Apr 4, 2012

Look at people as individuals, not labels


Alert the citizens. There is an epidemic loose locally, nationally and globally, and it has reached epic proportions in Humboldt. It seems to be targeting an endangered species: moderate folks with common sense. A side effect of this epidemic is misdirected anger.
The invisibility and gradual disappearance of this species has upset balance and any reasonable dialogue is impossible. In Humboldt, toxic zealots have taken over the majority of valid liberal and civil right causes and claim to be true progressives. If you don't follow the far-far-left party line, you are automatically labeled clueless, a puppet, not a true Democrat and the ultimate zinger: Conservative or Republican. Those on the left that are the foot soldiers and truly believe in justice and empowerment are skewered by their own.
The others or those held responsible for all ills by the far-far left fanatics include the working poor and struggling middle class as well sensible, hard-working business people. There are indeed a few people in this group who are ill-equipped to handle power or wealth. Unfortunately the rants of the far-far-left are not directed at these few individuals but at the wrong individuals. The brunt is born by responsible and contributing members of the wealthy that wish to encourage private initiative and create opportunities for people to move ahead.
This relates to two recent hot button issues locally: Walmart and Occupy Eureka.
Despite the outcry, Walmart is here.

And it is not located at the Marina Center. There was no closure of local coffee shops or lost jobs when Starbucks came into town. Same for Costco, K-mart, Target.
The people who blog and get the masses riled up about local jobs need to put their money where their words are. That would require not sitting in front of a computer everyday preaching to the rest of us and supporting ALL jobs so people have legitimate money and could compete with people with “wads of untaxable, illegal income.”
The Occupy movement nationally and locally is a big failure. When it was against Wall Street and about the 99 percent, it had focus and a message that united. Now it has become a free for all with blame, no solutions and people playing victim. Protesting in front of the Courthouse or anywhere for months with tactics that are harassing and costing the 99 percent has resulted in a loss of sympathy. Why is it that people who support the Occupy movement always want someone else's money to fix things? Homelessness, and poverty is not a government or tax the rich issue; it is a community failure that can be resolved if more people invested in one other person.
I do know what it means to be hungry, to appreciate a hot shower, to be dependent on the mercy of someone else for the basics in life. I do understand the anger when life seems so hopeless and overwhelming. I have felt the judgment of a few people who don't have a clue what it takes get on your feet in today's economy. However, more often, I have experienced love and support and kindness and encouragement.
When I was in college, I thought I could change the world and save it. Rebelling and speaking out and telling others what was wrong was youthful passion. Then I grew up. I had bills to pay. I had dreams. I continue to speak out against injustice and for the underdog. Today, what that means is first and foremost holding myself responsible for where I am. Then, working within the system to educate people on both the left and the right of what the average person goes through when they are disenfranchised. And in seeing the human condition and suffering due to greed that cuts across the lines of color, gender and political parties.
We need to stop letting people divide us and empower each other. We can start by looking at people as individuals and not labels.
John Chiv

Emergency ordinance is not the problem

Letter to the Editor

Unfortunately the problem is not the ordinance. Until Occupy Eureka, people protested and there were no problems.
The ordinance was not necessary until Occupy Eureka. All those bemoaning the new county ordinance could have put the same effort into getting through to the agitators. Since the ordinance, Occupy Eureka has continued to protest, the difference is that the rest of us can actually work in peace and walk on the sidewalk without being yelled at; if you haven't lived it daily, don't claim to know what goes on.
Since last October, this last couple of days has been the first time that some of us near the courthouse can actually get work done and walk freely inside the courthouse and to nearby businesses without non-stop music, yelling, harassing, trash and rudeness. There are businesses that stay open late and during  9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Private property near the courthouse is not getting trashed.
On one hand, Occupy Eureka says the problems are caused by the homeless and mentally ill. Yet aren't they the ones that Occupy Eureka supposedly wants help for? Can't have it both ways. When people don't want help and solutions, it does not matter what you do. They will never be happy.
The blame for any loss of liberty should not be put on the county but on those people that only believe in 1st amendment and free speech for themselves.
It is an emergency interim ordinance. So all this outcry is a bit dramatic.