The Abandoned Hulk along Eureka’s Coastline

 SS Dombass III

The S.S. Donbass III began its life as a lend-lease tanker, launched at Kaiser Ship Building, in Portland, Oregon. The ‘T-2’ was nearly identical to all the other tankers that served as oilers in the U.S. Navy during World War II.

Tankers of this type were constructed similar to the Liberty Ship and both were considered weak in the keel. They were known to break in half under the right conditions and were even referred to as ‘Kaiser Coffins’ for this reason.

Originally named S.S. Beacon Rock when launched in 1944, she was given to the Russian Navy that same year and renamed. Her main role was transporting fuel from the U.S.’s west coast, through the Bering and Okhotsk Seas and the Sea of Japan to Vladivostok, Russia.

Several U.S. Nay ships were ordered to proceed to the Aleutian Islands, near Adak, Alaska in February 1944. When they got there, they found the bow section of the vessel still afloat with six survivors aboard after encountering a gale and breaking in two.

The Navy tried to get the stranded crew of the dying ship, but they refused aid until the Soviet ship, Belgorod, arrived and took them aboard and towed the section of remaining vessel away. The bow was later scrapped.

The aft section was located and assisted by the American tanker S.S. Puente Hills, which removed another 23 crew members including a woman, before towing it to Port Angeles, Washington with another 20 crew members aboard.

Eventually the U.S. Maritime Commission sold it to Pacific Power & Electric for $125,000, after the company learned the engineering section with its GE turbine-generator, was still working. PG&E towed the section to Eureka, California and beached so it could serve as a power plant, providing Eureka with five-megawatts of power following World War II.

It was dismantled about ten-years later after a new power-plant was built to serve the city and surrounding area.

The Soviets named the vessel after the Donbass region of eastern and southern Ukraine. A coal mining area since the late 19th century, it has become a heavily industrialized territory.

In March 2014, large swaths of the Donbass region became gripped by unrest. This grew into a war between pro-Russian separatists affiliated with the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics, and the post-revolutionary Ukrainian government.

Pine Nut Mountain Round Up On Hold

The planned roundup of 332 wild horses in Nevada’s Pine Nut Mountains is on hold until late February. ‘Protect Mustangs’ and ‘Friends of Animals’ filed a lawsuit alleging the Bureau of Land Management failed to prepare an environmental assessment as required and didn’t provide adequate public notice of its plans.

The lawsuit also alleges the government has ignored studies showing the fertility control drug PZP alters horse behavior as well as the birthing cycle. The BLM planned to gather all but 132 horses from ranges south of Dayton and east of Carson City and Gardnerville.

Of the 132 to be captured and released — all 66 mares would have received a 22-month treatment of the vaccine to prevent future reproduction.

The BLM contends an overpopulation of horses in the area has damaged the range, including valuable sage grouse habitat, and reduced availability of native forage grasses needed to support a healthy horse population. The agency will likely proceed with other wild horse gathers planned near Tonopah and Battle Mountain in the meantime.

The Progressive Problem of Profit Making

Apple reported a huge net profit in its fiscal first quarter, topping the nearly $16 billion made by ExxonMobil in the second quarter of 2012. Record sales of iPhones were behind the surge in profits.

NBC’s Brian Williams put it this way: “The richest company in the world is Apple to the tune of the most profitable quarter of any company ever — a new record — $18 billion in profits in one quarter. Cash on hand, including investments, $178 billion. No other company even comes close.”

But then he added, “It’s enough money to give every American $556, though they have no plans to do so. Their business model, you see, only works the other way around.”

Evidently, Williams believes a company which makes a profit should give that money away to people who did nothing to earn it. This isn’t the first time he’s tried to ‘take-down’ the tech giant or the U.S. Constitution.

In December 2012, he sat down with Apple CEO Tim Cook, where Williams wondered why the company couldn’t be a “made-in-America company.” He went so far as outlining a political scenario where President Obama was all-powerful.

“Let’s say our Constitution was a little different and Barack Obama called you in tomorrow and said, ‘Get everybody out of China and do whatever you have to do, make these, make everything you make in the United States.’ What would that do to the price of this device?” Williams asked.

Cook changed the argument.

“Honestly, it’s not so much about price it’s about the skills, et cetera,” Cook responded. “Over time, there are skills that are associated with manufacturing that have left the U.S. Not necessarily people, but the education system stopped producing them.”

Two years of free college ought to fix this. Not!

Threat of a Cold War and the Real Cold War

Governors in six states declared emergencies, but shortly afterwards weather forecasters began to see that they had gotten it wrong. Initially, the National Weather Service said a monster storm would bring up to three-feet of snow, powerful winds and widespread coastal flooding along a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast.

This caused people to rush to local stores to stock up on supplies, transit systems closed down, and the airlines grounded their fleets. Then near-marshal law, keeping people inside and vehicles off of the street was enacted.

This cost NYC businesses over $7 million in lost revenue.

News of this monster storm led the evening newscasts on all the major networks. And by the time it was over only a few inches fell in New York’s Central Park while another few inches dropped on Long Island.

These are the same people who claim they can predict climate change, 100-years from now, but can’t get a 24-hour forecast correct.

But there’s story far more important than the threat of a few snowflakes.  The federal government charged Russian three men with operating a spy ring operating in New York City.

Evgeny Buryakov, Igor Sporyshev and Victor Podobnyy are charged with gathering economic intelligence for Russia’s foreign intelligence service, Foreign Intelligence Service of the Russian Federation.  Buryakov posed as a banker for Russia’s Vnesheconombank, while both Podobny and Sporyshev worked for the Russian Federation in New York.

‘Economic intelligence’ concerns production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, as well as labor, finance, taxation, and other aspects of a nation’s economy or of the international economic system. It also allows a nation to estimate the size of possible military threats and is also valuable in estimating the intentions of a potential enemy.

And this isn’t the first time this has happened. In June 2010, federal agents broke up a 10-person Russian sleeper cell embedded in various U.S. communities. That operation was also managed by two Russian intelligence agents posing as low-level Russian diplomats.

Going a step further — it isn’t a far stretch to think ‘Radical Islamic’ sleeper-cells are already operating within the U.S.  After all, a member of ISIS/ISIL admitted to the Jerusalem Post last August, following the murder of American journalist James Foley, that they are already within our borders.

“They infiltrated us with those who pretend to be Muslims and we have also penetrated them with those who look like them,” he claimed.

We’re being snowed when it comes to what is and is not important.

Fortuna’s Star Hotel Burns

A major fire broke out in downtown Fortuna during the early morning hours today, engulfing part of a block of Main Street. Engines from Ferndale, Scotia, Eureka and elsewhere helped battle the blaze and provide coverage.

Star Hotel

The structure involved is the historic Star Hotel building. Located on the corner of 11th and Main Streets, the Star Hotel was a popular destination from the 1880’s to the 1950’s.

So far no word what caused the fire.

In 1876 the Star Hotel building was named in honor of Andrew and Jacob Starar, who owned a ranch near the Mad River. They kept a herd of elk in a fenced area in town, which was probably the town’s source of meat at that time and Andrew  even owned most of the town at one time, selling  part of it to Henry Rohner, for whom Rohnerville is named.

star_hotel_1024 (2)

Rohner purchased 350 acres donating it to Fortuna for its first city park. The deed of the parkland was signed by Abraham Lincoln, and a replica is housed at the Park’s Depot Museum.

In the early 1900’s Henry’s widow, Mary sold the town a total of 53 acres of the family’s land in three installments. This is now the location of the present-day Rohner Park.

Their daughter, Elizabeth Rohner, sold the third section of land to the City for one dollar with the stipulation that the park’s name never be changed.

The brothers are also Fortuna’s connection to the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine, believed to be in the Superstition Mountains, near Apache Junction, east of Phoenix, Arizona.  The mine’s named after Jacob Waltz, who discovered it in the 19th century but kept its location a secret.

After leaving California the Starar brothers went to Mexico, and then sometime in 1866 or ‘67, returned to the U.S. settling in Arizona next to Waltz. Andrew purchased a part of a mine claim from Waltz on August 8, 1878.

Many speculate that the diggings he purchased was part of the famed mine.

