Friday, October 21, 2016

The Wasted Vote

You laugh, but it's true!

Asgardia: A Real Battlestar Gallactica?

I suppose it wouldn't be considered the Gallactica since it won't be really going anywhere but Earth's orbit, but Earth/ Sky News tells us of a new space idea:

Asgardia, according to the article, is going to be a large space vessel that will be akin to an idependent nation (and they are recruiting, although how you apply to be a citizen isn't exactly clear). The vessel is supposed to circle the Earth and "create a “protective shield” from threats to life on Earth, such as space debris, coronal mass ejections and asteroids.".How they can protect us from coronal mass ejections or anything else doesn't seem to be explained. We only have their word.

Anyway, a neat idea that gives any number of people the chance to apply and go into space.

The Garage Door Opener Risk

The Lost Coast Outpost tells us of a new program by the Eureka Police to try and reduce vehicle related theft: they're leaving notices on cars telling whether that car passed or failed their security test. They have a list of things to consider based on a cute acronymn:

C – Close all windows.
L – Lock all doors.
E – Eliminate all belongings from plain view.
A – Always take your vehicle keys.
R – Remove garage door openers.

Mention of garage door openers got my attention as we've been having a bit of a headache with that lately with our garage door opening without us having anything to do with it. I can only assume someone else has a garage door opener that works on ours.

As I wrote in the LoCo, years ago- I believe it was on The Today Show, I watched a segment where they pointed out manufacturers generally set all door opener frequencies, by default, to the same frequency. Thus, if someone has the same model door opener, theirs might well work on yours.

Starting probably a couple months ago, our garage door opened mysteriously with neither of us having anything to do with it. I blew it off when the wife mentioned it, then took it more serious when it happened to me. 

I was sitting here at the computer just before noon with the door in the kitchen that goes to the garage open. All of the sudden the garage door opened. Hmmm??? Nobody standing outside so I assumed someone was just driving by trying to see which garage doors he could open so he could come back later and rip us off.

No evidence of anyone having come back, but it had me concerned. What we do now is unplug the motor for the garage door. That way, even if someone has a  compatible opener, the motor won't come on anyway. And that's a pain in the ass as it also means we can't open the door from the outside, either.

I still haven't called the company in town that services our garage door to ask for advice on any alternatives. I know how to change the motor's radio frequency but figure the bad guys can do that, too. Maybe I'll call Eureka Overhead Door today.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In Tribute To Jill Stein

Lest anyone think libertarians don't have anything good to say about those in other political parties, this fellow writes a tribute to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. He's clear not to call it an endorsement:

"Let this essay not be seen as an endorsement of Jill whom I have known for many years.  But this essay is intended as a tribute to her."

Rome Didn't Fall In A Day

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bernie Sanders: Election is Rigged

Assuming this is true- that Sanders actually wrote this, it cracks me up, although I doubt Sanders' unendorsement of Clinton will mean much:

 "We are talking about a rapid movement in this country toward a political system in which a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected."

Addendum: This news site says it's not true that Sanders unendorsed Clinton. The Denver Post seems to think Sanders is still very much supporting Clinton, although the story is a couple days old.

Possession of Wikileaks Material Illegal?

CNN claims possession of documents released from Wikileaks is illegal by the average citizen. That's kinda scary but this article clarifies and says that's not necessarily the case. As they point out, if we stuck to that, "possession of the Pentagon Papers would lead to the arrest of tens of thousands of citizens". 

So don't be too worried. Besides, how they going to catch you?

As an aside, What bothered me most about that article was CNN suggesting we'd just have to get the information from them. No, I don't trust them and shudder to think of back in the day before internet when we had no choice but to get our news from them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Brits Certify CBD As Medicinie

Funny how a totalitarian state like England can be so far ahead of us on medicines. From the S.F. Chronicle:

"The British government has acknowledged that marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes. Officials from the U.K.'s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recently announced that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) can be considered medicine, reports the Huffington Post. 'We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol are a medicine,' said the MHRA, in a statement to the press. 'Products for therapeutic use must have a medicines' license before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK. Products will have to meet safety, quality and effectiveness standards to protect public health.' The review came as a result of discussions with the CBD vaporizer company MediPen, and concluded that CBD has a 'restoring, correcting or modifying' effect on 'physiological functions' when administered to humans."

