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WARM DRY CONDITIONS will persist across interior valleys today, while periods of low clouds and fog impact the coast. Otherwise, the weekend will feature a slight chance of thunderstorms across the interior mountains. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): On the coast this Friday morning I have a foggy 57F. It's looking mostly cool & cloudy for the weekend then maybe a little more sun next week. We'll see.
PAUL BUNYAN THRIFT SHOP
We need your help! Do you recognize this person?
The thrift shops in Fort Bragg are all non-profits bringing awareness & proceeds to very worthy causes. Most local shops are community owned small businesses.
If you recognize this person please contact us or the City of Fort Bragg Police Dept non-emergency line at (707) 964-0200
CAT SPYDELL: If you live off Philo-Greenwood I'd like to recommend that if you have an older vehicle that isn't air tight that you wear a face mask when driving on that recently repaired road. That fine dust & tar & gravel can cause issues if inhaled. I started wearing a mask a few days ago when driving it and the difference in my breathing afterwards is very noticeable & quite a relief!
NOYO HARBOR FESTIVAL, Saturday, September 16th – 11am to 8pm
The Noyo Fish Company and the Noyo Harbor District are proud to present the first annual Noyo Harbor Festival. It's a full day of great food, music, dancing and games for the whole family on the north shore of Noyo Harbor.
All proceeds will be donated to the Noyo Harbor District and Mendocino Coast Humane Society. For more information and schedule: https://visitfortbraggca.com/noyo-harbor-festival/
TELEPHONE FRAUD SCAM
The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office has received numerous reports of fraudulent phone calls where a person claims to be an employee of the Sheriff's Office and requests payments over the telephone for fictitious fines. The most recent examples were a subject claiming to be a Captain William Snyder with the Civil Division. There is no such employee of the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office.
Do not release personal identifying information to anyone on the telephone and do not agree to pay any fines electronically or by using gift cards or payment apps.
- No Deputy, Sergeant, Lieutenant, or Captain will ever call you from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office asking for money or payments.
- The Mendocino County Sheriff's Office does not receive payment for anything using methods such as online payment apps or gift cards.
- If you receive a suspicious call or letter, contact the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office directly at 707-463-4086 to report the incident.
Sunday, September 17 from 4 to 5:30 pm. Refreshments served.
I am the cheer coach for Anderson Valley Cheerleading. The cheer team and football team are building a garden for the fair and would like to ask for our community help we are working in the garden on Sunday September 17th from 9am until we finish.
If you have any fruits or veggies, garden stuff, fountain, plants in pots (we can borrow) anything that could help us put this garden together we would appreciate it. We are more than happy to borrow and get them back to whoever lends us anything.
We also would like to be part of the parade for fair and we wanted to ask if anyone had a trailer that was willing to lend us or pull through the parade for us?
I know this is a lot to ask but I also know our kids need more community support to get them back into that Panther spirit we all grew up with at Anderson Valley Junior - Senior High! I’m trying to bring the kids together, and present them with new project and ideas like back in the day! I want them to have the full experience we all had when we were in school.
Update: We have props for the garden, and a trailer and driver for the parade.
KIDNAPPING, FALSE IMPRISONMENT, ELDER ABUSE, ASSAULT WITH A DEADLY WEAPON, WITNESS INTIMIDATION…
On Tuesday, September 12, 2023 at approximately 1:40 PM, Mendocino County Sheriff’s Deputies were dispatched to a suicidal adult male, identified as James Padgett, 42, of Fort Bragg, who was armed with a handgun in the area of Usal Beach, within Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Deputies were advised that Padgett was presently speaking with a crisis line operator and he admitted to locking a 72-year-old male victim in a shipping container at a residence located in the 23000 block of Seaview Drive in Westport, prior to arriving at Usal Beach.
Deputies responded to the residence on Seaview Drive and located the shipping container. Deputies unlocked the container and located the elderly victim, who had numerous traumatic injuries all over his body. Deputies learned that Padgett had arrived at the residence and was confronted by the victim. The victim attempted to summon law enforcement and was beaten with a lever-action rifle to the ground and then was dragged and locked inside the shipping container.
Deputies obtained evidence from the location and then began responding to the area of Usal Beach to contact Padgett.
While Deputies were responding to Usal Beach, California State Parks Rangers contacted and detained Padgett without incident. Padgett was armed with a handgun at the beach when contacted and detained by State Parks Rangers. Deputies arrived and interviewed Padgett and subsequently arrested him for the following offenses:
Assault with a Deadly Weapon
Padgett was booked into Mendocino County Jail, where he was to be held in lieu of $100,000 bail.
The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank our public safety partners from the following agencies that assisted with this investigation: California State Parks, CalFire – Mendocino Unit, Chief Maxey and the Westport Volunteer Fire Department, and Adventist Health Mendocino Coast Ambulance.
RESIDENTS REQUEST MORE SERVICES; COAST ALSO SEEKS MORE REPRESENTATION
by Justine Frederiksen
When the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors held a rare meeting in the village of Mendocino Tuesday, residents packed the venue to tell their elected representatives that they wanted more — more such visits, more representation and more services.
“In my opinion, we need more representation on the coast: I think that the coast, Mendocino Village and Fort Bragg particularly, bring in the lion’s share of the taxes and revenues for this county, but we are sorely represented,” said Teddy Winslow, describing the board having only two coastal representatives but three inland representatives as “not fair — we send all of our taxes to Ukiah and we get crumbs. You guys need to listen to the coast a little bit more and please give us a little more representation.”
“I guess they do things a little differently in Mendocino,” said board Chairman and 1st District Supervisor Glenn McGourty after a speaker climbed through a window into St. Anthony’s Church Parish Hall to approach the podium during public expression.
Another moment of levity came when high school student Benjamin Martin told the board how any new coastal representatives should be selected.
“I believe we should have an all-out brawl to elect our next candidate to represent the coast, because you hold yourself with a higher esteem and make more sound decisions when you have more self-confidence and know you can win. I also think that it would really keep our town healthy if all the candidates realized that they needed to train for a fight beforehand,” Martin said.
“Well, we do, it’s just not a physical one,” responded McGourty, to which Martin said: “I think wit and brawn is very important, and I think it should be both a talking and a physical fight.”
As to whether the unincorporated area is receiving its fair share of services, other residents pointed to a lack of both a water source and dedicated garbage collection.
Ted Williams, who lives in Mendocino and represents it as 5th District Supervisor, said that in his recollection, Tuesday’s regular meeting was the first to be held there in about four years, but that the board’s intention is to hold meetings much more frequently on the coast in the near future.
As to the claim that the village of Mendocino pays much more tax revenue than it receives in services, Williams said while it is “very likely” that the town of Mendocino does not receive services that are commensurate with the portion of tax revenue it generates for the county, particularly its share of the Transient Occupancy Taxes (which are imposed on hotels and other lodging) collected, he said he would “need to see the data” confirming that assertion before responding more fully to it.
However, he added that unequal distribution of services is an unfortunate reality in many counties, particularly those with sprawling terrain dotted with disconnected pockets of people, populations that all have unique needs and challenges. For example, he pointed to the northeastern corner of the county, which he described as drawing a disproportionate amount of law enforcement resources — due in large part to the criminal activity surrounding large marijuana grows in the Covelo area previously described by Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall as straining his ability to maintain law and order.
After the first public expression concluded Tuesday, Chairman McGourty later allowed a woman who “had traveled from Sacramento” to address the board in a separate public comment session.
After Kelli Johnson described her arrest last week as “a free VIP tour of the brutal and inhumane conditions at the Mendocino County Jail,” McGourty said simply, “I was not expecting that.”
When asked Wednesday to respond to Johnson’s comments, Supervisor Williams said that board members did not address them Tuesday because they are not allowed to discuss items that are not on that meeting’s agenda, and that regardless, questions about the arrest should be directed to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.
* * *
Woman Alleges Mistreatment By Deputies
A Sacramento woman alleges she was mistreated by Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office deputies during an arrest last week in the village of Mendocino.
“Last Tuesday I was the recipient of a free VIP tour of the brutal and inhumane conditions at the Mendocino County Jail,” Kelli D. Johnson, 33, of Sacramento, told the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors during a special public comment session Tuesday.
