near Healdsburg Plaza

by Jeremy Hay

More than 200 farmworkers and their allies marched in Healdsburg on Saturday to demand hazard pay for working during natural disasters such as wildfires and for losing income during heavy rains. The group marched to the site of the Healdsburg Food & Wine Experience, an event held to celebrate vintners and chefs, near Healdsburg Plaza, where they passed out flyers highlighting their demands.

“We want them to pay attention to the workers in the fields,” said Yolanda Ramirez Leyba, a farmworker who said she had worked through wildfires and lost income to repeated heavy rains.

“I’m just super happy to see this happening in Healdsburg,” said Healdsburg Councilman Chris Herrod, who joined the march. “I think there is some concern by some people that this is sort of raining on the parade in terms of Healdsburg’s success, but I don’t think that’s true in the broader scheme of things. Most people in this community are very community oriented and want to see that everyone is treated fairly. And in order for that to happen, we need to start talking, and this is the beginning of that.”

Before the marchers left Giorgi Park to march downtown, Herrod told the crowd: “What we’re doing here today is just the beginning. Equity is on the rise in Healdsburg.”


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CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, May 20, 2023

Carrillo, France, Glover, Grizzle

JAVIER CARRILLO-PEREZ, Ukiah. DUI, no license.

CHRISTOPHER FRANCE, Willits. Controlled substance, county parole violation.

LATEEFAH GLOVER, Ukiah. Battery with serious injury.

BRYAN GRIZZLE, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance for sale, conspiracy.

Mora, Olea, Olvera

JUAN MORA-GALVEZ, Ukiah. Child cruelty with infliction of injury.

EVELIA OLEA, Ukiah. Willful cruelty to child with possible injury or death.

MICHAEL OLVERA-CAMPOS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, parole violation.

Ramirez, Rosati, Rutherford

EDUARDO RAMIREZ-HURTADO, Willits. Domestic battery, false imprisonment, child endangerment, damaging communications device.


ELIAS RUTHERFORD, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance sale, conspiracy, county parole violation.

Simonton, Valador, Vizcaino


MONIQUE VALADOR, Fort Bragg. Suspended license, paraphernalia.

EDUARDO VIZCAINO, Covelo. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.

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My grandson graduates from a San Francisco high school May 27. Kids today are made the same way we were. The world they enter today seems quite different than the one I entered in 1960 was. Then none of my teachers were Black or Hispanic. No one was interested in global climate. What the average global temperature was didn’t seem to matter. We were kids learning about our sexuality; just trying to see where we might fit in the great big, seemingly impersonal world. Trying to keep our noses clean.

One way or another we would be forced to deal with national and regional socio-economic and political issues that hadn’t been perceived by many before; like civil rights, the status of women, international wars like Vietnam. What lies ahead for my grandson and his generation? Can they somehow solve some of the messes unfortunately we aren't solving? Do some of them already hate us because we didn’t end global warming or the danger of nuclear annihilation? Can they help force positive changes in our gun-crazy America? Or reduce homelessness in Northern California?

Frank H. Baumgardner, III

Santa Rosa

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Jonah Raskin & Dave Eggers

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Crucial Talk: The Divine Mother | Swami Sarvapriyananda

Just sitting here on a pleasant Saturday afternoon in Ukiah, California at the Ukiah Public Library on computer #5, tap, tap tapping away. Took the pulmonary function test yesterday at Howard Hospital in Willits, which went well. The consultation appointment with the heart doctor in St. Helena for the eventual switch-out of the heart pacemaker, (for a more advanced design pacemaker which will do a better job of heart upper/lower chambers support), will take place on May 30th; the actual procedure is for now slated for July. The dental hygiene appointment is on June 16th for a cleaning and exam at Adventist Health -- Ukiah. A September check-in with the head of the Adventist Health-Ukiah cardiology department is scheduled for September 14th. 

The federal voucher for a housing rental has been approved, and the zoom meeting of general explanation has taken place, and the Building Bridges Housing Resource Center housing specialists are now searching for an appropriate rental for me. I have no idea whatsoever where to look in Mendocino County. 

For those of you who are already enlightened, feel free to contact me. I could be doing something crucial on the planet earth. Thank you very much.

