Saturday, July 31, 2010

Interesting Political Discovery

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat reports the majority of people who use iPhones will be voting for Jerry Brown. Most that use Blackberries are voting for Whitman. Why doesn't that surprise me?

This Should Be Ilegal

Not shooting videos of police, as Radley Balko describes, but arresting people for shooting videos of police.

More incidents listed here.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Dianne Feinstein: Drug Warrior

Dianne Feinstein has sponsored a bill that would, among other things, double the penalties for those who provide medical marijuana in brownies or cookies.

Boy, I can see someone opposing Prop 19 (the upcoming marijuana legalization initiative) for even libertarian reasons, but this goes proactively the other way. This seems especially ironic to me since the CA Democratic Executive Committee abstained from taking a position on Prop 19 since endorsing it would have went against their statewide candidates' positions on the initiative.

And I'll bet she won't lose but a handful of votes from the Democrat faithful for this.

Oh, that link above also has a link to a form e- letter you can send to Senators Boxer and Feinstein asking them to oppose this bill. I sent mine in after personalizing it a bit.

And oh#2: Hat tip to Radley Balko for the heads up on this.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Stop The Jefferson School Sale!

When I first heard it suggested that the City of Eureka buy the old Jefferson School (at West Clark, between A&B Streets), I didn't think it was a good idea. I understood the sentiment behind it but I didn't think it a good idea for the city to acquire yet another liability.

After reading a story on the progress of the sale in yesterday's Time's- Standard I'm firmly convinced it's a bad idea, especially since it looks like it will cost millions to retrofit the building for further use.

It is rather odd that one of the bigger proponents of this sale, Larry Glass, supports full funding of the police department, the closing of Sequoia Park Zoo because it's unaffordable, and yet wants to put the city in the position of being millions of dollars in debt on a building that is of questionable value.

Addendum: Nice letter to the editor in the Times- Standard today on this issue.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Those Green Jobs

Amazing how fast AB32- California's landmark climate change law- got those supposed "green jobs" created, isn't it? NOT.

Looks like the only sizable increase in jobs created by AB32, so far, are in government, says today's Sacramento Bee. Perhaps it's too early to be gloating over this but I've read where others have predicted the only significant growth in green jobs we'll see from this bill will be in government.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010

I'm Rich!

My ship finally came in! I got this check in the mail yesterday for $4,950.23. All I have to do now is deposit it in my bank account, do some shopping for them, fill out a form and then do some unspecified Western Union thing. Doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Actually, NO. I know it's a scam. The way these things usually work is you deposit the check in your account and then they have you send a lesser amount of money back to them. Problem is, the check is bogus. Once you send them the money, you're on the hook for the money you sent them and any bounced check fees.

This one is kind of odd, though, in that the instructions don't specifically mention sending them money. They have you fill out an evaluation form for the stores where you went shopping for them and then go to Western Union to send the form to them. I'm guessing that's when you get scammed?

Either that, or it's when you call the 1-800 phone number they provide to "activate" your check. Maybe it's one of those phone scams where they charge you $10.00 a minute, or some such.

Either way, now I have this check to deal with. Anyone out there want to buy it from me for $1000.00? You can sell it to someone else for $1500.00 and make a handy profit.


Friday, July 23, 2010

Dump That Junk Car

Now's the time. John's Used Cars will take your old junk car off your hands for free for a limited time. This just in from our very own Jennifer Savage via the North Coast Journal:

"Tip of the week: Have an old car beyond repair and not worth selling? John’s Used Cars and Wreckers is offering amnesty to those needing to junk a car. You’ll need the typical paperwork, the tires must have enough air to roll, and you sure don’t want to stuff the car with household garbage, but they are not charging you to take it. If that works for you, give them a call at 443-7065. Goodbye, little Suzuki Swift. You served us well."

Doesn't get any better than that, does it?

I don't know what exactly should be done about the ugly rusting cars you see sitting in people's yards, but I'll be the first to admit they are an eyesore. When an opportunity like this comes along, it would make sense to at least let the owner of such cars know about the free towing and maybe they'll take advantage of it. Those of you living next to such abandoned cars should let your neighbors know about this.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

No On Prop 25

Prop 25 is the upcoming ballot initiative that would reduce the requirement to pass a state budget to a simple majority vote as opposed to the current two thirds. I naturally opposed it and thought it rather silly to lower the requirement to two thirds if you still needed the two third majority to raise taxes to pay for the bigger budget.

According to the Orange County Register, that's a moot point. This editorial claims Prop 25 allows them to raise taxes with a simple majority vote, as well.

Not only that, but they say it will also eliminate voter's current right to place referendum on the ballot opposing tax increases resulting from the budget increases.

