You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2010.

Don’t know exactly what it means, but it’s the heading on a recced-up Kos post on the legalization measure, which now has the backing of the NAACP.  It’s significant, because African American communities have been ambivalent about any laws easing up on drug penalties given that their communities are inundated.

Addendum: Meanwhile, the DEA is back in Mendocino County – mum about whatever they’re investigating.

Just catching up on last week’s NCJ, and one can almost hear Hank singing with David Byrne’s voice:


Humboldt is a place,

where nothing,

Nothing ever happens

From the Gallegos campaign (and also published in the Times Standard and this week’s Redwood Times):

I want to send a heartfelt thank you to everyone who made our spring campaign a success. It would not have been possible without each and every one of you who volunteered, donated and endorsed. Thank you for all you have given and the many hours of hard work and dedication you selflessly gave over the last several months. It is the sum of your very efforts that made our campaign successful.

I am grateful for the votes and affirmation I received, and to those who did not vote for me, I want you to know that I have heard your voices and I intend to redouble my efforts to earn your votes in November.

Joanie and I moved here about 15 years ago, and fell in love with this remarkable community. Eight years ago I ran for district attorney on a platform of Justice For All — including those historically neglected by the justice system such as children, victims of domestic violence, people of color, and victims of corporate fraud — and for modernization. It’s hard to believe now, but when I inherited the office, criminal case information was kept on index cards– not computers.

Since then, my office has aggressively prosecuted the powerful — even when it’s been unpopular. My office prosecuted Maxxam/PL on evidence of fraud. We prosecuted Blue Lake’s police chief for multiple felonies including illegal weapons. We prosecuted an oil company and won a major settlement to protect our drinking water.

But universal justice is not universally popular, and some would rather go back to how things used to be. This would be a mistake.

When I came to office, the murder of Blue Lake teen Curtis Huntzinger was still unsolved after 18 years. It was presumed to be unsolvable. But my investigators cracked the case and obtained a full confession from his murderer, Steven Daniel Hash.

During the campaign, one of my opponents made the disturbing accusation that I had let a child abuser off with a slap on the wrist. It was odd because she, under the previous office, had handled the case back in 2000, and should have known the original sentence was overturned on appeal; my office had to re-prosecute it anew in 2004, and the perpetrator was sentenced to eight years in prison.

I’ll be the first to admit how much I’ve learned in the past eight years. Delivering justice to all is not easy. Behind the big publicity stories are thousands of small success stories and dozens of daily tragedies. We can’t bring back loved ones — but we can prosecute to the full extent of the law with the best evidence we have, which is what we do.

We cannot go back to how things were; the improvements and progress we’ve achieved over the last eight years are simply too precious to give up.

I ask for your support on my campaign as we move toward a November victory. For more information, go to

Paul V. Gallegos is the Humboldt County district attorney.

What isn’t surprising is that a 5 to 4 majority of the Supreme Court ruled to apply the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment to guarantee individual gun rights against states and local governments.  I’m surprised it took them this long.  What is surprising is that Clarence Thomas broke from the majority in order to push the Privileges and Immunities Clause, and perhaps revive it.  This could hold a number of silver linings for progressives, particularly ACLU types whom I believe have been on the wrong side of the Second Amendment debate from the beginning.  As the article states, Scalia couldn’t go that route because he hates to enforce unemumerated rights and would love it if  the 14th and 9th Amendments would simply disappear.  By reviving the concept, Thomas may have ensured that privacy and other unenumerated rights are permanently entrenched.  So in killing gun control, he may have locked in abortion, rights to family, etc.  Maybe even a new argument to universalize marriage in all 50 states.

I’ve discussed this extensively on my radio show.  If I can find the time, I will discuss it in more detail here, and perhaps my next radio show.

Folks on both conservative and liberal sides of the issue often synonymize “original intent” with “strict construction” (as opposed to the liberal construction theory of the “living document”), but they are different animals.  Thomas has just declared, at least for 14th Amendment purposes, that the original intent was precisely a living document.  It’s a slippery slope for conservatives, because the Ninth Amendment lends itself to interpretation of the entire Constitution that way.


This congressional candidate from Arizona’s ad is in the spirit of the decision.  No, it really isn’t satire!


Supreme Court Justice nominee Elena Kagan may have had it rough from Republican interrogators on the Hill today, but deceased liberal Justice Thurgood Marshall really took a thrashing!

Always loved Marshall’s argument for Brown v. Board of Education when asked whether he favored the philosophy of judicial restraint known as “gradualism.”  He said, “I believe in gradualism. I also believe that 90 odd years is pretty gradual.”

He also hung on during the Reagan years well beyond his intended retirement, saying to someone, “if I stop breathing, prop me up!”  Finally, under Bush, Sr., when he retired and gave his last press conference, he was asked why he was retiring.  He looked at the reporter and shook his head, saying, “I’m old!”

He was a powerful force in the law even before the Supreme Court.  I see all of the Republican kvetching today as an unintended tribute.


Among Kagan’s interrogators was Sen. Coburn who asked her to “set a new standard” and answer questions.  Unfortunately, he did not request such a standard from Alito nor Roberts.


We hear so much about liberals who turn conservative.  Today died a Senator whose political journey leftward was among the most dramatic – beginning his career as a Klan member and ending up one of the more liberal Senators in office.  TPM has a photo memorial and a video memorial.

My personal favorite is his speech against the Iraq War on its eve.


No Tea Party this summer.  It’s too hot.


