Friday, December 30, 2011

Hiding Out In Fullerton

I have been off the Internet for the holiday as I was visiting mom who has none.  I hope everyone had as good a Christmas as we did.  Here are some pix of my hometown.

Former Southern Pacific Railroad Station, now an Old Spaghetti Factory

Old Santa Fe Passanger Terminal, now Amtrak Fullerton
 I'll be back in Humboldt for New Years Eve!  2012 is almost here!

Monday, December 19, 2011

When I Was Young, Americans Couldn't Be Held Without Charges Or Trials

Constitution Free Zone
Way back, before 9/11 changed everything, people in this country had certain rights.  They were spelled out in the Bill of Rights and and the Constitution. A government of and by the people, through law guaranteed all US Citizens the right to know what they were accused of, a trial with a jury of their peers the right to an attorney and other rights. 

Since 9/11 we saw our law makers pass the Patriot Act without really reading it.  There was an Anthrax scare going on during congressional debate over the Patriot Act so no one wanted take the time.  Our so called leaders sold us down the river and traded a perceived safety for our freedoms.  The Patriot Act dramatically altered the way this country does business. Since then we have tortured people, made others disappear through "extraordinary rendition", allowed the president to assassinate US Citizens abroad, started a war without being provoked, and all of this for safety.  We are no longer free. Most of us still think we are free but we are mistaken. 

The National Defense Authorization Act which has passed both houses of congress and only needs the signature of President Obama will seal the deal. He had threatened to veto the legislation because of a provision by Sen. Diane Feinstein that would exempt US Citizens from the indefinite detention.  He seems to have found a way around that and says he will now sign it.

With Obama's signature, they can hunt us down, lock us up without charges and keep us locked up indefinitely. They have been doing this to enemy combatants under the Patriot Act but have kept those locked up off shore at Guantanamo Bay because of US laws on the main land. 

Both California Senators Boxer and Feinstein voted for the NDAA.  Our north coast Representative Congressman Mike Thompson voted against.  The militarization of our police forces and this constant eroding of our rights has changed this country.  That soaring eagle is now chained and shackled.  Most of congress should be fired for voting for this.  See how they voted.

Senator Al Franken said:
“These provisions are inconsistent with the liberties and freedoms that are at the core of the system our Founders established,” .  “And while I did in fact vote for an earlier version of the legislation, I did so with the hope that the final version would be significantly improved. That didn’t happen, and so I could not support the final bill.”

See a story from the Huffington Post that better explains the way it all went down.

The videos
A US Senator's response

Anonymous reaction

Jesse Ventura on the unfolding police state

Now doesn't all of that just make you feel safer?

Friday, December 16, 2011

Walmart, With Me It's Personal

Finally, we don't have to live like individuals anymore. We in Eureka can now all live like a third of the rest of the country. No longer will we need to think about where to buy low quality merchandise. It will now all be at the same place. In Eureka's Bayshore Mall at one store.

As the years unfold you will forget about all of those mom and pop shops or franchise chains where you used to get everything from ammo, milk, bicycles, clothes, food, pet supplies, appliances, tires, computers, baby stuff, cosmetics, ear plugs, paint, pharmaceuticals, ladders, TV trays, DVD movies, toys, books, nails, chewing gum, 5 hour energy, BB guns, laundry detergent, toilet paper, shoes, games, gardening supplies, tools, antifreeze, oil, dinner plates, mirrors, patio furniture, fish for tanks and eating, pesticides, art supplies, bedding, bath supplies, pool and pond supplies, live plants, BBQ's and Smokers, Beer, alcohol, bandages, spices, candles, picture frames, tents, sleeping bags, entertainment centers, Xbox, Wii, Play station, backpacks, electronics, office supplies, lighting, generators, heating and cooling, jewelry, flooring, mattresses, musical instruments, hot tubs, saunas, cell phones, cameras, car care maintenance, exercise & fitness, fishing, marine, golf, hunting, vitamins, wedding & party supplies, hair care, janitorial supplies, school supplies, fragrances, shaving supplies, vision care, gift registry, and all of it from China when possible.

