Monday, September 30, 2013

Kitten in a Shoe

Another great picture from the And My Cat Facebook group. They're not all this good but most are fun. They send out a few every day to your inbox. If you want more, Like the page.

No, I'm not plugging the group for any personal reasons. I just enjoy the pictures. We've sent in pics a couple times of our old warhorse, Stinker, curled up in a flower pot and she never included them in her broadcast. We feel that picture was as good or better than some she features.

But, if you like kitty pics, it is a fun FB group.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Amost Another Inch of Rain

My rain gauge is showing just about 7/8" of rain as I write this. Doppler radar shows probably a few hours more of rain, although not as strong. Looks like we might get at least another inch of rain out of this. Hooray!

Eureka City School Board Election

The Freddy seems to have shut down another discussion, albeit unintentionally. Was it something I wrote?

Eric Kirk announced a meet and greet for candidate for the Eureka City Schools' Board, Lisa Olivier. Her opponent is long time incumbent John Fullerton. A few of us went back and forth over that, mostly focusing on endorsements. The Olivier meet- and- greet was being sponsored by the Eureka Teacher's Association- a big minus in my book, but I suggested we focus on the issues involved.

My gut feeling is there isn't much difference on issues between the two candidates as both are likely to support the status quo. Might there be some actual difference of opinion on some pertinent issues? I brought up the recently proposed shutting down of Eureka High School's auto shop program. Fullerton opposed that. What's Olivier's position?

The only comment made after that was whether Olivier was related to a past harbor commissioner. Looks like this will be another us versus them election with endorsements and relationships holding the weight and specific issues being irrelevant?

As far as the election goes, I might sit this one out if no differences on issues come into play.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Don't Wash That Chicken

Don't wash that uncooked chicken in water says this article from iVillage. Frankly, it never occurred to me to rinse off a chicken before cooking. I never did. Connie says she does depending on the circumstances. I guess doing so can spread pathogens over your kitchen area.

Popular Science Ends Comments

I received notice yesterday that Popular Science is ending their practice of allowing comments to their online stories. I was surprised that National Public Radio included a segment on the subject yesterday with the PopSci spokesman pretty much saying the same thing as their online explanation.

I can understand anyone not wanting to deal with some of the nasty comments that we often see online. I'm not so sure I go along with PopSci's reasoning. They seem to be concerned about University of Wisconsin research that suggested nasty comments to an article can actually change reader opinions of that article. I find that a bit hard to swallow:

Uncivil comments not only polarized readers, but they often changed a participant's interpretation of the news story itself.

In the civil group, those who initially did or did not support the technology — whom we identified with preliminary survey questions — continued to feel the same way after reading the comments. Those exposed to rude comments, however, ended up with a much more polarized understanding of the risks connected with the technology.

Simply including an ad hominem attack in a reader comment was enough to make study participants think the downside of the reported technology was greater than they'd previously thought.

They also make it clear that science is science and seem to think their reporting on science shouldn't be questioned. That's where I have a problem:

 "A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science."

In other words, they consider the science they present as absolute and don't want anyone effectively convincing others otherwise. I find that troubling. I don't like nasty comments either, but I'd like to think I could find a less drastic way to remove them and a better reason for doing so.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

State Of Jefferson: Who Joins?

An effort to create a State of Jefferson, comprised of states in Northern California and Southern Oregon, is in the news again. At least two NorCal counties, Siskiyou and Modoc, officially signed on so far. Shasta and Del Norte counties have also expressed interest. Some have suggested Humboldt join the effort.

The Times- Standard reports there's a guy in Humboldt spearheading the effort for us to get involved. I think the guy's out to lunch. I can understand why he might want to secede from California, but it's foolish to consider having the entire county join the movement. After all, we're part of the problem Siskiyou and the others want to get away from.

Humboldt has essentially become an extension of the San Francisco Bay Area, culturally and politically. Why would someone seriously suggest bringing California along when they leave? That would be like me moving away from my neighborhood because of the druggie house across the street, then asking the folks at the druggie house to move in to my new house with me.

That aside, who decides who is allowed into a new state? There would have to be some qualifications, wouldn't there? Maybe they should have a statement of principles or objectives that a solid majority of those in the county in question agree to before being allowed to join? But who comes up with those principles or objectives?

