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A FRONT will continue to pass through today bringing rain, gusty southerly winds and much colder temperatures. Drier weather with a sharp rebound in temperatures will develop Thursday into late next week, followed by increasing chances for more rain late Friday through early next week. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A cloudy 52F on the coast this Tuesday morning. I have .28" in the rain gauge from the light rain yesterday. The NWS forecast says rain this morning then showers later today, but I'm not sold on that? I'll agree with clear skies Wednesday thru Friday then showers on Saturday for now.
TWO MINOR FIRES flared up in Anderson Valley on Monday. About 8:30am an illegal burn pile with brush and construction waste was extinguished by Calfire responders. Citations are likely to be issued because 1. Fire season is not over and 2. The materials were not legal to burn. The second fire occurred about 3:20pm in Philo. It turned out to be a chimney fire which got too hot, probably due to first fire of season and a dirty chimney pipe. AV Firefighters controlled the fire with dry retardant and air restrictions. No structural damage. Both fires were reported by passersby. AV Fire Chief Andres Avila reminds everyone to be very careful with woodstoves and fireplaces especially as the weather turns cooler and warming fires are considered because we are not out of fire season yet and there’s lot of dry vegetation still around.
US TO WITNESS RARE ‘RING OF FIRE’ SOLAR ECLIPSE ON SATURDAY
Residents in and visitors to the Americas can expect to witness two rare celestial events over the next several months, beginning with a “ring of fire” solar eclipse on Saturday.…
GEORGE DORNER ON WARREN BECK: You may wish to reconsider your recommendation, Ms Malone. I took pity on Warren and sheltered him for a while. I cannot testify to his mechanical, cooking, or horticultural abilities, as he never did any work while he lived with me. He did brutalize my daughter and my cat. That he is a vandal is no surprise; that he’s only being held for vandalism is.
Also, haven’t you wondered why his mail is being forwarded through a Maryland prison?
BAROQUE ALL THE WAY ON SUNDAY OCTOBER 15!
Opus Chamber Music presents Robert Howard and Friends!
Acclaimed cellists Tanya Tomkins and Robert Howard join forces with guitarist/lutenist/theorbo player Richard Savino for a diverse exploration of the Baroque repertoire for string trio. The program will showcase Baroque styles, from French ornamentation, through the contrast of the Italians, landing with J.S. Bach. Additional Works by M. Marais, E. Corvette
Sunday, October 15th at 3 PM, Preston Hall in the beautiful town of Mendocino.
More information and tickets at symphonyoftheredwoods.org, Harvest Market in Fort Bragg and Out of this World in Mendocino!
A FORESTER RESPONDS to Frank Hartzell’s article on the Jackson State Forest meeting:
Here are a few errors in the article.
Jani is not a logger. He is a Forester from Santa Cruz. Harwood is not a logger. He was previously a sawmill owner in Branscomb.
Openly Corrupt Corporate Raiders… Well when I meet with the Willits Redwood guys there main thing is keeping 35 guys working in Willits. When I see them at my private sales I usually get the co-owner who is also a Forester. One look at his hands would pretty much dispense with the corporate raider description.
He is a hands on owner and I got the idea the primary objective is to keep his guys going.
I think this is true of Myles Anderson also; he is a woodsman and much of his motivation is to keep his guys working.
These are pretty good jobs for many working dudes in Fort Braggâ¦.most of whom are Spanish speakers.
I believe the lawsuit with the State is about breach of contract. When you sign a deal, you should fulfill it.
It is my understanding M&P Hunter are no longer elected and were previously convicted of fraud.
So it seems to me there is an issue of credibility there. I went to a Forest Tour (Whisky Springs) and I did not hear one word of dissent from the Native Americans who attended from Point Arena. What I found interesting was the lady was an expert in Roberts Rules of Order, no issue with Forestry on that date.
Your description of a sale 8 miles West of Highway One and Twenty puts the project in an aquatic lLocation in the Pacific. Yep, you probably meant East.
Grand Fir or Abies grand is is a common merchantable species in our County and is a pioneer species with a very fast growth rate. In my opinion any discussion of this species should include the introduced Balsam Wooly Ageldid causing epidemic mortality in Western Stands. Your information was categorically wrong. Misinformation is a critical element in people’s hardened stances on this topic. Your article did not help promote truth in Forestry.
Your comment that skinny suppressed trees are worthless, is categorically wrong. In fact there has been a price surge for fencing products which use those trees which do not have great girth or high ratios of heartwood.
Your comment about these trees depleting soils is perplexing and I have no idea how you came up with that.
I will give you credit for going in the woods with the hound. You should look at the Whisky Springs experiment which is right off of 20. The signage is poor but when you look at the treatments I would bet a 12 pack you will agree the least desirable forest is the un-thinned control unit. I was shocked at the difference between the thinning treatments and believe you will be also.
LAND USE, AN ARGUMENT
by Betsy Cawn
(From the October 7, 2023, on-line edition of the Anderson Valley Advertiser, to which I added a lengthy response this morning (including uncorrected editorial errors, sorry). Not necessarily “news,” but for what it’s worth…)
Where were you when the board was begging cannabis growers to leave tpz zoning and enter AG land? This was decided years ago. Maybe you can hire us to cater to your needs?
