Connecting Some Middle East Dots

“So, be patient, perseverant, and stationed,” al Qaeda Arabian Peninsula commander Tariq Dhahab said in early January. “The Islāmic Caliphate is coming, with permission from Allah, and it  will be established, even if we sacrifice our own skulls, money, children and  homes.”

Calls for limiting freedom of expression to prevent denigrating attacks on Islam are being made at the United Nations. Foreign ministers from Algeria and Malaysia say such limits are needed after the violent demonstrations provoked by a video produced in the U.S. that mocks Muslims and the Prophet Muhammad.

Some two dozen people died in the violence, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, one of his staffers and two Navy SEALS.

The head of the U.N. Organization of Islāmic Cooperation says such offenses should be equated with hate speech. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, secretary-general of the Organization of Islāmic Cooperation, says demonstrations throughout Muslim countries this month provoked by the video “Innocence of Muslims” underscores why legislation is needed.

Ihsanoglu said that while he strongly condemns the violence, a balance had to be struck between free speech and incitement adding that considering the reverence 1.5 billion Muslims have for their religion’s founder, any offense to the Prophet Muhammad’s character should be considered with the gravity given hate speech. His call echoed the views of other Islāmic scholars and leaders, who have urged the U.N. and international bodies to define global standards on religious expression and to help prevent incitement.

As leaders called for a ban on free-speech, hundreds of Libyans converged on a main square in Benghazi and another in Tripoli in response to a call from the military to hand over their weapons, including armored personnel carriers, tanks, vehicles with mounted anti-aircraft guns and hundreds of rocket launchers. The call by the Libyan chiefs of staff was first promoted on a private TV station in August.

It gained traction however in the wake of the attack against the U.S. consulate in Benghazi. The incident has been followed by a popular uproar against armed militias which have increasingly challenged government authorities.

In response, the government called on all militias to disband or join a command center coordinating between the army and the militias. The government had relied on many militias for security during the turmoil following last year’s ouster and murder of longtime leader Moammar Gadhafi.

The government previously estimated over 200,000 people in Libya are armed.

And while Libyan’s rally, Italy’s foreign minister says the option of an Israeli attack against Iranian nuclear facilities is a concrete possibility. Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi said that added pressure on the Islāmic Republic from the European Union is expected in coming weeks, which could help jump start negotiations over Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

The card of military intervention by Israel to hit Iranian nuclear sites…is certainly a card that is still on the table,” Terzi told The Associated Press. “I consider it an option of last resort.”

European nations are seeking to agree on a new round of sanctions against Iran at a meeting next month. Meanwhile, Iran insists its program is solely for peaceful energy and scientific research purposes.

Obama Defends Free Speech — But Not Really

President Obama spoke to the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) saying, “That is what we saw play out in the last two weeks, as a crude and disgusting video sparked outrage throughout the Muslim world. Now, I have made it clear that the United States government had nothing to do with this video, and I believe its message must be rejected by all who respect our common humanity.”

No Mr. President, it wasn’t the video – it was a terror attack perpetrated on the eleventh anniversary of the worse terror-attack committed on U.S. soil in the nation’s history. Let’s take a deeper look into the UMGA speech and the soundbites not being played by our national media.

The U.S. voted  for U.N. Resolution “16/18” against “religious intolerance,” “condemning the stereotyping, negative profiling and stigmatization of people based on their religion,” on December 19th, 2011. The U.N. “anti-blasphemy” resolution been voted on by the OIC in the Human Rights Councils every year since 1999 and in the General Assembly every year since 2005.

The Obama Administration brokered a compromise for the implementation allowing the measure to pass the U.N. General Assembly unanimously. The only example of interfaith dialogue mentioned in the resolution is in Saudi Arabia.

Said U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom Suzan Johnson Cook, “We must denounce offensive speech whenever we encounter it — but our commitment to universal principles makes clear that faith must never be a crime and religion must never be used as an excuse to stifle freedom of expression.”

The aim of the “anti- blasphemy” resolution is not to protect religion but to clamp down on freedom of expression.  Most Western democracies have voted against, seeing it as a threat to free speech.

Therefore. it wasn’t a surprise to hear President Obama tell the UN General Assembly, “It is time to marginalize those who — even when not directly resorting to violence — use hatred of America, or the West, or Israel, as the central organizing principle of politics. For that only gives cover, and sometimes makes an excuse, for those who do resort to violence.”

What is bothersome is the idea that he’s suddenly being hailed in the media as a defender of “free speech,” while wanting to “marginalize” those practicing free-speech, no matter how offensive, for doing so.

Creating a Emergency Survival Kit for You and your Family

It’s always a good idea to be prepared ahead of time in the event of an emergency or disaster. Hopefully it is something you will never need but it’s an excellent idea to be prepared and have supplies ready ahead of time.

We see, hear or read the news daily about fires storms, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, volcanic activity, etc. Just about every part of the U.S. as well as many other countries around the world is susceptible to natural disasters of some type.

Others are prone to human-caused disasters such as fire and vehicle-related. You just may want to take heed ahead of time and keep an emergency supply or survival kit nearby or close at hand.

And the do-it-yourself kind is the way to go. Let this checklist below be a guide for you. Print it out and keep it handy.

Use it to put together a kit for yourself and family. Feel free to customize it to your families own personal needs.

It is not necessary to spend a lot of money, and I would really NOT recommend buying the ready-made or pre-packed kits from a store. You can easily put together your own kit with better quality items.

A large number of these items can be found around the house if you look for them. Another idea, if you already own a vacuum-sealer (such as a Food Saver), you can even seal clothing to make sure they stay dry.

__ Water – at least 1 gallon per day / per person for approximately 3 to 7 days

__ Food – at least enough for approximately 3 to 7 days

__ non-perishable packaged or canned food

__ non-perishable packaged or canned juices

__ specialty foods for infants or the elderly (if applicable)

__ snack foods (chips, crackers, apples, oranges, energy bars, etc)

__ Utensils

__ non-electric can opener

__ cooking tools

__ portable camping stove and fuel

__ paper plates

__ plastic utensils

__ extra ziplock or sealable bags

__ extra garbage/trash bags (medium or large)

__ aluminum foil

__ twist ties, rubber bands, etc.

__ duct tape

__ bucket(s)

__ Swiss Army Knife / multi-purpose pocket knife

__ Lighter / Matches / Flint and Steel

__ Sleeping Gear

__ Blankets

__ Pillows

__ Sleeping Bags

__ Clothing – season appropriate

__ complete change of clothing (2-3 changes per person)

__ rain gear (if applicable)

__ sturdy shoes

__ First Aid Kit (new or fully stocked)

__ Medicines / Prescription Drugs (if applicable)

__ Specialty Items – for babies and the elderly (if applicable)

__ Toiletries / Hygiene items (include dental floss for multi-purpose use)

__ dental needs

__ hand sanitizer or moisture wipes

__ towels & washcloths

__ toilet paper

__ tissue paper

__ paper towels

__ Flashlight / Batteries

__ Portable Lantern

__ Light Sticks or Glow sticks

__ Radio – Hand-cranked or Battery operated + NOAA weather radio (if possible)

__ Phones

__ fully charged cell phone with extra battery

__ traditional (not cordless) telephone set

__ Cash (with some small bills)

__ Credit Cards – Keep in mind that Banks and ATM’s may not be available for extended periods

__ Keys

__ Toys, Books and Games (age appropriate)

__ paper, drawing pads, pencils, pens, crayons, etc.

__ Important Documents – in a waterproof container or watertight resealable plastic bag

__ Insurance information

__ Medical records

__ Bank account numbers

__ Social Security card

__ Drivers License/ID Card

__ Personal phone book of family, relatives, friends, work associates, etc.

__ Tools – you should keep a set in your vehicle

__ foldable shovel, axe, hammer, pliers, wrench, screwdrivers, etc.

__ rope

__ Vehicle Fuel Tanks Filled

__ Pet care items (if applicable)

__ proper identification / immunization records / medication

__ ample supply of food and water

__ a carrier or cage

__ muzzle and leash

The most important thing is to plan ahead and start assembling these items NOW!

