The Impact of Declining Oil Prices

Keep your eye on the price of oil over the coming weeks. Right now, the U.S. produces more oil than both Saudi Arabia or Russia and this has resulted in the creation of millions of jobs.

Unfortunately, the shale oil boom is coming to an end and OPEC has declared a price war on U.S. shale oil producers. This has happened before.

In the mid-80s, as oil output from Alaska’s North Slope and the North Sea came on line, OPEC set off a price war to compete for a market share.   As a result, the price of oil sank from around $40 to just under $10 a barrel by April 1986.

The U.S. industry collapsed by 90-percent and the Saudis regained their leading role in the world’s oil market.

There has only been one other time when the price of oil has crashed by more than 40 dollars in less than six months — that was during the second half of 2008. The beginning of that crash preceded the great financial collapse that happened later in the year.

Finally, as the average American currently enjoys paying less at the pump, we are going to be hurt by the falling prices. Several states rely on oil revenue taxes to fund their annual budgets and have factored into their spending projections prices above $100 for the fiscal year of 2015.

2014: The Year in Review

The first day of the New Year saw the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act go into effect. However on June 30, the Supreme Court ruled that some companies can refuse insurance coverage for contraceptives due to religious objections.

Colorado legalized the purchase of marijuana for recreational purposes on January 1. It wasn’t until July 8, that Washington state began allowing the sale of marijuana for recreational purposes.

The Senate voted on January 6, to confirm Janet Yellen as the first woman to head the Federal Reserve. And by the middle-of-the-month, President Barack Obama announced changes to the National Security Agency and its surveillance programs.

At least 500 veterans were found to have died since 2010 due to delays in simple medical screenings like colonoscopies or endoscopies, at various VA hospitals or clinics. This is according to an internal document from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs that deals with patients diagnosed with cancer in 2010 and 2011.

Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned on May 30, following fallout from the deaths. The U.S. Senate would not confirm Robert McDonald as the new Veterans Affairs secretary until July 29.

Obama signed into law a $16 billion bill on August 7, providing money to build more VA medical facilities and hire more doctors and nurses.

General Motors recalled more than 30 million vehicles throughout the world since February 14, 2014. The recalls have drawn questions about when GM CEO Mary Barra knew about the problems and if the company was slow to take action.

By June 30, GM announced compensation of at least $1 million to families of at least 13 people who died as a result of a faulty ignition switch. GM is also offering money to those injured.

After months of protests in Ukraine, a battle broke out February 18 between protesters and security forces, leaving around 100 people dead by the 20th. Today’s later, Ukraine’s parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office.

A March 16 election in Crimea showed that 96.7% voted in favor of being annexed by Russia. Within two days, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an annexation pact with the Prime Minister of Crimea and the mayor of the city of Sevastopol.

Then on April 1, NATO announced that it was suspending “all practical civilian and military cooperation” with Russia. This was in direct response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

Despite this voters in the eastern Ukrainian areas of Donetsk and Luhansk on May 11, vote in favor of independence from Ukraine. Then Petro Poroshenko declares victory in Ukraine’s presidential election on May 25.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 crashes in eastern Ukraine after being shot down on July 17 by a surface-to-air missile. All 298 people aboard died.

It’s believed separatists, back by Russia, fired the missile that brought the plane down. The Dutch Safety Board’s investigation continues and isn’t expected to be completed until August 2015.

But that isn’t the only catastrophic incident Malaysian Airlines suffered in 2014. Flight 370, traveling from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing, disappeared from radar in airspace over the Gulf of Thailand.

No wreckage has so far been recovered. The lost of the plane remains under investigation.

Then with only a few day’s left in the year, Malaysia-based AirAsia Flight 8501, carrying at least 162 people disappeared en route from Surabaya to Singapore. The plane lost contact with air traffic control while over the Java Sea between Kalimantan and Java islands.

There were other deadly incidents over the year including the South Korean ferry that capsized, on April 16, killing about 294 people. Hundreds of high school students on a field trip were among the dead.

Then on July 23, least 48 people died and 10 injured when a twin-engine turboprop plane crashes in Taiwan. The next day, Air Algerie Flight 5017 which crashed in Mali, killing 116 people.

However is was a natural disaster in the form of Super Typhoon Rammasun that struck the Philippines, China and Vietnam in July, that left more than 100 people dead.

During the summer, the number of minors — largely from El Salvador, Nicaragua Guatemala, and Honduras — crossing the U.S.-Mexico border peaked, reaching over 50,000 since October 2013. President Obama said on June 30, he is starting “a new effort to fix as much of our immigration system as I can on my own, without Congress,” in response to a surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border.

Following their arrival, and ‘resettlement,’ the CDC reported that from mid-August to December 18, 2014, they’ve confirmed a total of 1,152 people in 49 states and the District of Columbia with respiratory illness caused by EV-D68. The disease is common to El Salvador, Honduras, and Nicaragua.

Speaking of diseases, a specially equipped medical plane carrying Ebola patient Dr. Kent Brantly on August 2, landed at Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta, Georgia, where he was then taken by ambulance to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta. On the fifth, missionary worker Nancy Writebol was medically evacuated to Emory as well.

Both recovered from the disease.

Over two months later Ebola became major news story again after Thomas Eric Duncan became the first person in the U.S. to die of the disease. He arrived in the U.S. under false pretenses.

By October 12, Nina Pham, a Dallas nurse who treated Duncan, is diagnosed with the disease. She is the first person to contract the disease in the U.S.

Pham’s treated at the National Institutes of Health in Maryland and released October 24.

Less than two days later, Amber Vinson, a nurse who also treated Duncan at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, is diagnosed with Ebola. After being treated successfully in Atlanta, she’s released October 28.

In the meantime, Dr. Craig Spencer, who recently returned from treating Ebola patients in West Africa, was diagnosed with the disease on October 23, in New York. He recovers from the disease and leaves the hospital on November 11.

Finally, Dr. Martin Salia, who became infected with Ebola while treating patients in Sierra Leone, arrives on November 15, at Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Salia, a native of Sierra Leone, is a legal permanent resident of the U.S., died November 17.

Donald Sterling’s tenure as the owner of the Los Angeles Clippers came to a sudden end, after a recorded conversation of Sterling making racist remarks became public. Within weeks, the league banned Sterling from the NBA for life, who ended up selling the Clippers to former Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer for $2 billion.

Months after former Baltimore Ravens running back Ray Rice knocked out his then-fiancée and now wife Janay Rice in an Atlantic City elevator, he received a two-game suspension until a new video emerged showing the April 27 assault. At that point, Rice’s suspension extended to indefinitely, and the Ravens cut Rice from the team.

The issue became embarrassing for the NFL and Commissioner Roger Goodell, who pundits said should have seen the video long before it became publicly available. Goodell also tried to say that Rice mislead him about what happened in the elevator, but Former U.S. District Judge Barbara Jones threw out the indefinite suspension ruling that Rice did not mislead the commissioner.

The incident brought domestic violence to the forefront of the sports landscape.

However violence wasn’t limited to the world of sports as a several school shootings made the spotlight again. University of California Santa Barbara, Seattle Pacific University and Florida State University all had deadly shooting incidents with multiple people injured and where the shooter randomly fired at people.

In the Florida State case, only the shooter died, but three were injured. In the UC Santa Barbara incident, seven people, including the shooter, died while 13 were injured.

Some of the other deadly shootings included Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Washington also had a deadly shooting where five teenagers, including the shooter. Reynolds High School in Oregon also had a deadly shooting.

In addition, three people died following multiple shootings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in Overland Park, Kansas.

Obama announced the release of prisoner of war Bowe Bergdahl, on May 31, after being held for five years by a militant group linked to the Taliban. In exchange for Bergdahl’s release, five detainees at Guantanamo Bay are released to Qatar. Jus’ three days prior, Obama announced that 9,800 troops will stay in Afghanistan after the withdrawal of most troops at the end of 2014.

The Army concluded its investigation into the disappearance of Bergdahl on December 19, and must now decide whether Bergdahl should face criminal charges. Based on the investigation, the Army must now decide whether Bergdahl should be charged with desertion or a lesser charge of being “absent without leave,” AWOL.

The U.S. and Afghanistan also sign a joint security agreement on September 30, that will allow U.S. troops to stay in Afghanistan beyond the previous December deadline to withdraw. Great Britain ended its combat mission in Afghanistan on October 26, handing over its last remaining base to Afghan forces.

On September 29, Ashraf Ghani was sworn in as the new president of Afghanistan.

Eric Garner, an unarmed black man, died July 17, after white New York Police Officer Daniel Pantaleo, put him in a ‘chokehold.’ Garner’s death was later ruled a homicide by the New York medical examiner.

Then on August 9, Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson told Michael Brown to get out of the middle of the road. What ensued led to racial tension, protests, looting and arson.

A grand jury chose not to indict Wilson, leading to more violence, looting and arson in Ferguson and elsewhere across the country. Shortly after Wilson was cleared, Pantaleo also was cleared in the death of Garner.

Since then two New York police officers were murdered, execution-style, in retaliation for the Brown-Garner incidents.

During a secret raid between June 15 and 16, U.S. commandos apprehend Ahmed Abu Khattala, accused of leading the attack on the Benghazi consulate in 2012. At least a dozen others are known to have been charged in sealed criminal complaints about the Benghazi attacks, although none of the others have been apprehended.

Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department could bring more charges against Abu Khattala. Then on September 25, Obama announced the resignation of Holder, who will stay in office until his replacement is confirmed.

Following the midterm elections, where the Republican party won a majority of seats in both the House and the Senate to take control of Congress and after five years of review, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report on the CIA’s use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” in the post-9/11 era. The highly-partisan report, presented by California Senator Diane Feinstein, revealed that “CIA detainees were tortured.”

It was April 24 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel is suspending peace talks with the Palestinians after rival factions Fatah and Hamas announce a unity deal. On June 2, Hamas and Fatah swear in a unity government with Rami Hamdallah as prime minister.

Ten days following the three Israeli teens on their way home from school in the West Bank are abducted by Hamas militants. Their bodies are discovered June 30 in the West Bank.

Shortly after the trio was found, on July 2, a Palestinian boy wass kidnapped and murdered, allegedly by Israeli Jews, possibly in retaliation for the murders of three Jewish teens. Then Israel declares Operation Protective Edge against Hamas on the fifth.

Israel and Hamas agree to a ceasefire on August 26, but not before more than 2,100 Palestinians were killed in the violence in Gaza. On the Israeli side, there are 68 casualties, 65 of them soldiers and three civilians.

