Reno Recalls Police Officers from Ukraine

Following up on my story, “Behind the Use of Reno, Nevada’s Police Officers in Ukraine,” the city council voted to have Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts bring home the five police officers sent to Ukraine. The officers traveled to the embattled country last month to train officers in Kiev under a U.S. Department of Justice program.

The council isn’t upset over the fact that these officers are in a war zone and could be hurt or killed. No, they’re mad that they were lied too.

Initially, Pitts said the Department of Justice was picking up the tab for the program. But he’s been left holding the bag, as the DOJ is now refusing to pay the officers salaries.

Instead, the City of Reno — meaning its local (and not federal) taxpayers — will have to foot this bill.

Death of a Marine and Political Correctness

First, a little history…

The U.S. declared war on Spain in April 1898. It would be the first overseas war fought by our nation, involving campaigns in both Cuba and the Philippine Islands.

Following the end of the war, another conflict began, this time between the Moro and the U.S. which also took place in the Philippines between 1899 and 1913. The Moro or Bangsamoro are Muslim and were at the time, attacking and killing American servicemen.

Since Islam is the dominant influence of the Moro culture and pork and pork byproducts are forbidden, one U.S. Army Cavalry officer in 1911 devised a plan to deal with the Moro’s using their culture against them.

“It was Colonel Alexander Rodgers of the 6th Cavalry who accomplished by taking advantage of religious prejudice what the bayonets and Krags had been unable to accomplish,” writes Vic Hurley in his 1938 book, ‘Jungle Patrol’ about the conflict. “Rodgers inaugurated a system of burying all dead juramentados in a common grave with the carcasses of slaughtered pigs.”

One-hundred-years later…

After weeks of observation, Marine Sergeant Rob Richards and his fellow scout snipers took out a Taliban leader in Afghanistan responsible for killing two of their fellow Marines. The Taliban desecrated one of those Marines’ bodies by hanging his leg in a tree as a message.

Then a video showing Richards and his fellow snipers standing over the dead leader and another fighter, urinating on them, surfaced on YouTube a year later. This prompted an investigation by the U.S. Marine Corps.

One of eight Marines to face discipline as a result, Richards pleaded guilty to failing to obey a lawful order, failure to maintain good order and for actions bringing discredit to the armed forces. The deal let him avoid a bad-conduct discharge that would have eliminated his VA medical benefits.

“We were cheering at the time because, I don’t know how much I can get into it, but he was a high-value target or a person of great interest,” Richards explained in an interview with the Marine Corps Times. “I guess one thing led to another and, jokingly, four of us took a piss on him. Looking back, I know it sounds kind of taboo or distasteful doing it, but at the time it was just hilarious. It made sense. It was just another ordinary day.”

Richards was found dead in his Jacksonville, North Carolina, home in August 2014, his death the result of an adverse reaction to his pain meds. So now, the once vilified Marine lays at rest in Arlington National Cemetery, in a canister bearing his favorite Ernest Hemingway quote: “There is no hunting like the hunting of man, and those who have hunted armed men long enough and liked it, never care for anything else thereafter.”

Thus is the price of political correctness in today’s U.S. military.

Obama Does Claim ISIL is Islamic

Okay, I stand corrected.

By his own description President Obama repeatedly identifies the terrorist group threatening the Middle East as Islamic. In fact, Obama makes a point of using a very specific term for these ‘radical Islamists’ — ISIL.

“…We are here at this summit because of the urgent threat from groups like al Qaeda and ISIL….Al Qaeda and ISIL and groups like it are desperate for legitimacy,” President Obama stated during his recent White House workshop-and-seminar on “Violent Extremism.”

ISIL is an acronym for the ‘Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,’ whose stated purpose is to create an Islamic government (in this case Shia Islam) led an Imam or leader chosen by God from Muhammad’s direct descendants.  The term ‘Levant’ refers to an area in Southwest Asia bordered by the Taurus Mountains of Anatolia in the North, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, and the north Arabian Desert and Mesopotamia in the east.

Though claiming he wouldn’t give terrorists “legitimacy” by associating them with Islam, Obama’s done that very thing, over and over again. This makes Obama the ‘denier,’ a label Progressives have given those who disagree with the administration and others when it comes to issues like climate change or racism in the U.S.

Hollywood’s Disconnect with ‘Regular America’

Clutching her husband’s dog tags and holding back tears, Chris Kyle’s widow said she wished he was with her as she walked the red carpet at the Oscars for “American Sniper.” Taya Kyle said her husband would be ‘blown away’ by the support the film has received and that he would be his ‘usual humble self’ despite the success of the movie based on his life.

In the end, the film “American Sniper,” didn’t win the top award, but it’s no surprise. It jus’ proves how disconnected the cultural and entertainment elite are from everyday American.

After all Progressive politics dominated the winners’ acceptance speeches. This included best supporting actress winner Patricia Arquette’s call for equal wages for women, best original song winner John Legend’s condemnation of the number of Black men in prisons and best director Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s immigration reference and best adapted screenplay winner Graham Moore’s speech addressing gay rights.

By the numbers, “American Sniper” has earned over $320 million domestic and crossed the $400 million mark at the worldwide box office. The movie’s the eighth-biggest grossing Best Picture nominee of all-time, ahead of “The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring” and “Forrest Gump.”

But the film won only one Oscar – for sound editing.

It is interesting to note that “Saving Private Ryan” and “Hurt Locker,” which are both fiction, did win top honors when nominated. Meanwhile, highly trained and well-placed snipers from the Los Angeles Police Department kept Hollywood’s elite safe as they celebrated themselves.

300

“Here they defended themselves to the last, those who still had swords using them, and the others resisting with their hands and teeth,” wrote Greek Historian Herodotus of the Spartan defeat at Thermopylae.

It’s hard not to draw a comparison between the Battle of Thermopylae where Xerxes I of Persia led an army of 70,000 soldiers into Europe to defeat Greece, fulfilling the idea of “one world ruled by one master,” to ISIS/ISIL’s plans to sweep into Europe with the same idea. However, Xerxes was held off for three days by 300 Spartans, who blocked their passage through ‘The Hot Gates,’ allowing Greek troops begin fortifying the Isthmus of Corinth.

Nearly 2,500 years later, history could be on the edge of repeating itself.

“With 300 Marines, you could probably take over Iraq if you wanted to get rid of ISIS completely,” Former Navy SEAL and author of Lone Survivor Marcus Luttrell said. “Make no mistake about it, Marines are war fighters. I mean they are really good at what they do.”

“The only time they are not good at what they do is when someone puts the shackles on them,” he added.

He was on ‘Fox News’ Fox & Friends’ where he talked about ISIS/ISIL’s growing control of the Middle East and the imminent terrorist attack on al Asad Air Base. His remarks follow news that the terror group may soon take control of the entire Anbar Province in Iraq, where al Asad’s located.

ISIS/ISIL fighters recently attacked the base with suicide-bombers but Iraqi soldiers killed the attackers before they reached the American stronghold. The base is about five miles from terrorist-controlled al-Baghdadi and home to 300 Marines.

They also beheaded 21 Coptic Christians on the shores of Tripoli, pledging to bring the fight to Europe, citing that their presence in Libya will allow them to cross the Mediterranean Sea to places like Italy. The threat has led Italy to call for NATO intervention.

Luttrell’s plan: “Jerk the chains off those guys (the Marines) and let them go to work.”

Given that Obama and his administration refuse to call ISIS/ISIL ‘Radical Islam’ or ‘Islamic extremism,’ it is a sure bet they won’t listen to his advice. Meanwhile, Obama’s State Department says we need to “find jobs” for ISIS/ISIL members.

Unraveling Obama’s Idea of America’s Founding

“Here in America,” President Obama said, “Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since it’s founding.”

Islam had nothing to do with the founding of the U.S. Judeo-Christian values are what built the fabric of this nation.

In order to back up his statement, he added: “The first Islamic center in New York City was founded in the 1890s. America’s first mosque — this was an interesting fact — was in North Dakota.”

His proof is at least 114-years too late to be a part of the founding of this nation. Furthermore, while he’s right about the first mosque being in North Dakota, it actually opened in 1929, over 150-years after America’s founding.

But this isn’t the first time Obama’s made this claim.

In July 2014, during preparations to celebrate Eid-al-Fitr, he released this statement: “In the United States, Eid also reminds us of the many achievements and contributions of Muslim Americans to building the very fabric of our nation and strengthening the core of our democracy.”

Five-years prior, during a speech in Cairo, Egypt, Obama said, “I also know that Islam has always been a part of America’s story.”

He’s correct about Islam being ‘a part of America’s story,’ though but jus’ not the ‘founding.’

Shortly after the U.S. declared its independence, the nation “was dragged into the affairs of the Islamic world by an escalating series of unprovoked attacks on Americans by Muslim pirates, the terrorists of the era.” In 1785, Muslim pirates captured two American merchant ships.

The U.S. tried diplomacy instead of military force to win the release the 24 American sailors. But talk proved useless as Muslim pirates took another thirteen U.S. ships, and 119 American sailors between 1785 to 1793.

So yes — in one sense Islam is part of America’s ‘fabric’ – but not how Obama would like you to think: It is the followers of the Quran that first introduced ‘radical Islam,’ and Jihad to the United States.

On the other hand, it was a Polish-born Jewish American named Haym Salomon, who helped finance the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, which lead to the defeated of Great Britain and our nation’s independence.  This is a real fact about our country’s beginnings, unlike Obama’s disingenuous claim regarding Islam’s involvement in our country’s founding.

Finding Contract Air Mail Arrow #18

Not too far from the Steamboat Ditch Trail, east of Reno, Nevada, is a remnant of the U.S. Postal Service’s history. It’s a concrete slab in the shape of an arrow critical to the cross-country delivery of mail for the U.S. Air Mail Service in the 1920s and ‘30s.

