Quiescent | Road Sign | Be Aware | Officer Awards | Second DUI | Garden Sculpture | Name Change-In | Ukiah Construction | Ukiah Fair | AV Water Meeting | Jewelry/Metals Studio | School Days | Blackberry Festival | Supe Errors | Historical Society | Little River Museum | Hanneman Lives | Yesterday's Catch | Marco Radio | Hopi Girls | PG&E Event | 1980 Groceries | Rear View | ET Possibility | Esther Shorts | Human Stupidity | Origin Stories | Branding Jesus | Organ Grinder | Facebook Files | Abe Doh | Hunter Trial | GOP Barbies | Pepto-Boarding | RFK Denied | Ukraine | Pie Shot | The Sixties | Kabul 1971
THE QUIESCENT PATTERN PERSISTS with typical temperatures for this time of year. Wind may be on the gusty side over the next several days for parts of the coast and on some interior ridges. Daily coastal clouds and patchy fog are expected each night and morning, and also smoke originating in Oregon may produce some haze at times. Locally elevated fire weather threat will be likely over Lake County this weekend. Otherwise, dry weather is expected to prevail across the region during the next several days. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A foggy (told you it was out there) 53F this Saturday morning on the coast, I expect it to burn off this soon enough. Chamber of Commerce weather appears to be in our future until further notice.
Stepping into the weekend I wanted to take a few minutes to bring everyone in Mendocino County up to speed on things to be aware of.
We are seeing thefts on the rise again across our county. Mail thefts, package thefts and thefts from retail establishments are keeping us very busy. Burglaries are rising slightly as we often see when weather warms up and people leave on vacation.
If you have a rural mail box, please help us to help you by collecting your mail daily. If you are going to be gone for an extended time frame, contact the USPS and ask your mail to be held until you return. Remember to lock your vehicles at night and park in a well lit area if possible.
Temperatures are rising and we are seeing recreation at the lakes and in our rivers. We are also seeing many people heading for our coast. The above average rain and snow fall is keeping our rivers running well. This is a blessing however it can also be dangerous. Remember drinking and boating don’t mix. We have had a few tragedies with drowning already this year. Use caution while in and near our waterways.
We normally begin to become concerned with fires around August. We are seeing more fires and fire weather with hot windy afternoons, and low relative humidity. Use caution while camping or even working around your place. Mowers, weed trimmers and other gas engines can easily become an ignition source. If you can, keep an extinguisher or water hose handy while running power equipment.
Most importantly, stay connected to, and look out for your neighbors. One of the greatest assets we have in our rural communities, is the sense of community, where we look out for each other. If we all remain aware of these situations and work together as we continue into the summer, strong relationships and good habits will help us remain safe.
Thank you for your constant support of the men and women serving us at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
LAST TUESDAY, Fort Bragg Police Officers Beak and Frank were presented awards in Sacramento from Mothers Against Drunk Driving Northern California.
This is an annual awards ceremony in which officers who investigate and arrest a certain number of people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in a year, are awarded a “23152” pin. 23152 is the vehicle code for DUI.
Combined these officers arrested 142 drivers who were determined to be operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol.
Officer Frank was one of five out of the 250 officers who were awarded their 23152 pin to receive the “Century Award”. The Century Award is given to those that investigated over 100 incidents resulting in the arrest of a driver under the influence of alcohol.
Congratulations to both of them on receiving these awards!
RIVERA’S SECOND DUI CONVICTION
A Mendocino County Superior Court jury returned from its deliberations Wednesday to announce it had found the trial defendant guilty almost across the board.
Defendant Juan Pedro Calvillo Rivera, age 51, of Willits, was found guilty by verdict of driving a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and knowingly driving a motor vehicle on a suspended license due to a prior DUI conviction, both as misdemeanors.
Before the jury was empaneled to hear the main body of evidence, the defendant admitted in pretrial proceedings a sentencing enhancement alleging that he had sustained a prior misdemeanor conviction in the Sonoma County Superior Court in 2018 for driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater.
Normally such an admission is strategically entered by a defendant outside the presence of the jury so that the jury is kept in the dark about the defendant’s prior criminal behavior.
But that defense strategy seemed destined for failure in this case as the jury was still asked to decide the suspended driver’s license count that was premised on the same prior Sonoma County DUI conviction.
Finally, the jury found the defendant not guilty of an alternative misdemeanor charge of driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater.
The law enforcement agencies that developed the evidence supporting today’s jury verdicts were the California Highway Patrol, the Department of Justice forensic laboratory, and the District Attorney’s own Bureau of Investigation.
The attorney responsible for preparing this case for trial and presenting the People’s evidence was Deputy District Attorney Chandra Caffery. Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Patrick Pekin presided over the three-day trial.
NOW IT’S NAME CHANGE TEACH-INS
Please join us as Change Our Name Fort Bragg presents the first in a planned series of Teach-ins on Sunday, July 30 at 3 p.m. in the Community Room of the Fort Bragg Library on at 499 East Laurel Street.
A local grass roots non-profit, Change Our Name Fort Bragg is dedicated to an educational process that leads to changing the name of Fort Bragg so that it no longer honors a military Fort that dispossessed Indigenous people or Braxton Bragg, a Confederate General who waged war against our country.
Envisioned as a program to educate attendees about the issues involved in the name change and to hear neighbors’ ideas, the teach-in will last about one hour and will feature three speakers and a question and answer/discussion period.
Speakers will be:
Mikael Blaisdell, a Fort Bragg resident who is a consultant and the executive director of a professional association. He is also the administrator of the Change Our Name Facebook discussion group.
Raven Deerwater, a resident on the Mendocino Coast since 1995. He holds a PhD in Education from the University of Chicago, and he has lived in the Fort Bragg Unified School District for the last 18 years.
