Friday, November 29, 2013

Pumpkins: A True American Wonder

Characteristics commonly used to define "pumpkin" include smooth and slightly ribbed skin, and deep yellow to orange color.

Around 2005, white pumpkins started to become increasingly popular in the United States.

Pumpkins, like other squash, are native to North America.

Pumpkins are widely grown for commercial use, and are used both in food and recreation.

While pumpkin pie is a traditional part of Thanksgiving meals in the United States, although commercially canned pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie fillings are usually made from different kinds of winter squash than the pumpkins frequently carved as Jack O'Lanterns for decoration around Halloween.

And yes, as is today, the pumpkin is a symbol of harvest time for at least 400 years in America.

Did you know that the Irish brought the tradition of carving gourds to America?

We all know of the importance of pumpkins for a Jack O'Lantern on Halloween, as Halloween has evolved from the Celtic tradition of All Hallow's Eve to what we know today.

Pumpkin carving evolved from the traditions of this annual event.

But, it wasn't pumpkins that were being carved in these ancient times. Pumpkins are native to America, and were not known to the Celtic people of Ireland. They carved turnips and rutabagas.

It's true! The tradition originally started with the carving of turnips.

When the Irish immigrated to the U.S., they found pumpkins a plenty and they were much easier to carve for their ancient holiday.

On the night which we call Halloween, glowing Jack O'Lanterns carved from turnips or gourds were set on porches and in windows to welcome deceased loved ones, but also to act as protection against malevolent spirits.

Burning lumps of coal were used inside as a source of light, later to be replaced by candles.

When European settlers, particularly the Irish, arrived in America they found the native pumpkin to be larger, easier to carve and seemed the perfect choice for jack-o-lanterns.

Halloween didn't really catch on big in this country until the late 1800's and has been celebrated in so many ways ever since!

What's in a Name?

Pumpkins are indigenous to the western hemisphere and were completely unknown in Europe before the time of Columbus.

In 1584, the French explorer Jacques Cartier reported from the St. Lawrence region that he had found "gros melons", which was translated into English as "ponpions," or pumpkins.

The name pumpkin originated from "pepon" – the Greek word for "large melon."

But, believe it or not, the term “pumpkin” has no agreed upon botanical or scientific meaning, and is used interchangeably with "squash" and "winter squash" in some areas.

Pumpkin refers to certain cultivars of squash, most commonly those of Cucurbita pepo, that are round, with smooth, slightly ribbed skin and deep yellow to orange coloration.

The thick shell contains the seeds and pulp. Some exceptionally large cultivars of squash with similar appearance have also been derived from Cucurbita maxima.

Specific cultivars of winter squash derived from other species, including C. argyrosperma, and C. moschata, are also sometimes called "pumpkin".

In New Zealand and Australian English, the term "pumpkin" generally refers to the broader category called winter squash elsewhere.

While pumpkins have been introduced to all corners of the world, pumpkins have been grown in America for over 5,000 years. Native Americans called pumpkins "isqoutm, or isquotersquash."

Native Americans used pumpkin seeds for food and medicine. American Indians used pumpkin as a staple in their diets centuries before the pilgrims landed.

When Pilgrims and other white settlers arrived, they saw the pumpkins grown by the Indians. That's when pumpkin soon became a staple in their diets as well.

Pilgrims took pumpkins, pies, and seeds back to England, and they quickly became popular.

Just as today, early settlers used pumpkins in a wide variety of recipes, from desserts to stews and soups.

And that's just some of the ways they found to eat pumpkin for themselves, they soon found out that livestock also took to pumpkins and there were others uses for pumpkins including also drying the shells and cut strips to weave into mats.

Did you know that pumpkins are not a vegetable - they are a fruit?

Pumpkins, like gourds, and other varieties of squash are all members of the Cucurbitacae family, which also includes cucumbers, gherkins, and melons - and surprisingly they are considered fruit.

The oldest evidence, pumpkin-related seeds dating between 7000 and 5500 BCE, has been found in Mexico.

Pumpkin Beer, Coffee, Ice Cream?

Yup! Several breweries produce a seasonal pumpkin ale, and the pumpkin spice latte is one of the most popular seasonal items sold during the Autumn months at Starbucks.

The largest "official" pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,340 pounds. The largest "unofficial" pumpkin ever grown weighed 1'458 pounds, but was not awarded due to damage.

The Connecticut field variety is the traditional American pumpkin.

Pumpkin Pies?

Pumpkin pie is a traditional sweet dessert, often eaten all year round.

But they are especially plentiful during the fall and early winter around Thanksgiving and Christmas in the United States and Canada.

So much so, that it is believed that has much as fifty-four percent of all Pumpkin Pie Spice sales occur in November.

Eighty percent of the pumpkin supply in the United States is available in October.

The largest pumpkin pie ever made was over five feet in diameter and weighed over 350 pounds - it used 80 pounds of cooked pumpkin, 36 pounds of sugar, 12 dozen eggs and took six hours to bake.

The first and simplest of all pumpkin puddings made by the Pilgrims, involved picking the pumpkin, washing it, hollowing it out, filling it with cream or milk, and baking it whole. This is what developed into pumpkin pie about 50 years after that first Thanksgiving.

In early colonial times, pumpkins were used as an ingredient for the crust of pies, not the filling.

Early colonists preserved pumpkins by drying them. First the skin was peeled and the insides scooped out. The pulp was sliced and placed on drying racks, or hung up to dry in the sun.

Colonists sliced off pumpkin tips; removed seeds and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. This was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.

The pumpkin was an early export to France; from there it was introduced to Tudor England, and the flesh of the “pompion” was quickly accepted as pie filler.

During the seventeenth century, pumpkin pie recipes could be found in English cookbooks, such as Hannah Woolley's The Gentlewoman's Companion, which was published in 1675.

The recipes did not appear in American cookbooks until the early nineteenth century.
Pumpkin pie did not become a common addition to the Thanksgiving dinner until the early nineteenth century.

The Pilgrims brought the pumpkins and pumpkin pie back to New England, while the English method of cooking the pumpkin took a different course.

In the 19th century, the English pumpkin pie was prepared by stuffing the pumpkin with apples, spices, and sugar and then baking it whole.

Many companies produce seasonal pumpkin pie-flavored products such as ice cream, coffee, cheesecake, pancakes, candy, and beer.

Throughout much of the United States it is traditional to serve pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving dinner.

Commercially made pumpkin pie mix is made from Cucurbita pepo, Cucurbita maxima, and Cucurbita moschata. "Libbey Select" uses the Select Dickinson Pumpkin variety of C. moschata for its canned pumpkins.

Many recipes, among them Pie and Cheesecake, include eggs and whole milk or half and half. The end product is outstanding in taste!

As for pumpkins and Thanksgiving?

Well, there are reports and documentation that say pumpkins were a part of the first Thanksgiving meal of the Pilgrims and the Indians.

Pumpkins from that time forward, have been, and continue to be a tradition at the Thanksgiving feast.

Not only is it associated with the meal itself, but the pumpkin has adorned and decorated homes and communities in honor of this event for hundreds of years.

Pumpkin and your Health

Pumpkins are 90 percent water.  Pumpkins are rich in Vitamin A and potassium. And yes, they are also high in fiber.

Pumpkin, raw, Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz), Energy 109 kJ (26 kcal):

Carbohydrates 6.5 g,  Sugars 2.76 g, Dietary fiber 0.5 g, Fat 0.1 g, Protein 1 g, Vitamin A equiv. 426 μg (53%), beta-carotene 3100 μg (29%), lutein and zeaxanthin 1500 μg, Thiamine (vit. B1) 0.05 mg (4%), Riboflavin (vit. B2) 0.11 mg (9%), Niacin (vit. B3) 0.6 mg (4%), Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.298 mg (6%), Vitamin B6 0.061 mg (5%), Folate (vit. B9) 16 μg (4%), Vitamin C 9 mg (11%), Vitamin E 0.44 mg (3%), Vitamin K 1.1 μg (1%), Calcium 21 mg (2%), Iron 0.8 mg (6%), Magnesium 12 mg (3%), Manganese 0.125 mg (6%), Phosphorus 44 mg (6%), Potassium 340 mg (7%), Sodium 1 mg (0%), Zinc 0.32 mg (3%)

Source: USDA Nutrient Database

The conclusion you should now be reaching is that they are therefore good for you. From a medicinal standpoint, pumpkins have been used for a variety of ailments - so go ahead and have that second piece of pumpkin pie, after all, it's good for you!.

Are Pumpkins a "Miracle Fruit"?

Pumpkins just might be a miracle fruit because researchers are working at figuring out just how good they are for us.

Preliminary research indicates that phytochemicals found in pumpkin may favorably affect insulin and glucose levels in laboratory diabetes models.

