A random thought about al Qaeda’s latest threat

Marin County LineOne of the things Democrats generally and Obama specifically are trying to do is to concentrate more Americans into cities.  Suburbs are seen as dangerous bastions of privilege, conservativism, individualism, and racism where people do un-green things such as driving cars to their single-family homes.  This video, for example, shows how the federal government has been attacking Westchester County, arguing that single-family houses are intrinsically racist:

We’re having the same types of attacks leveled on Marin County:  Democrats in Sacramento and Washington, D.C., working with the federal courts, are trying to turn Marin into a densely populated small city, with dressed-up tenements for poor people overwhelming Marin’s spacious, single-family homes.  Of course, what none of these activists considered, and what’s now becoming painfully obvious, is that Marin doesn’t have enough water to sustain this forced urban growth.  We single-family home dwellers spent a fortune on our properties and are having them taken away, not directly through eminent domain, but indirectly through activist legislatures and courts using the language of diversity to turn middle class neighborhoods into tenements.

To the extent that the American voting map is purple, it’s because blue cities sit as fortresses in red suburbs and rural areas.  The bigger the cities, or the more cities per state, the more likely the state is to be a Blue State.

With these considerations in mind, it was with some interest that I read that al Qaeda is urging its followers to plant car bombs in American cities.  My first thought was, “I’m glad I don’t (yet) live in a city.”  My second thought was to wonder how many current city dwellers are going to start thinking that cities are prime targets for terrorism and that maybe, just maybe, they don’t want to live in a terrorist’s version of a bulls-eye.

PC pet equality in Marin

Pet equality

One of the nice things about my hometown is the fact that, wherever people walk their dogs, local taxpayers fund stations where you can get a plastic bag to gather dog poop and then throw those poop-filled bags away in a conveniently located garbage can.  To the extent that making it easy to dispose of poop drastically improves the quality of living wherever one walks down streets, I love these little stations.  They’re a small expense with a big return.

But because this is Marin, they’re also very politically correct.  As you can see from the sign above, despite the fact that I have never seen someone walking a cat on a leash on any of the streets frequented by dozens, or even hundreds, of dogs (and their owners, of course), the sign carefully includes cats in the mix.  After all, some cat lover, or even some cat, might be offended by any implication that cats (and their owners) don’t clean up after themselves.  Sheesh!

Christmas in Marin

Christmas ornamentsI’ve had a very nice Christmas, both Eve and Day.  I also had a very Marin Christmas.  I was at a party this afternoon and met some very nice people.

In a discussion about rising college prices, one man told me that this problem resulted from income inequality.  He was surprised when I suggested that tuition inflation probably had more to do with government loans enabling colleges to get away with charging money, as well as with top-heavy administrations and overpaid professors.  I didn’t push it and nor did he, but I do think I gave him something to think about.

Another man earnestly told me that all of his food allergies were the result of genetically modified food.  He was at a loss to explain how I, who had myriad food allergies growing up, no longer have any.

Finally, a third man said that Marin’s current (very disturbing) drought is the product of anthropogenic global warming.  When I mentioned that we’d had a drought here way back in the late 1970s and that most of America was freezing and deluged with snow and sleet, he was nonplussed and fell silent.

With all three men, I didn’t push the agenda.  It was a congenial party and I had no intention of raising the temperature in the room.  I do hope, though, that I planted little seeds in their minds from which something might sprout.

By the way, speaking of Marin County, Daniel Henninger today published a very funny letter (behind a paywall) purporting to come from a Marin County navigator to “His Excellency, President Obama.”

Bag bans — a microcosm of Obamacare

I went to a Safeway in Mill Valley because it was convenient.  When I got to the check-out, I was reminded why I never shop at that Safeway:  their town council banned plastic bags and you get charged five cents per bag for a paper bag.  Next year, all of the stores in Marin County will be subject to these rules.  I have no words for how much I loathe this liberal police state law.  Let me count the ways:

Let me begin by saying that the problem isn’t that I’m being charged five cents per bag.  I’m cheap, but I’m not that cheap.  I’ve understood since I was a child that stores don’t really give bags away for free.  Instead, the cost of bags is folded into the prices they charge.  I’m paying not only for the groceries, but also for the staff, the facility, the shopping carts, and the bags.  I therefore don’t mind stores such as Goodwill that charge for bags as a way to keep their overhead down.  That’s a business decision, and I’m happy then to make my own decision:  Do I want to pay the ten cents or will I just make do without a bag?  After all, I don’t need to go to Goodwill.  I can do without cheap books or I can find them at other stores (or online).

