Liberal Humboldt, CA

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T-S Spins Away a Win for Workers

The good news is that the Times Standard at least realized the significance of an international news crew in town.  The bad news is they did not have the generosity of spirit to allow a win for the folks they oppose.  The news was Denmark’s national media outlet chose Measure R and our Fair Wage Folks as the centerpiece of a story on minimum wage in America.  Denmark, of course the home of the $20 McDonalds employee.

This is nothing new, but it’s just another data point proving the “liberal media” is nothing more than a narrative that the right likes to promote to prove their own victim-hood tales.  The reality is that every paper has a business section – what happened to the labor section?  Both business and labor want businesses to succeed, the difference is labor want’s to share the success, and business doesn’t.  I think this is one of the many rarely discussed advantages business first politicians have in our society – and this is especially true in Eureka.

Here’s how a title should have looked.


Unfortunately, the image below is how the Times Standard had to spin it to deny a little win for the tireless, smart and passionate work Verbena, James, Don and others are doing on behalf of those that need help.  A little win that could and should add momentum to a potential big win on Tuesday.

This is part of the narrative matrix that I keep going on about.  Goodness is very rarely allowed for those on the left – that would be discombobulating to those who want to make this about good (ie business, wealth, success, among other things) and bad (unions, labor, homeless, poverty, etc).

As always, we can change this by changing the conversation, the frames.  We can start this with a bang on Tuesday.  See you at the polls.

No On R Times Standard





A great post on this nexus of Denmark and living wages (and the battle against greed) which we actually experienced first hand with video from Thom Hartmann’s show.

Two amazing posts on Sohum Parlance from Mitch! and green anon.  Green anon’s is so sharp, I hope he or she doesn’t mind if I post it here  (see below).

UPDATE:  The TS is another member of the MOLA 42 paradox club.  Opposing R which might raise prices but supporting Z which definitely will.  It’s not about the rise in prices to those in M42 paradox club, it’s about who benefits and who will pay.


“The fact is, there is mixed data on minimum wage increases.” (Kirk)

However, the data on links between poverty, crime, addiction, health, education, et al have been known for centuries.

$12/hour will finally raise working families out of poverty, however, John Fullerton is correct, it will cost jobs in Eureka’s visible growth industries:

foreclosure sales
storage units
check cashing
usurious used car loans
usurious home loans
reverse mortgages
payday loans
pawn shops
rent to own
rental agencies
debt collection
liquor stores
bail bonds
storage unit “auctions”
job scalpers
distressed loan servicing
dollar stores
Neighborhood recovery homes
Thieves and drug dealers



Joan Jett on Women and Midterms

GOTV woman! (and men too)

“…get yourself out to the polls this November 4th and vote.  And bring your friends.” – Joan Jett

On a related note, if you haven’t watched the series “Freaks and Geeks” and you are in your 40’s – you should.


Midtvejsvalg får middelklassens lave lønninger frem i lyset

I have no idea what this means, but it makes me happy.  Thank you Denmark for being awesome.

The story quotes Fair Wage Folks pillar Verbna…

” Verbena Lea hæfter sig ved, at en anden Californisk by, San José, for to år siden besluttede at hæve den lovfæstede mindsteløn med 2 Dollars, og siden er arbejdsløsheden faldet og nye virksomheder åbnet.”

Verbena, the gall! Did you just say that?

What I take away from the pictures is President Obama is a huge supporter of R and plans to voter fraud vote for Measure R this Tuesday at an undisclosed location.  Measure R supporters do not know what to think about this.

Kudos Sarah, Verbena, James, Don.  That was cool, I’ll be crossing my fingers with you for Eureka Tuesday.

Here is the magic of Google translate at work on this article…

Mid-term Elections get middle-class low wages to light

When Americans vote in the midterm elections Nov. 4, it is not only the senators and members of Repræssentanternes House are up for election.

Americans must also choose governors, judges, local repræssentanter for all sorts of committees and even legalization of Marijuana.
But California has a popular initiative received the minimum wage on the ballot. The economy is a hot topic in the election campaign over the US, but few places in the city of Eureka should voters actually vote for a higher minimum legal wage.
Inside a sensible economic development US economy is really good. When you look at the big picture, macro data, now it’s so good for the United States that the federal central bank has started to roll the artificial stimuli, because the US once again looks to be inside a sensible economic development, unemployment falls and businesses and their owners make money.
“Inequality is approaching the largest for 100 years, larger than the period after the Great Depression and probably also the time before. I think it is fitting that we ask ourselves whether this development is consistent with the values ​​we build our country. “
THE CHAIRMAN OF THE CENTRAL BANK, JANET YELLEN. But the so-called ordinary American is the party somewhat tame.

