Former Nevada Governor Helps Embattled Ranching Families

Since the 1950s, Nevada cattle rancher’s grazing rights have been reduced by more than 50 percent and sheep grazing rights by more than 90 percent. Now former Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons is helping the Tomeras and Filippini families turn their cattle out south of Battle Mountain, as they fight the Bureau of Land Management’s latest decision.

“Most people don’t have to fight to make a living. These folks do,” Gibbons said.

BLM District Manager Doug Furtado told the ranching families in February that he was not going to allow any grazing on the Mount Lewis pasture of the Argenta Allotment because of drought concerns. His decision left the families facing financial ruin.

On May 23rd, the BLM agreed to allow a partial turn out of the ranchers’ cows. The BLM termed the agreement temporary, claiming it would have formal grazing licenses prepared by the first week of June.

However there is concern over the BLM’s past history when it comes to temporary agreements.

In 1964 the BLM forced the ranchers on Mount Lewis to cut their cattle and sheep grazing by 50 percent, even though half of the land was privately-owned, as are all of the water rights. The ranchers had been grazing their cattle on the mountain since 1862, two years before Nevada became a state.

In the 1980s Nevada bought out the Tomera Ranches in Elko County to build the South Fork Reservoir. The Tomera family then bought ranches on Mount Lewis, where they and the Filippini’s, have been grazing ever since.

The Tomeras own 80 percent of the grazing rights and most of the water on the mountain. They also own more than 80 springs, 12 wells and 183 miles of streams and have always paid their grazing fees.

The federal government owns no water and only 44 percent of the land, yet they tell the ranchers when and how they can graze,” said Elko County Commissioner Grant Gerber. “It is an intolerable situation. Why should the federal government be able to control an individual’s private land?”

In February the BLM informed the Tomeras it was cutting 2014 their grazing rights by 100 percent, leaving them no place to graze 1,800 head of cattle. This was after the families built an $80,000, 16-mile fence in an attempt to satisfy the BLM’s demands — all to no avail.

The current closure led to the ‘Grass March,’ a group of cowboys and girls carrying petitions to Governor Brian Sandoval, seeking Furtado’s removal from office and the lifting of restrictions by the BLM.

“You have my assurance I will continue to speak with the BLM as well as the Department of the Interior to ensure all Nevadans are heard,” Sandoval said in response to receiving the petitions.

Anti-BLM Petitions Given to Nevada Governor

About 70 riders on horseback blocked traffic in Nevada’s capital city’s main highway to deliver petitions against the BLM over grazing reductions on federal land to Governor Brian Sandoval. The rally ended a weeklong, 300-mile trek orchestrated by Elko County Commissioner Grant Gerber that began on Memorial Day.

Gerber said the horseback protest, dubbed the “Grass March,” was modeled after Gandhi’s “Salt March” across India to protest British control of the salt supply in 1930, which he likened to BLM control of Nevada’s public lands.

“Across the board I would like to see the land transferred to the state of Nevada,” said Gerber, whose family began ranching in eastern Nevada in the mid-1800s. “Then people closer to the issue could make the decisions.”

Several dozen ranchers from around northern Nevada met with Sandoval in Carson City, who assured them he would take their concerns over grazing allotments in Battle Mountain to the highest officials in the federal agency.

“This is what makes Nevada great,” Sandoval said to the crowd packed in his reception area. “The fact that we’re all one family…that you feel you can come to Carson City and present and air your concerns.”

“I’m very proud of the efforts you’ve made,” he added, “I’m very humbled and honored that you would do it and very respectful of all of you being here today.”

The federal government owns more than half of the land in the 11 Western states plus Alaska, and for more than a century, ranchers have turned their cattle loose on many of those public lands in return for a grazing fee. But that arrangement has become more complicated since the rise of the environmental movement, when agencies like the BLM started having to manage lands for endangered species and green groups began pushing to rein in livestock grazing.

Federal officials claim they aren’t overly swayed by environmental groups, though the Western Watersheds Project group has recently lobbied the BLM to remove cattle from public lands, saying they cause damage to streams and other sensitive areas.

“We get pressure from a lot of places,” said Amy Lueders, the BLM’s director for Nevada, whose agency manages 71-percent of the state’s land area.

In Battle Mountain, the troubles for ranchers started when the local BLM office began implementing a statewide drought-management plan in 2013.

“The concern is, you want to make sure it isn’t grazed to bare dirt,” said Lueders.

Gerber disputes Lueders’ claim, “Without notice and without hearing, (they’re) reaching out and hurting the ranchers by not allowing them to turn out their cattle on the grass which is 18 inches to two feet tall.”

Meanwhile, Nevada ranchers signed a temporary agreement allowing them to graze their cattle on BLM lands, with strict limits in place on the amount of grass the cows can consume. If those requirements aren’t met, the cattle will be ordered off the land.

Ranchers worry the limits are “unattainable,” and they are pushing for the removal of Doug Furtado, the BLM district manager.

“The problem we have in the BLM district battle mountain is clearly Doug Furtado,” says Assemblyman Ira Hansen, “and that’s why there’s been a concerted effort to remove him from the position.

“The BLM will respond to the political will of the State of Nevada represented through the Governor,” added Hansen.

Furtado said he has tried to work with the ranchers and blamed “outside forces” for agitating the situation. He said he expected to sign a final agreement allowing the renewed grazing for 2014 within two weeks.

Pershing County rancher Mike Gottschalk summed it up best: “First they came to save the spotted owl, and we did not speak out and thousands of timber jobs were lost. Then they came to save the tortoise, and we did not speak out and all the Clark County ranchers were destroyed. Then they came to save the horses, and we did not speak out and our ranges are now overrun with them. Now they are coming to save the sage hen, and remove all the ranchers, recreationists and sportsmen. It is time we all stand up for our rights and speak out, or there soon will be no one left to speak for us.”

Bowe Bergdahl Freed by Captors

An American soldier held captive for nearly five years by terrorists during the Afghanistan war, has been released. The U.S. Special Forces extracted U.S Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, from his captors during a peaceful handover in eastern Afghanistan.

In exchange for Bergdahl’s release, five detainees at Guantanamo Bay will be released to Qatar. This will not set well with veterans.

The Idaho native was deployed to Afghanistan in May 2009 and captured by the Taliban on June 30, 2009, in Paktika province. Officials believes Bergdahl has been held for the bulk of his captivity in Pakistan.

It remains unclear when he was moved back to Afghanistan.

Redskins Use Twitter to Beat Back Harry Reid

Oh, oh — the Washington Redskins have launched a Twitter attack on Senator Harry Reid in their effort to keep the team’s name. The Redskins instructed fans to tweet Reid to show their “RedskinsPride” and “tell him what the team means to you.”

Reid said last month that Redskins owner Dan Snyder should “do what is morally right” and change the name. Snyder has vowed never to change the name.

The Associated Press is doing its level best to make it sound like the campaign is back-firing, saying: “Many told Reid they support his efforts to change the name.

After looking through, there are a number of comments like: “I DO NOT have an issue with the logo” and “I wonder how much money the Oneida gave old Harry Reid?!”

Last week, half of the Senate, lead by Reid, wrote letters to the National Football League urging a change, calling the name is a racist slur. The team’s name of ‘Redskins’ is in honor of one of the team’s first coaches, Lone Star Dietz.

The odd thing is — neither of the Koch Brothers own any part of the team.

Your Local School District — America’s Real ‘Food Desert’

First lady Michelle Obama put out a call against a Republican proposal that allows a delay in enforcing her new school lunch standards.

“The last thing we can afford to do right now is play politics with our kids’ health,” she complained. “Now is not the time to roll back everything we have worked for.’’

The House Appropriations Committee announced last week it plans to let cash-strapped schools opt out of the nutrition regulations via waiver. The change would come through the 2015 agriculture spending bill.

Brian Rell, spokesman for Congressman Robert B. Aderholt, who sponsored House legislation that would grant qualifying school districts an opportunity to postpone enforcement of the new rules fired back

“These new federal regulations should not drive local school nutrition programs under water,’’ said Rell, “This temporary one-year waiver simply provides them a lifeline,” he said, noting that only districts that lost money in part of the past year would qualify for the waiver.

Leaders of the School Nutrition Association (SNA), which had supported the new school menu standards when they were approved in 2010 as part of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act, also responded.

“SNA does not see the waiver as a rollback but as a way to hit the pause button,” said Leah Schmidt, the president of the group,

A pause is necessary, Schmidt added, because many schools are overwhelmed by the new requirements and are seeing dramatically increased waste and cost, while sales decline.

“Can we shift the conversation to what we need to do to help school districts that are suffering?” Schmidt asked.

The first lady says she has heard a different story from several past presidents of the SNA despite an SNA survey finding about four percent of its members will either leave the program this year, or are considering doing so.

“Students want it, families want it — and they are participating,” said David Binkle, deputy director of Food Services for the Los Angeles Unified School District. “It is no coincidence that our test scores are up, attendance is up and graduation rates are up,”

Meanwhile, the Laguna Beach Unified School District, in Southern California, is the latest district to rebel against the federal healthy lunch program.

Debra Appel, food services supervisor at the school, said, “It’s not the chicken nuggets, it’s not the popcorn chicken. It’s not the corn dogs and stuff that the kids really liked.”

The USDA, which administers the program, says about 100,000 schools have signed up for the program — fewer than expected.

“USDA continues to provide additional flexibility and technical assistance to schools as they all now work to offer healthier meals,” said Dr. Janey Thornton, deputy under-secretary for Food Nutrition and Consumer Services at the USDA, released in a statement.

Under the program, lunches must include fresh fruit, vegetables, and whole grains. And there’s a calorie cap: 850 for high school kids, 700 for middle school, and 650 for elementary school. In Kentucky, students thought the healthy food “tastes like vomit.”

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has already rolled back one of the standards about pasta — that only whole-grain can be used — after finding that the food fell apart when cooked in large volumes. A 2013 report released by the Government Accountability Office also found a number of problems with the National School Lunch Program.

The report, presented to a subcommittee of the House Education and Workforce Committee, detailed visits to eight school districts to see the impact of the regulations.

“Although the eight districts GAO visited expressed support for the improvements to the nutritional quality of school lunch, they reported additional challenges meeting the new requirements, such as student acceptance, food waste, costs, and participation,” the report states.

It notes cheeseburgers being removed from one district’s elementary and middle school lunch menus because adding cheese to the burger “would have made it difficult to stay within the weekly meat maximums.” Another district switched from shredded cheese to cheese sauce because the liquid cheese “does not count as a meat alternate, while another school district switched from whole grain chips to potato chips because “the potato chip did not count as a grain.”

The report also found some schools had trouble maintaining healthy options for students.

“…the [School Food Authorities] reported adding pudding to certain high school menus to bring the menus into compliance with the calorie minimum…added gelatin, ice cream, or condiments such as butter, jelly, ranch dressing or cheese sauce to become compliant…increased the amount of sugar, sodium, or fat in the meal, potentially undercutting the federal law’s goal of improving the nutritional quality of lunches.”

The GAO also noted the difficulty in complying with the calorie maximums for students based on grade, as students from varying grades use the same cafeteria lines.

“…Athletic coaches expressed concerns that student athletes were hungrier after school than they were in previous years and staff reported that more students were distracted during the final period of the school day than in previous years.”

Another problem is cost as student chose to boycott the lunchroom.

The Fairfield, Connecticut school district raised its lunch prices by 10-cents to deal with the changes.  Similarly, Portsmouth, New Hampshire schools increased their prices by 25 cents per meal, citing “dwindling participation” in the lunch program.

A New York district lost $100,000 last school year in its lunch program while an Indiana district lost $300,000.

Add to this the fact that Orthodox Jewish schools are finding it difficult to abide by the guidelines. That’s because the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act requires the serving of certain foods that some might consider non-kosher.

The Jewish newspaper The Forward which examined the issue reports:

“Their reason has nothing to do with the taste of spinach, kale, or cabbage. It is because these and other leafy greens might be infested with tiny insects that would render them non-kosher.”

It’s not only vegetables  posing a problem for Orthodox schools, but the grain-based food limitation also contradicts Jewish law as well.

“…students require a certain amount of bread, usually one slice. But that would take up all the grain allocation for a meal and would not allow other grain-based foods on the lunch plate.”

But Obama remains a big proponent.

“Because of this act…32 million children get more of the nutrition they need to learn and grow and be successful and I do hope it’s delicious — we’re working on that, yes, indeed,” Obama stated.

With public school students using #ThanksMichelle to tweet photos of their skimpy, stomach-turning school lunches, the Obama’s girls, who attend Sidwell Friends School, eat lunches from menus designed by chefs. Including chicken coconut soup, local butternut squash soup, crusted tilapia. They also eat foods their mother considers to be junk like meatball subs, BBQ wings and ice cream.

Oddly enough, Sidwell Friends School has also been rated as having one of the top rated School Lunch programs in America.

Poetic Justice for the Second Amendment

World-renowned author and poet Maya Angelou passed away at the age of 86. Lauded by Progressives as  a civil rights champion, an education reformer and supporter of President Barack Obama, there is one thing you may not know about her: Angelou was a gun owner and she used it to defend herself.

Interviewed by Time magazine in 2013, Angelou spoke of her experience.

Time: Did you inherit your mother’s fondness for guns?

Angelou: I like to have guns around. I don’t like to carry them.

Time: Have you ever fired your weapon?

Angelou: Of course!

Time: At a person?

Angelou: I’ve fired it period, not at a person I hope!

She continued, ‘I was in my house in North Carolina. It was fall. I heard someone walking on the leaves. And somebody actually turned the knob.’

So I said, ‘Stand four feet back because I’m going to shoot now!’ Boom! Boom!

The police came by and said, ‘Ms. Angelou, the shots came from inside the house.’

I said, ‘Well, I don’t know how that happened.’

Happily, everything turned out okay for her. But don’t be surprised if the next ‘bang’ you hear are the minds of the anti-gun lobby popping.

Starving for Information on ‘Food Deserts’

Food deserts (green) in Nevada
Michelle Obama has made ‘food deserts’ a part of her campaign against childhood obesity, saying that some people may have to take two or three buses or a taxi to get fresh fruit and veggies. The U.S. Department of Agriculture even has a locator for areas deemed ‘food deserts,’ where there is reportedly a low access to healthy food.

In case you’re wondering, there are specific criteria for how a ‘food desert’ is designated according to the USDA.

To qualify as a “low-income community,” a census tract must have either a poverty rate of 20 percent or higher, or a median family income at or below 80 percent of the area’s median family income; to qualify as a “low-access community,” at least 500 people and/or at least 33 percent of the census tract’s population must live more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store — for rural census tracts, the distance is more than 10 miles.

In March 2012, The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services Grants Management Unit implemented a strategic planning process intended to discuss food security in the state. They created a Food Security Steering Committee with four workgroups including Lead Nevada, Feed Nevada, Grow Nevada, and Reach Nevada, were created.

Lead Nevada had two goals that included establishing a state leadership structure for food security and promote a policy agenda to increase food security in Nevada.  The first goal is expected to be completed by July 1st with the second goal by January 1st, 2016.

Plans included adoption of an agency policy to improve efficiency, claims, and reduce errors; an Office of Food Security with a Deputy Director and Support Staff in DHHS; a Statewide Food Policy Advisory Council; an evaluation plan to measure progress on increasing food security; and a public awareness campaign.

Feed Nevada’s aim was to focus the organizations participation in each federal nutrition program available to the state. They also wanted to create an actual or virtual “one-stop-shop” system to increase access to food and other services.

All work is expected to be completed by January 1st, 2015. This included an increased participation in in-school meal programs; partnering with Women-Infants-Children and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program; replication of effective out of school meal programs; a single, statewide database system; and expanded partnerships linked to a “one-stop-shop.”

Grow Nevada’s focus was simple: increase the number of servings of foods eaten that are produced in Nevada by January 1st, 2015. Milestones for this part of the program included an increased in collection centers; expanded programs and partnerships; a Food System Asset Map and an education and marketing plan.

Finally, Reach Nevada planned to change the way food is bought and shipped. It also planned to create a data base on those using the system that could be shared between other agencies and organizations. The first half of Reach Nevada is expected to be completed by January 1st, 2015, with part two to be completed six months later.

Again the plan includes internal goals like a “one-stop-shop” for agencies to acquire produce; a comprehensive client/community food supply assessment; a comprehensive benefit analysis study of the current state and nonprofit commodity system. Finally, they’ll begin sharing information on people using their services.

All of this is designed to cut ‘food insecurity’ in what the Obama Administration has dubbed ‘food deserts.’ Statistics are an unfortunate thing when it comes to both ‘food insecurity’ and ‘food deserts,’ in Nevada.

In July 2013, Wikipedia showed Nevada with its 110, 622 square miles had a population of 2,790,136 or 25.2 people per square mile. This makes Nevada the ninth least densely populated state in the U.S.

The latest numbers available, from 2009, show that only 10.5 percent of all Nevada residents have an income below the poverty level. The same stat show Nevadan’s with an income below 50% of the poverty level at 4.9 percent.

Also below the national average is Nevada’s adult obesity rate, which stood at 24.5 percent in 2009. Meanwhile, Nevada’s low-income preschool obesity rate is 13.2 percent.

Business aggregator, Manta.com shows that there are 1,559 stores that provide groceries in throughout Nevada. This includes major chain outlets, mom and pop stores, specialty shops and convenience stores.

Furthermore there are 942,147 restaurants throughout the state. This includes fast food restaurants, roadside cafes and five-star dining facilities.

Even the Department of Agriculture in 2010 estimated poorer individuals lived closer to grocery stores than those with higher incomes.

