Monday, April 29, 2013

The Real Threat Is From Illegal Guns

With anti-Constitutionalists politicians all calling for more infringement on our Constitutional Rights of gun ownership, one has to ask if they understand the real threat pertaining to guns?

Do liberals understand where the threat is coming from?

Here's a hint: its not from law abiding American citizens or legally obtained firearms.

In 2010, the United States imported 3.9 million guns, some 16 times more than we exported to other countries.

Those imported guns accounted for 43% of new guns legally available to Americans for sale that year.

Granted other countries sell guns in America legally, but how about the illegal gun trade?

While those figure are correct, we have no way of really knowing how many guns and explosives are coming into the United States from other countries illegally. Yes, illegally.

We hear a lot about guns being smuggled into Mexico these days, but nothing about what is being smuggled into the United States!

The threat is not a gun bought legally in the United States, the real threat, the correct target of criminal activity, should be the arms and explosives coming into the United States by way of the U.S./Mexican Border and the Port of Long Beach which is being operated by China using a front company for the Communist Chinese Army.

There is a joke these days that goes: "What is the modern term for Illegal Aliens?"
Answer: "Undocumented Democrats!"

What does Illegal Aliens have to do with illegal guns coming into the United States? The issues of Illegal Guns and Illegal Aliens, or Border Security, intertwine.

While the joke is funny to Conservatives, sadly it seems to be more fitting than funny!

The reason is that Democrats appear more concerned about having Illegal Aliens fill out Voter Registration cards than they are with stopping illegal entry. Democrats see the border as secure contrary to experts who say the opposite.

Their apathetic attitude toward stopping illegal entry demonstrates their total lack of concern for security along our Southern border. Their apathy is life threatening.

While much is written and talked about regarding the U.S. role in feeding Mexico's enormous gun violence across the border, not much is said about illicit arms and explosive trafficking coming in the United States.

The focus by the liberal news media is to make America look like the culprit to Mexico's problems when we are not.

We all know about stolen guns that are sold illegally, but how about guns that aren't stolen and that the general public can't purchase legally such as fully-automatic weapons - yet are showing up on the streets of American cities? 

Guns Not Available for Civilian Purchase in the United States are found in the United States and in Mexico.

The argument that semi-automatic weapons, which can be bought legally by Americans, are the guns of choice by Mexican cartels and gangs in American cities is laughable.

Small semi-automatic arms are one thing, but true military grade fully-automatic weapons and unattainable explosives are another story all together.

Weapons encountered along the U.S./ Mexico border are military-grade ordnance and not generally available for sale in the United States.

These include hand grenades, 40 mm grenades, rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs), automatic assault rifles and main battle rifles, and even light machine guns.

These weapons are fairly difficult to obtain, as well as very expensive to buy, in the United States, especially in the large numbers in which the cartels are employing them.

They are also dangerous to obtain in the United States due to heavy law enforcement scrutiny.

Therefore, most of the military ordnance used by the Mexican cartels comes from other outside sources, such as the international arms market - increasingly from the Chinese military via the same networks that furnish precursor chemicals for narcotics manufacturing - or from corrupt elements in the Mexican military or even deserters who take their weapons with them.

Besides, items such as South Korean fragmentation grenades and RPG-7s, often used by the cartels, simply are not in the U.S. arsenal - and certainly not available to U.S. citizens.

For Mexico, this means that these weapons are not coming from the United States - but instead other sources overseas.

For the United States, these weapons coming into our country illegally is a threat that our Federal Government under the guidance of the Obama administration is ignoring.

The threat to the United States is coming from our Southern border and our ports, both which is not being secured properly.

In recent years the drug cartels, especially their enforcer groups such as Los Zetas, Gente Nueva and La Linea, have been increasingly using military weaponry instead of sporting arms.

A close examination of the arms seized from the enforcer groups and their training camps clearly demonstrates this trend toward military ordnance, including many weapons not readily available in the United States.

Some of these seizures have included M60 machine guns and hundreds of 40 mm grenades obtained from the military arsenals of countries like Guatemala.

But Guatemala is not the only source of such weapons. Latin America is awash in weapons that were shipped there over the past several decades to supply the various insurgencies and counterinsurgencies in the region.

When these military-grade weapons are combined with the rampant corruption in the region, they quickly find their way into the black arms market.

For Mexico, the cartels have supply-chain contacts that help move narcotics to Mexico from South America, and they are able to use this same network to obtain guns from the black market in South and Central America and then smuggle them into Mexico.

While there are many weapons in this category that were manufactured in the United States, the overwhelming majority of the U.S.-manufactured weapons of this type encountered in Mexico - like LAW rockets and M60 machine guns - go into Mexico from other third party countries. Not the United States.

These weapons do not come from the United States, but many end up in cities in the United States from Mexico.

Commercially available to American citizens versus only Military issue? Yes there is an overlap between classes of weapons.

For example, the FN Five-Seven pistol is available for commercial purchase in the United States, but the 5.7x28 armor-piercing ammunition for the pistol favored by the cartels is not. It is restricted to military use only.

However, some of the special operations forces units in the Mexican military are issued the Five-Seven as well as the FN P90 personal defense weapon, which also shoots the 5.7x28 round, and the cartels are obtaining some of these weapons.

And yes, both the arms and the armor-piercing ammunition from the Mexican military are not coming from the United States.

For us, we are seeing arms and explosives being smuggled into the United States which are not found for sale to the American public.

From Mexico, fully automatic AK-47s and M16s manufactured and purchased elsewhere, are being smuggled into the United States.

As noted above, Communist China has become an increasingly common source for military weapons like grenades and fully automatic assault rifles in recent years.

The last case of arms smuggling into the United States was not in 1996, but smuggling into America doesn't make the news as much as smuggling into Mexico does - after all, liberals see Americans as the root of all evil.

June 5, 1996
China Arms Case Draws Indictment

A federal grand jury returned a 30-count indictment, charging 14 people and a Georgia company in a scheme to smuggle automatic weapons into the United States from China, U.S. officials said.

The indictment formalizes charges made last month when federal agents smashed an arms smuggling ring that they said involved two government-run Chinese munitions firms.

Seven of the people charged have been arrested, and seven others, including officials of China's state-controlled munitions firm China Northern Industrial Corp., remain at large.

The indictment also charged Dynasty Holding Co. of Georgia with money laundering.

May 23, 1996
U.S. Seizes 2,000 Assault Arms as Smuggling by China Is Probed

Investigation: Federal agents say arrests involve firms linked to Peking's military, leadership. They allegedly brought record number of automatic weapons into U.S.

WASHINGTON — Federal authorities began making a series of arrests in an intensive investigation of China's two main state-controlled arms exporting companies for allegedly smuggling automatic assault weapons into this country, according to law enforcement officials.

The companies under investigation, called Poly Technologies and Norinco, lie at the heart of China's military-industrial complex.

Poly Technologies, in particular, operates directly under the Chinese People's Liberation Army and has been run by the children of several of China's top leaders, including the son-in-law of China's ailing patriarch Deng Xiaoping.

About 2,000 fully automatic AK-47-type weapons from China were brought into the United States through the port of Oakland last March 18, according to authorities.

The Chinese arms dealers apparently believed that the undercover agents were mid-level American arms smugglers willing to pay up to 400% markups for the outlawed weapons.

The Chinese dealers believed that the illegal weapons were going to be used by violent American gangs, the officials said.

August 10, 1989
200 AK-47 Rifles Seized; 4 Alleged Smugglers Arrested

In what authorities called one of the largest weapons seizures in county history, nearly 200 semiautomatic rifles and 80,000 rounds of ammunition were seized by federal agents in Irvine and San Diego, culminating an undercover investigation of a weapons-smuggling ring, it was announced Wednesday.

The two-week investigation by Operation Alliance, a task force composed of members from the U.S. Customs Service, Drug Enforcement Administration and various state and local agencies, ended with the arrests of four men who delivered 98 Chinese-made AK-47 assault weapons, 2 handguns and about 8,000 rounds of ammunition to a customs agent posing as buyers.

An additional 93 AK-47 rifles and 70,000 rounds of ammunition belonging to the four men were seized in Irvine, and will be used as evidence against the alleged exporters, agents said.

The assault rifles had a street value of $285,000, they said.

The Real Threat From Guns In The United States Is In The Streets And They Are Weapons The Average Citizen Can't Buy

No, it wasn't that long ago when three Chinese officials were arrested in 1996 in a U.S. Justice Department sting in which two undercover agents paid $700,000 for a shipping container filled with 2,000 Chinese-made AK-47s.

They weren't headed for Mexico. They were headed for street gangs in cities right here in the United States.

It was the largest seizure of illegal automatic weapons in U.S. history. The three officials had ties with China's two main arms firms: China North Industries Corp. (Norinco) and Poly Technologies.

