How #FreeTianna Burst San Luis Obispo’s Progressive Bubble

San Luis Obispo, California, likes to pat itself on the back, like a lot. The city has been named the “Happiest Place to Live” in the US by many magazines, boasts progressive Mayor Heidi Harmon and her goal of carbon neutrality for the city, and the celebrates companies like Jamba Juice that began at theContinue reading “How #FreeTianna Burst San Luis Obispo’s Progressive Bubble”

America descends into deadly political street violence

As the era of Donald Trump sinks deeper into an HP Lovecraft-style nightmare, as if a bungled pandemic and hundreds of thousands of Americans dead from coronavirus wasn’t enough, the streets of the U.S. have now descended into deadly politically-motivated street violence. After Kenosha, Wisconsin police shot Jacob Blake seven times in the back, concernedContinue reading “America descends into deadly political street violence”

Trumps assault on the Postal Service is unprecedented

It doesn’t get more shameless than working to destroy a cornerstone of American democracy, but that’s exactly what President Donald Trump is trying to do in his attack on the United States Postal Service. Since the coronavirus pandemic has shifted the need for vote-by-mail to every state in the country for the 2020 Election, TrumpContinue reading “Trumps assault on the Postal Service is unprecedented”

Living through Coronavirus, with Ben Cabreana

Ben Cabreana and I have been friends since our high school years growing up in the Santa Maria Valley of California, that’s why I was shocked to learn he had contracted coronavirus in June. A multi-talented athlete and musician, Ben said he was at his “peak health” when he got hit by COVID-19, but itContinue reading “Living through Coronavirus, with Ben Cabreana”

San Luis Obispo BLM protestors speak out on misleading police reports

On Tuesday July 21, 2020, Black Lives Matter activists took to the streets in San Luis Obispo California—literally. They marched along Santa Rosa and then walked onto Highway 101, where traffic was blocked for nearly an hour. During the event, there were a handful of incidents where cars charged at protestors, sometimes hitting and pushingContinue reading “San Luis Obispo BLM protestors speak out on misleading police reports”

Political Payne appears on Your Atheist Pastor Podcast

I had the privilege to be invited onto the Your Atheist Pastor Podcast, which originally aired last week, July 19, 2020. Here is the video version of the interview with the host Stefanie, who I also know professionally through teaching music. Atheism and secularism is a foundational aspect of my politics and what I hopeContinue reading “Political Payne appears on Your Atheist Pastor Podcast”

My thoughts on the passing of Michael Brooks

After hearing from a new YouTube subscriber asking what I thought of the sudden and unexpected death of progressive show host Michael Brooks, I had to grapple with my own inner turmoil over whether to say anything or not. I was devastated by the loss of Michael, which was learned on July 20 by theContinue reading “My thoughts on the passing of Michael Brooks”

Donald Trump and his administration are dangerous for America

Some things you just can’t sugarcoat. Some issues don’t have “two sides” that should be equally respected. Some issues are so clear, that you have to speak the truth about them. Donald Trump and his administration are dangerous for America on so many levels: from the erosion of justice to flagrant corruption to trampling onContinue reading “Donald Trump and his administration are dangerous for America”

Interview: Owning a restaurant in the age of COVID, with Jacob Town

Independent journalist Joe Payne interviews Jacob Town, co-owner of The Spoon Trade, about the challenges of running a restaurant post-COVID.

Farmworker infected with coronavirus dies in Santa Maria guest-worker housing

By Joe Payne On the day that advocates and community members called for protections for Santa Maria Valley farmworkers hit hard by COVID-19 infection rates, Leo Begario Chavez-Alvarado passed away. A guest worker who worked in Santa Maria for Alco Harvesting, Chavez-Alvarado was tested for coronavirus after he died July 7. The test came backContinue reading “Farmworker infected with coronavirus dies in Santa Maria guest-worker housing”