As tensions grew between Irael and Hamas, Iraqis went to the polls on April 30, to elect members of the Council of Representatives. Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki’s party won only 92 seats in parliamentary elections, short of the 165 seats needed for a majority.

He would resign by August 14. Haider al-Abadi would sworn in as the new prime minister of Iraq on September 8.

Before that would happen, on June 10, ISIS took control of Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city. By the eleventh, it would also control Tikrit.
Obama authorized “targeted airstrikes” if needed to protect U.S. personnel from ISIS militants, sending two U.S. F/A-18 jet fighters to bomb extremists on August 8. The U.S. military claim they’ll use airstrikes to prevent what officials warn could be a genocide of minority groups by the ISIS fighters.

In retaliation, American journalist James Foley, missing in Syria since 2012, was beheaded by ISIS militants on the 19th. The militants then threaten the life of another captured U.S. journalist, believed to be Steven Sotloff, who was beheaded September 2.

ISIS releases a video showing the beheading of British aid worker David Haines on September 13. Then a couple of days later, two Palestinian cousins, wielding a gun and butcher knives, kill four rabbis and a policeman at a Jerusalem synagogue.

Finally, a coalition of military forces from the United States, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan launch air strikes on September 23 against ISIS targets in Syria. The U.S., on its own, also launches airstrikes against a terrorist organization known as the Khorasan Group, saying that the al Qaeda affiliated group was planning attacks on Americans.

It was on Septemeber 14, that North Korea sentenced U.S. citizen Matthew Miller to six years of hard labor after being convicted of “hostile acts.” Miller was later released on November 8 along with fellow-American Kenneth Bae, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison in April 2013.

On October 12, the hermit state then released Jeffrey Fowle after detaining him in June. North Korea accused Fowle of leaving a Bible at a club for foreign sailors and interpreted the act as a violation of law.

However on November 24, hackers infiltrated the computer network of Sony Pictures Entertainment. The attackers stole a huge number of confidential documents from file-sharing networks.

Then by December 17, after receiving several cryptic messages from a group calling itself, the ‘Guardians of Peace,’ to blow up theaters that show the film ‘The Interview,’ Sony scraped the planned Christmas Day release.

The movie is about two tabloid journalist, who land an interview with a surprise fan, North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un and then are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip to Pyongyang into an assassination mission.

Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau opened fire at Canada’s National War Memorial and Parliament Hill in Ottawa, killing army reservist Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on October 22. Zehaf-Bibeau was shot and killed by the House of Commons Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers.

Then on December 15, in Sydney, Australia an Iranian immigrant named Man Haron Monis took a some hostages at a café. After a 16-hour standoff with police, commandos storm the cafe and ended the siege.

Two hostages died along with Monis.

The following day, Taliban gunmen attack the Army Public School and Degree College in Peshawar, Pakistan. 145 people are killed, most of them children.

Then on December 17, Cuba released American contractor Alan Gross after five years in prison. As part of a deal the U.S. released three Cuban intelligence agents convicted of espionage in 2001; in return, Cuba freed an unidentified U.S. intelligence source who had been jailed in Cuba for more than 20 years.

The same day, President Barack Obama announced plans to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba and ease economic restrictions on the nation. Obama said the U.S. will move towards re-opening its embassy in the communist nation and allow some travel and trade that had been banned during the Kennedy administration.

Nevada’s 2014 in Review

The New Year began with word that 75 percent of applicants had failed the Department of Motor Vehicles written test needed for the new driver authorization card. Passed by the 2013 Legislature and signed by Governor Brian Sandoval the law allows illegal’s in Nevada without citizenship status to get the driver authorization cards.

Also in January, former Nevada State Assemblyman Bernie Anderson died. The Washoe County Democrat represented District 31 and was a retired Reed High School teacher.

He served from 1991 through 2010, in several key positions including chairman of the Assembly Judiciary Committee. His family says the 71-year-old had been hospitalized in Reno since December 26th for pulmonary problems.

Nevada decided to drop its defense of a state ban on gay marriage in February. This despite Nevada’s voters approving a state constitutional amendment by wide margins in back-to-back elections in 2000 and 2002 barring same-sex marriage, establishing that “only a marriage between a male and a female person shall be recognized and given effect.”

The move, made by the state’s Democratic attorney general with the support of its Republican governor, did not legalize gay marriage in Nevada but removed the state as an opponent of those fighting to overturn the ban in federal court. Same-sex marriage in Nevada was okayed on October 9, 2014, after a federal district court judge issued an injunction against the state’s enforcement of its ban on same-sex marriage, acting on order from the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

In early spring, the Bureau of Land Management sought to carry out federal orders to remove rancher Cliven Bundy’s cattle, which had been grazing on BLM-administered land near Bunkerville. Bundy refused to budge, and neither did the armed supporters who came to his defense.

That led to a lengthy standoff — which was catnip for national news organizations –before federal authorities eventually withdrew from the area. The dispute, which dates to 1993, remains unresolved.

The medical marijuana movement finally made its way to Nevada this year. And even though the growing and selling of medical marijuana was approved by the 2013 Legislature, the plant remains a point of contention and a probable focal-point for the 2015 Nevada Legislature.

Lawmakers are expected to debate legalizing the recreational use of marijuana and will propose a study on the issues surrounding DUIs, employment drug testing and how it relates to Nevada’s medical marijuana law. They ‘re also going to see a bills introduced seeking the legalization of hemp, so it can be used as clothing, oils, carpeting, auto parts, ropes and biofuels and another allowing medical marijuana licenses to be transferred between people.

On June 8, Metropolitan Police officers Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo were shot dead while having lunch at a pizza restaurant in east Las Vegas. The two assailants ambushed the officers, murdering them, then overtook a nearby Walmart, shooting and killing bystander Joseph Wilcox.

Wilcox, who was armed, attempted to stop the pair as they entered the store front. After an in-store standoff between officers and the assailants, the nightmare ended when police shot and killed the male suspect and the woman turned her gun on herself.

Also in June, Las Vegas resident Nia Sanchez was crowned Miss USA, beating out 50 other contestants from all the states and the District of Columbia Sunday for the title. Sanchez will go on to represent the U.S. at the Miss Universe competition January 15, 2015.

For the first time in state history, Nevada placed a representative in the Little League World Series with a group of 12-year-olds from Mountain Ridge Little League. They advanced all the way to the U.S. championship game, falling one game short of facing South Korea for the title in August.

Year-after-year, Nevada lawmakers – with the goading of unions — have stressed the need to diversify the state’s economy. In September, they put their money — a lot of money — where their mouths are, agreeing to a $1.3 billion tax-incentive package for electric-car manufacturer Tesla Motors to open a massive battery plant east of Reno.

After months of speculation, Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval told the people of Nevada their home is the future home of the world’s largest lithium-ion battery factory. Then the Nevada Legislature held a special session to make the billion-dollar incentive deal legal, and many lawmakers have said preparing for the influx of new residents could make Tesla a major focus of the 2015 legislative session.

Sandoval projects the plant, which is scheduled to open in two to three years, will create 22,000 jobs for the state.

Around the same time that the Sandoval announced the Tesla deal, state authorities are attempting to the ride-share program, “Uber,” from operating in Nevada. The Nevada Attorney General’s Office, working on behalf of the Transportation Authority, sought injunctions in Washoe and Clark counties as well as Carson City were the company was operating.

The situation has stalled in court.

The Nevada Supreme Court ruled termed-out Reno City Council Members can’t run for Mayor, which led to the largest primary race in Reno’s history and a game of lawmaker musical chairs. Hillary Schieve’s win opened up a council seat, filled by David Bobzien, which opened up a Nevada Assembly seat that has yet to be filled.

After firing Washoe County School Police Chief Mike Mieras, reportedly unrelated questions arose about Pedro Martinez’s professional background. School Board Trustees decided, behind closed doors, to relieve Martinez of his duty, leading to public outrage over the lack of transparency and eventually to school board president Barbara Clark being ousted by 65 percent of voters in the general election.

Nevada voters rejected an initiative to impose a two-percent tax on businesses making $1 million annually to raise money to fund schools in a state near the bottom nationwide in per-pupil spending. Backers of the initiative were largely funded by unions including the Nevada State Education Association.

Re-elected, Sandoval led a GOP sweep of all six statewide offices: Mark Hutchison as Lieutenant Governor, Adam Laxalt as Attorney General, Barbara Cegavske as Secretary of State, Dan Schwartz as Treasurer and Ron Knecht as Controller. Republican Cresent Hardy will join incumbents Joe Heck and Mark Amodei in Congress.

Shortly after the November elections it was learned that even with the state’s entire “rainy day” fund, Nevada will see a budget shortfall of more than $61 million – this means the possibility of higher taxes. Sandoval plans unveil his budget proposal in the State of the State address set for January 15, 2015.

Eight Nevada lands bills, including one that promises to create about 800 high-paying jobs, passed the U.S. House in early December. The Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act would transfer about 10,000 acres owned by the Bureau of Land Management to the city of Yerington to allow for expansion of the Nevada Copper mine at Pumpkin Hollow.

An industrial park and recreation areas would also be developed. The copper operation is projected to produce more than 800 construction and mining jobs and 4,400 indirect jobs.

On December 19, Obama signed the bill into law.

Rewarding Bad Behavior with Good Positions

Isaiah 5:20 warns, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.” This is exactly what progressives in the U.S. Senate on both side of the aisle continue to do.

The latest example is Alissa Starzak, who’s accused of stealing and leaking CIA documents to California Senator Diane Feinstein. The Senate Armed Services Committee nominated Starzak to become the Army’s top lawyer December 9, jus’ days before the 525-page Senate report’s release.

Despite the accusation, Starzak still has a chance at becoming general counsel to the U.S. Army since Arizona Senator John McCain is likely to become the next chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee. He has come out in defense of releasing all details about supposed torture activities committed by the U.S.

Such rewarding by a once-Godly nation is dangerous to its survival.

It was also in Isaiah — 3:8 to be exact — where the prophet wrote: “Jerusalem staggers, Judah is falling; their words and deeds are against the Lord, defying his glorious presence.” Simply replace ‘Jerusalem’ with ‘Washington D.C.’ and ‘Judah’ with ‘America,’ and anyone who’s a believer can see where we’re headed.

Piñata

They’d jus’ landed at base after a 48-hour medical support mission. But it didn’t matter as the call, “Nine-line, nine-line, nine-line,” came across the squawk-box.

