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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday 2/27/24

Sunny | Snow Plant | Vet Complaints | AV Log | BOLO Hoaglin | Gaza Resolution | Join Us | Special Event | Campaign Donors | Offshore Cloud | Voter Guide | Variety Show | Election Integrity | Vote Brown | Daffodils | No Mo | Rusty Greenwash | Fire Talk | Ballot Confusion | Sketchy Magi | Open Mic | New Tractor | Health Tips | Elk 1964 | Record Building | Yesterday's Catch | Flood Impact | Original Joes | Greenson Recognized | Harsh Days | Mr Peanut | Mental Hospitals | Doggie Diner | Paper Bags | So Old | Toothpaste Code | Giant Eye | Street Scene | Neo-Nazi Trick | Oldsters | Gaza Topics | Oscar Disgust | Gaza Ghosts | Jim Thorpe | Thermidorian Reaction | Poetry Reading | Uncommon Events | Window Shade

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COOLER AIR settled in this morning behind a front tonight. A multifaceted, powerful and very cold storm system will then unleash brief heavy rain, strong winds, heavy snowfall and small hail Thursday into the weekend. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): 43F under clear skies this Tuesday morning on the coast. Enjoy the warm temps (& breeze) today as temps start to cool down tomorrow, will be quite cold by the weekend. Rain returns on Wednesday night into Sunday morning.

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Snow Plant (photo by Falcon)

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I worked in the Veteran Service Office (VSO) of Mendocino County for 11 years and was the Veteran Service Officer for 5 of those. Just want to clarify what our complaints are. 

Around 15 years ago our office was being evicted from our leased space on Talmage due to another county deficient. At that time there were people in the County government and some of the BOS that had respect for the Veterans of our county. That seems to no longer exist. Actions speak much louder than words. Our staff went out and found the building on Observatory empty. It is a county-owned building. We asked for the building and this was granted. Since that time the office has existed there and helped many Veterans and their dependents. The BOS has given us many unsubstantiated reasons for this move. The latest ones are employee safety and parking. Never was there an issue of safety or parking. The Observatory building is adjacent to the mental health building with its huge parking lot. 

The veterans found this space to be a welcoming and healthy environment. Many of these veterans had never sought help and were unsure of what the office could do for them. Still, many others had had bad experiences with the VA in the past, especially the Viet Nam Vets. Some are in wheelchairs or have mobility issues. This house was a welcoming door for them to enter. 

Then in the early part of Dec 2023, the VSO was given less than 2 weeks to pack up and be moved to the mental health building. No word was given to anybody. It was kept hushed. There was so little time to get ready that the movers threw out 15 years of memorabilia that was on the walls or desks. There was a picture of one of our vets standing by the piled items (junk to the county) holding a picture of the BOS back around 2010 giving a plaque of appreciation to the VSO and the American Legion and VFW of Ukiah. Many of the Vets in that picture are no longer with us. Now the picture is not either. 

The office was moved to the Mental health building. Two small coffin-like offices were given to the VSO. Neither office is wheelchair accessible. We have several testaments of Veterans not being able to maneuver inside these offices. Since then, they finally gave the VSO one more office which is bigger. So, of the 3 offices, one is fit for clients with mobility issues or PTSD-like problems. This is so unsatisfactory. 

Two of the BOS members, Mo Mulheren and John Haschak offered to put pictures on the walls in the sterile hallways to try and make it more inviting. This space does not fit the needs of our veterans or the veteran's service office staff, regardless of how many pictures are put on the wall. Mo even brought a house plant to soothe away all the problems. Again, total disrespect.

Now we have just discovered that this coming Tuesday, they have on their agenda a deficient budget to try to correct their failure to balance the county's finances. On that list is to finalize the move of the VSO to the Mental Health building. We want to voice our disapproval. 

Please try and get as many members of your posts to attend this meeting. It is short notice. That was their plan. We discovered this agenda just yesterday. I am sure they were hoping we would not notice. 

The air quality control is now in the old VSO office. The Veterans are crammed into a sterile-like environment. This should be an outrage to all Veterans of our county and counties near us. 

Please show your support for the VSO office and be at the Administration Building on Low Gap Road by 0845, Tuesday, Feb. Public opinion begins at 0900. Let's let them know what we think. 

— Carl Stenberg

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Good morning veterans,

I agree with you all. This appears to be how Mendocino County thanks their veterans for our service. 

I have attached the BOS agenda for Tuesday's meeting highlighting Item 4c.

Since this is on the agenda public comments will be taken before the board discussion of the agenda item. I believe you sign up before the meeting to speak.

Also attached is the Deficit Plan including on page 3 items 3, 5,and 9.

Related to this discussion. 

I would encourage all of us to write now on this item:

24-0298 Budget Deficit Plan

Real Estate/Consolidations 

Items 3,5, and 9.

Since many of our veterans are aging and passing it is up to the younger veterans to take up the cause and make sure Veterans Services are available for the future veterans.

I will send a letter and attend via Zoom.

Richard Neils 

Commander American Legion Post 96


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NO! on 24-0298 Budget Deficit Plan, Real Estate Consolidations, Items 3,5.9… YES, Move the VSO back to Observatory location. Send Air Quality to Dora Street or anywhere else.

Please All Veterans, Call all Veterans you know & encourage them to attend BOS meeting tomorrow or place Online in “Public Comments” addressing this Eviction/Relocation. Or call in VIA ZOOM. Be heard! 

Burying this Agenda Item deep in multiple layers of the agenda was an AMBUSH. A unilateral executive decision hoping no one would notice until the dozing off Board of Supervisors votes to “Approve” this sneaky, deceitful “Deficit Plan” in total. 

GET THERE Early 8:30-8:45 and/or post your Public Comment.

Thanks & see you Tuesday.

Don Shanley (Vietnam Infantry Vet) & Laura Quatrochi


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Anderson Valley Log

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Authorities are looking for a Ukiah man, who is 21, weighs about 160 pounds and is 5 feet, 9 inches tall.

by Madison Smalstig

A Ukiah man who police said shot another man last week in Santa Rosa is still at large and potentially armed.

Nathan Little Bear Hoaglin, 21, is suspected of shooting a 26-year-old Santa Rosa man in the shoulder Feb. 18 in the 500 block of Barham Avenue, according to a Santa Rosa police news release, just south of downtown.

Officers were dispatched about 3:55 p.m. that day to a local hospital, where the injured man was being treated. He was later released.

During their investigation, police learned the man was standing with friends on Barham Avenue when an argument began with another group, which included Hoaglin, because of a “presumed gang affiliation,” Sgt. Patricia Seffens said Monday.

“We believe both groups are affiliated with criminal street gangs,” Seffens said. “As this is an on-going investigation, specific details about the exact affiliation or who started the argument cannot be disclosed at this time.”

During the dispute, Hoaglin pulled out a firearm and shot the man, she said.

Authorities have issued an arrest warrant for Hoaglin for suspected attempted homicide. They are also searching for the firearm involved in the shooting, which police said could be gang-related.

Hoaglin has brown hair and brown eyes, is approximately 5 feet, 9 inches tall, and weighs about 160 pounds.

Residents should assume Hoaglin is “armed and dangerous,” the release said. Individuals should call 911 if they spot him and not approach him.

Anyone with information about this investigation is encouraged to contact the SRPD Gang Crimes Team by calling 707-543-4021 or through the online Tip Line at

A reward of up to $2,500 is being offered by the Sonoma County Alliance Community Engagement and Safety Rewards Fund for information leading to the arrest of the suspect or suspects involved in this case.

(Santa Rosa Press Democrat)

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Last night the City Council passed a Resolution in support of a ceasefire in Gaza, joining many other U.S. cities small and large in urging our Federal Government to stop military aid to Israel. This humanitarian crisis has gone on far too long and most of its victims have been defenseless civilians, many of whom are women and children. It is our hope that if enough cities voice their opposition to these acts of genocide, perhaps the powers that be will listen and move to end this senseless violence. We were careful not to take sides in this fight. We just want it to stop.

As a great songwriter once said:

            "All we are saying is
             give Peace a chance."

Lindy Peters
City Council
Fort Bragg, Ca.

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Dear Anderson Valley Community,

Please be advised that there is a special event today for drunk driving awareness that has been staged by the students as part of a senior project. It does involve emergency equipment at the Junior Senior High School. Please do not be alarmed if you see the medical and emergency response. The reenactment occurs at approximately 12:30 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Louise Simson
Anderson Valley Unified School District
Cell: 707-684-1017

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I hope Editor Anderson is doing okay; anything one can do to help?

Years ago you posted a link to campaign donors. I went to the site listed in the sample ballot voter info booklet and found it to be obfuscating at best. I remember seeing a clear “so and so gave such and such to ‘our hero’.” Do you have a link to that info? Anything one can do to help?

Peter Lit

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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Events long ago overwhelmed the two-party system, a system offering people drawn to public office to enrich themselves in an apparatus funded by malign forces. It all looks like entropy to me, but with a violent attack on the whole show coming right up in November.

Voting, at this point, is futile, but I've been doing it for so long I look forward to the democratic charade and never fail to participate as if it matters, although it does matter at the purely local level here in Mendocino County

Which brings me to the elections for Supervisor where Bernie Norvell, Mayor of Fort Bragg, promises to become the first real Fourth District Supervisor since John Cimolino. His competition is a young-ish, disoriented woman who seems to have walked into the wrong room in Ukiah and magically emerged a candidate. 

Mo Mulheren, having established that she has zero business in public office, is one of five reasons the county is on the verge of civic collapse. Blithely voting yes with her four irresponsible colleagues, Mo is opposed by the impressive Jacob Brown, former Marine, backed by such influential Ukiah liberals as Barry Vogel, and a sure sign that Mo is finished and that Mendocino County at last has a shot at an effective board of supervisors. Predictably, she's supported by the lamebrains of the local Democratic Party and the kind of estranged women who think any woman is preferable to any man.

The First District offers the two of the strongest candidates in years, Adam Gaska and Carrie Shattuck. The Democrats, natch, are either supporting two other unqualified people solely because they're Democrats or because they're tools of the Wine Mafia and/or the Farm Bureau. These two, a very young cowgirl from Potter Valley named Cline, and a grinning cipher called Trevor Mockel, who is endorsed by the Democrats because he worked for State Senator Mike McGuire and McGuire told the local Democrats, “Support this guy or you'll never get to meet Adam Schiff.” If you haven't noticed, the state Democrats try to insert these empty-headed Manchurian candidates wherever they can. cf Rusty Hicks, a hustling carpetbagger from LA supported by Assemblyman Wood and, of course, the lockstep local Democrats. Jim Armstrong said he'd vote for Mockel and Cline for homecoming king and queen.

