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BRISK NORTHERLY WINDS will continue along the coast will continue through this evening. Otherwise, a daily chance of scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms will exist over the interior mountains each afternoon through Thursday. (NWS)
IMPORTANT MCHCD MEETING ON 5-26 ON FUTURE OPTIONS FOR THE FORT BRAGG HOSPITAL
The Devenney Group will do a zoom presentation on the detailed results of an engineering analysis of what is needed to retrofit the existing Fort Bragg Hospital to comply with the CA law requiring that seismic compliance be met by 2030. The presentation will compare the potential costs of retrofitting with the costs of building a replacement hospital. The Agenda and supporting documents for this meeting as well as the zoom links can be found at the Mendocino Coast Health Care District website: https://www.mchcd.org. The meeting will be held in the Redwoods Room just inside the Outpatient entrance to the Fort Bragg Hospital starting at 6:00 PM on May 25, 2023. The meeting may be joined on zoom at the link below. The Devenney presentation will begin promptly at 6:30 PM. The Regular MCHCD Board Meeting will continue following the Devenney Presentation and Discussion of Next Steps.
MEMO OF THE WEEK
Dear Ukiah Coop Dear Member/Owner,
We recently discovered a payment card skimming device at Ukiah Natural Foods, on the credit card terminal at register #2. Our member records indicate that you used your payment card to make a purchase at the affected terminal during the time period that the device may have been operating. You may have had your payment information stolen if the suspect(s) who installed the card skimmer gained access before co-op staff found and removed the device.
A skimmer is a scanning device mounted over the existing (legitimate) card scanner. The skimmers are so well-produced that staff and customers can be completely unaware of their presence. When you slide your card through the affected credit card terminal, your card also passes through the skimmer device and your card information is recorded by the skimmer.
If the thieves were able to access information from the device before it was discovered, they may have acquired your information from the magnetic stripe on your payment card, including your name, phone number, card number, card expiration date and CVV. Please keep an eye on your bank and credit card statements for charges you didn’t make and report any suspicious or unauthorized activity to your issuing bank or credit card company immediately.
This incident has been reported to local law enforcement and is under investigation. Going forward, we have added additional steps to our routine checking to ensure that we catch this type of fraud quickly. We apologize for any inconvenience this causes you. Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Lori Rosenberg, General Manager
Ukiah Natural Foods
by Mark Scaramella
It seems to have finally dawned on the Supervisors that blaming the Auditor time and again for their own failures and misperceptions about the County budget not only looks bad but won’t do anything to improve the County’s mulit-million deficit for next year. On Tuesday, three supervisors, Glenn McGourty, Maureen Mulheren and Ted Williams, actually bent over backwards to make nice with their Auditor, Chamise Cubbison, courteously thanking her for her financial reports and cooperation. McGourty went so far as to deny that he has been “persecuting” the Auditor, despite blaming the Auditor for the Board’s own rash consolidation of her department and its failure to deal with budget issues almost on a monthly basis since then.
As if to emphasize the new, more “cooperative” picture they’re trying to portray with the Auditor, Ms. Cubbison, for the first time since being elected, was seated at the staff table instead of appearing in the interrogation box/public podium where she previously appeared to respond to various ill-informed budget pot shots. After Cubbison calmly explained her recent bookkeeping reports, there was no untoward grilling of the Auditor as the Board proceeded to pleasantly and unanimously accept her report as submitted.
Just like with the pointless $400k fight they picked with the Sheriff, we’re all now supposed to pretend the Board’s misbegotten campaign against the Auditor never happened.
* * *
In introducing the County’s bleak budget picture CEO Darcie Antle introduced the discussion by saying:
“We still have a health plan deficit. We are working with the Auditor Controller and the outside auditors to confirm that deficit. At this time it's somewhere between $1.1 and $3.6 million. As we are closing out fiscal year 22/23, the budget is over budget by roughly $3 million. This general fund deficit includes two vacant general fund department head positions. The department leadership of those general fund departments is being provided at this time by the Executive office, not to mention three other department heads that are non-general fund that are vacant at this time. Part of that deficit, you have a 2% wage and benefit increase that occurred in this six months of this year of 22/23. Those funds were covered by— those benefits were covered by one-time money including some federal money and the pension reserve. Part of that deficit again is, tax revenue has decreased on the sales tax and transient occupancy taxes. And then we have some departments that are running over budget at this time. Moving into next fiscal year, 23/24, this budget has a huge challenge for the departments, the fiscal team, the Auditor Controller Tax Collector Treasurer. The approach we are taking for 23/24 is not sustainable for the future. Changes must be made through the year to increase revenues and reduce the County’s footprint. Revenues are projected to be $1.4 million less than what was adopted in 22/23. We are experiencing expenses that are increasing due to inflation. We went out for bond certifications of participation this year and our bond payment is up, increased by $873,000.” Ms. Antle later noted that the County’s utilities costs were up by about $650k as well.
Auditor Cubbison explained that the health plan deficit range is due to some still outstanding medical claims against the county's former self-funded health care plan that have not yet been received so she doesn't know how much they will be.
The general fund deficit for this coming year, July 2023-June 2024, is being backfilled by “one time expenses,” basically cutting back on several previously routine expense line items for the year and not spending some previously programmed funds. (More on this later.)
And that was before any consideration being given to salary increases for County employees whose employment contracts all expire at the end of June.
A READER WRITES (reposted for comment):
Dear Wine Appreciation Department: This “reader” is prepared to make a minimalist statement like:
“We need to keep in mind that soil water is required both for wine and for growing the grape plant. The roots of the vines may run very deep in search of moisture. If you kill off the weeds via mechanical cultivation and/or application of chemicals the crop can escape irrigation. This does not mean, however, that the water consumption is negligible. In fact, in Anderson Valley, depending on many factors, the total water demand of grapes per vine between bud break and leaf fall is thought to be 100 to 150 gallons. This aggregates to an acre-foot of water for a vineyard of less than ten acres. Obviously, planting cannot be continued indefinitely without serious depletion of the water table. The total draw per vineyard depends on the vine density. According to a book I picked off the shelf at Barnes & Noble the California average is 450 vines/acre. An acre is about 43,000 square feet, or a plot around 200x200 feet or so. The rows have to be about ten feet apart to accommodate the tractors, which would be 20 lines each with about 25 plants/line. This is a critical point. The summer flow in the Navarro is steadily diminishing.
“The Water Economy of the Grape Vine”
Water Supply (most of this goes right down the river)
• Annual 30 inches of rain on one acre: 2.5 acre-feet.
• For a 500-acre vineyard, 1250 acre-feet Water Draw
• From bud break to leaf fall, estimated about 125 gallons per vine
• For about 450 vines/acre, 125 x 450 = 56,250 gallons per acre.
• For 500 acres, 56,250 x 500 = 28,125,000 gallons.
• One acre-foot = 43,560 cubic feet x 7.8 gallons/cubic foot = 339,768 gallons.
• 28,125,000 gallons for 500 acres/339,768 gallons per acre-foot = 82.3 acre-feet on 500 acres with 450 vines/acre.
There are over 2500 acres of grapes in Anderson Valley. So 82 acre-feet times 5 = 400-plus acre feet of water for grapes per year, not counting frost protection, not counting heavy water use in wineries.
ADAM GASKA REPLIES:
I had a hard time following the math on water use by vineyards.
Yes, if you have deep soil, the right root stock, abundant rainfall and control vegetation with cultivation or herbicide you can dry farm grapes.
The issue is, those factors don’t always favorably align and when they don’t yield can fluctuate widely.
We have 50 acres of vines in a frost free zone without the benefit of frost protection in Redwood Valley. We use 0.1-0.25 AF per acre per year. We farm organically, use compost and cover crops. We have high organic matter at 5% which helps retain moisture. We have 20 acres in Hopland that do have frost protection. There we use 0.25-0.5 AF per acre per year. Both of these areas are much warmer than Navarro.
We have olives which use a similar amount of water. We have a small garden/orchard of 2 acres that uses 5 AF of water a year, much more than the grapes and olives.