Two compounds isolated from pumpkin paste and then fed daily to diabetic rats over six weeks, trigonelline and nicotinic acid, caused significant reductions in blood glucose, cholesterol and triglycerides, indicating improvement in the diabetic condition.

And though we all know, bringing down cholesterol is combats heart disease, the benefits of pumpkins don't stop there.

As said before, pumpkins are considered fruit, but did you know that both pumpkin seeds and flowers are edible. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted as a snack and are good for your health.

The Native Americans found pumpkins to be good for us. And yes, today we are certain that pumpkin -especially the seeds - can help prevent prostate cancer in men.

Pumpkins were also once recommended for removing freckles and treating snake bites. I guess, after you're bit, just kick back and have a slice and all will be fine - or maybe not!

Other uses of pumpkins?

Well, its said that canned pumpkin is often recommended by veterinarians as a dietary supplement for dogs and cats that are experiencing certain digestive ailments such as constipation, diarrhea, and even hairballs.

As for us humans, the high fiber content helps to aid proper digestion.

Raw pumpkin can be fed to poultry, as a supplement to regular feed, during the winter to help maintain egg production, which usually drops off during the cold months.

Did you know that pumpkins are now grown all over the world?

Yes, since its discovery in America, it is a fact that six of the seven continents can grow pumpkins.

Antarctica is the only continent that they won't grow in. Pumpkins even grow in Alaska!

Did you know that the "pumpkin capital" of the world is Morton, Illinois?  Yes, this self proclaimed pumpkin capital is where you'll find the home of the Libby corporation's pumpkin industry.

As one of the most popular crops in the United States, 1.5 billion pounds (680,000,000 kilograms) of pumpkins are produced each year. The top pumpkin-producing states include Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and California.

According to the Illinois Department of Agriculture, 95% of the U.S. crop intended for processing is grown in Illinois.

Nestlé, operating under the brand name Libby's, produces 85% of the processed pumpkin in the United States, at their plant in Morton, Illinois. In the fall of 2009, rain in Illinois devastated the Nestlé crop, resulting in a shortage affecting the entire country during the Thanksgiving holiday season.

Pumpkins are a warm-weather crop that is usually planted in early July.

And how about Pumpkin Chucking?

Yes, it is a competitive activity in which teams build various mechanical devices designed to throw a pumpkin as far as possible.

Catapults, Trebuchets, Ballistas and even Air Cannons are the most common mechanisms.

Believe it or not, there are Gamers in every sport, and in Pumpkin Chucking some pumpkin chuckers breed and grow special varieties of pumpkin under specialized conditions to improve the pumpkin's chances of surviving a throw.

So when is "pie" a bad thing? Well, in pumpkin chucking, when a pumpkin doesn't hold together on launch - that's called "pie"! For chuckers, a pumpkin coming apart and turning into pumkin haze in the air is the worse site there is.

Pumpkin Festivals? 

About 20 years ago, I waded through the mob over on the California coast at one of my favorite places on earth, Half Moon Bay, California - which on normal days is only about an hour from where I used to live in the San Francisco Bay Area.

On the weekend of the Annual Pumpkin Festival, its bumper to bumper over the hills to the tiny town, and that hour trip may take two or more. And yes, once there, it's a mad house sort of festival of fun and good foods.

Pumpkin growers in the area compete to see whose pumpkins are the most massive. And yes, the ffestival is a time for this to take place.

Half Moon Bay's annual Pumpkin Festival draws over 250,000 visitors each year and includes the World Champion Pumpkin Weigh-Off.

The Weigh-Off is where farmers from all over the US compete to determine who can grow the heaviest pumpkin. The winning pumpkin regularly tops the scale at more than 1500 pounds.

Leonardo Urena, from Napa, California, grew the winner of the 2011 Weigh-Off with a 1,704-pound Atlantic Giant, setting a new California State record.

The record for the world's heaviest pumpkin was broken on September 30, 2012, at the Topsfield Fair in Massachusetts when Ron Wallace of Greene, Rhode Island, entered a pumpkin weighing 2,009 pounds.

And yes, as expected, Guinness World Records is always recording who is the newest winner.

So besides using pumpkins to make my favorite pies, feed livestock, and cut up at Halloween, pumpkins are used to make soups, breads, beers, coffees, ice creams, and they are good for us medically.

Oh, and yes, they are also people who love to chuck them.

But for me, as much fun as pumpkin chucking looks, I take my pumpkin in pies.

The way I look at it, I'm tired of people telling me what's bad for me. Let me be an adult, and yes, trust me that I'm smart enough to know what is good for me and waht's not.

With everything being labeled as being bad for us, it seems that there really aren't that many things anymore that people will not slap a WARNING labe on. And no, I don't really know if they have gotten to pumpkin pies or not!

But I do know this, they taste great and are really good for us. Besides being nutritious, they taste wonderful and are good for the soul!

So my friends, now that we know just how wonderful and healthy pumkins are for us, this information can be used as a great excuse to our really needing that second piece!

File:Pumpkin Pie.jpg

Story by Tom Correa

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Whom To Thank When There’s No Recipient?

The Atheist’s Thanksgiving Dilemma

Written by John F. MacArthur

November 21, 2012

Thankfulness is one of the distinguishing traits of the human spirit. We sense the need to say thanks, and we realize we ought to be more grateful than we are.

We furthermore perceive that we are indebted to (and accountable to) a higher power than ourselves — the God who made us. According to Scripture, everyone has this knowledge, including those who refuse to honor God or thank Him.

Ingratitude is dishonorable by anyone’s reckoning, but to be willfully ungrateful toward the Creator is to deny an essential aspect of our own humanity.

The shame of such ingratitude is inscribed on the human conscience, and even the most dogmatic atheists are not immune from the knowledge that they ought to give thanks to God.

Try as they might to suppress or deny the impulse, “what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them,” according to Romans 1:19.

During a November 2009 debate in England sponsored by a rationalist group known as Intelligence Squared, Richard Dawkins admitted that when he looks at the Milky Way or the Grand Canyon, he is overcome by a profound feeling of thankfulness.

“It’s a feeling of sort of an abstract gratitude that I am alive to appreciate these wonders,” he said. “When I look down a microscope it’s the same feeling. I am grateful to be alive to appreciate these wonders.”

To whom does an atheist like Mr. Dawkins express such gratitude?

I’m by no means the first person to point out this conundrum.

In fact, the Internet is peppered with failed attempts to justify an atheistic celebration of Thanksgiving.

Atheists insist they are not ungrateful. They confess that they feel thankful, and they clearly sense a need to avoid the ignominy of brazen ingratitude on a cosmic scale — especially at Thanksgiving.

One atheist has practically made a hobby of writing articles to explain why atheists feel the need to be thankful and to answer the question of whom they might thank. His best answer?

He says atheists can be grateful to farmers for the food we eat, to doctors for the health we enjoy, to engineers for the advantages of modern technology, to city workers for keeping our environment clean and orderly — and so on.

Here’s the problem with that: Tipping the waitress or tipping one’s hat to sanitation workers doesn’t even come close to resolving the problem of whom Mr. Dawkins should thank when he looks at the stars, stands at the edge of the Grand Canyon, or studies the world of countless wonders his microscope reveals in a single drop of pond water.

Of course, we ought to be thankful on a human level to people who help make our lives better.

But if thanking people exhausts your sense of blessedness and satisfies that “sort of … abstract gratitude” you feel when pondering the vastness of the universe, you have already suppressed your own conscience to a frightening degree.

Your worldview is spiritually bankrupt.

Another atheist writer, acknowledging this problem, says the answer is easy for her: She is grateful to her lucky stars.

“What it comes down to,” she writes, “is that an atheist is generally thankful for good luck, serendipity.”

That’s an odd and ironic answer from a point of view that repudiates theism on the grounds that it is not “rational” to believe in God.

After all, the starting point for atheistic materialism is the equation nobody times nothing equals everything. What could possibly be more irrational?

Furthermore, chance (luck, fortune, happenstance, fate—whatever label you want to put on it) is not a force or intelligence.

“Chance” has to do with mathematical probability. Flip a coin and there’s a 50-50 chance it will come up tails. But “chance” has no power to flip the coin, much less design an ordered universe.

Nevertheless, that’s how atheistic materialists have trained themselves to think.

Chance is the ultimate creator. In the words of one Nobel Prize-winning atheist, “Pure chance, absolutely free but blind, is at the very root of the stupendous edifice of evolution.”

Fortune has thus been personified — imbued with the power to determine, order and cause everything that happens.

That’s mythology, not science.

At the end of the day, the atheist is no more rational and no less superstitious than the astrologist who thanks impersonal “lucky stars” for good fortune.

On some level, atheists themselves surely realize this.

