Monday, October 31, 2016

Libertarian Presidential Thoughts

This fellow, over at Liberty Unbound, does a good job of describing many of the players involved in this election only to end by pretty much endorsing Donald Trump using the wasted vote argument. He's spot on for most of his tirade, It's still strange to see that over at Liberty:

 "A vote for the Libertarian Party is not a vote. It is an expression of opinion, and as such, honorable. But a voteis a political, not an expressive, device. A vote is supposed to do something, or keep something from being done. The Clinton regime laughs at expressive votes. It hopes you will go ahead and express yourself by voting for anyone except a person who would check the Clintons’ power.
That person is Donald Trump."

And Lori Heine equates Gary Johnson to Gary Cooper.

Steve Murphy makes the case that the fights breaking out at Trump rallies are started by Democrat operatives. Reads as believable to me, which isn't intended to take away from Trump's skill at making things happen:

 "The provokers are members of labor unions and homeless communities, including mentally ill individuals, whom Foval has recruited, trained, and paid to make trouble at Donald Trump campaign rallies — every instance of which has been incessantly covered and condemned by the mainstream media as trouble made by Trump himself."

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Politics In The Gym

I thought this a cute article in the Ozy e-mail list's mailer for today. The credit is given to Eugene Robinson, although I'm not sure he's putting himself in the role of the one making the pro- Trump argument. I do like the way he describes partisan beliefs yet keeps himself clear of that fight:

"The allegations have definitely been troubling. Who wants to hear that about a guy you’re supporting? But most people who are against him are going to believe the charges, and those that support him are going to write them off. I try to be objective and not inject what I want to be true vs. what the evidence says."

That really is true. If someone is a supporter of one or the other candidate, they'll blow off unpleasant accusations. Opponents would most certainly believe them. I like the way the writer points that out.

Since Sally has exposed and embarrassed herself as a Trump voter, I guess her and I are going to have to go to the gym and duke it out, regardless of what we want to believe.

As an aside, I find that Ozy e-mail list interesting. Not sure how I got on it but they often include at least one story I'll find interesting each day. There's a link to sign up for the list at the top right of the page.

Sign Tom's Petition

My internet buddy, Tom Knapp, has a petition up at he needs signatures on. Not exactly political. He's addressing it to Ebay in regards what he feels is a deceptive way of listing items for sale. Please go here to sign the petition. Don't worry. I won't peek to find out your names.

Times- Standard: Eureka's Ward System

The Times- Standard has an informative article describing Eureka's ward system and identifying boundaries (I'm in Ward 2). Nothing in the article convinces me the city would benefit from true ward elections as per Measure P.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A Better Man Than I

I just got back from Winco after buying a Grinder sandwich from Leonardi's. Pretty busy there, but one fellow stood out: A guy I'd guess in his 40s wearing a Trump t- shirt and one of those red Make America Great Again hats.

I couldn't help but think he looked the fool. I realize I have Gary Johnson signs in my yard and on my truck, but Trump? I'd be too embarrassed to publicly claim any support for him. A better example of how balsy he was was that I couldn't get up the nerve to ask him how he had the guts to walk around in public like that, knowing probably everyone else in the store also thought him a fool.

I wouldn't have the guts to do that. I'll give him credit for being a better man than I for having guts.

Beware A Clinton Presidency

I've made no secret of hating Hillary Clinton's guts, so it would be hypocritical of me to say presidents don't matter much, then turn around and say it would if we had another Clinton presidency. With that in mind I still found this Washington Examiner article a good read. The author notes that while Trump is bad, a Clinton presidency has the potential to be much worse:

"Donald Trump, if he had his way, would be a strongman president — an American Vladimir Putin or Hugo Chavez.
But Trump won't have his way, and so his brand of authoritarianism is at most a faint threat. It's Hillary Clinton's authoritarianism we most need to worry about....
Unlike Trump, Clinton will have broad elite support in her campaigns to trample individual liberty."

He's got a point and I hadn't thought of it that way. It's unlikely you'll have media or those in congress effectively criticizing her, should they criticize at all. The writer goes further in saying Trump will likely face stiff resistance whatever his agenda might be:

 "Nearly the entire media (including most conservative commentators), all of academia, and most corporate leaders would resist Trump's efforts to curb the freedom of the press, circumvent due process and revive "Operation Wetback." Trump probably wouldn't have the follow-through, the knowledge or the institutional support even to get these initiatives off the ground."

More good points. He makes a good case. We live in scary times, indeed.

Prescription Expiration Dates

I've posted on this before, albeit some time ago. Many people assume the expiration dates on prescription medication should be followed verbatim. That's not exactly true as this article in Back Door Survival points out:

"... with that thought, the Shelf Life Extension Program (SLEP) was developed.  The SLEP tested over a hundred drugs in their possession and found that the vast majority were 100% potent 2 to 12 years beyond their listed expiration dates."

So when the big one hits and you can't get refills for important prescription drugs, you can still use the old ones.

Friday, October 28, 2016

That Nursing Home Thing

i am sensitive to the concerns of those protesting local nursing home closures as the Times- Standard reports. I will have to admit to not understanding what can be accomplished by their protests.

Seems to me the company owning the homes has decided to throw in the towel, for whatever reason. Are the protests supposed to get government to stop the closures somehow?

Believe it or not I'm all for government trying to help solve the problem, but what can government do? Force the homes to stay open?

My questions might have been answered in the Times- Standard article, except I couldn't read it due to the paywall (this despite being a subscriber to the paper's hard copy). Yet KIEM- TV ran a story on this last night and I was still left wondering what the protests hoped to accomplish.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

We're Just Trying To Help?

