Rear Admiral Removed After Benghazi Attack

There is no such thing as coincidence. Everything happens for a reason and in its season.

Take for instance the removal of Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette, the commander of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group from his ship – mid deployment – and sent back to the homeport in Washington state.  The Stennis deployed from Bremerton, four months ahead of schedule, in late August to maintain a dual-carrier presence in the Middle East.

The U.S. Navy won’t say why, but there seems to be a lot of guessing.

The top guess is there was some sort of sexual misconduct, or personal misconduct involving alcohol.  Sources close to the situation both on the ground in Libya and in Washington, D.C. say, it more than likely has something to do with Benghazi.

This falls in line with reports urgent requests from the CIA annex for military back-up were called for during the attack, but the CIA was directed to “stand down.” Furthermore, these sources independently suggest Gaouette moved the fleet closer to Libya during the Benghazi attack, preparing to launch armed aircraft for air support – against orders.

Again, this is speculation. Neither the Navy, nor the Pentagon will discuss the case.

The Danger of a Second Obama Administration

A Caliphate is the first system of government established in Islam where officials govern according to Sharia or religious law. With that said, on September 9th, 2012, Israel’s Home Front Defense Minister Avi Dichter warned that the Muslim Brotherhood has co-opted the “Arab Spring” with the goal of creating a “caliphate” to span the Middle East.

“What started in Tunis and continued in Egypt is ongoing in Syria, and will threaten Jordan and other Arab countries,” Dichter said. “The Brotherhood already has an outpost in the Palestinian territories, in the form of Hamas.”

However, it could be coming to a neighborhood near you.

A 2001 raid in Switzerland uncovered an Islāmic plan on infiltrating, subverting and ultimately defeating the U.S. and its Allies. Eighty file boxes full of evidence, submitted during the 2008 Holy Land Foundation trial, and are still being withheld by the Department of Justice.

During the trial, brought by the Justice Department in 2007 and again in 2008, it was found the “charity” had funneled more than $12 million to the terrorist organization, Hamas. Prosecutors were able to convict five Islamists, including a founding board member of CAIR.

Strangely, “subject matter experts” were later called in who said the documents were inadmissible as evidence. These experts have yet to be identified and the grounds on which they based their conclusion explained.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration, which has had visits from the Muslim Brotherhood to the Whit House, continues to stonewall Congresses requests to release the documents. Furthermore, the blueprints show how American-Islāmic operatives from groups such as the Council on American-Islāmic Relations (CAIR) and the Islāmic Society of North America (ISNA) have been able to subvert both the U.S. and Israel.

For instance, Dr. Nabi Fai, director of the Kashmiri-American Council, exposed as a member of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), a Pakistani intelligence agency officially listed by the U.S. government as a terrorist organization, received over $1 million from the Pakistani government to give to the various political campaigns. In the end, he contributed to the campaigns of President Barack Obama and Senator Dick Durbin among others.

Then there’s Iranian leader Mahmoud Ahmadinejad remarks to the United Nations General Assembly. He stated the present global, democratic leadership represented an oppressive international world order.

“The current world order is discriminatory and based on injustice,” he said. “There is no doubt that the world is in need of a new order and a fresh way of thinking, an order in which man is recognized as God’s supreme creation.”

Remember — Senator Joe McCarthy is still demonized for sounding the alarm about Communist infiltration within the U.S. – and he was eventually proved right.

Not Letting Defeat Get Me Down

Let me bitch and complain for a bit. It’ll make me feel better – promise.

Generally, I’d write about this sort of crap in my personal journal, but not today. Nope, this time I’m gonna publically shame me – or so I think.

After getting up this morning, I weighed myself.  I’m a hefty two-hundred and five pounds.

My first thought, “Holy shit!”

For years I’ve been battling a broken lower back, so exercise is difficult. Walking is even a strain on my vertebrae.

But I know I must do something – anything – which is better than nothing and nothings the one thing I’ve been doing the most.  But not today – I went for a stroll around the local neighborhood park.

In my youth, grade school through high school and even into my 20’s I was fast. At one point my top speed was clocked at 26.8 miles per hour.

I doubt I could go any faster than 6 miles an hour, if tested.

As a kid, I did a lot of running. In fact I could go for hours and hours and never realize how far I’d gone.

But that was running without a real purpose. I was jus’ a kid at play, having fun and doing what ever I could to keep from working my chores.

In track, I enjoyed the sprint, 100 and 220 yard dash and the 440 Relay. Long distant running was not my forte , as I saw it as work – and ask any long-distant runner – they’ll agree it is work.

When I was in the service, I could walk miles on end, hour-after-hour, through any weather condition, over any terrain. Today, though I found that walking half-a-mile or less in five-inch tall grass is an effort.

It wore me out, causing spasms in my lower back, so severe; I had to stop after one lap. Then I sat in my truck for 15 minutes waiting for the pain to subside.

But all is well that ends well – I’m home now — enjoying a Guinness Dark Draught.

 

Keep the Fed Out of Online Gaming

Nevada needs to keep the Federal Government out of its business.  The state’s legalization of gambling in March of 1931 helped transformed Nevada into a major tourist destination during the Great Depression.

But to many that’s ancient history. And jus’ last week I reported:

“Governor Brian Sandoval is backing efforts for a federal law to regulate online poker, saying Internet gambling goes beyond what individual states can regulate, which is a split from the National Governors Association. Sandoval said the legislation is worth considering as Nevada would stand to gain if Internet poker is legalized.”

There is no need to involve the Federal Government and it’s over-use of regulations in Nevada’s quest to become the center of online gaming around the world. It’s obvious that Sandoval, a former federal Judge, Attorney General, and Gaming Commission Chairman and state legislator doesn’t understand or even grasp the concept of the 10th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Give free enterprise an opportunity to succeed.

Bluejay’s Top Knot

One day Bluejay saw Deer mixing some mush for her family. Now Deer had broken her leg and was allowing the marrow to run into the acorn mush.

When Bluejay tasted this mush she found it delicious. She thought she had learned something, and went home very proud.

The next morning, when she mixed her mush, she broke her own leg, too. But, unfortunately to her grief, instead of marrow, blood ran into the mush.

When Bluejay saw she was not successful, she got very angry. In a fit of rage she pulled her tail feathers out and put them on her head.

As a result of this temper tantrum, Bluejay has worn a topknot ever since.

The Chain-Link Fence

The shift was quiet since it began at 11 o’clock that evening. The rain had stopped and the early hours of the morning had taken on a chill.

It was just before two and the pair was nursing a thermos of coffee.

“Sam eight, Sam eight” the radio popped to life.

It was Theresa calling their unit. Dale reached over and picked up the microphone.

“This is Sam eight, go ahead,” answered.

He unclicked the button.

“Sam eight, I got a report of a 10-31 in the water fountain area. Some dude just rolled a patron from the Alibi Bar,” Theresa said. Then she added, “He might be 10-32.”

Rolling down my window and took a large swig of my coffee, then dumped the rest into the street. I knew that the bad guy had just hit someone and stole whatever he could.

It was the day after payday. The report of a gun made matters worse.

“Ten-four,” Dale calmly replied, “Our twenty is at the post office. ETA, less than three minutes.”

“How about I get out here, Dale?” I asked as Dale hung up the radio mic, “They’ll expect cars, but not on foot. Besides, he might be coming this way.”

Dale nodded his head up and down and I got out of the car. I turned on his radio and put the mic to his lips.

“Two Sam Eight to dispatch,” I said in a normal speaking tone.

“Dispatch, go Two Sam Eight” Theresa responded.

Looking to my right then said, “Two Sam Eight Tommy be in the area on foot.”

There was a brief pause, “Ten-four and ten-zero, Two Sam Eight.”

Theresa was telling me to be careful. They had known each other since grade school.

When we graduated, we walked together down the neatly arranged rows of fold up chairs in the new gym at Margaret Keating Elementary.

“Ten-four, dispatcher,” I came back.

Trotting up the long silent walkway past KPOD radio station, I could see the light of the control room as it reflected itself down to the sidewalk.

Jogging across B Street and into the water fountain area, I could see two city units ahead, Dale was standing with them. There was a dark figure lying on the ground.

I picked up the microphone. “I can see you One Sam Eight. Is that our victim?”

“Ten-four,” Dale responded, “You see anyone?”

“Negative,” Tommy replied.

About that moment a rhododendron bush to the left of me burst to life. Out of it popped a man.

He was short with brown tangled hair. I could see he had on a red plaid shirt.

The man turned and ran in the direction I had just come from.

“Dale! I got him. He’s running toward C Street!” I yelled, forgetting my radio.

I dashed after the man.

He ran fast as I tried to catch him. The pursuit crossed the feed store parking lot and turned up Highway 101.

In the distance, I could hear other officers attempting to join the foot race. After a quarter of a mile, the man started to slow down but that’s when I started to catch up to him.

The man turned left around a corner. We were nearing McNamara and Peeps Lumber Yard.

I could hear the chain link fence as the man climbed over it.

Within seconds I was at the same fence. I did not slow down.

Judged the distance from the sidewalk and across the grass to be less than 15 feet, I would jump over the fence on the run.

The first step was fine.

It was the second step that proved to be a problem as I slipped in the wet grass. I had flat-soled boots on and it was like ice-skating and I shot forward into the fence.

Crash!

I was able to stop myself from falling but I had lost my momentum to jump the fence. Now I would have to climb it.

So, I pulled myself up onto the chain linking. It rattled and shook as I did so.

Leaning over the top of the fence at my waist I proceeded to swing my legs over. The upper half of my body was already over the top.

Suddenly I stopped. I could go no further.

My belt caught me. The webbing held fast against the metal points of the fence.

I was stuck.

Kicking and struggling, I could not go back or forward on the fence. Suddenly my radio dropped out of its carrying case and crashed to the ground in front of me,  jus’ out of my reach.

“Damn,” I thought, as my mind raced ahead. “What if he’s out there and can see me?”

I instinctively reached back for my 38. It was missing also. It had fallen out when Tommy crashed into the fence.

Now, I was a sitting duck. my service belt had trapped me upside down on the chain link fence.

Worse yet, no one knew where I was except the robber I had been chasing. I continued to struggle, wiggled and pulled, but got nowhere with the fence.

Then I thought, “Maybe I can get my belt undone.”

Reaching up and I felt for the buckle. That too was a struggle.

It was held fast against the fence on the opposite side. I was hanging jus’ far enough over the fence that I couldn’t reach over it and get to the buckle.

Desperate, I needed to get free of  the fence. That’s when I decided to suck in my stomach and try to squirm free of my uniform pants.

Within moments I was out of my breeches. But I was still hanging upside down because I couldn’t get my feet out of my boots and they were still hung up in the legs of my pants, but now I could reach my radio.

“Two Sam Eight to One Sam Eight,” I called out.

“Go ahead Two Sam Eight,” it was Dale, “Where are you?”

I felt my face turn flush red, and then replied, “I’m on the south west corner of the lumber yard.”

“Sam 10 to dispatch,” the radio said. “We got him down at first stop light on Northcrest.”

Sam 10 had caught the bad guy.

Theresa responded, “Ten-four Sam 10,” then she proceeded to clear the radio by calling to each Sheriff’s unit.

“Sam 8 is 10-13,” Dale responded.

A minute later he walked past me as I hung on the fence.

“Dale?” I asked.

“Yeah,” Dale said, “Where are you?”

Dale had turned around and walked past me again.

“To your left,” I nearly shouted.

Dale stopped and pulled out his flashlight. I could hardly see because of the big white beam of light that flashed in my eyes.

