Friday, September 30, 2005

Is Annexation A Good Idea?

I was hoping the subject would come up again and it did. According to this story in the Times- Standard a number of cities and areas around the county are considering annexing outlying areas or, in the case of McKinleyville, becoming their own city. I've never really understood why someone would want to add another layer of government over themselves, but one source in the story made a good point in that, otherwise, the only way to raise money for certain infrastructure needs is to have a whole bunch of assesment districts that makes it hard to make heads or tails out of to get things done. Good point.

Another point in favor of becoming one's own city would be more control over local affairs. More independence, some would say. I don't know about that as it seems odd that adding one more layer of government over you would make a community more independent.

But I think people aren't considering the costs of annexation. For example, people in the outlying areas of Eureka would acquire the pleasure of paying the Eureka Utililty Tax once they become part of Eureka. Most don't pay that tax now. Some in Eureka may think that would benefit them, at the annexed area's expense, but let's look even further:

If Cutten became part of Eureka, they'd then fall under the jurisdiction of the Eureka Police Dept., among other City of Eureka agencies. The City of Eureka will likely have to hire more officers and more equipment to cover the larger area. Will they come from the Sheriff's Office that currently patrols Cutten? I think not. The deputies will stay with the Sheriff's Office. The Sheriff's Office and the residents of other unincorporated areas of the county would be screaming bloody murder if their manpower was reduced because of the reduced jurisdiction. So, not only are you already paying increasing taxes to maintain the Sheriff's Dept., you'll face additional taxes to fund Eureka Police that's policing you after you've been annexed. This won't be a zero sum game where everything evens out over time.

T. Great Razooly, who ran for Mayor of Eureka a few years ago, told me he was going to run on the platform of annexing the outer areas of Eureka. He was surprised when I told them that annexation might not be a good idea for a libertarian to propose as it might well be the same as supporting tax increases. I don't know if I convinced him as I read something in the paper about him still supporting annexation some time after that. I still think that those supporting annexation might well regret it should it come to pass.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Hike The Minimum Wage?

It seems there's always some proposal at some level of government to raise the minimum wage. The Sacramento Bee, in this commentary, supports the latest effort do raise the minimum wage at the state level. Minimum wage has never been an issue I lay awake at night over although I'll admit that, being self employed, the prospect of raising the minimum wage is troubling as it's not as easy for me to raise my income, as it is for some others, to make up for the increase in the minimum wage and its inflationary effects.

There are a number of arguments, for and against, minimum wage requirements. I tend to agree more with those against the minimum wage. I won't go on to debate the merits or lack thereof of a minimum wage. It just seems to me that, once the minimum wage goes up, everyone else gets a pay raise and the minimum wage earners are back to square one. What's the point? It would be best if minimum wage earners just look at their jobs as entry level positions and move on, as quickly as they can, to other things. Most minimum wage earners do that, as did I, many years ago.
I mentioned yesterday how I don't understand how anyone could oppose the redistricting initiative, Prop 77, on the November ballot. The Sacramento Bee's, Dan Weintraub, writes today about why Prop 77 is worth supporting. Dan's points are well made but I'm not as optimistic about the results of having more competitive districts. Nonetheless, the situation we have now should be intolerable to most anyone who's paying attention.
So much happening with the Libertarian Party as of late, both at the state and national level. Mostly organizational change related chaos. Kind of makes me want to get away from the LP for a while. The National LP will be switching to a non dues related membership structure- just sign up and sign what they call the Pledge and you're a member. The Unified Membership Program, which allowed LPers to be members of both state and national, rather than having to seperately join both has been scrapped and the State LP will resume it's own dues paying member structure but are raising the dues from the current $25.00 to $50.00 per year. Good luck with that, but I think they'll lose in the long run.
Not sure how I'll deal with it. I used to be a pledge member of both State and National: $10 a month going to both state and national parties. When the Unified Membership Program started some years ago, I continued my monthly pledge to both State and National. Stopped the $10 pledge to State when the wife got cancer and I needed to cut back on expenses. The $10 to National kept my membership current with both. My credit card that I had them charge my pledge to was reissued, so National can't automatically deduct my pledge every month until I give them the new card info. Hmmm... what to do? I suppose I'll just wait until National calls for my card info and stay with them. Of course, I could always look for some other party to join. This Guns and Dope Party caught my eye. Maybe I should check them out? They look like bona fide libertarians. I would think they'd fit in perfectly with Humboldt County.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

HOPE's Ballot Initiative List

Humboldt Organized for People and the Environment (HOPE), has their list compiled of how different local organizations stand on the ballot initiatives for the November election. Unfortunately, they don't seem to have it available on their web site as of this morning. I believe they did last year so I'll check back and, assuming they have a link to view the table online, will post the url here when it's up and running.