If I sound like I am not thrilled about this new wonder in Eureka it is because it means the likely end of many businesses that provide these products or services. Before Walmart opened in Redding, my aunt got a job working there. Her job was to call around to all of the other businesses in the Redding area and get prices of the goods above so that Walmart would be sure to sell them for less. After about a year when many businesses there folded due to this, Walmart stopped hiring and made my aunt and others do more and more as people quit or got fired. The job became unbearable and so she also quit but was not replaced and people in her department had to do more and more in less time with fewer people. The pay was low and so was the morale.

During the same time frame, I had a pretty good job working at a company called Sandy's Fast N' Fresh, that invented hot food and beverages at 7/11 stores.  Walmart moved into the business nation wide and eventually bought the company I worked for and closed it down. Not because they were not making good profits but because they knew they could make more. My supervisor couldn't take the fact that he was no longer needed and freaked out. Gus put a gun to his head and blew it off. He was about my age then and felt that he couldn't live on the $7.50 an hour pay offered to the new guys. We weren't even offered jobs with the new company. They replaced 3 people on a local truck that did service to the stores to assure that product was rotated and only ordered when needed with 2 guys on a truck at just above minimum wage that just dropped shrink wrapped palates into the parking lots in the middle of the night. One guy would drive the truck to Southern California from Merced Ca. while the other one slept. They would both unload and the first driver would sleep on the way home. They weren't paid for sleeping and were super efficient. I haven't eaten a sandwich or burrito in a 7/11, am/pm or stop and go since then. No one is really code dating this stuff anymore except the franchisee of the store. We know how self policing works out. The company which was a division of Walmart was spun off and sold about 10 years ago but the damage was done.

I don't like that Walmart has moved into Eureka one bit. I moved about as far away from the company as I could get without leaving this country. I still wanted to live somewhere that other people lived and Eureka was about it for real towns. Now the virus has spread to Eureka. I'm sure that our little local economy is not ready to give up one third of it's retail business but that is what is about to happen.

In my opinion, Walmart is the worst possible business that could have moved into a dead mall. It will become the mall and one day the mall will become the tax base to Eureka. When that happens even people in the TV, radio and newspaper business will mostly go out of business because these smaller business that will go away are what keep the local media alive. Walmart only buys one ad and they do it on National TV or radio not local.

People wonder why I am so upset about the way homeless people are treated in this county. It is because many of us are one bad decision like this away from becoming the working poor or homeless.
I think that in the next few years there will be a lot of available commercial real estate in this county. Thankfully we still have the underground economy and the feds have shown that they aren't about to let Walmart sell our main export. I'll see you all in the underground. Walmart will probably sell the scissors at below cost.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sacramento Garbage Co. Moves To TexasTo Avoid Taxes

Another California born company has made the move to Texas  to avoid paying their fair share.

The CEO of Waste Connections garbage company founded in Sacramento is moving his company to Texas. He says California has the highest tax burden of any state that they do business in. He said that the housing collapse in the Sacramento area is hard on his employees and so he is moving 95 percent of his workers to Texas.
The garbage will stay in California where other companies that want to do business here will get to divide up the work and contracts.
Every time a company leaves California a window of opportunity for smaller businesses opens up. Recently, Carls Jr. announced that they were considering a move to Texas for some of the same reasons.  Although they got their start from the hard work of people in California like my dad, they are now too good for us and seek the shelter of a state that favors business over people and their health.  Look up Texas environmental standards. Here's another link about the differences Texas has to offer over the other states.
Consider that In-n-out Burger started in California and is still family owned.  They recently opened two locations in Texas and have caused traffic jams from people trying to get away from other Texas food seeking a Double Double and fries. They pay their employees more on average than Carl's Jr., have a better reputation and are always busy.
San Francisco just announced that the minimum wage there would go to $10.24 per hour starting in January 2012.
 This will undoubtedly make more companies leave San Francisco and go to the plains or deserts where they won't have to compete with quality, freshness, happy cows and higher taxes.  Does this mean that you will get to rent a conference room in San Francisco for any where near the cost of one in Dallas? No way. San Francisco doesn't have a problem filling rooms or renting space. They don't have high unemployment either. It is the red counties inland that are the worst jobs creators. Even there in those inland California red counties, you don't see the right wing radio stations leaving because they can't sell advertising.  If they could get a signal to reach Fresno  and Sacramento from Nevada they would but geography is what is is.