In less than four-minutes the helicopter and crew were airborne again.

As they reached the hot zone, they learned there was no landing area and would have to hover, taking enemy fire, while lowering Doc into the jungle. As he readied for the drop, carrying a medical bag, an evacuation litter, his pistol and knife, a thought rushed in.

“This could be it,” he reflected as he hooked his harness into the cable and exited the helicopter.

Shortly after stepping of the helicopter’s skid, the cable stopped moving — leaving Doc hanging above the battle.

Doc yelled up at the man, who was leaning out the helicopter doorway, “Get me down before I turn into a fucking piñata!”

But he could only watch the Gunny Sergeant frantically work on the motor to get it running again. A minute passed before the line jerked alive, and continued lowering Doc towards the jungle floor.

As the penetrator broke through the trees, Doc could see the muzzle-flashes from the bullets fired at him. They all missed and once on the ground, he could tell the squad was in bad-shape.

Immediately, he went to work on the Hospital Corpsman who’d been shot through the gut. It was clear that they young man would not survive without emergency surgery.

Doc secured him to the litter, gripped the guide tether to keep it from spinning, and then radioed for the lift to begin. Again shots rang out, missing the wounded Marine.

Aided by cover-fire from other helicopters overhead, within two minutes, the wounded Marine was heading for the nearest aid station.

By the time the helicopter returned, there were two more injured — one Marine who had a sucking chest wound and another with a shattered pelvis. Again Doc worked as fast as possible to package and secure the wounded for rapid transit.

Doc then volunteered to stay and continue the fight. It would be another three-or-so hours before the battle ended and Doc could sprawl out on his rack, to catch some much-needed shut-eye.

It’s Still Censorship — No Matter Who Does It

It’s puzzling how people who have no real life-skills and even less than stellar dubious achievements are able to get ahead in this world. Take for instance the ‘Reverend’ Al Sharpton.

He sat down with Sony Pictures head Amy Pascal and now the company says it plans to give him a say in how they makes movies. After the meeting, Sharpton claimed Sony would work closely with his ‘National Action Network’ to see it they can come up with a plan to deal with racism.

This is jus’ another form of censorship — and yet it’s okay.

A Dog Named ‘Spike’

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt’s 8-year-old daughter Shiloh appeared on the red carpet for her mom’s new film, ‘Unbroken’ dressed in a suit. She also asks to be called “John.”

It seems the child’s request is causing a raging battle on the Internet. Parents are upset over the kid’s self-identification with the ‘opposite sex,’ while still others are ‘fine’ with it.

Hell, when I was Shiloh’s age, I self-identified as a dog named “Spike” for months, and no one gave a damn.

 

Boxing Great Battles Pneumonia

Boxing great Muhammad Ali has pneumonia. The three-time world heavyweight champion, who is also battling Parkinson’s disease, is in stable condition.

ali
Ali recently made a surprise appearance at the Nevada Division I state football championships at Damonte Ranch High in Reno, December 6. He and his daughter Rasheda Walsh and sister-in-law Marilyn Williams, were there to watch his grandson Biaggio Ali Walsh play.

In the end Las Vegas’ Bishop Gorman stomped the Sparks’ Reed High, 70-28 — and the ‘the greatest,’ may have developed pneumonia.

The Cost of Doing Presidential Business in Nevada

The bill for President Barack Obama’s late November visit to Southern Nevada has finally been tallied up. Aside from bilking federal tax payers, his trip to explain his executive overreach on immigration cost a whopping $171,499.36 to Nevada’s state and local police.

Henderson police forked-out $143,685.21 for Obama’s November 21-23 trip. Meanwhile, the Nevada Highway Patrol spent $27,814.15 in salary and overtime for 102 people who provided security during some part of Obama’s latest three-day visit – which included a few rounds of golf.

Don’t expect to get any of that money back either.

Obama’s Year-End Presser

President Barack Obama held his end-of-year press conference before jetting off to Hawaii for a 17-day Christmas vacation. In it he said Sony “made a mistake” cancelling the release of the movie “The Interview,” after a cyber-attack on the company’s computer system by North Korea, and stated the U.S. will respond “proportionately.”

Proportionately — in this case means — “We have no plans, yet.”

“I think it says something interesting about North Korea that they decided to have the state mount an all-out assault on a movie studio because of a satirical movie starring Seth Rogen and James Flacco,” Obama said. “I love Seth, and I love James. But the notion that that was a threat to them gives you some sense, I think, of the kind of regime we’re talking about here.”

James Flacco? It’s James Falco, Mr. President.

Obama also talked about his decision this week to restore diplomatic relations with the communist government of Cuba. However, he side-stepped all the looting and rioting that’s taken place as he touched on race relations, calling what happened in Ferguson, New York and elsewhere a “healthy conversation.”

Evidently Obama’s idea of a ‘healthy conversation’ consists of violent riots, looting, arson and the murder of police.

Nevada’s UAV Flop a Success

So much for Nevada’s first commercial UAV test flight demonstration as Sensurion Aerospace’s flagship Magpie crashed seconds after being launched.  Company exec’s opted not to fly it again until they could review control systems and figure out the problem, claiming it probably was an electrical controller malfunction.

Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval was on hand to witness the failure, but wasn’t fazed.

“This is why we have test,” he said in true progressive fashion. “We didn’t have the benefit of seeing the first flight, and that first flight was successful. I look forward to seeing the video. This is still a great day for Nevada. There was a technical issue, and that’s part of why we’re here. This is testing.”

Nevada is the first state to complete required training and processes to receive a certificate from the Federal Aviation Administration enabling it to conduct its own certifications. That means the nonprofit Nevada Institute of Autonomous Systems, a part of the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, can review any company’s unmanned aircraft’s airworthiness and specifications and issue a certificate for it to fly.

I can hardly wait to see how the first commercial test-drive of unmanned cars in Nevada goes.

While Watching a Hack-attack Play-out

American’s of all stripes are all worked up over a hack-attack on a movie company and the canceled premiere of one of its films. And while it is important in the larger picture, it’s the smaller, less glamorous events that demand more attention.

On December 4, the House of Representatives passed legislation saying the U.S. “strongly condemn[s] the actions of the Russian Federation, under President Vladimir Putin, which has carried out a policy of aggression against neighboring countries aimed at political and economic domination.”

Nine days later, the Russian flew around the island of Guam, home to U.S. Naval Base Guam and Andersen Air Force Base, while others flew close to Alaska and Europe. The two Tu-95 Bear H bombers made the flight on December 13; however no U.S. fighters scrambled to intercept the bombers.

A few days earlier, on December 8, two Canadian F-18s intercepted two Bear bombers that intruded into the Alaska air defense identification zone. A day earlier in Europe, NATO jets intercepted Russian Tu-95 and Tu-22 Backfire bombers also conducting provocative flights.

In April 2014, President Obama declared “the United States and Japan are also making sustained progress towards realizing a geographically distributed, operationally resilient, and politically sustainable U.S. force posture in the Asia-Pacific, including the development of Guam as a strategic hub.”

This makes a December 6 incident — this time involving Chinese aircraft flying through Japan’s air space – all the more alarming. Officials say the Chinese Y9 intelligence-gathering plane, the two Y8 early warning planes and two H6 bombers are capable of posing a threat to U.S. personnel on Guam.

The jets were heading to the Western Pacific to take part in a big naval and air combat exercise, where Chinese naval ships also participated. In November both Russia and China announced plans for large-scale joint naval drills in the Pacific during 2015.

These incursions are the run-up to something bigger.  As for the hacking incident, news reports show China may have helped North Korea and that Russia continues to build ties with the hermit nation.

Deep Ran the River

This is from my childhood friend, Debbie Hoyle, who says she’s had it stored in a box for years. Her mother, Mary Wolcott wrote and published the poem in the ‘Simpson Redwood Cone,’ in March 1956. It is about the December 21, 1955 flood that rampaged through the township of Klamath, California.

Remembering Klamath’s ‘A. Brizard Company’

abirzardinc
There are a number of memories of both the old and new A. Brizard Company, Inc., in Requa and Klamath. For me it was the large red metal building at the end of Redwood Drive that doubled as home for the U.S. Post Office, run by Klamath Post Master Earl Morgan.

In 1913, A. Brizard, Inc., purchased the store operated by the Samoa Mercantile Company.  Ruth Roberts, Del Norte historian and curator of the McNulty Home Museum in Crescent City shared her memories in May 1963, of Requa when her husband was office manager for the Klamath River Packer’s Association.

She recalled the fishing village as it was in 1917:

“A. Brizard Company in Requa was more of an institution than a general merchandise store. Brizard’s was the general meeting place of the community, with the only telephone in the area,” she penned. “There was a stage in once a day from Eureka, with mail and newspapers, vegetables, and every other day fresh bread. It was a days trip from Eureka in 1917.”

“Aside from the stage, the major amount of supplies, cannery equipment and machinery came by water,” Ruth added. “When Marvin (Buster) Meng became associated with Brizard in Requa, most of the stores supplies were carried there by gasoline schooners operated by Nelson Steamship Company in Eureka.”

“Enough supplies were brought to last six or seven months. Canned salmon often made up the return cargo to Humboldt Bay,” Ruth concluded.

“I remember the A. Brizard Company in Requa as a bulwark of community security and friendliness. Their managers were always superior people with the interest of the community and citizens at heart,” Ruth opined.

Ruth wrote of William Barney, the Brizard store manager, calling him  the ‘leading spirit’ of the community.

“He took care of personal problems, insurance, etc., and kept valuables and important papers in the company safe,” she recalled. “As a young man, ‘Barney,’ as he was known, studied medicine, and had a great flair for doctoring.”

“He set minor fractures, patched up wounds, and gave general aid and comfort to the ill. Most of the Indians had more faith in him than an ‘MD,’” she continued.

“In cases of serious illness, he always assisted in getting patients to the one physician in Crescent City, 25 miles away,” Ruth wrote. “I used to make sick calls with him during the salmon packing season when many Indians came from Weitchpec and the Lower Klamath to fish and work in the cannery.”

“They lived in cannery cabins. Often there was illness and accident among them,” she remembered.

She described Barney’s many ‘acts of mercy,’ including the laying out of the dead, writing: “The cannery made Redwood coffins for them.”

“My husband, C.H Roberts and ‘Barney’ conducted a ‘voluntary business’ bureau,” she stated. “Before the packing season opened they went over the names of the fishermen and cannery workers and determined their financial ratings, thus protecting them from pressure spending.”