I'm sent a request by HOPE before every election for the Libertarian Party stand on the initiatives. Since I often don't differ much with the State LP Executive Committee on the issues, I usually just send in their recommendations and if I differ at all I usually just change one or two to No Position. Despite taking a Yes position on Prop 73, the parental notification of abortion initiative, myself, I submitted our position as No Position since I'd heard from one other local LPer that was strongly opposed to Prop 73. When HOPE's chart arrived in my inbox, I was surprised to see the LP position on 73 as Yes. Oh well. Such things happen.

The vast majority of the orgs that gave positions are what most would consider Left Wing groups. So, it wasn't surprising that the vast majority were opposed to most of the initiatives with the exception of one of the drug discount initiatives and the utility reregulation inititiative. The Libertarian Party positions were most closely aligned with those of the Republican Party and the Chamber of Commerce, favoring most but opposing the both drug initiatives and the utility reregulation initiative. It was surprising that the Humboldt Taxpayer's League was listed but apparently either neglected, or refused, to send in their positions. I'm pretty sure they took positions on some of them. Some of the initiatives lie outside the perview of the League so they wouldn't have taken a position.

Interesting, though, the solidarity of the Left with the number of No votes. I can't imagine anyone opposing the Redistricting initiative. That has to be simply an anti- Arnold thing, as I'm sure much of the other No votes are, as well. I'll give credit to the Greens to taking at least a No Position on redistricting. I wonder if that's more out of fear of alienating other Lefty groups, or of just mixed feelings overall on the issue? Or, maybe they feel like I do that, despite supporting the redistricting change, it won't really change much as far as business as usual in the state of California?

Anyway, I still have the Chart in my inbox as a .pdf file. If you'd like to see it and don't want to wait and see if it shows up on their web site, drop me an e-mail and I'll send it to you. You'll need Acrobat Reader to view the file.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Too Much News..

in the paper today, so I won't comment on anything since there were so many subjects to choose from. But not to worry, I still have something for those of you that come here each day for my hard hitting and provocative commentary. You might want to stop by here and take the Neo Con test to see where you stand politically in regards to foreign affairs. It took a few minutes to read thru all the questions and choices for answers but I scored as an Isolationist. I don't consider myself an isolationist but they don't offer "Other" as a choice for an answer so you pretty have to just pick which choice best reflects your view.

So, take the test and come back here and let us all know how you scored.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Fighting Crime In Eureka

I see there's gonna be one of those special town hall type meetings in Eureka to discuss crime problems in the west side of town. Do these things ever do any good or are they just one of those touchy- feely things where everyone gets to feel so good about themselves because they get to get together and hear each other talk? Funny thing is, this meeting seems to be motivated by the recent shooting and killing of a guy by police down near B and 8th Streets. From everything I've read, the guy that was killed wasn't known to be a troublemaker in the past so how is this meeting going to help prevent future shootings like that one? In fairness, there is a lot of crime on the west side of town so maybe something constructive can come of this. I doubt it, though.

Or maybe they'll come up with some new Neighborhood Watch units in the area? I think Neighborhood Watch is a good program. Only problem is, if you look at those crime maps of Eureka they publish in the Times Standard occasionally, you can see where all the crime is concentrated and those same areas are often the ones where you see all those Neighborhood Watch signs posted. It's almost seems as if it would make sense to get rid of the signs. Maybe the crime would go away with the signs? Just kidding, but I do find it ironic that the high crime areas are the ones with all the Neighborhood Watch signs.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

NC Journal Does Redevelopment

The North Coast Journal's cover story this week deals with the County Redevelopment Agency's plans and its critics. Good job. I think they do some real good reporting in that paper. I feel even less comfortable about these redevelopment plans after reading the story. I tended to agree more with the critics and found the proponent's arguments troubling, although I'm not sure I could say just why I found them so troubling. I guess it's something along the line of the proponents dismissing the critic's concerns and what seems to be a, "we're doing this whether you like it or not because we know what's best for you...", attitude. I've said it before and I'll say it again: If you're doing something to me for my own good, please stop!

