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SHOWERS in the northern portion of the area will diminish today leaving much of the area dry by this afternoon. Early Wednesday another round of showers is expected in the north, while areas farther south remain mainly dry. Drier weather is expected Thursday with a few additional showers Friday. Dry and warmer weather is expected for the weekend and into early next week. Some of the inland valleys could see frost starting Saturday. (NWS)
RAINFALL (past 24 hours): Laytonville 0.62" - Leggett 0.60" - Willits 0.36" - Covelo 0.29" - Yorkville 0.24" - Boonville 0.18" - Hopland 0.15" - Ukiah 0.07"
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): The rain did not start until 2:30pm but I ended up with a nice .55". A partly cloudy 60F this Tuesday morning on the coast. There is a chance of showers this morning & tomorrow morning but the NWS says they will likely stay to the north. Clearing skies & windy is our forecast the next few days with no more rain in sight for now.
A FEW MINUTES BEFORE 3pm Monday afternoon, Anderson Valley firefighters were dispatched to a vegetation fire near the intersection of Philo Greenwood Road and Highway 128 on property just above Frank’s Firewood. Early reports said the fire was about half an acre and spreading slowly, but wind gusts were threatening to blow it into a nearby home. Apparently the wind had toppled a power line sparking the blaze.
Calfire immediately dispatched a fire helicopter as locally-based ground crews converged on the blaze with six or seven units including two new local water tenders. The fire was soon contained then extinguished after burning about three acres. No structures were burned and firefighters emerged unscathed, no injuries. The Calfire chopper had landed on the beach on the nearby Navarro to monitor events. This was the first significant wildland fire of the year for AV firefighters and they responded effectively. Now they are looking forward to beneficial effects of the predicted rain showers expected. to arrive later Monday night to dampen the tinder-dry Anderson Valley.
MARGARET PICKENS: “It started just up the hill from Frank’s and came toward my house way too fast! God bless our fire department; they were here within 15 minutes (but that was a long 15 minutes.) All is OK now except the power is still out.”
ANOTHER MAN SOUGHT FOR POINT ARENA MURDER
Murder On Ten Mile Cut-Off, Update #1
During the midst of active investigations, Sheriff's Detectives developed the identities of two adult males as persons of interest in this homicide investigation.
During the evening hours of Sunday, September 24, 2023, Sheriff's Detectives were contacted by Antonio Coria Garcia, 23, of Gualala, who was one of the persons of interest. This contact was at the request of Coria Garcia.
During the contact, Sheriff's Detectives established probable cause to believe Coria Garcia was involved in the killing of the adult male victim, Jesus Joel Romero, 32, of Point Arena. As a result, Coria Garcia was booked into the Mendocino County Jail
Sheriff's Detectives are currently seeking to locate the second identified person of interest and that person's identity is being withheld at this time.
Sheriff's Detectives have identified the adult male victim as being Jesus Joel Romero, a 32-year-old from Point Arena.
A forensic autopsy is scheduled for later this week, but preliminary body observations suggest Romero died as the result of multiple gunshot wounds.
AV UNIFIED TRAVEL ADVISORY
Just a heads up. Your kids need to be in school until December 17. Do not travel before then, or your student will most likely be credit deficient – not good.
The last day of the semester has changed. There is no make up time in January. Final grades are posted December 18. Make sure please your students are here.
I know for a long time this district has had a policy of extended travel over the holidays. We have suspended that policy over the past two years. Your students need to be in school. They will not be competitive in career and college if they aren’t here. No exceptions. If your family decides to travel, your kid may be credit deficient.
Help us, help your kid be competitive in the college and career marketplace. Holiday break is December 17-January 7. Return to school day is January 8. Travel within those dates.
Please make sure you are at school during the dates. It could have really negative repercussions on your student’s final grades and transcripts, if your kids are not here. We love and value your kids. They need to be at school just like every other school district.
Louise Simson, Superintendent
AV Unified School District
AVA PHOTOGRAPHER JEFF GOLL, justly proud of his big wins at the Boonville Fair: Yowza, I had a buddy drive me out to the Fair yesterday to see (partially) that out of my five photo entries I had won a First, Second, and Third.
The bright, contrasty light was tough but I did get some decent photos. I feel like Donald Pleasence the forger, in the movie “The Great Escape” where he's using a little magnifying glass to see his work. Eye(s) are slowly improving so that's good, though reading anything on a screen is difficult.
JOHN REDDING: File this under “Did You Know?”
If your school age child is thinking about or undergoing a gender transition, Fort Bragg Unified has policies that prohibit disclosure to parents or guardians unless the student gives permission.
“As appropriate given the student's need for support, the compliance officer may discuss with the student any need to disclose the student's intersex, nonbinary, transgender, or gender-nonconformity status or gender identity or gender expression to the student's parents/guardians and/or others, including other students, teacher(s), or other adults on campus.”
Ok, all right, I think any parent paying proper attention to their child would be the first to notice so a note from school would be redundant.
But Fort Bragg Unified doesn't have, it appears to me, a policy that prevents a teacher or counselor or any adult from initiating a discussion about gender with an underaged, vulnerable student. And encouraging them to go through with it.
Moreover, FBU has a policy against bullying but, as we have learned recently, doesn't enforce it and doesn't even tell parents when it happens.
Went to the fair this year in Boonville and captured a couple of images I thought were interesting. The black Chevrolet convertible is "right hand" drive. The 1956 Mercury Montclair belongs to Bill Holcomb. The sign is just an old sign.
SEEMED LIKE every time I set out to walk down to the Fair, I got sidetracked, but I did enjoy the parade, which had many more entries this year than last. My spectator crew was briefly mesmerized by the sight of a pneumatic Mexican woman with large gifts front and back clad in see-through tights leaving not much at all to the male imagination. I felt like applauding but restrained myself. This next comment is certain to be construed by the highly evolved righteous ones as both racist and sexist, but I'm always aware around Mexican women of their female-ness. With gringo women, at least the ones over thirty, you're aware something is standing in front of you that could be a woman or maybe a hockey stick.
I WAS SURPRISED by a float dedicated to the presidential candidacy of RFK Jr. The Democrats are of course putting in a lot of OT devising ways to keep him out of their dependably rigged “debates,” which Jr would easily win because he's smart, articulate and his Kennedy-ness also makes him kinda charismatic. He's very good on the issues except for his unsupported vaxx opinions and, natch, the usual blind support for Israeli fascism that comes with the Democratic Party in its presently degraded state.
AND ANOTHER MENTALLY ILL person goes off to state prison because there's no place else to put her. Defendant Rachael Diane Seivertson, age 34, generally of the Ukiah area, was sentenced Wednesday, September 20th, in the Mendocino County Superior Court to 96 months in the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
MS. SEIVERTSON was a Ukiah street person of the apparently "non-reimbursable" class that comprise local untouchables, untouched, that is, by the County's multiples of helping professionals because the helping pros can't get paid for helping them.
JUST GUESSING HERE, but like many of the Ukiah Valley's free range mental cases, Ms. Seivertson seemed to be self-medicating, as the euphemizers disguise drug and alcohol-dependent people. In her case, when she sucker-punched a Ukiah police officer with a big rock in her hand that won her her second trip to state prison, she was probably speeding, maxed out on methamphetamine. If she'd been on the latest drug of choice, fentanyl, she'd been zonked out, immobilized somewhere.
THE LAST STATISTIC I saw, about a third of state prison inmates suffer from mental illness. Prison is not a therapeutic environment. The best prisons can do is segregate their vulnerable inmates from the wolves, like they do with the ever increasing numbers of cho-mo's. Pardon the cliche, but it was Charles Dickens who said that the quality of a social order can be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable people. By this standard, the U.S. is a failed state, and Ukiah flunked the civilization test years ago.
