Banning American Indian Names in the U.S. Military

Recently the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office canceled the Washington Redskins trademarks on the claiming the name is “disparaging to Native Americans.” This effort was largely sparked by Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid.

His support of banning ‘Native American’ names from our general lexicon is leading to a new dilemma, this one over the use of such names in the U.S. military. In a Washington Post opinion piece last Thursday, Boston Review’s managing editor Simon Waxman lamented:

“In the United States today, the names Apache, Comanche, Chinook, Lakota, Cheyenne and Kiowa apply not only to Indian tribes but also to military helicopters. Add in the Black Hawk, named for a leader of the Sauk tribe. Then there is the Tomahawk, a low-altitude missile, and a drone named for an Indian chief, Gray Eagle. Operation Geronimo was the end of Osama bin Laden.”

“Why do we name our battles and weapons after people we have vanquished? For the same reason the Washington team is the Redskins and my hometown Red Sox go to Cleveland to play the Indians and to Atlanta to play the Braves: because the myth of the worthy native adversary is more palatable than the reality — the conquered tribes of this land were not rivals but victims, cheated and impossibly outgunned.”

“The destruction of the Indians was asymmetric war, compounded by deviousness in the name of imperialist manifest destiny. White America shot, imprisoned, lied, swindled, preached, bought, built and voted its way to domination. Identifying our powerful weapons and victorious campaigns with those we subjugated serves to lighten the burden of our guilt. It confuses violation with a fair fight.”

Time again, it’s been claimed that Harry Reid is an ardent supporter of our U.S. military.

“In my experience, no one has supported the military in Nevada more effectively than Senator Reid,” writes retired U.S. Air Force Colonel Harold Belote of ‘Veterans for Harry Reid.’

“I’m proud to stand with Harry Reid,” concludes Belote.

Really?

After seven U.S. Marines died last year during a night-time training exercise at the munitions depot in Hawthorne — the one he’s credited with saving — Reid decided he would use the tragedy to complain about sequestration.

“These men and women, our Marines were training there in Hawthorne,” Reid said from the Senate floor. “And with this sequester, it’s going to cut back. I just hope everyone understands the sacrifices made by our military. They are significant, being away from home, away from families, away from their country.”

That’s not support – that’s politicking. And since he started this politically correct mumbo-jumbo about ethnic slurs against American Indians, and he’s such a big fan of the military, Reid should ‘put up or shut up.’

SCOTUS Upholds Constitution in Three Cases

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled police may not search the cell phones of people they arrest without first getting a search warrant. The Obama administration and the states of California and Massachusetts , defending the cell phone searches, said cell phones should have no greater protection from a search than anything else police find.

In San Diego, police found indications of gang membership when they looked through defendant David Riley’s smart phone. Prosecutors used video and photographs found on the smart phone to persuade a jury to convict Riley of attempted murder and other charges.

California courts rejected Riley’s efforts to throw out the evidence and upheld the convictions, however the U.S. Supreme Court ordered the California’s high court to take a new look at Riley’s case.

In Boston, a federal appeals court ruled police must have a warrant before searching suspect’s cell phone. Police arrested Brima Wurie on suspicion of selling crack cocaine, checked the call log on his flip phone and used that information to find where he lived.

When they searched Wurie’s home, using a warrant, they found crack, marijuana, a gun and ammunition. The evidence was enough to produce a conviction and a prison term of more than 20 years.

The appeals court ruled for Wurie, but left in place his drug conviction for selling cocaine near a school that did not depend on the tainted evidence. That conviction also carried a 20-year sentence.

Because cell phones contain so much information, police must get a warrant before looking through them, Chief Justice John Roberts said.

“Modern cell phones are not just another technological convenience. With all they contain and all they may show, they hold for many Americans the privacies of life,” Roberts said.

The message to police about what they should do before rummaging through a cell phone’s contents following an arrest is simple.

“Get a warrant,” Roberts said.

The chief justice acknowledged that barring searches would affect law enforcement, but said: “Privacy comes at a cost.”

Authorities concerned about the destruction of evidence can take steps to prevent the remote erasure of a phone’s contents or the activation of encryption, Roberts said. One exception to the warrant requirement left open by the decision is a case in which officers reasonably fear for their safety or the lives of others.

Legal observers noted that the language in the court’s ruling could give new life to lawsuits claiming the NSA’s monitoring program violates the Fourth Amendment.

Last February, Senator Rand Paul asked a federal court to make the National Security Agency destroy the American phone records it has gathered as part of a data-mining program on the grounds that bulk collection violates the Fourth Amendment.

“We will ask the question in court whether a single warrant can apply to the records of every American phone user, all of the time, without limits, without individualization,” Paul told reporters outside the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The Supreme Court also delivered a blow to President Obama, ruling he went too far in making recess appointments to the National Labor Relations Board. The court sided with Senate Republicans and limited the president’s power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments.

It was the first-ever Supreme Court test involving the long-standing practice of presidents naming appointees when the Senate is on break. In this case, Obama had argued that the Senate was on an extended holiday break when he filled slots at the NLRB in 2012.

He argued the brief sessions it held every three days were a sham intended to prevent him from filling the seats. The justices rejected that argument, though, declaring the Senate was not actually in a formal recess when Obama acted during that three-day window.

Justice Stephen Breyer said in his majority opinion that a congressional break has to last at least 10 days to be considered a recess under the Constitution.

“Three days is too short a time to bring a recess within the scope of the Clause. Thus we conclude that the President lacked the power to make the recess appointments here at issue,” Breyer wrote.

At the same time, the court upheld the general authority of the president to make recess appointments.

Reacting to the Supreme Court decision, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the administration is “deeply disappointed” in the ruling.

He said that while the administration disagrees with the decision, it will honor it.

Finally, the high court struck down a Massachusetts law that set a 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics, saying it violates the First Amendment. Massachusetts had argued that the buffer zone, which anti-abortion protesters said violated their free speech rights, keeps patients and clinic staff safer.

“The buffer zones burden substantially more speech than necessary to achieve the Commonwealth’s asserted interests,” Roberts wrote on behalf of the court.

The immediate impact of the decision will be on Massachusetts, but advocates expect that similar fixed-distance buffer zones in other states, including one now being challenged in Maine, will be next. The Supreme Court stopped short of declaring that the law discriminated against the anti-abortion viewpoint.

A decision is expected next week in another case about access to reproductive health — Hobby Lobby versus Sebelius, taking aim at contraceptive coverage under Obamacare.

Patricia Steele-Bettega, 1961-2014

Patricia Steele-Bettega passed away Friday, June 13, 2014. Better known to her friends and family as Patsy, she was born January 9th, 1961, in Santa Rosa, California.

She went to school at Margaret Keating School, Crescent Elk Middle School and Del Norte High School. Patsy was a member of the Lytton Band of Pomo Indians.

We went to school together in Klamath at Margaret Keating. Later, she and I attended the same fifth period worthless math class at Del Norte High in Crescent City.

Somehow, I let her talk me out of a scorpion choker I had bought in San Francisco – which she never gave back. She called my bluff, punching me in the nose when I tried to grab it back from her.

Patsy was tough like that and though short in height, no one messed with her. The memory makes me chuckle, now, but at the time Mr. Sveum chased me out of the classroom because I was bleeding all over the floor.

Patsy’s husband, Edwin Bettega Jr. passed away before she did as did her father, Daniel and sisters, Nadine and Sandra. She is however survived by her daughter, Natasha and son Edwin, her mother, Carol and brothers, Bert and Randy.

She was laid to rest June 19th at the IOOF Memorial Cemetery in Crescent City, California.

 

How the GOP Beat the Tea Party in Mississippi

A poll conducted by WPA Research, between June 9th to June 10th, showed Mississippi state Senator Chris McDaniel up eight-points, outside the margin of error of 4.4 percent, over Senator Thad Cochran a little less than a week from Tuesday’s runoff election.

The poll of 500 likely GOP primary runoff voters had McDaniel leading Cochran 49 percent to 41 percent, with 10 percent undecided. However, that’s not how it turned out.

McDaniel lost the runoff to Cochran, which showed the incumbent winning 50.8 percent of the vote to McDaniel’s 49.2 percent. This after, Cochran’s openly courted non-GOP voters, including the state’s sizable Black Democratic population.

Cochran also got a last-minute influx of financial support from Republican establishment groups and fellow senators like Nevada’s Dean Heller. Other senators who tossed money in the hat for Cochran included Cochran’s Mississippi colleague Senator Roger Wicker and Senators Lisa Murkowski, Rob Portman, Lamar Alexander, Orrin Hatch, Chuck Grassley, John Barrasso, John Thune, John Cornyn, Bob Corker, Susan Collins, Kelly Ayotte , Richard Shelby, and Mitch McConnell.

Also, gun-hater and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $250,000 to the pro-Thad Cochran super PAC “Mississippi Conservatives” in late May, Federal Election Commission filings show. In another case, it secured a $100,000 check from Silicon Valley billionaire Sean Parker, whose donations show an overwhelming Democrat tilt.

Cochran made the argument to voters he was a solid conservative who would continue routing federal money back to Mississippi, just as he’s done for decades. Promising to keep bringing federal dollars to Mississippi, the senator’s campaign worked to appeal to voters outside the typical GOP electorate, including Democratic black voters.

In a piece by CNN, a trio of self-identified Democrats admitted that they voted for Cochran in the primary.

By CNN’s count, about 61,000 more people voted Tuesday than in the primary two weeks ago. Cochran’s backers turned to Democrats, especially Blacks, who make up 37 percent of the state’s population.

In Mississippi, any resident can vote in a party’s primary. But some observers have noted that it could be illegal for Democrats to vote in the Republican primary — or more precisely, Mississippi state law prohibits voters from participating in a party’s primary if they don’t intend to support that party’s candidates in the general election.

Legal decisions have rendered that rule effectively unenforceable.

Furthermore a flyer, posted by journalist Charles Johnson suggests McDaniel and the Tea Party wanted to prevent blacks from voting in the Mississippi runoff election. Cochran’s critics allege the longtime senator’s campaign was behind the flyers.

As for McDaniel, he has refused to concede the race even after it was called for Cochran.

The IRS Scandal Continues to Grow and Grow

Even as Congressman Paul Ryan ripped into IRS Commissioner John Koskinen during an appearance before Congress last Friday, for not being forthcoming, the Commissioner failed to mention how the agency used the services of an email archiving company even after former IRS official Lois Lerner’s computer crashed.

Lerner’s computer supposedly crashed in June 2011, but it was not until the end of August 2011 that the agency nixed its contract with email archiving company Sonasoft. The missing emails in question are from January 2009 to April 2011, which is well within the time frame Sonasoft was employed.

Then during Monday night hearing, Congressman Trey Gowdy lowered the boom on Koskinen asking about the “spoliation of evidence,” a legal phrase meaning the jury can draw a negative inference if a party fails to preserve evidence that could be damaging.

Backed into a corner, Koskinen deflected by asking, “Is this a trial? Is this a jury?”

“If you want to go down that road, I’ll be happy to go down that road with you, Commissioner,” Gowdy exclaimed. “In fact, I’m glad you mentioned it. You have already said multiple times today that there was no evidence that you found of any criminal wrongdoing. I want you to tell me what criminal statutes you’ve evaluated.”

“I have not looked at any,” Koskinen replied.

“Well then how can you possibly tell our fellow citizens that there’s not criminal wrongdoing if you don’t even know what statutes to look at?” asked Gowdy.

“Because I’ve seen no evidence that somebody consciously…” Koskinen started but was cut-off.

“Common sense? Instead of the criminal code, you want to rely on common sense?” Gowdy asked.

Koskinen is a 1964 graduate of Yale University School of Law, most recently serving as the Non-Executive Chairman of Freddie Mac from September 2008 to December 2011. He has shelled out nearly $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups since 1979.

During the same meeting, Congressman Darrell Issa also wasted no time going after Koskinen. The chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee pressed Koskinen about why all Lerner’s emails weren’t backed up on the server – but kept on the C-drive of her computer.

“All emails are not official records under any official records act,” Koskinen said, seeming to contradict IRS rules that require printing all emails and a backup of all systems.

Koskinen then blamed a budget shortfall, saying it would cost $30 million to overhaul the backup systems.

That’s a drop in the bucket for the IRS’s $1.8 billion IT budget, Issa pointed out.

“On $1.8 billion, isn’t the retention of key documents that the American people need to count on, like whether or not they’re being honestly treated by your employees?” Issa asked. “Isn’t that, in fact, a priority that should’ve allowed for full retention?”