Only thing that was missing from the story was any quotes or comments from me. I'm sure they visit my blog now and then. Doesn't anyone who's anyone come here to read my hard hitting commentary on the issues of the day? Apparently not. :-(

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Free State Project Moves Forward

For those of you that don't know about the Free State Project, it's a movement to get a whole bunch of (big or small l) Libertarians to one state where they could get enough influence, because of their size, to move that state towards a libertarian society. New Hampshire was chosen after some debate. The figure of 20,000 people moving was the goal. Looks like 100 or so have made the move so far. I still doubt they'll get 20,000 libertarians to move there, even amongst the ones who have said they will move.

Nonetheless, I'd love to see the project be successful and so was pleased to see this news article regarding some Free Staters filing papers for local office and some other Free Staters that have already had some success in winning elections and getting libertarian legislation passed. Looks like they're off to a good start. Kudos and godspeed to the Free Staters in New Hampshire! If I was younger I might well consider moving to New Jersey myself, but due to a number of reasons, looks like I'm trapped here and will likely go down with the sinking ship, the S.S. California.

"When you're on a sinking ship and the water reaches the upper decks, follow the rats."- See comments for source

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Non Partisan Local Government?

I was talking with Eureka City Councildude, Chris Kerrigan, prior to the last election. I mentioned that, while city council races are supposed to be non- partisan, they really aren't since endorsements of particular candidates often seem to be drawn among partisan lines. That's to be expected since, even in local elections, a person will support someone they feels reflects their own interests. But I wonder just how partisan they really are, deep in those partisan smoke filled rooms we hear so much about?

I also wonder how much partisanship has to do with appointments to local government boards and commissions? I'm sure there's quite a bit of that, although much of it is just a natural human tendency to favor people that you have something in common with. The Democratic Central Committee of Sonoma County seems to have to decided to take it one step further (or have they?) by pretty much telling local Democrat politicos that if they appoint someone to a board or commission in Sonoma County that isn't a Democrat, they'll be punished by the Central Committee removing their names from their support list, or whatever it's called.

I wonder how much of that happens around here, albeit in a much more low key way? There must be a little of that going around, especially among the Salzman and Arkley crowds (Of course, with Saltzman, nothing is ever done in a low key way). Thanks to the Sonoma County Democrats for being up front on the issue.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Wanted: Anti- Redevelopment Candidates

Well, not really ANTI redevelopment. I think we do need some people in local government that aren't so enthusiastic about property being put under the control of local redevelopment agencies.

Local pundit and gadfly, Jerry Partain, wrote this nice piece on redevelopment that appeared in the Sunday issue of the Eureka Reporter. I've said before I'm not necessarily opposed to any government involvement in redevelopment. I'm just not sure how much it should be involved and what the limits should be. That seems to be the opposite of what many, if not most, of our local officeholders feel.

So, it would be nice in future races for city council or Board of Supervisors if we could have a few candidates in the race that want to put some limits on redevelopment agencies. Heck, it would be nice to have some candidates that are opposed to the formation of redevelopment agencies in the first place. I'm afraid that's unlikely to happen since the type of people that run for local office usually favor government involvement in just about everything. I suspect that if someone came out of the woodwork and ran specifically on an "anti- redevelopment" platform, he or she would likely lose. Most people probably either support the status quo in local redevelopment or don't really care enough about the issue to vote for someone because of it.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

CR Volleyball Cut

Disclosure: I've never been a sports fan, at least I've never enjoyed watching sports on TV or live. But I do enjoy playing volleyball on occasion.

But that shouldn't matter. The front page headline of this morning's Eureka Reporter went more than just over the edge with big headlines announcing the College of the Redwoods volleyball program was getting the ax, at least this year, for low enrollment. You won't notice it in the online version but they might have well been announcing a nuclear attack by terrorists by the look of the front page of the hard copy edition.

So, they couldn't get something like five people to sign up for the volleyball team? So what? I'm not saying that programs being cut at any college isn't newsworthy but they're hardly worth mentioning on the front page. Must have been a slow news day at Eureka Reporter.