Johnson — who according to LinkedIn, is a staff attorney for the California Air Resources Board in Sacramento — said she was arrested while walking to the beach with a glass of water, which she claims was “smashed into the street (before she was) shoved into the back of a police car.”
Due to a bladder infection, Johnson said she had an urgent need to urinate during her transport and was “specifically instructed to soil myself in the car,” explaining that after she urinated twice in the patrol car, she was unable to properly pull her sweatpants back up due to her hands being cuffed behind her back and “when the car door was opened, my genitalia was exposed to half a dozen officers gathered to see the show.”
When asked Wednesday to respond to her claims, MCSO spokesman Lt. Quincy Cromer said that “due to the MCSO being informed of pending litigation related to this arrest,” he could not comment on her assertions.
However, Cromer did provide these details on her arrest: Shortly after 9 a.m. Sept. 5, the MCSO received a call regarding a woman causing a disturbance in a residential area of Mendocino, and deputies responded and contacted Johnson. Later around 1 p.m., another call for service reported a disturbance in the same area and deputies responded and again contacted Johnson.
After the second call, Cromer said that Johnson was arrested on suspicion of disorderly conduct/public intoxication, meaning that “she was believed to be intoxicated to the point of being unable to properly care for her safety and/or the safety of others.”
When asked if it is standard procedure for arrested parties to be told to urinate in patrol cars while being transported to jail by MCSO staff, Cromer said that he could not comment due to the pending litigation.
* * *
Kelli Johnson case (arrest for Disorderly Conduct, drugs) in Mendocino. She posted a records release request at Sheriff website:
“Hello, I would like to request all body camera, vehicle camera, and detention facility surveillance, including accompanying or additional audio that covers the events from initial contact through to release from custody for the following case involving Mendocino County Sheriff. Additionally, I would like copies of the police report and any other investigatory documents related to the case.
Booking number 2023-00003089
Subject Number 119854
Name: Johnson, Kelli Donner
Booked 9/5/2023 4:02 PM
Bond number 2023-00002857”
* * *
SHERIFF KENDALL told Matt LaFever of Mendofever.com that “It is absolutely wrong that anyone cast judgment when they don't have both sides of the story. … We live in a time where anything that is said about law enforcement is immediately jumped on. We need to reserve judgments until we have all of the facts. … I'm absolutely appalled by the round of applause [that Ms. Johnson got from the audience after her statement to the Supervisors on the Coast], anybody who rushes to publicly make judgments against anyone, I hope they are just as eager to publicly apologize.”
CHARLES ARTIGUES (Statement to the Board of Supervisors, Tuesday, September 12, 2023):
I have lived in Cleone on the coast for 21 years. I am retired. I love it here. I am here to talk about housing. We all know there is a housing shortage. I have seen the stock of available housing plummet in the last five years to the detriment of working families. In my humble opinion a major factor is the fact that our housing stock is being converted to short-term vacation rentals. This is just another form of resource extraction. Corporations and individuals come up here, buy up housing, convert it to AirBnB and take away the money. I live about a mile and a half from the ocean in the woods. But even there, the house next door to me for 28 years was lived in by three different families. Two years ago a techie from the Bay Area came up and bought the house, converted it to an AirBnB and has 3-5 families in there every month. I personally believe that there should be a total ban on short-term vacation rentals in the county. That may seem kind of harsh. But at the very least I think there should be a limit of 30 days per year for any non-owner-occupied dwelling. Don't think it can't be done. West Hollywood has a total ban on AirBnBs. Dan Gjerde, I read an article a few months ago where a journalist asked you how many AirBnBs there are in your district? You said you didn't know. If you don't know, to me you are not doing your job. I recognize that you are a short termer. Maybe you don't care. And the rest of the board, maybe you are far away and you don't care about the coast. But I am here to put Bernie [Norvell] and Georgina [?} on notice. Are you listening Bernie and Georgina wherever you are? If you want my vote next year then I think there should be some sort of plan to eliminate if impossible, or at least cut back short-term rentals in this county.
No response at all from the Supervisors.
FORT BRAGG FIRE APPRECIATION
To the Editor
As Chief of the Fort Bragg Fire Department, I receive a lot of praise for the work we do. I’ll take that praise, but quickly point out that the heart and soul of the FBFD is the volunteer workforce. We have an exceptional group of fire officers and firefighters who train hard and know how to handle emergency calls. Our office staff may be small, but somehow, we answer every question and run the station with care and precision. There is another group that definitely weighs in when it comes to community support, and that is all of the firefighters that have retired, moved on or passed on. We consider these volunteers our heroes. These are the people who set the tone. We work hard just to keep up with what they set in place over the past decades.
After all that, I will get to the main message. When people ask why anyone would volunteer to do a job that others get paid good money to do, one key answer is the strong support we get from our community. Fort Bragg has always held their department in high esteem, and I believe, as a member, that there is a large amount of pride that goes along with being a part of that.
The timing of this note has everything to do with last weekend’s Labor Day celebration. The community made it known how much they supported the department. Showing up for the water fights on Saturday (only to be interrupted by the call out for a structure fire…..story of our lives), partying with us at the Ball, and cheering us on as we drove through the parade.
Yes, we have a very good department, and we serve a very supportive community that deserves quick and efficient response when in need. Thank you from all of us at the Fort Bragg Fire Station!
Chief Steve Orsi
SOLUTIONS, NOT SYMPTOMS
During the Board of Supervisors (BOS) meeting Tuesday, Fort Bragg Police Chief Neil Cervenka gave a presentation about the City of Fort Bragg's Care Response Unit (CRU) addressing their homeless, addicted and mental health citizens.
I was so impressed at their achievements and that this program has been successfully implemented in our County. This is actually solving these problems, not just throwing money at them. Solutions not symptoms was one of their key points.
This program is being ran by two social service liasons, Hannah and Janet, with the help of Bethany Brewer and several success coaches. The liasons help with keeping track of and getting these citizens to appointments and court dates as well as checking in on them to make sure they are following through on their progress. This follow through is part of what is making this program so successful. Most of those in need won't make appointments or have the ability to keep track of them. There is zero tolerance for encampments.
The police department has been instrumental in its outreach and referral of vulnerable individuals to CRU. The last two years, the police department has had a 27% decrease in calls for homeless issues and 20% fewer arrests of the homeless. Which in turn, has freed up over a hundred hours of police time so they can focus on actual police work. This has also saved time and money for our Sheriff's Office and jail.
Bernie Norvell, Mayor of Fort Bragg, stated during public comment, that he wasn't able to get any funding from our state representatives, Wood, McGuire or Huffman to support the program. I spoke with Bernie today, Thursday, and McGuire did reach out to him after the BOS meeting.
The state, in my opinion, should be enthusiastically supporting this program and making it a model for the entire state. We continue to give more money to these services yet the situation continues to get even worse.
The CRU requested that the BOS help them to secure more funding, since their funds will be exhausted in June 2024, so they can continue this successful program. The BOS will be assisting with their request.
This has been such a groundbreaking program that CRU has been contacted by researchers from UCLA wanting to know more about the program.
I would like to give my sincere appreciation to the Fort Bragg Police Chief and officers, Mayor Norvell and the CRU team for all of their hard work and dedication in making this program a success. This groundbreaking program is the solution that is needed to help our citizens succeed.
CRU=Bridge from the street to services to wellness!
Candidate for 1st District Supervisor
THE AVA HAS received several communiques from anonymous people complaining about my remarks on the homeless where I thought I'd offered humane strategies pegged to taxing the rich at 90 percent, which is the way taxation used to be but is unlikely to be ever again given the funding both political parties get from them.
HERE'S WHERE the AVA is coming from on the homeless issue: Persons unwilling or unable to care for themselves have no right to live on the streets; it’s cruel to them and bad for public morale because having them there ruins public space for everyone else and, inevitably, leads to very cruel solutions to the prob. Persons who incapacitate themselves via drug and drink should be confined to rehab centers until they are well again. The small minority of persons on the street because they can’t afford the extortionate rents our swinish owning classes charge for basic shelter, should be issued guns and maps to the addresses of the most ruthless landlords.
