Monday, January 31, 2011

Is The U.S. Really A Police State?

[UPDATE :: Police State Example Served Up Locally]

In view of the latest spontaneous eruptions against totalitarian rule in Tunisa and specially in Egypt, the lynch pin of American dominance in the Middle East, the following article posted on Juan Cole's website, "Informed Comment" is very timely. If you think what's happening in Egypt couldn't  happen in America . . .

Kolin: How the US Became a Police State

Posted on 01/31/2011 by Juan
Andrew Kolin writes in a guest column for Informed Comment
You can click on the link above to go to his website or read the article here: 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Great Big THANK YOU To All Eureka Voters

Yes, we thank all of you fine, patriotic folks that voted in the new Eureka City Council. One of the first things they did, at least that stands out, was raise our taxes. This is what greeted everyone this morning in the Times-Standard:

Water rate increases approved in Eureka

All of our objections, written and verbal, were just a waste of time and energy. There comes a time when people realize that the conventional way of voting, demonstrating, marching, speaking at meetings, letters, telephone calls and emails are all just a waste of time, effort, energy and money. These so-called elected representatives don't listen to anyone, but their sycophants and sugar daddies, and never intended to. 

Call it what you want. It's still a tax increase.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Anonymity via Humboldt Herald Blog

Some sentiments regarding The Times-Standards attempts to rectify their Topix comments section by Humboldt Herald. Couldn't have said it better myself. Here's an excerpt:
Such sentiments from an anonymous blogger are sure to raise hackles of those who suffer elevated blood pressure from the existence of theHerald. But let us recall the oft-stated differences between this g*dd*mn f*cking blog and the proper, official, totally legit outfit that is the real newz.  Those reporters have names, phone numbers and offices where their professional hind ends can be contacted by people who care to deliver a grievance.  This blogger does not.  Feel free to spew away in the comments section below — they might even make it past moderation standards.
 What Heraldo says is not true. I brought to the Times-Standard's management what their premier Opinionator was doing and saying on their online comment section in Topix and the did absolutely nothing. I happened by chance, through an unrelated Google search to find Dave Stancliff railing against me with some of the most foul and obscene vitriol imaginable. I'd didn't even know about that forum, let alone make comments there. Yet there was a "Joe Blow" trying to defend him or herself with Dave Stancliff. As far as I am concerned, the Times-Standard opened the door to that problem a long time ago and has refused to deal with it all this time, because it served their personal interests. For me, they were merely providing him with another venue to spill the bile they wanted dumped on everyone. Keep repeating the lies and eventually it becomes the truth in everyone's minds. FAIT ACCOMPLI.

Keep up the good work Heraldo.

Friday, January 7, 2011

The Arrogance of Stupidity – Lemmings and Lunkheads

“Because of their association with this odd behavior, (mindlessly marching over cliffs) lemming suicide is a frequently used metaphor in reference to people who go along unquestioningly with popular opinion, with potentially dangerous or fatal consequences.” 
"a stupid person; these words are used to express a low opinion of someone's intelligence." 

When I read comments such as this one in the Friday, January 07, 2011, Time-Standards' Letter to the Editor, “Any answer from the Sheriff's Office?” I am really forced to sympathize with police officers and their thankless job today. I give daily thanks that I don't have to make a living on the road anymore when I read some of these kinds of letters (The merging lane lemmings infect McKinleyville by David R. Young) recently appearing in the Times-Standard newspaper.

When I drove commercial vehicle interstate and whenever I encountered these kinds of drivers, immediately a big neon sign began flashing all over their vehicles: HAZARD! These people are a wreck waiting to hurt or kill someone, driving around in their arrogant, self-righteous, judgmental stupor. Notice what he says in his very first two sentences: “Recently I was traveling south on the 101 corridor I was going 51 miles an hour and behind me was a sheriff's patrol car. I was in the left lane and we continued on for some time with him behind me.” Anyone with a modicum of sense, consideration and decency, not to mention a working understanding of law governing traffic and driving in California, when seeing any police car come up behind you when driving in the left lane, GETS OVER AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! 