LimaSierra Wooten, an artist & activist from the southern state of Florida relocated to Fort Bragg in 2016, contributing to representing less than 1 percent of individuals identifying as Black or African Americans living on the Mendocino Coast.
Discussing a controversial topic requires civility and respect for the opinions of others. This program is free and open to all.
Philip Zwerling, Ph.D.
Change Our Name Fort Bragg
UKIAH CONSTRUCTION UPDATES FOR THE WEEK OF JULY 31st
Next week, work will continue on storm drains along the west side of the street, followed by trenching for new water lines. Trenching will begin at Norton and progress to the south. There will be some impacts to driveways on the west side of the street during this work, and individual properties will be notified of specific dates. However, pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained at all times.
No street closures are planned during this work, and no interruptions of utility service is anticipated.
In the next 2-3 weeks, new water services will be installed, which will require short interruptions to water service (usually 2-4 hours). More details will follow next week.
Important: If you are notified of a driveway closure, vehicles must be removed by 7am.
Where will the work occur?
Storm drain replacement and trenching for water lines will occur along the west side of State Street.
What are the construction days/hours?
Construction hours will be Monday-Friday, 7 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Will there be dust and noise?
Yes. There will be some dust and fairly significant noise while trenching and breaking up concrete.
Will there be any disruptions to parking access or streets?
Yes. On-street parking in the construction zone will be closed. Pedestrian access to businesses will be maintained at all times. If there will be any disruption to driveways, advance notice will be provided by the contractors. Through traffic on State Street will be allowed in both directions.
Important Utility Information:
No water, sewer, or electric outages are planned as part of this current phase. Any planned interruptions will come with advance notice of up to 72 hours. However, accidents happen, and if you ever find yourself without any of those utilities, please call the City of Ukiah as soon as possible:
Utility Outages (Police Dispatch): 707-463-6262
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me directly. Otherwise, I hope you have a great weekend!
Deputy City Manager
City of Ukiah
300 Seminary Avenue
Ukiah, California 95482
IT IS ALMOST TIME for the Redwood Empire Fair in Ukiah. These FFA members will be showing and selling their market projects. They show on Wednesday, August 2nd. They will be at the fair until after the Junior Livestock Auction Saturday, August 5th. Come by and say, "Hello!"
REGULAR MEETING OF THE ANDERSON VALLEY WATER PROJECTS COMMITTEE Thursday, August 3, 2023
Anderson Valley Community Services District
To be held via teleconference Phone # 669 900 6833 Zoom Meeting ID 845 5084 3330 Password 048078
Public comments must be submitted by 10:00am on August 4th , 2023 electronically to email@example.com
Thursday August 3rd, 2023 at 10:30am
Call To Order And Roll Call:
Recognition Of Guests And Hearing Of Public:
Consent Calendar: Minutes From July 6th, 2023
Changes Or Modification To This Agenda:
Report On Drinking Water Project:
Report On Wastewater Project:
Concerns Of Members:
MENDOCINO ART CENTER
Please join Nancy Gardner from Outlaw Studios for Jewelry/Metals Open Studio Evenings at the Mendocino Art Center
Tuesday August 8th, 15th, 22nd, 29th 4:30 - 7:30 pm - $15.00
Attendees are encouraged to come with their own project ideas and materials ~ Nancy will be there for encouragement and guidance.
The Jewelry/Metals Studio is a great community resource that has lots of great tools and equipment that is there for your use and benefit.
Some materials available for purchase ~ for more information contact Nancy at firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to seeing you in the studio!
[First day of school for AV students is 14 August 2023]
ANDERSON VALLEY JUNIOR/SENIOR HIGH SCHOOL UPDATE
I heard last year that you wanted more information, so I am sending this monthly email to keep you in the loop.
First of all, Welcome Back. I am excited to see you.
I need some help. Do you like this logo? We are going to be creating huge mural logos throughout the campus. Is this the one or do you prefer something else?
I know you want a social space. The library isn’t that space but we worked hard with students at summer school to create the “Panther Zen Den” in Miss Cook’s old room. This is open to high school students at break and lunch supervised by Mr. Lane. If you have photos to add to the “Now” wall that are appropriate, PLEASE DO. The room features games, a place to visit, and just chill. Lunch seating outside will be added. The trophies and memorabilia show our Panther Pride. Thanks to Zoey C. for the cool signs!
Hard part here: No cell phones next year 7th-12th. Why?, you are saying? Because your teachers want to get to know and connect with you and devices are screwing that up. I am the worst offender of us all. I have two phones. I won’t use mine either. Let’s give this a try, please. I remember a time without phones. You probably don’t. Your teachers have asked for this, let’s give it a chance. You will have your own pouch. It will be locked at the beginning of the day and unlocked at the end of the day. I have enough to do with trying to get your campus renovated so you have a decent place to go to school, so please just pouch the phone and we are good.
Junior High and High School After School Program: We received a $110,000 grant for high school after school programs! Mr. Lane will be running that. Sign up and let’s figure out what you want to do! Sign up for the clubs: service learning, photography, yearbook, climate club, music, drama…
Sign up for college: even if you don’t think you want to go to college, go anyway…mendo college has an amazing auto shop, costume construction class, and baking class that we will take you to free of charge. Try it out. Good stuff.
Last item, on August 24 the number two superintendent in the state and the facilities director for the state are coming to see your school. We are screaming that our kids deserve to go to a school that is as nice as Ukiah High. Help me, help you
Share your challenges.
Our kids deserve the best. Help me, help you.
I know you think I am mean and a pain. I just want you to know I have huge hopes and dreams for you to create a life that will be the best it will be in this country or wherever you choose to live.
Lots of love,
Mrs. Simson, Superintendent, Anderson Valley Unified School District
SUPES TO COMPOUND THEIR ERROR…
To the Editor:
The reason the Board of Supervisors (BOS) is giving for this proposed Department of Finance is to get their reports, but it is also that they do not want this position “elected,” although that is exactly what they did last year.
