Tuesday, May 31, 2016

A Fence On The Border

For those skeptical of Donald Trump's plan for a fence along the entire U.S/ Mexico border, setting aside the logistics involved in such an effort, the San Diego Union- Tribune gives us a look at how things are where we already have fences. One resident on the border notes the changes before and after:

Before the wall was built, the flow was easier. People just went back and forth.” Afterward, people picked a side and stayed there, since it was harder to cross.

So, it seems the fence might actually encourage illegals to stay in the country longer? Who'da thunk? 

As for me, I might have wrote before I'm not an "open borders" libertarian if for no other reason than once "they" get here they eventually vote. When they do, they don't vote in favor of liberty. 

I was listening to NPR yesterday. They had a segment on Mexicans that joined the military yet still got deported for one reason or another. A former marine- he was deported but is a U.S. citizen now- being interviewed said he planned on voting this year. For whom? Bernie Sanders. I rest my case. It is not in the interests of liberty to have open borders.

Monday, May 30, 2016

Shark Fears

The Sacramento Bee's report on a shark attack at a southern California beach got my attention if for no other reason than I used to spend quite a bit of time at Corona Del Mar State Beach where it happened. I was in the water quite a bit back then, I don't know that I'd do the same now. Hard to believe Corona Del Mar would be the place for sharks. It's a kind of an enclosed beach and not very wide with the the south jetty to the Balboa channel on the north, then the beach curving out to the west on the south side, if memory serves me correct.

I guess I've gotten paranoid as I've gotten older. I used to spend hours in the water back when I lived in Orange County, my legs dangling beneath me being the perfect shark bait, but I never saw one and I don't believe I ever heard of a shark attack when I lived down there. I wonder now if I'd have gone out in the water had I heard of one. I probably wouldn't have as I remember foregoing a swim one spring when I could see the water was full of jellyfish. I guess I wasn't stupid.

I had fun at the beach back in those days, but I wouldn't do it now. Too many sharks out there.


The Times- Standard tells of the Eureka's waterfront trail and all the "grants" being used to fund it. I thought I'd point out to those that don't know, grants generally come from government and are thus paid for by taxpayers. Sure, there are private organizations that give out grants, but even that money is often given to the private organizations by government.

The reason I bring this up is some, who I would think would know better, seem to think this is all private money bestowed upon the community by some benevolent rich person. Sometimes it is. I suspect most often it isn't.

This comes to mind because of a fellow I work for who shall remain nameless but I feel safe to say considers himself a fiscally responsible conservative.. Some time ago we got to discussing Eureka's street tree program which I vigorously opposed. He seemed to agree, even going so far as saying government shouldn't be in the business of planting trees in the first place.

Not long after that I go by one of his rentals to find three street trees planted out front on the sidewalk. The next time I saw him I had to ask him what gives with the street trees. After all, wasn't government not supposed to be involved in such things? He went on to say he went down to City Hall to find out more about the program and how they were funded, saying he was told they were funded by grants, acting as if that absolved him of any responsibility. I pointed out to him those grants likely came from taxpayer funds, just as the drunk driving checkpoints are often partly funded by grants from the state highway safety program, or whatever it's called. He seemed confused over that. I'm not sure he ever understood. 

Anyway, point being, this waterfront trail is likely costing taxpayers a bunch. Whether it will be worth it after it's finished, will depend on one's viewpoint, I suppose.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Liberals vs. Free Speech

City Journal takes a look at liberal efforts to suppress speech unpopular with them. As the article points out, it wasn't always that way:

"Once upon a time, liberals pushed free speech at every opportunity.But now liberals want to empower the government to put people behind bars for advancing political ideas, come election time."

The writer takes some time in looking at the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision, one that has liberals fuming. That's the one that ruled businesses have the same rights to political activity and speech as do individuals.

As an aside, I received an e-mail a short time ago from change.org(?) saying their fundraising effort to overturn Citizen's United failed. I'm delighted!

Man Eating Critters In Florida

Earth Sky News reports man eating crocodiles have been found in Florida. No reports of attacks by Nile crocodiles on humans in Florida, but they have attacked hundreds in Africa.

Florida must be an interesting place. I've always wanted to go there. I was watching a show on the Animal Planet network while in the hospital last time. It featured the Miami - Dade Venom 1 Team. They go around catching and otherwise dealing with dangerous snakes. It's part of the fire department there, I understand. 

I'm not particularly afraid of snakes, sometimes catching the local harmless snakes by hand. Those guys were a step above me. The first guy in the show was trying to catch what I believe he called an eastern diamondback. He explained their venom screws up human blood and can kill people. I was fascinated watching him as he seemed to be playing with the snake. Something I couldn't do, at least in my physical condition.

I wonder if Venom 1 is going to branch out into Nile crocodiles now? The Nile crocs are big- up to 18 feet- but I saw them tackle snakes on that TV show that were at least that long.

Waiting For Convention Results

I was hoping to wake up this morning to find the Libertarian Party had chosen their presidential candidate- their presidential nominating convention being held this weekend. Nope. They're apparently still going back and forth over it. Figures.

I was actually paying some attention yesterday to the goings on there via the live feed. Next best thing to being there? It actually struck me as fairly boring. I watched at least parts of some of the candidate speeches and agree with some other publications that Gary Johnson's speech was a bit less than inspiring. Not a lot of emotion in it and he almost seemed unsure of himself.

I'll give that Austin Petersen fellow credit for best public speaker of the bunch. I was impressed. If I were in his position I would have just stood there with my mouth open.