The five cents per bag charge at Mill Valley (and soon, all Marin) stores irks me because it’s not a business decision.  It’s punitive.  The local governments are punishing me for having the temerity to use a paper bag.  Moreover, once it goes Marin-wide, I can’t avoid it, unless I want to drive 50 or 60 miles to a fascism-free county.

As it happens, I adore paper bags.  I’m forced to use a recycling bin and paper bags are an easy way to collect recycling.  They can go right into the bin along with the recycled refuse filling the bag.  Paper bags also make great packing material, covers for textbooks, stable (non-tippy) bags in which to carry food to potlucks or school events, fireplace starters, etc.  I’ve already paid for them by paying a higher price for my groceries than I would in a store (e.g., Goodwill) that says “We keep prices down to help save you money.”  Marin stores, though, are being forced to say, we charge you money to punish you.

There are two alternatives to paying a fine to use a paper bag:  You can bring your own, or you can toss individual items into the car (as you do at Costco).  I’m going to opt for the latter.  I refuse to become a bag lady.  I will not be forced to buy bags, which I then need to remember to carry around with me wherever I go, and which I need to remember to wash regularly so I don’t poison my family.  As to that last point, washing bags means that I’m doing an extra load of laundry every week, which means increased water and electricity use.  Surely that can’t be green.

I go crazy when I see all the liberal drones in Marin dragging around their little bags.  It makes me feel as if I’m living in a third world country.  They look like derelicts.  They’re feeling righteously smug, and I’m looking at them and thinking that they’ve been brainwashed to accept a Zimbabwe lifestyle.  (Let me say here that, while I don’t agree with them, if people want to do this, I applaud them.  Why?  Because they’re freely making a decision and it works for them.  That’s how life in a free country should be.)

Bottom line:  The bag ban forces me to buy a product I don’t want or to pay a penalty.  It is a microcosm of Obamacare.  It is a denial of free will, it perverts the marketplace, and it is an unforgivable form of coercion against a free citizenry.

Life in the suburbs

I may not agree with Marin politically (it’s roughly 70% to the Left of Left, despite the rampant capitalism that supports its infrastructure), but it is a fabulous place to raise children.  Sure, there are problems with drugs and drinking (lots of them), but the fact remains that if you want your children raised in a child-centered community that offers safe streets, old-fashioned neighborhoods, excellent schools, and true community, you can find it in Marin.  My kids play soccer, swim, do martial arts, run around the neighborhood, play parlor games, go to their friends’ basketball/lacross/water polo/football/baseball/etc. activities, and generally live the healthy, physical, safe life that we all dream of for our children.

My kids and their friends don’t hunger for urban life.  When they go into San Francisco, none of them can leave fast enough.  To them, the City is dirty, noisy, crowded, dirty, unsafe, overwhelming — did I mention dirty? — and just not the place they want to be.  Most of the kids they hang with say that they want to attend a college in a smaller rural or suburban area when the time comes.  Put another way, Marin has some of the same downsides as San Francisco — drugs and drinking — and lacks some of the upsides — trendy restaurants and public transportation — but overall, when it comes to raising children, Marin offers much more for parents and children than the City ever could.

Speaking of public transportation, when my children were little and we had left the City for Marin, I thanked God on a daily basis that Safeway was an easy 7 minute drive from my house, and that there was clean, safe parking when I got there, as opposed to my situation in the City.  There, as the crow flew, Lucky’s was 7 minutes from my house, but add in traffic and parking, not to mention the crowded, surly store itself, and shopping for groceries in the city was one long screaming child nightmare that could last an hour or two.  And I had a car.  Had I lived there without a car, a quick trip to the store would have taken up to half a day, with an angry, temperamental child (or two).