Details About Harry Reid’s Latest Accident Change

The accident threatening Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid’s vision took place in the bathroom, instead of the living room of his home as first reported. The new detail supposedly fills in the account of how he suffered broken bones around his right eye and four broken ribs.

In recounting the New Year’s Day accident, Reid said he was doing an exercise routine when the strengthening-band snapped and “catapulted” him backwards and to the side, and into some cabinets. Amazingly, this isn’t the first time he’s hurt himself, nor is it the first time the story has changes.

In early 2011, Reid claimed he was jogging in the rain when he slipped and fell, injuring the right side of his face. A few days later a spokesperson amended the story saying Reid had put his foot on the bumper of a car to tie his shoe when he slipped, producing the injuries.

According to the website, ‘Alzheimer’s Reading Room,’ balance and walking problems often present before the diagnosis of mild cognitive impairment, Alzheimer’s or dementia.  Meanwhile, Reid underwent surgery in Washington, D.C. where doctors repaired the bones around his eye socket and drained the blood that gathered in the front and back of the eye.

2014: The Hottest Year on Record?

Recently, the Associated Press reported that 2014 was the hottest year on record, but has since issued a correction saying the 650 million-to-one statistic was out of context. They also say the original story omitted an explanation of the margins of error in its calculations.

Read the AP’s correction:

In a story Jan. 16, The Associated Press reported that the odds that nine of the 10 hottest years have occurred since 2000 are about 650 million to one. These calculations, as the story noted, treated as equal the possibility of any given year in the records being one of the hottest. The story should have included the fact that substantial warming in the years just prior to this century could make it more likely that the years since were warmer, because high temperatures tend to persist.

The story also reported that 2014 was the hottest year on record, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA, but did not include the caveat that other recent years had average temperatures that were almost as high — and they all fall within a margin of error that lessens the certainty that any one of the years was the hottest.

An earlier version of the story quoted Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis as noting that the margin of error makes it uncertain whether 2014 was warmest, or the second, third or sixth warmest year. She said that regardless, the trend shows a “clear, consistent and incontrovertible” warming of Earth. That reference to the margin of error was dropped in later versions.

Kind of changes the whole global warming argument, huh?

By Not Watching My Step

It was early this afternoon when I thought it would be nice to go out in the backyard and toss the ball for the dogs to fetch. They’re great at running it down, but still need much work at dropping it at my feet.

That’s where my ‘nice’ idea took a turn. Several times I instructed one of the two dogs to drop the ball, which they did, unfortunately it was right where they were standing and nowhere near me.

I had to retrieve the ball myself.

Focusing on the ball, I started across the length of the yard one more time. This time though, I stepped in a pile of dog-crap.

Immediately my foot slipped out from under me as I tried to regain my balance. It did me no good as I fell anyway.

Now falling, is one thing, but what happened next, I cannot fully account for other than to say it happened. As my left foot slid forward, I twist my body to the right and toppled backwards.

Then somehow, my face collided with my knee or my knee banged into my face, giving me a blooded nose. All I could do for a few seconds is lay in the grass and watch as stars swirl about my head.

The dogs were sympathetic to my plight as one brought the ball over to me, while the other vigorously offered to help clean my face with her tongue. That’s when I decided stars or no stars I had to get up off my back.

So needless to say, no more ball for a while, as I have a hell of a head ache now.

A Plan to Replace Harry Reid

In a Washington Examiner article, University of Virginia political science professor Larry Sabato is naming Nevada’s Senator Harry Reid as 2016′s ‘Most Endangered Democrat,’ suggesting Republicans’ run Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval against him in the upcoming election cycle.

This fits directly with a prediction I made in August 2009 shortly after Sandoval decided to Sandoval step down from a life-long appointment as a Federal Judge to run for governor.

“Brian Sandoval is quitting his lifetime appointment as a Federal Judge in order to run for the state’s governorship. Sandoval was Nevada attorney general before he quit to take over the bench and had been chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission before he bailed from the job to become AG.

Simply put — Sandoval isn’t a real public servant. Instead he’s using ‘public-service,’ to climb the ladder to what he believes are ‘bigger and better positions.’

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb, predicting he’ll quit as Nevada governor to run for the U.S. Senate, if the opportunity arises.”

Granted, I felt certain at the time he was going to bolt from the governor’s mansion the moment John Ensign resigned. Surprisingly, Sandoval appointed then-Congressman and fellow-Progressive Dean Heller to the position instead.

My prediction was on, my timing was off.

Nevada’s Senators Upset Over NFL’s Handling of Balls

Nevada’s two Senators are involving themselves in the NFL’s investigation known a ‘deflategate.’ Evidently, sports now fall within the realm of national politics.

Senator Dean Heller is calling on league officials to punish those he labeled ‘cheaters.”

“As the Senator from the only state where sports betting is legal, it is imperative the integrity of the game never be questioned,” Heller complained.

The NFL also drew the anger of Nevada’s senior Senator, Harry Reid.

“I can’t believe the National Football League, with the billions of dollars it makes, couldn’t at least determine how much air should be in a football,” Reid said.

Idiotic.

Meanwhile, Patriot’s QB Tom Brady poked fun at the two Senator’s: “This isn’t ISIS, no one’s dying.”

However, ISIS/ISIL did behead Haruna Yukawa of Japan after that country refused to pay a  $200 million ransom, for him and Kenji Goto.  The terror group is now demanding the release of a would-be suicide bomber being held in Jordon for Goto’s freedom.

Now back to what really doesn’t matter…

Following the 45-7 rout of the Baltimore Colts during the AFC Championship game, someone accused New England of deflating their footballs. The Pat’s deny the charge and the NFL continues to investigate.

Doom’s Day and the Death of a King

King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia has died at 90. His successor is expected to be his 79-year-old half-brother, Prince Salman.

This spells trouble. Along with Abdullah’s death and fall of the government in Yemen, Iran will now extend its influence over Sana’a in Yemen Iraq’s Baghdad, Damascus, Syria and Beirut in Lebanon.

Ironically, at the same time, the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists pushed the Doomsday Clock ahead by two minutes. It now rests at to 11:57 p.m.

The closer it is to midnight, the closer the world is to doom, according to the Board. The last time the clock moved was in 2012 when they set the minute hands to 11:55 p.m.

Trees of Mystery’s Paul Bunyan Suffers Broken Arm

‘Babe the Blue Ox’ lost his head in November 2007 because of structural weakness, and now Paul Bunyan has lost the use of his right arm. The 49-foot statue at Trees of Mystery in Klamath, California had its arm smashed by a tree limb that fell during a heavy rainstorm.

paul bunyan

Apparently, a large branch blew off the nearby “Family Tree,’ during a recent rainstorm. It slammed into the statue, leaving the arm hanging limply to the side. The damaged arm should be repaired in a month’s time.

The business began in 1945 when Larry Thompson bought “Redwood Wonderland” and changed the name to Trees of Mystery. He then built the first Paul Bunyan statue out of papier-mache, which did not last through the wet winter.

Man Charged in Two of the 1976 ‘Gypsy Hills Murders’

In 1979, Louisiana mental health patient, Cathy Woods confessed, was tried and convicted of killing 19-year-old Michelle Mitchell of Reno. She has since been released, pending a new trial to take place in July 2015.

Michelle Mitchell

Michelle’s body was found in a garage near 9th and Evans Avenue, three-years earlier, hand’s bound and throat slashed. Witnesses reported seeing someone helping her push her VW Bug into the parking lot across from the UNR agricultural building on Evans Street.

She was a sophomore nursing student at the UNR at the time of her death.

Now San Mateo County, California investigators say 66-year-old Rodney Halbower has been extradited from Oregon State Prison to San Mateo. He’s charged with two counts of Murder with Special Circumstance in the cases of Paula Baxter and Veronica Cascio.

The body of 18-year-old Veronica was discovered pm January 8, in a creek on the grounds of the Sharp Park Golf Course in Pacifica, California. She had been stabbed 30 times.

Only 17 at the time, Paula went missing on February 2. Her nude body was found February 4, behind the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Millbrae, California.

She had been stabbed four times, sexually assaulted and struck on the head with a piece of concrete. Her killing was forensically linked to Veronica.

