Press "Enter" to skip to content

Mendocino County Today: Sunday 5/26/24

Sunny | Bowling Ball Beach | Rodeo Champs | AV Events | Memorial Service | Plea Change | Evergreen Cemetery | Council Matters | Peacock | Ed Notes | Rez Ball | Daniel Vaughn | Yesterday's Catch | Clear Lake | Big Tree | Prop 13 | Rivera Mural | Interview Tips | Peeping Tom | Butker Message | SF Moon | Drug Crisis | Window Display | Cultivated Negro | Beam Walker | Bach Killers | Hap Johnson | Marco Radio | Red Moon | Dockery Plantation | Offensive Characters | Disinformation Con | Vowel Movement | Michael Rockefeller | US Might | Black Outs | After Bomb | Garderobe | These People | No Passing

MOSTLY CLEAR SKIES and dry conditions are expected today once some morning low clouds in Humboldt county lift. Highs are expected to be around 80 in the interior today warming into the low 80s Monday. Cooler temperatures and coastal fog and drizzle are expected Tuesday. A warming trend is expected Thursday through Saturday. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): A brisk 42F with clear skies this Sunday morning on the coast. The fog looks to be down in the bay area today. It will be lovely today then some fog returns tomorrow. The NWS is calling for drizzle on Tuesday.

Bowling Ball Beach (Jennifer Smallwood)

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND FUN: Young Hudson Guintini was named the 'Sheep Riding Champion' Saturday at the Potter Valley Rodeo. The rodeo is a Mendocino County classic. Thanks for sharing a great picture, Potter Valley Rodeo! (Mike Geniella)


Naranjo Rodriguez

A JURY TRIAL scheduled to get underway next Tuesday was averted when trial defendant Juan Jose Naranjo Rodriguez, age 31, of Ukiah, instead admitted criminal culpability Thursday afternoon and stipulated to a state prison commitment.

While still on a March 2023 court probation for a prior DUI conviction, defendant Naranjo Rodriguez was driving a motor vehicle in March 2024 – this time on a suspended license and again under the influence of alcohol.

The defendant’s blood alcohol was measured in the probation case at .21/.22, and .20/.19 in the current case.

After driving north on State Street and turning east onto Talmage Road, the intoxicated driver claimed he was distracted, a distraction that caused him to mow down the pedestrian.

Without stopping to render aid, Naranjo Rodriguez fled the scene because, as he told the investigators, he didn’t want to get in trouble again.

Good Samaritans did stop and provided assistance to the badly injured woman until the medical professionals could arrive on scene. The witnesses also provided law enforcement with a good description of the hit-and-run vehicle.

The victim suffered broken legs, a broken pelvis, loss of hearing, had her teeth knocked out, and more. Currently wearing leg braces and wheelchair-bound, the victim has undergone multiple surgeries and is still hoping to be able to fully walk again one of these days.

The defendant, still at the wheel of the now-damaged Nissan Versa, was located driving north on Orchard near the Kohl’s department store by the California Highway Patrol. He was eventually arrested at that location by the Ukiah Police Department.

With the assistance of his counsel and an interpreter, the defendant changed his not guilty pleas Thursday afternoon and entered no contest pleas to felony hit-and-run driving causing injury, and feloniously driving a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol .08 or greater causing injury.

The defendant also admitted the special allegation charged by the DA that he inflicted great bodily injury on the victim, making this conviction a violent felony case.

To resolve his case short of trial, the defendant was also required to stipulate to a state prison sentence of 60 months.

Given the violent nature and legal characterization of the crime due to the infliction of great bodily injury, the law mandates that the early release credits the defendant may attempt to earn from pretrial jail custody and post-conviction prison time shall be limited to no more than 15 percent of the overall 60 month sentence.

A violent felony conviction also constitutes a future Strike if the defendant is convicted of another felony anytime in the future.

Even though the defendant’s sentence has been determined, his matter was still referred to the Adult Probation Department for a background study. That background information is needed by the state prison authorities for classification purposes and prison facility assignment.

The law enforcement agencies that participated in the investigation of this case were the Ukiah Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, and the District Attorney’s Bureau of Investigations.

The prosecutor handling this case from the filing of formal charges through sentencing is District Attorney David Eyster.

With the victim, her husband, and her son watching and listening from the gallery, Mendocino County Superior Court Judge Victoria Shanahan accepted the defendant’s change of pleas and admission Thursday afternoon.

Judge Shanahan will impose the five-year prison sentence when the case is called again on July 3, 2024 at 9 o’clock in the morning in Department B in the downtown Ukiah courthouse.

Evergreen Cemetery, Boonville (Jeff Goll)


by Megan Wutzke

During the city council meeting on May 13, the council discussed tiny homes, heard a presentation on the code enforcement team, and provided direction for potential projects for a PLHA grant.

The council discussed ordinances pertaining to tiny homes and future tiny home communities. In 2022, the council established a tiny house ordinance that allowed up to three tiny homes on a lot, which conflicted with the state law on mobile parks. The Planning Commission held public hearings on March 27 and April 10.

The council also solidified some of the more minor changes recommended by the planning commission. For example, some rules concerning the Tiny Home’s location, whether in the front or the back of the parcel, were relaxed. Councilmember Tess Albin-Smith voiced her concerns about this, as she didn’t want tiny homes ruining the character of some of the older neighborhoods. However, the rest of the council disagreed, saying they didn’t want to place too many constraints on building tiny homes.

The council also updated the ordinances on mobile parks, adding language to include tiny homes and other manufactured homes. Recreation Vehicles would not be allowed. One of the most significant changes to this ordinance was changing the required lot size. The old ordinance required a 3-acre lot to build a mobile park, which was a barrier to development. The new ordinance eliminates the minimum lot size.

The council heard a presentation on the closeout of the code enforcement program grant. This program was funded by a 3-year $447,749 grant from the CDBG program in 2020. It ran from April 2021 to April 2024. Before this program, code enforcement was handled by the community development department, but it did not have a designated code officer. Using the grant funds, an assistant planner from the community development department was hired as a code enforcement officer. In 2022, code enforcement was moved from the community development department to the police department. A second code enforcement officer was hired in 2023.

This program focused on proactive inspections of rental housing. According to the presentation, code enforcement increased by 207% compared to prior years.

The rules concerning CDBG funding have changed since 2020, so code enforcement is no longer considered an eligible, standalone project for CDBG. The City needs to apply for a housing program that includes code enforcement to get more funding.

The council also directed staff to apply for Permanent Local Housing Allocation funding. This funding focuses on assisting people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, so the grant needs to fund programs dedicated to those activities. The city staff suggested either the Care Response Unit or funding for the Rental Assistance Program.

Since CRU has been funded through 2025, the council directed staff to apply for the funds with a rental assistance program. According to Mayor Bernie Norvell, keeping people in their homes is more cost-effective than getting unhoused people into a home. Applications for this funding are due June 6.

(Ukiah Daily Journal)

Peacock Train Feather Display, Reynolds Hwy (Jeff Goll)


THE MOUTH of the Navarro, despite the pretty good rains of February, is so silted up only a thin rivulet, maybe a foot or two across and about as deep, connects the Navarro to the sea. How the fish can run upstream past the ever-lurking sea lions on such a narrow, shallow life line as exists in mid-winter and closes altogether by early April, can only be explained by the confident young whippersnappers at Fish and Game who say, “That’s the way it’s supposed to be. Natural.”  So how come the mouth of the Russian River is dredged most years?

REMEMBER PROP 40 The California Clean Water, Clean Air, Safe Neighborhood Parks and Coastal Protection Act of 2002? How about throwing in the moon and eternal life for everyone who registers Democrat while we’re doing so much good all at once? Two years before that we approved $4 billion in state bonds for clean water and parks.

BUT PARKS are grungier than ever, and in urban areas are little more than combination dog runs and outdoor dope marts, while more and more of us don’t dare drink water straight from our taps.

BURGEONING Sonoma County owns most of the water stored in Lake Mendocino, and seeing as how Sonoma County keeps on burgeoning as if there’s plenty of water for everyone forever no matter how much they burgeon, and the burgeoning along 101 between Petaluma and Cloverdale keeps on begging the question: Where's the water going to come from to support all this burgeoning?

THE MENDOCINO TRANSIT AUTHORITY is one of the more irritating local public agencies. First off, when a public agency only has about five employees, why does that public agency answer incoming calls with a voice mail menu? People call a bus office because they want to know what time the bus arrives or departs, and they want a human-type person to answer the phone and tell them when and where the bus departs, not press more buttons for more voice mail.

IT'S BEEN A WHILE since I read a school board packet containing several pages of earnest prose about the search and seizure laws as they apply to Dopers, The Next Generation! Among my faves, “Employees shall not conduct strip searches or body cavity searches of any student…” And, “In an effort to keep the schools free of drugs, the district may use specially trained, non-aggressive dogs to sniff out and alert staff to the presence of substances prohibited by law or Board policy.” When schools have to resort to dope dogs and metal detectors, it’s time to seriously re-think the enterprise.


A Reader: In yesterday’s Ed Notes, you quote someone as suggesting that if your brakes fail, a last resort would be to turn off the key. Problem with that is most cars now have an ignition/steering wheel interface that locks your steering when the engine shuts down. Probably would be better to continue to steer, even if the brakes have failed. Probably worth a try to attempt to jam it into Park, if it's an automatic. Blow up the transmission, no doubt, but would be worth it. Just thinking out loud, so to speak! See, even using those phrases makes me think of your situation!

Tex Sawyer: I had the master brake cylinder fail in a car a few years back coming down a hill. I agree with take your foot off the accelerator. Put it in low gear and then gradually apply pressure on the mechanical brake with either hand or foot while keeping the pawl from engaging, so that you can feather the pressure on the brakes. Don’t jam the mechanical brake down because you can cause a slide when the rear wheels lock up. DO NOT turn off the engine. You run the risk of having the steering lock up and losing control of the vehicle’s direction. Try practicing this maneuver in advance in a parking lot until you get the idea. Last ditch, drive your car gradually into a hill side, if one is available.

Marshall Newman: Sometimes there are no options. In the winter of – I think – 1962, my father and sister were driving downhill on our property in Philo in our old Dodge when the brakes and clutch both failed. The car went off the road at the hairpin curve at the bottom of the hill and – by pure luck – squarely hit the only large tree within 20 feet on each side. If it had not hit the tree, it would have landed in the Navarro River, which was high with winter rain. They walked back to the house bruised and battered, but otherwise fine. The car was totaled and had some of my sister’s hair in the shattered windshield.


