New Advice: Trust but Verify

“Just the facts, ma’am,” are one the most popular words ever spoken in the 1950 through the early 70’s TV crime drama known as, “Dragnet.” The show was created and produced by Jack Webb, who starred as stoic Sergeant Joe Friday.

Over the years, “Just the facts,” has been parodied and used in various forms of entertainment and through this the words have somehow lost their meaning. Dictionary.com defines fact as: something that actually exists; reality; truth.

Most of us rely of facts throughout our day, expecting them in news articles we read, or news stories we see or hear. We also have the same expectation when it comes to what our school aged children are being taught.

Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case and parents, grandparents and guardians and such must ever be on guard about what is being shoveled into the noggins of our little children. Then when something incorrect is discovered – it MUST be brought to the attention of others and not jus’ the authorities.

Finally, pictures are truly worth a thousand words – if not more…

2nd-amendment

That was discovered in a Texas high school text book last year and has since been corrected. More recently an observant Illinois father found this in his seventh grade son’s workbook:

2nd-amendment-assignment

How the Second amendment of the U.S. Constitution actually reads: “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Remember, you can trust, but must also verify. A source of information might be considered reliable, but you should perform additional research to verify that such information is correct.

Biden Calls for Gay Rights Bill

Vice-President Joe Biden is calling on Congress to pass a measure to outlaw workplace discrimination against gays, saying it’s outrageous that the country is even debating the subject. He said it was time for Congress to pass the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA.

Speaking to supporters of the gay advocacy group Human Rights Campaign in Los Angeles, Biden said it’s “close to barbaric” that in some states, because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, employees are fired.

Unfortunately, Biden is half a century too late with his call.

Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. Furthermore the Equal Pay Act of 1963 protects both men and women who do substantially equal work in the same establishment from sex-based wage discrimination.

Under these laws discrimination also includes harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, genetic information, or age, retaliation against an individual for filing a charge of discrimination, participating in an investigation, or opposing discriminatory practices. The law even goes as far as banning employment decisions based on stereotypes or assumptions about the abilities, traits, or performance of individuals of a certain sex, race, age, religion, or ethnic group, or individuals with disabilities, or based on myths or assumptions about an individual’s genetic information.

The fifty year old law also forbids denying employment opportunities to anyone because of marriage to, or association with, an individual of a particular race, religion, national origin, or an individual with a disability. Title VII also covers sexual harassment like direct requests for sexual favors to conditions that create a hostile work environment for persons of either gender, including same-sex harassment and pregnancy-based discrimination that covers pregnancy, childbirth, and other related medical conditions.

Laws we have — more we don’t need.

So, Mr. Vice-President Biden, please stop wasting the U.S.’s time and start working on something important like eliminating government-approved NSA spying on its citizens, the IRS’s targeting of groups, both political and religious and finally, what really happened to cause four good men to lose their lives in Benghazi.

The Queen Christina

It was October 21, 1907 that the Queen Christina, enveloped in a thick fog, struck the rocks on Point St. George reef near Crescent City, California. The vessel set sail on the 19th, bound for Portland, Oregon, with a load of wheat.

Her crew made it safely to shore. However, the Queen Christina refused to sink immediately.

Instead she withstood massive battering’s from storm after storm, before finally splitting mid bow and sinking in January 1909. At the time she ran aground, she was considered one of the largest freighters on the Pacific coast.

The Nevada Actor with Three Names

brad dexter

A question that comes up regularly in film trivia quizzes is to name The Magnificent Seven. It’s easy to start with: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, James Coburn, Charles Bronson and Robert Vaughn.

Harder still is naming number six, Horst Buchholz. But what about number seven, the man who portrayed Harry Luck?

“Actor Brad Dexter, who rode with Yul Brynner as one of ‘The Magnificent Seven’ and became pal to Marilyn Monroe and Frank Sinatra, has died at the age of 85,” reads an Associated Press story dated Dec. 13th, 2002. “Born Boris Milanovich in Goldfield, Nev. Dexter made guest appearances on the 1950s TV shows ‘Zane Gray Theater,’ ‘Death Valley Days’ and ‘Wagon Train.’ ”

Dexter died in relative obscurity, and nearly every website lists his given name as Boris Milanovich. Furthermore most Nevadans don’t know he is a native Nevada son.

The actor, who adopted the stage name Brad Dexter at the suggestion of director John Huston, was actually born Boris Michel Soso April 9th, 1917, in Goldfield. He moved to Los Angeles in 1920 with his family according to the U.S. Census.

Soso was the Belmont High School president of his 1935 graduating class. After high school, he enlisted in the military and then later when he appeared in Moss Hart’s “Winged Victory” in 1943, he was known as Barry Mitchell.

Following other roles, including the film “Heldorado” (1946) with Roy Rogers and Dale Evans, he got his big break when Huston cast him in “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950) with Monroe. The year 1952, found Dexter, Jane Russell and Vincent Price at the Las Vegas gala première of the Howard Hughes film, “The Las Vegas Story.”

A year later, Dexter married popular singer Peggy Lee. However, the couple divorced after 10 months.

Dexter then co-starred in “The Magnificent Seven” with Yule Brynner (1960).  He played gangster Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel in “The George Raft Story” (1961), and then teamed up with Brynner again in “Taras Bulba” (1962).

