Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Last Day of the Vietnam War -- April 30th 1975

Today, April 30th marks exactly 40 years since the largest helicopter airlift in history took place. It was designated Operation Frequent Wind. April 30th, 1975, was the last day of the Vietnam War. And yes, Operation Frequent Wind would go down as history's largest helicopter evacuation ever to take place. It would become a time and date which witnessed over 7,000 South Vietnamese flee Saigon for their very lives.

Before the Operation, we were told that 150,000 North Vietnamese Communists troops were just outside Saigon, South Vietnam, ready to pounce. A few weeks earlier, we were conducting Operation Eagle Pull, the evacuation by air of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

At the beginning of April 1975, Phnom Penh, one of the last remaining strongholds of the Khmer Republic, was surrounded by the Khmer Rouge and totally dependent on aerial resupply Pochentong Airport. With a Khmer Rouge victory imminent, the US government made contingency plans to evacuate American nationals and allies to get them out by helicopter to ships in the Gulf of Thailand. 

Operation Eagle Pull started on April 12th, 1975, and is said to have been a tactical success carried out without any loss of life. It was just 5 days later that the Khmer Republic collapsed, and the Khmer Rouge occupied Phnom Penh. By the end of the month, we were preparing for another evacuation, but this time it would be Saigon, South Vietnam.

On April 12th,1975, the 2nd Battalion, 4th Marines (2/4), who was aboard USS Hancock, took part in Operation Eagle Pull, the evacuation of Americans from Phnom Penh, Cambodia. By the end of April, Marine Battalion Landing Team (BLT) 2/4 would take part in Operation Frequent Wind and Saigon's evacuation.

As strange as it sounds today, we all knew when the Operation was to start back then. The signal was when American Forces Radio broadcast Bing Crosby's "White Christmas" on the morning of April 29 and announced, "the temperature is 105 degrees and rising." That was the signal. Americans and hand-picked Vietnamese began heading toward predetermined assembly spots. With that, Operation Frequent Wind was on, and soon it seemed that choppers were everywhere. 

Again and again, and again, and again. All-day and all night long, for days, choppers came and went to grab up as many as can be had. Yes, I remember the choppers and scores of South Vietnamese fleeing a land about 30 minutes away. 

Aboard the USS Hancock, as with other ships, we Marines were assigned to maintain law and order as the refugees arrived at our ship. We Marines met each chopper's landing with our M-14 rifles locked loaded -- and with fixed bayonets.

We were told that North Vietnamese and Viet Cong were trying to get aboard the U.S. Navy ships to wreak havoc and perform sabotage.

Wounded and hurt were taken to a sick-bay set up in one of the ready-rooms on the flight deck. There they would be tended to included deloused.

Marines searched men, women, children, and anything they brought aboard. Their Arms were confiscated and thrown overboard. But of course, that wasn't the only thing thrown overboard. When it became apparent that the flight deck was too crowded with Hueys, they too were soon pushed over-board.

In Saigon, it was said that chaos ruled the capital of South Vietnam. People feared for their lives as the Communist overrun of the city became imminent. Supposedly from what I was told much later, the original plan called for most flights to arrive and depart from the U.S. Defense Attache Office near Tan Son Nhat airport. 

Marine Corporal Charles McMahon and LCpl Darwin Lee Judge were the last two United States servicemen killed in Vietnam. The two U.S. Marines were killed in a rocket attack one day before the Fall of Saigon.

On April 28th, Tan Son Nhut Air Base, adjacent to the airport, came under artillery fire and attack from Vietnamese People's Air Force aircraft. The fixed-wing evacuation was terminated, and Operation Frequent Wind commenced. The evacuation took place primarily from the Defense Attache Office (DAO) compound, beginning around 14:00 on the afternoon of April 29th and ending that night with only limited small arms damage to the helicopters. 

The U.S. Embassy in Saigon was intended to only be a secondary evacuation point for embassy staff, but it was soon overwhelmed with evacuees and desperate South Vietnamese. Also, it is said that as word of the evacuation spread, thousands upon thousands of South Vietnamese began heading to the American embassy compound. 

There, crowds jammed the gates, some holding papers claiming they had worked for the Americans. Others said they were dependents of American citizens. Many rightfully feared their U.S. connections would put them in danger under a Communist North Vietnamese government. I was told later that the Embassy Marines chose who to let inside and who not to.

Those trying to get out knew about the coming massive arrests, the Communist "re-education" camps, and the on-the-spot executions at the hands of the Communists. Thousands of Americans and their Vietnamese family members wondered how -- or even if -- they were going to safely escape to freedom.

Saigon was actually beyond chaos. It was as if a tsunami of frightened people descended upon our embassy, all trying to evade the Communist wrath. U.S. helicopters that shuttled back and forth between the fleet and Saigon that day included Marine CH-53, CH-46, CH-47, Hueys, and even HH-53 Air Force choppers.

Air America, the CIA air service in Vietnam, was also shuttling evacuees out. In their case, those pilots had the task of landing on unfamiliar rooftops and openings throughout the falling city to pick-up unknown evacuees and flying them to staging areas or our Navy ships offshore. 

If I remember right, among the first choppers to start the evacuations were the Air America choppers. I think I will always remember those silver and blue civilian versions of the famous UH-1 "Huey." Marines choppers didn't start their chopper airlift until the afternoon.  Of course, besides Marine helicopters and Air America choppers, some South Vietnamese pilots decided to make their own dash for freedom during the evacuations. 

With the collapse of South Vietnam, VNAF helicopters and even some fixed-wing aircraft flew out to try to get to the U.S. evacuation fleet. Some South Vietnamese pilots commandeered helicopters and flew offshore to meet our fleet, leaving everything behind. And yes, as seen in the picture below, believe it or not, some even ditched their choppers near our Navy ships and swam the rest of the way.

Many South Vietnamese choppers could land on deck but were later pushed overboard because of a lack of space. When a huge, South Vietnamese Chinook helicopter landed aboard the USS Hancock, we Marines joined the sailors to push it over the side. It was a horrible sight, and the noise that the Chinook made when it scraped the USS Hancock as it fell into the ocean with a huge splash was incredible.

Talking with a friend the other day, a man who was an Army door-gunner about choppers in Vietnam in 1968, I was a little surprised that he did not hear about our ships having to push choppers overboard when helicopters threatened to take too much space.

During that night, South Vietnamese helicopters waiting for permission to land started running out of fuel and simply fell out of the sky. One Marine chopper that went down was a Sea Knight with the call sign YT-14. It crashed into the water while approaching the USS Hancock. Yes, there was a big bright flash, and it seemed that flares were going off would mark their spot. Then the flares died out.

My Marine brothers had crashed and were lost at sea. And yes, with them, YT-14 was the final U.S. helicopter lost in Vietnam. The pilots, Capt. William Nystul and Lt. Michael Shea was among the last Americans to die in the conflict.

By the time it was over, about 100 Marine, Air Force, and Air America choppers had evacuated an estimated 7,000 Americans and South Vietnamese out of Saigon. It should be noted that during the Fall of Saigon, the 2nd Battalion / 4th Marine Regiment was the last Combat Unit to see action in Vietnam. Elements of BLT 2/4 were landed at the DOA Compound, were at the DAO Compound received small arms, mortar, and M79 grenade fire from ARVN forces. 

At 00:30 on April 30th, thermite grenades, having been previously placed in selected buildings, were ignited as two CH-53s left the DAO Compound parking lot carrying the last elements of BLT 2/4. After sunrise, the USS Hancock sent out a final chopper to rescue 11 stranded Marines on Saigon's Embassy. The chopper set down on the Embassy's rooftop helicopter pad, and after surviving the night uninjured, all 11 Marines ran aboard. One of the Marines marked the time on his watch. It was 7:58 a.m., April 30, 1975.