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There were no good aviation charts in those days, so pilots had to eyeball their way across the country using landmarks. This meant that flying in bad weather was difficult, and night flying was just about impossible.

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As part of the effort to help pilots successfully navigate the route between New York and San Francisco, the arrows and an accompanying tower equipped with a gas-powered beacon were installed at roughly three to 10-mile apart across the country.

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At first, I planned to go by myself, but my friend Kay insisted on coming along. Her reasoning was solid, asking, “What if something happened and you got hurt?”

Debate over – she won.

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The hike follows a foot trail up to the Hole-in-the-Wall tunnel, then around the pre-tunnel ditch route and uphill to the arrow. The arrow’s located on top of a hill that overlooks the Truckee River some 400 feet below.

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As we walked up to the tunnel, we saw a group of Asian women, using a selfie-stick to take a photograph of themselves in front of the tunnel’s entrance. They were from Reno and obviously not very interested in chatting with us.

However, following their departure, a lone bicyclist came rolling up. He hopped off his bike and came down in the ditch, where we were and immediately struck up a conversation with Kay and I.

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He introduced himself as Frank Luchetti. We soon learned too our amazement he’s the father of one our favorite veterinarians, Tony of Baring Veterinary Hospital.

After parting company, we should have made an abrupt left and hiked up the steep trail over the tunnel. Though very steep, it would have been the shortest way to the hill-top where we believed the arrow to be located.

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Instead, Kay and I continued along the tail to where it forks, staying to the right. This proved to be the long way around, but I’m glad we took this route as it provided us with a view of the valley we wouldn’t have otherwise seen.

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About a hundred yards below the summit of out target hill, we stopped to have lunch. There was very gentle breeze to off-set the warmth of the day.

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Once back on trail, we slowly worked our way along what by then was nothing more than a goat path. It wound its way near the edge of a bluff overlooking the Truckee River, some couple hundred feet below, before turning sharply in and up the steep hill-side.

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Kay saw the tip of the arrow jutting from the ground first, as she made it to near-level ground. We knew then —  though not the first to find the site — we had made it.

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Admittedly, I thought of explorers like Francisco Garcés, Jed Smith, Peter Ogden and Joe Walker, who wandered the wild expanses of the Nevada Territory. They were some stout hombres.

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Then I couldn’t help but think how double-tough the men were who built the arrow that Kay and I were standing next too. Think about it – they had to get the concrete and water to the location, clear the area, built the arrow’s form, pour it and then maintain it.

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Today, the arrow’s cracked in some places, and disjointed from the shifting of the hillside over the last 90-years or so, but it is there — all 70-feet of it. I think it should be included in the National Registry of Historic Places.

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There are two more arrows to be found in Washoe County along the same route, one by Derby Dam and the other near Tracy Clark. As soon as I’m sufficiently recovered from this trek, and before the weather turns too hot, I plan to go photograph those sites too.

The Common Nonsense of the Progressive Media

Its par-for-the-course that Rudy Giuliani is being lam-based in the Progressive media for saying, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America.” Meanwhile, no one in that same Progressive media has dared criticize Obama for claiming, “Here in America, Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since it’s founding.”

Guess, the mayor’s critics seem to have forgotten the 2008 presidential campaign, when Obama called then-President George W. Bush ‘unpatriotic.’ But that was seven-years, and to hear the Progressive media tell it, that’s nearly ancient history now.

This same Progressive media continues to aid and abet the Obama administration disavow the fact that the West is at war with ‘radical Islam,’ and instead claims the U.S.’s biggest threat outside of ‘climate change,’ is from domestic right-wing extremists. To bolster their claim, they point to a man who carried out a shooting attack on three TSA employees at Los Angeles International Airport in 2013, killing one officer and last years killing of two Las Vegas police officers and a bystander by a couple from Indiana.

It wasn’t right-wing extremists who flew jumbo jets into the World Trade Center in 2001, set off bombs at the Boston Marathon, burned a Jordanian pilot alive or beheaded 21 Egyptian Christians, so I wonder who the Obama administration and the Progressive media will blame when the real shit hits the fan in this country.

The Black History No One Talks About

February is Black History Month. Topics include Reverend Martin Luther King, Rosa Parks, Jim Crow laws, civil rights demonstrations, segregation and slavery.

In declaring February 2015, “National African American History Month,” President Obama said, “Brave Americans did not struggle and sacrifice to secure fundamental rights for themselves and others only to see those rights denied to their children and grandchildren. Our Nation is still racked with division and poverty. Too many children live in crumbling neighborhoods, cycling through substandard schools and being affected by daily violence in their communities.”

His words sound great until you realize there is Black history being made in America now, and it isn’t being talked about.

The latest Centers for Disease Control & Prevention’s Abortion Surveillance report says that roughly 548 Black babies are aborted every day in the U.S. All totaled, its estimated that since 1990, about 4.4-million Black babies have been aborted.

To put this in perspective, the most recent CDC numbers show there are 44 murders daily across the country. This means there are over 12-percent more Black babies aborted every day then there are homicides in the entire nation.

The Census Bureau says Blacks make up about 13-percent of the U.S. population. However, on average, the number of Black abortions is over 33-percent of the total number of abortions in the U.S. when seen against the CDC’s data.

With the CDC data, not every state’s required to report, so the number of abortions published by the agency is actually lower than the real number of abortions that occurred each year. That incomplete reporting can be found in every Abortion Surveillance report.

In the end, for February 2015’s Black History Month, over 15,000 Black babies will be aborted. This is self-inflicted genocide.

Showing Our Hand

In: Handing our enemy our battle plans. Out: The inability to call our enemy by name.

Imagine if Franklin Roosevelt had let the Nazi’s know Allied forces were going to invade Fortress Europe in early June 1944 by landing a Normandy. It’s doubtful that the Allies would have won the war.

The Obama Administration is telegraphing plans to retake Mosul, Iraq from ISIS/ISIL before Ramadan begins on June 17. Five Iraqi Army brigades composing a total force of up to 25,000 Iraqi troops will be used.

To which ISIS’ISIL is saying, ‘Gee guys, thanks for the warning. We’ll be ready for you.’

It’s also been revealed that Qatar will host training sites for coalition forces to train moderate Syrian rebels. Other planned sites are in Turkey, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Included in the force would be a brigade of Iraqi counterterrorism forces who have been trained by U.S. special operations forces. The brigades include roughly 2,000 troops each.

The U.S. will provide military support for the operation, including training, air support, intelligence and surveillance. There has been no decision made yet on whether to send in some U.S. ground troops to help call in airstrikes.

Oh, and it comes with this warning: The attack will be postponed if it looks as though the Iraqis aren’t up to the task.

Has the Obama Administration even tried to get ISIS/ISIL to leave Mosul jus’ by asking?

Denial is No Defense, Nor is It a Laughing Matter

Comedian George Carlin joked about the seven words you couldn’t say on air. Add two more — “Islam” and “Muslim” — but only if you use them in a less-than-flattering context.

President Obama proved this while giving an interview to the website Vox.

“It is entirely legitimate for the American people to be deeply concerned when you’ve got a bunch of violent, vicious zealots who behead people or randomly shoot a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris,” Obama stated.

He also refuses to use the words, ‘Jew’ or “Jewish.’

But there’s nothing ‘random’ about the attack on those ‘bunch of folks.’ In fact, the event was a premeditated, deliberate, and well planned act of violence.

So let’s connect the dots to these same ‘violent, vicious zealots,’ as they acted out their form of ’perverted Islam,’ on our shores.

In September 2014, a man in Moore, Oklahoma, beheaded a woman after calling for Islamic terror and posting Islamist beheading photographs on social media. Three months before this, in West Orange, New Jersey, a college student was gunned-down ‘in revenge’ for Muslim deaths overseas.

Two homosexuals were murdered in Seattle, Washington by a proclaimed Muslim, Ali Muhammad Brown in June 2014. Three months prior, in Port Bolivar, Texas, a Muslim man named James Cosby, beat his lesbian daughter and her lover to death, leaving a copy of the Quran open to a page condemning homosexuality.

While not as horrific as having one’s head lopped off, a man near Detroit stabbed two people at a bus stop after he made sure they weren’t Muslims. Several people there “engaged in conversation” until Terrence Thomas, “asked some of the folks there if they were Muslims.”

Two of them answered that they were not and were stabbed five times. A third man was stabbed in the hand as he tried to stop the attack.

Thomas told police he is a Muslim. But instead of treating this as a possible actor of terror, Southfield Police have contacted the FBI, which is investigating the incident to see whether hate-crime laws were violated.

As situations like this continue to mount, Obama continues to defend his decision not to label ISIS/ISIL as a “radical Islamic” group, as characterized by his remarks during his recent anti-extremism summit at the White House.

“We are not at war with Islam,” Obama said. “We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.”

Remember, in World War II, not all Germans were Nazi’s, but nearly all Nazi’s were German.

Reframing a Reframed Debate

The headline on the Las Vegas Review Journal’s Facebook page reads, “Fiore takes heat over ‘hot little girls’ gun comment.”

It’s by Sandra Chereb, who writes: “The Nevada Assembly minority leader called on a GOP assemblywoman to apologize for comments she made in The New York times about rape, concealed weapons and women on college campuses.”

Here’s her comment in full: “If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them,” (Michele) Fiore was reported as saying. “The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.”

“That’s how Progressives operate,” I responded to the post, “when they can’t debate the facts — they change the subject of the debate.”

Some one calling himself ‘Max Saiger’ replied, “Implying only one side does that.”

Saiger’s comment is actually a question, though he forgot the question mark. I took his question to mean I was attacking ‘Liberals,’ or perhaps, ‘Democrats, so I answered, “I didn’t say Left, Right, Liberal, Conservative, Democrat or Republican. Sorry if you’re feelings are hurt.”

