Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Education Heresy

Disclaimer: This is my opinion only and does not represent the opinions of the Libertarian Party or, actually, of any other Libertarians I know of, with a couple exceptions.

This is heresy, to most of you, but I believe our University System is one of the most bloated, bogus, overblown institutions in our country today.

Just read how Cal State San Jose bought a five bedroom, five bath house for $2.5 million to house their University President. I know, that's not that much money for a house in the San Jose area but the fact that the University actually finds it necessary to buy a house for their president speaks volumes to me.

I'm not gonna go into a long rant about the University system right now. I'll wait until the next local news article shows up telling us what a great service HSU provides the community- then, I'll post my own rant. I read a commentary on lewrockwell.com some months ago that really conveyed my thoughts almost to the letter. Sadly, I can't find that article in the archives of the author I thought I remembered having wrote it. So, until I write my rant, I'll let this one written by Al Doyle, posted today on lewrockwell.com suffice. Not as good as the one I wanted, but it will do.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Where I Get My News

Some of you may be wondering how I keep track of all these issues I write such hard hitting commentary on. With the internet, of course, there's a seemingly never ending number of news sites and blogs that cover any given issue. I check some news sources every day, when possible, first thing each morning.

To start with, Rational Review News Digest, is in my e- mail inbox when I first check it in the morning although I usually save it for reading after I check my other news sites. RRND is a digest of about half news and half commentary that goes out Monday thru Friday, Monday usually being an online only edition. A title with a brief synopsis of each news item is included and articles can be from any place in the world and just about any source. RRND is free although they make occasional fund raising pitches.

Next, after checking my other e-mail, I go online and the first news stop is the CNN web site to check on any breaking news or other items of interest. I also take time to check out their daily opinion poll although I think it somewhat silly they often ask a complex question and only offer two choices for answers.

Then, off to World Net Daily, to see what they have in news and commentary. This site used to have a bit of a Libertarian bent to it and often featured comments by Harry Browne and others. They still do but they often aren't headlined items anymore. Seems more and more that this site is moving further toward the Religous Right side of things, which isn't to say that Libertarians don't share common issues with the Religous Right as we do with all other sides of the political spectrum. Still, some articles and commentary are of interest to me.

Next stop for commentary is Lew Rockwell's web site. This site updates Monday thru Saturday and is mostly commentary although an occasional news item is included. New items are, strangely for a political site, usually about food or archeology. Still, I often find those interesting as well. I've been disappointed with the content the last few weeks as some of the commentary I haven't found of much interest but he regularly features some of my favorite commentators such as Anthony Gregory, Charley Reese or Harry Browne, just to name a few.

Next, Anti War.com. This site, updated seven days a week, has news and commentary from just about every newspaper in the world and covers the entire globe. It was a real breath of fresh air during the beginning of Gulf War 2 when the U.S. media were mostly just an outlet for the White House and Pentagon. You find much more info on world events when you can look at news from other countries. Not all news articles are necessarily "anti war", either, or even about war. News on the War on Terror and Patriot Act and such are often included.

After that, I check my bookmarked blogs and then go eat breakfast while reading the hard copy version of the Times Standard. If nothing else, I read the TS if only to see what anyone else might be saying on the editorial page. I also use it to find subjects to comment on in this blog.

Back to the computer, I check the inbox and find the daily news and opinion digest from the Sacramento Bee. This is nice cause I often find news or opinion that my other news sites might not have been picked up from the Bee. Click on the link and you go to the story, if you're interested. The Bee's Dan Weintraub is one of my favorite commentators on state issues. He also started a blog, recently, that I check at least once a day. It has news/ commentary flashes that are often quite insightful.

Then I have a few news sites bookmarked I check in the same order: CalNews.com has a collection of state and national news and opinion and I go there every morning. Calnews definitely hails from a conservative point of view but, news is news. Occasionaly, they might have a CalNews.com editorial but mostly news and commentary is gleaned from other papers. My only complaint is they often have seven or eight articles on some breaking issue, like some political scandal, from a bunch of different papers when one or two might suffice.

