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COASTAL CLOUDS will persist through much of the week. Across the interior, thunderstorm and shower activity will decrease today. Otherwise, temperatures along the coast will remain slightly below normal, while across the interior, much warmer weather is expected during mid to late week. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): Well the sun finally broke thru yesterday. Clear skies & 52F this Tuesday morning on the coast. The fog remains just offshore so it may come & go thru the day, we'll see. Our forecast is for mostly clear with warming temps later in the week.
ANDERSON VALLEY UNIFIED NEWS
New Website And Septic Ceremony
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
We hope that you are doing well! For those families with students in summer school, please send them everyday! We have staff ready and willing to assist them with their learning and count on regular attendance in order to make this program as successful as possible!
The link below is to our new website: www.avpanthers.org
Please note at the top left-hand corner is a translate/select language button. Select any of the languages and it will automatically translate any non-pdf content. We are still working out some kinks, but we hope you find this a practical tool for your family.
Please note there is an on-line absence reporting feature at the top. If you can take a moment to report the absence online, that will save us both a phone call!
We are commencing the septic construction at the elementary school next week. Join us for a groundbreaking ceremony on the playground THIS Friday at 9:00 a.m. if you have time. The high school remodel plans are working through plan review right now with state architect, and we hope to be out to bid in late Fall with construction slated to begin June 2024 for the library wing and science classrooms.
Hope you are enjoying your summer!
Louise Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District
KY PARRISH, LOCAL RODEO STAR
Ky Parrish, has earned a position on the California State National High School Rodeo (CHSRA) team and will be traveling with fellow teammates to Gillette, Wyoming July 16-22, to compete at the 75th Annual National High School Finals Rodeo in the Bull Riding competition.
Ky is the son of Ryan and Deanna Parrish of Ukiah, grandson of Craig and Marti Titus of Boonville. He is a 2023 graduate of Ukiah High School. Ky has been part of District 2 High School Rodeo for the last three years which consists of Mendocino, Lake, Humboldt, Sonoma and Napa Counties. In his three years of CHSRA he has competed at state finals in Bishop, California. This year, Ky finished Second in the state for Bull Riding. He has received a scholarship for the rodeo team at Murray State College in Oklahoma.
Ky is looking for sponsors to cover the expenses of competing at the NHSRA, where he will be representing the state of California. At this event, he will be competing with contestants from 44 states, Canada, Australia, Mexico and New Zealand. Contestants must finish in the top 20 to advance to the Saturday evening finals, which will be televised nationally as part of the Cinch High School Rodeo Tour on RFD-TV. Live broadcasts of each NHSFR performance will air online at www.thecowboychannel.com. Interested sponsors can call 707-391-5436.
HEY BOONVILLIANS! I’m wondering if anyone has an old potting table, metal bakers rack or something similar they want to get rid of or sell! I want to create a cute little farm stand up Peachland Rd. to sell our farm fresh eggs, veggies, starts, bread and herbal remedies! I’m also open to clear corrugated plastic or extra wood, etc. Thanks y’all! Here’s an example:
— Brittany Michelle Wilfong
THE MENDOCINO SHERIFF'S OFFICE held a ceremony for two new employees on Monday June 26, 2023. Corrections Deputy Megan Potter and Community Services Officer Jace Kroh were introduced during the ceremony held Monday morning. Deputy Potter was sworn as a Corrections Deputy and will immediately begin her training in the Mendocino County Jail in Ukiah. Community Services Officer Kroh will begin his training in the Field Services Division to assist patrol deputies with multiple aspects of their daily duties. Welcome and congratulations to Deputy Potter and Community Services Officer Kroh!
If you or anyone you know is interested in working for the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, please visit www.mendocinosheriff.org and select "Careers" on the top right banner.
COMPTCHE UPHOLSTERY SCHEDULING WORK
Comptche Upholstery is back in business! After taking a year and a half to rebuild after the fire Martin Miller is back at work in his Cleone shop. To make an appointment: Call his new phone number 707-971-6221 or Email Martin at Comptcheuph@gmail.com
NEW IN THE KELLEY HOUSE Store! Watercolor Water Towers By Suzi Long - Own a Suzi Long original watercolor, and a piece of Mendocino history!