So I'm waiting word as to who wins the nomination while arguing with some over at the Liberarian Party- National Facebook page over Gary Johnson's qualifications for the LP nomination. One old time LPer I haven't seen in years writes Johnson isn't familiar enough with libertarian principles and such to be the nominee. I replied that's probably a good thing as if he goes around spouting libertarian dogma, most who hear him will just shake their heads, roll their eyes up into their head and walk off thinking he's a nutcase. At least one response to that, so far, saying my that's irrelevant. Whatever.

Anyway, just waiting to see who wins. I"m not sure it really matters to me except I have some Gary Johnson campaign stuff and would hate to see it go to waste. That, and I think we'd get more bang for the buck with Johnson, a successful two term governor.

Addendum: I've been informed Johnson won the nomination.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

That Hirsoshima Thing

Much in the news the last few days about President Obama's trip to Japan on some anniversary of the dropping of atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War 2, with much speculation of what the President would say. Would he apologize, or should he? I'm sure many of you might be wondering how I feel about that, but might be disappointed as my feelings probably aren't too far off from mainstream on that one.

No, he shouldn't have apologized. If nothing else, you can bet they would have done the same thing to us given the capability to do so.

Aside from that, maybe dropping that bomb was a good thing in the long run. After all, now we know what nuclear weapons do and have a graphic example of what we face. As a result, there's a substantial movement across the globe to reduce inventories of nuclear weapons, for whatever good they've done. I would say that's a good thing.

Sun Disintegrating? We're Doomed

NASA has discovered a huge hole that opened in the sun. They say it's of no real concern but we all know differently. At least the global warming Believers can relax now that the sun is ready to suck itself into its hole.

They claim there's nothing to worry about but also say..."but it does mean that large amounts of solar winds, that cause the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights to form, have been blasted to Earth."

See?  I told you. We're doomed.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Embarrassing Convention Incidents

I found a live stream to the Libertarian Party convention and went to check it out. It started with some blond gal with a guitar setting up on stage. I didn't catch her name. She sings and strums her guitar for a bit and is doing fine when all of the sudden she breaks down into a coughing fit and had to stop.

Don't think I've ever seen that happen to a musician on stage in mid- performance before. How embarrassing for all involved.

The stream is still on as I write this, but nothing seems to be going on.

Anyone Know Results of Primary Election?

I forgot all about the primary election and must have missed any results being reported in local media. Anyone know the results for Humboldt County? I did a short search but only found state results for major candidates. Even wikipedia seemed to have stuck with major parties. I was particularly interested in third party results for Humboldt. 

Liberty Unbound Covers LP Convention

I realize most readers won't be interested in the goings on at the Libertarian Party's nominating convention being held this weekend in Orlando, Florida, although one or two have expressed interest in LP canidates previously. For those that might be interested, Liberty Unbound, the magazine version of the now defunct Liberty magazine, is covering the convention from the floor.

I've found these reports quite interesting in the past, especially since I was more involved back then. There were some quite enlightening expose's published, at least a couple of which shed light on some of the skullduggery that went on with the late Harry Browne's presidential campaign. Those exposures being responsible for the LP pulling Liberty magazine's press credentials for the convention.

We'll see how good this writer's observations are. He already seems to have gotten one wrong. He wrote that most delegates seem to be backing Austin Petersen rather than Governor Gary Johnson, yet a recent Facebook post claims Johnson and former Governor Weld won the first straw poll. But, it is still early. We'll see how well he does.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

New, "Improved" Web Sites

If it's one thing that seems bogus to me, it's that the tech industry is at the cutting edge of innovation and improvements. Maybe I'm suffering tunnel vision as right now I'm thinking about supposed "new and improved" web sites.

One that comes to mind is the supposed new and improved weather dot com web site. It was fine as it was. Now it's worse. You used to be able to go there and quickly see the current day's forecast. Now you have to click on the 5 day forecast just to see what's going to happen the rest of the day. I'd hardly call that an improvement.

Then there's Tracfone dot com. I've been trying for a day now to buy more time for the wife's cell phone through their web site but, when I'm ready to go to Checkout, it takes me to some irrelevant page. Tried buy the time through her phone but it's not working. I just did an online chat thing with Tracfone, but the guy just told me to call their 800 number. That's fine, except then I'll actually have to talk to someone and it assumes I'll be able to understand him. Him being one of "them". 

Arent't they all?
I've been thinking about it and haven't been able to come up with one example of anything that's really improved the last few years wih our tech supported innovation. To be fair, I don't think Tracfone ever said their site was new and improved.

But still, anyone know of a legitimately improved tech service? I think the old gmail and Yahoo mail was better than their current one.

Well, maybe cars, but I'm not even sure about that. Maybe it was better back in the day when I had to walk 5 miles through 20 feet of snow to get to school, unlike all you wet- behind- the- ears- pups nowadays. Then again, would any tech innovations helped with that? Was there even much tech back then?

To be fair to the tech folks, I know they need something to do. Once they develop an e-mail program or web site, they're pretty much out of a job unless they come up with a new one, or screw around with the old one. They need to keep in mind, though, if something works, don't try and fix it.

Teen MJ Use Declining With Legalization

The San Francisco Chronicle reports researchers are finding marijuana use among teenagers declining as the weed is increasingly legalized. That might seem counter intuitive but it doesn't surprise me all that much. When I was a kid I had a friend who insisted that, if pot was legal, he wouldn't smoke it. Now that suprised me.