I prefer looking at the ranch overall. We have 2000 acres. 800 in rotationally grazed pasture, 1200 in timber land, 70 in crops. Our overall management more than mitigates whatever the negatives of our croplands’ irrigation needs.
HUMCO has approved a permit for Reggae on the River after a three-year hiatus.
THE LA DODGERS have caved to the enormous backlash over last week’s decision to disinvite the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence from their annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night. The team apologized to the tired act and invited them to attend the festivities. The Sisters, who started insulting nuns a half-century ago in San Francisco (where else?), describe themselves as “a leading-edge order of queer and trans nuns,” but employ stale humor and Catholic imagery to supposedly call attention to sexual intolerance. How much sexual intolerance can there be in LA if the Dodgers feel so much pressure from libertines that they re-invite Frisco's antique trans act?
LOOKING BACK to the days when I was a regular at school board meetings, and even looked forward to them as dependably comic, one of the more amusing episodes involved a parent claim against the local school district for $5,000. The school board rejected the claim. Naturally curious about what had inspired it, I called then-Superintendent J.R. Collins for clarification. He wasn’t sure he could tell me, confidentiality laws and all, but he checked with the district’s legal eagle who said, “Go ahead and tell him.”
THIS IS WHAT happened: In a rear seat of a homeward bound school bus, there occurred what Superintendent Collins gingerly described as “inappropriate touching.”
THE PERPS were three pre-schoolers — two participants and one observer. One of the participants was alleged to have been inappropriately touched, although he or she couldn’t remember the violation the next day. However and harrumph, the third pre-schooler, a vigilant four-year-old, insisted he or she had spotted the midget pervs in flagrante delicto, and reported it to a trauma-starved mommy, and everyone involved was off to the lawyers.
THE INAPPROPRIATELY TOUCHED child’s mother accused the district of not promptly informing her or CPS of the incident, but $5,000 would go a long way in purging the hideous intrusion from her child’s memory.
ANDERSON VALLEY UNIFIED sensibly argued that getting accurate information from a four-year-old isn’t exactly easy, hence the reporting delay, besides which for god’s sake we’re talking pre-schoolers here! But darned if the district’s insurance carrier didn't negotiate a settlement with the complaining parent, which is what happens when school districts are viewed by the mercenary as great big pots of money whose lawyers and insurance carriers would rather settle than fight frivolous claims.
(THE COUNTY OF MENDOCINO routinely passes out a quick five grand (roughly equivalent to about $11k in today’s dollars) to people who claim they've been somehow harmed by County turpitude. The late Judi Bari of Earth First! grabbed an easy five thou when she claimed her daughter, Lisa, age 8 at the time, had been traumatized when her mother was briefly detained during a timber demonstration near Albion. The County didn't bother to argue that the child shouldn't have been in a place where loggers and enviros were separated only by a phalanx of deputies, and the air was blue with volleys of competing insults, but it's always simpler to cut a check out of the public treasury than to take a hustler to court.)
MENDO-TRENDO is agog at a piece in the current Architectural Digest: architecturaldigest.com/gallery/inside-a-cozy-california-cabin. “This morning, I wrote to a friend about my dream kitchen. Little did I know it was right here," wrote one agog.
HADN'T WATCHED a Little League ball game since my own children were eager participants, but I see lots of them these days as my granddaughter competes on a softball team called the Tremors, and my grandson plays LL baseball under the auspices of Good Earth, a fancy Fairfax food store. The coaching for both is first-rate, but it still startles me to see little kids with perfect swings, catchers who can reliably make the throw to second, little kids who can catch fly balls and turn a double play and so on. Ditto for the girls who learn early not to “throw like girls,” and sorry for bringing up the ancient slam, but women's softball, like women's basketball, has come a long way since the dark days of no baseball for women and women's basketball required that the ladies had to pass the ball after two dribbles. But the other day, watching my grandson's game, something happened that reminded me that youth sports had changed so radically in another way from the emotional austerity of my youth that I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing; the opposing pitcher, age 11 or 12, suddenly, and at no visible provocation, started to cry, and instantly he was surrounded by his entire team and his two coaches for a group hug on the pitcher's mound! The boy, apparently comforted, resumed his responsibilities as if nothing had happened. One more: My grandson was pitching when he gave up a grand slam, commenting later. “I was very happy for him. He's a friend of mine.” (!)
UKIAH NEWLYWEDS GO VIRAL After Tying The Knot During The 7Th Inning Stretch Of Sunday’s Giants Game
The San Francisco Giants faced off against the Miami Marlins last Sunday, May 21st, 2023. The Giants pulled off a 7-5 win, but an unforgettable moment in the stands is making rounds online. During the seventh-inning stretch, a pair of lovebirds exchanged wedding vows, took their first kiss, and the bride tossed her marital bouquet into the crowd. As it happens, the happy couple hail from none other than Mendocino County. In an email written from their honeymoon getaway in Bodega Bay, Ukiah residents Ben and Heidi Waterman told us their story.…
IMPORTANT MESSAGE FROM CRAIG LOUIS STEHR
Postmodern American Update~
Sunday and Monday were spent in Ukiah, California doing nothing, because the public library is closed. Walked all over the Mendocino county seat sitting on benches, watching the mind complain about how stupid life is in “war world”. On Monday, visited MacNab’s work wear store on State Street, and chatted with one of the owners as we watched the announcement on television that social security money might be delayed in order to somehow ameliorate the American financial deficit. Just did a money check, and there is $172.24 in the SBMC checking account, $51 in cash and $2.20 in the wallet, for a grand total of $225.64 available until the next social security benefits are automatically deposited into the bank checking account. Free meals continue to be available at Plowshares Peace and Justice Center; this includes “second helpings”. On May 30th, a ride has been arranged for me through the Building Bridges Homeless Resource Center to go to St. Helena for a consultation with the doctor who will switch out the heart pacemaker for a more comprehensive one, tentatively scheduled for July. I am now budgeting in order to make certain that I have enough money to purchase water and snacks for the ride. Also, am continuing to sleep at the homeless shelter where my two pieces of luggage are. I urge everybody to stop identifying with the body and the mind. You are not the body nor are you the mind. You are the Immortal Self, Radiant Atman, Glowing Spirit-Soul, Eternal Witness, God Consciousness, Christ Consciousness, and Buddha Nature. What would you do in this world if you knew that you could not fail?
Craig Louis Stehr
THE HONORABLE OCCUPATION OF TIE HACKING
Many folks today don’t realize that a backyard industry existed in the county for 70 years that could be attempted by any able bodied man with a few tools and time on his hands. Splitting railroad ties from redwood was called tie hacking.
When the mills were closed or the woods too wet to be logging there was always tie hacking work. A standard tie was 7”x 8” by 8’ long and sold in 1938 for 20 cents each to a contractor who supplied hundreds of thousands of ties to a company like Southern Pacific Railroad. Ties were also made in 10’ to 14’ lengths for switches on the rail line. Narrow Gauge railroads used ties 6” x 7” by 5 feet. One big tree could be made into 1,000 ties.
It is said an “average” experienced woodsman could hack 500 ties a month. They were bundled and hauled to the nearest railroad siding for shipment to shipping points. The last house on the west end and south side of Comptche Ukiah road in the Comptche valley was once called “Tie Landing” for the Albion Lumber Company railroad. Mendocino coast railroad ties went to Mexico, South America, Australia and Hawaii and were prized because redwood ties did not rot in moist climates.
Some of the railroad ties could have been used right in Comptche. In an 1881 story in the Mendocino Beacon about Comptche early history (think 1860’s) it was noted that N.E. Hoak, superintendent of the logging department of the Albion Lumber Company had a railroad on his property on the east side on the Comptche Valley on the south side of the road. A half mile in length it had ties laid with iron rails 40” apart with four wheel carts capable of carrying a log 7’ in diameter and 16’ in length… drawn by two horses. Locomotives had not arrived yet. The rail line brought logs to the best site to roll them in to the Albion River and float them to the coast and the sawmill.