In 1965, Sinatra and Dexter co-starred in “None But the Brave” and “Von Ryan’s Express.” The two parted company during Dexter’s debut as a movie producer in London with “The Naked Runner” (1967).

Dexter’s career continued into the 1970s, having produced “Little Fauss and Big Halsy” (1970) starring Robert Redford, “Lady Sings the Blues” (1972) starring Diana Ross and  Warren Beatty’s “Shampoo” (1975) and “The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover” (1977). His last screen role was in “Secret Ingredient” (1990), ending a career spanning some 50 years and 40 movies.

No Funeral for Fred Phelps

phelps cartoon

An article saying the “Westboro Asks Public Not to Picket Phelps Funeral” is just satire published by the Daily Current website. Unfortunately many people believe this is true and the piece has gone viral over the Internet.

In the end, there isn’t going to be a funeral for Westboro Baptist Church founder Fred Phelps, the church confirms.  The church heavily picketed U.S. soldiers who died and other events.

Even if there were to be a funeral, picketing or protest the service would be a mistake. It would instead be the best time to practice what Jesus Christ says in Luke 6:13 (NIV): “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

Picketing a funeral is neither kind, nor Christ-like. And as we all know — two wrongs don’t make a right.

Common Core: An Assault on States’ Rights.

It states in the 10th Amendment, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”

The Common Core State Standards Initiative (CCSSI) is a set of national K-12 educational standards. Proponents of Common Core want you believe it’s led by the states, but it isn’t.

In 2008, Common Core Initiative was developed by the National Governor’s Association (NGA), headed at the time by former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee and the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO.)  They worked with Achieve, Inc. to develop the standards.

The three organizations, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, outlined their vision of education in a report called ‘Benchmarking for Success.’ These benchmarks include a collective influence to make sure textbooks, digital media, curricula, and assessments align with international standards, and that states revise policies for recruiting, preparing, developing and supporting teachers and school leaders.

Immediately after the publication of ‘Benchmarking for Success,’ the NGA and CCSSO began an initiative, the CCSSI to develop academic standards that claimed to be: Common — the standards would be the same across all states and in all grades; Core — they would address core academic subjects only (math and ELA); State — the standards would be state developed and implemented; Standards — the Initiative would address standards only, not nationalized curricula or a national test.

Through 2008 and into 2009 the standards had not yet been completely drafted. However, the proponents of the Common Core Initiative were determined to get the states locked into the standards as quickly as possible.

In February 2009, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (the Federal Stimulus act) provided an earmark of $4.35 billion to the states to get them to commit. A month after the Stimulus bill was passed, the Department of Education announced the Race to the Top — a competition of the states to qualify for the money.

It was conducted in two phases:

Phase 1 was rolled out on November 1, 2009. Applying states were required to show their commitment to Common Core.

This meant the states had to commit to implementing the standards to be considered for the grant.

This was expected without ever seeing a draft of what the standards were. This phase had a due date of January 19, 2010.

Forty states plus Washington, D.C. adopted Common Core in Phase I.

In March 2010, two months after states were required to show their commitment to Common Core to be eligible for Race to the Top funding, the NGA and CCSSO released a draft of the Common Core Standards. Also in March, the Department of Education announced the winners of Phase I grants – Delaware and Tennessee.

In April, 2010 Phase II of the Race to the Top grant was rolled out. This phase required applicant states to show proof of steps they had taken to follow requirements.

This phase had a deadline of June 1, 2010. On June 2, 2010, a day after the deadline for Phase II, the NGA released the final draft of the K-12 Common Core Standards.

States were then given an extension of the deadline until August 2, 2010, to amend their submissions to show evidence they had adopted the standards. By Phase II, forty-seven states (including Washington, D.C.) had adopted Common Core.

The winners of Phase II funding were announced August 24, 2010: D.C., Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina, Ohio and Rhode Island.

If a state applied for funding under the Race to the Top grant program, they were committing to Common Core Standards whether they were awarded funds or not. Due to the time constraints of the initial phase (which required the commitment to Common Core) the states were signed on to the standards either through their Departments of Education or their governor; meaning they were not voted on by state legislatures.

The Race to the Top funds includes funding for collection of ‘longitudinal data.’ This  includes giving your child an identifier, following their school enrollment history, income, number of people in a household, birth dates, death dates, age, sex, race, sexual preference, occupation, religious and political beliefs.

Finally, through the January 2012 expansion of the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) data collected can be shared with more organizations than previously allowed, including the Internal Revenue Service. Also under this act, disclosures of personal and student identifying information, including IDs and e-mail addresses can be passed along.

In short, education is not a power delegated to the federal government. It is a power of the states and of the people.

Level II Look-a-like Firearm

finger gun

Let me off the STUPID train, please!

A 10-year-old Columbus, Ohio, student received a three-day suspension because he used a ‘Level II Look-a-like Firearm’ to pretend to shoot another student.  In school-yard-speak, a ‘Level II Look-a-like Firearm’ is a forefinger and thumb held in such a way as to resemble a gun.

It’s called a ‘Level II Look-a-like Firearm’ because school and law enforcement authorities know adults are laughing at their stupidity. Plus it looks more serious in the child’s record than ‘finger gun.’