Craig Louis Stehr

1045 South State Street, Ukiah, CA 95482

Telephone Messages: (707) 234-3270


Send Money Here:

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Here's the recording of last night's (2023-05-19) eight-hour-long Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and

Ellie Green, Dan Sutherland, David Giusti (from prison) (via the, as is at least an hour of every MOTA show), Frank Hartzell via, Hank Sims of, news from Mendocino Coast Children’s Fund and the Humane Society and Symphony of the Redwoods, poetry by John Sakowicz, Notty Bumbo, essays and stories by Garrison Keillor, Bruce Anderson, Mark Scaramella, Paul Modic… The first chapter of a new book (Death’s Green Eyes) by Kent Wallace, more from Clifford Allen Sanders, Ezekiel Krahlin, the ever-pissed-off-and-misunderstanding David Gurney, Eleanor Cooney, Louis Bedrock, Comtesse DeSpair, Ed Oberweiser, Caitlin Johnstone, Sean Kernan, Mary Krupka, Joel Strauss, Jim Dodge, Mike Firesmith, Shruti Sharma, Amy Ernano, Michel Moushabeck on the subject of Nakba Day, Sharon Zhang, and more, including Chris Bachelder’s epistolary My Son, There Exists Another World Alongside Our Own, in the collection McSweeney’s 23, published in 2007 and available wherever fine used books are sold. I almost got mine from Copperfield’s in Petaluma, but I ended up getting it through the web all the way from Denver at a third the price and free shipping. I’m sorry, but there’ve been expenses and we just lost our health insurance and I had to go to the doctor anyway, and some scruples need to be jettisoned for the time being. When I win the lottery I’ll buy Copperfield’s and double everyone’s pay, how about. “We all swore if we ever got rich, we would pay the Mini Mart back.”

Email your written work on any subject and I'll read it on the very next Memo of the Air on KNYO.

Besides all that, at you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not necessarily radio-useful but nonetheless worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together. Such as:

A young Jon Stewart interviewed George Carlin.

A few years later Chris Rock did too. This, and the one just above, is the way I remember grownups all used to talk, back when there were grownups. It was the early 1960s. I'd be in bed in my little bedroom in the back, with the door open, and they'd all be in the front room, sitting around the table smoking, drinking coffee, winding down after they'd closed the restaurant for the night. And I'd fall asleep on my book in the safe, wonderful ebb and flow of their voices punctuated by knowing laughter, like clouds of bees flying through and around each other and in and out the windows on the alley and the screen door to the patio. That's a kind of heaven, to me: everyone talking at once, and I can almost understand them.

“I don’t know what face Michael [Jackson] was making at the time [meaning the time his greased hair caught on fire while filming a Pepsi commercial], but I chose a kind of AARRGH! lip.” I think Bobby Fingers is a genius. He has a nervous tic of sometimes barking a random syllable. I’ve known people like that. Their brains are just going so fast, the syllable might be a whole paragraph.

How a 1765 battleship worked. The sides of the ship were two feet thick, solid wood. Whole forests were leveled to make each one of these things, so they could bust each other up into pieces and the pieces end up either on the bottom or on beaches and rocks all around the world.

Present day U.S. military bases around the same world, for aircraft carriers and bombers and missiles and staging areas for dragging kids around everywhere to brutalize and be brutalized, instead of which we could have Guaranteed Basic Income, Medicare For All, free higher education, clean water, clean air, a roof over everyone's head who needs it, sustainable stable electrical power, free public transportation, but who wants any of that?

And the Iron Giant says, "I am not a gun."

Marco McClean,,

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The celebrated author of Money and London Fields, whose works defined the 80s and 90s literary scene, died of oesophageal cancer on Friday at his home in Florida

by Sarah Shaffi

Martin Amis, the influential author of era-defining novels including Money and London Fields, and the memoir Experience, has died at the age of 73 at his home at Lake Worth in Florida . His wife, Isabel Fonseca, said that the cause was cancer of the oesophagus.

Amis was among the celebrated group of novelists including Salman Rushdie, Ian McEwan and Julian Barnes, whose works defined the British literary scene in the 1980s.

His 1984 novel Money was named by Robert McCrum in the Guardian as among the 100 best novels written in English. Money, wrote McCrum, was a “zeitgeist book that remains one of the dominant novels of the 1980s.”

He added: “The thrill of Money, which is turbo-charged with savage humour from first to last page, is Amis’s prodigal delight in contemporary Anglo-American vernacular.”

The novelist’s use of style and voice was feted by critics, with Veronica Geng writing in her New York Times review that Money was “like a tale taken down in a trance by a medium in the grip of a spirit control, one of those prankish controls waxing autobiographical from a spectral barstool.”

In an interview with the Paris Review, Amis said that “plots really matter only in thrillers”, and that Money was a “voice novel”. “If the voice doesn’t work you’re screwed,” he added.