At the depressing state level, I'm voting for Katie Porter because she isn't Adam Schiff, the latter a certain sign that our country is in free fall decay.

Whoever Armando ‘Mando’ Perez Serrato is, he got my vote for president over the mumbling, stumbling cadaver called Joe Biden, another symbol of an utterly corrupt Democratic Party.

Jolian Jo Kangas for Congress because he isn't the yes vote for the mass murder of Palestinians that our incumbent congressman is, and because he's from Humboldt County, works for a living, and serves as a foster parent.

FRANKIE MEYERS, state assembly. Yurok tribal officer not backed by the Democrats. His campaign statements are a load of the usual cliches, but his roots on the Northcoast go all the way back to the land bridge from Asia. The dude has seniority! And can he be any worse than his predecessor? Whatever you do, do not vote for carpetbagger Rusty Hicks, the candidate of the Democrat’s machine.

Proposition One. Shifts fiscal responsibility from counties to the state for the ever larger numbers of walking wounded, the vast army who lost the War of Capitalism. Despite millions spent, no real plan of remediation is in sight.

Of course we all support the ongoing vehicle abatement program.

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Tsk tsk. We are living in a time of public distrust of election integrity, concern about voter disenfranchisement, suspicion regarding ballot-counting manipulation and potential subsequent impacts on voter turnout. Everyone involved with election administration should be on heightened alert when performing election process duties. That the County of Mendocino Elections Office’s vendor’s vendor dispersed incorrect ballots is an irresponsible error of monumental proportions. 

Our election now smacks of impropriety. There are tens of thousands of invalid ballots loosely strewn all over the county. Thousands of registered voters await delivery of their corrected ballots to cast their vote in the primary election — on time. Although the County reports that “the vendor” will disseminate replacement ballots at its expense, there is clearly expense to the County (taxpayers) for cleaning up this mess — fielding phone calls from the public, scrambling to identify reception of invalid ballots and to contact these voters, putting in place strict verification measures for replacement ballots cast and assuring non-duplicative votes are counted. Not to mention the immediate and ongoing investigative responses and communications with the public. 

The County’s “Q&A regarding incorrect Mendocino County ballots,” is thorough and helpful in its comprehensive coverage of what went wrong and what’s being done to correct this situation. How interesting it is that “…this appears to be an unfortunate case of a simple human error…” Unfortunate? Simple? How unfathomable it is that one individual can “simply” upend an entire institution. How fragile we are. 

Here is a question that the Q&A did not address. How are we, the voters of Mendocino County, the voters of the United States, to have our confidence restored — in this, a fundamental civil right of citizens in a democracy? 

Carol Stump


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A READER WRITES: I must disagree with the Ukiah Daily Journal recommendation for the Second Supervisorial district. Candidate Jacob Brown has broad experience which demonstrates his ability to analyze and handle difficult situations, without being unduly deterred by either internal or external pressure. He holds a degree in Management, which gives him the knowledge required to successfully administer a wide variety of endeavors. Candidates like this do not come along often. We should not pass on the opportunity to elect Jacob Brown because of some misguided loyalty to a struggling incumbent.

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(photo by Larry Wagner)

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I have supported Mo Mulheren in the past, but I find that I can no longer. The get along / go along behaviors are disconcerting to say the least. I can find no instance of critical thinking or critical questions being put forward by her to such pressing issues as the surprise relocation of the Veteran’s Service Office on Observatory Avenue and its subsequent placement into the recesses of the Public Health Department, to the absolute detriment of local Veterans. Her vote to fire an elected official, Chamise Cubbison, at the behest of the District Attorney. Her vote to consolidate the offices of Auditor-Controller and Treasurer/Tax Collectors offices that was pushed by this same DA (who also went in front of the Board of Supervisors to register his vehement opposition to Ms. Cubbison’s appointment as Auditor, most probably due to her investigation of his possible misappropriation of County funds). 

These are major issues, and hers has not been an independent voice asking critical questions as to need, motivation and the legality of the decisions that are being made. 

Mo no longer has my vote. 

Gail Dammuller


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Assembly District 2: A Greenwashed Finish?

Rusty Hicks positioned himself as an environmentalist for Assembly District 2, supported by an endorsement from California Environmental Voters. This move comes after criticisms for not adhering to a fossil fuel pledge during his tenure as state party chair. Interestingly, the board of the endorsing organization lists a Sandra Sanchez, coincidentally sharing the name with Hicks' wife.

Is this endorsement a case of greenwashing? Will the public tolerate?

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The League of Women Voters has been following the issue of the wrong ballots being sent out as well as the recent issue of some people receiving two ballots. By now, all should have received a second ballot with the yellow paper explaining that they should destroy the “wrong ballot.”

A small number of people who either visited DMV or re-registered to vote after the voter file was sent to the vendor on January 10 received an additional ballot.

On the issue of receiving more than one ballot, Katrina Bartolomie said that there have been instances of people — re-registering through the DMV without realizing it because it’s an automatic question that pops up. And if they don’t realize it and don’t choose a party, they can receive a nonpartisan ballot.

If voters have questions, they can ask to view their voter record which shows all that has taken place.

We have spoken with the Registrar of Voters and they state: “We ask people with questions to please call us. We thoroughly look into each question/call we get.” The number to call is 707-234-6819.

We believe that the Elections Department has been able to notify people in a timely manner of the mistake and has instituted measures to make sure the wrong ballots are not counted. We do not believe these issues could compromise the accuracy of our local election, but will be monitoring the voting carefully, both at the polls and at the county site.

Charlene McAllister, President, League of Women Voters of Mendocino County

Fort Bragg

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He showed up here and was on friends porch this afternoon, just south of Laytonville. He knocked on her door and was asking for money or a ride and being very pushy. Her dog scared him off the porch but he lingered until her boyfriend showed up and ran him off. He is known to be carrying a knife. Please keep your eyes out and doors locked!

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The Grace Hudson Museum will hold an Art in Motion Community Open Mic for First Friday, March 1, from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Participants are invited to offer a song, a poem, a short story, or even a painting to fill the gallery with art. Artist/singer/songwriter Marjo Wilson of Covelo will be the Museum's special guest host.

Participants can sign up for a 10-minute slot at the event. All ages are welcome for this free, family-friendly event.

Visitors will also have a chance to discover or get reacquainted with the Museum's core galleries, featuring Grace Hudson's artwork, exquisite Pomo basketry, and Hudson-Carpenter family history. And Ziggy, Grace Hudson's wonderful gardens docent, returns to lead end-of-winter tours of the Wild Gardens. Light refreshments will be served.

The Grace Hudson Museum is at 431 S. Main St. in Ukiah. For more information please go to or call (707) 467-2836.

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Landscape maintenance has gotten a lot easier here in Anderson Valley since I got a tractor. Not a full blown farmer's tractor but one for a City boy which in Boontling we call a, "Bright Lighter." I am also expanding an old deck that might serve as a viewing platform or a place where a band could set-up for parties.

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Sorry to hear about your cancer. I have an 18 year old grandson with a malignant brain tumor so I have been reading up on the disease and I am going to make a few recommendations for your survival. There is no charge for this good advice.

It sounds like you are at a stage where surgery is essential and preferred over chemo and radiation. However, you should ask your doctors about immunotherapy(sp). I have hope that all cancer treatment will evolve in this direction. Here is how it works: As I am sure you know when some foreign disease invades you body your immune system responds by sending out your white blood cells to destroy the invader. The trouble with cancer cells is they have the ability to resist the white blood cells and keep on growing. With immunotherapy they give you a drug that enables your white blood cells to go in and destroy the cancer cells. this is a highly preferable approach than the toxics of chemo and radiation and can still have benefits after surgery.

A supplement is found in a variety of mushrooms. After hydration mushrooms are the next best immune booster. The Japanese use them extensively in treating cancer. There is a business in Washington state called Fungi Perfecti that offers books, extracts, and supplements. I often see bags of powdered mushroom combinations at grocery outlet. They are easy to add to soups and gravies. I am attracted to the combination of immune boosting foods with immunotherapy. it is also important to go down fighting since there is always a mental factor. Some years ago PBS did a three night special on cancer and the thing that stuck with me was that two different doctors at different times said, ”Some people get well and we don’t know why.”

For what it is worth I would also recommend reading the Blue Zone books to get a model of a life style that enables a person to live healthier and longer (12 years on average). They studied the 4 or 5 Blue Zones around the world and isolated 9 components in their life styles that kept them healthier for longer. Being aware of these factors and emphasizing them is a wise thing to do. The Adventists are the only total vegetarians, but the others eat primarily a plant based diet (95%). If you want real science it wasn’t that long ago that the World Health Organization conducted a large world wide study looking at cancer stats combined with diet and concluded that red meat is a Category I carcinogen, right in there with tobacco and plutonium. It doesn’t help that here in the U.S. the cattle are fattened up with gmo corn laced with another carcinogen, roundup. It is time to give up those grease burgers.

I am the first to admit that I am in over my head giving advice here. However, it is important to try everything and find something you believe in. The AVA and your incisive writing has greatly enhanced my life here on the north coast. Hang in there.

Donald Cruser

Little River

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Is sixty years ago “history”?

I took this picture of Elk on September 19th 1964 on my very first flying lesson. It was taken with a Brownie Hawkeye through glary plexiglas windows so this is the best version I can get. The former Daniels & Ross sawmill is still in operation right in the middle of town.

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I was dismayed to read of your medical difficulties, but thank you for not taking the usual road asking for sympathy - an all too familiar path for us oldsters. Once a Marine, always one.

Your mention of Capitola (The Captain) interested me. I am in possession of a copy of a photograph taken of him and an unidentified woman lounging in front of the Point Arena Record building (now a small brewery) around the end of the 19th century. 

The Record building was one of the few buildings in downtown Point Arena that survived the ’06 earthquake and subsequent fire. I owned the building, in a very run-down condition, in the early 1980s, but due to other projects I passed it on to Murray McGuirk who did a splendid restoration to its present state.

Additionally, Ambrose Bierce was a favorite of my brother John. Bierce’s ‘The Devil’s Dictionary’ was Johnny’s bible, as he quoted from it often, as one could see from reading his column in the Chronicle of the 1970s.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

Richey Wasserman

Point Arena

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CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, February 26, 2024

Brownseals, Cabezas, Chapman

MICHAEL BROWNSEALS, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, parole violation.