May 25, 1937 - Daniel Vaughn died at the hospital in Fort Bragg. He had been ill for about ten days with a severe cold that developed into pneumonia and had been in the hospital for four days. His brother William, who worked as a printer in the Mendocino Beacon office, had been by his side for several days, and just the day before Dan’s death, his sister, Molly Ross, had arrived at the hospital from Richmond where she was teaching school.

Vaughn Family Portrait, 1900-1902. Standing in the back row, left to right, are William, Molly, Charles, and Nellie. Sitting in front are Daniel and their mother Mary Elizabeth.

Born in Mendocino in 1894, Dan was the youngest child of Michael and Mary (Collins) Vaughn. His parents were both immigrants from Ireland and moved to Mendocino following their marriage in San Francisco in 1883. Michael died from cancer when Dan was just four years old, leaving Mary with five children to raise on her own.

Dan graduated from Mendocino High School in 1913. During World War I, he worked as an electrician in the San Francisco shipyards. Following the end of the war, he returned to the Vaughn family home on Little Lake Road, where he lived until his death.

In the 1920s, he worked in construction, then operated a taxi service and automobile garage on Lansing Street. In the 1930s, he was the mail carrier between Mendocino to Comptche. He was known for his many kind acts for Comptche-Ukiah Road residents along his route.

His funeral was held at the Catholic Church in Mendocino, Father Anthony officiating, and he was buried in the Vaughn family plot at Hillcrest Cemetery under the direction of Grace Cannarr. Dan was survived by his siblings, Molly Ross of Greenwood (Elk), Nellie Bowden of Hollister, Charles Vaughn with the U. S. Army Air Force at Scott Field, Illinois, and William D. Vaughn of Mendocino.

NOTE: Today (Sunday) is the annual book sale at the Kelley House Museum May 26, 10am-3pm. A great selection of history and art books at low prices. Curated by Katy Tahja.

CATCH OF THE DAY, Saturday, May 25, 2024

Bennett, Cruz, Delcampo

JOSHUA BENNETT, Fort Bragg. Failure to appear.

LORENZO CRUZ, Ukiah. Attempted burglary.

SEAN DELCAMPO, Fort Bragg. Attempt to keep stolen property.

Hill, Lincoln, Medel, Miller

MATTHEW HILL, Ukiah. Petty theft, controlled substance, paraphernalia, probation violation.

DUSTIN LINCOLN, Covelo. DUI with blood-alcohol over 0.15%.


SHANE MILLER JR., Ukiah. Violation of domestic violence restraining order.

Santiago, Spitsen, Stark


MARK SPITSEN, Ukiah. Petty theft, probation violation.



by Ashley Harrell

On a toasty summer day at Wild Diamond Vineyards, a winery about a 2.5-hour drive north of San Francisco, a friend and I clinked glasses and sipped a top-notch cabernet. From the new hilltop tasting village at 2,200 feet, we had stunning views of the surrounding vineyard, Mount Saint Helena, Mount Cobb and — if we squinted — Lake Berryessa. We had no view north, but up that way was Clear Lake, the small towns surrounding it and a whole lot of farmland.

As they say in these parts, “Clear Lake puts the country in wine country.”

When you tell San Franciscans you’re taking a trip to Clear Lake, they sometimes look at you funny. But here’s a secret: Many of the high-quality grapes from around here ultimately land in cases with Napa labels. The cabernets and sauvignon blancs from seven appellations around the lake are superior, yet tastings and bottles cost a fraction of what they do in neighboring, fancy-pants Napa. Also, reservations are easy to come by, and unlike in Napa, most of the vineyards remain owned and operated by the families who started them.

There’s something undeniably appealing about an off-the-radar wine country, and from what people had told me, Clear Lake had more to offer than just wine. They were right.

A Hot New Glamping Resort

If you’re going to visit Clear Lake in the middle of July, be prepared for the heat. When we arrived at our lodgings, the new glamping resort Huttopia Wine Country, the temperature had climbed above 100 degrees. Huttopia has more than 60 resorts across Europe, China and North America, and its recent opening on Six Sigma’s property, a 4,300-acre ranch and vineyard south of the lake, had been big news in these small towns. The luxury tent cabins are equipped with solar power, fully stocked kitchens, nice bathrooms and relaxing decks. But the walk from the parking lot to the tent cabins is long, and the cabins don’t have air conditioning.

“I’m so sorry,” I told my friend as we stripped down to our bathing suits, sweating and laughing deliriously. After dropping off our stuff, we made a beeline over the dusty path to the resort pool, which was a godsend. Although we had hoped to sample the wine at Six Sigma’s tasting room and mountain bike on the property’s trails that afternoon, we opted to remain submerged until the evening, when the heat finally relented. Back at the cabin, we agreed Huttopia would be an ideal family getaway in mild weather, and the beds were ridiculously comfortable.

Kayaking, Wine And Vintage Lunchboxes

Early the next morning, we headed out for some kayaking up Cache Creek. The takeoff point was Clear Lake Campground, a quaint, shaded complex on the creek that’s been around since the 1950s. Owner Lisa Wilson moved from New York City in 2011 to take it over from her parents, and in addition to hosting tent, RV and boat campers, she rents kayaks and canoes for adventuring on the creek.

Our journey began alongside Anderson Marsh State Historic Park, a marshland set aside to protect artifacts of the Pomo people, who have inhabited the region for nearly 12,000 years. Water birds glided past us as we paddled, including ospreys, mallards, herons and grebes, which build floating nests here in the early summer. The creek was thick with algae, which Wilson pointed out is healthy for the ecosystem despite the unpleasant smell. Of the 130 species of algae that live in the area, five can be dangerous to swimmers, dogs or anyone who drinks the water, and during harmful blooms, the county issues warnings that travelers should heed.

After about an hour of paddling, we reached Clear Lake, the oldest lake in North America and the biggest natural freshwater lake in California (Tahoe is bigger, but part of it lies in Nevada). There are a number of ways to enjoy the lake, including boating, Jet-Skiing, waterskiing, fishing and hiking along the shore, but kayaking there and back is definitely the most strenuous.

We rewarded ourselves with a wine tasting and charcuterie at Brassfield Estate, a Tuscan-style village with magnificent gardens set in the unique High Valley appellation on the east side of the lake. In the afternoon, we drove up to Nice (pronounced like the town in France) to check out Clarkes Collectibles Lunchbox Museum, a former firehouse containing more than 700 vintage lunchboxes, along with old toys, dolls, carnival items and other memorabilia. Co-owner Debbie Clarke showed us around and talked excitedly about the collection, which she’s been building since 1985.

“I like anything rare and weird,” Clarke said. “And I love meeting people who come in here. Everybody has a story about their lunchbox.”

Hiking, Farm-Touring And Boating

We rose early again the next day for a hike in Clear Lake State Park, which sprawls across 590 acres on the west side of the lake. The park is a popular spot for camping, hiking, swimming and fishing, and there’s a visitor center and museum that opens on weekends. Signs along the trails warned of rattlesnakes and urged visitors to refrain from poaching Clear Lake hitch, a large, threatened minnow that once thrived in the lake. The recent, drastic decline in hitch numbers has locals arguing over the cause and calling for emergency measures, particularly because of the fish’s significance to Native American tribes.

We spent the remainder of the morning browsing the gardens at Peace & Plenty Farm, North America’s largest producer of saffron. Owners Melinda Price and Simon Avery moved to Kelseyville from San Francisco about four years ago to start the farm, which also grows flowers and lavender and hosts overnight guests in a vintage Airstream, a studio cottage and a tiny house — all of which are adorable. The couple is hard at work much of the time, especially during the labor-intensive saffron harvest, but visitors can pick up saffron lemonade and other products at the farm stand, where payment is on the honor system. The farm also hosts occasional dinners, bringing in chefs from the Bay Area to create saffron-heavy menus.

When the day started to heat up, we headed north to The Lodge at the Blue Lakes and rented an electric boat. Neither of us had ever driven one before, and we had a blast cruising around and cooling off in the deep, spring-fed lake. For dinner, we popped over to Upper Lake’s elegant Tallman Hotel, which was hosting its yearly distiller’s dinner on the veranda of Blue Wing Saloon, the hotel restaurant. Each tasty course arrived with a spirit; for instance, a spinach and goat cheese salad was paired with straight bourbon.

Our drive home was shorter that night, as we had relocated to Suites on Main. In downtown Kelseyville, the collection of modern, tastefully adorned apartments all offer air conditioning.

A Volcano, Some Wine And More Wine

A visit to Clear Lake is incomplete without a hike up Mount Konocti, and this should be done first thing in the morning. I was keen on summiting Wright Peak, the volcano’s highest point, which required a 3-mile jaunt along a fire road with some intriguing stops along the way. Although much of the trail is exposed, it also cuts through an enchanting oak forest before arriving at the early-1900s cabin of Mary Downen, a widow who isolated herself for years and used a mirror to signal from the volcano to her family in Lakeport that she was fine.

The trail also passes the site of a 1970s plane crash, where wreckage can still be seen, and then arrives at the summit, where there’s a fire tower, along with some astounding views of the lake and surrounding agricultural lands. When I walked out on some boulders to take a photo, I ended up startling a rattlesnake, who had apparently forgotten how to use the rattle.

With exercise out of the way, the rest of the day was dedicated to wine and revelry. At Wild Diamond, the director of hospitality Dylan Blumberg showed us the fabulous new tasting room (air-conditioned!), drove us around the vineyard and plucked some “moon tears” (a semi-precious quartz) from the volcanic red soil. At Boatique Winery, we checked out the owner’s prized collection of antique wooden boats (which had recently been sold to someone in Las Vegas) and sampled wine from Red Hills AVA, which is unique for its mountain climate, volcanic soil and lack of pesticides. Then we stopped in at the Shannon Mercantile, a buzzy new tasting room with 12 wines on tap, plus a “sip and pick” zinnia garden. Our tastings concluded at Fore Family Vineyards Wine Room in downtown Kelseyville, and then we stumbled down the street to dinner at the Saw Shop Public House.

That night, Main Street was blocked off for a party called Kickin’ in the Country Street Dance, and we had every intention of going. Instead, we admitted that our adventures in Clear Lake had thoroughly exhausted us and went to bed. We headed out first thing in the morning, and while I was glad to be escaping the 100-degree weather, I had to admit it: I missed Clear Lake already.




The notion that Proposition 13 was intended to benefit low income people or that it originated on the political left is a blatant distortion of history.

