Way back in 2000 I worked on the Medea for Senate campaign. It was one of the most enjoyable political experiences of my life. I worked for a candidate who was speaking into the microphone about the >very< things I was faced with every day. My political party was supporting a candidate who got a lot of people energized not to be active through November 2000 - but for much longer after that. And, people can think back to this campaign and get some of that energy and momentum back.
2002, Peter came on the scene with his run for Governor. Starting with not as much political resources, the campaign moved forward, but I just couldn’t get into it. I tried, I hosted fundraisers, purchased Los Angeles County’s only lawn signs for the campaign, and I talked up the campaign as much as I could.
The recall came, and again - just couldn’t get into it. But, towards the end of the season there was a tremendous amount of energy and momentum many of us knew the party didn’t have the resources to maintain.
Then, the presidential election season.
Yes, I was on the Accreditation Committee - in fact I co-chaired it.
I was leading the effort, within the committee, to get our 2004 nomination procedures into a proposal and in front of the National Committee for their approval. In terms of processes, it was best to update the process we used in 2000 and send it to the NC for approval. This is what we did: we changed the references of ASGP to GPUS and 2000 to 2004. That was it.
And, the proposal passed, with a few changes. In terms of GP activities it was a painless process.
Then before the Winter 03 plenary, Peter announced (after the
deadline) he was running as a “Favorite Son”. I admit, I fell for it. I thought it was a good idea, under the premise that competition will make for a deeper more thoughtful campaign.
The GPUS convention took place, David Cobb and Pat LaMarche won the nomination.
The day marks the birth of the new Peter Camejo campaigns - one of finger pointing, stomping of feet, and out of control list nannies.
The Cobb/LaMarche campaign of 2004 was a Green Party campaign. It was a campaign of our issues, our awareness, and a celebration of our platform. David and Pat woke up that day in November not as the new owners of the Green Party, without feelings of being owed something - but as continued members of the Green Party. And, I feel the same way.
I am a member of the Green Party. I have never been a part of another political party - through thick and thin, press or no press, good days, bad days - I am here.
So, while Peter strolls into another campaign for Governor, I hope that people keep this in mind. Peter is not owed anything, he doesn’t own the party. Peter is a member of the party, and Greens shouldn’t feel bullied, marginalized, demeaned, or otherwise down about how they feel about other candidates. Even if they want to support other candidates.
This is what I’ve been having an internal showdown about - I want to run for Governor. I want to run a campaign that someone out there would get excited about. I want people to celebrate our platform, our values. We don’t need to run a campaign that says “we are a third party trying to break the duopoly”. We need a campaign that reaffirms our independence as a political party, we need a campaign that will help the initiatives that we support, succeed. Our party needs a campaign that can take ownership of what is owed to our party
- not just individuals.
While I >want< to run to secure the party’s nomination, that doesn’t necessarily say that I should run, or can run. I have a job, which I throughly enjoy. I have student loans. My partner Alex, has much more pull than most in terms of making the final decision. It takes money, it takes support, time and energy. Maybe a weekend in Vegas can help to reconcile the internal conflicts.
Last night I was saying to Alex that the intersection of 6th and Los Angeles is absolute mayhem - all day, traffic control should take control of the intersection rather than the lights.
I swear to God - THE traffic control folks are out there handling the intersection.
In any case, I bought my first Christmas present yesterday. I started shopping 5 days earlier than ever before. And, the present I bought, I could have totally bought it on the 24th and not yesterday.
I like to buy my gifts later in the sales cycle. My reasons why:
1) The crappy gifts have already sold out. There will always be Chia Pets (which is the ultimate fallback), however the ugly sweaters, useless gifts have already been picked up by extended relatives. Leaving you to sort out what’s left.
2) No secret here - I can’t keep my mouth shut when I do buy a gift. I get so excited about the gifts that I have for others, the moment I see them I want to tell them what I got them.
3) I’m lazy. Yes, I admit - I’m the procrastinator. I am okay waiting until the last moment for these gifts. I want to wait until there’s a little bit of pressure to buy the right gift.
I consider the 25th the early renewal date for gifts. If it gets to the right person before the 25th, then Yeah for me. As long as the gift gets to the person by New Year’s - I’m feeling pretty good.
On another note, at work, we are entering into our last couple of days at Arroyo and Colorado. We are moving east, going from three little suites to one whole floor. I’m not excited or anxious right now, because I still have work to do where I work...now. However, in January, I’m looking forward to the bigger space, a little more quiet, and a chance to focus on work.
The move has encouraged me to consider going to places in Old Town that I haven’t yet ventured into. However, Hooters is still NOT on my places to go list. I may go back to Sushi-Afloat, but Hooters - definitely a not.
Also found out who was holding up the placement of the automatic public toilets - she’s not in office anymore. The council should be approving new language that would make it easier for the placement of new bus shelters, newspaper stands, information kiosks and ATPs. Automatic Public Toilets - something Los Angeles needs every day.
On my block and a half walk to the bus stop every morning, I have developed a method to the inhaling and exhaling. There are certain spots along my route that breathing in is just too much to handle. Cement half-walls along 6th street provide for a perfect “grunting” corner (I don’t know how else to describe this without saying that people are going number 2 even as I walk by). It’s gross, but it’s human so I can’t just say “Hey, can you not do that RIGHT there?”
When you have to go, you gotta go. There are no public restrooms downtown - except for one that has been adopted by the residents of the San Julian sidewalk. For one, it’s out of my way. That ATP is not between where I shop, live, or work.
Starbucks used to have an available bathroom on the corner of Santee and 8th (I think I’m wrong on the exact street location, but who cares). The sign now reads “Employees Only”. There’s a restroom at 7th and Los Angeles in the Rite Aid. Who knows how long that will last. There’s a bathroom in the basement of the Central Market - bring a dime, or quarter, or some change. Don’t plan on sitting on the toilet seat, and plan on a little kid taking a quick peek under your stall door, just so that the little boy can say Hi.
Peeing in downtown is far worse than trying to pee in the woods. At least in the woods you can see the stinging nettle or poison oak, and you’ve got fresh air to take in.
All I know is this: I never enjoyed watching my pets doing number 2. I don’t enjoy walking to the bus, and having to pass a grunting man taking a squat in the parking lot. And, I don’t enjoy walking by grown-ups taking a potty break in the many dark corners of 6th street.
Ahhh...inhale quick before three steps from now.
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State trooper or panhandler? Drivers fooled
By Jennifer Sullivan
Seattle Times staff reporter
In the three years since state lawmakers gave cops the go-ahead to pull over people for not wearing seat belts, the State Patrol has become creative about spotting scofflaws.
But one new approach has raised a few eyebrows — while providing results troopers call impressive.
On Saturday, a trooper stood on a street corner in Spanaway, Pierce County, and helped bust 30 people for not wearing their seat belts. The trooper, wearing plain clothes and a cardboard sign around his neck that read "Happy Holidays Buckle Up," was able to keep a close eye on passing traffic from the southeast corner of Highway 7 and 112th Street East. When he spotted someone who wasn't wearing a seat belt, the trooper radioed fellow troopers parked nearby who pulled over the offender.
In four hours, 41 cars were stopped and 30 seat-belt tickets, costing violators $101 per infraction, were handed out, Trooper J.J. Gundermann said. Troopers also made one drug arrest and six outstanding-warrant arrests.
Some motorists, seeing a man on the roadside wearing a sign, offered him money, apparently figuring he was a panhandler, the State Patrol said. The trooper refused the money.