Still in Comptche, in 1908, William Oppenlander had 40 tie makers in a woods camp and planned on adding more in the future as he had a contract for 200,000 ties due to be shipped the summer of 1909. By 1917 Frank Dunn, a Comptche tie broker, had purchased a Pierce-Arrow truck with trailers to transport ties to landings to eliminate the need for teams of horses. E.D. Darlin, a Little River blacksmith, was making and installing a body on the truck suitable for hauling ties.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, May 23, 2023
EDUARDO ALVAREZ, Ukiah. Criminal threats.
OSCAR BERNAL, Ukiah. Protective order violation.
JUAN BLACKWELL, Sacramento/Ukiah. Domestic abuse.
TYLER CALES, Willits. County parole violation.
ZACHARY COOPER, Fort Bragg. Criminal threats, protective order violation, failure to appear.
CALVIN MAGPIE JR., Sacramento/Ukiah. County parole violation.
NATHAN MATTHEWS, Covelo. Controlled substance, under influence.
LOUIS MATTIUZZO, Comptche. Controlled substance while armed with loaded firearm, loaded handgun not registered owner, conceaped loaded weapon, controlled substance, paraphernalia.
GEORGIA MILLSAP, Willits. DUI-alcohol&drugs, suspended license.
NATHAN SALO, Fort Bragg. DUI, resisting.
RACHAEL SEIVERTSON, Ukiah. Assault on peace officer, battery on peace officer, parole violation.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
"It is late May, which means Pride season is upon us." Good grief. We've gone from a one-day June parade, to a weekend, to a whole month. And now it's "Pride season" in May? Even the black community only gets a month, and it's the shortest month!
by John Arteaga
Well, I guess that the Supreme Court, according to recent polling, is plumbing new depths in its lack of credibility and esteem in the eyes of the American people that is nominally serves. And no wonder; to hard-core scorched earth partisans like Mitch McConnell, to whom fairness and ethics are apparently nothing but a sucker's considerations, power is everything.
Thus when Obama had every right to appoint the solidly centrist Merrick Garland to the Scotus, hoping that enough Republicans would support this highly respected nonpartisan, of course his conciliatory efforts were in vain. McConnell held up his appointment with the patently absurd argument that since there was going to be an election in a year or so, that he would just leave the seat open until, as he had hoped, a Republican president was able to, through this corrupt chicanery, appoint one of the right wing extremist judges that are their only judicial stock in trade.
Trump, having vowed to only appoint justices from the extremist reactionary, billionaire funded 'Federalist Society' to any and all federal judgeships that may become available (many with lifetime appointments being filled by young pro-capitalist extremists). It is a prerequisite for young inductees to this lavishly funded cult of lower and lower taxes for the rich and corporations as well as fewer rights and privileges of all kinds for the other 99%. This is why we, as a society, can't have nice things; after decades of the relentless efforts of Federalist Society and scores or hundreds of similarly oriented 'think tanks', they have succeeded in sufficiently warping the minds of a frighteningly large percentage of the American people into allowing their obviously against-the-public-interest policies to succeed spectacularly in the political arena despite being minority beliefs.
Today’s Republican Party should really change its name to The Donald Trump American Fascist Party; one of the main hallmarks of fascist political movements, wherever they appear, is the identification of powerless minorities against whom hatred can be directed without any fear of them having any meaningful defense against it.
Think about Trump’s original kickoff his presidential campaign, where he was blaming Mexicans for being rapists etc. With the proliferation of Trumpian judge appointments and the governorships of so many states by Republicans, the list of objects for hate and division have grown steadily; LBGTQ folks, drag queens, even those who, quite reasonably, promote the simple concept of relative enlightenment embodied by the term ‘woke’. It’s astonishing to see the amount of political hay being made by Republican operatives who have transmogrified this harmless bit of political shorthand, denoting an awakening from a status quo that is so far from fair to so many people, into a bogeyman of some kind of radical threat to those who prefer to dwell in the delusional belief that everything is fine just the way it is.
All across the country the judicial branch of government, having been so heavily impacted by Trump appointments, has been wasting no time in bringing us to the dystopian world in which we live today. Of the whole laundry list of long-held rights and freedoms that Americans have long regarded as their birthright but which are now suddenly in danger of being snatched away, not by any kind of democratic process, but by the arbitrary decisions of extreme religious radicals illegitimately empowered by seats on the Supreme Court. To a person, these Trump appointments perjured themselves in their testimony before Congress, all dutifully saying that Roe V Wade was ‘settled law’, while they all knew damn well that the Supreme Court had the power to blow off precedent, pursue their extreme religious dogmatism, and impose it on the rest of the unwilling country.
Thus, after Judge shopping, a cadre of religious extremists trumped up a case before the U.S. District Court Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk in Amarillo, Texas. By the looks of him, his Federalist Society pedigree, and being a Trump appointment, he could be easily mistaken for a dive bar bouncer. Unfortunately, for some reason the judicial system empowers clueless crackers like this guy from Amarillo to impose his extremist religious beliefs on the whole country! Based on a case that should never have even been brought; the collection of nuts bringing this religious extremist case cannot possibly demonstrate any harm to themselves done by mifepristone, which is supposed to be a core tenet of legal action. One has to demonstrate that one has been harmed by something in order to have ‘standing’ to bring a case at all.
Of course, to the capitalist true believers and their comrades from the religious right, such rules are quaint relics, to be ignored once one has the required Republican votes to override them.
Hard as it is to believe, polls show that around 40% of people these days have been indoctrinated into thinking that abortion should be illegal in virtually all circumstances! It should be required for these folks to read the heartbreaking NYT story of the poor young Texas girl, who identified as lesbian, but who had a one time liaison with a young man there and became pregnant with twins. No job, no money, no support system, she did her best to assert authority over her own body, having to suffer the humiliation of begging a judge to allow her to get an abortion, only to be told that in their wise opinion that she was not mature enough at 17 to opt for an abortion! Of course she was mature enough to bear two children and now lives in a leaky trailer with her ill-starred offspring. Of course these ‘pro-life’ Republican judicial zealots are just as adamantly opposed to any kind of help for such unfortunate ‘life’ once it exits the womb.
God help us if this monumentally corrupt Supreme Court upholds judge Cracker’s idiotic reversal of this safe and effective abortifacient and condemns millions of women to involuntary childbearing!
For this and previous articles, go to https://inarationalworld2.blogspot.com/2023/05/scotus-malus.html
PARKER, QUANAH (ca. 1845–1911)
Quanah Parker, the last chief of the Quahada Comanche Indians, son of Peta Nocona and Cynthia Ann Parker, was born about 1845. According to Quanah himself, he was born on Elk Creek south of the Wichita Mountains in what is now Oklahoma, but there has been debate regarding his birthplace, and a Centennial marker on Cedar Lake northeast of Seminole, Texas, in Gaines County, claims that site as Quanah's birth location. He was a major figure both in Comanche resistance to White settlement and in the tribe's adjustment to reservation life. Nomadic hunter of the Llano Estacado, leader of the Quahada assault on Adobe Walls in 1874 (see Red River War), cattle rancher, entrepreneur, and friend of American presidents, Quanah Parker was truly a man of two worlds. The name Quanah means "smell" or "odor." Though the date of his birth is recorded variously at 1845 and 1852, there is no mystery regarding his parentage. His mother was the celebrated captive of a Comanche raid on Parker's Fort (1836) and convert to the Indian way of life. His father was a noted war chief of the Noconi band of the Comanches. Despite his mixed ancestry, Quanah's early childhood seems to have been quite unexceptional for his time and place. In 1860, however, Peta Nocona was killed defending an encampment on the Pease River against Texas Rangers under Lawrence Sullivan Ross. The raid, which resulted in the capture and incarceration of Cynthia Ann and Quanah's sister Topasannah, also decimated the Noconis and forced Quanah, now an orphan, to take refuge with the Quahada Comanches of the Llano Estacado.
Medicine Lodge Treaty Council
Depiction of the Medicine Lodge Treaty Council, which Quanah Parker refused to attend. Image available on the Internet and included in accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107.