This prompted a ‘John Bachmann’ to ask a couple of snarky questions, “Tom are you a split personality? Read your post and then read your reply. Feeling the disconnect yet? Wow!”

My response: “Obviously Bachmann, you are intent on changing the subject, which is allowing guns on campus, but Progressives like you try to dismantle it by focusing (changing the subject to) on her comment ‘hot little girls.’ Afraid you are the one disconnected.”

The debate before the state legislature is over whether to allow students, faculty and visitors to carry a concealed gun on Nevada Campuses of Higher Education. It’s not about “hot little girls,” as Democratic Assembly Minority Leader Marilyn Kirkpatrick, of North Las Vegas, would like to reframe the debate.

Hopefully, Fiore won’t be cowed into stepping back from her comments. As for this particular news item on Facebook I’ve turned off the ‘notification app’ as I don’t want to waste my time debating people who insist on changing the subject every time they’re beaten by the facts.

While ‘Non-Believers,” Burn…

ISIS/ISIL has now burned 45 people to death in the Iraqi town al-Baghdadi. Some of the victims are security guards from nearby al-Asad Air Base.

The group seized much of the town last week. It’s also five miles away from the base, the recent site of ISIS/ISIL suicide bomber attacks, where about 300 U.S. Marines are stationed.

Also, the U.N. Security Council says it’s now investigating claims that ISIS/ISIL is selling human organs to pay for its terror activities in Iraq. Bodies with surgical incisions and missing body parts have been found in shallow graves around the country over the past few weeks.

As this occurs, a State Department spokeswoman says we need to create jobs for the radical Islamic group.

“We’re killing a lot of them, and we’re going to keep killing more of them. So are the Egyptians, so are the Jordanians – they’re in this fight with us,” Marie Harf said on MSNBC. “But we cannot win this war by killing them. We cannot kill our way out of this war. We need in the medium to longer term to go after the root causes that leads people to join these groups, whether it’s a lack of opportunity for jobs…”

She later went on CNN trying to explain her earlier comments, “We cannot kill every terrorist around the world, nor should we try. How do you get at the root causes of this? It might be too nuanced an argument for some, like I’ve seen over the last 24 hours some of the commentary out there, but it’s really the smart way that Democrats, Republicans, our partners in the Arab world think we need to combat it.”

Harf was supposed to be bringing awareness to the Obama administration’s three-day summit on “countering violent extremism,” where one of the strategies they’re reviewing is the administration social media presence. The Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications, created in 2011, will coordinate Twitter accounts, et al, and meet with Muslim academics, scholars, and community leaders to get the administration’s message out.

While Obama administration talks about what to do — Iraq is attacking ISIS/ISIL in and around Mosul, which has been held by the terror group since last June. The news comes as Egypt reports that it’s killed “64 jihadists,” in a series of aerial assaults launched in retaliation for beheading 21 Christians.

Everett Homicide Suspect Admits to Shootings

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Everett Police are identifying the suspect in a shooting that took two lives and left a woman hospitalized. Tye Fleischer is charged with two counts of second-degree murder and one count of first-degree assault.

Killed were Kevin Odneal and Denny Halverson. The injured woman was struck in the pelvis and is expected to survive.

Officers were at Odneal’s home in December 2014 to investigate a possible chop-shop.

In May 2011, a robbery at the home turned deadly. The target of the robbery told police he’d been hit in the head with a flashlight and began to lose consciousness as he fatally shot one of the attackers.

Odneal pleaded guilty to robbery and unlawful gun possession. He was sentenced to a year and five months in prison in 2012.

The victim was not charged. Police said he was acting in self-defense.

In 2008, a man was shot and killed at the same home. In that case, investigators believe three men, including Odneal, were arguing about drugs and a car.

The argument spilled outside, where the man was shot. The shooter pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter and was sentenced to 13 years in prison.

Your help is still needed. An account has been set up by Denny’s aunt, Jocelyn Warriner, to help defray funeral expenses.

Bringing Back the Firing Squad

Nevada has more than 80 prison inmates on death row, but no one’s been put to death since 2006 and no executions are scheduled. Now state prisons Chief Greg Cox wants $800,000 to build a death chamber at Ely State Prison about 35 miles west of the Utah line and another $7.6 million for a hundred more guards.

Talk about another waste of tax money.

Nevada lawmakers should consider the route Utah is taking. A recent proposal to bring back Utah’s use of firing squads to carry out executions passed Utah’s legislature.

For years, states used a three-drug combination to execute inmates. But European drug makers have refused to sell the drugs to prisons and corrections departments out of opposition to the death penalty.

The drug shortage and trouble with administering lethal injections have led several states to begin revisiting alternatives during the past year. A bill to allow firing squad executions is working its way through Wyoming’s Legislature, while lawmakers in Oklahoma are considering legislation that would allow that state to use nitrogen gas to execute inmates.

A handful of inmates on Utah’s death row, sentenced before the law changed, still have the option of going before a firing squad once they’ve exhausted all appeals. It was last used in 2010 when Ronnie Lee Gardner was successfully  executed by five police officers using .30-caliber Winchester rifles.

Doug Fabrizio, one of a small group of witnesses described Gardner reaction after being shot to ABC News: “He clenched his fist and then let go and then he clenched it again.”

Two minutes later, Gardner was dead.

Washington D.C. – based, Death Penalty Information Center says firing squads are not foolproof because the inmate could move or shooters could miss the heart, causing a slower, more painful death. One such case they point out happened in 1879 when Utah was still a territory.

In an article titled, “Six Men Legally Killed”, the New York Times’ May 16, 1879 edition describes Wallace Wilkerson’s death as he sat unrestrained before the firing squad: “Wilkerson leaped from the chair exclaiming, “Oh, God” fell forward on his face, and continued writhing and gasping for 27 minutes, when the physicians pronounced him dead.”

Your Help is Needed After a Senseless Act of Violence

“My niece was walking out the door when the guy got out of his van and just started shooting everybody,” writes my friend, Jocelyn Warriner. “I’ve lost a wonderful person in my life. Her two daughters have lost a wonderful mom and my sister lost great daughter.”

“You will be missed Denny, rest in peace,” she adds.

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She’s talking about 42-year-old Irene Denean Halverson who was better known to family and friends as “Denny.”

It began Friday evening, February 14, 2015 around 7 pm, when Everett, Washington Police arrived at a home on 75th Street Southeast to discover three people shot. When officers approached, they found a woman and a man dead and third person seriously injured.

Witnesses say a van pulled up to the home, where the gunman got out, took a rifle from the vehicle, walked to a nearby fence and started shooting. Denny died as she exited the front door.

After closing down the roadways in the area and getting help from King County Air and a SWAT team, police were able to arrest a suspect. He was taken into custody after stopping his vehicle at Forest Park and talking with police on a cell phone.

He is in the Snohomish County Jail facing assault and 2nd degree murder charges. The suspects name has not been released.

Another witness said he spoke with the suspect and one of the victim’s jus’ hours before the shooting. He told reporters that the suspect seemed level-headed but was struggling with his own sobriety.

Kevin Odneal, who shared the home with his mother, also died in the attack.

Local news agencies say two men were killed in separate murders at the home in 2008 and 2011. The house has also been the scene of many incidents including a search warrant in December by the Snohomish County Auto Theft Task Force.

Jocelyn and I have been life-long friends since our days together at Francis E. Warren AFB, in Cheyenne, Wyoming.  She has set up an account to help defray the funeral expenses.

Please give any amount possible and keep Jocelyn and her family in your prayers as they grieve.  I thank you in advance.

Presidents Day Weekend a Deadly One Overseas

“Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far,” Theodore Roosevelt wrote to Henry Sprague on January 26, 1900, while serving as New York’s governor.

More than 115-years later, a video shows the mass beheading of Coptic Christian hostages by ISIS/ISIL in Libya. The 21 men, all in orange jumpsuits, were marched along a beach in Tripoli, before their murders.

Interesting that ISIS/ISIL should select Tripoli, where the U.S. Marines and the U.S. Army stormed the fortress of Derne, defeating the Eyalet of Tripolitania during the First Barbary War in 1805. Some sources say this is a direct challenge to the U.S. military’s superiority.

And while the Egypt’s Air Force hit back at ISIS/ISIL inside Libya with airstrikes for the beheadings, the U.S. State Department issued a statement condemning the killings, but did not name the religions of the victims or of the perpetrators.

“The United States condemns the despicable and cowardly murder of 21 Egyptian citizens in Libya by ISIL-affiliated terrorists. We offer our condolences to the families of the victims and our support to the Egyptian government and people as they grieve for their fellow citizens.”

Also released during the same time period is a video of children dressed in orange jumpsuits, locked in a cage in what can only be called a recreation of the ISIS/ISIL video showing a Jordanian pilot being burned alive.   While it’s still unconfirmed, some believe this event was just a stunt calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s alleged atrocities to be likened to those of the jihadists.

In yet another video released by ISIS/ISIL, orange-clad Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are paraded through the streets of the Hawija district of Kirkuk, Iraq, filled with cheering radical Islamists.  They are locked in, and shackled to large iron cages, also reminiscent of the Jordanian pilot being burned alive.

Whether they’ve been murdered is still unknown.

Meanwhile, Danish police shot and killed Omar Abdel Hamid El-Hussein after he carried out two shooting attacks.  One at a free speech event and then at a Copenhagen synagogue, killing two men, including a member of Denmark’s Jewish community and wounding five police officers.

Danish police have since arrested two people on suspicion of aiding El-Hussein in the attacks, ending the speculation he was simply a ‘lone actor.’

Finally, President Obama spent much Presidents Day golfing at Porcupine Creek in Rancho Mirage, California, before returning to Washington D.C. The White House says Obama’s golfing group includes three childhood friends from Hawaii.

