Tuesday, February 28, 2017

A Case For Secession

The Macroview Blog makes a good case that secession can be good for all the parties involved, at least the way I read it. There shouldn't be a need for any gun play if all parties voluntarily go their seperate ways. Which got me to wondering, and I don't think I can come up with an example: Has there ever been a case of a country booting out a smaller part of it as I've suggested the U.S. do to California? 

I'm coming up blank. It seems the rule is for countries to try and assimilate more property.

 "When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another,..."

Jeff Session's Pot Policies

High Times has an article titled "Jeff Sessions Breaks Silence On Pot Policy", implying a tell- all on How the new Attorney General plans on dealing with states that legalized pot. Not really anything substantial there I could find. I suppose we'll just have to take our best guess.

Monday, February 27, 2017

The Times- Standard's Tim Martin has a nice commentary dealing with him being a white guy and what that entails when dealing with his fellow lefties, among other things.

It's gotta be a good one when lefty authoritarian, Sylvia De Rooy, slams it in the column's comments telling Martin he shouldn't be published. She does that a lot. I respond in kind.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Second Amendment Protects Machine Guns

My internet buddy, Tom Knapp, over at the Garrison Center, makes what I think is good case that the 2nd Amendment- the right to keep and bear arms- does protect the right of people to own military weapons, or so- called assault weapons.

Aliens Readying For Attack?

Not necssarily, but over at the Daily Sheeple they're reporting sightings of UFOs are at an all time high for modern times. Keep in mind UFO stands for Unidentyfied Flying Object- Unidentified being the key word. Just because something is unidentified, doesn't make it an alien spacecraft. The Sheeple falls into the same mistake of mixing the two, or at least not clarifying the difference:

"According to Sam Monfort, a US PhD student who collected data provided by the National UFO Reporting Center, UFO sightings are at an all-time high. For instance, there were 10,000 claimed sightings in 1990, but by 2010 there were roughly 45,000 sightings every year."

What seems odd to me is that with our technology today, so many objects remain unidentified. Perhaps just as well as it gives reason for some to assume we're being set up for attack by aliens.

I suppose you never know, and if we did face attack from our biggest threat- The Borg, we'd no doubt lose. But these UFOs shouldn't be Borg as their vessels are much, much bigger than what's being seen.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Trump Less Authoritarian Than Obama?

The National Review makes the case President Trump is less authoritarian than his predecessor, President Obama. I'm not sure about that but they do make a point:

"...if you peel back the layer of leftist critiques of Trump’s early actions and early hires, they contain a surprising amount of alarmism over the rollback of governmental power. Education activists are terrified that Betsy DeVos will take children out of government schools or roll back government mandates regarding campus sexual-assault tribunals...."

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Libertarian Presidential Rankings

All sorts of stuff online about American presidents due to President's Day. I found one article from Time magazine supposedly explaining how writers judge presidents. That seemed rather silly to me since those judgments will always be subjective and often based on partisan values. And how would you judge from a libertarian perpsective? I didn't dare tread there, not having the historical knowledge to even make a small effort.

But look no further than this fellow's list "A Libertarian Ranking of United States Presidents". I think he did a fine job, though my knowledge of U.S. history isn't adequate to argue any of his points. He list both bad and good points of each president, including being mean to the indians as a negative, with Martin Van Buren getting the #1 slot. I'm sure most of your favorites is Abe Lincoln. Well, he comes in a lowly #41 which I think is being more than nice. Some others you might think would have fared better come out towards the bottom a ways, too. George W. Bush (of Mesopotamia) came in last of those that showed on the list.

Nicely done. I hope I stumble on to his list next year.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Watch Falcon 9 Land

A neat but quick video from Earth/ Sky News shows the Falcon 9 rocket returning safely to its launch pad. Look closely. It's not a big picture, at least the bottom video I watched.

Progressive Russophobia?

Yep. It seems it to me. I'm constantly surprised at the excuses we hear from the left side of politics as to why Russia should be such an enemy. This fellow, over at antiwar.com seems to agree progressives have lost any claim to advocating for peace. A far cry from the way it was back during the Viet Nam War.

Pat Buchanan has a slightly different take on Russophobia over at lewrockwell.com.

And a little bit about U.S. meddling in Russian affairs at lewrockwell.com, too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

An Argument Against Universal Basic Income

I finally found someone with a libertarian argument against a universal basic income. Good job. It's not that I don't agree with him, but I feel UBI is inevitable down the road when robotics and artificial intelligence take over most jobs. There would be no other way to live.

Friday, February 17, 2017

The Day Without Immigrants

The Lost Coast Outpost covers events from yesterday's Day Without Immigrants in which immigrants were supposed to stay home from work and school to get us to realize how much a part of our lives they are. Sorry, I didn't notice any difference.

