Thursday, December 24, 2009

Interview with Walter Meyer, author of "Rounding Third"

Walt Meyer Interview, Segment 1

Walt Meyer Interview, Segment 2

Walt Meyer Interview, Segment 3

Walt Meyer Interview, Segment 4

Liberty One Radio's host Mike Copass interviewed San Diego-based author Walt Meyer about his new work, "Rounding Third"

The book touches on familiar themes surrounding high school identity issues -- sports, school, bullies, and family life. But "Rounding Third" isn't your typical high-school baseball novel. Meyer's literary accomplishment is realized in the way he draws the reader in to the relationship between the two protagonists -- a story that will leave you both cheered, heartbroken, and changed.

Listen to author Walt Meyer reading an excerpt from his new novel in the link above.

Read the Copass Report blog about "Rounding Third."

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

US Veterans: Conversation with Homeless Veteran Advocate Maurice Martin

Liberty One Radio contacted US Army veteran Maurice Martin by phone on Monday December 21st, to talk about his advocacy work regarding San Diego's homeless veterans.

Mr. Martin works with some of the directors of Veterans Village of San Diego, which operates a winter survival shelter for vets.

Additionally, Martin is doing outreach with San Diego's Bethel AME Church, which is part of a church network offering holiday sanctuary to San Diegans without homes, and is working to bring over 600 Christmas meals.

Martin is a member of the Hugh Thompson chapter of Veterans for Peace, lobbying US military veterans through legislation, as well as active outreach with homeless veterans.

According to Maurice, "We can't leave a fellow veteran out there on the street."

Mr. Martin is not only an staunch advocate for improved mental and physical health services for veterans, and for the growing San Diego population without permanent housing -- he is also currently a homeless vet himself.

(Martin notes that his own journey to eventual homelessness did not occur immediately after his discharge; it began ten years later.)


- Mike Copass

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

U.S. Veterans & Volunteers Share Holiday Gratitude

"This made my day," said one participant.

December 16th afforded an opporunity to see some of the best in San Diegans, as members of local volunteer groups reached out to some of the many homeless military veterans in San Diego on a chilly eve. The Girls Think Tank and the San Diego Young Democrats joined together at a Midway-area temporary winter shelter for homeless veterans operated by Veterans Village of San Diego. Participants helped distribute150 winter survival backpacks filled with hats, gloves, toiletries, blankets, and food, along with donated clothes, books, and home-baked treats.

Equally warming was the conviviality of the event, a chance to meet and share greetings in the spirit of the holiday. Veterans shared personal stories and a few laughs with the volunteers, at tables between rows of neatly-kept bunk beds with Army Green blankets.

Women & Democratic Activists Connect with Area Vets
For the fourth year running, the non-profit activism group Girls Think Tank (GTT) put together the event. The Girls Think Tank is an all-volunteer group drawing many of its members from San Diego's law firms, including Coughlin Stoia and Zeldes & Haeggquist.

San Diego Young Democrats joined enthusiastically in the service project, bringing several dozen members, including President Bryan Crane, VP Stephanie Tesch, noted California political columnist Lucas O'Connor, and Jason Everitt, a candidate for Escondido City Council.

Event organizer and GTT member Amlyu Weas commented, “with the Winter Survival Backpack project, Girls Think Tank and its supporters are able to show thanks to military veterans who have served our nation and given of themselves. As President John Fitzgerald Kennedy said, ‘as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.’ ”

Jenny Kressel, the Community Service Chair for the Young Democrats Club, expressed her enthusiasm for the outreach. "Hearing the moving testimony from area homeless, I decided to help coordinate this service project with the Girls Think Tank. The San Diego Young Democrats are grateful to our military veterans, and this outreach is one way for us to give back to our military community, and show our support through service." Seemingly everywhere, the SD Young Democrats shared homemade baked goods, warm clothes, and good cheer with the veterans at the shelter.

San Diegan Barbara Cattedra of the Gothic Volunteer Alliance of San Diego was all smiles, "This is a great project -- we're happy to help."

