Friday, September 30, 2016

Chicago Tribune Picks Johnson

Libertarian Party presidential candidate, Gary Johnson, picks up another endorsement. This time from the Chicago Tribune. This comes as a surprise if only because, being from authoritarian Chicago, I would think they'd be big on Clinton.

 "A principled option for U.S. president: Endorsing Gary Johnson...Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles — and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

Thursday, September 29, 2016

The Presidency? Not Too Big A Deal

Reason magazine reminds us the election for president is not as important as some might think. Many things are beyond the control of whoever sits in the Oval Office:

"The chief source of alarm today is that one of these two will have many opportunities to interfere with our lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness. But in many ways, citizens are gaining control rather than losing it."

Visit Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko?

Earth Sky News tells us the Rosetta spacecraft is poised to land on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko on September 30. It's not really clear from the web page if we can watch, but it reads as if cameras will be on during its descent and landing on the comet. No instructions for viewing except for; "On September 30, there will be a short transmission confirming Rosetta’s impact on the comet. It will be streamed via the three links just above."

I'll try and remember to watch.

I have to say the photos provided are not what I would have expected a comet to look like as I'd always heard they were big balls of ice.

Detroit News Endorses Johnson

The Detroit News has officially endorsed Gary Johnson for president. That makes his fourth newspaper endorsement if I'm remembering it right, although I can't remember the names of the other three papers that endorsed him previously. 

Someone pointed out after the last endorsement that gives Johnson more endorsements than the Clumps, although there's no doubt in my mind Clinton will pick up a bunch pretty soon with most newspapers joined at the hip with the Democrats.

What I'm wondering is if any newspapers have, or will, endorsed Trump?

" Today this newspaper does something it has never done in its 143-year history: endorse someone other than the Republican candidate in a presidential contest."- Detroit News

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

War With Gore?

I wrote here earlier that it was arguably true that we might not have invaded Iraq had Al Gore won the presidency back during that disputed election. Reason magazine seems to make a good argument against me in an article that starts out describing efforts by the Democrats to discredit LP candidate Gary Johnson.

More specifically, pointing to the Gore/Bush election to show how voting third party can lead to war. I'm glad Reason staff recall Gore's warlike history, which isn't unlike Clinton's. He voted to invade Iraq and has a history of threatening Iraq:

 "In September of 2002, Al Gore, then still a possible Democratic presidential contender, warned of the perils of acting unilaterally against Iraq. He urged Bush to take his case to the Security Council and ask for a resolution demanding "prompt, unconditional compliance by Iraq within a definite period of time." And if the Security Council failed? "Other choices"—Gore meant force—"remain open." After all, "Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to completely deter, and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in power."

In other words, Bush did pretty much what Gore recommended in seeking a Security Council resolution and used Gore's "other choices" after the resolutions failed.

Al Gore, as well as Democrats in general, have proven to be anything but dovish in world affairs. 

Conspiracy Theories

I like the way this fellow, Paul Rosenburg looks at conspiracy theories. He thinks they're intentional, at least to some extent:

" The powers that be – the elite, the deep state, whomever – want wild conspiracy theories to spread. Because after these wild theories set the “outrage meter” very high, they can get away with almost anything below that line."

But, he doesn't think conspiracy theories are worth obsessing over:

"I can’t think of a single conspiracy theory that’s worth majoring upon. Aliens at Roswell or the Kennedy assassination may be fun speculations – and I’d love to know the God’s-honest truth about both – but they’re simply not that important."

I've always wondered about such theories in general and felt current dialogue makes them more believable. For instance, if it was true that 9/11 was an actual conspiracy- and I mean for real- what would we be hearing now? 

Exactly what we're already hearing: "No way they could pull that off", "it would have taken thousands of people to do that. Someone would say something", and so on. I guess we'll never know for sure since even if it was true, we'd be hearing the same things.

Elon Musk's Mars Vision

Fascinating ideas from Elon Musk who wants to start a human colony on Mars. He thinks to make it self sustaining could take up to 100 years. He thinks big, though.  The spacecraft he's planning to use could carry 100 people or more.

It's believed the first flight to Mars could take place in 2022.  That leaves me out as I might be dead by then, but I wouldn't likely go even if I could. Seems kinda scary and there's a lot of questions I have that are unanswered. 

Neat stuff, though. I hope I'm alive to watch it on TV.

Press- Democrat: No On Prop 61

I was leaning against Prop 61 anyway so don't have a problem posting the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat's argument against the measure, which would supposedly keep a lid on prescription drug costs. They seem to agree with my feelings that it may end up having unintended results:

" Casting a protest vote against Big Pharma might feel good, but it won’t get at the source of high costs, and it’s unlikely to deliver any real savings, but it may drive up costs."

Sacramento Bee Blasts Stop and Frisk

In one of the Sacramento Bee's more clear headed opinion pieces, they attack Donald Trump's support and advocacy for New York's Stop and Frisk policies. They're spot on and go on to look at police transparency and other "law and order" issues in the Sacramento area. 

You can be sure this was intended to be blatantly anti- Trump. They wouldn't have written something like this about Clinton but, when you're right you're right:

" When a political candidate puts forth a strident “law and order” message with few specifics, we should all be afraid."