“Get me down, would you?!” I shouted in a near panic.

Dale started laughing as he walked towards me. He reached up and unlatched the buckle of my belt.

Flopping to the ground, I stood up and tucked my shirt back in my pants and snapped his radio back in its holder. Dale handed my revolver to me over the fence and I proceeded to walk through the lumberyard towards the front gate.

I could hear Dale laughing all the while.

Nevada Senator Harry Reid Okay After Crash

Senator Harry Reid has been discharged from the hospital after a car crash on Interstate-15  in Las Vegas. Hospital spokeswoman Karen Gordon says the senator left less than three hours after the crash that happened jus’ after 1 p.m. Friday.

Officials from his office say he suffered bruising to his ribs and hip in the crash, and was taken to UMC by his security detail as a precaution. Reid officials say other members of the senator’s security detail and a staffer had minor injuries and were also taken to the hospital for evaluation.

Troopers say six vehicles were involved in the apparent chain reaction rear-end crash, including two police vehicles, two Capitol Police vehicles and two civilian vehicles. In May 2010, Reid’s wife, Landra, broke her neck and nose after being rear-ended by a tractor-trailer in a Washington D.C.

First lady Michelle Obama was also in Las Vegas Friday. She says it will take a lot of hard work by supporters to make sure President Barack Obama carries Nevada on Election Day.

She urged a cheering crowd to make phone calls and knock on doors to ensure a big voter turnout for a presidential race tight enough to go either way. Mrs. Obama told the crowd in a school gym to “work like you’ve never worked before,” and flashed a thumb’s up when the crowd chanted “four more years.”

The Democratic president and Republican challenger Mitt Romney were also in the Silver State this week pleading with voters to go to the polls.

Her return to Washington was delayed. A McCarran International Airport spokesman says her aircraft was held up for three hours because of mechanical problems.

The early voting message is resinating with Nevadan’s as one-quarter of active voters have already cast ballots in the November election during the first six days of early voting. The Secretary of State’s office shows nearly 317,000 people have voted either in person or by mail.

Democrats are outpacing Republicans at the polls so far by 10 percentage points. Early voting ends November 2nd.

Meanwhile politicians joined high school bands, beauty queens and others in the annual 74th Nevada Day Parade in Carson City.

Senator Dean Heller, and his wife, Lynne, kept to tradition by riding horses in the parade. His Democratic challenger, Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, was right behind him as she waved to people while riding atop a vintage red Pontiac.

Among parade co-grand marshals was Nevada Army National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Jeremiah Mock, who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan. Carson City sheriff’s deputies estimate the parade attracted a crowd of 35,000.

Speaking of Berkley, Veteran Administration Southern Nevada Healthcare System Director John Bright is being questioned by the House Ethics Committee investigating her.  The committee is looking into whether she used her position to help her family’s financial interests.

Investigators say Berkley’s husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner’s Kidney Specialists of Southern Nevada was paid nearly $1.4 million for 569 VA dialysis patient visits from 2008 through August 30th of this year.

As Berkley undergoes scrutiny, Governor Brian Sandoval is backing efforts for a federal law to regulate online poker, saying Internet gambling goes beyond what individual states can regulate, which is a split from the National Governors Association. Sandoval said the legislation is worth considering as Nevada would stand to gain if Internet poker is legalized.

And Finally, Washoe County District Attorney Richard Gammick is urged voters to join him in casting a ballot for state Senator Greg Brower, but there’s a problem: He doesn’t live in Brower’s district.

Gammick says he made a mistake and didn’t realize it until he got his sample ballot. He says he thought he was in Brower’s district after redistricting.

California Resident Votes in Nevada Elections

Gut-check, smell test, whatever you want to call it — is that time when you sense something is wrong. This is one of those times.

An aquaintance was standing in line for early voting a day ago, when she over heard a woman, also standing in the same line, tell someone else that all she had is her California driver’s license.  Unfortunately for the woman with the ID issue, she was voting in Nevada.

“I watch as she tells the woman she has no proof of being a NV resident,” she said.

“Are you kidding me?” I responded, “You should have challenged he on the spot. In Nevada you have that right!”

“My husband is at the Washoe County Registrar of Voter’s office right this second,” she returned.

“Good,” thought.

Well, her husband learned poll workers in Nevada cannot legally ask for identification and a California driver’s license is an acceptable form of ID, since in order to register in the first place a person has to have a phone or power bill, if they don’t have a Nevada driver’s license. Furthermore, he found out a state ID acts as a government issued ID and no ID’s required if you can confirm the information the poll worker can legally ask, which is your address and phone number, thus proving who you say you are.

For me and many others, like my friend, this smells to high-heaven and is a punch to our gut as we realize jus’ how easy it is to stuff the ballot box in Nevada and learn the voter-challenge law is worthless.

Take a Walk

Sometimes, one has to find humor where ever they can.

My sister, Deirdre says our youngest sister Marcy is sick a lot. Part of the back story is that she was struck by a car in 1981, leaving her paralysed and causing the loss of one of her legs and has been in a wheelchair ever since.

Deirdre tells me, “Doctors up here are idiots and I don’t mind saying so.”

She says Marcy wishes she didn’t ramble on when visiting with her doctors, but they talk over her like she doesn’t know a thing about her condition. The last doctor told her she needs to get out of her wheelchair and get some exercise.

“Guess what?” Deirdre adds, “He almost succeeded in getting her out of her chair – in order to choke him!”

 

Benghazi Attack Finally Gets Senate Attention

It’s taken 46 days, but finally something seems to be happening with regard to the terror attacks on our U.S. compound in Benghazi.

Three senators are demanding the Obama administration make public the surveillance video taken during last month’s deadly attack in Libya. Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte wrote to President Obama’s defense secretary, CIA director and attorney general demanding the video be declassified.

In the run-up to the presidential election, a number of news reports show the Obama administration is distorting the account of the attack on September 11th that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans. Officials continue to blame it on a mob set into motion by an anti-Islamic film.

Meanwhile, the Senate Intelligence Committee has scheduled a series of hearings to investigate the intelligence and security surrounding the Benghazi attack. The panel, chaired by Democrat Senator Dianne Feinstein of California, will hold closed hearings beginning November 15th.

The  hearing will look at four main areas: Information surrounding intelligence and reporting of threats before the attack; what is now known about what happened in the attack, including who is responsible; the capability of the intelligence community to collect information in the Middle East and North Africa; and security at State Department and other U.S. facilities in the region.

Unfortunately, they won’t look into the connecting between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Obama Administration.

The Web

This is like untangling a spider-web, without breaking the strands, so I’ll do my best to keep it simple. In July, the U.S. State Department approved a license for the newly formed U.S.-based organization “The Syrian Support Group” to raise money for Syrian rebels — overriding President Obama’s administration sanctions and his Executive Order against such activity.

Near the end of May, the group sent a letter to the State Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) which issued the group a license on July 23rd, allowing them to “export, re-export, sell, or supply to the Free Syrian Army (‘FSA’) financial, communications, logistical, and other services otherwise prohibited by Executive Order 13582 in order to support the FSA.”

The FSA is affiliated with the Syrian National Council, whose political director, Louay Safi, used to be one of the top Islāmic advisers to the Pentagon and was only one of two officials authorized to certify Muslim chaplains for the U.S. military services. Safi’s relationship with the Pentagon ended in 2010 after it was discovered he was teaching Islāmic theology classes to troops headed for Afghanistan.

Then there’s the man who incorporated the Syrian Support Group in April 2012, and applied for the State Department OFAC license, Chicago-lawyer Mazen Asbahi. When running for president in 2008, Barack Obama appointed Asbahi to head Muslim outreach for his campaign.

After his appointment, it was learned Asbahi served as a board member of the Allied Assets Advisors Fund, a division of the North American Islāmic Trust (NAIT), which is yet another front for the Muslim Brotherhood. And as an aside, also on the board of Allied Assets Advisors was Jamal Said, a Chicago imam who raised $50,000 for Sami al-Arian, the head of Palestinian Islāmic Jihad in North America.

Both NAIT and Said are named unindicted co-conspiritors in the Holy Land Foundation trials of 2007 and 2008.

Finally, Asbahi and Safi were at the same White House meeting on June 29, 2011. Furthermore, Asbahi visited the White House again in April, jus’ days after the Syrian Support Group was incorporated.

And let us not forget that four Americans, including a U.S. Ambassador, two Navy SEALS and a civil service employee, were murdered in Benghazi because of this vast web.

The October Surprise

As I was leaving work last night, ABC News had jus’ announced a Tunisian man was arrested October 11th, in Turkey with reported links to the attack on a U.S. consulate in Libya a month earlier. I’ve been on fire, burning angrily, ever since.

This comes on the heels of the Obama administration’s appointment of an investigator for the terror attacks in Benghazi with known Islamist-sympathizing. Former Ambassador Thomas R. Pickering, who has documented ties with the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is the co-chairman of the board of George Soros’ International Crisis Group who funds the pro-Iranian front group, the National Iranian American Council (NIAC).

Pickering’s Islamic-connections came to light after by the Investigative Project on Terrorism was published, exposing what it called the “scores of established, radical Islamists” who met with senior administration officials over the course of hundreds of White House visits.

These “established, radical Islamist,” include members of the Muslim Brotherhood. But lets step back and take a walk through the Rose Garden the days following the attacks in Benghazi.

Here’s what President Barack Obama said on September 12th:

“Since our founding, the United States has been a nation that respects all faiths. We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others. But there is absolutely no justification to this type of senseless violence. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts… No acts of terror will ever shake the resolve of this great nation, alter that character, or eclipse the light of the values that we stand for.”

Here’s Jay Carney, White House Press Secretary, the following day:

“I think it’s important to note with regards to that protest that there are protests taking place in different countries across the world that are responding to the movie that has circulated on the Internet.”

Here’s Hillary Clinton on September 14th:

“We’ve seen the heavy assault on our post in Benghazi that took the lives of those brave men. We’ve seen rage and violence directed at American embassies over an awful Internet video that we had nothing to do with. It is hard for the American people to make sense of that because it is senseless, and it is totally unacceptable.”

And Carney the same day:

“We were not aware of any actionable intelligence indicating that an attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi was planned or imminent. That report is false.”

Finally, Obama’s U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice hit every Sunday show with this message on September 16th:

“Based on the best information we have to date … it began spontaneously in Benghazi as a reaction to what had transpired some hours earlier in Cairo, where, of course, as you know, there was a violent protest outside of our embassy sparked by this hateful video.”

Earlier this month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said the U.S. has been looking into the arrests of two Tunisian men being detained in Turkey reportedly in connection with attacks on the consulate in Libya last month.  The charges are punishable by six to 12 years in prison, according to the provisions of the anti-terrorist law in force in Tunisia since 2003.

Now we’re learning that between 300 and 400 national security officials received emails detailing the Benghazi terrorist attack as it was happening on 9/11, raising fresh questions about the truth behind the Benghazi attack. The emails show that the Libyan radical Islamic group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the attack just two hours after it began via social media.

White House officials told CBS News that an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Libya, providing Washington with a live feed to the chaos that unfolded. However, we still don’t know why and, Americans deserve answers.

U.S. diplomat Sean Smith, who was killed in the attack, left distress messages on a gaming website, “Assuming we don’t die tonight, we saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.”

Thirty minutes later, U.S. Ambassador Stevens met with the Turkish ambassador. By this time special operators in the CIA safe house already knew something was wrong.

The Turkish ambassador left with no incident, unharmed. Hours later, the attack began.

