Sunday, September 30, 2012

Romney and Obama's Foreign Policy

Nice Reason magazine piece by Sheldon Richman on Romney and Obama's claims to each being the best one to shape events in the Middle East. His counterpoint isn't usually brought up in coverage of their campaigns.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Free Gary Johnson Signs Available

I have four Gary Johnson signs as pictured on the left available to anyone who might want one. I also have one of the campaign's Live Free bumper stickers one hand. First one to reply gets it. I also have a couple of smaller bumper stickers made by the folks that made the sign at left. I can deliver in Eureka.

If you'd like the larger signs that the campaign itself offers (at left), those are available through Gary Johnson's Northern state campaign director, Richard Vanier. E-mail or call him at 925-550-6071 and you should get them within a couple days.

Still not thinking of voting for Gary Johnson? Here's a skeptic's case and a liberal's case for him.

Keep in mind Obama is all but guaranteed to win California and all its electoral votes. There's no time like now to waste your vote on the candidate you really want.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Campbell's Soup Leaves California

Yet another company closes in California. Campbell's soup is closing its Sacramento processing facility throwing 700 people out of work. The majority of that plant's production will be shifted to their three remaining plants in other states.

Addendum: According to the L.A. Daily News, people and businesses are still fleeing the state.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

New Panhandling Technique

Speaking of panhandling, anybody else get a look at the young folks panhandling on the corner of Central Avenue and Henderson at the Eureka Mall just after noon today? They certainly have a different approach to it.

Two guys and two girls, maybe in their twenties. They had a sign that said "Traveling, broke and hungry", or something along that line. The girl holding the sign was a hottie, except for the ring in her nose. The others seemed like just college students and were clean cut with decent clothes on.

They sure got some attention. They ran their operation like those high school car washes although the girl didn't jump and wave the sign around as I often see them do. While she stood there smiling with the sign, the others smiled and waved at passersby, giving out a cheer every now and then. Nothing at all like all the depressed, down- and- out bums we usually see.

They must have done fairly well from all the people that stopped and talked with them. I saw one truck pull over, they let out a cheer when someone in the truck tossed some apples out to them. One girl started eating one right then and there.

Some guy jokingly told me they probably lived right around the corner. I told him I'd never seen them before and they certainly seemed hungry the way that girl munched down on that apple.

Great technique for panhandling and I wish them well. Too bad I couldn't have recorded it.

November Marijuana Initiatives

Reason magazine takes a look at 3 marijuana legalization initiatives being voted on this November. Polls show Oregon's is in trouble, but the two in Colorado and Washington are polling well. The writer suggests if even one passes legislators will have to start taking marijuana reform efforts more seriously.

I'll go along with him but I'm not looking for any big changes in the near future. There's too much money and too many empires built around marijuana prohibition. They're not going to just going to pick up their toys and go home without a fight.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Politics On The Road

Went down to San Francisco again Sunday. I paid special attention to political bumper stickers while driving. The idea being to gauge support for candidates and get some idea of interest in the upcoming election.

I was most surprised at the lack of bumper stickers. I might have seen one of those cars with umpteen stickers all over the back, but the vast majority of cars had none.

The grand total after returning to Eureka was 3 Obama stickers and those were all seen Monday morning in Marin County. The only other sticker was the Gary Johnson "Live Free" sticker on the back of my truck.

With 1 out of 4 stickers being a Gary Johnson one, that gives the Libertarian Party 25% of the bumper sticker presence between Eureka and San Francisco. Not bad for a third party candidate, huh?
I forget how long ago it was that they started asking for identification when you check in with UCSF Oncology. It might have been a couple years ago. I was surprised to find they've gone one step further.

Now they have a sign up in front of the room where they draw blood that says you need two forms of identification to have your blood drawn. I didn't think to ask why at the time, but it did get me to thinking about accusations of "voter suppression" we've been hearing of late- there being numerous proposals around the country to require identification to vote.

I certainly don't like being hassled for ID, but it happens all the time. A lady commenting on a recent Santa Rosa Press- Democrat story on voter I.D. reminded me there are many routine activities where we're required to show identification. Some of those as simple as renting a car or a DVD or, ironically, being a delegate to the Democratic National Convention.