Obama’s idea of a ‘big stick’ is a golf club.

Rewarding People for Bad Behavior

Her name is Jessica Liesmann, but she’s better known as “Mama Bear,” or the woman who confronted an armed car thief after he rammed into her mini-van in Texas. And now, she’s been ‘rewarded’ with a new vehicle.

“A high-speed police chase came to a dramatic end Wednesday in North Dallas when the driver rear-ended a family’s minivan and was promptly tackled, dragged into the street and beaten by the mom at the wheel and her boyfriend,” reports NBC’s Channel 5 in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Her story proves that we are desperate for anyone who resembles a ‘hero.’ After-all she leaped from her van and went after a bad guy on live-television.

However, if you really analyze what she did, you’d realize she did this because she lost her temper, enraged by what happened. Basically, she violently attacked a man she had no knowledge about.

“I was just angry,” Liesmann later admitted.

It’s nice that she received a new mini-van – but why it was given to her sends a bad message to others who believe her actions were proper. After all, police discovered a hand gun in the stolen car.

As Dallas Police Communications Services Section spokesman, Major Max Geron tweeted shortly after the suspect’s apprehension, “Thankful that the citizens who held the chase suspect weren’t injured by him. (I) would never advise you do that.”

Tom Golbov, 1932-2015

From time to time, I’d see him standing out on his back porch smoking a cigarette. We would wave to each other, but hardly did we ever speak other than to say a polite ‘hello’ to each other.

Along with this was the fact that while this man’s home was being built, Kyle saw a beginning of a fire, that left unchecked could have burned the building down. It was discovered the blaze began after some plumbers had been working on the pipes in the kitchen area and a hot-ember fell in a pile of debris.

That was 16-years ago. Then I learned that he passed away on February 7, 2015.

And suddenly, I find myself wishing I had tried harder to get to know him as since his death, I’ve learned he and I had more in common than either of us knew.

His name was Tom Golbov, having been born in Oroville, California, in 1932 and moving to Eureka shortly there after. Tom was also a U.S. Army veteran, serving in Korea, and moving to Reno, Nevada in 1961, where he joined the staff as a Laboratory Technician in the Department of Physics Department of the University of Nevada.

He also worked as a life insurance agent for Transamerica, a job that took him and his wife of 61-year, Joan to Phoenix, AZ for 13 years, until his retirement, at which time they returned to Reno to be close to their family which includes daughter Lorraine Hiatt, and sons, Alan and George Golbov.

Tom’s wife is from Eureka, California. In fact her brother, Gerald “Dick” Atwell, was born in 1929 in Eureka. He died in Surprise, Arizona on April 26, 2010 at the age of 80.

Dick was a general contractor “Builtwell by Atwell” for 28 years and an instructor for 25 years at College of the Redwoods. He also received the Southwest Eureka Rotary Club Vocational Service Award in 1991 for Outstanding Service to the Community and in 1996 received from the Humboldt Builders Exchange Construction Person of the Year.

One of the homes Dick built included the “Kins Sportsman House” in 1962.  He also built the Lady Bird Johnson Grove dedication platform and supervised the building of the Evergreen Lodge.

Tom’s father, Walter Golbov was born in Russia, January 16, 1902, dying May 5, 1958 at his home in Klamath. He had lived there for three years, and was an employee of the Arrow Mills. He’s interred in the IOOF Memorial cemetery of Crescent City.

Tom’s mother was born August 30, 1904 in Palermo, California in Butte County. She passed away in Sparks October 17, 1979 and buried at Our Mother of Sorrows Cemetery near her grandson, Ivan who lived only 18-days, passing away April 9, 1972.

Tom was 83-years old.

The Digital Dark Age

Last year I wrote about possible world-wide financial troubles in “The Coming Bubble,” which is ready to pop, sending the U.S. in a slide worse that the Great Depression of the 1930s:

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

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

Now ‘Google’ vice-president Vinton Cerf is warning we could lose all of our pictures, document and other data forever.  He says the images and records of our existence that we store on our computers will disappear as the ongoing digital revolution makes older hardware and software obsolete and old files inaccessible.

He adds, that since so much data is now kept in digital format, another problem will be future generations struggling to understand our society. That’s because more often than not, historians don’t realize how important a document is until centuries after the people who created it have died.

This may happen sooner than later — so it’s best to start planning for it.

The Fool in the Mirror

President Barack Obama once again prove jus’ how out of touch he is with America. Recently he was shown on Buzzfeed allowing his full narcissism to be on display via a string of selfies.

Obama selfies

The pictures (part of a video aimed to get people to sign up for Obamacare) were shot the same day the White House announced American hostage Kayla Mueller was dead. The selfies also came the day when ISIS/ISIL appeared on the doorsteps of one of the American bases in Iraq, where U.S. Marines are stationed.

Finally, it’s not enough he’s taking a selfie — he is being photographed while taking those selfies. And he hasn’t the sense to be embarrassed by this.

The Cowboy, the Indian and Radical Islamist

My friend Charles sent this joke to me — and while completely politically incorrect, I thought I’d share it.

Three strangers strike up a conversation in the airport lounge awaiting their flights.

One is an American Indian another is a cowboy. The third is a Radical Islamist.

Their discussion drifts to their diverse cultures. Soon, the two Westerners learn that the third man is a devout, radical Islamist and the conversation falls into an uneasy lull.

Finally, the American Indian clears his throat and softly speaks. “At one time here, my people were many, but sadly, now we are few.”

The Radical Islamist raises an eyebrow and leans forward, “Once my people were few,” he sneers, “and now we are many. Why do you suppose that is?”

The Montana cowboy shifts his toothpick to one side of his mouth, and says in a drawl, “That’s ’cause we ain’t played Cowboys and Radicals yet.”

When Artwork Makes a Difference in Life

It’s not often that I receive personal mail from the post office these days. Much of what I get comes via the Internet.

So when I went to the mail box and found a small package addressed to me from Lyn and Sean Schmitt of North Las Vegas, I was excited. Once I opened it, I was even more excited to after reading this note:

“There is a bit of a story that goes with this belt buckle. I thought you might like to know the story behind it.

belt buckle

Two years back, I was working the weekend shift at the power plant when we had some unexpected visitors. We were hesitant to let anyone on site on weekends, especially when they don’t have an appointment.

The driver of that truck at the gate said he had been on site before and was there to pickup scrap from our lay-down yard. Now this is VERY unusual as we have copper and other metals that can be quite valuable and have been target of thieves in the past.

I asked the person to come in the control room so we could talk.

The truck came on site and in through the door walked a man and a couple of younger men who were obviously Native American. They told me they were from the local Paiute tribe and that they ran a school to teach their young men a skill to get them off the reservation.

They owned a smelter and would melt down scrap metals to create jewelry and trinkets that could be sold. After hearing this and seeing some of their products, I agreed to let them go back and scavenge.

They took some of our old wire and aluminum as well as a few pallets. That was the last I expected to hear from them.

Last week, we were surprised to see that same old truck pull up to the gate of the power plant. The same man came in with another of his students.

He presented us with a beautiful dream catcher that they made into a plaque. They also gave some of the staff belt buckles, knives and copper bangles.

The buckle you have in your hands was made from scrap aluminum and formed in a hand-made sand mold. I hope you enjoy it even more so, knowing the story that comes with it.”

I plan to buy a shadow box and mount both the letter and the bucket in it together as it is artwork that deserves to be shown off.

U.S. Marines in Danger and Obama Goes Fundraising

While the media trumpets news about the ‘fall of the U.S. Embassy’ in Yemen — ISIS/ISIL has seized much of Ramadi, Iraq. The town is the location of al-Asad Air Base where 300 U.S. Marines are stationed.

Furthermore, Iraqi officials say they’ve lost contact with the base, while the pentagon says the terrorist were repelled. Reuters claims the heavy fighting in al-Baghdadi is much more significant than the Pentagon is letting on.

“Ninety percent of al-Baghdadi district has fallen under the control of the insurgents,” district manager Naji Arak told Reuters by phone.

Al-Baghdadi sits on the only real roadway in and out of al-Asad. And if its true that al-Bagdadi is under the control of ISIS/ISIL, the only way in out of al-Asad is by air.

I see another Khe Sanh on the horizon.

And where is President Obama today? He’s on his way to San Francisco, California for a private Democratic National Committee fundraiser.

The Rhetoric of Being Reduced to a Worker

Listen closely the next time you hear President Obama speak of the American wage-earner and you’ll realize he uses ‘worker,’ verses ‘employee,’ nearly every time. And while some may say it’s accidental or meaningless, it is interesting to note that ‘worker’ is used in the Marxist or leftist contexts to refer to the ‘working class.’

As Obama stated in February 2008, “Don’t tell me words don’t matter!”

  • “I haven’t looked at Staples’ stock lately or what the compensation of the CEO is, but I suspect that they could well afford to treat their workers favorably and give them some basic financial security.”
  • “That would put our workers and our businesses at a disadvantage.”
  • “Today, we’re the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers.”
  • “The average minimum wage worker is 35 years old.”
  • “I’ve shared the pain of families who’ve lost their homes, and the frustration of workers who’ve lost their jobs.”
  • “Now you have a choice: we can give more tax breaks to corporations that ship jobs overseas, or we can start rewarding companies that open new plants and train new workers and create new jobs here, in the United States of America.”
  • “Pass this jobs bill, and starting tomorrow, small businesses will get a tax cut if they hire new workers or raise workers’ wages.”
  • “When CEOs are making more in ten minutes than the average worker earns in a year…”
  • “But I’ve made a different bet on American workers.”
  • “We got workers and automakers to settle their differences.”
  • “We bet on American workers.”
  • “That’s why we’ve kept on pushing trade deals, but trade deals that make sure that American workers are getting a good deal.”
  • “But I guarantee you I don’t meet a single worker in Iowa who’s been laid off who says, ‘I wouldn’t rather pay a little bit more for sneakers at Wal-Mart but still have a job.'”
  • “The troubles, the difficulties, the burdens of globalization are going to be placed on the backs of workers.”
  • “The Earned Income Tax Credit provides low-wage workers with supplemental income through the tax code should be expanded and streamlined so more families can take advantage of it.”

