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SLIGHT OFFSHORE FLOW will aid in briefly warming and drying Northwest California through today. Southerly winds will build in by this evening as a cold front is forecast to move through the area. By tomorrow, widespread light rain with localized heavier amounts are forecast. More consistent hot and dry weather will return mid to late week. (NWS)
STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A mix of cloud covers this Sunday morning on the coast with 55F. Partly cloudy & mild today, rain tomorrow, then dry the rest of the week. We have a "sneaker wave" warning today along the beaches today, be careful, they are sneaky.
AV VILLAGE MONTHLY GATHERING: Part 2 of Making a Difference in our Community
Sun 10 / 15 / 2023 at 4:00 PM
Where: Anderson Valley Senior Center, 14470 Highway 128, Boonville,
More Information (https://andersonvalley.helpfulvillage.com/events/3113)
AV FIRE DEPARTMENT is hiring a fleet mechanic. Information is available on our website. Please share widely! https://www.andersonvalleyfire.org/
Does anyone recognize these meters? I’m not sure who each one of them belongs to, but they are the power supplies for several pumps in Indian Creek.
The 2 meters on the left and one of those boards is attached to a panel that’s completely collapsing. There’s bare wire underneath and these meters are hot.
If anyone has any leads, I’d love to contact them to tell them they need to re-secure them. They are becoming a fire hazard. If you have any information, would you mind direct messaging me?
THE ANDERSON VALLEY PANTHERS gave home team Roseland all the high flying Knights could handle Saturday in Santa Rosa.
A JUSTLY PROUD coach John Toohey writes: We came out and gave Roseland what we in the football world call “The Business”.
They run an old fashion single wing overloaded offense. It’s been running over everyone. It did not run over us. We were stout, tough and relentless on defense. We traded blows early. Jack Spacek and Eric Perez ran all over Roseland’s massive front six. Their line was so effective we were calling our plays out loud at one point, telling their massive defense where we were running the ball, and scoring.
The problem came at the end of the first half. We had it tied and were kicking off. Two of our players slipped in the mud trying to make a tackle and their shifty speedy return man beat us for a touchdown.
We tied it again in the first half. We kicked it short but Roseland was able to get the ball back to that same player and he scored again. They took a three possession lead into half-time 20-40.
Roseland has been averaging around 60 points a game. They scored no more on us.
It was a muddy slugfest in the second half. We both mustered stops against one another. Then in the fourth we scored to make the game 26-40, Jack Spacek connecting with Omar Anguiano for a 35-yard touchdown catch.
Their vaunted single wing stunted, they went to a spread offense. Something we had seen them do on film. And the kids knew exactly where the ball was going. Another stop.
We were on a drive midway through the fourth, and on a fourth down play, Jack Spacek carried the ball for a first down. At least it was an obvious first down to us, the opposing team, and everyone in attendance except for the individual responsible for the spot. We were half an inch short after they stretched the chains. That was our last push. Roseland ground it down and we were left watching them bleed the clock away.
Refs who had covered our first game against Tomales came and found me after the game. They were so impressed by this team's growth. So am I. It’s been exponential. It’s been remarkable. This team played football, and would have won if not for two repeated mental errors on special teams. Ironically, Roseland’s mascot is the Knights. But they were our dragon this year, and we had a real shot to slay that beast today. We played well enough. We were close. In eight-man football a two possession football game is razor thin.
We have three games left. If we can manage three victories, we will hunt this dragon again in the playoffs, and our kids' swords are going to be even sharper.
AV UNIFIED NEWS
Dear Anderson Valley Community,
I hope you enjoyed your week. We have lots to celebrate in the Valley including the completion of the elementary septic replacement, sporting teams showing good manners and play, and a renewed sense of academic rigor. I am proud of the staff and your kids.
The track and field grant award was a highlight of the week. Now we get the hard work of getting the grant agreement signed off and the planning process underway and to fruition. People ask me how long it will take, and optimistically, I would say two years. If we have an easy time with DSA. It could be 18 months. It all depends on how long it takes to get the grant agreement from CalTrans and get through DSA.
With the completion of the septic at the elementary site, the only remaining bond work on that property is the ongoing painting by our district painter Miguel, and we are finalizing plans for a kitchen upgrade. Miguel will work his way outside and inside the buildings to transform the color scheme. We are working with a graphics company for some additional finishing touches. I dropped in on the afterschool drumming class at the elementary school the other day. It was FUN! I feel like blocking out my afternoon to take a lesson. So grateful to Gabriella Frank and her musicians Shane and Dustin for creating these opportunities for our kids!
Over at the high school, congratulations to the 115 students that made the honor roll. The ceremony is Friday, October 20 at 5:00 p.m. in the gym. All students will receive a gift card to the Redwood Drive-in and a certificate. I hope you will come and ensure that your student comes as well. I know some of the kids don’t think it’s cool to be an achiever, but together we need to be building a culture where you can be cool and still be an achiever. If your student doesn’t want to come, I hope you will come anyway and be so proud of your student as you accept their award.
I also analyze the grades of students and teachers. We are posting far fewer multiple D’s and F’s which is good, but we still have a long way to go. Please remember there is daily academic support available in the library and support available Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday after school. Tuesday with Ms. Tere can support many different subjects. Ruby Suarez is also here and available in the seventh period on Wednesday for any student in one of the online classes that needs direct instruction. We appreciate Ms. Suarez giving up her time to do that.
A shout out of thanks to the eighth grade boys’ parents who took the time to attend our meeting. As I have said a million times, we love our students and they have many wonderful qualities. We had a good discussion and we will be implementing some strategies moving forward together. I also appreciate the staff coming for this meeting.
We need sports supervision at the high school. The gym is a big place. If you would be willing to put on a safety vest and just take a couple of hours while you’re at a game to help supervise the crowd that would be great. There is a quick training that I can go over with you at your convenience. Let me know.
We have posted an opening for an additional agriculture teacher. I want to be very clear this is not to replace Miss Swehla. This is to augment a very popular program with additional science-based offerings. We are also looking for many different types of jobs within the district including special ed education aides. We hope that anyone that would be interested would stop by the district office at the high school or reach out to Sara Hayward at firstname.lastname@example.org or look online at www.edjoin.org.
Just a reminder that the semester ends on the last day of our holiday break. There is no make up time after that holiday vacation. Please make sure your student is in school until the last day of the semester on December 15. If they post a low grade, there is no opportunity to make it up. If they are credit deficient they will attend summer school and be at risk of not graduating. Please make your plans accordingly. Return to school day is January 8.
Thank you again for all of your hard work and partnership with our students and our staff. Your participation is appreciated.
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Congratulations to our 115 Honor Roll students! The ceremony is Friday, October 20 at 5:00 p.m. in the gym. We look forward to seeing you!