As she enumerated the number of things I.D. is asked for, I got to thinking about the voter I.D. proposal from a different angle than most: If someone doesn't drive a car, write a check, rent a DVD, or do any of the common things in life that require I.D., do we really want them voting?

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Here's a pedestrian safety idea I can get behind. Placing LOOK signs on the street at crosswalks wont be a panacea for ending vehicle vs. pedestrian accidents, but it does encourage responsibility on the part of pedestrians. Making them feel safer, as most pedestrian safety efforts do nowadays, just seems to make people more careless.

One thing that might make it more effective would be to have an image of a hand pointing a finger on both sides of the word, pointing left and right. That might better remind people to look both ways before crossing the street.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Obama's Indefinite Detention

J.D. Tuccille of Reason magazine looks at President Obama's signing of the National Defense Authorization Act, a provision of which allows indefinite detention of Americans suspected of ties to terrorism.

Lest anybody think I'm being one- sided here, Romney has also said he would have signed the NDAA:

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Wasted Votes for Romney Petition

Not my exact choice, the way it's worded. Gary Johnson supporters across the country worry about Romney getting votes that might otherwise go to Johnson. Votes for Romney, especially in a state like California where he has no chance of winning, are essentially wasted.

Add your name to this petition asking Romney to drop out of the race so as to not diminish Gary Johnson's chances.

Creepy Hand Signs

I agree. The new Obama hand sign is creepy. I wonder if Capt. Future, over at Bill's Obama Blog, does it every morning now?

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Quiz: Who Are You Afraid Of?

Cute piece from Reason magazine that asks who you fear most: the drug user, or those who want to arrest them?

Why Muslims Protest

Probably the best analysis I've read on why Muslims attack our embassies and generally just aren't very friendly with Americans, to say the least:

"But, as when a single offensive remark from someone you've long disliked can make you go ballistic, the explanation for this explosion goes deeper than the precipitating event. What are the sources of simmering hostility toward America that helped fuel these protests? Here is where you get to answers that neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney wants to talk about and that, therefore, hardly anybody else talks about."

Monday, September 17, 2012

School Spending

Interesting piece of information from David Brooks' commentary on the Detroit teacher's strike:

"...In 1960, Americans spent roughly $2,800 per student, in today’s dollars. Now we spend roughly $11,000 per student. This spending binge has not produced comparable gains in student outcomes."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Prop 37 Goes Before Eureka Council

Way down towards the end of this article on the next Eureka City Council meeting it's mentioned that a report on Prop 37- the genetically modified foods labeling initiative- will be presented.

This shouldn't be city business. At least supporting or not supporting the initiative shouldn't be, if that's the intent. First of all, it doesn't have any direct relation to city business. Second, I'd argue the city council shouldn't be publicly taking a position on any initiative when the people living in the city might not feel the same way.

It will be interesting to see what comes of this. Will the council screw up and take a position on Prop 37 as the Board of Supervisors did?

Addendum: Here's an L.A. Times article with interesting info on Prop 37, including a look at its major proponents and opponents.

Times- Standard Letter Bomb?

Today's T-S editorial is about a flurry of letters they got hammered with all dealing with one issue. They didn't specify which one. Let me guess: Yes on Prop 37 (GMO food labeling)? Anybody know for sure?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Leave The Middle East Now

What he said: Pat Buchanan is right on target in regards our affairs in the middle east.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Black Friday For The Sacramento Bee

Actually, I think they started yesterday, not today. They said they were going to do it a few months ago. They finally did: you now have to pay to read the Sacramento Bee online. A sad, sad day for me.

They're using the same Press+ system the Times- Standard uses except, unlike the T-S, I don't think they give you any free page views before you have to pay. At least I didn't get any.

To add insult to injury, it's not exactly cheap. $69.95 for a year, or $6.95 a month. I went ahead, bit the bullet and paid. I read the Bee a lot and I especially enjoy reading and making comments to the stories.

As an aside, the Bee sent out a news alert when that ambassador was killed in Libya the other day. I immediately posted a comment that, ironically, this might not have happened had Ghaddafi still been in power. He wouldn't have allowed it. Another commentator agreed.

Both of our comments disappeared within a few hours, although stronger ones have since been made. Hmmm???

New Computers Bugged?