It's not unusual for classes to be cancelled for lack of attendence at CR. I've been in classes that were cancelled because we couldn't get the minimum of ten people needed for the class to enroll. No big deal unless it's some class you really need to take for some certification or some such. But sports? Come on. I know a lot of people live, eat and breath sports and shudder at the suggestion that taxpayer money shouldn't be used for subsidizing school sports. I happen to be one of those that thinks waaay too much money and emphasis goes toward sports in all levels of education. But just as with everything else in the Educational- Industrial Complex, school sports is likely here to stay, at least for my lifetime.
In other news news: As expected, Glenn Franco Simmons, editor of the Eureka Reporter commented on the recent court decision regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. He seems to oppose it and even quotes State Senator Tom McClintock giving reasons to oppose the decision and continue the Pledge as is. McClintock should know better. Glenn also gives us a breakdown of the pledge and what it should mean for us. Probably not quite the same reasoning the original author had, but who knows?

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Dump The Pledge

I was glad to see that judge rule the Pledge of Allegiance unconstitutional, abeit for the wrong reason. I'm not at all religious but don't think the writers of the Constitution had this sort of thing in mind when they referenced "separation of Church and State...". They were more concerned about the creation of a state sponsored religion, such as the Church of England. I suppose the mention of the word "God" in some government related document might lead us down the slippery slope towards government mixed with religion but most of the cases we've seen the anti religious folks bring up over this are a bit of a stretch.

I find the Pledge of Allegiance offensive, but for different reasons and, while it's to be expected conservatives would decry this decision based on religious reference, I can't understand why they're so supportive of the Pledge to begin with. As Anthony Gregory and Alan Bock note in their commentaries on, the Pledge was the brainchild of an authoritarian/ socialist priest who wanted everyone molded to the purposes of the State. Why would a consevative, at least one who claims to want minimal government, support that? I heard at least a couple stories, shortly after 9/11 of politicians suggesting the Pledge be made mandatory as they felt there was a lack of patriotism in the country. Oh, I get it: Force the kids to say the pledge each morning so they'll appreciate the freedoms they have?

Nope. I find the idea of young people pledging themselves to the service of the State quite repugnant but, according to this Times- Standard article, the Pledge is voluntary, at least in our local schools. I'm sure there's enough peer pressure present to force most kids to participate whether they want to or not, though. Maybe it should be left at that but I'd rather see it eliminated entirely as a school sponsored activity. Make it a voluntary activity that anyone can choose to participate in whenever they want to. If a kid wants to stop and say the Pledge each morning as he/ she passes by the flagpole at school, so be it, and they can insert the G word if they want to. If not, oh well.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Will The Real Nazis Please Stand Up!

So many people nowadays refer to people they dislike or disagree with as "Nazis". I, myself, have referred to others as Nazis. I usually refer to the Chief County Medical Officer (or whatever her title is), Dr. Ann Lindsey, as our local "Health Nazi". Others, particularly those on the Left, refer to Bush and his associates as Nazis, of one kind or another. And, of course, there's Rush Limbaugh and his famous "Feminazi", referring to what he felt were extremist feminists.

Some are offended by people using that term and I suppose I get a little bothered myself when the term is used to describe someone I like or agree with. I wonder if we're taking this Nazi thing a little too seriously though. Certainly some people use it as a term of derision but I think most people that use the term use it to describe someone as being an extremist on one issue or the other. So I don't think use of the term should be that big a deal although perhaps it's not appropriate in regards to civil discourse.

We, who use the term, should know what the real Nazis stood for, before we throw the word around so casually, shouldn't we? It never occurred to me to find out what the real 1930s era Nazi platform consisted of. Right Wing Rocker actually did read the platform and has it posted on his blog. He takes exception to liberals referring to conservatives as Nazis and takes us step by step through the original Nazi platform and opines as to whether conservatives or liberals agree most with different sections of the platform. An interesting read, albeit almost a bit lengthy for my attention span. You can decide for yourself whether he's right or wrong.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

This Goes Against My Grain...

Well, kinda.

I always pride myself in not playing the blame game with the news events like so many do. I felt I was doing real well in pretty much keeping this Hurricane Katrina thing out of my blog with the exception of a casual mention of it yesterday. I was thinking of making it a informal goal of mine to not make one comment on the events in New Orleans but I was sent a commentary yesterday by a libertarian down south. Since that commentary was pretty much along what I had to say on the subject, I figured I'd let news columnist Tom Bray do my blogging for me today. In short, he responds to those who consider Hurricane Katrina, and its aftermath, a "libertarian atrocity".