Since Siskiyou County is where this all started, maybe they should come up with the criteria for joining and enforce it. Simply allowing a county to join because of geographical proximity- at least in Humboldt's case- might well result in the State of Jefferson being a carbon copy of what they're trying to get away from.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Eureka Has Its First Inch of Rain

My rain gauge read around 3/4 of an inch of rain after that first bunch of rain. Then it ended up at about 7/8 after the showers the other day and I dumped it out. Now it's reading just under a quarter of an inch. Add those together and that gives us our first inch of rain for the season.

Animals Attacking

There's a fun read in the Lost Coast Outpost about a guy in Whitethorn's goat getting attacked by a mountain lion last month. Story includes some photos of what might be the mountain lion in question.
Here's one of those fascinating, once in a lifetime, pictures of an eagle taking down a deer. I would have never thought it possible, but the story says there's even a record of an eagle taking down a brown bear cub.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Poll: Record Number Think Feds Too Powerful

Nick Gillespie reports on a recent Gallup poll that shows a record number of independent voters feel the federal government has too much power. Republicans are a bit better at 81%. Only 38% of Democrats feel that way.

There is a natural partisan divide with both Reps and Dems more critical when the other party is in power. Gillespie points out that often has little to do with reality, as was the case with Democrats more critical during the Bush years:

"...while Democrats were relatively more critical of the government during the Bush years, they were also getting a huge heaping serving of what they wanted - a large and growing government that spent more and more and regulated more and more - so the gulf between Dems and Reps was relatively small."

I'll admit to looking beyond how many feel the feds have too much power. I guess I'm a glass half empty rather than half full type of guy. What's with the 40% of independents and the others that seem to think the federal government isn't powerful enough? Then again, I guess it's good that group seems to be shrinking....for now.

Monday, September 23, 2013

American Exceptionalism?

I like the way the Washington Post's Robert Samuelson took a look at Vladmir Putin's recent comments about "American exceptionalism". I would have had angrier remarks but his is a little more of a sober and even handed look at Americans and their feeling about government.
Oh, and while I consider this to be mostly a rumor at this point, this fellow reports that the gas missiles supposedly used in the big chemical attack in Syria weren't sold to Syria but to some other countries, most notably Yemen, Egypt and.....Libya.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

TobakkoNacht- The Antismoking Endgame

Stumbled on to a new book yesterday via another blog. Tobakkonacht- The Antismoking Endgame fights the myths many hold as fact about smoking. You can read excerpts of it online.

The Preface explains his reasons for writing the book- a good read in itself as misleading misinformation spread in support of one cause or another didn't start with the anti- smoking movement. Statistics Unbound gives a preview of his debunking of commonly held beliefs about smoking.

I'm thinking of buying the book. The information in it needs to be spread far and wide, especially when you consider the points he makes in his preface.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Another View on Middle East Affairs

In the spirit of hearing the other side, here's Iran President Hassan Rouhani's, just published comments in the Washington Post. Notice he mentions Iran's nuclear power program. No commentary from Roger Simon yet running down the Post for publishing it.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Shut Them Up!

I'll once again disagree with Roger Simon over at the right wing P.J. Media. He's written a commentary if not suggesting Syrian President Bashar Assad not be given a chance to tell his side of the story, then at least criticizing news media that allow him to do so.

He's not the only one. I've seen a few commentaries making fun of Vladmir Putin's recent piece in the New York Times or criticizing the Times for allowing him the opportunity. I'm appalled at that attitude.

Don't you think it would behoove us all to hear another viewpoint contrary to the White House version of events that we're spoon fed nearly every day? It should be to our and the media's credit that we listen to alternative viewpoints.

Funny thing is, the way Simon makes it sound, if he had his way Assad and Putin wouldn't be allowed to air their opinions via U.S. media. That's the sort of thing he criticizes those two and their countries for.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Open Humboldt Survey

The county's Open Humboldt web site has a new question up:
What do you love about Humboldt County and what can the County do to enhance that?

I've lived here too long so can't come up with anything I love about the place. Maybe some of you can?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

War Stuff

Pat Buchanan says what needs to be said again with this commentary on Senator Lindsay Graham's plans to initiate war against Iran. I especially like his pointing out how it's become accepted that references to Iran's nuclear program equates to a nuclear weapons program, or at least it seems to be by the mainstream media and thus a lot of Americans.