They never sleep, those evil folks that try to put viruses and malware on your computer. According to the British Broadcast Company, malware has been found on computers fresh off the assembly line. Microsoft is hot on the trail of the hackers, though, so maybe they've nipped this in the bud before it got out of hand.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hot Dog!

Too cute. From Radley Balko's Agitator blog.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


I thought this story in the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat on  typewriters was a fun read. Typewriters: remember them? I guess they're not that far gone that most of us don't remember them.

I never really used typewriters much back in the day. Maybe it was because I never knew how to type until I self- taught myself a few years ago. With the old typewriters it seemed like you had to have some expertise to make it worthwhile. I fumbled with one we had at home as a kid and it was just too much hassle.

We bought one from an in- law some years ago. I later thought we paid more than we should have. I remember thinking we probably could have bought a new one for the same price. It was an electric Smith- Corona, if memory serves me correct, and used a cartridge for the ribbon. Much better than that old non- electric one I tried to use as a kid.

One thing where typewriters shine- and I believe the reason we bought that one- is for filling out forms such as job applications. I still don't see how you can do that with a computer, although many employers allow you to apply online now. I suppose there's some way to do it with a home computer but I would think it would be more trouble than it's worth.

I kinda wish we still had that old Smith- Corona. We loaned it to someone years ago who needed it to fill out a job application and never saw it again.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

A Happy Ending For A Chained Dog

I was going through some of web sites I have listed here to make sure they were still up and running. If you don't keep up on that you end up with a bunch of dead web sites on your list.

One of the ones I checked was Unchain Your Dog. It's a site dedicated to ending the cruel practice of having dogs chained up all the time. While there I clicked on a link and was surprised to find a mention of of me.

I became a little bit involved with the Rescue of Cuddles via the Humboldt Freecycle site some years ago. Back then it was new and I was reading the posts regularly. A gal there posted a request for doggie toys, or anything else that might be of comfort to a neglected dog. She went on to explain the dog was chained to a trailer and there the dog sat. She rightfully felt sorry for the dog and wanted to help.

I sent her a link the the Unchain Your Dog site, got to chatting a bit and discussed some options. Eventually, she came up with a plan and I sent her a check for $25.00 to help. She ended up teaming up with local animal rights activist, Gail Holder, and they finally unchained the dog and took it to Miranda Rescue.

Cute story, done from Cuddles' perspective. I'm referred to as Uncle Fred, along with some other helpers. The page with the story is the same one she mailed to those that helped out back when this happened. I'd forgotten about it until I stumbled on to the link. 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Chesbro's Timber Bill

The Times- Standard reports Wes Chesbro was one of the main proponents of the recently passed 1% tax on lumber products.

If I'm reading the story right, most of the money raised will be used for "regulatory oversight". The lumber producers were already paying these fees. The article states, "California producers currently pay six to eight times more regulatory fees than out-of-state producers.". 

So, instead of lumber producers paying the regulatory fees, the consumers are now being charged for them via the 1% tax? Now that's legislation that will build the economy and get back California's competitive edge. NOT!

No talk of getting rid of any part of the regulatory oversight that ends up costing California producers much more than the other states. We just charge the consumer instead of the company. The government side of the equation stays the same, or even grows.

So typically Californian, and typically Chesbro.

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Local Politics: Us vs. Them

Nice job on the campaign signs by the Bonino folks. Pleasant on the eyes and I would think effective. The Matteoli's yard across the street has one of the first I've seen.

A guy came by the house for a few minutes the other day. He's a fairly well known local right winger. As he was leaving he asked incredulously, "Aren't you going to put a Bonino sign in your yard?", seeming surprised I didn't already have one up.

I replied that, no, I wouldn't. Nothing against Bonino, but I told him I'd prefer a "mixed" council as there's something to be said for dissenting opinion in any group. I tried to set his mind at ease by telling him I wouldn't be voting for Linda Atkins, either, and that I was looking at Charlie Bean, the write- in candidate.

That did not set well with him. He got real worked up and started in with a diatribe about all the left- wingers in the city that were "against everything". I actually agreed with him for the most part but didn't see any reason for the frothing at the mouth over it. I tried some even handed responses but he would have none of it. Pointing out that either Atkins or Bean winning would be just one seat on the council didn't console him, either.

He finally walked off telling me I shouldn't have gotten him started on that cause such stuff really gets him going.

