Home > Uncategorized > Matthew Owen still crying about the Humboldt Herald

Matthew Owen still crying about the Humboldt Herald

MATTHEW-Owen-HumboldtFRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS: How the heck are you?  Been a long while, it has.

We had good times, didn’t we?  Kvetching about this or that local policy, development plan or politician’s string-pulling, ghost-writing husband.

And while the Humboldt Herald has left the proverbial building, strong memories remain.  Just today, Humboldt County’s political king-maker, Matthew Owen, despite his great success in electing every DINO and nincompoop to local office, is still sucking sour grapes.

Ah, well.  At least he can glory in the vast improvements he and his BFF Rob Arkley created by building the Marina Center, amiright?

Like my friend Samuel Clemens always says, it’s more fun to run a pseudonymous blog than to fight a losing battle with the Coastal Commission.

While Humboldt County is drowning in Owen’s political triumphs, at least these two jokers are still having fun.




  1. Carol
    November 13, 2013 at 4:08 am

    Welcome, back, Heraldo! You have been missed.

  2. Humboldturtle
    November 13, 2013 at 6:19 am


  3. damn skippy
    November 13, 2013 at 8:53 am

    Look who’s back in the saddle again! Glad to see you.

    Welcome back and looking forward to more sugar and spice! It’s been awhile and there’s so much to catch up on. For example: the former City Manager soon to be returning as Assistant City Manager and splitting the position with Mike Knight due to his health issues. More fingers in the city coffers cookie jar and a spiked frosting of a pension to boot?

    More news at 11.

  4. jr
    November 13, 2013 at 9:10 am

    It is great to have the Herald back. Keep on posting.

  5. November 13, 2013 at 9:48 am

    WOW! What an unexpected pleasure! Welcome back.

  6. Ed
    November 13, 2013 at 3:53 pm

    Mr. Owen, just put the keyboard down and step back.

  7. Eric Kirk
    November 13, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Ah, but how do we know that you’re the real Heraldo?

  8. Bernie De Pauli & Dave Renner
    November 13, 2013 at 9:44 pm

    WTF? Matty Owen is a fine, upstanding member of our community, and deserves more respect than you are giving him. For Shame!!! For Shame!!

    Kingpin? No!!!! Docile husband to VB’s sinister plans? Perhaps!!! Drugs, sex, malfeasance and corruption? We can only hope!!

  9. suzy blah blah
    November 14, 2013 at 11:32 am

    -it’s Heraldo’s disappearing and reappearing act … kvetch me if you can.

  10. jr
    November 14, 2013 at 11:49 am

    Bernie DePauli, now there is a name I haven’t heard in a long time. What about the other D.A., I forget his name, that wrote the book “Humboldt Homegrown”?

  11. November 14, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    Yea….what they said!

  12. November 15, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Heraldo, Thank you for re-appearing and thank you for coming back swinging at Matthew (metaphoically). Matthew and Virginia (and campaign manager Richard Marks?) represent a big problem for Democratic policy interests countywide (ie land use for a start). Democratic, liberal, progressive, whatever values have momentum (not dominance, but momentum) nationally and statewide, but because of misdirection and intentional confusion they are not as successful in Humboldt. I hope you are back to stay – because we need your clear and righteous voice to help bring (back?) a progressive vision for Humboldt.

  13. Just Watchin
    November 15, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    First post back, and a slam at Arkley. Small people…….

  14. November 16, 2013 at 8:46 am

    demoJ beLIEves that self-assigned labels such as Democrat, liberals and progressives have value. You have a lot to learn about ‘value’ demoJ. Me thinks there’s an echo bleeding through from SoHumParlance.
    Same ol, same ol. Thought you agreed that we need a new story demoJ.

  15. Not A Native
    November 16, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    I don’t know if you’re the “original” H. H. ‘departed’ with nary a word as to what (s)he was doing. I think that was a betrayal of goodwill and damaged the H. brand. And whoever left Mitch as caretaker made a very unwise decision. So vultures appeared and consumed the carcass. Things have changed in HumCo blog land since H.’s abandonment. Hank has completely sold out to ‘click revenue’, creating a amaturish pulp blog full of gore, violence, and police blotter sensationalism, aimed primarily to the worst of arrogant antisocial outlaw Libertarian pot growers. While social media has supplanted blogs as the popular ‘net interactive.

  16. November 17, 2013 at 8:49 am

    NAN – I’m facebook averse – but do have a twitter account, which I find highly unsatisfying – (obviously given the length of most of my posts) – Where does one go to experience the social media? Is the TS facebook page of any use for example? I think you nailed Hank though, and I think/hope you will be wrong about the dear HH.

  17. Anonymous
    November 17, 2013 at 1:20 pm

    A little context here: NAN was banned from the Lost Coast Outpost because NAN thought that a nice story about a summer camp program for little girls was a fine opportunity to call the girls’ mothers “grow hos.” So it’s no surprise that NAN doesn’t like LoCO. Classic case of sour grapes.

    Heraldo gave Mitch and Eric the ability to post new articles to the Herald, but not the ability to effectively moderate the Herald’s comment threads. Trolls, wingnuts and spammers took notice, and moved in. Unless Heraldo resumes his moderation role, or gives full control to someone else so that they can do so, the same thing will happen again. That’s pretty much inevitable.

    The LoCO is certainly interested in “clicks,” since clicks represent readers, and readers are what advertisers are looking for. And, not surprisingly, pot stories do draw readers It’s a subject of interest to a broad swath of Humboldt residents, the vast majority of whom are not “arrogant antisocial outlaw Libertarian pot growers.” And the range of articles and comments reflects that, with no shortage of criticism of the environmental and social costs of the “arrogant, antisocial” styles of pot growing. LoCO does a better job than anyone else has of covering the good, the bad, and the ugly of pot growing in Humboldt County.

  18. November 17, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    Gee, I hadn’t even noticed NAN was absent, nor did I miss his puerile observations. Jon, speak no evil of Hank! Who do you think started LOCO?

  19. Not A Native
    November 17, 2013 at 4:48 pm

    Saying its so doesn’t make it so. Check the LoCo commenters and you’ll see that the majority are arrogant, antisocial, outlaw Libertarian pot growers. Don’t know about moms but the best training for local opportunities for So Hum girls is as gro ho’s. Its where the opportunities are because its what SoHum pot culture values most. CL farm help ads make that point very clearly.

  20. Anonymous
    November 17, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    “…nor did I miss his puerile observations.”

    My guess is…neither did anyone else.

  21. Anonymous
    November 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    “the best training for local opportunities for So Hum girls is as gro ho’s. Its where the opportunities are because its what SoHum pot culture values most. CL farm help ads make that point very clearly.”

    LOL! Poor NAN probably actually believes this, and truly has no idea how out of touch and clueless this appears to anyone who actually lives in SoHum. A masterwork of unintentional self-ridicule!

  22. Anonymous
    November 17, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    By the way, it is = it’s, not its, you twit.

  23. Plain Jane
    November 18, 2013 at 5:45 am

    Welcome home, Heraldo. Is this permanent or just a visit?

    Jr, the DA who wrote the book “Cash Crop,” was Parson.

  24. Plain Jane
    November 18, 2013 at 5:47 am

    Oops, the title was “Humboldt Homegrown.” Ray Raphael wrote “Cash Crop.”

  25. November 18, 2013 at 7:57 am

    Julie! Hi! – On Hank – I think he gets it. I am pleased he and his talents are in HumCo. I am overall displeased with LoCO. Not anymore so than I am with McDonalds say. I go to MickeeD’s unfortunately, just like I do LoCO. They both serve their purpose and I wish/hope they can do better. In both regards it is their first responsibility to make money – it not really a moral judgement – more of a fact of life. We can vote with our clicks or money, but ultimately, that is a losing battle. It is the vote at the ballot box that counts.

    Regarding NAN’s comments. Misogyny and/or sexism aside, from my days as a cab driver I did hear that woman are favored over men for what may be considered legitimate business concerns (ie, less prone to come back later with a gun?) – these are not my opinions, just reporting what I heard, so even if his tone is wrong (which it is on this, sorry NAN), he may have a point. Also, remember, since we are not dealing with a federally legitimate trade, there are probably very few workplace concerns that most businesses might have to deal with – including sexual harassment issues.

    Also, this…
    “Check the LoCo commenters and you’ll see that the majority are arrogant, antisocial, outlaw Libertarian pot growers.”
    Is so true! It is so important to understand this, if you do, you will understand Supervisor Fennell’s odd ultra-conservative stance on property-rights/ land-use. (Be well Supervisor Fennell! Sincerely Estelle, best wishes for a continued speedy recovery despite our political differences. They are only that – political differences.)

  26. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 10:27 am

    “…the majority are….”

    Not even close. There are some, of course. But go ahead and count. Nowhere near a majority.

  27. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 10:31 am

    And as far as arrogance, NAN could give any one of them a run for their money.

  28. Not A Native
    November 18, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Lookey here at the spelling, not behind the curtain. Denial of the corrosive effects of pot culture on the social composition of SoHum is well known, not just my personal observation. Xenophobia and extreme secretiveness are now community norms.

    In the last 5 years there’s been an acceleration of families have moved out of SoHum to provide a decent future for their children. That’s leaving behind the worst of the worst. Suicide and substance use and abuse rates among young people in SoHum is a countywide disgrace. Emma Worldpeace was was told and threatened to shut up about the situation. And like every other deviant and dysfunctional behavior, as more light is shined on it, the denials become more strident and shrill. Never pull back that curtain. The ethic of SoHum pot culture is founded in greed, violence, fear, and intimidation.

  29. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 11:12 am

    “In the last 5 years there’s been an acceleration of families have moved out of SoHum to provide a decent future for their children.”


    “Suicide and substance use and abuse rates among young people in SoHum is a countywide disgrace”


    Making claims is easy, but to quote the claimant, in an earlier comment “saying it’s so doesn’t make it so.”

    Meanwhile, NAN, of all people, accusing others of being “strident and shrill” — well, that’s just priceless!

  30. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 11:22 am

    “Emma Worldpeace was was told and threatened to shut up about the situation.”


  31. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 11:35 am

    NAN clearly has little direct experience of life in SoHum, but lots of strident, shrill opinions, focusing entirely on exaggerated stereotypes and sweeping generalizations. Classic xenophobia. The master projectionist strikes again.

  32. jr
    November 18, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Plain Jane: Thanks for that, Now I remember that it was Edward Parsons, not Parson. Anyone know what he has been doing since he left office?

  33. November 18, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    I’m with NAN on this. I think weed is extremely detrimental to our politics and culture. I base this observation largely on how someone who should otherwise be a fairly liberal Democrat worked with someone I don’t think could be argued is the most conservative BOS to “honor landowners” in the county’s General Plan Update Guiding Principles. To the end Supervisor Fennell was arguing for leaving that phrase in there. But she could not think to “protect natural resources” without qualifying it’s meaning out of existence. Seriously, this plant and it’s advocates represent a big time problem to us culturally and most importantly environmentally (imho) which will not get better with legalization unless we are prepared as a community to enforce our difficult topography extremely thoroughly.

  34. jr
    November 18, 2013 at 12:11 pm

    NAN: Have you read the book “Humboldt” and if so your thoughts and opinions?

  35. suzy blah blah
    November 18, 2013 at 1:15 pm

    -i doubt it, NAN probably gets his info from the one with all the photos of topless trimmers in it.

  36. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    Looks like my last comment won’t post with three links in it. So here it is without the links, which I’ll try to post in separate comments:

    n case anyone is interested in some facts about suicide in Humboldt county, rather than just spouting off:

    [Link #1]

    This report includes maps showing the number of suicides and suicide attempts by zip code in Humboldt from 2003-2007. Unfortunately the numbers on the maps are just raw numbers, not per capita numbers. So the maps basically show the most suicides where the most population is. However, it is notable that the pattern in rural, low-population SoHum areas appears similar to the rural, low-population areas of Eastern or Northern Humboldt.

    To go deeper, you need to go here:

    [Link #2]

    And then click on the “profiles” and look at the data by zip code in PDF or Excel format. I did so for the two most recent years for which there is data, 2010 and 2009. I couldn’t find ANY suicides among those under age 25 in the SoHum zips listed there:

    Garberville 95542 – zero

    Redway 95560 – zero

    Whitethorn/Shelter Cove 95589 – zero

    Miranda/Phillipsville 95553/95559 – zero

    The way the data is presented in these tables, it would be impossible to tell whether a given death from suicide was someone under 25 or not, or whether a given death among those under 25 was from suicide, as those factors are listed separately. But as it turned out that was a moot point, because for both years, in all these zip codes, what I found were either no deaths of anyone under age 25 in that zip, or no suicides in those zips, or both. But you don’t have to take my word on it, you can check for yourself.

    So unless this data is wrong or I am misreading it, there were no suicides among people under age 25 in any of those zip codes in either 2009 or 2010. If I am misreading the data, please let me know how. It seems pretty straightforward. None of this, of course, amounts to a claim that there are never any youth suicides in SoHum. I know there have been, because I’ve seen it reported from time to time, and every single one is a tragedy, just as every youth suicide elsewhere in the county is a tragedy.

    If someone has the time to go further, to look at the tables for all the years, add up the numbers for suicides in all the SoHum zips (however you draw the lines for what counts as “ShoHum”) and divide by the population in those zips, and then do the same for the rest of the zips in Humboldt, and compare different regions, please do. While this still wouldn’t give a definitive answer on how many of these suicides were youth suicides, it would at least answer the question of whether suicide, in general, is more prevalent in SoHum than elsewhere in the county. It looks like to get the actual youth suicide numbers by zip code, you’d have to go beyond these tables and get your hands on the raw data these tables were based on.

    Meanwhile, one thing that is not in dispute is that suicide rates in Humboldt are significantly higher than the state and national averages. 9th highest in the state, according to one recent tally:

    [Link #3]

    With all three Emerald Triangle counties in the top ten, is it fair to assume that the “pot-growing culture” in these counties is a significant factor? The problem with that is that looking at the rest of the counties that are high on the list, many of them are not really known for their pot growing cultures. So for someone attempting to link suicide rates to pot growing using just this county-level data, that would require shamelessly cherry-picking the data.

    Of course even one suicide, whatever the cause, and wherever it happens, is one too many. But to state that youth suicide in one part of the county is a “countywide disgrace,” without providing any evidence that it actually is worse there than in other parts of the county, is highly inappropriate at best, intentionally misleading at worst. Doing so in order to justify one’s own prejudices, and to try to advance a particular cultural or political narrative is…disgusting.

    Community pride can easily lead community members to underestimate problems in their community, and an objective examination of the data can be a useful corrective to that tendency. I would welcome that. By the same token, ignorance and prejudice can also lead outsiders to overestimate problems within communities they don’t understand, and which they consequently fear and hold in contempt. And then, of course, there are those who just make stuff up out of spite in order to “prove” that their hatred is justified. Seems like NAN probably overlaps those last two categories.

  37. Anonymous
  38. Anonymous
  39. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 2:49 pm
  40. jr
    November 18, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Thank you for this. What are the figures for Del Norte and Trinity counties?

  41. November 18, 2013 at 3:07 pm

    Well said! Of merit and value.

    “In case anyone is interested.” ~i’m good with knowing what you brought forth.
    Thank you Anonymous.

  42. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 4:21 pm


    According to the third link I listed, the annual death rate from suicide, per 100,000 people, for those counties is 41.2 for Trinity and 13.1 for Del Norte. The number for Humboldt County is 20.39 Apparently that is drawn from data from 2003-2010.

    Leading the list is tiny Alpine County (just south of Lake Tahoe), which only had about 1,100 people residing there as of the 2010 census — their number is 43.6. But with a population that small, it would obviously only take a couple suicides over that 8 year period to throw their number of suicides per 100,000 residents way up or down. So that number may not be very meaningful. The same could be true, to a somewhat lesser extent, of Trinity (about total population of about 13,500 as of 2010) and Del Norte (total population of about 28,300 as of 2010).

  43. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    The following is taken from the two most recent County Health Status Profiles:

    (per 100,000 residents)

    2008-2010 2009-2011

    California 9.7 10.2

    Humboldt 23.9 22.7

    Mendecino 23.3 22.2

    Trinity* 29.2 25.4

    Del Norte* 18.9 25.2


    2008-2010 data:

    Click to access OHIRProfiles2012.pdf

    2009-2011 data:

    So the most recent numbers appear to show a slight uptick in California’s suicide rate, and a slight downturn in the rates in Humboldt and Mendecino.

    Glancing over some of the previous years reports what I notice is that California’s rate has increased from 8.9 in 2004-2006 (before the recession) to its 2009-2011 level of 10.2 , while Humboldt’s rate has increased from 19.7 in 2004-2006 (before the recession) to its 2009-2011 level of 22.7.

    Make what you will of these numbers, but no matter how you slice it, our suicide rate is still disturbingly high, and other than the last couple of years, the long-term trend has been headed in the wrong direction. I guess in a couple of years we’ll see whether the recent slight decline is the beginning of a trend, or just statistical noise.

    *[I included the numbers for Trinity and Del Norte since jr had expressed interest, but I would strongly caution against taking those numbers at all seriously, given the small populations: Looking back over previous years, the numbers for those counties swing up and down wildly, with Trinity hitting a high of 42.6 in 2004-2006, when Del Norte’s rate was 15.2, and Del Norte hitting a high of 29.2 in 2008-2010, when Trinity’s rate was 18.9. I assume that’s basically statistical noise, because with a total population of just 13,500 (Trinity) or 28,300 (Del Norte) a very small increase or decrease in the raw number of suicides will throw the “per 100,000” numbers way up or down, even when averaged over 3 year periods, as this data is. So unfortunately it doesn’t appear possible to draw any meaningful comparisons between Humboldt and those two neighboring counties]

  44. jr
    November 18, 2013 at 6:35 pm

    Thank you for these statistics. One must now ask the question as to why the numbers are so high.

  45. Bob Filner
    November 18, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    suzy blah blah :
    -i doubt it, NAN probably gets his info from the one with all the photos of topless trimmers in it.

    Source? Of the photos, I mean.

  46. November 18, 2013 at 7:37 pm

    Woah. OK. Pot is great. Suicide stats are below average. Nothing to see here. I did not mean to offend Pot. Please, have mercy. I will never ever challenge the Weed without first double checking county stats! Promise. Weed culture = above average. County politics, on the up and up.

    Puhlease! Again, NAN nailed it IMHO. Weed is getting a free pass right now and if we don’t get right with weed, and I mean we on the environmental left hold it to the same standard we would any other industry, we will have failed. I welcome NAN’s passion on this. I think we need more of it.

    I also would welcome more support from the cultural conservatives on this. Unfortunately as they are probably dazed by the dollar signs too, they seem to be very quiet, except on one of their favorate causes, the homeless or ‘transients’ who they connect (in part) to the weed and the trimming jobs.

    Weed is a freight train. It is too profitable, too many enjoy it to do anything about it. Btw, it also does have a rightful place in an economy, but… Please! We are not idiots, the reason it’s here to stay is not the medical benefits. It’s the endorphins (or dopamine or whatever) that it helps release and the amazing amount of money people will spend to enjoy that sensation. And for that, our county will accept our fate as the environmental and political guinea pig of the United States or possibly the world. Humboldt’s culture and it’s environment are now tied to this out of control freight train. We’ll see, but I think strong and passionate voices of sceptiscm and concern are more than warrented, especially from the left!

  47. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Jr said:

    Thank you for these statistics. One must now ask the question as to why the numbers are so high.

    Indeed. Hard to say, but here are a few factors that might be part of the picture:

    The noticeable increase basically coincided with, first, the collapse of the timber economy, and then the general economic downturn, so those seem like likely suspects. Another thing that has happened concurrently with those economic changes has been the growth of the marijuana industry and along with that the “pot culture” in the county, so those who are want to place the blame there can try to make that case — though of course there is no way to know whether that added to the suicide rate, or subtracted from what that rate would have been if we had experienced first the timber crash and then the general recession without the marijuana industry helping to fill the economic void. My guess is that the situatuion would be even worse, but that’s just an educated guess based on the belief that suicides usually increase as economic prospects decrease. Then there’s the increase in methamphetamine abuse, and for that matter prescription drug abuse and other types of drug abuse — and yes, perhaps even cannabis abuse. Do some or all of those factor in? It certainly seems plausible.

    Going back a bit further, it’s important to keep in mind that the suicide rate in Humboldt was already way higher than the state average even way back in 1995-1997 (as far back as these particular statistics are available online), with Humboldt’s rate being 18.0 back then, compared to a statewide rate of 9.4. So it’s not like this is something completely new, that just started happening in the last decade. Poverty, rural isolation, and less mental health service availability are all factors that existed both back then and also now, so those seem worth considering — and of course our dreary winter climate is probably a significant factor as well.

    About the only thing that can be said with any certainty is that suicide rates vary widely between different regions and different communities, and tend to defy simplistic single-variable explanations. For example, Portland, OR is a pretty happenin’ place, but apparently has a suicide rate of 15.1 per 100,000. Meanwhile, Sacramento, CA is at 22.7 per 100,000, right about in line with Humboldt, despite being so different in so many ways. Topping the list of high-suicide-rate cities is Las Vegas, with a stunning 34.5 per 100,000.


    Meanwhile, notoriously dreary/rainy Seattle doesn’t even make the top 15 list, so I had to go to a different source for that. Apparently, Seattle’s rate is only 11.5 suicides per 100,000 residents. So it’s obviously not just about the weather.


  48. Anonymous
    November 18, 2013 at 8:01 pm

    Demo Jon said:

    Woah. OK. Pot is great. Suicide stats are below average. Nothing to see here.

    Are you kidding me? Learn to read. No one here said that our suicide stats are below average, in fact quite the contrary. The thing is, it’s actually a very serious issue, which ought to be treated seriously, not as some convenient political football to be used to score cheap political points or justify crude geographical and cultural prejudices a la NAN.

    Concern and passion are great, and certainly needed. NAN’s nasty brand of fact-deficient demagogic vitriol is not. You identify yourself with that kind of hate-filled crap at the risk of your credibility. Embracing misinformation because you believe it helps make your case does just the opposite, all the more so when it takes the form of what Ms. Timmons so aptly described as NAN’s “puerile observations.”

    Which is unfortunate, because there is certainly plenty to be legitimately critical of with respect to the influence of the marijuana industry in Humboldt County, and in our region in general. LoCO’s articles and comment threads include a great deal of criticism of the negative aspects of the “pot-growing culture,” though incredibly that seems to have somehow escaped you, just as the information about suicide rates presented here appears to have sailed over your head, or through one ear and out the other, or whatever.

  49. November 18, 2013 at 8:09 pm

    Bye H
    or however you spell a raspberry

  50. November 18, 2013 at 8:18 pm

    This link is an interesting article, not focused on suicide per se, however, as one of the commenters says: “That doesn’t include people killed by those on the drugs as a side effect.”

    i for one would not rule out that many younger adults take their life after being prescribed some toxic pill with a “May Cause Suicidal Tendencies” DANGER! DANGER! warning sticker on the container.


  51. November 19, 2013 at 8:14 am

    A, you remind me of another anonymous. I’m not saying you are him or her, just noting the uncanny style resemblance.

    1) on credibility there is this…

    “You identify yourself with that kind of hate-filled crap at the risk of your credibility.”

    I find that rich coming from an anonymous poster whose sole purpose seems to be to weaken the credibility of others. Thank you for that.

    2) On political footballs…

    I think you were the one who made a sentence with three subjects about a comment zone treatise on one in particular. To what end? It seems to me the end was to prove that SoHum had 0 youth suicides thus defending Pot Culture. When you characterized me the way you did, it did make me feel a little sick to my stomach, but remember who chose to focus on and amplify the topic into a comment zone.

    3) What is your point if it isn’t to defend weed culture?

    It seems to me that is what you are doing by creating a very unique narrative to describe our County’s higher than average suicide rate. Thank you for your academic, totally neutral analysis of the history and reasoning behind this very frustrating misplaced political football.

    4) On weed…

    I’ve been in the comment zone for 5 months now and I think the entire discussion has been about weed. The thing is, it is never, ever discussed. And, it is never, ever discussed by largely anonymous writers. It is very frustrating, but there is a need and a reason for this. The only way Weed can win at the ballot box is if it disguises itself as something else. The most recent disguise is as a lefty – which in many ways is more correct than wrong. However, in the most important ways, HumCo Weed Inc. is highly conservative. Weed Inc. takes the conservative or rightward approach on matters of … enforcement, taxation, regulation, property rights, money (generally). What Weed Inc. shares with the left is apparently acceptance and appreciation of different lifestyles, anti-pesticide use, and, oddly GMO’s. These are all items that I appreciate, but on a county level, they don’t seem as significant as say…law enforcement and land use planning.

    So, Mr(s) Anonymous thank you for your contribution in informing us about a what you are right is a significant and horrible subject in it’s own right. And thank you for your advice on protecting my own credibility why not at all trying to undermine my credibility (from a position of anonymity! ugh. Cognitive dissonance.). And finally, thank you for being clear about changing the subject away from weed as it clearly is not as important as others are saying it is. The stats prove it? Or they don’t? What was the point if not to absolutely focus, and amplify what may have been an unfair attribution to weed culture and to continue to use it as a political football – all the while condemning it’s use as a political football?

