Saturday, October 31, 2015

Tombstones Rise Up From San Francisco Bay

Ever wonder why tombstones would suddenly appear on a San Francisco beach?

The first time that I heard about this was back in the spring of 1977 when I was still in the Marine Corps. I was on leave visiting my parents when a newspaper story caught my eye. It was a story that I've never forgotten.

The story was that strong winds, cross currents, and shifting sands across the bay had exposed a very eerie reminder of San Francisco's past: Tombstones appeared on a beach there. 

Back in 1977, the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper wrote about the gravestones surfacing on Ocean Beach and how "beachcombers" were stunned. One observer at the time said that finding them was "the strangest stuff I've ever come across in a city that's weird enough."
Exposed for all to see were the discarded tombstones, gravestones, both broken and intact, of people who had died in the 1800s and very early 1900s. All from the graves of many who were surely beloved. And besides the fact that there was an old mausoleum near the intersection of Rivera Street and the Great Highway on Ocean Beach, a number of tombstones were used to shore up the seawall at Ocean Beach. When this story first broke back in 1977, people were fairly alarmed by what had risen up from San Francisco Bay. Then as with most things, the uproar over the tombstones died off as soon as the drifting sands covered them up again. 

Fast forward to 2012, when on June 8th of that year, the tombstones became visible again. That was when many of the marble and granite tombstones once marked the final resting places of citizens long dead decided to let it be known that they are indeed beneath the bay. One of the headstones is the nearly intact marble tombstone of Delia Presby Oliver, who died at the age of 26 on April 9th, 1890. Delia Presby Oliver's grave marker is a solid piece of marble that was meant to last an eternity.

Delia Presby Oliver's tombstone, nearly as intact as the day it was carved more than 125 years ago, was uncovered in black sand near the end of Rivera Street. She was a member of a prominent family. Her father, David Shattuck, was born in New England and served on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Her parents lived on very wealthy Nob Hill.

Delia Presby was born in San Francisco in 1863 and married Frank B. Oliver on October 27th, 1885. She passed away less than five years later. At the time, newspapers did not report the cause of her death. But a notice in the San Francisco Call newspaper on April 10th, 1890, said, "Friends and acquaintances are respectfully invited to attend the funeral services. From the residence of her parents No. 814 Powell Street. Internment private."

While newspaper reports back then really don't make it clear where Mrs. Oliver was buried, it is likely that a person of her social standing might have been interred in the Laurel Hill Cemetery. Back then, it extended south and west of California Street to near what is now Presidio Avenue.

The nearly intact marble tombstone of Delia Presby Oliver makes me wonder what unmarked grave she is in today? Her remains were removed and reburied when San Francisco authorities closed nearly all the city cemeteries and moved their dead to Colma during the 1920s and 1930s just to make room for more buildings.

If you've never heard of Colma, California, it is a true "City of the Dead" with the majority of that city being made up of graveyards. Colma became the site for numerous cemeteries when San Francisco, the city's powerful neighbor to the north, passed an ordinance in 1900 outlawing the construction of any more cemeteries in the city of San Francisco. The reason for the San Francisco ordinance was money. Increased property values made the cost of using land for cemeteries prohibitive.

After the first city ordinance, San Francisco then passed another ordinance in 1912 "evicting" all existing cemeteries and those buried there from city limits. Yes, that was when the politicians in San Francisco decided to move the cemeteries out of the city. With that decision the Catholic, the Jewish, the Masonic, and even the Chinese cemeteries among others were all destroyed.

It is a fact that Mrs. Oliver's original tombstone and thousands like it were used as landfill or in other ways throughout San Francisco. And it is also a fact that thousands of people now rest in unmarked graves because of the decision to close those cemeteries and relocate those buried in the city by the bay.

One lawman who was relocated to Colma was San Francisco Officer Alexander Grant who was shot and killed by a suspect that he had just arrested for public drunkenness and disturbing the peace on Folsom Street between 4th and 5th Streets. 

On September 11th, 1891, the suspect resisted arrest and at some point drew a gun and shot Officer Grant in the head -- killing him instantly. The suspect was an actor by the name of Maurice B. Curtis who was said to be very famous at the time.

Just as today, money can buy almost anything including a jury. So by 1893 after four trials, two hung juries, and one dismissal, he was acquitted. A few weeks later a prominent politician and a California State Senator was arrested for bribing four members of the jury. Curtis spent most of his fortune to gain his freedom and his acting career was ruined. Thankfully, Curtis died in Los Angeles on December 29th, 1920, a pauper.

Officer Grant was a member of the 17th and Howard Street Station, Company B, Second Division and was a member of the Knights Templar Freemasons. He was buried at the Masonic Cemetery of San Francisco which was one of the cemeteries closed by San Francisco politicians. 

His tombstone was removed and is thought to have been dumped in the bay. As for Officer Grant, it is thought that his remains are now in some unmarked grave at Woodlawn Cemetery in Colma. While that's the hope, some think the old lawman may be buried under the University of San Francisco.