The vast majority of intelligence agencies believe Iran gave up their nuclear weapons program a decade ago. That doesn't mean it's true, but it's the best we have to go on.
I was waiting to hear what sort of spin the White House and media would put on results of the United Nations' inspector's report of the sarin attack in Syria. I'm not surprised they're saying more of the same and ignoring suggestions that it might have been some group other than the Syrian government responsible for the attacks.

I stumbled on to a web site by way of a comment made on an article from the super right wing/ War Party web site P.J. Media. Larry Johnson tells us about the conspiracy to frame the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack. He tells more about the sarin attack here.

The guy seems to have pretty decent credentials, having supposedly work for the CIA at some point and now being some sort of terrorism security consultant. Kinda hard for me to swallow his claims that his "CIA buddies" would be telling him things they know he's going to make public. Still, it's nice to feel I'm not the voice in the wilderness on this issue.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Press- Democrat Goes Pay Site

Damn. Knew it was going to happen sooner rather than later. Earlier this month the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat started charging to view stories and commentary on their web site. You get something like 15 free views a month(?) before the paywall kicks in.

So what did I do? I was going to see if I could handle the P-D the same way I ration my reading of the Los Angeles Times. I only read stories in the Times that really pique my interest and often pass on stories that I'd like to read just to keep under the free limit.

Read one story in the P-D this morning, then saw another one I wanted to read. I guess I went over the limit for this month and the paywall kicked in. I went ahead and paid for an online subscription. I'm already almost regretting it, but I do read their stories nearly every day.

That's gonna be it, though. With the Sacramento Bee and Press- Democrat, that's around $20.00 I'm paying each month for just two newspapers, never mind the Times- Standard. I'll be paying real money if I sign up for any more. The whole situation sucks.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Jacob Sullum takes a look at the growing practice of calling non- interventionists isolationists:

"For those who conflate resistance to military intervention with isolationism, peaceful interactions do not count. What does it say about the interventionists that killing people is their litmus test for openness to the world? Nothing good. Maybe even something hideous."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Another Bug

Okay. Since everyone seems to have seen the praying mantis at least once, how about this one: the tomato hornworm. They're supposed to live most places but I've only seen one up here and that was around 30 years ago.

I was growing vegetables in old half barrels when I lived in Myrtletown and I found one of these on my tomato plant. Huge thing, probably 3 inches long or more and real big around. Don't remember what I did with that one but I've never seen another one since.

Praying Mantis Sighting

I saw a praying mantis yesterday over on the west side of Eureka. I've lived up here 40 years and I believe that was the first time I've seen one, aside from ones I've bought for the garden and those never seemed to survive.

They're said to be fairly common nationwide, but the only other place I've seen them was in Porterville, CA during a short stay there as a kid. Anybody else seen praying mantises up here?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Cool Quote

There's some back and forth at the Sacramento Bee over Bruce Maiman's commentary about Siskiyou County's desire to form the State of Jefferson. Many from the Left seem to be seething over the idea of someone not wanting to be part of California.

I loved this line from one of the commentators:

"I have noticed that when the Right complains, it is against the establishment. The Left tends to rail against the individual."

Read more here:

I'm not sure that's always true, but it sure fits in this case.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Syrian Rebels With Chemicals

Not to beat a dead horse here, but I've been arguing with more than one person as to whether the Syrian rebels had the capability to stage their own chemical weapons attack.

You might have seen this piece about Iranian warnings of rebels possessing gas. It contained this snippet I've read references to before:

" At the end of May, Turkish media reported the arrest of seven members of the rebel-allied jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra in two southern Turkish cities, as well as the discovery of two kilograms of sarin gas in the suspects' homes."

'Nuf said, if the reports are true.

Prop 36 Recidivism Rate Low

That was that ballot initiative that modified the 3 Strikes law allowing some less violent prisoners to be released. It seems the recidivism rates for those released under Prop 36- the rates at which they commit new crimes- is quite a bit below average, according to the San Jose Mercury News. Although too early to say for sure, let's hope the trend continues.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Partial List of False Flags reprints a Zero Hedge article listing some false flag operations of the past- false flags being incidents created by governments blaming the other side in order to justify war. I hadn't heard of a couple of them. What I found most interesting was the mention of the Gulf of Tonkin incident at the end of the list.