Congressional Support
U.S. Representative Bob Filner of San Diego released a statement in support of the event, noting, “It is imperative we take care of our homeless veterans all year around especially in the cold winter months.” Filner is chairman of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and remains committed to ending chronic homelessness among veterans, particularly as Iraq and Afghanistan veterans begin to join the ranks.

The outreach by Girls Think Tank memebrs is not limited to veterans out in the cold this winter. In November, the GTT distributed out Winter Survival Backpacks outside the winter shelter downtown and has distributed approximately 1000 backpacks since the project began four years ago, working frequently with tireless advocate David Ross, aka 'The Water Man', who ministers to the homeless community year-round in San Diego, providing bottles of water he purchases with his retirement savings.

Maurice Martin, a formerly homeless veteran helped assemble the backpacks last week, which contain warm gloves, hats, and other gear. "I was homeless a while. I know what its like to live on the streets. But these groups are great, and we have to do more to help vets get back on their feet." Individuals and organizations wishing to donate used clothing and survival gear for further GTT events this winter can check the information below.

-- Mike Copass, Liberty One Radio

About the Girls Think Tank:
Girls Think Tank started in 2006 when local attorney Rachel Jensen (left) was frustrated at a sense of injustice seeing the same homeless man day after day, accompanied by a sense of futility about what could be done. Rachel gathered girlfriends for a dinner party and brainstormed solutions. They decided to start Girls Think Tank, with a theme of empowerment and individual action to make a difference in our community. A $20 donation, 1 hour of time: microjustice – like microcredit, hands-on and direct – is the Girls Think Tank model. The new GTT Homeless Coalition will launch a Basic Dignity campaign in 2010. The Coalition includes GTT members, social service and homeless groups, places of worship, businesses, residents, and homeless persons.

For more information about GTT, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in San Diego, and the Winter Backpack Survival project, email or visit our website,

Pictured: (l) Maurice Martin, (c) GTT's Helen Zeldes and volunteers assembling, (r) David Ross & partner

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Urgent: Toys & Donations Needed for Military Families & Veterans

Urgent: Donations and toys are needed this holiday season to support vital services for military families and veterans in San Diego and Camp Pendleton.

Mike Copass talks by phone with Carla Mays (pictured) of Organizing for America about service programs, including a survival pack assembly for homeless veterans, gifts for military families in Camp Pendleton, and donations to Interfaith Community Servies "Safety Net" for military families & vets.

Assemble Survival Packs for Homeless US veterans
Wednesday, 16 December, 6:15pm - 7:15pm
Point Loma -- in VA Tent behind Goodwill
3663 Rosecrans St, San Diego, CA
See Facebook site:
(Hosted by San Diego Cy Young Democrats and Girls Think Tank,

Interfaith Community Services

For donation to Military and Veterans Safety Net Program: contact
Greg Anglea, aka "Angel"
(760) 489-6380 x220

Armed Services YMCA at Camp Pendleton
needs toys for families in need.
How to donate: drop off toys at Camp Pendleton YMCA, or at the San Diego County Democratic Party HQ at 8340 Clairemont Mesa Blvd, Suite 105, between 9am-5pm)

Contact Liberty One Radio at 619.573.9567 for your public service announcements.

Walter Meyer: Author of new novel "Rounding Third"

Walter Meyer Reads from "Rounding Third"

Mike Copass of Liberty One Radio sat down to talk to San Diego-based author Walt Meyer about his new work, "Rounding Third." Published by MaxM Ltd, the baseball-themed story is Meyer's third work.

The book touches on familiar themes surrounding high school identity issues -- sports, school, bullies, and family life. But "Rounding Third" isn't your typical high-school baseball novel. Meyer's literary accomplishment is realized in the way he draws the reader in to the relationship between the two protagonists -- a story that will leave you both cheered, heartbroken, and changed.

Listen to author Walt Meyer reading an excerpt from his new novel in the link above.

Read the Copass Report blog about "Rounding Third."