In Lake County, many impacted residents and property owners have tried for years to overcome the confounding endorsement for wholesale alterations to local regulations that have been championed by “commercial cannabis” operators who see the pot at the end of the rainbow as the answer to the county’s decades of failed “economic development” programs, and celebrate the newly legalized state bud bureaucracy with money that comes, ultimately, from the rest of the taxpayers who find the largesse allowed the suddenly hip â” but just as suddenly broke â” newcomers to an “industry” that has spawned its own realm of authority through local government approvals.
As you say, “this was decided years ago” and as Francis and Jim point out, the results are dismal at best. Lack of natural resource stewardship and community-based planning driven by hopeful aspirations of the elected officials have produced a disaffected population of “stakeholders” who are the primary source of revenue for bureaucratic factories of so-called policy.
Spokespeople for “traditional” agriculture, water supply protectors, and rural homesteaders are increasingly excluded from the discussion, despite their sincere efforts to articulate the deleterious results of those enshrined past decisions. The problems that Jim and Frances describe are no less valid just because they are relative newcomers to the so-called “conversation.”
I farmed several acres on Voigt road in lakeport, and the board bent over backwards for people like you. Exclusion zones were created after cannabis permits were well underway. We followed all environmental rules related to water and storage and were the only People maintaining the roads.
Cannabis businesses have plateaued and only fewer will be operating. There isn’t a green rush and any complaints over legal grows are based off reputation of the black market growers.
I have no problem with legit growers who, like you, contributed to the maintenance of safe egress and ingress, fire prevention, and water uses. My bitch is with the County Department of Community Development, which created a system for major use permitting that goes around the protection of groundwater basins, adds demands on fire protection and medical emergency services, and converts fragile ecosystem elements to bare fields, with newly allowed “temporary ag structures” that leave behind polluting materials that we (the legit property tax payers) have to clean up. Not to mention the levels of crime associated with those illegal operations â” including human “trafficking.”
For over 5 decades in the region known as the “Emerald Triangle,” murders, violent robberies, and landscape destruction (largely attributed, without further substantiation, to “cartels”). I have known and worked with responsible small growers in the region whose small production of excellent “product” enabled them to survive as the economic chaos of the ages raged on in our poor counties. Support for the construction of new top-heavy state bureaucracies is not my idea of sound fiscal management.
Laws that have been on the books for those same decades have been applied to destructive land practitioners, leveling features of natural drainages in the watersheds that ultimately lead to the water bodies that provide â” when very expensively treated â” “safe” drinking water and sustain the healthy vegetation that holds the highly erodable hillsides, adding more pressure to the workforces that fight vegetative wildfires and respond to injuries in hard to get to locations, all of them underfunded by the central government that collects our dutifully paid fees, assessments, and ever increasing property taxes.
Over half of the population in Lake County depends on Medi-Cal for “health care,” and the population sustained by federal reimbursement of claims for general welfare, child welfare, unemployment, and other safety net services brings in $9,000,000 a MONTH to the transactional economy of this county. The governors Board of Supervisors) refuse to support the workforce that produces that revenue, in line with making salaries and benefits modestly “competitive” with surrounding county employment compensation.
For a brief window of time, the glorified “commercial cannabis” “industry” was able to convince administration, public health and safety, and law enforcement services that their enterprises would not only overcome the economic malaise from which our counties have suffered for all those same decades, and paint yet another rosy picture of transcendence that would/will “lead” this county into a bright new future. Now the county spends our tax dollars to subsidize these entrepreneurs (several hundred of them) but place hurdle after hurdle in the path of displaced homeowners trying to rebuild their dwellings that were destroyed in a handful of megafires. On the date of the anniversary of the Redwood Complex, Sulphur Fire, Atlas Fire and Tubbs Fire, I must question the practicality of handing over finite water sources to a “crop” that is not among the critical food and fibre needs for which precious agricultural soils are most important.
Lastly, the addition of “exclusion zones” is haphazard at best, and even in those sequestered areas the enforcement of public health and safety rules is limited. Most importantly, the county did not review its approved General Plan (and critical elements) to ensure that land management policies provide safeguards for our shared natural resources. We see the same battles occurring in Mendocino County, as amply reported by Mr. Shields and others in this noble publication. In the name of peace, health, and sanity, please let us end this confabulated fantasy of pot as the answer to our entrenched management derangement.
PEACE AND LOVE FELLOW HIPPIES!
I'm a "Rennie" which is not much different from being a hippie. I work at three Renaissance festivals a year. Scarborough Fair, the Texas Renaissance Festival, and the Colorado Renaissance Festival. That takes up 6 months of the year. I spend a month or so in Mexico in the winter, and the rest of the winter I live in Toontown. Toontown can't be found on a map. It is what we call a small subdivision where people who work at the festivals own property, or camp, or rent various shelters and spend parts of their years. I feel like I'm still living the dream and am true to my hippie roots!
IF COVELO CAN, WHY NOT BOONVILLE?