Proof of their internal angst is seen in the fact that so many of them are not content merely to disbelieve.

They are militant in their opposition to God. They hate the very thought of God and would love to have every mention of Him removed from public discourse — as if that would somehow remove the burden of their own ingratitude and relieve the pangs of a guilty conscience.

But as Scripture says, it is the ultimate folly to try to suppress our own innate sense of obligation to our Maker.

“The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God’” says Psalm 14:1. In short, to deny God is to debase one’s own mind and dehumanize the whole person.

That’s why we remind ourselves to give thanks to God — specifically, the one true God who has revealed Himself in Scripture as a God of grace and forgiveness, who so loved the world that He gave His Son as an atonement for sin, so “that we might die to sin and live to righteousness,” according to 1 Peter 2:24.

He graciously compels us to thank Him, and He himself should top the list of things we are thankful for.

-- end article.

Editor's Note:

Reprinted here on American Cowboy Chronicles unedited and with pleasure.

John F. MacArthur is president of The Master’s College and Seminary, host of internationally-syndicated radio show “Grace to You,” and author of nearly 400 books and study guides.

God Bless You and Yours!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

South Dakota Ranchers Need Our Help

Yes, after the catastrophic October 2013 snowstorm,  South Dakota Ranchers still need our help.


In early October of this year, 2013, South Dakota and its neighboring states were hit with a snow storm of historic proportions. While states were hit, South Dakota caught the full brunt of the the storm.

Four to five feet of snow fell in the Black Hills area during the storm, killing at least 100,000 head of livestock, South Dakota state officials say.

South Dakota was hit the hardest and the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association estimates that parts of the state lost at least 5 to 10 percent of its cattle.

Ranchers were encouraged to take carcasses to sites which were built to state Animal Industry Board guidelines.

At one site in western South Dakota more than two 20-foot-deep disposal pits were opened to help ranchers dispose of tens of thousands of livestock carcasses piled up since the early October blizzard decimated herds.

The already saturated by the quickly melting snow, made it difficult for ranchers to traverse the vast terrain to assess losses and tend to stressed but surviving animals.

Behind that epic blizzard another snowstorm slammed into the Black Hills. It did nothing to help the situation, bringing a foot of snow, it only complicate the mess.

Animal Industry Board rules require carcasses to be burned, buried to a depth of 4 feet or disposed of by a licensed rendering plant within 36 hours of death, though South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard had waived the standard time frame, recognizing the difficulty in meeting that deadline.

Ben Kantack, a former South Dakota State University Extension entomologist, said he worries about dead cattle hidden in remote locations, saying they will create public health issues as they decompose.

He said ranchers need to make sure their surviving cattle don’t come into contact with a carcass or drink from water where one is rotting.

Kantack was concerned about water contamination.

The pits were dug specifically to avoid such health problems, as burial sites must be at least 1,000 feet from surface water, floodplains, rivers or private or public drinking water wells.

Burial is also prohibited when the primary subsurface material 20 feet below the bottom of the pit is primarily sand or gravel or when the depth to an aquifer is less than 20 feet from the bottom of the pit.

Ranchers in South Dakota were afraid they may lose everything after the freak storm - killing as many as 100,000 cattle.

Matt Kammerer, a 45-year-old rancher whose family has operated in South Dakota’s Meade County since 1882, told that he lost 60 cattle in the storm, or one-third of his entire herd.

" ... It’s just dead cow after dead cow, where they’ve gotten caught in dams, streams, fences, you name it. They’re dead everywhere."- Rancher Matt Kammerer

“You’re talking about $120,000 of assets that are just gone,” Kammerer said Friday by phone. “And we still owe the banks, too. It’s like driving a brand-new pickup off a cliff and still having to make payments.”

Kammerer painted a gruesome scene north of Rapid City, where a record 23 inches of snow fell.

“It’s just unreal,” he said. “There are cattle that are 8 or 9 miles away from the pasture they were in, just lying dead. And within that whole stretch, it’s just dead cow after dead cow, where they’ve gotten caught in dams, streams, fences, you name it. They’re dead everywhere.”

Carcasses of mature cows as well as calves were floating downstream local waterways in droves, Kammerer said, stoking fears of a potential outbreak of disease.

“If you don’t get those picked up and buried, you’re looking at the possibility of disease or possibly contamination,” he said. “You’ve got to get them all picked up.”

Most ranchers in the state lost anywhere between 50 to 75 percent of their herds, according to Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, which represents 1,500 ranching operations.

“We’re certainly looking at tens of thousands if not pushing 100,000 at this point,” she said of the dead livestock.

Aside from the economic losses, which will be severe once finally tallied, the unprecedented storm has left an “incredible emotional burden” on the state’s ranchers, Christen said.

“They know how dependent these livestock are on them and they’re absolutely emotionally devastated at the losses they’re seeing,” she said. “It’s been extremely difficult.”

In the days since the storm, Christen said ranchers are now focusing on providing medical care to the animals that did survive.

“That really has to be the priority before we start counting loss,” she said. “They need to make sure they’re safe and that they stay healthy now.”

Gary Cammack, a 60-year-old rancher near Union Center in Meade County, said he lost about 15 percent of his herd, including 70 cows and some calves, which normally sell for $1,000.

A mature cow usually brings in $1,500 or more, he said.

Livestock were initially soaked by 12 hours of rain before 48 consecutive hours or snow and winds up to 60 mph, Cammack said.

Matt Kammerer said his ranch will be able to recover, but he’s more worried about his fellow cattlemen.

“We just had one of the worst droughts ever and now we take a hit like this,” Kammerer said, his voice cracking with emotion.

“It’s just catastrophic. I’m going to be fine; it’s my counterparts … it’s my neighbors, my friends, the people you can’t even look in the face to tell them that you’re sorry.”

So how big was the snowstorm?

The unusually early and enormous snowstorm over that weekend caught South Dakota ranchers and farmers unprepared, killing tens of thousands of cattle and ravaging the state's $7 billion industry — an industry left without assistance because of the federal government shutdown.

Across the state, snow totals averaged 30 inches, with some isolated areas recording almost 5 feet, The Weather Channel reported.
The storm was accompanied by hurricane-force wind gusts, which drove some herds seeking shelter miles from their ranches.

A trail of carcasses left a gruesome sight, said Martha Wierzbicki, emergency management director for Butte County, in the northwestern corner of the state.

"They're in the fence line, laying alongside the roads," Wierzbicki told The Rapid City Journal. "It's really sickening."

Ranchers have no one to ask for help or reimbursement. That's because Congress has yet to pass a new farm bill, which subsidizes agricultural producers.

State Agriculture Secretary Lucas Lentsch called the early-season blizzard "devastating to our producers," saying his agency was trying to figure out a response.

In the meantime, he said, the best farmers and ranchers could do was to meticulously document their losses, with detailed photos, for use when and if claims can be processed.

The most immediate concern was the proper disposal of the dead livestock, which state law says must be burned, buried or rendered within 36 hours — for the health not only of surviving herds but also for people.

"That can be a significant source of disease spread, so we want to make sure those carcasses are burned, buried or rendered as quickly as possible," Dustin Oedekoven, South Dakota's state veterinarian, told the Journal.

But the South Dakota Cattlemen's Association warned that the effects would be felt for years afterward. Not only were tens of thousands of calves killed, but so were thousands more cows that would have delivered calves next year.

And the stress of the storm will leave its mark on surviving herds, the South Dakota State University Agricultural Extension Service said, leaving the remaining cattle vulnerable to ruinous diseases with names like infectious bovine rhinotracheitis, bovine respiratory syncytial virus and bovine viral diarrhea virus.


Ranchers donate cattle after South Dakota blizzard kills livestock

November 25th, 2013

One to start a new herd. This one from Russ Allderdice runs onto the J S Livestock yard in Havre, Montana.

Russ Allderdice and other area ranchers brought cattle to the stockyard throughout the day to send to the South Dakota ranchers whose cattle was ravaged by the October blizzard.


Nov. 21, 2013: Rene Brown locks up a cattle delivery at the J S Livestock yard in Havre, Montana. Brown collected cattle donations from area ranchers to send to the South Dakota Ranchers whose cattle was ravaged by the October blizzard. (AP/Havre Daily News, Lindsay Brown)

Hope on hooves is arriving in South Dakota, one heifer at a time.

A month after the freak snow storm dumped 4 to 5 feet of snow on South Dakota, 45 donated head of cattle from Montana designed to serve as breeding stock were sent to ranchers in The Mount Rushmore State.

Another 400 cattle, including yearling and bred heifers worth as much as $75,000, have also been sent to South Dakota from neighboring Montana, Wyoming and North Dakota to help the afflicted ranchers get back on their feet ahead of the looming harsh winter.