In a report to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Roland Sturm of the RAND Corporation found no relation between California children and teens whose data he reviewed and the food they ate, their weight and proximity to food establishments within a mile and a half from their home. In a separate study publish in Public Health, Sturm looked at middle school children and saw no relationship between where the students lived and where they ate.

In another study conducted by Helen Lee of the Public Policy Institute of California, Lee gathered data on 8,000 students, including where they lived, went to school and how much they weighed. From there, she established where the students could be getting access to food around their home and even defined neighborhoods based on their economic status.

Dr. Lee found, that poor neighborhoods had nearly twice as many fast food restaurants and convenience stores as wealthier ones, and they had more than three times as many corner stores per square mile. But they also had nearly twice as many supermarkets and large-scale grocers per square mile.

Because of methodological difficulties, the idea of a ‘food desert,’ and ‘food insecurity,’ may be little more than junk science.

For example, some researchers look at neighborhood food outlets but don’t have data on how fat residents are. Others examined small areas, like part of a single city and projected the results on the nation as whole.

Still others had a different problem.

They looked at much bigger areas like ZIP codes, which include people of diverse incomes, making it hard to know what happened in pockets of poverty within those regions. Then some researchers counted only fast food restaurants and large supermarkets, missing small grocers who sold produce, while some tallied food outlets per 1,000 residents, which made densely populated urban areas seem to have fewer places per person to buy food.

In the end, it appears to all come down to data and money as Scott Walchek points out in his article, “The Wealth of Data,” for Jetset Magazine:

“An entire industry is profiting wildly on the market for your data. Massive data brokerage companies… are peering into your personal life, collecting data that is generated from everything you do online and much of what you do in the real world. And by generating billions in sales each year offering “analytical services” on nearly every household in the U.S., they are profiting from all that you do in the connected universe,” he states.

“Moreover,” Walchek adds, “this is just a fraction of the evolving…big-data industry now valued at over $300B a year and employing three million people in the United States alone…”

Americans Held while Foreigners Freed

A judge placed a Connecticut girl in the permanent custody of the Massachusetts Department of Children and Families in a legal dispute involving different medical diagnoses by two hospitals in March of this year. Juvenile Court Judge Joseph Johnston issued the ruling in the case of 15-year-old Justina Pelletier of West Hartford whose parents sought custody.

Tufts Medical Center had treated Justina for mitochondrial disease, a disorder that affects cellular energy production.  But Boston Children’s Hospital later diagnosed her problems as psychiatric.

When her parents rejected the new diagnosis and tried to take her back to Tufts in April 2013, the Massachusetts DCF took custody of her. Since then Justina’s condition has worsened.

Nothing has been said about her case by the Obama administration, though the President injected himself during the Florida vs. George Zimmerman murder case in March 2012, saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon Martin.”

In January 2013, Saeed Abedini was sentenced to eight years in an Iranian prison. His crime was returning to Iran to help build a state-run, secular orphanage where Iranian police pulled him off a bus and imprisoned him in September 2012.

This past March Abedini was taken to a hospital after an attack by gaurd at Iran’s Rajai Shahr prison.  Once there, he was shackled to a hospital bed and refused surgery for internal bleeding.

While the Obama Administration has taken the case to the United Nations and the European Union, the U.S. State Department has yet to officially demand Abedini’s release.

Also from Idaho is U.S. Army Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, taken captive and still being held by the Taliban in Afghanistan.  He’s the only known U.S. Prisoner-of-War being held since his disappearance in June 2009.

His whereabouts are unknown at this time. Rumors have even been floated that he is now a Taliban fighter and that’s why there are no real efforts being made to free him.

The missing serviceman’s fate is tied up in the Obama Administrations efforts to broker a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government, something unlikely to happen until all U.S. troops are out of Afghanistan.

A U.S. citizen waits for her hanging execution in Sudan after she was found ‘guilty’ for the crime of apostasy. Meriam Yahya Ibrahim Ishag was also charged with adultery for marrying Daniel Wani, a Sudanese man and Christian with U.S. citizenship who lives in New Hampshire.

She was sentenced to 100 lashes after the court refused to recognize her 2011 marriage to Wani because they consider her a Muslim. Ishag, who is eight-months pregnant, also refused to convert to Islam because Christianity is the only religion she has known.

While the White House condemned her treatment and urged the Sudanese government to meet its obligations under international human rights law, the American Embassy in Sudan has denied her any help.

Since March, a U.S. Marine and Afghanistan war veteran has been held in a Tijuana, Mexico, prison.  Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi accidentally crossed into Mexico with three personal firearms while on his way to meet friends in San Ysidro, California.

Tahmooressi had recently moved to the area to get treatment for his post-traumatic stress disorder and was living out of his truck and now awaits a May 28 court date. Since his arrest a whitehouse.gov petition has been set up to draw attention to his imprisonment.

So far the petition has garnered nearly 70,000 signatures, about 30,000 short of the 100,000 required to get a response from the White House.

Yet no petition was required for the Obama Administration to deploy 80 members of the armed forces to Chad to help search for 276 kidnapped school girls. Boko Haram abducted the girls last month from Nigeria.

While the deployment is not based on any new intelligence leads, President Obama had to tell the House speaker and the president of the Senate of the move because the soldiers are armed.

It was learned earlier this month that the Obama administration intentionally released 36,000 illegal aliens in 2013. Citing a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement memo, the Center for Immigration Studies says those released included criminals convicted of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping and aggravated assault.

Many of the releases were done at the discretion of the federal government and not in response to any requirements under the law and some were ordered “contrary to law,” the report said.

Maybe instead of releasing prisoners and ignoring those ‘illegally’ held abroad and here at home, Obama should study the playbook of another Progressive president, Theodore Roosevelt.

Roosevelt faced an international dilemma in May 1904 when Ion Perdicaris was abducted along with his stepson from their Tangier home. Their abductor was Sherif Mulai Ahmed ibn-Muhammed er Raisuli, Lord of the Rif.

The Raisuli’s ransom demands included an indemnity of $70,000, land, the release of prisoners being held by the government, and the removal of the Bashaw, a local governor. Instead, Roosevelt ordered seven battleships from the Atlantic fleet to the Moroccan coast with the order: “…Perdicaris alive or Raisuli dead.”

Though there is much more to the story, such as Perdicaris actually being a Greek citizen and the Raisuli receiving his random, in the end Perdicaris was set free and Roosevelt went on to win a second term that November.

Progressivism, though its creep is slow and incessant, doesn’t change from generation to generation.

Harry Reid’s Attack on Free Speech

Senator Harry Reid plans to force a vote on legislation for a constitutional amendment giving Congress the power to regulate spending levels in federal campaigns. Reid said he’s pushing for the vote to combat what he claim’s an effort by the Koch brothers to “buy” the U.S. Senate this year.

“It’s unacceptable that the recent Supreme Court decisions have taken power away from the American voter, instead giving it to a select few of mega-billionaires,” Reid said on the Senate floor.

S.J. Resolution 19 would let Congress regulate the way money is raised and spent in federal campaigns, and let states do the same in statewide campaigns. It would also let Congress regulate spending on political action committees.

He also criticized the Supreme Court’s finding that spending money on campaigns is equal to free speech, and is not something government can regulate. Reid said if that’s true, that’s the same as saying poor people have less speech than the rich.

“If this unprecedented spending is free speech, where does that leave our middle class constituents, the poor? It leaves them out in the cold,” he said. “There should be no million-dollar entry fee to participation in our democracy.”

Reid’s office released a transcript of his planned remarks, much of it aimed once again at two private citizens. Here’s an excerpt:

“The Kochs’ bid for a hostile takeover of American democracy is calculated to make themselves even richer. Yet the Kochs and their Republican followers in Congress continue to assert that these hundreds of millions of dollars are free speech. For evidence of that, look no further than the Republican Leader, who has flat out said, ‘in our society, spending is speech.’…

This could, however, be another one of Reid’s infamous political smoke screens, as Obamacare is center stage in the courts again with yet another legal challenge aimed at derailing the Presidents signature law. But rather than going after the individual mandate, this newest suit challenges a legislative maneuver used by Reid to pass the bill.

The Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF) charge that Obamacare was first passed by the Senate and only later approved by the House in violation of the Constitution’s Origination Clause which reads: “All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.”

The Obama administration rejects this argument.

“The Supreme Court has never invalidated an Act of Congress on the basis of the Origination Clause, and this suit presents no reason to break new ground,” Justice Department Attorney Alisa Klein wrote in her brief.

If the three judge panel agrees with PLF, the decision would invalidate Obamacare and send health care reform back to Congress for a do-over. But the judges agree with the administration, PLF lawyers are likely to petition the U.S. Supreme Court to look at the issue.

Unfortunately, one judges assigned to the case was appointed by Bill Clinton, the other two were appointed by President Obama.

Leading up to the vote on Obamacare, Reid used ‘shell bill,’ H.R. 3590 to satisfy the technical requirement that the legislation arrive from the House. That law, ‘Service Members Home Ownership Tax Act of 2009,’ offered tax credits to military members who were first-time homebuyers.

Reid eliminated the entire text of the six-page law and replaced it with the 2,000-plus page Obamacare bill. All that was left of the Home Ownership Tax Act was its bill number, H.R. 3590.

After winning Senate approval, the “amended” H.R. 3590 was sent to the House where the Democratic majority approved it. The bill was then sent to Obama who signed it into law in March 2010.

The Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of Obamacare in June of 2010.

“The Affordable Care Act is constitutional in part and unconstitutional in part. The individual mandate cannot be upheld as an exercise of Congress’s power under the Commerce Clause,” Chief Justice John Roberts wrote. “That Clause authorizes Congress to regulate interstate commerce, not to order individuals to engage it. In this case, however, it is reasonable to construe what Congress has done as increasing taxes on those who have a certain amount of income, but choose to go without health insurance. Such legislation is within Congress’s power to tax.”

The tax penalty associated with the health care mandate is expected to raise $4 billion a year in general government revenue by 2017.

To make matters worse, Reid has hinted he might change Senate rules again to make it easier to approve President Barack Obama’s nominations over Republican opposition. Reid also indicated that he is mulling a change to the rules on behalf of Attorney General Eric Holder.

Reid said Holder called him to ask what can be done to speed up the process in the Senate for approving judicial nominations.

“It’s hard to fathom that the work of Attorney General Eric Holder and his department is being recklessly hindered by Republican obstruction,” Reid said.

Last year, Reid changed the rule allowing Democrats to advance Obama’s nominees in a procedural vote without needing any Republican votes. Prior to Reid’s decision, 60 votes were needed for a procedural vote.

Under current rules, Republicans still have the right to delay final votes on nominees by requiring the Senate to sit through blocks of time that are reserved for debate. He pointed out that the current rule call for up to 30 hours of debate before a circuit court judge can be approved, and eight hours of debate for U.S. attorneys and assistant U.S. attorneys.

Reid said these were “arbitrary” numbers and hinted they could be shortened.

“I don’t plan on changing the rules today again, but how much longer can we put up with this?” Reid complained.

“Rather than live up to their responsibilities, Republicans are pouting, they’re pouting,” he add. “They are saying, ‘oh, they changed the rules getting these judges done, so we’re going to agree to nothing.’”

This is the same Harry Reid who offered up a plan from the senate floor to have Republican members who support the Koch Brother’s begin wearing NASCAR-like logo’s on their clothing.

“NASCAR fans can easily find their favorite drivers by simply looking at the cars as they fly by, because there are corporate emblems on the hood of the car, in fact they’re all over the car,” Reid said. “For our clothing here in the Senate, we don’t bear commercials logos. Many Republicans might as well wear Koch insignias.”

Honors Lacking for Our Fallen Heroes

“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends,” reads John 15:13. (KJV)

As we observe Memorial Day, the bodies of as many as 60 veterans have reportedly been kept at the Los Angeles County morgue for as long as 18 months without receiving a proper burial. The coroner’s office said the bodies were unclaimed and they did not know how long they had been there, blaming the delay on the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Assistant director of Riverside National Cemetery, Cindy Van Bibber denied the delay was a result of the VA adding that between February and May 22, the VA was told of only one body being kept by the coroner, “and that person was buried.”

“In order for us to schedule an interment, the VA has to be notified that a body is in need of burial, she said.

Van Bibber said the bodies of 28 veterans at the morgue were finally moved Friday for burial to the Riverside National Cemetery, but it may take a while for all of the veterans to be buried.

Every Wednesday morning, Richard Burns, a Marine veteran goes to the Riverside National Cemetery and volunteers to lead memorial services for the unclaimed and often indigent vets.

“I think it’s incomprehensible,” said Burns. “It’s kind of sad that these people don’t get the proper care that they deserve. Even after death.”

Steve L. Muro, the VA undersecretary who oversees all 131 U.S. national cemeteries claims the VA has verified eligibility for burial at Riverside National Cemetery of 37 of the bodies.

“Whether they have called and scheduled the interments through the scheduling office,” Muro said, “I have not been able to verify that as of yet.”

Shameful doesn’t even begin to describe this, and yet it isn’t the first time something like this has happened.

The U.S. Air Force confirmed in December 2008 that the unclaimed remains of 274 U.S. service members were disposed of in a Virginia landfill between 2003 and 2008. Officials said the dumping was hidden from families who had given authorization for the remains to be disposed of in a respectful and dignified manner.

Both Pentagon and Air Force officials said that figuring out how many remains had been sent to the King George County, Va., landfill would take combing through the records of more than 6,300 troops.

According to military records, 976 fragments from 274 personnel were cremated, incinerated and dumped in the landfill. An additional 1,762 remains, which could not be DNA tested because of damage from explosions, were gathered from the battlefield and dumped in a similar manner.

Our nation is only as good as the honor it affords its fallen heroes. That said, and as a military veteran myself, it seems we are on the precipice of evil.

Where is Fort Dick, California?


The tiny town of Fort Dick is north of Crescent City, California, and only a few miles south of the Oregon state line. Also called ‘Russell’s Prairie,’ at one point, Fort Dick dates to before the official establishment of Crescent City, when an unknown settler’s log house served as a “fort” as a defense from the Indian attacks.

Jedediah Smith entered the area of Fort Dick and skirted the eastern edge of Lake Earl between June 14th and the 16th, 1828.  During this time, not only did they explore the area, but they made contact with the Tolowa Indians.

The company pushed up the beach until they struck a “low neck of land running into the sea where there was plenty of clover and grass for our horses” on June 14th and camped. The trappers were forced to take to the sea for several hundred yards at a time, “the swells some times would be as high as the horses (sic) backs.”

The company remained on the south bank of Elk Creek on the 15th, while several hunters went out, where one of them killed a buck elk, “weighing 695 lbs., neat weight.” A number of Tolowa came into camp at this time, “bringing fish, clams, strawberries, and camas roots,” which the party bought.

The next day, the company rode out, heading north-northwest, where they had a lot of difficulty in getting the horses across Elk Creek, and had to “to make a pen on the bank to force them across.” They then camped on the wooded flats south of Lake Earl.

Skirting the eastern margin of Lake Earl, the trappers camped three nights in between the lake and what would later be known as Kings Valley. On June 20th the company struck eastward, crossed Howland Hill, where Smith saw the river destined in later years to bear his name.

After they climbed the ridge separating the watersheds of Smith River and Myrtle Creek. The night of the 21st was spent overlooking the headwaters of Little Mill and Myrtle Creeks.

Instead of pushing on to High Divide, Smith led his men westward out of the mountains, halting for the night of the 22nd near where Morrison Creek flows into Smith River.  By the following day that had unknowingly entered the Oregon territory, where they pitched camp along the Windchuck Creek.

As they rode northward up the Oregon coast, the Mountain Men advanced along the shore where possible, though a rocky bluff often forced them inland. To ford the many water courses, Smith had to wait for ebb tide.

Although less difficult than passing through the mountains, progress was slow. The 12 miles made on June 25th, was called the ‘best march for a long time,’ by Smith.

By the evening of July 13th, the company had reached the Umpqua River. The next morning, as the men were cooking breakfast, they were attacked by 100 or more Indians.

Within a few minutes, all the party except Smith, Arthur Black, and John Turner were dead. Turner ran into Smith as he was returning from a reconnaissance, where he told Smith of the massacre.

Believing they were the only ones who escaped, the two started for the Willamette Valley. However, Black was able to track Smith and Turner, eventually joining them for the trek north.

Of the 18 white men who first entered the Fort Dick area, 15 died.  Their June 14th camp site is along Elk Creek, a quarter of a mile west of U.S. 101 and  Elk Valley Road.

Due to continuous unrest between the settlers and Indians, in 1862 the military was called in, at the request of the Department of Indian Affairs, to set up a presence at Fort Dick. However, the military selected a site at what is known as Camp Lincoln, jus’ east of Fort Dick.

In 1888 a shake and shingle mill, owned by the four Bertsch brothers (Frederick, Jacob, Joseph  and William H.) moved to Fort Dick and town was renamed ‘Newburg.’  A second post office was set up in 1917 — the first in 1896 — and the name of the town reverted back to Fort Dick.

Nearby is the Yontocket Historic District, where a Tolowa village named Hawunkwut was once located. The district is an archeological site added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, commemorating the Yontocket Massacre of Tolowa people by white settlers in 1853.

The dead were unceremoniously thrown into the slough, and the village burned, after which it was known as ‘Burnt Ranch.’ The Yontocket Slough was once the main drainage channel of the Smith River, but about 900 years ago, the river abandoned the channel.

A 1856 map of the area shows the slough (then named ‘Ottawa Slough’) tidally connected to the Smith River and the upstream Tryon Creek flowing south into Lake Earl but dune migration has cut off this connection.  The slough has silted about 16 inches since the 1850s.

