Took this some weeks ago just north of Willits.  I’m sure Mr. Galletti is a great guy, and he may even be the best candidate for all I know.  But his sign – you can’t read it from more than 50 feet away!


Vote TuesdayI’ll be posting stuff here all day and into the night.  But for those of you who are tenants, a reminder of your right to post an election sign (just a few years old in California – passed in 2011).

SECTION 1.  Section 1940.4 is added to the Civil Code, to read:
   1940.4.  (a) Except as provided in subdivision (c), a landlord
shall not prohibit a tenant from posting or displaying political
signs relating to any of the following:
   (1) An election or legislative vote, including an election of a
candidate to public office.
   (2) The initiative, referendum, or recall process.
   (3) Issues that are before a public commission, public board, or
elected local body for a vote.
   (b) Political signs may be posted or displayed in the window or on
the door of the premises leased by the tenant in a multifamily
dwelling, or from the yard, window, door, balcony, or outside wall of
the premises leased by a tenant of a single-family dwelling.
   (c) A landlord may prohibit a tenant from posting or displaying
political signs in the following circumstances:
   (1) The political sign is more than six square feet in size.
   (2) The posting or displaying would violate a local, state, or
federal law.
   (3) The posting or displaying would violate a lawful provision in
a common interest development governing a document that satisfies the
criteria of Section 1353.6.
   (d) A tenant shall post and remove political signs in compliance
with the time limits set by the ordinance for the jurisdiction where
the premises are located. A tenant shall be solely responsible for
any violation of a local ordinance. If no local ordinance exists or
if the local ordinance does not include a time limit for posting and
removing political signs on private property, the landlord may
establish a reasonable time period for the posting and removal of
political signs. A reasonable time period for this purpose shall
begin at least 90 days prior to the date of the election or vote to
which the sign relates and end at least 15 days following the date of
the election or vote.

Addendum: I posted this because I was informed of a friend whose landlord insisted that he take a sign off his rented lawn – based on the landlord’s conflicting opinion about the issue.  He doesn’t want to fight with his landlord about it.  I’m not going to get into the details because I don’t want this to come back on him.  Tenants are vulnerable even when the law is in their favor on the books.


Meanwhile, I think progressives have a fighting chance to take the majority of the City Council in Eureka.  But they’re up against conservative incumbents in a year where progressives, particularly young progressives, tend to sit out elections.  It will all be about GOTV.  But Eureka really needs Kim Bergel and Natalie Arroyo in there to shake things up, starting with the suicide-inspiring landscapes of the 101 entries into town which remind me of rust belt sprawl towns rather than a community which should be exploiting its natural beauty to promote tourism as a supplement to the local economy.

It’s hard running against incumbents though, who tend to win the push in close elections.


There was a story on NPR this morning with a local Measure P supporter almost lamenting the lack of Monsanto money against their measure.  Almost as if they feel insulted!


I always like to note interesting combinations of signs on lawns.  Around Eureka you will find some lawns mixed – Bergel and Albin signs for instance.  On H street I noticed a lawn which had Newman and Albin signs, along with a Yes on P sign.  Further up H there’s a Yes on R sign with both as well.  On Harrison I saw two homes with Arroyo and Newman signs.  On Henderson there is a lawn with Bergel and Arroyo, and then strangely, one with both an Arroyo and Albin sign – either a politically diverse marriage (as my wife and I are split on Measure P), two family residence, or perhaps someone who just lets anybody put signs on his/her lawn.


I understand that there’s a hot Supervisor race in the 3rd District (Johnny Pinches retiring) in Mendocino County between Holly Madrigal and Jim Woodhouse (do I have the names right?).  Would love it if people down there would post thoughts and predictions.


Addendum:  Newspaper endorses incumbent and hopes he goes to jail.


Re Prop Z – I was in Fortuna yesterday for my son’s last soccer game of the season (he plays for the Eel River Rapids who fought the Mad River Impact to a tie yesterday – great game).  I did see some of those “no new taxes,” invoking the “Read my lips” slogan of President George Bush, Sr. – and maybe not entirely unintentionally since local conservatives are giving at least passive support for Measure Z, and obviously Measure V, which is Fortuna’s equivalent, probably has them going nuts.

Should I feel guilty for not supporting Measure Z?  Well, of all the Supervisors, only Mark is really hustling for it.  Maybe the others are as well, and I just haven’t seen their stuff.  But if they’re holding back, expecting liberals to push their constituency so they can tightrope between the constituents who want better Sheriff protection and those who don’t want to pay more taxes – it’s really not my problem.  If they’re lukewarm, then why should I be excited enough about the issue that I’m willing to saddle poor people with additional sales taxes?  At least the conservatives in Eureka are pushing Q hard – this will probably be the only time some of these lawns contain signs advocating a tax increase.  If the Board majority really wants Z to pass, then they shouldn’t try to have it both ways.  You’re either for the tax increase, or you’re against it.  It’s a straight up yes or no vote,.


More later.

The Mad River Union so reports.

