Trump and His Supporters Are Angry. This Makes Sense.

Here is a quick video on some of the results of the woman’s equality movement over the last decade.  It’s not just the economy that anger’s Trump’s largely white male base.  It’s also not just scapegoating those who come from a different culture.  It’s also probably has a great deal to do with white men longing for the good ole days.

Here is a 1 min clip that is a handy reminder of the changes that hard work has brought about.

This is lined via a post at Crooks and Liars by Francis Langum.  She also added this from her experience…

I can remember as a child in the 1960’s that my mother had one store credit card with my dad’s name on it. She had no credit to her name at all.

And another woman my mother’s age told me about hiding her pregnancy for as long as she could from her employer, a major top-ten communications company, because as soon as they knew she was pregnant in the 1960’s she would be let go. That was policy.

So when Donald Trump says things like “the good old days” or “pregnancy is very hard on an employer,” you know he is talking about days when women had far fewer rights than they do today.

I think we have to keep this in mind as we struggle to understand the Trump phenomena.  Thankfully longing for the good ole days is not a message that we will have to endure much longer.  Thankfully America is better than it was when it was “Great”.


T-S article: good. T-S headline: atrocious.

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Above are the two headlines from the Times Standard today for a informative and detailed article by Will Houston, one from the print edition and one from the online edition.  Both headlines imply something that isn’t in the reporting.

PRINT:  “Could raise rents long term”:  The only thing I could find to support this is that county staff lamented that V is linked to the Bay Area consumer price index rather than the state CPI because doing so

“is not necessarily in the best interests of the residents because it’s higher than the state level would have been”

So, point being V is important and will lower rents, but not as much as it would have if it was linked to the state CPI.  That is not “raising rents long-term”, in fact the article shows that county staffers found rents have been raised higher than the CPI recently in Humboldt county.

INTER-TUBES:  Also the ‘unintended consequences’ scare-quote in the headline of the online article refers to this…

“Mushrush also pointed out some “unintended consequences” of Measure V, including an estimated $6,200 annual cost to the county that would not be covered by the annual $5 fee mobile home park residents would have to pay to the county to cover operational costs of the ordinance.”

$6,200 dollars?  That is about what Rockport’s parent company Brius just paid for it’s recent full-page articles in the Times-Standard.  Is that amount really noteworthy?  For a headline?


Btw, thank you for the informative article Mr. Houson, job well done.  If you are also responsible for the headlines, can we talk?

Eureka City Council Candidate Form in 45 Minutes.

It’s sponsored by True North Organizing Network.  If you can’t watch it tonight, I’m guessing that Humboldt Access will have recorded it so make yourself a note to watch it on your schedule.  6pm.  520 Del Norte Street in Eureka.


Lying to Oppose True Ward: Part ii

Back in the 80’s distinguishing our democratic republic from a pure democracy was a big deal and one of the core arguments I heard to support the Republican agenda.  Back then, that distinction made some sense, Republicans were protecting a wealthy minority against the tyranny of the majority and us long-hairs were – well whatever it was that we were up to.

So when conservatives start promoting representative democracy we should take note.  Kudos, right?  Or is this just a democracy-wash of a system designed to let people “have a say in electing all of our council members”.

Here is the second and most frustrating lie of the official argument against P.  And, by the way, we are still only 3 sentences into our fact-checking of this argument.

The ward system of voting in a city the size of Eureka is as far from a representative democracy as possible.  The promoters of this ill-advised change want to limit the number of people who elect City Council members.

– Melinda Ciarabellini, Rex Bohn, Mike Newman, Marian Brady

Simply not true on both accounts.  I’m one of these promoters and there is nothing more fundamental to my personal political motivating for doing what I do than to increase the percentage of informed citizens voting.  Everything else, whether it is fighting for smart growth, sustainable development or accountable policing is secondary.  The foundations of our politics and community depend on it – if we believe and act on the governing documents of the United States.  In fact my drive to increase the number of motivated and informed people electing local officials is exactly why I’ve taken up the bloggerific hobby of doing whatever I can to help someone navigate the byzantine corridors of local politics.

I would challenge those who wrote those two obnoxious sentences to come up with any evidence at all to support them.

And to turn the tables, those opposing P admit that their bottom line is to hang on to all of their votes and influence.  Their signs say it.  Mathew Owen says itAnonymous bloggers with a WordPress blog say it.  Even Mayor Frank Jäger said the following at the Rotary forum on P. (click link then use the scroll bar to get to 42 min in).

“In closing I’d only say that this measure is undemocratic and it takes away your vote.  I and many in our community want a say in electing all of our council members because they work for all of us.”