These 5″ x 8″ water colors depicting iconic local water towers are signed and framed. Suzi is generously donating all proceeds to the Kelley House Museum. $100.
About Suzi - A native Californian from Santa Cruz, Suzi has slowly moved up the coast since 1965. After 9 years in Hawaii where she founded her mural company WhimsyWalls, she finally settled in the Wind and Weather Water Tower in 2006, opened her own gallery there, and began teaching watercolor travel sketching to visitors. Suzi has taught local groups and in Baja, Carmel, Sea Ranch, Idaho, and other locations.
I’VE NEVER BEEN ABLE to read detective fiction. Even the good stuff by Hammett, Chandler, Ellroy etc. It doesn’t hold my interest. The biographies of the aforementioned are more interesting than their art, it seems to me. I have the usual complaints about tough guy fiction — the characters are one-dimensional, women are cartoon figures, and it’s hard to stay interested in either stick figures or plots whose resolution one is uninterested in. Besides which the so-called tough guys presented are so crudely drawn that it’s obvious the writers don’t know the difference between tough and vicious. But the other day I received an anonymous gift of a book called The Steam Pig by James McClure, a South African writer. I made the schedule-destroying mistake of reading the first page and didn’t look up for the next six hours. It’s much better than a mere detective story in that it also provides a hundred little glimpses of the reality of South Africa circa 1960, the kind of detail through which one finally gets the full picture of what the apartheid society really meant in human terms.
Over the years, I’ve relied on J.M. Coetzee, Doris Lessing and an essay writer named R.W. Johnson for my information on South Africa, but this mystery writer, McClure, manages to convey more about the country in this unlikely genre than all of them put together. Many thanks to the Ukiah person, whoever you are, for alerting me to this wonderful writer.
From the archives: The Boonville Hotel Roars Into 1998 — It’s more open than its ever been…
The Boonville Hotel, Anderson Valley’s oldest public structure, has seen many changes in its nearly 150 years. Until the automobile chugged in around 1915, a traveller pausing at the Boonville Hotel could stable his horse out back, get a drink, a meal, a haircut and a shave, and fall asleep upstairs, all for about a buck fifty. Among the luminaries calling the Hotel home over the years, count Frank James, famous outlaw and brother of the infamous Jesse. Frank rode on out to Anderson Valley after a failed bank robbery in Minnesota where old neighbors from Missouri, most of them on the losing side, had settled after the Civil War. Fast forwarding to the mid-twentieth century, the Boonville Hotel was beginning to slip from its foundations into a state of slow motion collapse. A few retired folks lived full-time upstairs and the bar downstairs still drew the more committed night lifers who’d hoist a few among the antiques, human and decorative, before weaving across the street for a few more at the Boonville Lodge.
In the early 70s, a new wave of settlers having washed into The Valley, the Hotel’s economic potential was reassessed by counterculture entrepreneurs. Before long, pizzas were being served up out back and neo-Bruegalian festivities described by the newcomers as “boogies” broke out in the staid, nearly ghostly premises.
There followed the Vernon and Charlene Rollins interlude of 1983-86 that saw the Hotel hollowed out into an upscale and decidedly urban restaurant with stunning English gardens out back created by Stephanie and Chris Tebbutts. This package drew diners from around the world, many of them flying into Boonville to sample what all agreed was world class food. But the Rollins had dug themselves into a financial hole from which they could only emerge by fleeing, leaving the Hotel abandoned and forlorn investors on the phone to their lawyers. The Hotel again fell silent.
In 1988 the Schmitts arrived from successful restauranting not far south in Napa County and, ten years later, the upstairs rooms beautifully refurbished with great food served up downstairs, John Schmitt continues to work to make the Hotel “a place everyone in The Valley will use.” The ebullient Schmitt says he wants “to get people up the steps and through the door.” All doors, he makes clear.
Beginning this Friday, the Hotel’s back door will be as busy, if not busier, than its front entrance. Libby and Jose Favela, renowned for their wonderful Mexican food across the street at Tacquiera zon Taco, have joined the Schmitts at The Hotel where Libby will serve lunches people can enjoy at the bar, in the revived patio on the Hotel’s north side and out back where a takeout window will open off the kitchen. “Same low prices, same great food,” Schmitt promises.