Prop 13 was a rightwing campaign waged by Howard Jarvis and his wealthy, predominantly white supporters. They deceived low income and elderly homeowners into voting for a measure that ultimately serves the interests of big corporations and affluent commercial property owners.

This was never an effort by the political left: Prop 13 was always a rightwing extremist scheme.

Prop 13 has handed huge tax breaks to wealthy corporations while unfairly dumping the tax burden on new homeowners and starving our schools and essential public services of critical funding. Prop 13 is already a third rail in California politics. Misrepresenting the origins of Prop 13 does a disservice to citizens and hinders meaningful dialogue about reform.

We need honest, unflinching reporting that captures the full complexities of Prop 13's harmful legacy, rather than sanitized articles that absolves those who orchestrated this fiscal disaster.

Tran Nguyen


IN 1931, Diego Rivera and his new wife, the painter Frida Kahlo, were invited to San Francisco, to produce commissioned work. At the City Club of San Francisco is the first mural Rivera produced in the United States. The fresco depicts the riches of California on what was then the stairway wall and ceiling of the Pacific Coast Stock Exchange Luncheon Club.


by Jonah Raskin

It might seem easy to conduct an interview, but it’s not, especially if you’re after riveting stories. Telling stories is what I love to do and I love listening to stories, too. Tell me a story and I'm happy. Maybe you read the AVA for the stories. I conducted my first interview in New York in the summer of 1968, with the Australian-born writer, Christina Stead, the author of the novel, The Man Who Loved Children, which is still a neglected masterpiece. I didn’t know how to conduct an interview, and hadn’t been taught how to conduct one. But I figured, how difficult could it be? I took a notebook and pencils with me, asked Stead questions and wrote down her answers. It was published in 1970 in The London Magazine under the title “Christina Stead in Washington Square.” I do not have a copy but I went online and found that the issue of the magazine with my interview is available for sale for about $16 plus shipping. I am not planning to purchase it. I connected to Stead with the help of Paul Sweezy and Harry Magdoff, both of them economists and the editors of Monthly Review, a socialist publication. Stead’s husband William Blake had published in 1939 a 729-page book titled An American Looks at Karl Marx, on sale on the internet for $100.

My second interview was with Doris Lessing, the author of The Golden Notebook and about 50 other books both fiction and non-fiction. That took place in May 1969 and was published first in The New American Review and elsewhere. I interviewed Lessing half-a-dozen times after that first interview with her, plus interviews with hundreds of other people from all walks of life. I also taught the art of the interview at Sonoma State University for about 30 years. I’m retired now from teaching, but I still conduct interviews, mostly in person, though occasionally by phone and on a computer.

Recently, I received a request from a journalist who writes for a newsletter for elders. She wanted to interview me and sent me two-dozen questions and then a dozen more; not a good sign in my view, but I met her and sat down opposite her at a long table in an office in San Francisco. It soon became apparent that she didn’t know how to interview me, though she had interviewed at least half-a-dozen elders and published them. All interviews are not the same. They have to be hand crafted. She wanted what’s called “a take away,” which the Oxford dictionary defines as “a key fact, point, or idea to be remembered, typically one emerging from a discussion or meeting.” It’s different from “take out,” which might mean to kill or to purchase prepared food to be consumed away from the place it’s purchased. Most of us have done that. I first heard the phrase “take out” when I was a college undergraduate and went to a delicatessen on Broadway in New York to buy and to eat in my dorm room, a sandwich with salami and provolone on white bread with mustard, mayonnaise and all the fixings.

The phrase “take away” came into my life much later. I was listening to an interview with James Atlas on NPR and the host wanted Atlas to provide a “take away” or a sound bite for the listening audience. I didn’t like the phrase, and still don’t though I understand that “media outlets” want them. In the old days, we used the phrase “raised quotes,” which are sentences from an article that are lifted from the text, that are enlarged and that are meant to draw readers into the story. I don’t object to them, just as I don’t object to captions under photos or drawings. To ask someone who is interviewed to provide a “take away” strikes me as cheating. It’s the job of the interviewer to decide on the essence or key idea embedded in the remarks by the interviewee.

I confess I have cheated. I once asked Doris Lessing to tell me the underlying meaning in one of her novels. She said, “I’m the author. You're the critic. It’s your job to find and describe the meaning in the text.” Fair enough. I’ve been doing that ever since. The woman who was interviewing me wanted me to provide the memorable moments in my life and to sum it up in a phrase. She had read several of my books and complained that there was nothing about me in them.

I replied that they were all autobiographical. If she looked carefully she would find me. I also told her that at 82 I had dozens of memorable moments and that I couldn’t put my whole life in a nutshell or “take away.” She vowed to conduct more research about me and to read the autobiography I had written in the early 1970s and published under the title Out of the Whale in 1974. “That was fifty years ago,” I said. “If I were to write about myself now I would tell very different stories, and also retell the account I provide in Out of the Whale. I might call the book Inside the Whale.” I added that at 82 my life looks and feels different than it did at 32.”

The idea was lost on the woman who was interviewing me, though I didn’t give up on her. I had spent hours talking with her and wanted the interview to be published and for elders to read it. I suggested to her that she have a conversation with me and not conduct a question and answer interview, that to “get information it helps to give information.” I added, “you might open yourself, be transparent and not opaque.” That’s not what she wanted to hear. I have not heard from her since.



The denigrating of Kansas City Chiefs placekicker Harrison Butker for his commencement address at Benedictine College is off base. He was sending a message that needs to be heard.

Society currently emphasizes career achievement as the supreme goal in life for women. However, more women should look forward to marriage and raising a family so that society will continue to flourish. The birth rates in the U.S. and other countries are low, which will destabilize societies worldwide.

Enrollment in Bay Area schools is declining and ultimately will result in school closures.

Families need a man in the house to not only provide food and house the children but to instill proper discipline and guidance before they are launched into the world.

We need to look ahead and see the downside of the current narrative about the role of men and women in society.

Glen Jones

Fort Bragg


by William Andereck, David Smith, and Steve Heilig

America’s drug crisis has resulted in a major influx of patients into hospital emergency departments. Many have chronic mental health issues, substance use disorders or both. These individuals show up at the hospital critically ill, if not near death. Most can and want to be helped. Unfortunately, these individuals are often stabilized and then discharged to the same unhealthy environment that made them sick in the first place.

A smaller, but more troubling, demographic refuses to cooperate with caregivers and insists on leaving without adequate treatment — only to return soon thereafter, or die. Hospital personnel ruefully refer to them as “frequent fliers.” We define this select group as those who suffer from medical conditions severe enough to require hospitalization, but, due to substance use or psychiatric disorders, repetitively demonstrate a lack of capacity to understand the nature of their disease, the recommended treatment or the consequences of noncompliance. The impact of this group on the health care system is significant, economically and emotionally.

Patients who leave against medical advice have been shown to have a higher rate of homelessness, drug dependence and mental health issues than patients who remain in the hospital. Up to one-third of these discharges result in readmission to a hospital within 30 days. The financial burden on the community is significant. A 2002 study conducted in Baltimore found the average cost of a hospital stay was $3,716 for patients who stayed as planned. For those who left against doctor’s advice and were readmitted, the cost was $10,762, a 56% increase.

Our current system of letting someone’s disease bring them to the brink of death, only to be resuscitated and then turned loose to repeat the process is like an eerie form of waterboarding. This cycle of despair is one of the sources of moral distress that is leading to doctor and nurse burnout. We are failing these unlucky people and our community.

Dealing with this drug and mental health crisis requires a new ethical and nonjudgmental health paradigm. As health care workers who have long seen California’s most vulnerable patients, we propose a four-point path to recovery that calls on health care providers, local officials and the state to develop a coordinated system that can stabilize individuals during their initial hospital stay, initiate a prompt and transparent conservatorship process, and provide placement in an appropriate inpatient rehabilitation program that can accommodate all medical, psychiatric and substance disorder needs.

  1. Expand Addiction Services At Hospitals

Hospital staffers routinely complain that they do not have the training or the specialty support to address the addiction needs of their patients. This is unacceptable. How would doctors respond if they weren’t given the proper training to manage diabetes? Failing to control the withdrawal symptoms of a critically ill patient is like neglecting to manage their blood sugar. Every hospital in major areas needs to adopt “best practice standards” in psychiatric management and substance use disorder treatment, including having modern addiction medicine expertise as they do other basic services. This includes stabilizing patients when they are admitted to the hospital with appropriate medications — such as buprenorphine — to control withdrawal symptoms, and more importantly, the craving that characterizes addiction. Once stabilized, some patients will accept rehabilitation services and can be discharged to an outpatient setting. Those who continue to refuse treatment are another issue.

  1. A Better Conservatorship Process

Patients who repetitively refuse to cooperate with their recovery, due to substance use or mental illness, should not be allowed to leave the hospital against medical advice without a legal release.

In 1967, California adopted the Lanterman-Petris-Short (LPS) Act to create a process for holding patients with a mental illness against their will when they are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others or are gravely disabled. This process, however, falls short in two significant ways. First, while alcoholism is considered grounds for involuntary holds, substance abuse is not. The act’s criteria for holding a patient also do not apply to medical conditions. As such, patients who are unable to assess these ailments in a rational manner are allowed to walk out of the hospital with life-threatening infections, uncontrolled diabetes and other diseases that need ongoing treatment.

A second flaw in the process are rules that allow us to hold people but make it hard to treat them for the disease we are holding them for. A specific legal process is required to initiate a physical hold, a separate hearing, called a Riese hearing, is needed to actually treat the patient, who lacks the capacity to make rational decisions, without consent. This mechanism currently exists only for psychiatric patients. There are no provisions in LPS conservatorship for incapacitated patients refusing medical treatment.

Paternalism — “doctor knows best” — has become an unpopular concept in medicine and society. But the current prevalence of homelessness, misery and premature death among the mentally ill and addicted is worse. We take oaths to “do no harm,” but, as was first noted a half century ago in a medical journal, we are letting people “die with their rights on,” even though many of them who refuse assistance lack the ability to rationally exercise their rights and self-interest.

Some argue no addicts can stop substance use unless they really want to. Clearly, recognition of the problem is necessary. However, one essential characteristic of the disease of addiction is denial. With proper treatment, denial fades over time, but only with the support and time to get there. We know many addicts well into recovery who did not enter treatment willingly. Requiring someone’s volition to enter rehab is another way of blaming the victim for their lack of will. Treatment is much more effective than it used to be - but only even given enough time to really work, which often means some form of enforced setting, for at least a few months, or more. But for most, this does not entail permanent placement, and eventually most will be able to leave facilities and will be grateful for the change in their lives.