Issa, frustrated with Koskinen’s refusal to directly answer his questions, finally snapped, “My time has expired and I’ve lost my patience with you.”

Under questioning from Congressman Jason Chaffetz, Koskinen said that the IRS made no effort to recover Lerner’s email archive from the six month backups after her initial computer problems in June of 2011.

“My understanding is that the backup of emails only lasted for six months, that’s correct?” Chaffetz asked.

“Yes,” answered Koskinen, “it’s actually a disaster recovery system and it backs up for six months in case the entire system goes down.
Chaffetz then asked, “And that was in place in 2011?”

“That was the rule in 2011,” Koskinen replied. He quickly corrected himself saying,” Policy.”

“So when Lois Lerner figured out on June 13th that her computer crashed, and there have been emails showing that she was going to great lengths to try to get that recovered, why didn’t they just go to that six month tape?” continued Chaffetz.

“Because that six month tape is a disaster recovery tape that has all of the emails on it and is a very complicated tape to actually extract emails for, but I have not seen any emails to explain why they didn’t do it, so it would be difficult, but I don’t know why,” answered Koskinen.

“But you said the IRS was going to extraordinary lengths to give it to the recovery team, correct?” Chaffetz reminded Koskinen.

Koskinen answered, “That’s correct.”

“But it’s backed up on tape,” Chaffetz stated.

“For six months,” Koskinen responded, “yes.”

“And that was within the six month window, so why didn’t you get them off the backup?” Chaffetz redirected.

“All I know about that is that the backup tapes are disaster recovery tapes that put everything in one lump and extracting individual emails out of that is very costly and difficult. And that was not the policy at the time,” claimed Koskinen.

Chaffetz questioned, “Did anybody try?”

“I have no idea or indication that they did,” Korkinen said.

“So you have multiple emails showing she was trying to recover this, it’s the testimony of the IRS that they were trying desperately, in fact you got a forensic team to try to extract this, you went to great lengths, you made a big point over the last week about all the efforts you’re going through, but they were backed up on tape, and you didn’t do it?” asked Chaffetz.

Korkinen answered, “As far as I know they did not, but they did have, as I noted, the emails, she had three months worth of emails at that time.”

Now it appears the IRS violated federal record-keeping laws. This after the IRS failed to notify the National Archives of the computer crash that reportedly wiped out the emails in question.

The Oversight and Government Reform Committee heard testimony from United States National Archives and Records Administration archivist David Ferriero on Tuesday, who said he did not learn of the missing emails until the IRS sent a letter about them this month to Senators Ron Wyden and Orrin Hatch.

“They are required, any agency is required, to notify us when they realize they have a problem that could be destruction or disposal, unauthorized disposal,” said Ferriero.

“They did not follow the law,” he added, after being pressed by GOP lawmakers.

The White House dismissed the charges that Koskinen erred by not informing Congress in April, when he first learned of the lost emails.

“What would Congress have done if they’d known about this in April or May, or whenever the commissioner first learned about it?” White House press secretary Josh Earnest challenged reporters.

Reno Fire Faces Public Relations Blaze

Washoe County District Judge Lidia Stiglich has issued a preliminary injunction to stop the layoff of 32 Reno Firefighters. While it’s not a final decision, but an effort “to preserve the status quo” until a decision is reached, the Judge wrote because the labor dispute is being heard before the Nevada Employee-Management Relations Board, it is not clear how it will end.

However, Stiglich did write that if the dispute does end in the favor of the firefighters union, the firefighters will “suffer irreparable harm” because simply paying back pay owed to the then firefighters would not be full compensation because of emotional damages, stress and loss of health care. She also ordered the Fire Fighter’s Union to post a $10,000 bond that would go to the city to repay the cost of the firefighter’s salaries if the union loses the case.

The City of Reno issued the following press release:

“While we respect the judge’s decision, we are disappointed that we will be forced to continue to use the City’s limited financial resources on legal services relating to this matter, instead of using those resources to provide services to the community,” City Manager Andrew Clinger says. “We will now focus our efforts on discussing our legal, operational, and financial options with City Council.”

The loss of $11 million in federal funds from FEMA is going to affect the Reno Fire Department. More than 30 firefighters may be laid off effective July 1st.

City leaders said they had planned for this potential loss of funding as they begin a new budgeting cycle.

“We have a plan that minimizes the impact to the citizens of Reno and still supports our council’s priority of safe and livable neighborhoods,” said Clinger.

Clinger said they are looking to see if any positions can be saved. In the meantime, he said the city will do everything it can to help the firefighters who will be impacted.

The timing of the layoffs, which come just five days after a new fire station the opening of a new fire station in Damonte Ranch. The planning for the new station began around 2005.

Reno City Councilman Dwight Dortch continues to speak out against Reno Fire Fighters Association, I.A.F.F, Local 731. He said he’s worried about the city being able to move forward, due to “the unsustainability of these contracts.”

Dortch said the union should be making concessions to save jobs, but is instead asking for raises.

“They’ve come back and now they’ve asked for an eight-percent raise,” Dortch explained. “So they’ve come to the table, instead of going in the other direction saying, ‘hey, we want to save firefighters,’ they’ve come back to us and said, ‘no, I want an eight-percent raise,’ which is going to cost us another 15 firefighters.”

The Reno Fire Fighters Association responded to Dortch’s remarks by calling for a “…change at the Reno City Council.”

“In bad faith, Dortch selectively took numbers and percentages out of context from an ongoing negotiations process in an attempt to place blame on firefighters for layoffs and for the City’s financial position,” the association’s statement reads.

Meanwhile, City officials hope to negotiate alterations to a policy where Reno firefighters can work with a blood alcohol content level of .08, and can be under the influence of marijuana, amphetamines and cocaine.

Clinger said the change is a high priority.

“Myself and anybody else who looks at it will say this is crazy, we should have a zero tolerance and we don’t disagree. It is something that we have to negotiate with the unions at this point, unfortunately.”

Clinger said it is too early to know if fire officials and union representatives will cooperate with the potential changes. Regardless, the city manager does not want the public to think firefighters are working drunk and high just because the policy exists.
“We train our employees to recognize the signs of impairment, and they are empowered to see someone that is impaired and act on that,” said Clinger.

The policy was negotiated between fire unions and the city in 2002.

“Obviously, we want to be reasonable with our employees,” said Clinger. “At the same time to have any sort of tolerance for alcohol and drugs, in my opinion, doesn’t make any sense.”

Reno Fire Chief Michael Hernandez says, “If a co-worker or a front line supervisor suspects that one of his employees or one of his team members may be under the influence, he picks up the phone, he initiates the process, we get that person tested and it’s either positive or negative.”

In his four and a half years as chief of Reno Fire, Hernandez said he has only utilized the policy three times. He also says if an employee is in violation of the policy, they want it reported.

And if that wasn’t enough, a new policy within the RFD could be risking lives. The new policy in question has created new criteria for whether or not Reno Fire personnel will assist REMSA or other agencies with lifting patients.

It all relates to a man found to be in medical distress in Lemmon Valley on June 17th.

A Reno Police Department incident report laid out how police had to ask a local business for help, while the fire department reused to assist. The report says officers asked a n hardware store if they had a forklift that could help, but unfortunately it wasn’t available.

It began just before four in the afternoon when RPD officers were investigating a suspicious vehicle. They found a man found in a boat attached to a nearby truck, was unable to move because of severe back pain.

When REMSA arrived it was decided because the boat’s edge was more than six feet off the ground, it was too dangerous to try and move the 6-foot tall 300-pound patient from the vessel to the ambulance without additional manpower. That additional manpower was asked for from the Reno Fire Department.

RPD also called RFD for help and nearly 30 minutes later RFD still wasn’t on scene. That’s because RFD cancelled their response, requesting REMSA’s bariatric to unit respond.

Police waited for RFD and when no one showed up, officers once again reached out to the department. Nearly 45-minutes from the initial call, a Reno Fire Battalion Chief showed up to assess the situation.

He decided his crews were not going to help and told officers that the department would not call any other fire departments to help either. So after more than an hour-and-a-half after the RPD arrived on scene and called for assistance, the patient was moved into the ambulance by REMSA and police officers.

REMSA said the Reno Fire Battalion Chief was also taking pictures of the incident because he thought it was “funny” to see police officers trying to move the man.

City officials said it is not acceptable.

“Our response to that was totally unacceptable and we’ve taken immediate action to correct that,” said Clinger. “In fact, Chief Hernandez sent out a memo last week to correct that we’ve already had meetings with REMSA, and we have another meeting with REMSA to make sure we have a clear understanding and they have a clear understanding of the protocol we’re going to use to respond. It depends on the medical need of the patient and what kind of condition the patient is in.”

Hernandez said the Lemmon Valley incident is under investigation. He also said the new lift-assist criteria were sent out in a memorandum about 45 days ago to all dispatchers in the area and directly to REMSA officials.

The patient was ultimately diagnosed with severe pulmonary edema, where fluids fill the lungs. He remained in the hospital five days after the incident.

Obama’s Manufactured Humanitarian Crisis

A federal judge says putting fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border may be discriminatory. The 2006 federal law orders the construction of fencing or a wall along the most vulnerable portions of the nearly 2,000-mile southern border.

Judge Beryl Howell was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia by President Barack Obama in 2010.

“Revealing the identities of landowners in the wall’s planned construction site may shed light on the impact on indigenous communities, the disparate impact on lower-income minority communities, and the practices of private contractors,” Howell wrote.

This is just the latest controversy over the border fence since Congress approved it in 2006.

Since then, the mayors of several Texas border towns have blocked federal access to the construction areas, an Indian tribe in the Arizona claimed the feds were intruding on tribal land and government scientists complained the fence would threaten the black bear population. Then last summer Mexican officials expressed outrage over the fencing effort, calling it a human rights violation.

A number of government reports over the years confirm it’s not just Mexicans crossing into the U.S. seeking a better life.

In 2010 the DHS warned law enforcement agencies along the border that Al Qaeda terrorists were planning to slip into the U.S. through Mexico. The same year a federal agent accused the administration of covering up the threat created by Middle Eastern terrorists entering the country through the Mexican border.

Violent crime in the region has also been documented with heavily armed Mexican drug cartels taking over areas serving as routes to move cargo north.

A recent State Department report exposed a “dramatic increase in violence” along the Mexican border and warned of “violent attacks and persistent security concerns” in the area. The document also lists tens of thousands of narcotics-related murders attributed to drug cartels competing with each other for trafficking routes into the U.S.

Meanwhile members of MS-13, some as young as 14, are crossing the border and being set free on U.S. soil.

The underage gang members are exploiting a loop-hole in the system, crossing with large groups and using their age to their advantage. Currently, the U.S. Border Patrol has no way of checking immigrants’ criminal backgrounds in their home country.

As this happens, a remote section of the U.S.-Mexico border near the Anzalduas International Bridge is being restricted to reporters by the U.S. Border Patrol, citing safety concerns. This as about 300 illegal aliens surrendered themselves to U.S. Border Patrol agents near the bridge, easily eclipsing the daily average of about 75 who surrender every day.

Then there is an ad which ran in January: “U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), has a continuing and mission critical responsibility for accepting custody of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from U.S. Border Patrol and other Federal agencies and transporting these juveniles to Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) shelters located throughout the continental United States.”

“Transport will be required for either category of UAC or individual juveniles, to include both male and female juveniles. There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total: 25% local ground transport, 25% via ICE charter and 50% via commercial air,” reads the ad in part.

“Escort services include, but are not limited to, assisting with: transferring physical custody of UAC from DHS to Health and Human Services (HHS) care via ground or air methods of transportation (charter or commercial carrier)…” it states.

It raises two questions: How did the Obama administration know six-months in advance that waves of UAC’s were on their way to the U.S. and why the reference to the Office of Refugee Resettlement?

First, it helps to know what their mission statement reads: “The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) provides new populations with opportunities to maximize their potential in the United States, linking people in need to critical resources to assist them in becoming integrated members of American society.”

It appears the administration orchestrated the incursion of UAC’s and other illegal aliens and has it no intention of sending them back to where they came from.

Harry Reid’s Money Woes

Senator Harry Reid is fixated with the Koch brothers. It’s hard to describe the nonstop onslaught against the billionaire brothers especially when he goes on tirades like this:

“The Koch brothers and other moneyed interests are influencing the politics in a way not seen for generations. Republican senators have come to the floor to defend the Koch brothers’ attempt to buy our democracy,” he said while on the Senate floor. “Once again, Republicans are all in to protect their billionaire friends.”