Dig This, Would You?

The FBI plans to drill outside a suburban Detroit residence  in the search for Jimmy Hoffa, the labor strongman whose disappearance is one of the most notorious and mysterious in U.S. history.  A tipster says a body was buried at the spot in Roseville, Michigan, at around the same time the Teamsters boss disappeared in 1975, but did not claim it was Hoffa’s body.

Odd how the federal government is willing to drill for a dead union guy — but won’t drill for oil.

The Two Faces of Harry Reid

It began with Gregory A. Prince, a Mormon author and blogger, who wrote about GOP Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney:

“His arrogant and out-of-hand dismissal of half the population of this country struck me at a visceral level, for it sullied the religion that he and I share — the religion for which five generations of my ancestry have lived and sacrificed, the religion whose official mantra is ‘to take care of the poor and needy throughout the world,'” Prince wrote. “My first impulse was to rent an airplane towing a banner: ‘Mitt Romney is Not the Face of Mormonism!'”

Prince, who claims he backed Romney in his Massachusetts gubernatorial bid and in his 2008 run for president, railed against Romney after a secretly recorded video appeared in which the candidate said 47 percent of Americans believe they are victims and entitled to government handouts.

When asked if he agreed with Prince, Senator Harry Reid, a Mormon himself, answered, “He said that Romney has sullied the religion that he, Prince and Romney share and he’s so disappointed that in his words, ‘It’s a good religion and he’s hiding from it.”

“I agree with him. Romney’s coming to a state where there are a lot of members of the LDS Church.” Reid continued, “They understand that he is not the face of Mormonism.”

Remember, facts like the truth are a tricky thing for the Democratic Senate Majority Leader.

During the 2012 Democratic National Convention the party adopted the following, “The Democratic Party strongly and unequivocally supports Roe v. Wade and a woman’s right to make decisions regarding her pregnancy, including a safe and legal abortion, regardless of ability to pay.”

Reid has yet to denounce this platform statement which isn’t in good standing with the Mormons church. In 1973, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints released the following statement about abortion, which remains applicable today:

“The Church opposes abortion and counsels its members not to submit to or perform an abortion except in the rare cases where, in the opinion of competent medical counsel, the life or good health of the mother is seriously endangered or where the pregnancy was caused by rape and produces serious emotional trauma in the mother. Even then it should be done only after counseling with the local presiding priesthood authority and after receiving divine confirmation through prayer.”

Who is more the face of the LDS Church and who isn’t couldn’t be clearer.

The Hypocracy of Hoffa

“Few of Romney’s billionaire backers make actual products – most simply siphon income from ordinary workers into their Swiss bank accounts.”

That’s the latest from International Brotherhood of Teamsters president, James Hoffa, writing in the Summer 2012 issue of the union magazine, “Teamster.” He’s really nothing more than a hypocrite.

He makes nothing and yet earns $362,869 and benefits annually. Furthermore his salary comes from the membership dues paid by those who actually labor day-in and day-out.

Mind you, the average 2012 American household’s income is $63,091 per year.

The Carson Mansion

William Carson situated his home in the heart of the city next to his lumber mill and the bay. From his cupola he could view commerce on the bay and check the happenings at his lumber mill to the north.

Constructed in 1884-85, for over $80,000 is a four-story, 18 room structure with a tower and basement, and one of the most photographed structures in the world.

Carson came from New Brunswick, Canada during the gold rush and tried mining along the Trinity River. By 1854 he was operating a lumber mill in Humboldt County.

In 1855 he shipped the first cargo of redwood lumber from Humboldt Bay to San Francisco, where before only spruce and fir timber had been shipped.  On April 17, 1863, Carson signed a partnership agreement with John Dolbeer which lasted for 87 years.

Dolbeer revolutionized the logging business with his mechanical talent. In 1881, he patented the “Dolbeer Steam Logging Donkey,” which modernized logging by replacing workers with machine power.

The Dolbeer and Carson Lumber Company prospered. They bought up some of the finest timberland, kept pace with the latest equipment, and they continued to prosper as logging methods and transportation improved.

By the 1890s, they owned several lumber mills, held an interest in the rail lines and in sailing vessels to insure the transport of their lumber. They incorporated the Eel River and Eureka Railroad Co. Helped build the Bucksport and Elk River Railroads and held interests in the Humboldt Northern Railroad.

The major destination for lumber was San Francisco, but they shipped all over the world. They had diverse holdings as well, including oil fields, the Humboldt Woolen Mills and Humboldt Shoe Factory.

Carson was one of the founders of Humboldt County Bank, Bank of Eureka, and the Savings Bank of Humboldt Co.  At his death, his fortune was estimated to be $20 million.

His will contained 116 beneficiaries, many company employees, as well as churches, hospitals and other community agencies.  The mansion was almost demolished when the last Carson heirs to live in the Mansion moved to San Francisco in the late 1940s.

Some Eureka businessmen decided to form a men’s club, and an option to buy the Carson property was obtained from the owners in October 1949. The deal was formally completed early in 1950 and the new club was named the Ingomar Club.

Playing Cat and Mouse with Healthcare

After the death of a third person exposed to the mouse-borne hantavirus, public health officials are expanding their warning to include more than 22,000 visitors to Yosemite National Park. So far, eight people who visited the 1,100-square-mile park in California this summer have been infected.

Hantavirus has been around for hundreds of years, with the first outbreak being chronicled before the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. The disease made a comeback in 1992 in the Four Corner’s area of the U.S., though it’s reappeared intermittently over the years, including 1959 and 1978.

Knowing this, one might think the National Park Service would have had an ongoing rodent abatement program in operation to protect visitors to the park. But it’s clear after so many people have turned up infected, the it didn’t.

Frightening to realize the National Park Service is run by the same folks who’ll be overseeing ObamaCare.

Public Enemy

They were a group of friends from Fort Dodge, Iowa and in Des Moines, the state’s capital, and on the brink of mischief. The four friends, between 14 and 17 years old, concluded it would be fun to stage a mob rub-out.

They had balloons filled with red-dye, ketchup and water and guns loaded with blanks. Each dressed in a suit and tie, borrowed from their father’s wardrobe and were driving a car, much like one Scar-face Al Capone rode in.

When the time came, one boy got out of the car and walked to a designated street corner. At an appointed time, the car came down the busy street and pulled up in front of the target on the corner.

There a gun fight ensued, with two of the so-called thugs getting out of the car and shooting the boy. As for the target, he returned fire on the two thugs, missing them.

The boy leaned against a brick building, slid to the sidewalk and played dead. By this time people were ducking for cover and women were screaming in fear.

That’s when the two thugs grabbed the boy and dragged him into the car, and the vehicle sped off. Road blocks catch the get-a-way car and gangsters went up, but to no avail.

There were reports on the radio that evening and in the papers the following day. The quartet became scared when they heard the FBI had become involved in the case.

To my knowledge Dad only told this story once. I remember hanging on every word, thinking, “How cool!”

Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find one newspaper article written about this event. So it’s safe to say, it never happened, but sure made a great story.

Fade to Black

After having run around Margaret Keating School’s track as fast as I could, I stopped at the fountain outside my sixth grade classroom and guzzled as much water as possible. I felt hot and sweaty as I started drinking, but suddenly became cold and clammy afterward.

My head felt like it was about to explode from the pain I was experiencing and my stomach seemed to grow so tight that I could no longer stand up. Then much like one might see in a movie, my entire world faded to black.