.Amis was born in 1949 in Oxford, and educated at schools in Britain, Spain and the US, before going to Exeter College, Oxford, where he graduated with first-class honours in English.

He credited his stepmother, the novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard, with waking him up to literature when he was a drifting adolescent “averaging an O-level a year”: “She gave me a reading list and after an hour, I went and knocked on her study door and said: ‘I’ve got to know: does Elizabeth marry Darcy?’”

.His first novel, The Rachel Papers, was published in 1973 while he was working as an editorial assistant at the Times Literary Supplement. It won the Somerset Maugham award in 1974, and another book, the blackly comic Dead Babies, was published the following year. He worked as the literary editor of the New Statesman between 1977 and 1979, during which time he published his third novel, Success.

Amis was often compared with his father, Kingsley Amis, who won the Booker prize in 1986 for his novel The Old Devils. Though the younger Amis never won the Booker himself, he was shortlisted for his 1991 novel Time’s Arrow, a portrait of a Nazi war criminal told in reverse chronological order, and longlisted in 2003 for his novel Yellow Dog.

Talking to BBC Radio 4, Amis said he wished he had put “greater distance” between himself and his father, with the “Amis franchise” becoming “something of a burden”.

Amis wrote about his father’s death in his memoir Experience, which was published in 2000. The book touches on Amis’s separation from his first wife and mother of his two sons, the American academic Antonia Phillips.

Experience also describes what happened when the author discovered he was the father of a 17-year-old daughter, Delilah Seale, whom he had never met, and reflects on the life of Amis’s cousin Lucy Partington, who was murdered by Fred and Rosemary West.Amis and his close friend Christopher Hitchens were part of a cohort of novelists and thinkers with a public profile that extended well beyond the page. In 2002, Amis published Koba the Dread: Laughter and the Twenty Million, a nonfiction work about Stalin’s Great Terror. The book sparked a literary controversy, partly because of its attack on Hitchens, whom Amis accused of having sympathy for Stalin and communism.

Hitchens retaliated via an article in the Atlantic, but the friendship was apparently unaffected. “We never needed to make up,” Amis told the Independent in 2007. “We had an adult exchange of views, mostly in print, and that was that (or, more exactly, that goes on being that). My friendship with the Hitch has always been perfectly cloudless.” When Hitchens died, in December 2011, Amis delivered his eulogy.

Amis began a relationship with the American-Uruguayan writer Isabel Fonseca, and the pair married in 1996, going on to have two daughters. Fonseca later turned to fiction herself, publishing her debut novel Attachment in 2009.

Amis was accused of Islamophobia following a 2006 interview with Ginny Dougary in which he said “there’s a definite urge … to say, ‘the Muslim community will have to suffer until it gets its house in order’”. Talking to the Guardian in 2020 he said he “certainly regretted having said what I said; already by mid-afternoon on that day I ceased to believe in what I said”.

He also once called for euthanasia “booths” on street corners to deal with Britain’s ageing population, and controversially parted ways with his publisher Jonathan Cape after they refused to pay a £500,000 advance for his novel The Information, a decision he later said he regretted.

Amis’s most recent book was 2020’s Inside Story, which was shortlisted for the National Book Critics’ Circle award for fiction. It is a “novelised autobiography” two decades in the writing, which features writing tips alongside memories of Hitchens, Saul Bellow and Philip Larkin.

His publisher, Vintage Books, issued a statement on Saturday evening.

“We are devastated at the death of our author and friend, Martin Amis: novelist, essayist, memoirist, critic, stylist supreme,” it said.

“It has been a profound privilege and pleasure to be his publisher; first as Jonathan Cape in 1973, with his explosive debut, The Rachel Papers; then as part of Penguin Random House and Vintage, up to and including his most recent book, 2020’s Inside Story.

“For 40 years Martin Amis bestrode the world of UK publishing: first by defining what it meant to be a literary wunderkind by releasing his first novel at just 24; influencing a generation of prose stylists; and often summing up entire eras with his books, perhaps most notably with his classic novel, Money.

“He continually engaged with current events and the contemporary world, never afraid to tackle the biggest issues and questions of the day, in books including The Second Plane and his essay collection, The Rub of Time.

“At the same time his work often explored key periods in history, notably the Holocaust, which he wrote about uniquely and powerfully in novels such as Time’s Arrow and The Zone of Interest. Throughout it all, his love of literature shone fiercely: Experience, The War Against Cliché and others all brought a light up to the world he’d inhabited his entire life.

“He was always unfailingly warm, kind and generous to those fortunate enough to work closely with him. His death is an enormous loss to all of us at Penguin Random House and to the UK’s cultural landscape.”

