Smokey The Bear Says:



Alaska Firenado film by Douglas Burts   –Barton Hollow by The Civil Wars
Douglas Burts of the Alaska Division of Forestry caught footage of a firenado forming in the Tetlin Juction Fire at about 1900 August 16, 2013. Spruce trees with the root wad can be seen flung through the air.
In summer 2015, fires charred tens of thousands of acres in California.
Modis Image from Aug 03, 2015 (Posted on Aug 04, 2015 3:29 PM)



The California Liberty Preservation Act Signed Into Law

New California Law Rejects NDAA Indefinite Detention

By on October 1, 2013  in Issues, NDAA, Nullification, State Bills

As reported by Nick Hankoff at the California Tenth Amendment Center today, AB351, the California Liberty Preservation Act has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown:

Assembly Bill 351, commonly called the California Liberty Preservation Act, has been signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown making it statewide policy to refuse compliance with federal attempts to enforce “indefinite detention” made famous by the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA). What began as a marginal issue with little legislative support has unified Californians of all persuasions and brought attention to the proper role the people and their states play in a constitutional republic.

AB351 now makes it state policy to reject “indefinite detention” powers from the federal government.   It reads, in part:

It is the policy of this state to refuse to provide material support for or to participate in any way with the implementation within this state of any federal law that purports to authorize indefinite detention of a person within California. [emphasis added]

This language of AB351 goes far beyond what has been considered in most other states, which focus solely on indefinite detention powers under the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), and nothing else.  Donnelly’s legislation broadened the scope by recognizing that indefinite detention should not be complied with no matter what federal law is used to justify it.  Donnelly confirmed this broad scope, “AB351 will prevent California from implementing indefinite detention for any reason.”

This can make a HUGE dent in any federal effort to detain without due process in California.  As Judge Andrew Napolitano has said recently, such widespread noncompliance can make a federal law “nearly impossible to enforce” (video here). Quite simply, the federal government is going to have an extremely difficult time – at best – carrying out indefinite detention in California without the assistance of California.

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America’s Great Outdoors Photography from U.S. Department of the Interior

08/06/2013 11:45 AM EDT

Time lapse doesn’t get much better than this.

Twenty-five miles south of Alturas, California, in Northeastern Lassen County, the Tule Mountain Wilderness Study Area was the scene of wildfire in September 2012.  Some of Bob Wick’s amazing time lapse photography of the area in the aftermath can be found at

The Lone Star — The History of the Short-Lived Independent Republic of Florida

 For a brief period in 1810, Florida  was truly a country of its own

May 2013,


                     Revolutions come in all shapes and  sizes, but the West Florida Rebellion holds the record as the shortest.            (Peter Strain)
In the predawn fog of September 23, 1810, about 50 men, led by Revolutionary  War veteran Philemon Thomas, walked in the open gate of Fort San Carlos in Baton  Rouge. An additional 25 men on horseback rode through a gap in the fort’s wall.  Spanish soldiers discharged a handful of muskets before Thomas’ men let go a  single volley that killed or wounded five Spaniards. The remaining  soldados surrendered or fled.
Revolutions come in all shapes and sizes, but the West Florida Rebellion  holds the record as the shortest. In less than one minute it was over, setting  in motion a chain of events that would transform the United States into a  continental and, eventually, world power.
The nation’s expansion had begun seven years earlier, when President Thomas  Jefferson purchased the Louisiana Territory from France. But Spain, which had  ceded the territory to Napoleon, maintained that it did not include the area  known as West Florida, which stretched from the Perdido River across southern  Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana to the Mississippi River. For its part, the  United States believed West Florida was its own, but rather than risk  confrontation and war, Jefferson and his successor James Madison allowed Spain  to administer it until an opportunity arose.
Things were peaceful until 1808, when Spain appointed Col. Charles Delassus  as governor. The inefficiency and corruption of officials under him threatened  the prosperity of American colonists in West Florida, who presented demands for  political reform. Delassus pretended to go along, while secretly plotting to  arrest the ringleaders.
Learning of Delassus’ duplicity, the Americanos struck first. After  capturing Fort San Carlos, they declared the Republic of West Florida, replacing  the Spanish flag with their banner—a white star on a field of blue. Some derided  what one U.S. newspaper editor called “the little mimick Revolution,” but  President Madison knew that his strategy of passive expansionism had evicted  Spain at no expense to the United States.
On December 10, 1810,  the Republic of West Florida’s lone star came down and  the Stars and Stripes took its place. For the first time, the United States had  acquired significant territory from another sovereignty without war or  compensation.
It didn’t take long for other territories to follow West Florida’s example.  In 1835-36, Texas rose in revolt against Mexico, fighting under West Florida’s  lone star flag and voluntarily submitting to U.S. annexation in 1845. (The  five-point star had emerged as a symbol of enlightenment and defiance against  tyranny—and would remain a motif for the flag of the Texas Republic.)
A year later at Sonoma, a small band of American and Mexican settlers  declared the California Republic. The subsequent revolt against local  authorities lasted 26 days before the United States took over. In the ensuing  war with Mexico, the United States acquired all of California and most or all of  Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Wyoming, Utah and Oklahoma.
While much has been written about the U.S.-Mexican War, the event that  started  it all, the 1810 revolution, has largely been viewed as a footnote. As  a historian, it became clear to me that there was more at work here than a small  band of unruly, land-hungry American colonists. West Florida became the template  for Manifest Destiny—a near-perfect embodiment of the men and forces  that would  propel Americans across their continent.