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Local Hero


Toluca Lake, wasn’t it?



Rich people have too much money these days. She knows.



She’s so great. Yeah, screw you too, you right-wing moron. (Most likely a Twitter bot. Most of them are now, and they all repeat the same smug, arrogant tripe. Usually they try to play themselves as “moms.”)

No wonder people hate her:


I had to speak out about the naked indecency of chief executive Robert Iger’s pay. According to Equilar, Iger took home more than $65 million in 2018. That’s 1,424 times the median pay of a Disney worker. To put that gap in context, in 1978, the average CEO made about 30 times a typical worker’s salary. Since 1978, CEO pay has grown by 937 percent, while the pay of an average worker grew just 11.2 percent.

This growth in inequality has affected every corner of American life. We are increasingly a lopsided, barbell nation, where the middle class is shrinking, a very few, very affluent people own a great deal and the majority have relatively little. What is more, as their wealth has grown, the super-rich have invested heavily in politicians, policies and social messaging to pad their already grotesque advantages.

In 2017, with the quiet encouragement of corporations across the country, Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. As billions of dollars landed in the laps of management, they spent as a rule not on their workforces but on wealth-enriching strategies such as stock buybacks and, yes, executive pay.

In 2018, Disney gave more than 125,000 employees a $1,000 bonus. But that $125 million or so was dwarfed by the $3.6 billion it spent to buy shares back to drive up its stock price and thus enrich its shareholders. Given that about 85 percent of stocks are held by the richest people in the country, this was a significant new investment in wealth inequality.

I have been quietly grumbling about this issue for some time now, uncertain how public to be. It is time to call out the men and women who lead us and to draw a line in the sand about how low we are prepared to let hard-working people sink while top management takes home ever-more-outrageous sums of money. It is unreasonable to expect corporate boards to act as a check on this trend; they are almost universally made up of CEOs, former CEOs and people who long to be CEOs…


How dare she! She’s biting the hand that feeds her!

Like, who else better to say something about this obscene change in our country?



Most conservatives are now. Their economic views make no sense, and their facts are lacking.



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It’s because they’re crazy


Republicans, naturally.





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Miracle Recovery





Obviously it wasn’t quite as bad as the voters were told…


Burbank’s financial forecast for the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year and the next four years have been the best figures the city has seen in some time.

Although the General Fund is projected to have a surplus over the next five fiscal years, Cindy Giraldo, the city’s financial services director, told the council members during a study session last week that the city needs to remain proactive and pay down its rising pension costs before they get out of hand.

During the upcoming 2019-20 fiscal year, Giraldo said the General Fund is expected to have a roughly $5.5-million surplus, which is a significant improvement compared to a deficit of about $185,000 forecast for the 2018-19 fiscal year.


Remember all the pre-election panic?


Should finances continue on a positive path for the city, the General Fund is expected to have a surplus of approximately $3.1 million during the 2023-24 fiscal year.

That’s due, in part, to several factors, with one being the approval of Measure T, which Burbank voters approved in June and allowed the city to continue transferring $12.5 million from Burbank Water and Power’s gross annual sales of electricity to the General Fund.

Arguably the most significant factor that has helped boost Burbank’s General Fund was the passage of Measure P in November, which is a three-quarter-cent sales tax that went into effect this month and is expected to generate about $20 million annually to help pay for overdue infrastructure maintenance projects and pension costs.


Yes, but sizeable surpluses already? Right away?


While unfunded infrastructure needs will soon be addressed through the sales tax, Giraldo said the city needs to come up with additional initiatives to ensure that the General Fund stays in the black.

She suggested city officials look into a parking-management plan or consider paid parking to generate money to help with parking enforcement and pay for parking infrastructure.


Does this mean parking meters in Burbank? To subsidize the older city employees’ ridiculously low pension contributions?

Past city councils would always put the kibosh on any idea of installing parking meters on our Burbank streets. Let’s see what happens now.




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(No, they don’t know it is. They’re thugs and bigots as well. Trump’s their guy.)




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Makes sense


They don’t want to face the reality. It also takes less mental effort to not untangle all of the insanity.



Of course:



Meanwhile, the Moron-in-Chief sputters on…



This guy is such an evil crook. You’d have to have a major screw loose to think that there’s anything attractive about Donald Trump.

What a thuggish and reprehensible human being he is. A total and complete nightmare. Stay proud, Republicans.





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Burbank. Still the official home of lots of white people


Everybody in this very recent City of Burbank promotional video is white, but for one exception.