The Eureka Reporter is next, to see if they covered anything the Times Standard didn't. They seem to only update their page every two or three days, though. Maybe that's cause they only publish their hard copy three days a week? Not a lot of news of interest to me, on the web page, but the local letters and other commentary is often interesting and might give me something to write about here.

I usually just check the letters to the editor section of the Ukiah Daily Journal. They don't seem to update their page often so I don't spend much time on that site.

The Santa Rosa Press Democrat does update their page regularly, although every now and then I'll find only the prior day's news and commentary. I usually check their headline news and then any editorials I find interesting and then read the letters to the editor.

Last, of the daily regular stops, is the San Francisco Chronicle. I check their headlines and then the editorial page, read the letters to the editor and I'm done with my morning news except for the Rational Review News Digest still waiting in my inbox. Of course, there's a few other news digests I receive, either daily or weekly, but I'll comment on them some other time.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

California Border Police

Some might think the subject of illegal immigration wouldn't have much to do with Humboldt County. We do have illegal immigrants up here, though. I remember speaking to one of the owners of a mexican restaurant in Eureka. She moved to this country, legally, from Mexico around thirty years ago. She was referring to a popular restaurant/ watering hole in town and told me nearly all the employees there were illegals. Somehow she could tell. I also had the experience of having a check done on my social security number at a county agency a few years ago only to find some mexican, in his early twenties, was also using the same social security number as I have.

I don't follow the Libertarian Party line that supports "open borders". I can't help but agree that "peaceful people should be able to emigrate and immigrate freely...". Sounds good, but no open borders. I won't go further into that now as I wanted to comment on the proposal by Assemblyman Ray Haynes to create a separate state run border patrol agency.

Haynes rightfully claims that illegal immigration costs this state billions of dollars and since the federal Border Patrol isn't securing the border, maybe California should. He thinks it will actually save the state money. That assumes, first, that a state run agency will be more effective than the Fed Border Patrol. I don't see how that would be a safe assumption to make.

I suppose if it actually worked, it might be worth the cost. But, I wonder if we can afford yet another police agency? Already police and firefighting agencies (in fact many government employees) are costing more than the taxpayers can afford. They have retirement benefits unheard of in the private sector that allow, in police and firefighter cases, a person to retire with close to full pay after thirty some years. That doesn't count medical benefits, either. So, when one of the local cops retires, it ain't over yet. You might be still paying most of what you were paying when he was actually working- depends on how the state invested his money: If the investments don't hold up, you pay whatever he's supposed to get. Anyway, that isn't good for anyone but the cops, and even some of them have reservations about the system, I've been told.

Do we want hundreds or thousands more cops with the related pension problems? I have serious problems with that. I also don't like the same old, same old...of government not doing what it's supposed to be doing and then coming up with another agency and another budget to fill for something we're already paying for. Happens all the time.

But something should be done to control our borders. I just wonder if there is anything that can be done that will work?

Thursday, May 26, 2005

All Those Permits

Yet another business, can't get started because of problems with required permits. What really gets me about such cases is the reaction so many people have to such things, like, "Oh, just one of those permit things...". It's like everyone has resigned themselves that there are three things in life you can count on: Death, Taxes and Permits. Seems to me not enough people question whether the permits should even be required in the first place.

I know. Some folks (and there are a lot of them) will insist we need permits from the government to assure our "safety", especially when talking about restaurants. Ok, then how about just not making permits a requirement? If I want to open a restaurant, it's my choice whether to have a permit or not. If you only want to go to restaurants that are approved by the government with a food establishment permit, you have that choice as well. All that would be required is, if I don't have a permit, I post notice somewhere easily seen in my resaurant that my restaurant hasn't been approved by the food police. If you come into my restaurant and don't see my permit on the wall, you are free to leave just as others are free to stay. Sounds simple enough to me.

