Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Smokin' Phone speed.

If you are a U. S. Cellular Phone customer, or if you bought your phone at the Branscomb Center / Radio Shack, you have the new 3G (Third Generation) phone speed. To "free upgrade" your phone simply dial the four digits, *228. ( Star two two eight ) Then push the green send button on your cell phone. It will automatically find the new towers and access the new speed.

Now I can finally blog from my cell phone at faster speed. Isn't science wonderful?

I'm not sure if this is a public service announcement or a flagrant advertisment, but if you have U.S. Cellular sevice, this is good news!  Dial-  Star, two, two, eight, send.

You should do that every now and again anyway, its like re-booting your computer.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Mendocino County. Laying-off Deputies to save Library????

Mendocino County is cutting the Sheriff’s budget to save the library, museum, and farm advisory office.

Yep, Gotta' have those Libaries. Without an edjucation we cud all grow up to be bloggers!

The Press-Democrat printed this story about Sheriff Tom Allman and his fight for funding for his office. It seems that the Sheriff will not be getting the funding that he needs for law enforcement patrols. The only thing that the sheriff’s department is required to do, by law, is serve court papers and supply a jail to the county. Wow, that simplifies things!

So, if your sister is being raped, or something, you can always check-out a library book on how to recover from being raped for her. Thank-God the library will be open! The aftermath of a rape must be horrendous to deal with without a good library book to deal with the consequences.

If you own a business, it might be wise to check out how a book on how to register to carry a concealed weapon. Or, how to place bars on your windows.

If your neighbor is shooting up the neighborhood, and scaring your cows, you can always file a noise compliant with the farm advisory office, then they can advise you were to go. A farm advisory board in Mendocino County is kinda’ laughable on the surface. Those Mendo’ Dudes know more about farming than most anybody in the whole-wide-world.

It looks like Mendocino County will be mooching off the California Highway Patrol... You say “What???” Aren’t they in charge of the highways??? Well, if you remember a few years ago, the California State Capitol had their own guards? Well, they decided that to save money they would get the California Highway Patrol to guard the state Capitol. So they made them "The State Police" and broadened their policing powers. It seemed like a great idea at the time. The Highway Patrol is already stationed there, and it would be a great cost saving measure. Talk about unintended consequences! Not that I have anything against the Highway Patrol. I have nothing but respect for them, and they do a great job of what they do. But now, instead of keeping the highway safe, they will be out doing neighborhood patrols, and babysitting what someone referred to as “chronological adults”. (you have to think about it.)

At what point does living in safety take priority over reading a book? It must be agonizing for our politicians the realize that they can’t steal the wages of a volunteer firefighter, or otherwise they would be stealing their wages also.

Well, one thing good is; now the people in Northern Mendocino won't have to worry about "where the hell is the deputy", there won't be any!

"Fight The Real Emeny!"

Okay, Okay, I’ve been ignoring you. You will be glad to know that while I have been gone, I’ve been having a busy, fulfilling life. I’ve been happily remodeling the store. As you know I like building things. I like that feeling of creating something tangible and useful. I occurred to me that my remodeling efforts had already passed the “hammer test”.

Refrigeration repair and installations have been good, also heating and air-conditioning. So, "LIG" (life is good)

I felt that I needed to emphasize that things are okay with me, in case you were worried. I have even been on some interesting fire/ emergency medical calls lately. One involving a vodka bottle beating and setting a motor home on fire. One involving a tasering, like in “don’t tase me bro”.

The local fire departments did a field day at the Tooby Park, where we burned the Harding Grass to try to kill it. They say that fire will kill the plant. The reason that they want to kill it is that there is an endangered specie of sparrow that lives there that doesn’t like to nest in Harding Grass. The endangered bird is called a “Grasshopper Sparrow”. It is a super-good feeling to be able to play with fire, and be helping the environment at the same time. It's funny, I thought that there were millions of Grasshopper Sparrows, but all wildlife is precious, no mater how large or small, endangered or not.

It is especially a good feeling to be helping the environment in view of the recent, worst destruction of the environment in the history of man, of course you know that I’m talking about, the Gulf oil spill. Where the hell is Al Gore when you need him? Oops, I forgot, Al is an “oilman”, and a big stockholder in oil companies. Not to mention a fraud, and cheat, a liar, and a crook. Gore makes Nixon look like a saint.

Before you get all pissed-off that I bad-mouthed your hero, I have that same opinion of MOST all of our higher echelon political leaders. Now, the real reason that I haven’t been blogging. I promised myself that I would not turn this blog into a political rant rag. But lately, I have been greatly preoccupied with what’s wrong with the politics of this country. Capitalism is an ideal system, I like the idea where if an honest person works hard, produces a good product, he should be able to succeed. If that person has a good idea about how to produce something, he can go to a “capitalist”, a person with a lot of money, present his good idea, borrow the money to go into business, and hopefully succeed. “Life is good.” But….. Something is wrong with the way we select leaders.

If the person with the money charges too much, the person with the good idea can go somewhere else to borrow their needed capital. It sounds like a great idea. Where it all turned to crap is, you guessed it, the system needs ultimate universal oversight by our elected officials. However, those officials are all bought and paid for by the capitalists with money. That can’t happen, in theory, because We The People elect the politicians, that appoint the regulators, and we should be in control, right? Wrong.

The Capitalist bought the elections, and politicians, and they have moved the jobs and investment offshore, where they get paid a portion of every dollar that they export by selling Americans cheap goods that should be fairly regulated, but they are NOT. The stock market fat-cats are doing great... thank-you! Too bad that Americans have no jobs... no-thank-you! AND, our politicians have finanaced this despicable bail-out of the Big-Money fat-cats on the backs of our children, who will have to pay for it. Thank God our parents didn't leave us with debt to pay. They knew the value of a dollar, the depresion taught them that.