MORE BROADLY, the left, presently invisible in this country, should aim at a basic social floor for America, consisting of a federal jobs program, housing, guaranteed annual wage, free education as far as Big Bird can fly you, medical care, and liveable pensions for the elderly. Instead the left offers seminars, web sites, pie tosses, costume shows, songs, tenure, vaguely targeted demos, and the Pacifica Network.
RANDOMLY serving up Food Not Bombs vegetarian slop to winos and dope heads in Frisco and Arcata without a serious accompanying political agitation for real remedies is a fraud. The crackhead, the drop-fall drunk, the crazy person, and the self-pitying young exhibitionists of the tatooed, nose-ringed type clogging Haight Street, should be air-freighted straight into a revived state hospital system.
THE AVA RECOMMENDS the di Rosa Preserve in Napa. For a measly ten bucks you can enjoy a collection of art that it would take the MOMA and the Bay Area’s zillion galleries the next ten generations to accumulate. I’m surprised the di Rosa hasn’t gotten more attention, but I didn’t know what to expect prior to my visit, only seeing the di Rosa mentioned as a “sculpture garden” somewhere in the Napa Valley. That terse intro translated to me as maybe a few neo-Caltrans concrete blobs and other un-artful abstruse concoctions.
WRONG. The di Rosa Preserve is the best collection of art I’ve ever seen, not that I’ve spent a lot of time on the art beat. But I’ve been to the MOMA several times, been to lots of galleries, looked at a lot of pictures of art in art books, and I’m here to tell you that I could have spent three weeks at di Rosa. What this guy and his late wife have done is collect some 2,000 pieces of high end creativity, everything from oils to large-scale sculpture, all of it the work of NorCal artists working here over of the past 50 years.
MR. di ROSA has a truly great eye, and an eye for humor too. This isn’t the kind of solemn, Smithsonian-style collection arrayed in a funereal setting. It’s displayed to be looked at, not worshipped. You'll find the serious mounted next door to whimsy, the radical and the effete side by side, which is probably their correct neighborhood. There’s that wonderful painting called The Battle of San Francisco, a bunch of the great Arneson sculptures and ingeniously-rendered gags like di Rosa's “office” consisting of a desk and a coffee cup over which water constantly flows from a fountain lamp. (Mary Robertson, a fine painter herself, denounced Arneson to me as “the Red Skelton of the art world.” She has a point, but you should see at least one, and there's one at the SF Moma.) There are also complicated mobiles and even a sweeping photo of the Dallas Klan circa 1920, and another photo collage of a topless middleaged woman preparing a pot of chicken soup, to give you some idea, however truncated, of the range of the collection.
EVERYWHERE the eye falls there’s something wonderful, often something that makes you laugh out loud. There are three large housed groupings of stuff apart from the sculpture spread over several meadows on an estate which began life as a vineyard and winery, reorganized to de-smoke since the big fires of a few years ago.
THE FINAL STOP on the tour is the di Rosa home, a rambling structure full of art. It’s connected to gallery number two by an underground passage in the middle of which is a mini-theater where slides of the Sistine Chapel’s famous Michelangelo ceiling play on a sunlit wall. The preserve part of the di Rosa experience consists of meadows functioning as settings for large sculptures. All this and a 35-acre lake and an 80-bird flock of peacocks. The largest hall, the second stop on the tour, greets the visitor with this message inscribed on a rafter: “Divinely regional, superbly parochial, wondrously provincial — an absolutely native glory.” It is “an absolutely native glory,” but di Rosa's far too modest in this assessment of his collection; its amazing variousness astounded this provincial who wished the tour had lasted at least another three hours.
WHICH REMINDS me of another benefit of this particular tour — it limits groups to about 25 persons at a time so you’re not jostled along by the mob, which is always the case at the MOMA and lots of other Bay Area shows. We did the 9:30am tour which ended at noon. It was led by two older women who functioned as chaperones not docents. If they’d been docents tours would last for a year because there’s so much to see and explain. The first building, a semi-industrial metal structure houses some robustly large pieces, including a 30-foot stack of boxes each of which was embossed “Blah-Blah.”
WINE AND ART are almost pure blah-blah these days, but the di Rosa is the anti-blah-blah with a vengeance.
THE FIRST TIME I visited, di Rosa himself, since deceased, togged out in threadbare khakis and a baseball cap inscribed “di Rosa Preserve” looked like a twinkly retired maintenance man who’d shown up on a Saturday to check on the boiler room and tell a few jokes to whomever might listen. With no intro from the guides he welcomed us, invited us to enjoy ourselves and, as we were ushered onto an electric shuttle wagon for the trip to the next gallery said he was finished “blah-blahing,” concluding his introductory hospitalities with, “Onward, whether or not you’re Christian soldiers.”
THERE IS PLENTY to offend Christian soldiers at this place, which of course is another reason for making the trip to see it. di Rosa and his marvelous collection reminded me vaguely of Guy Grand of Terry Southern’s funny little novel, ’The Magic Christian.’ From what I could gather, the old boy’s a Yale grad who set out for Paris in the 1920s to be a novelist, gave up fiction for democratic aestheticism in the Bay Area where he worked as a feature writer for the Chron. He and Mrs. di Rosa developed the Carneros Winery and collected art becoming, it seems, perhaps the only truly civilized outpost in an industry now synonymous with philistinism, especially in its Mendocino County incarnation, the incarnation I happen to see up close on a regular basis. I resisted an impulse to ask di Rosa if I could move in. I liked the place that much. Tours are five days a week between September and June. Reservations should be made at least two weeks in advance — it took me that long to secure three places on the tour — and costs $10. Call (707) 226-5991 for tickets. There’s no place like it, and you definitely won’t be disappointed.
RAIL BUFFS probably know this, but way back Anderson Valley was surveyed for a rail line which would have run from Cloverdale along Dry Creek and on into the north hills of Yorkville through Boonville and Navarro to connect with, I believe, the logging line that ran from Navarro up through Comptche and out to Albion. The master plan was to connect Anderson Valley and points northwest to the line running from Marin to Cloverdale. Lots of people homesteaded acreage along the proposed line only to be left with grazing land as the return on their investments when the railroad failed to materialize. The railroad that did materialize chugged on up to Willits and north to Eureka through, of all possible routes available to it, the Eel River Canyon, the path of most resistance. The records of the surveys for the proposed Anderson Valley rail line from Cloverdale, my informant tells me, were stored in San Francisco but destroyed in the 1906 earthquake and fire.
A YOUNG MAN was collecting signatures for a None Of The Above ballot initiative at Safeway last week. I didn’t have to be talked into signing up nor did the next five persons through the store’s door. He said he was getting 40 cents per signature and that it had been enthusiastically received.
HUNTER BIDEN faces up to 25 years in prison after being indicted on three felony charges for lying about his crack cocaine addiction when buying a gun. CNN's Paula Reid spoke about how deflated those closest to Hunter were at the announcement. 'I got the sense that it's just pretty dark and gloomy over there, they feel defeated,' Reid said. She said Hunter is also feeling 'despair' over his huge legal fees.
MENDOCINO COUNTY FAIR TO BE HELD SEPT. 22-24
Mendocino County Fair and Apple Show will be held Friday, Sept. 22 through Sunday, Sept. 24 at the Fairgrounds in Boonville.
Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for juniors 13-18, $6 for children 7-12 and children 6 and under are free.
Tickets are available at mendocountyfair.com. Seniors 65 and over are $6 on Friday. Children 12 and under are free on Friday.
A three day pass for seniors are $20 as a pre-fair purchase. Pre-sale unlimited rides are $35 before the fair opens, $45 after the fair opens.
Friday’s events include open and junior horse show at 8 a.m. at the Rodeo Arena. Apple Bowl varsity football game will be at 5 p.m. at the arena. There will be a dance with live music by Scott Forbes Band on Friday from 8-10 p.m. at the Rodeo Arena.
Saturday’s events include C.C.P.R.A. Rodoes at 8 p.m. with a dance featuring live music by Dean Titus and The Coyote Cowboys at 9:30 p.m. in the Rodeo Arena. Admission is free with fair admission.
Sunday’s events feature Sheep dog trials at 10 a.m. in the Rodeo Arena. Also happening at 10 a.m. in the rodeo arena parking lot is the classic car show.
The parade will be Sunday at noon along Highway 128 to Rodeo Arena.