Bray's column was relatively short and sweet. Couldn't have written it better myself so, 'nuff said.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Tired Of The Bush Bashing

Not much to comment on in Humboldt today so I thought I'd vent on something I'm getting real tired of: Blogs that do nothing but bash certain people. I have some bookmarked that I check every day but I'm getting ready to dump at least a few of them.

I'll be the first to admit that I'm no fan of George Bush, even though I did vote for him the first time around in the primary, although I was actually wasting my vote since primary election results are determined by caucus, not popular vote. First, I thought he sounded relatively in favor of less government, but most importantly, I really disliked John McCain and didn't like the way the media was trying to make him out to be the best thing since sliced bread. Since then, I've almost come to the conclusion that Bush might well be the worst president in my lifetime so far, maybe even worse than Clinton. I say "might have" because prior to the internet I think most of us had little knowledge of what really was going on in politics except what little we could gather from the limited sources of info such as TV and print news, so it would be hard for me to compare, Bush to Carter or Nixon.

That said, what is it with the Left that they're so obsessed with hatred for this man and all they can do is blog about how everything bad happening is Bush's fault? What really gets me is if the same things were happening under Clinton, the vast majority of these people wouldn't say a thing. Either that, or they'd place the blame elsewhere.

First we have the anonymous Lost Coast Smuggler, with his blog that, while he says he has an opinion about everything, seems to believe that nearly everything is Bush's fault. I'll give him credit, though, that not every post he makes is a Bush bash, but that might be because he only posts one to three times a month.

Arcata resident Bill Kowinski's blog, Dreaming Up Daily, is getting a bit hard to handle now. Seems to me he's done a little Bush bashing before but, since this hurricane thing happened, he's pumping out thousands of words a day blaming the whole thing on Bush. I'll have to admit, though, I don't read all his daily posts. He puts too much up there and I don't have the time or the attention span to handle it.

San Francisco Liberal's blog's purpose is liberal criticism of conservatives, I can handle that. As of late, though, he's joined the rest in constant put downs of Bush, or actually Cheney, which seems to be his biggest hatred. Get a life SFL! I find some of his writings entertaining but following the rest of the Left with the Bush bashing makes his blog as boring as the others over time.

Having a slightly different target is the Hate Arnold blog I mentioned earlier on here. Even they must realize how boring their blog is as they seem to be posting less frequently lately. I'll probably keep this one in my Favorites if only because it's fun to post corrections in their comments. For instance, their last post, as of this writing, made a point of how low the Governator's approval rating was. I was quick to point out that, while that may be true, those same polls show the public approval rating of the Democratic controlled state legislature was even lower than Arnold's. Fun stuff to do.

I'm sure the Right does the same thing, somewhere, but I don't know that I've seen much in the way of day after day posts of diatribes against certain individuals. I'm sure they're out there, though. Most of the ones I frequent are just refutations of the Bush bashing sites and the major media, defending their president. I actually find those more readable than the Bush bash sites. It will be interesting to see if the Right does as the Left does should a Democrat take the White House next time around. Blogging wasn't really around back in Clinton's day but I wonder if we would have seen the same type of anti Clinton blogs then as we see today about Bush? I'm sure there'll be some along that line but I don't think there'd be as many.

Monday, September 12, 2005

Drive Thru Coffee Places

So this is the guy that started the trend in drive thru coffee houses in the county. Funny I should care, as I don't even drink coffee. You see more and more of these places popping up all over the place. Seems to me I saw a new one being built somewhere on Broadway in Eureka the other day. I just wonder how many of these places can operate and still stay in business? Seems to me there's only so many people that are going to patronize these places on any given day. There has to be a limit.

Same goes with all these indian casinos being built. I would think there would be only so many people that would be prone to gamble on a given day so each new casino would likely take business from the older ones. I'm sure that some people might gamble, just as some might go buy a cup of coffee, where they otherwise wouldn't but they do cause they're offered the opportunity. I still think these types of industries, just like any other, would have limits on how many customers they could acquire. Then again, the people starting these businesses up obviously think I'm wrong.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

ER Prompts Salzman Investigation

I was thinking the best course of action people should take over the Richard Salzman letters to the editor debacle was just to let it drop. Some of the local papers, however, felt otherwise. I really don't have much of a problem with the papers running editorials saying how unethical it is to send in letters under someone else's name but I think the staff of the Eureka Reporter contacting the police over the matter of the Salzman letters, is a bit over the top.

