Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Nanny State Revolts?

I've always felt if there was any nation in this world that exemplifies the Nanny State, it would be England. The British people, with the help of the government they elect, seem intent on banning just about everything. A lot like California, huh?

That said, it was kind of inspiring to see the British actually demonstrating on behalf of at least some of their lost freedoms on this video (video runs about 9 minutes). The demonstration focuses on gun and hunting rights that have been lost in England, but the signs seem to reflect libertarian views, at least to me.

The crowd doesn't seem all that big to me, but maybe it's just the camera angle that makes it look that way. The comment that came with the link said something about it being the biggest demonstration of its kind there, whatever that means.

Hopefully, the demonstration is representative of a growing number of the British citizens. But I can't help but think, even if it is, those people are probably like most Californians who complain about things the politicians do to them and then re- elect those same politicians time after time.

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Friday, January 30, 2009

Doug Thron: Libertarian?

Doug Thron; Isn't he the Green Party guy that ran for state assembly a while back? From the look of his letter in today's Times- Standard, he sounds more along the lines of a libertarian. What gives?

Tracking Shipments Is Fun

I think it's pretty neat how you can track your shipments through FedEx and UPS online now. We shipped a computer and some clothes to Connie's sister in Colorado and I've been having fun watching the package's progress. You can follow it here. It's in Colorado Springs now, so she should get it sometime today.

Oh, you don't think that's neat? Ok, you're right. I guess I have NO life.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

State Budget: Welfare Not The Problem

The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Weintraub, has an interesting commentary this morning. He points out that the state's social service agencies aren't really responsible for the state's current budget problems. Those programs have only grown on average about 3% per year over the last ten years. If all other state agencies had done that, we wouldn't be where we are today.

But I have to ask, as I did on the SacBee's comments for his column, if not the social service agencies, what agencies are responsible for the growth in spending? If social services are only growing on average 3%, then some other agencies have to be growing much faster than that for average state spending to be something like 8 or 9% a year.

I know I've probably posted some numbers on that here before, but don't have time to track down all of them. I did find one statistic in a post I made on August 20 of last year. According to the San Diego Union- Tribune, education spending in the state had increased 46% over the five years previous. If I'm doing my math right, that would average out to over a 9% increase each year.

Could it be that education spending increases are at least part of the problem? After all, I believe education spending takes up something like half or more of state spending, if memory serves me correct.

Yet we're having to make severe cuts in spending on schools...hmmm????

I think I'll e- mail Dan Weintraub and see if he has any insight to wherein the problem lies.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Let's Sell Water?

Bad water news keeps coming from down south with both Mendocino and Somona Counties already facing the prospect of mandatory water rationing. The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat reports lakes in Mendocino and Sonoma Counties are at record lows.

I know there's been talk of this before, but I wonder if there's some economical way to sell some of our water to them- Humboldt supposedly being relatively well off in regards water. With the Evergreen Pulp mill perhaps permanently closed down, we need some larger customers to help pay the water bill.

Maybe a short term contract with Laytonville or Willits? Not sure if it would be economical to truck water that far but it wouldn't hurt to look into it.


Monkey See, Monkey Do

Isn't it usually the other way around? I thought Arcata came up with the stupid ideas and then Eureka eventually adopts them. In fairness to both cities, I can't seem to come up with any examples of stupid ideas that Eureka has adopted from Arcata right now.

The Times- Standard reports that Arcata seems to be getting serious about mandatory garbage pick up and recycling. A bit strange that they think it's necessary in a town that already seems to be pretty recycling oriented.

But, I suppose it should come as no surprise that Arcata wants to follow Eureka's lead and force garbage service and recycling on its residents. After all, I've said before this mandatory garbage pick- up is about more than just trying to meet the state's landfill diversion requirements.

I suspect it's more about city government gaining control of something so they can skim money from it in some way or another.