Gold Honor Roll 3.50+,
Jennifer Campos Aguilar, Alex Manzo-Damian, Lucy Espinoza, Christopher Gutierrez, Jesus Hernandez, Karla Lopez, Fatima Cruz, Vanessa Sandoval, Keily Espinoza, Cinthia Garcia-Parra, Jaquelin Contreras, Xiomara Cornejo, Nicole Velasco Velascoe, Evelyn Escobar Gutierrea, Dariana Perez-Reyes, Angel Guerrero-Mendoza, Violet "Rye" Baird-Green, Cassidy Fox, Melany Lopez-Jimenez, Brissa Mendozaa, Saul Parra, Jennifer Perez-Medina, Khyber Peters, Andre Reyes Mendoza, Logan Venuto, Marissa Alvarez-Perez, Samantha Espinoza, Emily Soto Perez, Alexis Valencia Lua, Adolfo Vazquez Ramirez, Amalinalli Sanchez-Preciado, Emily Barajas-Gomez, Aiden Boudoures, Juan Franco, Analee Gatlin, Julian Ochoa-Rocha, , Jennifer Solano-Hernandez, Nicholas Espinoza, Dianna Gomez-Flores, Allison Tovar, Aliya Anguiano-Rubio, Natalie Lopez-Mendoza, Brianna Talavera Fernandez, James "Link" McDonald, Estrella Serna-Chavez, Zoe Bennett, Oscar Bautista, Leslie Bucio, Chantel Alarcon, Gus Arbanovella, Soleil Cornejo, Ciomary Garcia-Parra, Wyatt Gatlin, Brianna Gomez-Flores, Robert Irvin, Alan Mendoza, Leilani Bucio, Zoey Crisman, Natali Marcum-Soto, Guy Kephart III, Ananda Mayne, Tricia Anguiano-Rubio, Emilia Bennett, Aster Arbanovella, Kellie Crisman.
Bronze Honor Roll 3.0-3.49,
Vianett Camarillo-Balandran, Cristian. DeJesus-Gonzalez, Yaritza Rivera-Ortiz, Sulma Vargas, David Avalos-Alvarez, Anthony Rhoades, Donivan Wilson, Giovani Ferreyra, Nayely Garibay-Espinoza, Ariana Malfavon, Alan Aguilera Padilla, Monica Delgado, Juan Vazquez Sanchez, Juliann Lopez, Meghan Ruiz-Lagunas, Forrest Severnt, Bridselda Camarillo-Balandran, Juan Contreras Perez, Ashley Osornio-Vargas, Kingston Matson, Angela Irvin, Abigail Jones, Eric Perez-Rodriguez, Diego Torales-Medina, Leonardo Jesus, Briana Jimenez-Sanchez, Jose Lopez-Zavala, Randal Ferreyra, Ashley Garibay-Espinoza, Jose Alvarez Magana, Aylin DeJesus-Gonzalez, Ethan Mendoza-Mendoza, Omar Anguiano, Guadalupe Arias-Pena, Fernando Bucio-Medina, Samantha Escalera-Cuevas, Mariana Zavala-Camacho, Anahi Anguiano, Samantha Flores-Bailon, Eric Velasco Velasco, Brookyln Wallace, Briana Balandran-Padilla, Mariana Flores-Almanza, Leidy Lopez, Viridiana Ramos-Reynoso, Miguel Hernandez-Fuentes, Gryffin Chagoya, Evelyn Franco, Cristal Guerra Nunez, Tania Bucio-Olmedo.
Louise Simson, Superintendent
AV Unified School District
THERE ARE BARGAIN BOOKS outside Hedgehog Books in Boonville next to Boont Berry Store, self-service only, 25 cents per book. (If you remove the bookshelf protective covers, please replace them afterward to keep the books safe from the weather.) If the weather holds the weekend of October 20-22, we will have our first Big Book Sale on the deck and in the shop. Thank you for your support.
MEASURE P FUNDS HANDLED AS WELL AS CAN BE EXPECTED
Like many other taxpayers I have witnessed the ups and downs of the county's fiscal problems. I too have been on edge waiting for the system to play out as the voters intended. The campaign and passage were only our first steps. However, the communication between the county and the agencies, while protracted, has existed. There is a methodology within the seemingly completely illogical madness. Bottom line, none of this has been perfect but the BOS have always stood with us on Measure P.
This methodology is as follows: The funds began to be collected by merchants in April but they are collected for the quarter and then forwarded to the state a month later. So the first funds were not due to the state until the end of July. Then the state has time to process it before the funds flow to the county. So the county has not been sitting on them. The County has already prepared a draft contract that has already been shared with and reviewed by the Fire Agencies. The item on the agenda is merely to enable that process to finish more efficiently instead of having to have any and every part of the process come through the BOS.
Mendocino County Fire Safe Council, Board President
A READER WRITES: A prevalent rumor around Ukiah is that an undercover FBI agent is working in the Assessor's office for a time. Besides what Cubbison and Kennedy have been charged with, it has been found that two big name county families have been overcharged on their taxes. The two families are the Schatts and the McNabs. I gathered that to make up for the shortfall due to undercharging some property owners the difference, in part, was being made up by overcharging others.
ED REPLY: I'd be surprised if the G-Men were at work on the small potatoes of Mendocino County. Anyway, they don't have a very good local record given their failures to nail the criminal businessmen behind the Fort Bragg Fires, and their even more preposterously suspicious performance in waiving the ex-husband from primary consideration in the Bari Bombing case. I don't know enough about the Schatts and McNabs to venture a guess why they would be chosen to be over-assessed, but Schats Bakery is certainly a viable and prosperous business, while McNab is an old family who sold off the vast McNab Ranch in Hopland. But their only business I know of these days is their venerable clothing store across the street from the Courthouse. There are lots of land rich, cash poor families in Mendo, but overall Mendo does not have a lush tax base. We're a poor county. I still think the root of the current prob with assessments and tax collection lies with our incompetent supervisors, whose consolidation of two different functions, in-come and out-go, has multiplied whatever probs the two agencies had prior to consolidation. And then there's the DA bringing a bogus criminal case because Ms. Cubbison challenged his blithe appropriation of his County-funded travel and conference budget as his own personal slush fund.
SAD that Ms. Cubbison has to go to an expensive Santa Rosa attorney to defend herself against the bogus charges conjured by the DA, who gets to go into court free. As a County official herself, I wonder if Ms. Cubbison can get her legal expenses reimbursed when the Santa Rosa guy slam dunks Eyster.
I REMEMBER when a writer from LA was in town talking to locals about their memories of Leonard Lake and Charles Ng, the Green Hornet and Cato of mass murder, who lived in Anderson Valley for a couple of years in the early 1980s before they went on to greater things. Ernie Pardini, who was once a neighbor of Lake’s, showed the writer around town. Ernie’s memories of the two psychos remain vivid. Lake once insulted one of Ernie’s family members. When Ernie called him on it, Lake said, “Oh, I never fight. I’m a coward. I’d probably just shoot you in the back.” Ernie just may have come pretty close to winding up in Lake’s last bunker, later neatly summing up the consensus local opinion of lethal duo: “Like everyone else around here I knew they were nuts, but I didn’t know they were that nuts.” Nobody did. I remember them walking around in camo outfits, and I recall that Lake was a volunteer firefighter who served as the firefighter department’s secretary where his meticulous script was much admired. But there were so many nuts around at the time at times they seemed to have an actual majority in Anderson Valley.
THE MEDICAL MARIJUANA initiative, Proposition 215, passed in Mendocino County with 64% of the vote. Unlike many other jurisdictions in the state where voters also said it was fine with them if suffering people smoked the stuff, Mendocino County’s DA Norm Vroman and Sheriff Tony Craver quickly worked out sensible local enforcement rules that at least tried to meet voters’ expressed desire to call off the anti-pot hysterics. The only weakness of the Vro-Crave pot strategy was that it required doctors, if it should come to it, to put their stamp of approval on Mr. and Ms. Toke’s permission slip. With the zealots in the federal government’s thriving drug bureaucracies of a quarter century ago trying to stuff as many pot smokers into the prison system as they could to keep themselves in well-paid work, Mendo medicos worried that they might find themselves doing federal time for sanctioning the beneficent herb.
BUT THOSE DAYS of marijuana being a large part of what prosperity Mendocino County could muster, a weird economy pegged to the dual intoxicants of wine and dope, are long gone. Fast forward to 2023 and about the only growth enterprise remaining is decaf lattes.