When his presence isn’t required in Libby’s kitchen, Jose Favela will be at work in the revived gardens, once so well-known in their Tebbutts’ period they attracted thousands of visitors to Boonville all by themselves. Again, as Schmitt emphasizes, “We want people to use this place. We want people in the gardens, we want people in here for Libby’s lunches, we want people in here at night for dinner and to enjoy the bar, we want people to stay here, and we want people to know that there’s all this and a beauty parlor, too.
Beauty parlor? Yes, out in the soon-to-be bustling Hotel backyard, there already exists the Hair Salon staffed by Cheryl and Dan Kissler who now live in Anderson Valley. The Kisslers enjoyed a strong Valley following at their beauty parlor in Ukiah, now transferred over the hill to the Boonville Hotel.
Also back with the Hotel is the popular and versatile Jeanne Eliades who will function as concierge, back up chef and all-purpose factotum.
As of this Friday, lunches, dinners, the bar, ten beautiful rooms, a beauty salon, and, when the sun shines, patios and gardens.
Until Valentine’s Day, the Hotel will remain on a weekend schedule. But as of February 14th, from 11am on into the night the Boonville Hotel will offer it all and then some.
* * *
EVERY FEW YEARS I suggest consolidating the county's small schools for the purpose of fielding one competitive, 11-man football team, and this year I'm asking Boonville football coach, John Toohey, what he thinks of the idea. Anderson Valley; Point Arena; Mendocino; Laytonville, and Covelo, combined, could play up a league. Head coaches would rotate. Players would get together for group practices a couple of days a week to master a simple playbook. The rest of the week they could work out on their own. As it is, each of the small schools has maybe five athletes really into the game. Together, they'd have one formidable team.
ALL those glum faces around Elk must be at the departure of long-time resident Mike Koepf for permanent residence in Wyoming. “I don't know what we'll do without the colonel,” said one tearful resident of the seaside hamlet, a reference to Koepf's nickname around town, “Colonel Von Umlaut,” bestowed upon him one afternoon when the volatile kraut exploded over an argument about the umlaut. “I'm a German, you little faggot! If I say the Koepf surname gets an umlaut, the Koepf surname gets an umlaut!” The umlaut dispute is believed to be the only such dispute in Mendocino County history. The Colonel, a standout comic figure in the vividly comic peoplescape of the Mendocino Coast will, perhaps, be remembered fondly by his handlers at the FBI office in San Francisco for whom he faithfully snitched during the Redwood Summer period of the early 1990s.
PACIFIC GAS & ELECTRIC Co. workers on Sunday were continuing to investigate what caused a massive weekend power failure that knocked out service to nearly 7,000 customers in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties.
SATURDAY'S OUTAGE: Power went out to 6,925 customers at 10:23 a.m. Saturday morning, however it was fully restored about 90 minutes later — shortly before noon, according to the utility’s website.
As of Sunday, crews had yet to determine the cause of the outage, said JD Guidi, a PG&E spokesperson.
Customers clustered in two separate areas were affected.
A majority of the impacted customers — about two-thirds or 4,700 — were located in Mendocino County, Guidi added.
The first area was mostly situated along Highway 128 in Mendocino County. The southernmost area of the failure was near the intersection of Highway 128 and Mountain House Road, just northwest of Cloverdale.
— Press Democrat
AVA CATS, Free to a good home or even a mediocre one.
 Rebecca Aum: Went out to weed wack, plugged in my rechargeable battery but it wouldn't go in all the way. So I tried to force it in, but no. Took the battery off, looked at the connection and there was a small banana slug squished on/in the connections. Got the slug out with a knife (sorry slug), plugged it back in but only sputtering. Cleaned most of remainder of slug/slime off with q-tips and tp and then it worked. Isn't life interesting? Is there an easy way to clean off slug slime?
 Jenny Harrison: Gross! One of my sprinkler heads was not sending out much water, and when I went to check, I found a fat banana slug had been forced by the water through the sprinkler head and partially out into the air. It was not pretty, either. Enjoy your dinners, lol.
FORT BRAGG BASEBALL, PRE-WWII
To the Editor:
Shoved down our throats by the Democrat Party's Northcoast Political Machine, Trevor "Bullethead" Mockel was always unelectable.
