Out Walking After Dark

Because of my bad back, I don’t often go for lengthy walks anymore for fear I’ll get someplace and it’ll give out on me and I’ll find myself stuck waiting for help. However, after getting a mild form of cabin-fever, I jus’ had to get out of the house for a bit.

So, jus’ after the sun set I decided to walk around the block.

Halfway through my jaunt I was accosted by a man standing on the corner of a cul-de-sac I was passing by. He challenged me by asking what I was doing. I didn’t answer, instead, choosing to high-tail it out of there as fast as I could walk.

After ignoring him, he started following me, peppering me with the same question. I finally turned on him and brusquely stated: “If you continue to follow me, I will be forced to treat you as a threat accordingly.”

He backed off, but called 9-1-1 to report me.

Within five or so minutes, I found myself in the company of three sheriffs’ cruisers. An older male deputy, a younger deputy and a female deputy were out of their cars and standing around me.

The older deputy demanded to know why I was threatening people in the area and wanted my ID.  I told him I was NOT threatening anyone as I was simply on a walk around the block.

Again he demanded my ID and I told him no, because I hadn’t done anything wrong. Then he reminded me that my ID is actually property of the state and that I had no right to refuse his request.

My response was less than kind: “You are only an agent of the state and not an official representative of the state and unless you are arresting me for an unlawful act, I am legally refusing your demand based on my Fourth Amendment right.”

“Oh, so you’re a lawyer, huh?” he shot back.

“By asking that question,” I returned, “which I’m sure was intended to be snarky, you know I’m right.”

Then I turned to the female deputy, “What you should really be asking is what was the man who reported me as a threat, waiting on the corner for? Is he waiting to buy or sell drugs? Did he feel I was a threat to his stash of pot or meth?”

She looked at the two deputies with her, “He has a point.”

After a pause, she asked “Can I ask where you live?”

I answered yes and told her.

She then thanked me and sent me on my way. While it was hard not to, I refused to look back as I heard their cars turning around in the street to go talk to the man who had initiated the incident.

Personally, I hope the a-hole was up to no good and that they busted his arse.

Nevada Still Heading Downhill Economically

My son lost his job on July 18th, shortly after International Gaming Technology sold to an Italian corporation. Fortunately for Kyle, he saw it coming as his former workplaces’ largest customer had been IGT.

That same night, following his layoff, the local news outlets reported the unemployment figures for the state were down. I don’t believe the state or the local news stations or the paper as it seems they simply report whatever tripe’s handed to them, no questions asked.

With that said, I think the economic crisis will get worse for Nevada before it gets better, especially as the state-wide layoffs begin when IGT officially leaves the state. After all Nevada isn’t the business-friendly refuge it used to be.

Correct Opinion?

A friend of mine and I were talking about political commentators, when he said he believed Glenn Beck was ‘hate-monger’ and ‘race-baiter.’

“Really?” I asked, adding “When’s the last time you listened to him?”

He answered rather proudly, “I never have.”

“So how do you know that he’s a a hate-monger and race-baiter?” I countered.

“I’m going by what others have said about him,” he replied.

There was along pause in our coverstion. In the end we left it at that as we both knew it was bout to get ugly.

In my opinion, this is exactly what is wrong with the U.S. Each of us form an opinion before we know what we’re talking about and it is generally done so on someone else’s word.

We each NEED to do our OWN homework BEFORE simply agreeing with what we believe is the ‘correct’ opinion.

And yes, I have listened to those political commentators I don’t agree with. While I dislike it tremendously, I learn information from them that I would otherwise never have heard and thus my opinion would be lesser for it.

The Coming Bubble

For the last five-years I’ve been watching the United States financial crisis as it grew larger and larger, than slowly faded from the headlines. And while many officials have claimed the ‘worst is over,’ I’m not too sure about that.

USA Today published an article featuring a chart showing the internet bubble, the housing bubble, and an unnamed bubble labeled a ‘stock market bubble.’

While the article doesn’t say there is a stock market bubble occurring in the U.S., it does say, “the Fed’s monetary policies have caused stock prices to soar, doesn’t mean there’s a bubble.”  It also says those same monetary policies will likely deflate as part of an overall correction of the market.

Scary.

Since late 2008, Glenn Beck has been warning us about jus’ such a bubble. I know, I know – you think Beck is a nut-job and fear monger, but in all truth he’s hit the nail on the head more times than most people want to admit.

While still at CNN, he describing what was heading our way:

“Look, you must allow the bubble to burst. I know it means pain. But we didn’t take the pain for the dot.com bubble. We moved that pain. It never goes away. Think of it as a disease. You’ve moved that pain and you just took a painkiller, and all of the disease was pushed into the September 11th housing bubble. So, all of that pain, what they do? They just made money cheaper and cheaper and cheaper so they could get people to buy homes, spend money, go out, rack up your credit card bills…

Now that bubble is much, much bigger. Now we’re facing the collapse of that bubble. And how are we trying to solve the problem? Instead of allowing it to collapse, we are creating a third and I believe, the final bubble. And that is, the money bubble. The pain is going to be much, much worse. Because what you’re designing now, you are un-tethering from every bit of free market system that we have. You are un-tethering from the Constitution. You are cutting the ties to anything that made America America.”

I’m going to stick my neck out and add to his prediction:

The date September 13, 2015 is the next Shemitah year. Known as Elul 29, it happens every seventh year of the Hebrew calendar and is a time when debts are to be forgiven and the land, in the agricultural communities of ancient Israel, was to be given a rest.

Elul 29, 2015 also represents the eve of the Feast of Trumpets or Rosh Hashana at sundown. This begins a period known as “the days of awe,’ which lasts through Yom Kippur a week later and is a period set aside for serious introspection and to consider the sins of the previous year and repent.

Also, an astronomical phenomenon, a blood red moon – or tetrad – is expected to occur that evening. The last one took place in 1967-68, when Jerusalem was reclaimed in the Six Day War and the one before that was in 1949-50, right after Israel became a nation.

The economic calamity associated with the 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center began September 17, 2001 when Lehman Brothers, one of the nation’s largest financial firms, collapsed.  This date coincides with Elul 29 on the Hebrew calendar.

Likewise, September 29, 2008, marked the next big crash also falling on Elul 29. On that day, stocks skidded with the Dow slumping nearly 778 points, in the biggest single-day point loss ever.

I’m seeing a pattern and hope you see it too and will plan accordingly.

Sticks, Stones, Names and Faces

The National Football League has suspend Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice for the first two games of the 2014 season, following Rice’s arrest on aggravated assault charges against his then-fiancée in February. Rice was arrested after surveillance video showed him dragging his unconscious fiancée out of the elevator of an Atlantic City hotel/casino.

Police have video of Rice punching his then-fiancée, Janay Palmer, before they entered the elevator. Rice was indicted on aggravated assault charges but, as a first time offender, was allowed to enter a diversionary community service program that will allow him to avoid jail time.

However, the Minnesota Vikings have suspended special teams coordinator Mike Priefer without pay for three games, saying he has to donate $100,000 to ‘lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender’ rights groups, in response to former punter Chris Kluwe’s allegations of anti-gay slurs and taunts made by Priefer. The coordinator can attend sensitivity training and get his suspension reduced to two weeks if Vikings ownership determines he is ready to return.

It’s pretty sad that an incident of physical harm verses an incident of verbal ignorance could come to such different disciplinary results. Whatever happened to sticks and stones may break my bones, but names and faces can’t hurt me?

Tracing the Islamic State Desire

ISIS/ISIL claims one of the goals of its insurgency is to reverse the effects of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. Islāmic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi said that “this blessed advance will not stop until we hit the last nail in the coffin of the Sykes-Picot conspiracy.”

The Sykes-Picot Agreement was a secret treaty between the UK and France, with Russia playing a minor role. It laid out a plan for control of the Middle East should the Russians, French, and British defeat the Ottoman Empire during World War I.

Britain was given control of the coastal strip between the sea and River Jordan, Jordan, southern Iraq, and a small area including the ports of Haifa and Acre, to allow access to the Mediterranean. France received control of south-eastern Turkey, northern Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Russia was to get Istanbul, the Turkish Straits and the six Ottoman Armenian provinces. The controlling powers were left free to decide on state boundaries within these areas.

Further negotiation to decide international administration was pending with Russia and other powers, including the Sharif of Mecca. However, following the Russian Revolution in October 1917, the Bolsheviks exposed the agreement.

Kitty Fulton, 1942-2014

Marian Verna “Kitty” Woods was born in Fortuna, California, May 26th, 1942. She married Donald Fulton in March 1960 and started their family, son Ed and daughter Terri, moving to Crescent City in 1964.

I knew her as Aunt Kitty as she was my Mom’s cousin.

Kitty returned to school and received her degree at College of the Redwoods and graduated in 1982. She worked for the County of Del Norte in the Auditor’s Office for about 16 years, retiring in 1994.

She was preceded in death by her parents as well as both her sisters, Joan and Gail. She passed away July 8th, 2014 at the age of 72.

Name Over Money

Slowly,  but surely, I’m going through loose notes I’ve made to myself over the years. These are pieces of paper on which I jus’ jotted down a thought or two and sometimes failing to date, then stuffed in a file for future use.

Many are like this one written — which I did date — on February 04, 1994:

“Mary and I went and bought some toilet paper last night. We actually stood in the aisle and debated with one another over how much to get, fretting over how much money we don’t have. It is at times like this that I find it strange how I have nothing to show for my life’s work, which is radio — not even a roll of toilet paper.”

Yikes!

Looking back now, I can see that pattern has stayed the same over the years. But I never got into the biz for the money, instead I always tried to follow what Proverbs 22:1 reads: “A good name is more desirable than great riches…”

A Major’s Trophy

The two squads slowly made their way down the hard pack dirt road, each man maintaining a proper distance from the one in front and the one behind. There was no sense in two guys getting hit by a guerrilla sniper for the price of one.

Their target for this late afternoon raid was a middleman in the Presidents “War on Drugs.” The man had a reputation for living like a peasant but he created roads and schools for his own village with the cocaine money he received from the killings he committed.

Doc was part of Team Two. His Team would back door the targets home and make the capture or kill, which ever was to come.

Both Teams used the hard packed roadway as much as possible only slipping back into the bush if there was the slightest chance of being detected. It took them nearly half an hour to finalize their approach on the small village.

It was set up exactly as S-2 Intelligence had said it would be.

“That’s a first,” Doc thought as he hunkered down along the ridge line overlooking the sleepy mud shanties.

The sun was setting as Team One moved off the ridge and towards the left and into the village. A dog could be heard barking in the distance. It was noise Doc found strange in this part of the world.

“There must be plenty to eat,” he said to himself.

There would not be after tonight if this raid went as planned, though. Team Two moved forward and off the ridge to the right.