LEW CHICHESTER OF COVELO WRITES:
"Re: CalTrans, Highway 128, and speeding traffic: Last year CalTrans had some funding for “Beautification” projects
Re: CalTrans, Highway 128, and speeding traffic: Last year CalTrans had some funding for “Beautification” projects on State Highways and came to Covelo for a town meeting and a few idea presentations. There is a state highway, 162, right through the middle of town. The great majority of people showing up for the “show and tell” let the CalTrans engineers and project managers know that what we wanted was slower traffic, not banners, planters and painted lines on the street for a couple of bicycles. We wanted the traffic slowed down. And a few crosswalks.
CalTrans went back to the drawing board and came up with a proposal to put in a median, essentially making the roadway narrower for cars, crosswalks, and a few speed bumps. The speed bumps will be a first for CalTrans and this pilot project will be closely watched. It might work. It might not. But something needs to be done. We have vehicles going through town at 75mph, and the posted speed limit is 25! The construction is happening right now, the speed bumps going in next month. We will see how it goes…
* * *
STEVE HEILIG ADDS:
This has likely been proposed and shot down, but, why no speed bumps on 128 in in Boonville/Philo?
And/or: Speeder cameras to issue tickets by mail? Or at least the signs warning drivers they are there…)
COURSEY COMMUNICATIONS JUST RECERTIFIED AS A B CORPORATION,
Ukiah’s first and only company with this distinction. Coursey Communications uses communication tools and methods to help clients build trusting relationships with internal and external audiences in an effort to amplify organizational impact, primarily in K-12 education and health care.
To be a Certified B Corporation, a company must complete a rigorous assessment every three years demonstrating it has met robust standards of social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability.
The certification provides public recognition that Coursey Communications is part of a global movement to use business as a force for good, one that balances profit with purpose. This movement includes other Mendocino County businesses such as Thanksgiving Coffee, North Coast Brewing Co., and Fetzer Vineyards, as well as international companies such as Patagonia and Ben & Jerry’s.
CEO Jendi Coursey said, “We’re really proud to be part of the B Corp community. The certification process is intense and time-consuming, but totally worth the effort. It forces us to evaluate who we work with, how we support our employees, and whether we are living up to our values in every aspect of our business.”
The certifying organization, B Lab (bcorporation.net), provides the B Impact Assessment, an evaluation tool used by more than 50,000 businesses worldwide, including more than 3,000 Certified B Corporations, to help companies assess their impact on various stakeholders, including their workers, community, customers, and the environment.
Coursey says she is particularly proud that her company’s recertification score increased by a sizeable margin compared to the original certification score. The minimum threshold for certification is 80. The company’s first certification score was 85.2. Their recertification score was 112.5 out of 140 total points.
Coursey attributes her company’s success to her partnership with employee Kendyl Saxby, the agency’s digital content manager.
She said, “Kendyl and I bring very different skills to this company, but we are beautifully aligned when it comes to values like quality, service, and integrity.”
Coursey learned about the B Corp movement from consultant Heather Paulsen (hpaulsenconsulting.com), who helps companies worldwide pursue certification from her office in Fort Bragg.
Coursey Communications (jendicoursey.com) provides public relations, leadership training, and communication coaching to clients throughout California. Some of its local clients include Kelseyville Unified School District, Mendocino County Office of Education, First 5 Mendocino, and MCHC Health Centers.
THE MORE THINGS CHANGE… In the sixties school authorities had a problem, they thought, with their young scholars smoking in the bathrooms. Then it was smoking marijuana wherever on campus. Then along came young women dressing immodestly, with some young men togged out in gang duds. Lately, our nation’s future, a tiny minority of them anyway, are vaping marijuana on school grounds. The educational process is never without its obstacles.
RIGHT HERE in Boomsville, circa ’96 or so, our high school thought it had a problem with short skirts which, of course, was real enough in the context of co-ed classrooms given the naturally priapic state of the teen male. Girls in low cut tops and mini-minis were a major male distraction, which is why the girls provided it. The Catholics, to elude sexual wildcards, long ago went to single sex high schools and school uniforms.
ONE MORNING, a 16-year-old straight A student in her junior year at Anderson Valley High School.was sent home to change her dress only minutes after she’d arrived for her first period physics class. The lass had just seated herself when her teacher asked her to stand and “put my arms down at my side to see if my fingertips reached the top of the slit in my dress.”
THE SCHOOL DRESS CODE then decreed that if a student’s fingertips extend beyond the length of the skirt, the student was inadequately covered and thus represented a classroom distraction. In plain language, distraction meant that males in the class were mugged by eros and couldn’t focus on their studies.
THERE WERE BIG PROBS with the fingertip standard, apart from the obvious one having to do with the variables of human physiology: some girls have long arms and short lower torsos; some have short arms and long lower torsos. There are also major difficulties in trying to standardize erotic stimulants. What drives one person mad with desire causes another to take vows of celibacy.
THE YOUNG WOMAN accused of displaying too much flesh was surprised to be required to stand for the fingertip test. She’d bought the wholesome dress in Ukiah for a Homecoming dance. Another girl wore the same dress to the dance. “Nobody complained about it then.”