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Interview with EAST COUNTY MAGAZINE Editor Miriam Raftery & Viejas Fire Reports

Mike Copass interviews Miriam Raftery, Editor of East County Magazine about the Fire Safety situation created by your San Diego County Board of Supervisors.

Learn about East County Magazine's innovative new Fire Warning Systems, sponsored by Viejas Fire Department.

Finally, there is a new paradigm emerging in the independent media. Listen to Mike Copass and Miriam Raftery discuss the future of Local Independent Journalism in San Diego.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

CA Democrats Consider Afghanistan Exit Resolution...

The following Resolution calling for has been submitted to California Democratic Party, to be voted on Saturday and Sunday.

CA Democratic Party Chairman John Burton has already issued a similar call.

Will California Democrats lead the way?

- Mike

End the US Occupation & Air War in Afghanistan

WHEREAS, the California Democratic Party, concerned citizens and lawmakers are calling for a U.S. exit strategy from Afghanistan that will end the occupation and air war while ensuring the safety and security of our troops, our nation, and the region ...

WHEREAS, the plight of women in Afghanistan is such that they continue to bear an especially heavy price under an eight-year occupation, and that far from eradicating the Taliban and other insurgencies, our presence has instead strengthened them, creating greater insecurity, death and impoverishment of the Afghan people; and

WHEREAS, polls show a majority of Americans are increasingly disturbed about the toll the U.S. occupation of Afghanistan is taking on our killed and wounded troops, as our involvement there continues to cost hundreds of billions of dollars per month while the United States and particularly the State of California are in an economic crisis without money to fund domestic needs;

THEREFORE, Be It Resolved, that the California Democratic Party, in addition to reiterating its support for a time-table for withdrawal of our military personnel, calls for an end to the use of mercenary contractors, as well as an end to the air war on civilian populations, and urges our President to oversee a redirection of our funding and resources to include an increase in humanitarian and developmental aid, multi-party talks, aimed at ensuring a democratic and legitimate representation ofthe people of Afghanistan, as well as multi-party regional diplomacy for the safety and stability of neighboring countries; and

Be It Further Resolved, a copy of this resolution shall be sent to the California Democratic Party Congressional delegation, as well as the White House.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Walt Meyer, Author of "Rounding Third" - a Novel about Baseball, High School, and much more...

San Diego author Walt Meyer stopped by the Liberty One Radio studios today to talk about his new work, "Rounding Third." The novel, published by MaxM Ltd, is Meyer's third work, and is already receiving critical acclaim.

The novel draws you in to its story, with echoes of familiar themes of high school identity issues, sports, and coming of age. As the book's jacket describes

"Rob Wardell is a seventeen-year old who feels like he doesn't quite fit in anywhere--not at home, not at school and not on the baseball field. The small, shy boy stays on the high school baseball team only to please his father since he knows he will never get to play. He’s living his life alone until he finds himself drawn into a friendship with the team’s new star pitcher, Josh Schlagel..."

The book's main character, Bobby Wardell, faces a number of challenges familiar to many young men: he's on the baseball team, (but only as a bench-warmer) while his father looks with a disappointment sigh at his sensitive son who won't shoot the deer. Bobby faces harassment and physical abuse from jock bullies as part of his daily existence. Not to mention the sweaty confusion of adolescent romantic feelings.

What's unusual about Meyer's work is the fact the attraction that Bobby begins to feel is for the newest member of the baseball team. Josh Schlagel is that friend -- the good-looking star pitcher who is the first one on the team to acknowledge Bobby's contributions. As their friendship develops, Bobby gains confidence, scores an important run, and even receives accolades from his father on the pick-up basketball court. Through Josh, Bobby gains a sense of self -- and is coming of age.

Yet all is not well in Harrisonburg -- a fictitious town in Northern Ohio, where the Chevrolet signs hang proudly, and Civil War history is still relevant. Bobby's new friend Josh has his own issues to deal with -- a conservative religious family that will not accept a son for who he is. "Rounding Third" unflinchingly strides into difficult, even dark territory.