This is defendant Seivertson’s second commitment to state prison, both state prison commitments following her original “county prison” commitment in 2019.
In her latest 2023 case, while under state parole supervision, Seivertson committed and was convicted by felony plea of assault with a deadly weapon on a peace officer and resisting an executive officer by means of violence.
She also admitted as true two sentencing allegations that (1) she used a hefty rock to inflict injury to the face of a Ukiah Police officer; and (2) that she had suffered in 2021 a prior Strike conviction in the Mendocino County Superior Court.
In her 2021 case, Seivertson was convicted by felony plea of attempted robbery in the second degree (of Walmart) and resisting an executive officer by means of violence.
The defendant’s 2021 attempted robbery conviction is the Strike conviction that enhances sentencing choices whenever alleged and proven in subsequent felony prosecutions, as is the case in the recent 2023 prosecution.
In her 2019, Seivertson was convicted of felony vandalism and resisting arrest, a misdemeanor. The defendant maliciously caused approximately $20,000 damage to fire trucks and other equipment at the Hopland fire station.
District Attorney David Eyster made the following comments following the defendant’s sentencing:
“While all will likely agree that Seivertson is a disturbed individual to one degree or another, the courts and her attorney determined in her latest case that she was not insane at the time of the crimes and that she is not currently incompetent, as those psychological terms are defined by California law.
“She also has been recalcitrant and refused to cooperate with psychological help before, during, and after she has been prosecuted for her various crimes.
“In the dangerous context of her refusing to accept help, Seivertson's behavior has become increasingly unpredictable and violent, mandating the increasing lengths of incarceration needed to prevent her from inflicting harm on additional victims within the local community.”
Defendant Seivertson now stands convicted of two separate Strike offenses, within the meaning of California’s voter-modified Three Strikes law.
Should Seivertson commit in the future — and be convicted of — another “serious” or “violent” crime, Seivertson more than likely will be facing an alternative state prison sentence of 25 years to life.
JARBOE OF THE EEL RIVER RANGERS, an on-line comment:
I have seen what you are talking about on Jarboe on Ancestry.com, I actually have more information on him than is listed in that article. I was looking for direct descendants of his. I know he marries Cynthia Winchester (yes, the rifle people) and he spends his last two years as a justice of the peace for the city of Ukiah and dies in his mid thirties in Ukiah. I even pulled his will, and his will he leaves his estate to his eight year old son who is noted, however he does not not have a name listed for him and there is no birth record of this child. Even the estate in the will does not give a specific location, however having seen his will he was a wealthy man leaving behind 500 head of cattle on an 800 acre estate in Redwood Valley and nearly $20,000 (when that was a lot of money). That is where the trail ran cold, he is buried in Ukiah and nobody in his family is close to him and Cynthia Winchester (Jarboe) which she begins to go by after they got married disappears and I can’t find her anywhere or the two kids. There is one thing about Jarboe I have been able to disprove, if you run across histories of him you will find that when he died most people listed him as having a small funeral with few in attendance, however I find information at the Mendocino County Archive that shows his funeral was one of the largest in Ukiah history at the time with at least 300 people in attendance and to quote the article exactly says “Mourning the loss of a great man.” What a joke! I have been looking for other relatives of the Eel River Rangers as well as the local landowners who helped form them; it has been a very difficult task. It has all been in effort to help write a book about the Yuki People, of which I am a proud member. I was going to call the chapter on Jarboe’s relatives and other Eel River Rangers relatives “What if Hitler had children?” And, to point out the chapter would not include just bashing of relatives, but it would be to point out how bad people can create good people.
Not to belabor the point, but this, from ‘The Destruction of California Indians,’ edited from newspaper accounts and letters, by Robert F. Heizer, Peregrine Smith, Inc., 1974, another book worth reading, if you haven’t already.
ED REPLY: The glory of America is that we emerged from murderous beginnings to become the fine, fat population we are today. Not to resort to invidious comparisons (that's all I have left), but we all know, or should know, that all of the Latin American countries were worse, and most stayed worse for much of their histories. Hell, even Denmark slaughtered the Inuits. No nation is clean. As the sage said, history is a race between education and catastrophe, with catastrophe seeming to be winning, and what else is new? Violence over who gets what and how much comes with the human animal. Throw a million dollar grant into a meeting of purple people and watch the blood flow. The battle at the moment is between Maga-brains who don't want the truth of our bloody beginnings taught at all, and the wokesters who want curricula emphasizing atrocities removed because they think America was poisoned in the well. We all should know, that Mendocino County was the scene of great crimes, but so far as I'm aware, local history isn't taught in the schools, and probably half our students couldn't find America on a global map. I'm glad you're pointing us all in the direction of historical truth.
Clearly our BOS is failing our County, and 5th District Supe Ted Williams was recently quoted in the Mendocino Voice as saying, “the strike would likely go unnoticed by the public.”
Regardless of his recently getting the BOS meeting on the coast to discuss the issue of tents in the village of Mendocino, one must wonder what Supe. Williams actually sees as his role in the lives of his constituents and in the lives of the County employees which he oversees.
Mendocino County Workers Rally at Board of Supervisors Meeting to Defend County Services
Tomorrow morning, Mendocino County workers will be rallying at the Board of Supervisors meeting to defend County services.
For the past five months, the County Administration has refused to bargain in good faith with its employees -- all while staffing levels continue to hemorrhage. Fighting for the community's access to road crews, public health nurses, children's social workers, and other vital County services, County workers feel that the situation has become untenable. Last month, County workers voted to authorize their bargaining team to call a strike, should a strike become necessary. The strike authorization vote passed overwhelmingly, with 92.4% voting yes.
County workers rally, give speeches
Tuesday, August 25th, starting at 8:45 AM
501 Low Gap Rd, Ukiah, CA 95482
Despite a staffing crisis that is threatening the safety of Mendocino's families — and amidst rumblings of a potential strike — the County has continued to bargain in bad faith. The County has proposed a wage freeze and dramatic increases in monthly employee health insurance premiums — increases in monthly employee premiums upward of 65% in some cases. The County's proposals would continue to exacerbate the exodus of County employees leaving for jobs in surrounding counties and industries, while making the County's recruitment even harder. Ultimately, the County's proposals would result in even higher vacancy rates, reduced services, slower response times, and more of the County's children and elderly becoming at risk.
The Board of Supervisors and the CEO's office have struggled for months to get a clear handle on the County's finances, pleading ignorance about the County's actual financial position. At the same time, the County has made the specious claim that they have a structural deficit of $11 million. In reality, total revenue for Mendocino County has increased 44.8% since 2019-2020. Since 2015, Mendocino County has regularly and significantly under-projected its tax revenue, missing the mark by anywhere between $1.3 to $10.3 Million dollars.
“County employees need to see that the Board and the Administration have their backs,” said SEIU 1021 Mendocino County Chapter President Julie Beardsley, a senior public health analyst for the county. “We love the work we do, but it is becoming harder and harder to make ends meet. When we see other counties moving ahead and Mendocino County remains mired in dysfunction, it can be disheartening.”
Mendocino County has a county-wide vacancy rate of 29%. Among the critical staffing shortages jeopardizing the health, safety, and well-being of county residents, including the most vulnerable, are: A nearly 40% vacancy rate in Family & Children’s Services —putting at-risk kids in danger; A 44% vacancy rate in Department of Transportation road crews, meaning our roads don’t get paved or repaired in a timely manner; A 47% vacancy rate for public health nurses, putting our low-income and elderly populations at risk; and A 70% vacancy rate for mental health clinicians.