His UK editor, Michal Shavit, said: “It’s hard to imagine a world without Martin Amis in it. He was the king – a stylist extraordinaire, super cool, a brilliantly witty, erudite and fearless writer, and a truly wonderful man.

“He has been so important and formative for so many readers and writers over the last half-century. Every time he published a new book it was an event. He will be remembered as one of the greatest writers of his time and his books will stand the test of time alongside some of his favourite writers: Saul Bellow, John Updike, and Vladimir Nabokov.”

His former UK editor, Dan Franklin, said: “For so many people of my generation, Martin Amis was the one: the coolest, funniest, most quotable, most beautiful writer in the British literary firmament.

“When I first moved to Cape in 1993 it still seemed, 20 years on from The Rachel Papers, that every young writer wanted to be on the list because Martin was on it. The fact that he was so overlooked for literary prizes only added to his allure.

“He was fearless in his opinions (although curiously naive about the furore those opinions would provoke in the British press), he wrote inimitable prose and some of the funniest novels you will ever read. The news that he has died is unbearably sad.”


* * *

* * *

THE NORD STREAM EXPLOSIONS: New Revelations About Motive, Means, and Opportunity

As new details emerge about the pipeline blasts, they also prompt questions: What did US intelligence know about the biggest whodunit of the century, when did they know it, and how did they know it?

by James Bamford

At 00:03 GMT on a hazy dark morning last September, Peter Schmidt was among the first to put out an alert. A seismologist at Sweden’s National Seismic Center, his job was to read long wavy lines on a computer screen and raise the alarm in case of an earthquake. “Our calculations show a magnitude of 2.3,” Schmidt said. But oddly, this didn’t look like an earthquake. Instead, it was an enormously powerful explosion. “With an energy releases this big, there isn’t much else than a blast that could cause it.” Its epicenter was deep beneath the Baltic Sea just off the Danish island of Bornholm, a black, watery void except for a long cement-covered gas pipeline known as Nord Stream 2. Now through gaping holes in it and its twin, Nord Stream 1, gigantic bubbles of methane gas were heading to the surface instead of to the homes of millions throughout Europe at the start of a long, cold winter. 

Hours later, Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen addressed a crowd of reporters. “It is the authorities’ assessment that these are deliberate actions. It is not an accident,” she said. “The situation is as serious as it gets.” Swedish Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson agreed: “We have concluded that this is likely a deliberate act, that is, it is likely an act of sabotage.” Almost immediately—but without offering any evidence—both Russia and the United States began pointing fingers of blame at each other for this deliberate act of war. It would soon become the biggest whodunit of the century.

US and European intelligence agencies have reportedly obtained intelligence indicating that the attack was state-sponsored and carried out by a group affiliated with Ukraine, possibly an intelligence unit. Four days after the sabotage, the German publication Spiegel International reported that the CIA had months earlier warned their German intelligence partners, the BND, about a possible attack. “U.S. intelligence claimed to have intercepted Russian communications in which concerns were expressed about possible Ukrainian attacks on Western infrastructure,” the report said. “The Ukrainians allegedly tried to rent a boat in Sweden for this purpose.”

Other intercepts, also obtained prior to the blasts—but only discovered after the attacks—picked up similar communication among pro-Ukrainian individuals discussing possible sabotage on the pipeline. According to the German newspaper Die Zeit, a Western intelligence agency was said to have sent to European partner intelligence agencies shortly after the attack a tip that a Ukrainian commando unit was responsible for the destruction. The paper added that at least one of the boats used in the secret operation was rented from a company based in Poland and apparently owned by two Ukrainians. Finally, The New York Times reported in March that intelligence reviewed by US officials suggested that a pro-Ukrainian group carried out the attack.

But beyond such allegations, there has been little reporting on Ukraine’s covert capabilities and hostile intentions when it came to the pipeline, or whether other nations might have acted as co-conspirators. Did Ukraine have the means, motive, and opportunity to commit such a violent and audacious act? Nor has there been any insight into what US intelligence may have known before and after the blasts, and how they knew it.…

* * *

* * *

AMERICA THIS WEEK: Durham, FBI Whistleblowers, and ‘The Great Loyalty Oath Crusade’

by Matt Taibbi and Walter Kirn

This week’s episode of America This Week went over familiar ground in Catch-22, but Walter Kirn and I can argue honestly, we had no choice. House hearings involving three FBI whistleblowers directly evoked the memory of one of the most celebrated parts of that that novel. Add the release of Special Prosecutor John Durham’s report, and we had a lot to discuss. 