Review: Amazon Fire Tablet

I finally got the chance to put my new Amazon Fire tablet through its paces this last week, having spent that week detained at UCSF's Long Hospital. For starters, I'd almost say I was delighted- as the ladies like to say. I'm not sure I'd say it excelled at anything, although I was surprised from the start at how well it worked with one thing: movies.

I got up the first morning and turned it on only to see what seemed like an advertisement asking me if I wanted to watch Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It gave the option of downloading or just watching it. I decided to just watch, having nothing else to do that early in the morning. It said it was free so, after checking for any fine print, I pressed the button to start the movie and was impressed from the start. 

It started right up. No delays- do they call that buffering?- as I'd expect even on this computer. I was almost startled by the fine detail and the color. I couldn't put it down, despite not being a big movie watcher. The only downside, as with all things cell phone and tablet, was tilting my head down to watch it gave me a stiff neck.

But I survived and finished the movie feeling I'd really made a score for $57.00 delivered. Then I tried some other things; checking e-mail and such. E-mail worked fine and seemed more efficient than my new smartphone. Replying to messages was problematic at times as if I accidentally touched the tablet or screen in the wrong place, whatever I'd been working on would get booted off the screen and I'd have to go find it. But, the Android operating system- love it or hate it- would usually save whatever I'd been working on right where I left off.

I don't know I'd say the tablet excelled at anything, except movies. Typing, as one would expect, was a pain, just as it is on my cell phone. And a few things seemed to be missing, bookmarks for one. It allowed you to bookmark pages, but I couldn't find a list of bookmarked pages anywhere. That turned out to not be too big of a problem since if i just started typing  the name of a web site, the system would automatically insert the rest of the title, then a list would pop up with recommended sites I might want to visit. Still, what if you couldn't remember specific names?

About my second to last night at UCSF my assigned nurse and I were talking and I mentioned my tablet. She asked me what kind of tablet I had. I'm surprised she hadn't seen it as it was charging on the table next to my bed. When I told her I had a Fire, she said she had one, too. We went on to discuss some of the pros and cons of it with her main complaint being she didn't like the keyboard. I had to agree, but that's what you get with tablets and cell phones.

I didn't see her again but wish I had if only to ask her a question. One thing that seems difficult, if not sometimes impossible to do sometimes, with the tablet is to copy and paste things. I found if I held my finger over something a small window would pop up that said Copy. Then you could find an empty field, hold your finger over it and another small window would pop up that said Paste. 

Except that didn't work for web site locations. I tried and tried to copy and paste the location I linked to on my last Hate Hillary post, to no avail. I finally had to wait until I came home to finish that one and I'm not sure I got the right link since I couldn't find the source of the original link even on the tablet.

That was fun talking with the nurse about something we had in common and I guess that makes us almost family since we both have the same tablets.

But, the complaints I'd read earlier on about regarding missing pixels on the screen or the tablet being slow, I didn't experience at all. For the price, I'd recommend it, but beware the stiff neck.

Eureka's Panhandling Lawsuit

I'm kinda glad to see someone standing up for the human right of asking for help. The Times- Standard reports on a lawsuit being filed by what seems to be local ambulance chaser, Peter Martin, against the City of Eureka over its recently passed panhandling ordinance. I don't like seeing my city sued, either, but someone has to stand up for those that can't defend themselves.

Is it fair to refer to Martin as an ambulance chaser? I'm not sure but, as John Chiv asks, who funds his lawsuits? In a sense, it doesn't matter, unless you want to argue that he files lawsuits to make some money. Still, in this case,you might consider me to be supportive of the lawsuit.

And what about local lefty activist, Richard Salzman? I'd been under the impression the lawsuit against Arcata's panhandling lawsuit was his doing, only to read in the Times- Standard that Martin was involved in that one, too. Is Salzman funding these suits. If so, good for him.

It would be interesting to follow the money trail here, but that shouldn't distract us from the human rights issues involved.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Hate Hillary Rant?

Perhaps "hate" might be bit strong but, from the left wing magazine, Counterpunch,, the writer does a great put down of Hillary Clinton and five reasons why he's not voting for her. I hate Hillary's guts. Why can't I write a rant like that? This is especially timely as the left wing Daily Kos asked the other day why so many people seem to dislike her and most comments to that question couldn't seem to understand, either.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Mary Marlin Endorses Libertarian

Recent defector from the Republican Party, Mary Matalin, seems to have gone so far as to endorse  a libertarian for president. Her choice, Austin Petersen, the one War Party representative the LP has running . I suppose tht should come as no surprise.being the otherwise conventional Repubican she is.


Let's let that be the last time I give a plug to Peterson.

Friday, May 20, 2016

California Strives For Political Correctness

I'm surprised to see the Sacramento Bee run this commentary on this state's efforts to ensure not just politcally correct legislation, but politically correct thought. Especially so, since The Bee generally supports the politically correct positions on the issues featured:

 Smoke a cigarette, own a gun, cut a tree, pan for gold, question the “inconvenient truth” of human-caused global warming, utter an impolite joke or even drive a gasoline-powered car and you may run afoul of an ever-tightening web of laws and rules that punish your heresy – promulgated by political figures who talk constantly about their respect for civil rights.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/politics-columns-blogs/dan-walters/article78710982.html#storylink=cpy

Full Service Gas Stations

Eric, over at Eric Peter's Autos, reminices about the days when full service gas stations were commonplace, I've read Oregon doesn't allow self service gas stations, as doesn't New Jersey. I understand the Oregon restriction is a jobs thing.

