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On the Color of Justice: Black, White, Blue and Green

  • From the Daily Kos, on black, white and blue justice… (please click on the cartoon to go to the sight, so Kos’ advertisers get their share, so we can pay the cartoonist.

The Color of Justice

Here’s M Wuerker’s sight on Politico.


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America’s Eden Narrative…

…and Our Original Sin

Thanksgiving is about celebrating the brief Eden before a continental genocide.

But it’s an important story, for ourselves and especially our children.  We should not hate ourselves or our country because of our past.  We should look to stories of when we followed our better angels, and the story about a shared Thanksgiving meal is entirely appropriate event to celebrate annually.

It’s also appropriate to understand the reality, especially here on the North Coast.  This year sandwiched between this and last Thanksgiving has been pretty poor in regards to the mainstream culture’s connection to our Native American neighbors.  And even that sentence is hard to write, on the one hand we are one mass culture or people sharing this land, on the other we are different nations.

For some of us, it’s appropriate between the family, turkey and cranberry to reflect on one of the most amazing events in human existence.  Two populations, once family, separated by continents and eons, were reunited.  There were brief instances of comradery, one of which we celebrate today, but the arc of history tells all too clearly the real narrative of the reunion of these two peoples.

How do we move forward?  Look toward our better angels, be honest, forgiving and generous to ourselves and our neighbors.  Make sure there is more than adequate representation in public institutions (including local political organizations #HCDCCideas ).  Revere and celebrate this amazing intersection of peoples that we still have in this area.

One example of what is right, the story of Yurok being taught in our schools and I hope we can do more to preserve then grow our unique and rich local linguistic history.  We were two branches of our human family tree, but we are becoming one again and we always had and will always have more in common than not.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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It’s The Inequality…

As we go through another in a string of the rightfully unending conversations about race, I’d ask us not to forget what I see as the basic essential needs of us humans.

a)  Security.

b)  A means to support oneself.

c)  Every other human concern.

Poverty affects both of those and through this individual’s perspective.  What I see at work, in Eureka and Ferguson in 2014 and in Tunisia in January 2011 is relative poverty.  What we see as a society in the after effects when security of person or of sustenance breaks down, what the society does is begin to categorize this in terms of ethnicity, race, religion etc.

It’s much simpler than that.  It’s about wealth disparity and it’s a big, big, huge, big problem on which we see to be able to place the narratives that touch our emotions more satisfyingly.  Not to mention very few people who are secure or are able to support themselves are as interested in the big, big, huge, big and growing problem of inequality.

The economy may be the way to win elections, stupid, but we need policies that begin to address the differences in wealth and income that undermine our national goal of equality of opportunity.


What I’m not saying…

That race doesn’t matter.  It does, wealth inequality is inextricably linked to race in our country as a cursory review of our history would prove.  But as instances of clear injustice based on the institutionalization of racial differences (as in Michael Brown’s death clearly demonstrates) or based on a largely racial homogeneous but bifurcated socio-economic differences (Tommy McClain), I hope we can begin to connect the common dots.

Average Family Wealth By Race

Percentage of Americans in Poverty, by Race

Above from Bill Moyers’ These Eight Charts Show Why Racial Equality Is a Myth in America.

And my continuing contribution to Occupy via Mother Jones


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President Obama’s Address on Ferguson…

or … How Our Media Fails Us, Especially When Race Is Involved

How did you watch President Obama’s remarks last night, because how you did will undoubtedly partially affect how you feel this morning.

Here’s how CNN reported President Obama’s remarks,

This is what the conservative National Journal said about this split screen.

“Even as the president spoke, it felt as if the situation on the ground in Ferguson was beginning to spiral. And viewers could be forgiven for becoming transfixed by the pictures and tuning out Obama’s calls for calm.”

They are right about the viewers being forgiven, less correct about our media that, by design, prizes profitability over passing along dry, important news.  This is another of the daily examples of, if it bleeds, it leads.

