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COOL WEATHER will persist through Sunday. In addition, periods of beneficial showers are expected through Saturday, with isolated thunderstorms possible. Drier weather is then likely starting Sunday, with warmer temperatures returning next week. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): On the coast this Friday morning I have 57F under a mix of clouds & fog. We have a 20% chance of rain today, 50% tomorrow & a 20% chance on Sunday. The bulk of the rain will be over at the Sierra where amounts of over 1" are forecast largely on the west side of the mountain range.
Our rainfall totals season to date: (2022) Oct .18” - Nov 3.55” - Dec 9.23” (2023) Jan 10.58” - Feb 4.41” - March 11.75” - April 2.10” - May 1.71” - June .07” - July .00” - August .15” = YTD 43.73”
JUDY VALADAO: Wednesday night's full “Blue Moon” looked pretty ratty around the edges but by midnight it was beautiful.
STOLEN TRUCK LEADS OFFICERS ON HIGH SPEED PURSUIT, SUSPECT ARRESTED
On August 31, 2023 at approximately 7:06 AM, FBPD officers were dispatched to the Motel 6 on S Main St for the report of an auto theft that just occurred. When they arrived, the victim reported he had left his work truck, a 2022 Dodge Ram 1500, running in the parking lot to warm up while he retrieved an item from his room. When he returned, the truck was gone. He said his work phone was still inside the cab, so the officer called it. The suspect, Shawn WICK, 34 years, from Pasco, Washington, answered it. The officer convinced him to return, but the suspect changed his mind and fled when he saw officers.
Officers pursued, but because the suspect was heading towards a school zone just before children would be arriving, they discontinued the pursuit. A short time later, they found the suspect in another area east of Fort Bragg and the pursuit resumed. At one point, WICK was headed directly for an FBPD officer, who had to swerve out of the way to avoid a collision.
The suspect came to a stop at the intersection of Cedar St and N Sanderson Way, where officers and MCSO deputies boxed him in with their patrol vehicles to prevent further danger to the public. WICK was taken into custody without further incident. The top speed officers reached was 60 MPH. A review of the GPS data from the stolen truck revealed its top speed was 89 MPH.
After being taken into custody, officers recognized WICK. He had been involved in a collision yesterday, August 30, 2023 in Westport and brought to Adventist Hospital, where he refused treatment. WICK then walked to the Fort Bragg Police Department, where officers and Social Services Liaisons from the Care Response Unit assisted him in contacting family and finding lodging. Family arrived late last night and was intending on taking WICK back to Washington this morning.
Chief Neil Cervenka said, “The professionalism and restraint showed by our officers in this high-stress event was outstanding. They displayed tremendous concern for public safety while putting their own lives at risk to stop a dangerous person, who had no regard for the safety of others.”
WICK was booked into the Mendocino County jail on the charges of 10851 VC – Auto Theft (felony), 245 PC – Assault with a Deadly Weapon (felony) and 2800.2 VC – Evading (felony).
Anyone with information on this incident is encouraged to contact Ofc Baker of the Fort Bragg Police Department at (707)961-2800 ext 226.
This information is being released by Chief Neil Cervenka. All media inquiries should contact him at email@example.com.
This is good news:
State Controller Malia M. Cohen Authorizes audit of Mendocino County
SACRAMENTO — Today, State Controller Malia M. Cohen authorized an audit of Mendocino County after conversations with county officials who expressed concerns as to whether the annual financial reports required to be prepared and delivered to the state are correct and complete.
Controller Cohen acknowledged receipt of the request for an audit from the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors, who voted unanimously to request the State Controller’s Office’s assistance to resolve what some officials have referred to as a ‘fiscal crisis’ within the county. “As California’s chief fiscal officer, the financial health of all 58 counties is of paramount importance to the overall fiscal wellbeing of the state,” said Controller Cohen. Controller Cohen’s action also follows a recent warning issued that the county’s rating may be placed under review for possible withdrawal of credit rating unless the county completes its now-delinquent annual financial statements.
In response to the county officials’ statements concerning the fiscal uncertainty and instability of the county, Controller Cohen said: “My office will review the county’s internal controls. The failure to deliver timely financial reports as mandated by law could place the county at a competitive disadvantage and may drive up the interest rate beyond what the county would typically pay for such issuance.”
The audit has commenced and is underway.
THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS’ next meeting is Tuesday, September 12 in the town of Mendocino at St. Anthony’s Church Parish Hall, 1070 Lansing Street. The agenda probably won’t be posted until next Thursday. Reportedly it is an “off-site regular meeting,” not devoted to one Coastal subject, but we will probably find out more in the next few days. We have not heard if the Board has directed that the Parish Hall to be remodeled with bulletproof ballistic glass like the Ukiah Board chambers, so maybe whatever perceived threat they may have worried about in 2021 when then-CEO Carmel Angelo wasted almost $400,000 for a high-security Boardroom remodel has waned. The Board plans to meet again the next day, Wednesday, September 13, back in their Ukiah bunker, but just for closed session. (Mark Scaramella)
AV UNIFIED LEADERSHIP CLASS
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
If you would like to help support the leadership class, volunteers are needed on the block day for the class.