Embassy guard Marine Master Sgt. Juan Valdez was the last American to leave Vietnam.  The world's largest helicopter airlift was history. A few hours later, North Vietnamese tanks smashed through the gates of the Presidential Palace. Saigon would be renamed Ho Chi Minh City. After 20 years of involvement and 58,220 U.S. military deaths, America was finally done with Vietnam.

For the record, tens of thousands of Vietnamese evacuated themselves by boats and ships in the coming months and years. Communist "Re-Education Camps" set up to indoctrinate the South Vietnamese to the rule of the new Communist State are said to still be in effect today. The Communists there are still enslaving the people of Vietnam.

A report out of Vietnam in 1985 reported that of those people which the Communist felt could not be "re-educated," over 2.5 Million were slaughtered in those camps. But frankly, none of the peace and love Vietnam anti-War demonstrators of the 1960s and '70s give a damn that that's what took place. Among them were Hollywood celebrities and others who called for peace at any price, demonstrated against the United States, and even encouraged our troops in Vietnam to throw down their weapon and desert. After the Communist took over and slaughtered all of those people who the United States attempted to save from Communism, those who spit on American troops disappeared -- not caring about all of those systematically murdered by the Communist after taking over South Vietnam. 

As for the deaths of Marines Cpl. Charles McMahon and LCpl. Darwin Judge, both Marines were members of the Marine Security Guard (MSG) Battalion at the US Embassy in Saigon for a short time before being killed in action. Corporal McMahon had arrived in Saigon on April 18th, and Lance Corporal Judge had arrived in early March of that year.

In accordance with procedures for deceased Americans in Vietnam, their bodies were transferred to the Seventh Day Adventist Hospital, nearby Tan Son Nhut airport. In telephone calls to the hospital on the afternoon of April 29th, the few remaining staff advised that the bodies had been evacuated when their bodies were left behind. Through diplomatic channels, the U.S. government secured the return of their bodies the following year.

Lance Corporal Darwin L Judge was buried with full military honors in March 1976 in Marshalltown, Iowa. There was a flag-draped coffin, a Marine Honor Guard, and a rifle firing salute. The flag that covered his coffin was folded and presented to his parents.  His funeral was so ignored that the mainstream news media did not attend the event. The lone exception being the Daily Iowan (Iowa City, Iowa). 

It is said that because of ignorance of his military funeral in March 1976, Lance Corporal Judge was given a second Marine burial with honors 25 years later. Cpl McMahon and LCpl Judge names will be tied together forever as the last two Marines killing in action in Vietnam.

By the beginning of May, the USS Hancock had off-loaded BLT 2/4 and then arrived in Subic Bay, Phillippines, to off-load the refugees it carried.

Lastly, the "Mayaguez incident" took place between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the United States from May 12th to the 15th, 1975, less than a month after the Khmer Rouge took control of the capital Phnom Penh. U.S. Marine contingent aboard the USS Hancock did not arrive until May 16th. By then, Washington had halted the operation.

The taking of the merchant ship S.S. Mayaquez and its American crew by Khmer Rouge pirates was the cause of the subsequent battle at Koh Tang Island that followed. The battle of Koh Tang Island is the last official battle of the Vietnam War. Of that last battle, 15 U.S. Marines were killed in action, 50 wounded, another 23 Marines were killed en-route in a helicopter. Some say the helicopter was shot out of the sky. Some say it was engine failure.

But as sad as it is to say, 3 Marines were left behind and executed. The 3 Marines left behind are listed as missing in action but presumed dead. The names of the Marines killed, and those of the three Marines who were left behind on the island of Koh Tang after the battle and were subsequently executed by the Khmer Rouge pirates are the last names on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.

May God Bless them and the other more than 58,000 American troops who died in that war.

Tom Correa


Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Christians Not Welcome In U.S. Military Under Obama

I've wondered how a nation with a vast majority of its population, 85% at the latest survey, identifying themselves as Christian, can tolerate Christian hostilities from its government?

I've wondered how long Christians in our military will take it? And frankly, I've wondered who will be left after Christians leave the ranks of the U.S. military services?

Since most Liberals, Democrats, Atheists, and Socialist types, are usually anti-military, what would make anyone think they will suddenly feel a sense of patriotism and fill the void left by persecuted Christians who have had enough and simply tell the government to stick it? 

And don't kid yourself, these are viable questions. 

Why? Well, simply because Christians are leaving the U.S. military or are discouraged from joining in the first place because of a "hostile work environment" that doesn't let them express their beliefs openly.

Let's be frank here, in a time when teachers are openly allowing students to pray to Allah, recite Muslim prayers, dress in traditional Muslim garb, and study the Koran in American public schools, Christians on the other hand are being persecuted, ridiculed, harassed, and simply made to feel unaccepted in today's America. 

And yes, today's military is no different. 

Muslim dress, prayer, traditions, and religious rites in America's military are all perfectly acceptable to American military and politicians -- especially Democrats and other Liberal politicians who follow the Obama Islamic indoctrination as a good thing for the United States. 

While everything Muslim is in vogue in the White House, and subsequently the military, anything Christian has a target on it.

Michael Berry, senior counsel at the Liberty Institute, a Texas-based legal organization dedicated to defending religious liberty in America, said recent high-profile cases of military chaplains facing punishment for private counseling sessions that reflected the teachings of their religion could cause devout Americans who are qualified for military service to think twice about joining the military.

"People of faith are going to stay away from the military," said Mr. Berry in an interview with The Washington Times.

"I can’t tell you how many moms and dads I've spoken to who say, 'My son or daughter wants to join the military, but in light of what you've described, I’m not sure I want to let them join the military anymore,’ and I don't blame them. I would have serious reservations about my own kids joining," Mr. Berry said.

Douglas Lee, president of the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty, whose job it is to find people who want to be chaplains and make sure they’re also qualified to serve in the military, said growing religious hostility within the military is making it harder for him to find potential recruits and for the armed forces to maintain the chaplains it does have.

"I know people who get out, officers and chaplains, who've said, 'I can't serve the way I want to in this environment,’” said Mr. Lee, who also served as an Army chaplain. 

"People who've said, 'Because of the religious liberty challenges I see, I think I’ll serve somewhere else.' We all used to sit around and talk about planning on spending 20 years, but at some point enough is enough," he said.


Mr. Berry said he thinks the "hostile work environment" that is forcing the most religious persons out of the military is only getting worse. and that while in the past problems were mainly in the Air Force, religious liberty issues have spread throughout all the services. 

Christian member don’t think they're welcome.

"The problem is getting worse, not better, despite our efforts," he said. "There is a culture of hostility toward religion in the military right now."

While problems in the past have touched all religious groups, Travis Weber, director of the Center for Religious Liberty at the Family Research Council, said he’s seen a recent uptick and pattern of Christians facing persecution for religious expression.

While some are trying to say differently, evidence shows that the Department of Defense does not respect nor places any value on giving our troops their religious freedoms provided by the First Amendment of the Constitution.  

Yes, troops are being denied rights and Christians are being persecuted and being refused their Constitutional Rights -- rights they fight to protect for us. 

The rights of members of the military services are being violated daily by Officers and Left-wing politicians who kiss the ass of anti-military Atheists who are out to destroy the effectiveness of the United States armed services. 

What I find real sad is that Atheist make lousy soldiers, sailors, airmen, or Marines, because they don't believe in anything -- and certainly not America.

Christian troops are being denied chapels, churches, in-service Christian clergy. Yes, they are being denied both facilities and the opportunities to worship. And worse, they are being singled out and harassed for their Christian beliefs while Islam is being promoted. 

And yes, American members of our military are also being prevented from having Christian bibles aboard ships and other military installations -- yet Korans are welcome. 

While this is going on, the Obama White House has successfully placed commanders in positions of issuing discipline to Christians while allowing Muslim propaganda from Islamic extremist groups to be obtained without a word. 

And yes, there are consequences to these anti-Christian actions! 

Recently former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee declared that young Christians considering military service should wait a couple of years until we get a new commander-in-chief that will once again believe that people of Christian faith should be a vital part of the process of defending America.