The National Journal also noted this:

“At one point, Obama seemed to dismiss the violent protests as just cable-news-driven sensationalism, saying the tumult would “make for good TV.””

The President wasn’t dismissing the protests, he was chiding what he knows about our media, and ironically, CNN was doing exactly what the President was warning against.

Here is an unsplit video of the Presidents remarks and below that, the transcript.  In the transcript the emphasis is mine and I itemized three things the President says “we can do to help”. (I’ve also added more things those of us, imho, that believe in this American eexperimentin governance can also do to help.)


THE PRESIDENT: As you know, a few moments ago, the grand jury deliberating the death of Michael Brown issued its decision. It’s an outcome that, either way, was going to be subject of intense disagreement not only in Ferguson, but across America. So I want to just say a few words suggesting how we might move forward.

First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law. And so we need to accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make. There are Americans who agree with it, and there are Americans who are deeply disappointed, even angry. It’s an understandable reaction. But I join Michael’s parents in asking anyone who protests this decision to do so peacefully. Let me repeat Michael’s father’s words: “Hurting others or destroying property is not the answer. No matter what the grand jury decides, I do not want my son’s death to be in vain. I want it to lead to incredible change, positive change, change that makes the St. Louis region better for everyone.” Michael Brown’s parents have lost more than anyone. We should be honoring their wishes.

I also appeal to the law enforcement officials in Ferguson and the region to show care and restraint in managing peaceful protests that may occur. Understand, our police officers put their lives on the line for us every single day. They’ve got a tough job to do to maintain public safety and hold accountable those who break the law. As they do their jobs in the coming days, they need to work with the community, not against the community, to distinguish the handful of people who may use the grand jury’s decision as an excuse for violence — distinguish them from the vast majority who just want their voices heard around legitimate issues in terms of how communities and law enforcement interact.

Finally, we need to recognize that the situation in Ferguson speaks to broader challenges that we still face as a nation. The fact is, in too many parts of this country, a deep distrust exists between law enforcement and communities of color. Some of this is the result of the legacy of racial discrimination in this country. And this is tragic, because nobody needs good policing more than poor communities with higher crime rates. The good news is we know there are things we can do to help. And I’ve instructed Attorney General Holder to work with cities across the country to help build better relations between communities and law enforcement. (EDIT – the following itemizing to a), b), and c))

a)  That means working with law enforcement officials to make sure their ranks are representative of the communities they serve. We know that makes a difference.

b) It means working to train officials so that law enforcement conducts itself in a way that is fair to everybody.

c) It means enlisting the community actively on what should be everybody’s goal, and that is to prevent crime.

And there are good people on all sides of this debate, as well as in both Republican and Democratic parties, that are interested not only in lifting up best practices — because we know that there are communities who have been able to deal with this in an effective way — but also who are interested in working with this administration and local and state officials to start tackling much-needed criminal justice reform.

So those should be the lessons that we draw from these tragic events. We need to recognize that this is not just an issue for Ferguson, this is an issue for America. We have made enormous progress in race relations over the course of the past several decades. I’ve witnessed that in my own life. And to deny that progress I think is to deny America’s capacity for change.

But what is also true is that there are still problems and communities of color aren’t just making these problems up. Separating that from this particular decision, there are issues in which the law too often feels as if it is being applied in discriminatory fashion. I don’t think that’s the norm. I don’t think that’s true for the majority of communities or the vast majority of law enforcement officials. But these are real issues. And we have to lift them up and not deny them or try to tamp them down. What we need to do is to understand them and figure out how do we make more progress. And that can be done.

That won’t be done by throwing bottles. That won’t be done by smashing car windows. That won’t be done by using this as an excuse to vandalize property. And it certainly won’t be done by hurting anybody. So, to those in Ferguson, there are ways of channeling your concerns constructively and there are ways of channeling your concerns destructively. Michael Brown’s parents understand what it means to be constructive. The vast majority of peaceful protesters, they understand it as well.

