Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mary Marlin Endorses Libertarian

Recent defector from the Republican Party, Mary Matalin, seems to have gone so far as to endorse  a libertarian for president. Her choice, Austin Petersen, the one War Party representative the LP has running . I suppose tht should come as no surprise.being the otherwise conventional Repubican she is.


Let's let that be the last time I give a plug to Peterson.

Friday, May 20, 2016

California Strives For Political Correctness

I'm surprised to see the Sacramento Bee run this commentary on this state's efforts to ensure not just politcally correct legislation, but politically correct thought. Especially so, since The Bee generally supports the politically correct positions on the issues featured:

 Smoke a cigarette, own a gun, cut a tree, pan for gold, question the “inconvenient truth” of human-caused global warming, utter an impolite joke or even drive a gasoline-powered car and you may run afoul of an ever-tightening web of laws and rules that punish your heresy – promulgated by political figures who talk constantly about their respect for civil rights.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article78710982.html#storylink=cpy

Full Service Gas Stations

Eric, over at Eric Peter's Autos, reminices about the days when full service gas stations were commonplace, I've read Oregon doesn't allow self service gas stations, as doesn't New Jersey. I understand the Oregon restriction is a jobs thing.

The only full service station I know of in Eureka is the Patriot station in Henderson Center, although I'm not clear if full service means doing mechanical work on cars too. There's a station down near the courthouse I've been told does repair work. I suppose that would qualify as full

I remember those back in the day, a mechanic on duty that could usually take care of all your car's needs. Just like Gomer and Goober's station on the old Andy of Mayberry TV show. About the only repairs done at the Patriot station is fixing flat tires.

I might have mentioned before I used to pump gas here in Eureka back in the mid to late 70s. I guess we were full service, although we didn't really do repairs- just check oil and tire pressure if the customer wanted it done. What used to piss me off is people- nearly always women- that would drive up, ask you to check their tire pressure, then drive off without buying gas.

Then there were the ones that would try that but get all pissed off when you'd tell them you could check their tires but couldn't fill them because you didn't have compressed air. There was a fire at the Myrtle Avenue station that destroyed the compressor. People would get all pissed off over that: "What kind of gas station is this that can't fill my tires.../???". Screw you bitch, I'd usually say to myself.

I wouldn't mind pumping gas again, although I'd probably have a hard time staying on my feet as long as that required. Funny how now I prefer to pump my own gas. I'm not sure why. Maybe I just don't want the pump jockeys to do more than they have to?

Addendum: Just remembered a full service story that happened when I was a kid living in Irvine. There was a full service Chevron station on the corner of Culver and Michaelson my mom frequented. They did it all- mechanics plus gas, tires, check oil and wash windows.

One time my sister and I were in the car with mom when she drove in there. I guess the guy wasn't quick enough to wash her windows. She jumps out of the car and, almost yelling, goes "I guess I'll have to wash the windows myself", then proceeds to wash the windows. The gas station crew looked on not knowing how to handle that. My sister and I sat in the car all embarrassed over the scene our mom made. I'll have to ask Sis Meliss if she remembers that.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sanders vs. Ron Paul?

Killer Whale Attack

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat has a story and video of killer whales attacking a gray whale off the Sonoma County coast recently.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Lesser of Two Evils

A fellow over at Reason magazine makes a decent argument as to why voting for the lesser of two evils is a waste of time. Much of what he writes is pretty much how I feel, deep inside:

Not voting certainly provides the satisfaction of knowing that I did not sanction or legitimize the offerings of the two major parties. But that satisfaction is only personal and private. I want to more actively make my views known.

He also plays with voting numbers pretty nicely. He makes a good argument even for those that can't help but follow the crowd, although I'm not sure his second bullet point works toward that  end:

 " If I vote for the lesser of evils and hold my nose, my vote is blended in with millions of others—there is no way to register my dissatisfaction with the choices the two major parties have given me. There is no way to separate those who voted for a lesser of two evils from those who voted because they actually LIKED the candidate."

That Arcata Shooting

The Lost Coast Outpost reports Arcata police shot a man who came at them "swinging two sticks in an aggressive manner". I'm not criticizing the police for the shooting but, as I pointed out on the LoCO, we should keep in mind what brought this incident about.

Someone called in a report of someone drinking out of an open alcohol container, a violation of city ordinances. That could have just as easily been a call of someone smoking a cigarette in a no- smoking area. Then the rest would have likely unfolded as it did.