Backyard Bird Count

Earth/ Sky News tells us today (Feb 17- 20) begins the Backyard Bird Count where you watch the birds in your back yard, identify what kind and how many. Then open a free account on this page and enter your figures. I opened an account but found the count form confusing. Maybe you can do better?

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Eureka's Open Door Community Health Clinic

I've been sick for over a week now. No temperature but upset stomach and vomiting 24/7. The wife finally insisted I make an appointment to see my doctor. I felt there would be little a doctor could do but called anyway. I was unable to get past Hold on the phone with Redwood Family Practice ( now Redwood Community Health or some such, after merging with the Open Door Clinic). 

I manipulated the phone calling to the wife and she got through but my doctor was booked solid. She left a message, expecting a call back. They called back today only to suggest she go to the Open Door Clinic on Tydd Street, Eureka. She called Open Door and made an appointment.

We had a one o'clock appointment and got there a bit early. I was impressed with the place from the start. Very clean building with very few people in line. We checked in and were sent down the hall to the "blue" section. We checked in at Blue and waited maybe fifteen minutes before being called in.

The nurse took my blood pressure, temperature and body weight then we were led to an exam room where a doctor(?) showed up within a few minutes. I'm not sure what she was as she never said and didn't have a name tag. We discussed my condition and she recommended some medication, though she couldn't guarantee their efficacy. She also gave me the option of getting the medication injected right then. I accepted.

A nurse showed up in five or so minutes and gave me the shot. Then we went down the hall to the lab where I had blood drawn at the doctor's request. The blood draw was quick, relatively painless and off we went headed home. As I write this I think I feel a little better, although maybe a little less steady on my feet. Maybe the shot worked?

I was pleasantly surprised at that clinic. No mobs of riff- raff that I'd expected and the place was clean, quiet and seemed well organized. The wife seemed to agree suggesting maybe we should go there from now on instead of Redwood Family Practice. Time will tell if I'll switch practices but, from what I've seen so far, I just might.

Any of you remember Democratic Senator Daniel Moynihan? I vaguely do. I recall thinking of him as just another airhead Democrat. This article in City Journal paints a different picture of Moynihan:

"Daniel Patrick Moynihan was a liberal who wasn’t above challenging orthodoxy, for which he occasionally found himself in trouble. His 1965 report on the decline of the black family earned him the enmity of a generation of civil rights activists. They accused him of “victim-blaming.

Seems there was actually something to like about him although I wouldn't have thought so at the time. I guess that's what happens when all you have is TV and print news to depend on for information and no internet.

The Freddy Wins Angelo's Again!

Long time readers here will recall a while back when I won KIEM TV's Angelo's News Quiz. I won that one the first time I entered. This time it took a while longer- maybe two weeks- but I won again. The prize is a free buffet lunch at Angelo's Pizza in Eureka, yumm!

If you'd like to take a crack at it, go to the KIEM TV web site. The link to the drawing is the Angelo's button on the right side of the page. Hmmm??? I don't see the link up there anymore, but you can always enter the KIEM 3 degree guarantee weather drawing at the top right.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Ruth Lake Dam Failure

The Lost Coast Outpost has a timely article on what might happen if the dam at Ruth Lake failed due to some catastrophic event. I was wondering about that same thing myself with the events transpiring at the dam at Oroville and hundreds of thousands of people downriver evacuating.

I suppose it's not an instant worry as it would supposedly take four hours for the wall of water to get to Maple Creek, but how would people be warned? Some might hear of it on radio while others would rely on word of mouth. Four hours seems like an adequate time, but is it? Wouldn't it be best to have some sort of siren system set up for such an event?

I know most might not consider the expense worth it. I'm not sure I even do. Reports are that early concerns over the Oroville dam were downplayed. At the same time, it looks like most people were alerted and able to at least begin evacuation. I have to wonder how well word of mouth and radio will work to alert those in the flood zone should we end up with a worst case scenario with the R.W.Matthews Dam at Ruth Lake?

Elon Musk Plugs Universal Basic Income

Elon Musk says a universal basic income is inevitable with the likelihood of technology disrupting the job market and resulting in a steep decline in jobs for everyone. This seems much along the line of what I've written previously about robotics and artificial intelligence taking not just menial jobs, but likely most jobs eventually:

 "Musk said that despite the convenience of autonomous cars, the technology will disrupt a huge portion of the global workforce. He thinks that universal basic income is going to be necessary and that we’re going to need it within 20 years of the first fully autonomous car hitting the road."