The fight lasted seven hours, with a live feed streaming into the White House Situation Room. Cameras positioned in the compound, as well an aerial drone taking pictures of the U.S. outpost in Benghazi were also fed live into the State Department and the Pentagon.

So how did this really start? And it wasn’t because of a You-Tube video as they administration would like us to believe.

The Obama administration appears to have been arming Libyan “rebels” with rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), surface to air missiles and other weapons in order to overthrow Muammar Gadhafi. In 2011, these rebels were successful in their goal, ultimately torturing and killing the dictator.

The Muslim Brotherhood, which had been coordinating with the U.S., offered its assistance in dealing with rebels in the region in exchange for help in crushing the Gadhafi regime.

Those same rebels turned out to be members of al-Qaeda. They allegedly sought to oust Gadhafi because he had been cooperating with the U.S. to end their presence in Libya.

Recall the U.S. had partnered with Gadhafi ever since he complied with U.S. demands that he abandon his nuclear and biological weapons program. Nonetheless, the Obama administration abandoned it’s agreement to continue joint cooperation with Gadhafi.

Since Gadhafi’s death, al-Qaeda’s only counterbalance in Libya removed, the terror group responsible for the September 11th attacks has now been left uncontested to spread through the region. But it doesn’t end there.

Benghazi is a well known weapons location point, which might explain what Ambassador Christopher Stevens was doing there to begin with. It’s also a place where no U.S. diplomatic outpost should have ever been situated in the first place.

It’s believed that Stevens knew trouble was coming, which is why he requested additional security. This is because Stevens was “pointman,” in this weapons-running scheme, working directly with Abdulhakim Belhadj, who is commander of the Muslin-Brotherhoods proxy organization, Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG).

Through Belhadj, Stevens supplied weapons for rebel forces in Libya and later to Syria via Turkey. It’s widely known that President Obama has maintained warm relations with Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, having spoken no less than 13 times by phone last year alone.

The New York Times reported in June, CIA operatives were on the ground in Turkey helping opposition forces and it is known that Stevens had met with a Turkish official the night of his demise. Also no secret is the blood-feud between President Bashar al Assad and Erdogan.

From what I’ve pieced together, the Muslim Brotherhood and its proxy, LIFG, through it’s leader Belhadj, were advising the U.S. on which rebel-factions in Libya and later, in Syria, should receive our arms. Those rebel receiving arms turned out to be members of al Qaeda, whose now dead leader bin Laden was once counted among the membership of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Aiding Islamists to retake the Maghreb while expunging the region of all Western-influence makes sense, if you understand Obama ideology, however despite the unofficial U.S. policy of aiding “non-violent” Islamists, the Obama administration has forgotten jihadists will do what jihadists do, manipulate Americans to get what they want, then kill in the name of God as they work to implement a global caliphate based on sharia law.

Ambassador Stevens learned this the hard way after he outlived his usefulness and, like any other infidel, was beaten, raped and eventually murdered by “true Believers.” By calling Benghazi what it is Obama could no longer say he cut off the head of al Qaeda when he killed bin Laden, nor would he be able to say the war on terror is over.

However as this unfolds, the U.S. media continues to focus largely on the election cycle we are in, so it seems doubtful this scandal will blow up on the Obama Administration before November 6th.  The facts as they now stand reveal that not only did Obama know from day one the Benghazi breach was an act of terror waged by pro-al Qaeda militants, but he watched it unfold.

It’s October — and so far the media has missed the surprise.

With an Empty Extinguisher

It slammed into the bridge and immediately disappeared over the cement wall and beyond the line of cars and trucks. That’s when I realized it had also smashed into what had once been a mini-van, demolishing its front end and drivers side.

Heading north bound on 395, I already knew the crop duster was in trouble as plumes of white and black smoke streamed from the craft. To me it appeared as if the pilot was trying to turn it around and make it back to Reno-Cannon International Airport in the southeast part of town, when he crashed.

Since traffic was at a stand still, I pulled my vehicle off the road and onto to the gravel shoulder. I grabbed the fire extinguisher and dashed as quickly as I could towards the downed aircraft.

To my amazement the plane had landed right side up, yet leaning against a part of the overpass. However the engine was on fire, and though partly torn from the fuselage, it was growing rapidly.

I could see pieces of the craft scattered across both lanes of the freeway.

Quickly, I aimed the red canister towards the blazing cowling housing the engine. I squeezed the handle and swept the icy, white dust onto the flames inside.

At first it seemed to have worked, but the fire came back to life with a roar. It was orange-red and sizzling.

It was a magnesium fire and I knew there was no way I could put the engine fire out, it would take foam. Instead I aimed the rest of the canister at the fuselage hoping to halt the spread of flames into the cockpit which was filling up with smoke.

It did not take long for the fire extinguisher to run dry. Yet the flames continued to gobble at the plane as I stood there helplessly.

I could only envision the trapped pilot inside.

Racing around, I stood on what remained of the left-wing and slammed the now empty extinguisher against the canopy in hopes of breaking it or jarring it open. I could feel the flames licking at my forearms as I hammered away and my lungs fill with the acrid odor of smoke with each labored breath.

Without warning I felt a pair of arms wrap themselves tightly around my waist.  I was suddenly jerked off the wing and dragged to the dirt and away from the burning plane.

The arms belonged to that of a Nevada State Troop. He decided that it was useless for me to continue trying to rescue the pilot.

He was sure that if he let me continue pounding on the canopy another half-minute I would be dead as well.

While I attempted to wrestle myself from the trooper, several fire engines arrived and started pouring water and foam on the downed aircraft. They had the fire out in minutes and were using the Jaws of Life to open the uncooperative canopy only to remove the lifeless body of the downed flier.

Later that night while I nursed second degree burns to my hands, arms and left side of my face, I watched the news. They said the pilot did his best to miss a bus full of school children, dribbling oil on top of the vehicle and only struck the mini-van, killing the woman driver because he didn’t see the power lines across McCarran Boulevard.

Romney Rallies Reno Republicans

Republican Mitt Romney told a cheering crowd of about 4,500 in Reno they will play a big role in deciding who’s the next president. Romney said during a lunch-hour speech Wednesday he’s confident Nevada will help send him to the White House in November.

The former Massachusetts governor appealed to everyone in the crowd to go out and find one person who voted for President Obama last time and persuade them to “come out and vote for us this time.”

Obama carried Nevada last time partly because he became the first Democrat since Lyndon Johnson in 1964 to win the Republican-leaning Washoe County.

Meanwhile, Obama is in Las Vegas for a campaign rally featuring a free concert by pop singer Katy Perry at a park near downtown. The rally drew more than 5,000 people, with a fire official estimating several thousand more in long lines waiting to get in.

Prior to Obama’s arrival, Democratic Congresswoman and U.S. Senate candidate Shelley Berkley told the crowd Nevada is the key to re-electing him.

Then there’s a top advisor for Governor Brian Sandoval whose predicting Romney will lose the state November 6th. Lobbyist and former Republican lawmaker Pete Ernaut says Obama will carry Nevada by one to three percentage points.

Rasmussen Reports conducted a statewide presidential poll that shows Obama has a 2-percent over Romney at 50-48. Third party candidates and undecided voters were both at 1-percent statewide.

The former chief of staff to Sandoval is now the special assistant to the president for external affairs at University of Nevada, Reno. Heidi Gansert will help involved in university outreach and building partnerships with business and industry, organizations and other agencies.

Gansert served as Sandoval’s chief of staff from January 2011 until her resignation in September. Before that she served six years in the Nevada Assembly, representing District 25 in Reno.

After four days of early voting, 17 percent of active Nevada voters have already cast ballots in the upcoming election. The secretary of state’s office shows 214,609 people have voted, either in person or by mail, since early voting began Saturday.

Of those, ballots received from Democrats total 99,415, compared with 79,697 cast by Republicans. The remaining ballots are nonpartisan or voters registered with minor political parties.

Finally, a state judge in Carson City has struck down a Nevada tax initiative pushed by the state teachers union to raise money for education.  In a ruling issued Tuesday, District Judge James Wilson said the initiative’s description  was misleading and deceptive on several grounds and  is invalid.

The Nevada State Education Association backed the measure to impose a 2 percent margins tax on businesses making $1 million or more annually. The teachers union said it would raise $800 million a year for education.

Fluke Campaigns in Reno

Fresh from her speaking engagement at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, North Carolina, Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown Law Student, spoke to 10 people in the parking lot of the Reno, Nevada Sak ‘N Save on Silverada Blvd. The event, held Saturday, was part of an effort to get Nevadans to the polls on the first day of early voting.

She has been campaign in support of President Obama’s re-election campaign, which described the rally as an “intimate gathering. A campaign photo showed Fluke talking to a few people within the confines of a parking space.

“I’m trying to do everything I can for an election that I feel is very important,” she told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

Fluke became known earlier this year when she spoke before a House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee in support of mandated contraception coverage.  Rush Limbaugh referred to her as a “slut” on his radio program following her comments.

Campaigns Making More Swings through Nevada

President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are making campaign stops in Las Vegas on back-to-back days. Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan will make their first joint appearance Tuesday in Nevada when they appear at a rally at the Henderson Pavilion.

Obama is scheduled to attend a grassroots rally late Wednesday night in Las Vegas as part of a two-day campaign blitz in six battleground states. First lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to return to Las Vegas on Friday.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Nevada Voters shows Obama with 50% support to Romney’s 47%. Obama has now hit the 50% mark again in Nevada for the first time since July.

Romney will be in Reno Wednesday. The campaign confirms that the GOP nominee will make a campaign stop in the area, but no other details have been released.

Northern Nevada’s largest newspaper has endorsed Romney for president. The Reno Gazette-Journal says the state and nation can’t afford four more years of President Obama’s leadership, noting Nevada’s economy continues to lag behind the rest of the nation.

In 2008, the paper endorsed Obama over Senator John McCain and Governor Sarah Palin.

Democrats in Nevada have a strong advantage over Republicans in voter registration totals heading into Election Day. Figures released Friday by the secretary of state’s office show Democrats outnumber Republicans by 90,187.

By percentages, Democrats account for 42 percent of active voters statewide, compared with 35 percent registered as Republicans. The tallies are similar to 2008, when Democrats outnumbered Republicans by 100,000 statewide and helped propel Obama to a 12 point victory margin in Nevada.

Hired this summer as a public relations specialist in the Sandoval administration, Julie Ardito has left the Nevada governor’s office after 15 weeks on the job. She was hired by Governor Brian Sandoval in July as director of community affairs and constituent services.

Ardito returned as principal of her firm, Julie Ardito Public Relations, in Reno. Her last day was October 12th.

Governor Sandoval and members of his Cabinet will be reading to elementary school students, Thursday. Sandoval says the program is designed to encourage children to read and help bring focus to the reading challenges many children face.

Dubbed “Cabinet Reading Day,” members of the Sandoval administration will either read “Tomas and the Ghost Town” by Mike Miller or “Pogonip Magic” by Karen Collett Wilson.  Both are Nevada authors.

Reading sessions are planned at elementary schools in the Reno-Sparks area and in Las Vegas.

The Rock Wall

It was always one home improvement project after another with my parents. Mom and Dad planned to turn the garage into a family room; there was the sidewalk widening project; followed by building a flower bed bordered by black and white speckled river rock.

Working with Dad for nearly a month, I helped dig post holes and hammer redwood planks in place as we built a fence along the side of our yard. Shortly, there after we began hanging wood paneling and gold etched mirrors in the front room and down the hallway.

But the first project I remember after we moved into the new house on Redwood Drive was a rose garden my folks planned. It involved the use of a backhoe and creating a four-foot deep six-foot wide trench the full-length of our backyard.

