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Mendocino County Today: Tuesday 6/11/24

Dyerville Bar | Hot Interior | Farmers Markets | Relentless Raccoon | Rodeo Bound | Bears, Bears | New Principal | FB Round-Up | Reverend Peyton | Binah Show | Removing Thistles | Brovarney Talk | Tax Sharing | FB Mural | Ed Notes | Comptche BBQ | Toy Trumpet | Willits Sunset | Spiritual Upheavals | Customer Appreciation | Fresh Cherries | MCHCD Meeting | Travel Anxiety | Yesterday's Catch | Missing Mario | City Lights | California Water | Petting Zoo | Paying PG&E | Purple Haze | Peter Principle | Respect Locals | Violent Revenge | Paint Cynic | Pet Compare | Immigration Story | You | Should Stop | Cease Fire | Ellsberg Week | Pattern Z | The Nightingale | Celebrated/Thanked | Teachable Intermezzo | Old Age

Eel River at Dyerville Bar (Jeff Goll)

DRY AND HOT weather will continue in the interior through mid week. Locally strong northerly winds are expected over exposed coastal mountains and headlands today and Wednesday. Temperatures are forecast to trend down during the latter portion of the week, followed by more substantial cooling over the weekend as gusty northwesterly winds strengthen in the interior. (NWS)

STEPHEN DUNLAP (Fort Bragg): 49F with clear skies this Tuesday morning on the coast. The NWS does not have fog in the forecast currently but we all know it is nearby. Light winds today then less wind for the rest of the week. Today will be the warmest day this week then cooling down some.


JavaBird (Coast Chatline): Raccoon under deck. I need to borrow a trap or have someone trap the raccoon who decided to try and live under my small deck between my house and garage. It is relentless and no matter how I try to block the space it keeps digging it out. I am located in Fort Bragg

Ronnie James/Woodlands Wildlife:

The raccoon is relentless because she has her newborn babies under there. All animals have newborns and nests this month and next. If you trap and remove her, you'll have to listen to crying babies until they die of starvation (4-5 days) and then smell their decaying bodies for a few more weeks. Just wait until the babies are old enough to follow mama out on her nightly food run (Usually about the end of July, middle August).

Also AFTER the babies have left the nest with mama, you can toss a few moth balls under the deck and that will encourage them to find a different daytime nest area. The mothballs will dissipate within 2 weeks so you may want to renew them. It's illegal to trap and remove any wildlife, especially critical this time of year for the above reasons.

Heading to the Laytonville Junior Rodeo (Jeff Goll)


Re: Bears around Little River/Albion/Little Lake Road [MCN-Announce]

Helene Chalfin:

I had a bear halfway up my front porch a couple of weeks ago after midnight. I am about 3.5 miles up Little River Airport Road. It was after a compost bucket that I had neglected to empty before going to sleep.

Bears have been in the yard before in past years because of several apple trees, but I never saw them, just the damage, and bear poop. Do people think these are different bears getting so aggressive with break-ins into cars, garages or sheds, or the same bear within its range?

Nick Wilson:

The bear came back last night and turned over the garbage bin, and carried off a white garbage bag with nothing good to eat in it. But it's strewed a line of plastic bags and wrappers across my backyard as it went, making a big mess for me to clean up. At least the critter did not try to get into the garage again. I have a security camera set up with a motion trigger that will turn on flood lights and sound a siren. It is set up keeping an eye on the damaged back door to the garage, not the garbage can area.

Does anyone have an electric fence set up that I can buy or borrow?


The Anderson Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees is delighted to announce that it has identified a candidate, Alyson McKay, for the position of principal at the Anderson Valley Elementary School commencing on July 1, 2024. The final step in the process is for the Board to consider and approve the employment agreement at the upcoming regular Board meeting, which will be held at the Anderson Valley High School in Room 13 on Thursday, June 13 at 5:00 p.m.

Alyson McKay

Ms. McKay is a graduate of Cal Poly Humboldt and is fully bilingual and biliterate in English and Spanish. She possesses extensive educational leadership experience particularly supporting English Language Development and Dual Language Immersion programs in a variety of school districts in California and Oregon. She has also lived abroad in Chile, Argentina, and most recently, spent two years working at the Uruguayan American School in Montevideo, Uruguay. She possesses strong instructional expertise in developing supportive staff structures to move achievement forward for all learners.

As part of the interview process, Ms. McKay spent two days in the district meeting the team and learning more about the community. “I was delighted to be able to come and meet everyone and learn more about this amazing opportunity. I know from previous experience that the Anderson Valley community is a wonderful place. It is with great excitement that I join the AVUSD team as the new AVES principal.”

Richard “Dick” Browning, Board President, related that it is a very positive development to have a person of Ms. McKay’s expertise join the district stating that Ms. McKay’s skills and language fluency will be a great opportunity to expand the growth of the elementary school which has thrived over the past three years under Cymbre Thomas-Sweet’s leadership.

Over the course of her twenty-five year career working in education, Alyson has worked twelve years teaching across the K-5 grade levels in bilingual elementary classrooms, in San Bernardino, CA. She credits this experience as the foundation of the professional educator she is today, instilling her passion for building relationships, language development, and advocating for equitable access for all learners. Her shift into educational leadership began when she moved into a Bilingual Resource Teacher position in Petaluma City Schools at various school sites that allowed her to support teachers through an instructional coaching role. This experience enabled her to move into district-wide administrative positions working with both ELD and Dual Language Instructional Programs across the K-12 grade levels. Her educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Language & Literature from Cal Poly Humboldt and she earned her Master of Science in Educational Leadership from National University in La Jolla, CA.

In-coming Superintendent Kristin Larson Balliet noted that she is thrilled to welcome Ms. McKay with her exceptional language and instructional expertise onto the management team. “You could just feel when she was here how much she values and wants to be an integral part of the community. That desire to participate and know the community combined with her deep instructional expertise will be amazing for our kids!”

Louise Simson, Superintendent

AV Unified School District

High School Rehab Begins As Cupples Construction Uncupples 1955 Classrooms


THIS TUESDAY, we've got Rev. Peyton's Big Damn Band off of their porch and into Arena Theater (Tues 6/11 at 7:30pm). It is a rare occurrence to see this intense, rockabilly blues group on the West Coast. We promise that you won't regret coming out on a 'school day' and you'll be tucked in before 11pm with your feet and face sore from dancing and smiling!!

The Reverend Peyton's Big Damn Band is a three-piece American country blues band from Brown County, Indiana. Reverend Peyton plays guitar (and more!), does the lead vocals, and is the principal songwriter. His wife, Breezy, plays the washboard using work gloves to which thimbles have been attached and has been know to play with such energy that she sets her washboard on fire. Jacob Powell plays a small drum kit, augmented with a five-gallon plastic bucket fitted with drum hardware

Three-time BMA nominees, The Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band, are known as “the greatest front-porch blues band in the world,” led by Reverend Peyton, who most consider to be the premier finger picker playing today.

You will hear rootsy, country blues styles inspired by blues masters such as T-Model Ford, Robert Belfour and David “Honeyboy” Edwards.

The Reverend’s latest record Dance Songs For Hard Times went #1 on the Billboard, iTunes and Sirius XM Blues Charts, produced by Grammy winner Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton).

Bring or Wear your favorite 'Blues on the Coast' T-shirt to the show-- there will be a Group Photograph of all of us taken in front of Arena Theater at 7:30pm.

Super high energy fun show! See you there!


Navarro Point stewarding this Thursday, 10am-noon, 2 miles south of Albion

This coming Thursday, June 13th, is the second Thursday of the month Navarro Point stewarding day, and I’ll be out there removing thistles from 10am til noon. Sunshine is predicted for that day on that beautiful coastal headlands! Please let me know if you’ll join me there this Thursday or not, and if you have any questions.

Tom Wodetzki, 937-1113,


Join us on Saturday, June 15, at 2:00 PM, when local historian Dot Brovarney will examine many of the themes and subjects chronicled in her book, "Mendocino Refuge: Lake Leonard & Reeves Canyon" (2022, Landcestry). In her illustrated lecture, Dot will explore the interplay between a Native Pomo who inherited the traditional role of singing doctor, and another who lobbied Congress to honor an 1851 peace treaty; two homesteaders who settled the lake at the head of the canyon in 1874 (one who sold out to Eastern capitalists, the other who refused); the engineer who ran the canyon mill, logging its old growth redwood in the 19th century, and the women whose 20th century efforts saved the last of the canyon’s original redwoods and Douglas fir. Dot's presentation is included with Museum admission.

Museum members enjoy free admission all-year round. Not a member? Please consider joining.


I have looked at the County’s property tax sharing agreement, and it looks to me like the cities will only receive a portion of the annual growth for the annexed properties. The annual amount will be one-half of the annual 2% growth, plus all of the annual growth in excess of 2%. Once the cities are receiving 15% of the total property tax for those properties, the allocation will be fixed at that rate. The County will retain its portion of the property tax in effect prior to the annexation (except for a portion of the prior year’s growth increment), and will receive one-half of the annual 2% growth. If I am understanding the agreement correctly, the County should not be hit with an immediate large reduction to property tax revenues, but rather will forfeit a portion in the annual growth of the annexed properties in the current and future years, with a cap of 15%. If I am wrong in my understanding, I would be grateful to hear from anyone who can offer more information.


That’s a clearer explanation of the property tax loss than anything the supporters have issued and it makes a little more sense. But it doesn’t address the loss of sales tax (phased out over 15 years) or bed tax (also phased out, over five years). Nor does it explain the benefit to the County. We still think the idea should have been properly analyzed and reviewed by the public, LAFCO and staff before the Board voted on it.

Fort Bragg Mural (photo by Falcon)


BILL MAHER says Caitlin 'Too Straightlin' Clark is being picked on by WNBA rivals because she is heterosexual in a “very lesbian” league. Maher, as usual stating the obvious like it's from on high, said that sex and race were in play when Clark was body checked to the floor by Chicago's Chennedy Carter. “It’s (because) women are catty, the league is very lesbian and she’s not, and there’s race. There’s a lot going on. There’s also a racial element to this… It’s not always racism when a white person succeeds.”

THERE'S LESS SUBSTANCE to the charges against Hunter Biden than there was to the conjured 34 felonies pinned on Orange Man. The only diff between Hunter and the millions of everyday American degenerates is the money he's had to spend on up-market decadence, money he got from parlaying his surname into payoffs from foreign governments. Here in Mendo, concealed weapons permits are simply a matter of applying and passing a test proving you know which end the bullet comes out of. I know a couple of drop-fall drunks who are always armed, and Mendo being Mendo, who knows how many hopheads (sic) lied on their gun purchase forms.