Of all, Laurel Hill Cemetery was one of the last to be closed. In 1937, The San Francisco Chronicle newspaper described the Laurel Hill Cemetery  as "a silent city of the dead." Records show that there were at least 35,000 men, women and children buried there, all were removed to make way for the Laurel Heights development. And yes, it is believed that most of the western part of the city of San Francisco was actually built atop old cemeteries -- that included housing developments, shopping centers, and even the sprawling campus of the University of San Francisco.

On historian is reported to have said, "They found hundreds of bodies when they did seismic work at the Palace of the Legion of Honor, It was pauper's cemetery. And there are literally hundreds of bodies under the Lincoln Park Golf Course. No one kept track of them all."

In established cemeteries, like Laurel Hill and Calvary on Geary Boulevard, it is said that "The remains of the loved ones were removed at no cost, but if you wanted to remove a headstone, or a funerary building, the family had to pay the cost." Because this was taking place during the financially hard pressed days of the Great Depression, many families could not afford to pay the cost to relocate their loved one's headstones and opted for city markers. Those city markers were soon lost or discarded. So soon enough, the result was that many of San Francisco's relocated dead now rest in unmarked graves.

The tombstones left behind were confiscated by the city to use in various city projects. Some say that the stones of graves were sold to crooked San Francisco contractors as material to be used to build the seawall along the Great Highway. And yes, it is believed that large tombs and crypts were also torn down to be dumped into San Francisco Bay to shore up the seawall at Ocean Beach, all while other grave makers were used to line the gutters of Haight-Ashbury's Buena Vista Park. 

So yes, the stones were thrown in the bay when San Francisco outlawed cemeteries and moved all of the bodies to the city of Colma to its south. And yes, it is said that many of the bodies that were moved south to Colma went there without identifications and that the tombstones were simply thrown in the bay to get rid of the evidence.

And yes, as for you Old West history buffs, if Colma rings a bell, it's because you recognize the city of Colma as the place where Wyatt Earp is buried next to his wife, Josephine Marcus Earp. They are buried side-by-side in Hills of Eternity and Home of Peace Cemetery there.

As for the tombstones on reappearing, local historians in San Francisco seem mixed as to the importance of the find back in 1977 and again in 2012. One is supposed to have said, "They turned up some years ago in about the same place. There was a big fuss, and then they were covered up again. How soon we forget." And frankly, I believe that person is correct. In 2012, a spokeswoman for the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, which manages Ocean Beach, acted as though this was really no big deal saying, "This happens every once in a while. It's been a crazy year for sand." Of course, back then the Park Service had no plans to remove the gravestones believing eventually they'll be covered again by the drifting sand. Imagine that.

Because of the lingering drought, these days one can actually see many of the towns that were submerged under what would become needed lakes and reservoirs. This is especially true since our drought has sent our lakes and reservoirs to their lowest levels since the mid-1970s. Just as with those towns of years gone by, it is believed that it's only a matter of time before the sands shift and the tombstones of San Francisco's ghosts rise up from San Francisco Bay once again. 

Tom Correa

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

BLM Illegally Sold Thousands Of Wild Horses For Slaughter

Under the authority of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the BLM is responsible for protecting and managing wild horses and burros to ensure that healthy herds thrive on healthy rangelands.

Per the BLM website, "The mid-20th century harvesting of wild horses for commercial purposes induced a Reno, Nevada, secretary -- Velma Johnston -- to begin a campaign that led to passage of a 1959 law to protect these iconic animals.

While driving to work one day in 1950, Ms. Johnston noticed blood leaking from a livestock truck. She followed it and discovered that horses were being delivered to a slaughterhouse. Ms. Johnston responded with a massive letter-writing campaign by students to prevent other wild horses from meeting a similar end. The campaign became known as the 'Pencil War' and Ms. Johnston was affectionately dubbed 'Wild Horse Annie.'"

Legislation that followed resulted in the enactment of the Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971, the landmark law that directs Federal management of wild horses and burros on our public lands, Federal property. The Wild Free-Roaming Horses and Burros Act of 1971 declares wild horses and burros to be "living symbols of the historic and pioneer spirit of the West." 

Under that law, the Interior Department is responsible to care for our wild horse herds. The Department of the Interior's Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and U.S. Forest Service manage the herds in their respective jurisdictions.

To help carry out its assignment, the BLM established the Wild Horse and Burro Program which the agency uses to manages and protects wild horses and burros, both on and off the range, while striving to maintain rangeland health.

Environmentalist groups, who care more about the flora and the fauna and less about wild horses, burros, cattle, and the American people, have consistently tried to rid the rangelands of wild horses, burros, cattle, and people like ranchers and farmers. 

In reality, Environmentalists have used all sorts of political influence, from bribes and lawsuits to lobbing and huge campaign donations, to get their way. And yes, many top Federal government officials are in the pockets of wealthy Environmentalist groups. 

On October 24, 2015, the Washington Times reported that the Bureau of Land Management, the agency responsible for protecting America's wild horses on public grazing lands, broke the law by selling 1,794 federally-protected wild horses to a Colorado rancher who sent them to slaughter.