Pa Sanders brought his backhoe over and dug at the hard earth for hours at a time for nearly two weeks. I had to stay on the cement slab attached to the house while watched Pa work the big machine.

Only eight-years-old, I thought it was fun to watch. Little did I know how much that trench would play in my life as I would learn to dread weekends for the next two-years.

As soon as Pa took the backhoe away, that’s when the hard work began. I helped move the green serpentine stones from the pile Dad and I had gathered at the river.

Each Saturday and Sunday, I found myself outside dropping rock after rock into the trench. The rocks were then stacked atop each other and cemented into place, creating a wall, taller than myself.

Eventually, the wall formed a barrier from the fence line we shared with the owners of Camp Marigold. The campground’s fence was a small, simple wooden affair, painted barn-red.

Before I knew it, the rock wall we were building was taller than Dad. It now took both of my parents to cement the rocks in place.

The height concerned the owner of Camp Marigold and he complained to my folks about it. He said several of the stones from the wall were leaning against his fence and threatened to knock it over, though none of the rocks touched it at any point along the boundary line.

With the complaining, came word from Mom and Dad that all our hard work was for nothing. My parents received paperwork instructing them to pull down the wall to prevent it from tumbling down on Camp Marigold’s fence.

It took some time to resolve the fence-wall issue. The outcome was that the wall was only half-torn down.

Now I found myself helping lift those same green stones out of the trench and carrying them to Dad’s pick-up. Once filled, the old Studebaker, Mom and Dad and I returned to the river’s edge where we first picked them up.

It would be another few months and the passing of my tenth birthday before the project would come to an end. One early Saturday morning Pa reappeared with his backhoe and within a few hours, he had filled the trench in.

From that point on, Mom and Dad never mentioned the stone wall again. Stranger still, not one rose-bush was ever planted in the area that had once been designated a rose garden.

For a couple of years, anyone who went into our backyard could see the top layer of green stone as it protruded between the dirt Pa had moved back into place and Camp Marigold’s fence. It would go away as well, as I helped Dad build a six-foot fence along the entire length of our backyard about two-years later.

Nevada Unemployment Numbers Dip

The number of Nevadans filing initial claims for jobless benefits fell in September to the lowest level in five years. The state Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation says the 13,932 claims filed last month are the least since 2007.

September’s filings compare with 16,693 claims filed in the same month last year, with claims peaking in December 2008 at 34,414.

Nevada has had the nation’s highest jobless rate since May 2010.

Vice President Joe Biden is continuing his visit to Nevada with an appearance at a Democratic campaign rally at a union work training center in North Las Vegas. Campaign officials say about 600 people gathered for Biden’s appearance at the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas.

Senator Harry Reid introduced Biden before the speech which focused on the choice between President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney. The appearance is Biden’s third in Las Vegas in four months.

At the same time, the founder of Jimmy John’s sandwich shops hosted an event supporting Mitt Romney in Las Vegas. Romney has mentioned Jimmy John Liautaud on the campaign trail as an example of a successful entrepreneur.

The Champaign, Ill.-based Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, founded in 1983, now has more than 1,200 locations. Food-industry consulting firm Technomic has listed the company as one of the fastest growing food chains in the country for the past several years.

Nevada is drawing yet another visit from a top Democratic campaign star.

Campaign officials say First Lady Michelle Obama will make an October 26th visit to Las Vegas. Last week Former President Bill Clinton visited Las Vegas campaigning for President Obama.

The President has made nine campaign appearances between Reno and Las Vegas. The First Lady also spoke earlier this month at the University of Nevada, Reno.

Finally, the Nevada Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Elections Commission against Republican congressional hopeful Danny Tarkanian. The complaint questions Tarkanian’s legal standing to forgive a $250,000 loan he made to his failed 2010 U.S. Senate campaign after a judge signed a $17 million judgment against him as well as a later $40,000 loan made to his U.S. House campaign.

Democrats allege the GOP nominee for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District lacked legal control over his personal funds after a federal judge in May signed the judgment against Tarkanian and other members of his family stemming from a failed real estate deal. Tarkanian is fighting that judgment.

Biden Back in Reno Again

Vice President Joe Biden kicked off a two-day campaign swing through Nevada on Wednesday by appealing to Nevadans to get to the polls as soon as early voting begins Saturday. He told a crowd of more than 300 in a ballroom at a Reno convention center, “If we win Nevada, we will win this election.”

Biden said Romney and his running mate, Congressman Paul Ryan, continue to spread doom and gloom about the economy despite signs of recovery. Biden noted that Nevada had recently seen an improvement in foreclosure and unemployment rates.

Biden heads to Las Vegas next.

Alo in Washoe County, officials say a record number of voters have registered to vote in the upcoming election. The 241,400 voters exceed the old record reached in the 2008 presidential election by 10,000.

Republicans hold a tiny lead in registration totals, having just 1,160 more registered voters than Democrats. Officials said a breakdown shows there are 91,937 Republicans and 90,777 Democrats in Washoe County. Nonpartisan and voters who align with minor political parties total 58,686.

Statewide, figures from the secretary of state’s office show Democrats hold about a 90,000 voter registration advantage statewide. In Nevada’s population hub of Clark County, the Democratic edge is nearly 127,000 as of Monday with one day to go to sign up voters.

Democrats have been far outpacing Republicans in this battleground state, with President Barack Obama and Republican Mitt Romney both hoping to take Nevada’s six electoral votes en route to the White House.  Voter registration is also a big reason in the tight U.S. Senate race between Republican Sen. Dean Heller and Democratic Congresswoman Shelley Berkley.

The victor in that race could decide control of the Senate.

As the senate battle continues, Nevada’s two competitive House races are drawing big bucks from outside groups trying to influence the election, though it’s a lopsided third-party money matchup in the state’s new congressional district.

In the 4th District race between Republican Danny Tarkanian and Democratic state Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, outside groups led by the National Republican Congressional Committee have spent nearly $2 million to oppose Horsford. Federal Election Commission reports show only $415,000 has come from outside to try to tarnish Tarkanian.

It’s a different story in Nevada’s 3rd District.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee has spent $1.5 million opposing the re-election of Republican Congressman  Joe Heck. On the opposite side of this race, the National Republican Congressional Committee has doled out $1.3 million to bash Democratic Assembly Speaker John Oceguera.

Finally, the Federal Election Commission is looking at the findings of an audit showing financial irregularities with Sharron Angle’s 2010 senate campaign. The FEC says the group “Friends of Sharron Angle” failed to report nearly $250,000 in contributions in a timely manner.

The commission auditors say the campaign also failed to itemize $2 million in debts. Auditors recommended the group amend its filings.

Angle lost in a tight race against Senator Harry Reid.

Two-for-One

Shuttered for a three-month period during the winter and vandalized, the boss decided to hire an extra person to help keep an eye on the place as Rob and I repaired fence lines and attended the cows we’d already drove up top. Our new roustabout, Jesus, arrived shortly afterwards.

Jesus’ was short on English-speaking ability and at first had a hard time communicating. To make it even harder for Jesus, Rob spoke with a heavy Australian brogue which I even found difficult to understand at times.

But after a month or so, we were getting along pretty good.

In fact, Jesus and I had traded out places a few times so he could get some saddle-time. It was during one of these times that I grew bored with myself and started looking for trouble.

When Rob and Jesus returned to camp that afternoon, I handed Jesus a rifle and told him he had to kill a cow we had in the yard, as we needed some fresh meat. Being 18 or 19-years old and inexperienced, he grimaced at the idea.

But not wanting to say no, he took the rifle over to the corral fence and using one of the timbers for support, he fire a shot into the cow. The animal jumped at the report of the rifle and ran panicking around the corral.

Jesus turned and looked at me; he had a quizzical look in his eye as he knew he’d shot the animal and it should have dropped over dead. I waved at him to shoot again.

Blam!

Again the terrorized beast raced around the corral. And again, Jesus looked back at where Rob and I were standing.

“Dammit, kid,” Rob yelled, “you can’t even hit the broadside of a barn, can you?”

In frustration, he walked over and took the rifle from Jesus, and pumped two rounds into the cow, and still, it didn’t go down. Then in rapid succession, Rob cocked and fired five more shots into the animal.

As the frightened cow continued to run around the corral, Rob turned and looked back at me. That when he knew he’d been had, falling for another one of my jokes.

Unknown to him or Jesus, I had loaded the 30-30 Winchester with blanks.

Brought Up Defensive

When I was a Senior in high school, I met a girl who was a Freshman. Every time I tried to pay her a compliment, she had some sort of snide comeback and eventually stopped talking to her.

It wasn’t until several years later, when I was managing a photo lab, that a man came in with her last name. Once I noticed his name, I asked if her was related to the girl I had once tried to be nice too.

He told me she was his daughter, only he wasn’t nice about it. The man called her vulgar names and was so vocal about his disgust for her that it was embarrassing.

After he left my shop, I understood why she was as negative as she had been. She either didn’t believe me when I complimented her and felt defensive or that was simply the way she had been brought up.

Either way, I shouldn’t have stopped trying to be her friend.

The Shadow Over Nevada

Despite going after and winning two convictions in 2008’s ACORN “Blackjacking” where canvassers were paid based on the number of voters registered, Nevada’s Secretary of State Ross Miller accepted funding from the SoS Project (SSP) two-years earlier.  The donation tainted Miller’s reputation.

The SSP was created by the Democracy Alliance in 2005, funded by George Soros and made itself known during the 2010 U.S. Senate race between Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle and incumbent Democrat Harry Reid. Though leading in state polls,  Angle lost to Reid by nearly five-percentage points.

While Clark and Washoe Counties carried the majority of voters for Reid, the surprise was Mineral County, which polled less than two-percentage points in favor of the incumbent. Historically, Mineral County never carried Democrat during a national election, which left many Nevadan’s shaking their head.

In Clark County, Reid’s son, Rory Reid, while a candidate for Nevada Governor, was in charge of the voting machines that were malfunctioning and being repaired by members of Service Employees International Union. The SEIU is one of the five major unions, forming “The Shadow Democratic Party,” also funded by Soros.

Critics charged the voting machines were rigged to place check marks next to Senator’s name before a person had even voted. In the end and after an investigation, Secretary of State Ross Miller’s office concluded no fraud occurred.

Silver Tailings: The Go-To Guy of Casino Design

There is a little known character that helped shape Nevada’s history, which seems to have been lost in the Mob-land story of Las Vegas.  Nola Hahn established himself as a leading expert on designing gambling pits that could be hidden away by panels or other camouflaging contraptions in case of a bust.

This was during the days of the Volstead Act, prohibition, speakeasies and the Club Continental in Los Angeles was his crowning glory.  By 1938, Hahn ended his partnership in the club having bought the Trocadero from Billy Wilkerson, who was none other than the man who founded the Hollywood Reporter, the Flamingo Hotel and discovered actress Lana Turner.

Hahn’s timing for the purchase wasn’t very good as later that year Los Angeles Mayor Frank Shaw, whose administration is seen as one of the most corrupt in the city’s history, was recalled and Fletcher Bowron was voted in as his successor.  Bowron ran on the platform of a crackdown on vice, which was part of what he called the Los Angeles Urban Reform Revival.

Hahn kept the Trocadero for a couple of years, then sold it and headed for Las Vegas, where he opened the Colony Restaurant in 1942, preceding Bugsy Siegel, who didn’t seek legitimacy until 1946 with Wilkerson’s Flamingo. Originally, Siegel came to Southern Nevada in 1934, but he could imagine any potential for organized crime in the desert.