Back the Supreme Court, Justice Kennedy exercised his swing vote prerogative to create another 5-4 majority allowing schools to discriminate against Christian groups which discriminate against homosexuals.

Alito’s argument that freedom of speech is abridged is ridiculous in my opinion.  Nothing prevents the students from forming the group.  They just don’t get to have formal recognition, which means that homosexual students don’t have to subsidize with their tuition fee an organization which will deny them participation.

The group probably shouldn’t have pushed the issue at Hastings.


Randal Terry, co-founder of the radical anti-abortion group Operation Rescue is lamenting the lack of protests against Elena Kagan.  Terry is famous for refusing to condemn violent anti-abortionists.  He was raised by a hippie mom by the way.  He came to to believe that the Enlightenment is the root of all modern evil because it represented western civilization’s break from God.  He blames it on St. Thomas Aquinas of all people.


But Montana’s GOP isn’t having any part of the Enlightenment.  They’ve just adopted a platform which calls for the criminalization of homosexual acts.


Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour previously attacked the media for suggesting that oil had reached its beaches and invited tourists to come swim – prompting Jon Stewart to compare him to the mayor in the movie Jaws.  He’s acknowledging the existence of the oil now.  His new tack is to blame the federal government.

I stole the video from Heraldo.

The thread started right in on a discussion of the GPU, where so many blog topics of limited relationship to the issue have tread.

This is a free event! The party will be going from noon to dusk. Redway Drive will be closed to traffic between Redwood Drive and Empire Lane, so there will be room to move. There will be food and drink for sale, Moses of Barbecue To You will be grilling meat and vegetarian items; there will be beer and wine, and of course, birthday cake.

Music all afternoon into evening!
Clear The Room Band; Out of the Blue with Beth Wells and Andy Barnett, Trainwect with Bud Rogers; 4 Peace is a rock band from Laytonville; Bell Bottom Bob and his band Crossroads; Quantum is a latin flavored rock band; Ambush, a soca band with Sanou; SoHum Girls; Aeon Now is a trio that includes accordion and saw; Mark Growden just recently performed at the Garberville Civic Club with his banjo, accordion, and handlebar; and closing out the evening will be the innovative sound of Orphan, combining saxophone, marimba, horns, singing, pieces of metal, and the totally unexpected.

Once again there will be a huge CD and record sale, there are thousands of titles to choose from, and all genres of music.
For the kids Puff the Jumping Dragon will be here, and there will be other entertainment. A ping pong tournament is planned as well, so start practicing now! And, just added: we will have a dunk tank, so a word to other local “celebrities:” dress accordingly!
There is still time to get booth space for vendors, please contact Cindy Martin at KMUD (923-2513 ext. 124) and get on the list. Volunteers are needed for this event, so if you’d like to put in a few hours, please call Cindy for that as well, or send an email to

Everyone at Redwood Community Radio is looking forward to celebrating KMUD’s 23rd birthday with you!

If you’d like to print out the 11×17″ poster, get it here.

Semi-serious injuries this time.

Meth, booze, mental illness, or just the usual grandiose sense of entitlement and self-importance?  I don’t really know how I’m going to react if my kids are subjected to it while trying to enjoy the beach. Hopefully with grace and restraint. Again, why do they insist on drug deals and other cro-mag activities at one of the few places kids access around here?

Here’s the last cro-mag incident I posted on. 

I don’t know.  If it was in a remote area of the woods somewhere, fine, beat on each other or whatever – I wouldn’t care so much.  I guess I’m a little more touchy about these things since I’ve become responsible for kids.

It’s a national event to oppose offshore oil drilling.  There’s a map of all the planned events through the link, but Heraldo has already looked up three events in Humboldt County, including one near Garberville (to protest drilling in the river I guess).

  1. Westhaven at Moonstone Beach.
  2. Arcata at Mad River County Park.
  3. Garberville at Southern Humboldt Community Park-Tooby Memorial Park.

They want you to show up at 11:00 to be ready to hold hands at noon.

Please post reports. I’ll be out of town.

Here’s a clip from a February event in Florida, before the gusher.

A Ukiah man was arrested giving condoms to children, the youngest being 8-years-old.  He’s been arrested under suspicion of “annoying or molesting children.”

I certainly agree that it’s way out of bounds to be giving out condoms to 8-year-old kids you don’t know.  But is he really going to be charged with a crime associated with molestation?  The crime, if it is a crime, just isn’t on the same level.  I’m not sure what it means to “annoy” a child in this legal context, but I would assume it means some sort of sexual advance and unless there is more to the story I really don’t think that qualifies either.

As an aside, I was a substitute teacher in San Francisco the School Board was debating whether to install condom machines in the high school bathrooms.  Most of the objections came from the predictable sources for the obvious reasons, but one teacher approached the microphone during the public comment period and said, “just consider this – big…. huge…. water balloons.”  Then she sat down.  There were laughs, but the machines were installed anyway.

So apparently it’s not illegal to distribute condoms to high school age minors.  Is there an explicit cut-off?


While we’re on condoms, here are a couple of hilarious ads on the subject.  The first one was actually banned, according to the Youtube source.

They are still missing input from a number of residents of the following areas:

Zenia Bluff Road

Rancho Sequoia Road

Red Rock Road

Blue Rock Road

Willow Road

If you have not yet returned your census data, please contact Trudy at (541) 787-1269.  The data is used for a number of purposes, including priorities for services funding.  Plus, the Census Workers live out of  the area, and they want to go home.   They’re stuck here until you respond.


June 2010