State troopers dressed in plain clothes looking for people who weren't wearing seat belts:
Went too far - 31%
Displayed initiative - 55%
Shouldn't enforce this law - 14%
Total votes: 1,624
While the tactic proved successful, some are questioning whether it was proper.
John Strait, a law professor at Seattle University, said the operation "sounds tacky" but isn't illegal.
"I'm not sure it's great public policy," Strait said. "I don't think there's a legal privacy issue."
University of Washington criminal-law professor John Junker said police have a right to work in an undercover capacity. They also have a right to penalize people for what can be seen in plain view — such as not wearing a seat belt.
Troopers in King County say they are considering using the same tactic.
The seat-belt operation was first used last month in Vancouver, Wash. Dressed in a windbreaker, jeans and a baseball cap, Sgt. Jason Linn smiled as he held up a cardboard sign wishing motorists a happy holiday season and urging them to buckle up. Again, some motorists thought he was panhandling and offered him money.
Nineteen people were stopped in a 2 ½-hour span and ticketed for not wearing seat belts.
"What we're doing is we're trying to promote the use of seat belts," Vancouver-based Trooper Mike Kesler said. "If they [motorists] took the time to read the sign, it basically told them why we were there."
State Patrol Capt. Steve Burns, who oversees operations in King County, said he's watching how the tactic plays out in other parts of the state before phasing it in locally. Kesler said troopers in Clark County plan to do it again before the end of the year.
In 2002 the Legislature made it legal for authorities to stop motorists and passengers for not wearing seat belts. This updated a 1986 law that allowed for a seat-belt ticket only if authorities stopped a car for a different offense.
Kesler said Linn came up with the strategy because of the high number of panhandlers in the Vancouver area. It was easy for Linn to "blend in," he said.
One passenger rolled down his window, hollered obscenities at Linn and hurled a half-full can of soda before he realized Linn was a trooper. The man was given a $1,050 littering ticket. A 15-year-old who was driving the car was cited for not having a valid license and for allegedly stealing his father's rental car, Kesler said.
Several of the people caught in the Vancouver bust were agitated by the operation, and one person called it "slick," Kesler said. But Gundermann, the Pierce County trooper, said people stopped in Spanaway were supportive.
"We got real positive feedback," Gundermann said. "One of the gals we stopped thought it was a great idea."
Jennifer Sullivan: 206-464-8294 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company
I didn’t get a post up yesterday, mostly because I was tired, a lot happened at work, and I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to talk about. But, now I have three things:
2) The Bus
3) Out of Date Blogs
Sidewalks in Los Angeles are a scary place. Not because of the unknown strangers, but because of the spitters. Maybe I walk too quietly, maybe people of deaf, but I’ve had too many near misses from people spitting. I used to tell my brother that when he prepared to spit, he sounded like a cow attempting to push food from stomach two to stomach three. It’s the same sound.
Why must people spit on the sidewalk. Can’t they spit into a napkin or handkerchief, or something - why the sidewalk. (The gagging Ginny says) You know it’s not just saliva - the spit is slippery. Oh, I have to talk about something else!
The other thing about the sidewalk - There’s a guy who lives on our sidewalk, he sleeps between two trees, and is usually sleeping on my way home from work, but just getting up when I leave for work. I’ve been trying to get into the habit of saying good morning and hello. It started because I had a near miss from his spitting.
At first his response was all grunts. So, it would go like this:
“Good Morning! Have a nice day,” dumb girl says.
“Hrumph,” says neighbor.
It went like this for a couple of days.
This morning, he was up and moving around, so...
“Good Morning! Have a nice day,” dumb girl says.
“Good Morning to you too,” says neighbor.
“Thank You,” - I was shocked that he said something back.
“Hey where are you going?”, he says.
“I am going to work - Have a nice day,” and that was that.
That’s it. There’s nothing more to the story. I’m sure that if or when Alex reads this he will shake his head. It’s a habit, I will talk to most anyone - especially if they seem like they need to talk.
I tell this story a million times, but it’s a good story...
One day at Mud Bay Coffee, I was behind the counter making, um, coffee. It was raining outside, it was Christmas time. The majority of our customers were women, who worked, who had kids, had big houses, and big expectations. They also had weird drink. A customer, known to me as Pineapple-Latte-Lady, had twin boys, and she had come in for her afternoon tall Pineapple latte.
[in the background as I write this, one of the train doors has stopped working, and I’ve spent the last couple of minutes at the South Pasadena station]
Anyways...A Pineapple latte is difficult to make. If the milk isn’t just the right temperature the syrup will crystalize, and the milk looks like it’s curdling. Yuck. So - you’ve got to pay attention when you are steaming the milk. Because if you get it too hot, you have to start all over again.
Anyways, PLL sat down and began to enjoy her drink. I sat behind the counter proud that I had yet again conquered syrup! She asked me how school was going.
Now, I get to the end of the year and just try to get my Christmas shopping done before the morning of the 25th. My family can testify - I’m miserable at getting stuff done on time. Christmas gifts, destined for my dad, brother, and step-mother sat in my car for over two years. Which isn’t so bad...until...you consider I bought my dad chocolate covered cherries.
I’ll buy a fresh box for my dad, but this year, I intend on getting the gifts up to Washington.
I can’t remember what I did last year for Christmas. I think Alex mailed gifts up. I think I’m wrong about, so maybe I was supposed to mail the boxes up there. Maybe that’s what is sitting on the top of my closet. Hmmmm. Oops.
I’ve got myself wound up so tight, made myself so busy with busywork that I can’t seem to get it together enough to remember to send out the holiday cards. I forget to bring the camera when Alex and I go out to special things (like his reunion). I sit on gifts. I drag my feet on doctor appointments. I wait weeks before taking drycleaning, and take even longer to pick the drycleaning up.
I wait until I’m out out out of deodorant, until I get to the day I’ve scrapped my underarms on the bottom of the container. My hair detangler gets replaced when the hissing sound from the container produces no more liquid. I take items to the storage unit, only when Alex becomes so frustrated at me, he rubs his forehead so hard a notch appears.
Okay, maybe there’s not a notch, or dent on the side of his face. But, as previous roommates can attest - I can be a pain. Kilkea roommates excluded. Leslie knows what I’m talking about.
Oh - funny story time!
This one time, in grad school, I was scheduled to go to San Francisco the next day. The night before I was making rice-a-roni on the stove, when our neighbor Kip appeared on our patio. I was talking with Kip, and we determined it would be a good idea to run to the store and buy some beer for a Thursday night party. It would be a low key party. Stress the word low key. I don’t remember much, other than ordering pizza, turning off the stove, and waking up he next morning to go to a state party meeting.
I don’t remember cleaning up my mess. The mess - I mean a couple of pizza boxes, spilled beer on the floor (by the neighbor boys), and the kitchen was a cross between a biological landfill and a nuclear waste facility. Had this been a planned affair, with appropriate clean up the next morning, I don’t think we would have had a problem. But, my flight was at 6 something. And, when I went for the plan - I’m pretty sure my BAC was still pretty high. I was hungover for the entire day.
I didn’t remember to take my keys with me. When I got back home, I couldn’t get in. I was joking around at the door - pounding and yelling. And, I was met with Unhappy Leslie. Actually, she was Pissed Leslie. She was really mad. Really mad.