OSCAR CABEZAS-TAFOYA, Ukiah. Disorderly conduct-alcohol&drugs, paraphernalia, resisting.

MICHAEL CHAPMAN, Sierra City/Fort Bragg. Stalking, criminal threats, protective order violation, offenses while on bail.

Johnson, Laude, Mendez

DEVAUN JOHNSON, Ukiah. Recklessly causing fire to structure or forestland, burglary, vandalism.

PATRICK LAUDE, Wilderville/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

CODY MENDEZ, Ukiah. Concealed dirk-dagger, controlled substance.

Moore, Schneider, Surber

JON MOORE, Gold River/Ukiah. Probation revocation.

MARITA SCHNEIDER, Redwood Valley. Protective order violation.

CORY SURBER, Hoopa/Ukiah. Failure to appear.

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by Betsy Cawn

Regarding the ongoing travails of Upper Lake citizens plagued with actual and threatened flood impacts, the community has been trying to remedy the situation since the FEMA-declared disaster of Dec. 31, 2005, when the floodwaters damaged downtown merchants, residents and surrounding areas.

The more recent area of vulnerability, located just north of town at the Clover Creek Diversion Channel — a constructed flood protection facility — is entangled in Department of Public Works management of multi-agency requirements for state permits, while high-dollar consultants hired by DPW in 2021 continue to drag out the "design" process that substitutes for work in what is known as Flood Zone 8.

Additional problems created by designation of the entirely manmade flood control facility as "habitat" by former DPW staff render the diversion channel's routine maintenance subject to environmental constraints that are not warranted for strictly constructed flood prevention systems.

A special meeting conducted by the consultants in Upper Lake a couple of weeks ago was described by the West Region Town Hall chairman on Feb. 21 as mystifying, since the last three years of outspoken community members providing "feedback" in public forums appeared to be unknown (or irrelevant) to new consultant representatives.

Much, if not most, of the town was built long before FEMA existed. Agricultural levees erected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, long anticipated to fail in the former reclamation area, were maintained by the state until responsibility was "transferred" to the County DPW, which cannot do more than respond to storm damage when necessary (most preventive maintenance is not funded).

It is hard to accept that county leadership, following the 2005 disaster, did not address obvious risks by correcting the official floodplain mapping and establishing regular maintenance schedules for flood protection facilities and property owners.

Upper Lake citizens are right to pursue corrective action by the Board of Supervisors before the next disaster happens.

(Betsy Cawn runs the Essential Public Information Center. She lives in Upper Lake, California.)

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Original Joes, Taylor Street

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We’re thrilled to announce the winners of its 2023 Free Speech and Open Government Award: Thadeus Greenson of the North Coast Journal; Al-Amyn Sumar and David McCabe of The New York Times and Leah Nylen of Bloomberg; and nonprofit collaborative news platform MuckRock.

Following a single tip, Thadeus Greenson of the North Coast Journal obtained, through several public records requests, more than 2,000 pages of internal police reports and court filings to write “The Soeth Files,” which details years of “questionable decisions and uses of force” by law enforcement officer Maxwell Soeth. Soeth was involved in two shootings, one deadly, an incident where he punched his own son in the face, and finally one where he ordered his police dog to bite a suspect who was being restrained by officers during a mental health crisis. Learn more about this winning entry and how Greenson’s reporting has affected cases Soeth was involved in.…

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Dear Editor 

Man, what a couple of harsh days, well ya know I’m not totally completely literate. More than that, ever heard how the Old Testament would identify in relation to a common person’s life awareness?

Being alive with this burden? So when I heard it, it’s as though taken away left me with a clearer understanding. So sadly to say I need to go over.

Gregory Crawford

Fort Bragg

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Regarding “Initiative to build 20,000 homes for mentally ill Californians delivered far less” (California, SFChronicle, Feb. 20): This article blames the wrong sources for the No Place Like Home initiative’s failure.

Like all recent housing laws, the initiative forced local communities to surrender their rights to bureaucrats and developers. It is not the NIMBYs (local citizens) who are the problem, it is the wrong-headed ideology that rules state housing policy.

California does not need to build scattered housing across the state to deal with the problem. It already has the infrastructure and laws available to do the job.

While the new Proposition 1 measure and No Place Like Home depend on local construction and management of housing and care delivery, current institutions are already doing what is needed on a diminished scale.

In the 1960s, the state’s mental hospitals were largely dismantled in an hysteria of charges over poor care. We still have these buildings, and the property they sit on could accommodate new housing and a centralized care system that could be more efficient than one dispersed around the state requiring layers of oversight.

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. We have the framework and need to give it the resources to function effectively.

Niccolo Caldararo

San Francisco

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Nowhere have I read anything about a return to brown paper grocery bags. They were banished a decade ago. Why? I don’t know. They are the only bags that decompose readily. Leave one in a puddle and see why.

When my parents owned a grocery store in the 1970s, a paper bag was considered overhead. Five different sizes for various purchases. They were never paid for by the consumer. They were reused, at least in my house, for lunches and other needs. I plant my raised beds with a liner of paper bags. My cats loved them more than boxes for play. We made Halloween costumes with them. In grade school, they were book covers that you could customize with drawings. When they ripped or you were done with them, you threw them in the trash where they decomposed naturally.

A problem was created by plastic bags. Various proposals to rid the environment of plastic bags have only made it worse. Ever see a brown bag blowing in the trees after a flood? Or on the side of the road? Never, because they self-decompose.

Ban all plastic grocery bags, and bring back environment-friendly brown bags.

Susan Moeckel


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A movement online to shun store-bought toothpaste is gaining traction over a conspiracy theory that small colored markings on the end of tubes signify what the product is made of.

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This morning – as I was thinking about getting out of bed to get ready for the day, I must’ve been still half asleep, and suddenly I had a “vision”, or an emanation from my unconscious. I saw a giant bloodshot eye staring at a giant clock. The eye was clouded over, and was not seeing that the clock was ticking down, time was running out…. I’m not a psychic, but to me, this image of the giant eye represents unconscious humanity, not realizing how close to a collective disaster we are.

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by Raheem Hosein

A California neo-Nazi is trying to crowdfund a tour of city council meetings to provoke a free speech lawsuit — and using a Christian website to do so.

He approached from the back row wearing dark sunglasses and a T-shirt with a black swastika at its center. He said his name was “Scottie.” And for the next two minutes, Harley Ray Petero Jr. read clumsily from his antisemitic speech, making threats both legal and genocidal, during Wednesday night’s meeting of Walnut Creek City Council.

“I’m here today because people like you …” Petero said, pointing at Councilmember Kevin Wilk, losing his place, finding it again, and resuming: “… think we’re scared — to show up and show our face, and call you out in person. And I dare you to shut me down. I will file a 1983 civil rights lawsuit so fast that you may as well break out the city’s checkbook and prepare to settle.”

Welcome to the latest front in a four-year battle between local government officials and neo-Nazis, who have been using pandemic-popularized video-conferencing platforms to ambush public meetings with hate speech. Now, as more legislative bodies suspend remote participation at their meetings, a few of the more determined hatemongers are showing up in person and trying to goad officials into First Amendment lawsuits.

Or, as Carla Hill, director of investigative research at the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, put it: “We’re going to get a smaller number of people who are going to show up in person, but they’re going to be more hard core.”

Hill believes Petero was inspired by Ryan Messano, whom Petero crossed paths with at a chaotic Sacramento City Council meeting in May 2023 and who routinely delivers anti-Jewish conspiracies from the lectern there.

There is also Jon E. Minadeo II, an antisemitic content creator who moved from Petaluma to Florida, where he appeared at an Orlando City Council meeting as an offensive caricature of a gay Jewish person.

Aside from Modesto, where property records show Petero lives, the recent provocations have occurred in places with prominent Jewish elected officials or notable Jewish populations. And they’re difficult to stop.

In California, legislative bodies are legally required to give members of the public opportunities to address them at meetings. And while elected officials can establish procedural rules of engagement, like time limits and decorum standards, they are prohibited from censoring what’s said, even if it’s hate speech.

Such in-person stunts present a threat to the project of local democracy, said League of California Cities executive director Carolyn Coleman.

“If that speech goes on unfettered and it has the effect of turning more people away from participation in our local democracy, then we all lose,” she said.

* * *

Extremist whack-a-mole

The ongoing conflict arose in March 2020, right around the time society stalled and rebooted through virtual office meetings, classroom lectures and government hearings. The FBI’s Boston office issued a warning that unidentified individuals were ambushing these spaces with threats and pornography.

Guidance on how to prevent or respond to Zoom bombing, as the problem became known, disseminated from higher education institutions, online security companies and Zoom itself, which created some extra steps for logging into meetings. Because invited attendees were the ones causing most disruptions, as a 2021 study from New York’s Binghamton University and Boston University found, the basic advice was to avoid sharing meeting links publicly.

That isn’t an option for local legislative bodies. In California, they must adhere to a set of open governance rules under the Brown Act. One of those rules says that if legislative bodies elect to teleconference, they must let the public know when and how to access it.

For the most part, this was seen as a good thing. Parents who couldn’t get childcare, people with mobility issues, older residents who didn’t drive at night, youngsters who didn’t drive at all — the remote capabilities allowed them to address their elected representatives on matters important to them.

But, as Hill pointed out, “extremists use the technology that we all use.”

According to the Anti-Defamation League, there have been more than 140 antisemitic disruptions of public forums nationally since August, most of them caused or inspired by Petero’s group, the City Council Death Squad, which posts clips of its Zoom-bomb antics on conservative social media platform Gab. The squad is closely associated with the Goyim Defense League, an antisemitic hate group with a streaming site that shares the clips alongside other hate content by Minadeo.

At least two dozen California cities — and likely more — have suspended virtual meeting participation for the public. Walnut Creek is one of them.

“Our city attorney felt that we pretty much have to allow everything unless we cut off Zoom and essentially went back to the way it was pre-COVID days, which is, if you wanted to make a public comment, you need to come in person,” Wilk said. “It’s a shame that a small group of people can end a valuable communication tool for everybody.”

The breadth of the problem has attracted the attention of national hate monitors like the ADL and the Bridging Divides Initiative at Princeton University’s School of Public and International Affairs, which tracks political violence in the U.S. The two organizations partnered on an October 2022 report chronicling the rise of threats and harassment toward local public officials, a problem that has only worsened over time, particularly for officials who are women or minorities.

Wilk, the first Jewish person elected to his council, has been singled out for abuse by Zoom bombers, named in a neo-Nazi banner held from an overpass and received an antisemitic postcard mailed to his home.