I think the same thing should be done with building permits. If I hire someone to put a roof on my house, then I should decide whether I pay for a building inspector to come and approve the work. Heck, why should I be required to pay 5% of the cost of the job for a building permit that's approved by an inspector that may not know as much about roofing as the contractor who did the work? I suppose a future buyer might want to be assured his new home was built and maintained to the proper specifications. In that case, assuming you never had the construction inspected, you could always pay some inspector to come and check the house out and approve or disapprove it. Or, if you had obtained permits through the years, you could present them to the potential buyer. Don't know if that's much of an issue now with or without the permits, although roof and termite inspections are routine in real estate transactions.

The worst thing about all these permits is the publics indifference to them. As if government is not just a means to an end but the end in itself- and people seem to accept that. I rarely hear anyone propose getting rid of these permits, although lip service is made to "streamlining the system". Why bother streamlining the system when you really don't need the system in the first place?

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Eureka Garbage Problems

Interesting article in the Eureka Reporter today on trash problems in Eureka. Funny how the photo at the top of the story shows a bunch of shopping carts dumped into the Palco Marsh. While certainly a problem, I don't know that the dumping of shopping carts would be affected by any of the strategies mentioned in the article to reduce trash.

I wonder about this proposal to have trash collection mandated for Eureka residents, though. Some people don't need trash pick up and some people, even if you supplied trash cans for free, aren't going to use them. Some people are just slobs. I think I'd oppose such a plan and that's from a guy who just signed up for garbage service this year and thinks it's a bargain.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Issues Via The Redwood Peace and Justice Center

There's a couple of e-mails I received via the Redwood Peace and Justice Center e-mail list I wanted to comment on:

First, a day or two ago, something was sent out about helping the "defenders of the forest", referring to the tree sitters in the local logging areas. Wish I would of saved the e-mail so I could include the pertinent parts here but, suffice it to say, I think we've heard it all before.

They say they're being assaulted and brutalized because Palco's using professional tree climbers to remove the tree sitters from their perches. Unbelievable. As I've said before, they seem to feel they can do whatever they want and nobody should get in their way. I don't care how one feels about the logging issues but how can anybody think, or expect, that when they break the law and cost people money, everyone should just look the other way.

Next, we get a couple e-mails asking people to contact Arcata City Council members and voice their support for the recently passed anti war resolution. They also suggest writing letters to the editor to rebut an editorial the Times Standard recently wrote that wasn't too friendly to the anti war resolution. Maybe this is in response to some petition being circulated in Arcata that opposes the Council getting involved in issues outside its jurisdiction? I don't know. Seems to me this is beating a dead horse even longer than before. This issue has created enough controversy. It passed the City Council, and now we're back arguing whether the Council should have passed the anti war resolution again.

Time to Move On.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Arnold the Teacher's Unions and Prop 98

Dan Weintraub, columnist for the Sacramento Bee, wrote an excellent commentary in today's Bee on the conflict between the Governor and the teacher's unions over how much money the schools are supposed to be getting. Really spells it out and tells it like it is.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Berg's Assisted Suicide Bill

That Assisted Suicide Bill, sponsored by Patty Berg seems like a real can of worms to me. I suppose most, if not all, Libertarians would support it. I hesitatingly do so myself, I guess. The folks opposed to it have brought up some good points in regards to the State sanctioning death, though. One if my concerns is along the same line:

The trend in health care, especially in California, is definitely headed toward a government takeover of the health care industry. Not saying that's a good thing, that's just the way it is. Since health care rationing exists, at least to some extent, in all socialized medicine systems, how long will it be before politicians and bureaucrats decide it isn't cost effective to deal with certain medical conditions and thus will only allow, and pay for, the physician to administer a lethal dose of drugs for say, Lymphoma, which can't be cured and is extremely expensive to treat? Or say lung cancer, that has a high mortality rate, "heck, the guy's gonna die anyway...why spend all that money on a lost cause...". Far fetched? Perhaps, but stranger things have have happened in the world's history, especially with government(s) making the call.

