The Disgrace that is Nevada’s GOP Delegation

Nevada delegates for Ron Paul closed ranks with like-minded delegates from other states like Iowa, Minnesota, Maine, Oregon, Alaska and the Virgin Islands. And on the last night of the Republican National Convention, those same delegates exchanged state flag pins with others as a sign of solidarity.

At any other time — this might seem unimportant — however not after seventeen of Nevada’s 27 Republican delegates voted in favor of Ron Paul with 5 abstaining and one casting their ballot for Mitt Romney.  Under binding caucus rules, most of Nevada’s delegates were to vote for Romney, who In February’s Nevada caucus won half of the state’s vote.

Former Nevada Governor Robert List says he’s never seen anything like the Paul supporters, who broke their pledges.

“You know other delegations have had their issues from time to time and there were others here this time that did,” List told KOH in Reno. “But this is the first time I’ve seen Nevada go off the rails like that.”

Sparks dentist, Paul supporter and chairman of the Nevada delegation Wayne Terhune said after being frustrated when the convention adopted new rules, he recorded the votes of each Nevada delegate, as they wanted, not as assigned. and that led to the delegations vote. Still others say the Paul delegates were simply waiting for something — anything — to use as an excuse to go off the beaten path.

“In the spirit of freedom that inspired the founding of our country,” Terhune said, “and in honor of the liberty that has made these states the greatest country on earth, we proudly cast 17 votes for Congressman Ron Paul.”

A former Carson City District Attorney and Nevada Attorney General, List called Terhune an “outlaw.” He also said he corrected the official Nevada delegate nomination vote as 20 for Romney and eight for Paul.

“Some of them are novices  and thought they could come here and do something unheard of, but Romney had this thing locked up two months ago,” List told the news-talk radio station. “This whole thing was just an exercise in futility on their part.”

Had Terhune correctly announced Nevada’s vote, the delegation could have put Romney over the top in the delegate count. Instead that honor now rests with New Jersey.

Kelseyville Soldier Killed in Afghanistan

The International Security Assistance Force said in a brief statement a crash killed four of its members, three U.S. service members, three members of the Afghan national security forces and an Afghan civilian interpreter.

U.S. Army Sgt. Richard Essex, 23, was among 11 people killed August 16th, when the Black Hawk helicopter they were riding in crashed.  Essex was the helicopter’s gunner.

The cause of the crash is under investigation. However, media reports have stated the Taliban has claimed credit for shooting down the helicopter in Kandahar province.

A member of the Army’s 25th Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Essex is the twenty-first North Coast service member killed in the Global War on Terror since 2001.  He previously served a yearlong tour in Iraq, deployed to Afghanistan last fall and was due home in November.

He was a 2008 graduate of Kelseyville High School. He played the bass guitar, was an artist and a published poet, with one book of poetry to his credit and another ready to be published soon.

Along U.S. 101, emergency personnel and private citizens gathered on overpasses to honor the soldier’s passing motorcade. Crowds waving American flags, holding thank-you signs and saluting lined the streets in Kelseyville.

“What a wonderful welcome home for Richard,” Noella Essex, Richard’s step-mother, wrote on her Facebook page. “People lined up for miles as his body was taken home — twenty or so police cars from all around, fire trucks, people with flags flying for their home town solider.”

Essex is survived by his mother and step-father, Marion and Brett Hopkins of Kelseyville; father and step-mother, Charles and Noella Essex of Crescent City, sisters, Stacey Hopkins and Jennifer Williamson; and brother, Michael Essex.

Murdered Nevada Politician’s Daughter Found Dead

The daughter of a murdered Nevada lawmaker has been found dead in Phoenix, Arizona, after allegedly shooting and killing her lesbian partner.

Dallas Augustine, who worked as a correctional officer in Florence, is suspected of shooting Jessie McCaskill before taking her own life. Police discovered the bodies of the women after a family member called 9-1-1 concerned for their welfare.

The couple married at the Hotel Del Coronado, in San Diego, September 22nd, 2007.  In May 2008, Dallas unsuccessfully ran for the Las Vegas Assembly District 12 seat her mother, Kathy held when she first entered politics in 1992.

Kathy Augustine also served in the state Senate before being elected state controller in 1998 and re-elected to a second term. The first woman to hold the job, she became the first constitutional officer in Nevada history to be impeached and convicted after she pleaded guilty to three ethics violations in 2004.

She was found unconscious in her Reno home, July 8th, 2006, dying four days later without regaining consciousness. Although early reports stated the cause of death was a massive heart attack, police soon came to suspect foul play.

Augustine’s husband, Chaz Higgs, attempted suicide by slitting his wrists in the couple’s Las Vegas home, July 14th.  He was later arrested in Virginia, September 29th, 2006, and charged with first degree murder in her death.

Higgs, a critical care nurse, allegedly made suspicious remarks to a co-worker about how to kill someone using succinylcholine. He was convicted of murder in Reno, June 29th, 2007.

Dallas’ father, Delta Air Lines pilot Charles Augustine, died from complications of a stroke August 19th, 2003. Since Higgs was his private nurse at the time, authorities had him disinterred in October 2006 where they determined his death was due to natural causes.

Higg was sentenced to life in prison, with a chance of parole after 20 years. In May 2009, the Nevada Supreme Court upheld his murder conviction in a majority decision.

The Maricopa County medical examiner’s office says Augustine and McCaskill are scheduled for autopsies by the end of the week.

Five Statements about Government and Wealth

You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

When half of the people get the idea they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that’s the beginning of the end of any nation.

Uncle Adam and the Colt

There was a colt, which every time he heard anyone coming, he ran away. One afternoon, Uncle Adam came to where the pony was, but it just lowered his head, kicked up his hooves and galloped away.

Every time Uncle Adam got near him, the colt raced across the field. And his mother galloped with him and stayed by his side.

But Uncle Adam knew a lot about horses. So he jus’ went and leaned against a fence post and whistled gently to himself, never looking at the pony or his mother.

The colt saw Uncle Adam and he heard him whistling. However the pony jus’ lowered his head and nibbled grass.

Uncle Adam didn’t move and kept on whistling. Curious, the colt moved closer, nibbling some grass nearer to Uncle Adam.

But still Uncle Adam didn’t move and he kept on whistling. Then after a while he walked out of the field the way he had come and went away.

The next day he came back, and he stood there whistling and he gave the mother horse a cube of sugar. The third day when he came, he walked over to the mother horse and put a halter over her head and gave her another cube of sugar.

Then Uncle Adam led her around the field, and the pony followed after, close to his mother’s side.  After a few times around the pasture, he let the mother go and walked away, paying no attention to the colt whatsoever.

Uncle Adam returned a fifth day and a sixth, giving the mother a cube of sugar and walking her around the pasture, with the pony close to her side. By this time the colt was feeling more comfortable with Uncle Adam’s presence.

On the seventh day, Uncle Adam returned and instead of offering the mother a cube of sugar, he offered it to the pony. The little horse gladly accepted, and from then on he freely followed Uncle Adam around the pasture.

It was then Uncle Adam knew it was time to start training the colt to be a working ranch horse.

The Dream that is Obamnesty

Democratic officials believe the growing Hispanic population in battleground states like Nevada gives those who embrace the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors amnesty legislation or DREAM Act, an edge in November’s elections. Nevada Congresswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Shelley Berkley supports the act and Senator Harry Reid made it the centerpiece of his reelection win in 2010.

Yet, three times, Congress voted down the DREAM Act. It should be clear to President Obama and others, that so-called middle-class Americans do not want amnesty enacted, especially not while our borders remain unsecured.

On the day Obamnesty went into effect, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed an executive order directing state agencies to deny driver’s licenses and other public benefits to illegal aliens granted “deferred action” amnesty and work authorizations after hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants began lining up across the nation to apply. In Arizona, an estimated 80,000 eligible illegal immigrants will apply for amnesty resulting in what Brewer calls “significant and lasting impacts on the Arizona budget, its health care system and additional public benefits that Arizona taxpayers fund.”