By the time I regained consciousness, I was no longer outside by the water fountain and was somewhat confused by my surroundings.  I was lying on the bed in the nurse’s office, having been carried there by Mr. Hammond, and where Mrs. Zwierlein was attending to me.

A few minutes later, Uncle Ron arrived and took me home. Mom immediately made me go to bed, uncertain what had caused me to pass out.

It was later determined that my body didn’t tolerate the sudden extreme of overheating to very cold. In essence, I had a simultaneous brain-freeze and stomach cramp, forcing blood to shunt in different directions – causing me to pass out.

I never let it happen again, no matter hot or how thirsty I was.

But what I find most interesting about this incident is how it shaped the way I look at dying.  I’ve come to believe that when our body dies, it’s like a sudden ‘fade to black,’ followed by the reawakening of our soul in a different place.

And yes, I think that for a few seconds, we’ll feel confused and disoriented, but eventually we’ll realize where we are and what has happened. Besides, having a 12-year-olds view of this process makes it less scary for me.

Presidential Rhetoric

What sort of campaign slogan is “Forward,” Mr. President? It means nothing to the working man or woman struggling to make ends meet, keeping both a roof over their families head and food on the table in this tough economy.

“Forward,” to where Mr. Obama? Into de-industrialization, socialized everything, a third world nation?

No thank you.

And if I hear Vice President Joe Biden spout off one more time, saying, “Here’s a bumper sticker for you: Osama Bin Laden’s dead and GM lives,” I think I’ll go play in rush-hour traffic. Again it mean’s nothing, with the number of people out of work and foreclosures wrecking neighborhood throughout the U.S.

After all if we’re going to elect a president based on who killed Osama Bin Laden — I’m voting for a Navy SEAL.

To all the Vehicles I’ve Loved Before

This was my first car — a 1963 Chevy Biscayne. I bought it for 300 bucks. I took Jill Ziemer to the prom in this car. It was a three-on-the-tree and I couldn’t get the stupid thing in reverse. Jill saved the day by climbing in the driver seat and finding the gear for me. Admittedly, it was kind of embarrassing.

I traded out my Biscayne and a couple hundred dollars for a 1967 Dodge Charger. It had a 383 under the hood and 440 Interceptor shift-kit. I out ran the CHP in it a couple of times. Shame on me! Because I tended to drive too fast in this car, my parents refused to let me take Connie Harper to prom in it. Instead I had to drive their 1971 Opel Cadet. It wasn’t a very sexy look!

While stationed at Warren AFB, in Cheyenne, Wyoming, I spent 1200 dollars on a 1976 Datsun 610 Wagon. I did my best to drive that thing to death by taking it camping, with my friends Dave Barber and Linda Alverson and on long road trips. It was a piece of crap — but it got me from there to here and back again. Even my friend Linda Bottazzo, who was also stationed at Warren and owned one, says they were crappy, but reliable.

I had a 1977 Triumph Spitfire for a few months. I ended up with after I sued an employer to get my back pay. Unfortunately, since it was owned by that same employer, I had to surrender it to get paid. Sometimes I think I should have jus’ hung on to the car and forgone the check. It was a chick-magnet. Hind-sight is 20/20, huh?

I didn’t own a working vehicle for nearly two-years after giving up the Spitfire.  I bought a 1974 VW Superbeetle, completely rebuilt with a 9-11 Porsche engine, for $3,500. The  day I got it anew paint job, my friend Beth Wachter stuck a bag full of gummy bears to it. So much for the paint job as I removed them one-by-one. It didn’t look like much, but add a few bags of sand in the front trunk to weigh it down and whammo — that little Bug could do near 60 mph in second gear. I sold back a number of pink slips, making my rent because of this.

 My first real old-timer was a 1937 Pontiac six 4-door Touring Sedan. I traded for it with a biker named Russ, who wanted my leather jacket. Since it didn’t run very well and a hole in the gas tank, I left it parked on the far-side of the apartment complex from where I lived. I should have kept my eye on it as within a couple of weeks, somebody stripped it down to its chassis. They even stole the seats, which were in pretty good shape. All I could do was file a police report and hope. Nothing was ever recovered. Dirty bastards!

After blowing the engine for a second time, I figured it was time to part with the Bug. And for the first in my life I decided to buy a brand-new vehicle. I drove my 1988 Hyundai Excel for 14-years until it caught fire on I-80 one morning and burned to the ground. The sad part about this is I had jus’ put anew water pump and radiator in the damned thing. I was also arrested for arson because the police thought I’d set the fire. They dropped the  charges after the fire marshal found an electrical short at the point of the fires origin.

For some reason I got a bug up my butt and decided to buy myself a “classic truck,” in this case a 1959 Chevy Apache Fleetside pick-up, that I named “Big Red.” I never could get the speedometer to work properly, having been over three times, though never cited, for going over the speed limit by 10 mph. I had a friend named Ray who was a mechanic and a race car driver, who was going to fix it up for me, so I moved it to his garage, unfortunately he and his wife split the sheets and she absconded with my truck and his two race cars. She is from Arizona, so I suspect the truck is sitting someplace on one of the many Reservations in that state. Whadda shame.

Shortly after moving into our new home, I had what I call a mid-life crisis spending $4,000 on a Chevy 3100 Series step side truck.  After five years of ownership I concluded “Little Blue,” deserved better TLC and feeding than I was giving her, so I sold it to my friend Paul Hinen’s son for 500-bucks. Happily, I see him zooming around town in the truck from time to time, so I think I got a good deal out of the sale.

After the Hyundai went up in flames, I needed a vehicle. I looked at all sorts of cars and trucks. I knew what I wanted and needed so I set about to find something that would solve both. That solution was a 1998 Ford Ranger XLT. I purchased it used for $12-thousand, which was about 1K more than I’d hoped to pay — but it has been worth every dime spent. I’ve crossed the western part of the U.S. twice in it, travelled up and down Nevada and California too many times to count in this truck and I continue to drive the hell out of it today.

Honestly — I had no idea I’d owned so many vehicles in my lifetime.

Nevada Man Dies in Embassy Attack

A southern Nevada man is one of those killed in Libya during the Benghazi attack on the U.S. Embassy.  Tyrone Woods most recently lived in San Diego before moving to Henderson with his wife, Dorothy and  and their three sons: Tyrone Jr., Hunter and Kai.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Woods died helping to protect his colleagues. Woods was a  former SEAL with more than two decades in the Navy including stints in Iraq and Afghanistan.  After retiring, he opened ‘The Salty Frog,” a bar in Imperial Beach.

Since 2010 though, Woods worked to protect American diplomatic personnel in posts from Central America to the Middle East.  US Ambassador Christopher Stevens, Foreign Service officer Sean Smith and Glen Doherty, also a former Navy SEAL, were  also killed during the attack.

Shelley Berkley’s Crooked Political Path

Democratic Congressman Shelley Berkley is challenging Republican U.S. Senator Dean Heller for his senate seat. To that end, she’s airing a TV ad claiming Heller, is part of a $64 million diamond scam.

“It’s a reach and a diversion,” University of Nevada, Reno political science professor Eric Herzik told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Given the volume of incorporations in Nevada, you’re going to have some fly-by-night operations and some fraudulent activities. To pin that on the secretary of state is a reach. ”

The ad goes on to suggest Heller took campaign contributions from a “co-conspirator” named Urban Casavant.  However, the campaign contribution in question came in June 2005 to Heller’s 2006 campaign for Congress by Rendal Williams, then CEO of U.S. Canadian Minerals.

In 2004 U.S. Canadian Minerals, with Williams at the head, acquired a 5 percent interest in CMKM Diamonds. But Williams was not among the people indicted by the feds in the fraud case.