Fifth grader Nathan Entingh’s “violent” act of pointing his ‘Level II Look-a-like Firearm’ at the head of a fellow student violated Devonshire Alternative Elementary School’s zero-tolerance gun policy. And the “victim” didn’t even see the mock execution, which was instead spotted by a teacher.

Fortunately, the teacher stopped the incident before any of the students suffered a make-believe injury.

Farad Hydroelectric Power Plant

farad water plant

The Farad Hydroelectric Power Plant, located about 18 miles upstream from Reno, was constructed in 1899 by Truckee River General Electric Co, the predecessor of Sierra Pacific Power, (known now as NV Energy.) The facility was originally built to fulfill an electrical power contract with the Comstock Pumping Association of Virginia City.

As a side note — Virginia City’s electric distribution system not only was the first in Nevada, it was also designed by Thomas Edison in the late 1890’s. By contrast, Consolidated Power & Telephone in Southern Nevada began supplying elec­tricity to Las Vegas in 1906 using a small second-hand dc generator.

Water was diverted from the Truckee River into a flume at Floriston about a mile upstream from Farad. In 1906, an additional 75 cubic feet per second would be added to the flume’s capacity, with a total electrical output rated at 2.5 megawatts.

In September 2000, Sierra Pacific announced it would sell its water business. The cities of Reno and Sparks plus Washoe County formed the Truckee Meadows Water Authority in order to acquire the related assets including the four minihydro plants.

Farad has been out of service since 1997 when its approach flume washed out.

 

All for a Cup O’Joe

“So how are you doing today?” asked my friend Karen through Facebook.

My answer: “Shaking my head at the new coffee maker Kay purchased. I feel like I have to be a scientist to get even a single cup out of it. I fear I’ll never get another cup of plain old Joe in this house again without major help. LOL.”

What my friend does not know is that I still have trouble with the electric can opener my wife bought two years ago. I have stopped using it because I’ve dropped several cans I thought were properly attached to the machine, leaving chip-marks in the counter top tile.

Kay says I don’t like the new coffee-maker because I don’t like change. That could very well be true – but what I really don’t like about change is making a simple process like brewing a pot of coffee into a difficult activity.

To me, brewing coffee one cup at a time isn’t a real achievement. I could do that using instant coffee.

The real achievement is being able to brew an entire pot of coffee in less than five-minutes. I like it that way because I can always return to the coffee maker and pour another cup and if need be, heat it up in the nuke-ro-wave.

Unfortunately, I look at this new fangled machine and I cannot help but think of Apollo 13 and how Houston had to redesign a power system to get the capsule up and operating. That’s because I’m afraid this latest coffee maker to enter our home uses more amps to pump out a single 8 ounce cup of coffee than the astronauts used to save themselves from a deep space death.

And it comes in four different languages and I cannot seem to find ‘English.’ Isn’t there supposed to be a ‘press the one button,’ in a situation like this?

Furthermore, I can’t seem to get the words to the Simon and Garfunkel song, “Mrs. Robinson,” and the last verse of the tune out of my head, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, a nation turns its lonely eyes to you (Woo, woo, woo). What’s that you say, Mrs. Robinson, Joltin’ Joe has left and gone away (Hey, hey, hey…hey, hey, hey.)”

Yup, Joltin’ Joe, once the pitchman for ‘Mr. Coffee,’ is gone and so is the simplicity of making coffee in the morning. I can’t help but emit a heavy sigh.

This human was not designed for such frustration, so Houston — we have a problem.

The Genial Irishman of Patrick Creek


It was New Year’s Eve 1904, when 84-year-old miner, George Dunn was found dead in his isolated cabin near Patrick Creek, along the Smith River. Doctors who examined his body said the crime was committed earlier in the week.

Dunn, a well known miner was reputed to be quite wealthy. Described as a genial Irishman and who for years kept a store along the lonely Crescent City-Grants Pass stage road had been beaten to death.

Within 48-hours, two men were arrested in connection with Dunn’s murder. The prisoners were in the vicinity of Dunn’s cabin about the time he came to his death and were without funds. However, when arrested they all had money and moreover had spent a lot  at a roadhouse.

Initially, a third man was arrested with Brown and Kelley but was released after it was learned he was not associated with the pair. A fourth person was sought as well, but it was later found out that this person didn’t exist.

Harry Brown and Thomas Kelly went before Del Norte County Justice Barry January 5, 1905, but on motion of the Prosecuting Attorney their examination was postponed, owing to the absence of a witness. Sheriff George Crawford feared a lynch mob was preparing to descend upon the jail according to the San Francisco Call, because “feelings were running high” as Dunn was well liked by his neighbors.

Three days later Brown and Kelley confessed that on the night of December 29 they took the life of George Dunn. The confession was first wrung from Brown by Sheriff Crawford, who, by cleverly playing upon his fears that his partner in crime was about to turn state’s evidence, induced the youthful but hardened murderer to tell the story of the awful crime.

Only once did Brown falter in his bloody tale, and then his hesitation was not due to any feeling for Dunn, whose life he had helped to take. He faltered because he did not know for a certain whether his confession would earn him’ the reward of the cowardly informer, usually immunity from the death penalty.’

He hesitated long enough to ask if he or his partner in crime was to be benefited by the confession. When assured by Crawford that he would “get all that was coming to him” he breathed a sigh of relief and went on with his tale of cowardly, treacherous murder.