Ohio State Congressman Courtney Combs proposed an Arizona-style immigration law after the Supreme Court’s June ruling to uphold the key enforcement provision of Arizona’s SB 1070. If this anti-amnesty legislation passes, it will relieve Ohio taxpayers of $878 million in annual costs to support, educate, and care for illegal aliens and their dependents.

But Americans in other states aren’t so lucky.

Chicago’s Democratic Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Illinois Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin announced $275,000 in funds to cover thousands of illegal aliens’ $465 application fees. Then New York state officials set aside $450,000 in grants to be donated to three advocacy groups helping thousands of illegal aliens apply for Obamnesty work permits.

So not only will 1.8 million illegal aliens be competing for our jobs, but politicians are make it easier for them to do it.

Harry Reid Assails Dead Nevada Senator

Once again Senator Harry Reid is busy rewriting both Nevada and U.S. history.  When asked about renaming Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport during a ceremony at the airport’s new Terminal Three, he said he was for it — but that’s not all he had to say.

“Pat McCarran was one of the most anti-Semitic — some of you might know my wife’s Jewish — one of the most anti-black, one of the most prejudiced people who has ever served in the Senate,” said Reid, “It’s not a decision I’m going to make, but if you ask me to give my opinion, I don’t think his name should be on anything.”

McCarran was a United States Senator from Nevada from 1933 until his death in 1954.  He was also Nevada Chief Justice, chairman of the Nevada State Board of Parole Commissioners, chairman of the Nevada State Board of Bar Examiners and district attorney for Nye County.

The only thing he was “anti-” on was Communism — which he hated with a passion.

This is the second time Reid has attacked a deceased Nevada politician. In 2009, he released his biography, “The Good Fight,” a play on words referring to his boxing background, claiming Nevada U.S. Congressman Walter Baring told him President John Kennedy’s assassination was “a good thing.”

“There is no way my dad would have said anything like that, much less to Harry Reid,” said Jeff Baring, son of former Congressman Walter Baring, “Simply, no way.”

As I said then — and repeat now — Reid needs mental health help.

Nevada’s “None of the Above,” Ruled Unconstitutional

Nevada voters have one less choice in November, now that a federal judge struck down the states voting option of “none of the above,” saying it’s unconstitutional and should be removed from the ballot.

U.S. District Judge Robert Jones says that because the option can never win, even if it gets the most votes, those votes are worthless. A federal lawsuit filed in June and backed by the Republican National Committee argued Nevada’s voter option disenfranchises voters because it’s a perpetual loser.

However, former Sparks Assemblyman and state Senator Don Mello, who created the 1976 law disagrees.

“Talking about disenfranchising the voter?” he tells KOLO 8 News. “That’s what he’s trying to do, by telling them they’re not allowed to go to the polls and vote none of the above.”

“It tells the candidate something too.” Mello adds. “That they’d better change their ways if they want to stay in office.”

Jones is a 2003 Bush appointee and because of this Mello, a Democrat, sees the ruling as another GOP efforts to suppress votes by creating stricter voter ID requirements.

“If the Republican party doesn’t like it,” Mello says,” they ought to run better candidates.”

Recently, the Obama administration has battled state’s over their requirement voters produce a picture ID to vote, saying it disenfranchises minorities and the elderly. Furthermore, the Department of Justice has taken several states to court to stop them from removing the dead, illegal aliens, felons and those who’ve moved to another state or country from the voter rolls.

Meanwhile, the September 20th deadline for finalizing ballots looms for officials across the state who have the last-minute job of making the changes to the ballots before mailing them to overseas voters.  Secretary of State Ross Miller says his office will pursue “an immediate and expedited appeal.”

More and more, the Republican and Democratic parties are looking like the same party.

Fern Cottage

Joseph Russ was born in 1825 in Maine, and came west in 1850. In fall of 1852 he purchased 100 cattle in Placerville, and with two hired cowboys, drove them over the Coast Range to Humboldt County, selling them in Eureka to the Army which was buying beef for its troops on the north coast where there were Indian wars.

The following spring he filed a claim and built a log cabin near Fern Cottage. He and a partner, Barry Adams, went to the Sacramento area to buy a large herd of cattle, eventually opening a meat market in Eureka.

He met his future wife Zipporah in Sacramento and persuaded her family to move to the Ferndale area. Though she was 16 and he was 29, they married December 17, 1854, having 13 children throughout the years.

In the mid-1850s they began to buy ranch land, ultimately owning some 50,000 acres. Over time Russ enterprises included timber and lumber, an abattoir, several meat markets, a bank, ships, and a dry goods emporium.

Joseph conducted his business activities from the home in Fern Cottage; the children went to school, and the home was the center of a dairy farm. Across the street were barns, stables and living quarters for ranch hands.

Bertha Russ Lytel, the youngest of Joseph and Zipporah’s children, died in 1972. She was the last direct descendant to live in the Fern Cottage home, built originally in 1866.

All the furniture and furnishings are original to the house and the family, but not of the same period. Many of Zipporah’s dresses are on display in her bedroom or sitting room.

According to the homes website, ferncottage.org: “Of the 182 direct descendants of Joseph and Zipporah Russ on our records, 36 live in Ferndale, another 19 elsewhere in Humboldt County, for a total of 30.1 percent in the county.  Another 60 live elsewhere in Northern California and 19 in Southern California.”

President Misses the Mark in Reno

President Barack Obama is accusing Mitt Romney of being blind to the burdens of paying for college, claiming his opponent’s education policies amount to nothing more than encouraging them to tap their parents for money or “shop around” for the best deal.

“This is his plan,” President Obama said during his recent campaign speech in Reno at Truckee Meadows Community College. “That’s his answer to a young person hoping to go to college — shop around and borrow more money from your parents if you have to. Not only is that not a good answer, it’s not even an answer,”

The president continues to try linking Romney’s education policies with the House Republican budget blueprint offered by Congressman Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mate.  He claims Ryan’s budget proposal would cut $115 billion from the Education Department, costing 1 million college students their Pell Grants over the next decade.

Meanwhile, Nevada’s unemployment rate stands at 12 percent, the highest in the country and 3.7 percentage points higher than the national rate. In fact the state’s numbers for unemployment increased four-tenths of a percent in July.

Nevada also has the sixth worst foreclosure rate in the country, due in part to new laws forcing lenders to increase the processing and paperwork timeline, however, while touching on employment briefly, the president failed to mention the housing crisis at all in his Reno remarks.

The Widow Farmer’s Hands

She had laid her baby to sleep in her bassinette and went to Mrs. Fortain’s, up the road for a visit. Mrs. Fortain owned the nearby mobile home park.

Once there, they began to chat about this and that, but were suddenly interrupted by a sound of the nearby Yurok Volunteer Fire Departments siren.

“Look,” Mrs. Farmer exclaimed, “I can see the fire truck coming this way!”

The red vehicle turned off U.S. 101 onto the gravel road of Sanders Court, and raced by Fortain’s Mobile Home Park.

Without another word the Widow Farmer ran into the road and towards her house. Smoke and flames were already pouring through the roof.

“My baby!” she cried as she raced into the front yard of her home.

Pa Sanders, the fire chief and owner of Sanders Court, grabbed her by the arm.

“You can’t go in there!” he said, “You’ll get killed.”

“Let me go!” she shouted, breaking free and running into the flaming house anyway.

Dashing through the smoke and flames, she scooped up her child, then started to make her way out. But, overcome by the smoke, she passed out, fell, and would have died with her baby in her arms had a fireman not found and carried her out.

Fortunately the baby wasn’t harmed; the Widow Farmer though, was badly hurt. Soon an ambulance arrived, taking her to Seaside Hospital.

There doctors found her hands to be horribly burned. And though they did their best to heal them, they were left scarred.