Chamise Cubbison, Auditor/Controller/ Treasurer/Tax Collector (ACTTC), is 7 months into her 4- year elected position and still learning about the Treasurer/Tax Collector (TTC) office. The BOS did this merging of offices without a plan or consulting the Treasurer-Tax Collector.
The decades of knowledge that existed in that office all left with the consolidation. One of the main issues with getting reports is the computer program. The information did not cross over correctly from our antiquated system that we had, therefore compounding the problems, which the TTC told the BOS was a major issue, even before the consolidation.
Now they want to “Blow up” the department they consolidated before the dust has even settled from the last merging.
We have a knowledge crisis in our County. Consolidating more power under the CEO office is not going to fix this. The CEO office is already filling in for more departments than they can handle, Human Resources Director is one example. Where are we going to get people to run this Department of Finance? We cannot even hire people to run other departments including Human Resources.
If the BOS really wants to get reports then they should be helping to support the ACTTC that they rushed into this elected position and to actively recruit employees with knowledge of the tax system. Getting reports is not as important as getting the work done. If the work is not getting done then there is nothing to report. You cannot merge your way out of this.
P.S. If Chamise takes a leave of absence the County will be in a serious crisis and by putting something like this on the agenda, 7 months in, just might do it.
LITTLE RIVER MUSEUM open and FREE
Little River Museum is open Saturdays and Sundays this summer from 11 to 4. Our feature exhibit this summer is ANTIQUE TOYS AND TRAINS. We recently received the late 1800s wedding dress of ELIZA DEVRIES and expect to have it on display starting this weekend. The museum is FREE and has a variety of exhibits about Little River, Albion and the coast. See and handle the native wildlife exhibit, listen to the spoken Pomo language, Free Pomo map of local trails, find relatives or tour the Little River Pioneer Cemetery using our map and genealogy information. Discover the Good Templar secret the modest exterior hides. We are in the little white cottage just north of Van Damme beach, 8185 Highway One. Parking in front or across the street.
Ronnie James <email@example.com>
HANNEMAN LIVES! Mendo's memorable media man alive and living in Pacific Grove
It looks like Jerry Hanneman is now living in Pacific Grove.
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/gerhard.hanneman.1
(via Deb Silva)
CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, July 28, 2023
RANDALL ADDISON, Willits. Concealed dirk-dagger.
ANDREW ANTHONY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
LARKIE BARKER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.
CODY CALDWELL, Ukiah. Probation revocation.
ELLA CHILDS, Mendocino. Probation revocation.
JONATHAN CISNEROS, Ukiah. Narcotics for sale, pot for sale, bringing controlled substances into jail, offenses while on bail.
FELICITAS CRUZ-HERNANDEZ, Wasco/Ukiah. Harboring wanted felon.
JOSHUA FREEMAN, Potter Valley. Parole violation.
BRIAN HANSHAR, Hesperia/Willits. Brandishing.
THOMAS LANGENDERFER, Albion. Probation revocation.
ANGELA LEBERT, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.
AVERY PARSONS, Chico/Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation revocation.
LUIS REYES-MARTINEZ, Merced/Ukiah. Stolen property, concealed stolen weapon.
MATTHEW THOMSON, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
ABRAHAM VALDEZ, Ukiah. DUI.
MEMO OF THE AIR: Good Night Radio show is on all night tonight!
Soft deadline to email your writing for Friday night's MOTA show is 6 or 7pm. If you can't make that, send it whenever it's done and I'll read it on the radio next week.
For this show, so far, I have stories by all the usual suspects. Biff Rose died, so there'll be somewhat about him. Fifteen minutes pre-show (8:45), expect Operation Cue, audio of a short government film about testing survivability after nuclear war by building a whole town in the desert, furnishing it, populating it with plaster mannequin shop-window men, women and children, blowing it up with an atomic bomb, and serving a crowd of volunteers with stew made of canned goods dug out of the peripheral wreckage. The model radio station survives handily in its concrete block bunker. They just have to put the jostled equipment back on the table; it's all made with vacuum tubes, which laugh at radiation, so... When Tim Falconer and I were working to put up a little medium-power radio station in Caspar in the middle-late 1980s, we had an ancient tube-type Altec board, and the transmitter we had in mind would run on tubes, too. We had a tube-type limiter. Ready for the worst. Someone else was granted the frequency, put up their station in Fort Bragg, automated it to the max using mostly prerecorded programming on 8-hour videotapes (which would be toast after a nuclear exchange; fortunately no such exchange occurred), and they failed anyway in a few short years. KSAY, I think it was.
Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio is every Friday, 9pm to 5am PST on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg as well as via KNYO.org. Also the schedule is there for KNYO's many other terrific shows.
Furthermore, any day or night you can go to https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com and hear last week's MOTA show. By Saturday night I'll put up the recording of tonight's show. And you'll find plenty of fun educational material to traipse bemusedly among until showtime, or any time, such as:
Astor Piazzola - Tango Suite for Two Guitars, with score. (15 min.) (via b3ta) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuJTItA7TfI
The Hand of Satan on the Sea of Darkness, and The Flooded Crypt of San Zaccaria. (via This Isn't Happiness) https://www.superpunch.net/2023/07/the-hand-of-satan-on-sea-of-darkness.html
And how the rhythm section swings, according to Wynton Marsalis. https://laughingsquid.com/wynton-marsalis-rhythm-section/
PS. DO NOT GO GENTLE
Loss of Sense of Smell
I just had a bad round of flu/cold/cough etc that resulted in my losing my sense of smell- a big loss for a foodie/cook/baker. Anyone experienced this (often after Covid which I didn’t have) and recovered your sense of smell after losing it? No Google refs please, just looking for personal experiences.
