Friday, February 18, 2011

Big donations don’t always guarantee getting elected locally

I’m glad to see that less was spent in last year’s political campaigning locally, than in 2008. I think it’s great there’s a $500 cap now (as of Jan.1). It’s a good thing to keep local campaigning on a level playing field where democracy has a chance against big money.

From the Times Standard this morning

Eureka candidates spent over $130,000 in November election

“The November election showed that big donations don't always guarantee a win in Eureka. Bill and Elizabeth Pierson filed a major donor expenditure statement, indicating they donated $44,000 to five candidates in 2010. Three of those were to Eureka candidates -- Larry Glass, Ron Kuhnel and LaVallee -- all of whom were not elected.” Story here. 

‘Beyblades’ destroy tub: Mom sells kids' toys on eBay as punishment

Used to be, kids were made to take a timeout when they acted up, or maybe even a spanking. But now, parents have other options, like selling their treasured toys on eBay as punishment.

One mom, fed up with her boys' fancy spinning tops and how they wrecked her bathtub, decided to gather the offending tops — the popular Japanese manga Beyblade toy — and put them on eBay. She even posted a picture of her sons, one clearly in tears, while the younger one has a mug shot look, resigned to his fate, as he holds up the zip lock bag of Beyblades to present to the buying public. (See image above.) STORY HERE

Something to consider: Beyblades are supposed to be played with in a little arena provided for that purpose. The instructions clearly state this. Where was Mom when they were making a racket (they had to be) in the bathroom? How long did it take for the damage to show up? I suspect Mom should have watched her sons a little closer…

City to get RoboCop statue with fan funding

I’m not sure what kind of message a statue of RoboCop sends, but the idea of a police state (however fictional)top cop standing next to Boxer Joe Lewis seems…well weird!

From sci-fi cult film, to Twitter phenomenon to Detroit landmark-in-the-making.

Plans for a statue honoring RoboCop, the half-man, half-machine crimefighter of the 1987 movie, are moving ahead after a group of artists and entrepreneurs in Detroit, Michigan raised more than $50,000 via Facebook and an online fund-raising site.

The RoboCop statue could go somewhere downtown if the city approves, perhaps near the landmark fist statue honoring legendary boxer Joe Louis. Story here

Town changes name to SpeedKills in road safety campaign


A small town in the Australian Outback has decided to change its name in an attempt to persuade drivers to slow down. Story here. I can think of some Midwestern states where there are no speed limit laws, like Montana, that would benefit from naming a town or two SpeedKills.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

And in conclusion . . . What does one trillion dollars look like?

$100. We'll start with a hundred dollar bill. Currently the largest U.S. denominaATT00017tion in general circulation. Most everyone has seen them, slightly fewer have owned them. Guaranteed to make friends wherever they go

$10,000. A packet of one hundred hundred dollar bills is less than 1/2" thick and contains ten thousand dollars (Below). Fits in your pocket easily and is more than enough for a week or two of shamefully decadent fun.

ATT00020$1,000,000. Believe it or not, this nexATT00023t little pile is a million dollars (100 packets of $10,000 - right). You could stuff that into a grocery bag and walk around with it.

$100,000,000. While a measly 1 million dollars looked a little unimpressive, 100 million dollars is a little more respectable. It fits neatly on a standard pallet...below.



Pretty awesome, and still inconceivable despite the graphics.

Here’s Some Amazing Artwork by Russian artist Aton Semenov






to see more examples from the portfolio of this “darkly” talented artist.

Colombian military shows off homemade drug runner submarine

Authorities said that the homemade submarine was ready to be loaded with drugs when found in Timbiqui.

Authorities said that the homemade submarine was ready to be loaded with drugs when found in Timbiqui

“The Colombian military says it has seized a submarine capable of transporting more than seven tons of cocaine from Colombia to Mexico.” Story Here.

We all know what would have happened if this delivery had made it to Mexico. This shit would have been on America streets ASAP!

Why? Because we have porous borders…but what’s to be done?