“The payroll for the season at the cannery was approximately $100,000. Employees drew what they needed on Saturdays, and the final payoff was made at the end of the season,” penned Ruth. “Accounts were settled and supplies purchased.”

“Buster Meng and his brother worked with ‘Barney’ before the store was moved to Klamath, on the completion of the Douglas Memorial Bridge in 1927,” Ruth recalled.

Nearly 28-years later, Meng was still employed with Brizard, having risen to the position of manager.

It was December 21, 1955, when a raging Klamath River overflowed its banks and flooded the town of Klamath. The muddy water destroyed or damaged much of the business district and scores of homes.

“A. Brizard Inc., was not spared in this,” company president Robert Matthews, recalls of the tragedy. “Within a few hours, everything we had at the Klamath store – fixtures, merchandise, had gone down the river.

“Manager ‘Buster’ Meng stayed to the last-minute putting merchandise off the floor, onto shelves, thinking that the flood had reached its peak. He was certainly loyal to the core,” he stated of Meng.

The flood not only reached the shelves, it destroyed the building, washing it from its foundation and onto a nearby lot. Meng remained in the store until ordered to leave by Civil Defense officers.

Unfortunately, Meng’s home washed away during the flood. However, it took only eight weeks for A. Brizard Company, Inc. to open a new market place in Klamath, this one on Redwood Drive, jus’ north of Hunter Creek, where my memory of the store begins and ends.

The store closed shortly after my family moved into our new home on Redwood Drive in 1967. But the post office remained in the building until the federal government constructed a modern stand alone building in the new Klamath town site.

After both the post office and the store had left, the Simpson Lumber Company used the building to house equipment. Today, all that remains is a concrete foundation surrounded by a over-growth of blackberry vines.

Me Brother, the World, and the Horse

1980

My brother had always been destined for the footlights of the theatre’s stage and I, only to serve my fellow-man. As I was walking down my required path, I eyed that young fellow ambling towards me — decked out in fancy clothes, but staring at his feet.

As he approached me, he looked up and says, “Brother!”

I say, “Peter,” looking him up and down from head-to-toe.

He replies, “Sean, you ol’ son-of-a-gun.”

We shook hands and gave each other a bear hug. He, then looked troubled at me.

“What’s botherin’ you, Petie?” I asked.

“You,” he replied.

I didn’t understand what he was saying and I told him so. Then he motions me to a bench and relayed his problem as we sat there in the park.

“How come is it everyone likes an’ says ‘hello’ to you, more than I?” asked Peter.

I looks him in the eye, bluntly saying, “’Cause you think the world owes you a livin’ an’ that me brother, is wrong.”

To this he seemed to look backward into his head for something to say, searching for a thought, avoiding my look.

He then replies, “I don’t understand, I’m someone in this world — an’ I should be treated as someone.”

He suddenly stopped and started searching again.

Again I looked at him, “The world doesn’t owe you a livin’ an’ for sure no one owes you any recognition.”

“Do go on,” he inquired.

“Do you honestly think the poor fellow who earns five-pennies a day to feed his children an’ lovin’ wife would forgo one copper cent to you an’ leave himself an’ his family the rest to live on?” I asked.

“No,” Peter answered.

“Men don’t do that…nobody does that!” I continued.

“Ah, but you’re wrong, me all-wise brother,” began Pete. “Some folk would give me a penny – perhaps even a nickel, iffen I needed it.”

“Aye,” I said, “yer right, but people such as you speak of are either fools or Christians an’ because of their generosity aren’t long for this world.”

Peter squirmed in his seat and eyed me puzzling-like as I continued.

“Why?” I asked Peter. “Why are they not long for this world? ‘Cause I tell you, they’ll either starve to death or they’re jus’ too good of nature for this world an’ He’ll take’em away for being’ too good. That’s why!”

“That still doesn’t answer me question about why you’re more liked than me,” said Peter in an ill-natured tone.

“Aye, it does!” I snapped back.

Peter sprang to his feet, asking at the top of his lungs, “Oh, yeah?! How?!”

I stood and calmly looked him squarely in the eye, and coldly replied, “I’m more liked only to you, to everyone else I’m jus’ a flat-footed copper, who twirls his baton an’ tips his cap to all the ladies.”

I felt hot under the collar and I could see my brothers’ eyes turn red with anger.

All Peter could muster was an, “Oh, yeah?”

“And furthermore, Peter,” I started in, “while you’ve been on yer high horse, ridin’ about everyone, tryin’ to see beyond them – I was down here lookin’ ’em straight in the eye as a man should an’ not tryin’ to be something more than I weren’t.”

Perhaps I should have stopped there, for I could see his answer in his face, but I didn’t stop nor did I slow in my words.

“Also, iffen yer feelin’ inferior it’s probably ‘cause while you were tryin’ to be superior, you fergot what it’s like to be real,” and with that I turned and headed for my usual path.

I’d taken no more than five steps when I felt his strong hand clutch me at the elbow and spin me about on me heel. He narrowed in on my eye: “I’ve fallen from me mount – will you help me catch it?”

“Let that horse run, jus’ let’er run,” I answered him as I put my arm over his shoulder, “Now, let me buy you a mug o’ suds, okay?”

Falling Oil Prices Greasing the Skids to War

While most are happy with lower gas prices,  they will eventually cause the former Soviet Union’s economy to crash, leading to a world-wide depression, then war.

A year ago, Russia’s economy was growing by about one-and-a-half percent and President Vladimir Putin was preparing to host the Sochi Winter Olympics. A year later, the ruble has lost nearly 50-percent against the U.S. dollar and Russia’s central bank has hiked its key interest rate for a sixth time to 17-percent.

Russia meets about 30 percent of Europe’s gas demand, mostly under long-term contracts linked to oil. However, Russian gas flows to Europe has fallen by 25 percent.

Europe’s biggest gas-consuming nations, Germany and the United Kingdom, have had mild winter this year, lessening the need for heating fuel. Also, gas usage in eight European Union nations, accounting for 63 percent of consumption, has fallen by 11-percent this year.

Because of the falling prices at U.S. gas pumps, you can expect price reductions elsewhere in the market followed by a deflationary economy.

In the 1930’s the U.S. experienced broad and persistent deflation. It was only the onset of World War II that shocked the economy out of deflationary expectations.

The Omnibus Funding Bill: $1.1 Trillion in Near-Treason

It was on September 23, 2010, when House Speaker John Boehner made a campaign promise, saying that the GOP would post all bills online for “at least three days” before voting on them. However, H.R. 83 passed only 49 hours and 20 minutes after it first appeared online.

Now the incoming Republican majorities in both the House and the Senate, elected last November, will have no say over federal spending policies. But this is all jus’ trivia compared to what the 1,603-page bill allows the Obama administration do.

The ‘Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations’ omnibus government funding bill lets the administration spend more than $1.1 trillion on discretionary government programs through September 30, 2015.  The bill also doesn’t stop Obama from using money appropriated money from the Treasury to carry out his plan to legalize illegal aliens, nor does it halt the continued implementation of Obamacare.

Additionally, it doesn’t halt the administration’s continued funding of the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood. Meanwhile it will continue to force health-care plans to provide co-pay free coverage for sterilization, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

Nevada’s delegation including Republican Congressmen Mark Amodei and Joe Heck and Democratic Congressman Steven Horsford voted in favor of the bill. Only Democratic Congresswoman Dina Titus voted against it.

The Sham of Nevada’s First National Monument

Nevada is getting its first national monument, but it is nothing to write home about. H.R 2015 was among several natural resource measures Congress passed as it battled over whether to or not to fund the federal government through October 2015.

Not only would the ‘Las Vegas Valley Public Land and Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument Act’ gives BLM land to both Clark and Nye Counties to be used for economic development, creates additions to the Great Basin College in Pahrump, College of Southern Nevada and the University of Nevada-Las Vegas campuses, it provides for the creation of the Nellis Dunes OHV park and an expansion of Nellis Air Force Base.

H.R 2015 also has the ‘Pine Forest Range Recreation Enhancement Act,’ which designates about 26,000 acres within the Blue Lakes and Alder Creek Wilderness Study Areas as the Pine Forest Range Wilderness Area and release around 1,000 acres of the existing WSA lands. The bill would also directs the Bureau of Land Management to exchange federal lands surrounding nearby ranches for private parcels within the existing WSAs to allow for the management of public lands and make sure the economic viability of privately owned ranches.

The ‘Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act’ also contained in H.R 2015, lets Yerington partner with Nevada Copper to buy nearly 10,000 acres of BLM land surrounding the Pumpkin Hollow project site for industrial, recreational, and infrastructure purposes. It also designates over 48,000 acres in Lyon County as the Wovoka Wilderness Area.

The part of H.R. 2015, labeled ‘Restoring Storey County Act’ transfers the surface rights to about 1,745 acres of BLM land in Virginia City to Storey County to end conflicting ownership and title claims. Meanwhile, the Carlin Economic Self-Determination Act gives Carlin nearly 1,400 acres of BLM land surrounding the city for the purpose of multi-use development.

The bills, ‘Elko Motocross and Tribal Conveyance Act’ hands Elko County and the Te-moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians of Nevada around 275 acres of BLM land to be used as a motocross, bicycle, off-highway vehicle, or stock car racing area. Finally, the Fernley Economic Self-Determination Act gives Fernley some 9,114 acres of BLM and Bureau of Reclamation lands within the city boundaries to used for development.

The best part of H.R. 2015 is the ‘Naval Air Station Fallon Housing and Safety Development Act.’ It transfers a 400 acre BLM parcel already within NAS Fallon to the Secretary of the Navy. The land’s earmarked for housing Navy families and would provide needed flexibility to grow the base.

However, H.R 2015 does not provide for funding – so federal agencies like the U.S. Park Service will have to find money within its existing budget to move plans for Tule Springs Fossil Beds National Monument from paper to reality, which probably won’t happen until the Fiscal 2016 budget arrives next October. This means Nevada’s newest monument remains closed to the public which it’s supposed to be for.

Repurposing the News

This is a story from the U.S. which has remained largely ignored by our national news media because it doesn’t come with ‘live-action’ video, pictures or sound:

“A manhunt is still underway for a man accused of going on a shooting spree early Monday killing six family members, including his ex-wife, and wounding a teen in three towns across Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. Bradley Stone is considered armed and dangerous as police actively searching for him.”

Meanwhile, from Sydney, Australia – news footage from TV-7 of the ending to a coffee-shop hostage crisis is being played over-and-over. It lends credibility to the old news saw: ‘If it bleeds, it leads.”