If we lose Chamise Cubbison from this office, our County will be in serious financial reporting trouble. With the exodus of decades of knowledge that occured with the unplanned merging of these offices, losing her knowledge will be catastrophic.
Where are we going to get someone to replace her? She ran unopposed in the election, probably due to the “culture” that is our County. The current discussions about creating a Department of Finance, consolidating more power under the CEO’s office, has only helped to further erode the relationship of the Aud/Con/Treas/Tax office and the Board of Supervisors. There is no replacement for her!
The fact that the DA has waited all this time to file these charges seems like a fishing expedition. Why were these not filed BEFORE the election? Why wasn’t Weer held accountable? Why was she allowed to run for election with felony charges looming? Wasn’t the County doling out millions of dollars during Covid of “free” money to keep the County running?
This just might be the BOS trying to merge their way out of their consolidation mess. What better way to get Chamise out of office so they can create their Department of Finance?
UKIAH SHELTER PUPS OF THE WEEK
FROM THE SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION: More than 71 million Americans will see a 3.2% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2024. We will mail cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) notices throughout the month of December to retirement, survivors, and disability beneficiaries, SSI recipients, and representative payees.
WAR IS GOD'S WAY of teaching Americans geography.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE GRASSROOTS INSTITUTE OF MENDOCINO (GRI):
The Grassroots Institute of Mendocino (GRI) is launching a public campaign to halt the construction of any new gas stations in Mendocino County. The kickoff event for this campaign will take place at its quarterly General Meeting on Sunday, October 22nd in-person at the Caspar Community Center from 12:00-2:00 pm.
GRI is excited to announce that our guest speaker will be Woody Hastings, an environmental activist who was instrumental in successfully pursuing new gas stations bans in Sonoma County. Members of GRI’s Climate Crisis Workgroup and Woody will make the case for such a ban, leading a discussion and answering questions.
Woody Hastings is the co-coordinator of the all-volunteer Coalition Opposing New Gas Stations, or CONGAS. Founded in 2019, CONGAS is a community-based organization with a simple mission: stop the construction of new gasoline stations. Since 2019, CONGAS has played a role in stopping at least three gas station proposals and has led the effort to enact local ordinances prohibiting new gas stations throughout Sonoma County and beyond.
Woody is an energy and environmental policy analyst, strategic planner, and community organizer with over thirty-five years of experience in the non-profit, governmental, and private sectors. In his professional capacity, Woody serves as the Phase Out Polluting Fuels Program Manager for The Climate Center, a statewide climate and energy policy non-profit organization founded in Sonoma County in 2001. Woody earned his bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on sustainability and social justice from San Francisco State University. He is also a Fellow of the Sonoma County-based Leadership Institute for Just and Resilient Communities.
Please find the event flyer and open letter attached.
For more information, please contact Don Hess at MendocinoNewGasBan@gmail.com
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 Whether you like it or not, not everyone wants nor can they afford ev vehicles. We have gas powered generators for when your precious electricity goes out and because there is nowhere to plug in my electric chainsaw and not a long life battery powered chainsaw we will continue to use gas powered everything including our car and pickup.
 EV has a long way to go before I will participate. The local utility companies can’t even keep power on now. A flood of EVs would not be able to charge, so what good are they? Oh yeah, we plan to destroy the oceans with off shore electricity farms, but that’s OK because it will be far enough away to be out of site out of mind. There’s no such thing as green energy. All energy requires the destruction of something else. That’s fact. So it’s time for these idiot liars to quit their propaganda. That’s all they have. They have no truth whatsoever.
 Gas is never out. Just completed a 6100 mile road trip using two lane blacktop Eureka to Knoxville and back. If we’d used an ev we’d still be stuck in the middle of nowhere. No ev’s in Nebraska or Iowa or Eastern Oregon… No tesla or charging stations. We did see mile after mile of coal trains taking coal to various large power plants so morons in California can charge their golf carts. Electric vehicles are not mature technology and you will find yourself stuck if you buy one. Political dreams not withstanding.
 Also petroleum production will continue to increase because nitrogen fertilizer comes from oil and gas. Can’t make with solar or wind…..needs gas and oil or the planet will starve. Modern industrial food production needs more and more fertilizer to feed the increasing numbers of humans on the planet. “Organic” can’t even come close. So you can drive around in your ev with your organic lettuce and watch the world starve.
 Cart before the horse as usual by the government. EV’s are not the answer either. “Free energy” will be disclosed very soon, people already making vehicles that run with water. Once the corrupt entities in the few corporations controlling the world’s economy are brought down, we the people will be able to freely create and clean up our Earth.
 If you are an idiot this probably seems like a great idea to you. The electricity used to charge EVs largely comes from burning fossil fuels. The mining of materials for EV batteries is an environmental and social nightmare. If you drive an EV you are supporting exploitative labor practices (including slavery) and the burning of coal. Enjoy your so-called green transportation.
CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, October 14, 2023
VICTOR ARREGUIN JR., Redwood Valley. DUI, saps or similar.
JOSHUA BENNETT, Fort Bragg. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
RAYMOND BOWES, Covelo. Domestic abuse, resisting.
JAMES BROWN SR., Redwood Valley. Failure to appear.
DIANA CASTORENA-TORRES, Covelo. DUI-alcohol&drugs, controlled substance.
YECSON DELAHERRAN-RIVERA, Ukiah. Ammo possession by prohibited person, probation revocation.
MIGUEL GASPARILLO, Windsor/Ukiah. DUI.
DAVID OSBOURN, Ukiah. Failure to register.
SYDNEY SHACKMAN, Ukiah. Failure to appear, probation revocation.
JOHNNY SHIELDS, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, failure to appear.
MELISSA SMITH, Ukiah. DUI.
A LAST FAREWELL TO SUMMER
by David Yearsley
This year we set out on the last weekend of September for our annual trek from Ithaca at the south end of Lake Cayuga to Watkins Glen at the south end of the next Finger Lake to the west, Seneca. This earlier start meant we were just ahead of hunting season. Those sections across private land closed from October 1st in previous years were now open to us.
These trail segments—a leafy disused railroad grade and a steep, deep gorge perched directly above the busy road leading down from the bluffs into Watkins Glen—make up only about three of the hike’s forty-five miles and come in the last couple hours as we turn around the southeastern corner of Seneca Lake. One might expect that this jewel of the Finger Lakes, forty miles long and six hundred feet deep, has a carried classical allusion for the last three hundred years since these are sprinkled all around the region in towns like Ithaca, Aurelius, Ovid, and Ulysses. But no, this body of water is not named after the Roman philosopher famed for his stoic suicide committed after his involvement in a foiled plot to assassinate Emperor Nero. The lake is named after the native peoples, the Seneca Nation: Onöndowa’ga:’ Gawë:no” — people of the big hill. The name is a European corruption, with its Latin resonance, a convenient one, as all forms of corruption are.
These are big hills, but mostly gently rising—easy on the knees on the way down.
During the nineteenth-century, the golden age of Upstate agriculture, the region was ninety percent deforested. Now that proportion of woods to fields is reversed. Before winter strips the hillsides bare one enjoys views of long unbroken stretches of the deciduous canopy, with some evergreens and an occasional cell-phone tower. Farmed fields are the exception not the rule.
The 11,000 acres of the Connecticut Hill Wildlife Management Area are spread across the divide between the two lakes’ drainages. This forest makes up the magical center of the walk. It carries another native place, or better, out-of-place name brought with European “settlers” from the Atlantic coast. Wildlife Management is a technocratic update of Old Testament dominion-over-other-animals ideology inherited from Gifford Pinchot, the first head of the U. S. Forest Service.