Read more here:

Eureka's Measure P- Frue Ward Voting, or Citywide?

The inlaws across the street have one of these signs in their yard. I haven't had the chance but want to ask my brother- in- law- a self described conservative, what his- the conservative- argument against Measure P is. 

I'm voting No on P and will post my reasons here soon. Can anyone give me the gist of the arguments local conservatives have against the measure?

I'm mostly wondering what sort of argument we'll be hearing when this gets on the ballot. Feel free to post them as comments. Keep in mind you can make comments anonymously.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Reason Takes On The "Great" Debate

Reason magazine's Nick Gillespie took a look at last night's debate. He cuts through mainstream thought and points out little, if anything, was learned about the candidates by viewers:

"let's simply focus on the brutal reality that after 90 minutes of back and forth, nobody knows anything more about either candidate than he or she knew going in".

That's more the sort of thing I was hoping to see from libertarian pundits, although Stephen Cox's piece in Liberty wasn't bad.

Gillespie spends most of his time criticizing the format of the debate and makes a good point:

" It would be far better if the two candidates were forced to interrogate one another on whatever issues or topics they want to. That way, we'd not only get a sense of what they stand for from their answers but also from the questions they felt compelled to ask of one another."

Had they done it that way I might have even tuned in.

Cheap TV?

I was out of the room last night but returned to have Connie mention some ad she saw on TV. She said you could get television service for $25.00 if you signed up for Sling TV. Sounded great to me. I don't have a problem with Suddenlink except for the monthy price- a bit pricey for us at almost $80.00.

So I wrote it down and put it on the computer table to remind me to check it out further this morning. I just got done with the SlingTV web site after trying their free one week trial and then canceling.

Turns out this Sling TV is just one of those internet stream things and it looks like you might need a Roku box, or something to make it work. They said you needed to install their app on your "device". So what device? I assumed that meant our TV and I had no idea how to do that.

Then it looked as if I might have to get one of their boxes- they had a Roku box, I think, featured on their web page. 

I'd entered my credit card info to get the free trial, then got a bit uncomfortable as I didn't know how to go further to set up the free trial. I also couldn't see anywhere on the web site to cancel the trial even though the site said you could cancel at anytime.

What did I get myself into, I wondered?

I finally called their 1-800 number and the lady on the other end said I could cancel by signing back into the site and there would be a link for cancelling. I did that, found it and cancelled. Whew! Close one.

It didn't look like that bad a deal to me. The $25.00 plan had a bunch of channels with one plan for $40.00 that included all their channels. The deal breaker for me was I didn't see MeTV or BBC among their choices. Connie didn't seem to care and she's the big TV watcher so I figured we'd go ahead and try it anyway.

I'll keep SlingRV in mind and maybe one of these days check back and reconsider, but I know there's other ways to get streaming internet TV.

The Great (?) Debate

No, I didn't watch the Clump debate that everyone else watched last night. That would have been beneath me. It turned out to be a good decision as I got to watch two episodes of Star Trek- The Next Generation I hadn't seen before. What a treat!

I did want to check this morning and see what various observers thought of the goings on- hopefully some objective viewpoints and not those of partisans who already favored one Clump over the other. I figured a libertarian viewpoint might be the most best as we generally consider ourselves above the Republican vs. Democrat fray. 

I wasn't disappointed, although it took me some time to find a debate review by Stephen Cox over at Liberty magazine. He called the debate a draw:

 "I’ll agree with Charles Krauthammer’s instant analysis and call the thing a draw, although I’m not quite sure what I mean by that." 

I'll take his word for it.

Local Candidate and Issues Forum

From Matt "In the middle" Owen on behalf of the Rotary Club we have notice of an upcoming forum at the Elk's Lodge in Eureka featurning candidates for local office and discussion of some local ballot measures:

We will be hearing from Heidi Messner who won her Eureka City Council, Ward 2 race unopposed, telling us a little about herself.

We will also have John Fullerton and Austin Allison, the two candidates for Eureka City Council, Ward 4.

In addition we will be hearing the pros and cons of Measure P, the true ward system of voting.

 Monday, October 10
The League of Women Voters will again be hosting this election forum, this one focusing on the Humboldt County ballot measures.

We will be hearing the pros and cons of:
Measure S, the cannabis excise tax
Measure U, the county road tax
and Measure V, the mobile home park rent control in the unincorporated county areas.​Both these events will take place at the Elk's Lodge in Eureka at 12:00 noon.Lunch is $14 and on us if you're one of the speakers.

For those unfamiliar with the Elk's Lodge, it's out on Herrick Avenue on the edge of Pine Hill. Drive south on F street through the Eureka Muni Golf Course. As you climb the hill leaving the golf course, Elk's Lodge is at the top of the hill to the right.

Monday, September 26, 2016

A New Law For The Dogs

The Sacramento Bee reports on a new law just signed by Governor Brown. This law allows people who find a dog suffering in a car that's too hot to break the windows to free the dog without facing civil or criminal penalties. I actually support the law but wasn't aware this was an issue. I assumed that, due to exigency (emergency circumstances), anyone would be able to help a dog suffering from being left in a car that became overheated.