The Chinese-made MAK-90, an AK-47-like rifles that can be equipped with a silencer and grenade launcher, was illegally imported to the United States.

While Democrat's ignore the nation's security needs on the border, they increase put America is harms way of terrorist threat of illegal arms and explosives coming across the border from Mexico, Americans should ask While  do not seem to worry the Obama administration or Democrats who want an Open Border with Mexico.

Mexico has very strict gun-ownership laws. While that country’s Constitution allows for citizens to keep and bear arms, the conditions it places on this ownership through amendments to the constitution are much more limiting.

Fact is, only one entity is permitted to sell weapons in Mexico - and it is run by the Mexican Army. For Mexico, such a situation opens up all sorts of doors to bringing in guns from foreign countries.

Communist China and Eastern European nations, who produce arms with the support of their governments, traffic arms into Mexico and the United States with regularity. 

It is estimated that there are over 700 million small arms in circulation world wide, and that over 1,135 companies based in more than 98 different countries manufacture small arms as well as their various components and ammunition.

Historically a highly efficient, well organized, and profitable business, gun trafficking into the United States and elsewhere moves guns from legal manufactures through corrupt government safeguards such as corrupt Border Patrol Agents so that criminals who can’t buy guns legally get them.

So where are these guns and explosives going?

Gangs continue to commit criminal activity, recruit new members in urban, suburban, and rural regions across the United States, and develop criminal associations that expand their influence over criminal enterprises, particularly street-level drug sales.

Thanks to a pathetic response to security problems on the border, there has been an overall increase in gang membership, and the expansion of criminal street gangs’ control of street-level drug sales and collaboration with rival gangs and other criminal organizations.

Gangs are expanding, evolving and posing an increasing threat to U.S. communities nationwide.

Many gangs are sophisticated criminal networks with members who are violent, distribute wholesale quantities of drugs, and develop and maintain close working relationships with members and associates of transnational criminal/drug trafficking organizations.

While the Federal government is overly concerned with taking away guns from women rape victims and defenseless families, gangs are becoming more violent.

Gangs are responsible for 48% or more of all violent crime in most jurisdictions and up to 90% in several others, according to NGIC analysis.

While engaging in less typical and lower-risk crime, such as prostitution and white-collar crime. Gangs are more adaptable, organized, sophisticated, and opportunistic, exploiting new and advanced technology as a means to recruit, communicate discretely, target their rivals, and perpetuate their criminal activity.

The National Gang Intelligence Center (NGIC) prepared the 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment (NGTA) to examine emerging gang trends and threats posed by criminal gangs to communities throughout the United States.

So Let's Really Talk About Gun Violence!

Based on state, local, and federal law enforcement reporting, the NGIC concludes that:

■ There are approximately 1.4 million active street, prison, and outlaw motorcycle gang members comprising more than 33,000 gangs in the United States.

■ Gangs are responsible for an average of 48% of all violent crime in most jurisdictions and up to 90% of the gun violence, according to NGIC analysis.

■ Major cities and suburban areas experience the most gang-related violence. Local neighborhood-based gangs and drug crews continue to pose the most significant criminal threat in most communities.

■ Aggressive recruitment of juveniles and immigrants, alliances and conflict between gangs, the release of incarcerated gang members from prison, advancements in technology and communication, and Mexican Drug Trafficking Organization (MDTO) involvement in drug distribution have resulted in gang expansion and violence in a number of jurisdictions.

■ Gangs are increasingly engaging in non-traditional gang-related crime, such as illegal alien smuggling, human trafficking, and prostitution.

■ Gangs are also engaging in white-collar crime such as counterfeiting, identity theft, and mortgage fraud, primarily due to the high profitability and much lower visibility and risk of detection and punishment than drug and weapons trafficking.

■ U.S. gangs have established strong working relationships with Central America criminal organizations to perpetrate illicit cross-border activity, establishing wide-reaching drug networks; assisting in the smuggling of drugs, weapons, and illegal immigrants along the Southwest Border

■ Many gang members continue to engage in gang activity while incarcerated. Family members play pivotal roles in assisting or facilitating gang activities and recruitment during a gang members’ incarceration.

■ Gang members in some correctional facilities are adopting radical religious views while incarcerated. This has lead to a growth of Islam within the prison system.

■ Gangs encourage members, associates, and relatives to obtain law enforcement, judiciary, or legal employment in order to gather information on rival gangs and law enforcement operations.

■ Gang infiltration of the military continues to pose a significant criminal threat, as members of at least 53 gangs have been identified on both domestic and international military installations.

Gang members who learn advanced weaponry and combat techniques in the military are at risk of employing these skills on the street when they return to their communities.

■ Gang members are acquiring high-powered, military-style weapons and equipment which poses a significant threat because of the potential to engage in lethal encounters with law enforcement officers and civilians.

■ Gangs typically acquired firearms are through illegal purchases from overseas arms manufacturers, straw purchases via surrogates or middle-men, and thefts from individuals, vehicles, residences and commercial establishments.

■ Gang members also target military and law enforcement officials, facilities, and vehicles to obtain weapons, ammunition, body armor, police gear, badges, uniforms, and official identification.

■Gangs on Indian Reservations often emulate national-level gangs and adopt names and identifiers from nationally recognized urban gangs. Gang members on some Indian Reservations are associating with gang members in the community to commit crime.

■Gangs are becoming increasingly adaptable and sophisticated, employing new and advanced technology to facilitate criminal activity discreetly, enhance their criminal operations, and connect with other gang members, criminal organizations, and potential recruits nationwide and even worldwide.

Gang membership continues to expand throughout communities nationwide, as gangs evolve, adapt to new threats, and form new associations. Consequently, gang-related crime and violence is increasing as gangs employ violence and intimidation to control their territory and illicit operations.

Many gangs have advanced beyond their traditional role as local retail drug distributors in large cities to become more organized, adaptable, and influential in large-scale drug trafficking.

Gang members are migrating from urban areas to suburban and rural communities to recruit new members, expand their drug distribution territories, form new alliances, and collaborate with rival gangs and criminal organizations for profit and influence.

Local neighborhood, hybrid and female gang membership is on the rise in many communities. Prison gang members, who exert control over many street gang members, often engage in crime and violence upon their return to the community.

Gang members returning to the community from prison have an adverse and lasting impact on neighborhoods, which may experience notable increases in crime, violence, and drug trafficking.

With approximately 1.4 million active street, outlaw motorcycle gang, and prison gang members, comprising more than 33,000 gangs, all criminally active within all 50 US states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico, this surge represents a 40% increase from an estimated 1 million gang members in 2009.

This increase in gang membership is primarily due to aggressive recruitment efforts by gangs, the formation of new gangs, new opportunities for drug trafficking, and collaboration with rival gangs and drug trafficking organizations, and a lack of security on the U.S./Mexico border.

More than half of all law enforcement reports an increase in gang-related criminal activity in their jurisdictions over the past two years.

Neighborhood-based gangs continue to pose the greatest threat in most jurisdictions nationwide.

Since 2009, gang membership increased most significantly in the Northeast and Southeast regions, although the West and North Central regions - particularly Arizona, California, and Illinois - boast the highest number of gang members.

Sureño gangs, including Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), 18th Street, and Florencia 13, are expanding faster than other national-level gangs, both in membership and geographically.

Twenty states and the District of Columbia report an increase of Sureño migration into their region over the past three years. California has experienced a substantial migration of Sureño gangs into northern California and neighboring states, such as Arizona, Nevada, and Oregon, because of the lack of border security.

All of this makes one wonder why the Obama administration places such a focus on legal firearms when the real threat pertaining to guns is coming from those illegal arms being smuggled into the United States from Mexico, China, and Eastern European nations. 

Yes, the president wants amnesty for everyone here illegally.

But don't swallow the lie that liberals are trying to feed you. Though the majority of the folks coming here illegally are good hard working people just looking for a better life for their families, like the Cuban Boat Lift under Jimmy Carter there are also murderers, rapists, child molesters, and other criminal types including gun smugglers and confederates to the Drug Cartels who want to live in the United States.

Homeland Security is buying enough arms and tanks to outfit an entire Army Division, and they are militarizing their people for trouble against us the American people.

But how can they be convinced that we don't need guarding as if America has become one big prison? How can we convince them that the problem is the gangs who are killing each other by the truckload?

Homeland Security seems very concerned about the amount of smuggling going on from the United States into Mexico, but the Department of Homeland Security seems totally unconcerned about the arms coming into the United States making their way into the hands of those who are really the threat today - those with illegal guns.

This all makes one wonder why our Federal government, which is specifically tasked with protecting America's ports and borders, is not doing their job?

The gutless cowards of Obama administration and Homeland Secruity see the American people as the easier target to attack.

Those who have the arms and personnel to secure the border, don't have the guts, determination, or integrity to attack the real threat from illegal guns and those shipping them into America accross our borders or into our ports and secure our border.