At least Arcata residents get something out of the deal aside from higher garbage rates. Now they'll have 20 gallon cans available for use instead of the standard 30 gallon cans. It is a bit of a surprise that 20 gallon cans weren't already available in a city that likes to consider itself Ecotopia.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Education "Cuts"?

Call me skeptical. I can't help but wonder if these supposed "cuts" to local schools the Times- Standard writes about today are actually cuts. I've mentioned here before that, 9 times out of 10, when government agencies talk about their budgets being cut, they're usually talking about their budget not being increased as much as they had wanted.

Eureka City Schools is expecting to "cut" around 1 million dollars from their current 27 million dollar operating budget. I'd like to know what the last fiscal years operating budget was and if that was more or less than this years? I know this last state budget was 3 billion dollars more than the year before- a 3% increase- yet we keep hearing everything is being cut.

I know within the City of Eureka some non- profits actually took some real hits to their budgets last year. They gave out the numbers in some news item on the city budget. I couldn't find any numbers online from just the quick search I did. Anybody out there have the numbers available?

I know the schools are still posting job advertisements for various positions that need filling.

Addendum: Seems to me I do recall some talk earlier on in the budget "crisis" where the schools were being asked to suspend their automatic spending increase formulas, or some such. Not sure what became of that.

Sign The Petition

Rose covered this on Wednesday. In case you missed it, as I did, there's an online petition for people to sign asking the Dutch government to leave Geert Wilders alone. He's being prosecuted for being critical of Islam. I signed it. I hope you will, too.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Silly Recommendations

I suppose they're not exactly silly, but I can't help but think how lame most of these recommendations you read about responding to animal attacks are. We've seen it earlier on with mountain lion attacks, now we're seeing it with rabid fox attacks.

First they try to tell you how to avoid the attack. That's not too bad in and of itself. It's always best to avoid the confrontation to begin with. But, when that doesn't work, they tell you to fight back as best you can once the animal attacks you.

Are we missing something here? Seems to me it makes the most sense to just shoot the damned animal, assuming you have a gun. If you don't have a gun, maybe you should buy one (while you still can) to defend yourself in the future.

Let's stop being such sissies in dealing with attacking animals.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Tale of Two Cities

I found this interesting additional reading involving the posts I made earlier in regards El Paso, Texas and its attempts to open discussion on the drug war. The New York Times took a look at both El Paso and its sister city, Juarez, just across the border.

El Paso supposedly ranks as the third safest city in the U.S., but all hell has broken loose in Juarez.
From what the story says, the violence in Juarez seems to have escalated after the Mexican government made a big effort to crack down on drugs there.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

New Anti- Prop 8 Initiatives To Circulate

The Sacramento Bee reports two ballot initiatives have been filed so far with the Attorney General's office that would void Prop 8, the anti- same sex marriage initiative passed last election.

I'm not happy with The California Marriage Equality Act (.pdf file) if only because it simply repeals Prop 8. I think it's just too early after the election for an initiative like that to succeed.

Keep in mind what happened to Prop 10, the tobacco tax increase that passed a few years ago. It barely passed. When an initiative was placed on the ballot the next election to repeal it, the repeal attempt was soundly defeated.


I'm much more happy with at least the intent of the Domestic Partner Initiative (.pdf file) if only because it pretty much echoes my view of the issue: We leave marriages to the churches. Government, so much as it deals with personal relationships at all, just recognizes domestic partnerships.

This wouldn't change anything except for perhaps wording on current "marriage licenses", as I see it. All else would remain the same since, when you think about it, hetero couples already have to file for a license with their local county clerks, don't they? If this initiative passes, it would just be a domestic partnership license instead of a marriage license. If they want something that says they're married, get it from the church.

A couple problems I see with it is, once again, they chose to include mention of the fact that the initiative also voids Prop 10. Still, I guess that's fair enough, although I would likely have worded it a bit different.