Within a few years Hahn became the guy to go to when it came to designing legal gambling clubs. Unfortunately, there’s little of anything about him after that, other than he committed suicide in 1957 at the age of 60.

The Convenient Accusation

“There has to be something to it,” his mom said as she took a drag on her cigarette.

She sat silently waiting for Chad to reply, but he didn’t say a thing. He was too hurt.

This was not the first time this conversation had come up and from the looks of things, it probably wouldn’t be the last. Chad couldn’t figure out why his very own mother couldn’t see what was happening.

He figured that if anyone were intuitive enough to see that since all of his siblings were talking to the same counselor then there had to be some sort of brain washing going on.

Chad shook his head, “So you believe that shit, too?”

“Well, if all three of them claim the same thing,” his mother said.

“But that’s the point,” he responded, “their stories are all too pat. All the same…”

“It doesn’t matter,” she interrupted, “because it had to have happened!”

Chad sighed as he gave up, knowing it was hopeless.

His mother entrenched herself in the idea that he had molested Kurt, and his two sisters, April and Liz. And it was obvious Chad was going to be unable to change her position.

All this started after April’s operation to remove some tumors in her lower abdomen. When the doctors operated they discovered her hymen ruptured and somehow April came to point the finger at Chad.

It was a convenient accusation since their parents were in the middle of a nasty divorce and Chad had invited his old man to come live with him. He couldn’t stand seeing his dad living in his car in a parking lot.

Of course Chad had no way of knowing of the accusations against him, as he was busy with his own life. He had been out of the country when their mom took the kids and moved to Coos Bay, some one-hundred or more miles away.

By the time Chad heard the rumor he had molested any of his siblings, he was getting ready to get married. He had invited his brother to Brookings to spend the night before his fiancée Jenny, Kurt and he left on the long drive to Reno.

The two had been up late into the night drinking beer, when they decided to take a walk around the tiny town. It was a chilly January night and both of blew breath smoke into the darkness as they walked and talked.

“You know,” Kurt started, “I’ll never forgive you for molesting me.”

Stunned, Chad looked at him and asked, “What?!”

Kurt repeated himself, “I’ll never forgive you for molesting me.”

Chad didn’t know what to say, so he continued walking in silence. He tried desperately to think of anything to say, but nothing came to mind.

He was in shock, then Chad thought, “Perhaps it the beer talking.”

That was the beginning of the rumors and stories that he had misused his brother and sisters. Chad tried not to think of it, but every time he visited his mom, the subject either came up or one of his siblings would show up and make certain to ignore him.

Chad’s youngest sister Liz even went so far as to name him as the person the Coos County Sheriffs Department wanted for suspicion of child molestation. It was a Friday morning when they knocked on the front door of his mobile home.

When Chad answered, three officers rushed in and pushed him to the ground. As one hand cuffed him and another read to him his Miranda warning, another informed him that he was under arrest for child molestation on a warrant out of San Francisco.

When they rolled him over, the three realized they had the wrong man, who was unfortunate enough to have the same name as the bad guy they were looking for. It took nearly 48-hours to clear the mess up.

The three officers, thoroughly admonished by Judge Gillespie, apologized before heading back to California. In the meantime, the judge told Chad he ought to cut all ties with Liz, as painful as it might be.

Then a year before moving into a new home, Kurt and Chad stopped talking after a fist fight erupted in their mother’s home. The brother’s didn’t speak to each other even when their step-father died two-months later or as their mom lay dying in the hospital almost six-years afterwards.

It wasn’t until a late evening in November nearly seven-years since their fight that Kurt called the house looking for Chad. Intoxicated, he wanted to talk.

Again the subject of molestation came up; only this time Kurt wanted an apology from Chad.  However, he refused to say sorry for something he did not do.

Chad responded, “I don’t know the name of that shrink you kids were seeing, but if I ever find out…”

He was abruptly cut off, “Then let’s just forget about it, but I won’t forgive you.”

All Chad could do was shake his head and say, “Okay — fine, whatever.”

Eventually, he knew though he’d have to let all three of his siblings go.

“There is just no way I can continue to let them do this to me,” Chad told himself as he hung up the telephone.

Nevada Tax Inititive Back in Court

A state judge in Carson City says he’ll rule quickly on whether a Nevada tax initiative pushed by the teachers union and other labor groups is legally sound. Either way, lawyers say the case is likely headed to the state Supreme Court.

The Committee to Protect Nevada Jobs argues that the Education Initiative is misleading, despite being rewritten once, and is therefore invalid. District Judge James Wilson earlier this year ruled the initial measure violated the state’s single subject rule for petitions. Organizers then rewrote it.

The margins tax proposal seeks to impose a 2 percent tax on businesses grossing more than $1 million. Backers say they’ve already gathered 55,000 to 60,000 signatures needed to send the measure to the 2012 Legislature but need a total of 72,000 signatures by November 13th.

And with early voting set to start next weekend, the voter registrar of Nevada’s second most populous county has been placed on temporary medical leave. Washoe County Registrar Dan Burk is off the job after undergoing intestinal surgery earlier this week.

Officials say he’s doing well and is expected to return to his job in about two weeks by the November 6th general election.

During Burk’s absence, his assistant, Luanne Cutler, will be filling in for him and says the registrar’s office is well prepared for the election. Early voting begins October 20th.

Lastly, environmental groups are applauding the federal government’s new plan setting aside 445 square miles of public land in the West for the development of large-scale solar power plants. The 17 new “solar energy zones” will be established in six states icluding Nevada.

The Interior Department will direct solar power development to land it has identified as having fewer wildlife and natural-resource obstacles and that is near power lines. The plan replaces the department’s previous first-come, first-served system of approving solar projects. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said the effort will help the U.S. stay competitive.

Under the Bus

The other day my wife, Mary and I were discussing the professional painter we had out to the house to give us an estimate on slapping some new color on the exterior. And somehow I got tossed under the bus.

Mary told me that the person who recommended him said “He’s not the best painter in the world, but he’ll get the job done.”

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“Well, it means he’ll not the best – but he’ll do a good job,” she responded.

“I don’t get that,” I shot back.

“Let me put it this way,” she returned, “You’re not the best radio announcer but you get the job done, right?

“Oh,” was all that I could say.

At first I wanted to be mad, then I wanted to pout, then I thought about it. Damn it, I hate it when she’s right.

No Election Fraud Found in Nevada

Nevada’s top election official is urging voters to verify their registration status to make sure their eligibility to vote in the November 6th election.  Secretary of State Ross Miller says an investigation by his Elections Integrity Task Force found no widespread evidence that voter registration fraud in Nevada.

But Miller says there may be isolated incidents where paperwork was destroyed or not submitted for people who registered through a third-party group. While the deadline to register online or by mail has passed, voters have until October 16th to register or update their information in person at their county election office.

Miller adds that investigations into registration fraud allegations are ongoing, and anyone with evidence that their form was destroyed should contact his office.

Meanwhile, New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez is campaigning in Nevada for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The Romney campaign says Martinez will appear at three events Saturday in the Las Vegas area, starting with a rally at Romney’s state campaign headquarters.

Martinez, the nation’s first Hispanic female governor, will greet voters at a campaign office in eastern Las Vegas and there will be an event in the suburban community of Henderson. The governor fluently speaks Spanish and could help Romney reach out to Hispanics, which account for 27 percent of Nevada’s population.

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley and Senator Dean Heller met for a second time as they battle for the seat now held by Heller. The Republican has expanded his lead over his democrat challenger, according to a new poll by the Las Vegas Review-Journal that shows Heller ahead 47 percent to 39 percent in the senate race. the survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

The Berkley campaign dismisses the poll out of hand, claiming it’s flawed

Then there’s this — accusations of campaign untruths and distortions dominated a taped debate between Democratic state Senator Steven Horsford and Republican businessman Danny Tarkanian just 26 days before voters decide who’ll represent Nevada’s new 4th congressional district. Nearly each time the Vegas PBS camera turned to Tarkanian, he accused Horsford of misrepresenting his positions on issues including immigration, abortion, economic policies and Social Security.

Horsford, in return, accused Tarkanian of “not being very clear or honest.”

As this played out across the state’s airways, Tarkanian downplayed legal moves by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. which has begun seizing his Nevada assets. A federal judge in California signed a $17 million judgment in May against Tarkanian and his family, seeking repayment of a real estate loan Tarkanian and others guaranteed for a developer.

Lawyers for the FDIC argue that Tarkanian’s lawyers missed an Oct. 8 deadline to file an opposition to the seizure, resulting in a default. Tarkanian says his lawyer missed the deadline when his father died.

Speaking of Horsford, President Obama is endorsing him in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District race.  A Obama statement calls the state senate majority leader a “tireless and outspoken advocate for Nevada’s middle class families.”

Finally, Nevada’s foreclosure rate remains fifth in the nation after big drops in activity compared with last year. RealtyTrac reported Nevada’s September foreclosure rate is down 19% from August and down more than 75% from the same time last year. The drop reflects the national foreclosure picture for the month of September.

RealtyTrac reports the state also saw its lowest total number of foreclosure filings nationally since July 2007.

Mickey Finned

It began in the early morning hours, shortly after I got home from the radio station. My wife fixed me a large salad and an even bigger plate of ‘nitro’ chicken wings.

It took me about an hour to eat everything and wash it down with a couple of bottles of my favorite sports drink. By the time I’d finished – I was feeling uncomfortable.

And even though I had taken an antacid and even waited before laying down, by the time my head hit the pillow I was still feeling uncomfortable. It took me a couple of hours to finally fall asleep.

Hey, I did it to myself and I know better.

When I woke up, I was still feeling ‘sickly’ to my stomach, so after getting showered and dressed, I asked our room-mate Kay if she’d fix me an Alka-Seltzer. She said that it would be no problem.

Kay handed me a small plastic cup with the effervescing liquid in it and without a second thought, I slugged it down. Instantly, I knew something was off about what I’d jus’ taken.

That’s when it struck me: Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus. I take the stuff only when I’m sick and need a real good nights sleep, because it knocks me on my butt.

Arrgh and oh, no!  She had given me the wrong stuff.

Now to understand fully, I was already tired from a lack of sound sleep and now I was ‘medicined’ and still had a full night of work ahead of me. I knew I was in for a struggle.

The entire evening into the early morning hours was like living in a slow-motion bubble for me. I had to concentrate twice as hard on not making mistakes as I normally do. Further, I had to keep in mind much of the stuff I do simply by rote.

Once home, I went straight to bed and slept a good part of nine-hours.

Then the phone rang.  It was Kay, wanting to tell me she had jus’ learned from a co-worker about what’s printed on the box the Alka-Seltzer Cold Plus comes in :  WARNING: As may produce drowsiness, do not drive an automobile or use heavy equipment after taking.

I told her, “I’m going back to bed for a while to think on it.”

Dog on a Roll

On my way to work, a guy in an old pickup was jus’ ahead of me on Pyramid. He had an Australian shepherd in the bed of the truck – two legs on the tool box and two legs on top of the cab’s roof.

While approaching the traffic light at Los Altos, I decided change lanes, anticipating he’d be slower than me going up the coming hill. Jus’ then a car blew through the yeild sign coming from the Walmart, forcing the truck’s driver to stomp hard on his brakes.

The sudden stop caught the shepherd by surprise, as it was tossed over the roof and hood of the truck.  The dog landed in the roadway and rolled a few times.

For a couple of seconds, I thought the dog was toast. But after the third or perhaps forth tumble, he scrambled to his feet.