Marin is just easy.  It is.

As for the drugs and drink, we’ve tried to instill values in our children.  It’s not the school’s responsibility to instill those values.  It’s mine and my husband’s, and I think we’ve built some pretty strong moral armor around the children.  It helps that the neighborhood shares our values.  Interestingly enough, the kids, when at school, shy away from the fast crowd.  Their friends are as wholesome as they are.

All of which means I totally agree with Mike Lanza, who adds data to my anecdotes and reaches the obvious conclusion:  for all their “it’s for the children” talk, the Democrats’ hostility to suburbs is fundamentally anti-family and anti-child.

A Marin bumper sticker

This one just made me laugh. What I couldn’t get as I was scrambling at a red light to take the photograph was that, in the upper left hand corner of this truck’s rear window was a macho bumper sticker that said something along the lines of “You never see a motorcycle in the parking lot of a psychiatrist’s office.”

Then, on the right top bumper, you see the even more manly, macho, take-charge directive to “fuck fear.”  And then, in the bottom right, you get “I like ObamaCare.”

All of which together says “I am a macho man who can handle any situation fearlessly.  Oh, and would you please pay all your money in taxes just to make sure the government takes care of me?”

Macho take care of me bumper sticker

The empowering thing about Leftism is that you never have to make sense. Cognitive dissonance is an accepted way of life.

With the latest news about Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s legal counsel, what’s a good Marin liberal to do?

People in Marin have been extremely upset about the decision Ken Salazar (Secy of the Interior) made to shut down Drakes Bay Oyster Co.  The oyster company is a fixture in Point Reyes, and has been sustainably harvesting oysters for decades.  It is insufficiently pure for ObamaWorld, though, so it’s got to go:

On November 29, Ken Salazar, secretary of the interior, announced his decision not to renew Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s lease on National Park Service land about 30 miles north of San Francisco. Citing the 1976 Point Reyes Wilderness Act, the National Park Service intends to establish a federally designated wilderness area, the first on the West Coast, on the land where the oyster farm has long operated.

The Lunnys and their 31 full-time employees, many of whom have worked for decades on the oyster farm, will lose their jobs. Fifteen who lived on the premises will also lose their homes. And the company has only three months to vacate.

What’s worse is that there’s a very strong case to be made, not only that Salazar was going for an impossible purity, but that Drakes Bay Oyster Co. is the victim of a government fraud:

In 2007 [Corey] Goodman [professor emeritus at Stanford and Berkeley] received a phone call from Steve Kinsey, a member of the Marin County board of supervisors. Kinsey told him of the Park Service’s allegations of environmental damage from a small oyster farm with an otherwise impeccable reputation, then he asked Goodman to fact-check the government’s claims. Goodman agreed, reviewed the data, and attended a public hearing on Drakes Bay Oyster Co. He had never met the Lunnys, but he was appalled at what he heard from the Park Service officials. Their statements completely conflicted with what Goodman had found.

“I sat and listened to the Park Service that day make the most incredible claims,” he tells National Review Online. “We hadn’t heard exaggeration,” Goodman recalls. “We’d heard things that were simply not true.”

His interest piqued, Goodman embarked on what became a five-year examination of the Interior Department and National Park Service studies of the oyster farm.

“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Goodman says. “It’s a stunning misuse of science by our federal government. . . . They have spent a huge amount of money trying to find harm when it doesn’t exist. . . . The Park Service was determined to get rid of the oyster farm, and they simply made [the environmental damage] up. . . . These people aren’t following the data. They’re following a predetermined agenda.”

Judging by the posts on my real-me Facebook, my Marin friends are extremely upset about this one.  They’re traditionalists (and Drakes Bay Oyster Co. has been around a long time), and they like their oysters.  Many Marinites consider it a fun family outing to pick up some oysters as part of a trip to Point Reyes.  They therefore believe that the Department of the Interior should back down on this one.

Today, though, the Marin Independent Journal dropped a bombshell that’s going to have these liberal Drakes Bay supporters spinning and confused — it turns out that the Koch brothers have a connection to the Oyster company.  Oh, no!

