Tuesday, August 30, 2016

They're baaaack...:The Clowns

Any of you remember clown scares back in your youth? I do. When I was in elementary school in Tustin the rumor started that there was a clown out and about. He'd entice kids and take them off to do who knows what with them.

I believed it and everyone at school was talking about it. They said he was last seen in a drainage ditch that ran alongside our school. I swear you hear that stuff often enough you believe you saw him. 

But I never did see him, thank God. Scary times, but I guess they aren't over. Reason magazine tells us of other current clown scares in the U.S. and around the world.

Dealing With Wasted Vote Concerns

The Wall Street Journal reports on a new campaign strategy that helps voters unhappy with their party's presidential choice trade votes with someone from another party that feels the same way. The idea being you don't like Trump, you go to the web site and find a Democrat that doesn't like Clinton. Then both agree to vote third party:

“You can’t vote third-party ‘cause for Republicans that’s a vote for Hillary and for Democrats it’s a vote for Trump,” the character explains, “so you stick with the candidate you don’t like to stop the one you hate, splitting the nation in two.”

The idea makes sense, assuming you can trust the other guy to vote third party and not just trick you into "wasting your vote". Anybody here want to give it a try?

Dems Win Big In New Voter Registration Numbers

Calwatchdog tallies up the latest state voter registration numbers for us.  The Democrats got the biggest gain with 700,000 new voters, beating the Republican Party gain of 130,000. 

They point out the American Independent Party came in tops for third parties at 454,946. I pointed out in their comments that the AIP's large numbers are mostly the result of people checking the AIP box on the voter registration card in the mistaken belief that makes them an "independent". Oh well. No harm done, I suppose. 

I read somewhere a while back that most "independent" voters (actually Decline To State) vote the same way they always did. I tend to believe they just register DTS so they don't feel they have to share the blame for whatever screw ups the candidate they vote for gets involved in.

 

Lucille Ball's First Home


This just in from the MeTV Facebook page: The first home ever bought by Lucille Ball is up for sale for 1.75 million. Interested? Want to move to Hollywood? Nice place but don't know that I'd want to live in Hollywood.

Like The MeTV Facebook Page

Any other old TV show fans out there? I like some of the old shows better than I do modern ones. As a result, we end up watching the MeTV network at home quite a bit. MeTV stands for Memorable Television, and it is. A regular in this household is the old Andy of Mayberry show.

Another old show I've always enjoyed is Gilligan's Island, but that's always on past my bedtime so, the other day I decided to contact MeTV and ask them if they could schedule it earlier so I could watch it (I know. Fat chance). Then a friend recommended I just record the shows. DUH!!! Why didn't I think of that?

It's probably been years since I recorded a TV show. Probably because there's so many shows on now there doesn't seem to be much need to. Still, I'll have to see if our old VHS recorder still works and is connected right. I want to go on that three hour tour again.

I'm actually glad I signed on with that MeTV Facebook page. They post any number of quizzes about old TV shows. This one, for instance, where you guess the show after just viewing one freeze frame. I enjoy those quizzes, my only complaint being they often take a while to finish.

Just a suggestion for old TV fans: Add the MeTV Facebook page to your Facebook groups. A fun page to sign up for. 

Oh, and the latest from MeTV: Barney Fife's girlfriend on Andy of Mayberry, Thelma Louise, turned 90 yesterday. I wouldn't have recognized her from the current photo they showed. She lives in Mt. Airy, North Carolina now. Mt. Airy was Andy Griffith's inspiration for the town of Mayberry.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Where Do California Pols Stand On Legal MJ?

The Sacramento Bee asked some statewide politicians in California where they stood on legal marijuana- in the case, the Adult Use Of Marijuana Act which will be on the November ballot. It's too much trouble to name names so I'll just give my count from the article:

For legalization: 5
No on legalization: 2
Maybe: 6

The Maybe votes are derived from those that didn't seem comfortable with it but wouldn't give a firm answer.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher gave an explanation for his Yes vote I don't understand more "conservatives" making:
 

 “Our current marijuana laws have undermined many of the things conservatives hold dear – individual freedom, limited government and the right to privacy.