A writer at explains the causes and results of recent U.S. involvement overseas. I was unaware of the skullduggery going on in Syria before things got out of hand:

 "The US had been involved in fomenting unrest in Syria at least five years or more before violence broke out. A WikiLeaks-released cable from 2006 shows how hard the US Embassy in Damascus was working to figure out a way to overthrow the government. Shortly after the partially manufactured protests devolved into violence, the CIA moved in and began arming (and importing) rebels to finish the deed. In five years the country has been destroyed, hundreds of thousands killed, millions left without homes."

Where's All The Campaign Signs?

Marcy Burstiner, journalism expert over at the North Coast Journal, points out something I suppose I'd noticed but paid scant attention to: There seems to be fewer campaign signs in people's yards compared to elections past.

She points out that what signs are out there are mostly for city council races. True that. She's referring to Arcata but it seems to hold true for Eureka, too.

I've wrote here before I find those signs rather annoying, despite being one who regularly has them in my yard. People don't seem to understand when I suggest those signs are akin to yelling at people as they pass by your house: VOTE FOR GARY JOHNSON! and so on.

I suspect the reason for the dearth of sign this time is the lack of candidates people want to admit supporting, with historically low opinions of the top two presidential candidates this year. 

That wouldn't explain the lack of Johnson signs, but I'm used to that. My personal experience has shown libertarians are more timid than most when it comes to expressing political opinion publicly. I believe the only Libertarian Party candidate signs I've seen up here since I became involved with the LP in '92 are ones I've put up. Same goes for bumper stickers, although I do recall seeing an "Enough is Enough, Vote Libertarian" sticker on a car in Arcata decades ago. Not sure whose car that was.

I was pleasantly surprised yesterday to see a Ken Anton/state assemblly sign up I don't believe I had anything to do with. Over on Eureka's Little Fairfield Street. Wow! Someone other than me with an LP sign in their yard??? How can this be? I did give a sign to a lady on Pine Hill who said she was going to put it up elsewhere- on Washington Street, but that's a ways off from the this one. Nice to see, though.

The dearth of signs is fine for me since that gives the LP a bigger percentage of signs out. Even just the three signs I put up on I street. I felt I'd pulled a coup when I got those out on such a busy street. Sadly, last time I drove by they were gone, either stolen or perhaps the homeowners felt self conscious of the signs as so many libertarians do and took them down. I didn't want to put the homeowners on the spot by asking what happened.

In the meantime, I still have Anton, Johnson and Fullerton signs in my yard, although I moved the Fullerton one to my living room window to avoid vandalism, never mind the strong winds blowing at the time.

I suppose it's all for naught when you think of it as they're not there forever. I take my signs down as soon as the polls close and suggest everyone else do the same. It's rude to yell at people when there's no reason to.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Meteorites On The Moon

Meteor impact on the moon was mentioned in comments the other day with me wondering whether the Moon's lack of atmosphere allowing most meteors to strike it might create dangerous conditions for humans that might be there. Earth/Sky News comes to the rescue, although they didn't really answer my question. No mention of how many meteorites hit the Moon on a given day, except for there being a lot. 

But they kinda answered one question I had: the difference between meteors and meteorites. I'd understood that meteorites where just small meteors but had seen the two terms seemingly intermixed: "though I don’t recall ever hearing a strict delineation, we tend to think of asteroids as huge mountains of rock or metal in space. We think of meteoroids as smaller-sized space debris, and those smaller bits are what these scientists are mostly talking about here."

I still want to know if those meteorites are numerous enough to pose a threat to astronauts. I suppose I should write them and ask.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

AVA Endorses Ken Anton for State Assembly

Mendicino County's Anderson Valley Advertiser has endorsed the Libertarian Party's Ken Anton, in his run for 2nd district, state assembly. Ken lives in Elk in Mendocino County. No explanation provided but I'm not complaining. A win's a win! 

They do explain their recommendations for the ballot initiatives, though, and those are a good read and some make better sense to me than some of the recommendations I've read from larger papers.Their explanation of Prop 60- the porn condom initiative- starts off and remains a bit odd:

"Boonville's beloved newspaper has always argued that pornography itself should be banned."

In the AVA's own words: whatever.

Be sure to stop by Ken's campaign page at to see what he's all about. He also has a campaign Facebook page.

Five Misconceptions About Syria

The article's title says "FiveStupendous Lies" but I'd prefer not to use that word. Lying infers someone is deliberately gives false information. I don't think most within the War Party lie about their motivations for military intervention. 

As we've seen in comments here, many really believe even worse things will happen if we don't become militarily involved in every squabble across the globe. That's not to suggest lying doesn't go on, but that most believe what they say about Syria and many of those that make the claims listed below really do believe them.  

The Huffington Post seems pretty spot on with the misconceptions they list. The author elaborates on his points in the article:

1: The world will not forgive us for inaction in the face of mass atrocities in Syria.

 2: The carnage in Syria would be diminished if the United States provided military assistance and intervened on behalf of moderate Syrian rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad, the Russians, and Hezbollah.

 3: Russia will gain at our expense.

4. If Aleppo succumbs to President Al-Assad and President Putin, international terrorism against the United States will spiral.

5. The credibility of the United States as the leader and defender of the free world will be devastated.

Hat tip to for the link to the story.

Monday, October 24, 2016

My First Amber Alert

I received my first ever Amber Alert on my cellphone an hour or so ago. It surprised me, partly because of the noise my phone made but mostly because I didn't know I was on their list. 

I was standing in my garage with my phone about three feet behind me when it made a large buzz and started vibrating. I thought at first the phone might be overheating. But, nope, I took a look and a black window with white text appeared advising me of an Amber Alert. Those are for missing or abducted children.

Further investigation showed a 7 month(?) old girl had been abducted in Sonoma County- from Guerneville, if memory serves. I tried to find that alert online just now but was unsuccessful. No pictures for you!