Armed with the ‘facts’ from Brown, part of whose conversation had been overheard by Kelley, purposely placed in an adjoining cell, Crawford paid a visit to the latter. He found Kelley pacing his cell in a frenzy, fearful of the consequences following Brown’s confession.

“What’s the matter with that fellow?” Kelley cried before Crawford could enter his cell, adding, “Is he getting cold feet? Is he turning state’s evidence?”

Cursing and swearing, Kelley paced his cell, occasionally stopping to shake his fist in the direction of Brown. Eventually, the strain became too great, and finally he called out, “Bring me an attorney and I will tell the whole story.”

Quickly Crawford summoned District Attorney F. W. Taft, and within a short time Kelley gave to the two the story of the brutal murder of Dunn at the hands of himself and Brown. His story was even more complete than that told by Brown.

Kelley said Dunn’s murder was planned in Waldo, Oregon, two days before it was committed. The pair was forced to leave Waldo by police, so they decided to head for northern California.

Their aim was Dunn’s cabin and store. Brown first suggested visiting Dunn, who he had ‘heard rumors that the old fellow had gold galore hidden in the store.’

Apparently, Kelley was as anxious as Brown. The two young men stopped at the Monumental mine, where they picked up the club with which Dunn was eventually beaten.

The two knew Dunn would fight if provoked, so they decided Kelley would insult him, while Brown waited for a chance to strike. But their plans were nearly thrown off course.

At Dunn’s they met two men in search of work. The strangers delayed their plan, but they were able to get rid of them by sending them to the Monumental mine claiming work could be found there.

Once the strangers were gone, Kelley rapped at Dunn’s door, whereupon the storekeeper told him to enter. Once inside Kelley, grew scared by ‘the stalwart figure of the Irishman,’ but a gesture from Brown stirred him to action, and he raised his hand, shoving Dunn against the counter.

“That’s your game, is it?” Dunn reportedly shouted.

As Dunn regained his balance, and facing his assailant, he rushed Kelley, who jumped to one side. Brown took a step forward and brought the club down on Dunn’s head, driving the old man to the floor.

Dunn struggled to get up, but another blow soon stretched him out on the floor. Again and again the club fell, and soon Dunn’s head was crushed and bleeding.

“Get an ax,” cried Brown to Kelley.

Kelley did as he was told, and when he returned, Brown ordered him to use it on the helpless and dying form.

“I didn’t hit him hard,” Kelley whined during his confession.

Then Brown took the ax from Kelley and with a single blow nearly severed Dunn’s head from his body. Kelley and Brown then searched the store, where they found a watch and an unknown amount of money.

A month later, because of a warning given by the fellow prisoners a jailer was able to frustrate Brown’s plans to escape. Brown intended to make a break, for freedom after braining the turnkey with a stick of wood he had secreted in his cell.

Brown claimed to have a home and relatives in Humboldt County, while Kelley said his parents lived Chehalis, Washington. He also claimed to have an uncle named Felgate, who is employed at the San Francisco Mint.

Both Brown and Kelly caused a sensation in court January 17th when they entered pleas of not guilty and demanded separate trials. Kelley’s trial was set for February 5th, with Brown to be tried at Kelley trial was finished.

The following month, Dunn’s mining claim was appropriated by L. W. Higgins, a Crescent City miner, said he had a right to the property on technical grounds. Higgins claimed that while Dunn “had mined the claim for the last thirty years he did not fulfill all the requirements prescribed by law.”

Whether Higgins succeeded in taking ownership of Dunn’s mine, remains unknown. “The many friends of Dunn are indignant over the affair and declare that as a matter of justice,” reports the San Francisco Call, “they will see that Higgins is removed from the claim he has jumped on Patrick Creek.”

In a short trial, Kelley was found guilty and sentenced to San Quentin for life. A few weeks later, Brown was convicted and ordered to hang.

But while also at San Quentin, Brown would not go quietly.

On April 28th, three guards had to be fired by Warden Tompkins. Their dismissal gave rise to the rumors that they were terminated because of their refusal to enter the prison walls without arms. Rumors also surfaced that they were discharged for smuggling opium into the prison.

The Warden refused to divulge the identity of the three men he fired, stating however, that “they were discharged for insubordination.” State records show that the men in question were Benjamin Merritt, D. E. Wiley and Frederick Hall.

Wiley and Hall were ordered by the Warden to subject John Bush, a second-termer from San Francisco, to punishment in the straitjacket for attempting to escape from one of the ‘incorrigible cells.’ The guards refused ‘because the work was distasteful to them, and for their refusal to do it they were discharged.’

According to records, Merritt had been on watch over the ‘incorrigibles.’ The Warden felt that guards detailed on that watch should sleep in quarters near the incorrigible cells, where they could be within call in the event of an outbreak.

Merritt had slept at his home, located jus’ outside the walls and refused to take his quarters in the prison. The Warden then offered him another post, but Merritt refused to accept the new position and left the prison’s employ.

The ‘incorrigibles’ were particularly unruly during this time period and included “Jack” Ortega, John Bush, Harry Hammill, George Hyde, Arthur Odell, Robert Garner, Bert Short and Brown. The men shrieked, howled, cursed and kicked the doors of their cells.