This is a movement of sorts being pushed by a right wing group as kind of a push back against the ACLU suits and all to promote a slogan adopted by Congress at the peak of McCarthyism, and it’s been passed in municipalities across the country.  I think there was a push in Fortuna a few years back, but I don’t remember the outcome.  It’s kind of a stupid thing, and really to introduce right before an election in which the Republican Party has been trying to downplay it’s social issue positions.

Rex will vote yes, Mark will vote no, and the rest of the Board are put into a difficult position and I suspect privately would love to throttle Rex about now.  I suspect that both Virginia and Ryan are relieved they aren’t in an election campaign.  This would put them on the spot.

From Wikipedia:

In 1956, the nation was at a particularly tense time in the Cold War, and the United States wanted to distinguish itself from the Soviet Union, which promoted state atheism.[17] As a result, the 84th Congress passed a joint resolution “declaring IN GOD WE TRUST the national motto of the United States.” The law was signed by President Eisenhower on July 30, 1956, and the motto was progressively added to paper money over a period from 1957 to 1966.[14] (Public Law 84-851)[18] The United States Code at 36 U.S.C. § 302, now states: “‘In God we trust’ is the national motto.”

It was passed two years following the official introduction of “under God” into the Pledge of Allegiance, in which the legislative history of the act indicates that it was passed to “acknowledge the dependence of our people and our Government upon … the Creator … [and] deny the atheistic and materialistic concept of communism.”

Oh, but the courts later decided it had not been passed for a religious purpose.  And if you believe the “In God We Trust” people, it’s about patriotism, not God.

Yeah, this is what I want county government focusing on.  Really makes me want to run out and vote for Measure Z.

And, hey, soon we can see it on an electronic billboard!

In God We Trust

Addendum: Ryan Burns has much more information and history, including a threat of lawsuit should the Board pass this thing. Prop Z anyone?  Let’s keep our priorities right!

Second addendum:  “God Resolution is Dead.” 

I’m betting that two or three fellow supervisors were all over Rex’s ass on this one.

Mad River Union reports.  4-1 as usual to rewrite the designations to areas where there are “no private property concerns,” which is pretty much limited to highways bisecting public parks.  Once again, anything which might even speculatively impact “property rights” is bounced.  Property rights isn’t just the primary factor in the GPU wholesale rewrite underway with no section 1500 public participation – it’s the trumping factor.  There is no balancing property rights with other concerns.  If property rights might possibly be affected and it’s not mandated by state or federal law, it’s out of the General Plan.

Now let’s have another round of “the GPU doesn’t really matter,” from people who were primarily motivated by the GPU in their Faustian electoral alliances.

It will be ironic if the Humboldt County general plan reflects more conservative values than Trinity County or Del Norte County, and we seem to be on our way!

Doubling down on my opposition to Proposition Z.  Sorry, no way do I want to pull money out of working peoples hands to finance the inevitable lawsuits.

Thursday Night Talk on KHSU tonight. They’ve given me an extra half our to discuss all of the statewide and local propositions/measures. I have liberal Bob Service and conservative Liana Simpson joining me from 7:00 to 8:30. Please call in with your thoughts and questions

Took this shot of a display at Winco last night. I don’t know, maybe I’m old fashioned or prudish, but do little kids really have to be subjected to this? Are we so desensitized now?

I just think a little more thought should go into the potential impact on kids.


Friends have asked me for advice on the confirmations.  Know that unless there’s an organized opposition to confirmation, they will all be confirmed easily.  But if you want to send some kind of a message, well, here’s what I have.  It’s not much.  I’ll probably vote to confirm all of them.  I haven’t agreed with all the decisions, but I also haven’t seen anything flagrantly out of line.  Reasonable minds can differ.

Supreme Court Justices

JUSTICE LIU GOODWIN – Yes – was to be appointed by Obama but filibustered by Republicans, and then grabbed up by Gov. Brown.  He’s actually kind of moderate for my taste, like Obama fixated on a consensus with wingers who prepare for a street fight while he’s operating like it’s a debating society.  So he compromises too much.  But the wingers’ objections to him are that he was “too academic,” translate that they owe to the anti-intellectualism of their primary bases of support.  He also supports the concept of international law.

JUSTICE MARIANO-FLORENTINO CUELLAR – Yes – another Brown appointee, and fairly liberal.  He was instrumental in killing the military’s don’t ask don’t tell policy.  Solid on abortion rights.  I haven’t really paid much attention to his rulings since he was appointed, and he is a bit of a “suit.”  But the wingers are strong against him, so that’s good enough for me.

JUSTICE KATHRYN MICKLE WERDEGAR – a Wilson appointee who actually hasn’t been all that bad.  I would love to get someone more progressive, but she hasn’t done anything so bad that she deserves to be removed.  She did rule for universal marriage against prop 22, which has earned her some fire from wingers.  Some of the conservative groups are advocating a yes confirmation simply because they don’t want Brown replacing her.

Appellate Court Judges

I haven’t filed or opposed an appeal in years, so I’m not even up on who is on the court.  I haven’t heard complaints about anyone on – heard a few about a couple of retired judges.