  1. Expand Treatment Infrastructure

Stabilizing and conserving a patient without a place to treat them beyond the hospital is usually a waste of time and resources. We often find that, even when a patient is eligible for conservatorship, there is no place to send them from the hospital. A patient can stay for weeks, or even months, in this medical limbo of “awaiting placement.”

The biggest challenge many areas face in this arena is the lack of infrastructure to accommodate the patients in hospitals and on streets. Expansion of substance abuse disorder and mental health treatment facilities is essential for any effort to get control of the current crisis.

San Francisco, for example, has several sober living centers and other outpatient treatment programs available for patients willing to accept them. These are important and more are urgently needed. What is most lacking in San Francisco and elsewhere, however, is a closed, subacute medical unit for patients requiring continued hospital care. A location for at least 60-75 subacute beds needs to be identified and developed to staff and care for these patients.

To be successful, post-hospital management must be closely coordinated with inpatient hospitals. We can’t continue to discharge people to the streets while they wait for treatment. Patients need immediate access to closed residential centers for medical management and rehabilitation. Addiction medicine specialists, psychiatrists and psychologists have to be part of the program.

The length of stay in the rehabilitation center would be determined by the individual’s progress. For the most challenging patients, that will mean a minimum of several months. Recognizing the role of triggers that induce drug cravings, these centers should be secure, and perhaps geographically isolated, with visitors strictly limited. Centers would promote a therapeutic community with programs from addiction medicine and counseling to job training, as well as tiered living arrangements based on progress. The eventual goal would be to address the patient’s medical conditions and then transfer them to an outpatient sober living program.

While designing a rehabilitation program, we need to realize that these people are victims of a disease, not simply criminals or “weak.” Many, if not most, have a history of severe early-life trauma. A disproportionate percentage are people of color and economically disadvantaged. Any successful approach to their treatment and healing must differ from the criminal justice system in its purpose and environment.

On that note, we also support expanding harm reduction efforts such as overdose reversal, street outreach, safe injection sites and law enforcement where needed to deter drug dealing. These are controversial but evidence is ever stronger that they can help. But we must recognize these approaches, like those of arresting, incarcerating, and otherwise punishing users in the long-failed “drug war,” will never be sufficient to eliminate substance abuse disorders and the suffering they cause - for both addicts and our communities.

Finally, we need to revive some publicly funded state hospitals for those who, despite the best efforts at rehabilitation, remain unable to safely live in the community for whatever mental health reasons. “Deinstitutionalization” was largely an ill-considered and short-sighted mistake, neither humane or cost-effective.

4: Pay The Piper

Programs that provide a path to recovery are expensive because they are necessarily human resource-intensive and can take considerable time to build and staff. However, data shows that making these investments to treat the neediest is ultimately less expensive than neglect.

Treatments for substance use disorder and many psychiatric conditions are beneficial for a significant portion of the population. However, it is possible that some individuals will not be able to return to a functional lifestyle even with a year or more of therapy. This means that a population of those who cycle in and out of the hospital with serious medical issues could become long-term wards of the state. Providing ongoing compassionate care to this group will be expensive. But the situation on our streets and in our hospitals, fueled by fentanyl and methamphetamine and more, is clearly getting worse — and the status quo isn’t working. Solutions will only become more expensive, and heartbreaking, with further delay.

(William Andereck is an internist and chairman of the ethics committee at Sutter Health/California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco. David Smith was founder of the Haight-Ashbury Free Medical Clinics and is past president of California and American Societies of Addiction Medicine. Steve Heilig is director of public health and education for San Francisco Marin Medical Society, an epidemiologist and editor, and a former Robert Wood Johnson drug policy fellow.)

Random Storefront Window Display, Haight Street, SF (Steve Heilig)


by Deborah Freidell

In 1867, Mark Twain went to Europe aboard the Quaker City, the “first luxury cruise in American history.” He was underwhelmed by the Titians in the Doge’s Palace – “there is nothing tangible about these imaginary portraits, nothing that I can grasp and take a living interest in” – but awestruck by his tour guide. The man appeared to be – was it possible? – a “cultivated Negro.” He even knew the definition of “Renaissance.”

“He was born in South Carolina, of slave parents. They came to Venice while he was an infant. He has grown up here. He is well educated. He reads, writes and speaks English, Italian, Spanish and French, with perfect facility; is a worshipper of art and thoroughly conversant with it; knows the history of Venice by heart and never tires of talking of that city’s illustrious career. He dresses better than any of us, I think, and is daintily polite. Negroes are deemed as good as white people, in Venice, and so this man feels no desire to go back to his native land. His judgment is correct.”

Twain had grown up around Black people in Missouri, a slave state, and thought he had their measure. Twain’s father was a lawyer who bought and sold slaves, and could usually afford to keep at least one of his own. His uncle (“I have not come across a better man than he was”) had a farm with “fifteen or twenty Negroes.” In his autobiography, Twain would claim that “all the Negroes were friends of ours,” and that they were nearly all the same: pliant, cheerful, superstitious, deeply religious, with hearts that were “honest and simple and knew no guile.” At least until young adulthood, he had “no aversion to slavery.” No one had ever told him that there was anything wrong with it, and “if the slaves themselves had an aversion to slavery, they were wise and said nothing.” On Sundays, “the local pulpit taught us that God approved it, that it was a holy thing.”

When the Civil War started, Twain was 25 years old, a riverboat pilot. He volunteered for a Confederate militia, but lasted only two weeks before hightailing it to the Nevada Territory. In Mark Twain: Social Critic the historian Philip Foner suggested that he deserted because of “a boil, a sprained ankle, and heavy rains,” not because of any change of heart about secession. Long after the war was over, Twain befriended Ulysses S. Grant, and helped him to publish his memoirs. But Twain’s biographers haven’t been able to work out what he thought about the war while it was happening.

His letters from the period are high-spirited, obsessed with money, seemingly unconcerned about what might be happening back east. When he began writing pieces for small newspapers, he stuck to local news. One feint – he always claimed that he had written it drunk, and that no one should have taken him seriously – was an article he wrote in 1864 for the Territorial Enterprise of Virginia City, Nevada, alleging that fundraisers for sick and wounded Union soldiers were actually supporting a “miscegenation society.” Readers complained, but Twain wouldn’t apologize in print, telling his brother’s wife that he couldn’t “submit to the humiliation of publishing myself as a liar.”

Within months he had moved to San Francisco, where he still dabbled in fake news but also tried to do some real reporting. He wrote about Chinese immigrants being “abused and maltreated in all the mean, cowardly ways possible to the invention of a degraded nature,” and was angry when no one would publish his account of white “hoodlums” stoning a Chinese laundryman while a policeman watched “with an amused interest – nothing more.” By the end of the century, he would claim to be color-blind. “I am quite sure that (bar one) I have no race prejudices, and I think I have no color prejudices nor caste prejudices nor creed prejudices … All that I care to know is that a man is a human being – that is enough for me; he can’t be any worse.” The exception referred to Native Americans, who were “base and treacherous, and hateful in every way … a good, fair, desirable subject for extermination if ever there was one.”

When Twain wrote Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884), slavery in America had been abolished for almost 20 years. He had made a life in Connecticut, and written critically of the “sham grandeurs” of the South, but remembering antebellum Missouri always made him feel “like some banished Adam, who is revisiting his half-forgotten Paradise.” Huck is a version of a “juvenile pariah” Twain had known growing up, the “son of the town drunkard.” He is “always the first boy that went barefoot in the spring and the last to resume leather in the fall; he never had to wash, nor put on clean clothes.” No one forces him to go to school or to church. He swears “wonderfully,” but – when first introduced in The Adventures of Tom Sawyer – doesn’t know how to write his own initials. The other children are “under strict orders not to play with him.” In his memoirs, Frederick Douglass half-claimed to pity white boys who grew up without the “freedom” of the young Black slave, which is almost the life Twain gives Huck:

“The slave-boy escapes many troubles which befall and vex his white brother. He seldom has to listen to lectures on propriety of behavior, or on anything else. He is never chided for handling his little knife and fork improperly or awkwardly, for he uses none. He is never reprimanded for soiling the tablecloth, for he takes his meals on the clay floor. He never has the misfortune, in his games or sports, of soiling or tearing his clothes, for he has almost none to soil or tear … Thus, freed from all restraint, the slave-boy can be, in his life and conduct, a genuine boy, doing whatever his boyish nature suggests.”

After Huck’s “persecuting father” comes close to killing him, he escapes to a “long, narrow, wooded island” in the Mississippi River. He’s comfortable enough, smoking and gathering strawberries, “but by-and-by it got sort of lonesome.” The narrative transforms into American pastoral only after Huck joins forces with “Miss Watson’s big nigger, called Jim,” who is trying to escape to the North. “I warn’t lonesome, now.” When Huck is with Jim, the days “slid along so quiet and smooth and lovely.” They swim and fish, and “afterwards we would watch the lonesomeness of the river, and kind of lazy along, and by-and-by lazy off to sleep.”

“We had the sky up there, all speckled with stars, and we used to lay on our backs and look up at them, and discuss about whether they was made, or only just happened – Jim he allowed they was made, but I allowed they happened; I judged it would have took too long to make so many. Jim said the moon could a laid them; well, that looked kind of reasonable, so I didn’t say nothing against it, because I’ve seen a frog lay most as many, so of course it could be done. We used to watch the stars that fell, too, and see them streak down.”

When Ralph Ellison read the novel, he could “imagine myself as Huck Finn (I so nicknamed my brother), but not, though I racially identified with him, as Nigger Jim, who struck me as a white man’s inadequate portrait of a slave.” Ellison argued that Twain couldn’t free himself of “the white dictum that Negro males must be treated either as boys or ‘uncles’ – never as men.” Jim is old enough to be Huck’s father, and has children, but “Jim’s friendship for Huck comes across as that of a boy for another boy rather than the friendship of an adult for a junior.” To Toni Morrison, Jim seemed a “buffoon,” wearing an “ill-made clown suit.”

(London Review of Books)

A construction worker carries a sack across a beam working on a 71-story skyscraper on 40 Wall Street, New York City. 1930


by David Yearsley

It is not until the last of the eight episodes of Ripley, which dropped in April on Netflix, that Bach’s music makes an appearance.

I’d been expecting it, and not just any piece from among the one-thousand-plus numbers in the Baroque master’s catalog.

It had to be the Goldberg Variations.