Without missing a beat he raced back to the still moving truck and jumped in the vehicles bed. He immediately put his front legs on top of the roof and hind legs on the tool box.

As I passed by, the dog looked over at me. And though I know animals can’t speak, I swear I heard him in his thick Aussie brogue shout, “Pretty effing cool, huh?”

Nevada SOS to Investigate Americans for Prosperity

Nevada’s secretary of state has referred complaints against Americans for Prosperity to the attorney general’s office for prosecution of alleged violations of state campaign finance laws. Americans for Prosperity is an issue advocacy group founded by billionaire brothers Charles and David Koch.

The Nevada Democratic Party filed a complaint with Secretary of State Ross Miller in August, arguing the group hadn’t registered or disclosed its finances. That complaint focused on mailers sent before the June primary targeting Democratic Assemblyman Kelvin Atkinson in his state Senate race.

Three other complaints have since been filed against the group. Americans for Prosperity has called the most recent complaint frivolous.

Meanwhile, state education officials say Nevada is being awarded a $21 million federal grant over seven years to continue an education program designed to help low-income and disadvantaged students prepare for college. The Gaining Early Awareness and Education for Undergraduate Programs, also known as GEAR UP, helps provide services at high-poverty middle and high schools to make students better prepared for college.

Nevada officials say 4,000 Nevada students have benefited from $30 million in federal GEAR UP grants received over the past 11 years. They say the renewal of the grant will help another 5,000 students over the next seven years.

And finally, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell is recuperating after undergoing scheduled heart surgery on Tuesday. A family spokesman says the 74-year old Cashell is resting comfortably at Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center after surgery to replace a heart valve. He’s expected  to remain hospitalized for several days, and then will recuperate at home.

Cashell is a former Nevada lieutenant governor and university regent. He was elected mayor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006 and 2010.

His current term expires in 2014.

Getting Schooled

Every couple of years we are given a civil project to complete by a certain deadline. It’s called voting.

We have to research our subjects, whether they are candidates or issues, and educate ourselves on the positions we find most important to ourselves, our families, neighborhoods, communities, towns, cities, counties, states and our country.  We have to do this work and cannot rely on others to do this for us.

After all, in the end, you and I will be the ones taking the final exam and not those who we might appoint to give us the answers we seek and need. Friends, family, co-workers, educators and not even the media is held accountable for our vote, whatever vote that might be.

So do your own homework. Find a place to start and work from there.

Look over all the issues, angles and variables towards your final decision and remember – the more you know the better equipped you are to hold politicians everywhere accountable to the citizens they represent and work for. The final grade comes as you stand in the voting booth and exercise your freedom.

Camouflaged

Having jus’ gotten off duty, I was still in my camouflage fatigues when I stopped at the grocery store to pick up a couple of items. Finished, I went to the check-out stand, where I ended up standing behind a mother and her young son.

He was about seven and eye-balled me seriously for about a minute. The way he stared at me left me feeling slightly unnerved and caused me to check not only to see if my gig-line was straight, but to make sure my fly was buttoned.

Then he looked up at his mom and loudly whispered, “Does he think he can’t be seen?”

A few year later and now out of the Marine Corps, my six-year-old son, Kyle came walking quietly down the hallway dressed in camouflage pants and a long sleeve camouflage tee-shirt.  I said good morning to him.

He stopped, dead in his tracks and with eyes wide from surprise, and asked, “You can see me?”

Clinton Stumps in Nevada

Former President Bill Clinton is back in Nevada to stump in the campaign battleground state for President Barack Obama and local Democratic candidates. The former president spoke at the Springs Preserve in Las Vegas about choices in the presidential election between Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney.

U.S. Rep. Shelley Berkley and congressional candidates John Oceguera and Steven Horsford are took part in the rally. His visit comes 11 days before the start of early voting in Nevada.

Later the former president implored California university students to vote for Democrats this November, acting in what he says are their own best interests. Clinton rallied about 5,000 enthusiastic students and supporters at the University of California, Davis, saying he wanted to offer a “fact check” he says was missing from last week’s presidential debate.

He appeared with four California congressional candidates in newly competitive seats: incumbent Reps. John Garamendi and Jerry McNerney, and Democrats Ami Bera and Jose Hernandez, who are vying to unseat incumbent GOP congressmen in the Sacramento area.

Clinton said Republicans failed at their number one goal of keeping unemployment above 8 percent.

Mitt Romney’s son Craig is hitting the campaign trail in northern Nevada for his dad. The Romney-Ryan campaign bus made stops in Fernley, Fallon, Gardnerville and Reno. His last stop in Nevada was September 28th, when he visited to open the campaign’s new east Las Vegas office.

Both candidates are concentrating on nine of the 50 states including Nevada. Some 93 percent of the $746 million spent so far on campaign ads has poured into the so-called battleground states, which include less than a quarter of the nation’s voters.

Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval says he won’t decide whether expanding Medicaid eligibility as called for under the federal health care reform law will be part of his budget proposal until after the November election and state revenue projections in December. The governor said his administration is still awaiting guidance from the federal government on various aspects of the law.

Sandoval has told state agencies to prepare “flat” budgets for the upcoming biennium, in part because of anticipated costs associated with the health care reform law. Agency budget requests to be submitted this week.

Silver Tailings: Nevada’s Newest Town

Nevada’s newest town officially opened for business July 1st, 2001. One hundred years earlier though, there was no such place.

The general area was part of the fledgling Truckee-Carson Reclamation Project created by Congress in 1902. On June 9th, 1904, the Lyon County Commissioners created the Canal Township next to the newly constructed Truckee Canal.

It was not until the Southern Pacific Railroad realigned its route through northwestern Nevada that the Fernley siding was created. Fernley first shows up as a station stop on September 18th, 1904.

Nearly a year later, Fernley is listed with a day and night telegraph office and wye facilities, for turning trains around.  A public school also operated  during the 1908-09 school year.

The one room school-house is still in use today as the home of the Fernley Chamber of Commerce.

Jus’ 159 people lived in the Fernley area in 1910 and most were active in the Socialist Party. The Southern Pacific Railroad completed the Fernley & Lassen Railway four years later and a suitable depot was constructed in Fernley.

Residents welcomed the Transcontinental Lincoln/Victory highways through town in the 1920s. Yet by 1960, only 654 people were living near the siding.

In 1965, the Nevada Cement Company opened a new plant built on the north side of the city between Fernley and Wadsworth. This was the first significant non-agricultural/ranching business to come to Fernley, aside from the railroad.

The population more than doubled by 1970 with the construction of Interstate 80. By 1980, the population more than doubled again.

Then in 1999, Amazon opened an order fulfillment center in the  former Stanley Works building, providing thousands of new jobs.  Since then, more companies have opened facilities in the town including Trex Inc., Allied Signal, UPS Worldwide Logistics (Honeywell), ARE Campers, Johns Manville, and Sherwin Williams Paint.

In 2010, the census listed 19,368 people living in Fernley.

Over the years, there has been speculation about Fernley’s name. One claim is that a Welsh physician by the name of Fernley opened a coal mine in the area, supplying coal to the railroad and yet another is that a Tom Fernley owned and operated a casino there in the 1930s

Yet no coal mines are known to have operated near Fernley, there’s no record of a Dr. Fernley living or practicing medicine there and Tom Fernley never operated a casino there either. It should be noted however, the Fernley family name is of Welsh origin and the town of Hereford, near Wales, was once known as Fernley.

Romney gets Nevada Newspaper Endorsement

Nevada’s largest newspaper is endorsing Mitt Romney for president, saying he has the principles and experience to lead the U.S. to prosperity again. The Las Vegas Review-Journal, in its Sunday editions, wrote that Romney was a Republican governor in heavily Democratic Massachusetts who had to work with Democrats to get things done.

The newspaper states his business management skills turned failing companies into profitable ones, and he has pledged to create a Cabinet of private-sector leaders focused on strengthening the nation’s business climate. The Review-Journal faulted President Barack Obama, saying his administration lacks in business experience and is openly hostile to free-market capitalism.

The newspaper endorsed Republican U.S. Sen. John McCain for president four years ago.

Two members of Nevada’s congressional delegation have joined the list of those who want to know why federal prosecutors in Reno stopped pursuing cases from local agents with the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Aides to Senator Dean Heller and Congressman Mark Amodei they have requested an explanation from both ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s office in Nevada.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley is investigating the yearlong rift, which all but emptied the Reno ATF office and ended their undercover investigations into illegal firearms trafficking operations in Nevada. An assistant U.S. attorney in Reno reportedly told ATF agents in a September 2011 letter that her office won’t prosecute any ATF cases until certain unnamed “issues” are resolved.

Democratic congressional candidate John Oceguera is out with a new ad criticizing Congressman Joe Heck for his votes on a rape crisis center and abortion. The commercial points to Heck’s 2007 vote on a bill funding a crisis center, and says the Republican tried to restrict abortion for victims of rape.

It features a victim advocate saying she can’t understand someone voting that way unless he hadn’t looked in victims’ eyes. Heck’s campaign says Heck denied the bill including the rape crisis center money because it contained several unrelated provisions and was being pushed through in the final hours of the Nevada legislative session.

Heck officials say that while the congressman supported a bill against taxpayer-funded abortions, it included an exception for victims of rape and incest.

Faced with rising costs, Governor Brian Sandoval is backing off his promise to undo pay cuts imposed on state employees last year. Gerald Gardner, his chief of staff, says the governor has issued orders to agency heads to continue the reductions in the proposed 2014-15 budget.

Faced with rising costs, Sandoval is backing off his promise to undo pay cuts imposed on state employees last year. Gerald Gardner, his chief of staff, says the governor has issued orders to agency heads to continue the reductions in the proposed 2014-15 budget.

Gardner adds Sandoval hasn’t given up on efforts to undo the work furloughs, pay cuts, and suspension of merit and longevity pay imposed on state workers. But he says the governor doesn’t know if he’ll get the money to do so as rising costs are more than eating up revenue gains amid a weak economic recovery.

State employees complain the cuts amount to a tax increase on them so that businesses don’t have to pay more taxes.

Nevada has launched a new website to help  the state’s youth in their job searches. The site is available at NevadaYouth.org and includes tips on resumes, cover letters and interviews.

The site links to state-approved programs and organizations that help young people in assessing their career interests and planning for their future. It also highlights job openings throughout the state. Governor Sandoval says Nevada’s future depends on preparing youth, and is encouraging parents and teens to explore the site’s resources.

The site is a project of Nevada JobConnect and comes with the help of the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board.

Single Sentence Theses

Bumper stickers are generally an entire thesis in one sentence. In the last couple of months I’ve written down a few:

“All men are animals and some make nice pets.”

“Grow your own dope – plant a man.”

“Never judge a girl by her bumper sticker.”

“Have you ever experienced déjà vu? Have you ever experienced déjà vu?”

“I’ve lowered my expectations to the point where they’ve already been met.”

“I’m not a complete idiot. Some parts are missing.”

“Jack Kevorkian for White House Physician.”

“You know you are getting older when Happy Hour is a nap.”

“Getting second place means you won first place as a loser.”

“I’ve upped my standards, now up yours.”

“When all the chips are down, the buffalo is empty.”

“Never eat more than you can lift.”

“Watch out for the idiot behind me.”

“The fastest way to a fisherman’s heart is through his fly.”

And my favorite: “Very funny Scotty; now beam down my clothes!”

Application of the Firsts

“The nation that reveres the First Amendment cannot revere it so much as to regard it without the First Commandment,” I told a group of church-goers once.

