A Year Ago Cal Students Were Beaten by Police Protesting Fee Hikes-They’re still Fighting Back

 

One year ago today Cal Students peacefully protested massive fee hikes to the tune of 300% . They stood on Sproul Plaza and made their grievances known when riot police came along and started beating students.. A couple of weeks later peaceful students at UC Davis were pepper sprayed..To give you an idea of how harsh these hikes have been .. Less than 10 years ago students paid 1500 per semester to these public universities which for decades were actually free..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B_f06VQOkI4

This year the average student will shell out 12k. There were plans to hike them up another 80%.. All this is happening as the money is being found to the tune of hundreds of millions to build new football stadiums and fancy new buildings and pay crazy salaries to deans and chancellors. There have been no rollbacks in any of those areas, but lots of sacrifices on students..

The passage of Prop 30 which was once known as the millionaire’s tax was designed to halt fee hikes and turn things around.. Students all over the state busted their butts to pass get the proposition passed.Out of state billionaires poured money into the state to try and defeat Prop 30. Students and teachers did what many deemed impossible. It was the first time in over 30 years a tax increase of this magnitude was passed in California. Sadly after all that work the UC Regents who are meeting next week are pushing to raise fees anyway..

Yesterday several hundred students held a rally in the pouring rain to protest and lmake it known they will be out in full force at those Regent meetings.. They also reminded folks that no politician can be trusted to solve these problems.. They will have to be pushed… Here’s an excerpt from yesterday with Cal Leader Katy speaking

Some Food For Thought on Cali’s Crazy & Controversial Propositions

Yes I know I posted this article earlier, but I’m having to do this again because apparently some of these popular social media sites including the one your reading FB wanted me to pay 2k to reach the large number of followers I spent 4 years building..

In the initial title of my post I called it a voter guide, which we believe triggered a pop up window asking for an obscene amount of loot, so we are reposting this with a different title..  In the meantime readers can do a couple of things to insure our blogs are showing up in your news feed..

1-Go to the our page and click the little “gear” they can add my page or others you like to their “interests” which will make posts from us appear in your timeline (all the time).

2-alert people that not all status updates are being delivered unless we pay some outrageous fee, so visit our page often.. Bookmark it can visit we will do the same for other. Thanks for understanding.. Now  here’s the article on Cali Propositions…

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With a few days left before Election Day, which is Tuesday November 6th 2012.. I wanted to weigh in on a few of the California state propositions and measures.. Yes all the attention is between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and billions are being spent to get one of them in the White House.. While watching that contest where more than 3 billion dollars has been spent, i wanna remind folks that neither Obama or Romney have any say so on ending the death penalty or 3 strikes in Cali..There are propositions on this years ballot where voters can make those two factors disappear or forever remain.. The hell with those who tell you voting doesn’t matter when you can walk in a elementary school classroom in any hood and damn near every hand is raised if you ask ‘do you have a parent. older sibling or close relative in jail?

The hell with those telling you not to vote when you look at the fact we built 34 new jails in Cali over the past 20 years vs one university. Most doing time are for minor or low-level drug related offenses.. Many of those incarcerated are also getting out with no rehabilitation, training or prospect for employment so they wind up re-offending and heading back.. While the prison population booms, we have a powerful set of corporate backed politicians, many of them Democrats sadly, who are gung-ho about privatizing the California University and college system. The head of the CSUC system recently said students are lazy and that anyone who was a super senior, meaning they been there more than 4 years needs to be kicked out to make room for new students.

Chancellor Charles B Reed who recently stepped down, ignored the fact that tuitions in some universities have increased by 300% in the past 5 years..yes you read that right tuition has increased by 300% Schools that were once free for all Californians now have students strapped with loan debts of 15, 20 and even 30k by their 3rd and 4th years. Many students are holding down 2 and 3 jobs which means their stays at the university are longer, but we still have people like Reed and many on the Board of Trustees at CSUC and on the Board of Regents at UC who not only think like him, but are hell-bent on implementing more tuition hikes and policies to destroy these once revered public schools.. There are propositions on the ballot that will immediate stop proposed fee hikes and turn things around.. Obama and Romney have nothing to do with any of this…

There is a measure on the ballot that will make foods companies tell you when they are using GMOs (genetically modified organisms). It’s a bill against big agribusinesses like Monsanto who routinely sue farmers and other countries and small farmers because their patented seeds blow into other people’s farms and sprout up. Monsanto considers it theft. They’ve also been spending 10s of millions to defeat Prop 37. Obama and Romney have nothing to do with that…

This Monday at 4pm on Hard Knock Radio heard on 94.1 FM KPFA we will being doing a round table with community folks about the propositions… In the meantime here’s a few resources to get you acclimated and here’s my personal endorsements..