This also gives the Religious Right at least some fodder for the argument that the homosexual community threatens marriage, if only by changing the words used, although I suspect they'll still use that argument no matter which way an initiative is worded.

I'll be looking forward to help circulate some petitions should the initiative be approved for distribution.
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Some other initiatives have also been filed with the Attorney General's office dealing with other issues, at least three so far dealing with the budget . I'll try and comment on them later.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Odd Virus Situation

We decided to give our old 600mhz E- Machine compute to Connie's sister. I never use it. It just sits there except for every few months when I decide to update Windows XP and the Zonealarms firewall.

So, I'm uninstalling a bunch of programs I know she doesn't want on the computer and the anti- virus program starts doing a scan. When I notice it's scanning I go to turn it off as I don't see any reason to scan as I never do anything with it. How could it possibly have a virus?

Lo and behold, when the window pops up showing scan results it shows it found this virus. I end up having to delete it as it won't let me repair it.

How strange. All I do with that computer is download updates. I would think the virus would have had to either been hidden in an update, or, someone snuck it through my firewall.

I guess I'll check my laptop now. Maybe the same thing happened to it?

Update: The laptop is clear of any viruses. So, I go back to the E- Machine and redo the virus scan since I stopped it right after it started the first time. The scan showed an additional 25(!) of the same virus in various other files. Youch! They've been taken care of now, but how did they get on there?

SHUT UP... and El Paso Steps Down

You might remember an item I posted here not too long ago about the City Council of El Paso, Texas, passing a resolution asking the federal government to at least consider the idea of decriminalizing drugs. This was one item of a dozen or so recommendations to help stop the violence in their sister city across the border, Juarez, Mexico. That resolution was vetoed by the city's mayor.

Well, the feds got to them. Half of the city council backed away from overturning the veto, supposedly because of subtle or not so subtle threats of withholding state or federal funds from the city. Here's the news story. J.D. Tuccille has some commentary on the issue at his Disloyal Opposition blog.

That's why I say it's not very libertarian of me to wish the feds would do the same thing to Arcata and Eureka: Withhold federal monies for passage of those anti- military recruitment measures we're going to court over. What goes around, comes around. Still, it would be fun to see that happen here.

Monday, January 19, 2009

California's Sundown

I found this commentary on the how California came to be in the mess it is today quite compelling. It's actually a bit longer of a read than my attention span usually allows for but I broke tradition and read the whole thing.

I know some will likely call this guy a right- winger since he seems to lay blame for the state's meltdown on the modern Democrats running the state, but I don't see how anyone can argue with him. It's true.
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For those trying to see a silver lining in the state's condition, the Sacramento Bee's Dan Weintraub made an effort towards that yesterday. It didn't work for me.

Things That Need Saying

I found two editorials in the Los Angeles Times to be a breath of fresh air this morning. Some not quite politically correct things that needed to be said:

The first one takes a look at that feel- so- good ballot initiative many of you couldn't help but vote for back in 2006: Jessica's Law. I voted against it.

The second one deals with black on black violence that became particularly obvious in the Oakland riots over the BART shooting: They sure scream when a black kid is killed by a cop but the silence is often deafening when black kids kill each other.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Eureka's Hillsdale Street

There's a story in the Times- Standard this morning about the Eureka Heritage Society. Doesn't really refer to it on the online story but the hard copy version has pictures of Eureka's Hillsdale Street. That's a good example of an old- time neighborhood.

If you haven't been to Hillsdale Street, I'd recommend a drive or walk down it at least once. With the exception of a few modern houses on the street, most are old Victorians. I can just imagine some old 1920s style car parked along the street every time I drive down it. Really a historic looking place.

Hillsdale Street is a short street on the west side of E Street. It intersects E street right near Hammond(?) Park, north of Wabash. Go take a look.
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As an aside, that book they mention in the article, “Eureka, An Architectural View", our house is listed in that book. That's one of the reasons I was talked into buying this house years ago. I like historical things.