That is to say, the First Commandment should be more important to ‘how’ I use my words than the First Amendment, which gives me the right to say ‘what’ I do. And although I enjoy my free speech, being a Christ-follower entails exercising my rights in a way that shows ‘love’ towards others.

This nuance is often missed entirely by those who claim the First Commandment and First Amendment do not go together.  The reason it’s missed is simple: application of intellect and not heart.

Admittedly, I miss the mark on this more times than not — but I’m trying to do better.

New Romney TV Ad Launches in Nevada

Former pro basketball player Greg Anthony is backing Mitt Romney for president in a new Nevada TV commercial.  Romney’s campaign says the commercial launched statewide Friday.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas alum says in the ad that he voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 because he thought Obama was a centrist. Anthony says he lost faith in Obama and is now supporting Romney, who he calls “a no-excuse kind of guy.”

Anthony is a native Nevadan who played for NBA teams in New York, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Milwaukee and Chicago. He’s a sports analyst for CBS.

Tens of thousands of the Mormon faithful are descending on Utah’s largest city for the semi-annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The general conference in Salt Lake City allows Mormons to hear gospel-centered talks about faith, family and mission work from senior church leaders.

Senator Harry Reid’s office says the Senate Majority Leader will not be attending.

The conference also could be particularly festive given the upcoming presidential election, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney the first Mormon to gain the nomination from a major party. A church spokesman says it’s unlikely that Romney’s name will come up during the five church sessions this weekend.

And it was a testy first debate for two candidates running for Nevada’s newest congressional seat. Democrat Steven Horsford and Republican Danny Tarkanian faced off Thursday night.

Tarkanian slammed Horsford for proposing a tax increase while Horsford served as state senate majority leader. Horsford invoked his latest attack ad tying Tarkanian to the tea party by calling his opponent a “self-proclaimed crazy radical.” Both candidates however sidestepped direct questions on their policy plans.

The debate is the first of three scheduled in the race for Congressional District 4, which stretches across Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and White Pine counties.

In 2004, Tarkanian was the Republican nominee for Nevada Senate and lost in the general election. In 2006, he was the Republican nominee for Nevada Secretary of State and lost in the general election. In 2010 he was a candidate in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, finishing third behind Sharron Angle and Sue Lowden.

Third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode are simply blips in the presidential race, but that makes them a big deal. Johnson is a former New Mexico governor running as the Libertarian Party nominee, while Goode is a conservative ex-congressman from Virginia competing as the Constitution Party candidate.

Democratic President Barack Obama’s campaign quietly has been keeping track of the two former Republican officeholders who could prove pivotal in Nevada where he and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are in a tight race. In 2008, more than 2 million voters chose someone other than the major party nominee.

Simple Math

The unemployment rate nationwide decreased to 7.8 percent in September as employment rose by 114,000. The Bureau of Labor Statistic shows among what it calls the “major worker groups,” the unemployment rates for adult men is 7.3 percent; adult women, 7.0 percent; whites, 7.0 percent; teenagers, 23.7 percent; blacks,13.4 percent; Hispanics, 9.9 percent; and Asians, 4.8 percent.

If you add all seven groups together, it works out to a rounded total of 77.9 percent. Then by dividing 77.9 percent by seven the rate increases to jus’ over 11-percent.

Meanwhile 12.1 million people in the U.S. remain unemployed.

Behind the Attack on Benghazi

It’s more than clear to me that President Obama ran guns through Libya into Syria, by-passing Congress once again. This comes as its been learned that between 300 to 400 national security officials received emails detailing the Benghazi terrorist attack as it was happening on 9/11, raising fresh questions about the truth behind the attack.

The emails show that the Libyan radical Islamic group Ansar al-Sharia claimed responsibility for the attack jus’ two hours after it began via social media. Furthermore, White House officials said an unmanned Predator drone was sent over the U.S. mission in Libya, providing Washington with a live feed to the chaos that unfolded.

Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens was officially on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, though it’s clear the U.S. “Special Mission Compound” building had more to do with the CIA than diplomacy. The idea that Stevens could have been involved in redirecting arms from Libya to Syria is hardly a stretch.

He had the perfect résumé for gun-running, as he had helped manage gun-running to the Libyan rebels during the insurgency against former dictator Moammar Gadhafi. The White House named Stevens liaison to the Libyan rebels in March 2011, months before Gadhafi’s August 2011 ouster.

A distress message left by U.S. diplomat Sean Smith, who died in the attack, on a gaming website, a strange place to post a message like this: “Assuming we don’t die tonight, we saw one of our ‘police’ that guard the compound taking pictures.”

Thirty four minutes later, when the Americans in the CIA safe house already knew something was wrong, U.S. Ambassador Stevens took a meeting with the Turkish ambassador. That ambassador leaves with no incident, unharmed.

Hours later, the attack began. The fight lasted for seven hours, until the break of dawn, again — with the live feed streamed to the White House Situation Room.

Benghazi isn’t the first time unauthorized gun-running schemes initiated by the Obama administration have cost American lives. The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATFE) gave some 2,000 high-powered weapons to Mexican-based drug cartels in 2009 and then lost track of the guns.

The death toll from weapons used in the ATFE program — dubbed “Fast and Furious” – stands at more than 200 people 200 deaths and it continues to rise. Among the dead is U.S. Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, shot and killed in December 2010 near Rio Rico, Arizona, while attempting to apprehend a group of armed subjects.

Obama allowed the attack to happen and four Americans die so the evidence would be obliterated and the trail back to the White House would go cold. This is also why it took the FBI such a long time to get into the compound where the attack happened, even though a CNN reporter was able to walk in and recover Stevens’ personal diary.

Building a Personal Survival Shelter

You can live days without water and weeks without food. People who don’t survive in the outdoors most often die from losing their body heat, not necessarily from starvation or dehydration.

You need to be able to start a fire. And perhaps most importantly, you need to be able to build a shelter to stave off wind, rain and snow, and to keep your body heat trapped where it belongs: near your body.

Here are the keys to taking shelter in the wilderness:

Choosing the best place to build a survival shelter is important. It should be in the driest spot you can find. Nothing sucks out body heat faster than wetness.

If it isn’t too cold, build a shelter on high ground. Breezes will help keep the bugs away, and you’ll be easier to see if a search party passes nearby.

If a cold wind is blowing, choose a spot sheltered by trees. But don’t build in the bottom of deep valleys or ravines where cold air settles at night.

Other bad places to build a shelter includes anywhere the ground is damp or on mountaintops and open ridges where exposed to the wind. Again in the bottom of narrow valleys where cold collects at night.or washes where water runs when it rains.

If it’s almost dark and you can hurriedly collect dry debris (leaves, pine needles, bark) from the forest floor, make a pile two or three feet high and longer than you are tall. When you burrow into the pile, you are in a natural sleeping bag that protects against heat loss.

The simplest shelter is a fallen tree that has enough room under it for you to crawl in. Lean the branches against the windward side of the tree (so the wind is blowing into it and not against it) to make a wall.

Make the wall thick enough to keep out wind. If you can build a fire on the open side of your shelter, the heat will help keep you warm.

If you find a fallen tree without enough room under it, or a rock or a small overhang, you can build a simple lean-to. Start by leaning fallen limbs against the object, such as the top edge of an overhang, to create a wall.

Lean the limbs at an angle to help shield rain. Cover the leaning limbs with leaves, boughs, pine needles, bark or whatever the forest offers.

When you have built a thick wall, you can crawl underneath into your shelter. Remember to make your shelter no bigger than you need to fit you and anybody else with you.

The bigger the space, the harder it is to keep warm.

You can also build a lean-to by placing one end of a long stick across a low limb of a tree and propping up the other end of the stick with two more sticks. Tie the ends of the sticks together with your boot laces or belt.

Lean more sticks against the horizontal stick. Then pile leaves and other forest debris against the leaning sticks until you have a wall.

Once again, a fire on the open side of the lean-to will add much heat to your “room.”

If you can’t make a lean-to, you can make an A-frame shelter. You’ll need two sticks four or five feet long and one stick 10 to 12 feet long.

Prop the two shorter sticks up in the shape of the letter A. Prop the longer stick up at the top of the A. Tie the three sticks together where they meet. The three sticks will be in the shape of an A-frame tent with one end collapsed against the ground.

Now prop up more sticks against the longer stick, and pile forest debris against the sticks until you have an insulated shelter open at the high-end.

When you have a tarp, sheet of plastic or Space Blanket with you, and some rope or cord, tie a line between two trees. Tie it low to the ground with just enough room for you to lie beneath.

Stretch the tarp over the line. Place large rocks or logs on the ends of the tarp to hold it in place with the edges close to the ground. If it’s snowing, tie the line off higher on the trees. Steeper walls will shed snow better.

Now you have an emergency tent.

Your shelter is not complete until you have made a bed to lie in. Dry leaves work well.

Make your bed a little bigger than the space your body covers and at least eight inches thick. When you snuggle into it, you are ready for the unexpected night out.

The Battle Continues for Battleground State Nevada

The Nevada Supreme Court in Carson City has upheld felony convictions stemming from the group ACORN’s voter registration practices. A high court decision says it’s OK for Nevada to bar payments based on how many people someone registers or how many people of a particular party one registers.

The ruling stems from a 2008 case in which the community group ACORN hired people to register voters in Las Vegas. A Secretary of State investigation found a program called “blackjack” in which the group offered a $5 bonus if a canvasser registered 21 or more voters.

ACORN supervisor Amy Busefink pleaded an equivalent of no contest to two counts of conspiracy and was ordered to informal probation and community service. She appealed, but the Nevada Supreme Court says state law is constitutional.

A Las Vegas-area teacher mentioned by President Barack Obama during his first presidential campaign debate with Republican rival Mitt Romney said she wished she had fewer students so she could give them more attention. Claritssa Sanchez was the teacher who Obama said had students sitting on the floor during the first two weeks of school, using 10-year-old textbooks.

Sanchez met with Obama and introduced him at an August 22nd campaign rally at Canyon Springs High School in North Las Vegas. White House officials said at the time that the average class size of Sanchez’s 10th-grade history and government class grew from 33 students when she began teaching in 2007 to 44 this year.

President Bill Clinton is heading to Las Vegas next week to campaign for Obama. The president’s campaign says that the former president will be in southern Nevada Tuesday for an unspecified event.

Clinton has appeared in TV commercials and made speeches on behalf of his fellow Democrat. Obama has been active trying to woo voters in the swing state of Nevada.

He spent three days at Lake Las Vegas preparing for Wednesday’s debate and has appeared eight other times throughout the state this year alone.

Obama’s campaign is also planning a get-out-the-vote event in Las Vegas featuring singer Jon Bon Jovi. The campaign says the Early Vote event is set for Saturday morning at the House of Blues inside the Mandalay Bay resort.

Jon Bon Jovi will perform a free acoustic show. Actors Aisha Tyler and Jesse Williams will also be at the event.

Tickets for the concert are available at some Obama campaign offices on a first-come, first-served basis. It’ll focus on the issues of the presidential election and encourage Nevada residents to vote as early as possible.

The Thrill is Gone

Remember when during MSNBC’s live coverage of the 2008 presidential primary elections, after the speeches of Barack Obama and John McCain had aired, Chris Matthews expressed his admiration for Obama’s speaking skills saying, “It’s part of reporting this case, this election, the feeling most people get when they hear Barack Obama’s speech. My, I felt this thrill going up my leg. I mean, I don’t have that too often.”

It’s safe to say for Matthews, the thrill is gone after last nights first of three debates between Prsident Obama and Mitt Romney.

“Tonight wasn’t an MSNBC debate tonight, was it?” Chris Matthews said after the debate concluded.

