Wednesday, February 29, 2012

For The Cold Sufferers

You might have heard that a number of states have been trying to reduce the supply of methamphetamine by requiring a physician's prescription for the formerly over- the- counter drug, pseudoephedrine.

Drug warriors claim that policy has had the desired effect. Others claim the reduction in meth labs is simply a trend that's occurring even in states without the prescription requirement. Regardless, we can be sure of more and more states will consider the prescription requirement whether it's effective, or not.

But fear not, cold sufferers. Here's instructions (warning: pdf file) for making increasingly hard to get pseudoephedrine from readily available street meth. Making your own may be the only way to get the stuff in a few years.

Hat tip to Radley Balko for the link.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Stossels Illegal Everything

I chanced upon John Stossel's Illegal Everything last night on Fox News. Great show. It's about relatively harmless things being illegal.

As a libertarian was wasn't all that surprised or upset over much of what was shown. After all, this stuff has been going on for decades. I'll admit to being appalled, though, at the lady who defended prostitution laws. As she did with Stossel, she lost me, too. What an arrogant, condescending, I know what's best for you, beech!!!

There doesn't seem to be a video available online yet, but it does show tonight at 7pm Pacific Time, at least I think that's the right time. That's when it was on last night. Probably a fun show even for Authoritarians.

Pizza Box Recycling?

I'd heard some time ago that used pizza boxes aren't recyclable because just one piece of cheese can ruin them. I'd also heard that HSU stopped accepting pizza boxes in their recycling program because of that. I wondered if that still held true?

According to this article it is. It goes on to explain that food and oil on one box can ruin the whole lot. So, don't toss your used pizza boxes in the recycling bin. They should go in the trash.

Also, I noticed in someone's recycling bin the other day a bunch of paper towels and napkins. That's a no- no, too, as the article explains.

As an aside, went to dump some grass in my green waste bin yesterday only to find someone had thrown a pizza box into it. It felt like at least part of a pizza was still in it (I didn't bother to look). A bit annoying, but I suppose I'd rather have them throw it in the bin than on the sidewalk. Now it's in the trash.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Gleick Affair

I'm surprised there's been as much coverage as there has of famed climate change Believer, Peter Gleick, having been caught with his hands in the proverbial cookie jar. He's admitted to fraudulently obtaining documents regarding fundraising from the Heartland Institute.

Outspoken Believers are usually media heroes, but I suppose a story is a story. Still, it's no surprise most mainstream media would do their best to put Gleick in the best possible light.

The Times- Standard even covered it, although they published the story the San Jose Mercury News ran on Tuesday. Their take on it being that Gleick was simply a heroic genius trying to do the right thing and just made an error in judgement.

The Sacramento Bee ran an editorial pretty much along the same lines- the hero made a mistake. They're catching hell over it in the comments. All but a few comments take an opposite view. The few supporting the Bee's editorial are the usual You don't know what you're talking about....You must work for the oil company sort of thing. The universal Believer's reply.

The San Francisco Chronicle's Debra Saunders pointed out that Gleick's insistence that he was simply frustrated over "efforts by skeptics to prevent this debate" was bogus. Apparently the Heartland Institute had invited Gleick to debate the issue but he refused
(I understand Al Gore has never accepted an invitation to debate the issue, either).

CLS, over at the Classically Liberal blog, makes what I think is a good case that Gleick might be guilty of forgery, as well. He suggests Gleick created and printed one document by himself. His idea of what went down is a fun read.

As to what should be done about Gleick, I'm ambivalent. I first thought it might be best if Heartland Institute let him simmer in his own juices, but otherwise leave him alone. Now I'm thinking jail time might be appropriate, assuming they can prove he forged the document, but I won't lose any sleep over it either way.

Refusing Polce Searches

Nice piece in the Huffington Post on why you should always refuse requests by police to search you or your property.

I used to watch those cop reality shows fairly often: Cops, Real Stories of the Highway Patrol, and such. I became appalled at how often cops asked to search people or their vehicles, usually without cause. I was also amazed that most people gave them permission.

I told myself some time ago I'll refuse any search requests, despite being generally friendly towards police. If nothing else, if they have no reason to suspect me of anything, they shouldn't have any reason to ask. Fortunately I haven't had the opportunity to say No as I haven't been stopped by police in as long as I can remember.