MARK SCARAMELLA ADDS: Meanwhile, rich jerks like Charles Hurwitz, former junk-bond-funded owner of Pacific Lumber, can lie through his teeth on his official submissions to state forestry officials and that’s declared perfectly legal by a Humboldt County judge under an obscure legal “doctrine” called the Noerr-Pennington Doctrine in which corporations can legally lie to the government under the umbrella of “free speech”: The Court-Approved Lies of Charles Hurwitz

I USED to spend a lot of time in court, occasionally as a defendant, but mostly as a reporter. Some cases stick in the teeming back rooms of my mind. I always tried to avoid the child custody matters because they are too painful, too awful, especially these days with divorced parents hurling vile (and unsupported) accusations at each other.

TEN MILE COURT has always presented an opportunity to visit California's most beguiling seaside town, Fort Bragg, and so… I was there that day to listen in on a case involving the shooting death of a dog on Little Lake Road east of the village of Mendocino. Judge Eric Labowitz was on the bench. He's a fellow resident of the second most beguiling community in California, the Anderson Valley. I like the guy although he has ruled against me a few times.

THAT MORNING'S docket consisted almost entirely of marriages gone seriously awry, one of them involving parties with the old Mendocino County surnames of Koski and Whipple, a Finn and a Native American respectively.

MR. KOSKI and his former wife, Ms. Whipple-Koski, were in a dispute over Mr. Koski's access to the daughter he and Whipple-Koski had produced before they'd come to loathe each other. Implicit in the dispute between the estranged husband and wife was, it seemed, an accusation by Ms. Whipple-Koski that Mr. Koski represented such a threat to his own daughter's safety and well-being that he shouldn't be permitted to see her at all, not even under supervision. As is routine in these angry times, their child had been weaponized.

MENDOCINO COUNTY'S CPS unit, itself a clear and present danger to children in my experience at the time, wanted Mr. Koski permanently sequestered from the flesh of his flesh. I immediately, instinctively sided with Mr. Koski, because I knew from my own experience that the local system, from the judges on down through imbecilic social workers, was arbitrary in the extreme.

MRS. KOSKI'S LAWYER was one of the county's legal hacks from the jive County Counsel's office compelled to defend county-employed staff no matter how errant. He blandly announced that it was “CPS's position” that Mr. Koski not be allowed to see his daughter. Ever. Under any conditions.

BUT MR. KOSKI'S lawyer fortunately suggested a Ukiah therapist named Kevin Kelly as a person who might be appointed by the court to independently and objectively evaluate the menace alleged by CPS to be presented by Mr. Koski to his daughter.

THE CPS social worker said no dice. CPS specifically didn't want Kelly to look at the Koski-Whipple matter. Judge Labowitz came up with what he seemed to think was a reasonable compromise; he instructed both sides to each come up with three evaluators it thought reasonable and one would eventually be selected to second guess CPS.

KOSKI looked like your basic Fort Bragg working guy. His former wife looked like a regular person. Neither of them looked like they were crazy or drug-addicted, or hateful, or anything but what they apparently are — two people who had a child together and, left alone, would probably arrive at a sensible solution about how to raise the kid. Somehow, though, Mendocino County's lethal cadre of helping professionals had become involved; why we'll never know because the helping pros hide their crimes behind “confidentiality” and “the welfare of the child.”

THE CHILD wasn't present, undoubtedly out of false concern for her welfare by the helping pros who seemed determined to ruin whatever chance the kid may have had for a childhood with both a mommy and a daddy.

WHILE the proceeding bumbled along, neither parent shot the other death glares or hyper-ventilated. Mr. Koski looked a little confused, a little beaten down, as well he might. Imagine standing in front of a judge in a public hearing while the government says you are unfit to ever see your own daughter again, even with a government-appointed babysitter watching you!

BY THE LOGIC of CPS-think, Koski ought to have been in jail, but here the poor guy was, a free American, listening to himself being described by a bunch of tax paid incompetents as some kind of a monster.

AS IT HAPPENS, I happen to know the work of the therapist CPS didn't want evaluating the matter — Kevin Kelly. Never met the guy, wouldn't know him if I saw him. But I can tell you he was the only sane voice in the prolonged torture of Yeni Wiriderdja and her daughter Yusra by the Mendocino County Department of Social Services and its appallingly stupid, and often malicious, CPS unit, a unit dominated by the same collection of primitive screwballs who were now after this Koski fellow and his Labowitz-thwarted desire to have the intelligent, objective, just Dr. Kelly review CPS's desire to detroy him and his little girl.

MS. W, a non-English-speaking Indonesian, was portrayed by CPS to be not only a defective mother but a mother who had rented her daughter out to Satanist perverts! Can a sane person even grasp the magnitude of the tax-paid idiocy (and pure racism) that was at work in Mrs. W's case? I couldn't then, and I can't now, but if it weren't for the calm, intelligent intervention of Dr. Kevin Kelly the suffering of that one grotesquely wronged woman and her child would have been much worse than it was, and it was very, very bad until Kelly was finally appointed by the county's slo-mo Superior Court to have a look at mother and child.

KELLY saved them from CPS and its preferred therapists at the time, a lunatic husband and wife team by the name of Robert and Ann Horton who believed that Satanism thrived in Mendoland and that little Yusra was one more victim. These two morons and the sub-morons at CPS trotted this preposterous Satanist bullshit out in court. And got away with it!

I'LL BET THAT CPS has been prevented from destroying other children and their parents by Kelly, which is why CPS wanted to bar him from the Koski-Whipple matter. But Koski definitely needed Kelly or some other equivalently intelligent human evaluator independent of CPS.

JUDGE LABOWITZ did the right thing. Kelly got the job and, I'm assuming because I never could find out what happened — “confidentiality and the welfare of the child” you see — that Koski at least got to visit his daughter.


Re: First fatal black bear attack in California

Dobby Sommer (Coast Chatline): When my bear kept coming into the house (scary) to the refrigerator to eat and pull the refrigerator apart Fish and Game called me and said to use ammonia (did not work) and use an air horn. Yea, the air horn worked. I would reach for the air horn when I heard the bear fling open the door and after three or so times it did not return. Albion hardware sells air horns.

Marco McClean here, Dobby. Your note reminds me: Question: What is the loudest flower? Answer: A vuvuzalea.

Before event and sports venues began banning them everywhere (and especially immediately after that), they had vuvuzelas at the dollar store. They are the toy trumpet from hell. Also, not too long ago, there was a fad for making comedy videos, using news clips of famous people giving speeches, saying fatuous things, with all other sound electronically removed, but random vuvuzela (or airhorn) blasts inserted here and there, to make it all feel like Principal Poop's speech to the graduating class of Morse Science High in Firesign Theater's theme album Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers.

The advantage of vuvuzela over airhorn is, the vuvu doesn't run out of air until you do.

Willits Sunset (Jeff Goll)


Feeling squashed but not zucchini
Days are hot and getting meaner
Existential threats close in
Gotta keep winning and winning
Desperation worldwide with no exit
Everybody is bulldogging it now

Nobody organizes so the chaos rules
Anarchists gloat but they are fools
Voting is beyond the absurd we know
But the deluded keep doing it caught up
In the illusion begging for a starring role
Cannot get off the spinning roulette wheel

Monsters eat the earth and drink the seas
Earthquakes shake her and volcanoes explode
Lightening scorches and the hurricanes howl
Come to the spiritual life by your own free will
Your participation is crucial battling armies of
Demons and restoring righteousness everywhere

— Craig Louis Stehr

CHERRIES, an on-line comment:

It’s June and the cherries are ripening in the yard; it’s my favorite fruit. For a number of years now I have aspired to eat fresh cherries in every month of the year. Thanks to globalization, Chile is happy to grow cherries during our winter to supply to us. Since our November is their May, you can generally get cherries around thanksgiving and through February. Meanwhile, the first cherries of the year in the USA arrive in late April, expensive, red, and not great flavored. The last ones arrive at the market as late as September.

In order to enjoy fresh cherries every month, one saves February cherries to enjoy March 1, and September cherries for October 1. Silly, but I was able to do this every year until 2023.

That’s the year there were no cherries in late APRIL from California. My brother explained this was due to flooding, which I accepted. Ominously, there were no cherries for sale in late November, either.

This April likewise saw the absence of CA cherries. I suspect the supply lines at the bordering season will fail again in November, making it impossible to enjoy fresh cherries every month of the year. The supply lines don’t pay the cost of shipping and so they’ve been cut; we will lose weeks gradually off the Chilean cherries until perhaps only lateDecember-January sees them.

This must be happening one by one in other supply lines. Luxuries like winter cherries now, and necessities like meats, vegetables, and others soon enough. Start building local supply by buying from local vendors NOW.


by Anne Fashauer

Late last year my husband and I starting talking about possibly joining some online friends of mine for a bicycle trip in part of Italy. The more we talked about it the more a longer trip to Italy sounded like fun and then we mentioned it to a friend of ours and she said she would like to go to. At that point, it became more of a reality and it went from a biking trip to a full tour of Italy trip. We left in on April 15 from San Francisco for Rome.

The trip started out full of anticipation and excitement. We spent the weeks before we left getting ready and getting our property and home ready as well. When the trip planning started it was based on the timing of the bicycle trip; we kept that timing and expanded on it, both earlier and later. In hindsight, given that April and May are generally busy times for our gardens and vineyard, we should have moved the trip up to February or March, but it was too late by the time we considered that. How busy I was during that time is reflected in that I did not write anything here after March 18. Given all of that, when we arrived at the airport, got through security and located the United lounge, we were ready for some Champagne!

The flight itself was good, if long at 11 hours. We all used our miles that had accumulated since Covid and flew United Polaris, which is their first class. The extra room is so nice for the long flight and the extra attention is always nice. The first time I went to Europe, the plane wasn’t that full and we were able to stretch out in coach; these days the flights are so packed that isn’t an option. Unfortunately for me, I’ve developed travel related anxiety and though I was excited for the trip and looking forward to it, I was also dreading being away from home for so long, worrying about what could happen in my absence (even knowing those things could happen in my presence as well). My anxiety goes to my bowels and I spent most of the trip up and down to the bathroom, not sleeping more than an hour the whole time.

The street outside of our apartment in Rome.

By the time we landed in Rome, all I wanted was to get to the apartment we had rented, use the bathroom and try to sleep. Our travel partner had the foresight to book us a car (a friend of a friend) to pick us up at the airport and drive us to the apartment in the Trastavere section of Rome. I don’t remember a lot of the drive to the apartment, but I do remember how cute the street we were staying on was and how nice the apartment itself was. We were met by the apartment owner’s father (in fact the only time we were actually met by any of our hosts) who gave us a (too) thorough tour. I kept wanting him to finish so I could go lay down, which he finally did. The best thing about this apartment, for me at least, was that it had two bathrooms and the one in our room was just a few feet from the bed. It was the ideal location to be sick if you had to be sick at all.