Should California aim low? Heck no!

We should do our best to stop losing business in this state but in many cases the decisions from businesses are really more ideological or greed driven than practicality.  Some of these businesses are moving to a low wage and low rent state.  That's where they want to be.  Unlike the garbage company that just plain out doesn't want to do business in California, most businesses that move will still want to sell stuff to Californians.  We should be aware of our local businesses and support them,  even when they are highly successful and known world wide.  Likewise we should recognize those that have jumped ship and find locals to fill that void.  It is in our own best interest as Californians.  Maybe one day we will be so successful that we can lower taxes, but until then, we can't compete in a race to the bottom.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jack In The Box Closed Again

The price of their tacos was recently raised by an entire half cent per taco.  This bold move however was unable to stave off an overlooked or far too long put off maintenance project.  This has happened twice before.  The last time occurred just after a bankruptcy by the franchisee.  A poster to to this blog said it was because the store was inspected by corporate and received a 37 out of 100 for safety and food violations see Ace said... in the comments section.  I can't verify that but it is likely that this "closed for maintenance" closure has nothing to do with maintenance.

For what ever the reason, for the third time since the franchise entered the Eureka Ca. market, Jack in the Box has closed for maintenance.  Although the tacos are cheap (what could possibly be in a 50 cent taco), there are many items on the menu that the company makes money on. They also serve breakfast all day long. I worked the graveyard shift for a few years and can appreciate that. I am doing my best to eat less fast food as I learn what they put into their ingredients. I still like the mystery tacos though and treat them like sausage.  I don't want to know too much but I don't want to make them a staple of my diet either.

So what has closed down the clown that talks tough against other fast food giants in his commercials? It is the food? Filth? Taxes? The mob? Maintenance? Something just silly?
I'm sure someone will chime in and give us the skinny on this exciting fast food horror story.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Long Lines?

I encountered some long lines while out doing some Christmas shopping today. Fortunately for me they weren't at the cash registers.

Here are some links to fun videow about the subject of chemtrails.

Not good enough?  Here is one from the History Channel:

Free Horse Drawn Wagon Rides Today In Trinidad. Tomorrow is Light Up The Night For The Library

Susan Morton working out her two Belgian draft horses before today's free wagon rides around Trinidad on the Redwood Express.  Rides go from 2 till 4 pm today.

Tomorrow is Light Up The Night For The Library which goes from 2 to 6 pm and will include many festivities including more wagon rides from 2 to 4.

Tomorrows celebration is a benefit for the Trinidad Library Building Fund.  Admission is $10 dollars general, $5 seniors and students and $15 for families.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Eureka Police Sweep Homeless Camps In Near Freezing Temperatures

Here is the press release from EPD:

On the morning of 12/07/11, investigators with the Eureka Police Department’s Problem Oriented Policing Unit (POP) conducted an enforcement sweep of transient camps located in the greenbelt along the south end of Broadway.  This included behind K-Mart and the greenbelt/marshland areas west of Broadway from the 3300-4300 blocks (from Lithia Dodge to the Bayshore Mall).  The sweep was in response to on-going complaints the department has received from businesses and citizens concerning problems associated with the illegal campers in these areas.  These complaints include illegal dumping/trash disposal, trespassing, breaking and entering, vandalism (holes cut in fences etc.), thefts from vehicles, aggressive panhandling, disturbances/fights, and alcohol/drug abuse. 
During the week prior to the sweep, officers posted warning notices advising the subjects to vacate their illegal camps.   EPD’s Homeless Liaison, Pamlyn Millsap, also accompanied officers during the sweep and offered “linkage and referral” services to those who were contacted.  This included giving the individuals information about the local resources and services available to them. 
A total of approximately 28 individuals were contacted at numerous illegal camps, 4 of whom were arrested or cited (repeat offenders previously cited or warned).  The remainder were given warnings and instructed to remove their camps/belongings. *Large amounts of scattered and piled trash were located in the vicinity of these camps. Another clean-up crew is scheduled to come through the area in the near future. 