Weeks became months, and months became years. The Widow Farmer’s baby grew into an adult, she married and eventually moved away.

When I was ten-years old, the Widow Farmer was babysitting my brother, sisters and me when I noticed her hands. It was something I had seen before, but had never really paid attention too.

“You’re hands are ugly,” I exclaimed.

“Yes, Tommy,” the elderly woman said quietly, “They are ugly, aren’t they?”

She must have been hurt beyond words, because I remember the tears in her eyes.

“Do you know why I have ugly hands?” asked the Widow Farmer.

Then she told me the story. She told of the fire, of how she was held back, the wild dash into the burning house, how she lifted her daughter from the crib, of how she fell, of being rescued and how badly she burned he had been.

At that moment I realized she had done something heroic.

“My hands were beautiful back then,” she finished.

“Mrs. Farmer,” I said trying to choke back my shame, “they’re beautiful!”

Nevada Lobbyist Doubles Down

A Carson City lobbyist may have bit off more than he should have when he brought together Nevada and technology giant, Apple, Inc.

Greg Ferraro represented Apple, while his company, Ferraro Group, has a contract with Nevada’s Governor’s Office of Economic Development, which inked the agreement. Ferraro’s long-standing friendship with Governor Brian Sandoval is also being called into question over the arrangement.

A state board approved a $200-an-hour contract with the Ferraro Group for public relations and communications in 2009, before Sandoval’s election as governor. The contract, extended in 2011 for another two years, caps out at $180,000.

The negotiations between Nevada and Apple netted the company $89 million in tax breaks. Furthermore, Apple is eligible for up to 12 years of reduced sales taxes and 30 years of property tax abatements.

For receipt of those tax breaks, Apple promised a $1 billion investment — mostly in computer servers — which will not manufactured in the state.  The company also agreed to hire 35 people full-time and another 200 contractors at its Reno facility.

Getting Apple to come to Northern Nevada and promoting the state as “a good place to do business,” were the goals officials had in mind when they launched this venture. So far, the second goal “has yet to pan out,” as they would say along the Comstock.

Meanwhile, Ferraro, who did not take direct part in the negotiations, says he doesn’t believe his relationship with both sides presents a conflict. It does though, double his pay out.

Yet Another Visit to Reno by Obama

President Obama will campaign Tuesday in Reno, delivering remarks at Truckee Meadows Community College. The Obama campaign says the event is open to the public, but tickets are required and will be available at Obama campaign offices in Reno and Carson City beginning at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The president will talk about the upcoming election, focusing on how his plan for the economy, jobs and paying down the nation’s debt differs from that of Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. It will be Obama’s third visit to northern Nevada in recent months, including an official state-visit to speak to the Veteran’s of Foreign Wars Convention on July 23rd.

So far all the campaign visits the president has made to the Reno area has cost local taxpayers $350-thousand for the extra police protection. When the Reno Police Department asked the Secret Service for possible reimbursement, the department was told by the Secret Service, it considers the work the RPD does, part of the departments civic duty.

Not only is the president not creating jobs in Northern Nevada, he’s also making Northern Nevada taxpayers foot some of the bill for his campaign visits which should be picked up by the Democratic National Committe or the Obama Campaign.

Inside the Wire and Dirty Politics

There’s an old expression: All is fair in love and war. This also works well for politics.

The reason politics between the Left and Right is so dirty, comes down to the fact that each believes the enemy is “inside the wire.” That’s a term meaning your fire base, encampment, compound, etc., is in the process of being overrun and thus captured.

Once the “enemy” is “inside the wire,” this is where the worse of human nature comes into being. It’s known as “hand-to-hand combat.”

In “hand-to-hand combat,” opponents use every method available to destroy the other — including “dirty fighting.” In the case of real combat, “destroy” becomes a euphemism for “kill.”

Viewing this from a political stand-point, each the Right and the Left are attempting to “kill,” the others ideology. If I were a “field commander,” I’d go for absolute and utter inhalation of the enemy, before they reached the “wire,” and most certainly, once they were “inside the wire.”

And if you hadn’t noticed — the enemy is inside the wire. If you don’t believe me, jus’ watch the political ads on the TV.

Jonathan’s Point

It seems as if the two of us were always staring in to the deep blue, towards a point that we could only see. It was like that as we sat in Mike’s truck and day dreamed of finding the lost treasure somewhere out there, four-miles away and 250-feep deep.

Sitting there, I would spin the longest yarn about how I knew one of the men financing the project to search out the final resting place of the “Brother Jonathan.” I had worked for Paul over the summer and had heard very little about the project other than it had run short of cash.

That was always the biggest gamble with ‘treasure hunting,’ running out of cash once the search got real close. It was less than two years earlier the group had actually produced results in the form of off-color stills of what they claimed to be the wreck site.

Still it sparked our imagination. And although the wind blew a rain storm in off of the Pacific, it did not dampen our daydream about mounting a search for the lost side-wheeler and her golden bounty.

“I think we should just get a boat and go out to Jonathan Rock and dive on the wreck ourselves,” I offered.

Mike took another bite of his sandwich and shook his head ‘no.’ As soon as he could he said, “It’s too deep.”

Sighing, I knew Mike was right. Besides the group that had all the money but run out of cash, spent it on a submersible.

“Well, what if we used a great big vacuüm cleaner like device to suck up the sand and maybe some gold coin?” I asked, being a smart ass.

Mike laughed, “Yeah, 300 feet off hose and no way to aim it.”

We sat there in silence, dreaming until it was time to head back to school and class. Before we realized it we had graduated and went our separate ways.

It would be nearly five years before I thought about how me and Mike used to dream of finding gold together.  Since then I had tried my hand at panning and slewing for gold, but that was jus’ for fun.

It wasn’t until one day I was driving by the memorial for the shipwreck that the memory sprang to life.  I chuckled at the silliness of those youthful thoughts.

“We used to come here on most of our lunchtime and talk about finding the Brother Jonathan’s gold,” I told Adam as we slowly wheeled by the flag pole and marbled stones.

Adam looked out towards the sea.

“Do you think a fishing boat would get us out there?” he asked.

In complete surprise I looked at him. I didn’t know what to say.

“Well?” Adam repeated.

“Yeah,” I finally answered, “I guess so.”

We said nothing more as we drove back into town. Adam had to get to work and I needed to get home to Arcata.

Two weeks later I was sitting on the couch when the telephone rang.

“Hello,” I answered.

It was  Adam.

“How long do you think it would take you to get up here?” he wanted to know.

“Ninety minutes,” I answered.

Adam responded, “Good, see you then.”

The telephone went dead.

Quick as I could, I grabbed up my jacket and a hat and raced to my truck. I slipped it onto northbound Highway 101 less than three minutes later from my ‘G’ Street place.

It was practically dark by the time I rolled into the driveway of the apartment that Adam and a friend rented. They both came trotting out lugging air tanks and scuba gear, tossing the equipment to the back of my truck. The metal on metal made a loud bang as each tank struck the trucks bed.

“What’s going on?” I asked as the pair climbed into the trucks cab.

“We got ourselves a fishing boat for the weekend,” Adam announced.

“Yup, my girlfriend’s brother is a boat captain and is taking us out,” said Robert, Adam’s friend.

“So where did you get…” I started.

“Belongs to my girl’s old man,” Robert cut me off before I could finish the question.

It was less than ten minutes before we wheeled into the parking lot of the harbor. I saw the boat even before I had the truck parked.

It was huge compared to the other vessels docked beside it.

“He’s from Alaska,” Robert offered.

The name on the bow of the craft read ‘Commodore.’

“Names Sammy Candia,” said the youthful looking man who shook my hand as I came on aboard the fishing boat.

“This here’s my sister Dee,” Sandy added.

She was a nice looking girl just over eighteen I guessed. Then it struck me as I shook her hand.

“Oh, your Robert’s girlfriend,” I said.