I spent the next two days in that bed. Van and our friend Dana took off almost immediately after the house tour. They spent the next two days exploring all of Rome, places old and new, as they had both been there years before. I would get pictures texted to me of their food (that did nothing for me at that point) and of the views, which I was sorry to miss). They brought me back some rice and cooked it, some broth and heated it up and every day some bananas and a plain croissant. These were what I could eat, if I could eat at all. I upped my intake of probiotics specifically brought along for this purpose and made myself drink my electrolytes. I started to feel better by the end of the second day, well enough that on the third day I was up, showered and ready to try to see some of Rome before we left the next morning.

My one day in Rome was a very full one. We walked a lot and I’m not fully sure of where all we went. At one point after viewing some ancient ruins, we bought tickets for the hop-on, hop-off bus and that was actually really fun. We sat up top and listened to the audio guide tell us what we were seeing. This eventually dropped us off near the Vatican, where we had tickets to see the Museum and the Sistine Chapel. We found a nice, not touristy restaurant for some lunch. At this point, I was starting to eat normally, if not much. I had some cheese and spinach ravioli in a white sauce but stuck to sparkling water. I was unable to finish all of my lunch, something that was to become normal for me for most of the trip; I would order, often too much as I felt hungry, then the food would arrive and my appetite would flee. Still, I was at least able to eat something and get away from a bathroom!

After lunch we walked to the Vatican Museum, actually still quite a hike from where we were at. We passed by St. Peter’s Cathedral but had no time to stop (and it turned out we would miss it entirely as it would be closed by the time we passed by on our way back). We arrived at the Vatican Museum with our pre-booked tickets and had little lines to stand in. I had waited a bit too late to book our tickets, so instead of the regular tickets, I booked us for a tour - in Italian. We met our tour guide, explained ourselves and she said that once we reached a certain part of the museum we could rent the audio tours in English and go on our own, if we chose. That is what we ended up doing - she was a good guide and we understood enough up to that point that when we actually made it to the Sistine Chapel I knew some of what I was looking at. I enjoyed the museum very much and the Sistine Chapel was quite amazing. We actually found a spot to sit along the wall and ended up staying there for quite some time. It was at the end of our tour and we were all a bit tired and overwhelmed from all the art.

After the museum we hopped back on the bus and took it to the Spanish Steps, where we walked up the street to the Hassler Hotel and their rooftop bar. We enjoyed a drink and some appetizers there, then headed for the Steps themselves, where we walked down and took some photos. We then walked to the Trevi Fountain for some more photos, then found a restaurant to have a late dinner (it was probably close to 10:00 PM by this time). Dana and I shared a fish and Van had a pasta dish. Then we all shared Tiramisu, prepared at the table. It was delicious, the best I’ve ever had. Unfortunately, I ate a bit too much of the espresso powder and ended up not sleeping at all that night.

From dinner we walked back to our apartment, along a route that took us past the Pantheon, so I at least got to see it from the outside. I spent the night listening to a book until the next morning when we prepared to leave Rome for Siena.

We booked an Uber ride from Trastavere to the train station and asked him to drive us along the Coliseum so I could at least look at it through the car windows as we drove past. No one ended up going there on this trip - Van and Dana had tried to go the day before, but without tickets, they were out of luck. That ended up happening a few times, things that in years past you could generally walk up to and get in or could get tickets to a few days in advance now had to be booked months in advance, so we didn’t see all the tourist spots.

From Rome we took the train to Siena; my travel anxiety came back a bit that day, which was a bummer, as I usually love train travel. However, once we arrived in Siena and got settled in our apartment (nice enough but only one bathroom and the bedrooms were upstairs away from it), we decided to walk up to the Campo. On our way up we noticed that the streets were lined with metal railings, the kind of temporary railings found at events. As we got close to the Campo we found out that there was a bicycle race being held, right up my alley! We were able to find a spot in the sun (Siena was rather chilly) and watch as the bicyclists made their way to the finish line at the bottom of the Campo. It wasn’t technically a race, but rather the L’Eroica bike event that features classic bicycles, none newer than 1989. It was a lot of fun to watch and the Campo is a great place to hang out. We then found a table at one of the bars that line the upper reaches of the Campo and sat down for drinks - what became a routine of the remainder of the trip - a beer for me to settle my stomach and Negroni’s for Van and Dana. We also inhaled a couple of the pizzas while we enjoyed the sunshine remaining in the day. Besides the bicycle race, it was graduation day for students from the university and we enjoyed one young man in his robes and laurel wreath celebrating with his family a few tables away from us.

I’ll write more about Siena and our visit there, including our dinner that first night which was outstanding, in my next post. I’ll also take us to the next stop on our trip, Cinque Terre.

CATCH OF THE DAY, Monday, June 10, 2024

Calderson, Francisco, Frease, Gonzales

EMERSON CALDERON, Fort Bragg. Probation violation.


AUGUSTINE FREASE, Ukiah. Controlled substance, paraphernalia, registration tampering.

MONIKA GONZALES, Citrus Heights/Ukiah. Trespassing, resisting, probation revocation.

Jimenez, Loucks, Marin


STEPHANIE LOUCKS, Ukiah. Attempted burglary, conspiracy.

JAIME MARIN, Ukiah. County parole violation.

Michels, Murrieta, Niderost

FREDERICK MICHELS, Willits. Fugitive from justice.


VANESSA NIDEROST, Ukiah. Attempted burglary, conspiracy.

Rodenberger, Schneider, Voris, Watchtel

BRANDON RODENBERGER, Guerneville/Ukiah. DUI, DUI chem test refusal, probation revocation.

MARITA SCHNEIDER, Redwood Valley. Domestic violence court order violation.

MICHAEL VORIS, Willits. Elder abuse resulting in great bodily harm or death, failure to appear.

ACHEYA WACHTEL, Fort Bragg. Disorderly conduct-alcohol.


by Jonah Raskin

Mario Savio

Now that Cal has the go-ahead from the State Supreme Court to build student housing in People’s Park I thought of Mario Savio, one of the leaders of the ’64 Free Speech Movement who was also for several decades a colleague of mine at Sonoma State University (SSU), an hour north of Berkeley. I wondered what Mario would say to Cal’s outgoing Chancellor, Carol Christ, who recently stated, “I’ve come to recognize that while freedom of speech is an absolute, just because you have the right to say something doesn’t mean it’s right to say.” She added, “We all use censorship in our speech in relation to the occasion we are in. If you value your community, you have to find ways of sharing your views that are not vitriolic, that are not needlessly hurtful to other people.”

Christ speaks with what might be called a “forked tongue.” She might seem to stand on the side of free speech. After all, she says that it is “an absolute.” But she goes on to say “we all use censorship in our speech.” Speak for yourself, Christ; don’t speak for “all” of us. Our community includes Gaza today; it’s not just Berkeley. And if and when we speak for a truce and peace we might hurt the feelings of war mongers here and in Israel. Tough. “Fuck politeness.” Someone’s feelings will always be hurt no matter what one says. Hurt feelings can’t be our yardstick for deciding what to say or not say.

Mario would agree with Christ that one ought not to express views that “needlessly hurt other people.” He expressed that view many times at SSU when and where there were clashes between The Star, the student newspaper, and the Black students on campus. The Star published the “N” word in its pages; it also ran a cartoon that the Black students regarded as racist. The “N” word seemed to be blatantly racist, especially because it appeared in a centerfold collage created by a visiting student, a white man, from the American South who didn’t see anything wrong with using the “N” word.

The controversial cartoon depicted a group of Black men who looked like derelicts and who were on a basketball court. In and of itself the cartoon might not have been terribly offensive. But it was the one and only image of Blacks that appeared in the newspaper all semester. It clearly stereotyped Black men. The Black students at SSU collected all the copies of The Star with the “N” word and with the cartoon and burned them in a demonstration on campus. They had a permit for the fire from the campus police.

In the early 1990s, when the burning of the papers took place at SSU, The US Supreme Court would have regarded that act as an expression of “symbolic speech,” akin to burning the Stars and Stripes, an act it defended in Texas v. Johnson from 1989. Today, the court would probably overturn Texas v. Johnson.

Mario Savio valued the First Amendment. As a foe of racism, he was also sensitive to the needs and wants of the Black community on campus. He wanted the editors and reporters on The Star to understand why Black students confiscated and burned copies of the paper. (They didn’t steal them. The paper was free and not sold. ) The staff of the paper refused to meet with the Black students. They argued that the First Amendment was absolute; they dug in their heels and refused to budge. They said that they believed in free speech but would not speak with the Black students. (In Rohnert Park, the city in which SSU is located, Black students told me they heard the “N” word directed at them.)

Mario said famously “There’s a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, it makes you so sick at heart that you can’t take part! You can’t even passively take part!” He added, “you’ve got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus — and you’ve got to make it stop!” That time is now. The operation of the war machine in Gaza is so odious and so sickening that it demands that humans do everything they can do to stop it, including sitting in and occupying space on college campuses, like Cal where Christ called the cops and where students were arrested. If you’re arrested for expressing your First Amendment rights it’s not free. You pay a penalty.

I was the “faculty adviser” to The Star, the most odious part of my teaching job. The students wouldn’t listen to me. David Benson the SSU president wanted me to censor the paper, something I could not and would not do and didn’t do, though I thought it might cost me my job. It didn’t. Benson departed. I stayed and taught a class on the First Amendment.

For much of my life I censored myself, though it hurt to do so. Then I began to speak out and felt better doing so. If and when I hurt someone’s feelings and didn’t mean to do so I could and did apologize. It is better, I decided, to say something than nothing at all. Silence in some situations can be worse than saying something that might be misunderstood. You can take back what you said that hurt.

Chancellor Christ will not be remembered as an advocate for free speech but rather as the administrator who called the cops on the students at Cal and who put some of the final nails in the coffin of People’s Park. In March of 2024, Christ and former U.S. Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice appeared on the stage together at Zellerbach on the Cal campus to talk about free speech. Outside Zellerbach, students carried a banner that read, War Criminal.” They also shouted “Free Palestine.” Christ chose Rice to share the stage with her. What does that say about her commitment to freedom of speech? It says that when push comes to shove she stands with the machine. Oh, Mario, I wish you were here now to defend the First Amendment and to speak for Gaza. We will all have to speak for you.

(Jonah Raskin is the author of Beat Blues, San Francisco, 1955.)

A night on the town (Randy Burke)


The decades of what some have dubbed “water wars” may be approaching a climactic point.

by Dan Walters

California is a semiarid state in which the availability of water determines land use, and in turn shapes the economy.