California-Calls-2012-voter-Guide2.pdf

http://www.theballot.org/guides/CA

Davey D’s 2012 Proposition Picks

Proposition 30-Vote Yes Save Education..This is a proposition against the 1%. It’s a vote against those who wish to raise tuitions and privatize the UC, CSUC and community colleges. The measure will temporarily raise sales taxes on the wealthiest Californians, many who pay lower rates the majority of us.. Keep in mind many of the folks pushing to raise tuitions at these schools got to go to them for free. There’s no excuse for students coming out of UC to be owing more in student oans then students coming of Ivory League schools. Education is a Right not a Privilege.. VOTE YES on PROP 30

Proposition 31 Vote NO… Govt Accountability.. This proposition is designed to streamline the often confusing and stagnant budget process in Sacramento. It highlights a pay as you go ethos, meaning that no program can be supported unless there’s money to pay for it or there is a revenue stream attached to it.. It also allows any governor to unilaterally cut out programs. It also allows local city government to set up its own rules as to who is and isn’t for state funded programs. I don’t know any way to describe this but to say its a slick confusing austerity measure program where the belief is that our budget crises is caused by folks who are recipients of safety net programs vs those who game the system by not paying their full share via tax loop holes etc.. I say VOTE NO on PROP 31

Proposition 32 Vote No... This is a real sinister bill. It masquerades like it’s a campaign finance reform bill when in reality its a pro-corporation anti-union bill. Given the obscene amounts of money spent on national and now local elections, many people are eager to get behind any bill that would reign the spending in and put a dent in the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The problem is this bill doesn’t do that

Prop 32 is put together by folks who have the backing of large corporations, Big Oil, Superpacs, the Koch brothers and Karl Rove types all who would be exempt the campaign restrictions put into this bill. I kid you not, big businesses would be free to spend as much as they want like they always could on campaigns. Prop 32 is a bill designed to silence the few unions that are left..Keep in mind 30 years ago 20-25% of workers belonged to a union.. Nowadays its less than 7%..

Under Prop 32 workers in Cali who are trying to unionize Wal-Mart would be prohibited from giving money to campaigns that support their cause like raising the minimum wage, but their bosses who run Wal-Mart which spends millions on campaigns, candidates and superpacs, would be allowed to give unlimited amounts of money to anti-union candidates. This reminds me of Prop 209 from 15 years ago which was against affirmative action but advertised itself as a Pro- Civil Rights Proposition. This is a deceptive bill. Don’t be fooled VOTE NO on PROP 32

Proposition 33 Vote No. This is yet another proposition put together by big corporation with a deceptive premise. Its a bill put together by Mercury Car Insurance where they say they wanna add a hefty surcharge to certain drivers supposedly to save you money. That’s some real laughable BS. Here’s the breakdown..

Insurance companies have been pissed off ever since Cali voters put the clamp on them several years back. At every turn they been attempting to find loopholes and new ways to charge folks new fees. This is the latest scam. They wanna be able to raise rates on any driver who hasn’t had car insurance for 90 days in the past 5 years even if they didn’t own a car.. Yep you read that right..Even if you didn’t own a car they wanna charge you.

Over the past 5 years we had a crazy recession which meant in order to pay rent and put food on the table, many California cut back on everything from cable to internet to car repairs and to car insurance. Hella people, in particular students gave up their cars because things got so bad. The insurance companies now wanna go back and look at everyone’s records, see who dropped insurance and then raise their rates, even if they had stellar driving records.. They said they would make exceptions for soldiers and the unemployed. Don’t be fooled. Unemployed is not the same as Under-Employed which is what most Californians are and were over the past 5 years. VOTE NO on Prop 33.

Proposition 34 Vote Yes.. This a proposition designed to repeal the death penalty. On the surface the bill is no brainer for those of us who feel that far too many innocent folks are on death row, its inhumane to kill and unfairly and disproportionately applied to poor people and people of color. The flip side to this is that while it repeals the death penalty and convert folks to life in prison without the possibility of parole, it would also dead much of the appeals process.

The main complaint in some civic circles is that death row has cost tax payers millions and even billions because of the long appeals process each inmate under takes to save his/her life. While Prop 34 would stop folks from going to the death chambers it would also limit the appeals, so in theory you might have an innocent person doing life behind bars with no chance for appeal. This aspect has been cause for concern and divided many on the issue. I know many who have been incarcerated and heard folks who once were on death row speak to both sides of this issue.