- Junior High Leadership Tuesday, 12:30 p.m.-1:55 p.m.
- High School Leadership Wednesday 8:10 a.m.-9:40 a.m.
If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
We need your support and expertise with the students!
Louise Simson, Superintendent, AV Unified School District
THE AV PANTHER SOCCER TEAM defeated Mendocino 2-1. Season record is now 5-1.
FALL 2023 CLASSES AT THE ADULT SCHOOL
The following classes may be of particular interest to AV Village Members:
Only $12 for the entire semester:
- Conversational Spanish in three levels,
- Creative Writing for Older Adults,
Only $60 for the entire semester:
- Guitar levels 1 and 2,
- Yoga for Older Adults - class canceled
For more information call the Adult School at 895-2953 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
WHITE HOUSE spokesperson, Karine Jean-Pierre, was asked if natural born men who “identify” as women should be competing in women's sports. She replied that there were “a wide range of views” on athletes who are born as males but compete in women's sports. Asked for President Biden's view on the matter, she again said the subject was “complicated” but avoided stating the president's opinion, as if he, international symbol of elder abuse, has one on trans athletes or any other subject at this point in his fading life.
THE AVA'S STANCE? Whatever you're born as, with or without, you compete as, admitting we're at a loss to understand why this is even an issue, although it has become one.
A CLIP on the evening news' collection of rolling catastrophes, included a shot of a “Proud Boy” crying because he just got 17 years for “seditious conspiracy” for cheering on the Jan 6th riot at the national capitol. First off, even for a pretend tough guy, pleading in tears for the judge to grant a reduced sentence is a bad look for guys who claim to be taking on the national government.
BUT 17 YEARS is way too much time for a minor role in a riot, albeit an unprecedented riot at that particular venue. I'm beginning to wonder if these fools weren't set up, that the feds, worried at the growth of Maga militias around the country, didn't urge them on so the feds could ultimately make an example of groups like the Proud Boys.
I'LL BET there were plenty of FBI agents involved in Jan 6 as there were muscle heads. Back in the day, in my experience as a subversive, the guy advocating violence or “direct action” that came with felony consequences, was invariably an FBI agent. “Hey! I'll bring the dynamite, and we'll go out and take down a major power line.”
SOME OF YOU old timers may remember the old wives way of discovering which mushrooms were safe to eat and which would kill you. Take a batch of suspect fungi and stew it with a silver coin. If the fungi are dangerously inedible the coin will turn black. I’d check with a mycologist, though, even if I could find a coin with some real silver in it.
SUMMER DINNER SERIES — A Monthly Farm-to-Table Charity Dinner Series with Chef Scott Baird
Proceeds from the dinners will be donated to the scholarship fund at Boont Tribe Community School.
This summer Boont Tribe Community School will be hosting a monthly farm-to-table charity dinner series. Proceeds from the dinners will be donated to the scholarship fund at Boont Tribe Community School. Our school has complete curricular freedom, designing lessons that meet each child’s needs. Our classrooms offer caring individual attention to each of our students, but our tuition-funded school can be a financial burden to some of our beloved families.
The meals will be prepared by Chef Scott Baird, with donated local bounty from the coast to the shallowest end of the valley. Dinner will be served at twilight at a long family style table. The four-course feasts will be at either the Win Win Ranch in Philo or Stoney Bottom in Boonville.
Dates: June 10th, July 15th, August 19th, September 16th & October 21st
Seating will be limited to 20 very lucky guests.
Local wines will be served throughout the dinner.
$80 per person
Contact Seasha for tickets: 707-533-5094
FIRST FRIDAY ART WALK, SEPTEMBER 1, 2023
ART WALK: emphasis on ART and WALK. Ukiah is a very walkable town. Join artists and their hosts for an evening of art, music and refreshments as you stroll from one venue to the next; each showcasing local art and artistry. Held in Historic Downtown Ukiah on the first Friday of each month, the First Friday Art Walk is the perfect way to relax your body, mind and soul. This enjoyable evening begins at 5:00 p.m. and promises to delight your senses; all while enjoying the company of others.
Bona Marketplace, 116 W Standley Street, Ukiah Bona Marketplace will be hosting the Grapevine Quilters Guild, and again pairing up with McNab Ridge Winery for a funfilled evening. The Grapevine Quilters Guild is a varied group of quilters who share a commitment to the art of quilting, education and community service. The Guild was established in 2001 and is made up of 100 members. They make and donate an average of 300 quilts a year to local organizations in our community, such as the Dialysis clinic, veterans, RCS, CPS, Ukiah post Acute, Redwood Cove health care and many more. Please come join us to see these beautiful quilts and meet the talented people that make them.