“The support from other states has been phenomenal,” Silvia Christen, executive director of the South Dakota Stockgrowers Association, told early Monday, November 25th.

“We have volunteers from in the state who have helped with cleanup, we have people from surrounding states who shipped heifers and about $1.5 million has been donated to the Rancher Relief Fund.”

Christen estimated in the days after the storm that as many as 100,000 cattle would ultimately die as a result of the “devastating” storm, although state officials have said the blizzard killed roughly 14,000 cattle, more than 1,200 sheep, nearly 300 horses and 40 bison.

She still expects that number to “go up quite a bit” in coming weeks.

Part of the problem, Christen said, is that state officials have relied on self-reporting from ranchers, some of whom may be dealing with the guilt of not suffering widespread losses like their counterparts.

“They’re a very private, self-sufficient group,” Christen said of ranchers.

“The emotional flow of this whole thing has been incredible. These ranchers define themselves as caretakers of their animals and many of them feel they have failed in their role.”

Christen continued: “Many of them say, ‘Well, our neighbors had it worse,’ and some of them haven’t reported those losses due to survivor’s guilt. Many of these ranchers won’t be able to financially survive this. There’s an incredible amount of guilt among those who are going to survive. Many of them wish they can do more for others.”

Two people desperate to make a difference were Montana ranchers Rene Brown and Alisha Burcham, who began gathering cattle donations from northern Montana through Heifers for South Dakota.

The organization selected family ranches that had herds of roughly 160 cattle but lost up to 60 percent of them in the storm.

“Twelve hours this way with that storm and that could have been us,” Brown told The Associated Press.

Brown, a rancher near Chinook, Mont., could not be reached for comment early Monday. Her brother-in-law, Earl Brown, started moving the donated cattle on Friday.

“I told him I wanted to get a pot load of cattle together to send to South Dakota,” she continued.

“He told me I couldn’t do it and that if I did, he would drive them there. Well, we did and even have donations for the fuel, so he’s donating his time for the drive.”

Many small producers in South Dakota did not have insurance due to high costs, she said.

“Congress may approve some disaster aid, but that’s not a sure thing and they can’t even pass a farm bill,” Brown said.

But frankly, these people don't wait for Congress.

“This donation will make a big difference to ranchers in South Dakota. I knew the Hi-Line would come through, but it is humbling to see this come together.”

The South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund was established by a consortium of livestock organizations following the blizzard and has thus far raised $1.5 million, Christen said.

An application deadline of Dec. 31 has been set in order to assess the number of applicants and the severity of those applicants’ needs.

“The outpouring of support for the West River ranchers who lost animals during the blizzard has been overwhelming,” South Dakota cattleman Cory Eich said in a statement.

As more winter comes, Christen said colder conditions have helped the cleanup effort by drying up large mud patches created by melted snow and water runoff.

“The snow has melted and we’ve had some new snowfall, but there’s not a lot on the ground,” she said. “The ground is freezing though, which is actually helping things because it’s easier to move around these ranches and get to remote areas.”

And while the long-term financial outlook looks dicey for some ranchers, especially young breeders, Christen said livestock producers in South Dakota have plenty to be thankful for ahead of the holiday season.

“It has been incredible to see the kind of support we have gotten,” Christen told “It’s really kind of beyond words. It’s been very humbling.”

American farmers and ranchers are some of the toughest people on the face of the earth. They endure when others fail, and they don't ask help from anyone.

These great Americans who feed us and the world need our help.

If you would like to contribute to the The South Dakota Rancher Relief Fund, please do so by clicking on the links below and give what you can to help those who really need our help.

At this time, let's be the ones who showed what we are made of and help our neighbors in South Dakota!    

If one link doesn't work, please try the other.

BHACF/SD Rancher Relief Fund  

Ranchers Relief Fund   

Thank you, and God Bless you!

Tom Correa
American Cowboy Chronicles

Monday, November 25, 2013

George Zimmerman's Actions & Character

Dear Readers,

Last year, I wrote an article saying why I supported George Zimmerman in his case.

I have gotten a lot of email on this. While many are laced with profanity calling me everything in the book, and yes there have been many who have threatened me and my family, some are simply comments calling people like me who would not hesitate using a gun to protect myself  - cowards.

I usually hit delete and move on not worrying about it.

I've just received this latest comment on that post which I decided was so typical of the people who have wrote, yet was not threatening, that I wanted to share it with you:

Anonymous November 19, 2013 at 2:35 PM

"it's not hard to kick a cowards ass. Put a gun in his hand and now he is a hero. It would have never happened if the coward didn't have a gun. He even pulls guns on women. Guarantee you he would never do that that to a full grown man or anyone with a gun in their possession.. Keep supporting losers cowboys! Do you know the real origin of cowboys?"

This is my reply to that person:

While I agree that it's true that it's not hard to kick a coward's ass, what does that have to do with anything? Nothing really.

As for George Zimmerman,  I've NEVER said in any editorial that he is a hero of any sort.

I have said that he was being sat on and was having his head beaten into the concrete pavement, in what is commonly known as a "ground and pound," and to my belief of the facts given to the public -- he used his pistol as a last resort to save his own life.

I believe that you would have done the same thing if you felt that your life was in mortal danger, I know that I would.

For me, if for any other reason, simply because my training says that in a combat situation -- I should use everything in my personal arsenal to stay alive.

Now, like many of you, I have read about Zimmerman's latest problems with the law.

I've never addressed the man's "character" restricting myself to only talk about his actions against Martin.

He could be a card cheat and a woman beater, a bum and a low life, on the other hand he can be someone who volunteers his life to the sick and needy - I don't know the guy.

I only know what I would have done if I had a younger stronger assailant on top of me trying to kill me by smashing my head into the cement.

I would have used everything including shooting Martin in the case that I've described.

As for Zimmerman breaking the law himself and assaulting others, he should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law for that crime..

As for me and others supporting losers, well I would support you if you were in the same situation as he was on his back that night and you used your legally carried pistol to save your own life.

If your character as a man is a loser, that doesn't take away from the fact that you have the right to defend yourself - loser or not.

As for the origin of cowboys? Yes, I know the origin. What does that have to do with your accusing me of supporting some loser like yourself who was within the law to act as he did?

Write me, let me know why you feel it would have been OK for Martin to go ahead and kill Zimmerman, but it was not OK for a loser like Zimmerman or you to protect his or your own life?

Ask yourself this, if you were armed and on your back. And yes, you felt that you were about to die, knowing that you carried a gun for self-defense -- would you have used it? Or, and be honest, would you have really allowed Martin to kill you by smashing your head into the concrete pavement?

Write me to tell me if you would have taken what you call the coward's way out - or would you have not done everything that you could to stay alive?

If you put yourself in Zimmerman's place, are honest with yourself, and still say that you wouldn't have shot Martin - then you are a bigger coward than most.

Only a true coward, a real loser, wouldn't do everything in his or her power to stay alive when faced with the prospect of death.

Thanks for your comment,
Tom Correa

Also ...
I find that there are two camps when it come to the whole George Zimmerman / Trayvon Martin case.

The first camp is made of Conservatives who believe that we all have a right, a moral obligation, a duty, to use "every means" at our disposal to fend off danger and protect our lives.

We in that camp understand that "every means" also means using a gun if we have one.

The second camp is made up of Liberals who believe that while it is OK to kill a helpless child before birth, and forgive those on Death Row, that we are duty bound to run away if we can -- and of course, if that is useless, they feel that we should simply allow aggressors to kill us without a fight using everything at our means.

I believe that Liberals would have rather seen George Zimmerman die, be found dead after having his head caved in, than see him defend himself with a gun or a knife or a brick or whatever.

For the record ...

Since I have been asked, let me answer.

The fights that I have been in were never something called "friendly fights." I have never been in, nor ever seen, such a thing called a "friendly fight."

Each and every fight that I have ever been in, I immediately understood that the man who I was fighting wanted to hurt or kill me.

And yes, I in turn obliged them meeting force with force and moreso - all with the same intent.

I never tried to hit and run, or shake their hands afterwards. I was taught that anything short of fighting "all out" is a waste of time.

Those who have tried to hurt me in the past fully understand that I don't believe in rules when trying to preserving my life - or protecting those I hold dear.

Maybe it is my Marine training, but I truly believe that one who does not fight with every means available, to the fullest extent of his or her abilities, is the real coward!

Some call my training barbaric and vicious in a civilized world, but frankly I expect one to fight in an altercation with the same zeal and effort, wanting to use any and every means at their disposal, the same as if they were fighting cancer - with the desire to stop it or kill it.     
That's just how I see it.

Tom Correa

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Civil Rights: The Democrat's Big Lie Revealed.

Dear Readers,

I'm often asked the question, "Did the Republican Party do anything for blacks?"