Update: The Times- Standard and Santa Rosa Press- Democrat covered the Amber Alert today. Photos there, if interested.

Dealing With A Stressful Election

Time magazine tells us this presidential election is a significant source of stress in many people's lives. They offer tips for dealing with it.

It's not that big of a deal to me, believe it or not, despite my multiple posts related to it. I'm normally amused, albeit also a bit sad, when I hear of Republicans and Democrats arguing among themselves over what I consider tweedledee and tweedledum. One difference in this case is I usually have one major party candidate I'll deem my favorite. I can't say that this time.

So go ahead and get pissed off and upset, or maybe follow Time's tips for dealing with the election. Just leave me out of it, please. I'm just along for the ride.

That Aleppo Thing

Everyone keeps picking on Gary Johnson for his supposed debacle of not knowing what Aleppo was during an interview. Slate magazine shows us it's not uncommon for those who should know better to make the same sort of mistake:

" a gentleman named Christopher Hill who was the U.S.'s ambassador to Iraq under Obama also made the Raqqa/Aleppo mistake while ostensibly having a laugh at Johnson's expense"

Libertarians Set To Win In Iceland?

The Washington Post looks at Iceland's election which should finish up this Saturday and new poltical party- The Pirate Party- that could end up the victor despite being less than four years old:

"Its members are a collection of anarchists, hackers, libertarians and Web geeks. It sets policy through online polls — and thinks the government should do the same. It wants to make Iceland “a Switzerland of bits,” free of digital snooping. It has offered Edward Snowden a new place to call home."

To heck with that Free State Project moving to New Hampshire. They should head to Iceland. 

As far as Snowden goes, what's to stop them from letting him go there now, although I realize traveling there for him would be easier said than done.

Info On Prop 61

Capital Public Radio has an article with info on Prop 61, that prescription drug initiative on the ballot next month. After reading the article, I'm still not sure about it, although I voted No on it the other day when I turned in my absentee ballot. From what I can discern from the article I have no problems with my No vote. If nothing else, this initiative does have potential for problems in listing and pricing of drugs.

I do know I went into the Eureka Veteran's Affairs office not long ago to see about getting a refill on  a prescription. I was told one drug was "V.A. drug", but mine wasn't. At the end of it all, the clerk told me to have my doctor renew my prescription and just have it sent to Rite Aid pharmacy then they'd take care of it in one way or another.

I figured why bother and just went to Rite Aid to have the prescription renewed. I'll probably try it again with the V.A. next time. I"m wondering if we did something wrong? 

That does give me the feeling, though, Prop 61 might well be a mess if passed and implemented. How much it will affect the consumer remains to be seen.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Prop 56: Proof Libertarianism Doesn't Work?

I was over at Kym Kemp's news site this morning scolding some commentators for their support of Prop 56. That's the once again increase in tobacco taxes on the ballot next month. I went on to ask them why they feel ok attacking the country's smallest minority and those least able to defend themselves. 

I suggested it's no different than walking up to those folks, hitting them over the head and taking money from their wallet, as are all tax increases people vote for that apply to someone other than themselves. The thing here being they feel it's ok because it's done from the safety of the ballot box.

Then I got to thinking about something our very own Johnny Maniac (of Lost Coast Outpost fame) told me once while discussing electoral stuff. He said, in so many words, if we didn't have rules and laws for everything people would go around killing each other every day, to which I disagreed, but this Prop 56 issue makes me wonder if there's something to that?

Most of you wouldn't beat someone over the head and take their money. The reason it's ok to do with Prop 56 is because it's deemed legal, plus your protected by the ballot box, thus no harm likely to come to you.

That goes to show people will aggress against other people if they feel they can get away with it. Not much different from us attacking other countries because we can do it with little to no harm to ourselves. Or levy a tax on something a minority likes. What are they going to do...try and defend themselves against a majority?

Maybe Johnny Maniac has a point, but I'm not so sure. Under the libertarian system the minority should be allowed to defend themselves to the extent that they can. And under a libertarian system, minorities would hopefully be protected from the majoriy.

If a smoker went into that Cancer Society crowd mentioned in Kym's article and started throwing punches, he or she would be arrested under current laws. That's despite that being pretty much what that crowd is proposing be done to the smoker. But, maybe those in that crowd would think twice about attacking that smoker in a libertarian future?

That's a pretty long, convoluted explanation. Perhaps I can summarize it this way: Prop 56 proves many people have no problem attacking others when they feel they can do so at no risk to themselves. Putting myself out on a limb, that would be contrary to libertarian beliefs and the way libertarians see people and society.

Clinton Leaks Not By Russia?

This news outlet I've never heard of before claims the DNC and Podesta e-mails were not stolen by Russia. A former embassador claims he just knows:

 “l can tell you with 100% certainty that it is not any Russian state actor or proxy that gave DNC & Podesta material to WikiLeaks.” – former UK Ambassador Craig Murray

Can't he tell us who did steal them, and how does he know Russia didn't do it? He doesn't say. I'm not suggesting Russia did do it, but consider me skeptical of those claims.

Saturday, October 22, 2016

Who Cares About Accepting Election Results?

On the subject of presidential debates, I don't really get all the apparent shock over Trump saying he might not accept the validity of election results unless he wins. So what?

I realize we're all supposed to have faith in our electoral system, but so what if some guy says he doesn't? I'd say there's a lot of truth to what Buchanan wrote: I've heard news casters express fear that people might lose faith in government:

As Pat Buchanan points out:

"The establishment is horrified at the Donald’s defiance because, deep within its soul, it fears that the people for whom Trump speaks no longer accept its political legitimacy or moral authority."

 "Establishment panic is traceable to another fear: its ideology, its political religion, is seen by growing millions as a golden calf, a 20th-century god that has failed."