The only full service station I know of in Eureka is the Patriot station in Henderson Center, although I'm not clear if full service means doing mechanical work on cars too. There's a station down near the courthouse I've been told does repair work. I suppose that would qualify as full

I remember those back in the day, a mechanic on duty that could usually take care of all your car's needs. Just like Gomer and Goober's station on the old Andy of Mayberry TV show. About the only repairs done at the Patriot station is fixing flat tires.

I might have mentioned before I used to pump gas here in Eureka back in the mid to late 70s. I guess we were full service, although we didn't really do repairs- just check oil and tire pressure if the customer wanted it done. What used to piss me off is people- nearly always women- that would drive up, ask you to check their tire pressure, then drive off without buying gas.

Then there were the ones that would try that but get all pissed off when you'd tell them you could check their tires but couldn't fill them because you didn't have compressed air. There was a fire at the Myrtle Avenue station that destroyed the compressor. People would get all pissed off over that: "What kind of gas station is this that can't fill my tires.../???". Screw you bitch, I'd usually say to myself.

I wouldn't mind pumping gas again, although I'd probably have a hard time staying on my feet as long as that required. Funny how now I prefer to pump my own gas. I'm not sure why. Maybe I just don't want the pump jockeys to do more than they have to?

Addendum: Just remembered a full service story that happened when I was a kid living in Irvine. There was a full service Chevron station on the corner of Culver and Michaelson my mom frequented. They did it all- mechanics plus gas, tires, check oil and wash windows.

One time my sister and I were in the car with mom when she drove in there. I guess the guy wasn't quick enough to wash her windows. She jumps out of the car and, almost yelling, goes "I guess I'll have to wash the windows myself", then proceeds to wash the windows. The gas station crew looked on not knowing how to handle that. My sister and I sat in the car all embarrassed over the scene our mom made. I'll have to ask Sis Meliss if she remembers that.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Sanders vs. Ron Paul?

Killer Whale Attack

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat has a story and video of killer whales attacking a gray whale off the Sonoma County coast recently.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Lesser of Two Evils

A fellow over at Reason magazine makes a decent argument as to why voting for the lesser of two evils is a waste of time. Much of what he writes is pretty much how I feel, deep inside:

Not voting certainly provides the satisfaction of knowing that I did not sanction or legitimize the offerings of the two major parties. But that satisfaction is only personal and private. I want to more actively make my views known.

He also plays with voting numbers pretty nicely. He makes a good argument even for those that can't help but follow the crowd, although I'm not sure his second bullet point works toward that  end:

 " If I vote for the lesser of evils and hold my nose, my vote is blended in with millions of others—there is no way to register my dissatisfaction with the choices the two major parties have given me. There is no way to separate those who voted for a lesser of two evils from those who voted because they actually LIKED the candidate."

That Arcata Shooting

The Lost Coast Outpost reports Arcata police shot a man who came at them "swinging two sticks in an aggressive manner". I'm not criticizing the police for the shooting but, as I pointed out on the LoCO, we should keep in mind what brought this incident about.

Someone called in a report of someone drinking out of an open alcohol container, a violation of city ordinances. That could have just as easily been a call of someone smoking a cigarette in a no- smoking area. Then the rest would have likely unfolded as it did.

Those of you always supportive of more no- smoking zones need to keep in mind that whenever police are called, there's the potential for violence. Imagine some guy walking down the street smoking a cigarette where it's not allowed. Someone reports him to the police and they respond. The officer tells the guy he's not supposed to smoke there and that he's going to be cited. The smoker is pissed "Dammit. I'm just smoking a cigarette!!" and takes a swing at the officer. A struggle ensues. The smoker gets the upper hand. The officer, fearing for his life, pulls his gun and shoots the smoker. Senseless violence, all because of a guy minding his own business, walking down the street smoking a cigarette.

Yes, I believe that could happen, and likely will.

Anyone Do Deal Dash?

I'm sure most of us have seen the commercials on TV for that web site, Deal Dash, where you can bid on things and supposedly buy them for next to nothing. I've been intrigued by their claims. I bit the bullet yesterday when I was sitting here and went up there, then left, if only because they wanted my credit card info before I could even begin to bid on anything or see what they had to bid on.

I did find they had a Facebook page with glowing testimonials, but who probably started and runs that page? Deal Dash. Had one guy there that posted saying he got some Mac laptop for a penny. Sorry. Paint me skeptical, but pretty neat if true.

Anyway, I'm just posting this to see if any readers have personal experience with Deal Dash and might have gone further into the site than I have. If so, perhaps you could shed some light on this outfit for us.

Korbel Mill Reopening: Hooray!

Some good news in the Times- Standard for a change, the Korbel sawmill having been bought by a Trinity County company. We can't blame the closure of the mill on hysterical environmentalism, it having closed down before because of low profits. I do wonder if the local environmentalists won't try and stop the mill's reopening? After all, the dislike of natural resource extraction industries is strong in, not just the state, but the county, with even candidates for Board of Supervisors seeming leery of such type of businesses.

Good thing the mill was bought by a company experienced in operations in California. It would likely lay idle for a long time if someone with no experience, or an inexperienced company, tried to open it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

That Bathroom Thing

The Daily Kos covers a Chris Matthews interview with a transgendered woman (or would that be a guy?) and a guy from the Family Research Council opposed to letting transgendered use bathrooms for the sex they self- identify with. The TG girl makes what I felt was a remarkably libertarian statement:

"So you don’t want me in the men’s room. And you know how you create that perfect situation? Just stop. Stop coming up with these laws. Stop causing trouble where there is no trouble."

