Saturday, August 31, 2013

Referendum to Repeal AB1266

AB 1266, recently passed into law, will allow school kids who "self- identify" as the opposite sex to use the bathrooms meant for the opposite sex. It also could potentially allow girls to participate in the guy's football team and vice versa.

A referendum effort has begun to repeal the law. That means getting it on the ballot so voters can overturn it. You can get your petitions here.

I consider myself a big time supporter of most LGBT friendly laws- same sex marriage, for instance- but I'll be supporting this referendum because I think AB1266 is bullshit. Having kids using bathrooms meant for the other sex, or at least having state law requiring it, is crap. Same goes for mixing guy sports with girl sports.

This is another example of the sponsor, Tom Ammiano, and other gay rights proponents pushing things beyond the limits of common sense and potentially making LGBT issues more polarized. It's unnecessary for the most part and I support overturning it. I hope the rest of you will do the same.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Saudis Supplied Chemical Weapons?

I'm skeptical of this story.

I've never heard of the Mint Press, although I may have heard the lead author's name before. The story is that some Saudi intelligence chief supplied the chemical weapons to rebels that were then inadvertently discharged in Syria. Something along that line, anyway.

There's just something in the way the story reads and is written that doesn't seem right to me. Maybe it's one of those propaganda sites? And where do you come up with a name like "Mint Press"? Sounds like something a non- english speaker might come up with for a web site meant for english speakers.

Still, I think such a scenario is more likely along the lines of what's been happening with chemical weapons in Syria, rather than the Assad regime using them.

That link took me a while to get to this morning. Either someone's trying to shut it down or it's getting a lot of traffic so be patient.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Manning Clemency Petition

I'm not real enthused about this but  went ahead and signed it. Here's one of those White House petitions asking the president to grant clemency to Bradley Manning. 79,628 signatures needed to reach 100k as I write this. Once it reaches 100k, the president is supposed to respond to the petition one way or the other.

Syrian News Censorship?

We've seen the mainstream media pretty much parroting the White House through this entire Syria thing, but this might be really over the top. Well, maybe it's something or maybe just a glitch. Check it out:

There was a headline on Yahoo/ABC News yesterday. Something about a U.N. Envoy's report on what he or they found at the location of the chemical weapons attack in Syria. You click on the link and there's the title and two sentences, then it's blank. The rest of the story is missing. It's been that way since yesterday.

"U.N. weapons inspectors have reached the scene of the alleged poison gas attack. Here's what they have to say."

That's it. That was yesterday afternoon and I haven't seen any update on this supposed story. Hmmm???

One gal commented to the story:

" They are afraid to print it tell the EU/US MSM is done with their mind control series on how Assad did it( remember the Kuwait incubator babies and Iraq WMD). It is on Free Trading News:Testimony from victims now strongly suggests it was the rebels, not the Syrian  government, that used Sarin Nerve Gas during a recent incident in the revolution-wracked nation, a senior UN diplomat said Monday.
Carla del Ponte, a member of the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, told Swiss TV there were “strong, concrete  suspicions but not yet incontrovertible proof,” that rebels seeking to oust  Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used  the nerve agent.
But she said her panel had not yet seen any evidence of Syrian government forces using chemical weapons (CW), according to the BBC, she added that more investigation was needed

I haven't checked further on her version of the story. We'll see what shows up. Wonder if someone at ABC spiked this story at the request, or under order, of the U.S. government?

Or, it could be some sort of cyber thing going on. There's news reports going around of some Syrian related group hacking news sites. My money is on a cover up, of course. But, if it is an attempt at a coverup, why did they leave the headline up?

Addendum: Ok. I did just try and see if I could find the Free Trading News the gal mentions. First results came back empty.

Update: Reuters reports the U.N. team will be leaving Syria Saturday and then reporting to the U.N. General Assembly. No mention of any preliminary findings. Interesting that it mentions the U.N. Secretary- General has been speaking with Obama on ways to "expedite the investigation". Inquiring minds want to know just what that means. Nothing to see here, folks?

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Syrian Chemical Weapons Hoax Blog

I find it appalling, even horrifying, that most mainstream media seem to be accepting accusations of chemical use by the Assad government. Fortunately there's some voices of reason popping up here and there now questioning what I brought up here some months ago: It's more likely the rebels have fabricated an incident to get the west involved.