The trail winds its way down along the Cayuta Creek gorge that cuts its way along the edge of Connecticut Hill to a large swamp at the southern end of Cayuta Lake, the smallest of the Finger Lakes. The path then works its way not west towards the terminus of our walk, but north for ten miles through the haunted Texas Hollow Nature Preserve and onto the southern slope of the Finger Lakes National Forest. We encountered just a couple of other folks walking short sections of these trails leading through woods and marshes and occasional fields, remnants of old stone walls and abandoned cemeteries left behind by families who came to the region after the American Revolution but had moved to the Midwest and elsewhere a century later.
I love living in rust-belt adjacent rurality, but there are signs along the trails and the country routes leading between the forest preserves and on the edges of towns and in the deep country that cheap land and fewer impending environmental threats are drawing opportunists and refugees from hot and fiery spots to the ever-more-mild Finger Lakes.
We had walked out the front of our house down the Cascadilla Gorge, the stream quiet for want of rain through the old town. A friendly woman asked us if we were “training for a Camino.” In my battered and optimistically named Osprey “Anti-Gravity” pack I doubt I looked much like a mendicant friar or medieval pilgrim. But in training? Walking from point A to point B should be the default mode of transport, I suggested. The woman said that she had flown in from Colorado to visit her son at Cornell. She had done many variants of pilgrim routes in Europe, including a recent 650-mile walking tour on the Camino de Santiago. We parted at a traffic light, and as my daughter and I continued through the residential blocks with their clapboard houses and into the urban sprawl with its big boxes south of Ithaca, I thought—not self-righteously, I want you to know—what joy it is to walk out your front door rather than be airdropped to a marquee destination.
After taking off our boots to ford Buttermilk Creek and doing a mile or two on the railroad tracks, we crossed under the highway into Treman State Park. The Finger Lakes Trail now led through the golden-green forest. The traffic thundered alongside, the drivers oblivious to the resilient natural world within spitting distance, the woods still and defiant as they disappeared into their own evening shadow. After the long climb, we came to the clearing where there was still enough light to admire the upper steps of the spectacular Lucifer Falls of the Enfield Gorge, which begins narrow then opens into the airy sublime.
As we walked back into the darkening forest my mind wandered to my thirteen-year-old self. “Ba-ee-yah, ba-ee-yah,” intoned lead singer Maurice White from way back in 1978, his voice soaring on the jubilant updrafts emitted by the tight and bright Earth, Wind and Fire horn section. This band could blow the leaves off of any tree. “Our hearts are ringing / our souls are singing,” White celebrates as the savory harmonic sequence chugs towards the darkness of December. This irrepressible dance music feeds the feet and the feeling, and it keeps me going after dark. It’s a love song that glows and pulses autumnal orange even as it remains an ecstatic evergreen in any season.
I sleep ever more fitfully in a tent as the years accrue. The bright moon shining through polyester fabric didn’t help. Roger Whittaker’s “Last Farewell” came into my mind. I never listened to him, but ads for his LPs and eight-tracks would come on afternoon television, folksy companions to those spots pitching Liberace—“These are some of my favorites.” We teens, just discovering Miles Davis and Dexter Gordon, mocked these purveyors of schlock adored by our grandparents.
After reading the New York Times obituary of Whittaker, I listened in full to his greatest hit, that hokey maritime ballad of duty over love, “The Last Farewell.” I then tracked him across YouTube to other performances and found myself having to admit that, in spite of all the disdain harbored by my younger self for Whittaker’s music, there was something compelling to that voice, something that cut through the overproduced studio glaze.
Whittaker’s baritone was often described as rich, yet his vocal assets were not derived from power and pomp, but from warmth, texture, and sincerity. In the “Last Farewell,” he raises his voice in a noble crescendo along with the reluctant heroism of the horns, but the opening phrase begins in speech-like intimacy, the hint of vulnerability soon giving way to full-throated resolve. Even as he performed in front of large crowds or for even larger ones on television, it was as if he were singing to a single person, addressing you alone, his eyes fixed directly on the camera. The voice had the heft yet softness of the wide wale corduroy jackets he favored, and it was that plush but unpretentious vocal fabric that made him 60-million-records-sold rich. For grandparents, his was a voice you thought you could trust.
How addictive is the prescription-less drug marketed as Nostalgia? ‘Round midnight (Miles’s version from the 50s) bedded down just off the Finger Lakes Trail was not the time or place to think of the “last hike” I’ll ever take. Be silent, Roger Whittaker! And anyway, tomorrow there were many more steps to be taken in those Miles Ahead (yet another teenage musical discovery!), many more songs to remember and new ones to sing.
(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at email@example.com.)
MEMO OF THE AIR: Autumn in old Raxacoricofallipatorius.
Here's the recording of last night's (Friday 2023-10-13) close-to-eight-hour-long Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and KNYO.org: https://tinyurl.com/KNYO-MOTA-0562
Instead of making a long list of all the fine writers who contributed to that show, I'll share the names of two who weren't there that you'd expected to be: Del Potter and Eleanor Cooney. Del is busy with an important project, and Eleanor's story came in a little too late for me to get it in a form I could use. It was a late-model-MSWord file attached to an email, not text in the body of the email, and I might have been able to read it with my phone once I was at the station but I couldn't figure out how to fast enough. There's always next week.
I'm happy to read your writing on the radio. Just email it to me and that's all you have to do.
Besides all that, at https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together, such as:
A clip from The Daily Show in 2014. There's an old saying: "Time does not pass between times of being stoned." Or times like these, apparently. https://misscellania.blogspot.com/2023/10/tweet-of-day_01462442497.html
Speaking of which, I'm recalling the mellifluous voice of Andy Williams and the animation of Nina Paley, again. Shoulda given the Jews Texas. Or Alaska. Lands far less populated nor fraught. Rerun: I remember reading somewhere decades ago, and every time I remember it, it changes a little but conveys the same sentiment, "Billions of years from now, when the mighty Himalayas have worn down to nubs, and the oceans have evaporated and been blasted away into space by the swollen red Sun, and the Earth is a cinder, if two bacteria survive in what's left of the Middle East, wherever that is by then, the South Pole, perhaps, they will be at each other's throat." There's a 57-year old Star Trek episode about this phenomenon, you Half-Black! Shut your filthy pie-hole, you Half-White! Aieee! I keel you! I keel you! It's an oversimplification of a complex horrific situation, but what isn't, anymore? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TuZKtTBAFg
And a functional prosthetic hand is connected to the bones of the stump and to the nerves farther up in the arm. This woman, who lost her original hand in a farming accident, has 80-percent of full normal use of her new hand. She says it burns like tingly fire all the time, and you have to plug it in to charge it every night, but it's worth it. Now all she needs is a light saber. And a deck of cards. She doesn't need a nutcracker anymore. https://newatlas.com/medical/bionic-hand-restores-life-amputees
Marco McClean, firstname.lastname@example.org, https://MemoOfTheAir.wordpress.com
IN THE LA TIMES:
A Caltrans executive questioned a freeway expansion. Then she was demoted.
…Caltrans was created to build freeways. For decades those sprawling roads were seen as a sign of progress, even as they exacerbated economic burdens through a reliance on costly vehicles, undermined cleaner and cheaper public transit and divided communities, particularly Black and Latino ones.
The agency is now grappling with its legacy, under the pall of deeply rooted inequity and a warming planet. Transportation is the largest contributor to California’s greenhouse gas emissions and studies have shown adding lanes increases vehicle dependence, while doing little to reduce congestion....