I thought long and hard about this and decided to vote for Prop 34. First and foremost I wanna keep people alive especially if they are innocent. We can fight to make sure cases where its clear there are innocent folks locked up and get them free. We can’t bring innocent folks back who are killed by the state. VOTE YES on Prop 34

Proposition 35 Vote No.. Human Trafficking.. One of the worse things going on in this country is human trafficking. Here in Oakland its a major problem that extends well beyond petty criminals and wanna be pimps. There are serious organized rings that make Human Trafficking an international affair and it needs to be stopped with all those involved severely punished.

Prop 35 will increase sentences, but from the folks I spoke to who really study the criminal justice system, the language while well intentioned is also seriously vague which is a red flag.The way its written is that many consensual sex workers and prostitutes will be caught up getting harsh sentences vs the real culprits and pimping types who often remain hidden in the shadows. Its like a war on drugs where street sellers go to jail but king pins don’t.

We don’t wanna see another 3 strikes situation where we still have violence and hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders locked up.. Many of the human rights and criminal justice advocates from the ACLU to Women’s Prisoners Coalition are not feeling this bill I think this needs to go back to the drawing board with clearer language and perhaps even a collaboration with those who don’t wanna see all sorts of folks unfairly and disproportionately swept up. A vote against this bill should not be the end in terms of folks fighting to end human trafficking. If folks choose to vote yes.. considering how bad this problem is.. I understand. I say VOTE NO on PROP 35

Proposition 36 Vote Yes.. End Mass Incarceration. This is a proposition designed to repeal California’s infamous 3 strikes law. Its return to Prop 66 which was proposed several years ago and was set to win before Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger threw his weight behind opposing it at the 11th hour. The prop lost by less than 5 thousand votes. Sadly there were many at that time who proclaimed voting was a fraud and didn’t mean anything so lots of folks stayed home and sat on their butts while many in their family and the community languished and still languish in Cali jails for non-violent minor offenses under 3 strikes. For example Black folks make up 7% of California’s overall population of 40 million and consist of over 45% of those incarcerated, the overwhelming majority for non violent offenses. This is a chance to get things corrected.

No this is not a bill designed to cuddle violent offenders. This is a bill designed to get folks out who shouldnt be there in the first place. We need to be working toward rehabilitating folks not warehousing them and thus far 3 strikes has done nothing but make money for the prison industrial complex without applying resources, time and attention to root causes of crime.. VOTE YES on PROP 36

Proposition 37 Vote Yes Food Labeling Bill.. We live in a day and time where millions of people are concerned about GMOs (genetically modified organisms and how they are used in foods we routinely consume. The feeling is many are not fully tested and the many do not want to be unwitting guinea pigs. GMOs come out of the pesticide industry and is motivated as a way to not lose crops vs making sure people’s health is improved. Many big agribusiness farms are behind the GMOs as well as big seed patent giant Monsanto.

Over the past few months tens of millions of dollars have been spent by corporate farmers and their lobbyists along with Coca Cola to stop Prop 37 which would require many foods to be labeled if they contain GMOs. The campaign to oppose Prop 37 has suggested that food prices would rise if they are required to include GMO labeling. They have also resorted to calling labeling GMOS a ‘deceptive practice’, using the language of activists and community groups. .

Millions of folks including myself say BS.. Outlets like Monsanto and their millions somehow got the NAACP to oppose Prop 37 which is a damn shame when you consider most civil rights groups and countries all over the world including Russia and China support labeling GMOs found in foods…It shows you the power of money. The rest of us are 100% behind this important initiative.. Right now there are 20 states with Food labeling initiatives.. All eyes are on California and the millions of fear based ads run by agribusiness to defeat the measure we say VOTE YES on Prop 37

Proposition 38 Vote No.. raise Taxes for Everyone.. This proposition basically came about in response to the push to tax the wealthiest Californians who don’t pay their fair share.. In short tax the 1%. This is basically embodied in Prop 30 and directly connected to stopping fee hikes at state colleges etc. Prop 30 is the measure proposed by Gov Jerry Brown..

The 1% folks got together and crafted Prop 38 which would raise taxes for 12 years on most Cali folks thus putting increased burdens on poor and working families. Prop 38 will absolutely do nothing to Stop the 6 billion dollars in deficit trigger cuts to happen later to education if passed. Prop 30 will stop immediate cuts..The concenses is the billionaire behind the measure Molly Hunger did this to confuse voters especially when she uses wording like this money can’t be touched by politicians in Sacramento. All money in Sac is touched.. Don’t be fooled.In the case of Prop 30 vs Prop 38 there is a transparency aspect to it where all can see where and how the money from these extra taxes are being used.. Vote NO on Prop 38

