Sunday, August 26, 2018



Senator John McCain has been a true patriot – a defender of freedom serving first in the U.S. military, then the U.S. House of Representatives, finally the U.S. Senate.  He has demonstrated courage, honor and practiced bi-partisanship as effective governing requires.  
I have respected his efforts to be truthful with the American people, to speak truth to power, especially in a time when many do not.  I have not always agreed with his positions on issues but welcomed his sincere unselfish efforts to consider what is best for our country.

Senator McCain has succumbed to a glioblastoma brain tumor.   He will be missed, especially in this time when we really need champions of democracy, advocates for equality, protectors of our freedoms, leaders with ethical and moral values.

Thank you!    Rest in peace.
August 29, 1936 - August 25, 2018   

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This net neutrality issue continues to be pertinent to all of us which is why I’m updating California’s actions you can read about in my previous post.  California’s legislative SB 822 has passed.  Our state is one of many seeking to preserve these internet protections.  

Recent devastating fires subjected firefighters to experiencing first-hand what can occur with “throttling”, consequently they recognized this rules need as described HERE:

“CPF, which represents 30,000 firefighters as the state council of the International Association of Fire Fighters, “has come to conclude that if net neutrality is not restored, the effect could be disastrous to the public’s safety,” the statement declared.  “SB 822 will help prevent internet service providers from throttling, thereby preventing data speeds to be manipulated, and, in turn, avoid crippling, or worse, deadly outcomes.”

You may want to see what your state is doing on this issue so you can provide any needed support.  Reuters reports 22 Attorneys general and the District of Columbia have “asked a U.S. appeals court to reinstate... net neutrality rules and reject the Trump administration’s efforts to preempt states from imposing their own rules guaranteeing an open internet.”

“The state attorney generals suing represent states with 165 million people – more than half of the United States population – and include California, Illinois, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia.”

The states argue public safety could be harmed “the absence of open internet rules jeopardizes the ability to reduce load in times of extreme energy grid stress.  Consequently...the reliability of the electric grid”.

If California’s experience is any indication of corporate behavior in an emergency situation we can readily see how easily small businesses and individual internet users speed could be subjected to manipulation of rate charges....and why support of efforts to reinstate network neutrality rules is needed at the state level since our federal government seems to be failing to do so. 

Even though the U.S. Senate voted to keep the internet rules, after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) repealed them, so far the House of Representatives and the White House are still not expected to approve them. 

The states argue without net neutrality the reliability of the electric grid is threatened. 

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My day-to-day life has been relatively uneventful so far this summer which suits me just fine.   I have no serious drama to reveal which is a welcome state of affairs.  Well, there is at least one matter hanging fire, so to speak, that I’m keeping on a low burner while I ponder how, or if, I want to proceed with what I consider to be unwelcome action.   

I continue needing to sort and organize some materials, to more aggressively enter into right sizing, to consistently engage in exercising-type physical activity, to name a few activities awaiting my attention.   I seem to be lacking motivation to initiate these tasks until I’m lying in bed at night before falling asleep when I become enthusiastic thinking about them.  I have the best of intentions to pursue them the following day. 

I do continue my excursions to the grocery as needed.  Also, I always get my trash, recyclables and greenery bins out to the curb for pickup weekly.  This week I’ve been really unhappy to learn my favored hardware/gardening store is going out of business.  I did shop there since everything on sale.  Now I’ll be stuck having to shop at those big box chains.  My efforts continue becoming more difficult to support independents and smaller business operations as their numbers keep dwindling.    I prefer to continue shopping brick and mortar sites, using internet shopping only selectively.    

Meanwhile, I’ve developed and unhealthy practice of devoting too much time focused on self-gratification – viewing more TV than usual -- episodes of Dick Cavett’s talk shows on Decades that I missed when they aired years ago, plus some mostly music PBS shows.  Also, I keep adding more books to my over-flowing accumulation than my rate for reading them.   I indulge myself some days with occasional afternoon periods of time “just resting my eyes” as my mother used to say when I asked if she had been napping.   

I'm beginning to think I’m in dire need of a self-help group to hold me accountable for not using my time more constructively.  Doing so does not get any easier as I get older I’m discovering.   I may have to actually make a schedule for myself – then somehow make myself follow it -- which goes against the grain for my whole concept of retirement living.  But I’m keenly aware that my time is finite in a way it has never seemed before.  I don’t have unlimited time as it once seemed I did, though on some level I knew that wasn’t true even then.  I will have to review the booklet to renew my driver’s license soon, so maybe that will prod me into becoming more productive.

If there’s one fact I’ve learned over my lifetime it is wise to appreciate any lull in excitement as such a situation is always temporary.  Typically, it’s only a matter of time until the unknown future introduces some unexpected issue or event to challenge my tranquility.   Meanwhile, I ponder just how long can I legitimately indulge myself as I’m doing?  