And some people don't really care much about their dogs. I recall some time ago a neighbor walking her dog across the street. One of the gals that worked at the group home across the street had just parked her car in front of that house and went to go inside leaving her dog inside the car with the windows rolled up. My neighbor walked by the car and mentioned to the girl it wasn't safe to lock her dog in the car like that. The girl replied, " Don't tell me how to treat my f******g dog", My neighbor just walked off. The dog stayed in the car.

It wasn't that warm that day so I didn't think the dog was in any danger, but sometimes people leave dogs in hot cars out of ignorance. I did myself once years ago.

Right before I moved up here I was living in Costa Mesa, CA. A guy was staying at our house with us. I forget his name but he had a beautiful Alaskan Malemute he named Chad. I had a husky dog, too, but nowhere near the size of Chad.

I took both dogs with me to the beach one day. For whatever reason I took my dog, Nika, with me down to the beach but left Chad in the car with the windows rolled up. It never occurred to me what might go wrong with that. 

When I came back to the car, Chad had torn all the rubber seals out from around the windows. I couldn't figure out why, aside from thinking maybe he just wanted to go down to the beach with us so was trying to get out of the car. And this was in June in southern California.

I wasn't made aware, and had never considered, the heat build up in a car until fairly recently when news items and TV commercials pointed it out. That incident with Chad is one that haunts me to this day as I could have killed him. This new law might help others avoid the same situation I put myself in back then. There's much more awareness now of the danger of overheated cars to pets and kids, but some people just don't care.


Tiny Houses

Some pictures of unique tiny home ideas here. Probably too expensive for use with Eureka's homeless problem, but neat nonetheless. I do think that one on a rock in the middle of a large river is probably a bad idea. At least its location.

This reminded me of something my brother in law's grandparents built in their back yard on Glatt Street in Eureka. 

They had a mother- in- law unit of sorts just outside their back door made of those sheet metal storage sheds you can buy at Sears. It was actually two adjoining rooms with one being a storage room and the other made for living, with most of the amenities as I recall. Really cute and I thought it would be a fun place to be in the rain with the aluminum roof.

Not insulated at all so probably real cold in the winter.

That idea is probably too expensive, too. I bought one of those sheds back in the '80s to use for storage at my place when I lived in Myrtletown. I recall it seeming pricey at the time but sitll less expensive than building a shed from wood. 

Not sure I'd recommend building one as construction required screwing in more screws at one time than I ever had before in my life, but that was before powered screwdrivers were commonplace.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

You Only Have Two Choices?

The Times- Standard reports on Clinton's Vice Presidential Tim Kaine telling us we'd best keep our presidential choices limited to the major party candidates. That should come as no surprise. I'll agree with Kaine that we might not have suffered through the biggest foreign relations gaffe in perhaps our lifetimes- the invasion of Iraq- had Al Gore won, but there's no way to say that for sure. 

Then, over at the Sacramento Bee, Dan Walters looks at our U.S. Senate race,  making it seem as if the only two candidates in that race are Kamala Harris and Loretta Sanchez. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that he makes no mention of Libertarian Party candidate Gail Lightfoot who is also in that race. I had to point out in the comments to that story that, with so- called independents being the fast growing voter segment in the state, a third party candidate might be able to shake that race up a little. But, no, I"m sure Dan likes the horse race aspect of a two party race.

Hey, I'm used to it, having been pretty much a third party voter since '92. It is frustrating being ignored and always losing but that goes with the territory. What I'm curious about is everyone else. Do all of you like being told your choices are whoever the powers that be say they are? If there were actually only two choices in this race, I'd likely not vote at all as I've done before.

Maybe it's just my nature, but that sort of attitude would just piss me off. I don't like being told what to do or having my options limited. I realize most others aren't that way but if someone told me I had to vote for either Clinton or Trump and that was it, it woud piss me off enough I'd take the third choice. And, as I've written here and elsewhere, this is the perfect time to vote third party with two horrific candidates being forced upon you.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Sacramento Bee Does Humboldt Nursing Homes

The Sacramento Bee picked up on the looming nursing home crisis up here and wrote a story on it. I found their story a bit more readable than ones done locally.

Friday, September 23, 2016

And The Keys say....Trump Wins!

The Washington Post chats with Professor Allan Lichtman who has correctly predicted presidential election outcomes for the past 30 years. He has a system based on what he calls Keys. This year the Keys give Trump the edge, although he admits Trump is such a wild card he may throw his system off.

"Donald Trump has made this the most difficult election to assess since 1984. We have never before seen a candidate like Donald Trump, and Donald Trump may well break patterns of history that have held since 1860."

A Democrat For Trump

I can't help but like this guy, Democrat though he may be. He's voting for Trump as he sees Trump as the peace candidate. He goes on to write about the past with much mention of the Kennedys. Kennedy used to be a dirty word to me. Maybe not so much anymore after what he wrote about them. Lengthy, but I thought a good, inspiring read.

Election 2016

The Lost Coast Outpost covered yesterday's Eureka City Council candidate forum featuring John Fullerton and Austin Allison. Seems to me Fullerton is the best choice.

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat comes out against Prop 57, another one of those sentence reduction deals. They make some good points, although I won't say I'm convinced:
"Creating a credit system that encourages inmates to take advantage of evidence-based rehabilitation programs is a good thing. California’s prisons are focused too much on correction and not rehabilitation. But where Proposition 57 goes astray is in the details — such as its failure to make clear what nonviolent felonies qualify for the program."