When I first came upon Washington'sblog it was a breath of fresh air. It has a pretty good compilation of arguments against chemical use by the Assad regime, most of which I may have already brought up. Some that I haven't.

At first I thought it was the Washington Post Blog. Nope. It's not from a newspaper. Wonder who is doing it? I suppose it could be put up by the Russians- probably the only sane country involved in this- and I've seen at least one Russian propaganda web site before. The bloggers won't say.

It would still be hard to argue with the information presented and you've probably noticed the U.S. and the rest of the west doesn't even try. All they say is it's obvious the Syrian government did it with zero evidence to back it up.

I suppose evidence doesn't really matter. Chemical weapons allegations are just an excuse. The War Party has been pushing for involvement in Syria long before the first fabrications were made and it almost seems as if nothing can stop them from getting us involved now.

Addendum: Pat Buchanan agrees.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Anti- War Left

More from the Punk Rock Libertarians.

Typical Third Party Election?

The Richmond Times- Dispatch did a good job of presenting the frustration of running for office as something other than a democrat or republican. Voters aren't happy with the major party choices for Governor of Virginia, yet the media ignores the third candidate. It happens all the time.

"It also quoted Leslie Campbell, a 53-year-old homemaker: 'I wish I had more than two candidates,' she said. 'I wish there was a third choice.' The article doesn’t mention [Libertarian Party candidate] Sarvis once."

Thanks to J.D. Tuccille for the heads up.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Fire Alarms Don't Alert Fire Dept.

Most fire alarms don't, anyway.

The statement in this Times- Standard article really bugs me for some reason. There was a fire on Sea Ave. in Eureka. Nobody was home. Someone passing by called it in. Yet that article states, " Had the residence been equipped with a fire alarm system the fire department would have been notified much sooner and damage would have been significantly less."

Unlikely. Remember that there was nobody home. Most fire alarms just sound an audible alarm to alert residents in the house. Unless they had one of the expensive ones with a line to an alarm company, the fire department wouldn't get any notification from a regular alarm. The ones in our house don't call the fire department.

Just wondering why they'd bother including a silly statement like that?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Holder's Mandatory Minimum Talk

Today's Times- Standard editorial takes a look at Obama's supposed changing position on federally mandated minimum sentences for certain drug offenses. I pretty much agree. It's good to see even lip service given to sentences way out of proportion to the crime.

I'm not sure I'd expect much to come of this, though. After all, they're not talking about getting rid of those sentences entirely. They're just proposing some manipulation on the prosecutorial end. Besides, if Obama was really concerned about this he has the power to pardon those actually serving those sentences which he hasn't done.

When you really look at the timing on this it's more likely an attempt to appease his civil libertarian base and divert attention from the NSA spy scandal, among other things. I won't be holding my breath waiting for action on mandatory minimums.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Walking Map/ Calculator

A Facebook Friend pointed this out to me. It's a map that calculates your walking or running distances. I don't do walking or running anymore, but I tried to retrace one of my old running routes in Eureka from back in the early 80s. I drove that route in my car back then and measured it as about 6.5 miles. This application showed the same route as 5.5 miles. Don't know which measurement is more accurate.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Gun Stuff

More fun stuff from the Punk Rock Libertarians Facebook page.

Addendum: Radley Balko discusses some comments and criticism by police of his recently published book, Rise of the Warrior Cop.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Bill of Rights Crumbling

The Obama Administration is pushing to have courts allow searches of cellphone content without a warrant.

The City of Detroit is beginning stop and frisk despite the recent court ruling declaring New York's stop and frisk operations unconstitutional.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Humboldt Beekeepers

I've seen a couple Craigslist ads recently from people asking for a beekeeper to come remove beehives on their property. I sent them a link to the Humboldt Beekeepers web site. They have a "swarm" list there of beekeepers available for removing bees. Just posting a heads up here in case readers know of anyone else that needs bee hives removed.

U.S. No Longer A Free Nation?

The Future of Freedom Foundation's Jonathan Turley suggests America is not much of a free country anymore. Whether you agree with him, or not, I thought it was nicely written. I happen to agree and believe things will get much worse.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Times- Standard Agrees With The Freddy

The Times- Standard has an editorial this morning about the Eureka Mayor's Prayer Breakfast and invocation conundrum and pretty much end up agreeing with me? Must be the hard- hitting commentaries they've read here?