There are a variety of reasons why we keep electing corrupt politicians.. too numerous to list here… but the largest reason is Big Money owns everything. Including the mainstream media, the TV stations, radio, AND newspapers. The allow us to rant at each other about who is the dirtiest word, Democrat or Republican, Liberal or Conservative, religious or sectarian. We all share the frustration of knowing something is wrong with our government, but we are all being led by disinformation that is fed to us in order keep us fighting each other, instead of “the real enemy’

There are few people that really try to think for themselves, and try to find solutions that can be “hit with a hammer”. Grass roots movements are always going to be easily divided because of their very nature, grass roots people have a variety of beliefs that allows divisions amongst the groups. The Big-Money owned media can easily drive a wedge between the groups. Also, grassroots groups are easily infiltrated by Big-Money plants. One racial remark, or one hate remark can be blown way out of proportion, and discredit the whole group’s message.

We really need to learn to close-out the political rhetoric, and listen to the voice inside that tells us what is real. Do you remember Sinead O’Conner on Saturday Night Live, where at the end of her performance, held up a photo of the Pope, then emotionally tore it in two, while saying: “Fight the real enemy!”? Remember how shocked and outraged that we were? I was personally offended by her behavior, and her disrespect for one of the worlds most respected leaders.

How many of us took the time to research Sinead a little bit? I finally found out that Sinead O’Conner is actually a devout Catholic. She was distressed with the direction that the Catholic church was heading. She already knew about all of the child molestation, and other corruption that was happening in the church. She was a strong enough Catholic that she felt that she needed to sacrifice her career to get the world to look at what was happening to her beloved church. To most people, she became the subject of much hate. After giving Sinead’s comment a little scrutiny, she has become one of my all-time heroes.

Sinead O'Conner (Please read here about the church abuse that Sinead O'Conner was trying to expose. Unfortunately, her message fell on deaf ears, and her career was ruined. She now is recognized, not only by the world, but by the Catholic Church as a hero.)

Now as Americans, we are all (most) wildly patriotic about America. We know that we are a great country, and that we were once the greatest country on the face of the Earth. We also all (most) know that our elections are bought-out and controlled by “Big Money”. What will it take to expose the corruption in American politics? What will it take to lead “We The People” into taking back the helm of the great ship of state.

Just as Sinead O’conner risked her career to expose the church, we need to put more of ourselves on the line, stop quibbling about our differences, start celebrating our commonality.

What piece of paper can we hold up, rip in two, and emotionally utter “Fight the real enemy”, and expose the corruption of our present political system of selling out to Big Money, or whatever TV tells us to do.

Where are the jobs that we were promised? Where is the oil company regulation that we are entitled to? Where is the border control? How many other things are wrong?

“Fight the real enemy”

Monday, June 21, 2010

Happy Summer Solstice

This is just a little more on "We are all the same". The last time I tried the "we are all the same", somebody that didn't even sign their name left me a hate rant. So, this time I will be more careful.

When I say that we are all the same, I mean that I see evidence of people today, possibly, celebrating the same thing that our ancestors celebrated.

35,000 people descended on Stonehenge, located on the Salisbury Plains of Southern England, to celebrate the Summer Solstice. This celebration has been happening in some form or another since the beginning of time. Just like we all seem to want to celebrate the warm weather arriving, people throughout the ages have looked forward to the abundance of food and the warm weather. Among other things, they celebrated the idea that they could gather less firewood, and they didn’t have to lug around their warm clothing everywhere they went. It must have been nice for the young people to be able to check each other out, with less clothes on, and decide who might make a good husband or wife.

It has long been my theory that every event takes on sophistication. When we were little kids, there was a tree on the ranch in Laytonville. Our ancestors had carved their initials on it as children. As each child grew old enough to carve, we all carved our initials on the tree. The tree became an object of great significance to the family. The tree became something that we protected, and there was an air of significance about the carving event when we put our initials on the tree. We would practice carving on other trees first. We would try to get very good at it, because when we put our initials on the tree, we wanted them to look as good as Dad’s or Grandpa’s.

We later figured out that we should have carved our initials on a rock, or something more permanent. The tree is dead and gone now. There is no record of the tree ever existing. The Indians were smarter than we were, they carved on rocks! The rocks are still here today. Is it possible that they considered the permanence of the record that they left on rocks? My other though is that “we are all the same”. If that is the case, can you imagine the history that the Indian people carved on trees that are no longer with us? I wonder what we would know about the past if we could have those records.

Now on to Stonehenge. When I first looked at the pictures of today’s event, I was shocked by what I saw. It appeared that it was a bunch of people playing “dress up” or “dress down” depending upon your opinion. They were drinking, using drugs and generally celebrating. I thought, “how sacrilegious”. It appeared to me that they were desecrating a most holy and sacred place, built by our ancestors. Slowly I realized that was what Stonehenge was built for. Throughout history man has celebrated the same as we do today, and it would have been the same kind of people in history performing the celebrations. The showmen, the charlatans, the extroverts, all leading the way. The person with the best rattle, or the best costume would end up with the most followers, just like today’s TV preachers, or the promoter with the best hippy event.

It also stuck me how much the event at Stonehenge is like the “Burning Man” festival at Black Rock Desert Nevada. The people at Burning Man try to out-do each other with their performance art. Each year they build “The Man”, then they burn it, in the significance that they are ridding the world of “The Man”. The Man may mean different things to different people. But, when The Man is gone, it is a sense of the end of the “bad” and the beginning of a new “good”, much like the summer solstice is the end of the cold season and the beginning of the warm season.

All people of the world, again, throughout all of history, have celebrated a renewal celebration.

Just like the people of Burning Man try to make a bigger, better, more significant “Man” every year, I think that must have been how Stonehenge was built. It probably all started with a bunch of people that were stone-age counterparts of today’s hippies. They had a conversation that went like this:
“Hey Trog…
Remember last year when we made the big ring out of logs at the “Renewal Celebration?”, then we burned them? Well, this year let’s do something better. Let’s do something that will last forever. Let’s get some of those huge blue rocks over in Wales, float them on barges as close as we can get to the Salisbury Plains, then we will skid them on ropes and rollers, stand them on end in a circle, then put cap stones on the top. I’ll bet that gets the girls!”