As I watch the video of the Aussie police enter the coffee shop for the hundredth time or more, I realize we have gone from reporting the news to repurposing the news. And I’m as guilty as any.

NBC Avoids the Nightly News

NBC Nightly News remains the only national broadcast to completely have ignored ObamaCare architect Jonathan Gruber mocking the “stupidity” of voters. Instead of airing what Gruber said, they have done their best to obfuscate the story with ‘fluff.’

NBC Nightly News featured a full report during their November 13 cast, on “Guinness World Records Day,” and NBC morning show weatherman Al Roker’s attempt to set the record for longest weather report. The same newscast feature Cynthia McFadden’s profile of a Minnesota company where employees receive hot chili, cold beer and unlimited vacation days.

The November 17 edition of found time for a story about an Australian news anchor who wore the same blue suit every day for a year. Two-days later, Williams used 30 seconds to tell viewers that cast member Cecily Strong of Saturday Night Live would be performing a comedy routine at the 2015 White House Correspondents’ Dinner and they devoted a full report to a study documenting the news media’s bias in favor of dog stories.

The November 28 newscast aired an outcry over the New York Times choosing a grape salad as Minnesota’s favorite Thanksgiving food, when most in the state had never even heard of it. By the way, in Nevada, where we live in a constant state of dehydration, the favorite food is supposedly ‘frog-eye salad.’

Come December 1, NBC reported on a fired GOP congressional aide, who in a Facebook post, criticized the first daughters for the way they acted during the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkey. Furthermore, during the same newscast, they also had a report/commercial for online dating site, FarmersOnly.

Three days later, fill-in host Lester Holt over-promoted a full report by correspondent Harry Smith profiling Allison Williams, who is Brian Williams’ daughter, and had the lead in the NBC musical ‘Peter Pan. The week before, on November 26, NBC ran a “behind the scenes” package, look at preparations for the live broadcast.

The next day, on December 5, Williams wasted airtime showing six-year-old boy clapping as he watched ‘Peter Pan.’ Also during the same newscast, Kevin Tibbles had a story about how people are buying ugly Christmas sweaters.

On December 9, the evening of Gruber’s appearance before a Senate hearing, NBC Nightly News finally presented a 30-second piece about Gruber’s foibles. The next night, there was nothing.

It was as if the hearing hadn’t happened.

Too Tall to be an Elf

While waiting in a doctor’s office, a boy of about four-years-old kept looking my way. Every time I caught his eye, he’d duck down behind the row of chairs.

After a few minutes he asked his mother in a rather loud whisper “Is that man Santa?”

The mother looked at me and my bushy, white beard and smiled. I could see she was both embarrassed and trying to think of a response.

“I don’t think so, but he might be one of Santa’s elves,” she answered.

The child studied me for a minute more, and then with certainty, announced, “Nope – he’s way too tall!”

It Was Jus’ Me

I had fretted about my hair cut all day long. I had asked the barber to trim my hair around the ears and neatened up the back of my head and neck. I sat down and he went to work. When he got done though, what I had asked for and gotten were two different things.

But the damage was done and it couldn’t be corrected unless I wanted to have my hair glued on. I decided I could live without the hair or the glue.

As the day wore on I felt more and more out of place. It seemed everyone was staring at me. I guess it was just me.

Late into the day, around 5:00 o’clock or so, my father and I went out to wash clothes. Dad left to do some shopping at a near by groc­ery store. I stayed to watch that the clothes got washed . I was sitting on the washing machine reading the Triplicate. I looked up to see an old man and woman walk into the Laundromat and take a seat at the far end of the room.

I thought nothing of this and went back to reading the advertisements for new and used automobiles.

Now, I’m not one to claim I have E-S-P or anything like that but I got the strangest feeling that I was being stared at. I got a chill down my spine.

I lowered the paper and peeked over the edge . I looked down the walk way to where the old man and woman were sitting, and the old man was looking at me. His eyes snapped away as I made eye contact with him. He then started talking to the old woman next to him .

I just looked back to my paper.

Again, I got that feeling. But this time I knew where to look. Again the old man was looking at me and so was the old woman. At this point I was feeling very uncomfortable and getting fidgety.

This went on for about ten minutes and I was becoming more and more uncomfortable. Soon the old women got up and started collecting her wash. The old man helped her.

As soon as their clothes had been gathered they moved with a stiff shuffle towards me.

They stopped in front of me and the old man asked “How come someone your age has a good old fashion all-American hair­ cut?”

I looked at him and my but my mind drew a blank. I didn’t know what to say.

The old man concluded “It’s certainly good to see such a haircut on a young man of your generation and age.”

I just turned red and smiled.

They shuffled down the walkway and out the door, leaving me in stunned­ silence. And somehow my hair didn’t seem so bad. It made me feel good.

But I guess that was just me, too.

Nevadans Should Expect an Increase in Taxes

During a meeting between State Budget Director Julia Teska and the Interim Finance Committee, it’s been learned that even with the state’s entire “rainy day” fund, Nevada will see a budget shortfall of more than $61 million. Following the meeting, Governor Brian Sandoval issued a statement:

“The shortfall is caused by actual revenue numbers not meeting the projected forecasts of the Economic Forum, specifically gaming and net proceeds revenues, as well as a significant increase in the student population in the Clark County School District.”

He then went on to blow more Progressive smoke up the butts of Nevadans:

“Our economy continues to show steady signs of solid improvement, unemployment is at its lowest point since the recession and we are seeing quality, sustainable job creation across the state.”

Any Nevadan who lives in the real world will tell you that there is no ‘solid improvement,’ and that the reason the ‘unemployment is at its lowest,’ is because people have given up looking for work. Furthermore, there is no job creation – especially when you have the government deciding what businesses can and cannot operate within the state.

While he didn’t say exactly what new revenue sources he is considering, it time to get the shovels out as Sandoval plans unveil his budget proposal in the State of the State address set for January 15, 2015. That mean more Progressive bullshit is on the way.

The Underside of Glory

1978

Everyday it’s back to the same old bench in the locker room, the same locker room, the same locker. This where it begins and ends.

All things center here. This is where the workouts get planned, the day discussed.

Success is forgotten here. Those who are champions are forgotten and are jus’ another member of the team.

Yet some still watch, wondering at him. He is the best.

Again the locker’s closed, slammed hard and locked. Double checked, making sure it’s locked.

He is you, and you turn and leave.

Out the door, like a Roman gladiator to the arena, you step into the spacious gymnasium. Everyone is fooling around, chasing each other and horse-playing.

Then a voice sounds, it commands, “Warm ups!”

Everyone, a well-regimented group of soldiers and like soldiers they come to attention, in a stiffened silence. Jumping-jacks, push ups, hurdlers, trunk twisters, all the same, daily.

You have memorized them by heart, because you are the ‘platoon leader’ of this ‘outfit,’ again this year – your last year.

Out to the football field at a trot, like everyday, showing those freshmen why champions are champions!

You do your daily dozen – your very own – working up a sweat, jus’ to sweat some more. Now you dash out hard a onto the hard rubber track to do twenty-five, 100 yard dashes, all of them under 12 seconds. But you do one in 13 seconds and you do one more to make up for it.

Now for the 220 yard dash, another twenty-five, all less than 23 seconds. You miss five of them, all over 23 seconds, and again you redo them.

Your heart wishes to burst home, but it won’t. And you want to sit down, but your will, or your pride won’t let you. You stand tall, while others sit. Now with a little rest, you loosen yourself ups by jogging an easy mile. Shake it off, the stiffening pain in the two stubs you call your leg.

Again to the 100-yard mark; the starting blocks. You set them, doing two for form, but now the real thing.

The coach pulls out of his pocket the starter-gun, he barks commands, “Runners to your marks, set and the gun sounds.

You have nine more to do.

The tenth one and you wish the gun were real and pointed at your head. Running 60-yards, hurting, but you must show why you’re the champion.

Everyone is leaving, but you jog and extra lap before heading in.

Through the door, the gladiator has won. The sweat on your back feels cold as you peel the shirt off, followed by your shorts and socks, then stuffed in a duffel bag to be washed.

Into the shower, where the hot water feels good, rising you clean after a good scrubbing.  Now for a cold shower, where it becomes hard to breathe,  but easier to move.

You dry off and get dressed.

You hurt all over, but never complain. You don’t complain – you’re the champion.

Off to the bus in slow, tight gait. Practice is over for today, it’s time to go home.

And after a long ride home, into your bedroom you go, tired, but you have yet to eat. So you do.

Now for bed, so tired that you don’t put on your P.J.’s after you have stripped. Off with your shoes and you know what to expect. The pain — your toes, all beaten and battered — they hurt and again you sit on your bed and cry jus’ like so many nights before.

But you don’t complain – you’re the champion.

Everyday is the same, except the last day of practice in the regular season, except this season, because it’s your last. You want to cry and you do…inside.

So down to the football field you trot one last time, but not for the practice, but rather jus’ to look, to see where you’ve been and to remember.  There’s another pain — this one in your heart — because you must leave and not jus’ for the year, but forever.

What was it all for?

You’re the champion, the very best, but you feel bewildered, lost in unhappy thoughts.  You must now let go of this part of your life, the biggest part…

It hurts, but you don’t complain because you are the champion and champions don’t complain. Besides, there is no-one who would listen.

So you hang your head low in sadness and cry. Yes — you jus’ start to cry.

It’s over, but you don’t complain, you’re the champion.

Uruguay to Take Six Gitmo Prisoners

President Obama pledged to free all remaining inmates and close Guantanamo Bay Detention Center as he campaigned for President in 2008. Many remain concerned that the released prisoners will expose the U.S. to increased terrorist threats.

Now Uruguay’s President José Mujica has agreed to accept six Guantanamo Bay prisoners saying about them, “human beings who have suffered a terrible kidnapping in Guantanamo Bay,” despite polls showing 58-percent of Uruguayans oppose acceptance of the prisoners.

The U.S. embassy in the Montevideo, Uruguay, said the U.S. was “dealing with different countries in the region” and sought out Mujica because of his ‘leadership’ in Latin America. The agreement was made earlier this year but action was delayed until after the elections the 2014 November.

Nevada Man Survived Pearl Harbor — But the Navy Said Otherwise

Most people don’t know that for every aviator, sailor or soldier with his index finger on the trigger, there are 10 or more support personnel supplying all their needs for victory. Petty Officer First Class Roland Peachee was going about his duties as a butcher on the dock next to his assigned ship the USS Rigel on the morning of December 7, 1941.