THE PHYSICS TEACHER was certain she saw dangerous flashes of exposed skin but dispatched the offending girl to the school office for a second opinion from then-superintendent J.R. Collins, who confirmed his teacher’s fleshly suspicions. Too much exposed flesh.
THE PERPLEXED STUDENT had flunked the first test of her life — the fingertip test. She had to go home and change, later lamenting, “This was the first day I knew skirts were being measured. The whole measuring skirts thing has never happened before so far as I know. I’m not embarrassed, but I don’t think what happened to me is very fair. I was wearing a long dress and I had a sweater over the top of it. The slits are a couple of inches above the knee and they’re very narrow.”
BUT FLESH IS FLESH, and the decision stood. The young woman had officially been declared a distraction. “There were several girls in shorter skirts than mine and they didn’t get sent home.”
SOON AFTER, 12 girls were summoned to the principal’s office for skirt evaluation, one being sent home to change. “l’ll probably just wear pants to school from now on,” one resigned temptress declared. “It’s all pretty dumb.”
THEN-SUPERINTENDENT COLLINS recalled the skirt standards of his youth, the days of mini-skirts and hot pants. If the skirts of the 1960s and 70s touched the floor they passed the distraction test. But if the skirt didn’t touch the floor, it was out the door and don’t come back until you are dressed appropriately.
COLLINS HAD CONCEDED that a better standard was needed. “We plan to sit down with a couple of kids and a couple of parents and look at the policy. We started out with the loose standard of distraction and there were complaints it wasn’t objective enough, which it obviously wasn’t. Then we went to the fingertip standard which still tends to be arbitrary. We’re working on it.”
COLLINS RETIRED just as a virtual avalanche of “inappropriately” clad maidens commenced, with the school authorities beginning every school day by inspecting girls’ attire for distraction quotient.
BUT by October of 2023 at Anderson Valley High School the struggle against “inappropriate” attire has subsided into quiet strategies as described by Superintendent Simson: “We have a dress code that we try our best to enforce. Not so much gang colors but more related to sagging pants and showing too much skin. We have loaner clothes in the office.”
CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, October 9, 2023
BRENDAN BRITTON, Willits. Harmful matter of minor sent with sexual intent of a known minor, contributing, protective order violation.
ANTHONY CONGLETON, Middletown/Ukiah. Parole violation.
AMBROSE FALLIS, Covelo. County parole violation, resisting.
CARLOS GARCIA-GARDUNO, Willits. DUI.
KATE KUMMER, Ukiah. Controlled substance, failure to appear.
ANGEL MILLER, Ukiah. Parole violation.
SHERRI TAYLOR, Willits. Recklessly causing fire, unauthorized non-agricultural burning, prohibited burning, burning the land of another, restricted use of fire, false ID, unspecified offense.
LEONEL VALENZUELA II, Ukiah. Parole violation.
BEATING THE REAPER
A Good Day at the Doctor's Office
In the midst of the global socio-political meltdown, I had a very good day at the Adventist Health-Ukiah Valley doctor's office. Have been pronounced fit, with nothing else needed to do at this time. Another routine examination appointment is scheduled in December. Not bad after recently fending off a viral bacterial blood infection and pneumonia. As the head nurse said to me as I exited the rehabilitation facility in Cloverdale: "You beat the reaper!"
I am available for participation on the planet earth in whatever destroys the demonic and returns this world to righteousness. This is the role of the avatar. If you so identify, please contact me. Simple as that. Otherwise, I continue to walk around Ukiah, CA in the light rain ignoring the body and ignoring the mind. Immortal Self I am, and so are you. Cool?
Craig Louis Stehr
MITCH CLOGG: Rain! It’s just a sprinkle. You can work in your garden. (Or start one. In these times, a couple hours in the garden beat any peace pill I could take. Dirt, holes, plants, water, fertilizer—these simple elements are potent tranquilizers, and since I can’t do anything about the world’s pains, tranquility acts as a counter to what’s on TV: hot war in the middle east.)
I can’t do anything. I moved to Mendocino because there was a chance to do something. The forests were vanishing and the shoreline was faced with the likelihood of oil drilling here. Mendocino County was then the spear-point of resistance. Our admirable and exciting war against modern times’ destruction of the natural environment for the profit of corporations who came to claim the natural resources was noted everywhere. It has now shrunk to a mood, a part of our common nostalgia.
Listening, reading and watching news from Israel and her neighbors stirs me, but I am old, gimpy and mostly sedentary. This is all I can do—correspond with the people I know on Facebook. I am neither Arab nor Jew. I am a W.A.S.P., all done up here in caps and periods to remind readers that it stands for “white anglo-saxon protestant” a term justly mocked and envied. In this context, it means I have no dog in this fight, except my Jewish friends outnumber my gentile friends by precisely 3.3 to one. Dunno why. I’m no more drawn to a devout Jew then I am to a devout Christian. My family died in an accident when I was sixteen, and suddenly my ties to the associations of my family were severed. I was free to make friends on the bases of smarts, hipness, daring and defiance. I didn’t intend for them to be sons and daughters of David, but it turned out that way. I have Arab friends, too, but we’ve drifted apart. I know or care nothing of Allah or Jehovah.