Grace Hudson Museum, 431 S Main Street, Ukiah Kick off your Labor Day weekend and your Ukiah First Friday Art Walk with a stop at the Grace Hudson Museum. Singer/guitarist/songwriter Yoli Rose, accompanied by some musician friends, will provide live music with a distinctive back-to-land style. (You might want to bring your dancing shoes.) Spend some time with *Something’s Happening Here: Artistic Reflections on the Back to the Land Movement*; discover or get reacquainted with our core galleries featuring Grace Hudson’s artwork, exquisite Pomo basketry, and Hudson-Carpenter family history; or take a final First Friday summer evening stroll in our Wild Gardens. Light refreshments will be served. Admission to the Museum is free for everyone, all day and evening, on First Fridays!
Deep Valley Arts Collective and MEDIUM Art Gallery, 522 E Perkins Street The Deep Valley Arts Collective is excited to announce its autumn exhibit, Skulls & Bones, which will open on September 1st, 2023, at the MEDIUM Art Gallery in Ukiah. The autumn season has traditionally been associated with skull and bone imagery, representing mortality, death, transformation, regeneration, and decay themes. Artists were prompted to submit various works interpreting this theme, with encouragement to think outside the box. An opening reception will be held on September 1st, 2023, during the First Friday Art Walk from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Drinks, and snacks, are available. Wine donated by Saracina Vineyards. Community Altar: Come join us to build our community altar. Bring something or create something to add to the altar in remembrance of those who have passed away, but are not forgotten.
Corner Gallery, 201 South State Street, Ukiah At the Corner Gallery, front window guest artists Susan Bearden Gates and Nan Frenkel, two sisters will present their latest paintings; inside, new gallery member Meelah Dorhosti will show both ceramics and paintings; young artist, Kaleigh McEntree brings lots of color to the gallery: Lynda Hassett takes advantage of the MCAA walls; and of course, gallery members always bring something new. For the opening reception First Friday, 5-8, "Midas Well,” Chris Gibson and Char Jacobs will play for our guests.
Art Center Ukiah, 201 South State Street, Ukiah Art Center Ukiah, the community gallery, once again offers a look at the artist at work with Quick Draw: Artists will draw live models as the public watches. All the sketches will be displayed for the month of September, along with other works by each of the artists. The Lot on Main, corner of Standley and Main Street New artists and crafters each month, if you are looking for variety they have it at “The Lot”
Additional businesses are open and offering specials, take a stroll and explore Downtown Ukiah.
For more information contact, Mo Mulheren at Ukiah Valley Networking at email@example.com or text her at 707-391-3664.
‘THIS IS A TEST’: Nationwide Alert Will Reach Cellphones, TVs & Radios
Federal agencies will send the alerts on Oct. 4 to ensure that the country is prepared to inform the public in the event of a large-scale emergency.
by Rebecca Carbllo
Testing. One. Two. Three.
Every television, radio and cellphone in the United States is going to broadcast a message on Oct. 4 along the lines of: “THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System. No action is needed.”
The test alert will be sent out around 2:20 p.m. Eastern time. The test will be conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, working in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission.
The test is intended to make sure that the alert system is ready to warn the public in the event of emergencies, particularly those that have a national impact, FEMA said in a statement.
If there is an actual emergency on Oct. 4, such as severe weather, a backup testing date was set for Oct. 11.
How often are the tests run on a national scale?
This will be the seventh time that a nationwide test of the Emergency Alert System is beamed to radios and televisions.
This will be only the second test transmitted to all cellular devices.
What’s the point of sending an alert when nothing is happening?
Federal agencies want to make sure the technology is functioning correctly, and they also want people to know such an alert exists before it needs to be used, said Jeff Schlegelmilch, the director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University.
“Speaking generally, alerts are only effective if people know what they are and they know what to do with them,” Mr.Schlegelmilch said.
The test also comes after the fast-moving fires in Maui, Hawaii, a disaster in which Maui’s emergency management agency decided not to sound emergency sirens that might have alerted people to the danger.
What types of alerts can I expect?
While it’s a good idea to practice how to use a nationwide emergency alert, not many situations will call for such an alert, since most alerts are sent by local and state authorities.
There are “very few circumstances where you will notify the entire country about something,” Mr. Schlegelmilch said.
The public will typically receive local and regional alerts ahead of extreme weather or to seek cooperation, such as in the case of a missing child, he said.
A variety of alerts can be sent to mobile devices. Missing persons alerts, also known as Amber Alerts, are issued in child abduction cases. Imminent threat alerts may be sent to steer people away from danger in extreme weather or active shooter situations where circumstances can rapidly change, while public safety alerts may offer useful information when there isn’t an immediate threat. Presidential alerts may be sent in a national emergency.
Who else uses these alerts?
The United States has been sending emergency alerts to phones for more than a decade now, according to the F.C.C. Other countries, such as the Netherlands and Japan, use similar systems. Most recently, Britain tested its new emergency alert system in April.
Have there ever been false alarms?
Yes. In January 2018, people in Hawaii received a false emergency alert warning them of an incoming ballistic missile. It took about 38 minutes for the state to send another alert that said the first one was issued in error. The worker who sent the alert thought the state was facing an actual threat, officials from the F.C.C. and Hawaii said.
Can cellphone users opt out of the alerts?