    5) On LoCO –

    We must be reading different digital tabloids, or we have an entirely different perspective going in. I know mine, I’m wondering what yours is. I do notice there are comments against pot culture, they are mostly outnumbered and there is a most clear definite editorial slant which is unabashedly pro-weed – including btw real time reports on conveys of county law enforcement. Something I find inexcusable. But that is my opinion from my increasingly discredited position.

    Frustratedly yours,


  52. November 19, 2013 at 8:50 am

    ALL MY LIFE, going back to elementary school we were taught that the suicide rate on the North Coast was higher than the average due to high alcoholism, poverty and the “West Coast syndrome” which people suffer when they realize there’s no where else to run. Back in the day San Francisco and Seattle also had high suicide rates. This predated any form of drug culture.

  53. November 19, 2013 at 9:00 am

    Did we exit Egypt? Are we in Babble On?

    Credibility is like worth (of merit), (earned) to value . . . which is inter-linked with fact (all of the cards
    face up)which leads to truth.

  54. November 19, 2013 at 9:04 am

    #53 was, of course, a response to #51.

  55. Anonymous
    November 19, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Anonymous: “None of this, of course, amounts to a claim that there are never any youth suicides in SoHum. I know there have been, because I’ve seen it reported from time to time, and every single one is a tragedy, just as every youth suicide elsewhere in the county is a tragedy.”

    Democratic Jon: “It seems to me the end was to prove that SoHum had 0 youth suicides…”

    There is just no way to square those two statements. Either you’re putting me on, or you didn’t read very carefully, or there is some kind of fundamental misfire occurring somewhere between your eyes and your brain.

  56. Anonymous
    November 19, 2013 at 1:39 pm

    Even more bizarre is your claim that, having spent 5 months exploring the Humboldt blogosphere, your conclusion is that weed is “never, ever discussed.” What I see is just the opposite: Cannabis, and in particular cannabis cultivation, is discussed often, and in great detail, and from numerous perspectives. Nowhere is this more apparent than on the Lost Coast Outpost. The relationship between cannabis cultivation and our our economy has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and the real estate market has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and local politics has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and home invasions and other crimes has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and water use has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and the health of our waterways has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and pesticides has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and endangered species has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and the transient and seasonal worker population has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and sexual harassment has been discussed, the relationship between cannabis cultivation and our tax base has been discussed — even the effect of cannabis on pets has been discussed.

    The serious fire and injury risks posed by butane hash production has been discussed, mega-grows, trespass grows, public lands grows and cartel grows have been discussed, the cumulative impacts of multiple grows has been discussed, the burden on law enforcement has been discussed, best practices have been discussed, worst-case scenarios have been discussed, dispensaries have been discussed, the effect of weather on production has been discussed, the effect of legalization in other states has been discussed. Enforcement priorities have been discussed, current rules have been discussed, legalization and regulatory options have been discussed, post-legalization prospects have been discussed.

    I think it’s safe to say that there is literally no other topic that has been discussed more on the Lost Coast Outpost — both in the articles and in the comments — and none discussed more thoroughly, or from more perspectives, than cannabis, cannabis cultivation, and the local “pot culture.” It seems to me that the Lost Coast Outpost has done more in its short lifetime to expose and draw attention to the environmental and social costs of cannabis cultivation in Humboldt, and thus encourage action to address these problems, than any other media outlet in the county’s history. In my view, the editorial stance of LoCO is not inherently pro-cannabis-cultivation or anti-cannabis-cultivation, it’s “cannabis cultivation is significant in this county, and here’s what’s happening on that front.” All of it — the good, the bad, and the ugly. And in so doing, they have done far, far more to draw attention to the very real, very legitimate concerns arising from the significant role cannabis cultivation in our county than the likes of you and NAN.

    The fact that they don’t focus exclusively on your particular concerns, and don’t always interpret everything as explicitly favoring your particular preferred political narrative, does not make their editorial position “unabashedly pro-weed.” It just means that they are addressing an audience that includes you, but is much broader than just you and people who think exactly as you do. Apparently you find this very frustrating, and view it as evidence of a narrow, heavily slanted bias. I see it as just the opposite. Given your extraordinary skill in not seeing what’s right in front of you, I doubt anything I might say will convince you of that, but at least perhaps we can dispense with this absurd notion that cannabis and the whole host of issues connected to it, are “never, ever discussed.”

  57. November 19, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    “It seems to me that the Lost Coast Outpost has done more in its short lifetime to expose and draw attention to the environmental and social costs of cannabis cultivation in Humboldt, and thus encourage action to address these problems, than any other media outlet in the county’s history.”

    However, there is a problem, like you, it is all anonymous. Like the growers when a LoCO convey report goes out, the opinions and debates have little more substance or real accountability than their ephemeral nature on our screens. Anonymity means that there is no accountability – which is important when trying to decide as a community, state, or country the why, the how and the social and environmental consequences of legalizing and/or further legitimizing the plant.

    How many conversations are taking place on LoCO with their credibility or livelihood at stake? Your litany of discussions that are taking place in cyberspace may have some value, but when we enter that courtroom, the discussion is only one of shaking one’s figure at Weed Inc., (while silently giving a wink and a nod).

    The only way one can connect Weed Inc. to flesh and blood people outside of Kym Kemp is KMUD. Listening to the CLMP was the eye-opener for me. That’s when I could first put two people to weed directly – Bonnie Blackberry and Charlie Custer. Given Bonnie’s activity in the GPU process, and her close associationship with Supervisor Fennell before and after her election to the board, it finally became clear to me the connection Weed Inc. had to our county courthouse.

    That’s the problem with LoCO, it’s all anonymous and that’s the reason for my easily rebutted claim – that you did masterfully, as always btw, kudos – that ” is that weed is “never, ever discussed.” I should have added the modifier Weed Inc. is never, ever honestly or accountably discussed”. Ask Kym Kemp how easy it is to get growers to comment first hand or on the record.

    That to me is the issue. That and it’s incredible triple-tiered threat to our county government a) cost of enforcement b) lack of returned revenue despite the costs to county infrastructure c) the inherent anti-government or libertarian concept that this agricultural product necessarily has instilled in many or most of it’s growers and users. To me, as a Democrat I believe that the latter is one of the more subtle, yet most important arguments that we have to win in the county-wide political debates (like the importance of regional planning)- and, imho, it is one of the more subtle, but most important effects Weed Inc. is having on the future of our county.

    And btw, I left out the environmental consequences entirely in that triple tiered threat. Just wanted to note that.

  58. Jubal Early
    November 19, 2013 at 7:29 pm

    I am confused Democratic Jon. Are you anonymous yourself or not? I have been to your blog and I don’t see your name, but maybe I am clueless. Anyway if credibility is so important to you why don’t you just use your real name like a few bloggers do?

  59. Anonymous
    November 19, 2013 at 9:24 pm

    Sure do love your sweeping generalizations, don’t you? No, not all of the discussion on LoCO is anonymous. Again, not even close. Most of the comment thread comments are posted anonymousy, but virtually everything said in the articles and commentaries on LoCO are said by people under their own names, including the journalists themselves, officials from various state agencies, environmentalists, law enforcement, elected officials, various experts, and even a few out-of-the-closet growers, for example Kevin Jodrey being quoted in the most recent article, in relation to the county’s proposal for restricting outdoor grows on small parcels.

    Yes, of course it is hard to get more growers to speak openly, everyone already knows that. And it’s no great mystery why that’s the case — just look what happened to Northstone Organics, look what happened to the Mendo zip-tie program, when they stuck their neck out and said “here we are, this is what we are doing, this is how we’re trying to do it right so that we aren’t causing problems for the community.”

    The problem of Prohibition chilling speech is caused by Prohibition, not by journalists, who are the victims of that suppression, along with the rest of us. What are the journalists supposed to do, help the government suppress the discussion even further by banning anonymous comments on that topic? Are the journalists supposed to wave a magic wand that will both cause more growers to agree to go “on the record” in articles and commentaries, and cause more people to post comments under their own names? What’s your solution? How would you do it better than LoCO is doing it? Or would you just throw up your hands and say it’s worthless to even try to get any idea what things look like from the growers’ point of view?

    Look, there’s good reason to be frustrated — here we have what is currently one of the most important economic activities in our county, and the situation is that one of the most influential sets of actors in that industry, namely the actual growers themselves, would risk arrest, forfeiture of their property, damage to their family, and all of the rest of the misery that Prohibition is still capable of doling out, if they were to stick their neck out and identify themselves and their activities and share their views openly.

    So of course there is a communication bottleneck, of course there is an imbalance in the flow of information and opinion. It’s easy for us to talk at the growers, but they can’t respond, at least not directly. The way I see it, LoCO is doing their best to work around that blockage, allowing at least some communication to flow back and forth. If you have any better idea of how to accomplish that, let’s hear it.

    Meanwhile, I love the melodramatic narrative, complete with shadowy svengali figures and the insinuation of secret backroom misdeeds and dark, foreboding connections, all bravely revealed by you, the intrepid reporter. Quite a little passion play you’ve cooked up there.

  60. Just Watchin
    November 20, 2013 at 6:39 am

    Same thing I was thinking Jubal. I even remember a blog comment by him requesting that anyone knowing his identity not publish it on the blogs.

  61. Anonymous
  62. November 20, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Jubal Early – Jon Yalcinkaya – I only use it when pressed. With the very unique last name, Google finds me easily, and I’m not hiding anything as much as it is useful to a have a nom-de-plume that announces my bias and b) I am wary of the power of Google, it just seems wise to be cautious about using one’s name. Probably not a real issue at this point, but it’s nice for the time being anyway.

    “Around the world, people know Humboldt and the rest of the Emerald Triangle as a place where some of the best marijuana grows and where some of the finest growers cultivate. Kevin Jodrey, the Cultivation Director for Arcata’s Humboldt Patient Resource Center, is one of the most well-known.”

    That was from 2010. Kinda makes my point I think. (And thank you for basically agreeing with my broad generalizations.) What percentage of marijuana is actually grown for medical purposes. I would totally accept that percentage of Humboldt grows – legitimate – bonafide – health reasons.

    What are my solutions? It would start with following the law on something as big as a way of life (I often knowingly jay-walk or speed – that is not what I’m talking about) That would go a long way to solving the problem. Next I would use the political system in an open and honest way. If I want marijuana legalized for medical reasons I would argue that. If I wanted it legal for general consumption of adults, I would argue for that. Those would be my starting points.

    The deception and duplicity with which this plant will enter legalized status seemed harmless to me at first. It went to the cultural issues that really are not my concern. However, that changed when it became clear how much damage the plant and it’s cultivation is having on our extremely fragile ecosystem. Not only that, and this is from where my passion stems. On very big picture issues, like regional planning and the role of government in our daily lives, Weed Inc. might as well be an unholy political combo of Jim Inhoff and Rand Paul.

    “Meanwhile, I love the melodramatic narrative, complete with shadowy svengali figures and the insinuation of secret backroom misdeeds and dark, foreboding connections, all bravely revealed by you, the intrepid reporter. Quite a little passion play you’ve cooked up there.”

    That’s all this ever is with you TOA, or TOA clone – it doesn’t matter which. This is about shutting up the critics. Like you first warned me up above all these copious word. Beware, you wouldn’t want your credibility hurt. Thanks for the warning TOA clone.

    And what about your narrative about victimization all the while making a tidy profit while not paying any of the costs?

    ie this narrative – “the situation is that one of the most influential sets of actors in that industry, namely the actual growers themselves, would risk arrest, forfeiture of their property, damage to their family, and all of the rest of the misery that Prohibition is still capable of doling out, if they were to stick their neck out and identify themselves and their activities and share their views openly.”

    It’s not Prohibition TOA (or clone) it’s a quest for legalization or decriminalization. We cannot prohibit something that has never been legal. Or if we are talking about the pre-industrial period when it was legal as someone of your knowledge of the subject might contest, then at the very least you should not capitalize.

    Prohibition with a capital P was about a Constitutional amendment that was then removed, also with an amendment. (18th and 21st, thanks wiki) This is not Prohibition. (Just for the record) If anything this movement will be know as the Legalization Movement. Because it seems like that’s the path we are on right now.

    There is This Other Anonymous I know, are you him or just a clone? Because if you are, we know how we can go on and on. I think as always we should respect the other readers and move the conversation elsewhere. I still have an open thread for that I believe. Because as you might guess, I have a bunch of questions – most of which of course you cannot answer. That’s ultimately the problem.

    And to put this back on topic. It also happens to be the ultimate problem that I have with Matthew Owen. Nice guy, but we cannot have on the record conversations. Do you recognize the parallels? I can’t miss them, and I think the parallels are very significant for HumCo politics.

  63. Freedom
    November 20, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Here’s a message for the Democratic Party, Democratic Jon. You need to respect my rights.
    If you can’t respect my rights then f you. I would be a democrat but your party needs to pull its head out of law enforcement’s ass, or I will never vote Dem again. Green maybe.

    Nothing personal Jon. Respect to you for stating your opinion. Your party sucks.

  64. 35yrgrower
    November 20, 2013 at 8:57 am

    In today’s world DemocratJohn and Nan’s dramatic fear mongering propaganda of topless trimmers, grow hos, and Murder Inc. are as far from the truth as Reefer Madness was in the 30s

  65. 35yrgrower
    November 20, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Weed not Murder Inc

  66. jr
    November 20, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Where is High Finance to weigh in on this discussion?

  67. Anonymous
    November 20, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Oh, so prohibition of cannabis isn’t Prohibition with a capital P because it wasn’t a Constitutional Amendment, and everyone should just stop breaking the law, which is only prohibition, not Prohibition. Great. Problem solved. Too bad you weren’t around during alcohol Prohibition, could have saved us all a lot of trouble back then.

    Meanwhile, you admit that you often break the law by speeding, a form of law-breaking that, unlike cannabis cultivation or use, causes many thousands of deaths and many more injuries every year.

    I had no idea just how unrealistic and hypocritical your fundamental point of view on this really was. Thanks for clarifying.

  68. democratic Jon
    November 20, 2013 at 11:58 am

    Not often – at least speed as I rarely drive anymore but I do, some times it’s accidental, some times not. It’s a risk assessment. I would agree with Carter that the maximum speed limit should be 55.

    But again you are changing the subject, finding another political football to use to rationalize Weed Inc. in comparison.

    Fun times.

    Prohibition with a capital P is a proper noun referring to that event that happened in the 1930’s. Just FYI.

    Here’s an example of its use from wiki.

    “During the first years of Prohibition, the new federal law was enforced in regions such as the rural South and western states, where it had popular support
; however, in large urban cities and in small industrial or mining towns, residents defied or ignored the law.[22]”

  69. Anonymous
    November 20, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    If abortion and contraception were prohibited, I guess Jon’s solution to women would be, well, unless you intend to procreate, just don’t have sex until the law is changed. The law is the law is the law, even if it’s unjust, unrealistic, and unenforceable. That is irrelevant to the discussion, just obey.

    If, in attempting to legalize abortion, pro-choice advocates began by fighting for exceptions for rape, incest, and medical reasons, when in fact what they really wanted was abortion for any woman who chose it, Jon would scold them for “deception and duplicity.” And if they won a medical exception, and then large numbers of women and doctors stretched that exception in order to get around the prohibition, Jon’s deception and duplicity meter would explode as he fumed over the arrogant, anti-social, libertarian women and the arrogant, anti-social libertarian doctors of Abortion, Inc.

    That’s the great thing about being Holier than Thou, the answers are always simple and easy, and the morality always crystal-clear. If everyone just behaved the way they are commanded to, there would be no problem, so there’s no need for the Holiest One to think much about what to do in the real world, where people don’t always behave according to the commandments.

  70. November 20, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    This last comment (12:30 pm #69) about Jon, in view of his recent comments about me over on SoHum Parlance II, is really hilarious! See what I mean about “what goes around always comes around” Jon? Well, in your case since you’re so damned sanctimonious, it’s “YOU reap what YOU sow.”

  71. Just Watchin
    November 20, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    The 18th Amendment didn’t outlaw the consumption of alcohol, just the manufacture, transportation and sale. And another loophole……”The Volstead Act allowed alcohol consumption if it was prescribed by a doctor. Needless to say, large numbers of new prescriptions were written for alcohol”. Sound familiar ??

  72. November 20, 2013 at 12:57 pm

    The universal (Federal) law mandating 55 mph contributed to more lawlessness in this country, probably second only to the so-called war on drugs.The individual right to grow, sell and use pot rivals that in Humboldt County. Just look at this admission – his attitude about law and his right to “risk assessment.” It’s that kind of thinking that justifies everyone’s right to shove the law up the police’s posterior anytime they want and figure if they injure or kill some – well, it was just an accident.

  73. Anonymous
    November 20, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    The parallels between alcohol prohibition and cannabis prohibition are manifold, and are obvious to any reasonably well-informed, thinking person. And in the long run, the solution is fundamentally the same — a conclusion that, happily, more and more Americans are coming to every day. In the meantime, we’re stuck trying to act rationally within an irrational system.

  74. November 20, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    Maybe you should try acting “irrationally” then.

  75. Anonymous
    November 20, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    That seems to be the plan.

  76. November 20, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    I’m as or more nervous about this than I am when I agree with suzy blah blah, but it seems JW and I may be arguing a similar point.

    Really, I’m very nervous right now and typing as quietly as I can to avoid being noticed.

  77. Anonymous
    November 21, 2013 at 2:27 pm
  78. Run Heraldo, Run!
    November 21, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    Again, comments are devolving, revolving, repetitive, self-indulgently bloated and dominated by a few people. Sure you want to do this again, Heraldo? Run away. I would.

  79. November 22, 2013 at 5:37 am

    And … are often made by anonymous concern trolls. The anonymous trolls are obviously very concerned about your well being H – and/or the orderly and informative nature of most comment zones? I don’t know. RHR, I wonder what your actual feelings on the matter are – don’t forget. you can scroll down to get to the valuable comments like your own. Duh!

  80. Just Watchin
    November 22, 2013 at 2:33 pm

    democrat Jon Yalcinkaya…..why are you obsessed with anonymous posters?

  81. democratic Jon
    November 22, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    JW: class act as always. Thanks for that.

    I might ask you a similar question, why are you obsessed with my obsessions?

  82. Just Watchin
    November 22, 2013 at 3:31 pm

    I’m not. Just not down with the hypocrisy. Try it again.

  83. November 22, 2013 at 4:51 pm

    JW – you post with one name. I don’t have a problem with that because we know who you are. Do you see the fundamental problem with people using completely anonymous names? Or changing names? Especially in a small community like this? I’m not expecting you would. But that is what I’m talking about when I speak of anonymous commenters. Now if TOA for example would always post under that name, it’s a good first step – it’s all I’d care about if we were talking about this or that, but on something of consequence like the General Plan Update, with the very specific and very detailed and very nuanced position he tried to sell, then I also begin to ask questions about his vested interests. I know that may be too many words for you to read, but I wanted to explain what you see as hypocrisy is something I think quite a bit about – and do try to be consistent.

  84. brian
    November 23, 2013 at 9:23 am


  85. Ivan Pavlov
    November 23, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I kinda like it. Come in here, rile folks up. Get people posting here. Periodically and intermittently.

  86. queenoftheforrest
    November 23, 2013 at 8:58 pm

    ~guess I think that NoHum reads SoHum. I don’t know, so I’ll put a link here to my “blog” for anyone who cares to read my on-going story with the STATE.

    To pull the system toward radically new ways of being.


    i know nothing about setting up a blog . . .looks like the most recent addition is on the top. So go down past that and read from the beginning.

    Awaken. We gotta step up the pace folks!!!


  87. Anonymous
    November 24, 2013 at 2:12 pm

    Joe Blow: “Maybe you should try acting ‘irrationally’ then.”

    Sometimes that’s the only way forward…

    The reasonable man adapts himself to the world.
    The unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself.
    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.


  88. November 24, 2013 at 7:24 pm

    I guess “A” doesn’t stay very current on these blogs. I’m accused all the time of “acting irrationally.” Can’t win for losing, I guess. There’s certainly truth to what Shaw says though. Time to change-up the game.

  89. November 25, 2013 at 9:41 am

    welcome back, get busy! must be esp I haven’t checked here for a long time and here you are! welcome back Heraldo!

  90. November 26, 2013 at 7:39 am

    Here and gone Big Al

  91. November 28, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    Same here Al, just wondered if they had finally taken the site down, and “Boom!” here it is, going like gangbusters. Don’t see any posts from “H” though. so “Here and gone” is pretty accurate.

  92. jr
    November 28, 2013 at 7:30 pm

    What will it take to get “H” to keep the Herald alive?

  93. xiva
    December 6, 2013 at 8:57 am

    Judge orders council districts, new election for Palmdale

    By Jean Merl
    December 2, 2013, 5:15 p.m.

    A Los Angeles County Superior court judge, who earlier this year found the city of Palmdale to be in violation of the California Voting Rights Act, has ordered the city to hold a new, by-district election for its four City Council posts.

    In a ruling dated last week and received by the parties over the weekend, Judge Mark V. Mooney ordered that the special election, to replace the balloting for council seats held last month, is to be conducted June 3, the same day as the California primary.

    Future elections are to be held in November of even-numbered years, to dovetail with state and federal balloting, in the expectation that such coordination will increase voter turnout.

    The judge allowed the city to continue to elect its mayor from voters throughout the city.

    A Palmdale official on Monday reaffirmed the city’s intention to appeal the trial court’s finding that the practice of electing council members at large deprives minorities of an opportunity to elect candidates they feel can best represent them.

    “We’re still analyzing the opinion and our options,” Assistant City Atty. Noel Doran said Monday. “We’ve needed this ruling … so we can appeal the entire matter.”

    As yet unclear is what effect a pending appellate court decision on whether to certify last month’s election will have on the case.

    The judge rejected the city’s proposed new districts in favor of a plan offered by the plaintiffs, which will give the city two Latino-majority districts and another with substantial black and Latino residents.

    Attorneys for the plaintiffs, several minority residents of Palmdale, said they were “generally pleased” with the ruling.

    “I think this is going to have a huge impact on Palmdale city government,” plaintiffs’ attorney Kevin I. Shenkman said.

    Shenkman said he hopes that other cities battling voting rights lawsuits “look at what has transpired in Palmdale and think better of it. It doesn’t benefit anyone to carry on this sort of fight.”

    The ruling makes Palmdale the first California city to have its election system upended in court under the 12-year-old state voting rights act. Many other local government bodies with significant minority populations but few or no minority representatives and racially polarized voting patterns have switched voluntarily to elections by geographic district or have done so to settle suits before going to trial.

    A handful of other cities, including Anaheim and Whittier, are facing trials after deciding to defend their practice of electing council members citywide.


  94. Anonymous
    December 8, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Is it time to sue the City of Eureka to allow individual wards to elect their own representatives?

  95. queenoftheforrest
    December 8, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    The people are the city of Eureka. A Corpse oration doesn’t have any hands to sign, or brains to think with. Sue in their personal capacity, they took the oath we didn’t. Psychology 101 tells us that to enable we the people to usher in the new paradine while the old programming crumbles in on itself ~”They all gotta go.” What worked in the past (heirachy) will not work in the future. The illusion of the ‘color of law’ has no place in the 21st century.

    i, me, myself, since my court doc, after 4 days from filing/ April 8 of this year, “Closed” the back-door case where the City of Eureka sued the people!!! i’d be willing to Appeal. This has to do with when the City Council took their illegal/unlawful vote of Nov. 2012 to force the people to pay the City Council’s CalPers payments! The people of Eureka didn’t contract with the STATE CalPers pension/insurance/invest/benefits plan, and that contract has NOTHING to do with the people. Removing them from office can be done, must be done. We have to have the new guards ready -as in, step forward as living Constitutional Public Servants -as opposed to what is now ~impersonators of Public Servants . .. wording their (O)rdinance rules to stiffle our freedom of speach -AS IF they beLIEve they have control over anyone other than themselves. LOL.

    “Leave no authority existing not responsible to the people.” Jefferson

  96. Anonymous
    December 11, 2013 at 6:49 am

    S.F. mayor backs big boost in SF minimum wage

    by Jonah Owen Lamb and Mike Billings


    Mayor Ed Lee says the minimum wage may increase to as much as $15 per hour in San Francisco.
    Fifteen dollars an hour.

    That’s a figure Mayor Ed Lee said on Tuesday should be explored for the new minimum wage in order to help struggling San Franciscans afford an increasingly expensive city.

    With the cost of living — specifically related to housing — front and center in The City, the mayor announced his intent to begin talks about a ballot measure for next year that could increase The City’s minimum wage.

    “Having thought about it — and certainly in the last month with a lot of comments from people about affordability in The City — I felt, ‘No on is going to live on $10.74,’” Lee told The San Francisco Examiner on Tuesday. “Why would we praise that particular amount? I think the only significance is that it would be the highest in the country outside of some airports.”

    Lee said his office has already started scheduling meetings with members of the Board of Supervisors and with business groups and others to craft an initiative that is both fair to business interests and boosts wages for workers.

    “We haven’t determined what that is yet,” Lee said of an exact number, “but I am going to start the process and I am open. I know that there are voices around the country, particularly the fast-food restaurant employees, that are signaling as high as $15 per hour should be considered.”

    Lee said that everyone should be able to unite around the fact that $10.74 is not enough to live on, so that the question becomes what The City can push for — which the mayor said could be anywhere between $11 and $15 an hour.

    Jaron Browne, communications director for People Organized to Win Employment Rights, or POWER, said the possibility of raising the minimum wage to any substantial number, let alone $15, would be good news.