20 Facts About U.S. Inequality that Everyone Should Know

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of things that aren’t fair in this world. It’s no secret that all Americans aren’t treated equally.

Still, if we’re aware of what isn’t fair, sometimes we can do something about it. 

From Homelessness, Health, to Intergenerational Income Mobility, here are 20 Facts about inequality in our society.

Fingers and toes point the way to detect disease dangers and more

I wonder what people who read palms thing about this study? Maybe it’ll give them more credibility. After all, the fingers are attached to the palms right?

“For that storied window to the soul, we give you the eyes.                   

But for a snapshot of physical wellness, a glimmer of hidden health risks, and a peek at natural strengths, we give you the finger.                    

Now, don’t go away mad: We actually give you all 10 fingers.            

According to a bevy of recent medical studies, your digits hold clues to disease dangers along with hints of sports prowess, financial acumen  and, possibly, your softer side.”

Story here.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Now’s not the time to play Fido! Cop quips: ‘I wish everyone traveled with their own personal drug dog’

Okay. Just when you thought you heard everything when it came to pot busts, this guy’s pit bull raises the bar. 

A sheriff's deputy didn't need a drug dog to point out a stash during a recent traffic stop. The driver's dog did it for him.

KGW-TV reports Sherman County sheriff's Sgt. John Terrel was pulling over a pickup truck Feb. 9 when he saw a sock fly out the window. It turned out to be stuffed with marijuana and hashish.

The driver told Terrel he was trying to hide the sock, but his pit bull mix grabbed it and wouldn't let go, enjoying a tug-of-war game.

The dog won the tussle and tossed the sock out the window, and the 32-year-old driver was indicted on drug possession charges.

Sheriff Brad Lohrey says he wished everyone traveled with their own personal drug dog.”

Source                                                                                                                      Image source

Wisc. Governor Makes a Threat to Sic the National Guard on Union Workers

If the National Guard is called out in Wisconsin,        workers across the country should take a page from Egypt and go out on a general strike.                          

“Last week, Wisconsin's Republican governor Scott Walker threatened to use the National Guard if his state's public employees go on strike in response to his proposal to strip them of the right to bargain collectively.

By merely mentioning the possibility of employing the Guard to prevent a strike, Governor Walker has threatened to militarize the attack on unions. The 150-year history of the American labor movement shows that such moves often lead to the deaths of union members.” Read article here.

Thousands descend on Wis. Capitol in protest – Story

Image: Protesters at Wisconsin State Capitol

Open Mouth-Insert Foot: If Jobs Are Lost As A Result Of GOP Spending Cuts 'So Be It' Boehner says

Boehner didn't cite a source for the claim that Obama had added 200,000 employees to the federal payroll. And he said he didn't have an estimate of how many jobs would be lost as a result of the GOP cuts.

But once the extent of the cuts is finalized, economists will provide them. And then we'll have an answer for a question Boehner made famous during the 2010 campaign: "Where are the jobs?!"


Wild Wednesday News: whining students, a lucky couple, and a girl with 12 fingers and 14 toes!

Teacher strikes nerve with 'lazy whiners' blog

Natalie Munroe

'My students are out of control,' teacher wrote in one post, drawing a suspension

“A high school English teacher in suburban Philadelphia who was suspended for a profanity-laced blog in which she called her young charges "disengaged, lazy whiners" is driving a sensation by daring to ask: Why are today's students unmotivated — and what's wrong with calling them out?”

Just in time: Couple claims lotto prize right before deadline

Raleigh Hill bought winning Mega Millions ticket last summer; lost track of it at one point

“A North Carolina couple has claimed a $1 million lotto prize just a day before it expired.

Raleigh Hill bought the Mega Millions ticket last summer. The state lottery agency said Hill and his wife claimed the prize Tuesday at the agency's headquarters.”

Girl with 12 fingers, 14 toes reaches for a record

'She seems to have a stronger grip on things — so she doesn't drop things much'

Image: Sixteen-month-old Lei Yadi Min

“A mother in Myanmar says her baby girl's 12 fingers and 14 toes have been no disadvantage — her grip may even be stronger than normal — and now she's grasping for a Guinness record.