A few weeks later, 14-year-old Tatiana Blackwell was reported missing after leaving her home in Pacifica to run an errand. She was discovered off Sharp Park Road in the Gypsy Hills section of the city on June 6, having also been stabbed multiple times.

Nineteen-year-old Carol Booth was reported missing by her husband on March 15, and discovered in a shallow grave near Colma Creek on Grand Avenue, in South San Francisco, on May 6. Denise Lampe, 26, of Broadmoor, California was found after a search in the parking lot of the Serramonte Center, stabbed 20 times, April 1.

A month before, Denise’s murder, on March 17, 21-year-old Idell Friedman was found stabbed to death in her San Francisco apartment. Her murder has yet to be officially linked to the others.

Halbower was previously identified as a person of interest after San Mateo investigators made a DNA link between a cigarette butt and semen found at the crime scenes. The FBI has since confirmed a DNA match to Michelle’s murder to samples found by San Mateo.

He has yet to be charged in Michelle’s death. Halbower was in custody in Oregon, serving time for an attempted murder charge.

The ‘Obama Effect’

Call it what you will, but I call it the ‘Obama Effect.’

During his SOTU address President Obama publicly recognized eBay, as he highlighted the strength of the U.S. economy. Unfortunately, less than 24 hours later the company announced it will be cutting 2,400 jobs.

Ouch! I really feel bad for those people.

John Donahoe, eBay’s president and CEO gave thousands to Obama’s 2012 campaign. He’s also donated more than $90,000 to other Democrats since 2006.

But all is okay — the company’s stock jumped more than four-percent after the announcement — so now he can give even more to the Democratic Party.

Obama’s ‘New Redistribution Plan’

President Obama wants everyone to have two “free” years of junior college. In his recent “State of the Union,” address he laid out new tax packages that includes a $320 billion hike to help pay for this plan.

Under current law, 529-Plans work like Roth IRAs — you put money in, and the money grows tax-free for college. Distributions are tax-free provided they are to pay for college.

But here’s what Obama didn’t say in plain, understandable language…

Under the Obama plan, earnings from a 529-Plan will no longer be tax-free. Instead, earnings would be taxed upon withdrawal, even if the withdrawal is to pay for college.

In addition to taxing college savings plans, Obama is calling for a hike in capital gains taxes, an increase in the death tax, a bank tax and an increase in retirement plan taxes. Each of his proposals will affect the middle class either directly or somewhere down the road.

This is nothing more than a ‘redistribution of wealth’ plan as those who’ve been saving and planning ahead for college will foot the bill for those who didn’t.

Galaxy Grove in Reno Rededicated

A rededication ceremony of Galaxy Grove took place at the Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden inside Rancho San Rafael Regional Park.  In late 2013, thieves stole the original bronze plaque from the memorial.

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Three decades after Reno’s worst aviation disaster, Washoe County unveiled a new memorial plaque in tribute to the victims of Galaxy Airlines Flight 203. The plane crashed January 21, 1985, minutes after taking off from what was then Reno-Cannon International Airport.

Of the 71 passengers and crew, only 17-year-old George Lamson Jr. survived. Most of the passengers were from Minnesota and had taken the charter flight for Super Bowl weekend.

The new plaque mistakenly names the stricken flight as ‘Galaxy 205.’

‘Hanoi Jane’ Apologizes — Sort Of

About 50 veterans protested a speaking engagement by Jane Fonda at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, Maryland. Fonda drew the anger of many Americans when she visited North Vietnam in 1972, leading some to call her “Hanoi Jane.”

Fonda told the audience she made a “huge mistake” and it’s something that she’ll take to her grave.  Unfortunately, Fonda failed to make it clear whether she was sorry for supporting the Communists or for getting caught supporting the Communists.

Either way, she escaped punishment for ‘aiding and abetting the enemy,’ in my opinion.

Obama’s Shill at the 2015 SOTU

Living in Nevada and having worked in the casinos in my younger years, I learned somebody who ‘encourages’ others to spend their hard-earned money, is a shill. Well, the U.S. met a professional shill during the President’s ‘State of the Union’ address.

The woman whose story of economic recovery Obama introduced during his latest SOTU is a former Democratic campaign staffer.  Rebekah Erler is a former Democratic campaign field organizer for Washington state’s Senator Patty Murray.

In fact, Erler’s been used by Obama for political events in the past. Last June, Obama spent a “day in the life” of Erler so he could have “an opportunity to communicate directly with the people he’s working for every day.”

What a fraud!

Congress’ 2015 Border Security Fake Out

Authored by Texas Congressman Michael McCaul, Chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, H.R. 399 (the Secure Our Borders First Act of 2015) is jus’ another ‘Trojan Horse,’ designed to make us thing the ‘new congress’ is doing something about border security. Why?

The bill requires the Secretary of Homeland Security to provide “a comprehensive operational plan” for gaining and maintaining control of “high traffic areas” within two-years, and “operational control along the southwest border” within five.  It also outsources congressional authority to a border commission, appointed in part by the president, to decide whether the border’s secure.

Although this bill does tighten up the trigger for implementation after the submission of a plan, it fails to eliminate base salaries for political appointees who fail to make and construct the enforcement measures while it blocks bonuses and travel on official government airplanes for those officials.  And it has only one clear deadline –18 months to build the required fencing and two-years to meet operational control over “high traffic areas.”

Finally, while bill has lots of technology to help secure the border, the only real construction is an additional 27 miles of the effective double-layered fence. Unfortunately, the bill weakens the 2006 law requiring the construction of a 700-mile double-layered fence.

Republican leaders recently passed a series of proposals to scale back several actions taken by President Obama, but beyond this, Congress on both sides of the aisle still plan to pass comprehensive immigration reform. In its strict definition, “reform” means to change into an improved form or condition, by amending or removing faults or abuses.

Yet don’t expect anything to ‘change’ or ‘improve,’ instead watch for more ‘faults’ and ‘abuses,’ to increase.

Obama’s 2015 SOTU Address: Same old, same old

It was a difficult hour-and-a-half to sit through as I listened to the little man talking on the television. It was President Obama’s sixth “State of the Union” address, and like the five before he took credit for things he didn’t do.

“At this moment — with a growing economy, shrinking deficits, bustling industry and booming energy production — we have risen from recession freer to write our own future than any other nation on Earth,” Obama said

The problem is — the economy still hasn’t recovered.

According to the Associated Press, lower-paying jobs are fueling job growth; part-time jobs also remain higher with 1.7 million fewer people holding down full-time jobs than when the recession began in December 2007.

“And the faster hiring hasn’t pushed up wages much,” the AP continues. “They have been growing at a tepid pace of about 2 percent a year since the recession ended 5 1/2 years ago. That’s barely ahead of inflation and below the annual pace of about 3.5 percent to 4 percent that is typical of a fully healthy economy.”

And their assessment only gets worse.

“That has left the income of the typical household below its pre-recession level. Inflation-adjusted median household income reached $53,880 in November 2014, according to an analysis of government data by Sentier Research,” they continue. “That is about 4 percent higher than when it bottomed out in 2011. But it is still 4.5 percent lower than the $56,447 median income in December 2007, the month the recession began.”

As for any credit took about “booming energy production,” you and I know that he’s done everything in his power to drive down both the oil and coal industries. Increases in oil production needs to be credited to ‘wild-caters’ fracking on private lands.

Obama also took a shot at supporters of the Keystone XL pipeline, saying, “Let’s set our sights higher than a single oil pipeline. Let’s pass a bipartisan infrastructure plan that could create more than 30 times as many jobs per year.”

Adding to his claims on increased energy production, Obama also spoke of ‘climate-change/global warming,’ warning of rising ocean levels, more intense heat waves, and perilous droughts and floods, vowing, “I will not let this Congress endanger that health of our children by turning back the clock on our efforts.”

There is so much more, but for now, I need a couple of aspirin — my head is about to explode.

Obama’s ‘Yemen Model’ has Fallen Apart

The U.S. Embassy in Yemen is preparing for possible evacuation, after somebody fired on an embassy staff-car. Fortunately, there were no one injuries.

But…but…but…

In September 2014, President Obama cited Yemen as a positive example for counter terror planners around the globe.  That same month, radical Islamists overran the country’s capital, Sana’a after moving out of their northern Yemen stronghold.