    As it stands, Browne said, someone would need to work an estimated 4.6 full-time jobs at The City’s current minimum wage to afford a market-rate two-bedroom apartment here.

    San Francisco has received much national and international attention in recent months as the improving economy has put pressure on the housing market, leading to an increase in prices, evictions and buyouts as landlords and owners move to capitalize on the market. Many fingers have been pointed at tech, which is one of the fastest-growing business sectors in The City.

    Lee signaled that with the improved economy, more needs to be done for lower-income workers.

    “I think that if we didn’t do something like that, there would be cause for people to blame others in industries that are making more money as their cause of lack of affordability, and I think that’s divisive,” the mayor said.

    But the mayor also acknowledged that there needs to be work done with the business community, which already shoulders costs that include Healthy San Francisco, The City’s universal health care system.

    “It is important for The City to help ensure affordability for those who live here, as well as the job creators that sustain the economy,” the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce said in a statement to The San Francisco Examiner.

    The group also said it will be conferring with members and doing a careful evaluation of the proposal before taking any formal stance.

    San Francisco already has one of the nation’s highest minimum wages. The City passed a minimum wage law in 2003 that automatically increases every year to meet cost-of-living changes. In January, it is set to go from $10.55 to $10.74.


    Hourly minimum wage rates vary across the country.

    $10.55: San Francisco’s current minimum wage

    $10.74: San Francisco’s minimum wage effective Jan. 1

    $12.66: San Francisco International Airport minimum wage effective Jan. 1 (currently 12.43)

    $8: California minimum wage

    $10: California minimum wage effective 2016

    $8: New York state minimum wage effective Dec. 31

    $9: New York state minimum wage effective 2015

    $7.25: Federal minimum wage

    $10.29: Santa Fe, N.M., minimum wage

    $15: Kings County, Wash., airport worker minimum wage

    $11.50: Proposed D.C. minimum wage

  97. Anonymous
    December 12, 2013 at 6:48 am

    The death of Nelson Mandela understandably overtook the news on Dec. 5. But there was another story unfolding that day, a story that were he still alive and well would have struck a chord deep inside him, where the passion for social justice burned so bright and long.

    From Miami to Tampa and more than 100 other cities nationwide, people who toil away for awful pay in fast-food restaurants walked off the job and were joined by supporters in peaceful public protests.

    As with nationwide Walmart employee walkouts on Black Friday, fast-food workers were protesting pay so low they can’t meet their families’ basic needs, while industry giants such as McDonald’s make billions.

    These people constitute the “other America,” victims of a kind of economic apartheid, bottom dwellers on the wrong end of the income inequality gap that no less than Pope Francis and President Obama have railed against in their own ways in recent days.

    Unfortunately, many middle-class folks balk when asked to actively support fast-food workers seeking minimum pay upwards of $15 an hour.

    But the protesters’ “Fight For 15” rallying cry is a bargaining tactic, not an ironclad demand. What they want is middle-class support for bigger, bolder steps toward a living wage, a steady narrowing of the income gap that weighs so heavily on all working families.

    Other things the middle class may not realize:
    •Most fast-food workers are over 20 years old and the main breadwinner for their family.
    •One in four is a parent raising young children.
    •More than half must use public assistance to make ends meet, even with 40-plus hour workweeks and second jobs.
    •When corporations won’t pay a living wage, their workers’ public assistance costs are covered by middle-class taxpayers, to the tune of almost $350 million a year in Florida alone.

    If unions represented these workers, they could win higher wages fair and square at the bargaining table, saving taxpayers a ton.

    But “Right To Work” laws in Florida and 23 other states provide business interests with a blockade against union organizing.

    Simply stated, raising the minimum wage in a series of significant steps and removing barriers that deny workers union representation is win-win public policy that the middle class should fight for.

    It’s time to laugh at corporate-conservative claims that paying living wages or eliminating barriers to union organizing would “force” companies to cut jobs and raise prices.

    When you see such claims as the threats they really are, it’s easier to see through them, uncovering the ugly truth; that most corporations (not all, e.g. Costco’s) are unwilling to endure even slightly lower profits and stock prices in exchange for stabilizing America’s working poor, middle class and national economy.

    These corporations spend whatever it takes to buy and shape influence in state legislatures, Congress, and middle-class hearts and minds.

    They feed talking points to hired hands in politics, TV, radio, the Internet and newspapers with the sole purpose of convincing us their social irresponsibility is really…

    Free enterprise. Job creation. American ingenuity. Exceptionalism.

    In addition to putting lipstick on a pig, these companies have accomplished something more darkly dangerous.

    They’ve driven a wedge between middle-class and poor workers who desperately need to be allies.

    Having been denied union representation and lost leverage, along with pay raises, benefits, pensions and jobs, many middle-class workers are left feeling “lucky just to have a job,” resentful and dismissive of the working poor and unions seeking their support.

    Until, perhaps, they find themselves working at McDonald’s.


  98. Just Watchin
    December 12, 2013 at 4:01 pm

    And where did the author of the above article open his production company? FLORIDA!!!!. A right to work state! Now there’s living your convictions. LMAO

  99. Anonymous
    December 13, 2013 at 6:12 am

    Bill Would Raise Minimum Wage in SC to $10/Hour

    6:37 PM, Dec 12

    By Robert Kittle

    The minimum wage would go up to $10 an hour in South Carolina if a bill prefiled in the South Carolina House becomes law. The minimum wage is now $7.25 an hour, which would translate to $15,080 for a full-time, year-round employee.

    Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, filed the bill.

    Supporters of a higher minimum wage say it needs to be raised just to keep up with inflation. In 1968, the federal minimum wage was $1.60 an hour, which would be $10.70 in 2013 dollars.

    But critics say such a big increase would hurt businesses and the economy, since prices would go up on just about everything, and many of the same workers a higher minimum wage is designed to help would lose their jobs if businesses had to cut back.

    Hoyt Wheeler, a distinguished professor emeritus of management at the Darla Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina, has studied and taught on the minimum wage and labor extensively. He says a higher minimum wage would actually help the state’s economy.

    “The economy depends upon demand, and people have more confidence and demand more goods when they have money to spend. And when you have more money in the hands of the people at the bottom of the economic scale they spend it, unlike others who might invest or save. And so it really does good things for the economy,” he says.

    But small business owner Leanne Snelgrove, owner of Taco Cid in West Columbia, says a higher minimum wage would have a negative effect. “Food costs would go up, not only for me to my customers but as well as my vendors that provide the food to us, I’m sure their food costs to me would go up as well. So unfortunately the customers are going to have to pay a little more to eat out and I’m afraid that will hurt small businesses like me,” she says.

    Wheeler says costs might go up, but they might not. “If you raise the price of a Big Mac by 15 cents, is that really going to lower the demand for it? We don’t know. It may or may not. The economic studies that have been done over the years are really not very conclusive,” he says.

    Snelgrove says she knows from personal experience that even small price differences can affect business. “We have 75-cent tacos here on Mondays, and you would be amazed how much difference it is that people don’t want tacos on Tuesday, they want tacos on Monday ’cause they want it at that cheaper price.”

    One of the biggest obstacles facing the bill is that the South Carolina House and Senate are controlled by Republicans, who are typically against raising the minimum wage.


  100. Anonymous
    December 13, 2013 at 6:32 am

    December 13, 2013, 12:01 am

    Today’s Economist

    Perspectives from expert contributors.

    Raising the Minimum Wage: Old Shibboleths, New Evidence



    Laura D’Andrea Tyson is a professor at the Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, and served as chairwoman of the Council of Economic Advisers under President Clinton.

    The last several decades have been especially hard on American workers in jobs that pay the minimum wage. Adjusted for inflation, the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour today is 23 percent lower than it was in 1968. If it had kept up with inflation and with the growth of average labor productivity, it would be $25 an hour.

    Congressional Democrats have proposed legislation to raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour and index it to inflation, and President Obama signaled support in a recent speech highlighting the economic and political dangers of growing income inequality. Predictably, opponents of an increase in the minimum wage are once again invoking the hackneyed warning that it will lead to higher unemployment, especially among low-skilled, low-wage workers who are the intended beneficiaries.

    I heard the same refrain in 1996 when I served as chairwoman of President Bill Clinton’s National Economic Council, and he worked with congressional Democrats to raise the minimum wage to $5.15 an hour at a time when it had fallen in real terms to a 40-year low. To hear Republican opponents and lobbyists for retailers and fast-food companies, we were about to inflict a cold-hearted fate on young people and minority workers. The same chorus is voicing the same dire predictions today.

    As it happened, the United States experienced a spectacular boom in employment and prosperity from 1996 to 2000. Indeed, these years proved to be a rare and all-too-brief period when incomes improved at every wage level. Contrary to the warnings of the naysayers, a higher minimum wage did not impede robust employment growth; it did contribute to healthy income gains for low-wage workers.

    Since then, a raft of meticulous economic research, including work by David Card and Alan B. Krueger, who served as chief economist at the Labor Department in the Clinton administration and more recently as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration, has decisively demolished the old shibboleths. The weight of the evidence consistently finds no significant effects on employment when the minimum wage increases in reasonable increments.

    For a good overview, look to a paper by Arindrajit Dube of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst; T. William Lester of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill; and Michael Reich of the University of California, Berkeley. Using two decades of data and side-by-side comparisons of bordering counties in the United States, they find that higher minimum wages raise the earnings of low-wage workers and have negligible effects on employment levels. According to their estimates, an increase of 10 percent in the minimum wage would have a statistically negligible effect on employment in industries and occupations employing minimum-wage workers.

    In 1996, the prevailing view among economists was that an increase in the minimum wage would reduce employment. But opinions have changed in response to the evidence. In a recent survey of a panel of leading economists, only a third expected that an increase in the minimum wage to $9 an hour would make it “noticeably harder for low-skilled workers to find employment,” and nearly half agreed that the economic benefits of raising the minimum wage and indexing it to inflation would outweigh the economic costs.

    An increase in the minimum wage would increase the costs of businesses, especially those like fast-food restaurants that employ a large number of minimum wage workers. Higher labor productivity resulting from a reduction in labor turnover brought on by a higher minimum wage would offset a portion of these costs. Businesses would also pass some costs on to their customers in the form of higher prices.

    Yet a phased-in increase in the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour is not likely to affect business costs or prices significantly. On average, even the costs of fast-food restaurants would increase by less than 3 percent, and a price increase of a few cents on their products could offset a significant share of their higher labor costs. According to a recent estimate, McDonald’s could cover about half of its higher labor costs by raising the price of a Big Mac by about 1.25 percent, or 5 cents.

    At the macro level, an increase of 10 percent in the minimum wage is associated with less than half a percentage point increase in the aggregate price level. With short-term nominal interest rates near zero, a transitory increase in the inflation rate from a minimum wage hike would lower the real interest rate, increasing demand and growth.

    Another shibboleth of the naysayers of a minimum wage increase is that most minimum wage workers are teenagers. They are not. According to recent research by the Economic Policy Institute, about 30 million workers would benefit from the proposed increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Of these workers, 88 percent would be at least 20 years old with an average age of 35; 55 percent would be working full time; 56 percent of them would be female, and more than 28 percent of them would be parents.

    At the current minimum wage, a worker employed full time for a full year makes only $15,080, 19 percent below the poverty line for a family of three. So it’s not surprising that many families whose incomes depend on a minimum wage worker need public assistance. More than half of the families of fast-food workers are enrolled in at least one public assistance program at a cost of about $7 billion a year. Recent research finds that an increase in the minimum wage is a powerful policy tool for reducing poverty, with a 10 percent increase cutting the poverty rate by 2 percent .

    Putting more income into the hands of minimum-wage workers would not only reduce poverty; it would also stimulate consumer spending at a time when inadequate demand continues to impede a robust recovery and job creation. Using very different methodologies, two recent studies confirm that an increase in the minimum wage to the $10 range would lift spending, gross domestic product and job creation.

    Contrary to the warnings of its opponents, a higher minimum wage would, under current economic circumstances, mean more employment, not less.

    An increase in the minimum wage would also increase the effectiveness of the earned-income tax credit to reduce poverty and increase demand among low-income households with high propensities to consume. As David Neumark asserts in his recent Economix post, since the mid-1990s, when President Clinton championed a sizable increase in the earned-income tax credit, it has provided much greater income support to low-income families than the minimum wage. But as Professor Neumark acknowledges, the earned-income tax credit and the minimum wage are not substitutes for each another. They work together and can lead to better outcomes than either policy alone.

    Unfortunately, it is highly unlikely that a divided Congress will agree to increase the generosity and coverage of the earned-income tax credit any time soon. But the prospects for an increase in the minimum wage look promising because of strong voter support. A recent poll shows that large majorities of Democratic, independent, and Republican voters support an increase in the minimum wage.

    As President Obama noted in his speech on inequality, most Americans agree that if you work hard, you should be able to make a decent living and support your family. It’s time to raise the minimum wage and make it real.


  101. Just Watchin
    December 13, 2013 at 12:36 pm

    Bill Holmes…..why are you posting as an Anonymous??

  102. Just Wankin
    December 13, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    Why am I posting as Just Watchin??

  103. Anonymous
    December 14, 2013 at 5:23 am

    Thu Dec 12, 2013 at 08:06 PM PST.

    (Some) Peasants are Revolting. The Blue State Minimum Wage Revolt.


    It’s all fine and good to have the President endorse a rise in the minimum wage, but when we know that the chance of it passing the House of Representatives is less than Boehner going home sober on New Year’s Eve, it behooves us to ponder how the ‘Fight for $15’ is really going to be won.

    The answer is very likely to be: Blue state by Blue state, Blue city by Blue city. Which leaves one to wonder what will happen in Red and swing states as the contrast in the minimum wage becomes more and more dramatic.

    First, let’s look at the states that have higher minimum wages than the Federal minimum.

    States with higher than federal minimum wage as of 1/14:

    Washington ($9.32), Oregon ($9.10), Vermont ($8.73), Connecticut ($8.70), Illinois ($8.25), District of Columbia ($8.25), Nevada ($8.25), New Jersey ($8.25), California ($8.00), Rhode Island ($8.00), Massachusetts ($8.00), New York ($8.00), Ohio ($7.85), Arizona ($7.80), Florida ($7.79) Alaska ($7.75), Montana ($7.80), New Mexico ($7.50), Missouri ($7.50).

    We need to get to 13th on the list before we hit a closely divided state in the last Presidential election (Ohio), and 14th before we get to a Red state (Arizona).

    Below, I cite some of the battles in Blue states and Blue cities that have or will be taking place to increase the minimum wage significantly above the Federal limit. Unsurprisingly, there are none that I’ve seen mention of in Red states.


    The Massachusetts Senate recently voted to increase the minimum wage from $8 to $11, which would give the state the highest minimum wage in the country… The bill would allow for the minimum wage to adjust for inflation. According to the Globe, it would increase to $9 an hour and an additional dollar each year until 2015.

    ((Silicon Valley Millionaire and libertarian)) Mr. Unz is pursuing a goal that has stymied liberals: raising the minimum wage. He plans to pour his own money into a ballot measure to increase the minimum wage in California to $10 an hour in 2015 and $12 in 2016, which would make it by far the highest in the nation… Earlier this year, Gov. Jerry Brown, a Democrat, signed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $10 an hour in 2016… The California Chamber of Commerce labeled the bill a “job killer.”

    California has become the first state in the nation to commit to raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour, with the increase to take place gradually through the start of 2016…
    The law raises minimum pay in the most populous U.S. state from its current rate of $8 per hour to $9 by July 2014, and $10 by January 2016, well above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
    and in San Francisco
    San Francisco already has the highest minimum wage in the country, currently $10.55 an hour and set to rise to $10.74 on Jan. 1.

    After a wave of protests across the country by fast food chain workers for a $15-per-hour minimum wage, and calls from the White House to Silicon Valley for increases in base pay for low-wage workers, Lee said Tuesday he wants voters to significantly raise the minimum wage in San Francisco.

    “San Francisco is an expensive place for working families,” Lee said in a statement sent out less than 24 hours after he returned from a trip to Asia. “I believe the time has come to bring an increase in the minimum wage to the voters, and I will support a ballot initiative in 2014 that significantly raises the minimum wage to help San Francisco’s lowest paid workers keep pace with rising consumer costs.”

    Exactly how high Lee wants to see the city’s minimum wage rise is unclear, but he said the call for a $15-per-hour minimum wage is “worth evaluating.”

    District of Columbia:

    The D.C. Council has given preliminary approval to an increase in the District of Columbia’s minimum wage to $11.50 an hour, one of the nation’s highest. The 13-member council voted unanimously Tuesday to advance the bill. It will have to clear one more vote before going to Mayor Vincent Gray’s desk.
    The Democratic mayor supports raising the minimum wage from its current $8.25 to $10 an hour, but not higher. However, he said Tuesday he wants to continue working with the council to find consensus on the appropriate wage increase.

    Last month, suburban Montgomery and Prince George’s counties also approved raising their minimum wages to $11.50. It follows a national trend in which localities and states are addressing the minimum wage in the wake of federal inaction.
    SeaTac, Washington
    The ballot measure to create a $15 minimum wage for airport-related workers in SeaTac has survived a recount.
    The original count, certified Nov. 26, had Proposition 1 ahead by 77 votes out of 6,003.

    The initiative raises the city’s hourly-wage floor for hospitality and transportation workers to $15 from the statewide standard of $9.32 on Jan. 1 and assures annual inflation adjustments.
    Seattle, Washington:

    ((New City Councilor and Socialist/Occupier)) Sawant said she plans to introduce a minimum-wage ordinance to the council as her first order of business in January… “I look forward to working with the City Council and the mayor to pass a $15-an-hour minimum-wage ordinance,” Sawant said. “However, if corporate resistance results in the ordinance getting watered down or not passing in 2014, then we will need to place an initiative on the 2014 ballot.”

    New Jersey:
    New Jersey’s minimum wage will increase to $8.25 per hour on Jan. 1, from the federal level of $7.25 per hour. The measure was approved by 60 percent of New Jersey voters on Election Day, and it ties future increases to inflation, making New Jersey the 11th state to do so.

    It looks like new life has been breathed into a stalled Delaware minimum wage bill.
    Currently minimum wage in Delaware mirrors the federal level of $7.25/hour. Senate Bill 6 would increase the state’s minimum wage to $8.25/hour.

    Passed by the state Senate in March, the measure was tabled in the state House Economic Development Committee. Claymont Rep. Bryon Short chairs the committee; he voted against the legislation twice fearing an increase would shutter businesses. However now the small business owner is singing a different tune.

    “I believe now is the right time to support and pass a minimum wage increase for Delaware workers,” Short said in a statement posted by the Democratic caucus.
    Polls show massive support for minimum wage increases. For example in Colorado:
    Colorado: 56-33 support to raise minimum wage to $10.

  104. Anonymous
    December 14, 2013 at 6:07 am


    Shortsighted Business Culture

    Business Insider CEO and editor in chief Henry Blodget stated in a Business Insider article that part of the problem is that major companies have forgotten that workers are a substantial stakeholder in the life of the company. Instead, the prevailing culture is to keep employee wages low in order to maximize short-term profits that keep shareholders happy. This culture he blamed as the reason why a Canton, Ohio, Wal-Mart was holding a food drive for its employees around the holiday-shopping season.

    “This situation says everything about what’s wrong with the U.S. economy right now,” said Blodget, noting that Wal-Mart is “one of the richest companies in the world,” with a market value of $260 billion, turning a $17-billion profit in 2012.

    “Average Americans account for most of the spending in the country. And thanks to the refusal of rich companies like Wal-Mart to share more of their wealth with the people who create it, average Americans are broke,” Blodget said. “When people are broke, they can’t buy things. When people can’t buy things, companies can’t grow. And when companies can’t grow, they cut costs (fire more people). And, in so doing, they make more people broke.”

    The Catholic Approach

    The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches, “A just wage is the legitimate fruit of work. To refuse or withhold it can be a grave injustice. In determining fair pay, both the needs and the contributions of each person must be taken into account. ‘Remuneration for work should guarantee man the opportunity to provide a dignified livelihood for himself and his family on the material, social, cultural and spiritual level, taking into account the role and the productivity of each, the state of the business and the common good’” (2434).

    In his apostolic exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, Pope Francis stated that the current financial crisis “originated in a profound human crisis: the denial of the primacy of the human person.”

    “We have created new idols,” the Pope stated. “The worship of the ancient golden calf (Exodus 32:1-35) has returned in a new and ruthless guise in the idolatry of money and the dictatorship of an impersonal economy lacking a truly human purpose.”

    Mulloy said that all participants in the U.S. economy need to reorient their values along the lines of Pope Francis and reject a “culture of waste” that treats employees as disposable parts, reduces human beings to the activity of consumers and reacts more to a dip in stock markets than the death of those suffering on the margins.

    “We need to think about how to put the effect of our decisions on family and the human person back at the center of our economic decision-making,” Mulloy said. Businesses need to make a profit, he added, but “those profits have to come in a morally acceptable manner.”

    Peter Jesserer Smith is a Register staff writer.

    Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/fast-food-strike-puts-spotlight-on-living-wage/#ixzz2nSSHk2YA

  105. Anonymous
    December 14, 2013 at 6:23 am

    Berkeley considers raising minimum wage

    By Judith Scherr
    Posted: 12/13/2013


    BERKELEY — The city’s lowest-paid workers could get an almost $3 per hour wage boost if a minimum wage ordinance proposed by a Labor Commission subcommittee Wednesday wins City Council approval.

    The proposal “ensures that we will eventually have a wage that allows people who work in Berkeley to live in Berkeley,” Angus Teter, chair of the Minimum Wage Subcommittee, told the commission and some three dozen members of the public.

    The proposal raises the base hourly wage from the state’s $8 per hour minimum to $10.74 per hour and would add $2.22 per hour for medical benefits, if the employer doesn’t already provide them. The minimum wage would rise annually with the cost of living.

    Additionally, beginning midyear in 2015, the minimum wage would increase annually by 55 cents per hour until it reaches Berkeley’s “living wage” rate, the hourly wage the city requires its contractors and suppliers to pay their workers. The living wage, tied to cost-of-living increases, is now about $2 higher than the proposed minimum wage.

    The additional 55 cents per hour would allow the minimum wage, over four or five years, to catch up to the living wage, which, Teter said, “gives businesses time to implement changes without the full shock of the adjustment coming all at once.”

    The Berkeley Restaurant Alliance and State Restaurant Association are the ordinance’s most vocal critics.

    David Rowe, representing Jupiter and Triple Rock beer houses, told the commission that Berkeley should stick by the state’s minimum wage, slated to grow to $9 per hour in July, 2014 and to $10 per hour in January, 2016.

    Alternatively, he said a regional minimum wage is acceptable. “For Berkeley to have its own minimum wage ordinance which is higher than the state, really puts Berkeley at a competitive disadvantage from its surrounding neighbors,” Rowe said, citing increases in supplies and vendors as well as labor.

    “We don’t really want to start raising prices,” he said.

    Rowe further argued that it isn’t fair for tipped servers to get the same mandated minimum wage as dishwashers and cooks. (A number of states and cities permit lower minimum wages for tipped workers.)

    Most of the public speakers favored the proposed ordinance, although Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Polly Armstrong said many business owners fear speaking out, believing their businesses might face a boycott.

    Proponents contended that increased wages would stimulate the economy and provide a stable workforce.

    Ned Perlstein, retired economics instructor at Laney College, argued for the inclusion of tipped workers, saying that many restaurant jobs are part-time and don’t include vacations, sick days or medical benefits.

    “We believe in the mythology that small businesses generate a lot of jobs, (but) they generate a lot of crappy jobs,” he said.

    Retired social worker Carol Brill addressed the consequences of poverty for the community at large. (Census figures show 18 percent of Berkeley residents live in poverty, though the figure may be skewed by students supported by families.)

    “We see (low-wage workers) in social services and we see them on the streets of our city,” Brill said. “It’s not acceptable for the richest country in the world not to be able to take care of its people.”

    Cities across the country are addressing poverty wages (the federal minimum is $7.25 per hour — $15,080 per year) by enacting their own standards.

    In November, voters in SeaTac, Wash. hiked the minimum wage to $15 and some elected officials in neighboring Seattle want to follow suit.

    Leaders in the District of Columbia recently passed an $11.50 per hour phased in minimum wage.

    San Francisco’s minimum wage will be at $10.74 as of Jan. 1 and Mayor Ed Lee is calling on voters to raise it to $15. San Jose has a minimum wage of $10.15.

    Berkeley labor commissioners didn’t vote on the ordinance Wednesday, but asked the subcommittee to add a higher minimum wage for corporations with more than 1,000 employees in addition to the basic proposal.

    They also asked that the ordinance, or accompanying resolution, ask the council to address issues to help small business owners face higher payrolls, including support for a regionwide minimum wage, for single-payer health care and for the establishment of commercial rent control, not currently legal under state law.

    The proposal will come back to the committee in January for at least one more hearing before a recommendation is made to the council.

  106. Just Watchin
    December 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Stoner Bill….why don’t you post under your own name??

  107. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 5:53 am

    Issue One: The minimum wage
    December 15, 2013 12:00 AM

    Lives upended

    It is tempting to refute the Dec. 9 letter (“People Can Improve Their Own Futures”) labeling low-wage workers as slackers by arguing the stereotypes about the quality of scholarship of community college graduates. Clearly, the letter neglected two basic thesis proofs: The personal is not the universal, and stereotypes are not facts.