Of course I am amazed just how many people, especially young people, either have not been told or simply don't realize that President Abraham Lincoln, our Nation's Great Emancipator, was in fact a Republican.

Many do not realize that the Republican Party was founded in 1854 as the anti-Slavery party.

And yes, even today, the Republican Party has championed freedom and civil rights for all Americans of every color and of both sexes. 

Fact is, whether Liberals want to admit it or not, history shows that the Democrat Party is as it always has been - the party of Slavery, Secession, Segregation and Socialism.

History tells the truth in that it was Democrats who fought to keep blacks in slavery and passed the discriminatory Black Codes and Jim Crow laws, as well as vote against Women's Rights time and time again.

The Democrats started the Ku Klux Klan to lynch and terrorize blacks, Republicans, and Catholics.

It was the Democrats who started the policy of relocating Native Americans, enslaving immigrants, retaining the system of slavery, and systematically waging war on civil rights legislation to prevent the passage of every civil rights law beginning in the 1860’s and continuing all the way up to the 1960’s.

Yes, they fought equality for over 100 years!

In order to break the Democrats’ stranglehold on the black vote and free black Americans from the Democrat Party’s economic plantation, we must shed the light of truth on the Democrats.

We must demonstrate that the Democrat Party policies of socialism and dependency on government handouts offer the pathway to poverty.

That's their solution, while Republican Party principles of hard work, personal responsibility, getting a good education and ownership of homes and small businesses offer the pathway to prosperity.

What are the many atrocities that Democrats have done to the black community, and women over the years? Well, here you go!

Civil Rights: The Democrat Lie Revealed.

October 13, 1858

During Lincoln-Douglas debates, Democrat Senator Stephen Douglas states:

“I do not regard the Negro as my equal, and positively deny that he is my brother, or any kin to me whatever!”

Sen. Douglas became Democrat Party’s 1860 presidential nominee

April 16, 1862

President Lincoln signs bill abolishing slavery in District of Columbia; in Congress, 99% of Republicans vote yes, 83% of Democrats vote no

July 17, 1862

Over unanimous Democrat opposition, Republican Congress passes Confiscation Act stating that slaves of the Confederacy “shall be forever free”

January 31, 1865

13th Amendment banning slavery passed by U.S. House with unanimous Republican support, intense Democrat opposition

April 8, 1865

13th Amendment banning slavery passed by U.S. Senate with 100% Republican support, 63% Democrat opposition

November 22, 1865

Republicans denounce Democrat legislature of Mississippi for enacting “black codes,” which institutionalized racial discrimination

December 24, 1865

Six well-educated former Confederate Army Officers, all Democrats, from Pulaski, Tennessee, create the Ku Klux Klan.

February 5, 1866

U.S. Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (R-PA) introduces legislation, successfully opposed by Democrat President Andrew Johnson, to implement “40 acres and a mule” relief by distributing land to former slaves

April 9, 1866

Republican Congress overrides Democrat President Johnson’s veto; Civil Rights Act of 1866, conferring rights of citizenship on African-Americans, becomes law

May 10, 1866

U.S. House passes Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the laws to all citizens; 100% of Democrats vote no

Republicans coin the term "Civil Rights".
June 8, 1866

U.S. Senate passes Republicans’ 14th Amendment guaranteeing due process and equal protection of the law to all citizens; 94% of Republicans vote yes and 100% of Democrats vote no

January 8, 1867

Republicans override Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto of law granting voting rights to African-Americans in D.C.

July 19, 1867

Republican Congress overrides Democrat President Andrew Johnson’s veto of legislation protecting voting rights of African-Americans

March 30, 1868

Republicans begin impeachment trial of Democrat President Andrew Johnson, who declared:

“This is a country for white men, and by God, as long as I am President, it shall be a government of white men”

September 12, 1868

Civil Rights activist Tunis Campbell and 24 other African-Americans in Georgia Senate, every one a Republican, expelled by Democrat majority.

They would later be reinstated by Republican Congress

October 7, 1868

Republicans denounce Democratic Party’s National Campaign theme:

“This is a white man’s country: Let white men rule”

October 22, 1868

While campaigning for re-election, Republican U.S. Rep. James Hinds (R-AR) is assassinated by Democrat terrorists organized as the Ku Klux Klan.

During that year, in a newspaper interview, Democrat Party hero Nathan Bedford Forrest states that the Ku Klux Klan's primary opposition was to Republicans in and out of state governments, the rights for freed black slaves, carpetbaggers, scalawags, and Catholics.

He went on to say lynching and assassinations would be used for all.

During that period, Reconstruction, the Ku Klux Klan, the White League, and the Red Shirts were the para-military groups described as "the military arm of the Democratic Party."

For the next 100 years, just Klan violence alone benefited the Democrat Party by suppressing opposition voting to Democrat candidates.

December 10, 1869

Republican Gov. John Campbell of Wyoming Territory signs FIRST-in-nation law granting women right to vote and to hold public office

February 3, 1870

After passing House with 98% Republican support and 97% Democrat opposition, Republicans’ 15th Amendment is ratified, granting vote to all Americans regardless of race

May 31, 1870

President U.S. Grant signs Republicans’ Enforcement Act, providing stiff penalties for depriving any American’s civil rights

June 22, 1870

Republican Congress creates U.S. Department of Justice, to safeguard the civil rights of African-Americans against Democrats in the South

September 6, 1870

Women vote in Wyoming, in FIRST election after women’s suffrage signed into law by Republican Gov. John Campbell

February 28, 1871

Republican Congress passes Enforcement Act providing federal protection for African-American voters

April 20, 1871

Republican Congress enacts the Ku Klux Klan Act, outlawing Democratic Party-affiliated terrorist groups which oppressed African-Americans

October 10, 1871

Following warnings by Philadelphia Democrats against black voting, African-American Republican civil rights activist Octavius Catto was murdered by a Democratic Party operative.

His military funeral was attended by thousands

October 18, 1871

After violence against Republicans in South Carolina, President Ulysses Grant deploys U.S. troops to combat Democrat terrorists who formed the Ku Klux Klan

November 18, 1872

Susan B. Anthony after boasting to Elizabeth Cady Stanton that she voted for “the straight Republican ticket,” she was arrested be Democrat law enforcement officials.

January 17, 1874

Armed Democrats seize Texas state government, ending Republican efforts to racially integrate government

September 14, 1874

Democrat white supremacists seize Louisiana statehouse in attempt to overthrow racially-integrated administration of Republican Governor William Kellogg; 27 killed

March 1, 1875

Civil Rights Act of 1875, guaranteeing access to public accommodations without regard to race, signed by Republican President U.S. Grant; passed with 92% Republican support over 100% Democrat opposition

Almost 100 years later, the 1875 Civil Right Act will be used as the foundation for the 1964 Civil Rights Act which we be the last time Democrats attempt to stop black Americans from having equal rights.

January 10, 1878

U.S. Senator Aaron Sargent (R-CA) introduces Susan B. Anthony amendment for women’s suffrage.

Democrat-controlled Senate defeated it 4 times before election of Republican House and Senate guaranteed its approval in 1919.

Republicans foil Democratic efforts "to keep women in the kitchen, where they belong."

"The Civil Rights Cases of 1883"

In 1883, the cases were a group of five similar cases consolidated into one issue for the United States Supreme Court to review.
The Democrat controlled Supreme Court held that Congress lacked the constitutional authority under the enforcement provisions of the Fourteenth Amendment to outlaw racial discrimination by private individuals and organizations, rather than state and local governments.

More importantly, in particular, the Democrat controlled High Court held that the Republican written and passed Civil Rights Act of 1875, which provided:

"that all persons within the jurisdiction of the United States shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities, and privileges of inns, public conveyances on land or water, theaters, and other places of public amusement; subject only to the conditions and limitations established by law, and applicable alike to citizens of every race and color, regardless of any previous condition of servitude"

- was held to be "Unconstitutional."

In 1964, the Republican written Civil Rights Act of 1875 would be used as the foundation for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 - which was the last battle waged and lost by Democrats trying to keep any race of American in bondage.

June 7, 1892

A black man named Homer Plessy agreed to be arrested for refusing to move from a seat reserved for whites.

Democrat Judge John H. Ferguson upheld the law, and the case of Plessy v. Ferguson slowly moved up to the Supreme Court.

February 8, 1894

Democrat Congress and Democrat President Grover Cleveland joined together to repeal the Republicans' Enforcement Act - which had enabled African-Americans to vote

Democrat controlled states enacted literacy tests, poll taxes, elaborate registration systems, and eventually whites-only Democratic Party primaries to exclude black voters.

The enacted poll taxes required citizens to pay a fee to register to vote. These fees kept many poor African Americans, as well as poor whites, from voting.

The Democrat Party created and and passed these racist laws which proved very effective.