The Beach

A couple days ago the Times- Standard ran a story about sneaker waves and urging caution while at the beach.

Today they ran a story on how great Mad River Beach is. No mention of sneaker waves.

I thought that a bit strange at first: Warning people about the beach, then encouraging them to go there.

I guess not, at least since they warned people first.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

The First Flying Car?

It will be interesting to see if sales of these things really "take- off" after they hit the market. The video shows it landing but not taking off. I want to see it take- off.

Friday, January 16, 2009

So Long, *.*. ********. Hello, Tracphone

That's U.S. Cellular I'm saying good bye to. No hard feelings against them, so I didn't want to use their name in the title and make it look like some kind of put- down. Tracphone just offered a better deal and I didn't feel comfortable keeping my old account with U.S. Cellular.

So, a couple weeks ago I went to Radio Shack in Eureka and bought a LG200C(?) flip phone with 20 free minutes. The 20 minutes should last me until March when I need to buy more time to keep my account active.

I'm not sure if it's today or Saturday that my account with U.S. Cellular closes, but today I'll take the Tracphone with me to work for the first time. My Motorola cellphone- the one I won in a sweepstakes last summer, pictured to the left- I'm not sure what I'm going to do with.

It's a $300 phone and I really like it. The gal I spoke with when I closed my account said I could sell it used for at least $150.00. I think I'll hang on to it and see if any of Connie's family wants it. If someone does, I'll give it away. Otherwise, it will be for sale. I'm open to any offers. It's already set up for U.S. Cellular. Not sure if it can be used with any other services.
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Speaking of cellphones, I'm sure some of you have heard the National Safety Council has decided that there should be a ban on all cellphone use in vehicles, including use of hands- free devices. They haven't gotten active pushing the idea with Congress just yet, but it's on the way.

They suggest "incentives" be used with the states to encourage cellphone bans. You know what that likely means: Federal highway funding be cut unless states enact laws banning cellphones. That's what they did when they established a nationwide speed limit of 55mph back in the 70s.

I wrote here earlier that I opposed the California cellphone ban, back when it was being considered, partly because of the slippery slope we'd be getting into by enacting such a ban. Looks like myself and others were right and it's interesting that the NSC uses the same argument for their complete ban proposal that many of us used in opposing the California ban: It's the conversation that's the distraction, not the phone.

This editorial from the L.A. Daily News pretty much says it all on this latest cellphone ban proposal. Enough said.
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Still, now that the California ban is in effect, I've expressed my satisfaction at knowing those of you who think you're so important that you have to talk on the phone all the time, might get a ticket. Saw a gal talking on the phone, of all places, the Eureka Winco parking lot- the last place someone should be talking on a cellphone.

The gal apparently just got in her car and was backing out of her parking spot. She couldn't just sit there and make her call. She had to start driving. She smiled at me as she backed up. I just glared at her. There was no excuse, at least as I see it, for what she was doing.

The latest news is there's mixed feelings about whether California's cellphone ban has been effective. I know it seemed, at first, that I saw fewer people talking on cellphones after the ban took effect. Now it seems like there's no difference. I see all kinds of people driving around with a cellphone up to their ear. Either that, or holding one down low so nobody can see they're using it.

That got me to wondering: Just what percentage of drivers can't stay away from their cellphones while driving? I've decided to do a test, albeit not all that scientific.

One of these days when the sun is up higher- I hate having the sun blast in my face horizontally- I'm gonna go get my folding chair and set it up in the front yard. Then I'll watch every car that drives up or down E street and take count of how many people are talking on their cellphones. I figure I'll try to sit there for a half hour to an hour. Should be interesting but not sure that the information itself will all that useful except maybe for blog fodder.

It will probably be at least a month or two before I do my test. I'll let you all know how it goes.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

CCC On The Way Out?