In 1881, Yontocket Slough was described as “literally alive with salmon” even after years of commercial harvest. In December 1861, an early fishery, Woodbury’s cannery and 400 barrels of salmon were washed out by the Noachian Deluge.

Continual harvesting in excess of 50 tons per year however, led to the decline of the fishery which was closed to commercial take during the 1930s. The 1964 Christmas flood added several inches of silt on top of the sediments, further reducing its depth and the fish habitat.

By 1942, the slough began to isolate from tidal influences. Before the 1942 construction of Pala Road, dividing the slough into a lower (near the Smith River at the northern end) and an upper part, salmon used the three-and-a-half mile stretch of water to migrate between the river and their upstream spawning grounds.

A transplanted Italian, Andrew Tomasini arrived in California March 15th, 1911. His Fort Dick Tavern opened in 1930.

At that time, the Volstead Act was law and the establishment was instead ‘an ice cream and sandwich shop.’  When Prohibition lifted in 1933, Tomasini obtained his liquor license, which eventually became the oldest ever held in Del Norte County at the time.

The original bar, now well over a century old, is still in use at ‘Tomasini’s Enoteca,’ on 3rd Street in Crescent City. The restaurant is owned and operated by Sacha Tomasini, Andrew’s granddaughter.

Former long-time resident Victor Shaw writes in his blog, ‘Tells-n-Lies,’ “Fort Dick also claims ownership of Pacific Shores one of the largest failed ocean front subdivisions in all of California. The miles and miles of abandoned paved roads of Pacific Shores provided a place for thousands of us to learn to drive.”

“The main road leading to Pacific Shores Kellogg Road is maintained as access to Kellogg Beach and literally leads right to the sand and beach,” he adds. “Kellogg Road has served as the Crescent City drag strip for the last forty years.”

“On Lake Earl Drive there has always been a sign that says Fort Dick and list a population and elevation just like every other city or town in California,” Shaw concludes. “The population has been 350 or 500 in my time and has swelled with the arrival of the prison and these days’ nearly 1000 people call Fort Dick home.”

Opening in 1989, Pelican Bay State Prison is a supermax California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation state prison. The 275-acre facility is explicitly designed to keep California’s alleged “worst of the worst” prisoners in long-term solitary confinement.

A Federal Overreach to Side-step the Second Amendment

“The biggest problem that we’re facing right now,” Illinois state senator Barack Obama said in 2008, “has to do with George Bush trying to bring more and more power into the executive branch and not go through Congress at all, and that’s what I intend to reverse when I’m president of the United States of America.”

But now that he’s the one in the White House, he’s plans to use his executive privilege to deny the gun industry of working capital and credit. It’s dressed up as fraud prevention, but many of the companies targeted have good credit histories and operate good and well-managed companies.

The Obama Administration is using the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation to impose a “high risk” label on any business making firearms. Add to this the Justice Department’s ‘Operation Chokepoint,’ and the gun industry, which generates about $37 billion in business each year and is responsible for 250,000 full-time jobs, will fail.

Since 2011, regulators have increased scrutiny on banks’ customers. The FDIC in 2011 urged banks to better manage the risks of their merchant customers who employ payment processors, such as PayPal, for credit card transactions.

“We’re committed to ensuring that our efforts to combat fraud do not discourage or inhibit the lawful conduct of these honest merchants,” the Justice Department said in a May 7th blog post.

Banks are being forced to comply with Washington’s demands out of fear, because conducting business with clients deemed “risky” puts them in jeopardy of audits. This overreach also side-steps the 2nd Amendment.

“It’s pretty clear,” says Texas Congressman Steve Stockman, “that unless Congress uses the power of the purse to stop him, Barack Obama will use his ‘phone and his pen’ to ban guns by cutting off money for gun manufacturers and dealers.”

In 2012, Bank of America dropped the 12-year account of McMillan Group International, a gun manufacturer in Phoenix. Gun parts maker American Spirit Arms in Scottsdale, Arizona, received similar treatment by B of A.

The banking giant blamed a misunderstanding with the Arizona gun manufacturers McMillan Group International and American Spirit Arms.

“We would not deny banking services to an organization solely on the basis of its industry,” the banking giant later claimed.

However, the American Banking Association (ABA,) the industry’s advocacy group in Washington D.C. says there is an ongoing push to shutdown gun manufacturers through banking regulations.

“We’re being threatened with a regulatory regime that attempts to foist on us the obligation to monitor all types of transactions,” senior ABA vice president Richard Riese, said in the April 28 issue of American Banker. “All of this is predicated on a notion that the banks are a choke point for all businesses.”

Just last month, Black Rifle Armory in Henderson, Nevada, had its bank accounts frozen as the bank tried to determine whether any of Black Rifle’s online transactions were suspicious.

Congressmen Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Jim Jordan, chairman of the House’s Economic Growth Subcommittee, sent a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder accusing the administration of abusing it’s authority.

“The (committee) is concerned that both the goal and mechanisms of Operation Choke Point may constitute serious mismanagement and abuse of (your) department’s … authority…” reads the letter in part.

“There is evidence that the true goal of Operation Choke Point is to target online lenders and the payment processors who serve them,” the letter continues. “The extraordinary breadth of the Department’s dragnet prompts concern that the true goal of Operation Choke Point is not to cut off actual fraudsters’ access to the financial system, but rather to eliminate legal financial services to (businesses to) which (your) Department objects…”

“(Your Department) is needlessly punishing good actors with the bad, and threatening legitimate merchants,” it concludes.

Holder has so far refused to release any of the documentation demanded by Issa and Jordan.

The Bush Bashing Continues — This Time Over the VA Scandal

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is placing the blame for the Veterans Affairs scandal on former President George W. Bush, while arguing Democrats have worked hard for veterans in recent years. Pelosi took a shot at Bush while saying that the scandal is a high priority for Obama.

“He sees the ramifications of some seeds that were sown a long time ago, when you have two wars over a long period of time and many, many more, millions more veterans,” she told reporters during a press briefing. “And so, I know that he is upset about it.”

She never mentioned Bush by name, but she alluded to him.

“Maybe when we go into war, we should be thinking about its consequences and its ramifications,” Pelosi said. “You would think that would be a given, but maybe it wasn’t. And so, we go in a war in Afghanistan, leave Afghanistan for Iraq with unfinished business in Afghanistan. Ten years later, we have all of these additional veterans. In the past five years, two million more veterans needing benefits from the VA. That’s a huge, huge increase.”

Of course she overlooked President Obama’s 2008 campaign promise press release title, “Fulfilling A Sacred Trust With Our Veterans,” to reduce the VA’s claims backlog:

“As president, Obama will hire additional claims workers and convene our nation’s leading veterans groups, employees and managers to develop an updated training and management model that will ensure that VA benefit decisions are rated fairly and consistently, and stem from adequate training and accountability for each claims adjudicator.”

She also suggests Obamacare might hold the key to solving the problem.

“We have the Affordable Care Act that is out there that is providing resources for more federally-qualified health clinics around the country,” Pelosi said. “Maybe we should take a look at how we deal with our veterans’ needs in a way that says let’s help them closer to home, whether that’s a federally qualified health clinic or in some other institution that provides health care closer to home. (It’s) especially important for our veterans who live in rural areas.”

In the end, getting the VA Medical System to collapse and then replacing it with Obamacare is really what this whole scandal is about.

NFL says ‘NO’ to Harry Reid’s Redskin Name Change

The Washington Redskins are telling Senate Democrats to pound sand when it comes to the team’s name. The 49 Democratic Senators claim the name ‘Redskins’ is a racial slur and must be changed.

In a letter to Senator Harry Reid, team President Bruce Allen wrote: “Our use of ‘Redskins’ as the name of our football team for more than 80 years has always been respectful of and shown reverence toward the proud legacy and traditions of Native Americans.”

It also notes that the team’s logo was designed by Native American leaders and cites surveys that Native Americans and Americans as a whole support the name, including a 2014 Associated Press poll that showed 83 percent of Americans favored keeping the name.

After taking to the Senate floor to complain that the name ‘Redskins’ is ‘racist,’ Reid and Senator Maria Cantwell, of Washington, led a letter-writing effort.  In it, the senators mentioned the NBA’s quick action recently to ban Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling for life after he was heard on an audio recording making offensive comments about blacks.

They said Roger Goodell should formally push to rename the ‘Redskins.’

“We urge you and the National Football League to send the same clear message as the NBA did: that racism and bigotry have no place in professional sports,” read the letter.

The senators noted that tribal organizations representing more than 2 million Native Americans across the U.S. have said they want the ‘Redskins’ name dropped.

Despite federal laws protecting their identity, “Every Sunday during football season, the Washington, D.C., football team mocks their culture,” they wrote. “The NFL can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur.”

In the past, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has resisted pressure to change the name, citing tradition. However there has been a renewed attempt in recent weeks to force Snyder to change the name by President Obama, lawmakers in both parties and civil rights groups.

Progressive Judge Bypasses Ballot Rule

Why bother to have rules?

From the Detroit Free Press:

U.S. Rep. John Conyers’ on-again, off-again roller-coaster ride for the Aug. 5 ballot took a new twist Friday when U.S. District Judge Matthew Leitman put the 85-year-old congressman back on the ballot.

Leitman’s decision, released late Friday, contradicts the Secretary of State’s review of Conyers’ petitions, which found earlier in the day that Conyers had less than half the required signatures of valid registered voters on the petitions he turned in to qualify for the Aug. 5 primary ballot.

But Leitman said the requirement that petition circulators be registered voters — the issue that got Conyers booted off the ballot in the first place — put serious limitations on the free speech rights of the circulators, the people who signed the petitions and Conyers.

“The public interest favors the enjoining of the likely unconstitutional Registration Statute,” for circulators, Leitman said.

As one friend so gently put it, “The rules aren’t made for Progressives — jus’ everyone else.”

When a Kiss is More Than a Kiss

“Sports are a microcosm of society,” former World number one professional tennis player and current LGBT rights activist Billie Jean King is reported to have said.

If that is true – both are missing the mark.

Michael Sam, the first openly homosexual player ever to enter the National Football League draft, was taken in the seventh-round by the St. Louis Rams. Because of this certain groups are claiming the late-round pick was because of homophobia.

ESPN claims there, “… were hints of that when Miami Dolphins player Don Jones tweeted “OMG” and “horrible” in reaction to Sam’s on-screen kiss. The tweets were soon deleted.

Jones was then fined an undisclosed amount and must undergo educational training. He has been excused from all team activities until he completes the training.

“We were disappointed to read Don’s tweets,” Coach Joe Philbin said in a statement. “They were inappropriate and unacceptable, and we regret the negative impact these comments had on such an important weekend for the NFL. We met with Don today about respect, discrimination and judgment. These comments are not consistent with the values and standards of our program.”

Jones later apologized for his ‘tweets.’

“I want to apologize to Michael Sam for the inappropriate comments that I made last night on social media. I take full responsibility for them and I regret that these tweets took away from his draft moment,” said Jones in a statement.

ESPN commentator Stephen A. Smith took issue with the Dolphins’ decision to punish Jones for his reaction to Sam’s kiss with his boyfriend, Vito Cammisano.  While he repeatedly indicated his support for same-sex marriage and gay rights, Smith called on Sam’s supporters to practice the tolerance they preach.

“It’s a very, very dangerous thing when people see something and they have a problem with what they’re seeing and they express themselves, and ultimately they’re fined,” he said on ESPN2’s First Take. “You can say they’re wrong, you could be the Miami Dolphins and talk to them, but to fine them and prohibit them from team activities — that’s getting a bit dicey now.”

Speaking of ‘a bit dicey’ — in a move which he said will teach companies a lesson for “trampling on Christian values”, Jack Burkman has also aimed his protest against financial giant Visa, who gave Sam his first advertising contract.  He claims several evangelical Christian leaders from around the U.S, as well as grassroots organizations in 27 of the 50 states, have mobilized against the firm.

As part of the protest, Rams fans will be told to stop buying the team’s merchandise and not to attend games, while members of the public will be asked stop using their Visa cards, and to sell any of the company’s stocks they may own.

“Visa and the Rams will learn that when you trample the Christian community and Christian values, there will be a terrible financial price to pay,” said Burkman, head of the Washington DC lobbying firm JM Burkman & Assoc.

As well as the boycott, Burkman’s firm is attempting to push a draft bill through Washington, which will ban all openly gay players from the NFL and other professional sports in the country.  Called “The American Decency Act of 2014,” it mandates a fine for any professional sports team of $8 to $13 million for each openly gay player hired.

But Burkman’s boycott may have backfired as Michael Sam’s jersey is the number two seller according to NFLShop.com. Sam’s jersey have also outsold those of Jadeveon Clowney, the number one pick overall who was drafted by Houston.

The top selling jersey belongs to Johnny Manziel, the quarterback taken in the first round by the Cleveland Browns. Manziel had an advantage in terms of uniform sales since he was taken earlier in the draft.

The league’s online shop did not release the number of jerseys sold, only the rankings. But it did say this was the biggest draft weekend for sales in the site’s history.

When all is said and done, Ram’s coach Jeff Fisher said Sam is just another young player trying to make the team’s 53-man roster.

“He’s a good football player, and we got a good football player right after him,” Fisher said, “so I’m excited about our draft, excited about our production, excited about the possibility of adding him to our defensive front.”

President Barack Obama congratulated Michael Sam for being the first openly gay football player taken in the National Football League draft, the White House said in a statement.

“From the playing field to the corporate boardroom, LGBT Americans prove everyday that you should be judged by what you do and not who you are,” Obama said.

One of eight children, Sam grew up in Hitchcock, Texas, where he was raised primarily by his mother. At one point, he has said, he lived out of his mother’s car and briefly stayed with another family.

Three of Sam’s siblings have died, including an older brother he saw die from a gunshot wound. Two of his brothers are serving prison sentences.

Hillary Clinton’s Problem with Ethics

GOP strategist Karl Rove recently brought up Hillary Clinton’s December 2012 hospital stay, saying he’s convinced there is much more to the story that has not been released.

“Thirty days in the hospital?” he asked. “And when she reappears, she’s wearing glasses that are only for people who have traumatic brain injury? We need to know what’s up with that.”

Of course, Clinton handlers deny Rove’s allegations, writing them off as nothing more than partisan scare tactics.

“Please assure Dr. Rove she’s 100 percent,” a Clinton representative said in response to his comments.

The comments are being used to divert people’s attention from the real problem Clinton is facing.

The U.S. Office of Inspector General (OIG) says $6 billion dollars in State Department funding is ’missing,’ much of it under Hillary Clinton’s watch. Two-million dollars has disappeared which was ear-marked for the embassy in Baghdad, Iraq.

The State Department misplaced the money due to the improper filing of contracts over the past six years. The unaccounted funds poses a “significant financial risk and demonstrates a lack of internal control over the Department’s contract actions,” reads the OIG’s report.

Contracts related to the U.S. war in Iraq, for instance, could not be produced in 33 out of 115 instances, according to the report.

“A recent OIG audit of the closeout process for contracts supporting the U.S. Mission in Iraq revealed that contracting officials were unable to provide 33 of 115 contract files requested in accordance with the audit sampling plan,” the report states.

The value of the 33 “missing files” totaled $2.1 billion. Additionally, 48 of the 82 contract files produced “did not contain all of the documentation required by” internal regulations and are worth another $2.1 billion.

The investigation also found instances where a company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee was not properly documented.

“In the case of work undertaken by OIG’s Office of Investigations, one investigation revealed that a contract file did not contain documentation reflecting that modifications and task orders were awarded to the company owned by the spouse of a contractor employee performing as a Contract Specialist for the contract,” the report states.

The contract in question was worth $52 million.

The report outlines several other instances where contracts worth great values were mishandled.

“In a number of recent OIG inspections, OIG identified contract file management deficiencies. For example, COR files for a $2.5 million contract lacked status reports and a tally of the funds expended and remaining on the contract,” the report states.

But it appears Clinton has bigger problems than a few billion missing dollars.

It’s come to light that her 2008 presidential campaign was illegally funded by District of Columbia businessman Jeffery Thompson.  In March of this year, Thompson pled guilty to funding what prosecutors called a $653,000 ‘shadow campaign for D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray in 2010.  Five of Thompson’s associates have also pleaded guilty in federal court, including two who worked on Gray’s 2010 campaign.

Two other associates pleaded guilty to making straw contributions to political candidates on his behalf, and another acknowledged using illicit funds to help Clinton run for president in 2008.

In April, a hotel executive and Democratic fundraiser pleaded guilty to witness tampering and conspiracy to evade campaign finance laws. Sant Singh Chatwal was accused of working with an unidentified informant to use straw donors to make contributions to three unnamed political candidates, raising at least $100,000 for Clinton’s 2008 presidential.

The Center for Public Integrity highlighted a year ago that Thompson and others who donated to campaign efforts, listing his accounting company as their employer contributed at least $514,350 to federal candidates as well as political action committees since the 2002 campaign cycle came into effect. The top beneficiary of those funds was Hillary Clinton, whose campaigns raked in $50,400 while her campaign committee accepted $40,300 from employees at Thompson’s company in November of 2007.

Other recipients were Barack Obama being given $14,500 during the 2008 cycle and John Kerry who was handed over $20,000 in the 2004 presidential election cycle. John McCain was given $13,800 in the 2008 cycle.

The revelations raise reminders of fundraising improprieties just as her supporters are gearing up for a probable run for the presidency in 2016.