The head of Cause of Action, the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit representing the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. in its lawsuit against the federal government, has had ties to the Koch brothers, wealthy industrialists who have funded ultra-conservative and libertarian policy and advocacy groups, most notably the Tea Party.

Dan Epstein, Cause of Action’s executive director, worked for the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation from June 2008 to January 2009, according to Mary Beth Hutchins, a spokeswoman for Cause of Action.

When Epstein left the Koch foundation he took a job for the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, headed by California GOP Congressman Darrell Issa. Under Issa’s leadership, the committee has mounted a series of investigations into the Obama administration since the Republicans took control of the House in 2010. Those investigations included the National Park Service’s handling of the Drakes Bay Oyster Co.’s request for a special use permit.

Epstein left that job to head the newly formed Cause of Action in August 2011.

How in the world are the Marin people going to square this circle?  Will it force them to see that the Koch Brothers are not evil industrialists who destroy “the little people” but, instead, are principled constitutionalists who believe that the government should leave the little people alone?  Or will they decide that the Drakes Bay Oyster Company that they lauded so tearfully last week is, in fact, part of the vast right wing conspiracy, and that Salazar is correct to use fraud and coercion to destroy it?

It will be interesting to watch my friends struggle with this one.  No, I take that back.  One of the things I’ve noticed is that, once political issues get intellectually difficult, they just stop thinking about them altogether.  You can practically see these bright, highly educated people sitting there going “Owie.  My brain hurts.”

Marin County demonstrates the one-party totalitarianism that flows from open primaries

Yesterday, I posted about the result of California’s open primary in Marin:  two Democrats running against each other for the California Assembly.  My post was about the problem that this creates for those people whose party has been shut out of the election.  The net effect of open primaries is that, rather than allowing parties to choose their own candidates, the primary just becomes a “pre-election election,” with the November election serving as a run-off.

It turns out that the open primaries are also a problem for the candidates facing off against each other in November, because it’s hard for voters to distinguish between Tweedledee and Tweedledum.  In the article I quoted yesterday,the Marin IJ tried to help, by painting Marc Levine as more “pro-business,” which can be translated as “Mitt Romney surrogate.”

The IJ needn’t have made the effort, though.  I didn’t realize it when I wrote yesterday’s post, but I had waiting in my mail box a flyer from the California Democratic Party making the difference between the two candidates as clear as a bright summer day (click on thumbnails to enlarge):

On the flyer’s front, you can see the Republican elephant superimposed in the middle of what is clearly a group of people standing in line.  The text reads:

Marc Levine Doesn’t Want You to Know About the Elephant in the Room . . .

Because the elephant in the room is MARC LEVINE

Turn the flyer over and the message gets more specific:


[Quoting a female attendee] “We’re a bunch of red folks . . . and we find comfort with our own.”

Marin County Republican Chair Kevin Krick dismissed Todd Akin’s “legitimate rape” comments as “a speed bump on the way to the White House.”

And the applauding Elephant in the Room was Marc Levine!  [With a big red finger arrow pointing to a picture of Levine attending the kick-off, with the Levine picture cropped in the shape of an elephant.]

What’s next — campaign contributions from Republican Special Interests?  Is this the kind of “Democrat” we want representing us in the State Assembly?

One can guess what happened.  Marc Levine, in an effort to distinguish himself from a Democrat opponent who is pure Progressive, sought to make himself known to a broader coalition of Marin County voters.  Since Marin has no subway or train stations outside of which the candidate can stand to introduce himself to voters, he goes from one political event to another.  This one was a Republican event.  He probably thought it was a smart move, because Republicans, having been denied a candidate by the open primary system are, theoretically, an up-for-grabs constituency.  They’ve got to vote for someone, so why not Levine?

Poor Levine.  His tactical outreach effort backfired, but it had the salutary effect of exposing the anti-democratic effect of open primaries:  Because of the open primary, which denied Marin County Republicans the right to choose their own candidate, the Democrat Party in California filled the vacuum by anointing a “Republican” candidate.