Story by Tom Correa



Saturday, April 27, 2013

America's First Gold Rush - The Carolina Gold Rush

Besides the wonderful people down there, another thing that I absolutely love about the South is Southern Pride.

When especially compared to Northerners, Southerners make sure their children are weaned on their rich history.

During my travels in the South, one of my favorite places to visit was always Charlotte, North Carolina.

Scott, who is one of my readers, wrote to remind me that the California Gold Rush of 1849 wasn't America's First Gold Rush.

America's First Gold Rush, known as the "Carolina Gold Rush," took place in North Carolina.
 
Gold was first discovered in North Carolina in 1799 and that Congress authorized the construction of the Charlotte Mint to cope with the sheer volume of gold dug up in North Carolina.  

Known as "The Carolina Gold Rush," it was the first gold rush in the United States.  

Though it was the discovery of gold in North Carolina in 1799, it was not until a few years later that word of the gold spread and men started coming to North Carolina from other states.

In 1799, twelve-year-old Conrad Reed was fishing when he found a 17-pound shiny rock in Little Meadow Creek on his family’s farm in Cabarrus County, North Carolina.

And yes, believe it or not, he and his family kept it as a doorstop until 1802.

His father John Reed took the rock to a jeweler who recognized it as gold and bought it from the unaware Reed for $3.50. Now I know that $3.50 sounds like the jeweler swindled him, which he did, but we must understand that $3.50 in 1802 was a week's wages for farm labor.

Why do I say swindled?  Well, that nugget's true value was around $3,600.

If that were at today's price of gold per ounce at $1,375 that would be a nugget about 2.6 ounces in size. But it was 1802, the price of gold at the time was $19.39 an ounce.

Before long, more gold was found in and along the creek, making Conrad’s father, John Reed, a very wealthy man.

News of gold in Cabarrus County spread quickly. Soon gold was being found in neighboring counties of Montgomery, Stanly, Mecklenburg, Rowan, and Union.

With the news of a gold discovery, people flocked to North Carolina anxious to find gold of their own.

In the 1700s, the pioneers who settled there were described as "industrious people" with most families having six to ten children.

They raised livestock and crops such as corn, wheat, barley, rye, and indigo, and traded primarily with bigger Charleston, South Carolina, some two hundred miles to the south.

Charlotte, the state’s largest city today, was little more than a village at the time.

Around 1805, only a few years after Conrad’s discovery, newspapers began reporting on gold-mining activities and people coming into the area to search for gold.

William Thornton, of Baltimore, Maryland, designer of the United States Capitol, was one of these seekers. After learning of the gold, he purchased thirty-five thousand acres of land in Montgomery - now Stanly - County and formed the North Carolina Gold Mine Company.

By 1806, investors in his company included a former governor of Maryland and the treasurer of the United States.

Of course, initially local landowners did most of the mining.

The first newcomers to arrive were from neighboring towns and counties and states. But then, as luck would have it, another event occurred that would greatly increase the numbers of people migrating to the state’s gold fields.

In 1825, Matthias Barringer discovered that gold could be found in veins of white quartz. By following these veins of quartz into the ground, one could recover more gold.

Prior to this discovery, all of the mining conducted in North Carolina had been above ground, called "placer" mining. With Barringer's discovery of "lode," or underground mining, the rush to North Carolina was on in a big way.

Yes, just as later during other booms, people came from far and wide to make their fortunes.

Many of the most important lode mines were located in or around Charlotte.

In 1828 J. Humphrey Bissell, of Charleston, bought part of the McComb Mine and brought with him not only new technology but also "men experienced in South American mining."

At one Charlotte mine that employed almost a thousand workers, thirteen different languages were spoken.

Count Vincent de Rivafinoli, an Italian aristocrat and experienced mining engineer, was one of the most cultured and flamboyant foreigners in  Charlotte.

As head of the Mecklenburg Gold Mining Company, he brought in as many as eighty expert miners from England, Germany, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy, and France.

Among the European workers, miners from Cornwall, England, had a huge influence on North Carolina mining culture.

The Cornish miners had developed techniques for "lode mining" over several centuries, extracting tin and copper from their native England.

Upon their arrival, they shared their knowledge and expertise in North Carolina. They taught proper and safe techniques for "lode mining."

And yes, they were also experts in the process of milling gold ore and the use of steam technology. Because of their knowledge of steam technology, the use of steam engines soon spread from gold mining to other North Carolina industries such as textile mills.

Many of the immigrants who came to North Carolina during the gold rush were single men, both young and middle-aged, all ambitious and hardworking.

They came unaccompanied by women and children wanting to get rich to make better lives for themselves and their families they had waiting in some cases overseas. As single men unencumbered by family responsibilities, they were able to move freely from one mining area to another.

When gold was found later in other southern states such as Georgia, and then in California in 1848, many moved out of the area.

The Cornish miners, however, had often moved with their families. They were known to be “skilled, superstitious, clannish,” and strongly Methodist.

Unlike the single prospectors who followed the gold to California, the Yukon, and beyond, many of these
Cornish miners and their families stayed in North Carolina, in the lode mining centers of Charlotte and especially Gold Hill in Rowan County.

The Cornish culture is a unique culture within Great Britain, much like the Welsh or Scottish, with its own dialect and customs.

But because the Cornish also spoke English, they and their descendants quickly melded into American life, and their cultural influence is not easy to pinpoint.

As with the others who arrived, their influence had a big impact on North Carolina’s emerging industries.

It is interesting to note that a year after John Reed started mining his land, a slave named Peter, found a 28-pound nugget of gold on the property.

John Reed started placer mining, then later underground mining, on his property, and truly became a wealthy man in spite of once being swindled by that jeweler.

The very First Gold Mine in the United States was in fact established in North Carolina at the Reed Gold Mine.

The Reed Gold Mine is located in Midland, Cabarrus County, North Carolina, and is the site of the first documented commercial gold find in the United States.

In 1966, it was designated a National Historic Landmark because of its importance to the history of our great nation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Need For The Charlotte Mint

Can you imagine there being so much gold coming out of a single discovery that you find yourself having to built a new Mint locally to handle it?

Well, that was the case of the Charlotte Mint!

In 1835, because of the huge volume of gold coming out of North Carolina, President Andrew Jackson signed into law a bill to open three branch mints. One of those was in Charlotte, North Carolina, for new bullion and the minting of gold coinage.

The Charlotte Mint was a branch of the United States Mint that came into existence on March 3, 1835 during the Carolina Gold Rush.

The United States Congress approved an Act to establish several branch mints; the act stated, "...one branch at the town of Charlotte, in Mecklenburg County, in the state of North Carolina, for the coinage of gold only...".

In November, 1835, Levi Woodbury, Secretary of the Treasury, was notified by Samuel MeComb that he had purchased from William Carson and F. L. Smith a full square containing 4 acres of land for $1,500, which is now the 400 block of West Trade Street.

Proposals for construction of the building were advertised and the contract was awarded to Perry & Ligon, of Raleigh, North Carolina, on October 15th, 1835 at a price of $29,800.

In 1836, construction on the Charlotte Mint began. It opened for business on July 27, 1837.

Only raw gold was processed and refined until March 28, 1838, when the first $5 gold half eagle was struck in Charlotte.

The Half Eagle is a United States coin that was produced for circulation from 1795 to 1929 and in commemorative and bullion coins since the 1980s.

Composed almost entirely of gold, it has a face value of five dollars. Its production was authorized by The Act of April 2, 1792, and it was the first gold coin minted by the United States.

Later in 1838, $2½ Quarter Eagles were minted, and 1849 production started on a small gold dollar.

In 1838, the Charlotte Mint produced half eagles of the Coronet type in their first years of operation, and would continue to mint Half Eagles until 1861, their last year of operation.

All gold coinage coming from this mint has a "C" mint mark to distinguish it from other sister mints then in operation. The Charlotte Mint issued over $5 million in gold coins.

One should note that these days a 1838-C $5 Gold Half Eagle is worth about $2,250!

In May 1861, North Carolina seceded from the Union. The Confederacy took control of the Charlotte Mint. The Confederate government continued coining operations until October when it became clear it was a futile effort.

The mint was then converted into a hospital and military office space for the remainder of the Civil War.

After the Civil War, Federal troops used the offices for the first few years of Reconstruction. In 1867, the U.S. government designated it an Assay Office.

In 1873, the General Assembly of North Carolina petitioned Congress to reopen the mint at Charlotte. This request was denied.

As an Assay Office, it operated until 1913 when the gold supply was quickly dwindling. Then from 1917 to 1919, the Charlotte Woman's Club met in the building - and it also served as a Red Cross station during World War I.

In 1931, the old Charlotte Mint building was to be demolished to make room for the post office expansion next door. But that was not to be, fact is a coalition of private citizens acquired the structure from the U.S. Treasury Department in 1933.

