Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Losing Faith In America

I watched a show on Fox News a couple nights ago called "Are We Losing Faith In America". The first few minutes showed it was about religion, not about faith in country as I first assumed.

The first twenty minutes or so they described fewer people having interest in church and documented a number of churches actually closing. That's good news to me and, no, I'm not saying I want to shut down the churches. I'm just glad to see them declining by people's own volition. Of course, the theme of the show overall was that this is a bad thing. Oh, well.

Last half hour or so of the show went into ways the church is trying to rebrand itself and find new ways to make the institution relevant to people's lives. Good for them. 

One interesting thing they showed later on was a baptist(?) church somewhere in the southeast. Can't remember the state, or for sure if it was baptist, but it was losing members. So much so they couldn't afford to keep it open. Who'da thunk that could happen in the Bible Belt?

Then came the Arabics to the rescue. Actually, I'm not sure if that was the exact word, but they were arabic speaking baptists (maybe protestants). There were enough of them and they bought out the church, took it over and the old congregation joined them in a mixed language church. The english speakers had a translator and used earpieces to understand what was being said.

Kinda neat the way they joined together, although the xenophobe in me didn't particularly like middle easterners taking over an American church, lol. 

Anyway, maybe something for both sides in that show. I found it interesting and good news that church in America seems to be declining. I'm also not all that sure it's a bad thing that the churches are trying to stay relevant. 

I believe the link above has video of the show for those interested in watching it, but the web site drives my computer nuts.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

I Hate Neckties

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry at this piece in The Telegraph over why neckties should be worn at work. Why would anyone advocate in favor of wearing neckties? As much as I dislike Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, he's a no tie guy that wears t- shirts and hoodies to even more formal events. I'll give him credit for that.

I was thinking about ties years ago and realized there probably is some....not sure what to call it...value to them. They give at least some people an air of respectability and competence. Back when I had a retirement account, the guy who managed it at Dean Witter was always dressed in a suit and tie. I liked and respected him, but had to admit I might not have as much respect if he wore sweat pants and a t- shirt when he saw me as I nearly always do. The tie helped him seem professional and worth listening to. 

I won't go so far with everyone else, though, and still think ties are crap for most of us. One of the few nice things to look forward to in the future might be the decline in people that feel the need to wear a necktie.

Monday, September 28, 2015

LInkedin, FB Friends, etc: Friend Requests

Just a short rant about something I've been annoyed with for some time. On all these social networks like Linkedin and Facebook you get these requests to be Friends or whatever. I don't believe they ever give a reason why you would want to add them. I don't know about Linkedin but Facebook doesn't have a space to add a reason.

Why would anyone, especially someone you don't otherwise know, expect you to just add them if they don't give you a reason or tell you who they are? Stupid.

Rant over.

Dems Work On Getting Out The Vote

I've wrote before I've never understood all the whining over low voter turnout. Who cares how many people show up to vote when the end result might well be the same? The only time I care is when I hear from like minded people that don't vote.

About the only reason I can come up with for wanting everyone to vote is it kinda justifies whatever happens after the vote: 50.5 people can elect candidates and pass legislation to screw the other 49.5% and it's ok because everyone voted. Hey, majority rules, right?

Over at the Sacramento Bee, Dan Walters looks at Democratic efforts to increase voter registration numbers and thus the Democratic majority. Never mind that it's easy enough to register to vote in this state as it is. But Dan comes up with a good point: "Certainly some of the new registrants would cast ballots, but raising overall registration numbers will likely mean a further decline in turnout percentages, perhaps markedly so.".

In other words, if you raise the number of registered voters, but most still stay away from the polls, that might actually give us lower participation statistically. Wouldn't that be something? 
As an aside, a similar article appeared in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat earlier this summer bemonaning low voter turnout and efforts to get more people registered. Regular contributor to the P-D comments section, and Democrat partisan, Rick O'Shay commented (as best I remember), "If all these people that aren't voting voted, you Republicans would never hold another office in this country again.".

I replied, "Thanks for your admission that if all the people who have no idea what's going on and have little, if any, interest in politics voted, the Democrats would gain an advantage".

That's about the only time I remember him not having some sort of comeback.

Read more here:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Those Old Vinyl Records

One of those things from Facebook. I believe it's a speed control from an old record turntable. The numbers are for the record's revolutions per minute. I remember there being a 33,45 and 78(?)rpm. For the life of me I don't recall ever seeing a 16. I don't remember ever playing a 78, although I might have seen one or two.