Mayor Jänoonpger and those against a true ward system want to keep their influence over the entire city. If this means there is less incentive for others to vote, so be it.  In fact I’d argue reducing the incentive for regular people who may not have the time to pay attention to 6 city-wide elections instead of just one is the darker, flip-side of the “I want all my 5 votes” argument.

Unlike those who wrote the argument above, I don’t believe that Major Jäger is consciously working to limit the number of people to vote.  However, there is no question that the movement to limit voting has been critical to the success of the Republican Party and the conservative movement nation wide.

Proof?  Here is Paul Weyrich clarifying a strategy in 30 seconds which no movement conservative can ever, ever speak out loud again. “I don’t want everybody to vote… as a matter of fact our leverage in elections quite candidly goes up as the voting populace goes down”.


The idea that voting for Measure P is “undemocratic” and that to support Measure P means that you want to limit the number of people that vote.  This is so wrong and misleading that it gets another max rating of 3 of 3 Trumps.

Icon by Leif Michelson from

Please think about breaking through the false and misleading rhetoric this election season and vote “yes” for Measure P.  Measure P is a true ward system for Eureka.  It is. important.  It returns us to the basic essentials of democracy that had been working in Eureka for decades.  It returns greater accountability of your representative to you the voting citizen.


Consolidated Humboldt/CA Ballot Recommendations*

*From Eureka’s perspective.  Sorry Rio Dell and Trinidad.  Richard has you covered though.

I’ll keep this page updated as I educate myself on what is on the ballot and as I find other people’s recommendations.  If you are so inclinded bookmark this page for use until November 8th.


Eureka’s Fourth Ward:

Times Standard endorses John Fullerton 10/16/16

Measure V:

Times Standard endorsement 10/15/16


If you have recommendations or questions post comments below and I’ll update this page if you wish me too.

I’m going to start with the chart below with a couple of fairly comprehensive recommendations from Richard Salzman and Eric Kirk along with the Humboldt and state Democratic endorsements, the Republican state-wide endorsements and the LA Times editorial board endorsements.  (I’m familiarizing myself with other inter-tube tools and you can find a copy of the chart below here thanks to The Google.  Please give me any feedback if you wish.)

As far as officials, I’m only including local (contested) elections as these contests are no longer competitive in California.  Thankfully, in this blue state it has become obvious that Republicans have given up on governing with all of us in mind. Locally, Republicans-in-all-but-name are still hanging on, they’ve just had to disavow the “R” to stay in power.


Community Service Alert for the Untrustworthy …

Look Directly Into People’s Eyes if Being Sworn Into Office

I couldn’t resist, I had to highlight this winner of a letter from Mike Jones former Eureka City Council-member whose choice is simple this November.  In large part because he seems to share with George Bush the ability to see more than most when looking into another man’s eyes.

Here is the quote from today’s Times Standard…

I also came into association with John as I swore him into office as a member of the Eureka Planning Commission while I was the chairman. Anyone who takes the oath of office and looks you straight in the eye is someone you can trust to not only do the job, but with no ulterior motives.

Mike Jones  10/14/16 Times Standard

“No ulterior motives”.  Wow, a good look really can tell you a lot.  You know, I’m willing to admit deficiencies.  Maybe as a liberal I AM sadly lacking some very basic life skills that some conservative leaders seem to share.

On the other hand, how reliable is this power anyway?  I wonder if President Bush saw the future the invasions by Prime President Putin of Crimea then Ukraine in the Russian leaders soul.  And I’d rather not even discuss Putin’s disturbing shortage of shirts in the vicinity of cameras.

Mike Jones and his super-natural skills is obviously a Fullerton supporter, so in the interests of fair play here is a quote from Fred Krissman which can also be found in today’s Times-Standard opinion page.

I’d like to thank the candidates for sharing these endorsement lists and making our decision so much easier! If you want big bucks to continue being siphoned to the top salary earners in the region, while working people flounder and our best professionals are driven away, vote for Fullerton and his business- as-usual conservative approach. If you’re ready for real change — government that supports working people and their interests, while growing a healthy economy — the only choice is Austin Allison.

Fred Krissman, Eureka

Arguments For and Against Eureka’s True Ward

The young man (best guess) over at The Humboldt Confidential (THC) stepped away from the disingenuous (and completely misleading) and recently, deeply irresponsible arguments (I won’t link to it) to focus on an argument against Measure P on it’s merits.  (sorry for all the parenthesis)

You can find his argument against a true ward system here.

Here is my response.

yes pls

The great thing about P, win or lose, is it is allowing our local “ole boys network”* to show their true colors. I would generally use the descriptor “conservative”, but being against P has nothing to do with conservatism or conservative principles unless that principle is maintaining power for those that deserve power.