The chairman of the central bank, Janet Yellen spoke recently at a conference on just inequality, and here she expressed concern over the steadily increasing gap between rich and poor. Not least through the latest year in which the United States has begun recovery from the financial crisis just right.
– Inequality is approaching the biggest in 100 years greater than the time after the Great Depression and probably also the time before. I think it is fitting that we ask ourselves whether this development is consistent with the values ​​we build our country, said Yellen.

Middle class missing progress
While the rich have become richer, the American middle class are not experienced an increase in living standards. And the lower part of the middle class – also known as the working poor , the working poor – still struggling hårere to life to make ends meet, not least because the prices of both food and rent increases, while wages do not move at the same pace.
In Eureka on the US west coast (“editor’s” note: THATS US!) electorate must vote on whether the city’s smallest legal hourly rate will become 12 Dollars. Approximately 72 pounds. State of California’s minimum wage is 9 dollars per hour.
– It is crucial for both the city and the region’s development, we have raised the minimum wage, “says Verbena Lea, which is part of the popular movement in Eureka, (highlights mine – duh!) which has trumped vote on the minimum wage through.
– It is proven that an increase in the minimum wage helps to strengthen the economy, create jobs and in general get families to make ends together. If we succeed, some 1,000 families in Eureka get a significantly better life, she says.
President Barack Obama stands for a crushing election defeat in midterm elections (move on, ignore that). Here he is at a voting place in Chicago. He himself, in a decree made sure that state employees receive a higher minimum wage. (Photo: © Scanpix Denmark)
Skeptical Republicans
While Democratic candidates for both the Senate and House Repræssentanternes across the country agree with this view, especially Republicans skeptical efekten of a higher minimum wage. The leaning especially up an independent report from the Congressional Budget Office showing that 900,000 Americans may have to be lifted out of poverty if the minimum wage is set up.
But it will also cost 500,000 jobs in the United States, is the conclusion.
– This report underlines what we already knew. Namely, that a higher minimum wage destroys and does not create jobs. And it should be our førstepriotritet, said the Republican leader of Repræssentanternes House when the report came ud.Han even with a decree made sure that state employees receive a higher minimum wage.

And then the fronts or pulled up to the midterm elections, the US economy and the government’s ability to tackle the financial crisis and its impact on ordinary American lives helps determine who gets the eftetragtede crossing.
Because even though Eureka is one of the only places where the minimum wage is dedicated to the vote, is precisely the debate on economy central job creation at this midterm election.
Obama’s decree
President Obama elected in February this year to issue a so-called presidential decree that dictates a higher minimum wage for employees in the state.

Two Chambers of Congress could not agree on a compromise, and Barack Obama, exercised its right to issue the kind of orders.

Thus, the minimum legal wage for state employees from 1 January 2015 10.10 Dollars, where today it is at 7.25 dollars. per hour. Representing an increase of 40%. But it applies only to the employees of the State.
Hardly a nationwide resolution
Private Employees and others who are not in the state will continue to be eligible to receive 7.25 dollars per hour, unless their state or city that maybe Eureka, choose to put the local minimum wage higher.
In California, the legal minimum of 9 dollars, but that is not enough, says the people behind the popular initiative in Eureka. Verbena Lea jointly by the fact that another Californian city of San José, two years ago decided to raise the legal minimum wage of 2 dollars, and since unemployment is falling and new businesses opened.
“The low-paid using the money they earn locally. If they can afford, they will go to the movies, drinking a beer at a cafe or take their children to an amusement park. “

She argues that there is a quick access system context.
– The low-paid using the money they earn locally. If they can afford, they will go to the movies, drinking a beer at a cafe or take their children to an amusement park, says Verbena Lea, and thus uses the same arguments that many of the candidates for either governor items, Senate or Repræssentanternes House uses of.
But the debate on a higher minimum wage is unlikely to result in a nationwide decision to raise it to everyone.
Republicans and many employers believe that it will raise the cost of doing business and therefore cost jobs, while most Democrats are aligned with Verbena Lea.
If Eureka vote in favor of a higher minimum wage will apply to all workplaces with more than 25 employees and enter into force in early 2015.