She smiled and nodded happily.

It was nearly 9 p. m. before we had everything stowed away. That included the 20 foot dory we sneaked off the pier.

Slowly Captain Candia powered up the diesel engines and backed the fishing vessel away from its slip and made for open water. The night lights of the little city were beautiful as they slowly shrank from sight, showing that the ‘Commodore’ was growing more and more distant from land.

“We’ll only be four miles offshore,” Adam said.

“Yes, but its dangerous waters because of sharp rocks,” reminded the Captain.

In less than two hours we were out near the site of the 1865 disaster. It was black over the calm sea as we stood at the boats railing, looking into nothingness.

Without warning, the mast lights popped on, temporarily blinding the four of us as we stood on deck. The flood lights high in the rigging spilled an odd glow over the ocean’s surface for nearly a hundred feet and still the space seemed empty.

“So what are those numbers again, Adam?” the Captain called out.

He wanted to know the exact latitude and longitude of the ships wreck. Adam looked at me.

Prepared, I was already digging in my hip pocket for my wallet.

“Latitude 41 degrees, Longitude 124 degrees,” I answered,“There’s the rest of the numbers you’ll need.”

The Captain went directly to work plotting our location in relationship to the site. I climbed back down to the deck level and started unleashing the dory.

Quickly, Adam and Robert were helping me slipped it over the side and into the water. After securing it, I decided I would start putting on one of the neoprene diving suits.

Soon Adam joined in. It took us about fifteen minutes of struggling to get into the wetsuits.

While we dressed, Robert and Dee checked the air cylinders and hoses of the dive tanks. Once done, they loaded them over the side of the vessel and into the waiting dory.

The ‘Commodore’ roared and shifted, moving from one angle to the next. As the large fishing boat closed in on its final positioning, we finished loading the dory.

Sammy came out and said, “We’re as close as we can get and we’ll only try this once.”

Both Adam and I nodded.

The plan was not to actually descend to the wreck itself, for that would be a fool-hearty act. The ship lay shattered and too far down to reach without a getting killed.

Instead we would just drop an anchor on top of the reef of rocks some seventy-five feet below with a rope attached and use the rope as a guide. Then using our underwater lights we hoped to pick up something, anything of value off the reef.

Gingerly, I slipped over the side of the boat. I had felt safe on the deck of giant fishing vessel and now I was giving that up for the uncomfortably of a twenty-foot boat made of timber.

Then Adam climbed aboard.

Slowly, he played out the rope that tethered us to the mother ship.  Meanwhile, I watched for hazards in the water as we made our way forward.

We were nearly out of reach of the flood lights when there was a sudden bump. It was one of the rocks we needed to find.  Quickly, I picked up the twenty-five pound anchor and launched it over the side.

The rope attached to it fell away with increasing speed until it went thump.  The anchor struck nothing.

I felt heartsick as I realized perhaps all the stories were true and this rock was a real pinnacle that simply rose sharply from the sea bed.

Straining, I retrieved the anchor with the hopes of dropping it again, only on the other side of the rock.  Again, the results were the same.

“There’s nothing there,” I said in an exasperate tone.

“Maybe it’s the wrong one,” Adam said, “Lets try another.”

“Okay,” I agreed.

Adam played out a little more line while I searched ahead for another rock in the water. There was nothing.

Without warning the tether Adam was holding went slack. He pulled on it in hopes of bringing it tight again. Instead he pulled in the end of the rope where the nylon had jus’ come undone from wear.

Suddenly, we  found ourselves adrift in the open sea.

We caught a northerly current and quickly slid right past the ‘Commodore.’ And although we yelled and waved our flashlights, it was no use. No one saw us go by, and the engines steady thumping, drowned out our near panic-stricken voices.

Within seconds the darkness swallowed us and our little boat up. We knew we had to act fast to keep from becoming victims of the sea.

Immediately, I dropped the anchor overboard and jus’ as quickly started searching for the two paddles I had seen in the boats bottom. Meanwhile, Adam got rid of the excess rope, recognizing it was a hazard to our survival should we capsize.

To the best of my ability I tried to figure which way west was from our last known position.

“Adam, find me a reference point in the sky to row towards,” I said.

“Will the moon do?” he asked.

He pointed to my right.

“That would be south,” he added.

I didn’t say anything at the moment because I was feeling stupid for having not thought of that myself.

Together, we each manned an oar and slowly worked the dory farther out into the Dragon Channel. We discussed how the effect of the northbound current may have aided us by threading the hazards of Northwest Seal Rock from the Southwest Seal Rock.

We worked up a nasty sweat in our neoprene wetsuits as we rowed the wooden boat through the ever-increasing rough seas.  Neither one knew how long it had been since the moon had disappeared from our sight.

The loss of our one bearing in an otherwise unrecognizable night caused a sense of fear to grip both of us. We didn’t have to say anything, because we could see the worry in each other’s eyes.

Quietly we sat side by side, sliding the tips of the oars in the water, cutting the dark ooze that slurped and threatened a certain death, anticipating the next catastrophe.  Each of us felt as if he were a condemned man being readied for the blade of the guillotine.

It was in this anxious gloom that a small but piercing light shot across our eyes. We waited, transfixed, rowing all the while for the light to reappear. There is was again, just to their right.

“Did you see that?” Adam asked.

“Yeah,” I responded, “There’s another one.”

They were houses in the distance. We sat there for a minute talking over what we should do next.

“Shall we chance it?” I asked.

Adam shrugged his shoulders, “Why not.”

We turned the dory toward the lights and started rowing again.

Within a few minutes the boat seemed to slow down and then it jerked to a halt. We rowed as hard as we could, yet the craft refused to go any father.

It was at this moment I remembered the anchor I had dropped over board.  I pulled on the rope finding it wedged firmly in the sea floor.

As fast as possible, I worked to loosen the rope from the boat. Once loose, the anchor fell away and the dory shot forward rapidly.

Seconds later the craft was running parallel to the coastline as waves pushed it towards the beach. Both of us put our backs into it and launched the boat with each wave at the shore, finally beaching the craft high enough to get out and thank our luck star.

“So where do you think we are?” I asked.

Adam shook his head, “Haven’t a clue.”

We started walking along the beach hoping to find away off it and maybe to a road.  Not long after, we discovered a sign, ‘Kellogg Road,’ telling us we were north of the city and had a long walk ahead of us.

As we walked along the lonely stretch of dirt road, I suggested, “Let’s never do anything like this again, okay?”

“I’m with you on that,” Adam answered, “I think I get the meaning of Jonathan’s Point now.”

“Yeah, what’s that?” I asked.

“Better to be above ground than under it,” he replied.

We both laughed knowing we had cheated death.

“Think Rob, Dee and Sammy are worrying about us?” I wondered.

“Naw!” Adam shot back.

We laughed long and hard, finding it oddly funny.

Rules for Defending Yourself with a Gun

1.  Guns have only two enemies: rust and politicians.

2.  It’s better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6.

3.  Cops carry guns to protect themselves — not you.

4.  Never let someone or something that threatens you get within arms length.

5.  Never say, “I’ve got a gun.” If you need to use deadly force — the first sound they hear should be the safety clicking off.

6.  The average response time of a 9-1-1 call is 23 minutes; the response time of a .357 is 1400 feet per second.

7.  The most important rule in a gunfight is: Always win — cheat if necessary.

8.  Aim, left-center of mass, exhale, squeeze, don’t pull; reapply as needed.

9.  Make your attacker advance through a wall of bullets. You may get killed with your own gun — but he’ll have to beat you to death with it, because it’ll be empty.

10.  While in a gunfight:  If you’re not shooting, you should be loading, if not loading, you should be moving and if you’re not moving, you’re dead.

11.  In a life and death situation — do something.  It might be wrong — but do it anyway!

12.  If you carry a gun, people call you paranoid. Nonsense! If you have a gun, what do you have to be paranoid about?

13.  You can say ‘stop’ or ‘alto’ or any other word — but a large-bore muzzle pointed at someone’s head is pretty much a universal language.