The Mars Announcement

CNN reports, and I heard it the radio yesterday, that NASA will make a big announcement Monday about finding something on planet Mars. My gut feeling says I'll be underwhelmed. I hope I'm wrong. I'm guessing finding water, or evidence of it. Anyone else want to take a guess?

Addendum: I've mentioned this book here before, but it's probably been a while. I read Mission To Mars by James Oberg back in the '80s. Oberg was a NASA guy and wrote about the concepts and plans for sending people to Mars.  

He had it all down, although I don't remember if he addressed current questions I have about its feasibility- a couple being solar radiation effects on people and a six month absence of gravity while enroute. He even got into making Mars more habitable by terraforming- introducing plant life to create more oxygen (hint: start with lichens).

Fascinating book, and the one review on Amazon says plans haven't changed much over the years. If I could sit down to read a book nowadays, I might well read it again.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Decline of the Educational- Industrial Complex?

My colleague J.D. Tuccille looks at a promising innovation in employment. A couple well regarded employers in the United Kingdom and the U.S. are "lowering" their requirements for new hires. The U.K.'s Ernest and Young- a well known accounting firm- and America's Price Waterhouse won't be using higher education qualifications as criteria for hiring anymore:

"....they’d 'found no evidence to conclude that previous success in higher education correlated with future success in subsequent professional qualifications undertaken."

Something I've felt for years and have written about before. That's not to say that some jobs don't require higher education. If you want to be an engineer or doctor, you'll still have to spend the time in school. 

Many jobs that require or prefer a degree in one thing or another can be filled by people that just have ability. When I applied at Humboldt County Juvenile Hall, the then- superintendent told me that although they preferred a Bachelor's degree in some sociological field or another, they really just wanted someone that had a way with kids. 

We need more of that sort of thing and kudos to those two businesses for breaking ground. Let's hope more businesses follow.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Blue Lake's Logger Bar

The Times- Standard reports the Blue Lake City Council has decided the city's existing noise ordinance doesn't apply to its Logger Bar- the Logger Bar being established in 1899 and the ordinance adopted much later in 1956. In other words, the Logger Bar was kinda grandfathered out of it.

Kinda puts a decades old spin on that saying about not moving in next to the airport and then complaining about the noise, doesn't it?

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Fortuna Requests Brush Clearing

KIEM TV News reported last night on the City of Fortuna's problem with illegal camping. Now they're requesting everyone clear brush from around their property as a way of keeping the property from being used for homeless camps. 

That might work to keep some camps out of smaller areas. City Garbage cleared the brushy area across from their dump on West Hawthorn Street and I've never seen anyone camping there. But, those camps are going to have to go somewhere. If they clear out too much the homeless might have no where else to go but the cleared areas.

KIEM's poll asks whether you think brush clearing would be an effective deterrent to illegal camping. It should be in the upper right of the above linked page. I voted Yes but, as I pointed out, it would probably only work for smaller areas.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Record Prisoner Exonerations Last Year

The Daily Sheeple reports on something I saw a couple mentions of lately: Last year saw the highest number of exonerations of people released from prison because they were proven innocent. I suppose that's good news, although I'm skeptical of the term "proven".

Just because a court convicts someone of something doesn't mean they did it. Just because they're acquitted doesn't mean they didn't. That probably applies while they're in jail just as it does in court.

That County Employee Strike Thing

The Humboldt Consequential has another hard- hitting post. Today he rags on the state county employee's union over their threat of a strike if they don't get a pay raise. He uses stronger words than I might but still a fun read.

Decades ago I worked over 3 years for the county and actually was a member of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME). They're the local county employee organization threatening a strike. I normally wouldn't have joined, but the shop steward where I worked was an absolute fox and brow beat me into signing up. How could I refuse?

I don't know how it is now, but I got along quite well back then. I had no complaints and felt I was paid adequately and received health insurance.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Speaking of Presidents

Here's a list of all the U.S. Presidents in order of wealth.  The ratings "...included factors such as land and property, income, inheritance, and book royalties in their calculation". No mention of inflation but I'm assuming it's included as the $4 to $500k some presidents accumulated would be a staggering amount in today's dollars. 