He heard some booms in the distance but thought nothing of it at the time.

“I think we were accusing the Army of having practice on Sunday,” Peachee said.

As the bombs began to fall Peachee took cover under a large crane, his only weapon, his meat cleaver. When he emerged it took him awhile to process what he saw.

“There were bodies in the water,” Peachee said. “Some of them were dead, in oil, burning.”

During the attack, two bombs dropped near the USS Rigel. The first bomb missed the bow and the second splashed harmlessly between the Rigel and a tanker with highly explosive aviation fuel.

The ships crew used their cutting torches to cut through the thinnest armor plate on the underside of the capsized USS Oklahoma near the propeller shaft to free the trapped crew. Without the Rigel’s successful rescue, the death toll, 2,403, would have been several hundred more sailors.

Peachee was physically unscathed but for some reason the Navy sent a telegram to his foster family in Indiana stating he was missing. He was unaware of the telegram as well and started a new life after the Navy with his wife in Nevada.

“I am ashamed I did not keep in touch with them because they were good to me,” Peachee said

In the 1980’s, he decided to look up his foster-brother.

“They said it can’t be you. I said well why not? Well you were reported dead at Pearl Harbor.”

Peachee worked as a grocer in Nevada for most of his professional life. He campaigned the state legislature to authorize a special license plate for Pearl Harbor survivors.

His home is like a living museum to that December morning.  Mementos, the 98-year-old is proud to look upon every day, including an award signed by President George H.W. Bush. During World War II, as a Naval Aviator, Bush flew a torpedo bomber.

“I guess I would be considered one of the lucky ones because I survived it and hell, I am an old man now, still alive,” Peachee said.

He was a founding member of the Silver State Pearl Harbor Survivor Association in the 1950’s. At the time there were 60 members.  Peachee believes there are only four now.

Nevadans are Third in Self-Promotion

Nevada is ranked number three on the HeyLets Self-Promotion Index.  It asked 2,500 Americans who participate in social media to rate the number of posts they typically make on potentially self-promotional topics such as trips to special locations, attendance at memorable events, and work-related good news.

Here is the five “Most Braggadocious” U.S. States:

#1:  California (77% percent frequently engage in self-promotion)
#2:  Washington (76%)
#3:  Nevada:  (72%)
#4:  Maryland  (70%)
#5:  New Hampshire (69%)

The most humble five states are:

#1:  Utah (22%)
#2:  Oregon (26%)
#3:  South Carolina (33%)
#4:  Kansas (34%)
#5:  Arizona (34%)

They also ranked the top five most popular topics Nevadan’s like to post on social media:

#1:  Going on a special trip (62%)
#2:  Attending a memorable event (59%)
#3:  Meeting a noteworthy person (54%)
#4:  Something nice that your significant other did (53%)
#5:  Getting work-related good news (52%)

Somewhere Between Rabble Rousers and Missing Facts

The protests in Union Square, Times Square and Grand Central Station started small, but soon grew with the help of “This Stops Today,”  a group affiliated with Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which is overseen by labor boss Andy Stern, its president since 1996.  Stern also sits on the Executive Committee of ‘America Coming Together’ funded by George Soros, who also funded ‘Occupy Wall Street,’ and continued to fund the ‘Urban Justice Center,’ ‘Open Society,’ the ‘JEHT Foundation’ and the ‘Public Welfare Foundation.’

In a recent story from the Associated Press and FOX, the two news services quoted a couple of ‘random citizen protesters,’ — Ashley Coneys and Nadya Stevens — who are involved in the New York demonstrations. It turns out Coneys is a member of ‘Police Reform Organizing Project,’ and the ‘Urban Justice Center,’ while Stevens is the assistant to the president of Communication Workers of America Local 1180.

So much for random.

Meanwhile, another fact that isn’t being shared by FOX, the AP or any other mainstream media outlet is that NYPD Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the cop who put Eric Garner in the so-called ‘chokehold,’ was supervised by an Black female NYPD sergeant. This kind of puts a new twist on the matter as claims of ‘race’ are being shouted across the land.

As reported by New York Daily News:

“Having that black sergeant in charge of that crime scene takes race out of the equation. As awful as Pantaleo’s actions appear on that video, at no time does that black sergeant order Pantaleo to stop choking Garner.

With a population that is 70% white and 10% African-American, when a Staten Island grand jury is presented with a white cop supervised by a black sergeant applying a lethal chokehold, it eliminates the racial component.”

From a police report obtained by New York TV station PIX11 the sergeant’s name is Kizzy Adoni:

“Another female sergeant, Kizzy Adoni, made a similar statement in the report. She “believed she heard” Garner say he was having difficulty breathing. Adoni also said “The perpetrator’s condition did not seem serious and he did not appear to get worse.””

Adoni is not shown in the cell phone footage of the incident, but appears in several photographs taken as the incident unfolded. The media, the mayor of NYC, and the  rest of the race hustle industry have done their best to erase Adoni from the story because she doesn’t fit their progressive template.

A Loan from God

From a friend via the Internet…

God promised at the birth of time,
A special friend to give,
His time on earth is short, he said,
So love him while he lives.

It may be six or seven years,
Or twelve or then sixteen,
But will you, till I call him back,
Take care of him for me?

A wagging tail and cold wet nose,
And silken velvet ears,
A heart as big as all outdoors,
To love you through the years.

His puppy ways will gladden you,
And antics bring a smile,
As guardian or friend he will,
Be loyal all the while.

He’ll bring his charms to grace your life,
And though his stay be brief,
When he’s gone the memories,
Are solace for your grief.

I cannot promise he will stay,
Since all from earth return,
But lessons only a dog can teach,
I want you each to learn.

Whatever love you give to him,
Returns in triple measure,
Follow his lead and gain a life,
Brim full of simple pleasure.

Enjoy each day as it comes,
Allow your heart to guide,
Be loyal and steadfast in love,
As the dog there by your side.

Now will you give him all your love,
Nor think the labor vain,
Nor hate me when I come to call,
To take him back again?

I fancy each of us would say,
“Dear Lord, thy will be done,
For all the joy this dog shall bring,
The risk of grief we’ll run.

“We’ll shelter him with tenderness,
We’ll love him while we may,
And for the happiness we’ve known,
Forever grateful stay.

“But shall the angels call for him,
Much sooner than we’ve planned,
We’ll brave the bitter grief that comes,
And try to understand.”

The GOP to Screw the Voters

The Republican Party won a large victory on the promise that they’d fight President Obama’s executive overreach – but it seems those promises were nothing more than a ruse to gain votes and power. And jus’ so you know what the hell I’m talking about when I write that the GOP and the Democratic Party are one in the same:

During a House Rules Committee hearing on legislation to curb some of the overreach in President Obama’s executive action on immigration, Chairman Pete Sessions (R-Tex.) said he was working with House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) to push a bill to make sure that not one illegal is removed from the United States “unless they were dangerous to this country and committed a crime.” Sessions also said he personally would use all his “assets and resources” in 2015 to work out a deal whereby illegal immigrants can “be in this country and work, and where not one person is quote ‘thrown out’ or ‘deported.’”

With acts of betrayal like this – it shouldn’t be a surprise when the GOP fails to repeal Obamacare as they claimed they would.

The Five Sides in a Person

1974

(Note: This is a comical review of the species Homo Sapiens, i.e. Human Being. It is intended as a basic guide for all persons who are people watchers.)

‘People watching’ is something most persons do when they are bored or jus’ being nosy.  And yet some persons make it their business to study people and their behavior patterns .

I have studied people, because truthfully — I am naturally nosy.

Okay, so something’s haven’t changed in the last four decade about me.

That doesn’t mean my nose is unusually large, but it does mean that I want to make other peoples business, my business. In relative theory it is simple, it’s jus’ the words are hard to understand.

Like everywhere, something has to begin somewhere. And it is a generally well known fact that everything (or something) has to start at the bottom.

Now whether you believe ‘Man’ came from the sea or from the like­ness of God, that does not matter. What matters is the basic element and fact that ‘Man’ is here!

Do not concern yourself with “here”, because actually “here” is “nowhere”, but just some­ where in a wide unknown galaxy.

Adam, as we all know, was the first man and Eve the first woman. They were workers — trying to survive in the garden of Eden.

That means both of those people were basically “Classites.” But doing genealogical studies of persons in the past is much harder, because we cannot fully comprehend their world, we can only imagine.

People of today are different from them in style. We speak differently and understand more.

But we still have classes of people. Not jus’ Black, White, Yellow, or Red, although before the turn of the century colors did have something to do with it. It seems much simpler, all color-coded, but it was ruled unfair for very obvious reasons.

Now, we rational people have a different way of doing things.

Obviously, I was talking out my ass.

First there is the “Burnout.” This person generally has money, more money than most people know, but they don’t care about it, or actually about anything.

Because they can afford it, they usually use drugs. A “Burnout” is a class five of our species.

A number four species is a “Greaser.” This is someone who, like the burnout doesn’t care for anything.

And they dress like they don’t care. One main reason they dress like they do is for simple fact they can’t afford to.

Now in a society like ours it is a privilege to be an athlete. This type of Homo Sapiens is called a “Jock.”

A “Jock” is usually combined with a “Classite” type of specie. Most “Jocks” and “Class­ites” are intermingled, both work and are superior in physique and mental attitude. Classites are generally workers, Both blue collar and white collar.

OOPS! Color coded again!

As in all societies there has to be a top rung to the proverb­ial ladder of the Human Being, and that is the “Socialite.” This is the most outwardly happy and successful type, but in reality the most dangerous.

They associate with the rich (also type one) and keep to themselves. Sometimes a few will get together and appear in public view of the other four species.

While they seem to be on a higher plateau or level of thinking, they aren’t. They are generally a rather nervous breed.

But still they are no different than most other people, yet they have that certain color about them. And that color is green. Money.

That means power. Therefore they are to be adjudged dangerous.

Now that light has been thrown on the subject, it is time to say everyone has these basic traits, and some more than others.

Everyone, or just about everyone has used drugs. (Aspirin, anyone?)

And have dressed according how how they felt. Everyone has done something mentally and/or physically inclining to the sports world, whether that thing is crossword puzzles or the decathlon.

They have also worked, and had more money and have known persons with more money than they…thus making them equally richer or poor than someone.

So everyone is alike — even though may think your better than someone else, jus’ remember everyone is the same, give or take a little bit from one or the other.

Darker Than Night

Our national media is failing us and we are letting them.