Believe it or not, though this was the midst of the Great Depression, these great folks relocated the structure a few miles south of downtown Charlotte.

In 1936, it was dedicated as the Mint Museum of Art, the first art museum in North Carolina.

Why Is The Charlotte Mint So Significant?

For the world of coins, most historic coins are pretty well known. But it is also true that every so often there is a very historic coin that seems to fall through the cracks in terms of interest.

That description might well fit the 1838-C quarter eagle as this is a very historic issue that seems to be known by very few.

The 1838-C was something no one had ever seen before as it was a quarter eagle of the United States that was not even made in Philadelphia.

The fact is had many persons seen the small "C" on an 1838 quarter eagle at the time, the odds are pretty good that they would not have known why it was there or what it meant.

The situation in 1838 had to be exciting for the Mint. For the first time in the history of the United States there were going to be coins produced outside Philadelphia.

The decision to built other mints other than the one in Philadelphia was made because it was seen as better to deal with the gold on the spot rather than to try and send it all the way to Philadelphia.

Because of that, the Charlotte Mint only produced gold coins.

Of course there was something of a delay in production. The reason was that outfitting a mint in a place like Charlotte back in the 1830s was not the easiest task. It took time to get what was needed to the area. Then everything had to be set up.

By the time the facility was ready to produce its first gold coins, it was 1838. So yes, the 1838-C $5 Gold Half Eagle and $2½ Quarter Eagles were the first coins minted there.

At Charlotte there would be a $5 Gold Half Eagle mintage of 17,179 pieces, but also Charlotte would mint $2½ Gold Quarter Eagles to the tune of 7,880 pieces.

The smaller mintage, and the fact that only Charlotte tried $2½ Quarter Eagles in 1838 should not be too surprising. The $2½ Quarter Eagles were still really getting established in circulation.

The $2½ Quarter Eagle denomination had been authorized in 1792, but it had never been widely used. Besides the sparse use, they were first minted in 1834 with a $2½ Quarter Eagles mintages of more than 10,000. That means the bulk of those $2½ Quarter Eagles coins were only minted in one place, the Charlotte Mint.

It would be safe to suggest there was very little saving of the 1838-C Quarter Eagle at the time.

1848 Cal Quarter EagleSo as a result, what we have today is basically $2½ Quarter Eagle circulated coins with a price of between $1,700 and $27,000 today.  Low mintage and an important place in history really does pay off.

In any grade, the 1838-C $2½ Quarter Eagle is a special coin. And yes, at today's prices, they are a great find.

At the Charlotte Mint today, one can find thousands of various artwork items, along with a complete collection of all gold coins minted at the Charlotte Mint.

The Charlotte Mint has a collection of gold coins that range from scarce to extremely rare. They are some of the most desired items in numismatics today, making the museum's collection highly valuable.

The gold industry influenced other developments in industry, commerce, and infrastructure that helped North Carolina prosper.

Today’s leaders in North Carolina's industry, research, banking, farming, and community have indirectly benefited from the miners and investors, those who followed their dreams of our nation’s first gold rush - the Carolina Gold Rush.


Story by Tom Correa

Friday, April 26, 2013

Is The Department of Homeland Security America's Gestapo?


Reps challenge DHS ammo buys, say agency using 1,000 more rounds per person than U.S. Army

bullets_hollowpoint.jpg

Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz said Thursday that the Department of Homeland Security is using roughly 1,000 rounds of ammunition more per person than the U.S. Army, as he and other lawmakers sharply questioned DHS officials on their "massive" bullet buys.

"It is entirely ... inexplicable why the Department of Homeland Security needs so much ammunition," Chaffetz, R-Utah, said at a hearing.

The hearing itself was unusual, as questions about the department's ammunition purchases until recently had bubbled largely under the radar -- on blogs and in the occasional news article. But as the Department of Homeland Security found itself publicly defending the purchases, lawmakers gradually showed more interest in the issue.

Democratic Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., at the opening of the hearing, ridiculed the concerns as "conspiracy theories" which have "no place" in the committee room.

But Republicans said the purchases raise "serious" questions about waste and accountability.

Chaffetz, who chairs one of the House oversight subcommittees holding the hearing Thursday, revealed that the department currently has more than 260 million rounds in stock. He said the department bought more than 103 million rounds in 2012 and used 116 million that same year -- among roughly 70,000 agents.

Comparing that with the small-arms purchases procured by the U.S. Army, he said the DHS is churning through between 1,300 and 1,600 rounds per officer, while the U.S. Army goes through roughly 350 rounds per soldier.

He noted that is "roughly 1,000 rounds more per person."

"Their officers use what seems to be an exorbitant amount of ammunition," he said.

Nick Nayak, chief procurement officer for the Department of Homeland Security, did not challenge Chaffetz's numbers.

However, Nayak sought to counter what he described as several misconceptions about the bullet buys.

Despite reports that the department was trying to buy up to 1.6 billion rounds over five years, he said that is not true. He later clarified that the number is closer to 750 million.

He said the department, on average, buys roughly 100 million rounds per year.

He also said claims that the department is stockpiling ammo are "simply not true." Further, he countered claims that the purchases are helping create broader ammunition shortages in the U.S.

The department has long said it needs the bullets for agents in training and on duty, and buys in bulk to save money.

While Democrats likened concerns about the purchases to conspiracy theories, Republicans raised concern about the sheer cost of the ammunition.

"This is not about conspiracy theories, this is about good government," Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, said.

Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., who chairs the full Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said he suspects rounds are being stockpiled, and then either "disposed of," passed to non-federal agencies, or shot "indiscriminately."

If that is the case, he said, "then shame on you."

As for me, I reprinted this information for a few reasons:

First, I feel you should know this just in case you feel like calling or writing your Congressman or woman and telling him or her how angry you are about the waste of money and resources that the Department of Homeland Security is doing by spending scarce federal dollars foolishly.

And second, I hope your Congressman or woman can rein in this out of control agency by cutting their budget.

Friends, there is no need for any civilian government agency to authorize a million dollars be spent on new TSA uniforms, the purchase of 7,000 M-16 rifles for the agents "personal use," 1.6 billion rounds of ammo, or 2,717 MRAP assault vehicles for the streets of America.

We do not need an American Gestapo.

And for you who are too young to understand what a Gestapo is, allow me to help. The "Gestapo" was the German Secret State Police.  Abbreviated, it was called the “Gestapo.”

It was  Nazi Germany government's Secret Police. Their main tools were death and intimidation, oppression and destruction.

Noted for its brutal methods of interrogation, torture, and murder, it usurped the law and persecuted Germans - especially opponents of the Nazi regime. Besides its cruel treatment and oppression of all German citizens, it is responsible for rounding up and transporting millions of Jews to be slaughtered.

In 2009, Homeland Security placed a standing order with Winchester for 200 Million rounds of .40 caliber pistol ammunition. That is a lot of firepower for a supposedly protective force within our borders!

In 2012, Homeland Security put in an order for 450 Million rounds of ammunition.

Then a few months ago, the same agency put in an order for 1.6 Billion rounds of ammunition, two thousand seven hundred and seventeen tanks, and seven thousand assault rifles for their agents.

All for what reason?

A government agency like Homeland Security, who is spending billions of dollars to militarize itself by equipping itself like a military force, and who has unlimited resources and power, can be a dangerous threat to our American freedoms and Democracy.

It can become a power and a threat all of itself. No different than an American Gestapo would be.

That's just how I see it.




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Anchorage VFW Post Fighting To Stay Alive

A friend who is about to return to his home in Alaska advised me that the Anchorage VFW Post is having big problems.

I found an article from the Anchorage Daily News about what is going on up there.

My first reaction after reading the article, honestly, I thought, "The Alcoholic Beverage Control Board is really pretty chicken-shit!"

And besides the ABC (Alcoholic Beverage Control) folks, it sounds like the Post has a neighbor with a cruel agenda of wanting it closed down - no ifs ands or buts!

And for us who have never been to Anchorage Alaska, I've found out that Anchorage has a population of  295,570 as of 2011, covers an area of 1,961 sq miles, with an unemployment rate at around 5.2% as of December 2012.

Anchorage which is officially called the Municipality of Anchorage is a "unified home rule municipality" in the south central part of the U.S. state of Alaska.

What is a "unified home rule municipality"?

In United States local government, a consolidated city–county is a city and county that have been merged into one unified jurisdiction. As such it is simultaneously a city, which is a municipal corporation, and a county, which is an administrative division of a state. It has the powers and responsibilities of both types of entities.

Anchorage is governed by an elected mayor and 11-member assembly, with the assistance of a city manager.

These positions are supposedly non-partisan as is the case with all municipal elected offices in Alaska, and because of this no candidates officially run under the banner of any political party.

All eleven members are elected from districts known as sections. Five of the sections elect two members from designated seats, while the remaining section elects one member.