Not plugging socialism, it just seems to me there won't be any alternative to that short of some sort of final solution where unfortunates who can't support themselves are removed from the picture.

Great minds think alike, huh? 

Monday, February 13, 2017

SacBee Looks At DeVos Opposition

The Sacramento Bee has, as I read it, a fairly polite criticism of the opposition by Democrats to Betsy DeVos' nomination to Secretary of Education.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

What He Said

Newsom For Governor?

The Sacramento Bee looks at that darling of The Left, Gavin Newsom, and his plans to run for governor next time around. He certainly won't get my vote. I hate his guts probably as much as I hate Hillary Clinton's, although he doesn't strike me as condescending as Hillary. 

My battle cry in that election will be ANYONE BUT NEWSOM!!!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Trump & Civil Asset Forfeiture

It's been in the news recently that President Trump is going along with some law enforcement officials and opposing reform of the country's civil asset forfeiture policies. Civil asset forfeiture, as many of you know, is where law enforcement can seize assets from people simply because those assets (cars, cash and even houses) are suspected of being used, or are the proceeds of a crime. They need not prove they were used in a crime, just suspected. The burden of proof is then with the owner to prove his property wasn't involved in crime.

Reason magazine cites three reasons Trump should support reform. I'll have to admit I was taken aback when I first read the headline to the story. I misread it and thought it was "Three Reasons Trump is Wrong to Oppose Reform". I read it wrong and thought it read he should support asset forfeiture. I was like, "WTF??? No. It says he should support reform. They're spot on as usual.

That's one troubling thing about Trump of many: His apparent desire to be the "law and order" guy.

U.S. vs. Russia: Who Has The Moral HIgh Ground?

A reporter from Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting takes the New York Times to task for its rebuff of Donald Trump admitting the U.S. kills people, too:

“You got a lot of killers,” Trump told O’Reilly. “What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

I was surprised Trump said that, but I appreciate him doing so.

" A rough look at the actions in question since Putin has been in office reveals this outrage to be, at best, misplaced. One tally by Airwars, a Western nonprofit, puts the total number of Syrian civilians killed by Russia since it entered the war in September 2015 at just over 4,000, or 0.8–0.4 percent of the 500,000 to 1 million civilians who died due to George W. Bush’s unilateral invasion of Iraq in 2003. Add to this the thousands of other civilians killed in other theaters of the “War on Terror” under the Bush and Obama administrations, including Afghanistan, Libya and Syria itself, and the idea of pointing to respect for civilian lives as something that elevates the United States above Russia seems a little absurd."

We should look in the mirror before we point the finger at others.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sheriff Downey Retiring

Bummer to hear Humboldt County Sheriff, Mike Downey, is retiring in May. Our loss, his gain. Godspeed to him in his future years. He's recommending Undersheriff Honsal  take over his spot. I'll accept Mike's judgment but Honsal has some big shoes to fill.

Lunar Eclipse Stuff

There's going to be a lunar eclipse tonight, but it seems it won't be visible on the west coast. Once again, we're left out. Earth/Sky News tells you probably more than you probably ever wanted to know about lunar eclipses and their "blood moons" here.

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Ring Necked Turtle Doves

I'm pretty sure these are the doves we've had hanging in our neighborhood for the last couple years. They were in our apple trees yesterday. I first noticed them by their peaceful hoo- hoo call. Funny that this Wikipedia article says "..Their song is a loud and harsh “kuk-COORRRR-uk, ...". These don't sound like that. Maybe I've got the wrong bird? 

Another weird thing is it's said their range is elsewhere, including southern CA. But, somewhere I read that some escaped from captivity and spread their range. Maybe they're up here now? Let's hope so.

Water and Sewer Rates Going Up in Eureka

Kiem TV reported last night on a proposal by the City of Eureka to raise water and sewer rates. Someone on the show mentioned the average rate per household is something like $70 or $80 a month. 

I'd always wondered about that. I try to skimp on water usage, and stopped flushing the toilet every time I'd go pee years ago. A friend asked me why we didn't flush the toilet. I simply told him that water costs money. How much we save by doing that, I don't know. 

If the average rate is higher than ours, I suppose we must save some money. I guess I shouldn't complain about our monthly bill usually being around $50.00. It will kinda irk me, though, to pay more when I still try to scrimp and save water.

"If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down"- Something some friends told me was going around where they lived to encourage people to save water. That's what we already did.

The Freddy Does Uverse

The AT&T guy left an hour or so ago after switching my internet and phone to their Uverse service. It's supposed to be faster and cheaper. Is it faster? Hard to say when your computer is kinda slow, but the installer said it's much, much faster, at least on paper.

Is it cheaper? I wont' know that until I get my first bill and I don't know if they'll be billing me for the new modem they installed. I forgot to ask the guy about that. 

