Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ghosts In The California Gold Country & More

File:Preston Castle 1.jpg
The Preston Castle
Dear Readers,

I wanted to do a story, a work of fiction, a ghost story of some sort for Halloween. But frankly, because I'm so behind getting ready for winter, I don't see that happening.

Then I started thinking about how back in the 1850s, people were crawling all over the Sierra Nevada Mountains up here looking for gold.

It's said that this area was the most populated area in the world for a little while, while everyone was chasing their dream. We do dream don't we. And no, dreaming is not restricted to Americans. 

Back during the California Gold Rush, dreams were of gold. Once it was found at Sutter's Mill up near Sacramento, people from all over the world were convinced there was enough for everyone. But the fact is, only a few got rich. Many Easterners returned East with empty pockets and heartache. And I'm sure they were glad to get away from the toil and the blood.

Because of murder, mayhem, suicide, and the like, there is no shortage of haunted places throughout California. While some are really well known, others are known only to locals who live in the area.

When I was living in Alameda County in the Bay Area, I remember being told that the USS Hornet (CV-12) docked in Alameda is the most haunted ship in the entire US Navy. It saw a lot of action in its day. Some say voices of sailors and Marines are heard in the passage ways when no one's there. Some even say the sound of someone hitting the metal hatches of compartments can be heard during tours. 

In Oakland, they say the old jail above City Hall is haunted by jailers who used to torture prisoners. But really, what do you expect from a murderous town?

In Piedmont, Mountain View Cemetery is a historic graveyard full of very prominent people in California's history. It is also loaded with spooks running around everywhere. Back in the late 1970's, when I was supervising security guards, I had a couple of guards at that location who swore they saw all sorts of things not of this world. Frankly, it was always very hard for me to find anyone who would work there.

Among other problems at the graveyard were the vandals who came through and busted into some of the crips and smashed open a few caskets. I remember one having a glass top. The bones and dress of the woman was on full display.

I found out later from the Oakland Police Department that the vandal who broke into that crip and smashed that 1890's glass cover on that casket was found dead soon after that break-in. He was found dead of unknown causes at the gate of the old cemetery. Later, on of the security guards reported that he and his partner saw the same vandal in the cemetery. When they went to escort him out, he ran and somehow vanished.

In Fremont, Mission San Jose is reported to be haunted after many tragic deaths that occurred after fires and earthquakes that damaged the mission property. Some say the pioneer graveyard across from the Fremont Train Station is active as well.

In the town of Pleasanton, the Pleasanton Hotel was built in the 1850s and is said to be haunted. During it's history, besides a hotel and saloon, the hotel served as a impromptu courthouse back in the 1800s and later had an opium den under it even though it was just a few yards from the town's police station. Its bar has seen its share of shootings and killings over the years. Its said that even Joaquin Murrietta made his way through there on more than a few occasions.

Down in Sunnyvale, at a Toys "R" Us store, employees have reported seeing unusual rearranging of toys in the aisles, and reported sightings of a man in his thirties dressed in old clothing. His name is believed to be Johan, and he's believed to be a farmer who used to live on the site of where that store sits today. It's said he's just keeping "an eye on the old place." The store remains open today but most customers are completely unaware of this legend. The manager there is said to have ordered his employees not to talk about the sightings.

Of course, that area has the famous Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. It is supposedly haunted by the ghost of its eccentric builder, Sarah Winchester. She is said to have built the strange mansion to protect her from the spirits of all of the Indians killed with her late husband's famous line of rifles.

The problem with that story is that Oliver Winchester was never a Gunsmith like say Sam Colt or the team of Smith & Wesson. Actually, Winchester only got involved in gun manufacturing after becoming wealthy making shirts. I can't help but wonder if maybe the people who haunt the mansion are those who hated his line of shirts?

Over the range in Santa Cruz County, The Brookdale Lodge in Brookdale is reportedly haunted by the spirit of Sarah Logan, the niece of the former owner, who drowned in what is now known as the Brook Room. Up the coast in San Mateo County, there's the Moss Beach Distillery in Moss Beach. The bar and restaurant overlook the ocean and is reported to be haunted by the spirit of a Blue Lady. Yes, a Blue Lady!

When I was in the Philippines in 1975, there was a White Lady. When I worked down South off and on during the 1990s, I was told about a few White Ladies here and there. But in Moss Beach, their lady is blue. Not a dark Navy Blue, more a light blue. That's so she can be seen of course.

She supposedly died in the area awaiting her husband to come back from sea. The restaurant has been featured on a number of paranormal television shows where of course they report the accounts are true. Shocking as it might sound, one television show had props that helped reenact the experiences for guests. Can you say tourist draw?!

I have a friend who used to live up near Del Norte County. He told me about the Battery Point Lighthouse near Crescent City. It is reported to be haunted by a resident ghost that has been seen by six different people. And no, I don't know if it is the story about the Lighthouse Keeper who went mad and killed himself.

In Tracy, the Banta Inn is reported to be haunted since the 1930s, including the sighting of the former owner of the inn, Tony Gallegos, who died of a heart attack in the building. There are also reports of poltergeist activity that happens in the bar.

Over in Antioch, there is The Black Diamond Mines area where it has been reported to have had numerous accounts of paranormal activity. In fact, there is the story of the White Witch. Supposedly she was executed for being a witch after all the kids she was caring for died of some strange illness. Another story for that area is that of Sarah Norton, who haunts the Rose Hill Cemetery after she was run over and crushed to death by her horse and carriage.

Up at the far end of the California Gold Country is Placer County. Christine's room at The Richardson House in Truckee is said to be haunted by Christine Richardson, a young woman who mourns the loss of her child. She has been reported as being seen standing by the room's window.

The National Exchange Hotel in Nevada City is reportedly haunted by spirits that have died during the night. The Stonehouse Brewery in Nevada City is reportedly haunted by Chinese immigrants that were killed in the tunnels underneath the property.

I remember being told that the Del Oro Theatre in Grass Valley is haunted. Its said to have "a few resident ghosts." The Holbrooke Hotel in Grass Valley has housed many famous residents including Mark Twain and three U.S. Presidents.  It is also home to the famous suicide gambler, a man who slit his own throat and was found dead in a pool of blood. While it is hard to believe that anyone is capable of cutting their own throat, his suicide letter can be found at the Doris Foley Library in Nevada City.

The Holbrooke Hotel spooks don't stop with a gambler at the end of his string of luck, that hotel has plenty of spooky stuff taking place there. It has chairs moving across the floor, lights turning on and off, and voices lingering in the air, guests report hearing the sounds of little ghost children jumping on old mattress springs, as well as sighting the notable cowboy ghost who appears only from waist up and a Victorian-dressed maid who walks the halls of the Holbrooke.

Old Sacramento is reportedly haunted by victims of influenza, fire, and flooding. The other part of Sacramento that most folks don't know about is that it was actually more violent than Dodge City and Tombstone combined. The spirits of those who died during those gun battles are said to roam Old Sacramento.

The Cary House in Placerville is reported to have a haunt that dates back to the 1930's involving a lot of unexplained noises and phenomena. And yes, since the town was originally called Hangtown, they have had their share of sighting of convicts who were hung by Vigilantes.

Closer to home in Amador County, in the town of Ione where my Mom lives, is what locals call "The Preston Castle" or simply "The Castle." Real name is The Preston School of Industry. It was once a home to troubled youths. "The castle" had its share of deaths and suffering. Allegedly, the ghost of a caretaker who was bludgeoned to death by students still resides there.

But for me, when I visited the castle, I remember feeling a cold presence of the lady who was the school's cook. She was killed and put in a closet, only to have her body found later the next day. It is said that she scratches the closet door to be let out. The boys who killed her were never found.

The National Hotel in Jackson is another place that was built in the 1850s. It is reported to house some specters that have died on the hotel premises. Supposedly one is the ghost of a depressed miner who hung himself. Another is said to be a bartender who was shot in the Hotel bar by a jealous husband. 

Across the Mokelumne River here in Calaveras County, we have our share of spooks. The Hotel Léger in Mokelumne Hill is reported to be haunted by the spirit of George Léger, the former owner of the hotel. His presence is most felt in the room he died in. That would be Room 7.

In San Andreas, they say a women who was jilted by her lover can be seen waiting outside of the old library. People say she has waited there for him for more than a century. In Angles Camp, its said that famous writer Mark Twain has been seen once on the sidewalk downtown heading for a bar that he used to frequent when he lived there.

Of course, there are the ghosts of those who fought the tough Sierra Nevada Mountains to get to California by wagon train. Up on Highway 88 near Immigrant Pass, it's said that the crying of a baby has been heard by a few folks camping up near the summit. Some think that it may be the spirit of a child that may have died along the way and now rests in an unmarked grave up there somewhere.

Over on the other side up near the summit at the end of Highway 4 is the Lake Alpine Lodge. That place is said to be haunted by a couple who died when the top floor of the lodge collapsed in a massive snowstorm back in the 1920s. There's also the tale of a lady that haunts the lake. There are reports of sightings of that lady since she drowned in the lake and her body was never found. That was back in the 1950s, and both locals and summer visitors have said that she can be seen sitting on the rocks at the lake during the spring and summer months.

In Sonora, the Tuolumne General Hospital is reportedly haunted by miners and patients who died from neglect. I really don't know too much about the rest of the state, but I'm sure there are places throughout the rest of California where spirits linger.

A local writer put together a series of books which are clippings from the archives of local newspapers in the Calaveras County Glencoe area here. The news articles talk about runaway wagons and teamsters who meet their end, miners who fall down shafts that go hundreds of feet into the earth, loggers crushed, Indians found dead, and murders by those who wanted to get rich off some else's hard work.

As for those who broke the law, it's said that justice was swift in most cases and the murderers were hanged. Sometimes those who broke the law got away with it and are never found. One example of this was noted in among those clippings.

The story goes that back in the 1930s, a man was digging a post hole and came upon a human skull. When he dug more and more, he unearthed the bones of many killed very violently. The county authorities were called in and more bones and skulls were unearthed. Come to find out his property was the site of a gold mining camp, a small town. There was a saloon at that spot. It was called a Fandango House.

It was a sort of brothel, gambling place, and dance hall. The bones belonged to young travelers and miners who stopped there and were murdered for their goods and gold. Those found were never identified. They left their families to get rich in California and were murdered instead. Of course, unlike today, those who left and went missing were not thought of as missing, but only out on their own.

Death and calamity follows man wherever he goes, that's just a part of life. Some say that there are those who still call out for a rope from the bottom of a mine shaft. Some say that the old Indian who froze to death along the trail up near Alabama Hill can still be seen now and then over a hundred years later.

Some say that there are those who search for their way home after being met with a club or a bullet because of another man's greed. It's as if their spirits simply can't find rest. I can't help but wonder if they ever will. I can't help but wonder if they ever find peace.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Bigger Than "Hogzilla"

In 2007, Alabama 11 Year Old Boy Killed 1,051 Pound Monster Pig


Jamison Stone, 11, poses with a wild pig he killed near Delta, Ala. (AP)

An 11-year-old Alabama boy used a pistol to kill a wild hog that just may be the biggest pig ever found.

Jamison Stone's father says the hog his son killed weighed a 1,051 pounds and measured 9-feet-4 from the tip of its snout to the base of its tail. Think hams as big as car tires.

If the claims are accurate, Jamison's trophy boar would be bigger than Hogzilla, the famed wild hog that grew to seemingly mythical proportions after being killed in south Georgia in 2004.

Hogzilla originally was thought to weigh 1,000 pounds and measure 12 feet in length. National Geographic experts who unearthed its remains believe the animal actually weighed about 800 pounds and was 8 feet long.

After seeing the pig in person, taxidermist Jerry Cunningham told The Anniston Star it was "the biggest thing I'd ever seen ... it's huge."

The Anniston Star reported that the feral hog was weighed at the Clay County Farmer's Exchange in Lineville.

Workers at the co-op verified that the basic truck scales used were recently certified by the state. But no workers from the co-op were present when the hog was weighed.

Jamison is reveling in the attention over his pig, which has a Web site put up by his father — — that is generating Internet buzz.

"It feels really good," Jamison, of Pickensville, said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. "It's a good accomplishment. I probably won't ever kill anything else that big."

Jamison, who killed his first deer at age 5, was hunting with father Mike Stone and two guides in east Alabama on May 3 when he bagged Hogzilla II. He said he shot the huge animal eight times with a .50-caliber revolver and chased it for three hours through hilly woods before finishing it off with a point-blank shot.

Through it all there was the fear that the animal would turn and charge them, as wild boars have a reputation of doing.

"I was a little bit scared, a little bit excited," said Jamison, who just finished the sixth grade on the honor roll at Christian Heritage Academy, a small, private school.

His father said that, just to be extra safe, he and the guides had high-powered rifles aimed and ready to fire in case the beast with 5-inch tusks decided to charge.

With the pig finally dead in a creek bed on the 2,500-acre Lost Creek Plantation, a commercial hunting preserve in Delta, trees had to be cut down and a backhoe brought in to bring Jamison's prize out of the woods.

It was hauled on a truck to the Clay County Farmers Exchange in Lineville, where Jeff Kinder said they used his scale, which was recently calibrated, to weigh the hog.

Kinder, who didn't witness the weigh-in, said he was baffled to hear the reported weight of 1,051 pounds because his scale — an old, manual style with sliding weights — only measures to the nearest 10.

"I didn't quite understand that," he said.

Mike Stone said the scale balanced one notch past the 1,050-pound mark, and he thought it meant a weight of 1,051 pounds.

"It probably weighed 1,060 pounds. We were just afraid to change it once the story was out," he said.

The hog's head is now being mounted on an extra-large foam form by Cunningham of Jerry's Taxidermy in Oxford. Cunningham said the animal measured 54 inches around the head, 74 inches around the shoulders and 11 inches from the eyes to the end of its snout.

Mike Stone is having sausage made from the rest of the animal. "We'll probably get 500 to 700 pounds," he said.

Jamison, meanwhile, has been offered a small part in "The Legend of Hogzilla," a small-time horror flick based on the tale of the Georgia boar. The movie is holding casting calls with plans to begin filming in Georgia.

The Anniston Star reported that congratulatory calls have come all the way from California, where Jamison appeared on a radio talk show. Jamison apparently has gotten words of congratulation from Rickey Medlocke of Lynyrd Skynyrd, country music star Kenny Chesney, Tom Knapp of Benelli firearms and Jerry Miculek of Smith & Wesson.

Jamison is enjoying the newfound celebrity generated by the hog hunt, but he said he prefers hunting pheasants to monster pigs.

"They are a little less dangerous."


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Some of America's Great Banned Books - Part One

The Library of Congress created an exhibit, "Banned Books that Shaped America," that explores books that "have had a profound effect on American life" yet have been banned in one way or another. 

Below are some of my favorites from the list of books from that exhibit that have been banned or has had its language or content challenged.

One of the very interesting part of this is that some of these works are considered some of America's greatest literary treasures.

These are not all of the banned books from that exhibit listed, these are just my personal favorites which I found to be great reads.

And yes, these are books that I have read. Why did I repeat that? Well, for a person who has a hard time getting through a novel because they lose my interest - my saying that is a big deal to me.

Something written really has to hold on to my interest for me to get through, that is the reason I love Short Stories instead of Novels.

Warning! The titles of what has been banned might surprise you.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain, 1884

Commonly named among the Great American Novels, the work is among the first in major American literature to be written throughout in vernacular English, characterized by local color regionalism.

It is told in the first person by Huckleberry "Huck" Finn, a friend of Tom Sawyer and narrator of two other Twain novels (Tom Sawyer Abroad and Tom Sawyer, Detective).

It is a direct sequel to The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

And by the way, as an interesting side note, Twain named his fictional character Tom Sawyer after a San Francisco fireman whom he met in June 1863.

The real Tom Sawyer was a local hero, famous for rescuing 90 passengers after a shipwreck.

The two remained friendly during Twain's three-year stay in San Francisco, often drinking and gambling together

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is noted for its colorful description of people and places along the Mississippi River during the mid 1800s.

Set in a Southern antebellum society that had ceased to exist about twenty years before the work was published, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is an often scathing satire on entrenched attitudes - particularly racism.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was criticized upon release because of what some called "coarse" language and became even more controversial in the 20th century because of its perceived use of racial stereotypes.

That was mostly due to its frequent use of the 19th century colloquialism "nigger".

Of course, this was all despite the many who still argue that the protagonist in the story as well as the tenor of the book is in reality anti-racist.

Because of the language, the first ban of Mark Twain’s American Classic came in 1885 from the same stiff neck folks who burned witches up there in Massachusetts.

Someone who's name is now completely forgotten even called it "trash and suitable only for the slums."

Objections to the book have evolved, but only marginally. Some hate literature that doesn't lie while others enjoy perpetuating the lie.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn does not lie. It tells us how things really were. 

Twain’s book is one of the most-challenged of all time and is frequently challenged even today because of its frequent use of the word "nigger" - which was not a word looked upon as something taboo in the 1800s.  

Those who want it banned allege the book is "racially insensitive," "oppressive," and "perpetuates racism" - when in fact it fights racism by telling the truth about what too place.

Gone With the Wind, Margaret Mitchell, 1936

Slavery in Gone with the Wind is a backdrop to a story that is essentially about other things. 

Southern plantation fiction (also known as Anti-Tom literature) from the early 19th century - culminating in Gone With the Wind - is written from the perspective and values of the slaveholder and tends to present slaves as docile and happy.

The characters in the novel are organized into two basic groups along class lines: the white planter class, such as Scarlett and Ashley, and the black house servant class.

The slaves depicted in Gone with the Wind are primarily loyal house servants, such as Mammy, Pork, Prissy, and Uncle Peter.  

House servants are the highest "caste" in Mitchell's caste system of the slaves. They stay on with their masters after the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 and subsequent Thirteenth Amendment of 1865 sets them free.

Of the servants that stayed on at Tara, Scarlett thinks to herself, "There were qualities of loyalty and tirelessness and love in them that no strain could break, no money could buy."

One criticism leveled at Gone with the Wind is for its portrayal of African Americans in the 19th century South.

Former field hands during the early days of Reconstruction are described behaving "as creatures of small intelligence might naturally be expected to do. Like monkeys or small children turned loose among treasured objects whose value is beyond their comprehension, they ran wild—either from perverse pleasure in destruction or simply because of their ignorance."

For me, why read a lie about how it was in the South before or after the Civil War. If I want to know how slaves were looked upon - why should I go to some work which as been cleansed and sanitized so not to offend someone.

Gone With The Wind is a Pulitzer-prize winning novel which follows the life of the spoiled daughter of a Southern plantation owner just before and then after the fall of the Confederacy and decline of the South in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Just three years after its publication, it became an Academy-Award Winning film. Today, it considered one of the best films ever made - a true classic.

Critically praised for its thought-provoking and realistic depiction of ante- and post-bellum life in the South, it has also been banned for more or less the same reasons.

Its realism has come under fire, specifically its realistic portrayal – though at times perhaps tending toward optimistic - of slavery and use of the words “nigger” and “darkies.”

It was banned from the Anaheim, California Union High School District’s English classrooms in 1978, according to the Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association, for its depiction of the behavior of Scarlett O’Hara and the freed slaves in the novel.

It was also challenged in the Waukegan, Illinois School District in 1984 because of the novel’s above-mentioned use of the word “nigger.”

Uncle Tom's Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1852

Like Huck Finn, and Gone With the Wind, the contextual, historically and culturally accurate depiction of the treatment of black slaves in the United States has rankled would-be censors.

It is said that the impact of Uncle Tom’s Cabin was tantamount to its popularity as the second best-selling book of the 19th century behind the Bible.

Published in 1852, it did indeed have great influence by giving a needed shot in the arm to the Republican Abolitionist Movement bend on defeating the Democrats who supported the buying and selling of slaves as wee as the owning of black slaves.

While this book gave life to ridding the nation of slavery, Democrats and prosperous plantation owners had some influence too - and banned the book due to its anti-slavery themes.

Surprisingly, they were not alone in their decision. Tsarist Russia did the same in objection to the book’s “undermining religious ideals” and presenting a model of equality.

Another subtheme was the moral authority of motherhood.

The author, Stowe, saw motherhood as the “ethical and structural model for all of American life,” and believed that only women had the moral authority to save the United States from slavery.

Critics have noted that Stowe’s female characters are often domestic clichés instead of realistic women - but then how much weight can you put in what her critics say.

Like most Democrats at the time, those who were critical of her work wanted her book killed and gone - and yes, they would use any excuse they could find to do it.

Unable to stop her, Stowe’s novel nevertheless reaffirmed the importance of women’s influence and helped lay the seeds for the women’s suffrage movement and women's rights several decades later.

Why Are Democrats In Favor Banning Books?

In the same way that the Nazi Party in Germany in to the 1930s burned books to keep the truth and ideas of freedom out of the heads of those who they were trying to enslave, Democrats have wanted to bury their deeds because their history is not very nice to look at.

They want to bury and ban a lot of America's Greatest Literature simply because Democrats don't want us to know that they were in fact against freeing black slaves, that it was Democrats who started the Ku Klux Klan, and were a part of the same Democrat Party who fought against giving freed blacks their 2nd Amendment rights to guns to defend themselves against Democrats and the Klan.

Democrats have been against Christians and Catholics, and have a long history of being against women's rights.

One way to hide their infamous history is to ban books showing what they have done.

And yes, that in itself is the real reason that most Democrats who are teachers, school administrators, on school boards, and are in politics fight to suppress some of America's greatest literature.

They simply don't want us knowing about their past before Franklin D. Roosevelt, and they use the excuse that certain literature is racist to keep it from us.

Think about it, would you?

During the 1840s and 1850s, Democrats insisted on protecting slavery in all the territories while Republicans resisted them and fought to fight the spread of slavery.

In 1860, Democrats adopted a pro-slavery platform in an election campaign that was won by Abraham Lincoln and the newly formed Republican Party which consisted of people who were anti-slavery.

Democrats took the nation to war over their beloved slavery. After the Civil War, most opposed the Republican Party's Radical Reconstructions support of black civil and political rights.

The Democrat Party identified itself as the "white man's party" and demonized the Republican Party as being "Negro dominated."

Determined to re-capture the South, Democrats considered it a mission to "redeem" state after state - sometimes it was peacefully, other times by fraud and violence.

By 1877, when Reconstruction was officially over, the Democratic Party controlled every Southern state.

The South remained a one-party region until the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s.

Democrats throughout the nation, most of whom had prejudicial attitudes towards blacks, offered no challenge to the discriminatory policies of their brothers in South.

One of the consequences of the Democratic victories in the South was that many Southern Congressmen and Senators were almost automatically re-elected every election.

Due to the importance of seniority in the U.S. Congress, Democrats were able to control most of the committees in both houses of Congress and kill any civil rights legislation.

Even though Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a Democrat, he rarely challenged the powerfully entrenched liberal Democrat politicians during that time.

To give you an example of how racist Democrats were under FDR: when the House passed a Republican Anti-Lynching bill several times in the 1930s with bi-partisan support, the Democrat senators filibustered it to death in the Democrat controlled Senate.

by Tom Correa

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Sheriff Clark & The Mason County War, 1874

The Mason County War was also called the Hoodoo War.

Records say the Mason County War took place between 1875 and 1876, but in reality, it started much sooner when Sheriff John Clark took office in 1874.

While the Mason County War in Texas did include feuding, unlike the politics and betrayal, or the climactic shootout that would result at the OK Corral a few years later in Tombstone, Arizona, what took place in Mason County was a fairly uncomplicated affair.

It was simply feuding and cattle rustling between German-American settlers and the non-German ranchers in Mason County, Texas, that resulted in men getting killed one after the other in retaliation.

You killed my friend, my bother, my kin, were all reasons to strap on your six guns and start out after someone. And yes, it was just that simple.

It's said that the Mason County War was really a result of a clash of cultures - that it was brought on mostly due to neither culture understanding the other, with neither making much effort to do so, in addition to political and social disagreements.

While some say that it would likely had not taken place or had resulted in violence if there had been better law enforcement in the area. 

Looking at the history of the Old West, law enforcement, especially corrupt law enforcement was present throughout the frontier in one form or another. 

I'm sure someone is going to write and say that "organized/formal/professional" law enforcement did not exist in the frontier. 

My contention is that wherever their are good men and women, there is law and order - even if that means that the golden rule and the ten commandments are the only guides to follow.  

Besides, as we see today, the presence of formal law enforcement does not stop criminal activity from taking place.

Granted it may stop some, but those who believe they are outside of the law act as they please no matter what. 

As for the Old West, look at the case of Montana Sheriff Henry Plummer who was hanged by the Montana Vigilantes on January 10th, 1864, when he was found out to be running the criminal gang in the area.

Most of us know about the very corrupt Sheriff John Behan who was in league with the Clanton gang in Arizona.

Fact is, whether we want to admit it or not, not all law enforcement passed the test when it came to being honest and above reproach at the time.

Back then, like it or not, there was always the possibility that they themselves were a part of or ran the criminal element.

Greed is a powerful thing, and not something exclusive to our time. It has made many a man and woman forsake their oath of office and simply side with the darker side of human nature.

It's an age old problem that goes beyond the Greeks. And yes, the Bible is replete with stories about the foibles of man.

A great example today, 2013, just look at the greed and self-indulgence of President Obama's extravagant vacations, or some of the members of Congress who allow their greed and struggle for power to steer their behavior.

So what took place in Mason County, Texas?

German settlers began settling in the Mason County area early on, and by the mid-1840s they had a considerable population.

Despite language barriers and getting used to cultural differences, the two groups at first cooperated fairly well - mostly due to there being a considerable Indian threat and a need for unity.

Yes, threats do unite peoples. 

In 1860, the county's first Sheriff, Thomas Milligan was killed by Indians, and the settlers, both Anglo and German, banded together to defend against the threat. Some say that they actually hunted down the hostiles who killed Milligan.

Then came the Civil War between 1861 and 1865, and Texas was not spared from the hardship of the war. And yes, sometimes the peace can almost be as bad.

Following the Civil War, with tensions high, there was little to no trouble because of Martial Law and the Union Army posting troops at Fort Mason.

After the United States Army closed the fort in 1869, law enforcement was left to the local population.

During the Reconstruction Period, many Germans held positions of authority over the Anglos - both as judges and as lawmen.
As stated earlier, in 1873, Sheriff John Clark was elected.

Having grievances, the German-American majority of the county was thus able to get into place law enforcement that they felt would protect their interests.

John E. Clark was a former Confederate officer. He was born in 1834 in Kentucky to German-American parents.

He is known to have worked as a deputy sheriff and county clerk from 1856 to 1857 in Ripley County, Missouri.

When the Civil War broke out, like many, he enlisted and during a battle was wounded in the leg. It was then that he was captured and taken prisoner of war.

After his release at the end of the war, its speculated that he traveled a while before heading to Texas to visit a friend who lived in Burnet County in 1870.

He landed in Mason County in 1871, and started working as a deputy sheriff under Sheriff M.V. Bridges in 1872.

It is apparent that he was immediately a controversial figure known to use his position to "persecute his enemies."

In 1873, when Clark was elected County Sheriff, his inauguration to his office started with problems when former County Sheriff Finney refused to yield his office to Clark.

It wasn't until Texas Governor Coke got involved and threatened to send troops to install the new sheriff that Finney stepped aside. 
Clark is said to have taken office around February 1874.

Once in, he enforced the law with an "iron fist", openly supporting the lynching or shooting of any suspected of cattle rustling, even when there was little to no evidence supporting the charge.

Clark being German himself, it is not too surprising that it was through Clark's administration that the German faction struck first - which eventually sparking the county conflict.

His Deputy was German descendant John Wohrle, known to have killed several cowboys during the next two years.

Maybe it was just a coincidence, but then again maybe not, Clark's mother's maiden name was Wohrle which had been Anglicized to Worley - so yes, there was the possibility that John Wohrle was a relation of some sort.

In August 1874, prominent Llano and Burnet County ranchers M.B. Thomas and Allen G. Roberts were arrested by a posse led by Clark, who accused them of rounding up cattle that belonged to other ranches.

Roberts and Thomas denied this, but in reality according to Texas state law at the time, it didn't matter because the law allowed cattlemen to roundup any cattle they wished as long as after the cattle were sold they turned the proceeds over to the true owners.

It was rounding up cattle using the honor system.  

Clark did not abide by this law, and imprisoned the cattlemen for one week, then released them after charging them a hefty fine.

The ranchers brought charges against Clark for false imprisonment and robbery, but little became of it.

On February 13, 1875, Sheriff Clark led a posse into McCulloch County, Texas, arresting nine cowboys he suspected of rustling, to include brothers Elijah and Pete Baccus.

Four of the cowboys made bail, while the other five remained in jail.  

While on bail, Clark made it known that he had no problems with the men being lynched.

A few days later, a 17-year-old cowboy named Allen Bolt was found shot to death by the roadside just outside Mason, Texas.

To his back was pinned a note saying "Here lies a noted cow thief".

On February 18, 1875, several masked men entered the house of Deputy Wohrle, demanding he turn over the keys to the jail to them.

He did so, and the men removed the five cowboys, took them outside of town, and lynched them.

Texas Ranger Dan Roberts arrived in town at the time.

It isn't known if Dan Roberts is related to rancher Allan Roberts, but what is known is Dan Roberts hatred for Sheriff Clark.

In fact, he hated Clark so much that Roberts is said to contemptuously refer to Clark as a "Blue Hen Chicken" because of Clark's cooperation with the Yankee administrators in Texas at the time during the Reconstruction Period.

He intervened, preventing the hanging of cowboy Tom Turley, while cowboy Charlie Johnson was able to break free during the chaos and flee into the night.

Sheriff Clark, realizing a Texas Ranger was present, also made an effort to intervene. But it was too late for brothers Elijah and Pete Baccus, who were both hanged.

The fifth cowboy, Abe Wiggins, was shot in the head by unknown parties, and died the next morning.

No arrests were ever made for the lynchings, and this fueled tensions that would eventually explode into violent retaliation by the Anglo settlers.

A few days after the lynchings, former posse member Caleb Hall was arrested, allegedly for rustling, but many believed it was due to his objections to the lynchings on February 18.

Placed in a cell with Turley, the two men tunneled their way out and fled town.

Former posse member Tom Gamel, who also had objected to the lynchings, received several death threats.

Instead of fleeing, it's said that Gamel gathered together a band of some thirty riders and return to Mason to confront Sheriff Clark.

The sheriff fled town, but on March 24, 1875, Sheriff Clark returned with some sixty riders to confront Gamel and his band.

Although it appeared the two factions would fight, eventually they reached a truce, and departed.

On May 13th, Sheriff Clark and Deputy Wohrle rode out to the ranch of Carl Lehmberg, to speak with foreman Tim Williamson.

Several months earlier, Williamson had been falsely arrested for possessing an alleged stolen calf. But because of pressure within the community, Williamson had been released.

However, Daniel Hoerster, the German owner of the calf, had since pressed Clark to arrest Williamson - and Clark had now decided to do it.

Williamson agreed to accompany the two lawmen, and rode toward town with them. But, after traveling some ten miles, the party was met by a band of masked men.

According to some reports, Williamson recognized Peter Bader, a member of the mob, and Bader shot him - killing Williamson instantly.

Williamson's murder would change the course of the Mason County War, as Williamson was a mentor and close friend to Texas Ranger Scott Cooley.

When Cooley received the news at the Texas Ranger camp where his Ranger Company was based, he broke into uncontrollable crying - then it turned to anger.

There is some confusion here. It's said that Cooley was spending much of his time in the company of the Rangers but was not officially working as a Ranger - and other account say that Cooley was indeed a Texas Ranger.

Either way, Cooley blamed deputy sheriff Wohrle for Williamson's death - believing that he was in cahoots with the Germans, as Wohrle was of German descent.

As angry as he was, Cooley is said to have waited for indictments to be passed down from the court against those responsible for Williamson's death - but when none came, Cooley took matters into his own hands.

On August 10, 1875, Cooley went to Wohrle's home where he found Worhle working on his well with a helper.

Without hesitation Cooley shot Wohrle several times - killing him on sight.

It is no wonder how the Old West can be looked at as a violent place, yet in reality is was a lot less violent than the nation is today. 

Reading what Cooley did after he shot Wohrle lends to the myth that the Old West was extremely violent.

You see, it's said that after shooting Wohrle, Cooley then scalped him and dumped Wohrle in that well.

Texas Ranger Cooley then displayed the scalp as a prize to the Germans. But he wasn't finished with Wohrle, Cooley then killed German cattleman Carl Bader.

Cooley is then joined by friend and gunman Johnny Ringo, along with several others who are there to retaliate against Sheriff Clark and the German faction.

Mose Baird and George Gladden were ambushed shortly afterward by a posse led by Sheriff John Clark, during which Baird was killed and Gladden seriously wounded.

That posse included Peter Bader, brother to Cooley's second victim, Carl Bader.

Johnny Ringo and a friend named Bill Williams rode boldly into Mason, Texas, on September 25, 1875, riding up in front of the house of James Cheyney, the man who led Gladden and Baird into the ambush.

As Cheyney came out, both Ringo and Williams shot and killed him.

The two then rode to the house of Dave Doole, and called him outside, but when he came out with a gun, Ringo and Williams fled back into town.

Four days later, Scott Cooley and John Baird, brother to Mose Baird, then killed German cowboy Daniel Hoerster, and wounded Germans Peter Jordan and Henry Plueneke.

The German cattlemen then retaliated, hanging two men they suspected had assisted Cooley.

The next day Texas Rangers arrived, finding the town in chaos, and Cooley and his faction gone.

Major John B. Jones of the Texas Rangers dispatched three parties to pursue Cooley and his followers.

The next day local Sheriff John Clark dispatched a posse of deputies to arrest Bill Coke, suspected of assisting Cooley.

Coke was located and arrested, but allegedly "escaped" while on the way to town.

By this time, killings were said to be almost random because there was no local law enforcement to speak of - as the sheriff was obviously supporting the German cattlemen.

And no, no arrests had been made against either side short of the arrest of Bill Coke.

Since Coke was never seen again, it is suspected that the posse simply executed him.

Charley Johnson, a friend to Bill Coke, then appeared in town looking for blacksmith William Miller, who had been a member of the posse that arrested Coke.

Johnson found Miller at his workplace, and shot him down.

Badly wounded, Miller was saved only by his wife running outside and throwing herself toward him - at which point it's said that Johnson simply walked away.

On October 5, 1875, Sheriff John Clark, who had been in hiding from Cooley, resigned his position.

Yes, this all took place since February of 1874.

The Texas Rangers finally charged former Sheriff Clark and nine men in his "faction" with minor offenses stemming from the initial arrests.

All the defendants, except Clark were found innocent. Clark posted a bond, but then left Mason and was never seen or heard from again.

During this time, the legendary Texas Rangers did almost nothing to help matters. Some say it was because many were friends to Scott Cooley, while others say they took the side fighting the German faction.

So frustrated was Texas Ranger Major Jones that at one point he asked his Texas Rangers if any of them felt they could not perform their duty by pursuing Cooley? And if they did feel that way, that they should step forward.

Seven of them did so, willing to accept discharges rather than to pursue Cooley.

The Texas Governors office was by this time receiving letters in support of Cooley, stating the local sheriff was in support of the German cattlemen, which was filtering down on Major Jones, prompting him to act swiftly.

At the end of December, 1875, Cooley and Ringo were arrested by Burnet County Sheriff A. J. Strickland for threatening the life of deputy sheriff John J. Strickland.

They later escaped from the Lampasas County, Texas jail, with the help of friends, but their arrests essentially stopped the violence.

Cooley later escaped a posse near the Llano River, fleeing into Blanco County, Texas, and was never officially seen again.

He is believed to have either been wounded by that posse and died shortly afterwards, or to have died due to what was referred to as "brain fever" shortly afterwards.

Cooley is believed to have been hiding out at the Nimitz Hotel in Fredericksburg, Texas at the time. However, neither of the reported death scenarios has ever been confirmed.
The last victim is said to have been a stockman who was killed in his home in Llano County.

The last act of the Hoo Doo War was when someone set fire to the Mason County Court House in January 21, 1877, probably to destroy any evidence that was to be used against those involved.

The Courthouse burned to the ground.

While no one was brought to justice for the fire, with the fire went the official records of the Mason County War.

All in all, cattle rustling and general lawlessness prevailed along the entire Texas frontier during and shortly after the Reconstruction period.

For a while even the state troopers were part of the problem having become a very corrupt organization.

But nowhere on the frontier did the problems reach the proportions that they did in Mason County in 1875.

Compared to today's violence, especially if measured by the amount of lawlessness and killings in Chicago where they record almost a killing a day, the Mason County War was not all that bad.

But by Old West standards, with the official death toll for the Mason County War of ten killed - the whole thing was a bloody affair for those days.

For the Old West, the Mason County War was a truly bloody affair.

Mason, Texas, 1876

by Tom Correa

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

No One Said Liberals Are Very Smart

Democratic Party Campaign Ad 1860

Dear Readers,

After reading about what Liberal have to say about the issues, whether its about the horrible fiscal policies that have us spending more than we take in or regarding social issues such as black-on-white racial attacks, it is apparent that Liberals are spreading hate and inciting violence against Conservatives.

Take for example a Hollywood actor type by the name of Chris Noth. And yes, I never hear of him either - at least not until I read this report.

The guy had the nerve to threaten Tea Party members with "being horsewhipped".

Now, as a matter of full disclosure, after reading the story I wanted to send this Hollywood bozo a horsewhip and offer him the opportunity to follow through with his statement.

It's true, I really wanted to send him a horsewhip and ask him if he'd like to come try to dish out the punishment he had in mind  -- on me!
He would have found out that I'm not the kind of Christian that turns the other cheek.

You see, I hate people who think they are better than others. I also don't like being threatened. or seeing others threatened.

 In fact, in my younger days, I'd take it real personal if or when someone did such a thing.

Actor Chris Noth saying that "Every Tea Party member should be horsewhipped" was a challenge that I'm sure he wouldn't want someone to take him up on.

Like most Liberals, for some reason Chris Noth sees himself as a privileged class of people - and political activism as something meant to be exclusively for Liberals.

I would love the chance to ask him, "I'm a member of the Tea Party because I believe in fiscal discipline because our nation in going broke. And for that, for that, you think I should be horsewhipped?"

Noth tweeted his desire to see everyone in the Tea Party "horsewhipped."

It was reported on October 17th, that second-rate actor Chris Noth of “Law and Order” and “Sex and the City” tweeted a call for violence against every member of the Tea Party.

"Every Tea Party member should be horsewhipped," he tweeted in early October.

Just one minute prior to issuing that violent message, he accused Republicans of racism, and falsely claimed they forced the partial shutdown that took place after Senate Majority Leader Democrat Harry Reid refused to consider a single Republican proposal to keep the government open.

"Highest level of racism was showed yesterday when Republicans forced a shutdown of our government. Mostly because our President is black," Noth said.

Imagine what sort of idiot equates a difference on fiscal policies and a new law that exempts the privileged and the powerful to racism?

"[I]s this America? Are we now not allowed to have our own opinions? We are not wrong if we don't agree with you, diff strokes," one person said in response to Noth's call to beat everyone in the Tea Party.

"[H]ave your opinions and own it," Noth said in response.

Yes, I'll own it. And if supporting becoming active in our government, supporting core American principles of freedom and liberty and self-government, and calling for fiscal responsibility makes be deserving of a horsewhipping?

Well then, Noth is one screwed up actor. And as for horsewhipping someone? 

Well Noth must be a real bad ass, especially when he's surrounded by security, but of course that fits the bill for most Democrats.

How do I know this? Because it is the way they operate!

For some time now, liberals have advocated violence against Conservatives and have especially targeted members of the Tea Party.

561839_4655744011943_1758877181_nHere an example: the man in the picture to the left was inspired to make death threats against Republican Sen Ted Cruz by Liberal Democrats. 

And yes, their rhetoric is so out of control.

The man under FBI investigation for making violent threats against Texas Republican Sen. Ted Cruz was inspired to encourage violence by Democratic Party messaging efforts.

We know this because he is in custody and has confessed to as much.

Troy Gilmore, Jr., who identifies himself as having served in the U.S. Navy, is under FBI investigation for possible violent threats on Twitter against Texas Republican Senator Cruz.

The FBI has communicated with Gilmore as part of the investigation and is monitoring for possible violence inspired by Gilmore’s online writings. …

The Twitter account of Gilmore, named “DarkNight,” is now protected.

But Gilmore wrote numerous threats toward Cruz on his Facebook page, the address of which ends with the term “countdown543,” while linking to anti-Republican activist web pages paid for by the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and a Democratic congressional campaign.

“I WILL SAY IT AGAIN LET’S GO TO TED CRUZ,HOME AND KICK HIS STINKING ASS FOR CAUSING THIS MESS.YOU CAN BET HE HAS HIS PAYCHECK AND HEALTH BENEFITS FROM THE SENATE AND CANADA. HE LIVES AT [address redacted by The Daily Caller], THE F@#$KING SCUM,” Gilmore posted on Facebook October 14, linking to a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee web page entitled “Demand Ted Cruz Denounce Disgusting Tea Party Attacks on President Obama.”

There’s much more at the link. Gilmore posted over and over again Cruz’s home address, possibly inspiring other unhinged liberals to go after Cruz and his family.

Yes, Ted Cruz is now living a life in a sort of protective-custody because of Liberals who see violence as the answer.

And please, please don't think this is only the Lefts reaction to something right now. Facts are that Democrats, extreme Liberal types, have been encouraging violence against Conservative for years.

Here are some examples:

"A spoiled child (Bush) is telling us our Social Security isn't safe anymore, so he is going to fix it for us. Well, here's your answer, you ungrateful whelp: [audio sound of 4 gunshots being fired.] Just try it, you little b*stard. [audio of gun being cocked]." -- A "humor bit" from the Randi Rhodes Show

Can you just imagine if that was said about President Obama instead of Bush? Let's face facts, Rhodes would have been arrested!
"I want to go up to the closest white person and say: 'You can't understand this, it's a black thing' and then slap him, just for my mental health" -- New York city councilman Charles Barron

"..And then there's Rumsfeld who said of Iraq 'We have our good days and our bad days.' We should put this S.O.B. up against a wall and say 'This is one of our bad days' and pull the trigger." -- From a fundraising ad put out by the St. Petersburg Democratic Club

"I believe in ecoterrorism." -- James Cameron, Hollywood Director of the movie Titanic

"...In an ideal world, American consumers could be convinced to do the right thing through an appeal to logic with public service messages like the 'What Would Jesus Drive?' TV campaign, but the kind of people who would buy a car that increases the risk to other motorists in an accident can't be reasoned with. They're selfish and stupid. It's unfortunate that drivers must worry that their SUVs are being targeted by insulting stickers and Molotov cocktails, but one thing's for sure: It couldn't be happening to a more deserving group of people." -- Ted Rall winks at ecoterrorism

"F*** God D*mned Joe the God D*mned Motherf*cking plumber! I want Motherf*cking Joe the plumber dead." -- Liberal talk show host Charles Karel Bouley on the air.

"Republicans don't believe in the imagination, partly because so few of them have one, but mostly because it gets in the way of their chosen work, which is to destroy the human race and the planet. Human beings, who have imaginations, can see a recipe for disaster in the making; Republicans, whose goal in life is to profit from disaster and who don't give a hoot about human beings, either can't or won't. Which is why I personally think they should be exterminated before they cause any more harm." -- The Village Voice's Michael Feingold, in a theater review of all places

(Rush Limbaugh)" just wants the country to fail. To me that's treason. He's not saying anything different than what Osama Bin Laden is saying. You might want to look into this, sir, because I think Rush Limbaugh was the 20th hijacker but he was just so strung out on Oxycontin he missed his flight. ... Rush Limbaugh, I hope the country fails, I hope his kidneys fail, how about that?" -- Wanda Sykes

"You guys see Live and Let Die, the great Bond film with Yaphet Kotto as the bad guy, Mr. Big? In the end they jam a big CO2 pellet in his face and he blew up. I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp. That day may come. Not yet. But we’ll be there to watch. I think he’s Mr. Big, I think Yaphet Kotto. Are you watching, Rush?" -- Chris Matthews

"I have zero doubt that if Dick Cheney was not in power, people wouldn't be dying needlessly tomorrow....I'm just saying if he did die, other people, more people would live. That's a fact." -- Bill Maher

"Drudge? Aw, Drudge, somebody ought to wrap a strong Republican entrail around his neck and hoist him up about six feet in the air and watch him bounce." -- Liberal radio host, Mike Malloy

"I know how the 'tea party' people feel, the anger, venom and bile that many of them showed during the recent House vote on health-care reform. I know because I want to spit on them, take one of their 'Obama Plan White Slavery' signs and knock every racist and homophobic tooth out of their Cro-Magnon heads." -- The Washington Post's Courtland Milloy

Some, like talk show host Mike Malloy, have expressed a bloodthirsty desire to see everyone in the small-government movement of the Tea party murdered.

Liberals in the media are helping to foment violence against Conservatives with even calls for military force and other action.

The day after he said we members of the Tea Party need a horsewhipping, he was in an interview with the Huffington Post.

Noth called members of the Tea Party "Confederates" and accused them of being "un-American" racists for opposing Obama.

So f irst Noth tweets a message saying that everyone in the Tea Party should "be horsewhipped," then he let's his mouth run away with itself and calls all of us Tea Party folks "un-American."

The jerkweed went on to tell the Huffington Post, "I think its gotta be the worst Congress since right before the Civil War. And I think rightly – who was it? Was it Carter or someone who called them a bunch of ‘Confederates. I mean they practically are. Why don’t they just secede from the Union?”

A Democrat Representative might have been listening to Noth's stupidity, because just yesterday Florida Rep. Grayson sent out an e-mail that portrays the Tea Party as Ku Klux Klan.

Photo: DISTURBING: Fundraising Email Apparently Connected to Democrat Congressman Features KKK and a Burning Cross

[ Read Email: ]

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As incredibly stupid as it sounds, Rep. Alan Grayson, Democrat from Florida, sent his supporters an email with the image of a burning cross comparing the Tea Party and its members to the Ku Klux Klan.

And the horrible thing, I'm betting that he has Democrat constituents who believe such Liberal horseshit!

In a Monday campaign email, Grayson included the transcript of an interview he did recently with MSNBC in which he said the politics of the government shutdown had turned many Americans away from the Tea Party, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

"At this point, the tea party is no more popular than the Klan," Grayson told the newspaper.

The email included a photograph of a burning cross with Klansmen in the background. The cross forms the "T" in the words "Tea Party" superimposed over the picture.

Below is the caption: "Now you know what the 'T' stands for," the Sentinel reported.

The email drew immediate criticism.

"The depiction of burning crosses in Congressman Alan Grayson's most recent fundraising ask is despicable and needlessly hurtful to the many millions of families that still deal with the wounds of racial prejudice," wrote Republican Jorge Bonilla, who's challenging Grayson in 2014, the Sentinel reported.

"What's worse, he does so for no other reason than to troll for donations for his re-election campaign."

Jennifer Burke, national outreach director of, called the email "deplorable," CNN reported.

"As a black tea party activist, I could say that there's nothing more offensive than equating the Tea Party with the Ku Klux Klan," Ms Burke said.

"The hate speech uttered by sitting congressman Alan Grayson is deplorable, even by the low levels reached in recent years when Democrats routinely call us racists and suicide bombers."

Republican operatives at the Republican National Committee, as well as the National Republican Senatorial Committee and the National Republican Congressional Committee, called on President Barack Obama and Democratic counterparts to condemn the language.

Grayson is using tactics straight out of  Nazi Germany when the Socialist there sought control of their people.

The campaign Grayson is using is the very same that the Nazi used against the Jews to turn the German people against them.

As the Nazis rose to prominence in the 1930s, they were supported by many in the Democrat Party back here in America.

Contrary to what people think, the Nazis in America remain a Leftist group simply because they do not believe in equality, individual liberty or tolerance, which are the principles that inspired the Founding Fathers and forged the American character.

The KKK, similarly, was founded by Democrats to oppose the equality and personal liberty of blacks freed slaves and Republicans in the Democrat controlled South.

Republicans were lynched and shot and mutilated along side the blacks. All done by Democrats in the KKK during Reconstruction.

Democrats created the KKK, invented Segregation, and installed a system of putting down black-Americans until the 1964 Civil Rights Act which the Democrats fought tooth and nail to stop.

And yes, they have the nerve to call Tea Party folks "racist."

It wasn't that long ago that the Democrat Party included a prominent KKK member who rose within the KKK to the position of Grand Cyclops.

Democrat Robert Byrd was a KKK Recruiter and wouldn't fight for the United States during World War II. Yet, Byrd rose to prominence in the U.S. Senate as a member of the Democrat Party.

If not the Tea Party, than who does the Democrat Party see themselves as having something is common with?

How about, The American Communist, Socialist and Nazi Parties, all of which have endorsed the Occupy Wall Street movement - just as the Democrat Party has.

None of them have endorsed the Tea Party or the Republican Party.

It is the Democrat Party that has the legacy of being racist and segregationists in America.

They have the history bringing the nation to war to keep their beloved Slavery; they were the Slave-Masters; they fought against every opportunity to better the lives of blacks and Hispanics; they kept blacks in the back of the bus.

And yes, in Birmingham, Alabama, Bull Connor was a Democrat!

It was Democrats who unleashed the dogs and fire hoses on those black-Americans.  

As for us Tea Party members, veterans, and other believers in the Constitution being threatened for our beliefs, our stance, our very fortitude to not take the socialization of American just laying down?

My belief is that we don't have a choice. We have to fight back and be steadfast in our beliefs that we are Americans and that we are doing right for our nation.

Besides, just ask yourself where your beliefs would fit in better?

Would it be at a Tea Party rally, or at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration backed by the Democrats?

Despite the Left's many attempts to inspire racism and violent incidents at Tea Party rallies, you won't find any reports of crimes instigated by Conservatives.

Now as for Liberal protests, in comparison there are usually rapes, thefts, fights, drug use, and of course the burning of police cars and smashing of shop windows.

Besides being stupid, completely ignorant of American history to not know that their own party created both the KKK and segregation in the South, they are too dumb to understand that all the destruction that they do during their Occupy protests mostly effects the blue-collar workers and small businesses who are usually having a tough time getting by.

So yes, preaching hate and violence seems to be the thing that Democrats do best these days.

But unlike days gone by where the Liberals simply pointed over at the Republicans to divert the attention away from themselves, we the American people are not buying it and see exactly what they are up to.

We understand the twisted logic and screwed way of thinking coming out of Liberals. And yes, it's true, no one said Liberal are very smart.

by Tom Correa

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Shutdown Deliberately Orchestrated by White House...

According to the former foreign editor of Newsweek and editor-in-chief of the New York Times Magazine, "the shutdown was deliberately orchestrated by the White House."

Did the White House intentionally cause such pain as a ploy to win votes, some believe that's the case.

Many are coming forward to say that that is one aspect of why it was done, the other being Obama's desire to destroy the Republican Party.

Author Ed Klein told the New York Post that President Obama’s closest adviser, Valerie Jarrett, developed a strategy to force a showdown with Republicans over ObamCare.

Jarrett recommended shutting down government because, Klein said, she believed voters would pin the blame on Republicans.

Supposedly, with the help of those vile folks at MSNBC, she believed the people would be so mad at the Republicans that that would give Democrats the win and subsequent control of the House of Representatives in the 2014 midterm elections.

Klein wrote a critical biography about Obama last year called “The Amateur.” He said he interviewed more than a half dozen White House and former presidential advisers about the shutdown plan.

Think you know the real Barack Obama? You don’t – not until you’ve read “The Amateur.”

He called Jarret the "architect" of the strategy of refusing to negotiate with Republicans over ObamaCare.

"She convinced the president that a government shutdown and default offered a great opportunity to demonize the Republicans and help the Democrats win back a majority in the House of Representatives in 2014," he explained.

"Valerie also came with the idea of using the words 'hostage,' and 'ransom' and 'terrorists' against the Republicans," Klein maintained.

He said Jarrett’s advice to Obama was, "Do not cooperate one iota on ObamaCare. Don’t give an inch. Let the Republicans stew in their own juice."

Klein added, "Republicans walked into a trap set up by Valerie Jarrett and President Obama."

Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, believes there was evidence in plain view that the administration planned the shutdown in advance.

Gohmert told Fox News that on the eve of the shutdown, Sept. 30, the administration already had barricades and cones in place.

"They had worked out in advance they were closing these things down."

The congressman said "that’s the only thing that explains" why the White House turned down their proposals and compromises.

Klein said White House insiders call Jarrett the "The Night Stalker" because she is the only presidential aide who is allowed to spend much time in the family quarters.

"Everyone in the Beltway knew Valerie Jarrett was influential," he said. "They didn’t know how influential she was."

He quoted top Democratic insider Vernon Jordan, whose wife is a cousin of Jarrett, as saying, "Her power derived from one simple fact — proximity. No one except Michelle Obama is closer to the president than Valerie."

This is one of those stories that I file under thanks, but I really already had an idea that that was what really took place.

I'm putting it here because I know there are those out there who want to blame Republicans for everything, but many of us don't need to have people confirm what we already knew.

I believe that many of my readers see Obama for what he is, a con artist, a street punk, a puppet to his masters on the other end of his teleprompter, a jerk who couldn't lead a boy scout troop nevertheless a nation.

He tried to inflict pain upon the American people during the shutdown. He closed parks and memorials that were not his to close. He spend more money trying to hurt us than simply leaving us alone.

Obama might have a thousand or even ten thousand who will ignore what he does and who will support him even if they themselves personally witnessed his setting a match to the Constitution - for those people, I actually feel sorry for them.

Like Christ Mathews and his ilk, they are America's Judas and work for silver.

They are Benedict Arnolds, but yet see themselves as being above us. They are the scum who have a microphone but not a shred of honor.

Yes, while Obama has a thousand Chris Matthews all marching lock step, there are millions of us who know better than what they are trying to sell us.

We will always remember the barricades and the police that were brought in to keep 80 and 90 year old veterans from visiting their memorials - maybe for the last time.

Come election day, though Obama and his stooges might think that us in the Tea Party are done, we will remember the little girl who as a last wish wanted to see the Statue of Liberty but was turned away by Obama's stooges in the National Parks Department.

Come election day 2014, we will remember that arrogant Democrats and some idiot Republicans believed that they are above following the same laws as the rest of us.

There are millions of us who might hate John McCain for his backstabbing other Republicans, but we also remember that it was Obama that needlessly went out of his way to make things harder and inflict pain on American citizens.

To have an American President actually go out of his way to make life harder on Americans just to show us that he is boss!  No, we won't forget very soon - if not at all!

Our job between now and the next election is to remember that it wasn't Republicans, it was Obama and his conspirators in the Democrat Party - criminals who one day should be brought to justice.

by Tom Correa

Friday, October 18, 2013

AAFMAA - Insuring American Troops Since The Little Big Horn

Dear Readers, 

I was recently contacted by AAFMAA to find out if I would write a blog about that organization. 

Frankly, I didn't know anything about them other than the fact that they were called the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA).

I found out that they are a not-for-profit, tax-exempt, member-owned association that provides life insurance and survivor services to the U.S. Armed Forces communities.

I found out that in 2012, AAFMAA membership exceeded 90,000. That's right, 90,000 of us!

Specifically, AAFMAA membership includes life insurance benefits, Member/Survivor Assistance Benefits with no war clause, no terrorist clauses, and no aviation clauses or exclusions, Wealth Management and Trust Services.

"Let's Pass The Hat Around!"

In my life, I've "passed the hat" around asking people to put money in a hat for friends in need, neighbors in trouble, students needing help, military friends and families who were having a tough time making it from paycheck to paycheck or fix the family car.

To "pass the hat" around is a way to collect donations of money from people to help others.

While I was in the Marine Corps, we passed the hat around to help others in the same way that many others in our military have done over the years.

"Passing the hat" has everything to do with AAFMAA

Everyone who reads my blog knows that I love history, especially Old West History.

Well, come to find out, the AAFMAA was started as a result of a huge event in American Military History in the American West. 

And yes, you'll probably be a little surprised at the connection. 

Believe it or not, AAFMAA was actually founded in 1879 by a group of U.S. Army Officers in response to the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Big Horn or "Custer's Last Stand" in 1876. 

In the Old West, during frontier times, when an soldier died, the remaining soldiers would literally "pass the hat" to raise money for the surviving family.

A dollar or two from the troops went a long way, at least for a while. And yes, a survivor could depend on the help of the other troops to help ease the burden and the loss.   

But what took place at the Little Big Horn was not seen since the Civil War, an entire unit was wiped out.

In the solitude of the Western Frontier, for that unit, there was simply no one to pass the hat to for any sort of help. 

That was really the moment in time when the soldier's system of passing the hat collapsed.

Along with Custer and his over 200 troops at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, another casualty of that battle was the ability for the survivors to fend for themselves.

There were simply too few survivors to pass the hat, thus leaving the deceased soldiers' families in need.

To remedy this situation, a group of U.S. Army officers stepped forward and established the association that today we know as the AAFMAA. 

What started as the Army Mutual Aid Association, later evolved to include the Air Force, as in the Army Air Force Mutual Aid Association. 

During its time, some of the notable AAFMAA members include:

• Gen. John J. (Black Jack) Pershing
• Gen. George C. Marshall
• President Dwight D. Eisenhower
• Gen. Carl A. (Tooey) Spaatz
• Gen. Omar N. Bradley
• Gen. William C. Westmoreland
• Gen. Creighton W. Abrams
• Gen. Walter T. “Dutch” Kerwin
• Gen. Michael S. Davison
• Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf

In 2013, the Army Air Force Mutual Aid Association name was officially changed to the American Armed Forces Mutual Aid Association (AAFMAA) as it is known today - and it included all branches of our military.