More evidence that "we are all the same" Man has littered since the beginning of time...

Stonehenge, original rave house
Stonehenge video

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Rodeo Today!~

Look Ma, No hands!!!
Garberville Rodeo today, Saturday June 19th 2010
Parade starts at 11:00 AM Sharp! On Garberville main street.
Rodeo at Greycliff acres in Benbow folowing the parade.
Western barbecued Steak dinner will be served at the rodeo.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Ol' Hairy

Click on photo for enlargement.
Remember all of the tears that were shed when they trimmed the Redwood in the center of town? Well nobody was killed by any falling redwood limbs this last winter. All is well in Garberville.

Now we have a fresh lush growth of new green limbs sprouting from the trunk. It looks almost like a redwood tree after a forest fire, except the trunk is not all black, and it doesn't smell like fire.

One wise guy that I know chimed in that they should trim it up like a chia-pet totem-pole.

Never doubt that I'm a redwood tree fan. They are undoubtedly the most impressive tree in the whole world. They are remarkably resilient. They actually thrive with complete limb removal. They can put out new roots at the same rate that they can grow limbs. It is difficult to damage a redwood tree. Watching this tree thrive should be a good study for our children.

The one thing that I would encourage, is to NEVER plant a redwood tree in an occupied neighborhood. Limbs shed off of them in even the slightest windstorm. The limbs fall like pointed arrows. Many houses have been damaged, and many people have been killed by falling limbs. To not plant one near your house will save you the grief of one day having to remove it as a danger to life and property.

Redwoods are a most beautiful wild tree, but they don’t belong in town. Leave them in the wild, where they belong!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Most overland 1850s era California settlers came past the Mormons. Revised, with addendum.

The history of the Mormons is something that I’ve tried to delve into many times. I know that the history of the Mormons, and the history of early California, is inextricably intertwined. The Mormons are as important to California history as the Franciscans, the settlers, or the Indians, but I’ve been unable to approach the subject from a position of delicacy and understanding. The following is an abreviated version of my orriginal post. I've removed much of MY opinion on the subject. My words are in red.

With my understanding about early California history comes the understanding that we all have the same opportunity to Judge the Mormon people of the past by our standards today. I know that won’t work, nor is it fair to judge the Mormons of today by the actions of those in the past. Hopefully we can rise above judgment and simply enjoy the history.

Most of the things that I write about here, are things that drop into my lap, and I post about it. As many of you know, I love the early history of California and the pioneers that settled here. None of the early history of California would be complete without the story of how the early “Californians” got here, whether by sea-going schooner or “prairie schooner”. It has often occurred to me that most of the people that came overland to California had some kind of a contact with the Mormons.

 The Mormons are somewhat puzzling, because they believe in everything. If a person is going to adopt a religion, it would seem that becoming a Mormon would make the most sense. They not only have The Old Testament, they have The New Testament, plus they have The Book of Mormon. They even have modern day prophets. Some fundamentalist branches of the church believe in multiple wives. Nowadays, the main church has moved away from multiple wives, but it was once a very important part of the Church.

The Mormons are a very important part of the history of this country. Indeed, the Mormon religion was born right here in the United states of America. A true red white and blue religion, so I feel it's an important part of history, that is offen left out. I have included some links below that give a lot of Mormon history, so if you enjoy reading, knock yourself out.

Joseph Smith Jr.

Joseph Smith Jr. was the founder of the Mormon Church. Smith was born December 23, 1805. In the late 1820s, probably 1827, Smith made an amazing announcement. He claimed that an Angel Moroni had led him to a spot in the woods of Manchester New York, where he found buried, a book filled with golden pages, upon which was written the religious history of the native American people. The mormons believe that the American Indian is one of the 10 tribes of Isreal.

"The Book of Mormon, one of the religious texts of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons), claims that early residents of the Americas included descendents from the tribe of Joseph, and particularly through Manasseh. Some sources such as Howshua Amariel and various researchers assert that DNA evidence, linguistic research, and other research indicates links between the Cherokee Nation and the Jewish people."(Wikipedia)

The book was written in a language that Smith had never seen before. Smith said that the Angel Moroni had also given him a pair of “Seer Stones”, that he called “Urim and Thummin”. The stones were able to help him understand the religious history of the ancient Americans. He would place the stones in a hat and place his face in the hat so all light was blocked out. then the stones would reveal to him what the Golden Tablets said. The tablets didn't even need to be near. Indeed they were buried away from other people most of the time. (According to Joeseph Smith). He transcribed the translation, and a fellow by the name of Martin Harris wrote it down, the book became “The Book of Mormon”.

The Book of Mormon was published March 26th 1830 in Palmyra New York. Joseph Smith started preaching from The Book of Mormon, and he baptized several people. He called his new church “The Church of Christ”. In late 1830 Smith moved his Church of Christ to Kirkland Ohio, were he joined up with other faithful people of common beliefs.

From here, I think that I'm just going to quote from Wikipedia, because the story just gets to bizarre for my simple brain to grasp. The Mormon story is filled with revelations, exorcisms, visitations by holy spirits and so forth.

From Wikipedia:
"Moving the church in 1831 to Kirtland, Ohio, Smith attracted hundreds of converts, who came to be called Latter Day Saints. Some of these he sent to establish a holy city of "Zion" in Jackson County, Missouri. In 1833, Missouri settlers expelled the Saints from Zion, and a paramilitary expedition Smith led to recover the land was unsuccessful. Fleeing an arrest warrant in the aftermath of a Kirtland financial crisis, Smith joined the remaining Saints in Far West, Missouri. However, tensions escalated into a violent conflict in 1838 with the old Missouri settlers. Believing the Saints to be in insurrection, the governor ordered their expulsion from Missouri, and Smith was imprisoned on capital charges."