Other activities and events happening at the fair include Godfrey the Magician with multiple shows daily on the lawn stage. Dennis Forel’s ballonacy, Bri Crabtree’s Silly Circus Show, Cutest Show on Earth, Pony Land Petting Zoo from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., freak fruit contest on Sunday. Live music will be by Jimmy Becker. There will be the 25th Annual California Wool and Fiber Festival as well as the 96th Annual California National Wool Show.
Throughout the weekend there will also be livestock shows, floral and garden displays, apple displays, arts and crafts and more. No pets allowed. The Fairgrounds is located on Highway 128 in Boonville.
For more information, visit www.mendocountyfair.com.
REDWOOD FOREST FOUNDATION TO HOST 2023 ANNUAL MEETING
Virtual Program set for September 20 from 3-5pm
Mendocino County, CA—The Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc (RFFI) will host their 2023 Annual Meeting on September 20 at 3-5pm via zoom. All are welcome. To attend, register at this link:
RFFI is a local nonprofit dedicated to acquiring and managing land in the redwood region for the long-term well-being of the forest and human communities that depend on it. They own and steward the 50,000-acre Usal Redwood Forest in Northern Mendocino County. The 2023 Annual Meeting on September 20 is an opportunity to learn about RFFI’s vision and mission, and hear about the year’s many successes and milestones.
This year’s keynote speakers are Karuk Cultural Practitioner and Fire specialist Kathy McCovey and Mid-Klamath Watershed Council Director Will Harling. They will appear in conversation about their community collaboration to foster cultural change around fire and land use in the Klamath region. RFFI is working to introduce Prescribed and Cultural fire this season as part of an integrated management strategy. This year’s keynote presentation will provide real world insights about what it means to bring “good fire” back to the landscape.
About this year’s Speakers:
Kathy McCovey is a multidisciplinary expert from the Karuk Tribe, blending her roles as a cultural practitioner, archaeologist, and forest ecologist with a specialized focus on fire ecology. Passionate about reinvigorating her community's connection to their ancestral lands, Kathy advocates for a harmonious relationship between people and the environment. Her expertise spans from traditional plant uses to the complex interactions between fire events and landscape health, always framed within a lens of community resilience and empowerment.
Will Harling serves as the director of the Mid Klamath Watershed Council. Committed to reviving prescribed fire practices and supporting tribes in their efforts to revitalize cultural burning practices, he actively bridges the gap between native communities and state agencies like Cal Fire. His work ranges from grassroots projects to high-level policy advocacy, all aimed at building community resilience in the face of wildfires.
There will be an interactive Q&A session following the presentation.
Alicia Bales, Program Director, Redwood Forest Foundation, Inc.
P.O. Box 118
Fort Bragg, CA 95437
KELLEY HOUSE TO CELEBRATE ITS 50TH ANNIVERSARY!
by Marguerite O’Brien
On September 21st the Kelley House will open a new exhibit—Kelley House Museum: Building a Home—to commemorate its 50th anniversary. The exhibit will follow the origins of the Kelley House Museum from its inception as the Mendocino Historical Research Institute (MHRI), paying tribute to the people who had the vision and determination to turn a decaying old house into a research center and museum. It begins with a look at our founding mothers, Beth Stebbins and Dorothy Bear, following their journey from casual researchers to creators of the wonderful museum we know and love today.
Beth and Dorothy moved to Mendocino in 1969 and began to develop a love for the local history and architecture. Dorothy was a retired librarian with a passion for research, and Beth was an amateur photographer who was greatly inspired by the distinct look of Mendocino’s architecture. Their passions eventually led to the creation of the MHRI, filing incorporation papers on November 27th, 1973. The two then spent 1974 working to acquire the dilapidated Kelley House to turn into a museum and offices for the Research Institute.
Their work inspired the local community to preserve the town’s many stories and artifacts, and they were able to attract fundraising support from many local historians and artists. Although they failed to raise all the necessary funds by the end of the year, their ambitious plans were saved by Robert O. Peterson, founder of the Jack-in-the-Box fast food chain and son of a Mendocino native, who bought and gifted the house to MHRI. In April 1975, restoration work on the house began.
Items on display will include photographs from the restoration endeavors and Anne Kendall Foote’s bespoke wallpaper reproductions, as well as some of the earliest donations Beth and Dorothy collected, such as census records from the 1860s, clothing from the Kelley family, and the Ford family’s Bible. There will also be materials from Beth and Dorothy’s first exhibit, Mendocino Homes, which was displayed at the first Odd Fellows Hall (which now houses Highlight Gallery) before the MHRI was officially created.
Kelley House Museum: Building A Home will be open from September 21st, 2023 to February 26th, 2024.
(The Kelley House Museum is open from 11am to 3pm Thursday through Monday. For Questions or to schedule a visit contact: email@example.com. Walking tours of the historic district depart form the Kelley House regularly. For a schedule visit: kelleyhousemuseum.org/visit-walking-tours)
VALLEY FARM STANDS
Brock Farms: Farm stand is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10-6, closed Sunday and Monday.
Petit Teton Farm is open daily 9-5, except Sunday 12-5. As well as the large inventory of jams and pickles made from everything we grow, we also have perfectly raised pigs and cows and sell USDA beef and pork. There are stewing hens, squab, and occasionally rabbits for sale. And right now there is a growing inventory of fresh veggies and fruit..."Candy" onions, eggplant, summer squash, tomatillos, heirloom tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers which we also have canned as well as smoked...chipotle, ancho and espelette...and a variety of pears, Asian pears, and apples.
Blue Meadow Farm: Open Tuesday - Sunday 10:00am - Dusk. Closed Mondays. 3301 Holmes Ranch Rd, Philo (707) 895-2071
Velma’s Farm Stand: Open Friday from 2-5pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. For fresh produce we will have: watermelons, apples (Honeycrisp, Gala, Golden Delicious, Corail and more), Red Bartlett pears, French and Italian prune plums, table grapes, tomatoes (cherries, heirlooms and early girls), sweet and hot peppers, summer squash, cucumbers, eggplant, padron & shishito peppers, celery, new potatoes, kale, arugula, spinach, carrots, beets, onions, garlic, herbs (basil, parsley, dill). We will also have dried fruit, tea blends, olive oil, fresh and dried flower bouquets, and some everlasting wreaths available. Plus some delicious flavors of Wilder Kombucha! All produce is certified biodynamic and organic. Follow us on Instagram for updates @filigreenfarm or email firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions. We accept cash, credit card, check, and EBT/SNAP (with Market Match)!
MIKE GENIELLA: Besides organically grown grapes, there are olives, pears and apples nearing harvest on the surrounding Haiku Vineyards property along Old River Road in Mendocino County.
$625 / 1br - 32 foot Airstream on sunny flat, shared acreage (Anderson Valley (Boonville/Philo))
32' airstream with shower, kitchen, one bedroom (small but functional), 35 minutes to Ukiah or Cloverdale, 40 minutes to the coast, 10 minutes to Hendy Woods State Park
2 hours from SF, 1.25 hours to Santa Rosa
5 minutes to Boonville, or Philo
Nice skylight in kitchen, lots of windows, sits at back of property sheltered by a lovely Oak.
Very Private and quiet
Our 5 acre parcel has two other dwellings, owners live in one of these homes
PGE and Wifi included- Resident pays propane (cookstove, heater)
Unique private and peaceful location in the country
We prefer long term resident- 6 month lease to start
$625/mo includes PGE and Wifi
We look for kind, honest folks with solid rental history, reasonable credit and $1700/mo income net.
This is a small space, great for one person
Thanks for looking!
Jeff Ellis, 707.357.1896 (email@example.com)
CATCH OF THE DAY, Thursday, September 14, 2023
CURTIS BETTENCOURT, Fort Bragg. Under influence, county parole violation.
RICARDO GARCIA-GARCIA, Ukiah. County parole violation.
RYAN HACHEY, Willits. Probation revocation.
DAVID JOHNSTON, Ukiah. Unlawful camping, placing pollutants near state waters.
MICHAEL LANGLEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol. (Frequent flyer.)
SOPHIA LOUMPOS, Ukiah. Unlawful camping, refuse disposal in state waters.