The Los Angeles Times' George Skelton looks at Prop 55- the extension of the supposed temporary tax increases of last election's Prop 30. He doesn't seem pleased with it, nor am I.

Dan Walters wonders what's up with all the tax increases on the ballot, pointing out many of them really just cover public pension shortfalls.

The Sacramento Bee reports the California Association of Police Chiefs has come out opposing Prop 63. That's Gavin Newsom's gun control initiative. Good for them, but not too much of a surprise to me as police I've known aren't generally big on gun control

This doesn't mean the police chiefs have become advocates of civil rights. It could be a one- time thing. The same article also reports those same police chiefs oppose the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. Then again, some pot use advocates oppose AUMA. Whad'ya do?

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Trip to the S.F. V.A. Medical Center

As I wrote earlier, I recently "enlisted" in the Veteran's Administration's health care system, or whatever it's called.
Tuesday we made our first trip to their San Francisco medical facility. I was told I kinda had to in order to be officially processed into the system.

Since we also had a pending appointment at the UCSF medical center, we tried to coordinate the two appointments. That was easier said than done, although the V.A. clinic was easier to contact. Easy to contact but they're pretty well booked up, too, so good luck getting the ideal time and day to match the two appointments.

The V.A. center is about two miles from UCSF as it turned out. Last time we were in San Francisco we drove by it in order to get an idea of where we'd be going. Monday night,  while at the Villa Inn, we looked at the appointment cards they'd sent us and noticed slightly different directions to the V.A. than we'd taken the first time. We decided to try their instructions.

The V.A.'s instructions worked better. The center is on Clement Street, which is what we drove down the first time, but going one street further down to Stanyan is a lot less hassle- less stop and go, so quicker.

We had a 10am appointment, but they recommended getting there a half hour early, which we try to do anyway, especially it being somewhere we'd never been before. We made it in plenty of time. In fact, maybe a bit too early.

A bit confusing at first, but we found a parking spot- free parking, unlike UCSF, although it doesn't look as if they have the capacity for cars UCSF does. We went inside the building and had to ask passersby where we needed to go. Friendly people pointed us in the right direction. I liked this place better than UCSF already.

Going to the first floor to check in, the clerk was helpful and the waiting room not very full. The clerk even laughed a bit with us. That's not something you see often at UCSF. She had me fill out a form I gave back to her when completed. 

Then I had to try out the I.D. kiosk I'd been told about. That's how you officially show you were there so they can mail you your travel money. It's like a big ATM. I was a bit confused at first with what option to pick but I picked one, ran my V.A. ID card through the slot and finished the process fairly quickly. Or did I? There wasn't any "Thank You" or other indication I'd done it correctly. The screen just went back to the starting page.

I told the wife I wasn't sure if it worked. She suggested trying it again to see what happens. Maybe it would tell me I already checked in if I'd done it right the first time? We went on to our first appointment, planning on dealing with the check- in kiosk before leaving.

We sat in the waiting room and I was quickly called to a small room where they took my blood pressure and other vital stats. Then we were called to another room where a pretty gal- a nurse practitioner- greeted us. She took us into an office for an interview and even gave me a cursory exam. 

She was also fun to speak with as she had a sense of humor. Again, not something you find often at UCSF. Who'da thunk humor at a V.A. facility?

After an hour or so we left her office to places I don't recall, mostly just checking the place out. I'll have to admit I was confused and had no idea how to get out of the place had I the need to.

The nurse practitioner did order a prescription for me, though, so we went in search of the pharmacy. We found it and I was impressed with their system. you take a number and wait, except I just picked my number when they called it. I went to the counter and they told me it would take about 20 more minutes for my prescription to be ready. 

The gal pointed to a digital screen on the waiting room wall with a list of names. Those screens seemed to be in just about every room we passed by. When your prescription was ready your name would show up on the screen. Rite Aid pharmacy could take a hint from their system.

We went and wandered around getting back to the pharmacy just as my name showed up on the screen. I picked up my prescription- no charge- and we went on our way.

Time for lunch so we had to find the cafeteria. We followed some signs and eventually found it. Crowded, but not too bad. You order you meal at a counter much like a Subway sandwich shop. Yell it to the cook. 

They had a bunch of stuff, with much of the usual: hamburgers, french fries, salads and such. I just ordered some french fries. I ordered a vegie burger for the wife and the cook said something about no vegie burgers available. Something about substituting black beans instead. I couldn't really hear him over the din so just nodded my head.

After five minutes or so we had our meals and went to find a seat in the dining room. It was packed but we found one spot not far from the big picture windows that overlook the ocean and beach outside. I mentioned to the wife the next day that at least the UCSF food court wasn't so crowded. She pointed out it might well be as crowded if it was lunchtime. Good point.

We got done with lunch and left, fumbling our way to the exit. I was so mixed up I wasn't even sure which direction the parking lots were once we got outside. But it all came together. We found our car and drove back to the Villa Inn.

I much prefer that place to UCSF for the ambiance if nothing else. One thing that kind of disturbed me was when the nurse practitioner was interviewing us. She kept referring to us switching my care to the V.A. That wasn't what I had in mind, at least to start with. I just wanted the V.A. as an alternate or back up. I tried to explain that to her but she didn't seem to get it.