The Family Research guy blows it, imo, not knowing how to answer a question. I would have just replied, if you have a weenie, use the men's bathroom. If you don't, use the women's. Seems simple enough to me.

:The Federalist: Third Parties Can Win

I'm still skeptical, but The Federalist makes kind of the same case those other guys did yesterday about the possibility of a third party win. Depends how you run the numbers:

"For those who were serious about their Never Trump hashtags (or who would have been if they were on Twitter), it’s time to start rallying for a third-party candidate for the 2016 election. A third-party candidate isn’t just a protest against the system, but a viable chance at sparing the country the disaster that would be a Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton presidency."

My New Toy

I decided I'd like to have another tablet in anticipation of future hospital stays. I really loved my last one.I looked around and found this Amazon Fire listed for just over $60.00. I bought one last week for about $57.00 through amazon dot com. It arrived yesterday.

Too soon for a review, of course, but I was surprised to see it come with no user manual. No instructions at all for how to get started with it, aside from a small card with a picture of the tablet and some images pointing to various parts of the tablet. I wasn't even sure how to turn it on, or how long I needed to charge it.. They do have an instruction manual you can buy. That seems kinda rude. I'd expect the user manual to be part of the original purchase.

I figued out the on/off button by myself pretty quickly if only because it was in the same spot as on my last tablet. Kinda hard to tell if it worked at first, though, since the tablet had no power. After a few hours of charging I got some letters to show up on the screen.

One thing I didn't like about this tablet, even before I bought it, is it seems to be wifi only. No data downloads at 4G that would allow it to be used anywhere as my old tablet had. I really loved that old one. I looked around and found some units that offered 4G but they were either too expensive or required monthly fees. I settled on wifi only.

After charging it a couple hours last night I turned it on and it started taking me through the set up process. About the second page I came to it said I needed wifi to continue and showed a bunch of available wifi networks, although I wasn't sure if they were secure networks and didn't try to tap into them. I recognized the first network name having seen it on my smartphone before and believe I was connected to it. I'll turn on the phone in a little while and see which networks I'm connected to, then choose one for setting up the tablet.

We'll see how this works, then I can go to Amazon add my review to the others.

Monday, May 16, 2016

A Gary Johnson Win is Plausible?

Interesting scenario from The Libertarian Vindicator explaining how Libertarian candidate for president, Gary Johnson, could win the presidency:

"This scenario is extremely plausible.  The 2016 election is turning out to be unique and unpredictable.  The two presumptive nominee’s of the Democrats and Republicans are extremely polarizing and people across this country have already started to look for an alternative.  Fortunately the Libertarian Party is the only ones on the ballot in all 50 states.  There is a real possibility that the map could turn out this way, and if that happened the election would be thrown to the House of Representatives.  We all remember from school that a candidate needs a majority of the Electoral College to win the Presidency and that would mean 270 votes.  In our scenario neither Clinton nor Trump gets close to that number."

I should hope so, but I'm not buying it. Seems to me people are too hooked on the two party system and I don't see Johnson winning any of the states listed, although I could be wrong on one or two. If the election did end up in the House of Representatives, why they think congress would choose a libertarian is beyond me. There's no doubt in my mind congress' votes would be strictly partisan- Rep vs. Dem which, under the current make up of the House, would mean a Republican win.

Help Wanted: Elections

This just in via the Nextdoor Neighborhood e-mail list: Poll workers are needed for the June 7 primary election. The perfect job for those of you that like to mind other people's business. I've often considered taking a shot at that job since it only lasts a day or two. Can't really do it now since I never know when I'll be in town, at least this far in advance.

In fact, it might be the perfect job for me. I could discourage people who show up from voting. "What do you want to vote for? You know this whole thing is rigged and you're just wasting your time and vote". That ought to go over well, huh?

The county has a web site with more info. If you sign up, be sure to come back here and tell us how it went.

Green Flash Coming

They don't seem to be saying the Green Flash is imminent, but Earth/Sky News tells us of a green flash sometimes seen on the horizon when the sun is going down. Keep a look out, although I suspect fog in the Eureka area would mean most of us won't see it.

"Bottom line: The green flash is legendary, and some people have told us they thought it was a myth, like a unicorn or a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow. But green flashes are very real. You need a distant and very clear horizon to see them at the last moment before the sun disappears below the horizon at sunset"

The Left And The Draft

Antiwar dot com takes a look at varying views among The Left on the draft- proposals being made recently. Among them, to require women to register for the draft. How times have changed. Back during the Viet Nam War opposition to the draft seemed to rest exclusively with those from the left. Now there's no clear line as to who is for or against.

That suprises me to some extent. I would think those on The Left would see the military as utopian: You're fed, paid, clothed and housed by The State. I'm guessing most from the left realize that now, thus their seeming appreciation for those in the military, as opposed to the way it supposedly was back during Viet Nam.

As for me, I'm opposed to the draft overall, Not so much because of the libertarian dogma that the draft is equivalent to slavery, although I suppose it is. I just think a draft allows the powers- that- be to feel comfortable, and gives them more leeway, in attacking more countries because we have the manpower to do so. 

The opposite argument is used by others: When older Americans realize their kids could end up in a war, they may not be so quick to support that war. That certainly makes sense as Americans are generally immune when we attack other countries and don't resist such attacks unless we have a personal stake in the game.