After escaping state custody in 1839, Smith led the Saints to build the city of Nauvoo, Illinois on Mississippi River swampland, where he became mayor and commanded a large militia. In early 1844, he announced his candidacy for President of the United States. That summer, after the Nauvoo Expositor criticized his power and new doctrines, such as plural marriage, Smith and the Nauvoo city council ordered the destruction of the newspaper as a nuisance. In a futile attempt to check public outrage, Smith first declared martial law, then surrendered to the governor of Illinois. He was killed by a mob while awaiting trial in Carthage, Illinois.

Smith's followers believe he was a great prophet who saw God and angels, and they regard his revelations as scripture. His teachings include unique views on the nature of godhood, cosmology, family structures, political organization, and religious collectivism. His legacy includes several religious denominations, which collectively claim a growing membership of nearly 14 million worldwide.

With the death of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young became the most important person in the Church of Christ.

Brigham Young

From wikipedia: "Young was drawn to Mormonism after reading the Book of Mormon shortly after its publication in 1830. He officially joined the new church in 1832 and traveled to Upper Canada as a missionary. After his first wife died in 1832, Young joined many Mormons in establishing a community in Kirtland, Ohio. Young was ordained a member of the original Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in 1835, and he assumed a leadership role within that organization in taking Mormonism to the United Kingdom and organizing the exodus of Latter Day Saints from Missouri in 1838."

"After three years of leading the church as the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, in 1847 Young reorganized a new First Presidency and was declared president of the church on December 27, 1847. Repeated conflict led Young to relocate his group of Latter-day Saints to a territory in what is now Utah, then part of Mexico. Young organized the journey that would take the faithful to Winter Quarters, Nebraska, in 1846 , then to the Salt Lake Valley. Young arrived in the Salt Lake Valley on July 24, 1847, a date now recognized as Pioneer Day in Utah."

Conflict with U.S. government:
"Shortly after the arrival of Young's pioneers, the new Mormon colonies were incorporated into the United States through Mexican Cession, Young petitioned the U.S. Congress to create the State of Deseret. The Compromise of 1850 instead carved out Utah Territory, and Young was installed as governor. As governor and church president, Young directed both religious and economic matters. He encouraged independence and self-sufficiency. Many cities and towns in Utah, and some in neighboring states, were founded under Young's direction. Young's leadership style has been viewed as autocratic.
When federal officials received reports of widespread and systematic obstruction of federal officials in Utah (most notably judges), U.S. President James Buchanan decided to install a non-Mormon governor. Buchanan accepted the reports of the judges without any further investigation, and the new non-sectarian governor was accompanied by troops sent to garrison forts in the new territory. The troops passed by the bloody Kansas–Missouri war without intervening in it, as it was not open warfare and only isolated sporadic incidents. When Young received word that federal troops were headed to Utah with his replacement, he called out his militia to ambush the federal column. During the defense of Deseret, now called the Utah War, Young held the U.S. Army at bay for a winter by taking their cattle and burning supply wagons. The Mormon forces were largely successful thanks to Lot Smith. Young made plans to burn Salt Lake City and move his followers to Mexico, but at the last minute he relented and agreed to step down as governor. He later received a pardon from Buchanan. Relations between Young and future governors and U.S. Presidents were mixed."

"Mountain Meadows massacre, which took place in Washington County in 1857. Leonard J. Arrington reports that Brigham Young received a rider at his office on the same day. When he learned what was contemplated by the members of the Mormon Church in Parowan and Cedar City, he sent back a letter that the Fancher party be allowed to pass through the territory unmolested. Young's letter supposedly arrived two days too late, on September 13, 1857. As governor, Young had promised the federal government he would protect immigrants passing through Utah Territory. But he had also allegedly told local Native American leaders that they had his permission to steal cattle from these wagon trains. Over 120 men, women and children were killed by the Mormons and their Native American allies. It is clear that local Mormons were the principal perpetrators. United States Army officer James Henry Carleton was sent to investigate the massacre and was convinced that the Mormons were the perpetrators. Only children survived, the murdered members of the wagon train (known as the Fancher Party) were left unburied, and the surviving children were cared for by local Mormon families. The remains of about forty people were found and buried and Carleton had a large cross made from local trees, the transverse beam bearing the engraving, "Vengeance Is Mine, Saith The Lord: I Will Repay" and erected a cairn of rocks at the site. A large slab of granite was put up on which he had the following words engraved: "HERE 120 MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN WERE MASSACRED IN COLD BLOOD EARLY IN SEPTEMBER, 1857. THEY WERE FROM ARKANSAS." For two years the monument stood as a warning to those travelling the Spanish Trail through Mountain Meadow. Some claim that, In 1861, Young brought an entourage to Mountain Meadows and had the cairn and cross destroyed, while exclaiming, "Vengeance is mine and I have taken a little". However, others claim it was torn down and then re-built in 1864 by the U.S. military."

Brigham Young and the Mormon church apparently had much control over the Indian people. They told the Indian people that the “Mormon Garment” would protect them. Many of the Indian people became fearless thinking that the garment would stop bullets. Many found out that was a false thought. The Mormons decided who would get “safe passage” and who wouldn’t. Getting past the Mormons must have been a challenge for the new west bound settlers.

Addendum: I added this story below because Jared Farmer told the story much better than I could have.
Displaced from Zion:

Mormons and Indians in the 19th Century
By Jared Farmer

Typical and exceptional at the same time, Utah's frontier past offers an illuminating perspective on U.S. history. The story of Utah's formation—settlers colonizing Indian land, organizing a territory, dispossessing natives, and achieving statehood—could not be more American. This typicality requires explanation. How is it that Mormons (members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) managed to replicate a colonial pattern of Indian displacement when their ideas about Indians, not to mention their ideas about place, were so different from those of other American Protestants? Early Mormons saw Indians as spiritual kin with whom they would build a new Zion. But prophecies, dreams, and intentions did not become realities. Before they submitted to American conventions of marriage and the family, Latter-day Saints had freely absorbed the racist ideology of the nation.