Only once can I find Obama speaking of ‘employees:  “I will issue an Executive Order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour–because if you cook our troops’ meals or wash their dishes, you shouldn’t have to live in poverty.”

Conventional Wisdom says Conventional Blast

The first headline I saw came late Sunday evening, “Ukrainian government officials confirmed a nuclear blast was detected in Ukraine Sunday.”

Unfortunately, I didn’t stop to see where exactly it came from. So I ‘googled’ the sentence and found it being carried by every crack-pot with a website and Internet connection, concluding it wasn’t as big a deal as I first thought.

I turned in for the night.

Then Monday morning, I read, “A giant explosion which rocked the Ukrainian city of Donetsk sparked fears of a ‘tactical nuke’ after pro-government forces shelled a rebel-held chemical plant,” in the UK’s Daily Mail.

Did I miss something as I slept? Nope.

After viewing three videos uploaded to Youtube, I concluded it was a conventional explosion that illuminated the night sky.  A nuclear blast creates an electromagnetic pulse that will fry all electronics within the blast area and since the videos were on the Internet within minutes of the reported blast – it wasn’t a nuke that went off.

Russian media reports the epicenter of the explosion was in the Kuibyshev district of Donetsk, Ukraine, the site of the most intense fighting between Russian-backed rebels and the Western-backed Ukrainian government.  The media also said the explosion could be seen and felt for “tens of kilometers.”

The blast occurred at the military chemical plant DKZHI and coincides with 1,500 Russian troops and 300 units of military equipment arriving in Donetsk over the weekend.  Russia denies supplying the rebel’s with troops and weapons, claiming they are only providing “humanitarian convoys.”

It also came as the leaders of Germany, France, Russia and Ukraine plan to sit down and discuss a peace plan for the region.

The Misuse of Three Young Murder Victims

Three students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill are murdered and their deaths used as propaganda.  The victims, all members of the Muslim faith, Deah Shaddy Barakat, his wife, Yusor Mohammad, and her sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha, were shot and killed by Craig Hicks.

Although the shooter’s motive is unclear, the Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) released a statement noting the possible connection between Hicks’s anti-religion statements and the religious affiliation of the victims.

“Based on the brutal nature of this crime, the past anti-religion statements of the alleged perpetrator, the religious attire of two of the victims, and the rising anti-Muslim rhetoric in American society, we urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to quickly address speculation of a possible bias motive in this case,” the statement read.

Their deaths also gave rise to the hashtag #MuslimLivesMatter and #chapelhillshooting.

A Facebook post alleged to belong to Hicks has been widely shared online, including: “When it comes to insults, your religion started this, not me. If your religion kept its big mouth shut, so would I.”

Hicks is reportedly a member of groups including “Friends of Freedom from Religion Foundation,” “Atheism on Youtube,” and a fan of renown atheist Richard Dawkins’ book, “The God Delusion.”

Again — no one has been able to confirm the authenticity of the post or his Facebook page. Meanwhile, police have charged Hicks with three counts of first-degree murder, but have yet to confirm the shooting as a hate crime.

Police spokesman Lt. Joshua Mecimore said a preliminary investigation indicates the crime was “motivated by an ongoing neighbor dispute over parking” and that Hicks is cooperating with investigators.

However, bowing to pressure, Chapel Hill Police Chief Chris Blue added in a press release, “Our investigators are exploring what could have motivated Mr. Hicks to commit such a senseless and tragic act. We understand the concerns about the possibility that this was hate-motivated and we will exhaust every lead to determine if that is the case.”

George Orwell Strikes Again

Samsung’s Smart TV appears to be too smart for our own good. The boilerplate language in its instruction booklet seems blasé, until:

“Please be aware that if your spoken words include personal or other sensitive information, that information will be among the data captured and transmitted to a third-party through your use of Voice Recognition.”

The warning’s adding fuel to the debate over how much control humans are willing to give up to automation for the sake of convenience. Artificial intelligence is an increasingly hot topic, with guys like Elon Musk, Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates warning about the unintended consequences of unchecked ‘smart technology.’

This isn’t anything new as smart meters are gathering unencrypted data that can, among other details, show when a homeowner is away from their residence for long periods of time. The electric wattage readings can even decipher what type of activities a customer’s engaged in, such as watching TV, using a computer or even how long someone spends cooking.

It’s also well-known that smart-phones are collecting information for marketing purposes. However less known is that some gathered data is not only being sent to the federal government, but overseas to countries like China.

Add to this the knowledge that thermostats, refrigerators, automobiles and even some toilets are now designed to interact with human beings. They can, through their computerized systems, collected data that’s designed to ‘make life better,’ for people.

Recently, my wife’s former roommate’s husband, Dan Kaufman appeared on ’60-Minutes.’  Known as ‘DARPA Dan,’ he’s the head of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Information Innovation Office.

“So the fear is as everything becomes networked, right– so first, maybe they can mess with the refrigerator,” Kaufman told Lesley Stahl. “You think, “Well, that’s bad. It’s not that horrible.””

“But that refrigerator, of course, as everything becomes networked, well maybe that also happens to talk to your garage door,” he adds.

“There’s always a dark side and it’s something we wrestle with tremendously,” Kaufman finally warns.

Now, back to Samsung’s Smart TV — you can disable the TV’s voice feature. But as the TV learns, it’s possible it could ‘learn’ to enable that same feature even after it’s been turned off.

Until then jus’ don’t say or do anything around it you wouldn’t want heard or seen by “Big Brother.”

Making Vince’s Life Mean Something

He died December 22, 2014 after being struck by two vehicles as he was walking on a crosswalk in front of the Bonanza Casino in Reno, Nevada. Vincent Yowell was only 54-years-old.

A woman driving the first car pulled over and called for help before the second car ran over him. The second driver told detectives he thought he had hit an animal.

Vince Yowell

Vincent was born and grew up in Elko and graduated from Reno High School. He enjoyed walking for exercise, tribal pow-wows and rodeos where he would greet everyone with a smile and a hug.

He was known to me on two fronts; first as a driver for the local para-transit outfit and then as a radio jock. His death really hit the local broadcasting community hard as he was always at our local events.

Vince is one of a dozen people killed in the past 15-years trying to cross the dark, wide stretch of North Virginia Street between McCarran and Panther. Five of those people, including Vince,  died crossing in front of the Bonanza Casino.

Finally, the state is going to do something about this dangerous stretch of roadway by installing a traffic signal where he died. The decision came after Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, who also knew Vince, reprimanded Nevada Department of Transportation for not acting sooner.

Sandoval personally knew Vince.

As one person wrote in the Reno Gazette-Journal, “Vincent, I hope you get your ‘Awful-Awful’s’ wherever you are.” I couldn’t agree more.

Negotiating American Hostages to Death

The mother of James Foley — the first American hostage beheaded by ISIS — says the alleged death of Kayla Mueller is proof the Obama administration is doing nothing to rescue U.S. hostages from ISIS/ISIL. Diane Foley, whose son was killed last August, says ‘nothing was done’ to save those in captivity.

“We were always told to trust that Jim was the highest priority and that our government was doing all it could and I really found no evidence of that,” Foley told ABC News. “Instead we were kind of told just to trust and that did not work out well. I shouldn’t have trusted. We regret not having done more privately ourselves.”

In an August 29, 2014 post titled, “The Raid that Never Happened,” I pointed out:

“Oddly enough, the Syrian government has remained quiet about the deadly raid. However, the second the Obama administration announced plans to over-fly Syria to look for ISIS/ISIL activities, the Syrian foreign minister threw a fit saying such actions would be considered an act of aggression.

It doesn’t make sense. That’s because it’s all smoke and mirrors meant to deflect any criticism Obama incurred from callously returning to the links instead of the White House.”

Now, add to this what intelligence and counterterrorism senior staff writer Sean D. Naylor reports in the online magazine, “Foreign Policy.”

“The parents of an American woman being held hostage by the Islamic State did not want the U.S. military to launch a risky mission to rescue her,” Naylor writes, “and instead asked that her release be negotiated, according to a military official familiar with the discussions.”

Mueller was taken hostage August 4, 2013 and had been held alongside other prisoners — some of who’ve been beheaded. Her identity was not widely known until ISIS/ISIL said she died.

The White House has since confirmed Mueller’s death, though it remains unclear when or how she was killed.

Meanwhile, Jordanian officials say no air raids occurred over Raqqa, Jordan, where she was being held, at the time ISIS/ISIL claims Mueller died. They dismissed the statement as “criminal propaganda,” while U.S. officials say they haven’t not seen any evidence to corroborate the report.

ISIS/ISIL threatened to kill Mueller last summer. They set a deadline of August 13, for a ransom of nearly $7 million to be paid to prevent her execution.

This is what happens when an entire administration disregards the long-standing precedents of “not negotiating with terrorists” and “leaving no one behind.”

Behind the Use of Reno, Nevada’s Police Officers in Ukraine

Five Reno, Nevada police officers are in Ukraine for two-months to help train Kiev’s police force, the Reno Gazette-Journal reported on February 4, 2015. The department was identified as a participant through former Reno Assistant Chief Ron Glensor, who is now with the U.S. Department of Justice’s International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP.)

What is bothersome about this is the fact that organization is a well sourced front for the Central Intelligence Agency. During the 1990’s ICITAP began providing the agency with ‘official cover’ to infiltrate foreign police agencies when it began its first operations in Panama following the U.S. military invasion.