Oh, well, If I do end up switching care to the V.A. center, I could probably do worse. Easier to get to and friendlier people.

Bad Move By Eureka City Council

I've been out of town the last few days but was disappointed to read, either in the Lost Coast Outpost or somewhere else, that the Eureka City Council ignored the advice I gave here previously about staying out of that oil pipeline fray in the Dakotas. But, nope, from what I'm reading they voted to send a letter in opposition to that pipeline. To whom, it's not clear.

As I wrote then, this isn't a city issue and they should stick to city issues. How would they feel if other cities wrote letters to whomever objecting to our desire to improve our harbor capabilities? We don't need an "activist" council meddling in other city and state affairs unless it directly affects the City of Eureka. This sort of thing makes me wonder why so called progressives complain about the current city council. Looks to me as if they're pretty progressive already.

The Humboldt Consequential has stronger words on this so I'll let his rant suffice. He wrote in part:

 "At the end of the day, this just seems like some extreme politically correct social justice warrior bullshit. Maybe they should start a Facebook petition, too? Then they can go back to doing nothing while feeling even better about how socially progressive and groovy they are."

  Point well made. The bottom line: Shame on the Eureka City Council.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Fooling Us Into War

Over at Consortium News, via, Robert Parry looks at how we're fooled into supporting attacks on other countries. He suggests the same is going on now with Russia:

"Today, we are seeing an even more dangerous repetition of this pattern: demonizing Russian President Vladimir Putin, destabilizing the Russian economy and pressing for “regime change” in Moscow. Amid the latest propaganda orgy against Putin, virtually no one in the mainstream is exercising any restraint or finding any cautionary lessons from the Iraqi and Libyan examples."

We live in dangerous times, especially so since presidential candidates in this most militarily aggressive country in the world feel they need to add handouts to the military and show they're "not going to be messed with by anyone" to their campaigns.

I put that last one in quotes because it's a paraphrase of what a neighbor told me during a presidential campaign of some years ago. He said something along the line of "I want someone so tough that nobody will even think of messing with us". Probably a fairly common sentiment among Americans, never considering that also increases the chance and opportunity to attack other countries or, more likely, they don't care.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Case For Pardoning Ed Snowden

Trevor Timm, Executive Director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation says, "Ed Snowden is possibly the most influential whistle blower of our time". He elaborates in an eight minute video over at Reason that I can't really bother with since I lost the sound on this computer. Grrrr...!!!

Humboldt Needs A Morning Commute Report

Just something fun that came to mind when we're staying at motels in the Bay Area. John Chiv's recent post about slow traffic reminded me of it: We usually wake up and turn on the TV to watch the Bay Area commute coverage. Station KRON has a news helicopter showing traffic on the freeway and lately they have coded digital maps of the freeways showing which ones are backed up and which ones are free flowing. 

Why can't we have something like that up here? I realize KIEM-TV can't afford a helicopter, but maybe the Coast Guard would allow them to ride along and film the freeways?

KIEM reporter: We're over Highway 299 with the Coast Guard.  Highway 299 is clear all the way to Willow Creek with the exception of one car in the fast lane slowing everyone down up by Berry Summit.

The safety corridor between Eureka and Arcata has traffic running smooth except for a slow down at the Ryan Slough bridge as you enter Eureka from the north. Looks like a small traffic accident just to the south of the bridge. Commuters may want to take the Indianola or Bayside cutoffs to avoid that tie- up. Back to you at the station, Dave...

Wouldn't that be fun to watch each morning? It would give KIEM- TV more viewers and put them on par with he Bay Area stations

Eureka City Council Goings On

The Times Standard reports on the goings on at a recent Eureka City Council meeting. I happened to watch most of that meeting- or at least the part dealing with pot- on Access Humboldt TV last night. I found it interesting with City Planning Director, Rob Holmlund, presenting all sorts of facts and figures involving the marijuana industry.

I was surprised at Holmlund's apparent strong support for allowing the "cannabis industry" to legally operate in Eureka. Most politicians and bureaucrats are afraid to support policies outside the norm for fear of something going wrong. Then they take the blame, or so they fear.

With the info Holmlund provided the city council shouldn't be too afraid to move forward with letting the pot businesses open and operate within the city.

In other matters, the city is expected to sign a letter in opposition to that Dakota Access pipeline which has been in the news of late. I personally think that shouldn't be within the purview of the Eureka City Council. That's the other state's business, not ours, and you have to wonder how the council would feel if another city in the country raised objections to our plans to develop Humboldt Harbor?

Then they'll consider the plastic bag ban. I'd like them to oppose that, but won't hold my breath as it takes genuine free- thinkers to resist hysterical environmentalists. They'll likely go along with the ban if only to be seen as environmentally concious. I urge them not to, although it's a state law and probably not something they have a lot of say in.

I find one thing very annoying in the section on the plastic bag ban:

 "Under this ban, residents will have an option to drop bags off at grocery stores or the Adorni Center to be shipped away for recycling."