Those of you who are watching tonight understand that there’s never an excuse for violence, particularly when there are a lot of people in goodwill out there who are willing to work on these issues.

On the other hand, those who are only interested in focusing on the violence and just want the problem to go away need to recognize that we do have work to do here, and we shouldn’t try to paper it over. Whenever we do that, the anger may momentarily subside, but over time, it builds up and America isn’t everything that it could be.

And I am confident that if we focus our attention on the problem and we look at what has happened in communities around the country effectively, then we can make progress not just in Ferguson, but in a lot of other cities and communities around the country.


Q Mr. President, will you go to Ferguson when things settle down there?

THE PRESIDENT: Well, let’s take a look and see how things are going. Eric Holder has been there. We’ve had a whole team from the Justice Department there, and I think that they have done some very good work. As I said, the vast majority of the community has been working very hard to try to make sure that this becomes an opportunity for us to seize the moment and turn this into a positive situation.

But I think that we have to make sure that we focus at least as much attention on all those positive activities that are taking place as we do on a handful of folks who end up using this as an excuse to misbehave or to break the law or to engage in violence. I think that it’s going to be very important — and I think the media is going to have a responsibility as well — to make sure that we focus on Michael Brown’s parents, and the clergy, and the community leaders, and the civil rights leaders, and the activists, and law enforcement officials who have been working very hard to try to find better solutions — long-term solutions, to this issue.

There is inevitably going to be some negative reaction, and it will make for good TV. But what we want to do is to make sure that we’re also focusing on those who can offer the kind of real progress that we know is possible, that the vast majority of people in Ferguson, the St. Louis region, in Missouri, and around the country are looking for. And I want to be partners with those folks. And we need to lift up that kind of constructive dialogue that’s taking place.

All right.

Also:  Adding to President Obama’s list of things we can do …

d)  Government agencies should do better keeping fair and difficult statistics on police enforcement actions.

e)  Communities need to network around the country and globe so good ideas can spread like internet cat videos.

g)  Those of us rightfully angry – like people in Ferguson, Eureka, and all over the country need to channel that anger for change for the long term as Michael Brown’s father’s words suggest.

i)  Left-of-centers, get right and be part of promoting the rule of law.  It’s something we should respect and yes appreciate, because, what exactly is the alternative?  Think about the alternatives, then realize the rule of law is pretty awesome.  The key is to make sure the rule of law protects all citizens, and hopefully some day, may even recognized, say, non citizens, and heaven-forbid, “ecosystem values” (ie an amphibian or a redwood)?

h)  Somehow, some way, we need to find a way for non-criminal, non-boondoggle, justice against peace officers who make lethal mistakes.  Maybe something like a sliding scale of suspensions for critical mistakes.  If there was a potential 5 year suspension hanging over officer Linfoot last month, would it have been as easy for him to pull the trigger?

 One More Thing:  ConservoWorld’s take.

As always, we also need to pay attention to what those on the other side of the aisle are doing in their parallel universe of infotainment – here is Drudge from this am.  What I and many of you see when they see Drudge’s highlighted picture of Michael Brown is a sweet young man who unjustly died way, way, way too early.  Others react to that picture differently, especially when the headlines are written to tell a story, even if the links themselves tell a very different one.

Here’s what I see in today’s post-Grand Jury Drudge narrative.

Obama begs for calm.  He is, as we know, a leader aloof and didn’t even watch the prosecutor.  Responsible “black” leadership is, as always, MIA.   Michael Brown was a threatening weapon himself (see Figure 1. below) – charging the diminutive white officer (see Figure 2. below).  In this case the facts proved the officer was guiltless and even  a Democrat knows this.

Now us law-abiding (*whispers* you know, largely, but not always, us whites) have to deal again with anarchy and destruction who can only be stopped by overt force.  We are victims of those wanting to fight a race war, and they are not afraid to say this.  Meanwhile, the police have been so occupied and the “outside” threat is so significant that we have to pay for our own security in our suburban homes.