According to the report from the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General, between 2009 and 2012, rancher Tom Davis purchased the horses through the agency’s Wild Horse and Burro Program and knowingly illegally sent them to slaughter.

According to the allegations and news reports, rancher Davis also had farming and trucking connections with former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

Kenneth Lee "Ken" Salazar is member of the Democratic Party. He previously served as a United States Senator from Colorado from 2005 to 2009. Salazar resigned his Senate seat on January 20, 2009, upon his confirmation by the Senate to become Secretary of the Interior under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013. 

Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General Investigators wrote in the report, "We determined that BLM did not follow current law while managing WH&B. BLM also failed to follow its own policy of limiting horse sales and ensuring that the horses sold went to good homes and were not slaughtered,”

Davis admitted that most of the horses that he purchased through the BLM went to slaughter. He told investigators that "in selling so many loads of horses, BLM had to know that the horses would end up at the slaughterhouse."

According to the Interior Department’s Office of Inspector General  report, the wrongful sale also cost taxpayers $140,000 to deliver truckloads of horses to Davis. He paid $10 a piece for the horses, or less than $18,000 total, and made as much as $154,000 in profits by selling them for slaughter.

The report also states that no one BLM representative tried to stop the sale or the slaughter. Speculation ranges from someone in the BLM simply giving their approval by looking the other way, to BLM employees being bribed to disregard the unusually large purchases.

The report does state that BLM employees never attempted to verify the information that Davis provided regarding his intentions for the horses he bought, despite the unusually large number of horses being sold to him.

Investigators also wrote that the BLM also did not stop selling horses to Davis after receiving reports that he was sending the horses to slaughter. Why, since he and they were clearly breaking the law? Who knows. But it must be nice to have friends in high places.

And yes, if you are wondering, the Interior Department's Office of Inspector General declined to investigate ties between Davis and former Secretary of the Interior Salazar who still has connections in the department he managed while being a part of the Obama administration.

According to the report, the investigation was referred to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado as well as the State of Colorado Conejos County District Attorney’s Office. Frankly, it is not a surprise that both declined to seek civil and criminal prosecution, prior to his election to the U.S. Senate, Ken Salazar served as Attorney General of Colorado from 1999 to 2005

Suzanne Roy, Director of the American Wild Horse Preservation Campaign (AWHPC) stated, "It took more than three years for the OIG (Office of Inspector General) to confirm what we’ve always known -- that the BLM sold 1,795 federally-protected wild horses to a known kill buyer who sold them to slaughter. Unfortunately, there will be no justice for these mustangs, who suffered a brutal death in Mexican slaughter plants. No one at the BLM is being held accountable for this betrayal, and Tom Davis is not being prosecuted for violating his contractual obligation to not sell the horses for slaughter."

No one was surprised to hear the response to the report when BLM officials said they are "taking the matter very seriously and have taken preventative measures to ensure horses sold by the agency do not end up at slaughterhouses in the future."

While not a single BLM employee has been charged for illegal activities relating to the sale of those 1,794 wild horses that were slaughtered,  neither has the Colorado rancher Davis.

While that should piss most people off, BLM officials tried to make it sound like Davis was getting punished when they said, "the agency no longer has any business relationship with Tom Davis and will not in the future."

Frankly that's not much of a penalty for anyone who knowingly kills 1,794 "federally-protected" wild horses. In fact, I'd bet a few bucks that the Colorado rancher who sent them to slaughter, and made well over $100,000 in that sale, is probably very happy that his illegal activities won't even warrant a slap on the wrist.

Friends, my opinion is that if he is close to BLM officials, then that Colorado rancher found out that the term "federally protected" means absolutely nothing if you have friends in high places. As illegal as his activity was, the government gave him a pass -- most likely because who his friends are.

And yes, "illegal" activity not being prosecuted is why we have the society we have today. The term "illegal" means very little because we have people in government who pick and chose what laws are truly "illegal" and what laws mean nothing even when violated to its fullest.

From Illegal Aliens killing innocent people in Sanctuary Cities that see nothing wrong with that being done, to doing businesses illegally because no one cares if they do or no; from illegal behavior like that of Hillary Clinton with her breach of national security by putting her e-mail on a non-secure computer server, to Democrats like California's Governor Jerry Brown giving "Illegal" Aliens rights reserved for "legal" citizens; we live in an era when the term "illegal" means less and less.

And frankly, that is especially true when it comes to how the law is applied to some groups over others. Today, Republicans, Conservatives, Gun Owners, and Christians, are all held to a higher standard to where even the smallest infraction of the law could amount to huge fines, lawsuits, criminal charges, arrest, and prison.

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

Monday, October 26, 2015

Not A Racist Flag

By Terry McGahey

In this day and age of Political Correctness the argument over the Confederate flag has gotten way out of hand.

The people, no matter what their color, who believe this flag to be a racist symbol, simply does not know the history of it, and are ignorant of its significance.

This flag today is known by many as the stars and bars which is the wrong terminology used for it. It is actually called the Southern cross.