One of those lists where they have a separate page for each president, unfortunately. but I'll be the spoiler for those not willing to work their way to the end: Wealthiest U.S. President was John F. Kennedy, although they note he was killed before he could take control of all his inheritance.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Presidents and the Economy

John Fullerton posted some info from the recent issue of North Coast Journal on his Facebook page. A then and now look at Humboldt County showing certain demographic changes that have taken place over the years. 

The only other comment than mine was that the average income in the country has been reduced $1500.00 in I forget how many years. He went on to write that the presidential candidate that addresses that and comes up with a solution "hopefully wins". I had to reply that only applies if you think the President has all that much to do with the economy. I know it's akin to blasphemy, but I've always questioned that.

I mentioned that years ago to the guy at Dean Witter that handled my retirement account. He replied that they can have a beneficial effect if they do "...the right things". He never specified what those were. I would think just about everyone has a different opinion about what the right things are.

When you think about it, though, the President doesn't run the country or economy by himself. There's all kinds of things and people involved, many of which the President doesn't really have any direct effect on. Some policies that affect the economy have been in place for years, if not decades. Bush, for example, being blamed for the 2008 recession. Many of the policies that led to that downfall go all the way back to the Carter administration, or so I've been told.

Bush got the blame for that. I suppose that's only fair. Since they take credit for good times, the buck stops with them in bad times, as well. They take praise or blame regardless of whether they had much to do with it- accepting praise when they can. Deflecting blame when they can.

I've felt this way since way back. Earliest I remember was back when Reagan was running for his second term. I was a moderate to conservative Republican back then. I remember him asking, "Are you better off now than you were four years ago?". I liked Reagan, but I had to answer his question to myself, "Yes, I am better off now than I was back then, but it's not because of anything you did.". And it wasn't.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Pat Buchanan Right Again...On Putin

Pat Buchanan is being too polite in his critique of U.S. policy with Syria, and not praising the Russians enough. I've wrote it here before and write again, we should be thanking the Russians for their intervention, not threatening them.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The Republican Presidential Debates

They were on last night. I didn't care and didn't watch them. So THERE!

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Eureka's Nuisance Property Proposal

The Times- Standard reports the city council unanimously agreed to introduce a nuisance ordinance for residential properties similar to the one passed for motels and hotels not too long ago. Unlike such ordinances in other cities, this one seems to require criminal actions be combined with physical problems to qualify as such a property.

I'm a bit leery of this. If nothing else, if occupants of a nuisance house are forced to vacate, where will they end up next? We happen to have pretty nice neighbors, but that could change. What if someone moves, their house ends up for rent, and the nuisance occupants end up living within sight of me? 

I realize everyone has to live somewhere and we're pretty lucky that we're surrounded by nice neighbors. Heck, even the druggie house folks a bit up the street, while dysfunctional, seem nice enough most of the time. I'd personally prefer the bad folks living where they are. I know. Easy for me to say where I'm least for now.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


I think we have some mourning doves frequenting our yard but I'm not absolutely sure. They've been in the neighborhood for some time. You could hear their "hoo, hoo" call and see them on the telephone lines.  They looked more like doves to me on the phone lines than they do up close.

The last week or so they've been hanging in our apple trees and even using the bird bath. A treat for me. They're like the picture (best one I could find) but at least one has a black ring all the way around its neck. None of the pictures I've found show a full ring around the neck. At least one of them just has a couple black patches on each side of the neck as you can barely see in the picture. Maybe the full ring is a male?

Anyone know what else they might be if they're not mourning doves?

Don't Make Your Bed

According to this article, making your bed each morning protects critters that live in it, dust mites for example. Leaving it unmade helps control, if not kill them. Still, I don't think you could ever get them all.

I read something years ago saying that 25, or was it 50%(?), of the weight of pillows past a certain age comes from dead dust mites.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Our Modern Electronic Cars

I like the wife's relatively new 2013 Hyundai Elantra. I even enjoy some of the electronic stuff on it, like the trip mileage calculator that supposedly tells you how many miles per gallon you get on a specified trip. Fun stuff, but I'm also very leery of the electronics as they have the potential of giving you a whole bunch of new headaches. I got my first taste of that yesterday.

The wife comes in and says a new light is showing on her dashboard. She grabs the owner's manual and finds it's the tire pressure warning light. Of course, she considers it an emergency so I go out and check the pressure on all four tires. They're all the same at around 28psi. I figure either they're all low, or it's a false alarm. On the way back from Winco I stop and add some air, getting them all just over the standard 32psi. I drive off and the light is still on. I guess that means it's a false alert.