This whole thing has become a travesty.  What we’re seeing isn’t democracy in action.  Instead, it’s one-party rule, complete with infighting, without even the pretense of open elections.

Marin County: What it’s like to live in one of the most affluent and liberal outposts in America

Marin County — blessed by nature and haven to the rich.  It’s where I live.  My house is blessed by nature and my neighborhood is a haven to the Marin middle class (a middle class that works ridiculously hard and pays obscene sums of money for the pleasure of living in a beautiful place, with a temperate climate and excellent public schools).

Marin County is also one of the most liberal and, therefore, reactionary counties in America.  Norman Rogers captures it perfectly:

The population of Marin is overwhelmingly white, Democrat, and financially well-off. In 2008, nearly 80% of the vote went to Obama. The main minority consists of Spanish-speaking immigrants who prosper by providing services such as gardening, house-cleaning, and child care. The going rate for babysitting is close to $20 an hour. Although official statistics say that the Hispanics have low incomes, those statistics are based on the assumption that landscapers and babysitters, often in the country illegally, carefully report their earnings to the government.


In Marin there are shared values, and it is expected that the residents will toe the line. One of those shared values is a kind of make-believe tolerance. The reality is that the inhabitants of Marin are just as conformist and narrow-minded as are the inhabitants of flyover small towns ridiculed by Hollywood or Ivy-League sociology professors. Deviations from expectations will usually generate silent disapproval rather than verbal correction. However, if you depart too far from expectations, you may experience vigorous disapproval.


Marin political ideology is nominally progressive or liberal. But for local issues, virulently reactionary politics is the norm. It seems that the typical resident of Marin wants everything to remain exactly the same as it was on the day he moved to Marin. A hilarious example of this was the 1977 water crisis. A two-year drought caused the reservoirs to run nearly dry. The situation was saved only by building an emergency pipeline that was run on the surface of the 6-mile-long Richmond San Rafael Bridge to bring in water from water agencies that had better planning or weren’t suffering from political opposition to everything new. Thirty-five years later, the problem still exists, and the water district is still proposing solutions that are shot down by anti-development Marin people.


Smart people lacking a solid education are susceptible to crackpot ideas, be they global warming, the evil of plastic bags, radio waves making people sick, or Steve Jobs’ theory of healing cancer with nutrition.

You can read the rest here.

From reading the last paragraph Rogers wrote, you might think that Marin County is a bizarre combination of NIMBY-ism, hard Left politics, and reactionary fervor because the people are uneducated.  In fact, the contrary is true:  they’re over-educated, and their politics are a perfect reflection of people who drank the Kool-Aid in the Ivy League colleges, and ultra-liberal State Universities, or at even more ultra-liberal “liberal” arts colleges.  These are all people who Left their expensive universities for well-paying jobs, and are now making sure that the rest of America goes broke.  I know these people well, and I can assure you that most don’t have a mean or manipulative bone in their body.  In other words, Marin does not boast an army of mini-George Soros clones.  They actually believe that their ultra-liberal politics will indeed create the rising tide that lifts all boats.  Thus, Marin is populated by an army of those mindlessly indoctrinated by Soros’ ideas.

That’s Marin.  And these are three stories ripped from today’s headlines in the Marin Independent Journal.

First, we learn that Sir Francis Drake Boulevard, one of the major arteries in Marin, is finally going to undergo an upgrade.  This is a road that varies between four lines and two lines as it wends its way from Larkspur, which is on the Bay, to Olema, which is kissing cousins with the Pacific.  It travels through pretty suburban communities (including ultra-rich Ross), verdant Pacific forests, and ends up in a little hippy-dippy town.  During the morning and evening commute, it’s a nightmare, with traffic going at paces that would bore a snail.  It’s an old road that has completely decomposed in the more westerly segments, and it does not serve the modern community’s needs very well.  A little improvement would be useful, even if it was only timing the traffic lights better.  Which gets us back to the upgrade.  This is what it takes to improve a road in Marin:

It took three years of study, more than a dozen community meetings and county hearings and countless hours by public works staffers who hurdled a gauntlet of challenges outlined in a $1 million environmental analysis. But shovels finally will hit the ground this summer on repair of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard through Samuel P. Taylor Park.