Definitely a NO vote for me on this one. I might grudgingly agree that we need to increase some taxes as a way to balance the budget. But I won't support any tax increases until we can come up with some effective spending limits.

This whole broohaha over the budget not getting passed on time has always gotten my goat to begin with. As the Register's editorial points out, it doesn't matter so much that a budget passes on time. It matters that the budget that gets passed is a sound one.

84 More Businesses Leaving Or Gone

The Orange County Register has an interesting- if not depressing- article about a guy that keeps track of businesses leaving California. He knows of at least 84 businesses that have left the state in whole, or in part, since the beginning of the year.

Click here and scroll down to find the more detailed list of the companies that have left or are leaving.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

More Anarchy

I forget the name of the city in Colorado that basically "shut down" due to financial problems, but here's a look at somewhere closer to home that pretty much closed down city government- at least in the conventional sense- and is still standing.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dale Ogden For Governor?

At this point I think that's how I might be voting in November. Dale Ogden is the Libertarian Party candidate this time around. Am I wasting my vote? Hard to say.

I really don't have much of a beef with either Brown or Whitman. I don't think either of them can do much to get this state out of the mess it's in. California is unfixable.

I was actually favoring Brown over Whitman, earlier on. I kind of like his offbeat approach to issues. He was even quoted in the paper a while ago as saying "We have too many laws already". Wow! And that from a Democrat?

He's also done a few other admirable things from my perspective. One of them being joining the lawsuit against Chicago's handgun ban in his role as Attorney General, pissing off a lot of those from the Left.

But, he supports AB32 (that global warming prevention law) and opposes Prop 23- the upcoming ballot initiative to suspend AB32. Last I heard Christine Whitman supported suspending AB23, although I suppose that could still change.

I'd almost give Whitman the edge, at this point, although I can't help but think either of them would be willing to sign bad bills into law as our current Governator has.

I don't know that it will matter who wins. I don't see any compelling reason to chose one over the other, from a libertarian perspective, so I think this is the perfect opportunity to again throw away my vote on the Libertarian Party candidate.

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New Old Glory Radio Show

Tom Frederiksen kicks off the new version of his Old Glory Radio Show tomorrow (Monday) morning on 1650 AM (live feed through the web site, I believe). Live call- in show dealing with news, culture, politics and even local blogs. 9 to 10am, Monday thru Friday. 707-702-1776 is the call in number. Be sure and call in to bring your personal local issues to the discussion!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Mason's On The Love Boat Again

Eureka native son, Mason Matteoli, left yesterday morning for Florida. He'll be taking another 3 month tour with Carnival Cruise Lines as a show musician- a pianist to be more exact. Last time he was on the Carnival Valor. This time he'll be on the Carnival Dream.

Don't know if he'll update his blog any more than he did last time. He had problems with it because the shipboard internet was so slow. I suggested that this tour he write up some posts offline and then go online and send them to me. I could then take the time to post them for him. We'll see if he gives that a try.

Oh, and the ship has a different itinerary than last one. Down through the Caribbean and the Mexican Coast a bit more southward this time, if memory serves me. Should be a fun adventure.

I imagine he's probably aboard ship getting settled in to his quarters as I write this.

Addendum: I guess I was wrong. Only a few stops in the Caribbean with this ship and the ship departs from Orlando, Florida on Saturdays, unlike the Valor that departed on Sundays. I've posted the ship's itinerary on Mason's blog.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Add Your Name: YES on Prop 19

Interesting, isn't it? Prop 19- the upcoming ballot initiative to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana- has both an authoritarian and a libertarian agreeing on an issue for a change. Those two being Robert Cruickshank, a card carrying authoritarian, and myself being the libertarian.

We're both supporting Prop 19, although I'll have to say I really have to hold my nose to vote for something just so it can be taxed and regulated. This really makes my skin crawl.

Isn't it also interesting that this issue has two authoritarians disagreeing, with Senator Dianne Feinstein (predictably) announcing her opposition to the measure just in time to try and sway the State Democrats into opposing the initiative?

Cruickshank is asking supporters of the measure to sign this online petition to send a message asking the Democratic Executive Committee to endorse the initiative. I added my name. Will you add yours?

Ooops! I just noticed the deadline is today at 10am. You better hurry.


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Which Type Are You?

Going here will take you to a larger version of it that you can read. Click on it to enlarge.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Damned Earthquakes

Just felt a pretty decent jolt around 8:15am- about the time I was doing the earlier post. Earthquakes scare the hell out of me no matter how small they are. I hate them.

Update: Yep, earthquake web site says a 3.5 at 8:15am. West, southwest of Eureka. Looks like about the same old place most of these come from.