Listen, no one is safe, even the liberal media.  Do you think this will open their eyes? I don’t.  

Conclusion:  Folks, your fears of those who are not you or us are justified.  As always, we are perilously close to anarchy.  Keep clicking on this site for the latest and we’ll get through this together. *hugs*

…In other news, it’s damn cold!  And the fact-challenged liberals want to say “global warming” is happening.  Idiots.

Drudge After Ferguson Grand Jury


Last thing.  I swear.

When it comes to race, so much matters.  Especially words, even words we might not expect.  The NYT found that even in it’s own reporting there may have been vestiges of a “racially charged” past.

“As protests raged after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., two articles in The Times on Aug. 16 referred to both Mr. Brown and the state police captain overseeing security in the case as “burly.” Both Mr. Brown and the captain, Ronald S. Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, are black.”

‘Burly,’ a Word With a Racially Charged History



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Some Insight to the Current Immigration Debate from Liberal Blogs

Kevin Drum on Tyranny.  Maybe the Republicans actually have a point.

One Man Should Not Dictate Immigration Policy

Representative Mo Brooks’ (R-Al) amazing verbal and historical dexterity during an interview with Chris Hayes.From Crooks and Liars:

There’s a lot to see in this interview with Chris Hayes and Rep. Mo Brooks (R-AL), but I want you to pay special close attention to the part of the segment where Hayes asks about Reagan’s amnesty. And you really must watch it, too, because this is in no way an accident or unintentional. …  Mo Brooks is a prosecutor. He knew exactly what he was doing there. It wasn’t just a slip of the tongue and it wasn’t a mistake. He was just the first to deploy the talking point.

This is what we are up against and why it’s so difficult to win when <40% of the people vote.  This type of maneuver is seen by many as appropriate and ethical in defense against whatever it is they are fighting.

That moment, where a question about Ronald Reagan magically became Bill Clinton is the type of deception that is happening 24/7 on KINS and Drudge.  It’s just less clear when they don’t have to answer good and tough questions.  Something they work really, really hard to avoid.

Finally, John F. Kennedy on liberty and tyranny and America’s role from 51 years ago last Saturday.


Dear Times-Standard: Why Numbers Matter

So below are the results so far from the yet unofficial count for Eureka’s Ward 3.  You may remember I took a look at these numbers and came to the conclusion, given election history in a similar race, that Kim had a really, really good shot. (ie not slim, slim)  I agreed with Thadeus’ numbers at the NCJ with his late update.  However, with the political reverse Doppler effect (PRDE?) I believed that Soon To Be Councilwoman Elect Bergel had more than a fair chance of winning.   Here’s a quote.

As Thadeus writes, if there are indeed 1,300 votes outstanding (there were auspiciously 1332 in 2012) then Thadeus concludes Kim would need 54% which I contend is well within reason given the reverse political Doppler effect given the left’s endearing penchant for procrastination (Linda, again auspiciously, earned 55% of the 1,332 in 2012)

Here is the results so far, i.e. not only a capture of the numbers from the HumCo election department, but a presentation in a manner that may or may not be understandable to others.  But it’s an attempt.  Notice, btw, the 55%. :)

Still Unofficial Ward 3 Results

We don’t like numbers.  I love numbers, and I even don’t have the stomach for numbers during a majority of the hours of the day.  They take more time then words to internalize.  But they are critical.  If I have any influence on local media, I hope it’s to increase the use of tables, graphs, and … numbers.

And why, you may ask are numbers so darn important?  Well, concerned citizen from the comment zone gives one very clear example why.  Without numbers to understand what is going on, especially when the results go against one’s desires, we are prone to concocting conspiracy theories.  Sadly these conspiracy theories are more often than not used by political organizations and campaigns to great political effect.

Here is the intro to concern citizen’s comment.