By the 1860s the Quahadas ("Antelopes") were known as the most aloof and warlike of the various Comanche bands. Among them Quanah became an accomplished horseman and gradually proved himself to be an able leader. In the 1860s, the Quahadas ("Antelopes") were known as the most aloof and warlike of the various Comanche bands. These qualities were increasingly in demand when, as a consequence of their refusal to attend the Medicine Lodge Treaty Council or to move to a reservation as provided by the treaty, the Quahadas became fugitives on the Staked Plains. There, beyond the effective range of the military, they continued to hunt buffalo in the traditional way while raiding settlements....
FORGIVENESS is a Christian idea and Spain has never been a Christian country. It has always had its own special idol worship within the church. Otra Virgen mas. I suppose that was why they had to destroy the virgins of their enemies. Surely it was deeper with them, with the Spanish religious fanatics, than it was with the people. The people had grown away from the church because the church was in the government and the government had always been rotten. This was the only country the reformation never reached. They were paying for the inquisition now.
IT'S INCREDIBLE how much money the Americans can afford to blow just on exploding stuff overseas. Their healthcare system and infrastructure must be phenomenal.
— Caitlin Johnstone
IT’S TIME TO GUARANTEE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AMERICANS AS A HUMAN RIGHT
by Bernie Sanders
Let’s be clear. The current healthcare system in the United States is totally broken, dysfunctional and cruel. It is a system which spends twice as much per capita as any other major country, while 85 million Americans are uninsured or underinsured, one out of four Americans cannot afford the cost of the prescription drugs their doctors prescribe, and where over 60,000 die each year because they don’t get to a doctor on time.
It is a system in which our life expectancy is lower than almost all other major countries and is actually declining, a system in which working-class and low-income Americans die at least ten years younger than wealthier Americans.
It is a system in which some 500,000 people go bankrupt because of medically related debt.
It is a system in which large parts of our country are medically underserved, where rural hospitals are being shut down, and where people, even with decent insurance, have to travel hours in order to find a doctor.
It is a system in which, in the midst of a major mental health crisis, Americans are unable to find the affordable mental health treatment they need.
It is a system where, despite our huge expenditures, we don’t have enough doctors, nurses, dentists, mental health professionals, pharmacists and other healthcare professionals – and where we spend less than half as much of our healthcare dollars on primary care as do most other countries.
It is a system in which, while we are desperately in need of more health professionals, young people are graduating medical school, dental school or nursing school, hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt; a system in which Black, Latino and Native American doctors and nurses are grossly underrepresented as medical professionals.
It is a system in which healthcare for most Americans remains attached to employment. Incredibly, during the pandemic when millions lost their jobs, they also lost their healthcare. It is a system in which the quality of care you receive in this country is dependent on the generosity of your employer or whether you have a union. Not surprisingly, workers at McDonald’s do not receive the same quality care as executives on Wall Street.
All of that has got to change. The function of a rational and humane healthcare system is to provide quality care for all as a human right. It is not to make tens of billions of dollars every year for the insurance companies and the drug companies.
Yes. It is long overdue for us to end the international embarrassment of the United States being the only major country on earth that does not guarantee healthcare to all of our people. Now is the time to finally pass a Medicare for All single-payer program. And that is the legislation that I am introducing in the Senate this week with 14 co-sponsors. In the House there will be over 100 co-sponsors.
Let’s be honest. The debate over Medicare for All really has nothing to do with healthcare. It has everything to do with the extraordinary greed of the healthcare industry and their desire to maintain a system which makes them huge profits.
While ordinary Americans struggle to pay for healthcare, the seven largest health insurance companies in our country made over $69bn in profits last year and the top ten pharmaceutical companies made over $112bn.
The corporate opposition to the desperately needed reforms of our disastrous healthcare system is extraordinary.
Since 1998, the private healthcare industry has spent more than $11.4bn on lobbying and, over the last 30 years, has spent more than $1.8bn on campaign contributions to get Congress to do its bidding.
The pharmaceutical industry alone has over 1,800 lobbyists on Capitol Hill – including the former leadership of both political parties.
That’s how business is done in Washington. Well, we intend to change that dynamic. We intend to fight for legislation which ordinary Americans want, not what powerful special interests want.
Our Medicare For All legislation would provide comprehensive healthcare coverage to all without out-of-pocket expenses and, unlike the current system, it would provide full freedom of choice regarding healthcare providers.
No more insurance premiums, no more deductibles, no more co-payments, no more filling out endless forms and fighting with insurance companies.
And comprehensive means the coverage of dental care, vision, hearing aids, prescription drugs and home and community-based care.
Would a Medicare-for-all healthcare system be expensive? Yes. But, while providing comprehensive healthcare for all, it would be significantly LESS expensive than our current dysfunctional system because it would eliminate an enormous amount of the bureaucracy, profiteering, administrative costs and misplaced priorities inherent in our current for-profit system.
Under Medicare for All there would no longer be armies of people billing us, telling us what is covered and what is not covered and hounding us to pay our hospital bills. This simplicity not only substantially reduces administrative costs, but it would make life a lot easier for the American people who would never again have to fight their way through the nightmare of insurance company bureaucracy.
In fact, the congressional budget office has estimated that Medicare for All would save Americans $650 billion a year.
Guaranteeing healthcare to all Americans as a human right would be a transformative moment for our country. It would not only keep people healthier, happier and increase life expectancy, it would be a major step forward in creating a more vibrant democracy. Imagine what it would mean if our government worked for ordinary people and not just powerful corporate interests.
JIM BROWN’S WAR WITHIN HIMSELF
by Dave Zirin
The alert came across my phone from The New York Times: “Jim Brown died at 87. An acclaimed football player, actor, and civil rights activist, he was accused of domestic violence.” It was a lot to take in. I had spent four years writing a book about his life called Jim Brown: Last Man Standing, from which much of this article stems. As part of that project, I stayed at Brown’s house in the West Hollywood Hills for a week, and despite his age and health, it was difficult to imagine him ever dying. The Times alert showcased a fool’s errand in its attempt to drill his life down to 20 words. Here he is being called a civil rights activist when he opposed much of the politics and many of the methods and tactics of the civil rights movement. He derided civil rights marches as “parades” in the 1950s and then again in 2016. That was when he engaged in an ugly, public feud with Representative John Lewis, whom Brown condemned for questioning Trump’s legitimacy. By that time, Brown supported Trump, a position that I argued made sense given his politics, which were both consistent and complicated. Brown supported Richard Nixon in 1968 and spoke at Huey Newton’s funeral in 1989. What is not complicated is his treatment of women. Again, to break that down to only “was accused of domestic violence” does both the history and the survivors an injustice. Brown’s life calls for more than genuflection or dismissal; it demands study.
Football is the closest thing we have in this country to a national religion, albeit a religion built on a foundation of crippled apostles and disposable martyrs. In this brutal church, Jim Brown was the closest thing to a warrior-saint. Brown was both statistically and according to awed eyewitnesses perhaps the greatest football player to ever take the field. At six-foot-three and 230 pounds, running a sub-four-and-a-half-second 40-yard dash, he was like a 21st-century Terminator sent back in time to destroy 1950s and ’60s linebackers. In the gospel of football, defensive demons like Dick Butkus or Lawrence Taylor have carried some of that fearful mystique: transforming their opponents into quivering balls of gelatin. But on offense, the all-time great skill players have inspired adulation but never physical fear. On that side of the line of scrimmage, the list of true intimidators began and ended with Jim Brown.
The statistics that define his time in football are still without equal. Brown played nine years and finished with eight rushing titles, a level of consistent greatness no one has come close to matching. He was the only player to average 100 yards rushing per game over an entire career, getting five yards with every carry. Then there was the most impressive number of all: zero. That was the number of games Brown missed over his nine years in the league. It would be an achievement for a place kicker. But it was especially remarkable given the ungodly workload Brown maintained and the constant punishment he took, touching the ball for roughly 60 percent of all of the Cleveland Browns’ offensive plays.