Salmon Decline

Yep, it does seem like salmon are on the decline around here. Some are arguing about why as the My Word column in today's Times- Standard points out. What gets me is it seems that, from the Klamath northward, salmon seem to be doing ok or even very well.

This AP story was included in today's hard copy of the Times- Standard. It says the Snake and Columbia salmon are doing very well with a record run of sockeye this year. Why them and not us?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Mehserle Verdict

Tricked you, didn't I? No, I'm not going to comment on the verdict on Johannes Mehserle, the BART cop who killed the guy on New Year's Eve. I just wanted to get your attention.

But along that same line, here's some statistics on police shootings in California that some of you may find interesting. Or maybe not. Hat tip to Radley Balko for the link.

Monday, July 05, 2010

Prop 19 Winning On Facebook

The Sacramento Bee reports the Prop 19 campaign- the upcoming ballot initiative to legalize and tax marijuana- has a Facebook page up with quite a lead over the opposition as far as Friends of the page go. Funny thing is, just yesterday I was searching Facebook for a Prop 19 site and couldn't find one.

I'm wondering if Facebook Friends numbers could be an half- way decent gauge of how campaigns might do in an election? I watched the Friends lists of both Downey and Hislop during our last Sheriff's race. I forget the exact numbers but Downey had Hislop beat early on with Facebook Friends and won the election handily.

Did anyone notice any instance this last election where a campaign with the fewest Facebook Friends won? Wouldn't it be weird if it turned out you had a good chance of predicting outcomes in elections by simply looking at which campaign had the most support on Facebook?

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Drowning Is Quiet

Since it's water time for many of you, you'll want to read up on the signs of drowning. They're not what many people would expect.

Addendum: I just noticed the above link (if you take the link to the entire story) is Part 2 of a two part series. Here's Part 1 where the author discusses hypothermia. More non- conventional wisdom in this one, as well.

Friday, July 02, 2010

Bug Stories

CLS, over at the Classically Liberal Blog, tells some of his bug stories in yesterday's (Thursday, June 1) post. That got me to thinking if I had any bug stories. I can only think of a couple and one wasn't really about me.

Number one is remembering my brother when he came back from a trip to Europe. He came home with flea bites over what seemed to every square inch of his body. Apparently some place he stayed at was infested with them. Better him than me, I suppose.

But the one bug story that's really about me is kind of yucko:

Back in the late '70s I was living on Beechwood Drive in Cutten. I had a teeny little shed of a house a friend dubbed Fred's Shed. I used to eat a lot of beef back then, specifically chuck steaks and used paper shopping bags for my garbage.

One day the garbage looked full and, for reasons I don't recall now, I'd grabbed the paper bag and dragged it out through the living room to dump it in the garbage can out front. As I go back into the living room, I look down and see a trail of hundreds of maggots on the carpet where I dragged the paper bag across.

I go back out and look at the paper bag. It seemed I'd thrown some meat scraps into the bag. Flies had found them and laid eggs and the maggots and moisture pretty much ate through the bottom of the bag. Now I had hundreds of maggots on my living room carpet. YUCK!

All I had to clean my carpet back then was a manual carpet cleaner. One of those things you push back and forth with the twin roller type brushes that sweep up all the dirt. I brought it out and swept up the maggots. Problem solved, or so I thought.

It isn't but a minute or so later there's more maggots on the carpet and I realize fly eggs must of fallen out of the bag and gone into the carpet where they were hatching as I watched. SUPER YUCKO!

I realized I need something to suck the eggs out of the carpet so drove into town to Shafer's Ace Hardware. It was on F Street back then, between Grotto and Henderson. I bought myself a Hoover(?) canister vacuum cleaner and headed back home to suck up the fly eggs.

It got most of the eggs but one or two maggots would pop up the next couple of hours so I vacuumed over and over again.

That's the story of how and why I bought my first vacuum cleaner. I was to use that vacuum cleaner for some years after that.

Fewer Teens Driving

I guess this is a good thing. The Fresno Bee reports that the percentage of Californians getting licenses at age 16 and 17 dropped from 31% in 1996 to 19% last year.

It does kind of surprise me. I was quite eager to get my driver's license as I approached 16. Failed my first driving test, though, by driving through a blind intersection without slowing down to 25mph. How humiliating.

I'm also curious about the article's references to parents driving their kids to school. How many parents drive their kids to school nowadays? When I was in junior high, I walked to school. I believe it was around a two mile walk one way and took about 40 minutes. I thought nothing of it at the time, but it did get kind of rough with the 20 foot snowdrifts I had to fight my way through in the winter time.