Partially. Participating wireless carriers may offer the ability to block certain alerts involving imminent threats to safety and Amber Alerts, according to the F.C.C. Consumers cannot block national alerts.
For instance, the test alert and other alerts can be switched off on most iPhones if the user goes to the notification settings and scrolls to the bottom where it says “government alerts.”
The F.C.C. said it recommended keeping the alerts on because they could be potentially lifesaving.
THEN and NOW Photos: Justin Packard House
These two images, taken about 135 years apart, show the Justin Packard House on the northeast corner of Main Street and Evergreen Street in Mendocino. Justin E. Packard married Emma Zella Young in 1879, and O. B. Ackerman built this home for the Packard family in 1882. Justin was a jeweler and watchmaker who owned a Main Street shop with his brother Charles O. Packard, who was a druggist.
In the 19th century photo, Justin, Emma, and their young daughter Elsie stand posed in front of the house. A man in a carriage drawn by two horses is in the side yard. Evergreen Street, originally called Packard Avenue, had not yet been built. At the rear of the home is an enclosed water tower, no longer standing, which provided the nine-room house with running water.
Justin and Emma divorced in 1890, and in 1891, businessman L. H. Bither took possession of this home following a complicated three-way property swap among Bither, Packard, and carpenter/undertaker J. D. Johnson, all of whom owned property in this part of town. Bither sold the Justin Packard House to Fred Perkins of Little River in 1903, who then sold it to Woods Superintendent Edward Boyle in 1906. Ed died in 1929, but the property was passed down through the Boyle-Ferrill family until it was sold in 2005. The house has been used as a real estate office since 1985, and currently houses Pamela Hudson Real Estate.
The barn seen at the back of the property in the 2023 photo was built by L. H. Bither in 1895. A print shop operated in this building from 1985 to 1990. Between 1991 and 2017, the structure housed Evergreen Barn, a veterinary practice and pet food shop.
If you would like to learn more about Mendocino’s historic structures, the Kelley House archives are open for research appointments Wednesday through Friday from 12:00 to 4:00 pm. To make an appointment, write to firstname.lastname@example.org
(The Kelley House Museum is open from 11am to 3pm Thursday through Monday. Questions for the curator or appointments: email@example.com. Walking tours of the historic district depart regularly. www.kelleyhousemuseum.org/visit-walking-tours.)
CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, August 31, 2023
STEPHANY ALEXANDER, Willits. Fugitive from justice, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
JESSICA BELL, Willits. Failure to appear.
CODY CARLSEN, Ukiah. More than 600 obscene images of minor in sexual act.
JOHN CESANO, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
WILLIAM DENISON, Marysville/Ukiah. Failure to appear.
KENNETH DEWITT, Ukiah. Parole violation.
CHERI GOODMARTIN, Ukiah. Trespassing, camping in Ukiah, shopping cart.
TIA HIGGINS, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
MATTHEW HILL, Laytonville. Probation revocation.
QUINTEN KELLER, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI.
DANIEL LOVATO, Ukiah. Under influence, probation revocation.
ABRAHAM MARIN-CARRILLO, Willits. Probation revocation.
JAMES MILLER, Ukiah. Assault weapon, felon-addict with firearm, ammo possession by prohibited person, loaded firearm, short barrelled rifle, paraphernalia, county parole violation.
JACOB PARMELY, Ukiah. Parole violation.
KIMBERLEE THOMPSON, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-under influence.
TORREY THURMAN, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, parole violation.
JALAHN TRAVIS, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol, failure to appear.
ROY TURNER, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.
MALISSA WARNER, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs, county parole violation.
THE STICKY RAT
by Doug Holland
With my chair tilted back
… and the cat in my lap,
I thought I might take
…a long afternoon nap,
When out from the kitchen
… there arose such a clatter,
I put on my shorts
… to see what was the matter.
The noise was a rat, and it was big — the size of a baked potato, stuck in a glue trap near the refrigerator. As it contorted, the trap slapped into the wall, and then the bottom of the fridge.
Sure, our house has rats. We flatmates all chip in $5 every few months to buy glue traps, and we've killed a dozen rats, maybe more, in the year and a half I've lived here.
This one was trying to get away, but couldn't. Its belly and back legs were glued to the rectangular trap, and its front legs, still free, were clawing at the floor, but not making much progress.
As I stepped out of my room, the rat saw me and began rat-screaming, which is a loud and awful noise. In extra terror at the sight of me, the rat made more progress, slowly and with great effort dragging the trap across the kitchen and into the bathroom, where it became stuck on the tile floor.
When I stepped within about six feet of the rat, it screamed again, terrified. When I kept my distance, it seemed to forget about me, and the only sound was the glue trap banging on the linoleum. I kept my distance.
* * *
With every trapped rat so far, my flatmates have hammered its skull, peeled the rat off out of the glue, and tossed its body into the dumpster. Then they put the glue trap back on the floor to catch the next one. We save a little money that way, recycling the traps.
All four of the men living here have agreed that hammering rat heads is kinder than simply tossing the stuck but still living animal into the dumpster, to die in the darkness of thirst or starvation.