2014 Supervisor Bass to 2010 Electorate – Vote for Bonnie

Supervisor Bass’ plea to voters to cast their ballot for Eureka’s Councilmembers Albin and Newman includes this amazing admission.

“While switching elected representatives might seem like the answer to some, your best choice is to keep the most qualified people in office because they will get the job done.”

Hmmm.  Where was that thought when she was running for the first time for Eureka Councilmember, Eureka Mayor, or Humboldt Supervisor?  Maybe she’s finally come to that conclusion after experiencing the process of undoing 2 or 3 elections with her work on the GPU?

Does Virginia Bass now regret ousting 24 year veteran Bonnie Neeley from her post back in 2010 as a faux Democrat?

Of course not.  The point is to elect people that share the ethic that business knows best.  The best government is one that is amenable to business interests.  However, to say that out loud is often problematic in elections so conservatives, such as Virginia, have to rely on political tactics such as placing a “D” behind her name – a tradition Councilmember Albin has followed to absurd effect given his penchant for Tea Parties, Sarah Palins, and conservatives.

But that doesn’t matter.  What matters in this town is endorsements, which is why HCDCC by law 2.11 (d) turns out to be so genius.  As the Democrats endorse Democrats, non-Democrats who want the “D” on the ballot, struggle with their loyalty and political obligations to their fellow travelers each election.

So whether it’s “vote for me because I’m a Democrat” – or this guy because – “you know, he’s already there and … what the heck…what does it really matter anyway?”.

It matters a lot.  Which is why there are so many games and rationalizations used to maintain power.  You the voter can change this – if you want to – but you do have to pay a modicum of attention, you do have to register, then you have to vote. Things conservatives are depending on you to be too busy to do.



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Big Soda and Push Polls in Berkeley

City of Berkeley Sugary Beverages and Soda Tax Question, Measure D (November 2014)

Of course, we are not the only ones trying to promote public policy in a matrix dominated by wealth.  A lot of times this domination is in something we all consider mundane – example – a soda pop.

Sadly in a society where money=speech that it turns out that little purchase carries a huge political cost.

I recommend this video put together by the internet savvy and generally brilliant Robert Reich.

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Coincidence or Kismet?

The above the fold story at – surely to be printed either on the front page of the Times or their Business page either today or tomorrow.

Fast Food in Denmark Serves Something Atypical: Living Wages

From earlier today:  “I don’t know, but I think the fact it’s Denmark, our living wage overlords and the home of the $22/hr McDonalds employee, of all places, is awesome.”



Danish Broadcasting in Eureka Today?

Got this email from the Fair Wage Folks last night:

Come on down to the Old Town Eureka Gazebo for lunchtime -noonish- to remind everyone to VOTE YES on MEASURE R!  Sarah Torres will be sharing some Fair Wage music (always a treat) and we’ll have bumper stickers, handouts, window signs, and buttons.  Sign up to volunteer in this last week before the election to Get Out the Vote for Measure R!!  There will be correspondents from Danish Broadcasting with us on the Gazebo, doing a story about Eureka folks working to raise wages with Measure R.  Come join us!

I apologize for the headline as a question, but I don’t know.  Is it the National Danish Broadcasting company sending over a correspondent or is it an exchange student from Denmark with an iPhone?  I don’t know, but I think the fact it’s Denmark, our living wage overlords and the home of the $22/hr McDonalds employee, of all places, is awesome.

Thank you again and again Fair Wage Folks for the work you are doing and have done.  I’m hoping your efforts will get a little bit of international attention that they deserve, but more importantly, I hope your efforts result in their intended goal of getting Eureka’s working class a little well deserved leg up next Tuesday.

Please get out there to show your support if you will not be rushing around on your lunch hour.

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For Muslims, Social Media Debate on Extremism Is Reflected in Dueling Hashtags

The Active Change Foundation

Imams Online



Measure R’s Pro and Con Narratives in 30 Seconds.

Local civic leader Charlie Bean was chosen to narrate the No On R ad.  Why wasn’t local business leader Fred Sunquist chosen?  Because Charlie makes a great protagonist.  He is a hard working, civic minded individual who also happens to be disabled and a little grey in the beard.  (I’m joining you quickly Charlie).