“Not only have Senate Republicans come to the floor to defend the Koch brothers personally, they have again and again defended the Koch brothers’ radical agenda – and it is radical, at least from the middle-class perspective,” he added.

To hear him talk — billionaires are some real bad guys.

“But what else should we expect?” Reid complained in yet another rant from the Senate floor. “The decisions by the Supreme Court have left the American people with a status quo in which one side’s billionaires are pitted against the other side’s billionaires. Except one side doesn’t have billionaires.”

But when you look at Senate Majority PAC and the Democrats taking their money, it’s hard to miss the billionaires on the list.

Michael Bloomberg is the largest donor to the Senate Majority PAC. The list of donors also includes billionaires Jon Stryker, Steven Spielberg, Dirk Ziff and not-quite-billionaire donors like Jeffrey Katzenberg and the Weinstein Company.

Senator Mary Landrieu, whose campaign has been blasting the Koch brothers, got money from billionaire, Eli Broad. Senator Kay Hagan’s campaign complains about the billionaire Koch brothers but she took money directly from television mogul Haim Saban.

Then there’s Senator Mark Pryor, who decries the billionaire Koch Brothers, then accepts cash from Charles Ergen. Also guilty is Senator Mark Udall, who is upset about billionaire money but has his own billionaire donors – George Soros and Leonard Lauder.

But this isn’t the only money problem Reid appears to be having trouble with.

In a blow to get Congress’ budget back on track, Reid yanked a $180 billion spending measure. The move came after Republicans protested a plan that would have denied them the chance to more easily win changes to the measure.

Reid was also a force in canceling committee consideration of a separate energy and water projects spending bill. He did this after realizing he didn’t have enough votes to win changes to government rules on carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants.

But then again, Reid has more important matters of state to deal with than budgets and campaign finances. He has to ensure the political correctness of the nations.

Reid — a vocal opponent of the Washington Redskins name — took to the floor to continue slamming the team’s owner following the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to cancel the team’s trademarks.

“The Redskins no longer have trademarks. They are gone,” the Nevada Democrat said. “Daniel Snyder may be the last person in the world to realize this, but it’s just a matter of time until he is forced to do the right thing and change the name.”

“And so, as I understand the law, if the presiding officer wants to use the name Redskins to sell some shirts, you can do that,” he added.

Reid, again calling the team’s name racist noted there are 27 Native American tribes in his state and added that the issue was “extremely important” to the Native American population across the country.

He stated, “The name will change and justice will be done for the tribes in Nevada and across the nation.”

So it shouldn’t be any surprise when one discovers what else is going one besides Reid’s ‘anti-Redskin’ harangue.

Two bills submitted by Reid would transfer almost 93,000 acres of federal land into trust for seven northern Nevada tribes stretching from Elko to the Reno area. One of those bills would also expand the Moapa Paiute reservation in Nevada’s Clark County by 26,000 acres.

The additional land would mean a great deal to the tribe’s 320 members, including many who live on the reservation about 30 miles north of Las Vegas. In recent years, the tribe has pursued development of renewable energy on its land, aiding an ambition Reid has had to make Nevada a major player in solar and wind energy generation.

In March, the tribe broke ground on a 250-megawatt plant billed as the first utility-scale solar project approved on tribal land. The project, it’s claimed can generate electricity to feed 93,000 homes by the end of 2015.

In May, federal officials cleared the way for a new 200-megawatt photo-voltaic array to be built on those same tribal lands with the backing of NV Energy. The facility is expected to generate enough electricity for about 60,000 homes.

Incidentally, the solar project is about 35 miles from Cliven Bundy’s Nevada homestead in Bunkerville. Reid caught flak earlier this after it was learned the land Bundy has been grazing his cattle on for years, was also same on which Reid sought to have ENN Energy Group, a Chinese energy company, build a $5 billion solar panel plant.

For Reid – it’s all about the money.

Just this week, Reid sold the rights to a number of Nevada mines he holds interest in, pulling in $1.7 million. The rights he sold were worth between $200,000 and $415,000 in 1995 and by 2012; those rights were worth between $315,000 and $900,000.

While there is nothing wrong with Reid sale of mineral rights, it should be noted that all four of Reid’s sons, Rory, Leif, Josh, and Key, have worked for Lionel Sawyer & Collins, which represents a number of the Nevada’s mining companies. Furthermore, Reid’s daughter Lana is married to Washington, D.C., lobbyist Steven Barringer, who has represented the National Mining Association as well as nine other mining companies.

Nevada’s 192nd First All-Female Flight Crew


U.S. Air Force Staff Sergeant Melinda Mier of the 152nd Airlift Wing Public Affairs in Reno, Nevada released a picture taken Saturday, June 21, 2014, marking the first mission flown by the 192nd Airlift Squadron, with an all-female flight crew. From left to right are Lieutenant Stephenson, Staff Sergeant Morales, Major Moynihan, Captain Magee, Master Sergeant Backlund, Technical Sergeant Cronin.

Johnny Jones, 1938-2014

Johnny Jones passed away peacefully in his sleep June 15, 2014. He was born September 20, 1938 and raised in Chico, California, the oldest son of Albert and Marie (Palmer) Jones.

Johnny went to work for the California Division of Forestry (now Cal Fire) after high school in 1956. He met and married Corliss Purse in April of 1958, moving to El Dorado County where they lived in Auburn and Coloma and started a family.

The family then moved to Amador County, where they lived in Jackson and River Pines. In 1966, Johnny quit the CDF and partnered with a friend in a trucking partnership, working in the woods before applying for the CHP Academy.

He graduated from the Academy in April of 1967 and was assigned to the Crescent City office, so he moved his young family to Del Norte County.  Johnny retired from the CHP in September of 1993.

He tried commercial fishing for a couple of years and was the morning bartender at the Turf Club for several years.  A bout with cancer in 2003 slowed him down but didn’t stop him from spending time as a volunteer at the VFW canteen and in the kitchen on dinner nights.

Johnny’s survived by his wife Corliss, daughter Cori Renfro; Connie Ricks; sons John, Jim, Brian and Darin. He was preceded in death by his parents, granddaughters Sarah Jones and Tawny Renfro, and sister Joy Williams.

The Debate over WMD’s in Iraq Continues

Fox News’ Megyn Kelly confronted former Vice President Dick Cheney after he and his daughter, Liz, published an op-ed blasting President Barack Obama over his handling of Iraq. The pair wrote in The Wall Street Journal that “rarely” has a president ever been “so wrong about so much at the expense of so many.”

Kelly proceeded to list some of Cheney’s claims and pronouncements from his time at the White House that included: Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction, U.S. soldiers would be “greeted as liberators,” the insurgency was “in its last throes” in 2005, and extremists would have to “rethink their strategy of jihad” after the U.S. intervention.

Kelly said, “But time and time again, history has proven that you got it wrong as well, sir.”

“Now, with almost 1 trillion dollars spent there, with 4,500 American lives lost there, what do you say to those who say you were so wrong about so much at the expense of so many?” Kelly questioned.

Cheney defended the Bush administration’s actions in Iraq.

“Well, I just fundamentally disagree…,” Cheney said. “You’ve got to go back and look at the track record. We inherited a situation where there was no doubt in anybody’s mind about the extent of Saddam’s involvement in weapons of mass destruction. We had a situation where, after 9/11, we were concerned about a follow-up attack. It would involve not just airline tickets and box cutters as the weapons but rather something far deadlier, perhaps even a nuclear weapon.”

Kelly pointed to a response to the op-ed from The Washington Post’s Paul Waldman, who wrote there hasn’t been a “single person” who has been “more wrong and shamelessly dishonest” on Iraq than Cheney.

“The suggestion, then, is that you caused this mess, Mr. Vice President,” Kelly said. “What say you?”

“Well, obviously I disagree,” Cheney said. “I think we went into Iraq for very good reasons.”

Their op-ed also sparked a dismissal from the White House.

“Which president was he talking about?” the outgoing WH Spokesman Jay Carney deadpanned during his final White House briefing.

“Look, it’s obviously always good to hear from former Vice President Cheney,” Carney added. “It’s pretty clear that President Obama and our team here have distinctly different views on Iraq from the team that led the United States to invade Iraq back in 2003.”

Now the UK’s Telegraph reports that Islamic State of Iraq and Syria extremists in Iraq have taken control of what was once Saddam Hussein’s chemical-weapons production facility, which still has a stockpile of old weapons. The weapons at the Al Muthanna complex are contaminated and hard to move, a U.S. official said.

Nonetheless, the capture of the stockpile by the forces of the ISIS has grabbed the attention of the U.S.

“We remain concerned about the seizure of any military site…,” Jen Psaki, a State Department spokeswoman, wrote in a statement. “We do not believe that the complex contains CW materials of military value and it would be very difficult, if not impossible, to safely move the materials.”

During the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, Hussein used the Muthanna complex to make chemical weapons, including sarin, mustard gas, and the nerve agent VX, according the Iraq Study Group, which conducted the hunt for weapons of mass destruction in the aftermath of the war.

“Two wars, sanctions and Unscom oversight reduced Iraqi’s premier production facility to a stockpile of old damaged and contaminated chemical munitions (sealed in bunkers), a wasteland full of destroyed chemical munitions, razed structures, and unusable war-ravaged facilities,” the ISG’s 2004 report concluded.

U.S. officials repeatedly emphasized the takeover of the chemical weapons stocks do not mean a significant military gain by ISIS.

“The only people who would likely be harmed by these chemical materials would be the people who tried to use or move them,” said a military official.

As CBS News’ Rebecca Kaplan’s most recent articles’ headline opines: “Who got it wrong on Iraq? Depends on who you ask.”

Jules Legier, 1930 – 2014

Jules Legier passed away June 14, 2014.  He was my civics teacher in high school in 1977.

He had lived in Del Norte County from 1959 to 2012 before moving to Eureka. His family roots were in Humboldt County, where he was born December 20, 1930, especially the community of Pepperwood.

After serving four years in the U.S. Air Force, Jules attended Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. His teaching career led him to Del Norte High School, where he taught history, civics and economics.

From a March 1971 article in the Eureka Times-Standard, by Andrew Genzoli:

“At Del Norte High School, I met Jules Legier, civics and social studies teacher, who has adopted Indian studies as a lively thing in his classes.  Jules has roots which go back to the Mattole Indian tribe.  He is a handsome, quick-witted individual, with a full measure of good humor. He is deeply steeped in the ways of education and in Indian history.  In his educational pioneering, he finds all phases of Indian lore compatible to the school’s programming.”

He’s survived by his wife, Evelyn, son Tyge, daughter Tressa, and grandson Travis.

The Weakness of the U.S. Power Grid

Last Tuesday, the country of Yemen suffered a total blackout after al-Qaeda sabotaged key power lines in the eastern province of Marib. The power lines were attacked twice the day before.

The attack brings to mind on in which several transformers were knocked out using an AK-47. That incident may be tied to a larger operation.

It was April 15th, 2013 when two radical Islamist brothers set off two bombs near the finish line at the Boston Marathon.

Three people died and 264 were injured.

They later killed an MIT police officer in a separate incident. The media focused closely on these events and the ensuing manhunt.

But the media missed the terrorist attack that happened the next day on the other side of the country in California. And until recently, this attack has been kept secret.

On the evening of April 16th, 2013, a group of men attacked the power grid in San Jose. Video of the attack exists but anti-terrorism experts haven’t been able to identify the individuals or the group they belonged to and they’ve never been caught.

Experts say the attack, which included well-trained snipers shooting at and disabling transformers, may have been a test run for a bigger attack. During the course of the twenty-minute attack about 150 shots were fired.

Authorities said someone lifted tow heavy manhole covers along the Monterey Highway south of San Jose, climbed under the road, and cut AT&T fiber optic cables, temporarily knocking out 9-1-1 and regular phone service. About 15 minutes later, someone fired a high-powered rifle into a nearby PG&E substation, damaging the transformers and causing an oil leak.

This is not an isolated event, however.

In 2007, a worker driving into the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station 50 miles west of Phoenix was stopped at a checkpoint leading to the reactors, where security found a 5-inch pipe packed with firework explosives. The discovery sent the facility into a nearly seven-hour lockdown while security teams searched for additional explosives.

More than 3,000 people are employed at the plant, including several hundred contract workers brought in to help with upgrades on one of the three nuclear reactors, which make Palo Verde the largest power plant in the United States.

Two of the three reactors at Palo Verde were not in operation.

One was in a refueling stage and another was scheduled to return to the power grid the day following the discovery of the pipe bomb. The third reactor was fully operational.

At the time, authorities said the incident did not seem to be an act of terrorism.