When I got home, I was appropriately met by my roommates who provided me with, um, constructive criticism. Actually - to be more accurate - it was an ultimatum. If I wanted to stay, I would need to give notice of folks coming over, and nothing left in the kitchen. At the time, it was a bit rough. I thought there was a bit of an overreaction. But, two weeks in, I totally understood I did probably the worst thing you could do as a roommate.
Time passed. I apologized, knowing what I had done. Knowing I could do nothing to fix what I had done, other than what they had asked me to do, and learn from the lesson. I learned that Neighbor Boys are bad. Neighborhood Boys without girlfriends are even worse, because they don’t have a girlfriend to answer to. Thus, drunken events that include dancing to the same song for 6 hours straight - aren’t stopped.
Makes for great stories though.
So, I hate the dentist. I hate the drill, I hate the self-conscious feeling about how ugly my coffee stained teeth are, or that I had stinky cheese for lunch and I didn’t have a chance to get home to brush.
But, I have a good dentist, with a good assistant, and a nice receptionist. The office is in the neighborhood, so I can leave from work at 10 to 2, catch the Gold Line, transfer to the D DASH line, and get off right in front of the building. I don’t have to pay for parking!
The office is in the CalMart Fashion building. So, I get a chance to walk buy (sic) pretty purses and showy dresses. It’s hard not to stop before I get to the dentists office.
Back to the deep cleaning. I was nervous, and even with the television, massaging chair, still tense. So, I Got The Gas! It sets in pretty quick and wears off pretty quick. It made all the pricking, clawing, poking and sawing all the stuff out of my mouth quite amusing.
The numbing stuff wore off pretty quickly too. Not a moment too soon. I’m tired of drooling on myself.
You should go to my dentist. They validate parking. (If you forget your cash for parking - because you have to prepay - just give the parking attendant your keys in exchange for the card) The waiting room is relaxing, with little water fountains and orchids. The restrooms are right down the hall (because if you come to early, you hear the water fountains just enough so that you “have to go”. The massaging chair, television, and abundance of the gas - it’s enough for me to keep going.
My little brother is in high school. Super smart and likes those role-playing card games. I remember that I didn’t make fun of those kinds of kids in school - mostly because of my love affair with EIRs. Who was I to judge?
But, now...did you see the article in the LA Times, or some big newspaper about the fact that “geeks” ruling the world. It’s like a sitcom come true - the kid spent their day in the computer or science lab, dreaming up the next big thing - also happens to be the adult who now runs million dollar firms.
And, bullies end up in middle management. LOL!
Anyways, back to my little brother. I do my best to talk to him at least once a week. We trade occasional emails, but good conversation takes place over the phone. Dad is in his mid-fifties, and his mom is forever 27. Now that I’m 29, that makes explaining the age difference sometimes awkward. But, I figure she’s earned her forever 27, so she can keep it. But, because my dad is older, I feel a tiny bit responsible for keeping an ear available for him.
He visited over a year ago. It was nice to have him down, and I’d like him to visit again. It’s cheaper for me to fly him down than to fly up. Also, It’s easier to take him out for dinner, than to rent a car and drive around all over the place. He’s very easy to entertain, especially since when he did visit - it was all new to him.
The last time he visited we went out for dinner, a movie, Olvera street, and we bought counterfeit Magic cards. And, we visited USC. I didn’t go there, but when I heard the figures - the more often teens visit college campuses, the more likely they are to attend college - generally. Oh, and he bought an American Apparel shirt. It was hard to see him off...
I remember when Liz took me on a side trip to her college - UPS, University of Puget Sound. Their logo included the color green, and at the time, I wanted everything Green. We bought stickers, and I started thinking to myself that I would one day attend college. I had never even given it a thought before that day. Then, I found Evergreen. Way more >>Green<< than UPS - as it included the word “green”...
Why on earth do I do the things I do - even that’s a mystery to me. It seems too simple.
I went to Evergreen State College, because I liked the mascot. A geoduck... And, I like mollusks.
I went to Pepperdine University, because I liked the weather. All the pictures show sunny weather, and I like sunny weather.
I made coffee for years, because I like double-tall, Almond Mochas, light on the chocolate.
I guess I might be a complex girl who likes simple things.
I noticed two things - almost everyone, from bus drivers, limo drivers, and cars - they were all on their cell phone. No wonder traffic sucks so badly, no one can concentrate on the road because they are using some high tech game of Marco/Polo to find their recently arrived loved one.
#2 - The cabs honked. Some cars honked. But there was no honking from the private drivers. In fact, one of the private drivers grabbed something out of his mouth and threw it towards were Alex and a group of folks were standing.
The event was successful. But, only this group could have pulled this off.
The Anti-War movement is not disciplined enough to execute something link this.
It’s sad, but true.
So, I find myself doing this inner-narration. Carrie made it okay to do.
Maybe it will improve my blogging.
I made cookies tonight using my new cookie press. They didn't turn out as well as I had hoped, but it is the first attempt at pressed cookies in over ten years. Ten Years...
What a phrase. It takes a while to be able to say "I haven't done that in decades" One decade ago I was enjoying (?) my first year of college, first year away from home-home, and spending my time between bagging groceries and mountain tops.
Even a decade ago I wasn't making pressed cookies. It would have to be 15 years ago...THAT was the last time I made pressed cookies. My goodness...it's been awhile since I made pressed cookies. No wonder they didn't turn out that great.
Another reason why they didn't turn out very well was because I was 1/4 cup shy of the full required amount of sugar. Also, I didn't use regular white sugar, I used sugar in the raw. And, I didn't have the patience to find the 1/2 teaspoon-spoon, so I just guessed using a table spoon.
Well, I guess I won't take the first batch to work. I know that Alex will eat them.
As long as he doesn't find out about the lack of sugar.
Trader Joe's in the Market?
A daylong event aimed at spurring investment in Downtown brought out nearly 100 venture capitalists, bankers, mortgage brokers and financiers to tour the area's new developments. One attendee in particular, however, had tongues wagging - a representative from Trader Joe's market. Carol Schatz, president and chief executive of the Downtown Center Business Improvement District and Central City Association, which organized the third annual event, said although the grocer made no commitments, its presence was nonetheless a victory. "They are checking us out and that's just fine." For years, Downtown leaders have lobbied the popular chain to open a location in the Central City to cater to the growing residential populace. The rule of thumb for grocery stores to open a new location tends to be the presence of at least 15,000 residential customers. While Downtown has nearly twice that, enough to support two stores, Trader Joe's has refused to consider the notion. Until now. "They were pretty impressed with what they saw," said Schatz.
National Policy Response is Off Kilter
by Arloc Sherman and Isaac Shapiro
This analysis features a variety of measures which suggest that tens of millions of American families will confront significant hardships this holiday season, with many unable to meet their basic food, health, and shelter needs. Government data show that:
• Poverty has now risen for four straight years; 37 million people were poor in 2004.
• More than one in six households with children experienced hunger or risk of hunger in 2004.
• The number of people lacking health insurance reached an all-time recorded high in 2004.
Stan was the co-founder in 1971 of the Los Angeles Crips gang. In 1981 he was convicted of murdering four people during two robberies and sentenced to death row at San Quentin State Prison. Stan deeply regrets his gang involvement but has always maintained his innocence of these crimes.
His trial was based on circumstantial evidence and the testimony of several witnesses, all of whom were facing a range of felony charges, including fraud, rape, murder and mutilation. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals stated in a September 10, 2002, ruling that the witnesses in Stan’s case had “less-than-clean backgrounds and incentives to lie in order to obtain leniency from the state in either charging or sentencing.”