In Mississippi, fewer than 9,000 of the 147,000 voting-age black Americans were registered after 1890. In Louisiana, where more than 130,000 black voters had been registered in 1896, the number had plummeted to 1,342 by 1904.

May 18, 1896

A Democrat controlled U.S. Supreme Court, the only desenting vote being from a Republican, ruled that segregation in America was "Constitutional."

In that case, the Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of social segregation of the "white and colored races" under the "separate but equal" doctrine.

January 15, 1901

Republican Booker T. Washington protests Alabama Democratic Party’s refusal to permit voting by African-Americans

May 29, 1902

Virginia Democrats implement new state constitution, condemned by Republicans as illegal, reducing African-American voter registration by 86%

February 12, 1909

On 100th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth, African-American Republican Women’s Suffragists Ida Wells and Mary Terrell co-found the NAACP

100 years later they will be a partisan Democrat organization even though Democrats have a history of racial bigotry and segregation.

May 21, 1919

Republican House passes constitutional amendment granting women the vote with 85% of Republicans in favor, but only 54% of Democrats; in Senate, 80% of Republicans would vote yes, but almost half of Democrats no

August 18, 1920

Republican-authored 19th Amendment, giving women the vote, becomes part of Constitution; 26 of the 36 states to ratify had Republican-controlled legislatures

January 26, 1922

House passes bill authored by U.S. Rep. Leonidas Dyer (R-MO) making lynching a federal crime; Senate Democrats block it with filibuster

June 2, 1924

Republican President Calvin Coolidge signs bill passed by Republican Congress granting U.S. citizenship to all Native Americans

October 3, 1924

Republicans denounce three-time Democrat presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan for defending the Ku Klux Klan at 1924 Democratic National Convention

September 1928

Georgia-born Democrat Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Grand Dragon of the Ku Klux Klan wrote on page 21 of the September 1928 edition of the Klan’s “The Kourier Magazine”:

“I have never voted for any man who was not a regular Democrat. My father … never voted for any man who was not a Democrat. My grandfather was …the head of the Ku Klux Klan in reconstruction days…. My great-grandfather was a life-long Democrat…. My great-great-grandfather was…one of the founders of the Democratic party.”

June 12, 1929

First Lady Lou Hoover invites wife of U.S. Rep. Oscar De Priest (R-IL), an African-American, to tea at the White House, sparking protests by Democrats across the country

August 12, 1937

Democrat president Franklin Roosevelt nominated Hugo Black, ardent racist and anti-Catholic, to the Supreme Court.

August 17, 1937

Republicans organize opposition to "former" Ku Klux Klansman and Democrat U.S. Senator Hugo Black, who was appointed to U.S. Supreme Court by FDR

Known for giving anti-Catholic and segregationist speeches while in office as a Senator from Alabama, his position in the Ku Klux Klan and affiliation with that organization came out during his confirmation hearing.

But with the power of the Democrat Party being what it was at the time during the Great Depression, he was overwhelmingly confirmed.

So yes, America has had a "former" Klu Klux Klan member sit on the highest court in the land, and he was a Democrat.

If you're thinking he was the only "former" Klan member Democrat in Congress over the years, you're wrong.

Besides Hugo Black, there were many other Democrats who were "former" Klan members who enjoyed the endorsement of the Ku Klux Klan while in office.

Hugo Black typified the philosophy over the years when he said of the Ku Klan Klan, "I'll join any group if it helps me get votes."

June 24, 1940

Republican Party platform calls for integration of the armed forces. Democrat president Franklin Roosevelt take up the issue and order it

September 30, 1953

Earl Warren, California’s three-term Republican Governor and 1948 Republican vice presidential nominee, nominated to be Chief Justice.

Yes, it was a Republican who wrote landmark decision in Brown v. Board of Education

November 25, 1955

Eisenhower administration bans racial segregation of interstate bus travel

March 12, 1956

Ninety-seven Democrats in Congress condemn Supreme Court’s decision in Brown v. Board of Education, and pledge to continue segregation.

This wasn't only a condemnation, almost every Democrat politicians in the South at the time took an oath and signed "the Southern Manifesto."

It was officially called "The Declaration of Constitutional Principles," known informally as the Southern Manifesto.

It was a document written in February and March of 1956, in the United States Congress. It was the Democrat Party's opposition to racial integration of public places.

The manifesto was signed by 97 Democrats from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia.

The Democrat Congressmen drafted the document to counter the landmark Supreme Court 1954 ruling Brown v. Board of Education, which determined that segregation of public schools was unconstitutional.

Democrat Senators led the opposition, with then Democrat Strom Thurmond writing the initial draft and none other than Richard Russell - who they named the Senate Building after - did the final version.

The manifesto was signed by 19 Senators and 82 Representatives, including the entire congressional delegations of the states of Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Virginia.

All of the 99 signatories were Democrats - except for two Republicans, Joel Broyhill and Richard Poff of Virginia.

School segregation laws were some of the most enduring and best-known of the Jim Crow laws that characterized the American South and several northern states at the time.

The Southern Manifesto accused the Supreme Court of "clear abuse of judicial power."
It promised to use "all lawful means to bring about a reversal of this decision which is contrary to the Constitution and to prevent the use of force in its implementation."

The Democrats argued in The Southern Manifesto that the Tenth Amendment to the United States Constitution should limit the reach of the Supreme Court on such issues.
The Democrats gave their oath to stop any sort of Civil Rights legislation.

June 5, 1956

Republican federal judge Frank Johnson rules in favor of Rosa Parks in decision striking down “blacks in the back of the bus” law

November 6, 1956

African-American civil rights leaders Martin Luther King and Ralph Abernathy vote for Republican Dwight Eisenhower for President

September 9, 1957

President Dwight Eisenhower signs Republican Party’s 1957 Civil Rights Act - both future president's John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson vote against it.

September 24, 1957

The 1957 Civil rights Act sparks criticism from Democrats such as Senators John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson,

Republican President Dwight Eisenhower deploys the 82nd Airborne Division to Little Rock, AR to force Democrat Governor Orval Faubus to integrate public schools

May 6, 1960

President Dwight Eisenhower signs Republicans’ Civil Rights Act of 1960, overcoming 125-hour, around-the-clock filibuster by 18 Senate Democrats

May 2, 1963

Republicans condemn Democrat sheriff of Birmingham, Alabama, for arresting over 2,000 African-American school children marching for their civil rights

September 29, 1963

Gov. George Wallace (D-AL) defies order by U.S. District Judge Frank Johnson, appointed by President Dwight Eisenhower, to integrate Tuskegee High School.
June 9, 1964

Republicans condemn 14-hour filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act by U.S. Senator and former Ku Klux Klansman Robert Byrd (D-WV), who served in the Senate until his death in 2010.

June 10, 1964

Republican Senate Minority Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) criticizes Democrat filibuster against 1964 Civil Rights Act, calls on Democrats to stop opposing racial equality.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was introduced and approved by a staggering majority of Republicans in the Senate.

The Act was opposed by most southern Democrat senators, several of whom were proud segregationists—one of them being Al Gore Sr.

Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson relied on Illinois Senator Everett Dirksen, the Republican leader from Illinois, to get the Act passed.

August 4, 1965

Senate Republican Leader Everett Dirksen (R-IL) overcomes Democrat attempts to block 1965 Voting Rights Act; 94% of Senate Republicans vote for landmark civil right legislation, while 27% of Democrats oppose.

Voting Rights Act of 1965, abolishing literacy tests and other measures devised by Democrats to prevent African-Americans from voting, signed into law; higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats vote in favor

February 19, 1976

Republican President Gerald Ford formally rescinds President Franklin Roosevelt’s notorious Executive Order authorizing internment of over 120,000 Japanese-Americans during WWII

September 15, 1981

Republican President Ronald Reagan establishes the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, to increase African-American participation in federal education programs

June 29, 1982

President Ronald Reagan signs 25-year extension of 1965 Voting Rights Act

August 10, 1988

President Ronald Reagan signs Civil Liberties Act of 1988, compensating Japanese-Americans for deprivation of civil rights and property during World War II internment ordered by FDR

November 21, 1991

President George H. W. Bush signs Civil Rights Act of 1991 to strengthen federal civil rights legislation

August 20, 1996

Bill authored by Republican U.S. Rep. Susan Molinari (R-NY) to prohibit racial discrimination in adoptions, part of Republicans’ Contract With America, becomes law


As for legislative segregation, it is dead in America.

But, racism in the Democrat Party is not!

That year, Democrat Senator Harry Reid described fellow Democrat and Black American candidate for president Barack Obama during the presidential campaign as a black candidate who could be successful thanks in part to his “light-skinned” appearance and speaking patterns “with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one.”

What in creation is “Negro dialect?”