“There’s a harsh truth that the proponent of Measure P aren’t telling you about. And it’s that they want to put the fate of the City in the hands of very, very few people.”

I would replace “harsh truth” with “amazing feature”, and we would love to tell you and everyone else about this feature of returning democracy to communities.

Question: Do more people voting necessarily make better decisions? Did you pay attention to the Republican primary?

“That’s 1,800 people deciding on a leader of the City who, for four years, will be completely unaccountable to the rest of the populace.”‘

But you will be able to un-elect them in 4 years. You can’t do that, for example, to local monopoly businesses. Our representatives ARE accountable because their terms are limited to 4 years. Again, this is a feature of democracy and government and not a bug.

“In THC’s mind, 1,800 people having such an enormous impact on a city of 27,000 isn’t wise, nor politically fair.”

Again, votes!?!?

Exactly THC. That is your truth. You believe that five citywide votes for one individual are better than one because you don’t want to deal with the messy problem of actual people having influence in government. This is important because paying attention to your blog content over the past months, one can’t help but notice that you pretend to be a voice of the people, of one of the economically downtrodden, simply here to protect the people from the excesses of the government.

But when you have a chance to encourage your readers to return their excess votes (plural) to those that understand that Eureka’s system has been rigged …well…”We’d like to hold on to these actually. Our towns really too small and, btw, have you noticed the odor emanating from many of those 1,800? Are they really trustworthy of voting for someone who will be in office for (gulp) FOUR years?”

Eureka’s electoral system was consciously set up to make sure that a small group of pillars of the community (by their definition) have a disproportionately large voice in our city’s government, representative democracy be damned. Measure P begins to disassemble a part of that system.

I get it, the thought of changing back to a fairer form of representative government is scary, but change often is, even if in the end we all will be better for it.**
*Take a look at this ad for Mr. Fullerton and note those endorsing him (the latest ran Tuesday on A3).fullerton

Four old, familiarly conservative men on the Eureka Planning Commission, four old, familiarly conservative men on the Humboldt Planning Commission. God love old men, I’m one of them myself. The issue here is that there is a very small cohort of people, much smaller than 1,800 that is running our town (not to mention County). Measure P tries to return the people’s voice back to government. Supporters of the true ward system (Measure P) wish to spread the wealth of democracy.

** Take a look at this video. This is about voting rights because reminding people they do have an important fraction of the vote MAY help non-partisan registration wonks like me get our miserable registration and voter participation rates up.

The Only Way to Oppose P* Is to Lie: Part i

*while favoring representative democracy.

This short, official argument against Eureka’s Measure P was signed by Marian Brady, Mike Newman, Melinda Ciarabellini and Rex Bohn.  To begin with, we have to understand that it is not a coincidence that 3 of these 4 officials had at least one election without an opponent.  Add to this list Mayor Jager who was chosen as the voice to support P at a recent debate for a Rotary Club forum and the ratio of P supporters who had at least one election without an opponent.
By the way, not once has a left-of-center candidate run unopposed in recent memory.  Even this critical aspect of a democracy, finding candidates, favors those of a certain political persuasion.

Signers to the official argument against P

As a person who loves this country and this county I simply don’t understand how a sometimes-elected official can take the position that our local representative democracy doesn’t need urgent help.  Unless of course they are rationalizing what is politically expedient to their sometimes-electoral success.

I think the official argument against Measure P proves that this is not about any principles or about what is best for representative democracy in Eureka but what is best for their political agenda.  And yes, all officials do have political agendas.

So, let’s delve into the truthfullness-challenged portions of the No-On-P argument.

Sentence One:

“Should this measure be approved, 80% of Eureka voters won’t have a say in who represents them on the City Council in any given Election.”

This is simply not true.

With a true ward electoral system, each voter would vote for her or his representative once every four years.  The same term length, for example, as our President.  For those living in Wards 2 and 4 these years begin with this election in 2016 then 2020, 2024, etc.  For those living in Wards 1, 3, and 5 the election years are 2018 and onward every four years.  The Mayor will still be elected by the entire city and this election also takes place in 2018.

Therefore, as a resident of the Second Ward, and like those living in the Fourth, in the true ward system we would get “a say in who represents”us in every single city election – bar none. Those living in the odd-numbered Wards would have their vote for Mayor the same year they are electing their city council representative and thus get 2 votes for representatives during the year their representatives are elected.

Again, this “80% of Eureka voters won’t have a say in who represents them on the City Council in any given Election” is simply not true.  Given the prominence of this statement at the beginning of their argument and the obvious threat it is meant to be to the good people of Eureka who would want their vote to count AND count fairly, I’m characterizing this untruth with the max 3 of 3 trumps.

