Saturday, January 28, 2012

School Dress Codes

This story that Radley Balko linked to reminded me of school dress codes. I hated dress codes when I went to high school.

Both Mission Viejo and University High School, that I attended for a while, had dress codes. As I recall their dress code was much the same as the one in the story: Guy's hair couldn't touch the collar or ears, and no beards or mustaches. Also, girls couldn't wear pants except on a Pant's Day that as held two or three times a year.

I hated it, being a punk yippie. Eventually, some of us managed to get around the hair requirements by buying "short hair wigs". Those were pretty much just normal wigs except the hair on them met the dress code requirements. You'd put the wig on and stuff your longer hair under the wig. Looked kind of stupid but served its purpose. Once you left campus, the wig came off.

I managed to get away from the dress code entirely after I weaseled my way into continuation school. Hillview High School didn't have a dress code.

I don't believe Eureka High School has a dress code. I recall working near there one day and a group of girls were hanging out nearby. For some reason they reminded me of dress codes and I mentioned it to them. They seemed pretty unhappy even at the suggestion of one.

Anybody know of any schools in the area that still have dress codes?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Lots of Petitions Out There

Here's the Secretary of State's list of all 60 (!) ballot initiatives or referendum cleared for circulation as of yesterday. A number of them seem to be similar, dealing with marijuana, taxes and even abortion.

The two most important are the ones that will return the state to a part- time legislature, which I've mentioned before here, and the elimination of the High Speed Rail Authority. That one will save the state near 100 billion dollars, if not more. Passing those two is imperative.

There's 17 initiatives still waiting to be approved for circulation.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

More Pot = Safer Streets?

Interesting piece here that looks at the lower auto accident fatalities in states that legalized medical marijuana.

I tend to agree that with most people it's either pot or alcohol. I've heard from others that claim they can do both. Last time I smoked pot was back in the early 80s. Back then, if I smoked pot and drank beer I'd end up having to have a chat with the toilet. It was only one or the other for me.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gary Johnson on FOX Tonight

Past two term Governor of New Mexico and Libertarian Party Presidential hopeful, Gary Johnson, will be on TV tonight with John Stossel on the FOX Business Network. 8:30pm Eastern Time which I believe is 5:30pm Pacific Time.

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

SOPA/PIPA: The Day After

You can go back to Craigslist and Wikipedia now. Yesterday's protest is over but we haven't seen the last of those two bills. Reason magazine has a round up on the protest and where the legislation stands now.

Hat tip to Radley Balko for the link.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Call To Action: Stop SOPA

Some web sites, including Craigslist and Wikipedia, have blacked themselves out today to protest the proposed Protect IP and Stop Online Privacy Acts working their way through congress. Craigslist lists a number of things, including online forms, you can do to make your feelings known to your congresscritters.

I found one page that shows Senator Dianne Feinstein as currently supporting Protect IP/SOPA. Mike Thompson opposes but no word on Senator Barbara Boxer. Everyone should at the very least contact Feinstein and Boxer and urge their NO votes on the bills.

I used on the e-mail form on Barbara Boxer's site to contact her. I tried FAXing Dianne Feinstein but there seems to be something wrong with my FAX program. I then tried e-mailing through her web site but access is real slow and I'm getting an error message on her e-mail page. I suspect she's getting hammered with traffic over this.

Now's the time to give them a piece of your mind!

Addendum: Politico has an explanation of what this is all about.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Citizen's Legislature Act

The Sacramento Bee has a partial list of ballot initiatives circulating right now. They say there might be over 50(!) after all have been cleared by the Secretary of State's office. Yikes!

I won't comment on all of them now but The Citizen's Legislature Act, which would revert the state legislature back to part time, is the most important one of the bunch. I realize the idea of a part- time legislature frightens a lot of people in this state- so many Californians wanting someone to govern every aspect of their lives- but it's the best thing we can do in both the short and long run.

Remember that California used to have a part- time legislature decades ago and things went pretty smooth. Many other states do fine with them. The problem is full- time legislators have way too much time on their hands, judging from the sort of stuff that comes out of Sacramento. The vast majority of it is wasteful, unnecessary or an assault on you or somebody else's freedoms.

We likely can't roll back the clock and take back everything they've done over the years but, by limiting the time they spend in Sacramento, we can at least slow down the pace of future damage.

I Lost My Cookies!

or something like that.

Ever turn on your computer one day and none of the web sites you frequent recognize you? That's what happened to me this morning. News web sites, blogspot, name it. I had to log in to everything today. Not as easy as you would think if you forget the username and password for certain sites.

I'm wondering if there's a keyboard shortcut that deletes cookies and maybe I hit just the right keys and accidentally deleted them? Either that or my firewall is blocking them, but its settings haven't changed.

Oh well. I think I got everything back to normal now.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

New Plastic Shopping Bag Site

Here's a new web site for those caught up in the plastic bag ban hysteria. Nicely done, I thought. Their Discover The Cure page has some interesting info on plastic bags.

The first thing to catch my attention is they say plastic shopping bags are made with natural gas- suggesting they're not made with oil as we've been led to believe. Hmmm??? How can that be?

Second, while plastic bags are recyclable, don't be putting them in your recycling bin with the other plastics as they suggest. They aren't supposed to be in there, unless things have changed with the Willits company taking over our local recycling. Just drop them in the recycling bin at the supermarket.


Vote For the GOOOH Candidate?