First, however, permits will be needed from agencies including the state Regional Water Quality Control Board and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The county public works crew has taken no chances, reviewing every aspect of the 5.2-mile stretch of roadway with regional officials who are expected to flash the green light for the project, estimated to cost $5.5 million.

“We’ve been talking with them for years about this, walking every foot, looking at each of the 72 drainage culverts” planned, said Public Works Director Bob Beaumont. “We’re looking forward to getting the project moving.”

Or, as put by Ernest Klock, the county principal civil engineer overseeing the project, “We’re ecstatic!”


Because spotted owls nest in the area, construction is limited to weekdays from August to November, Beaumont said, noting that the birds, sediment affecting creek and fish habitat, redwood trees and other matters were among numerous constraints faced by project planners.

I’m all for preserving Marin’s beauty and character — after all, that beauty and character explains why we pay the big bucks to live here.  But a $1 million environmental analysis and a $5.5 million cost bill strike me as somewhat excessive for a repair that essentially boils down to less than five miles of road.  (The distance is my best guesstimate from reading the project’s description.)  That’s more than a million dollars a mile.

Not only are Marinites willing to spend vast sums of money to placate the Sierra Club gods, they’re also willing to whistle away even greater sums of money in homage to those same gods.  I’ve posted here before about a Marin community’s fierce resistance to a George Lucas project that would have created a gorgeous, pastoral office park that would have employed hundreds of people and brought in millions of dollars.  George Lucas eventually said “forget about it.”  He was in such a snitch that, not only did he ignore the county’s panicked blandishments offering to back down from some of its more extreme positions, he promised to sell the land to a low-income, high-density developer.  Other communities, less stridently liberal than Marin, are leaping on the opportunity to host Lucas’ project:

Local leaders hope Luke Skywalker will pack up his lightsaber and come to a galaxy not so far away.

The city is trying to lure George Lucas’ company Lucasfilm Ltd. — the force behind the “Star Wars” and “Indiana Jones” franchises — to Walnut Creek and entice the filmmaking giant to build a big movie production studio in the Shadelands Business Park.

This comes after Lucasfilm development arm Skywalker Properties yanked plans to build a film studio on Grady Ranch in rural Marin County last month. The surprising move came after decades of homeowner opposition and difficulty obtaining necessary development permits in Marin.

A pitch from the Walnut Creek city manager sent to Lucasfilm boasts of the city’s 97 percent business occupancy rate downtown, its health care facilities, open space, business partnerships and top-performing schools — not to mention two nearby BART stations, Mount Diablo and various housing options.

Hey, George!  That sounds like a good deal to me.

And finally, a look at one of the Congressional candidates in Marin.  The seat is open now, because Lynn Woolsey is retiring.  The current front-runner, Jared Huffman, is the candidate who passes for a “centrist” in Marin politics.  He’s not.  As I wrote in an earlier post, every one of his positions is consistent with the hard Progressive political menu.  Norman Solomon’s candidacy, however, proves why Huffman sounds normal:

Solomon, who has dedicated his life to political activism — opposing war, nuclear proliferation, nuclear power plants and environmental degradation — is one of a dozen candidates competing in the June 5 primary for the new 2nd District congressional seat.


Solomon attended Reed College in Portland, Ore. in 1970 but only for about a month.

“The Vietnam War was raging,” Solomon said. “I found political activity much more compelling than sitting in the classroom. I went to just a lot of anti-war demonstrations in the late ’60s and early ’70s.”


In 1972 when he and other protesters tried to blockade the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Solomon was Maced and sent to jail for four days.

“I studied nonviolence and practiced it,” Solomon said. “We were inspired by the civil rights movement and brought that to the anti-war and anti-nuclear movement.”

In the late 1970s, Solomon was sent to jail again, this time for 40 days, for repeatedly protesting for the closure of the Trojan Nuclear Plant, near Rainier, Ore., and mounting a nonviolent blockade of a train carrying nuclear warheads to Bangor, Wash.