That, in a nutshell, explains why Californians have been jousting over water for the state’s entire 174-year history.

The decades of what some have dubbed “water wars” may be approaching a climactic point as climate change, economic evolution, stagnant population growth and environmental consciousness compel decisions on California’s water future.

A new study, conducted by researchers at three University of California campuses, projects that a combination of factors will reduce California’s water supply by up to 9 million acre-feet a year — roughly the equivalent of all nonagricultural human use. They include effects of climate change, new regulations to stem the overdraft of underground water, reducing Colorado River diversions and increasing environmental flows, especially those through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

In an average year, around 200 million acre-feet of water fall on the state as rain or snow. Evaporation and percolation take most of it, leaving about 80 million acre-feet to be divvied up among three major uses. Agricultural irrigation and environmental flows to the ocean are roughly equal at around 35 million acre-feet while residential, commercial and industrial users take the remainder.

The latter is not only the smallest of the three uses but has been remarkably stable — even declining somewhat, despite decades of high population growth — thanks to intensive conservation programs.

Although water officials constantly beseech Californians to limit their personal consumption of water, the real conflict in recent years, particularly during periods of drought, has pitted agricultural interests against environmentalists over the flows needed to nurture fish and other wildlife.

Environmentalists have pressed state water officials, particularly the Water Resources Control Board, to compel farmers to reduce diversions from rivers to enhance flows. Agriculture is also being squeezed by new restrictions on tapping aquifers via wells. Moreover, California’s largest-in-the-nation agricultural sector has also been shifting from seasonal crops to nuts, grapes and other permanent, high-value products, which need year-round watering.

“Good management and policy for this situation requires organized serious attention and consistent long-term policy, without complacency or panic,” the UC study concludes.

The new study bolsters a 2022 policy paper issued by the Newsom administration calling for 4 million acre-feet of new water storage, another 1.3 million in savings through conservation and reuse of wastewater, and new supplies from desalination and other processes.

The study also arrives as legislation that would set new targets for increased water supply, Senate Bill 366, makes its way through the Capitol with broad support from water interests of all varieties.

It’s one thing to point out that California faces a potential water supply crisis and should be earnestly trying to avoid the effects, but actually doing something confronts two steep hurdles: the glacial pace of water projects of any kind, and unresolved conflict over water rights, some of which date back to the state’s founding in 1850.

The Sites Reservoir exemplifies the former. The western Sacramento Valley project, which would add 1.5 million acre-feet of off-stream storage, has moved closer to reality in recent years after seven decades of sitting on the shelf. Ditto for the long-planned canal or tunnel that would bypass the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

The notion of a comprehensive, long-range program making California’s uncertain water supply more resilient sounds great, and the clock is ticking. However, it assumes that officialdom has the legal authority to make it happen.

Until and unless the issue of water rights is resolved, the much-discussed reallocation of supplies — more for environmental flows and less for agriculture — will remain stalled.



by Kathleen Pender

Maggie Robbins lives alone in a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights. Because she has no air conditioning, dishwasher, washer or dryer, she uses little electricity.

As a result, the net amount she pays PG&E to deliver electricity to her home could go up by about $20 a month in early 2026, when the big utility implements a new rate structure for some costs of distributing electricity to homes. Under the new scheme, PG&E’s residential customers will pay a fixed monthly charge based on income, but pay a bit less for each kilowatt-hour used.

The Chronicle analyzed bills from a dozen PG&E customers around the Bay Area and found that based on past usage, most will pay more.

People who use lots of electricity — such as those in hot inland areas, especially if they are low-income, and electric-vehicle owners — will most likely come out ahead, because their usage-based savings will exceed their fixed charge. Those who use less energy will typically pay more.

Small-apartment dwellers and customers with rooftop solar systems will likely see the largest percentage increases, while electric-vehicle owners generally will pay less. Customers enrolled in an existing discount program for lower-income customers would pay less or break even.

“When reading about the possible billing structure change, I knew I would end up paying substantially more than I do now,” Robbins said via email. “Will it break the bank? Not for me, but I’m bothered. By choice, I live a frugal lifestyle in terms of energy use. That choice enables me to live within my means in a very expensive city and state.”

The Math Behind PG&E’s New Rates

Today, PG&E’s electric-delivery charges — which cover distribution, transmission and some miscellaneous fees — are based on usage. The cost per kilowatt-hour varies depending on time of day and year.

Customers enrolled in one of two programs for lower-income households get a discount off those rates. Those in the California Alternate Rates for Energy or CARE program typically get 35% off, and those on the Family Electric Rate Assistance or FERA program get an 18% break.

Under the new structure, some of PG&E’s distribution costs will be converted to a fixed charge: $24.15 per month for most customers or $12 or $6 per month for those in FERA and CARE, respectively. (PG&E won’t require income documentation.)

The new plan will also reduce the usage-based or “volumetric” rate by 4.7 cents per kWh for most PG&E customers and less for those in CARE or FERA.

Assembly Bill 205, passed by California legislators in 2022, required the state’s three investor-owned utilities, including PG&E, to begin charging residential customers a fixed monthly rate “so that low-income ratepayers … would realize a lower average monthly bill without making any changes in usage.” The California Public Utilities Commission approved the new rate structure in May.

A chart provided by PG&E shows that CARE customers with average usage in all climate zones systemwide will save money. But CARE customers with average usage in Zone T, which includes much of the Bay Area, will save the least — 60 cents per month on average. Non-CARE/FERA customers in Zone T would pay an additional $9.11 per month on average.

The new plan is supposed to be revenue-neutral for the utilities.

It will not affect what customers pay for natural gas or electricity generation. About 3 million of PG&E’s 5.5 million residential customers get generation from Community Choice Aggregation programs, such as CleanPowerSF, Peninsula Clean Energy and Ava Community Energy. These programs use PG&E’s distribution system, so their customers pay PG&E’s electric-delivery charges, which will be affected.

How To Estimate Your New PG&E Bill

So how can PG&E customers figure out if they will come out ahead or behind? For non-solar customers, here’s a simple way to estimate your average monthly impact, which — importantly — assumes no change in future usage or rates:

  1. First, calculate your average monthly electricity usage over the past 12 months.

If you don’t save paper bills, log into your PG&E account online and click on Energy Usage Details. Here you will see a bar chart showing your daily electricity use for the past month.

Using the drop-down menu, switch from Bill View to Year View, which displays your monthly usage.

Hover over each bar to see the total number of kilowatt-hours used each month. Add these numbers and divide by 12 to get your average. (You can find a full copy of past bills by clicking on “Bill and Payment History” from the home page)

  1. Next, calculate your usage discount under the new rate plan.

Multiply your average monthly usage by 5 cents (0.05), or by 4 cents (0.04) if you are in FERA or 2 cents (0.02) if you are in CARE. This approximates your average monthly volumetric discount.

  1. Finally, factor in the new fixed charge.

Subtract this number from the fixed monthly charge: $24.15 for most customers, $12 for FERA and $6 for CARE customers.

If the difference is positive, that’s roughly how much extra you might pay each month. If the number is negative, that’s how much you could potentially save.

Living alone in a small apartment, Robbins used just 76 kilowatt-hours of electricity on average over the past 12 months. Multiply that by 0.05 and her volumetric charges would drop by $3.80 per month, but after the $24.15 fixed charge, she would pay around $20.35 more.

The break-even point for a non-solar customer (who is not in CARE or FERA) appears to be around 480 kilowatt-hours per month. Those using less electricity would pay more, while those using more would pay less.

PG&E says its typical customer systemwide uses about 500 kilowatt-hours per month, but did not provide data on what the average usage is in the Bay Area. But given the region’s mild climate, customers here who do not use air conditioning or have an EV charger would likely have usage below 500 kWh.

Who Will Pay More?

Mike Kwasnicki, who lives alone in a 2,100-square-foot home, would likely pay more, even though he lives in Vacaville, where summer temperatures average in the 90s. “I do have AC that runs on electricity and yes my bill jumps in the summer even with the thermostat set at 82,” he said. He installed a window air conditioner to reduce use of his main unit.

He used about 222 kilowatt-hours a month on average over the past year. A 5-cent discount would save him about $11 per month, but after the fixed charge, he’d see a $13 net increase. Kwasnicki, 73, lives on Social Security and a military pension, “so if my utility bill goes up $10 or $20, I have to rob Peter to pay Paul,” he said.

Kyle Orangio of Concord used 408 kilowatt-hours a month on average over the past 12 months. His 5-cent rate cut would save about $20.40 per month, so he’d pay about $3.75 per month extra.

Who Will Pay Less?

Kory Schueler is an example of someone who should come out ahead. He rents a single-family home in San Francisco with three other adults, but only he is able to work, and the household currently qualifies for CARE.

His average monthly use was 580 kilowatt-hours. “There are electric baseboards that the landlord installed in the two larger rooms that get used during the coldest days,” he said.

Under the new rate structure for CARE, his usage-based fee would drop by $11.60 (580 times 0.02). Subtract the $6 flat fee for a net savings of $5.60 per month.

Jean Haidary, another CARE customer who lives with her son in a mobile home park in Calistoga, would roughly break even. Their average usage was 311 kilowatt-hours per month, so their usage-based fee would drop by $6.22, roughly equal to their $6 fixed charge.

In the Bay Area, most electric vehicle owners should come out ahead because they are heavy users, but are generally on EV rate plans that provide lower rates during off-peak hours, which would also be discounted by 5 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Brian Fukumoto of Morgan Hill, who has a Tesla Model 2, used about 1,180 kilowatt-hours on average, so his volumetric fees would drop by about $60 per month. His net savings after the fixed charge: about $35 per month. “Cool, $35 a month is better than nothing and much better than an increase,” he said via email.

Jennifer Wilkins of Oakland, who owns a Polestar EV, used 1,100 kilowatt-hours on average per month. Her net monthly savings would be about $31 per month, which she called “a drop in the bucket” on her total power bill, which tops $600 or $700 a month in winter months despite keeping the thermostat at 63 or 64 degrees.

What If I Have Solar Panels?

For solar customers, the calculation is more complicated.

First, the calculation may depend on whether you are under PG&E’s old net energy metering (NEM) billing plan, or the new plan “Net Billing Tariff” plan. Customers who installed solar after April 15, 2023, are on the new plan, though PG&E didn’t start transitioning them to the new rate tariff until April.

Tom Beach, principal consultant at Crossborder Energy in Berkeley, helped analyze bills for five Bay Area PG&E customers who installed rooftop solar before April 15, 2023, and therefore are under PG&E’s old NEM billing plan.

Under that system, users who need more power than they generate can purchase the shortfall from PG&E or a community choice program. Those who generate more than they use can transmit the excess back to the grid for a credit. Once a year, their net usage or production over 12 months is “trued up” and they might get an additional bill or credit.