There was physical evidence, but none of it pointed to Stan.
• Fingerprints were found at both crime scenes, but they were not Stan’s. These fingerprints have never been identified.
• A bloody boot print left near the victim at one of the crime scenes was not Stan’s. This boot print has never been identified.
• A shotgun shell found at that crime scene was said to be from a gun purchased by Stan five years earlier. But the gun was, in fact, found under the bed of two people – a husband and wife facing felony insurance fraud charges and who were also under investigation for murdering their own crime partner. This husband-and-wife crime team did not serve any prison time and their murder investigation was dropped after they testified that Stan “volunteered” a confession to them.
• The “star” witness at Stan’s trial – a white man and longtime felon who was placed in a nearby cell while Stan awaited trial and was years later discovered to have been a paid police informant – also testified that Stan “volunteered” a confession to him. But nearly 20 years after Stan’s trial it was discovered that a Los Angeles police officer had left a copy of the police murder file involving Stan’s case in this informant’s cell for overnight study. The next day the murder file was picked up by that same officer, and the informant informed the police that Stan had volunteered a confession to him. In return for this testimony, the informant – who himself was facing the death penalty for rape, murder and mutilation – was given a lesser sentence that allowed him the possibility of parole and freedom.
Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
While on death row, Stan has written 9 highly-acclaimed children’s books that educate young people to avoid gangs, crime and incarceration. He has also worked to end gang violence through his peace protocol and Internet Project for Street Peace, an international peer mentoring program. Stan has saved the lives of over 150,000 youth, as reported by them, their parents, teachers and law enforcement officials in their emails to Stan (firstname.lastname@example.org). He has recently published his memoir, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, which has been nominated for a James Madison Book Award. His work has resulted in multiple nominations for the Nobel Peace and Literature prizes. This summer Stan’s work was even recognized by the President of the United States when he received a presidential award for his volunteer work to help youth. Stan’s story was also recently made into a television movie, “Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story,” starring Academy Award winner Jamie Foxx. The movie was honored by the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals, and was nominated for a Golden Globe and other prestigious awards.
Saving Stan, Saving Our Civil Rights
Stan, like many prisoners, experienced racism in the criminal justice system. His prosecutor kicked off three African-Americans from serving as jurors in Stan’s trial, resulting in Stan being convicted by a virtually all-white jury (no African- Americans; one Latino; one Filipino; ten Caucasians). This prosecutor made numerous racist remarks during the trial, comparing Stan to a “Bengal Tiger” in the San Diego Zoo whose natural jungle “habitat” was the equivalent of South Central Los Angeles.
The California State Supreme Court had twice censured this same prosecutor for equally discriminatory behavior. Indeed, a member of the California Supreme Court at that time made the following statement about that prosecutor: ...I believe that we must place the ultimate blame on its real source – the prosecutor. It was he who unconstitutionally struck Black prospective jurors. The record compels this conclusion and permits none other... This prosecutor knew that such conduct was altogether improper. The trial court told him as much. And so did we... This court attempted to teach this same prosecutor that invidious discrimination was unacceptable when we reversed a judgment of death because of similar improper conduct on his part. He failed - or refused - to learn his lesson. The result is another reversal - and another costly burden on the administration of justice.
On October 11, 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Stan’s appeal to investigate the racism and discrimination at the heart of his case, as well as Stan’s innocence issues. This denial established as “case law” for the entire nation the right of prosecutors to exclude jurors on the basis of race and to denigrate minority defendants in front of white juries. The ruling is a frontal attack on the civil rights of all Americans.
Will the State Execute a Nobel Peace Prize Nominee?
An execution date has been set for Stan Tookie Williams: December 13, 2005. In November 2005 his attorneys plan to file another Federal Habeas Petition that presents new evidence of innocence. At the same time a clemency team of lawyers (composed of lawyers from two prestigious international law firms: New York City’s Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP, founded in 1830, and the 500-attorney firm of Howrey Simon Arnold & White LLP headquartered in Los Angeles), has been formed to prepare a clemency petition for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s
consideration. That clemency petition will be submitted to the Governor of California by the beginning of December 2005.
Why Stanley Tookie Williams Should Receive Clemency
Clemency is a request for mercy. In the United States it is a request for a Governor (only a Governor can grant
clemency) to not impose the death penalty, but instead to impose an alternative sentence: Life without the possibility of
parole. So clemency does not mean freedom for the prisoner. It means that the person will spend the rest of his life in
prison unless he can later prove innocence through further appeals.
Stanley Tookie Williams deserves clemency. From a 9-by-4 foot cell he has undertaken extraordinary work to serve humanity in his effort to reverse the destructive legacy of the Crips youth gang. If Governor Schwarzenegger grants clemency to Stanley Tookie Williams he will have made an historic move to diminish youth violence in this country and abroad because of the powerful work that Stan would be able to continue to do, using his credible voice to reduce the presence of street gangs throughout this nation and around the world. Even the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals wrote an unprecedented conclusion to its September 10, 2002, ruling about Stan. The Court concluded that Stan was doing “laudable” work that made him “worthy” of consideration for clemency. To that end, Stan has:
• Saved the lives of over 150,000 youth who were either preparing to join a gang or got out of a gang, based on the testimonies of tens of thousands of emails received by Stan at email@example.com from kids, parents, teachers, librarians and even law enforcement officials
• Written nine highly acclaimed anti-violence, anti-gang and anti-drug books for elementary school students (Tookie Speaks Out Against Gang Violence, a series of eight books) and middle school children (Life in Prison, a book that deromanticizes incarceration) that are in schools, libraries and juvenile correctional facilities throughout the nation and around the world. Life in Prison was honored by the American Library Association.
• Written his autobiography, Blue Rage, Black Redemption, for high school students and imprisoned adults to inspire them and to demonstrate to them how they can rehabilitate themselves no matter the difficulty surrounding their life circumstance. Blue Rage, Black Redemption was recently nominated by Frederick Douglass IV for a James Madison Book Award.
• Written the “Tookie Protocol for Peace: A Local Street Peace Initiative,” which provides step-by-step instructions for how a community can create peace – block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood, city by city. Nearly 200 Crips and Bloods in Newark, New Jersey, for example, signed a truce document based on Stan’s peace protocol one month after downloading that sample peace treaty from his website (www.tookie.com). Until then, those Crips and Bloods had been responsible for 32 gang-related deaths during the first four months of 2004. By May 2004, after signing the truce document, the murder rate in Newark, New Jersey, dropped significantly. The Deputy Mayor of Newark, Ras Baraka, credits Stan’s work as playing a significant role in the lessening of violence in his city. Reformed gang members in other states, such as Indiana, have also reported their successful use of Stan’s peace protocol to secure treaties that stopped gang violence in their communities.
• Written letters to incarcerated youth that have been used as counseling and learning tools by juvenile correctional officers. The letters are available for free on his website
• Provided live mentoring via telephone to the principals of the 23 most at-risk elementary schools in the Chicago Public Schools during an in-service training session about Stan’s work. The session was so successful that the Chicago Public Schools decided to create a curriculum around Stan’s Blue Rage, Black Redemption book and his other work. That curriculum was launched in September 2005 within those 23 schools. It is proving to be so successful with students that there is a waiting list to become a participant.