One vital Mission: Secure our Military Families during Reduction in Force
Since starting my small blog, I'm contacted from folks in the military seeking guidance about what to do for their families if they are affected by the draw down — big choices about life insurance, retirement benefits, survivor services and much, much more.

Many military members across our country face choices in the days ahead that could have a permanent impact on the security of their families. The costs of poor decisions could be high and they know it.

As a blogger, one who has made my own poor decisions in the past. I know first hand how poor decision making is usually a case of getting bad information.

Since I was asked to help our troops, our men and women in uniform, by informing them about their rights and their options, I'm proud to say that after a lot of research -AAFMAA could be the difference between a secure financial future and one that is not so secure.

I told the AAFMAA that I would help spread the word to members of our military - explaining to them that they have rights and a choice.

I know I speak for many when I say that if you served your country — if you put your life on the line for your country — then household budget issues like higher life insurance premiums should never stand in the way of family security.

So with us knowing that, where do we start?

Well, let's start by talking about the AAFMAA's stability

• As I mentioned before, AAFMAA was found in 1879 after "Custer's Last Stand"
• They have more than $1 billion in assets
• There are over 90,000 members
• And Membership Eligibility is your service to our nation.

The AAFMAA is open to all ranks of Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Coast Guard, and Air Force who are:

■ Active Duty (or within 120 days after separation)
■ Guard or Reserve (full or part time)
■ USMA, USNA, USMMA, USCGA, and USAFA cadets or midshipmen
■ ROTC contract/scholarship cadets
■ Retirees

It's also available to Honorably Discharged Veterans residing in Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Maryland, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, or Virginia.

And how about "Low-Cost" Insurance

AAFMAA offers some of the lowest-cost insurance in the business.

The details of their plans, their costs and their benefits are considerably different than anything available in the commercial marketplace

But really, price should not be the only comparison.

All insurance policies are not the same and military families have to understand what they are getting for what they pay.

Many commercial plans have exclusion clauses that mean they don’t have to pay if the policyholder dies in battle, by an act of terrorism, or in an aircraft crash, for instance.

That's not the case with AAFMAA.

Not only are AAFMAA life insurance policies less expensive than the competition, they also have no exclusion clauses.

And yes, AAFMAA coverage is available up to $1,000,000 regardless of the dangers faced.

All AAFMAA Life Insurance Policies Include:

• Competitive rates for service members and military spouses
• Survivor Assistance Services for members’ spouses
• No war, terrorist or aviation clauses, exclusions or surcharges
• No coverage limitations based on deployment status
• Coverage available up to $1,000,000 ($800,000 term)
• Continuation after separation or retirement from the Military (as policy allows)

AAFMAA Level Term I Monthly Premiums
They also have Low-Cost Loans

Everyone knows the feeling of being stretched a bit too thin at times.

The AAFMAA offers low-cost loan program known as CAP, which dishes-up as much as $4,000 in cash at just 1.5% interest to help service members get through hard times.

These loans are for AAFMAA members who are on Active Duty, including Guard and Reserves in pay grades E5-E9, WO1, CW2 and 01-03. There are other requirements which may apply, but I'm not going to go through all of the what have you here.

The point is that help is available without costing anyone an arm and a leg in interest.

I made the mistake of getting a loan when I was in the Corps. Yes, they had loans back in the Stone Ages!

I needed it to help my folks who were having a tough time at home. The interest rate was huge and I ended up learning the hard way from that horrible experience.

I can only hope that that doesn't happen to you.

And how about "Spousal Services"

One of the reasons that some of the guys who I knew in the Corps who never got married was their not wanting to leave a widow behind with no support and maybe a child to raise.

Today, while the loss of a loved one is still the greatest challenge a military family will face - there are ways of preparing that simply weren't available years ago.

Dealing with these decisions is hard enough, and making life-long choices in a time of anguish can be overwhelming.

AAFMAA Survivor Services is there with sound and caring advice and a steady hand in navigating the maze of benefits and entitlements.

Survivor Assistance Services is included with all member policies.

Losing a loved one is never easy. AAFMAA’s Survivor Assistance Services Team helps with immediate, personal and knowledgeable assistance.

• Notify DFAS of the member’s passing and assist widows and widowers with all necessary forms
• Initiate the life insurance policy death claim and discuss settlement options
• Notify the Veterans Administration of the member’s passing and assist with all necessary claim forms when applicable
• Claims Initiation and continuous follow-up

Anyone who has been in the military knows that we are more than a collection of individuals.

When you serve, your families serve as well. And yes, I've said it before and I'll say it again, military families are the true backbone of our military.

Those left at home to worry and wait, all while taking care of home and family with money and other pressures - they are our warriors at home.

They don't have it easy! And yes, they have my respect and admiration.

From the information that was sent to me by the AAFMAA, I gather only AAFMAA offers

This is an invaluable online tool connecting and strengthening the broad network of military spouses who hold these families together.

For advice, the latest news from the military community or just a sympathetic ear, is the place for military spouses.

So what are the Member Benefits?

As one of the AAFMAA family, you have access to a range of services to help you through every stage of life — in the military and beyond.

AAFMAA Member Services Team offers expert guidance on military benefits and entitlements.

AAFMAA Survivor Assistance Services Team offers compassionate and caring assistance in difficult times from the moment of death notification through the surviving spouse’s entire life.

Premier Services (Only $5.95 per month)

•Digital & Physical Vault Document Storage
•VA Disability Claims Coordination
•Military Benefits Analysis and Transitions Readiness Assessment

Wealth Management

For over 134 years, AAFMAA has had the best interests of its members at heart.

Their Wealth Management experts work closely with you to develop and implement a plan appropriate for your — and your family’s — specific financial situation and goals.

As for Financial Planning

Buying a home. Saving for college. Retirement planning.  We all have financial goals we want to achieve.

From financial road maps and cash flow analysis to retirement and estate planning, the AAFMAA may be able to help you plan for a secure future.

Investment Management

Managing and growing your hard-earned money is key to a secure future.

Their experts can help determine your optimum investment strategy, define and manage a portfolio customized for your goals in a way that suits your needs.

Trust Services

A well drawn trust manages and distributes assets on behalf of its beneficiaries.

As your trustee, AAFMAA Wealth Management and Trust works to ensure that your wishes are carried out.

Their attitude is "Members First, Always"

Commercial insurance companies often keep proceeds from death benefits in separate bank accounts held in a general corporate investment account.

These accounts earn investment income for the insurance company, while survivors receive uncompetitive rates.

AAFMAA does not have retained asset accounts. All funds are always invested for the benefit of members or their survivors at competitive rates.

The AAFMAA invests settlement amounts for the survivors, as well. All income after expenses is returned to the members or their survivors.

AAFMAA is based on the principle of “mutual aid.”

It is this "all-for-one, one-for-all" spirit that means military men and women know that someone else always has their back, no matter what the circumstances.

If you would like to look them over, just click AAFMAA

For me, I like the folks at AAFMAA.

Most of this information comes from the information that they made available to me. I checked most of it out and so I felt comfortable about posting it here.

As a matter of full disclosure, I am making absolutely no money for writing this blog about AAFMAA. 

AAFMAA is not paying me to write this blog, nor are they paying me to "advertise" their organization by way of this article.

In fact, the AAFMAA does not advertise with me on the American Cowboy Chronicles at all.

Fact is, I was contacted and simply asked if I could take a look at their organization and write an honest evaluation of what they have to offer - all in an effort to help our troops.

"Members first always," tells me a lot about them. 

As a former Marine, as a disabled veteran, I really wish I had these sorts of services available to me back when I was serving - and later when I was ready to get out.

If there were something like AAFMAA actually available at the time, I didn't know it. And yes, that's why I am writing this blog today.

Besides telling Kara, the rep for AAFMAA that I would do this, this blog post is to help you, my brothers and sisters in the military.

This is being provided to you so that you can take a look at AAFMAA in the future. You might find that it fits your needs, and the needs of your family.

If by chance you are one of my readers in the military right now, I hope and pray that you don't mind me saying how much I appreciate your service.

I am proud of who you are. I admire and respect your sacrifice. I believe with all my heart and soul that you are the hope of America.

And yes, you are my heroes!

Tom Correa
American Cowboy Chronicles

Yes, my heroes are not always Cowboys!