Saturday, May 31, 2008

MJ Decriminalization Initiative Fails

I just noticed that the initiative to decriminalize marijuana in California apparently failed to get enough signatures to make it to ballot, along with a number of other initiatives.

Kind of a bummer for me. I actually didn't expect it to pass but I figured it would at least get enough signatures to get on the ballot so we could see just what the election results would be.

I suspect it was a lack of organization more than anything else. When the only web site the campaign had was a MySpace page of one of the organizers, I guess that was a bad omen from the start.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Barr Switches Sides On DOMA

Some of you have probably heard that former congressman and hard core conservative, Bob Barr, won the Libertarian Party's nomination for president. As I've mentioned before, I'm a bit ambivalent on the issue.

There's some real screaming and gnashing of the teeth in some circles of the LP over this, Barr's sponsoring of the Defense Of Marriage Act being one big issue some just won't forgive him for. They consider all his talk of changing his opinion just that: talk.

Seems to me Barr's doing a pretty good job of getting the word out, though, and I can't help but think he couldn't be too phony about it if he's taking off and running with the issue as he seems to have been. The Marietta (Georgia) Daily Journal reports on his conversion, also pointing out that Barr expressed support for the California Supreme Court decision that struck down laws against same- sex marriages even before the LP nominating convention was even held.

That's quite a 180 for Barr. Sounds good enough to me.

Meanwhile, as Barr talks about repealing his own law, some in congress are upset with California's Supreme Court decision and one congresscritter, Paul Broun (from Barr's own state of Georgia), has introduced a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as a union between a man and woman.

I'd be interested in seeing both Barr and Broun debate the issue.

More Free WiFi In Eureka

I just noticed Pizza Hut, in North Eureka, offers free wireless internet now. I have no idea how long they've offered it but today was the first time I noticed it advertised on their sign. I'd really be interested in seeing just how well covered Eureka and some other places are with wireless.

An interesting, though time consuming project, would be to travel around Eureka and stop every block or so and see if you could go online. Then make a map showing the covered and uncovered areas. You could do it kinda like's coverage map. I bet we'd be surprised how well covered some areas are, especially downtown and, of course, Myrtletown.

I don't have the time to do it, though. Anybody else got some time on their hands?

As an aside, it's a shame to see that Humboldt Hotspots web site went by the wayside. A more detailed coverage map would have fit in perfectly with that site.

New Local Blog

Let's see if this new blog, Redwood Ridiculer, can keep going.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Remember Bobby Harris?

He landed in Arcata some years ago, pretty much destitute, and ended up staying for years. I know he wore out his welcome with the HSU Libertarian Club members pretty quickly but somehow he seemed to hang on and gather the interest of some to the point the North Coast Journal featured him in their cover story back in 2005.

I'd heard he'd left Arcata some time ago, heading for his old town of Woodland. I'd assumed he must have finally wore out his welcome with the rest of Arcata. Maybe not, though. The Sacramento Bee reports he's running for Woodland City Council. To hear it from them he's quite popular down there.

Don't know how true that is but not bad publicity for someone who's basically a transient.

As always, if you're asked to log in at the Sacramento Bee web site, you can use humboldtlib for a unsername and blogspot as the password.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Prop 98: Advancing Liberal Goals?

An interesting analysis of Prop. 98- the upcoming eminent domain reform initiative that most liberals abhor- by someone who thinks it might do a lot of good in regards things liberals care about.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Humboldt Bay and NCRA: A great investment?

I've read this article on Golmdan- Sachs' interest in Humboldt Bay and the North Coast Railroad Authority a couple times to make sure I have it right. It does indeed look like they're talking about using private investment from various pension funds to develop the harbor and railroad.

How could a libertarian argue with that? It's their money to lose, or is it? I had to ask myself; If it was my retirement money they were investing, would I want it spent on rebuilding our railroad?

Would you want your retirement account to invest in Humboldt's port and railroad?
Not Sure
Free polls from

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Libertarian Party Convention This Weekend

The Libertarian Party is holding its annual convention this weekend in Denver, Colorado. Looks like C- Span will be covering at least a couple events. Unfortunately for me, I only have basic cable which doesn't carry C- Span. But, not to worry, I guess you can watch it live online by going here.