“I don’t know what he was doing out there. He had his head down, he was enduring the debate rather than fighting it. Romney, on the other hand, came in with a campaign. He had a plan, he was going to dominate the time, he was going to be aggressive, he was going to push the moderator around, which he did effectively, he was going to relish the evening, enjoying it,” Matthews said.

“Here’s my question for Obama: I know he likes saying he doesn’t watch cable television but maybe he should start. Maybe he should start. I don’t know how he let Romney get away with the crap he throughout tonight about Social Security,” Matthews complained.

Matthews then demanded that President Obama start watching cable news, specifically his program.

“Where was Obama tonight? He should watch — well, not just Hardball, Rachel, he should watch you, he should watch the Reverend Al, he should watch Lawrence. He would learn something about this debate. There’s a hot debate going on in this country. You know where it’s been held? Here on this network is where we’re having the debate,” Matthews said.

“We have our knives out,” Matthews said, admitting his network is trying their best to defend Obama and his policies. “We go after the people and the facts. What was he doing tonight? He went in their disarmed.”

“He was like, ‘Oh an hour and half? I think I can get through this thing. And I don’t even look at this guy.’ Whereas Romney — I love the split-screen — staring at Obama, addressing him like prey. He did it just right. ‘I’m coming at an incumbent. I got to beat him. You‘ve got to beat the champ and I’m going to beat him tonight. And I don’t care what this guy, the moderator, whatever he thinks he is because I’m going to ignore him,” Matthews said.

“What was Romney doing?” Matthews asked. “He was winning.”

“If he does five more of these nights, forget it,” Matthews added. “Obama should watch MSNBC, my last point. He will learn something every night on this show and all these shows. This stuff we’re watching, it’s like first grade for most of us. We know all this stuff.”

Survival Fire

The hand drill is one of the simplest friction methods available.

First cut a notch in a large piece of wood, about the thickness of your forearm, using a rock or knife tip.  Now select a dry, hardened stick, no thicker than your thumb and about a foot long.

Secure the wood with a knee or under foot, put one end of the stick in the notch, clasp the stick between your palms and quickly rub them back and forth. Press hard downward as you do this and until the spinning stick produces an ember.

Transfer the ember into your tinder.  Once transferred, lightly blow on the ember until is becomes a visible flame.

Good sources of tinder include dried grasses, lichens, shavings of wood, windblown seed or fluff, paper, pocket lint and even hair. The tinder bundle should be roughly the size of a chicken egg and loosely formed to allow air circulation.

The flame produced by the ember is now ready to be laid in your all-ready prepared fire pit.  First, you must clear an area about five-feet from the center where you intend to have your fire.

The easiest method the Tepee.

In the center of your clearing, arrange more tinder and a few sticks of kindling in the shape of a tepee or cone. Place your burning tinder in the middle of the formation.

As the tepee burns, the outside logs will fall in, feeding the fire. This type of fire burns well even with wet wood.

Don’t forget to tend the fire throughout the night and keep up the coals by banking it during the day. Banking simply means to place a thick layer of ash-dust on top of the coals to keep them ready for their next use.

Silver Tailings: Proving Up Lake Tahoe

The settling of Lake Tahoe came in three stages: transportation, logging, and recreation.

Transportation was first, because of the immigration to California during the years of the Gold Rush. However, while the immigration routes around the lake were lower in elevation and shorter in distance, they were more difficult because they required two mountain crossings.

Wagon trains coming west by way of these routes had to cross the Carson Range on the east side of the lake, then scale the Sierra on the west side.

When immigration into California largely ceased as gold fever gave way to the Nevada silver boom, the immigration became emigration and roads from California to Nevada’s Comstock took on greater importance. Of the several roads constructed during these early years, it was the Placerville Toll Road — often called the Bonanza Road.

The Bonanza Road was not a single road, but a system of toll roads that formed a turnpike between Placerville, Genoa, Carson City, and other Comstock settlements. The road was the primary route from California to the Comstock, and was the predecessor to the three main highways in Lake Tahoe: U.S Highway 50, California Highway 89, and Nevada Highway 19.

During the 1860s ranching, dairy-farming and logging increased in the area. The Bonanza Road and the several other routes provided the way for goods to get to and from the mines.

Soon inns that had served teamsters and miners began to accommodate seasonal visitors. This was the beginning of the resort industry in Lake Tahoe.

Among the first to use the area for escape from the summer heat and the bustle of urban life were miners from Virginia City, Gold Hill, and Silver City. In 1864 the Bailey Hotel was built in Tahoe City.

The Grand Central followed shortly afterwards. The hotels were also patronized by men from the Nevada lumber camps who returned with glowing tales of the fishing and hunting at the lake.

Lumber operations around the lake primarily supplied lumber for the Comstock and its mines. The Glenbrook logging operation, owned by the Bliss family, was the largest and most famous.

When the lumber business declined for the Bliss operation, one of the sons leveled a mill site and built a modern hotel, turning the Glenbrook Inn into a popular lakeside resort. By 1871 vacationers to Tahoe could take the train from the Bay Area to Truckee and arrive by stage at the Grand Central Hotel in Tahoe City.

In 1872 the steamer Governor Stanford met the travelers at the wharf in Tahoe City to transport them to other points on the lake. During the 1870s and 1880s, the steamer also provided recreation.

Tourists could take all-day sightseeing trips around the lake, entertained by the ship’s orchestra for dinner and dancing.

As the boom on the Comstock came to a close around 1888, the resort industry was becoming increasingly important. The Southern Pacific Railroad, formerly the Central Pacific, brought tourists to Truckee and then by stagecoach to Tahoe City, where they could travel by steamer to other lakeside sites.

During the 1880s, over-water railroad spur tracks and sawmills could be found along the lake’s shore. By the 1890s these gave way to an array of hotels and casinos.

Summer-home developments which had been fashionable since the 1880s, now bloomed into full-fledged summer-home communities. Winter vacationing at the lake began in 1908.

Horse-drawn sleighs provided transportation from the railroad town of Truckee to the Tahoe Tavern, which was also built by the Bliss family, just south of Tahoe City, while the steamer Tahoe made the cross-lake connection to the south shore. The Tahoe Tavern was by then the busiest resort at the lake, catering to the wealthy of San Francisco.

The first 20th-century railroads in the Tahoe-Truckee area was the narrow gauge Lake Tahoe Railway and Transportation Company. The miniature line ran between Truckee and Tahoe City.

The railroad was also constructed by the Bliss family. They used material from various lumber railroads in the area, abandoned because of depletion of timber.

The new line, which opened May 1, 1900, was a tourist railroad from the outset, although it also hauled some freight. It operated only during the tourist season, from May 15th to November 15th and ran four scheduled round trips daily  through 1915, but by 1920 it was cut to three.

In 1925 the LTR&TCo leased the railroad to Southern Pacific.  SP advertised the line nationwide, announcing that the old “American Canyon Route” was now the “Lake Tahoe Route” and would be converted to standard gauge.

The track conversion was completed May 1,1926. A balloon loop at the Tahoe Tavern allowed for the trains to be turned.

During the summer, a tourist could ride an overnight Pullman from the Oakland Pier to Tahoe City.  By 1926 winter vacations at Lake Tahoe had gained so much popularity that SP introduced the “Snow Ball” specials from San Francisco.

West of the Tahoe Tavern, where the Granlibakken ski area is now located, a ski jump and toboggan hill opened up new opportunities for winter sports. This line of the SP operated until November 10, 1943, put out of business by the automobile and World War II.

Passenger business on the LTR&TCo increased until better highways let tourists drive to the lake. Before 1913, when the roads became state highways, it had not been possible to drive through on the west side.

Once at the lake, 53 miles of highway went from the Nevada state line near Brockway, around the lake north-west and south.  In 1927, 14 miles of highway between Truckee and Tahoe City, and 12 miles between Tahoe City and the state line at Brockway were improved, as was the 11 mile stretch  between Tahoe City and Meeks Bay.

Tourists drove to the lake tended to stay for shorter periods and were generally looking a wilderness experience. This led to the creation of Camp Richardson, which offered small rustic cabins to tourists for weekend stays.

The improved roads and growing familiarity with the area played a large role in inspiring vacationers to build their own summer cabins at the lake.

Silver Tailings: The Duke of Nevada

In 1927, there arrived on the scene in north Lake Tahoe a young man by the name of Norman Biltz. He was born in Connecticut in 1902, of wealthy parents.

He left the east coast for California in about 1920, where in his first few years of residence he held a wide variety of jobs, mostly menial. In 1927 he became associated with Robert Sherman, a wealthy San Francisco real estate promoter.

As Sherman’s partner in his Brockway-Tahoe Vista Corporation, Biltz embarked on selling land in north Lake Tahoe to San Franciscans, and acted as contractor for the original Cal-Neva Lodge in Crystal Bay. Sherman built the Cal-Neva as a guest house for prospective buyers of his Lake Tahoe real estate.

But Biltz partnership with Sherman ended in 1928 when Sherman went bankrupt. Sherman gave Biltz the Cal-Neva in lieu of money Sherman owed him.

Biltz borrowed $50,000, incorporated the Crystal Bay Corporation, bought thousands of acres at north Lake Tahoe from the Blisses, and struck out on his own promotional odyssey. Understanding that the new tax laws in California and other states would tax the wealthy unduly, he saw the advantages to them in Nevada’s far more lenient laws.

He studied 200 multi-millionaires with an eye to selling them land in Nevada so they could escape the taxes in their home states. He got the support of then-governor Fred Balzar, who gave him a letter that essentially said that “he was sure [Biltz and his associates] would state the advantageous tax laws of Nevada honestly, but if [they] made a mistake, he would attempt to make [the state’s tax laws] fit [their] mistake.”

They produced and sent to each prospect a special magazine called Nevada: The Last Frontier, which they bound in leather and embossed with the prospect’s name. Biltz learned the likes and dislikes of every one of the prospective buyers and after making the sale, worked to keep them happy so they would stay in Nevada.

The first millionaire he brought to Lake Tahoe was Jim Stack, who had made his fortune in stock holdings of Quaker Oats. To get Stack to stay, Biltz lived with him for six months.

This was typical of the lengths he went to convince his buyers of the advantage of living in Nevada. He took the buyers hunting, fishing, golfing.

He spent day, weeks, even months keeping the buyers happy. He started a construction company and built their houses for them, even found them servants. The theory was that once sold on Nevada, the buyers would go back to their home states and become salesmen for the state themselves.

Among the millionaires Biltz sold Tahoe property to were Max Fleischmann, of Fleischmann’s yeast, E.L. Cord, creator of the Cord automobile, the family of E.W. Scripps, the newspaper publisher, Cornelius Vanderbilt , Rex Bell and several other Hollywood stars. All in all he sold Lake Tahoe property to approximately 75 millionaires.

In about 1930 Biltz married Esther Auchincloss, aunt to Jacqueline Kennedy. Over the years he became very influential in Nevada politics and very wealthy, with interests in numerous areas ranging from developing, to ranching, to mining and oil leasing.

When ranchers in Nevada lost their land during the depression, Biltz sold the ranches to wealthy men from out of state (including Bing Crosby), putting the land back in service and money back into Nevada’s economy.

He helped prepare and distribute the “One Sound State” program booklet, promoting Nevada nationwide, and produced a full color magazine-type publication, entitled “Nevada, The Last Frontier,” to lure the nation’s wealthy to the state.

He was close friends with many of the state’s movers and shakers, as well as with influential men at the national level. When Fortune magazine wrote a story about him, they dubbed him the “Duke of Nevada.”