The 30 second TV ad is the top of the money pyramid.  This is what, if a campaign has enough, money is spent on.  It’s what will reach most of us who may not be paying close attention, may be voting, and may be moved by narratives.  Who tells these stories is as important as the story itself in the case of Charlie’s ad.

The Fair Wage Folks have their own TV ad now.  Their narrative is more straight forward – lift the minimum wage for local workers.  Their protagonists are of course labor, health care workers, Occupy veterans, etc.  Clear message, clear supporters, clear proposal.

So clear that now even No On R proponent and Treasurer John Fullerton is on board (ish).  He too supports a higher minimum wage and even outdoes the Fair Wage Folks by expanding it County wide.  Kudos John, welcome to the “regulate the free market” dark side.  I’m sure this isn’t just a proposal that is based on weakening Measure R’s chances this November.  I’m sure you will be working hard to move this proposal forward after R passes (or God forbid doesn’t) because R will of course be subjected to legal challenges and we do need a proposal to move the higher wages County wide.  Kudos John!  Let’s do that too – starting November 5th.

So electorate – do some critical thinking before the election.  Think about the narratives and whose telling them and how much it costs to get that narrative across.  (All the while avoiding free advertising in the form of answering questions publically.)

Measure R is a proposal and a narrative that is straight forward that people are happy to put their name behind.  Those against Measure R not so much.  $10,000 in revenue to pay for the ads featuring Charlie Bean were either generated fraudulently or with a clear pre-meditated and organized fund raising technique used to subvert financial disclosure laws.

Those who were not afraid to put their name behind their support include Pacific Seafood, and Jaison Chand and Fred Sunquist.  They obviously have interests that affect their own bottom line, and rightfully so.  That’s just not the tale that is politically … legitimate.  Instead we told to focus on a protagonist who represents our senior citizens and our disabled.  Two communities that I don’t feel comfortable promising that there will not be new challenges to meet their needs – as always – and as always the left will continue to insure our society’s and communities commitment to you is not altered.

But Measure R is only peripherally about services to retired and the disabled.  It’s primarily about paying hard working people a living wage with one of the benefits being lowered public assistance being used on the young and working.

Those are the narratives.  Here are some facts. ..

For the $13,000 + amount of print and air propaganda you are about to receive from the No On R folks, 94% ($16,350 of $17,166 as of 10/18/14) of their revenue total was generated by Pacific Seafood, City Cab, and the anonymous 100 (who could be one person with a tricky accountant for all we know).  Let’s hope Eureka begins to understand the game .

Resources and Diversions:

Here is Measure R’s most recent 460 – (Thank you Pam Powell – Eureka City Clerk)

460 Against Measure R_20141023

Here is a nice diversion (and a wonderful frame) for a wet and gusty North Coast Saturday if you have 20 min.  John Oliver on the wealth gap (warning – HBO).  Something we know about all to well about in Eureka specifically and Humboldt generally.

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The Tale of the Signs

One of my tasks is to point out how important narratives are to supporting our views and votes.

This is why, for example, the majority of the time the local Right will rightfully connect Occupy Eureka to the Fair Wage Folks.  I have no problem with this as it’s true and it’s awesome as they are awesome.  The heart of Occupy – the residual activists that remained after the surge of interests include the Fair Wage Folk’s James Decker and Verbena and local First Amendment activist Janelle Eggert.  So I don’t mind when the Right tries to attach R to Occupy.  Darn straight.

What does irritate me is mundane stories taken for fact like this.  It starts with this  scurrilous statement “It probably shouldn’t be called a war since in this case it’s pretty one- sided.” 

Whatever right?  No.  It’s wrong and I accidentally ran into anecdotal evidence proving it’s not one sided.  Twice daily I walk by Lufkin photo in Old Town and appreciated his Yes On R sign.  A couple of days ago it was gone and the owner happened to be outside at the time and confirmed that it was stolen.

Fred’s story is just that – a good story.  It will reinforce those beliefs and internal narratives of the true believers and confirm their biases against left-leaning policies.  And the story goes like this – “The Left are among all the other negative attributes that will creep up in a campaign season (which is 24/7/365 on the blogosphere) – cheaters.  Remember that when you check that mark on your box, ignore the issues and policy and remember the story – a story about good guys and bad guys and we, the Right are the good guys.”

Please, lets make politics less about narratives and more about policy.  There are real problems we have locally and nationally and they deserve decisions based on clarity – not intentional confusion.


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