Proposition 39 Vote Yes.. Close Corporate Loopholes.. The best way to describe this bill is that it’s a way to stop instate outsourcing. In this case what we have are scores of big corporations here in Cali who operate in other states but don’t pay their share in Cali taxes. They use all our commons from freeways to police, fire and other infrastructure, but pay taxes elsewhere. They do this fancy financial trickery to avoid paying.. This bill closes those loopholes and is pretty much a no brainer..It would also push for companies to provide more jobs and training..Look if any of us do work out of state we pay taxes on the income earned.Lets make sure the big boys in business do the same.. VOTE YES on Prop 39

Proposition 40 Vote Yes Redistricting.. One of the most contentious process in government is around the issue of redistricting and how boundaries are drawn.. Over night we’ve seen long time incumbents removed from office that’s to the redrawing of district lines every ten years. The folks in charge have long been politicians. In some states it’s the governor. In other states it’s a governor and his appointees. In any cases district lines have been drawn to satisfy the political goals of those in power.

California decided to do something about this and had on the ballot a couple of years ago a proposition that created a council of citizens who got to redraw district lines. Needless to say this didn’t sit well with some Sacramento politicians, in particular Republicans have been the main opposition to this. If it fails redistrict lines will have to be redrawn again.. Call it a case of sour grapes on behalf of the GOP.. We say VOTE YES on PROP 40

 

Election 2012: Davey D’s California Statewide Proposition Picks & Voter Guide

With a few days left before Election Day, which is Tuesday November 6th 2012.. I wanted to weigh in on a few of the California state propositions and measures.. Yes all the attention is between Mitt Romney and Barack Obama and billions are being spent to get one of them in the White House.. While watching that contest where more than 3 billion dollars has been spent, i wanna remind folks that neither Obama or Romney have any say so on ending the death penalty or 3 strikes in Cali..There are propositions on this years ballot where voters can make those two factors disappear or forever remain.. The hell with those who tell you voting doesn’t matter when you can walk in a elementary school classroom in any hood and damn near every hand is raised if you ask ‘do you have a parent. older sibling or close relative in jail?

The hell with those telling you not to vote when you look at the fact we built 34 new jails in Cali over the past 20 years vs one university. Most doing time are for minor or low-level drug related offenses.. Many of those incarcerated are also getting out with no rehabilitation, training or prospect for employment so they wind up re-offending and heading back.. While the prison population booms, we have a powerful set of corporate backed politicians, many of them Democrats sadly, who are gung-ho about privatizing the California University and college system. The head of the CSUC system recently said students are lazy and that anyone who was a super senior, meaning they been there more than 4 years needs to be kicked out to make room for new students.

Chancellor Charles B Reed who recently stepped down, ignored the fact that tuitions in some universities have increased by 300% in the past 5 years..yes you read that right tuition has increased by 300%  Schools that were once free for all Californians now have students strapped with loan debts of 15, 20 and even 30k by their 3rd and 4th years. Many students are holding down 2 and 3 jobs which means their stays at the university are longer, but we still have people like Reed and many on the Board of Trustees at CSUC and on the Board of Regents at UC who not only think like him, but are hell-bent on implementing more tuition hikes and policies to destroy these once revered public schools.. There are propositions on the ballot that will immediate stop proposed fee hikes and turn things around.. Obama and Romney have nothing to do with any of this…

There is a measure on the ballot that will make foods companies tell you when they are using GMOs (genetically modified organisms). It’s a bill against big agribusinesses like Monsanto who routinely sue farmers and other countries and small farmers because their patented seeds blow into other people’s farms and sprout up. Monsanto considers it theft. They’ve also been spending 10s of millions to defeat Prop 37. Obama and Romney have nothing to do with that…

This Monday at 4pm on Hard Knock Radio heard on 94.1 FM KPFA we will being doing a round table with community folks about the propositions… In the meantime here’s  a few resources to get you acclimated and here’s my personal endorsements..

Cali Calls Voter Guide 2012

http://www.theballot.org/guides/CA

Davey D’s 2012 Proposition Picks

Proposition 30-Vote Yes Save Education..This is a proposition against the 1%. It’s a vote against those who wish to raise tuitions and privatize the  UC, CSUC and community colleges. The measure will temporarily raise sales taxes on the wealthiest Californians, many who pay lower rates the majority of us.. Keep in mind many of the folks pushing to raise tuitions at these schools got to go to them for free. There’s no excuse for students coming out of UC to be owing more in student oans then students coming of Ivory League schools. Education is a Right not a Privilege.. VOTE YES on PROP 30

Proposition 31 Vote NO… Govt Accountability.. This proposition is designed to streamline the often confusing and stagnant budget process in Sacramento. It highlights a pay as you go ethos, meaning that no program can be supported unless there’s money to pay for it or there is a revenue stream attached to it.. It also allows any governor to unilaterally cut out programs. It also allows local city government to set up its own rules as to who is and isn’t for state funded programs. I don’t know any way to describe this but to say its a slick confusing austerity measure program where the belief is that our budget crises is caused by folks who are recipients of safety net programs vs those who game the system by not paying their full share via tax loop holes etc.. I say VOTE NO on PROP 31

