Saturday, October 30, 2010

A Big Issue

Got a damned leak in my tire yesterday. The last thing I needed since I had to hurry and get my work done. Turned out to be a short fat screw that was stuck in my tire.

I wasn't sure how badly it was leaking as the tire looked low when I went out to go to work, but not that low and I could still drive on it. I figured the tire must have been leaking since I parked it the day before so, maybe if I put some air in it, I could get some of my work done and fix the tire later.

Driving around the corner of my house I the truck was pulling to the right so I knew the pressure was pretty low. I headed to the Patriot gas station in Henderson Center for some air.

Only 10 pounds pressure in the tire so it was pretty low. Filled it up a bit past the 40 pounds it usually takes and headed to Cutten, then Myrtletown. Tire was looking a little low by then, or was it my imagination? As I headed back towards Henderson Center for more air I could feel it starting to pull to the right. It was getting low again.

I needed to do something so I could finish my work and I didn't want to go all the way to Les Schwab to get it fixed. They patch tires for free but it can take a while before they can get to you. So, I'd heard the guy at the Patriot Station fixed flats. I'd not only heard it, I'd seen him fixing tires for people before.

I headed back to the Patriot station and checked the tire pressure. Back down to 10 pounds again. Yep, I have to do something. I asked the attendant about fixing the tire. He said they did, indeed, patch tires and it would cost $10.00. Sounded good to me. Better than spending an hour or more at Les Schwab.

I parked my truck in front of the garage and the boss guy came over and had the tire patched inside half an hour. Away I went and was able to get all my work done. Ten dollars well spent.

I'll likely be going back there again next time I get a flat. It's on the corner of Harris and E Streets, across from Rite- Aid.

I'm told he also replaces vehicle lights for around $5.00.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Humboldt Blue, where are you?

Isn't Humboldt Blue a local blogger? I could of sworn I've seen that handle somewhere around here.

Reason I mention it is that he or she got Radley Balko's attention over at The Agitator blog. Ouch!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hippies should be Tea Partiers

At least the earlier on hippies before the hippies began supporting the commie/ socialist movement during the Viet Nam war.

So says Zombie in yet another great piece where she shows how the first hippies should actually have more in common with Tea Partiers than one would expect. She even came up with yet another map of the political spectrum that shows hippies and Tea Party folks right next to each other.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Partisan Danger

This graph developed by Gallup is no surprise to me. Partisan types always think the threat from government increases when the other party is in charge. As this fellow explains, this thinking goes on even when the other party operates pretty much along the same lines that their party did.

Hat tip to Radley Balko for the link.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Feds Threaten CA over Prop 19

I'm sure many of you have heard by now that officials in the Obama Administration are threatening to take the State of California to court should Prop 19 pass on November 2. I've heard some people suggesting this, and the fact Prop 19 is contrary to federal law, are reasons we should vote against Prop 19.

I strongly disagree. If anything, this is a reason for people to vote for Prop 19. The feds shouldn't be dictating law to the states and they shouldn't interfere with state laws at all, unless those state laws violate the civil rights of that, or another state's, citizens.

I say vote YES on Prop 19, if for these threats alone. Let the feds take us the court and let the battle be joined!

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Local Races

Just the ones I can vote in, anyway:

4th District Supervisor- I still haven't decided whether to stand aside, or vote for Virginia Bass. Stand aside seems like the best choice right now. I don't know that there will be all that much difference in what happens on the Board of Supes if Virgina were to win and I don't have much of a beef with Bon- Bon, really.

But Bon- Bon's supporters actually gave me two reasons to vote for Virginia:

My next door neighbor- a Neely supporter and San Francisco transplant- told me that just keeping Bon- Bon's seat on the Coastal Commission was enough reason to vote for her. That made me wonder if it might be a good reason to vote for Bass?

And, her supporters. After listening to Bon- Bon's supporters for months on end on other blogs, I can't help but throw Bon- Bon in with them and vote against all of them by voting for Virginia.

I know. Sounds petty, but I've said before I can vote for just as frivolous reasons as the next guy. Bottom line is, I still don't think it's going to make all that much difference in the larger scheme of things who gets the 4th District seat so I might well just avoid the issue and stand aside.

- I don't think there's any bad choices in this race. I'll be voting for Mari Wilson if for no other reason than she's worked there for so long and knows the job. I also like the idea of someone being able to work their way up in an organization and finally reach the top.

That goes back to my days in the National Guard as I moved up through the ranks. I never really coveted higher rank or authority. It did get a bit frustrating, though, when I'd be next in line for a Squad Leader position and some new guy with higher rank than I would enlist and jump into the position I was ready to take and that happened fairly often, as I recall.

