A Brief Note to Mom

Dear Mom —

Thank you for raising me with a firm hand. I know now as a parent myself that I needed it.

Thank you for making me take a bite out of a bar of soap and chew it till gone because I lied; thank you also for sending me out side to select a willow branch so you could give me a whipping after I took something that didn’t belong to me; thank you still again for the backhanding you gave me in front of my friends after I dared talk back to you.

You brought me up the right way and to prove it I’m not in prison for life today.

Love, your son —


Harry’s Energy Summit Hype

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says construction on the world’s first hybrid power plant is starting in northern Nevada. Reid says Enel Green Power North America’s geothermal plant in Churchill County is adding a solar project.

The plant will combine geothermal and solar power for maximum generation on hot summer days.  Geothermal energy is thermal energy which is generated and stored in the Earth, while thermal energy is that which determines the temperature of matter. 
The announcement came minutes before the start of the fourth-annual National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas. Politicians and green technology leaders are attending the meeting to discuss energy security and independence.

Like this wasn’t planned to be announced during this event. By the way — Reid has hosted this conference since 2008.

And also as if on-cue — one Las Vegas’ resort says its stepping up recycling efforts.  MGM Resorts International boss Jim Murren and guest-speaker at the summit says the company now recycles one-third of all the resort’s waste to conserve water and other resources.

Also attending the summit was Vice President Joe Biden, who says the United States can’t lead the world in the 21st century with its current energy policy. He says the U.S. will trade its dependence on foreign oil for a dependence on foreign clean energy technology if the nation’s leaders don’t act.

National politicians and green technology leaders are attending the conference to discuss energy security and independence. This includes Secretary of Energy Steven Chu who says oil prices will increase while green energy will become cheaper in the future while adding science education is a top priority.

It’s actually a vacation to Sin City for these folks — more or less.

However, audience outbursts interrupted testimony to a Congressional panel on employment and improving federal job training during the summit. Three people were removed from the hearing by police.

A 54-year-old woman was heard shouting, “I need a job!”

Nevada Republican Congressman Joe Heck says he shares the protesters frustrations. He says his daughter, a recent graduate in a hotel program at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, had to move out of the state to find a job.

This is scary — if a U.S. Congressman can’t find his daughter a job — how can anyone else expect him to find them a job?

Of course — after three-years of playing host to this summit, Nevada is brimming over with “green jobs.” In all truthfulness — Nevada leads the U.S. in the number of people unemployed with a statewide rate of 12.9 percent.

Finally — Southern Utah University will be the home of a new center for the study of public lands named for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a former student. The Nevada Democrat is scheduled to be at the Cedar City campus to deliver a lecture and unveil plans for the Harry Reid Center for Outdoor Engagement at Southern Utah University.

The university has not released details of the center, saying only that Reid will make a special announcement after giving a talk about his background, including his time as an SUU student. The news was welcomed by the Utah Chapter of the Sierra Club.

Have you noticed? The only people naming buildings after each other these days are elites and liberals.

Secret Files

As settlers continued to arrive along the North Coast of California and move in on what had been traditionally Indian lands, trouble when from being jus’ violent confrontations on the local front, to the creation of legal proceedings. This of course left the Native population at a serious disadvantage.

In April 1849, the Alta California, a San Francisco newspaper, wrote that the miners realized “it will be absolutely necessary to exterminate the savages before they can labor much longer in the mines with security.” Less than three years later, the newspaper declared the native peoples “must fade before the Saxon race as the cloud in the west before the light and heat of a greater power.” 

The Alta California was owned and edited by Edward Kemble and Edward Gilbert, and began as a weekly in January 1849, becoming the city’s first daily paper in January 1850. In 1867, Mark Twain sent his letters from his tour of the Holy Land to the paper, letters which were later republished as “The Innocents Abroad.”  The paper ceased publication in 1891.

By 1851, the federal government appointed three commissioners to negotiate treaties with the California Indians. By the end of the year, 18 treaties had been negotiated with 139 tribes. 

These treaties set aside 7,488 acres of land strictly for Indian use and amounted to a third of California. During the first two months of 1852, the California Legislature discussed the treaties and concluded the agreements “committed an error in assigning large portions of the richest mineral and agricultural lands to the Indians, who did not appreciate the land’s value.” 

The Legislature instructed the U.S. senators from California to oppose ratification of the treaties and called for the federal government to remove Indians from the state as they had done in other states. President Millard Fillmore submitted the 18 California treaties to the U.S. Senate for ratification. 

The California senators were recognized, and the Senate went into secret session to discuss the treaties. The Senate failed to ratify the treaties during the session, and ordered them placed in secret files, where they remained until 1905. 

Hard to imagine the Senate keeping such secrets.

Army Sergeant Returned to Reno

Reno  2011 — A Reno soldier was found dead in his barracks room at Fort Carson, Colorado.  Army officials say they discovered Sgt. Jacob Sitko’s body on August 13th.

Post officials launched a full investigation into the soldier’s death. So far they have not released any information discovered during their investigation.

Sitko was returned to the Reno Tahoe International Airport, August 22, where he was met and escorted by the Nevada Patriot Guard. His funeral services were handled by Walton’s Funeral Home, 875 West Second Street, Reno.

The Darndest Thing

As a kid I loved to watch the TV program, “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” with Art Linkletter. This was back when it came on in the afternoon.

One afternoon, I told Mom, “I’m going to be on that show one day!”

“Really,” she said in a factual tone of voice.

“And I plan to say something really stupid, too,” I responded.

“That,” she shot back, “I can believe, Tommy.”

I wonder what she meant by that?

Cultures of the Tea Party

Reno 2011 — A sociology researcher says Tea Party voters are more likely than other voters to fear change and harbor negative attitudes toward immigrants. The study, called “Cultures of the Tea Party,” is being presented in Las Vegas at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting.

Of course the key word, “illegal,” is left out of those supposed “negative attitudes.”  I don’t even have to wonder why, either.   

Sociology Professor Andrew Perrin of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill is the lead author of the study. He says researchers noted voters who felt favorably toward the Tea Party movement also valued deference to authority and libertarianism saying they told  researchers they felt “things are changing too fast.”   

Perrin fails to mention the fact these “changes,” are the side stepping of the U.S. Constitution by creating mandatory national health care, appointing Executive Branch Czars and bailing out privately held companies. And as for “deference to authority,” it’s the Tea Party movement which refuses to compromise — and that is anything but deference.

The findings are based on a telephone poll of registered voters in North Carolina and Tennessee conducted last year. The researchers also conducted interviews at a Tea Party rally in North Carolina.

It’s obvious that anyone can draw any sort of conclusion from a few telephone conversations and attending a single rally somewhere — especially when editing the data to make it fit one’s premise. I jus’ hope Perrin printed his study on toilet paper, so it’s easy to use.

Inspired Writing: Laura Ingalls-Wilder

It was Mrs. Valeria Damm who first introduced me to Laura Ingalls-Wilder and “Little House on the Praire.” When I say “me,” I actually mean the entire third grade class she was reading the book too.

Later on, my sister Deirdre received the book and as soon as I saw that she had finished it, I grabbed it up and spent the next couple of days reading it. I liked the book so much that I finally got the entire set and I read most of the series to my son, Kyle.

Now, I know about the stories that claim Wilder’s daughter, Rose, actually penned the series. I don’t care about the rumors or to even speculate on this.

What I do care about are the simple sentences and the small words used in the stories, which endear these books to generation after generation of readers. It’s these two qualities that I decided to emulate as I searched to creat my own personal style of writing.