PG&E charges a minimum delivery fee of almost $12 per month for non-CARE customers, including solar ones. It pays for transportation of electricity over PG&E’s grid. Under the new plan, that minimum will be replaced with the three tiers of fixed charges that apply to everyone.

Two of the solar customers whose bills we analyzed, Mike Rubin of San Francisco and Rachel Hoerger of Oakland, generated more electricity than they used over the past 12 months, so they paid the minimum $12 per month. Their payments would roughly double, to $24.15 month, Beach said.

The other three solar customers whose bills we analyzed are more typical: they used more electricity than they generated over 12 months. Their net usage was billed like non-solar customers and will generally be impacted the same way.

For example, Gretchen Turner of San Francisco used 2,064 more kilowatt-hours than she generated over 12 months. That cost her about $60 a month on average. The 5-cent discount would save her about $8.60 a month. But after the fixed charge she would see a net increase of almost $16 per month, or 27%.

For solar customers on the new “Net Billing Tariff” system, “you don’t get much credit for power you export in the middle of the day. They did that to drive battery adoption, so people are encouraged to store excess generation for use in the evening when power is more valuable,” Beach said.

With Net Billing Tariff, there is a fixed monthly charge of $15. That will be replaced with the new fixed charges, but “their volumetric rate will also come down, but only by 2 to 3 cents per kilowatt hour,” instead of 5 cents, Beach said.

Some solar customers don’t buy or lease systems, but enter a long-term “power purchase agreement” with a company that puts panels on their roof and charges them a per-kilowatt rate for the electricity the panels produce. The impact on their PG&E bill should be about the same as other solar customers.

Doug Heintz of Redwood City has such a contract with Sunrun. His household’s net usage over the past 12 months was 915 kilowatt-hours, which incurred NEM charges of $277 a year. Under the new structure, he would pay $621 per year, or $51.75 a month, a 65% increase.

“The fixed charge is designed to help provide bill relief for lower-income households and reduce the per-kilowatt cost of electricity for all customers, making it more appealing for everyone to power their homes and cars with electricity instead of fossil fuels.” PG&E said via email. “The fixed charge will not increase the amount PG&E collects from customers.”


When I was a youngish resident in internal medicine, the most stupid, but cute, narrow thinking, childish “tattling,” ass kissing person in the program was a female resident we’ll call “Jill.” She frankly did not know what she was doing if she was unable to look the issue up in the PDR. She stayed at the same University Medical Center throughout her career. Recently, I talked with a former colleague from there, and he told me that “Jil” was now the head of the Medicine Department at that University Medical Center.

The Peter Principle in management theory says that eventually people get promoted to positions where they are not competent. That, plus woke DEI, landed “Jill” in the position of chief in a major university medical center.

Don’t get sick and go to the hospital, if at all possible.


RE: Maxim Loskutoff and the Unabomber…

Ted Kaczynski did NOT have a successful career in Academia. Socially inept, to put it mildly, and especially with women. Also he didn’t get a degree from Harvard. - A Fellow Evergreen Park IL. High School Graduate

PS. No matter his “Genius,” the Unabomber’s misanthropy and inability to interact with his fellow humans would predict him moving to a Cabin in remote Montana, growing his own food that he fertilized with his own poop. While He and Dan White both had multiple facets to their violent acts, the roles of professional bitterness and workplace violence, revenge, cannot be overstated. Everybody got over on Dan White: Gay/ Straight, Black/White, Man/Woman, Jew/Gentile.

“TELL PEOPLE there's an invisible man in the sky who created the universe, and the vast majority will believe you. Tell them the paint is wet, and they have to touch it to be sure.”

— George Carlin


The United States does need a more orderly border. It also needs more immigrants, who are critical to the country’s economic strength.

by John Cassidy

New migrants to the U.S. contribute to economic growth in two ways: by working and by spending.

Last week, President Joe Biden announced a crackdown on migrants trying to cross the southern border. The responses from immigrants’-rights groups, civil-rights groups, and some Democratic politicians were instantaneous. Senator Alex Padilla, of California, said that the new policy—which empowers border agents to quickly deport people who cross between ports of entry, by drastically restricting their ability to claim asylum—“undermined American values and abandoned our nation’s obligations to provide people fleeing persecution, violence, and authoritarianism with an opportunity to seek refuge in the U.S.”

But at least one economist, who strongly favors liberal immigration policies, was more sympathetic to the White House’s move. “The situation at the southern border has been chaotic,” Giovanni Peri, who directs the Global Migration Center at the University of California, Davis, told me. “It has been hurting the case for immigration because people have only been talking about that, and not talking about all the migrants who have been coming here and working and boosting the economy.”

Michael Clemens, an economist at George Mason University who is an expert on immigration, said that some of the coverage of the new policy, particularly online, had been misleading. Under certain exceptions enumerated in the plan, at least sixty thousand migrants—with access to parole pending an asylum or other court hearing—are likely to be lawfully admitted to the U.S. each month, about six times as many as under Donald Trump, Clemens said. “This is not a return to Trump,” he told me. “There is no comparison.” Biden’s plan, which went into effect on Wednesday, does limit most asylum claims for migrants crossing between ports of entry, until the daily average of migrant arrests falls and stays below certain thresholds. But Clemens pointed out that migrants could still schedule appointments to appear at border posts, or could apply under a separate, special admissions program that the Biden Administration has set up for residents of Cuba, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Venezuela. Nevertheless, he and Peri both agreed that there is an urgent need to accompany the new policy with more legal-entry options for the migrants who are trying to cross the southern border. “We can easily absorb these people, and the economy needs them,” Peri said. Clemens also argued that expanding legal channels is necessary to secure the border: “Just denying access is very likely to encourage more clandestine entry. It may be completely ineffective.”

According to the Congressional Budget Office, net immigration to the U.S. surged to 2.6 million in 2022 and 3.3 million in 2023, and the majority of this increase came in the form of migrants who were granted parole either pending an asylum hearing or for other reasons. In a much discussed paper that was published a few months ago, Wendy Edelberg and Tara Watson, two economists at the Brookings Institution, argued that the entry of many of these new migrants into the U.S. helped enable the economy to grow and increased total employment, even as the Fed raised interest rates sharply to bring down inflation. New migrants contribute to economic growth in two ways: by working and by spending. Their presence in unexpectedly high numbers “explains some of the surprising strength in consumer spending and overall economic growth since 2022,” Edelberg and Watson wrote. “Moreover, we expect immigration flows to further boost economic growth in 2024.”

When I called up Edelberg, she said it was hard to predict exactly what impact the new border policy would have. But, if it worked out as planned, the policy would eventually reduce the number of people seeking asylum only by about twenty-five per cent. “What Biden is doing is relatively modest in relation to the broader economy,” Edelberg said. “It’s not nothing, but it’s not going to have a dramatic effect immediately.”

This analysis illustrates a more general point about immigration policy, which right-wing politicians have ruthlessly demagogued for decades. The tropes that tend to dominate public discussion often have little basis in fact, and the facts that should be at the center of the discussion often go ignored. Take, for example, the claim often made by Republicans that the country is being “swamped” by migrants crossing the southern border. It’s certainly true that a surge in unauthorized immigration during the past couple of years has created considerable challenges for communities in border states, and for cities such as New York and Chicago, which have received large inflows of migrants. But it is barely mentioned that this recent surge—which is largely rooted in people fleeing poverty and dysfunction in troubled Latin American countries, such as Honduras, Guatemala, and Venezuela—comes after a decade in which the number of unauthorized immigrants living in the United States declined.

According to recent estimates by the Department of Homeland Security, in 2010 there were 11.6 million unauthorized immigrants in the United States. In 2022, there were eleven million. So, even though the number of unauthorized arrivals has risen sharply in the past couple of years, this follows a period in which large numbers of undocumented immigrants returned home, especially to Mexico, causing the over-all number still living here to fall slightly. It’s also true that during the past two decades the number of foreign-born people living in the United States has increased significantly—from 31.1 million in 2000 to 46.2 million in 2022, according to the Census Bureau. But legal immigration has accounted for most of this jump, and many of the arrivals have been skilled workers. “Since 2000, net immigration has become massively more concentrated among highly educated workers,” Peri, of the Global Migration Center, pointed out.

To be sure, many of the migrants crossing the southern border don’t have an advanced education. But two more unsung realities are relevant here. Based on news coverage, particularly on television, it’s easy to get the impression that most of the migrants are unable to work and are languishing in taxpayer-funded shelters. That impression is almost certainly inaccurate. Migrants who have been given asylum-processing appointments or granted humanitarian parole are eligible to apply for temporary work permits. “Looking at payroll-employment data, it is very consistent with high labor-participation rates among recent migrants,” Edelberg said. “They appear to be working in a very similar pattern to other recent waves of immigration.” Some commentators have queried this argument, saying there is little evidence of a jump in over-all financial remittances by migrants to their home countries. Edelberg said that the remittances data merely suggest to her that “brand-new migrants aren’t yet sending a lot of money home.”

The second important reality is that, in the coming decades, we are going to need many more of these types of workers to keep the U.S. economy growing and to fill essential jobs in industries such as construction, agriculture, food processing, hospitality, and long-term care. The potential shortage of workers is based on inexorable demographic trends: declining fertility rates and the aging of the U.S. population. According to this year’s Economic Report of the President, which is prepared by the White House Council of Economic Advisers, between 2023 and 2052, the share of workers aged twenty-five to fifty-four is expected to grow at an average annual rate of just 0.2 per cent. That’s a fifth of the growth rate between 1980 and 2021. And even this puny 0.2 per-cent rate depends on large numbers of new immigrants arriving year after year. “Without positive net migration, the U.S. population is projected to begin shrinking by about 2040,” the report said.

Sustaining healthy economic growth alongside a stable or declining population is theoretically conceivable: it would depend on making existing workers significantly more productive every year. A.I. optimists would say that should be possible. But the experience of Japan, where the population has declined in the past decade and a half, and where economic growth has stagnated, demonstrates the challenge that the United States would face if immigration was severely curtailed, as Trump and other Republicans have called for. “Our economy needs immigrants to grow over the long term,” Edelberg said. “What we really need to do is open up more pathways for legal immigration.”

Peri emphasized the importance of making such pathways readily available not only to highly trained workers, such as computer engineers headed to Silicon Valley, but also to the types of migrants who have been crossing the southern border. During the past few years, labor shortages have already emerged in parts of the economy where low-skilled immigrants tend to work, such as construction and elderly care. (Earlier this year, the Associated Builders and Contractors trade group said that the industry would need to attract half a million workers beyond its usual rate of hiring to meet demand in 2024.) “In the next ten or twenty years, it will be even more important to do proper and comprehensive immigration reform,” Peri said. “If we only deal with border security and don’t do anything about expanding legal immigration, we are not really doing anything.”