Doc was in the number five position as usual. This time the two squads were accompanied by an interpreter by the name of Ruben and he was right behind Doc.

He had never met Ruben before this morning and he did not like the man. Ruben wouldn’t look Doc in the eye when he spoke.

It made the young medical Sergeant uncomfortable. But Ruben was assigned to the Teams and that was that.

“Okay,” the Gunny said, “We’re all in position. Let’s take the house.”

There was a sudden flash, followed by a loud bang. Smoke filled the air as a cacophony of voices raged.

This was followed by a burst of gun fire. Then more gun fire.

Before the Teams realized it, they were under attack from the household. The people inside the home were launching everything at them that they had inside the place.

The simple plan to raid and either capture or kill the target was falling apart.

Doc stepped inside to aid in the fire fight. Marines were being wounded but holding their ground without complaint, when a Corporal decided to toss a satchel charge inside the front door of the house.

When it went off, it had a devastating effect. There were dismembered humans and twisted and crumbled pieces of ruins scattered in a one-hundred foot circle.

The shooting stopped and many of the Marines slowly rose to their feet. Some looked on in disbelief.

Doc tapped three Marines and Ruben to move forward towards a portion of the house that still remained standing. It was under a stair way which was stronger due to the construction of the steps that lead up to the second floor which was now collapsed onto the first floor.

The front and right side of the house no longer existed. The satchel charge had found the weak point and destroyed the frame, causing it to heave up and fall back on itself.

In the distance the transports could be heard as they roared down the red hard pack dirt road towards the village and the Teams position. Quickly the four combat veterans and single interpreter moved through the wrecked house towards the lone door.

Doc signaled to two of the Marines to kick in the door and for one to cover them. They executed the plan with flawless precision, having done the same thing so many times before.

Once inside they discovered two women and three children. The two Marines who entered first attempted to coax them out.

They refused to move, frightened of the “Americanos.”

It was up to Ruben to talk them out of the nearly destroyed room. Instead of remaining calm, he started speaking loudly.

The look on the little girls faces was that of terror as they stepped behind the older lady. The little boy didn’t look much better.

Ruben started screaming at the top of his lungs. Doc suddenly recognized what he was saying, “Fuego, rapido, fuego!” or ‘Fire, quick, fire,” in his native latino language

Without warning the younger of the two women turned around with a pistol and fired it.  Her action was met with a blast from the two Marines rifles.

Doc pulled out his service pistol and cocked it. He calmly placed it against the back of Ruben’s head as he continued to shout.

He squeezed one round off.

By the time the melee’ was over Ruben lay dead. So did both women and two of the three children.

The three Marines staggered out of the room in shock, immediately falling down to their knees and vomiting over what they had just done.

Major Brownhorse wanted to know what had happened. As soon as Doc could composed himself he gave the commanding officer a brief statement and then offered him his sidearm.

“No, I don’t want that,” the Major said. “I want that damned traders’ ears! If he couldn’t talk straight in this life, I don’t want him hearing anything in the afterlife.”

The two Teams may have missed their target but Major Brownhorse got his trophy.

Nevada has Tornadoes Too

After we heard the National Weather Service alert yesterday warning the Spanish Springs area of possible tornado activity, my roommate and I went outside to see if we could spot any for our selves. What we witnessed were clouds spinning counterclockwise, forming tiny ‘nipples’ that dissipated as fast as they formed.

In total we observed three of these above the Pah-Rah Hills to the east of us. Each was racing slightly ahead of a quick moving thunderstorm that was dumping sheets of rain across the desert landscape.

The Reno Gazette-Journal says there have been 79 tornadoes reported since 1962, mostly in western Nevada and Clark County with “a Silver State tornado alley along Interstate 80.” They got their information from the website Tornadoproject.com.

The website lists only three incidents of damage from tornadoes in Nevada:

  • May 26, 1964, when a small tornado damaged outbuildings on a ranch near Yerington. A man was struck and injured by flying debris.
  • July 16, 1973, when a small tornado touched down six miles north of Reno. One person was injured.
  • March 30, 1992, when one home was shifted and another lost part of its roof in southern Las Vegas.

The last time the NWS issued a tornado warning for any part of Nevada was July 21, 2008.

That Indwelling Voice

Over the last few years I’ve been over-wrought with all the political news I’ve been reporting. Much of it hangs in my mind even after the day is done and I’m laying bed trying to fall asleep.

Not only has this left me with insomnia, but also with a sickness in my soul that seems to linger longer and longer with each passing crisis. Because of this, my desire to write has been lacking – but I didn’t know what to do about it.

Then a couple of nights ago, after talking with the Lord about how I’ve been feeling, a voice inside me said, “The stop writing about politics.”

What an amazing revelation!

First, that the answer is so simple and second, because I know the voice, the one I believe to be my subconscious, is enabled by God. While it sounded like me in my head, it was a spiritual prompting from beyond me.

Now, this is not to say I’m hearing the voice of God and that he’s speaking directly by audio-form into my ear. Rather it is the Holy Spirit – which dwells in each of our souls and acts as a sort of holy tuner, if you will, channeling God’s will into our being.

Anyway, the long and short of it is that I’m stepping away from following politics to the point that I feel physically compelled to write about it. Instead I’m returning to writing simply for the fun of it – you know those little stories that make up life, living, loving, laughter and learning.

Allow me to share one more thing that small indwelling voice has let me in on: God is in control and everything works for His good and thus, our good too.

I think I already knew this, but had forgotten about it somewhere along the line.

Where the Politically Incorrect Are

There was a time when those who went to tattoo parlors were the ‘social misfits’ of the community. I contend that they are not when it comes to freedom of expression, rather the real misfits in today’s society are those who bad-mouth such places and such people.

My conclusion is drawn on the fact that the word ‘fuck in used like baseballs at a major league game. Furthermore, the word ‘nigger’ blasts from the sound system that plays the kind of rap music most ‘regular’ people claim they try to avoid.

But after observing this stuff, I realized that the vulgar language, the disparaging rap songs and the ‘social misfits’ are actually the ‘new’ normal. They are practicing their freedom of expression that only a few people know how to do.

It’s a shame that such a freedom loving portion of the U.S. has been mislabeled they way they have. These are the kind of people who don’t worry about what is or isn’t politically correct and I think it is time that as a people we should take a lesson from them.

Common Core: The Plan to Rewrite U.S. History

The new Advanced Placement U.S. History exam is gutting traditional American history, turning it into a leftist view of an America based on identity politics and not a Constitution meant to protect the rights of individual freedoms.

For instance James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and the other founding fathers are largely left out of the new test, unless they are presented as examples of conflict and identity by class, gender, race, ethnicity and such.  belief in the superiority of their own culture.

The new framework forces teachers to ‘teach’ their students in a leftist, blame-America-first reading of history, while omitting traditional treatments of our founding principles.

The new exam has been authorized under David Coleman, known as the “architect” of the Common Core standards and, now, the president of the College Board, the organization responsible for the SAT college entrance exam and the various Advanced Placement exams.

Fortunately, leading the charge against the new exam is Texas, which is about 10 percent of the College Board’s market.

Texas School Board’s Ken Mercer is trying to introduce a resolution that would reject the new AP exam. Mercer is being told, however, that the resolution cannot be introduced until September, when it will be too late.

While the College Board has released a complete sample exam, it’s only done so to certified AP U.S. History teachers. And those teachers have been warned, under penalty of law not to disclose the content of the new samples exam anyone.

But don’t expect NBC to tell you the truth about the rewrite or Common Core . That’s because Bill and Melissa Gate’s ‘Gates Foundation,’ is now funding the news giant’s education coverage as noted on NBC’s website:

“Education coverage for NBCNews.com is supported by a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. NBC News retains sole editorial control over the content of this coverage.”

This isn’t the first time the Gates Foundation has entered into such an agreement with the media. In October 2010, ABC News and the Gates Foundation inked a yearlong project investigating global health problems and their potential solutions.

The Gates Foundation supplied a grant of $1.5 million in order to travel the world reporting on various health crises and suggesting solutions. ABC claimed it retained full editorial control.

Beginning in 2000, the Gates Foundation spent hundreds of millions of dollars trying to ‘improve’ high schools by making them smaller, only to discover student body size has little effect on achievement. It then shifted it’s its focus on teaching and that increasing achievement is as simple as removing bad teachers, identifying good ones, and rewarding them with money.

Based on this the Gates Foundation will spend $290 million over seven years on school districts in Tampa, Memphis, Pittsburgh and Los Angeles. These districts are intended as models that, if proven successful, can be rolled out nationwide.

While cities like Denver and Cincinnati have experimented with paying teachers for performance, the Gates ‘Intensive Partnerships for Effective Teaching,’ is the largest and most comprehensive effort to test teachers in all grades and subjects based on student test gains.

In his 2009 book, ‘Picturing the Uncertain World,’ Howard Wainer says the Gates Foundation’s data showing small schools are overrepresented, is in error. Wainer says big high schools outperform small ones, adding that the larger scale lets them offer more advanced classes, electives, and extracurricular activities.

Even though, the Gates Foundation started pouring money into creating small high schools and subdividing big ones.

With Gates funding, one Denver high school split into three and lost so many students that it shut down in 2006. It reopened a year later as a single school, without the Gates Foundation’s support.

In November 2008, Gates acknowledged that “simply breaking up existing schools into smaller units often did not generate the gains we were hoping for.” Still, the Gates Foundation is crediting the smaller schools for their skill at boosting attendance and decreasing violence.

Once it became clear small schools weren’t the answer, the Gates Foundation, in 2007, started evaluating teachers based on student test score. The Gates-funded plan in Tampa will start this school year.

Of the $100 million the Gates Foundation is pouring into the Hillsborough County district, about $60 million will go to teachers. With the cash comes a new evaluation system: 40 percent of the grade will be based on student learning gains as measured by standardized tests, 60 percent on observations by the school principal and teachers from elsewhere in the district.

A higher rated teacher could earn as much in their fourth or fifth year as a teacher with 20 years’ experience. The Gates Foundations goal is to get teachers to adopt ‘best practices’ and learn from colleagues who are more effective in handling disruptions or instilling particular concepts.

As a condition of funding, the Gates Foundation also required Hillsborough and the other districts to cooperate with local unions. So, Hillsborough agreed to tell teachers in advance when peers will observe their lessons, making positive evaluations more likely.

By contrast, teachers in Cincinnati will give two lessons in front of evaluators without prior notice.

More than 99 percent of Hillsborough teachers were rated satisfactory or outstanding in 2007-2008, and 98 percent of those eligible received tenure. Hillsborough currently terminates 0.5 percent of its teaching force annually.

A study of five Florida districts from 2000 to 2005 found that only half the teachers ranked in the top 20 percent one year were in the top 40 percent the next.