The Mormon-Indian connection goes back to Joseph Smith's teenage imagination. "In the course of our [family's] evening conversations," his mother recalled, "Joseph would give us some of the most amusing recitals which could be imagined. He would describe the ancient inhabitants of this continent—their dress, their manner of traveling, the animals which they rode, the cities that were built by them, the structures of their buildings, with every particular of their mode of warfare, their religious worship as particularly as though he had spent his life with them." In 1830, as a serious adult, Smith produced the Book of Mormon. This 584-page scripture purports to be a record of North America's ancient inhabitants.
Among other things, the Book of Mormon narrates the emigration of an Israelite family out of Jerusalem around 600 B.C.E. With God's assistance, these Hebrews traveled by boat to America. Here in the (other) Promised Land, they fragmented into antagonistic groups—the Nephites and the Lamanites. The Lamanites lived as nomads and were cursed with dark skin, whereas the Nephites built great cities. Something like the two kingdoms of ancient Judaism, the groups repeatedly switched roles as the wicked and the righteous. Only for a brief period did harmony reign across the land. The righteousness came from Christ. The Redeemer himself appeared in the [End Page 40] New World during his absence from the tomb. The resurrected Savior repeated the Sermon on the Mount, performed the sacrament, and appointed twelve disciples. Ultimately, however, the Lamanites reverted to wickedness and idolatry. They eliminated all the fair-skinned Nephites and with them all the vestiges Christianity.

Moroni, the last of the Nephite scribes, buried the scriptural record in the Hill Cumorah before his death around 421 C.E. Much later, in angelic form, Moroni appeared to Joseph Smith and showed him the location of the hill, which was not far from Smith's home in Palmyra, New York. After finding and translating the Book of Mormon, the new prophet published it.

On the original title page, Smith announced one of the main purposes of the Book of Mormon: "to shew unto the remnant of the House of Israel what great things the Lord hath done for their fathers; and that they may know the covenants of the Lord, that they are not cast off forever." Even in their degenerate state, the descendents of the Lamanites remained part of the covenant. In the Last Days, the "seed of Israel" would be redeemed. Many 19th-century Christians tried to convert the Indians, but only the Mormons had such lofty expectations. Once redeemed, the "remnant of Jacob" would take the lead in building the New Jerusalem, the site of the Second Coming. Repentant "Gentiles"—Mormon converts—would work with the Lamanites as assistants. The remaining Gentiles—the unconverted—would be annihilated in the apocalypse. Earthquakes and floods would wipe out the wicked. In addition, Mormons anticipated an army of Lamanites—the "strong arm of Jehovah," the "battle-ax of the Lord"—crushing their enemies like a lion among sheep. In the midst of this creative destruction, the Lamanites would reclaim their former glory, including fair skin.

In short, the religion of Joseph Smith reserved a paradoxical place for Indians. Knowing nothing of their lineage, these future Christian Israelites were destined to save the world, though they couldn't save themselves. Early Mormons saw themselves as "grafts" of Israel. Through conversion, Latter-day Saints acquired "believing blood." Later, influenced by British Israelism, the Saints would claim to possess literal Hebraic bloodlines. Either way, they had reason to regard Indians as extended family. Early church members sometimes referred to native peoples as "Cousin Laman" or "Cousin Lemuel" (after figures in the Book of Mormon).

Joseph Smith wasted no time trying to fulfill prophecy. In 1830, shortly after the publication of his scripture and the organization of his church, Smith announced the doctrine of the gathering. Nineteenth-century Mormons were essentially Christian Zionists. Their "center place"was supposed to be "on the borders of the Lamanites." Missouri fitted the description. It was located at the center of the continent and at the edge of the United States—right next to newly created Indian Territory. Before moving to Missouri himself, Smith dispatched four missionaries to Indian Territory. Although the Shawnees and the Delawares seemed receptive at first, the Mormons couldn't get beyond first impressions because the responsible U.S. Indian agent evicted the missionaries for not having a license. Reporting to his superintendent, the agent noted that the "the Men act very strange."

After the failure of the Indian mission, Joseph Smith turned his attention to other aspects of building his kingdom. Yet he did not lose faith in the destiny of Indians. In 1835, traveling from Ohio to Missouri with an ad hoc army meant to assist persecuted Mormon settlers, Smith rekindled the Lamanite enthusiasm. When some of his followers exhumed a skeleton from a burial mound, Smith received a vision. He identified the bones as the remains of Zelph, an uncursed "white Lamanite" warrior who had fallen in battle. Impressed by the vision, one of Smith's apostles carried Zelph's thighbone to Missouri to bury the relic at the envisaged temple site. Before the temple could be built, Missourians forcibly evicted Latter-day Saints from the state. Allegations of misconduct included "Indian tampering." Rumors of nefarious alliances with Indians would dog the Latter-day Saints for decades.

Displaced from Zion, Smith recognized that the day of prophecy—for Indians and Mormons—had been deferred. Hewent on to build the theocratic city of Nauvoo, Illinois, before running afoul of his neighbors again. In 1844, days before his martyrdom in a county jail in Carthage, Illinois, Smith looked forward to finding refuge in the Rocky Mountains, where the Lamanites would serve as a shield. In the tumult following the lynching of the Prophet, the Latter-day Saint movement splintered. As anti-Mormon violence spread in Illinois, various would-be prophets vied for control of the Saints. The majority faction, 12,000-15,000 strong, lined up behind the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. Its president, Brigham Young, approved the idea that Zion could be relocated to the Rocky Mountains or beyond.