Sunday, August 19, 2018


Net Neutrality may be resurrected in California as our House Assembly will be voting any day now on SB 822 and SB 460.  
California voters reading here, and readers who have resident family or friends contact them -- you and they are urged to call your California Assemblymember requesting they vote for these two bills as a necessary step to save net neutrality.     

Net Neutrality preserved in California could have significant future implications for similar provisions being instituted in other states, or eventually, maybe even nationally.  Time is of the essence with phone calls needing to be made now since voting is expected any day.

How California's net neutrality was sabotaged earlier this year is not a pretty picture.
California has been one of several states writing legislative bills to protect citizens from broadband providers being able “… to throttle some applications, or charge websites or services for “fast lane” access on their networks” after the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) undid such rules as described in this Wired story here.  

Expectations of passage for a first-in-the-nation such bill were unexpectedly dashed in May.               Democrat Miguel Santiago, Chairman of the Assembly Committee on Communications and Conveyance eviscerated those bills earlier this year by introducing and getting a vote on amendments weakening their provisions as reported by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (nonprofit organization defending civil liberties in the digital world). 

Democracy was manipulated by bipartisan corrupters -- both Republican and Democrat …..
Those amendments were introduced at 10 P.M. the night before the hearing and before the bill’s sponsor could argue for them the next morning.  This was after the Chairman the night before had refused a move to join the bills so there would be only one net neutrality bill.  These amendments were passed by the Chairman and seven Republicans and Democrats votes. 

“Democratic Chairman Assemblyman Miguel Santiago [had] stripped the bill of any teeth during the committee process, drawing rebukes from interest groups, and accusations that Santiago was being swayed by sizeable donations from the telecoms industry.”

Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener, a bill sponsor, has subsequently reached an agreement with Assemblyman Santiago to put the weakening provisions back in these two bills paving the way for California to pass the nation’s most robust net neutrality legislation” Chris Mills reports at BGR here (features news and commentary on mobile and consumer electronic markets.)

If the bill makes it all the way through both houses and is signed into law, it’s likely to face a complicated legal battle from telecoms providers. Under normal circumstances, FCC rules surrounding net neutrality would pre-empt any state law, making the California bill toothless. However, the mechanism that the FCC used to repeal the 2015 Open Internet Order didn’t just remove the net neutrality rules; it stripped the FCC of its own enforcement power, meaning that states may be able to write their own net neutrality legislation." (underlined emphasis mine)

*   * . *  * . *

A penny for your we’re nickeled and dimed…..dollared, too?  Reminds me…..

You can easily see what has prompted this next topic -- a fast food restaurant employee, then the manager on another occasion, deliberately withheld a penny I was owed in change.  When I called each of them on the error, at least the employee appeared chagrined, but the next time when the manager shortchanged me, I didn’t even get an apology, just a silly grin -- even after I said I lived on a fixed income and every penny counted.   I figure if he gets away with cheating me on a penny he might just decide to escalate the amount to see how much more he can get away with doing.

First they would take our pennies – rounding off to the higher number i.e. $6.00 if actual cost is $5.99 – then, could nickels be next, followed by dimes up to dollars, etc., I wondered.  This called for a Google search which led me to discover pennies are being phased out in Canada.  And…an economist there as reported in Global News has said the nickel could be next.  My concerns about escalation are not unfounded.

Coin elimination discussion has been occurring periodically, prompting pro and con responses you can access by clicking on either of these nation links: Great Britain,  U.S.  But could the paper dollar be turned into a coin?   Really?  Remember the Susan B. Anthony dollar?

Whatever your point of view, this minor insignificant coin issue does serve as a slight momentary distraction from all the other world matters boggling our minds. 

Eliminating the penny in the U.S. has not yet occurred.  Until it does, then I expect exact change when I make a purchase, and that includes receiving even one penny if that’s what I’m due.  If a business wants to keep that penny, then they need to ask my permission to do so or raise the price of their product to eliminate needing to give me a penny in change. 

Meanwhile, I’ll continue to count my pennies, pick one up from the sidewalk as I did when I was young, since finding a penny is considered to be a good luck sign.   

Now, I'm going to relax with some strictly instrumental jazz, without a vocalist's distracting lyrics -- Pennies From Heaven  -- Memories for me of Oscar Peterson at a Cleveland Club 

Recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1977
A tune from CD entitled “The Pablo All-Stars Jam” 
·       Bass – Niels Pedersen*
·       Drums – Bobby Durham
·       Flugelhorn – Clark Terry
·       Guitar – Joe Pass
·       Piano – Oscar Peterson
·       Producer – Norman Granz
·       Tenor Saxophone – Ronnie Scott
·       Trumpet – Clark Terry
·       Vibraphone – Milt Jackson