But Brown was also more than an athlete even when he was an athlete. He was in many respects the first modern superstar, again as if arriving from the future. In an era before strong sports unions, he organized his locker room to stand up to management on issues great and small, never giving an inch and earning a derisive nickname from team executives, “the locker room lawyer.” Fifteen years before Tommie Smith and John Carlos raised their fists for Black athletes at the 1968 Mexico City Olympics, Brown was the one who refused to be treated as a second-class citizen because of the color of his skin. In the time before Muhammad Ali “shook up the world” by joining the Nation of Islam and refusing to fight in the Vietnam War, it was Brown whom Ali turned to for advice and support.
Brown was the first player to use an agent. He was the first superstar to successfully demand that a coach be fired and that released teammates be immediately un-released. He was the first athlete to ever willingly quit his sport in his prime, because his “manhood” was more important to him than enduring the disrespect of management. He was the first Black athlete to be bigger than the league itself. When players like LeBron James have leveraged their own stardom to assert their will on the direction of their teams and their leagues, it all traces back to Brown.
If that were where Brown’s story ended, it would fill volumes. But his football life was just the opening salvo in a much more sprawling epic. Brown parlayed his athletic fame into Hollywood stardom, where it was thought he could become “the Black John Wayne.” When this path was stymied by the racialized rules of Hollywood, he became the first Black actor to try to rewrite the script by launching his own mainstream, big-time production company to make “Black films for a mass audience,” along with his partner the comedian Richard Pryor, before they had a falling out for the ages. He was an outspoken Black Power icon in the 1960s and spearheaded a network of Black economic unions to build independent hamlets of financial strength in the Black community.
Brown has had his supporters and detractors. But the common thread that one hears from everyone who has had dealings with him—dealings good, bad, and ugly—is that “Jim Brown is above all else, a man.”
This word “man” might as well have been a birthmark affixed to Brown when he arrived in the world on February 17, 1936. His nickname as a small child was “Man,” and the word “manhood” is the political current that pulses throughout his life
Kevin Blackistone wrote in The Washington Post in 2017 that “Brown, maybe more so than any other black athlete the past 50 years, came to be seen as sort of an emperor of black masculinity and of black power.”
Brown’s assertion of his own unassailable masculinity conjures another legend who was a friend and contemporary, Malcolm X. In his eulogy for the icon of Black empowerment, the actor Ossie Davis said, “Malcolm was our manhood.” Davis, in his stentorian voice, was arguing that Malcolm embodied Black masculinity, valor, and heroism in a society dedicated to treating and labeling Black men as “boys.” Brown quite self-consciously cut himself from that cloth.
Brown asserted his fierce sense of manhood as a principle of emancipation. On the most hyper-masculine cultural canvases of the United States—NFL football, the Black Power movement, Hollywood’s Blaxploitation era, the gang wars both inside and outside prison walls—Brown made his mark. In the most toxic expression of how our society defines “what makes a man”—the assertion of domination over women—he has left a very different kind of legacy. This history of accusations of violence against women levied against him have scarred his legacy. When pressed about all of these incidents, Brown only said, “There’s been lies written about me, there’s been some truth, too. I’m no angel, but what I do, I tell the truth about.”
It was not merely that Brown did not take the accusations of violence against women seriously. No one in power really did. Art Modell, the former owner of the Cleveland Browns, said in one interview, wise-guy smile in place, that Brown “got into trouble because of, shall we say, a rough social encounter with a gal, or two, or three.”
The cases against Brown are extensive. He often said that he has “never been convicted of violence against women,” which is true. But almost all the cases tended to follow a script that was far too common at the time: Women, exclusively women of color, making vivid accusations against Brown, then facing all sorts of harassment and disbelief, and dropping the charges. Brown also shook his head when I asked him about this history, and he only said, “Violence against women… shit,” as if he could not believe this still followed him so late in life. Yet the cases span the years from 1965 to 1999. It’s a remarkable stretch that cannot be written off as just an endless series of law-and-order conspiracies, coincidences, or bad luck. If we are going to tell Brown’s story, it is irresponsible to not say the names of Brenda Ayres, Eva Bohn-Chin, Debra Clark, and others.
As the years passed and at least a minority of people started taking these allegations seriously, they prevented him from achieving the kind of mainstream adulation bestowed upon contemporaries like Ali and Bill Russell. Barack Obama, who as president took a particular joy in interacting with Black sports heroes of yesteryear, never invited Brown to the White House, which stung. Donald Trump, however, rolled out the red carpet. In December 2016, the president-elect sat down with Brown and former NFL player Ray Lewis. Brown left the meeting saying, “I fell in love with [Trump] because he really talks about helping Black people.”
If we understand Jim Brown’s actual political beliefs over the last 50 years—and not the beliefs we projected onto him—his meeting with Trump should have surprised no one. His history shows that in addition to being a great football player, legendary tough guy, and anti-racist icon, Brown was always a swirl of contradictions. He’s the anti-racist who condemned Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s vision of the civil rights movement as a waste of time. He’s the NFL rebel who has long been at odds with the NFL Players Association. He was almost alone in fighting for the life of Crip gang founder, multiple-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee, and author Stan Tookie Williams until Tookie’s last day on death row. He also stood with Donald Trump.
Meeting Jim Brown in the flesh in 2014, even at his advanced age, almost answered the question for me as to how he could be widely revered despite his history and politics. He projected a sense of strength that made you want—even with all evidence to the contrary—to be lined up on his side. He walked with a cane as tall and thick as a baby oak. It was a chunk of wood designed to hold up a very specific body; a body that, even with age and a pronounced limp, was striking. He was built like a series of imperfect, craggy cubes, no longer possessing the 47-inch chest and 32-inch waist that made him a Hollywood sex symbol but still looking like he could move a mountain. Yes, he needed that cane to walk. He could not turn his neck. His hands could no longer grip objects with anything close to full strength. But he was still Jim Brown: sharp as a tack and made of stone.
“I’ve always occupied a special position and been able to get certain opportunities because the system wanted to use my talents for economic gain,” he said to me, “And as long my talents were relevant, I was relevant. But, the greatest desire in my soul was and is to represent myself as a man and carry myself as a man at all times. I wanted to help others and always credit those who helped me. I wasn’t ‘Jim Brown’ always. One time I was 8 years old, 12 years old, 18 years old. So you can’t look at me or anybody as just one block because it doesn’t all wrap up like a big box with candy and ribbons around it and shit. And it isn’t all negative or positive. It just is what it is.”
Something documentarian Ken Burns said makes this understandable to me: “We always lament in the superficial media culture that there are no heroes, but that presupposes that a hero is perfect and what the Greeks have told us for millennia is that a hero isn’t perfect. It’s just the negotiation between a person’s strengths and weaknesses… and sometimes it’s not a negotiation. It’s a war.”
AUSTRALIA'S CREEPY COVID COPS
On the heels of an expose down under, new documents show how America's Five Eyes partner cast a broad net over pandemic-related speech
by Matt Taibbi
Monday morning, New South Wales time — Sunday night to Americans like me living on the east coast — the Australian published an exposé titled, “Antic reveals Canberra silenced Covid posts.”
Through a freedom of information request, a conservative Australian senator named Paul Antic revealed that the country’s Department of Home Affairs between 2017 and 2022 made “13,636 referrals to digital platforms to review content against their own terms of service.” Of those, 9000 were terrorism-related, but a full 4,213 were listed as “Covid-19 related” referrals.
“On what basis is the department qualified to determine the truth in Covid-19 related matters?” Antic asked. “Are we seeing an Australian #TwitterFiles?”
Ironically, Racket’s house Australian, Andrew Lowenthal, had already been preparing a story about DHA-related documents found in remaining #TwitterFiles material. Andrew found 18 emails to Twitter containing 223 total takedown requests from the Department of Home Affairs. This government body correlates roughly to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security but has a broader remit, overseeing among other things national security, border control, and management of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).