Just like many things today, this flag is being bastardized into something that it isn't. Why? Because white supremacist groups such as the KKK used this flag as their symbol beginning many years ago, therefore they were the first to bastardize the Southern Cross, and over the years people of all colors believe this flag to be racist through their own lack of knowledge in its history.

The Southern Cross is a soldier's flag and should be honored as such in the name of the soldiers who fought and died under it, not vilified by ignorant people who know nothing about it.

The Southern Cross came into being because the Union and Confederacy's national flags were pretty much the same. This was a major concern by Confederate General Beauregard in 1861.

Something had to be done so the troops on the battlefield would not commit friendly fire between themselves and also to be able to locate the position of the different units for battlefield strategy.

DDI 408491 Perma-Nyl 3 ft. x 5 ft. C.S.A. Jack Battle Flag Case Of 6

The Southern Cross was never the South's national flag, slavery flag, nor had it ever flown over a slavers ship. In fact, the majority of soldiers who fought and died under this flag had never owned a slave in their entire life.

Just because people like Al Sharpton, Jessie Jackson, and Lewis Farrakhan, just to name a few of the big mouth radicals, have their own perception of what something stands for in order to reach their agenda, that does not make it so. Problem is, thousands of people follow along like sheep just because it sounds right to them weather it is or not.

A good example of this is how people are claiming that the POW/MIA flag is now a racist symbol. This is insane!

The prisoner of war/missing in action flag purely honors our service men and women who have been held captive by our enemies and the service personnel who have been determined to be missing in action on the battlefield or elsewhere. Where these idiots come up with everything as being racist now days is beyond me.

What's next? Are these same idiots going to call the, Don't Tread On Me flag racist? This flag with the rattlesnake known as the Gadsden Flag is the defiant symbol of American independence and freedom, but I guess some nut case could try to make something out of it that it isn't.

How about the California state flag with the grizzly bear? The grizzly will run off the black bear if he in his feeding ground so I guess the grizzly is a racist bear because he runs off the black. Maybe the California state flag should be scrutinized for termination because of its racist overtones?

How about the Wyoming flag? It has the buffalo on it. Since the black soldiers in the Southwestern part of the United States were called Buffalo Soldiers, shouldn't we make Wyoming change their flag because it could be considered racist?

Of course the things I mentioned above are completely ridicules. But the people who are bashing the Southern Cross battle flag as being a racist symbol, through their ignorance of history, just might be the same idiots who could possibly come up with something just about as stupid as the examples I listed above for their next racist driven, un-American, Socialist project.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

The Pawnee Indian's Morning Star Ritual

The Pawnee Indian's Morning Star Ritual was ceremonial human sacrifice usually carried out in the Spring. A young girl was always the victim, their offering. 

From the Celts, the Germans, and the Aztecs, to the Chinese and even Pacific Islanders like the Hawaiians, human sacrifice was commonplace among all cultures at one time or another in their histories. 

There are some who say that human sacrifice is learned somehow as if it were something passed down from one society to another in ancient times. But frankly, that theory is dismissed when looking at how Hawaiians practiced human sacrifice long before coming in contact with any other peoples.

Hawaiian Human Sacrifice
When I was growing up in Hawaii, I remember learning about the ancient Hawaiian luakini temple, or luakini heiau, which was a sacred place for Native Hawaiians. There were indeed human and animal sacrifices offered to local gods. 

Those sacrificed were usually the "Kauwa," the outcasts or slave class in Hawaiian culture. And yes, like other cultures, they were also war captives. Yes, prisoners of war, and even the descendants of those prisoners were used as sacrificial lambs to appease their gods.

As with most cultures that practiced human sacrifice, slaves and prisoners were not the only human sacrifices in Hawaii. In Hawaii both law-breakers of all castes and defeated political opponents, such as defeated Chiefs and warriors, were acceptable to serve up to local gods.

As in many cultures around the world, human sacrifice is intended to bring good fortune and to pacify their gods. Human sacrifice can also have the intention of winning the gods' favor in some way be it in war for a bountiful harvest. Victims were ritually killed in a manner that was supposed to please or appease their gods, spirits, or even the deceased. While that may have been the intention, I'm willing to bet that victims saw it differently.

As for Native American Indians, some tribes did and some tribes did not practice human sacrifice. There were even those who fought with other tribes over the practice in an effort to stop it. 

The Iroquois are said to have sacrificed a young girl to the "Great Spirit" occasionally, but preferred to sacrifice prisoners of war, aka "war captives". Yes, they saw it as deserving of captives of other tribes to die for them as sacrifices. 

Like many other Native American tribes, the Pawnee had a cosmology with elements of all of nature represented in it. They based many rituals in the four cardinal directions. Sacred bundles were created by medicine men and put together of materials, such as an ear of corn, with great symbolic value.

These were used in many religious ceremonies to maintain the balance of nature and the relationship with the gods and spirits. The Pawnee were not part of the Sun Dance tradition. They did participate in the Ghost Dance movement of the 1890s.