Much of that quieted after Walnut Creek ended remote participation in October. By mid-December, Wilk said he thought it “possible” but unlikely that the trolls would begin appearing in City Council chambers. “These people don’t show up in person,” he said.

* * *

‘Share the hope of Jesus’

On Dec. 12, 2023, Petero, who shares Zoom-bomb clips on Gab as Scottie BigBalls, took the lectern at his local Modesto City Council meeting, a few months after the council had ended virtual public comment in October. He stumbled through a prepared statement calling for “a nationwide expulsion” of Jewish people.

“Before I begin, I’d just like to remind council members that they swore an oath to uphold the Constitution and protect freedom of speech,” said Petero, who wore a T-shirt with his City Council Death Squad’s skull-and-headset logo and promoted Goyim TV, just as he would do later in Walnut Creek. “No matter what the ADL has told you, you can’t shut me down.”

Petero has designs to take his show on the road, and has turned to a Christian crowdfunding site for help.

He and his wife have used GiveSendGo (which prominently features a Stock Art image of a multiracial community) to raise money for their antisemitic flier drops, and have created a campaign to fund their “IRL” tour of city councils. The flier campaign identifies Petero as its creator and beneficiary, references his “Scottie” alias, says its purpose is “exposing jewish (sic) supremacy” and contains a reference to an antisemitic stereotype. The latter campaign also lists Petero as its creator and showcases the logo of the City Council Death Squad. While it’s been live for months, it’s raised just over $1,000 in donations.

Other extremists have had better luck raising funds.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, GiveSendGo hosted 230 out of the 324 extremism-related campaigns the ADL tracked between 2016 and 2022. The GiveSendGo campaigns “facilitated at least $5.4 million raised for extremists and bigots,” amounting to 86.5% of the funds tracked by ADL’s Center on Extremism. That makes the platform “a singularly important part of the extremist fundraising ecosystem,” ADL reported in January 2023.

Reached by email, GiveSendGo founder and chief financial officer Jacob Wells called the Anti-Defamation League report “ideological propaganda” that focused on less than 1% of the nearly 300,000 campaigns his company hosted in those six years. Wells said GiveSendGo’s mission “is to share the hope of Jesus to those that use our platform,” and believes in upholding the right to free speech.

“Obviously with a platform of our size there will be a tiny amount of campaigns that push edgy ideas,” Wells wrote. “That in no way means we agree with them. We just believe that there is value in exposing those ideas and the funds that they raise to the public for public scrutiny.”

Petero did not respond to an email seeking comment for this story, but told the Chronicle in January that his City Council Death Squad would not be stopped by the discontinuance of remote meeting participation.

“They want to ban zoom calls, fine! We will show up in person! They want to shut us down in person? Expect lawsuits. The voices of the Angry White Goyim will not be silenced,” Petero said via email.

So far, no one’s taken Petero’s bait.

After he spoke in Modesto, Mayor Sue Zwahlen simply called the next speaker. In Walnut Creek on Wednesday, Petero was allowed to complete his remarks, which he did with a flurry of obscenities and slurs and a Nazi salute. After he strode off, Wilk spoke.

“Mayor, I would just like to say something, now that public comment is ended,” he began. “We live in a free country and there is free speech, and that means we have to listen to awful and heinous comments like we just listened to. And I would like to apologize on behalf of the City Council and (to) anybody that had to hear that horrible, horrible speech.” Spreading his hands, Wilk added, “Again, I apologize on behalf of humanity.”

Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Darling then turned to her Jewish colleague.

“And we apologize to you, Kevin, because this is so clearly directed at you, and so vile, and not who we are as a city.”

With that, the council turned to other business.

* * *

* * *


by Ralph Nader

Last October 27, I suggested subjects the mainstream media needed to cover relating to the saturation bombing of Gaza and its defenseless civilian families and infrastructure. Looking at these topics now, four months later, despite massive reporting, the attention to these subjects is still thin and more deserving of reporting than ever.

1. How did Hamas, with tiny Gaza surrounded by a 17-year Israeli blockade, subjected to unparalleled electronic surveillance, with spies and informants, and augmented by an overwhelming air, sea and land military presence, manage to get the weapons and associated technology for their October 7th surprise raid? Readers still do not know how and from where these weapons entered Gaza year after year.

2. What is the connection between the stunning failure of the Israeli government to protect its people on the border and the policy of P.M. Netanyahu? Recall the New York Times (October 22, 2023) article by prominent journalist, Roger Cohen, to wit: “All means were good to undo the notion of Palestinian statehood. In 2019, Mr. Netanyahu told a meeting of his center-right Likud party: ‘Those who want to thwart the possibility of a Palestinian state should support the strengthening of Hamas and the transfer of money to Hamas. This is part of our strategy.’” (Note: Israel and the U.S. fostered the rise of Islamic Hamas in 1987 to counter the secular Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO)). Readers still need more information about the context of Netanyahu’s declared support for Hamas over the years and his connection to the buildup of Hamas funding and weaponry.

3. Why is Congress preparing to appropriate over $14 billion to Israel in military and other aid without any public hearings and without any demonstrated fiscal need by Israel, a prosperous economic, technological and military superpower with a social safety net superior to that of the U.S.? USDA just reported over 44 million Americans struggled with hunger in 2022. This, in the midst of a childcare crisis. Should U.S. taxpayers be expected to pay for Netanyahu’s colossal intelligence/military collapse? As an elderly Holocaust survivor told the New York Times “It should never have happened” in the first place.

4. Why hasn’t the media reported on President Biden’s statement that the Gaza Health Ministry’s body count (now over 7000 fatalities) is exaggerated? Indications, however, are that it is a large undercount by Hamas to minimize its inability to protect its people. Israel has fired over 8,000 powerful precision munitions and bombs into Gaza so far. These have struck many thousands of inhabited buildings – homes, apartments buildings, over 120 health facilities, ambulances, crowded markets, fleeing refugees, schools, water and sewage systems, and electric networks – implementing Israeli military orders to cut off all food, water, fuel, medicine and electricity to this already impoverished densely packed area the size of Philadelphia. For those not directly slain, the deadly harm caused by no food, water, medicine, medical facilities and fuel will lead to even more deaths and serious injuries.

Note that over three-quarters of Gaza’s population consists of children and women. Soon there will be thousands of babies born to die in the rubble. Other Palestinians will perish from untreated diseases, injuries, dehydration, and from drinking contaminated water. With crumbled sanitation facilities, physicians are fearing a deadly cholera epidemic.

Israel bombed the Rafah crossing on the Gaza-Egypt border. Only a tiny trickle of trucks are now allowed there by Israel to carry food and water. Fuel for hospital generators still remains blocked.

The undercount of fatalities/injuries is far greater now. The official figure is about 30,000 lives lost, with hundreds dying every day under the rubble. There is too little media interest in more realistic estimates. Undercounting lessens the pressure on Washington officials’ co-belligerents in the White House to call for a permanent ceasefire.

5. Why can’t Biden even persuade Israel to let 600 desperate Americans out of the Gaza firestorm?

6. Why isn’t the mass media making a bigger issue out of Israel’s long-time practice of blocking journalists from entering Gaza, including European, American and Israeli journalists? The only television crews left are Gazan-residing Al Jazeera reporters. Israeli bombs have already killed 26 journalists in the Gaza Strip since October 7th. Is Israel targeting journalists’ families? The Gaza bureau chief of Al Jazeera, Wael Al-Dahdouh’s family was killed in an Israeli airstrike on Wednesday. Israeli commanders now have killed over 100 journalists in addition in some cases to their entire families and continue to block foreign journalists except for a few brief “guided tours” in Israeli armored vehicles.

7. Why isn’t the mainstream U.S. media giving adequate space and voice to groups advocating a ceasefire and humanitarian aid? The message of Israeli peace groups’ peaceful solutions are drowned out by the media’s addiction to interviews with military tacticians. Much time and space are being given to hawks pushing for a war that could flash outside of Gaza big time. Shouldn’t groups such as Jewish Voice for Peace, the Arab-American Institute, Veterans for Peace and associations of clergy have their views and activities reported? Still being underreported are the activities all over the country of the Veterans for Peace and large labor unions demanding a permanent ceasefire and humanitarian aid.

8. Why is the coverage of the war overlooking the Geneva Conventions, the United Nations Charter and the many provisions of international law that all the parties, including the U.S., have been violating? (See the October 24, 2023 letter to President Biden). Under international law, Biden has made the U.S. an active “co-belligerent,” of the Israeli government’s vocal demolition of the 2.3 million inhabitants in Gaza, who are mostly descendants of Palestinian refugees driven from their homes in 1948. (See, Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide). Coverage has expanded to include the U.S. vetoes on the Security Council and to global reporting on the International Court of Justice proceedings on South Africa’s calling for the Court to address Israel’s genocide of Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

9. What about revealing human-interest stories? For example: How do Israeli F-16 pilots feel about their daily bombing of the completely defenseless Gazan civilian population and its life-sustaining infrastructures? The reporting on the military orders given to Israeli soldiers in Gaza who are slaying indiscriminately thousands of innocents of all ages and snipers attacking people and children in hospitals is inadequate. Why are no Hamas fighters taken as prisoners of war? Is there an order of “take no prisoners” even after capture? What are the courageous Israeli human rights and refuseniks thinking and doing in a climate of serious repression of their views as a result of Netanyahu’s defense collapse on October 7th? The open letter to President Biden on December 13, 2023, by 16 Israeli human rights groups appeared as a paid notice in the New York Times but received very little notice to its clarion call to stop the catastrophe in Gaza. (See the letter here).

10. Where is the media attention on the statements from Israeli military commentators, who, for years have declared high-tech US-backed, nuclear-armed Israel to be more secure than at any time in its history? Israel is reasserting its overwhelming military domination of the Middle East region, fully backed by U.S. militarism. The Israeli government is putting ads in U.S. newspapers wildly exaggerating long-subdued Hamas as an “existential” threat. Without Netanyahu strangely failing to keep the border guarded on October 7, 2023, what followed would not have happened!

Historians remind us that in a grid-locked conflict over time, it is the most powerful party’s responsibility to lead the way to peace.

Establishing a two-state solution has been supported by many Palestinians. All the Arab nations, starting with the Arab League peace proposal in 2002, support this solution as well. It is up to Israel and the U.S., assuming annexation of what is left of Palestine is not Israel’s objective. (See, the March 29, 2002 New York Times article: Mideast Turmoil; Text of the Peace Proposals Backed by the Arab League).

More media attention on this subject matter is much needed.