Proposition 32 Vote No... This is a real sinister bill. It masquerades like it’s a campaign finance reform bill when in reality its a pro-corporation anti-union bill. Given the obscene amounts of money spent on national and now local elections, many people are eager to get behind any bill that would reign the spending in and put a dent in the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. The problem is this bill doesn’t do that

Prop 32 is put together by folks who have the backing of large corporations, Big Oil, Superpacs, the Koch brothers and Karl Rove types all who would be exempt the campaign restrictions put into this bill. I kid you not, big businesses would be free to spend as much as they want like they always could on campaigns. Prop 32 is a bill designed to silence the few unions that are left..Keep in mind 30 years ago 20-25% of workers belonged to a union.. Nowadays its less than 7%..

Under Prop 32 workers in Cali who are trying to unionize Wal-Mart would be prohibited from giving money to campaigns that support their cause like raising the minimum wage, but their bosses who run Wal-Mart which spends millions on campaigns, candidates and superpacs, would be allowed to give unlimited amounts of money to anti-union candidates. This reminds me of Prop 209 from 15 years ago which was against affirmative action but advertised itself as a Pro- Civil Rights Proposition. This is a deceptive bill. Don’t be fooled   VOTE NO on PROP 32

Proposition 33 Vote No. This is yet another proposition put together by big corporation with a deceptive premise. Its a bill put together by Mercury Car Insurance where they say they wanna add a hefty surcharge to certain drivers supposedly to save you money. That’s some real laughable BS. Here’s the breakdown..

Insurance companies have been pissed off ever since Cali voters put the clamp on them several years back. At every turn they been attempting to find loopholes and new ways to charge folks new fees. This is the latest scam. They wanna be able to raise rates on any driver who hasn’t had car insurance for 90 days in the past 5 years even if they didn’t own a car.. Yep you read that right..Even if you didn’t own a car they wanna charge you.

Over the past 5 years we had a crazy recession which meant in order to pay rent and put food on the table, many California cut back on everything from cable to internet to car repairs and to car insurance. Hella people, in particular students gave up their cars because things got so bad. The insurance companies now wanna go back and look at everyone’s records, see who dropped insurance and then raise their rates, even if they had stellar driving records.. They said they would make exceptions for soldiers and the unemployed. Don’t be fooled. Unemployed is not the same as Under-Employed which is what most Californians are and were over the past 5 years. VOTE NO on Prop 33.

Proposition 34 Vote Yes.. This a proposition designed to repeal the death penalty. On the surface the bill is no brainer for those of us who feel that far too many innocent folks are on death row, its inhumane to kill and unfairly and disproportionately applied to poor people and people of color. The flip side to this is that while it repeals the death penalty and convert folks to life in prison without the possibility of parole, it would also dead much of the appeals process.

The main complaint in some civic circles is that death row has cost tax payers millions and even billions because of the long appeals process each inmate under takes to save his/her life. While Prop 34 would stop folks from going to the death chambers it would also limit the appeals, so in theory you might have an innocent person doing life behind bars with no chance for appeal. This aspect has been cause for concern and divided many on the issue. I know many who have been incarcerated and heard folks who once were on death row speak to both sides of this issue.

I thought long and hard about this and decided to vote for Prop 34. First and foremost I wanna keep people alive especially if they are innocent. We can fight to make sure cases where its clear there are innocent folks locked up and get them free. We can’t bring innocent folks back who are killed by the state. VOTE YES on Prop 34

Proposition 35 Vote No.. Human Trafficking.. One of the worse things going on in this country is human trafficking. Here in Oakland its a major problem that extends well beyond petty criminals and wanna be pimps. There are serious organized rings that make Human Trafficking an international affair and it needs to be stopped with all those involved severely punished.

Prop 35 will increase sentences, but from the folks I spoke to who really study the criminal justice system, the language while well intentioned is also seriously vague which is a red flag.The way its written is that many consensual sex workers and prostitutes will be caught up getting harsh sentences vs the real culprits and pimping types who often remain hidden in the shadows. Its like a war on drugs where street sellers go to jail but king pins don’t.