In 2007, when Clinton was considered the front-runner for the Democratic nomination, she took the unprecedented step of returning $850,000 in contributions raised by Norman Hsu, a top campaign bundler who was wanted on criminal charges in a multimillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.  At the time, Clinton campaign officials said they would undertake “vigorous” extra vetting procedures to make sure her sources of campaign funds were legitimate.

In 2009, a federal judge sentenced Hsu to more than 24 years in prison for violating campaign finance laws and defrauding investors.

The Hsu scandal, in turn, brought unwelcome reminders for Clinton of her husband’s fundraising controversies in the 1990s, including Little Rock businessman Charlie Trie. In that episode, about $640,000 was returned or refused after accusations that Trie funneled fraudulent donations.

There was also the case of businessman Johnny Chung, where the Democratic National Committee returned more than $360,000 in donations raised during President Clinton’s 1996 re-election bid. Chung admitted that he accepted some of the money from Chinese military officials.

In her younger days, Clinton served as an attorney during the Watergate investigation, but was apparently fired because of her dishonesty. She got the job working on the investigation at the request of her former law professor, Burke Marshall, who was also Senator Ted Kennedy’s chief counsel in the Chappaquiddick affair.

Clinton’s then-supervisor, Jerry Zeifman fired her immediately following the investigation concluded and refused to give her a good recommendation.

“…(S)he was a liar,” Zeifman said. “She was an unethical, dishonest lawyer. She conspired to violate the Constitution, the rules of the House, the rules of the committee and the rules of confidentiality.”

It seems that not much has changed with Clinton over the years.

Whose the Real Bully?

A Michigan teacher is on suspension after attempting to break up a violent fight between two male students using a broom. Cell phone video captured the fight between the two teenaged boys, along with the desperate attempt by the teacher to separate them.

In the video, the teacher can be seen striking one of the boys on the back with the broom’s handle as the boys continue to tussle. The teacher first yelled at the teens to stop, and only picked up the broom after they failed to do so and the fight got more heated.

She’s now being labeled a bully.

The mother of the boy who was hit by the teacher with the broom said her son’s back was bruised from the incident. The students were suspended for 10 and three days, respectively.

A 19-year-old senior at the school, said the teacher went too far.

“The lady she should have never grabbed the broom. She could have just grabbed the security guard,” he said. “He could have got hurt from her hitting him with the broom like that and she should have gotten charged for it.”

The teacher has her defenders too.

“I feel like if I was there I would have done the same thing trying to break them up. … I don’t think she should lose her job or have charges brought against her,” said Natalie Tyson, mother of a Pershing freshman. “What else could she do? Those guys were kind of big and they were tearing up the classroom.”

The chancellor of Michigan’s Education Achievement Authority, which runs Pershing High School, plans to recommend to the authority’s board of directors that the teacher be terminated, writes authority spokeswoman Chrystal Wilson.

“Which means the termination is effective immediately,” Wilson said in e-mail. “She will have an opportunity, like any other employee, to meet with the board as they consider this recommendation at its next scheduled board meeting” June 17th.

The teacher, whose name was not released, was notified in a May 1st letter about the recommendation that she be terminated. She has not indicated whether she plans to appeal.

Meanwhile, across the country, the Carson City Council in California gave preliminary approval to an ordinance that would target people from kindergarten to age 25 who makes others feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested.”

The first offense could result in a ticket and fine, and the second offense could come with a larger fine and a third offense could result in a criminal misdemeanor.

“If a child is bullying someone, and a parent has to pay a $100 fine as a result of that, a responsible parent will realize their child needs some help,” said Councilman Mike Gipson, who introduced the ordinance and is spearheading a campaign to make Carson bully free.

Adults who bully would be charged with either an infraction or a misdemeanor, which could come with jail time. The measure also cover forms of cyber bullying throughout Los Angeles County.

It’s unclear how the Sheriff’s Department would enforce the law, since infractions and misdemeanors rarely handed out unless the crime is witnessed by a law enforcement officer, officials said.

“A fitness hearing would be required to try a child as a criminal,” Lt. Arthur Escamillas told the newspaper. “But if you see a 4-year-old riding a bike down the street without a helmet, are you going to give a 4-year-old a ticket? It’s discretionary.”

Whether officers cite and charge children with misdemeanors for bullying will have to be decided by the Sheriff’s Department leadership, Escamillas said.

But the bullying isn’t limited to just the local level.

Iowa’s Senator Charles Grassley dismissed the notion that Common Core was a decision made by state educators, saying the federal government pressured most states to adopt the standards.

“In order to get Common Core adopted quickly in the 50 states, it was tied to Race to the Top money,” Grassley said, “A lot of states thought they would get a lot of money. Not more than a dozen actually did. But, they accepted the principle of Common Core. Also, if states wanted waivers from No Child Left Behind, it also involved Common Core.”

“From that standpoint, it’s the pressure of Washington to bring about Common Core as a national approach,” he continued. “Quite frankly, it shouldn’t have been done that way.”

He said if the standards were really an option for the states, they would be allowed to adopt them without being pressured.

“Let’s allow people to make up their minds about the substance of Common Core,” Grassley said. “If states want to adopt it, that’s their business. But, it shouldn’t be crammed down their throat by the secretary of education in Washington, D.C., using federal money.”

“They adopted this and, to make it look like it was state-oriented and coming from the grassroots up, I think maybe it’s easier to sell that until you start looking into where the roots of it happened, basically here in Washington, D.C,” Grassley added.

“I don’t think the governors and chief states school officers were as involved as they want us to believe,” he added. “Even if they were, the fact that it’s tied to federal dollars and having the federal government having conditions for those federal dollars adopting Common Core, you get back to the establishment of curriculum based upon national testing. In the end, subverting the 10th Amendment and usurping what is definitely not just a constitutional state right, but as a practical matter ought to be a state right.”

“Our country is so geographically vast and our population so heterogeneous that policy made in Washington, D.C., doesn’t fit New Hartford, Iowa, where I’m from, the same as New York City,” Grassley said.

Grassley made the comments during an interview on the Tea Party News Network.

‘Bent Spear’ at Missile Silo in Colorado

An unspecified accident happened on May 17, 2014, at a silo containing an LGM-30 Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missile. The silo, Juliet-07, is west of Peetz, Colorado and controlled by the 320th Missile Squadron, 90th Missile Wing at F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

I was stationed at Warren in the late 70s and early 80s.

The missile became non-operational during a diagnostic test during May 16, 2014. The next morning a three-man crew failed to follow technical guidelines during troubleshooting efforts causing severe damaging the missile.

The amount of damage’s estimated to be around $1.8 million, but no further details are being disclosed. No one was injured and the accident poses no risk to public safety, while an Accident Investigation Board is scheduled to look into the incident.

The U.S. Air Force has 450 Minutemen III missiles controlled by Warren AFB, Malmstrom AFB in Montana, and Minot AFB in North Dakota. They’re housed in hardened silos and connected to an underground launch control where crews are on standby around-the-clock.

The Power of Television in Your Life

Over the past couple of years, American’s have been able to look inside ‘polygamist’ arrangements with shows like Home Box Offices’, “Big Love,” and Discovery’s, “Sister Wives,” and “My Five Wives.” Disney also introduced a female homosexual couple on the series “Good Luck Charlie,” as well as a male homosexual couple on “Modern Family.”

These shows have desensitized society, changing how we respond to news and entertainment.

For instance, three lesbian women in Massachusetts recently “married” each other after exchanging vows in a wedding-style ceremony last year. They claim they are the world’s first “throuple.” Although Massachusetts recognizes same-sex marriages, the state does not recognize polygamous ones. Nevertheless, the three women named Brynn, Doll, and Kitten still entered into the three-way relationship.

Brynn told The Sun newspaper: “In our eyes we are married. We had specialist lawyers draw up paperwork so our assets are equally divided.”

Doll says, “As far as we know, there aren’t any three women married like us,” she adds, “I had always dated girls, who — although they had boyfriends or girlfriends — were also allowed to date me. I never thought that much about it and I had never really come out as poly to my friends and family. To me, it was just how I was.”

Brynn insists that, despite their novel lifestyle arrangement, that they are “very traditional people” and “perfectly normal.” The three women would also like to raise three children using anonymous sperm donors-one for each of them.

Massachusetts officials will allow the “throuple” arrangement to stand without interference.

Meanwhile, a star in NBC’s “Real Housewives of Atlanta” is in hot water for a sermon she recently preached. Porsha Williams encouraged members of her congregation to reach out to individuals needing “saving” — among them drug dealers, sex workers, people who have attempted suicide and gays and lesbians.

“I woke up this morning disturbed and I felt that my heart was heavy and it was imperative for me to address the issue at hand. First let me say that God loves all his children.” Williams said in her sermon. “And although discriminate against other because of their race, their religion, their sexual orientation, their status in life, that we’re all worthy of God’s love.”

Williams explains in her apology: “The sermon that was shown was shown not in its entirety therefore the message was omitted. I apologize that those words hurt the LGBT community, my fans and my supporters. Life is a journey and I’m growing every day. And I continue to encourage everyone to love each other unconditionally.”

Her co-star Cynthia Bailey recently criticized the anti-gay comments made by Williams noting, “To put gays and lesbians in the same category as drug dealers, hookers, and people who attempt suicide is ignorant and insensitive. Especially when she just recently profited from performing at a popular gay club in NYC.”

Now, the Home & Garden Television (HGTV) network, owned by Scripps Networks Interactive, has decided to pull the plug on an upcoming real estate reality show amid a firestorm of controversy from gay rights activists who accused the evangelical Christian hosts of being anti-gay and pro-life. Twins David and Jason Benham had been in production for “Flip it Forward,” a show that was to début in October.

After the network announced the show was on the fall lineup, the group Right Wing Watch (RWW) labeled David Benham, son of well-known evangelical pastor Flip Benham an “anti-gay extremist” and reported on comments he made about homosexuality, abortion and divorce.

“As leader of OSA (Operation Save America,) Benham has  condemned the interfaith Sandy Hook memorial,  protested in front of mosques while shouting ‘Jesus Hates Muslims’ and  blamed the Aurora shooting on the Democratic Party, which he said promotes a ‘culture of death,’” write Brian Tashman, whose with RWW

Tashman continues, “He has also protested LGBT pride events, interrupted church services during a sermon by ‘sodomite Episcopalian bishop’ Gene Robinson and was found “guilty of stalking a Charlotte abortion doctor after passing out hundreds of ‘wanted’ posters with the physician’s name and photo on it.” Benham even blamed the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on abortion rights…”

The Benhams, who are graduates of Liberty University, said it saddened them to hear about HGTV’s decision.

“If our faith costs us a television show then so be it,” they wrote. “With all of the grotesque things that can be seen and heard on television, you would think there would be room for two twin brothers who are faithful to our families, committed to biblical principles, and dedicated professionals.”

HGTV refuses to say why they decided not to go forward with the show.

This isn’t the first time Scripps Networks Interactive has garnered publicity of this kind. In the January 2014 issue of GQ, the magazine asked Duck Dynasty’s Phil Robertson what he believed to be sinful.

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there,” he answered.

And if you don’t think the TV has power over your life, consider the fact that the networks spend nearly 28 minutes on Global Warming news and only 15 seconds on the Lois Lerner contempt vote. By the way: The House voted to hold the former IRS head in contempt of Congress.

The Effort to Battle Big Government

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision upholding the government’s roundup of more than 1,600 wild horses along the Nevada-California line in 2010. The ruling, by the three judge panel in San Francisco rejected an appeal by horse advocates accusing the U.S. Bureau of Land Management of gathering too many mustangs which violates the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971.

Judge Carlos Bea concluded in the majority opinion that the BLM completed the necessary environmental reviews for the Twin Peaks roundup not far from the Oregon line, and that the court must defer to the agency’s expertise.

“In sum, the BLM’s actions fell within the discretion which courts have recognized the BLM has to remove excess animals,” he wrote.

BLM maintains the term “remove” should be interpreted to refer to the permanent removal of animals, not the temporary gathering of animals to decide which ones should be euthanized and which should be made available for adoption. The agency claims that if left unchecked, the herds could exceed 6,000 to 8,000 animals within a decade.

‘In Defense of Animals,’ argued the act prohibits the removal of any mustangs from horse management areas on the range before the agency first identifies old, sick or lame animals to be destroyed humanely, to which Judge Johnnie Rawlinson agreed in her dissent.

“The act couldn’t be clearer,” she wrote. “It is only after old sick or lame animals are destroyed that the act provides for additional excess wild horses to be captured.”

Two days before the ruling, a group of Utah residents rode all-terrain vehicles onto federally managed public lands to protest the BLM’s closing off of the area in Blanding. The protesters and their supporters say the agency has unfairly closed off a prized area, cheating them of outdoor recreation

However, federal officials say the region, known for its archaeological ruins, is in danger from overuse.  BLM Utah State Director Juan Palma, in a statement, said the riders may have damaged artifacts and dwellings of Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado.

“The BLM was in Recapture Canyon…collecting evidence and will continue to investigate,” Palma said. “The BLM will pursue all available redress through the legal system to hold the lawbreakers accountable.”

Recapture Canyon is home to dwellings, artifacts and burials left some 2,000 years ago. The BLM closed the canyon to motor vehicles in 2007 after two men created ‘an illegal’ seven-mile trail, while hikers and those on horseback are still allowed there.

Bureau of Land Management officers recorded and documented protesters who traveled into the closure area. About 30 deputies and a handful of BLM law enforcement officers watched as protesters drove past a closure sign and down the canyon some 300 miles southeast of Salt Lake City.

San Juan County Sheriff Rick Eldredge said between 40 and 50 people, many of them waving American flags drove about a mile down the canyon, then turned around. Hundreds attended a rally at a nearby park before the protest.

“It was peaceful, and there were no problems whatsoever,” the Eldredge told The Associated Press.

San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman organized the ride. The Commissioner and his supporters want the BLM to act more quickly on a years-old application for a public right-of-way through the area.

Earlier, BLM officials notified Lyman that any illegal travel in the area would bring consequences such as citations and arrest.  The protest comes weeks after Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s successful standoff against the agency over grazing rights.

As for the Bundy stand-off, the FBI is investigating whether anyone broke federal laws during the April 12th standoff, including threats against law enforcement officers and the use of illegal weapons.  Authorities say that while thy don’t want to inflame the situation, reports of people pointing weapons at law enforcement need to be investigated.

Las Vegas’ KLAS TV reported that the FBI is looking at pictures and videos taken during the standoff and questioning law enforcement officers who were a Bunkerville. They are also concerned about the possible involvement of anti-government groups.

The FBI has yet to name those groups publicly.

An estimated 300 people joined Bundy when the BLM began to round-up his cattle after he refused to vacate federally owned land and pay more than $1 million in fees. The faceoff that began last month is part of a two-decade-long fight between Bundy and the BLM.

The BLM halted the cattle roundup and is considering what to do next, including arresting Bundy for failing to follow the law, seizing his assets through the Treasury Department or sending the case to the Department of Justice.

But the battle isn’t contained to just Western States as the group, Patriot for America marched on Washington. Organizers had planned to call for the removal of Barack Obama, John Boehner, Eric Holder, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and anyone else who had ‘trampled on the constitution.’

“We are calling for (their) removal…as a start toward constitutional restoration,” said retired Army Colonel Harry Riley.’ “They have all abandoned the U.S. Constitution, are unworthy to be retained in a position that calls for servant status.”

The group expected between 10 million and 30 million people to meet them in the capital for a rally billed as “Operation American Spring,” however only around 250 supporters showed up.

During his radio program the day of the march, commentator Glenn Beck warned against the dangers of “spring-like” movements.

“So anybody who wants the American Spring, no thank you. I see how it’s worked out oh so well for those people in Egypt. No thank you,” Beck said.

“Look…what the government did in the Great Depression, before World War II,” he added. “Look at what they did to all of the veterans who were protesting in Washington for benefits — don’t think that they won’t turn your guns on you because they will. We’ve done it before. We’ll do it again.”

Australia’s Coming Financial Trouble

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Occupy Wall Street is feeding the propaganda machine of Progressivism with yet another Facebook Meme. This one claims a $16 wage helped Australia “dodge the global recession.”

Over the past year, increasing amounts of fast food and retail workers have been on strike demanding $15 an hour and better benefits and working conditions. Their struggle has spread nationwide, and their demands have been hotly debated in the media.

That being stated, Australia is currently heading into a recession all its own.

An out of control debt is leading Australia’s government slash welfare, cut public service jobs and raise taxes to cut a deficit forecast to reach $47 billion dollars in the current fiscal year ending June 30. This also includes cutting 16,000 government workers and freezing welfare payments for two years.

The mining boom that helped Australia’s economy for the last ten-years, paying for a series of personal income tax cuts, has fizzled in the past two years, wiping billions of dollars from the government’s tax revenue. And while the government reduced its net debt to zero before the 2008 financial crisis, but since then it’s has reached a 20 percent of GDP level.

The government also plans to strip $80 billion from hospitals and schools over the next ten-years, shifting the costs to the states to pick up and raising the prospect of an increase in Australia’s 10 percent consumption tax. Those on high salaries will face a temporary extra tax on their incomes.

The austerity plan is to cut the deficit to Australia’s $29.8 billion next year and $2.8 billion in 2017-18. The hope is to create a surplus by 2018-19.

In fact, Australia’s ‘The Daily Telegraph’ reported in January 2012 that the country’s economy shed 100,000 jobs in 2011, the first time more jobs were lost than created in any year since 1992.