You would think that would be a no- brainer for conservatives.
 more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article98222622.html#storylink=cpy
 
Y

The 25 Worst Cars

I stumbled on to this list of the 25 worst cars ever made and had to take a look. I won't argue with their choices but I don't believe I've ever seen any but maybe four of them:  The Ford Excursions I see fairly often. The Jeep Compass, although I probably mistook the Cherokee for one.  The Smart cars- I see someone driving one of those in Eureka now and again, and the Hummer H2, although I can't imagine why someone would want one of those.

If you have one of the cars on the list, fess up, and feel free to defend it.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Libertopia

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat does a surprisingly even handed story on those leaving California and moving to the "American Redoubt"- Idaho, in the featured couples case, where people known as  "preppers" are moving to get away from the decadence of California and preparing for the end of life as we know it. It sounds as if they've created their own version of Libertopia.

Wish I could join them, although I don't know that I'd want to move any further north. And that assumes I'd have the means to move. I did know a guy who moved to Idaho years ago. Last I heard from him he lived hundreds of miles from any paved road, but was loving it. Charles Gordon was his name. He used to work at the HSU library.

The U.S. vs. Russia

I've never heard of The National Interest before now, but they present a pretty lucid view of U.S./Russian relations. While the title of the story emphasizes Hillary Clinton, who they point out is a bigger threat to peace with Russia, most of the article takes a common sense view of international relations and points out common interests we might have with them:

 "Moreover, U.S. and Russian interests on a variety of important issues, including counterterrorism, coincide more than they conflict—a point that Trump correctly emphasized in his most recent foreign-policy address. Consequently, maintaining cooperative relations with Moscow makes good strategic sense."

A pleasure to read when we're regularly inundated by both the Left and Right with cries for military intervention.

Let Kids Be Kids

Reading Tim Martin's column in the Times- Standard today, it reads like he grew up much as I did: pretty much left to do his thing, unless he got too out of hand. Ahhhh... back in the day, when I used to walk a couple miles to junior high school, yet I have an inlaw that drives her kids just a few blocks to school. Back when kids were allowed to be kids.

On weekends friends and I would get on our bikes- no helmets- and ride miles out of town, then sneak onto Irvine Company land to go explore their reservoirs. Nowadays, parents would probably have the police at their door for allowing such unsupervised activities.

What went wrong, as Martin asks: 

  Why are things so different today? Maybe parents in the 1950s didn’t have time to helicopter over their offspring like they do now. Or maybe expectations were greater for children who grew up to become Baby Boomers. More than likely, though, the problem is tied into our “politically correct” culture. Today’s parents freak out if their child accidentally breaks a window or is involved in an innocent schoolyard scuffle. They’ve become so obsessed with what’s appropriate and socially acceptable that it’s taken over their lives and the lives of their children.

Funny reading that from a lefty, but nice to see and I'm sure many of us wonder what went wrong. Maybe we just worry too much?

This Year: 70th Anniversary, Closing of the Camps

The Sacramento Bee reminds us that 70 years ago we closed down all the World War 2 internment camps- those camps being used to house Japanese who were deemed at the time a security risk to the country.  The Bee also tells the story of Mitsuye Endo, a Japanese girl interned but who went on to challenge the constitutionality of the internments all by her little lonesome, keeping herself interned because of it. I'll agree with The Bee, The late (she died in 2006) Ms. Endo probably does deserve the Medal of Freedom.

I've been told that Camp Parks, down near Pleasanton, CA used to be an internment camp. No barbed wire now, though. Head on down there if you want to get a taste of it, except now it's just military style barracks and a federal prison where Patty Hearst was held back in the day.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Reasons For High Prescription Drug Prices

The Los Angeles Daily News explains why U.S. prescription drug prices remain so high:

"The “most important factor” that drives prescription drug prices higher in the United States than anywhere else in the world is the existence of government-protected “monopoly” rights for drug manufacturers, researchers at Harvard Medical School said this week."