But, so far, maybe a half hour into this uverse thing, no complaints.

Now that you've read that, please go visit the Unchain Your Dog web site. A real nice site that should be seen by all.

Taking The Fight To Betsy DeVos

NBC News reports anger over Betsy DeVos' confirmation as Secretary of Education has some parents threatening to fight back by home schooling their kids. That'll show her:

 "DeVos, whom the Senate confirmed Tuesday to head the Education Department, is herself a big proponent of homeschooling."

Jeff Sessions Wins Appointment to A.G.

Damn! Jeff Sessions was confirmed as Attorney General with what seems like hardly a whimper from The Left. The Sacramento Bee has the story. This after all the angst and gnashing of the teeth over the nomination of Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education whose sole crime seemed to be believing in school choice, something it's questionable whether she can actually do anything about.

I received umpteen e-mails from the deplorables over at Daily Kos urging action to stop the DeVos nomination but few, if any, over the Sessions nomination. This is not good. Shame on the Democrats for seeming to allow Sessions to sail through the process although, to their credit, only one Democrat voted for him.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017

Ayn Key on Calexit

Blogger Ayn Key takes a look at Calexit and presents many, if not most, of the issues involved.

Betsy DeVos Confirmed!

Most of you know by now that Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education was confirmed yesterday by a very close vote in the U.S. Senate with Vice- President Pence bringing the tie braking vote to 51-50. Reason magazine looks at the situation. I'm pleased as punch as should be anyone who believes in school choice, although it's questionable just how much Ms. DeVos can really do towards that end. 

I'm elated, but the deplorables over at Daily Kos and other left wing venues are pissed. Good for them. Kinda hard to understand why, except they put more effort into fighting DeVos than they have for Attorney General nominee Jeff Sessions, who really can do some bad things. Also, as this other Reason magazine article points out, it's hard to understand all the angst over a federal department we never felt a need for until the latter years of the Carter Administration.

I'll be enjoying the thought of deplorables being pissed over this, while I'm elated over the nomination of the new Secretary of Education. 

Tuesday, February 07, 2017

The Reason For High Energy Prices

Calwatchdog's Steve Greenhut explains why our energy prices are so high. No mention of renewable fuel mandates as I suggested yesterday. It's because of the regulatory pricing structure that allows utilities a certain percentage of profit no matter whether their spending policies make or lose money:

"In an open marketplace, gluts of products or services lead firms to slash their prices dramatically. If, say, car manufacturers produce too many vehicles, they will provide rebates or be stuck with lots full of unsold inventory. With California’s regulated utility system, by contrast, gluts in electricity actually raise prices for consumers because of the way utilities are paid for their investments. They need only get the approval from the Public Utilities Commission to build new plants and pass on costs to ratepayers."

Despite Californian's using less and less electricity, utilities build new power plants rather than buying cheaper power from existing plants since they're guaranteed a rate of return. This brings to mind progressive's love of regulations with no apparent concerns over who regulates the regulators.

As an aside, I am going to e-mail Greenhut and ask him how much renewable energy mandates might contribute to higher energy prices. 

Addendum: Steve Greenhut promptly answered my e-mail:  "I do believe that renewable mandates contribute to this. But the utilities get paid the same way whether they build solar or natural gas, so the same dynamic is at work. I need to do more research on the renewable portion of the equation."

Sailing To Another Galaxy

Earth/ Sky News tells us of a concept developed by some phsycists that might enable man to travel to our nearest galaxy, Alpha Centauri, within 20 years. That system being four light years away, which means it would take four years for just light to travel that far and we can't go light speed...yet.

The Breakthrough Starshot plan would use solar sails- the description reminiscent of the solar sail craft used by Captain Cisco in Star Trek's Deep Space Nine show. Pretty neat, but I won't be volunteering for that mission. I wouldn't want to go anywhere unless I knew I could make it back.

AT&T Uverse Bitch Session

I mentioned yesterday my internet and phone is being switched to AT&T's uverse system. I'm not sure just how it works but, to hear them tell about it, it's much faster and will save me money- considerable money from what I could understand from the guy on the phone. I had a hard time understanding him but it sounded like maybe saving close to half of what I currently pay for internet and landline.

Call me skeptical in regards being much faster as I don't see how it could be using the same hardware. But, my bum nephew, who fancies himself an expert on all things computer, claims it will be a lot faster. Of course, he often opines about things he has no personal experience with and he's with Suddenlink for internet, not AT&T.

He did say there might be a conflict between uverse and my modem. Maybe especially so since he came by yesterday and installed a wifi router- Yes, I now have wifi. But, I pointed out to him some AT&T service guy is supposed to come by to complete the transition to uverse so he'll hopefully be able to clear up any problems and make sure it works right. "Hopefully" being the key word.