I'd always understood the supposed attacks by North Vietnamese patrol boats on U.S. Navy ships never occurred. In fact, I worked with a guy back in the 80s that was a U.S. Navy retiree. He told me he was there during the supposed Gulf of Tonkin attacks and that "nothing happened". He seemed a bit embarrassed about it, being a fairly patriotic guy.

According to the linked article, recently declassified NSA reports conclude that one of the attacks did occur but the second one didn't. I can't help but believe the guy I knew who was there and it makes me wonder how often the NSA might come to the wrong conclusions?

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Del Norte County Mulls Secession

Del Norte County is taking a look at joining the reborn State of Jefferson movement according to The Triplicate. No consensus yet. I wonder how Pelican Bay prison would be handled in such a case?

Friday, September 06, 2013

Hitler's Bodyguard Dies

I'd never been aware of this guy until now. Shame on me as I used to read quite a bit of World War 2 history. He was one of Hitler's personal bodyguards that spent the better part of 5 years right next to his "boss". I wouldn't mind reading the guy's book.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Gas Attack Numbers Phony?

I was wondering about the numbers being thrown around in regards the recent chemical attack in Syria. The first I heard it was something like 1300 fatalities, then it went down and stayed around 300 to 400. Then the other day John Kerry started saying 1400+(?). I figured Kerry was just boosting the numbers to get people worked up.

It seems I was right. Thank you for this short look at the numbers. Seems fatalities were in the hundreds as some others were saying. To be fair there's probably no way to know the exact number of casualties, but Kerry was obviously inflating his for propaganda purposes.

As an interesting aside, here's a timeline put together of the progression of the false flag operation against Syria. I thought I was pretty good about catching not- widely- reported news. I missed most of these stories.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

FAIR Compares Chemical Attack Reports

Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting has a nice piece up comparing the John Kerry version of the Syrian chemical attacks to the Mint Press report. Some of the comments to the story are a good read, too. I'll go ahead and copy and paste "Isobel's" comment below:

Monday, September 02, 2013

Wondering About Weather Forecasts

It's 68 degrees right now according to When I woke up their forecast was for a high of 63 yet it was already 63 at 6am. Even I felt sure it would get warmer than 63.

I'm not sure how long it's been, but for at least five days their forecast high has been at least five degrees low. It might have been as much as ten degrees that first real warm day. This happened earlier in the summer, too.

I'm just wondering. If you were doing the weather forecasts, and for a few days your high forecast was well below what ended up happening, wouldn't you just go ahead and up the forecast at least five degrees despite what your equipment predicted- especially if it's 63 in the morning and you know it's going to get warmer?

DEA Even Bigger Spies Than NSA?

Reason magazine looks at a recent New York Times report on the Drug Enforcement Agency's monitoring of phone calls. Seems they've been doing it longer and more extensively than the National Security Agency.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


Picking Teams

I've been having an e-mail discussion about sports- or lack of interest in them- with a guy who also has no interest in them. He brought up something in his last e-mail I'd forgotten about: Picking teams in P.E. class. He went on to write about how he wasn't very good in sports and thus would always be among the last picked for the team. That was very upsetting to him.

Remember how that went? The coach/ instructor would pick two guys in the class to be team captains. Those two captains would then each take turns picking who they wanted to be on their team. It sure sucked if you were among the last to be picked.

I'd like to think I was at least of average ability in school sports, yet I recall at least a couple times being the last one picked for a team. I wasn't always picked last, but I was at least a couple times and I couldn't understand that. Why pick the little wimp standing next to me instead of me??? That hurt, as I'm sure it hurt any of the thousands of kids that were picked last, especially if it happened all the time. Do they still do it that way?

I do care about people's feelings. I'm not one of those sensitivity types that thinks kids in sports should never lose or anything like that, but there's something to be said about hurting a kid's feelings when he's doing nothing but standing there waiting to be picked for a team.

I seem to remember some coaches just taking the whole class and dividing it into teams themselves by just splitting a line down the middle. That seems a much better idea to me with no harm done in the end.

Addendum: Was looking to find a picture to add to this post and found there's all kinds of interest in the issue of picking teams for school sports.