A young Black woman is seen shopping during a mention of the big income being provided by “visitor spending.”






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The Name Game


While the Burbank School Board tries to figure out how they can get out of renaming Luther Burbank Middle School because Luther Burbank too was a big eugenicist just like David Starr Jordan (hint: they can’t), let’s look at what happened up in Palo Alto after they stripped Jordan off of one of their own schools.

How hilariously stupid and bathetic:


The Palo Alto Unified School District board unanimously decided Tuesday that Jordan Middle School should be renamed after Frank Greene Jr. and Terman Middle School after Ellen Fletcher. In making those choices, it snuffed out a controversy that erupted when the name of Fred Yamamoto, an inspirational local figure with a reviled last name, was nominated…

Tuesday’s board meeting was packed and about 70 speakers were given a minute each to state their opinions. About half of them urged the board to not name the school after Fred Yamamoto.

Although Yamamoto was a Japanese-American forced into an internment camp during World War II and was later killed in action while serving in the U.S. Army’s 442nd Infantry Regimental Combat Team, a number of Chinese-American residents in recent weeks have complained that his last name could be confused with that of Isoroku Yamamoto.

They say Isoroku Yamamoto, known as the architect of the Pearl Harbor bombing, was responsible for war crimes committed against the Chinese during World War II. An online petition opposing the name had roughly 1,350 supporters as of Wednesday night.

“The last name Yamamoto triggers painful feeling and painful memory,” Amanda Chi said.


Uh-huh. In whom still living? No one.

This is over-sensitivity gone amuck, and because of the very long time span, grossly insincere. Yamamoto is an extremely common Japanese surname, and “Fred” is nowhere near “Isoroku.”

Don’t they have signs and letters they can put up to spell out the name? Where will this virtue signaling ever end?

Poor Fred. How terrifically unfair to him.




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Who wants to live right next to the freeway and on top of an old toxic waste manufacturing site?


Ironically, the developer calls it “La Terra.” You can’t make this stuff up.

The Planning Board tonight will be reviewing the EIR for this honey of a project on Front Street over where Zero Manufacturing used to be.

(click to enlarge)




Voices from the past — an old LA Times article from 1991, back when local newspapers used to talk about such rude things:


Burbank Admits to Lax Enforcement of Toxic Waste Rules : Environment: City is named in an EPA suit charging that it allowed companies to exceed discharge limits.



Burbank officials admitted Friday that a breakdown in monitoring and enforcement procedures led to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency lawsuit which contends that the city allowed toxic wastes to be dumped into sewers.

City Manager Bud Ovrom and Public Works Director Ora Lampman said Burbank didn’t crack down hard enough during the mid-1980s on industries that were accused of committing violations by discharging more than the authorized amount of toxic waste without pre-treatment.

“The city wasn’t dumping anything into the ocean, but we just didn’t make these private industries do a good job of taking care of things,” Ovrom said. “Burbank has a disproportionate amount of toxic industries. We didn’t do as good a job as we should have of clamping down on them.”

The city faces potential penalties in the tens of millions of dollars in the suit filed Wednesday.

EPA officials said that they had been informed that a contractor the city hired in the mid-1980s to monitor and pre-treat toxic waste did not perform adequately. But city officials said the enforcement was the city’s responsibility, not that of the hired contractor.

Lampman said that Burbank issued notices of violations against some of the industries but failed to follow up on them. But he also laid blame on the EPA, which he said did not specify how aggressive Burbank and other cities should have been in monitoring and enforcing the industries. He said the EPA had more lenient regulations until last year.

The EPA and the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board named five Los Angeles County businesses–including two in Burbank–in the suit, charging that they failed to treat hazardous waste properly before releasing it into the sewer system. The suit also accused Burbank along with the city of Los Angeles of neglecting to ensure that the industries complied with treatment requirements.

He said the five businesses were selected because they were “significant violators.”

…EPA officials said at least 21% of 61 Burbank industries violated standards at least once in 1989. But because Burbank failed to monitor the industries properly, the number could be even higher, they said.

“Burbank had a totally unacceptable pattern of noncompliance,” Barroll said. “There were lots of industries that were not treating their toxic waste because Burbank was letting them get away with it. That’s what we want to see stopped.”

He added that the EPA has written regulations about how much treatment must be done on industrial waste, and guidelines on how the city should monitor it. “There was an almost total breakdown of this program,” Barroll said.

Wow. Who’d a thought.

Incidentally, that was back when Burbank was getting big awards for being a “business friendly!” city.