Planning the exodus took priority over everything else, but true believers did not forget that someday they would have to turn their attention to the Lamanites. In July 1847, immediately after arriving in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake with the vanguard emigrants, President Young reminded his flock of its moral duties. In a sermon on the roles of men and women, he exhorted wives to obey their husbands, and husbands to obey the will of the Lord—including the principle of plural marriage. This principle would be extended in time to Indians. Young envisioned that "the Elders would marry Wives of every tribe of Indians, and showed how the Lamanites would become a White&delight some people &how our descendants may live to the age of a tree & be visited & hold communion with the Angels; & bring in the Millennium."

One congregant pondered Young's words, especially his prophecy about Lamanites. "A part of [our] duty in this world is to bring the Indians from their benighted situation," wrote Levi Jackman. "In this place we finde a place and a people to commence with." Still, Jackman wondered how this could be achieved given the "brute" intelligence and "mean" existence of these "filthy, degrade[d] and miserable beings":

When I reflect and co[n]sider that thay are of the haus of Isreal, or the stick of Jacob, and the children of the covenent seed, unto who me belongs the priesthood and the oricals of God … I say to myself O Lord who is able to do all this—But the decree has gon foarth and it must be accomplished, and it will be marvilous, not onley to us but to generations yet to come.

This quote beautifully illustrates the tension in Mormon thought between Indian-as-brother and Indian as other; between sympathy and contempt, belief and doubt. Mormon Indian policy never transcended these contradictions. The first testing ground was the Ute stronghold in Utah Valley to the south of the new Mormon capital. Utah Valley centered on Utah Lake, a freshwater fishery with prodigious runs of cutthroat trout. Local bands of "Utahs" (Ute Indians) went by place- and food-specific names like Lake People and Fish Eaters. Utah Lake hosted large semi-permanent villages and larger seasonal gatherings.

In 1849 Mormons boldly established a lakeside settlement—today's Provo—next to the largest Indian village. The settlement's first year was disorderly. Mormons built a fort to keep out the Indians, yet invited Indians in anyhow. They traded and gambled and fished with Utes. But in autumn, after a few aggressive Mormons killed a native man and failed to make amends, certain Fish Eaters retaliated by killing Mormon cattle and threatening worse. By winter, local leaders convinced Brigham Young to send a military force to exterminate all of the hostile Indians. The "Indian war" was shockingly sanguinary, including the massacre of at least eleven unarmed male Ute prisoners in front of their families on the ice of Utah Lake. Strangely enough, by the time of the trout spawn in spring 1850, Mormons and Utes were once [End Page 41] again trading and gambling together.

Over the ensuing decade, as Mormons gradually displaced the Lake People from their fishing grounds, interethnic relations vacillated between segregation and neighborliness, disdain and respect, war and peace. This fluctuation puzzled U.S. Army Lieutenant John Gunnison, one of the earliest and best outside commentators on the Utah Saints. Gunnison's own view, one shared by most whites at mid-century, was harsh but simple: the "red devils" were part of a "doomed race" that deserved to be extinguished. By comparison, Mormons struggled to understand their relationship to natives. Concerning the "Indian war," Gunnison wrote:

It is a curious matter of reflection, that those whose mission it is to convert these aborigines by the sword of the spirit, should thus be obliged to destroy them—but they stoutly affirm that these people will yet, under their instruction, fulfil the prophecy that "a nation shall be born in a day"; and when they have completed the destined time, will listen to the truth and become "a fair and delight some people."

In actuality this belief varied from Saint to Saint and from year to year. The church laity generally cared less about the redemption of the Lamanites than did the hierarchy. As the lay population absorbed larger numbers of English and Scandinavian converts—people with no connection to Joseph Smith and no experience with Native Americans—this divide widened.

Even the authorities were neither united nor consistent. Brigham Young can be described as a skeptical or fair-weather believer. In 1849 he expressed his doubts that the "old Indians now alive" would enter "the new and ever lasting covenant." It would be "many years" before the Lamanites would be redeemed, he suggested. The current generation of Indians "will not do it, but they will die and be damned." A few days later he said that "this presant race of Indians will never be converted." If they were all killed off, "it mattereth not." In 1850 he argued for the removal of all Indians from Utah Territory. At other times he expressed faith that the Lamanites would soon "blossom as the rose." The "Mormon Chief " got to know many Ute leaders personally, even intimately: he baptized them; gave blessings to them; wrote letters to them; smoked with them; sang hymns to them; spoke in tongues to them; and ransomed slaves from them.

Ute chiefs were just as conflicted. They fought with each other as well as with Mormons. When it suited them, they made overtures to New Mexicans, Mormons, federal officials, and other natives. To Brigham Young's exasperation, they acted like neither true friends nor true enemies.

Young's faith in Indian solidarity increased during the "Mormon Reformation" of 1855-57. In the heat of this millenarian moment many Mormons anticipated the rise of an independent Latter-day Saint nation from the ashes of the United States. As foreseen by Joseph Smith, the apocalypse included a prominent role for the "remnant of Jacob." In preparation, Young established several Indian missions.

In 1857, adding fuel to a roaring fire, President James Buchanan ordered a large armed force—2,500 men—to install a non-Mormon appointee to the territorial governorship. Buchanan acted rashly on the exaggerated complaints of runaway officials—federal appointees who had left the territory frustrated by the LDS shadow government. Having been driven from their homes in Missouri and Illinois, the Mormons responded with defiance to the perceived federal invasion. Young bragged in public about his influence over the Indians and worked to shut down overland mail routes. His chief liaison to the Indians, Dimick Huntington, conducted negotiations with Shoshones, Utes, and Paiutes. Huntington hoped to get them to ally with the Mormons instead of "the Americans."

The cold war between the LDS Church and the federal government relaxed in 1858, but the episode had long-lasting consequences for Indians. The "Utah War" diverted attention and personnel away from the Utah Superintendency of Indian Affairs. In Utah Valley, a newly established Indian Farm—a quasi-reservation meant to compensate for the appropriated fishing grounds at Utah Lake—fell into disrepair. And so 1858 became another year of hunger and sickness for the Fish Eaters. Since the founding of Provo, the native population had been hit by measles, cholera, consumption, scarlet fever, whooping cough, and mumps. When Dimick Huntington went to the barren Indian Farm to give away food, a Ute leader asked "what it ment they was all sick & [asserted that] Brigham & I had talked to the Great Spirit to make them all sick & die. I told him it was not so for when B & all the good mormons prayed, they prayed for them. he sayed o shit you Lie."