The “Yemen Model” was first put in place before 2011’s Arab Spring, creating more chaos across the region and leaving the government paralyzed. The deal dictated redistribution of power among competing political parties.

Compared to Syria and Egypt, the relative ease of the transition in Yemen inspired glowing rhetoric from Obama. However his “Yemen Model” has been helpless to prevent al-Qaeda attacks despite being notified of their specifics days and weeks before.

Since then, radical Islamists associated with Abdulmalik al-Houthi, the leader of an anti-American Shia, have increased their attacks against the central government.  Then overnight, they took the country’s presidential palace.

President Abd Rabbuh Manṣūr Hadi was not at the palace, but another residence of his another part of the city, is also under attack. It’s unknown if he’s at that location.

Meanwhile, this evening Obama will speak, telling us how and way he wants to raise our taxes — but don’t expect him to mention “radical Islam,” or his failed “Yemen Model.”

The Turning Away

It had been on display for nearly four-months. But now a U.S. Army recruiting station in Phoenix, Arizona, has been ordered by higher-ups to remove a sign on display outside of its office that read, “On a mission for both God and country.”

A spokesperson for the Army’s Recruiting Command said signboard was created by local staff and that headquarters would have never permitted it. The removal came a few hours after it was brought to the attention of a commanding officer.

According the DOD, there are 47 approved taglines in the Accessions Support Brigade catalog for recruiting posters. Some of them include ‘Army Strong,’ ‘Soldier’s Creed,’ ‘Warrior Ethos,’ and ‘It’s Not For Everyone.’

“Pro aris et focis,” a Latin phrase literally meaning “for our altars and our hearths,” or, for God and country, has been used by military regiments for centuries. Sadly, neither history nor tradition means anything anymore.

Fearfully, as the American military leadership and the Obama Administration turn from God – God is likely to do the same in return.

Obama’s Battle Plan: Fight Fire by Adding Gas

As President Obama is busy telling Europe that it needs to do a better job of assimilating foreign Muslims, he’s releasing terrorists willy-nilly.  Recently, he freed five jihadists, all from Yemen, from Guantanamo and sent to Estonia and Oman for resettlement.

All five were captured in Pakistan and detained as al-Qaida fighters. Each were cleared for release since at least 2009 but congress has balked at repatriating them back to Yemen, where that government is supposedly battling an al-Qaida insurgency.

There are now 122 prisoners at Gitmo, including 54 who have been approved for transfer. Of those cleared, 47 are Yemeni and will have to be resettled in other countries, given the security situation in their homeland.

So what is Obama’s end-game?

Let’s put it this way — Al Qaeda in Yemen has taken responsibility for the planning, financing and carrying out the attack on the magazine Charlie Hebdo and it claims responsibility for a recent bomb that killed 30 in a crowded Nigerian market place. Meanwhile, the Whitehouse refuses to admit the attacks were committed by ‘radical Islamists.’

You’re intelligent enough to figure out the rest.

Mystery of the Winchester

There it was — propped up against a juniper tree in Nevada’s Snake Mountains — an unloaded Winchester Model 1873 repeating rifle. Now, researchers are scouring old newspapers, bills of sale, family histories and handwritten letters, hoping to discover its history.

 1882 Winchester Rifle
It’s generally known that the Winchester Company of New Haven, Connecticut produced 720,000 of the model from 1873 to 1916. The weapon featured an oil-finished walnut stock, blued-steel crescent butt plate and a 20-inch-long octagon barrel.

This particular repeating rifle was manufactured in 1882, learned by the fact that every gun was stamped with a serial number. It was shipped from the Connecticut warehouse that year; no one has been able to locate who ordered the gun, where it went or how it came to be on a Nevada hillside.

Also during that same year, Morgan Earp and gunfighter Billy Claiborne are both killed in Tombstone; Jesse James is killed by Robert Ford; Congress outlaws polygamy and passes the Chinese Exclusion Act; John D. Rockefeller creates the Standard Oil Trust, Charles Darwin, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Mary Todd Lincoln all die; and and future U.S. President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt is born.

Discovered on a wooded, craggy hillside, overlooking the Utah border to its east – the rifle’s location conjures the idea of a possible gun fight. It also suggests a cowboy or sheep-herder out looking for a lost animal or some lonely prospector, flustered when he thought he’d struck the mother lode.

While I’m only speculating here, I think someone shot a buck or some other wild game, set the rifle against the tree to dress the kill, and then couldn’t find the spot where the rifle was resting. Stranger things have happened in the high Nevada backcountry.

There’s a great story behind this once-lost ‘Winny’ and until it’s known, speculation will continue to blow — along with Nevada’s high-desert wilds.

Life Lesson #13

Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons.
Relationships must be chosen wisely.
It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.
There’s no need to rush.
If something is meant to be, it will happen — in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason.
Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.

We are an Old Married Couple

Married for 28-years, instead of dining by candlelight, soft music, and a getaway at some retreat, we ate lunch at P.F. Chang’s.  Mary paid, using a gift card she received at Christmas time.

Lunch was preceded by a stop at Lowe’s Hardware, where we bought a new range for Mary. She’s been doing without one after the bottom element in the stove burned out a couple of weeks ago.

But our anniversary adventure didn’t end there. We also when to Walmart and bought me some new underwear and socks.

Exciting!

Now, some might say the romance has escaped our marriage, but no one can say we lack a certain practicality and love for one another — plus a healthy sense humor.

I’m already planning next year; a refrigerator and new tennis shoes.

Listening to a Local Radio Station Struggle

As a point of disclosure — I used to work for Cumulus Media at their Reno radio station KKOH 780 AM. And I don’t like what I’m hearing.

It is hard for me to listen to a station being run by management in Atlanta, Georgia, which forces on-air programming so general in nature that it doesn’t service its listening area. It’s even harder still to hear local radio staff struggle to overcome such a handicap.

To make matters even worse, Cumulus Media has now broken its ties with ABC News Radio, which mean’s KOH will no longer air ABC News at the top of the hour.  Instead, CNN, which doesn’t identify itself during news broadcasts, will provide all Cumulus stations with content.

The new arrangement began this month as ABC’s agreement with Cumulus Media came to an end.  Furthermore, Cumulus has ended its partnership with the Associated Press.

Now KOH’s news staff will have to rely heavily on other media sources for content, including their news partner, ABC affiliate KOLO TV. Maybe Cumulus chief executive officer Lew Dickey thinks such tactics will make the listener think their local station is creating all of its own content – but he’s mistaken.

It’s not the first time he’s made a gaffe that damaged the quality of the on-air content and programming. Shortly after Cumulus purchased Citadel, rumors surfaced that both Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity were to be axed.

In the end, Hannity left only to be replaced by Michael Savage, while Limbaugh somehow managed to hang on.

Also causing uproar was the sudden dismissal of long-time KOH programming favorite, “Coast to Coast.” The shows’ 25-year-plus run ended when Cumulus decided to replace it with erudite New York talker John Batchelor and the overnight trucker-program, “Red Eye Radio.”

Memo to Lew: the listener isn’t stupid, but CEO’s who think they are – are.

Nevada’s Governor Side-steps Tax Increase Issues

Nevada’s Governor didn’t disappoint Progressives across the Silver State as he urged lawmakers to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in taxes over the next couple of years. Brian Sandoval proposed a two-year budget totaling about $7.3 billion in his recent ‘State-of-the State’ address.

It includes about $1.14 billion in additional revenue, mostly in the form of business taxes so he can give $881 million to the Nevada State Education Association. The proposal also calls for restructuring the flat, $200-a-year business license fee into a fee that varies based on a company’s gross receipts and industry type.

Sandoval also wants to make temporary “sunset” taxes permanent, while increasing cigarette taxes from 80 cents to $1.20 a pack. But that’s not the only smoke being blown as he set media tongues wagging, burying his proposed tax increases by announcing the appointment of failed Washoe County school superintendent Pedro Martinez to a statewide “Achievement School District.”

Last year the Washoe County School Board fired Martinez, proving again that in Progressive politics — failure equals success. Also missed: Sandoval’s call for members of local school boards to be appointed, saying school boards have become “disconnected from their communities.”