In unanimously and prematurely endorsing him, political insiders and local power elites rode roughshod over anything even vaguely resembling a grassroots or populist choice.
Democracy isn't supposed to work that way.
Guess what? Today (Monday), Trevor's powerful political friends couldn't keep him from losing his do-nothing government job. He was let go.
Without a job, and still living at home, poor Trevor needs to get himself elected...now more than ever!
Vote for change in 2024.
Trevor Mockel ain't it. He's more of the same dysfunctional county government. More of the same toxic work environment. More of the same insider politics. More of the same cronyism.
And while you're at it, vote out anyone who endorsed him.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, June 26, 2023
JOSEPH BUCKINGHAM, Ukiah. Vandalism.
LISA GUNN, Laytonville. DUI.
JAKE LEWISKOOY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-under influence.
MIRANDA MULLINS, Willits. Disobeying court order, failure to appear, probation revocation.
FRANK ONETO JR., Dos Rios. Battery, paraphernalia, intimate touching of another against their will, parole violation.
RANDY SAINE, Willits. Disobeying court order, failure to appear.
REALIAA SPECIALE, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.
Sweden, a beacon of hope, is adopting a new energy policy that calls for more nuclear power. According to Sweden's finance minister, wind and solar are too "unstable."
After the accident at Three Mile Island, Sweden by way of a national referendum voted to phase out all of its nuclear plants and never build new ones. As happens over and over again in history, this was an overreaction triggered by a small group of fear-mongers, in this case by self-appointed environmentalists. It happened again decades later when fear mongering about catastrophic climate change convinced voters to adopt a goal of 100% renewables. This too has been dropped.
This is an example of what I discussed yesterday, the Doom Loop. Over reaction, change everything without thinking it through, and bad outcomes. At which point an organization, or a nation, can overreact again or acknowledge what went wrong.
Sweden may escape the Doom Loop. Will we?
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The last Ukrainian flags in this town came down about three weeks ago … replaced by Pride flags. Those Pride Flags will be up at least until September when Hispanic Heritage Month kicks off. Then it will be Mexican & Puerto Rican flags hanging off front doors.
A few weeks ago President Biden came to the University of Hartford for a “Gun Control Summit.” It was a major event with all the national gun control mavens in attendance, including our two US Senators. UofH is just a few miles from Hartford’s North End neighborhood, a notorious ghetto. Apparently the esteemed residents of the NE didn’t get the message because since the Summit there have been about five people shot in Hartford. I say “Apparently” because there have also been a few fatal stabbings and somebody run down with a car, so maybe the message is getting out, which is if you’re determined to murder your neighbor make sure the weapon you use is not a firearm.
MY UNCLE says the architects got rid of the front porches because they didn't look well. But my uncle says that was merely rationalizing it; the real reason, hidden underneath, might be they didn't want people sitting like that, doing nothing, rocking, talking; that was the wrong kind of social life. People talked too much. And they had time to think. So they ran off with the porches. And the gardens, too. Not many gardens any more to sit around in. And look at the furniture. No rocking chairs any more. They're too comfortable. Get people up and running around.
— Ray Bradbury
TRUMP’S RECENT COMMENTS about taking Venezuela’s oil are another good illustration of the real reason major factions of the imperial blob dislike Trump. It’s not because he’s “anti-war” or “fighting the Deep State” (he isn’t) — it’s because he’s a sloppy empire manager who makes the machine look as ugly as it is and can’t be trusted to keep the quiet parts quiet.
— Caitlin Johnstone
SEVENTY-FIVE YEARS AGO, The New Yorker set off a literary firestorm when it published Shirley Jackson’s short story “The Lottery.” Readers flooded the magazine with angry letters, calling the story “outrageous,” “gruesome” and “utterly pointless,” writes Ruth Franklin, a biographer of Jackson. After the outrage subsided, the story became a classroom favorite, inspiring generations of horror writers and filmmakers. Stephen King, who discovered it in high school, recalled: “My first reaction: Shock. My second reaction: How did she do that?” (nytimes.com)
THE SURGING ARROGANCE OF CORPORATISM
by Ralph Nader
Most heads of giant corporations are drunk with their own power. These corporate CEOs push the envelope in ways that harm defenseless people. They believe they can get away with anything, and they do, with few exceptions. The few corporate crime prosecutions keep declining from Obama to Trump to Biden, due to a settlement-obsessed Department of Justice staffed by lawyers readying to join the lucrative major corporate crime defense firms.