This letter to the editor of the Redwood Times piqued my curiosity if for no other reason than the writer was from out of state and the content wasn't specifically local. He wants incumbents out of office. I had to follow the link he provided.

I appreciate the sentiment of the Get Out Of Our House folks. At the same time, it reads a lot like some of the airhead comments I've read in the Sacramento Bee: Fire them all! Elect nobody!... blah, blah, blah.

Of course, the guys who make those comments likely never run for office themselves. They're just pointing fingers. They probably wouldn't have a clue of what to do if they were in the position of those they're criticizing. I'd also be willing to bet good money most of them vote for incumbents time and time again.

At least these GOOOH folks actually have a plan to replace incumbents by running themselves and it makes as much sense as some other ideas. Whether it amounts to anything remains to be seen.

"Politicians are a bunch of bums. We just need a different set of bums".- unknown

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Romney's N.H. Win

I was watching the NBC Nightly News last night. I got the impression news anchor Brian Williams was relieved that he could declare Mitt Romney the winner in the New Hampshire primary. Maybe it's just me?

Addendum: Interesting headline from Yahoo's news story on last night: "...GOP Comes to Grips with His Inevitability". At least some of those commenting on the story are a bit offended by what seems to be the media telling them who they should vote for.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Gary Johnson Talks Pot With MPP

Past two- term Governor of New Mexico and Libertarian Party Presidential hopeful, Gary Johnson, will participate in an online "town hall" meeting today, Monday, January 9 with the Marijuana Policy Project's Robert Kampia. It's planned to run from 5 to 7pm Pacific Time and can be viewed at Johnson's campaign web site.

I'm guessing this will be seen on his actual web site and not the cover page the url first sends you to. If your screen resolution is like mine, you'll need to scroll down to the bottom right of the cover page and click on the "Continue to" link.

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Sunday, January 08, 2012

Dealing With Stolen Recycled Metals

Stolen metals have been making the news for some time now. The Sacramento Bee reports on the frustration everybody is having in dealing with it. For some reason the stolen manhole covers catch my attention. I wonder if there might be a relatively easy solution to at least make it harder to market stolen manhole covers?

I hate to be the libertarian proposing new laws. I realize it's easier said than done and there would likely be unintended consequences to any new laws regarding the selling of scrap metal, but I think my manhole cover idea might actually help a little:

Just about any manhole cover in existence belongs to a government entity of some sort. Whether it be a city, county or municipal services district, who else would have reason to legally own a manhole cover? I can't think of anyone or any reason any of those entities would sell one of their manhole covers.

Have those government entities develop a sales certificate for manhole covers (and drainage grates and whatever). If they sell some metal object for scrap the form would be filled out, a seal stamped on it and it would be signed by department head in that entity- perhaps their public works director.

A manhole cover or drainage grate couldn't be sold to a recycling center without that form. Sure, it could be forged, but how many manhole covers and such are actually being brought in to recycling centers? It would be easy to just make a phone call to the government agency to confirm the few attempted sales.

You might even have to stop allowing cut metal to be sold without a certificate. I'm sure many of these manhole covers are cut up into smaller pieces to avoid identification.

I can't help but also wonder if it might be a good idea to require scrap metal sellers to keep a record of who and/ or where they acquired the metal they're trying to sell? That way dealers and police could follow up if something doesn't seem right.

Again, I realize this is easier said than done and I certainly don't want to make the lives of people like this any more difficult. But the certificate of sale by government agencies for manholes and such seems like it might make it enough of a hassle that thieves might leave the manhole covers alone.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

2012 Mayan Calendar Doomsday Prediction

I know we're all worried about the world coming to end this December, as some think is predicted by the Mayan Calendar. I was, too, until I read a comment on a friend's Facebook page.

She reminded me that we all have items in our cupboards with expiration dates well past December 2012 so it can't be true. Good point.

Thursday, January 05, 2012

Car Trivia: Safety Glass

I've always wondered about this. Watching Pawn Stars the other night, they were looking at buying an old 1924 automobile and I got to wondering again. This time I remembered the next morning to try and find an answer. Link
First, I've always wondered when auto safety glass was invented and first used. Second, what happened before cars were equipped with safety glass? I would think the slightest accident might result in a real mess when the windows broke and people were cut to shreds from the broken window glass. I was at least partly right on the second question.

What I found was that auto accidents were quite the mess back in the early days but, at the start, cars weren't equipped with windows. That's why you see drivers and passengers wearing goggles while in the first cars, and they were generally fair weather vehicles only used when it wasn't raining.

Once they started putting windows on cars, as this page relates, the carnage began. The inventor of safety glass stumbled upon it by accident but realized the real- life application of his discovery after reading that the most serious injuries from auto accidents was from broken glass.

That was back around 1903. It wasn't until after World War 1 that auto makers routinely began using safety glass.

Next question, which I haven't found a definite answer to, is when the first recorded automobile collision happened. I did find mention of the supposed first automobile fatality. That was back in 1879 when a person fell out of a car and was run over by its wheels. Can anyone find mention of the first recorded car vs. car collision?

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

ACLU's 2012 Presidential Candidate Scorecard

I was pleased to see my favorite, Gary Johnson, come in at the top of the American Civil Liberties Union presidential candidate report on civil liberties (warning: .pdf file). Good ol' Ron Paul comes in second with Obama at third. For some reason the report didn't include the drug war or death penalty, as Radley Balko reports.

Love or hate the ACLU, it's good to see someone besides the libertarians and the Libertarian Party paying attention to civil liberties issues.

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