Kudos to Radley Balko for the link.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Favorite States

It's nice to see California at the bottom of this list of favorite states. I only spent two weeks in Utah, but still don't see why it's in the bottom five. Seemed a nice enough place to me.

Hat tip to Radley Balko for the link.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Earthquake Stuff Has Landed?

I can't help but think that some people are jumping the gun assuming stuff floating up on the beach is debris from the Japan earthquake. The one guy seems to think so:

"Ebbesmeyer said he thinks what beachcombers have been reporting are linked to the tsunami, specifically because the floats are lighter and float on top of the water and travel at a faster rate than other materials."

It seems to me it's not at all unusual for Japanese fishing boats to lose their floats and have them wash up on shore here and elsewhere.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Nanny State Rolls On

Reminding us that no business is beyond attack by the State of California, legislation has been introduced that will require dog groomers to be licensed and regulated by the State.

If the legislature should be doing anything in regards jobs and businesses here, they should be trying to make it easier for businesses to open and people to find jobs. Not so in the Golden State. You'll recall food workers were recently required to get a state certificate to work in restaurants.

Oh, and don't forget they're trying to ban food trucks from operating within 1,500 feet of schools now, too.

Yet more examples of why we should return to a part- time legislature. The less time they spend in session, the less damage done.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Left & Right for Gary Johnson?

I'd like to think so. Libertarians always like to think they have something in common with both Left and Right wingers. I'm always looking for ways to convey that.

This piece on why conservatives should support Gary Johnson for President was posted on Johnson's Facebook page a while back. I asked in commenting on it if anybody could come up with a similar piece with reasons liberals should support Johnson. I got no suggestions.

I wasn't really surprised as most liberals generally lean more authoritarian than most conservatives. I'm not saying that's always the case, just generally. Less government and more individual liberty isn't exactly the liberal's rallying cry. Still, there should be some common areas of agreement.

I received this commentary through the Johnson 2012 e-mail list the other day. Why Gary Johnson Should Terrify The Democrats does a pretty good job of laying out some common ground between Gary Johnson and The Left.

I don't know that I'd go so far to say either Left or Right should be afraid of Gary Johnson. Despite all the rhetoric about people being fed up with the two major political parties, incumbents and politics as usual, they'll still likely vote the same way they always have.

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Common Sense On Iran

Reason magazine has a nice piece on things we need to be reminded of in regards the saber rattling over Iran. Reason's emphasis is that even a nuclear armed Iran doesn't pose the danger to us that so many are suggesting.

Pat Buchanan takes a slightly different tack, reminding us that there's no hard evidence Iran is trying to build a nuclear weapon in the first place. That is important as most media coverage seems to assume that weaponry has been the intent of their nuclear program all along. I recall reading from the beginning of this that Iran just wants to develop nuclear power for use in their country so they can sell their oil to the rest of the world.

One thing Buchanan was a bit premature on was saying Iran hasn't struck back for the recent assassinations of their nuclear scientists:

"Moreover, Tehran has yet to retaliate for the assassinations of five of its nuclear scientists and four terror attacks by Jundallah in Sistan-Baluchistan and PJAK, a Kurdish terrorist organization operating out of Iraqi Kurdistan."

Recent attacks on Israeli diplomats suggest otherwise, depending on who you believe. Still, you can hardly blame Iran for a little tit- for- tat "diplomacy".

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

What Others Think I Do

So true. Stolen from Gary Johnson's Facebook page, which probably stole it from somewhere else.

Clicking on the picture should make it readable.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Those who would give up liberty....

So true. You could remove the reference to Homeland Security and it would still make its point.

Hat tip to Jesse Ventura's Facebook page for the picture.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Stop HSR Petitions Available

You can download petitions for an initiative that will stop the sale of bonds to fund California's High Speed Rail project here (.pdf file). You can find out more about this effort at the No Train Act, Please web site.

They also have a Facebook page you can Like.


Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Free Market Provides!

Neat idea for dealing with scrap metal thieves stealing manhole covers: Make them from composite materials that aren't worth anything as scrap. These folks make them.

Scrap metal theft- specifically manholes- has been in the news quite a bit lately. This certainly seems like it would put the quash on that, although there's probably still millions of manholes out there yet to be stolen.

Hat tip to Radley Balko for the heads up.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

CLI Site Up and Running

The initiative effort to return California to a part- time legislature has their campaign site up and running...I think. I'm not sure if the volunteer form on the Citizen Legislature Initiative's page works.