Marco here. A few years ago, before covid, my sense of smell cut way back for no apparent reason, maybe from illness, maybe not. After six months or so it seemed to come back. But I can work on a sewage system or deal with putrid garbage without gagging; that's new, and likely an indication of sensor failure.
I just got, and got over, covid recently. It didn't seem to affect my sense of smell at all, but maybe I'm just used to being somewhat impaired now. Like with hearing--I enjoy music or a play and can have a normal conversation, and things sound normal, but I often have to ask people to repeat themselves and to speak up and maybe talk a little slower, especially official people on the phone who have a script they race through so the words all run together. When I test my hearing with a web app, the high frequencies are pretty much gone. I just gradually got used to this. I need driving glasses to drive. I can read fine and operate a video camera or phone or whatever without glasses where both my eyes equally focus (one foot to two feet). These things just come with age, I think, and the cumulative damage of being careless--all those years of being out in the sun without sunglasses nor hat with a brim, using power tools without ear protection, engineering loud music shows without protection, childhood playing with fireworks, guns... It was only a couple of years ago that it occurred to me to use a covid mask for carpentry, to keep noxious fine sawdust from plywood and old gray redwood out of my lungs. So no more coughing or sneezing fits, except for from allergies, and the covid mask helps with allergy situations too, out in natural pollen and dust. On windy days in allergy times I just leave the mask on all the time and it's way better.
Speaking of masks, I'm still wearing mine when I go into a store. Often store workers are handling food, leaning over uncovered fridges and shelves of vegetables and fruit, breathing on everything, coughing on their hands (Jesus Christ!). Fat unmasked shoppers, breathing like bellows, lean over a food display unmasked, handle every goddamn lettuce or celery or pepper or whatever's in front of them on the tray, to pick the one they want. I hate it. But that's what people have always done; I just didn't notice or care before.
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
PG&E INVITES NORTH COAST REGION CUSTOMERS to a Town Hall for Updates on Wildfire Season and Safety Resources
At August 9 Virtual Event, PG&E Local Leaders Will Answer Questions and Share Available Resources
Santa Rosa, Calif. - Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) invites North Coast Region customers to a virtual town hall for a wildfire season update and an overview of resources to prepare for safety outages. Customers can connect with their local leadership team, including PG&E Vice President Ron Richardson.
On Wednesday, August 9, from 5:30 to 7 p.m., PG&E experts will provide a brief presentation, during which participants will have the opportunity to ask questions.
The event can be accessed through the below link, by phone or through PG&E's website, pge.com/webinars
North Coast: Humboldt, Lake, Marin, Mendocino, Napa, Siskiyou, Sonoma and Trinity
August 9, 2023; 5:30-7 p.m.
Conference ID: 1377301
During the webinar event, customers can:
Learn about our wildfire season updates and safety outages you may experience
Hear about safety tips and resources available to prepare for wildfire season
Connect with PG&E's regional leadership team, including PG&E Vice President, Ron Richardson
Multi-language closed captioning and American Sign Language interpretation will be available, along with dial-in numbers for those who aren't able to join online.
For the full webinar events schedule, additional information on how to join and recordings and presentation materials from past events, visit pge.com/webinars.
More information and resources to help you and your family prepare for and stay safe in the event of an emergency can be found at safetyactioncenter.pge.com.
THE REAR VIEW
by Denis Rouse
In 1969 we watched Michael Parks in his TV series “Then Came Bronson” riding his Harley Sportster wearing a watch cap, with apparently everything he owned strapped on the bike, a sleeping roll, and a small duffel. We liked the show’s opening, Bronson waiting at an intersection, with a station wagon astride him, the poor guy at the wheel trying to rub the weariness, the boredom off his face. He looks enviously over at Bronson, asks,
“Taking a trip?”
“I don’t know. Anywhere I end up I guess.”
“Wish I was you.”
“Well, hang in there.”
The reason Bronson hit the road on his Harley, according to the script, was his best friend committed suicide so he blew off his job as a newspaper reporter and took off on his bike to learn “the meaning of life,” and to palliate the tragedy of losing his friend in such fashion. My late riding buddy, C.O. “Sonny” Elmore, an early contributor to Rider, used to call that kind of tour a cerebral douche. Since he was a vice cop somewhat frustrated and cynical about trying to police criminal activity, he said was bedrock in human nature, he was fond of the therapy ride.
Sonny was a Guzzi rider, a very tough hombre, built like a fire hydrant. Once, during a staff ride, we were descending the twisties of Mt. Palomar and he lost it, and speared an oncoming Datsun, and executed a body roll over the car. He wound up sitting cross-legged on the asphalt lighting his pipe. His Guzzi penetrated the radiator and beyond, rendering the little car inert. We pulled his Guzzi out of the mouth of the deceased Datsun, did some handlebar readjusting, and Sonny rode the machine home more than a hundred miles with us to L.A.
I called him the next morning. “How you feeling?” He said, “I feel like I’ve gone twelve with Marciano.”
Years pass as they do. We are now in the late 90’s. I am retired from the publisher’s seat at Rider and Sonny’s from the Force is imminent. The phone rings, it is him. He says he is moving to a place in NE California, wants to show it to me, let’s ride up there.
Turned out to be a terrific ride, up the Owens Valley between the dramatic granite minarets of the Eastern Sierra and looming eastward the ancient humps of the White Mountains where eight thousand feet on the summit grow Bristlecone Pine trees, the oldest on earth. In Big Pine we decided to roll out our bags and overnight in the city park. At 4:00 am it’s ka-thwacka ka-thwacka ka thwacka, the automatic sprinklers have erupted and we’re like two Laurel and Hardy guys struggling in our underwear to get our bikes and our stuff out of the deluge. Sonny, always the cop, said he thought he saw the culprit skulking around. We laughed about it for years.