More of you know who Michael Brown and Eric Garner are than about the nearly 45 young Black men shot over Easter weekend in Chicago.  While the media is feeding the frenzy of ‘racial mistrust’ – there are events in our nation that will have a world-wide effect on the future of our country and it seems we are being lead away from what is relevant and to that which is hog-wash.

You have yet to realize our national debt now $18-trillion and growing, or know the name of the American teacher stabbed to death in Abu Dhabi, not to mention where Abu Dhabi is located. And you haven’t heard about the failing Iranian nuclear negotiations or the Arab-backed U.N. resolution to force Israel to show its nuclear program and submit to U.N. IAEA monitoring.

And while the House of Representatives unanimously approved a bill that strengthens the U.S.-Israel alliance, you haven’t heard of it. Neither will you learn about the Obama administration’s plan to imposing sanctions on Israel for continuing construction on Jewish homes in Jerusalem.

Some may recognize the names, but few know what federal mandate Jonathon Gruber worked on or why U.S. war vets are upset over the release of Bowe Bergdahl. Hardly any of you has heard about Hillary Clinton’s advisement that the U.S. should “respect and empathize” with our enemies or know who Ashton Carter is, and what makes him a good or bad choice for the position he’s been nominated to fill.

No doubt you’ll hear that someone vandalized Bill Cosby’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame by scratching the word ‘rapist’ in it three times, but you’ll have no idea who Luke Somers might be. Some of your favorite 2015 Grammy Nominations will be highlighted in the evening news  – but not the importance of the run-off between Mary Landrieu and Bill Cassidy in Louisiana.

As the old African proverb goes: Lack of knowledge is darker than night.

Recovering the Burned Flag

It’s a video you won’t see in the mainstream media, which starts with Ferguson, Missouri protesters burning an American flag, then kicking it into the street. This is followed by one man using the flaming flag to light his cigarette.

It then cuts to a car speeding by as four Missouri National Guardsmen and a police officer calmly walk across the street towards where the flag was burned.

The videographer asked the cop if he knows anything about an incident where someone was removed from a vehicle. The officer tells him that he does, but that he cannot comment on what happened.

Next, the police officer announces to the crowd of demonstrators, “Just so you know, the Guardsmen have come over to look for pieces of the American flag that got burned.”

“Why is that?” the videographer asks.

“Because it’s an American flag,” the officer answers.

“It’s a piece of cloth,” he says over and over, finally adding, “I appreciate your guy’s service, but it’s a piece of cloth.”

“But it means something to us,” one the Guardsmen replied.

“It’s not their flag,” the videographer complains to the surrounding rioter, but his protestations go unanswered as the officer and four Guardsmen return to the opposite side of the street with the remnants of the burned flag they later disposed of properly.

A History of Criticizing Presidential Children

Thomas Lincoln was known for herding his goat, through his mother’s tea parties, appointing himself toll taker on the White House stairway, making everyone give him a nickel before they could pass, and for once interrupting a Cabinet meeting so his father could sign a “pardon” for one of his dolls.  Teddy Roosevelt’s children, especially Quentin and Alice Roosevelt were also “terrors’.

For example, when younger brother Archie was confined to his room with measles; Quentin got the family pony, Algonquin, on the White House elevator and up to Archie’s room. Alice smoked on the roof of the White House, drove at breakneck speeds, fired guns at telegraph poles from a moving train, jumped into a swimming pool fully clothed and sometimes appeared with her pet boa constrictor around her neck.

In fact, after repeatedly interrupted an important meeting, a visitor insisted that the Roosevelt do something about his daughter.

“I can either run the country or I can control Alice,” Roosevelt replied. “I cannot possibly do both.”

Margaret Truman began a career as a concert vocalist, appearing on Ed Sullivan’s “Toast of the Town” TV show.  However, in 1950, she gave a concert in Washington that was reviewed by Washington Post music critic Paul Hume.

Hume trying to be diplomatic called her “a unique American phenomenon…extremely attractive on stage,” adding, “Miss Truman cannot sing very well. She is flat a good deal of the time.”

Harry Truman threatened to kick Hume’s butt if they ever met.

Susan Ford was criticized for wearing blue jeans in the White House, had her high school dates critiqued and humiliated when her mother told a national talk show that she “wouldn’t be surprised” if Susan had a premarital affair. Ford also busted out of the White House on one occasion running from secret service.

Luci Johnson was reprimanded by the public for her “poor grades,” and Chelsea Clinton was made fun of for her looks and even mocked on a Wayne’s World skit on Saturday Night Live. Mike Myers later sent an apology to the White House after her parents complained.

Jenna Bush was nailed for underage drinking twice, and both she and her twin, Barbara attempted to ditch their security agents. And for April fool’s Day 2005 spoof, Maxim published a photo illustration of Jenna and Barbara Bush, plumage in the air, sporting lingerie in what was meant to be the aftermath of a pillow fight.

Amy Carter, who was ordered to go to state dinners by her father; she brought a book to read and was assailed for not showing the proper respect to heads of state. One reporter called her “a lamentably spoiled, perpetually tired, whining brat with miserable manners.”

The Obama girls, Malia and Sasha, are not exempt from this – though Progressives everywhere wished they were.

Tennessee’s Stephen Fincher’s spokeswoman Elizabeth Lauten criticized the sister’s teenaged behavior as their father issued his annual Thanksgiving turkey “pardon.” In a social media posting, Lauten told the girls to “try showing a little class. At least respect the part you play.”

However, many think she took the chastising to far when she added, “Then again your mother and father don’t respect their positions very much or the nation foe [sic] that matter, so I’m guessing you’re coming up a little short in the ‘good role model’ department.”

Following the social media shit-storm she found herself in and a lengthy apology, Lauten resigned.

While there is nothing extraordinary about her resignation, as a father, I would never let her posting go unanswered as President Obama did, allowing instead, his minions to do battle on his behalf. Rather, I would have defended my kids and ripped her a new one.

Looking for Racial Bias in a Bunch of Numbers

It was Mark Twain who said, “Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.”

The FBI collects records from local and state law enforcement every month as part of their Uniform Crime Reporting system, which is what they use to produce official reports on crime rates in the US.  Those records tell the FBI how many crimes were committed and what type, but it doesn’t say much about the characteristics of the victim, offender, or crime.

Statistics show that Black-on-Black crime is far more common than the case of a White-on-Black crime. From the 2011-12 FBI files — 193 Blacks were killed by Whites, while 448 Whites were killed by Blacks and 2,447 Blacks were killed by Blacks.

This isn’t surprising given that the U.S. is about 63 percent White and 12 percent Black.  So it isn’t hard to see how more Blacks might die in confrontations with police than Whites.

There were 41 teens, 14 years or younger, reported killed by police from 1980 to 2012. Twenty-seven of them were Black; eight were White; four were Hispanic and one was Asian.

There were 151 instances where police noted teens they had shot dead had been fleeing or resisting arrest at the time of the encounter. Sixty-seven percent of those killed in such circumstances were Black, while 15 teens shot fleeing arrest from 2010 to 2012, 14 were Black.

Forty-four percent of all those killed by police across that 32 years span, were White. Black officers account for 10 percent of all fatal police shootings and of those they killed, 78 percent were black.

White officers killed 91 percent of the whites who died at the hands of police. They were also responsible for 68 percent of people of color, killed.

Seventy-seven percent of ‘undetermined shootings’ (those that didn’t list the circumstances) were black. Meanwhile, from 2005 to 2009, “officer under attack” was cited in 62 percent of police killings.

What the numbers can’t show is ‘intent,’ ‘motive’ or ‘belief system.’

The Real Danger to the Community

Larry McQuilliams targeted several buildings in Austin on the morning of November 28, including the Mexican Consulate, the United States Federal Courthouse and Austin Police headquarters within a 10-minute period. Police Chief Art Acevedo said at least 100 rounds were fired within that time frame.

Now Acevedo wants the residents of Austin to turn friends and neighbors into the police so they can investigate them.

“… It’s important for us as Americans to know our neighbors, know our families — tell somebody,” Acevedo said. “If you know somebody that is acting with a lot of hatred towards any particular group — especially if it’s somebody you know is a gun enthusiast or is armed with these type of firearms and they’re showing any kind of propensity for hatred — it doesn’t mean we’re going to take them to jail, but we might want to vet these people.”

The danger isn’t so-called ‘police brutality,’ or ‘White cops killing Black men,” or a ‘militarized police force,’ it’s that men and women in positions of authority like Acevedo wants people inform on neighbors like the Gestapo or Stasi.

Where Murder and Protests Miss the Cut

Zemir Begic came to the U.S. from Bosnia in 1996, moving first to Utica, NY, before settling in Waterloo, Iowa, then moving to St. Louis where he married Arijana Mujkanovic, six months ago. Begic died early Sunday morning in St. Louis after four kids walked up and began beating on his car using hammers.

Mujkanovic was in the car when Begic got out confronting them and saw the teens striking her husband with the hammers, before running way. Begic died at St. Louis University Hospital after suffered multiple injuries to his head and abdomen.

After news spread of the fatal attack, resident Bosnians took to the streets to voice their frustrations over what seems to be a developing trend in violence targeted at their community.

“Some of the demonstrators recalled other recent Bosnian victims of violence,” reports St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “including Haris Gogic, 19, who was fatally shot in May 2013 by a robber in his family’s Bevo Mill convenience store.”

Police arrested two male teens, ages 15 and 16 and are still looking for two others, a 16-year-old black male and a 15-year-old Hispanic male. Authorities have yet to release a motive for the attack.

Many are why the mainstream media has yet to cover the newlywed’s death. Unfortunately, the answer is simple – it doesn’t fit the progressive narrative.

Will the Real Northern California Please Stand Up

Dear National Media types:

Every evening, while watching ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN and FOX news, I see your field correspondence having trouble figuring out where they are reporting from within the ‘Golden State.’ Please allow me to help.

This is Northern California.
Eel River

This is NOT Northern California.
san francisco

Thank you. You can go back now, to your regular self-appointed position of being lapdogs for Progressives.

The Fallacy of Cop Cams

The Obama administration plans to spend $263 million for police body cameras and training in the wake of the shooting death of unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.  The program would offer a total of $75 million over three years to match state funding for the cameras by 50 percent, helping to pay for more than 50,000 of the devices.

The president says the funding would to help improve relations between police departments and minority communities, saying there is a “simmering distrust” between the two groups that extends well beyond the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri.

Shortly after Michael Brown was shot and killed, New Orleans Police Officer Lisa Lewis got into a fight with a man during a traffic stop. During the fight, she shot Armand Bennet in the forehead.