Briefly, the ad shows a sworn affidavit taken by the Security Exchange Commission deposing Donald J. Stoecklein, dated January 24th, 2006. Stoecklein is an attorney in San Diego, California

On page 128, lines 20 through 23 Stoecklein says he met with then Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller.  But what you don’t see is page 130, lines 1 through 6, where Stoecklein says Heller and Casavant may have been in the same room, but never interacted with one another.

As for Berkley, she’s under investigation by the House Ethics Committee for possibly using her position to help her family financially. Included are efforts to keep a kidney transplant facility connected to her husband’s medical practice, and pushing for the Ways and Means Committee to not cut reimbursement rates for doctors who give dialysis to Medicare patients.

Obviously worried her ethics problems will cost her the race, Berkley is doing her best to make Heller look crooked, too.

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley Remains Off Point

Speaking at the  Trucking facility in Sparks, Republican Vice Presidential candidate Paul Ryan said the latest federal job report shows one in four people stopped looking for jobs in August. He added while 96,000 people found jobs, the economy needs to create 150,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth.

“This is nowhere close to an economic recovery,” Ryan told the crowd. “President Obama is not a bad guy. He’s good at giving great speeches. He’s just really bad at creating jobs.”

Ryan said he and presidential candidate Mitt Romney have a plan to fix the economy.

“We have to stop spending money we don’t have,” said Ryan, “We need to get our budget under control, or we will end up like Europe.”

If the Republicans win in November, Ryan said, they are not “going to spend four years blaming other people” for their problems.

“We are going to fix those problems,” he vowed. “We are not going to kick the can down the road.”

Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, running against GOP U.S. Senator Dean Heller for the senate seat, used Ryan’s visit to criticize Heller for supporting Ryan’s proposed change to the Medicare system.

Funny thing, Ryan didn’t mention Medicare in his speech, but he did say he wants to put an end to the nation’s deficit so (our) children today do not have to pay it off in the future.

“A lot of people are depending on you,” he told the 2,500 present.

Talk about being off point.

Battleground Nevada

President Barack Obama flew into Las Vegas for another quick campaign stop focusing on his economic policies. Air Force One touched down at McCarran International Airport for the president’s eighth appearance this year in Nevada.

Obama spoke before a Democratic campaign audience at a convention hall just north of downtown Las Vegas before departing for Denver. His visit comes after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed a National Guard Association convention in Reno.

During that convention Romney told guard members September 11th is a time to renew the resolve of protecting Americans against “evil” attacks. Romney added that the events of that day remain seared in the memory of Americans.

Meanwhile, a watchdog group gives Nevada Senate candidate Shelley Berkley a “dishonorable mention” in its report on corrupt members of Congress. Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington cited a House Ethics Committee investigation into allegations she used her position to help her family’s financial interests.

The Nevada Republican Party filed a complaint last year saying Berkley’s efforts to keep a kidney transplant program open in Las Vegas constituted a conflict of interest. Her husband is a managing partner of a company that contracted with the hospital to offer kidney care.

Also, Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller is in the Middle East to learn about military and overseas voting issues. He and other secretaries of state are traveling with U.S. Department of Defense officials, and so far have visited Kuwait and Qatar where they met with U.S. embassy and military officials.

Discussions have focused on voter outreach efforts for U.S. citizens living abroad and absentee voting for military personnel stationed overseas. A Nevada bill passed by the 2009 Legislature allows Nevada voters overseas to register to vote, as well as request and send absentee ballots electronically.

Nevada also adopted the federal Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment (MOVE) Act, which requires  absentee ballots be mailed to voters who ask for them at least 45 days before an election to make sure their ballots are counted.  In 2009 Congress passed the MOVE Act to help military voters obtain absentee ballots, wherever they are stationed.

Finally, the Military Voter Protection Project reports a significant declines in absentee-ballot requests by service members across the nation. Compiling data from Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, Illinois, Ohio, Alaska, Colorado and Nevada, the organization found military families have requested 55,510 absentee ballots so far this year.

That’s a sharp decline from the 166,252 sought in those states in 2008.

Ironic — But Not Funny

Did you hear the one about the unemployed Henderson, Nevada couple who went to the Democratic National Convention to cast their vote for President Obama’s reelection nomination?

Bob and Linda Cavazos traveled to Charlotte as delegates, putting away money from his $396 weekly unemployment checks so they could afford the trip. She’s a devoted Obama for America volunteer, while he’s an experienced telecommunications manager.

While at the convention they heard from such notables as Democratic advisor Donna Brazile, who told the crowd, “You bet we’re better off!” And senior Obama advisor Pete Rouse who claimed, “We are trying to create jobs in Nevada.”

When done, the Cavazos returned to Nevada with it’s 12.5-percent unemployment rate so he could continue looking for a job. Now, Bob has to show why he was not looking for work during that time period and it could affect his benefits.

What? No laughter?

Silver Tailings: Gabbs, Nevada’s Future Ghost Town

There’s some confusion about the origin of the name Gabbs, in the valley by the same name, in Nye County. One claim is the valley, mountain range and city is name after engineer and Professor E.S. Gabbs. However its more likely named after William More Gabb, a paleontologist and member of a survey team under professor Josiah Dwight Whitney from 1862 to 1867.

Several of his colleagues surveyed and mapped the area now called Gabbs Valley. While never seeing the valley that bears his name, Gabb described fossils collected there.

The first-known use of the name Gabbs Valley appears on a map from 1871. Seven years later, the 39-year-old Gabb, a Philadelphia native died at his home.

Gabbs is also the home of Melvin Dummar, who came to fame because of the so-called, “Mormon Will.”  Dummar says his inclusion in Howard Hughes’ will came after he found Hughes, half-dead and laying in the road near Lida Junction, then drove the disoriented billionaire to the Sands Hotel in Las Vegas.

Dummar has never been able to prove his claim on the Hughes’ fortune as the courts have ruled the “Mormon Will” a forgery.

Gabbs owes its existence to the discovery of major brucite deposits in Gabbs Valley in the late 1920s.  Brucite’s importance wasn’t realized until World War II and the need for magnesium in weapon production.

By the end of 1942, hundreds of workers and their families lived in new town sites named North Gabbs and South Gabbs. The first post office in the Gabbs Valley opened December 3rd, 1942. Initially, named the Toiyabe Post Office; the name changed to Gabbs, June 1st, 1943.

Gabbs gained city status March 29th, 1955, when the area mines were still operating at full capacity. The Nevada State Legislature disincorporated the county’s only city, May 8th, 2001, because Gabbs tax base could no longer sustain its municipal government.

Whether Gabbs becomes a ghost town like so many other mining towns in Nevada’s history, only time will tell.

Governor Brian Sandoval’s Tough Decisions

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval is the newly appointed vice chair of the National Governors Association Health and Homeland Security Committee. This is a reward for his performance a the Republican National Convention

“Like Republican governors all across this nation,” Sandoval said. “I chose to make the tough decisions.”

Does he mean decisions like voiding battling both the state’s employee and teachers unions, unlike Ohio, New Jersey and Wisconsin’s Governor or continuing to lay the ground work for ObamaCare, something neither governor in Florida or Texas are doing?

Then there was this from the former federal judge, “So I stepped down from a lifetime appointment to make a difference.”

Not really.

Sandoval told the Reno Gazette-Journal, as he announced his 2009 candidacy for Nevada governor, that he had become increasingly concerned about how the state was being run and he “decided to act on my concern.”

That’s a big difference.

Dolbeer’s Donkey

The year 1881 is generally declared the beginning of technological change in the logging industry. Up until then, men, oxen and horses carried the load.

In that year, in Eureka, California, John Dolbeer applied for a patent for the steam donkey engine. Early loggers gave it that humble name because the original model looked too puny to be rated in horsepower.