TAKE THIS JOB…
My condo building is peopled for the most part by liberal Baby Boomers interested in the world around them, and on a recent balmy afternoon a group of us sat chatting as neighbors do at one of the picnic tables beneath the towering redwoods around us. One of the topics of the hour was defined pensions. The general tone was relief; everybody present had been too far into their respective careers to lose their pensions when they were axed en masse in the late ‘80s and ‘90s. It was like we dodged a bullet, not a bullet meant for us but rather for those coming up behind us.
Defined pensions in private companies have been gone so long now they seem oddly quaint, a long-ago relic long dead and gone like poodle skirts or Polaroid cameras. We shed no tears that afternoon for the unlucky youngsters beginning their careers these brutal days, though to a person we noted this great injustice. But times are tough these days, our financial futures uncertain, and as human beings we naturally focus first on ourselves, whatever our private professions or beliefs.
I saw an example of this principle first hand when my late girlfriend’s husband, an investigator for the DA in a California coastal county, took a survey around the time of his retirement (at 50) about whether he and his soon-to-retire brothers in blue would consider a pension reduction so that young officers coming up could get something, too. Nobody raised a hand. Today, 25 years into his retirement, his defined pension is equivalent to his working salary (complete with COLA) and he gets Social Security to boot. He’s far richer as a county retiree than he ever was as a fulltime working stiff. Employees in private industries can only dream of such largesse.
Then-President Ronald Reagan’s wide-ranging attacks on social services and taxes in general set the national tone for passage of the Revenue Act of 1978, signed improbably into law by his predecessor Jimmy Carter. The new law, which took a few years to be widely adopted, created the financial tax instrument referred to today by its technical name: 401(k). Today 401(k)s have almost entirely replaced defined pensions in private companies. The forces that coalesced into this far-reaching tax law were many, and which one you believe depends on your personal world view. Two former colleagues recalled recently that this law marked the beginning of the end of Corporate America’s long-standing social contract with its employees: i.e., employer loyalty. More likely in my view is that the Reagan-era pro-business period that ultimately spawned the 401(k) was actually designed to boost corporate earnings by dumping those pesky pensions, but was cynically sold (to mostly high-paid white-collar employees) as a way to shield a portion of their earnings from taxes. I knew we were in trouble back then when the newest, youngest employees at my corporation in the late ‘80s started hanging framed portraits of Reagan in their offices. It was go-go-go all the time, everybody was gonna get rich! The stock market was booming, soon to enrich beyond all imagining the CEO compensation linked to it. On the flip side, in retrospect, it was also both a critical first step toward the death of the defined pension and the accelerator of income inequality, which has skyrocketed ever since.
From the 1940s until 1987, the number of American workers covered by defined pensions grew from 4 million to 40 million. But by the late 1980s, 401(k) plans, much cheaper and less complicated to manage for employers, began to replace defined pensions. Today, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 15% of private industry workers have defined benefit plans, compared with 86% of state and local government workers.
Many of us unfondly recall the August 12, 1986 press conference when President Reagan declared that “The nine most terrifying words in the English language are ‘I’m from the Government, and I’m here to help.’” In retrospect the irony is chilling: Reagan’s tax cuts and other policies skewed to the rich laid the groundwork for the rise of the One Percent—and every one of those perks for the wealthy was created by the same government that Reagan so famously and endlessly maligned. (I’ve often wondered why anti-government types work so hard to become part of it.) In an eerie twist, Reagan adopted the slogan “Make America Great Again” in his 1980 presidential campaign, nearly 40 years before Donald Trump abbreviated it and had it printed on red baseball caps. Both men were charismatic presidents with fanatically loyal followings: the first MAGA president dismantled the egalitarian New Deal taxation system that created the middle class and the second one tried to steal a presidential election. Great again, indeed.
The Service Employees International Union (SEIU) represents nearly 1.9 million workers in the U.S. and Canada, most working in hospitals, home care, nursing homes, public services, and property services. SEIU Local 1021 covers Northern California from the Bay Area to the Oregon border, and the union pegs its membership at around 60,000, with about 1,200 members in Mendocino County. Missouri native Patrick Hickey, who lives in Ukiah, has been Local 1021’s field representative for “six or seven years” and told me during a recent phone interview that Mendo is an especially challenging environment for the union and its members, who he said in some classifications are paid “10-15% below market” and “have not had a cost-of-living [COLA] increase since 2013.” Turnover, he added is “30% annually, and in some areas employees quit after 3 or 4 months.”
Hickey said that efforts to engage with the county have been frustrating. “We’ve been in negotiations for six months,” he said. “Every year they overestimate revenues and underestimate actual costs.” He added that even though the union is challenging the county’s claim of a 7% fiscal deficit, he has received none of the essential data he’s requested. “The county is in such disarray that we haven’t gotten financials for the past 5 months,” he said. “Without that critical data it’s impossible to recruit new employees.” He told me that how the county counts its vacancies is also suspect. “Instead of saying, “We have a vacancy problem,” now they say “We just changed the definition of a vacancy official.” Bait-and-switch scheme, anyone? Hickey said that pensions are also under pressure, and that employees hired since 2013 now pay half of their pension costs out of their own pockets.
“There’s no majority vision on the board to move the county forward,” Hickey said. “They shrug their shoulders instead of saying here’s a strategic plan for the future.” He added that the local is also working to increase its membership (currently around 70%), which has declined since 2018 when the pro-business U.S. Supreme Court ruled that non-union employees cannot be forced to pay union dues as a condition of employment.
As I sit writing this in the predawn hour, workers at the “big three” auto makers—General Motors (GM), Ford, and Stellantis (formerly Chrysler)—are on strike, the first time ever that all three have joined forces for higher pay and greater job security. Defined pensions are back on the table, and from news coverage represent a nettlesome sticking point in ongoing negotiations, though more equitable employee compensation is right up there, too. General Motors CEO Mary Barra, who is the highest-paid chief executive among the big three, earned nearly $29 million in 2022 and has become a kind of sacrificial media lamb in defending the status quo that enabled her to earn, according to Security and Exchange Commission filings, 362 times the median GM employee’s pay. (In 1965 CEOs typically earned 20 times the typical worker’s pay.) Barra spoke recently on camera to a CNN reporter, who astonishingly actually asked her a direct question she couldn’t wriggle out of: “Do you think it’s fair that you earn 362 times more than your employees?” Looking momentarily startled (and no doubt realizing that a simple “yes” would not do in this case), Barra hesitated a beat before replying, with a straight face, that “92% of her compensation is based on “company performance:” that’s corporate speak for stock price. At almost $29 million a year, she had walked naively into a trap; cutting employee costs is (and has been) one way that companies have increased stock prices on the backs of their employees. United Auto Workers (UAW) President Shawn Fain recently said that a newly hired worker earning $16.50 an hour at GM’s Ohio battery plant, “…would have to work full time for 16 years to earn what Mary Barra makes in a single week.”
On the less quantifiable side, impoverishing the industrial workers who built this country is just wrong. Have we no respect? Though I voted for Hillary Clinton (after holding my nose and repeating a relaxing mantra), I never forgave her for her belittling dismissal of coal miners when she said in a 2016 town hall discussion on energy policy in Ohio that “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” According to later news coverage Clinton said she considered this “gaffe” to be one of the greatest regrets of her presidential campaign. She even devoted a chapter in her book What Happened to explaining away the comment, which has stuck to her like Gorilla glue nevertheless. Sometimes the words that slip out…
After graduating from Berkeley my first news job was in Charleston, West Virginia, where I reported on the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) for several years. The coal that fueled this nation’s growth was mined at enormous human cost to the miners who toiled in the deep mines of Appalachia. The bloody organizing battles that created the UMWA are both legendary and still a cautionary tale for the futures of American workers.