14. A pure soul or a dirt gun; both will gain you quick admission to Heaven.

15.  You cannot save the planet — but you can save your family — and yourself.

Those Shovel Ready Jobs

State health and human services director Mike Willden has announced the federal government is giving its approval of Nevada’s plan for using more than $6.1 million in stimulus funding for connecting the  hospital computer systems. Governor Brian Sandoval last week signed a law that gives his permission to start building the system.

This isn’t the great idea politicians would like us to believe it is. If it were, private enterprise and entrepreneurs would have been at it more than 10-years ago.

No, instead it’s a plan that needs the blessing of the federal government, the folks who’ve brought us the Transportation Safety Administration, as well as a governor who caved to the legislature on his tax promise. Neither should make a citizen feel safer or freer.

The computer network will eventually connect all hospitals so doctors can securely share a person’s medical records with the patient’s other doctors. Securely, huh? Tell that to Sony, Citibank and other companies who have been cyber-hacked in recent weeks.

State officials say Nevada will need more than 5,000 people trained to work with the computer system. If this figure is correct — and it has yet to be verified by a source outside either governmental body — that means state government grows which taxes increase and small business shrinks.

Looking for Penquins

Everyday, after school, Adam and I would come home and look in the icebox. There was always something good in it, like cookies or cake.
 
The tradition continued as we would come home for visits. It is hard to break old habits, especially ones that seem so natural and taste so good.

During one visit to see Mom, I committed a serious breach of civility.  I looked in the icebox before kissing her “hello”.

To Mom it seemed that I was more concerned with feeding my face than I was with seeing her. And she let me know about it.

Fortunately for me, his brother Adam arrived. He gave Mom a hug and a kiss and said “Hello.”

Then he proceeded to the icebox.  As he opened it, Mom yelled at him, “What are you looking for in there?”

Her eyes were on fire.  If she could have spit brimstone I’m certain she would have done that too.

Adam looked at me because he knew that I had done “something wrong” before he had gotten there and was catching the blame for it now. I jus’ looked down at my feet.

“Well?” Mom screeched.

“I was looking for penguins,” Adam calmly replied.

In complete exasperation Mom turned and walked away. I bit my lip hard enough to make it bleed as I fought off a chuckle.

As for Adam, he shrugged his shoulders, opened the icebox and continued to look for penguins.

The Many Scandals of Eric Holder

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder was appointed by Obama after his first election. There are numerous controversies surrounding his leadership, or lack there of, as the top justice official of our country.

On August 8, 2011 documents were released by the DOJ, subsequent to a court battle, which revealed the DOJ’s Civil Rights Division had been engaging in politicized hiring in the career civil service ranks. According to PJ Media, the politicized hiring practices of Holder’s DOJ are nearly unprecedented in scope.

In June 2008, Holder admitted to the American Constitution Society (an organization started as a liberal counterweight to the Federalist Society) that the Justice Department was “going to be looking for people who share our values.”

The DOJ’s hiring records speak for themselves as this in depth study by PJ Media demonstrates.

Following the Fort Hood attack on November 5, 2009 not one of the post-attack reports issued by the DOJ mentioned Nidal Hasan’s Islamist ideology. And, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) refused to call the attack an act of terrorism on its report on the attack. Instead it was labeled as “workplace violence.” The Gloria Center elaborates:

“This official “blindness” to Major Hasan’s motivations are unquestionably the consequences wrought by the Obama administration’s outreach policies. Not just content with not pursuing terror investigations, as in the case of Major Hasan and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the Obama administration has taken a more proactive approach to shutting down terror investigations–especially when those investigations involved their Muslim outreach partners.”

The Justice Department secretly obtained two months of the telephone records of reporters and editors for The Associated Press (AP). President and CEO Gary Pruitt has described the DOJ’s actions as a “massive and unprecedented intrusion” into how news organizations gather the news.

The records obtained by the Justice Department listed outgoing calls of individual reporters’ work and personal phone numbers and AP office numbers in D.C., New York and Hartford, CT. Also listed was the main number for the AP in the House of Representatives’ press gallery, according to the AP’s lawyers.

Pruitt has commented that, “there can be no possible justification for such an overbroad collection of the telephone communications of The Associated Press and its reporters. These records potentially reveal communications with confidential sources across all of the newsgathering activities undertaken by the AP during a two-month period, provide a road map to AP’s newsgathering operations, and disclose information about AP’s activities and operations that the government has no conceivable right to know.”

In the James Rosen case, the Justice Department claimed it did not violate the press freedom of the Fox News Correspondent as he isn’t press. Instead, the DOJ argued, he was an “aider and abettor and/or co-conspirator” in a spy ring, for having receiving classified information about North Korea from an intelligence analyst.

Evidence of Rosen’s spying consisted of an e-mail to Rosen’s source stating he wanted to break “news ahead of my competitors” and that they could “expose muddle-headed policy when we see it—or force the administration’s hand to go in the right direction, if possible.”
The Department of Justice knew Rosen had not committed a crime by simply asking Stephen Jin-Woo Kim for his opinion on the expected North Korean response to the then-pending U.N. condemnations of North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile tests. By making the claim, however, to a federal judge, that Rosen was criminally complicit in the release of classified information, by the manner in which he posed questions to Kim, the DOJ deluded the judge into signing a search warrant. The warrant, when executed, allowed the feds to read Rosen’s private emails. By way of the emails, the feds were led to Fox News telephone numbers in New York City and in Washington, which they since have admitted to monitoring.

Holder played an important role in what was arguably the most infamous of President Clinton’s 176 pardons. Marc Rich, a billionaire financier and fugitive oil broker, who illegally bought oil from Iran during the American trade embargo, attempted to hide more than $100 million in profits by using dummy transactions in off-shore corporations. Following that, he renounced his American citizenship and made a hasty retreat to Switzerland in order to avoid prosecution for 51 counts of racketeering, wire fraud, tax fraud, tax evasion, and the illegal oil transactions with Iran.

But, President Clinton signed the pardon, later crediting Holder’s recommendation as one of the factors that had convinced him to issue the pardon.

Holder, as Deputy Attorney General, “was the gatekeeper for presidential pardons.” Two of the recipients of Holder’s pardons were former Weather Underground members Susan Rosenberg and Linda Evans.

The Weather Underground, a far-left organization, was founded in the late 1960′s. It’s main objective was to overthrow the American government. Several bombing attacks were initiated by the group and were mostly against government buildings and banks. There were also exhortations for white radicals to join with black radicals in the overthrow of the government. The Weather Underground opposed what they described as “American imperialism.” Former members of the group robbed a Brinks bank truck in 1981, resulting in the deaths of a Brinks security guard and two policemen. One of the killers, Kathy Boudin, is now an adjunct professor at Columbia University’s School of Social Work.

The American Muslim Advisory Council (AMAC) of Tennessee sponsored an event on June 4, called “Public Disclosure in a Diverse Society.” The main speakers for the event were DOJ official Bill Killian, who is the U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee, and FBI Special Agent of the Knoxville Division, Kenneth Moore. What is troubling about the event is that Killian addressed how social media posts and documents deemed inflammatory toward Muslims can be considered a violation of civil rights laws. Killian described the event as, “an educational effort with civil rights laws as they play intofreedom of religion and exercising freedom of religion.” He also said that the event would serve, “to inform the public what federal laws are in effect and what the consequences are.”

This is a blatant attempt at subverting First Amendment rights, but the DOJ’s Killian is espousing views that apparently have the support of President Obama who has said: ”The future must not belong to those who slander the Prophet of Islam.”

Killian went on to quote the law, showing a slide of Title 18, U.S. Federal Code, Section 241, which states: ”If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States…they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both…”

At an American Constitution Society gathering in 2004, Holder made the following comments:

“Conservatives have been defenders of the status quo, afraid of the future, and content to allow to continue to exist all but the most blatant inequalities.”