One of Bach’s most celebrated keyboard works, both contrapuntally complex and technically demanding, these thirty variations bookended by the placid aria that is the basis for the elaborations, are endlessly inventive and ever-challenging to play.

The riot of techniques—trills, hand-crossings, tremolo chords that have the hands jockeying for the same position on the keyboard—also makes space for erudition. Every third variation is a strict canon, the interval of imitation expanding with fastidious regularity across the set as a whole. The punchline of this running joke (some of them run very fast) comes in the final, thirtieth variation. If Bach’s scheme were pursued to the end, this should be a canon at the interval of the tenth. Instead, the composer makes a surprise substitution of a Quodlibet—a curious Baroque genre that is a mash-up of two or more incongruous tunes. Bach artfully gets these folksy melodies to work with and against each other in counterpoint, and their (unvoiced) texts cut against the high-minded artistic goals Bach seems to be striving for. One of these Quodlibet tunes is about cabbage and turnips driving away the singer/diner. Presumably, this is a self-mocking gag suggesting that the listener/player has finally had it with all hifalutin hijinks. The other tune rues having been so long away—from what? The opening aria, which then follows, concluding the variations not in a flash of virtuosity but with a return to poised rumination.

It is perhaps not surprising, then, that the Goldbergs’ level of planning and craftiness has been thought by so many film directors as capable of conveying the plotting of the criminal mind. One of the most bizarre developments in the reception of Bach’s music in the now nearly three centuries since his death is that this, one of his most exuberant works, would serve as the soundtrack of big-screen madmen.

The title character Tom Ripley (played by Andrew Scott, a “hot” actor, who in this series is a few degrees above Absolute Zero) is not just a clockwork killer. He’s also an improviser, coming up with alibis and short-term solutions. Only later is he able to fit these extemporaneously into his larger schemes of deception. Likewise, Bach’s Goldberg Variations are supremely calculating but also exuberantly uncontained, ideas seeming to floor from the composer as he writes down. The predictability inherent in canonic writing works as a foil to the madcap tumbles, the witty remarks, the seemingly unpremeditated outbursts, the acrobatic stunts, an artful non sequitur here, a mischievous question there.

By now Bach is thought of as the most serious of composers, a devout Lutheran and family man. But he was also praised by his first biographer, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, writing in 1802 (some fifty years after the composer’s death), as the leading musical humorist of his age. Forkel was sure to note that Bach’s jesting was that of a sage.

This mix of meticulous planning and a fondness for play is embodied by some of the most notorious and compelling movie villains in whose ranks Tom Ripley stands—or slithers.

Chief among Tom’s predecessors is Hannibal Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins) in Jonathan Demme’s Silence of the Lambs of 1991. Lecter listens to the crystalline Goldberg Aria on a cassette machine in his specially made security cell as he prepares to kill two policemen. As Lecter bludgeons them, the aria is interrupted by violent violin screeches from film composer Howard Shore’s soundtrack. After the deed has been done, a later variation of the Goldbergs is heard again within the cell. Time has elapsed, been condensed. Not everything has been shown. With the same blood-stained hands that have just killed, Lecter euphorically, balletically conducts along with Bach’s keyboard arabesques. (Actually, it’s Handel and Pachelbel that Lecter favors in the first of the four novels, Red Dragon of 1981, by Thomas Harris that introduced the genius murderer.)

Lecter is a true-born aristocrat (of Baltic provenance) unlike the chameleon climber, Ripley. The psychopathic nobleman’s love of Bach accords with his lofty station.

As a literary character, Tom Ripley predates Hannibal Lecter. A hyper-intelligent, super-sensitive serial-killer who deals death on land and at sea, Ripley is the deliciously deceitful invention of Patricia Highsmith, who brought him to life in five novels published between 1955 and 1991. Ripley learns to like Bach, comes to own an 18th-century harpsichord, and begins to crave classical music. Preying on moneyed American expatriates in Europe, he steals identities, wrecks lives as he improves his own, at least materially. There’s no shortage of malice afore- and after-thought.

Highsmith loved Bach, too, as her diaries attest. In a 1978 appearance on the BBC interview program Desert Island Discs, two of her eight favorites came from Bach: The St. Matthew Passion and the Coffee Cantata—the former a massive, downcast oratorio performed originally on Good Friday in theocratic Leipzig, and the other an irreverent intermezzo first heard in that very modern venue of a coffee house. As in her Ripley novels, Highsmith had a taste for the lofty and the light.

The goal of baroque musicians—performers and composers; though they were almost always one in the same person—was to move the listener, sway their emotions, and curate their humors in real time. Ripley does the same. The rigorous compositional scheme and endless variety of the Goldberg Variations also mimic Ripley’s ability to play on, one might even say orchestrate, the emotions of his victims and pursuers.

Yet there is also a canny ironic detachment in Ripley’s behavior, as if he wouldn’t mind being caught. That sense of bravura, boundary-pushing, catch-me-if-you-can is also quintessentially Bachian. Rather than reject Ripley’s Bachism as disrespectful, we should embrace it.

In the show’s final episode, Marge Sherwood (Dakota Fanning) comes to visit Ripley, who has by now attained a domestic grandeur, using his ill-gotten proceeds to set up in a palace in Venice, its architecture, canals, and décor perfect visual fodder for the series’ ravishing black-and-white cinematography. Marge is the girlfriend of the vanished trust-funder and talentless painter, Dickie Greenleaf (Johnny Flynn), and she yearns to know why he’s disappeared.

On an oaken table next to a high casement window looking out over a canal sits a turntable, which we see in closeup as Tom drops the stylus arm and the machine’s vintage hiss returns us to the 1950s. The music we hear is Variation 25 of the Goldbergs. Set in downcast minor (rather than the prevailing major mode), and saturated with cholic chromatic descents and jagged, mournful intervals in the melody, this variation amounts to an extended, self-pitying soliloquy.

Having supplied the musical backing for the calm enmity with which he will face Marge, Tom sits down across from her in the palatial room and the two converse over glasses of red wine.

Ghosting their dialogue, Bach’s music moves inexorably on, its grandiose sadness not only beloved of Tom but also perfectly judged so as to project his own mood of false empathy for the apparent loss of Marge’s boyfriend, whose whereabouts are still unknown (except by Tom himself). Yet as embodied by Scott, Tom is slyly chirpy during the scene. His performance of emotion—or better, its lack—makes for a coy and clever evocation of Bach’s shadow play of humors. Is his lament a posture and all the more entertaining as a result?

Given its slow, adagio pace, this is the longest variation in duration. One could be tricked into thinking that the Ripley scene is exactly the length of the variation, the dialogue proceeding seemingly at the same tempo as the music. When Marge expresses her surprise at the previously impecunious Tom’s luxurious living situation, he tells her that his Aunt Dotty has just died and left him some money. He gives the impression that she is dear to him, though a shock cut to a shot of her in a dental chair with her mouth pried open and a screaming drill inflicting serious pain goes to show his true (lack of) affection for her. When the image of beset Dotty just as quickly disappears and the drill is silenced, the Goldberg lament returns. A deft elision has brought us to the final bars of the variation and its bleak concluding cadence.

Bach was no killer, but he was an incorrigible schemer, irreverent of musical convention, and in-the-moment musical Houdini. In this latest of series of seductive madmen who calculate and kill with the aid of Bach’s music, rarefied respect for masterpieces gives way to playful listening: connoisseurship becomes a form of psychological, police-procedural self-preservation, aesthetic solace and camouflage. In serving these murderous beasts, even against his will, Bach Goldbergs become fun again.

(David Yearsley is a long-time contributor to CounterPunch and the Anderson Valley Advertiser. His latest book is Sex, Death, and Minuets: Anna Magdalena Bach and Her Musical Notebooks. He can be reached at

HAROLD "HAP" JOHNSON climbing a Sitka Spruce. He was from Castle Rock, Washington.

"An avid sportsman, Mr. Johnson enjoyed hunting and fishing. He also enjoyed horses. He was a world champion tree topper, high climber and ax thrower and competed and performed in logging shows and sports shows throughout the United States. He doubled for John Wayne in the movie, 'North to Alaska', performed at three world fairs (Seattle, New York and Montreal, Canada,) and appeared on Arthur Godfrey's 'You Asked For It' television show." (Sourced from obituary)

Johnson earned his nickname before he could talk, according to his older brother. "When Hap was a baby, he always had a grin on his face and he was laughing all the time. So we called him 'Happy.'"

MEMO OF THE AIR: Step right up..

"A guy with sad experience in invasive vegetation once said to me that bamboo is like a cold slow fire that is alive. If you don't keep it in check it will destroy everything."

Here's the recording of last night's (Friday 2024-05-24) 8-hour Memo of the Air: Good Night Radio show on 107.7fm KNYO-LP Fort Bragg (CA) and (and, for the first hour, also 89.3fm KAKX Mendocino):

Coming shows can feature your story or dream or poem or essay or kvetch or whatever. Just email it to me. Or include it in a reply to this post. Or send me a link to your writing project and I'll take it from there and read it on the air.

Besides all that, at you'll find a fresh batch of dozens of links to not-necessarily-radio-useful but worthwhile items I set aside for you while gathering the show together, such as:

Tom Waits - Step Right Up.

Star Trek TOS (The Original Show) theme for theater orchestra and theremin. The pretty theremin player's plucky smirking rebellion against frantic direction from the conductor to /knock it off/ with the occasional extraneous exuberant /zzzzip/ fillips is icing on the cake. She's like, Yeah, right, you're not the boss of me. zzzeeep!

Dr. Manhattan's sad superhero origin story. Fans of Watchmen, the graphic novel, have mixed opinions on the subject of the movie and, later, the teevee series, but I like all of them.

Tales From The Loop is set in Ohio, but it's rather a European-feeling /Eureka/. The year of ten episodes is all one big story, but the stories stand on their own feet, so you can start anywhere in it. My favorite episode is the one where a lonely man is transported to a parallel world where the friend of his dreams actually exists, but is not quite the person he dreams of. Or, no, it's the one where a father lets his life go to hell, obsessing about the safety of his daughter, and he learns an important lesson, sells the monster robot, repairs the house's fusebox and electrical system, a metaphor for his own sanity, and so wins his wife and family back. I guess they all have the quality of, whichever one I'm thinking about becomes my favorite. Anyway, here's Philip Glass' sparse, Satie-like solo piano version of the music from Tales From The Loop:

And the little white Ford Falcon 12 photos up from the bottom of the page. If they made those now, with modern materials and a modern motor, maybe electric, everyone would want one.