“This is classic Caltrans,” said Stephen M. Wheeler, a professor of urban planning and design at UC Davis, who has followed development along the I-80 corridor. “Caltrans has a long history of plowing ahead and widening roads without regard to various better policy alternatives. It has done that in many different ways, including by breaking projects up into small pieces, which makes it easier to get it approved and avoid public scrutiny…”
ON-LINE COMMENT OF THE DAY
Asymmetric war is also referred to as Total War, as it puts everything “on the table,” as the proud US Chicken Hawks love to say. But as governments now go to war with entire societies, life styles, and basic ways of life, Asymmetric does make a certain twisted sense. For all the hand wringing about governments’ attempt at genocide, who’s doing it and why, it’s quite often the underlying impulse in most, if not all, wars; so much so that it’s usually the civilian populations themselves calling for it the loudest.
We’re all barbarians at heart, it would seem.
UKRAINE, SATURDAY, 14TH OCTOBER
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) — Ukrainian officials reported intense combat as Russian forces relentlessly assaulted the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka for a fifth consecutive day Saturday.
City leader Vitalii Barabash reported that Moscow was deploying additional forces to encircle the strategically important city in the eastern Donetsk region, situated just north of the Russian-held regional capital, also called Donetsk.
“The enemy hasn’t stopped either assaulting or shelling positions” around Avdiivka, Barabash said on Ukrainian television.
Around 1,600 civilians remain within the city, a stark contrast to its prewar population of about 31,000. Russian President Vladimir Putin launched his war against Ukraine in February 2022.
Barabash’s comments came after Russia’s U.N. ambassador, Vassily Nebenzia, told a U.N. Security Council meeting on Friday that the intensified attacks in the east amounted to a new stage in Moscow’s campaign in Ukraine.
“Russian troops have, for several days now, switched over to active combat action practically throughout the entire front line. … The so-called Ukrainian counteroffensive can therefore be considered finished,” he said.
But Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said earlier this week that Ukrainian forces were keeping Russian troops at bay and “holding our ground.”
Donetsk’s acting regional governor, Ihor Moroz, said Saturday that 22 civilians were wounded in Russian shelling in the region over the previous 24 hours.
Further north, fighting along the northern stretch of Ukraine’s eastern front has “significantly worsened” in recent days, Gen. Oleksandr Syrskyi, commander of Ukraine’s land forces, wrote on Facebook Saturday.
Syrskyi, who visited troops in the area, said that Russian forces had regrouped following losses and were mounting attacks around the village of Makiivka and pushing toward the city of Kupiansk, with the goal of encircling Kupiansk and reaching the Oskil River.
Also on Saturday, two women — ages 60 and 42 — were killed in two Russian shelling attacks in the city of Beryslav in Ukraine’s partly-occupied Kherson region.
In Russia, the Defense Ministry said air defense systems shot down two Ukrainian drones over the Black Sea near the southern resort city of Sochi on Saturday morning. A drone was also shot down in the Belgorod region bordering Ukraine during the afternoon, regional Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov said. Ukrainian officials have never acknowledged responsibility for attacks on Russian territory.
NEARLY HALF OF GAZA’S POPULATION DISPLACED IN HUMANITARIAN CRISIS
Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from northern Gaza have left their homes in the past day alone. The U.N. warned the territory was in danger of running out of water.
by Raja Abdulrahim
In southern Gaza’s main city, Khan Younis, throngs of people displaced from the north stood in the streets on Saturday outside schools, hospitals and the homes of friends who took them in, waiting with their empty bottles for the water truck to come by.
When it passed, they surged forward, each one desperate to fill up a bottle or two to quench the thirst of the families they fled with.
“The hardest thing today is finding water to drink,” said Jihad Abu Hasaan, 54, a father of three who left his home in Gaza City in the north on Friday. “We hope that there is a humanitarian pause so that people can at least go search for water,” he added. Mr. Hasaan, the Gazan director of Première Urgence Internationale, a Frenchcharity, spoke from a training center in Khan Younis where his family was sheltering with some 5,000 people.
A fast-growing humanitarian crisis has erupted in southern Gaza, which is being inundated by hundreds of thousands of displaced people who fled northern Gaza in the past day alone, according to the UNRWA, the U.N. agency that aids Palestinians. In total, nearly half of Gaza’s population of more than two million has been displaced over the past week, the agency said on Saturday.
The entire Gaza Strip is in danger of running out of water, the United Nations warned on Saturday. Many Gazans do not have access to clean drinking water and are resorting to drinking polluted water. For some, it is down to a struggle to stay alive and meet basic needs, including finding food or a place to shelter.
“It has become a matter of life and death,” said Philippe Lazzarini, the commissioner general for UNRWA. “It is a must: Fuel needs to be delivered now into Gaza to make water available for two million people.”
Khan Younis has been inundated over the past day with many of those streaming down from the north after the Israeli Army ordered more than one million residents of the area to leave their homes, anticipating an Israeli ground invasion in the coming days that now seems all but inevitable.
This round of violence was triggered one week ago when Hamas, the group that controls Gaza, staged a surprise attack on southern Israel that killed more than 1,300 people.
Israel responded over the past week with an air bombardment on the densely populated coastal enclave. On Monday, Israel’s defense minister imposed what he called a “complete siege” of Gaza, saying this would prevent electricity, food, water and fuel from entering the territory that has been blockaded by Israel and Egypt for the past 16 years.
Clean water is running out after Gaza’s water plant and public water networks stopped working because of a lack of fuel, the U.N. said, adding that people are resorting to drinking dirty water from wells, increasing the risks of waterborne diseases. Gaza’s three water desalination plants, which were producing 21 million liters of drinking water a day, have also halted operations because they are without fuel.
Israel provided water to Gaza before the Hamas attack a week ago, but cut off the supply on Oct. 9, the U.N. said.
The displaced people are grappling with the threats from airstrikes above, the lack of water and the absence of virtually any havens to take refuge from it all.
On Saturday, a doctor from the Al-Shifa hospital, the biggest medical center in Gaza where thousands of wounded people and people seeking shelter from the airstrikes are staying, was killed in an Israeli airstrike. He had gone home to take supplies to his family after a week of working straight through and not leaving the hospital, according to Gazan authorities. Several members of his family were also killed.
They were among more than 300 people reported killed on Saturday, including 90 children and 107 women, according to the Palestinian Authority’s Foreign Ministry in the West Bank.
At least 70 people caught up in the exodus from northern Gaza on Friday were killed when Israeli airstrikes hit a convoy of vehicles fleeing south, according to the Gazan authorities. Israel said it was looking into the matter.
At least 2,215 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since last Saturday, the territory’s Health Ministry said, including 724 children and 458 women. More than 8,700 have been wounded.
By Saturday, displaced families were crammed into schools and hospitals in the south, while others crowded into the houses of friends and family. Many more were sleeping out in the open in the streets even as Israeli airstrikes, including on southern Gaza, continued.
When Mr. Abu Hasaan and his family arrived on Friday at the training center in Khan Younis, they found no mattresses or blankets. Even basics like soap in the bathrooms were missing, Mr. Abu Hasaan said. But water remained their primary concern.
“It’s very hard to have enough water for the people who are displaced,” he said.
“Sometimes, people ask for water from each other,” he added. “But those who still have water only have a little, so people are ashamed to ask. And if they are able to give, it’s only a small amount. But people are still helping each other.”
Aid groups were struggling to distribute any supplies as their own stocks, including fuel and food, dwindled amid the Israeli siege. The International Committee of the Red Cross said it was able to distribute some fuel to water tank trucks so they could make their rounds, as well as fuel for some water pumping.