Phyo Min Min Soe, 26, knew her girl Le Yati Min had a little something extra since nearly the moment she was born.

"I asked the nurses whether my kid was born complete with hands and legs," says her mother. "They replied that the baby even has more than she needs."

Born with 12 fingers and 14 toes, Le may be the most "digitally enhanced" person in the world. Now, the 16-month-old girl's family in impoverished Myanmar is seeking a Guinness World Record to prove it.”

  1. More world news

    1. Image: People take part in the funeral of Sanee Zhaleh in Tehran

      Iran opposition defiant as clashes continue

      Updated 116 minutes ago 2/16/2011 3:36:15 PM +00:00 Iran's opposition leaders remained defiant despite calls from hard-liners for them to be put to death, with one saying he was willing to "pay any price" in pursuit of democratic change. Full story

    2. Updated 0 minutes ago 2/16/2011 5:32:47 PM +00:00 First Egypt-style protests hit Gadhafi's Libya
    3. Updated 26 minutes ago 2/16/2011 5:06:58 PM +00:00 Protests spread across Yemen, demonstrator dies
    4. Updated 67 minutes ago 2/16/2011 4:25:08 PM +00:00 Bahrain protesters step up pressure on rulers
    5. Thousands flock to see Prophet Muhammad's hair


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Time to call it a day…


U.S. used lies by Iraqi defector 'Curveball' to help justify the Iraq war

Image: Marines in Fallujah

History is slowly unmasking George Bush’s Regime. The lies they passed on to you and I about WMDs were based upon information gleaned from the likes of this Iraqi defector who went by the codename “Curveball.”

He has publicly admitted for the first time that he made up stories about mobile bioweapons trucks and secret factories to try to bring down Saddam Hussein’s regime.

"I had a problem with the Saddam regime," Rafid Ahmed Alwan al-Janabi, who fled Iraq in 1995, told The Guardian newspaper. "I wanted to get rid of him and now I had this chance."Al-Janabi’s information was used in part by the U.S. as justification for the invasion of Iraq in March 2003. More than 100,000 people, most of them Iraqi civilians, have died in the war. Story Here.

Poster Boy for Sleaze John Edwards investigation: Charges near?

He’s back! Edwards was the ‘As It Stands’ runner up candidate for ‘Scum of the Year’ in 2010, and now he’s back in the news.

A two-year grand jury investigation of John Edwards has reached a decisive point. Prosecutors believe they have a strong case, but have not yet gotten a green light from the Justice Department to charge the former presidential candidate.

The issue: did Edwards violate election laws by trying to cover up his affair with a campaign videographer, Rielle Hunter. Did you know she got a million dollars hush money from John Boy!

“It would be surprising now if he wasn’t indicted,” said Stephen Saltzburg, a former federal prosecutor and George Washington University law professor. “If John Edwards was aware that money was being paid to hide his mistress... and it was done to help his campaign, then he’s in trouble.” Story here

Lawsuit claims Pentagon turned blind eye to military rape victims

The lawsuit specifically names Defense Secretary Robert Gates and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, as defendants, charging that both have failed to take aggressive measures to deal with the problem or follow edicts from Congress.

War is hell. More so for women in the military than men however!

Because the military has long been considered a macho organization mainly comprised of men, women who enter it today face a gender bias and mistreatment.

This has been true for decades. Because they chose to live in this macho culture, they pay the price for serving their country.

Fourteen current and former members of the U.S. military were charged in a lawsuit filed today. They believe the Pentagon turned a blind eye when they reported being sexually harassed, assaulted and raped by fellow service members while on active duty.


“I felt completely isolated and alone and really scared. Here I was, in the middle of a foreign country in the middle of a war,' plaintiff in lawsuit tells NBC News.”

Read the story here.

Monday, February 14, 2011

‘To Be or Not to Be’–who qualifies as a Humboldt Blogger?

imagesCARRUQPOAfter two-and-half years of blogging I found out that I may not be a Humboldt Blogger!