He was without a doubt telling Christians not to enlist in today's military. 

Frankly, while I'm not calling for an indefinite abstention from serving our country, I can't help but agree that Christians in our military today are simply not welcome.

As because I am in agreement with Mike Huckabee over this issue, as I said in the beginning of this article, the question is: Who will be left if  Christians don't enlist or simply leave the ranks of the U.S. military services? 

I'd bet there would not be enough men and women left to get a ship out of harbor, a plane in the air, a truck gased up and ready to roll, or fill a rifle company for combat.

And yes, that's the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Why George W. Bush Let a Soldier’s Mom Yell at Him

Below is an excerpt from “And the Good News Is…: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side” by Dana Perino.

Reprinted by permission of Twelve Books (c) 2015.

President George W. Bush meets with U.S. Army Specialist Salvatore Cavallaro while visiting troops at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

News of America’s military men and women were wounded and killed in Iraq and Afghanistan almost overwhelmed me on some days. I may have sounded strong when I was talking to the press, but sometimes I had to push my feelings way down in order to get any words out of my mouth to make statements and answer questions.

The hardest days were when President Bush went to visit the wounded or families of the fallen. If it was tough for me, you can only imagine what it was like for the families and for a president who knew that his decisions led his troops into battles where they fought valiantly but were severely injured or lost their lives.

George W. Bush talks with soldiers at Fort Benning, Ga. in 2007. 

He regularly visited patients at Walter Reed military hospital near the White House. These stops were unannounced because of security concerns and hassles for the hospital staff that come with a full blown presidential visit.

One morning in 2005, Scott McClellan sent me in his place to visit the wounded warriors. It was my first time for that particular assignment, and I was nervous about how the visits would go.

The president was scheduled to see twenty-five patients at Walter Reed. Many of them had traumatic brain injuries and were in very serious, sometimes critical, condition. Despite getting the best treatment available in the world, we knew that some would not survive.

George W. Bush announces that Dana Perino will take over the post of White House Press Secretary in 2007. 

We started in the intensive care unit. The Chief Naval Officer (CNO) briefed the president on our way into the hospital about the first patient we’d see. He was a young Marine who had been injured when his Humvee was hit by a roadside bomb. After his rescue, he was flown to Landstuhl U.S. Air Force Base in Kaiserslautern, Germany. At his bedside were his parents, wife, and five-year-old son.

“What’s his prognosis?” the president asked.

The military aide presented the Marine with the award for a second time. The president had tears dripping from his eyes onto the Marine’s face.

“Well, we don’t know sir, because he’s not opened his eyes since he arrived, so we haven’t been able to communicate with him. But no matter what, Mr. President, he has a long road ahead of him,” said the CNO.

We had to wear masks because of the risk of infection to the patient. I watched carefully to see how the family would react to President Bush, and I was worried that they might be mad at him and blame him for their loved one’s situation. But I was wrong.

The family was so excited the president had come. They gave him big hugs and thanked him over and over. Then they wanted to get a photo. So he gathered them all in front of Eric Draper, the White House photographer.

President Bush asked, “Is everybody smiling?” But they all had ICU masks on. A light chuckle ran through the room as everyone got the joke.

George W. Bush shakes hands with soldiers after finishing his speech July 4, 2006, during his visit to Fort Bragg, N.C. 

The soldier was intubated. The president talked quietly with the family at the foot of the patient’s bed. I looked up at the ceiling so that I could hold back tears.

After he visited with them for a bit, the president turned to the military aide and said, “Okay, let’s do the presentation.” The wounded soldier was being awarded the Purple Heart, given to troops that suffer wounds in combat.

Everyone stood silently while the military aide in a low and steady voice presented the award. At the end of it, the Marine’s little boy tugged on the president’s jacket and asked, “What’s a Purple Heart?”

The president got down on one knee and pulled the little boy closer to him. He said, “It’s an award for your dad, because he is very brave and courageous, and because he loves his country so much. And I hope you know how much he loves you and your mom, too.”

George W. Bush visits with Army Sgt. Nicholas McCoy at the Center for the Intrepid at Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio. 

As he hugged the boy, there was a commotion from the medical staff as they moved toward the bed.

The Marine had just opened his eyes. I could see him from where I stood.

The CNO held the medical team back and said, “Hold on, guys. I think he wants the president.”

The president said, ‘That mama sure was mad at me.’ Then he turned to look out the window of the helicopter. ‘And I don’t blame her a bit.’

The president jumped up and rushed over to the side of the bed. He cupped the Marine’s face in his hands. They locked eyes, and after a couple of moments the president, without breaking eye contact, said to the military aide, “Read it again.”

So we stood silently as the military aide presented the Marine with the award for a second time. The president had tears dripping from his eyes onto the Marine’s face. As the presentation ended, the president rested his forehead on the Marine’s for a moment.

Now everyone was crying, and for so many reasons: the sacrifice; the pain and suffering; the love of country; the belief in the mission; and the witnessing of a relationship between a soldier and his Commander in Chief that the rest of us could never fully grasp. (In writing this book, I contacted several military aides who helped me track down the name of the Marine. I hoped for news that he had survived. He did not. He died during surgery six days after the president’s visit. He is buried at Arlington Cemetery and is survived by his wife and their three children.)

And that was just the first patient we saw. For the rest of the visit to the hospital that day, almost every family had the same reaction of joy when they saw the president.

George W. Bush speaks with members of Soldier Ride 2005 National Tour Team. Soldier Ride 2005, comprised of wounded service members, is a 4,200-mile, cross-country bike ride to raise money and support to help prepare wounded soldiers for long-term rehabilitation. 

But there were exceptions. One mom and dad of a dying soldier from the Caribbean were devastated, the mom beside herself with grief. She yelled at the president, wanting to know why it was her child and not his who lay in that hospital bed.

Her husband tried to calm her and I noticed the president wasn't in a hurry to leave—he tried offering comfort but then just stood and took it, like he expected and needed to hear the anguish, to try to soak up some of her suffering if he could.

Later as we rode back on Marine One to the White House, no one spoke.

But as the helicopter took off, the president looked at me and said, “That mama sure was mad at me.” Then he turned to look out the window of the helicopter. “And I don’t blame her a bit.”

One tear slipped out the side of his eye and down his face. He didn’t wipe it away, and we flew back to the White House.

-- end of excerpt.

Editor's Note:

Dana Perino served for seven years in the administration of President George W. Bush and became the first Republican woman to be named as the White House press secretary.

She is a Fox News contributor and one of the co-hosts of "The Five," and the author of "And the Good News Is: Lessons and Advice from the Bright Side."

I have just ordered her book, I hope that you do too.

Tom Correa

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Keeping It Simple -- Politicians, The Good Old Boys Club

By Terry McGahey

When we vote a particular person into office, their job is to protect the Constitution and represent the people.

They take an oath to do so but many of them only protect each other instead.

No matter who the person, or which party they represent, if they have not lived up to their oath of office they should be impeached and not allowed to run for office again. 

Notice I said which party they represent? They are supposed to represent the people and protect the Constitution, not the party or each other.

One of the best examples of this has just taken place with our new Attorney General, Loretta Lynch. 

She is nothing more than another Obama "yes" person, who by her own record is pro-abortion, pro-illegal amnesty, and very anti-gun. 

This woman will do whatever it takes to push the progressive movement of Socialism, even if it takes breaking the Constitution to do so. 

She is nothing more than another Eric Holder in a female body, and we have seen how he has abused his position, and with this woman we can expect more of the same.

In this case the good old boy system has shone through very brightly. You know, "I'll scratch your back, and when the time comes, you scratch my back." In other words, "I'll vote for your nominee as long as you do something for me in return."

That's how many our elected officials do business today, rather than do what's right for the people and our country. 

