From the Publisher: Odds & Ends

It’s Tuesday at 3 p.m. and the recall ballots are streaming into various election stations. Yesterday, 909,722 ballots arrived; 45 percent were from Democrats and 31 percent from Republicans. Conventional wisdom was that the Republicans are skeptical of vote-by-mail ballots and would vote in person on Election Day. It’s possible, but not very probable. If Newson wins handily, you can expect to see Democrats nationally running against the anti-vaxxers, because it’s beginning to look like that’s an issue that resonates with most Americans. We’re tired of COVID-19 and we’re even more tired of dumb. I’ve known people who, over the years, have consumed every know variety of drugs, legal and illegal, to get high and never once worried if they were injecting or sniffing something made in someone’s garage laboratory. Suddenly, they are now into absolute purity and won’t vaccinate because they don’t trust the FDA. Let’s call it what it is. It’s nuts!

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I just saw a video clip of U.S. Senator Jim Risch of Idahorepeatedly questioning the Secretary of State Anthony Blinken at a hearing in the senate today about something that apparently has been circulating in conservative internet circles, intimating that someone at the White House has a button to cut off President Joe Biden when he’s speaking if he goes over the edge. Some of that online community seem to believe that Biden is senile and controlled electronically by what I guess they think is a button installed somewhere in Biden’s brain that can cut him off mid-sentence if need be and the obviously serious senator from Idaho wanted to know who at the White House controls that button. Having watched Biden over the years, I can state unequivocally that once Biden starts talking it would take a ton of TNT to stop him, not some little puny button. Also, kudos to Blinken who sat there with a straight face and managed not to say what he was probably thinking, and that is, “How could a moron like you get elected to the United States Senate?” 

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There is a new Bob Woodward book coming out that says that many were fearful that Trump totally lost it after he lost the election and was out of control and might possibly push the nuclear button. Not only were many American leaders worried, but also foreign leaders, including the leader of China. Our chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley, called his counterpart in China to assure him that there was no White House coup going on, that there was a rational controlled decision making process in the USA and he would keep them apprised of what was happening so they wouldn’t do anything precipitously.

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This Saturday, Sept. 18, at 9 a.m., there is a virtual hearing in front of the LACOE, the LA County Office of Education, to begin to decide about establishing a separate school district for Malibu. They can say “No,” which would end it right there, or “Yes,” which would send it into the next phase, which is a full study to decide if it’s feasible. We need a show of force to convince the board that the Malibu community is behind this move to create our own school district. To get detailed information, go to the City of Malibu’s website (malibucity.org), hit the button marked “School District Separation update” and sign up to speak at the hearing. Read more information in the story on page A1.

In case you ever had doubts about a separate school district, let me give you an example of the current district’s thinking. I’ve been told that they are now required to test their students for COVID-19, which obviously creates some expense, so they’ve decided that they want the parents to pay for the testing. Several parents have told us that the district wants their personnal insurance information and a number of parents are very uneasy and balking. This being a mandatory public school education, and there being all sorts of privacy laws related to medical information, this would seem to me to be the district walking into a hornet’s nest of problems. If any of you have received the request personally or via email, please let me know via email at agyork@malibutimes.com.

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USC just canned its football coach, Clay Helton, and the LA Times just printed all of his stats in a story today. Now, just beginning his seventh year, Helton has a win/loss record of 46 wins again 24 losses, which in most schools would be considered outstanding, but not USC. USC expects to be a football powerhouse as it has been for years and that means they expect top national rankings and postseason bowl winnings. In bowls, Helton has won two and lost three and the highest his teams were ranked nationally was third in 2016. I guess when you pay a head coach $4.813 million in salary, which what Helton earns, good enough is not nearly good enough, and so also said the LA sportswriters.

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I walk Legacy Park in the center of Malibu almost every day. Since the city managed to put water back into the park, everything has blossomed. The people and their dogs are there, the ducks are back in force—probably 75 or so, looking very fat and healthy. A bunch of other birds have taken up residence in the parks, but strangely, the squirrels seem to have disappeared. At first I thought maybe there are some predators in the bushes in the park and it’s become too dangerous for squirrels. The other day, Studly—my trusty Yorkie sidekick—and I, for a change, walked Bluffs Park, which is very pretty and filled with signs that say “don’t feed the squirrels.” Even if you wanted to feed the squirrels, there were no squirrels to feed. Malibu Bluffs Park, which is usually overrun with squirrels, was totally squirrel-less. If someone has a theory as to what’s happened to the squirrels, please let us know.

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