The final leg of the ride from the Lassen County seat of Susanville, up into seventy miles of high country, an endless sea of sagebrush where deer and antelope play under a sky as big as Montana’s, I am thinking my man is moving to the moon, and it’s beginning to look pretty good to me. A current movie hitting theatres in L.A., I noticed before we left, is titled “Citizen Ruth.” The plot line was, opposing militant factions in the abortion battle exploit a pregnant woman addicted to spray paint fumes. The urge to escape the growing frenzy of life in Lala was crawling up the legs of my riding pants. It became insistent when we rode into Big Valley and I saw the pastures of heaven undulating in the wind, and the town of Bieber, Sonny’s hometown to be, looking like idyllic Willoughby in my favorite Twilight Zone episode wherein sane, bucolic Willoughby is an illusion, but so compelling, the harried New York commuter grabs his briefcase and exits the train that is still at speed.
But Big Valley was no illusion. Sonny ended up establishing an auto and truck repair business across the street from the river in downtown Bieber and I got adopted by a wonderful local family with deep valley roots and began learning to farm a hundred acres of alfalfa. It was a great slice of life, somewhere close I think to the meaning of it, and the many motorcycle tours that began right from the end of my driveway, most of them recorded right here in the pages of Rider, are engraved in memory.
FROM ESTHER MOBELY (SF Chronicle):
KQED's Carlos Cabrera-Lomelí reports that Sonoma winery Mauritson Farms Inc. has been ordered to pay $328,077 to 21 of its former workers, the result of an investigation into unsafe working conditions.
Former Anchor Brewing brewmaster Scott Ungermann penned this op-ed for The Chronicle about how consumers contributed to Anchor's downfall by not drinking enough Steam Beer.
Winemakers predict a later-than-usual harvest for Napa Valley grapes this year, according to this report from ABC's Cornell Barnard.
ONLY TWO THINGS ARE INFINITE: the universe and human stupidity. I’m not sure about the former.
— Albert Einstein
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
The people who remain unaware are not among that group, the people who remain unaware are college educated, comfortably paid, fluid-friendly, NIMBY compassionates with signs in their yards but no neighborhood diversity, mulitple vaccinations in their bodies…you get the idea. They do not want to know. The MSM makes them feel good about that desire to not know. Just like the wife who doesn’t want to know her husband is molesting their child, it would mean they’d have to “do something” and it would affect their comfort bubble and way of life.
It’s WAY easier to misrepresent “religious Republican Christians”. Like, they’re all Westboro Baptist Church types. That is what Christians are all about right?
it’s not like churches are all rainbow-woke now with Lesbian pastors, and it’s not like Republican electeds are all pro-abortion. Nope. Still all Westboro.
How many vaxxes do you have Mr. Hero? You okay with me (a woman) deciding what to do with my body re: vax? Without any social repercussions and Scarlet Letters? Are there working class Libtards? Yes. But they’re not heroes.
You well may ask – why am I “at” you?
Because I’m rally f’in sick of smug know-nothings perpetuating BS about Christians. And that whole thing is just another cognitive dissonance.
Most so-called Christian churches have gone woke and preach Nice Jesus who was really trans and fabulous. They are populated by people who are hard left. But that same hard left group then goes online and makes misrepresentations about Christians being gay-hating racists who want to take away a woman’s right to make healthcare decisions. Which makes church leaders freak and run farther left to get bodies in the pews and keep the lights on.
As with all things, Christianity has been totally and successfully redefined in our culture today. Nothing is more important to the totalitarian project.
Any individual who participates to any degree in the-branding Jesus is in an indefensible position even if you think He was “just a guy”. It would still be wrong and evil. An abuse of the person, violating all his human rights and realities.
That’s not heroic.
THE MOST EMBARRASSING "FACEBOOK FILES" REVELATION? The Press, Exposed as Censors
The "Facebook Files" show the press is part of the censorship establishment, but that's not the worst part
by Matt Taibbi
The most embarrassing revelation of the “Facebook Files” released by House Judiciary Chair Jim Jordan yesterday (described in more detail here) involves the news media.
In one damning email, an unnamed Facebook executive wrote to Mark Zuckerberg and Cheryl Sandberg:
“We are facing continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the White House and the press, to remove more Covid-19 vaccine discouraging content.”
We see repeatedly in internal communications not only in the email above, but in the Twitter Files, in the exhibits of the Missouri v Biden lawsuit, and even in the Freedom of Information request results beginning to trickle in here at Racket, that the news media has for some time been working in concert with civil society organizations, government, and tech platforms, as part of the censorship apparatus.
In the summer of 2021, the White House and Joe Biden were in the middle of a major factual faceplant. They were not only telling people the Covid-19 vaccine was a sure bet — “You’re not going to get Covid if you have these vaccinations” is how Biden put it — but that those who questioned its efficacy were “killing people.” But the shot didn’t work as advertised. It didn’t prevent contraction or transmission, something Biden himself continued to be wrong about as late as December of that year.
If you go back and give a careful read to corporate media content from that time describing the administration’s war against “disinformation,” you’ll see outlets were themselves not confident the vaccine worked. Take the New York Times effort from July 16th, 2021, “They’re Killing People: Biden Denounces Social Media for Virus Disinformation.” You can see the Times tiptoeing around what they meant, when they used the word “disinformation.” In this and other pieces they used phrases like, “the spread of anti-vaccine misinformation,” “how to track misinformation,” “the prevalence of misinformation,” even “Biden’s forceful statement capped weeks of anger in the White House over the dissemination of vaccine disinformation,” but they repeatedly hesitated to say what the misinformation was.
Any editor will tell you this language is a giveaway. Journalists wrote expansively about “disinformation,” but rarely got into specifics. They knew that they couldn’t state with certainty that the vaccine worked, that there weren’t side effects, etc., yet still denounced people who asked those questions. This is because they agreed with the concept of “malinformation,” i.e. there are things that may be true factually, but which may produce political results considered adverse. “Hestiancy” was one such bugbear. Note the language from the unnamed Facebook executive above, which describes the press lashing out “Covid-19 vaccine discouraging content,” not “disinformation.”