My friend Hirsch was in Israel at the end of the Fifties and start of the Sixties. More than anything else, his accounts of the young country formed my opinions. Hirsch described life on the kibbutzim, the idealistic (which, dammit, did not mean “unrealistic") communities that thrived after Israel’s 1948 declaration of independence. He was impressed with, if not entirely sold on, the energy, output and optimism of the socialist state they were building. The U.S. declared its support of Israel immediately. Israel is slightly bigger than New Jersey and has slightly more people.
I can’t write more on this, right now. Ellie’s Colorado brother has just walked in our door. I’ll get back to it ASAP. The media are loud with the words that cluster into the beginnings of wars: atrocity, war crime, terror, torture, rape, infants and elderly. These groups are always tormented and killed in wars. Naming them is necessary and unavoidable, but it is unsuitable to cool consideration.
(To be continued…)
BEFORE AMERICA’S TERRORISTS BECAME HEROES
by Marilyn Davin
King George III sat moodily at his breakfast in Kew Castle while awaiting his prime minister, Lord Frederick North. On this morning the king had little appetite for his favorite morning dishes heaped atop the groaning table. The first course, a plump pigeon, cooled in its juices upon its porcelain platter while the second-course beefsteak, usually enjoyed with relish, congealed on its respective platter. He picked up the crystal goblet filled with his first glass of white wine of the day and took a long pull. Lord North hurried into the ornate breakfast room, bowed before the king, and sat down.
King George (putting down his goblet and glaring at North): “What the hell is going on in our American colonies? I hear tell that marauding criminals are protesting taxes and destroying royal properties!”
Lord North (shrinking down into his stiff collar and struggling to meet the King’s eye): “Those uppity colonists won’t get away with this! We’ve increased security and will face certain victory with Great Britain’s superior arms and military discipline, to say nothing of general moral superiority.”
King George: “Can it possibly be true that these thieving rotters don’t even wear uniforms and hang from the trees like monkeys to ambush our royal troops? When will they realize that they’ll never defeat the British Empire, and that they are only allowed to live in those god-forsaken colonies because we give them leave to do so? We must make an example of them so that the American colonies remain forever British and other colonies of the Crown don‘t get any funny ideas about independence.”
Lord North (looking befuddled): “They have this notion that they should independently rule themselves; a daft notion since they act like rabid animals that don’t bother to follow even the most basic practices of gentlemen. They hide in the shadows, lying in wait like cowards to take our brave royal soldiers by surprise instead of facing us man-to-man on the battlefield.”
King George (tearing a wing off the pigeon): “The Crown will not be defeated by this gang of inferior savages, and will not sacrifice a single square foot of land that is rightfully British. Make an urgent call to arms to raise loyalists to our defense, and if need be go house-to-house to root out traitors. Their leaders must be killed and their families threatened – that should show the upstarts who’s boss!”
Lord North (enviously eying the delicacies displayed on the table): “We need more soldiers, the latest modern rifles, and cannons. The so-called Continental Congress even has four cannons. We must prove our superior military might so our colonial subjects start paying their taxes again!”
King George (reaching for a nearby champagne bottle): “I get it, we must have superior arms to defeat these ragtag terror-mongers, hopefully forever. I’ll see what I can rustle up from a few of our less truculent colonies. And I think we should rename those damnable American upstarts who proudly call themselves patriots. Today I baptize them: Terrorists!”
To the Editor:
O, the oppression! What began Friday night is an uprising of the Palestinian people against the violent and brutally oppressive Israeli occupation. The Netanyahu government has sanctioned the constant theft of Palestinian lands by fascistic Israeli settlers, blockaded the Gaza Strip, targeted members of its ruling Hamas party for assassination and organized provocations against Muslims at Al-Aqsa Mosque. By imposing unbearable conditions on Gaza, it made armed resistance inevitable.
O, the hypocrisy! In its coverage of the Ukraine war, the media never fails to condemn what it habitually refers to as Russia’s “illegal annexation of Crimea.” The United States has repeatedly declared that it will support Ukraine’s war to regain Crimea “as long as it takes.” But it never condemns Israel’s illegal annexation of vast tracts of Palestinian land.
O, the heroism! The Palestinian population of Gaza and the Hamas government do not have powerful imperialist backers arming them to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. As the Palestinians take up arms against an occupation by the Israeli military, which receives billions of dollars in U.S. military aid each year, they know they face overwhelming odds. They are a courageous, heroic people.
ISRAEL'S AWFUL GAZA POLICIES CAUSE HAMAS DEADLY ATTACK
Yom Kippur commemorates an act of God, through Moses, presenting the Ten Commendments to the nation of Israel. It is one of the most sacred of Jewish holitdays. Saturday was the first day of Yom Kippur, also the 50th anniversary of the start of the so-called “Yom Kippur War’ in 1973; “Israel sees ‘difficult’ war ahead.”
Words cannot describe the terror felt by thousands of Israeli citizens, peacefully asleep in the wee hours of Oct. 6, as armed bands of Hamas fighters, burst through their streets, forcing open front doors and taking some hostages while shooting and killing others in cold blood.