ROBERT MOYER, Willits. Domestic battery.
RODRIGO OSEGURA-ANGULO, Ukiah. DUI, suspended license, probation revocation.
JAMES PADGETT, Fort Bragg. Kidnapping, assault with deadly weapon not a gun, false imprisonment, elder abuse resulting in great bodily injury, witness intimidation, assault with firearm.
RICKEY PHILLIPS III, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ERIN POWIS, Pottery Valley. DUI.
TERRY RICHMOND, Willits. Failure to appear.
FRANCISCO SILVA, Redwood Valley. DUI, leaving scene of accident with property damage, concealed weapon in vehicle.
A BAY AREA FOOTBALL STAR GAVE UP HIS NFL DREAM FOR BLUE-COLLAR JOB
by Connor Letourneau
By 4:30 p.m. most days, after 10 hours of demolishing concrete, sanding railings and installing light switches, Cade Hall’s muscles ache.
It’s a pain he can live with. After spending well over a decade battering his body as he blitzed quarterbacks, Hall has found peace working construction.
His hourly wage is a fraction of what he could be making as a professional football player. A standout defensive end at San Jose State, Hall was widely expected to go in the later rounds of April’s NFL draft or sign as a high-priority undrafted free agent.
Then he retired from football before the predraft process.
“I really like finishing a workday in construction and being physically tired,” said Hall, the 2020 Mountain West Defensive Player of the Year. “It’s a rewarding feeling, like you really accomplished something. It kind of mirrors football a little bit in that way.”
Several factors kept Hall, 23, from chasing his NFL dream: concerns over the sport’s long-term health risks, a spiritual awakening that shifted his priorities, a desire to begin the next stage of his life. At a time when rookies are fashioning the start of their NFL careers, Hall is remodeling houses in Orange County, where he lives with his wife, Abby.
Because he wasn’t a top prospect from a Power Five conference school, his decision to step away from football received little media attention. But in spurning NFL opportunities in favor of installing drywall, Hall joined a growing list of players who’ve prioritized their health over money and fame.
Pro Bowlers such as Luke Kuechly, Calvin Johnson, Andrew Luck, Patrick Willis and D’Brickashaw Ferguson retired in recent years while still in their prime. In 2015, after a highly productive rookie season with the San Francisco 49ers, linebacker Chris Borland quit football because he no longer thought it warranted the health risks.
Before returning 75% of his $617,436 signing bonus and forgoing the eight-figure contracts that seemed inevitable, Borland had studied research on how football-related head trauma can cause the brain to degenerate. Many wondered at the time whether Borland’s decision could prompt other big-name prospects to either retire during their rookie contracts or not enter the NFL at all.
Such a trend would have forced league officials to take long-term brain injuries more seriously. But in the 8½ years since Borland’s stunning exit, no prospects close to his caliber have made similar announcements. Research suggests that most men tend not to worry about long-term consequences in their early 20s, preferring to concentrate on the present until they approach age 30.
For many young football players who’ve spent much of their life striving for the NFL, it can be hard to consider anything else. Their sport is integral to their identity. A premature end would feel devastating.
“Cade’s probably the first and only player I’ve ever had who had a real shot at making the NFL, then decided to walk away,” SJSU head coach Brent Brennan said. “Quite frankly, you usually see the opposite: Guys doing everything they can to reach that dream, even when all the signs are telling them that their football careers are over.”
Added Hall: “I think a lot of guys go for the NFL because no one ever told them they had other options. It’s like, ‘Why wouldn’t you do that if you can? It’s the NFL.’”
It’s difficult to know how many later-round NFL prospects have opted not to declare for the draft. But even though anecdotal evidence indicates that decisions like Hall’s are rare, some experts expect more players to bypass pro football opportunities in coming years.
The sport’s growing link to brain damage could be its biggest deterrent. In 2017, two years after Borland’s retirement brought more national attention to the issue, a Boston University study found chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in 110 of 111 former NFL players whose brains were donated for analysis.
CTE leads to the loss of nerve cells in the brain. Mood problems such as impulsivity and anxiety have been linked to the disease’s early stages; 27% of ex-NFL players in the Boston University study with early-stage CTE died by suicide. Nearly 50% of the study’s players with more severe CTE died from a neurodegenerative-related issue like dementia or Parkinson’s disease.
Dr. Vernon Williams, a sports neurologist at Los Angeles’ Cedars-Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute who has worked with the Los Angeles Rams and the NFL Players Association, believes pro football is beginning to lose some allure. Though many players still view the NFL as what Williams called the “holy grail” of sports,he has noticed fewer athletes tying their identity to their success at the highest levels of competition.
“We’re seeing more people who identify less as athletes only,” Williams said. “They identify as someone who may have a future in business, entertainment, law or something else. And in a lot of ways, I think that’s a good thing. If you identify solely as an athlete, the end of your career — whether that’s in high school, college or later — is going to be very tough on you from an emotional standpoint.”
That might help explain why national youth and high school football participation numbers steadily declined for years before a slight uptick last season. Outside of football-mad areas like the South, interest in playing the sport is not nearly what it was a decade ago.
Hall hopes his decision helps fellow pro prospects realize that they don’t have to keep playing just because they’re good at it. When he decided last winter not to play beyond college, he fretted about what his coaches would think.
Four years earlier, after a decorated career at Bellarmine College Prep in San Jose, Hall didn’t have a single college scholarship offer. Just as he was about to sign with a local community college, he received an offer from Brennan, who pitched him on becoming a key part of SJSU’s rebuild.
Undersized at Bellarmine, Hall added 20 pounds of muscle between his final high school game and his first college practice. That extra heft helped him start eight games — the most among SJSU freshmen — during a 1-11 season.
Playing through nagging injuries, Hall helped the Spartans orchestrate one of the most shocking turnarounds in college football. His three tackles for loss, including two sacks, in SJSU’s win over Boise State in the 2020 Mountain West championship game cemented his place in program lore.
By the time the Spartans reached their second bowl game in three years last December, Hall was receiving interest from NFL scouts. One mock draft graded him a fifth-round talent. Though the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Hall lacked prototypical NFL size and athleticism, his relentless effort seemed to give him a shot at making a team.
“He’s the type of guy who will succeed at anything he puts his mind to,” SJSU safety Tre Jenkins said of Hall, who finished his Spartans career tied for first in program history in games played (55), third in tackles for loss (42) and fourth in sacks (25½). “Even if he didn’t get drafted, I have no doubt he would’ve impressed a team in training camp and made the roster.”
There was just one problem: Days before SJSU traveled to Boise for the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, Hall sat in Brennan’s office and told him he was about to play his final game. It was a conversation Hall had dreaded for weeks. Coaches take pride in sending players to the NFL, and he worried that his decision would disappoint Brennan.
But as he detailed why he was about to give up the only dream he’d had since age 9, Hall noticed Brennan smiling, and his nerves subsided.
“You’ve always been a deep thinker,” Brennan told him. “I’m proud of you for making such a mature decision.”
A couple of weeks earlier, in the regular-season finale against Hawaii at CEFCU Stadium, Rainbow Warriors quarterback Brayden Schager had dropped back on fourth-and-goal at SJSU’s 8-yard line. Down 13 with less than 2½ minutes left, Schager needed a touchdown to keep Hawaii’s hopes alive.
Hall and the Spartans’ other all-conference defensive end, Viliami “Junior” Fehoko, burst into the backfield and sacked Schager. As Hall stood up and saw his father, Rhett, in the stands, he broke down in tears.
A conversation weeks before with Rhett, a former NFL player who won Super Bowl XXIX with the 49ers, solidified Hall’s decision to step away from football.
For months, he had questioned whether he should pursue a pro career. His then-fiancée’s father, Kyu Ho Lee, was helping him discover Christianity. In getting closer to God, Hall said, he came to understand that he didn’t need to let football define him.
Finally, he felt he could see things more clearly. His dad had dealt with knee and shoulder pain throughout his adult life. After enduring several serious injuries of his own, Hall knew he needed to consider his long-term health.
There was also the possibility that he’d spend years bouncing around NFL practice squads and cities, often a reality for fringe prospects like Hall. He was about to marry his college sweetheart. Did he really want to ask his new wife to put her goals on hold while he chased his?