Kentucky’s Paul to Visit Northern Nevada

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul is due to make a stop in downtown Reno, Saturday. He is one of a number of Republicans testing the political waters, and Nevada’s first-in-the-West Republican caucus is a little more than a year away.

Unfortunately, I can’t find myself getting excited about him or his possible run for the presidency.

He favors allowing so-called DREAMERs, whose parents brought them to the U.S. as children, to stay in the country, and to provide more work visas so immigrants can legally hold jobs. Paul adds, though, that any reform effort must also include securing the borders.

Paul plans to attend private fundraisers in Reno for his “victory committee,” and a mid-day “meet-and-greet,” at the Atlantis Casino Resort.  He’ll then headline a private dinner at the Hyatt Regency Lake Tahoe Resort, Saturday evening, where tickets start at $500 and go up to $2,600.

His father, former Texas Congressman Ron Paul, had strong support from Nevada Conservative’s during his presidential bids in 2008 and 2012. The Silver State was only one in seven swing states and ultimately gave President Obama six electoral votes.

Few listened then — fewer are listening now.

The Great White Fleet at Trinidad, California

The Great White Fleet is the nickname for the U.S. Naval fleet that completed a circumnavigation of the globe from December 16, 1907 to February 22, 1909. President Theodore Roosevelt wanted to demonstrate growing American military power and blue-water navy capability.

The fleet consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. The hulls of these ships were painted a stark white, giving the armada its nickname.

The second leg of the voyage was from San Francisco to Puget Sound and back. And as the fleet headed up the north coast of California, they passed Trinidad Lighthouse, jus’ north of Eureka, as shown in a rare photo postcard by J. A. Meiser of San Francisco.

Fleet at Trinidad Light House

It was mailed on May 29, 1908 to a Miss Alene Fay Seight of Martinez. The text while faint, reads, “Dear Aly Fay, This is for John and Mama at home Trinidad Light house.  Love to all, Granma.”

The Other Shoe Drops on Obamacare

Canceled policies, dropped doctors, higher premiums and deductibles and enrollment nightmares, and  now 3.4 million people who signed up for Obamacare in 2014 are about to get large tax bills.  These tax bills could be as high as $2,500 for families at the upper end of the subsidy eligibility range.

Furthermore low-income earners will face a complicated process while trying to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate, a process that will force them to pay extra to have their returns professionally prepared. Worse yet, many will have to reimburse the system for overpayments.

Supposedly, these are the people who can least able to afford insurance. And it’s another reason for Conservative’s put an end to it.

Hiking the Old Kiley Ranch

Spent my entire day out and about taking photographs. It was bright, sunny and slightly chilled — perfect for picture-taking.

Parrallel fences
These are parallel fences that eventually met at the far end. I’ve no idea why anyone would waste their time stringing barbed wire in such a way.

Wing 1
While exploring an old barn, I found what remains of an old airplane wing. It was the only thing left inside the structure.

Barn 14
Being out well after sundown is how I came up with this shot. The jet aircraft’s contrails add a little something-something to the fading daylight.

I’m looking forward to something to eat and a little sleep after such a long but enjoyable day.

Obama’s Optics-problem Leaves U.S. Blind

London’s Daily Mail isn’t shy about criticizing the Obama Administration with headlines reading, “America snubs historic Paris rally: Holder was there but skipped out early, Kerry was in India, Obama and Biden just stayed home.”

This comes after Obama failed to attend the Paris Unity March against Islamic terrorism, instead to spending his afternoon watching the NFL playoff game.  He didn’t even send Vice President Joe Biden, who was at home in Delaware for the weekend with nothing scheduled.

At least, U.S. Ambassador to France Jane Hartley was in the march, as was assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland.

And while Nuland’s boss, Secretary of State John Kerry plans to visit Paris later this week, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder was already in there for security meetings. He didn’t attend the march — but had time for news interviews.

In two separate instances, Holder refused to say that the U.S. is at war with radical Islam. Instead, Holder, who spoke to both NBC’s Chuck Todd and ABC’s George Stephanopolous with the same question, said that the U.S is at war with “terrorists” who “corrupt the Islamic faith” or use a “corrupted version of Islam.”

The Obama administration is completely blind when it comes to so-call ‘optics,’ or they jus’ don’t care.

The Lie That’s California’s 2015 Budget

The media keeps touting how California Governor Jerry Brown has created a surplus while also balancing his state’s budget. But if one digs a little deeper, it becomes obvious that he’s simply “kicking the can down the road.”

A portions of that so-called extra money will automatically come off the top for public schools, and California’s new rainy day fund, leaving only about $2 billion or so to cover all sorts of needs, most of which will have to be put off until next year.

A third of the state’s spending’s earmarked for the poor, In order to maintain this safety net, the state will have to raise grants to disabled individuals beyond $881 per month or $1,483 for couples.

To avoid tuition increases for University of California students, it’ll cost the state upwards of another $100 million. And by raising Medi-Cal reimbursements to doctors so they stay in the system, it will cost around $300 million.

Enrollment in the state’s healthcare program for the poor, known as Medi-Cal, has exploded by 50% since Obamacare took effect. Over the next year, Medi-Cal enrollment will reach 12.2 million — about a third of the state’s population.

Obama’s new immigration policy will also increase healthcare costs as more than a million people who are in the country illegally, will qualify for Medi-Cal. Those costs have not been calculated by Brown’s administration.

Then there are the state roads which need tens of billions of dollars in overdue maintenance. Brown’s proposed budget lacks funding for them or other infrastructure needs.

There’s also CalPERS, which administers a $260 billion investment portfolio for 1.7 million past and present public-sector workers and CalSTRS, a $166 billion fund that caters to teachers. CalPERS can unilaterally raise the contributions of public agencies, but CalSTRS can’t do that.

And if the fund runs out of money, which could happen as early as the mid-2020s, school districts will be on the hook.

Brown has also lengthened the peak-salary period from one year to three for calculating pensions, capping salaries at which new recruits can earn pensions to $110,000 and reducing the payout formula to two-percent at age 62. But the rules only apply to new hires.

Currently California’s public pension funds underwater by $754 billion. Unfortunately paying for all the health benefits promised to current state employees when they retire will cost almost $72 billion, taking a larger chunk from the state budget than is now spent on retirees’ coverage.

As Dan Walters of the Sacramento Bee writes: “Add it all up, and California is ignoring at least $10 billion a year in debt payments that current politicians are avoiding but that their successors and taxpayers will have to shoulder at some point.”

UPDATE 01/14/2015: A former CalPERS board member under investigation for corruption killed himself inside the gun store, ‘Big Shot’ on Double R. Blvd, in south Reno. Police say they found 71-year-old Alfred Villalobos with a single gunshot wound to his head, and a 9mm semi automatic handgun near him.

Villalobos had been accused of bribing Frederico Buenrostro Jr., a former chief executive of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, in exchange for Buenrostro’s help in getting CalPERS to make investment decisions that benefited Villalobos’ clients. Villalobos faced up to 30 years in prison if convicted.

 

State’s Still Relying on the Fed for Revenue

Using the most recent data available, the online tax research organization, Tax Foundation finds nearly a third of all state revenue is still provided by the federal government in 2012. That’s about a dollar in ever three in state coffers.

The lowest recipient is Alaska at 20.0 percent, followed by North Dakota (20.5 percent), Virginia (23.5 percent), Hawaii (23.5 percent), and Connecticut (23.6 percent). Mississippi got 45.3 percent of its total state general revenues from the federal government (the largest in the country), followed by Louisiana (44.0 percent), Tennessee (41.0 percent), South Dakota (40.8 percent), and Missouri (39.4 percent).

Meanwhile Nevada placed 44th, accepting nearly 26-percent of its revenue from Washington D.C. The Tax Foundation also ranks the Silver State at 3rd place in their ‘State Business Tax Climate Index,’ based on corporate, individual income, sales, unemployment insurance and property taxes.

Unfortunately, Nevada still has a projected $162 million budget shortfall for this year. Expect Governor Brian Sandoval to propose a tax restructuring plan to boost state spending by hundreds of millions of dollars during his ‘State of the State’ speech, January 15.

Words: ‘Fetus’ vs. ‘Unborn Child’

This isn’t about abortion per se; it’s about how the U.S. media and the legal system use certain words to frame their agendas.