There we go with government created, and enforced, monopolies again.

New Birth Control Pill Legislation

The Sacramento Bee reports on a bill headed to Governor Brown that will increase the allowed purchase of birth control pills. Currently the limit is a three month supply. This legislation will increase the limit to a one year supply. The bill's author, Fran Pavley, says, Increasing access to birth control is good for women, families and the health of our state,”

Maybe so but, setting aside arguments for or against how many of the pills women should be able to buy at one time, I have to ask why this should be government business in the first place? How much medication one buys should be one's personal business, especially in regards birth control pills.

This is a good example that when you give the government a hammer, everything ends up looking like a nail.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/capitol-alert/article98132532.html#storylink=cpy

Arcata Plaza's Free Wifi: Thumbs Down

Why does it piss me off that Arcata now offers free wifi on their plaza, as Lost Coast Outpost reports? Maybe I'm just an old curmudgeon. Not maybe. I am one, but that doesn't mean I don't have valid reasons for it.

Like this free wifi. It should be no skin off my ass, but I don't like seeing the gimme more free stuff crowd being appeased.

It also seems odd to me this free wifi was installed with no apparent opposition from the local hysterical environmentalists. After all, don't they come out in droves to protest just about every new cell phone tower proposal? Is there all that much difference between wifi and cell phone radiation? Didn't Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein declare wifi a potential health hazard? You would think Arcatans would be leaving town in droves.

But nope, the gimme folks win again. The best we can say is it's been paid for by someone other than those of us in Eureka. Let's hope the county doesn't go down this same road. And those proposing universal wifi are usually the same ones opposing all the cell phone towers.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Journalists For War

I don't believe I've ever heard of this John Pilger fellow before but he has a nice piece on how the media helps bring about war. While he makes it read like it's deliberate deception on the part of news media, he doesn't mention that media get most of their info from the White House or the Pentagon, at least in our case. The same is most certainly true across the globe.

I see he also has a blog. I've added it to my blog list.

Feeling Insecure? Calm Down

Over at Reason magazine, Steve Chapman takes a calming view of the supposed things threatening us. He points out we faced bigger threats in the past:

" Americans have come through more perilous straits than any visible now. But our past seems to have conditioned him and many of his fellow citizens to detect grave danger where it doesn't exist."

California Starts State Run Retirement System For Everyone

Calwatchdog reports the state legislature is working on starting a state run retirement system for everyone. It looks like contributions to the fund will be made by workers through their employers with an opt out clause for those who don't want to participate.

When you consider the way public emplooyee pensions have come close to bankrupting some cities, I don't think this will end well, although I realize it's not the same thing as the public employee's retirement system. So long as there's an opt out for those preferring to handle their own retirements, one good thing is it gets younger folks to think about their retirement savings early on, when they should. 

And, to be fair, it looks as if individual investor's money is all that is at stake here, a least at first glance. The taxpayer's at large would be off the hook, or so we're lead to believe.

Back when I had an individual retirement account (now gone to pay medical bills) I developed an interest in investments and such. I was dismayed to run into people, some a bit older than me that had no idea how to start a retirement account. This might help with that to some extent. If nothing else, it gets the retirement account started for those not knowing how although the reliance on government to guide them is not a good thing.

We'll see how this ends up working, if it gets passed into law. If it turns into a mess, as with other government run retirement programs, you read about it first here.

Good News For Vapers

From the Rest of the Story blog, Dr. Siegel tells us of an older study by the Roswell Park Cancer Institute that showed "... smokers who switch to e-cigarettes experience an immediate and drastic reduction in their levels of carcinogens and toxins."