Here is the perfect example of what I just said. The Republicans who jumped ship on this one are Kelly Ayotte from New Hampshire, Thad Cochran, Mississippi, Susan Collins, Maine, Lindsey Graham, South Carolina, Orrin Hatch, Utah, Ron Johnson, Wisconsin, Mark Kirk, Illinois, Rob Portman, Ohio, and Mitch McConnell, Kentucky, and Jeff Flake, Arizona. 

They should all have this guy's last name! Flakes! 

Are these people progressives in disguise? Looks like it to me.

Everything this Lynch woman stands for, and against, are supposed to be the things which Republicans, and other true American representatives, are on the opposite side of. Yet these Republicans approved her nomination. 

If this isn't the good old boy system at it's best then I don't know what is. 

I do not care which party you lean towards, as Americans we should be voting for the people who will live up to their oath of office, which is to protect the Constitution! 

If those people listed above are not the perfect example of why we need term limits, then please someone explain it to me.

Just as the Republicans always look back to Ronald Regan, many Democrats still look back to John Fitzgerald Kennedy. 

If you are a Democrat, and you are old enough to remember Kennedy, or you have learned anything about him, you would realize that he would be appalled at what is going on within the Democratic party today. 

In many ways, the Republican party has become more like the Democratic party of that time period and the Democrats have become more increasingly, Socialists, Marxists, and yes, even Communists.

I grew up in a Democratic household and I myself, many years ago, was a Democrat. I didn't leave the Democratic party, the Democratic party left me. 

I have never believed that only one party was right and the other all wrong, but in my opinion today, voting for Democrats is a vote for Socialism and the destruction of our Constitution which will lead to the tyrannical government our founding fathers warned us about.

That's how I see it!

Friday, April 24, 2015

California's "Man-Made" Drought

California Drought Caused By State's Environment Policies

If you want to learn how not to do something, then come to California! 

If you want to know how to take a state and successfully disable it, then come to California! 

If you want see a do-nothing state which waits and waits and waits, focuses on everything other than what is essential to its people, and refuses to do anything to prepare for a disaster, then please come to California!

In 1976, yes almost 40 years ago, I was a Marine stationed in Camp Pendleton when California was in its supposedly worse drought ever. Yes, that's what we were told at the time.

Actually, up until recently, the 1976-1977 drought is said to be the worse drought in California over the last 100 years -- some say it was the worse drought in California's history. 

The people of the state were told at the time that we were going to see more dams, water reservoirs, aqueducts, more overall water storage for the millions of people that was projected to come to California. 

We were told that the powers-to-be in the state capital in Sacramento were all 100% in favor of preparedness for the future so that that never happens again. 

We were assured by the Governor of California at the time that he would make sure that California does not go dry in the future. 

Of course we now know that nothing was done to prepare for a prolonged drought in the future. And yes, strange as it is, Jerry Brown was Governor of California at the time.

He was elected in 1975 and served until 1983 as the state's Governor.  Jerry Brown was elected again in 2011 and has been recently re-elected as Governor. 

Do I blame Governor Brown for not doing what was said about preparing for the future? Not really. 

Brown is just like all of the other politicians in California. They give us a lot of lip service, then as soon as they are elected go about paying those who they owe for their campaign funds and support.

In California, on the overall, Liberal politicians who control the state owe the Environmentalist Groups their souls. And yes, those very same Environmentalists control just about every aspect of the capitol in Sacramento. 

And there be the problem when it comes to preparedness for a drought in California -- there is absolutely none because the Environmentalists don't want dams, reservoirs, aqueducts, or any other water storage. 

Like drought preparedness, Environmentalists have successfully stopped power plants and businesses, and yes even desalination plants to turn salt water into fresh water. 

With the Pacific Ocean right there, one would think that that would have been started years ago -- but it has not because California's wacko Environmentalists say no.

As millions of gallons of freshwater rush out to sea, some counties are looking for ways to bring desalinization plants online, and are spending millions of dollars to do so.

But, as with years gone by, Environmentalists are against the plan, saying desalinization is energy-intensive and can negatively impact sea life.

Yes, the Environmentalist are worried about sea-life, a 3 inch fish, frogs, toads, spotted owls, and contribute big money to Democrats to ensure that they do they bidding. 

Make no mistake about it, the Environmentalists which have caused this drought. Not only with their money to lobby against new dams and such, but to stop the flow of water that we do have.

California Is Prime Example Of How Harmful Liberalism And The Influence Of Special Interest Groups Can Be On A People.

Environmentalists have used the Courts and stopped the construction of water storage and delivery systems through legal and political actions.

The Environmental Movement went to court to stop most new dam construction, according to Victor Davis Hanson, a Martin and Illie Anderson Senior Fellow in Classics and Military History at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University, including the Sites Reservoir; the Los Banos Grandes facility; and the Temperance Flat Reservoir.

The Klamath River diversion project also was canceled in the late 1970s, putting an end to the Aw Paw reservoir, potentially the state’s largest man-made reservoir with 15 million acre-feet of water, or enough to supply San Francisco for 30 years.

Most in California are now accepting the fact that this drought is a "man-made disaster".  More and more people here are now being educated to the fact that California's Environmental Policies allow good water, much-needed freshwater, to flow straight into the Pacific.

Why let good water, much-need freshwater, to go to waste and flow unstopped to the ocean?

Well, in an average year, California gets enough snow and rain to put 200 million acres under a foot of water, but Environmentalist groups who oppose dams and such over several decades has allowed the majority of the freshwater to flow into the ocean.

It's true, even as the state’s population exploded to nearly 40 Million people, Environmentalists have controlled who gets water and who does not. 

The current drought has left farms parched and residents under strict water consumption orders, but most are now learning that it did not have to be that way.

"This is a man-made disaster," said Bonner Cohen, senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research. 

"Southern California is an arid part of the world where droughts -- even severe droughts -- are commonplace, and knowing this, you’d think the government of California would have included this mathematical certainty in its disaster preparedness planning, but the government has done nothing, not even store rain, as the population has continued to grow."

Last week, Governor Brown mandated the state’s residents cut water usage by as much as 35 percent, saying, "As Californians, we have to pull together and save water in every way we can.” Consumers face stiff penalties, forced installation of water restriction devices and even water service suspension if they don’t comply with county mandates. Commercial users face even tougher sanctions, with one county requiring them to cut usage by 80 percent.

The problem with believing Brown or any other Politician is that California gets plenty of water to meet its needs, if it were only managed properly. 

More than half of California’s surface water flows from the Sierra Nevada mountains in the east down to the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta in Northern California. 

Much of the mountain runoff is managed by two of the world’s largest water storage and transport systems – the federal Central Valley Project and California's State Water Project. 

Each is a system of dams, reservoirs and distribution systems designed to send water to cities, towns and farms throughout the state.

Nothing Done To Prepare In The Last 40 Years In California!

It's true. The vast majority of the state’s 1,400 dams and reservoirs, in the two massive systems and smaller ones that supply Southern California, were built well before the late 1970s when the last big drought hit. 

"Droughts are nothing new in California, but right now, 70 percent of California's rainfall washes out to sea because liberals have prevented the construction of a single new reservoir or a single new water conveyance system over decades, during a period in which California’s population has doubled," said Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett Packard and likely GOP presidential candidate. 

"This is the classic case of liberals being willing to sacrifice other people's lives and livelihoods at the altar of their ideology."

Remember, Environmentalists groups have used the Courts to stop the construction of water storage and delivery systems through legal and political actions. 

Environmentalists have also fought to ensure that captured water is released into streams and the ocean -- rather than the water delivery system -- in order to boost fish populations and dilute the salinity of the delta.

Releasing the water is supposed to save the endangered fish population, including the Delta Smelt, Longfin Smelt, four runs of Chinook Salmon, the Steelhead, Green and White Sturgeon, Splittail and the Sacramento hitch, but so far the fish population has decreased, according to experts. 

Yes, while the Environmentalists are trying to save a 3 inch fish, a state of California survey in March found that just 6 Delta Smelt – four females and two males – prompting wildlife experts to estimate the species' population has dropped in the last 40 years.