We don’t wanna see another 3 strikes situation where we still have violence and hundreds of thousands of non-violent offenders locked up.. Many of the human rights and criminal justice advocates from the ACLU to Women’s Prisoners Coalition are not feeling this bill I think this needs to go back to the drawing board with clearer language and perhaps even a collaboration with those who don’t wanna see all sorts of folks unfairly and disproportionately swept up. A vote against this bill should not be the end in terms of folks fighting to end human trafficking. If folks choose to vote yes.. considering how bad this problem is.. I understand. I say VOTE NO on PROP 35

Proposition 36 Vote Yes.. End Mass Incarceration. This is a proposition designed to repeal California’s infamous 3 strikes law. Its return to Prop 66 which was proposed several years ago and was set to win before Gov Arnold Schwarzenegger threw his weight behind opposing it at the 11th hour. The prop lost by less than 5 thousand votes. Sadly there were many at that time who proclaimed voting was a fraud and didn’t mean anything so lots of folks stayed home and sat on their butts while many in their family and the community languished and still languish in Cali jails for non-violent minor offenses under 3 strikes. For example Black folks make up 7% of California’s overall population of 40 million and consist of over 45% of those incarcerated, the overwhelming majority for non violent offenses. This is a chance to get things corrected.

No this is not a bill designed to cuddle violent offenders. This is a bill designed to get folks out who shouldnt be there in the first place. We need to be working toward rehabilitating folks not warehousing them and thus far 3 strikes has done nothing but make money for the prison industrial complex without applying resources, time and attention to root causes of crime.. VOTE YES on PROP 36

Proposition 37 Vote Yes Food Labeling Bill.. We live in a day and time where millions of people are concerned about GMOs (genetically modified organisms and how they are used in foods we routinely consume. The feeling is many are not fully tested and the many do not want to be unwitting guinea pigs. GMOs come out of the pesticide industry and is motivated as a way to not lose crops vs making sure people’s health is improved. Many big agribusiness farms are behind the GMOs as well as big seed patent giant Monsanto.

Over the past few months tens of millions of dollars have been spent by corporate farmers and their lobbyists along with Coca Cola to stop Prop 37 which would require many foods to be labeled if they contain GMOs. The campaign to oppose Prop 37 has suggested that food prices would rise if they are required to include GMO labeling. They have also resorted to calling labeling GMOS a ‘deceptive practice’, using the language of activists and community groups. .

Millions of folks including myself say BS.. Outlets like Monsanto and their millions somehow got the  NAACP to oppose Prop 37 which is a damn shame when you consider most civil rights groups and countries all over the world including Russia and China support labeling GMOs found in foods…It shows you the power of money. The rest of us are 100% behind this important initiative.. Right now there are 20 states with Food labeling initiatives.. All eyes are on California and the millions of fear based ads run by agribusiness to defeat the measure we say VOTE YES on Prop 37

Proposition 38 Vote No.. raise Taxes for Everyone.. This proposition basically came about in response to the push to tax the wealthiest Californians who don’t pay their fair share.. In short tax the 1%. This is basically embodied in Prop 30 and directly connected to stopping fee hikes at state colleges etc. Prop 30 is the measure proposed by Gov Jerry Brown..

The 1% folks got together and crafted Prop 38 which would raise taxes for 12 years on most Cali folks thus putting increased burdens on poor and working families. Prop 38 will absolutely do nothing to Stop the 6 billion dollars in deficit trigger cuts to happen later to education if passed. Prop 30 will stop immediate cuts..The concenses is the billionaire behind the measure Molly Hunger did this to confuse voters especially when she uses wording like this money can’t be touched by politicians in Sacramento. All money in Sac is touched.. Don’t be fooled.In the case of Prop 30 vs Prop 38 there is a transparency aspect to it where all can see where and how the money from these extra taxes are being used..  Vote NO on Prop 38

Proposition 39 Vote Yes.. Close Corporate Loopholes.. The best way to describe this bill is that it’s a way to stop instate outsourcing. In this case what we have are scores of big corporations here in Cali who operate in other states but don’t pay their share in Cali taxes. They use all our commons from freeways to police, fire and other infrastructure, but pay taxes elsewhere. They do this fancy financial trickery to avoid paying.. This bill closes those loopholes and is pretty much a no brainer..It would also push for companies to provide more jobs and training..Look if any of us do work out of state we pay taxes on the income earned.Lets make sure the big boys in business do the same.. VOTE YES on Prop 39

Proposition 40 Vote Yes Redistricting.. One of the most contentious process in government is around the issue of redistricting and how boundaries are drawn.. Over night we’ve seen long time incumbents removed from office that’s to the redrawing of district lines every ten years. The folks in charge have long been politicians. In some states it’s the governor. In other states it’s a governor and his appointees. In any cases district lines have been drawn to satisfy the political goals of those in power.