Back in 1864, Dolbeer, a very successful mill worker, became a partner with logger William Carson in Humboldt County. Together they built a logging empire called Dolbeer & Carson.

Dolbeer’s donkey was actually patented in 1882. It evolved through even more labor-saving changes including a “haul back line” through a pulley attached to a stump that eventually put the horse out of business.

His donkey engine sat on heavy wooden skids. It was an upright wood-burning boiler with a stovepipe on top that was attached to a one-cylinder engine, which drove a revolving horizontal drive-shaft with capstan spools at each end for winding rope.

Operating an early Dolbeer donkey required three men, a boy and a horse.

One man, the “choker-setter,” attached the line to a log; an engineer or “donkey puncher,” tended the steam engine; and a “spool tender” guided the whirring line over the spool with a short stick. The boy, called a whistle punk, manned a communicating wire running from the choker setter’s position out among the logs to a steam whistle on the donkey engine.

Occasionally a novice Spool Tender would try using his foot instead of a stick. When he returned from the hospital, he would use his new wooden leg instead.

When the Choker Setter had secured the line running from the spool, the Whistle Punk tugged his whistle wire as a signal to the engineer that the log was ready to be hauled in. As soon as one log was in, or “yarded,” it was detached from the line; then the horse hauled the line back from the donkey engine to the waiting Choker Setter and the next log.

By the turn of the century, donkeys were mounted on barges to herd raft of logs and “bull donkeys” lowered entire trains of log cars down steep inclines, all with the help of iron and then steel wire cable that replaced the original ropes.

Harry Reid’s Coal Black Heart

During his National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, Senator Harry Reid demanded NV Energy close the Reid Gardner plant near Moapa Valley.  Without the slightest bit of evidence, he says the plant is killing nearby residents.

Again, for Reid — the truth tends to be a tricky thing.

For one thing, Reid Gardner is one of the cleanest coal-fueled power plants in the U.S., with the number of visible emissions incidences dropping from 825 in 2005 to only 7 in 2011. Electricity produced by the plant is also  up to 4 times less expensive than “green” energy sources.

Meanwhile, Reid Gardner doesn’t operate for the first five months of the year. It’s usually only in service during peak usage periods which is in summer.

It has the ability to generate 557 megawatts of electricity, all-day,  all-night, everyday of the year. Compare that to Reid’s solar project at Nellis Air Force Base — with an output of only 14 megawatts.

The plant can produce enough electricity to serve about 335,000 Nevada households. Plus NV Energy provides around $34 million in annual tax revenue from the plants operation for Clark County.

Finally, by closing Reid Gardner, another 150 jobs will be lost. This, on top of an already nation-leading 12-percent unemployment, is something Nevada cannot afford.

It’s obvious Reid doesn’t have Nevada’s interest at heart.

Debbie Raborn, 1954-2012

Yet another friend has passed away…

Debbie Raborn was born September 29, 1954, in Olla and entered into rest September 2, 2012, in Bossier City, Louisiana. She was the general manager of KBUL Radio in Reno, Nevada for a number of years, where I worked for her.

Many times after I’d completed my air shift at midnight, we’d meet up at the Peppermill for a couple of beers. Even after I was fired and working at the cross-town competitor, KROW, we’d find time to sit and visit after shift.

She was a woman who harbored a lot of sadness in her heart but could laugh at almost any situation life threw at her. And you know — I’ll miss Debbie’s striking ‘gator-green’ eyes.

Harry Reid, the Real Job Killer

While he says he supports a federal land transfer for Yerington, Senator Harry Reid also wants it to include creating a new wilderness area in the region. The bill has already passed the Republican controlled House and allows the small town to buy 19 square miles of Bureau of Land Management property to be developed by Nevada Copper.

The mining operation will employ between 400 and 800 workers, each making an average yearly salary of $80,000. The surrounding land is to be used by businesses serving the mine, with plans that include a BMX track, outdoor amphitheater, a solar farm and a light-manufacturing district.

As for the proposed wilderness area, its land located between Smith Valley, Nevada and Bridgeport, California. It covers about 80,000 acres or nearly eight times the size of Yerington’s proposed land purchase.

So in exchange for cash, jobs and economic growth, a federal government that already controls 86-percent of Nevada’s land,  would get even more acreage. Meanwhile Nevada continues suffering through the nation’s worst unemployment rate at 12-percent.

Yet, if Senate Republicans say no to Reid’s proposed wilderness area, the Senate Majority Leader will prevent the land transfer bill from reaching the floor. Then he’ll waste no time in accusing the GOP of being at fault for the lack of jobs creation.

But we know the truth.

Harry Reid has No Compass

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid attacked Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney about his tax returns once again. This time during the opening day of the Democratic National Convention for refusing to release several years of tax returns, where he also contends no other presidential candidate in history has been as secretive.

“Never in modern American history has a presidential candidate tried so hard to hide himself from the people he hopes to serve,” Reid said. “When you look at the one tax return he has released, it’s obvious why there’s been only one.”

Reid added about Romney, “We learned that he pays a lower tax rate than middle-class families.”

For Reid, a fact is a bothersome thing — so he does his best to avoid them. However, the Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler called him on his ill-stated quest.

“For all the rhetoric about high taxes in the United States,  most Americans pay a relatively small percentage of their income in taxes.  Romney had an effective rate of 13.9 percent in 2010 and 15.4 percent in 2011.  That gives him a higher rate than 80 percent of taxpayers if only taxes on a tax  return are counted and puts him just about in the middle of all taxpayers if  payroll taxes paid by employers are included,” writes Kessler.

Once again Reid shows the nation that he is completely without a moral compass. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reminded many long-time residents of Nevada about Reid’s history of making false accusations.

“In the Democrat’s first bid for the U.S. Senate, Reid threw out all sorts of unsubstantiated charges against Paul Laxalt, the former Republican governor of Nevada who went on to defeat Reid by 611 votes in a recount,” wrote Laura Myers.

It was during the height of the Watergate scandal in 1974, when Reid questioning the former Nevada Governor about his financial connection to Billionaire Howard Hughes.  Reid challenged Laxalt to show his own and his family’s finances and to explain how he paid $7.5 million for the Ormsby House in Carson City.

Reid, then Nevada’s Lt. Governor claimed he wanted to clear up the “Ormsby House mystery.”

In October he handed out financial statements and tax returns for himself and his three brothers. He then challenged Laxalt to do the same. Reid continued by stating Laxalt hadn’t paid income taxes for several years.

In the end Reid claimed his financial worth was $305,292. On the other hand, Laxalt was worth only $200,000, excluding his interest in the Ormsby House.

Laxalt also showed he had not profited as governor. His returns showed that in December 1961, he was worth about $167,000 and, when he left the governor’s office in 1970, he worth less-than $102,000.

Kind of sounds familiar, huh?

Harry Reid’s Red Solar Project

Senator Harry Reid publicly banned relatives from lobbying him or his staff after several 2003 news reports showed Nevada’s industries and institutions routinely turned to Reid’s sons or son-in-law for representation. Now, questions surrounding those family ties are coming up again about the Senate majority leader’s influence.

Reid and his oldest son, Rory, are both involved in an effort by Chinese energy giant, ENN Energy Group, to build a $5 billion solar farm and panel manufacturing plant in southern Nevada. The Chinese company hopes it will be the largest solar energy complex in the U.S.

Solar panel prices have plunged globally, leading to the bankruptcy of equipment maker’s like Solyndra, with $535 million in U.S. government loan guarantees, and job cuts at other solar manufacturers. Pressured to curb Chinese trade practices, the Obama administration imposed duties as high as 4.73 percent on solar equipment imported from China.

This prompted more Chinese companies to move their manufacturing facilities to the U.S. It also helped Harry and son’s in their quest to secure the Chinese company for Nevada.