(The New Yorker)


Fifty-two percent of Americans agree that the US government should halt weapons shipments to Israel until Israel stops its attacks on Gaza.

That’s according to a new YouGov poll commissioned by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).

The poll shows that 62 percent of respondents who voted for President Biden in 2020 agree with the statement “The US should stop weapons shipments to Israel until Israel discontinues its attacks on the people of Gaza” while just 14 percent disagree.

No doubt about it — the slaughterhouse in the Middle East is being funded by President Biden and both parties in Congress — against the will of the American people.

To catch up to speed on why this is happening, check out the current issue (May/June 2024) of the Capitol Hill Citizen and our lead story — Citizens Push Back Against AIPAC Dominance.

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Russell Mokhiber, Capitol Hill Citizen

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A year after his death, he’s still with us.

by Norman Solomon

On a warm evening almost a decade ago, I sat under the stars with Daniel Ellsberg while he talked about nuclear war with alarming intensity. He was most of the way through writing his last and most important book, The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner. Somehow, he had set aside the denial so many people rely on to cope with a world that could suddenly end in unimaginable horror. Listening, I felt more and more frightened. Dan knew what he was talking about.

After working inside this country’s doomsday machinery, even drafting nuclear war plans for the Pentagon during President John F. Kennedy’s administration, Dan Ellsberg had gained intricate perspectives on what greased the bureaucratic wheels, personal ambitions, and political messaging of the warfare state. Deceptions about arranging for the ultimate violence of thermonuclear omnicide were of a piece with routine falsehoods about American war-making. It was easy enough to get away with lying, he told me: “How difficult is it to deceive the public? I would say, as a former insider, one becomes aware: it’s not difficult to deceive them. First of all, you’re often telling them what they would like to believe — that we’re better than other people, we’re superior in our morality and our perceptions of the world.”

Dan had made history in 1971 by revealing the top-secret Pentagon Papers, exposing the constant litany of official lies that accompanied the U.S. escalation of the Vietnam War. In response, the government used the blunderbuss of the World War I-era Espionage Act to prosecute him. At age 41, he faced a possible prison sentence of more than 100 years. But his trial ended abruptly with all charges dismissed when the Nixon administration’s illegal interference in the case came to light in mid-1972. Five decades later, he reflected: “Looking back, the chance that I would get out of 12 felony counts from Richard Nixon was close to zero. It was a miracle.”

That miracle enabled Dan to keep on speaking, writing, researching, and protesting for the rest of his life. (In those five decades, he averaged nearly two arrests per year for civil disobedience.) He worked tirelessly to prevent and oppose a succession of new American wars. And he consistently gave eloquent public support as well as warm personal solidarity to heroic whistleblowers — Thomas Drake, Katharine Gun, Daniel Hale, Matthew Hoh, Chelsea Manning, Edward Snowden, Jeffrey Sterling, Mordechai Vanunu, Ann Wright, and others — who sacrificed much to challenge deadly patterns of official deceit.

Unauthorized Freedom of Speech

Dan often spoke out for freeing WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange, whose work had revealed devastating secret U.S. documents on America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. At the end of a visit in June 2015, when they said goodbye inside Ecuador’s embassy in London, I saw that both men were on the verge of tears. At that point, Assange was three years into his asylum at that embassy, with no end in sight.

Secretly indicted in the United States, Assange remained in the Ecuadorian embassy for nearly four more years until London police dragged him off to prison. Hours later, in a radio interview, Dan said: “Julian Assange is the first journalist to be indicted. If he is extradited to the U.S. and convicted, he will not be the last. The First Amendment is a pillar of our democracy and this is an assault on it. If freedom of speech is violated to this extent, our republic is in danger. Unauthorized disclosures are the lifeblood of the republic.”

Unauthorized disclosures were the essence of what WikiLeaks had published and what Dan had provided with the Pentagon Papers. Similarly, countless exposés about U.S. government war crimes became possible due to the courage of Chelsea Manning, and profuse front-page news about the government’s systematic violations of the Fourth Amendment resulted from Edward Snowden’s bravery. While gladly publishing some of their revelations, major American newspapers largely refused to defend their rights.

Such dynamics were all too familiar to Dan. He told me that the attitude toward him of the New York Times, which won a Pulitzer Prize with its huge Pentagon Papers scoop, was akin to a district attorney’s view of a “snitch” — useful but distasteful.

In recent times, Dan detested the smug media paradigm of “Ellsberg good, Snowden bad.” So, he pushed back against the theme as rendered by New Yorker staff writer Malcolm Gladwell, who wrote a lengthy piece along those lines in late 2016. Dan quickly responded with a letter to the editor, which never appeared.

The New Yorker certainly could have found room to print Dan’s letter, which said: “I couldn’t disagree more with Gladwell’s overall account.” The letter was just under 300 words; the Gladwell piece had run more than 5,000. While promoting the “Ellsberg good, Snowden bad” trope, the New Yorker did not let readers know that Ellsberg himself completely rejected it:

“Each of us, having earned privileged access to secret information, saw unconstitutional, dangerously wrong policies ongoing by our government. (In Snowden’s case, he discovered blatantly criminal violations of our Fourth Amendment right to privacy, on a scale that threatens our democracy.) We found our superiors, up to the presidents, were deeply complicit and clearly unwilling either to expose, reform, or end the wrongdoing.

“Each of us chose to sacrifice careers, and possibly a lifetime’s freedom, to reveal to the public, Congress, and the courts what had long been going on in secret from them. We hoped, each with some success, to allow our democratic system to bring about desperately needed change.

“The truth is there are no whistleblowers, in fact no one on earth, with whom I identify more closely than with Edward Snowden.

“Here is one difference between us that is deeply real to me: Edward Snowden, when he was 30 years old, did what I could and should have done — what I profoundly wish I had done — when I was his age, instead of 10 years later.”

As he encouraged whistleblowing, Dan often expressed regret that he hadn’t engaged in it sooner. During the summer of 2014, a billboard was on display at bus stops in Washington, D.C., featuring a quote from Dan — with big letters at the top saying “DON’T DO WHAT I DID. DON’T WAIT,” followed by “until a new war has started, don’t wait until thousands more have died, before you tell the truth with documents that reveal lies or crimes or internal projections of costs and dangers. You might save a war’s worth of lives.” Two whistleblowers who had been U.S. diplomats, Matthew Hoh and Ann Wright, unveiled the billboard at a bus stop near the State Department.

A Grotesque Situation of Existential Danger

Above all, Daniel Ellsberg was preoccupied with opposing policies that could lead to nuclear war. “No policies in human history have more deserved to be recognized as immoral. Or insane,” he wrote in The Doomsday Machine. “The story of how this calamitous predicament came about and how and why it has persisted for over half a century is a chronicle of human madness.”

It’s fitting that the events set for Daniel Ellsberg Week (ending on June 16th, the first anniversary of when Dan passed away) will include at least one protest at a Northrop Grumman facility. That company has a $13.3 billion contract to develop a new version of an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which — as Dan frequently emphasized — is the most dangerous of all nuclear weapons. He was eager to awaken Congress to scientific data about “nuclear winter” and the imperative of shutting down ICBMs to reduce the risks of nuclear war.

Five years ago, several of us from the Institute for Public Accuracy hand-delivered paperbacks of The Doomsday Machine — with a personalized letter from Dan to each member of the House and Senate — to all 535 congressional offices on Capitol Hill. “I am concerned that the public, most members of Congress, and possibly even high members of the Executive branch have remained in the dark, or in a state of denial, about the implications of rigorous studies by environmental scientists over the last dozen years,” Dan wrote near the top of his two-page letter. Those studies “confirm that using even a large fraction of the existing U.S. or Russian nuclear weapons that are on high alert would bring about nuclear winter, leading to global famine and near extinction of humanity.”

Dan’s letter singled out the urgency of one “immediate step” in particular: “to eliminate entirely our redundant, vulnerable, and destabilizing land-based ICBM force.” Unlike air-launched and sea-based nuclear weapons, which are not vulnerable to attack, the ICBMs are vulnerable to a preemptive strike and so are “poised to launch” on the basis of “ten-minute warning signals that may be — and have been, on both sides — false alarms, which press leadership to ‘use them or lose them.’”

As Dan pointed out, “It is in the power of Congress to decouple the hair-trigger on our system by defunding and dismantling the current land-based Minuteman missiles and rejecting funding for their proposed replacements. The same holds for lower-yield weapons for first use against Russia, on submarines or in Europe, which are detonators for escalation to nuclear winter.”

In essence, Dan was telling members of Congress to do their job, with the fate of the earth and its inhabitants hanging in the balance:

“This grotesque situation of existential danger has evolved in secret in the almost total absence of congressional oversight, investigations, or hearings. It is time for Congress to remedy this by preparing for first-ever hearings on current nuclear doctrine and ‘options,’ and by demanding objective, authoritative scientific studies of their full consequences including fire, smoke, nuclear winter, and famine. Classified studies of nuclear winter using actual details of existing attack plans, never yet done by the Pentagon but necessarily involving its directed cooperation, could be done by the National Academy of Sciences, requested and funded by Congress.”

But Dan’s letter was distinctly out of sync with Congress. Few in office then — or now — have publicly acknowledged that such a “grotesque situation of existential danger” really exists. And even fewer have been willing to break from the current Cold War mindset that continues to fuel the rush to global annihilation. On matters of foreign policy and nuclear weapons, the Congressional Record is mainly a compendium of arrogance and delusion, in sharp contrast to the treasure trove of Dan’s profound insights preserved at

Humanism and Realism to Remember

Clear as he was about the overarching scourge of militarism embraced by the leaders of both major parties, Dan was emphatic about not equating the two parties at election time. He understood that efforts like Green Party presidential campaigns are misguided at best. But, as he said dryly, he did favor third parties — on the right (“the more the better”). He knew what some self-described progressives have failed to recognize as the usual reality of the U.S. electoral system: right-wing third parties help the left, and left-wing third parties help the right.

Several weeks before the 2020 election, Dan addressed voters in the swing state of Michigan via an article he wrote for the Detroit Metro Times. Appearing under a headline no less relevant today — “Trump Is an Enemy of the Constitution and Must Be Defeated” — the piece said that “it’s now of transcendent importance to prevent him from gaining a second term.” Dan warned that “we’re facing an authoritarian threat to our democratic system of a kind we’ve never seen before,” making votes for Joe Biden in swing states crucial.