“Conservatives have “made a mockery of the rule of law.”

“Conservatives try to “put the environment at risk for the sake of unproven economic theories, to play to the fears of our citizens, and not to their hopes, and to return the nation to a time that in fact never existed.”

“Conservatives are “breathtaking” in their “arrogance,” which manifests itself in such things as “attacks on abortion rights,” “energy policies that are as shortsighted as they are ineffective,” and “tax cuts that disproportionately favor those who are well off and perpetuate many of the inequities in our nation.”

“The hallmarks of the “conservative agenda” include “social division, mindless tax cutting, and a defense posture that does not really make us safer.”

“The nation must be convinced that it is a progressive future that holds the greatest promise for equality and the continuation of those policies that serve to support the greatest number of our people. In the short term this will not be an easy task. With the mainstream media somewhat cowered by conservative critics, and the conservative media disseminating the news in anything but a fair and balanced manner, and you know what I mean there, the means to reach the greatest number of people is not easily accessible.”

In 2008, Eric Holder claimed that the Second Amendment does not protect an individual’s right to keep and bear arms, but only applied to government militias. Political commentator and scholar, John Lott, was unable to “find even one gun control law that Holder has opposed.”

Lott remarked that, “on every gun control regulation [Holder] has discussed, he has been supportive, including: bans, raising the age that someone can possess a gun, registration and licensing, one-gun-a-month limit on purchases, and mandatory waiting periods.”

On top of that, in a 1995 address to the Woman’s National Democratic Club, Holder apprised the crowd of the launch of a public campaign to “really brainwash people into thinking about guns in a vastly different way.” “What we need to do,” Holder explained, “is change the way in which people think about guns, especially young people, and make it something that’s not cool, that it’s not acceptable, it’s not hip to carry a gun anymore, in the way in which we changed our attitudes about cigarettes.”

In 2004, Holder filed an amicus brief on behalf of al Qaeda terrorist Jose Padilla, who had been commissioned by Osama bin Laden and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to carry out a post-9/11, second wave of terrorist attacks in the US. In the brief, Holder held that President Bush lacked the constitutional authority to determine the parameters of the battlefield in the war on terror. Padilla was arrested in the U.S., upon his return from Pakistan where he met with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed to make plans for the attack on U.S. interests.

In Holder’s opinion, Islamic terrorists had a right to be treated as criminal defendants and not enemy combatants. The only exception, according to Holder, is if the capture of the terrorist occurs on a traditional battlefield.

Upon analysis, former Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew C. McCarthy reported that Holder’s Padilla brief was “a comprehensive attack on Bush counterterrorism, an enthusiastic endorsement of the law-enforcement approach in vogue during the Clinton era (when Holder was deputy attorney general under Janet Reno, who also signed on to the Padilla brief).”

Likewise…

“In May 2009, Holder announced that Ahmed Ghailani—who had been indicted by a federal grand jury for the 1998 bombings (which killed 224 people, including 12 Americans) of two U.S. embassies in Africa—would be transferred from the Guantanamo Bay detention center to New York City for trial. This would make Ghailani the first Guantanamo detainee brought to the U.S. and the first to face trial in a civilian criminal court. Said Holder:

“By prosecuting Ahmed Ghailani in federal court, we will ensure that he finally answers for his alleged role in the bombing of our embassies in Tanzania and Kenya….This administration is committed to keeping the American people safe and upholding the rule of law, and by closing Guantanamo and bringing terrorists housed there to justice we will make our nation stronger and safer.”

On November 13, 2009, Holder announced that his Justice Department would likewise try five Guantanamo Bay detainees with alleged ties to the 9/11 conspiracy, in a civilian court—the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The defendants were Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Walid bin Attash, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM).

On April 23, 2010, Arizona’s GOP governor, Jan Brewer, signed into law a bill authorizing state police to check with federal authorities on the immigration status of any individuals they stop for a legitimate reason–if the behavior of those individuals, or the circumstances of the stop, cause the officers to suspect they might be in the U.S. illegally. But, following the bill being signed into law, Holder vehemently spoke out against the bill and suggested the federal government might challenge it. He also warned that the law could lead to racial profiling and might cause Latinos to stop cooperating with police.

After accusing Arizona of trying to “second guess” the federal government and the Justice Department he filed a lawsuit, challenging the state’s immigration policy. This was done on the grounds that the “invalid” law interferes with federal immigration responsibilities and “must be struck down.” The lawsuit urged the U.S. District Court in Arizona to “preliminarily and permanently” prohibit the state from enforcing the law, but later on down the road, the law was overturned by the Supreme Court.

On Election Day, 2008, a couple of members of the New Black Panther Party intimidated white voters with racial slurs and threats. This took place at a Philadelphia polling place and the two culprits were Jerry Jackson and King Samir Shabazz. Former civil rights attorney and campaign aide to the late Robert F. Kennedy, Bartle Bull, observed the Panthers’ antics and described them as “the most blatant form of voter intimidation” he had ever seen. Section 11(b) of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 prohibits intimidation, coercion and threats to voters or those aiding voters, so the Bush Justice Department fileda civil-rights lawsuit against Jackson and Shabazz and against the New Black Panther Party and its national chairman Malik Zulu Shabazz.

However, in 2009 the Obama administration inherited that lawsuit and when the defendants failed to answer the lawsuit, a federal court in Philadelphia entered a default judgment against them. The Holder Justice Department responded by abruptly dropping the charges against the Panthers and two of the defendants. The third defendant was simply barred from displaying a weapon near a Philadelphia polling place for the next three years.

Holder has consistently opposed efforts to pass voter ID laws, which are designed to minimize voter fraud. He believes these laws have the effect of disenfranchising nonwhite minorities. In a May 2012 meeting of the Congressional Black Caucus and black church leaders, Holder said that during the preceding two years, the Justice Department had challenged “two dozen state laws and executive orders from more than a dozen states that could make it significantly harder for many eligible voters to cast ballots in 2012.″

The Heritage Foundation provides a summary of the Fast and Furious scandal:

“A U.S. government gun-trafficking investigation gone horribly wrong has resulted in the death of a U.S. Border Patrol officer, some 2,000 firearms in the hands of criminals, and the dismissal of a 24-year veteran law enforcement official. This is the story of Fast and Furious, and yesterday the latest chapter unfolded when two top officials associated with the operation were removed from their positions, while a third individual resigned.
The story begins in the fall of 2009, when the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) office in Phoenix, Arizona, began selling weapons to small-time gun buyers in the hopes of tracing them to major weapons traffickers along the southwestern border and into Mexico. Their efforts failed, the number of arms unaccounted for numbers around 1,500 as of late July, and about two-thirds of those guns ended up in Mexico, according to congressional testimony.

Tragically, the botched operation has had serious consequences. On the night of December 15, 2010, U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry was shot and killed during an effort to catch several bandits targeting illegal immigrants in Arizona near the border.
When law enforcement rushed to the scene, they discovered two of the killers’ assault rifles that were among those sold as part of Operation Fast and Furious. Additionally, 57 Fast and Furious weapons have been connected to at least an additional 11 violent crimes in the U.S.”

In February 2012, Islamist groups in the United States were found to have repeatedly met with high-ranking Obama administration officials in order to voice their concerns regarding the use of the term “radical Islam” in FBI training materials. Because these groups felt the term was both “offensive” and “racist,” Holder, along with FBI director Robert Mueller, issued an order requiring all such language to be removed from the FBI training content.

The Gloria Center reports that, “among the more than 1,000 items destroyed or removed by the FBI and the DOJ were Power Points and articles that defined jihad as ‘holy war,’ and presentations that portrayed the Muslim Brotherhood as an organization which seeks to establish Islam’s dominion over all the world — a goal the Brotherhood has candidly and publicly declared for decades.”