    The writer was able to “improve” herself by working hard and going to college, and wonders why others do not eat the same cake. Many minimum-wage workers have college degrees but are unable to utilize them due to circumstances beyond their control. Witness the dramatic job losses across economic sectors, forcing people to take jobs far below their levels of expertise and that pay poverty-inducing wages. Perhaps they can’t “improve” themselves by going back to school because they are still paying off their own student loans, caring for an elderly parent, sending their own children to college or are recovering from a catastrophic uninsured illness.

    Then there is the minimum-wage worker demographic stereotype. In reality, most low-wage workers are over 30 and have families. Some have advanced degrees. Many are victims of the Great Recession or of corporate shenanigans that have upended lives.

    This paper reported recently that most Americans will live in poverty at one time or another, which is the reality for many who now work minimum-wage jobs. In the letter writer’s opinion, these people deserve no better. If one day she faces the same fate through no fault of her own, one can only hope that the disdain she heaps upon the less fortunate will not be revisited upon her.

    North Versailles


  108. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 6:19 am

    Oblivious Cal Thomas Makes Case For Higher Minimum Wage

    Letter to the editor

    7:13 p.m. EST, December 14, 2013

    In the Cal Thomas column “Work Harder And You Can Make More Money” [Dec. 13, Opinion], he uses his own “meager” earnings on his way up the career ladder to mock liberals for their concern regarding growing income inequality.

    However, when adjusted for inflation, based on the birth year of 1942 attributed to Mr. Thomas online, he was earning somewhere between $8.59 and $10.73 per hour plus room and board at age 14, in today’s dollars. If he started his copy boy job at age 21 in 1963, his annual earnings would be equivalent to $35,718 today or $17.17 an hour (plus I assume he also had benefits).

    At age 37, his salary of $25,000 would be worth $80,422 annually (plus benefits). To use these numbers as an argument against income inequality concerns and raising the current $7.25 federal minimum wage shows that either Mr. Thomas is purposely trying to mislead his readers by not adjusting his own income for inflation, or that he is not even aware that $8 today is not the same amount as $8 in 1956.

    In either case, in the meritocracy Mr. Thomas so fondly espouses, he should not be awarded the opportunity to air such oblivious and uninformed opinions on a national stage.

    Nicole Ferrari, Wethersfield


  109. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 7:09 am

    Man kills himself at Las Vegas valley Wal-Mart


    A man shot and killed himself inside a Wal-Mart near Nellis Air Force Base early Saturday morning.

    Las Vegas police said the man walked into the sporting goods area of the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 4350 N. Nellis Blvd. near Las Vegas Boulevard about 6:15 a.m. with his own gun.

    He walked around the store for a few minutes and then shot himself in the head, police Lt. Sasha Ann Larkin said.

    “He never pointed it at anyone or threatened anyone,” she said.

    It’s unclear why the man chose Wal-Mart. Larkin said the preliminary investigation indicated that no employees had ever seen the man.

    “Detectives might find out more information,” she said.

    The Clark County coroner’s office will identify the man after his family is notified.

    Contact reporter Mike Blasky at mblasky@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283. Follow @blasky on Twitter


  110. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 8:20 am

    Living wage job gap calls for a new course of action

    Written by

    LeeAnn Hall

    In August, fast food workers walked off the job in 50 U.S. cities, demanding a raise to $15 an hour. The strikes touched off a national debate about raising wage floors.

    But this debate has been missing some critical context: a data-driven analysis of what it actually takes to make ends meet in America today, and how the $15 threshold and other proposals stack up.

    People who are working full time should earn enough to be able to make ends meet. This is a basic American value.

    But it turns out $15 an hour falls short — for most family structures, far short. Furthermore, our current economic path isn’t creating nearly enough jobs that pay above even this basic threshold.

    These are some of the findings of a new economic study, released Dec. 3 by the Alliance for a Just Society, providing the data-driven analysis needed to put the wage debate in context.

    The study, “America’s Changing Economy: Searching for Work that Pays in the New Low-Wage Job Market, 2013 Job Gap Study,” calculates what it costs to make ends meet by analyzing state-level data on the components of a basic, no-frills household budget —including food, housing, utilities, child care, health care and transportation. The “Job Gap Study” uses these household budgets to calculate living wage levels in 10 states, including lower-cost states like Idaho and higher-cost states like Connecticut, and also New York City. It calculates living wages for five different household structures, from a single individual to two working parents with two kids.

    So what is a living wage? The study finds the living wage for a single individual ranges from $13.92 an hour in Montana to $22.66 an hour in New York City. For two working parents with two kids, the living wage ranges from $17.69 per parent in Idaho to $24.52 per parent in New York City. For a single parent with one child, it ranges from $19.36 in Montana to $30.02 in New York City.

    How many job openings will pay these living wage levels, under current economic trends? Not nearly enough. Even at the lowest living wage level, the number of job seekers for each projected job opening that pays a living wage ranges from 5 to 1 in Colorado to 25 to 1 in Connecticut. This is a serious “job gap.”

    At the national level, the numbers are similarly troubling. With 20.8 million job seekers in 2012, there are seven job seekers for every projected job opening in occupations with median wages above $15 an hour.

    Low-wage jobs are on the rise since the official end of the recession in 2009: jobs with median wages below $15 an hour grew from 36.6 percent of total employment in 2009 to 39.5 percent in 2012.

    This isn’t just a “jobless recovery” — it’s an economic course that has slashed 4 million better-paying jobs (above the $15 median wage threshold) and replaced them with 3.6 million lower-paying ones (below the $15 threshold).

    The findings of the “Job Gap Study” cast the wage-raising proposals in a new light. Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, for example, still falls far short of any living wage level.

    One element of this course should be responsible wage floors — floors that uphold the principle that people working full time should be able to make ends meet while re-orienting job growth to create more economy-boosting jobs.


  111. Just Watchin
    December 15, 2013 at 8:27 am

    Stoner Bill (Anonymous)……what is the purpose of posting a story about a man’s suicide? No wonder the Fair Wage people don’t to be associated with you. You’re a sick man. Seek help.

  112. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 8:40 am

    You are safer in a homeless camp than at the Bayshore Mall.

  113. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 8:48 am

    Walmart employee reportedly shoots co-worker’s car after worker wins Employee of the Month

    Published December 15, 2013/

    A South Florida Walmart employee is under arrest after shooting up a co-worker’s car hours after police said he grew disgruntled from learning the fellow worker had been selected as the store’s Employee of the Month.

    Willie Mitchell pulled up to the unidentified Employee of the Month’s unoccupied car earlier this month in the parking lot of the Deerfield Beach Walmart, rolled down his back window, fired a single shot into the vehicle and then drove off, according to CBS4 in Miami.

    “She was announced as the employee of the month which you would think that would be something good, people would be happy for her,” Broward County Sherriff’s Office Spokesperson Veda Coleman-Wright reportedly said. “But there was one employee who wasn’t happy.”

    The shooting reportedly came just hours after the victim had been named the Walmart branch’s Employee of the Month. In the wake of the announcement, police told CBS4 Mitchell argued with the victim over their respective workloads and told her repeatedly, “I’m gonna show you.”

    Mitchell reportedly knew the victim was not in the car when he fired the shot, having reportedly asked someone in the parking lot if she was already at work just before the incident took place.

    “Perhaps [Mitchell] wanted to be employee of the month but clearly these actions that we saw in response to this, I think we see why he wasn’t chosen as employee of the month,” Coleman-Wright told CBS4.

    A Walmart spokesperson reportedly said Mitchell no longer works for the company, adding the Employee of the Month award does not come with any monetary benefit other than recognition for a job well done.


  114. JW
    December 15, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I just have to say that all kidding aside, John Boehner has turned out to be a real turd. He is a tax and spend liberal, the truth comes out.

    I am just beside myself over this! Sometimes I don’t really know who I am myself!

  115. JW
    December 15, 2013 at 9:46 am

    An anon needs to know his limitations. You need to have courage like me if you want to be convincing.

  116. December 15, 2013 at 11:32 am

    WTF is happening to this blog?

  117. EurekaWorker
    December 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    Maybe the Walmart killing spree will catch on here in Eureka. It would open up a lot of jobs, and we could name our hourly wage. WOOOHOOO !!

  118. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm

    “WTF is happening to this blog?”

    Seems like just a little bit of a “dead cat bounce.”

  119. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 9:09 pm

    (WMC-TV) – Officials have released the identity of the suicidal woman fatally shot by police in Covington, Tennessee.

    According to a press release, Nattela Ruth Blackwell, 64, left her residence early Sunday morning with a gun.

    A bulletin was dispatched to all agencies asking for help locating her.

    Officials found Blackwell displaying a handgun in the roadway.

    Investigators said she was ordered to drop the handgun and, when she refused, she was shot.

    Early reports stated Blackwell received a ride to the Wal-Mart from someone driving a blue passenger car around 8 a.m. Sunday. Several people saw her leave the vehicle.

    Sheriff J.T. “Pancho” Chumley agreed her death was a suicide.

    “Our deputies have been placed on administrative leave…this unfortunate incident (was) a ‘suicide by cop’,” explained Chumley.

    The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation is looking into the incident.


  120. Anonymous
    December 15, 2013 at 9:10 pm

    CONROE, TX (KTRK) — A man has shot and killed himself inside a Walmart in Conroe.

    It happened just before 4:30pm at the Walmart on North Loop 336.

    Police say a 35-year-old man entered the store, walked to the pharmacy area and sat down on the bench. Shortly after, he pulled a semi-automatic gun from his wastband and shot himself.

    Witnesses say there was no time for anyone to intervene before he pulled the trigger. A police officer tried to perform CPR on the man but he died at the scene.

    No one else was hurt.

    Police say the man reportedly had marital problems and his wife worked at the store and was present at the time of the shooting.

    We’re told the man is an Texas Department of Criminal Justice employee but his duties do not include carrying a weapon.

    Customers were evacuated and the store is closed while Conroe police continue their investigation.


  121. EurekaWorker
    December 16, 2013 at 5:37 am

    One suicide here, one murder there. We need job openings at Eureka Walmart, and we need them NOW ! Too bad the Rev. Jim Jones isn’t around to head up the Fair Wage organization. He could organize the Walmart workers and then break out the koolaid ! PRESTO !! New jobs. Hooray for the Fair Wage folks and their fearless leader, Bill Holmes!

  122. Anonymous
    December 16, 2013 at 5:51 am

    Man commits suicide at Montana Walmart after buying shotgun there

    Occurred October 2, 2013.

    Billings Police say a man in his early 20s walked into the store around 11 AM Wednesday and bought a shot gun. They say he left the store, got into a vehicle parked in the fire lane and committed suicide by shooting himself in the head.

    Police continue to investigate what happened.

    Walmart. Save money. Die faster.

  123. Anonymous
    December 16, 2013 at 7:12 am

    2014 will be the most awesome political year in Eureka EVER. I promise you.

    A real humdinger. Its time for a fresh breeze to blow.

  124. Anonymous
    December 16, 2013 at 7:47 am

    We are doing POSITIVE POLITICS. We are working to fix what’s broken.

  125. Anonymous
    December 16, 2013 at 7:54 am

    People of all kinds are open again to new ideas and different drumbeats.

    Why? Simply because the old ideas don’t work anymore, if they ever really did.

    So if you have ideas bring them. Let the marketplace of ideas sort them out.

  126. Anonymous
    December 16, 2013 at 8:34 am

  127. Anonymous
    December 18, 2013 at 6:46 am

    A Minimum-Wage Hike Seems Inevitable, But the Debate Is in the Details

    Perhaps Washington, D.C., may have some answers.

    By Nina Shapiro Tue., Dec 17 2013 at 05:03PM

    When local venture capitalist Nick Hanauer laid out his “capitalist’s case” for a $15 minimum wage just six months ago, he says he was hailed as “the devil” in certain circles, while a Forbes columnist called his thesis a “near-insane idea.”

    Oh, what a difference a few months can make.

    Today—after SeaTac voters narrowly approved a $15-an-hour minimum-wage measure; after socialist Seattle City Council candidate Kshama Sawant rode to victory on a minimum-wage platform; after a wave of national fast-food worker strikes protesting abysmal pay—the call for a $15 minimum wage in Seattle has an air of inevitability.

    All of Seattle City Council’s members have said they intend to make the issue a top priority, with Sawant saying she will move on a ballot initiative for November if they don’t act fast enough. While not announcing a detailed proposal, Sawant on Tuesday announced the launch of a website, 15.now.org, aimed at reaching workers themselves and building a grassroots movement. Mayor elect Ed Murray has scheduled a press conference for Thursday at which he will announce an “income inequality advisory committee.”

    Unlike in SeaTac, where Proposition 1 sparked a fierce fight, the reaction from Seattle’s business community has so far been muted. Restaurateur and music promoter David Meinert, who has qualms about a blanket $15 mandate, explains that many find talking about their views “scary” for fear of being labeled “a bad person” in progressive Seattle. Witness the reaction of Kate Joncas, president and CEO of the Downtown Seattle Association, when called about the issue. She said her group hadn’t talked about it yet, and then abruptly hung up.

    Yet a debate is quietly shaping up—centered not so much on whether a minimum-wage hike needs to happen, but on what the right number is, who should be affected, and how quickly it should be implemented. Those mulling over the issue are looking not just to SeaTac but to other cities offering different minimum-wage models, most notably Washington, D.C.

    “There are important questions about what is the best way to do this,” allows David Rolf, president of SEIU Local 775, a lead organizer behind SeaTac’s Proposition 1. He acknowledges that a 61 percent minimum-wage hike (from the imminent 2014 state rate of $9.32 an hour) is a much more ambitious goal in Seattle than in SeaTac, due to our city’s vastly larger and more diverse economy.

    The union leader says he is also prepared to accept some delay in the speed with which a wage hike takes place—“as long as we’re not talking about 10 years.”

    City Council member Mike O’Brien brings up a bill that’s now on the table in Washington, D.C. Endorsed late last month by all of that city’s council members, it would raise the city’s minimum wage to $11.50 by the end of three years. A two- or three-year time frame “sounds reasonable,” O’Brien says.

    That bill is actually the D.C. council’s second attempt at passing a minimum-wage bill. The first would have set a $12.50 minimum wage, but only for retailers earning more than $1 billion a year—the measure was aimed at big-box retailers like Walmart. When the retail giant threatened to cancel plans for new stores in the city, Mayor Vincent Gray vetoed the so-called Large Retailer Accountability Act.

    Nevertheless, Meinert calls the act “very interesting” and suggests that Seattle might want to do something similar. “If you pass something that says companies making over a billion a year have to pay $15 an hour, nobody’s going to complain,” he says. It would be a completely different story, he adds, if you pass such a minimum-wage for “small day cares, small nonprofits, and other small businesses.” He points out that, contrary to what some believe, SeaTac’s measure does not enact an across-the-board wage hike either, but affects only businesses that revolve around the airport and that meet size and other criteria.

    Similarly, O’Brien says he’s pondering an approach that would focus on specific industries—say, those dealing with fast food or hospitality.

    City Council member Tim Burgess is intrigued by another aspect of what D.C. is doing. Council members there are coordinating with their counterparts in neighboring Prince George’s and Montgomery counties (Md.) so that they can raise the minimum wage together. Burgess says he plans to bring up the possibility of a regional approach uniting King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties. (Whether impatient minimum-wage activists will wait for that undoubtedly excruciating bureaucratic process is another matter.)

    One of the thorniest questions in this debate is what to do about small businesses, whose viability would be most impacted by a big jump in payroll costs. One option would be to exempt them entirely. Remarkably, not all small businesses are calling for that.

    “I want to be part of the solution,” says Joe Fugere, owner of Tutta Bella Neapolitan Pizzeria and a member of the mayor-elect’s advisory transition committee. Yet he says he’s still making up his mind about whether to support a minimum wage as high as $15, and in any case doesn’t think the answer to the “living wage” gap is “a single number.”

    By way of example, he says that all his employees, including dishwashers, earn at least $13 an hour. But that income is derived by pooling and redistributing tips—something he maintains should be taken into account when setting a minimum wage.

    Meinert, who is starting a 401K program at his restaurant, The 5 Spot, holds that retirement and health-insurance benefits should also be factored in.

    Nor might a minimum-wage bill affect all employees equally. “We might want to treat a high-school student working a summer job differently from a 35-year-old mom with two children at home,” Hanauer muses.

    Jim Spady, owner of Dick’s Drive-In, suggests a “training wage” aimed at teens or those entering the job market for the first time. (Current state minimum-wage rules already allow 14- and 15-year-olds to be paid less.)

    Some of these ideas are sure to meet with pushback from $15-wage advocates. Rolf, for instance, expresses skepticism about a training wage, saying it could lead employers to lay off adults and hire teens in their place. The union president also seems disinclined to lower the $15 number or allow for exemptions. “We’re in favor of a $15 minimum wage—not a $15 wage just for some people,” he says.

    While he may have to compromise, it’s worth noting that such a bill might also push some wages higher than $15—at a business like Dick’s, for instance, which prides itself on attracting the most capable staffers by offering pay and benefits above the norm. The iconic Seattle hamburger chain offers a starting wage of $10.25 an hour, which rises to $10.75 after three months. The company also provides a highly unusual health plan, whose premiums it pays entirely, without any employee contribution. On top of that, Dick’s encourages its workers to go to college by offering $22,000 toward their education.

    Spady doesn’t support a $15-an-hour minimum wage. He argues that such a hike would prompt employers to become more selective, ultimately hurting those who need a starting job most. But if such a wage becomes the law of the land, he would not only comply. Rather, he says, “We would have to respond and pay more than the market.”

    Flipping burgers for $16 an hour? It seems possible in Seattle’s new political climate.


  128. EurekaWorker
    December 18, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    Looks like my last comment won’t post with three links in it. So here it is without the links, which I’ll try to post in separate comments:
    n case anyone is interested in some facts about suicide in Humboldt county, rather than just spouting off:
    [Link #1]
    This report includes maps showing the number of suicides and suicide attempts by zip code in Humboldt from 2003-2007. Unfortunately the numbers on the maps are just raw numbers, not per capita numbers. So the maps basically show the most suicides where the most population is. However, it is notable that the pattern in rural, low-population SoHum areas appears similar to the rural, low-population areas of Eastern or Northern Humboldt.
    To go deeper, you need to go here:
    [Link #2]
    And then click on the “profiles” and look at the data by zip code in PDF or Excel format. I did so for the two most recent years for which there is data, 2010 and 2009. I couldn’t find ANY suicides among those under age 25 in the SoHum zips listed there:
    Garberville 95542 – zero
    Redway 95560 – zero
    Whitethorn/Shelter Cove 95589 – zero
    Miranda/Phillipsville 95553/95559 – zero
    The way the data is presented in these tables, it would be impossible to tell whether a given death from suicide was someone under 25 or not, or whether a given death among those under 25 was from suicide, as those factors are listed separately. But as it turned out that was a moot point, because for both years, in all these zip codes, what I found were either no deaths of anyone under age 25 in that zip, or no suicides in those zips, or both. But you don’t have to take my word on it, you can check for yourself.
    So unless this data is wrong or I am misreading it, there were no suicides among people under age 25 in any of those zip codes in either 2009 or 2010. If I am misreading the data, please let me know how. It seems pretty straightforward. None of this, of course, amounts to a claim that there are never any youth suicides in SoHum. I know there have been, because I’ve seen it reported from time to time, and every single one is a tragedy, just as every youth suicide elsewhere in the county is a tragedy.
    If someone has the time to go further, to look at the tables for all the years, add up the numbers for suicides in all the SoHum zips (however you draw the lines for what counts as “ShoHum”) and divide by the population in those zips, and then do the same for the rest of the zips in Humboldt, and compare different regions, please do. While this still wouldn’t give a definitive answer on how many of these suicides were youth suicides, it would at least answer the question of whether suicide, in general, is more prevalent in SoHum than elsewhere in the county. It looks like to get the actual youth suicide numbers by zip code, you’d have to go beyond these tables and get your hands on the raw data these tables were based on.
    Meanwhile, one thing that is not in dispute is that suicide rates in Humboldt are significantly higher than the state and national averages. 9th highest in the state, according to one recent tally:
    [Link #3]
    With all three Emerald Triangle counties in the top ten, is it fair to assume that the “pot-growing culture” in these counties is a significant factor? The problem with that is that looking at the rest of the counties that are high on the list, many of them are not really known for their pot growing cultures. So for someone attempting to link suicide rates to pot growing using just this county-level data, that would require shamelessly cherry-picking the data.
    Of course even one suicide, whatever the cause, and wherever it happens, is one too many. But to state that youth suicide in one part of the county is a “countywide disgrace,” without providing any evidence that it actually is worse there than in other parts of the county, is highly inappropriate at best, intentionally misleading at worst. Doing so in order to justify one’s own prejudices, and to try to advance a particular cultural or political narrative is…disgusting.
    Community pride can easily lead community members to underestimate problems in their community, and an objective examination of the data can be a useful corrective to that tendency. I would welcome that. By the same token, ignorance and prejudice can also lead outsiders to overestimate problems within communities they don’t understand, and which they consequently fear and hold in contempt. And then, of course, there are those who just make stuff up out of spite in order to “prove” that their hatred is justified. Seems like NAN probably overlaps those last two categories.

  129. December 18, 2013 at 2:57 pm

    Please ignore the trolls. Walmart will go to any lengths to discredit any legitimate opposition.

    shortlink here: http://wp.me/p2w2NH-sK

    Come take a step with us into a brighter future for Eureka’s people and local economy by helping us pass the Eureka Fair Wage Act AKA Minimum Wage Act this next November.

    Raising wages for our hardest working Sisters and Brothers won’t solve all our problems but it will make Eureka a better place to live.

    Come join us tonight at the Labor Temple in Eureka we meet at 6:15.

    We are planning now to win in November 2014. You can be a big part of putting Eureka on the national map in a positive way for a change. We need volunteers at all levels and of diverse skill sets.

    We have already expended thousands of hours of volunteer time in this effort. We need your help to leverage this beginning into victory.


    Fair Wage Folks

  130. Anonymous
    December 18, 2013 at 5:04 pm

    Quote of the day from a comment on the Lost Coast Outpost:


    Time to bend over, Eureka City Schools. This one is going to hurt.

  131. Anonymous
    December 18, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Maybe High Finance has an opinion on this? Well one of you anyway?

  132. December 20, 2013 at 10:14 am

    Thanks for the heads up fair wage folks! I swear I will make a meeting in 2014. Good luck on your efforts they are an important first step toward rebuilding our middle class despite every effort of the 1% to have a feudal class for some unknown reason.

  133. December 20, 2013 at 2:52 pm

    Well Jon, at least you always offer up a perfect segway – “ . . .despite every effort of the 1% to have a feudal class for ‘some Unknown Reason.” “Unknown reason?” This ‘moral superiority’ of yours is a great impediment to momentum for those who are pushing and pulling humanity forward ~from the individual to the collective. You are implying Jon that our localized consciousness is lacking, and that we are globally ignorant. Your stance is invalid.

    “To know nothing of the past is to understand little of the present, and to have no conception of the future.” Nothing has changed Jon. The NWO/OWN has been around for thousands of centuries. It’s the same as it ever was . . .the Comfortably Numb slave/Master relationship that many ‘will’ not relinquish to make a stand.

    The NWO advances different ways, at different speeds, in different countries . . . but we are all marching steadily towards total domination by our rulers. REMEMBER, there is no such thing as an arms race between China or Russia and the U.S. There is no competition between those countries against each other. They are all working to advance the use of drones to CONTROL THEIR OWN PEOPLE. The race to build drones is a race to control people, waged by corporate governments on their own people in the common cause of world domination. This is NOT an arms race by governments to protect their own people against other ‘hostile’ countries. China is now referred to as the ‘Middle Empire.’

    ~i regard politicians as frauds and liars. Imagining the overthrow of the current political system is the only way i can be enthused about politics. One free thinking man, Buckmaster Fuller said; “Humanity now faces a choice: oblivion or utopia.”

    We need more critical thinkers. Critical thinking is important because it is logical, therefore includes self-defense, personal empowerment, liberal democracy in civic duty, philosophy, and the search for wisdom. ‘Valid’ vs ‘Invalid’, ‘Strong’ vs ‘Weak.’ Every field has its own specialized terminology and logic is no exception. Gun control, for example, isn’t over what “Policies” will best reduce gun violence, or how to interpret the Second Amendment. The level of resistance is rooted in “fear of government power and control.” The issue then is whether (1) it’s reasonable to think that the Federal Government poses a threat to the American people, and (2) whether private gun ownership has an important role to play in mitigating or neutralizing that threat.

    Edward Snowden vindicated, NSA to shut down in six months. Bless up the Constitution!

  134. liberal jon
    December 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    Sometimes life can be too sweet.

    The Onion’s take on another venerable Matthew Owen…


  135. Just Watchin
  136. December 21, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    Just when I thought Walmart couldn’t sink any lower….

  137. Just Watchin
    December 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    Lowest prices, every day………WALMART !!!!!

  138. December 22, 2013 at 11:20 pm

    yea, Walmart…

    did you know you can get this cool air rifle there? Damn! http://www.walmart.com/ip/Benjamin-Trail-Nitro-Piston-XL-1100-.22-Caliber-Air-Rifle/16536065

    It can knock down a homeless dome tent on your property @ 100 yards!