Over at the Future of Freedom Foundation, Jacob Hornberger seems to feel the same way:

"I just don’t get why the mainstream press and Hillary Clinton are so outraged over Donald Trump’s refusal in the debate last night to accept the results of the presidential election in advance. What’s wrong with waiting to see if an election is crooked before agreeing to abide by its results? Or are Clinton and her acolytes in the mainstream press suggesting that the United States, as the exceptional nation, simply does not have crooked elections, like unexceptional countries do?"

Schiaparelli Lander Crashed

Awwww....shucks! I guess that Shaiaparelli spacecraft that was supposed to explore Mars crashed on landing. An orbiter supposedly shows a picture of the crash site from way up but I can't see the "white speck" they say might be the lander's parachute.

I  actually remembered to watch the landing yesterday morning but, when I checked the livestream, all I saw was what seemed to be Martian landscape much like the crash photo albeit with even less detail.

Clinton, The Debate and Gun Control

The Cato Institute looks at Hillary Clinton's remarks about gun control during that last presidential debate. I have to shamefully admit I watched the first twenty minutes or so of that debate, if only because there wasn't anything else I wanted to watch on- most news shows having been pre- empted for the debates.

I naturally felt Hillary was full of crap with her trying to come off as being pro- gun rights. I didn't think Trump came off as much better. He seemed unfamiliar with the issue and to be just making his arguments up on the fly, as he often seems to. Had he used some of the points in the Cato commentary, he might not have looked so foolish to me:

" So what does Secretary Clinton mean when she says that Heller was wrongly decided? Both dissents in Heller would have upheld a law that effectively banned handguns. Both dissents would have upheld a law that rejects the ability to defend yourself from criminals in your own home as a fundamental right. Or would Secretary Clinton reject both dissents in favor of some fourth view of the case?
Her position is vague and ambiguous. To say that you accept an individual right to bear arms but also believe that the government can ban individuals from owning handguns or operable long guns in the home raises the question of exactly what this individual right does protect."

A Look At Libya and Ghaddafi

Interesting look at what happened to Libya and Ghaddafi from Eric Margolis who knew Ghaddafi and seems to have spent some time in that country. This week marks the 5th anniversary of Ghaddafi's killing:

"Western special forces intervened behind the cover of a popular uprising.  Khadaffi’s rag tag forces quickly collapsed and rebel groups seized power, murdering Khadaffi in the process.
The west got Libya’s high-grade oil and was rid of a thorn in its side. Khadaffi told me that if he were overthrown, Libya would splinter into its tribal mosaic – which is just what has happened. Chaos reigns as warlords backed by the US, France, Britain, Italy and Egypt – and a small ISIS contingent – fight over bleeding Libya. Decades of development that made Libya Africa’s leader in health care and education were wiped away."

How The War On Drugs Started

Interesting info on the beginning of the War on Drugs over at The Daily Sheeple. According to them it was a sort of conspiracy by the White House. It reads as believable to me. I was unaware marijuana was made illegal at the federal level in 1970.. I was under the impression it happened long before that:

"Nixon aid John Ehrlichman told journalist Dan Baum in 1994, according to an article published in Harper’s Magazine in 2016, the truth about the origins of the War on Drugs:
You want to know what this was really all about? The Nixon campaign in 1968, and the Nixon White House after that, had two enemies: the antiwar left and black people. You understand what I’m saying? We knew we couldn’t make it illegal to be either against the war or black, but by getting the public to associate the hippies with marijuana and blacks with heroin, and then criminalizing both heavily, we could disrupt those communities. We could arrest their leaders, raid their homes, break up their meetings and vilify them night after night on the evening news.
Did we know we were lying about the drugs? Of course we did."

Friday, October 21, 2016

The Wasted Vote

You laugh, but it's true!

Asgardia: A Real Battlestar Gallactica?

I suppose it wouldn't be considered the Gallactica since it won't be really going anywhere but Earth's orbit, but Earth/ Sky News tells us of a new space idea:

Asgardia, according to the article, is going to be a large space vessel that will be akin to an idependent nation (and they are recruiting, although how you apply to be a citizen isn't exactly clear). The vessel is supposed to circle the Earth and "create a “protective shield” from threats to life on Earth, such as space debris, coronal mass ejections and asteroids.".How they can protect us from coronal mass ejections or anything else doesn't seem to be explained. We only have their word.

Anyway, a neat idea that gives any number of people the chance to apply and go into space.

The Garage Door Opener Risk

The Lost Coast Outpost tells us of a new program by the Eureka Police to try and reduce vehicle related theft: they're leaving notices on cars telling whether that car passed or failed their security test. They have a list of things to consider based on a cute acronymn:

C – Close all windows.
L – Lock all doors.
E – Eliminate all belongings from plain view.
A – Always take your vehicle keys.
R – Remove garage door openers.

Mention of garage door openers got my attention as we've been having a bit of a headache with that lately with our garage door opening without us having anything to do with it. I can only assume someone else has a garage door opener that works on ours.

As I wrote in the LoCo, years ago- I believe it was on The Today Show, I watched a segment where they pointed out manufacturers generally set all door opener frequencies, by default, to the same frequency. Thus, if someone has the same model door opener, theirs might well work on yours.

Starting probably a couple months ago, our garage door opened mysteriously with neither of us having anything to do with it. I blew it off when the wife mentioned it, then took it more serious when it happened to me. 

I was sitting here at the computer just before noon with the door in the kitchen that goes to the garage open. All of the sudden the garage door opened. Hmmm??? Nobody standing outside so I assumed someone was just driving by trying to see which garage doors he could open so he could come back later and rip us off.