No mention is made of the fact that plastic bag drop offs are already available at most larger stores. I drop mine off at the Henderson Center Rite Aid. The bins are also available at Winco and all other grocery stores of a certain size. It's not as if there's a major problem for residents to properly dispose of plastic bags as it is, but leave it to local media- and perhaps the city council- to suggest there is.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Movie: Rigged 2016

Interesting idea from Patrick Byrne, founder of He's supposedly teaming up with scuzbag film maker, Michael Moore, to make a movie showing how the presidential election system is rigged towards Republicans and Democrats. Rigged 2016, will be shown in New York and Los Angeles before being released to online venues.

I'm assuming his main motivation is Gary Johnson being excluded from the national presidential debates. If so, and if he can generate skepticism and distrust of our electoral system, more power to him. I hope the movie is a success. I just hope I can get the sound back on this computer so I can watch it online.

Friday, September 16, 2016

League of Women Voters Bails on Presidential Debates

The League of Women Voters has withdrawn sponsorship of the presidential debates run by the Republican and Democratic parties. A press release states, the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD)- the ones responsible for running those widely seen television debates of presidential candidates by the two main parties (that make up the CPD) have limited the choices voters can watch in the debates to just Trump and Clinton (not official, but I've heard they made their decision today)

".... because the demands of the two campaign organizations would perpetrate a fraud on the American voter," League President Nancy M. Neuman said today.

Which isn't to disparage the LoWV. I've been impressed with the way they handle candidate forums up here. They're even handed and allow all candidates to participate, regardless of party.

Yet  I'm surprised at their spunk in this instance. I would have expected them to go along to get along. Good for them. 

Boycott the debates as some have suggested? I'm not sure that would have much effect as the CPB won't know who is or isn't watching. I'll likely not be watching them anyway. I wouldn't expect to hear Clump say anything they haven't said already. 

You can see the League's full press release here. Rather strongly worded. Again, I would have expected them to go along to get along.

Pardon Ed Snowden

Here's the ACLU's Pardon Ed Snowden page where you can add your name to the cause. I think he did a great service to the country exposing the mass surveillance and all. I also fail to see where he harmed the country as some have claimed. If anything, all he did was embarrass the government, which I naturally see as a good thing.

So sign your name and support an American hero.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Marinol vs. Marijuana

This just in today from the "Hello MD" e-mail list. Hello MD seems to be run, or at least contributed to, by doctors sympathetic to medical uses of marijuana. Today's e-mail deals with differences between marinol and actual marijuana. It caught my attention because I had occasion to use Marinol last time I was in the hospital at UCSF.

It seemed like pulling teeth to get some. I'd asked my doctor's nurse using an online form if they could provide me a medical marijuana card. She said they could, and implied one would be forthcoming. That was it.

When I got to UCSF I brought it up with some other doctors and they suggested talking to my doctor as "he's all into that". Turned out that wasn't true. It seems most down there point their fingers to someone else to hit up for 215 cards and then scurry away not wanting to take the responsibility themselves.

So one evening they came in to give medications and mine included a marinol capsule. I have no idea who authorized it as most doctors I brought up the subject with seemed to ignore the issue. So I took it and after  a while dozed off. I woke up some time later and felt that giddy feeling I hadn't felt since the '80s. I felt like giggling and wondered what was going on. Then I remembered the marinol and realized that's what I was feeling.

It wasn't real strong, though, and I realized if I'd smoked some pot it would have been much stronger, but I still felt good. One thing I noticed right away and mentioned to doctors later is it did seem to put a damper on my anxiety. I'd been somewhat upset being in the hospital with no apparent end in sight. The marinol made me not really care about that anymore. For that reason alone it was worth it.

Another thing I noticed is I started feeling even sleepier than I normally would have been at that time. Then I remembered that was one thing I didn't like about smoking pot: it made me sleepy. I told myself then, and the nurses every morning they'd offer me some with my medications, I didn't want to take it in the morning as it would probably make me sleepy all day. I told them that time and again yet they'd always offer me it each morning apparently not remembering what I'd told them the day before. In fairness to them, I suppose they still felt like giving me the choice. I can't fault them for that.

 One thing I didn't get from marinol I would have gotten from real pot is increased appetite or " the munchies". It didn't affect my appetite at all.

So marinol worked for me but smoking or eating pot would have worked better I'm sure. 

As that WebMD piece points out: "If patients were legally allowed to use marijuana, relatively few would choose Marinol.". From my own experience, I fully agree.

After I'd gotten out of the hospital, I went back to see my doctor and broached the subject of a 215 card for medical marijuana. Turned out he "wasn't all about that" as one of the other doctors had said. Anything but. In fact, he got a bit surly with the subject brought up and seemed to want to ignore it.

At one point I pointed to claims of THC reducing tumors and such. He reacted angrily to that, saying it didn't, although he didn't say how he knew.

That kinda pissed me off and I figured he was just like the rest down there, joined at the hip with the pharma companies. Either that or, when push comes to shove and they have to sign something, they lose whatever enthusiasm they had for medical pot to begin with. I dropped the subject.

I guess I'll have to go with WebMD one of these days and see about getting a card through them. Marinol is fine but is no substitute for the real thing.

Or, if that AUMA proposition passes in November, maybe I wouldn't need one?

About Mary Ann

MeTV has some info Dawn Wells fans might enjoy. Wells played islander Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island. I'm not sure if you need a Facebook account to see the page, but there's also a link to an audio interview with Gilbert Godfried. I can't listen to that one since I lost the sound on this computer a while back.