This recent news came from one of my favorite Humboldt County bloggers – Heraldo at the Humboldt Herald. The way I understand it (after emailing back and forth with Heraldo) is when he/she redesigned the blog he/she decided my blog “As It Stands” was NOT really a Humboldt Blog.

After being on the Humboldt Herald’s blog list since my first blogging experience in 2008, I was was surprised, and disappointed with this decision. It felt like I was being banned because I didn’t measure up to Humboldt Blogging standards. Nevertheless, Heraldo asked me if I wanted it to be listed again when I contacted him/her? I said yes. He/she graciously did and the links are back for As It Stands and As It Stands II. Meanwhile it looks like I should do some soul-searching.


Maybe I’m not a Humboldt Blogger. Perhaps I don’t deserve to be listed as a blogger behind the Redwood Curtain. Let’s see what you think. Do I deserve to be awarded that coveted (by me) moniker “Humboldt Blogger?” I better trot out some credentials and leave it to you, oh viewer, to decide:


* Attended HSU in 1979 and w070213_if_a_tree_fallsas the co-editor of the Osprey Magazine on campus, and editor of the Veteran’s Gazette.

* I was the publisher of the Arcata Union, The Triplicate, and the Redwood Record from 1987 – 1989. I also worked for “Redwoods United” in Humboldt County getting developmentally disabled adults jobs from 1989 -1991.

* I’ve lived in Humboldt County (off and on with the exception of a few years down in SoCal) since 1979.

* I was among a group of people who started the veteran’s Stand Down’s in Humboldt County in 2006. The event continues today, still serving veterans who could use a hand up-and not a hand-out.

* I’ve been writing a Sunday opinion column (As It Stands) in the county’s only daily newspaper – The Times-Standard since July 2008. Prior to that my column appeared in the now-defunct, Eureka Reporter, for nearly two years.

* I still have connections with people in Humboldt County who are movers and shakers. Most recently, County Supervisor Jimmy Smith (who read my column about not havinimagesCAICBJ50g prescription drug turn-in centers in Humboldt County) contacted me with the assurance that the county would rectify the problem. He encouraged the local agencies involved to put one together and they had a successful “Pick-up Day” last December. A first for the county. I’ve known Jimmy since the 1st Stand Down in 2006, when he supported our efforts to help veterans.

* I do write about local issues in my newspaper column and in this blog. Granted, not all the time, but they’re there in my blog archives, and the T-S archives, for your inspection.

Maybe the above is not enough to qualify as a Humboldt County blogger. After careful thought, I’m asking my readers if this blog is Humboldt worthy? Perhaps I’ve been living in a fool’s world and Heraldo woke me up to reality.

In the first place, he/she has every right NOT to put a link in for my blog. Just because he/she did at one point, it doesn’t lock him/her in for life. His/her blog is getting a make-over, and he/she’s been weeding out the chafe (as it were.) Nothing wrong with that. We all need change from time to time.


I thank Heraldo for showing me that I need to sharpen my focus on the world around me in Humboldt County, and have less national and international news if I want to be considered a “Humboldt Blogger” like him/her.

Up till now, I thought I was a Humboldt County Blogger, and maybe I am…but I’d really like to GET YOUR COMMENTS on this subject just to set me straight. 

Finally, if there’s certain local issues you’d like me to write about please don’t hesitate. My email address is or you can make comments at the end of this post.

Wife stops tiger attack on her husband with wooden soup ladle

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

In honor of today, I present a good wife and lover saving her husband from a tiger by hitting it with a cooking appliance. Now that’s what I call love! Go Cupid!

I like to think my mate would do the same thing if I was out hunting squirrels one day and was attacked by a pissed off striped kitty cat this big! 

“A woman in a jungle region of northern Malaysia rescued her husband from a tiger attack by clubbing the beast on its head with a large wooden soup ladle and chasing it away, police said Monday.” STORY HERE

Sunday, February 13, 2011

As It Stands: A public menace: Smart phones in the hands of prisoners

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 02/13/2011 01:30:35 AM PST

If smart phones seem to be everywhere nowadays, that's because they are. Prisoners across the nation enjoy their benefits daily. They can call in a “hit” or request exotic foods delivered to their cell.