I also foresee the government forcing physicians to accomodate those wishing to end their lives, even if the physician is morally and/ or ethically opposed to such a procedure. That's almost a given, since such things regularly occur nowadays. Just recently, and I forget how it ended, pharmacists were taken to court because a few pharmacists refused to sell that night after abortion drug to some gals because they felt it was immoral. How long before the physicians are left with no choice on the suicide issue?

Oh, by the way, this week's Times Standard online opinion poll asks if you support Berg's Assisted Suicide bill. Poll's on the right side of the page.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Debbie August Case

The case against this Fortuna City Councilgal is another one I haven't followed too closely, but from what I have heard, I'm kinda surprised it came to actual charges being filed. She's accused of using undue influence and having a conflict of interest in helping get some permits for some development filed, among other things. According to the latest news, most of the charges were thrown out by the judge. Good.

It seems to me that what she did might well have been innocent enough in intent but she didn't deal with the red tape properly. As far as improperly trying to influence some permit process, being a real estate agent, I would think it would be hard to follow the fine line of proper conduct if you have to deal with real estate issues as part of your duty sitting on the council. Seems to me much of what was done is likely politics as usual in local government.

Hey, in small towns you know a lot of people and most people generally try to hang with people they know and like. Councilcritters are no different. So, I suspect their everyday dealings will always have the look of impropriety to some. In August's case she might well have accidentally crossed the line. No doubt in my mind the same might have happened to any of us in the same situation. Not sure criminal charges were necessary in this case.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Flat Tax or National Sales Tax?

Didn't know what to write about today, but, since someone asked me yesterday what I thought of a proposed National Sales Tax (NST) to replace the Income Tax, I thought maybe I'd hit on that subject a little:

The problem with all these replacement tax proposals is that none really address the issue of the size of the federal government and the related government spending. They simply try to come up with a supposedly more convenient way to wrest the same trillions of dollars from the taxpayer.

The biggest problem I see with the NST is as Congressman Ron Paul pointed out: "If we try to replace the Income Tax with an NST, we'll likely end up with both an income tax AND an NST...". How true, since government, at all levels, keeps spending and spending. If we tried out an NST, it might start at 25 or 30%. but with constantly increasing spending, it would eventually end up at 40% or higher, unless the Income Tax was brought back to cover the shortfalls. It has happened before: We had an income tax during the Civil War which was repealed after the war until the politicians couldn't help themselves around forty or fifty years later.

One comment I've heard in support of NST is that "everybody pays..", since you supposedly can't escape paying taxes as some do by understating their income when reporting for income taxes. I tend to think that's a bad thing about NST. If there's anything good about the income tax, it's that many people cheat and some work in the underground economy, so the government gets less money. That's a good thing, in my opinion. There's some comments on that and other arguments against the NST in one of Harry Browne's recent journal entries you may be interested in.

Not too many people talk about the proposed Flat Tax anymore, it seems. I believe that was the one promoted by Dick Armey that you were supposed to be able to fill out and send in on a post card. I can't remember the percentage of income that was proposed. I believe some were saying 5%. Now I wouldn't mind that. Only concern I have is so many current exemptions might be disallowed so, depending on how they established exemptions, 5% may be too high or just right. I like the idea of the Flat Tax but the devil is in the details. I might actually trust someone like Dick Armey or Ron Paul to come up with a plan, but Armey's no longer in Congress and I don't think Ron Paul's in the position to have much influence on the details of such a plan. I don't trust most others to come up with a plan that would benefit people, as opposed to government.

Biggest obstacle to the Flat Tax, though, is those on the Left who can't stand the idea of "rich people" only paying 5% on their income though even with the Flat Tax I believe there was a proposal to have a cut off for the poor, as there is now with the income tax. Not good enough if the rich don't pay more, some say.