As Strategic Culture Foundation’s Wayne Madsen writes:

“Operations were then expanded to Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Georgia, Croatia, Serbia, Armenia, Moldova, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Macedonia, Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Mongolia, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Albania, Liberia, Kenya, Nigeria, Ghana, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, South Africa, and Iraq. ICITAP and CIA operations were closely linked in counter-narcotics/insurgency operations in Bolivia, Costa Rica, Colombia, Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize, and Haiti.”

“In August 1999, ‘The Progressive’ magazine reported that, “Janice Stromsen, a career employee of the Justice Department who served as ICITAP’s director, resisted the program’s takeover by CIA elements,” Madsen points out. “In February (1999,) Stromsen was relieved of her duties after complaining to the Justice Department Inspector General that ICITAP was being used by the CIA to recruit agents among foreign police officials.”

“ICITAP grew out of a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program started in the early 1960s that saw U.S. police officers assigned to foreign police agencies for the purpose of training,” adds Madsen. “However, it soon became obvious the CIA was using the USAID program to gain influence over foreign police agencies to combat Soviet and Chinese influence.”

Kiev police candidates face a four-stage process that includes a test of general skills, physical agility, psychological profiling, and a face-to-face interview.  The selection and training will be supervised by those five Reno Police officers.

The Reno Police Department is the first police department in the U.S. to be selected for such a mission. The Department of Justice is footing the entire bill for the mission.

UPDATE 02/25/15:  The Reno City Council has voted to bring back the five Reno Police officers who are training police officers in Kiev, Ukraine. The council was initially told the Department of Justice would be picking up the tab; it turned out the city was paying their salaries.

Debunking the Defunding of DHS

Senate Democrats halted a Republican attempt to pass legislation that would defund President Obama’s executive action on immigration. After a brief debate, the Senate voted 51-48, with every Democrat and one Republican, Nevada’s Senator Dean Heller, voting against it.

Listening to those 51 Senators, because of this immigration battle, the Department of Homeland Security hangs in the balance and without action by February 27, the department will disappear. The same thing happened in the fall of 2013 during a 16-day government-wide shutdown, that left our national parks and monuments dosed, but the DHS running.

Most people working for the Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration, Federal Emergency Management Agency and Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Coast Guard will continue operating. And while some employees may not get paid until a funding bill’s passed, others funded by fees, instead of by congressional appropriations, would continue their functions while still drawing a paycheck.

So what would stop during in a shutdown?

Mostly administrative staff would be furloughed. This includes support workers at DHS headquarters, Federal Law Enforcement Training Centers, research and development employees, those responsible for operating and maintaining the E-Verify system and staff who make grants to state and local governments.

The President’s plan will protect about 11 million illegal aliens from deportations. His plan will also allow illegal immigrants trained in high-tech fields to enter and stay in the U.S. and it changes rules on how foreign entrepreneurs can get a visa.

Meanwhile, 26 states are suing the federal government over Obama’s executive actions on immigration, including Nevada – though Nevada’s two Senators, Harry Reid and Dean Heller are failing to back their home state.

Congressman Don Clausen, 1923-2015

don clausen

Born in Ferndale, California, Don Clausen and serving in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1963 to 1983, died February 7, 2015. He was born April 27, 1923 and graduated from Ferndale elementary and high schools, enrolling in the Naval Aviation Cadet program at St. Mary’s College after the U.S. entered World War II, going on to serve as a 4FU Corsair pilot in the Pacific theater.

Following the war, he served as a member of the Del Norte County Board of Supervisors from 1955 to 1962. During that time, Don started a flight school and ambulance/charter service at the Del Norte County Airport, where the terminal still bears his name, as well as an aviation program at Del Norte High School.

While in congress, he served on the Public Works and Transportation and the Insular Affairs committees.  His work Congressional included creating the Redwood National Park in 1968, and later expanding it in 1978, securing funding for both the Klamath and Eel rivers, creating the King Range National Recreation Area, the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and establishing the 200-mile off-shore fishing limit.

After Don left congress, President Ronald Regan appointed him to the Department of Transportation where he worked as the Director of Special Projects with the Federal Aviation Administration, remaining there until 1990, and moving to Fortuna shortly afterwards.

Don was preceded in death by his wife of 63 years, Jessie. He’s survived by daughters Dawn Marie Baumbartner of Ferndale and Bev Mendenhall of Kenne, Texas.

Schooner ‘Martha,’ Grounded at Requa, 1926

Schooner Martha, grounded at Requa

The schooner ‘Martha’, piloted by Captain Olsen, tried to cross a sand bar at the mouth of the Klamath River the morning of October 25, 1926. Loggers from the ‘Bull & Dunn Cedar Company’ quit work early to help pull the ‘Martha’ from the bar.

She floated free, but before she could get under away, she became caught by an incoming wave. Again she came ashore, but this time on the south beach.

Freed again and again driven into the sand bar, a final effort succeeded in freeing the ‘Martha.’ Once off the sand bar, the schooner returned deeper water and headed up the coast towards Crescent City.

During the time the ‘Martha’ blocked the river’s mouth, she caused the waters to back up until it covered the south bank of the Klamath, where cars drove onto the ferry. As soon as the ‘Martha’ broke free, the backed-up river rushed out through the channel.

But before that happened, several motorists turned around and drove back to a recently built road leading to the Douglas Bridge. And though dedicated six-months earlier, the bridge was not officially opened to traffic, but motorists drove across it anyway.

Frank Bosch ran the ferry until the Douglas Bridge officially opened to traffic. The ferry then went out of business.

Behind the Burning and Burial of a Jordanian Pilot

President Obama and his administration continue to refuse to admit that ISIS/ISIL’s coupled to radical Islam. But there is more evidence to prove jus’ the opposite.

Recently, ISIS/ISIL burned a Jordanian pilot, and then they buried him in a massive pile of rubble. But why would they do this?

First, we need to know what the Quran states about punishment:

“O you who believe, qiṣāṣ has been prescribed for you in cases of murder … But if any remission is made by the brother of the slain, then grant any reasonable demand, and compensate him with handsome gratitude, this is a concession and a mercy from your Lord. After this whoever exceeds the limits shall be in grave penalty.”  Quran — 2:178

As Niaz A. Shah, senior lecturer in law at the University of Hull, in England, writes, there are a couple of ways Sharia law provides for a murder victim’s relatives to get justice.

“The Quran provides two options to deal with someone who is found guilty of intentional murder: qiṣāṣ (i.e. that he/she be killed in the manner in which the victim was murdered) and forgiveness by the heir/s of the victim,” writes Shah. “The conditions for the second option are that the victim’s heir/s are required to ask for ‘fair’ diyat (blood money) and the guilty person is obligated to pay diyat in a ‘good’ way.”

Qiṣāṣ is an Islamic term meaning ‘equal retaliation’ or ‘revenge.’

In this case, according to ISIS/ISIL, the pilot burned his ‘victims,’ by dropping bombs on them, burying them in ‘rubble,’ and in return, the radical Islamists did the same. However they failed the Prophet when they fore went the second option of “mercy,” and “a ‘good’ way.”

Her Bright Red Hair

Following basic training I was assigned to Brooks Air Force Base for technical schooling. I simply took a Blue Bird from the back gate of Lackland right onto my newest assignment in San Antonio, Texas.

In a group full of  young, excitable men, were three women. One of those women was a young lady by the name of Jane.

What attracted me to Jane was her bright red hair. She was sitting alone at a table in the enlisted man’s club, watching television, when I asked if I could join her.

I had two beers with me as I sat down across from her at the table, offering her one, which she accepted.

After finishing a second beer each, she and I decided to clear or buzzed-heads with a walk. We left the club, crossed the common and the main roadway to the base’s golf course.

The moon, while not a full one, was bright as we wandered from green to sand-trap to water hazard. It was also a warm night, which made the evening walk all that more pleasant.

Jane asked if I’d like to go with her to her barracks room, to sit and talk some more. I jumped at the chance, thinking I was going to somehow get luck and get laid.

She was being house in the Base Airman’s Quarters at the time, as the women’s third floor dormitory was full. So her living arrangement seemed much more upscale than what I had, especially since she had a real closet, a full-size bed and a private bathroom with a bathtub-shower.

Since it was a non-duty day, we sat up chatting and listening to her new album, “The Dog and the Butterfly,” by Heart. It eventually grew so late (or perhaps early) that I started to excuse myself to head back to my room for some much-needed sleep.

It was somewhat surprising then, when Jane suggested I stay with her. I was even more surprised when she invited me into her bed.

We cuddled up next to each other and both fell fast asleep. The sun was already high in the sky when I awakened.

I couldn’t help myself as I felt her pressing against me, waking me by gently kissing me on the neck.

Before I realized it, we were making out and that evolved into heavy petting. But I must have gone too far, too fast.

“What in the hell are you trying to do?” Jane screeched, “Get me pregnant?”

I immediately stopped and back away from her.

My mind was racing: had I confused her signal to me or something? I didn’t know until she kicked at me through the covers.

“You should go,” she commanded.

As quickly as I could, I pulled on my jeans and shirt. I didn’t bother to put on my shoes as I just wanted to get away from her cold stare.

I felt embarrassed and ashamed, although I had no idea why.

Once outside, I stopped, slipped on my shoes, then raced towards my barracks. I was hurt by her sudden jilting and it left me angry — at her and more over at myself, for my ignorance about women.

For the remaining nine-weeks I had left in tech-school, I did everything I could to avoid her. She eventually started keeping company with another guys in class.

Later. a tech-sergeant, who was our course supervisor, surprised me one afternoon by bringing Jane up in a conversation. I guess my moodiness over the sudden rejection was clear to him, though I thought I was hiding it fairly well.

“What did you seen in her?” he asked.