  139. Plain Jane
    December 24, 2013 at 7:42 am

    Hooray for Walmart for showing blacks, gays and anti-bigots that they shouldn’t be spending their money there and for showing the world that racism is still widely supported by the right in this country.

  140. Just Watchin
    December 24, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    Four of the top 10 richest Americans are Waltons. And what do they have to say……THANK YOU WALMART SHOPPERS !!!

  141. Anonymous
    December 30, 2013 at 8:26 am

    Democrats Turn to Minimum Wage as 2014 Strategy



    WASHINGTON — Democratic Party leaders, bruised by months of attacks on the new health care program, have found an issue they believe can lift their fortunes both locally and nationally in 2014: an increase in the minimum wage.

    The effort to take advantage of growing populism among voters in both parties is being coordinated by officials from the White House, labor unions and liberal advocacy groups.

    In a series of strategy meetings and conference calls among them in recent weeks, they have focused on two levels: an effort to raise the federal minimum wage, which will be pushed by President Obama and congressional leaders, and a campaign to place state-level minimum wage proposals on the ballot in states with hotly contested congressional races.

    With polls showing widespread support for an increase in the $7.25-per-hour federal minimum wage among both Republican and Democratic voters, top Democrats see not only a wedge issue that they hope will place Republican candidates in a difficult position, but also a tool with which to enlarge the electorate in a nonpresidential election, when turnout among minorities and youths typically drops off.

    “It puts Republicans on the wrong side of an important value issue when it comes to fairness,” said Dan Pfeiffer, the president’s senior adviser. “You can make a very strong case that this will be a helpful issue for Democrats in 2014. But the goal here is to actually get it done. That’s why the president put it on the agenda.”

    Top Republicans assert that a wage increase would dampen the economic recovery and indicated after Mr. Obama mentioned the issue in his State of the Union speech this year that they had no intention of bringing a minimum-wage increase to a vote in the House, which they control.

    “Why would we want to make it harder for small employers to hire people?” Speaker John A. Boehner of Ohio said.

    In the capital, Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats are supporting legislation that would raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour by 2015. Mr. Obama is planning a series of speeches across the country focused on improving wages for workers, aides said, many of them timed to coincide with key minimum-wage votes in Congress. Income inequality is also likely to play a prominent role in his State of the Union address next month.

    At the same time, Democratic campaign officials and liberal activists — conceding that Democrats face tough prospects in some Senate races — are working to put minimum-wage increases on the ballot next year in places like Arkansas, Alaska and South Dakota. The hope is to stoke Democratic turnout in conservative-leaning states where the party’s Senate candidates have been put on the defensive by the mishandled rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

    But in a sign that some moderate Democrats are uneasy about inflaming their local business communities, the imperiled Democratic Senate incumbents in Alaska and Arkansas, Mark Begich and Mark Pryor, have yet to embrace the ballot measures.

    States with contested House races, including New Mexico, will also see campaigns to bring minimum-wage increases to a referendum next year.

    After being battered for nearly two months on the problems with Mr. Obama’s signature health law, Democrats see the minimum-wage increase as a way to shift the political conversation back to their preferred terms.

    “The more Republicans obsess on repealing the Affordable Care Act and the more we focus on rebuilding the middle class with a minimum-wage increase, the more voters will support our candidates,” said Representative Steve Israel of New York, the chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

    Democratic planning on the issue has picked up in recent weeks, as the 2014 elections approach and the need to counter attacks on the health law has grown more urgent.

    This month, top aides to Mr. Obama including the economic advisers Jason Furman and Gene B. Sperling, Labor Secretary Thomas E. Perez and the legislative affairs office convened a meeting at the White House complex with an array of liberal groups to discuss the minimum wage. The gathering included representatives from Mr. Obama’s political arm, Organizing for America, unions and progressive groups like Americans United for Change and the National Employment Law Project.

    An official from the National Employment Law Project presented a spreadsheet showing which cities and states were pursuing campaigns to increase minimum wages next year, according to a person who attended. The attendees also discussed the potential timing of a minimum-wage vote in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

    A representative from the A.F.L.-C.I.O. urged the White House officials to coordinate with Senate Democrats on when to bring the issue to the floor so that the unions could “have time to mount a grass-roots” campaign stirring up support for the measure, an attendee recalled.

    “The combination of the state ballot initiatives and at some point a big nasty fight in D.C. that will amplify some of the stuff in the states is going to create a feedback loop that will be really helpful,” said one Democratic official involved in the discussions.

    Democrats prize the issue of a minimum-wage increase because it would help address income inequality, which is galvanizing liberals at the moment and is popular with swing voters they will need in next year’s elections.

    Sixty-four percent of independents and even 57 percent of Republicans said they supported increasing the minimum wage, according to a CBS News poll last month. Some 70 percent of self-described “moderates” said they supported an increase.

    “We’ve got a lot of folks who are registered Republicans for whatever reason here, but when you start talking about earning a dollar more an hour it means something to them, regardless of their party,” said Rick Weiland, the Democrat running for the Senate in South Dakota next year, who has embraced the ballot measure there.

    Mr. Weiland said 62,000 people in his sparsely populated state would receive a raise if a ballot question that calls for raising the minimum wage to $8.50 an hour from $7.25 wins the approval of voters in November.

    Liberal strategists would like other Democratic Senate candidates to follow suit, noting that Democrats were elected senators in two conservative-leaning states, Missouri and Montana, in 2006 when proposals to increase the minimum wage were overwhelmingly approved.

    Of course, for the overall strategy to work for the Democrats they need Republicans to oppose an increase, and history suggests that is not a given.

    At the meeting this month, Mr. Sperling, who was an adviser to President Bill Clinton, recalled that in 1996 Republican leaders decided that fighting an wage increase was not worth the political trouble and let a bill raising the rate pass after inserting provisions helping small businesses.

  142. Anonymous
    December 30, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    A minimum wage transfers the source of low-income support from government (welfare, food stamps, ADC) to the private sector. It also reduces costs to government due to lower crime, alcoholism, prisons, etc that come with near-slave wages. A decent minimum wage is therefore a conservative agenda, not a liberal one. It reduces government spending while still keeping us out of a Dickensian existence.

    Low income people spend all they make, not stash it in, for example, the Cayman Islands. This spending in turn creates more jobs. The increase in aggregate personal income increases tax revenue while government spending for low-income support declines, reducing the need for raising taxes. A decent wage is therefore a race to the top instead of to the bottom.

    Labor costs are only a fraction of the cost of a product. If I have to pay $5.50 for a Big Mac instead of $5, or $26 for a shirt instead of $24, I’m going to buy them anyway. It is doubtful that many would drive elsewhere to save a couple of bucks. When just cities, but not the surroundings, have raised their minimum wage (e.g., San Francisco), there has been no negative effect on the economy.

    The existence of a vibrant middle class (defined as those who have enough income to consume nonessential goods and services) is a contrivance: It must be created. It does not occur naturally. What does occur naturally is feudalism, where a few rich people acquire control over everyone else. I don’t think we want that.


  143. eurekaworker
    December 31, 2013 at 7:17 am

    HOORAY for the Eureka $12.00 per hour wage!! If I get more for the same work, I can reduce my regular work hours and devote more time to my pot growing and meth cooking!

  144. Offtherez
    December 31, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    The Pope’s Criticism Of Capitalism Has One Wealthy Donor an investor known for founding Home Depot Very Upset
    CNBC | By Michelle Caruso-Cabrera
    Posted: 12/31/2013 8:45 am EST | Updated: 12/31/2013 9:10 am EST
    Pope Francis’ critical comments about the wealthy and capitalism have at least one wealthy capitalist benefactor hesitant about giving financial support to one of the church’s major fundraising projects.

    At issue is an effort to raise $180 million for the restoration of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York being spearheaded by billionaire Ken Langone, the investor known for founding Home Depot, among other things.

    Langone told CNBC that one potential seven-figure donor is concerned about statements from the pope criticizing market economies as “exclusionary,” urging the rich to give more to the poor and criticizing a “culture of prosperity” that leads some to become “incapable of feeling compassion for the poor.”
    Langone said he’s raised the issue more than once with Cardinal Timothy Dolan, archbishop of New York, most recently at a breakfast in early December at which he updated him on fundraising progress.
    “I’ve told the cardinal, ‘Your Eminence, this is one more hurdle I hope we don’t have to deal with. You want to be careful about generalities. Rich people in one country don’t act the same as rich people in another country,’ ” he said.
    Some of the statements in question are from Francis’ first teaching, or “exhortation,” a 224-page document issued in late November. In it, the pontiff criticizes what he calls “an economy of exclusion and inequality,” blaming ideologies that “defend the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation.”
    Dolan told CNBC that he had heard from Langone and said, ” ‘Well, Ken, that would be a misunderstanding of the Holy Father’s message. The pope loves poor people. He also loves rich people.’ … So I said, ‘Ken, thanks for bringing it to my attention. We’ve gotta correct to make sure this gentleman understands the Holy Father’s message properly.’ And then I think he’s gonna say, ‘Oh, OK. If that’s the case, count me in for St. Patrick’s Cathedral.’ ”

    Neither Langone or Dolan revealed the name of the potential donor. The cardinal said he didn’t know the person’s identity, and Langone declined to name him, saying only that the individual was upset about the pope’s comments about the rich being insensitive to the poor.
    In a speech in Brazil in July, Francis appealed “to those in possession of greater resources,” saying that they should “never tire of working for a more just world, marked by greater solidarity. No one can remain insensitive to the inequalities that persist in the world.”
    It was unclear when Dolan may speak with the individual donor.
    Langone, who describes himself as a devout Catholic who prays every morning, said he has told the cardinal that “you get more with honey than with vinegar.” He said he also wants to make clear that wealthy Americans are some of the biggest donors in the world.
    “There is no nation on earth that is so forthcoming, so giving,” he said, adding that he hopes the pope can “celebrate a positive point of view rather than focusing on the negative.”
    The United States ranks No. 1 in the Charities Aid Foundation’s most recent World Giving Index, with proportionally more Americans giving than the population of any other country.
    Dolan said that the pope has expressed gratitude for American philanthropy.
    “In the one long sit-down that I had with him, the Holy Father told me that he has a lot of gratitude for the generosity of the Catholic Church in the United States. He’s aware of our help to the missions, to the poor of the world, to international development, to peace and … justice,” he said. “So, I know that he’s very grateful for the … legendary generosity of the Catholic Church in the United States.”
    Langone said he is also on a campaign to explain “the vast difference between the pope’s experience in Argentina and how we are in America.”
    Francis is from Argentina, a country that suffered tremendous economic upheaval in early 2001 in what was then the largest sovereign default in history. Poverty rates skyrocketed overnight when the country refused assistance from the International Monetary Fund.
    Arthur Brooks, head of the American Enterprise Institute, a think tank that promotes free markets, said he agrees that the pope’s beliefs are likely informed by his Argentine heritage.
    “In places like Argentina, what they call free enterprise is a combination of socialism and crony capitalism,” he said.
    Brooks, also a practicing Catholic who has read the pope’s exhortation in its original Spanish, said that “taken as a whole, the exhortation is good and right and beautiful. But it’s limited in its understanding of economics from the American context.” He noted that Francis “is not an economist and not an American.”

    “For American Catholics and Americans in general, we have a moral responsibility to the poor to spread the word of true free enterprise around the world,” Brooks said. “By doing that, we have the best shot of meeting the Holy Father’s objectives, which are good objectives.”
    He also thinks some of the English translation of the exhortation is inaccurate. For example, in one of its most talked-about passages about trickle-down economics, the Spanish version is softer than the English-language one.
    The quote in English reads, “In this context, some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably [italics CNBC’s] succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world.”
    A better translation, Brooks said, would be “economic growth, encouraged by a free market alone, will succeed in bringing about greater justice.” (This author speaks Spanish and agrees.)
    “Of course a free market alone won’t do the trick,” he said.
    A number of people, from Republican Sen. John McCain to conservative radio commentator Rush Limbaugh, have weighed in on Francis’ statements, with the latter calling it “pure Marxism.”
    Dolan calls the Marxist label “hyperbole,” telling CNBC that the pope thinks “money in itself is morally neutral. Money, our wealth, is a gift from God. And the morality comes in the way we use it.
    “If it becomes a god, if it becomes an idol, Pope Francis is saying, then it’s wrong. Because there is only one God. If we use it for our own selves and our families, for a secure and a safe present and future, if we use it to reinvest in the community, to help others, and if we share with the poor, then it’s morally good,” Dolan said.

  145. queenoftheforrest
    December 31, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    ~speaking of the VatiCon:

    “In every country and every age the priest had been hostile to Liberty.” Jefferson

    “History, I believe, furnishes no example of a priest-ridden people maintaining a free civil government. This makes the lowest grade of ignorance, of which their civil as well as religious rulers will always avail themselves for their own purposes.” Jefferson

  146. Anonymous
    January 1, 2014 at 7:06 am

    Congress passes the buck, so localities bump up the minimum wage

    December 02, 2013|By Michael Hiltzik


    State and local governments haven’t always used their role as the “laboratories of democracy” wisely or for the general good. (The phrase reaches us indirectly from the great progressive Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis.) But the expanding movement to increase state and local minimum wages is an encouraging sign of wisdom in the grass roots.

    The most recent example comes from the small Washington city of SeaTac, which as you might surmise is the location of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. The residents of this working-class community voted last month to set a minimum wage of $15 an hour for airport and hotel workers within its borders. The measure, which passed by a razor thin margin, is still subject to a recount, but if the vote holds, SeaTac will have the highest minimum wage in the country.

    This summer, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law raising the state hourly minimum wage to $10 by 2016. San Francisco’s minimum is set to rise to $10.55 on Jan. 1, thanks to a 2003 local law that tied the rate to inflation. The Washington, D.C., City Council will vote this month on a proposal to raise its minimum wage to $11.50. This is an arms race that can only do good.

    Nor is it only a progressive’s battle. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Ron Unz is pushing a measure for the November ballot that would raise the state minimum to $12 in 2016. Unz, who ran for the GOP nomination for governor against Pete Wilson in 1994, was last heard from as the backer of Proposition 227 in 1998, which eviscerated bilingual education in California.

    Unz is promoting the minimum wage hike as a an economic growth measure — putting $15 billion a year into the pockets of workers who would spend it would be “one of the largest economic stimulus packages in California history, funded entirely by the private sector,” he told KQED’s California Report.

    He’s also making the eminently sensible argument that requiring employers to pay their workers a living wage relieves the taxpayers of that burden: “What we have is a system in which employers have privatized the benefits of their workers; they get all the labor, while they’ve socialized many of the costs, forcing the taxpayers to cover the living costs of their own workers, which is ridiculous.” Wal-Mart and McDonald’s aren’t doing their communities any favors by paying their workers so little they become wards of the taxpayers.

    All this is happening in a federal vacuum. President Obama has recently voiced his support for a federal minimum wage of $10.10, after having earlier supported an increase to $9. To some extent his support doesn’t matter, because any effort at the federal level is certain to be stymied by conservatives in Congress.

    So it’s up to municipalities and the states. It’s gratifying to see that for them, the real downside of skinflint employers has trumped the conservative push-back against a higher minimum wage. It’s important to remember that the old argument against the minimum wage — that it costs jobs — is entirely undocumented despite being “one of the most studied topics in all of economics,” as economist John Schmitt observes.

    It’s also proper to note that the federal minimum wage hasn’t kept step with worker productivity since 1968; if it had, the rate would be about $17 today.

    The states’ role in promoting a higher minimum wage isn’t new. In the 1930s, increases in New York and Washington state landed before the Supreme Court. The court overturned New York’s in one of the decisions that inspired Franklin Roosevelt’s court-packing campaign. Seeing the handwriting on the wall, the court reversed itself and OK’d the Washington measure, which was almost identical.

    That’s when the laboratories of democracy were percolating along, focused on bettering citizens’ lives instead of trying to narrow women’s reproductive rights and disenfranchise minority voters, two of the more noxious state-based movements today. The minimum wage measures show that sometimes localities can fill a congressional vacuum with healthy air.

  147. Anonymous
    January 8, 2014 at 6:36 am

    Miami Archbishop: raise the minimum wage

    Writing in the Fort Lauderdale-based Sun-Sentinel, Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami, who serves as chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, called for an increase in the minimum wage.

    “For a worker to be dignified by his or her work, remuneration must be just,” said Archbishop Wenski. “The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches that workers deserve just wages, wages that allow them and their families to fulfill material, social, cultural and spiritual needs.”

    “The current state and federal minimum wages do not meet that standard,” he added. “Those who toil to harvest our produce, to cook and serve our food, and to clean our buildings, are our brothers and sisters — and they deserve to enjoy the same dignity in work that others enjoy.”


  148. January 8, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Why would you trust so blindly those who have demonstrated so completely their untrustworthiness?

    “Man will never be free until the last king is strangled with the entrails of the last priest.”
    Denis Diderot (1713-1784).

    “That government is best which governs the least, because its people discipline themselves.” Jefferson

    “It is not the moderation and justice of others we are to trust for fair and equal access to market with our products, or for our due share in the transportation of them; but to our own means of independence, and the firm will to use them.”
    Report of Secretary of state on Trade and Tariff 12-16-1793.

    The desire for an increase of wealth can be satisfied through exchange, which is the only method possible in a capitalist economy, or by violence and petition –as a militarist society, where the strong acquire by force, the weak by petitioning.

    The problem is that there’s a central planner setting the rates at all. (Third party interloper middleman).

    Added January 7, a good read explaining “How Taxes, Debt and Insurance Keep the Slaver Operational” can be found here: http://forestqueen2020.wordpress.com/

  149. January 8, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    This is a very good program that talks about practical ways to protect yourself and also remove radiation particles from your body. FYI, it talks a while to get going -about 12 mins.


    i suggest everybody take some sort of iodine supplement that is easily absorbed by the body.

  150. Anonymous
    January 9, 2014 at 10:21 am


    Bills filed in Florida’s House and Senate Monday would not only raise the minimum wage — it would also end the lower wages for employees who get tips as well.

    State Sen. Dwight Bullard, D-Cutler Bay, and State Rep. Cynthia Stafford, D-Miami, introduced Senate Bill 456 and House Bill 385. The bill, if passed, would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 for all employees.

    Tipped workers currently make $4.91 an hour and rely on the tips to make up the difference. Bullard and Stafford say servers use food stamps at double the rate of other workers. They are also three times as likely to live in poverty.

    Nationally, there is a bill to that would increase tipped minimum wages to 70 percent of the regular minimum wage.

    Bullard and Stafford say raising the minimum wage would lift about 6 million people out of poverty.

    According to the Florida Constitution, the state’s minimum wage has to rise with the rate of inflation. No word on how this bill would be affected by that.

  151. Anonymous
    January 10, 2014 at 6:57 am

  152. Anonymous
    January 15, 2014 at 5:08 pm

  153. Anonymous
    January 16, 2014 at 9:51 am

    The 900,000 poorest working families in North Carolina just got another tax hike from the conservatives who swept state legislature elections in 2010.

    The change took effect at the beginning of 2014, meaning that the taxes those families file this spring will be the last to feature the state’s tax break for the working poor. The provision, known as the Earned Income Tax Credit or EITC, will also be 10 percent less generous in its final year. State-level EITCs work by tacking on an additional benefit to the federal EITC, and the law repealing North Carolina’s EITC for 2014 also cut the credit from 5 percent to 4.5 percent of the federal benefit.

    In order to qualify for the federal or state-level tax credit, tax filers must earn less than about $50,000. The goal of the credit is to buoy the incomes of working people whose employers pay them too little to provide the economic stability that having a job is supposed to ensure. Many conservatives who oppose other policies to boost poor peoples’ income, such as minimum wage hikes, support the EITC as an alternative way of keeping working people out of poverty without interfering with how private businesses operate.

    But that argument didn’t carry the day among North Carolina Republicans, and lawmakers slashed and then eliminated the state’s EITC during last year’s legislative session. That change was overshadowed by the GOP’s broader changes to the basic shape of the income tax code in the state to favor the rich and harm the rest.

    Along with the disappearance of the EITC, low-income North Carolinians will be paying higher taxes in order to pay for a tax cut for the richest people in the state. Republicans moved from a two-tiered, progressive income tax system to a flat tax rate of 5.8 percent. A person who earns a million dollars per year will get a roughly $10,000 tax cut thanks to that move, but the bottom 80 percent of the income distribution will see their taxes rise. That means that four out of five taxpayers in the state were going to pay more next year even before the EITC repeal.

    The combined effects of those tax changes give poor North Carolinians some incentive to move out of the state, a population shift Gov. Pat McCrory (R) hopes to encourage. There are 25 states that still offer some form of an EITC, including McCrory’s northern neighbor of Virginia, and the District of Columbia still maintains the credit as well.

  154. January 16, 2014 at 11:47 am

    There is hope if {enough} people will begin to awaken . . .
    It is the responsibility of every one to be informed. How do you distinguish theft from taxation? Becoming a “Taxpayer” requires consent.

    (I)ncome tax is entirely voluntary. Flora vs U.S. (1960).

    “Because of what appears to be a lawful command on the surface, many people because of their respect for what appears to be law, are cunningly coerced into waving their rights due to ignorance.” United States v Minker.

    “Only the rare taxpayer would be likely to know that he could refuse to produce his records to IRS agents. Who would believe the ironic truth that the cooperative taxpayer fares much worse than the individual who relies upon his Constitutional rights.”
    Judge Cummings, U.S. Federal Judge. U.S. v Dickerson (1979).

    “If you examined the 16th Amendment carefully, you would find that a sufficient number of states never ratified that amendment.”
    U.S. District Court Judge James C. Fox (2003).

    “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.” Jefferson.

    “We must all face the fact that our rulers are certifiably insane, or worse.”
    Wm. S. Burroughs.

    Authority lags behind reality. When a nation’s rulers cannot communicate with its people, it cannot sense reality as times shift.

    (IRS -Imaginary Revenue Scam)

  155. Anonymous
    January 17, 2014 at 6:36 am

    11 Things Atheists Couldn’t Do Because They Didn’t Believe In God

    The Huffington Post | By Nick Wing
    Posted: 01/16/2014 8:08 am EST

    When it comes to discussions on institutionalized discrimination, atheists often are left out. That may not surprise many. In a world with widespread prejudice based on gender, race and sexuality, it may be hard for people to get incensed over a story about nonbelievers fighting to remove the phrase “In God We Trust” from U.S. currency. And while these kinds of divisive challenges may be the only things that some unsympathetic people remember about atheists fighting for justice and equality, the fact is that nonbelievers in the U.S. and elsewhere in the world face systemic and substantial discrimination.

    Here are 11 things atheists couldn’t — and in many cases still can’t — do because they didn’t believe in God.

    1. Live.

    Atheists in 13 countries face execution under the law if they openly express their beliefs or reject the official state religion — Islam in all of these cases. While this ultimate punishment may be rare, there are a number of other outrageously harsh restrictions on the basic rights of nonbelievers around the world, from revoking citizenship to denying marriage.

    For more on the most severe oppression of atheists around the world, read the 2013 edition of the Freedom of Thought report, published by the International Humanist and Ethical Union.

    2. Run for office.

    Not believing in God is political poison, at least if you express that belief openly. While the most severe mistreatment of atheists may take place in fundamentalist nations, political discrimination is pervasive across the U.S. Despite polling that has shown nonbelievers making up an increasingly large part of the country, there isn’t a single admitted atheist in Congress right now, and by most counts, there’s only one in all of the state legislatures across the nation.

    Furthermore, despite constitutional restrictions on “religious tests” for holding public office, six states have laws on the books barring nonbelievers. These laws aren’t technically in effect, but they don’t need to be. Not believing in God is such a volatile political issue that a simple meeting with people who have ties to atheist groups can expose a candidate to a brutal smear campaign.

    3. Be trusted by their peers.

    Discrimination against atheists doesn’t appear only in the political realm, though it is quite clear there. A poll taken during the 2012 election season found that only 54 percent of Americans would vote for a “well-qualified” atheist presidential candidate. While this was the highest total since Gallup began asking the question in 1958, atheism proved the biggest negative influence on a hypothetical candidate’s viability, with fewer respondents saying they would be willing to vote for an atheist than either a gay or a Muslim candidate.

    Atheists have trouble being trusted even when they’re not running for office. A survey taken in 2012 found that half of Americans believed atheism was “threatening” to them. Another study by the University of British Columbia and University of Oregon found that people are likely to distrust atheists as much as they do rapists.

    4. Be respected by their leaders or neighbors.

    During his swearing-in speech in 2011, Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley (R) threw inclusiveness out the window when he made these comments about religion:

    “So anybody here today who has not accepted Jesus Christ as their savior, I’m telling you, you’re not my brother and you’re not my sister, and I want to be your brother,” he said.

    It’s hard to imagine any other class of people, especially one so large — we’re not just talking nonbelievers here, but people of all non-Christian faiths — being so casually and expressly dismissed.

    Atheists are apparently so detestable that a group of military veteran nonbelievers was repeatedly heckled and berated in 2011 during a Memorial Day parade. Apparently supporting the troops comes with a big asterisk, which maybe isn’t a shock, considering the military’s own record of discriminating against service members who don’t believe in God.

    5. Have a job.

    Not believing in God could make it harder to get a job, though that would of course require a would-be employer to be aware of a candidate’s nontheistic beliefs. The study on distrust of atheists cited above also found that issues of faith carry over to hiring decisions. In a survey, researchers found that respondents significantly preferred religious candidates for jobs that were considered high-trust, while they marginally preferred nonbelievers for low-trust jobs, like servers.