* * *

* * *


by Ellen Taylor

Alexander the Great razed Gaza to the ground in the Third century BC. He was in a towering rage because Gaza, unlike most of the other cities he passed through on his way to Egypt, had been defiant, and had closed its gates. The King was further incensed by the skill of Gazan raiding parties: they sped out of the city gates on their light Arabian horses, across the sand, which encumbered the feet of the heavy Macedonian steeds. They were superb archers, and a Gazan arrow made a serious wound in Alexander’s shoulder. 

Alexander slept with a copy of the Iliad under his pillow. He had recently visited the ancient city of Troy, where he’d appropriated the armor of Achilles. He wore this into battle. After five months his army finally penetrated Gaza’s formidable defenses. In his fury, Alexander seized the governor, and re-enacted Achilles’ revengeful desecration of Hector, by piercing his ankles and dragging his body behind his chariot three times around the city. Then he put all the men and boys to the sword, and sold the women and children into slavery.

Alexander inhabited a legendary universe which existed a thousand years before he was born. In this world, gods mingled and consorted with humans. His own paternity had been laid open to question, by rivals seeking to dethrone him. Having just cut the Gordian knot, a fabled act that conferred promises of omnipotence from the gods, his belief in his own deity was reinforced. The oracle at Delphi had told him he was invincible, and the renowned Egyptian sibyl at Siwa was about to tell him his father was Zeus/Amon. This, together with his own native charisma and brilliance as a general, drove his zeal to possess the world which, he did not doubt, belonged to him.

Alexander the Great and Benjamin Netanyahu would seem to have very little in common. But their respective revenges on Gaza display the same wrathful obsession with retribution. Both, possessed by ghosts, consort with spirits which have lingered in the world for three thousand years, since the thirteenth century BC.

The architects of their imaginary worlds are warriors long dead. Alexander in his imagination, was the near-immortal hero Achilles. The echoes of Netanyahu’s ghost world resonate from even farther, from Jehovah’s intimate communication, and commitments concerning a promised land, with Moses, three thousand years ago.

The insult that brought Alexander’s rage to a frenzy was the near-fatal shoulder wound. It proved to him that he was not immortal. 

October 7th profoundly humiliated Netanyahu before his own people and before the world, as the famed Israeli defense network, military intelligence system, Aman, with its Iron Dome, Mossad, and Shin Bet, the national security system, were incapable of protecting its people against 3000 Hamas fighters on Chinese minibikes. 

Netanyahu’s religious beliefs are private, though apparently he has said he is an atheist. He professes secular Judaism, a persuasion which exalts cultural and ethnic, rather than devotional, elements of Judaism. However, his psychic architecture grew out of a deep eastern European Ashkenazi cultural root, comprising the Torah, the Talmud and centuries of European Jewish culture, canonical scriptures, literature and law. The nucleus of this culture is

Jehovah’s promise that Palestine would belong to his chosen people. Secular Judaism does not question this promise. Netanyahu is a thoroughly Americanized Israeli. His excellent American education taught him that most of the Bible is accumulated myth and folk tale. In modern political history, the creation of Israel cannot be disguised as anything but neocolonialism. Nonetheless Netanyahu believes in Jehovah’s promise.His speeches ring with Biblical events, and the ghosts of Moses, Joshua, King David, and Sampson obsessively haunt the recesses of and maintain the thoroughfares of his consciousness: 

“I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee…I will not drive them out from before thee in one year, lest the land become desolate and the beast of the field multiply against thee… but by little and little I will drive them out before thee, until thou be increased and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red Sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river, for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand, and thou shalt drive them out before thee”.

— Exodus 23 verses 27-31

This promise was fulfilled for a period, during the last part of the second millennium BC. when a Jewish kingdom,insignificant in comparison to the mighty empires of the times, existed in the area designated by Jehovah. However all but a few Jews in Palestine were driven into a diaspora after the destruction of the Second Temple in 63 AD. Since then, Palestine has been populated or ruled by waves of different empires, lasting various lengths of time, until 1948. 

At that point, the geopolitical interests of the US and Europe coincided with the Mosaic promise, to allow the Jews another chance at a nation state. The catastrophe which brought this about was the holocaust. 

By the beginning of WWII 57% of the world’s Jews lived in Europe. Six million were destroyed during the war, leaving three and a half million survivors looking for place to go. Their prewar property had been confiscated and repossessed, their home towns were more often than not hostile and dangerous, and no nations in the world wanted to take more than a small number of Jewish immigrants (the Dominican Republic was an exception).The British mandate of Palestine was therefore a ready solution for relocation. Moreover, it had an additional advantage. During the late forties and the fifties, when a tide of decolonialization was sweeping the globe, an armed nation state of Israel would provide a well-placed foothold for the victors of WWII to maintain military and economic supremacy. The creation of a nation state, Israel, in the turbulent Middle East, would be reimbursed with fealty to the empire, and could provide anti-terrorism services in the region and in Africa. 

In a deeply ironical postscript, it could support anti-communism and racism as well.

At that time, in 1948, the Arab population of Palestine was about twice the size of the Jewish population, one million and 550,000 respectively. Huge numbers of Jews arriving from Europe, with an entirely different cultural background and language, created deep anxiety among the indigenous Arabs ,who had lived there for millennia. Moreover the new immigrants made it clear they wanted nothing to do with the indigenous population of Arabs. They wanted the Palestinian land in order to create a Jewish nation state. 

Netanyahu’s grandfather wanted to build an “iron wall” between the Jewish and non-Jewish inhabitants, as the Bible instructed:

“Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods…they shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me…”

— Exodus 23 vs.32-33

Israel embarked upon a program of ethnic cleansing in Palestine after the UN partition agreement, and established the state of Israel when the British withdrew in May 1948. Civil war and chaos intensified by foreign interference, had already cleansed 750,000 Palestinians from their homeland. There was, however, still a majority of Arabs in Palestine.

The Biblical Jehovah had said, “ I will not drive them out before thee in one year…but little by little”. However, the European immigrants to Palestine had a model for removing undesirable populations on a more businesslike time frame, drawn from recent history, which provided incremental steps to ease the process. The history was their own destruction in the holocaust.

By means of about 400 laws, policies and decrees passed in Germany from Hitler’s accession to power and until the end of WWII, an itinerary was built for the enactment of ethnic cleansing and genocide of Jews, Russians, Roma, Communists, and weak and undesirable members of the community. These same steps can be delineated clearly in the new Jewish nation state of Israel, from its clearly apartheid origins. They are 1) definition (listing the characteristics of the aliens) 2)isolation ( denial of access to schools, businesses, citizenship withdrawal, and, in the case of the Nazis, an identificatory yellow star) 3) emigration, spurred by property and land seizures and threats 4) ghettoization, enforced by walls 5) deportation (relocating to prison camps, in the Reich, and in Gaza to the occupied territories and refugee camps, and 6) mass murder (in the Reich and invaded territories, by Einsatzgruppen, which were mobile extermination organs, and death camps; and in Gaza, by Israeli settler violence, bombings, shooting demonstrators as in the Great March of Return, and after October 7th, death camps and death marches. 

If these steps were taken efficiently, the result would be the configuration of the Volksgemeinschaft, the “people’s community” which conformed to racial ideals and standards,

the dream of the Nazis and of the Jewish state of Israel as well.

It was obvious to the world that Israel, created in 1948, would be an apartheid state (which is in itself a crime against humanity ). The memes, “People without a land, land without a people” and that “Israel made the desert bloom” were utter fiction, as detailed by Miko Peled, a 63-year-old professor born and raised in Israel, former IDF officer, and son of a famous Israeli general, in many lectures. When the refugee Jews arrived from Europe, they found a Palestine blooming with cultivation: oranges, cotton, barley, and olive oil produced for domestic consumption and export. There were cities alive with culture, and, as a sacred place for three of the world’s most populous religions, sites for deeply reverent tourism, from many countries of the world. 

The incremental advances of the WWII holocaust and its intended Final Solution, had branded the hearts and minds of anyone who had lived through it, or had shivered with fear for those who did not escape. The arriving European Jews knew, through their own experience, how to deal with a population it recognized as alien. Emigration of non-Jews from the promised land was facilitated by the civil war of 1947-9, and extended through increased armed conflict. As in Nazi Germany, race was the determinative characteristic defining an Israeli: as in Germany, based on race of grandparents. Any Jew with the right formulaic bloodlines can be an Israeli citizen on demand, through the Law of Return. ( Non-Jewish Palestinians have no Right of Return). Ghettoization was accomplished on a large scale through wars, and on a neighborhood scale through bulldozing, settler violence, and walls. Arabs were further isolated by civil rights restrictions, inferior schools, travel, jobs, and bureaucratic checkpoints. In southern Israel, where 300,000 Bedouins live, Arabs are not permitted to be farmers or dig wells. Phones and water can be turned off at any time. Although the Palestinian population of Israel is larger than the Jewish, it is allotted only 3% of the water resource.

Gaza has been described for decades as an outdoor prison camp. And now the analogy has reached a grotesque replica of the Final Solution: calorie and water restrictions, herding into smaller areas, death marches, bombing hospitals and refusal to allow medical care or means to curtail the spread of diseases, and extermination.

Miko Peled reminds us, in a sharp admonishment, that anyone in the US who pays taxes “has a dog in the game” of the ongoing extermination of Gaza. Indeed. Without the billions of dollars which flow from the US to Israel, the genocide would be impossible. With our lockstep Congress and media-managed public we are what we once loathed when it existed in WWII Germany: a popular permission for genocide. Resistance is punished: the world-famous Ai Wei Wei ‘s exhibits are cancelled, because he criticized Israel. Freedom of speech is severely curtailed. Protests and marches are harassed or forbidden. Workers in several states have been asked to sign loyalty oaths to Israel (!) and have been fired if they refuse.

Miko was stopped quickly from pronouncing the words “from the river to the sea” in a speech he gave at a library in Delmar New York, and the peace group sponsoring him was banned from making presentations at the library for a year. 

A truly monstrous resonance between the Nazi and Israeli states can be seen in their patriotic songs. Music can confer the enormous power of spiritual and ideological penetration, whether for good or evil. It is used as a weapon.

The Nazi regime reveled in song. Thus, the official song of the Hitler Jugend (the boys’ and girls’ physical and ideological war preparatory division) can be watched on youtube, where sung by sung by earnest little clear-eyed fellows, flagged and in uniform:

Forwards! Forward! Our flag flutters before us
Into the future we are marching side by side
We are marching for Hitler
It guides us to Eternity
The flag is more to us than death!