My answer was simple, “Her bright red hair.”

Reno Murder Case from 2004 Still Not Solved

Kyla Annan’s boyfriend found her lifeless body on her bed, September 23, 2004. She lived on Quincy Street, an area known to Reno police for drug activity and vagrancy.

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Ten days earlier, a late-night intruder broke into her home through a back door and began removing his clothing. He threw one shirt on her sewing mannequin.

After making his way in the dark to Kyla’s bedroom, the intruder, thinking she was alone, mistakenly cupped his hand over the boyfriend’s mouth. He ran away when the boyfriend woke up.

Police collected the intruder’s clothing — a white tank top and button-down short-sleeve shirt – which Washoe County Crime Lab DNA analysts would later use to prove the intruder was also her killer. The suspect’s DNA profile is in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System where his profile is automatically compared with DNA profiles from across the nation in hopes of linking it to other crimes.

Yet, it’s been more than a decade since the 28-year-old preschool worker died. Reno police have no leads, and despite the DNA of 150 men contacted during the investigation, there has been no match to her killer.

Police know Kyla was last seen September 21, tending her garden. Neighbors recalled her often tending to her garden, waving when they walked or drove by.

Her windows had been left open with the screens missing when she was found. She had also hung bells in them for a sense of security.

However, she was known to leave her door unlocked for friends. But she also shared an alley with a temporary labor company where up to 100 transients a day try to find work.

When she was found two days later, her body was beginning to decompose. As investigators entered her home, they noted that her parrot’s cage covering was on, something she did every night around seven.

Furthermore, a bucket of water, soap and other materials were out, indicating Kyla was cleaning.  About 1:15 a.m. September 18, she used her cell phone one last time to check her voice mail.

If you have any information about Kyla’s murder, please call Reno Police at 334-2115, or Secret Witness at 322-4900.

UPDATE 04/02/2015: Reno Police arrested 32-year-old Francisco Merino-Ojeda of Santa Anna, California, on March 11, 2015, charging him with open murder, sexual assault and burglary in the death of Kyla Annan.

 

FUBAR: NBC’s Brian Williams Called Out for Lying

NBC’s Brian Williams has told the story  for several years, including during an appearance on “The Late Show” with David Letterman in 2013. Here’s the latest reincarnation from last week:

“The story actually started with a terrible moment a dozen years back during the invasion of Iraq when the helicopter we were traveling in was forced down after being hit by an RPG,” NBC’s Brian Williams claimed while setting up coverage of a tribute to a solider at a New York Rangers hockey game. “Our traveling NBC News team was rescued, surrounded and kept alive by an armor mechanized platoon from the U.S. Army 3rd Infantry.”

However, crew members who were actually onboard the 159th Aviation Regiment’s Chinook that came under fire say Williams and his NBC crew arrived safely on a different helicopter.

“Sorry dude, I don’t remember you being on my aircraft,” U.S. Army veteran Lance Reynolds posted on NBC’s Facebook page. “I do remember you walking up about an hour after we had landed to ask me what had happened. Then I remember you guys taking back off in a different flight of Chinooks from another unit and heading to Kuwait to report your “war story” to the Nightly News. The whole time we were still stuck in Iraq trying to repair the aircraft and pulling our own Security.”

Williams recanted, claiming a failed memory.

“On this broadcast last week in an effort to honor and thank a veteran who had protected me and so many others after a ground fire incident in the desert during the Iraq invasion I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago, it did not take long to hear from some brave men and women and the aircrews who were also in that dessert,” Williams stated. “I want to apologize, I said I was traveling in an aircraft that was hit by RPG fire. I was instead in a following aircraft.”

“We all landed after the ground fire incident and spent two harrowing nights in a sandstorm in the Iraq desert,” he continued. “This was a bungled attempt by me to thank one special veteran and by extension our brave military men and women veterans everywhere, those who have served while I did not.”

“I hope they know they have my greatest respect and also now my apology,” he finished.

Even his apology’s fraught with lies.

Williams was an hour behind the damaged helicopter and stayed only for about 10 minutes, then went to see the U.S. Army’s armored units guarding the nearby Forward Operating Base Rams, which came out to provide a security perimeter around the helicopter.  As for spending a couple of nights in “a sandstorm in the Iraqi desert,” no one remembers seeing Williams after he and his NBC crew took photographs of the wounded chopper.

Maybe he thinks that if you tell a lie enough time, people will begin to believe it.

Jesus Isn’t the Problem

The day following his veiled meeting with Muslim leaders at the White House, President Obama is trying to find a moral equivalency between radical Islam and Christianity. During the National Prayer Breakfast this morning, Obama reminded attendees that violence rooted in religion isn’t exclusive to Islam, but Christians as well.

“We’ve seen professions of faith used both as an instrument of great good and but also twisted and misused in the name of evil,” the president said. “We also see faith being twisted and distorted, used as a wedge, or worse, sometimes used as a weapon.”

This is exactly what we’re seeing in the Middle East now.

“No God condones terror. No grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives or the oppression of those who are weaker or fewer in number. And so as people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion — any religion for their own nihilistic ends,” he said.

Obama must not know about the Protestant Reformation.

“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Is it any wonder the ‘rumor,’ that Obama is a secret Muslim continues to persist?

Ain’t Nothin’ Political ‘Bout Holder’s DOJ

The attorney general who’s spent six years turning the Justice Department into a liberal wing of the Democrat Party is off his rocker, claiming he had to clean up a department politicized by the Bush administration.

“You want to look at a Justice Department that’s been politicized; you look at the one I inherited,” claims out-going DOJ Attorney General Eric Holder. “You look at the way in which hiring was done here for political reasons, you look at all the other things we had to deal with to rebuild.”

Talk about rewriting history before the ink is even dry.

Obama’s Trickle-down Economics to Continue

President Obama is proposing a 10-year budget he claims stabilizes the federal deficit, instead focusing on supposed income inequality while adding nearly $6 trillion to the debt. Adding $4 trillion for the 2016 fiscal year, his plan will raise taxes on corporations and on the rich.

It increases discretionary spending by $74 billion over what sequestration allows.

Along with a 19-percent minimum tax rate on American corporate profits that are kept overseas, he wants a one-time 14-percent tax rate for companies that bring profits home from overseas. Much of the taxes raised are to go towards funding infrastructure, like roads, bridges, airports, light rail and other public transportation systems.

Many are recalling how well those ‘shovel ready projects’ have worked out for the American worker since 2009.

Meanwhile Obama is now calling for a business income tax overhaul that lowers the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 28 percent, and 25 percent for manufacturers. He also is proposing $105 million for “trade adjustment assistance,” and to aid to workers dislocated by free trade deals.

This so-called aid includes child care credits of up to $3,000 per child, increasing Head Start programs, creating universal preschool for all, investing in evidence-based home visiting, and spending $3 billion on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.

He also laid out the price for two ‘free’ years of ‘community college. In the first year it will cost $41 million, but will climb to $951 million by 2017 and $2.4 billion by 2018.  Unfortunately, only 18 percent of students complete their two-year degree within three years.

Finally, the president’s plan includes an increase in the capital gains rate on couples making more than $500,000 per year and requiring estates to pay capital gains taxes on securities at the time they’re inherited.  He also wants to impose a fee on the roughly 100 U.S. financial companies with assets of more than $50 billion.

The best thing about Obama’s budget plan is that he released on time this year.

Walter Woodstock, 1935-2015

The hot sting of tears welling up in my eyes was immediate when I read the headline, “Obituary: Walter Charles Woodstock.” I also felt my heart begin to hurt when I realized what it meant.

Walt, as I knew him used to come over to house every evening on his meal-break when he was first assigned to Klamath in 1972 as the town’s newest deputy sheriff. He always sat on my dad’s left side so he could get up from the table if called by the dispatcher.

After dinner, my old man and Walt would sit, talking quietly over coffee while we kids cleaned up the kitchen, clearing the table and loading the dishwasher. I always felt like I was interrupting them when they sat by themselves like this and often wondered what the two men talked about.

It wasn’t until I read Walt’s obituary that I could finally answer that question: “He was a proud Marine during the Korean War…” I didn’t know this about Walt, but it goes along way to resolving my curiosity.

Dad was also a Korean War vet, having been severely injured by an anti-personnel mine he drove over. The blast tore up his knees, killing a man riding in the back of the Jeep.

The two were remembering their youths, their experiences, sharing their thoughts and healing each others emotional wounds. Looking back, I can now understand the sense of humor the pair displayed following those occasions where life was at its worse for most people.

You see, while Walt was a cop, my dad was an ex-cop and the fire chief of our little department north of the Klamath River. When I was older, I’d ride out with him and eventually, we’d see Walt at the same scene, whether it was a car crash, a house fire or a medical emergency.

One evening, I recall Walt limping as he walked up the drive to the house for dinner. During the meal he explained that he had thrown himself on the floor at his residence after a vehicle’s headlights shined through the curtainless sliding glass door of the house.

It was only then that he sheepishly added, “I was naked.”

We all roared. He had a great sense of humor and no worries about making himself the so-called ‘butt-of-the-joke.’

There was also the more serious side of Walt, like the time following my break in at the Morgan’s home to steal a couple of World War II helmets. He came to the house and placed me in handcuffs, seating me in the back of his cruiser.

Walt left me there to stew on what was about to take place, heading back inside the house, I presumed to talk with my parents. By the time he returned, I was a blubbering mass of sorrow, willing to take any punishment offered, as long as it wasn’t a trip to the sheriff’s office and juvenile detention.

When he returned to the Crown-Vic, he opened the door and instructed me to get out. That’s when he gave me the lecture of a life-time in one sentence: “You keep this up Tommy, and one day people won’t be reading about you in the sports section, they’ll be reading your name and seeing your face in the crime-blotter.”