During the 1970s, Solomon also began doing freelance reporting for the Pacific News Service and became an associate of the Center for Investigative Reporting in Berkeley. Articles Solomon wrote for The Progressive and The Nation, chronicling the exposure of members of the U.S. military to radiation during bomb tests, led to the writing of the first of his 12 books. In partnership with Harvey Wasserman, Solomon wrote “Killing Our Own: The Disaster of America’s Experience with Atomic Radiation.”

After Ronald Reagan’s election as president in the 1980s, Solomon and Anthony Guarisco, founder of the International Alliance of Atomic Veterans, traveled to Moscow where they organized a sit-in at the U.S. Embassy calling for the U.S. to join the Soviet Union in a halt to tests of nuclear bombs.

And on and on and on, with Solomon at the forefront of every single radical Left activity American politics could offer.  You won’t be surprised at his approach to the Iraq War:

Solomon published “Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You,” prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and made three trips to Iraq, one accompanied by actor Sean Penn, in an effort to head off the war. Solomon said that as the drum beat for war in Iraq grew louder, many liberal Democrats failed to speak out, just as they did initially during the Vietnam War.

Solomon said, “I understand the truth of the AIDS activist slogan that was adopted in the late 1980s: silence equals death.”

Interestingly, though, once you get past his past, Solomon’s laundry list of political ideas is virtually identical to every other Democrat candidate:

If elected to Congress, Solomon said his first priority would be to boost public investment in green jobs, education, housing, infrastructure, health care, public transportation, environmental protection and retirement security while cutting military spending, imposing a transaction tax on Wall Street, plugging tax loopholes for corporations and ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy.

I urge you to go to the newspaper article, scroll down to the bottom, and read Solomon’s specific political ideas, in his own words.  He is a perfect snapshot of the Progressive candidate, unleashed.  By the way, although I’ve never met him, I’d willingly bet that he’s charming at school cocktail parties and a nice guy to say “hello” to in the grocery store aisles (if you can even see him behind the cloth grocery bags stacked high in his shopping cart).  Marin liberals are very pleasant human beings, despite being animated by ideas that, if taken to the logical conclusion, would drag us through British politics, then Greek politics, then Cuban politics.

And now let me introduce you to Dan Roberts, a candidate who doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning.  In rational world, of course, if Marin-ites voted in their true self-interest (one that keeps Marin rich and beautiful, while preserving America’s overall strength and wealth), a moderate Republican candidate should sweep the board:

Marine Corps 2nd Lt. Dan Roberts was leading his troops back from a patrol through Vietnam’s Elephant Valley near Da Nang in 1966 when a mine exploded, killing one soldier and piercing Roberts’ left leg with shrapnel.

“I guess there was an element of shock and disbelief. I had these fragments of shrapnel going through my left calf,” Roberts said. After his radio operator had staunched the blood coming from his leg and bandaged the wound, Roberts said he “organized a defensive perimeter and helped the choppers come in to evacuate the wounded.” Eventually, he was airlifted out himself and sent to a military field hospital for treatment.


Roberts grew up in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco. His mother’s great great grandfather came to California in 1849 to mine for gold.  Roberts’ father worked as a Teamster warehouseman in San Francisco, and his mother was a full-time homemaker. Roberts attended Lowell High School [Ed.:  My alma mater too], even though it required more than an hour’s bus ride to get there.

Roberts said his family members were all “hard-core Democrats.” But Roberts’ politics took a different turn while he was earning his bachelor’s degree in business administration at San Francisco State University from 1960 to 1965. He paid for his education by working nights as a janitor and as a golf caddy on weekends.

“I saw the beginning of the takeover by the liberal elements of that wonderful institution,” he said, “and I objected to that.”  [He was right to object.  SF State, which boasts Angela Davis as a faculty member, is one of the most hard core Leftist schools in America, and a haven for antisemites.]


Roberts enlisted in the Marines in 1964. He had heard stories about military service from his uncles who served in the Navy and from other family members. He was motivated by patriotism, a yearning for adventure and a desire for excellence, which he associated with the Marine Corps.