Last month, The Department of Homeland Security reported that a U.S. public utility was the target of a cyber-attack, which compromised its control system network. DHS did not identify the utility in its report.

The agency did say hackers launched the attack through an Internet portal that enabled workers to reach the utility’s control systems. It said the system used a simple password mechanism that could be compromised using a technique known as “brute forcing,” where hackers digitally force their way in by trying various password combinations.

DHS also reported another hacking incident involving a control system server connected to “a mechanical device.” The agency provided few details about that case, except to say the attacker had access over an extended period, though no attempts were made to manipulate the system.

Currently, the FBI is investigating whether a makeshift bomb placed next to a 50,000-gallon diesel tank at a Nogales, Arizona power station last week has any connection to a suspicious incident this year at another substation owned by the same company. The plant is owned by UniSource Energy Services, a subsidiary of UNS Energy, which is also the parent company of Tucson Electric Power.

The attack caused minor damage and no injuries. Contrary to initial accounts, the bomb was placed under the valve of the diesel tank and ignited, charring the steel tank, but failed to explode.

The Valencia Generating Station is a small “peaking” facility, used only during the hottest hours of summer or the coldest hours of winter, when electricity demand spikes. The adjacent substation, however, is important for balancing the regional power supply.

Police said they believe the saboteurs got into the substation sometime Tuesday evening, when maintenance workers locked it and left, and Wednesday morning, when workers returned to check the plant.

The following day, law-enforcement officials said the FBI was looking at past suspicious incidents in the area, including one near Sahuarita, north of Nogales. In that incident, someone was reported to be trying to cut power lines.

Last year DHS responded to 256 cyber incident reports, more than half of them in the energy sector.

The New Progressive Target: Veterans

In 2009 the Department of Homeland Security through its Office of Intelligence and Analysis published a report titled “Rightwing Extremism.” The report states that ultra conservatives form that biggest threat to the security and safety to the United States since the rise of al-Qaida.

Then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano expressed the fear that soldiers returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan would be recruited by “right wing terrorist groups.”

Brandon Raub was arrested August 16th, 2012 for posting “controversial song lyrics, conspiracy theories related to 9/11 and talk of upcoming revolution,” on Facebook. He was taken to a mental health institution and admitted for Oppositional Defiance Disorder, a term that the government uses to brand those who disagree with the way government is being run, as being insane.

Raub says two FBI agents came to his door and they spoke to for several minutes.

“They said they were there just to talk,” he said. “In the beginning it was very vague. It was almost as if they wanted me to volunteer information, which I was very happy to do.”

The subject of Raub’s Facebook page came up and a secret service agent asked him to step outside. In total, they spoke for 10-15 minutes before he was eventually taken into custody.

“It was almost as though they had come with that purpose from the beginning,” he said.

Raub was never read his Miranda rights, held at John Randolph Hospital in Hopewell and later transferred to Salem. Three days later, Circuit Court Judge Allan Sharratt ordered Raub released, stating the prosecution was “so devoid of any factual allegations that it could not be reasonably expected to give rise to a case or controversy.”

On February 28th of this year, a judge dismissed his lawsuit.

His lawsuit blamed county mental health worker Michael Campbell for his detention. U.S. District Judge Henry Hudson ruled Friday that Campbell acted reasonably in recommending Raub be held for evaluation.

Raub claimed the weeklong detention violated the prohibition against unreasonable search and seizure as well as his free-speech rights.
Hudson scoffed at Raub’s assertion that officials had conspired to suppress dissident speech.

“Given the collective information presented to (the psychiatric evaluator) and the results of his interview with Raub, (the evaluator’s ) decision as a mental health evaluator to seek a temporary detention order was objectively reasonable, irrespective of Raub’s political beliefs.” Hudson wrote.

“Raub’s assertion that Campbell, in league with the Chesterfield County Police Department and the FBI, was involved in a conspiracy to suppress dissident speech is unsupported by the evidence—and frankly, far-fetched.”

“What may sound far-fetched to the courts is a grim reality to Americans who are daily being targeted for daring to exercise their constitutional rights to speak their minds, worship as they please, criticize the government, defend themselves and their families against over-reaching government surveillance and heavy-handed police tactics,” said John W. Whitehead, president and lead attorney for the Rutherford Institute.

“Ultimately, Brandon Raub’s case tests our tolerance for free speech and those dissidents who keep the First Amendment relevant, because if we cannot proclaim our feelings about the government, no matter how controversial — on our clothing or to passersby, or to the users of the worldwide web — then the First Amendment really has become an exercise in futility,” added Rutherford.

“In a hearing on Aug. 20, government officials pointed to Raub’s Facebook posts as the reason for his incarceration,” Rutherford concluded. “While Raub stated that the Facebook posts were being read out of context, a special justice ordered Raub be held up to 30 more days for psychological evaluation and treatment.”

This is part of a DHS directive called “Operation Vigilant Eagle,” a directive for scrutinizing the behavior of veterans for anything nonconformist as a means of weeding out dissent. The program claims to be trying to help veterans who are “disgruntled, disillusioned or suffering from the psychological effects of war.”

However, critics have noted that the criteria is overly broad and seems to target right-wing thought as a dangerous behavior worthy of institutionalization where veterans can become re-educated.

In 2012, San Francisco Examiner’s Anthony Martin reported on the crisis:

“Perhaps the most troubling of these newly coined illnesses is ‘oppositional defiance disorder,’ which denotes that the person exhibits ‘symptoms’ such as the questioning of authority, the refusal to follow directions, stubbornness, the unwillingness to go along with the crowd, and the practice of disobeying or ignoring orders. Persons may also receive such a label if they are considered free thinkers, nonconformists, or individuals who are suspicious of large, centralized government.

Some critics view the process of declaring such persons emotionally unfit as a major step toward designating all so-called ‘right wing extremists’ as mentally ill.

At one time the accepted protocol among mental health professionals was to reserve the diagnosis of oppositional defiance disorder for children or adolescents who exhibited uncontrollable defiance toward their parents and teachers.”

“The forced committal of veterans to mental hospitals for nothing more than post traumatic stress is raising the eyebrows of more than one of the many government watchdog groups who are convinced that a more sinister goal lies beneath the government’s treatment of veterans,” concluded Martin.

In the end, Raub said: “I’m pretty tough, so I roll with the punches. But it made me scared for my country. The idea that a man can be snatched off his property without being read his rights I think should be very alarming to all Americans.”

Obama’s Gun Control through Executive Order

Last week, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said, “The president’s goal is to look for opportunities to act administratively, unilaterally using his executive authority to try to make our communities safer.”

This followed a question and answer session, where President Barack Obama said executive action isn’t enough.

“If public opinion does not demand change in Congress, it will not change,” Obama said. “We don’t have enough tools right now to make as big a dent as we need to.”

“Our levels of gun violence are off the charts. There’s no advanced, developed country that would put up with this,” Obama lamented. “And it happens now once a week. And it’s a one-day story. There’s no place else like this.”

While most of the Tumblr questions concerned the president’s student loan programs, and higher education in general, Obama turned emotional when one user asked about school shootings.

His “biggest frustration” as president, Obama claimed, has been that “this society has not been willing to take some basic steps” to keep guns away from people who “can do just unbelievable damage.” He specifically stated the U.S. should be working towards keeping guns out of the hands of mentally unstable people.

The president also criticized Congress again for blocking a proposal to expand background checks for gun buyers, saying too many lawmakers are “terrified” of the National Rifle Association and other gun rights groups. Opponents of various gun control proposals said they would be ineffective, and some threaten Second Amendment ownership rights.

They also said shootings are a mental health issue, an argument that Obama disputed.

“The United States does not have a monopoly on crazy people,” Obama said. “Now it’s hard to get even the most minor legislation passed and we should be ashamed.”

So what kind of legislative action would the president like to see?

“A couple of decades ago Australia had a mass shooting similar to Columbine or Newtown, and Australia just said, ‘Well, that’s it. We’re not doing — we’re not seeing that again,’ and basically imposed very severe, tough gun laws,” Obama stated.

To see the types of edicts Obama means to impose if he can get away with it, one need only look at gun laws in Australia, compiled by GunPolicy.org, which, while decidedly anti-gun, nonetheless provides instructive and useful compilations of gun laws from around the globe.

“The regulation of guns in Australia is categorized as restrictive,” the summary reads. “In Australia, the right to private gun ownership is not guaranteed by law.”

“In Australia, civilians are not allowed to possess automatic and semi-automatic firearms, self-loading and pump action shotguns, handguns with a caliber in excess of .38 in with only narrow exemptions, semi-automatic handguns with a barrel length less than 120mm, and revolvers with a barrel length less than 100mm,” the site advises.

“In Australia, private possession of fully automatic weapons is prohibited, with only narrow exceptions for permanently inoperable collector’s, display, or museum guns…” the site continues. “(P)rivate possession of semi-automatic assault weapons and their lookalikes is prohibited in all but exceptional circumstances…(P)rivate possession of handguns (pistols and revolvers) is only permitted subject to stringent condition.”

Licenses are also required to own firearms and ammunition, and a “genuine reason” must be approved to get a license. Both open carry and concealed carry “in a public place is prohibited without genuine reason. In law, personal protection is not a genuine reason.”

The issuance of a license is also contingent on such things as “third party character references,” reapplication and requalification, limits on the number guns and ammunition, and of course, government registration. The reasons for refusing a license would include “reliable evidence of a mental or physical condition which would render the applicant unsuitable for owning, possessing or using a firearm.”

This is what Obama and other Progressives would like to impose on the U.S.

A Quick History Lesson: Shaving Razors


The reason I’m posting this is to show you how easily history and objects associated with it can cross through our lives. Above are three different shaving implements.

On the left is the straight edge by which my Great-grandpa and grandpa shaved with. In the center is a safety razor — my father used this style and I learned to shave with one jus’ like it.

Finally, on the right is the style of shaver I am using. My son, learned to shave using this kind and continues to use the multi-blade system.

You also have bits and pieces of family history in your life — all you have to do look around.

Schools Demand Control Even at Senior Graduations

He’s a successful student, yet his high school administration refused to allow him to speak openly about his faith at his graduation. Yet that didn’t stop California’s Brawley Union High School senior Brook Hamby.

“In coming before you today, I presented three drafts of my speech, all of them denied on account of my desire to share with you my personal thoughts and inspiration to you: my Christian faith,” Hamby said. “In life, you will be told, ‘No.’ In life you will be told to do things that you have no desire to do. In life, you will be asked to do things that violate your conscience and desire to do what is right.”

He added, “No man or woman has ever truly succeeded or been fulfilled on the account of living for others and not standing on what they knew in their heart was right or good.”

Then he quoted from “the biggest best-selling book of all-time in history.”

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” he quoted, from Matthew in the Holy Bible. “It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.”

“Be the salt of the earth, be strong and stand for your convictions and stand for what right, what is ethical, what is moral and Godly no matter what is the cost to you,” Hamby concluded. “Stand for whatever is good wherever you go and what ever you do.”

No word on whether his act of disobedience against the school district cost him his diploma.

In High Point, North Carolina the dress she wore was exactly a half-inch too short.

With two hours left in the last day of her senior year of high school, Violet Burkhart said the milestone she hoped would be “great and exciting” was “pretty much ruined.”

A teacher at Central Davidson High School pulled her aside and measured her dress in the middle of the hallway, then told her to call her mother, because she had to go home and change. In tears, Violet did as directed.

“I literally looked back at the clock and I’m thinking, ‘It’s one in the afternoon on her last day of her senior year,’” said Amy Redwine, Burkhart’s mother. “My daughter — it’s supposed to be one of her best days and she’s there crying.”

She isn’t disputing the districts dress code, but thinks it could have been handled better, given the fact Violet had worn the dress to school before. So in response, Redwine decided to wear the same dress to her daughter’s graduation.

“If her dress is too short, then my dress is too short,” Redwine stated, “and I’m going to wear it in front of everybody and be proud just like she should have been able to on her last day.”

The school district has yet to comment on the matter.

Finally, Quintin Murphy disrobed during his graduation ceremony to display his leopard-print skivvies at Jack Britt High School, he was stripped of his diploma.

Murphy stripped down to draw attention to veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder — specifically his uncle and grandfather — and how they’re being cared for medically by Veterans Affairs.

“Fayetteville does not have the best VA hospital,” said Murphy. “I have been there with my uncle and grandfather, and I’ve see how poor things are, and like these are men that have served.”

His uncle Leonard Johnson, a disabled Iraq war vet, knew what he was planning for the ceremony and says he supports his nephew.
“You know it really touched my heart,” Johnson said.