“Cade really wrestled with this decision for a long time,” said Abby, a former SJSU water polo player who now works as an executive assistant. “I could see it weighing on him.”
When Rhett finally heard his son’s dilemma, he reflected on his own journey. Like Cade, he had been an undersized, athletically limited defensive lineman with a nonstop motor. A sixth-round pick in 1991 out of Cal, Rhett totaled 34 starts and 141 tackles over an NFL career that spanned eight seasons and three teams.
In doing so, he sacrificed plenty: time with family; a predictable routine; and, to an extent, his health. It made perfect sense to Rhett, then, that Hall would be reluctant to enter the NFL draft. As he explained to his second oldest of four boys, pro football is a gnarly lifestyle. No one should be faulted for going a different route.
“I know how hard of a decision this was for Cade,” said Rhett, who has worked as a financial adviser for over 20 years. “But he did what was right for him, and I’m really happy for him. It’s not easy to walk away from something you’ve been thinking about your whole life.”
After graduating from SJSU in December with a bachelor’s degree in communications, Hall began working for a family friend’s stone company. It didn’t take him long to realize that construction suited him. In addition to learning something new each workday, he gets the satisfaction of building things by hand.
Now that he and Abby have their own apartment near her family in Irvine, Hall said he rarely thinks about what could have been. Only once has his football career really crossed his mind: 4½ months ago, when he watched his former teammate Fehoko get drafted in the fourth round by the Dallas Cowboys.
“There was a moment when Junior first got drafted where I was like, ‘Wait, did I make a mistake?’” Hall said. “But after a couple days, any doubts I had passed. I’m living my dream. It just looks a bit different than it used to.”
IN 2006 a high school English teacher asked students to write a famous author and ask for advice. Kurt Vonnegut was the only one to respond - and his response is magnificent:
NIETZSCHE was the one who did the job for me.
At a certain moment in his life, the idea came to him of what he called 'the love of your fate.' Whatever your fate is, whatever the hell happens, you say, 'This is what I need.' It may look like a wreck, but go at it as though it were an opportunity, a challenge. If you bring love to that moment – not discouragement – you will find the strength is there. Any disaster you can survive is an improvement in your character, your stature, and your life. What a privilege! This is when the spontaneity of your own nature will have a chance to flow.
Then, when looking back at your life, you will see that the moments which seemed to be great failures followed by wreckage were the incidents that shaped the life you have now. You’ll see that this is really true. Nothing can happen to you that is not positive. Even though it looks and feels at the moment like a negative crisis, it is not. The crisis throws you back, and when you are required to exhibit strength, it comes.
— Joseph Campbell
ON MISSOURI V. BIDEN AND "THE NEW ABNORMAL": Interview With Dr. Aaron Kheriaty
One of the plaintiffs in the landmark censorship case offers thoughts on last week's ruling, plus a general warning
by Matt Taibbi
Soon to become one of the original plaintiffs in the landmark Missouri v. Biden First Amendment case, Dr. Aaron Kheriaty at the outset of the pandemic began seeing patients come to his clinical practice speaking in ways he hadn’t encountered before, expressing a “weird apocalyptic anxiety” that combined depressive reactions to isolation with paralyzing fixations on social media, commercial news, and various disastrous scientific scenarios.
Acutely aware of real dangers of Covid-19 — as ethics consultant at the University of California-Irvine hospital he’d sat through “more conversations than I can count” informing families loved ones were dying of the new disease — Kheriaty nonetheless began to tally its psychiatric consequences as well. In late 2020 he wrote The Other Pandemic: The Lockdown Mental Health Crisis, addressing statistics matching his clinical experience. Anxiety disorders had tripled, depressive disorders quadrupled, and 11% of respondents contemplated suicide within 30 days. When it became consensus that questioning lockdowns was equivalent to murder — The Atlantic even ran a headline, “Georgia’s Experiment in Human Sacrifice” when Governor Brian Kemp allowed “gyms, churches, hair and nail salons, and tattoo parlors” to reopen — bringing up such issues guaranteed backlash, as he was to find out.
Between the Other Pandemic article and the signing of the Great Barrington Declaration opposing lockdowns with future co-plaintiffs Dr. Jay Bhattacharya of Stanford and Dr. Martin Kulldorff of Harvard, Kheriaty found himself subject to increasingly absurd pressures. In September 2021, for instance, Kheriaty gave an interview to podcaster Alison Morrow that was not only removed by YouTube, and caused Morrow’s account to be frozen, but eventually got Morrow fired from a day job she held with the state of Washington, as bosses demanded she stop all interviews with anyone who “undermined” vaccine mandates. YouTube framed the interview as “misinformation” because it was seen to “contradict expert consensus from local health authorities or the World Health Organization.”
In this sense, Kheriaty’s story is crucial to hear especially for naysayers and mainstream news consumers, who’ve been led to believe digital censorship is always on some level about “fake news.” His case, like that of co-plaintiffs Bhattacharya and Kulldorff, was instead about suppression of exactly the expert, credentialed opinion anti-disinformation bodies often claim is sacrosanct. “It was narrative control,” Kheriaty recalls now.
Covid led Kheriaty down the path of becoming the most ambitious theorist of the censorship-industrial age, pondering the pandemic’s mysteries. Why were things academics once would have discussed, like pandemic policy, presented as diktats beyond the scope of debate? Why was the general population so accepting of such non-negotiable decrees? Why did the medical community shrug as concepts like informed consent — so central to modern medical ethics that it’s the first entry in the 1947 Nuremberg Code — were replaced overnight with new doctrines de-emphasizing individual care and stressing collective “safety” issues? Why was language infected with odd catastrophizing tendencies (e.g. from bending to flattening to “smashing the curve”), and why were issues once thought of as social matters best resolved through discussion and democratic reform, like racism, suddenly being re-framed as public health or national security matters?
Kheriaty’s search for answers not only led to vivid description of a new “biomedical security state” in his book The New Abnormal, but helped bring about the Missouri v. Biden litigation, which came about in significant part because he, Bhattacharya, and Kulldorf decided to fight back. Kheriaty has spoken in the past about being proud to represent not just himself in the case, but everyone who’s been censored (or denied the equally important American right to hear) by a metastasizing censorship industry that was “far more wide-ranging than previously known.” You can read some of his thoughts about this and other issues at his excellent Substack site, Human Flourishing.
As noted over the weekend, the 5th Circuit Court handed down an important ruling in Missouri v. Biden last week, verifying that the White House and the FBI likely engaged in coercion of social media platforms “in violation of the First Amendment,” but excusing other state defendants and their partners from an earlier injunction to stop flagging content. A quick poll of people close to the case suggests uncertainty over what the ruling means, as its ambiguity may tempt the Biden administration to accept a loss, or wait until the related O’Handley v. Weber and Twitter case that’s already before the Supreme Court is resolved. Others however seem confident the ruling will be appealed to the upper court by the administration, which won’t want such a stern rebuke of the White House left unchallenged (“I’m sure they’re thinking, ‘This aggression will not stand, man,’” joked one lawyer).
Wednesday, I asked Kheriaty his thoughts:
MT: Doctor, as a plaintiff, what was your reaction to last week’s appellate court ruling?
Dr. Kheriaty: Overall, this is good news. We clearly didn’t get everything we wanted, and I don’t think any single lawsuit is going to entirely dismantle the censorship Leviathan, but this was a very good first step. We landed on Normandy Beach, not necessarily with all the soldiers that we wanted, but we have a foothold now to begin kind of pushing back against this thing. And this is a unanimous decision by a three-judge panel confirming that even at this early stage, before the case goes to trial, we’ve submitted sufficient evidence to establish that the FBI, the CDC, the White House and the Surgeon General are in fact unconstitutionally coercing social media companies to censor ordinary Americans. That essentially confirms the core finding of the injunction at the district court level. It’s important to understand it’s very hard to get a preliminary injunction. The legal threshold is quite high. There’s a multi-pronged legal test in order to get an injunction.
That’s important context because you can prevail in a case without necessarily obtaining a preliminary injunction, because a preliminary injunction basically says even before the fact-finding process of an adversarial process of the trial — even with just the limited discovery that’s been allowed so far, and the initial arguments submitted — that the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on the merits of the arguments. We’ve already shown that there’s likely to be irreparable harm to plaintiffs or other people who are similarly situated. It means that if the government doesn’t intervene right away, we can’t wait for a final ruling because irreparable harm may be done in the interim.