The 3 individuals cited and released were each given Notices to Appear for illegal camping and trash dumping (one was also cited for a dog registration violation). 

The subject arrested, William Dee Love (age 36), was taken into custody in the greenbelt area west of the 4300 block of Broadway for possession of methamphetamine (½ gram) and illegal camping. 

*John Shelter of the Northcoast Resource Center runs a volunteer clean-up program called “New Directions,” which frequently works with the City of Eureka/EPD in cleaning-up these camps.  When I last spoke with him in August of this year, he estimated that over the past 1 ½ years New Directions has removed approximately 128,000 pounds (64 tons) of trash from the marshland areas within the City of Eureka.

L.A. Calls For End To 'Corporate Personhood', Will Arcata Or Your Town Be Next?

By a vote of 11 to 0 the city council in Los Angeles voted to end corporate personhood.  What does that mean?
It is non binding but is a first step in defining what people are and what they are not.
Flag from Humboldt Herald
This is what the 99% movement has brought us.  A change in dialogue.  No longer do we only hear that we will have to do with less and less while the 1 percent gets a tax break.  Because of the Occupy movement, we, (or the majority of us) are starting to figure out there are more of us than there are are of them which makes us relevant. They have known this all along.  They force us to fund our cops, courts and prisons over our own health education and  welfare.  The 1 percent has told us that it is for our protection. We are starting to see that it is for their protection. 
If the people in this country figure out that the government belongs to them and is made up by them before it is too late, we can make a difference with an amendment to end corporate personhood.  The problem is, the International Monetary Fund and world financial institutions are threatening the sovereignty of countries in Europe if those countries want any funding what so ever that is not paid for by reducing spending.  Even here in the US, private entities are being given powers to take over sovereign townships and municipalities.
Congressman Keith Ellison has proposed an amendment in the US House to the US Constitution.
Minnesota Public Radio said:
Called the "Get Corporate Money Out of Politics" amendment, the measure would overturn the 2009 Citizens United Supreme Court decision by declaring that corporations do not have the same free speech rights as individuals and would give Congress and the states the power to regulate how companies get involved in politics.
Former Arcata City Council member, Dave Meserve,  wrote his own proposed ordinance that pretty much sums it up.

Proposed Ordinance for the City of Arcata (or your city)

We hold these truths to be self evident:
Corporations are not people.
Money is not speech.

Be it therefore ordained that:

To the full extent possible under federal law, and with the long-term goal of changing any federal laws that may oppose this ordinance,

Within the City of Arcata, CA, corporations shall not have the rights of "Persons" or "The People," as enumerated by the Constitution of the United States and the Bill of Rights. Only living, breathing human beings shall have such rights.

Be it also ordained that:

Within the City of Arcata, CA, money shall not be considered to be speech, as protected under the First Amendment.

Be it further resolved that:

The people of the City of Arcata, CA support amending the U.S. Constitution to establish that:
1. Corporations are not natural persons and are not entitled to constitutional rights, and
2. Money is not speech.
Public opinion is changing about this stuff and now is the time to address these issues.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Clear Channel to Replace Green960, San Francisco's Only AM Progressive Talk Station, With Glenn Beck, Other RWers as Election Year Begins

The only progressive AM radio talk station, Green960-KKGN, in one of the nation's most liberal cities, San Francisco, is being taken off the AM dial by radio behemoth Clear Channel Communications, Inc. --- a media conglomerate now owned by Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, LLC --- at the beginning of the 2012 Presidential election year.
Adding insult to injury for progressives in the Bay Area, the 960 slot on the dial is being replaced by Clear Channel with the likes of Glenn Beck, Fox News Radio's John Gibson and other radical Rightwing talkers, according to a press release  issued by the media giant last week, touting, in somewhat Orwellian terms, their "goal of expanding talk radio in San Francisco."
"We saw the opportunity to expand our footprint in this crucial arena as we head into an election year and a population increasingly engaged in local, state, and national events and activism," says Clear Channel's San Francisco Director of Operations Don Parker in the release.