This is total corruption of the news. We’re supposed to be in the business of questioning officials, even if the questions are unpopular. That’s our entire role! If we don’t do that, we serve no purpose, maybe even a negative purpose. Moreover, think of the implications. News outlets wail about “disinformation” when they’re aware the public has tuned them out. When people don’t listen to reporters, it’s usually because they suck. You can do the math, as to why the current crop embraces censorship. A more embarrassing outcome for our business would be hard to imagine.
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The New "Facebook Files" Show Everything the First Amendment Was Designed to Prevent
A House Subcommittee releases internal Facebook correspondence showing how a White House that was itself spreading disinformation tried to ban criticism
The “Facebook Files” story Jordan went on to tell revealed a worst-case scenario for modern digital censorship, in which the White House not only strong-armed Facebook to remove content, but did so over exactly the kind of speech the Constitution was designed to protect, political satire. Not only that, but the White House’s demand had clear political motivation. A law professor would have a difficult time scripting an episode more directly offensive to the First Amendment.
The “Facebook Files” show the progression of a request to Facebook from the Biden White House’s Senior Advisor Andy Slavitt to remove a vaccine-critical meme, whose crime was that it was too popular — the “third ranked post in the data we sent him,” as Facebook President of Global Affairs Nick Clegg put it. The meme is a spoof of late-night TV ads by law firms looking for class-action plaintiffs, only this time the joke was about the Covid shot. The offending gag:
Internally, Facebook was in a panic about Slavitt’s request. An unnamed executive wrote to Mark Zuckerberg and Sheryl Sandberg, telling them “We are facing continued pressure from external stakeholders, including the White House” to “remove more Covid-19 vaccine discouraging content.” Clegg recounted that Slavitt was “outraged” Facebook had not taken down the De Caprio meme.
Clegg described how he told Slavitt that taking the meme down “would represent a significant incursion into traditional boundaries of free expression in the US,” but Slavitt was unimpressed. As Clegg explained, Slavitt “replied that the post was directly comparing Covid vaccines to asbestos poisoning in a way that demonstrably inhibits confidence amongst those the Biden administration is trying to reach,” adding “Andy’s assumption is that [YouTube] would never accept something like this”:
Slavitt, who suddenly quit his White House post that June of 2021, popped up more than once in Twitter Files research. In one email, a senior Twitter communications executive described concerns over the site’s failure to remove all of the so-called “disinformation dozen,” whose number included Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. Noting that Biden just “expressed an interest in reviewing Section 230,” the exec wrote, “We’ve heard from administration-adjacent figures, like former WH COVID-19 advisor Andy Slavitt, that more work from us is needed.”
In the Facebook episode, the intransigent determination emanating from the White House over a meme led to panic inside the company, with VP of public policy Brian Rice saying “Andy’s challenge feels very much like a crossroads for us with the White House in these early days.” Another email adds context to an exhibit produced in the Missouri v. Bidencase, in which Slavitt (and others) complained bitterly about a Tucker Carlson broadcast from April 13, 2021 called, “Two COVID vaccine questions that no one will answer.”
It’s already come out that Facebook’s top DC lobbyist conveyed to Clegg the administration’s displeasure at the lack of “progress” in removing Carlson’s video from that day, and that Clegg promised to “dig in” once he heard this. We also knew that when Slavitt was told Carlson’s video was deemed not violative, the White House went bananas, with official Rob Flaherty responding, “How was this not violative?”
In yesterday’s Facebook Files release, it came out that Facebook, in its desperation to cool down these White House apes, promised to reduce traffic to Carlson’s video by 50% while it was “in the queue to be fact-checked”!
Apart from the obvious, why was this insane? Because while the White House fumed and outlets like the Washington Postexcoriated Carlson for a “just asking questions… shtick,” it turned out he was asking the right questions.
Why, if the vaccine worked, was Anthony Fauci telling people they shouldn’t “attend medium to large gatherings” or remove masks? “If vaccines work,” Carlson asked, “why are vaccinated people still banned from living normal lives?” Similarly: why was Justin Trudeau saying, “Vaccination on its own isn’t enough to keep us safe,” if the shot worked? Maybe, Carlson speculated, the vaccine doesn’t work?
These were obvious and appropriate questions, but officials and journalists alike killed Carlson for them anyway. YouTube is still packed with TUCKER DISINFO DERP videos that are, themselves, actually wrong.
The mania to clamp down on speech like this reflected the latest doublethinkmoral panic, in which tens of millions of people simultaneously believed with every righteous cell in their bodies that the vaccine worked, but also that bars, offices, schools, and the world should not be re-opened, that we should not even thinkabout engaging in maskless contact, and that we should remain socially distanced, presumably even in our nuptial beds. This form of madness similar to the Russiagate lunacy drove the raw emotion and “outrage” behind the White House’s requests.
Though the fate of the De Caprio meme is unclear, Facebook ultimately caved and partnered with the Surgeon General’s office to come up with “discreet policy options” for expanding its definition of punishable offenses, for instance jacking up demotion levels to 85% or giving strikes or repeat offender status to posts that were only “partly false” or missing “context.”
This was happening in the summer 2021, just as the government began to concede that the vaccines were not “100% effective.” In other words, at the time Facebook was expanding its definition of misinformation, it was learning that the White House itself was among the country’s leading sources of disinformation, like Joe Biden’s July 21, 2021 statement, “You’re not going to get COVID if you have these vaccinations.”
Clamping down on jokes that reduce “confidence” in policies gives any government authority to define anything as suppressible, using the syllogistic formula Our policies save lives, and your criticism reduces confidence in our policies: therefore, your jokes kill.This happened, in 2021. Joe Biden said on July 19, 2021, “They’re killing people!” In hindsight it could equally be argued Biden was killing people, by telling them they wouldn’t die if they got the shot, but nobody will point this out, for fear of being labeled misinformation agents. I don’t love doing it now, knowing the YouTube version of this article is likely to get dinged.