If the affiliation of the Governor appointing them is important to you, here is that information.

  • Jim Humes– Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown
  • Kathleen M. Banke– Appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Anthony Kline– Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown
  • Therese M. Stewart– Appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown
  • Stuart R. Pollak– Appointed by Gov. Gray Davis
  • Martin J. Jenkins– Appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (previously a Clinton District Court appointee)
  • Ignazio John Ruvolo– Appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Terence L. Bruiniers– Appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • Mark B. Simons– Appointed by Gov. Gray Davis

I nearly forgot to post this!

R is a Eureka action which would increase the minimum wage to $12.00 for all businesses with 25 or more employees working within city limits.  All the usual arguments about minimum wage increases from both sides have been thrown into the mix with both sides citing studies – cherry picking those which support their positions.

The fact is, there is mixed data on minimum wage increases.  In some cases the economies improved afterwards, while in others they declined.  Whether the wage increases were a critical factor in those verdicts are also subjects of debate.  But if you choose your studies carefully you can make a very convincing argument either way.  But whether the increases have been to an economy’s benefit or detriment, or whether they had any significant influence at all, really depends on the particulars of each case – factors including the nature and structure of the local economy, where the economy is on the recession/inflation cycle, how much money is in the economy, whether the region is rural or urban, etc.

On the up side of the increases, they are stimulative.  They put money into the hands of consumers who will spend every penny.  Unless they are teenagers, they probably won’t have money to save.  The increases will go to purchase goods, or to pay off debt – both of which are beneficial to an economy.

On the down side they can lead to layoffs, or even take a business out if it operates on a really tight margin.  It can lead to jobs being moved out of town.  And it can be inflationary – though actually this country could use some inflation.  We haven’t had anything approaching an inflation problem in nearly a decade.

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Here’s a petition, though the Supes majority hasn’t really paid attention to these things.

On Oct. 6, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to scrap the ban on electronic and animated billboards.

Allowing electronic signs will degrade our rural way of life, be a detriment to our tourism industry, lower our property values and deter new businesses from locating here.

Humboldt County Board of Supervisors, Rex Bohn, Chairperson
On Oct. 6, the Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to scrap the ban on electronic and animated billboards.
We, the undersigned Humboldt County citizens, do not want digital billboards. Allowing electronic signs will degrade our rural way of life, be a detriment to our tourism industry, lower our property values and deter new businesses from locating here.
Please respect the unanimous decision by the Planning Commission and the vast majority of your constituents who have pride in Humboldt’s natural beauty.

[Your name]

Addendum: Lost Coast Outpost has the story.

Supervisor Rex Bohn suggests that the lighted billboards really are no different from a full moon.  He likes a full moon.  So what’s the problem?

It doesn’t happen much, but on occasion I find myself on the opposite side of some very good people who mean well, and with whom I generally affiliate politically and socially.  It’s especially hard when they feel so strongly about an issue.  It’s even harder when I used to share their perspective and feel awkward in trying to thwart their efforts.

Recent studies show that when presented with facts which contradicts their world view, most people respond by digging in their heels to cling to their own beliefs.  911 truthers presented with engineering facts – they become more vehement than before.  Same with birthers when presented with a birth certificate.  Same with anti-vaxers when presented with the fact that mercury isn’t even used in most vaccinations and when one of their most famous spokesman upon which much of their world view is based is shown to be a fraud.  Same with moon landing truthers.  And chemtrail truthers.  And one world government truthers.  Climate change skeptics  Anti-evolutionists.  You can present facts.  You can provide links to studies.  Recommend books.  If they read it, and that’s a big “if”, they will cherry pick whatever suits their world view.

But it isn’t limited to conspiracy theorists.  Conservatives, liberals, libertarians – and even those who elude easy categorization – those with a framework of perception which is reinforced by years of activism around an issue, especially if the efforts involved sacrifice, are also very resistant to the influence of new information which might render some of that activism meaningless, or jeopardize the community which arises from solidarity over a particular issue.  It is very hard to step outside of the tribe.  To be open to new information.  To look at the issue just a little bit differently.  To face the possibility that you and much of your social network is simply wrong on an issue of crucial importance.  It is difficult to face the possibility of leaving the comfort of the fold, even for just the one fight.  It is difficult to risk the wrath of people who might feel betrayed.  I’ve met and worked with many of the proponents of Measure P.  Nearly all of them I consider friends.

It is really, really difficult to change a mind.  It was difficult to change mine.

I supported Proposition 37.  I believed and still believe that consumers have a right to knowledge about products they might purchase and I believe labeling should be mandatory when there is a large enough controversy such that it would be a significant factor in purchase choice for a large number of people.  It is irrelevant that the information is of no practical health import.  People want to know if the product is genetically modified with lateral DNA transfer, and they have that right.

But I don’t support bans lightly – bans which significantly reduce consumer choice.  I would have a hard time with this measure even if I believed that there are health dangers inherent to the technology.  I have been over the science, and while I don’t support some of the applications of biotechnology, there are numerous applications I can support.  A blanket ban is irrational to me, even with the exceptions provided.

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