As long as they check the legality of late ballots, mail in and provissional. the left has been working the system for many years. That is why the left is so upset about I.D to vote laws. There is absolutely no reason there should not be I.D laws.

So, Times Standard, please consider bringing out your table or graph creating software more often.  Like vegetables at dinner, it may not be our favorite food on the plate, but numbers, tables and graphs are an important part of a more nutritious informed morning read.



Also … Who again got to vote for Ward 3?  The whole town?  WTH?

Remember these votes are for “Ward 3″ in name only.  This is an at-large vote so all of Eureka got to vote for the candidates.  Maybe, conservatives, you too might be interested in returning to a more Democratic (not to mention Constitutional) system where only those in the Ward get to vote for their representative?  Right now each of the 5 candidates, dispite the ward number behind their name has the whole city as their constituents.  It’s cconceptually messy and politically mind-numbing.

Let’s change this please?  I think, conservatives that this is the time to do it while many liberals would be on board.  I see Eureka going the way of California, so it may be time to cut your losses.

Also … Come again?  What’s an Undervote?

I couldn’t tell you before looking up Wiki.  Basically it’s people who skipped this race on their ballot or, I believe, added a creative candidate instead of one of the two running.

An undervote occurs when the number of choices selected by a voter in a contest is less than the minimum number allowed for that contest or when no selection is made for a single choice contest.[1]

In a contested election, an undervote can be construed as active voter disaffection – a voter engaged enough to cast a vote without the willingness to give the vote to any candidate.

An undervote can be intentional for purposes including protest votes, tactical voting, or abstention. Alternately undervotes can be unintentional and caused by many factors including poor ballot design.

Undervotes combined with overvotes (known as residual votes) can be an academic indicator in evaluating the accuracy of a voting system when recording voter intent.[2]


What to Expect from a Non-Conservative Eureka Leadership

…Lets Find Out and Not Burden Them with Extraordinary Standards.

December will bring a big change in leadership from a conservative business first mentality to a _____ (Edit: previously blank line struck through thanks to anon in comments) governing first mentality.

I don’t know what to expect as Councilwomen Atkins, Arroyo, and Bergel will illustrate their own vision of leadership when we begin to think outside the current governing principle that what is best for a few successful businesses is necessarily best for the community at large.

I’m really excited about the potential, but my expectations are low because the challenges before our community are so high.  Government and leaders alone only have so much influence.  Their positions are obviously critical and they will be determinate in guiding our future, but this response to conservative commenter Just Watching is not right.

Just Watchin:  This will be fun to watch. No more blaming conservatives. Be careful of what you wish for.

Eric Kirk:  You’re absolutely right JW. No excuses two years from now.  The conservative majority on the County Board has also been in place for several years now, but unfortunately the majority of voters don’t hold them accountable for results. But progressives have come to expect double standards, so yes, we had better produce!

What production?  Higher employment rates?  Fewer innocent civilian deaths with no repercussions? (OK, that standard does need to be met.)  Less drug use?  Higher wages?  Reinvigorated and less hostile schools?  I hope these and other metrics increase noticeably, but the thinking that a non-conservative City Council can make measurable or noticeable changes in a community at large in two years, or even four years is setting a governing philosophy up for failure.

Governing is about policy, and the changes that are needed will not take two or four years.  What it will take is constant vigilance, the right decisions, and a belief in government (no, not faith conservatives).  Right now we are under constant threat of electing those who discard the importance of government, and arguably information and education from winning elections.  If we expect to produce noticeable changes in 2 or 4  years as a standard, instead of say, asking our leaders to make decisions and then defending those decisions come election time, we will doom ourselves to play out the political rut we are currently demonstrating at the national level.  There it seems the common wisdom is – if life isn’t currently exactly the way I expect it to be, let’s kick the bums out.

That’s not how change will occur.  Real change, the change we need, takes effort over time – years and decades.  Its a change that requires proactive thinking, a trust in community including both the business and private sector, inclusion instead of exclusion, and fewer political games.