Their deities are Atius Tirawa, which means "Father Above" in the Pawnee language. He is their "creator god".  He was believed to have taught the Pawnee people how to make fire, how to hunt, farm, gave them the ability to speak and make clothing. Their religious rituals included the use of tobacco, sacred bundles, and sacrifices. He was associated with most natural phenomena, including the stars and planets, the wind and rain, thunder and lightning. 

The wife of Tirawa was Atira, goddess of the Earth. Atira was associated with corn. The sun and moon deities were Shakuru and Pah, respectively. Four major stars were said to represent those gods and were part of their "creation story" in which the first human being was a girl. They believed the Morning Star and the Evening Star mated to create her.

The Pawnee believed that the Morning Star and Evening Star gave birth to the first Pawnee woman. The first Pawnee man was the offspring of the union of the Moon and the Sun.

The Pawnee Indians are said to have had a sophisticated understanding of the movement of stars, and they noted the movements of both the Morning Star (Mars) and the Evening Star (Venus). These deities were so important to the Pawnee centered all aspects of daily life on this celestial observation, including the time to hunt and the important cultivation cycle for sacred corn.

It's true. They believed that as descendants of the stars, the stars played an integral role in their daily and spiritual life. They planted their crops according to the position of the stars, which related to the appropriate time of season for planting. Like many tribal bands, they sacrificed maize and other crops to the stars.

Unlike the South Pawnee, the Skidi Pawnee practiced child sacrifice, specifically of captive girls from an enemy tribe, in the "Morning Star Ritual". And yes, they continued this practice regularly, the whole while believing that the longstanding rite ensured the fertility of the soil and success of the crops -- as well as renewal of all life in Spring.

The Morning Star Ritual

It a five-day ceremony which ended with a ritual sacrifice of a young girl. It was held in the spring and was said to be connected to their "creation story" in which the mating of the male Morning Star with the female Evening Star created the first human being -- a girl.

The ceremony was not held in full every year, but only when a man of the village dreamed that the Morning Star had come to him and told him to perform the ceremony. He then consulted with the Morning Star priest, who has been reading the sky.

Together they determined whether the Morning Star was demanding only the more common yearly symbolic ceremony, or requiring that the ceremony be carried out in full. 

When the Pawnee priests would identify certain celestial bodies on the horizon, they would know that the Morning Star needed to be appeased with the sacrifice of a young girl. It is said that the Pawnee only preformed child sacrifice in years when Mars was the morning star.

In autumn it usually originated in a warrior's dream in which the Morning Star appeared and directed him to capture a suitable child victim. Supposedly the dreamer went to the keeper of the Morning Star bundle and received from him the warrior’s costume kept in it. He then set out, accompanied by volunteers, and made a night attack upon an enemy village. Yes, their sacrifice was a child, a young girl, from an enemy tribe.

As soon as a girl of suitable age was captured the attack ceased and the party returned. The girl was dedicated to the Morning Star at the moment of her capture and was given into the care of the leader of the party who, on its return, turned her over to the chief of the Morning Star.

Once returned to the village, the people kept her isolated from the rest of the camp. If it was spring and time for the sacrifice, she was ritually cleansed. Once that took place, a four-day ceremony was begun around her.

The Morning Star priest would sing songs and the girl was "symbolically" transformed from human being of flesh and blood to that which is suitable to be among the celestial bodies. Yes, she became the ritual representation of the Evening Star. Understand that they did not see her as someone impersonating the deity, but instead as someone who had actually become an earthly embodiment of their goddess Atira the Evening Star. 

On the final day of the ceremony, it is said that a huge procession of men, boys and even women carrying male infants accompanied the girl outside the village to where the men had raised a scaffold to restrain her. Supposedly they used sacred woods and skins, and the scaffold represented the "Evening Star's garden in the west, the source of all animal and plant life." 

The priests removed her clothing and the procession was timed so that she would be left alone on the scaffold at the moment the Morning Star rose. When the Morning Star appeared, two men came from the east with flaming brands and branded her in the arm pits and groin. 

Four other men then hit her with war clubs. And then, the man who had captured her would run forward with the bow from the Skull bundle and a sacred arrow and shot her through the heart while another man struck her on the head with the war club from the Morning Star bundle. 

The officiating priest then opened her breast with a flint knife and smeared his face with the blood while her captor caught the falling blood on dried meat. All the male members of the tribe then pressed forward and shot arrows into the body. They then circled the scaffold four times and then left.

Believe it or not, it wasn't over yet. The Pawnee believed that to fulfill the "creation of life" ceremony, the men of the village would take on the role of the Morning Star. In that two men would come from the East with flaming brands, representing the sun. The men acted out the violence which had allowed the Morning Star to mate with the Evening Star. They did this "by breaking her vaginal teeth" in their creation story with a "meteor stone."

Yes, this was not simply some stabbing of a sacrificial lamb here. This was the captive being shot in the heart and a man would strike her on the head with the war club from the Morning Star bundle. Then by having all the men in the village shoot arrows into her body, supposedly it was believed that the village men were thought to be symbolically mating with the Morning Star. 

Her blood would drip down from the scaffolding and onto the ground which had been made to represent the Evening Star’s garden of all plant and animal life.

