On pleasant places to live

On February 6, 2014, in General, by Neil Stevens

Oh, the decisions we make for economics:


And note that it’s actually worse than this: Moreno Valley’s down months from June to September are due to a dry heat, which to me is infinitely better than DC/Arlington’s frozen winters and less warm but wet summers.

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On Earthquakes

On March 12, 2011, in General, by Neil Stevens

When a person feels an earthquake, it tends to come in one of two varieties. There’s the brief, sharp jolt that comes from being near a minor earthquake, where one receives the localized high-frequency waves, and there’s the low rumbling that comes from being further away a larger earthquake, where one receives the low-frequency waves that travel further. Earthquakes strong enough to defy these two categories, strong enough to matter and close enough to be felt fully, are rare.

Throughout my entire life, there has been only one earthquake that left me with genuine concern for my surroundings, if only for a couple of seconds. This is true despite my living my entire life in earthquake country, apparently across town from an offshoot of the mighty San Andreas itself. That earthquake was an otherwise unremarkable earthquake in 2005. About 16 miles away from me a magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck Yucapia. This earthquake lasted just long enough, and shook just hard enough, that as it went on I was concerned for serious damage if it lasted too long or got any stronger. Fortunately it was only a 4.9 and did no such thing. However when it started I was sitting right where I am right now, at my desk. Though at the time I used a plain, old 6 foot plastic table as a desk, its top warped from my old, heavy computer resting on it for years. That warping, combined with the shaking, was causing a cup I had on the desk to slide.

When you’re used to earthquakes, they don’t cause you to panic. But when they hit, any sensible person will pause and evaluate the situation. That’s what I did when this one hit. I remember sitting there, staring at my cup as it shook, and realizing that this could be a big one. I had a moment of genuine surprise before I finally grabbed my cup to keep it from falling. And then, as the shaking continued, I got seriously concerned… just in time for the shaking to stop, and life to go on.

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My California Ballot, October 16, 2010

On October 16, 2010, in General, by Neil Stevens

This is a relatively easy ballot to fill out this time. California Democrats are just that bad, down the line.

Governor: Meg Whitman. Easy call. No matter what you think of her, Jerry Brown was a disaster of a governor, and he has the nerve to ask to go back. That’s unacceptable.

Lieutenant Governor: Abel Maldonaldo. This guy probably doesn’t have any fans among conservatives, but seriously: Gavin Newsom is a whack job. Again, easy call.

Secretary of State: Damon Dunn. No problem voting for this guy who ran that other whack job Orly Taitz back to the fringe where she belongs.

Controller: Tony Strickland. Solid pick.

Treasurer: Mimi Walters. Bill Lockyer is so pathetic. Just go home. You’ve been in Sacramento too long.

Attorney General: Steve Cooley. The choice is LA or SF, and we all know what SF is every single time we look at Nancy Pelosi. We can’t afford a Nancy Pelosi Democrat that we get in Kamala Harris.

Insurance Commissioner: Mike Villines. This could become an especially important job as the Obamacare era comes to the state and insurance battles continues. We need a Republican.

State Board of Equalization, District 3: Michelle Steel. Again, do we really need more Tax and Spend Democrat up there?

US Senate: Carly Fiorina. A pro-life Republican for the first time in the Roe era. We can do it.

US Representative, District 45: Mary Bono Mack. Hey, she voted against Obamacare, and we know Steve Pougnet will alternate between padding his wallet and padding the treasury.

State Assembly: Brian Nestande. We need all the sanity we can get up there.

Judges: I really don’t know these judges, but I know that our last two governors have been terrible, with even the Girly Man appointing extremist left-wing judges, and so by default I’m rejecting every judge up there.

State Superintendent of Instruction: I’m not up on this race and so I’ll just do the opposite of the LA Times and vote Tom Torlakson. I don’t know if he’s any good and frankly I don’t think this should be an elective position. The Governor should control this.

Moreno Valley Unified School District Board: I got a flyer from the local union, and I’m voting the opposite: Anyone but Cleveland Johnson, Oscar Valdepena, and Jesus Holguin.

And now onto the propositions:

Proposition 19: Cannabis legalization. If this passes I admit I will enjoy watching California fight for federalism, but I can’t support it. No.

Proposition 20: Congressional redistricting goes to the Arnie/Democrat-created Commission and out of direct oversight from the voters. The goal is to gerrymand for the center left and away from conservatives. No.

Proposition 21: A car tax. No.

Proposition 22: Enforces an earmark specifically for transportation, redevelopment, and local government. Part of California’s budget crisis stems from idiotic restrictions like these draining power from the legislature. It tries to mandate higher spending in essence. No.

Proposition 23: Suspends AB32, the California Cap and Tax, until unemployment is sustained at or below 5.5% for a year. I’ll take what I can get. Yes.

Proposition 24: Tax hike on businesses. No.

Proposition 25: Changes requirement to pass a budget (and raise taxes) from 2/3 majority to simple majority, thus permanently removing the one bit of leverage conservatives have. No.

Proposition 26: Implements a 2/3 vote requirement for certain new local taxes. Yes.

Proposition 27: Eliminates the Arnie/Democrat-created redistricting Commission. Ensures districting stays with elected officials. Believe it or not but the gerrymander helps conservatives have a voice in the CRP and then cause trouble in Sacramento come budget time. Yes.

Riverside County Proposition K: Bond issue for trains. They say it’s also for freeways but you know that these people just love big train boondoggles. No.

Riverside County Proposition L: Lock in massive, unaffordable benefits to unions. Union boondoggle with scare tactics behind it. This isn’t driven by “public safety” but rather by union fatcats. No.

Riverside County Proposition M: Allow adjustment of the aforementioned union benefits via popular vote with no hidden pro-union restrictions. Yes.

Moreno Valley Proposition N: Advisory vote on having an elected Mayor. Yes, even though it’s only symbolic. The city is poorly run and I’d love for there to be a counterweight to the clearly ineffective city manager system.

Moreno Valley Proposition O: Advisory vote on having an election to change city law to have an elected Mayor. Huh? Well, for the above reason, Yes.

Moreno Valley Proposition P: Hotel tax hike. We just had two freaking hotels built on my side of town, and now we want to tax them? No.

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Nima Jooyandeh facts.