As SEIU’s Patrick Hickey put it, “People put their lives on the line to create these organizations.”
FROM SUPERVISOR WILLIAMS:
Ed Campos Comments: With a basic relational database like Microsoft Access, or even a spreadsheet like Excel, this is a little more than concerning because items 1 and 2 resulted in no information provided. Is this because staff lacks the training and/or ability to generate such reports? Or is it because staff is using a proprietary software application that lacks the essential tools for those types of reports, or some combination therein?
ANDERSON VALLEY VILLAGE
Dear Friends, Neighbors and Newcomers to the Valley,
Our "Village" chapter was founded 5 years ago to help seniors and retired or semi-retired community residents to connect with others here in Anderson Valley. We have recruited an impressive list of some 48 kind volunteers to assist seniors in their daily lives and our website hosts contacts to local service providers for things like driving, shopping, garden & household help, care-giving etc. Popular are our monthly social gatherings which usually include talks on a wide variety of subjects combined with a social hour and great refreshments. These occasions bring people together who may have briefly met each other sometime in the past or not. At any rate, they enable us to meet, meet again and deepen conversations and relationships. These gatherings are held from 4 - 5:30pm on the 3rd Sunday of every month at the Boonville Senior Center. Come check us out!
As more and more seniors are living longer and remaining in their homes, the "Village" idea arose to support us in times when we need it. This is a nationwide trend as people like us realize that by nurturing relationships amongst ourselves and our neighbors, we are making meaningful contributions to our community at large. The village links together with the Senior Center, the AV Health Center and several other Valley groups to counter isolation and foster resilience, interests and goodwill amongst our older population. Many of us don't need these services now, but may in the coming year(s). We're paying it forward!
With one wonderful, part-time, paid coordinator (Anica Williams), we are an all volunteer board that meets monthly and which plans events and outings in separate committees. Each person contributes as they are inclined and is welcome. Monthly dues are $25 for singles and $40 for couples or if you pay annually, you get a month free, making it $275 a year for singles and $440 for couples. Exceptions can be made if necessary and of course, donations are always welcome.
If you are not already a member of the AVV, we invite you to become one and join us in planning and enjoying our events and each other. Get to know those familiar and unfamiliar faces and the personalities behind them! For more information please go to our website: www.andersonvalleyvillage.org or contact Anica at (707) 684-9829. Our email is email@example.com
We hope to see you soon!
The Anderson Valley Village Board
Gwyn Leeman (Chair), Elizabeth Summers (Vice-Chair), Donna Pierson-Pugh (Secretary), Philip Thomas (Treasurer), Ron Gester, Lauren Keating, Heidi Knott Gundling, Barbara Nelson, Sandra Nimmons, Elizabeth Wyant
WRITERS READ: Ukiah’s Literary Salon
Thursday, September 28, 2023
7:00 PM 9:00 PM
Grace Hudson Museum & Sun House
Writers Read has been happening in Ukiah since 1999, and occurs on the last Thursday of almost every month. The program focuses on poetry, spoken word, short stories, song, and expository prose. The featured reader for September will be Robin Gabbert, whose poems have appeared in multiple Redwood Writers Anthologies, California Writers Club Literary Reviews, and The Best Haiku 2022 International. She is the author of two books, Diary of a Mad Poet (2020) and The Clandestine Life of Paintings, in Poems (2022). The latter contains ekphrastic poetry — poems written about works of art. Robin will read some of those poems accompanied by painting projections. .
There is no admission fee for Writers Read but donations are gratefully accepted.
For general information about Writers Read, contact Michael Riedell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
FLYNN CREEK CIRCUS BRINGS ALL NEW SHOW TO BOONVILLE
Internationally acclaimed Flynn Creek Circus returns to Boonville with a super star line up in their all new show, ‘Desert Myth’! Come enjoy the spectacle under the big top tent at the Anderson Valley Brewing Company, October 20th through 22nd.
Featuring wild stunts and mind blowing skills, 'Desert Myth' is an acrobatic thrill ride that draws on a rich history of traditional folklore. Flynn Creek Circus’ distinctive presentation marked by high comedy, modern creativity and playful absurdity promises to exceed expectations.
Follow the Nomad as he journeys into an imaginative desert land looking for an oasis. The Tourist, The Cacti, and the Vultures are some of the colorful characters he meets along the way. This light hearted, comedic tale reflects a thirst for truth in a desolate land of well meaning ‘mis-guides’.
World renown circus artists from Ukraine, Canada and the United States will captivate audiences of all ages. Flynn Creek Circus’ enchanting performances dazzle with unforgettable, animal-free entertainment.
In addition to the family friendly showings, Flynn Creek Circus also presents the wildly popular ‘Adults Only Show’ boasting outrageous acts, dark comedy and an infamous party atmosphere at selected showtimes.
Spectators for all showings are invited to the tent to experience the magic up to 40 minutes before each show. The event will offer beer, wine and light concession for purchase and include a 15 minute intermission during the two hour show.
Tickets for Flynn Creek Circus are now available for purchase online at flynncreekcircus.com. Individual ticket prices start at $23 or table reservation options start at $84 for two attendees. Early booking is encouraged for this highly anticipated event.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, September 25, 2023
JOSE ARMENTA-BRIEBIESCA, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. DUI, no license, pot possession for sale/transportation, conspiracy.
RAFAEL CARRILLO-CONTRERAS, Ukiah. Grand theft, stolen vehicle, stolen property, controlled substance, suspended license, false ID.
ROSARIO CASTANEDA, Willits. Domestic abuse.
ANTHONY ESCUTIA-MARTINEZ, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale/transportation, conspiracy.
CHRISTOPHER HARRIS, Ukiah. Domestic battery.
ROSS KIMSEY, Manchester. Assault with deadly weapon not a gun.
MICHAEL LANGLEY, Ukiah. Battery, failure to appear. (Frequent flyer.)
JORGE LOZANO-CASILLAS, Santa Rosa/Ukiah. Pot possession for sale/transportation, conspiracy.
GOKHAM OZBEY, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs, false ID, battery on peace officer, resisting.
JANET PARDINI, Fort Bragg. Burglary.
LILLIAN SAYAD, Willits. Domestic battery, probation revocation.
WILLIAM YOUNG, Willits. Probation revocation.
Gov. Gavin Newsom recently proposed restructuring corrections programs, and people are up in arms, imagining going soft on felons and outraged about the money this alignment will cost.
Some years ago, the Department of Corrections officially added Rehabilitation to its title, something that was supposedly a goal all along. It was only under pressure from outside sources that rehab was paid any mind. Other countries have had this model for years, with great success, but the lust for vengeance is strong and isn’t going to abate anytime soon. People aren’t sent to prison for punishment, prison itself is the punishment. But neither the public nor the Parole Board have recognized this idea.
Having spent 10 years working with the Vietnam Veterans Group Of San Quentin, a program renowned throughout California, I can state unequivocally that San Quentin isn’t Club Med. People are crowded into cells designed for single occupancy, they’re at the mercy of guards, some of whom abuse their position with no real fear of consequences, and arbitrarily put on lockdown, because it’s easy.
People aren’t the sum of their crimes. They’re still human beings and deserve to be treated humanely. To quote a well-known historical figure, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.”