Much of the recent Muslim outreach policy was developed at a June 2011 workshop at Georgetown University. The workshop was sponsored by the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding.

In attendance were leaders from the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and other Islamic organizations. These groups, all of which are considered to be radical, met with senior Obama administration officials.

Additionally, a workshop was held which included officials from the Department of Justice. The workshop was entitled “Workshop on Police-Community Engagement and Counter-Terrorism.”

The Obama administration has a history of radical Muslim outreach. These outreach efforts have been employed by the highest levels of Eric Holder’s Department of Justice, resulting in decisions which significantly impact the potential prosecutions of terrorists and Islamist leaders.

Letter from Vegas

A few weeks ago my friends, Dana Markins and Andy Romero, a couple of paranormal enthusiasts, wanted to know where they should go to investigate stuff like that. I suggested Potosi, Goldfield, Chloride or Rhyolite.

Since I didn’t know they had gone, it surprised me to get a letter from Dana. It concerned me that I never got the phone call she promised and now, I can’t seem to reach her or Andy.

Furthermore, I contacted the West Los Angeles Community Police Station to ask them to do a welfare check on the pair. They told me their Volvo was found abandoned at a ’76’ gas station on San Vicente Blvd.,  and no one saw them leave it.

Instead, I filed a missing persons report.

August 8th

Hey Tom,

You were right about Rhyolite, what a beautiful place, especially at night. Andy and I had a blast. We got some neat EVP’s and orb-type pictures. It’s amazing how many stars you can see when there’s no street lights in the way.

We’re sitting in a coffee shop inside the Bellagio waiting for the sun to come up, bored and full of coffee. We should be sleeping but we had a really frightening experience while playing the slots and don’t want to be where there are no people around.

Andy noticed a weird-looking man with a very pale complexion and eyes darker than his black hair. He was also playing the slots. But he appeared more interested in a couple seated nearby him.

So we sat there, playing the slots. and watching him until the couple got up and headed for the door. That’s when the pale-looking guy got up too and started following them.

Andy got scared for the couple and wanted to go warn them, but didn’t. He said the man didn’t have a reflection as he walked along the mirrored wall.  I swear my heart nearly stopped when I saw that.  Looking back, it could have been the angle that made him appear reflectionless.

It was made even more clear to us that we’d better not follow or interfere when the guy turned and glared at us. And if that wasn’t enough he hissed at us. When he did that, we both saw his sharpened teeth. Honestly, I don’t know if they were real or not, but I don’t want to take any chances.

I’m used to going out and looking for paranormal experiences, not having them come to me. Andy and I can’t wait to get back to Brentwood and put this shit behind us.  I’m cured of the supernatural for a while.

Will call when we get home.

Love, Dana

Alta California

The end of Native American domination began in 1542 when Spanish explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo sailed north toward the future Del Norte shoreline.  Leaving from the port of Navidad in June 1542, Cabrillo’s two ships, the San Salvador and Victoria, reached Point Reyes by year’s end.

With the winter waters turning rough, Cabrillo ordered his ships to turn around.  However Cabrillo died in January 1543 on the Channel Islands.

His chief pilot, Bartolomé Ferrelo, took command and turned the ships back north up the coast of what was then called “Alta California.”  In February a storm struck and threatened to sink the two ships however the sailors sighted Cape Pinos.

Then a couple of days later when the winds had died, the navigator determined they were at 43° north latitude.  But due to several days of storm, in which gale-force winds swept sea water onto their decks, threatening to sink them and eventually separating the two ships, they were forced to turn south.

The two vessels finally met up at Cedros Island on March 26.

Originally, historian’s believed the Cabrillo expedition never sailed farther north than Cape Mendocino, which is more than 150 miles south of Del Norte County. But a re-examination of the ships’ logs said the ships probably got as far north as the mouth of the Rogue River in southern Oregon.

If so, those sailors saw the Del Norte County shoreline in late February and early March 1543.  However it is unlikely they ever made landfall.

Silver Tailings: The Jones Boys Headstone Mystery

It was a slow procession of mourners and curious onlookers that walked the dirt trail through the Gold Hill Cemetery on the historic Comstock. They were all there to bring an end to a mystery nearly 40-years in the making.

Traditionally, the story of how the two boys died, claims their father, Robert Jones, told them to go out and look for a missing cow and not to come back until they found it. But newspaper accounts of the day report they were on their way home for the holiday.

Either way, Henry T., 14, and his nine-year-old brother, John Jr., were out in the freezing cold Christmas Eve of 1871, when they died. It was another three days and nights before their frozen bodies would be found jus’ four miles from their ranch on American Flat.

The Jones family owned several ranches in addition to the one on American Flat, near Gold Hill. One was near Rattlesnake Mountain where Longley Lane and South McCarran Blvd. in Reno intersect and it was there that the boys were staying. 

The father sent word to them to come up to American Flat for Christmas and to bring two cows and two calves with them. So the two set out with the cattle and their dog but the weather was against them. 

They spent that night at Brown’s Station, now the Damonte Ranch not far from U.S. 395 and Geiger Grade. The next day they set out again but decided against going up the Geiger Grade route and instead decided to go down into Washoe Valley and then up what is now Jumbo Grade.

When their dog arrived at the ranch without the boys, their father began searching for them. Unfortunately, he went down Geiger Grade and stopped by Brown’s Station only to learn the boys had chosen the other route. 

The boys were buried in the Gold Hill Cemetery and a marble marker was erected with the words, “death wrapped them in a snowy shroud. Then, sometime after 1974, their tombstone was stolen. 

“The story of the Jones boys tombstone epitomizes the plight of our historic cemeteries with so much vandalism and destruction and theft from these cemeteries,” said Comstock Cemetery Foundation Chairman Steve Frady.

Four years later,  a woman in Petaluma, Calif., found a marble grave marker broken into two pieces laying in a ditch near her home. It was decided to move the old grave marker to the Two Rock Presbyterian Church Cemetery where it rested against the stump of a eucalyptus tree for years.

Years later, a local historian took an interest in the damaged headstone, by then stained black and green with algae and mold, and reached out to researchers across the region. That’s when somebody saw an image of the headstone on the Comstock Cemetery Foundation’s website.

For years, the foundation used an old photo of the stone as its logo.

Until the stone was recovered, no one knew of the four other names on the back. All they had to go with was an old photo that just showed the boys names, and that’s why it has always been known as the Jones boys’ grave.

They include George F., 6, and Cora E., 4, who both died September 29, 1877; Alice E., who was 2 when she died on July 10, 1878; and 14-year-old Diana, who died of suicide in September 1878.

“We had no idea that was on the back of the stone,” Frady said about the other inscriptions.

In Harry Reid We Trust

The Nevada senator was raised in poverty, worked his way through law school, spent his professional life as a public servant and is currently earning $193,400 a year. Now Senator Reid is worth millions.

In 1974, Harry Reid told the Las Vegas Review-Journal (LVRJ), “Any man or woman who will not be completely candid about his or her finances does not deserve to be in public office.”

Reid entered the Nevada legislature in 1982 and at the time, according to the LVRJ his net worth was listed as between $1 million and $1.5 million. Today, Reid’s net worth is somewhere between 3 and 10 million dollars.

So how did he get that way?

It begins in 1982, with a worthless 160-acres Reid and long time friend and Las Vegas lubricants distributor, Clair Haycock purchased near Bullhead City, Arizona. Though deemed a money pit, the pair held on to it until Haycock transferred the property to Reid.

We’ll return to this in a bit.

In another land deal Reid made $700,000 in 2004. It started in 1998 when he bought a parcel of land with attorney Jay Brown, a close friend whose name has surfaced multiple times in organized-crime investigations.

Brown was formerly the Corporate Agent for Rick Rizzolo. He represented Rizzolo’s “Crazy Horse Too” in actions before the Las Vegas City Council.