If Mari proves incompetent for the position, we can always vote her out next time around. Until then, she should get the chance to prove she's capable of the job.

District Attorney- Allison Jackson is the most qualified and has the experience.

I think Paul Gallegos' heart is in the right place, but he just doesn't seem capable of much to me. Quite frankly, I feel embarrassed having him as our District Attorney, especially when the local pot growers hold a fund raiser for him.

Time to give Allison a chance.

Mayor, City of Eureka
- Frank Jager. No explanation needed.

Ward 1, Eureka City Council- Marian Brady. No explanation needed, although I will say I'm surprised at how many signs of hers I've seen around town.

Ward 3, Eureka City Council
- Mike Newman. No explanation needed.

Local Measures

Measure N- Yes. No explanation needed.

Measure O-
No. Believe it or not, I make that decision with a bit of a heavy heart. I do think the city needs the money. Of course, the city can always can use more money. I'm just not going to voluntarily accept another tax.

If this was the only tax increase we were facing, I'd be a little more inclined to vote for it, but it isn't. We're facing up to a 50% increase in our water bills in Eureka. Should Prop 23 fail, our utility bills might go up as high as 60%. Taxes are going to have to be raised, eventually, at the local, state and federal level to pay of all the debt we've acquired.

Things don't look good, and I'm going to try and protect my finances as best I can.

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Nov. 2 Statewide Ballot Initiatives

Prop 19: YES. I’ll be holding my nose and voting Yes on this one. I’ve mentioned before it makes my skin crawl to vote for something just so it can be taxed and regulated, but we have to do something to start moving away from the pot wars.

Prop 20: I might not vote on this one. I’d like to stay out of the argument that, if we just set up our districts right, the state will start being run correctly.

But, I noticed Eric Kirk is voting No on this one because he’s worried the Democrats could lose some seats in Congress should it pass. Maybe I’ll vote for it now? I’ll either stand aside or vote Yes.

Prop 21: NO. Paying for our vehicle registrations is already a problem for us. I’m not going to vote to make it $18.00 more difficult.

Prop 22: Standing aside on this one and not voting.

It sounds like a good idea to make it harder for the state to take money from cities and counties as they’ve done before, but it also can put the state in a situation where it can’t be flexible with its finances. No good way to vote on this one so I'll let the rest of you deal with it.

Prop 23: YES. This is the most important one on the ballot as far as I’m concerned. Common sense would tell you it’s foolish to vote to raise your utility bill up to possibly 60% above what it currently is.

Voting Yes doesn’t eliminate any air pollution laws and utilities would still be required to get 20% of their power from renewable sources, just not the 33% AB32 requires. You can still take advantage of wind and solar power should you chose to do so. You just won’t be forced to if you can’t afford it.

Prop 24: NO. This would eliminate some tax breaks for businesses. Taxes will likely be going up pretty soon, anyway. Might as well try to hold the line as best we can.

Prop 25: NO, although a Yes vote is tempting. This one changes the vote requirement to pass a budget from 2/3 to a simple majority.

This one seems rather silly to me as proponents say they'll still need 2/3 to raise taxes but a simple majority is needed just to pass the budget. What sense does it make to pass a budget if you can’t just as easily increase taxes to pay for any increases in the budget?

I suspect the proponents are being less than truthful and they’ll be able to increase taxes to meet their budget just by calling them fees, as some opponents to this initiative have suggested.

The temptation for voting Yes is simply to put an end to the Democrats pointing fingers at Republicans for the state of the state. They'd have the majority and could pass the budget with their majority alone. After that, they can run the state even further into the ground, if that’s even possible, and the blame will fall on their shoulders alone.

Prop 26: YES. This one will require 2/3 voter approval for the legislature to raise user fees. This is important since, if Prop 25 passes, the Democrats are certain to try to convert as many taxes as they can to “fees”. That way they can raise “fees” to cover their increased budget.

Prop 26 could help protect taxpayers from potential runaway spending. Well, maybe not runaway spending, but runaway taxing to pay for runaway spending as might happen if Prop 25 passes.

Prop 27: NO. I don't have much faith that any group of people would be less corrupt than the ones we have in Sacramento, but I'll go ahead and leave the job of gerrymandering to whoever sits on the redistricting commission. It's tempting to just stand aside on this one, though, as with Prop 20.


Monday, October 18, 2010

Did You Feel It?

I guessed it right. I figured about a 3 on the Richter Scale. Just one noticeable shaking of the house. Our living room clock showed it to be about 8:21am. The earthquake report shows it to have occurred at 8:24.