• Provided live mentoring to at-risk youth via the telephone by calling schools, a Bay Area juvenile correctional facility and community- based after-school programs serving troubled youth
• Provided live mentoring to very high-risk youth who visit him at San Quentin State Prison
• Recorded anti-gang Public Service Announcements (PSAs) that have been played on radio stations throughout the United States and Canada. A British station is preparing to air his PSAs
• Assisted in the creation of an award-winning movie made about his life, “Redemption: The Stan Tookie Williams Story,” starring Jamie Foxx. The movie is being sold in DVD format globally – in, for example, the Netherlands, New Zealand and Iraq to U.S. soldiers fighting there. The movie of Stan’s life is proving to be so inspirational that it, too, is saving lives. (See emails at www.tookie.com.)
• Been nominated five times for the Nobel Peace Prize – once by a member of the Swiss Parliament and four times by a growing list of eminent professors from the United States and Europe. He has also been nominated four times for the Nobel Prize for Literature by William Keach, Professor of English Literature from Brown University.
• Received from President George W. Bush a 2005 Presidential Call to Service Award for his volunteer efforts to help youth If you want more information, have ideas about how you can help, or want to ask a question, contact Barbara Becnel or Kathleen Sullivan at Tookie@Tookie.com or at 510-235-9780, or contact Crystal Bybee at Crystal@nodeathpenalty.org or at 510-333-7966.
I called the client at the scheduled time.
She wasn't there.
The person who picked up the phone had me on speakerphone.
"You work for who?" he says
"You do what?" he says
I mean, CLICK
He hung up on me!
I don't hang up on people, well...I have hung up on people, but I've warned them. I don't hang up on people without letting them know that I'm hanging up on them.
AHHHHH! I hate getting hung up on!
I'd rather read that you deleted my email without reading it than, getting hung up on!
Today sucks. I'm ready to take all my toys and go home.
I do know why I don't sing on the train, on the bus, or walking in between. Because I am not a very good singer, and half the time I don't get the words right. :-)
I have to make a conscious effort not to sing. It doesn't matter if I have the ipod... I know the words to more than half of the Ani DiFranco album collection. I hear a phrase, or I'm reminded of a time I was listening to a song.
I might start humming the words and then as soon as you know it I am singing "perpetrating counter culture, she was walking through the park."
If I catch it, I'm okay. This happens most days. I catch myself 3-4 phrases in.
However my fear is about the day I will walk through Union Station, singing and twirling to "Out Of Range".
Oh well. Worse things can happen...like no one paying attention.
When I hear a car alarm, I don't think to myself..."Hey...I think someone's car is getting stolen." I think to myself "My God! How annoying!"
I don't like car alarms. If you are going to spend the money on a car alarm, get a freaking low-jack.
Alex's 10-year high school reunion is right around the corner. I have to come up with "cocktail attire" - which is my second least favorite attire. He mentioned that a few of his friends don't feel like attending the party-portion of the reunion, and I can't blame them.
It wasn't that high school was a bad time, I just don't feel compelled to go back. Like a good movie, watching it a second time...you know the good parts, you know what to expect, and the ending is just around the corner. I didn't go to my high school reunion for a couple of reasons:
1) I wanted to stay at the Alderbrook Inn and there were no rooms available during the time of the reunion. I didn't want to stay at the Belfair Motel.
2) Ginger wasn't going to go.
3) Most of the people that I want to talk to, I've already been talking to.
It's not that I didn't want Alex to meet people who knew me in high school. I didn't want to hear about how my quest to save trees is going (which I never said I was into saving trees...although it's a honorable quest), how my family is doing (they all live close to town, so why not ask them), and where do I live now (don't you read my blog?).
|Wednesday, Nov. 2, 2005|
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Veterans Memorial Auditorium,
4117 Overland Ave.
Culver City 90230
|Thursday, Nov. 3, 2005|
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
West Angeles Church,
3045 Crenshaw Blvd.
Los Angeles 90016
|Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2005|
5:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Wallis Annenberg Bldg.
700 State Drive
Los Angeles 90037
United States Attorney's Office
Northern District of California
11th Floor, Federal Building (415) 436-7200
450 Golden Gate Avenue, Box 36055 FAX:(415) 436-7234
San Francisco, California 94102
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 12, 2005
THREE INDICTED IN MASSIVE MUSIC AND SOFTWARE PIRACY SCHEME
Individuals Charged with Infringing Over 325,000 CDs Containing Music and Software
Largest CD Manufacturing Seizure in the United States According to Recording Industry
SAN JOSE - The United States Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California announced that a federal grand jury today indicted three South Bay individuals charging their involvement in a scheme to pirate over 325,000 copies of copyrighted CDs and software. According to the recording industry, this is the largest CD manufacturing seizure in the United States. This indictment follows the arrests of five individuals and searches of 13 locations in California and Texas on October 6, 2005, as part of "Operation Remaster." Operation Remaster is an undercover law enforcement operation in Northern California targeting the large-scale suppliers of pirated copyrighted music, software, and movies. This operation focused on replicators, the companies or individuals who use sophisticated machinery to create hundreds of thousands of copies of copyrighted works that are then distributed around the country.
The operation is a joint investigation led by the Rapid Enforcement Allied Computer Team High Tech Crimes Task Force (REACT) in San Jose, a task force composed of state, local, and federal law enforcement agencies. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, and the Sacramento Valley High Tech Crimes Task Force assisted in this investigation.
The following individuals were charged in two separate indictments with conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and traffic in counterfeit labels; criminal copyright infringement; trafficking in counterfeit labels; and aiding and abetting:
* Ye Teng Wen, a/k/a Michael Wen, 29, of Union City, California;
* Hao He, a/k/a Kevin He, 30, of Union City, California;
* Yaobin Zhai, a/k/a Ben Zhai, 33, of Fremont, California.
Wen and He were charged in a ten-count indictment. Zhai was charged separately in a seven-count indictment.
U.S. Attorney Kevin V. Ryan stated: "The allegations of massive piracy of music and software reflect the potential loss of millions of dollars to the artists and businesses who legitimately own the copyrights on these works. These individuals are charged with affixing counterfeit labels on CDs to create the appearance of legitimacy, including the FBI Anti-Piracy Warning that stated 'Unauthorized copying is punishable under federal law.' We will continue in our work to protect intellectual property rights and prosecute those who pirate music, software, and movies for their own enrichment."
According to court filings, piracy conspiracies often involve geographically separate businesses that secretly handle different stages of the process of pirating intellectual property. Brokers, replicators, assemblers, packagers, printers, distributors and retailers play distinct roles in the conspiracy. Brokers solicit the orders of copyrighted works, while the replicators have the equipment to manufacture hundreds of thousands of CDs. Printers and packagers are responsible for making the infringed work appear legitimate by assembling the CD case, booklet, and artwork into a completed CD/DVD package that almost exactly resembles the copyrighted work.
The indicted individuals are charged with involvement in the large scale replication of pirated music and software. The replicator is the business or individual who has the manufacturing equipment to duplicate mass quantities of CDs or DVDs. Using expensive and sophisticated equipment, sometimes including silk screening machines to place artwork on the CDs or DVDs, replicators can quickly create tens of thousands of counterfeit CDs or DVDs. For example, a replicator armed with an easily obtainable mold of a CD or DVD - called a "stamper" - can potentially manufacture 50,000 to 80,000 counterfeit CDs or DVDs, effectively flooding the market with copies of the work.
According to the affidavits in support of the criminal complaints, Wen and He have been involved in large-scale replication of pirated music and software, including songs by numerous Latin artists as well as anti-virus software manufactured by Symantec. Similarly, Zhai has been involved in large-scale replication of pirated Latin music. All the counterfeited works at issue are copyrighted in the United States.