“It’s a struggle for life here,” said a Gaza resident, Zeina Ghanem, speaking on Saturday morning from a training center run by UNRWA in southern Gaza. “There’s no food. There’s no water. There’s no sleep.”
There were 500 displaced people from northern Gaza — men, women and children — all packed into one small hall, she said.
Many Gazans chose not to heed the evacuation order, saying that the south was no safer than the north, and that they would rather die at home. They also feared that those who left their homes would not be allowed back, a repeat of the 1948 mass displacement of more than 700,000 Palestinians who were either expelled or fled their homes in present-day Israel and were never allowed to return.
Many in Gaza City in the north, the main population center in the territory, refused to leave and instead sought shelter in the city’s schools and hospitals.
The hospitals are also overwhelmed by both wounded people from the weeklong assault, as well as by families seeking safety in their corridors and courtyards.
Israel ordered Al Quds hospital in Gaza City, which is run by the Palestine Red Crescent Society, to be evacuated on Saturday, according to the organization.
The hospital’s administration said it would not evacuate patients, including some who were in the intensive care unit, as well as dozens of others, including children in incubators and those wounded by Israeli airstrikes.
It was not the only hospital in Gaza to get a direct order from Israel to evacuate.
The Red Crescent said on Friday that it did not have the means to evacuate the sick and wounded from hospitals, nor older or disabled people.
Raja Abdulrahim is a Middle East correspondent based in Jerusalem covering the Levant. (NY Times)
UN REPORT IN A NUTSHELL
GAZA WITHOUT MERCY
by Jeffrey St. Clair
“I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we will act accordingly.”
– Yoav Gallant, Israel Defense Minister
+ You won’t have to interrogate them afterward. They’re explicit about the war crimes they’re planning to commit.
+ On Friday, the Israeli President, Isaac Herzog, doubled down on the idea of collective punishment on the eve of a ground offensive, claiming there were no “innocent” Gazans and that all who remain (and, really, where can they go?) should pay the retributive price for Hamas’ attacks: “It’s not true, this rhetoric about civilians [being] unaware, uninvolved. It’s absolutely not true. They could have risen up. They could have fought against that evil regime which took over Gaza in a coup d’etat.”
+ When you declare total war against Gaza, which has been under perpetual siege since 1967 after being seized by Israel during the Six Day War, what is it you’re going to war against? There are no airbases, no army bases, no tank battalions, no air defense systems, no naval ports, no oil refineries, no rail system, no troop barracks, no armored personnel carriers, no howitzers, no satellite systems, no attack helicopters, no fighter jets, no anti-tank batteries, no submarines, no command-and-control centers. Just people, most of them women and kids. It’s why the entire population must be dehumanized, turned into “human animals” whose lives don’t matter.
+ According to Johannes Steizinger, “human animals” was a term frequently used by the Nazi race theorists about Jews, Slavs, gypsies, and blacks, who held that “only some groups of people “groups of people meet the metaphysical criterion of being human. Members of these groups are considered as essentially and hence fully human. However, other groups are reduced to the biological sense of being human. They simply lack the metaphysical essence of humanity and are thus characterized as human animals. These creatures are human only from the naturalistic point of view, but not human from a metaphysical point of view. Thus, they are regarded as subhumans who are not fully human.” (Johnannes Steizinger, The Significance of Dehumanization: Nazi Ideology and Its Psychological Consequences, 2018.)
+ The reaction in the US to Hamas’s attacks was more hysterical, the calls for ultra-violence more grotesque, and the lack of dissent more uniform, than in Israel itself (which is saying something because Netanyahu blustered this week that “Every member of Hamas is a dead man”)…
+ Joe Biden controls the flow of money and arms to Israel and is one of the few global figures who could have exerted some restraint on Netanyahu’s vows to destroy Gaza as we know it. Instead, he played his customary role, one he has perfected over the last 40 years, of an enabler for the Apartheid State’s worst impulses. Biden stifled any voices inside his administration urging a ceasefire, doomed as those lonely calls may have been, and instead pledged “unwavering” support for an Israel regime that has consistently ridiculed him and repeatedly flouted modest requests that it curtail the violent encroachment of Israeli settlements into the West Bank. While Biden expressed condolences to the families of the Israeli dead and wounded, he said nothing about the Palestinian families in the confined ghetto of Gaza, whose neighborhoods were being pulverized by Israeli airstrikes financed by the US.
+ A handful of Democratic lawmakers, led by Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush and Andre Carson, have called for a ceasefire. They’ve been swiftly rebuked by the Biden White House. In a press briefing on Wednesday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre fumed: “I’ve seen some of those statements this weekend. We’re going to continue to be very clear. We believe they are wrong. We believe they’re repugnant and we believe they’re disgraceful.”
+ Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley is considered one of the most reasonable of the current crop of Republicans. “Finish them.” Genocide is now her campaign theme.
+ Lil Marco went on CNN to join the Genocide Caucus…
+ Lindsey Graham has reverted back to John “Bomb-Bomb-Bomb Iran” mode: “We are in a religious war, and I am with Israel…Level the place.”
Graham: We’re in a religious war and I unapologetically Stand with Israel.+ Josh Hawley, not the anti-interventionist Glenn Greenwald might’ve led you to believe he was: “Any funding for Ukraine should be redirected to Israel immediately.”
+ John the Hoodie Fetterman is hardly much better: “I support any necessary military, intelligence, and humanitarian aid to Israel. I also fully support Israel neutralizing the terrorists responsible for this barbarism.”
+ Come and get your “peace candidate,” Jimmy Dore…
+ You can’t make this up: Dennis Kucinich is out as RFK Junior’s campaign manager and has been replaced by RFK’s daughter-in-law, Amaryllis Fox, a former CIA officer!
+ I guess you can thank Michelle Obama for helping to rehabilitate this guy…
George W. Bush: “Negotiating with killers is not the option for the elected government of Israel.”
+ Then there’s poor Mike Pence, who really is dumber than his mentor Dan Quayle: “If I was President of the United States, I’d have the team in the Situation Room and direct the Joint Special Operations Command to stand up special forces and have them immediately be prepared to deploy into Gaza…I’d tell Hamas: You either give up all the American hostages, give up all the Israeli hostages, or we are going in with IDF forces.”
+ One of the few endearing attributes of the MAGA-trons was their professed belief that US involvement in Middle East wars was a bad idea. Well, goodbye to all that…
+ These frothing demands for collective punishment of a defenseless population traduce every pretense of the West’s devotion to rules-based warfare it has professed since the slaughter at the Somme.
+ There are currently around 500 hundred US citizens living in Gaza. How many of them have been killed or wounded? Had their apartments destroyed? Or will now be forced to somehow flee northern Gaza with their kids or grandparents to god knows what safe shelter?
+ Only Israel is allowed to act in “self-defense.” It is a term reserved for the powerful, a shield against the daily acts of violence, coercion, land theft, illegal detention and economic strangulation imposed on a captive population, whose own self-defense is termed “terrorism” and thus becomes yet another justification for inflicting more overwhelming state violence–what any rational person would call “terrorism”–on impoverished and largely defenseless people.
+ The obvious parallel to Gaza is the Tet Offensive, which was a defeat for the Vietnamese, but it was the defeat that won the war, exposing the vincibility of the US military machine. It also triggered something deep in the psyche of the American occupiers, who responded with attacks of pointless savagery. The massacres and gang rapes at My Lai were a direct response to Tet. Netanyahu has vowed that Israel’s response will be equally sadistic, which is, of course, a sign of its own weakness–moral and military–and a harbinger of its ruin.