Another Halloween Hater

Maybe I'm not the loneliest guy in the world? This commentator over at Liberty Unbound isn't happy about Halloween, either, but his dislike is mild compared to mine and for different reasons. Maybe he and I can get together to start an "I Hate Halloween" Facebook page?

Watch Shiaparelli Land On Mars

Earth/Sky News tells us how we can watch the European Space Agencies' Mars probe, Shiaparelli, land on Mars tomorrow (Wednesday) starting at 9:15am Eastern Time. That's like 3:15 in the morning Pacific Time, Yikes! Maybe I'll tune in later for some Mars footage, assuming all goes well.

Their livestream channel is already a bit curious to look at, although no space stuff to see right now.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Reason Looks At California Ballot Initiatives

Reason magazine takes a look at our November ballot initiatives. They don't make exact recommendations, although they do make their feelings known in their commentary. Here's the closing line on Prop 56, the tobacco tax that will also apply to vaping:

 "The Royal College of Physicians concluded vaping is “at least 95 percent safer” than smoking—making Prop 56 a tax increase that could actually harm public health." 

In other words, vote No. You can click on the text of the initiative to get more information, including pros and cons.

Police Opinions

Some of you may have noticed Captain Steve Watson of Eureka Police wrote a commentary on Prop 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. He's opposed to it. I'm not sure, but I think I'd still be bothered if he'd come out in favor of it. Maybe not as much, but still bothered.

What bothers me is police telling us how we should feel about issues. The police are the cutting edge of government power. I'm not saying they shouldn't be able to voice opinions, but it seems to me somewhat inappropriate for them to suggest what laws are passed. 

It might be appropriate for them to chime in on how those laws are enforced since they're in the unique position of seeing those laws enforced, but that could lead to another can of worms. Could you imagine a police officers union writing it's perfectly okay for suspects to be beaten upon arrest?

I'm not trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I'm just suggesting a possible conflict of interest in our electoral and law making system if the enforcers try to dictate to us what laws are made and how they're enforced. Some might say that would be an affront to "our democracy". 

I say democracy be damned, but that would be a valid point. We don't want enforcers telling us what laws we should accept. It should be the other way around. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to express opinions. I almost feel this rant is akin to attacking the messenger rather than the message so back to the message: Yes on Prop 64!

Facebook Rumor

I'm reading apparent rumors on Facebook of the demise of wikileaks- wikileaks being the web site of Julian Assange, known for spilling state secrets. The first one I read said "government forces" had shut it down. A second one said Assange had been killed. I'm skeptical, if only because I was able to access the Wikileaks web site. I guess that proves the first rumor incorrect?

We do live in dangerous times as far as government is concerned, thus I find the rumors believable. If you know more about this, please do tell.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tuccille's Blog Lives!

I used to frequent J.D. Tuccille's blog but stopped for some reason. I thought he'd gave it up. I just noticed today it's still up and he's still posting so I've added it back to my blog list.

Those of you with blogs that aren't posting, better do something. We don't want to clutter up the internet with a bunch of dead blogs.

THC On Measure V

The Humboldt Consequential is opposed to Measure V- the proposed mobile home rent control ordinance and makes a good argument against it.


Leave it to Times- Standard columnist, Tim Martin, to remind me of Webelos. For those that don't know, that's some upper level you achieve in the Cub Scouts. I wouldn't know of the word except for spending a short stint in Cub Scouts myself.

We lived in Mexico at the time. Not sure how old I might have been but old enough to join Cub Scouts. I think my parents enrolled me but it seemed fun enough what little I remember of it.