Cities are supposed to monitor and report the various pollution counts in their discharges. Among the elements to be looked for in samples from industries is the amount of oil and grease, acid, nitrogen, chloride and coliform contamination.

The results of the sampling are to be submitted in monthly reports to the EPA and the regional water board.

Barroll said there were some months when Burbank failed to list results for one or more of the pollutants. He said there was also a failure to monitor, inspect and enforce the regulations.

Penalties against the industries could have ranged from fines to license revocations.

The city had hired the Metcalf & Eddy company, an environmental engineering firm, to monitor and pre-treat waste for the city from 1985 to 1990, officials said. The firm was not named in the suit, and Lampman said it was not the fault of that company that the city failed to follow through on violations.

Officials for Metcalf & Eddy said they were not aware of any wrongdoing or improper performance by their company.

Two of the Burbank businesses targeted in the suit are Stainless Steel Products Inc. and Zero Corp.

Stainless Steel Products discharges approximately 90,000 gallons a day to Burbank’s treatment plant. After being treated, the discharges then empty into the Burbank Western Wash, a tributary of the Los Angeles River, EPA officials said.

Zero Corp., which makes a variety of metal products, discharges about 60,000 gallons per day through the Burbank sewer system to the treatment system of the city of Los Angeles. The treated discharges are then sent to Santa Monica Bay.

The suit alleges that the two companies failed to meet self-monitoring requirements for their toxic-waste discharges, and violated their authorized discharge limitations for several chemicals and substances. The companies face possible fines in the tens of thousands of dollars as a result of the suit, EPA officials said…

Zero Corp., which makes several metal products, committed the same violations with excess amounts of cadmium, chromium, lead and total toxic organic substances, the suit says.

Officials from the two companies were unavailable for comment.

Since last year, the city has hired Pasadena-based JMM Operational Services to monitor industrial waste discharges, officials said. Burbank officials said the enforcement and monitoring of businesses has improved significantly, and added that they hoped the EPA would take that into account.

“We’re aware of what problems Burbank had, and what they’re doing now,” Barroll said. “But their record is unacceptable, and they have a long way to go.”


What a heritage. What a site!



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Don’t tell the pious ones that Luther Burbank was also a eugenicist




Uh-oh! Time for our Local Worthies to start doing more research…


Beginning in the late 19th century, America’s national eugenics program received funding from many of the country’s largest corporate concerns, including from the Carnegie Institution, Rockefeller Foundation, J. H. Kellogg, Proctor and Gamble, Hanes and the Harriman railroad fortune. Proponents of eugenics (including Alexander Graham Bell and Luther Burbank) concluded that individuals with higher social standing were inherently genetically superior, and pushed not only for forced sterilization of the poor, disabled and “immoral” but also immigration restriction and anti-miscegenation laws. Even alcoholism was a trait targeted for elimination via eugenics.


The following would figure from the Wizard of Santa Rosa:


I have constantly been impressed with the similarity between the organization and development of plant and human life. … I have come to find in the crossing of species and in selection, wisely directed, a great and powerful instrument for the transformation of the vegetable kingdom along lines that lead constantly upward. The crossing of species is to me paramount. Upon it, wisely directed and accompanied by a rigid selection of the best and as rigid an exclusion of the poorest, rests the hope of all progress. The mere crossing of species, unaccompanied by selection, wise supervision, intelligent care, and the utmost patience, is not likely to result in marked good, and may result in vast harm. … let me lay emphasis on the opportunity now presented in the United States for observing and, if we are wise, aiding in what I think it fair to say is the grandest opportunity ever presented of developing the finest race the world has ever known out of the vast mingling of races brought here by immigration.”


This was what was known as “liberal eugenics.” Luther Burbank was very much a humanist.

Uh-huh again. Even though Burbank High School wasn’t named after Luther Burbank, it sounds enough like Luther Burbank that maybe we should change its name too.

This group’s sententiousness is going to make things complicated in Burbank. So let’s start with Jefferson and Roosevelt.





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David Starr Jordan … Armenian killer!





The local idiocy continues. Check out the fallacious reasoning here — it’s positively textbook quality.

And as you review the following cant and self-righteousness — often a kissin’ cousin to community brainlessness —  also keep in mind that almost no one in David Starr Jordan High School’s African American neighborhood in Los Angeles is advocating changing its name.

Burbank: Brave protector of ethnic minorities! Who’d a known?