Their schedule says coverage will start at 9am today and 10:30am Sunday, although I don't think there's going to be gavel to gavel coverage as when I watched my first convention. Still, it should be fun, even though I don't really follow the internal politics of the LP anywhere near as much as I used to.

My preference for the presidential nomination? I don't really have one. My main concern is which ones might be in with the War Party crowd. Some are accusing candidate Bob Barr of being War Party, but from what I've read so far, he seems to think more along the line of the way I do on Iraq. That's just from what I've heard and he's got some other rather unpleasant baggage he carries with him.

Another top tier candidate is Wayne Allen Root. One might worry that the initials of his name speak for themselves. I'm a little concerned with his attitude that seems to be that there was nothing wrong with attacking Iraq in the first place, we just didn't do it right.

Whoever gets the nod, I'll likely vote for, unless they're too in with the War Party. Even if they are, I might vote for him (or her), anyway. After all, why get your panties in a wad over a candidate that will likely get between .5 to 1% of the popular vote in November?

You can see the rest of the candidates for the LP nomination here. If I were to pick a favorite one right now, it would probably be Mary Ruwart, if only because she's easiest on the eyes.
Update: C-Span now has last night's LP presidential "debates" in their archives:

I realize most of you could care less about that. The main reason I posted this update is I finally followed up on that tinyurl deal. I'd seen people converting large hyperlinks into small ones using it and always wondered how that worked. Well, it's free, so if you have trouble converting links in your comments to active hyperlinks, as I often do, maybe you should try

Friday, May 23, 2008

Yet Another Smoking Ban?

When I first saw the headline in the Times- Standard about the proposed smoking ban on Eureka's boardwalk, I was hoping the idea came from some recent transplant from the Bay Area. Nope, looks like it's some local merchants with the help of city council critter, Larry Glass.

Unbelievable. A smoking ban in one of the windiest parts of town. This just goes to show there can be no satisfying the nanny- staters.

Everyone should be concerned about this smoking ban if only because it's yet another restriction laid on everyone. I guess smoking bans [in bars] can even cause more harm as one study suggests.

That said, there are some good things that come from smoking bans, at least they're good from my point of view. For one thing, it creates black markets, which are nearly always a good thing in my view. Some places are even starting to see unlicensed businesses pop up as a result of smoking bans- another good thing in my view.

Sadly though, the American people are pretty docile and often won't rise up to protect the rights of anyone but themselves. If we don't fight for everyone's freedom, there won't be any freedoms left to fight for.

First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a communist; Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a socialist; Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out - because I was not a trade unionist; Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out - because I was not a Jew; Then they came for me - and there was no one left to speak out for me. - Martin Niemoller

Thursday, May 22, 2008

I Voted/ Contrarian Opinions

Well, I finally got around to voting yesterday. I vote absentee, for those that don't already know.

Pretty dull ballot for me, being registered with the Libertarian Party and not having local races on my ballot. The only thing to vote on was Props 98 and 99, the supposed eminent domain reform initiatives.

I was going to vote Yes on 98 and No on 99 as most libertarians suggested. That made sense, too, after seeing who was supporting voting the other way around- No on 98 and Yes on 99.

HOPE Coalition's list of organizations supporting or opposing the two initiatives (not available online) shows a real rogues' gallery of organizations supporting the No on 98 and/ or Yes on 99 vote. With the Howard Jarvis Taxpayer's Association being about the only one endorsing a Yes on 98 it almost seemed a given to vote Yes/ No.

Anyone wanting to see HOPE Coalitions voter recommendation list, I have it in .pdf format. Let me know and I can send it to you.

I decided to compromise and vote Yes on both of them. Having either of them pass will hopefully be better than the status quo.

I would have expected most on the Left to vote No on both initiatives and it was kind of nice to see at least some endorsing 99. Then again, maybe they'll feel differently after reading this contrarian piece in the Sacramento Bee (as always, if asked to log in, you can use humboldtlib as the username and blogspot as the password).

The Bee opposes both because, in the case of 98, they seem to think it will stop just about any government control or regulation of private property. Prop 99, they say, isn't needed because no problem exists in the first place. That should change some of your minds, huh?
Speaking of contrarian opinions, I was happy to see the State Supreme Court rule in favor of gay marriage, myself being a long time supporter of the issue. I was kind of surprised to see this opinion piece written by a gay fellow who doesn't see the decision in such a favorable light.