The second most popular song in Israel can currently be seen on youtube as well. The children are beautiful and innocent, some appearing as young as five:

Autumn night falls over the beaches of Gaza
Planes bomb, destruction, destruction
Look, the IDF is crossing the line
To annihilate the swastika bearers
In another year there will be nothing there
And we will safely return to our homes
Within a year we will annihilate everyone
And then we will return to plow our fields
And we will remember everyone
The pretty and the pure
And will never let our hearts
Forget a friendship like that
Love sanctified by blood
You will return and bloom among us
We have now run out of words
Our soul still cries out
Our soul not only sings
Today our soul also fights…

Reproduced in Owen Jones’ commentary about 2:00 in And independently from other youtube sources, where it tends to disappear

Baldur von Schirach, who managed the deportation of hundreds of thousands of Austrians to death camps, and who was one of the twenty-two defendants at the International War Crimes Trial in Nuremberg, remarked in 1938, “The real, great educational act for a people lies in ingraining in youth blind obedience, unshakeable loyalty, unconditional comradeship and absolute reliability.”

Netanyahu accused President Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva, president of Brazil, of trivializing the genocide in progress in Gaza, when he compared it to the Nazi holocaust. However, the patterns and motivations are clearly similar. At one point, during the articulation of the Final Solution, Hitler was doubtful whether the Einsatzgruppen, his SS executioners on the eastern front, would be up to the task of killing women and children. However, he exclaimed later that they performed the task enthusiastically and wonderfully.

The two-state solution will not work. The one-state solution will only work in a different world. Nevertheless, it is blindingly clear that the colonial project of the state of Israel needs to be terminated.

* * *

The Great Jim Thorpe

* * *


by James Kunstler

“Democratic Party elites such as those on CNN are not just angry but genuinely confused by the fact that American voters don’t obey them.” — Glenn Greenwald

What’s most amazing about the fiasco that was the French Revolution is that it happened at exactly the same time that the United States successfully organized themselves into an orderly and effective government following the American Revolution. George Washington was elected and sworn-in by April of 1789, with the backing of an exemplary constitution assembled by the best minds in the land. The Bastille fell in July that same year. France then fell into a years’ long orgy of beheading and chaos that went nowhere until 1799 when an artillery officer named Bonaparte put an end to it by sheer force of personality.

Of course, France had assisted America in concluding our revolt against King George — surely you remember the Marquis de Lafayette from your high school history class (or has he been replaced by George Floyd?). There were plenty of Frenchmen still on the American scene during the years following the British surrender at Yorktown in the fall of 1781. Some of them must have kept tabs on the Constitutional Convention, May to September, 1787, out of which came our blueprint for managing national affairs, and not a few of these Frenchmen were active in their own revolution which kicked off two years later.

By the way, Thomas Jefferson was in Paris from 1784 until autumn of 1789, months after the Bastille fell. He succeeded Ben Franklin as minister there to negotiate trade agreements (Ben went to London as ambassador). John Adams was also on-the-scene in Paris as our ambassador there when Jefferson arrived. These Americans met daily and chatted endlessly with France’s political players. The American Articles of Confederation were in effect then, to be replaced by the improved US Constitution in 1787. The people of France, including the various elites involved in public life, royal, haut bourgeoise, lawyers and generals, might have taken a lesson from the American experience of how to successfully come out of a political tribulation. Alas, they simply could not get their shit together.

Rewind a little to 1793 in Paris, the revolution in full swing: King Louis XVI went to the guillotine in January. The National Convention had replaced the National Assembly as the furnace of political action. The radical Jacobin faction, led by Robespierre and Saint-Just, coalesced into a power-seizing majority there. They took their name from a political club founded by anti-royalists, but their platform became increasingly extreme as the revolution lurched toward pandemonium.

During their year in power, the Jacobins turned the life of the nation upside down in their zealous quest to create a perfectly equitable society. They abolished the church (and replaced it with their own “cult of the supreme being”). They changed the week from seven days to ten days, they changed the names of all the months of the calendar. (1792 was denoted “the Year One.”) They put in price and wage controls while churning out money (paper assignats) which triggered (voila) monetary inflation! They confiscated grain from farmers all over the country. They condemned thousands (estimate: 20,000 to 40,000) of political enemies to the guillotine in their “Reign of Terror.” In short, the Jacobins made a bloody mess of things and pissed-off a lot of their countrymen.

By the summer of 1794 (in their renamed month of Thermidor), everybody else finally had enough of the Jacobin nightmare. On July 27, Robespierre was at the rostrum once again denouncing his enemies and crying for blood when the out-group members present started throwing food at him and shouting him down. That was the magic moment when everything flipped — the shock of recognition that the Jacobins had lost power. Just like that! The chamber fell into a melee, a lot of shoving and shouting. . . Robespierre and his cronies were chased across town to the city hall (Hôtel de Ville) and barricaded themselves inside. The mob broke through and arrested them. Somewhere in the confusion a policeman shot Robespierre in the face, shattering his jaw (no more speeches for you!)… and the very next day, Robespierre, Saint-Just, and twenty of their associates had their appointment with “the national razor.”

This event became known as the Thermidorian Reaction. The insane Jacobin program of terror and social derangement was swiftly abolished. Nothing like it was seen again until the Bolsheviks, the Maoists and the Khmer Rouge came along in the 20th century, and now, in our time, The Party of Chaos as led by “Joe Biden” (or whoever and whatever is behind him), with their open border, their lust for another world war, their drive for censorship, their sadistic lawfare, their race and sex hustles, their compulsive lying, and their sick destruction of every norm and boundary in daily life.

America is headed for its own Thermidorian Reaction. It’ll end up being called something else, of course, because it is a different time, place, and set of circumstances. But it feels close, doesn’t it? Everybody I know or correspond with mentions this feeling that something is going to blow in our country, and pretty soon. The air is alive with it, just as the air is alive with portents of spring. Are you waiting for it?

* * *

Ferlinghetti, 1957

* * *


by Ferleni Paz

To Luisa y Andrea, as a lesson of life. 

Certain uncommon events become anecdotes, then stories, and, over time, legends. Many small towns treasure these legends, these remarkable chronologies which are the essence of history. I witnessed and experienced from the beginning one such unusual event which became legend, and which led me to consider more deeply my ideas about what to expect from life. This is the story of an elderly man called Relicario, who lived the last years of his life hidden in the small, peaceful, town of Alvarado, located in the department of Tolima, in central Colombia, South America.

(Chapter 1)

Alvarado is a small town set in a valley between two chains of the Andes. A place, almost forgotten by the government, which has peacefully endured the stagnation of underdevelopment. It is home to about three thousand inhabitants, mostly day laborers, retired people, and farmers, who prefer to resolve disagreements amicably. 

My mind is filled with many childhood memories of this town. My maternal grandmother lived here. My parents and I visited her during my school holidays or at Christmas, but after her death, we never went back. My parents visited her grave perhaps once or twice, years later, but then they forgot it, perhaps afraid of being caught in the monotonous social and economic stagnation rooted in the town’s unpaved streets.

I visited it again after almost fifteen years. It was one of the final stops in a series of business trips I made to buy and sell land and livestock. I spent the night in the town’s solitary modest hotel, in a room with clean and comfortable, but old, furniture. I came to meet Mauricio Benavides, a farmer my business partner Agustín Troncoso and I had contacted in the city of Ibagué, some forty kilometers from Alvarado. Mauricio owned a farm and some cattle that he had offered us for sale. I came first to look at the farm while Agustín planned to meet me there within the next three days.

It was political campaign season. The national elections for governors and mayors were a few weeks away. Political banners, posters, and pamphlets were piling up like garbage on the streets of the cities. Alvarado, in spite of everything, was almost clean of this propagandistic waste. A few flyers were attached to lamp posts, and a solitary banner flapped in the wind on the main road. The place was otherwise clear of political trash. The candidates preferred to spend advertising money elsewhere, perhaps because local voters generally leaned towards the same traditional party. Further, opposition parties lacked credible candidates in these electoral contests. But yes, it was a democracy where everyone freely expressed their opinions and ideologies without fear or self-consciousness.

Alvarado relied on the casual vigilance of half a dozen friendly policemen and a noncommissioned officer. They used to take midday naps in their heated bunks. A clattering old table fan provided a refreshing breeze although its motor sometimes generated a sharp electric noise hinting that it would fall apart at any moment.

Nobody expected the apocalyptic events that loomed in the near distance and would embitter its history and the lives of its inhabitants.

I sat down on one of the lonely tables along the sidewalk, under a small cloud of flies. The table belonged to one of the four cafes lined up on the street across the road from the town’s only park, enlivened by trilling flocks of swallows and sparrows flitting among the trees. I was sipping a cold drink to counter the dry, unbearable, afternoon heat.

Jukebox music from the cafes abruptly broke the numbing calm. The pool tables were empty; the warm drowsiness discouraged the men from sharing a game. Behind the counter, two slim, mute young men in their 20’s, Tontón and Rey, were arranging cases of beer. The two communicated with each other with hand signs and guttural sounds that only they understood. Most of their communication with others was through hand signs of their own invention; although mute, they could hear perfectly well.

My watch showed thirty minutes after twelve noon: precisely nap time. The park looked unchanged, like many years earlier: stuck in time. The same trees shaded the monumental bust of the liberator Simón Bolívar. Also, the same old benches stood in the crushing heat, and the solitude of the streets still guarded the midday somnolence. Nothing moved in the heat but the swallows and the sparrows. Some time ago, they had come to take permanent possession of the trees in the park, the eaves of certain houses, and the bell tower of the church.

The mayor's office and the courthouse stood across the street near the left end of the park, with large open windows, framed exquisitely in dark brown, in contrast to the light brown wall. Through these windows I saw desks, and ancient, obsolete, electric typewriters and other furniture. Across the street on the right side of the park were simple white colonial houses with baseboards of red or blue or green, static in time. Although there was no breeze to stir the overheated air, most houses kept their doors wide open. Finally, in front of me, on the other side of the park, the imposing Greco-Roman-style church with its tall bell tower stood. It could be seen from anywhere within the almost thirty blocks that made up Alvarado. The rest of the town contained identical houses outlining the smothering, earthy streets. The midday heat accentuated the solitude of the streets. There was nothing outside but a few dogs lying on the shady sidewalks in front of certain houses.