The California Conservation Corps is being eyed as one agency to be axed to deal with the state budget crisis. It was interesting to read just how much each one of those guys and gals cost the state. I know it doesn't go into the line worker's pockets, either.

Seems to me I looked into joining the Conservation Corps many years ago and the pay seemed more like a stipend. If memory serves me correct, you essentially got minimum wage but I believe you also had to pay for your meals, or some such. I never bothered to apply after reading that.

But it's not that way for everyone within the CCC. I had a guy in my old National Guard squad that was a cook for one of the local CCC outfits and, while I don't remember the exact figures, he seemed to get paid quite well.

Is it worth it, paying what we do to have the CCC available locally? It's hard to say. Linda Roush, from the Bureau of Land Management is quoted in the Times- Standard article as saying,
”We would never be able to afford that kind of labor force,”. Looks like she might be right. We might not be able to afford the CCC even as it is now.

The worst part of it, should the CCC end up closing its doors, is yet even more people being out on the streets in search of jobs. These times have gotten scary.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Return To The Gold Rush?

The Wall Street Journal has a commentary by Congressdude Devin Nunes, who takes a look at the reversal of California's fortunes. Not quite as pessimistic as Dan Walters' commentary, or as optimistic as Tom Elias', Nunes simply looks at the problems and suggests some solutions.

Interesting that some of his suggestions are ones I made here earlier. Am I great, or what?

Sunday, January 11, 2009

California's Dim Future

Looks like Rose and I aren't alone in our pessimistic feeling about the state's future. Sacramento Bee columnist, Dan Walters, doesn't seem to see any light at the end of the tunnel, either.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Libertopia On The Way?

Not quite, but the Sacramento Bee reports it looks like some state offices will be closing a couple days a month due to the budget crisis. Be interesting to see if anybody notices although I'm sure some folks might get pissed off if they find the DMV is closed after they've driven some distance to take care of business there.

What gets me is the attitude of some- and not just among state employees- that cutting a state employees' hours should not even be on the table. They think those employees have a right to their jobs and hours, no matter what the expense to the taxpayer. And we're not even talking layoffs here. We're talking about an involuntary three day weekend twice a month.

When you don't have the money to pay them, you don't have the money. What part of that do these people not understand?

Oh, if asked for a login to the Sacramento Bee web site, you can use humboldtlib for the username and blogspot for the password, as always.

Don't EVEN Talk About It!

Ending the War on Drugs, that is. Scary stuff.

Seems the City Council of El Paso, Texas is fed up with the violence with its sister city on the border, Juarez, Mexico. They unanimously passed a resolution which included asking the federal government to at least look at the possibility of ending the War on Drugs as a way of stopping the violence.

The Mayor of El Paso vetoed the resolution. Pretty scary when a resolution is vetoed because it suggests we even discuss ending the Drug War.

Thanks to Radley Balko at The Agitator blog for the story.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Dump The Damned Trees

For those of you that were dumb enough to buy those stupid Christmas trees, now is the time to get rid of them. They're accepted free at most of our local garbage and recycling centers, up to a certain date, of course.

The last day City Garbage accepts them free is January 11. That's good because I just picked one up at a customers house and couldn't remember exactly when the deadline is. Deadlines for some of the local dump spots are listed here.

I dump the customers trees for free while there's free disposal available. Not because I'm a great guy but because I hate Christmas and anything that's related to it and take great joy in getting rid of anything Christmas related.

So lets get rid of them. I never cease to be amazed how so many of you seem to have no problem getting a tree home, but getting rid of them is too much for you to handle. Make me proud. Get rid of yours today.

Ahhh....Getting Warm Again

Yessss...the heater's working again. This morning, or last night, was one of those rare occasions where our forced air gas heater stopped working.

I thought I noticed it when I was laying in bed for the hour or so before I got up. The heater's blower just kept blowing and blowing. It never seemed to stop. Usually you can hear it while the heater is on and warming the house but it stops when it reaches the designated temperature. This morning it just kept going.