I get home and do a search online for this sort of problem. I find one forum that mentions sometimes the tire pressure sensors go bad or are defective. One lady replies that she thought it was a warranty thing but the dealer says no.  Oh, great. This is the sort of electronic problem I feared.

I told the wife to take it back to Lithia, describe the problem and see what they say. I guess it's not that big a deal. We've drove cars for how long without automatic tire pressure sensors? We can just leave that warning light on, but it's still rather annoying. And you have to wonder what's next?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Leonardo's Sandwich Sale

I was told at Winco's Leonardo's Pizza today they have a special on their Grinder sandwiches. Two 12" sandwiches for $11.00.  What a deal! The girl told me she thought the deal was good until October. Yum, yum, but please don't go in there between 10am and noon on Sundays. That's when I get mine each week. I don't want you all standing in line ahead of me.

And tell them The Freddy sent you.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Why Anti- Smokers Hate E-Cigs

Over at the Rest Of The Story blog, Dr. Michael Siegel looks into why anti- smoking zealots are so down on vaping and e- cigarettes. A curious thing for him, being an anti- smoking zealot himself who feels e-cigs are a very effective form of harm reduction. He comes up with four main reasons. He elaborates on them back at his blog:

"First, the concept of using a cigarette-like device that delivers nicotine without using or burning tobacco as a smoking cessation strategy came from outside the tobacco control movement. We did not think of it."- A proprietary conflict, so to speak, but probably some truth to it. 

"Second, electronic cigarettes represent a philosophical and ideological threat to the tobacco control movement because they involve a strategy in which a behavior which looks like smoking is embraced as a method of quitting smoking. This is completely beyond the mindset of 95% of tobacco control practitioners,..."- Agreed. Common with most people. If it looks bad, it is bad.

"Third, electronic cigarettes also represent a philosophical and ideological threat to the tobacco control movement because they involve a harm reduction rather than an abstinence approach."- I've noticed this myself from the medical community.

"Finally, electronic cigarettes also represent a philosophical and ideological threat to the tobacco control movement because they challenge the entrenched principle that nicotine is the sine qua non of smoking addiction."

Some good insights. Especially since they come from someone within the anti- smoking community. One thing he doesn't address is following the money, as someone pointed out in comments to his post. 

Anti- smoking organizations get lots of money from tobacco sales, but what are these groups going to do when that source of revenue dries up? We're already seeing that in this state's attacks on e-cigs. It comes from a steady decline in tobacco sales revenue as people quit or greatly reduce smoking by switching to e-cigs. 

They need another source of revenue and lay the groundwork for that by attacking e-cigs. While e-cigs aren't yet punitively taxed as tobacco is, they're trying their best to demonize them so the public might be more willing to. 

Not a bad strategy to attack those least able to defend themselves- a steadily declining and generally lower income demographic. The doctor is right in his observations, but he also needs to follow the money.

Friday, September 11, 2015

No Copper in Fiber Optic Cables

I asked the question on Lost Coast Outpost after they severed the fiber optic cables in Hopland a while back: Do fiber optic cables contain copper, or did the bad guys just think they do? Nobody answered. 

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat seems to have answered my question today: "Investigators believe the would-be thieves were seeking copper wire and abandoned the severed, partially unstrung cable — an estimated 700 feet — after realizing it wasn’t copper.

They probably had no idea it was a fiber optic cable. Just something used by the phone company so assumed it contained copper.

Automation: Mid- Level Workers Most Threatened?

Over at The Daily Sheeple, a writer shares my view of artificial intelligence and automation taking over more and more jobs. He differs a bit in believing lower level jobs might actually be safer from from automation than mid and higher level jobs. His reasoning seeming to be lower level jobs are more affordable to employers.

He doesn't seem to consider pressures on low level (minimum wage) jobs now. In this country the so called "living wage" being one that might make those jobs less affordable (at least in the short run). We're already seeing automation developed to replace those workers. Also, when you consider employers are more and more being forced to essentially adopt workers- providing health care and whatever else- when they're hired, it makes a live employee much less desirable.

Perhaps I'm nitpicking. He and I both agree the future holds some interesting challenges to most people's jobs.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Dysfunctional Government?