So here's your special spot to run down AT&T uverse. Comment about it all you want, but let's try and keep it clean. 

P.S: In regards wifi, I'm not a big fan of wifi and think it's over rated. I don't like having whatever I'm doing on the computer broadcast out to points unknown. But, it would be nice to use my wifi- only tablet while out in the garage and this wifi connection seems to extend out there strongly enough. The first thing I tried to do with it was download a program to my tablet. I couldn't get it to work but I think it was more a problem with the tablet than the wifi connection. We'll try that again later today.

City of Eureka Updates Web Site

The City of Eureka announced, via an e-mail, that they've upgraded their Parks and Recreation web site. I'd never been to the site before so will leave to you that have to decide whether the new site is an improvement. As I've complained before, it seems to me the vast majority of new and improved web sites are anything but and the entities involved need to follow the old adage, If it ain't broke, don't try to fix it.

They have a new list of city sponsored recreational activities including classes and such(pdf file). That's real nice but, call me the stick- in- the- mud again, I question whether the city should be involved in recreational activities at all.

I'll admit to not having any idea how much this sort of thing costs the city in the long run. It just seems to me private organizations can put this sort of stuff together then let the city advertise it and perhaps provide a place for it to happen, should it not get too involved doing so. If that's the way it actually works, then I suppose I have no complaint.

Monday, February 06, 2017

Reason: Legalities of Trump's Immigration Hold

Over at Reason magazine, Jacob Sullum looks at the legal elements and implications of Trump's controversial ban on immigration of Muslims from certain countries. The way I read it, he thinks Trump's order has legal standing despite court judgments that disagree.

Note;  I had a hard time reading the article after just spent probably an hour or more on internet chat and a phone call with AT&T regarding replacement of my modem and switching to Uverse. Results: no modem as their warranties are only good for a year. I'll be switched to uverse on Thursday. That whole thing burned me out!

Mendocino Co.: No More Cops For Mentally Ill

The Santa Rosa Press- Democrat reports on a new approach to police dealing with the mentally ill in Mendocino County. Sheriff Tom Alman wants to stop sending his deputies to non- violent emergency mental health calls. How this works out remains to be seen. I'd say it's probably a long time in coming, but I have to wonder how effectively the white coated "mental health professionals" will be able to take over?

I've been skeptical for some time when I've heard of law enforcement agencies planning on sending officers to training to deal with "mental health issues". I have to wonder how effective such training might be? I also wonder if the so- called professionals in mental health could do all that much better? If someone is truly a nut case, I'm not sure either law enforcement or civilian mental health  folks would have an edge in dealing with it.

What this might well do, though, is prevent some of the situations where police get into situations that they feel no other way out of aside from gun play, which should make it interesting to see how supposed mental health professionals handle those same situations.

Sacbee Looks At High Energy Prices

The Sacramento Bee points out energy bills in the state have gone up quite a bit with some people's bills being double what they were last year. They rightly point out much of that has to do with it being colder  this year than last, but I wonder if they're neglecting to point out the "renewable energy" mandates we've signed on to that require a large part of our energy from so- called renewable sources which are more expensive?

At least that's what we were supposed to do, if memory serves me correct. I don't have any figures as to how much we're actually complying with that mandate. I'm not sure I've noticed higher prices the last few months as we've been running the heater a lot and I expected high bills. I did notice higher prices earlier this last summer with our bills running over $30.00  a month when it used to be around $25.00 with the heater not being used.

PG&E does give one tip to help lower your rates: "Turn down the thermostat. He advised that the thermostat be set at 68 degrees or lower when the house is occupied. Each degree above 68 uses 3 to 5 percent more energy,...". I think we have ours set to 64 so that leaves us out and at 64 it still feels cold in our house sometimes.

I suggest higher rates in general are due to the renewable energy mandate. That mandate can be expected to continue so long as hysterical environmentalism rules this state.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/local/article130906174.html#emlnl=Morning_Newsletter#storylink=cpy

Sunday, February 05, 2017

No On Calexit?

Conor Friedersdorf writes a commentary for the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat explaining why he thinks Calexit- the proposal for California to secede from the U.S.- is a bad idea:

"...satisfying the urge for ideological purity would come at a very dear cost: a worse life for many millions of Californians and tens of millions of Americans."

I've wrote here and elsewhere Calexit is a good idea for the rest of the country. If anything, the rest of the U.S. should throw us out.

Update On Track R Locator

You'll recall a few days ago I posted about that Track R "key finder" thing. It came in the mail yesterday so I immediately set out to see how well it worked.