+ All of the “security raids” and airstrikes Israel has conducted almost non-stop for the last few years have done nothing to make Israel more “secure.” Based on yesterday’s “surprise” counter-attack, they’ve done just the opposite. That’s because the raids were never about “security.” They were motivated by territorial expansion and the need to tighten Israel’s control over an occupied population– illegal incursions that would be resisted by any besieged society.
+ When the Israeli generals talk of leveling Gaza, keep in mind what that means. Gaza is one of the most densely populated areas on earth, with 5,500 people squeezed into each square kilometer with no exits. More than 10 times the average population density of Israel.
+ The reports were horrific and they ignited the internet for three days: Hamas had killed and beheaded 40 babies in the village of Kfar Aza. It’s the kind of story that would make the most devout Quaker want to pick up a rocket launcher. But did it happen? Even Biden fell for (or exploited for his own purposes), the ghoulish reports: “I never really thought that I would see…have confirmed pictures of terrorists beheading children.” The White House had to walk this claim back hours later, admitting that U.S. officials and the president have not seen pictures or confirmed such reports independently. (He was arrested in South Africa trying to free Nelson Mandela, too.)
Four days later, the IDF, whose soldiers retook the village and recovered the bodies of its slain inhabitants, still refused to confirm the account, which originated with Israel’s i24 News, a network with close ties to the Netanyahu family. One of the primary sources for the story appears to have been a militant Israeli settler leader named David Ben Zion, who has a history of making calls for mass violence against Palestinians. There are plenty of precedents for this type of story, perhaps none more glaring than the allegation that Iraq forces had killed hundreds of Kuwaiti babies by throwing them out of their incubators leaving them to die on hospital floors, a claim used to justify the Gulf War. It didn’t take much digging to expose the heart-wrenching story as a fraud, part of a propaganda campaign run by the Hill and Knowlton PR firm and financed by the government of Kuwait.
+ All wars breed atrocities and Hamas’ attacks have certainly been no exception to that rule. There are atrocities we are meant to see and atrocities we aren’t. Atrocities which are treated as war crimes are almost invariably committed by the losing or weaker side. Thus the current spectacle at Gitmo, where the torturers are sitting in judgment of the tortured. Though many questions remain, the slaughter at the rave in the Negev is criminal by any standard. But so were the US dronings of wedding parties in Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan, by a military armed with the most sophisticated intelligence technology and precision weaponry. One is treated as an obscene crime, the other as a regrettable accident, though one which happened routinely.
+ Secretary of State Antony Blinken before leaving DC to meet with Netanyahu in Israel: “What separates Israel, the US and other democracies when it comes to difficult situations like this, is our respect for international law and the laws of war. Hamas uses children as human shields.” Human Rights Watch’s Omar Shakir, a few hours after Blinken’s ludicrous statement: “HRW has confirmed—based on verified video & witness accounts—that Israel used white phosphorus in Gaza & Lebanon. White phosphorus causes excruciating burns—causing lifelong suffering—and can set homes afire. Its use in populated areas is unlawful.”
+ Using children as “human shields” is morally offensive. Killing them anyway is depraved.
+ Since 2000, Israeli forces have killed 7779 Palestinians in Gaza alone, including 1741 children and 572 women, according to a database maintained by the Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. By contrast, 448 Israeli forces and 881 Israeli citizens have been killed by Palestinians.
+ IDF spokesman Daniel Hagari: “The emphasis is on (creating) damage, not precision.”
+ On Thursday, the Israeli Air Force announced that over the last five days it had dropped 6,000 bombs, hitting more than 3,600 targets in Gaza. That’s more than the United States dropped during any month of the five-year-long US air campaign against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
+ As of Thursday, Gaza’s health ministry has reported that 1,417 people have been killed and around 6,268 wounded– 447 children and 248 women are counted among the casualties.
Sky News: “What about those Palestinians who are in hospital on life support & babies in incubators that will have to be turned off because Israelis have cut the power to Gaza?”
Ex-Israeli PM Naftali Bennett: “Are you seriously asking me about Palestinian civilians? What’s wrong wth you?”
+ In the northern Gaza city of Beit Hanoun, Palestinian families were told by the Israeli army to leave their homes and head for the Jabalia refugee camp in the city center. Hours later, the IDF bombed the city center.
+ More than 180,000 Palestinians in Gaza are squeezed into U.N. shelters as Israel continues to pulverize the Strip with airstrikes every four hours. There is no safe passage out. And nowhere to go if there were. The U.N. reported on Tuesday that one of its shelters suffered a direct and five others have been damaged.
+ As of Thursday morning, the UN estimated that more than 338,000 Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza by thousands of Israeli airstrikes. 500,000 Gazans have no access to food relief because UNRWA was forced to close 14 food distribution centers. Gaza’s sole power plant is out of fuel; 11 UN staffers have been killed by Israeli air strikes; 13 health facilities have been hit; hospitals are facing dire shortages; and all of the border crossings are closed.
+ Dr Khamis Elessi, a neuro-rehabilitation and pain medicine consultant based in Gaza City, told the BBC: “Everywhere you go, you see funerals, you see death, buildings collapsing. It’s like you’re watching a movie about the end of life on this Earth. The kids are crying and screaming. There’s no electricity. There’s no internet. So you feel you could be next.”
+ Dr. Ghassan Abu Sittah, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon in Gaza: “The hospitals, because of the siege, are so short of supplies that we had to clean a teenage girl with 70% body surface burns with regular soap because the hospital is out of chlorhexidine (antiseptic).”
+ There are an estimated 50,000 pregnant women unable to access clean water in Gaza– 5,500 of those women are due to give birth in the next month.
+ Over the history of the Occupation, more than half of all Palestinian males have been detained at least once by Israeli forces.
+ It stretches credulity to claim, as so many have, that Hamas’s attack was unprovoked. The Nakba, which continues to this day, was “unprovoked.” By the same measure, it is absurd to claim that Hamas “invaded” Israel. Is it really possible to invade your own homeland, even if they’ve tried to fence you out?
+ The Israeli military will provide settlers throughout the West Bank with around 1000 M16 rifles (presumably actually US-made M4). In other words, paramilitary death squads, armed with US weapons, like in Colombia, Guatemala and El Salvador…
+ But many, if not most, former Israeli military leaders understand the futility of Netanyahu’s war. Here’s the former head of IDF strategic planning Shlomo Brom, writing in The Economist: “It is absurd to hope that Israel can indefinitely contain with its military might and security services millions of Palestinians who claim the right to self-determination and a free, normal life.”
+ The Israeli press, not just Haaretz, and public have a far more acute understanding of where the blame lies for the current spasm of violence than the US press: “Four out of five Jewish Israelis believe the government and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are to blame for the mass infiltration of Hamas terrorists and the massacre of Israel’s South, a new poll released on Thursday found.”
But there was a problem for the hawks and war profiteers. Gaza is not, to paraphrase Donald Rumsfeld on Afghanistan a “target-rich environment.” The Hamas attacks, which many dubbed “Israel’s 9/11,” were ripe for exploitation into a wider war. The challenge was to identify the real culprit, the hidden hand directing Hamas’s horrorshow. It didn’t take long to settle on one: Iran. And good old Joe Lieberman, Obama’s former mentor in the Senate, who now heads a war-mongering outfit called United Against Nuclear Iran, was one of the first to issue the West’s fatwah:
+ Trump’s former National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, who wrote a book on how the US should have fought the Vietnam War (much more savagely), is all in on hitting Iran.+ Meanwhile, Biden’s National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan seems only slightly less eager: “Iran is complicit in this attack in a broad sense…they have supported Hamas in the past.” Well, if that’s the standard for complicity, then so is Israel, which nurtured Hamas for years as a rival to the PLO and, later, the Palestinian Authority. Take it from the Times of Israel or the Wall Street Journal…
+ CNN, now back in Iraq war mode, brought on John Bolton–who falsely claimed Iraq was behind 9/11– to assert with no evidence that Iran directed the timing of the Hamas attack.