Marco McClean,,

DOCKERY PLANTATION was a 10,000-acre cotton plantation and sawmill in Dockery, Mississippi, on the Sunflower River between Ruleville and Cleveland, Mississippi.

It is widely regarded as the place where Delta blues music was born. Blues musicians resident at Dockery included Charlie Patton, Robert Johnson and Howlin' Wolf. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006.

The plantation was started in 1895 by Will Dockery (1865–1936), a graduate of the University of Mississippi who originally bought the land for its timber but soon recognized the richness of its soil. At the time, much of the Delta area was still a wilderness of cypress and gum trees, roamed by panthers and wolves and plagued with mosquitoes. The land was gradually cleared and drained for cotton cultivation, which encouraged an influx of black laborers. Some became settled sharecroppers, who would work a portion of the land in return for a share of the crop, while others were itinerant workers. Dockery earned a good reputation for treating his workers and sharecroppers fairly and thus attracted workers from throughout the South.

Dockery’s land was relatively remote, but was opened up for development by a new branch of the Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad, known as the Yellow Dog. Around 1900, Dockery had a rail terminal built on his plantation, so connecting his land with the main rail system at Rosedale. Because of its circuitous route, this local line was known as the "Pea Vine."

Dockery Plantation eventually supported over 2,000 workers, who were paid in the plantation’s own coins. In addition to the railroad terminal, it had its own general store, post office, school, doctor, and churches. The workers’ quarters included boardinghouses, where they lived, socialized and played music, particularly guitars, which had been introduced to the area by Mexican workers in the 1890s. Dockery took no interest in his workers' music, but he made it easy for them to travel and to spend their leisure time as they pleased.

Charley Patton and his family are believed to have moved around 1900 to the Dockery Plantation, where he came under the influence of an older musician, Henry Sloan. In turn, Patton became the central figure of a group of blues musicians including Willie Brown, Tommy Johnson, and Eddie "Son" House, who played around the local area. Because of its location, central to Sunflower County’s black population of some 35,000 in 1920, the plantation became known as a centre for informal musical entertainment. By the mid-1920s, the group widened to include a younger generation of musicians, including Robert Johnson, Chester "Howlin’ Wolf" Burnett, Roebuck "Pops" Staples, and David "Honeyboy" Edwards. Some of these were itinerant workers while others lived more permanently on the farms.

In 1936, the plantation was inherited by Joe Rice Dockery (1906–1982). With agricultural mechanization and the employment attractions of the larger cities further north, the plantation settlements gradually disappeared, although some of the historic buildings remain. The farm later diversified to produce corn, rice and soybeans. Later members of the Dockery family have established a foundation to fund research into the Delta blues. The property was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2006. Today the site hosts a small number of private tours, lectures, and events in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Delta State University, and other academic and cultural institutions.


Walter Kirn: Right. You don’t say, whatever, some new Hollywood movie that appears obviously shot from an iPhone inside a theater have done a deal with Pyongyang because you can find somebody in North Korea who saw it.

Matt Taibbi: You laugh about that but that’s actually… when I was a student in the Soviet Union, I went to a movie theater where somebody had taken a film of Star Wars in an American theater and they put it on the screen, and there was a simultaneous translation. This was a big thing. There was just a person sitting at the side of the theater who was reciting all of the lines of all the characters for everybody as you went along.

So he would raise his voice for Leia and drop it for Han and all… it was ridiculous, but the funny thing about that is that the only scene that the Russians went absolutely nuts for was the one where Han Solo doesn’t know whether he’s going to help Leia or not. And Luke says, “Well, she has money.” And Han says, “How much?” And Luke says, “A lot.” And he says, “How much is that?” And he goes, “Just a lot.” And he goes, “Well, I can imagine a lot.” They went bananas at that line because they can imagine a lot, too.

But anyway, the idea that you just take this little piece of information and turn it into a big thing is kind of amazing, but it happens and people just sort of move on. They don’t even make a notation in their stories about it. So I don’t know. I guess it’s a new thing. For instance, the update at the bottom of the Newsweek story just says, “This article has been updated with a statement to Newsweek from Dean Thompson.”

Dean Thompson is head of programming and production operations at the Tucker Carlson Network. Your update, even online, used to have to say, “A previous version of this story had this fuck-up in it.” You had to inform your audience that you previously made an error and tell them what the error was in the story. Isn’t that basic?

Walter Kirn: Matt, I have a question that everyone will realize is rhetorical, for you. Did the vast and sophisticated disinformation complex of the United States government / academy quickly swoop in, notice this, and correct it?

Matt Taibbi: Of course not. Of course not.

Walter Kirn: Wait, I thought that they were in the business of ferreting out rumors about high profile situations and correcting them, and/or at least suppressing their circulation. Did they suppress the circulation of the Vanity Fair story and the Newsweek story and the New Republic story, and all the other stories that were built on the backs of this completely false assertion that Tucker Carlson had made a deal to distribute his show in Russia?

Matt Taibbi: Apparently not, because everybody in the world heard about it.

Walter Kirn: So they failed. They failed again.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah. I know, I know. And not to make too much, to be over-earnest about this whole thing, but this is the heart of the whole… this is the tell that the whole anti disinformation thing is a con, because they don’t freak out about mistakes in some other political direction. They don’t even recognize them as mistakes. They will argue to the end, the bitter end, that something is legitimately reported. At the time it seemed right. That’s another excuse that we’ve heard.

And they don’t include this in the basket of things that we would call mis and disinformation. So for instance, this week on Racket we started publishing the results of Freedom of Information requests… after the Twitter files we sent out hundreds of these things to research institutions and government agencies, mainly because we were trying to figure out how much federal money was being spent on the censorship thing.

And one of the institutions that did send us responses, we’ve got about 20 so far, was the University of Washington. And there’s all this play back and forth between one of the main figures at UW, Kate Starbird, and people like Clint Watts, who was the face of Hamilton 68, and Renee DiResta, who was at Stanford after she was at a company called New Knowledge, which was also involved with Hamilton 68 in that crazy Project Alabama thing where they were faking Russian accounts and having them follow the Senate candidate Roy Moore.

And I asked her. I said, “How come stuff like this doesn’t appear, it doesn’t classify as disinformation. You’re working with these people. Why doesn’t that bother you?” And no answer. Her answer with regard to Renee was… it was basically that, “That was before I met Renee.”

Walter Kirn: Right. Right.

Matt Taibbi: But I think that’s a tell. Don’t you think?

Walter Kirn: Dude, the whole thing’s so preposterous. Come on. First of all, just to extend my hypothetical a little bit further, say the disinformation complex did go after things like Tucker Carlson, leading American journalists being accused of making a deal for a show on Russian TV. How would they find it out, first of all? They have no investigative capacities, the disinformation people. So they want to be arbiters of truth but they have no truth discovery process. Right?

Matt Taibbi: Right.

Walter Kirn: The truth discovery process that doesn’t exist is supplanted by a wrong-think discovery process, which does exist.

Matt Taibbi: Which does exist and is much easier.

Walter Kirn: And is much easier. And in this way, heavy ideological influence helps along this project because it immediately sorts every piece of information into helpful or unhelpful, whereas sorting it into true or untrue is far beyond their capacity. They don’t have doctors so they can’t say true or untrue on COVID. They don’t have election specialists so they can’t say true or untrue. They don’t have Hunter Biden investigators so they can’t say true or untrue. But they can figure out what’s helpful or unhelpful, and that’s all they do.

And so the reason that they don’t write about something or discover the truth or even comment on something like this affair and the reason it seems preposterous for me to even bring it up is that we all know in our heart that Tucker Carlson is fair game. You know?

Matt Taibbi: Right.

Walter Kirn: That this is a political effort. And it is not meant to discover false rumors, it’s meant to discipline wrong-think. And that’s all it does. And their continued protests about this are just absurd.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah. It really is amazing because they’re attempting to replace what we do for a living, or what we did for a living for however many years.

Walter Kirn: They’re attempting to replace what everybody does for a living in terms of rating information.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah. Science, everything. Right?

Walter Kirn: Yes. Yeah.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah. Yeah. And that’s actually… that’s a good segue into a story that… well, let me just back up for a moment and talk about, what you just said is really important. The process of actually determining whether a thing is true, even in the very, very narrow newspaper sense of a fact being true, is really hard. We all know that you have to leave things vague until you know. With this Tucker story, it’s theoretically possible that there was some kind of deal concluded, but there’s no evidence of that, right? So you can’t say that one way or the other.

Walter Kirn: You would need to find a paper trail.

Matt Taibbi: Right.

Walter Kirn: You would need to at least ferret out key individuals in the process who would give testimony. And the testimonies would have to match and confirm each other.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah. And in this case, because it seems a little bit unlikely, I think you would want to find two or three sources to feel safe about it.

Walter Kirn: Right.

Matt Taibbi: And-

Walter Kirn: Because it has the potential of ruining someone’s life.

Matt Taibbi: Right.

Walter Kirn: And almost did. In fact, it still could because their corrections make it seem that they went two steps forward and half a step back. Because now it’s like, yeah, but it’s up there. Oh, maybe he didn’t make a deal. Well, details details.

Matt Taibbi: Right. Right. Who cares? Right?

Walter Kirn: Right. Right. But look at it.There it is.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah.

Walter Kirn: Matt, if we were more popular, Russian TV might choose to pirate our show, and then we would be sitting here having to defend ourselves that we didn’t make a deal, we didn’t want it to happen, and everything we said would make us sound a little guiltier.

Matt Taibbi: Yeah, exactly. Every time we gave an interview, they would just sort of superimpose a little shopka on us, holding a little silver tea canister and the samovar in the background. Yeah, no, you’d want to be sure, but now it’s just weird world where people don’t particularly care about whether they’re right or not. A classic example is the story the Washington Post did about the FISA Court determining that former Trump aide Carter Page was an agent of a foreign power. Now, technically that story’s accurate because the FISA Court did rule, they did get permission for FISA surveillance, but that only happened because the FISA court was criminally misinformed by the FBI, who is your source in the story, probably, right? Or somebody along the line. And you don’t want to put something out there that you’re legally allowed to say, but is still wrong, right?