Rev. Terry L. Wolfe
ON LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
We took our 9 year-old grandkid cheerleader to cheer at a fifth year local football game. My observation:
Along one side of the stadium was a snack bar. It had all the junk food a sugar addict (like my granddaughter) could want – muffins, candy, etc. My granddaughter saw the snack bar and immediately said, “I need sugar so I can work the game”, forgetting she just had a lot of sugar from all the fruit we fed her for breakfast in order to hopefully prevent her eating junk food. We didn’t let her go the snack bar.
Many of the 9 year old cheerleaders and their brothers and sisters ran right to the snack bar with smiles on their faces. About 2/3’s of the cheerleaders were overweight, and a couple were obese. I hadn’t realized until then how out of shape and fat many of the families were.
Our society is so spoiled. You know how we’re about 9 missed meals away from civil breakdown? Well, yesterday I saw in full force how that will happen.
LOBSCOUSE was a common part of the Civil War soldier's diet:
"Take a bit of fat pork and melt it over the fire in a frying-pan or tin plate. Break up the hard-tack into small pieces and drop it into the frying fat. Let the whole mess sizzle together until the cracker is saturated with the fat and the result is a product that looks and tastes like pie crust. It is quite palatable...
"Indigestible stuff, you say? Well, who ever heard of a soldier having dyspepsia? Of all the ailments that came along to make the soldier’s life miserable, indigestion was one of the things he never complained of. Ye dyspeptics, who swallow nostrums and patent medicines by the barrel, consider the ways of the soldiers and be wise. Go to the war and be shot, and you’ll have no more dyspepsia. Nor will you have any more even if you are not shot.”
Source: "The Young Volunteer," by Joseph Edgar Crowell, pages 72 and 73. Crowell served in the 13th New Jersey Volunteer Infantry and the Veteran Reserve Corps during the Civil War.
THE BURNING MAN DISASTER
by Micah Weinberg
Since leaving Burning Man, I’ve thought a lot about the role principles play in society and what to do when people don’t live up to them.
Burning Man attracts more than 70,000 people each Labor Day weekend to an inhospitable dry lake bed called “the Playa” in northwestern Nevada. Burners marvel at incredible art installations, boogie to electronic dance music and create and engage in hundreds of different participatory experiences at camps with a staggering variety of themes.
But this year, there was another unexpected activity: waiting out 2½ days of rain and the thick mud it formed on the Playa’s surface. News networks ran breathless stories about how the participants were “trapped,” and interviewed people who fled instead of listening to the requests to stay until the lake bed dried out again.
What really happened, and what lessons can we draw from it given that the event is trying to create a particular type of culture?
The nonprofit organization that runs Burning Man was chartered in 2011 to better manage the event and promote its principles throughout the year. It is very clear about its theory of a good government for society, and that vision is basically libertarian. Among its 10 key principles are “radical self-reliance” and “community effort.” Many of the other principles have to do with the event itself, including leaving no trace of participants’ presence on the Playa.
For those of us who take these principles seriously, the two days of mud were simply a challenge to be embraced and overcome, even enjoyed.
“You get the Burn that you need,” a common saying about the experience goes. The vast majority of people who came this year took the opportunity of the torrential rainstorms to connect more closely with their campmates, to create clever art from the mud and/or to keep on partying through the deluge.
There’s a growing contingent of newer folks at Burning Man, though, who seem to see it as another version of the Coachella music festival — even though it is held in a patch of desert that might be the most inhospitable place for human life in the lower 48 American states.
I ran into two such party people as the storms were rolling in, and the ground was becoming impassable.
“Pretty soon it will be every man, woman and child for themselves,” one of the women warned me. “This happened before, and people were stuck here for 10 days.”
This precise kind of weather had not, in fact, happened before (at least not since I first came in 2000), and people were not, in fact, stuck for 10 days, nor were we at all likely to be. But two things struck me about her sentiment.
First, in spite of all of the pervasive propaganda around the 10 Principles, the woman had absolutely no idea where she was. Over the next three days, I was overwhelmed by the generosity of people constantly checking on their neighbors, opening up their WiFi for people to contact their families or offering an unending stream of food, water and booze to strangers who became new friends. (Even though very few people actually needed anything since most of us took the radical self-reliance part seriously.)
The second thing that struck me was how much the people who run Burning Man stuck to its view of a good society, especially the fostering of radical self-reliance.
It got me thinking: What is the obligation of a government to its citizens when the terms of the social contract, so to speak, are so clearly laid out but not followed by many?
In terms of the event itself, I believe Burning Man could do at least a little more to ensure that its attendees are prepared. If you fled the Playa this year, you probably should not have been there in the first place.
But here’s the rub: Societies generally cannot and really should not choose only self-reliant people committed to community effort as their citizens.
This leaves us with the challenge of what to do given the extreme humanness of humans. Libertarianism, like communism, is an interesting theory that is problematic in practice. You can have all of the principles you want, but some people make idiotic decisions that can have tremendous negative consequences for themselves and those around them. And even though this rainstorm did not actually qualify as a disaster, we clearly need governments capable of responding to true crises in a more organized and effective fashion.
Pondering all of these things, I stuck it out to see the climactic “Man burn,” two days late on Monday. It was a tremendous moment of catharsis for those who stayed to see this 70-foot-tall art installation go up in flames after a huge fireworks display. Only the following morning, muddy and tired, did I make my way out of a desert of possibility and back to a world of practicality.
You may have heard that Burning Man was a disaster but I “got the Burn that I needed.” The compassion and community spirit modeled by those who stayed behind will remain an inspiration to me. As for those who fled, I will stay curious about how societies can work to help people achieve more self-reliance and avoid panic, in crises both real and imagined. And I will keep working on rebuilding trust in a society that believes that even the minor challenge of a couple of days of mud will quickly lead to people turning on each other.
THIS IS ONLY DEION SANDERS FIRST YEAR at Colorado. I don't understand why people are acting, as if it’s the end of the world or he inherited a loaded college football team like Larry Coker -- who just had to stand on the sideline. Deion brought in the best “remaining” players in the college football transfer portal, including his few additions from Jackson State. Deion clearly, wasn't going undefeated this season. This week and next week college football games were going to be an uphill battle, especially minus Travis Hunter. If you know football — his offensive and defensive line aren't championship caliber. Oregon showed you that today. Allow him another year or two — just like every head football coach is given. All in all, Deion is still going to win more games this season, than Colorado has won the last three seasons. Deion is also attracting the best football talent, and he’s economically attractive. So, if I'm the athletic director of Colorado, the program is heading in the right direction. Just my two cents.
I FINALLY GOT COVID. Figuring out how to care for myself gave me ‘cyberchondria’
There’s so much information out there, that it can be impossible to find out what the current best practices are for care and recovery.
by Nuala Bishari
On an otherwise normal morning last week, I woke up feeling noticeably unwell. I was tired, heavy with that indescribable, full-body “sick” feeling. What I initially brushed off as some mystery bug brought home by my partner’s 6-year-old turned out to be COVID.
It was the first time I’d had it, and as my symptoms slowly got worse over the next few days, and questions arose over how I should care for myself, I did what anyone who’s had COVID has likely done: turned to Google.
We’re nearly four years into this pandemic, I thought. Surely there’s more than enough information to get me safely and smoothly through my infection.