As I write this, the latest Israeli government total dead stands at “700,” with “dozens abducted, taken to Gaza.” The decades-long conflict exploded.
Already Pres. Biden has spoken twice to P.M, Benjamin Netanyahu to assure him and Israel of US support. A US Navy missile-carrier attack group of many ships is on its way to Israel to supply whatever military and humanitarian aid is needed.
Our foreign policy of unlimited support for Israel needs to change. Einstein’s advice is more true than ever, “Nothing in more foolish than continuing on following a clearly hopeless path.”
Frank H, Baumgardner, III
As an American Jew I am horrified by this weekend’s events in Israel. But as a Jew who only wants Israel to thrive, I have for decades been distraught over Israeli government policies that both diverge from Jewish ethics and also create the misery and despair that inevitably produce Palestinian violence.
The Israeli government, quite reasonably frightened by Arab rhetoric and actions, has enforced conditions in Gaza as bad as any ghetto our people endured. This new horror is the entirely predictable result, and surely demonstrates that “security” that is enforced by an iron fist is not security.
It takes two to tango. Can both Israeli and Palestinian leaders now finally listen to those of their two peoples who even now seek peace and reconciliation, and get past their mutually well-founded fear and anger to reach for something better? However hard that is to imagine, it is the only way forward out of this dire swamp.
Louise R. Quigley
THE MAPS OF ISRAELI SETTLEMENTS THAT SHOCKED BARACK OBAMA
by Adam Entous
One afternoon in the spring of 2015, a senior State Department official named Frank Lowenstein paged through a government briefing book and noticed a map that he had never seen before. Lowenstein was the Obama Administration’s special envoy on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, a position that exposed him to hundreds of maps of the West Bank. (One adorned his State Department office.)
Typically, those maps made Jewish settlements and outposts look tiny compared to the areas where the Palestinians lived. The new map in the briefing book was different. It showed large swaths of territory that were off limits to Palestinian development and filled in space between the settlements and the outposts. At that moment, Lowenstein told me, he saw “the forest for the trees”—not only were Palestinian population centers cut off from one another but there was virtually no way to squeeze a viable Palestinian state into the areas that remained. Lowenstein’s team did the math. When the settlement zones, the illegal outposts, and the other areas off limits to Palestinian development were consolidated, they covered almost 60% of the West Bank.
Lowenstein showed the small map to Secretary of State John Kerry and said, “Look what’s really going on here.” Kerry brought the map to his next meeting with President Obama. The map was too small for everyone in the Situation Room to see, so Lowenstein had a series of larger maps made. The information was then verified by US intelligence agencies. Obama’s Presidency was winding down, but Lowenstein figured that he could use the time left to raise awareness about what the Israelis were doing. “One day, everyone’s going to wake up and go, ‘Wait a minute, we’ve got to stop this to at least have the possibility of a two-state solution’,” Lowenstein said.
The State Department presentation, which was prepared in 2015 and updated in 2016, showed examples of what the State Department identified as “Palestinian incitement” and maps depicting Israel’s settlement growth in the West Bank. One of the maps was titled “What a One State Reality Looks Like,” and included a bullet point that read, “In the combined areas of Israel, Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Jews no longer represent the majority.” (Israeli officials have said that the number of Jews and Arabs is at or near parity.)
Kerry met regularly with Obama in the Oval Office. During one of those meetings, Kerry placed the maps on a large coffee table, one after another, so Obama and his advisers could study them. Ben Rhodes, one of Obama’s longest-serving advisers, said the President was shocked to see how “systematic” the Israelis had been at cutting off Palestinian population centers from one another. Lowenstein didn’t show the maps to the Israelis, but he did walk them through the key findings, which were incorporated into Kerry speeches and other documents. Lowenstein said the Israelis never challenged those findings.
Later, Kerry presented some of the maps to Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian President. Kerry’s goal was to show Abbas that the Obama Administration understood the extent to which the two-state solution was threatened. Abbas was taken aback. Instead of feeling reassured, he told a confidant that the maps convinced him that the Americans believed “the chances of a viable Palestinian state is next to nil.” Alarmed by Israeli actions depicted in the maps, Obama decided to abstain on a U.N. Security Council resolution condemning the settlements, clearing the way for its passage. It would be Obama’s final act of defiance against Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli Prime Minister, before Donald Trump took office and put in place policies that were far more accepting of the settlers.
(The New Yorker)
Thousands of Hamas targets have been wiped out in the bombing campaigns, Israeli defense officials claimed, but harrowing clips circulating on social media showed how the rockets and bombs also obliterated Palestinian residential blocks, killing hundreds of civilians. Israel has ordered a 'complete siege' of Gaza, cutting off electricity, fuel and food for the 2.3 million Palestinians who already live in poverty. Israeli PM Netanyahu vowed retaliation that would 'reverberate for generations'. The four-day-old war has already claimed at least 1,600 lives, as Israel saw gun battles in the streets of its own towns for the first time in decades and neighbourhoods in Gaza were reduced to rubble. In response, Hamas warned late last night it would begin executing Israeli civilian captives. 'Every targeting of our people without warning will be met with the execution of one of the civilian hostages,' Hamas' armed wing, the Ezzedine al-Qassam Brigades, said in a statement. Hamas militants have abducted up to 150 people, including women and children, from Israeli territory and dragged them back to Gaza.