The transcript, edited for length and clarity:

On the release of Special Prosecutor John Durham’s long-awaited Report on the origins of the Trump-Russia investigations:

Matt Taibbi: There would’ve been a time, I think maybe three or four years ago, where all the information that’s in this report would’ve been like manna from heaven, because we were lacking all those answers. How did this thing start? What actually is behind it? So for me there’s a little bit of an anti-climax in reading some of this. At the same time, it fully exposed the entire Russiagate era as a fraud. And there was no response. It landed with a complete thud. Nobody acknowledged it. Nothing. What was your response to it?

Walter Kirn: Well, first of all, you called it long-awaited. For me, it was so long-awaited that I’d forgotten it was even coming. Secondly, though it would’ve been nice to have this information a long time ago, the truth is, we had almost all of the information a long time ago. What we didn’t have was the certification of the information by a government authority, by a legal authority.

But Lee Smith wrote a book, The Plot Against the President, which largely included most of these points and details, which come down to this for me: this was an investigation which led to the Crossfire Hurricane, which led to the Mueller investigation, predicated on really nothing.

Matt Taibbi: Which led to the New York case, by the way.

Walter Kirn: Which led to the New York case. And so what we found out was that there was no there there from the very beginning, that a misreported bar conversation with as low-level a Trump person as you could have found, was the basis for this great madness that the country went through, for every broadcast practically that Rachel Maddow did for headlines across the board, for a kind of preoccupation with the Russian threat that exists even today, really.

And it was also shown, I think, in the report that there were many, many points at which the whole thing was questioned internally and could have been ended, and wasn’t. In terms of literature, it was a document about inertia and cognitive dissonance and doubling down and going on trooping on in a crusade that had no basis, but which developed its own logic, its own momentum and its own necessities.

Basically we had was a Hillary Clinton-generated attack on Trump, which became a legal and governmental initiative that grew and grew, and which couldn’t be stopped. I think Durham did a job of showing reach to the highest levels of the government. Apparently everyone was briefed on the reality of this thing early on, very early on. All the highest authorities knew it was bullshit, and yet for some mysterious reason, it flowed like the mighty Mississippi.

Matt Taibbi: Well, mysterious is being generous, isn’t it?

Walter Kirn: Yeah. Mysterious is being generous. It’s being diplomatic. In a way, I guess it became necessary that the system vindicates itself by finding that which could not be found and asserting that which could not be proved, to the point that the moment where it mattered passed away. President Trump’s no longer president. All of the harms that were done by this thing have been done. They changed our history, they changed our media. They changed our sense of information and why it’s important.

In other words, the disinformation complex that we talk about over and over on this show is in some ways predicated on the heinous act that goes back to 2016 in which the Russians allegedly penetrated not only the country, but the campaign of Donald Trump to such a level that we have to build all these defenses against it ever happening again. Except it never happened in the first place.

Matt Taibbi: We were speaking off-air. It’s a little bit like going back in time to 2001 and changing one small fact…

Walter Kirn: It’s though somebody put up their hand in 2009 or so and said, “We’ve just investigated 9/11, and found out it didn’t happen. It was a video. It didn’t actually occur, but all of the wars and affluent activities that came from it are still in place and we need to protect them.” 

It was the ultimate “Oh, that?”

And you talk about how the Durham report has landed to a silence. Well, what other option do people who’ve won Pulitzers for reporting on something that didn’t happen have but to be quiet?

I mean, they can’t really argue that it did happen now. And they can’t really argue that we should be able to report on things that didn’t happen as though they did, because the issues themselves are important. Getting Donald Trump was such an overriding concern that making stuff up was called for.

So they’re stuck. Everybody just has to troop on in this strange double-think way in which we know it didn’t happen, but it was very important anyway, and we had to change our system and our values around to accommodate this thing that didn’t happen.

Matt Taibbi: Even if they wanted to honestly, there would be no way logistically to handle this information. What would you do? Would you have have a special broadcast where Lawrence O’Donnell goes on the air and says, “In light of some new information, basically everything that we’ve talked about on this channel for the last seven years, we’re going to have to retract”…

* * *

* * *


by Maureen Dowd

The orgasm heard around the world was reported by Magnus Fiennes, a composer and music producer who is the brother of Ralph Fiennes. After going to the Los Angeles Philharmonic in April, he tweeted about a woman sitting near him at Walt Disney Concert Hall who had a “loud and full body orgasm” during the second movement of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth.

Some in the audience tweeted back, wondering if the moaning was due to a medical condition. But the woman, who stayed with her smiling partner for the whole concert, has not come forward to clear it up.