What was weird was that just a few minutes before I started thinking about earthquakes all of the sudden.


Sunday, October 17, 2010

How I'll Be Voting (State Races)

Governor of California- Dale Ogden (LP)

Yep, once again wasting my vote on the Libertarian Party candidate, but I can't think of a better opportunity.

I think both Brown and Whitman are pretty much of equal ability and both are just as likely to sign bad legislation. I had given Whitman the edge when she supported Prop 23 earlier on but, after she came out opposing 23, she lost that edge.

Not that supporting 23 is really an issue for the Governor's race. It simply shows common sense. Reversing her position shows either a lack of common sense or simply a desire to pander to what she thinks is popular opinion. It's probably a little of both.

I don't think either candidate is well suited for solving one of the state's biggest problems, either: The public pension crisis. But, it doesn't really matter. The state is broken and unfixable. It won't matter which one is elected.

Besides, this may be the last time I'll be able to vote for a Libertarian candidate in the general election since we'll be switching to the blanket primary. Might as well take advantage of the opportunity.

Lieutenant Governor
- I'm stuck on this one between two candidates. Either Libertarian Party candidate, Pam Brown, or Republican candidate Abel Maldanado.

Despite thinking favorably of Gavin Newsom earlier on, I've come to think of him as power hungry authoritarian that wants to micromanage everyone's lives. He is a threat to everyone's liberty and must be stopped.

Problem is, Maldanado comes off to me as not too bright a guy. I don't want either of them as Governor, should Jerry Brown win the Governor's seat and not finish his term due to his age. I'm stuck, but my hatred of Newsom gives Maldanado the edge right now.

Secretary of State, Controller, Treasurer, Attorney General, Insurance Commissioner and Board of Equalization Member- I'll vote for the Libertarian Candidate in all those races.

I'm tempted to vote for the Republican candidates for Treasurer and Attorney General as both Democrat candidates have long time reputations as skuzbags, from a libertarian point of view. All I need is an excuse and I'll choose the Republican in those races. I'll be waiting for one.

U.S. Senator
- Most likely Carly Fiorna. I'd really like to get rid of Boxer, despite her voting my way on one or two issues every now and then. I'll admit to not paying much attention to Fiorna, though. My biggest issue with her, from what little I've seen of her web site, is she sounds War Party.

I'll be keeping an eye on her for the next week or so. I can always vote for Gail Lightfoot if Fiorna seems too right wing for me.

U.S. Representative- I'll likely vote for Libertarian Party candidate, Mike Rodriguez. I'd like to vote for Republican Loren Hanks if we didn't have an LP candidate in that race. I really haven't looked too closely at Hanks yet. I'm guessing he's War Party as so many Republican candidates are and I don't want to vote for candidates that support aggressive military action.

I might do it this way: If the LP candidate doesn't show up for any candidate forums that are held, I might go for Hanks. If Hanks comes off too right wing, or too War Party during the forums, I might just stand aside and not vote in that race as I've done at least once before.

State Senate- Back when Lawrence Wiesner ran against Mike Thompson for Congress, I'd written here that I'd vote for Thompson if I thought Wiesner actually had a chance at winning. Wiesner comes off to me as War Party. But this is a state race and War Party doesn't enter the equation.

Wiesner gets my vote on this one. Even if he has some right wing positions I don't agree with- and I'm sure he has a lot of them- the Republicans are in the minority in the state legislature and will likely remain so in the foreseeable future. It would be nice to [hopefully] have one more NO vote in Sacramento to vote against the foolishness that so often comes from there.

State Assembly- Karen Brooks is the obvious choice here. Wes Chesbro has actually played a fairly significant role in running this state into the ground.

I've gotten the impression Karen might be one of those religious right- wing types but she's been prudent enough not to campaign as such. Regardless, the Republicans will likely remain in the minority and she'll be one more welcome NO vote against Sacramento nutiness... hopefully.

Judicial Seats- I guess I'll be standing aside on the judicial races, once again. That's a shame as these are important. Problem is, how does a libertarian decide?

I've brought up the subject before to other libertarians around the state. It would be nice if we had some libertarian oriented law folk around the state that could take a look at the candidates' records and give us an idea of what kind of decision the candidates would be likely to make.

Do they tend to favor government power over individual choice? Do they support more power for law enforcement? Questions like that would need to be answered to give a qualified vote.

Unfortunately, even non- libertarians seem to be left in the dark on the judicial races. I'd rather stand aside than take the chance on voting for someone that might threaten my liberty.

That's it for now. Other recommendations throughout the week, assuming I find the time.