According to Lewis’ attorney, she was going off-shift when she pulled Bennet over and had already turned her body camera. Bennet survived, only to be  booked on five outstanding warrants including possession of marijuana, illegal possession of a weapon, resisting an officer, resisting an officer and criminal damage to property.

It was during a July 17 confrontation that Eric Garner died following what was called a ‘chokehold,’ performed by Daniel Pantaleo, one of the arresting New York Police officers attempting to arrest Garner. The entire event was video taped from start to finish and still a grand jury chose not to indict the Pantaleo.

On April 21 cops in Albuquerque shot and killed Mary Hawkes, who was suspected of auto theft.  The officer who shot and killed Hawkes did not have his lapel camera turned on. He insists he turned it on ahead of the encounter but it was off and the manufacturer said they couldn’t decide if the officer was being truthful.

That officer, Jeremy Dear, has since been fired.

In 2013, a Chicago police officer wasn’t even charged for fatally shooting an unarmed man, despite video footage showing the officer standing over the victim’s body. Earlier this year, a jury acquitted two former police officers caught on tape beating a schizophrenic homeless man to death in 2012.

Ever since the beating of Rodney King was caught on tape in 1991, police have been aware that their actions may be recorded and used against them – and still we see rioting in the streets. And I don’t even want to get going on the possible abuse of civil liberties these body cameras can lead too.

So as you can see, such “21st century policing,” will not work.

The Coming Uncivil, Civil War

Here We Go Again.

A Staten Island grand jury cleared an NYPD cop in the chokehold death of Eric Garner during his caught-on-video arrest for peddling loose cigarettes. The panel voted a “no-bill” and dismissed all charges against Officer Daniel Pantaleo, capping weeks of investigation by the special grand jury, set up in September specifically to review evidence in Garner’s racially charged death.

City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito called the ruling “a terribly disappointing outcome” that ran counter to “the events that led to Eric Garner’s death.”

“What makes this even more infuriating is the frequent lack of accountability, which is why I urge the U.S. Department of Justice to launch its own investigation,” she added.

Meanwhile – back in the “Show Me” state…

Members of the New Black Panther Party plotted to bomb St. Louis’ Gateway Arch and assassinate local police in the wake of the original Ferguson riots, but the Justice Department hasn’t issued terrorism charges – only hitting them with minor possession gun charges.

Brandon Orlando Baldwin and Olajuwon Ali Davis of the New Black Panther Party discussed using bombs to blow up the Gateway Arch and the murder of Ferguson Police Chief Tom Jackson and St. Louis County prosecutor Robert McCulloch.

Evidently, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has a “go soft” order on the racist group – but watch how hard he comes down on the NYPD.

Police Angry at St. Louis Rams Players Gesture

It reminds me of when Olympic sprinters Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood atop the medal podium at the 1968 Summer Games in Mexico City, bowed their heads and raised black-gloved fists during the playing of the national anthem.  They ended up being kicked off the U.S. Track Team for their actions.

It was neither the time nor place for such a protest – and most Americans knew it.

Forty-six years later, the St. Louis Police Officers Association wants a public apology from the St. Louis Rams and the NFL after five Rams players walked out on to the field on Sunday with their hands raised similar to those used by Ferguson protestors. SLPOA Business Manager Jeff Roorda points out the hypocrisy.

“All week long, the Rams and the NFL were on the phone with the St. Louis Police Department asking for assurances that the players and the fans would be kept safe from the violent protesters who had rioted, looted, and burned buildings in Ferguson.”

Where and how these five players decided to express their opinions was wrong, since there were more than 50 business owners and clean-up-crew workers in the stands. Basically, the players slapped those people in the face by supporting the rioters and looters with their ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ gesture.

The Rams should support their community, not add to the problem – and most Americans know it.

The Theatrics of the Congressional Black Caucus

There was a time when the Democratic Party was respectable. But on Monday, four members of the Congressional Black Caucus did the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” gesture during remarks from the House Floor, to show solidarity with protesters in Ferguson, Missouri.

Congressional folks Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), Yvette Clarke (D-NY), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Tex.) and Al Green (D-Tex.), referred to the gesture that has come to symbolize the outrage over the death of Brown, the Black man shot dead by White police officer Darren Wilson in August. Lee and Green, also offered their praise for the five St. Louis Rams who gave the “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” signal on the field during a game.

Such theatrical activities evoke an emotional reaction and have nothing to do with facts or laws.

Debunking DeAndre Joshua’s Meme

There is a meme making the rounds on Facebook about a young man named DeAndre Joshua, the only person killed during the riots, looting and arson-fires in Ferguson, Missouri. His death has become fodder for online speculation, as people continue to claim Joshua was one of the unnamed witnesses, who testified before the Michael Brown grand jury.

However, he had nothing to do with the grand jury as he was in St. Louis at the time of Brown’s fatal shooting, though he was a childhood friend of the man who was walking in the street with Brown when Brown attacked Officer Darren Wilson. Furthermore, Joshua completed his sentence of ‘community service,’ for ‘resisting arrest’ in 2013.

So far there have been no rallies or news cameras, no signs or ribbons to mark the spot where someone shot Joshua once in the head, then set him on fire inside his car. His death appears to be nothing more than a footnote in the events of that ugly night.

Racism Raises Its Head on House Floor

After the president’s meeting with leaders on race, the Congressional Black Caucus took to the House floor to discuss the events in Ferguson, Missouri.

“The Ferguson grand jury’s decision not to indict former officer Darren Wilson was yet another slap in our face,” said Representative Marcia Fudge of Ohio. “It was another painful reminder that just like with Trayvon Martin, and Tamir Rice, and so many others, that law enforcement officers kill our black and brown boys without repercussions.”

Then Congressman Hakeem Jeffries brought the “hands up, don’t shoot” pose to the House floor.

“’Hands up, don’t shoot’ — it’s a rallying cry of people all across America who are fed up with police violence in community after community after community…in Ferguson, in Brooklyn, in Cleveland, in Oakland,” Jeffries said.

So much for the rule of law.

In Memory of Harley

There hasn’t been a day since October 9th, that I haven’t failed to think of my dog, Harley. In fact, I have time and again embarrassingly called each of the other three dogs by his name.

So it was a pleasant surprise when this arrived:

001 (2)
Thank you to both Baring Boulevard Veterinary Hospital and to Furry Friends Assistance Fund for remembering Harley with this gesture. It does my heart good.

The Media’s Race Bias Reporting

An off-duty Akron, Ohio White police officer was fatally shot while confronting an armed Black man November 16th.

Justin Winebrenner and several friends were at a pub when a man became disorderly and kicked out of the pub. The man returned a short time later and brandished a handgun.

A staff member, who was aware Winebrenner was a police officer, alerted him to the situation.  Winebrenner and another off-duty officer confronted the man, who then opened fire.

One shot struck Winebrenner in the chest, killing him. The alleged gunman, Kenan Ivery, pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated murder and five counts of felonious assault.

Winebrenner served with the department for seven years and the Medina County Juvenile Detention Center for two years. He’s survived by a four-year-old daughter and fiancée.

And where is Winebrenner’s 15 minutes in the media-spotlight? Nowhere, as the story doesn’t fit the media’s ‘White cop kills Black kid’ template.

Americans Know Barack Obama is No MLK

President Obama evoked Martin Luther King Jr., ghost on Black Entertainment Television claiming his daughters could someday face dangers from racism like those the civil rights legend battled a half-century ago: “I want my children to be seen as the individuals that they are, and I want them to be judged based on the content of their character and their behavior and their talents and their gifts.”

He might fear this – but he has no heart to actually do anything about it – which was evident when he refused defend his daughters after they we ‘bullied’ by a GOP congressman’s spokes woman. I wonder how emotionally damaged his daughters will be by the time he leaves office.

 

We Stupid Americans

At first I was angry about MIT Professor Jonathon Gruber’s comment about the American people: “It’s a very clever, you know, basic exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter,” Gruber said at the Honors Colloquium 2012 at the University of Rhode Island.

Later while visiting Washington University at St. Louis in 2013 he said, “They proposed it (Obamacare) and that passed, because the American people are too stupid to understand the difference.”

But the more I thought about it – he’s correct – we American’s are stupid. There is plenty of proof online showing people (especially recent high school graduates and current college students)  can’t even answer the most basic of history, political or science questions:

  • Who won the Civil War?
  • Who did the U.S. gain its independence from?
  • What year was the Declaration of Independence signed?
  • Who is our Vice President?
  • Is President Obama a lame duck?
  • What is the largest state in the Union?
  • How many hydrogen molecules in water?
  • What is the name of the closest star to the earth?
  • Pure water has a pH level of about?

Time and again we’ve watched late-night segments on the ‘Tonight Show’ with Jay Leno, ‘The Jimmy Kimmel Show’ or maybe Fox News’ ‘Watter’s World,’ with Jesse Watters, laughing at the answers people give to the simplest of questions. But if you think about it – while it  ‘makes’ for ‘good TV’ – it isn’t funny at all.

ANSWERS: The North, Great Britain, 1776, Joe Biden, yes, Alaska, two, the Sun, seven.

Turn the Scenario Around: Black Cop Kills White Kid

Every story of any unarmed citizen gunned down by police officers deserves public scrutiny. But that doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to the increasing national media bias and their template of ‘White cop kills Black kids.’

So what if that got turned around – ‘Black cop kills White kid?’

A naked and unarmed Gil Collar was shot and killed by a University of South Alabama campus police officer in October 2012. At the time of the shooting, Collar was using LSD and exhibiting erratic behavior around the police station on campus.

A two-minute video of Collar, from a security camera mounted on the campus police station at the university, recorded almost the entire incident including the shooting. Officers said that Collar was acting “aggressively” in the video, pounding on the window, walking away, then returning.

That’s when Officer Trevis Austin came outside with his gun drawn and aimed at Collar, shooting him once in the chest. The circumstances mirror those of the August 9th shooting death of Michael Brown, a Black unarmed man under the influence of drugs by Officer Darren Wilson, who is white, in Ferguson.

Jus’ like in Ferguson, Missouri, an Alabama grand jury refused to bring charges against Austin, in spite of the heavy pressure from the public. But unlike Ferguson, the media wasn’t around to fan riotors flames.

Collar’s parents filed a civil lawsuit against Austin, with a trial date set for February 2nd, 2015. But don’t worry, whatever the verdict, the national media is sure to ignore the outcome.