The Second Burning of Crescent City’s Catholic Church

By 1854, the population of Crescent City numbered over eight hundred inhabitants.  That same year,  Father James Croke, who first visited our little town in 1853 had “not yet discovered many Catholics” but wrote to the Archbishop of his plans to build a church in Jacksonville, Oregon.

This church, he wrote, would serve “all mining districts for sixty to seventy miles around.”  In the years to follow, Croke would periodically offer Mass while on his way to Oregon.

During the first decade of the city’s development, several priests passed through town, offering Mass either in the old courthouse or in private homes.  During the early to mid-1860s, Father Thomas Crinnian, a pastor in Eureka, would make the three-day trip on mule-back to offer Mass once a month and then return to his parish.

By November 1868, Father Maurice Hickey, the new pastor in Eureka, along with Catholic pioneer Maurice Wenger, purchased an abandoned Methodist Church and in 1869, Crescent City had its first Catholic Church.  By October, Father Leon Haupts became the first resident pastor of the new parish and, along with Father Rooney, Haupts conducted regular services in Trinidad and Smith River.

In November 1873, Father Michael Walwrath replaced the old church with a new and larger one that provided enough room in the back for school classes, which included education for the poor and Native American children.  Walwrath was so devoted that he became known as the “Indian Missionary”.

Shortly after Father Nolan arrived in 1915, the church burned down and another was soon built, however, in April 1932 that church burned down as well.  On April 27, 1935, the fourth Catholic church was dedicated by Bishop Armstrong.

When Nolan passed away in August 1944, Monsignor P.L. O’Loughlin was sent as a replacement.  The Monsignor was no stranger to the area as in 1941 he began the construction of Saint Robert and Anne in the townsite of Klamath.

Debunking Another Falsehood


President George W. Bush is not one of my favorite commanders-in-chief. In all honesty, I view him as ‘Progressive,’ as Teddy Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter, his father George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

That being said, there is a Facebook meme being reposted calling ten attacks on U.S. soil overseas jus’ like that which occurred in Benghazi in 2012. In that attack, two contractors, a state department employee and a U.S. Ambassador were killed.

This particular meme is incorrect and the record needs to be straight.

  1. January 22nd, 2002. Calcutta, India. Gunmen attacks the U.S. Consulate. Five people are killed. None were American.
  2. June 14th, 2002. Karachi, Pakistan. Suicide bomber attacks the U.S. Consulate, killing 12. None were American.
  3. February 28th, 2003. Islamabad, Pakistan. Two police officers and a civilian are killed outside the U.S. Consulate. None were American.
  4. June 30th, 2004. Tashkent, Uzbekistan. No attacks took place on the date listed, however, two Uzbek security guards died in an attack on the U.S. Consulate July 30, 2004. No American’s were killed.
  5. December 6th, 2004: Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A U.S. consulate is attacked with explosives and machine guns, killing four security guards. None were American.
  6. March 2nd, 2006: Karachi, Pakistan. A suicide bomber kills four people, including U.S. diplomat David Foy near the U.S. consulate.
  7. September 12, 2006: Damascus, Syria. Four terrorists attack the U.S. Embassy killing a Syrian security guard. No Americans were killed.
  8. March 18th, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. the U.S. Embassy is attacked by mortar fire, which misses the embassy, but hits a nearby school killing two. None were American.
  9. July 9th, 2008. Istanbul, Turkey. Four terrorists attack the U.S. Consulate. Six people are killed. None were American.
  10. September 17th, 2008. Sana’a, Yemen. Terrorists dressed as military officials attack the U.S. Embassy with weapons and two car bombs. Sixteen people are killed, including an American student and her husband. This is the second attack on this embassy in seven months and was immediately called a ‘terrorist attack.’

There are other graphics with lists on the web as well, including a couple listing attacks that never happened, and are being used to show a lack of outrage on the GOP’s part during Bush’s presidency. And while Bush did a number of things wrong, he didn’t lie in order to try and cover up the deaths of four Americans.

Nevada’s Accidental Governor

Governor Frank Bell was the sixth governor of Nevada and a distant cousin of Alexander Graham Bell. He was born in Toronto, Canada on January 28, 1840.

Bell came to the U.S. as a construction supervisor for a telegraph company that ran lines from Utah to California. He claimed to have helped telegraphed the Nevada constitution to President Lincoln in 1864 and was the first person to demonstrate the telephone in Nevada.

Bell did however, installed some of the first telephone lines in the state at the Virginia City mines and in the city itself.

Bell first entered public service as warden of the Nevada prison, a position he held from 1883 to 1887. He also served as lieutenant governor of Nevada from 1889 to 1890.

On September 21, 1890 Governor Charles Stevenson died in office, and Bell, who was the lieutenant governor at the time, assumed the duties of the governorship. During his short tenure, he continued to carry out the programs and policies of the Stevenson administration.

He served only four months in office. However when the Republicans held their convention in Virginia City on September 4, 1890, he received neither the nomination for lieutenant governor nor governor.

Some believed Bell did not seek the governor’s position because his brother-in-law, C.C. Powning, aspired to be governor.

After leaving office in January 1891, Bell continued to stay politically active. From 1893 to 1895 he served again as warden of the state prison, and from 1905 to 1909 he served as Reno justice of the peace.

Governor Frank J. Bell passed away at the age of 87 in California on February 13, 1927, and is buried in the Masonic Cemetery in Reno, Nevada. The city of Reno honored him by naming Bell Street after him.

The Obama Administrations Nigerian Failure

While many well-meaning people, including First Lady Michelle Obama, hold up signs reading, “Bring Back Our Girls,” Islāmic terror group Boko Haram has kidnapped eight more young girls from the northeast Nigerian town of Warabe. Earlier in the month the terrorist kidnapped almost 300 young women from a school in Chibok, west of Maiduguri, some 600 miles from the capital of Abuja.

In a video message, the group’s leader, Abubakar Shekau, said the schoolgirls are now slaves. There are reports that many of the girls have already been sold as slaves in neighboring countries, some for as little as $12.

“I abducted your girls,” he taunts. “There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell.”

A Whitehouse Spokesman called it a tragedy and pledged to help.

“We are working with the Nigerian government to strengthen its criminal justice system and increase confidence in the government by supporting its efforts to hold those responsible for violence accountable,” press secretary Jay Carney said.

A team of FBI, DOJ, State Department and military personnel are in Nigeria to help in the search using ground teams and unmanned aircraft. But the task of recovering the girls appeared to grow more complicated with news that U.S. intelligence believes the 276 girls have been split up.

“We do think they have been broken up into smaller groups,” U.S. Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said.

He declined to say how officials came to the conclusion, but it is a sentiment that has been echoed by a number of others, who believe the girls already have been moved out of Nigeria and into neighboring countries. Also, this isn’t the first time the militant group has attack students.

In February of this year, dozens of Nigerian secondary school students were killed by Boko Haram as they slept. In the attack explosives were thrown into buildings and rooms sprayed with gunfire.

Boko Haram gunmen also attacked a wedding convoy November 3rd, killing more than 30 people including the groom. The month before, the extremists attacked a military checkpoint, reportedly killing at least four members of the security forces.

A bomb attack in August 2011, on the U.N. headquarters in Nigeria killed 23 people and left 76 wounded. It was carried out by Boko Haram demanding the release of prisoners and an end to a security crackdown to prevent further bombings.

The latest attack by the group occurred April 5th when, Boko Haram attacked Gamboru Ngala, a remote state capital near Nigeria’s border with Cameroon that has been used as a staging ground for troops in the search for the girls. Some of the at least 310 victims were burned alive.

The assault fits a pattern of ‘revenge-seeking’ by Boko Haram against those perceived to disagree with the group or those who have provided aid to the Nigerian government.

While President Barack Obama called Boko Haram, “one of the worst regional or local terrorist organizations,” his State Department under Hillary Clinton, for two years, refused to add the group with known links to Al Qaeda to its list of foreign terrorist organizations.

U.S. lawmakers — who had written letters to Clinton while she was serving as chief diplomat — and former administration officials believe the delay in adding Boko Haram to the terrorist list may have thwarted the U.S.’s ability to help Nigeria fight the insurgents.

“The delayed designation of Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization cost us two years of increased scrutiny of the group’s activities and leadership,” Congressman Patrick Meehan said. “Boko Haram met the statutory requirements for the designation as early as 2011, but the State Department’s delay has left us with fewer resources and less intelligence on an Islāmic terrorist group with ties to al-Qaeda that is clearly destabilizing the region.”

Though she has yet to comment on the delay in designating Boko Haram a terrorist group, Clinton has spoken out, about the mass kidnapping calling it, “abominable,” adding, “It’s criminal, it’s an act of terrorism and it really merits the fullest response possible, first and foremost from the government of Nigeria.”

This delay may go beyond the State Department as recently uncovered documents show that last fall, Nigeria hired a Washington lobbying firm to press the Obama administration to supply non-lethal equipment to be used in the hunt for the extremists, however the administration continues to claim the Nigerian government refused U.S. aid in tracking down the kidnappers.

“And you can offer and talk, but you can’t do (anything) if a government has its own sense of how it’s proceeding,” Secretary of State John Kerry said. “I think now the complications that have arisen have convinced everybody that there needs to be a greater effort.”

Early this week, Boko Haram released a new video claiming to show the missing Nigerian schoolgirls, alleging the teens had converted to Islam and warning that they would not be released until all militant prisoners were freed. It shows about 130 girls wearing full veils, reciting the first chapter of the Qur’an and holding their palms upwards in prayer.

The video also shows leader Abubakar Shekau, who claims he will release the girls in exchange for Boko Haram prisoners.

“… (T)hese girls you occupy yourselves with…we have indeed liberated them. These girls have become Muslims,” he said. “We will never release them (the girls) until after you release our brethren. Here I mean those girls who have not submitted (converted to Islam.)”

There are more than 4,000 Boko Haram members in detention. Talks are underway between Nigerian officials and the senior leadership of Boko Haram, meanwhile the Obama administration is calling for additional United Nations sanctions against the group.

Unmasking Nevada’s Steven Horsford

steven horsfordAlong with Nevada Senator Harry Reid, Congressman Steven Horsford does not support those who support Cliven Bundy against federal agents they believed were using excessive force.  Despite a lack of evidence to back up his claim, Horsford has publicly said militia members have established armed checkpoints and are routinely harassing locals.

His latest call to rid the area of Patriots and Minute Men came during a local pancake breakfast in Mesquite, Nevada. According to Horsford, an unidentified fifth grader told him Bundy suffers from a “sense of entitlement,” which prompted the Congressman to once again for the removal of armed citizens in his district.

“And that is why I am calling on Brian Sandoval, Senator Dean Heller, the sheriff and any other elected official in Nevada to do their part to get rid of these armed separatists.”

Despite the fact Nevada law allows individuals to carry firearms, Horsford wants local law enforcement to force these citizens out of the community. Furthermore, he has called for a federal investigation into the activities of the remaining protesters.

In a February 2013 Gannett News Service article, it came to light that “all but one member of Nevada’s congressional delegation own guns…”  The USA Today survey of lawmakers showed that 119 Republicans and 46 democrats identified themselves as gun owners.

But gun ownership in the Nevada delegation is more of a bipartisan affair. Senator’s Harry Reid and Dean Heller both own guns. Congressman Mark Amodei, who represents the Reno area, owns several guns as does Congresswoman Dina Titus and Congressman Joe Heck.

The only lawmaker from Nevada’s six-member congressional delegation who does not own a gun is Horsford.  At 19, his father died after being shot during a drug deal-gone-wrong.

In November 2009, Horsford illegally parked his SUV with his Senate license plate visible in a handicapped parking space at a park for six hours. Subsequently, Horsford pledged to work harder on disabled rights issues.

In the summer of 2010, Horsford again garnered unwanted media attention when a fundraising letter from his PAC soliciting donations in exchange for private meals or receptions to meet with various Democratic legislative leaders and Senate committee chairs. Following criticism that the letter amounted to “pay to play,” Horsford rescinded the letter, discontinued the solicitation program and refunded all donations made in response to the letter.

On April 7, 2011 a report came out that web poker giant PokerStars treated Horsford on a lobbyist-paid trip to the Bahamas before introducing legislation that would benefit the online gaming industry. Horsford said of the trip, “It was productive. They made a good presentation.” Horsford received $37,500 in campaign contributions from PokerStars.

Forty-eight Nevada legislators accepted PokerStars campaign contributions. Horsford later returned the campaign contributions.

During the Washington Naval Yard Shooting, September 20, 2013 Horsford staffer Don Andres who took pictures of a guy on laying on the sidewalk and being worked on by first-responders of the road and sent them to his boss, Tim Hogan.

Then Hogan Tweeted the photos in which every single major press outlet grabbed up and retransmitted in their stories about the event. In the end, the Associated Press pulled the photos and issued the following statement: “The Associated Press has been unable to confirm that the incident shown in this picture is directly connected with the shooting at the Naval Yard in Washington.”

Incidentally, Horsford is on the U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security and supports a nationwide enhanced background check for gun purchasing.

Later that same month, Horsford failed to attend a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in which several Democrats walked out. The hearing allowed the parents of Benghazi victims Sean Smith and Tyrone Woods to testify about their sons’ lives and deaths.

Horsford’s spokesman Tim Hogan claimed, “He was unable to attend the hearing due to conflicting obligations.

As for his involvement in the Bureau of Land Managements attempted land grab and the Cliven Bundy stand-off, Horsford is no stranger to the situation. On April 18, 2013, Horsford filed a bill bringing the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation (HR-696) for an initial hearing.

“There are a number of public lands bills that will benefit a number of projects throughout the State of Nevada,” Horsford said.

The bill that he filed, commonly called the Yerington Land Act, is one of six that involve land projects in the Fourth Congressional District that he represents.

“The Lyon County Land Bill will allow the City of Yerington to buy, at fair market value, about 10,000 acres for commercial and economic development including a copper mine,” Horsford explained.

He estimated 2,000 to 3,000 jobs could be created along with the economic development. Lyon County has one of the highest unemployment rates in the State. The Land Act will also create 48,000 acres of wilderness area, known as the Wovoka Wilderness Area.

Another bill, the Multi-species Habitat Conservation Plan Implementation Act, H.R. 1744, came before the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation in February of this year. The legislation amends current law to provide the City of Mesquite with greater opportunity for long-term economic development.

Under current law, the City of Mesquite had to let the BLM know by November 13, 2009, if it wanted to purchase the last parcel of land made available by the Mesquite Lands Act and to close the purchase of the deal within one year.  This bill takes legislative action to extend the timeline for Mesquite to purchase this land for commercial and industrial development, including a potential airport.

“Mesquite’s opportunity for economic growth has been restricted unnecessarily,” said Horsford. “This legislation provides Mesquite the flexibility it needs to create jobs and grow. The legislation before the subcommittee is also an example of economic development and environmental stewardship working hand in hand.”

This legislation also corrects an omission in the Clark County Conservation of Public Land and Natural Resources Act of 2002 which established the use of the Virgin River Habitat Conservation and Recovery Plan and the Hydrologic Monitoring & Mitigation Plan.

Following up on a plan Senator Harry Reid first introduced involving 350,000 acres in the Gold Butte area, Horsford reintroduced a like-minded bill in June 2013. It’s aim would have created the Gold Butte National Conservation Area to be managed by the Bureau of Land Management in a way that “conserves, protects and enhances” its natural, historical and scenic resources.

“Congressman Horsford really listens to local citizens and has demonstrated that in this legislation,” said Nancy Hall, executive director of Friends of Gold Butte.  “We are hopeful that the local stakeholders will join us at the table to ensure its swift passage.”

Gold Butte would become the third National Conservation Area in Clark County, joining Red Rock Canyon which created in 1990, and Sloan Canyon, created in 2002. Additionally, 92,000 acres would be designated as wilderness within the Lake Mead National Recreation Area.

It is in the Gold Butte area, in which Bundy has allowed his cattle to graze over the years.

Ted Cruz Lists Obama’s Lawlessness

Ted Cruz

Texas Senator Ted Cruz has released a complete list of the Obama administration’s abuses of power, titled: “The Legal Limit Report No. 4”

“Of all the troubling aspects of the Obama presidency, none is more dangerous than the President’s persistent pattern of lawlessness, his willingness to disregard the written law and instead enforce his own policies via executive fiat,” Cruz stated in the report’s introductory remarks.

“Rule of law doesn’t simply mean that society has laws; dictatorships are often characterized by an abundance of laws,” wrote Cruz. “Rather, rule of law means that we are a nation ruled by laws, not men. No one — and especially not the president — is above the law. For that reason, the U.S. Constitution imposes on every president the express duty to “take Care that the Laws be faithfully executed.”