So I get up and the house doesn't seem all that cold, but not all that warm either. I'm thinking it's just me, but I put on my three layers of morning clothes and, while not cold, I don't feel warm either. I'm hoping it might just take some time for me to warm up but that's usually not the case.

I take a look at weather.com and it's supposed to be 32 degrees outside. It certainly doesn't feel that cold in the house. I get up and check the barometer/ thermometer on the wall under the thermostat. It says it's around 55 degrees in here. It should be closer to 60 with the thermostat set at that temperature. Is that heater actually heating?

Of course, I could go into the bathroom and put my hand over the heater vent and see if there's warm air coming from it. I hold off on that mostly because, if there isn't any warm air, the heater isn't working and I'll have to deal with it. I really don't want to deal with it.

I check the room temperature maybe 45 minutes later. It's down closer to 52 degrees. Nope. Unless it's really, really cold outside, the heater doesn't seem to be working. I check the heating vent in the bathroom. No warm air coming out of it.

Damn. Now I have to interrupt my morning internet activities to see if I can get the heater going. I'm worried it might be like that one time where the heater valve was plugged and I had to pay $100 to get a guy to come fix it.

It wasn't all that bad, though, except for all the junk I had in the garage in front of the door to the heater closet. Once I made it in to the closet my first fear is that I can't smell natural gas and wonder if the heater is defective and gas might have built up. I had a gas oven explode in my face years ago and don't want a repeat of that. I realize that gas valves, or whatever they're called, are designed to turn of if the pilot light is out but I've never trusted them, paranoid guy that I am.

But not to worry and, when I think of it, I realize the electric fan that runs the heater would likely have ignited any built up gas. Still, I turn my head away from the heater when I light the long wooden match we have on hand for lighting the pilot light.

Next worry was that the match wouldn't stay lit. Seems the match stick is damp, or something, as the flame starts to flicker out but I roll the stick and finally get what seems to be a lasting flame. I stick it in toward the pilot light and it pops into a blue flame right away. That's what you want, a blue flame. If the line is plugged up it burns yellow.

I go inside half expecting the pilot light to go out again by the time I can turn the thermostat back up. That's happened before. Nope. It takes a while for the heater to go on but warm air is once again coming into the house. Problem fixed for now.

Life is good for the next few hours, or until something else happens.


Thursday, January 08, 2009

Sonoma Co. Cutting Redwoods

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat informs us that widening of the Highway 101 corridor between Santa Rosa and Windsor will begin in spite of the state's budget problems. We're also told that project will involve the removal of 342 redwood trees between Steele Lane and Santa Rosa Avenue.

I'll be keeping an eye on the Press- Democrat to see if anybody tries to stop the project. Hey, if some people are upset over a handful of trees being cut down at Richardson Grove, I can't imagine at least a few people not being upset over this project, don't you think?

Election 2012: Looking Ahead

Only bringing this up because this guy caught my attention earlier on: Mark Sanford is a past congresscritter and current Governor of South Carolina. He seems to be one of the few, if not the only, governor that isn't asking for a federal bailout.

He's looking at running for President of the U.S. next time around and seems to be the Republican's best bet, so far, as I see it. I know next to nothing about him although Wikipedia has some info on him. This site tells a bit about his past legislative record but still leaves some questions unanswered for me.

About the only bad side to him, so far, is he ended up being a McCain supporter this last time around, although he joined that show late in the game. I suppose I can't hold that against him since it's one of those partisan things. We'll keep an eye open and see how he's looking after a few years.

Who will the Libertarian candidate for President be in 2012? At this point, who cares?


Tuesday, January 06, 2009

There Goes The Neighborhood

The latest news from Bridgeville sure puts a different twist own homeless issues. With a non- profit group looking at buying the town to turn it into a homeless rehabilitation center, we might see the homeless displacing the homed. Kind of the opposite of the norm, isn't it?