Whatever happened, the scream is a metaphor. As we discuss which musical genres are expiring — Is rock ’n’ roll dead, as Jann Wenner told me? Is jazz fading away? — it seems that classical music is getting hotter.

Albert Imperato, a New York music promoter, says the idea is breaking through that classical music is not supposed to be safe and relaxing. It’s supposed to tingle.

“Let’s not forget that the word ‘climax’ is a common musical term,” the soprano Renée Fleming told me. “It has to do with musical tension and its release.” She said Rachmaninoff and Liszt “had it down” when it comes to sexy pieces.

To celebrate the scream, Norman Lebrecht, a British music journalist, ran “The 10 Best Orgasm Symphonies” in his blog, Slipped Disc.

Elim Chan, the 36-year-old conductor with the baton that night, told me she watched the woman in her peripheral vision until she “calmed down.” She said she likes when audience members audibly react — “I don’t want to be a piece of museum art.” We recalled how “Fantasia” and Bugs Bunny excited us as children, with their flights of classical music.

After the dark years of Covid and everyone at home streaming, she said, people are coming out to concerts to “feel something” that will exist only in that time — “and if you miss it, you miss it.”

The scream reminded me of the golden era in Hollywood, when moguls put their biggest stars — Bette Davis, Joan Crawford, Elizabeth Taylor, Ingrid Bergman — into passionate tales about classical musicians. There has been a revival of that recently, with Cate Blanchett in “Tár,” Kelvin Harrison Jr. in “Chevalier” and the upcoming Netflix movie “Maestro,” with Bradley Cooper as Leonard Bernstein.

Several recent surveys have clocked a rise in the popularity of classical music in the last couple of years. In America and England, the genre flourished during the pandemic, drawing more women and younger listeners, and it’s soaring among content creators on social media.

“Maybe that old orchestral and operatic music now sounds fresh to ears raised on electronic sounds,” the music critic Ted Gioia mused on his Substack, or “maybe young people view getting dressed up for a night at the opera hall as a kind of cosplay event.”

Peter Gelb, the general manager of the Metropolitan Opera, agreed. “The average age of our audience used to be in the 60s; now it’s in the 40s,” he told me.

He said that new operas by living composers — Terence Blanchard’s “Fire Shut Up in My Bones” and “Champion” and Kevin Puts’s “The Hours” — are big draws. Gelb said that “Champion,” based on the life of Emile Griffith, a bisexual boxer, is the first time the Met has featured two men kissing or drag queens.

New York is the epicenter of the electricity. Cue Dudamania. Gustavo Dudamel, the 42-year-old curly-haired conductor who looks for “blood” in the music, is moving from Los Angeles to take over the New York Philharmonic in 2026. He promised to “keep that wild, wild animal Gustavo,” giving audiences a preview this weekend at David Geffen Hall, conducting Mahler’s Ninth.

At the Met, the 48-year-old conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin is a bolt of lightning with bleached-blond hair and a diamond earring. In elaborate costumes inspired by whatever opera he is conducting, he shakes off classical music’s conservative air.

Keri-Lynn Wilson, the six-foot glamazon who conducts in black Armani pantsuits with her ponytail swinging — and who is part of a classical music power couple with her husband, Peter Gelb — sparkled in her debut at the Met last fall with Shostakovich’s “Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk.”

“I actually conducted an orgasm in it,” she said about the climactic sex scene. “Shostakovich achieved it through the sequencing of a relentlessly building and sliding trombone lick in unison with the entire orchestra in a pulsating crescendo.” She said Stalin banned the work and Shostakovich narrowly avoided the gulag.

New York is also home to Yuja Wang, the 36-year-old pianist who wears high-fashion miniskirts and stilettos for her bravura performances of Rachmaninoff.

Nézet-Séguin told me he thinks we are “beginning another golden age for our art form.”

“Without accusing anyone,” he said, he believes “institutions and maybe artists forgot some aspects of our art form” and “maybe the connection with the audience was just not enough of a priority, in my opinion.”

He said that in rehearsals, he always tells the orchestra to explore the love. “‘Love every note. Love more your eighth notes. Please love this harmony more.’ It’s very connected to classical music being sexy.”


* * *

GO INTO THE ARTS. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possibly can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.

~ Kurt Vonnegut 


Ukraine has denied claims by Russia that it has taken full control of Bakhmut but warned the situation in the key battle town is “critical”.

Hanna Maliar, Ukraine’s defence minister, pushed back on the claim by Yevgeny Prigozhin that his Wagner Group of mercenaries had seized the town around lunchtime.