As the author puts it "the book sort of sneaks up on you." Through the metaphor of sports and youth, Meyer (above, right) is able to access deeper questions about justice and freedom. The questions he raises could not come at a more appropriate moment. American soldiers (including LGBT warriors) have been sent overseas to ostensibly bring American ideals of freedom, when back home in America many people do not enjoy freedom or equality.

As Meyer puts it "America talks a good game about freedom sometimes," but has yet to live up to its promise, or as Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. said "all we ask America, is that you be true to what you said on paper."

In the age of Proposition 8, Maine's Question 1 and brutal violence against kids like Matthew Shepard, an important conversation has to take place: are we able to make good on the promise of America?

The issues raised by "Rounding Third" are part of that critical conversation. I'm already looking forward to the sequel.

- Filed by Mike Copass for Liberty One Radio
(see audio interview to be posted 11/12/09)

Rounding Third is available at the Obelisk Bookstore in Hillcrest (see yelp) in San Diego, or you can order a signed copy on Walt Meyer's website. Copies are also available from any online bookseller including Amazon, and Barnes & Noble.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Arrested: San Diegans Confront Blue Shield on Corporate Practices, non-violent disobedience action

November 2nd (San Diego) -- Blue Shield corporate offices in San Diego were the scene of a civil disobedience protest today, as three single-payer health care activists occupied the health insurance company's Rio Bonito Way offices.

Wearing hand-made shirts inscribed "Patients, Not Profits," San Diegans Mary, Carl, and Jerry(pictured at right) entered the office building of health insurance giant Blue Shield of California at approximately 10:30 AM on Monday.

The health care activists are part of a group called "Single Payer Action Coalition" (SPAC), and Monday's action was the promised follow-up to a letter presented last week to Blue Shield of California. Activists had requested that the insurance concern stop using the money from monthly premiums paid by policy-holders for the purposes of corporate advertising, TV campaigns and lobbying -- and instead use that money for patient care.

Blue Shield executives and representatives refused to meet with or talk to the activists, and instead called the San Diego police department (see photo, left.) More than 12 San Diego peace officers responded to the scene to deal with the 3 health care reform advocates who held their ground at Blue Shield's front door, and reiterated their requests. regarding. Police eventually took the activists into custody.

Through their non-violent action, the health care action group SPAC and its supporters hope to highlight what they perceive is one of the fundamental problems with the US health care system – self-dealing and abusive business practices of for-profit insurance corporations.

The actions are part of a national groundswell of civil disobedience at health insurance company offices to end insurance abuse and win health care for all. So far 115 people across the US have been arrested in 18 cities, while demanding real health care reform that treats health care like a human right, not a commodity.

The San Diego protesters were matter of fact about their demands, and refused to leave until their concerns were addressed, or they were physically removed from the site. (Mary Bell left, talking with San Diego police)

“The enormous amounts of money you’ve seen health insurance corporations lavishing on members of Congress, on non-stop TV ads, and advertising is killing us. Where do they get the money they spend to rig the debate about the health care system? By denying care to those who need it most – in California one out of every five treatments is denied an insurance company, resulting in denial of treatments and deaths,” said Jerry Malamud, pictured being taken into police custody below, right.

Added the silver-haired and energetic Malamud “They get their lobbying dollars by jacking up our premiums at quadruple the rate of inflation, and denying essential care to policyholders. Americans are being made to pay the bill for their own enslavement to this corrupt for-profit system. We say ‘Enough!’”

Noting that the civil disobedience efforts follow months of 'by the books' grass-roots efforts to bring attention to the need for fundamental reform to the health care system."We've written hundreds of letters, lobbied our representatives Congress, made phone calls, and held signs on street corners pointing out the abuses of insurance corporations. We hope through our efforts, including the non-violent confrontation today at Blue Shield, that we contribute to meaningful improvement of the health care system, and end the abuses that are linked to so much needless suffering and death. Patients, not profits."

During a 45 hour vigil at the site preceding the confrontation, activists gathered pointed out that failures of a for-profit health insurance system are linked to up to 45,000 deaths each year in America, adding that lack of national will to create universal coverage becomes literally a death sentence for thousands.