The right thrives on political games.  If we on the left (or ______) (Edit: thanks to anon in comments) unilaterally withdraw from the games, and focus our efforts on explaining exactly what and why we do what we do, trusting the electorate to figure out the gamesmanship of KINS and it’s supporters, I believe those willing to govern and take on hard decisions will win more often than not.

We can start by not setting ourselves up for failure by trying to meet standards set by those wishing us to fail.

One more thing from that thread…

John Fullerton:  “Is it a good thing to have a city council with only one member has ever owned a business?”

Eric Kirk:  “I think so. I own a business and I don’t feel qualified to run a government entity.”

That’s another thing.  We don’t need to hold ourselves up to some extraordinary standard set by our political adversaries.  Eric, you would make an awesome and thoughtful leader on the City Council or Board of Supervisors.  What makes you unqualified but any of the current Humboldt County Supervisors or Eureka City Councilmembers up there qualified outside of personality differences? 


*Snoopy Dance*

Congratulations Kim, and way to go you wonderfully procrastinating left-of center Eureka voter!  Now, do we officially change the name from Councilman to Councilwoman to make up for a little lost time?

Also, for some reason, I’ve lost all interest in counting ballots.  Something I thought was nigh for many of us.


Cross-Post on Eureka’s Homeless and Weed Inc.

I had planned to write something entirely different this am, but was distracted by Matthew in the Middle’s latest screed.  And in this case, given what he wrote about vigilante justice, I’m sticking to the term screed.

Here is the post, and the summary of the comment is below.  I wanted to post it here because I really want to begin to link the  policies that will only continue by conservatives like Matthew, Supervisors Bohn, Sundberg, and Bass and progressive/conservatives hybrids like Richard Marks and Supervisor Fennell.

Outside of Richard Marks who sits on the fence on this issue, all the others have been outspoken in their tough-talk Rob Arkley approach to homelessness where prison seems less as a place to mete punishments and more of a place to home people.  Factors in lengths of stays in prison often seem tied not only to the crimes themselves, but also to the fact we’d rather not have these individuals in our neighbors once they’ve satisfied their sentence.

That’s the score on the one hand.  On the other hand, all the individuals above now cozying up to Weed Inc.  The reasons why are clear in all but Supervisor Fennell’s case.  I think Supervisor Fennell may be a true believer in Weed Inc., but all the others are Johnny-come-latelys and will have to walk a fine line (read: not address this issue at all) between their social conservative base, like the KINS crowd that clearly understand a connection between Weed Inc. and homelessness.

I’m not so sure that link is that certain as many trimmers and aficionados are young and well off.  However, I’m concerned about the political ramifications of another resource extraction industry for Humboldt.  That’s why I think it’s important to connect homelessness and weed.  I would like people to be aware of their own political principle shift as we all begin to bow to the power of Weed Inc.  If legalization itself doesn’t strike many conservatives as that big of a deal, then at least they should be made to address the potential of a what a legitimized Weed trade centered in Humboldt County will mean for social ills that will inevitably follow it.  Homelessness, a continued illicit black market, even greater access to teenagers, etc. etc. etc.

Solving homelessness does not look like volunteers in bright yellow t-shirts with a police escort.  It will have to begin with hard looks at ourselves and our society to try to understand how we got to this place.  One good place to start would have been working toward a minimum wage.

Matthew, Virginia, Ryan, Rex and Rob, if you really want to solve homelessness what we need to do is think proactively, not reactively.  That includes being honest about connecting cause and effect of different policies you support.

Part of the LoCO comment in response to Matthew:

Matthew and folks like him are currently running our homeless policies in Eureka and Humboldt (see Supervisor Bass’s Thursday am meetings which began after Arkley’s anti-homeless mob gathering). At least Matthew is “in the middle” in the sense he realized the value of non-profit outreach, unlike Rob Arkley and those of his ilk.