Trump Wins?

Jack Douglas, over at  suggests Donald Trump will win the election by a landslide. He goes on to give his reasons, but I love the way he closes:


I'd like to see more of that by those that predict outcomes of elections: Hey, I never wrote that!

Gary Johnson: Fittest Presidential Candidate

Men's Health magazine features Libertarian Party presidential candidate, Gary Johnson, today. They suggest he might just be the most physically fit person to run for the presidency in history, although we have no idea the fitness level of candidates a hundred years ago.

They're probably right. I've subscribed to their e-mail list for some time and enjoy it. I just have to read about the best workout for my abs, never mind their obligatory How To Really Please That Woman stories they always include (I know, Johnny Maniac. Not for you)

Today's tip is why a certain pick up line never works. Not sure I'll bother with that one. Then again, if I get bored...who knows? If I have any complaint with Men's Health is they seem to write a lot without really making a point, althought the article on Johnson seems brief and to the point. That, and they have those damned things on the sides and top of the window that pop out and get in your way when you're trying to read.

Maybe they'll read this and stop doing that, huh?

Supermoon This Friday?

Earth/ Sky News tells us there will be a supermoon this Friday so keep your eyes on the sky. Two problems arise, though: First, experts can't seem to agree on the definition of a supermoon. Second: It will likely be overcast and cloudy here anyway, so we might not get a good look at it. 

As best I can figure from the article, the moon will be really big, although they don't actually say that. I'll be watching anyway.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Press- Democrat Runs Trimmer Story

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat must have liked the story that Kym Kemp hosted about trimmigrants the other day. They ran it in today's edition.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Another Johnson Newspaper Endorsement

I really liked this part of the Winston- Salem Journal's endorsement of Gary Johnson: 

"We refused to let the powerful party behind either Clinton or Trump push us into a bad choice simply because the parties could do no better."

A big paper out of Richmond, Virginia that also endorsed Johnson the other day. I wouldn't be surprised if there's more to come.

Anton For Assembly Yard Signs Available

Ken Anton, the Libertarian Party candidate for our state assembly district stopped by my house a little while ago and dropped off some of his yard signs. I have five in all and will use one in my yard. The rest are up for grabs so long as you promise to use it and aren't just ripping me off. E-mailing me privately is probably the best way to contact me without embarrassing yourself.

Harry's Razors: My Review

Many of you might have seen the online ads for Harry's. They claim to make superior razors, solving all the problems guys have complained about over the years. You can see their list of 6 issues they claim to have fixed here. I'm not sure any of them have really been resolved.

I actually fell for their ads, although I signed up mostly out of curiosity. I don't think they solved anything, even my main complaint: I don't see the point in seeing how many blades one can fit on a razor. When I first saw their ad, for some reason their razor looked like it just had one blade. I wanted to support them for that reason alone so I ordered one.

I was disappointed upon receipt to find it had not one, but three, blades- no different than the Rite Aid brand I'd been buying.

But, it did seem awfully smooth and sharp out of the box- better than its Rite Aid brethren, but after some use I don't know that I'd say there's much difference, if any.

It is kinda nice how they send you new blades without having to order them. At first, I thought it was a freebie. Nope. Checking my credit card account I see they were charging me for them. I don't remember the exact cost or how it compared to Rite Aid brand, but I was being charged, and they sent them more often than needed. I finally e-mailed them and they stopped shipping them and billing me.

So there's not much to say other than I don't really see Harry's razors as any sort of innovation. Give one a try, if curious, but be sure and keep an eye on your credit card account and cancel if not interested in continuing.

Staged Chemical Attacks in Syria? has a story on doubts in some circles about accusations of chemical weapons attacks in Syria. A relief to me since some years ago when western media were playing up those same accusations, I seemed the lone voice in the wilderness saying it was unlikely as Syria's president Assad would have nothing to gain by doing so. Funny thing is, I was beginning to think there might be some truth to these recent allegations, until now.

Pretty much what I wrote back then from the article:

"Why the Syrian government, which was under intense international pressure regarding alleged chemical weapons use and was in the process of surrendering its stockpile of such weapons, would have jerry-rigged a handful of homemade bombs and dropped them for no discernible military effect makes little sense."

What I wrote back then: "It would make no sense for Assad to use chemical weapons knowing the west is biting at the bit for an excuse to attack him. He'd have nothing to gain and everything to lose. Not so the rebels, who would have everything to gain and nothing to lose by staging a chemical attack.

More from the article: " Yet, the evidence from at least one of the incidents examined by the U.N. team suggests that an attack on Al-Tamanah on the night of April 29-30, 2014, might well have been staged by rebels and then played up by activists through social media."

More good stuff in the article I linked to.

California Public Pension Costs To Soar

The Sacramento Bee's Dan Walters writes today about California's public employee pension debt being higher than many claim. Some claim the debt could go as high as 1 trillion dollars. Maybe even higher, depending on how it's handled:

 "Two national actuarial associations established a joint task force to study the thorny discount rate issue, but a dispute erupted over publishing the research project’s conclusions that public pension earnings assumptions are too high and should be sharply reduced. Were its recommendations to be followed, the nation’s unfunded pension liability would quadruple from $1.5 trillion to $6 trillion."