The authors of the Constitution understood that giving anyone the authority to decide questions of fact would create incentives for censorship, especially since government offices tend to be occupied by people with strong political beliefs. Slavitt for instance was and is a ferocious partisan. In the previous summer of 2020, he was already rolling out the argument that not supporting Joe Biden would cost lives.
The First Amendment protects jokes for a reason. Permitting the public to laugh at people in power allows us to remember that even our authorities are people, and therefore stupid and fallible, like Andy Slavitt. The system was designed to prevent this exact situation from the summer of 2021, when the authorities are simultaneously wrong and trying to ban criticism. It’s all laid out for everyone to see. How can anyone still defend this?
NO WAY OUT
by James Kunstler
“…you put me right smack in the middle of the Diversion Agreement that I should have no role in… and you say Your Honor, don’t pay any attention to that provision not to prosecute?”— Federal Judge Maryellen Noreika
Of course, Hunter Biden’s fur-lined, gold-plated plea deal on firearm and tax charges got torn up this week by Federal Judge Maryellen Noreika, who discovered a sneakily hidden bit of legerdemain in it that would have left the First Son off-the-hook for any possible future charges such as a FARA rap for peddling his father’s influence to Ukraine, China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Romania, and who knows how many other foreign governments for zillions of dollars.
One thing the legal fireworks on Wednesday seemed to indicate is that the weaponization of the DOJ does not extend to every last court in America, not even the one in the Biden family fiefdom known as Delaware. The hearing left the lead US attorney in the case, David Weiss, looking like a chump hung out to dry — trying to pretend that there were “ongoing investigations” in the case when he was actually working overtime to shut them down. It’s rumored that the rascally, discarded plea deal was cooked up by alpha blobette, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco herself, the Blob’s consiglieri. Nice try, Sugar, but no cigar.
Lisa Monaco is in place, you see, as AG Merrick Garland’s puppeteer. For more than a decade Ms. Monaco has chiefly served as Barack Obama’s “fixer,” the clean-up gal who makes problems magically go away. The problem here is that sooner or later news will enter some legal channel that Mr. Obama was not unaware of all the grifting going on around his vice-president’s family, and might himself be inculpated as an accessory to acts of treason.
The former president suddenly has another new problem: the family’s onetime personal chef, Tafari Campbell, 43, was found dead around 10:00 o’clock Monday morning in the Edgartown Great Pond off the Obama’s Martha’s Vineyard estate after a paddle-board accident. Mr. Tafari allegedly fell off the board and… thrashed a bit… then just disappeared… a hundred feet off-shore in eight feet of water, according to another paddle-boarder as yet unidentified who was either with Mr. Tafari or who happened to witness the accident around 7:45 Sunday evening July 23. Somebody, also unnamed, then made a 911 from the Obama house. Who was that? Early reports said that the Obamas were not home at the time.
A later report said that Mr. Obama might have been present at the estate that evening without Michelle. Was he Mr. Tafari’s paddle-board companion? Did he make the 911 call? Mr. Tafari was reportedly no longer in the Obama’s employ and was writing a book about his experiences as the first family’s cook. One reported morsel attributed to the book is that Barack and Michele Obama almost never had meals together. What else was in it? Possibly Mr. Tafari had a book deal. Has anyone located the editor and asked to see the manuscript or interviewed him/her/they about what’s in it? Mr. Tafari, who had videotaped his lap-swimming abilities previously, and was considered an able swimmer, was supposedly just visiting Martha’s Vineyard for the weekend. How did he get through the Obama’s Secret Service security to go paddle-boarding if the Obamas were out for the evening? Did he lug his own paddle-board to the scene, or borrow one from the Obama’s equipment shed? Who let him in there? My goodness, what a busy gal Lisa Monaco must be these days. So much that needs a good fixing!
Anyway, after the Delaware courtroom fracas Wednesday, Hunter had to fall back on pleading not guilty as a place-holder while his lawyers and the Feds go back to square one negotiating something Judge Noreika might accept, which, conceivably, might be no plea deal at all, considering the insults already proffered to her by both sides in the case. In the meantime, would it amuse you to learn that part of Hunter Biden’s pretrial release agreement stipulates that the First Son must make an earnest effort to search for employment? Do you know of some position in the real world (assuming there is a real world) where a person can show up for work with six secret service agents in tow? I didn’t think so. He’ll also be subject to periodic drug tests and is forbidden to indulge in alcohol. Good luck with that!
The chance that Hunter would actually go to trial, even on these rinky-dink tax and firearm charges, is about equal to the chance that Xi Jinping will serve a dim sum breakfast to the Biden family at Rehobeth Beach on Labor Day morning. But its looking like Judge Noreika will not let Hunter off-the-hook on the gargantuan hairball of potential influence peddling matters, which are the actual meat of the Biden family’s legal problems — and that means “Joe Biden” is not off-the-hook either. Which means he might have to resort to pardoning Hunter and possibly himself for as-yet-unfiled charges of bribery, money-laundering and other extremely serious violations. If that happens, it is the end of the pretense that “Joe Biden” is a reelection candidate.
But, while all this melodrama unspools, there is also the creeping hazard of impeachment ahead. The Speaker of the House himself suggested it days ago. Rep. James Comer’s House Oversight Committee has already assembled an impressive stack of bank records tracing the journeys of various multi-million-dollar payments — for no particular services rendered — through an unholy host of shell companies and is now rumored to be compiling records of previously hidden Biden family offshore bank accounts in places such as the Cayman Islands and Panama.