In Memphis, where Gates has invested $90 million, a third of students move during the year, meaning gains can’t be credited to one school or teacher. Giving several tests a year can sort out each teacher’s contribution, but ratings still may be tainted since teachers have to account for newcomers and student departures.

In a national survey of 40,000 teachers, co-sponsored by the Gates Foundation and released in March, 36-percent said tying pay to performance is not at all important, while only eight-percent said it’s essential. Meanwhile, 30-percent said it would have no effect on student achievement.

Presently, the Gates Foundation and Education Secretary Arne Duncan seem a bit too cozy. Two of Duncan’s top aides, Chief of Staff Margot Rogers and Assistant Deputy Secretary James H. Shelton III, came from the Gates Foundation, having been given waivers by the administration from its revolving-door policy limiting involvement with former employers.

Vicki Phillips, who heads the Gates Foundation’s education programs and Duncan, participated from 2004 to 2007 in the Gates co-funded ‘Urban Superintendents Network.’ When the federal government made $4.35 billion in federal ‘Race to the Top’ awards available, the Gates Foundation paid a consultants to prepare applications for 24 states, as well as the District of Columbia.

One of two winners so far is Tennessee, which had help from Gates, and will receive about $500 million from the Obama administration.
Both Gates and his wife argue there is anything amiss in the Gates Foundation’s relationship with the administration. All the Gates Foundation wants is results, says Bill Gates, however they are achieved.

During its annual convention in Los Angeles last week, American Federation of Teacher’s president Randi Weingarten stopped short of outright opposing Common Core. Some of AFT’s local chapters, including Chicago, have called for the union to end its support for Common Core entirely.

The unions have also criticized the standards for being too hard, rewarding a small number of “profiteering” companies that make the tests and books, and punishing both teachers and students. But at the end of the conference, with a massive push from New York’s Unity Caucus, AFT delegates voted by two-thirds majority to continue to support Common Core.

This may be a calculated move on the AFT’s part to tell the Obama administration union’s backing depends on whether the administration pays attention to its other demands. For example, AFT has long called for the repeal of No Child Left Behind, which mandates annual, multiple-choice tests for most elementary and middle school students.

But the news isn’t all bad as Oklahoma’s Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the Legislature did have the authority to repeal Common Core for English and math in the state’s public schools. The suit alleged lawmakers violated the state Board of Education’s constitutional authority when they repealed the standards earlier this year.

Several groups maintained that the standards represented federal intrusion into Oklahoma’s public education system, and Governor Mary Fallin signed into law legislation repealing the standards last month. The legislation, repealing Common Core standards for English and math, did not include standards for science and social studies.

Other states that have repealed or formally withdrawn from the standards are Indiana and South Carolina. Meanwhile North Carolina is moving forward with a bill eliminating Common Core, while in Louisiana, Governor Bobby Jindal and Louisiana Education Superintendent John White continue to negotiate over implementing the standards.

By the Numbers

Some interesting stats from the Las Vegas Sun:

• 57,525 — Unaccompanied children apprehended at the Southwest border in the first nine months of FY 2014, already a 106 percent increase from all of FY 2013.
• 55,420 — Family units apprehended at the Southwest border in the first nine months of FY 2014, a 493 percent increase from all of FY 2013.
• $3.7 billion — Funding that Obama has requested to help address the crisis, including money to hasten deportations, improve border security, increase immigration court capacity and provide aid to the three main source countries for the recent influx: El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.
• 5,000 — Beds available for unaccompanied children in shelters contracted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which takes custody of immigrant minors who have no guardian in the country.
• 43 — Percentage of children who appeared before immigration court without legal representation since 2005.
• 71 — Percentage of unaccompanied children since 2005 who were either ordered removed or chose to voluntarily leave the country at the end of their court cases.

Sources: Customs and Border Patrol; National Center for Border Security and Immigration at University of Texas, El Paso; Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University

The Real War on ‘Redskins’

It’s a scandal only a few people have heard of and even fewer media outlets are reporting on.

As Harry Reid and his ilk railed against the Washington Redskins, a whistleblower complained hundreds of Native American Indian remains and artifacts being lost, boxed up for storage or loaned to museums and universities without the ability to track them.

Perhaps the attack on the football team was a deliberate ruse to distract attention from what the Obama Administration is doing to Indian tribes, especially in the West. The Bureau of Reclamation has erased records within an Interior Department database and changed spreadsheets to hide mismanagement of Indian collections under the agency’s control.

Since 1990, the bureau has been tasked with finding and returning artifacts and remains to their rightful owners under a federal law known as The Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA). The federal government’s handling of such remains and artifacts, though has been criticized for years.

A Government Accountability Office report in 2010 was critical of the Interior Department after the agency asked for more money and eight years to come into compliance with the law. But documents also show the Mid-Pacific Bureau in Sacramento deleted hundreds of records hiding several years of errors.

A document from the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, (PEER), outlines a number of times where the bureau failed to catalog human remains and artifacts, failed to track loans, deleted records, and to let tribes know of recoveries. A filing with the Office of Special Counsel also raised questions about the agency not complying with the law once it stopped keeping records.

The office also routinely failed to tell tribes of long-stored and newly uncovered remains and funeral objects. Some of the collections date back to the 1970s, when the federal government was building the New Melones dam and reservoir on the Stanislaus River, west of Jamestown, California.

In August 2010, the Smithsonian Institution returned several artifacts to California’s largest tribe, the Yurok, in what is one of the largest repatriation of ceremonial artifacts in U.S. history.

The Yurok received 217 sacred items stored on museum shelves for nearly 100 years. The necklaces, headdresses, arrows, hides and other things from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian are thought to be a least a thousand years old.

Some of the items included woven baskets, headdresses, eagle and condor feathers, head rolls made from pileated woodpecker scalps, white deer skins, obsidian blades and flint, all of which were used for centuries in sacred rituals and dances.

The returned artifacts were purchased in the 1920s by Grace Nicholson who owned a curio shop in Pasadena, California. After she acquired them, she sold some of them to private collectors like Harmon Hendricks and George Gustav Heye, and eventually they became part of the Museum of the American Indian in New York.

Last month, the Smithsonian returned another of 128 ceremonial pieces. The most recent items included a basket cap decorated with shells, dresses adorned with abalone, arrow quivers made from woodpecker scalps, and “jump sticks” decorated with woodpecker heads.

And while most of items have now been returned, the museum is keeping 15 ceremonial caps that the tribe is working to acquire. As the tribe works to get the caps back, it also has plans to file claims against three more museums, including one in Del Norte County, another in Portland, Oregon, and with the University of Washington’s museum.

The 1989 National Museum of the American Indian Act (similar to NAGPRA) transferred stewardship of more than 800,000 Indian artifacts to the Smithsonian and required the institute to consider repatriating them to federally recognized tribes.

While it’s unclear how widespread the problem is, PEER said it wouldn’t be surprised if similar things were happening elsewhere given that budget shortfalls and other priorities are challenges found throughout the agency. The Secretary of the Interior now has 60 days to investigate the whistleblower’s accusations and report back to the Office of Special Counsel.

More in the War on Words

California Governor Jerry Brown has signed a bill into law that redefines marriage and replaces the terms ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ with the generic term ‘spouse.’ SB 1306 will take effect on January 1, 2015 and removes limits on recognizing same-sex marriages performed out-of-state.

“Under existing law, a reference to ‘husband’ and ‘wife,’ ‘spouses,’ or ‘married persons,’ or a comparable term, includes persons who are lawfully married to each other and persons who were previously lawfully married to each other, as is appropriate under the circumstances of the particular case,” it reads. “The bill would delete references to ‘husband’ or ‘wife’ in the Family Code and would instead refer to a ‘spouse,’ and would make other related changes.”

The legislation had been presented by Senator Mark Leno after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn the 9th Circuit ruling that declared California’s Proposition 8 unconstitutional. However, with the court’s ruling against Proposition 8, Leno sought to likewise change California law to alter the definition of marriage and reflect same-sex nuptials.

“I am pleased Governor Brown has recognized the importance of this bill, which makes it explicitly clear in state law that every loving couple has the right to marry in California,” Leno commented in a statement this week. “This legislation removes outdated and biased language from state codes and recognizes all married spouses equally, regardless of their gender.”

Prop. 8 is still technically part of California’s Constitution, despite being ruled unconstitutional by a federal court in 2010. The U.S. Supreme Court dismissed an appeal in June 2013, and two days later, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco lifted its injunction blocking the ruling that it was unconstitutional.

The National Organization for Marriage, a US-based pro-traditional marriage group, said the move was: “Further proof that redefining marriage is not simply about ‘equality’ or expanding the institution to include more kinds of relationships”.

Rather, it added, it is “about fundamentally altering the meaning of the institution itself, and discarding terms like ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ to ‘the ash heap of history.’”

Last year, Brown signed into law a controversial bill allowing transgender students to use the bathroom and join the sports teams or clubs corresponding to their gender identity. Lawmakers also passed a law last year that makes it easier for transgender people to change their gender and name on their birth certificate.

This fits right in with the banning of ‘Redskins,’ ‘Illegal alien,’ and ‘bossy.’ It also works well with Progressivism’s rapid movement away from a truly American ideal — ‘free speech.’

In May of this year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed new legislation that banned swearing during public performances such as theater plays, cinema and other forms of art. Under the new anti-F word law, which take effects on July 1, persons caught swearing during public performances would pay a penalty of $750 while organizations and companies would be fined about $1,500.

In April, a similar law was also passed prohibiting swearing-in media. The new list of banned words considered as swearing has yet to be officially released.

However, last year the Institute of Russian Language at the Russian Academy of Sciences listed four words that represented swearing. They included words illustrating the male and female organ, an immoral woman and the act of copulation which were not allowed to be spoken in any form of art.

The new law shocked many Russians and drew a lot of criticism.

Swearing has played an important role in Russian literary art where even some of the country’s best writers are prolific with cursing. These include classical pieces from Alexander Pushkin to the works of Vladimir Sorokin, a contemporary post-modernist writer.

The Culture Ministry of Russia clarified that the swearing ban was directed to the mass culture and not toward art.

Culture Ministry representative Irina Kaznacheeva claims the new legislation aims to regulate the industry so that cursing would deliver a purpose. She added that it would depend on how the artistic director of a public performance would decide on how to deliver the swearing, whether it breaks the new legislation or not.

California’s “Fix in Six”

The push to split up California into six different states may have taken a step forward. Supporters of the “Fix it in Six” initiative say they turned in 1.3 million signatures to the California Secretary of State’s Office. They need a little more than 800,000 signatures to get this idea on the 2016 ballot.

Getting the idea before voters and on the ballot is one hurdle. Critics say, this idea will face even bigger obstacles.

Some research indicates the poorer areas of California would be far worse off by this proposal. The California Legislative Analyst’s Office claims the new Silicon Valley would become the nation’s richest state, while Central California would become its poorest.

Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist, Tim Draper is the man behind this effort. He and other supporters say this idea will make California government more modern and more responsive.

“The interests of 38 million Californians cannot be served by one government. There are 38 million of us trying to talk at the same time and they’re (lawmakers) just hearing noise, coming from all sides,” said Draper.

“Under a new regime, you can govern yourself. You don’t have to be governed by a bunch of voters who live way away from you. You can encourage jobs, you can take those jobs that are going off to other states and get them into places that need them, like in Central California,” he added

The plan would divide California into six states. The northernmost part would be a new state called “Jefferson.” “South California” would include San Diego and East Los Angeles. The rest of L.A. would be called “West California.” “North California” would be established surrounding Sacramento, and “Central California” would include the central valley farm areas, including Tulare and Fresno counties.

It’s believed there have been more than 200 attempts in California history to divide the state and all have failed.

Jews Under Attack World Wide

Since Operation Protective Edge began a week ago, anti-Israel demonstrations and anti-Semitic incidents have taken place around the world as far apart as The Hague, Hong Kong and Mexico City, where some protesters were seen carrying signs with swastikas and anti-Semitic slogans.

In Los Angeles, a federal officer fired his weapon Sunday during a pro-Israel rally held in front of the federal building in Westwood in an attempt to defuse an fight that broke out when pro-Palestinian counter-protesters arrived at the rally. An officer with the Department of Homeland Security sought to intervene and fired his weapon once.

Four men were arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon after a group of men drove past the protest displaying a Palestinian flag then had the flag ripped away. When men from the truck attempted to retrieve the flag, there was a confrontation.

No one was injured in the incident.

Clashes erupted in Paris on Sunday as thousands of people protested against Israel and in support of residents in the Gaza Strip, where a six-day conflict has left 166 Palestinians dead. Several thousand demonstrators walked calmly through the streets of Paris behind a large banner that read “Total Support for the Struggle of the Palestinian People.”

Some of the slogans went beyond support for Palestine.

“We had multiple witnesses who told us they heard cries of ‘Death to Jews,'” Sacha Reingewirtz, president the Union of Jewish Students of France said. “I call on them to cease blaming Jews in France for the conflict, as they have nothing to do with it.”

Anti-Israel protesters swirled around the Synagogue Don Isaac Abravanel in Paris, screaming hate-filled epithets and hurling rocks and bottles as the Jews cowered inside, fearful for their lives. At another synagogue nearby, protesters tried to force their way into the building, armed with bats and chairs.

“I came to say no to this massacre,” said Amid Hamadouch, who had a sticker reading “Boycott Israel, Racist State” on his jacket.

“They are bombing innocent people,” added Hamadouch. “There are missiles being launched by Hamas, but the Israeli response is disproportionate. They are attacking the civilian population and not Hamas officials.”

The group was freed to leave the center only after police intervention at 9 pm. A Jewish owned store on rue de la Roquette was trashed by 50 men with iron bars and a young man was hospitalized nearby.

Thousands of pro-terrorist protesters also surrounded the French shul on Sunday throwing rocks into the building as congregants waited inside for police support. They had come to the synagogue on Sunday for a ceremony to honor the memory of the three Israeli teens that were kidnapped and slain.

On Friday night a firebomb went off at the entrance to the synagogue Aulnay-sous-Bois which is a northeastern suburb of Paris. On Saturday a crowd outside a synagogue in an eastern suburb of Paris chanted “death to the Jews” and “slaughter the Jews” in both Arabic and French, as protesters spit on the worshippers.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls condemned the attempted synagogue stormings “in the strongest possible terms. Such acts targeting places of worship are unacceptable,” he said in a statement.

“I am profoundly shocked and revolted. This aggression towards the Jewish community has taken an absolutely unacceptable turn,” said Joel Mergui, president of the Israelite Central Consistory of France.

Meanwhile Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo called for “calm in the face of tensions” in the Middle East.

In Germany, police allowed an anti-Israel protester to climb inside a police car and shout slogans including “Child murderer Israel” and “Allahu Akbar” using the vehicles’ megaphone. Frankfurt Police let the protester use the megaphone during a Free Gaza demonstration Saturday because he had offered to calm down a protest that had turned violent.

“We as police had come up spontaneously with this unusual method and he abused it — we didn’t expect that,” spokeswoman Virginie Wegner said. “Police are neutral during protests.”

The head of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Dieter Graumann, condemned the incident.

“I’m shocked that a German police car was used to spread hatred and agitation,” Graumann said. “It was a big mistake that the police let themselves be abused for this.”

Meanwhile, Rabbi Moshe Ohayon of Morocco’s Jewish community in Casablanca was attacked Friday. Authorities say a young man waited for the rabbi near the synagogue, then beat him repeatedly, breaking several of his ribs and causing him to lose consciousness.

The attacker reportedly asked the rabbi what the Israeli military was doing to his “brothers,” before hitting him.

In Sydney, more than 4,000 people gathered for a pro-Palestinian protest. Thousands more protested outside the Israeli Embassy in London on Friday, with similar demonstrations held in Dublin and Oslo.

New Bill Seeks to Allow States to Manage Wild Horses

Across the west, the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service oversee 13.3 million AUMs (Animal Unit Months) on 250 million acres of public land. A month of grazing one cow/calf combination or five sheep costs $1.35 – a fee well below the present-day cost of $16 to $20 per month to graze livestock on private land.

The direct cost to U.S. taxpayers is at least $123 million a year.

Now a Utah congressman has introduced legislation to allow states and Indian tribes to take over management of wild horses and burros from the federal government. Chris Stewart says the BLM has failed to properly manage horses and burros, and states should manage them because each state faces unique challenges.

The proposal would also give states authority to form cooperative agreements to manage herds that cross over borders.

“The federal government has never been able to properly manage the horses and burros in the west,” Stewart said in a statement. “Every state faces different challenges, which is why it’s important that they have the ability to manage their own wildlife.”

“States and tribes already successfully manage large quantities of wildlife within their borders,” Stewart added. “If horses and burros were under that same jurisdiction, I’m confident that new ideas and opportunities would be developed to manage the herds more successfully than the federal government.”

Anne Novak of the group ‘Protect Mustangs’ criticized the legislation, saying it would lead to states and tribes killing the animals or selling them off for slaughter for human consumption.

“We’ve had firsthand experience with states and tribes managing wild horses, and it’s horribly cruel,” Novak said in a statement. “They ruthlessly remove wild horses and sell them to kill-buyers at auction. Severe animal abuse would be the result of the (legislation).”

The BLM Utah’s numbers show there are an estimated 3,245 wild horses and burros in the state when management levels call for 1,956. It’s an issue that concerns rural leaders that a showdown with the BLM is on the horizon.

“We don’t want this to turn out to be anything like the Cliven Bundy deal. Just because the BLM can break the law does not mean we can break the law,” said Beaver County Commissioner Mark Whitney. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Under its roundup schedule, the BLM plans to gather 2,400 of the animals through the end of the fiscal year. All but 215 of them will be horses.

Plans call for the removal of 1,535 horses in Wyoming, 285 in Nevada, 200 in Utah, 75 in Oregon, 50 in California and 35 in Idaho. The bureau also plans to gather 140 burros in Arizona, 50 in California and 25 in Oregon.

Some 49,000 horses and burros removed from the range are being held in government facilities throughout several western states. More than 60 percent of the BLM’s annual budget for managing wild horses and burros goes towards warehousing the animals in corrals.

Humboldt Man Featured in New Crime Show

Shane Miller is a former Humboldt County man wanted in the death of his wife and two young daughters in Shingletown, California. He is featured on the new CNN show ‘The Hunt,’ with John Walsh, airing Sunday at 9 p.m.

Authorities say Miller shot his wife and daughters multiple times before grabbing the family dog and heading to a remote area of Humboldt County where he grew up. He hasn’t been seen since — even after an intensive manhunt around Petrolia, about 40 miles south of Eureka.

Miller had threatened to kill his wife and the girls before, and he finally carried out the murders on the day Sandy Miller planned to tell him she wanted a place of her own. She had sought to escape from her husband about two weeks before she and her daughters were killed.

During an April 20th domestic violence dispute, Sandy Miller went to Humboldt County and her husband followed the same day, finding her at a motel and bringing her back to Shingletown. Shane Miller also made threats to kill his mother-in-law, sister-in-law and her children.

Shasta County detectives found Shane Miller’s bunker last month in Whitmore. The hidden bunker contained a large cache of guns and ammunition, but no indication that he’d stayed there recently. A $25,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest.

Shane is 5 feet, 10 inches tall and weighs 200 pounds with red hair and blue eyes. He is considered armed and dangerous.

UPDATE 08/03/2014: Shasta County Sheriff Office has identified remains found near Petrolia’s River Bar as those belonging to Miller. Authorities have been searching for Miller since May of 2013 after he killed his wife and two daughters.

Cigarette’s for Ale

DiFranco watched as the yellow truck slowly drove by on the roadway that ran by the compound. It was 5:30 in the morning and the Lance Corporal was manning Post Six, jus’ south of the headquarters of Battalion Landing Team 1/8, 24th Marine Amphibious Unit.

The truck circled the parking lot, then left. It headed south at the gate towards Beirut International Airport. The feeling left him feeling guarded as it wasn’t an uncommon thing to have happen.

However, within the hour, the same vehicle returned, speeding up as it turned around in the parking lot. The driver aimed the truck at the lobby of the building as he crashed through the concertina wire between Post Six and Post Seven.

Sergeant Russell was at the main entrance of building, manning his post when he heard the truck accelerate and slam through the wire. With time only to save himself, the Sergeant of the Marines ran toward the rear entrance, yelling for other’s to “Hit the deck!”

Seconds later he felt the vehicle explode, sending him through the air and out of the building. Wounded, Russell found himself in the roadway outside the building with debris all around him.

Since it was Sunday, a modified holiday routine was in effect. Reveille would not sound until 6:30 am, and brunch would be served between eight and 1o o’clock. In the afternoon, there would be time to write letters, read, and toss a football around.

In the afternoon there was a barbecue planned — hamburgers, hot dogs, and all the fixings. Doc was up long before that, packed and ready for his unauthorized mission.

“Hurry back, Doc,” the Gunny said to Doc as he stepped passed the rows of neatly stacked sand bags.
The pair was standing near the stacked sand bags of the ground floor machine gun placement. The barrel of the weapon looked out over the back steps of the compound.

In the other direction was a road that led to the airport where other Marine’s were stationed. Earlier in the month, it had been the scene of an attack, which left one man dead and another severely wounded.

If it hadn’t been for the British moving an armored vehicle in between the Marines trying to recover their wounded and dead, more men would have either died or been wounded. That’s where Doc reconnected with Major Ian McNeil, a British doctor he’d met on assignment a few months before.

Doc carried an olive drab backpack as he bound down the steps of the building. In it he had a hoarded stash of cigarettes.