That’s all he said as he spun me around, removed the handcuffs, releasing me to my folks. I recall later that night wishing he’d taken me in, as I think I got the worst butt-whipping of my life, and rightly so.

Following graduation, I joined the Air Force. It was while in Texas attending technical school that Mom wrote me, saying Walt was in the hospital with serious injuries following a nasty traffic accident.

“We’re not sure he’s going to make it. If he does, he may not walk again,” she wrote. “Your father’s pretty upset.”

A few days later, I called home for the third or fourth time, I learned Walt would be okay, but he’d have to retire. News like this travels quickly in a small community like Klamath.

While I never saw Walt following graduation, I never forgot him. In fact I recalled an incident at our home when Walt choked on one of Mom’s cupcakes.

On his way out of the house one evening, he grabbed a couple of cupcakes and shoved one in his mouth. By the time he made it to his cruiser, he had nearly passed out, unable to breathe.

But he managed somehow to gulp down the mouthful, admonishing himself as he climbed in the car, “I got to remember not to stuff my face like that.”

I don’t know if he ever learned that Mom had put a 25-cent piece in the cupcake, if he did, he never let on.

Walt leaves behind his wife Shirley, daughter Karen and her husband Dave, son Troy and grandchildren, Morgan, Leah, Emily, Veranda and Kevin and his wife Sarah, and three great-grandchildren Paul, Elijah and Brody. He was 80-years-old.

Semper Fidelis, Walt.

Bad Start to 2015 for Harry Reid

Senator Harry Reid’s younger brother is in serious trouble with the law. The 73-year-old was arrested by the Nevada Highway Patrol on U.S. 95 near Mile Marker 44 between Boulder City and Searchlight for drunken driving, driving across a median, not wearing a seatbelt, battery of a police officer, and possession of a gun while under the influence.

The arrest continues a rough beginning to 2015 for the longtime lawmaker, who was demoted from majority leader at the start of the new Congress in January. He also sustained broken ribs and broken bones in his face on New Years Day in a so-called ‘exercise accident.’

Senator Reid’s office stated, “Larry Reid is Senator Reid’s brother, and this is a private matter.”

Never Poke a Prowling Tiger

ISIS/ISIL released a video showing Jordanian Lt. pilot Muath al-Kaseasbeh being burned alive. The video shows him being doused and surrounded by lines drawn in the sand with flammable liquid, which are then ignited, causing him to burst into flames.

Now, Jordan has executed two convicts, including a female jihadist, following the killing of the pilot. The woman, failed suicide bomber Sajida al-Rishawi, and al Qaeda operative Ziyad Karboli — both Iraqi nationals — were hanged at dawn.

This is the wrong approach and will lead to greater violence. Instead of going after the terror organization itself, they took the ‘easy route’ by executing the prisoners, which will simply be seen as a ‘revenge killing,’ by all radical Islamists.

An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.

Corruption Being Investigated in Nevada Legislature

Senator leader Harry Reid is back on the Senate floor, a week after surgery to remove a blood clot in his right eye and repair bones in his face.  Reid walked without help to the podium, accepted a handshake from the Majority Leader and thanked his colleagues for their well-wishes.

Meanwhile, back in his home state of Nevada, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department is looking into possible corruption after an extortion attempt at the state level. Assemblyman Chris Edwards of Las Vegas claims he was asked to change his vote for Assembly speaker in November.

Detectives served a search warrant at the home of Rob Lauer looking for recordings between Edwards and Lauer, and affidavits and other documents that allege unlawful or unethical actions committed by Edwards. Lauer says police confiscated both his cell phone and computer.

Lauer, a veteran’s advocate, applied for an Assembly seat vacated after Assemblyman Wes Duncan took a position in the state attorney general’s office. Lauer wasn’t selected for the post.

Multiple individuals continue to be questioned including Assemblyman Brent Jones, also of Las Vegas, though it isn’t clear if the visit was related to the probe. So far, no one has been arrested or charged with any crimes.

A decorated veteran with 25-years in the U.S. Navy, Edwards was elected to District 19 after the incumbent Cresent Hardy decided to run for Congress, unseating Congressman Stephen Horsford. Edwards is a part of the moderate wing of the state’s GOP.

Obamacare Verses the Islamic State

After ISIS/ISIL released a video showing terrorists lighting a Jordanian pilot on fire, our president contrasted his death and the destruction of group with the ‘benefits’ of Obamacare, which he claimed makes ‘people healthier’ and ‘their lives better.’

“We’re here to talk about how to make people healthier and make their lives better, and this organization appears only interested in death and destruction,” he said.

Obama’s an out-of-touch nut job!

Family Outings to Patrick Creek

Patrick Creek Campground is where Patrick Creek and the middle fork of Smith River meet about seven miles east of Gasquet in Del Norte County, California. It is one of the places we used to go on family outings when I was a kid.

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The campground has steps, rock walls, restrooms and sunken campfire circles built-in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. There is no electricity, water or sewer hookups making it a rustic place to spend the night.

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Dad wasn’t known to wade into cold water above his knees because of injuries sustained in the Korean War; they would begin to ache and swell making walking hard. Also in the water is Deirdre, who appears to be dunking Adam under water.

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When Adam turned nine-years-old, he asked to have a party at Patrick Creek. This is him opening one of his presents — a Big Jim Camping Set. I was jealous, because I wanted one too, but at 12, I was too old for such a toy.

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This me with an inner-tube in hand on the bank opposite from our campsite. We always camped in the same spot, year-to-year.

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Adam was our family’s ‘class clown,’ doing whatever he could to stir-the-pot from imitating John Wayne to threatening to splash whom ever was taking the picture. Nearby is Deirdre, possibly chasing a fish, while Marcy is wondering along the far bank.

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Ever the ‘momma-bear,’ Mom is again shouting instructions to one of us kids. (Not me this time as I’m taking the picture.) Maybe it was to Marcy — who may have wondered to far from the campsite.

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Eventually, Dad would zone out, fall asleep and snore, sounding like a freight train in a canyon, letting nothing bother him.  No wonder Mom was always hollering at us kids.

How I miss those days.

The Ambiguity that is Net Neutrality

The idea of net neutrality is that all Internet traffic is equal — whether it’s a movie streaming from Netflix or a Tweet and is to be treated the same by Internet Service Providers (IPS’s.) But a current proposal could allow the federal government to become the gatekeepers of cyberspace.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler is expected to recommend regulating Internet service like a public utility. This would reclassify high-speed Internet service as a telecommunications service, instead of an information service, under Title II of the Communications Act .

The change, pushed by President Obama, would give the federal government the authority to make sure that content is not blocked and no so-called pay-to-play fast lanes exist. However Texas Senator Ted Cruz calls the president’s plan, “Obamacare for the Internet.”

That’s because Title II was meant for the bygone era of telephone service monopoly. It wasn’t intended to be applied to services not characterized by monopoly, like Internet access.

Wheeler insists that “a light-touch approach” would be used, instead of directly regulating pricing decisions. He also suggests putting wireless data services under Title II and adding regulations for companies that manage the backbone of the Internet.

One study released in December 2014 shows consumers could pay an extra $84 per year if IPS’s are regulated like public utilities. This is because they would be forced to give to state and federal programs that seek to make sure access to telecommunication services.

A vote on the proposal by the full commission is scheduled for February 26.

On the Road to ‘Newspeak’

“Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.” — George Orwell

The White House insists the Taliban isn’t a terrorist organization, but the Treasury Department designates it as such and it’s well known that Taliban engages in acts of terror. It’s a question White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest tried to explain after his deputy spokesman, Eric Schultz claimed the Taliban is an “armed insurgency” while the Islamic State is a “terrorist group.”

“They have a classification that does allow us to pursue financial sanctions against them,” he added. “And that is different than an organization like Al Qaida that has a much broader global aspiration to carry out acts of violence and acts of terror against Americans and American interests all around the globe.”

The issue came up after the White House insisted a prisoner exchange between Jordan and ISIS/ISIL is different from the one it made last year with the Taliban to gain the release of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.

But the White House isn’t the only one on a ‘word-ban’ kick as Al Jazeera English executive Carlos van Meek is prohibiting journalists from using words like “terrorist,” “Islamist,” “extremists,” and “jihad.”

Van Meek suggests reporter use words like “fighters and “militants,” but only in certain conditions.

“For example,” he writes in a memo, “we can use the term (militant) to describe Norwegian mass-killer Andres Behring Breivik or Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh.”

Furthermore, The Oxford University Press is warning its writers not to mention “pigs,” “sausages” or “pork-related words,” in children’s books, in an apparent bid to avoid offending Muslims.  The existence of the publisher’s guidelines emerged after a radio discussion on free speech in the wake of the attack on Charlie Hebdo in Paris.

And finally, City University of New York’s graduate school is banning the titles “Mr.” and “Ms.” from official written communication.  The decision came as part of an “ongoing effort to ensure a respectful, welcoming and gender-inclusive learning environment … and to accommodate properly the diverse population of current and prospective students.”

Orwell is spinning in his grave and we’re locking the door to ‘Room 101,’ behind us.

My Mom’s Indian Frybread Recipe

This can be eaten as a dessert by topping with honey or powdered sugar, etc., or for a main dish by topping with taco ingredients.

Ingredients:

4 cups of flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 tbs. powdered milk
1½ cups warm water
1 cup shortening
Extra flour to flour your hands

Directions:

Put flour in bowl, add baking powder, salt and powdered milk. Mix.
Mix in warm water to form dough.
Cover hands in flour.
Knead dough by hand until soft but not sticky. Cover with a cloth and let stand for 15 minutes.
Shape dough into balls about two inches across then flatten by patting and stretching the dough.
Melt shortening about an inch deep in frying pan. When hot put dough in pan. Fry one side till golden brown, then turn and fry the other side.