Corporate law firms, which deserve far more scrutiny by the media, have over the decades built a wall of immunity and impunity around these giant firms and their self-enriching CEOs. These CEOs now make an average of $14,000 an hour, while employing workers who are lucky to make $20 an hour. Greedy CEOs have surpassed the lords of medieval feudalism in the disparity they impose on workers.
Corporate law firms find Congressional lawmakers receptive to their campaign contributions and services in drafting legislative loopholes. These law firms place business executives and their own law partners in high executive branch positions (See, Servants of the Damned: Giant Law Firms, Donald Trump, and the Corruption of Justice by David Enrich, 2022).
Corporate law firms specialize in creating an edifice of secretive, anonymous corporate registries that attract a majority of big U.S. corporations to charter in Delaware. Companies register hundreds of shell companies (LLCs) for evasive purposes. Delaware law firms write the corporate law of Delaware for the rubber stamp state legislature. Ironically, these corporate capitalists disempower their own shareholders. Wall Street firms, credit card companies and tax escapees love Delaware. (See, What’s the Matter with Delaware?: How the First State Has Favored the Rich, Powerful, and Criminal – and How It Costs Us All by Hal Weitzman, 2022).
New outrages that swell the corporate crime wave are disclosed daily. Most exposés go nowhere, due to a lazy Congress (about ready again to take off most of the summer until after Labor Day) and to patsy regulators and meager, inadequate enforcement budgets funded by the corporate Congress.
One regular, no longer so patsy, is the tiny Federal Trade Commission (FTC) with an annual budget of $430 million. FTC Chair Lina Khan has just sued giant Amazon (annual sales of $524.89 billion) in the words of New York Times reporter, David McCabe “for illegally inducing consumers to sign up for its Prime services and then hindering them from canceling the subscription…”
The FTC charged that “Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent’ ‘… duped millions of consumers … [and with] manipulative, coercive or deceptive’ design tactics on its website.” Amazon’s lawyers, of course, deny everything.
On other matters, corporate lawyers are going berserk flexing their obstructive muscles. They sued the state of California for passing a law mildly protecting children from social media-produced harm. Susan Linn in her new book, “Who’s Raising the Kids? Big Tech, Big Business, and the Lives of Children” documents the abuses perpetrated by high predators.
Not to be outdone by their peers, corporate lawyers for the drug industry just filed a frivolous lawsuit against the U.S. Government that was finally authorized by Congress to allow ripped-off Medicare officials to negotiate drug prices with the overcharging Big Pharma. (The VA and the Pentagon already have the power to negotiate with the drug companies.) Presumably, having U.S. taxpayers continue to pay by far the highest drug prices in the world through Medicare—charged by subsidy-coddled U.S. drug companies—suits the “pay or die” Big Pharma CEOs.
Moreover, U.S. drug companies are happy to offshore to China the production of antibiotics. Our country produces virtually no antibiotics – a national security peril I wrote about to President Biden and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, that received no response to date. (See: Letter to President Joe Biden – June 2, 2023).
ProPublica has exposed the giant Cigna health insurance company for rejecting millions of patients’ claims through its hired doctors who instantly deny coverage “on medical grounds” without opening the patient file.” This report, based on corporate documents and interviews with former Cigna physicians, has not led to any prosecutions either by state or federal officials. This is an egregious example of CEOs pushing the envelope and getting away with it.
A New York Times investigation by Sarah Kliff et al. revealed that a wealthy nonprofit hospital network – Allina Health – in the Midwest has been denying regular health care for patients who have unpaid medical bills. They have cut off patients, “including children and those with chronic illnesses like diabetics and depression.” Canadians, with their universal Medicare system, are stunned when they learn that many hospitals in the U.S. aggressively sue indebted patients, garnish their wages and seize their tax refunds. This is worse than debtors’ prisons where those incarcerated might receive health care.