Whatever. It's no surprise to me to see this sort of thing from some of the lefties over at Humboldt Herald. This was the first time in a while that I've seen one of the right- wingers get all worked up, at least in person. Makes me glad this libertarian is the moderate of the bunch.

Oh, and did I mention that Joe Bonino has some nice signs up?

Friday, September 07, 2012

Democratic Platform Revisions

I can't wait until this last one is over. What really pisses me off is that the media feels they have to cover them. To add insult to injury, I've been having to switch to 95.5 FM to listen to the radio  in the afternoon- "San Francisco Music" is what I call that station's line up.

My usual stations, KMUD and KHSU often geek out at the same time. It's been no exception this last couple weeks with both of them feeling the need to start covering the conventions at around 5pm. KMUD seems a little more palatable. From what little I've listened, theirs seems to be more analysis than KHSU's live coverage. I'll keep heading up to 95.5 until the DNC's convention is over.

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Humboldt Fog

Maybe I just don't get out much but I've always wondered when I go to and it's foggy out. I've seen it umpteen times, just as it says this morning: Near zero visibility in dense fog. Use caution

What? Every time it's said that I can see fairly well. Sure, it's foggy but even when I got up this morning I could see at least two blocks looking out my back door. Do we ever get real zero visibility fog here?

Maybe we have down by the seashore but it's been a while since I've been down by the ocean when it's foggy. I'm not sure I can ever remember having trouble driving because of the fog up here.

Down in Southern California where I came from, now there's where you get some dense fog- the real zero visibility stuff. We didn't get it often but I remember one night when I lived in Irvine. I went inside to eat dinner. It was clear outside when I went in. 

When I came back outside a fog had developed. It was so thick I literally couldn't see my hand when I extended it in front of my face. I stood out in front of my house thinking it would be impossible for people to drive in that. I waited, expecting to hear some vehicle collisions but never did.

That was probably the exception. Most fog down there was thick, but not so thick you couldn't see your hand in front of your face. The Central Valley supposedly gets it real thick, too. That's when you hear of the mega car pileups on I-5, although I don't recall hearing about any of those in some time.

Anyway, just saying. I don't think the fog up here is near as thick as some like to say it is and I don't know I've ever heard of accidents occurring because of the fog. Heavy rain, maybe, but not fog. Then again, as I wrote earlier, maybe I don't get out much?

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Ron Paul Announcement On Leno Tonight

Speculation abounds over what estranged Republican Presidential candidate, Ron Paul, will announce during an appearance on the Jay Leno Show tonight. Gary Johnson supporters naturally hope it will be an endorsement of Johnson- Johnson having endorsed Paul in the past.

This fellow suggests maybe announcing an independent run for President. I hope not. Actually, this list of filing dates (pdf file) for Presidential candidacies shows it's too late to file in the vast majority of states. Even if he made the deadline in the 7 states left, that would be a waste of time. Why bother?

If he does go ahead with an independent run it shows he's just as much into the cult of personality that's developed around him as some of his followers. It's time to move on and pass the torch to someone else.

But maybe we're getting ahead of ourselves? It could be as simple as Paul switching to an Independent for his remaining days in congress, or maybe nothing. Either way, I won't stay up to watch. I'll read about it tomorrow morning.

Monday, September 03, 2012

PeeChee Folders

Any of you older folks remember the PeeChee folder? I'd forgotten all about them until this morning when I noticed a post on my Facebook page with a picture of one.

They were ubiquitous back in my school days. Wikipedia says they're still available but the illustrations on the cover have changed. I don't think I've even seen a picture of one for decades, until now. The one in the picture is exactly like the ones I used.

Why were these so popular? They were just a damned folder but everyone seemed to have one.

Another High Speed Rail Plan

The San Diego Union- Tribune reports on yet another high speed rail plan not unlike the HSR "Train to Nowhere" the state legislature recently approved funding for. This one is supposedly being privately funded, but they want the loan backed by taxpayer money. If the project fails, taxpayers pay off the loan.

A high speed rail line from Victorville to Las Vegas doesn't sound like much of a money maker to me. I'd normally tell them to have at it except, when it fails, taxpayers are responsible.

Makes me wonder if some of the folks that ask for these loans just want to line their own pockets and simply default- at taxpayer expense- when time comes to pay the bill?