News agencies report: “Police say three adults, two children and an unborn child were killed in the crash,” or “Authorities investigating the discovery of two fetuses found dumped along the side the road.” Yet according to Merriam-Webster, a fetus is a human being in the later stages of development before it’s born.

Meanwhile, law enforcement agencies from coast-to-coast will charge a person with murder in the death of an unborn child: “The trial for a man charged in the 2012 deaths of his girlfriend and an unborn child…”  or “Woman  charged with the feticide and fetal murder of her unborn child.  After all, they never charge anyone with a crime following the lawful termination of a pregnancy.

It would seem that neither has considered the dichotomy between a fetus’ and ‘unborn child,’ other than one sounds cold and clinical — while the other is cause an emotional response.

Nothing the Government ‘Gives’ is Free

President Obama wants everyone to have two “free” years of junior college. In his recent “State of the Nation,” address he laid out new tax packages that includes a $320 billion hike to help pay for this plan.

But here’s what he didn’t say…

Under current law, 529-Plans work like Roth IRAs — you put money in, and the money grows tax-free for college. Distributions are tax-free provided they are to pay for college.

If Obama has his way, 529-Plans will no longer be tax-free, instead those earnings will be taxed upon withdrawal, even if it is used to pay for college.  In addition to taxing college savings plans, Obama is calling for a hike in capital gains taxes, an increase in the death tax, a bank tax and an increase in retirement plan taxes.

It’s nothing more than a redistribution system as those who are saving and planning ahead for college will have to foot the bill for those who didn’t.

 

That Death Song Can Be a Killer

“So, what songs reminds you of your pre-teen years?” was the question I asked on Facebook. I received a number of wonderful answers, but one really intrigued me.

That person relayed that her mother refused to let her sing the words, “Yummy, yummy, yummy — I got love in my tummy.” Not being familiar with the lyrics, I looked it up and learned they’re from a song with the same title.

Evidently, it was a hit for the group ‘Ohio Express’ in 1968. And after listening to the song, I could understand why her mother wouldn’t allow her to sing it around their house.

It also caused me to recall a situation I found myself in at about 14-years-old when my mom forbid me to listen to the song, “Season’s in the Sun,” by Terry Jacks, because she felt it was a tune about death.

“You’re only a kid – you don’t need to be listening to songs about dying!” she exclaimed.

Up to that point in my life I had never really paid much attention to the words of any song. In fact, half the time I couldn’t understand (and still don’t know) what the singer was saying.

I mean after all does anyone really understand what’s being said in Manfred Mann’s “Blinded by the Light?”

One afternoon, I came home from school to find Mom in the kitchen blasting the song “Teen Angel,” from the eight-track player in the living room. I turned the song down and pulled the tape from the machine.

Mom exploded, “Who gave you permission to do that?!”

Holding the tape up, I calmly answered, “No one. But since Adam and the girls are home, they shouldn’t be hearing songs about death.”

That was my second mistake with my first being the removal of the tape. My third — getting within arms reach of my very angry mother.

Obama’s Optical Confusion

President Obama made an unplanned trip to the French Embassy in Washington, D.C.  During the brief visit he signed a condolence book, ending the entry with “Vive la France,” honoring those killed by terrorists at Charlie Hebdo magazine.

Earlier in the day, however he zipped right passed the Phoenix Veterans Affairs Hospital to a high school where he delivered a speech on housing recovery. This is the VA where at least 40 patients died awaiting appointments for care.

His priority instead, was to lecture a partisan group of people about the need for more big government programs. And afterwards, Obama made time for an unscheduled stop at a near-by housing development for a photo-op.

As a U.S. military veteran and French-born to boot, let me exclaim — ‘Va te faire foutre, Obama!’

Prejudice Doesn’t Always Come With a ‘White Face’

New York Congressman and founding member of the Congressional Black Caucus Charlie Rangel claims he saw plenty of American Army dead during the Korean War. But the deaths of black soldiers meant more to him than the deaths of whites — even if they all wore the same uniform.

“When I was in combat, and I’m telling you, I saw more dead people, but I never was moved until I saw dead people that looked like me in my uniform,” the Democrat said. “It does make a difference”.

I cannot understand how anyone can support such prejudice.

“Freedom of Press” Under Attack

The terror attack and murder of 12 people in Paris, France can happen in the U.S. too, especially since we’re already embroiled in this mess.

In February 2006, the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo published a series of 12 cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad. The same pictures had been featured in the Nordic daily Jyllands-Posten on September 16, 2005.

image
The Danish publication triggered anti-Danish protests across the Muslim world in which an estimated 130 people were killed. It also caused the French government to temporarily closed 20 embassies as a precaution.

Numerous violent plots related to the cartoons have been discovered in the years since the main protests in early 2006. These have primarily targeted editor Flemming Rose, cartoonist Kurt Westergaard, the property or employees of Jyllands-Posten and other newspapers that printed the cartoons,and representatives of the Danish state.

On New Year Day 2010, police stop a would-be assassin in Westergaard’s home. In February 2011, the attacker was sentenced to nine years in prison.

Also in 2010, three men living in Norway were arrested for planning an attack against Jyllands-Posten; two were convicted. In the U.S., David Headley and Tahawwur Hussain Rana were convicted of planning terror attacks against Jyllands-Posten and sentenced in 2013.

As for Charlie Hebdo, the publication became a target of threats, forcing employees to be placed under police protection. But any attempt at intimidating the magazine failed.

Then in 2011, after the magazine named the Prophet Muhammad as its “editor-in-chief,” their offices were firebombed, and its website was hacked. Then in 2013 the magazine publishing what it called a “halal” comic book on the life of the Prophet Mohammad.

Now the Charlie Hebdo story has taken a deadly turn.

Meanwhile Al Jazeera America’s Arthur Goldhammer writes: “The satire that Charlie Hebdo exemplified was more blasphemous than political, and its roots lie deep in European history, dating from a time when in order to challenge authority, one had to confront divinity itself. In that one respect, the fanatics are not wrong: Charlie Hebdo was out to undermine the sacred as such.”

I don’t agree with Goldhammer, but I would never threaten him or his right to say, write or publish what he believes.

White Lives Matter, Too

Dothan, Alabama police say Robert Lawrence, an unarmed white-man, went to an animal shelter to turn in a stray animal and became “unruly.” This after workers at the shelter demanded his government issued ID.

According to news reports, all he carried was a notarized affidavit from the state’s Motor Vehicle Administration. When they refused to accept this as identification, he got pissed and the law called.

After police arrived, a fight broke out between officers and Lawrence. This resulted in Lawrence being fatally shot in the stomach.

So far, there’ve been no DOJ actions taken by the Obama Administration to stop animal shelters from requiring ID, unlike the many lawsuits they’ve filed to halt Voter ID. And curiously, Al Sharpton has said nothing.

Maybe it’s time to create a new ‘hashtag.’

Artificial Intelligence and Elon Musk

Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk has been in Nevada’s news cycle a lot this past year because of his company’s ‘gigafactory.’ But here is something we’re not being told by those same news sources.

Musk says the human race should “be concerned” about the computer singularity hypothesis, or idea that artificial intelligence may one day advance past human control and radically change civilization.

“The timeframe is not immediate, but we should be concerned,” Musk warns. “There needs to be a lot more work on A-I (Artificial Intelligence) safety.”

There could be more to his massive ‘battery factory,’ located in an isolated patch of the Nevada desert.

Nevada’s GOP Representatives Screw America

Conservatives — not only across Nevada, but all around the U.S. — have been told by their GOP Congressional delegations to “bend over and take more of the same.” Disgustingly, Nevada’s Mark Amodei, Joe Heck and Crescent Hardy are in that same boat, each having voted to keep John Boehner as the Speaker of the House for a third term.

So, lets take a glance at what Boehner has done for the American people and analyze why they voted as they have:

In 2011, Boehner signed off on the Budget Control Act, which also came to be known as “sequestration.” The sequestration deal was designed to cut $1.2 trillion from 2013 to 2021; a gang of legislators was supposed to cut a deal to avoid half of those cuts coming from the military budget, but the deal never happened, and the military took the brunt of the cuts.