So, the fact that the circuit court ruling didn’t include all the entities that the district court injunction included, doesn’t mean those other agencies can go ahead and engage in unconstitutional censorship. It just means at this stage, we haven’t yet submitted sufficient evidence to cross that high legal bar for an injunction against all of those agencies. But certainly, those agencies, even the ones that weren’t specifically named in the injunction, are on notice. They realize that while this case is being tried, any ongoing communication with social media can be subject to subpoena.
I was disappointed that the court didn’t recognize, especially when it came to the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), that their flagging activities are highly problematic, and I think constitute a form of significant encouragement. I think you understand this well — the people that have really dug into the anatomy of the Censorship-Industrial Complex understand the way in which these things are intertwined with the people doing the flagging — and CISA’s work as a switchboard and a sort of clearing house for other government requests and their work with quasi-private entities like the Stanford Internet Observatory and the University of Washington. I mean, they’re government-funded, and they’re staffed by people who formerly worked at these government agencies.
MT: “Not exactly non-governmental non-governmental organizations.”
Dr. Kheriaty: Exactly. I think this tightly interlocked machinery implicates all of them including (and maybe even especially) CISA as a state actor when it comes to the overall censorship work and the overall power dynamics of work. So, I think that the judges may be operating to some degree with an anachronistic understanding of publishing and perhaps an inadequate understanding of the dynamics of how this actually works when it comes to social media, such that it’s only the guy yelling on the phone who’s violating the Constitution. It’s not all the other people involved in the very same activities.
I don’t how you establish that legally. I’m not a lawyer, I just sort of play one on TV, and I’m not sure how you educate the American people in the judiciary to understand what’s grown up since 2017 with this censorship leviathan. It’s really complicated, and takes a while to wrap your head around. I think that’s one of the challenges in our case. I think Judge Doughty understood this at the district court level, but maybe one of the reasons the appellate court narrowed the injunction was maybe an inadequate appreciation for how this machinery operates as a whole.
MT: What would you hope for as a best-case scenario? Do you want Missouri v. Biden to go ahead to the Supreme Court?
Dr. Kheriaty: I think a best-case scenario is that the current appellate court injunction stays in place while the case being tried is either upheld by the Supreme Court because they “deny cert” — meaning, if the government appeals, basically they deny to hear the appeal and therefore they leave the ruling in place — or they hear the appeal and uphold the ruling in a judgment. And then we get a final ruling in the Supreme Court that is as strong and hopefully a bit stronger than the current injunction.
That would also apply to some of the other key actors in the Censorship-Industrial Complex, specifically named as people that need to cease and desist. I think that would put a dent in this. The other important thing about this case is not just trying to get a judicial victory, but forcing media attention onto this issue… This was front page news above the fold in Saturday’s New York Times and Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. I can critique their reporting, although it’s gotten better as the case has proceeded, but it’s there and impossible to ignore now.
I think the fight in the court of public opinion is every bit as important as the fight in the actual court, if not more important, because I mean, ultimately, the censorship is going to stop when the American people demand that it stops. We like to think of judges as blindfolded and impartial, but the truth is they’re influenced by cultural dynamics, and they’re influenced by what’s going in the court of public opinion and how many people are watching what they’re doing.
Ultimately, that’s where we need a victory. We need the American people to stand up and say, “No, we don’t want this. We don’t want to be governed by technocrats that are controlling the flow of information online or ‘mixing the record.’” I thought Walter Kirn’s metaphor was just perfect, describing the turning up and turning down of the volume on different elements of information.
MT: What is the “biomedical security state” you described in The New Abnormal, and how can people see its effects in the Missouri v Biden evidence?
Dr. Kheriaty: I think the Censorship-Industrial Complex, just to get really jargony, is an essential part of the biomedical security state. The control of the flow of information online, the control of messaging, both by suppressing ideas that are disfavorable to the regime and amplifying propaganda to support it, are a core piece of this new model of governance that I argue was rolled out in March of 2020. I describe it in the book as having three interlocking components. The first is the increasingly militarized public health apparatus. The second is the use of digital technologies of surveillance and control, including information control. And the third is that these things are backed up by the police powers of the state.
I think that the biosecurity model could not have been implemented without censorship. The American people would’ve pushed back much harder and asked a lot more pointed questions that surfaced in the public discussion if this extremely effective machinery of censorship had not been in place, and had not been road-tested prior to the pandemic. I don’t think that things that I describe in The New Abnormal or the policies that prevailed during Covid, whether it’s lockdowns or school closures or vaccine mandates or vaccine passports, could have been rolled out in the way that they were and embraced in the way that they were without censorship. I think if you remove the government-sponsored censorship element, which was global, what happened to us during those three years would’ve looked very, very different.
MT: In The New Abnormal you quote C.S. Lewis describing how human nature will be the “last part of nature to surrender to man.” How does algorithmic censorship figure in that narrative? What parts of human nature are put at risk as these systems become more sophisticated?
Dr. Kheriaty: One way to think about this is empires throughout history have expropriated resources from abroad from other countries. Adam Smith writing The Wealth of Nations in Scotland and talking about the butcher and the baker and the candlestick maker as being drivers of economic prosperity sort of left out of his story the fact that most of the wealth and growth of Scotland at that time was not from the butcher, baker or candlestick maker. It was from pillaging foreign lands for their resources. And we’ve pillaged for a couple of centuries now, and there’s less and less to pillage when it comes to natural resources. And I think what’s being colonized now by our approach to novel biotechnologies and information technologies is the human body itself. And when it comes to censorship, the human mind itself, I think about [then-CISA director] Jen Easterly’s phrase, “cognitive infrastructure.” If CISA was supposedly set up to protect critical infrastructure, people could understand infrastructure out there, right? “We want to protect the internet from cyber-attack,” or “We want to protect the electrical grid from sabotage.” Okay, fine.
But then they said, we’re going to protect “election infrastructure.” Well, maybe that means voting machines and mail-in ballots and that sort of thing. But in order to protect election infrastructure, we have to protect cognitive infrastructure. Wait a minute: what’s “cognitive infrastructure”? Cognitive infrastructure is the thoughts inside Matt Taibbi’s head, which need to be protected from bad ideas, like the stuff that Aaron wrote about in The New Abnormal.
This is a colonization of the human mind, by government entities that want to control what you think. It’s human nature itself succumbing to the interventions of biotechnology and information technologies.
DEMOCRATS supported Trump’s most evil actions and opposed his best ones. They cheered when he bombed Syria and supported his cold war escalations against Russia, and looked the other way as he targeted civilians with sanctions and blockades in Yemen, Venezuela, Iran, Syria, North Korea and Cuba. Meanwhile they screamed bloody murder whenever he talked about pulling troops out of Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq.
The two parties do not oppose each other, they egg each other on and push each other to be worse. It’s actually worse than a one-party system: it’s a system in which two parties not only align on all the most depraved agendas, but push each other to be more depraved than they otherwise would be.
— Caitlin Johnstone
JOHN PILGER: No newspaper has come close to matching the secrets and lies of power that Assange and Snowden have disclosed. That both men are fugitives is indicative of the retreat of liberal democracies from principles of freedom and justice. Why is WikiLeaks a landmark in journalism? Because its revelations have told us, with 100 per cent accuracy, how and why much of the world is divided and run.
UKRAINE, THURSDAY, 14TH SEPTEMBER
Ukraine said it destroyed a Russian air defense system in an overnight attack on occupied Crimea, as Moscow said its forces shot down 11 Ukrainian drones early Thursday morning over the area.
The attack is the latest by Ukraine on Crimea, which has huge strategic and symbolic importance to Russia. Kyiv is seeking to reclaim the annexed peninsula.
A South Korean minister warned Russia and North Korea could be pursuing “some kind of military deal," and an official from the presidential office said Seoul has long been aware that Moscow has used weapons provided by Pyongyang in the war.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin met North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un Wednesday — but it is unclear if they struck an agreement. Kim is expected to continue his trip Thursday around Russia’s far east.