Johnson said for the last decade he’s battled the VA over PTSD and other medical treatments.

“I have been on morphine for 10 years,” said Johnson. “It took over a year-and-a-half to get my brace, my back brace, my knee braces, and an arm brace.”

School officials claim Murphy’s actions were inappropriate, and for that reason he won’t receive his diploma and has been banned from school property.

He was escorted off by police following the stunt but was not charged with a crime. But Murphy, who plans to go to college and then enlist in the Army, says it was worth it.

Remembering Del Nortes ‘Nam Dead

The year 2014 marks 50th anniversary of America’s involvement in the Vietnam War. The action cost the lives of 58, 195 soldiers — including nine from Del Norte County.

The men who lost their lives include James H. Whisenhunt, Donald Shanks, Robert G. Owen, John R. Klotz, Paul O. Klotz, Howard Cramblet, Leonard Greville, Richard K. Wells and Gene A. Mitchell.

The Klotz brothers were killed 18 months apart from one another. Paul Klotz and Gene Mitchell were severely injured while in Vietnam and died from their injuries while they were in the hospital.

James Whisenhunt was a local police officer when he went in. He was killed while saving several other soldiers in Ka Sahn and was awarded the Silver Star.

​Nevada Called ‘Police State,’ During Illegal Seizure

If someone with a gun stops you and takes your money, you would you call police. But what if the person taking your money also has a badge?

California resident Tan Nguyen won $60,000 from a Las Vegas casino. On his way back home Humboldt County Deputy Lee Dove stopped Nguyen on I-80 near Winnemucca, Nevada for driving three-miles over the speed limit.

Dove, a trained narcotics interdiction agent, knows that accusing someone of drug trafficking is all that’s required to walk away with their money and property. The policy enables him to do this is known as ‘civil asset forfeiture.’

Dove immediately stated that he smelled drugs, which gave him legal cause to search Nguyen’s car. From the deputy’s dash cam video recording:

“I just smelled weed. I know I did. I know I smelled weed,” he said as he returned to his cruiser.

“That’s not yours, is it?” asked Dove.

“That’s mine,” Nguyen responded.

“Well, I’m seizing it,” the deputy declared.

The first issue is whether Dove obtained permission to search the car or whether he simply told the driver, Tan Nguyen, he was going to do it.

“Well, I’m gonna search that vehicle first, ok?” Dove asks.

Nguyen challenges the deputy, “Hey, what’s the reason you’re searching my car?”

“Because I’m talking to you …I don’t have to explain that to you. I’m not going to explain that to you, but I am gonna put my drug dog on that,” as he points to money. “If my dog alerts, I’m seizing the money. You can try to get it back but you’re not.”

Nguyen: (inaudible) got it in Vegas.”

“Good luck proving it. Good luck proving it. You’ll burn it up in attorney fees before we give it back to you.”

Dove however never seizes the money under state forfeiture law, instead he offers Nguyen a deal: abandon the cash and leave with the cashiers’ checks otherwise, he’ll confiscate the cash anyway and tow the car because Nguyen’s name isn’t on the rental agreement.

“It’s your call,” Dove tells Nguyen. “If you want to walk away, you can take the cashiers checks, the car and everything and you can bolt and you’re on your way. But you’re gonna be walking away from this money and abandoning it.”

“I don’t have all day to sit here debating it,” Dove insisted.” You need to give me a decision what you want to do.”

Nguyen protested that the officer had no right to rob him. But Deputy Dove reminded him that government theft is legal in a police state.

“Everyday I do this,” said the Deputy Dove. “It’s all I do for a living. It’s drug interdiction and I get money. The only reason why you have that cash is because it’s related to some sort of illegal activity. You know it and I know it.”

“I don’t have to prove my case on the side of the road. Ok, I don’t have to prove that all right? You can take these and the car and the luggage and your written warning and you proceed and I will give you a receipt for the money and you abandon it and you walk away and you chalk it up to don’t do this no more, all right? That is what it amounts to,” Dove told Nguyen.

After taking the cash, Dove forced Nguyen to sign a document stating that he was “abandoning the money,” and then let him leave.

Dove never issued a speeding ticket or warning. In fact, Nguyen was never charged with a crime at all.

After he got home Nguyen cashed his $10,000 in cashier checks and used the money to hire a lawyer to get the rest of his money back. Thankfully, he was successful in recovering the stolen money.

The controversial drug interdiction stops have since been suspended and Nevada’s Attorney General, Catherine Cortez Masto called in to review the practice.

“The public confidence has eroded in the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. I want the citizens that we serve to know we are lawful. Therefore, I contacted the Nevada Attorney General’s Office to ask for an independent review of our program,” Sheriff Ed Kilgore said.

Kilgore added that departmental guidelines were not followed and claims he thought the cases were being sent to the district attorney’s office. Meanwhile, Dove is still on duty, patrolling I-80.

Shooting in Spanish Springs Leave One Hospitalized

A man is hospitalized in serious condition after a shooting incident on East Janere Court in Spanish Springs. So far there’s no word on the condition of the person who was shot.

The Washoe County Sheriff’s Office says the suspect is still at large.

06/13/14 UPDATE: Deputies have identified the suspected shooter as 19-year-old Brandon Moore-Montgomery. He’s is described as a white male, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 150 pounds. They say he has brown hair and green eyes.

He may be driving a white 1991 Chevrolet S10 Blazer with Nevada license plate 836 NVN.

06/15/14 UPDATE: Moore-Montgomery turned himself into the Washoe County Sheriff’s office and has been booked on charges of attempted murder.

06/23/14 UPDATE:The man shot in Spanish Springs earlier this month has died of his injuries. Authorities say the victim is 45-year-old Jeffrey James Montgomery.

Brandon Moore-Montgomery is now charged with open murder.

Rollin A. Treahearne Celebrates 40-years in Radio

rat
Del Norte native Rollin Treahearne celebrated his 40th year in the broadcast business. He first sat down in front of a live mic when he was 15 years old.

Back then classmates called him, ‘The Rat,’ a play on his initials.

Trehearne began his radio career at KPOD in Crescent City, going to work before school started each morning. After graduation, Trehearne attended college in Morro Bay , where he when to work at KBAI.

After a few years in Morro Bay, Trehearne moved to Humboldt County, landing a job at KATA in Arcata. He’s been with KRED in Eureka for 24 years and has no plans of retiring any time soon.

Congratulations, RAT! And here’s to another 40-years.

The Ramifications of Being Jus’ a ‘Stakeholder’

As a writer, I’m constantly at odds with how certain words are misused in the media, by politicians, organizations and individuals. One of those words that give me pause each time I hear it is ‘stakeholder.’

Recently I read a posting from a friend and sheriff: “I attended a meeting where the stakeholders from Southern Oregon and Northern California met and discussed the upcoming Marijuana growing season.”

In this case he was trying to say, ‘other law enforcement officials,’ instead of ‘stakeholders.’

Over and over I hear or see the word being used by people who, I’m certain have no idea what it means. In fact, the term has made a rebounding resurgence in the last six or seven years and this leaves me even more concerned.

A stakeholder is a person that has an interest in an enterprise or project. The primary stakeholders in a typical corporation are its investors, employees, customers and suppliers. However, modern theory goes beyond this conventional notion to embrace additional stakeholders such as the community, government and trade associations.

A common problem that arises with having many stakeholders in any enterprise is that their various self-interests may not all be aligned. In fact, they may be in conflict with each other.

The primary goal of a corporate enterprise from the viewpoint of its shareholders is to maximize profits and enhance shareholder value. Since labor costs are a critical input cost for most companies, an enterprise may seek to keep these costs under tight control.

This may have the effect of making another important group — stakeholders, or rather its employees, unhappy. The most efficient companies’ successfully manage the self-interests and expectations of its stakeholders.

The term “stakeholder”, as traditionally used in the English language in law and notably gambling, is a third-party who temporarily holds money or property while its owner is still being determined.

More recently though a very different meaning of the term is being widely used. In a business context, a “stakeholder” is a person or organization that has a legitimate interest in a project or entity.

A stakeholder was originally a person who temporarily holds money or other property while its owner is being determined. This is, for example, the situation when two persons bet on the outcome of a future event and ask a third, disinterested, neutral person to hold the money or “stakes” that they have wagered or “staked”.

After the event occurs, the stakeholder distributes the stakes to one or both of the original (or other) parties according to the outcome of the event and according to the previously decided conditions. Courts sometimes act as stakeholders, holding property while litigation between the possible owners resolves the issue in which one is entitled to the property.

Trustees also often act as stakeholders, holding property until beneficiaries come of age. An “escrow agent” is another kind of trustee who is a stakeholder, usually in a situation where part of the purchase price of property is being held until some condition is satisfied. In legal documents, the escrow agent is often referred to as a “mere stakeholder.”

The new use of the term arose together from the spread of corporate social responsibility ideals, but there are also dystopian views being served by the new meaning of the term. Now ‘stakeholder’ means putting a ‘stake through private property rights,’ by creating organizations like the United Nations, able to tell you what you can and cannot do with your property.

This is part of a Cold War technique, known as a Delphi, used to channel people into accepting a point of view that is imposed on them, while convincing them that it was their idea in the first place. In essence, a Delphi is used in places where the organizers want to the appearance that they have listened to community opinion and incorporated it into their plan.

It’s time to turn away from words like ‘stakeholder,’ and return to terminology like ‘owner,’ ‘employee,’ ‘parent,’ or ‘law enforcement officials.’ If we don’t, this nation will continue to tumble further into the abyss of its’ civil ignorance.

Couragous is as Couragous does


People describe Jon Meis is a quiet gentle, outdoorsy young man of deep Christian faith. He’s a dedicated student on the cusp of a promising life beyond college.

He is also the “22 year old student who tackled a gunman earlier this week at Seattle Pacific University. His quick and incredibly brave choice to try and subdue the gunman likely saved many lives!” writes one blogger.

Amazing that while we find this young man courageous in the face of danger, we neglect to remember servicemen and women his age are facing the same terror daily as they fight in Afghanistan. While Meis is courageous, he’s no more so than a soldier, sailor, Marine or airman.

Pray they all remain safe.

Common Core and Teacher’s Tenure Take a Drubbing

Last Thursday, Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a bill making her state the third to drop the Common Core standards.

Instead of using Common Core for the short-term while forming new standards, the state will immediately revert back to older tests and standards. And when new standards are written two years from now, they will be required to undergo a review to assure they are sufficiently different from Common Core.

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill May 30th, requiring her state to end the Common Core standards initiative and requires new educational standards be adopted. Actual replacement of Common Core with “new” standards won’t take place until the 2015-16 year. The common core will stay in place in South Carolina for the 2014-15 school year.

Indiana lawmakers passed legislation pausing Common Core’s implementation and requiring a statewide review to find a replacement. Governor Mike Pence in March signed legislation making Indiana the first state to drop the national standards, which are not federally required but have become the de facto guidelines.

However, the replacement standards, which include requiring second-graders to “add and subtract fluently up to 100,” have also drawn criticism from national education experts and the grassroots group ‘Hoosiers Against Common Core,’ who say they too closely resemble the tossed-aside benchmarks.

Prior to dropping the standards, the Obama administration issued a warning to Indiana about opting out of Common Core.

The U. S. Department of Education said in a letter to Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz that the state must prove its own standards are just as challenging, or else risk of losing its waiver from the Bush-era No Child Left Behind law and have its federal funding in jeopardy.

“Because the [Indiana Department of Education] will no longer implement those standards, IDOE must amend its [Elementary and Secondary Education Act] flexibility request and provide evidence that its new standards are certified by a state network of [Institutions of Higher Education] that students who meet the standards will not need remedial coursework at the postsecondary level,” the letter says.

Farther south, the Louisiana Legislature signed off on a bill June 1st that many see as a Common Core endorsement of the standards. Governor Bobby Jindal is now considering a veto of the bill.

Finally, a judge has struck down tenure and other job protections for California’s public school teachers as unconstitutional. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Rolf Treu cited the case of Brown v. Board of Education in ruling that students have a fundamental right to equal education.

Treu ruled California’s laws on hiring and firing in schools have resulted in “a significant number of grossly ineffective teachers currently active in California classrooms.” The judge also took issue with laws that say the last-hired teacher must be the first fired when layoffs occur, even if the new teacher is gifted and the veteran is inept.

The case was brought by nine students who said they were stuck with teachers who let classrooms get out of control, came to school unprepared and in some cases told them they’d never make anything of themselves. They also charged that schools in poor neighborhoods are used as dumping grounds for bad teachers.