Those of you always supportive of more no- smoking zones need to keep in mind that whenever police are called, there's the potential for violence. Imagine some guy walking down the street smoking a cigarette where it's not allowed. Someone reports him to the police and they respond. The officer tells the guy he's not supposed to smoke there and that he's going to be cited. The smoker is pissed "Dammit. I'm just smoking a cigarette!!" and takes a swing at the officer. A struggle ensues. The smoker gets the upper hand. The officer, fearing for his life, pulls his gun and shoots the smoker. Senseless violence, all because of a guy minding his own business, walking down the street smoking a cigarette.

Yes, I believe that could happen, and likely will.

Anyone Do Deal Dash?

I'm sure most of us have seen the commercials on TV for that web site, Deal Dash, where you can bid on things and supposedly buy them for next to nothing. I've been intrigued by their claims. I bit the bullet yesterday when I was sitting here and went up there, then left, if only because they wanted my credit card info before I could even begin to bid on anything or see what they had to bid on.

I did find they had a Facebook page with glowing testimonials, but who probably started and runs that page? Deal Dash. Had one guy there that posted saying he got some Mac laptop for a penny. Sorry. Paint me skeptical, but pretty neat if true.

Anyway, I'm just posting this to see if any readers have personal experience with Deal Dash and might have gone further into the site than I have. If so, perhaps you could shed some light on this outfit for us.

Korbel Mill Reopening: Hooray!

Some good news in the Times- Standard for a change, the Korbel sawmill having been bought by a Trinity County company. We can't blame the closure of the mill on hysterical environmentalism, it having closed down before because of low profits. I do wonder if the local environmentalists won't try and stop the mill's reopening? After all, the dislike of natural resource extraction industries is strong in, not just the state, but the county, with even candidates for Board of Supervisors seeming leery of such type of businesses.

Good thing the mill was bought by a company experienced in operations in California. It would likely lay idle for a long time if someone with no experience, or an inexperienced company, tried to open it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

That Bathroom Thing

The Daily Kos covers a Chris Matthews interview with a transgendered woman (or would that be a guy?) and a guy from the Family Research Council opposed to letting transgendered use bathrooms for the sex they self- identify with. The TG girl makes what I felt was a remarkably libertarian statement:

"So you don’t want me in the men’s room. And you know how you create that perfect situation? Just stop. Stop coming up with these laws. Stop causing trouble where there is no trouble."

The Family Research guy blows it, imo, not knowing how to answer a question. I would have just replied, if you have a weenie, use the men's bathroom. If you don't, use the women's. Seems simple enough to me.

:The Federalist: Third Parties Can Win

I'm still skeptical, but The Federalist makes kind of the same case those other guys did yesterday about the possibility of a third party win. Depends how you run the numbers:

"For those who were serious about their Never Trump hashtags (or who would have been if they were on Twitter), it’s time to start rallying for a third-party candidate for the 2016 election. A third-party candidate isn’t just a protest against the system, but a viable chance at sparing the country the disaster that would be a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency."

My New Toy

I decided I'd like to have another tablet in anticipation of future hospital stays. I really loved my last one.I looked around and found this Amazon Fire listed for just over $60.00. I bought one last week for about $57.00 through amazon dot com. It arrived yesterday.

Too soon for a review, of course, but I was surprised to see it come with no user manual. No instructions at all for how to get started with it, aside from a small card with a picture of the tablet and some images pointing to various parts of the tablet. I wasn't even sure how to turn it on, or how long I needed to charge it.. They do have an instruction manual you can buy. That seems kinda rude. I'd expect the user manual to be part of the original purchase.

I figued out the on/off button by myself pretty quickly if only because it was in the same spot as on my last tablet. Kinda hard to tell if it worked at first, though, since the tablet had no power. After a few hours of charging I got some letters to show up on the screen.

One thing I didn't like about this tablet, even before I bought it, is it seems to be wifi only. No data downloads at 4G that would allow it to be used anywhere as my old tablet had. I really loved that old one. I looked around and found some units that offered 4G but they were either too expensive or required monthly fees. I settled on wifi only.

After charging it a couple hours last night I turned it on and it started taking me through the set up process. About the second page I came to it said I needed wifi to continue and showed a bunch of available wifi networks, although I wasn't sure if they were secure networks and didn't try to tap into them. I recognized the first network name having seen it on my smartphone before and believe I was connected to it. I'll turn on the phone in a little while and see which networks I'm connected to, then choose one for setting up the tablet.