  • Disregarded 1996 welfare reform law in granting broad work waivers for work requirements of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • Implemented portions of the DREAM Act, which Congress rejected, by executive action.
  • Ended some terror asylum restrictions, by allowing asylum for people who provided only “insignificant” or “limited” material support of terrorists.
  • Allowed immigrants in the U.S. illegally, who are relatives of military troops and veterans, to stay in the country and get legal status.
  • Extended federal marriage benefits by recognizing, under federal law, same-sex marriages created in a state that allows same-sex marriage even if the couple is living in a state that doesn’t recognize same-sex marriage.
  • Recognized same-sex marriage in Utah, even though the Supreme Court stayed the court order recognizing same-sex marriage in Utah and Utah said it would not recognize same-sex marriages performed before the stay.
  • Refused to prosecute violation of drug laws with certain mandatory minimums.
  • Issued signing statements, refusing to enforce parts of congressional-enacted statutes.
  • Illegally refused to act on Yucca Mountain’s application to become a nuclear waste repository.
  • Falsely portrayed the Benghazi terrorist attack as a spontaneous protest against an anti-Muslim YouTube video, and then lied about the White House’s involvement.
  • Illegally revealed the existence of sealed indictments in the Benghazi investigation.
  • Failed to enforce the Magnitsky Act as required by law, by not adding Russian human rights abusers to a list of people not permitted to travel to or do business in the U.S.
  • Killed four Americans overseas in counterterrorism operations without judicial process.
  • Continued to give Egypt aid after the military took over its government, even though federal law prohibits aid to Egypt in the event of a coup.
  • Granted a “hardship” exemption from the individual mandate for people whose health plans were canceled because their plans weren’t Obamacare compliant.
  • Delayed the individual mandate for two years.
  • Allowed individuals to buy health insurance plans in 2014 that did not comply with Obamacare.
  • Extended this delay until 2016 — past the mid-term elections.
  • Extended the deadline to enroll in Obamacare.
  • Illegally granted businesses a waiver from Obamacare’s employer mandate. Twice.
  • Illegally continued the Obamacare employer contribution for congressional staffs.
  • Illegally delayed the Obamacare caps on out-of-pocket healthcare payments.
  • Illegally delayed Obamacare verification of eligibility for healthcare subsidies.
  • Illegally required people to violate their faith via the Obamacare contraception mandate.
  • As of May 2011, over 50 percent of Obamacare waiver beneficiaries were union members (who account for less than 12 percent of the American work force).
  • Ordered Boeing to fire 1,000 employees in South Carolina and shut down a new factory because it was non-union.
  • Implemented a moratorium on offshore drilling after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill without statutory authority, and continued to enact new versions after federal courts repeatedly invalidated the moratorium.
  • Treated secured creditors worse than unsecured creditors in the Chrysler bankruptcy.
  • Terminated the pensions of 20,000 non-union Delphi employees in the GM bankruptcy.
  • Had SWAT teams raid a Gibson guitar factory and seize property, on the purported basis that Gibson had broken India’s environmental laws — but no charges were filed.
  • Government agencies are engaging in “Operation Choke Point,” where the government asks banks to “choke off” access to financial services for customers engaging in conduct the Administration does not like — such as “ammunition sales.”
  • Made illegal “recess” appointments to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the National Labor Relations Board when Congress wasn’t in recess.
  • Ignored the rulings of three federal courts of appeals that held those nominations unconstitutional.
  • Appointed czars to oversee federal policy specifically because czars do not require Senate confirmation, earning criticism from stalwart Democrats such as West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd and Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold.
  • As of January 2012, 36 of the President’s executive office staff owed $833,970 in back taxes.
  • As of 2011, 311,566 federal employees or retirees owed $3.5 billion in taxes.
  • Illegally targeted conservative groups for heightened IRS scrutiny.
  • Circumvented the Freedom of Information Act, by requiring White House Counsel review all documents to be released under the Freedom of Information Act that the Administration believed pertained to “White House equities” — and then delayed in producing many of these documents by FOIA’s statutory deadline, or didn’t produce them at all.
  • Got secret permission from the FISA Court to reverse restrictions on the National Security Agency’s use of intercepted phone calls and emails, permitting the NSA to search American’s communications in its databases.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is seeking to monitor about 80 percent of U.S. credit card transactions.
  • Targeted Fox News reporter James Rosen by falsely labeling him a possible “co-conspirator” in a criminal investigation of a new leak.
  • Secretly obtained phone records from staff at the Associated Press.
  • Had meetings with lobbyists in coffee shops near White House to avoid disclosure requirements.
  • Aided drug cartels instead of enforcing immigration laws — as found by a federal judge. Border Patrol agents, multiple times, knowingly helped smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S.; “the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”
  • Illegally sold thousands of guns to criminals, in the operation known as Fast and Furious, and then refused to comply with congressional subpoenas about the operation.
  • Dismissed charges filed by Bush Administration against New Black Panther Party members who were videotaped intimidating voters at a Philadelphia polling station during the 2008 election.
  • Argued for the expansive federal powers in the Supreme Court, which has rejected the Administration’s arguments unanimously nine times since January 2012.
  • Sued Louisiana to stop school vouchers and keep low-income minorities trapped in failing schools.
  • Threatened to arrest military priests for practicing their faith during the partial government shutdown.
  • Muzzled the speech of military chaplains.
  • Sued fire departments saying their multiple-choice, open-book written employment tests were racially discriminatory.
  • Gave 23,994 tax refunds worth more than $46 million to aliens here illegally using the same address in Atlanta, GA.
  • Released a mentally ill Guantanamo detainee, who had been a high-risk al Qaeda fighter in jihad combat since the 1980s.
  • Backed release of the Lockerbie bomber, Abdel Baset al-Megrahi.
  • President Obama told NASA administrator to “find a way to reach out to the Muslim
  • Claimed the Fort Hood shooting was “workplace violence” rather than terrorism.
  • Signed a stimulus bill that spent money on bonuses for AIG executives, and then acted shocked and outraged at the bonuses.
  • Gave $535 million to Solyndra, which went bankrupt; Solyndra shareholders and officials made substantial donations to Obama’s campaign.
  • Reneged on a campaign promise to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term in office.
  • Increased the national debt more in one term than President Bush did in two terms.
  • Extended mortgage assistance to people who bought multiple homes during the housing bubble.
  • Proposed rules that would have decimated family farms, by prohibiting children under 18 from doing many forms of farm work.
  • Former “safe schools czar” has written about his past drug abuse and advocated promoting homosexuality in schools.
  • Nominated Timothy Geithner — who had significant tax issues — to head the Treasury Department, which enforces tax laws.
  • Reneged on campaign promise to broadcast healthcare reform negotiations on C-SPAN.
  • Reneged on a campaign promise to wait five days before signing any non-emergency bill (at least 10 times during first 3 months in office).
  • Unilaterally, increased the minimum wage for federal contract workers from $7.25 to $10.10, via executive order.
  • Cancelled all White House tours after sequestration — purportedly saving $18,000 per week — even though President Obama had spent more than $1 million in tax money to golf with Tiger Woods one weekend a few weeks before.
  • Adopted pro-union “ambush election” rules.
  • Pressured Ford to pull an anti-auto-bailout TV ad.
  • Actively, aided in George Zimmerman protests.
  • Tried to seize a privately owned motel when guests used illegal drugs at the motel.
  • Shut down the Amber Alert website, while keeping up ‘Let’s Move’ website, during the partial government shutdown.
  • Gave supervised release to a convicted criminal (an alien here illegally) who later killed a nun in a DUI.
  • Shut down an Amish farm for selling fresh unpasteurized milk across state lines.
  • Spent $7 million per household in “stimulus funds” to connect a few Montana households to the Internet.
  • Spent $205,075 in “stimulus” funds to relocate a shrub that sells for $16.
  • Fired an inspector general after investigating an $850,000 AmeriCorps grant received by a nonprofit run by former NBA star and Obama supporter Kevin Johnson (now mayor of Sacramento).

Cruz spoke recently at the Federalist Society’s annual Executive Branch Review Conference, where he said that that “rather than any particular tree” the report “focuses on the entire forest” of Obama’s lawlessness.

“President Obama is not always going to be president,” Cruz stated. “There will come another president and in time, there will even come a Republican president. And I ask all of those on the left who were so hacky about this how exactly they would feel about a Republican president exercising this power.”

Common Core: Going Beyond Sex-Ed

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Parents in El Paso, Texas are outraged over an “inappropriate” homework assignment given to fourth graders at Pasodale Elementary School. Students were asked to read passages about a wife discovering her husband cheated and a mother finding out her military son was killed.

Then they had to answer questions about the adult-themed topics in the assignment below:

“Valerie opened up the letter from the military department. She felt the pit of her stomach drop to the bottom of the earth before she even opened it. She knew it was news about John. As she read the first line, she thought of all of the lunches she had packed him and all the nights she tucked him in his bed and warded off the nighttime monsters. The man carrying the flag put his hand on her shoulder. She thought of the day that John signed up for the military. Her tears wet the letter. She stopped reading after the first line.”

What does the letter say?

What is Valerie’s relationship to John?

Ruby sat on the bed she shared with her husband holding a hairclip. There was something mysterious and powerful about the cheaply manufactured neon clip that she was fondling suspiciously. She didn’t recognize the hairclip. It was too big to be their daughter’s, and Ruby was sure that it wasn’t hers. She hadn’t had friends over in weeks but there was this hairclip, little and green with a few long black hair strands caught in it. Ruby ran her fingers through her own blonde hair. She had just been vacuuming when she noticed this small, bright green object under the bed. Now their life would never be the same. She would wait here until Mike returned home.

Why is Ruby so affected by the hairclip?

How has the hairclip affected Ruby’s relationship?

Parents became aware of the in-class assignment after some kids didn’t finish it in time and brought it home. The school has since apologized and promised to investigate.

Last year in Arizona, students at Playa Del Rey Elementary School were asked to read the same passages. In that instance, the teacher hadn’t read the assignment and immediately apologized.

A middle school sex education book has some parents in Missouri outraged. The book called, “It’s Perfectly Normal,” is for kids 10 and up, featuring cartoon illustrations of people involved in sexual acts.

The American Library Association ranked it the most challenged book of 2005. A father with two children at Francis Howell School District has filed a formal complaint, but the book remains at the school’s library.

Local parent Tim Schmidt says there are explicit drawings and illustrations of people having sex.  Schmidt filed a formal complaint requesting that the material be removed from the library.

School administrators say the book is only available through the library and only in eBook form.  They stress that this book is not a part of the regular curriculum.

District officials say “it was determined to keep the e-book available as a resource for check-out in the library. If a parent determines that he/she does not want to their child to have access to certain materials, we honor that request.”

Not all parents were upset by the book.  June Tiller says she is glad that the students have access to material that will “help keep them safe”.

In August of last year, the Washington Post published an opinion piece advocating decriminalizing of student-teacher sex. Betsy Karasik’s op-ed, “Sex Between Students and Teachers Should Not be Illegal” goes so far as to claim that a Montana teacher’s 30 days in jail for raping a 14-year old student was unfair to the teacher

“As protesters decry the leniency of (Stacey) Rambold’s sentence — he will spend 30 days in prison after pleading guilty to raping 14-year-old Cherice Morales, who committed suicide at age 16 — I find myself troubled for the opposite reason. I don’t believe that all sexual conduct between underage students and teachers should necessarily be classified as rape, and I believe that absent extenuating circumstances, consensual sexual activity between teachers and students should not be criminalized.”

That means ending the laws that bar “inter-generational” sex: “Laws related to statutory rape are in place to protect children, but the issue of underage sex, and certainly of sex between students and teachers, may be one in which the law of unintended consequences is causing so much damage that society needs to reassess.”

Karasik doesn’t explain how society is “damaged” by protecting children from predatory teachers other than to imply that Morales might not have committed suicide had the criminal case not been pending.

But the news isn’t all bad…

!4-year old Marina Baer watched her father get dragged away by a police officer after he violated the two-minute rule at a school board meeting in Gilford, New Hampshire. The dad, William Baer, was speaking out against the sexually graphic content found in a book assigned to his young daughter.

“I just watched my father get arrested because he broke the two-minute rule, at a board of education meeting,” she said. “This just shows that you resort to force at the first turn of conflict and I am appalled. So I don’t trust you — I haven’t and I honestly don’t feel safe around you people.”

The book in question, Jodi Picoult’s ‘Nineteen Minutes,’ is set in a small town, and tells the story of the events leading up to a shooting and what followed, but Picoult’s book also depicts a rape scene on page 313 from beginning to end.

“‘Relax,’ Matt murmured, and then he sank his teeth into her shoulder. He pinned her hands over her head and ground his hips against hers. She could feel his erection, hot against her stomach. ”

… She couldn’t remember ever feeling so heavy, as if her heart were beating between her legs. She clawed at Matt’s back to bring him closer. “‘Yeah,’ he groaned, and her pushed her thighs apart. And then suddenly Matt was inside her, pumping so hard that she scooted backward on the carpet, burning the backs of her legs.

… (H)e clamped his hand over her mouth and drove harder and harder until Josie felt him come.

“Semen, sticky and hot, pooled on the carpet beneath her.”

The Gilford School Board later apologized for the “discomfort” the controversial book assignment caused and vowed to allow parents to “accept” material rather than “opt out.”

Russian ‘War Games’ Along California’s Coast

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The Federal Aviation Administration says a spy plane and a computer system played crucial roles in last week’s computer glitch that temporarily paralyzed flight operations at Los Angeles International. But there may be more to the story than the government is letting on.

The problem involved a U-2 plane, the type famed for conducting reconnaissance missions over the Soviet Union during the Cold War. The computer — which anticipates the flight path and looks for possible conflicts such as other aircraft or restricted airspace — was overtaxed by the many flight changes the U-2 had plotted.

A Federal Aviation Administration computer system interpreted the U-2’s flight path at a very high altitude as if it were flying in a much lower and more crowded airspace. That work used much of the computer’s memory and interrupted its other flight-processing functions, FAA spokeswoman Laura Brown said in a statement.

The hour-long computer problem led to dozens of delayed, diverted and canceled flights but did not result in any mishaps. It had the most impact in the Los Angeles area, where flights were grounded while experts sought to troubleshoot the problem.

To resolve the issue, the FAA “has enabled facilities that use the computer system to significantly increase the amount of flight-processing memory available. The FAA is confident these steps will prevent a reoccurrence of this specific problem and other potential similar issues going forward,” Brown said.

Two FAA officials, speaking on background Monday, blamed the shutdown on the unlikely convergence of two events.

First, a U-2 aircraft flew a path that involved many waypoints and altitude changes in airspace controlled by three facilities. Those facilities were the Los Angeles and Oakland Air Route Traffic Control Centers, and the High Desert TRACON at Edwards Air Force Base. Simultaneously, there was an outage of the Federal Telecommunications Infrastructure, a primary conduit of information among FAA facilities.

Gary Hatch, spokesman for Edwards Air Force Base, would not comment on the incident, but said, “There are no U-2 planes assigned to Edwards.”

In June 2010, NASA warned that as the Sun wakes up from its “deep slumber,” a massive solar storm could wreak havoc on our electronics, from satellites to the electrical grid, causing damages up to 20 times the cost of Hurricane Katrina. But the Sun isn’t the only threat to our electronic lifeline.

National Geographic explorers the risk and consequences of an ‘electronic Armageddon,’ that could be caused by an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) bomb.

An EMP bomb, National Geographic explains, is “a bomb that’s designed to go above the atmosphere and release huge amounts of energy,” some of which in the form of gamma rays. Such a weapon would cripple electronics, but not kill people.

“In less than a billionth of a second, the electrical intensity on Earth’s surface would become so hot that microchips would fry, power lines would overload and the electric grid would collapse,” says National Geographic. “Everything with microelectronics in it would stop: your car, your computer, the subway. There would be no electricity.”

But a bomb or a missile isn’t the only delivery platform available.

“Many now warn of an easily portable and remarkably inexpensive tool for delivery, a flux compression generator,” reports research blog ‘Intellectual Takeout.’ “Creating a strong magnetic field without the use of nuclear fission, this device can create electrical currents of tens of millions of amps. Though the range of the surge is thought to be smaller than high-altitude EMPs, it can still be catastrophic if detonated in densely populated areas.”

Earlier last week two Russian strategic nuclear bombers were detected near the West Coast. The interception was the second such occurrence in the past two weeks.

Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby stated NORAD fighters “visually identified” the Russian bombers.

“What Russia is doing in Ukraine and Crimea has a direct effect on what’s happening in the Asia-Pacific,” General Herbert “Hawk” Carlisle said. “They’ve come with their long-range aviation off the coast of California; they circumnavigated Guam.”

Guam is home to Andersen Air Force Base, which has been used by the U.S. military for flights of B-2 and B-52 bombers across the Pacific. The Russian planes have stayed in international airspace, and such flights are not unusual, but the increase has U.S. commanders keeping a wary eye.

“It’s to demonstrate their capability to do it; it’s to gather intel,” Carlisle stated. “We relate a lot of that to what’s going on in the Ukraine.”

The first appearance of Russian nuclear bombers in U.S. waters happened in late June 2013, when two Tu-95 Bear H bombers conducted “war games” near Fort Greely, Alaska. The Russian military claimed in a statement that the exercises included simulated attacks on Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

The Battle for Our Souls

In today’s American society the materialistic world is winning the battle for our souls.  We feed our souls on cheap toys from China, junk food from our favorite drive-in and endless amounts of worthless television daily – while ignoring our nations Judeo-Christian framework.

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by the slimmest of margins, that the Town of Greece, New York did not violate the First Amendment mandate that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion,” when it allowed clergy to invoke the name of “Jesus” and use other Christian language when giving opening prayers at meetings of the town’s board.

Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens had sued the town after they told a meeting of the board that its opening prayers were “offensive.” After Galloway and Stephens complained about the Christian nature of some of the prayers, the board made an effort to reach out to representatives of non-Christian denominations to say the prayer.

“They alleged that the town violated the First Amendment’s Establishment Clause by preferring Christians over other prayer givers and by sponsoring sectarian prayers, such as those given ‘in Jesus’ name,’” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the court in its 5-4 decision.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Sam Alito, and Clarence Thomas joined with Kennedy in voting to uphold allowing non-generic prayers at Town of Greece board meeting. Justices Elena Kagan, Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented.

“No one can fairly read the prayers from Greece’s town meetings as anything other than explicitly Christian — constantly and exclusively so,” Justice Kagan wrote in her dissent opinion in the case.