Dan’s mix of deep humanism and realism was in harmony with his aversion to contorting logic to suit rigid ideology. Bad as current realities were, he said, it was manifestly untrue that things couldn’t get worse. He had no intention of ignoring the very real dangers of nuclear war or fascism.

During the last few months of his life, after disclosing a diagnosis of inoperable pancreatic cancer, Dan reached many millions of people with an intensive schedule of interviews. Journalists were mostly eager to ask him about events related to the Pentagon Papers. While he said many important things in response to such questions, Dan most wanted to talk about the unhinged momentum of the nuclear arms race and the ominous U.S. frenzy of antagonism toward Russia and China lacking any sense of genuine diplomacy.

While he can no longer speak to the world about the latest developments, Dan Ellsberg will continue to speak directly to hearts and minds about the extreme evils of our time — and the potential for overcoming them with love in action.

A free documentary film premiering now, “A Common Insanity: A Conversation with Daniel Ellsberg About Nuclear Weapons,” concludes with these words from Dan as he looks straight at us: “Can humanity survive the nuclear era? We don’t know. I choose to act as if we have a chance.”

(Norman Solomon is co-founder of and executive director of the Institute for Public Accuracy. His books include "War Made Easy" and most recently "War Made Invisible: How America Hides the Human Toll of Its Military Machine (The New Press). This article originally was published at TomDispatch.)


by Mary Wellesley

We walked in the darkness beneath beeches and hornbeams until, suddenly, we heard the sound of birdsong, an ethereal noise, a sound associated with daytime. What bird would sing the song of day two hours after dusk? Only a creature of myth, a night-singer, the nihtegala – from the Old English nihte and galan, to sing, call, enchant.

For thousands of years this night-singer’s song has been thought of as a mourner’s lament. According to mythology more ancient than Homer, Zeus turned Aedon into a nightingale after she mistakenly killed her own son. In the Odyssey, Penelope lies awake at night longing for Odysseus and thinks of Aedon, who wails for the child she has slain. For Ovid, the nightingale’s song was that of a raped and mutilated woman. In the poetry of the 13th-century Franciscan John Peckham, the nightingale foresees the hour of her own death, singing from the top of a tree and descending ever lower, until finally she expires on the lowest branch at the ninth hour.

Nightingales winter in sub-Saharan West Africa and then journey six thousand kilometres north to breed in Europe and the Middle East. Some five thousand of them arrive on our shores each spring. A few weeks ago, I and a group of friends and relatives went to Sussex with Sam Lee, an author and folk singer, to hear the nightingales sing. We stopped near a thicket and listened. It was a virtuoso performance: syrupy and sinuous, full of riffs and trills. The author of The Owl and the Nightingale (c.1210) suggested that it sounds like human music – more redolent of the ‘harpe and pipe þan of þrote [than of throat]’. The song is punctuated by rich, almost painful pauses. In the silence, one imagines the bird has come to the end of a verse and is considering, with the ease and confidence of a seasoned performer, where to take the song next. John Keats wrote that nightingales sing ‘with full-throated ease’ – that’s true of the song and also of the gaps in the song.

In the darkness your non-visual senses are more alive. Lying in the grass, damp with dew, I thought of a line from John Lydgate’s 15th-century poem about nightingales. The narrator describes the way ‘the bawmy vapour of grassis gan vp-smyte [began to rise]’. As we listened, the violinist Conor Gricmanis played to the nightingale, which sang back. The bird’s fondness for performing along with us is well known. In May 1924, Beatrice Harrison was recorded playing her cello with nightingales in one of the BBC’s first live outside radio broadcasts.

Although it is often thought of as a haunted figure, the nightingale’s appearance in spring means that it has also long been associated with romance. Its singing must have been the sonic backdrop to many a midnight assignation. Fittingly, a nightingale appears in one of medieval literature’s great sex scenes, in Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde. After thousands of lines of preamble, the couple finally go to bed together. Criseyde wraps herself around Troilus, like a ‘sote wode-binde’ [honeysuckle] around a tree. Lying entwined with him she is described as like ‘the newe abaysshed [abashed] nightingale’ that pauses before singing. Then, ‘after siker dooth hir voys out-ringe’ [‘afterwards, in safety, lets her voice ring out’]. For Chaucer, the nightingale’s song, and its pregnant pauses, symbolised the tenderness of lovers who finally find safety in each other’s arms.

In Laüstic, a lay from Brittany by the 12th and 13th-century Anglo-Norman poet Marie de France, two lovers in adjacent houses speak to each other by night at their open windows. The woman is married; when her husband asks what keeps her up all night, she answers that it is the nightingale: ‘Il nen ad joie en cest mund/Ki n’ot le laüstic chanter.’ [‘He has no joy in this world, who has not heard the nightingale sing.’] Enraged that this nightly vigil is keeping his wife from his bed, the husband has the nightingale trapped. He breaks its neck in front of her and throws its corpse at her breast. In grief she wraps it in fine silk and sends it to her lover, who has it cased in gold and jewels. The death of the bird symbolises the death of love, but the jewelled reliquary is a monument to love lost.

Many poets assumed it was the female nightingale who sang, but in fact it is the male, who sings to mark his territory and to attract a mate. Nightingales are picky, returning every year to the same spot, often to within a couple of hundred metres of the nest in which they were hatched. The male will try to mate within six weeks of beginning his singing; these are nights and nights of love-song. Once a male has been chosen by a hen bird and the pair have mated, she will lay a clutch of olive green eggs in the leaf litter – the ideal environment is dense scrub or coppice, increasingly in short supply in the South of England. She incubates the eggs for around two weeks until they hatch, when both parents will feed the young.

Because of their territorial nature, nightingales are particularly susceptible to the effects of habitat loss; climate change and the widespread use of insecticides are pushing them to the brink of extinction in the UK. The nightingale is now one of seventy birds on the Red List of threatened species. Listening to a nightingale, Keats wrote:

Thou wast not born for death, immortal Bird!

No hungry generations tread thee down;

The voice I hear this passing night was heard

In ancient days by emperor and clown:

The immortal bird may soon stop coming to England to breed and the song of the nightingale will be heard no more in our woods and thickets.

(London Review of Books)


by James Kunstler

“Together we can finish the job.” — “Joe Biden”

This is the most significant reality of the world picture now: the wishes of the manager class are going in one direction while the actual dynamics of economy and politics go in the opposite direction. The managers wish for their management of systems to become as centralized and top-down as possible; but the very systems they manage are breaking down and seeking to reorganize at smaller scale, distributed locally. The tension entailed is explosive.

Forgive me for reiterating a basic principle driving this moment in history: everything organized at the gigantic scale is steaming toward failure: big governments, giant companies, the huge capital investment firms, global shipping, energy production, chain retailing, mass motoring, big electricity, big medicine, big education, big anything. They are all fixing to fail while our politicians and economists make plans based on consolidating them into one super-gigantic mega-system that will run flawlessly on computer tech magic.

The failures of each giant system will only amplify and ramify the failures in all the other systems. Take that as axiomatic. For instance, the fantastic failures in higher education now on display, largely due to the Marxian defeat of excellence, will implant a generation of incompetents in all hierarchies of management. That will result in an insidious matrix of bad decision-making. The Pareto 80-20 principle will ensure that 80-percent of all institutional energy will focus on propping up failing institutions with bad decisions that add up to broken business models (while 20-percent goes into actually carrying-out the bad decisions as policy). That explains how Pete Buttigieg’s Department of Transportation spent $7.5-billion to build seven electric car charging stations.

Similarly, if you have an urgent medical problem, the 80-percent of administrative clerks in your primary care doctor’s overgrown practice (with an assist from the health insurance company cohorts they must coordinate with) will actually manage to delay your treatment as long as possible, with a fair chance of disallowing it altogether. And if you happen to get treatment, there’s also an excellent chance you will be misdiagnosed and subjected to iatrogenic injury.

The 80-20 principle explains the stupendous mismanagement of the Covid-19 event, especially the “marketing” of mRNA vaccines as miracle remedies that turned out to be the opposite of beneficial. The result of that chain of bad decision-making will ensure that any widespread health crisis arising from the long-term effects of the Pfizer and Moderna Covid vaccines will destroy the hospital system. (It is already underway.) You can extrapolate that grandiose failure of competence to the World Health Organization and its efforts to orchestrate a new pandemic crisis.

You might have noticed that it is increasingly difficult to get replacement parts for any machine, most particularly cars. That’s a symptom of failure in several integrated systems that are breaking down now: the manufacture of products in distant lands, price disorder in the container-ship business, the collapse of the US trucking system (and with it, the just-in-time inventory model), and the inability of auto dealers to find competent mechanics (while the sinking middle class can no longer afford to buy the cars they sell under the most liberal financing schemes). Expect all that to intensify.

You’ll see similar dysfunction in the system that delivers food to the people of our country. Even as currently operating, with the supermarkets amply stocked, the triumph of poor decision-making has led to 80-percent of the products sold being some form of processed corn syrup and GMO grains marketed as “fun” snack-foods that have destroyed the health of a great many citizens (and overwhelmed the medical system with chronic illness). The breakdown of the US food system is now proceeding with idiotic policy from our government (actually every government in Western Civ is doing it) undermining farm operations, and most especially small farms, with egregious regulation. The pretext for this is the delusional hysteria over “climate change.” It gives the managers something to manage badly.

The large-scale farmers are also affected, of course, but their business model is already broken in other ways, mainly the gigantic cost of their “inputs” — fuel, fertilizer, herbicides and pesticides, and borrowed money to get the crop in. Political and economic management has arranged matters so that, in theory, the failed small farmers will be consolidated into the giant farms (which are also failing), but you can see how that’s going to work out. Before long, all farms will be unable to produce and, after a period of food shortage, perhaps famine, you will see the emergent reorganization of farming at the small scale minus the dead-weight of government regulation.

The dead weight will be gone because government will have destroyed its own legitimacy by making so many bad decisions that led to ramified systems failure of the kind described above. Government will also be starved operationally by the failure of its funding system (taxation) as its economists and their managerial counterparts in finance destroy our money via their remorseless attempts to create fake capital by main force (Modern Monetary Theory).

The upshot of all this is that actual dynamics in human affairs matter more than the grandiose wishes of mega-managers. They can wish for maximum control of everything all they want, but history is taking the world in another direction. Our broken systems for food, medicine, education, commerce will self-reorganize after a period of uncomfortable disorder, perhaps even epic disaster. I hope you see how this works.


  1. George Hollister June 11, 2024

    “Mendo being Mendo, who knows how many hopheads (sic) lied on their gun purchase forms.”

    Good point, and it’s not just Mendo. That is why I suspect Hunter will walk. All it takes is one juror. It’s the weakest case against HB. The most serious cases the DOJ allowed the statute of limitations to run out. That does not appear to have been an accident, because in those cases it was all about Joe.