Here's the article, and ask yourself if this doesn't all sound pretty chicken-shit to you:   

Dispute over S. Anchorage VFW club goes to Assembly

Published: April 21, 2013

By ROSEMARY SHINOHARA, Anchorage Daily News

Anchorage — Neighbors of a Veterans of Foreign Wars club in a strip mall on the Old Seward Highway want to close it down, and they're hoping to enlist the support of the Anchorage Assembly on Tuesday.

Neighbors have been complaining for nearly two years that the club was too noisy to be next to a residential area, that trash from the club blows into their neighborhood, and there's sometimes vomit.

VFW Post No. 9981, in a mall south of Huffman Road, is allowed to serve alcohol to members and their guests, but is not open to the public.

As recently as March, the state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board says the VFW violated its license by serving alcohol to a non-member -- an undercover investigator from the board.

In July of 2012, the board sent the VFW a notice of violation for putting notes on the club's Facebook page indicating that the public was welcome to some club events.

"We've made a few mistakes," says Steve Hubbard, commander of VFW Post No. 9981. But, Hubbard said, all the concerns raised have already been responded to.

"Trash has not been an issue for two years," Hubbard said. "The fact is all of those issues are resolved."

HOUSES VERY CLOSE

Apart from the liquor license violations, at least some of the club's problems stem from its location. The mall is on land zoned industrial. But right behind the mall and down a small slope there's a subdivision.

Don and Katie Kessler live in a house behind the mall where the second floor overlooks the back entrance of the VFW.

They've been leading the effort to get rid of the club.

"Right now, because of all the liquor license violations, we would really like to see the place shut down," Don Kessler said.

Kessler said he didn't want to go into detail because the matter is coming up before the Assembly.

THE ASSEMBLY'S CHOICES

On Tuesday, the Assembly considers whether to protest renewal of the VFW's license.

The Assembly has two separate issues on its agenda:

• A protest. If this proposal passes, the city would protest the club's liquor license renewal with the state ABC Board, which makes licensing decisions. A public hearing is scheduled Tuesday night at which representatives of the VFW, the residents and the Old Seward Highway-Oceanview Community Council are allowed to testify.

• A deal. The city attorney's office and lawyers for the VFW on Friday signed a potential agreement that the Assembly could accept instead of moving ahead with the protest. A resolution to accomplish that is on the agenda.

Under the deal, the city says it won't protest the club's liquor license renewal as long as the VFW agrees to certain conditions, such as not playing karaoke or live music after 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, or midnight on the weekends; and collecting loose trash along the fence-line once a week.

The strip mall, on the west side of the Old Seward Highway, has been there for 30-some years, its owner told the Daily News in 2011.

The VFW moved to rented space in the mall in January of 2011. The group sold its old building, also on the Old Seward Highway, to get out of debt, Hubbard said in 2011.

THE BEST FIX?

Assembly member Jennifer Johnston, who is sponsoring the move to protest the license, said she's trying to fix the problems, not necessarily close the club.

She'd like to see it modify operating hours to accommodate the neighbors, keep the area neat and clean, and "not have karaoke at 2 in the morning."

She's taking into consideration the fact that the strip mall is on land zoned for industrial uses, she said.

"On the one hand you have a couple of houses built there with full knowledge the adjoining land was industrial," she said. "There could have been a gravel pit."

The city doesn't have direct control over the VFW's liquor license. The state does. But the city does have the ability through land use laws to set conditions on the city permit to use that space as a club that serves alcohol. That's what Johnston wants to do.

Kessler said the agreement drawn up by city lawyers and VFW lawyers gives the VFW "exactly what they already have."

"The agreement had absolutely zero input from the community," Kessler said.

Wayne Ross, whose law firm represents the VFW, said the club is contesting issues raised by the Kesslers.

"But in the interest of being good neighbors, they've agreed to the conditions.""These guys should have a place where they can relax and not still have to fight for freedom," Ross said.

-- end of article.

You can reach Rosemary Shinohara at rshinohara@adn.com or at 257-4340.

For me, I find it interesting that there isn't a Home-Owner's Association attacking the VFW - but instead a single home owner with an agenda.

Kessler appears to have a problem with Veterans.

And yes, taking what he said into account, it appears he certainly has an agenda. Remember, Don Kessler exaggerated the Post's violations when he said, "Right now, because of all the liquor license violations, we would really like to see the place shut down,"

"All the liquor license violations"? What "all" is there?

The VFW Post No. 9981 has only been at that location since 2011. The complaints about the trash were not liquor license violations but were addressed.

In July of 2012, the board sent the VFW a notice of violation for putting notes on the club's Facebook page indicating that the public was welcome to some club events.

That's right, since the VFW is considered a Private Veterans Club, it cannot say the words "public welcome."

Yes, that's right, they should have said, "members and guests welcome."

No kidding! Call the FBI! Quick, arrest someone! Teach those Veterans a lesson! The nerve of them saying "public" instead of "guests!"

That grammatical error alone should result in stiff prison terms for everyone associated with the Post.

Don't think so, ask ABC who went out of their way to send the VFW a notice of violation for "putting notes on the club's Facebook page."

How is saying the word "public" in place of the word "guests" on Facebook "a liquor violation?"

Is that "chicken-shit"? Yes, that is without a doubt the epitome of being "chicken-shit!"

As for failing to have someone sign-in to the Post's guest book?

Most all Veterans Posts stay on top of that for two reasons. First, it is the law. Non-members must sign-in.  And second, most are afraid of ABC who might want to play the game of "Gotcha!"


You see, the premise to Good Government is that government and private sector work hand in hand to accomplish a harmonious existence.
The government entity justifies their existence by helping the company stay within the rule of the law through notification and guidance called "help."

The company in return benefits and employs people who pay taxes to keep that government in the black.

The government benefits from seeing more citizens working. The companies benefit by become profitable and a success, subsequently employing more neighbors and townspeople. Everyone wins!

To bad that that's not the real world.

Today, government employees abuse power. Power is everything to those with "authority."

To those with authority, it is all about justifying their existence by demonstrating how many fines they can levy and how many businesses they can shut down.

As recently as March, the Alaska state Alcoholic Beverage Control Board says the VFW in Anchorage violated its license by serving alcohol to a "non-member" - aka "a guest".

That information came from an undercover investigator from the ABC Board who obviously saw it take place and noted someone didn't sign-in. 

But instead of advising the bartender or a Post Officer right away of what just that took place - and maybe in the process help the Post by showing them where they need to be more vigilant - instead that ABC investigator said "Gotcha!"

What is wrong with this picture is easy. People there are being "chicken-shit"!

And as for the Vets? I'd wager that they just want a place where they can find camaraderie and serve the community in a positive way. After all, that's what we do.


Story by Tom Correa


Monday, April 22, 2013

It's All About Control - by Augusta Chronicle

By Augusta Chronicle (GA)
April 22, 2013 12:24 pm

His administration has exerted unprecedented control over our health care, our businesses, our stewardship of the environment, the auto industry, the financial sector -- even student loans.

It's clearly galling the president that he can't get to first base with regard to controlling our guns.

After the Senate failed to agree to expanded gun background checks this past week, a petulant and contemptuous President Obama looked down his nose at opponents -- leaving no room for the possibility that they might have any principled reasons for opposing him.

It's not clear whether he just wants a midterm election issue with which to pummel Republicans, or if this is the attempted gun grab so many suspect him of harboring ambitions of.

Either way, Mr. President, our system of government was founded in large part on a distrust of government and its proclivity for abusing power.

The fact remains that many gun-owning Americans simply don't trust your administration, which has already shown a voracious appetite for control over our lives.

This president also has shown an uncanny disdain for the legislative process -- for the give and take it entails, for the personal relationships it requires, for the compromise needed to respect views opposed to his own. Instead, he flies his bully pulpit around the country to bitterly lament that others in Washington just won't kowtow to what he wants, when he wants it.

Many of them are fellow Democrats, by the way -- some of whom are facing re-election soon and feel compelled to do the bidding of their constituents rather than bend to the politically correct pressure in Washington.

Mr. Obama decries the pressure being put on such leaders by Second Amendment aficionados -- but the fact remains that he's been pushing pretty hard himself, using survivors of Sandy Hook as his surrogates and backdrops.

He has no room to complain about a "vocal minority" pushing its perfectly valid agenda when he's doing the same.

Regarding his agenda, the moribund economy -- Americans' No. 1 concern -- continues to be on his back burner, as always. If only he would use the weight of his office to press for policies that would free up America's pent-up economic might. Of course, those things -- smaller government, fewer regulations, lower taxes -- are anathema to his entire political pedigree.

Instead, he's put all his dwindling political capital on immigration and guns -- which, by the way, a new Gallup Poll says are the top concerns of a whopping 4 percent of Americans.

As for gun violence: The guns he and other Democrats want banned are responsible for a fraction of a fraction of gun crime in America, and any other new restrictions will only hem in the law-abiding among us.