Threats had no effect on them, until the Warden had them transported to the stone front cells in the yard and threatened to blast the big prison horn into their new cells, if they didn’t behave. This had the desired effect.

Following the Supreme Court upholding his death sentence, on the morning of September 7th, 1906, Brown ascended the scaffold at 10:30. The murderer of George Dunn was dead within twelve minutes from the time the trap was sprung, going to his death without a word.

Tool

During his recent ‘State of the City,’ speech, Sparks Mayor Geno Martini claimed the economic picture for the city has stabilized and some revenues will increase over the next couple of years. However, Martini also said he expects to make cuts upwards of $1.9 million, but doesn’t expect any layoffs.

I responded to an online posting about his speech saying, “Yeah, since 09/11/2001…”

And as is the norm and the hazard of making such political statements, some fella named Skip took issue with my comment, “Of course Tom Darby…since it’s even harder to blame Bush for the Democrat caused recession that began after they got complete power in 2006 and did nothing to help prevent or ease it to get their candidate elected in 2008,” writes Skip. “Now we have a do nothing Senate that refuses to allow anything that will actually fix the problem. You are such a tool.”

My response: “Thank you for the insult, Skip. It’s disappointing that ‘tool’ was all you could come up with though. In 2005, I worked as a reporter in Sparks and was told that the city’s poor economy was due in part to the attack on the WTC in 2001.”

“To wit: “Assistant city manager Steve Driscoll said the shortfall would be $300,000.”

“Driscoll said dropping assessed values for casinos, businesses and other Victorian Square properties are partly to blame for the shortfall. He also continues to point to the Sept 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the nation, saying that the event created a significant decrease in revenue.”

Somehow, I knew I wouldn’t get a follow up response.

Lessons from the Crimea

It was December 1994 when the Budapest Memorandum on Security Assurances. was signed in Hungary. The memorandum’s purpose is to provide security to Ukraine for agreeing to the ‘Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.’

The ‘Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons’ design is to prevent the spread of nuclear weapons and technology, to promote cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy and to further the goal of achieving nuclear disarmament and general and complete disarmament. Opened for signature in 1968, the Treaty entered into force in 1970 and in May 1995, it was extended indefinitely.

As for the memorandum, it was originally signed by the U.S., the Russian Federation and the United Kingdom. China and France later gave statements of assurance as well.

It included assurances against threats or use of force against Ukraine. As a result Ukraine gave up the world’s third largest nuclear weapons stockpile between 1994 and 1996.

“There is a common perception that Russia’s move on Crimea shows its strength.  A closer examination suggests it is more complicated that it may seem.   Like the bully at the school yard, the aggressiveness conceals weaknesses,” writes Mark Chandler, blogger and author of ‘Making Sense of the Dollar.’ “Simply put, Russia felt threatened and for good reason.  The democratic coup in the Ukraine threatened a potentially strategic loss for Russia.”

However, Russia’s invasion has also breached its obligations to Ukraine and is in clear violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty.  And all the U.S. can really do is offer sanctions against the former U.S.S.R., while the U.K. stands-by doing nothing.

In essence, what is happening in Ukraine is a lesson in what will happen to a country or nation that allows any governmental body to take away their arms. It could happen to us if we fail to remember the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution which reads: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

Paper, like prayer, is no good without action to back it up.

Banning a Word Doesn’t Change Nature

Jus’ in time for International Women’s Day, the chief operation officer for Facebook and author of the book “Lean In,” Sheryl Sandberg is heading up a campaign to ban the word “bossy,” saying the word stops girls from “pursuing leadership roles.” I think it’s more about money and yet another attack on free speech.

“This same social pattern influences salary expectations. A 2011 survey showed that long before they even hit the workforce, teenage girls expect lower starting pay than teenage boys,” she writes. “And this trend continues throughout college where a 2010 study revealed that women’s expected peak-pay expectations were 33 percent lower than men’s.”

I’ve heard many of the same figures bandied about since 1973 and one would think that after so many decades the numbers would have changed. Oh, wait – it has – according to the a 2003 Government Accounting Office report working women today earn an average of 80 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts.

She adds, “(Bossy) is symbolic of systemic discouragement of girls to lead. We are not just talking about getting rid of a word, even though we want to get rid of a word,” she adds. “We’re talking about getting rid of the negative messages that hold our daughters back.”

However, even Sandberg’s website declares: “By middle school, girls are less interested in leading than boys — a trend that continues into adulthood.” But no one is asking the question, “Why don’t girls want to lead?”

It is actually simple. They do – but in a way that is far different from how boys want to lead. It is the way the female mind and emotion is hard-wired to the body and nearly opposite from the design of the wiring of the male mind and emotion.

I mean, if it hadn’t been for my younger sister’s and a couple of neighborhood girls and their ‘bossy’ ways, I might have gotten in worse trouble than I did as a kid.

Sandberg, like many feminists, seeks to alter what is natural in the human species. I need not point this out, but telling mom that little boy’s should not play ‘army’ and to do this, don’t buy them toy guns has yet to work.

Instead, the little boys (and yes – little girls too,) pick up sticks to make a pretend ‘machine gun,’ rocks for  ‘hand grenades,’ and  their fingers and thumbs to create a pistol. Unfortunately, a finger gun has now been reclassified a “Level II Look-a-like Firearm,” in many school districts.