Besides, how ya gonna pry the rat out of the glue if it's still alive? You'd get bit.
The hammer's been wielded by all three of my flatmates, but never yet by me. With no-one else home or awake, though, today it was my turn to hammer a rat, but… I decided not to.
I've made it through the 60-plus years without hammering any animal's head, so someone else can do it. Instead I grabbed two popsicles from the freezer and returned to my room, leaving the rat in the glue trap, stranded, struggling on the bathroom floor.
* * *
Twenty minutes later, I can't hear the rat, but… It's hard to forget it's in the bathroom, flat on its belly, stuck, frightened out of its rat mind. It'll be in the bathroom for as long as it takes someone else to find it and hammer it.
* * *
Why are we at war with rats? It's startling, yes, to see a rat in the house a few times every month, but they're more scared of me than I am of them. The rats don't eat our food; we keep the boxed stuff on high shelves. They've never come into my bedroom; we only see rats in the living room, the kitchen, the bathroom, and the laundry room. So why are we killing 'em?
If we'd never bought any traps, guess there'd be a dozen more rats in the house than there are. Those rats would've had rat families, and we'd have a rat civilization at our feet. Instead of occasional ratshit pellets to sweep up from the kitchen floor, we'd have drifts.
Maybe. I dunno.
* * *
Thinking all this over and writing about it, I went back to the bathroom to get a more vivid description of the rat in its gluey deathtrap.
When last seen, it had been beside the toilet, 60% of its body stuck in the glue, its front paws still free. But now, the rat is gone.
Instead there's a few inches' of black sticky smudge on the floor, adhesive and rat hairs. The trap has been pulled all the way to the bathroom sink, crinkling the mat on the floor, and now the trap rests beside the narrow clearance between sink and tub, where we've sometimes seen rats scurry.
But the trap is empty, except for five rat turds in the glue, and a single Honeycomb cereal bit.
When the rat dragged the trap to the base of the sink, it must've leveraged itself against that water-warped woodwork to work its way out of the glue-goo. And the damned thing got away alive. Jeez, that must've been something. I wish I'd seen it.
With half its body glued, how long a rat can survive in the walls and under the floorboards is beyond my ability to guess. By now the stickiness must be covered with dust, lint, and asbestos from behind the wall. Maybe the stuff stuck to the rat will nullify the glue's stickiness and it'll be able to move around. Or perhaps it'll die deep in the walls, and stink up the house horribly as it rots.
The varmint earned my respect, though, for a great escape, and I want no part in killing something I respect. I'm done chipping in for the glue traps, and I'll never hammer a rat's head. I'm declaring peace, and me and the rats can share the house.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
I don‘t know about souls. Has anyone ever seen, heard, smelled, tasted, or touched one? I refuse to rule anything out, but I find it difficult to accept the existence of a soul until it can be measured in a way anyone else can duplicate. I guess that makes me a materialistic, cynical bastard, huh.
A HUMAN BEING is a part of the whole, called by us ‘Universe,’ a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest — a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is in itself a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security.
— Albert Einstein
MONTANA WINTER, circa 1908
The solitary Crow tepee had leather thongs that secured the tepee poles for transport by horse. The Crow Indian Reservation, southeast of Billings (Montana), is home to 8,000 enrolled members.
WEAPONIZING THE PD
The political world is obsessed with weaponization. The Walt Disney Company claims Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis weaponized the legislature against Disney for not supporting the “don’t say gay” bill. Donald Trump’s allies claim President Joe Biden has weaponized the Justice Department against Trump, his chief 2024 rival. And back in January, the GOP majority in the House established a Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government to investigate alleged abuses of federal power. So what does weaponization actually mean?
Weaponization is defined as exploiting something to attack a person or a group. The definition is credited to rocket scientist Wernher von Braun, who used the term in 1957 to describe nuclear warheads being put on missiles.
I wondered if the term had been widely used before this year. Then I discovered a 2016 Slate editorial citing 19 nonmilitary items, including marketing, religion, virtue and facts, that had been weaponized in the previous 10 years. You may not realize it, but you have probably been guilty of weaponization yourself. Any time you rolled up your daily newspaper to go after a housefly, you were weaponizing the PD.
GOFUNDME, GO TO HELL
After they froze a successful GrayZone fundraiser over unnamed "external concerns," GoFundMe became the official poster child for the politicization of economic services.
by Matt Taibbi
The online crowdfunding site GoFundMe just shut down a fundraising initiative for The Grayzone, a left-leaning, antiwar site led by Max Blumenthal and Aaron Maté. Citing what they euphemistically termed “external concerns,” the site froze $90,000 Grayzone raised from 1100 contributors to pay for the reporting of Kit Klarenberg, Wyatt Reed, and Alex Rubenstein.