No evidence of anyone having come back, but it had me concerned. What we do now is unplug the motor for the garage door. That way, even if someone has a  compatible opener, the motor won't come on anyway. And that's a pain in the ass as it also means we can't open the door from the outside, either.

I still haven't called the company in town that services our garage door to ask for advice on any alternatives. I know how to change the motor's radio frequency but figure the bad guys can do that, too. Maybe I'll call Eureka Overhead Door today.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

In Tribute To Jill Stein

Lest anyone think libertarians don't have anything good to say about those in other political parties, this fellow writes a tribute to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. He's clear not to call it an endorsement:

"Let this essay not be seen as an endorsement of Jill whom I have known for many years.  But this essay is intended as a tribute to her."

Rome Didn't Fall In A Day

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Bernie Sanders: Election is Rigged

Assuming this is true- that Sanders actually wrote this, it cracks me up, although I doubt Sanders' unendorsement of Clinton will mean much:

 "We are talking about a rapid movement in this country toward a political system in which a handful of very wealthy people and special interests will determine who gets elected or who does not get elected."

Addendum: This news site says it's not true that Sanders unendorsed Clinton. The Denver Post seems to think Sanders is still very much supporting Clinton, although the story is a couple days old.

Possession of Wikileaks Material Illegal?

CNN claims possession of documents released from Wikileaks is illegal by the average citizen. That's kinda scary but this article clarifies and says that's not necessarily the case. As they point out, if we stuck to that, "possession of the Pentagon Papers would lead to the arrest of tens of thousands of citizens". 

So don't be too worried. Besides, how they going to catch you?

As an aside, What bothered me most about that article was CNN suggesting we'd just have to get the information from them. No, I don't trust them and shudder to think of back in the day before internet when we had no choice but to get our news from them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Brits Certify CBD As Medicinie

Funny how a totalitarian state like England can be so far ahead of us on medicines. From the S.F. Chronicle:

"The British government has acknowledged that marijuana can be used for medicinal purposes. Officials from the U.K.'s Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) recently announced that products containing cannabidiol (CBD) can be considered medicine, reports the Huffington Post. 'We have come to the opinion that products containing cannabidiol are a medicine,' said the MHRA, in a statement to the press. 'Products for therapeutic use must have a medicines' license before they can be legally sold, supplied or advertised in the UK. Products will have to meet safety, quality and effectiveness standards to protect public health.' The review came as a result of discussions with the CBD vaporizer company MediPen, and concluded that CBD has a 'restoring, correcting or modifying' effect on 'physiological functions' when administered to humans."

Another Halloween Hater

Maybe I'm not the loneliest guy in the world? This commentator over at Liberty Unbound isn't happy about Halloween, either, but his dislike is mild compared to mine and for different reasons. Maybe he and I can get together to start an "I Hate Halloween" Facebook page?

Watch Shiaparelli Land On Mars

Earth/Sky News tells us how we can watch the European Space Agencies' Mars probe, Shiaparelli, land on Mars tomorrow (Wednesday) starting at 9:15am Eastern Time. That's like 3:15 in the morning Pacific Time, Yikes! Maybe I'll tune in later for some Mars footage, assuming all goes well.

Their livestream channel is already a bit curious to look at, although no space stuff to see right now.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Reason Looks At California Ballot Initiatives

Reason magazine takes a look at our November ballot initiatives. They don't make exact recommendations, although they do make their feelings known in their commentary. Here's the closing line on Prop 56, the tobacco tax that will also apply to vaping:

 "The Royal College of Physicians concluded vaping is “at least 95 percent safer” than smoking—making Prop 56 a tax increase that could actually harm public health." 

In other words, vote No. You can click on the text of the initiative to get more information, including pros and cons.

Police Opinions

Some of you may have noticed Captain Steve Watson of Eureka Police wrote a commentary on Prop 64, the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. He's opposed to it. I'm not sure, but I think I'd still be bothered if he'd come out in favor of it. Maybe not as much, but still bothered.

What bothers me is police telling us how we should feel about issues. The police are the cutting edge of government power. I'm not saying they shouldn't be able to voice opinions, but it seems to me somewhat inappropriate for them to suggest what laws are passed. 

It might be appropriate for them to chime in on how those laws are enforced since they're in the unique position of seeing those laws enforced, but that could lead to another can of worms. Could you imagine a police officers union writing it's perfectly okay for suspects to be beaten upon arrest?

I'm not trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill. I'm just suggesting a possible conflict of interest in our electoral and law making system if the enforcers try to dictate to us what laws are made and how they're enforced. Some might say that would be an affront to "our democracy". 

I say democracy be damned, but that would be a valid point. We don't want enforcers telling us what laws we should accept. It should be the other way around. But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be allowed to express opinions. I almost feel this rant is akin to attacking the messenger rather than the message so back to the message: Yes on Prop 64!

Facebook Rumor

I'm reading apparent rumors on Facebook of the demise of wikileaks- wikileaks being the web site of Julian Assange, known for spilling state secrets. The first one I read said "government forces" had shut it down. A second one said Assange had been killed. I'm skeptical, if only because I was able to access the Wikileaks web site. I guess that proves the first rumor incorrect?

We do live in dangerous times as far as government is concerned, thus I find the rumors believable. If you know more about this, please do tell.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Tuccille's Blog Lives!

I used to frequent J.D. Tuccille's blog but stopped for some reason. I thought he'd gave it up. I just noticed today it's still up and he's still posting so I've added it back to my blog list.

Those of you with blogs that aren't posting, better do something. We don't want to clutter up the internet with a bunch of dead blogs.

THC On Measure V

The Humboldt Consequential is opposed to Measure V- the proposed mobile home rent control ordinance and makes a good argument against it.


Leave it to Times- Standard columnist, Tim Martin, to remind me of Webelos. For those that don't know, that's some upper level you achieve in the Cub Scouts. I wouldn't know of the word except for spending a short stint in Cub Scouts myself.