He makes the valid point that this could cause harm with the inevitable challenges to personal choice that will arise. For example; If a merchant had a sale designed for husbands and wives and didn't want that sale to apply to same- sex couples, he could be sued for discrimination. The writer gives some other examples.

I disagree with him, at least in part. The problem is beyond gay marriage. The problem is we allow personal choices- and, yes, sometimes that includes discrimination- less and less in this country today. If a merchant doesn't want to deal with the gay community (or people with disabilities, for that matter), that should be his choice. That's not the reality nowadays but that's the way it should be, as far as I'm concerned.

I think the writer is pretty much making an argument akin to saying one shouldn't buy a car because it might get stolen. I understand where the guy's coming from, but he should be attacking political correctness in the rest of society, not gay marriage.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Eureka WiFi Expanding Without Government

Yet another example of things happening somewhere without government intervention, although I guess they're kind of related to government. The Redwood Acres Fairgrounds, just outside Eureka, has installed a wifi network. I'd be interested in seeing how far outside the fairgrounds their network extends. Will it overlap the already existing network? From the looks of this map, I wouldn't be surprised.

Just drove out there a little while ago and noticed yet another business in Myrtletown advertising free WiFi that I hadn't noticed before: That Tea Garden place on the south side of Myrtle Avenue between McFarland and West(?) Avenue. That's a ways out from's coverage but I wonder if there's any other places in between that would complete the link with

This is kind of neat. Now I just wish I could get a couple places on Lucas Street, between Myrtle and Harrison, to tie in with Then, maybe I could hook up to their WiFi next time I go to North Coast Family Practice which is on the corner of Harrison and Lucas.

Seems like a petty concern but it's not unusual to spend up to three hours at N.C. Family Practice waiting to see someone. If I could take my laptop in to the waiting room and play around with it, it might make the time go faster.

I think I'll take my laptop next time. Maybe there's some open networks there I don't know about yet. If I can't find one, maybe I can suggest N.C. Family Practice get one going and see if they can hook up to

The way things are going, pretty soon everyone will be doing this and we'll have WiFi all over Eureka. Except for my house. I prefer good old secure hard line DSL, if I have the choice.

The Latest Rage?

Am I the only one that's noticed more and more Toyota Priuses driving around town. I keep seeing new ones every day, or so it seems. I can understand their popularity but I would think that, because of their popularity, the prices would go up and make them less affordable to people.

I have no idea how much they cost. Doesn't really matter. I couldn't afford to buy one, regardless.

But I actually kind of enjoy seeing this trend toward high mileage cars develop. As I posted before here some time ago, owners of non- fuel efficient cars are having a hard time getting rid of their gas guzzlers as this story from the San Jose Mercury News reports.

They're saying my wife's car, the Geo Metro, is also gaining in popularity. I suppose that's good news but that car is too uncomfortable for me to do anything in but short trips around town. Hey, maybe we could take the engine out of the Metro and stick it in my F-150 pick up truck? Hmmm...???

Monday, May 19, 2008

DeBacker's Fifteen Minutes of Fame

Looks like Petch House re- modeler, Greg DeBacker, gets his fifteen minutes of fame today by having his house featured in this month's Times- Standard instert, Restore and Preserve. No link available on their web site, at least not yet, so you'll have to get a hard copy to read the story. It's on page 11 and is titled One-man success story.

Way to go, Greg. Eat your heart out, Jerry Droz!

Update: The article in question is now available online.

Sunday, May 18, 2008


Is it finally over? Within the last half hour a nice cool fog moved in on Eureka, at least where I live. How Cool (pardon the pun)! These last few days it's been too hot for me. I'd forgotten that when it's warm outside, in this house you need to go outside to cool off. Poorly insulated house, this one is.

I remember a similar heat wave in Eureka back in '74(?), except it was later in the summer- July or August. It was in the 80s for 3, 4 maybe 5 days. Even though I was relatively new up here back then it was pretty miserable. Sit around the house sweating and you'd finally go take a shower to cool and wash off the sweat. Didn't seem to work because, within 15 minutes after getting out of the shower, you'd be all sweaty again.