Pretty quickly, I learned that wasn’t true. In fact, there was so much information about COVID that I found it impossible to figure out what the current best practices are for care and recovery. New articles on the current EG.5 and BA.2.86 variants compete in search results with those that are years old. I have a background in investigative journalism and am used to sifting through wordy, complicated documents. But finding current and accurate guidance on COVID now requires slogging through thousands of websites, many confidently presenting outdated information. And in my case, it required I do so with a stubborn fever and pounding headache.
We’ve come a long way from the days of bleaching our groceries, standing 6 feet apart or making our own cloth masks. Yet the articles encouraging people to do all of those things are still online, indexed by search engine optimization instead of utility.
Sometimes the information is evergreen: Tips on preventing the spread of COVID within a household haven’t evolved much, I learned. But other times, conflicting information left me confounded.
I’m under 40 without any serious comorbidities, but it was a mystery to me as to whether I was eligible for the anti-viral drug Paxlovid. And, if so, was taking it worth the potential side effects?
For Paxlovid rebound rates, for example, I found all kinds of competing statistics. A 2022 article from Scientific American said a Pfizer trial reported between 1% and 2% of people in its clinical trial rebounded — testing positive after finishing the five-day regimen. That sounded good to me, but I felt skeptical about trusting data from a corporation that profits if I take its drug. So, I kept searching, curious if I could find anything more recent. I landed on Harvard’s Coronavirus Resource Center website, last updated in July. It stated that a recent study found that up to 14% of people who took Paxlovid rebounded, much higher than the 9% rebound rate of those who didn’t take the drug. The study wasn’t linked, and my head was starting to spin, so I tried the next result on Google and found myself on a Yale School of Medicine post from earlier this month, which stated that the Food and Drug Administration said there was not a clear association between Paxlovid treatment and rebounding, based on available data. Though the article was recent, my journalist’s brain kept going down the rabbit hole. When, I wondered, was that FDA statement made?
As the days dragged on I grew claustrophobic in my bedroom while I quarantined from the rest of the house. I developed a painful cough that left me breathless, and as my cognitive ability to skim medical sites decreased, I found myself getting frustrated. The window to fill my Paxlovid prescription was shrinking, and I still hadn’t made up my mind whether to take the drug.
“Shouldn’t some of this stuff be deleted?” I thought as I desperately Googled, “Which is more trustworthy Harvard or Yale?”
I couldn’t stop thinking about this problem of outdated articles, just sitting there spouting inaccuracies on reputable sites. Don’t we have an ethical obligation, if we put out information on a rapidly evolving virus, to update that information? But then how long does that go on for — in perpetuity? And, yikes, what would that mean for all the news articles I wrote years ago that are now critically out of date?
Naturally, I turned to Google to see if anyone had written on that topic. After sifting through a million unwanted search results on expired COVID tests, I stumbled across yet another scientific study.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented levels of uncertainty for people around the world,” it read. “Research suggests that internet searching resulting in contradictory information can lead to increased levels of distress, particularly for people who have a high intolerance of uncertainty.”
This is how I learned that “intolerance of uncertainty” is its own psychiatric term, described as a “dispositional fear of the unknown,” as is “cyberchondria,” a compulsion to obsessively search for information online.
I felt seen, and it was too much. I couldn’t handle more diagnoses to Google.
Instead, I closed my laptop and texted a dozen of my friends who’d taken Paxlovid.
“Did you rebound?” I asked.
None had, and in the end, Harvard, Yale and the FDA be damned, that was all the information I needed to fill my prescription.
Three days after starting Paxlovid, I tested negative. So far, I’m rebound-free.
SLOUCHING TOWARDS BEELZEBUB
by James Kunstler
“Using the #FauciLiedPeopleDied trend is a great way to show your friends you’re a conspiracy theorist.” –Dr Anthony Fauci
So, here’s what you might have learned over the weekend if you ventured into the thickets of alt news: in April and May of 2021, the president (“Joe Biden”), the whole White House Covid Response Team (Andy Slavitt & Co), and everyone in the WH communications office, the US Surgeon General (Vivek Murthy), senior officials of the CDC including director Rochelle Walensky, Francis Collins, head of NIH, and Dr. Anthony Fauci of NIAID were all freaking out, holding crisis meetings, and sending blizzards of emails among each other after being informed by a Pfizer safety report that the miraculous new mRNA Covid vaccines produced significant cases of myocarditis and blood-clotting abnormalities.
All these officials proceeded to craft a campaign to tell the public that this myocarditis was mild, extremely rare, and self-resolving (it wasn’t), and urged all Americans over twelve to keep taking the vaxx shots. Later, they expanded the vaccine program to include children down to six months old. By 2022, all of US public health officialdom had to know that the vaxxes were also ineffective at preventing infection and transmission of Covid. Rochelle Walensky kept pushing the vaccines as “safe and effective” until she resigned in June, 2023. Her replacement, Mandy K. Cohen, is still pushing the latest mRNA booster shots in the face of reports (mainly from the UK and other foreign countries) of a shocking rise in all-causes deaths and disabilities from heart and blood disease, neurological injury, and cancers. The CDC refused this month to release updated information on case numbers of myocarditis and pericarditis in the USA.
The record of those frantic 2021 doings in the White House and the CDC came from a document dump prompted by a FOIA request by Edward Berkovich, a lawyer associated with Naomi Wolf’s Daily Clout news organization. He requested emails between February and June, 2021, that included the term “myocarditis.” CDC sent 472 pages, followed by an additional 46 pages, (believed to be sent by a whistleblower) that included emails between White House officials up to the president. Of the 47, 37 were entirely redacted (whited-out, not blacked-out, that is, blank pages). Only two pages of the 46 contained no redactions. The redactions were made, the CDC said, pursuant to Exemptions 5 and 6 under code 5 U.S.C. §552, which protects documents received by the president.
That was a lot to wade through. Apologies. What’s the upshot? From early on, our government lied about the safety of the vaccines, at the same time that they lied and confabulated about the origins of the Covid-19 virus. They continue lying about all of this to this day even as they appear to prepare for a replay of a pandemic. Now that the weekend is over, you will not read about any of this in The New York Times. Why is that? I will offer my theory: that newspaper’s business model, based on pages and pages of print advertising, is completely broken and it is on financial life-support from the CIA and / or DARPA, probably facilitated by private sector cut-outs laundering the money. That’s how dishonorable the flagship of the US news media is.
And, of course, there is the added layer of government-directed censorship, also through private sector cut-outs, that is aimed at suppressing the truth about Covid from every angle, especially the vaccines. Doesn’t all of this look rather sinister? Choose one of two possible explanations: 1) the Covid-19 episode from the beginning was a fantastic fiasco of blundering incompetence by hundreds of officials from many agencies plus elected leaders, and at every stage was made worse by additional incompetent actions aimed at concealing massive chains of prior misdeeds producing more misdeeds resulting in the wholesale collapse of authority in our country. In other words, an epic clusterfuck.
Or 2) The entire Covid episode is a chain of crimes committed deliberately with malicious intent to kill and injure large numbers of people while contriving to deprive the survivors of their basic liberties and their property. Because identical events are seen in all the other nations of Western Civ, it would be reasonable to infer some kind of coordination managed by a supervisory force or entity. What we see is a globalist coalition formed of the World Economic Forum (WEF), the World Health Organization (WHO), The European Union (EU), the United Nations (UN), the pharmaceutical industry, the “Five Eyes” intel alliance, the global banking establishment, The Democratic Party, and scores of well-endowed non-governmental agencies such as the George Soros constellation of councils and foundations. What else is unseen?