Icon by Leif Michelson from

That’s all I have time for this morning.  The good news is we are one sentence into this argument and making progress!

Voting Begins This Week.

Today’s Google in California.

Ballots are being sent out now for those of us that vote by mail.  It’s time to volunteer if you have any spare time and care about issues that Sylvia De Rooy can articulate much better than I can.

See her inspirational “My Word” from Sunday’s Times Standard here. It’s titled “Find out hat matters to you, and fight for it”.

“We are all busy with our lives but like it or no if we don’t all — every one of us — make a commitment to contribute to the fight to recapture our rights and privileges right now there may not be much left to fight for.

Are you ready to toss in your two cents worth, or million dollars worth? Whoever is elected in November is going to bring problems to the White House. They will need to know they are facing a public that is demanding a better world, a public that is answerable to and won’t take no for an answer. If you are willing to be a part of that call me at 707-269-0206 and let’s talk.”

Wow, she left her number.

Here is mine.  (707) 496-5311.  We need your help.  I’m not associated with Sylvia, I just like her, so the recommendations I for action I can give you are my own and not necessarily hers.

We need to get the word out with increased urgency now that the ballots are out.  Here is how you can help…

The Democrats have 7,000 door hangers to distribute marked with their endorsements which will include Austin, Measure P and Measure V.  Their number is (707) 445-3366 and their webs site is here.

North Coast People’s Alliance (The former Bernie group in Humboldt) can be found here.


If you just want to do something tangible now, please join the NCPA making calls Monday to Thursday nights at the Union hall in Eureka (8th and E).  Bring your cell phone, because of course we don’t have money for phone banks.  Sundays 12-4 we go door to door.




Could a Principled Conservative Please Stand Up FOR P?

Those supporting the current byzantine electoral system in Eureka like it because it keeps 80% of their votes.  They want to make sure their imprimatur is on every one of the five city council members.

Here is a quote from the official argument against P.

Under this measure the voter would only be able to participate in electing ONE councilmember living in their ward. They would not be able to vote in the election of councilmembers in the other four wards.

Wait a minute… voteS?  Plural?

I feel I am channeling my inner modern conservative when supporting the true ward system for Eureka. It was a late 19th and early 20th century progressive movement that supported the nationwide trend of moving to at-large elections.  This stemmed from as a measure to defeat the corruption of party bosses in cities like New York, but it found continued support from progressives that were generally well educated or politically active.

Thus with at-large elections rather than the basic concept of one person – one vote they were able to consolidate their power and agenda easier than with a true ward or district election.

But times have changed and the left of this country has made strident efforts to unshackled itself from the racist policies and ideas that sadly did influence both Democrats and progressives prior to 1965.  Not that bigotry is erased, it simply is no longer institutional in left-leaning politics and that is a great thing.

And that is one of the underlying reasons why liberals and progressives in Humboldt are  almost unanimously united for Measure P and the old guard of conservative Eureka politics is united against it.  Those against it will not look at it in those terms, instead they will be asking the question to those they would like to influence – why give up 80% of YOUR influence.*

But that is the rub, who is the recipient of that 80% Elks Club members are forfeiting?  I believe the recipient would be those voters who might not otherwise vote.  If this is true, it should be understood that this movement for P is then not agenda-driven for liberals or progressives.  In fact to hear Matthew Owen on this subject while he was going door to door, his conservative views were well represented by those he met.

This is why I’m passionate in my support for Measure P.  If a true ward returns to Eureka, candidates will go door to door themselves with the potential of hitting each home in their district.  They will need fewer volunteers speaking for them and thus will undoubtedly be able to motivate some percentage more of voters either to come out and vote for (or against) them.  That is the bottom line for those that support P, democracy returns to the people in the homes, not just those members of the Elks Club.

My plea is for even one conservative to break the mold and speak out (or type) with passion for a true ward system.  You have to be out there, I know it.  I listen to, and respect those who speak from the heart for conservative values.  I get those values and often share them.  Values such as empowering individuals to help themselves.

Well here is your chance to prove your commitment to these values.  We should know that the arguments against P really isn’t an esoteric argument about electoral systems and which is more representative or democratic, NO ON P is about keeping all 5 of their votes.  You know it, and I know it.  It’s a power play pure and simple and those who want it to pass are admitting it – just take a look at their advertising.

But what about your, or our shared, conservative principles?  Anyone willing to speak out?  Anyone? … Bueller?

*Measure P IS a voting rights issue.  It may come down to that one day because of California’s relatively young Voting Rights Act (CVRA).  Here is a video that summarizes the fight for expanded voting rights in America.  I contend Measure P continues that fight as we are now tasked with getting all eligible voters to get out and vote.  Measure P helps us in that fight!

From the video (4:03 minutes in):