After having literally "placed their bodies against the grinding gears and levers of the health insurance machine," the activists arrested in a civil disobedience action today hope that their refusal to "passively collaborate with an unjust and immoral system" will help lead to a better system with "everybody in, nobody out."

(Below: Demonstrators including Progressive Democrats of America gathered in support of health care reform display signs at near Blue Shield offices just off Friar's Road in Mission Valley, San Diego)

- Filed by Mike Copass, for Liberty One Radio

Mike Copass Interviews Sen George McGovern

Liberty One Radio Interview with Former Senator George S. McGovern

“I think we have to be very careful about where we commit American troops to battle.” – Sen. McGovern

November 2, 2009 -- Senator McGovern, the 1972 Presidential opponent to Richard Nixon, joined Mike Copass for a brief interview with Liberty One, San Diego’s future progressive AM Radio outlet. McGovern discussed his concerns about the lives of soldiers committed to the current wars, and echoes Eisenhower’s warning about the power of the military-industrial complex.

Senator McGovern will speak this Wednesday, November 4th in the city of La Mesa. Hosted by the La Mesa-Foothills Democratic Club, the former Democratic Presidential nominee will discuss his recently-published biography of President Abraham Lincoln, as well as current events.

The McGovern event takes place at the La Mesa Recreation Center, on 4975 Memorial Drive in La Mesa. (Map) Meet to socialize at 6:30pm, event begins 7:00pm. $5 admission, open to general public.

Monday, October 12, 2009

California Economic Recovery: La Jolla Democrats Approve 1% Tobin Tax on Derivatives

SAN DIEGO -- October 11, 2009

As California confronts a growing economic crisis, a new idea is emerging: create a small tax or "Tobin tax" on derivative financial transactions to help finance California's fiscal stability, curb reckless speculative bubbles, and encourage investment into productive manufacturing.

The La Jolla Democratic Club (San Diego) has taken up the fight, unanimously passing a resolution in favor of imposing a modest 1% fee on derivatives, and citing the harm done by "reckless and unregulated financial speculation by commercial banks, investment banks, and hedge funds in derivatives transactions" to the state economy.

The budget crisis in California and unimpeded rise of unemployment and homelessness are signals that the California facing a growing risk of becoming "the first failed state" of the Union. The cause of the fiscal emergency is not a lack of productivity or resources; rather, it finds its roots in the devastation wrought by an greed-fueled orgy of financial speculation in unregulated derivatives, which are paper financial instruments with no instrinsic value of their own, and "derive" their value from the often complex and shifting mathematical relationships of underlying assets.

Dealing in derivatives, done mainly by investment banking and brokerage houses, largely in unregulated, over-the-counter exchanges, and purchase of derivatives carries little or no tax -- considered unfair. Commented one of the resolution authors, former Congressional candidate Mike Copass, "Working families in California pay between 8.75% and 10.25% sales tax on items such as school supplies and children's shoes -- a highly regressive tax burden on those least able to pay. Yet the multi-trillion dollar sales of derivatives including the sort of credit default swaps that felled AIG, incurs zero tax."

In recognition of California's dire economic straits, the La Jolla Democratic Club resolved in support of a "Tobin Tax" (named after the Nobel-prize winning economist James Tobin) of one percent on such derivatives to be levied and collected for the State of California or by the Federal Government on California’s behalf. Since derivative trades are largely unregulated and opaque, California's fraction of the $1.5 quadrillion derivatives outstanding globally is impossible to calculate, but one estimate puts potential Tobin Tax revenue at $20 and $100 billion in the first year.

Commented one of the contributors to the resolution, "California is desperate for economic investment to grow jobs and promote a real recovery, raising all ships. A Tobin tax can help direct capital flows into investment in productive manufacturing enterprises." The Southern Californians plan to submit their resolution on Monday October 12th to the State Democratic Party for consideration by the Executive Board.

Added Copass, "This is part of an emergency economic plan for the State of California. A real economic recovery in our state must confront unhesitatingly the reckless speculative 'casino finance' of investment banks and hedge funds, and provide strong incentives for job-creating investment in the real economy."