During that same campaign former president Bill Clinton said of Senator Obama, “A few years ago this guy would have been getting us coffee.”

At the Democrat National Convention, when black American Democrat Rep. John Lewis used his convention speech to argue that a Republican victory in November "will send African-Americans back to when he and other Africans-Americans were forcibly denied access to restaurants, public transportation, restrooms, and the ballot box."

Yes, he's either stupid, ignorant of history, ungrateful for the sacrifice and struggle that Republicans made fighting for the civil rights of black Americans, or he is just dishonest and lying.

He tried to set race against race for political gain, and that is a form of racism.

He went on and on describing his activism in the Southern states in the 1950 and 1960s, Lewis claimed, “I’ve seen this before, I lived this before!"

What he was in fact trying to do  -- was divide America with lies that he knows damn well are lies.

The Democrat delegates there went crazy, then Lewis said, "We were met by an angry mob that beat us and left us lying in a pool of blood. Brothers and sisters, do you want to go back?"

He openly lied to the people that night. If he didn't lie, than he is ignorant of history that he had supposedly lived.

And by the way, the sheriff who turned the dogs and the fire hoses on the Civil Rights marchers was a Democrat.

And let’s not forget the words of liberal icon Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood…

"We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population…."

From the end of the Civil War, black Americans primarily favored the Republican Party due to its overwhelming political and more tangible efforts in achieving abolition, particularly through President Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation.

In the middle 1960s, blacks started voting primarily Democrat.

So the next time any Democrat claims they have always been supportive of Civil Rights in America, go ahead and ask them to explain their past?

The biggest lie is not acknowledging your own history. 

The biggest lie that the Democrats are now trying to spread is the insane notion that it was "only" Southern Democrats, or that they were really Racist Republicans who carried the Democrat label.

Fifty years ago, black American started voting Democrat.

Yes, black Americans overwhelmingly vote for the political party which has made every effort to keep them in bondage - if not by means of chains, then by promise after promise , program after program, handout after handout - like some sort of group of benevolent Slave Owners.

The Democrat Party has never gotten pass their Slave Owner mentality, their Socialist views show that - they believe in bondage, turning citizens into subjects, to coerce or force submission from others.

2013 Slave Owner Mentality or Civil Rights Champions?

Today, part of the Democrat Party's big lie is that they are the Champions for Civil Rights and are always ready to fight for Black Americans.

To demonstrate just how controlling the Democrat Party is of "their" black constituents, take for example how the Democrats who controlled the the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's March on Washington refused to allow the only sitting black U.S. Senator to speak at the event.

And incredible as it seems, believe it or not, the only current African American member of the U.S. Senate, Tim Scott, was not invited to speak at the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" speech - even though high-profile celebrities including Oprah Winfrey and Ambassador Caroline Kennedy were included in the lineup.

The reason why he was not invited is that sole African-American U.S. Senator Tim Scott is a Republican from South Carolina.

So instead of attending, the South Carolina Republican instead marked the occasion speaking at a King anniversary event in North Charleston.

Republican Senator Scott also penned an op-ed for The State newspaper, entitled, "March on Washington created legacy of opportunity."

It is a very appropriate editorial considering today's Democrat Party is aligned with those who dream of having a Socialist/Communist American government in which the people are ruled by being subjected to force, power, or coercion just as Slave Owners would!

And no, after all of these years, I have no idea why black Americans vote for a group of people who systematically lie and keep them down.

When you hear some Democrat say, “Democrats are unwavering in our support of equal opportunity for all Americans. That’s why we’ve worked to pass every one of our nation’s Civil Rights laws… On every civil rights issue, Democrats have led the fight.”

Well, since you now really know their history, their big lie, you now know they're lying!

Like the Peanuts Cartoon at the top of this article says, "Racism Sucks! But Being Falsely Accused Of Racism Sucks Too!"

Democrats have the long tradition of racism, not Republicans.

Story by Tom Correa

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Newton Massacre & Reciprocal Justice, 1871

The Newton Massacre is also known as the Gunfight at Hide Park. That was the name given to an Old West gunfight that occurred on August 19, 1871, in Newton, Kansas. To me, it was a murder. But more than that, it was the best case of reciprocal justice to ever take place in the West.

It was well publicized at the time, but since has really received very little attention from Hollywood which has been the real legend maker. The reason that it's not very is interesting because unlike other more well-known gunfights of the Old West, the Newton Massacre did not involve any notable or well known gunfighters. And frankly, like say with Wild Bill Hickok versus Dave Tutt, it did not propel any of its participants into any degree of fame.

But, even though that's true, its legend has grown because one of the participants simply walked away from the scene. Yes, like an avenging angel who did his task and just disappeared never to be seen again.

Why Newton, Kansas?

When the Santa Fe Railroad extended its line to Newton, Kansas in 1871, the new frontier town of Newton succeeded Abilene as the end of the Chisholm Trail. Like other Kansas cowtowns, Newton quickly filled with stores and shops selling all sorts of goods to get in on the cattle money. Along with the stores and other merchants were saloons, gambling parlors, dance halls, brothels, and inevitably the those of low character who were lawless violent men.

The whole affair began when two local lawmen by the names of Billy Bailey and Mike McCluskie argued over local politics on August 11th in the Red Front Saloon. Billy Bailey was a Texas cowboy who had wound up in Newton after one of the long cattle drives. He decided to stay and get work there. Both men had been hired by Newton town police department as Special Policemen to keep order in the city during the heated August elections. Mike McCluskie was an Irishman from Ohio who was known to be a pretty tough character by anyone's standards. He had made his way to Kansas via his employment with the Santa Fe Railroad as a Railroad Night Policeman.

At that time, the fledgling town of Newton was trying to form a new county and who would lead these efforts was a major debate among the locals. Though they worked together and in tandem, the town and the railroad, McCluskie and Bailey had a personality conflict from the start and were constantly arguing about just about everything. They had one of those relationships in life where two guys just disagree to disagree because they don't like each other. I'm sure you've known a few people like that. I know I have.

Round One!

The two men were in the Red Front Saloon on August 11th, again this was in 1871. Their argument soon led to violence in the form of a fistfight as McCluskie and Bailey got into it. Bailey is said to have been knocked out of the saloon and into the dirt street. McCluskie was close behind and aiming to give Bailey a shellacking.

It isn't known if McCluskie thought Bailey went for a concealed pistol or not, but for whatever reason McCluskie drew his pistol and fired two shots at Bailey. The second shot is said to have slammed into Bailey's chest.

So an incident that began with an argument between the two lawmen, Billy Bailey and Mike McCluskie, over local county politics on election day in the Red Front Saloon located in downtown Newton, turned into a fist fight. Bailey was knocked outside the saloon and into the street, and the fight ended when McCluskie followed after him and shot Bailey in the chest. Bailey is said to have never produced a weapon, and he died the next day on August 12th, 1871.

They say that "Innocent people don't run!" But they also say that "It good to stay a step ahead of a Vigilance Committee so that you can live long enough to tell your side of the story."

In this case Mike McCluskie fled town to avoid arrest and maybe facing an angry citizenry. He returned a few days later after getting the word that the shooting was deemed self defense. It's said that despite the fact that Bailey hadn't pulled a gun, he may have made a move for the one he was wearing. At that move was enough for just cause to shoot.

To add to that, McCluskie had claimed he feared for his life. He said that he shot Bailey in self-defense because he knew that in three previous gunfights Bailey had killed two men. Remember, in those days, just being threatened meant that you could defend yourself.

And yes, the downside of having a reputation as a gunman in the Old West worked against Billy Bailey. You see, the upside to having a reputation is that it may keep you safe if someone is thinking about taking you on. For example in the case of Doc Holiday who had exaggerated his own reputation as a killer just as a way of protecting himself. It made people think twice before wanting to take him on over say suspecting him of cheating.

The downside of having a reputation as a gunman is that people were more apt not take any chances in a fight. If someone was a known killer, it was a real good chance that they would be shot merely out of knowing that they were not people to trifle with. For example, take the case of John Selman who found the famous gunman John Wesley Hardin playing dice at the bar of the Acme Saloon. Without a word, Selman walked up behind Hardin and killed him with a bullet in the head. Hardin's reputation as a gunslinger worked against him and made Selman look at getting an edge when wanting to kill him. The Texas jurors acquitted Selman of any wrongdoing and called it self-defense.

As stated before, the downside to Billy Bailey having a reputation is that it helped Mike McCluskie claim that it was a self-defense killing whether it was or wasn't.

Round Two!