Of all the things that define Mr. Huber, this is the one that inspired this blog observation: " ... [I]f both lanes are by miles an hour there is no fast lane you can ride in either on there is no law that I know of that stipulates you must be in the right hand lane is there?" Notice it NEVER crossed his mind to get over to let the faster traffic go by. As long as he was mostly obeying the speed limit everyone else could go to hell. That's why we have laws, to deal with these kinds of people. Maybe one of Mr. Huber's friends will give him a CA Driver Handbook and mark the laws that govern this issue. I rather doubt even that would do any good. He certainly didn't accept the trained police officer's authority on the matter.

Notice the arrogant disclaimer that defines his actual state of mind when he wanted to know how he could be impeding traffic in what he says was a 50 MPH zone when he was really doing a measly “ONE” mile over the speed lime. James Huber says: “His answer was: “I flashed you twice with my bright lights to pull over. You did not respond.” Now this was at 7:30 p.m. I surely would have noticed that he did not flash me.” He admits he was holding up traffic, speeding and then he calls the Deputy a stupid liar. Moreover he then has the audacious temerity to get it published in the local newspaper. [Emphasis added]

The law is specific on these matters regardless of whether or not you are going the speed limit. The problem with these kinds of drivers is that they think they are the traffic cops with the right to tell everyone else how to drive, but when they get pulled over, Katie bar the door! Problem with this kind of mentality is that no one is morally, ethically or legally endowed with the right to tell anyone how to drive. It is the “law” tells everyone how to drive. All the police do is enforce the law – BIG DIFFERENCE.

When you take it upon yourself to judge law by deliberately violating that law as if you have the right, you judge law. The LAW gives that right to only a select few people and they are the Supreme Court Justices. So when people, like these guys, take it upon themselves to judge law they subvert the authority and legitimacy of the law and everyone that enforces and judges those laws. Is it any wonder, then, why the courts and enforcement officers get personally offended when dealing with such people?

Clearly this officer was trying to do this “man” a favor. Does he appreciate the gift? Hardly. He sends a letter to the newspaper and fully expects some sort of apology from the Sheriff. That officer would have done EVERYONE a favor by giving this guy a ticket. And if I had my way, forced him to be interviewed by the DMV for competency and made to take written and driving test to prove his right to a driver's license.

I've driven in some states where the Sheriff's officers enforced traffic laws same as the Highway Patrol. I'd like to see more of that in Humboldt County. Far too many times I witness Highway Patrol officers just roll by people trying to bully trucks and other cars on the highway. Sheriff's patrol cars are, it seems to me, less obtrusive then the CHP and people are not expecting them.

Personally, I've been commercially licensed from the first day I was legally eligible and still carry a Class A license.

Here's a copy of the letter by James Huber of Fortuna, CA:
Any answer from the Sheriff's Office?
Letter to the Editor
Posted: 01/07/2011 09:13:24 AM PST

Recently I was traveling south on the 101 corridor I was going 51 miles an hour and behind me was a sheriff's patrol car. I was in the left lane and we continued on for some time with him behind me. And to my amazement about halfway through he threw on his lights on to pull me over, which I did immediately. Upon pulling over the officer approached the car and asked me the obligatory question, “Do you know why I pulled you over.” (I thought to myself if I knew I would not have done it) I said no officer what have I done. His response was, “You were impeding the flow of traffic.” I was shocked. I asked how could I be impeding the flow of traffic if I am going 51 miles an hour and the speed limit is 50 miles an hour. His answer was: “I flashed you twice with my bright lights to pull over. You did not respond.” Now this was at 7:30 p.m. I surely would have noticed that he did not flash me. Secondly this officer never approached far enough up to my window so I could see his badge number or name he always stood at the post between the front and rear door of my vehicle. Luckily I was not ticketed. He said this would be a warning but a warning for what? Are you supposed to go faster than 50 miles an hour posted how fast should you go I have known people who have gotten tickets for going 52 miles an hour and if both lanes are 50 miles an hour there is no fast lane you can ride in either one there is no law that I know of that stipulates you must be in the right hand lane is there? Would love to see an answer from the Sheriff's Department on this.