We lived in Mexico at the time. Not sure how old I might have been but old enough to join Cub Scouts. I think my parents enrolled me but it seemed fun enough what little I remember of it.

I only remember one meeting. It was raining real hard and the adults weren't sure what to do- the rain having ruined whatever plans they'd made previously. One of the den mothers (that's what they call the female adults in charge) came up with a fun idea.

We went over to someone's house and opened their garage. We were given large soup cans, the big ones of over 30 ounces. We cut the end off one side, then used a can opener to punch triangular holes around the other side. I forget how we did it but we also made a big square hole in the side with the end removed.

Then what you do is take newspapers, roll them up and stuff the in the square hole. You light them and when they're burning well enough you take hamburger patties and lay them on the top to cook.

We made hamburgers that way with our own makeshift stoves. A good time was had by all as I recall. Good enough for me to remember it, anyway.

The only other thing I vaguely remember doing in Cub Scouts was going on some camping trip of sorts. We all drove to some really pretty valley with a creek running through it and had any number of activities we'd participate in. 

I don't recall doing the activities. I just remember finding a piece of quartz in the creek that had yellow specks on it. I showed it to my dad figuring it must be gold. He seemed as excited as I was about it, or so he made me think, but that didn't earn me that Webelos badge. You had to really work for that one.

Any Webelos out there? I'm wondering what the word originated from?

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Mcmurdo Station Cam

I might have posted this before, but for new readers, here's a link to a live web cam of McMurdo Station in Antarctica. I got the idea of reposting while watching X- Files last night, except they were at the North Pole not the south.

Johnson Leads in Mock Ohio Poll

A strange election indeed, especially if this story is true. The Ohio Secretary of State supposedly ran a mock presidential poll with Gary Johnson coming out in the lead, at least so far. Seems fishy to me if only because I wouldn't think it appropriate for a Secretary of State to run a likely easily manipulated mock poll. I would think the SoS would leave the manipulation for the real election:

" In Ohio mock voting, reportedly done through the Ohio Secretary of State’s office, Gary Johnson leads Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in a landslide. Johnson (at time of publication) was receiving 30.11 percent of the vote with a total of incoming 76,014 votes. Donald Trump got 35,171 votes for 13.93 percent of the vote, and Hillary got 27,393 votes resulting in 10.85 percent."

Even stranger when you consider the following:

"To put this in perspective, in 2012 Gary Johnson only got 49,293 votes from Ohio in the general election in 2012." 

Then again, did anyone catch that segment on the election on NBC News last night? They did a seconds long interview with a younger black guy. I'd guess he was in his 20s. They asked him who he was voting for and he said "Gary Johnson". That was it. No one else was featured. Maybe some surprises in store, but I doubt it.

Oh, and Hank Sims looks at the pros and cons of Eureka's Measure P over at the Lost Coast Outpost.

Our Failed Free TV Experiment

Readers will recall I posted earlier this month about wanting to try the Free TV Key I saw advertised on TV. It's just an antenna you connect to your TV to pick up broadcast signals rather than using cable or satellite.

We received our antenna in the mail yesterday. Just a piece of plastic maybe a foot long. Breaking with my tradition of holding off on doing anything productive, I tried to see if it would work right away.

First problem was the instructions that came with it had print so small I couldn't read it even with reading glasses. Since the wife reads small print better than I do, I asked her to try and figure out what to do- an exercise in the blind leading the blind, no pun intended.

I barely managed to get the antenna screwed in to the jack on the back of the TV- not a lot of room there for my fingers- and wondered if I even had it in the right place, but the wife later said I had it on the jack labeled "Antenna". Then we turned the TV on and I was expecting the worst.

First, we had to find the right input source for the TV to use. Since I couldn't read the instructions I wasn't sure which one to look for. We found HDMI1 and 2, or whatever they were, but no signal. We tried some of the other sources that showed up on the screen, still no signal.

After about 20 minutes of trying to find a signal we gave up. Then I had to hook the cable back up and hoped I could remember where I unplugged the cables from. I plugged Suddenlink back in, turned on the TV and it worked! Whew! I certainly didn't want to have to call Suddenlink up and have to have  them come to my house to bail me out.

So for now, no free TV. That was a bit of a hassle. Not sure I want to make another go of it.

Friday, October 14, 2016

My Voting Adventrure

Hah, hah. I nullified all your votes today by going in and voting for Gary Johnson. Don't feel too bad, though. Now you don't have to bother voting and wasting that vote. Besides, you didn't really want to vote for Clump, did you?

It took me a bit longer than I expected. I went to what used to be the Elections Office on Harris Street, between H and I streets but it had been moved. I'd actually heard of that previously but thought they just moved to the other side of the building. 

Nope, they moved some ways away. I went into the Planning Dept. and one of the clerks, seeing my ballot, asked if I was looking for Elections, then gave me a small piece of paper with the new address. Off I went to find it.

It said they were at Humboldt Plaza on the 2600 block of 6th street. I'd never heard of Humboldt Plaza but wondered if it was the same as the old mall where Umpqua Bank was. After driving south of Myrtle Avenue on 6th Street a couple times I didn't find any numbered buidlings over 2500 so figured it must be north of Myrtle Avenue.

Nothing much on that side of Myrtle except the old mall so I drove straight there. There was a large sign on the side of the building: Humboldt County Elections and Voter Registration. I pulled into the parking lot, went into the office and asked the clerk if she could verify my signature would pass their scrutiny. She told me the signature they had on file and the one on my ballot were almost a perfect match.

Years earlier I'd been at Elections and brought up the signature/ absentee ballot issue. I wrote my signature on a piece of paper and asked the clerk if they would have accepted it. She said they wouldn't as they were too far apart. She didn't show me my old signature, but I could guess what it looked like. I gave them a new one for their records- probably the same one they used today.