"Heavy fighting in Bakhmut. The situation is critical," she said on the Telegram messaging app.

"As of now, our defenders control some industrial and infrastructure facilities in the area and the private sector."

Elsewhere, Volodymyr Zelensky is in Japan for the G7 summit, marking his first high-level visit to Asia since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine last year.

His visit comes after a massive boost for Ukraine’s war effort, with US President Joe Biden telling G7 leaders that Washington supports joint allied training programs for Ukrainian pilots on F-16 fighter jets.

The Kremlin responded by saying any move by Western countries to supply Ukraine with the fighter jets would carry “colossal risks”.

* * *

* * *

ON A CATTLE DRIVE through Texas in the late 1860s, Texas Jack Omohundro chanced upon some ransacked wagons with a number of dead settlers scalped nearby. The dead were would-be settlers bound west across the plains. Texas Jack rode to the nearest fort and led some of the soldiers in pursuit. Following the trail of horses leading away, they came upon a group of Comanche. Getting the drop on the Indians, Jack and the soldiers were able to rescue a boy and two girls that had been taken captive by the warriors. 

Escorting the children to safety on the backs of the Comanche ponies he took with him, Jack pondered what to do with the children. He asked the boy, the oldest of the children, “What’s your name, son?” 

The shy boy hesitated and then asked, “What’s yours?”


The boy thought about it for a moment.

“Me too.”

Texas Jack took the children to a Fort Worth orphanage where he sold the ponies and generously offered to fund their education. For the rest of his life, the boy called himself “Texas Jack Jr.” He would later take up his benefactor's mantle as an actor and showman, starring as Frederick Russell Burnham, American Chief of Scouts in an early British film called Major Wilson’s Last Stand, which depicted battles between the British South Africa Company and native Ndebele warriors in present-day Zimbabwe. Having made his mark on cinema, he came back to America and started “Texas Jack’s Wild West Show & Circus," which he would tour around the world.

Jack Junior toured America, Australia, Europe, and South Africa, carrying on the tradition of showing audiences a stylized version of the cowboy lifestyle established by his namesake. Traveling the world, the show was in Ladysmith, South Africa in 1902 where a young man approached Texas Jack Jr. to ask him if he was really from Texas and to ask for a job wrangling horses or setting up tents for his shows. Demonstrating his namesake’s keen eye for showmanship, Jack Jr. asked the young man if he could pull together a rope trick act. The young man said he believed he could and Jack Jr. hired him on the spot. Texas Jack Jr. suggested the young performer adopt the nickname “The Cherokee Kid." This was Will Rogers's first job in show business.

Later in his life, as part of his traveling show, Texas Jack Junior wrote a poem about his life, including a verse about his capture by the Indians and rescue by Omohundro:

Come, give me your attention,

And see the right and wrong,

It is a simple story

And won’t detain you long;

I’ll try to tell the reason

Why we are bound to roam

And why we are so friendless

And never have a home

My home is in the saddle,

Upon a pony’s back,

I am a roving Cow-boy

And find the hostile track;

They say I am a sure shot,

And danger, I never knew;

But I have often heard the story,

That now I’ll tell to you

In eighteen hundred and sixty-three,

A little emigrant band

Was massacred by Indians,

Bound West by overland;

They scalped our noble soldiers,

And the emigrants had to die,

And the only living captives

Were two small girls and I.

I was rescued from the Indians

By a brave and noble man,

Who trailed the thieving Indians,

And fought them hand to hand;

He was noted for his bravery

While on an enemy’s track;

He has a noble history

And his name is Texas Jack.

Old Jack could tell a story

If he was only here,

Of the trouble and the hardships

Of the western pioneer;

He would tell you how the mothers

And comrades lost their lives,

And how the noble fathers

Were scalped before our eyes.

I was raised among the Cow-boys,

My saddle is my home,

And I’ll always be a Cow-boy

No difference where I roam;

And like that noble hero

My help I volunteer,

And try to be of service

To the Western pioneer.

I am a roving Cow-boy,

I’ve worked upon the trail,

I’ve shot the shaggy buffalo

And heard the coyote’s wail;

I’ve slept upon my saddle.

And covered by the moon;

I expect to keep it up, dear friends,

Until I meet my doom.

The year given in the poem of 1863 is incorrect. On his passport application forms, Jack Junior states that he was born in either 1866 or 1867, but that he did not know the particular date of his own birth.

Texas Jack Junior, who dropped the "Junior" when he began to perform outside the United States, married fellow performer Lily Dunbar on March 25th, 1891 in Bundaberg, Queensland, Australia. Lily took the surname "Jack" as a married woman. They had one child, named Hazel Jack. 