I'm surprised Dr. Siegel describes the study as "new". As one of the comments pointed out, the study dates to 2011. But it was one of the first studies as one of those who did the study pointed out:
 
Dr. Maciej Goniewicz, Assistant Professor of Oncology in the Department of Health Behavior at Roswell Park - concluded: "To our knowledge, this is the first study with smokers to demonstrate that substituting tobacco cigarettes with electronic cigarettes may reduce exposure to numerous toxicants and carcinogens present in tobacco cigarettes. This study suggests that smokers who completely switch to e-cigarettes and stop smoking tobacco cigarettes may significantly reduce their exposure to many cancer-causing chemicals."

What the date of the study does show is what sort of information is ignored by the Food and Drug Administration, most likely because it goes contrary to their agenda. You can bet the FDA will continue to equate e- cigarettes with smoking tobacco. Heck, they already do.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

False Weather Alerts?

I realize forecasting weather isn't an exact science, but I wonder if I should have signed up for a weather alert list. Not sure if this is from the weather service, or the weather channel, but I received thie one below later in the day yesterday. When they say "red flag warning issued", it makes you think things are going to get interesting, but nothing has happened that I'm aware of- no strong winds anyway:

"Red Flag Warning issued August 25 at 12:04AM PDT until August 25 at 11:00AM PDT by NWS Eureka
  ...GUSTY OFFSHORE WINDS AND POOR RH RECOVERIES TONIGHT... DRY AND GUSTY EASTERLY WINDS WILL CONTINUE ACROSS THE HIGH ELEVATIONS OF DEL NORTE...NORTHEAST HUMBOLDT...AND FAR WESTERN SISKIYOU COUNTIES TONIGHT. ...RED FLAG WARNING REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 11 AM THIS MORNING FOR GUSTY WINDS AND LOW HUMIDITY FOR FIRE WEATHER ZONES 203 AND 204... * AFFECTED AREA...FIRE WEATHER ZONE 203 AND 204 ABOVE 2500 FEET. * WIND...NORTHEAST 10 TO 20 MPH WITH OCCASIONAL GUSTS TO 30 MPH ON THE HIGHEST PEAKS. * HUMIDITY...MAXIMUM OVERNIGHT HUMIDITY WILL BE 25 TO 40 PERCENT. * IMPACTS...ANY FIRES THAT DEVELOP WILL LIKELY SPREAD RAPIDLY. OUTDOOR BURNING IS NOT RECOMMENDED. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS... A RED FLAG WARNING MEANS THAT CRITICAL FIRE WEATHER CONDITIONS ARE EITHER OCCURRING NOW...OR WILL SHORTLY. A COMBINATION OF STRONG WINDS...LOW RELATIVE HUMIDITY...AND WARM TEMPERATURES CAN CONTRIBUTE TO EXTREME FIRE BEHAVIOR.
==========================
Services Description
==========================
This service is provided at no cost to you.

1. Severe Weather Alerts that include current radar, weather conditions and forecast links.
2. In addition to alerts you may also receive daily AM and PM forecast information with a separate option to unsubscribe."

A Look At Heidi Messner

The Times- Standard takes a look at Ward 2 Eureka City Councilgal by default, Heidi Messner- her getting the seat after the other candidates dropped out of the race. Oh well, reading what the paper says about her, it seems she's well aligned with the Forces of Niceness. 

As I wrote earlier, she's easy on the eyes, too- hey, at least it's not some ugly old guy like me. Only time will tell, but she should be a fine addition to the council.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Matt Owen's Ward Voting System Rant

Matt Owen's latest commentary in the Lost Coast Outpost deals with proposals to change Eureka's local elections to the ward system. He even mentions me in it. Awww....shucks. He even goes on to explain why he dropped out of the Eureka City Council race. Good stuff.

In regards the Eureka City Council race, the Times- Standard looks at two current candidates, John Fullerton and Auston Allison. Allison is quoted as saying he wants to "...create more family wage jobs in the area". I have to wonder if that means he wants to try to create a higher minimum wage for Eureka? In which case he won't be on my list of those to vote for.

Bringing jobs with good wages to the city is one thing. Trying to force businesses to pay more in wages is another thing entirely.