But I don't know that a draft would discourage average Americans from their war like ways. They might well feel safer about it knowing they've got more people to throw into the fray. And with a draft they could bring them up on demand..

As for me, when I turned 18 I registered for the draft. The Viet Nam War was winding down back then but, had I been called, I would have gone. I was registered as 1Y, which as I recall was a student deferment. Shortly after I registered, the draft, for most intents and purposes, ended.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Pro Trump Skullduggery

Not to blame Donald Trump for this, although it's likely the work of his supporters. A photo has been circulating of libertarian Kurt Russell and his wife, Goldie Hawn wearing Trump t-shirs. Snopes looked into it and declared it to be photoshopped. We need to remember not to jump on pictures we find giving one message or another during campaign season.

NOAA: Pacific Trash Island Doesn't Exist

Calwatchdog reports the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency is saying that huge plastic garbage patch we're told floats out in the Pacific Ocean doesn't exist, at least to the extent environmentalists have claimed:

"While there is a Pacific Garbage Patch in the Pacific Ocean (apparently, there’s many of these patches throughout the global ocean), it’s not an island of trash, it’s difficult to see and it definitely can’t be walked on."

That's not to suggest we don't have problems with too much trash in the ocean.

Saturday, May 14, 2016

What Will Your President Do?

Wendy's Reacts To Minimum Wage Increase

The San Francisco Chronicle reports the Wendy's restaurant chain will be installing self- service kiosks in all of its 6000 restaurants, this at least in part a result of minimum wage increases in California and New York:

"Company president Todd Penegor said that Wendy's is "wary about wage hikes," as Investor's Business Daily writes. The chain restaurant's shares posted a nine percent drop after poor second quarter sales."

Whether this eliminates current jobs, it certainly eliminates future ones, putting those only capable of minimum wage jobs at a further disadvantage. Hate to say I told you so.

Actually, no I don't, but we'll be seeing more of this sort of thing. It will be interesting to see which chain does this next. Replacing human work with automation is inevitable with, or without, increases in minimum wages. Increases in minimum wage just helps speed it along.

Addendum: Investor's Business Daily also covers the story.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Crab Season Starts

The Times- Standard reports crab season is up and running after lengthy delays. I'm not a big crab eater, but enjoy it on occasion. I'm just wondering..I hate to be the stick in the mud, but.am I the only one who's a bit leery of eating crab now even though they've been given the all clear as for safety? What if they made a mistake in their testing?

I Voted

I was surprised to find my real ballot in the mail when I arrived home Wednesday. Yep, I'm one of those lazy absentee voters, having requested permanent absentee status some years ago. So don't tell me, as we keep hearing from the Democrats, that voting is too hard and it needs to be made easier. 

Change elections to weekends? Why? You can vote whenever you want if you do it by mail. The same could probably be said of any of the other hare brained proposals to make it easier for the sick, lame or lazy to vote.

I was surprised at the layout of my ballot compared to the sample ballot. You probably noticed, as I mentioned earlier on, that Trump and Clinton weren't on the ballot. The only name I recognized was perennial Green Party candidate, Jill Stein. Not so on my real ballot. In fact, it included what I believe is all the Libertarian Party candidates so I was able to check the Gary Johnson box rather than write him in.

So who else did I vote for? Gail Lightfoot for U.S. Senate.

U.S. Representative? Anybody but Huffman in that one so I chose Dale Mensing, the Republican. Sure, I believe he's the guy that works at Safeway in Fortuna, or Ray's in Garberville, but at least he has an honest job.

Didn't vote in the state assembly race. Current assembly guy, Jim Wood, is running unopposed. Nor reason to taint my principles by voting for him.

Then there's the mysterious Prop 50 that would suspend pay when state legislators are otherwise suspended for bad behavior. I made a sort of guerilla voting decision on that one. Of course, that the Sacramento Bee came out in support of Prop 50, is probably reason enough to vote against it.But my thinking was more along the lines of trying to muck things up and play to the dissatisfaction with state legiislators in general. With so- called "independents" being the fastest growing group of voters in the state, lets give them more reason to be pissed off at those in Sacramento.

If this loses and legislators still get paid vacations when suspended for wrong doing, that will get more people pissed off which would be a good thing. I voted No on Prop 50 with that in mind, goofy as it may seem.

Those of you that haven't voted yet probably shouldn't bother now since my votes already nullified yours. Go ahead and stay home. You'll just be wasting your time and vote going to the precinct on June 7.

Heads Up On New Cars

Eric Peters issues some warnings about new cars and some things that come with them, many of which can cost you lots of money. Among them:

  • Direct Fuel Injection
  • Turbocharged engines, even in smaller cars
  • Too many air bags
  • Soon to be obsolete electronics

Think twice before buying a new car, not that myself or most of the readers here can afford them. A good case for leasing, though.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

June Ballot: Prop 50

Information here on the one ballot initiative that will be on the primary election ballot in June. What Prop 50 does is suspend pay for legislators who are suspended from duties. As it is now, they can be suspended yet still draw salary which amounts to a paid vacation.

I'm still not sure what to think of this one. I don't like pay being suspended when a legislator has only been accused, not convicted, of wrong doing. There's also the possibility, as the article points out, that this rule could be used as retribution for legislators that don't go along with the majority, but I suppose that possibility already exists to some extent.

This could be one where I toss the coin to vote.