Still, at first I didn't think too much of it. What's wrong with trying to get people back on their feet? Then one of the comments on the Times- Standard web site brought up what I missed at first: They plan on busing in homeless from other parts of the state. This isn't for the homeless around here.

Not sure I like that idea, at least NOT IN MY BACK YARD!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Garbage Bills Skyrocket

Hard to say just how much of the blame goes to the Eureka City Council but I've just noticed garbage service has gotten more expensive, at least in Eureka.

I'm not sure how much this has to do with mandatory garbage service that started January 1. At first thought it had all to do with it as the bill I received the other day exceeding $50.00- $51.48 to be exact. I thought it was supposed to be around $45.00 every three months?

Checking out my bill records on the the City Garbage Company web site, I see I didn't have it quite right. Last March I paid $40.14, then $44.04 in June and $47.67 in December. So, with it at $51.48 this time, that's over a 25% increase in my garbage bill in less than a year. What's with that?

I suppose it was fair enough to raise rates when gas prices were so high. I'm sure they took it in the shorts back then. But this is pretty darn sad when Eureka residents are forced into having garbage service that keeps increasing regardless of fuel prices.

I hope everybody will keep this mandatory garbage service in mind next time an election for Eureka City Council rolls around. I suspect we'll all be paying dearly for this enforced monopoly in the years to come. We won't have any choice.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Freeze Warning?

It's 28 degrees in Eureka, as I write this. I'm surprised there isn't a freeze warning out.

I guess it's a good thing I woke up early this morning due to an unusual circumstance. I went into the kitchen and bathroom and turned on the faucets to let them drip. Hopefully the water lines won't break.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009: Looking Ahead

I don't have high hopes for the future. Maybe the doomsayers are right and we'll be facing Armageddon soon? With the coming of 2009, it's probably a good time to look ahead.

In any case, it doesn't hurt to be prepared. You might want to start looking now and trying to figure out how you can buy one of these survival vehicles. Better to have one and not need one than need one and not have one.

If you end up buying one and Armageddon happens, don't forget to pick me up on the way out of town.

Oh, and thanks to lewrockwell.com for the link.

Burstiner: SHUT THEM UP!

Looks like Media Maven, Marcy Burstiner, has had enough of the Eureka Reporter editorials being published in the Times- Standard:

"...So besides wondering how long the T-S must print this ER craziness, I wonder how crazy it can get. Can Peter Hannaford publish whatever he wants on that page? I don't think that Dean Singleton, whose giant MediaNews Group owns the Times-Standard, would get himself into a situation where his editors couldn't censor anything libelous. So there must be some kind of out in the legalese.".

Hey, I don't find all the Eureka Reporter editorials all that riveting myself some of the time, but I'm not suggesting they shouldn't be published.

Seems to me it wasn't too long ago (did a short search but can't find the article- it was in the North Coast Journal) that Ms. Burstiner also commented on the Eureka Reporter's editorials, saying something along the line of, (paraphrasing here, as best I remember),"..[ the editorials] hardly mirror the views of the community...".

I realize Ms. Burtiner's the expert, but I think she's letting her politics trump any sense of objectivity here. Seems to me, editorials aren't supposed to echo the views of the community. They're supposed to be the views of a paper's editorial board, which may or may not be the same.

The Eureka Reporter editorials may not deal with local issues sometimes, but the Times- Standard's don't, either. Besides, they're on the editorial page, not the news section.

And it's interesting that she feels right in complaining at all over the Eureka Reporter editorials. When the North Coast Journal used their cover story for a lengthy Obama worship commentary this last summer, we didn't hear a word from her.

I'd be more concerned about a supposed independent news magazine turning their paper over to a political campaign than I would about differing opinions on editorial pages.

All that said, even I find it odd having two editorial pages in the T-S twice a week. Oh well. Just more to read.