Teachers have long argued that tenure prevents administrators from firing teachers on a whim. They also contend the system preserves academic freedom and helps attract talented teachers to a profession that doesn’t pay well.

The California Attorney General’s office said it is considering its legal options, while the California Teachers Association, the state’s biggest teachers union with 325,000 members, vowed an appeal. Meanwhile, other states are paying attention to how the case plays out.

New VA audit: 100K vets experience long-waits for care

Despite of President Obama being ‘madder than hell,’ the resignation of Eric Shinseki and congressional probes, the Veterans Affairs Department says more than 57,000 patients are still waiting for initial medical appointments at VA hospitals and clinics 90 days or more after requesting them.

An additional 64,000 who enrolled in the VA health care system over the past 10 years have never had appointments. In total, more than 100,000 veterans are “experiencing long wait times” for health-care, an audit found.

The department says the audit of 731 VA hospitals and large outpatient clinics found that the agency’s complicated appointment process created confusion among scheduling clerks and supervisors. The audit says a 14-day goal for seeing first-time patients was unattainable given the growing demand among veterans for health care and poor planning.

The audit released Monday says 13 percent of VA schedulers reported supervisors telling them to falsify appointment dates to make waiting times seem shorter. About eight percent of schedulers said they used alternatives to an official electronic waiting list, often under pressure to make waiting times look more favorable.

The report comes less than two weeks after the VA inspector general’s office confirmed recent allegations that VA hospitals have falsified appointment records to hide treatment delays.

Last week, Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders and Senator John McCain reached agreement on the terms of a bill to help address some of the underlying problems that led to the treatment delays. More hearings are planned by both the U.S. House and Senate committees on veteran’s affairs in the coming days.

The VA scandal came to light late last year after Sam Foote, then a physician at the Phoenix VA Health Care System, filed a complaint with Office of Inspector General alleging that hospital administrators were falsifying patient access records to secure bonus pay and promotions. Investigators found that Phoenix VA leaders, who received cash awards for meeting goals, understated the delays faced by first-time patients.

Since then Shinseki and a top aide, Under Secretary Robert Petzel, resigned. Also Susan Bowers, the Southwest regional VA health care director, retired early, while Sharon Helman, director of the Phoenix VA medical center, was placed on administrative leave along with two top aides.

Miss Nevada crowned Miss USA

Nia Sanchez
Newly crowned Miss USA Nia Sanchez is a fourth-degree black belt in taekwondo and says women should be able to defend themselves as a way to battle the problem of campus rape. The 24-year-old Las Vegas native said bringing awareness to the issue is very important.

Sanchez said women need to take it upon themselves to learn how to defend themselves. Sanchez lived for a time in a women’s shelter at a young age with her mother and at age eight took up taekwondo to learn self-defense and build her confidence.

As an adult, she has volunteered at women’s shelters, teaching residents how to defend themselves and teaching kids about “stranger danger.” Sanchez also said she was “so proud to bring the title of Miss USA back to Nevada.”

Sanchez beat out 50 other contestants from all the states and the District of Columbia Sunday night for the title of 63rd Miss USA. Sanchez will go on to represent the U.S. at the Miss Universe competition later this year.

Nevada Senator Warns Administration Over Land-grab

The battle over Nevada’s public land continues. Senator Dean Heller is warning the Obama administration against designating the Gold Butte region of Clark County as a national monument.

Gold Butte is the same area where Cliven Bundy and the Bureau of Land Management came face to face in a stand-off over grazing rights. The 400,000-acre region sits north and east of Lake Mead and across the border from Grand Canyon National Park in Arizona.

Heller wrote that another ‘land grab,’ “would not serve the area well.” He said it would escalate an already tense situation, “in a region of our state where tensions are already presently high.”

In February, Nevada Congresswoman Dina Titus wrote a letter to President Obama urging him to grant the Gold Butte area monument status as a way to protect wildlife habitat, mining artifacts and Indian petroglyphs. In her letter, Titus called Gold Butte “a national treasure in Southern Nevada.”

“I believe that the Gold Butte area of Southern Nevada merits consideration for National Monument designation,” Titus wrote.

That same month, a report by the Center for American Progress listed Gold Butte among “high-profile land conservation bills languishing in Congress,” along with the Pine Forest Range in Humboldt County. Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Steven Horsford introduced bills last year to name Gold Butte and the surrounding area for upgraded wilderness and conservation protections, though not national monument status.

Because of this, environmentalists believe presidential action is justified to protect natural wonders as Congress becomes gridlocked on natural resource bills. On May 21st, Obama designated 500,000 acres in the Organ Mountain-Desert Peaks region of southern New Mexico as a national monument.

Heller said it should be the Nevada delegation that works with local residents on a “grass-roots driven, public and transparent congressionally approved process for public lands designations.”

“Unlike my colleague who placed this request,” Heller wrote, “I am extremely concerned about the impact a unilateral designation will have on my state.”

Two Las Vegas Officers Ambushed and Killed

Two Las Vegas police officers and a civilian were shot and killed by a pair of suspects armed with rifles before one of the shooters shot her partner dead before taking her own life.

The male and female shooters stormed a North Las Vegas Cici’s Pizza location Sunday morning, killing the two patrolmen as they ate lunch, before stealing their weapons and running to the Walmart across the street. Witnesses say the pair also shouted ‘tell the police the revolution has begun.’

The two suspects then shot a bystander to death who is believed to have been carrying a concealed firearm and had opened fire on them as they ran into the Walmart. The bystander’s body was found just inside the front door to the store.

The suspects then shouted at everyone to leave the store and continued to claim a revolution had begun. The two suspects then exchanged about 20 shots with SWAT officers.

The two officers killed are identified as Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo.

Police have not established if the incidents were a series of random acts or part of a larger movement possibly targeting police officers. The investigation is ongoing.

In September 2011, a man armed with an AK-47 opened fire in an IHOP restaurant in Carson City, killing five people, including himself and three Army National Guard soldiers, and wounding seven others.

06/09/14 UPDATE: Las Vegas police say they are looking into whether the two suspects in the shooting deaths of the two officers had been at Cliven Bundy’s Nevada ranch during a standoff earlier this year. Assistant Sheriff Kevin McMahill said the two suspects, Jerad Miller and his wife, Amanda, had ideology that was along the lines of “militia and white supremacists.”

The couple was from Indiana. Officials say they also had plans to take over a courthouse and execute public officials.

The Clark County coroner’s office says Joseph Wilcox of Las Vegas died as he tried to stop the suspects. He was shot and killed by the female gunman.

Weekend Dig

My son and I went for a weekend dig. It was a university­ sponsored event and he found a Chinese coin dating to the late 19th century. The head of the operation said that he could keep the find since they had over a thousand of them from the site.

My little man was very proud of himself. It seemed to spark an interest in archeology for him as he jabbered all the way home about this method of digging verses that method of digging. To me I only know of one way of digging, so I was actually learning something here.

Later that night he asked if I had a chain so that he might put his coin around his neck. I gave him the chain from my old military dog tags.

The following day I to take him home to his mother. Four days later I picked him up and I noticed he wasn’t wearing his coin on his neck. I waited until he was in the car and we were out of the driveway before I asked where it was.

He told me that his mother didn’t want him wearing it any more because it didn’t ‘t represent Jesus. I instantly felt angry, but I managed to keep my mouth shut for the sake of my son.

Later that evening, he and I sat down and had a little discussion. He wanted to know if wearing the coin around his neck was the same as ‘idol worshipping?’

I told him that it was not. I explained that idol worshipping was when a person starts ‘putting’ something before Jesus, like money, work, or even worry.

This is when my son’s understanding and wisdom knocked my socks off. He looked at me and asked, “Then a golden cross full of diamonds could be an idol even though it represents Jesus, right?”

I had to sit and think about that for a moment. I answered, “Yes.”

Then he reminded me, “After all the original cross was made by man.”

Dispelling the ‘Cattle Guard’ Story

There is a story finding its way around Facebook claiming President Obama and Vice-president Biden are a couple of rubes, who know nothing of the West. Though funny, it isn’t true.

“For those of you who have never traveled to the west, or southwest, cattle guards are horizontal steel rails placed at fence openings, in dug-out places in the roads adjacent to highways — sometimes across highways — to prevent cattle from crossing over that area.

For some reason the cattle will not step on the “guards,” probably because they fear getting their feet caught between the rails.

A few months ago, President Obama received and was reading a report that there were over 100,000 cattle guards in Colorado. The Colorado ranchers had protested his proposed changes in grazing policies, so he ordered the Secretary of the Interior to fire half of the “cattle” guards immediately!

Before the Secretary of the Interior could respond and presumably try to straighten President Obama out on the matter, Vice-President Joe Biden, intervened with a request that — before any “cattle” guards were fired, they be given six months of retraining. ‘Times are hard,’ said Biden, ‘It’s only fair to the cattle guards and their families be given six months of retraining!

And these two guys are running our country.”

The original “cattle guard” piece was simply a joke that more than a few credulous readers were willing to believe as a true story. Where the tale actually began is anybody’s guess, but a February 1995 article took a stab at identifying its putative origins:

The Pinedale Roundup, Pinedale, Wyoming became the latest newspaper to fall for a joke originated in the Billings Gazette.

Gary Svee, opinion editor for the Billings Gazette, said the paper ran the item in a section reserved each Friday for puns and jokes. But believes someone picked it up and ran it seriously.

Svee said he has heard the item had run in numerous papers throughout the West.

Others say it a take-up of a joke from the early 1950s. And this could very well be true.

Former Texas state senator Kent Hance, for example, has been known to tell the following story:

“I was on a ranch in Dimmitt during my high school days, and a guy drove up and asked for directions to the next ranch. I said, ‘Go north five miles, turn and go east five miles, then turn again after you pass a cattle guard.’

As the guy turned around, I noticed he had Connecticut license plates. He stopped and said, ‘Just one more question. What color uniform will that cattle guard be wearing?'”

Russia Continues to Provoke, U.S. Continues to Cave

A Russian fighter jet threatened an American reconnaissance plane in international airspace over the Sea of Okhotsk, which lies off Russia’s east coast, north of Japan.

“On the afternoon of April 23, a U.S. Air Force RC-135U flying in international airspace on a routine mission over the sea of Okhotsk was intercepted by a single Russian Su-27 Flanker,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Steve Warren said. “The Su-27 approached the RC-135 across the nose of the U.S. aircraft within approximately 100 feet.”

While the U.S. aircraft did not take evasive measures, the Russian pilot exposed its belly to the American crew as a way of showing that it was armed. It is the latest source of concern for U.S. officials since a heightening of U.S.-Russian tensions following Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine.

The RC-135U is a highly specialized reconnaissance plane equipped with communications gear designed to find and identify foreign military radar signals on land, at sea and in the air. Their crews, composed of two pilots, one navigator, two airborne systems engineers, at least 10 electronic warfare officers and six or more technical and other specialists.

The showdown was video-recorded by the aircrew.

Disclosure of the U.S.-Russian aerial faceoff comes as the Obama administration approved Russia’s use of upgraded sensors on planes used to fly over sensitive U.S. and allied military installations in Europe under the 1992 Open Skies Treaty, last week. The treaty permits flights using four types of sensors: optical panoramic and framing cameras, video cameras with real-time display, infrared line-scanning devices, and sideways-looking synthetic aperture radar.

The fiscal 2015 defense authorization bill has a provision that would prohibit using any funds to certify the upgraded Russian aircraft sensors. The provision blocks certification unless the Pentagon and intelligence leaders certify to Congress that the digital equipment “will not enhance the capability or potential of the Russian Federation to gather intelligence that poses an unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States.”

It also would link new equipment approval under Open Skies to a requirement that Russia is no longer illegally occupying Ukrainian territory and is no longer violating the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty.

“The committee is committed to effective and complete compliance with the Treaty on Open Skies, provided such compliance is not allowed to become a threat to the national security of the United States,” the bill says.

Four members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence — two Republicans and two Democrats — also expressed opposition to the sensor upgrade. The senators wrote to Secretary of State John Kerry earlier this year urging him to “carefully evaluate the ramifications of certification on future Open Skies observation flights.”

The State Department, the agency leading the Obama administration’s arm control-centered agenda, pushed for the aircraft certification in a bid to protect the treaty, even though Russia has violated several of its provisions. The agency’s own 2013 report on arms compliance said the Russians are violating the treaty by restricting spy flights over parts of Moscow, Chechnya, and near the Russian border with Georgia, closing airfields and failing to provide proper film in violation of the treaty.

The Russian violation of international airspace contrasts sharply with the Obama administration’s insistence on pursuing legal international arms agreements with Russia as a way to win Moscow’s favor. Officials call the treaty a confidence-building measure that allows legal spying on military sites.