The DHA emails — you can read Andrew’s full report here — show a stricter, more nakedly dystopian approach to speech control than we found in communications from American intelligence agencies in earlier Twitter Files reports. The pucker factor will be high when you read that content-zapping requests down under came from something called the “Social Cohesion Division” of the DHA’s “Extremism Insights and Communication” office. In another letter, DHA staff thanked Twitter’s Global Escalations Team in advance for handling a “hefty request” of 44 takedowns.
Australian authorities in these emails are seen trying to cast a wider net over potential speech violations than we’re used to seeing, targeting hyperbolic language (e.g. a claim that PCR tests are “shoved up into your brain”), jokes, tweets from people with literal handfuls of followers, and medical recommendations that were either merely controversial or later proved correct. Perhaps most ominously, the DHA sought removal of content from non-Australians “circulating a claim in Australia’s digital information environment.”
In the months since the Twitter Files reports started to come out, we’re seeing more efforts around the globe to use public records searches and other methods to at least begin to drag out into the open the various state and quasi-state bureaucracies dedicated to policing the Internet. If we can encourage these efforts by helping confirm and flesh out reporting in places like Australia with TF documents, it’ll be worth it, especially as more and more “anti-disinformation” operations are birthed every day (Monday’s launch of “BBC Verify,” which boasts of using “undercover” accounts and blames “alternative media” for conspiracy theories, was another unsettling moment). Thanks to the Australian for covering the story, and to Andrew for digging out confirmation.
UKRAINE, TUESDAY, 23 MAY
A Ukrainian "sabotage” group crossed into Russia and attacked a town in the Belgorod region, resulting in at least eight people being injured, its governor said. A Ukrainian official said the group was made up of Russian nationals, but insisted they were acting independently.
Ukraine says it's still holding on to part of Bakhmut after Russian private military group Wagner and Moscow officials claimed they had seized the eastern city.
The UN nuclear watchdog says Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is in an “extremely vulnerable” situation after it briefly lost its external power supply.
Analysts say F-16 fighters aren't a cure-all for Ukraine after President Joe Biden backed Kyiv's request for its pilots to be trained to fly the US-made jets.
THE MORE LOYALTY OATHS a person signed, the more loyal he was; to Captain Black it was as simple as that, and he had Corporal Kolodny sign hundreds with his name each day so that he could always prove he was more loyal than anyone else.
— Joseph Heller
CHARLES A. LINDBERGH 1902-1974
by Philip Rother
May 1927. Charles A. Lindbergh, a twenty-five-year-old Minnesota-born stunt flier and airmail pilot, flies the monoplane Spirit of St. Louis from New York to Paris in 33 hours and 30 minutes; his completing the first nonstop transatlantic solo flight makes him a celebrity around the globe. President Coolidge awarded Lindbergh the Distinguished Flying Cross and commissioned him colonel in U.S. Army Air Corps Reserve.
May 1929. Lindbergh married Anne Morrow, the 23-year-old daughter of U.S. ambassador to Mexico.
June 1930. Charles A. Lindbergh, Jr., born to Charles and Anne Lindbergh in New Jersey.
March-May 1932. Charles Jr. was kidnapped from the family’s secluded new house on 435 acres in rural Hopewell, New Jersey; some ten weeks later, the decomposing corpse of the baby was discovered by chance in nearby woods.
September 1934-March 1935. A poor German immigrant carpenter and ex-convict, Bruno R. Hauptmann, was arrested in the Bronx, New York, for the kidnap and murder of the Lindbergh baby. At a six-week trial in Flemington, New Jersey, characterized by the press as the “trial of the century,” Hauptmann was found guilty and executed in electric chair April 1936.
April 1935. Anne Morrow Lindbergh published her first book, ‘North to the Orient,’ an account of her 1931 air adventures with Lindbergh; the book becomes a top bestseller and receives the National Booksellers Award as the most distinguished nonfiction book of the year.
December 1935-December 1936. Seeking privacy, the Lindberghs leave America with their two small children and, until their return in spring 1939, reside mainly in small village in Kent, England. At the invitation of U.S. military, Lindbergh traveled to Germany to report on Nazi aircraft development. Lindbergh maked repeated visits for this purpose over the next three years. He attended the 1936 Berlin Olympics, where Hitler was in attendance, and later wrote of Hitler to a friend, “He is undoubtedly a great man, and I believe he has done much for the German people.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh accompanied her husband to Germany and afterward wrote critically of the “strictly puritanical view at home that dictatorships are of necessity wrong, evil, unstable and no good can come of them—combined with our funny-paper view of Hitler as a clown—combined with the very strong (naturally) Jewish propaganda in the Jewish-owned papers.”
October 1938. The Service Cross of the German Eagle—a gold medallion with four small swastikas, conferred on foreigners for service to the Reich — was presented to Lindbergh, “by order of the Fuhrer’,” by Air Marshal Hermann Goering at American embassy dinner in Berlin. Anne Morrow Lindbergh published her second account of her flying adventures, ‘Listen! the Wind,’ a nonfiction bestseller despite her husband’s growing unpopularity among American antifascists and the refusal by some Jewish booksellers to stock the book.
April 1939. After Hitler invaded Czechoslovakia, Lindbergh wrote in his journal, “Much as I disapprove of many things Germany has done, I believe she has pursued the only consistent policy in Europe in recent years.” At the request of Air Corps chief, General “Hap” Arnold, and with approval of President Roosevelt—who disliked and distrusted Lindbergh— he went on active duty as colonel in U.S. Army Air Corps.
September 1939. In journal entries after Germany invaded Poland on September 1, Lindbergh noted the need to “guard ourselves against attack by foreign armies and dilution by foreign races … and the infiltration of inferior blood.” Aviation, he wrote, is “one of those priceless possessions which permit the White race to live at all in a pressing sea of Yellow, Black, and Brown.” Earlier in the year he noted, of a private conversation with a high-ranking member of the Republican National Committee and the conservative newsman Fulton Lewis, Jr., “We are disturbed about the effect of the Jewish influence in our press, radio, and motion pictures … It is too bad because a few Jews of the right type are, I believe, an asset to any country.” In an April 1939 diary entry (omitted in 1970 from his published Wartime Journals) he wrote, “There are too many Jews in places like New York already. A few Jews add strength and character to a country, but too many create chaos. And we are getting too many.” In April 1940, speaking over the Columbia Broadcasting System, he said, “The only reason that we are in danger of becoming involved in this war is because there are powerful elements in America who desire us to take part. They represent a small minority of the American people, but they control much of the machinery of influence and propaganda. They seize every opportunity to push us closer to the edge.” When Idaho Republican senator William E. Borah encouraged Lindbergh to run for president, Lindbergh said he preferred to take political positions as a private citizen.
October 1940. In the spring the America First Committee was founded at Yale University Law School to oppose FDR’s interventionist policies and promote American isolationism. In October Lindbergh addressed a meeting of three thousand at Yale, advocating that America recognize “the new powers in Europe.” Anne Morrow Lindbergh published her third book, ‘The Wave of the Future,’ a brief anti-interventionist tract subtitled “A Confession of Faith,” which arouses enormous controversy and immediately becomes the top nonfiction bestseller despite denunciation by Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes as “the Bible of every American Nazi.”
April-August 1941. Lindbergh addressed 10,000 at an America First Committee rally in Chicago, another 10,000 at New York rally, prompting his bitter enemy Secretary Ickes to call him “the No. 1 United States Nazi fellow traveler.” When Lindbergh wrote to President Roosevelt complaining about Ickes’s attacks on him, particularly for accepting the German medal, Ickes wrote, “If Mr. Lindbergh feels like cringing when he is correctly referred to as a knight of the German Eagle, why doesn’t he send back the disgraceful decoration and be done with it?” (Earlier, Lindbergh had declined returning the medal on grounds that it would constitute “an unnecessary insult” to the Nazi leadership.) President Roosevelt openly questioned Lindbergh’s loyalty, prompting Lindbergh to tender his resignation as Army colonel to Roosevelt’s secretary of war. Ickes noted that while Lindbergh was swift in renouncing his Army commission, he remained adamant in refusing to return the medal received from Nazi Germany. In May, along with Senator Burton K. Wheeler of Montana, who was seated on the platform beside Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Lindbergh addressed 25,000 with cries from the audience of “Our next president!” and his speech was followed by a four-minute ovation. Lindbergh spoke against American intervention in European war to large audiences across the country throughout the spring and summer.