FEARS THAT FIGHTING MAY SPREAD
Fighting erupted along Israel’s volatile northern border with Lebanon on Monday in the second such episode since the Palestinian incursion from Gaza into Israel on Saturday, adding to mounting Israeli concerns over the possibility that the conflict — already the broadest invasion in 50 years — could spread to multiple fronts.
Roads out of southern Lebanon toward Beirut, the capital, were clogged with traffic in the evening as people attempted to flee the clashes, according to the Lebanon’s state-run news agency. Lebanon’s Ministry of Education closed schools in the country’s south until further notice. In late-night cafes and in homes across Beirut, people sat glued to television screens on Monday evening, watching news footage of fires from the clashes spreading across hillsides.
Palestinian Islamic Jihad, an armed group based in Gaza that has in the past been accused of attacking from Lebanon, claimed responsibility for the attack on northern Israel. The Israeli Defense Forces said that the attackers fired mortar shells and entered Israeli territory, and that two of the attackers had been killed and one had escaped back into Lebanon.
The I.D.F. said that Israeli forces backed by helicopters had responded to the incursion. It also said that its aircraft had struck three military posts belonging to Hezbollah, the armed Lebanese Shiite organization that fought a war with Israel in 2006. Hezbollah confirmed on Monday evening that threes of its fighters had been killed in Israeli shelling, according to a statement released by Al Manar, the Hezbollah-owned Lebanese broadcaster. In response to the deaths, Hezbollah later said it had carried out attacks on two Israeli military barracks, using guided missiles and mortars.
An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that Israeli soldiers had been injured in the clashes earlier Monday, but did not specify the number.
On Sunday, Hezbollah attacked three Israeli posts with artillery shells and rockets targeting the Shebaa Farms area, land it considers to be occupied Lebanese territory. The Israel Defense Forces responded at the time with artillery fire and drone strikes.
Hamas, the Palestinian faction that controls Gaza, called on armed groups in Lebanon to join in its attack on Israel on Saturday. Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which was already fighting alongside Hamas in that attack, has a sizable presence in Lebanon as well as Gaza.
According to the United Nations, Lebanon is home to around 250,000 Palestinians, either refugees forced to flee their homes in 1948 when the state of Israel was established or their descendants.
After the fighting broke out on Monday, Israel’s Home Front Command ordered the residents of 28 towns and villages close to Lebanon’s border to enter bomb shelters, citing “a large-scale offensive.” They were told to take food, water and sleeping materials, indicating that they might need to stay in hiding for some time.
U.N peacekeeping forces in southern Lebanon urged calm. Andrea Tenenti, the spokesman for the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, or UNIFIL, said both sides needed to exercise “maximum restraint” in order to “prevent further escalation and loss of life.”
HERE WE GO LOOP-DE-LOOP
by James Kunstler
“Palestine is not Ukraine. If America intervenes directly, all American locations in the region will become legitimate targets of the resistance axis and will face our attacks. And on this day there will be no red line left.” —Hezbollah Official Statement
You know, of course, that the CIA’s job is to detect sinister doings in other countries, especially as they might affect our own country. Looks like they missed something lately in the spook-filled space between Iran and Israel. Do you suppose they’re too busy running Facebook? And their domestic companion, the FBI, has been working overtime for years now, between their mighty labors concocting RussiaGate and the current program to root out election deniers and other seditious riffraff — while millions of sketchy mutts from here, there, and everywhere in the world scuttle over our border with Mexico and decant across our fruited plains — with assistance, you understand, from our own border officials — and, yet, no questions asked. Here’s a free phone and an auto-refilling debit card. Have a nice day in Skokie, Plattsburgh, or wherever! And don’t forget to send in your court appearance forms by the 2030 deadline!
So, it came as a big surprise when southern Israel was overrun by Hamas dudes in tricked-out pickup trucks and para-gliders on Saturday, who carried home hundreds of nubile young women to have sport with, after slaughtering hundreds more people of all ages, like rampaging bronze age Philistines. That fresh enormity is, shall we say, quite a ways from resolution at this time. I’ll tell you what will be an even bigger surprise, though: when some organized unit of those aforesaid mutts of unknown origin who snuck across our border sets off something like a dirty bomb in New York, Los Angeles, or Washington DC. Or takes over a nuclear power station. Or… well, I wouldn’t want to put any ideas in a bad actor’s head. But you get the picture, I’m sure.
So, we’re in something that smells like uncharted territory this autumn Monday, and events are galloping faster than anyone can process. The scene looks a little bit like World War Three. At least any child of twelve could game it out that way in three easy steps. Say, the chief mullah in Teheran issues some crude remark about how Israel had it coming, yadda yadda … and the IDF forthwith fires a cruise missile up his qabaa… and next thing you know, so many mushroom clouds rise over the Levant that it looks like a shitake farm.