James Huber

Monday, January 3, 2011

Total Crock of Crap

[UPDATE Below: "The Man of Peace" - in a pig's eye.]

That's right! A TOTAL Crock shoveled up by Ernie Branscomb. He posted on his blog what he calls: "A Long Overdue Explanation." He then followed that up a few days later on January 2, 2011 with: "One more time.” What really got this triad going was his December 27, 2010, posting: "Those Confusing Newcomers!"

People apparently asked him what his inspiration is for the things he writes on his blog. Isn't that nice. Sounds to me like Ernie is becoming some kind of SoHum cult figure. This is how he starts out:
"If this blog is about anything... it is about change."
These two articles are about a man, obviously someone that cares, with deep roots in his community and at the later end of his life's experience trying to explain, if not justify, why life did not turn out as he expected and what responsibilities he has, if any, for why. In a way, these two blog articles really sum up Ernie Branscomb's life in a nutshell. What he fails to see is that this so-called “change” never really ever compromised him or his values at all. Nothing was ever his responsibility; he only did what he had to do. His survival always took precedence. So, just remember, everything he writes is colored by that reality.

Here's an honest observation: To write about "change" you must first "experience change," to "know change." So, my question is, has Ernie Branscomb changed in the 55 years or so that I've known him? I remember my first comment I posted to him. I asked him "if he'd just crawled out from under a rock?" Not very encouraging there.

Ernie Branscomb would have everyone believe that he is one of the more standout residual squatters that really cares for Southern Humboldt, its culture and value as a community. Notice his disdain for those that, according to him didn't like the change in the culture enforced upon them and simply "took advantage" of the "opportunity" to sell and moved away - “GOOD-BYE”!

What is he talking about here, change in culture? What I remember was a time when a man's word was his bond and thousands of dollars exchanged hands on a handshake to a time where everyone was inundated with the most foul craven corruption imaginable all brought on by these so-called back to the landers. Yeah, they put down the law to the local business people, law enforcement people and politicians and everyone wilted under that foul stench – EVERYONE!

Most of these Southern CA transplants came to Humboldt County to get away from the growing lawlessness where they lived. After selling their homes, most of them only had enough money to buy unimproved logged-off land. Work was a premium (not enough work to accommodate everyone) and they had homes to build and families to feed. Vietnam war veterans began to populate the scene and they knew all about marijuana – a ready-made “cash” crop. It wasn't legal to grow and sell, but their amoral needs took precedent.

At that point the local communities, primarily business communities, had a choice to make. They could choose to support and enforce the law themselves. They could all band together to protect themselves and their children from this plague of corrupting tax-free money or do business with these crooks. Or they could capitulate, roll over, and enable these criminals. What happened is a matter of record. No matter Ernie Branscomb and others of his kind try to spin and twist and embellish what they did and why, 50 years of corruption's craven tentacles strangle these communities till today.

Notice the distinction Branscomb goes to some lengths to define between the evil, criminal interloper-grower who only "used" the land for ill-gotten gains versus the poor, miserly farms of the "good people," back-to-lander family and community folk that really "cared" for the land.  To the distinction, this statement is rather unbelievable and frankly, quite disingenuous:
They didn’t give a damn about the law, the local culture, or even the other new people that had moved here. They are still with us. [Emphasis added]
However, notice what he said just before this defining statement above about the evil, "bad people:
[They] came with their carpet bags in hand, ready to cash in on the big local crop that was valuable because it is illegal
Growing and selling marijuana is illegal. Apparently according to Branscomb's "standards" it was NEVER illegal for these "good people" to grow and sell marijuana as long as it was done for amoral or altruistic purposes:
Some of the good people that moved up here, cared about, and cared for, our precious canyon and the environment. They grew a small amount of marijuana to pay for their land and care for their families. They recognized the medicinal value of the herb and promoted it as medicine. But they didn’t destroy the land. [Emphasis added]
Growing ANY amount of marijuana was illegal until 1996. That's 40 or more years after-the-fact. So, regardless how small the amount grown, sold or bought, their activity was criminal; they were all criminals. There is absolutely no way anyone can change that fact. It is this fact why I say Ernie Branscomb never compromised his integrity, because he shows here that he never had any integrity.