According to the indictment, these defendants are charged with possessing over 2,000 stampers in connection with the conspiracy. The Recording Industry Association of America estimates that a conservative value of one infringing music stamper is $25,000. These defendants are charged with using over 2000 stampers, with an estimated potential replicating value of millions of dollars.
Once a pirated work enters the market, it can circulate widely. For example, according to court documents, a counterfeit music CD found at a retail store last month in Chicago, Illinois, came from two of the Northern California individuals arrested as part of this operation.
The defendants were arrested pursuant to criminal complaints charging, among other things, violations of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and traffic in counterfeit labels (18 U.S.C. § 371); criminal copyright infringement (17 U.S.C. § 506(a)(1)(A), 18 U.S.C. § 2319(b)(1)); trafficking in counterfeit labels (18 U.S.C. §§ 2318(a), 2318(c)(3)); aiding and abetting (18 U.S.C. § 2 ); criminal forfeiture and destruction (17 U.S.C. §§ 506(b) and 509(a)).
Defendants Wen, He and Zhai are scheduled to make their initial appearance on the indictment before Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd at October 27, 2005, at 9:30 a.m. Zhai was released today on $150,000 secured bond. Wen and He were released on October 6, 2005, on $75,000 secured bond.
Law enforcement agents also arrested Jesus Becerra Huerta, of Stockton, California, and Rosa Isela Huerta, of Stockton, California, on warrants issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of California. That U.S. Attorney's Office is handling the prosecutions of those individuals.
For someone without a similar prior offense, the maximum penalties under 18 U.S.C. §§ 506(a)(1)(A), 2319, 371, and 2 are five years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, three years supervised release, and a $100 special assessment for each violation. However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
An indictment only contains allegations and these defendants, as with all defendants, must be presumed innocent unless and until convicted. The investigation of large-scale replication conspiracies is continuing.
Mark L. Krotoski and Matthew A. Lamberti are the Assistant United States Attorneys from the CHIP Unit in the Northern District of California who are prosecuting the cases. The Recording Industry Association of American and the Motion Picture Association of America have also assisted in this investigation.
A copy of this press release may be found on the U.S. Attorney's Office's website at www.usdoj.gov/usao/can.
Further procedural and docket information along with electronic court filings for criminal cases filed since February 2005 are available at https://ecf.cand.uscourts.gov/.
Judges' calendars with schedules for upcoming court hearings can be viewed on the court's website at www.cand.uscourts.gov
All press inquiries to the U.S. Attorney's Office should be directed to AUSA Christopher P. Sonderby at (408) 535-5037 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Luke Macaulay at (415) 436-6757 .
What: "7th Street Visioning" Workshop: "From Vision to Action"
When: Tuesday, October 25th
5:30-6:00 pm Reception/Registration
6:00-8:30 pm Workshop
Where: 515 W. 7th Street (N side of 7th, between Grand and Olive)
Please RSVP to 7thStreetLA@gmail.com by October 21st
Looking forward to walking to gauntlet of Main street for seconds!
The Wise Guys will need to clean up their act (and get rid of that B in the window) if they want to compete against these Pitfire!
The Home Depot Center Foundation
Saturday, October 1, 2005 - 12:00 AM
Permission to reprint or copy this article or photo must be obtained from The Seattle Times. Call 206-464-3113 or e-mail email@example.com with your request.
ROD MAR / THE SEATTLE TIMES
ROD MAR / THE SEATTLE TIMES
Wilson bids farewell; Ichiro turns 200 hits
By Bob Finnigan
Seattle Times staff reporter
With his son Eli alongside him on the bench and wife, Annie, and the rest of the family in the stands, Dan Wilson played his final game last night.
With him went the last direct link to the 1995 team that turned Seattle into a baseball town, that led to the construction of Safeco Field, which stands as an emotional memorial to that group.
Fittingly, Edgar Martinez and Jay Buhner were also in the dugout when Wilson came off the field for the last time, after taking warmups and then a warm embrace from Jamie Moyer at the start of the second inning.
The Mariners activated Wilson from the 60-day disabled list early yesterday, to enable him to make his final appearance.
The 14-year veteran, the best fielding catcher of all time, went out with his helmet held high, waving it toward the stands in appreciation of the prolonged standing ovation he received as he walked off.
Fittingly, he went out a winner for the 667th time in 1,251 games played for the Mariners, who beat Oakland 4-1.
Wilson ranks among the top 25 among major-league catchers all-time in several categories, including:
Oakland at Seattle, 1:05 p.m.
Jeff Harris (2-5, 4.47) vs. Joe Blanton (11-12, 3.55)
• .995 fielding percentage (No. 1 all time);
• 1,299 games (20th)
• 209 doubles (22nd)
• 437 runs scored and 504 RBI (24th).
He also was third with 86 sacrifice hits and one of only seven catchers ever to hit an inside-the-park grand slam.
Among American League catchers, he finished ninth with 1,251 games, 10,100-2/3 innings and 508 RBI.
He caught 30 of 34 postseason games for Seattle and was the starting catcher in games that clinched postseason appearances in 1995, 1997, 2000 and 2001.
The Mariners had a .533 win percentage (667-584) in games in which he appeared.
Speaking of Wilson as a former opponent, especially when his Cleveland clubs had big series against the Mariners, Mike Hargrove said: "Dan was always one of my favorite players, with the way he played and the way he carried himself. There was always a sense of stability about him.
"There was some volatile players on Seattle teams then, but Dan always seemed to help keep that team on an even keel and focused and able to do the job."
Referring to Game 1 of the memorable 1995 ALCS, when young Bob Wolcott was a surprise starter for Seattle, Hargrove said, "I don't see how Bob Wolcott wins that game had Dan Wilson not been behind the plate."
In an unforgettable first inning, the Indians loaded the bases on Wolcott with no outs and were unable to score. Wolcott went on to a 3-2 win in the series in which Cleveland prevailed, 4-2.
Before his final night was over, Wilson wound up sharing the spotlight with Ichiro, who had four hits to reach 200 for the fifth straight season, and Moyer, who seemed rejuvenated after throwing to Wilson for even one inning. Ichiro has 202 hits this season.
The old man of the mound, who keeps going while one teammate after another leaves, threw a five-hitter for eight innings and finished 13-7 with Eddie Guardado working the ninth for his 36th save.
With Moyer as Seattle's pitching yin to Wilson's catching yang, it was like old times in the top of the first. Working with Wilson again for the 210th time in his 299 Mariner games — 192 starts and 18 relief appearances — Moyer was never better.
Moyer gave up a single to Jason Kendall and double to Mark Kotsay with one out, but set down Eric Chavez and Bobby Kielty on three more pitches, and wound up with 13 strikes in 17 pitches thrown to Wilson.
Ichiro led off the first inning with a hustle double into the right-center gap, but was out between second and third on Yuniesky Betancourt's grounder. Oakland starter Kirk Saarloos walked Raul Ibanez and Riche Sexson and Adrian Beltre got a run home with a bouncer to third.
Meantime, Moyer rolled on. After giving up the two hits in the first and having Yorvit Torrealba replace Wilson, he set down 20 of the next 24 batters.
Wilson left innings before to the stadium message board flashing: "Thanks For The Memories."
But bright light as that was, no one said better than the one sign, held aloft by a fan, that read: "We'll miss you, Iron Dan."