+ The bad news Bolton and for the Bomb Iran Chorus is that according to a report by NBCNews American spy agencies have gotten intelligence that shows Iranian leaders were surprised by Hamas’ attack on Israel. Of course, such intelligence undercutting a drive for war hasn’t stopped the hawks in the past.
+ Haaretz called for the immediate exchange of prisoners between Israel and Hamas: “No government, and certainly not the most reckless government in Israel’s history, has the right to traffic in the lives of innocent civilians and decide to sacrifice them on the altar of national pride. We must pay whatever is demanded, with no delays, no fancy maneuvering and no tricks.”
+ Apparently, it’s not about the hostages for the Netanyahu regime. Bezalel Smotrich, Israel’s rightwing Minister of Finance: “We have to be cruel now and not consider the captives overmuch.”
+ For years, the IDF has kidnapped and held Palestinians without trial. Currently, Israel is holding more than 1,100 Palestinians in “administrative detention” in violation of international law. Some might call them hostages…
+ Netanyahu’s “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” moment? Abbas Kamel, the powerful head of Egyptian intelligence, called Netanyahu 10 days before the attack, according to the Associated Press. Kamel warned that “something unusual, a terrible operation” was about to take place. Kamel was said to be aghast at Netanyahu’s passivity.
+ Earlier this year, Ronen Bar, the head of Israel’s domestic intelligence service, Shin Bet, warned Netanyahu that violent attacks on Palestinians by Israeli settlers were going to threaten Israel’s security. His warnings were dismissed and he was fiercely denounced by members of Netanyahu’s Likud Party in the Knesset for being too woke. One of them griped: “The ideology of the Left has reached the upper echelons of Shin Bet. The Deep State has infiltrated Shin Bet and the IDF.”
+ Since 1946, Israel has pocketed $124.3 billion in military aid from the United States, including $12.4 billion since 2020. More is coming.
+ Haaretz reported that US Secretary of State Tony Blinken twice deleted Tweets calling for a cease-fire and urging Israel to exercise restraint. So it seems clear US diplomats have abandoned any attempt at diplomacy.
+ James Zogby:” Outrageous: the US deletes two statements calling for “ceasefire” or to “refrain from violence & retaliatory attacks,” replacing them w/ all out support for whatever Israel wants to do. We are not a solution. We are the enabler of occupation & escalation. Thousands more will die.”
+ Meanwhile, in an interview on MSNBC Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, compared the recent Palestine solidarity events to the 1939 Nazi rally at Madison Square Garden.
+ The minimum wage in Gaza is about $11 a day. But fully 80 percent of Gaza’s private workforce earns much less than that meager amount, with a median income of only $167 a month. That’s if you can find a job. Before the bombing, the unemployment rate on the Strip had risen to 45%.
+ Let’s see: Crusade I, Crusades II, the Albigensian Crusade, the Northern Crusades, the Aragonese Crusade, the Spanish Inquisition, the conquest of the “New” World, the French Wars of Religion, the Thirty Years War, the English Revolution, Jacobite Rising, the Irish Revolution, the Spanish Civil War, World War II, The Troubles, the War on Terror…
+ Haaretz’s lede editorial, October 7, 2023: “The disaster that befell Israel is the clear responsibility of one person: Benjamin Netanyahu. The prime minister… completely failed to identify the dangers he was consciously leading Israel into when establishing a government of annexation and dispossession, while embracing a foreign policy that openly ignored the existence and rights of Palestinians”.
+ Netanyahu to his Likud Party Knesset members in March 2019: “Anyone who wants to thwart the establishment of a Palestinian state has to support bolstering Hamas and transferring money to Hamas. This is part of our strategy.” And you wonder why conspiratorialists believe Netanyahu’s government wanted this to happen…
+ There aren’t many Tony Benns left in the world. Probably there never were…
+ Biden has ordered the USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group to deploy near Israel this week in support of the country. That group includes the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy; and four Arleigh-Burke-class guided missile destroyers—USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney, and USS Roosevelt. One of the last times the US did this was during the Six-Day War, when the Israelis attacked and almost sank the USS Liberty. killing 34 US sailors and wounding 174.
+ Is there room enough in the Mediterranean for the armada of ships racing from the US and UK to support Israel against a captive population that doesn’t have a Navy? Wouldn’t they be better served rescuing migrants in unseaworthy dinghies fleeing the nations destroyed by NATO bombs? But aid here is only allowed for those who already have plenty. Recall that in 2010, Israel attacked the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, a group of six ships trying to break the naval blockade and bring humanitarian aid to the starving residents of Gaza. The Israeli navy forcibly boarded the Turkish ship MV Mavi Marmara. When some of the activists on board tried to fend off the Israeli commandos with iron rods, the Israelis opened fire, killing 9 Turkish citizens and one Turkish-American, 19-year-old Furkan Doğan, a high school student who was born in Troy, New York. Dozens were injured.
+ The late Swedish novelist Henning Mankill, author of the Wallander series, was on board one of the other ships in the Flotilla, the Sofia, when it was also halted and raided by Israeli soldiers in international waters. “I think the Israeli military went out to commit murder,” Mankell said a few days after the attacks. “If they had wanted to stop us they could have attacked our rudder and propeller, instead they preferred to send masked commando soldiers to attack us. This was Israel’s choice to do this.”
+ Pentagon insiders say the move is intended to send an explicit message to Iran, One official told NBCNews: “This is all about deterring Iran.”
+ As the Hamas offensive began, I had just started reading Nathan Thrall’s A Day in the Life of Abed Salama, one of the most vivid accounts ever written of what it’s like for Palestinians living under Israeli occupation. Here he is writing about the post-Oslo era, as Israel prepared to carve up the Palestinian territories into smaller and smaller islands, divided by checkpoints, fences, walls, settlements and highways.
The prospect of a PLO-led police force operating in West Bank cities was a radical departure for Israel. To accommodate it, Dany Tirza planned a new transportation network to separate Jewish settlers from Palestinians, creating the bypass roads and highways that would allow Jews to travel around rather than through the Palestinian cities and checkpoints, and setting up what the army called “sterile roads” that Palestinians were not allowed to use at all.
In parallel, he designed a system of underpasses and circuitous routes for Palestinian villagers who were barred from accessing the settler highways cutting through their lands. These were given the benevolent-sounding name of “fabric of life” roads. In private, Israeli officials called them something more honest. Speaking to the US ambassador in Tel Aviv, who summarized the conversation in a diplomatic cable, Israel’s deputy defense minister referred to them as “apartheid roads.”
+ They knew the kind of occupation they were creating from the beginning and precisely what it was modeled on.
+ Yes, there are two sides to this war. But only “one side” has an air force. Only “one side” has a Navy. Only “one side” has guided missiles. Only “one side” has phosphorous bombs. Only “one side” has tanks. Only “one side” has an air defense system. Only “one side” has nuclear weapons. Only “one side” controls the water supply, electrical power and food supplies of the other. Only “one side” has freedom of movement. Only “one side” gets $3 billion a year from the US government and an “unwavering” pledge to refill their stockpiles of depleted munitions.