One conspicuously strange element of the whole picture is the phantom leadership of the supposed world hegemon USA in the figurehead, “Joe Biden.” Never in history has such a move into tyranny been fronted by such an embarrassingly un-charismatic empty vessel. Never in our country’s history have our affairs whirled in such a mystifying flux of bewildering forces. Even our Civil War was a more straightforward clash of interests. Events are moving quickly now. They’re setting up the steam-table for that banquet of consequences.
* * *
A READER COMMENTS: Oh, James, James, James. What the hell happened to your mind? Yes, vaccines can carry side effects with them, but the Covid vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) are very safe. You’re misleading your readers deliberately and irresponsibly. The vaccines saved millions of lives and will continue to do so. The latest research shows that North Dakota, hardly a populous state, had the highest rate of death from Covid and the lowest rate of vaccination. Many would have been saved and would be alive and healthy today if they had received good advice and not the junk science you crank out on a regular basis. You owe it to your readers to be better informed.
In 1905, Hopper landed a part-time job with an advertising agency, where he did cover designs for trade magazines. Much like famed illustrator N. C. Wyeth, Hopper came to detest illustration. He was bound to it by economic necessity until the mid-1920s. He temporarily escaped by making three trips to Europe, each centered in Paris, ostensibly to study the emerging art scene there. In fact, however, he studied alone and seemed mostly unaffected by the new currents in art. Later he said that he “didn’t remember having heard of Picasso at all.” He was highly impressed by Rembrandt, particularly his Night Watch, which he said was “the most wonderful thing of his I have seen; it’s past belief in its reality.”
EX-PRESIDENT'S VIOLENT THREATS
I’m a believer in the Constitution together with its amendments. It is also important to speak out at times like these when there is a definite threat to the existence of that Constitution. And when a politician, namely ex-president D. J. Trump, is making violent verbal threats against individuals in public office. Specifically, I am referring to members of Congress, special prosecutors, and judges.
Trump also singled out for slander the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley. Specifically Trump called him a “traitor” on his personal website for an incident when the general telephoned the Chinese Government after the election of 2020 to warn that government that the US was not considering military action against its forces in the South China Sea.
The inflammatory rhetoric by the former president for whatever reason must stop. His rabid followers, of which there are an estimated 15 million persons, constitute an armed threat to individuals like Special Counsel Smith, former president Obama and Judge Chutkin as well as the families of many Congresspersons. His attacks must stop as they have nothing to do with a legitimate run for the Presidency of this Republic.
Frank H. Baumgardner, III
HILLARY’S ELECTION DENIAL BULLS—T IS JUST AS DELUSIONAL AS TRUMP’S
by Piers Morgan
Hillary Clinton claimed in an interview with MSNBC host Jen Psaki that Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 presidential election to prevent her from winning.
Democrats hate election deniers.
Specifically, they hate election deniers named Donald Trump.
Why, they cry, can’t the sore loser man-baby stop whining about having the 2020 election “stolen” and just admit he was beaten fair and square by Joe Biden?
To be honest, they’ve got a good point.
For all his constant indignant fulminating, President Trump’s never produced any actual evidence that the 2020 election was “rigged,” as he’d like everyone to believe.
So I agree with the Democrats when they lambaste him for refusing to accept the cold, hard reality that he lost.
In fact, I told Trump this to his face in an interview for my Fox Nation show “Piers Morgan Uncensored” last year, saying he should stop his ridiculous, democracy-damaging claptrap, only for him to respond by calling me a fool seven times.
But the passionate, angry, almost demented way the Democrats go about attacking election denial might seduce you into the massive misapprehension that they feel the same way regardless of who’s doing the election denying.
In an MSNBC interview on Sunday with President Biden’s former White House press chief Jen Psaki, Hillary Clinton launched into her favorite subject: why she herself had an election robbed from her.
Yes, Hillary still resolutely believes that the only reason Trump beat her is because Russian President Vladimir Putin interfered in the 2016 election to stop her winning.
“The Russians have proved themselves to be quite adept at interfering and if he has a chance, he’ll do it again,” she said. “I don’t think, despite all of the deniers, there’s any doubt that he interfered in our election. Part of the reason he worked so hard against me is because he didn’t think that he wanted me in the White House.”
Of course, Clinton has never been able to prove her claims that Putin fixed it for Trump to win.
Instead, a lengthy investigation into supposed “Russia collusion” between Trump and Putin resulted in a gigantic nothingburger that established there was no election-fixing collusion.
But this hasn’t stopped his defeated opponent from continuing to peddle that lie, and refusing to admit she lost fairly.
“I believe he knows he is an illegitimate president,” Hillary declared in 2017.
Later, she said: “You can run the best campaign, you can even become the nominee, and you can have the election stolen from you.”
And after Trump lost the 2020 election, and he and his supporters said the exact same thing about their election loss, she was enraged.
“We never thought we had to worry about domestic enemies,” she told “Morning Joe.” “We never thought we had to worry about people who didn’t believe in our democracy. Sadly, what we’ve seen over the last four years and especially since the election is that we have people in our own country who are doing Putin’s work. They are doing his work to sow distrust, to sow divisiveness, to give aid and comfort to those in our country who, for whatever reason, are being not only disruptive but very dangerous.”
Fine words, Hillary — perish the thought that anyone like you would do Putin’s dirty work by sowing dangerous distrust in the US democratic process!
The brazen hypocrisy is truly staggering.
This is a woman who has relentlessly and deliberately used Putin to mislead the American people into thinking the only reason she lost in 2016 was because Russia colluded with Trump.
And as we saw on Sunday, she’s still doing it now despite it being an established fact that Russia didn’t.
The truth is that Hillary Clinton lost in 2016 because Trump proved to be a more popular candidate than her to the American people due to the “most qualified candidate in presidential history” running a dreadful, elitist campaign.
Yet here she is, still blaming the beastly Russians for her humiliation, a tactic straight from the Trump school of reality denial.
You might think Jen Psaki, who has regularly criticized Trump for his stolen-election claims, would be equally upset when she had a former presidential candidate sitting right in front of her doing the same thing.
But that would assume Ms. Psaki is an impartial journalist applying the same rules to everyone, when in fact she’s a hyper-partisan Democratic activist.
So MSNBC viewers, who for years have been told by all the network’s hosts to believe Trump’s election denial is an evil affront to democracy, were presumably left thinking: “Wait, is election denial OK now, if it’s our side doing it?”
My favorite moment of the interview came when Clinton told Psaki about Trump: “You know, the thing about him — and I’m not the only one person who’s noticed this — is he engages in what psychologists call projection. So, whenever he accuses somebody of doing something, it’s almost guaranteed he’s doing it himself or he’s already done it.”
Psaki didn’t even crack a smile as her guest spewed a double standard so laugh-out-loud absurd, it would have left me a hysterical mess if I’d been the interviewer.
So let me say what Psaki should have said to her:
“Pipe down, Hillary, you flaming hypocrite. When it comes to election-denying bulls–t, you’re wallowing in the same woefully delusional swamp as Trump.”
ELECTED DEMS: CONFORMIST ENABLERS OF BIDEN FOR 2024
by Norman Solomon
Recent news reports have been filled with results of one poll after another after another showing that President Biden continues to weaken as a candidate for re-election. With an overall approval rating now 21 points underwater, polling shows he has lost support among key demographics that made his 2020 victory possible—especially the young and people of color. Alarm bells among pro-Biden pundits have finally begun to break the political sound barrier.
But on Capitol Hill, all’s quiet on the Democratic front.
A gap has grown vast between current assessments from media, largely based on voter opinion data, and current public claims from congressional Democrats who keep their nose to the talking-points grindstone. An effect is that party leaders and backbenchers alike are losing credibility with the party’s base.