Anyone who thinks corporate crimes are committed by just a few bad apples in the barrel can read my book Getting Steamed to Overcome Corporatism: Build It Together to Win (2011). Getting Steamed is an enraging compilation of documented corporate crime and criminogenic behavior – resulting in the loss of life, injuries and money from consumers and workers. One of the best public corporate crime databases is Violation Tracker, a project of Good Jobs First. Violation Tracker has over half a million entries that include civil and criminal actions against corporate wrongdoing. In addition, visit the Corporate Crime Reporter website to see highlights of crime in the suites each week.
Earlier this month, the Justice Department, which after decades of declining to have a comprehensive public corporate crime database, finally launched a modest database.
Why don’t the American people rise up and tell their legislators and law enforcers that they will no longer accept the terrible corporate harm inflicted on them daily? This harm includes dangerous products (Opioids), detrimental services (medical negligence leading to 5000 deaths per week, according to a John Hopkins School of Medicine peer-reviewed report), toxic pollution, workplace casualties, endless cheating of consumers ($350 billion in health industry billing fraud a year) and other intolerable abuses. (See Malcolm Sparrow’s website).
Most corporate crooks are above the law. They think that collectively “We the People” are a nation of sheep – unable and unwilling to take their demands, often supported by large majorities, to Congress and get some strong law and order legislation enacted. Polls show huge majorities (left/right) want jail time and restitution from wealthy corporate outlaws.
Public Citizen, which lobbies against corporate crime, wants to hear from you. PC’s president Robert Weissman, together with former PC president Joan Claybrook, have a new book coming out next month. It’s called “The Corporate Sabotage of America’s Future: And What We Can Do About It.” Read it and generate a rumble all the way to your congressional senators and representatives who are about to head home as Congress goes into recess for most of the summer.
Citizens mobilized against corporate abuses in the Nineteen Sixties and Seventies. It can happen again now when the corporate overlords in the context of demonstrated crises – climate, pandemics and powerful unregulated technologies – are acting far worse than they have in recent times.
The awakened power of dedicated, informed people cannot be overcome.
by James Kunstler
“At exactly the point of the AFU’s weakest moment and near-collapse on the battlefield he chose to strike Russia in the back as if obviously driven by a hidden hand.”— Simplicius on Substack
You’d think that the hapless DC neocons, Antony Blinken and his boss, Victoria Nuland, plus the gang at Spook Central, would have learned a lesson about the diminishing returns of color revolutions: namely, that these bold pranks blow back… and not in a good way.
The New York Times informs us that US Intel was well aware weeks beforehand of the developing coup attempt by Yevgeny Prigozhin and his personal army, the Wagner Group. Congressional leaders were briefed a day prior to its roll-out. Well, golly, can you suppose for a New York minute that Russia’s intel agency didn’t know all about it, too?
A vast array of explanations for this bizarre wartime vaudeville can be found in every corner of the Internet. I’ll go with this one: Prigozhin came to bethink himself a Napoleonic figure. Just as Bonaparte wowed revolution-weary France with his military exploits against her enemies, and seized leadership of the nation, Prigozhin’s mercenary army carried the brunt of the action in Ukraine this year, culminating in the heroic victory at Bakhmut. Priggy regarded the Russian Ministry of Defense as oafish, and by extension, his long-time friend and mentor, Vlad Putin, indecisive about it. The moment was ripe to seize power! As a recent US president might have said: he misoverestimated.
It looks like the neocons, the CIA, and Britain’s MI6 did, too, if they helped nudge the event to fruition with assurances and cash — say, some of that $6.2 billion the Pentagon happened to find recently via an “accounting error.” What better time to destabilize Russia than during Ukraine’s vaunted spring offensive (which, let’s face it, was not going too well)? In fact, Ukraine’s whole NATO-assisted project from the get-go looked like a bust. The Bakhmut “meat-grinder” was just the latest fiasco. But then, the irascible, disgruntled, and grandiose field marshal Priggy seemed like the perfect instrument to jazz things up for the demoralized West.