One bright side for progressives in San Francisco, the popular Randi Rhodes, who is syndicated nationally by Premiere (Clear Channel's syndication arm) will continue in her current live Noon to 3p PT slot on the new KNEW-960. She'll also remain in the same live slot in the progressive line up on the HD2 band, though few are likely to hear her there, as very few Americans actually own an HD radio receiver.
Rhodes tells The BRAD BLOG there could be a potential upside to the format change which will leave her progressive voice, as well as Bill Press' in the pre-dawn hours, sprinkled in among the far Rightwingers…

Friday, December 2, 2011

KGO In San Francisco To Go All News Format Fires Most On Air Staff

Radio station KGO AM 810 fired most of it's on air staff today.  Brian Copeland and Ronn Owens will remain for now.  Syndicated talk show host Karel who also does weekends at KGO made the announcement on his week day show today.  Karel was fired from KGO a few years back for cursing Joe the plumber on the air while in the bathroom on a break. The board op was at fault for not turning off his clip on mic and Karel was hired back at KGO a few months back.  But back to today, Karel says he doesn't know if he will have a job there after this weekend.  He is currently heard in Eureka on KGOE from 3 to 5 pm doing his week day show that is also heard in San Luis Obispo. Spokane, Atlanta, Monterey, New Jersey and growing. His week day show may be his only gig after this weekend. 

KGO used to be a part of the ABC Radio Network which was bought in 2007 by Citadel which sold it to Cumulus this year.   

Earlier this week we learned that the Green 960 progressive talker in San Francisco is losing it's signal to a different format and being moved to the groups side digital channel that can only be heard on new digital radios than almost no one has.  That will be the only place in the nations largest liberal population to hear the likes of Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Ed Schults, Mike Malloy and other names found on KGOE AM 1480 here in Eureka.  This makes KGOE Eureka the only progressive AM talk station in California north of Monterey
Here is a good story from the Oakland Tribune

PG&E Fined 38-Million Dollars For 2008 Gas Line Explosion

Los Angeles (CNN) -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company must pay $38 million for safety violations in connection with a Christmas Eve 2008 explosion and fire in northern California, officials said.
The penalty is the largest safety violation fine for a utility in California history, said Andrew Kotch, spokesman for the California Public Utilities Commission.
The fine was larger than the $26 million recommended to an administrative law judge, but the judge imposed the bigger fine, which was approved Thursday by the commission, officials said.

Hundreds of OccupyLA Demonstrators Still Held

Brad Blog Exclusive:

Arrestees kept on buses for hours, forced to urinate self, deprived of water, medical aid or legal assistance...
LAPD Officer Captured on Video Pointing Gun at
Citizen Journalist 'OakFoShow' at OccupyLA Raid

Much of the good will and plaudits earned by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck for their "minimal use of force" tactics employed to clear OccupyLA demonstrators from City Hall Park earlier this week has been quickly squandered in the hours and days since. The BRAD BLOG has learned that hundreds of peaceful arrestees were kept in often deplorable conditions in the hours following their apprehension.
According to new interviews with some of the arrestees following their release, men and women alike were held without charges for hours on end, forced to urinate in their seats on a holding bus while handcuffed, cut off from attorneys, medical supplies and drinking water, and locked away with punitively high bails while being deprived of both humane and Constitutional rights.
At this hour, almost three full days since their arrest at the OccupyLA encampment in front of Los Angeles City Hall, more than 200 of the peaceful demonstrators detained by LAPD in the evening on Tuesday and early morning hours on Wednesday --- many of them who were not even participating in the Occupation --- are still being held in jail pending $5,000 bail for their misdemeanor detentions, as detailed by radio station KPCC. Approximately fifty people have been released, some after posting bail, others for medical reasons.
KPCC went on to report that on Thursday, only 19 of those people had yet to be charged. The City Attorney's office said that, depending on the charge, some would face bail as high as $20,000.
This morning, Los Angeles Times reported that most of the 19 who were allowed to appear in L.A. County Superior Court Thursday, were released without bail, but on the "condition that they not return to the City Hall area, where the protesters had camped." The Times went on to note that most of those still held without being charged have no criminal record...

US Senator Joe Liberman, WTC 7 Did Not Occur