So, seems to me, the best idea so far is a flat tax, but it won't mean much if government continues to grow, especially as much as it has in the last four years.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Blog Getting Spammed

How rude! Suddenly, perhaps getting my link from some other blog, someone starts spamming the daylights out of my blog's Comments section. Since they're all going to the May 15 post's Comments, the only thing I could think of doing was deleting the post for that day since he's sending over twenty ads a day to my Comments. He was probably e-mailing the spam, as opposed to visiting the blog, which is why it just went to that particular day's entry. Hopefully, deleting the post will put an end to it. If not, I may have to restrict comments to only those who are registered, at least for a while. We'll see what happens.

Monday, May 16, 2005

A New Gadfly In Town

Humboldt's new up and coming gadfly, Scott Menzies, made the paper again today. I'll have to say (nothing at all against Scott) the news article kinda seemed like a non- story to me. Nothing real specific, just talking about Scott and his vision of community, which wasn't real specific. Not that he doesn't have some specific concerns and suggestions on his Realizing Community web site. The story in the paper just didn't really get much into them. Of course, the Times Standard does have space limitations, unlike Scott's web site (and this blog).

What to say about Realizing Community? A bit Authoritarian to me, in a lot of ways. But, having corresponded with Scott, I don't think he's an authoritarian by nature. It's just second nature for those on the Left, and often the Right as well, to try to organize people and communities "for their own good". But, I was struck when I first visited his site that there were some libertarian oriented points made. For instance, making mention of the fact that all these business regulations are what makes starting and running small businesses so difficult. So, while Realizing Community seems Authoritarian at first, there might be hope for Realizing Community in the long run.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Humboldt Internet Loses To DSL

It's with a heavy heart, although with some anticipation, that I finally broke down and subscribed to DSL service. This means, eventually, I'll be closing my account with Humboldt Internet. It would be silly to pay for two different accounts, especially when I'm not really using one of them.

I'm almost tempted to, though, because there's a lot to be said about the good ol' local dial ups like Humboldt Internet: Simple, great service and inexpensive. With local dial ups you can sign up and log on immediately rather than waiting for a week for the installation package and all that you need with DSL. That, and being able to call in a talk to a service representative rather than getting those damned automated menus you have to find your way through should you have a problem as is the case with DSL operators.

I wanted to be one of the last hold outs for dial up service because once the dial ups go out of business, I suspect service will deteriorate with broadband. No low price competition to deal with anymore with the dial ups gone. Hopefully I'm wrong.

I finally broke down and switched cause I felt the writing was on the wall for 56k. Web sites are getting larger and slower to download every day, or so it seems. I suspect that's because the people who do the web sites all have broadband and don't take file size into consideration when creating web pages. Regardless, I get the feeling that, within a few years, 56k will be all but useless except for e-mail unless one wants to spend five minutes waiting for a page to load.

A couple things I spend a lot of time on, Aces High and my sweepstakes entries, either require constant downloads or have increasingly slow to load web pages. It was just getting a bit impractical to use 56k for those purposes. So, I took someone's advice and signed up for Yahoo DSL for $19.95 a month.

I hope all of you don't follow the dark side, as I have, and abandon your trusty local dial ups. I think with time, though, it's inevitable. Hang in there as long as you can.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Ferndale's Wastewater Woes

I'll admit to not having followed the subject closely, if much at all, but I always wonder about the fines they level on communities for not having "proper" wastewater disposal methods, as Ferndale is being threatened with. Seems to me it's a case of biting off your nose to spite your face to hammer a town with a fine when the necessary fix costs a considerable amount of money in itself. Fortunately, it looks like, from the story, that using the money to help fix the problem instead of being paid simply as a fine is not without precedent, although it sounds like it doesn't happen often enough. Let's wish Ferndale the best of luck on this.

Seems to me I read something about Loleta having some wastewater treatment problem as well, but I don't remember the details.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Supes Still Backing Sales Tax

Seems the Board of Supervisors are still upset over the failure of Measure L, that proposed 1% county sales tax increase that failed last election. I can't get over some of the examples they use for still needing the tax increase: "We want to have deputies patrolling the streets. We want to have the libraries open. We want potholes in the street filled...".