{Pictured: James Tobin, winner of the Nobel Memorial Prize for Economics)


For information, contact Mike Copass,

Text of Resolution:

Promoting a California Economic Recovery through a 1% Tobin Tax on Derivatives

Whereas reckless and unregulated financial speculation by commercial banks, investment banks, and hedge funds in derivatives transactions (estimated $1.5 quadrillion world-wide) has contributed to the collapse of banks and lending institutions, to the contraction of credit and lending in California, to statewide economic downtown and loss of revenues, and siphoned investment away from job-creating productive and manufacturing enterprises, and

Whereas the State of California faces increasing and dangerous economic hardship, with an approximately $24 billion revenue shortfall for 2009, along with continually increasing unemployment, conditions due in part to the financial collapse triggered by derivatives trades, and

Whereas the State of California currently charges no transaction fee or sales tax on derivatives or speculative financial instruments, yet charges a highly regressive sales tax on working California families between 8.75% to 10.25% on necessities, including Fall school supplies and children’s shoes,

Therefore be it Resolved that the California Democratic Party supports the establishment a 1% Tobin Tax on all derivative financial transactions, including speculation in oil futures, credit derivatives, commodities, foreign exchange, and mortgage-backed securities, whether as a fee on California-based derivative trades, or as California’s population-proportional fraction of a nation-wide federal derivatives tax,

Be it further resolved that Tobin taxes or fees collected for the State of California or by the Federal Government on California’s behalf, which may total between $20 and $100 billion in the first year alone, be used for the purpose of lowering or eliminating the California State budget deficit, to lower the highly regressive sales tax, and to lower tax burdens on small businesses, all of which would have a net effect of both massive new sources of revenue as well as returning capital flows towards creation of job-producing enterprises and productive manufacturing including green technology, rather than to the reckless speculative “casino finance” of investment banks and hedge funds.

Authors and Contributors: Mike Copass, Derek C., Benjamin B, Gerry S.

Approved by the La Jolla Democratic Club, October 11, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sonic Weapons at Susan Davis Town Hall Meeting - Interview with East County Magazine

Liberty One Radio Host Mike Copass discusses LRAD Deployment Story and the "New Collaborative Media Model" with Miriam Raftery of East County Magazine

East County Magazine, in partnership with Liberty One Media, reported a story about Iraq-tested military-grade Sonic Weapons deployed by the San Diego Sheriff at at Spring Valley Congressional Town Hall.

The LRAD is capable of well over 140 decibels, louder than a jet engine, enough to permanently damage hearing, and cause potential brain damage, particularly to people with mobility issues, or small children.

Oddly, Mike Copass was unable to get a straight answer from the Sheriff's Deputies at the Spring Valley site -- what is the device, why was it brought to a Town Hall meeting?

Listen to this follow-up interview with Miriam Raftery, the Editor of East County Magazine, about the Long Range Acoustic Device (LRAD) deployment scoop that is flashing across the political spectrum, hitting TV, blogs, and other mainstream radio outlets, and provoking reaction from U.S. citizens from all political persuasions. Click link to hear interview

Friday, October 2, 2009

Mike Copass: Francine Busby Interview Part 1

Busby, running for congress again in 2010, talks candidly about her political carrier with Liberty One host Mike Copass.
From Busby

Listen to the Podcasts at Liberty One Radio
Segment 1 - LOMpodcast083109a.mp3
Segment 2 - LOMpodcast083109b.mp3

Mike Copass: Rep. Bob Filner Interview

Representative Bob Filner from Chula Vista celebrated his 30th year of public service, Sunday, August 30th, 2009. - LOMpodcast083009.mp3

Candidate Paul Clay is running for the State Senate in California's 36th District, which runs from Riverside down to the boarder, most of east county San Diego. - LOMpodcast083009c.mp3 (

Welcome to the Copass Report

Welcome to my new blog space. I'll be posting news and interviews of interest to the San Diego progressive community here on a regular basis.

Follow the Copass Report at Liberty One Radio.