I hope the fog stays in for the day.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Family Service Announcement

Quality Plant Sale
Friday and Saturday, May 16& 17, 9am to 2pm.
3579 Dolbeer Street (across from Kennedy Field near Sequoia Park) in Eureka

Indoor and Outdoor Plants:
Violets, begonias, indoor fern, angel trumpets, succulents, cacti
Dahlia, roses, jasmine, snowballs, geum, strawberries, raspberries
and much more!

Fish The Klamath???

I don't get it. As mentioned earlier on in all the papers, the salmon fisheries in the Klamath have supposedly been devastated by the dams up there. Yet, as has also been mentioned, while salmon fishing has been pretty much closed down throughout the state, the Klamath is the one place left open. The Triplicate reports that salmon runs on the Klamath will be strong this year and and officials are getting word out to local businesses to prepare for an influx of salmon fishermen.

What's up with that? I'm concerned about fisheries as much, or more, than the next guy, but I can't help but wonder. Are these doomsday projections we're hearing about the salmon fisheries just more of the same kind of hysteria we see with things like global warming? I can't help but think that a wise man I knew years ago was right and there are good and bad years for salmon just like there always have been and just because we have a low salmon run one year doesn't mean it's always something that's our fault?

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Teacher Layoffs?

It seems we've heard time and time again, over the years, threats of teacher layoffs. Seems to me they usually come around the time the state budgets nears its deadline. I've always felt that, for the most part, it's just posturing by management and the teacher's unions to scare everyone into making sure the schools get all the money they want.

I'm sure there's a little bit of that going on this time, as well, but this time they're making it sound like there really will be some layoffs. One thing I have to wonder is...why?

How many of these supposedly being laid off are in positions that were non- existent, say, four years ago? Probably none. I'm guessing most of these positions have been there for years, if not decades, long before the current supposed budget crisis.

All state departments are being asked to reduce expenses by 10%, yet at least some of these teachers were probably in those same positions when the budget might have been 30% or more less than what they're being asked to operate on now.

If the same people were working the same job for much less than they're being asked to cut now, how does it get to layoffs so easily?
I don't know that I'll ever understand that, at least in regards the schools and their declining enrollment.

Monday, May 12, 2008

McCain and Ethanol

Along the line of global warming, we get back to ethanol subsidies. Forest Defender commented that John McCain is playing the I care about the environment game trying to get some votes from The Left. That's to be expected. I had to admit though, in McCain's favor, I'd read somewhere that he'd spoken to a bunch of Iowa farmers and told them he was opposed to ethanol subsidies. Good for him, if I'm remembering correctly.

Can't find the news story on that, though. I thought it was this one, but that just says he's been a long time opponent of ethanol subsidies. Good for him, again. Maybe I just misread that, or maybe I read it somewhere else? I don't know.

But, I'll concede that might be a point in McCain's favor. I say might because people say all sorts of things. especially during elections. Action is what counts.

So what about Hilllary and Obama? I read somewhere recently that Hillary's pretty tight with the corn growers. Don't know about Obama. I also thought I read some carefully crafted lines from both their campaigns that something needed to be done regarding rising food prices. I don't know that I expect much from any of them in this regard, but McCain seems to have the longest held opposition to ethanol subsidies.

About the only good thing going on in regards this is there's at least a few people in congress that seem to really be taking a look at this boondoggle. Whether that amounts to anything positive being done in the long run remains to be seen.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Global Warming Stuff

I've found British media to be far more open minded about claims of global warming and/ or climate change as this article points out. The article doesn't refer to British media. I've just found pieces like that on global warming are found far and few between in the U.S. media. As the writer points out, the internet is the most open source of information on the issue nowadays.


And this just in to my inbox:

On C-Span 2:

The Deniers: The World-Renowned Scientists Who Stood Up Against Global Warming Hysteria, Political Persecution, and Fraud

Sunday, May 11, at 3:30 AM ET, 12: 30 AM PT

Sunday, May 11, at 11:15 AM ET [ 50 minutes]

Tuesday, May 27, at 3:15 AM ET

You can also view it on your computer by clicking here, if you have Real Player. Click on the Watch Now link on upper right of the page. I haven't watched it yet. Didn't have time this morning. That, and the speaker didn't exactly grab my attention in the first minute or two that I started watching it.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Humboldt Commies

A somewhat bizarre- at least to me- read in this week's North Coast Journal on local communists. I'd always wondered what Michael Langdon looked like and did for a living. Why doesn't it surprise me that he's on disability?