    While it may be harder in most cases to determine someone’s religious beliefs than it would be their race or sexual orientation — and therefore perhaps harder to openly discriminate against them — this means that atheists may feel that they’re better off concealing their personal views on God.

    Nonbelievers also have faced discrimination after being hired. In 2010, a math teacher was fired from her position at a Catholic school after someone noticed she’d joined an atheist website from her home computer and made comments on Facebook about not believing in God. A few years prior, a government and history teacher in Texas was allegedly fired simply over the suspicion that he was an atheist. Other people have reported similar mistreatment, though the nature of their terminations wasn’t confirmed.

    6. Get custody of their children.

    If atheists can’t be trusted to be good employees, they certainly can’t be trusted to be responsible parents.

    Over the past few decades, there have been many documented cases of judges either denying parents custody rights because of their apparent disinterest in organized religion, or in other cases, of atheist parents being ordered to attend church so that their children can undergo “systematic spiritual training.”

    In 2006, an atheist father emailed The Dish columnist Andrew Sullivan to describe a custody battle that had seen his Sunday visitation rights revoked so that his son could receive “religious instruction” under his ex-wife’s supervision. The case took place in Mississippi, and the father said that he feared he would only lose more ground if he challenged the religious judge’s ruling.

    7. Volunteer in their communities.

    When the Upstate Atheists, a charity organization in Spartanburg, S.C., offered to lend a hand volunteering at a local soup kitchen last year, they were surprised to hear that the director of the facility would have rather resigned than work alongside godless members of the community. While the atheists said they had no plans to bring religion into the mix at all, the soup kitchen’s director complained that they were “targeting” her organization.

    The Upstate Atheists responded by setting up shop across the street from the soup kitchen and handing out 300 care packages to homeless people.

    8. Advertise their beliefs, or lack thereof.

    The battle over the place of God in advertising has frequently led to broader questions about discrimination against atheists. In 2011, a judge ruled that the Central Arkansas Transit Authority had violated the free speech rights of a local atheist group when it denied the group’s request to launch an ad campaign on city buses. The ad organization that worked with the transit authority had regularly approved religious ads.

    Elsewhere in the U.S., an attempt by a “freethought” group to purchase an ad that simply included the word “atheists” led a town to change its entire advertising policy and ban all religious-based content. And in Vancouver, British Columbia, last year, an ad company that owns most outdoor billboards in the city refused to accept material from an atheist group that was seeking to stress the power of reason and logic over prayer.

    Of course, many companies have allowed atheists to purchase ad space. That controversial decision often leads to vandalism, or in some circumstances, high-profile messaging wars between nonbelievers and religious groups.

    9. Participate in life without violating their beliefs.

    While the Establishment Clause of the Constitution is supposed to ensure a clear separation of church and state, the two frequently intermix, much to the disapproval of nonbelievers.

    This manifests itself in a variety of ways, from the inclusion of the word “God” in various mandatory pledges and on the face of U.S. currency, to compulsory religious-based sessions that atheists have been unconstitutionally forced to take part in.

    While these cases are relatively common — and it appears that a nonbeliever somewhere is always locked in a legal battle to remove religious language and imagery from the public sphere — there are a few brazen examples that show the extremes of this issue. In Arizona last year, Republicans proposed a bill to require high school students to recite a pledge before receiving their diplomas. That oath included the words, “so help me God,” and gave students no chance to opt out. While the sponsors eventually said they’d be willing to change the nature of the pledge, the bill failed.

    And in South Carolina earlier this year, lawmakers again submitted a bill that would mandate daily prayer sessions in public schools. In that case, atheists or anyone objecting could leave the classroom if they pleased.

    10. Create an organization.

    Groups of atheists have regularly been denied the opportunity to form recognized clubs at public schools around the nation. While this difficulty is not universal, it is common. Administrators have been known to erect procedural hurdles to discourage nonbelievers from organizing, or in some cases, simply rejected their applications.

    In 2011 at the University of Notre Dame, a group of “Atheist, Agnostic and Questioning Students” was denied official club status because their beliefs weren’t “consistent with the University’s mission.” Notre Dame is a Catholic institution, but has a number of other multi-faith organizations. Apparently non-faith is not welcome.

    11. Become a Boy Scout.

    This one’s pretty straightforward. The Boy Scouts of America still prohibits atheists from joining its ranks. Scouts must pledge to “do my duty to God and my country,” and the BSA has resisted calls to remove religion from the oath. Scouts have even been asked to leave their troops after their nontheistic beliefs were discovered. In 2009, Eagle Scout Neil Polzin was fired from his job as an aquatics director at a Boy Scouts camp after his role with a secular student group was uncovered.


  156. Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 at 5:07 am

    Why Colorado and Washington Were Wise to Legalize Pot

    Scott Shane

    BY Scott Shane | 34 minutes ago|

    Like water finding a path, entrepreneurs will always figure out a way to respond to business opportunities. That’s why other states should follow the example of Colorado and Washington and legalize the recreational use of marijuana. Harnessing the power of entrepreneurs is much more productive than fighting it.

    On January 1, Colorado legalized the sale of small amounts of marijuana for recreational use. Later this year, Washington will follow suit. Alaska, Arizona, California, D.C. and Oregon may be the next states to permit cannabis businesses.

    Cultural attitudes, fairness, economics, and entrepreneurial behavior all point to extension of this trend toward legalization. Much like policy makers were caught flat-footed as American attitudes towards same-sex marriage changed, so too have they missed the shifting views toward the legalization of pot. According to an October 2013 Gallup Organization poll, 58 percent of Americans now favor legalization of marijuana – a jump of ten percentage points over the previous year. Many policymakers seem to have missed the memo showing that voters’ views on the topic are fundamentally different from the late 1960s, when only one-in-nine Americans favored sanctioning it.

    Fairness, too, justifies legalizing cannabis. In the 48 states that do not permit recreational use of marijuana, smoking tobacco, which causes cancer, is legal. By contrast, smoking weed, which is used to treat the symptoms of cancer treatments, is not. Moreover, some experts believe that alcohol, which is legal in virtually all parts of the United States, is more harmful than marijuana, which is illegal in almost all of the country.

    Fairness dictates that policymakers either need to play nanny and ban everything that’s bad for us – from sugar-laden soda to fat-filled fast food – or they need to allow Americans to make adult decisions about what they want to put in their bodies. Making cigarettes, beer, and whiskey legal, while banning joints and hash brownies, unfairly favors the makers of certain harmful products.

    Making pot legal has economic benefits. Policymakers can tax sales of the product – and are doing so relatively heavily. Both Washington and Colorado are charging a 25 percent tax on pot sales, with even higher rates in some municipalities. The non-partisan Tax Foundation estimates that Colorado will bring in nearly $70 million in new taxes, with initial proceeds being used for school construction. Because tax revenues are expected to exceed school building needs, Colorado public officials are already thinking of additional ways to use the tax windfall.

    By making pot legal, police can focus their attention on stopping more destructive illegal drugs like cocaine and heroin, which are more likely to cause crime and health problems. That would help financially strapped states. If all states legalized cannabis sales, the reduced drug enforcement costs and higher tax revenues would be worth more than $17 billion to them, a 2010 Cato Institute study revealed.

    Legalized pot will also produce public health benefits, Forbes reports. Because alcohol consumption is more harmful to people than marijuana use, but the two are substitutes, legalizing pot will lead customers to shift to the better of the two choices.

    Entrepreneurs find and pursue market opportunities wherever they are. Making a business illegal doesn’t get rid of the efforts of entrepreneurs to pursue it. Everyone knows that entrepreneurs are selling marijuana for recreational use in all 48 states where it is illegal.

    Making a business legal makes it easier for policymakers to tap entrepreneurial efforts to benefit society. Colorado and Washington are using taxes and regulation to channel pot entrepreneurship more productively than other states, where policy makers are wasting resources trying to stop it, and, consequently, driving it underground.

    Read more: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/230942

  157. Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Resolution in Support of a $15 Minimum Wage in San Francisco

    Whereas, inequalities continue to grow with the top 1% now taking 95 percent of all new income (whereas in the Bush era they took 65 percent and in the Clinton era they took 45 percent); and

    Whereas, the cost of living in San Francisco is one of the highest in the nation; and

    Whereas, the San Francisco minimum wage of $10.74, which takes effect in January, 2014, is insufficient for a family to attain a decent standard of living in a city as expensive as San Francisco; and

    Whereas, in California the lowest-income families pay the highest rate of state and local taxes while the richest 1 percent pay the lowest rate (California Budget Project); and

    Whereas, the unions in the Seattle area recently campaigned for a ballot initiative mandating a $15 perhour minimum wage in a community outside Seattle, and the voters passed the proposition; and

    Whereas, according to The New York Times, these unions view their success “as a potential model for raising wages and mobilizing workers in other parts of the country;” and

    Whereas, the AFL-CIO has referred to the SeaTac action as a “victory” and reported approvingly that, “Now working family activists in Washington State are hoping to ride the success of the SeaTac vote to Seattle and they’ve found support from the mayor and the majority of City Council members”;

    Therefore be it Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council go on record in support of a $15 per hour minimum wage in San Francisco; and

    Be it Further Resolved the San Francisco Labor Council will oppose any minimum wage law that includes “tip credit”; and

    Be it Further Resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council encourage its member unions to pass in their locals resolutions supporting a $15 per hour minimum wage in San Francisco; and

    Be it Finally resolved that the San Francisco Labor Council help organize a broad-based coalition of unions and community allies to spearhead a campaign to bring the $15 minimum wage to San Francisco.

    Submitted by Ann Robertson, CFA; Alan Benjamin, OPEIU 3; Allan Fisher, AFT 2121; Rodger Scott, AFT
    2121; Linda Ray, SEIU 1021; Kathy Setian, IFPTE 20; Carl Finamore, IAM Local 1781; Tom Lacey,
    OPEIU 3; and Francesca Rosa, SEIU 1021 and adopted unanimously by the San Francisco Labor
    Council on January 13,. 2014.
    Tim Paulson
    Executive Director OPEIU 3 AFL-CIO 11

    Click to access 01-13-14ResSpt15MinWage.pdf

  158. eurekaworker
    January 20, 2014 at 6:05 am

    Whereas, I needs me moe money so I can work less and smoke moe reefer. signs me up foe moe free stuff to mr. obama ! i BE A DEMAKRAT FOE EVER !

  159. January 20, 2014 at 6:16 am

    Don’t be distracted by wingnuts, wankers or paid walmart net whores.

    Real Eureka Worker posts all link to our website, if you click on the avatar.

    Our next meeting is Wednesday @615 at the Labor Temple, @ 9th and E.

    It should be a good one.

  160. Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 at 6:36 am


  161. Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 at 7:01 am

    One thing the Democrats and Republicans have managed to do is destroy the normal political process. They have set the stage for their own destruction. The fastest growing party in the US and California is Decline to State.

  162. Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 at 7:26 am

    R UR Eyes Open?

    China c.bank offers emergency funds to banks amid latest cash squeeze

    Monday, 20 January 2014 17:04
    Posted by Umer Qazi

    imageBEIJING/SHANGHAI: China’s central bank has provided emergency funding support to commercial banks and will add more cash on Tuesday, as authorities respond to a spike in cash rates ahead of a major holiday, the bank announced on Monday.

    The move by the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) comes after the interest rate that banks charge each other for short-term loans spiked in recent days.

    Bankers and analysts say the PBOC is attempting to strike a balance by guiding interbank interest rates steadily higher to reduce excess credit growth, while avoiding an acute credit crunch that could spark panic and choke off financing to the real economy.

    The central bank also appears to be responding to criticism that it failed to communicate effectively with the market during a severe cash crunch that roiled markets in June. Bankers and analysts criticised the PBOC for remaining largely silent as panic gripped the market and rumours swirled about interbank defaults.

    “The central bank’s operations are just a flexible response to the liquidity situation. They weren’t planning to inject funds,” China International Capital Corp (CICC) wrote in a note to clients late on Monday.

    The PBOC said via its official Twitter-like Weibo micro-blog that it had provided an unspecified amount of funding to the largest banks via its Short-term Lending Facility (SLF).

    The central bank also said it will inject further cash into the banking system at regularly scheduled open market operations on Tuesday. The central bank has not injected funds through such operations since Dec. 24.

    Indeed, long-time market watchers said it’s virtually unprecedented for the central bank to openly declare its intention to inject or withdraw funds at regularly scheduled open market operations. Typically, the market learns of these operations only after they are conducted.

    But in an echo of previous statements, the PBOC again urged banks to improve liquidity management. Regulators have also expressed concern about some banks’ excessive reliance on short-term funding markets.

    Bankers say the central bank is using higher money market rates as a tool to curb explosive growth in economy-wide debt since 2008, especially off-balance sheet credit that banks often fund through interbank borrowing.

    In addition to the support for big banks and the planned injection on Tuesday, the central bank will also offer overnight, seven-day, and 14-day funds to smaller banks via SLF, it said in an announcement on its website.

    The PBOC will offer up to 120 billion yuan ($19.8 billion) in funds to smaller banks through this channel, according to a central bank document obtained by Reuters.

    Analysts say smaller banks rely the most on money-market funding because their smaller branch networks provide them less access to customer deposits.

    The sources said banks incorporated at the regional or local level can apply to the PBOC for fund injections via SLF when the interest rate on the overnight bond repurchase rate exceeds 5 percent, the seven-day repo rate exceeds 7 percent, or the 14-day repo rate exceeds 8 percent, according to three sources with direct knowledge of the new policy.

    Those thresholds will remain in effect through the Lunar New Year holiday which starts on January 31. After that the expanded SLF mechanism will remain in place for small banks but the thresholds could change, the sources said.

    A PBOC spokesman declined to comment.

    The central bank previously used its SLF to provide one- to three-month loans to commercial banks. The latest expansion offers cash injections of 14 days or less.

    The overnight repo rate closed at 4.30 percent on a weighted-average basis on Monday but individual trades occurred as high as 9 percent.

    The seven- and 14-day rates peaked on Monday at 10 percent and 7.8 percent, respectively, according to data from the National Interbank Funding Center.

    Traders attributed the higher rates to elevated cash demand in the run-up to the New Year holiday.

    The relaunch of initial public offerings of stock is also boosting cash demand this week. IPOs, restarted last week after a 14-month freeze, drive demand for short-term funding as investors need to deposit funds with underwriters in order to subscribe to new listings.

    Eight companies said on Monday that they would list on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange on Tuesday, the first listings on China’s smaller bourse since the freeze ended.

    Traders had previously predicted funding conditions would tighten in late January. The latest funding squeeze follows severe cash crunches in late June and late December.

    The seven-day rate peaked at 28 percent on June 20, the highest trade on record, and soared again to 10 percent on Dec. 20 and 23.

  163. eurekaworker
    January 20, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Me an my occupie peeps wil be at da labor tempel wensday. come join us. will be doin a puff pass outside befor the big meeting. And remeber….lowest prices…evryday…WALMART !

  164. Billy Holmes
    January 20, 2014 at 7:40 am

    A pot party. I am soooooo there. Save me a spot !

  165. January 20, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    Why Colorado and Washington Were Stupid to “LEGALIZE” Pot

    Sticking to the existing system is unrealistic.

    “LEGAL” = Taxes. The “LEGAL” law was made for one thing –the exploitation of those who don’t understand it, or are prevented by naked misery from obeying it.

    “Economic depression cannot be cured by legislative action or executive pronouncement. Economic wounds must be healed by the action of the cells of the economic body –the producers and consumers themselves.” Hoover.

    Taxes have gone from 3% to 59% in the last 50 years. Fast-forward ten years –is this what we desire to leave as a legacy to the next generations? That we preferred the bent-over, bowed-down position? Seems there was a disturbance long ago over a 2% Tea Tax. Colorado -25% Tax on marijuana. Hopefully, Californians aren’t so dumbed-down that they ignore history and repeat the same crap. Cannabis is not an issue of crime or taxation; it’s a matter of education.

    One thing is clear: the Founding Fathers never intended a country where the people would pay more than half of everything they earn to the Corporation. Taxation is theft pure and simply! Taxing profits is tantamount to taxing success. How do you distinguish theft from taxation? It is not fight to die, but fight for your individual dignity.

    “It is not to the moderation and justice of others we are to trust for fair and equal access to market our products, or for our due share in the transportation of them; but to our own means of independence, and the firm will to use them.”
    Report of Sec. of State on Trade & Tariff (12-16-1793).

    Rapture in the air. “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” Martin Luther King.

    As more and more of us move forward in this way . . . THAT will become the transformation we have been unconsciously hoping for. THAT would relentlessly make society over. THAT would eventually shatter the influence of all cartels, monopolies of physical and emotional, and mental, and spiritual experience. Not because we wish it were so, but because we make it happen.

    Maxim of law –he who knows not how to assert his rights has none.

    American national (former U.S. Citizen).

  166. Anonymous
    January 20, 2014 at 4:57 pm

    Twitter users hail Seattle-Denver ‘Stoner Bowl’

    Jan. 20, 2014 at 4:18 PM | 0 comments

    EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Jan. 20 (UPI) — The Twitter-based Super Bowl buzz for Denver and Seattle surrounds the fact the teams come from the only two states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.
    The Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks scored victories during the weekend to move on to the Super Bowl in two weeks, leading the hashtag “#StonerBowl” to trend on Twitter and spark discussion about both teams coming from states with legalized recreational marijuana use, Digital First Media reported Monday.

    “Now THIS will be a superBOWL. Colorado v. Washington…is there a lesson here? #WeedWillRockU #StonerBowl” tweeted “Star Trek” star and activist George Takei.

    The Drug Policy Alliance, which supports legalization, used the opportunity to list the benefits of legal pot.

    “Marijuana legalization means increased tax revenue, fewer arrests, and apparently a trip to the Super Bowl! Seattle vs. Denver! #SuperBowl” the group tweeted on its @DrugPolicyNews account.


  167. January 20, 2014 at 5:03 pm

    R OUR eyes open?

    This guy, Mehran Keshe, equals Tesla+. From energy, energy, everywhere, to health, to transportation, to space travel, to radiation frequency matching –elimination of radiation- to water, water everywhere, to . . . global peace. . there’s no need to exploit into fighting when everything is provided {for free}.

    Here we are teetering on the edge; so close. . . . . .

  168. January 20, 2014 at 5:22 pm

    Anonymous @ 4:57,
    SuperBOWL, um hmm, that’s cute -watching a competition of men playing with their balls.
    i take it you have researched and have some comprehension of the plight of humanity right now. ALL life forms are being eradicated from the face of the globe. Could it be due to TAXES, INSURANCE, and IGNORANCE?

    3% of the people think.
    2% of the people think they think.
    95% of the people would rather die than think. George Bernard Shaw

    So Anon, if you’re going to push a negative on the people such as TAXING nature -(ROFL) bring some lawful reasons to the table. What you think and why.

  169. Anonymous
    January 21, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Hi Queen,

    I am not in favor of taxing medicine or religious sacraments like hemp oil or medical tinctures or medicinal herb. I am in favor of reasonable taxation of recreational substances and textiles or hemp fiber, for instance. If we agree that there should be at least some regulation of commerce, that is. If we don’t agree on that, well its hard to have a conversation but I do respect your point of view.

  170. January 21, 2014 at 9:18 am


    Thank you, that’s what I want to hear –honest, down-to-earth replies. We’re in agreement –Commerce/tax for hemp industry and a Commerce/tax for recreational ingestion, just as the tax is on tobacco.

    In the American Republic there can be no law that compels specific performance, including the payment of any Tax, except Excise Tax as on gasoline, cigarettes, or alcoholic beverages –they must be uniform throughout the states. Less than 5 out of 100 know this truth. 25% is beyond over-board, and not uniform throughout even the one state of Colorado.

  171. Anonymous
    January 22, 2014 at 8:45 am

    “You are a slow learner, Winston.” “How can I help it? How can I help but see what is in front of my eyes? Two and two are four.” “Sometimes, Winston. Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.”

  172. January 22, 2014 at 10:40 am

    “No witchcraft, no enemy action, had silenced the rebirth of new life in this stricken world. The people had done it themselves.” Rachel Carson

    “The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.”
    George Bernard Shaw

    “He that will not apply new remedies must expect new evils, for time is the greatest innovator.”
    Francis Bacon (1561-1626).

  173. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 5:30 am

    San Francisco is often ahead of the rest of the country when it comes to protecting public health and the environment. The city was the first to ban plastic bags in stores, it is considering one of the most restrictive bans on the sale of bottled water, and smoking bans have spread from public parks and entry ways to all public events. San Francisco even banned the free toys in McDonald’s (MCD) Happy Meals.

    San Francisco was also one of the first cities to increase the minimum wage beyond the federal level and mandate better benefits for low-income workers. The wage increase went into effect in 2004, long before the notion of one percenters and the recent wave of wage protests by fast-food and retail workers. And now everyone from President Obama to Fox News star Bill O’Reilly is talking about raising the federal minimum wage.

    For those who need more evidence, a new book hopes to persuade them. When Mandates Work: Raising Labor Standards at the Local Level argues that San Francisco’s decision to increase the minimum wage and offer other benefits, such as sick leave pay, hasn’t hurt the city’s economy at all. The three editors—all labor experts—found that from 2004 to 2011 overall private employment grew 5.6 percent in San Francisco and 3 percent in Santa Clara County. Other Bay Area counties saw an overall 4.4 percent drop during that time. Among food-service workers, who are more likely to be affected by minimum-wage laws, employment grew 17.7 percent in San Francisco, faster than either of the other Bay Area counties.

    A few notes: San Francisco’s minimum wage is indexed to inflation and now stands at $10.74. The federal rate is $7.25, and Obama has talked of raising it to $10.10. Fast-food workers, though, are calling for $15 an hour.

    The book’s editors weren’t able to measure any change in the profitability at the fast-food companies operating in San Francisco, says Ken Jacobs, the chairman of the UC Berkeley Labor Center. Consumers, though, did have to pay slightly more at the restaurants. “We did see a small increase, 2.8 percent, in food prices compared to other counties,” he says. Jacobs also points out that companies saved money because of reduced turnover. For example, turnover decreased 60 percent for low-wage occupations at San Francisco International Airport, where workers earn a minimum wage of $11.24 an hour.

    Jacobs argues that San Francisco—even with its Silicon Valley elite and reputation for activism—is very much like other big cities in America. And while some in the U.S. House of Representatives might not believe it, “there is strong support among Democratic and Republican voters alike to raise the federal minimum wage. Even Bill O’Reilly said he’s OK with $10.10,” says Jacobs. “Still, the minimum wage isn’t a living wage. A higher minimum wage can’t solve everything, but it does make a real difference.”


  174. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 8:52 am


    NEW YORK (The Borowitz Report)—President Obama is about to issue an executive order that would force all Americans to purchase a monthly supply of marijuana, the Fox News Channel reported today.

    According to Fox’s Sean Hannity, who broke the story, Obama’s initiative is part of a broader plan to make weed available and affordable to every individual in the United States.

    Under Obama’s plan, every American would be required to purchase a government-mandated amount of marijuana per month or face a penalty of up to two thousand dollars.

    Hannity said that the President hopes to have the mandatory marijuana plan up and running by 2015, “but they’re still working on the Web site.”

    Appearing on Fox, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) took issue with Obama’s recent remark that marijuana was no more dangerous than alcohol: “I saw that as an insult.”

  175. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    Republican Guestworkers (Gastarbeiter)

    (Reuters) – Michigan Governor Rick Snyder unveiled a proposal on Thursday that calls for the U.S. government to allocate 50,000 special visas over the next five years to lure highly skilled immigrants to live and work in the bankrupt city of Detroit.

    Snyder’s plan, which would need to be implemented by the U.S. government, is aimed at bringing jobs to the city while stemming an exodus of residents.

    Detroit’s population has fallen to about 700,000 from a peak of 1.8 million in 1950, and Snyder highlighted the amount of opportunity available to newcomers to Detroit.

    The EB-2 visas would be aimed at individuals with advanced degrees and exceptional skills in fields like the auto industry, information technology, healthcare and life sciences, Snyder said at an event announcing the proposal.

    EB-2 visas allow individuals with special talents to enter the country without a job offer.

    There is no precedent for special visas to be issued for a specific geographic area, Snyder said. But he compared the program to a current one that grants visas to physicians who agree to work in under-served areas.

    To move forward with his plan, Snyder would need the support of the Obama administration and to accomplish an expansion of immigration policy at a time when immigration reform is one of the most contentious political issues.

    Snyder, who will be in Washington on Friday, said he would meet privately with Obama administration officials. Though “it’s really early in the process,” Snyder was hopeful the administration would be able to act unilaterally without requiring legislation.

    “It’s really taking up the offer of the federal government that they want to help more,” Snyder told reporters. “Again, they made it clear they don’t have dollar resources to necessarily help, but isn’t this a great way that doesn’t involve large-scale financial contributions from the federal government to do something dramatic in Detroit?”

    The Republican governor was joined by Detroit’s Democratic Mayor Mike Duggan and Detroit city council members to announce the plan.

    Snyder is asking that 5,000 visas be issued in the first year, with 10,000 in each of the next three years, and 15,000 in the fifth year.

    The program would target individuals looking to move to the United States as well as those already in the country.

    Snyder called attention to more than 25,000 international students who study at colleges and universities in Michigan, which has faced the problem of a “brain drain” of recent college graduates.