Friday, August 16, 2013

Product Review: New And Improved Yahoo& Google

One of my rare product reviews. This time I'll look at the "new and improved" Yahoo and Google e-mail programs. I'll review both since I use both. Strangely, they both showed up on my computer on the same day a week or so ago. My ratings are the same for both of them:

Likes: NONE

Dislikes: Everything

Enough said.


So true, albeit a little over simplified since libertarians aren't represented.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Libertarian Agenda

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Cindy Sheehan For Governor???

Cindy Sheehan, known for her camp out on George Bush's property years ago, is trying her best to stay in the limelight. After her unspectacular run for Vice- President last time around, now she wants to run for Governor of California, according to The Daily Caller.

Yuck! She is so gross, but I can't help but enjoy having a potential candidate not mince words. No sidestepping issues with her:

“Why are we only flooding capitols when there’s a Republican as a governor? My governor is a Democrat and he’s crappy. He’s an asshole!”

Be interesting to see what kind of press she gets during campaign season.

Monday, August 12, 2013

First They Came For The...

And some say we're being paranoid when we argue "What will be next?", every time another ban or law is proposed. Yet here's a local gal that seems to want to outlaw wearing of perfume in public places. What will be next after that?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

John Murray: Enough Railroad Studies

John Murray sounds a bit hostile towards the idea of more railroad studies in his Times- Standard My Word column. I'll have to agree, although I'm ambivalent, rather than hostile, towards the idea of re- establishing rail service up here.

Still, how many more studies will it take to finally accept that the idea doesn't pencil out well? Even the more recent study by the Harbor District shows the numbers don't look good. If someone has a better idea, I'm all ears.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

CA Drug Bill Needs Support

This just in from the Drug Policy Foundation. Support needed for SB649 which will reduce penalties for simple drug possession. The notice reads, in part,

"Any day now, the State Assembly will vote on a bill that would reduce harsh penalties for simple drug possession in California.

Take action and tell your legislator to end cruel sentences for Californians who are convicted of drug possession!

This legislation would reduce overcrowding in prisons by allowing prosecutors to charge drug possession as a misdemeanor, rather than an automatic felony."

The link takes you to one of those boilerplate letters that's e-mailed to your state assembly guy or gal. A phone call would probably be more effective. If you send the e-mail I'd suggest gutting their prewritten letter and writing a short one of your own. Even something as simple as "Vote YES on SB649 to reduce harsh sentences for simple drug possession" would be better than the lengthy letter they provide.

Be interesting to see how the vote goes on this. Also be interesting to see what actual effect it has on costs and space in jails and prisons.

Addendum: I received a confirmation of my e-mail from Wes Chesbro's office. It said e-mail communications need to be sent through the form on their web site. Use the Contact Us link.

Walmart Rags on The Nation Over Wages

Reason magazine takes a look at a little tit for tat in the minimum wage debate. Walmart goes after The Nation for not paying its interns enough.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

We Should Fear the Surveillance State

Peggy Noonan has an excellent blog post explaining why conservatives (and everyone else) should be concerned about the surveillance state.

While she alludes to it in her post- referring to NSA's release of surveillance information to the Drug Enforcement Administration- most commentators I've read miss a point:

As more thing are made illegal, both here and around the world, all of us could eventually become actual targets of the surveillance state. The old saying, 'If you have nothing to hide, you don't have anything to worry about', won't apply to most of us as time goes on.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reminds us of the ever expanding size and scope of the Transportation Security Agency.
And Pat Buchanan takes a sobering look at the threat of Al Qaeda and how we deal with it.

Monday, August 05, 2013

Life After Eureka

Anybody remember the Times- Standard's Donna Tam? She just wrote an article for CNet. I might not have noticed had I not read the reporter's profile at the bottom of the story.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Weird Earthquake

Just felt a weird shaker. Unlike the bigger ones, this one didn't shake the walls. Only thing that brought it to my attention was the Wedgewood stove behind me shook like the dickens and I could really hear the rattling. Maybe the Big One is on the way?

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Surviving A Plane Crash

Even if you don't fly much, you'll still want to keep these ten tips for surviving a plane crash in mind.

Hat tip to for the link.

The Future of Energy

Liberty magazine's Gary Jason takes a look at the future of energy. Natural gas is quickly replacing diesel and coal, but what about nuclear and fusion energy?