I only remember one meeting. It was raining real hard and the adults weren't sure what to do- the rain having ruined whatever plans they'd made previously. One of the den mothers (that's what they call the female adults in charge) came up with a fun idea.

We went over to someone's house and opened their garage. We were given large soup cans, the big ones of over 30 ounces. We cut the end off one side, then used a can opener to punch triangular holes around the other side. I forget how we did it but we also made a big square hole in the side with the end removed.

Then what you do is take newspapers, roll them up and stuff the in the square hole. You light them and when they're burning well enough you take hamburger patties and lay them on the top to cook.

We made hamburgers that way with our own makeshift stoves. A good time was had by all as I recall. Good enough for me to remember it, anyway.

The only other thing I vaguely remember doing in Cub Scouts was going on some camping trip of sorts. We all drove to some really pretty valley with a creek running through it and had any number of activities we'd participate in. 

I don't recall doing the activities. I just remember finding a piece of quartz in the creek that had yellow specks on it. I showed it to my dad figuring it must be gold. He seemed as excited as I was about it, or so he made me think, but that didn't earn me that Webelos badge. You had to really work for that one.

Any Webelos out there? I'm wondering what the word originated from?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Mcmurdo Station Cam

I might have posted this before, but for new readers, here's a link to a live web cam of McMurdo Station in Antarctica. I got the idea of reposting while watching X- Files last night, except they were at the North Pole not the south.

Johnson Leads in Mock Ohio Poll

A strange election indeed, especially if this story is true. The Ohio Secretary of State supposedly ran a mock presidential poll with Gary Johnson coming out in the lead, at least so far. Seems fishy to me if only because I wouldn't think it appropriate for a Secretary of State to run a likely easily manipulated mock poll. I would think the SoS would leave the manipulation for the real election:

" In Ohio mock voting, reportedly done through the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, Gary Johnson leads Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a landslide. Johnson (at time of publication) was receiving 30.11 percent of the vote with a total of incoming 76,014 votes. Donald Trump got 35,171 votes for 13.93 percent of the vote, and Hillary got 27,393 votes resulting in 10.85 percent."

Even stranger when you consider the following:

"To put this in perspective, in 2012 Gary Johnson only got 49,293 votes from Ohio in the general election in 2012." 

Then again, did anyone catch that segment on the election on NBC News last night? They did a seconds long interview with a younger black guy. I'd guess he was in his 20s. They asked him who he was voting for and he said "Gary Johnson". That was it. No one else was featured. Maybe some surprises in store, but I doubt it.

Oh, and Hank Sims looks at the pros and cons of Eureka's Measure P over at the Lost Coast Outpost.

Our Failed Free TV Experiment

Readers will recall I posted earlier this month about wanting to try the Free TV Key I saw advertised on TV. It's just an antenna you connect to your TV to pick up broadcast signals rather than using cable or satellite.

We received our antenna in the mail yesterday. Just a piece of plastic maybe a foot long. Breaking with my tradition of holding off on doing anything productive, I tried to see if it would work right away.

First problem was the instructions that came with it had print so small I couldn't read it even with reading glasses. Since the wife reads small print better than I do, I asked her to try and figure out what to do- an exercise in the blind leading the blind, no pun intended.

I barely managed to get the antenna screwed in to the jack on the back of the TV- not a lot of room there for my fingers- and wondered if I even had it in the right place, but the wife later said I had it on the jack labeled "Antenna". Then we turned the TV on and I was expecting the worst.

First, we had to find the right input source for the TV to use. Since I couldn't read the instructions I wasn't sure which one to look for. We found HDMI1 and 2, or whatever they were, but no signal. We tried some of the other sources that showed up on the screen, still no signal.

After about 20 minutes of trying to find a signal we gave up. Then I had to hook the cable back up and hoped I could remember where I unplugged the cables from. I plugged Suddenlink back in, turned on the TV and it worked! Whew! I certainly didn't want to have to call Suddenlink up and have to have  them come to my house to bail me out.

So for now, no free TV. That was a bit of a hassle. Not sure I want to make another go of it.