Now one might think that they would now wrap the girl's body in some sacred cloth and raise her high onto a scaffold.

Actually no, after the sacrificial ritual, they simply took her body and lay the girl face down on the prairie. It was their belief that her blood would enter the earth and fertilize the ground. Supposedly the spirit of the Evening Star would be released and the men ensured the success of the crops, all life on the Plains, and the perpetuation of the Universe.

As horrible as it sounds, the Skidi Pawnee practiced the Morning Star Ritual regularly in the early 1800s. And yes, the news of the sacrifices reached the East Coast in the 1820s.  It is believed to have alarm with American settlers heading West. 

Pawnee chief Knife Chief is said to have ransomed at least two captives before sacrifice, but trying to change a practice tied so closely to belief in renewal of life for the tribe was difficult. Though that was the case, Indian agents sought to convince Pawnee chiefs, such as Knife Chief, to change their practices which was being objected to by the increasing number of American settlers on the Plains at the time. 

As far as getting the practice stopped, well as far as anyone knows, the last known Morning Star Ritual of human sacrifice was of a 14-year-old child, a Oglala Lakota girl named Haxti on April 22nd, 1838.

Yes, to anyone's knowledge, it was only in the late 1830s that the Skidi Pawnee stopped the practice of abducting girl children from an enemy tribe and using them in human sacrifice rituals. 

As for what made them stop? Who really knows. But frankly, while trying to change a religious practice tied so closely to their belief in renewal of life was difficult, it had to change for the better. And yes, I'm sure that the pressures applied from others who saw these acts as vile would have sooner or later forced the Pawnee to stop.

Whether they saw the errors of their ways, or they simply realized that their gods didn't need blood and the toll of human sacrifices, that episode of Pawnee Indian history does show us that even the worse of religious rituals can be done away with and replaced with something good.

Tom Correa 

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

$8,000 Reward Offered in Salt River Horse Killing

There are dozens of wild horses living along the Salt and Verde Rivers northeast of Mesa, Arizona.

 It was in the news not long ago that Tonto Forest officials announced a plan to remove the horses from their environment. The herd became controversial in that many folks let their voices be heard in opposition to that plan.  

On October 1st, 2015, an anonymous caller contacted the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group's hotline to report seeing a dead horse at the Salt River recreation area near Coon Bluff. The Coon Bluff Recreation area is one of several recreation sites along the lower Salt River.

A 12-year-old mare named Dotty was part of the controversial herd along the Salt River. When sheriff's deputies arrived on scene, she was found dead -- but sheriff’s officials said that their initial investigation showed no sign of Dotty being intentionally killed. 

So then, last week, sheriff's deputies changed their minds. Yes, it's true, four days later the agency issued another statement saying that the investigation into the animal's death was never closed and that further investigation revealed that Dotty had been shot. The shooter used a small caliber weapon. 

The case was subsequently turned over to the MCSO's Animal Crimes Unit for investigation as an animal cruelty case. 

But imagine that for a moment, they said that they did not suspect the horse was intentionally killed yet the horse was shot? While this all might sound a little strange, a necropsy was preformed on Dotty and that examination determined that Dotty had been healthy and showed no signs that it needed to be put down before being shot. 

If you find that reversal a little strange, how about the strange statement that came from Deputy Joaquin Enriquez, a Sheriff’s Office spokesman, who said last week that there is no evidence that the shooting was malicious -- and that the investigation remains open.

Let's just take a second to ask why would Deputy Enriquez say there was no evidence that the shooting was "malicious"?  Of course there is evidence that the shooting was malicious, the horse was shot for no reason other than someone wanting to shot her. 

OK, let's say that it was someone shooting at snakes who inadvertently shot Dotty accidentally, they should have come forward and said it was an accident. 

But since it was determined that Dotty was healthy and showed no signs of needing to be put down before she was shot, there is a good chance that someone intentionally shot her. Yes, that would mean that some jerk shot her for no reason other than simply wanting to shot a wild horse. That, my friends, is as malicious as it gets! 

Dotty was part of the herd that was in the news this summer when the U.S. Forest Service announced plans to round up and remove the nearly 100 horses near the Salt River. Those plans were halted in August after outcry from residents and politicians.

Now Maricopa County officials have announced that they are offering $8,000 for information in the case of the senseless killing of that free-roaming horse that never hurt anyone and was only a target for some jackass with a small-caliber firearm. 

The reward is being offered for any information directly leading to the arrest and conviction of the shooter or shooters involved, according to the statement from Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

"This reward money could go a long way in solving the case," Sheriff Arpaio said. "We will follow every lead, make every effort to find the suspect and bring justice to Dotty’s death."

Three donors put up the reward: $1,000 from the Schill Law Group, $5,000 from the International Society of the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, and $2,000 from the Salt River Wild Horse Management Group.

The management group, an advocacy organization, was responsible for stopping the proposed removal in August.

Arizona state Rep. Kelly Townsend, who helped organize the donation from the International Society of the Protection of Mustangs and Burros, is continuing to raise money to increase the reward, according to the news release.