I amused myself watching the heat rising from the pavement on the main street. It rose to three feet, then vanished after slightly distorting the visual perception. Suddenly, a huge, enraged zebu bull emerged from the right corner of the street running headlong and bellowing furiously. Two riders on swift horses and a group of barking mongrel dogs chased it. The bull’s head was looped inside two long lariats held by the cowboys who controlled the lassos from their horses while shouting warnings about the enraged beast. The open doors were all shut at once. Curious faces soon appeared at the half-closed windows of some homes, following the bull’s furious, jumping, trajectory. A group of adolescents carrying books and school bags then appeared, running after the horses.

The bull rounded the corner of the park, running madly down the street toward the church. Like a hurricane, it was ready to sweep away everything that crossed its path. Suddenly, with a great bellow and a cloud of dust under its hooves, the bull rushed across the park in pursuit of the group of noisy boys and dogs, who stampeded away, avoiding his assault. Some teenagers fell to the ground, and books and notebooks fluttered in the dust or were sent flying. Others leaped into the low branches of nearby trees like skillful apes. One big, skinny, dog ​​was hooked by a horn which knocked him over then sent him flying. He landed in a heap but, instead of being intimidated, barked louder, shook off the dust, and rejoined the pack going after the legs of their enormous opponent.

The boys coming down from the trees laughed uproariously, making fun of the ones who had fallen.

At the same time, one of the cowboys struggled with the lasso, yelling, “Dammit! You sons of bitches! Get out of the bull’s way or it is going to kill you.”

Then the bull bellowed again, leaping swiftly and kicking all around. It charged with horns lowered toward the church gate, directly at a couple of older women who had just emerged. They held a rosary in their hands; potential victims. Terrified, the two defenseless women only had time to cross themselves, wrap their rosaries tightly among their fingers, and stand paralyzed near the gate. They simply closed their eyes and waited for destruction. The cowboys saved them by halting their horses and yanking hard at the lariats. The bull’s head slammed into the ground and the beast flipped over so hard it raised a cloud of dust that briefly covered him.

The stunned animal lay still for a moment, but rose with a bellow with the first dog bite at its heels and began lunging at the dogs. Next, it undertook a wild race before the facade of the priest's house, which adjoined the church. In a hurry to not be left behind by the bull and the horses, the boys hurried after, all turning down the street at one corner of the priest's house. It was three blocks down that street to the slaughterhouse. Thus, the bull, the horses with their riders, and the students were soon lost from sight, crying loudly and galloping into the distance, where they disappeared. Once again, the town was submerged in the sepulchral sleepiness of nap time, exactly as I remembered twenty years earlier.

The two women slipped around the corner of the church at an accelerated pace, not yet recovered from the thwarted attack. A man leaned briefly out through one of the town hall’s windows. The owners of the cafes came out to observe the aftermath of the sudden unexpected disturbance. Some smiled, impressed by the daring of the students chasing so close to the bull.

“One of these days, a bull is going to hurt or kill one of those boys!” Someone behind me exclaimed. It was Atanaél, in his forties, owner of the bar I sat in.

The two mutes, Tontón and Rey, also behind me, communicated with each other, and after producing a series of unintelligible guttural sounds, laughed among themselves.

“Let's go back to finish fixing the beer cases.” Atanaél suggested, and the three returned behind the counters.

Moments later a thin man in his seventies with a long, gray, bushy, beard, moving slowly, arrived at the park. He carried a trombone, and was accompanied by a dog. His long white hair came down to his shoulders. His untended gray beard rested on his chest. He sat on one of the benches arranged around the center of the place. He settled the trombone to one side, extended his slim arms, and in a couple of movements, arranged his bony loins on the bench. Then he stretched his legs parallel like withered logs and stared up at the sky. He looked tired and thoughtful.

He was Relicario, and his faithful, friendly, mongrel dog was named Bones. Relicario was a well-known but enigmatic character of the town, part of its folklore. A lonely man, he liked to appropriate the same park bench every day, along with his dog, under a shady tree. He sat and sank into a deep, lonely sleep, allowing a few swallows and sparrows to perch on his shoulders, on his outstretched arms, and his head. When he awoke, the birds would fly to the trees around his bench, where they remained not too far from him. If Relicario fell asleep again, the birds would return to his arms.

Sitting on that bench, Relicario fixed his lost, thoughtful gaze on the skies as if he were exploring the white clouds and their transformations into abstract figures. Later I would understand that his attention was not in fact on the mutant shapes made in the clouds. When he fixed his gaze on the half-dry leaves blown by the wind, he didn't observe them either, nor even perceive the wind, because he was utterly submerged in nostalgic memories.

His loneliness attracted my attention, and I went to his side to bring him a cold drink.

“You're not from around here. I have not seen you before.” He told me in a friendly voice and extended his hand to receive the drink while he rubbed his dog’s head with his other hand. His friendly pet greeted me, constantly wagging its tail as Relicario said, “Thank you for the drink.”

“I'm passing by. I'll be leaving tomorrow and maybe not coming back again.” I replied, handing him his drink as I sat next to him.

He stared at me silently, hesitant to speak. He studied me with an expression of distrust, sizing me up with an inquisitive stare.

“Yes. You are not from around here. So, anything I would tell you, you will keep it forever.” Taking a sip of the drink, he looked around and, realizing that no one else was listening to us, continued, “You’re young. You have a lot of life ahead of you, and I can see that you are a man who is succeeding in your life.” He pursed his lips, drank again, and added, “I, instead, wasted the best years of my life! My memories are bitter, and I hurt a lot of people!”

His statement surprised me and aroused a deep curiosity.

“Tell me about your past, man. Why do you say that?” I urged, intrigued and eager to know more about his comment, “I hurt a lot of people.”

But he fell silent, staring into my eyes.

“It doesn’t matter,” he replied, and after giving me a gentle smile, he went on, “This old man is already reaching the end of the road, and to no one but you, I have commented something about my life. Do you know why I said it to you? Because you are a traveler, and you will soon leave this town and will not come back again,” he murmured, and drank, refusing to disclose anything else about his life.

Then, his lips formed a tired smile. Evading my question, he told me a story about how he had saved himself from a jaguar attack with nothing but a machete while in the jungle. Afterward, we chatted for a long time, and he confessed his regret for certain acts in his life that he nonetheless avoided describing.

I soon saw that Relicario was one of those characters who had once followed dreams, but when he failed to realize them, his goals were left unmet. His dreams thus became frustrations, which caused him to pursue distorted convictions, which forced him to make mistakes. He ended up an eternal dreamer, self-deluded and adrift on a sea of unwarranted ideas which had transformed his twilight years into a time of bitter lamentations for the unwise and evil things he had done.

When I left him with his trombone and his dog and headed back to the bar, a half-dozen mature, gray-haired men carrying wind instruments slowly entered the park. One of these men limped while pulling a small, noisy cart loaded with an enormous tuba. Remaining together, they settled on nearby benches, or beside Relicario and Bones. They were the town band.

A slim black man named María Jesú carried on his back a tambora with a pair of cymbals on top. The old retired butcher, Abdénago, managed the clarinet. Ferney, a very gray-haired ex-cowboy and ex-laborer who no longer had the strength to ride horses or rope cattle, played trumpet. A retired barber, Valentino, who had white hair, a short neat haircut, a clean-shaven face, a limp, and a bulky stomach where his tuba rested, marked time during concerts. And finally, Relicario and his trombone completed the ensemble.

I found out that Relicario was also a great storyteller, contrary to his lonely demeanor, as if he had two personalities. I understood it when I saw him during my few days in the town, as he regularly entertained his bandmates with intriguing stories and funny anecdotes before their daily rehearsals. In those moments, he was the center of the group's attention. After reminiscing about their lives, under the protection of Bones, they rehearsed a few out-of-tune melodies for the Sunday concert.

Bones was the leading critic in the band's practices, resting his belly on the floor, with his raised ears paying close attention to the musical. A few out-of-tune notes were common during performances, but when the dissonance became severe, Bones would give a short, sharp bark and moan while putting his head between his outstretched legs. He would return to his customary posture, wagging his tail, and the musicians would laugh, understanding they had been out of tune. At times, Bones would join in with loud, languid howls.

“Be quiet! Bones! You are disturbing us, and you are not helping us!” The smiling musicians ordered.

It was very pleasant to observe all this from my sidewalk table in front of the bar.

“Those musicians meet daily in the park. They have never missed a single day of preparation for the Sunday concerts,” Atanaél commented, pouring me a beer before returning to the counter.

Gazing at the old musicians, I noticed how they tried to brush their old, faded clothes clean with bare hands, tried to flatten the wrinkles in their trousers, and to disguise their frayed collars among strands of long gray hair. Their instruments, by contrast, gleamed impeccably.

This was my first time meeting the musicians. It was common to see them gathered in the park in the evenings after rehearsals, discussing songs or repeating stories. Some idly poked at the holes in their shoe soles as they talked, while others stroked Bones or laughed loudly while discussing the misnamed date of some event, or because the name of some character in their repeated accounts did not match. They gathered with their instruments at the same bench every day, under hot sun or in cold rain.

Despite their humble and ancient appearance, they were the only musical band in the region. On their own initiative, they had for many years gone up against the prevailing monotony of weekends, because every Sunday at mid-morning, the park came to life with pleasant concerts. Their melodies made passionate fans of the inhabitants of Alvarado and nearby towns, along with farmers outside the towns.

Their performance was the only weekend entertainment in town besides cafe pool tables. These concerts were so well received that on Sunday mornings, the children, instead of asking their parents, “Let's go to the park of the sparrows and swallows,” enthusiastically shouted, “Let's go to the park for the old men's concert.” Every Sunday, these elderly musicians enchanted the park with their music.

For a few hours each weekend, the band transformed the tedious routine of the town with cheerful and occasionally imperfect melodies. It didn't matter if they were suddenly out-of-tune and the instruments mismatched harmonies, or if the tuba lost rhythm as it slowly slid down over Valentino's huge stomach.

It was funny to watch Bones barking or growling disapproval at the dissonances or howling, trying to follow the melodies, or when the musicians protested humorously, “Quiet, silly dog. You are making us sound horrible!”

This whole situation was fun and enjoyable to see: them struggling to get back on track while blaming their sour notes on Bones. No one criticized them. On the contrary, everyone smiled, encouraging them to continue the folkloric Sunday events, always adding new works to their repertoire.

Mute Tontón was a prominent fan of the band and had never missed any of their concerts. It was his favorite day because he danced with joy and grace for most of the show, adding jolly and picturesque dance steps to go with the melodies. His movements were so funny that the crowd and musicians laughed constantly. Sometimes, other spectators also danced, expressing his joy.