The fundraiser has since moved to a new destination, SpotFund, and already surpassed the amount frozen by GoFundMe. The damage however has been done. GoFundMe is now officially the poster child for politicization of economic services. They prevented a parents group from renting a billboard to publicize Abigail Shrier’s book Irreversible Damage, froze nearly $8 million in donations to the “Freedom Convoy” Canadian Trucker movement, even wiped out two fundraisers for MintPress. This Grayzone incident is perhaps most loathsome, lacking even a patina of necessity or justification, while serving as a depressingly obvious preview of things to come.
I spoke to Max yesterday and he’s appropriately furious, as his site’s gof**kyourself logo shows. Even those who don’t share Grayzone’s politics should be outraged and alarmed. The “anti-disinformation” complex we spent so much time on after the Twitter Files is close to perfecting the application of financial pressure, finishing a job begun thirteen years ago, when PayPal froze donations to Wikileaks after the leak site received a letter from the U.S. State Department. This system is nimble enough now to financially disable actors as different from one another as an American porn star and the London-based Free Speech Union.
There’s an article I’ve written but not published, about an American who suffered severe financial penalties due to his politics. The “anti-disinformation” crowd thought it appropriate to cut access to payment services while he was trying to raise money for a criminal defense. Because what’s more American than deploying unaccountable bureaucrats to prevent someone from having their day in court? What good is life in democracy, if we’re not free to deny people services based on how they live or what they think?
I’ve been remiss in not publishing that piece, but it’ll be coming out now. In the meantime, to colleagues quiet over the Grayzone affair: what are you thinking? This won’t happen to you? Litmus tests are good? Being craven and spineless is a legitimate lifestyle choice? You’re all amazing, and not in a good way. What quantity of nonsense won’t you swallow?
Once I thought that to be human was the highest aim a man could have, but I see now that it was meant to destroy me. Today I am proud to say that I am inhuman, that I belong not to men and governments, that I have nothing to do with creeds and principles. I have nothing to do with the creaking machinery of humanity - I belong to the earth!
— Henry Miller
THE SENATORS who sat in judgment of Bill Clinton’s sexual escapades while in office might have refreshed their sense of presidential dignity by consulting Ron Kessler’s book ‘Inside the White House.’ “Lyndon Johnson was furious. Johnson’s wife, Lady Bird, had caught him having sex on a sofa in the Oval Office with one of the handful of gorgeous young secretaries he had hired. Johnson blamed it all on the Secret Service, which safeguarded the Oval Office and the rest of the White House. He said, ‘You should have done something’,” recalled a Secret Service agent. ‘We said, we don’t do that. That’s your problem’.” Eventually LBJ arranged for a buzzer to sound in his office when Lady Bird left the domestic sector of the White House and headed his way.
— Alexander Cockburn
THE DOG OF THE SOUTH
by Charles Portis
“What line of work are you in, Speed?
“I’m back in college now. I’m trying to pick up some education hours so I can get a teaching certificate.”
“What you are then, is a 30-year-old schoolboy.”
“Well, I don’t guess you’re bothering anybody.”
“The Civil War used to be my field.”
“A big waste of time.”
“I didn’t think so. I studied for two years at Ole Miss under Dr. Buddy Casey. He’s a fine man and a fine scholar.”
“You might as well loiter for two years. You might as well play Parcheesi for two years.”
“That’s a foolish remark.”
“You think so?”
“All right, listen to me. Are you are reader? Do you read a lot of books?”
“I read quite a bit.”
“And you come from a family of readers, right?”
“No, that’s not right. That’s completely wrong. My father doesn’t own six books. He reads the paper about twice a week. He reads fishing magazines and he reads the construction bids. He works. He doesn’t have time to read.”
“But you’re a big reader yourself?”
“I have more than 400 volumes of military history in my apartment. All told, I have 66 linear feet of books.”
“All right, now listen to me. Throw that trash out the window. Every bit of it.”
He reached into his grip and brought out a little book with yellow paper covers. The cellophane that had once been bonded to the covers was cracked or peeling. He flourished the book. “Throw all that dead stuff out the window and put this on your shelf. Put it by your bed.”
What a statement! Books, heavy ones, flying out the windows of the Rhino apartment! I couldn’t take my eyes from the road for very long, but I glanced at the cover. The title was ‘With Wings as Eagles’ and the author was John Selmer Dix, M.A.
Dr. Symes turned through the pages. “Dix wrote this book 40 years ago and it’s still just as fresh as the morning dew. Well, why shouldn’t it be? The truth never dies. Now this is a first edition. That’s important. This is the one you want. Remember the yellow cover. They’ve changed up things in these later editions. Just a word here and there but it adds up. I don’t know who’s behind it. They’ll have Marvin watching television instead of listening to dance music on the radio. Stuff like that. This is the one you want. This is straight Dix. This is the book you want on your night table right beside your glass of water, ‘With Wings as Eagles’ in the yellow cover. Dix was the greatest man of our time. He was truly a master of the arts, and of some of the sciences too. He was the greatest writer who ever lived.”
“They say Shakespeare was the greatest writer who ever lived.”
“Dix puts William Shakespeare in the shithouse.”
“I’ve never heard of him. Where is he from?’
“He was from all over. He’s dead now. He’s buried in Ardmore, Oklahoma. He got his mail in Fort Worth, Texas.”