This sort of thing is what makes me really wonder about the wisdom of the state running a pension fund for non- government employees, which is already in the works.

Read more here:

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Kym Kemp: Queen of Humboldt Bloggers

Queen of Humboldt bloggers, Kym Kemp, has a great read over at her place regarding Sex Trafficking and Abuse in the Marijuana Industry. Kind of an insider look at the seasonal workers in the marijuana industry and the Southern Humboldt culture. I've always wondered what Petrolia looked like and she provided a picture. A great read, but took a while to finish. Hat tip to Eric Kirk for the link.

Friday, September 09, 2016

Two Sides of Climate Debate Presented

I have to give the Washington Times credit. This might well be the first time I've seen a major nrewspaper give two sides to the debate over global warming, although I do think the title portrays "skeptics" as ignorant buffoons and not scientists as they are.

No definitive conclusion to the article aside from pointing out disagreements between a group of scientists on one side and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on the other:

" So did University of Colorado Boulder senior climate scientist Roger Pielke Sr. — for a very different reason.

Pielke said the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should be “embarrassed” by its rush to release the research before conducting a peer review, accusing the agency of “bias” and calling the study a “dismaying example of manipulation of science for political reasons.”

I know such information will have little impact on Believers.

The Pewetole Island Fire

The Lost Coast Outpost reports on efforts to put out a fire that developed on Pewetole Island, off the coast of Trinidad. Quite frankly, I'd never heard of the place before now.

I had to ask why they're bothering to put the fire out? After all it can't likely cross the water and threaten homes on the mainland. Someone mentioned some homeless living on the island, although how they might have made their way there I have no idea. If that's the case, why not just remove those people and take them back after the fire burns itself out.

Another comment asked me; "Why NOT put the fire out? We have the resources". Yep, we obviously do, but those resources are very expensive. Helicopters, in particular, cost a lot to operate.

I say let the fire burn itself out. I'm apparently the odd man out again as that doesn't seem to be the common line of thinking nowadays.

That National Anthem Thing

The country has been aghast over that Kaepernick/ national anthem thing. Eyebrows are raised again over the Bronco's Brandon Marshall kneeling while the national anthem was being played, at least they are over at the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat.

 I say good for the two of them if only because the national anthem, and its cousin the Pledge of Allegiance are simply expressions of blind nationalism- the old My country, right or wrong type of thinking, although in these two instances that wasn't likely anywhere close to what they were thinking.

As for me, will I end up sitting during either the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem? Probably not as I'd avoid being put in that position in the first place.

It does get awkward, though, when you end up in such situations unexpectedly. I recall the last time, although I can't remember what the exact occasion was. All of the sudden we're asked to stand for the pledge of allegiance. 

I stood, but didn't recite the pledge while the fellow next to me, a friend, dutifully recited it out loud. I could hear him as I stood there silently and had to wonder why an adult would play that game? He seemed so serious about it.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Back To That Gay Wedding Cake Thing

Just in the news is a gal who went into an Albertson's market in Louisiana and asked to have a birthday cake with "Trump 2016" written on it. The baker behind the counter wouldn't do it. Should government have forced her to?

Libertarians: the Moderate Party

A writer from Newsweek points out more and more people are finding the Libertarian Party their moderate choice in this election:

" I'm still getting used to the idea of its being the middle position in an election, the oasis of sanity, the haven from extremism."

A Hint for Rite Aid Pharmacy

Just some advice for those that haven't used the Henderson Center Rite Aid pharmacy much: Don't use the chairs.

I went in there yesterday to pick up a prescription. My legs were really tired and there was only one guy at the counter picking up something so I took advantage of the chairs they had nearby. As soon as I took a seat some lady came up and stood in what was supposed to be the line. She had a couple of boxes of benadryl in hand. Within a minute another girl had arrived and gotten in line. 

The first one turned, looked at me and asked "Are you in this line". I replied "kinda, but I see you're a fellow benadryl user so go ahead and I'll just sit here.". She explained the benadryl she had was for mosquito bites. She abrubtly turned and left the line after that. I got up and took care of my business, telling myself not to use those chairs again. Maybe that pharmacy should have numbers where you pick one and they serve you based on their number?

That's not so bad, though. I've seen people jump to the front of the line at the regular checkouts there a number of times. The checkout lines are usually a ways back from the actual checkout counter. Then some airhead comes in, sees a momentarily empty checkout and walks straight up to it, not realizing there's a line of people waiting. I write that off as just more stupid people unaware of their surroundings. There's  a lot like that up here  and Rite Aid gets more than its fair share.

The Lisbon Earthquake of 1755

I'd never heard of this earthquake long ago that destroyed Lisbon, which used to be one of the world's biggest and wealthiest cities. The earthquake was believed to be around a 9.2 (yikes!).

Epipens: A Slightly Different Take

City Journal has a slightly different take on the epipen situation than NCPA. Yes, government is still involved but it's also the result of other things:

"Vilifying pharmaceutical companies may be good election-year politics, but the EpiPen saga merely illustrates old fashioned rent seeking and aggressive marketing. These strategies can work in the short run. Eventually, however, they are destined to be defeated by public pressure and market forces."