In addition, Sen. Lindsey Graham notes that last year, nearly 80,000 people failed gun background checks -- yet fewer than 100 of them were prosecuted. Graham has joined other Republican senators in proposing a bill to beef up that prosecution, while cracking down on trafficking, straw sales and purchases by the mentally ill, and beefing up school security.

These are things most of us can agree on -- and which would have the potential to make a difference, not just make for grandiose speeches.

The question is whether the president wants to find common ground, or stay where he is and just stamp his feet.


(c)2013 The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.)
Visit The Augusta Chronicle (Augusta, Ga.) at chronicle.augusta.com


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Jackalopes - The Mysterious Jaspers

Jackalopes are extremely mysterious animals first sighted by American Cowboys in the Old West.

The Jackalope is an antlered species of rabbit, unfortunately rumored to be extinct, though occasional sightings of this rare creature continue to occur, suggesting that pockets of jackalope populations continue to persist in its native home, the American West. The lack of sightings these days make the Jackalope one of the rarest animals in the world.

Scientists believe Global Cooling, and the coming ice age as noted in the 1970s by prominent Ecologist worldwide, has further endangered these animals which some speculate are a cross between an extinct pygmy-deer and a species of killer-rabbit.

Some say the first sightings was in Douglas, Wyoming, while others say it was by Lewis and Clark in their travels. Of course there are those who say it was the cowboys on the open range moving cattle north along the Chisholm Trail who first took note of Jackalopes in the Old West. That cattle trail lead north from Texas, across Oklahoma, to Abilene, Kansas, and records show that Jackalopes were indeed sighted.

Though thought to be extremely shy unless approached, today it is known that the American Jackalope is an aggressive species which is very willing to use its antlers to fight. But really, that's not surprise to Native Americans.

Since ancient times, even before Native American tribes pushed other Native American tribes across the Mississippi River, they have called the Jackalope the "Warrior Jack."

While hares live in the open and bear young that have fur at birth, rabbits live in burrows and bear young that are naked at birth. Jackrabbits are actually hares, not rabbits. Hares are larger than rabbits, and they typically have taller hind legs and longer ears.

Photo: A black-tailed jackrabbit rests near a cactusJackrabbits were named for their ears, which initially caused some people to refer to them as "jackass rabbits."

The writer Mark Twain brought this name to fame by using it in his book of western adventure, Roughing It.

The name was later shortened to jackrabbit. There are five species of jackrabbits, all found in central and western North America.

They are speedy animals capable of reaching 40 miles an hour, and their powerful hind legs can propel them on leaps of more than ten feet. They use these leaps and a zigzag running style to evade their many predators.

Black-tailed jackrabbits are common in American deserts, scrub lands, and other open spaces, including farms. They can consume very large quantities of grasses and plants—including desert species such as sagebrush and cacti.

White-tailed jackrabbits are another common species. They frequent North America's plains and farmlands, though they also inhabit wooded areas. They are prolific eaters and can consume over a pound (0.5 kilograms) of grasses, shrubs, or bark each day. The jackrabbit's breeding prowess is well known. Females can give birth to several litters a year, each with one to six young. The young mature quickly and require little maternal care.

Booming jackrabbit populations can cause problems for farmers, especially in light of the animals' healthy appetite. Jackrabbits are often killed for crop protection, but in general their populations are stable and not in need of protection.

Jackalope researchers say that they are a hybrid of both rabbit and hare and deer, as they live in the open and bear young that are naked at birth. Their antlers appearing just after being weaned. And yes, believe it or not, there are Jackalope researchers who believe that Jackalopes possess an uncanny ability to mimic human sounds.

In fact, it is said that in the Old West when cowboys would gather around their campfires to sing at night -- it is said that Jackalopes would frequently be heard singing back mimicking the voices of the cowboys. It is believed that when chased, a Jackalope will use its vocal abilities to elude capture. For instance, when chased, it will call out phrases such as, "There he goes, over there," in order to throw pursuers off its track.

Jackalopes become especially vocal before thunderstorms, perhaps because they mate only when lightning flashes -- or so it it is theorized. And yes, that may be a reason they are so rare.

The best way to catch a Jackalope is to lure it with a flask, jigger, or bottle of whiskey, as they have a particular fondness for this drink. Once intoxicated, the animal becomes slower and easier to hunt -  although they are known to laugh a great deal and tell the same story about the sheep-herder and his flock over and over again until they're released.

Because of their drinking habits, Jackalope milk is particularly sought after. It is believed to be a powerful aphrodisiac for which reason Jackalopes are referred to as "rabbits". However, it can be incredibly dangerous to milk a Jackalope, and any attempt to do so is not advised. A peculiar feature of the milk is that it comes from the animal already homogenized on account of the creature's powerful leaps.

Map: Jackrabbit rangeWhile Jackalope are commonly sighted in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, the Cascades of Oregon and Washington, and the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming, they once roamed freely all over the American West.

The jackalope does appear to have a European cousin known as the Wolpertinger which is said to inhabit the alpine forests of Bavaria in Germany, and in Sweden there is a related species called the Skvader.

Known by the Vikings as "Deer-bunnies", it is written that Vikings arriving in the New World would extract a Jackalope's milk as it slept belly up at night. The milk is believed to be medicinal and can be used for a variety of afflictions.

Although sly and crafty, the truth is these creatures are aggressive and unpredictable - and should not be provoked for any reason. The Vikings were thought to have gotten their violent streak from drinking Jackalope milk.   

The Federal Government wants us to believe they aren't real, but that hasn't stopped the truth from coming forward. In fact, Douglas, Wyoming has declared itself to be the "Jackalope Capital of America" because according to legend the first Jackalope was spotted there around 1829. A large statue of a Jackalope stands in the town center, and every year the town plays host to Jackalope Day, usually held in June.

Jackalopes in Douglas, Wyoming, became so popular that by the late 1940’s the city had proclaimed itself as the "Jackalope Capital of the World,” promoting the self-proclaimed title in brochures and other tourism advertising.

In 1965, an eight foot concrete statue was erected in downtown Douglas and today billboards, and Jackalope images can be seen all over Douglas -- on park benches, fire trucks, motel signs, and a 13-foot-tall Jackalope cutout on a hillside. Yes, the state of Wyoming trademarked the name in 1965. Imagine that!

The city is also very good about warning visitors of the "vicious” animal’s propensity to attack, so tourists will see a number of posted warning signs throughout the town: "Watch out for the Jackalope."

Every year, Douglas hosts and annual Jackalope Day in June that hosts a Mini-Monster Truck Obstacle Course, Mud Volleyball tournaments, a Motorcycle Show and Rally, the Greased Pig Run, and numerous other events for those hoping for a peek at a "real Jackalope” - as if they're hard to find.

Each year, the Douglas Chamber of Commerce issues thousands of Jackalope hunting licenses, despite rules specifying that Jackalope hunters cannot have an IQ higher than 62 and can hunt only between midnight and 2 a.m. each June 31st. It's true, Jackalope hunting licenses can be obtained from the Douglas Chamber of Commerce, though hunting of Jackalopes is restricted to the hours of midnight to 2 a.m. on June 31st.

But, this is still not enough for the "Queen City” of Jackalope Country, which now plans to build yet another giant Jackalope. Towering over I-25, the giant fiberglass Jackalope will stand 80 feet above the plains. And yes, in 2005, Wyoming legislators declared the Jackalope as the state's "Official Mythical Creature."

The Jackalope is a North American folklore, a so-called "fearsome critter" described as a jackrabbit with antelope horns or deer antlers and sometimes a pheasant's tail and often hind legs. It is also known as "Lepus temperamentalus."

Are there horned rabbits in America? The experts say yes.

But as usual, though there are scientific reasons why Jackalopes exist, there are those who claim Jackalopes do not exist - saying that since they have never seen one how can they exist. That seems to be rather silly, I for one have never seen a million dollars but I know it exist because the government has a million dollars for this and that all the time. Just ask them.
Huichol yarn picture of a Jackalope?

It is possible that the tales of Jackalopes were inspired by sightings of an animal hybrid which occurs in many cultures, for example as the griffin and the chimera. Indeed, the term chimera has become the categorical term for such composites within the English language.

More mythological references can be found in ancient Huichol legends of the deer and the horned rabbit. As with other ancient cultures, the Huichol oral tradition has passed down tales of the sharing of horns between the two animals.

This folklore may be due to the rabbit and deer being paired up as far back as the Mesoamerican period of the Aztecs as twins, brothers, even the sun and moon.

In some parts of the Western United States, that is West of the Mississippi, it is said that Jackalope meat does not taste like chicken - but instead has a taste similar to lobster! For that reason, yes, there are those who hunt the ever wily Jackalope!

Knowing the correct method of capture, this woman hunter is seen here holding an intoxicated male Jackalope!