I love this piece by Steve Chapman over at Reason magazine. He addresses complaints of dysfunctional or corrupt government. While not exactly disagreeing, he points out things kinda work the way they're meant to:

"Actually, the American government does a good job responding to the desires of the electorate. Sanders, Cruz and many citizens assume they don't get their way because the system fails. 
But sometimes they don't get their way because most people don't agree with them. Sometimes they don't get their way because it collides with constitutional principles. Sometimes they get their way, but what they want is contradictory and—what's the word I'm looking for?—dysfunctional. "

One common complaint he doesn't include is the old "..government is bought and paid for by special interests", although I suppose Sanders' accusations of corruption might suffice. I probably hear that more than anything else. I've wrote here before that special interests include pretty much everybody. 

Unions, environmental groups and pro- choice organizations are special interest groups. As are gun rights groups, tax watchdog groups, anti- abortion advocates, manufacturers associations and what have you. They all represent interests of any number of different people.

I fail to see anything fundamentally wrong with any interest group assembling for representation with government. I may not agree with them, but they all have a right to organize and lobby government on behalf of their interests.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Obama Beats Bush In Bombings

I've given Obama credit here before for at least seeming to resist the siren song of war, earlier on, anyway. Just noticed this article that points out that Obama has actually bombed more countries than Bush. Who'da thunk? Except it could be just a natural progression and whoever is in the White House next will beat them both?

Oh, the list, for those that don't want to follow the link?

Bush: Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen
Obama: Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Iraq (again) and Syria
And just something I've been trying to avoid bringing up here: This crap in Syria with us worried the Soviets are going to intercede and help Assad is ridiculous. We should applaud the Russians if they want to help Assad. 

We've seen what happened to the two countries whose dictators were removed and killed.  Things would likely be much better over there if we'd left things alone. I'm not saying we militarily support Assad, but we certainly shouldn't be helping those trying to depose him. Let's hope the Russians do go in, although how much help they'll be is anyone's guess.

This current policy of us attacking both sides- ISIS and Assad- is downright schizoid, and I'll give Obama the lion's share of the credit for it.

1. Iraq
2. Afghanistan
3. Pakistan
4. Yemen
1. Iraq
2. Afghanistan
3. Pakistan
4. Yemen
5. Somalia
6. Libya
7. Iraq (Again)
8. Syria
- See more at:

The GOA, Ted Cruz, Bigotry, or Not?

I had to laugh yesterday when I received notice in my Inbox that the Gunowners Of America- a gun rights organization- had chosen who to endorse in the presidential race. I figured it was likely Ted Cruz. Either him or Marco Rubio. I was right. It was Ted Cruz

I'm sure Cruz is a pretty good supporter of gun rights as GOA mentioned in their announcement, but I couldn't help but wonder if there might be some other considerations. It may seem trivial, but I couldn't help but think they'd pick someone who wasn't sympathetic to LGBT issues. Cruz fits that bill, but I don't consider him or others that oppose same- sex marriage to be bigots, as some here accuse anyone who isn't sympathetic to their cause. People aren't necessarily bigots because they have different moral standards than others.

A recent incident with Ted Cruz makes my point. Some big wig dinner in New York, or wherever it was, not too long ago. Ted Cruz took time to chat with a couple well known gay guys. Cruz didn't mind and I don't believe caught any flak for it. The LGBT community was outraged their two guys would talk to someone like Cruz. I read the two had to make some large donations to LGBT groups to make amends.  Cruz wasn't the bigot there.
GOA and I go back a ways. I was a dues paying member for I'm not sure how long. I severed that connection many years ago after reading of an action by, I believe, Larry Pratt. He's the Executive Director, or whatever, of GOA and probably the best I've seen arguing for gun rights on television. He doesn't just play defense when he's on. He takes the offense, and does it well.

It would have had to have been after '96 as I believe I read the details online. GOA and other organizations had joined together to fight some gun control proposal in the Northeast. It might have been Washington DC. Of all the organizations to sign the petition in opposition to the gun control proposal was a local chapter of The Pink Pistols- a gay and lesbian self defense group.

Upon hearing of the Pink Pistols signing on with the effort, someone within GOA had their name removed from the petition. Either Pratt or one of his underlings. Apparently, whoever it was felt it wasn't right to be seen on a list that included an LGBT organization.