That Other Third Party

I always think of the Libertarian Party as a dinky organization, but rarely consider other ones such as the Prohibition Party, the sole purpose of which is to reinstitute the ban on alcohol sales in the country. Yes, they're still around. The Guardian reports only 518 people voted for the party in 2012, but they were only on the ballot in one state.

And people think libertarians are the crackpots.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Not Voting: Part 2

Reason magazine has a commentary on not voting. Not quite the same as my or Mona Charen's theme. Reason explains why you should feel no obligation to vote. Their points are well made, but it pisses me off when I see or hear libertarians encouraging other libertarians not to vote.

Monday, May 09, 2016

Facebook Skews News ?

Interesting story on Facebook's news policies that just showed up, of all places, on Facebook. One former FB news "curator" claims stories friendly to conservatives were suppressed.

I'm not suprised, but will have to say I spend a fair amount of time on Facebook if only because of the news feeds they post on my page. I spend hours reading the stories. I've never felt they controlled the feeds, at least to any great extent, because I find any number of stories that interest me.

Hardin Endorses Bud Rogers For 2nd District Supervisor

Not quite a formal endorsement, or is it, over at Lost Coast Outpost where local blogger John Hardin, runs down current county supervisor, Estelle Fennel, then plugs KMUD radio host Bud Rogers for the job.

I"m amused by Bud Rogers and listen to his radio show when I can- Edge of the Herd (or is it Heard?). For simplicity, I call Bud's show Conspiracy Central since he often deals with chemtrails and what not. Always a fun listen.

But who to choose for 2nd district supervisor? I'm not sure I've seen evidence of Hardin's accusations. For instance, the accusations we always hear of being beholden to developers

"Instead she found a new puppet master in a cadre of greedy developers who used their money and her slick low-key delivery to take over the Board of Supervisors."

Where's the beef? Maybe I don't get out much but I see no evidence of uncontrolled development in the county. Heck, I see little, if any.

I suppose it doesn't matter to me since I don't live in the second district so won't be voting in that one. I will be interested in seeing what issues come to the forefront in that race.
So what is the name of Rogers' show, anyway. Edge of the Herd, or Edge of the Heard? It would work ok either way since the theme of the show seems to be various conspiracy theories. You know; Edge of the Heard being those not often listened to.

I don't listen to it regularly as I usually don't listen to the radio Sunday afternoons. About the only time I do is when heading to UCSF and we pick it up on the car radio.

My favorite show of his that comes to mind was when he spent the whole time reading, word for word, out of some book he had. Finally, some lady who was listening calls in on the phone and asks him about some political oriented question. He simply replied, "Nah, I don't want to deal with that" and went right back to reading his book. Cracked me up.

Anyway, fun show if you've never listened in.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Volcano Update

This Active NorCal web site reports Mt. Shasta and Mt. Lassen are among the top ten potentially most dangerous volcanoes in the country.

Mona Charen: Don't Vote

I wanted to save this for closer to the election but was afraid I'd lose the link.

I've wrote here before of my annoyance with those who complain about low voter turnout. Yes, I get annoyed with non- voters, too, at least when it comes to many libertarians that think they're being principled by not voting. But why should I care if some turd lefty doesn't vote? Someone that might well want to ruin my life with their vote? Or the host of others that have absolutely no clue of what the issues consist of.

One of my favorite TV talk show participants back in the day was Mona Charen. She was a regular on Capital Gang Saturday (or was it Sunday?). She wrote  a piece years ago that didn't exactly express my displeasure with the idea of bad people, or general ignoramuses, voting, but was close enough. I think I finally found it so will post the link here:

"Here they come - the earnest exhortations to get out and vote. You'll be hearing it from television newscasters, MTV, newspaper ads, radio talk show hosts, weathermen, schoolteachers … you get the idea. Everyone has a duty to vote, they will say.
No they don't. If a person is utterly ignorant about matters of public policy, then he or she has a solemn obligation to refrain from voting."
I especially like her "No, they don't" line. Totally opposite of what we hear from mainstream media commentators. She's spot on with her obsevations:
"If you don't know the basics of government or policy, do us all a favor and stay home..."
Good advice.

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Take The I Side With Quiz

This Isidewith quiz has been bouncing around lately as it did during the last presidential election. It tells you which presidential candidates policies you most agree with. It says I agree most with Marc Feldman (isn't he a libertarian candidate?). 91% with Feldman,86% with Gary Johnson and 85% with Trump. Who'da thunk?

Casket Sales Expanding in Alabama Now

Reason magazine reports funeral directors have lost their monopoly on casket sales in Alabama. This the result of a lawsuit by the Institute For Justice. Most states have laws restricting who can sell caskets creating a monopoly and a financial hardship for those in the unfortunate position of having to buy one. 

I'm not sure of the specifics of such laws in California, but we could do worse than do the same thing here. I doubt we'd see the Democrats in Sacramento interested in making that change, though. It would likely take another lawsuit.

Friday, May 06, 2016

Voting Against Rather Than For

Something I've noticed personally, but seems to be verified in this recent poll: More than half Americans' motivation for voting is to stop one candidate from winning, as opposed to their actual support for the candidate they favor.

My experience is that it should be more than half that vote that way. Seems to me, over the years when trying to encourage others to vote for the candidate I support, the most common reply by far is "Yeah, but you don't want those others to win." My guess is over 90% say that.

I suppose I'm not much different. While I may not mind wasting my vote, I don't want the other guys to win, either. At the same time, I've become convinced that despite the dire predictions of what happens if the other side wins there's usually not much difference in post election results. Whether Hillary or Trump, there will likely be little difference in end results.