First problem was there were absolutely no instructions with it. I'd read earlier you download a cell phone app to use with it but there was no mention of that with the card that came with it. I went ahead to see if my cell phone had any mention of such an app and found one for Track R. I went ahead to download and install it and it looked like it was downloading so I set the phone aside. After a bit I picked up the phone but found no indication of a Track R app on the phone. 

I looked and looked and couldn't find it, finally giving up and figuring I'd have to see if my bum nephew/ cell phone expert could figure it out. Lo and behold, he conveniently showed up about then. 

He looked my phone over and agreed the app wasn't installed. Looking further he decided my data feed was defective so the download failed- a strike against Tracfone, or maybe just my cheap phone. He said I needed wifi and we might go across the street to his parent's house to use their wifi connection. Then he came up with a neat alternative: He turned his Samsung phone into a wifi "hotspot" by clicking on something that used the wifi from his parent's house and rebroadcast it from his phone. I hooked up to his wifi signal and we downloaded the app real quick. I never knew you could do that, although I suppose it makes sense. Pretty slick.

Once we had the app installed an icon showed on the screen of my phone. You could click on the sound icon and it would make the tracker wafer beep. We tried it but I couldn't hear it, although he seemed to hear it clear as day. He finally picked it up and held it next to me while I beeped it and I could hear it, but just barely. The sound seems almost useless to me for locating things. Weird pitch and not loud enough.

Then we played around with it a bit and found it would point to the tracker disc, but it didn't seem to have much range, as others have already alluded to. He was disappointed as he was under the impression it would track things all over town, as was I. It doesn't seem so, but we'll try it later today to see what it's range is.

We did notice, before giving up on it, a map had shown up on my cell phone showing my block and the local streets with an icon for the discs location. That's how I expected it to work to begin with, but the map showed the disc to be a block away from its location, on the next block. Oh well, at least there's a map, although I have no idea what made the map show up towards the end. From the start, it just had a semi circle with flashing squares in the direction of the track disc.

Then he set it down on my work bench and left. We were in my garage and it had gotten dark out. He showed me where he put it on my bench, but within a couple minutes of him leaving I couldn't find it. I grabbed my phone to see if I could find it with sound, but turned on the light to the garage first and found it before I tried paging it.

This morning I tried the Track R web site hoping they'd have more information there. Not that I could find. All they have is a video which is worthless to me since I don't have sound on this computer. When the wife and her sister go waddling (walking, I always joke with their short legs they look like two ducks waddling) this morning, assuming they do, I'll have the wife take the disk with her and see if it follows her and, if so, how far. I have the feeling I'll be disappointed.

Update: The wife and her sister left to go shopping over 45 minutes ago. The wife took the tracker disc with her. My cell phone shows the disc still here at the house and says the disc was last seen about 45 minutes ago. So, it seemed to lose track of her as soon as she left the house. Doesn't get any better than that, does it?

Saturday, February 04, 2017

The Left Should Welcome Trump?

Gary Kittilsen, over at the Libertarian Galatians blog, makes the case that left wingers should have much in common with Donald Trump and should be welcoming him to the White House:

"House Democrats protested and snubbed his inauguration, but why?  Is it just because they lost? Isn’t there much they can agree with the 45th president on? Donald Trump has said on the record the three most important functions of government are defense, healthcare, and education. The last two are never mentioned in the constitution and are truly progressive ideas they should be beloved by the left."

He also doesn't think The Left's criticism of Trump's supposed war on woman activities hold water:
Please, don’t give me the war on women, you guys on the left love the Clinton’s. Let’s be honest the nasty things Trump said are no match against the horrid things Bill Clinton did to women. Don’t give me the anti-Muslim thing, you progressives love Obama and Obama loves bombing Muslim countries.

He goes on and makes a good case. It's simple enough to me: it's just partisan sniping for the most part.

On a related note, Reggie tells us we should be careful throwing that nazi word around:

 "But the truth about Nazis isn’t funny at all. It’s bloody and horrible and gut churning. And it involves machine guns and butchery and inhumanity on a scale that takes your breath away. Nobody is really a “soup Nazi” …unless they served it in a concentration camp."

SacBee Does Humboldt Condor Project

The Sacramento Bee looks at efforts to introduce, or re- introduce, California Condors to Humboldt County. I may have mentioned this before but I saw one years ago, in Irvine of all places. 

Their last refuge is in the Angeles National Forest north and north west of Los Angeles. I was at home in University Park, Irvine one day looking at things with my binoculars from our second story deck, or whatever you'd call it. As I was looking around I saw a large bird approaching from the northwest. It was waaay up high. It came over University Park and started circling. It was huge. I could tell because it was really high up yet still looked really big. Kinda like a large turkey vulture but much larger.