Proof that booze is their undoing, this hunter netted this drunk Jackalope as it was telling her a story about seeing Big Foot!

And yes, that's just the it is.
Tom Correa

Friday, April 19, 2013

RANDOM SHOTS - Obama Defeat Means America Wins, and More!


Obama Defeat Means America Wins

On Wednesday the Senate defeated a vital background check amendment seen as the linchpin to the Democrat Party's gun control bill.

This dealt a major setback to a very irate President Obama, who lashed out at opponents in remarks from the Rose Garden.

"All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington," Obama said, before going on to accuse the gun lobby of "lying" about the bill.

Imagine that for a moment. Obama calling others liars. And he, a man who has demonstrated himself Master of the Bald Face Lie!

Besides the 54-46 vote, with supporters falling six votes short of the required 60-vote threshold, the senators also voted on a string of other amendments - including a proposed ban on assault weapons and a ban on high-capacity magazines. Both which were defeated as well.

Now if anyone reading this thinks the fight is over just because we won this small victory, think again. The folks who want to take away our Constitutional rights are tireless and extremely creative.

Like the people who sit up at night thinking up different ways to tax your money, these anti-Second Amendment folks stay up at night thinking of ways to take away our rights and give absolute control to the government.

Like you, I love my country. But honestly, the federal government scares me these days.

Over taxation of American citizens just to give millions of taxpayer dollars to special interest groups like Planned Parenthood and to anti-American dictators in the Middle-East and else where.

Billions of dollars in wasteful spending on unnecessary equipment like tanks and huge arms purchases by the Department of Homeland Security, yet no funds for programs to increase our security on the border while arms and explosives are coming in to the United States.

President Obama sees our democracy are ugly and messy and shameful when the rights of the people are upheld, yet sees nothing wrong with spending the lion's share of our nations wealth in an effort to destroy America's health care system - turning it into a two tier system of those who can afford it and those who can't.

The failure of the background check proposal authored by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa., now puts the entire anti-Second Amendment legislation in question.

The proposal would have expanded background checks and over rule state regulations prohibiting background checks and privacy violations.

The amendment was an attempt to appease conservatives who are opposed to the more stringent background check plan in the existing bill.

Obama vowed to press on, saying the vote was "just round one," while decrying those he claimed "caved" to political pressure.

"The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill," Obama said. He said the claims "upset" some gun owners who in turn "intimidated" senators.

"There were no coherent arguments as to why we couldn't do this. It came down to politics," he said.

Yes, imagine, that coming from a man who has lied and politicized his key legislative accomplishment ObamaCare to get it passed.

In a statement, Democrat Sen Manchin said that while he is disappointed in the outcome of today's vote, that "this is not the end of the debate."

Opponents, which included a few Democrats, voiced concern that the proposal would infringe on Second Amendment rights by imposing a burden on those buying and selling guns.

They claimed the proposed system would not have prevented Newtown, and would not stop criminals. They also voiced concern about the possibility that the expanded system could lead to a Gun Owner Registry.

The NRA said in a statement that the amendment "would have criminalized certain private transfers of firearms between honest citizens, requiring lifelong friends, neighbors and some family members to get federal government permission to exercise a fundamental right or face prosecution."

Not surprisingly, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and other Democrats hammered Republicans for not voting in support and vowed to press forward.

"I want everyone to understand this is just the beginning, ..." said Reid - Blah! Blah! Blah!" .

Have you ever noticed that harry Reid has nothing new to say. It's always just the same old line of anti-Republican bullshit!

I can't help but wonder if Harry Reid would blame every ill of the world on Republicans if he had the chance.
And now enter the RINOs! Yes, Republicans In Name Only!

Four Republican senators voted for the amendment: Sen. John McCain of Arizona, Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois, Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, and of course that idiot Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania.

Why are they allowed to exist? Who votes for these people? Why do Republicans vote for these Bozos? Why are these people still in office?

And yes, believe it or not, five Democrats voted against it.

One of those Democrats was Reid, but before you get to thinking that he is for our Second Amendment right you have to understand that he only switched his vote to oppose it. By doing so, it allows Democrats to call up the measure again.

The Democrats who voted against the measure for non-procedural reasons were Sen. Mark Pryor of Arkansas, Sen. Mark Begich of Alaska, Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Sen. Max Baucus of Montana.

In the run-up to Wednesday's vote, Democratic leaders gave ever-changing assessments of where support stood.

Thirty-one senators voted last week to completely block debate on overall gun legislation. Since last week, enough lawmakers who voted to allow debate switched to oppose Manchin-Toomey, in turn defeating the amendment.

The Senate held eight other votes Wednesday besides the one on background checks, all of them amendments to the broad gun control measure.

They included Democratic proposals to ban assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, which are expected to lose; a Republican proposal requiring states to honor other states' permits allowing concealed weapons, which faces a close vote; and a GOP substitute for the overall gun measure.

The concealed weapons amendment, seen by advocates as protecting gun rights, was vehemently opposed by gun control groups, who say it would allow more guns into states with stricter firearms laws.

The other amendments were defeated.

"I believe very strongly that our current background check system needs strengthening and improving, particularly in areas that could keep guns out of the hands of felons and the mentally ill. At the same time, I cannot support legislation that infringes upon the constitutional right to keep and bear arms," Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., one of those opposed, said in a statement.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, echoed Heller in a statement released following the vote saying "Following the tragedy at Sandy Hook, we all wanted to find answers that would reduce crime and prevent the next senseless act of violence. Unfortunately, the Senate did not consider any proposals that would achieve these objectives."

We all know about the horrible acts last December when that sick-son-of-a-bitch killed 20 children and six adults at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school. We all hate what took place.

No one likes what happened there, or in Aurora Colorado when that other crazy bastard decided to reenact something he saw in a movie. But folks, like it or not, attacking our Constitutional rights is not the way to address these sorts of problems.

Why are we being re-active instead of pro-active? Why haven't we established better security in our schools, not only to deter violence but also to deter drugs? 

And really, more importantly, why aren't we teaching our children basic morality? Why aren't we teaching kids that there is a difference between doing what is right and wrong? Why aren't we teaching what are noble acts versus those that are wrong and are in fact criminal?

And yes, why aren't we teaching kids that the violence that they see in movies and videos is not to be glorified and recreated? 

We should be doing something other than just trying to pass more laws!

SECOND SHOT!

Obama Snubs Thatcher Funeral

President Barack Obama’s decision not to attend the funeral of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher Wednesday was blasted by a former Reagan administration official and Fox News analyst who called it shameful, “cheap, small and petty.”

Writing on Fox News.com, Fox National Security Analyst Kathleen Troia "K.T." McFarland said the administration’s official excuse that the president and vice president were consumed with a busy week — which included the Boston Marathon bombing tragedy — rang hollow.

It does — after all — take a mere 24 hours to fly to London and back for a state funeral, she noted.

“It is standard operating procedure for the Vice President or First Lady or, at a minimum the Secretary of State, to attend funerals of foreign leaders, even those from lesser nations,” McFarland wrote. “Shame on you, Mr. President. You and your administration look cheap, small and petty.

“It goes without saying that when one of the longest serving leaders of America's closest and most enduring ally dies, the United States should send a large and distinguished delegation of America's leaders, past and present,” added McFarland, who is a Distinguished Adviser to the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies and served in national security posts in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations.

She wasn't the only one criticizing the president for his handling of the funeral. Obama was slammed in the British tabloids, as well.

They reported that the government of Prime Minister David Cameron was incensed, especially since former Labor Prime Minister Tony Blair was sitting in the front row of the service.

“[Downing] Street is most angered by rejections from Obama, First Lady Michelle and Vice-President Joe Biden. And none of the four surviving ex-U.S. leaders — Jimmy Carter, George Bush Sr, Bill Clinton and George Bush Jr — is coming either,” The Sun reported, according to Politico.

The Sun continued: “The response contrasts with glowing U.S. tributes on the day Lady Thatcher died. A No 10 source said last night: ‘We are a little surprised by the White House’s reaction as we were expecting a high-profile attendance.’ The 'snub' came ahead of the Boston marathon “bomb outrage.”

The liberal Guardian in Britain dubbed it a “distinctly low-key official representation.”

“The U.S. is to send distinctly low-key official representation. . . . While Barack Obama was invited, he has opted to send a presidential delegation comprising no serving politicians,” according to The Guardian report.

McFarland blamed the decision on ideology.

"Could it be that Margaret Thatcher was a Tory? That she battled British Trade Unionists and won? That she worked hand-in-hand with Ronald Reagan, the incarnation of evil for many left-wing Democrats?

"It used to be American politics stopped at the water's edge, and that American president honored foreign leaders, regardless of their political persuasions or party,” she wrote, pointing out that former secretaries of state Henry Kissinger, George Shultz, and James Baker attended the funeral.