Trump Wins?

Trump wins in November? Doug Casey, over at lewrockwell dot com thinks so and makes a decent case for it. Mostly suggesting since Trump is seen as the outsider, he's got the edge, never mind the vile person Hillary Clinton is (not that that's ever mattered before).

But I try and stay away from predicting elections. That seems silly to me. I'm not sure I even enjoy reading other people's predictions, but Casey caught my attention with this observation early on:

"The media identifies the Lefties by their first names, a friendly and personal thing, unlike the Righties."

I'd never noticed that. I've always felt media gave more favorable coverage to The Left, but never noticed the name thing. I'll have to pay closer attention from now on.

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Listeria Outbreak Prompts Frozen Food Recall

The Sacramento Bee reports a food packaging company in Washington has requested voluntary recall of some of their frozen foods due to a small outbreak of listeria. Apparently 42 brands are involved, though they don't mention those specific brands. CRF Frozen Foods of Washington seems to be the name to look for. If you have any of their stuff in your freezer, it might be a good idea to get rid of it.

A full list of the recalled brands and products can be found at this FDA web site.

Sample Ballots In The Mail

It seemed a little early so I was surprised to see our sample ballots in our mailbox yesterday.

I'm even more surprised by what's inside. Only five candidates listed for U.S. President, none of them being the "top two". I've never heard of any of the guys on the list, save Green Party candidate Jill Stein. But, they do have a slot for a write in vote. I suppose I can write in Gary Johnson. He's supposed to be on the general election ballot here so probably qualifies as a legitimate write in vote.

For those of you who think you'll be funny by writing in your own name, that doesn't work. Your name won't be counted. Write in candidates have to file papers with the Elections Office just as candidates that are on the ballot do. It's too late to file your papers now.

Only a few presidential choices, but not so for U.S. Senate. Thirty four(!!!) names listed in that one, or so I read. I'm not gonna count them. Suffice it to say, there's a lot, including perennial Libertarian Party U.S. Senate candidate, Gail Lightfoot, whose box I'll check.

As for the rest, no big deal U.S. Representative has four names and one write in slot. Simple enough on that one: Anyone but Jared Huffman

Only one listed for State Assembly- our very own James Wood. I guess I'll leave that one blank

The only ballot initiative showing is one that suspends state legislators for reasons I"m not clear on. Not sure what to do about that one.

You can go to the League of Women Voter's Smartvoter web site to get an idea of what your ballot will look like, assuming yours hasn't arrived yet.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

One of my most hated is right

I like to think I'm pretty fair about things and give credit where credit might be due. Thus, I'll agree with Reason magazine that even a broken clock can be right twice a day.

It seems the authoritarian former mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg ( I hate his guts) did well enough speaking to the University of Michigan's graduating class the other day he got booed. What for? Criticizing "safe spaces" and other politically correct stuff in our universities:

"The fact that some university boards and administrations now bow to pressure and shield students from these ideas through “safe spaces,” “code words” and “trigger warnings” is, in my view, a terrible mistake," said Bloomberg. "The whole purpose of college is to learn how to deal with difficult situations -- not run away from them. A microaggression is exactly that: micro. And one of the most dangerous places on a college campus is a safe space, because it creates the false impression that we can insulate ourselves from those who hold different views."

 "We can’t do this, and we shouldn’t try -- not in politics or in the workplace," he continued. "In the global economy, and in a democratic society, an open mind is the most valuable asset you can possess."

I guess I am a bit prejudiced, though. My hatred for him had me thinking he could never say something like that. But, I'll give him credit, yet still hate him.

Civil vs. Natural or Human Rights?

The title of this commentary found in today's Rational Review News Digest got me to thinking about something that's been on my mind lately: The writer suggests the Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a Natural, not a Constitutional Right". Setting aside any arguments for or against the right to bear arms, I like that he equates constitutional ones with what we commonly refer to as "civil rights".

I've been unhappy with the term civil rights for some time now. Maybe because that infers that those rights were given to us by government. I suppose that we have a Bill of Rights reinforces that inference. But ,with some issues, as I've alluded to here before, I think they should be more properly called human rights, although I suppose natural rights as used by the author in question would suffice.

Panhandling, for instance, has been said to be a civil right by some recently. I suppose it could be, if government can take that right away, but as I've wrote before, people have a human right to ask for help, which is what panhandling is.
Same goes with sleeping. We have a human right to sleep, although I wouldn't be so bold to suggest that human right includes sleeping wherever one wants. 

Where to draw the line between a civil and human right, I'm not sure, but there is a difference.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Free Stuff???

Looking at some of the pcitures of the stuff still left behind at the Palco Marsh, I can see why it might take some time to get it all cleaned up.  I wonder if it might speed things up if they just post pictures of everything on the Craigslist "Free" clsssifieds and list them as "Free PIles"? There must be someone that would be interested in all that stuff.

Just trying to help.

Monday, May 02, 2016

British Docs Give Thumbs Up To E- Cigs

Reason magazine reports the Royal College of Physicians has given approval to vaping and e- cigarettes as a way of reducing the harm from smoking:

"Large-scale substitution of e-cigarettes, or other non-tobacco nicotine products, for tobacco smoking has the potential to prevent almost all the harm from smoking in society," the RCP says. "Promoting e-cigarettes…and other non-tobacco nicotine products as widely as possible, as a substitute for smoking, is therefore likely to generate significant health gains in the UK."

Shame that this sort of thing has to come from Britian, of all places.