Taxpayer's League Recommendations

The Humboldt Taxpayer's League recently released their recommendations for the statewide and local ballot initiatives:

Prop 19: Marijuana- No Position
Prop 20: Elections- No Position
Prop 21: Park Taxes- No
Prop 22: State Spending- No
Prop 23: AB32 Suspension- Yes
Prop 24: Tax Breaks- No
Prop 25: 2/3 Vote & Budget- No
Prop 26: Taxes- 2/3 Vote for increased fees- Yes
Prop 27: Elections- No Position

Local Ballot Measures:

Measure N: Balloon Tract Rezone- Yes
Measure O: Eureka Sales Tax Increase- No
Measure Q: School Bond Measure- No

No real surprises there for me except maybe Eureka's Measure O. For some reason I figured they might support O since local gadfly and past League President, Leo Sears, came out in favor of it.

It's also good to see the League once again not take positions on issues they either can't come to an agreement on, or feel don't have anything to do with the League's mission.

I'll post my positions on issues and candidates sometime this week. I know you're all sitting there with your absentee ballots waiting for your marching orders from me. Please be patient. I've been lazier than usual as of late.

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Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Klamath Dam Boondoggle

Label me skeptical. I guess it's no secret I've always thought something was amiss in the controversy over taking down the dams on the Klamath River. This latest Times- Standard article hasn't made me any less so.

Sounds like b.s. to me if for no other reason than they imply tearing down that dams will benefit farms in the area by ensuring more water go to them. When you take down a dam and lose the storage capability, you have less water. Seems simple enough to me.

And I've yet to hear any promoters of this proposal explain to me why, if the dams are so detrimental to fish, the Klamath River has been one of the few rivers where salmon fishing has been allowed of late.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Last Night's Gubernatorial Debates

Too funny. What Steve Greenhut said.

Great minds think alike. As I wrote here earlier on, it won't matter who the next Governor is. This state is unfixable.


Voter Recommendations

A couple tables available showing various organizations' recommendations on the ballot initiatives: The HOPE Coalition has theirs up. Then there's this one from California Choices.

I found it odd that the HOPE list shows the Libertarian Party of California not taking a position on Prop 23- the one that would suspend AB32- while the Cal Choices one shows (correctly, in my opinion) the LP of CA recommending a Yes vote on Prop 23.


Thursday, October 07, 2010

Jerry Droz Was Right?

Reading the Times- Standard account of the Eureka Mayor's Race candidate forum, has me wondering if Jerry Droz was right in his accusation that Peter LeVallee contributed to the deterioration of the 101 corridor and the increase in the transient population?

It sounds like Levallee thinks the conversion of local motels into housing for the homeless as happened at the Serenity Inn and Broadway Motel is a good thing and he's suggesting more of the same.

I'll have to say I do get that yucko feeling when I drive by those places. I'm glad people have a place to sleep and stay out of the weather, but do we really need even more places like that around town?


Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Sleep tight and...

don't let the bedbugs bite".

My mother used to say that as she put me to bed when I was young. I thought they were a mystical creature back then, but now I know they're real. Here's yet another news article on bed bug infestations spreading across the globe. Gives me the willies. One more thing to worry about.

We've been lucky to not run into bed bugs in our travels. This hotel bed bug registry doesn't make me feel any better, except no bed bugs reported up here. Problem is, I'd never heard of that web site before now and I'm sure others haven't, either. The site relies on personal reports to compile their list so I suspect infestations are under reported.

On the other hand, after reading normal lodging reviews on Yahoo and other sources, I've noticed- just like on blogs- some people don't seem to have anything good to say about anything or anybody. I can't help but wonder if somebody might have an ax to grind and make up a bed bug story about some place they may or may not have stayed just to get even with them for some slight, real or imagined?

Makes me not want to go anywhere anymore. I might end up bringing some home.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

An Argument For Prop 23?

I guess, but the writer of this piece in the Orange County Register makes a pretty convoluted case for it by concentrating more on AB32- the law that Prop 23 would suspend- and global warming. Not that I don't think he makes a good case. He just wrote too much. He's not alone in his thinking, either.

What I've found to be missing in the debate over Prop 23 is that passage of Prop 23 doesn't mean individuals and communities can't still pursue alternative energy. If you or your community wish to set up a solar or windmill farm after Prop 23 passes, by all means do so. You simply won't be FORCED to use more expensive energy sources that you might not be able to afford as will likely happen as AB23 is further implemented.

Seems simple enough to me and that's why I'm voting YES on Prop 23.

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Friday, October 01, 2010

Singleton Again

Why should I not be surprised when Jason Singleton's name showed up in this North Coast Journal story about a Garberville company that apparently was a serial lawsuit filer?