Jim Burling of the Pacific Legal Foundation said while water diversions have not helped endangered fish populations, the policies are devastating to people, produce and the economy.

"The plan is not doing anything for the fish and causing a lot of pain for farmers and farm workers," Mr Burling said. "The impact of these policies on people should be considered."

A 3 inch Fish versus over 80,000 Farms and Ranches?

Yes, that's the case. The state has more than 80,000 farms and ranches, which generate more than $44 billion in annual sales. 

California produces more than 250 different crops, leads the U.S. in production of 75 commodities, and, according to the Water Education Foundation, is the only state to produce 12 key crops such as almonds, artichokes, dates, figs, raisins, kiwi, olives, persimmons, pistachios, prunes and walnuts.

During the current drought, it is estimated that billions of gallons of water have been diverted from farmlands, according to a report by the Washington D.C. based Heritage Foundation, with the American Farm Bureau estimating that between 400,000 acres and 500,000 acres of crops will be lost.

Ms Fiorina said it’s a "tragedy" that the agricultural land in California, the most productive in the world, has been destroyed, along with farming jobs because of politics, policy, and Liberal Environmentalists.

Rep. Devin Nunes, a Republican who represents a Central Valley district in Congress, said roughly 21 million-acre feet of water is flushed into the Pacific Ocean annually. 

One acre-foot equals 325,851 gallons, the average annual water usage for a suburban family household. 

Like many other Californians who are waking up to the truth, Rep. Nunes also blames Environmentalists for the fact that the state is dry.

"The environmental groups did not expect to run everyone out of water, but they got greedy, shut down the whole system, and ran the whole damned state dry," Rep. Nunes said.

"California’s water-storage capacity would be nearly double what it is today had these plans come to fruition," said Mr Davis Hanson in a report. "Environmentalists also diverted irrigation and municipal water from reservoirs and moved to freeze California’s water-storage resources at 1970s capacities".

Rep. Nunes introduced the Sacramento-San Joaquin Valley Water Reliability Act of 2012 and co-sponsored the Sacramento-San Joaquin Emergency Water Delivery Act of 2014:

"To restore water deliveries cut off by environmental lawsuits and federal regulation; streamline environmental regulatory processes to speed up 5,000,000 water reliability projects and transfers; expand the use of the Central Valley Project to allow water deliveries by non-federal sources; and end the effort to protect non-native species and instead focus on native species."

Friends, while the U.S. House of Representatives passed the legislation in 2013 and 2014, California Democrat Senators Barbara Boxer and Diane Feinstein refused to sign on to the plan.

And yes, believe it or not, as with other Democrats who have total control of the state, Governor Brown who was in charge of California from 1975 to 1983 and then again since 2011 also expressed opposition to the plan. 

As the crisis in California grows, Rep Nunes hopes to get the legislation through the Senate and to President Obama for his signature.

"If we had stored water and built three new dams, the state would be flush with water," Rep Nunes said.

For me, I say fat chance of that happening. Obama is like other Democrats in that the Environmentalist own him -- and he will do as they instruct him to do.

Preparedness? That Word Does Not Apply To The State Of California. It Is Not How California Operates.

Some say preparing for future droughts and making it through this one all comes down to math and engineering, but I don't see California's Liberal Politicians bucking the Environmentalists who throw millions of dollars at them.

The Democrat solution is to cut of water to cities, tell Californians to go without showers, to drive dirty cars, drain swimming pools, rip out lawns, and conserve, conserve, conserve. 

No during this "man-made disaster," we hear a lot of lip service all too reminiscent of what some of us remember hearing almost 40 years ago.  

Bonner Cohen, senior fellow with the National Center for Public Policy Research states. "We know the systems we have to build to make sure the state has plenty of water, but instead we have wasted millions of acre feet of water in the last 10 years."

Frankly, I agree 100% with him when he said. "The thought that you can conserve your way out of this is not going to lead to any success."

So yes, while we have Democrats in charge of California, Liberals who gleefully kiss the backsides of Environmentalists.

As long as the Environmentalists wackos are in charge in this state, we here in California will continue to have a do-nothing state mired in denial.

California is a state where it's elected officials worry more about social programs and Socialism, than they do the simplest of needs of their citizens -- food and water.

California Sets A Bad Example For Others!

I remember the story about the father who had three sons. The second son was an honor roll student in college, the third son was an Engineer.

The oldest son, the one who was deemed to have the most potential growing up, was lazy, didn't work and was on drugs. Yes, he was a real party animal.

The father woke him up one morning and called his oldest son to breakfast. There the three sat, and the father looked at his oldest son and smiled.

The father then said, "Thank you. I realized this morning that you are not completely useless. You have served as a bad example for your brothers who don't ever want to be like you."

California's liberalism and laziness to prepare for disasters and not fight the Environmental lobby is not completely bad in that California stands tall as a wonderful example to the citizens of other states of what not to become.

If you want to learn how to screw your citizens and serve only your own self-interest, then come to California and see how state management is done.  But frankly, do so only if you want to screw over you own citizens.

Come to California which has had 40 years to prepare, but simple has refused to so.

Come see a do-nothing state where its elected politicians are more concerned about pleasing special interest groups, taking campaign money, imposing more and more anti-business regulations, and furnishing Illegal Aliens with Drivers Licenses, catering to gays, and trying to take away your firearms.

Come see where Democrats rule and can't address the most basic needs of its citizens -- providing resources to grow food and provide water.

Come see what happens when Liberal ideology and big money screws a people!  You too will learn what NOT to do!

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Keeping It Simple -- Muslims In Government

By Terry McGahey

It truly amazes me that this president will not identify our enemies in this age of world unrest.

Even worse, this so called president of our country is pandering to our enemies, the radical Muslims and Iran.

How in the world does Obama believe he can negotiate with Iran which has been a sponsor of terrorism for years, and believes that Israel should be obliterated.

Iran is playing Obama for the fool that he is if he truly believes he can solve the problem through negotiations, while all the time they keep working towards becoming a nuclear power, as well as seeking to build ballistic missiles which could reach our Eastern Coast.


As far as the Muslim connection goes, below are the names of Muslims who are embedded within our government, which Obama has approved of and has even appointed himself:

1. Mohammed Elibiary. Homeland Security Advisor.
2. Arif Alikhan. Assistant Secretary For Policy Development Of Homeland Security.
3. Rashad Hussain. Special Envoy to the Islamic Conference.
4. Salam Al-Marayati. Obama Advisor and Founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
5. Imam Mohamed Magid. Obama's Sharia Czar from the Islamic Society of North America.
6. Eboo Patel. Advisory Council on Faith-Based Neighborhood Partnerships.

I don't recall any president in our country's past appointing a possible enemy, notice I said possible enemy, into government positions.

Did Franklin Roosevelt appoint a Nazi to a government position before World War Two? I think not!

Did John F. Kennedy appoint a Communist North Vietnamese to government? I think not!

Did Ronald Reagan appoint a Communist Russian to government during the cold war? I also think not!

If people in this country don't believe Obama to either be a Muslim or have his sympathies lie with the Muslims, then please think of this:

His father was a Muslim, his mother was a Muslim, his step father was a Muslim and his grandfather was a Muslim. This man was raised as a Muslim, period!

If some people don't believe he has ties to the Muslim communities then common sense is something that has totally been a void in their life.

Again, look at the appointees above, that should tell you something!

The Muslim faith, no matter if radical or not, does not coincide with our Constitution and our freedoms, that's the bottom line.

If people don't believe that, then they need to take a little bit of their own time to read at least some of the Koran. Then make that judgement for themselves, rather than listen to the propaganda that comes from the media and special interest groups.

I am sick to death of the touchy feelly world of "your okay I"m okay."

This is especially true when it comes to an enemy who believes in our destruction, and who is doing their best to infiltrate our government.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

General Martin Dempsey issues an Apology

A few of you have written asking me about the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff U.S. Army General Martin Dempsey and how he responded callously to reports that Ramadi, Iraq has fallen to ISIS.