We'll see how this works, then I can go to Amazon add my review to the others.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Gary Johnson Win is Plausible?

Interesting scenario from The Libertarian Vindicator explaining how Libertarian candidate for president, Gary Johnson, could win the presidency:

"This scenario is extremely plausible.  The 2016 election is turning out to be unique and unpredictable.  The two presumptive nominee’s of the Democrats and Republicans are extremely polarizing and people across this country have already started to look for an alternative.  Fortunately the Libertarian Party is the only ones on the ballot in all 50 states.  There is a real possibility that the map could turn out this way, and if that happened the election would be thrown to the House of Representatives.  We all remember from school that a candidate needs a majority of the Electoral College to win the Presidency and that would mean 270 votes.  In our scenario neither Clinton nor Trump gets close to that number."

I should hope so, but I'm not buying it. Seems to me people are too hooked on the two party system and I don't see Johnson winning any of the states listed, although I could be wrong on one or two. If the election did end up in the House of Representatives, why they think congress would choose a libertarian is beyond me. There's no doubt in my mind congress' votes would be strictly partisan- Rep vs. Dem which, under the current make up of the House, would mean a Republican win.

Help Wanted: Elections

This just in via the Nextdoor Neighborhood e-mail list: Poll workers are needed for the June 7 primary election. The perfect job for those of you that like to mind other people's business. I've often considered taking a shot at that job since it only lasts a day or two. Can't really do it now since I never know when I'll be in town, at least this far in advance.

In fact, it might be the perfect job for me. I could discourage people who show up from voting. "What do you want to vote for? You know this whole thing is rigged and you're just wasting your time and vote". That ought to go over well, huh?

The county has a web site with more info. If you sign up, be sure to come back here and tell us how it went.

Green Flash Coming

They don't seem to be saying the Green Flash is imminent, but Earth/Sky News tells us of a green flash sometimes seen on the horizon when the sun is going down. Keep a look out, although I suspect fog in the Eureka area would mean most of us won't see it.

"Bottom line: The green flash is legendary, and some people have told us they thought it was a myth, like a unicorn or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But green flashes are very real. You need a distant and very clear horizon to see them at the last moment before the sun disappears below the horizon at sunset"

The Left And The Draft

Antiwar dot com takes a look at varying views among The Left on the draft- proposals being made recently. Among them, to require women to register for the draft. How times have changed. Back during the Viet Nam War opposition to the draft seemed to rest exclusively with those from the left. Now there's no clear line as to who is for or against.

That suprises me to some extent. I would think those on The Left would see the military as utopian: You're fed, paid, clothed and housed by The State. I'm guessing most from the left realize that now, thus their seeming appreciation for those in the military, as opposed to the way it supposedly was back during Viet Nam.

As for me, I'm opposed to the draft overall, Not so much because of the libertarian dogma that the draft is equivalent to slavery, although I suppose it is. I just think a draft allows the powers- that- be to feel comfortable, and gives them more leeway, in attacking more countries because we have the manpower to do so. 

The opposite argument is used by others: When older Americans realize their kids could end up in a war, they may not be so quick to support that war. That certainly makes sense as Americans are generally immune when we attack other countries and don't resist such attacks unless we have a personal stake in the game.

But I don't know that a draft would discourage average Americans from their war like ways. They might well feel safer about it knowing they've got more people to throw into the fray. And with a draft they could bring them up on demand..

As for me, when I turned 18 I registered for the draft. The Viet Nam War was winding down back then but, had I been called, I would have gone. I was registered as 1Y, which as I recall was a student deferment. Shortly after I registered, the draft, for most intents and purposes, ended.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pro Trump Skullduggery

Not to blame Donald Trump for this, although it's likely the work of his supporters. A photo has been circulating of libertarian Kurt Russell and his wife, Goldie Hawn wearing Trump t-shirs. Snopes looked into it and declared it to be photoshopped. We need to remember not to jump on pictures we find giving one message or another during campaign season.

NOAA: Pacific Trash Island Doesn't Exist

Calwatchdog reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency is saying that huge plastic garbage patch we're told floats out in the Pacific Ocean doesn't exist, at least to the extent environmentalists have claimed:

"While there is a Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean (apparently, there’s many of these patches throughout the global ocean), it’s not an island of trash, it’s difficult to see and it definitely can’t be walked on."

That's not to suggest we don't have problems with too much trash in the ocean.