There are no easy solutions and Eureka is in a world of hurt right now. Crime is the norm in certain neighborhoods, like mine and calls for increased community action like neighborhood watches are spot on. However, all this other right wing nonsense is simply that. We are not vigilantes, we are not victims, prisons are for punishing crimes, not housing undesirables, and we are talking about people, not a big screen distopian fantasy.

All Matthew’s vision of solutions does is give anger a place to vent and increase an already over taxed crime and punishment segment of our public sector. What we need to begin to understand is these problems are reflections of greater problems with our society at large and do not have easy solutions. I believe that Eureka’s people specifically and HumCo’s generally are the type of people that can begin to work toward real solutions that can be copied in other communities – much like Eugene’s micro housing example – if/when we get the right leadership.

People like Matthew, Richard Marks, Ryan, Rex, Virginia and Estelle also have to be up-front with their constituents as we legalize and legitimize weed. This latest addition to Humboldt exploitative resource extraction history will continue the trend of a very few becoming very rich off the riches of our land (in this case it’s size and terrain) and the labor of many others. The nature of weed itself will dictate a sort of culture and politics.

I’m not necessarily thinking what most of you are thinking. When I think weed, I don’t think of Arcata and the plaza. What I am really worried about is paralleling the politics of Virginia, North and South Carolina, etc. in the 18th and 19th centuries with tobacco or cotton. Not slavery South, but something approaching indentured servitude South with a tiny ruling elite, a small cadre of a comfortable class and way too many barely being able to keep off the streets or out of prison on wages that cannot support a family.

In the end this is how Matthew et. al. are in the middle. They will follow and support the expedient politics and policies based on the riches of their neighbors AND they will designate themselves as part of the victim class.



ICPS:  International Centre on Prison Studies:  Ranking of Prison Population.



Thoughts on Why R Failed and P Didn’t

So R failed, so far, by 1,352 votes, 3,491 to 2,139 or 61% to 37%. 2 votes against for every 1 vote for it. It wasn’t close, in fact it was a landslide.

Also, another favorite, of the left P flew buy with flying colors. If we assume the County’s percentages followed for Eureka, the votes went something like this 3,306 votes for it and 2,257 votes against it or 57% to 39%. Again, not even close 18 percentage point difference.

What explains the paradox that these two landslides that many would think should have the same base went exactly the opposite direction?

My answer. Reagan, Rush and a hollow opposition to middle-class eviscerating policies that the right has sold to a willing public for the past 40 years.

Here is how it’s done.

1) Power. The Job Creators have control the purse strings, not the liberal elite. See Coop’s P banner (and not one for R) and Eureka Natural Food’s Rick Littlefield’s letter to the editor (see below). It’s the old saying on KGOE that the liberal media is only as liberal as their corporate owners. And that goes from local owners too. There are local owners and businesses that need union representation to begin to even the playing field again.

a) Sub story. Unions were strongly and rarely united in favor of this measure.  However, when push comes to shove, unions are weak politically. Don’t buy this right wing union thug narrative, because those days are long gone. Any anti-union talk is just that, since 1980, they have not been a part of our national dialog.

It’s time, btw, that changed.

2) Self interest. We have been trained since the inflation scare of the late 70’s to work against high prices. In the end, we will vote for expediency and efficiency. In a scene our society itself has become a business model. We demand with our spending shopping malls, international free trade, and wages that require public assistance simply to get by, not to mention invest for a future. We’ve bought into the right-wing utopian vision that all it will take is a little more boot strap pulling. Maybe that’s true for a percentage of people but what is that percentage? Also, what do we do about those who have legitimately pulled their bootstraps as tight as they go?