Between the three of them, they opened relations with China and brought down the Iron Curtain with Thatcher.

But Obama somehow didn’t think that legacy was worth honoring, McFarland added.

“But while they were giants in their day, they are not part of your team,” McFarland wrote. “The snub to the British was palpable – only yesterday’s men could be spared.

“And frankly, Mr. President, this makes you look foolish as well.”

K.T. McFarland has never been so right!

For the Obama administration to not even send some sort of official representative is pretty sorry, but not surprising. Obama represents himself, not America.

Obama could have sent someone to a state funeral in England, a state funeral for the only women Prime Minister in Great Britian's history, a funeral of a strong ally. Yes, he could have but didn't.

The real reason he didn't is because Obama doesn't have the class that one needs to understand a some fact of life: It shows you're a bigger person when you can find it in yourself to tip your hat to someone they you might have disagreed with.

Obama didn't send an official representative because he is a small man. And now, even the British know it.

THIRD SHOT!

Florida college instructor fired after handing out voter pledge cards with image of Obama

An associate professor at Florida’s Brevard Community College has been fired after school officials say she handed out pledge cards to students urging them to vote for President Barack Obama last year.

The school’s board of trustees terminated Sharon Sweet on Wednesday after a three-month investigation, but she plans on fighting the decision, FloridaToday.com reports.

The college determined that Sweet violated a code of conduct that prohibits employees from seeking support for political candidates, FloridaToday.com reports.

Sweet, a registered Democrat, says she was participating in non-partisan voter registration on campus and didn’t see the parts of the pledge cards with Obama’s image.

The pledge cards, handed to her math students last November, had a picture of Obama on the top and a red flag with the phrase “Pledge to vote!”

FOURTH SHOT!

Freedom Group Gun Maker Attracting Interest From Weapons Companies

Immediately after the December tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, Freedom Group’s owner, private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, decided to sell the company.

Now a number of weapons firms are interested in purchasing Freedom Group, the gun maker that manufactured a rifle used in last year’s shooting massacre.

It is not clear whether any of the potential buyers will bid on Freedom Group when it goes to auction; Cerberus Capital reportedly hopes to complete a sale this summer and wants to get around $1 billion for the company.

Among those expressing interest in Freedom Group are Smith & Wesson Holding and Sturm, Ruger, both of whom have requested detailed information on the gun manufacturer, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Alliant Techsystems, an aerospace and defense company that makes ammunition and firearms accessories, has also indicated an interest, the newspaper reported.

FIFTH SHOT!

Pennsylvania Abortion Clinic Worker: I Saw 10 Babies Breathe

While Democrat politicians use the killings of children in Newtown, Connecticut, to advance their political agenda, there is not a word from them on the Abortion Clinic's killings of babies after they were born there.

Capitol Hill lawmakers are trying to draw attention to the trial of Pennsylvania abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell, accused of snipping the spines of infants, keeping baby body parts in jars, and overdosing patients.

“The case of Kermit Gosnell is gruesome, the place that he ran was a gruesome factory and disturbing, but only because it strips away the clinical nature of most abortions,” Republican Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania said on the House floor.

“His carelessness exposed what the fetus actually was, a human that he cruelly murdered, and yet the press will ignore it — will remain silent — about what is actually happening in this very important trial in Philadelphia,” Pitts said.

Gosnell is on trial for the drug-overdose death of a 41-year-old patient and the deaths of seven babies born alive at his West Philadelphia clinic.

A parade of pro-life congressmen went to the floor of the House last week to denounce the lack of media coverage of the trial.

Republican Reps. Chris Smith of New Jersey, Louis Gohmert of Texas, Scott Garrett of New Jersey, and Scott Perry of Pennsylvania were among those joining Pitts, decrying the lack of attention being given to the trial, The Hill reported.

Gohmert read an article on the House floor about Gosnell’s trial, but substituted the word “puppies” for “babies,” saying the media certainly would have paid attention if the story was about animal cruelty, The Hill noted.

Gosnell’s capital murder trial began last month, with graphic testimony from former employees who claim Gosnell regularly “snipped the spinal cords of babies” and performed abortions well past the state’s 24-week legal limit.

A grand jury report called Gosnell’s business a “filthy fraud in which he overdosed his patients with dangerous drugs, spread venereal disease among them with infected instruments, perforated their wombs and bowels — and, on at least two occasions, caused their deaths.”

With pro-life members of Congress, grass-roots activists, and social media turning up the heat, the story began to get more media attention last week.

“Until last week almost all media was silent about the trial,” Anna Higgins, director for the Family Research Council’s Center for Human Dignity, told Newsmax. “We’ll see how much they cover between what they say they’re going to do, and what they actually do.”

Critics argue that politics has interfered with the national media covering the trial of Gosnell, whose clinic in Philadelphia was first raided in 2010.

“The deafening silence of too much of the media, once a force for justice in America, is a disgrace,” USA Today columnist Kirsten Powers recently wrote.

“You don't have to oppose abortion rights to find late-term abortion abhorrent or to find the Gosnell trial eminently newsworthy. This is not about being ‘pro-choice’ or ‘pro-life.’ It’s about basic human rights.”

“Let me state the obvious,” Powers said. “This should be front page news.”

Well, now a former abortion clinic worker has testified at the the murder trial of her former boss with testimony that she saw first hand more than 10 babies breathe before they were killed.

Kareema Cross is the final prosecution witness against Dr. Kermit Gosnell. She says she saw the babies' chests move but was told by Gosnell they were not breathing.

She also says she saw three babies move their arms and legs and heard a fourth give a soft whine.

Cross says she was so upset by clinic procedures that she took photos and called authorities.

A 2011 grand jury report lambastes state and city officials for failing to inspect the busy Philadelphia clinic.

The defense denies that babies were born alive, and Cross is sure to face strenuous questioning Thursday from defense lawyer Jack McMahon.

And no, none of this is fit to talk about in the liberal mainstream media because it does not fit their agenda of making abortions a morally OK taxpayer problem.  

SIXTH SHOT!

Utah residents sue to reclaim property rights from prairie dogs

This pair of prairie dogs peering out of their hole might not be a problem, but the Federal government is.

And yes, as we talk about government over-regulation and the making of America into a nation of felons, this is a great example of the federal government sticking their nose where it doesn't belong.

Attorneys representing property owners in Cedar City, Utah filed a lawsuit Thursday arguing that the Federal government has overstepped its Constitutional bounds by preventing residents from defending their property against a massive prairie dog infestation.

“The federal government doesn’t have the authority to regulate a local issue like the Utah prairie dog under the commerce clause or any other power,” Pacific Legal Foundation attorney Jonathan Wood, who is representing Cedar City residents free of charge, told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “The government simply overreached.”

The lawsuit takes aim at a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service rule that prevents landowners from taking action against prairie dogs that infest their property.

The government applied anti-“taking” rules under the Endangered Species Act to the Utah prairie dog, meaning landowners can be fined or even imprisoned if they try to deal with the animals without first asking the government for permission.

Imagine that! "Hey Big Brother! I want to remove a prairie dog from my own property, can you grant me permission Sire?" I don't think so.

“Before the rule was adopted it was possible for all private property to get permission to remove the prairie dog,” Wood said. “The new regulation changed the rules so they promote a lot of private property impossible to do anything. If prairie dogs are there, you basically have to accept it and basically abandon your property.”

“It’s impossible to actually cure the problem if your land has become burdened with the prairie dog,” he added.

PLF argues that the Federal government has overstepped its authority under the commerce clause, which allows the federal government to regulate activities that affect the national economy.

Prairie dogs affect the National Economy? How can the Feds justify that? Simple, they can't.

Fact is, the Utah prairie dog is only located in one state and not involved in any commercial activity.

“So the argument that this has to be regulated under the commerce clause is a little silly,” said Wood.

“The theory of our case is that the federal government’s role is only to protect the animal when its on public property, but this regulation regulates private property and that’s beyond the federal government’s power.”

People for the Ethical Treatment of Property Owners is a coalition of Cedar City residents who have been affected by the federal restrictions on dealing with prairie dog infestations.

The Utah prairie dog is one of five prairie dog species in North America, and is found only in Utah. The animal digs burrows and networks of tunnels which can damage people’s properties.

According to the FWS, and no I don't know who paid those folks to count them, there are estimated to be more than 40,000 Utah prairie dogs.

And yes, the animal is listed as “threatened’ under the Endangered Species Act. Not endangered, but threatened.

The prairie dogs have done extensive damage to Cedar City - including digging mounds and creating runway hazards at the regional airport, digging tunnels among graves and destroying flowers at the Cedar City cemetery.

This all reminds me of something that Great Britain's Prime Minister Winston Churchill once said, "If you have ten thousand regulations, you destroy all respect for the law."

And yes, that's what's happening in the United States today. It's getting silly.


Story by Tom Correa