Seems to me people have been complaining about the Library not being open ever since it was built and I've heard complaints about there not being enough deputies since I moved up here decades ago. All of this long before this so called budget crisis came about. I may have said this before, but this supposed budget crisis hasn't affected my life at all, at least that I can tell so far. The same cars seem to drive up and down the street each day (a lot of them city or county cars) and life goes on.

Sure, it was brought up by the someone that now Eureka Police Department isn't taking reports on lesser crimes. You have to call it in and they send you report to fill out and mail in. So what? Most police departments don't investigate things like petty theft and such anyway. Why should we bother them with writing the reports when it's something we could do ourselves and probably should have been doing all along?

Just goes to show that those in government will always be trying to raise more money to solve problems we've always had and that weren't ever really solved after they got more money all the times before. And some of the things government does are things we could do ourselves and probably should have been doing all along.

Wednesday's Pro- Government Rally

I was disappointed to see how many people showed up at the Pro- Government rally at the County Courthouse, yesterday. Of course, most of those quoted by the Times Standard were government employees and I would assume most present were government employees, as well. Most likely got paid whether they were at work, or not. One of them used the relatively new battle cry of the government education lobby, "We are not a special interest...". Oh really? Then why do you oppose reforms to state government?

I've said here at least a couple of times that at least some of the Governor's proposed reforms wouldn't make any serious difference in the status quo, but I support them none the less. One of my favorite editorial writers, Steve Greenhut, of the Orange County Register, addresses the Governor's reform proposals in today's OCR Editorial Page. As usual, he's right on the mark. Great minds think alike.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Stoen Still Here

When I first saw the headline in the Times Standard, 'Stoen Steps Down...', I though maybe we might be getting rid of Tim Stoen, our local ambulance chaser for the State. I guess not since he's just going to be different things at the DA's office. Oh well. Guess I'll just have to learn to live with him.

Wonder if he has anything to do with filing charges against one of our local LPers who recently moved to Georgia. The guy lived up in Hoopa and had been having problems with one of his pot growing, ex felon neighbors. It eventually lead to a gunfight between the two. The other guy gets charged with something like being an ex felon in possession of a firearm. They didn't file any charges, at first, against Alan, a retired LA Sheriff's detective. Months later, after he moved out of state, they charge him with possession of a perimeter warning device or some such thing, whatever that means. Unbelievable. I'm tempted to write the DAs office in protest. Seems to me it would be best for all in this case to let sleeping dogs lie.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Supporting The Status Quo

Pat Riggs, Chair of the Humoldt Democrats, has a My Word column in the Times Standard today. He's urging everyone to oppose the Governor's proposed initiative induced reforms. I've written before that I support the reform proposals although I feel most won't really do much in the short or long term. One thing is clear, though: The Democrats have certainly established themselves as the party of business as usual at all levels of government in California. They're pretty much responsible for all the fiscal problems in the state but don't want to change a thing except to raise even more taxes. Sorry, but I don't see how anyone can defend the status quo in this case.

As an aside, it sure seems like the Left has been dominating the letters to the editor of the Times Standard this last few months. Wonder if it's an organized effort or just one of those things that happen sometime?

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Broadband and Government

Redwood Acres held a technology fair and forum over the weekend. What caught my eye was a speaker at the forum, Ben De Hoyo, claiming that government needed to get involved in developing the infrastructure for everyone to have access to broadband connections because private industry couldn't be relied upon. Excuse me??? Seems to me most, if not all, of the technological advances in communications and the internet were developed and converted to widespread use by private industry.

Another speaker, Susan Estrada, was a little more on track. She said, in part, "Both our national and state regulatory structures are obsolete and stifle innovation…". Exactly. Government generally just taxes and regulates things. How is that going to help spread broadband technology or improve your own use of the internet?