His mission this day was to trade them for whatever alcohol he could get. And Doc knew exactly where he was going to do that; the United Nations Peacekeeping delegation from Great Britain.

Earlier in the week he had discovered they had beer, which they called ale. They also would trade most anything for American cigarettes.

So Doc devised a plan with the Gunny. Together they gathered together about twenty cartons of cigarettes and since he had free reign by virtue of being a Corpsman, Doc walked the mile between the two fortifications.

The sun beat down on the street; heat wave wagged its fingers sky ward, distorting the distance traveled. The village was quiet, with only the songs of the Mosque echoing from corner to corner.

Doc always found it amazing that he could turn the corner from the splendor of white washed walls to the disgusting squalor of mud and card board shacks; the sun baked smells of stench everywhere.

“Maybe,” Doc thought to himself, “This is why we’re here.”

He also thought of the night before and how the USO had put on a great show. It was nice to see something from home firsthand for a change.

Doc forced his mind to focus on the task at hand. It was important that he concentrate on his surroundings.

A lone American could easily disappear in this country. The shadow at the next corner could hold death for him.

There was no concern for the fact that Doc wore a uniform. He snuggled the backpack tighter on his shoulders, then touched the canvassed flap of his service pistol, leaving him feeling oddly comfortable.

Twenty minutes after Doc had started his walk from the four-story U.S. defensive position he found himself at the barbed-wire gate of the British.

“What brings you out for a visit, Yank?” the guard at the gate asked.

Doc smiled, “Heard it was tea-time.”

The Brit snorted and rolled his eyes at him. Doc helped him pull the concertina wire back in place.

“Doc,” McNeil called out.

Doc turned and was met with by an out reached hand. Doc grabbed it and the two men shook.

“I didn’t know that you would be afoot this morning,” he said, “Otherwise I might have been able to send a driver around for you. “

They laughed at the obvious joke.

Doc handed him the pack as soon as they stepped inside the officers’ tent. McNeil pulled the tabs open.

“How much is there?” he asked.

”Four thousand,” Doc said.

The look on his face told of his surprise. Then McNeil smiled.

His white teeth flashing as he spoke, ”I have ten cases of ale as agreed,” adding, “it’s in the lorry out back, ready to go when you are.”

With a now empty backpack in hand, Doc pulled the flap of the tent back and stepped out into the glare of the sunshine. Together the doctor and the Corpsman walked towards the lorry.

It was an odd sound that vibrated the ground beneath them. Both men stopped and looked towards the village, as the sentries inside the camp became curiously attentive.

Raised in California Doc’s mind said, “Earthquake.”

Then there was a burst of sound, followed by silence.

The top floor of the U.S. rampart was visible from where Doc stood. The men on top were all gathered near the front, looking more like ants than humans.

Then he grew sick to his stomach and panic gripped him as he watched in horror as the rampart disappeared. In its place rose a cloud of yellow-red dust.

The dust just hung there and filtered downward, shafts of sunlight cutting through it. Doc jus’ stood there, stunned.

He watched as the building collapsed away and dust filled the air where it once stood. He could not move.

When Doc finally looked around, he found himself surrounded by eyes that looked to him for leadership. The British Peacekeepers were all on their feet, armed and ready to do battle.

“Well, Yank, what’s your order?” a voice called out.

Doc blinked a couple of times to clear his head of the fog that was seemingly encasing it. His mind suddenly snapped back.

“Advance door to door and kill anything that is a threat,” he heard himself say.

“You heard the Yank,” someone shouted.

The entire group dispersed. In less than five minutes, they had left the safety of their parameter.

“You’ll do more good with hospital,” McNeil said as he grabbed Doc’s upper arm.

He knew Doc wanted to lead the way, to go save his companions. But the Englishmen also knew that Doc’s skills were not that of a fighting man, but those of a skilled medical professional.

“Let my men sweep the area first,” he said. “They’ve trained for this. You’ll do no-one any good by getting yourself killed now.”

McNeil was right.

A few minutes later, the nine-story French barracks was attacked by a second truck bomb, leaving 58 paratroopers from the 1st Parachute Chasseur Regiment dead and 15 wounded. Many of the dead paratroopers had gathered on their balconies moments earlier to see what was happening at the airport.

Within a short time, Italian and Lebanese forces joined the rescue efforts. Despite their own problems, the French sent a contingent to the blast site, as did the British and the Lebanese Red Cross.

Meanwhile surviving Marines had begun digging by hand through the ruins in a desperate attempt to rescue the living and to implement their mass casualty evacuation plan. Soon a medical officer arrived and had the triage process up and running; and these wounded were evacuated seaward, while others were forwarded to local hospital in Beirut for treatment.

Soon Doc joined seven other surviving Corpsmen and the two remaining Battalion surgeons at the site of now destroyed building. Aside for performing immediate emergency procedures, they also made lists made of those who had been in the building and who had survived.

As rescuers continued pulling bodies from the building, they faced a major problem in identifying the dead and injured. Many of the men had removed their dog-tags before going to sleep the night before because it made sleeping uncomfortable.

Many slept in their gym shorts or other athletic gear, which were not marked with their names as uniform items were required to be. Compounding the problem was the fact that all of the BLT’s service record books and medical records were in the battalion administration offices in the basement of the destroyed building.

The dust, though not thick as it had been when the building fell, still made the air hard to breath. Also making the job of recovering the dead difficult was the continuous sniper fire, causing men to scramble for cover over and over again.

Helicopters from the amphibious assault ship Iwo Jima arrived to transport wounded to the ship for triage and stabilization. The first medical evacuation aircraft, an Air Force C-9 from Turkey, arrived before the last survivor was removed from the rubble.

A Royal Air Force C-130 landed shortly there­after, followed by a Navy C-9. Almost as soon as they were stabilized, the wounded were flown to the U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Naples, the RAF hospital in Cyprus and the Army hospitals at Landstuhl and Frankfurt, West Germany.

Eventually, the shattered remains of what had been the Marine’s four story barracks were left to the Sea-Bees. The lack of anything to do also weighed on the minds of those who had survived and it was welcomed news to learn the 24th MAU was being relieved by the 22nd.

Twenty-eight days later, Doc realized he had very little sleep and even less memory of those terrible days. How many amputations, broken bones, and torn skin and dead bodies did he work over and why couldn’t he recall their faces, names and voices?

He found himself unable to answer those questions, while seated on the helicopter taking him out to an awaiting ship.

The Weight Loss Program

After gaining nearly 30 pounds over the last dozen years, I’ve been working on losing weight. So far I’ve lost nearly five pounds in about a two-week period.

A friend of mine, who knows how I’ve been struggling sent me a joke as a way of encouragement. Allow me to share it:

A guy calls a company and orders their five-day/five-pound weight loss program.

The next day, there’s a knock on the door and there stands before him a voluptuous, athletic, 19-year-old babe dressed in nothing but a pair of Nike running shoes and a sign around her neck. She introduces herself as a representative of the weight loss company.

The sign reads, “If you can catch me, you can have me.”

Without a second thought, he takes off after her. A few miles later puffing and puffing, he finally gives up.

The same girl shows up for the next four days and the same thing happens. On the fifth day, he weighs himself and is delighted to find he has lost five pounds as promised.

He calls the company and orders their five-day/10-pound program. The next day there’s a knock at the door and there stands the most stunning, beautiful, sexy woman he has ever seen in his life.

She is wearing nothing but Reebok running shoes and a sign around her neck that reads, “If you catch me, you can have me”.

Well, he’s out the door and after her like a shot. This girl is in excellent shape and he does his best, but no such luck.

So for the next four days, the same routine happens with him gradually getting in better and better shape. Much to his delight on the fifth day when he weighs himself, he discovers that he has lost another 10 pounds as promised.

He decides to go for broke and calls the company to order the seven-day/25-pound program.

“Are you sure?” asks the representative on the phone. “This is our most rigorous program.”

“Absolutely,” he replies, “I haven’t felt this good in years.”

The next day there’s a knock at the door; and when he opens it he finds a huge muscular guy standing there wearing nothing but pink running shoes and a sign around his neck that reads, “If I catch you, you are mine.”

He lost 33 pounds that week.

An Open Plea to Harry Reid’s Family

Vowing to “do something” about the Supreme Court’s recent Hobby Lobby ruling, Senator Harry Reid, who continues to work under a cloud of ethics charges, renewed Democrats’ plans to undermine the high court’s decision by attacking the “five white men” who voted in favor of the Christian, family owned business.

“The one thing we are going to do during this work period, sooner rather than later, is to ensure that women’s lives are not determined by virtue of five white men,” Reid told reporters Tuesday. “This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous and we are going to do something about it. People are going to have to walk down here and vote.”

There’s just one problem with his statement — Justice Clarence Thomas is black.

This has left many wondering about Reid’s mental faculties. In May 2009 I posed the question: “Does Harry need Mental Health Help?” after he published an unfounded ‘memory’ about deceased Nevada Congressman Walter Baring in his book, “The Good Fight: Hard Lessons from Searchlight to Washington.”

In it, Reid claimed that on the day President John F. Kennedy was assassinated Baring told him it was good thing as JFK was leading the U.S. into Communism.

“But on the evening of Kennedy’s death, I sat with Congressman Baring of Nevada as he nursed his drink. And I was shattered. Then Baring said something that I will never forget. He was a conservative Democrat, reactionary actually, one of those guys for whom there was a Communist behind every bush. Fluoride was a Communist plot. And Kennedy, too, had been leading us down the path to Communism, Baring told me. It was probably a good thing that he was murdered. That’s what he told me.”

Reid’s assertion has been countered by Baring’s son, Jeff.

“There is no way my dad would have said anything like that, much less to Harry Reid,” the younger Baring said.

He also kept an Associated Press newspaper clipping from the day of JFK’s assassination which contradicts Reid and points towards his father’s real thoughts on the president’s death.

“I am stunned by the tragic death of our president and as congressman for Nevada; I join the people of the nation throughout the world in this dark hour, in mourning the death of our President, John F. Kennedy, and in extending our deepest sympathies to Mrs. Kennedy and family,” Congressman Baring stated.

Now — this strange statement about the only black member of the current Supreme Court is adding fuel to that fire.

Meanwhile others have wondered about Reid’s racist tendencies, and may interpret Reid’s comments as just another way of calling Thomas an “Uncle Tom,” thereby accusing him of not really being black. In 2008, Reid said Barack Obama was electable because he was “light skinned” and had “no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

Thomas was joined by Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy and Samuel Alito in the 5-4 Burwell versus Hobby Lobby Supreme Court case. Thomas is seen as a strict constitutionalist and one of the more conservative members of the Supreme Court.