California decided to do something about this and had on the ballot a couple of years ago a proposition that created a council of citizens who got to redraw district lines. Needless to say this didn’t sit well with some Sacramento politicians, in particular Republicans have been the main opposition to this. If it fails redistrict lines will have to be redrawn again.. Call it a case of sour grapes on behalf of the GOP.. We say VOTE YES on PROP 40

Oakland Police Chief Confronted & Shut Down at Justice 4 Alan Blueford Townhall

Alan Blueford murdered by Oakland Police

Since the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, there have been closed to 30 Black or Brown people shot and killed by law enforcement or in the case of Trayvon, wannabe law enforcement. Many of these shootings have been highly questionable, meaning the person killed was unarmed or there are strong conflicting statements from either the police or witnesses.

Here in Oakland, California, the shooting death Alan Dwayne Blueford is one such killing.  Oakland police have been very shady with the stories they put forth to the public. It seems like a deliberate attempt to muddy the waters, cast seeds of doubt and cover up their own mistakes.. Initially police said they were in a shoot out and Blueford shot the officer in the stomach.. Later the police said Blueford shot the officer in the leg..Next the police said that it was possible the officer was shot in the leg by another officer in a case of friendly fire..Finally it came out that the officer shot himself. He shot himself in the foot..

Many believe the officer shot himself after he killed Blueford and saw the young man was unarmed.. The police then double back and said a gun was recovered, the community has yet to see any evidence of finger prints , gun residue etc.. Many have concluded it was the officer planting a gun near the scene.. This would not be unsual in a city that in the past 10 years has had to shell out over 58 million dollars in wrongful death shootings and police brutality incidents. This would not be far-fetched in a city that was home to a rogue group of cops known as the Riders who were found to routinely plant drugs and guns on suspects. One of the Oakland Riders is a still a fugitive at large..

Adding to all this was the fact that Blueford was left to on the ground for 4 hours to die while the officer who lied and then finally admitted to shooting himself was treated. The public still does not know the name of the officer thanks to California’s Policeman’s Bill of Rights which prevents the public from knowing the name of officers involved in these and other brutality incidents.. Community investigators have revealed the officer who murdered Blueford is Miguel Masso a former military man who lives in Los Banos which is more than 100 miles outside of Oakland..

Blueford’s parents were not aware of their son’s death for more than 6 hours. They went down to the police station were treated like crap and not told for more than 2 hours. Their mistreatment led to the unusual move by Chief Howard Jordan to meet and apologize to the family.

In an attempt to do more damage control, OPD held a town hall meeting at Acts Full Gospel Church. Folks showed up only to discover the police chief would only answer questions that were pre-written. This annoyed folks to no end.. Then he seemed ill prepared or unable to answer basic questions.. He also hawked what many saw as blatant lies.. This led to more than half the room turning their backs on the chief and throwing up fist..

The chief cut the meeting short and left the building with angry residents in tow.. They got at him and let him know that there needs to be accountability and the community would not stand for his lies..The chief was definitely embarrassed.. Later that night we learned Oakland police came after one of the community members shown in the video holding a bullhorn..Chris M They claimed he assaulted an officer at the church… If that was the case when and where did that happen and why not arrest him on the spot?

Here’s a video of last night’s Townhall Meeting and dispersal..Please note I’m trying to re-render this so the quality is better… * quick note.. here’s the better quality video.. of last nights confrontation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCQ9F5hypow

In the Wake of Recent Fed Raids in Oakland-There’s Lots to Reflect About this 4-20

Here in Northern Cali when the date 4:20 rolls around (no pun intended), many stick their chest out with pride and they celebrate. For one, Northern Cali is supposed to be home to some of the best strains of weed (cannabis ) on the planet.. I can’t personally attest to this, because I’ve never smoked in my life, but judging from the enthusiasm and constant visits on and off tour by artists from other parts of the country, I have no doubt about the assertions.

second, In recent years 4:20 has taken on heightened importance because California has been a state leading the way to legalizing weed. Here in Oakland, this has been ground zero. It’s home to numerous cannabis clubs which work in partnership with the city. There’s a world-renowned University called Oaksterdam where folks learn how to grow and cultivate…

The conversation in Northern Cali, Oakland in particular has long moved from, how high one can get, to serious discussions about the economy, agriculture and agribusiness, the failed war on drugs, the prison industrial complex, the healthcare system and healthcare practices and how the legalization of weed can impact these aforementioned areas. The conversation has turned away from ‘where to buy’ and ‘where to sell’ to studying farming, irrigation and growing techniques and the pros and cons of creating new strains of the cannabis plant. In short weed was not just some of seedy, back alley ‘gateway’ drug as some would like to suggest, instead its the center piece for a burgeoning industry and very serious culture movement attached to it..

