Sunday, November 20, 2022

Edward L. Plumb, R.I.P.

Edward L. Plumb, a past guest speaker at the Karl Hess Club, died on March 5, 2021 at the age of 64.

Edward L. Plumb was a producer and writer known for The Vampire Hunters' Club, Her Morbid Desires, and The Boneyard Collection. He was a member of the Screen Actors Guild and other industry trade associations. He lived and worked in the greater Los Angeles area.

He is credited with producing 65 projects during his lifetime. His production company, Irena Belle Films, mostly made comedy-horror films, but also dramas with such future stars as America Ferrera, who went on to TV's Ugly Betty. Edward's many short and feature films have screened at festivals such as Cinequest-San Jose Film Festival and Slamdance.

He produced some episodes for the sci-fi web series, The Silicon Assassin, which featured the work of several KHC members.


Friday, November 18, 2022

Sharon Presley, R.I.P.

Sharon Presley, a frequent guest speaker at the Karl Hess Club, died on October 31, 2022 at the age of 79.

Presley had a Ph.D. in social psychology which she received from the City University of New York. Her dissertation was a study of political resisters to authority. Her mentor was Dr. Stanley Milgram, author of the classic study, Obedience to Authority.  

Presley had taught at California State University, East Bay in Hayward. Her research specialties were obedience and resistance to authority, women resisters to authority, and gender issues.

She co-edited Exquisite Rebel: The Essays of Voltairine de Cleyre, which won an American Library Association Choice award for Outstanding Academic Title 2005. 


Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Carl Marty Swinney, R.I.P.

Michael J. Everling reports:

We were saddened to learn of the passing away of Carl Marty Swinney on May 11, in Lincoln, New Mexico.

Marty was an indefatigable activist in southern California and New Mexico, often running for office on the Libertarian ticket. He also served a term as New Mexico LP chairman. A medical professional by trade, he was a man of many talents and abilities, including the holder of a patent for a mobile joystick.

Because Marty had been a longterm resident of southern California in the Whittier area, services and internment were at Rose Hills Memorial Park on Friday, June 3rd. He is survived by his widow, Weng, of Lincoln, nephew Aaron of northern California, and many relatives, colleagues, friends, and fellow libertarians. 

Marty was and is well loved, and will be sorely missed.


Sunday, June 12, 2022

The Bitcoin Field Guide Exudes Libertarian Fervor

Libertarians have long been interested in Bitcoin, blockchain, and cryptocurrency in general, as a means of circumventing state centralized banking. A recent documentary (released just before the crypto crash of 2022) exudes that libertarian fervor.

For my review of 2021's The Bitcoin Filed Guide, click here.


Monday, April 25, 2022

Libertarian Party of California Runs No Candidates for June Primary Election

I've been inactive in the Libertarian Party for a while now. And it seems I'm not alone.

I recently received the California Voters Guide for the upcoming June 7, 2022 primary election. I was surprised to see that not a single Libertarian candidate bothered to run for office throughout the state, or in my area -- Los Angeles County.

Take a look at the list of candidates. Apart from plenty of Democratic and Republican candidates, the Green Party is running several candidates, as is the Peace & Freedom Party. Also many candidates listed as "No Party Preference" and "No Qualified Party Preference."

But not a single Libertarian.

Also no one from the American Independent Party, but that's no surprise. They rarely run candidates.

However, Don J. Grundmann is running as "No Qualified Party Preference." In his candidate statement, he says he belongs to the Constitution Party, which is not ballot qualified in California.

So the Constitution Party, which is so tiny that it does not qualify as a legal political party in California, managed to field a candidate. While the Libertarian Party, with all its greater resources and membership numbers, failed to run any candidates.

Now, it's possible that the LP is running candidates in other parts of California. Or not. But definitely no one at the state level. And no one in Los Angeles, the state's most populous region.

I wonder how this happened? I know Top Two has hurt all third parties. But the Green, Peace and Freedom, and even Constitution parties managed to rise to the challenge, while the LP is MIA.


Thursday, April 22, 2021

Even Second Hand Marijuana Smoke is Harmful

Libertarians tend to be blindly (irrationally) defensive of marijuana. Because The State prohibited marijuana smoking for so long, it must be a good thing.

But consider these facts, taken from the American Nonsmokers' Rights Foundation website:

* Secondhand smoke from combusted marijuana contains fine particulate matter that can be breathed deeply into the lungs, which can cause lung irritation, asthma attacks, and makes respiratory infections more likely. Exposure to fine particulate matter can exacerbate health problems especially for people with respiratory conditions like asthma, bronchitis, or COPD.

* Significant amounts of mercury, cadmium, nickel, lead, hydrogen cyanide, and chromium, as well as 3 times the amount of ammonia, are found in mainstream marijuana smoke than is in tobacco smoke.

* In 2009, the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment added marijuana smoke to its Proposition 65 list of carcinogens and reproductive toxins, also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986. It reported that at least 33 individual constituents present in both marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke are Proposition 65 carcinogens.

* Secondhand smoke from marijuana has many of the same chemicals as smoke from tobacco, including those linked to lung cancer.

* Secondhand marijuana exposure impairs blood vessel function. Published studies on rats show that thirty minutes of exposure to secondhand marijuana smoke at levels comparable to those found in restaurants that allow cigarette smoking led to substantial impairment of blood vessel function. Marijuana smoke exposure had a greater and longer-lasting effect on blood vessel function than exposure to secondhand tobacco smoke.

* One minute of exposure to marijuana SHS substantially impairs endothelial function in rats for at least 90 minutes, considerably longer than comparable impairment by tobacco SHS. The findings in rats suggest that SHS can exert similar adverse cardiovascular effects regardless of whether it is from tobacco or marijuana.

* Secondhand marijuana smoke and secondhand tobacco smoke is similar in many ways. More research is needed, but the current body of science shows that both tobacco and marijuana smoke have similar chemical composition and suggests that they may have harmful cardiovascular health effects, such as atherosclerosis (partially blocked arteries), heart attack, and stroke.