Branscomb makes the following judgment when he says, "Some of the people that moved here were “good people.” He goes on to define what he means by “good people.” But nowhere does he say anything about the “good people” being law-abiding people. For me, "good people" by definition are required, among other fundamental qualities, to BE INNATELY LAW-ABIDING.

Do you want to know what we were told when gardens began to show up on our property, displaced our water supply and created a fire hazard and we began to investigate? “Best leave well enough alone unless you want to get burned out.” When the matter was presented to the Sheriff's Department, we heard the same warning. “Get over it” Branscomb? Trying to live with the threat of being burned out by a bunch of radical outlaws or gangsters, or worse being arrested, prosecuted and risk losing your home and land for having pot gardens on your property made some of these people refugees in their own country. Yeah, good law-abiding folks alright. You got out if you could or you did business - with rare exception, the people that stayed did business. When the businesses communities decided to do business, there was no more support for the law, law enforcement or anyone else. It was as simple as that. And that is by definition: CRAVEN CORRUPTION.

Craven corruption is what was passed on to the succeeding generations of the old guard and new-comers. Ernie Branscomb's disdain for these so-called new-comer-good people oozes out no matter how hard he tries to camouflage it. Here's just one example that is so remenicent of his self-defining elitist attitude and hypocrisy:
The biggest thing that was different about the newcomers, that I have only been able to recently put my finger on, is that they didn’t seem to have standards!
And he does? These standards?
Our culture was the law of the land. As you might guess, it was often violated, but it was understood that you were going against the rules.
How'e these "standards" work out for all you fine folk? Not too well I would guess. Is it because compromised people are unable to understand the difference between "law" and "rules"? I'd say that, by definition, that is someone that does NOT demonstrate or possess "STANDARDS."
The following excerpt is from here:  "A Long Overdue Explanation."
Some of the people that moved here were “good people“, same as some of the whites that came to California in the 1850s. Some of the back-to-the-landers joined fire departments. They built schools, health care facilities, parks, and community meeting places. They joined service clubs and they honored the local people. They even recorded some of the old-timers history. Most of the people that moved here were “good people”. By FAR the most of them were. But, they displaced the local culture with their own culture. The people that didn’t like that were told to “get over it”. Most of the people that weren’t about to “get over it” moved away. Sold out and left. It was easy for some because they saw an opportunity to sell their land to the newcomers and get out. Good-bye.

Some of the newcomers that moved in, I’d say about the standard 10%, came with their carpet bags in hand, ready to cash in on the big local crop that was valuable because it is illegal. They didn’t give a damn about the law, the local culture, or even the other new people that had moved here. They are still with us.

Some of the good people that moved up here, cared about, and cared for, our precious canyon and the environment. They grew a small amount of marijuana to pay for their land and care for their families. They recognized the medicinal value of the herb and promoted it as medicine. But they didn’t destroy the land.

Others pack tons of fertilizers into the hills, and stream off all of the water to their plants. The river has become so dry and polluted with fertilizers that it kills animals that try to drink from some of the backwaters. The indoor grows leak diesel and crankcase oil into the ground and creeks. I can’t believe that the good people, in any way approve of those methods.