The people responded to the concerts with generous charity. Many donated coins and bills in a hat placed on the bench near Valentino. These donations served to make minor repairs on their musical instruments or maintain, at least for another day, some of the everyday needs of the aging musicians as well as Bones, who participated equally in the band's destiny.

A few weeks earlier, a group of residents had suggested to Mayor Justino Aguas contributing county money toward buying some new instruments and making the group the official band of the town. However, this request had been stuck in a desk drawer in the small government office where it was quickly buried in the dust of oblivion.

“There is no budget for such a thing!” Was the mayor’s pointed response, immediately killing the prospect.

The town sank into its usual heated somnolence once the band had finished their rehearsal but remained seated under the trees.

As I got up from the table and started my way to my hotel, a horseman emerged from a side street. Leading his horse at mid-trot, he came closer, calling for my attention. It was Mauricio Benavides, the man I had been waiting for.

“Hi dude. Sorry for my delay, but I had some issues before I came to town!” He apologized in a tired and irritated voice, stopping the horse beside me.

“May we go to drink something? So I can rest for a moment, and we can talk,” he added after taking a deep breath.

“Of course!” I answered, and we reoccupied my table.

Mauricio Benavides was a thin, dark-haired man with pronounced cheekbones, straight black hair, a close-cropped haircut that could be seen under the brim of his hat. His shirt, soaked in sweat, clung uncomfortably to his skin over clearly visible ribs.

“Is your property far from town?” I asked him when Atanaél served us a couple of cold beers.

“At slow horseback pace, it is almost an hour, but in a car, around twenty minutes.”

“Can my car get to your house? Don't be bothered by my questions, but I must ask them to get an idea of the value of your property,” I quietly explained while sipping the cold beer in the overwhelming heat

“Of course. But it has to be a Jeep. And it can go right up to the front door!” He replied politely, sipping his own beer.

“Yes. My car is a Jeep.”

We quickly arranged my visit to his property at mid-morning the next day, and he suggested I take Valentino as a guide.

“Valentino will be waiting for you in the park. He is the man who plays the tuba. He knows how to get there.” These were his last words, and getting on his horse, he headed down the street.

I saw a boy by the name of Pablo in a room next to the dining room during my dinner at the hotel. He sat next to his young sister Lucrecia, who was watching television with their mother Candelaria, the wife of Leonel, the hotel owner. Suddenly, the boy went to one of the adjoining bedrooms, only to quickly return, running into the dining room with arms outstretched, pretending to be an airplane in flight.

He had swim goggles on, a towel slung across his back and tied around his throat, and a pair of oversized bras on his head, tied below his jaw. Its cups covered his ears.

“Naaaaaa. Control tower. Control tower. Answer! “He said.

Candelaria soon noticed, and called out to him with an embarrassed voice while running after him.

“Control tower. I am under attack. I am under attack.” He announced while soaring about, evading his mother with a teasing laugh, he quickly went back to the room he had just come from.

“You make me ashamed. I told you not to wear my bras for your game,” his mother complained, while his sister Lucrecia and father Leonel smiled at the embarrassing childish behavior.

* * *

Debussy by Anna Toresdotter


  1. Joseph Turri February 27, 2024


    “Two of the BOS members, Mo Mulheren and John Haschak offered to put pictures on the walls in the sterile hallways to try and make it more inviting. This space does not fit the needs of our veterans or the veteran’s service office staff, regardless of how many pictures are put on the wall. Mo even brought a house plant to soothe away all the problems. Again, total disrespect.”

    Rearranging chairs on the deck of the Titanic. We do not need “interior designers” we need LEADERS.

    • George Dorner February 27, 2024

      The Air Quality Board, which meets via Zoom, needs only storage space for its files. Rent them a storage unit. Return the office to the vets. And vote against any supervisor defending the Zoomsters’ use of a revenue-producing office for storage space.

  2. MAGA Marmon February 27, 2024


    Ivermectin is often recognized–2nd to penicillin–for having the greatest impact on human health. Its discovery even won the Nobel Prize.

    But propagandists told you it was “horse dewormer.”

    MAGA Marmon

    • Chuck Dunbar February 27, 2024

      Relevance of this post? Not sure at first, then it dawned on me. Ivermectin is a wonder drug for the treatment of parasites (not Covid, as some claimed several years ago). Makes one wonder if those suffering from being human parasites– described below–might benefit from this drug?
      “A Parasitic personality is one of the subtypes of Narcissistic personality disorder. These subtypes occur on a continuum between two extremes. These people want to be taken care of. They lack a sense of responsibility for their own lives and prefer to live off of others without experiencing any shame.”
      Does it fit the truly shameless Donald Trump? Comes close, maybe.

    • Harvey Reading February 27, 2024

      Never took it myself, but none of my–now five, all Labs, all black, all male–Diamonds ever got heartworm disease.

    • Julie Beardsley February 27, 2024

      If people want to use horse wormer as a COVID cure, they should be issued some horse tranquilizers to go with it.

      • MAGA Marmon February 27, 2024

        Coming from one of the local Branch Covidian Church leaders.

        MAGA Marmon

        • Harvey Reading February 27, 2024

          I thought you were pope of the outfit.

    • Bob A. February 27, 2024

      I’ve used Noromectin (1% Ivermectin injectable) under the supervision of a veterinarian to treat small animal mite infections. It’s a useful antiparasitic agent, but it is not an antiviral.

      I’d never consider self-administering a dose.

  3. George Hollister February 27, 2024


    The history of Gaza, and Israel begins with the emergence in the late Stone Age of Bedouin culture and a change in climate that resulted in the Arabian Desert. Jews and Arabs both have Bedouin roots, and speak languages with the same root as well. Arabs adapted Islam, a monotheistic religion with Jewish roots in the relative resent past, but Bedouin culture was unchanged by this event. Jews and Arabs are the same family. They have always fought with each other, and with themselves. That’s Bedouin. Alexander was a late comer, and outsider with an Indo-European heritage.

    • Harvey Reading February 27, 2024

      And the point of your ramblings is????

  4. Stephen Rosenthal February 27, 2024

    “I can find no instance of critical thinking”
    — Gail Dammuller, Ukiah

    In this context, “critical” should have been removed when referring to Mo Mulheren.

  5. Harvey Reading February 27, 2024


    Been using baking soda for decades. Lots cheaper than that expensive crap that comes in a tube…that one can never completely empty.


    The neos kinda remind of MAGAts.

    • Marco McClean February 27, 2024

      I used to use baking soda, but it’s too abrasive. You’re gradually grinding away the enamel, I think. I use dollar store name-brand toothpaste: Ultra-Brite, or Colgate. They have /a little/ baking soda in them, and also a little hydrogen peroxide, and fluoride that fights cavities. I still have all my own teeth at 65. It’s the gums that’s the problem now. They’re healthy and nothing hurts, but I’m an example of someone they used to call rather long in the tooth. I attribute this to too-aggressive brushing in my youth, like scrubbing a burned cookpan. I’ve had a soft brush on a Sonicare for more than twenty years now, and I floss at night, and hope for the best. Juanita uses a product called Plax before brushing with a regular soft brush, and her teeth are perfect pearls.

      About the paranoia: the only things I’m paranoid about are reasonable but still problematic. When someone calls on the phone and starts telling me about how I’m eligible for help paying my PG&E bill, and I can hear a warehouse full of people in the background all telling other people things, I tell them to never call me again, and hang up, and then think, /What if they were real and I just said no to hundreds of dollars a year?/ Also I notice that my Quora feed is often all about some /really obscure subject/ I googled a few days before, as though Quora’s robot can read everything I ask Google about. And whenever someone writes me with a made-up name from an anonymizing email server to say how crappy my radio show is and what an asshole I am and how I should go fuck myself, I wonder if it’s someone I have to worry about in real life.

      • Bob A. February 27, 2024

        “Also I notice that my Quora feed is often all about some /really obscure subject/ I googled a few days before, as though Quora’s robot can read everything I ask Google about.”

        Marco, you are not paranoid, that’s just how it works. Google sits on the web like a giant spider, collecting your searches and most of your other online activity in real time and then sharing it with anyone who cares to pay them. The only way to mitigate the constant spying is to install privacy tools like uBlock Origin and EFF Privacy Badger.

        • BRICK IN THE WALL February 27, 2024

          I use chicken ma ure for the dendrifice and the resultant growth of whiskers as the brush…See mom? No battery driven device, no Costco, and no friends.

      • Whyte Owen February 27, 2024

        There are several search engines that do not track. is excellent. I never use google.

        • Chuck Wilcher February 27, 2024

          DDG may not track, but they allow Microsoft to track their user’s searches:

          “DuckDuckGo allows trackers through Microsoft owned properties like LinkedIn and Bing. Most simply: DuckDuckGo partners with Microsoft and, as a result, “ad clicks are managed by Microsoft’s ad network.””

      • Harvey Reading February 27, 2024

        I have all my own teeth at 74. Gum problems, no, and I still smoke cigarettes. Lotsa fillings and caps, but normal erosion. Baking soda is a lot like salt: it dissolves in the water, unless you use a gob of it. I suspect toothpaste is more erosive.

        I get a lot fewer junk calls than I did 10 years ago. I think the rats have given up on me, since I always turn them down with a not interested, don’t call again, hey, I’m on the no-call list, or I canceled satellite TV in 2011 and don’t want it again, ever.

        • Harvey Reading February 27, 2024

          Oops. Forgot. I have a Sonicare and love it. Got the first one in the late 90s, at one of the Price Clubs (now called Costco) in Sacramento (Rancho Cordova, to be more specific). Its battery finally wore out about 10 years ago, so I ordered a couple more, and the first one of those is still going strong. Fortunately, replacement brushes are still available for the old models, so I bought several replacements. I also suspect that the high-frequency brushing movement is more abrasive than using baking soda ever thought of being…

          Oh, and I haven’t used Google in ages. I, too, use Duck, Duck, Go.

  6. Jim Armstrong February 27, 2024

    Election Day is a week away.
    It seems to me that we have a unique opportunity to begin to repair the damage that has been done to Mendocino County over the past 10 to 20 years.
    I think that it is well worth taking the chance on Adam Gaska, Jacob Brown and Bernie Norwell.
    As usual, turn-out will be crucial.

  7. manuoku February 27, 2024

    Respectfully, Charlene, the Elections Department has been entirely inadequate at notifying people promptly of the mistakes made in the redistricting snafu. I have friends in Hopland who have received two incorrect ballots and had to call about if/how a third would be issued. They would have remained unaware of the situation if I had not alerted them. They were told to call back if they didn’t receive their ballot by Thursday 2/29 (5 days before the election). This is unacceptable.

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