I was appalled. I don't care what your cause is. When you're working for something you reach out for alliances from whomever, even if that one cause is the only interest you have in common. One of the stupidest political mistakes I can recall and all because of an unreasonable fear of even having one's name on the same list with a queer group. 

At that point I withdrew my financial support. That was more than biting off one's nose to spite your face. That's what I'd call bigotry. Bigotry aside, it still showed very poor judgment on behalf of GOA. I don't know that Pink Pistols suffered from it. The rest of that pro- gun coalition might well have.

Another Outage?

Internet down at around 7:25am. Hoping again its not just me.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Pat Cleary and Humboldt Area Foundation

The Humboldt Consequential has a must read expose on the goings on with Pat Cleary and the Humboldt Area Foundation. Cleary is Executive Director of HAF. If true, Cleary has HAF involved behind the scenes in various local political efforts, even going so far as to hire a Bay Area activist to run them. Nothing wrong with those efforts in themselves but, as THC writes;

"No, our beef is with HAF, and their backhanded attempts to hijack the politics and voices of our community through the once-proud reputation and influence of a storied “non-partisan” organization."

I agree. Pretty shameless behavior but, even if completely true, it should be no surprise.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Eureka's Low Cost Housing Plan

The Times- Standard reports the Eureka Housing Authority is asking the city to participate in a plan to upgrade the low cost public housing in the project just south of the Eureka Mall. This won't be renovating. It will be tearing down the old apartments and building new ones in their place. 

This is a surprising development. Tearing down the old apartments a few at a time and moving tenants into new ones as available. Most homeowners do renovations as they can afford. I'm not sure I've ever heard, barring some disaster, of someone tearing down their house and putting up a new one in its place. Whatever. When it's only taxpayer money, I guess it's fair game.

This is the sort of thing I think about when plans are floated for a legal campground or some other sort of free housing for the homeless. Doesn't seem like too big of a deal, at first. Then all sorts of requirements and expenses start coming into play. Before you know it, it costs a lot more than you'd first imagined and becomes a way of life for those being housed.
I actually had occasion to go into some of those apartments to meet a couple different girls through some dating service they had up here back in the late '70s. I'm not suggesting all apartments had the same sort of cases in them, but wouldn't be surprised.

The apartments those girls lived in were a bit of a shock to me in their lack of normal living amenities. Maybe a couch, but not all that much else in furniture. Little to no carpeting, or much of anything else. What really got me was that the girls didn't seem to think much of it. That was their home, their lifestyle. That's all they knew.

Quite an awakening to the other side, and I wasn't too well off myself at that time. Maybe it's different now. I saw one of the girls years later. She'd moved into public housing in Arcata. That place didn't seem so barren. I recall it did have carpeting, but she still didn't have a couch.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Eureka City Council Homeless Discussion

I happened to watch some of the recent Eureka City Council meeting last night on Access Humboldt TV where they tried to come up with a plan to deal with the homeless issue. The Humboldt Consequential also commented on the meeting and homelessness in general. He is certainly much more cynical than I am about what went on.

What I saw were five city council members, none of whom had any answers, but some seemingly on opposite sides.

Councilgal Linda Atkins seemed to want to drop the whole thing as it wouldn't work, also pointing out if we run the homeless from the Devil's Playground, they'll just end up somewhere else. She's right.

Councilgals Ciarabellini and Brady seemed more along the lines of the "we have to do something" side, citing the mess and legal liability we have with the current situation. They're right. 

Councilgals Bergel and Arroyo weren't sure what to do as it's a complex situation. They wanted something done, but weren't sure what and didn't want to end up making mistakes. They're right.

They were all right but finally agreed to set any action aside until some months from now. I'm not sure there's much else they could do.

One of the comments to the Humboldt Consequential suggested it was all about jobs. If those homeless just had jobs, this wouldn't be an issue. Sorry. From what I've seen,  many if not most of the homeless aren't capable of the kind of work that would allow them to get off the streets.

There's no easy answer.

Friday, September 04, 2015

Violating The Law Is Sacred....Depending

Didn't want to bring this up again so soon. It seems akin to beating a dead horse but, to stir the pot with our militant LGBT readers, I will.