This time the clerk- don't remember the exact words- told me signatures weren't too big a deal. Pretty much the opposite of what I was told years earlier.  But they accepted mine then pointed me to a large mailbox type container behind me being used for early ballots. I dropped it in and left. In that short moment I wasted all your votes.

Then I went home after stopping by Henderson Center Rite Aid to get a flu shot. What an adventure, huh?

I'm Off To Vote

I'm heading out to the county elections office now to turn in my absentee ballot. I'd mail it, but I want to make sure my signature will be accepted. The rest of you probably shouldn't bother voting since I'll have nullified your vote before you even cast one. 

But, if you're voting as I instructed here earlier on, feel free to join me.Then we'll make a group thing out of it and your vote will be counted.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Candidates Needed?

The North Coast Journal looks this week at the lack of candidates for local offices. It seems all cities in the county, save Arcata, are suffering from a lack of interest from citizens in seeking office. I can't help but wonder how things would go if they just left those seats empty? Not that I'm recommending that.

Maybe if they all switched to true ward voting, as in Eureka's Measure P, people would be lining up to run?

Why don't I run? Nah. Not only would I lose, it would cut into my drinking time.

One of those petitions to free someone from prison for a drug violation:

Few In Jail For Pot?

This Washington Post article caught my attention because its story is contrary to what I've been hearing as of late. Whenever discussion of drug use, or legalzing drug use comes up, I've heard time and again lately that very few people are in prison of possession of marijuana alone. 

I'd take their word for it although years ago the story I'd hear was along the lines of the Post article:

 "... police make more arrests for marijuana possession alone than for all violent crimes combined."

Of course, that says arrests. Whether that also means incarceration is unclear, although they also point out, "The report reinforces its point by noting the lengthy sentences handed down in some states for possession of small amounts of drugs.". Again, not too specific.

I suppose it's a moot point since we're still referring to people being arrested or jailed for something they eat, drink or smoke, but it still leads to horrific consequences for those arrrested:

 "In Texas, for instance, 116 people are currently serving life sentences on charges of simple drug possession. Seven of those people earned their sentences for possessing quantities of drugs weighing between 1 gram and 4 grams, or less than a typical sugar packet"

Seem to me, the bottom line is rather than nitpicking the specifics of what illegal drug was involved, we should stop getting involved in what people decide to eat, drink or smoke.

Along that line, there was some discussion the other day over at the Santa Rosa Press- Democrat over the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. One gal commented that legalizing marijuana would likely encourage users to try other, more harmful, drugs.

I replied I doubt that would be the case, although there's no accounting for the ways individuals react to situations and various stimuli. I felt it would likely end up with the opposite effect: Since users would be dealing with legal substances, the dealer might well be, too, so the user might not be exposed to illegal drugs. 

With it illegal, the dealer is essentially a criminal (even in his own eyes) so wouldn't see it that much of a leap to get involved with other illegal substances and might turn the user on to other things. 

No way of knowing unless we end the war on drugs, although looking at the two most popular presidential candidates now, it won't be happening soon.

My Letter To The Mayor

Thanks to whomever made me aware of kids going door to door on Halloween being panhandling, I wrote a letter to  Eureka's Mayor suggesting something be done to control the situation:

Mr. Mayor;
You may be aware I'm no fan of Halloween. However; someone just pointed out to me that Halloween does involve panhandling, albeit not by the homeless. The City has done its best to discourage panhandling by the homeless and less well off. Shouldn't we discourage panhandling by young children as well? Unlike panhandling by the poor being consistent with the human right to ask for help, Halloween kids generally can't use that excuse.
Always wanting to leave choices open, perhaps we could require a permit from families that want to partake in this mass panhandling operation? Maybe that's not necessary, but we should consider cracking down on panhandling by all these kids somehow.
Warmest Regards;

Fred Mangels

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Halloween Sucks!

Long time readers here know I'm not a fan of holidays. It doesn't really matter which one: Christmas, Easter...yep, I'm a real stick- in- the- mud, but proud of it.

The point I want to make here is those of us that don't put up Halloween decorations likely aren't interested in participating. Don't come knock, knock, knocking on our front door. That would seem to be common sense yet parents of those damned trick or treaters seem to encourage their kids to knock anyway.

I think we make it fairly obvious we're not interested: No decorations, all but one or two lights on. What does it take to get those little shits to leave us alone?

Truth be told, I think the wife enjoys participating, but she doesn't overtly tell me. She'll say "some people enjoy doing that"- meaning her, but that's her and not me. Leave our house alone on Halloween, please.

P.S: and then there's adults that you think would know better. I was over at Johnny Maniac's earlier today and he asks me if I'll help him put Halloween decorations up. Whatever, but being a year or two older than me you'd think he'd have outgrown this sort of thing. I should have slapped him. I wonder if all the Bernie and Hillary fans suffer from arrested development?

It's probably not to soon to stop by the I Hate Christmas Facebook Group. I'll drop in there tomorrow.

 Fred, Eureka's stick in the mud

Mike Rowe On Voting

Mike Rowe, of television's Dirty Jobs, is one of my favorites. He responds today to a fan who writes asking him to use his power to encourage all his fans to vote. Mike doesn't disappoint, pointing out that voting for the sake of voting, when you have no idea what the issues are, is senseless:

"Remember – there’s nothing virtuous or patriotic about voting just for the sake of voting, and the next time someone tells you otherwise, do me a favor – ask them who they’re voting for. Then tell them you’re voting for their opponent. Then, see if they’ll give you a ride to the polls.