Ichiro erased what little concern there may have been that he would not reach 200 hits with a double and a single in his first two at-bats, his 199th and 200th hits of the season. He added two more hits to finish 4 for 5 on the night.
With his achievement the Mariner All-Star outfielder became only the sixth player in major-league history to collect 200 or more hits in five straight seasons. Wee Willie Keller did it eight straight, 1894-1901; Wade Boggs seven, 1983-89; Chuck Klein (1929-33), Al Simmons (1929-33) and Charlie Gehringer (1933-37) each did it five times.
Bob Finnigan: 206-464-8276 or firstname.lastname@example.org
|Kings of swings|
|Seattle's Ichiro Suzuki is the sixth MLB player with 200 hits in five consecutive seasons:|
|*With 2 games remaining|
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(That's Mark, Myself, and my Dad - aka Wayne)
Inside each of the three boxes contained a card - one which brought me to tears. And, one that just confused me - probably because it confused my dad as well.
In the packages:
1 Fiesta Ware Tea Pot. Which looked familiar.
1 bowling award for someone in the East Valley Special Olympics. I've never bowled for an award before, and I'm pretty sure I've never participated in anything having to do with Special Olympics.
6 CDs of Mark's band.
The teapot I'm fine with. The 6 CDs - good to go. The award confuses me - was it just so cheap you couldn't pass it up? The Value Village tag was on it. Dad - big question - the kid who once owned the Special Olympics award...do they know their parents sold it from right under them? :-)
The Potato - my hunch is that it's from the garden in the backyard. If this is the case - DAD - you broke a federal or state law...you are not supposed to transport live plant matter between state lines. If this potato has some bug in it - California is in trouble.
So, Dad, Liz and Mark - Alex and I thank you for the gift. I'm going to make a baked potato for dinner, and think about what to do with my new bowling award.
The special election in November (estimated to cost $45 to $80 million!) will contain eight ballot initiatives. The Green Party offers the following analysis to help you decide how to vote on these important decisions.
Information on the election, and the full text of each initiative, is available from the Secretary of State’s website .
Summary of Recommendations
NO on 73 (abortion reporting)
NO on 74 (teacher's tenure)
NO on 75 (union dues)
NO on 76 (school funding)
NO POSITION on 77 (redistricting)
NO on 78 (drug discount - business version)
YES on 79 (drug discount - consumer version)
NO POSITION on 80 (regulation of electric service providers)
Here are the highlights of the discussions that led to the recommendations we’ve made.
Proposition 73 - Waiting Period and Parental Notification Before Termination of Minor's Pregnancy.
This proposition places a notification requirement on doctors before an abortion procedure may be performed on a minor. Unless the minor applies for a waiver from a judge within the doctor's jurisdiction, the minor's parent or legal guardian must be notified before the procedure, and a 48-hour waiting period must be respected.
Greens advocate full access to safe and reliable reproductive information and services – including abortions. This should be true regardless of whether teens have been abused, are part of functional or dysfunctional families, or they live in rural or urban areas. This initiative is one more step in the process to limit women’s reproductive choices. All research shows that the availability of reproductive information and services lowers the incidence of teen pregnancies and abortions.
Proposition 74 - Public School Teachers. Waiting Period for Permanent Status.
This proposition would increase the probationary period for teachers from the current two years to five years. During probation, teachers can be dismissed without cause or reason.
School administrators have arbitrarily dismissed probationary teachers to intimidate new teachers from speaking up at meetings or engaging in union activity. This initiative appears to be designed to keep new teachers intimidated, inactive, and fearful of supporting their teacher’s union for a full five years. This would greatly weaken California’s teacher unions at a time when they (and all of public education) are under heavy fire from the Schwarzenegger administration.
Contrary to the inferences of Proposition 74’s advocates, permanent teachers do not have tenured status. They can be dismissed for a variety of reasons specified in the state education code. But permanent teachers have the right to due process; they cannot be dismissed without cause.
Proposition 75 - Public Employee Union Dues. Required Consent for Political Contributions.
This initiative would, "Prohibit public employee labor organizations from using dues or fees for political contributions unless the employee provides prior consent each year on a specified written form" (from official summary).
The big businesses who funded Prop 75 want to weaken the labor movement on the political front, and they want to cut wages, pensions and other benefits for workers.
Currently, most unions offer an “opt-out” check box on their union form for those members who do not want their dues used for political purposes. This initiative would change this to an “opt-in” method that each member has to renew each year to support their union’s political activities.
In the interest of fairness, the equivalent for business would be to get the approval of stockholders for political donations that a publicly held corporation wants to make. But we’re not hearing this from the backers of Prop 75 even though businesses far outspend working people in political contributions.
Proposition 76 - State Spending and School Funding Limits.
This initiative cuts school funding by over $4 billion every year – $600 per student – leading to more overcrowded classrooms, teacher layoffs, and fewer textbooks and classroom materials. Specifically, it would tighten the cap on total state spending; end Prop 98’s protections for schools and colleges; and require automatic cuts across all social and civic services if tax revenues drop.
We think some things are too important to cut – things like education, health care, and fire protection. Schwarzenegger and other Prop 76 proponents want to impose required cuts to vital services while prohibiting cuts to special interests like the California Dried Plum Board and “pork barrel” road building projects.
Greens believe that fair taxation statutes will be needed to finance all state expenditures, and that legislators should be increasingly more responsible to the taxpayers for increasing Public Education spending in particular. Legislators should NOT be forced by Prop 76 to either reduce spending to match revenues, or to yield responsibility for needed spending reductions to the Governor.
Proposition 77 - Redistricting.
The Green Party could not come to agreement on a position. NO and NO POSITION were the predominant votes.
This initiative would create a constitutional amendment requiring a three-member panel of retired judges to draw congressional and state legislative districts, rather than the members of the current legislature. This would supposedly take the party politics out of redistricting. The redistricting would occur as soon as possible.
NO on 77 – Opposing this bill would put us in the same camp with Democrat and Republican incumbents who want to continue to run in their gerrymandered districts. This bill does nothing for Greens, and still makes it look like something is happening. No matter how they draw the districts, only the Republicrats can win due to the lock that corporate money and winner-take-all voting has put on elections.
NO POSITION on 77 – Other states have tried independent or bipartisan redistricting panels. These efforts did not result in a significant difference in which party gets elected in any given district. Passage of this proposition may bring some relief from the extremes of gerrymandering, but let's recognize that it will not be a significant improvement in democracy for Californians.
This is a distraction from real reform. The problem is single-member (one winner) districts using winner-take-all voting. There is no gerrymandering scheme that will accomplish fair and balanced representation of voters under such a system. The solution is multi-member districts using proportional representation voting. This provides majority rule and minority representation regardless of how boundaries are drawn.
Proposition 78 - Prescription Drug Discounts (business version).
Proposition 79 - Prescription Drug Discounts (consumer version).
Health Access California, and other labor and consumer groups, sponsored Prop 79, which would use the purchasing power of the State of California to negotiate prescription-drug discounts for millions of Californians that now pay retail prices for these medications. This measure is opposed by "Big Pharma," the prescription drug industry, which also sponsored a counter-measure, Prop 78.
The San Francisco Chronicle (July 13, 2005) ran a front-page story listing 12 drug companies which have contributed $43 million since June 16 for this battle. Pfizer, Merck, and GlaxoSmithKline each contributed $8.5 million to their industry's "California Initiative Fund."
The Alliance for a Better California (the coalition of nurses, teachers, state employees, etc.) also worked to put Prop 79 on the ballot. Much of the language came from a measure that passed the legislature last year but was vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.