I could see it if someone sends a letter in, signing it under someone else's name, with the intent of embarrassing the person they pretend to be. I remember one such letter printed in the Times Standard a few years ago where someone said she worked at a local medical office and then proceeded to run her office down big time. I questioned that letter when I saw it and don't think I would have published that letter even if it had been written by the supposed signer. In that case it deserved, at the very least, civil, if not criminal, charges if the actual author of the letter could be determined. But Salzman's letters didn't have that intent, as I see it, and he got permission to use one of the phoney author's names, at least for one letter. Not sure about one of the other letters but that lady isn't complaining.

The biggest mistake Salzman made was not sending the letter he wrote to the person whose name he used, have them read it and make any corrections that would make them feel comfortable sending it in, and then send it in themselves. The papers may or may not approve of such shenanigans, but I don't really have a problem with it. In fact, a few years ago I contacted the past editor of the Times Standard to see if they were going to print a letter I'd sent in. I was told I'd already had one published in the last 30 days (one letter per 30 days at the TS). I complained that I felt I needed equal time to comment on something and that, if I waited until my 30 days was up, the letter wouldn't be timely. She suggested I get someone else to send it in for me, which was exactly what I did.

But this Eureka Reporter thing of calling the police and, in effect, filing a complaint is not only overkill, it reeks of vendetta. It's well known, at least in some circles, that the Reporter's owner, Rob Arkely, is no friend of Richard Salzman, both having exchanged some heated letters over time. I suspect we'll hear the Reporter's case for contacting the police in tomorrow's issue of their paper.

This shouldn't be that big a deal but apparently the head honchos of the Eureka Reporter think it is. I say drop it, but it's probably too late for that.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Redevolpment Mission Creep

Thanks to the Eureka Reporter for filling me in on some of the questions I asked about the Fireside Inn yesterday. This article goes on to explain that some recommended, as I suggested, the Fireside Inn be sold to a willing buyer and let them do what they feel is best with it. Some on the Eureka City Council wanted the Redevelopment Agency to take it over and do something with it that was in, to paraphrase, "the public interest".

I find this troubling, and believe it's just the tip of the iceberg of what's happening around the state. The Fireside Inn isn't in what's considered a blighted area. The Redevelopment Agency is supposed to be concerned with "blighted areas" (although I personally consider anywhere in West or Northwest Eureka a blighted area). So now we have the mission creep that results when an agency takes on a life of its own. What other properties in Eureka, or the rest of the county, will be safe from acquisition by any of the local redevelopment agencies, especially taking into account the recent Kelo decision by the Supreme Court? We're treading dangerous ground here, indeed.

As I've said before, I think many local politicos and bureaucrats like this system because they can isolate money for their own particular pet projects and then insist on raising taxes to maintain legitimate city business, such as streets and police and fire. Keep in mind also that most revenue received from redevelopment properties goes back to the redevelopment agencies, not the general fund of the city or county.

Some may wonder why I seem opposed to the Fireside Inn case as opposed to the Waterfront Development case which resulted in the Taxpayer's League lawsuit. For one thing, the property in the Waterfront case involved property that nearly everyone considered blighted and wanted cleaned up. Not so with the Fireside Inn case. Whether there should be an official redevelopment agency at all, is a legitimate question but what we see here [and around the state] makes me wonder if it might be past the point where there would be any realistic way to get rid of such agencies should we want to?

"There is nothing more permanent than a temporary government program."- Ronald Reagan

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Redevelopment Industrial Complex Grows

Maybe I don't follow these issues close enough, but I don't get it. Why does the City of Eureka have to step in and get involved with the purchase and/ or disposition of the old Fireside Inn? I realize this has been going on for some time with certain groups in the area wanting to turn the old motel into some kind of social services center. Now the City is turning over the Inn to the Eureka Redevelopment Agency. Why couldn't whoever owned the Inn, years ago when everything started going downhill, just sell the property to a willing buyer and let the buyer do whatever he felt needed to be done with the property, assuming he or she passed through all the hurdles the City would require? I just don't get it.

Along that line, I was glad to see the Times Standard let everyone know at least a little about who Sue Brandenberg is. Ms. Brandenberg is the one who agreed to take over the lawsuit against the Eureka Redevelopment Agency thus freeing the Humboldt Taxpayer's League from having to be tied to that action, at least legally. When I heard the name, yesterday, seemed to me I recognized it from somewhere but can't remember where. Apparently the Times Standard doesn't remember either since there was little info on the gal in the news article other than she attends City Council meetings regularly and is described as some sort of activist.