Gen. Dempsey has come under fire from lawmakers and Veterans groups for downplaying the strategic importance of Ramadi. Yes, Gen. Dempsey said that he saw no strategic importance to a place which cost us the lives of so many Americans troops to take in the first place.

His description has caught many people off guard. His words are making people wonder why a U.S Army General, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, would trivialize those American troops who were wounded and paid the ultimate sacrifice by being killed in action?

Why would the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs say the lose of a capital of Iraq's northern province of Anbar, the fall of Ramadi to ISIS is "not symbolic in any way"? 

Maybe this is more of the change that Obama promised us? Maybe it is now accepted as no big deal to lose the ground that was won with the blood and deaths of American troops?

Remember, even Hillary Clinton famously asked "what difference does it make" when she was asked about not furnishing American military support for those four Americans in Libya who were left there to die by Obama and Clinton.

Maybe the Obama administration's hatred for our military has adversely affected our Joint Chiefs of Staff?  All of these were my first reactions to hearing about Gen. Dempsey's asinine statements.

In an open letter, Debbie Lee, whose son Marc was the first Navy SEAL casualty in Ramadi, responded to his remarks.

She wrote:

I am shaking and tears are flowing down my cheeks as I watch the news and listen to the insensitive, pain inflicting comments made by you in regards to the fall of Ramadi.

“The city itself is not symbolic in any way”? Oh, really? Are you willing to meet with me and with the families who have lost a son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, aunt, uncle, grandson, or teammate?

My son Marc Lee was the first Navy SEAL who sacrificed his life in Ramadi Iraq Aug 2, 2006. His blood is still in that soil and forever will be. Remember that was when so many of our loved ones were taken from us. You said that “it’s not been declared part of the caliphate on one hand or central to the future of Iraq.” My son and many others gave their future in Ramadi. Ramadi mattered to them. Many military analysts say that as goes Ramadi so goes Iraq.

What about the troops who sacrificed their limbs and whose lives will never be the same. Our brave warriors who left a piece of themselves in Ramadi. What about the troops who struggle with PTS/TBI who watched their teammates breath their last or carried their wounded bodies to be medevac’d out of Ramadi.

I’ve traveled to Ramadi and visited Camp Marc Lee in 2007. I brought back soil from that city where Marc breathed his last. I interviewed Iraqi General Anwer in 2010 when I returned. I asked him “If you could say one thing to the American people what would you tell them? He paused and with deep emotion said “We will tell our children, our grandchildren, for generations to come we will tell them what Americans have done. There is American blood poured out on our soil.” It seems the Iraqis understand the importance more than you do sir.

You sir owe an apology to the families whose loved ones blood was shed in Ramadi. Ramadi matters to us and is very symbolic to us. You need to apologize to our troops whose bodies were blown to pieces from IEDs and bullet holes leaving parts and pieces behind, Ramadi matters to them. You need to apologize to our troops who endured the extreme temperatures and battled the terrorists in some of the worst battlefields in Iraq, Ramadi matters to them. They carry vivid memories of the battles and the teammates whose future is gone, Ramadi matters to them.

You and this administration have minimized that Ramadi could fall, now you are minimizing that it is falling, but you Sir WILL NOT minimize the sacrifice my son Marc Lee made or any of our brave warriors!

Awaiting an Apology
Debbie Lee

I want to say that the callous disregard for those who fought and died, and regarding those who were wounded, in Ramadi is unbelievably overwhelming.

And yes, Gen. Martin Dempsey owes an apology to Debbie Lee as well as to the hundreds of other parents who lost their sons fighting to take Ramadi -- or had their sons returned wounded.

This morning, April 21st, it was reported that Gen. Martin Dempsey issued an apology to Debbie Lee.

The Gold Star mom complained that the joint chiefs chairman trivialized the Iraqi town where her son became the first Navy SEAL to die in the Iraq War.

The Arizona mother and founder of the group, America's Mighty Warriors, promptly penned an open letter to Dempsey, roundly criticizing him for the "insensitive, pain-inflicting comments" about Ramadi – which became the epicenter for insurgency groups after the fall of Fallujah in 2004.

“The city itself is not symbolic in any way”? Oh, really? Are you willing to meet with me and with the families who have lost a son, daughter, husband, wife, father, mother, aunt, uncle, grandson, or teammate?” Lee wrote to Dempsey.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey told a Gold Star mother he was sorry for the way his words came off.

Lee got an apology in the form of a letter on Monday.

“I've read your letter, and I do apologize if I've added to your grief,” Dempsey wrote.

“Marc and so many others died fighting to provide a better future for Iraq. He and those with whom he served did all that their nation asked. They won their fight, and nothing will ever diminish their accomplishments nor the honor in which we hold their service,” he said.

But, Dempsey noted, “We are in a different fight now, with a different enemy, and with a different relationship with the Government of Iraq.”

“They must determine the path and pace of this fight. That's what I intended to convey,” he wrote.

Debbie Lee is, as she should be, very protective of the memory of her son, Navy SEAL Marc Lee, who died fighting in Ramadi.

Lee, who said Dempsey is expected to call her by phone later today, described the letter as a “soft apology” but said, “it’s still an apology and that’s huge.”

“I accept it,” she told, “Though I’m going to be watching and I won’t hesitate to call him out again if I hear something that’s not right.”

Lee was 28 when he was killed in Ramadi on Aug. 2, 2006, after fellow SEAL Team 3 member Ryan "Biggles" Job was seriously injured by sniper fire. 

While other SEALs tended to Job, Lee single-handedly provided cover fire and was mortally wounded. He was posthumously awarded the Silver Star, the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart.

I have to say that Gen. Dempsey surprised me with his asinine statements. And yes, I lost a lot of respect for the man,

Much of my respect for him has now been restored as a result of his apology. It takes a big person to admit when he or she is wrong about something.

I frankly didn't think he's issue an apology, but I am certainly glad that he has.

And yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Arkansas May Ban California Wine Over California Egg Law

On March 25th, an Arkansas lawmaker said that the state of Arkansas should ban California wine.

This would be retribution for the California state law requiring egg-laying hens to be able to stand up, turn around and fully extend their wings.

So now, what does a California law have to do with Arkansas? 

Well, in 2010 the California Legislature extended those egg-laying requirements to all eggs sold in the state -- while also barring some eggs from cooped-up hens in other states including Arkansas.

Yes, in other words, the State of California is attempting to force it's laws and practices on other states through economic pressure. 

California activism is something not totally unfamiliar in other states who do business with California. 

California is very well known for imposing its social agenda and Political Correctness on other states by forcing them to either accept their demands or receive economic pressure in the way of business restrictions and threats of boycotted goods. 

There are many example of California Liberals pushing themselves on other states through threatened boycotts. The latest is because of the state of Indiana's desire to enforce religious freedom's there. 

Since that is not something California Liberals believe in, they have now started to threaten Indiana by talking about boycotts.

But now, for the first time to my knowledge, a state is actually fighting back.   

The Arkansas state House voted 57-19 to advance to the Senate a bill that outlaws wine imports from any state that imposes a "substantial burden" on the Arkansas agriculture industry. 

The Secretary of the Arkansas Agriculture Department would determine what is burdensome under the bill. 

The Director of the Alcoholic Beverage Control Division would be able to sanction or revoke a license of a business that broke the law.

Republican Rep. Dan Douglas of Bentonville said California's voter-approved 2008 egg law has created a "nightmare" for Arkansas producers.

"We have to show the state of California they cannot force their standards on us," Douglas said.

Douglas also warned lawmakers that the egg ban is a slippery slope that could lead to other infringements.

"It's eggs today. Is it chickens tomorrow or cattle on down the road? Is it air quality restrictions?" Douglas said. "This could be just the beginning."

Douglas previously said he wrote the bill primarily to send a strong anti-regulation message to California legislators. The bill targets only wine imports, he said, because California exports lots of wine.