    “Where else in the U.S. could you find a house or a lot for the prices you’re going to find here? It’s a good deal,” Snyder said.

  176. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 2:24 pm

    “The Ministry of Peace concerns itself with war, the Ministry of Truth with lies, the Ministry of Love with torture and the Ministry of Plenty with starvation. These contradictions are not accidental , nor do they result from from ordinary hypocrisy: they are deliberate exercises in doublethink”

  177. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 2:27 pm

    “So long as they (the Proles) continued to work and breed, their other activities were without importance. Left to themselves, like cattle turned loose upon the plains of Argentina, they had reverted to a style of life that appeared to be natural to them, a sort of ancestral pattern…Heavy physical work, the care of home and children, petty quarrels with neighbors, films, football, beer and above all, gambling filled up the horizon of their minds. To keep them in control was not difficult.”

  178. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    “It was curious to think that the sky was the same for everybody, in Eurasia or Eastasia as well as here. And the people under the sky were also very much the same–everywhere, all over the world, hundreds or thousands of millions of people just like this, people ignorant of one another’s existence, held apart by walls of hatred and lies, and yet almost exactly the same–people who had never learned to think but were storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.”

  179. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    “It was possible, no doubt, to imagine a society in which wealth, in the sense of personal possessions and luxuries, should be evenly distributed, while power remained in the hands of a small privileged caste. But in practice such a society could not long remain stable. For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance.”

  180. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 2:38 pm

    “If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies. The sealed world in which he lives would be broken, and the fear, hatred, and self-righteousness on which his morale depends might evaporate. It is therefore realized on all sides that however often Persia, or Egypt, or Java, or Ceylon may change hands, the main frontiers must never be crossed by anything except bombs.”

  181. January 23, 2014 at 3:02 pm

    Anonymous -i like your two posts above #178 and @179 . . .especially ‘storing up in their hearts and bellies and muscles the power that would one day overturn the world.”

    Anonymous @ 175:

    2¢ . . .
    Obummer can’t “force” anything on living, breathing, souls – alive and informed. He is the CEO of U.S. Inc. He is working for the Corporation as a revenue generator PERIOD Are we corporate employees? I don’t work at McDonalds Inc., therefore, I don’t have to follow McDonald’s Corporate rules. They’re willing to take our property and/or $, but not willing to discuss the facts supporting their ’legal’ written down opinions.

    Again; The only way Corporations, labeled government, can rule over man/woman is by having men/women beLIEve/(a)ssume she/he and the Corporate created NAME are one and the same. If I write ‘down’ your NAME, is that you?

    Force Americans? Are you an American or a U.S. {corporate owned} CITIZEN?
    U.S. Citizens (14th Amendment slaves) have privilege$. Sovereigns have rights.

    Every individual in the United States? The “United States” is not a landmass, it’s a corporation. ‘United’ –past tense, dead. Corpse oration –dead. All headstones in any graveyard has the NAME in ALL CAPS =dead.

    Every American would be ‘required’ to purchase . . . required means ask. Fall in love with the word “No.” And above all .. . if you have no idea that everything you’re signing your name to is re-establishing your consent, cooperation and compliance to re-pay some imaginary debt, STOP signing your name on every piece of paper that flows past you. ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, reserve your rights with a simple “Without Prejudice” by your sign of nature/signature.

    An American national (former U.S. Citizen)

    (not directed at you specifically Anonymous)

  182. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    “The Lottery, with its weekly pay-out of enormous prizes, was the one public event to which the proles paid serious attention. It was probable that there were some millions of proles for whom the Lottery was the principal if not the only reason for remaining alive. It was their delight, their folly, their anodyne, their intellectual stimulant. Where the Lottery was concerned, even people who could barely read and write seemed capable of intricate calculations and staggering feats of memory. There was a whole tribe of men who made their living simply by selling systems, forecasts, and lucky amulets. Winston had nothing to do with the Lottery, which was managed by the Ministry of Plenty, but he was aware (indeed everyone in the party was aware) that the prizes were largely imaginary. Only small sums were actually paid out, the winners of the big prizes being nonexistent persons.”

  183. Anonymous
    January 23, 2014 at 5:24 pm

    “It is deliberate policy to keep even the favoured groups somewhere near the brink of hardship, because a general state of scarcity increases the importance of small privileges and thus magnifies the distinction between one group and another.”

  184. Anonymous
    January 24, 2014 at 6:53 am

    Expert on problem-oriented policing provides some advice for Batavia

    Submitted by Howard Owens on January 22, 2014 – 6:03pm

    It’s one thing, according to Andy Mills, chief of police in Eureka, Calif., to lock down a neighborhood and try to initiate police contact with every resident.

    It’s an entirely different approach to bring all of the resources of city government onto a troubled street and invite residents to participate in local problem solving.

    The first approach invites resentment, Mills said. The second opens doors to better communication between residents and police.

    Mills hopes the Batavia’s plans for what officials have called “neighborhood sweeps” is more like what the city of San Antonio, Texas, has been doing, which is setting up mobile city halls in troubled residential areas.

    “It all depends on the intent of the effort,” Mills said. “If it’s a temporary city hall where people can come to you and tell you what the issues are and what they would like to see addressed, I think that’s a wonderful idea. If the effort is going to be going in and throwing up an iron curtain and body checking everybody (who) is coming through, I wouldn’t see that as viable. At least, I wouldn’t do it.”

    Mills was encouraged by a statement from City Manager Jason Molino that he read where Molino said the goal was to get folks out of their homes and communicate with local officials. That’s the right approach, Mills said.

    Mills is a former captain with the San Diego Police Dept., where he worked, among other assignments, in the gangs and intelligence units. He has done consulting work all over the the United States in problem-oriented policing and managed a patrol team that won the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing. He’s also won the Police Executive Research Forum’s national Gary P. Hayes Award for his contributions to improving the quality of police service.

    (I was introduced to Mills this week by Rana Sampson, a nationally known expert in community-oriented policing, whom I met in 1996 when I wrote a profile of her for San Diego Magazine.)

    Eureka is a small city, especially by California standards, with a population of 27,000. It’s located on the coast in Northern California.

    Just this week, Mills said, he met with a group of Eureka residents sharing some of the same kinds of concerns arising in Batavia.

    The good news is, Mills said, Batavia, like Eureka, has a community of people concerned enough about their community to get involved.

    Shawn Heubusch, Batavia’s chief, has said BPD’s response to neighborhood problems will be data-driven. Data on crime and complaints and the suspected location of people known to cause problems will be used to select neighborhoods for sweeps.

    Using data to identify problem areas is the right approach, Mills said.

    “You should certainly focus a lot of your resources on those locations,” Mills said. “That would go to the heart of problem-oriented policing.”

    Identifying landlords who won’t bring buildings into code compliance is also a good approach.

    “You want to remove the environment that makes those neighborhoods friendly to ne’er-do-wells,” Mills said.

    He added, “You certainly want to create an environment where criminals feel uncomfortable, but at the same time, you want to make sure government works for all people. You certainly look at criminal behavior rather than a criminal profile. You tackle behaviors. If somebody is selling dope at a particular location or creating social disorder by hanging out, you tackle those specific problems.”

    The mission of making the environment uncomfortable for criminals, of course, should not disrupt the rights of individuals, he said.

    As for the seeming rise in gun play in the Batavia, it’s certainly something to pay attention to, Mills said, but he also praised Batavia PD for reacting strongly to the rise in gun-related incidents.

    “I applaud them for being attuned and aware of what they’re facing,” Mills said.

    He said, it’s important, though, not to overreact.

    “If you’re having an isolated problem, then get rid of the problem,” Mills said. “If you’re seeing a trend, then deal with the trend.”

    That’s where analyzing data and being thoughtful about what it means comes into play, Mills said.

    “I think what you need to do is establish overall trends,” Mills said. “If you’re starting to see trends that are a concern, take a look at that. I would want to see more over a longer period of time before we made any harsh decisions that could have a long-term impact on a community. That’s not to say a neighborhood sweep is a harsh decision. I’m just talking in general.”

    On video surveillance cameras, there’s no doubt they are very successful at reducing crime, Mills said.

    “I don’t have a problem with them,” Mills said. “There are some liberty issues that your local community will need to wrestle with, but I’m generally in favor of using cameras under the right circumstances.”

    Cameras, he said, should be monitored.

    When told that wasn’t the plan in Batavia, that rather, recordings would be reviewed after the fact of a crime, Mills said he understands the resources it would take a small police department to monitor surveillance cameras around the clock, but there’s also a solution to that problem.

    “Ask volunteer community members to monitor the streams over the Web,” Mills suggested. “There are a variety of options, but getting a camera is the step in the right direction.”

    Among the resources Mills recommend is the Web site for the Center for Problem-Oriented Policing and particularly the article “25 Techniques of Situational Prevention.”

    “Batavia sounds like a wonderful city,” Mills said. “People really care about their neighborhoods. If you look at the research, where people are looking out for each other, crime is reduced.”


  185. Anonymous
    January 24, 2014 at 8:32 am

    “The family had become in effect an extension of the Thought Police. It was a device by means of which everyone could be surrounded night and day by informers who knew him intimately.”

  186. Anonymous
    January 24, 2014 at 8:34 am

    “Statistics were just as much a fantasy in their original version as in as in their rectified version”

  187. Anonymous
    January 24, 2014 at 8:36 am

    “He wondered vaguely how many others like here there might be in the younger generation, people who had grown up in the world of the Revolution, knowing nothing else, accepting the Party as something unalterable, like the sky, not rebelling against its authority but simply evading it, as a rabbit dodges a dog.”

  188. Anonymous
    January 24, 2014 at 10:15 am

    A deserted cruise ship crawling with cannibal rats is feared to be heading towards Britain, marine experts revealed.

    The 300ft Lyubov Orlova has been floating around the North Atlantic since being set adrift off the Canadian coast a year ago and coastguards believe a series of storms blowing in from the west have driven her thousands of miles towards UK shores, according to The Sun.

    Since being abandoned by her crew, it is feared the 40-year-old Soviet vessel may have become home to hordes of rats, which would have had to eat each other to survive.

    Originally built to carry 110 passengers to remote locations in the arctic, the boat was impounded in Newfoundland in a debts row in 2010 and her unpaid crew walked out.

    She remained in port for two years before orders came in to tow her to the Dominican Republic to be scrapped.

    When the tow line to a tug broke in stormy conditions in January last year, the Canadian government ordered another ship to haul her out to sea and cut her loose.

    The 4,250-tonne ship’s position remains unknown despite several attempts to find her.

    In March last year satellites identified a mystery object large enough to be the ship off the north west coast of Scotland but search planes found nothing.

    Salvage hunters are keen to trace the liner in order to cash in upon her £600,000 scrap value.

    Pim de Rhoodes, a Belgian-based marine missions specialist who is looking for the Lyubov Orlova, told The Sun: “She is floating around out there somewhere.

    “There will be a lot of rats and they eat each other. If I get aboard I’ll have to lace everywhere with poison.”

    Experts believe the boat is still afloat because her four life-raft transmitters have not been set off as they would if she sunk.

  189. Anonymous
    January 25, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Sonoma County weighs new options for homeless


    January 25, 2014, 3:24 PM

    The southern tip of the Sonoma County Fairgrounds would be made temporarily available for homeless people to sleep in their vehicles under an emergency plan that county supervisors will consider on Tuesday.

    Separately, the supervisors will be asked to approve changes to county ordinances that would make it legal to sleep overnight in vehicles in unincorporated areas of the county. It is now illegal to do that for more than three hours.

    The emergency plan, designed for the cold and, normally, rainy season, also includes funding for about 1,000 motel room vouchers to be used over the three month period. It would cost $129,695.

    The most recent census of homeless people in Sonoma County, in January 2013, found that of 4,300 people who are homeless countywide, 837 lived in 444 vehicles.

    Advocates who have long argued that homeless people should be allowed to sleep in their cars welcomed the developments.

    “People will be much safer all around,” said Linda R. Picton of the Dorothy Day Working Group, which grew out of the 2012 Occupy movement and has pushed for fewer restrictions on where homeless people can sleep.

    “It’s a major step in the right direction; it’s wonderful news,” said Georgia Berland, executive officer of the Sonoma County Task Force for the Homeless.

    “It will allow people to sleep in their cars, which is in many cases the last protected place they have,” she said. “Secondly, it doesn’t criminalize people for being homeless.”

    The fairgrounds proposal, dubbed “safe vehicle parking,” would run from Feb. 1 to March 30 and could be extended another month. It would make space for 50 vehicles in a large grassy area formerly used as an RV lot and located between Meda, Brookwood and Linwood avenues, south of the main fairgrounds property.

    “I will definitely go check it out, definitely,” said Alex Averbuck, a 1988 El Molino High School graduate who said he has lived in his 1995 Infiniti for a year, since his unemployment benefits ran out.

    “It’s another place to stay that’s safe, where you’re not going to be harassed by the police,” said Averbuck, 43, speaking in Railroad Square Friday.

    The fairgrounds location, with homes on three sides, has a building with restrooms and showers that could be use by those spending the night. No cooking would be allowed, but Catholic Charities, which would run the program, would provide a hot meal, officials said.

    “The intent is not to have people camping there,” said Kathleen Kane, executive director of the Sonoma County Community Development Commission, which would use remaining redevelopment funds to pay for the parking program and vouchers for the homeless.

    “They’ll come in in the evening, go out in the morning, and conduct their life during the day somewhere else,” she said.

    Discussions about revising the laws prohibiting sleeping in vehicles have been underway for some time, but they took on added urgency in December with a string of freezing nights that emphasized the dangers people face sleeping outside.

    Earlier this month, supervisors approved spending $179,750 to add shelter beds and also move people into permanent housing. They also asked for a set of additional emergency measures to be developed.

    The new proposal thus is likely to find broad support.

    “I don’t see us moving in any other direction,” board Chairman David Rabbitt said Friday.

    “Especially on cold nights, we should not be kicking people out of cars, which are warmer, when they have no place to go,” he said.

    Catholic Charities, one of the county’s two largest homeless service providers, would manage both the parking and voucher programs. People wanting to use the fairgrounds property overnight would register at the nonprofit’s Homeless Services Center on Morgan Street and be given a one-night pass.

    “It will be first-come, first-serve,” said Jennielynn Holmes, Catholic Charities director of shelter and housing.

    Prospective overnight guests would be assessed on a “behavior-based model, she said.

    “We wouldn’t necessarily test for drug or alcohol use, but we would be carefully monitoring their behavior,” Holmes said.

    The Homeless Services Center has operated sporadic nights of emergency overnight parking for clients since December, when temperatures have dropped especially low. Holmes said the consistent availability of parking options would be useful.

    “Right now we don’t have the resources to do it consistently so it’s hard for people to know when it is,” she said. “Getting the appropriate resources will allow it to operate it regularly and if it’s approved by the board there will be a pretty robust campaign to let people know this is happening.”

    Similar communications will take place with neighbors if the plan goes through, said Mark Krug, the Community Development Commission’s community development manager.

    “If in fact we have a site and a program after Tuesday, we’ll do outreach after that time,” Krug said. Initial talks have been held with the Santa Rosa Police Department.

    “We’ll be in constant communication and we’ll address things if they come up,” said Santa Rosa Police Lt. Ray Navarro. “But we don’t expect anything unusual or out of the ordinary.”

    Supervisor Shirlee Zane, whose 3rd District takes in the proposed site, said the action would be a start but only that.

    “It provides a short term solution, or what I call a downstream solution, to a real problem, which is you shouldn’t be criminalized because you’re homeless, period,” Zane said. “We really need to be working and investing in the longterm solutions.”


  190. Anonymous
    January 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Three anniversaries in the midst of pain

    The Rev. Eric Duff/From Time to Time

    Posted: 01/24/2014 02:31:28 AM PST

    Ouch. I read an email submitted by businessman Rob Arkley and copied to various community leaders.

    Words fail me.

    Thank you, Supervisor Mark Lovelace, for pointing out the obvious. The suspect in the murder of Fr. Freed was housed. Yes, Rob, one of yours. Go figure.

    It wasn’t long ago that homeless women and men in Arcata were described as “scum” by a public official. That really helped the situation in Arcata, I must say.

    I guess this is no different than Mr. Arkley’s description of people in Eureka. He compares the homeless in his email to “cockroaches.” Somehow, he tries to tie this into the violent death of a well-loved priest. The problem he says? Those homeless people. And yet, the accused was not homeless. Perhaps it was because the accused is reported to have been high on drugs, and Mr. Arkley believes that all homeless people are also drug addicts. In fact, studies have shown that the same proportion of housed people as homeless people are addicts. But facts don’t seem to mean very much in this kind of discussion.

    What I really don’t understand is the venom. Why so much anger directed toward people who generally have only one thing in common — the lack of a safe and affordable roof over their heads? God can change stony hearts, as the prophet Ezekiel once realized in a vision. “Betty Chin and her ilk,” as people who help the homeless are referred to collectively in Mr. Arkley’s email, have been binding up the wounds of the broken for countless generations, despite the animosity and downright hostility they often face for their troubles.

    A few people have historically been scapegoated for all the problems experienced in a community. Not long ago it was the Native American and Chinese who were targeted in this fashion on the North Coast. Now it’s the “homeless,” a word invented during the Reagan era to describe an economic class of people. Studies have shown that there is little difference between the so-called “homeless” and the “housed,” other than an obvious lack of family and friends.

    This week marks several anniversaries. We celebrated Martin Luther King Day on Monday. We remember the 50th anniversary of Lyndon Johnson’s “war on poverty,” and the 41st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, a Supreme Court decision where women were given the right to make various health care decisions for themselves for the first time.

    I am passionate about women’s health for the same reason I am passionate about ending racism and classism and homelessness. Yes, they are all related. The problems that Mr. Arkley perceives in the world were not invented by the poor and the marginal, among whom women generally represent the majority. The problems are economic, as every prophet both past and present has acknowledged, including Martin Luther King Jr., whom we have given the honor of a national holiday.

    In this case, instead of building housing, the solution to the problem of homelessness — see “Utah is Ending Homelessness by Giving People Homes,” http://www.nationofchange.org — we build higher fences and make stricter laws, and try to organize to eliminate even the marginal services we do provide for them. The world has changed over the last 50 years, in some ways for the better. The overall crime rate is actually down. Some of our inner cities are reviving after decades of slow disintegration. Thanks to “Betty Chin and her ilk” we have a few more resources to help the neediest and most vulnerable citizens in our community. Racism is no longer an acceptable mechanism for scapegoating. Women still have control over their health care decisions in some communities, despite a national movement to deny even this to them.

    I for one am proud to stand with Betty Chin and the many others in this area who give their time, talent and treasure to improve our community for everyone. It’s that trickle-up effect again. Now is time for healing, not lashing out against people who were not connected to a crime that has left us all reeling. It is also a time to celebrate the hard-won freedom of people who have been and are oppressed, over those who would eliminate or otherwise curtail their freedom.

    The Rev. Eric Duff is an Episcopal priest and licensed clinical social worker who writes this column for the Times-Standard. He has a psychotherapy practice in McKinleyville.

  191. Anonymous
    January 28, 2014 at 6:56 am

    ‘Cashgate’ – Malawi’s murky tale of shooting and corruptionJoyce

    The scandal could spell trouble for President Banda

    It is the biggest financial scandal in Malawi’s history. Known as “cashgate”, it has affected the country’s relations with donors and caused outrage among Malawians. And with elections in May this year, the scandal could cost President Joyce Banda and her People’s Party votes, writes the BBC’s Chakuchanya Harawa.

    At the centre of the scandal is a computer-based financial information storage system.

    Some government officials have allegedly been exploiting a loophole in the system to divert millions from government coffers.

    It is estimated that up to $250m (£150m) may have been lost through alleged fraudulent payments to businessmen for services that were not rendered.

    According to a report in the local media, an audit by managers of the financial system has established that records of some transactions carried out between July and September 2013 were deleted.

    Allegations of the massive looting of government money became public following the shooting of the finance ministry’s then budget director Paul Mphwiyo in September 2013.

    Just days before, a junior civil servant was allegedly found with bales of cash totalling more than $300,000 in the boot of his car.

    More cash was confiscated from some civil servants’ homes and car boots.

    ‘Crisis of confidence’

    The country’s main donors were infuriated.

    They have withheld $150m pending further investigation into the scandal.

    Malawi is one of the world’s poorest countries and is reliant on donor funding
    Up to 40% of Malawi’s annual budget is donor-funded.

    The EU ambassador to Malawi, Alexander Baum, told the BBC: “It is a crisis of confidence, and unless there is transparency and everybody has the feeling and trust that the crisis has been addressed with full determination, confidence will not return.”

    But it is not all doom and gloom for the government.

    The IMF, which had been withholding funding for the same reason, has just decided to give nearly $20m to the country.

    A government preliminary report looking into the alleged fraud, carried in conjunction with British experts, has now been completed although it has not been made public.

    Police have since impounded vehicles, houses, apartments and office buildings belonging to those suspected of involvement with “cashgate”.

    The Director of Public Prosecutions, Bruno Kalemba, told the BBC: “People have to be afraid of government money. In a country like ours, the needs are enormous and to imagine that just a few people were able to get their hands on this much money is quite discomforting and unpatriotic.”

    With the start of the trial this week of two of the 70 people charged so far, many will be hoping that more revelations will come into the open.

    But while the legal battles are being fought in the courts, on the political front cashgate could become a major issue in the forthcoming elections.


    It is already dominating campaign rhetoric.

    The opposition has criticised the government’s handling of the scandal, portraying the current administration as corrupt.

    Protesters in Malawi – October 2013 Many Malawians have been shocked by the allegations
    President Banda argues that she initiated appropriate steps, including investigating, apprehending and prosecuting suspects as soon as she became aware of the allegations.

    Some have linked the scandal to the president, saying her party was trying to raise funds for the May election campaign.

    Her office described the allegations as “scandalous and baseless”.

    Some of the top names facing charges were until recently senior officials of the ruling party.

    Sacked Justice Minister Ralph Kasambala, who has been charged with the attempted murder of the former budget director, has told a magistrate he wants President Banda, her sister and two other senior officials to be his witnesses when his trial starts.

    Another former ruling party executive committee member and businessman has been charged with theft and money-laundering.

    It is alleged that his company pocketed $6.5m for services not rendered. Both deny the charges.

    The financial management system was adopted in 2005 by the late Bingu wa Mutharika administration.

    President Banda has suggested that the looting may have started as far back as 2010 following a directive by the former president that banks should honour all government cheques without asking questions.

    Ms Banda became president in 2012 following the sudden death of Mr Mutharika; she had been vice-president although she had been fired from the then ruling party and had formed her own party.

    For the moment, the political effects of the trial are not not clear – the scandal could well hurt both Ms Banda’s People’s Party and Mr Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), possibly allowing another party to gain ground.

  192. Anonymous
    January 28, 2014 at 3:45 pm

    Embattled Rep. Trey Radel (R-Fla.) resigned from Congress Monday, months after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge.

    A first-term congressman, Radel was arrested for cocaine possession in the fall . After reaching a plea agreement, he underwent substance abuse rehabilitation treatment and returned to Congress earlier this month. Despite calls from state party leaders for him to step down, Radel had said he was committed to returning to work.

    But on Monday, he swiftly changed course and said he would step down later in the day. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), Radel said his personal struggles impeded his ability to serve in Congress. He said last year that struggles with alcoholism led him to make an “extremely irresponsible choice” involving cocaine.

    “Unfortunately, some of my struggles had serious consequences,” Radel said. “While I have dealt with those issues on a personal level, it is my belief that professionally I cannot fully and effectively serve as a United States Representative to the place I call home, Southwest Florida.”

    Radel said his resignation would be effective as of 6:30 p.m. Monday. He also wrote to Gov. Rick Scott (R) and Secretary of State Ken Detzner (R) to inform them of his decision.

    Scott will set the date for the special election to fill Radel’s seat.

    Radel comes from a heavily conservative district where Mitt Romney won more than six out of 10 votes in 2012. His exit is expected to trigger a competitive GOP primary contest. A former TV news reporter, Radel won 30 percent of the primary vote in a crowded 2012 field.

    Former state Rep. Paige Kreegel (R), who won about 18 percent of the vote in the 2012 primary, already filed papers to run. Other possibilities include state Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto (R) and former congressman Connie Mack (R).

    The 19th district runs from Fort Myers down to Naples.

  193. Anonymous
    January 29, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Arcata Main Street failed to bill city $28K: Lapse discovered after organization began revitalization process

    Lorna Rodriguez/The Times-Standard
    Posted: 01/29/2014 02:20:08 AM PST | Updated: about 7 hours ago

    As Arcata Main Street works to restructure, a review of the organization’s books found the city of Arcata wasn’t billed for nearly $28,000 worth of services.

    ”It could be a quarter of our budget, so yeah, it’s a big deal,” AMS President David Neyra said. “The way the board looks at it, if we had all the facts, we may have made different decisions with regard to Oyster Fest.”

    According to city staff, the organization didn’t bill Arcata for almost $19,000 worth of contracted services for fiscal year 2012-2013, and $9,000 worth of services for the first half of this fiscal year.

    ”For the previous fiscal year, for whatever reason, they didn’t invoice on the contract for the work that they did that year,” Arcata’s Community Development Deputy Director David Loya said. “Clearly, it was an oversight. A pretty significant one for an organization with a budget that small.”