A convicted murderer can coordinate a robbery or an escape with equal ease. Prisoners can organize strikes, as seen last year when several strikes hit the Georgia prison system thanks to the networking ability of prisoners' smart phones.

Authorities discovered that they punched in text messages and assembled e-mail lists to coordinate simultaneous protests with inmates of other prisons. Using pseudonyms, they were able to share hour-by-hour updates on Twitter and Facebook.

Cell phones are prohibited in all state and federal prisons in the United States. Without going into all the ingenious ways cell phones are smuggled to prisoners, suffice to say they're a fact of life and an increasing problem for the nation's prison security.

Analysts for California's Senate Public Safety Committee flatly stated they believe employees are a big part of the problem. “All indications are that the primary source of cell phones smuggled into prisons is prison staff,” they wrote in a report last year.

Rebutting that accusation, guard union spokesman JeVaughn Baker told the Los Angeles Times, “Sure, there are instances where officers have brought them in. But to say that prison staff are the most likely smugglers of cell phones is simply inaccurate.”

“This kind of thing was bound to happen,” Martin F. Horn, a former commissioner of the New York City Department of Corrections, told the New York Times on Jan. 2, referring to the accessibility of smart phones in prisons. Horn, who now teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said, “The physical boundaries that we thought protected us no longer work.”

Thus far, authorities are using various cell phone detection systems, with mixed results. Smart phones still find their way into prisoners' hands. Federal Bureau of Prisons workers confiscated 1,188 cell phones in the first four months of 2010, according to Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office. An estimated 10,000 phones were discovered in California prisons last year, according to a Feb. 3 article in the Los Angeles Times.

So what's the answer? How do we fight this growing menace to society? One idea was to jam cell phones in prisons. Last year, prison officials from 30 states petitioned the Federal Communications Commission for permission to install technology that would solve the problem.

Chris Guttmann-McCabe, vice president of regulatory affairs for CTIA-The Wireless Association, told the press the FCC action would be a violation of the Communications Act of 1934. He also argued that technology is not really advanced enough to stop transmissions in a prison and not affect the immediate area around it.

That's not the end of the story. There is hope. The Mississippi prison system recently installed a possible solution. This new system establishes a network around the prison that can detect every call and text. Called managed access, it tells callers they aren't on an approved list and the phone ceases to function. The cell phone industry thinks this system is a good idea and has been supportive of it.

 Several states are looking into managed access, and I wouldn't be surprised to see it catch on, if it works as advertised. I guess the other chink in prison authorities' armor is finding the actual cell phones. I read where Maryland and New Jersey are testing dogs to sniff out the ionization of cell phone batteries.

I think what concerns me most is no matter how notorious or high-profile inmates are, they manage to get their hands on cell phones. For example, Charles Manson, one of California's most notorious inmates, was recently found with one inside his cell at Corcoran State Prison for the second time in less than a year!

Ironically, the use of smart phones might not be a problem in prisons in a couple of years. According to a Jan. 8 article in the Washington Post, if things don't change soon, smart phones may contribute to the collapse of the country's 3G cellular network system. That would mean everyone, including prisoners, police, emergency services, and you and I wouldn't have any service. The article warns that technology has to catch up with rapidly increasing usage by 2013 or we face a world without smart phones.

As It Stands, experts agree that a reliable cell phone detection device in prisons is the only workable way to stop their illegal use. The question is, will smart phones even be around by the time detection devices are perfected?

Websites carrying this column:

CorrectionsOne -

MySmart Phone Info cell phone news from all over the net

Slash Phone

Cell Phone; shop online


Federal Bureau of Prisons


Best cellular phones – News

Elexical Systems –Security and phone systems online

New Customer Survey cell info

Georgia Newswire – Topix

Google News – Cell phones

Prison NewsWire

Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...