And the reason for that is exactly what you brought up, because the number one thing that we had to worry about when we came up was being sued. And the first criteria of a liable suit is, does this have the potential to destroy a person’s career or end their marriage, or cause some kind of irreparable harm to them? And so if you publish that, a person is a Russian spy in a major American newspaper, that’s going to do some damage, so you want to be right. And-

Walter Kirn: See, but Matt, I’m convinced that in the world we now live in, a calculation has been made that truth, or truthiness or whatever, is a category that needs to be combined with time. So things only have to be believed for a certain amount of time for them to be effective in the maneuverings of power and opinion. So if you can get something to be believed for a certain three hours, especially around a decision that needs to be made, then you don’t need it to last. You don’t need it to stand up to scrutiny. You see, the old idea in journalism at least, was that you would find the truth of a matter, and it would stand up ever after. As best you could, you would find the permanent truth of a situation, which would… If there was further investigation, it would stand up.

Matt Taibbi: It would still stand up. Exactly. This is how much we know right now.

Walter Kirn: Right. Right.

Matt Taibbi: Right?

Walter Kirn: This is the best we can do to tell you what we think is the ground truth of this situation, and we invite further investigation, which we will affirm that. Well, now you just have to get somebody to… It’s like the popsicle only has to stay in popsicle form for two hours before it melts for it to do its job. And now we’ve got 15% of America post this Tucker thing, believing that he’s got a show on Russian TV that he made a deal for. Maybe it’s higher than that. Certainly everybody who hated him already-

Matt Taibbi: Hates him a little bit more.

Walter Kirn: … hates him a little bit more. And wherever the control room is where they have all the dials, they look at the Tucker Carlson module and go, “Wow, we’ve got his negatives up to 98 where we had 94, and we just moved women between 34 and 52, college educated, one-third to the against column,” and so on. Mission accomplished. And I think that’s how everything works now. They only needed people to believe that the Hunter Biden laptop was misinformation until November 7th.

MICHAEL ROCKEFELLER, scion of the influential Rockefeller family, led a life marked by privilege, education, and a passion for art and exploration.

Despite his affluent upbringing, Michael pursued his interests with vigor, attending prestigious schools and even serving in the US Army. However, his promising future took a tragic turn in 1961 during an expedition to New Guinea, where he met a macabre and unexpected end. Venturing to New Guinea to study indigenous tribes, Michael’s journey led him to the Asmat tribe along the southwestern coast. Fascinated by their culture, he embarked on collecting artifacts and studying their customs. Yet, tragedy struck during a routine boat journey on November 18th, 1961, when Michael’s vessel capsized in treacherous waters.

While local children swam to safety, Michael and a Dutch anthropologist, Renee Wassing, clung to the overturned boat, hoping to salvage their belongings. In a fateful decision, Michael attempted to swim to shore but never returned. Despite extensive search efforts, he was never found, and his fate remained shrouded in mystery for decades. Recent investigations and eyewitness accounts have suggested that Michael may have been killed and eaten by members of the Asmat tribe, a grim conclusion supported by colonial reports and local testimony. Despite the tragic circumstances of his demise, Michael Rockefeller’s legacy endures through his contributions to anthropology and the arts, with many of the artifacts he collected now housed in renowned institutions like the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


by Selma Dabbagh

When a building under construction collapsed in George, South Africa, last week, dozens of workers were buried beneath the rubble. Delvin Safers, an electrician, was trapped next to a colleague who was “already deceased.” His girlfriend sent him photographs of their two-year-old son to keep his spirits up. Without the light from his phone, everything was dark. That was the hardest part of it, Safers said. “When you close your eyes, it is dark, then you open them, it is the same thing.” He was freed after a couple of days, with the use of his legs. “That was the main thing,” his father said, “when I saw my son walk.” His life was saved thanks to the large teams of rescue workers with hard hats, sniffer dogs, cranes, bulldozers and trucks who came to his rescue.

In Gaza more than 10,000 people are trapped under the rubble, according to the United Nations. I search online for personal stories of escape. There are remarkably few. What you can find are images of cement-caked bodies lined up outside bombed buildings, men in slippers walking over piles of debris, digging at it with their bare hands. In one video, a Civil Defense worker asks his bareheaded colleague if the child he is carrying under one arm is alive. “Praise God,” he says, as a pair of stunned young eyes peer out of the dusty face. The children are unnamed. Other bodies are lined up outside the building, also unnamed. “We do not know,” the report on al-Jazeera says, “if the mother who made the call survived.”

During lockdown, in 2021, Columbia University’s Center for Palestine Studies commissioned four radio plays by Palestinian playwrights. In A Kid Who Asks Too Much by Bashar Murkus, a father and son are trapped under rubble by aerial bombardment. The father makes one futile attempt to lift the concrete, then focuses on trying to answer his son’s calm, incessant questioning as to what will happen next. “We’re here. We stuck here. I feel I am dead,” the son says, coughing slightly as he calls out once for help. “It will take a while,” the father says, “for them to come back to help us, until the area is safe, when there is no bombing for a long time.”

According to the UN, it could take up to three years to remove the bodies from the 37 million tons of rubble in Gaza, which is also contaminated by unexploded ordnance, up to ten percent of which, they estimate, “doesn’t function as designed.”

On May 6, Sam Rose of UNRWA, speaking from Rafah, was interviewed by Britain’s Sky News, as Israeli forces moved in on what had been a small town. “Around 1.4 million people are living here now,” he said, “people are fearing the worst.” The Israeli army had issued orders “just falling from the sky” telling a hundred thousand people to leave, but there is nowhere safe for them to go. There is no food, no electricity, no space. “We’ve been obsessed for far too long in this conflict with the rudimentary arithmetic of trucks coming in,” Rose said, “but it’s far more than that. It’s water, it’s healthcare, it’s sanitation.”

On May 15 I went to the protest at University College London. Staff, students and alumni gathered on the steps of the neoclassical Main Building. Journalists had not been allowed in but were trying to capture the event by sticking their telephoto lenses through the locked gates. Professor Izzat Darwazeh, the director of the Institute of Communications and Connected Systems, spoke of the need for boycott and divestment, having seen them work in the struggle against apartheid in South Africa. He also recognized that the student movement could upset people: “One of the good things about working at a university is that it is possible to look at things from different directions and different angles. I would say to all the students, be mindful, be careful, be kind and thank you for your support.”

It was a sunny day, with students milling past, chatting, asking others to pray with them in the encampment area. All of this continued as the speeches were delivered, until three women – a technician, a lecturer and an alumna – came forward. They talked of the women of Gaza who have been forced to shave off their hair, as water is in such short supply. One by one the three women took electric razors to their heads and shaved them bare, feeling the wisps of hair between their fingers before letting it loose into the summer air. Women in the audience touched their heads. Other than that, nobody moved. The picnicking stopped. There was complete silence.

“It has been impossible,” Alex Crawford of Sky News told a room at the House of Commons on May 21, speaking via an intermittent remote link from Cuba, of her difficulties in gaining access, as an international correspondent, to Gaza since October. “I’ve managed to get into some of the most oppressive and autocratic regimes in the world,” but this was beyond her, beyond anyone. “No one has got in,” she said, and “not for lack of trying,” itemizing the difficulties she’d had trying to enter Gaza both from Egypt and Israel. “There’s a slick gaslighting attempt going on,” she also said, “that Palestinian journalists are not journalists.”

“Just to exist as a Palestinian is seen as a political act,” the Iraqi-British journalist Hind Hassan said. She pointed out that the Pulitzer Prize made no reference to “Palestinian journalists,” only to “journalists and media workers covering the war in Gaza.”

“We never felt our press vests were a protection for us,” al-Jazeera’s Youmna al-Sayed said. She worked in Gaza with Safwat Kahlout. They have now both left. “We worked without an office, without equipment, resources, we worked with the bare minimum to keep going,” al-Sayed said. “Every day when I left my colleagues we would say goodbye as though we may never see them again.” She finds the lack of credibility given to Palestinian journalists offensive: “If I am able to report, write a script, create a story – what makes you as a foreign journalist more credible than me, as a Palestinian one?”

They could not understand the lack of pressure from the press industry and governments to allow the foreign media access to Gaza. “You can hear it now,” Alex Crawford said. “The Palestinian journalists want us in. They’re exhausted.” The British public, she added, were being denied access to information about the “worst war zone in the world.” “Go there please,” Kahlout, who has lost 50% of his hearing because of the bombing, urged the MPs, “do something practical.”

We had arrived in Parliament as the news was coming in that Israel had seized Associated Press equipment. The denial of access to a war zone is “unprecedented,” according to Fiona O’Brien, the director of Reporters without Borders (RSF). “We’ve never seen anything like it,” she said.

According to RSF, more than a hundred Palestinian journalists have been killed in Gaza since October 7, including at least 22 killed in the course of their work. “We’ve never been in a situation like this before,” a representative from the National Union of Journalists said from the floor. They complained to the government when 80 journalists had been killed and raised the issue again when the number reached 96, but “we’re facing absolute intransigence.”

On May 13, Medical Aid for Palestinians reported that there are only sixteen hospital beds left in Rafah for a population of over a million. “What we are seeing,” Dr Rebecca Inglis, an intensive care physician, said on May 21, “is the purposeful wanton destruction of medical equipment in ways for which there is no possible justification … this is an intentional act whose only justification can be stopping healthcare being carried out.” Dr Tanya Haj-Hassan agreed: “The only way I can start to understand why are you attacking the food supply? Why are you attacking the water supply? Why are you attacking the healthcare infrastructure? The only justification is very clear: destruction of anything needed to sustain human life.”

The journalist Bisan Owda is 24 years old. Since October, her home in Beit Hanoun and her office in Rimal have both been destroyed. Her family first sought shelter in al-Shifa Hospital, where she witnessed the airstrike and massacre of November 3. She is now in the south of Gaza. She has had to cut off much of her thick, curly hair. On May 22, she posted that it had taken her four hours to get an internet connection, yet she implored her 4.5 million followers on Instagram to look north, to Jenin, where 1500 Israeli soldiers were approaching the city, having already killed seven civilians, including a doctor, a teacher and a schoolboy.

(London Review of Books)

THE FIRST modern flushable toilet was invented in 1596 by Sir John Harrington who installed one for his godmother, Queen Elizabeth 1.

His invention came complete with a water tank and a flush valve. However, the flush toilet wouldn't really take off for another 250 years. Most of the toilets in Medieval Europe were either holes in the ground, communal outhouses or chamber pots.

If you were lucky and born into tremendous wealth, you would have the luxury of using a garderobe (derived from the French word for "wardrobe"), which was a small room built adjacent to the wall of a medieval castle. The toilet would be connected to a vertical shaft that would run all the way down to the ground. Garderobes which literally translates to "guarding one's robes" originated from the practice of hanging clothes in the shaft as a way to kill fleas by using the ammonia in urine.