    Neyra said the issue was discovered while the organization was working with management consulting company Greenway Partners.

    ”It was absent from the ledger, so we never knew it was being billed or not being billed,” Neyra said.

    Greenway Partners was hired in November to help revitalize AMS after the previous executive director was laid off.

    The organization is looking to bounce back from backlash suffered after a decision to fence off the Plaza and charge admission to last year’s Oyster Festival.

    While it’s unclear why the lapse in billing occurred, “there is adequate record showing that the services were performed,” according to a letter to the city written by Greenway project manager Debi Farber-Bush.

    Farber-Bush confirmed Tuesday that AMS has been paid in full.

    The consulting company is now working with the organization to add more board members, and to build an advisory board.

    ”They should be self-sufficient right after Oyster Festival,” Farber-Bush said.

    She added Greenway will plan the annual event this year.

    The focus will be on the region’s aquaculture, businesses, breweries, food and music.

    ”We’re going to bring back the local twist,” she said.

    Greenway submitted a preliminary logistics plan to the city on Tuesday after surveying businesses and incorporating their input.

    ”We did what we thought will work best to manage the crowd, be peaceful and have everybody have a good time,” Farber-Bush. “We’ve put a lot of thought into it, our team here at Greenway. We’ll probably hold a press conference when we get our logistics plan approved.”

  194. Anonymous
    January 31, 2014 at 7:52 am

  195. eurekaworker
    January 31, 2014 at 1:40 pm
  196. eurekaworker
    January 31, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    When Jon Stewart mocks you, you must REALLY be a joke ! Another proud Calif. moment.


  197. Anonymous
    February 1, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Minimum Wage Increase Is a Feminist Issue

    By Paula Dwyer Jan 31, 2014 8:53 AM PT 22 Comments Email Print

    Should the U.S. raise the federal minimum wage, now $7.25 an hour, to $10.10, as President Barack Obama proposed in this week’s State of the Union address?

    The answer depends on many things, including whether there are more efficient ways to help the working poor. But any debate over whether to enhance a federal mandate should begin by understanding who would benefit.

    The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics is very helpful in breaking down the demographics. It shows that about 3.6 million people were paid at or below $7.25 an hour in 2012.

    One popular misconception is that most minimum-wage earners are relatively well-off teenagers working part time in coffee shops and college book stores. But it isn’t true. Teens make up only 24 percent of the total, while those 25 and older comprise 49 percent.

    Another popular belief is that minimum-wage workers are mostly part-timers looking to supplement the earnings of a spouse (read: wife) or other householder. Here, the data are partially supportive. Two-thirds of minimum-wage earners hold part-time positions. And indeed they are mostly women. Females make up two-thirds of the part-timers. But among low-paid women, more than half had never married and only 15 percent were married and living with their spouses.

    Looking at the U.S. labor force overall, women are almost twice as likely as men to be paid at or below $7.25 an hour (6 percent versus 3.34 percent). White women make up the largest chunk (50 percent) followed by Hispanic women (11.9 percent) and black women (9.9 percent).

    Here’s another surprise: Minimum-wage earners aren’t mostly high-school dropouts, not by a long shot. More than 70 percent have at least a high-school diploma. More than 34 percent have had some college, and 8 percent have at least a bachelor’s degree.

    Get the picture? The composite of a minimum-wage earner is a woman who lives in the South, works part time in fast-food or retail and has at least a high-school degree. Next time you walk into a McDonald’s south of the Mason-Dixon, wish her well.

    (Paula Dwyer is a member of the Bloomberg View editorial board. Follow her on Twitter.)


  198. Just Watchin
    February 1, 2014 at 10:07 am

    McDonalds has made a huge sacrifice to feed the poor…….they introduced the dollar menu.

  199. Anonymous
    February 2, 2014 at 8:20 am

    It’s the McConomy, Stupid.

  200. Anonymous
    February 6, 2014 at 5:14 am

    Planned job cuts by U.S. employers in January soared 47% from the prior month, according to data from an outplacement firm, with the heaviest layoffs to occur in a battered retail sector after many reported weak holiday sales.

    The data echoes what market observers have seen for weeks, as Target Corp. (TGT), Macy’s Inc. (M), J.C. Penney Co. (JCP) were among the retailers that unveiled plans to cut jobs following a tough holiday. Many U.S. retail and restaurant companies have said poor winter weather and aggressive discounts led to fewer store visits and lower sales.

    According to the Challenger, Gray & Christmas report, the heaviest downsizing activity occurred in retail. Overall, retailers announced 11,394 job cuts in January, the firm reported, a 71% increase from the same month a year ago. The cuts were also the heaviest for the sector since last March.

    “The post-holiday job-letting in the sector was inevitable,” said John A. Challenger, chief executive of Challenger, Gray & Christmas. He said they followed weak holiday sales that many retailers achieved by slashing prices, hurting year-end profits.

    Overall, employers planned to reduce payrolls by 45,107 for January, compared with 30,683 in December. The January figure was up 12% from the tally of 40,430 a year earlier.

    The firm said the monthly job cuts planned for January followed a 13-year low reported in December.

    Not every sector announcing job cuts is struggling, the firm said. While some technology companies announced job cuts, Challenger, Gray & Christmas said other areas of growth will court new employees.

    The financial sector, which finished 2013 as the top job-cutting sector, started 2013 as the third largest sector to reduce jobs in January.

    The report showed California shed more jobs than any other state across all sectors, followed by Illinois and Pennsylvania.

  201. Anonymous
    February 6, 2014 at 5:35 am

    Why Walmart is getting too expensive for the middle class

    By Rick Newman
    February 4, 2014 4:54 PM

    The Exchange

    Here’s a mystery of the modern economy: Growth is picking up, the job market is improving and most government data show the economy on the mend. Yet the parts of the private sector that ought to be enjoying a robust recovery aren’t.

    The sliding fortunes of Walmart (WMT) may best represent this recovery gap. Overall, retail sales rose 4.2% in 2013, or about 2.7% after accounting for inflation. And consumer confidence surveys show Americans on the whole feel considerably better now than they did a year ago. That ought to indicate good times for the nation’s biggest retailer.

    Yet Walmart is struggling with weak sales and an underperforming stock price. The company recently cut its profit outlook, with analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ expecting just a 2.1% gain in sales when Walmart reports its quarterly earnings on February 20. That’s for a company that has consistently outcompeted nearly every other retailer except, perhaps, Amazon. Walmart’s stock has suffered, rising just 4% during the past year, while the S&P 500 index rose 17% during the same timeframe.

    Walmart, though known as a discounter, may be too expensive for millions of shoppers finding themselves more pinched — not less — as the pace of the so-called recovery accelerates. “Their consumer is shifting downward,” says Joe Brusuelas, chief economist for financial-data firm Bloomberg LP. “The competition for Walmart is changing. It’s now dollar stores.”

    While employers added about 2.2 million jobs in 2013 — pushing the unemployment rate down from 7.9% to 6.7% — other changes made life harder for lower-income Americans who form Walmart’s customer base. At the start of 2013, Congress repealed a payroll tax cut that had been in effect for two years, effectively taking about $80 per month from the typical household budget. In November the government cut back on food-stamp benefits, which had also been beefed up during the recession. And effective January 1 of this year, Congress zeroed out enhanced jobless benefits that had been in effect since 2008, leaving less money for 1.3 million unemployed people already struggling to get by.

    Walmart is hardly the only retailer struggling. Mass-market chains such as J.C. Penney (JCP), Best Buy (BBY), Target (TGT), the Gap (GPS) and even mighty Amazon (AMZN) turned in disappointing results for the last three months of 2013, indicating a kind of retail recession that lingers long after the official recession ended in the middle of 2009.

    So who’s doing well enough to pull retail sales numbers up to relatively healthy levels? Mostly high-end merchants such as Nordstrom (JWN) and Michael Kors (KORS), luxury automakers such as BMW and Mercedes, upscale appliance manufacturers including General Electric (GE) and even yacht manufacturers. As the New York Times noted in a recent article, demand is much stronger for GE’s top-of-the-line dishwashers and refrigerators than for cheaper, mass-market models. And a modest boom in home remodeling is being driven by a small portion of homeowners who have both cash and home equity, a combo many mortgage holders can only envy.

    There’s not much real-time data that breaks down spending by income category, though there are plenty of proxy measures showing the top 10% or perhaps 20% of earners may account for the whole increase in retail sales during the past couple of years. “It’s a bifurcated society,” says Brusuelas. “The upper end still has access to credit. They’re making strong income gains and doing fine. But there’s been a fairly steep downturn among middle- and lower-income groups.”

    What’s alarming for retailers such as Walmart is the sharp drop in income in the middle tier of earners. In 2001, taxpayers earning $100,000 or less accounted for 60% of total income; in 2011, they accounted for less than 50%. In basic terms, that means there are fewer middle-income families with money to spend, leaving retailers — and the overall economy — more dependent on a smaller group of high-income consumers.

    Walmart will survive, and perhaps adapt. Maybe it will chase shoppers downmarket, which would probably cut into profitability. Or it might go after wealthier shoppers, drifting away from its core business. It could also stay right where it is, doing no better than the mainstream Americans it has long catered to.

    Rick Newman’s latest book is Rebounders: How Winners Pivot From Setback To Success


  202. Bill Holmes
    February 6, 2014 at 1:51 pm

    I do all my shopping at Walmart. Best prices and, contrary to what you might read, they treat their employees great. Wish I could get a job there, but I know I couldn’t pass the drug test.

  203. Anonymous
    February 7, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    A wealthy teen who killed four people in a Texas drunk driving accident will not go to jail after a judge ruled this week that instead, he must attend an expensive rehabilitation facility paid for by his parents. The driver was 16-year-old Ethan Couch. He was speeding, with a blood-alcohol level more than three times the legal limit. Couch has admitted to his crime, and in a case that went before a Texas judge, prosecutors sought a 20-year sentence. Instead, Couch was sentenced to 10 years’ probation after a psychologist claimed he had “affluenza,” and testified that his cushy upbringing prevented him from connecting bad behavior with its consequences. We get response from Richard Alpert, the Tarrant County assistant district attorney who prosecuted the case against Couch. We are also joined by Boyce Watkins, a Syracuse University professor and the founder of “YourBlackWorld.net.” He recently wrote an article titled “Rich, White Kids Have ‘Affluenza,’ Poor, Black Kids Go to Prison.”


  204. queenoftheforrest
    February 7, 2014 at 4:59 pm

    Today in America there are nearly twice as many persons with government jobs (22.5 mil) than all of manufacturing (11.5 mil). This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government. Steven Moore Wall Street Journal.

    The Cato Institute released an updated 2013 study (original study 1995) showing that welfare benefits pay more than a minimum wage job in 33 States and the District of Criminals. Even worse, Welfare pays more than $15/hr in 13 States. According to the study, Welfare benefits have increased faster than minimum wage.

    Hawaii is the biggest offender, where Welfare recipients receive $29.13/hr -$60,500 annual.

    D of C – $24.43/hr -$50,820 annual
    Massachusetts $24.30/hr -$50,540 annual
    Connecticut $44,370 annual
    New York $43,700
    New Jersey $43,450
    Rhode Island $43,330
    Vermont $42,350
    New Hampshire $39,750
    Maryland $38,160
    California $37,160 17.87/hr.
    Oregon $34,300
    Wyoming $32,620
    Maximum Social Security $31,704 -$15.24/hr.
    Proposed Fed. minimum wage $31,200 -$15/hr (current $7.25).
    Nevada $29,820
    Minnesota $29,350
    Delaware $29,220
    Washington $28,840
    North Dakota $28,830
    Pennsylvania $28,670
    New Mexico $27,900
    Montana $26,930
    South Dakota $26,610
    Kansas $26,490
    Michigan $26,430
    Alaska $26,400
    Ohio $26,200
    North Carolina $25,760
    West Virginia $24,900
    Alabama $23,310
    Indiana $22,900
    Missouri $22,800
    Oklahoma $22,480
    Louisiana $22,250
    South Carolina $21,910

    As a point of reference, the above middle class annual income today is $50,000, down from $54,000 at the beginning of the “Great Recession.”

    CA INC: $37,160 ($17.87 hr). Note, CA has 12% of America’s population, but 30% of the Welfare cases. Maximum Unemployment Comp is $450/wk ($11.25 hr or $11,700 for 26 weeks total w/o Fed. extension). CA minimum wage is currently $8/hr or $16,640 per year. Currently there are State plans to make it $10 hr or $20,800 per year.

    Maximum SS is $15.24 hr ($31,704 –minus Medicare pmts.). Average SS is $7.31 hr for $15,228 –minus Medicare pmts.

    You be the judge as to who is getting screwed here. I feel we have a moral obligation to provide for our people who, through no fault of their own, have fallen on hard times and desperate situations. But . . . .as with anything, there will always be persons who will game the system at other’s expense.
    From Truthpress.org

  205. queenoftheforrest
    February 7, 2014 at 5:23 pm

    @ the pretend Bill Holmes,

    Intention? Cute? Mean? Uninformed? All three?

    WalMart is of a sick mind, slurffing in the same ditch with the rest of the powers that were. Why else would WM be one of the few privy to the papers regarding the TPP? Everything WM contracts with is raping nature. Cheap child labor made those shoes, those shirts, those socks, those pants, those plastic fantastic toys for America’s girls and boys. How much more crap do we beLIEve we must bring home to store and stack in our warehouse house, while we go out and get more ‘stuff?’ i was just reading that some WM’s are closing –let’s pray Eureka’s WM is one of them.

  206. Anonymous
    February 8, 2014 at 5:48 am

    (Part 1 of 5) Thom Hartmann talks with Dr. Ravi Batra, Professor of Economics-Southern Methodist University / “International bestselling author” of numerous books including, “The New Golden Age: The Coming Revolution against Political Corruption and Economic Chaos” and “Greenspan’s Fraud” who says we will see another economic crash in 2016.

  207. Anonymous
    February 11, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Campaign underway to lift Oakland’s minimum wage

    By Matthew Artz Oakland Tribune
    Posted: 02/09/2014 12:00:00 AM PST

    OAKLAND — The growing movement to help workers at the bottom of the pay scale has come to Oakland as a union-backed coalition seeks to enact one of the highest minimum wage rates in the nation.

    A proposed November ballot measure would increase Oakland’s minimum wage from $8 an hour to $12.25, with future increases tied to inflation. It also would guarantee at least five annual sick days for all workers.

    “People are seeing that the economic health of our city depends on lifting up those who are not earning enough to pay for their basic necessities,” said Beth Trimarco, a member of the Lift Up Oakland coalition, which includes powerful labor union SEIU Local 1021.

    Lift Up Oakland will officially kick off its signature gathering drive with a 9:30 a.m. rally Saturday at Fruitvale Village, 3301 E. 12th St. Signature gathering will begin at 11 a.m.

    Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.

    Minimum Wages
    San Francisco — $10.74
    San Jose — $10.15
    Oakland — $8


  208. Anonymous
    February 12, 2014 at 6:13 am

    The Mysterious Link Between Walmart And Crime
    A new study finds that where Walmart builds, crime rates stagnate.

    Walmart is no ordinary retailer. The retail company employs more people than any other private company in the world, and where Walmart goes, big economic changes, both positive and negative, tend to follow. Scholars have long tried to quantify the “Walmart effect,” looking at how the company drives economic growth and affects the surrounding community’s labor markets and poverty rates and food sales, among other factors.

    The latest addition to the world of Walmart scholarship is not a mark in the company’s favor. A recent study in the British Journal of Criminology links the appearance of Walmart stores to less of a decline in crime rates, compared with similar counties where Walmart didn’t move in.

    Overall, there was a sharp decline in crime in the U.S. in the 1990s. It also happened to be a period of growth for Walmart. Looking at more than 3,000 U.S. counties, the researchers, from the University of South Carolina and Sam Houston State University, found that where Walmart expanded, crime rates tended to stagnate, where they otherwise would have been expected to fall.

    “If the corporation built a new store, there were 17 additional property crimes and two additional violent crimes for every 10,000 persons in a county,” according to Scott Wolfe, the study’s lead author. His study doesn’t argue that Walmart causes higher crime rates, but the statistics may reveal a pattern in the places the company chooses to build stores. “There is something unique about the counties that Walmart selects,” Wolfe said in a press statement. For one thing, the company tended to expand in counties that already had higher than average crime rates.

    Why this may be isn’t yet clear, and it’s a topic for further research. The researchers hypothesize the link could be related to the social dynamics that make it possible for Walmart to open a store. Places where there is a lot of community organization–cities, for instance, where local activists might vocally oppose a new Walmart–tend to have lower crime rates. In communities with higher crime rates, people may not have the social capital to put up a fight against Walmart moving in. Certainly, the issue bears a deeper look. The true price of that discount Walmart DVD player may be higher than you think.


  209. Bill Holmes
    February 12, 2014 at 5:10 pm

    Lowest prices…. every day Walmart !!!!!

  210. Anonymous
    February 13, 2014 at 3:26 pm

    There’s a new blog in town!
    Tuluwat Examiner is here to report what others have miss-construed or ignored. We will question assumptions and stimulate discussion.
    Check it out.


  211. queenoftheforrest
    February 13, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    ~well, where’s the news (north, east, west, south) about the latest county to put it to a vote to the people about seceding? (i swear the radio blurb mentioned mathew-owen something)

  212. eurekaworker
    February 15, 2014 at 6:44 am

    And Volkswagen didn’t even oppose the unions effort…..

    Workers at Tennessee Volkswagen factory reject United Auto Workers union……

    Workers at a Volkswagen factory in Tennessee have voted against union representation in a devastating defeat for the United Auto Workers union’s effort to make inroads in the South.

    The 712-626 vote released late Friday was surprising for many labor experts and union supporters who expected a UAW win because Volkswagen tacitly endorsed the union and even allowed organizers into the Chattanooga factory to make sales pitches.

    “This is like an alternate universe where everything is turned upside down,” Cliff Hammond, a labor lawyer at in Detroit, told The Wall Street Journal, noting that companies usually fight union drives.

    “This vote was essentially gift-wrapped for the union by Volkswagen,” said Hammond, who previously worked at the Service Employees International Union.

    The setback is a major defeat for the UAW’s effort to expand in the growing South, where foreign automakers have 14 assembly plants, eight built in the past decade, said Kristin Dziczek, director of the labor and industry group at the Center for Automotive Research, an industry think tank in Michigan.

    “If this was going to work anywhere, this is where it was going to work,” she said of Chattanooga.

    Organizing a Southern plant is so crucial to the union that UAW President Bob King told workers in a speech that the union has no long-term future without it.

    “If the union can’t win [in Chattanooga], it can’t win anywhere,” Steve Silvia, a economics and trade professor at American University who has studied labor unions, told the Journal.

    But the loss likely means the union will remain quarantined with the Detroit Three, largely in the Midwest and Northeast.

    Many viewed VW as the union’s only chance to gain a crucial foothold in the South because other automakers have not been as welcoming as Volkswagen. Labor interests make up half of the supervisory board at VW in Germany, and they questioned why the Chattanooga plant is the only one without formal worker representation. VW wanted a German-style “works council” in Chattanooga to give employees a say over working conditions. The company says U.S. law won’t allow it without an independent union.

    In Chattanooga, the union faced stern opposition from Republican politicians who warned that a UAW victory would chase away other automakers who might come to the region.

    Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee was the most vocal opponent, saying that he was told that VW would build a new midsized SUV in Chattanooga if workers rejected the union. That was later denied by a VW executive. Other politicians threatened to cut off state incentives for the plant to expand if the union was approved.

    “I’m thrilled for the employees and thrilled for our community,” Corker said in a telephone interview with The Wall Street Journal. “I’m sincerely overwhelmed.”

    “The UAW had all the advantages,” the Republican senator told the newspaper. “Everybody but the UAW had both hands tied behind their backs. I’m just thankful the employees made the decision they made.”

    After 53 percent of the workers voted against his union, King said he was outraged at what he called “outside interference” in the election. He wouldn’t rule out challenging the outcome with the National Labor Relations Board. “It’s never happened in this country before that the U.S. senator, the governor, the leader of the House, the legislature here, threatened the company with no incentives, threatened workers with a loss of product,” King said. “We’ll look at all our options in the next few days.”

    The union could contend that Corker and other local politicians were in collusion with VW and tried to frighten workers into thinking the SUV would be built in Mexico if they voted for the union, said Gary Chaison, a labor relations professor at Clark University in Worcester, Mass.

    But Chaison said it will be difficult to tie the politicians to the company, which remained neutral throughout the voting process. “It’s the employer that has real power,” he said.

    The loss put a spotlight on the union’s major difficulty in the South: signing up people who have no history with organized labor and are fearful of being the first in the area to join, Chaison said.

    Dziczek said the union may have to change its tactics in future organizing efforts, because King’s strategy of the union and company working together to help each other did not work.

    But she does not expect the well-funded union to give up on organizing Southern factories. “I think they will continue to push everywhere they were pushing and see if they get more traction,” she said.

    Republican Gov. Bill Haslam said through a spokesman that he was pleased with the vote and “looks forward to working with the company on future growth in Tennessee.”

  213. queenoftheforrest
    February 15, 2014 at 9:10 am

    The only thing worse than Government Inc. is a Government Inc. Union. This is yet another wake-up call for the people to get off of their knees. We don’t need no stinkin’ Unions!
    True enough, Unions had their place . . . one-upon-a-time. But let’s face it –they’re all about profit at this place in time. Dock tors are between us and health. Attorneys are between us and justice. Bankers are between us and wealth. Need I go on?

    Looks to me like the people of the South are finding their own voice. Some may need a third-party interloper, i’ll keep my liberties and freedoms thank you very much!

    American national (former U.S. Citizen)

  214. queenoftheforrest
    February 15, 2014 at 10:03 am

    ~adding on to my #212 post . . .

    Secessionists ~a group of groups of people living within that State, with the presence or absence of violence. Many secessions are preceded by violence either between groups being in the host State, or between the armed forces of the host State and the secessionist groups. In the 20th century Norway, Slovakia and Iceland seceded without violence. Four basic elements of all secessionists: 1) a boundary territory within existing State. 2) a population within that territory, and a movement targeting (and supported by) the population, which, 3) has proclaimed the independence of their territory based on that State, and 4) has attempted to gain recognition of that independence by other States and an International organization.
    The boundary is agreed upon by the new territory and its neighbors, and eventually marks the boundary on the ground.

    Humboldt! Step 3 anyone?

  215. Anonymous
    February 15, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Yes Queen,

    Just broaden your secessionist stance.

    What we really need to do is break up the empire, just like the Soviet Empire broke up. It was a largely peaceful affair, with some border tensions and clashes here and there. Basically the various “States” that comprised the USSR just agreed to go their separate ways. Its a lot easier sell all over the US. People In Alabama don’t want to be ruled by people from California and vice versa. Well we are different cultures who can blame us? Breaking up the empire can be done peacefully and it would be good for the preace of the world.

  216. queenoftheforrest
    February 15, 2014 at 11:53 am


    Broaden my secessionist stance ~u’re funny. Now and again I find it difficult to include NoHum as my mind sees Humboldt. Nothing against the people of Eureka. It’s just where COMMERCE heave$ and hoe$ heavily (all of the sheeple ‘court’ customers ya know), ~then there’s all of the yummer food establishments! Not-to-mention (why do we know that?) Arcata is my second-bestest next to Garberville. So, no, I don’t include in my way-of-thinking {and} being within physical touch of others around me, any further out from my self, than Humboldt county ~realistically.

    The U.S. slashCity of London slashVatiCon’s violent-dominated way of Divide and Conquer genocide is falling in on itself, with none-to-some/$um help from you and me.

    Are you saying, Anonymous, that you disagree with our neighbor counties, who need our support btw, and are in the process of seceding from the STATE Cyborg? Are you disagreeing with our country’s basic way of social-civilizing that’s revealing itself in a step x step manner?

    Do you have steps we can apply locally. Think global, act local -yes?

  217. queenoftheforrest
    February 15, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    ~i need to re-word that second paragraph, to read:

    The District of Criminals (10 sq. miles) slashThe City of London (1 sq. mi.) slashThe VatiCon (1 sq. mile) Empire’s <<< violent-dominated way of Divide and Conquer Genocide . . {is coming to an end}. (topographical miles).

    "Change your words, change your world." (Youtube pretty sure).

    The U.S. is not a landmass.
    The U.S. is not a landmass.
    The U.S. is not a landmass.

    'Written down,' on paper; U.S. Inc. owns us.
    Assumption not rebutted b e c o m e s presumption. Are you a Corporation employee? Let's see:
    Do you cling to Their Commercial Driver-ready STATE INC. card? Do you think you could (really) live without it? Do you vote to encourage Them?

    ~girls and guys. . . can we agree to agree to consciously use the word 'America' when referring to this, the state (of mind) we're discussing. 'America' is now-time-alive. 'Unit ed' is past tense -dead.

    Aren't we done playing with the Dead?

  218. queenoftheforrest
    February 16, 2014 at 9:22 am

    BAR Codes: (food & products)

    ~if the first three digits are:

    690-692 the product is made in CHINA (Do not purchase)
    471 – TAIWAN (Do not purchase)

    00-09 – America and Canada
    30-37 – France
    40-44 – Germany
    49 – Japan
    50 – U.K.

    ~and, that’s about my last post in here. Too many posts to download on dial-up.

    Pleasant Sunday to all.

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  220. queenoftheforrest
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