Hope springs eternal, and so does fear of angering the White House.
The gap is so lopsided that a poll this month found 67 percent of “Democrats and Democratic-leaning independent voters” said they don’t want Biden to run again. Meanwhile, no more than 1 percent of Democrats in Congress are willing to say so in public. By any measure, a disconnect between 67 and 1 percent is, uh, substantial.
For Democratic lawmakers to be so untethered from the people who elected them tells you a lot about the compliant relationship that usually prevails among elected Democrats toward President Biden. And it signifies an unhealthy relationship between Democrats in office and the party’s activist base.
While supposedly representing a progressive grassroots base to the political establishment, some members of Congress end up routinely representing the political establishment to the progressive grassroots base.
The dire need for progressive advances in government policies is undermined when elected Democrats reflexively echo the Biden 2024 campaign line and pretend that he’s a sufficiently strong candidate to defeat the neofascist Republican Party next year. When deferring to congressional Democrats who in turn defer to the man in the Oval Office, progressive activists and organizations end up functioning more like supplicants than constituents in a representative democracy.
While supposedly representing a progressive grassroots base to the political establishment, some members of Congress end up routinely representing the political establishment to the progressive grassroots base.
Top Democrats and their allies have publicly touted the canard that cast Joe Biden as a hero of last year’s midterms. The intoxication from that messaging was in sharp contrast to the sober clarity from a re-elected House Democrat who spoke to the New York Times “on the condition of anonymity to avoid antagonizing the White House.” The newspaper reported that the congressmember said “Biden’s numbers were ‘a huge drag’ on Democratic candidates, who won in spite of the president not thanks to him.”
Polling in the 10 months since then indicates that Biden would likely be an even huger drag on Democratic candidates a year from now. But hope springs eternal, and so does fear of angering the White House. With the start of presidential primaries just a few months away, the crux of the matter is that Democrats in Congress are opting for self-focused, risk-averse conformity rather than visionary leadership.
Now—while even pro-Biden media like CNN and MSNBC are, at last, sounding more realistic about Biden’s severe electoral deficits —prominent Democrats are either keeping quiet about the grim odds of a 2024 political train wreck or are spouting feel-good nonsense worthy of the myopic Mr. Magoo. The more that Democrats in the House and Senate declare how great Biden will be as the party’s standard-bearer next year, the more it seems they’ve been swallowed up by a Capitol Hill bubble.
Democrats in Congress have ample reasons to be apprehensive about next year. But their silences and spin increasingly make them look more like PR specialists than leaders.
Yet mainstream media outlets are now underscoring the wide distance between the Democratic players on the Hill and the Democratic voters who’ve put them there. NBC News brought it all into focus, summing up: “When party elites look at President Joe Biden, they see the second coming of Franklin D. Roosevelt. When voters view the president, many see an old man.”
More importantly, many hear timeworn ideas and promises that ring hollow. Working-class voters can see and hear a president who has refused to really fight for their economic interests, while corporate greed has been raising prices. It’s an invitation to eye-rolling from core Democratic constituencies when Biden and his advocates proclaim how he’s going to go all-out to fight for their interests in the second term after he hasn’t done so in the first.
To Democratic officeholders, worried about retaining the presidency and their own seats, such matters might seem relatively unimportant. But bleak electoral consequences are foreseeable. Biden has declined to use the bully pulpit to battle for progressive measures that are poll-tested and popular with the electorate.
Democrats in Congress have ample reasons to be apprehensive about next year. But their silences and spin increasingly make them look more like PR specialists than leaders. The more they prop up Joe Biden to run for re-election, the better Donald Trump likes the odds he’ll return to the White House.
(Norman Solomon is the national director of RootsAction.org and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His new book, War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine, was published in June 2023 by The New Press.)
JUSTIN TRUDEAU'S NAZI HOT TAKE FLEXIBILITY
by Matt Taibbi
Let me get this straight:
A year and a half ago, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau denounced a Jewish member of parliament named Melissa Lantsman for standing with “people who wave swastikas.”
Lantsman had criticized Trudeau for fanning “the flames of an unjustified national emergency” in response to the “Freedom Convoy” trucker protests. The “swastikas” Trudeau referenced were, as even Snopes conceded, virtually all “pictured on signs as a way of mocking and protesting government restrictions,” comme ça:
By saying Lantsman stood with “people who wave swastikas,” in other words, Trudeau really meant she was standing with “people who called me a Nazi.” He declined to apologize, which of course is his prerogative.
This week, both Trudeau and House of Commons Speaker Anthony Rota are under fire after Rota invited, and Trudeau applauded, a 98-year-old former soldier from the 14th Waffen-SS Grenadier Division named Yaroslav Hunka to attend an address by Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky. Rota praised Hunka as a “Canadian hero” from his time fighting the Soviets in World War II when, not that it matters, they were allies to the United States and Canada. Leaving the elderly Hunka out of this for the moment, these politicians could easily have turned up the man’s blogs about joining Hitler’s army, making the applause scene at least approach the max on the cringe scale:
Amid the subsequent outcry, Trudeau squeaked out a handful of sentences that collectively gave off least a faint aroma of apology, though he personally didn’t apologize for anything, and invoked “mistakes were made” phrasing:
It’s extremely upsetting that this happened. The Speaker has acknowledged his mistake and has apologized… This is something that is deeply embarrassing to the Parliament of Canada and by extension to all Canadians… I think particularly of Jewish MPs and all members of the Jewish community, celebrating, um, commemorating Yom Kippur today.
If he’d stopped there, it would have been a merely gross performance. He didn’t, jumping straight from “Yom Kippur today” to:
I think it’s going to be really important that all of us push back against Russian propaganda, Russian disinformation, and continue our steadfast and unequivocal support for Ukraine, as we did last week with announcing further measures to stand with Ukraine in Russia’s illegal war against it.
To recap: Trudeau in a clear act of official disinformation smeared thousands of Canadian protesters as Nazis last year with context-twisting descriptions of a few decidedly un-representative photos. Now, after the Speaker of the House of Commons invited an ex-Nazi to parliament in a planned political act that had to be somewhat representative of the thinking of Trudeau’s Liberal government, the Prime Minister is complaining about “Russian disinformation,” as if that were to blame for this optics Hindenburg. As the CBC put it:
Trudeau warned that this event may fuel Russian propaganda. Russian President Vladimir Putin has claimed the Ukraine conflict is about rooting out Nazis.
Dude, Vladimir Putin didn’t invite a Nazi to parliament, your government did. Do Davosketeers like Trudeau have anything inside, like shame or their own thoughts, or are they just manicured readers of talking points? Sheesh. It’s almost funny, how repugnant these people are.
UKRAINE, MONDAY, 25 SEPTEMBER
Russian strikes killed at least two people and caused "significant damage" to Odesa overnight, Ukrainian officials said Monday. Moscow's forces have repeatedly targeted the southern port following the collapse of the Black Sea grain deal in July.
Nearby, Russian shelling also killed at least two people and wounded another two others in the Kherson region on Monday, according to Ukrainian officials.
Ukraine claimed it killed the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet in an attack last week in Sevastopol, one of the largest cities on the annexed Crimean peninsula. CNN has reached out to the Russian Ministry of Defense for comment.
The Pentagon confirmed the first batch of US Abrams tanks arrived in Ukraine. The armored capability is expected to add a powerful ground component to Kyiv's troop.
Poland has prepared routes for Ukrainian grain to move through its territory and reach countries most in need, President Andrzej Duda said. Warsaw publicly feuded with Kyiv last week over grain imports and the question of supplying weapons.