Finally…

With a deep compassion in my heart, I’m pleading with Harry’s wife Landra, his daughter, Lana and his son’s Rory, Leif, Josh and Key to talk him into retirement before his mentation problems escalate. It’s obvious to even the most-casual observer that he’s dealing with onset of dementia and needs to leave public life.

It’s hard to understand why any family member, who loves their husband and father, would allow his situation to continue deteriorating to the point it would become a public spectacle. I may not agree with anything he does politically – but I do believe he deserves to leave the public spot light with his dignity fully intact.

In Nevada, “Sin City” takes on New Meaning

Nevada’s Democratic Congressional Representative’s Steven Horsford and Dina Titus are co-sponsoring a bill that claims to protect women’s health in response to last week’s Supreme Court “Hobby Lobby” decision. Obviously, they’re picking up their cue from Senator Harry Reid, also of Nevada.

“This Hobby Lobby decision is outrageous and we are going to do something about it,” Reid complained Tuesday.

Titus, another Las Vegas Democrat, trumpeted the legislation she introduced with the aid of the Pro-Choice Caucus.

“The private beliefs of corporations and employers have no place in the health decisions of individual women,” said Titus.

“The Not My Boss’ Business Act” will prohibit for-profit employers from using religious beliefs to deny employees coverage of contraception or any other vital health service required by federal law. The bill would keep in place the existing exemption in the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 for religious employers such as churches, as well as accommodations for religious non-profit groups.

“A woman’s fundamental right to make her own health choices in consultation with her doctor should not be subject to the discretion of her boss’s religious views,” Horsford said in a statement announcing he would cosponsor the bill.

The bill could be up for a vote in the Senate as soon as next week. But Senate Republicans are likely to block it.

The Greening in the West

In an Associated Press-CNBC poll, released in April 2010, only 33 percent of those questioned favored legalization of marijuana while 55 percent opposed it. People under 30 were the only age group favoring legalization, with 54 percent and opposition increased with age, topping out at 73 percent of those 65 and older.

Opposition was also greater among women and those in rural and suburban areas, 60 percent supported the idea and 74 percent believed the drug had a real medical benefit for some people. Two-thirds of Democrats favored medical marijuana as do a slim majority of Republicans, 53 percent.

What a difference four-years can make.

Nearly two years after voter’s legalized recreational pot for adults over 21, Washington State’s first licensed cannabis shops opened for business. The pot being sold at four stores in Seattle, Bellingham, Prosser and Spokane was regulated, tested for impurities, heavily taxed and in short supply.

Washington is the second state to allow marijuana sales without a doctor’s note. The state’s Liquor Control Board began working right away to develop rules governing just about every aspect of the industry, from what fertilizers can be used to how extracts are produced.

But the board has been overwhelmed — nearly 7,000 people applied to grow, process or sell pot, and those licenses are being reviewed by the board’s 18 investigators. Fewer than 100 growers have been approved, and only a dozen were ready to harvest in time for the market’s launch.

Much of the marijuana being sold Tuesday cost at least twice the $10 to $12 per gram offered by the state’s unregulated medical dispensaries.

And long before opening, the stores had to survive an in-state lottery for the 300 retail licenses being issued. Then they had to buy product from growers.

Meanwhile, the slow roll-out is limiting the state’s tax receipts. Washington says it may take in $586 million over the next four years, which is just a fraction of the $1.9 billion state officials estimated before the vote.

Colorado now has 206 stores licensed by the state for recreational sales. It has another 493 stores licensed for medical-marijuana sales.

The Colorado State Highway Patrol has started to keep track of marijuana-specific DUI citations. Month to month, pot-DUI’s make up about 10-to-15 percent of all citations with over 350 people cited in Denver alone this year.

The state has also collected more than $11 million in marijuana taxes.

And speaking of Colorado, while enjoying a night out in Denver on Tuesday with Colorado Governor John Hinkenlooper, President Barack Obama was approached by a man who asked him if he wanted to smoke some of marijuana.

“You want to hit this?” Matt Ashton asked while Obama was making his way through the crowd at a Denver bar. The president laughed, and while he didn’t say no, he didn’t indulge.

Meanwhile medical marijuana dispensaries in Berkeley, California could soon be required to give away some of their stash — to the poor. The city council approved the ordinance Monday.

The requirement is buried in a 20-page ordinance to amend the Berkeley Municipal Code. A new chapter in the code includes the section “Medical Cannabis for Low-Income Members,” requiring the town’s four medical marijuana dispensaries to provide “at least 2 percent (by weight) of the annual amount of Medical Cannabis” they sell to “very low-income Members who are Berkeley residents,” at no cost.

“Very low-income” is defined by the city council as less than $32,000 per year for an individual and less than $46,000 for a family of four. Not only that, it has to be the same high-quality marijuana given to regular paying customers.

The city council will also consider an ordinance to ban e-cigarette use in public spaces, despite the fact that e-cigarettes are a highly successful smoking cessation tool.

The story isn’t that poor people are getting their pot on the cheap – it’s about a government body telling a private business to give away what they sell for nothing.

This is what tyranny looks like.

The Bouncing Ball of the Gun Debate

“As long as the government is perceived as working for the benefit of the children, the people will happily endure almost any curtailment of liberty and almost any deprivation.” ― Adolf Hitler, Mein Kampf

The Senate on Monday approved a procedural voted in favor of the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act of 2014. The bill is a combination of several proposals aimed at allowing people to use land controlled by the federal government.

It would make sure more target ranges are placed on public land, and that target shooting, hunting and fishing can take place on these lands, ends a ban on fishing gear made with lead components, something that was put in place for environmental reasons. Additionally, it will let people import polar bear trophies from Canada harvested from bears taken before they were placed on the endangered species list.

The bill, however is not sitting well with Democrats, who opposed it by saying the Senate should not be trying to expand the rights of people with guns, including Senator Chris Murphy.

“There is a perfectly legitimate debate to be had about bringing more legal guns onto public property,” Murphy said. “But there is a more important debate than that about taking illegal guns off of our city streets.”

“If the United States Senate is going to spend a week debating a bill about gun policy, than we should be talking about getting rid of illegal guns,” he added. “We should be talking about keeping guns out of the hands of criminals. We should be talking about stopping the epidemic of gun violence across this country.”

He and Senator Richard Blumenthal both said they would vote against the bill because the Senate should be considering tougher gun regulations citing the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in late 2012. But they, along with others, were not enough to stop the overwhelming majority support for the bill.

Now, several GOP senators are hoping to offer amendments to strengthen gun right in the bill. However Senator Harry Reid is reportedly planning to block any floor amendments.

“These pro-gun Senators want to offer good amendments like concealed carry reciprocity,” Gun Owners of America notes, “but that won’t be possible if Harry Reid blocks their ability to offer pro-gun amendments with an ‘amendment tree.’”

Reid has often used procedural tactics, preventing Republicans from offering amendments that could put vulnerable Democrats on the spot in November. This and the gutting of the filibuster, has led too much of the legislative gridlock in the chamber.

Across the country in Washington State, a battle over gun rights is heating up with two opposing ballot initiatives concerning background checks. Initiative 594 would strengthen background checks on gun purchasers to include gun shows and online sales. Initiative 591, one the other hand would prohibit background checks by the state unless they conform to federal background check laws.

Initiative 594 says it would “apply the currently used criminal and public safety background checks by licensed dealers to all firearm sales and transfers, including gun show and online sales, with specific exceptions.”

On Sunday, the Seattle Times editorial board endorsed the increased background check initiative and opposed the ballot measure supported by the pro-gun groups, slammed the anti-background check measure as “wholly inappropriate, unnecessary and potentially a reckless retreat.”

“The firearm industry and its entrepreneurial forces know their market, so the notion of ‘confiscating’ guns is immediately mentioned,” the opinion piece added.

If passed, Initiative 591 would make it “unlawful for any government agency to confiscate guns or other firearms from citizens without due process” and “unlawful for any government agency to require background checks on the recipient of a firearm unless a uniform national standard is required.”

As the debate over gun control and the Second Amendment rages Independence day brought New York City’s “most concentrated explosion of gun violence this year,” the New York Post reported, as a dozen people were shot, three fatally, within a five-hour span.

One victim “suffered a head wound so grisly that cops couldn’t tell if he’d been shot, stabbed or beaten,” the Post reported.

Another seven people were shot in the early morning hours of Saturday in Indianapolis, and six more at a Houston music festival around the same time on the same day.

But it is in Chicago that the most gun violence took place with at 82 people shot and 14 deaths during the long Independence Day weekend. At five of those shootings were police-involved, ending with two people killed.

“There has to come a tipping point where this changes,” Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said. “The illogical nature of what’s happening here — that government can intercede and prevent this from happening is overwhelming. And I refuse to think otherwise in a great country like America that we can continue to allow this to happen — not just on a state, but on a federal level.”

An Eye for An Eye in Jerusalem

A Florida teen remains under house-arrest in Jerusalem. Fifteen-year-old Tariq Khdeir was attending a demonstration related to the death of his cousin, 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir, when he was arrested and beaten.

Hassan Shibly, executive director with the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Florida, claims the beating came at the hands of Israeli soldiers.

“You can see video of them really stomping on his face,” Shibly said.

However a statement released by the Israeli Defense Force refutes Shibly’s claim.

“It seems that the Israel Police Forces were involved in the incident, and not the IDF Forces,” the statement reads.

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that such beatings “should not happen.”

“Obviously, it is forbidden under Israeli law to beat up a suspect who is in handcuffs,” states Mark Regev.

A U.S. consular officer visited the teen in an Israeli detention center in Jerusalem and issued a statement following the visit:

“We are profoundly troubled by reports that he was severely beaten while in police custody and strongly condemn any excessive use of force. We are calling for a speedy, transparent and credible investigation and full accountability for any excessive use of force.”

Tariq described how police hit him.

”They hit me in the face, they hit me, they brutally hit me, they put me unconscious. I could not do anything about it,” Tariq said.

Israeli police say Tariq resisted arrest, attacked officers and was carrying a shepherd’s sling used for lobbing stones when he was arrested. Tariq was fined about $900 and sentenced to nine days of house arrest.

His mother, Suha Abu Khdeir, protested the continued restrictions on her son.

“I feel like he does not deserve to be on house arrest out of his own home for nine days and have a bail. On what charges? He has not been charged. There is no charge on him. Why are you putting him on house arrest? It makes no sense. I am American. I know the American law. This does not happen in America,” she said.

Tariq’s cousin, Mohammed died after being struck on the head with a blunt object and kidnapped off the street. An autopsy also showed traces of smoke in his lungs, indicating it was still breathing while the fire was burning.

Working quickly, Israeli authorities arrested six people believed to have murdered Mohammed. They have yet to release their names.

Mohammed’s mother welcomed news of the arrests but said she had little faith in the Israeli justice system.

“I don’t have any peace in my heart. Even if they captured who they say killed my son,” she said. “They’re only going to ask them questions and then release them. What’s the point?”