Finally, the subject of ‘bossy,’ came up while I was at my veterinarian clinic and one technician named Amber pointed out, “Banning the word bossy, is jus’ another way of being bossy. Besides,” she adds, “when the word ‘boobalicious’ is banned from Facebook, I might take her (Sandberg) a little more serious.”

A History on Hate

Near the end of February 2014, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill allowing businesses to refuse service to homosexuals. The bill was designed to give added protection from lawsuits to people who assert the right to refuse service to others.

Unfortunately, discrimination – the forbearer of hatred — has raised it ugly head time and again in both Northern Nevada and Northern California.

For instance, “The Negro Travelers’ Green Book” was a travel guide series published from 1936 to 1964 by Victor H. Green. It was intended to provide Black motorists and tourists with the information necessary to board, dine, and sightsee comfortably and safely during the era of segregation.

Similar handbooks had reportedly been published for the Jewish community, which also faced widespread discrimination, though they were able to blend in more easily with the general population. Unfortunately, I could find only one such travel guide, published in 2009 called “The Jewish Travel Guide,” by Betsy Sheldon.

The ‘Green Book’ became “the bible of black travel during Jim Crow,” enabling Black travelers to find lodgings, businesses and gas stations that would serve them along the road. Black travelers faced a variety of dangers and inconveniences, ranging from white-owned businesses refusing to serve them or repair their vehicles, to being refused accommodation or food by white-owned hotels, or even facing threats of physical violence and forcible expulsion from whites-only “sundown towns.”

Crescent City, California had a well established Chinatown by the late 1870s. However residents expelled the Chinese populations in the early and mid 1880s.

Grace Hight said in 1948, “Orientals for some years afterward were not seen in Del Norte County, except in the case of Raleigh Scott of Smith River who retained his Chinese cook, Old Dock, until he died.”

Miners considered the Chinese a pest. The saloon keepers were opposed to them because the Chinese had their own methods of gambling and dissipation so did not leave any money in the local bars.

In his 1881 “History of Del Norte County,” author A.J. Bledsoe recounts, “Of the Chinese population it is not necessary to say much. We of the Pacific Coast are too well acquainted with their vile habits, their thieving ways, and their contaminating influence, to render a description of the same either interesting or profitable… [Crescent City] has a Chinese population of between 40 and 100… It is difficult to estimate the Chinese population correctly, because crowded as they are into filthy dens; there is no means of estimating their number by the number of houses they inhabit…. As a general rule their shanties are surrounded by mud, filth, and garbage of every kind – fit surroundings for such a degraded class. And to crown all, the perfumes … rise up in one grand, overpowering stench.”

Following the 1885 death of a Eureka, California, city councilman at the hands of Chinese man, Bledsoe describes, “The next evening a parade was held down the main street of [Crescent City], with a small band playing, and citizens marching holding placards reading ‘The Chinese Must Go.’… It was reported that a number of eyes could be seen peeking from the roofs of some of the buildings [in Chinatown].”

The citizens of Crescent City held meetings the first week of March, 1886, to he adds, “remove all Mongolians from our midst.”

“The exodus began by loading the women and children and two old men on a wagon with what bedding they could collect while being pushed and dragged to the wagons,” writes Bledsoe. “Their cries and pleas were unforgettable. They were afraid the men would be beaten and killed. By the end of the next day most of the men were with their relatives, except possibly a half dozen who were permitted to stay and sell their effects.”

He adds, “The Bay Hotel Company had trouble keeping a crew of four [Chinese workers]. They contracted in San Francisco with four Japanese to take the job. Within two weeks they were waited on by a delegation from the logging camps and told that Orientals were not permitted to live in Del Norte County. They left by boat the next day.”

Two days after the accidental shooting death of the Eureka city councilman, that city’s Chinatown, formerly home to 480 Chinese Americans, ceased to exist. Shortly after the expulsion, a citizen’s committee drafted an unofficial law stating:

“That all Chinamen be expelled from the city and that none be allowed to return. That a committee be appointed to act for one year, whose duty shall be to warn all Chinamen who may attempt to come to this place to live, and to use all reasonable means to prevent their remaining. If the warning is disregarded, to call mass meetings of citizens to whom the case will be referred for proper action. That a notice be issued to all property owners through the daily papers, requesting them not to lease or rent property to Chinese.”

A year later, in 1886, Arcata (known as Union at the time,) expelled its Chinese population and enacted the following resolution: “We the citizens of Arcata and vicinity wish the total expulsion of the Chinese from our midst. We endorse the efforts of Eureka to exclude all Chinese settlements in the city and environs.”

Chinese expelled from Eureka unsuccessfully attempted to sue for damages on property loss. In the U.S. Circuit Court case Wing Hing v. Eureka, the court noted that the Chinese residents owned no land and held that their other property was worthless.

On the first anniversary of the expulsion, Eureka citizens met to renew their pledges to keep Chinese people out of the city. They also offered help to other towns attempting to expel Chinese people.

Thankfully, the anti-Chinese ordinance was repealed in 1959, and a number of Asians live in the city. But before the expulsion of “Celestials,” came the whole-sale massacre of the Wiyot Indians on February 26th, 1860, at Tuluwat, an island in Humboldt Bay.