Huntington actually spoke from his heart. Not long afterward he concluded his journal with a prayer: "may God turn away our enemies from us & all that are not of us & Gather Israel. wake up the sons of Laman[;] make them a defence to Zion&Let Zion be redeemd, the Jews be gatherd to Jerusalem&it be rebuilt [and] the tribes come from the North. Amen." In retrospect, this prayer was a coda to the reformation rather than a prelude to the millennium. After the détente of 1858, the U.S. government played a greater role in the prosecution of Indian affairs in Utah Territory. In 1865 Ute leaders met federal officials near Utah Lake to sign a reservation treaty. Brigham Young attended the treaty session and urged the Utes to sign. Lacking options, the starving remnants of the Fish Eaters agreed to relocate from Utah Valley to a distant, lakeless region. Banished from their Center Place, the displaced Utes lost their identity as Lake People.

In the 1860s Mormon millenarianism waned and Lamanite missions faded. Like successful colonizers throughout the nation, Mormons began to think of themselves as victimized survivors. "The early history of Provo, if written,would be devoted in the main to a recital of extreme hardships, resulting from bitter and almost incessant Indian wars," editorialized the Provo Chamber of Commerce in 1888. After overtures of peace, the "Indians soon began a characteristic and most violent warfare upon the hardy settlers." By the early 20th century, as the last of the pioneer generation passed away, Utah Mormons told pseudo-historical Indian stories indistinguishable from the fakelore told by post-frontier Americans everywhere. In collective memory, Lamanites and Lake People became generic "squaws," "bucks," "savages," and "princesses."

There are three main ways to interpret the 19th-century history of Mormon-Native interaction. The first, offered by sectarian apologists, highlights examples of magnanimity by individual Mormon pioneers. Not all Latter-day Saints carried out the teachings of Joseph Smith, but many tried, and generally Mormons practiced more charity than other American settlers in comparable frontier settings. The second interpretive viewpoint—common among historians of the U.S. West—asserts that Mormons were actually worse than other settler groups because they failed so miserably to live up to their exalted beliefs. Judged by their own standards, Mormons come across as hypocrites or transgressors—or both.

A third, less judgmental position argues that Mormon culture and theology existed in creative tension with American culture and politics. By studying the fringe we can better understand the core. While Latter-day Saints inherited from Joseph Smith an unusual racialist perspective on Native Americans, they also inherited a normative racist perspective from Euro-American culture. Interpreted as American history, Utah offers a sobering case study in Indian dispossession. Only here did a colonial U.S. population conceive of having a "homeland" in the Native American sense—an endemic spiritual geography. Mormonism, a religion indigenous to the United States, initially embraced American Indians as spiritual kin. Metaphysically and geographically, this religion reserved a privileged place for natives. What does it say about the limits of the racial imagination in 19th-century America that even Christian Israelites couldn't coexist for more than one generation with Hebraic Indians?

the ten lost tribes of Isreal
Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon. (Wikipedia)
Joseph Smith Jr. Wikipedia
Brigham Young Biography
Brigham Young Wikipedia
Mormons and Indians in the 19th century


Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Forget it

I just did a post here about the Mormons and their influence of early American history. I'm sorry but I withdrew it. I'm tired of the personal attacks on myself and my family. I invite anyone to make any pertainent comments about the Mormans, and early history, here if they like. It is an incredibly interesting chapter in our lands history.

I have come to understand why history is so little understood, there is still a shitload of hate out there.

Monday, June 14, 2010

We are all the same.

Right in the middle of posting this post, the e-world shut down and locked everything up. The post that showed up was not what I was trying to put up. So, not only was I not able to post what I wanted, I had to start over again. Try TWO:

Born:  Goyahkla, Goyaałé: "one who yawns".
June 16, 1829

Gila River, New Mexico (modern-day)
Died February 17, 1909 (aged 79)
Fort Sill, Oklahoma
Occupation: Medicine man
Known for: A famous Apache warrior

Here's something for everybody to ponder while I'm working on a post that I find absolutly mind bogling. I was doing some research on Indians and religion when I came aross this statement about Geronimo. My first thought was of the Kelseys,  of "Kelseyville" fame, and framers of the state of California, who they say would shoot an Indian just to watch him jump.

Geronimo: "He was born there [ southern Arizona ] in 1829, and grew up in a tribe of proud, fierce Apaches who made their living farming, hunting and raiding the Mexicans who had tried to enslave them. In 1851 Mexican soldiers murdered Geronimo's mother, wife and three children, and for the rest of his life he eagerly killed Mexicans without quam or quarter. When Americans began migrating into Apache territory, Geronimo fought them too, raiding mining camps and mule trains, stealing horses and cattle and guns, then fleeing to hidden camps in remote mountains."

I've often wondered how much of the early white settlers hatred of the Indian people was an extention of their traumatic trip throught Indian territory into California. Hatred seems to be a characteristic of all people that have suffered trauma at the hands of another. It seems to make no difference who was right or who was wrong.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

New School

Southern Humboldt School District will be gaining a new school. Sparkling bright and new, like it hasn’t been since I went to school here with the Class of “63!

It speaks well of the people of Southern Humboldt to stack another tax burden on themselves, during poor economic times, so the young people can have a school. The tax as I understand it will be in the amount of $60/$100,000 of assessed evaluation. I heard many people grouse and gripe and complain about the tax, although nobody that I talked to denied that we need a new school. But alas, it is sad that no matter what tax that we stack upon ourselves, we seem to always lose something in the long run. Once something is funded, other sources of funding dry up and get diverted. Just as the Lottery money helped the schools, other funding was taken away because of it.