“They need to treat them the way they treat us. They need to demolish their homes and round them up, the way they do it to our children,” she added.

All this comes after the bodies of the three Israeli students were found, tied-up and buried beneath a pile of rocks in an open field in an area called Wadi Tellem north of the Palestinian village of Halhul. They were found after a “tip” to look in the field, which had been previously searched

Eyal Yifrach, 19, Gilad Shaar, 16, and Naftali Fraenkel, a 16-year-old with dual Israeli-American citizenship, were studying in West Bank yeshivas. They disappeared while hitchhiking home late at night June 12th, a week before the start of summer vacation.

Official reports are that “They know it’s the three, they will know for sure after they do the autopsy. It appears that they boys were shot to death, likely “very close to the kidnap” time, and that the prime suspects had still not been caught.

Hamas, a Palestinian militant group has been accused by Israel of taking the boys; however they have denied the kidnapping. Following the kidnappings, however Hamas ‘celebrated’ by handing out candy to Palestinian children.

In the meantime, Israel has identified at least two of the kidnappers as members of Hamas. Israel’s Shin Bet security service is working with Palestinian authorities to find Marwan Qawasmeh and Amer Abu Aisheh, who went missing the day the teenagers disappeared.

Both Qawasmeh and Aisheh have served time in Israeli prisons.

Nevada Sheriff: Hold Bundy, BLM Accountable for Standoff

“If you step over that line, there are consequences to those actions,” Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie said. “And I believe they stepped over that line. No doubt about it. They need to be held accountable for it.”

U.S. Bureau of Land Management officials say they agree with Gillespie’s position that rancher Cliven Bundy should be held accountable for his role in an April standoff with the BLM. Spokeswoman Celia Boddington, in a statement said the agency continues to pursue the matter.

“There is an ongoing investigation and we are working diligently to ensure that those who broke the law are held accountable,” she said, declining to elaborate.

The BLM claims Bundy owes over $1 million in fees and penalties for trespassing on federal property without a permit over 20 years. Bundy, whose ancestors settled in the area in the late 1800s, refuses to acknowledge federal authority on public lands.

A federal judge in Las Vegas first ordered Bundy to remove “trespass cattle” from land the BLM declared a refuge for the endangered desert tortoise in 1998. However the BLM only obtained court orders just last year allowing the roundup.

Gillespie blamed the BLM for escalating the conflict adding Bundy isn’t a hardened criminal, but a rancher who stopped paying his fees and that was not worth risking violence.

“I came back from that saying, ‘This is not the time to do this,’ ” said Gillespie. “They said, ‘We do this all the time. We know what we’re doing. We hear what you’re saying, but we’re moving forward.'”

Boddington disputed Gillespie’s contention the agency mishandled the roundup.

“It is unfortunate that the sheriff is now attempting to rewrite the details of what occurred, including his claims that the BLM did not share accurate information,” she said. “The sheriff encouraged the operation and promised to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with us as we enforced two recent federal court orders.”

“Sadly, he backed out of his commitment shortly before the operation, and after months of joint planning, leaving the BLM and the National Park Service to handle the crowd control that the sheriff previously committed to handling,” Boddington added.

The BLM backed down during the showdown with Bundy and his supporters, citing safety concerns, released nearly 400 head of cattle collected from Bundy during the weeklong standoff.

Tensions escalated after a video showed one of Bundy’s sons being struck with a Taser.

“I think if anybody would look at how they handled the protesting with the use of Tasers and police dogs, anyone who had been in policing would question those tactics,” said Gillespie. “And I believe that led to the heightened interest and escalating the situation.”

Prior to the stand-off Gillespie was named by the National Sheriffs’ Association’s winner of the prestigious Ferris E. Lucas Award for Sheriff of the Year 2014. Senator Harry Reid presented Gillespie with a Congressional Proclamation for being selected at Reid’s office in the Lloyd George Federal Building.

The award was presented to Gillespie June 22nd during the opening part of the 2014 NSA Annual Conference in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Reid made himself a target after calling standoff supporters “domestic terrorists.”

“Those people who hold themselves out to be patriots are not. They’re nothing more than domestic terrorists,” Reid said. “I repeat: What went on up there was domestic terrorism.”

Reid also said Gillespie is continuing to work with the federal government on putting together a task force to deal with the Bundy family.

As former Libertarian vice presidential nominee Wayne Allen Root writes about the Bundy-BLM standoff, “I live in Las Vegas. I live and breathe Nevada politics. Something is very wrong. Something smells rotten in the Nevada desert. And Senator Harry Reid’s fingerprints are all over it.”

So far no charges have been brought against Bundy, his family or supporters.

However the BLM is being sued by a watchdog group that wants to review its decision-making and records about the standoff. The lawsuit by the Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility is asking a federal court to order the BLM to turn over public records that may show agency employees were put at risk during the standoff.

The suit alleges the BLM isn’t responding to Freedom of Information Act requests for documents about the April 12th decision to abandon the roundup.

“They left themselves without a good option other than combing through thousands of acres for stray cows,” said Executive Director Jeff Ruch.

It also alleges the BLM refuses to provide an annual accounting of threats and attacks against agency employees. It also seeks records of criminal referrals the BLM has sought; any advisories or warnings to agency employees before and after the standoff; any directives or advisories for handling “similar incidents of armed resistance to lawful orders;” and all “decision documents” about the roundup and removal of the cattle.

The Bald Hills’ Lyons

Born in Franklin County, Indiana, in 1831, Jonathan Lyons later moved with his family to Iowa. It was from there that, as an asthmatic 18-year-old, he joined a wagon train bound for Oregon and worked his way across the country.

After spending some time farming in the Willamette Valley in Oregon, stories of gold strikes on the Salmon River in northern California enticed him to come to Klamath County in 1852. Unlike others, Jonathan planted a garden at the Forks of the Salmon River and drove cattle up from Sonoma to establish a grocery and butchering business.

Lyons traveled along the Salmon and Klamath rivers a side of beef slung on each side of his mule, earning his living mining the miners. He was always a welcome visitor in the mining camps.

In 1861 Jonathan met a young Hupa woman he called Amelia, from the village of Meskut in Hoopa Valley. They were legally married at Martin’s Ferry on the Klamath River.

Amelia’s Hupa family has been forgotten over the years as has the year she was born. Also not known is if Lyons married her according to Hupa tradition, but he likely would have paid her family the respect they were due with an appropriate dowry.

It was in Hoopa Valley that their first son, Anderson, was born in 1863. In the Klamath County Census of 1870, only three of the Indian-white marriages were recorded and the Lyons’ marriage was one of the three.

By 1864, Jonathan and Amelia had relocated to the Lower Klamath near Martin’s Ferry, when Hoopa Valley Indian Reservation was established. This was the result of Jonathan helping Indian’s during the “Indian Wars.”

An example is the case of a young Hupa woman who stabbed and killed a soldier from Fort Gaston who was trying to rape her. Jonathan stole a canoe in which she was able to escape to the mouth of the Klamath River, where she was sheltered by the Yurok Tribe.

By 1870, after having two more sons, Sherman near Martin’s Ferry and Harvey at the former Albee Ranch on Redwood Creek, Jonathan and Amelia moved to the Bald Hills where their fourth son, Antonio, was born. It was here that Jonathan began to buy land that came to be known as the Lyons Ranch in the Bald Hills.

On August 3rd, 1903, the Lyons’s were mentioned in the Humboldt Times for the success of their sheep ranches:

“Pioneer Jonathan Lyons and his estimable wife are surely enjoying the profit of their own labors, for beneath their own fig and vine they are now watching the third generation coming to replace them in part of the toils and tribulations of life. Jonathan Lyons and wife are still in harness. Miss Josie, a splendid girl who acts as postmistress, takes the heaviest load from her mother’s shoulders, while Mr. Lyons has a man or two outside to do the labor whom he guides. Four sons, men without a blemish to their name reside on fine farms, with plenty of fat, clean sheep to keep the larder well stocked.”

Jonathan Lyons died in 1913; Amelia died at her daughter’s home in Fortuna in 1921. They are buried beside each other in the Blue Lake Cemetery.

Extremists Sought in Pennsylvania for Inciting Sedition

Philadelphia — A para-military extremist group has proclaimed its autonomy from the government, and plans to secede. The announcement comes more than a year after troops fired on protestors, leaving 72 people dead, including eight civilians.

In April of last year, Massachusetts Governor Thomas Gage, ordered the National Guard to seize a large cache of weapons from area locals. Soldiers however met armed extremists, the same organization now claiming the government lacks authority over the group.

Sources close to the situation say the rebel leaders voted July 2nd to approve the move to secede from the nation. Two days later the manifesto was formally adopted.

Despite a law prohibiting the distribution of propaganda, several copies the manifesto were handed out by local Philadelphia printer John Dunlap, along Market Street. While he remains free, Dunlap was questioned at length by officials.

Department of Homeland Security officials are currently searching for four Pennsylvania men who are said to have signed the document. John Morton, Robert Morris, George Clymer, and Benjamin Rush, have been identified as “ringleaders” of the extremist faction, and remain at large.

The 37-year-old Clymer is a known radical, who’s still being sought by authorities for inciting riots in Boston three years ago. In one incident, Andrew Oliver, a government tax collector, was threatened with hanging by an angry mob and later was the subject of a mock funeral.

The same mob also went to Oliver’s office, severely vandalized the building. They also set fire to some of Oliver’s property.

Meanwhile, Suffolk County Sheriff William Greenleaf, ordered by Massachusetts Lt. Governor John Penn to end the rioting, was assaulted by the mob, which also looted and destroyed Oliver’s house. So far no arrests have been made in the case.

Morton, 51, a former Justice of the Peace, is believed to be hiding out in the area of Ridley Township, where he has family. 42-year-old Morris, an immigrant has a home in Philadelphia and is thought to be there.

The youngest, 30-year-old Rush is a Princeton University graduate and medical doctor. The Byberry native is accused by DHS to be practicing medicine with out a license.

In December of last year, the government passed the ‘Prohibitory Act,’ in order to put a stop to extremist activities. Then last month there were several attempts to halt boat traffic along the Delaware River leading to shots being fired between extremists and DHS. Extremists have maintained a blockade on the river, preventing DHS from reaching inland ports.

It is expected that the administration will soon issue a directive authorizing military intervention to end the blockade.

The American War for Independence would last for five more years. Yet to come were the Patriot triumphs at Saratoga, the bitter winter at Valley Forge, the intervention of the French, and the final victory at Yorktown in 1781. In 1783, with the signing of the Treaty of Paris with Britain, the United States formally became a free and independent nation.