Charles Singleton, a lobbyist for the state's wine and alcohol wholesalers, previously estimated that about 90 percent of the wine sold in Arkansas comes from California and that the proposed law would disrupt existing distribution contracts.

Republican Rep. Stephen Meeks of Greenbrier voted against the bill and said the ban would harm Arkansas residents by limiting what they can buy. 

Sounding like someone not willing to fight for his state, Meeks also worried the bill could prompt retaliation from California lawmakers.

"Where does it end?" Meeks asked. "When states start issuing tariffs against each other or putting up a lot of barriers I think that's probably not a good precedent to set for the economic future of the country."

And there is the problem as I see it, one man, in this case Meeks, who is afraid to fight to help his constituents and ultimately surrenders the freedom of his state to the wishes of California legislators. 

Whoever voted for Meeks should ask if the wants to be a legislator in Arkansas or a lobbyist for the Liberals in Sacramento California?

With more businesses leaving California than coming here, I see this as a great time to fight the state of California and stop them from imposing its social ideals on other states.

The Californication of other states should stop. The influence of the California lifestyle and political norms on other states is not a desired product.

It is bad enough when Californians move to other states like Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Arizona, and then tries to live, speak, and act like they are still in California. 

Or worse, they get there and try to change that new state or city into where they just came from in California. 

Other states do not need to be forced to adhere to California laws. Independent states are just that, and do not wish to live like people do here in one of the most regulated places in the world. 

When traveling to other states, I am never surprised that California has the reputation it has. There is a reason for it. It is deserved. 

And yes, that's just the way i see it.

Tom Correa

Monday, April 13, 2015

Keeping It Simple -- Economic Down Turn

By Terry McGahey

Let me start off by saying I am not an economist, nor do I claim to be one, but some of the things I hear and see in this day and age don't make sense to me at all.

First off, we hear from the news and even coming from the mouths of some politicians implying that jobs, such as working in fast food establishments, are the types of jobs people support their families with, and how the low pay needs to be raised so folks can do so. Sad part is, some people today do have to take those jobs for that very reason.

When I was a young man those were typically entry level jobs for kids coming out of high school or to help others with college tuitions. Very few of the fast food workers in the past made it their career.

My first two jobs were working as a bus boy and washing cars at a car wash. I knew the pay was low but I also knew I would be moving on in time.

Those jobs were stepping stones into the working world and nothing more for most people back then.

Just since 2001 there have been over 40,000 factory closures in this country and who knows how many before then.  This number applies only to the factories themselves, not counting the support companies who supplied them with goods and services.

Jobs of this nature were the backbone of our country and the types of jobs that people could support their families with, even with only one bread winner.

But now, due to the unreasonably high corporate taxes, as well as government, state and the wonderful EPA regulations which have been put into place, which by the way are completely unreasonable, many of these companies have either folded or moved to other countries to reopen their doors.

For years now, I have either known of, or have heard of, people who have lost their twenty dollars an hour plus jobs because of these factories shutting down, then being replaced with ten to twelve dollars an hour jobs because there are no other alternatives or very few out there.

It is very easy for politicians sitting in their ivory towers to tell us the economy is growing and things are getting better when the reality is much different.

Maybe we have seen a slight growth in jobs but they are jobs that do not pay enough to support a single person much less a family.

As a single person, try to live on twelve dollars an hour in places like southern California, New York and others. I don't believe it can be done and even with someone to split the bills, such as a room mate, you will be broke all of the time with nothing left over for car repairs, emergencies etc. Just going to the grocery store now is a major expense.

It must be nice for the so-called "leadership" in this country to live the opulent life styles that some of them do, all the while telling us how the economy and job markets are growing.

Seems to me that certain politicians, such as the likes of former vice president Al Gore, think we are stupid enough to believe it.

Like the old saying goes, "If you tell a lie long enough and often enough, sooner or later the people will begin to believe it."

Today they push the idea that technology is our wave of future jobs. To a point this is true, but the only thing in my opinion that will put this country back on its feet is manufacturing period.

We must take a few steps back in order to take ten steps forward to once again be the great country we were meant to be.

That's how I see it.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

The Civil War In Dollars and Cents

It lasted from 1861 to 1865. And without a doubt, the Civil War was a bloody conflict. That war is said to have resulted in between 650,000 to 750,000 casualties. As incredible as it may be, a recent study more accurately puts that number as high as 850,000. The number of dead on both sides speak to the courage and tenacity, the staunch convictions, of the Union and Confederate soldiers and sailors who fought that war.

According to some estimates, there were over 10,000 clashes both big and small between Union and Confederate forces. Those engagements resulted in staggering losses of men on both sides. Large battles such as what took place at Gettysburg, Shiloh, the Wilderness, and Chickamauga rank among the great military battles of world history. In the end, the Civil War was one of the most devastating events in our history as a nation. 

The war itself has been estimated to have had direct cost of about $6.7 billion valued in 1860 dollars.

$6,700,000,000 in 1860 → $203,539,542,168.67 in 2018

While the war impacted the output of the entire country, the $6.7 billion figure spent on the war does not take into account that the war disrupted the economy and had an impact of lower production into the future. In fact, some economic historians have estimated the additional indirect cost resulted in another $7.3 billion in economic losses. This is according to experts. And frankly, that is a tremendous amount of money.

As for the 1.6% of Southerners who actually owned slaves in the 1860s, they controlled an empire of wealth. It should be noted that while historically the status of slave has become primarily associated with Africans, slavery in America's, North and South has had a contentious history for all sorts of people -- Native American, whites, blacks, and even Asians.

We know that in South America, the Aztecs and the Inca had slaves taken during battle as spoils of war. We know that in North America, the Crow, the Blackfoot, the Creek, the Comanche, and many other tribes even up into Canada owned slaves -- again mostly as a result of their wars with other tribes. In fact, many slaves were captured during wars between rival Native American Indian nations. Some tribes walked the trail of tears and took their black and Indian slaves with them. 

Chattel slavery, also called "traditional slavery," is named because people are treated as the "chattel" (personal property) of an owner and are bought and sold as if they were commodities. For those who might not realize it, the legal institution of chattel slavery that existed in the United States of America in the 18th and 19th centuries was left to us after we gained independence and before the end of the American Civil War. So when people say there were slaves in America for 400 years, they are wrong.

Slavery had been practiced by the British, the French, and the Spanish in North America from early colonial days, as it was later in the Thirteen Colonies at the time of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. But, after we Americans became a sovereign nation, slavery lasted for about 85 years before being abolished. As for bringing black slaves into the United States, President Thomas Jefferson put a stop to that in 1808. Yes, just 25 years after we won our independence in 1783.

Muslims have been buying and selling black slaves from Africa for more than a thousand years. In fact, black slaves are still bought and sold today in the Middle East. For us, African slaves were not the first slaves to be introduced to North America. In America, before blacks slaves were brought here as slaves from Africa, Irish and other white convicts from Europe were hauled to the America's in slave ships.

Sure whites owned slaves, but it has to be remembered that some free black people in this country bought and sold other black people. In fact, they did so since 1654 and continued to do so right through the Civil War.  Whether it was whites or blacks, slavery in the United States was an institution that had a large impact on the economic and political fabric of the country.

While white slaves went for far less, in many cases seen as a bargain for under $100 in some cases, the average price of a black slave from Africa in 1860 sold for about $800. One historian placed the cost of purchasing an African slave at $360 in 1850 and at around $500 in 1860. Another historian states the sale price of African slaves sold in the South peaked in 1860 just prior to the Civil War with a male adult in "prime" condition for field work being sold for $1,000 in Virginia and as high as $1,500 in New Orleans. 

If we go with the average $800 figure of one report, ever wonder how much would that $800 be in today's money? In today’s dollars, that would be the equivalent of about $19,000 which is the equivalent of a mid-sized car today. Friends, for the year 1860, depending on the index used, there were an estimated three million slaves living in the South and it is estimated that their aggregate market value was over $3 Billion then. That, my friends, equates to trillions of dollars today.