By 1897, the couple was living in London, England, and Jack was listed as a professional horse trainer. In November of that year, Texas Jack Junior filed for divorce from Lily, stating that "on the 13th day of October 1897 my said wife the said Lily Jack committed adultery with F.E. Mannell at No, 25 Whitcomb Street, Coventry Street in the County of London." Included in the divorce petition is a brief description of Jack's childhood:

"My parents are unknown, and...ever since my birth I have always been known and called by the name of Texas Jack, and have no other Christian or surname whatever; as when a child my parents were killed by the American Indians in Texas, who carried me off to their camp, where I lived until I was recovered from them by the United States of America's troops, about 1868."

It is unknown if the divorce was granted, but Lily Dunbar Jack died shortly afterward, passing away in London at the age of 31 in April 1902. Sadly, Texas Jack Junior died just over three and a half years later, on October 25, 1905, in Kroonstad, South Africa, where he had recruited Will Rogers three years before. His death notice lists him as a widower and notes that he left the entirety of his estate to his 14-year-old daughter Hazel Jack, listed as living in Prahran, Melbourne, Australia.

* * *


  1. Harvey Reading May 21, 2023

    California Quail Photo

    Great shot. I particularly like the way the dead branch in the lower left corner resembles (in shape at least) a large, long-necked shore bird, watching the land birds, and, perhaps, communicating with them verbally.

    • Jeff Goll May 21, 2023

      Thanks Harvey. I’m keen on getting a good bird photo and sometimes manifestations occur. There’s a lot out there-more than our visual acuity- so it’s good you find more.

  2. Harvey Reading May 21, 2023

    “True enough, but I daresay a large majority of Americans given the choice between being Bezos and Musk and me and Craig Stehr, they’d opt for Bezos and Musk.”

    Probably so, but I’m not one of them. Bring back the guillotine, and put it to good use on the filthy scum who know nothing but greed.

    • Craig Stehr May 22, 2023

      In 1993 I was hanging out in a small group with Swami Satchidananda at Yogaville in Buckingham, Virginia. Somebody asked him why everybody on earth isn’t pursuing the spiritual path for Self-Realization. He said, “Because they haven’t had enough of the world yet.”

  3. Harvey Reading May 21, 2023

    “It would be nice if they did — identity, history, sense of place and all that.”

    Yeah. How about Benedict Arnold High School, or Woodrow Wilson Middle School, or maybe Richard Nixon Junior College? Perhaps even Joseph McCarthy Elementary School?

  4. Harvey Reading May 21, 2023

    The photo of Dave Eggers puts me in mind of Kurt Russell

  5. Falcon May 21, 2023

    Ed Notes
    On renaming the AVUSD


    “Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” —Samuel Beckett

    “What do we do when life doesn’t go the way we hoped? We say I’m a failure.

    But, what if failing weren’t just “okay”…but the most direct way to becoming a more complete, loving, and fulfilled human being?

    Failure is part of success…both are essential elements.”

  6. Stephen Rosenthal May 21, 2023

    $600,000 and counting. Paying an outside law firm to defend the County against one of many (and many more to come) wrongful termination suits while highly paid County Counsel and his highly paid minions sit on their asses. But the BOS bozos can’t find $250,000 to keep the Coast Animal Shelter open and functioning. Doubling down on yesterday’s comment – shameful!

    • Chuck Dunbar May 21, 2023

      Both comments are exactly on target, Stephen, and, yes, it is shameful. That’s major money for our small county, and much better uses for the peoples’ interests exist than throwing hundreds of thousands to fancy lawyers to defend a probably not-worth-defending termination. Save a bunch of this money: Settle the damn thing, give the wronged staff their due compensation, even–novel idea– admit error on an ex-administrator’s watch–and move on. And fucking learn from it–demand that top administrators treat their staff better!

      • Harvey Reading May 21, 2023

        Never trust a Stanford guy…especially when he seems to agree with YOU.

        • Chuck Dunbar May 21, 2023

          I read this piece about the “Stanford guy,” pretty out-there, but who knows? Turns out the aliens already here on earth, according to this professor, like the wide open spaces of the western U.S. They come out mostly at night, so please, Harvey, don’t open your door if some weird-looking creature knocks after midnight….Be Safe.

          • Harvey Reading May 21, 2023

            There are a lot of weird-looking creatures in Wyoming. All of them are human.

            • Chuck Dunbar May 21, 2023

              Made me smile– thanks, Harvey.

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