Senator Reid recruited the company during a 2011 trip to China and has been quietly applying his political muscle on behalf of the project ever since. Headed by Chinese energy tycoon Wang Yusuo, who took Reid and nine other U.S. senators on a tour of the ENN’s operations.

Reid reciprocated by introducing Wang as a speaker at his 4th annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. Then ENN retained the state’s largest  law firm, Lionel Sawyer & Collins, where Rory works.

From there, Rory helped ENN find a 9,000-acre desert site in Laughlin, Nevada, buying it well below the appraised value made by Clark County, where Rory formerly chaired the commission. Public records show Harry owns some “fairly worthless” land near Laughlin as well as Bullhead City in Arizona.

Then there’s the fact Lionel Sawyer & Collins gave $40,650 individually and through its political action committee to Senator Reid over the past three election cycles. Its political action committee also contributed $2,000 in 2010 and $5,000 in 2008 to the Searchlight Leadership Fund, a political action committee that lists Reid as an affiliate.

After the controversy over the number of lawmaker relatives engaged in lobbying, in 2007 Congress passed the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, sharply restricting the lobbying activities of close relatives of members of Congress. The law only applies to registered lobbyists and Rory Reid is not registered as a federal lobbyist in Washington or a state lobbyist in Nevada.

Whether the business is successful or fails, it’s the taxpayer who’ll end up taking the loss where the sun-doesn’t-shine.

The 1906 Stockton Trunk Trial

The all-absorbing topic in Stockton on March 26, 1906 was the trunk murder mystery — the finding of the dead body of a man in a trunk at the Southern Pacific railway station by baggage master I. K. Thompson and his assistant, N. Vielioh, on a Saturday night. The police were satisfied that the man’s wife committed murder, beating him to death over the head, possibly with a sandbag.

By early Sunday morning it developed that the murdered man was Albert McVicar, a timber man in the Rawhide Mine at Jamestown. He occupied a room in the California rooming house Friday night with a woman registering as   A.N. McVicar and wife, of Jamestown.

It was learned late that night that the woman was actually the ex-wife of McVicar, but in the August of 1905, she had married a Eugene or Jean Le Doux, a teamster, whose folks conduct a miners’ boarding house near Martelis Station in Amador County.

As the furniture purchased at a local store was directed to be sent to Martelis in care of a man named Le Doux, whom she is said to have designated as her brother, suspicion was directed at him. Sheriff Sibley went to Jackson and investigated but found Le Doux had not been away, and that he was in Jackson on the day of the murder.

This relieved him of any direct connection with the crime. He professed ignorance of it.

The woman’s maiden name was Emma Cole, and her widowed mother, Mrs. Head, resides between Jackson and Sutter, in Amador County. She told Sheriff Sibley her daughter had left home two weeks ago for Stockton or San Francisco.

Where she was at the present time she did not know.

On the same day as the body was found, Mrs. Emma Le Doux was arrested at Antioch at the Arlington Hotel by Town Marshal Thomas B. Sharon on information sent from Stockton. On being arrested the woman promptly admitted her identity and said she knew what she was wanted for.

Upon her arrest, she said to have made a statement. She declared carbolic acid was administered McVicar Saturday morning by Joe Miller, a sandy-complexioned man with a smooth face.

He and McVicar, so she said, came to the room intoxicated Friday night and McVicar went to bed. She said that she was with Miller after that.

In the morning about 9 o’clock they went into the room and Miller administered the poison. She does not go into detail, but declared she had nothing to do with it outside of assisting in putting the body in the trunk.

She never gave a reason for the killing. She telephoned her mother in an endeavor to have her meet her in Lodi or Galt, and said she expected her mother to take the Santa Fe train for Stockton.

She also told the Constable she was waiting for Miller, who had gone to San Francisco from Stockton.  Miller however left her at Point Richmond, stating that he would meet her at Antioch.

Her statement was conflicting, so her arrest was made. Emma was turned over to Sheriff Veale, of Contra Costa County, and brought to Stockton.

Her statement didn’t account for the bruises on McVicar’s head, and as for carbolic acid, the autopsy didn’t discover any trace of it. Doctor’s did say there was a slight but unimportant inflammation of the stomach.

“It is hardly likely that anybody would attempt to give another so active a poison as carbolic acid, which would burn him badly and thus betray itself,” one newspaper reads. “A person taking carbolic acid would not be incapacitated from putting up a hard struggle, and there was no sign of a struggle.”

Dr. Hull, one of the medical examiners, stated the blows on the head, causing congestion of the inner lining of the skull, had caused death, and there was absolutely no evidence of poison. Neither was there an odor of alcohol, which would be the case had he been very drunk.

As for the Joe Miller, who she says was the chief actor in the murder, there is no such man. However she did spend that Saturday night with Joe Healy in a San Francisco lodging house, who established an alibi covering the time of the murder.

Within days of Emma’s arrest, the Grand Jury was convened. This came after authorities found a small bottle of laudanum, about one-third full.

It became quickly evident the report Emma had made a statement to the effect that the mythical Miller had given McVicar carbolic acid was a mistake. It was now believed she used the narcotic prior to beating McVicar to death.

As Emma was reported to be “quietly, but with great relish,” eating breakfast, District Attorney Norton refused to allow anyone to talk with her.  He told the Associated Press, “I feel it my duty to protect the woman in every way possible. There is yet to be a trial, and interviews would serve to complicate matters.”

Questioned as to the motive for the crime, Norton said he only had an opinion. He speculated it might have been revenge for his having spent her money, or it might have been robbery — a desire to get possession of the furniture which had been purchased and partly paid for, or it might have been jealousy; possibly all three.

As for the identity of the deceased, a dispatch from the Cripple Creek Chief of Police Baker, Norton says there is no question that the dead man was McVicar.

Evidently Stockton’s Chief of Police Baker has sent an inquiry to the Colorado mining town asking for information on McVicar after card was found in McVicar’s effects showing he had been a Wells-Fargo agent.

McVicar worked for the company in Cripple Creek from 1886 to 1890 before relocating to California. He was also involved in the shooting some years ago of a Colorado newspaperman by a Wells-Fargo man named Russell.

The dispatch also shows McVicar‘s brother John, owned and operated the Cripple Creek Laundry. John with two more brothers and their mother still lived in the town.

Furthermore, Captain Neville, of the Rawhide Mine, where McVicar was employed, as a timber man, told reporter, “He was a quiet, industrious fellow, who took care of his money, and he was not a drinking man.”

Finally, Norton concluded that the motive wasn’t money because at the time McVicar and Mrs. Le Doux bought the furniture, he paid $100 down; he said he had little money left, but expected $200 from Wells-Fargo.

An inquiry by detectives shows he didn’t receive the money and that Emma must have known his financial condition.

Sibley, who had gone to Jackson to investigate Emma’s background claimed the family, her husband, and her mother, were “a queer crowd,” He pointed out that when Mrs. Head, the woman’s mother, was told her daughter was suspected of murder she didn’t show the  slightest  emotion, furthermore, the husband, Le Doux  seemed completely undisturbed.

He said he knew nothing whatever about it, and Sheriff Sibley was satisfied that he had nothing to do with the murder. Le Doux claimed he had expected her home any day during the past week.

He added that Emma had been accustomed to go and come when she pleased and he never worried about her. He also told Sibley he knew nothing about the furniture.

Three days after McVicar’s body was found stuffed in the trunk; Norton reported the discovery in San Francisco that Emma had purchased a six-ounce bottle of cyanide of potassium at the Baldwin Pharmacy about the 14th of the month. He added that traces of the poisoning had been found by the chemist analyzing pieces of tissue from the dead man.

“If they have found that,” said Norton, “then they are ahead of us.”