After months of deliberation and public input, the Burbank Unified school board unanimously voted to change the name of David Starr Jordan Middle School on Thursday.

The school’s now-former namesake was a proponent of eugenics, a system of controlled breeding aimed at improving the chances of so-called desirable heritable characteristics.

From 1910 until 1964, 20,000 people considered less-than-desirable, such as minorities and people with mental disabilities, were forcibly sterilized in California due in part to the philosophy of eugenics.

The theory was espoused by the Nazis and before them notable people, such as Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt.


Ought-oh.  TR’s next!

And Jefferson used to bang the best looking of his slaves.  He had a real thing for the light-skinned ones. So watch out, Ben-Mar Hills!


Others pointed out that Jordan was more than just a proponent of eugenics.

He also studied fish biology and served as the founding president of Stanford University, one of the most prominent schools in the country.

However, for the majority of people at the meeting, it was apparent that, for them, Jordan epitomized nothing but the worst in humanity.

Armond Aghakhanian, the school board’s vice president, related the eugenics ideology to that of the Ottoman Turks during the Armenian Genocide, when they killed 1.5 million Armenians, beginning in 1915, due to the fact that “they were different.”


David Starr Jordan has and had nothing to do with the Ottoman Empire holocaust, which also involved a lot of Greeks. Nice try. And btw … is there any evidence that Jordan actually advocated forced sterilization of minorities? Not classic misfits, but pre-emptively, for reasons of furthering the cause of eugenics?

Coming soon to Burbank …. Amelia Earhart Middle School! That’s the brightness level that this current crowd is working at. More 21st-century lightweights trying to do a revisionist number on the 20th century and being completely inconsistent and hypocritical about it.

You gonna change Roosevelt School’s name as well? Jefferson’s on Sixth Street? No way in hell. But then, why not?

Now here’s a question for the local philosophers. When and if women go out of their way to pick the type of mates who possess the highest quality of “desirable” characteristics– which many seek to do, naturally — aren’t they engaging in their own form of personal eugenics?




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Be proud, Republicans


Berserk is the least of it. The tweets clearly prove that he’s an illiterate lunatic.



What a shameful episode in our country’s history.




If only it were funny.





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All you have to do is watch the offerings on “streaming media” to know that this country has become incredibly stupid during the last 30 years


We’re stuck living in a very pronounced, subliterate hellhole.



Ever tried to watch the canned Hulu or Roku packages being offered of their most popular and highest-rated programs? Try it sometime if you have half a brain.

How about the daytime TV talk shows now? Or the nighttime talk shows, which are nothing more than 95 percent network promo spots.

Remember when Mike Douglas used to have on John and Yoko as his guest hosts for an entire week? Your mother would be watching it when you got home from school.

How about the magazines she bought and read too, which were always full of lengthy articles and acres and acres of text?

Or how about Johnny Carson and his desire to always want to interview writers and astronomers during the last half hour of his show? Most of whom were nowhere near household names.

Watch the reruns. What a stupid country this has become.




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The Evil Within




Exactly when did the Right go over to the dark side? We used to know Republicans who were decent and rational human beings, but admittedly it was at least 40 years ago.

Meanwhile, sanity.



Same day, same town, different universe. The country can’t handle this.


Beyond any doubt:


Now that the report from special counsel Robert Mueller is finally available to the public, it’s clear that it says … just what everyone thought it would say. The report confirms almost every suspicion, verifies an amazing percentage of theories, and absolutely validates the concerns that caused the investigation to be launched in the first place. Russia conducted a sweeping military operation to alter the results of a presidential election in the United States, and the Trump campaign welcomed, participated in, and benefited from that effort. Period. 

Beyond accepting help from Russia, sharing information with Russia, assisting in the dissemination of stolen goods, and celebrating the efforts of Russia, Donald Trump and his campaign also worked to thwart the investigation in every way. They lied to the public. They lied to Congress. They lied to investigators. They withheld evidence. They destroyed evidence. And Trump personally attempted to fire everyone interested in finding the truth.





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Schiff’s correct


Anyone else get the feeling here that when Schiff refers to the Trump Tower meeting and Don Jr. and “admissible evidence” of intent to conspire, that there might be legally inadmissible tape recordings of that little get-together with those Russian nationals?

If they recorded the meeting, did any U.S. agencies have their own intelligence taps on any of these various clowns?  Or, taps or intercepts of their own which were ongoing? We already know that U.S. intelligence agencies already had some Russians under surveillance.










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This is right where those fancy roving Icebergs are going to go!


How could we have overlooked this?






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