The major difference between these Props is that Prop 79 is mandatory for the drug companies. Firms that don't provide medicines under this program for the same price they charge MediCal could be barred from selling to the State's MediCal program. Under Prop 78, drug company participation is voluntary.
Proposition 80 - Electric Service Providers. Regulation.
The Green Party could not come to agreement on a position.
This initiative stems from a bill passed in the CA legislature (AB 2006) in 2004 that would have required utilities and other power suppliers to plan rationally for the future by re-regulating energy in California. Governor Schwarzenegger vetoed it, preferring "competitively priced" electricity over regulated electricity, even if residential rates go up in the process. So, TURN (The Utility Reform Network) is taking the bill to the voters.
YES on 80 – Blackouts due to power shortages and market manipulation did not exist in California prior to deregulation (all previous blackouts resulted from transmission or distribution outages). This proposition re-establishes legal requirements that were abandoned during deregulation. “Integrated resource planning” prohibits large commercial customers from jumping back and forth between “direct access” (power from independent providers) and utility services, thus providing more certainty to utilities in their purchase planning. There are also requirements for “adequate reserves” to prevent blackouts due to power “shortages,” as well as restoring obligations on corporations supplying energy to California - PG&E, SCE and SDG&E - to serve California consumers rather than out-of-state energy suppliers.
Other favorable aspects of this initiative are the requirement for all retail electric sellers to increase renewable energy resource procurement by at least 1% each year, and moving up the date of the state's 20% renewable energy requirement from 2017 to 2010 (decreasing our dependence on expensive fossil fuels). Similarly, “first priority for energy efficiency” means efficiency programs will be pursued before new power plants are built.
NO and NO POSITION on 80 – It foolishly gives even more authority to the CPUC, an agency frequently criticized by consumer groups. It locks communities into long term energy contracts with private corporate energy providers. It does allow Community Choice Aggregation programs, but the language is not clear and comprehensive so it could seriously undermine a community’s ability to start a CCA.
At Final Day of Roberts Hearings, Hatch Snaps . . . and Snaps
By Dana Milbank
Friday, September 23, 2005; A04
It started around the time Sen. Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) observed that the "hearings were dignified." Sen. Orrin G. Hatch (R-Utah) whipped out his camera phone and snapped a photo of Leahy.
Thus began Orrin's Excellent Adventure yesterday at the Senate Judiciary Committee. As the panel voted to endorse John G. Roberts Jr.'s nomination to be chief justice, the fifth-term senator composed a digital photo album.
Sen. Charles E. Grassley (R-Iowa) complained about Democrats' "loyalty to their ideological and single-interest groups." Hatch took a picture.
Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) asked if Roberts would "lead us on the path of continued equality." Hatch snapped a photo.
Sen. Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.) announced that he had "serious doubts" about Roberts. Hatch pointed and shot.
Sen. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) countered that Roberts "bears no ill will." Hatch closed his right eye to line up the picture.
This photojournalism evidently inspired Biden, who took out his own camera phone and shot a candid of Leahy and Chairman Arlen Specter (R-Pa.).
In defense of the touristy tendencies of the two senators, the hearing was not exactly suspenseful. DeWine spent much of the hearing with his eyes closed; Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), judging by his yawns, seemed to be only one cup of coffee ahead of DeWine.
Indeed, the only question yesterday was not whether Roberts would be recommended to the full Senate, but whether any Democrats would vote for him (three of the eight, as it turns out).
For a while, it seemed lonely for Leahy, who announced his support for Roberts on Wednesday, the only Democrat on the committee to do so before the hearing. This managed to get him a drubbing from the left wing ("inexplicable," howled People for the American Way) but no thanks from the right wing ("cynical posturing," said a press release distributed at the hearing by the Traditional Values Coalition).
Leahy did not smile when Specter hailed his yes vote as "courageous." As Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced her opposition to Roberts, the man from Vermont, rested his face in his hand. When Kennedy railed against the nominee, Leahy adjusted his tie and inspected the back of his hand. When Biden added his dissent, Leahy busied himself with his BlackBerry. And when Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) delivered an anti-Roberts diatribe, Leahy looked at Roberts's handler, former senator Fred Thompson, and raised his eyebrows. Thompson smiled sympathetically.
But in the end, Leahy was joined by two other pro-Roberts Democrats, Wisconsin's Herb Kohl and Russell Feingold. And the committee took on a different hue, divided less by party than by temperament: the amiable against the belligerent.
The committee's two partisan bookends, Schumer and Sen. John Cornyn (R-Tex.), were in a grudge match. The New York Democrat, speaking of Republicans, condemned "extreme groups and individuals."
Cornyn fired back that Democrats were spouting "the exact opposite of the truth" and argued that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg supported legal "prostitution and polygamy, and she opposed Mother's and Father's days as discriminatory occasions."
Even after three committee Democrats endorsed Roberts, Cornyn railed that "the days of bipartisanship when it comes to supporting judicial nominees to the Supreme Court -- sadly, I believe they appear to be over."
The normally genial Grassley briefly joined the partisans. "I would like to speak to just Republican members of the committee at this particular time and not the Democratic members," he announced.
"Should we stop listening?" Leahy asked.
"Yes, you can stop listening," Grassley said.
Graham tried to provide a counterpoint to the bitterness. He urged his fellow senators not to question the motives of their opponents, and he called on President Bush to name a second nominee "who loves the law more than they love politics."
"Liberals and conservatives come and go, but the rule of law is bigger than all of our philosophies," Graham said.
Sen. Sam Brownback, who skipped most of the hearing, didn't agree with that bit about law trumping philosophy. The Kansas Republican arrived at the hearing room with a 14-year-old girl suffering from Down syndrome and, as the smiling girl stood behind him, made an impassioned anti-abortion argument. We "celebrate her," Brownback said, "and yet in the womb, 80 percent are killed."
Hatch began reaching into his pocket. But he apparently reconsidered and did not pull out his camera phone. This moment would not be recorded as part of Hatch's Excellent Adventure.
A can of Spam, spaghetti noodles, green onions and garlic
all sauteed with soy sauce and sesame oil. Prep Time:
approx. 10 Minutes. Cook Time: approx. 10 Minutes. Ready in:
approx. 20 Minutes. Makes 6 servings.
Printed from Allrecipes, Submitted by Claudine
1 (8 ounce) package uncooked spaghetti
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 (12 ounce) container fully
cooked luncheon meat (e.g. Spam), cubed
1/2 green onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon freshly ground
1 Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil.
Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
2 Meanwhile, heat vegetable oil in a medium saucepan over
medium heat. Add luncheon meat, green onion and garlic and
saute until light brown. Stir in cooked spaghetti , then
stir in soy sauce, water, sesame oil and pepper. Mix all
together, heat through and serve.
Can I tell you how much I love to hear President Bartlett on Television, and to actually see him give a speech in real life. Ohhhh. Just thinking about the speech again gives me shivers.
Rats downtown are different from the rats at home. Rats at home are field mice. Rats here...well...they are big.
Los Angeles Rats:
Indeed, a rat had crawled up into the motor of my car and waited for me to start the engine. As the car quickly heated up and began moving - I toasted that rat.
I spent time after church picking out the pieces of the torched rat.
Tonight, with the first rains, I was down in the garage to get my umbrella and coat from the car. As I watched Alex change the wipers on his car, I looked over to see a new rat making it's home - or grave - in the motor of my car.