It is estimated that between 80 to 250 Wiyot men, women, and children were murdered while all the able-bodied men were away. Famed Comstock journalist Bret Harte, who was assistant-editor for Union’s ‘Northern Californian,’ reported the slaughter like this: “Blood stood in pools on all sides; the walls of the huts were stained and the grass colored red. Lying around were dead bodies of both sexes and all ages from the old man to the infant at the breast.”

“Some had their heads split in twain by axes, others beaten into jelly with clubs, others pierced or cut to pieces with bowie knives,” he writes. “Some struck down as they mired; others had almost reached the water when overtaken and butchered.”

Harte was run out of town after the wide-spread publication of his report — and a number of death threats.

In a 2002 Associated Press story, William H. Jacobsen Jr. said he remembers hearing the 6 p.m. whistle blow daily in Carson Valley. It was the sound of segregation against the local Indians.

“When the whistle went off, the Indians had to get out of Minden and Gardnerville,” said Jacobsen, a retired University of Nevada, Reno professor, renowned linguist, author and pioneer in the study of tribal languages.

Unionville, county seat of Humboldt County, Nevada, expelled all of its Chinese “in the middle of January 1869.” The sheriff did nothing.

Charges were filed against leaders but dropped. But after Unionville declined as a mining center, a few Chinese returned to mine, between the 1880s and 1905 or so, elsewhere in the county.

Chinese were excluded from Goldfield, Nevada, seat of Esmeralda County, between 1909 and 1918.  No persons of Chinese descent were reported as residents of Esmeralda County” in the censuses after 1920.

“In early Goldfield, there were a number of Black residents but ‘they never let a Chinese or a Jap get off the train. If they came, they were told to go right back.’

Blacks were driven out of some Nevada communities in the early 1900s. In Reno during 1904, Police Chief R. C. Leeper openly carried out a policy of arresting all unemployed Blacks and forcing them to leave the city…”

Elmer R. Rusco writes in his 1975 book, “Good Time Coming?”

“It is not known how widespread the policy of forcing blacks out of Nevada cities was, but in 1914 a newspaper in eastern Nevada reported that ‘all along the South Pacific Rail Road the Nevada towns are making war upon unemployed negroes…”

He adds, “Blacks were excluded from some Nevada communities at various times during the 20th century and were forced out of other communities.”

A Rawhide, Nevada, newspaper bragged in 1908 that “…Blacks ‘have been kindly but friendly [sic] informed to move on…’”

In the 1956 spring edition of the “Green Book,” there are two listings for the Reno area: ‘Hawthorne Tourist Home’ at 542 Valley Road and ‘Floyd Garner Tourist Home’ at 857 E. 2nd Street. Neither exists today, having been replaced by an industrial building and parking lot, respectively.

It should also be noted that discrimination can go the other way too. Several people with disabilities have run rough-shot over California business, using the ‘American’s with Disabilities Act,’ to create ‘nuisance lawsuits,’ forcing owners to correct deficiencies in public restrooms, entrance ways, parking lots, side walks, counters tops and tables, while collecting cash-awards from fines levied in the suits.

As American Philosopher George Santayana is oft quoted, “Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”

Late 1890’s San Francisco Mint Mystery Heats Up


The California couple who found a stash of buried gold coins in February 2013 valued at $10 million may have found money stolen from the US Mint in 1900. According to U.S. treasure laws, the anonymous couple could have it taken away from them.

The coins, dated from 1847 to 1894, are mostly Double Eagles, or $20 gold pieces, minted in San Francisco. Of those 1,427 coins, most are uncirculated and add up to a face value of $27,000.

In 1894, a worker at the San Francisco mint made off with 290 pounds of gold and reportedly buried it near Shelter Cover, California close by Point Delgado in southern Humboldt County. He was captured and sent to prison for his crime, but refused to show authorities the exact location of the loot, which was never found.

Seven-years later, mint clerk Walter Dimmick, was imprisoned after $32,700 worth of gold coins was discovered missing. He’s believed to have begun working at the mint in 1898.

Unfortunately, I cannot account for the discrepancy in the time line of Dimmick’s employment and the 1894 theft. Nor can I find any information on the 1894 theft, so it may simply be a myth, or the date is incorrect.

Dimmick quickly became the prime suspect as he was the last person to see the 1,500 missing gold coins and had already been caught practicing how to forge the Superintendent’s name. And after a month-long trial, he was convicted of stealing the coins and sentenced to nine years in San Quentin.

Dimmick appealed to the California Supreme Court in the fall of 1903 because he’d been in jail since 1901 and argued that he had served his time. It’s not clear why he was arguing that he had only been sentenced to two years, since other newspaper accounts of the time had it at nine years.

Interestingly, Dimmick appears in the 1910 U.S. Census, which shows the 53-year-old was out of prison and living in Oakland. He died at the age of 73 in 1930.

According to U.S. Treasure Trove Laws, the collection could be taken away and given to descendants of the person who originally put it in the ground or even given to the state. Yet, the law on finding treasure that is on your property but belongs to someone else is vague.

The treasure trove rule was first given serious consideration by the Oregon Supreme Court in 1904 in a case involving boys who had discovered thousands of dollars in gold coins hidden in metal cans while cleaning out a hen-house and they were allowed to keep their stash.