We seem to be helpless in the face of the overwhelming pressure of our government to spend money in other ways than we might approve. Even though I approved of the tax, indeed I publicly endorsed the bond issue, we need to be vigilant in the way the money is spent. I saw many flaws in the proposed plan to build a new school. The proposed plan for the new school is a two-story building. The cost of building and maintaining an elevator for the disabled will be uncontrollable. All maintenance will have to be performed by very expensive outside contractors. Any money that will be saved by building a two-story building will be way more than offset by the difficulty of maintaining it. We would be far better served by buying adjacent land if need be, or simple building a ground level building on the land that is available. Sorry to be practical, but I’ve helped build many two-story buildings, and helped maintain them. I know their flaws. In view of the fact that Southern Humboldt was so generous to the schools, we need to see that the money is not wasted.

Having made my gripes, I would like to commend all of the board members and school officials and volunteers that have worked so hard to get the bond issue tax passed. Especially Dennis O’sullivan who was able to convince me to endorse and vote for this burden on my tight-waddedness despite my misgivings.

Now it begins….


Tuesday, June 8, 2010

More oil disaster

I have an "evil anonymous" that likes to haunt me on this blog, and A "good anonymous" that provides me with topical tips. The following is from a tip from "good anon".

It just keeps getting worse. It has been brought my attention that the leak that we have been watching in the Gulf of Mexico, on our TV screens, is much worse than any of us suspected. Maybe you have heard them talking about a “mysterious plume of oil” some miles away from the leaking well-head. It now has been confirmed that there is a leak coming right out of the seabed at the rate of 120,000 BARRELS (barrel = 60 gallons) per day. The leak is about five miles from the well-head, but they believe that it is coming from a fracture on the subterranean part of the well shaft.

The recommended fix is that Obama remove all BP executives from the picture, and require the U. S. military to take over the leak repair. I agree with this plan so far, because BP is trying harder to cover their ass than fix the leak.

The next stage of the repair would be to drill another parallel shaft down 18,000 feet, lower a nuclear bomb down the shaft and blow the leak closed. The alternative is to see this oil flow into the Gulf for the next ten to twenty years.

Okay the nuke thing doesn’t bother me, the depth will more than completely contain any radiation. (my opinion, which ain’t worth a hell of a lot) The thing that bothers me is that this oil well is beneath a methane-hydrate deposit that could float loose and cause a huge methane explosion at the surface of the ocean, similar to what happened to the drill rig that we all watched on TV, only magnitudes worse. ( again, my opinion. Which… you get the drift) Also, I don’t know what the chances are that it will cause a massive release of underground oil. I mention this fear because there has been many indications that this oil field delivers extreme pressure. Imagine the disaster if a good part of the oil field was released pretty much all at once.

I’m sick to my stomach now, and like I keep saying “You ain’t seen nothing yet”

Click on arrow at center screen and play video:


Vote Today!!!

My voting recommendations are as follows:

I'm solidly behind voting for Tweedle-Dee this year. Tweedle-Dumb didn't do so good last year. In Europe they have finally taken an honest approach, they are telling their countrymen that they are going into a deep dark depression and they are going to suspend all government spending until it's over. ("But the drive to austerity has drawn criticism from European labor unions and some economists. Unemployment is more than 10% in many countries and near 20% in a few, while economic growth is still weak and may turn negative once government spending drops as EU governments cut their deficits. The unions want EU governments to find some sources of government spending and investment even amid the turn to austerity."What that probably means is, "We've gathered all the money that we can steal from the rabble, so we are going to take the money and run. Ta-ta... Oh, and good luck!

(I fixed the "In Europe" link and gave you another one below.)
Germany and France


Thursday, June 3, 2010

(Revised) Live feed of capping oil leak in Gulf

Today, I tried to link to a live feed of the oil workers in the Gulf placing a cap on the well head. I failed as miserably as the workers are failing. Something in my pop-up blocker stops me from posting it correctly. I felt that I had other work that I should be doing, so I abandoned the post. Brian, my buddy at the front counter tried to fix it and he failed also. So if you really want to see what is going on down there, click on (There is a link over there on the left-hand side of this page) then click on the live view of the seafloor operation.

I don’t know if what they did today will stop the flow, but maybe they can pump it out to the surface. They say that they still have to drill a “relief well”, and that won’t be finished until August sometime. I have trouble keeping up with this disaster and work too, so if you have any good information as to when this oil is going to stop flowing into the gulf. Let me know.

I groaned when I saw how they were trying to cut the well pipe. Any fool knows that you can’t cut something in a bind, because it will only pinch your saw blade. The right way to have cut it would have been to use the pincher-cutters that they ended up using, then trimming it clean with the saw. Once it is screwed-up. It can’t be fixed. It’s typical of how engineers work. They design things, and the people that have to make it work have to tell them what’s wrong with it.

I don’t watch the oil soaked birds, and fish dying. It is just not productive for me to do so. The people of the gulf coast are facing and end to their way of life, a life that in most cases is the only life that they know. I said when a did my first post on this oil spill “that you haven’t seen nothing yet”. I gives me no pleasure to say I told you so.

It seems strange to me that people don’t seem to be that outraged. Our local “environmentalists” are still proceeding with their “Save Richardson Grove” protest. I suppose that it is okay, but if I had the time to spend protesting, I think that it would have something to do with what’s wrong with our government regulators and the oil companies. I just took a tour of the redwoods on the north coast, and believe me they are in no way endangered. They are still all over the north coast, and they are still growing like weeds

Sorry that I got sucked into the oil spill again, It’s just so damn frustrating to watch what is happening in the Gulf. I still say “You haven’t seen nothing yet”. We still have the hurricanes to deal with. I don’t think that the gulf will recover for a long, long time.

Thanks for bearing with my sad rant.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Photo by Kim Sallaway.
Mother Elsie, sister Sharon, me Ernie. And, the answer to the most commonly asked question, 1937.

Still playing catch up, more to come.