“Isn’t it true,” was asked, “that a bottle which had contained cyanide of potassium was found, and also that a knife or cleaver was also found among the effects of the woman?”

“I am not saying anything about anything now,” was Norton’s reply.

“Will you deny that these were found?” was the next question.

“I am not denying anything at all,” replied Norton, with a smile.

It was obvious Norton enjoyed playing up his notoriety.

The inquest into the cause of the death of McVicar showed Emma had nearly been caught from the outset.  It was shortly before noon on the day of the murder and Emma had evidently placed McVicar’s body in the trunk.

Afterwards, she informed Mrs. Englehardt, the proprietress of the California lodging house that she and McVicar were going away on the 3 o’clock train. Emma then went down the street to purchase the rope with which to tie the trunk.

While she was away a person called for a room. Mrs. Englehardt took the prospective roomer to Emma’s apartments. The door was open, and directly behind it was the trunk in which was McVicar’s body.

A hasty examination of the room was made, but no attention was paid to the trunk. Emma returned in a few minutes, had the trunk tied and carried to the depot.

Emma was charged with the murder of McVicar, on April 16th, and immediately pleaded no guilty. The proceeding took less than a minute, but the Courtroom was crowded long before the hour arrived for bringing the accused before Superior Court Judge W. B. Nutter.

By May 5th, only seventeen days remained before Emma’s trial. Both sides were hard at work gathering evidence

Norton and his assistant George McNoble were spending all their time working on the case. Defense Attorney Hugh McNoble, the brother of George, Attorney Fairall and Attorney Crocker were as busily engaged framing up their side.

A.D.A McNoble and Sibley were in Arizona gathering evidence in regard to the former life of the defendant.

“I know where my brother and the Sheriff have gone. It won’t do them any good, though, as they will not learn anything new.” Hugh said. “I would willingly tell them all they wanted to know about the matter. Yes, it’s a wild goose chase.”

As the trial began that June 5th morning, the courtroom was crowded. By this time the case had attracted widespread attention and reports of the murder had even been printed in the foreign press.

Two weeks prior to the trials beginning Hugh McNoble was forced to drop from the defense team when his partner, Fairall accused the two brothers of double dealing.  It took the remainder of the second week to sit a jury.

It was made clear from the onset that the defense intended to show that McVicar committed suicide. The prosecution on the other hand, claimed to have a clear case of murder in the first degree.

When the Court was called to order, Fairall immediately objected to the Sheriff and Coroner as being called as witnesses, on the ground of bias and prejudice. However, Nutter overruled the objections.

Then Dr. S.E. Latta, who helped conduct the autopsy on McVicar’s body, was given a rigid cross-examination. Attorney Fairall reportedly used more technical terms than Latta that he finally asked the Court for assistance.

“Why didn’t you take the temperature of this man?” asked Fairall.

“Because he was dead,” answered the witness.

“You assumed so,” Fairall shot back

“I know it,” was Latta’s emphatic reply.

Other doctors testified regarding the relative action of various poisons, ante and post-mortem bruises, the blood and other matters. Their testimony was introduced to support the contention of the defense the deceased came to his death from cyanide poisoning, self-administered, and that he was dead when placed in the trunk.

Prosecutors Norton and McNoble wasted no time in laying out the facts of there case. They pointed out that McVicar evidently never dreamed that Emma had married another man.

More damning evidence was presented showing McVicar’s death was planned some time in advance. They showed Emma had telephoned a San Francisco plumber with whom she had associated named Ed Healy, and who had been engaged to marry her, jus’ three days before McVicar was killed saying “Poor Al is dying of miner’s consumption.”

They were quick to direct the jury’s attention to fact Emma was even a known bigamist, thought she was never charged with the crime. With this information, the pair was able to tie the crime together by concluding that when Emma realized McVicar would learn of her marriage to Le Doux, she decided to poison him, place his body in a trunk and ship it to Jackson.

Soon the trial was turned over to the jury.

After being out six hours and twenty-five minutes Saturday night, June 25th, the panel returned to the courtroom. The document containing the verdict was presented to Nutter, who looked at it, handed it to Clerk Comstock with instructions to read it.

Comstock read it slowly and distinctly, “We, the jury in the above entitled case, find the defendant, Mrs. Emma Le Doux, guilty of murder in the first degree.”

Emma, whose eyes were fixed upon the table in front of her, straightened up and emitted a short groan, then placed her handkerchief to her face for a moment.  Mrs. Crocker, wife of her attorney was seated beside her, and placed her arms around Emma, kissed her many times, and told her that the fight or her life had just begun.

Neither Fairall nor Crocker showed signs of disappointment.

Nutter then set the date of judgment for July 9th at ten in the morning. Whereupon the two defense attorneys announced that they would move for a new trial and if their motion was denied would appeal the case to the Supreme Court.

Fairall wasted no time in filing an appeal. He added the applause indulged in by the jury when they reached their verdict is an element he’ll make use of in his appeal.

“In case the Supreme Court grants a new trial,” he told the newspapers, “I will apply for a change of venue to Calaveras County.”

Meanwhile Sibley permitted a Catholic priest to visit Emma.  Her attorneys scoffed at the idea of a confession and strongly maintained her innocence.

After a number of delays and postponements, Emma was sentenced August 7th to be hanged October 19th.  The convicted woman heard her sentence with calmness as was neither fear nor defiance in the expression of her face as she heard her doom pronounced.

Her attorneys presented affidavits intended to impeach the character of Juror Ritter, but Judge Nutter deemed them Insufficient as a basis for the motion for a new trial.

Six-months later, on January 14th, 1908, Fairall, found himself before the Supreme Court. He argued Emma’s case should be “reversed for many reasons, the principal one of which was that the Jury at her trial had been greatly prejudiced against her by the newspaper accounts of the murder published at the time of the finding of the body of McVicar.”

The Supreme Court took the case under advisement.

Meanwhile Emma was interviewed for the second time by a group of independent reporters. It was at the request of Sheriff Sibley after rumors surfaced Emma was being mistreated.

This allegation angered Sibley and he courted an investigation. The rumor’s persisted though so he asked for the meeting.

Emma met with the reporters in jail’s reception room. She quietly surveyed them; remaining still until sheriff Sibley introduced her.

She shook hands with them then took a seat among the small group to answer their questions. Emma at once informed them she had never been mistreated, and it was a surprise to learn people could be so uncharitable to her.

When asked it she still lived in hope of her life being saved from the gallows, she answered “Why, I never worry — of course I have hope — while there is life there is hope.”

“A wedding ring upon the finger and a small gold cross holding a golden image was the only jewelry that bedecked her person,” writes one reporter. “She was neat, in tact, richly attired, but withal there was a peculiar something which impressed a person with the fact that she was convicted and condemned — that she was still just plain Emma Le Doux.”

More than a year after the gruesome discovery of McVicar’s body crammed in the trunk, the Supreme Court on May 20th, 1909, hand down its decision.  It ordered that Emma be granted a new trial.

Associate Justice Henshaw wrote the decision granting her a new trial with Associate Justices Lorigan and Melvin concurring and Chief Justice Beatty writing a concurring opinion.

After several cases are cited, the opinion continues as follows: “Thus it is seen that all of the authorities agree upon the principle and announce the rule that where the principal is disqualified his deputy is likewise disqualified and process served under these circumstances is voidable. Therefore the challenge to the panel should have been allowed.”

Her new trial date was set for February 2nd, 1909.

Wasted away, Emma was brought before Judge   Nutter and her second trial set for February 2nd, 1909. She was accompanied by County Health Officer Dr. C. L. Six, who had attended Emma for over a year.

There it was learned Emma had contracted, tuberculosis, commonly called “consumption,” or the “white plague.”  Nutter decided to postpone her trial until she was once again well.