    • George Hollister June 11, 2024

      A couple of additional notes: It is ironic that HB was selling influence to China, a country were if you get caught doing what HB was doing at the time you would be executed.

      I also wonder what those Chinese contacts are thinking now. They were hoping to get an edge from negotiations with a drug addict who was, likely as not, feeding them a line of BS, because that is what drug addicts do. It would be in their interest to not conclude that all Americans are HB types.

    • Chuck Wilcher June 11, 2024

      Update: “A federal jury has convicted Hunter Biden on all three federal felony gun charges he faced, concluding that he violated laws meant to prevent drug addicts from owning firearms.’

  2. O sole mio June 11, 2024

    David Svehla P.O.V.

    “Ted Kaczynski did NOT have a successful career in Academia.”

    •Society with its prejudices, expectations, pressures, and inability to understand genius failed Ted.

    “Socially inept, to put it mildly, and especially with women.”

    •Shyness, introversion (the tendency to be concerned with one’s own thoughts and feelings rather than with external things) are qualities of genius.

    •That Ted was shy around women speaks volumes…not inept, but careful, insecure…

    “Also he didn’t get a degree from Harvard.”

    •Fact Ted was accepted to attend Harvard. Fact he even attended Harvard merits highest praise.

    “Inability to interact with his fellow humans”

    •HSPs (highly sensitive person), especially intellectually/emotionally gifted ones, find it difficult to relate to peers.

    “would predict him moving to a Cabin in remote Montana”

    •Predictable. Introverts prefer solitude.

    “the role of professional bitterness”

    •Predictable. He was bullied, excluded, and misundestood.


    Predictable. Society failed him at every turn.

    • O sole mio June 11, 2024

      Worse…Ted was probably accused of doing, or saying things he neither did, nor said.

      -when a person is accused of being abusive when simply reacting to being abused.

    • O sole mio June 11, 2024

      °IQ at 167

      °skipped the sixth grade
      Kaczynski later described this as a pivotal event: previously he had socialized with his peers and was even a leader, but after skipping ahead of them he felt he did not fit in with the older children, who bullied him.

      °Neighs describe him: ” Ted was exceptionally bright…smart but lonely individual.” (Incorrect use of the word “lonely” in that context…preferred being alone)

      “He was always regarded as a walking brain”

      °Throughout high school, Kaczynski was ahead of his classmates academically.

      °Skipped the eleventh grade, and, by attending summer school, graduated at age 15 – National Merit finalist.

      °At age 15, accepted to Harvard and entered the university on a scholarship in 1958 at age 16.

      °His housemates and other students at Harvard described Kaczynski as a very intelligent, but socially reserved person.

      °Earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from Harvard in 1962, finishing with a GPA of 3.12.

      °In his second year at Harvard, Kaczynski participated in a study described by author Alston Chase as a “purposely brutalizing psychological experiment” led by Harvard psychologist Henry Murray. Subjects were told they would debate personal philosophy with a fellow student and were asked to write essays detailing their personal beliefs and aspirations. The essays were given to an anonymous individual who would confront and belittle the subject in what Murray himself called “vehement, sweeping, and personally abusive” attacks, using the content of the essays as ammunition. These encounters were filmed, and subjects’ expressions of anger and rage were later played back to them repeatedly. The experiment lasted three years, with someone verbally abusing and humiliating Kaczynski each week. Kaczynski spent 200 hours as part of the study.

      Kaczynski’s lawyers later attributed his hostility towards mind control techniques to his participation in Murray’s study.”

  3. Call It As I See It June 11, 2024

    Norm Thurston has more of a grip on County issue of move by BOS to hand over of property taxes than the current Finance Director, Sara Pierce. That’s not her official title, but after Cubbison Plan was enacted by the BOS, that’s what we have.

    I asked Bowtie Ted a question the other day on a thread . The question had to do with character. When he gave a political answer, I pointed out, my question had to do with character, I got silence. Photo-Op Mo has proven, a liberal with power is dangerous as she pushes her agenda with no public discussion. McGourty has purchased a home in Ft. Bragg, stay tuned. And we wonder why this County is spiraling into the toilet.

    • Bernie Norvell June 11, 2024

      can you blame him?

  4. Annemarie Weibel June 11, 2024

    The invitation to join local historian Dot Brovarney on Saturday, June 15, at 2:00 PM to 3:15PM did not mention where the event will take place. It will take place at the Grace Hudson Museum in Ukiah. See web page for a map.


    Join us , when local historian Dot Brovarney will examine many of the themes and subjects chronicled in her book, “Mendocino Refuge: Lake Leonard & Reeves Canyon” (2022, Landcestry). In her illustrated lecture, Dot will explore the interplay between a Native Pomo who inherited the traditional role of singing doctor, and another who lobbied Congress to honor an 1851 peace treaty; two homesteaders who settled the lake at the head of the canyon in 1874 (one who sold out to Eastern capitalists, the other who refused); the engineer who ran the canyon mill, logging its old growth redwood in the 19th century, and the women whose 20th century efforts saved the last of the canyon’s original redwoods and Douglas fir. Dot’s presentation is included with Museum admission.

    Museum members enjoy free admission all-year round. Not a member? Please consider joining.

  5. MAGA Marmon June 11, 2024

    Hunter Biden is a convicted felon.

    MAGA Marmon

    • Harvey Reading June 11, 2024

      Maybe he should join the presidential lottery.

    • Stephen Rosenthal June 11, 2024

      So is Donald Trump.

    • Chuck Dunbar June 11, 2024

      James, what you won’t see here, I am pretty sure, are folks saying the Biden conviction was “rigged” or a “conspiracy” or that it was “unfair” or “unjust” or a “witch hunt.” That’s what you MAGA’s do, not normal folks who mostly believe our justice system has a good deal of integrity.

      • MAGA Marmon June 11, 2024

        Nope, not at all, Biden’s trial judge took her finger off the scale, unlike the Trump trial.

        MAGA Marmon

        • Chuck Dunbar June 11, 2024

          You are a bit dim today, you missed my meaning. And despite that, OF COURSE you would say what you said.

          • Harvey Reading June 11, 2024


      • peter boudoures June 11, 2024

        Unfortunately the real crime wasn’t punished. Hunter was a board member for a Ukrainian energy company when Joe was vice, and now as president joe is sending billions to Ukraine which directly funds that same company.

        • Chuck Dunbar June 11, 2024

          And, oh yes, there is a war of aggression going on there, the poor country invaded by Putin’s army–perhaps that’s the real reason we are sending weapons for them to defend themselves. Please check your conspiracy theory for real facts…

          • peter boudoures June 11, 2024

            Conspiracies like the lab top and twitter files?

            • Chuck Dunbar June 11, 2024

              Peter, do you seriously assert that President Biden and Congress are sending billions in weaponry to defend Ukraine from Russian aggression, because , years ago, Hunter served on that energy company board? That old history, I assume, is what the “lap top and twitter files” relate to. That history does not explain in any way, why our government supports Ukraine in this war. Hardly credible, got any current facts that are?

              • peter boudoures June 11, 2024

                The energy company that hunter was apart of is now receiving money from the us. Does that seem ethical? You’re saying it’s because the US is there defending Ukraine. I’m saying that the US is there because of the military industrial complex. You think I’m a conspiracy theorist and i think you’re gullible. Respect chuck.

                • Chuck Dunbar June 11, 2024

                  I wish, Peter, that you’d put yourself in the shoes of the average citizen in Ukriane, whose city falls under attack by the brutal Russian soldiers and missiles. They clearly welcome our help in defending them with weapons and such. It’s easy for us here, safe and secure, to use words to discuss their plight, but of no meaning or help to those in terrible straits, facing the loss of all.

                  • peter boudoures June 11, 2024

                    If the boomers don’t blow up the world we have a great wave of solid people coming up next.

          • Scott Ward June 11, 2024

            “I think what you’re going to see is that Russia will be held accountable if it invades. And it depends on what it does. It’s one thing if it’s a minor incursion and then we end up having a fight about what to do and not do” President Joe Biden

          • Harvey Reading June 12, 2024

            Poor country invaded by Putin? Gimme a break. More like a bunch of leftover Nazis so gullible and they let the US overthrow their guvamint, courtesy of Ms. Nuland, all part of the NATO game of shoving the bear around with nukes plastered along its western border. I hope Putin teaches the moronic west not to eff with him, or his Chinese buddies, whom we dumb USans are taught to hate, even though they make us look like the morons we truly are. Whadda dumb bunch the west is.

  6. O sole mio June 11, 2024

    Hunter Biden

    The form is flawed.

    The form asks an Addict (out of his mind) to swear he is of sound mind.

    • MAGA Marmon June 11, 2024

      You’re going to fit in well here on the AVA.

      MAGA Marmon

  7. peter boudoures June 11, 2024

    What can we learn from the European elections?

    • MAGA Marmon June 11, 2024

      I can’t comment on that, it’s what got me banned on the AVA yesterday.

      MAGA Marmon

  8. Craig Stehr June 11, 2024

    Just sitting here buck naked on the new WalMart padded chair, in front of the new ASUSX515 computer atop the Walmart foldable computer table. The Frigidaire air conditioning unit is on in my room at the Royal Motel in sunny Ukiah. The refrigerator quietly hums, full of appropriate health food and hydrating beverages. There’s a sack of ice in the upper compartment. The large Sceptre color screen is off, with the OM meditation shawl covering it. It’s a double size room, (yep, count ’em, two queen size beds), and the bathroom has a tub, too. The Magic Chef microwave awaits my command! Otherwise am busy out and about purchasing new shoes and sandals, plus needed miscellaneous. Nothing left to do but make those last two dental appointments, and then disappear into the mystic. Peaceout.

    • Chuck Dunbar June 11, 2024

      Craig, I believe most of us are happy you found a respite for two months and are not out on the street. But–we also know you need to take action to find a new place to live and be safe and secure. If you sit there in comfort for 8 weeks and don’t actively seek housing, they will pass quickly and you will be in trouble again. And you probably won’t just “disappear into the mystic.”

      • Craig Stehr June 11, 2024

        I agree.

        • Chuck Dunbar June 11, 2024

          We worry about you, Craig, and want you to be OK. Good for you.

      • O sole mio June 11, 2024

        Much like the earlier post I made…asking the Addict (who is out of their body, and mind) to sign a paper declaring they are of sound body, and mind is well…(I might lose it if I have to pell (spell) it out).

        • O sole mio June 11, 2024

          I’m already losing it, a little…

          The above reply is for Mr. Dunbar.

  9. Chuck Dunbar June 11, 2024

    Hi AVA tech folks. We have lost the ability to edit for the first few minutes after posting a comment.

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