In 2005, Reid appointee and Federal Judge Kent Dawson’s brother, attorney John Dawson, hid Rick and Lisa Rizzolo’s assets. John Dawson’s law firm Lionel Sawyer & Collins received $1.4 million dollars in legal fees for “asset protection” services.

Incidentally, Reid’s two sons are also attorneys with Lionel Sawyer & Collins.

At the same time, attorney Dawson was hiding Rizzolo’s assets; Judge Dawson was presiding over the trials of 15 former Rizzolo employees. Eventually, all received probation or reduced sentences

The Judge failed to disclose his brother’s financial relationship with Rizzolo during his “Crazy Horse 15” trials, nor did he disclose that he was appointed to the bench by Reid, who has close ties to Jay Brown, one of Rizzolo’s attorneys and a business partner of retired Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman who represented Rick Rizzolo in a 1989 attempted murder case.

There’s no evidence that Reid ever profited from these legal proceedings. They do however show the kind of company the Nevada Senator keeps.
Returning to the 2004 land deal, Reid transferred his portion of the property to Patrick Lane LLC, a holding company Brown controlled. And though he transferred it, Reid kept putting the property on his financial disclosures, and when the company sold it in 2004, he profited from land he didn’t own but which nearly tripled in value in six years.

Following this, in December 2005, Reid invested between $50,000 and $100,000 in the Dow Jones U.S. Energy Sector Fund (IYE), which closed that day at $29.15. The companies holding at the time included such oil giants as ExxonMobil, ChevronTexaco, and ConocoPhillips.

When he made a partial sale of his shares in August 2008, IYE closed at $41.82. A month later, Reid introduced a bill the Joint Committee on Taxation said would cost oil companies billions of dollars in taxes and regulatory fees.

The bill passed a few days later, and by October, IYE’s shares had fallen to $24.41.

But by this time, Reid had already cashed in.

Then in November 2006, when Reid became Senate majority leader, pushed through an $18 million earmark to build a bridge across the Colorado River between Laughlin and Bullhead City. Incidentally, this is nearby the 160-acres he purchased in 1982 with Haycock.

The land was sold to Reid by Hancock for a mere $10-thousand, far below the market value. Adding to this, six months later Reid introduced a soon-to-fail piece of legislation to protect lubricants dealers who had their supplies disrupted by the decisions of big oil companies.

As of 2010, this piece of worthless property listed somewhere between $1 million and $5 million.

Trash Talking Obama Mouth Piece

Senator Harry Reid took to the Senate’s chamber floor with unsubstantiated claim that Mitt Romney has paid no federal income taxes for 12 years. Reid said that a nominee for a Cabinet position couldn’t get confirmed by the Senate if he made as limited a release of tax information as Romney has thus far.

“His father, George Romney, set the precedent that people running for president would file their tax returns and let everybody look at them,” Reid declared, “But Mitt Romney can’t do that because he’s basically paid no taxes in the prior 12 years.”

Reid’s allegations are taking the issue to a new level as he’s continues repeating his allegations. In a conference call with Nevada reporters, he broadened what he claimed were his sources for the contention Romney was able to avoid federal taxes.

“I have had a number of people tell me that,” said Reid. “I don’t think the burden should be on me, the burden should be on him. He’s the one I’ve alleged has not paid any taxes. Why didn’t he release his tax returns?”

Reid said he learned about Romney’s taxes earlier this summer from an investor in Bain Capital who he says called his office to pass along the information. He refused to name the investor and acknowledged he is not certain a the charges he’s been spreading are true.

“Let him prove that he has paid taxes, because he hasn’t,” Reid said, “Mitt Romney makes more money in a single day than the average middle-class family makes in two years or more.”

Romney has already released his 2010 tax returns and plans to make public his 2011 file when it’s completed. He also repeated to crowds in Las Vegas during a campaign speech, he wouldn’t be releasing anymore returns.

“Let me also say categorically — I have paid taxes every year. A lot of taxes. A lot of taxes,” said Romney. “Harry Reid really has to put up or shut up, alright? So Harry, who are your sources?” Romney asked.

“And by the way Harry, I understand what you’re trying to do,” he continued, “You’re trying to deflect the fact that jobs numbers are bad, that Americans are out of work, and you’re trying to throw anything up on the screen that will grab attention away from the fact that the policies of the White House haven’t worked.”

Meanwhile, in a statement released by Reid’s office, the he claims, “Romney’s tax plan is even more insulting to Nevadans than his belief that he’s above basic scrutiny.”

Wrong, Senator Reid — you’re the one whose insulting to Nevadans.

Wife of Retired Congressman Don Clausen Passes Away

Jessie “Ollie” Clausen died in a nursing home in Fortuna where she had been living with her husband of 63 years, former Congressman Don Clausen. She was born Jessie Oleva Piper in 1918 in Mansfield, Washington.

After high school, she moved with her family to Crescent City where she became a waitress at the Hi-Ho ice cream parlor. It was there that she was introduced to then- U.S.Navy pilot Don Clausen, who had just returned from World War II.

The couple married in 1949 and raised two daughters.

Her husband would go on to become a Del Norte County supervisor before serving in Congress from 1963 to 1983. They lived in suburban Washington, D.C., while Don was in office and settled in the Santa Rosa area afterward.

The couple had been living in Fortuna when Ollie Clausen suffered a fall, was hospitalized in Eureka and died soon after. She also is survived by daughters Dawn Marie Baumbartner of Ferndale and Bev Mendenhall of Kenne, Texas.

Beautiful Place

Along with the Klamath Reservation came Fort Ter-Waw. The name Ter-Waw is from the Yurok word for “beautiful place.” However Fort Ter-Waw, or Terwer as it is known, would not stay there long.

Set up by Lt. George Crook in 1857,  buildings took up about 80 acres on the Klamath River’s north bank above the waterway’s mouth and washed away several times. It disappeared in late winter 1862, washed away by the storms that ravaged the coast that year.

Then in the early 1863, Brig. Gen. George Wright ordered troops’ relocation to Camp Lincoln, under construction in Smith River Valley. It was about that time that Wright sent a message to his headquarters in San Francisco asking for more military men to kill Indians living in the northern California region.

As white settlers moved into Northern California during the 1850s and what later would become Del Norte County, both Tolowa and Yuroks were being housed at Wau-Kell. Neither tribe was happy with the situation because the Tolowa wished to return to their homes, while the Yurok were anxious to see them go.

But Gen. George Crook blamed the Tolowa dissatisfaction on whites who wanted them back on Smith River. Before Crook arrived in the region, about 100 of the Tolowa had returned home, and he agreed with federal Indian Agent H. P. Heintzelman that they would never return to the reservation without force.

When the Indians learned that Crook’s orders were against provoking incidents and fighting with them unless they fired first, a number of Tolowa slipped away in small parties. But since they realized they could not all leave in that way, they organized a different plan.

A Yurok tribal member told Crook that the Tolowa were planning to murder him, destroy his boats, kill Heintzelman and his employees, then sack the federal Indian agency and go home. This caused Crook to form plans to strike first, surrounding the conspirators at daylight and prove their guilt.

When Crook bedded down that night, he took weapons with him, leaving a box of brasses inside the entrance of his tent so he would be awakened if anyone tried to come in. But the Indians had decided to eliminate Heintzelman first and had sent for him to come to their village to see an ill man.

As the agent and his surgeon headed that way, they were attacked. Able to fend the Tolowa off for a few moments, Heintzelman’s rear detachment was able to scatter the attackers when they got to the scene.

Crook knew about the attack when a runner brought him a note telling him that Heintzelman was killed. It proved later not to be the case, but Crook summoned his soldiers, crossed the river and moved against the Tolowa.

The fight ended with 10 dead and many wounded. Twenty-six warriors and a number of women and children were captured and made to swear they would stay on the reservation.

The rest of the Tolowa fled into the mountains.