Sheriff’s deputies are asking anyone with information to call the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office’s Animal Cruelty Hotline at 602-876-1681 or e-mail

To my way of thinking, a great lead as to who shot Dotty is how this crime will be solved. Whether it was someone shooting at snakes who shot Dotty accidentally, or whether it was someone who intentionally shot her, there is a real possibility that the shooter was not alone in that neck of the woods.  

Because of the real possibility that there is someone who knows the identity of the shooter, that person may want to tell someone about what he or she witnessed out there. Because of that, there's the real chance that the police may be getting a call to let someone know the name of the shooter.

I'm hoping that it was an accident and can get cleared up. But if it wasn't an accident, and instead it was some sadist who likes to hurt animals? Well then, I hope we find that person sooner than later for everyone's own good. 

We as a society need to brand people who like to hurt animals for enjoyment. Yes, I'm serious when I say that we need to identify them for the future. We need to identify them so that we can watch them to make sure they don't expand their sick desire and start hurting people. We need to do that because research tells us that that is usually their next step.

Yes, I believe that through vigilance we may be able to stop some sick bastard from hurting someone before it happens. Call it profiling, call it whatever is Politically Incorrect to call it, I really don't care.

I do care about about people and right and wrong. Whether its Muslims who have a blood-lust for hurting others, people on drugs stealing to take care of their habit, lazy asses who don't want to find a job and would rather rob others, or some sick SOB who finds it enjoyable to kill for fun, there are those in our society who we need to keep an eye on -- and we should.

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

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Martha Cothren Teaches Her Students "Freedom Is Not Free"

This story has everything to do with, as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee put it, "the cost of things taken for granted and the debt owed to those in the armed forces."

In September of 2005, Martha Cothren, a History teacher at Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, did something her students will never forget.

On the first day of school, with the permission of the school superintendent, the principal and the building supervisor, she had all of the desks in her classroom removed.

When the first period kids entered the classroom, they discovered that there were no desks other than the teacher's. The classroom was vacant of all desks for them to sit.

"Ms. Cothren, where are our desks?" the students asked.

She replied, "You can’t have a desk until you tell me how you earn the right to sit at a desk?"

One student said, "It’s our grades."

"No," she said.

"Our behavior." said another student.

Martha Cothren told them, "No, it’s not even your behavior." 

And so, the students came and went, the first period, second period, third period. Still no desks in the classroom.

The students called their parents to tell them what was happening and by early afternoon television news crews had started gathering at the school to report about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of her classroom.

The final period of the day came and again like the other periods the puzzled students found seats on the floor of the vacant classroom. 

Finally Martha Cothren explained why there were no desks on their first day of class. She said, "Throughout the day no one has been able to tell me just what he or she has done to earn the right to sit at the desks that are ordinarily found in this classroom. Now I am going to tell you."

At this point, Martha Cothren went over to the door of her classroom and opened it. 

Twenty-seven (27) U.S. Veterans, all in uniform, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. One by one the Vets began placing the school desks in rows. After each had positioned a desk, they would then walk over and stand at alongside a wall in the classroom. 

By the time the last Veteran had set the final desk in place those kids started to understand, perhaps for the first time in their lives, just how the right to sit at those desks had been earned.

But if they didn't get it, this was one teacher who would make sure they do.

Martha Cothren informed the class, "You didn’t earn the right to sit at these desks. These heroes did it for you. They placed the desks here for you.  They went halfway around the world, giving up their education and interrupting their careers and families so you could have the freedom you have.  Now, it’s up to you to sit in them. It is your responsibility to learn, to be good students, to be good citizens.  They paid the price so that you could have the freedom to get an education. Don’t ever forget it."

This is a true story. I first heard about this in an e-mail. I checked it out and found out that it really took place. 

Martha Cothren is the daughter of a World War II POW and regularly has veterans visit her classroom. It's one of the ways she teaches her course on the history of WorldWar II and the Vietnam War. Besides teaching events and dates, she teaches an appreciation for our armed forces. 

In May 2005, she and her class organized a Vietnam Veterans Recognition Week, including an official "Thank You Ceremony" held in the Joe T. Robinson High School auditorium.

Veterans from World War II, the Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Iraq War attended, as did the students, parents and the community in general, all to honor those who had served. During that week, students videotaped veterans as they recounted their war memories, thus preserving their stories for later generations.

Martha Cothren and her students have sent numerous care packages to U.S. military personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They also write letters to soldiers. In recognition for her great works, Martha Cothren was voted "Teacher of the Year" by the VFW in 2006.

In his March 2nd, 2007 address to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington, DC., former Governor of Arkansas Mike Huckabee related the story, the lesson, Martha Cothren taught her students.

In his speech, he recounted what took place on that first day of classes in Fall of 2005 for students enrolled in Martha Cothren's history class at Joe T. Robinson High School in Little Rock, Arkansas.

He said, "Martha Cothren's classroom was indeed devoid of desks on that first day of instruction, with the missing furniture borne in at the end of the day by a group of veterans. Each veteran carried a desk and set it down as the teacher gave her lesson on the cost of things taken for granted and the debt owed to those in the armed forces."