"So no, Jeremy – I can’t personally encourage everyone in the country to run out and vote. I wouldn’t do it, even if I thought it would benefit my personal choice. Because the truth is, the country doesn’t need voters who have to be cajoled, enticed, or persuaded to cast a ballot. We need voters who wish to participate in the process.

Spot on. I love the guy. If you want to stay updated on his wisdom, subscribe to his Facebook page.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fewer Panhandlers in Eureka?

KIEM- TV News had a segment last night looking at the anti- panhandling ordinance the Eureka City Council passed earlier this year. Most seem to think it's been effective in reducing panhandling. KIEM's poll today asks if you've noticed fewer panhandlers with 65% responding they have noticed fewer. 

As for me? I really haven't noticed, but still feel outlawing panhandling, violates the human right to ask for help, whether the ordinance works, or not.

SacVee Argument: No On Prop 56

I'm surprised to see the Sacramento Bee allow an argument against Prop 56 to be published in their paper- the Sacramento Bee editorial writers having spent so much of their time running down tobacco companies and all. But this lady did a good job:

"Several wealthy special interests, including health insurance companies and hospitals, are backing Proposition 56, which will put $1 billion a year of new tax revenue into their coffers. That’s why they are among those who contributed $16 million to put Proposition 56 on the ballot and get it passed."

Read more here:

Monday, October 10, 2016

Eureka Getting New Streetlights

Like many of you, I received a letter in the mail a few days ago advising that PG&E will be replacing all the city's streetlights with newer, more energy efficient LED lights. It will be interesting to see how they compare with our current lights.

It may surprise some of you I'm not too worried about the expense, though there's no mention of how this will be paid for. It would seem to save money over  time as LEDs use less energy, but how much will they save and will it end up being cost effective? You'll recall we have an abundance of natural gas in the state, yet natural gas got more expensive anyway, so paint me somewhat skeptical.

Even if there's a spike in costs to begin with, I won't complain too much. The one problem I will have is if we all end up paying more forever on our utility bills only for the hysterical notion that the new lights will save the planet from climate change, which is what this is supposedly all about.

More info on PG&E's web site here.

Sunday, October 09, 2016

Don't Waste Your Vote

Joe Dehn, Chair of the Santa Clara County LP, makes a good case for not wasting your vote on the Clumps. Gary Johnsoncentric, but still a good case:

"Trump and Clinton are horrible choices for President. ....your vote here in California can't possibly make a difference in which one of them ends up in the White House. The Democrat always wins the popular vote in California, and will get all of California's electoral votes as a result -- unless the election is a landslide in the other direction nationally, in which case the election will be decided before the polls even close here."

Letter: No On P

I like the way this letter writer to the Times- Standard makes a case against Measure P. Simple and direct, without the conspiratorial tone of my recent arguement:

True ward’ promoters should tell the truth about Measure P. The statement for voters in the sample ballot reads like proponents are doing us (the voters) a favor by restricting us to voting only for a candidate from our ward.
We want to be able to vote for other candidates from other wards as well. The argument that it’s too hard or too expensive to campaign across Eureka doesn’t hold water. Eureka’s not that big of a city. If you want to campaign, put on your walking shoes, and show up at events, like Kim Bergel and Virginia Bass did (among others), and they still do. They represented all of us, not just folks from one ward. Please vote no on Measure P.

 Jean Scheffler, Eureka

Don't worry, Jean. I'll be voting No.

Another TV Gimmick

We're always looking for a way to get away from high cable TV fees. Last night we saw a commercial for  Free TV Key. It seems to just be a compact antenna you connect to the cable plug on the back of your TV. Then you can watch broadcast stations- those being sent out like radio waves- for free.

It was only $19 and change to get one, although they don't advertise they charge $7.99 for shipping and handling. Still, a cheap enough experiment so I ordered one. 

We can plug it in, try it for a week and see how we like it. My one concern is whether MeTV and BBC are available on broadcast or just cable. Clear TV says they can't provide cable only channels.

We'll see how this works. If it's good enough, it could save us a bunch of money each month.

Saturday, October 08, 2016

Newspapers Endorse Prop 64

A number of newspapers have come out supporting Prop 64- the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This page lists a bunch of them- 10 including the Long Beach Press- Telegram. The Orange County Register being on the list comes as no surprise. Its endorsement reads much like the Long Beach paper's.

I'm not sure how much newspaper endorsements help or hinder candidates or ballot initiatives- I know of some people who vote the opposite of newspaper endorsements, depending on which paper. If they help, these endorsements may be a sign that Prop 64 will pass.

States Most likely To Legalize Marijuana

Reason magazine takes a look at the states with marijuana legalization on the ballot this year, taking a guess- an educated one- as to which ones will succeed in doing so and which ones won't. They say support is strongest in California. Maine and Massachussets seem to have the greatest numbers against, at least from the poll numbers they could find.

As an aside, I was surprised when talking with that customer's daughter the other day. She seemed to have a very simplistic view of the election, expressing a generic dislike of Clinton and Trump. 

I was still surprised when the one ballot initiative she brought up was our marijuana one: "One thing I know I won't vote for is to legalize marijuana".
 Whew! I didn't expect that from her even though I don't know her well.

Huff. Post: Hillary Is The War Machine Candidate

It's with great pleasure to see a strongly left wing paper, the Huffington Post, tell it like it is, declaring Hillary Clinton the War Machine candidate. There were some examples I hadn't been aware, or wasn't too sure of. One thing I didn't know at all was that hubby, Bill Clinton, set us up for the eventual attack on Iraq:

" On October 31, 1998 President Clinton signed the Iraq Liberation Act that made it official US policy to support “regime change” in Iraq."

Maybe I'd have known that if I had a computer back then? Kinda frightening to think of all the things that slipped by us when we only had TV news to go by. I know I pretty much believed everything I saw on CNN back then.