While in Oklahoma City, officials overseeing the state’s capitol grounds are being asked to place a privately funded statue of Satan, near a monument of the Ten Commandments. The statue, which is to be cast in bronze and is near completion, depicts Satan as “Baphomet” with a goat’s head and horns with a boy on his left and a girl on his right.

“We decided to go with that because it is a fairly traditional character,” explained The Satanic Temple spokesman Lucien Greaves. “It also offers a lap that visitors can come to sit on, have their picture taken with.”

The Satanic Temple, out of New York, decided to ask for a permit for the statue after a monument of the Ten Commandments was installed on the grounds of the Oklahoma State Capitol in November 2012.  That monument, also privately funded, was donated by Dr. Mike Ritze, a member of the Oklahoma House of Representatives.

Because the Ten Commandments monument was donated, no public monies used, the State Legislature authorized the Capitol Preservation Commission to help the donors in selecting an appropriate site for its placement. Given that privately funded monuments would be considered, The Satanic Temple submitted its statue-design to the Preservation Commission in December.

But in August, the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma filed a lawsuit to have the Ten Commandments removed, arguing that it violates the state’s constitution and conveys “state endorsement and support” of an “explicitly religious message” on public property. As a result of that ongoing lawsuit and until it is settled, no new monuments are being erected on Capitol grounds.

Greaves warns that if the Capitol Preservation Committee denies The Satanic Temple’s permit for a monument to Satan, his group will consider legal action.

“Yes. They clearly have the real estate to accommodate our monument and, in fact before we offered to donate our monument, Oklahoma replied to the suit brought against them by the ACLU with the claim that they intended the 10 Commandments to be only the first in what was envisioned to be an eventual monument park,” said Greaves.

Finally, Montana Attorney General Tim Fox says he supports keeping a 6-foot-tall statue of Jesus on U.S. Forest Service land next to a Whitefish ski hill. He filed a friend-of-the-court brief with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals as it considers a legal challenge by an atheist and agnostic organization.

“I think the overwhelming majority of Montanans and Americans would strongly oppose removing the memorial and all it represents,” Fox said in a statement.

Fox is asking the court to uphold a federal judge’s August ruling allowing the Forest Service to renew a permit for the statue at Whitefish Mountain Resort. U.S. District Judge Dana Christensen says the statue is used more for photo opportunities and as a meeting point than for religious reflection.

However, the Freedom from Religion Foundation wants the appellate court to overturn the decision, saying the statue on federal land violates ‘the constitutional separation of church and state.’ The group’s co-president Annie Laurie Gaylor said the attorney general’s stance is disappointing but not surprising.

“It’s par for the course with public officials these days,” she said. “It’s increasingly common for politicians to unite with religion and fight our lawsuits. They should be defending our secular constitution.”

The Forest Service first indicated in 2011 it would reject a new permit for the statue, which occupies a 25-by-25 foot patch of land at the ski resort, but reversed itself in 2012. The Knights of Columbus, a Catholic men’s organization, had the statue erected on the site in the 1950s.

Common Core: Anti-Semitism, a Bible Ban and ‘Nineteen Minutes’

 

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Common Core standards spell out what math and reading skills students should have in each grade. They are supposedly designed to make students think and reason more than they do with traditional classroom work.

Sounds wonderful in theory, but the real world trumps the theoretical world every time.

The Rialto Unified School District in California gave eighth graders an 18-page assignment instructing them to decide whether the Holocaust was an “actual event” or a “propaganda tool used for monetary gain.” This included three sources students had to use, including one that states gassings in concentration camps were a “hoax” and that no evidence has shown Jews died in gas chambers.

“With all this money at stake for Israel, it is easy to comprehend why this Holocaust hoax is so secretly guarded,” states biblebelievers.org.au, one of the authorized sources for the assignment. “In whatever way you can, please help shatter this profitable myth. It is time we stop sacrificing America’s welfare for the sake of Israel and spend our hard-earned dollars on Americans.”

The assignment given to the eighth graders reads:

“When tragic events occur in history, there is often debate about their actual existence. For example, some people claim the Holocaust is not an actual historical event, but instead is a propaganda tool that was used for political and monetary gain. Based upon your research on this issue, write an argumentative essay, utilizing cited textual evidence, in which you explain whether or not you believe the Holocaust was an actual event in history, or merely a political scheme created to influence public emotion and gain. Remember to address counterclaims (rebuttals) to your stated claim. You are also required to use parenthetical (internal) citations and to provide a Works Cited page.”

The other sources were the websites ‘history.com’ and ‘about.com.’

The school district defended the assignment, saying Common Core standards are to ‘teach critical thinking.’ Interim superintendent Mohammad Z. Islam, later revised the districts position after the Anti-Defamation league voiced its concerns in an email to the district.

Associate Regional Director Matthew Friedman said, in part:  “It is ADL’s general position that an exercise asking students to question whether the Holocaust happened has no academic value; it only gives legitimacy to the hateful and anti-Semitic promoters of Holocaust Denial.”

However, Common Core components your child can read are books like “Nineteen Minutes,” by author Jodi Picoult. Set in a small town, the story tells of the events leading up to a shooting and what followed, but Picoult’s book also depicts a sex scene on page 313 from beginning to end.

“‘Relax,’ Matt murmured, and then he sank his teeth into her shoulder. He pinned her hands over her head and ground his hips against hers. She could feel his erection, hot against her stomach. ”

… She couldn’t remember ever feeling so heavy, as if her heart were beating between her legs. She clawed at Matt’s back to bring him closer. “‘Yeah,’ he groaned, and her pushed her thighs apart. And then suddenly Matt was inside her, pumping so hard that she scooted backward on the carpet, burning the backs of her legs.

… (H)e clamped his hand over her mouth and drove harder and harder until Josie felt him come.

“Semen, sticky and hot, pooled on the carpet beneath her.”

When William Baer, whose ninth-grade daughter was assigned the book came to a school board meeting to protest the assignment and the fact that the district forgot to send a notice home to parents about it, the Gilford School District in New Hampshire had him arrested for speaking beyond the two-minute rule during the board meeting. Baer is facing disorderly conduct charges.

Also making headlines, a fifth grader at Park Lakes Elementary School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida was recently told he is not allowed to read a Bible during “free reading” time. While not directly associated with Common Core problems, on April 8th, Swornia Thomas, Giovanni Rubeo’s teacher, took issue with the book and ordered him to put it away.

Rubeo asked Thomas to contact his father, Paul Rubeo.

She left a voicemail stating, “I noticed that he has a book—a religious book—in the classroom. He’s not permitted to read those books in my classroom.”

The elder Rubeo contacted the principal and the school’s legal department has yet to decide if his son has a right to read the Bible. The father retained the service of the Liberty Institute to mount a possible legal challenge to the Broward County School Districts’ actions.

“Banning religious books like the Bible violates Giovanni’s civil rights to religious free speech and free exercise,” said Hiram Sasser, Liberty Institute Director of Litigation. “The school’s actions exemplify the hostility to religion that the U.S. Supreme Court has condemned.”

Sasser also has the U.S. Department of Education on his side, whose guidelines read in part, “…students may read their Bibles or other scriptures, say grace before meals, and pray or study religious materials with fellow students during recess, the lunch hour, or other non-instructional time to the same extent that they may engage in nonreligious activities.”

As these events continue to occur and more parents, teachers and administrators come out against Common Core, progressive politicians like former Florida Governor Jeb Bush will continue to push state officials to follow through on the standards despite those who oppose them.

“This is a real-world, grown-up approach to a real crisis that we have,” said Bush. “And it’s been mired in politics. Trust me; I know there are not a whole lot of people who are standing up to this avalanche.”

Voter ID Initiative Review

A proposed constitutional amendment pushed by Sharron Angle to require photo identification to vote comes under scrutiny as a judge hears challenges to the initiative. Carson City District Judge James Russell will hold two hearings on separate lawsuits challenging to the proposed Voter ID Initiative.

The measure supported by Angle’s political action committee, Our Vote Nevada, would require voters to have photo identification to cast a ballot. It also would require election officials to issue free cards to anyone who does not have valid photo identification issued by a government entity.

One lawsuit challenging the initiative was filed on behalf of two voters by lawyers with ties to the Democratic Party. The other was filed by the American Civil Liberties Union.

Jews Fleeing Ukraine Ahead of Russian Take-over

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About 20 Jews emerging from synagogue in mid-April, were handed leaflets ordering the city’s Jews to provide a list of property they own and pay a registration fee or else. The three hooded men handing out the pamphlets were carrying a Russian flag and the symbol of the separatist Republic of Donetsk.

The leaflet begins “Dear Ukraine citizens of Jewish nationality” and states that all people of Jewish descent over 16 years old must report to the Commissioner for Nationalities in the Donetsk Regional Administration building and “register.” The leaflets claim the reason is that leaders of the Ukrainian Jewish community supported Stepan Bandera, the leader of the Ukrainian nationalist movement that fought for Ukrainian independence at the end of World War II.

The leaflets then described which documents Jews should provide: “ID and passport are required to register your Jewish religion, religious documents of family members, as well as documents establishing the rights to all real estate property that belongs to you, including vehicles.”

Consequences for non-compliance will result in citizenship being revoked “and you will be forced outside the country with a confiscation of property,” it said. A registration fee of $50 was also required

The Donetsk Republic press office denied any involvement in the matter.

And yet anti-semantic activity in Ukraine continues to grow including in the port city of Odessa, where Jewish leaders have evacuation plans ready. With the anniversary of the Soviet Union’s victory over Nazi Germany on May 9th, leaders are considering temporarily moving Jewish residents to the countryside to avoid trouble.

Rabbi Refael Kruskal, who heads the organization Tikva, runs orphanages, schools and services for the elderly says they are prepared.

“If it gets worse, then we’ll take them [the children] out of the city. We have plans to take them both out of the city and even to a different country if necessary, plans which we prefer not to talk about which we have in place.”

Other community leaders are also establishing evacuation plans should the need arise.

Kira Verkhovsky of the Migdal International Center of Jewish Community Programs said, “If the situation will be worse, we are planning to move.”

And the Chabad Lubavitcher emissary Rabbi Avraham Wolf said that while the current circumstances do not require an evacuation, “We have a number of plans,” including armed guards and a situation check every half hour.

The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem said it has been “raising funds from Christians worldwide over recent weeks” in order to fly 100 Ukrainian Jews to Israel.

“The unfolding crisis in Ukraine has meant an even more uncertain future for the Jewish community there, and we have acted swiftly once again to bring needy and endangered Jews home from this troubled region,” the group’s director Jürgen Bühler said in a statement.

The Jewish Agency for Israel, which provides services to Jews wishing to move to Israel, reported last week that 777 new immigrants arrived in Israel from Ukraine since the beginning of this year, a 142% increase compared with the same time period last year. Those fleeing Odessa in particular increased three-fold, the agency noted, while another 200 immigrants have registered throughout Ukraine for flights to Israel this month.

Odessa has a Jewish community of about 30,000.

Since the unrest began burning of a synagogue, vandalizing of a Holocaust memorial and the defacing of Jewish graves has occurred. The Giymat Rosa Synagogue in Zaporizhia, located southeast of Kiev, was firebombed in late February as two Molotov cocktails were thrown into the unoccupied synagogue.

The Holocaust Memorial in Sevastopol in the Crimean Peninsula was spray painted in red with a hammer and sickle and the letters USSR, and with what appeared to be other pro-Russian graffiti. The memorial was erected in 2003 at the site where 4,200 Jews were murdered by the Nazis on July 12, 1942 and has been vandalized by neo-Nazis in the past.

In Dnepropetrovsk, swastikas were sprayed on the tomb of Dov Ber Schneerson, brother of the late Lubavitcher Rebbe, Rabbi Menahem Mendel Schneerson, who headed the Chabad movement.

Ukrainian forces battled pro-Russian militants in eastern Ukraine as militants in Odessa vowed to retake buildings they were forced out of amid clashes that left 46 seperatists dead and another 200 detained. Ukrainian troops also pressed forward with an offensive against militants in Slavyansk, which has left four Ukrainian soldiers and more than 20 militants dead.

A fourth Ukrainian military helicopter was shot down near the pro-Russian rebel-controlled Slavyansk, but the pilots survived, the Defense Ministry said. The helicopter, an Mi-24, came under fire from a heavy machine gun, crashed into a river.

The other helicopters were brought down by surface-to-air missiles, leaving two crew members dead. The downing of the helicopters is being taken as proof that the pro-Russian militias are being armed by Russia, something the former Soviet Union denies.

Leaked Obama Memo: Prospective Conservation Designations

Great Basin National Park

A new memo has surfaced revealing plans for the federal government to seize more than 10 million acres from Montana to New Mexico. In Nevada, the Obama administration might make another monument in the middle of the Great Basin because it, supposedly, is a “center of climate change scientific research.”

The leaked document also lists another 17 sites in 11 states that could be designated as national monuments through the federal Antiquities Act. Over 380,000 acres in Colorado are designated in the memo under the heading “Prospective Conservation Designation.”

The memo also says, around 380,000 acres of Bureau of Land Management and private land in Colorado would be subject to a “conservation designation” under the National Monument designation of the 1906 Antiquities Act. This designation would close the areas off to multi-use activities including, mining, hunting, grazing, oil and gas development and other recreational activities.

The memo was given to Utah Congressman Bob Bishop by a Department of Interior official. President Obama could enact the plans in this memo with just the stroke of a pen, without any advice from the communities affected by it or Congress.

The memo shows the goal of the designations is to limit multiple use activities and the potential development from oil and gas companies. It says all kinds of animals would be better off under the designation, like the coyotes, badgers, prairie dogs, elk, deer and pronghorn.

Colorado Congressman Doug Lamborn introduced legislation, H.R. 4716, along with Congressman Mike Coffman that would safeguard their state from presidential monument designations, ensuring all future national monument designations occur only through a process that includes comments from local officials, residents, and stakeholders.

“Colorado has a rich supply of natural energy that if used responsibly can provide high paying jobs and reduce energy costs. But this Administration just doesn’t get it,” said Lamborn.

In 1950, Congress passed a law that prohibited the future establishment of national monuments in Wyoming except as authorized by Congress. H.R.4716 is modeled after this legislation but inserts Colorado in the place of Wyoming.

“This legislation will help ensure that any decision to further restrict access to valuable natural resources is done so with the full input and knowledge of the people of Colorado,” explained Coffman.

Interior staffers also note in the memo that Colorado’s Alpine Triangle carries about 25,000 acres of patented mining claims that could be used to support backcountry cabins and second home development, which would “threaten the landscape.”

This dovetails into the recent Breckenridge, Colorado eminent domain case involving a 10-acre parcel of private land owned by Ceil and Andy Barrie, but surrounded by the White River National Forest. The property with a rustic cabin, an outhouse, and a non-functioning and shuttered 1800s era gold mine is on the land the local government seized for “open space.”

The government became involved once officials discovered the couple had used a utility vehicle which came with the property, to reach their land. In fact, the Barries used a road Summit County did not even realize existed to travel via the ATV.

After Summit County officials asked to purchase the land and had their request refused by the owners, proceedings to condemn the property and to seize it for eminent domain began. Summit County Attorney Jeff Huntley also claimed the county only seized the property because the Barrie’s refused to stop using the ATV.

“People in this community are very intent on preserving the back country,” Huntley said.

The Barrie’s stated throughout the legal battle they had the legal right of way to the property, and could use the off-road vehicles to reach the cabin, just as the previous owners had. Both Summit County and the US Forest Service officials deny that assertion.

Legal precedent however was not on the side of the couple. The state supreme court ruled that a similar open space seizure of private property near Telluride was constitutional in 2005.

In the end, the Barrie’s accepted an $115,000 offer from Summit County to purchase the property. The so-called voluntary settlement amount only covers the legal expenses involved in fighting the eminent domain seizure.

“The cabin was condemned on the grounds of plumbing and electricity,” complained Ceil Barrie, “when it doesn’t even have plumbing or electricity,”

In a statement released by Summit County officials, they claim the settlement will “halt various commercial activities” on the Barrie land. These ‘commercial activities’ involved raking up fallen pine cones for a Christmas wreath business.

Over the last forty years, the federal government has spent nearly $13 billion adding hundreds of thousands of acres to the federal estate. In fact, an area larger than the size of Florida has been added to federal lands since John F. Kennedy was president.

Former President Carter used his National Monument “proclamation authority” to offset the perceived damage from the construction of the Trans Alaska pipeline. Using an executive order, he ‘sequestered’ more land than any other president, taking more than 50 million acres in Alaska despite heavy opposition from the public.

The law allowed Former President Clinton to single-handedly create 19 new national monuments, expand three others and prohibit recreational use over 5.9 million acres without ever consulting anyone. He unilaterally closed the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in Utah to oil and gas development, without ever consulting the public or state, local and federal officials. Prior to the designation, the 135,000 acre region was responsible for producing 65,000 barrels of oil a year.

Congressman Bishop says he released the document because he does not want to see another land grab like what happened under previous administration.

‘Bruce Wayne’ Caught Counting Cards in Las Vegas

Ben Affleck Batman

One of Las Vegas’ biggest casinos says movie star Ben Affleck was card counting. Affleck was asked to stop playing at the Hard Rock Casino on April 28th, “due to moving his money with the count,” according to an alert from a local security firm.

The alert goes on to read Affleck “uses perfect basic,” a common term for introductory card counting, “…but also takes insurance according to the count. Uses $100 chips to keep track…while playing.”

Another alert issued the following day claims that Affleck was “currently suspected of advantage play,” according to the document.

“He has been observed playing blackjack at multiple Las Vegas Strip properties, and is suspected of moving his wagers with the count,” the report notes. “He was reportedly backed off at one off-Strip casino,” referring to the Hard Rock incident.