September-December 1941. Lindbergh delivered his “Who Are the War Agitators?” radio speech to an America First rally in Des Moines on September 11; an audience of 8,000 cheered when he named “the Jewish race” as among those most powerful and effective in pushing the US — “for reasons which are not American” — toward involvement in the war. He added that “we cannot blame them for looking out for what they believe to be their own interests, but we also must look out for ours. We cannot allow the natural passions and prejudices of other peoples to lead our country to destruction.”
The Des Moines speech was attacked the next day by both Democrats and Republicans, but Senator Gerald P. Nye, Republican from North Dakota and staunch America Firster, defended Lindbergh from critics and reiterated the charge against the Jews, as did other supporters. A December 10 address, scheduled for a Boston America First rally, was canceled by Lindbergh after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and the US declared war on Japan, Germany, and Italy. Activities of the America First Committee were terminated by its leadership, and the organization disbanded.
January-December 1942. Lindbergh traveled to Washington to seek reinstatement in the Air Corps, but key Roosevelt cabinet members strongly opposed, as did much of the press, and Roosevelt said no. Repeated attempts to find a position in the aviation industry also fail, despite a lucrative association during the late twenties and early thirties with Transcontinental Air Transport (“the Lindbergh Line”) and as a highly paid consultant with Pan American Airways. In the spring he finally finds work, with government approval, as a consultant to Ford’s bomber development program, outside Detroit at Willow Run, and their family moved to a Detroit suburb. (The September afternoon President Roosevelt visited Willow Run to inspect war production projects, Lindbergh made it his business to be away.) Lindbergh participated in experiments at the Mayo Clinic aeromedical laboratory to decrease physical dangers of high-altitude flying; he later participated as a test pilot in experiments with oxygen equipment at high altitudes.
December 1942-July 1943. Lindbergh took an active role in training pilots for the Navy/Marine Corps Corsair, a fighter plane that he helped develop for United Aircraft in Connecticut.
August 1943. Anne Morrow Lindbergh, now the mother of four children, published ‘The Steep Ascent,’ a novella about a dangerous flying adventure; her first publishing failure, largely owing to hostility of reviewers and readers toward the prewar politics of the Lindbergh family.
January-September 1944. After a stint in Florida testing a variety of warplanes, including Boeing’s new B-29 bomber, Lindbergh received government permission to go to the South Pacific to study Corsairs in action; once there, he began to fly combat and bombing runs against Japanese targets from a New Guinea base, at first as an observer but soon, with great success, as an enthusiastic participant. He taught pilots how to increase combat range by conserving fuel in flight. Having flown 50 missions—and downed a Japanese fighter plane—he returned to America in September to resume work with United Aircraft’s fighter program, and the family moved from Michigan to Westport, Connecticut.
SPACE LAW 2023: CAN NATIONALISTS AND INTERNATIONALISTS FIND COMMON GROUND?
A summary of issues and possibilities at the UN-COPUOS Space Resources Working Group. Meetings resume next week, with a four-year mandate that includes a possible new "international governance instrument".
Full COPUOS schedule already posted at COPUOS 2023. Reports from all meetings will also be posted. Hopefully they will provide as much information as possible so that humanity can weigh in on the important decisions being made about our future in space. Public conference tentatively scheduled for 2024.
Founder/President, The Space Treaty Project
THE HONORABLE OCCUPATION OF TIE HACKING
“Some of the railroad ties could have been used right in Comptche. In an 1881 story in the Mendocino Beacon about Comptche early history (think 1860’s) it was noted that N.E. Hoak , superintendent of the logging department of the Albion Lumber Company had a railroad on his property on the east side on the Comptche Valley on the south side of the road. A half mile in length it had ties laid with iron rails 40” apart with four wheel carts capable of carrying a log 7’ in diameter and 16’ in length… drawn by twohorse. Locomotives had not arrived yet. The rail line brought logs to the best site to roll them in to the Albion River and float them to the coast and the sawmill.”
That is interesting, and the first time I heard of it. The enterprising Hoak had a number of dams on the upper Albion River used to store water for flushing logs to the Albion Mill. I was unaware of his horse drawn rail system, and even if it was only a 1/2 mile long, it is distinctive.
OUR HEALTH CARE DOLLARS—SPEND AGAINST US
“While ordinary Americans struggle to pay for healthcare, the seven largest health insurance companies in our country made over $69bn in profits last year and the top ten pharmaceutical companies made over $112bn.
The corporate opposition to the desperately needed reforms of our disastrous healthcare system is extraordinary.
Since 1998, the private healthcare industry has spent more than $11.4bn on lobbying and, over the last 30 years, has spent more than $1.8bn on campaign contributions to get Congress to do its bidding.”
Those billions for lobbying and politics, in that last sentence— our health care dollars spent by us—then turned around and used against our interests by the health care industry. It reads like a joke, but it’s not. Only in America…
Title should be… SPENT AGAINST US
PS. Thank God for Bernie Sanders
Loyalty Oaths: “The Cold War emphasis on containment is often framed in terms of Truman’s foreign policy decisions: the Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine in Europe, the Korean War in Asia. Yet containment took on a life of its own in the United States as many Americans grew more and more concerned about Communism on U.S. soil, and even more alarmingly, in government agencies. The rise of McCarthyism in the wake of this fear is well-known. Less discussed, perhaps, is the emergence of a Loyalty Program within the federal government.”
Truman’s Loyalty Program [https://www.trumanlibrary.gov/education/presidential-inquiries/trumans-loyalty-program]
“In 1949, the University of California made professors sign a loyalty oath to keep their job. The notion of ‘innocent until proven guilty’ was set upon its head. Innuendo and suspicion rather than proof and evidence got people in trouble. Many of the questioned and accused were appalled, and refused to cooperate.”
California Perspectives on American History: World War II Homefront Era, 1940s [https://picturethis.museumca.org/timeline/world-war-ii-homefront-era-1940s/protest-labor/info]
And, of course, our beloved Mario Savio:
“. . .undergraduate philosophy major Mario Savio became the voice of the free-speech protest. The son of a New York City Italian Catholic machinist, Savio did not share the class and cultural profile of the typical upper-middle-class student activist. Moreover, he had always been shy and soft spoken. Recent experiences, however, had changed him.
“In the summer of 1964, Savio, like Weinberg, had gone to Mississippi to register African Americans to vote. As he later observed, his time in the Deep South shocked him: ‘I spent the summer in Mississippi. I witnessed tyranny. I saw groups of men in the minority working their wills over the majority. Then I came back here and found the university preventing us from collecting money for use there and even stopping us from getting people to go to Mississippi to help.’
“Savio climbed atop the stranded police car and used it as a speaker’s platform. Having read Kerr’s book, he regarded the UC leader as a faceless bureaucratic manipulator, rather than as a champion of educational opportunity. The multiversity, Savio believed, prepared students to become obedient cogs in an oppressive social order. Addressing the stunned police and Kerr’s operatives, he scornfully observed that, “They’re family men, you know, they have a job to do! Like [Nazi war criminal] Adolph Eichmann.” Savio’s forceful words attracted national news media attention and gave birth to the Berkeley Free Speech Movement (FSM).”
Bill of Rights Institute, “Protests at the University of California, Berkeley” [https://billofrightsinstitute.org/essays/protests-at-the-university-of-california-berkeley]
Thank the deity of your choice (or not, as the case may be) for the Anderson Valley Advertiser. Amen.
Not for nothing: Today in 1844, Samual Morse transmitted the message “What had God wrought,” from Washington to Baltimore. And here we are.