All this while the USA struggles to restore its political mental health after years of domestic abuse at the hands of our own government. A big question here is what kind of correction will it require to straighten out that abusive government… or can anything at all avail before having to shred the whole goshdarn operation and start over? Quien sabe? (As they say in Plattsburgh nowadays.)
I’m confident that Congress will sort out this new Speaker business in short order, now that the world appears to light up. But what of its current projects? For instance, the inquiry into the darkish business ventures of the Biden Family, Inc., and what to do about it? That look-see is tending toward a picture that shows an appalling connection between the Bidens’ lustful chasing of global main chances and the horrifying demolition of Ukraine currently ongoing. If it’s not already obvious to a majority of USA adults that “Joe Biden,” the cats-paw in the White House, must go, it will be in a matter of weeks as the bank records step into the spotlight and speak for themselves.
Are you ready for President Kamala and government-by-word-salad? E.g.: “It’s very important, as you’ve heard from so many incredible leaders, for us at every moment in time, and certainly this one, to seize the moment of time in which we exist, in our present, and be able to contextualize it, understand where we exist in history and in the moment as it relates not only to the past but the future,” she said. Doctoral dissertations will be penned explicating that mouthful for years to come (where and whenever those years might be located on time’s mystifying spectrum).
As for Congress and its grim duties, there is also the matter of the current laughable budget resolution running out again just before Thanksgiving. Work to do! The USA is in such a desperate debt and bond issuance dilemma that it’s like a trapped wild animal faced with having to chew off its own leg to escape death. And the cause of that dilemma is our legislature’s failure to control the nation’s spending. As America’s Venerable Bede, Sen. Everett Dirksen (d. 1969) used to say: “A billion here, a billion there, pretty soon you’re talking about real money.” Well, that game is drawing to a close. Reality is finally asserting its rugged old self to say that our country is as broke as broke can be and there has to be a painful adjustment. It will be presented as a Hobson’s choice: you can have no money… or you can have plenty of money that’s worthless. What’s it gonna be?
I’d guess that the new Speaker will have to be Mr. Jordan of Ohio, because at this time Congress badly needs to be led by someone who at least appears to be muscular and confident. One has to wonder, though, that even muscles and confidence might not be enough in the current situation — that moment of time in which we exist, as the Veep put it so well. And yet, so many things are happening at once that it feels like someone up there is monkeying with time itself. Or perhaps a giant blob has gummed up its wheels. But, really, I must ask: are you not a little tired of being a country that doesn’t know what it’s doing?
KENNEDY WILL RUN AS AN INDEPENDENT
RFK, mostly an old fashioned Democrat but one with some ideological quirks, has ditched the Dems, accurately denouncing their corporate shot callers and their party as “corrupt.”
Kennedy said he would run for president in 2024 as an independent, urging Americans to embrace “freedom from the reflex of having to take sides.”
The 69-year-old announced in Philadelphia that he would bow out of the Democratic primary, where polls showed him badly trailing President Biden despite going as high as 20% in some surveys.
Launching an independent candidacy, the environmental lawyer and anti-vaccination advocate said, would allow him to pursue an agenda that “puts peace and diplomacy first,” would “close the loopholes that bloat our budget” and “rescue debtors instead of the banks.”
“I’m going to ask people, what do you care about?” vowed the son of the late attorney general and senator from New York. “What do your children need? What is it like to be you? What do you love?”
Four of RFK Jr.’s siblings issued a statement blasting his ongoing candidacy, calling it “dangerous to our country.”
“Bobby might share the same name as our father, but he does not share the same values, vision or judgment,” sister Kerry Kennedy said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “Today’s announcement is deeply saddening for us. We denounce his candidacy and believe it to be perilous for our country.”
Political strategists from both parties told The Washington Post over the weekend that Kennedy’s name recognition and his unorthodox positions may throw a wrench in next year’s presidential election by allowing him to steal votes from both major party candidates.
UKRAINE, MONDAY, 9TH OCTOBER
The US army has said it would need Congress to approve additional funding to ensure the Pentagon’s munitions production and acquisition plans can potentially meet the needs of both Israel and Ukraine simultaneously.
Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, will visit neighbouring Romania on Tuesday, his first trip to the Nato member country since Russia invaded Ukraine last February, the Romanian presidency has said.
Russian lawmakers have been given 10 days to study the possibility of revoking Moscow’s ratification of a treaty banning nuclear tests, the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, said in a statement. The chamber’s international affairs committee will need to conclude its work by 18 October, the statement said.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy has replaced the commander of Ukraine’s Territorial Defence Forces, which have played an important role in helping defend the country since Russia’s invasion. A presidential order published on Monday announced the appointment of Maj Gen Anatoliy Barhylevych as the new commander.
The UN rights office warned that it was concerned there was no system to return Ukrainian children taken to Russia since Moscow’s invasion of the country last year, and that some of those who did come back had reported mistreatment.
Volodymyr Zelenskiy has appealed at the Nato parliamentary assembly for the international rule of law to unite and deal with terrorism, comparing the attack by what he called a “terrorist organisation” on Israel with the similar tactics used by Russia, which he said was a “terrorist state”.