I finally realized it must be a California Condor. It circled for a minute or so then turned and coasted back to the northwest in the direction of home. I was impressed and still feel privileged this day to have seen it. 

If it was so easy for them to glide down to Irvine, I'm surprised I hadn't seen more of them.

Friday, February 03, 2017

California Public Schools Threatened by Pension Shorages

Calwatchdog reports on California's pension shortages rearing their ugly head again. This time, it's schools that will take the hit:

"Public schools around California are bracing for a crisis driven by skyrocketing worker pension costs that are expected to force districts to divert billions of dollars from classrooms into retirement accounts, education officials said,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. “The depth of the funding gap became clear to district leaders when they returned from the holiday break: What they contribute to the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, known as CalPERS, will likely double within six years, according to state estimates.”

This situation has actually been with us for some time, as readers here already know. Worker pensions are taking a big bit out of all government services:

"The city of Los Angeles already dedicates 20 percent of its budget for pension obligations, Anaheim 13 percent, Long Beach 11 percent and San Jose as high as 27 percent.”

I have no idea how big a chunk pension costs take from our budgets up here. It's probably safe to say it's about the same. It's also probably safe to say we'll be hearing more pleas for tax increases in future elections for both schools and general government services to make up for shortages. Of course, the public employee unions will keep telling us this isn't a problem.

Trump Saves Millions on F35 Fighter Program

More good news from the Trump Administration: As a result of President Trump's complaints over the money being spent on the F35 fighter jet development, a new deal has been reached between the Pentagon and F35 developer Lockheed Martin:

"Trump, as president-elect, made headlines in December when he tweeted that the costs for the F-35 program were “out of control.This led to meetings and negotiations with the defense mega-contractor, apparently culminating in Friday's nearly $9 billion agreement.Lt. Gen. Chris Bogdan, F-35 program executive officer, called the contract a "good and fair" deal for taxpayers." 

No other presidents seem to have dared tread here as this plane has been in development for years and I've heard nothing positive about it the whole time. The word going around was the F35 was a boondoggle. 

Trump: love him or hate him (I'm on the fence, if anything), you have to give credit where credit is due.

A Free Cell Phone Service?

Any of you want to try this free cell phone service so I'll know how, and how well, it works? Freedompop is supposedly free if you keep your usage to under 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500mb data. I'm tempted to try it just to see how it works, but don't want to risk screwing up my Tracfone service. It reads like you have to buy one of their phones, though. I'm not sure that's the case that's why I'm asking you folks to try it first. 

Head on over there, sign up and come back later today to tell us how well it works.

A Closer Look At SCOTUS Nominee Gorsuch

Reason magazine takes a closer look at Trump Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch. Their earlier look had me concerned he'd regularly defer to government power. Jacob Sullum's second look has me a little more at ease;

"That does not sound like a judge who bends over backward to side with the government."

 Reason's Nick Gillespie and Mark McDaniels seem to feel the same way.

Thursday, February 02, 2017

Where Are They?

Perhaps appropriate since Trump seems to have killed his first muslim, according to news reports:

Lots Of Snow In The Sierra

The Sacramento Bee reports the good news that current snowpack in the Sierra Nevada is at 153% of normal. This will be great if it sticks around for summer and doesn't start melting early. Rainfall has also been above average, filling reservoirs, but I'm sure most has just gone down the rivers out to sea. We need more storage capability.

In Defense of Trump's Immigration Policy

A writer from City Journal tells us why President Trump's policy of clamping down on immigration is ok and should pass constitutional muster. Certainly not politically correct, but I generally agree with her: 

"The president has the authority to “suspend the entry of all aliens or any class of aliens” if he determines that their entry “would be detrimental to the interests of the United States,” in the words of a 1952 federal statute. Opponents of Trump’s order claim that it violates the 1965 Immigration and Nationalization Act, which declares that no visa applicant shall be “discriminated against” because of “nationality” or “place of residence.” But the president’s constitutional power over national security matters takes precedence over a congressional anti-discrimination clause, as Andrew McCarthy has argued.

 " The order singles out entries from seven countries based on evidence of the heightened Islamic terror threat there. If doing so is impermissible because those seven countries have Muslim-majority populations, then national security has been completely sublimated to political correctness. It is not the U.S.’s fault that the individuals creating the most worldwide havoc with bombings and beheadings of civilians are Muslims motivated by radical Islamic ideology. The U.S. is forced to take its enemies as and where it finds them."