The value of slaves, and the lose of the revenue brought in trough the slave market, is part of the cost of the Civil War. That cost, as a share of the output of the entire economy, would equate to trillions as measured in current dollars. Knowing this, we can understand what was at stake prior to going to war.

It's no wonder the 1.6% of Americans who owned slaves in the 1860s are said to have controlled an empire of wealth. They certainly did. It was an empire that they were willing to split the nation over. An empire that they tried to hold on to, even if it meant hundreds of thousands of men in uniform being killed.

That's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Friday, April 10, 2015

One Congressman Makes Move to Impeach Obama

Federal Judge Andrew Hanen
Last Monday, April 7th, 2015, Federal Judge Andrew Hanen ordered the Obama Administration to stop a plan to defer deportations for up to 5 million people who are in the United States illegally while a lawsuit filed by 26 states plays out in the courts.

"The deferred deportation program does not represent mere inadequacy; it is complete abdication," Judge Hanen wrote. 

"The Department of Homeland Security does have discretion in the manner in which it chooses to fulfill the expressed will of Congress. It cannot, however, enact a program whereby it not only ignores the dictates of Congress, but actively acts to thwart them."

Federal Judge Andrew Hanen ruled against lawyers for the Justice Department and in the process upheld the injunction he had placed on the Obama administration’s implementation of amnesty for illegal immigrants.

Judge Hanen summed up Obama's illegal immigration program with one word: "non-enforcement."

Along with that the judge ripped into the DOJ lawyers for "misleading the court." Yes, that's a nice way of saying "lying to the court" about whether or not parts of the Amnesty plan had already been implemented even before his order delaying the program.

The judge used President Obama's own words against him, saying they proved that he had made the right decision in halting the amnesty plan -- after all, Obama seems to believe his own "policies supersede established federal law."

"In summary, the chief executive has ordered that the laws requiring removal of illegal immigrants that conflict with the 2014 DHS directive are not to be enforced, and that anyone who attempts to do so will be punished," Judge Hanen wrote.

"This is not merely ineffective enforcement. This is total non-enforcement," the judge said, noting that Obama has failed to "faithfully execute" the law, as he twice swore an oath to do.

According to The Washington Times, Judge Hanen also noted his displeasure at the fact that the DOJ lawyers had neglected to inform him immediately about the fact that at least one aspect of the Amnesty plan had already been set in motion, despite their assertion in court that nothing had been started yet.

"Whether by ignorance, omission, purposeful misdirection, or because they were misled by their clients, the attorneys for the government misrepresented the facts," said Judge Hanen.

In truth, the DOJ lawyers now find themselves in violation of the standards and rules of conduct set by the American Bar Association and could face some sort of disciplinary action, whether by the Judge or the ABA itself.

Hanen hasn't ruled out sanctions on the lawyers, but has first ordered them to turn over every bit of information available regarding the Amnesty program that had already been started before deciding how to proceed.

The case is now at the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. While the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals is said to lean more conservative, a ruling could go either way because of political pressure from the Obama White House. 

There should be no mistake in what just took place. It is not every day that a Federal Judge rules against a sitting President. 

Remember, the judge noted that Obama has failed to "faithfully execute" the law, as he twice swore an oath to do.

Friends, that's a big deal. So big that at least one Congressman is making the move to call for the impeachment of Barack Hussein Obama.

Rep.Ted Yoho (R-FL) 
It's true. After 7 years of what many see as numerous high crimes and misdemeanors, a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives has finally made a move that could set off impeachment proceedings.

Right now, Republican Representative Ted Yoho of Florida is preparing to introduce a resolution setting forth the House’s definition of "high crimes and misdemeanors" against Obama. 

This action is said to draw an unmistakable line in the sand that would directly challenge Obama’s authority when it comes to actions seen as open violations of the Constitution of the United States.

Remember, the Constitution of the United States was not created to keep Americans in line but to keep government in line.

Friends, make no mistake about what Rep. Yoho is doing. This is the single most significant action taken by a Republican towards impeachment to date.

The resolution introduces 11 different specific actions that fit the Constitution’s standard of "high crimes and misdemeanors," and several of them apply directly to President Obama.

For example, as two of eleven potential high crimes and misdemeanors the House would be declaring "impeachable," the resolution lists "failing to take care that the laws be faithfully executed through signing statements or systematic policies of non-enforcement" and "substituting executive agreements for treaties."

It further adds the use of military force without Congressional authorization, the use of funds in defiance of Congressional appropriations, and the defiance of Congressional subpoenas during oversight investigations are all impeachable offenses.

President Obama's refusal to enforce America's immigration laws, his threat of bypassing Congress on Iran, his illegal war in Libya, and his consistent defiance of Congressional investigations into executive branch scandals like the IRS, Fast and Furious, and Benghazi, all fit squarely within Representative Yoho’s 11 criteria for a "high crime."

Representative Yoho said that the most recurring argument against impeachment by experts was that President Obama's actions are similar to actions of previous presidents. 

This, he says, is why the resolution is a necessary first-step to impeachment. 

Once Congress has defined its criteria for “impeachable” offenses, the “Bush did it, too” argument is immediately destroyed.

This resolution was crafted with the assistance of legal experts like Fox News’ Judge Andrew Napolitano and civil liberties attorney Bruce Fein.

Yoho added that he expects that the resolution will cause a "Liberal firestorm" and will draw the ire of the race baiters, who will inevitably claim that the only reason that he wants to impeach Obama is because he’s black.

But to this Yoho says, "This is strictly about the rule of law."

He noted that executive amnesty was the final straw. 

It was a “blatant, in-your-face ‘I’m above the law and I’m going to do what I want. I’m a dictator, I’m a king’” act,  said Yoho.

Theodore Scott "Ted" Yoho was born in Minnesota on April 13th, 1955. At the age of 11, his family moved to Florida. 

He earned a Bachelor's degree in Agriculture after attending the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Florida Veterinary Medical Association, Florida Association of Equine Practitioners, Florida Cattlemen’s Association, and the National Rifle Association. 

Yes, besides being a friend to cattlemen and a protector of the 2nd Amendment, he has been a veterinarian for the past 28 years in the North Central Florida area.

He is a member of the Republican Party, the Tea Party Caucus, and is the United States Representative for Florida's 3rd Congressional district since 2013.

Another website put it best by saying this brave Congressman should be commended for his efforts to fulfill his oath to defend the Constitution. 

While I believe that President Obama has broken the law in the things that he has done, I also believe that the thought of that idiot Joe Biden being President is absolutely scary.

The picture above was taken when Vice President Joe Biden took the pacifier from that child and put it in his own mouth. 

The child is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's grandson. Bloomberg's daughter, Georgina Bloomberg, posted the picture on Facebook on Wednesday, April 9th.

"What's a boy to do when the Vice President steals your pacifier?" Georgina Bloomberg wrote next to the photo.

It is Biden's irrational behavior, behavior like this, that makes impeachment of Obama scary. 

But even with the possibility that our village idiot may become President, any actions which are criminal on the part of Obama should not be condoned just because he is president.  

Our laws, our Constitution, was built to prevent a president from thinking himself King or Dictator of the United States. 

We cannot allow it to take place because of their sex, creed, color, religion, political affiliation, or support from the media. 

And please make no mistake about it, it all has to do with Obama's criminal violations of the Constitution. 

Criminal offenses are different than his rogue policies, his divisive attitude, or the his ideas of change which has proven detrimental to the United States. We cannot allow any president to willfully break the law.

Even with the scary possibility of putting an idiot like Joe Biden in the White House, the bottom line is that Americans need to support Rep Ted Yoho's efforts to make it clear that no one in office is above the law. 

The Constitution should be preserved and adhered to. It must not be disregarded as some out of date document that some in government feel does not apply to them. 

Yes, that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa