Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

"Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready." - Theodore Roosevelt, 1903

Friday, May 31, 2013

The IRS Wants To Know What's In Your Prayers

Beings that I have been brought up Catholic, I was thought to pray using the Lord's Prayer, also known as the Our Father, the Hail Mary, and the Rosary.

Since those days of my youth, God and I have become a bit more personal. These days, I don't always hold to an Our Father, or a Hail Mary. I'm more comfortable talking to Christ my savior one on one.

Today when I pray, I talk to God about all sorts of things. I ask for God to help me with my problems, find answers when trying to help others, and even make sense of the world that we now live in.

I've asked God for forgiveness because I'm unable to forgive those who are attacking American traditions and cultural ways. I've asked for help in understanding Liberal Leftists and Communists in America.

I don't understand how they've become so powerful and in control of so much in our society. From setting up our schools as indoctrination camps to steering government today, their socialist doctrine is spreading like a plague.

I don't like people who need to control others. I don't understand how they can be so dependant on others and have others do for them instead of doing for themselves. Yes, I don't understand the Democrat Slave Owner mentality.

I've prayed when friends and family have been ill or have needed guidance.  I've even been known to say a small prayer or two asking the angels and saints to look out for relatives and loved ones.

My niece's daughter had surgery and I prayed hard then, just as I did when my brother underwent heart surgery.

I remember praying when my first marriage was in trouble and my ex-wife was cold and indifferent. I remember praying when my horse Murphy took ill with colic and I wanted him to get well - which he didn't.

I've talk to God about my grandfather and my dad who have both passed on, my mom who is getting up there in age, and my brothers and sisters.

I've asked God to give me strength during tough times, and I've prayed for God to help those in Oklahoma who need all sorts of help right now.

I've prayed for our troops overseas, for those wounded, and for those who have fallen. I remember praying for those who lost their lives in 9/11, and for President George W. Bush because his burden was great.

Looking back on my life, I'd say that I've done my share of praying over the many years. Maybe not as much as I should have, and maybe only when I needed help, but all in all I can say without hesitation that I have prayed with all my heart and soul at times.

That's the point, prayers come from our hearts. To my way of thinking, I believe that there is nothing more personal to anyone alive than the content of their prayers.

What's in our prayers goes to who we are. It is purely ours, and definitely not something to be governed by an out of control intrusive government.

What am I talking about?

Well friends, I never thought that I'd see the day when an part of the U.S. Government, our government, would want to know the content of our prayers. But yes, that day is here.

And yes, though that sounds so absolutely ludicrous, its true. As scary as that is, it has actually taken place in America today.

On May 17th, 2013, the IRS reportedly grilled a pro-Life group about the "content of their prayers."

Believe it or not, questioning during a House Ways and Means Committee hearing revealed that the Internal Revenue Service actually asked a Pro-Life group applying for a 501(c)(3) "to detail the content of their prayers."

As absolutely insane and completely intrusive as that sounds, that is what was reported by the Washington Examiner.

During his questioning of outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller, Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill., made reference to a report by the Thomas More Society - a national public interest law firm for religious liberty - which details the possible targeting of the Coalition for Life of Iowa.

Rep. Schock asked the question, "Please detail the content of the members of your organization's prayers, had been asked by the IRS to the Pro-Life group. Would that be an inappropriate question to a 501(c)(3) applicant?"

Rep. Schock asked, would it be appropriate to question "the content of one’s prayers?"

Outgoing IRS commissioner Steven Miller's answer was inconclusive, "It pains me to say I can't speak to that one either."

Imagine that! He can't "speak to that". And this. this from a head of the government agency who will be responsible for administering the largest social program in history - ObamaCare.

Besides the concern that the IRS is out of control politically, we should be asking how much lower can pro-Obama Liberals go when prosecuting Conservatives? They have no shame. No shame at all!

It seems that there is no limit to the extent in which Liberals will stoop to attack Conservatives - including wanting to know what's in your prayers.

And just for the record, if the IRS needs to know what's the content of my prayers? Well, they can take what I wrote in the first half of this post - then they can shove it!

After all, though this administration thinks they own us, they do not own what is in my prayers.


Story by Tom Correa

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Gadsden Flag - Don't Tread On Me



There was a story in the news recently about a City Council who has ordered one of America's Historic Flags, one of our Nation's original banners used during the American Revolution, the Gadsden Flag, to be removed from a building. 

Their reasoning? Well, they said it is "a symbol of the Tea Party" - and subsequently they ordered it removed from a military armory in New Rochelle, New York. 

Isn't it amazing how many people don't know American History? So allow me to help. Yes, the Gadsden Flag was used during The Revolutionary War, aka the American War of Independence 

In 1775, General George Washington stopped in New Rochelle on his way to assume command of the Army of the United Colonies in Massachusetts. The British Army briefly occupied sections of New Rochelle and Larchmont in 1776. 

Following British victory in the Battle of White Plains, New Rochelle became part of a "Neutral Ground" for General Washington to regroup his troops.

So yes, as incredible as it sounds, a city back East which has roots in the American Revolution has ordered that one of America's Historic Flags which was actually used during the American Revolution, the Gadsden Flag, be removed from one of their buildings. 

Thankfully soon after that took place, a veterans group in New York started actions to take the City of New Rochelle to court over the issue of having ordered the Gadsden Flag be removed. 

What took place? 

Well, the city of New Rochelle, N.Y., removed the Gadsden “Don’t Tread on Me” flag from the New Rochelle Armory after the City Council refused to let a Veterans Organization display the flag.

The United Veterans Memorial and Patriotic Association of New Rochelle is now fighting the decision, ordered by City Manager Chuck Strome after complaints that the flag is "a symbol of the Tea Party movement."

Chuck Strome changed his mind after Peter Parente, president of United Veterans Memorial, sent Mr Strome the history of the Gadsden Flag, which is flown beneath the U.S. flag on many military sites. But even though Strome was educated on the subject and subsequently changed his mind, the New Rochelle City Council overruled Strome and voted 5-2 to have the flag removed. Imagine that!

One can only wonder if the City Council was informed of the history behind the Gadsden Flag or not? If so, then they obviously don't give a shit what its historic significance truly is - or how it should be shown respect.

According to the Washington Examiner, the New Rochelle City Council objected to the flag because they said Parente is a member of the Tea Party and wants to display the flag to push a "political agenda." They assume such.

Now what was that which we were all told about the word assume? Oh yes, the City Council "assumes" that since Peter Parente said no one in the veterans group is a Tea Party member, it must be true.

"I'm a proud Republican," he told the city council, according to the Examiner.

Now, the veterans group has found an ally in the Thomas More Law Center and are ready to go to court. "Their outrageous decision to confiscate a cherished symbol of our War for Independence smacks of pure partisan politics," said Richard Thompson, chief counsel of the Thomas More Law Center.

"Many Americans fought and died for our independence under that flag, and the law center will take available means to return the Gadsden flag back on the veterans’ flag pole. As one Revolutionary War hero said, 'we have just begun to fight,'" he added.

The Gadsden Flag

The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a snake coiled and ready to strike. Positioned below the snake are the words "Don't tread on me".

The flag was designed by and is named after American General and statesman Christopher Gadsden. It was also used by the Continental Marines as an early motto flag.

Snake Symbolism 

The timber rattlesnake and eastern diamondback rattlesnake both populate the geographical areas of the original thirteen colonies. Their use as a symbol of the American colonies can be traced back to the publications of Benjamin Franklin. 

Benjamin Franklin is famous for his wit and effective sense of humor. In 1751, he wrote a satirical commentary in his Pennsylvania Gazette suggesting that as a way to thank the British for their policy of sending convicted felons to America, American colonists should send rattlesnakes to England. Three years later, in 1754, he used a snake to illustrate another point. This time not so humorous.

Franklin sketched, carved, and published the first known political cartoon in an American newspaper. It was the image of a snake cut into eight sections. 