The hard copy edition of the article has a sub heading describing Brandenberg as a "Eureka Transplant". Doesn't that mean someone who moved here fairly recently? I'm not sure. Maybe it means someone that moved here after spending a lot of time somewhere else and making this a permanent home, which actually would describe me. One thing that kinda gets me is people that move somewhere and immediately start making waves. I don't know if that's the case here but I understand that was the case with local leftie gadfly, Richard Salzman. When he first showed up in the public eye, I thought I'd read he'd moved here just a year or two before. I think it's rude to just show up somewhere and start raising a stink about something.

I jokingly told a customer years ago, whose husband had just had a letter to the editor published in a local paper, that you should at least live in the area for three years or more before you're allowed to write a letter to the editor. Even though it bugs me when newbies stir things up, I guess if it wasn't them, it could just as easily be someone that had lived here for a longer period of time so I guess it doesn't matter. And, no, I'm not proposing a law or ordinance to prohibit newbies from getting involved in local issues.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Gay Marriage Almost Here

So, the State Assembly passed a bill allowing gay marriage. Now it goes to the Governor for signature. Whether he'll sign or veto it is anyone's guess.

I've said here before I'm a strong supporter of same sex marriages. I hope the Governor does sign it. What kind of irks me, though, is that so many of the same sex marriage supporters also tend to be the "let the people decide" kind of folks that always throw the word DEMOCRACY around like it's the greatest thing in the world that we can attack minorities, for whatever reason, via the ballot box. Prop 22, which passed by 60% or more a few years ago, supposedly defined marriage as that between a man and woman. I guess Democracy is just a matter of convenience for the Left as it is for so many of us since we ignore it when it seems politically correct to do so, at least for whatever side we're on.

Democracy= two wolves and a sheep deciding what's for lunch.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Anti Corporate Initiative Back

I must not have been paying close enough attention. I didn't know the first attempt at limiting corporate influence had gone astray. Apparently the first attempt to get a local initiative passed to stop allowing non- local corporations from contributing to political campaigns was dumped and rewritten. They have a new web site up now and looks like they'll start signature gathering soon.

I've said before I'm sympathetic to the idea of this initiative. Most everyone likes the idea of local control, assuming you're in the majority. I'll likely vote against it, though. The two examples they give as to why this law is necessary are the Wal Mart campaign to open a store in Eureka and the Gallegos recall funded largely by Maxxam. Both those campaigns failed, despite the large advantage they had monetarily from non- local corporations. Promoters of the initiative point out that locals still had to raise money to fight those campaigns, but they'd have to raise money to run this or any other campaign whether they supported it or opposed it. That's politics.

We need to keep in mind that many locals supported these corporate sponsored campaigns. They may have lost but it must have been nice to have outside help for their effort, at least for their side. Non- local donations to campaigns can be good or bad depending on what side you're on.

I'm sure a lot of people around here think these sort of intitiatives are necessary. Wonder how this one will fare should it make it to the ballot?

Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants. It is the creed of slaves.- William Pitt

Sunday, September 04, 2005

E-Mail Terrorists?

I suppose terrorist is too strong a word for it but, you know, the people you hear about every now and then sending annoying, if not threatening e-mails to people often under the cover of anonymity? As Ken pointed out in his comment to my post on the Salzman debacle, Salzman's actions probably pale in comparison to those Humboldt Advocate newspaper editor Shawn Warford has been accused of doing. That being sending annoying and then threatening e-mails to some other newspaper folks.

I wonder how much of that goes on unreported and what do you make of people that do weird stuff like that? I know I've had a few e-mails like that over the years. Just yesterday, in fact, I got my second e-mail visit from one Al Baston as a result of something I posted on the Redwood Peace and Justice Center e-mail list. I'd sent a notice out for help in getting a civil liberties bill passed in the state legislature, something I would assume the Left would have an interest in, especially since the Green Party is working with the Libertarians in support of the bill.

So, this Baston guy e-mails me just like he did last time I posted some info on some marijuana legislation to the same list. This e-mail is almost to the word of his first one. Here's his mail, copied and pasted:

I'm a liberal, a progressive, not a regressive Libertarian, hiding behind republican ideology and philosophy.
I give my money, my time and my heart to LIBERAL causes.