I added my name and specified I was interested in at least signing a petition but there was no indication after I submitted the form that it had been accepted. Didn't receive a confirmation e- mail either. Give it a try.

They also have a Facebook page you can Like.

"Given the low level of competence among politicians, every American should become a libertarian. The government that governs the least is certainly the best choice when fools, opportunists and grafters run it. When power is for sale, government power should be severely limited. When power is abused, the less power the better."- Charley Reese

Monday, February 06, 2012

Liberty Is Now Free!

I used to subscribe to Liberty Magazine some years ago and always looked forward to the next issue. They changed their publishing schedule at one point, if memory serves me, from once a month to once every two months. Or was it the other way around?

Eventually, I dropped my subscription, mostly because I just didn't feel like paying for it when it was about to expire. Then I noticed they started a web page and you could read some, but not all, of their articles online. You had to pay for full access.

I just visited the site a few days ago wondering what it cost for subscribing to the hard copy. I couldn't find any rates. It looks like the magazine is available only online now. No charge, although they give you the option of donating.

It does go against the current trend of publishers charging for online content. Is that a good or bad thing? For readers, maybe good. For the Liberty magazine, maybe not? I think I'd feel better if they were still charging.

Friday, February 03, 2012

Times- Standard Online...What?

You'll recall late last year the Times- Standard announced some changes to their subscription policy. Among them was access to their web site would be restricted. No more free reading of more than five stories. You had to pay for more than that, even if you subscribed to the print edition. I went along and signed up for complete access at the cost of $1.99 a month.

I believe they might have changed that policy without saying anything.

I was over at the in- laws yesterday showing them how to get to the Times- Standard web site. When I clicked on a story to show them how it worked, the Press+ window popped up. Along with advising they had a limit of 5 stories for free, it also said that current print subscribers could read the web site for free.

What? First I've heard of it, and we went through the registration process to set them up for free access. No idea if it worked, so far. When we got to the end of the process there was nothing that said the registration was successful.

So I came home, went to the Press+ site (they handle the subscriptions) and deactivated my account for the Times- Standard. It still shows my account as active this morning so I have no idea if it doesn't work or just takes time for them to deactivate an account.

Checking the Times- Standard site's subscription services, I see a number of options for the hard copy. Non- subscribers to the hard copy can also pay $59.99 per year for access to the stories online or $39.00 for the E- Edition, which is just a .pdf file of the paper. No mention of free access for current print subscribers that I could find.

Guess I'll have to wait and see if Press+ will deactivate my account so I can try and register for free access. If they don't by the end of the month, all I can figure to do is change my credit card info to make it invalid and hopefully they'll cancel me then.

Strange goings on there, in that regard. You can't help but think they're taking advantage of the change in policy by not announcing it. In a way, I don't blame them, but it does seem sneaky.

Addendum: This just in from the Times- Standard. Apparently they mentioned it but I never noticed it and I read the paper every day:

"Fred we ran a front page article, a Q& A, a letter from the publisher and an online story twice all taking about how subscribers would be able to access the website for free when we went digital on Mons. In fact, the Mirror mocked us for running so many stories about going digital. We also explained was the refund policy. It also ran as a box on the home page for two week. Don't really consider that hiding it."

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Zombie Does Climate Change

Photojournalist Zombie is terrified by a book on climate change.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Governor Brown & High Speed Rail

I think Governor Brown should face a recall over his continued support of the High Speed Rail project. The state has a continuing large deficit and supposedly can't pay for what many consider essential government services, yet he steadfastly supports HSR.

He'll try and mitigate concerns over its cost by saying he'll use so called Cap- and- Trade fees to pay for at least part of the funding. Without getting into of Cap- and Trade fees themselves, suffice it to say they're a new tax.

I might not object to new or increased taxes if they were being used to close the budget deficit. In the case of funding HSR, however, he's essentially using new taxes to fund not only increased, but new spending.

It's one thing to support new taxes to close the deficit and provide essential government services. Using those taxes to raise the level of spending- as he proposes for- is over the top, especially given the financial shape California is in.

This is nuts, and with 2/3 of the electorate now turning against this HSR boondoggle, a recall of the Governor for his support of it might just be successful.

The Los Angeles Times' Steve Lopez has a fairly even- handed look at the HSR issue.