Happy Independence Day — lest we forget…

Obama Continues to Divide U.S. through Lawlessness

Dozens of protesters blocked the road Tuesday, so buses full of undocumented immigrants couldn’t make their way to a U.S. Border Patrol Station in Murrieta, California. About 140 people were flown into San Diego from Texas and bused to Murrieta with more expected to arrive every three days or so.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement buses eventually left Murrieta and headed south to a detention facility in San Ysidro. Murrieta was one of the cities chosen to help process the immigrants because it has a federal border protection facility.

The increase in border crossings is linked to rumors in Central America that children are eligible for legal U.S. residency. The surge has also been prompted by violence and extortion from gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras.

Murrieta held a town hall meeting Monday where Mayor Alan Long assured residents the immigrants have no criminal backgrounds and that health screenings will be done. Still, he urged residents to call their elected officials and voice opposition to the plan.

Speaking to a Latino group in Las Vegas Wednesday, Senator Harry Reid blamed House Speaker John Boehner for telling President Barack Obama that he won’t bring immigration up for a vote this year as well as Congressman Joe Heck, for not putting more pressure on the GOP leadership.

“It’s gone until next year,” Reid, said at a brief news conference after his talk to ‘Hispanics in Politics.’

Reid added, however, that there’s a slim possibility of getting something done following the November 4th general election.

“Maybe we’ll get something in the lame-duck (session.) The Republicans should suffer at the ballot box,” Reid said, adding of Heck, “He’s not been helpful.”

Heck is running for re-election to a third term in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District. Meantime, Reid is backing Heck’s Democratic opponent, Erin Bilbray, in the race.

Reid added the immigrant children need to be taken care of, although the law isn’t clear on what the U.S. should do with them.

“We can’t use the children as pawns,” Reid claimed.

However, by tying the ‘humanitarian-crisis’ to the upcoming elections, Reid has in effect made the kids’ ‘pawns.’

Obama is vowing to act on his own due to House inaction on immigration reform that proponents say could help address a wave of illegal alien children crossing the border from Mexico. Obama argues has to act in large part because of the recent surge in unaccompanied Central American children showing up by the thousands at the U.S.-Mexico border and the GOP-controlled House’s unwillingness to vote on the issue until at least after the November elections.

“American cannot wait forever … ,” Obama said Monday. “That is why, today, I am beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress.”

But there are limits to the power of his cell phone and pen, according to CNN.

He can redress rules on who to rank and prosecute in deportation hearings; send more border patrol agents as well as members of the National Guard to the affected areas; continue to allow illegal aliens who were brought to the U.S. as kids to stay; continue using ankle bracelets or weekly mandatory check-ins with immigration officials as an alternative to detention; and increase the amount of free legal help to illegal aliens in deportation hearings.

But he can’t bar people from applying for political asylum. Those guidelines are set by the United Nations Refugee Convention, which the U.S. has signed; he can’t increase the number eligible for green cards because their spouses or parents are U.S. citizens; eliminate judicial review for people ordered deported; round-up all illegal immigrants and deport them without some sort of legal hearing; or issue a blanket executive action legalizing all illegal aliens.

They fail to mention ‘closing the border,’ however. Then there is also the fact Obama tends to ‘act on his own.’

Since January 2012, the Obama administration has suffered at least 13 unanimous defeats in cases it argued, according to the Cato Institute. Ilya Shapiro, a senior fellow in constitutional studies at the Institute, said unanimous decisions are “indicative of an administration that pushes and breaks through the envelope in its assertion of federal power.”

Obama will likely sidestep Congress on immigration reform by expanding on his so-called Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals memorandum, which essentially allows young illegal immigrants to stay in the United States if they were brought into the country illegally by their parents and have not been convicted of a major crime, Federation for American Immigration Reform spokesman Ira Mehlman predicted.

“I expect him to continue to ignore U.S. immigration law,” Mehlman said. “This can all be traced back to the DACA program…under the guise of not splitting up families.”

The Progressive Battle against American Business

Union membership has dropped from 18.5 percent in 1983 to 7.5 percent by 2013 in the private sector and 45.5 percent to 38.7 in the public sector. Because of this, there is an all-out assault on business, both big and small.

In 2009, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued an executive order unionizing the caretakers of in-home patients that received Medicaid benefits. This deliberate scheme to bolster the waning membership rolls of public sector unions spread with successful attempts in Missouri, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

However, most of these caretakers are not employees of the patient, but rather family members.

Such is Pam Harris’ case, who cares for her disabled son, Josh. Despite the fact she doesn’t receive compensation from the government, Quinn’s executive order reclassified her as a state employee, forcing her to pay membership dues to the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) against her wishes.

Fortunately, the Supreme Court ruled Illinois home health care workers cannot be required to pay fees that help cover a union’s costs of collective bargaining. In a 5-4 split along ideological lines, the justices said the practice violates the First Amendment rights of nonmembers who disagree with the positions that unions take.

The ruling is limited to “partial-public employees” and stopped short of overturning decades of practice allowing public sector unions of teachers, firefighters and other government workers to pass through their representation costs to nonmembers.

Recently, SEIU spent more than $2 million of its members dues money to fund the Restaurant Opportunity Center (ROC), a so-called “worker center” that the union uses to skirt rules about union organizing. The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) union spends freely on another outfit called OURWalmart, trying to push unionization more deeply into the retail sector.

These groups like UFCW, ROC, OurWalmart, and Fast Food Forward hold protests and demonstrations, stage strikes and walkouts, chant slogans demanding outlandish minimum wage with bussed-in protestors who don’t work for any of the companies subject to the protests.

In early June, the Seattle City Council approved a large minimum wage hike to $15 per hour, giving larger businesses with over 500 employees three years to comply and smaller businesses seven. However, under current labor law, franchises like fast food chains are technically small businesses since they’re owned and operated locally.

A June 24 Seattle-Times survey shows 42 percent of businesses are “very likely” to cut staffing levels in response to the new law, and 44 percent are “very likely” to cut employee hours.

Meanwhile, 70 percent indicated that the new law will spur cost increases, while 43 percent are “very likely” to limit their future expansion in the city. In fact, one in seven businesses plans to close at least one location in the city in response to the new law.

Leading the wage-hike charge in Seattle is Socialist Alternative Councilmember Kshama Sawant. She also has it out for the practice of tipping.

“We don’t want any worker to be beholden to the mood of the customer on any given day,” Sawant stated.

The Seattle-Times reported ROC co-director Saru Jayaraman, “described tips as institutionalized sexism” and then to make her views perfectly clear added “the best option, she suggests, is to eliminate tips.”

She recently told the University of California, Berkeley’s alumni magazine: “Ultimately, this system of tipping needs to go.”

Jayaraman also told the Ford Foundation, who has given more than $2 million to ROC: “No portion of anybody’s income should be tips because tips are not wages.”

Data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows the average hourly wage for a restaurant employee earning tip income is $11.82, which by most definitions lifts them into the American middle class. It also shows top earners can collect $24 an hour or more.

The service industry in Seattle is fighting back, with a group called ‘Tips Are Wages.’

Attack on Religious Freedom Far From Over

The Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Federal Government can’t make companies pay for emergency contraceptive coverage for employees that could lead to abortions, in violation of their religious beliefs. The case was brought by Hobby Lobby, an Oklahoma-based retail chain owned by the Green family.

The Greens said they are willing to cover 16 of the 20 birth control methods mandated by Obamacare to its employees, but not four others because the risk of abortion goes against their religious beliefs.

“Providing these objectionable drugs and devices violates the deeply held religious convictions of the Greens — the sole owners of their family businesses — that life begins at conception,” the company’s website reads. “Yet refusing to comply with the federal mandate would subject them to an untenable choice of paying substantial fines or discontinuing the outstanding and affordable health insurance plan currently provided to their valued employees.”

The company argued that the Obamacare mandate violates the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993, which says the government cannot place burdens on the exercise of freedom of religion. Furthermore, attorneys for the company pointed out that the Obama administration had granted an exemption for churches and accommodations for religious hospitals, schools and nonprofits, but for-profit companies were unfairly required to comply with the coverage rule or pay fines.

The majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito agreed with that argument.

“Any suggestion that for-profit corporations are incapable of exercising religion because their purpose is simply to make money flies in the face of modern corporate law,” Alito wrote, adding that by requiring religious corporations to cover contraception, “the HHS mandate demands that they engage in conduct that seriously violates their religious beliefs.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg filed a dissenting opinion joined by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and Stephen Breyer. Ginsburg warned in her dissent that the decision was not as narrow as it claimed to be.

“In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs,” Ginsburg wrote.

Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, called the decision a blow to women’s reproductive health.

“Today, the Supreme Court ruled against American women and families, giving bosses the right to discriminate against women and deny their employees access to birth control coverage,” Richards said in a statement. “This is a deeply disappointing and troubling ruling that will prevent some women, especially those working hourly wage jobs and struggling to make ends meet, from getting birth control.”

The Obama administration failed to show that the broad contraception mandate is the least restrictive way of advancing its interest in ensuring access to birth control. The Court also ruled that the decision applies only to the contraception mandate, not other insurance mandates, such as those involving vaccinations.

Justice Anthony Kennedy noted that the government could pay for this coverage if it wants to make it available, but cannot compel a company to do so. The decision deals a big hit to the Obama administration, which defended its interpretation of the law as something that forces companies to provide all manner of birth control methods to workers.

“We will, of course, respect the Supreme Court ruling,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Monday, adding that the administration will “consider the range of options available to the president.”

Earnest also called on Congress to make sure the women affected still have contraception coverage. “Congress needs to take action to solve this problem that has been created,” he said.

Senator Harry Reid said Congress will have to pick up where the Supreme Court left off after the court ruled that employers don’t have to provide contraceptives to their employees.

“If the Supreme Court will not protect women’s access to health care, then Democrats will,” Reid tweeted using #NotMyBossBusiness, after the Supreme Court ruled today that employers can’t be forced to cover contraceptives under Obamacare.

Congresswoman Dina Titus, representing Las Vegas, condemned the decision in a statement.

“Ninety-nine percent of American women will use contraception at some point in their lives. Employers should not be able to impose their religious beliefs on female employees, ignoring their individual health decisions and denying their right to reproductive care,” she wrote.

Congressman Steven Horsford, representing North Las Vegas tweeted his criticism of the ruling: “#SCOTUS Ruling today: Corporations are people. Women are not.”

Nevada’s Republicans in Congress didn’t immediately have anything to say on the ruling, their Twitter feeds and statement lists remain quiet. However Kentucky Senator Rand Paul welcomed the ruling.

“Religious liberty will remain intact and all Americans can stay true to their faith without fear of big government intervention or punishment,” said Paul. “Our nation was founded on the principle of freedom, and with this decision, America will continue to serve as a safe haven for those looking to exercise religious liberty.”

House Speaker John Boehner, said in a statement, “Today’s decision is a victory for religious freedom and another defeat for an administration that has repeatedly crossed constitutional lines in pursuit of its Big Government objectives.”