Now FRED...I asked you once before, politely, not to send me any more of your near-fascist emails...If I receive anymore, I'm going to literally come over there, wait for you and rip out your fucking lungs!!!

Do you get the picture yet?

Nice touchy feely liberal, huh? So, I e-mail him back once again telling him I sent that e-mail thru the RPJC e-mail list and, if he doesn't like it, he should unsubscribe from that list or get the owners of the list to boot me. Then, since we'd been through this before, I sent a similar e-mail out on the RPJC list, along with a copy of his e-mail, telling everyone else that if they were also offended by my e-mail they should also unsubscribe or have me booted from the list. I did that mostly to embarrass Baston but I've occasionally received an e-mail or two from people on the RPJC list nicely asking me to take them off my list and I have to e-mail and tell them they're not on my list.

Anyway, not long after posting my second note to the RPJC list, idiot Baston sends me the following:

Your a fucking huckster, a greedy right-wing piece of shit, an idiot, no different than any other lying religious asshole, barking and hustling your lies for money! Go sell your snake oil ideology to the Limbaugh gullible you prey on.

Now shut the fuck up you little cunt!!! Because I am coming over there to give you the bitch-slapping you want and deserve!!!

What a guy, huh? I waited and waited and he never showed up. Bummer. Just goes to show that all sides of the political spectrum have their nut cases. Anyone out there know this guy? Phone book shows him with a Eureka phone number.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Spam Guard

Just received what appeared to be an automated spam in my comments section so I've activated the spam guard feature blogspot offers. From now on commenters will need to type in the letters presented by the guard before comments will be posted. Should only take a second and shouldn't be any big deal.

LP Brings Blogs To Political Sites?

Interesting, if true. This commentary in the Sierra Times gives credit to the Libertarian Party for getting other political parties, specifically the Republicans and Democrats, to add blogs to their web sites. The writer notes that the LP blog still gets more comments than the Reps or Dems saying the LP blog once got over 100 comments as opposed to the handful posted to the other blogs. Seems like that would detract more from the blog to me. Are you going to read over 100 or even 50 comments posted to a blog? I'm not. I don't have the desire or the attention span. I think anything over around ten comments would be a bit much for most purposes, unless it was a topic of real interest to me.

Oh, speaking of blogs, the latest blog I've added to my list to check every day is Blue Flypaper. Hard hitting commentary there. Hope Blue doesn't come here and end up adding my blog to her black list. Probably not as I mostly deal with local stuff, or at least I try to.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Salzman Exposed???

This is sooo funny. Local leftie gadfly, Richard Salzman, is exposed as the writer of some letters to the editor he sent to local papers using names other than his own. Kudos to the North Coast Journal for the report that brought this to public light. Good to see someone who accuses everyone else of unscrupulous dealings being exposed doing some not so above the board stuff himself.

That said, I don't really think he did all that much wrong except for signing someone else's name to a document. He's written letters under his own name before, so it's not like he's afraid to stand by his opinion. I feel a lot less toward the other writer mentioned in the Eureka Reporter story that wrote letters and always used someone else's name because he "didn't want people to know I wrote it...". Now that's cowardly.

So why did Salzman do it? I can only think of two reasons: He wanted to submit more letters in the time period the particular paper allowed, or, he wanted to give the impression that his viewpoint was more widespread than it appeared with a letter from just him alone. Only he knows for sure. Those two reasons probably don't justify such actions, but I can understand them. I've thought of similar strategies myself, except mine involved collaborating with other people. For instance, I thought of writing a letter to the editor myself and then having some local LPers write in and say how much they agreed with my letter. I suppose that's a little more honest but maybe still in the wrong spirit. The main reason I never got those projects off the ground is I couldn't find anyone to write the support letters. A lot of people are afraid to have their opinions linked to their names or even have their opinion exposed to the public at all.

I wrote a letter to the Times Standard a few years ago. Got a number of compliments on it. One of my past customers wrote me an e-mail complementing me on the letter and concluded by asking "...but why did you sign your own name to it?". How pathetic, I thought. My answer to him: "Because I wrote it.".

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Tree Huggers Vs. Gallegos?

I get a kick out of this one: The defense attorney in one of the tree sit cases wants D.A. Paul Gallegos removed from the case because he's biased in favor of PALCO and the tree sit extractors. I have to agree with Gallegos that it's a bit of a stretch when both sides of the issue feel he has a vendetta against them.