“Did he live in Fort Worth?”
“He lived all over. Do you know the old Elks Club in Shreveport?”
“Not the new one. I’m not talking about the old lodge.”
“I don’t know anything about Shreveport.”
“Well, it doesn’t matter. It’s one of my great regrets that I never got to meet Dix. He died broke in a railroad hotel in Tulsa. The last thing he saw from his window is anyone’s guess. They never found his trunk, you know. He had a big tin trunk that was all tied up with wire and ropes and belts and straps, and he took it with him everywhere. They never found it. Nobody knows what happened to it. Nobody even knows what was in the trunk.”
“Well, his clothes, don’t you think?”
“No. He didn’t have any clothes to speak of. No change of clothes. His famous slippers of course.”
“His correspondence maybe?”
He burned all letters unread. I don’t want to hear any more of your guesses. Do you think you’re going to hit on the answer right off? Smarter people than you have been studying this problem for years.”
“No, no, no. Dix never read anything but the daily papers. He wrote books, he didn’t have to read them. No, he traveled light except for the trunk. He did his clearest thinking while moving. He did all his best work on a bus. Do you know that express bus that leaves Dallas every day at noon for LA? That’s the one he liked. He rode back and forth on it for an entire year when he was working on ‘Wings.’ He saw the seasons change on that bus. He knew all the drivers. He had a board that he put on his lap so he could spread his stuff out, you see, and work right there in his seat by the window.”
“I don’t see how you could ride a bus for a year.”
“He was completely exhausted at the end of that year and he never fully recovered his health. His tin trunk had a thousand dents in it by that time and the hinges and latches were little better than a joke. That’s when he began tying it up with ropes and belts. His mouth was bleeding from scurvy, from mucosal lesions and suppurating ulcers, his gums gone all spongy. He was a broken man all right, but by God the work got done. He wrecked his health so that we might have ‘Wings as Eagles’.”
The doctor went on and on. He said that all other writing, compared to Dix’s work, was just “foul grunting.” I could understand how a man might say such things about the Bible or the Koran, some holy book, but this Dix book, from what I could see of it, was nothing more than an inspirational work for salesmen. Still, I didn’t want to judge it too quickly. There might be some useful tips in those pages, some Dix thoughts that would throw a new light on things. I was still on the alert for chance messages.
I tried to read the Dix book. I couldn’t seem to penetrate the man’s message. The pages were brittle and the type was heavy and black and hard to read. There were tips on how to turn disadvantages into advantages and how to take insults and rebuffs in stride. The good salesman must make one more call, Dix said, before stopping for the day. That might be the big one! He said you must save your money but you must not be afraid to spend it either, and at the same time you must give no thought to money. A lot of his stuff was formulated in this way. You must do this and that, two contrary things, and you must also be careful to do neither. Dynamic tension! Avoid excessive blinking and wild eye movement, Dix said, when talking to prospects. Restrain your hands. Watch for openings, for the tiniest breaches. These were good enough tips in their way, but I had been led to expect balls of fire. I became impatient with the thing. The doctor had deposited bits of gray snot on every page and these boogers were dried and crystallized.
“This car seems to be going sideways,” he said to me.
The car wasn’t going sideways and I didn’t bother to answer him.
A little later he said, “This engine seems to be sucking air.”
I let that go too. He began to talk about his youth, about his days as a medical student at Wooten Institute in New Orleans. I couldn’t follow all that stuff and I tuned him out as best I could. He ended the long account by saying that Dr. Wooten “invented clamps.”
“Medical clamps?” I idly inquired.
“No, just clamps. He invented the clamp.
“I don’t understand that. What kind of clamp are you talking about?”
“Clamps! Clamps! That you hold two things together with! Can’t you understand plain English?”
“Are you saying this man made the first clamp?”
“He got a patent on it. He invented the clamp.”
“No, he didn’t.”
“Then who did?”
“I don’t know.”
“You don’t know. And you don’t know Smitty Wooten either, but you want to tell me he didn’t invent the clamp?”
“He may have invented some special kind of clamp but he didn’t invent the clamp. The principle of the clamp was probably known to the Samerians. You can’t go around saying this fellow from Louisiana invented the clamp.”
“He was the finest diagnostician of our time. I suppose you deny that too.”
“That’s something else.”
“No. Go ahead. Attack him all you please. He’s dead now and can’t defend himself. Call him a liar and a bum. It’s great sport for people who sit on the sidelines of life. They do the same thing with Dix. People who aren’t fit to utter his name.”
TRACKING ORWELLIAN CHANGE: ‘DEMOCRACY’
Democracy may die in darkness, but its connotations also squirm under the light.
by Matt Taibbi
In honor of the recent infuriating Grayzone episode, and at suggestion of Racket readers like Jim Geschke (of “Quoth the Maven”), a term whose journey is not from left to right, but meaningful to meaningless:
Whatever we are and Russia is not. Stops at nothing to defend itself, boldly casting norms aside to preserve norms. Contact Aurum Speakers Bureau to hear Anne Applebaum speak on its behalf. Synonymous with the “rules-based international order,” even though the “international order” views attachment to democratic sovereignty as nationalism. Is already “on the ballot,” and a t-shirt, for 2024. Paradoxically those who cast ballots for “democracy” are more inclined to wonder lately if there is too much of it here. Incidentally whether or not there is too much democracy at home may be discussed, but whether there is too little in places like Ukraine may not. The modern term democracy promotion, which even the Brookings Institute says may “rely on cooperation with undemocratic governments” and has connotations of regime change, is a near-perfect antonym of the term it replaced, now in disrepute: self-determination.
Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America admired our tendency to treat one another as equals, but worried people here might eventually become so self-satisfied that they’d allow themselves to be taken over by “a network of petty, complicated rules.” Said rules would be administered by a bureaucratic sector whose only issue with democracy is that everyone feels equally entitled to participate. The Americans de Tocqueville met believed in the literal etymology derived from Greek, demos + kratein, “the people” and “rule” — as Carl Sandburg put it, “The People, Yes.” A new model, described by academics Christopher Achen and Larry Bartels as “more persuasive to political scientists,” envisions democracy as leadership selection, in which the uninformed electorate abandons unrealistic dreams of actual governance and merely appraises those qualified to rule.
Socrates whined about all this in his “Parable of the Ship,” when he told Adeimantus it made no sense to hand a vessel to sailors, “every one… of opinion that he has a right to steer, though he has never learned the art of navigation.” Every idiot an expert! This vision of democracy was naturally commandeered by the New Yorker after Trump:
Democracy pitched self-rule and flipping off kings when Nazism, Communism, and Islamic fundamentalism were geopolitical opponents. Now the primary threat to democratic rule is another recently-bastardized term: populism. This has necessitated another full Orwellian inversion. The people rule is re-cast as The people sit, and while leaders like the positive marketing connotations of democracy, they increasingly can do without the messy specifics of constitutional governance — and hope we’ll learn to do the same.
THE LONG CAMPAIGN against Julian and WikiLeaks is a window into the collapse of the rule of law, the rise of what the political philosopher Sheldon Wolin calls our system of “inverted totalitarianism,” a form of totalitarianism that maintains the fictions of the old capitalist democracy, including its institutions, iconography, patriotic symbols and rhetoric, but internally has surrendered total control to the dictates of global corporations.
— Chris Hedges
WAITING FOR REFUGE IN MEXICO CITY
by David Bacon
With all the attention on the detention centers on the border, U.S. media rarely, if ever, acknowledge that camps of migrants and displaced people exist throughout Mexico. Since May, I’ve photographed Haitian refugees who began living in a settlement in downtown Mexico City in April. More than one hundred families were heading for the border when they realized that they would not be able to cross or that, if they were unsuccessful in getting asylum (hardly any Haitians are able to), they would be immediately deported back to Haiti. In May alone, nearly 4,000 Haitians were deported by the United States government.…
IN LATE 1961 SAM GIANCANA approached his CIA contact, a DC-based private detective named Robert Maheu, with a personal problem — he suspected his girlfriend, Phyllis McGuire, one of the McGuire Sisters singing group, of having an affair in Las Vegas with comedian Dan Rowan, of Rowan and Martin. In return for his assistance in the Castro assassination plots, Giancana wanted the Agency to bug Rowan’s Vegas hotel room. Rowan’s phone was duly wiretapped, but the recording device was discovered by a hotel maid, who informed the police. The Vegas police turned the matter over to the FBI, which wanted to prosecute Giancana for wiretapping. Ultimately, Robert Kennedy had to be told of the affair in order to call off the FBI.
— Jeffrey St. Clair and Alexander Cockburn, ‘White-Out’
BRUCE MCEWEN: Field Marshal Hollister’s helmet, courtesy his adjutant, L/Cpl. McEwen: may it serve you well as you lead the assault against the Rusky defenses.
UKRAINE, THURSDAY, 31ST AUGUST
Ukraine’s military has said that six members of the armed forces have been killed on board two helicopters while they were on a mission near Bakhmut in eastern Ukraine by the Russian border.
Russia has claimed it downed a Ukrainian drone that was flying towards Moscow and also said “an unmanned Ukrainian aerial vehicle” was thwarted over Bryans Lithuania says EU should say they will ‘support Ukraine to its victory’
Lithuania’s Foreign Minister Gabrielius Landsbergis told reporters that the EU should stop saying they would “support Ukraine for as long as it takes”.
“Supporting Ukraine for as long as it takes” should be replaced by “supporting Ukraine to its victory,” he said at an EU foreign ministers meeting in Toledo, Spain.
“If we are unable to say this, it is because there are other options in our mind, and the only other option is Putin’s victory,” he added.
BASICALLY the US empire’s strategy is to use Ukrainian bodies like a giant sponge to soak up as many expensive Russian military explosives as possible.
— Caitlin Johnstone
About suffering they were never wrong,
The old Masters: how well they understood
Its human position: how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
— W. H. Auden (from Musee des Beaux Arts)