I really wonder about this hyping of broadband, anyway. Sure, broadband’s great but it’s no panacea for economic growth. It might well enable new and diversified businesses to operate in Humboldt County but it might well take some away. Take a look at all the jobs in the country being outsourced to India, for example.

Broadband’s great but let’s not overly hype it and let's keep government’s paws off it.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Palco's Woes And Maxxam

The latest report from the State Water Resources Control Board says that Palco's economic woes are due to its parent company, Maxxam, sucking millions of dollars from Palco and not because of over-regulation of the timber industry. Of course, we've heard this almost daily from the environmental groups for some time. Who does one believe?

I suspect there's likely a little truth in what both sides are saying but find it difficult to accept a report from an agency involved in regulating the timber industry that says they have nothing to do with any problems the timber industry claims to have. Of course they're gonna say they didn't cause any problems for Palco. It's no different than anything else going on in the country though, I suppose. One group accuses another of causing all the problems and the other group denies it. You have to look past the rhetoric of both special interests to get an even handed look at what's really happening.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

More On "Less Govt. Is More"

Here's one guy who has an entirely different take on that article I commented on, earlier on, on the Humboldt Republicans titled "Less Government is More".

This guy, Greg Connors, is really something. He suggests "Less Government", to the Republicans, means more for the rich and less for everybody else- the usual mantra of those on the Left. Less, of course, because all good things in this world are the result of government, in his eyes. Whatever. He also seems to be one of those folks that looks upon government, and especially government employees, as akin to some sort of god. He probably wouldn't see his comments as suggesting that, but I do. That's the kind of stuff that really makes my blood boil. Good job, if that's what you intended, Greg.

But, I think his commentary was mostly an innocent attempt at a plug for the Democrats in response to some publicity for the Republicans. It might well have impressed some of the more intellectually challenged up here. Didn't impress me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Arcata Chamber Opposes War Resolution

The Arcata Chamber of Commerce took a poll of its membership and it looks like most don't approve of the City Council passing a resolution opposing intervention in Iraq. They cite the usual reasons and I'd say I agree although I think resolution sponsor, Dave Meserve, makes some good points, as well.

I wrote here earlier that I opposed it, if for no other reason than I don't like any council passing resolutions that not all people in the city may agree with. Looks like they changed the wording to something like "most of the people oppose...". Fair enough, but at this point it looks like they're just beating a dead horse bringing this up over and over again.

Some Chamber members, and others, feel such a resolution may be bad for business in Arcata. That might well be, as I know of a number of people who pretty much boycott Arcata for political reasons. I have a brother in law that won't go there for anything but to use the Community Recycling Center and he only does that cause, in his words, "It costs them money cause they subsidize the Recycing Center...".There are certainly others, as Meserve suggests, that go to Arcata for political reasons. I wonder how many of them hang out on the Plaza? :-)

Myself? I've never liked Arcata for the entire thirty plus years I've lived here. Not sure really why. I'm sure some of it is, or was, political at various times. Now, I only go there if I absolutely have to. If shopping takes me outside of Eureka, I'll likely go to Mckinleyville or Fortuna rather than Arcata (Mckinleyville probably being my favorite town in Humboldt although I liked it much better thirty years ago).

It's good to see some in Arcata worrying about the business community, though. Maybe there's hope for Arcata yet but I really feel as long as HSU is the centerpiece of Arcata culture, it will have a tough row to hoe.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Less Government Is More?

Am I missing something? The article on Lori Metheny, Chair of the County Republicans, in today's Times Standard, uses that as the headline. Interesting how Republicans identify themselves with less taxes and smaller government yet their president, Bush 2, oversaw the largest expansion of the federal government since LBJ. But I notice even a lot of Republicans don't even bring up Bush, anymore, when promoting their party. The only mention of him in this article was of being present at his innauguration. Not that I think Bush 2 hasn't tried to do some good things, unlike his predecessor. It's just the bad he's done greatly outweighs the good.

Still wonder about that headline, though. maybe it was suggestive of the less government Republicans having a more government president?