Pretty darn quick, on the road from Rostov-on-Don to Moscow, Priggy learned the hard way that he had no support in the government, the military, or among the Russian public. The coup fizzled before sundown the very day it started. Some say, any way you cut it, the result is Vlad Putin left looking weak and vulnerable. I don’t think so. His speech to the Russian people that day appeared, if anything, resolute. And the way he seemed to spit out the words “a stab in the back,” you couldn’t think he was play-acting. By evening, with the whole psychodrama concluded, the people of St. Petersburg crowded the quay along the Neva River and busted into patriotic song.
Let’s address one nagging question: why did Mr. Putin allow the Wagner Group private army to play the leading role countering the Ukraine offensive? Answer: because he was saving and building-up the regular Russian army to strength in the further event that NATO might finally jump into Ukraine with all its multi-national feet when all else fails.
We’re left, of course, with the manifold mysteries of the coup’s hasty resolution. Mr. Prigozhin, we’re told, will be turned over to the custody of the Belarus president Lukashenko, to… to be done what with? To be put on the shelf like a bowling trophy? I’m sure…. If they can even find the bugger now. (I’d look in Africa, where sundry Wagner units have been operating — Priggy must have had a plane standing by in Rostov.) In any case, we know the rest: Wagner troops who did not participate in the coup get folded into the regular army, and said regular army takes over duty along the front in Ukraine. Mr. Putin, despite all these insults, will continue to seek a diplomatic end to all this nonsense, and he might get it sooner rather than later. Germany and France, among Euro others, must be sick of these shenanigans.
Can Ukraine even carry on much longer? President Zelensky, the comedian, seems to have gone mad-dog now. He just cancelled next year’s election, which makes him… what? Dictator? So much for America’s democracy export program. He’s also issued warnings to the effect that Russia is about to blow up the Zaporozhye nuclear power plant, Europe’s largest. Such an act would supposedly trigger direct intervention by NATO, according to the policy promoted by war-hawk US Senators Lindsey Graham and Richard Blumenthal. The nuclear plant is under Russian control. Mr. Zelensky says they have set mines in it. The scenario is pretty absurd. Nobody believes it. Of course, Mr. Zelensky might use some of his NATO missiles to zap it, but Russia has video surveillance and recording equipment at every angle around the joint and the world will know five seconds after how it was blown up.
From his latest photographs, it looks like Mr. Zelensky is in the terminal throes of a cocaine rapture, and his actions are consistent with that state of mind. He must know that he’s not long for this world. And our country, the USA, must know that this Ukraine gambit is another lost cause on our long march of military misadventures. And if the government of our country doesn’t know, the people surely do. Have you noticed, the yellow-and-blue flags are not flying anymore? Even the most hardcore anti-Trump Democrats seem to understand what pounding sand down a rat-hole means when it comes to the many billions of dollars squandered on this stupid project while our cities rot and a whole lot more goes south in our own ailing homeland.
Not to mention the parlous position of the American president himself, the spectral “Joe Biden,” skulking in his demon-haunted White House as evidence of his treasonous turpitudes mounts and mounts. Which leaves us to wonder whether our Intel Community may have stirred up the Russia coup as just another distraction from its own Biden-linked crimes against this nation.
GROWING, RIPENING, AGING, DYING — the passing of time is predestined, inevitable.
“There is only one solution if old age is not to be an absurd parody of our former life, and that is to go on pursuing ends that give our existence a meaning — devotion to individuals, to groups or to causes, social, political, intellectual or creative work… In old age we should wish still to have passions strong enough to prevent us turning in on ourselves. One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation, compassion.”
— Simone de Beauvoir in “The Coming of Age”
UKRAINE, MONDAY, 26 JUNE
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Monday night that "the armed rebellion would have been suppressed anyway," referring to the insurrection launched by the Wagner Group over the weekend.
Putin said Wagner fighters could sign a contract with the Ministry of Defense or other Russian law enforcement, return to their families or move to Belarus.
Wagner boss Yevgeny Prigozhin broke his silence earlier Monday in an audio message — his first since allegedly agreeing to leave Russia for Belarus in a deal to end the insurrection. Belarusian officials said they cannot confirm if Prigozhin arrived in the country.
Prigozhin said he called off the march on Moscow because he wanted to avoid Russian bloodshed and claimed it was a demonstration of protest rather than an attempt to overturn power. He remains under investigation after the revolt, a source at Russia’s Prosecutor General’s Office said.