Our very own Shane Brinton is mentioned, as well, although it seems he's left, or is at least distancing himself from, the communists. I wonder why he declined to be interviewed for the story?

Friday, May 09, 2008

Pepper Spray vs...

Just about anything and the pepper spray loses, except it does work on dogs. At least it did the one time I used it.

I guess it's easy for me to say, but I don't see why people are going along with this pepper spray robber in Arcata. I know the stuff's irritating, but that's about it. Even a baseball bat would trump a robber using pepper spray, fists alone if you have a size advantage on the guy.

Somebody needs to thump this (these?) guys.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Just The Wind?

I guess it wasn't an earthquake?

I think it was right before 2pm and I was sitting here playing Aces High. All of the sudden there was like a big jolt with a big thump type noise. More like an explosion, but I figured maybe an earthquake.

Checked the earthquake report web site and didn't find anything. Just checked again and nothing. Must have been the wind, or maybe a sonic boom? Probably a sonic boom. Haven't heard one of those in a while but that's what I remember them being like.

Baby Aspirin: Anybody Else?

Went to the doctor Monday. Among other things he told me my blood was thick and I should take something to thin in out. He recommended taking one baby aspirin a day. Ahhh, baby aspirin. I remember that stuff.

So I go to the Henderson Center Rite- Aid and start looking through all the aspirin for baby aspirin. Didn't notice it right away so I asked the lady stocking the shelves- her name escapes me right now- if they carried baby aspirin. She pointed one out to me that was orange flavored.

I told her, "I don't know about orange flavored. When I was a wee little tyke I used to love Bayer baby aspirin. I'd eat them like candy...". She replies, "You too? I got in big trouble when my mom noticed the bottle was almost empty after I'd snacked on a bunch of them...".

Anybody else love that stuff when you were a kid? The ones I bought yesterday taste almost as I remember them way back when.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Rogan Coombs: R.I.P.

Another North Coast icon, Rogan Coombs, died recently. From what I've heard, he was a bit of a mover and shaker, although I rarely actually heard from, or about, the guy himself.

I don't know that I've ever met Rogan, although I might of spoken to him on the phone once or twice. Although a registered Republican, I believe he was also a Life Member of the Libertarian Party, that status gained by paying a certain amount of money for lifetime membership dues. That's where I first saw his name- the LP of Humboldt membership list, when I first got involved with the party.

Another local libertarian, Ron, related the story of Rogan attending some local Republican meeting many years ago where everyone was discussing an upcoming election. According to Ron, Rogan rose quite a few eyebrows when he said, "I'm voting for Harry Brown...", the Libertarian Party presidential candidate at the time.

Don't know just how true that was but I got the impression he was quite the libertarian oriented guy. The kind of guy we need more of in this world.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Singleton Still At It

Looks like local bottom- feeder and attorney- at- law, Jason Singleton, is still up to his hijinks. He's behind the recent closing of long time favorite eatery of many people, Arctic Circle, according to the Times- Standard.

Way to go, Singleton! No need to worry about the disabled having problems with access to Arctic Circle anymore. That's one way to deal with the problem.

That guy really needs to be run out of town on a rail.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

CHP Seeks Rodoni Accident Witnesses

I can't help but wonder if any of the witnesses that the Highway Patrol has interviewed were among those that some claim reported the lady who hit Rodoni was reported as driving recklessly prior to the accident? I'm eager to find out the results of their investigation.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Media Maven Does Blogs

Marcy Burstiner, better known as the North Coast Journal's Media Maven, takes a look at blogs and blog comments in this week's column. She even mentions the Humboldt Herald and our very own Fred's Humboldt Blog.

At first I was a bit offended with her reference to this blog. She writes:

Read Humboldt Herald or Fred's Humboldt Blog on any given day and you'll find comments that appear hastily typed and posted, people saying hurtful things about other people, without the decency of signing their posts.

Hey, I guess I do allow anonymous comments and some comments might be hurtful to others, but I moderate the comments here. I might get a lot less comments than other blogs since I began moderating, but I don't allow the insulting and really nasty comments here that some others do.

But, some comments are hastily typed, posted and anonymous. Can't argue with that.
First I noticed, unless I'd seen it before and forgotten about it, Marcy has her own blog. Looks like she only posts about once a month, though.