Occasionally some brave knights would conduct sneak attacks by entering the castle via the shaft connected to the garderobe. Throughout history, there have been a number of famous people who have died on the toilet. Several of them were stabbed from below while in the process of defecating.


“These people.” I assume you're talking about Jews. I could never really figure that one out. What does being a Jew mean? I always thought it was a religion. Sammy Davis was a Jew. He converted I guess. So is it a religion? I mean I could convert and become a Jew. I never heard of anyone converting to Italian. For a confusing and contorted read go to Wiki and read “Who is a Jew?” Talk about a bunch of twisted BS. Nobody can agree on what it means.

No Passing by Stevan Dohanos


  1. coupé de ville May 26, 2024

    The serenity prayer represents peace and acceptance of the things that are out of your control [AS IS]. But also the courage to take action with the things that are in your control.

    “God grant me the serenity
    To accept the things I cannot change;
    Courage to change the things I can;
    And wisdom to know the difference.
    Living one day at a time;
    Enjoying one moment at a time;
    Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    Taking, as He did, this sinful world
    As it is, not as I would have it;
    Trusting that He will make things right
    If I surrender to His Will;
    So that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    And supremely happy with Him
    Forever and ever in the next.

    Nixon said: “I am not a crook.”
    I say: “I am not a doormat”

  2. Jerry Burns May 26, 2024

    To Ms Simpson or “the Major”,
    Is the incoming AVUSD superintendent going to maintain the weekly reports to the AVA?

  3. Matt Kendall May 26, 2024

    Jeff’s peacock image is pretty cool.
    My nephew calls them “Disco chickens” He also refers to Zebras as “prison donkeys”. What have we come to?

    • George Dorner May 26, 2024

      We’ve come to hilarity.

  4. coupé de ville May 26, 2024

    When in doubt, DISCO!

    To Jared Huffman

    From Oakland, CA

    “…you talking like you made a change
    The more you talk, the more things sound the same
    Ooooh, bop…
    No, you’re never gonna get it (ow!)
    Never ever gonna get it (no, not this time)
    No, you’re never gonna get it (my love)
    Never ever gonna get it
    No, you’re never gonna get it (ow!)

    Ooooh, bop…

    En Vogue | My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It) | on SNL

  5. Mazie May 26, 2024

    Re, Confronting the drug Crisis & 4 point plan
    …… 4 point plan….. Great…..!!!
    Some crucial aspects to consider…..

    Addiction is a Mental Illness
    We need to stop saying refusal of treatment when someone is incapable of rationalizing and comprehending their plight or affliction!
    The impact on families is the most important & secondary component to the individual!
    Some of this lies in the determination by said providers. If a person is high lives on the street cuts open their leg gets taken to ER, refuses treatment & is set free cut his whole leg off and does! Oh well!! Because he was high. Docs at ERs typically do not determine the dx of MI that is Psychs job.
    The addiction and the Mental Illness are not separate afflictions whether a person has one or both they are still brain based illness’s that need treatment and support! It is harder to treat Serious Mental Illness than addiction and if a person experiences both plus Anosognosia it is the most difficult wrenching experience & it can take years!
    Should there be forced Mandatory treatment for certain individuals, absolutely yes!
    Let’s remember people that live in homes and have jobs and families also suffer from addiction and mental illness! They have shelter and support.
    The key to fixing this does not start from top down it is bottom up!
    If I were to shoot myself, wether I meant to or not 911 would be called, life saving measures given, no questions asked, do what is necessary to save my stupid ass. Surgery to get the bullet out to save my life, rehabilitation and all the medical intervention you could ask for.. … no questions asked.

    And how long are we going to sit around waiting for a law to change? Which by the way they have, we just have not implemented any protocols to enact them to get people the help they need.

    mm 💕

  6. Matt Kendall May 26, 2024

    Mazzie I have been dipping tobacco for over 40 years. I am addicted to this garbage and it’s not due to a mental health disorder. It’s because I started dipping tobacco.
    I know full well it’s an expensive habit and absolutely not helping me in any way. Tried to quit a few times and when I do it will be because I took the responsibility to do so realizing this is my fault and no one else’s.
    I can guarantee you had a not started I would not be addicted.

    • Mazie May 26, 2024

      Sheriff Kendall with all due respect addiction to tobacco is not at all the same as addiction to Meth or Fentanyl & heroin or even Marijuana. The effects and consequences completely different! Yes you made the choice to “dip” not because of a Mental Illness but because you chose it! Probably because you thought it was cool at the time and your buddies did it too! But now you have tobacco use disorder/addiction which is a mental health condition listed in the DMS 5! this article is in specific reference to addicted street folks with Mental Illness. Pretty sure they are not walking into walmart buying Meth! Luckily for you, you can still make rational decisions and choices. This is not an issue of personal responsibility when someone is homeless, addicted and very very sick and incapable of comprehending anything. Just because someone speaks does not mean they comprehend. Although true a person must choose to ingest these things at first, however once addiction settles in how is it a choice after that? I mean you said it yourself you’re addicted to chew, but can’t quit and will only do so when ready, are you really making that choice? I was initially just trying to make the point that we are never going to get anywhere because all the realities (multiple individuals involved, specifically families) are not addressed.

      mm 💕

      • Goldie Locks May 27, 2024

        Hopefully someday MM will stop making statements as if all knowing. The passive aggression is pervasive. Not a single solidary compassionate idea, except for herself. Not calling out someone who constantly complains and then wonders why their family is miserable is not helpful. Neither are daily ravings.

        • Matt Kendall May 27, 2024

          Whoaaaa brother, Mazzie has been and is a friend to me. Dont let our banter fool you
          I have had to “phone a friend” to her a couple times when looking for some answers.
          She’s a corker!

          • Mazie May 27, 2024

            Thank you Sheriff Kendall. !!!!!!!!


            mm 💕

          • Matt Kendall May 27, 2024

            I love a healthy debate. The rhetoric and discourse our nation once enjoyed has been replaced by cancel culture. Name calling and put downs are a portion of that culture, they break down and eventually end the conversations.
            That in itself should be frightening to intelligent people. Where people stop talking is where wars begin.
            If we stay away from name calling the conversation continues and who knows, we may get somewhere because Lord knows we need to.

            • Mazie May 27, 2024

              Ahhh yes it takes some intelligence and restraint to not demoralize and degrade another because you dislike them. Especially shaming women in a world where we should be considered equals. The conversation and truth must prevail over stupid opinions.

              mm 💕

        • Goldie Locks May 27, 2024

          Everyone is entitled to an opinion. I’m happy to stand alone against any constant complainer/s. Especially when they do not show up at any meetings and give no useful input to the agenda.

          • Matt Kendall May 27, 2024

            I understand your point please hear me out on mine.
            As sheriff you never have all the answers to the questions society comes up with so you had better be ready to listen to the reasonable voices who offer a helping hand.
            There are a few people out there including Mazzie who have given me plenty of useful information and showed me different points of view as well as pointed out several directions I could march if I chose to.
            She has researched and studied a lot of material regarding these issues and she’s a common sense approach person.
            Therefore when I run into something in this field I need to research often she can point me in the right direction to find some answers. I have always appreciated that interaction with the public because it shows they’re willing to help and not just judge.
            Like everything else we aren’t going to agree on everything and it is based on our experiences. And every once in a while we lock horns on a subject. When we do we both make sure to visit on the phone on in person ensuring this isn’t personal and we still have each others back.
            I used to think “Wouldn’t it be nice if everyone on earth wanted the same thing? “ No actually it wouldn’t. If they did I would be in a lot of fist fights because every man on earth would want to be married to my wife.
            So I guess we will just keep pushing forward and hoping we can get through these issues while supporting each other.
            Go easy Goldie Locks always good to chat.

      • Matt Kendall May 27, 2024

        Gotcha Mazzie but……..
        No use equals no addiction. I always get concerned when we begin looking at the chicken or the egg question nobody looks at staying away from what causes the addiction.
        We are feeding excuses instead of the tough stuff which will likely be the only way we get out of this issue or….. someone comes up with a magic vaccine which simply stops it.
        Either way we have some work to do.

        • Mazie May 27, 2024

          I do not disagree with that….yes you have to use to become addicted, true! But the problem is as far as the issue of street addicted mentally ill people go they can not make rational choices, so unless we intervene in a different manner when someone is continually an issue on the street, in the ER, in the jail the problems will never resolve. I appreciate you always listening and responding!

          mm 💕

          • Matt Kendall May 27, 2024

            You’re correct 100%, on that I totally agree.
            But…… we keep saying these folks are victims.
            That takes away from the true victims who are getting their homes and garages burglarized, the shop lifting and assaults committed by the drug addicted.
            We keep reclassifying folks and the true victims are forgotten because personal responsibility has been replaced by excuses.
            In a way I guess they are victims of their own decisions however if we look super hard everyone can claim some victim status somewhere in hopes of leniency for their actions. The folks who take responsibility are the ones we don’t see repeating this.

            • George Hollister May 27, 2024

              Hear, hear.

              • Goldie Locks May 27, 2024

                Ok you two, your platform, your club. Everything you have said to me works both ways. And, you do no know me! Hopefully I will be able to help you discover this fact. I could care less that I don’t agree with you both. My prerogative. One I haven’t been given as you demand for yourself. Attacks from mm came from day one with me. Don’t expect me to very agreeable with her. To me, just another clog in the machine. How would you be able to know unless someone outside your circle made you aware of what you have sent my way? Sorry you got caught in it Sheriff, but a point needs to be made here if the words of ALL are going to be heard. Not asking anyone to like me, just work with me with equal respect. Again Ms. mm, has been combative form the beginning with me. If you think that’s it fair to gang up… Well, by all means carry on.

            • Mazie May 27, 2024

              There does not have to be one set of victims, it is not either or. Unfortunately it is a complex problem. Point being 50 years and all the money all the time all the solutions the laws do not work! It takes time and support for people to recognize their problems. At least 1/2 our street people have a Serious Mental Illness, which means it will take much longer or maybe never for them to become “Responsible” then the addiction on top of that. And who holds that bag, LE!! So how is it going in the jail with all those street addicts? ….

              mm 💕

          • Matt Kendall May 27, 2024

            Got your back kid!
            Let me know if you have some time next week wanted to discuss the Crisis Response Unit.
            I’m busy til Wednesday but schedule will clear up a little after that just let me know what works for you.

            • Mazie May 27, 2024

              Thank You Friday would probably be good…

              mm 💕

  7. Matt Kendall May 27, 2024

    Friday is looking pretty good for me. I will shoot you a call in the afternoon.

Leave a Reply