3) Trust. This may be one of the most important if least discussed aspect of politics. You’ll see reference all over the blogs (search for the word “credibility”), especially from the right as if they instinctively understand it’s importance to their narrative. If the left has reality, and we do (with exceptions like P), the right depends on people trusting them – at least relative to the trust they put in the left. That’s why the KINS Rush/Sean/Medved/Bennett is critical to their path forward. That narrative is simply about de-legitimizing the left. This is also what John Fullerton and others do when they concern-troll on credibility, what they are really doing is telling the reader – hey, don’t listen to this guy, not because of his/her arguments, but because of who he/she is, and for starters he/she isn’t me.

a) if you want to experience this in real time, please take the time to listen to this clip by Rush Limbaugh where Rush begins the heavy lifting of using people’s trust in him against their own self interest in net neutrality.

I think the above have to be considered when trying to figure how to measures which should have strong support on the left had extraordinarily divergent results. The left’s coalition in Humboldt depends a great deal on what my mind characterizes as the Sohum or 60’s counter culture or Weed Inc. left which has one foot in the Ayn Rand libertarian narrative of the right. You’ll find a great deal of disagreements between this left and more institutional liberals like myself.

We also have to understand and appreciate the great political divide between labor and capital which may sell left, but in the end, cannot be, not where it really counts.

What I hope is that those of us on the left will begin to work with each other rather than those on the right. I understand how cheaper prices, less regulation, fewer unions, lower taxes all sound great, at least for the time being, but we have to realized\ that in order to smoke weed, save Pacific Fishers, salmon, and heirloom varieties, AND to be able to come out in the black when pinching pennies, we need a middle class.

… and there are no short cuts.

Resources (and it turns out, tons of)  Bonus Commentary:

Partial transcript and commentary on the king utopian narrative creator of our time – Rush Limbaugh.

“it can be really complicated …”  (Turn off your critical thinking, you are not smart enough to figure this out – I will for you)

.. if you listen to the wrong people about it…” (Duh, the left are the wrong people, they hate America, did you know that?  They probably hate you too.)

“’s something that is totally mis-titled…

…there is nothing neutral about net neutrality, what the regime want’s to do…”  (yes, I said regime, duh, I don’t know how many times I use that word during my 3 hour show, or since I invented it’s use in reference to President Obama a few years back, but narratives need to be sold by repetition and by having a clear antagonist.  Let’s be clear, this is a story, it’s a soap opera for angry white men who want someone to blame.)

“…here’s the thing, I’m telling you...”   (Remember, trust and credibility are critical to this.  Stay with me folks, I won’t let you down.)

“… you don’t even need to know what it’s about, all you really need to know..” (see critical thinking above.  Seriously, please just listen to me, and ignore even those conservatives who “know better“.  This is definitively NOT about setting up another business model where those with money can make a killing by offing sky boxes in part by making life miserable for the rest of you.)

…all you really need to know is who is behind it and that alone should disqualify your support…”  (See above.  I said regime!  QED.  Obamacare, socialist, communist, community organizer, *whispers* also did you notice he doesn’t look like us?)

…the same people who had given us Obamacare, and the way they did it, lied through their teeth, ran a con game…”  (See, I pay attention to local news generated by the right and then use it to buttress this narrative.  Gruber anyone, liberal elite lying to you and calling you stupid?  And you want to listen to those egg heads?  Fools… anyway as I was saying…)

And it goes on starting with an anecdotal story from Rush’s life giving him credibility with the common man (not woman). This is Rush’s and the right’s faux populism, and it works.

24 hours a day 7 days a week on FOX, and radio.  This is how in the 2nd midterm after a successful Democratic President, Republicans managed to do even better than polls suggested they would.

It’s been happening since 1980 at least and the result is while the left can pass largely meaningless Measures like P, it cannot, yet, begin to significantly take on the economic  powers that be.   Economic powers that have so clearly sold us a a bill of goods.  Hopefully, sooner than later we will all catch on to Rush’s and KINS’ brand of conservationism which is in business of selling the lie that a rising tide raises all boats.  It doesn’t.

Resources Part 2:  Rick Littlefield’s T-S editorial from 11/1/14.

Rick Littlefield from ENF on R



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