In September 2011, Boehner attempted to ram through a stopgap funding measure that would have jacked up spending on disaster relief. In the end, many Republicans voted against the measure not because of the disaster relief funding, but because they did not believe the bill cut enough spending.

In December 2012, Boehner purged conservatives from leadership slots in Congress. Conservatives in Congress have routinely complained for years about Boehner’s attempts to stifle their leadership trajectories.

After Senator Ted Cruz led an effort, along with his allies in the House, to pass a budget that did not include funding for Obamacare – an action that led to a short-lived government shutdown when Democrats refused to sign off on such a budget – Boehner caved, funding Obamacare and reversing some cuts from sequestration.

In July 2013, Boehner found himself on the same side as Nancy Polesi as both had to defend their votes to maintain the spying program that lets the National Security Agency collect Americans’ phone records. Conservatives argue that the program violates basic rights to privacy and constitutional protections against illegal searches and seizures.

Finally, in December 2013, Boehner signed off on a $1.1 trillion budget deal with President Obama. The nearly 1,600-page bill provides funding for ObamaCare implementation and government-backed preschool programs.

Amodei, Heck and Hardy’s support of Boehner proves that the outcome of last November’s elections mean absolutely nothing.

UPDATE:  John Boehner is already purging from key positions, members who failed to vote for him, including Florida Congressmen Ted Yoho and Rich Nugent, Randy Weber of Texas and Tim Huelskamp from Kansas, proof that Boehner isn’t about leadership but about power.

NBC Head-Over-Heels About Governor Moonbeam

While there were six governors sworn into office on Monday, it was California’s Jerry Brown taking the oath of office for a record fourth term that NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams gushed over last night.

“Then there’s Jerry Brown, today at age 76 he was sworn today to a record fourth term. He first came into office when Jerry Ford was President his first time around,” Williams fawned. “No one has led the most populous state in the Union longer than Jerry Brown, who’s finally been able to turn around California’s troubled finances.”

My head practically exploded as I shouted at the TV, calling William’s an “effing liar.”

Even I know that Brown’s budget spikes year-over-year by over $12 billion, taking it to a high of $108 billion. If you take an honest look at California spending from all fund sources, total state spending hits a high of $230 billion.

Beyond that, last year and for the 10th year-in-a-row, CEO Magazine named California as the worst state to conduct business in, pointing out it takes two years to open a restaurant.  Furthermore, the Heritage Foundation finds that between 2003 and 2012, “a net 1.4 million people left California for other states,’ while the Cato Institute ranks Brown in last place with an ‘F’ as a governor.

If Williams’ isn’t lying, than he is dumber-than-a-box-of-rocks.

North Korea Executes 80 People

Every time I start to believe the U.S. is going to ‘hell in a handbasket,’ all I have to do is look at how ‘good’ the folk in other country’s have it. It’s a real wake-up call.

Eighty people have been publicly executed in North Korea. The State permits executions for conspiring to overthrow the government, treason, terrorism, religious activism, cell-phone use and stealing food.

The victims, their heads covered by white bags, ties to stakes, were machine-gunned to death. North Korean officials forced a crowd of over 10,000 people in seven different cities, including children, to witness the killings.

This is the first time under Kim Jong-un’s reign that public executions have taken place. State officials say the executions will stop the spread of capitalism across North Korea.

Yeah — we have it pretty good, but I also know we can do better.

The Sins of the Reverend

Al Sharpton hosts a show for MSNBC and is a public speaker, both of which bring in money for him. However, there are more details behind his finances that have raised some eyebrows – and, it’s just not the money he owes in back taxes or the fact that his ventures are in debt.

Comcast, MSNBC and NBC Universal all directly funded Sharpton’s National Action Network as recently as this September, but Sharpton and the cable giants have done business in the past, as well.  In 2010, Sharpton spent time lobbying Congress when Comcast wanted the acquisition of NBC Universal to go through.

The following year, Sharpton was given his own show.

When Sharpton sought involvement in the December 2014 funeral of Akai Gurley, shot by a rookie police officer in the darkened stairwell of a housing project in Brooklyn, New York, Gurley’s family told him to stay away. Sharpton held a news conference condemning the cop and promised to deliver a eulogy at the wake.

Gurley’s aunt said: “Al Sharpton came in, put his name on the situation, but has not even made one single call to the parents of Akai,” adding that all Sharpton sees “is money and political gain and he is turning the tragedy into a circus.”

Sharpton has often sparked controversy with his race-baiting language. During a rally in Brooklyn, he called white people “crackers,” and when Mitt Romney, a Mormon, was running for president in 2007, Sharpton said: “As for the Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyway.”

Sharpton also had financial issues on the personal front, being sued for not paying his rent in 2004 by his landlord to the tune of $56,000 and again in 2007 for another $42,000. It’s unclear what happened to the suit, as neither has commented on it.

In December 2005, Sharpton agreed to repay $100,000 in public funds he received for his 2004 presidential campaign, because he had exceeded federal limits on personal expenditures for his campaign.  At that time his most recent Federal Election Commission filings stated his campaign still had debts of $479,050 and owed Sharpton himself $145,146 for an item listed as “Fundraising Letter Preparation — Kinko’s.”

Also in 2005, Sharpton appeared in three TV commercials for LoanMax, an automobile title loan firm that charged fees that was the equivalent of 372-percent APR loans. When asked about the television commercials he made, Sharpton said: “I don’t understand why it’s wrong for the little guy with no credit not to be able to get money. If I felt this is in any way abusive, I would stop doing the ads. ”

Sharpton landed in jail for 90 days in 2001 on trespassing charges stemming from his protest against U.S. military target practice exercises in Puerto Rico. Sharpton got involved in the demonstrations at Camp Garcia after a person died and four others wounded in April 1999, when the Navy accidentally dropped bombs near where they worked.

In 1995, an African-American Pentecostal church in Harlem, New York, asked a Jewish tenant of one of its properties, Freddie’s Fashion Mart, to evict a black-run record store that was subletting part of the property. Sharpton showed up outside Freddie’s vowing to a crowd: “We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.”

Two weeks before Christmas that year, a man attacked Freddie’s, shooting several customers and then setting fire to the building, killing seven employees. Sharpton later apologized for his “white interloper” remark, but denied responsibility for the violence.

Speaking at Kean College in 1994, Sharpton referred to gay men as ‘homos,’ saying “White folks was [sic] in caves while we was building empires. We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”

When cornered about the comment, he claimed to be misquoted and deflected the issue of gay rights onto the Republican Party.

“Well, first of all, I don’t know that you’re quoting me properly or not. But let’s talk about the issue of homosexuality. Let’s talk about how many Republicans are not dealing with the problems that we’re even facing today with fellow churchmen of mine, who are trying to act as if homosexuals are the cause, rather than pedophiles are the cause.”

In 2003, Sharpton found himself called out for the remark, and responded by saying: “Homo is not a homophobic term, but I think even the reference is irresponsible and I don’t do that any longer.”

In recent years, Sharpton has been one who has called for the “n-word” to be banned. But he called New York’s first black Mayor, David Dinkins, that word.

“You wanna be the only nigger on television. The only nigger in the newspapers. The only nigger that can talk. Don’t cover them, don’t talk to them, cause you got the only nigger problem. Cause you know, if a black man stood up next to you, they would see you for the whore that you really are.”

Later in the speech, Sharpton would crack jokes about “Chinamen, Koreans, and Crackers.”

“We’re the black chicken friers of the universe. We gonna go buy some Colonel Sanders chicken. Then the Chinamen comin…Koreans sell us watermelons. We eat watermelons all our lives. But they gonna come cut it up, put it in a bucket with a rubber band around it, and we gonna buy it like it’s somethin’ and we didn’t know what it was.”

In 1993, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for failing to file a state income tax return and fined $5,000 with an order to file his 1986 tax paperwork. Of course the New York Time’s painted a different picture, reporting, “The settlement concluded a lengthy conflict between Mr. Sharpton and Attorney General Robert Abrams, opponents in the 1992 Democratic primary for United States Senate.”

After a car in a Hasidic rabbi’s motorcade killed a 7-year-old black boy in Brooklyn in 1991, Sharpton referred to the Hasidic Jews as “diamond merchants” and said “if the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house.”  Shortly afterward, a mob attacked an innocent Hasidic Jewish student visiting from Australia, stabbing him to death.