Most of the commentary from Reason magazine on the Kentucky County Clerk case seems to follow my line of thinking. The first paragraph of this recent article is pretty much along the line of what I already wrote:

"Working for the government is not an inalienable right. So Kim Davis, a county clerk in Kentucky, was wrong to refuse same-sex couples marriage licenses in her office. If you're unwilling to enforce the law, you shouldn't be an officer of the state. After all, it's not a clerk's job to ascertain the constitutionality or practicality of a law. If it were, we'd have anarchy. There are hundreds of other vocations she is free to pursue if this one doesn't suit her."

The writer then points out something I hadn't really thought about in regards taking a stand against state or federal law. Depending on what side you're on, defying state or federal law is often celebrated: 

"Let's start with the prevailing hypocrisy surrounding the attacks on Davis, a Democrat, and what it tells us about the state of American political debate and policymaking in 2015—because as you may have noticed, the rule of law only seems to be sacred when it happens to comport with liberal values."

He goes on to point out other cases of public officials acting contrary to the law, yet they were applauded. Taking Gavin Newsom and his officiating gay marriages among others, as examples:

"When Californians approved Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage, a number of officials refused to enforce the law. They were celebrated. I may even agree with the impulse. But not one elected official has been hauled off to jail for any of these stands."

He's got a point. I'm not sure she should be in jail, either. The bottom line is if the clerk doesn't want to carry out her functions under law, she should be removed from her position one way or the other. Then again, the author agrees with me on that.

N.C. Journal Does Humboldt Traffic

The North Coast Journal looks this week at Humboldt's traffic accident statistics. I was pleased to see them address vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents. Eureka Police Traffic dude, Gary Whitmer, pointed out many accidents are pedestrian's fault:

"Whitmer said the pedestrian education effort is huge, as he said pedestrians and bicyclists are at fault for a shocking number of accidents in town."

I've wrote before that the vast majority of such accidents could likely have been avoided if pedestrians simply pay attention and don't just expect drivers to see them and stop. I've gone back and forth here and elsewhere over this with many arguing it's the fault of drivers because they're supposed to stop. Good luck with that. Good to see at least someone agreeing with me on this.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

ATT Outage

I guess it isn't just me. My internet is down. Called att but message said all circuits are busy. So I got my tablet out and checked my email to find a message from Nextdoor Neighborhood referring to an ATT outage around the state.

It went on to say you could still contact county offices via email. I can't cause my internet is down, although I suppose I could using the 4G connection and this tablet.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Permitting Parklets

The Lost Coast Outpost seems to be Johnny- Come- Lately to reporting on Eureka's plans to experiment with parklets- little park like areas taking up the same space as some parking spots in Old Town. They do have some nice pictures, though.

What gets me is this sentence: "The owners of those four businesses are working through the permitting process....". 

You have to love it. This seems to be a city approved idea, if not a city generated idea to begin with. Wonder why these parklets get through the permit system in months yet it takes years for some businesses? Not complaining. Just wondering.

Disclosure: I don't know when the permit process started for these parklets, but seems to me we've only been hearing of the idea for a few months.

That Kentucky County Clerk

Some of you have probably heard of the county clerk in Kentucky that is refusing to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples despite the Supreme Court decision essentially declaring such marriages legal. It may surprise some here that I think that clerk should be fired or otherwise removed from her position.

She is a government agent, thus required to serve all people equally as the law dictates. I appreciate her religious objections, but sometimes you shouldn't take or hold a job if it conflicts with religious or other feelings. I'd suggest she step down and let some other person take charge that has no objection to following the law.

If you want to be a police officer but have a moral objection to using force, you shouldn't have that job and the police department shouldn't even consider making accommodations for you. The same could be said of just about any other job in government or private business. If you're not comfortable with, or have conflicts with moral aspects of that job, you should get work elsewhere.

Lest anyone think that means I'm softening my stand on baking wedding cakes or photographing same sex weddings, you'd be wrong. A private business does its business as the owner feels comfortable with. If they find same sex weddings abhorrent, they shouldn't have to participate. 

Why the difference? There is a difference between a government agent and a private person or business. Government needs to treat everyone equally according to the law. Private businesses run their businesses as they see fit.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

More Teen Sexting Absurdity

A couple of 17 year olds- boyfriend and girlfriend- send some revealing photos to each other. The cops find out for unrelated reasons and arrest the guy. The girl seems to face charges, too. Reason magazine tells the story...again. It's happening more and more often. Not just the sexting, but the criminal charges.

This sexting paranoia has gone crazy.