“It contributes to European security by providing images and information on Russian forces, and by permitting observation flights to verify compliance with arms control agreements,” a White House statement said.

In mid-April a Russian Su-24 flew as close as 1,000 yards from USS Donald Cook at an altitude of only 500 feet. The fighter made up to 12 passes near the destroyer and failed to respond to radio contact made by the ship.

A second Su-24 in the region did not engage the destroyer.

The Su-24 fly by follows accusations from Russia that the U.S. violated the so-called 1936 Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits. Those rules call for warships from countries with out a coast on the Black Sea to leave after 21 days.

The Cook entered the Black Sea on a presence mission to reassure U.S. allies following the Russian invasion of Crimea. The ship is armed with a ballistic missile defense variant of the Aegis combat system and is designed to intercept and destroy rogue ballistic missiles as well as aircraft.

The Cook did not go to battle stations during the incident which lasted about 90 minutes.

A New Land Grab in the Land of Enchantment

New Mexico has a new ‘wilderness area’ containing 500,000 acres known as the Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument. It’s located next to the Mexican border and has five mountain ranges with prehistoric rock art and more recent historic sites such as a training area for the Apollo astronauts.

The Bureau of Land Management will oversee control of the land. About half of the land is to be set aside, meaning it will be closed to vehicles and construction.

The agreement remains controversial for both sides of the immigration debate.

“This is about opposing so many thousands of acres that is going to create nothing more than a pathway for criminals to get into this country to do their criminal acts,” said Dona Ana County Sheriff Todd Garrison.

“My fear is these areas will be used more than they are now because they’ll have access to it that will be private and closed off to every law-abiding citizen,” the sheriff said. “I believe this monument will hamper law enforcement’s ability to effectively patrol the area we need to patrol.”

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency refuted the claim that the designation would threaten border security.

“This designation will in no way limit our ability to perform our important border security mission, and in fact provides important flexibility as we work to meet this ongoing priority,” said spokeswoman Jenny Burke. “CBP is committed to continuing to work closely with the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Forest Service to maintain border security while ensuring the protection of the environment along the border.”

Administration officials said the declaration will merge a 2006 agreement between the Interior Department and the Homeland Security Department that allows U.S. Border Patrol some access to the land. That agreement prevents most routine patrols through wilderness, though it does allow them to continue to follow smugglers in hot pursuit.

Congressman Rob Bishop, of Utah argues the environmental restrictions will continue hurt the Border Patrol’s ability to do its job and sent a letter to Mr. Obama asking him to hold off until the border can be controlled.

“It’s irresponsible to focus efforts on new land designations rather than finding solutions to existing criminal activities plaguing the border,” the congressman wrote.

Bishop pointed to a case in which a National Park Service employee at Chiricahua National Monument in Arizona detailed the vicious attack she suffered at the hands of an illegal immigrant. Authorities said the man smashed her head into a metal bathroom door and hit her head with a rock, striking so hard that the rock broke.

“By creating this monument, President Obama is ensuring a pathway to get drugs into the country” said Zack Taylor, Chairman of the National Association of Former Border Patrol Officers.

Taylor, a 26-year border security veteran, pointed out that one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Juarez, Mexico, is right across the New Mexico border. Impeding law enforcement near this section of the border could allow Juarez’s cartels and violence to enter the U.S. with ease.

“This is the wrong place to put a monument,” Taylor said. “The New Mexico border has no river–it’s just an imaginary line. If criminal illegal aliens can walk across the border and into the sanctuary area, they will use that land for criminal activity and use it extensively. Everything surrounding the monument is in peril.”

“Who benefits form this more than the cartels?” Taylor asked. “The people who live there don’t benefit, law enforcement doesn’t benefit, the sheriffs don’t benefit. The only people who benefit from this monument are illegal immigrants brining drugs into this country.

Environmentalists say we’re protecting this land by shutting people out, but we’re actually doing the opposite.”

Conservationists and tourism businesses have been pushing for the designation, hoping it will bring more visitors.

“The Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument will help protect our way of life while allowing for responsible development and expanding opportunities for all Americans to enjoy the beauty and multi-cultural history of this unique landscape,” Billy Garrett, Dona Ana County Commission chairman, said in a statement.

The half-million-acre proposal also has the backing of the state’s U.S. senators.

“An Organ Mountains-Desert Peaks National Monument will preserve important cultural links to our past and strengthen southern New Mexico’s economy by boosting tourism and recreational opportunities, like hunting, hiking, camping, and horseback riding,” Senator Martin Heinrich said in a statement.

The New Mexico wilderness area is Obama’s second designation this year. In March, he added 1,600 acres in the Point Arena-Stornetta region to the California Coastal National Wilderness Area established by President Bill Clinton in 2000.

Pam Collins, 1943-2014

Life-long Klamath, California resident Pam Collins passed away May 29, 2014. Born March 4, 1943 to Pernie and Ernest “Mike” Benedict, she married Tom Collins, June 25, 1960.

We used to go with our folks to visit ‘Grandma’ Pernie and ‘Grandpa’ Mike. Her brother was better known as ‘Uncle Ron,’ to me and my siblings, since he used to come to the house for dinner before he got married.

Lori and I attended school together at both Margaret Keating School and then Del Norte High. One time Mike was over at our house because Mom was babysitting him, and after irritating me with his constant teasing, I threatened to hang him on the wall by his thumbs.

When Pam found out what I said, she was ready to skin me alive. I don’t think Mom ever watched Mike again after that.

Pam’s survived by her husband Tom; her children Lori, Michael, and Joel.  She was preceded in death by her parents and brother.

Obama’s ‘Climate Change’ Speech Leaves Army Cadets Cold

There was a real chill as President Barack Obama told the Class of 2014s United States Military Academy at West Point that fighting “climate change” will “help shape your time in uniform.

“Keep in mind, not all international norms relate directly to armed conflict,” Obama said. “We have a serious problem with cyber-attacks, which is why we’re working to shape and enforce rules of the road to secure our networks and our citizens.

“In the Asia Pacific, we’re supporting Southeast Asian nations as they negotiate a code of conduct with China on maritime disputes in the South China Sea,” he added. “And we’re working to resolve these disputes through international law.”

“That spirit of cooperation,” Obama continued, “needs to energize the global effort to combat climate change–a creeping national security crisis that will help shape your time in uniform, as we are called on to respond to refugee flows and natural disasters and conflicts over water and food, which is why next year I intend to make sure America is out front in putting together a global framework to preserve our planet.”

“You see, American influence is always stronger when we lead by example,” Obama included. “We can’t exempt ourselves from the rules that apply to everybody else. We can’t call on others to make commitments to combat climate change if a whole lot of our political leaders deny that it’s taking place.”

While Obama views climate change as a national security crisis, many Army officers will not have learned about it during their time at West Point. For example, cadets who take Environmental Engineering courses will study “air pollution concerns such as global climate change, acid rain and smog.”

In fact, the phrase “climate change” is mentioned only six times in the U.S. Military Academy’s course catalog for the class of 2016 and one meteorology course includes “a brief look at climate and climate change.”

Another course, ‘Environmental Security,’ offers a “case study approach” to environmental issues affecting national security, including “global climate change.” Finally an ‘International Organizations and Institutions, course includes the option of studying “the Kyoto Protocol/other Climate Change institutions.”

More frightening than Obama’s lack of knowledge about the USMA’s actual syllabus is how he views the nation’s standing in the world.

“It is absolutely true that in the 21st century, American isolationism is not an option,” Obama said. “Since World War II, some of our most costly mistakes came not from our restraint, but from our willingness to rush into military adventures — without thinking through the consequences; without building international support and legitimacy for our action, or leveling with the American people about the sacrifice required.”

“Here’s my bottom line: America must always lead on the world stage,” Obama claimed. “If we don’t, no one else will. The military that you have joined is, and always will be, the backbone of that leadership. But U.S. military action cannot be the only – or even primary – component of our leadership in every instance. Just because we have the best hammer does not mean that every problem is a nail.”

He spoke of terrorism saying it remains the largest threat facing the U.S. and how he has asked Congress for $5 billion to fund new counterterrorism partnerships.

“These resources will give us flexibility to fulfill different missions, including training security forces in Yemen who have gone on the offensive against Al Qaeda; supporting a multinational force to keep the peace in Somalia; working with European allies to train a functioning security force and border patrol in Libya; and facilitating French operations in Mali,” he said.

Obama added that he did not want to commit the American military to Syria, but believes other actions can be taken to support the rebels.

“With the additional resources I’m announcing today, we will step up our efforts to support Syria’s neighbors — Jordan and Lebanon; Turkey and Iraq — as they host refugees, and confront terrorists working across Syrian borders,” Obama said. “I will work with Congress to ramp up support for those in the Syrian opposition who offer the best alternative to terrorists.”

In calling for multilateral action, he attacked the opposition to the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST.)

“It’s a lot harder to call on China to resolve its maritime disputes under the Law of the Sea Convention when the United States Senate has refused to ratify it,” he complained, ‘despite the repeated insistence of our top military leaders that the treaty advances our national security. That’s not leadership; that’s retreat.”

LOST is an agreement drawn up by the United Nations and ratified by 162 countries and the European Union that governs the oceans. The treaty has been described as a “constitution of the oceans” and was negotiated in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The U.S. signed the treaty in 1994 but hasn’t ratified it. In 2010, Obama adopted the recommendations of the Ocean Policy Task Force, but fortunately two-years later the U.S. Senate voted it down.

Obama also returned to his broken promise to close the Guantanamo Bay Detention Center and talked about the NSA data gathering.

“I believe in American exceptionalism with every fiber of my being,” Obama claimed. “But what makes us exceptional is not our ability to flout international norms and the rule of law; it’s our willingness to affirm them through our actions,”

“That’s why I will continue to push to close Gitmo — because American values and legal traditions don’t permit the indefinite detention of people beyond our borders,” he continued. “That’s why we are putting in place new restrictions on how America collects and uses intelligence – because we will have fewer partners and be less effective if a perception takes hold that we are conducting surveillance against ordinary citizens. America does not simply stand for stability, or the absence of conflict, no matter what the price; we stand for the more lasting peace that can only come through opportunity and freedom for people everywhere.”

Obama’s approval rating among those serving in the military is only 32 percent and the ongoing VA scandal, like his commencement speech at West Point, won’t help that figure improve.

The Progressive Playbook on ‘Caring’

President Barack Obama’s “Summit on Concussions,’ suggests another progressive president’s attempt to ‘protect players from injury.’ Theodore Roosevelt hosted a similar summit on October 9th, 1905 at the White House for coaches and other representatives of the top football powers at the time: the teams from Harvard, Princeton and Yale.

TR claimed to love the game because he believed it toughened the men who played it, but he knew things had gotten out of hand.

“Football is on trial,” he told the conference attendees. “Because I believe in the game, I want to do all I can to save it.”

There was no forward pass in those days, and the only way to move the ball down the field was to use brute force, which in that era of minimal protective gear meant that severe injuries occurred regularly. Some wanted to ban the sport.

Retired University of Nevada, Reno President Joe Crowley writes in his 2005 book, ‘In the Arena the NCAA’s First Century,’ “The 18 fatalities and 149 serious injuries of the 1905 season brought critics out in force. Condemnations from the press were plentiful.”

Roosevelt’s intervention didn’t have an immediate effect, but after more prodding by from the president, reforms were accepted in 1906. They included legalizing the forward pass, abolishing mass formations that caused dangerous pile ups, and creating a neutral zone between offense and defense.

One-hundred and eight years later, in August 2013, the National Football League reached a tentative $765 million settlement over concussion-related brain injuries among its 18,000 retired players. This came after a number of high-profile former players sued claiming their neurological problems stem from on-field concussions and that the league hid the known risks.

Earlier in January of the same year, while speaking on the same subject, Obama stated that if he had a son, he’d “have to think long and hard” before letting him play because of the physical toll the game takes. Then last month he took offense when Carl Rove suggested Hillary Clinton had a ‘traumatic brain injury,’ following a fall she took in December 2012.

During his summit, Obama claimed to have played tackle football. While playing he said that he may-or-may-not have been left him with a concussion.

The national media has made a great effort to show how active the President is by providing video and stories of his athletic skills. Since taking office we have learned Obama can swim, golf, ride a bicycle, play basketball, bowl, throw a football and a baseball, shoot a shot-gun and kick a soccer ball.

Yet neither of his autobiographies, ‘Dreams of My Father,’ and ‘Audacity of Hope,’ mention this fact. The only sport Obama claims to have played is basketball on his high school’s varsity team.

But what is being overlooked by the media is a report from the U.S. General Accounting Office, which states traumatic brain injury, (TBI) “has emerged as a leading injury among service members” serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Though it’s hard to know the total number of soldiers dealing with TBIs, the 2011 RAND Corporation’s report, ‘Invisible Wounds of War,’ suggested about 320,000 soldiers have experienced a TBI since October 2001.

Breaking that number down, it’s possible as many as 40,000 U.S. service members have sustained TBI’s while deployed. The RAND Corporation’s report also revealed the absence of care for service members is 57% of those who may have experienced a TBI were never evaluated by a physician for a brain injury.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Inspector General has found 1,700 veterans have been left to wait for care from at least one VA hospital. The scope of the inquiry is widening, with 42 VA medical centers across the country now under investigation for possible abuse of scheduling practices, according to the report.

Note the dichotomy.

It’s the Game, Not the Gun, the Knife or the Car

It is exhaustive work, calling out the national media for its inaccurate reporting especially when it concerns the Progressive agenda. This time it’s the murders that happened on and near the University of California, Santa Barbara campus.

  • From the Washington Post: “At least six people were killed and several others injured during a shooting rampage…”
  •  “The pops sounded like firecrackers, a common mischief,” reported CNN. “And the gun looked fake, like one used for pellet games. But what seemed like a college joke at first became very real.”
  •  “A series of drive-by shootings in the Isla Vista area near UC Santa Barbara on Friday night left seven people dead…” writes the Los Angeles Times.

The problem is that this killing spree began with the stabbing to death of three people in 22-year-old Elliot Rodger’s home. The killing ended after Rodger ran over a bicyclist.

Authorities found him in his car with a gunshot wound to the head.

Sheriff Bill Brown said, “It would appear he took his own life.”

Police said three guns were recovered from his car, where Rodger also had more than 400 rounds of ammunition.

“All were legally purchased from federally licensed dealers and all were registered to the suspect,” said Brown.

Was the knife sold by a federally licensed dealer and was it registered? The answer is obviously no; meaning the choice of weapon makes no difference in this case, except how the media is spinning it.

Rodger also had a history of mental illness, having been seen by a psychiatrist since the age of nine, something the media is willing to hang on. And though his family did contact police about his possible danger to society, authorities were unable to find anything for which to detain him.

What the media also doesn’t want admit is that generally when some nut-job goes on a killing rampage; it’s somebody with a Progressive point of view. After all, remember when the media claimed the Aurora theater shooter was a Tea Party member and when they scrubbed the manifesto of cop-killer Chris Dorner of his leftist themes?

They’ve also over looked a similar event on February 23, 2001. David Attias, a freshman at UCSB, killed four people near the university with his car.

Attias is the son of veteran TV director Daniel Attias, whose credits include “Entourage,” “The Sopranos” and other high-profile shows. He was sentenced to 60 years at a mental institution after being found guilty of four counts of second-degree murder.

Attias set off on the vehicular assault after being spurned by a woman. The Los Angeles Times reported on July 13, 2002 that Attias will “…remain at Patton State Hospital in San Bernardino indefinitely, trying to overcome delusions so severe that a new report said he had come to believe that “’the world was a computer game.’”

As for Rodger, he was a young man whose life was filled with only online gaming and little else. Surprisingly though he did subscribe to one ‘political’ site called, “The Young Turks.”

The site boasts a network that generates over 68 million views per month. Furthermore, they describe followers like Rodgers as “Young progressive or insurgent member of an institution, movement, or political party.”

It also offers such ‘news’ as ‘Kim Kardashian Wedding,’ ‘Presidential pets – the video you always wanted,’ and ‘Best advice: keep your racism to yourself,’ all under “Tea Party Reporting.” It is more like entertainment and propaganda, than a real news source.

Furthermore, his ‘YouTube’ account was also filled with complaints about being unable to have a relationship with women and his “Day of Retribution,” where Rodger lays out his exact plans to kill.

“All those girls that I’ve desired so much, they would’ve all rejected me and looked down upon me as an inferior man if I ever made a sexual advance towards them while they throw themselves at these obnoxious brutes,” Rodger says to the camera as he sits in his car. “I’ll take great pleasure in slaughtering all of you. You will finally see that I am in truth the superior one the true alpha male.”

“After I’ve annihilated every single girl in the sorority house, I’ll take to the streets of Isla Vista and slay every single person I see there,” he continues. “If I can’t have you, girls, I will destroy you.”

Rodgers hatred of women spawned a Twitter-wide movement known as ‘#YesAllWomen.’ The media is happy to trumpet this-yet-another movement aimed at changing the world through social media as it helps news outlets avoid asking some tough questions.

One of those questions might lead to exploring how much did violent online gaming play in this tragedy. After all, Rodger mentions ‘World of Warcraft,’ 41 times in his 141-page manifesto, titled “My Twisted World.”

“Now that I was able to play World of Warcraft at my mother’s house with no limitations, aside from school and homework, I became very addicted to the game and my character in it,” Rodger writes. “It was all I cared about.”

Near the end of his manifesto, Rodger’s proclaims: “On the Day of Retribution, I will truly be a powerful god, punishing everyone I deem to be impure and depraved.”

The connection between trouble young men and violent online gaming is self-evident. In fact, ‘online gaming’ rehabilitation facilities have been established to help people with their gaming addiction, because medical professionals are beginning to recognize online gaming as a real addiction just like gambling, alcohol, and drugs.

If someone is spending a large amount of time playing violent online games, these are a few of the signs they are addicted:

  • They constantly talk about their online gaming success.
  • Their personal hygiene declines.
  • They begin to see violence as acceptable behavior.
  • They lose interest in the daily activities, becoming more of a loner.
  • They sacrifice everything, including skipping school or work, sleep, and meal.

Finally, online gaming, in general, has been linked to young adults finding it hard to meet personal milestones like moving out of their parents’ house, going to college, holding a job or getting married. In fact, some men are stuck in a prolonged adolescence; one stat says 18-to-34-year-old men spend more time playing online games than 12-to-17-year-old boys.

Unfortunately, nothing will change with regard to violent online gaming. After all the bottom-line is huge with Americans spending $20.77 billion on video games, hardware, and accessories in 2012, according to the Entertainment Software Association.

Truckee Man Among Dead on Rainier


Mount Rainier National Park official says there are no plans to recover the bodies of six climbers who fell 3,300 feet to their deaths. A helicopter crew spotted camping and climbing gear in an avalanche-prone area below the group’s last known position of 12,800 feet.

Among those presumed dead is Truckee, California resident Matt Hegeman, who worked as a guide for Seattle’s Alpine Ascents International. He had climbed Mount Rainier more than 50 times and was a regular on Northern California’s Mt. Shasta.

Officials add that the continuous ice fall and rock fall make the area too dangerous for rescuers, but that the area will be checked periodically by air in coming weeks and months. They will also evaluate the potential for a helicopter-based recovery as snow melts and conditions change.

A History of Mining Along California’s Smith River


A mining company from the UK has applied to the U.S. Forest Service to begin exploratory drilling over thousands of acres of forest lands, including Baldface Creek, in Curry County, Oregon, which flows into the Smith River. It’s the last major California River without a dam and is a passageway for spawning fish and a source of drinking water for Crescent City and other local towns.

The proposal by the Red Flat Nickel Corporation is to begin drilling southeast of the Kalmiopsis Wilderness in the Klamath Mountains to determine whether a full-scale mining operation would be economically feasible. The the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says this type of hard rock mining is the largest source of toxic pollution in the nation.

There may not be much anybody can do to stop the company from putting in a mine. The General Mining Act of 1872, approved during the presidency of Ulysses Grant. It says, in essence, that all citizens 18 years or older have the right to make a claim on federal land and extract minerals for a nominal fee.

Miners and prospectors in the California Gold Rush of 1849 found themselves in a legal vacuum. Although the US federal government had laws governing the leasing of mineral land, the Federal government had only recently acquired California by the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, and had little presence in the newly acquired territories.

Miners organized their own governments in each new mining camp (for example the Great Republic of Rough and Ready), and adopted the Mexican mining laws then existing in California that gave the discoverer right to explore and mine gold and silver on public land. Miners moved from one camp to the next, and made the rules of all camps more or less the same, usually differing only in specifics such as in the maximum size of claims, and the frequency with which a claim had to be worked to avoid being forfeited and subject to being claimed by someone else.

California miners spread the concept all over the west with each new mining rush, and the practices spread to all the states and territories west of the Great Plains. Although the practices for open mining on public land were more-or-less universal in the West, and supported by state and territorial legislation, they were still illegal under existing federal law.

At the end of the Civil War, some eastern congressmen regarded western miners as squatters who were robbing the public patrimony, and proposed seizure of the western mines to pay the huge war debt. In June 1865, Congressman George Julian of Indiana introduced a bill for the government to take the western mines from their discoverers, and sell them at public auction.

Congressman Fernando Wood proposed the government send an army to California, Colorado, and Arizona to expel the miners “by armed force if necessary to protect the rights of the Government in the mineral lands.” He advocated that the federal government itself work the mines for the benefit of the treasury.

Western representatives successfully argued that western miners and prospectors were performing valuable services by promoting commerce and settling new territory. In 1865, Congress passed a law that instructed courts deciding questions of contested mining rights to ignore federal ownership, and defer to the miners in actual possession of the ground.

The following year, Congressional supporters of western miners tacked legislation legalizing lode or hardrock mining on public land onto a law regarding ditch and canal rights in California, Oregon, and Nevada. The legislation, known as the “Chaffee laws” after Colorado Territorial representative Jerome Chaffee, passed and was signed July 26th, 1866.

Congress extended similar rules to placer mining claims in the “placer law” signed into law on July 9th, 1870.

The Chaffee law of 1866 and the placer law of 1870 were combined into the General Mining Act of 1872. The mining law of 1866 had given discoverers rights to stake mining claims to extract gold, silver, cinnabar — the principal ore of mercury — and copper.

When Congress passed the General Mining Act of 1872, the wording was changed to “or other valuable deposits,” giving greater scope to the law. The Act also set the price of the land claim to range $2.50 to $5.00 per acre, which has remained the same since.

In 1851, gold was discovered at several locations in the Smith River watershed including Myrtle Creek, Haines Flat, and French Hill. By 1852, gold mining was booming and hundreds of mining claims were staked.

As placer gold deposits in the Smith River system were running out in 1860, copper ore was discovered in serpentine areas. Copper mining was soon booming, and mines were established in serpentine areas of the basin including Hardscrabble Creek.

Copper was in demand for manufacturing ammunition shells during the Civil War. At the end of the war in 1865, copper mining declined rapidly.

At about the same time, another important mineral was discovered in the serpentine areas – chromite. Many mines were established in the North Fork area, including High Divide near Hardscrabble Creek, Low Divide, and High Plateau, but 1894, they were shut down because of changes in tariff laws.

Hydraulic mining became the most widespread technique for extracting gold and continued into the mid-1890’s at the mouth of Hurdygurdy Creek, near Big Flat. But after a landslide destroyed the main water supply ditch, mining became limited and sporadic.

Yet in 1904, a hard rock gold mine and the town of Monumental were established about two miles from the top of Shelly Creek. However, Monumental Mining Company went bankrupt following the destruction of their offices in San Francisco by the earthquake and fire of 1906.

Currently, Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio and U.S. Senators Ron Wyden and Jeff Merkley are being urged to resubmit previous requests they have made to the Obama administration to withdraw the land from mineral development. Meanwhile the U.S. Forest Service is consulting with tribal leaders and is expected to release an environmental analysis this summer.

Mining was the leading industry in the early days of Del Norte County. Much of this activity took place at Myrtle Creek, along the South Fork of Smith River, at Happy Camp (where the industry is still carried on), and in the vicinity of Crescent City.

Journals from the many express companies that operated in those early years, show large shipments of gold dust from the few claims worked. They also detail an influx of miners following the initial discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill.

Walter Van Dyke was an attorney from Ohio who came to California in the first wave of “49ers,” wrote about mining in Del Norte before it was a county.

“In the summer of 1852 the miners pushed on up the Klamath a long distance above the mouth of the Salmon, and by fall a large number had gathered on a plateau at the mouth of a stream putting down from the northwest, which they named ‘Happy Camp,’ writes Van Dyke. “They worked on this stream, and over the divide on streams flowing northwesterly into Rogue River.”

“The mines on these latter were quite rich, and attracted a rush of miners,” he adds. “They were near to, and in some of them over, the Oregon line…”