South Korea's comments come as US officials have also warned Putin could use the summit to seek weapons to use in the war. The Biden administration said it would "not hesitate to impose sanctions” if weapons are transferred between the countries.
When I was 19 years old I couldn't go to college because I came from a poor family. We had no money, so I went to the library at least. Three days a week I read every possible book. At the age of 27 I have actually completed almost the entire library instead of university. So I got my education in the library and for free. When a person wants something, they will find a way to achieve it.
I would like to remind you one thing:
Humans should never forget that we have been assigned only a very small place on earth, that we live surrounded by nature that can easily take back everything that has ever given to man.
It costs absolutely nothing in her way to one day blow us all off the face of the earth or flood the waters of the ocean with her single breath, just to remind man once again that he is not as all-powerful as he still foolishly thinks.
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Earth is about 4 billion years old, but life only started on it a couple of billion years ago, and multi-cellular life only about 1 1/2 billion years ago.
Plants and animals evolved less than a billion years ago.
We tend to be quite cavalier about the ability of Earth to start all over, but I guess it doesn’t matter, once we completely wreck the place, if anything else manages to survive or not.
At least, it won’t matter to us.
Personally, I think that Earth is a wondrous place now, or actually was 75 years ago, before humans started using chemical weapons of war on plants and animals, and fossil fuels to vacuum the oceans, bulldoze the jungles and blow up the mountains.
Todd: Hello… Operator, Listen to me. I can’t speak very loud. This is an emergency. I’m a passenger on a United flight to San Francisco. We have a situation here. Our plane has been hijacked. Can you understand me?
Lisa: (exhaling a deep breath to herself) I understand… Can the hijackers see you talking on the phone?
Lisa: Can you tell me how many hijackers are on the plane?
Todd: There are three that we know of.
Lisa: Can you see any weapons? What kind of weapons do they have?
Todd: Yes. They don’t have guns. They have knives. They took over the plane with knives.
Lisa: Do you mean… like steak knives?
Todd: No, these are razor knives…like box cutters.
Lisa: Can you tell what country these people are from?
Todd: No. I don’t know. They sound like they’re from the mid-east.
Lisa: Have they said what they want?
Todd: Someone announced from the cockpit that there was a bomb on board. He said he was the captain and to stay in our seats and stay quiet.
He said that they were meeting these men’s demands and returning to the airport… It was very broken English, and, I’m telling you… It sounded fake!
Lisa: Ok sir, please give me your name.
Todd: My name is Todd Beamer.
Lisa: Ok Todd, my name is Lisa. Do you know your flight number? If you can’t remember, it’s on your ticket.
Todd: It’s United Flight 93.
Lisa: Now Todd, can you try to tell me exactly what happened?
Todd: Two of the hijackers were sitting in first class near the cockpit. A third one was sitting near the back of the coach section. The two up. front got into the cockpit somehow; there was shouting. The third hijacker said he had a bomb. It looks like a bomb. He’s got it tied to his waist with a red belt of some kind.
Lisa: So is the door to the cockpit open?
Todd: No, the hijackers shut it behind them.
Lisa: Has anyone been injured?
Todd: Yes, ..they…they killed one passenger sitting in first class. There’s been lots of shouting. We don’t know if the pilots are dead or alive. A flight attendant told me that the pilot and copilot had been forced from the cockpit and may have been wounded.
Lisa: Where is the 3rd hijacker now Todd?
Todd: He’s near the back of the plane. They forced most of the passengers into first class. There are fourteen of us here in the back. Five are flight attendants. He hasn’t noticed that I slipped into this pantry to get the phone. The guy with the bomb ordered us to sit on the floor in the rear of the plane. Oh Jesus.. Help!
Lisa: Todd, are you ok? Tell me what’s happening!
Todd: Hello…..We’re going down. I think we’re going to crash. Wait – wait a minute. No, we’re leveling off, we’re ok. I think we may be turning around. That’s it – we changed directions. Do you hear me? we’re flying east again.
Lisa: Ok Todd.What’s going on with the other passengers?
Todd: Everyone is… really scared. A few passengers with cell phones have made calls to relatives. A guy, Jeremy, was talking to his wife just before the hijacking started. She told him that hijackers had crashed two planes into the World Trade Center. Lisa is that true??
Lisa: Todd, I have to tell you the truth, it’s very bad. The World Trade Center is gone. Both of the towers have been destroyed.
Todd: Oh God —help us!
Lisa: A third plane was taken over by terrorists. It crashed into the Pentagon in Washington DC. Our country is under attack….and I’m afraid that your plane may be part of their plan.
Todd: Oh dear God. Dear God, Lisa, will you do something for me?
Lisa: I’ll try, if I can. Yes.
Todd: I want you to call my wife and my kids for me and tell them what’s happened. Promise me you’ll call..
Lisa: I promise – I’ll call.
Todd: Our home number is 201 353-1073. You have the same name as my wife, Lisa. We’ve been married for 10 years. She’s pregnant with our 3rd child. Tell her that I love her(choking up). I’ll always love her..(clearing throat) We have two boys.. David, he’s 3 and Andrew, he’s 1. Tell them, (choking) tell them that their daddy loves them and that he is so proud of them. (clearing throat again) Our baby is due January 12th/ I saw an ultra sound. It was great. We still don’t know if it’s a girl or a boy. Lisa?
Lisa: (barely able to speak) I’ll tell them, I promise Todd.
Todd: I’m going back to the group—if I can get back I will…
Lisa: Todd, leave this line open…are you still there?……
Lisa: (dials the phone..) Hello, FBI, my name is Lisa Jefferson, I’m a telephone supervisor for GTE. I need to report a terrorist hijacking of a United Airlines Flight 93….Yes I’ll hold.
Goodwin: Hello, this is Agent Goodwin.. I understand you have a hijacking situation?
Lisa: Yes sir, I’ve been talking with a passenger, a Todd Beamer, on Flight 93 who managed to get to an air phone unnoticed.
Goodwin: Where did this flight originate, and what was its destination?
Lisa: The flight left Newark New Jersey at 8 A.M. departing for San Francisco. The hijackers took over the plane shortly after takeoff, and several minutes later the plane changed course – it is now flying east.
Goodwin: Ms. Jefferson…I need to talk to someone aboard that plane. Can you get me thru to the planes phone?
Lisa: I still have that line open sir, I can patch you through on a conference call. Hold a mo.
Todd: Hello Lisa, Lisa are you there?
Lisa: Yes, I’m here. Todd, I made a call to the FBI, Agent Goodwin is on the line and will be talking to you as well.
Todd: The others all know that this isn’t your normal hijacking. Jeremy called his wife again on his cell phone. She told him more about the World Trade Center and all.
Goodwin: Hello Todd. This is Agent Goodwin with the FBI. We have been monitoring your flight. Your plane is on a course for Washington, DC. These terrorists sent two planes into the World Trade Center and one plane into the Pentagon. Our best guess is that they plan to fly your plane into either the White House or the United States Capital Building.
Todd: I understand; hold on. I’ll… I’ll be back..
Lisa: Mr. Goodwin, how much time do they have before they get to Washington?
Goodwin: Not long ma’am. They changed course over Cleveland; they’re approaching Pittsburgh now. Washington may be twenty minutes away.
Todd: (breathing a little heavier) The plane seems to be changing directions just a little. It’s getting pretty rough up here. The plane is flying real erratic….We’re not going to make it out of here. Listen to me….I want you to hear this….I have talked with the others….we have decided we would not be pawns in these hijackers suicidal plot.
Lisa: Todd, what are you going to do?
Todd: We’ve hatched a plan. Four of us are going to rush the hijacker with the bomb. After we take him out, we’ll break into the cockpit. A stewardess is getting some boiling water to throw on the hijackers at the controls. We’ll get them….and we’ll take them out. Lisa, will you do one last thing for me?
Lisa: Yes…What is it?
Todd: Would you pray with me?
They pray: Our father which art in Heaven
Hallowed be thy name,
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses
As we forgive our trespassers,
And lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory
The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want…
He makes me to lie down in green pastures
He leads me beside the still waters
He restores my soul
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for His name’s sake
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death
I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.
Todd: (softer) God help me, Jesus help me, (clears throat and louder)
Are you guys ready?