Biden Family foot-soldier Devon Archer is scheduled for a deposition this coming Monday, and since he was thrown under the bus by Hunter on a federal bond fraud rap a few years back, there is every expectation that he will unload a dumpster of ripe trouble on his former intimates. However, Monday is also the last day before the legislature’s summer recess, which means not much of anything may happen to advance any of these matters until early September — and then it is possible that all hell busts loose for the republic as we enter the traditional season of hurricanes and financial fiascos, not to mention what looks like a mounting acknowledgement that our Ukraine proxy war project has utterly failed… and this overhanging threat of impeachment hearings.
Podcaster Scott Adams spun out an elegantly macabre possible scenario about how this works out which is worth repeating here: The House moves to impeach… Joe Biden retaliates by threatening the entire Deep State Blob with revealing a whole lot of dark info on their dastardly secrets, their sexual proclivities and adventures (think: the Epstein client list), and other incriminating deets-and-receipts that would, theoretically, bring ruin to scores of political celebrities. In which case, the Blob just up and offs dumb-ass “Joe Biden,” using their cunning ways of arranging for him to die in his sleep… because, he was old… and it was his time…. Salutes to you, Scott, for that one! (And then, of course, there is all that follows that).
WATCHING the first half hour of this movie is like being waterboarded by Pepto Bismol.
— Anthony Lane in the New Yorker, on “Barbie”
RFK JR: Since the assassination of my father in 1968, candidates for president are provided Secret Service protection. But not me. Typical turnaround time for pro forma protection requests from presidential candidates is 14-days. After 88-days of no response and after several follow-ups by our campaign, the Biden Administration just denied our request. Secretary Mayorkas: “I have determined that Secret Service protection for Robert F Kennedy Jr is not warranted at this time.” Our campaign’s request included a 67-page report from the world’s leading protection firm, detailing unique and well established security and safety risks aside from commonplace death threats.
UKRAINE, FRIDAY, 28 JULY
The Russian military says it shot down an alleged Ukrainian missile over the southern Russian city of Taganrog, which left at least nine people injured.
Russian President Vladimir Putin tells leaders at a two-day Russia-Africa summit that Moscow respects their peace proposal on Ukraine and will carefully study it on Friday.
Ukrainian soldiers have recaptured the southeastern village of Staromaiorske in the Donetsk region, according to a video published by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
Qatar will provide Ukraine with $100m in humanitarian aid, Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal says after talks in Kyiv with the Gulf state’s prime minister.
by Alexander Cockburn (May 1998)
For a while it looked as though the Sixties had been captured by the enemy, its history decorously re-edited by people like Todd Gitlin. Anyone who wants to get a sense of the real thing can go and buy a copy of my dear dead friend Andrew Kopkind's ‘Thirty Years' War,’ published by Verso three years ago, and for a quicker look they can now buy ‘1968, Marching in the Streets,’ a bracing photo-narrative by Tariq Ali and Susan Watkins.
It took me through many scenes of fond memory, such as Paris in May-June 1968, acrid with tear gas and inflated rhetoric. I remember standing on a street corner in the Latin Quarter, surrounded by burned cars, and saw Stephen Spender and Mary McCarthy ambling along with a look of high purpose.
I asked them if they were off to the big political demonstration, scheduled in a sports arena later that afternoon. No, Mary McCarthy said, adding that in fact they were going to lunch at the home of one of the French Rothschilds. Spender, feeling that this might seem an inappropriate rendezvous at this revolutionary moment, bleated defensively, “Entin, ils sont un peu communiste, les Rothschilds,” which translates as, “After all, the Rothschilds are a bit communist.”
Already that year I'd been to Havana for the Cultural Congress, attended by leftists from around the world. As Tariq and Susan remind me in their vivid narrative, one of those attending this Congress was the Mexican muralist Siqueiros, noted Communist, famed among other things for his machine-gun attack on Trotsky's home in Coyoacan, Mexico in 1940. Trotsky escaped injury in this assault. In Havana Siqueiros was greeted with cries of “murderer” by young French delegates when they spotted him outside the Havana Gallery of Modern Art. The young poet Joyce Mansour then launched a kick at Siqueiros' behind, shouting, “That's from André Breton!” (Siqueiros is a better artist than Breton all the same.)
I was attending as a delegate from New Left Review, along with my friend Robin Blackburn. Robin had arrived in Havana two weeks earlier and had used his leisure moments to commence an affair with a Cuban woman, an exhilarating relationship whose only disadvantage was that she was the mistress of Manuel Pineiro, or “Barba Roja” (Red Beard), the head of Cuban intelligence.
Unsurprisingly, Robin was told that he was to be expelled from Cuba. As he was being hauled off to the airport Robin thrust some pages into my hands. He explained it was the text of his big speech to the plenary session, to be attended by 3,000 of the world's premier left intellectuals. Because there were length restrictions, he'd put the second half under my name. He asked me to read out the whole thing. I asked him what it was about and he said vaguely that it was a comparison between the Weberian bureaucrat and the Leninist cadre. This didn't mean much to me. I shoved it in my pocket and bid him adieu.
The next day I heard from friends that the big talk around the conference was that the “Blackburn-Cockburn theses” — as they were now known — would be an artful attack on political trends in Cuba, from a Trotskyist point of view. Robin was indeed a member of the Trotskyist Fourth International. The hall was packed. I tottered onto the platform and listened as the painter Matta announced that Cockburn would now deliver the long-awaited speech. As I read them for the first time I realized that they were indeed fierce criticisms of the Cuban revolution for supposed bureaucratic sclerosis.
As I finished, a forest of hands shot up. The world's Marxist brainboxes clamored for my blood. I told Matta I was stepping outside for a breather, and then fled the scene. Later, the Cubans published the “Blackburn-Cockburn Theses” to show they didn't mind a spot of comradely criticism.
These days Robin is editor of New Left Review and has just concluded a spectacular two-volume history of the overthrow of colonial slavery.