The sections represented the individual colonies and the curves of the snake suggested the coastline. New England was combined into one section as the head of the snake. South Carolina was at the tail, following their order along the coast. Beneath the snake were the ominous words "Join, or Die."

This was the first political cartoon published in an American newspaper. 


This had nothing to do with independence from Britain. It was a plea for unity in defending the colonies during the French and Indian War. It played off a common superstition of the time: A snake that had been cut into pieces could come back to life if you joined the sections together before sunset.

When American colonies came to identify more with their own community and liberty than as subjects of the British empire, icons such as Franklin's snake that were unique to America became increasingly popular.

The rattlesnake, like the bald eagle and American Indian, came to symbolize American ideals and society. As the American Revolution grew, the snake began to see more use as a symbol of the colonies.

In 1774, Paul Revere added it to the title of his paper, the Massachusetts Spy, as a snake joined to fight a British dragon.

In December 1775, Benjamin Franklin published an essay in the Pennsylvania Journal under the pseudonym American Guesser in which he suggested that the rattlesnake was a good symbol for the American spirit:

I recollected that her eye excelled in brightness, that of any other animal, and that she has no eye-lids — She may therefore be esteemed an emblem of vigilance. — She never begins an attack, nor, when once engaged, ever surrenders: She is therefore an emblem of magnanimity and true courage. — As if anxious to prevent all pretensions of quarreling with her, the weapons with which nature has furnished her, she conceals in the roof of her mouth, so that, to those who are unacquainted with her, she appears to be a most defenseless animal; and even when those weapons are shewn and extended for her defense, they appear weak and contemptible; but their wounds however small, are decisive and fatal: — Conscious of this, she never wounds till she has generously given notice, even to her enemy, and cautioned him against the danger of stepping on her. — Was I wrong, Sir, in thinking this a strong picture of the temper and conduct of America? -- Benjamin Franklin

Gadsden's flag

In the fall of 1775, the United States Navy was established by Commander in Chief of all Continental Forces, General George Washington, before Esek Hopkins was named Commodore of the Navy, with seven ships.

Often called "Washington Cruisers", that flew the simple triangle shaped green tree with a trunk, the "Liberty Tree Flag" with the motto "Appeal to Heaven" according to the 20 October 1775 letter of Washington's aide Colonel Joseph Reed, that is in the Library of Congress.


Throughout the early Revolutionary War period there were several of these "Liberty Tree" flags used by the colonists.

In the book, Our Flag, the author writes:

The old liberty tree in Boston was the largest of a grove of beautiful elms that stood in Hanover square at the corner of Orange . . . and Essex streets . . . It received the name of liberty tree, from the association called the Sons of Liberty holding their meetings under it during the summer of 1765. The ground under it was called Liberty Hall. A pole fastened to its trunk rose far above its branching top, and when a red flag was thrown to the breeze the signal was understood by the people. Here the Sons of Liberty held many notable meetings, and pacards and banners were often suspended from the limbs or affixed to the tree.

Meetings were held at this tree and following the repeal of the Stamp Act and the Boston Tea Party, the British cut down the tree. And yes, that's when it became a symbol for the American colonists.

Our Navy and Marine Corps and the Gadsden Flag

In the fall of 1775, the British were occupying Boston and the young Continental Army was holed up in Cambridge, woefully short on arms and ammunition.

At the Battle of Bunker Hill, Washington's troops had been so low on gunpowder that they were ordered "not to fire until you see the whites of their eyes."

In October, a merchant ship called The Black Prince returned to Philadelphia from a voyage to England.

On board were private letters to the Second Continental Congress that informed them that the British government was sending two ships to America loaded with arms and gunpowder for the British troops.

Congress decided that General Washington needed those arms more than General Howe, so a plan was hatched to capture the British cargo ships.

They authorized the creation of a Continental Navy, starting with four ships. The frigate that carried the information from England, the Black Prince, was one of the four. It was purchased, converted to a man-of-war, and renamed the Alfred.

To accompany the Navy on their first mission, Congress also authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines. 

Those first ships were used to intercept incoming British ships carrying war supplies to the British troops in the colonies to both deprive the supplies to the British and to supply to the Continental Army.

One ship captured by Captain John Manley had 30,000 pairs of shoes on it, but the admiralty agent demanded his 2 1/2 per cent commission before he would release the cargo for Washington's army, so many soldiers marched barefoot in the snow.

Remember, to aid in this, the Second Continental Congress authorized the mustering of five companies of Marines to accompany the Navy on their first mission.

By 1775, the snake symbol wasn't just being printed in newspapers. It was appearing all over the colonies, on uniform buttons, on paper money, and of course, on banners and flags.

The snake symbol morphed quite a bit during its rapid, widespread adoption. It was no longer cut up into pieces. It was usually shown as an American timber rattlesnake, not just some generic serpent.

The first Continental Marines enlisted in the city of Philadelphia, and they carried drums painted yellow, depicting a coiled rattlesnake with thirteen rattles, and the motto "Don't Tread On Me." Yes, our Marines have the honor of being the first to have a recorded mention of the future Gadsden flag's symbolism.

At the Congress, Continental Colonel Christopher Gadsden represented his home state of South Carolina. He was one of seven members of the Marine Committee who were outfitting the first naval mission.

Before the departure of that first mission in December 1775, the newly appointed commander-in-chief of the Navy, Commodore Esek Hopkins, received the yellow rattlesnake flag from Gadsden to serve as the distinctive personal standard of his flagship.

It was displayed at the mainmast. Gadsden also presented a copy of this flag to the Congress of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina.

This was recorded in the South Carolina congressional journals on February 9, 1776:

Col. Gadsden presented to the Congress an elegant standard, such as is to be used by the commander in chief of the American Navy; being a yellow field, with a lively representation of a rattlesnake in the middle in the attitude of going to strike and these words underneath, "Don't tread on me."

The Navy later adapted the snake emblem and "Don’t Tread on Me" motto into what is now known as the First Navy Jack. It features a rattlesnake stretched across 13 red and white stripes with "Don’t Tread on Me" below.

It is interesting to note that in 2002, the Secretary of the Navy under President George W. Bush ordered this powerful American symbol will fly on all naval ships for the duration of the War on Terrorism.

President Obama has ordered the Department of the Navy to stop flying this historic flag because they relate its use to the Tea Party who uses many items that the Obama Administration doesn't like to look at -- such as the Constitution of the United States.




About the same time Gadsden presented the Congress of South Carolina with his yellow flag another variation of the snake theme was gaining in popularity.

The Culpeper flag, the white banner carried by the Minutemen of Culpeper County, Virginia, is essentially the Gadsden flag with several additions.

A ribbon with the words “The Culpeper Minute Men” was added along with the words “Liberty or Death” in honor of the man who organized the Virginia militia, Patrick Henry.

The bright yellow Gadsden flag, which has long been a symbol of support for civil liberties, has its beginning deeply rooted in the days of the American Revolution. Yes, it is a part of our Revolution to be free, our history, and those who fought to make us free.

The rattlesnake, the Gadsden flag’s central feature, had been an emblem of Americans before and during the American Revolution. The Gadsden Flag stands for personal freedoms and liberties.

It's message, "Don't Tread On Me" is a message to anyone that tries to take them away.

And just for the record, if someone wanted to fly a real rebel flag, all they have to do is fly this one ...


Called the Grand Union Flag, or the Continental Union Flag, it is believed to be the first U.S. flag. The British saw it as a rebel flag, subsequently it is America's Original Rebel Flag!

Tom Correa

Sunday, May 26, 2013

American Indian Facts & Trivia - Part One

I've had readers write to ask about American Indian, or Native American, facts and trivia. So friends, here's an assortment for your enjoyment.

There are millions of people with Indian ancestry, but that does not make them American Indians in the eyes of the federal government.

The federal government considers someone an American Indian if he or she belongs to a federally recognized tribe.

That's right, individual tribes have the exclusive right to determine their own membership. Tribal governments formally list their members, who must meet specific criteria for enrollment.

Some tribes require a person trace half of his or her lineage to the tribe,while others only require proof of descent.

Indigenous people in the United State were first referred to as Indians because Columbus believed he had reached East Indies when he touched the shores of North America.

Today, many people prefer to call themselves American Indians to avoid stereotypes associated with “Indian.”

In 1998, there were 554 federally recognized tribes in the United States, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs. This includes 226 villages in Alaska.

The Iroquois were a group of tribes referred to as the Iroquois Confederacy consisting of the Mohawk, Seneca, Oneida, Onondaga and Cayuga tribes which were formed between 1450 and 1600. These five Indian nations were later joined by the Tuscarora tribe.

 Iroquois routinely slowly tortured to death and cannibalized captured enemy warriors.

According to the 2010 Census, 5.2 million people in the United States are identified as American Indian and Alaska Native, either alone or in combination with one or more other races, comprising 1.7% percent of the total population.

This is up from the 2.3 million number, according to U.S. Census estimates for 1997. They represent
only roughly one percent of the population.

Before Europeans arrived in North American, Native Americans may have numbered as many as 10 million.

By the time colonists began keeping records, the population was substantially less, ravaged by war, famine,
forced labor, and disease. Also, there are many different tribal populations in Canada as well as the United States.

It is estimated that about 200 languages are spoken by American Indians today.

In the 2010 Census, 41% of the American Indian and Alaska Natives lived in the Western United States.

In the 2010 Census, of the American Indian and Alaska Natives, the largest tribe was the Cherokee, with a population of 819,000; followed by the Navajo, Choctaw, Mexican American Indian, Chippewa,Sioux, Apache, and Blackfoot.

Even though the vast majority of Native American live in the West today, the city with the largest American Indian population is New York City. This is followed by Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona, Anchorage, Alaska, and Albuquerque, New Mexico.

There were an estimated 18-20 million Native Americans living in the United States when Europeans first arrived.

Many historians believe that the United States Constitution was partially modeled after the Great Law of Peace, the constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy. In 1988, the United States Congress passed a resolution to recognize the influence of the Iroquois League upon the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The oldest evidence of cotton cloth has been unearthed by archaeologists from caves in Mexico which date back as far as 8,000 years ago. Remains of cotton cloth and cotton bolls were found, making Native Americans the makers of the oldest cotton found to date.

Have you ever wondered why it called a reservation? The term originates from the federal government’s act of reserving land for federal purposes.

In the United States, there are two kinds of reservations: Indian and military.

Indian reservations are areas of land reserved by the federal government as permanent tribal homelands. Today, there are 314 Indian reservations.

So how much land belongs to American Indians today? Well, they have about 56 million acres in reservations and trust land.

The Navajo Reservation is the largest, numbering 16 million acres and occupying parts of Arizona, Utah, and New Mexico.

Many smaller reservations are less than 1000 acres. More than 50 percent of all American Indians live away from reservations according to Census reports.

What is trust land? Land held by the United States for the useand benefit of American Indian tribes.

Virtually all trust land is located in or near reservations. Tribes also have the ability to purchase land and to petition the federal government to hold it in trust, protecting the land from encroachment and seizure.

During the days of the Old West, the Cheyenne, Apache, Navajo, Comanche, Sioux and Blackfoot were some of the major Indian nations. All lived in the area known as the Great Plains of North America, a vast area that stretches from the Mississippi River to the west of the continent.

The Cherokee, like many other tribes, traced their family relations matrilineally (through the mother.) As a result, there were many women who held leadership roles.

Women of great influence became known as "Ghigau," meaning Beloved Woman, the highest role to which a Cherokee woman could aspire. The name also translates into War Woman and was often awarded to courageous women warriors.

Viking explorers met Native Americans long before Christopher Columbus did. First making their way to North America in the 11th century, archaeological evidence suggests they encountered Native American some 500 years before Columbus arrived.

Countless Indian words have become a part of the English language. Just a few of these include: barbecue, cannibal, caribou, chipmunk, chocolate, cougar, hammock, hurricane, mahogany, moose, opossum, potato, skunk, squash, toboggan and woodchuck.

The 1894 Census Bureau estimated more than 40 "official" Indian Wars in the United States that cost the lives of some 20,000 white men, women and children and the lives of about 30,000 Indians.

In addition to the official Indian Wars, there were hundreds of skirmishes between the settlers and the Native Americans that resulted when pioneers pushed westward, encroaching upon traditional Indian lands.

But don't forget that Indian Tribes have been fighting and slaughtering each other for hundreds of years before the Europeans ever got here.

In fact, enemies of the Iroquois tribe included the the Algonquins, Montagnais, Hurons, Ojibway (aka Chippewa) and the Mohicans.

At Crow Creek in South Dakota, archaeologists found a mass grave containing the remains of more than 500 men, women, and children who had been slaughtered, scalped, and mutilated during an attack on their village a century and a half before Columbus's arrival (ca. 1325 AD).

The Crow Creek massacre seems to have occurred just when the village's fortifications were being rebuilt. All the houses were burned, and most of the inhabitants were murdered.

This death toll represented more than 60% of the village's population, estimated from the number of houses to have been about 800.

The survivors appear to have been primarily young women, as their skeletons are underrepresented among the bones; if so, they were probably taken away as captives.

Certainly, the site was deserted for some time after the attack because the bodies evidently remained exposed to scavenging animals for a few weeks before burial.

In other words, this whole village was annihilated in a single attack and never reoccupied.

The Tiguex War was was fought in the winter of 1540-41 by the army of Francisco Vasquez de Coronado against the 12 pueblos of Tiwa Indians along both sides of the Rio Grande River in New Mexico. It was the first Indian War between Europeans and Native Americans in the American West.

The Navajo Nation has the largest American Indian population of all of the Native American reservations.

The first kidnapping in America took place when Italian explorers kidnapped an Indian child to bring to France in July, 1524.

Scalping is the taking the scalp of an enemy. Most anthropologists believe that scalping was a native practice that aboriginal North Americans did not borrow from Europeans.

To some, the scalp was not merely a trophy; it bestowed the possessor with the powers of the scalped enemy.

In scalping, a circular cut was made around the crown of the head and the skin raised at one side and torn off.

The scalping of a living person was not always fatal. In their early wars with Native Americans, colonists of North America retaliated by taking scalps and heads themselves. Bounties were offered for them, which led to an escalation of inter-tribal warfare and scalping.

Native peoples introduced tobacco and the pipe to white explorers. Native Americans had been smoking
tobacco for a thousand years or more by the time Columbus returned to Spain with some leaves, and its use spread across Europe.

Tobacco has been regarded as a most sacred plant, used in American Indian religion, medicine, and diplomacy. Smoking at gatherings was a symbol of hospitality. Sharing a pipe sealed treaties, and sprinkling
leaves ensured a good harvest. Ritualistic use of tobacco continues today.

Centuries ago, Native Americans developed a process in which dried cactus-eating insects could be turned into red dye called cochineal. This Indian dye became one of the most important exports from the New World in the late 16th century.

This red dye was highly valued by the European cloth industry for hundreds of years and was used to dye the red British uniforms in the American Revolution.

During the fall of the Romans, the Hohokam Indians were constructing the largest irrigation canal in North America. One of the most sophisticated irrigation networks ever created using pre-industrial technology, the Hohokam created 700 miles of canals by hand between 600-1450 AD in Arizona.

According to the Federal Census of 2010, there are 565 federally-recognized Indian tribes. Additionally, there are at least 100 state recognized tribes.

The Fetterman Massacre, called the "Battle of the Hundred Slain" by the Indians, occurred in Wyoming in 1866. It was the Army's worst defeat on the Great Plains until the disaster on the Little Big Horn nearly ten years later.

The Iroquois call themselves the Hodenosaunee, which means "People of the Longhouse." Longhouses were permanent houses and homes used by hunter farmers.

These houses were built up to 200 feet long, 20 feet wide and 20 feet high. They often had 2 storeys - a raised platform created the top storey which was ideal for sleeping. 

Their longhouses were similar in design to wigwams, their frames being made with poles and covered with bark. Separate rooms were created in longhouses by using wooden screens and mats

Roach headdresses (also called porcupine roaches) were worn by the Iroquois men which was made of a stiff thin strip of animal hair that goes over the top of the head. They were held open by comb-like objects, originally carved of antler, called roachspreaders.

Roach headdresses stood straight up from the head like a tuft or crest and are closely associated with the Mohawk or Mohican tribes. Roach headdresses were made from a variety of hairs including white deer tail hair, often dyed red, moose-hair, porcupine hair and black turkey beard.

Roach headdresses were attached to a scalp-lock to look like a crest, with the rest of the head probably shaven. The name derives from its resemblance to the roaching or clipping of a horse’s mane. Sometimes feathers or shells were added as decorations

The Native Americans who lived in Oceanside California were called Luisenos, named after the King of France by the padres, who also named the Mission San Luis Rey.

Native American religions vary widely. For some, the Sun was the supreme god, others worshiped the goddess of death; others believed in an immaterial and almighty god, called Manitu.

Native Americans cultivated and developed many plants that are very important in the world today, including white and sweet potatoes, corn, beans, tobacco, chocolate, peanuts, cotton, rubber and gum. They were also the first to make popcorn.

A far greater percentage of Native Americans, per capita, serve in the United States Military today than any other race or ethnic group.

Canoeing, snowshoeing, tobogganing, lacrosse, relay races, tug-of-wars, and ball games are just a few of the games early Native Americans played and still enjoy today.

The word Toboggan comes from the Algonquian word odabaggan, which was invented by Indians in the eastern part of the United states to carry game over the snow.

Native Americans did not know the wheel and they did not have vehicles.

To transport their goods while following the bison herds, they used the travois: two sticks joined to one end and diverging to the other. Before the arrival of the horses, smaller travois were used, dragged by dogs. Once horses were acquired, larger travois were attached with harnesses.

The first federal treaty enacted with Native Americans was with the Delaware Indians in 1787.

The first U.S. Census count in 1790 included slaves and free African-Americans, but Indians were not included.

Native Americans often served as guides in the exploration of America. Many of their trails became emigrant roads, which were later followed by the railroads.

From the animals introduced by Europeans, the horse was the most significant.

During the 17th century, Spaniards introduced horses, which escaped in the now southwestern US. Native Americans quickly adapted to utilizing the horse, riding bareback, making it far easier in buffalo hunting as well as defending themselves or making attacks.

Iroquois tribes, including the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga and Seneca, fought on the British side, during the American Revolution (1775-1783).

They received nothing from England for their participation and the United States took their territory. In revenge, Americans destroyed 40 Iroquois camps and the survivors had to take refuge in Canada.

Between 1820 and 1845, tens of thousands of Choctaw Cherokee, Chickasaw, Creek and Seminole were forced from their lands under the Indian Removal Act and forced to walk to the westward to Indian Territory (Oklahoma).

During their travels, some 25% died due to tough winters, hunger, disease and exhaustion. By 1930, the territory east of the Mississippi River was virtually cleared of Indians.

In one of the Indian's last armed efforts to preserve their way of life, the Battle of the Little Bighorn was fought in Montana on June, 1876. Led by Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, he and his troops suffered a bitter defeat at the hands of theSioux and Cheyenne warriors.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn was the Indians' greatest victory and the U.S. Army's worst defeat in the long and bloody Plains Indian War.

In 1820 more than 20,000 Indians lived in virtual slavery in the California missions.

The log cabin was an adaptation of the Indian log or longhouse.

Modern youth groups such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Campfire Girls and the YMCA Indian Guides, all include programs based largely on Indian lore, arts and crafts, character building, and outdoor living.

A smallpox epidemic in 1834 reduced a Mandan Indian village from 1,600 to 130. In 1837, two thirds of the 6,000 Blackfoot died of smallpox.

Prior to the arrival of the Europeans, American Indians were remarkably free of serious diseases and rarely died from illness.

This, however, drastically changed as Europeans and colonists began to arrive, bringing with them measles, scarlet fever, typhoid, typhus, influenza, whooping cough, tuberculosis, cholera, diphtheria, chicken pox, and small pox. Epidemics over the years killed millions of people, some reaching 80-90% of the population in the hardest hit areas.

Native Americans made root beer from Sassafras which predates colas and other popular sodas.

During American Colonial times, root beer was introduced along with other beverages like Birch Beer, Sarsaparilla Beer, and Ginger Beer.

In the United States, the Navajo language is the most spoken Native American language, with over 200,000 speakers today.

President Hoover’s Vice-President, Charles Curtis, was of Kanza (Kaw) Indian descent and spent part of his early years on the Kaw Reservation at Council Grove, Kansas.

Many of the sites of old Indian villages, advantageously located on waterways and trails, would eventually become trading posts and then small villages as pioneers moved westward.

Today, some are the sites of large cities such as of Chicago, Illinois; Detroit, Michigan; St. Louis, Missouri; Kansas City, Kansas; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Pocatello, Idaho, and countless others.

There are approximately 296 spoken (or formerly spoken) indigenous languages north of Mexico. Hundreds of other have entirely ceased to exist.

Fur traders, who played an important role in exploring the west actively visited and traded with Native Americans.

Their reports, unfortunately for the Indians, were instrumental in encouraging land hungry and adventurous people to move westward.

American Indians developed and often communicated with sign language. This system of hand signals was developed to facilitate trade and communication between tribes, and later with trappers and traders.

Native Americans were some of the first developers of anesthetics, using coca, peyote, datura and other plants for partial or total loss of sensation or consciousness during surgery. Immigrant doctors who came to America were unaware of these techniques until the mid-19th century.

Before this, they performed surgery with no more anesthetic than alcohol or knocked the patient out.

The pilgrim colony of Plymouth, Massachusetts, was established with the help of the Wampanoag Indians. The Indians showed them how cultivate the land and in return, were given guns and steel tools.

In 1850, there were an estimated 20,000,000 buffalo on the plains between Montana and Texas, for which the Plains tribes depended upon. Fifteen years later, they had been almost exterminated by sports and hide hunters.

The indigenous people of the northwest consider that the first totem pole was a gift from Raven, their cultural hero. Totem poles were often used as family crests denoting the tribe's descent from an animal such as the bear, raven, wolf, salmon, or killer whale.

Native Americans were the first people to make maple syrup, in much the same way is it is made today.

The Plains Indians are the Indigenous peoples who live on the plains and hills of of North America.

The Great Plains area covers parts of the U.S. states of Colorado, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming together with the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

The Native Indians of the Great Plains were divided into 2 groups - the Plains Indians and the Prairie Indians. The Prairie Indians were static tribes of hunter farmers.

The tribes included the Iowa, Kaw, Omaha, Pawnee, Ponca, Quapaw, Santee and Wichita. Men were in charge of hunting for food and protecting the camp and the women were in charge of the home and land.

The Plains Indians were nomadic hunter gatherers.

These tribes included the Blackfoot, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche, Crow, Sioux, Cree and Plains Chippewa (Ojibwe)

For many years, scientists have thought that the first Americans came to North America from Asia 13,000 years ago by way of the Bering Strait during the last ice age.

However, archaeologists have since found traces of an even earlier people in central Texas, which are some 15,500 years old. These finds cast serious doubt on the "Bering Strait land bridge theory" as the land bridge was impassable at that time.

Native American tradition and oral stories say that they have always been here. In any event, Native Americans have occupied North America longer than anyone lived in England (12-15,000 years) or northern Europe (10,000 years).

In Nez Perce country, the landscape tells stories. Coyote battled and killed a monster leaving behind his heart which took the shape of a basalt mound.

One of the first treaties between colonists and Native Americans was signed in 1621 when the Plymouth Pilgrims enacted a peace pact with the Wampanoag Tribe, with the aid of Squanto, an English speaking Native American.

In the 1752 census, 147 "Indian" slaves -- 87 females and 60 males -- were listed as living in French households in what would later be called Illinois. These people were from different cultural groups than the local Native American population and were often captives of war.

When European colonists began to arrive in what would become the United States, the Indians collaborated with them. Jamestown, Virginia, the first British settlement in America, was built with the help of the Powhatan Indians; without which they very well might not have survived the tough winter of 1607-1608.

The first Indian reservation in North America was established by the New Jersey Colonial Assembly on August 1, 1758.

The Creek War was instigated by General Andrew Jackson who sought to end Creek resistance in ceding their lands to the US government.

The Creek Nation was defeated and at the Treaty of Fort Jackson, the Creek lost 14 million acres, or two-thirds of their tribal lands.

To count the Creek dead, whites cut off their noses, piling 557 of them. They also skinned their bodies to tan as souvenirs. This was the single largest cession of territory ever made in the southeast.

There are about 150 Native American languages in the United States and Canada.

Despite the Supreme Court's rulings in 1831 and 1832 that the Cherokee had a right to stay on their lands, President Andrew Jackson sent federal troops to forcibly remove almost 16,000 Cherokee who had refused to move westward under the unrecognized Treaty of New Echota (1835) and had remained in Georgia.

In May, 1838 American soldiers herded most into camps where they remained imprisoned throughout the summer and where at least 1,500 perished.

The remainder began an 800-mile forced march to Oklahoma that fall on what has become known as the Trail of Tears . In all some, 4,000 Cherokee died during the removal process.

In 1513 Florida, Spaniards had took a number of Natives to cultivate the land. These Indians were also forced to renounce their religion and accept Christianity.

Many Indian Nations were farming as early as 1200 BC.

The name of a famous Blackfoot leader was Crowfoot who was a friend of Chief Sitting Bull who was of the Sioux tribe. Crowfoot negotiated a peace agreement with the Canadian government.

Some Indian villages and cities housed up to 50,000 people. One example is Cahokia in Illinois.

By the time the Christopher Columbus returned to the New World for a second time, Old World diseases had killed two thirds of the Native Americans they had previously encountered.

California has the greatest population of Native Americans today at 14%, followed by Oklahoma, Arizona, Texas, and New York.

Most Indian tribes believed in the power of the dreams and visions, which have long been considered revelations made by gods. Those who wished to activate this capacity, especially shamans, would devoted themselves to magic dances, rites and ceremonies which were thought to invoke the spirits.

The Cherokee had a written language before the Europeans arrived on the continent.

In 1967, a group of "Red Power" activists occupied the island of Alcatraz in California.

During World War II, the Japanese Army could not break the secret code of the U.S. Military. The code was simply a group of Navajo volunteers speaking their Native American language on their field radios.

More than 50% of state names are based on Native American words. Twenty-seven state names have Indian meanings including Utah, named for the Ute tribe; Kentucky, which means planted field in the Iroquois language; Kansas, named for the Kanza (Kaw) tribe; and dozens more.

Blackfoot Feather War Bonnets - They also wore beaded, feathered war bonnets.

The war bonnet, with its long trailer of feathers was a symbol of honor and accomplishment among Plains tribes such as the Araphaho, Sioux, Crow, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, and Plains Cree.

War bonnets consisted of a cap or band decorated with eagle feathers, ermine fur and beadwork. There were 3 types of feathered war bonnets
  • a trailing bonnet with feathers trailing to the floor
  • a straight-up feather headdress (favored by the Blackfoot tribe)
  • a halo war bonnet in which the feathers fanned out around the face and shoulders
Cheyenne weapons included bows and arrows, clubs, longbows, spears and knives.

They also used shields made of buffalo hides. Enemies of the Cheyenne tribe included the Sioux, Comanche and Kiowa tribes. 

Like many tribes, before horses were introduced by the Europeans, the Cheyenne used dogs to pull sleds called travois.

With the advent of firearms, tribes found a technology that was far superior to simple bows and arrows. For the first time, they could hunt at a distance and defend their tribe before the attacker were right on them, or attack another from farther away.

Some say that the two greatest technological advances for American Indians came when the Europeans introduced the horse and the firearm to America. Both had tremendous effects on their culture.


Saturday, May 25, 2013

1930s Injustice - The Massie Travesty

Thalia Massie
Thalia Massie
Injustice in the justice system is nothing new, and it certainly does not only happen to one segment of the population. A prime example of injustice in the 1930s was the Massie Trial which took place in Honolulu, Hawaii, in 1932.

This gripping real-life tale of race, prejudice, money, sex, murder, and politics exposed the tensions, racial and political problems in Hawaii's territorial era.

It all started on September 12th in 1931, Thalia Massie, the 20-year-old wife of United States Navy lieutenant Thomas H. Massie, attended a party at Honolulu’s Ala Wai Inn in Waikiki, and was later beaten and assaulted with her jaw broken in two places.

Supposed over Thalia's objections, her husband immediately phoned the police, who arrived to take her statement. Initially she could not provide any details at all, stating that it was too dark to identify any of the men or to see any details of the car they emerged from.

But then several hours later, her story changed. She now not only described her assailants as "locals", but gave police a license plate number.

Before September 13th dawns, the young Navy wife will tell her story three times -- each time differently.

And yes, each time saying that she cannot identify her assailants or their car. In the coming months, Thalia Massie, the defendants, and eyewitnesses will offer contradictory testimony when describing the evening's events.

On September 13th, Honolulu police arrest five suspects in the Massie case: Horace Ida, Benny Ahakuelo, Joseph Kahahawai, Henry Chang and David Takai.

The five were accused of assaulting Thalia Massie. A police report filed at 1:35am has implicated Horace Ida on another charge. One of the four passengers in Ida's car has been in a fight with a Native Hawaiian woman, who reports Ida's car and license plate number.

When the police arrested Horace Ida. Ida was not entirely surprised at first, as only a few hours earlier he had been involved in a near collision while driving his sister's car.

Although there was no damage, an argument broke out with the other driver and one of his friends, Joe Kahahawai who some say was a well known local prizefighter, slugged the woman. Yes, the young boxer actually punched the lady.

Upon the boxer's arrival at the police station, the charges with the altercation were never brought up - instead to his dismay he found that he was being charged with rape.

At first glance, Thalia's story seemed to hold water. Thalia's license plate was off by only one digit (or letter) and her description of the men, Ida and his friends, was fairly accurate.

However, it later became known that the police taking Thalia's statement had in fact "told her" both pieces of information, apparently after hearing the name and description from the initial complaint filed by the woman driver.

This is the account of the earlier incident involving Horace Ida:

"Horace Ida, a young Japanese man, had borrowed his sister's two year old car and had attended a luau accompanied by his pals Joe Kahahawai, Benny Ahakuelo, David Takai and Henry Chang.

(Left to Right) Horace Ida, David Takai, Henry Chang, Joe Kahahawai and Ben Ahakuelo.

At about 12:30 A.M, Horace suggested they call it a night. He and his friends piled into the car and left the luau. As the car passed through an intersection in downtown Honolulu, Horace barely missed colliding with an automobile coming from the opposite direction.

There was no contact between the two cars, but both drivers stopped and everyone piled out to argue the fine points of Hawaiian motor vehicle law.

The occupants of the other car were a Mr. and Mrs. Peeples. Mrs. Peeples was voicing her opinion of Horace Ida's driving skills when Big Joe Kahahawai (all six feet and more of him) hauled off and punched her in the face.

Mrs. Peeples was equal to the challenge. She gave as good as she got. She clenched her fist, wound up, and to Big Joe's surprise, slugged him in the mouth!

The incident was about to become a small riot when cooler heads prevailed, and the Peeples drove off to the police station to report the incident. At the station, the Peeples gave Horace Ida's license plate as 58-895, and the police put out an all points bulletin for the car and its occupants.

At about the same time, the police learned of the rape in Ala Moana Park, so it was only natural that they would assume that the occupants of the Ida car were more than likely the perpetrators of the assault on Thalia Massie.

Horace Ida and his friends were eventually located through the car's license plate and were brought before Thalia at the police station.

She was unable to identify Horace Ida, who was wearing a brown leather jacket when she saw him. When asked the license number of the assailants' car, she did not remember it, but she later heard the plate number 58-895 being broadcast at the police station.

The next day, under further questioning, Thalia Massie's story began to change.

She now "remembered" that one of her assailants had been wearing a brown leather jacket and the license plate of the assailants' car was 58-805, only one digit was different from the number of Horace Ida's plate.

To the police, the case against Horace Ida and his friends began to look stronger. The five men insisted they were not part of any assault on a lone white woman walking through the darkness of John Ena Road. They explained their movements on the night at length. But the police were not persuaded. The five young men were indicted and charged with "rape and assault."

The defendants were represented by William Haehae Heen. This time the power of the Navy in Hawaii couldn't keep the story under wraps. And yes, believe it or not, in 1931, this story got national attention for all the wrong reasons.

Despite evidence pointing to the innocence of the detained men, they were assumed guilty by the national press, which ran stories about the locals who were preying on white women.

Journalism at the time was as bad as it is today, and subsequently the newspapers at the time made it sound like Hawaii has filled with local boys all trying to rape the first "white" woman they could find.

Hawaii's newspapers, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin and the Honolulu Advertiser, all but convicted the suspects in print.

On September 14th, the Honolulu Advertiser and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, report the assault without naming Thalia Massie. Instead, the newspapers describe her as a "woman of refinement and culture" and the suspects as "fiends."

The trial started on November 16th.

At the trial, Thalia Massie’s testimony was inconsistent, and was contradicted by much of the evidence. After record-length deliberations, the local jury deadlocked, setting off an outpouring of racially charged invective in both the national and local press. Hawaii, it seemed, was a place where "white women could be raped at will."

On December 6th, less than a month later, the first trial of the accused men ended in a deadlock, and a mistrial was declared. The accused men were later set free due to lack of evidence, with a deadlocked jury that had taken 97 ballots in more than 100 hours of deliberation.

The release of the accused men fueled racial tensions and violence in Honolulu, including animosity between military personnel, people from the "Mainland", and locals. With the defendants out on bail, Massie’s family took it upon itself to mete out its own brand of justice.

On December 12th, Horace Ida was forced into their car in front of a beer shop in Ida's neighborhood. They drive him to an isolated part of Nuuanu Valley and beat him with belt buckles until he pretends to be unconscious.

It's true! Thalia's mother Grace Fortescue was not willing to wait for another trial or let justice rest. She arranged for the kidnapping and vicious beating of Horace Ida.

Meanwhile, police track down and guard the other four, who are all free on bail pending a new trial. But then on January 8th, Thalia Massie's mother, Grace Fortescue, her husband, Thomas Massie, and two other Navy men, Albert Jones and Edward Lord, kidnap Joseph Kahahawai as he leaves the Judiciary Building with his cousin.

Remembering what happened to Horace Ida, the cousin immediately tells a probation officer, who alerts Honolulu police and the Shore Patrol.

Imagine for a moment, after viciously beating of Horace Ida, Grace Fortescue, Thomas Massie with the help of two Navy enlisted men, kidnapped Joe Kahahawai. That takes incredible nerve. 

Joseph Kahahawai's death was brutal as he underwent "interrogation."

Yes, Grace Fortescue, Thomas Massie and the two sailors attempted to beat a confession out of him. When it didn't come, one of the group shot Joe Kahahawai in the head - executed for a crime many believe he did not have anything to do with.

Joe Kahahawai's dead body was then placed in a bathtub to clean off the blood. The murderers wrapped Joe Kahahawai in a sheet and placed his body in the back seat of their car and drove toward the rocky coastline near Koko Head where they planned to dump his body.

After killing him, they decided to dump Joseph Kahahawai's body near Koko Head at the Ha-lona Blowhole, which at the time was a fairly desolate area away from busy downtown Honolulu. The killers had figured his body and the evidence of what they did would demolished on the rocks before disappearing into the sea. And if not found, they assumed it unlikely that anyone would care.

A motorcycle policeman, who was already alerted to the kidnapping, stopped a car that was speeding toward the Ha-lona Blowhole. The officer saw the blinds on their car pulled down and considered it suspicious. When Mrs Fortescue and Tommie Massie, Thalia’s husband, emerged from the car -- there lay the bloody body of Joe Kahahawai in the backseat. The officer arrested all four for murder.
On January 9th, in response to the sensational newspaper accounts of the so-called "Honor Slaying," believe it or not, supporters send flowers and notes of sympathy to the Navy ship where Grace Fortescue and the other defendants are being held.

On January 22nd, a grand jury assembles to hear details of the murder and determine whether there is evidence sufficient for a trial.

The grand jury initially returns a "no bill" vote, failing to indict the murderers. Judge Albert Christy does not accept their vote and reminds the jurors that their job is not to determine the guilt or innocence of the murderers, but simply to vote that there is sufficient evidence to try the accused.

The grand jury continues to stall until January 26, when Judge Christy refreshes the jurors' memories of their responsibilities and of the overwhelming amount of evidence against the accused. The grand jury indicts the foursome on the charge of second-degree murder.

In other words, the grand jury said that Navy Lt. Thomas H. Massie, Grace Hubbard Bell Fortescue, E. J. Lord, and Albert O. Jones, did not plan the murder. Imagine that!

So with all four, Navy Lt. Thomas H. Massie, Grace Hubbard Bell Fortescue, E. J. Lord, and Albert O. Jones, indicted for second degree murder, a family friend gets the famous Clarence Darrow to defend the four.

On April 4th, the Territory vs. Grace Fortescue, et al. opens for jury selection. Celebrity attorney Clarence Darrow represents the defendants.

Jack Kelley represents the Territory, with Judge Charles Skinner Davis presiding. The jury is finalized seven days later, comprised of seven Caucasians, two Chinese, one Portuguese, and three Hawaiians.

Thomas H. Massie took responsibility for shooting Kahahawai, but his lawyer, the famous Clarence Darrow, told the court his client was temporarily insane with grief at the initial crime.

The defense was when the jury in the rape trial deadlocked, Thalia’s husband and mother murdered Kahahawai as an "honor killing." Even more than the rape trial, the "honor killing" murder trial rocked the nation, as did its unexpected verdict.

On April 20th, Thalia Massie testifies for the defense. She recounts the events of the night of September 12th, but this time adding that she told her husband that Joseph Kahahawai beat her more than the other men.

It seems her story changed every time she opened her mouth.

On April 27th, Clarence Darrow delivers a four-and-a-half-hour closing argument that is broadcast over radio across the United States.  Jack Kelley follows with his own summation. The jury is sent to deliberate at 5:00pm.

On April 29th, just over 48 hours later, the jury returns with a verdict. The jury finds the defendants guilty of manslaughter and recommends leniency. The courtroom and the American audience are shocked that the group have been convicted.

Yes, the four were convicted. But not of murder, but only of the lesser crime of manslaughter.

On May 4th, Judge Charles S. Davis sentences the defendants to the mandatory sentence for manslaughter in Hawaii which was then ten years hard labor at Oahu Prison.

But wait, remember with money and power, you can get away with murder. Governor Lawrence Judd, who was a political appointee, under pressure from the Navy and the U.S. government, immediately commutes the sentence. Incredible as it might seem today, Governor Lawrence Judd immediately commuted their sentences to one hour - to be served in his office.

Yes, image the nerve it takes to pull of such an atrocity of justice in plain view. The convicted killers and Thalia Massie walk across the street to the governor's office to serve their time. Imagine that! They served only one hour for killing someone! 

Hawaii's Princess Kawananakoa spoke for many less powerful, and less white, voices in Hawaii, when she said,  "Are we to infer from the Governor's act that there are two sets of laws in Hawaii -- one for the favored few and one for the people generally?" 

To me, that was definitely the case. And yes, it had a lasted effect on race relations in Hawaii. And no, not in a good way. The effects of what took place, the murder, the injustice, the actions taken by her, her husband, her family, the controversial court decisions, the Navy cover up, the open racism demonstrated by all including the Governor Judd, all contributed to racial tensions between locals and Whites in the Islands.

On May 8th, Thalia Massie, Grace Fortescue, Thomas Massie, and  the two other Navy men, all depart Hawaii aboard the ship Malolo, steaming to San Francisco. By boarding the ship, Thalia avoided being served a summons to appear in the retrial of the four surviving men she claimed had assaulted her. The retrial will never take place. And yes, it is said they left the islands with racial tensions and in turmoil.

Now for the rest of the story.

Grace Hubbard Fortescue was the granddaughter of Gardiner Greene Hubbard, who was the first president of the National Geographic Society. So yes, the family had big money behind them.

Though she was married to Major Granville "Rolly" Fortescue, one of the sons of Congressman Robert Barnwell Roosevelt who was also an uncle of Theodore Roosevelt, that did not leave her as financially successful as she would have wished. But she being the phony pretentious person that she was, Grace Hubbard Fortescue nevertheless kept up appearances and raised her daughter Thalia with an "upper class" lifestyle. Thalia Fortescue married Lieutenant Thomas Massie, who was a rising United States Navy officer.

In 1930, Lt. Massie was stationed at Pearl Harbor, where Thalia considered herself "above" the rest of the officers' wives and soon became an outcast. The marriage, not very successful to start with, degenerated into heavy drinking and public fights. And yes, infidelity. Supposedly, Thalia Massie's infidelity was widely known among Navy officers.

As we know, on the night of September 12, 1931, the couple drove to a Waikiki nightclub and attended a Navy event at the Ala Wai Inn. What should be mentioned is that Thalia Massie had an argument with another Navy officer at that party. It was an argument which ended with her slapping that officer and then storming out.

And yes, there is only speculation that that officer followed her. No one really knows if he or another spurned officer met Thalia alone that night. It is assumed that one did, and either he or another Navy officer actually beat her.

Her claims of rape were never substantiated by today's standards. She claimed so, and everyone simply believed her. It is assumed that someone did, and beat her. But no, no one really knows if her claims were true or not.

Since she was caught in so many inconsistencies and lies, no one knows if this was a case of a jilted lover in an extra-marital affair, violence resulting from unwanted advances by another officer, or truly a rape case.

There is another point, there really is the possibility that another officer beat her. You see, Lt. Massie, supposedly not having witnessed the event, assumed Thalia became tired and had gone home.

Thalia Massie 
Friends, if my wife became tired and wanted to go home, I would be the one driving my wife home. Thomas Massie said that he did not see her leave, or with who?

That's right, he drove his wife there -- but she left with someone else. She sure didn't walk home, Waikiki is simply not near enough to Pearl Harbor to walk home.

And also, no one asked Thomas Massie who he thought may have driven his wife home? He did not even speculate who drove off with her, why not? 

While Thalia Massie could not have been described as pretty and looked more homely than anything else, why wouldn't a husband know who took his wife home from a party that they were attending together?

It could have been, after all before the supposed "rape" ever took place, Thomas Massie did threaten to send his wife back to her parents on the Mainland if she didn't improve her behavior. It seems that Thomas Massie didn't care about her leaving the party with someone else until his reputation and "name" was on the line -- only after it became public that she was beaten and supposedly "raped".

No one asked him why he didn't care enough to ask who she left with? Was this her way? Did she do this before? Was this commonly done or was this unusual for her to do? Arrive with your husband and leave with someone else? What's that all about? Was she promiscuous? Was her headstrong running around out of hand? 

Why wasn't her behavior part of the issue? Why wasn't it determined who drove her? Who was with her? Where that driver dropped her off? What her condition was when they dropped her off? Did they see anything? The list of questions that needed to be asked by competent investigators is almost endless, yet none of those questions were asked in court.

Why weren't they asked? I believe it was because she was a White women, a Navy Officer's wife, a person from a prominent family, a supposedly wealthy family, a family with political connections. I believe the Navy and civil authorities accepted her ever changing stories because she claimed to have been beaten and raped by locals who were seen as a dark skinned race of peasants, a lower class of people.

In 1934, two years after the senseless murder of Joe Kahahawai, Thomas Massie's subsequent manslaughter conviction, and the sentence's commutation, more public fights and infidelity, Thalia Massie and her husband finally divorced.

In 2006, a mock trial was held.
 
On August 3, 2006, during the American Bar Association convention at the Hawaii Convention Center in Honolulu, a mock trial was held.  

Hawaii's Lt. Governor James Aiona served as the judge at the mock trial, using a copy of the Pinkerton National Detective Agency report compiled by the then Territorial Government and using 21st century forensic techniques, looked into the rape case once more.  

Lawyers attending the convention acted as the Jury. After testimony from two experts, and new arguments about the case, the lawyers voted with a unanimous "Not guilty" verdict for all defendants.

Among other deciding factors was the defense's evidence that the five men accused of the rape had been involved in violence on the other side of Honolulu near the time of the alleged attack on Massie and would not have been able to reach Waikiki in time to have also raped Massie as she described.

In a coincidental historical twist, the Hawaii Convention Center -- where the mock trial was held -- sits on the former site of the Ala Wai Inn where the case first started back in 1931.

As for Thalia Massie? Well, as stated before, Thalia and Thomas Massie divorced just two years later in 1934. Was it a result of his wife's running around? Who knows.

When investigating, Pinkerton detectives reported that the accused young men were undeniably innocent. It's true, the Pinkerton Detective Agency handed Governor Judd a 279-page report of the Massie case. The report concluded, "It is impossible to escape the conclusion that the kidnapping and assault was not caused by those accused."

Thalia Massie rejected their findings, stating, "It's a lie -- and a stupid lie."

In 1963, while living in Florida, Thalia Massie committed suicide. And while some say it was justice finally served, with her death went the secret name of her real attacker, the person she protected. Though her husband said he killed Joe Kahahawai, I believe Thalia Massie did so when she lied -- just as if she pulled the trigger herself.

Fact is, her self-serving version of events implicated five innocent young men in a crime which they could not have committed because they were confirmed as being somewhere else at the time. One of the men was murderer as a result, and the others never fully escaped the shadow of the trial.

Throughout the rest of her life, it is said that Thalia Massie never exhibited any remorse or discussed the possibility that she had identified the wrong men -- and that one man had died because of her lie.

One can only wonder if her soul is not at rest. It wouldn't surprise me if it isn't.

Tom Correa 


Friday, May 24, 2013

The Cattle Industry - The News Is Mixed

Since people have written me asking about Cattle Ranching, but since I've been exposed to cattle ranching but by no means am I an expert on the subject, I did some research and talked to some friends who are pretty good ranchers.

Yes, they have had their ups and downs - but they have been able to survive in an industry ripe with over-regulation and heartache.

The news coming out of the cattle industry is truly a mixed bag.

In January of 2012, our nation's cowherd was 887,000 head smaller than a year earlier and totaled 39.1 million head. But while Americans continue to spend more for pork and broilers, beef’s share of percapita spending on all meat has increased slightly.
Here are some Cattle Industry facts that we should take note of.

A Family Affair?

Cattle and beef production represent the largest single segment of American agriculture. In
fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says more farms are classified as beef cattle
operations than any other type of farm. 

Over 30% of all ag producers are classified as beef cattle operations.

In 2007, the USDA’s Census of Agriculture classified 687,540 farms as beef cattle operations.

There are more than 1 million beef producers in the United States who are responsible for more
than 94 million head of beef cattle. And yes, although cattle ranches are spread across the United State, nearly a third of cattle operations are located in the Plains states.

The U.S. beef industry is made up of more than 1 million businesses, farms and ranches.

In 2007, there were more than 1 million cattle ranchers and farmers in the United States.

The American Veal Association estimates there are 800-900 veal producers in the United States.

A surprise to me is the fact that most farms and ranches in the United States, including cattle ranches, are family owned and operated. Even the largest ranches tend to be family operations.

Fact is that more than 97% of beef cattle ranches and farms are classified as family owned.

As surprising as it might seem, when it comes to beef cattle production, most operations are smaller than you might think. For me, I've been under the impression that most of the beef industry in America is owned by big corporations - by people who live back East who didn't know a cow from a bull.

I was pretty surprised to find out that I was wrong.

According to USDA, the majority of beef cattle operations, almost 80% have less than 50 head of
cattle. What does this mean? Small operations are the majority.

Cattle Income

According to USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS), the average annual gross income from livestock on ranches and farms in this country is $41,232.

The average gross cash income from a cattle operation in 2007 was $62,286, the this is considered the lowest income of any type of farm.

Less than one-third of cattle operators claim farming as their primary occupation and only 19% of them consider themselves retired.

However, even thought that's the case, research shows that over 60% say they work more than 1,000 hours a year on their farming operations.

According to USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture, 80% of the primary operators for beef cattle ranches and farms on their farm or ranch.

Demographics

First, what is meant by "demographics"?

Demographics is the term used to describe the statistical data of a population, especially those showing average age, income, education, etc.  

According to USDA’s 2007 Census of Agriculture, the average age of the American farmer is 57
years old. The average age for farmers has been above 50 since the 1974 Census of Agriculture
and has increased in each census since that time.

This means our beef producers are getting older. Younger people are not coming into the cattle industry as fast as they should be.

Cattle operations have long been considered family traditions, handed down from generation to
generation. In a survey conducted by the Iowa Beef Center, 60% of Iowa beef producers are
expected to pass their operation on to their children.

The 2007 Census of Agriculture also found that the average number of years a beef producer has
been on the farm or ranch is 22 years.

In fact, 75 percent of beef cattle ranchers and farmers have been on the farm 10 or more years.

According to ERS, nearly one in five cattle producers is a college graduate, one in four has
attended some college - and 89% are high school graduates.

That stat in itself is impressive since it goes against the national average for most other industries because the national graduation rate was only 75% as noted in data from 2009.

Impact on Society

Beef production impacts the U.S. economy in a bigger way than most know or understand.

Per capital spending on beef in 2009: $261.90 - beef is 47.8% of per capital spending on all meat.

According to USDA, producers of meat animals in 2008 were responsible for more than $66 Billion in added value to the U.S. economy, as measured by their contribution to the national output.

Total cash receipts: $62.9 billion (2012 Agricultural Statistics Annual)

Economic impact: $44 billion in farm gate receipts (USDA NASS)

2012 beef exports: $5.51 billion (up 2% from 2011), 1.13 million metric tons (USMEF)

Top export markets: Canada, Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Hong Kong

More Beef Industry Statistics

• 2012 Cattle inventory: 89,299,600 (USDA NASS)

The U.S. cattle herd has decreased 1,913,900 head from 2011 to 2012

• Number of herds: 742,000

◦ 29.3 million beef cows

◦ 34.3 million head calf crop (2012)

◦ 90 percent of cow herds have less than 100 cows (avg. 44 head)

• Cost of production: from 1990-2003, feedlot cost of gain was $261/head; in the past four years, feedlot cost of gain is $494/head

• 33.6 million head of cattle harvested under USDA inspection (2011);

• 43.4 billion pounds of beef harvested under USDA inspection.

• Average live weight 1,277 pounds.

• More than 50 percent of the total value of U.S. sales of cattle and calves comes from the top 5 states: (Jan. 1, 2012, USDA Cattle Inventory Report)

1. Texas
2. Nebraska
3. Missouri
4. Oklahoma
5. South Dakota

Strong Demand for Beef

American consumers’ love of great steaks and burgers, their confidence in the safety of U.S. beef and their renewed interest in the nutritional benefits of protein help create strong demand for beef.

• Consumer spending on beef was $76 billion in 2008 and has grown  $26.9 billion since 1999.

• Per capita spending for beef in retail and foodservice was about $249 in 2008 — up about $50 from 2001

• In 2008, per capita consumption of beef was 59.9 pounds, compared to 59.2 pounds for chicken.

Today’s Consumer

The demographic make-up of the domestic consumer continues to evolve.

The following trends have been identified: a growing and aging population; the emerging strength of the millennial generation, who are entering their prime household formation years; an increase in small households of one to two members and an increase in ethnic diversity.

Beef in Retail

Beef dominates the retail meat department in volume (pounds) of sales and total dollar amount.

Additionally, the value of beef sales continues to increase. The following statistics represent supermarkets with annual sales of $2 million or more. Data does not include club stores, butcher shops or independent grocery stores with annual sales of less than $2 million.

• Total fresh beef sales at retail were $15.5 Billion in 2008, a 2.2% sales growth from the previous year.

• Beef accounts for more than 52% of dollars spent on meat at retail. In comparison, chicken accounts for 22% of dollars spent on meat at retail.

• In 2008, 4.2 Billion pounds of fresh beef were sold at retail, a 2% volume growth from the previous year.

• In 2008, beef accounted for 39.3% of the pounds of meat purchased at retail.

• The average price per pound of beef in 2008 was $3.69.

• The volume and value of natural/organic beef product purchases have declined in recent months.

For the year ending March 29, 2009, natural/organic beef sales comprised 1.8% of the total beef volume (pounds) and 2.7% of the total beef sales (dollars) in retail.

This represents a 5.6% reduction in total pounds and a 5% reduction in total dollars from the previous year.

Beef in Foodservice

The foodservice sector includes both “restaurants” (limited and full service) and “beyond
restaurants,” such as lodging, business and industry (e.g., private, corporate and employee
dining facilities), colleges and schools.

Of the total dollar amount spent on food and beverages in 2008, approximately 50% went to retail outlets and 50% to foodservice establishments.

In 2008, Americans spent $540 Billion in the foodservice sector.

Importantly, beef remains the No. 1 protein served in restaurants.

• Overall, the foodservice sector purchased 8.18 billion pounds of beef in 2008.

This equated to $26.3 billion in wholesale purchases. Foodservice purchased 7.81 billion pounds of chicken in 2008.

• Ground beef represents the largest share of volume in foodservice at 63% while the steak category represents the largest share of dollars at 42%.

The following statistics measure beef volume in commercial restaurants, which account for about 66% of all consumer spending in foodservice.

• In 2008, 5.4 billion pounds of beef were purchased by commercial restaurant operators.

• Commercial restaurants include limited service restaurants (LSRs), such as McDonalds, Pizza Hut, Subway and Church’s, and full service restaurants (FSR).

FSRs are divided into midscale restaurants such as Denny’s, Golden Corral and Cracker Barrel; casual dining restaurants such as Olive Garden, Applebee’s and Red Lobster; and fine dining restaurants such as Morton’s and Del Frisco’s.

• LSRs accounted for more than 43% of all beef and 41 percent of all chicken served in commercial restaurants in 2008.

• In 2008, beef accounted for 39.3% of the pounds of meat purchased at retail.
• The average price per pound of beef in 2008 was $3.69.

• While non-organic beef has risen, the volume and value of natural/organic beef product purchases have declined in recent months.

For the year ending March 29, 2009, natural/organic beef sales comprised 1.8% of the total beef volume (pounds) and 2.7% of the total beef sales (dollars) in retail. This represents a 5.6% reduction in total pounds and a 5% reduction in total dollars from the previous year.

Beef in the Home

More than eight out of 10 individuals consume fresh beef regularly (an average of 1.7 times per week) in-home.

• Ground beef is the most popular beef item for consumers preparing meals in their home.

• In 2008, ground beef was present at 60% of all in-home beef servings.

• Steak is the second most popular in-home beef item.

Although families represent less than one-third of households, they represent more than half of fresh beef servings.

USDA's Foreign Ag Service released their latest forecast of world meat production in April (2013). They are predicting 2013 global beef production will be up 0.5% from 2012. Though our production is expected to be down 4%, the United States is the world's largest beef producer.

Cattlemen and women play an important role in the economic and social fabric of our country. We are an intricate part of American Agriculture. We feed the world.