The writer admits public relations doesn't seem to be the Trump Administration's strong point:

The new administration’s sense of urgency about delivering on the president’s campaign promises is admirable. But just because Trump said that he was going to do something during the election does not obviate the need to explain that action now. Trump will never convince the Left that he is not a fascist.

 I agree. There's nothing Trump can do to appease The Left. I don't think he'll gain anything by trying to play nice.

Magney vs. Humboldt Case Continues

The North Coast Journal follows up on the case developing against Humboldt County Adult Protective Services (APS) over APS fighting decedent Dick Magney's right to die on his own terms. Keeping in mind we're only getting the North Coast Journal's view of this sordid affair, we should all hope attorney Allison Jackson and Mrs. Magney prevail.

The main antagonist on the county's side in this was Blair Angus who is reportedly looking into election to a judgeship. A law professor explains, "...Angus' conduct in the case as "disturbing" and said the case should receive "substantial attention" during any vetting process for a judgeship."

You can bet it will, at least from me. I'll do whatever I can to oppose Angus' election from what I've read about this affair so far.

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Humboldt Man Hunting?

An exciting read in my daily Ozy e-mail this morning led me to this account of a game apparently being played across the globe. Human Foxhunts involve a dominatrix chasing her male slave across the countryside:

"Fifteen men stagger through the English countryside, naked apart from their shoes, paintball masks and groin guards. Their thighs are scraped and bruised from falling, their bottoms striped in red. When a whip cracks behind the men, one of them stumbles and falls. Dominatrix Mistress Medulla stands above her capture. At first he cowers, and then he submissively nods his head. He belongs to her for the rest of the weekend to trample, whip, gag and abuse as she likes — or at least up to the hard limits written on his leather collar."

 "Human foxhunts are an esoteric fantasy, even for the sexually adventurous BDSM crowd. Many involve corseted dominatrices chasing their prey through woodlands, their submissive quarry eager to be caught. The stalking takes place across the world — recent hunts were held in England, Australia, Florida and California. It’s a niche but growing area of female domination (femdom), where (mostly) men pay for the right to be subservient."

Sounds fun, doesn't it, although I'm not sure I'm in the physical condition anymore to give a good chase. It still might be fun to try. We have a couple of gals on this blog that might be game, and I mean that in the sporting sense. It might be fun to have our very own Julie Timmons dressed up in one of those outfits with her whips and chains chasing me through the woods. If she catches me, I get to enjoy a spankin'! I'm sure Sally would be game for it, too, but with her it might involve more than just a spanking.

The big question is how to make money from it and where to do it? The Mckay Tract area in east Eureka being turned into a community park might be perfect. I had a friend years ago that was planning on opening a paintball field up on Humboldt Hill. Why he never followed through with it, I don't know, but this might be so fun to do you'd almost have to stick with it, money or not. While I'm not sure I could outrun Julie T., it still might be a blast to get a spankin' when I get caught. What's not to like about this idea? Besides, it might put Humboldt on the map for something besides pot.

Health Effects of Marijuana

My Men's Health Daily Dose e-mail this morning has a link to a story on the health effects of marijuana. Nothing earth shaking, although it claims there's insufficient evidence to support claims of marijuana being effective in treating cancers:

"...the researchers concluded there’s moderate evidence showing no link between marijuana use and lung cancer or head and neck cancers. And there’s insufficient evidence to support a link either for or against pot and incidence of esophageal, prostate, and bladder cancer"

The article also says pot can exacerbate bronchitis:

 "...there’s substantial evidence that pot use worsens respiratory symptoms and causes more frequent episodes of bronchitis."

That's contrary to my own experience back when I used to smoke pot. I always felt it helped clear my lungs if only because I might cough up all kinds of stuff after I'd smoke it.

Regardless, the article closes with science's most common plea- more studies are needed: "..More research—comprised of high-quality, controlled trials and observational studies—still needs to be done, the researchers say."

Trump's Pick For Supreme Court

President Trump finally made his pick to fill the open Supreme Court seat. Reason magazine looks at the record Neil Gorsuch and, best I can tell, doesn't see much of a problem with him. The Sacramento Bee doesn't seem to have a problem with Gorsuch but does have a problem with Republicans having blocked Obama's appointee Merrick Garland. It should be no surprise the Daily Kos takes similar position suggesting Democrats should filibuster the Gorsuch nomination. Not because of anything in  Gorsuch's record, but because of the Merrick Garland affair. The usual partisan sniping with tit for tat.

I have some concerns after reading Reason magazine's evaluation of Gorsuch but he seems a fine enough choice for me. As the writer at Reason points out, "One thing is certain: The battle over the future of the Supreme Court has just begun."

Addendum: Another Sacramento Bee article has politicos actually giving reasons they do or don't approve of Gorsuch.