Finally, a mint spokesman issued this statement: “We do not have any information linking the Saddle Ridge Hoard coins to any thefts at any United States Mint facility. Surviving agency records from the San Francisco Mint have been retired to the National Archives and Records Administration, under Record Group 104. Access to the records is under NARA’s jurisdiction.”

The previous largest reported buried gold treasure in the United States was the 1985 discovery by construction workers in Jackson, Tennessee of gold coins with an estimated face value of $4,500 and market value of about $1 million.  Although not “buried” treasure, more than 400,000 silver dollars were found in the home of Lavere Redfield of Reno, Nevada after he died in 1974, and were sold as a group for $7.3 million in 1976

Nut-lock Patented by Truckee Man

US798778-0

Truckee resident Charles C. Garrison received patent number ‘US798778 A’ for his nut-lock design, September 5th, 1905, permitting a nut to be screwed on a bolt but not unscrewed except by using the tool itself. His patent consists of a pawl, or dog, and a spring that protrudes through the hole in the nut which screws onto the bolt.

The shaped catch fits into a groove extended the entire length of the threaded part, cut the same depth as the threads, on two sides of the bolt. The nut is screwed on the same as an ordinary one, but has to be pressed-in to release the spring.

According to the Sacramento Bee, “The improved nut is not weakened by the spring and dog which is imbedded in the nut, as it is made heavier. The pawl prevents the nut from working loose.”

Garrison’s invention revolutionized old-style nuts and bolts.  He first filed for the patent January 28th, 1904.

Klamath’s ‘Old Ned’ Hunter

‘Old Ned’ Hunter, who is standing in front of Cate’s Brothers Auto Garage, in the town of Klamath,  in March of 1927. He’s the father of Martin’s Ferry operator, Jim Hunter and Tolowa native, Amelia Brown.

He was raised as an Indian, although his father, “Nigger John” was Black.  Old Ned is also a survivor of the Brother Jonathan wreck, where he was serving as a deck hand.

As for Cate’s Brothers, which included an auto park, café and boarding house, it was located at the very end of the Douglas Memorial Bridge. While the original buildings are no longer standing, there is a Cats RV Park owned by the Yurok tribe in about the same location, at the end of Alder Camp Road.

Reno’s Canadian Mayor

Mayor O'Connor, SF Chronicle

Reno Mayor Dan W. O’Conner was born in Ontario, Canada November 16th, 1837, and came to the states at the age of 12, via the Isthmus of Panama, engaging in mining in Grass Valley, California. He died Monday, November 27th, 1905.

In 1862 he moved to Virginia City, Nevada. About 1864 he settled on a four hundred acre ranch near the present Vista Railroad Station. There, he built a set of buildings and improved the ranch.

O’Connor was one of Nevada’s oldest residents and one of the most respected citizens of Reno. He settled in the city while it was still considered a village and assisted materially in its growth and subsequently erected the O’Connor block.

“He was for years engaged in ranching and owned some of the best ranges in Washoe County. He was a man of wealth. As far as known he had no relatives,” reported the Sacramento Bee,” Mayor O’Connor was elected at the last city election by a large majority, and made one of the best Mayors Reno ever had.”

No known photographs of Mayor O’Connor exist.

Lake Tahoe’s Meteor

meteor

The iron tug, Meteor, built-in 1876 at Wilmington, Delaware, by Harlan, Hollingsworth & Co.,  was then taken apart, shipped by rail to Carson City and hauled by horse teams to Lake Tahoe. The Meteor was owned by D.L Bliss, who launched it in September 1876.

It was propeller driven, eighty feet long and had a ten feet beam, at a cost of $18,000. At full speed she could do 19.5 knots, which is roughly 22 miles-per-hour.

Her initial purpose was to pull logs across Lake Tahoe. However, she ended up entertaining Presidents’ Ulysses S. Grant and Rutherford B. Hayes as well as a host of other dignitaries.

With the highway encircling the lake completed, D.L.’s son, Will Bliss decided to sell the Meteor. Unfortunately, the vessel sat in a dry dock up at Tahoe City falling into disrepair and being vandalized, so Will purchased her back.

He ended up scuttling the boat off-shore from Glenbrook, in August 1940. The Meteor has yet to be found.

DeMartin Hill

While the exact location is not specified, this is a view of the county road was completed by W. T. Bailey in May, 1894. The picture was taken looking south, jus’ north of Wilson Creek as evidenced by the dual sea-stacks of False Klamath Cove.

As a kid and living in Klamath between 1964 and 1979, DeMartin Hill was known as ‘Crescent City Hill.’ If somebody lived in Crescent City, they would have known it as ‘Klamath Hill.’

Pilot Killed while Training in Nevada

Reid Nannen

The U.S. Navy says a pilot died when a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C crashed at a training complex east of Naval Air Station Fallon.  The crash happened in the late afternoon of March 1st.

After hours of searching in the mountainous terrain, they found the plane. Authorities says the plane was on loan to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center for use as a training aircraft, and was performing a training flight when it went down.

The cause of the crash has not been determined. The plane was not carrying any weapons on the training flight.

The name of the pilot is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

UPDATE: Navy releases name of pilot — Captain Reid Nannen, 32, Hopedale, Illinois, Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 242, Marine Aircraft Group 12, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III MEF, Okinawa