An April 22nd internal email from Games Protection Manager Rob Olivetti at the Wynn and Encore casinos warned that “Ben Affleck…was informed that he was being way too obvious moving his money with the count. He was spreading $100 -10K on the double decks and $0-20K on the shoe games. As of now, he is still being allowed to play per casino management.”

According to the New York Daily News, “Card counting isn’t illegal, but is frowned upon by every casino. The betting tactic involves adding card values to decide when, and when not, to place big wagers.”

In the old day’s anyone caught counting cards in Vegas or Reno would have been escorted to the casino basement, leaving only after their fingers were broken and kneecaps fractured. Instead, the casino hailed Affleck and his wife, Jennifer Gardner a cab and sent them on their way back to their hotel.

Sources say the pair was in town for a quick getaway before the he begins shooting “Batman vs. Superman.” Affleck has been cast as Bruce Wayne in the upcoming film.

Contrary to some reports, the Hard Rock Casino says Affleck, “is not banned from our property and is welcome back any time.”

Nevada’s Slippery Progressive Slope

Senator Harry Reid is congratulating the NBA for banning Los Angeles Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling for life. Sterling was caught in an audio recording making racist comments about blacks.

Now he says it’s time for the NFL’s Washington Redskins to change their name. He’s accusing Redskins owner Daniel Snyder of hiding behind tradition in retaining his team’s name.

The senator says it’s time for NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to follow the NBA’s lead and rid his league of bigotry and racism. Meanwhile, Reid claims Nevada has 22 tribes and that the only tradition behind the Redskins’ name was one of racism.

Reid knows a thing or two about racism. In January 2010, Reid had to apologize after he privately described then-candidate Barack Obama during the presidential campaign as a black candidate who could be successful thanks in part to his “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Recently, Reid called Southern Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy a racist following the release of a video taken during an outdoor church service purporting to show Bundy making disparaging remarks about ‘the Negro.’

“Today, Bundy revealed himself to be a hateful racist,” Reid stated. “But by denigrating people who work hard and play by the rules while he mooches off public land he also revealed himself to be a hypocrite…”

Reid has proven himself to be both a hypocrite and a racist. On August 10, 2010, Reid commented to reporters, “I don’t know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican, okay? Do I need to say more?”

Reid also slandered Nuclear Regulatory Commission member Bill Magwood in August 2012 saying Magwood is “one of the most unethical, prevaricating, incompetent people I’ve dealt with,” and calling Magwood a “treacherous, miserable liar,” “a first-class rat” and a “sh-t stirrer.”

Magwood is Black.

And speaking of Bundy, Nevada Senator Dean Heller now says the rancher should pay the Bureau of Land management more than $1 million in grazing fees the agency says he owes. The BLM claims the cattle are trespassing on fragile Gold Butte habitat set aside for the endangered desert tortoise, and that Bundy owes $1.1 million in fees and penalties since 1993.

“I am very quick in calling American citizens ‘patriots,’” Heller said in an interview, “Maybe in this case, too quick.”

Heller added: “I want to make it very clear that I never called Bundy a patriot.”

But earlier this month in a joint Las Vegas TV interview with Reid and Heller, the Republican senator defended Bundy’s supporters against Reid’s charges that they were acting like terrorists.

“What Senator Reid may call domestic terrorists, I call patriots, “he said during the April 18 televised interview. “We have a very different view on this.”

Following the flap over Bundy’s comments, and before the full video had been released, Heller sought to distance himself saying through a spokesman he “completely disagrees with Mr. Bundy’s appalling and racist statements, and condemns them in the most strenuous way.”

Heller’s comments come as the U.S. Capitol Police continue to look into threats made to Reid, which the senior Senator has ‘hinted’ and the press has ‘helped cultivate,” came from supporters of Bundy. Authorities refuse to discuss the ongoing investigation.

Since then, Congressman Steven Horsford has raised concerns that an “armed militia” of Bundy’s supporters have set up checkpoints to decide whether individuals live in the region before allowing them to pass. He has called on local police to investigate.

Finally, former Federal Judge and first time Governor, Brian Sandoval sat down for an interview with Sam Shad, the host of ‘Nevada Newsmakers.’ where part of the conversation turned to the Cliven Bundy standoff.

“I didn’t want any shots to be fired,” Sandoval told Shad. “I didn’t want anybody to get hurt, I didn’t want any innocent by standers to get hurt, so that’s why I was very aggressive in terms of getting folks to stand down.”

The first time Governor added, “As I said, any type of loss of life is not worth a cow.”

Sandoval said locals are worried after seeing several militia groups in the area.

“So that’s the part where I rely upon on Sheriff (Doug) Gillespie,” Sandoval continued. “I know that he’s monitoring the situation. We continue to have conversations, we talked yesterday the law enforcement memorial about what was going on out there and I trust in his judgment.”

When asked if Gillespie plans on trying to move militia groups out of the area, the Governor said, “No, and even if he had said that, I wouldn’t share that with you, because certainly that’s a conversation between the two of us. I just know that he is monitoring the situation and he’s very aware of what’s going on out there.”

Veteran Reno Air Race Pilot Dead

Eddie Andreini

Officials say a veteran pilot who appeared at the Reno Air Races many times has died in a crash while performing at the ‘Thunder Over Solano Airshow’ at Travis Air Force Base in Solano County. Officials say Eddie Andreini was flying his vintage 1945 Stearman biplane upside down when it slammed into the ground.

The 77-year-old Andreini started flying while in high school at the age of 16, from Frank Silvestri, a World War II P-47 fighter pilot. He was inducted into the International Council of Air Shows Hall of Fame in December of last year at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

No one on the ground was injured and the rest of the airshow is cancelled.

Harry Reid’s Unethical Activities

Senator Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada, has has numerous unethical activities during his stint as Senator and as the Senate Majority leader for the Democrats.

Very little has been mentioned about Reid’s misdeeds in the main stream media in the past.  For some reason most of his ethical violations have remained hidden from the public.

Here are some of the issues and bullying that Reid has committed:

1. Attempting to run a Nevada rancher off his land using the BLM for Chinese solar panels

2. Called the Nevada rancher a “domestic terrorist“

3. Numerous insults at the Tea Party: Anarchist and Terrorist

4. Huge Obamacare support even though a majority of Nevadans don’t support it

5. Many verbal attacks against the conservative billionaire Koch Brothers

6. Using taxpayer funded Twitter account (see Talking Points) for political attacks against the Kochs (which is illegal)

7. Used campaign fund money to pay for gifts to his granddaughter (illegal)

8. Sold Nevada land to the Chinese for 10% of its appraised value (a 90% discount) for a solar panel business

9. In 2006 in the same area where Bundy lives, Reid made changes to Federal EPA laws so a friend could develop land in an area called Coyote Springs. This land was protected and off limits to anyone. He also had the BLM remove endangered turtles from the area so his friend, Harvey Whittemore, could develop 10,000 acres in to homes and golf courses.

And still Nevada keeps electing this crook.

May the Fourth Be With You

Star Wars Day is an unofficial holiday in May celebrating Star Wars. The line “May the Force be with you,” is spoken several times in the films by members of the rebel alliance, who are the good guys, before they embark on a mission against the evil Empire.

May 4th is considered a holiday by Star Wars fans to celebrate the franchise’s film series, books and culture. The date was chosen because ‘May the 4th’ sounds like the series’ popular phrase.

According to StarWars.com the reference was first used on May 4, 1979 when Margaret Thatcher’s political party placed an advertisement in The London Evening News following her taking office as Prime Minister that stated: “May the Fourth Be with You, Maggie. Congratulations.”

In 2011, the first organized celebration of Star Wars Day took place in Toronto, Canada at the Toronto Underground Cinema. The festivities included an Original Trilogy Trivia Game Show; a costume contest with celebrity judges; and the web’s best tribute films, mash-ups, parodies, and remixes on the big screen.

With regards to the upcoming new installment of Star Wars: Episode 7, the official cast was recently announced. Actors from the original franchise including Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher will reprise their respective characters and is scheduled for release in December 2015.

Local Horse Wins Kentucky Derby

california chrome

A horse owned by Steve and Carolyn Coburn of Topaz Lake has won 140th Kentucky Derby. California Chrome, based at Los Alamitos racetrack in Los Angeles, was the early 5-2 favorite for the race.

Coburn, who co-owns the horse with Perry Martin bred an $8,000 mare to a $2,500 stallion to win the world’s most famous race with their one-horse stable. He won four straight races by a combined 24 ¼ lengths under Victor Espinoza, who won the Derby in 2002 with War Emblem.

California Chrome pulled away down the stretch for a dominant win the Derby at Churchill Downs. Taking charge at the top of the lane, California Chrome and Espinoza made a decisive move and quickly sprinted clear.

They finished the 1 1/4 miles in 2:03.66, stretching his winning streak to five and making 77-year-old Art Sherman the oldest winning Derby trainer.

Nevada Congressman Calls for Investigation into Bundy Militia

bundy militia

Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford says out-of-state militia groups have established an armed presence that is scaring people in his district caught in the middle of a feud between a rancher and the federal government. He made the claims in a letter to Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie asking his office to investigate.

Horsford say armed militia groups have set up checkpoints where residents are required to prove they live in the area southwest of Mesquite before they are allowed to pass.

“I am greatly concerned about the safety and well-being of my constituents after meeting with local community members this past week,” writes Horsford. “I urge Sheriff Gillespie to investigate these reports, as this sort of intimidation cannot be tolerated.”

“We must respect individual constitutional liberties, but residents of and visitors to Clark County should not be expected to live under the persistent watch of an armed militia,” he adds. “Residents have expressed their desire to see these groups leave their community. I urge you to investigate these reports and to work with local leaders to ensure that their concerns are addressed in a manner that allows the community (to) move forward without incident.”

A spokeswoman for Clark County Sheriff Douglas Gillespie said while police are looking into Horsford’s request, there hasn’t been a criminal allegation to investigate.

“We would need a victim to come forward and file a complaint,” said Officer Laura Meltzer, department spokeswoman.

Bundy’s wife, Carol said Gillespie and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has “ignored” the family’s calls for protection.

“Nobody has really backed down on either side,” she said. “We don’t plan on getting violent. We’re not out to overstep the bounds of our local government. But it’s our constitutional right to protect ourselves.”

Last week as Horsford toured the area, commented on Bundy’s supposed ‘racial’ comments made and recorded during a church service.

“Those words were hateful and belong in the dustbin,” Horsford said. “They were spoken by a man who doesn’t understand the Black way of life.”

Horsford is himself Black.

Bundy, in an interview in the New York Times said “Negros are enslaved by government subsidy, who abort their children and put their young men in jail because they never learned how to pick cotton.”

Horsford said Bundys’ comments were shocking.

“This district is a microcosm of our diverse country, and he is not a man who represents the American West’s way of life,” Horsford said. “It is beyond unfortunate that from this diverse community a loud voice of intolerance has been given a megaphone.”

Meanwhile, authorities in the nearby town of Mesquite also released a statement addressing safety concerns.

“During the Bundy and Bureau of Land Management dispute, there were indeed a few criminal incidents that did take place in Mesquite,” Chief of Police Troy Tanner wrote, “however they were few in number and never was anyone or their safety at immediate risk.”

Tanner added, “None of the events that occurred between the BLM and the Bundys occurred in Mesquite, Nevada, but rather along a stretch of Highway 170 where the Bundy Ranch resides and is counted as a part of the Bunkerville area.”

Finally, in Washington, D.C., Capitol Police are investigating threatening statements made against Nevada’s senior Senator, Harry Reid. Police declined to give further comment on the threats.

However Reid told reporters: “Each day that goes by, it’s hard for me to comprehend how ugly, vile, vulgar, and threatening people are sending letters to my home, and making other threats. So I don’t know who is mad at me. But it’s a long list, I guess.”

As for the battle between states and the federal government, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott is accusing the BLM of overreaching as the agency updates its management plans for a 90,000-acre segment of land along the Texas-Oklahoma border.

“We are seeing unprecedented overreaching action by the federal government,” Abbott, who’s running for Texas governor. “Now we see, through the Bureau of Land Management, a hijacking of private property rights across the entire United States of America.”

One Pissed Off Politician

Last Tuesday, I posted on Facebook, “I asked Assemblywoman Michele Fiore AD 4 if she has changed her position on Cliven Bundy’s supposed ‘racial’ comments. Earlier she posted “I strongly disagree with Cliven Bundy’s comments about slavery,” before the full video of his statement was released, thus distancing herself from him. My question has been yanked from her FB page by her or someone affiliated with her. Hmm…”

A couple of hours later, when I checked her campaign page again, I was surprised to see my comment had reappeared. So I wrote a follow-up post on Facebook: “Well — dammit — I have to eat crow because while it was there, then wasn’t, my comment and question has reappeared on Assemblywoman Michele Fiore AD 4’s FB page. It makes me wonder if the digital gods of social media are playing games or something.”

It was embarrassing at first – but not now after I read the response she posted on my page: “You know whats (sic) really pathetic, as I work hard to fight an overreaching Federal Government I get critics like you who said I deleted their comments but yet are still there. Maybe this is why my peers and other electes (sic) don’t publicly stand up because as they fight for the people we get braniacs (sic) like yourself. If you don’t like my stand please do something yourself. First unfriend me. Good night.”

Ouch!

I never said she wasn’t fighting the ‘good fight’ against an overreaching federal government as I happen to agree with her position. But unfortunately, my original question remains unanswered – has Assemblywoman Michele Fiore changed her position on what Mr. Bundy said, now that the full weight of the video has been released?

A ‘yes or no’ would have sufficed.

Nevada’s Tangled Web of Wildlife and Land Management

Another battle over land use in Nevada appears to be on the horizon. This time it doesn’t involve the desert tortoise – but rather a chicken-sized game bird the federal government wants to place on the endangered species list.

The long-term survival of greater sage-grouse that lives in sagebrush throughout much of Northern and central Nevada could soon become the next big fight between ranchers and the federal government. The decision whether to name the grouse as an endangered species could harm economic activity across 11 Western states, including 17 million acres of Nevada.

The Nevada Agriculture Department reported in 2011 that cattle and calves were Nevada’s leading agricultural industry, totaling $732 million, or 62.5 percent of all farm receipts. The agency said there were 470,000 cattle and 29,000 dairy cows in Nevada in 2012.

The Nevada Department of Wildlife estimated grouse numbers in the state at 85,778 in 2012, while the 2013 number is 10 percent to 15 percent lower due primarily to drought conditions. Despite the declining populations, hunting is allowed in Nevada in areas with enough populations with the limited to late September and early October.

As part of the season, hunters provide the state Wildlife Department with a wing from each harvested bird, which has given the agency a database to help it in monitoring the birds. In 2010 — 7,355 birds were harvested out of an estimated fall population totaling 141,996.

The birds, about two feet tall and weigh as much as 7 pounds, occupy about 56 percent of their historical range in Nevada, which includes much of Northern Nevada and central Nevada. There are also populations along the Nevada-California border.

Nevada Senator Dean Heller said it would make the battle over Cliven Bundy’s cattle and his use of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management grazing lands pale by comparison.

“Wait till they list the sage-grouse,” he said. “I’ll tell you, every cattleman here knows that their life span, their occupation, is short. Wait till the sage-grouse comes.”

That showdown came to a temporary end after hundreds of Patriots and Minute Men arrived at the ranch in Bunkerville to support the Bundy family. Heller also said ranchers have seen the lands they can graze on reduced by half over the past 30 years.

Nevada’s Congressman Mark Amodei recently introduced a bill to make federal agencies fund their conservation efforts.

“The number one threat to sage hen habitat in Nevada is wild land fire,” Amodei said. “Yet the federal land management agencies, who own the vast majority of the habitat, have not prioritized funding needed to undertake the necessary work to conserve the resource and prevent the ESA listing.”

“Instead, they point fingers in an attempt to saddle state and private landowners with the responsibility for funding projects that are absolutely the responsibility of the federal government,” he added. “This is nothing short of extortion and sadly adds another chapter to the war on the West story.”

A decision on how to proceed must come by September 2015 as a result of a court-ordered settlement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and environmental groups.

Meanwhile, Senator Harry Reid claimed climate change has decimated the range with wildfires, which is why there is less grazing land available in Nevada. However, National Interagency Fire Center statistics show only 163,000 acres in Nevada were blackened in 2013, while two years before, 226,853 acres burned.

It was July 4th, 2013, when the ‘Bison Fire’ erupted in the Pine Mountains, south of Gardnerville. Now experts are saying the fire helped the grouse, by clearing the tree and opening the land to sage brush.

Furthermore, for years, the BLM knew about the need to thin the stands and applying a prescribed fire, but politics, policies and limited funding prevented that from happening.

“It needed to be done, but it was never able to be done,” Nevada Department of Wildlife biologist Carl Lackey told the Las Vegas Review Journal on July 21st. “Only recently has it started to happen, and only on a small scale.”

Lastly, newly appointed BLM director Neil Kornze is from Elko, Nevada. His father is the geologist who discovered major gold deposits near the which is now an open-pit mine operated by mining giant Barrick.

Kornze is a former senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He joined the BLM in 2011 and has been leading the agency as principal deputy director since March 2013.

He replaced acting director Mike Pool, who stepped in after Bob Abbey retired in May. But unlike other BLM directors, Kornze doesn’t have decades of natural resource experience, like Abbey who worked in various land management agencies for close to 30 years, as had his predecessor, Jim Caswell.

The BLM oversees more than 245 million acres of public lands nationwide, including 48 million acres in Nevada.