Billy Bailey was a native of Texas. He had several cowboy friends who were in town as well. Yes, others who knew him on the trail and had also stayed in Newton. Upon hearing of his death, they vowed revenge against McCluskie. It was all about an eye for an eye since they saw the law as siding with McCluskie. They also believed the people in Newton didn't care if their friend Bailey was killed simply because the people there saw all cowboys as trouble-makers. Yes, even though Bailey was a Special Officer for the town, many there saw him as a lowlife Texan. It's said that some even wondered why it took so long for someone to shoot Bailey since some say he was known to bully others. 

On August 19th, 1871, Mike McCluskie was in Newton. He was at Tuttles Dance Hall located in an area of town called Hide Park. Yes, that's why it's also called "The Gunfight at Hide Park." He was accompanied by two friends, Jim Martin, and an 18 year old young man who he befriended by the name of James Riley.

Shortly after his initial arrival in Newton, McCluskie befriended Riley who was dying of tuberculosis. Riley and McCluskie were said to be inseparable to the point that people called Riley, "McCluskie's shadow."

Enter the Texas Cowboys

As McCluskie was gambling and drinking, just after midnight three of Bailey's Texas cowboy friends walked in. They were Billy Garrett, Henry Kearnes, and Jim Wilkerson. All were armed, and Billy Garrett supposedly had a history of at least two prior gunfights where he had been supposedly killed two men. The three mingled for a while in the saloon. But mostly, it's said they waited and watched Mike McCluskie.

A few minutes later another Texas cowboy by the name of Hugh Anderson, the son of a wealthy Bell County, Texas, cattle rancher also entered the dance hall. Anderson is said to have walked up to McCluskie, and started yelling, "You are a cowardly son-of-a-bitch who killed my friend! I will blow the top of your head off!"

McCluskie's friend Jim Martin jumped up and attempted to stop the fight from occurring. Anderson simply ignored Martin, and drew his pistol and shot McCluskie. Knocked to the floor and reeling in pain, McCluskie actually drew his pistol and attempted to shoot Anderson. Sadly for McCluskie, his pistol misfired.

Hugh Anderson then stood over McCluskie as he rolled over on the floor in pain. It was then that Anderson shot McCluskie several times in the back. In the meantime while this was going on, Texas cowboys, Kearns, Garrett, and Wilkerson also began firing into McCluskie and the ceiling to keep the crowd back. 

Here comes James Riley!

As James Riley sat in the saloon, he witnessed what just took place in front of him. Being as young as he was, its believed that Riley had never been involved in a gunfight before. Of course there are some accounts that say James Riley calmly walked over and shut and locked the saloon doors before calmly taking revenge on those who just shot his friend. Others say he simply just started shooting and blazed away wildly. He was looking for an eye for an eye.

Which ever way it happened, Mike McCluskie's friend and mentor, Riley then and there decided to get into the fight and maybe even out the odds by pulling two Colt revolvers and opening fire on the Texans. 

Riley was actually in a fairly good position to avenge his friend McCluskie. You see by now the Texas cowboys who sought revenge against McCluskie had one huge disadvantage. It's believed that those Texas assassins had used all of their rounds on McCluskie and shooting into the ceiling to keep the crowd at bay. When Riley took them on, their guns were empty.

Imagine the shock when someone started shooting at them and they were not able to return fire? It is said that the room was already filled with gunsmoke from all the shots fired at McCluskie. This was 1871 and everyone was shooting Black Powder rounds as Smokeless Powder hadn't been invented yet. So yes, it must have been thick enough to cut with a knife. But even though visibility was horrible as gunsmoke filled the air, Riley ended up shooting seven men that day.

Jim Martin, the would-be peacemaker, was shot and later died of his wound. Why he was shot is unknown, but one round did in fact strike Jim Martin. It's sad that he was shot in the neck, and stumbling out of the saloon. He later died on the steps of Krum's Dance Hall.

Texas cowboy Billy Garrett was shot in the shoulder and chest and died a few hours later. Fellow cowboy Henry Kearnes was also hit but hung on for a week before he finally died. The other two Texas cowboys, Jim Wilkerson, and the first shooter Hugh Anderson were both hit as well. Jim Wilkerson was shot in the nose and the leg, but surprisingly recovered from his wounds. Hugh Anderson took two shots in the leg and also recovered

Riley shot a bystander by the name of Patrick Lee, who was a Santa Fe Railroad brakeman. No one really knows if Lee went for a gun or simply happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Patrick Lee was shot in the stomach and died two days later. Another Santa Fe employee known only as Hickey was also shot in the calf, but the wound was not serious and he survived.

With both of his Colt's empty and all of his enemies on the floor bleeding, wounded, or dying, James Riley simply walked away from the saloon and left.

James Riley simply disappears.

His leaving is one of the more interesting parts of the story. With seven men lying on the floor, young James Riley who had never been in trouble before simply walked out of the smoke filled saloon and was never seen again. Imagine that for a moment. After what most believe is probably the biggest gunfight in the history of the Old West, the man who enacted justice and vengeance simply disappeared as if he were never there.

Some say James Riley left the area, and changed his name to began a new life elsewhere. But frankly, due to his ill health because of the TB, it's more likely that he died not long after the shooting probably under an assumed name.

No, it wasn't over yet!

As for the rest of what happened? Later that day, a warrant was issued for the arrest of Hugh Anderson for premeditated murder. It's said that his wealthy father and a few of his friends smuggled Anderson aboard a train and away from the law. He was seen in Kansas City, and later Hugh Anderson made his way back to Texas and his father's ranch. Once in Texas, he recovered from his wounds. Sadly, Anderson was never brought to trial for McCluskie's murder.

But that doesn't mean that justice wasn't served. You see Arthur McCluskie, Mike's brother, wanted revenge. So, believe it or not, for two years, Arthur and his friends kept a lookout for Hugh Anderson who stayed safe in Texas.

That is until July 4th, 1873. That's when Hugh Anderson made the mistake of returning to Kansas. It was that that Arthur McCluskie tracked him to Medicine Lodge. Anderson was said to be working at Harding's Trading Post as a bartender when Arthur McCluskie and friends found him.

The story goes that Arthur McCluskie sent a friend into the trading post to call out Anderson to come out into the street for a dual. Arthur invited him to a dual and gave him a choice weapons. Anderson could chose either guns or bowie knives. Anderson agreed and chose pistols.

Soon afterwards, Anderson emerged from the trading post. And in what has been described as one of the worse fights in the history of the Old West, the two men went about the process of trying to kill the other.

In what could only be considered an incredibly brutal and bloody battle, both men shot each other several times. In fact, both men emptied their guns into each other. But that didn't stop them, as they then went after each other with bowie knives. Slashing, hacking, and stabbing each other, neither man survived.

It's said that a man is duty bound to go after the killer of one's brother. As with Arthur McCluskie, in many cases in the Old West they did just that. And while it can be said that the Texas Cowboys were faithful friends to Billy Bailey, James Riley too was also faithful to that rule that says a man should stand with his friends even if it means putting your own life in jeopardy.

Was it a matter of Justice being served, an eye for an eye?

Though the Newton Massacre, the shootout that is also known as "The Gunfight at Hide Park," had gotten a lot of publicity during its time, it has received very little attention through the years. Frankly, I think that's strange considering it was a gunfight that produced a higher body count than many of the more famous gunfights we know of today. Certainly more drama than Wild Bill Hickok versus Dave Tutt, or what took place at the shootout in the lot near the OK Corral.

Many believe this is probably because there were no "famous" people involved in the gunfight. Yet some of those "famous" people didn't become "famous" until after their death like say in the case of Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday.

My belief is that, unlike James Butler Hickok who was made famous by a Dime Novelist, and unlike Wyatt Earp who was actually unknown in his own time and only became famous after his death when his biography was published, no one wrote a book about the Newton Massacre or made it into a movie.

We forget that that the gunfight at the OK Corral in 1881 was overshadowed by bigger feuds and was really only a local story for more than 50 years. It wasn't until 1931, that the OK Corral became famous with the publishing of Wyatt Earp's version of what took place.

Imagine the tales, the acts of vengeance and valor, of self-sacrifice and loyalty, that have passed us by. All which we simply don't know about because they are only local stories. There might be more than what we know to the story of what took place there that day in Newton, Kansas.

As for how justice was dealt with outside the law? Life and the law may have been an "eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." After all, the principle that a person who has injured another person is penalized to the same degree has been around a long time. And in the case of the Newton Massacre, it may be the perfect example of retaliation and punishment in kind repeated over and over again.

The downside to the law of reciprocal justice when trying to settle a score is that sometimes, people lose track of what started it and end up living in a world of mutual retaliation. And while violence feeding on violence is never a good thing, some say the upside is having known that justice had been served when the law failed to act.

Whether we like it or not, as human beings, we do get a sense of satisfaction from knowing that someone has gotten what's coming to them. And as is the case today, enforcement of justice does not always mean law enforcement. It certainly did not mean that in the Old West.

Tom Correa