The last time that I voted for a presidential candidate, it was for Bernie Sanders in the primaries, when he ran against Hillary Clinton. History records that Debbie Wasserman who was head of the DNC got caught with a hacking effort into the Sanders campaign, was fired from the DNC, and sent packing back to Florida. In the election, Bernie’s supporters refused to vote for Hillary Clinton, which enabled Donald J. Trump to become the president of the United States of America. [Today I will spare the AVA faithful my usual condemnations, and attenuating pitch for Self-Realization.] Resting comfortably in my own svarupa (heart chakra) >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3fBFb2y6vM8
There is even more to the connection between overpriced, uncovered medical expenses and the economic misfortunes befalling Americans. “Health insurance” may not actually be that good for your health. That is because doctors are not trained in nutrition and often overlook easily curing diseases, instead favoring medicating and therefore prolonging suffering. For instance: very few doctors will admit that a vegetarian or even better, a vegan diet will help keep heart disease at bay. If this were acknowledged, much suffering and huge amounts of money could be saved. Instead, doctors prescribe blood thinners and blood pressure medication and ignore the obvious link to diet. By ignoring diet and allowing medical problems to continue and grow worse, doctors condemn older people (and many young people as well) to becoming disabled by medical conditions that could be easily and inexpensively cured. This leads to these disabled people losing their homes, becoming homeless, and becoming addicted to painkillers they can no longer access, or even desperately needed medicines to be out of reach. Such misery will not be cured with better health insurance though it may help in some ways. We need to look squarely at the money-making scams (McDonald’s. etc., home foreclosures (due to disability brought on by these fast food vendors causing ill health, with no help in sight from docs with their bad medical advice), low minimum wage, processed foods, alcohol, overpriced drugs, vitamin and herbal supplements, unnecessary operations that do not cure but simply put a band-aid on disease, and on and on) that are widespread in the U.S. If we dare to address these problems we may be able to get a handle on the sad story of ill health and abject poverty that is unfolding in America. Bernie Sanders means well but, like almost all politicians, does not get to the real issues. Money is involved and money equals campaign contributions. Also a sad story. No offense, Bernie, you’re a good guy, but medical insurance alone will not eliminate this suffering.
Agree almost totally, but I like meat. I’ve depended for years on at least an hour EVERY day on violent exercise to somehow moot some overly indulgent meals and, in years past, some over indulgence in alcohol, which I’ve stopped completely.
(Gawd how I miss it.) Doctors and the medical systems are, as you say, a big part of the ill health suffered by a large percentage of Americans. It’s trite to keep saying diet and exercise, but it’s the ticket. I’m old and I can say it’s the reason I’m old.
Most people who live to be over 100 eat meat so it clearly isn’t a death sentence. It is unfortunate that there is a genetic inclination in some families for high blood pressure and high cholesterol which may cause heart disease, sadly. Meat certainly adds to the danger. But alcohol does too, as you pointed out. In fact, the alcohol factor and smoking are pretty destructive, it seems.
You are right on target here except for your statement that most people living over a hundred eat meat. Read the Blue Zone books and you will find out that people eating a plant based diet (more than 95% plants) live on average 12 years longer. More importantly they die differently, going through years of slow,suffering decline instead of reaching old age and dying peacefully. Thus the Blue Zone people are getting about 25 more years of quality life.
While there is plenty of evidence in medical records to establish the health rewards of a plant based diet, I contend that a close look a human anatomy provides the most convincing evidence. My information comes from Dr. Milton Mills who works for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) which is an organization of over 12,000 doctors dedicated to preventive healthcare. Dr. Mills does an enlightening comparison of human anatomy with other mammals who are carnivores, omnivores, and herbivores. Go to youtube for his complete analysis in which he clearly establishes that we are herbivores. This should not be a surprise since our closest relatives in the animal world, the great apes, are primarily plant eaters.
Here are a few teasers borrowed from Dr. Mills. Have you ever seen a human chase down a smaller mammal and kill it with their jaws. We don’t react or run very fast compared to animals that hunt. Our eyesight, hearing, and sense of smell are a league weaker than animals that hunt. True omnivores like dogs have a sense of smell hundreds of times stronger than ours. Dogs provide a good comparison since they are true omnivores. I kept my old dog Luke out of my garden because he would eat up all my raspberries, but I would let him in once in awhile because his nose would tell me where to set the rat traps. Out on a hike one morning Luke discovered a young deer that had been hit by a car. He claimed the carcass, drug it all the way home, and went to chewing on it. All loyalty was forgotten since he would growl at me if I walked by too close, but on one passing I did hear him crushing the skull with his jaws. Luke was a mid-sized shepard mix but his jaws open much wider and are several hundred time stronger than mine. Luke’s teeth work like scissors to cut out chunks of meat and swallow them whole. We have grinders and in 90% of heimlich maneuvors (sp) the person is choking on a piece of meat. Back in the good old days when there were salmon in our ocean after filleting one out I would give the back bones to Luke and he would wolf it down without chewing. Like herbivores humans have a narrow throat passage.
Getting back to Luke and that fawn, he chewed on it for three days and the only thing left were the hooves. Maybe he buried the teeth? one thing that intrigued me was that before he claimed the carcass the buzzards had been into it. The internal organs were gone and the guts had been scattered all overt the carcass. What about all those bacteria as it aged over four plus days? No problem since meat eating animals have stomach acids hundreds of times more acidic than humans. Acid enough to kill all threatening bacteria. Humans were long into our 1.6 million years of evolution before we learned to control fire for cooking.
Mammals that hunt are only successful in about one in seven days. Consequently, they are capable of eating large quantities of meat at one setting. A wolf can eat close to a third of its body weight at one time. Try that if you think you are designed to be a meat eater. Like herbivores we have a small stomach and need to eat frequently.
Perhaps the most distinctive biological feature is the length of the intestinal tract. In carnivores and omnivores the digestive tract is quite short, not much longer than total body length. Like herbivores humans have a long digestive tract. (Somewhere in the neighborhood of 30 feet long if I remember right.) It take a lot of fiber to keep things moving and animal products have no fiber. This is why in the US colon cancer is the number 4 killer. Since humans became more dependent on eating meat when they migrated into the Northern latitudes I always wondered if the Indigenous people of Canada and Alaska were more adapted to eating meat. No, colon cancer is the number 2 cause of death in that population. It is a hard way to go. The World Health Organization put together a team of scientists to analyze statistics worldwide and they concluded “cured meats” are a category one cancer causing agent, right in there with tobacco and plutonium. Red meat is in category two.
And of course, all that saturated fat plugs up the arteries and makes heart disease the number one killer. Too much fat in the diet (whole milk is 50% fat) is also a factor in diabetes. Type two diabetics still produce insulin but if there is too much fat in the blood stream and cells then it is blocked from dealing with sugars. See Dr. Neal Barnard of PCRM on youtube for a better explanation.
It is worth mentioning that in today’s toxic world eating lower on the food chain is a wise thing to do. There is a great documentary called “King Corn” that gives an inside look at the feedlot system where cattle are fattened up before slaughter with roundup laced gmo corn. Roundup has been banned in Europe. See a video called “Cowspiracy” for a look at other environmental factors. Don’t forget Dr. Milton Mills for more insights into human anatomy. Thanks for reading this far and stay healthy.
Thank you for all that info! I have no argument with it and also think the environmental degradation caused by raising animals, especially cattle, can be added to the list of dangers to health. Fires and hot weather are pretty hard on young and old alike. Very hard on the oldest and youngest. Not to mention food insecurity due to drought, heat, and other strange new patterns. Of course the poor suffer first but it could (will?) hit us all eventually.
My wife and friends would be as happy as good health allows the aging these days if they could only join me in going to the VA clinic. I popped in there right out of the blue today to refill an old script for my inhalers and of course I don’t even have the same doctor as before, since Maj. Dempsey at Travis AFB had been replaced by the much nearer Dr. Jasmine Shah at the Martinez clinic. So anyhow my wife thought it would take ages to sort out so she settled in with her Kindle for the long read when I came bounding out all taken care of in under 10 minutes. “Thank you for your service, Mr McEwen—!” If Bernie could expand this service before the bipartisan greed destroys it, the rest of the country could enjoy such prompt, competent and cheerful service. We are all paying for this proxy war Biden started with Putin and we will all be under martial law soon, so technically we are all “serving our country.”