Again, Sharpton refused to accept responsibility for the violence.

In 1990, a jury acquitted Sharpton of felony charges that he stole $250,000 from a youth group. During a victory party afterwards, Sharpton declared that his acquittal would ”change the political landscape.”

Sharpton said in 1988 that he worked with the government to stem the flow of crack cocaine into black neighborhoods. However, in 2002, HBO aired a 19-year-old FBI videotape of an undercover sting operation showing Sharpton as a government informant for the FBI, while an agent poses as a Latin American businessman and a reputed Columbo crime family captain.

The year before, the reverend accused an upstate New York prosecutor, Steven Pagones, of being part of a group of white men who raped teenager Tawana Brawley in 1987.  A grand jury found “overwhelming evidence” that the rape allegation were false.

Pagones sued Sharpton for defamation and won a judgment of $65,000. Sharpton paid the judgment with money raised by his supporters.

All this, despite his dubious background and questionable personal activities, Sharpton has also visited the White House 81 times and continues to create conflict where ever he appears, saying, “Every time there’s a Sean Bell or a Ferguson or a Trayvon Martin, we go through my taxes. It’s the same agreement y’all.”

Sharpton’s current tax troubles began in 2008 when the IRS filed personal liens against him totaling nearly $1 million. At that time, he also owed nearly $365,558 to the New York City for unpaid personal income tax and his for-profit company, Rev. Al Communications, which owed the state of New York $175,962 in delinquent taxes.

To help clear the ever-increasing tax bill, Sharpton held a ‘Party for a Cause,’ on his 60th birthday, where $1,500 got supporters in as “medallion” committee members, $2,500 bought “tracksuit” status, and $25,000 “preacher status.”  The event raised an estimated $1 million in donations.

So Much for Planning

Four-days into 2015 and my plan to stop blogging has already gone south on me. During the last 30-days, I looked at my blogging pattern and realized it has increased from one article a month to sometimes several in one day.

The word ‘addicted’ comes to mind. So I decided to quit, but can’t since I keep finding stuff I want to write about.

E.L. Doctorow was right when he said, “Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

 

Selective Outrage

The heads of Animal right’s groups and their mindless minions are nothing but frauds. I say this knowing it’s going to piss a lot of people off.

To be clear — many of my friends and my family (including my wife) all support ‘animal rights,’ meaning we do not want to see any animal suffer. I can honestly say that jus’ about everyone I know is more than willing to step in if they were witnessing an animal being abused in some way (and you know who you are.)

But there are times when common sense is simply trounced by ‘progressive stupidity.’

Below is a ‘cute’ picture which aired on the Ellen DeGeneres Show in July 2014.
kidstandingondogellen
No one complained. In fact, many found this picture to be endearing and cute, including me.

On New Year’s Day 2015, former political candidate Sarah Palin posted pictures of her child doing the same thing.
10885547_10152984575838588_3607892519249206294_n
Animal Right’s activists went crazy. PETA president Ingrid Newkirk tweeted, “Odd that a mother found it appropriate 2 post that, w no sympathy 4 the dog.”

Odd d prez of PETA cn’t b bthrd 2 type actl wrds lik n adlt, bt o wll

And while Friends of Animals president Priscilla Feral released a statement that contained full words and real sentences, it made even less sense:

“It’s no surprise to Friends of Animals that Sarah Palin is so insensitive she thinks a black Lab should be tolerant of a child who isn’t told to not put his full weight on top of the dog’s back by standing on him,” Feral’s statement read. “How lazy of Sarah Palin not to move the dog out of the way and teach her child the right lessons.”

Of course, when the picture from DeGeneres’s show resurfaced in the argument showing the glaring inconsistency’s, neither were anywhere to be found.

Harry Reid Kicks Own Ass, Requires Hospitalization

Nevada’s senior Senator Harry Reid broke “a number of ribs and bones in his face” while exercising. He was using a piece of equipment to exercise Thursday when it broke, causing him to fall.

Reid was admitted overnight at University Medical Center in Las Vegas for the injuries after first being taken to St. Rose Dominican Hospital in Henderson.  Doctors expect a full recovery.

In May 2011, Reid slipped and fell in the rain during a morning run suffering minor injuries.

Del Norte County Cold Case Murder Makes State History

She arrived in Del Norte County around eight, the evening of October 26, 1994, having been dropped off at the Texaco service station on Highway 101. The petite red-head would write in her diary of the trip:

“The third car that picked me up were two old guys, Chris Collins and Ernie. They took me to Brookings to Chris’s house; he wanted me to see it so badly. They are good men. Chris offered for me to stay the night. I probably should have but I declined from his offer. I really don’t know why. I got a ride to Crescent City. Now I’m here. What now?”

Four days later, hikers would find the mutilated body of 18-year-old Camellia Randall — raped, stabbed, beaten and heart removed — less than 100 feet from Howland Hill Road. Her death would stay unsolved for more than seven-years and eventually would become California’s first cold-case DNA hit.

Known as Cammie by her family and ‘Forest’ by her friends, she was born May 25, 1976, in Longview, Washington, the eldest of three children. She attended R.A. Long High School, where she excelled in running track until she began hitchhiking when she was 18.

Cammie’s travels lead her to the Ashland area, where she stayed part of the time on the street with her friends and at other times with her aunt, who owned a flower shop. Her friends in Ashland were part of a street culture that got by through begging for spare change.

But Cammie didn’t beg. Instead, she bartered her handcrafted-beaded jewelry for anything she needed and helped her aunt with flower arrangements to earn extra cash.

The last-known contact Cammie had before her death was a phone message she left for her aunt on Wednesday, four days before her body was discovered. In the message, Cammie told her aunt that she was in Crescent City and planned to sleep on the beach that night.

The final entry in Cammie’s diary, penned that same day, read: “I’ll sleep on the ocean tonight. I tried calling aunt, but no one’s home. I hope all is well. Tomorrow is Mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mom. Best wishes. Feel sort of sad.”

Eventually, a match was made to Crescent City native Robert Wigley. A sample of his DNA having been taken in 1999 after he pleaded no contest to sexual battery in Del Norte County.

That sample was then sent to the California Department of Justice’s DNA laboratory in Berkeley, California and kept on file. Through periodic random comparisons of DNA profiles and DNA evidence from unsolved crimes, they linked Wigley with Cammie’s murder.

Already booked into Del Norte County Jail in late November for a probation violation, he was charged December 1, with Cammie’s murder.

At first he claimed he suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and other ailments that affected his memory and insisted that he didn’t remember Cammie. However, in court it was revealed he had met her when he and his wife managed the Super 8 Motel in Crescent City.

Wigley would later argue that she had killed Cammie – something that was more and more unlikely Wigley’s past was revealed. As it turned out, she’d also been a victim of his brutality and had divorced him because of his abuse years before.

In the 2005 TV series, “Cold Case Files,” in the episode, “A Detective’s Promise,” she spoke about how her ex-husband treated her when they were married: “Hitting me, pushing me across the room, throwing me across the room. He choked me until I passed out. He held a gun to my head.”

It was in September 2003 that the case finally made it to trial. By that time Wigley had earned an additional charge of solicitation of murder after he and another inmate made plans to escape by murdering a bailiff while en route to a court hearing.

A letter, written by Wigley and given to inmate David Anderson, included names and telephone numbers for Anderson to contact upon his soon-to-be release. In it, Anderson was coached by Wigley to get a gun, two vehicles and some cash in an elaborate plan to escape from custody while the defendant was being transported to court on June 10, 2002.

During a 2002 preliminary hearing, Wigley claimed the escape plan was a lie made-up by Anderson. However, Anderson told investigators he was asked by Wigley to shoot a bailiff while being escorted to court, then aiding Wigley in the escape.

It took the eight-woman, four-man jury just 22 minutes to decide that Wigley acted alone when he raped, tortured, murdered and then mutilated Cammie. For her murder, Wigley was sentenced to life in San Quentin State Prison without the possibility of parole, plus 10 years for the count of solicitation of murder.

After Cammie’s death, in Guerneville along the Russian River, where she would have ended her journey, her family had a memorial service for her. She’s buried at Murray Hill Cemetery, in Clatskanie, Oregon, where she has other family members reposed.