Some of us have an attachment to the canyon that we live in, and an attachment to most of the people that live here. Some of us had already been building schools and hospitals and parks, and belonging to service organizations. Some of us had a big personal investment in our community. Some of us didn’t want to leave. [Emphasis added]
In closing, the Joe Blow Report would like to encourage everyone to read Ernie Branscomb's three articles. Just be sure to put your hip boots on before you do:
(1) Those Confusing Newcomers! 
(2) A Long Overdue Explanation
(3) One more time

[UPDATE :: Wednesday, January 6, 2011]

Ernie Branscomb made this comment on his blog a couple of days ago:

January 4, 2011 9:31 PM
Ernie Branscomb said...

I got far more of a positive response than I expected. And, I want to make it clear that I'm a peaceful man. I haven't poked anybody in the nose in years, and even when I did, I did it in self-defense. I have been poked in the nose before, also years ago, and I can assure you that you will change your mind about things when somebody pokes you in the nose. {Emphasis added]
He also posted this blog article about me on Monday, September 20, 2010:  Not Fair!

Read the foul, lying accusations he writes about me and then tell me he DID NOT "POKE ME IN THE NOSE."

Where's his justification for "self-defense." He's defending Dave Stancliff. He stuck his nose in where he has absolutely no business, then typical bully antics says "he" (little ol' innocent Ernie, The Man of Peace) didn't do anything. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Little People's War: Episode I

Beginning today, the Report is launching an episodic review of the War On Little People, called "Little People's War."

Who is prosecuting this war and who the "Little People" are will become self-evident. This new feature is not politically motivated, nor is it about the American wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other places, the so-called War on Terror or the War on Drugs. At the same time it should be noted that these "wars" are a part of the War On Little People. In the First Episode, we'll consider two aspects of this War, (1) A National attack and (2) a local or state-wide attack and some characteristics of an actual "attack" that's all legal and proper:

A classic example of how this war is enforced is exemplified in President Barack Obama's latest "sweeping $858 billion tax bill."
Perhaps a third of all Americans will have their taxes raised by Obama's tax proposal according to the New York Times.
The plan which was sold as "giving ALL Americans a tax break" actually raises taxes for families making less than $40,000.
a year and individuals making less than $20,000.
This is because the 2% payroll tax break that these families would get is less than the tax break that they are already getting under the Making Work Pay tax credit which has been dropped from the new tax plan.
This so-called "compromise" directly attacks the "Little People." People all across America in a really fundamental way - right at their source of income.

January 1, 2011, brings the this notice in the Times-Standard newspaper: "New year brings new PG&E electricity rates." The PG&E made this request to the California Public Utilities Commission, CPUC hearing on PG&E's $4.2 billion revenue increase request, and they put it through.
PG&E said Thursday residential customers who use relatively little power will experience a 3 percent increase in rates starting Jan. 1. 
Those who draw large amounts of electricity, on the other hand, will get a 2.6 percent rate cut.
Notice who they say will benefit:
That will help people with big homes and those in the Central Valley, where summer heat waves are common and lead to large electricity bills.
So, who does the California State PUC represent? Why should all other ratepayers be forced to pay for the luxury lifestyles of those that choose to live as they do?

The real insult to all of us paying higher rates was the self-indulging statement by Christine Cordner, PG&E spokeswoman,
"... neither set of customers will see dramatic changes in their monthly bills. Homeowners who use the most power will still pay a far higher electricity rate than homeowners who use far less."
See any similarities in these two actions?

It certainly doesn't matter whether or not we see a "dramatic" change. The fact is there is a constant increase in rates that no one can afford. And who cares what rate the pigs pay? We're all subsidizing them anyway.

An interesting note: On that same page in the Times-Standard, right under the above article is the headline: Pasadena prepares for Rose Parade festivities and shows a big picture of a float honoring former President Ronald Reagan prepared for the Rose Parade. This is the first time the Rose Parade has included a presidential-themed entry. The resurgence at this time of Ronald Reagan's capitalistic beliefs in the minds of many Americans is important because the War On Little People was initiated with a vengeance in modern times by Ronald Reagan. [Source]