After making it through Officer Candidate School, Roberts was sent to Vietnam in 1966 as a second lieutenant. He served as an artillery forward observer, slipping behind enemy lines to direct the fire of U.S. howitzers. After being wounded, Roberts had to relearn how to walk; his left leg remains partially paralyzed to this day. He served out the remainder of his tour of duty with a mortar battery.


After leaving the Marines, Roberts earned his master’s in business administration at Loyola University Chicago by attending night classes while working as a salesman for the Monsanto Co. Then he returned to San Francisco, where from 1972 to 1987 he sold stocks and bonds for Dean Witter & Co., rising to the position of manager.

In 1987, Roberts left Dean Witter and founded his own investment firm, Roberts & Ryan Investment Inc. in San Francisco, which he continues to operate. There is no Ryan. Roberts tried to register the business simply as Roberts Investment but “every iteration of Roberts was taken.”


Roberts’ wife died in 1985; his sons were 9, 15 and 17 at the time.

“So to some extent I had to play both roles,” he said.


So far, Roberts has invested $160,000 of his own money in his congressional campaign. If he wins and goes to Washington D.C., Roberts said he will focus on cutting federal spending and reducing corporate and individual taxes.

“The government can never create a job,” Roberts said. “It just takes money from people who pay taxes and gives it to a third party. It’s a transfer payment at best.”

This is a man of substance, decency, and common sense.  As I said, he doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning here in Marin.  I deeply admire his willingness to join the battle though.  (Not surprising, I guess, given the fact that he’s a Marine.)

Please check out the newspaper article, scroll down to the end, and compare Roberts’ political positions with those that Solomon advances.  Roberts own website is here, if you’d like to make a contribution to his bravely quixotic effort.

Marin County — land of the rich and crazy.


Andrew Breitbart inspires another conservative to leave the political closet

I am very, very proud of an old friend of mine.  Like me, he’s a conservative in Marin.  Unlike me, he’s burst out of the political closet.  Tim Amyx will now be blogging on a weekly basis at the Mill Valley Patch, a local Marin online publication that comes out of one of Marin’s most liberal cities.  (That’s not as redundant as it sounds.  Novato and Belvedere, for example, are vaguely purplish compared to Marin’s pretty uniform blue.  Mill Valley . . . well, not so much.)

Tim’s premier post hones in on Mill Valley’s over-the-top allegiance to the Democrat party.  Jokingly calling himself the other 1% (although he concedes that he’s probably part of the 10 or 20%), Tim discusses life for a conservative in Liberal-ville:

I’m 53 years old now, and for about the past 10 years I have found myself in the huge minority in our community. Normally it’s not an issue being a conservative in a bastion of liberals. But it takes its toll, and one can remain silent and take body blows only so long. (“Bush is an idiot,  Republican’s are the party of no, the tea party is racist, conservatives only care about their pocket books, yadda, yadda…”)

This past week, Andrew Breitbart, my hero and a hero to the modern day right, passed away. It was a tragic loss for America and in particular to the young rebirth of conservatism. He was the right guy at the right time, who took on the media and institutions that have been so very successful in demonizing conservatives. Breitbart was an inspiration to many on the right who needed a voice to speak up and stand up to the bullies on the left.

With his inspiration, I bring to you the 1 percent (or really the 10-20 percent or more if more came out of the closet of conservatives in Mill Valley and throughout Marin) conservative point of view. I plan to chime in weekly with a perspective you will not likely read elsewhere in Marin, save for a token letter to the editor. These will be thoughts you won’t likely hear at the Community Center, Depot Plaza or Peet’s. I’ll focus on local, state, and national issues.

Read the rest here.  It’s all good.

Please make Tim a regular part of your weekly reading.  I know that he’s a great person, and you can see that he’s an equally great writer and thinker.  He’s also a brave man, who has outed himself in a very intolerant part of the world.  He should be supported, because the more he writes, the more people will learn — and in Marin, perhaps they’ll learn that conservatives aren’t evil stupid people but are, instead, the kind, accomplished, intelligent community members you’ve grown to like and respect over the years.