During the recent economic downturn, California was hit hard and everyone from local mayors to our governors began to look at marijuana as a major cash crop that could uplift this economy on a variety of levels. From tourism to consumption, the taxes generated by marijuana have been impressive and that’s only with the engines toward legalization going a quarter of its speed. In Oakland we saw partnerships form with the city and local cannabis clubs. We even saw unions emerge around this as well. For example, people working at Oaksterdam were part of a union…

In recent months Oakland has been growing.. There’s new energy in the city, a renaissance of sorts. Lots of new people, new restaurants, a new spirit that landed the city as one of the top 5 destination places in the world according to the NY Times. Oaksterdam, not just the university but the legions of shops near and around Oakland’s new thriving uptown district was no doubt a key attraction as well. With all this in mind, one can imagine the shock and extreme anger and disappointment when DEA and US Marshalls showed up un announced on April 3 2012 to shut down Oaksterdam..

The initial word was the Feds were just targeting just Oaksterdam and the clubs it owned, but no one was buying that.. It sent shock waves throughout the Bay and the state and for the most part seemed like a cheap dog and pony show from the Obama administration to score some political points in other parts of the country where weed is seen as some sort of Holy evil. Many figured Obama could afford to make high-profile moves on California clubs and not lose too much sleep because the state is solidly blue and will remain so come the 2012 election.

His recent trip to Columbia where he re-emphasized that he doesn’t think legalization is the way to go while many heads of state in South America including Mexico think otherwise, hasn’t been encouraging. If the Obama administration continues the crackdowns on medical marijuana spots, many fear its a signal that he’s set to revamped the War on Drugs. Casual users will have to return to the streets and purchase product, there will now be fights and skirmishes to control lucrative drug turf and law enforcement is set to gear up and have payday by establishing task forces, hiring additional manpower and expanding prisons..In short there seems to be some serious economic incentives at play to keep weed ‘illegal’. Lots of big money players in the pipeline.

If weed does somehow finally go legal, there’s concern that this current setback is designed to allow time for those giant corps in agri-business sectors to reposition themselves to be the main beneficiaries. I can see a company like Monsanto suddenly becoming a major player who then turns around stifle growth by patenting weed seeds?

There’s a lot to think about this 4:20. Like I said earlier,  it used to mean big celebration, but nowadays all eyes are peeled looking out for the feds, their next raid and all the political, social and economic agenda they have in store.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a80DrhDPIKU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUR6srN8oHI

Here’s an interview we did with B-Real from Cypress Hill not too long ago where he talks about the importance of 4:20

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oHINI4Sa6s0

Epic Failure of the Week: Bruce Bodaken & Blue Shield of California

Our Epic Failure of the Week is Bruce Bodaken, CEO of Blue Shield of California.

By now most folks in the great state of California have heard or read the reports about how Bodaken and his company are pushing to raise their rates a whooping 59%. This will be Blue Shield’s 3rd rate hike since October and will impact close to 200 thousand families. This means someone who has a monthly premium of $271 will pay $431.

Yesterday on the TV, news segment profiled a family whose rates were going to jump 73%-Unbelievable. Its bewildering.Unemployment is at all-time highs, families are increasingly having their homes foreclosed on.. times are rough. But sadly I guess one should not be surprised knowing that for most of these companies and their CEOs it’s all about the money and never about the well-being of the people.

If that’s not enough Blue Shield released a statement stating they expected to lose millions in 2010-2011 on individual insurance policies   Yeah right… C’mon son..

We’re particularly surprised and disappointed that Bruce Bodaken is heading this ship since it wasn’t too long ago that he stepped out and said he wanted Blue Shields to offer having some sort of Universal Health coverage. He thought it was important that the uninsured be covered in some sort of affordable way.  In his 2005 interview with the SF Chronicle he said this;

Our original proposal is still very close to what we believe ought to happen. We call it universal coverage and universal responsibility. The idea was that employers, employees, individuals and government all have a responsibility to participate in providing good health care.

About a third of the uninsured are people who can afford health insurance and simply don’t take it. We call them the young immortals.

For those folks who can’t afford full coverage, we need to provide some kind of subsidy. We still think that kind of program makes the most sense, but we’re not politically naive. We recognize that it would be very difficult. Given the budget constraints in California and, for that matter, in America, having such a program in the near future is not likely.

There is a way of getting a million or 2 million kids in California covered if we were to put programs in place.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2005/07/24/BUGTRDRDRP1.DTL#ixzz1AMRpLSfN

California’s new insurance commissioner Dave Jones has called Bodaken to delay on the rate hikes. We’ll see if that happens.

Jones noted that’s all he can do.. He’s not in position to stop the rate hikes, but we as concerned citizens can. Lets start by calling our state reps and demanding that laws be put in place to cap rate hikes. In the past when this was proposed now former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger nixed it.

We can also get behind Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-CA) who just introduced a bill to establish a robust public health insurance option as a supplement to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. You can peep the option HERE

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