However that second trial would never occur. Instead on the morning  ofJanuary 26th, 1910, weak and rather frail, Emma Le Doux pleaded guilty to the charge of having murdered Albert McVicar and was sentenced by Nutter to life imprisonment in San Quentin.

While Nevada Burns Harry Fiddles

A slowdown has prompted a Carson City business to lay off 100 workers. Chromalloy Nevada officials say the layoffs come after reductions in military spending and the flat economy in Europe and Asia.

Chromalloy provides high-tech repairs and engine components for commercial airlines and the military at its two Carson City facilities. It’s at least the fourth announcement of layoffs the company has made over the last four years.

The latest layoffs cut the company’s total workforce to about 280, down from a high of 540 in December 2008. The layoffs affected both hourly and salaried positions.

Nevada’s unemployment rate sits at 12-percent, up 0.4-percent, since June. Reno and Sparks is up from 11.7-percent to 12-percent. Carson City is up half a point to 12.2-percent.  Las Vegas saw the largest uptick from 12.2-percent to 12.9-percent. Even Elko County saw its unemployment rate jump up to 6.3-percent from 6.7-percent.

Meanwhile, Senator Harry Reid will speak at the Democratic National Convention, where he’s expected to talk about President Obama’s job performance, Mitt Romney’s tax returns and the impact the Tea Party has had on the Republican Party.

To Be Clint Eastwood Tough

While Progressives continue lambasting Clint Eastwood for his speech during the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Conservatives are applauding the speech and its humor. For many, the improvisational speech more than made up for the Chrysler commercial he voiced-over during Superbowl XLVI.

Either way, it’s safe to say Eastwood’s been in tougher spots.

Drafted into the U.S. Army during the Korean War in 1950, and stationed at Fort Ord, his certificate as a lifeguard got him appointed as a life-saving and swimming instructor. Eastwood excelled as an instructor and received a promotion to corporal.

But to supplement his $67 a month Army salary, he held a part-time job on a loading dock for the Spreckles Sugar Refining Company. When discovered by the Army, he had to quit the job.

In October 1951, Eastwood was aboard a Douglas AD-1 Skyraider that crashed into the Pacific, north of San Francisco’s Drake’s Bay. The plane had departed from Seattle, bound for Mather Air Force Base in Sacramento.

When the intercommunication system failed, the plane ditched into the sea at dusk, two miles off Point Reyes. Eastwood and the pilot escaped serious injury, and swam to shore.

The crash was headline news on October 1, 1951 in the San Francisco Chronicle. There was an immediate investigation into the crash, where Eastwood testified.

This kept him from going to Korea with the rest of his unit. He was Honorably Discharged in 1953.

He later reflected on the crash, “I thought I might live. But then I thought, other people have made it through these things before. I kept my eyes on the lights on shore and kept swimming.”

To My Son, Kyle and the Class of 2015

With my son Kyle, entering college this fall he’ll be a member of the Class of 2015. For him, Andre the Giant, River Phoenix, Frank Zappa, Arthur Ashe and the Commodore 64 have always been dead.

His classmates could include Taylor Momsen, Angus Jones, Howard Stern’s daughter Ashley, and the Dilley Sextuplets.

1. There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information super highway.

2. Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be his friend’s parents.

3. States and his parents have always required he wear his bike helmet.

4. The only significant labor disputes in his lifetime has been in major league sports.

5. There have always been at least two women on the Supreme Court, and women have always commanded U.S. Navy ships.

6. He “swipes” his debit cards — not the merchandise.

7. He’s grown up on websites and cell phones and most adults in his life have constantly fretted about his alleged deficits of empathy and concentration.

8. His school’s “blackboards” have always been getting smarter.

9. “Don’t touch that dial!” What dial?

10. American tax forms have always been available in Spanish.

11. More Americans traveled to Latin America than to Europe.

12. Amazon never been just a river in South America.

13. Refer to LBJ, and he might assume you’re talking about LeBron James.

14. All his life, Whitney Houston has been declaring, “I Will Always Love You.”

15. O.J. Simpson has always been looking for the killers of Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman.

16. Women have never been too old to have children.

17. Japan has always been importing rice.

18. Jim Carrey has always been bigger than a pet detective.

19. We have never asked, and they have never had to tell.

20. Life has always been like a box of chocolates.

21. He’s always gone to school with Mohammed and Jesus.

22. John Wayne Bobbitt has always slept with one eye open.

23. There has never been an official Communist Party in Russia.

24. “Yadda, yadda, yadda” has always come in handy to make long stories short.

25. Video games have always had ratings.

26. Chicken soup has always been soul food.

27. The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been available on TV.

28. Jimmy Carter has always been a smiling elderly man who shows up on TV to promote fair elections and disaster relief.

29. Arnold Palmer has always been a drink.

30. Dial-up is soooooooooo last century!

31. Women have always been kissing women on television.

32. Older kids have told him about the days when Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera were Mouseketeers.

33. Faux Christmas trees have always outsold real ones.

34. He’s always been able to dismiss boring old ideas with “been there, done that, gotten the T-shirt.”

35. The bloody conflict between the government and a religious cult has always made Waco sound a little wacko.

36. He spent his bedtime on his back until he learned to roll over.

37. Music has always been available via free downloads.

38. Grown-ups have always been arguing about health care policy.

39. Moderate amounts of red wine and baby aspirin have always been thought good for the heart.

40. Sears has never sold anything out of a Big Book that could also serve as a doorstop.

41. The United States has always been shedding fur.

42. Electric cars have always been humming in relative silence on the road.

43. No longer known for just gambling and quickie divorces, Nevada has always been one of the fastest growing states in the Union.

44. He’s part of the first generation to grow up hearing about the dangerous overuse of antibiotics.

45. He pressured his parents to take him to Taco Bell or Burger King to get free pogs.

46. Russia’s courts have always had juries.

47. No state has ever failed to observe Martin Luther King Day.

48. While he’s been playing outside, we’ve always worried about nasty new bugs borne by birds and mosquitoes.

49. Public schools have always made space available for advertising.

50. Some of his peers have been inspired to actually cook by watching the Food Channel.

51. Fidel Castro’s daughter and granddaughter have always lived in the United States.

52. His parents have always been able to create a will and other legal documents online.

53. Charter schools have always been an alternative.

54. He’s grown up with George Stephanopoulos as the Dick Clark of political analysts.

55. New kids have always been known as NKOTB.

56. His friends always wanted to be like Shaq or Kobe: Michael who?

57. His friends have broken up with their significant others via texting, Facebook, or MySpace.

58. His parents remember Woolworths as a store that used to be downtown.

59. Kim Jong Il has always been bluffing, but the West has always had to take him seriously.

60. Frasier, Sam, Woody and Rebecca have never Cheerfully frequented a bar in Boston during primetime.

61. Major League Baseball has never had fewer than three divisions and never lacked a wild-card entry in the playoffs.

62. Nurses have always been in short supply.

63. He won’t go near a retailer that lacks a website.

64. Altar girls have never been a big deal.

65. When he was 3, his parents may have battled other parents in toy stores to buy them a Tickle Me Elmo while they lasted.

66. It seems the United States has always been looking for an acceptable means of capital execution.

67. Folks in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City have always been able to energize with Pepsi-Cola.

68. Andy Warhol is a museum in Pittsburgh.

69. He grew up hearing about suspiciously vanishing frogs.

70. He’s always had the privilege of talking with a chatterbot.

71. Refugees and prisoners have always been housed by the U.S. government at Guantanamo.

72. Women have always been Venusians; men, Martians.

73. McDonald’s coffee has always been just a little too hot to handle.

74. “PC” has come to mean personal computer, not political correctness.

75. The New York Times and The Boston Globe have never been rival newspapers.

Good luck, Kyle. I’m very proud of you!