A STRAY SHOWER may form over the Trinity Horn this afternoon. Otherwise dry and near normal conditions are expected into the weekend, with temperatures trending a bit warmer during the weekend. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A foggy 53F (haven't said that in a while) on the coast this Midweekday morning on the coast. Patchy fog giving way to clearing skies today. The forecast is still calling for mostly clear skies the rest of the week. I'll be holding my breath.
COUNTY EMPLOYEE STRIKE POSTPONED:
“Honestly, we were expecting to go on strike this week,” said field representative Patrick Hickey. “But fortunately, it seems like the county administration did see the light in our negotiations last week…in regards to the co-pay for health premiums…We’re hopeful that they are now moving in the right direction and are going to do everything that they can to try to support county employees.”
Third District Supervisor John Haschak said he’ll introduce some ideas to find more money for county employees at the September 12 Board of Supervisors meeting, which will be held on the coast. “County employees are hard-working public servants, and the unions are our collective voice,” he told a friendly crowd. “At our next board meeting, I am offering both revenue-enhancing proposals and cost-cutting efficiencies. These ideas are not mine alone. But rather, they’re from working with employees and unions.”
NO BOONVILLE QUIZ THIS WEEK
My apologies but due to circumstances beyond my control there will not be the usual 1st Thursday Quiz this week, 7th September. We shall return on the 3rd Thursday, 21st September. Hope to see you there.
Cheers, Steve Sparks, The Quizmaster
THE GRANGE NEEDS YOU!
Apple Fair & Pancakes
by Captain Rainbow
Calling all Grangers, Friends of the Grange and interested people who live in Anderson Valley.
It is September already! The monthly Grange Pancake Breakfast is THIS coming Sunday, September 10th from 8:30-11.
AND in preparation for the County Fair in Boonville September 22nd-24th we have decided to create all the art for our Feature Booth entry just after the pancake breakfast. This is a community service project and all winning go to our scholarship fund.
The creation of our art, gluing of natural seeds and grains to our premade boards starts just after cleaning up from the breakfast. Our theme for 2023 is “Harvest Moon Over Anderson Valley.” All supplies are provided and it is fun for everyone.
Both the pancake breakfast and the fair art project are a great way to meet new and old friends. We have had quite a long run of blue ribbons for our feature booths over the years and we need your help to make it happen again.
You do not have to be a Granger or a Friend of the Grange to take part in this event. In fact, we are actively seeking more involvement from folks. Specifically, we are looking for someone interested in helping coordinate members and getting new ones.
So, this Sunday is a big day for the AV Grange. But the booth isn’t complete yet…..On Wednesday the 20th starting at about noon, we put the art up in the booth. Help hanging the decorations is always welcome. Starting at about 4PM and on into the evening, please deliver your garden fruits, grains, and vegetables for display. We usually have about 75 varieties of fruits and vegetables. So, friends and neighbors, bring in a few examples from your garden.
It's a wonderful evening at the fairgrounds, bring your vegetables and watch as the displays are created and the animals arrive. It’s a great way to start your Fair weekend by being a part of the show.
For more information or questions contact Laura Baynham 707-972-2326, by text or email firstname.lastname@example.org Check us out on Facebook Anderson Valley Grange #669
MATT LAFEVER & HEIR APPARENT
LATE NIGHT LIZ ADDRESSES FORT BRAGG'S GROCERY OUTLET
Esteemed Coastal Commissioners,
I am Liz Helenchild, coastal resident since 1971. Please see & consider my comments & recommendations below re the approved development.
Acknowledging that the development has been approved, I am not satisfied that safety & environmental issues have been adequately anticipated or addressed. The siting itself seems unwise: too close to a concentration of medical facilities & to a major tourist attraction; also where increased vehicle traffic entering/exiting the area just north of the Noyo Bridge toward Cypress St could predictably cause more collisions. I urge a de novo hearing to more fully address the situation.
I recommend generally slowing traffic in the area, advantaging foot traffic, & improving visibility at all intersections.
Prioritize safety in the area by slowing traffic on N. Harbor Drive, S. Franklin Street, South Street and nearby streets.
*Require all trucks serving Grocery Outlet to use Cypress Street---rather than N. Harbor Drive---when entering or exiting Highway One. *
Require Grocery Outlet to hire full time cleanup crews to remove trash which will attract rodents & ravens, & also litter surrounding land, shore, & ocean.
Work with Adventist Health Mendocino Coast hospital so that traffic to and from Grocery Outlet will not impede emergency services (police, ambulance).
Develop an evacuation route for the Noyo Harbor area in addition to N. Harbor Dr. by re-opening the road west of Agostino's for emergency use in case of accidents, tsunami, fire in the Harbor.
Improve all sidewalks in the area. Install more curb cuts for wheelchairs.
Please acknowledge receiving my comments.
Liz Helenchild Box 1276 Mendocino CA 95460
FORT BRAGG LABOR DAY PARADE (photos by Jeff Goll)
ANDERSON VALLEY BREWING: We know harvest can be tough, long days (we’ve been watching it go by for the last 35 years) and we’d love to help. If you are working Harvest this year, ask your winery or Anderson Valley Winergrowers for the “secret” password. Say the password when visiting our taproom and get $1 off draft beer throughout September and October.
ON LINE COMMENT re: Geniella’s article about the Auditor situation: “Why is there this animosity towards the ACTTC? Years ago when Cubbison was the assistant auditor, she denied an illegal reimbursement claim by DA Dave for a restaurant bill he racked up. As a result, he was the one who pushed the merger and most of the board members want to be in his club. Because? Because of the wonderful things he does. This is all well documented and is important context for this whole show. Another note, County Counsel Curtis is also DA Dave’s agent in the board room. When DA Dave says “Christian, kill the cannabis equity grants” the board’s attorney snaps his heels and does what he can to stop years worth of work at the last second.
DRIVE SMART DRAWS BIG
Great turn out today in Anderson Valley at the Senior Center in Boonville for our Age Well Drive Smart Class. Driving is Freedom. Keeping that freedom as we get older is the focus of the 'Age Well Drive Smart' program. Let the CHP point out ways to keep your ability to drive for as long as possible.” To find out the next class near you, contact your local office. Don't know where your local office is, visit https://www.chp.ca.gov/find-an-office
Outstanding report by Mike Geniella on the current fiscal mess that is of Mendocino County’s own making. Once again, County officials have created a problem where there was none, and in the process tied the most convenient fall guy — actually gal — to the whipping post. The 18-month slander campaign mounted against Treasurer-Tax Collector/Auditor-Controller Chamise Cubbison, is as unfair as it is unseemly, and casts a shadow across the landscape of local governing in Mendocino County.
So now there will be a state audit soon underway in addition to the ongoing but incomplete annual federal audit. Great, the more audits the better since the public has been informed that the County keeps three sets of books and no on knows how much money is in the bank.
But we also need another process to occur that should have happened prior to the December 2021 consolidation of the Treasurer-Tax Collector and Auditor-Controller offices. It’s something that yours truly and two Supervisors have recommended take place for some time. Here’s the most recent request found in a response I made to Supe Ted Williams:
As I’ve suggested, as well as Supe Haschak and I believe Supe Gjerde also, the Board should call in former officials responsible for fiscal matters (Treasurer-Tax Collector, Auditor-Controller, Assessor, CEO) and interview/question and, hopefully, learn from them how they did their jobs. This is critical information the BOS admits it is lacking. This process would include but is not limited to such things as assessments of their responsibilities and how they performed their duties, how they exercised fiscal oversight and the identification of internal financial controls, systems that were utilized (manual vs. electronic/software, etc.), staffing levels (classifications and job descriptions) narrative descriptions of interdepartmental and third-party (ex.: outside, independent audit) working relationships detailing scope of work and information disclosed and received.
Since no one has explanations or answers to what caused the ongoing, untenable fiscal mess the county is in, you need to conduct an inquiry and start finding answers to all of the current unknowns prior to launching a substantially, momentous alteration to your organizational structure with this idea of a Department of Finance. By the way, if the Board does decide to hold an inquiry, it won’t be necessary for former officials to attend in-person. That’s the beauty of zoom meetings.”
Here’s a short list of former County finance-related officials who should be called into a public hearing to share their information and insights on how they did their jobs over the years:
Shari Schapmire, Treasurer-Tax Collector
Lloyd Weer, Auditor-Controller
Meredith Ford, Auditor-Controller
Dennis Huey, Auditor-Controller
Tim Knudson, Treasurer-Tax Collector
Carmel Angelo, CEO
Jim Anderson, CAO
It would also be interesting to find out what they think about the wholesale replacement of the current fiscal organization with the proposed creation of a Department of Finance.
THE GATHERING DARKNESS
The League of Women Voters of Mendocino County is pleased to again host our popular “Meet and Greet Your Elected Officials” reception. It will be held on Friday, September 22, from 5-7pm, at the Caspar Community Center. There will be no agenda or speeches, just an opportunity to chat one-on-one with officials from all over the county. Appetizers, wine, beer and other beverages will be offered. County officials and supervisors, city commissioners, school, fire and water district board members have all been invited. To ensure fresh air and adequate spacing, the event will be held outside. For more information, call 707-937-4952.
Pat Dunbar, Publicity, email@example.com
MENDOCINO COUNTY FAIR AND APPLE SHOW
The 95th Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show is September 22 through September 24 in Boonville. Please refer to the attached document in Word and PDF formats highlighting the Fair. If you have any questions, feel free to call me at 707.696.6973 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
LARRY SPRING PRESENTS.....
The Sound We See: A Fort Bragg City Symphony
This Saturday, Sept 9, we bring you a screening of an experimental community-made Super 8 film about the place we live called “The Sound We See: A Fort Bragg City Symphony”.
Over 30 participants created the film over 3 weeks of workshops, filming, performing processing and editing. I hope you can come and celebrate their work!
Gates open at 8
Screening at 8:30
Spring Commons is beside 225 E Redwood Ave
This project was made possible by a Community Foundation of Mendocino County grant. Guidance, good vibes, and facilitation provided by The Echo Park Film Center Collective.
Anne Maureen McKeating
707 962 3131
FROM THE SEPTEMBER 8th, 2021 EDITION OF THE AVA describes the origins of the Get Cubbison campaign:
THE SUPERVISORS found themselves in the middle of a bizarre dispute Tuesday. What began as a routine appointment of Assistant Auditor Chamise Cubbison to fill out the remaining term of retiring Auditor Lloyd Weer, saw DA David Eyster, in full bluster mode, zoom in to claim that Ms. Cubbison was “wrong” in requiring documentation to accompany a grant claim. Ditto, Eyster said, for several DA staffers’ claims for training-related travel.
MS. CUBBISON had rejected the claims for not being accompanied by the proper paperwork backup, and already taxpayers should fall in love with this lady for scrupulously guarding the public purse against windy big spenders like the DA who, incidentally, plays the CEO [Carmel Angelo at the time] like a bass viola, getting whatever he wants from her like, for instance, a half-dozen full-time investigators to investigate the three crimes a week committed by Mendocino County's master criminals.
EYSTER, though, insisted that the Auditor’s requirement didn’t apply to the DA’s office, and submitted various documents to allegedly prove his point.
BUT THE VALIANT Ms. Cubbison held her ground. She said she was simply following county policy, and as an independent auditor she was duty-bound to impose the local, state and federal rules as necessary.
UNACCUSTOMED to such impertinence from another county office, Eyster continued to insist that he was correct. Ms. Cubbison's predecessor also drew the DA's ire on occasion for simply challenging expenditures and categories of expenditures. The Auditor is supposed to be a nickelnoser. We should be grateful to this lady for challenging every dime these outback Caesers claim reimbursement for. (One of those claims originating with Eyster was tax-paid dinners for 75 guardians of law and order at the Broiler Steak House! The taxpapers should be on the hook for that debauch?)
THE PEOPLE'S PROSECUTOR went on at length about how wrong Ms. Cubbison was, adding that her unapologetic wrongness disqualified her from being appointed interim Auditor.
THE WUSS QUINTET functioning as Supervisors seemed flummoxed by the dispute, and clearly didn’t like being put in a position to actually take a stand on the validity of the arguments of the two opposing officials, one of them Mendocino County's lead law enforcement officer.
AFTER several rounds of back and forth between Cubbison and Eyster, neither of whom budged from their positions, the Board punted, deciding to continue Ms. Cubbison as “acting” Auditor in the absence of Weer, but with maybe a pay increase to go with the “acting” position.
THE SUPES then discussed consolidating the offices of Treasurer and Auditor into a larger “Finance Director” job at a later date, or whenever the Supe's $75k-plus Strategic Planning consultant comes up with her undoubtedly clueless “strategic” plan.
A READER WRITES: “The DA’s internal dollars and cents person, whom I know and trust, tells me that the acting auditor is a zealous paperpusher who focuses too much time on inane rules and regulations. A bureaucrat already in the making. She like Weer is coming in via the backdoor because she doesn't have the qualifications the job description requires. What is with the board rehiring Weer as ‘special help’ if in fact his hand-picked successor is qualified? Mendocino has the legislative right to create a Chief Financial Officer, and it should. That is the way to recruit and hire a qualified individual to oversee the people's finances, kind of like a GAO. We don't need one more bureaucrat slowing down the process over nickels and dimes.”
A READER REBUTS: “Chamise Cubbison is a friend of mine, so I am probably biased. By the way, this is just my opinion from what I have heard, not Chamise’s. I know that Chamise is a sharp bookkeeper and the “accusation” that she is a nitpicker could indeed be correct from the perspective of those with what they consider to be nits. Chamise is also quite capable of standing up for herself and her interpretation of basic accounting rules. Except for the complaints from the DA, I am not aware of anyone else with public complaints about her performance. I suspect that she has somehow gotten on the wrong side of CEO Angelo and, considering the timing, this dispute between Chamise and the DA is another example of CEO Angelo’s behind the scenes orchestration of people who the CEO views as not under the CEO’s thumb. Like the Treasurer-Tax Collector, the Auditor is an independently elected office and not hired or fired by the CEO. The Auditor is also responsible for the very important revenue side of the County’s budget. The CEO needs the Auditor to play ball to make the budget appear ok. On top of that we’ve seen an increase in finance and budget staffing in the CEO’s office lately and a very understaffed Auditor’s office. It wouldn’t be much of a stretch to imagine that the CEO is taking the opportunity of Mr. Weer’s retirement to take more control of the revenue side of the Budget and slow the process of filling vacancies in the Auditor’s office so that the CEO can have more control of the financial numbers and what is presented to the Supervisors. Then we have the District Attorney, a personal friend of CEO Angelo, whose complaints magically arise just as Chamise is up for the Interim Auditor appointment. And we have the CEO conveniently reminding the Board (through the County Counsel’s office) that they have an option of creating “Finance Director” position which would combine the independently elected Auditor and Treasurer positions into another unelected, high-salary manager for the CEO to hire and fire. (Did you notice that during the exchange on Tuesday, after the CEO riffed on the desirability of the “Finance Director” idea, the DA went out of his way to add with great fanfare: “CEO Angelo speaks the truth!”?) So I support the idea of an independent Auditor and the appointment of Chamise and I hope the Supervisors take immediate steps to make sure the Auditor’s office is fully staffed.”
THE GET CUBBISON cudgels were dutifully picked up by Supervisor Williams and Williams pet poodle, Supervisor McGourty, and here we are. Stay tuned because this story is about to go outrageous.
* * *
KURT VODOPALS responded below to our on-line comment of the day. Every day we post a lively random comment on Mendocino County's only morning cyber-newspaper, a daily one at that, available to anyone who buys a paper-paper subscription, otherwise a huge bargain at $25 a year.
THE COMMENT: I like how people who have never studied science beyond high school think they know more than people who devoted their whole life to it. We have entered the era of arrogant stupidity, no need to present a theory, then spend years researching and then proving your theory as true. In the modern era a YouTuber, who has spent no time researching and proving their theory as true, says it and people will believe it. Apparently scientists are nothing more than pawns of every government in the world to lie to and fool the people for a middle to middle upper class salary.
MR. V. RESPONDS: The online comment of the day really hits home with all the comments about the “poisoning” of the Navarro River watershed by (only) vineyards. Don’t need to mention weed plantations, leaky septic systems or decades of people just dumping their garbage in riparian areas.
The Navarro, like most American watersheds, has legions of non-profits, governmental and non-governmental organizations stewing around trying to fix the problems. There is even a Navarro River Watershed Group supported by the Mendocino County Resource Conservation District.
Most of these organizations are now focused more on water quantity than quality. But my suggestion is to engage them, particularly those organizations and people that are subsidized by your tax dollars. You might find many of your questions answered already. Or you might find new approaches to an existing undiscovered issue.
Or, like the online comment of the day, you might prefer to just sit there and point fingers without having the slightest clue about that which you speak of.
There are thousands of struggling watersheds all over the North Coast that don’t have vineyards.
VERILY, VERILY. I'm still in deep mourning for the disappeared frogs whose annihilation I blame on the vineyards because frog-loss, l think, can be blamed primarily on chemical run-off from vineyards. But I agree with Mr. V that all the watersheds on the Northcoast have been badly damaged, each, I suppose, in their own way. Write it off as Old Guy pessimism, but we seem to be doomed as a species ourselves given the damage that has been done, plus an elected leadership of sociopaths at all levels of government, and domination by the super-rich who don't seem to know or care they're going to disappear with the rest of us. This brilliant cartoon perfectly sums it all up.
REMEMBERING THE TRAGEDY OF AARON BASSLER.
by Mazie Malone
It has been 12 years since the tragic murders of Jere Melo and Matthew Coleman in Fort Bragg by Aaron Bassler a man with a very long history of unraveling Serious Mental Illness, Schizophrenia. Aaron was killed by the police, what a terrifying & horrific ordeal for Aarons family to witness, the mission to hunt down their son and make him pay for his crimes.
I read Stephen Sparks and Tom Allman's book “Out There in the Woods” the daily account of the 36-day manhunt for Aaron Bassler. Not exactly riveting or interesting, for me I read it out of necessity to write this article. What the book had to offer was insight into the minds of law enforcement and how in these past 12 years there has been no change in the response or care for people suffering from deterioration and psychosis due to Serious Mental Illness. My own experience with law enforcement and mental illness is that it is like playing roulette, 50, 50 chance of being taken to jail or hospital, dial the number and pray you get the help you need.
Did Aaron Bassler's family try to help him? Did they ask for intervention? Multiple times yes, they did, no one listened or cared that Aaron needed help. He required intervention and treatment to stabilize his deteriorating brain, but there was none to be had, no one to step up and 5150 him even though he was increasingly becoming unhinged it was extremely concerning to his family. Aaron never had a chance because not one protocol, service or system in place could help him. Nothing. He was an adult and expected to know, understand and request help, but he was to freaking sick to do so. When his family pleaded for the courts, the system, someone to help there was no response. Families are judged and rejected for their concerns and calls for help when someone they love is decompensating. As a mother I find it quite disturbing that my requests were viewed as a worried upset mom, when in fact families have the inside track to these situations and should be taken seriously.
Can you see in the last 12 years that there has been an increase in these serious mental illnesses and still no cohesive action too address them? I can absolutely testify to the fact that we have not provided the necessary solutions to alleviate the suffering that these disorders bring to individuals, their families and the community. Most of the damage caused to us is not the illness or addiction that can come along with it, it is the response, the non-response, the total disregard and blame of the individual and their family. At the same time that we allow a person's freedom of choice could we be condemning them to death? And what about Aaron Bassler's case was it his freedom of choice? Was it his illness? Was it drugs that caused him to murder 2 people in cold blood? It was actually the systemic failure to medicate and treat him against his will and get him stabilized, his brain to calm down and function harmoniously in society. Mental illness is horrible, Schizophrenia a nightmare that can be treated with proper meds and the right therapy. Yet we would much rather put our head in the sand and pretend we have no responsibility in the individual's freedom of choice! Sometimes people are too sick to comprehend their actions and choices, but we still allow them too, at the detriment of us all.
My experiences with “The System” have caused so much heartache and trauma that I never want anyone to feel alone when they are trying to help a loved one in these situations. All the years since this incident what solutions have, we come up with to help people? Assisted Outpatient Treatment and a Mobile Crisis Unit along with a bunch of boards and committees. AOT has strict criteria, Mobile Crisis is filtered through Law Enforcement and not ran 24 hours a day. I would never say these things are not helpful, they are to a certain percentage of people.
Could these programs have helped Aaron? That is the question, would anything in place now have given Aaron Bassler's brain the meds and treatment necessary to become well? I would say definitely not! What he needed was stabilization and medication for a prolonged period of time. But how on earth can we get to that point if there is not any intervention being offered?
We have quite a few Aarons on the loose in Ukiah, the only difference is we are not close to the woods and hopefully none of them have access to firearms. What they do have is the pleasure of being free on the streets to fend for themselves and continue into mental decline of psychosis and petty crime. Where do we draw the line? Is there a line? Do I just imagine there is? Someone needs a big red crayon and some guts to say enough is enough.
It’s so nice to read this [The Sheriff Reno Bartolomie self-mini-memoir]. Thank you for sharing! My Dad had lots and lots of amazing stories! We had great times riding our horses, hunting (one of his favorite spots was Greenfield Ranch when Annie Greenfield owned it and the Folsom Ranch (when Mary Dale Folsom and Tico were alive) cutting firewood and fishing in just about every river we could find – my Dad LOVED the outdoors; he had an amazing garden that fed us all summer long and into the winter with my Mom’s canning. He was a gourmet Italian cook. Of course he never had a recipe! He loved our County, we were all safe and grew up staying outside playing until dark, walking to and from school and riding our bikes everywhere. My dad started the Mendocino County 4-Wheel Patrol, Mounted Posse and Air Squadron – we would all camp for a weekend in Eden Valley during their training sessions each year. He loved an adventure – we went to see Evil Knievel attempt to jump the Snake River Canyon outside of Twin Falls, Idaho! My family had a great life lead by an amazing man! We miss him everyday! Thanks again!
50 YEARS OF HIP HOP
Saturday, September 23rd, KMUD Radio is having a 50 Years of Hip Hop Fundraiser. Nor Cal’s finest MC’s and DJs Eli Fowler, Mika Sun, B. Swizlo, and more are performing live on stage at the KMUD Studios in Redway. This is a free, all-ages event: food, drinks, live art by Lobo, freestyle by Cyfer, raffle prizes, and giveaways. Go to KMUD.org for information and to see sponsors. That’s Saturday, September 23rd, from 2-6 p.m., at KMUD Studios in Redway.
Lisa “Luv” Deny
KMUD Redwood Community Radio
50 Years of Hip Hop Anniversary Coordinator
TRUMP CO-DEFENDANT HAS LOCAL CONNECTION - STEPHEN C. LEE A FORMER DEPUTY SHERIFF IN MENDOCINO COUNTY
by Jody Martinez
The Fulton County, Georgia Aug. 24 jail booking photo of former U.S. President Donald J. Trump may have grabbed the lion’s share of public interest in recent days — even being marketed for financial gain by the Trump campaign and sold on T-shirts — but the jail mugshot of one of his co-defendants was also an attention-grabber.
And it has a Mendocino County connection.
It’s not often you see someone who is accused of a crime booked into jail wearing a clerical collar, but the last of 19 defendants facing criminal charges related to alleged interference with the 2020 presidential election in Georgia surrendered at the Fulton County Jail just before the deadline Aug. 25, wearing clothing that clearly indicated his religious profession.
He is the Rev. Stephen Cliffgard Lee, the 70-year-old interim pastor of Living Word Lutheran Church in Orland Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago.
Before he was a man of the cloth, however, Lee was a Mendocino County employee, working as a deputy sheriff at the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office for more than six years in the 1980s, from just before Thanksgiving in 1980 until the Spring of 1987. He was assigned to the Mendocino Coast.
In newspaper articles from the 1980s, he is identified as Steve Lee, and is referred to as a deputy sheriff and also as a Mendocino County sheriff’s investigator.
He worked in law enforcement in Mendocino County during the terms of two sheriffs: Tom Jondahl (1975-1983) and Tim Shea (1983-1993).
In Georgia last month, Lee was indicted on five criminal counts related to the 2020 presidential election. His Fulton County Sheriff’s Office booking record lists the charges as: Violation of the Georgia RICO (Racketeer Influenced And Corrupt Organizations) Act; two counts of criminal attempt to commit influencing witnesses; conspiracy to commit solicitation of false statements and writings; and influencing witnesses.
Lee’s bail was set at $75,000. After surrendering Aug. 25, and posting a 10 percent bond, or $7,500, he was released.
Two days later, he was preaching from the pulpit at his Illinois church. That Aug. 27 worship service was livestreamed on You Tube and can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djlBkcKNsyY
Court arraignment for Lee, and many other defendants in the Georgia election interference case, is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 6.
(The Ukiah Daily Journal.)
Background excerpts re: Stephen Lee
New York Magazine:
“…Lee, a 70-year-old Lutheran pastor, is unlike most of the other figures charged in the indictment — politicians and political activists working directly with the Trump campaign to pressure state officials to change the vote count. After serving as a sheriff’s deputy in California in the 1980s, Lee was ordained as a minister in 1992 and began serving as a police chaplain. In 1999, after moving to Colorado Springs, he was the head chaplain for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms agents who responded to the Columbine school shooting. …”
* * *
From the Chicago Tribune:
The indictment against Lee regards allegations about his interactions with Fulton County poll worker Ruby Freeman. Freeman “was falsely accused” of committing election crimes by many of the defendants, the indictment reads. It also alleges that in December 2020, Lee traveled to Freeman’s home, spoke to her neighbor and knocked on Freeman’s door.
The indictment states Lee made this visit “with intent to knowingly engage in misleading conduct toward Ruby Freemen, by purporting to offer her help, and with intent to influence her testimony.”
The indictment also connects Lee to several of the other defendants via phone records.
While there is video evidence of Lee knocking on Freeman’s door, Lee’s attorney Mr. Shestokas said there is no evidence a crime was committed. He said Lee has performed religious duties in the aftermath of tragedies such as the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center and the more recent Las Vegas Route 91 Harvest music festival shooting.
* * *
Reuters: “Lee played a central role in a failed effort to pressure Freeman to admit to an election fraud that never occurred, according to a Reuters examination of police body camera footage and court documents, as well as interviews with key participants. After being rebuffed by Freeman, Lee contacted Harrison Floyd, who had run outreach to black voters for Trump’s 2020 campaign. Floyd arranged another visit to Freeman on Jan. 4, 2021, this time from Chicago publicist Trevian Kutti, who threatened Freeman with jail unless she provided information on election fraud, Reuters reported last December.”
“…Lee had a long career in law enforcement before he starting focusing on his ministry as a chaplain. He was a sergeant in the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked from 1980 to 1987. According to his online biography, he also served as a special agent for the U.S. Navy’s law-enforcement arm, now known as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service. In 1996, he founded Peace Officer Ministries Inc, a Christian organization that serves officers and their families, and served as its executive director until January 2010, according to archived pages of the organization’s website.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, Tuesday, September 5, 2023
DANIEL CAULEY, Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.
ERICA CERVANTES, Boonville. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, disobeying court order.
JESSICA DIAZ, Ukiah. Under influence, controlled substance for sale, bringing controlled substance into jail, probation revocation.
ERIC GARCIA, Redwood Valley. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs, probation violation.
GORDAN HANOVER SR., Ukiah. DUI-alcohol&drugs, leaded cane, controlled substance.
TESLA HENCZ, Laytonville. Grand theft, conspiracy.
KELLI JOHNSON, Sacramento/Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-under influence.
BUCK LEGGETT, Willits. County parole violation.
JAKE LEWISKOOY, Ukiah. Probation revocation. (Frequent Flyer)
ISMAEL MARTINEZ, Fort Bragg. Reckless evasion.
KENNETH MCCARTY, Covelo. Probation revocation.
MARQUIS PIPPINS, Richmond/Ukiah. DUI.
STEPHANIE SMITH, Vacaville/Ukiah. Domestic battery, paraphernalia, use of personal ID without authorization.
DONALD SPICER, Willits. Grand theft, conspiracy.
GARY ST.CLAIR, Willits. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs.
The horrific story about the forced removal of Cloverdale trailer park residents demonstrates, yet again, the failures of a market-based solution to housing poor people. The lack of affordable housing in Sonoma County is a mantra every public official shouts, but few seem to do anything other than give away more money to already well-off developers and lament the turnover times for development.
The Cloverdale trailer park is affordable housing for the most vulnerable. Having a private owner buy the trailer park, then kick out the residents isn’t acceptable. One solution is simple given that affordable housing doesn’t exist for poor people in Sonoma County. The state and federal governments could buy the park from the owners, invest in the necessary repairs and declare that the property will remain affordable in perpetuity.
This could also work with a nonprofit organization if sufficient funds are made available by the state. This can be accomplished by invoking eminent domain under the premises of public interest and safety. In essence, the park land would be held by the public, even while the trailers are privately owned. This private-public mix would benefit the owners of the trailers and the state since low-income housing would already exist for those who need it most.
J. Talmadge Wright
DR. HERGNERATHER’S POLITICAL PRESCRIPTION
by Fred Gardner
Michael Krawitz, an Air Force veteran who has been working for three decades to legalize the medical use of marijuana, emailed this heartfelt but vague invitation to Dr. Jeffrey Hergenrather: “The Veterans Action Council has been having regular meetings with the ONDCP discussing how to best implement medical cannabis nationally after rescheduling. There is a role for the SCC in this effort as the voice of medical professionals in this field.”
[The ONDCP is the Office of National Drug Control Policy, formerly known as the Drug Czar's office. The SCC is the Society 0f Cannabis Clinicians, which Hergenrather, a charter member, led for a decade after Tod Mikuriya's death in 2007. Now 75 and seemingly fit as a fiddle, he is still on the SCC board of directors. Your correspondent, also a charter member, produced a journal of sorts for the SCC and was on the board until a year ago. I resigned because I sensed that my adversarial attitude towards the Center for Medical Cannabis Research –an entity established at the University of California by politicians intending to regain control after voters passed Proposition 215 to legalize marijuana for medical use– was outdated and impractical.
Dr. Hergenrather is a socialist in the George Bernard Shaw mold. When Shaw and Sidney and Beatrice Webb founded the Fabian Society, they “agreed to give up the delightful ease of revolutionary heroics and take to the hard work of practical reform on ordinary parliamentary lines.” What follows is Hergenrather's response to Mike Krawitz:
“Re: Taxation: I agree we should get representation at the table with the ONDCP. I’m especially interested in treating cannabis as the medicine it is by stopping taxation of medical cannabis products. The recreational market is already taxing cannabis heavily and that is a different battle, but for medicine we need to make this medicine more financially available to the public, vets and those with limited resources especially.
“Re: Therapeutic Use of Cannabis: Another great area of omission is in only funding and studying cannabis as a drug of abuse. As a medicine with such great benefit and potential we need to have the NIH [the National Institutes of Health] create and fund research into the therapeutic opportunities of cannabis. I can’t say which federal institutions apply pressure to educational and health care institutions but it is a potent embargo that will not be crossed until the feds reschedule and accept the fact that it is medicine for millions of people.
“Re: Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD): Most people using cannabis on a frequent basis for medical problems would fall under the definition of CUD. This vilification of cannabis medicine is naive, vindictive, and inappropriate. Cannabinoid deficiency syndromes are real and can be treated effectively with regular cannabis use that includes THC, the only known phytocannabinoid direct agonist to the CB1 and CB2 receptors.
“Re: High Potency Cannabis: Issues of cannabis abuse are real but out of proportion with the facts. If cannabis is rescheduled then availability of high potency cannabis products needs to be protected and respected in the medical marketplace. It is not uncommon to use hundreds of milligrams of THC along with a variety of minor cannabinoids in treating incurable cancers, occasionally with success. We can’t control the behavior of teens and young adults who choose to use high potency products to get altered. If they are not driving or using dangerous equipment they will not be harmed by cannabis overdoses.
“Re Driving and Cannabis Use: Much could be said about driving and using cannabis. Per se limits for THC blood levels (zero, or 2-5ng/ml) while useful in the infrequent or novice cannabis user are clearly inappropriate in the chronic/medical users. Persons using cannabis daily for medical purposes will have elevated levels far beyond these ”per se”concentrations for THC and 11-OH-THC commonly without impairment. Law enforcement will continue to have a challenge in field sobriety testing to determine whether a person is driving under the influence (DUI) vs. simply a cannabis user without impairment hours after the last dose when cannabis is being used as medicine.”
In the piece filed last week I neglected to note that roughly 1/4 of Hergenrather's patients are minors (under age 18), and that thanks to telemedicine he is seeing more patients than ever at residential care facilities for the elderly –Mirabel Lodge in Forestivlle; La Valhalla in El Cajon; Creekside Cottages and Taking the Journey Care Homes in Petaluma; the Nightingale Care Home, Hanna House West and Autumn Ride Care Home in Santa Rosa; Del Monte Assisted Living in Stockton; Maple House II in Santa Cruz; Sunrise Senior Living in San Diego; Nazareth Villas in Agua Caliente' Nazareth Rose Garden in Napa... I also didn't specify that Dr. Hergenrather worked in local emergency rooms for 26 years after the family moved to Sebastopol in 1983. And that Starr Hergenrather taught theatre arts and dance at Analy High School until her retirement in 2017. This summer she directed A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Occidental Center for the Arts. Her version was set in Athens (Ohio) in 1969, embedded with Beatles songs, and the wandering lovers were aging hippies. Only Covid kept me away. (Starr Hergenrather's shows at Analy were sesteeo finely crafted I’m shaw they would have gotten favorable reviews from GBS himself.)
The Society of Cannabis Clinicians now has 539 members in 30 countries. On Saturday, Sept. 2, they held their first ever conference to bring medical professionals up to speed on what experienced practitioners have learned by treating patients (an alternative to conducting controlled clinical trials). “But even we have fallen into a kind off pharmaceutical-industry way of thinking,” observed Dr. Benson Hausman, “paying great attention to which cannabinoids exert which medical effects.” Dr. Bonni Goldstein, a beloved pediatrician based in Huntington Beach, discussed the beneficial effects of two cannabinoids once deemed “minor” — CBG and CBD-V — but emphasized that preparations made from the whole plant were most desirable.
I'M STILL AT BURNING MAN and I'm not sorry.
by Ashley Harrell
Dirty toilets, muddy shoes and flooded tents won’t stop the party at Burning Man.
On Saturday night, from the top of a 50-foot climbable wooden sculpture, I looked out over a version of the Black Rock Desert I’d never seen before. There were no art cars and no bicycles, just glowing works of art separated by vast expanses caked in mud caused by an unprecedented amount of rain during the week-long Burning Man festival. Instead of gathering to watch the man go up in flames, which has been postponed until Monday, most of the 70,000 burners trapped at the festival had stayed around their camps or gone barhopping on nearby streets.
More rain, they knew, was on the way.
“Maybe instead of burning the man, they’ll convert it into an ark,” another burner atop the sculpture joked.
The comment sums up the attitude out here pretty well right now. Despite flooded tents, uncertainty around exodus, dwindling supplies and mud-covered shoes and costumes, most burners I’ve chatted with over the last couple of days have managed to continue having a good time. The bars were packed Saturday night and there seemed to be a dance party on every block.
Although the struggle is certainly real out here for some attendants, the majority show up to this unforgiving desert ready for dust storms, extreme temperatures and any other ordeals that might arise. Many bring extra water, food and fuel just in case, with the intention to share with anybody who might need it.
“Burning Man is about radical self-reliance, but also community,” long-time volunteer Bart Smaalders — playa name Full Gear — told me. He’s been at Burning Man every year it happened since 2004, and although this is the most rain he’s ever seen on the playa, in making the rounds to help people out, he observed that most are well-prepared and will survive just fine for a couple of extra days in the desert, if necessary.
That isn’t to say there are no issues. Police are investigating the death of a 40-year-old male that occurred during the storm (one person also died at the 2018, 2019 and 2022 events). On Sunday, some people desperate to get out of the desert walked miles in the mud to catch the bus, while others drove fast toward the exit in an attempt to avoid getting stuck. Dozens lost control of their vehicles and got into accidents, clogging the roads and causing problems for emergency vehicles needing to get through, Smaalders said.
Seconds later, a large truck whizzed down the street at well over the 5 mph speed limit, shooting mud in all directions and prompting nearby Burners to yell profanities. It was all in vain, though, as officials had already closed the gates in an effort to prevent more accidents. As of Sunday evening, there was no announcement about when the exit might reopen.
For the majority of burners who are heeding the warnings of officials and staying put, the biggest obstacles have been muddy conditions, increasingly nasty port-a-potties and flooded tents.
Burners still eager to socialize and check out art have secured garbage bags over their shoes to prevent them from getting wet or muddy, while others are simply walking around barefoot. Meanwhile, mud has crept into the port-a-potties and service trucks have had a tough time getting to them, allowing waste to accumulate. Large amounts of moop (Burning Man lingo for litter) has piled up around the port-a-potties and elsewhere, creating a massive headache for those staying after the festival to carry out its “leave no trace” mandate.
Some of the least fortunate Burners have had to find new places to sleep. Nick Whitaker came up from Long Beach to attend Burning Man for the first time this year. After his tent flooded Friday night, he had to transfer all of his belongings, including his bed, into his car. He’s been sleeping there ever since.
“I had to abandon ship,” Whitaker told SFGATE, smiling. “It’s definitely been an interesting burn — it’s one for the history books.”
WHY YOUR TEAM SUCKS 2023: SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
My annual installment on the misery of being a 49ers fan
by Drew Magary
Some people are fans of the San Francisco 49ers. But many, many more people are NOT fans of the San Francisco 49ers. This 2023 Defector NFL team preview is for those in the latter group. Read all the previews so far from Defector.
Your team: San Francisco 49ers.
Your 2022 record: 13-4. This was the best team in the league by the end of the regular season. But since these are the Niners, they took the most circuitous route possible to get there. They lost their opener to Chicago, letting Justin Fields throw for two TDs. Who the f—k lets Justin Fields complete two passes, let alone for touchdowns? Even the BEARS don’t want Fields to do that. The Niners even blew a 10-0 second half lead in that game to punctuate the disgrace.
They also somehow lost 11-10 to Denver, in a contest where the Broncos went three-and-out nine times and neither team topped 267 total yards on offense. A war crime of a football game, and yet still more entertaining than the NFC Championship turned out to be. Three weeks after that Denver catastrophe, the Niners out-passed Atlanta 296 yards to 121 and still lost by two touchdowns anyway. The week after that, they went up 10-0 on Kansas City, but Patrick Mahomes always needs to fall behind by double digits just to get his arm warmed up. He’d end up beating them by three touchdowns.
And that’s how these Niners ended up 3-4 at the beginning of the season. This team always starts off slower than a Somali track star.
I haven’t even gotten to the QB issues yet. San Francisco’s would-be franchise QB busted his ankle in just the second week of the season, forcing them to start on-again off-again boyfriend Jimmy Garoppolo at quarterback for the next three months. And then Jimmy G got hurt, busting his foot and forcing the Niners to start the very last pick of the 2022 Draft the rest of the way. And somehow, this was only the beginning of their woes at that position.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. Right before that Chiefs loss, San Francisco poached RB Christian McCaffrey from Carolina in a deal that turned out to be a steal, even accounting for positional values. After the Niners plugged CMC into the starting lineup, they ran the table. By the time the playoffs arrived, they were outright terrifying. They had the best defense in the league, the most dangerous assortment of skill position players known to man, and the best coaching staff in the NFC. They killed Seattle in the Wild Card round. They embarrassed Dallas in the Divisional Round without trying all that hard.
This team was so hot that, for the NFC title game, Philadelphia was favored by a scant 2.5 points, despite the Eagles playing at home. Vegas considered these Niners the better all-around team, although only by a hair. So this was going to be an absolute war, maybe the best NFC title game in ages. Instead…
That’s rookie QB and Make-A-Wish kid Brock Purdy, who got to throw all of two passes before the Eagles’ Haason Reddick came off the edge and turned his elbow into pulled pork. Purdy’s replacement, Josh Johnson, would suffer a concussion right after the half, forcing the Niners to put Purdy back in the game, despite Purdy openly telling his head coach, “I can’t throw.”
Once that happened, it was all over. This titanic matchup ended up having all the suspense of a f—king preseason game. The Niners had 164 total yards the entire day. They held the Eagles to 269 yards on offense, but still lost by 24 points. CMC was the emergency QB for the Niners, and I wish they’d put him under center instead of an injured Purdy, if only for the novelty of it. This game was so terrible that the NFL had to change its QB eligibility rules this offseason to ensure that it never happened again. Given the Niners’ current QB stable, I’m still not confident this new rule will prevent a recurrence.
Your coach: Kyle Shanahan, who deserves to get roasted on a spit for how he’s managed his quarterbacks over the length of his tenure. He always picks them wrong, and he always gets them hurt. But since Shanahan lives rent-free in the collective mouth of the Bay Area sports media, and since the national football press treats him like an infallible child prodigy who plays 12-D chess while every other coach is playing Candy Land, this man can do no wrong even when he’s gotten the most important position in football wrong every single f—king year.
Steve Wilks is your new defensive coordinator, by the way. He’s cool. Shanahan will treat him like s—t.
Your quarterback: Everything about this team’s fortunes this season, and in seasons to come, resides with a position that Shanahan has yet to make whole. There’s a reason that he traded up in the draft to get QB Trey Lance two years ago. He knew that a head coach can only system-quarterback a team so far, so he sold the farm to draft a guy who took a grand total of five snaps before turning pro, and only needed two seasons to show the world he can’t play for s—t. I can give credit to Shanahan for admitting his mistake and trading Lance to the first sucker on the block (Dallas, naturally) as quickly as he could, but that doesn’t absolve him of drafting Lance to begin with. It’s like if I stole your life savings and then you sent me a thank-you note because I donated 10% of it to UNICEF. You f—king chump. Get the f—k out of here.
As far as I’m concerned, Trey Lance is the worst draft pick of this century. An unmitigated disaster. Worthy of mention alongside the likes of Ryan Leaf and JaMarcus Russell. It’s a pick that should be hung around Shanahan’s neck for the rest of his loathsome career. I know that sounds like cut-and-paste sportswriter hyperbole, but I mean it: This trade cost you Super Bowls. You know how the Packers got dinged for wasting all of Aaron Rodgers’ prime? This is the inverse of that. The Niners have had the best roster in football for years now, and are pissing it away all because they drafted Lance. That’s a fact. If you think otherwise, you better be Shanahan’s dad.
The only way Shanahan gets out from under this decision is if Purdy stays healthy and proves to be a legit MVP-caliber QB, and what are the odds of those two things happening? Brock Purdy excelled because he played behind a killer O-line, and because Shanahan schemed a coterie of obscenely talented pass-catchers wide open for him. What happens when this little f—ker has to go off schedule? What happens now that he has massive expectations to live up to, and isn’t just the new kid anymore? What happens when he has to make his teammates better, and not the other way around? This man is a system QB, and so are his two current backups (Sam Darnold and Brandon Allen). All of that will prove fatal when it matters. Don’t try to sell me any line of bulls—t that says otherwise.
What’s new that sucks: Even when you factor in Aaron Rodgers going to New York, the biggest move of the offseason was the Niners signing DT Javon Hargrave away from Philadelphia in free agency. This is now an even better front seven than it was a year ago … if Nick Bosa ends his holdout. No one will be able to run on them … if Nick Bosa ends his holdout. And opposing quarterbacks will barely have any time to throw … if Nick Bosa ends his holdout.
And even if Bosa does end his holdout, this defense still has to account for the losses of S Jimmie Ward, CB Emmanuel Moseley, LB Azeez Al-Shaair, DTs Hassan Ridgeway and Maurice Hurst, and others. Lemme hump the FTN almanac again by quoting them here about this defense: “San Francisco was 24th against deep passes last season and 31st the year before.” So when these guys have to go to Philly in early December to face the Eagles’ passing attack, it won’t matter if Brock Purdy turns out to be dwarf Kurt Warner. You f—kers aren’t getting out of there alive.
Maybe the Niners could have patched these holes in the draft, but thanks to the Lance and CMC trades, they didn’t have any picks in the first two rounds this past spring. And with one of their three third-round picks, they took a goddamn kicker. They then traded for a kicker, and yet somehow still need a kicker.
I haven’t even gotten to the offense yet, where RT Mike McGlinchey, with a glinchey grin, walked to Denver for a bag and a half. RG Daniel Brunskill also left town, leaving the right side of this O-line as unstable as Aldon Smith. Trent Williams remains the anchor of this line and the best tackle in the entire sport, but how long can he last now that he’s 35 and has a documented history of mutated cordyceps growing out of his head? Shanahan and puppet GM John Lynch are acting like this roster will be loaded forever when that’s already proving untrue. When it all goes to s—t, they’ll be last ones to realize it.
Why the players think you suck: The training room. “A significant number of players feel that it is small and needs more tables.”
Do you really think Kyle Shanahan wants his training room to be MORE accommodating to players? They might actually end up visiting it if he does that!
What has always sucked: Can’t believe I made this far without bagging on the owner.
That’s Jed York, who just got sued for doing some boilerplate white-guy s—t. Oh, and he’s engineered a shadow takeover of the town of Santa Clara, so that he can bend it to his every whim. This team was previously owned by a straight-up mobster and somehow the new guy is sketchier. No wonder Jed is so invested in Kyle Shanahan’s attempts to make this team the autonomous vehicle of football.
Everything about these Niners is made of 21st century grift, and that grift filters right down to the fan base, which is composed of working class people who got priced out of San Francisco, bros who keep getting into fights at In-N-Out and rich yuppies who left San Francisco years ago and now tell anyone within earshot that the city itself is Hanoi circa 1962. It’s just a bunch of clueless assholes all bulls—tting one another, and it’s gonna result in a premature exit from the postseason every year until the end of time.
Deebo sucked last year. The fullback is still the most popular player on the roster with all the white fans. The Warriors dynasty is deader than Bill Russell.
Ratto says: Team president Jed York is being sued for insider trading and securities fraud in his role as a board member of an educational company based in the 49ers’ home colony of Santa Clara. The suits claim that York and other board members concealed the company’s role in helping college students cheat on online tests, and then dumped their company stock at the top of the market. In other words, in the context of the NFL’s other owners and how they made their money, Jed is now a real boy.
What might not suck: Well s—t I don’t want MY team to face them in the playoffs. Are you f—king crazy?
HEAR IT FROM NINERS FANS!
“COVID is a hoax. The 1.2 million Americans who have died since 2020 were merely playing quarterback for Kyle Shanahan.”
“TUNE IN NEXT YEAR WHEN THE 49ERS RIP THE HEARTS OUT FROM THE CHESTS OF THEIR FANS WHILE FINDING OUT IF QUARTERBACK IS, IN FACT, A CRITICAL ON-FIELD POSITION!
“Ahahahah I’m still crying.”
“I keep hearing how we have a great roster. Having a great roster and no QB is like having an incredible body and no f—king head.”
“F—k this team for making me believe it’s possible to win a Super Bowl without a quarterback, and doublef—k them for coming close enough to pulling it off that no meaningful change will occur.”
“One-third of our fanbase would call the cops on the other two-thirds if they ran into them anywhere other than Levi Stadium.”
“The only consolation prize for watching every QB go down as quickly as $15 Walgreens earbuds in the most meaningful conference game of the season is knowing that they would’ve lost to Patrick Mahomes again.
“There is no 49ers fan I want to high-five less during a game at the bar than a white man in a Nick Bosa jersey. Except another Black man wearing a Nick Bosa jersey.”
“We signed Sam Darnold, who suffers from Mr. Burns’s Every Disease Syndrome.”
“Kyle Shanahan is like a chef who cooks killer appetizers but sucks at entrees.”
“Will this finally be the season the 49ers disrupt the traditional ways of winning a Super Bowl by having Air Bud play QB?”
“After nine years, I’ve run out of different ways to say the stadium is too hot and too far away. It sucks and it’s going to keep sucking for the rest of my life.
“I’ve given up on ever again seeing a quarterback who can actually play for an entire season.”
“‘What if Nathan Peterman was functional? ’
“Also, Kyle is definitely signing Kirk Cousins next offseason (kill me).”
”Do we even have a quarterback?”
“They have whiffed on almost all their first rounders. No wonder they just trade them away now.”
“Kyle Shanahan strongly prefers quarterbacks who are undersized but also do not have very strong arms (lifelong habit too: Matt Schaub, Kirk Cousins etc.). If they have the ability to get injured, all the better. He also loves not giving a s—t about protecting them. I am seriously beginning to think that his goal is to set the NFL record for most QBs to play in a single year.
“And if you think he recognizes that this is an issue, think again. He offers no apologies and sees nothing wrong with allowing his TE3 to block the other team’s best pass rusher one-on-one.”
“I am convinced that Leeds United (now owned by the 49ers) will make it into Champions League play before the 49ers win another Super Bowl.”
“Levi’s Stadium is still a glorified convention center that doubles as a George Foreman Grill. Sam Darnold will probably start half the season. F—k Trent Baalke.”
“We wasted a generationally-great defense because they couldn’t figure out how to keep any QB from getting murdered. Chase Daniel would never sign on to be the backup here; the risk of having to take off the ballcap is too great.
“All the red flags flew last January when conservative family members in my social networks started passing around the coverage that Purdy got in Focus On The F—king Family. He’s a couple of months from going on an Instagram bender about the LGBTQ community and ‘parental rights.’
“And when Purdy does finally out himself as problematic on social media, it mostly won’t play in the Bay Area. Because let me introduce you to the East Bay, particularly that section between San Jose and Oakland that is Northern California’s version of Orange County. A land abundant with strip malls and Cheesecake Factory franchises, bursting with upper-middle-class people who believe they Ayn Randed themselves to success despite all evidence. For the folks in the Fremont area, Purdy will become their cause. He just wins, and he’s a free thinker. Silicon Valley is going to love him. At least the Giants disinvited Aubrey Huff from their World Series celebration after he went mental from Twitter Brain.
“F—k Jim Druckenmiller.”
“Figure the QB position out you f—king assholes. I have to get s—t from my asshole friends because we get curb-stomped in the conference title game after trotting out a bowl of pudding under center since we had no one else.
“Also, Kyle Shanahan is loved by his father but he’s not a serious f—king person.”
“I have a friend who is a rabid Packers fan. Every time we talk sports he calls us the Santa Clara Niners. It stings every time. F—k you John York.”
“George Kittle is a Stoolie.”
“Around mid-June I miss football. By mid-February I never want to watch another game.
“We are the doormats of the NFC championship game. If you want to get to the Super Bowl, you’ve got to go through us. ‘Go through’ typically means waiting about one quarter until half the team is on injured reserve. If Tony Romo’s anatomical integrity was an entire team, it would be us. I will be this team’s starting quarterback by Week 6.
“Our fanbase is insufferable. Most of them will vanish the next time we miss the playoffs. Deebo Samuel will be popping up easily catchable lobs into defenders’ hands, only to be instantly forgiven when he takes an end around eight yards and gets tackled by all 11 defenders.
“Our best player definitely keeps a room empty for Donald Trump at all times should he ever need a safehouse. F—k Jim Harbaugh.”
“Yo f—k you drew. Why you going to go and talk s—t about some team that you ain’t got s—t to say about? Next time say that s—t with a dick in your mouth.
“I’m just kidding. It’s a completely fair review.”
* * *
49er FOOTBALL, AN ON-LINE COMMENT: “One-third of our fanbase would call the cops on the other two-thirds if they ran into them anywhere other than Levi Stadium.”
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
“Tell me the carrying capacity of the earth using your imagination,” he said.
Very limited imagination required. Take longterm-sustainable energy resources (no significant hydrocarbons, no nuclear, nothing requiring intensive mining or infrastructure), longterm-sustainable ecological practices (very little intensive agricultural monoculture land-use, little domesticated livestock raising/grazing), longterm-sustainable social-organizational patterns (no affiliated group larger than the regional tribe).
Max population under these conditions = maximum sustainable carrying capacity of the planet. Something certainly under a few hundred million, as max historical numbers with these conditions are about 10 million.
Disagree? Poke holes in this formula.
A READER NOTES: Cancel Culture has inevitably come for… Queen’s 1970s Classic “Fat Bottomed Girls”. This despite the large (!) number of People who self-identify with that 3–letter could- be perjorative. By this measure Larry Kramer’s seminal (!) book on Disco-era gays “Faggots” would be erased also.
A READER COMMENTS: It is too late to eliminate these types of gun crimes in America. With 450 million+ firearms, including in excess of 15 million AR-type weapons floating around the country, it is just too late. Long term incarcerations of those caught and convicted would help, prohibition of 'ghost guns' and raising the age to legally purchase guns to 21 would make a slight dent positively. But the latter two would be challenged in the courts and if it wound up in today's Supreme Court, well most of us know that outcome.
JOAN CRAWFORD SAID OF JEFF CHANDLER “He is so masculine and good looking but not in the stereotypical way. He was not some cookie-cutter beach boy. He was all male.”
They are seen here on the set of “Female On The Beach“ in 1954.
Joan Crawford talked about him in 1973, twelve years after his death. ”I love him. He was such a good person, a really nice guy.”
UKRAINE, TUESDAY, 5TH SEPTEMBER
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may travel to Russia to meet President Vladimir Putin for discussions on a potential deal to supply Moscow with weapons for its war on Ukraine, according to the US government. Russia declined to comment on the potential meeting.
Russia asked for two specific requests to extend the Black Sea grain deal, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, a day after meeting with Putin amid efforts to bring Moscow back into the agreement. Ukraine's foreign minister said Russia's conditions to revive the deal are “classic blackmail.”
Oleksii Reznikov has officially been dismissed as Ukraine's defense minister following a vote in parliament Tuesday. Rustem Umerov, the former people’s deputy of Ukraine, is expected to take over the role.
Russia destroyed Ukrainian drones over Moscow and two regions neighboring the capital Tuesday as reports of such attacks become an almost daily occurrence.
EVERY DAY A LITTLE CLOSER. Nuclear war is the “inevitable”' conclusion of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, a Russian general who wrote the nation's “war bible” has warned. The chilling forecast came from retired Major General Alexander Vladimirov, who penned Russia's three volume book called the “General Theory of War.” “For the transition to the use of weapons of mass destruction, only one thing is needed - a political decision by the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, Vladimir Putin, the veteran commander warned in an interview with journalist Vladislav Shurygin. 'The goals of Russia and the goals of the West are their survival and historical eternity. And this means that in the name of this, all means of armed struggle available to them will be used, including such a tool as their nuclear weapons. I am sure that nuclear weapons will be used in this war - inevitably, and from this neither we nor the enemy have anywhere to go.”
FARM TO FABLE
by Edmund Wilson (1946)
“Animal Farm,” by George Orwell (Harcourt, Brace), is a satirical animal fable about the progress—or backsliding—of the Russian Revolution. If you are told that the story deals with a group of cows, horses, pigs, sheep, and poultry which decide to expel their master and run his farm for themselves but eventually turn into something almost indistinguishable from human beings, with the pigs as a superior caste exploiting the other animals very much as the farmer did, and if you hear that Stalin figures as a pig named Napoleon and Trotsky as a pig named Snowball, you may not think it sounds particularly promising. But the truth is that it is absolutely first-rate. As a rule, I have difficulty in swallowing these modern animal fables; I can’t bear Kipling’s stories about the horses that resist trade-unionism and the beehive that is ruined by Socialism, nor have I ever been able to come under the spell of “The Wind in the Willows.” But Mr. Orwell has worked out his theme with a simplicity, a wit, and a dryness that are closer to La Fontaine and Gay, and has written in a prose so plain and spare, so admirably proportioned to his purpose, that “Animal Farm” even seems very creditable if we compare it with Voltaire and Swift.
Mr. Orwell, before the war, was not widely known in America or even, I think, in England. He is one of several English writers who were only just beginning to be recognized in those years of confusion and tension and whose good work was obscured and impeded while the war was going on. But I think that he is now likely to emerge as one of the ablest and most interesting writers that the English have produced in this period, and, since he is now getting a reputation in this country, I should like to recommend to publishers that they look up his early novels and memoirs. There is a novel of his called “Burmese Days,” a title deceptively suggestive of reminiscences by a retired official, which is certainly one of the few first-hand and really excellent pieces of fiction that have been written about India since Kipling. Orwell’s book is not the set piece and tour de force that E. M. Forster’s “A Passage to India“ was; but the author, who was born in Bengal and served in the Burmese police, is “saturated” with his subject, where Forster had to get his up. This book (which, I understand, was allowed to appear in England only in a text that had been modified under pressure of the India Office) attracted, so far as I remember, no attention whatever when it came out over here, but it ought certainly to be republished, with a more striking and appropriate title. It is illuminating as a picture of Burma and distinguished as a work of literature.
HOW I BECAME A SOCIALIST
by Jack London, 1905
It is quite fair to say that I became a Socialist in a fashion somewhat similar to the way in which the Teutonic pagans became Christians–it was hammered into me. Not only was I not looking for Socialism at the time of my conversion, but I was fighting it. I was very young and callow, did not know much of anything, and though I had never even heard of a school called “Individualism,” I sang the paean of the strong with all my heart.
This was because I was strong myself. By strong I mean that I had good health and hard muscles, both of which possessions are easily accounted for. I had lived my childhood on California ranches, my boyhood hustling newspapers on the streets of a healthy Western city, and my youth on the ozone-laden waters of San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Ocean. I loved life in the open, and I toiled in the open, at the hardest kinds of work. Learning no trade, but drifting along from job to job, I looked on the world and called it good, every bit of it. Let me repeat, this optimism was because I was healthy and strong, bothered with neither aches nor weaknesses, never turned down by the boss because I did not look fit, able always to get a job at shovelling coal, sailorizing, or manual labor of some sort.
And because of all this, exulting in my young life, able to hold my own at work or fight, I was a rampant individualist. It was very natural. I was a winner. Wherefore I called the game, as I saw it played, or thought I saw it played, a very proper game for MEN. To be a MAN was to write man in large capitals on my heart. To adventure like a man, and fight like a man, and do a man’s work (even for a boy’s pay)–these were things that reached right in and gripped hold of me as no other thing could. And I looked ahead into long vistas of a hazy and interminable future, into which, playing what I conceived to be MAN’S game, I should continue to travel with unfailing health, without accidents, and with muscles ever vigorous. As I say, this future was interminable. I could see myself only raging through life without end like one of Nietzsche’s blond-beasts, lustfully roving and conquering by sheer superiority and strength.
As for the unfortunates, the sick, and ailing, and old, and maimed, I must confess I hardly thought of them at all, save that I vaguely felt that they, barring accidents, could be as good as I if they wanted to real hard, and could work just as well. Accidents? Well, they represented FATE, also spelled out in capitals, and there was no getting around FATE. Napoleon had had an accident at Waterloo, but that did not dampen my desire to be another and later Napoleon. Further, the optimism bred of a stomach which could digest scrap iron and a body which flourished on hardships did not permit me to consider accidents as even remotely related to my glorious personality.
I hope I have made it clear that I was proud to be one of Nature’s strong-armed noblemen. The dignity of labor was to me the most impressive thing in the world. Without having read Carlyle, or Kipling, I formulated a gospel of work which put theirs in the shade. Work was everything. It was sanctification and salvation. The pride I took in a hard day’s work well done would be inconceivable to you. It is almost inconceivable to me as I look back upon it. I was as faithful a wage slave as ever capitalist exploited. To shirk or malinger on the man who paid me my wages was a sin, first, against myself, and second, against him. I considered it a crime second only to treason and just about as bad.
In short, my joyous individualism was dominated by the orthodox bourgeois ethics. I read the bourgeois papers, listened to the bourgeois preachers, and shouted at the sonorous platitudes of the bourgeois politicians. And I doubt not, if other events had not changed my career, that I should have evolved into a professional strike-breaker, (one of President Eliot’s American heroes), and had my head and my earning power irrevocably smashed by a club in the hands of some militant trades-unionist.
Just about this time, returning from a seven months’ voyage before the mast, and just turned eighteen, I took it into my head to go tramping. On rods and blind baggages I fought my way from the open West where men bucked big and the job hunted the man, to the congested labor centres of the East, where men were small potatoes and hunted the job for all they were worth. And on this new blond-beast adventure I found myself looking upon life from a new and totally different angle. I had dropped down from the proletariat into what sociologists love to call the “submerged tenth,” and I was startled to discover the way in which that submerged tenth was recruited.
I found there all sorts of men, many of whom had once been as good as myself and just as blond-beast; sailor-men, soldier-men, labor-men, all wrenched and distorted and twisted out of shape by toil and hardship and accident, and cast adrift by their masters like so many old horses. I battered on the drag and slammed back gates with them, or shivered with them in box cars and city parks, listening the while to life-histories which began under auspices as fair as mine, with digestions and bodies equal to and better than mine, and which ended there before my eyes in the shambles at the bottom of the Social Pit.
And as I listened my brain began to work. The woman of the streets and the man of the gutter drew very close to me. I saw the picture of the Social Pit as vividly as though it were a concrete thing, and at the bottom of the Pit I saw them, myself above them, not far, and hanging on to the slippery wall by main strength and sweat. And I confess a terror seized me. What when my strength failed? when I should be unable to work shoulder to shoulder with the strong men who were as yet babes unborn? And there and then I swore a great oath. It ran something like this: All my days I have worked hard with my body, and according to the number of days I have worked, by just that much am I nearer the bottom of the Pit. I shall climb out of the Pit, but not by the muscles of my body shall I climb out. I shall do no more hard work, and may God strike me dead if I do another day’s hard work with my body more than I absolutely have to do. And I have been busy ever since running away from hard work.
Incidentally, while tramping some ten thousand miles through the United States and Canada, I strayed into Niagara Falls, was nabbed by a fee-hunting constable, denied the right to plead guilty or not guilty, sentenced out of hand to thirty days’ imprisonment for having no fixed abode and no visible means of support, handcuffed and chained to a bunch of men similarly circumstanced, carted down country to Buffalo, registered at the Erie County Penitentiary, had my head clipped and my budding mustache shaved, was dressed in convict stripes, compulsorily vaccinated by a medical student who practised on such as we, made to march the lock-step, and put to work under the eyes of guards armed with Winchester rifles–all for adventuring in blond-beastly fashion. Concerning further details deponent sayeth not, though he may hint that some of his plethoric national patriotism simmered down and leaked out of the bottom of his soul somewhere–at least, since that experience he finds that he cares more for men and women and little children than for imaginary geographical lines.
* * *
To return to my conversion. I think it is apparent that my rampant individualism was pretty effectively hammered out of me, and something else as effectively hammered in. But, just as I had been an individualist without knowing it, I was now a Socialist without knowing it, withal, an unscientific one. I had been reborn, but not renamed, and I was running around to find out what manner of thing I was. I ran back to California and opened the books. I do not remember which ones I opened first. It is an unimportant detail anyway. I was already It, whatever It was, and by aid of the books I discovered that It was a Socialist. Since that day I have opened many books, but no economic argument, no lucid demonstration of the logic and inevitableness of Socialism affects me as profoundly and convincingly as I was affected on the day when I first saw the walls of the Social Pit rise around me and felt myself slipping down, down, into the shambles at the bottom.