At the 2008 Republican National Convention, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee again referenced Martha Cothren and the story of what she did.

I first heard about this in an e-mail. I checked it out and found out that it really took place. Most all of the information above has been compiled from different sources,

In a time when there are some teachers who would rather teach their students to stomp on the American Flag, America needs more teachers like Martha Cothren who teach why we should love America and respect our Veterans.

All teachers should instruct their students, as former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee said, "on the cost of things taken for granted and the debt owed to those in the armed forces."

The above article was sent to me. I hope you didn't mind me sharing it with you.

Best Regards,
Tom Correa

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Why Do Democrats Love Socialism?

I have a hard time believing that I've lived long enough to see people running for President in the Democrat Party who actually admit that they are Socialists and have a problem with one of the main principles that built our nation -- that being Capitalism and the right of all men and women to work and prosper.

Yes, one of America's founding principles is that our economy is organized so that the things that we need as a people are made by us, and owned by us. Yes, individual people and companies rather than by the government.

Yes, American Capitalism is a system under which the ownership of land and wealth is for the most part in the hands of us, private individuals, so that we can determine our life's course without having to answer to anyone else.

In Capitalism, no one is our master. It enables freedom from servitude. It stops slavery and enables liberty to thrive. Right now, it is a fact that our American system of Capitalism is a force that is freeing people around the world.

I have known many Democrats in my time. Most have been good people who have voted like their parents voted without really giving much thought to the political party they support. Most don't really know the history of the Democrat Party, or the difference between them and the Republican Party. 

Most who I know still fool themselves into thinking that the Democrats as the party of the Middle-Class and the Republicans as the party of the rich. Yes, there are still those who think that's really how it is. Yes, they are fooling themselves. 

But to admit that they are in favor of Socialism? Wow, that's a huge step in the evolution of a major political party in America.

The Democrat Party still promotes itself as the "pro-Union party of the working man," yet today the Democrat Party is the party of cheap Mexican non-Union labor which is undercutting Union jobs. They are the party of anti-business and sending jobs overseas where cheap labor can still be had for their campaign donors.

The Democrat Party is the party of putting more people in poverty by crushing businesses through over-regulation, and catering to special interest groups who line the pockets of Liberal politicians. And yes, those special interest groups are who diverted water from people to save a few fish in California only to turn the San Joaquin Valley and living conditions there into that of a Third World Country.

The Democrat Party today is for giving rights for non-citizens, for Black Lives Matter but not ALL LIVES mattering, for shutting down manufacturing plants because they pollute, for killing family farms and ranches, for giving weapons to Muslim extremists, and for giving Iran nuclear weapons to wipe Israel off the map.

And of course, the Democrat Party is one where it's politicians take the money from a Billion-dollar Corporation that is so greedy that it sells parts of dead babies even though it already gets more than a half-Billion dollars in tax subsidies.

Sadly, the Democrat Party is the party of control and enslaving Americans through regulations and government oppression. And yes, that's where their love of Socialism begins!

Socialism is the opposite of Capitalism in that a Socialist society is one in which their is no private business and in essence companies are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies. It has to do with advocating governmental ownership of everything.

Yes, Socialism means production and distribution of your goods is completely administered by the government in a rationed society where group living is OK and there is no private property. That means Socialism is a system government where everything in society is owned and controlled by the government. You have absolutely no say in the matter when it comes to your own business and your creations. 

And whether of not those in favor of Socialism want to admit it or not, Socialism is a stage of society in Marxist Communist theory that is used to transition a nation from Capitalism to full blown Communism where the government is your supreme master. 

Communism is a way of organizing a society in which the government owns everything and there is no privately owned property. Everyone is completely supposedly equal in the eyes of the government.

Yes, Socialism and Communism are systems that is the direct opposite of Capitalism. Where Capitalism encourages hard work that gets one individual reward and personal achievement, Socialism means you work for the government and have no reward. The individual means nothing in a Socialist society. The governing body are the masters of that society.

And please remember, hard work in a Socialist and Communist system has no rewards. So if you are lazy, you will get as much as a man or women who works very hard. That also means if you are a hard worker, you will get only as much as a man or women who is lazy and refuses to work. 

There lies the problem with Socialism and Communism. There are no incentives to prosper because there is no such thing as personal gain. Becoming a success would be great in a Capitalist society, but in a Socialist or Communist society it would be a violation of the system people live in.

Is that what we want in America? Is that the Democrat Party? Do we really want all of America's major industries to be owned and controlled by the government? Do we really want a two tier system of government where those in charge, a "governing class," live like royalty and get the best of everything while the "working class" lives in a supposedly totally equal society which is actually unequal?

How is it unequal? Here's the difference, in our Capitalist system a farmer works all day, every day, from sun up to sun down, and gets paid for his hard work. He is rewarded for his labor and his "success" in life is only limited by how much effort he wants to expend. Work hard and get ahead versus be lazy and live in poverty.

In both a Socialist and Communist systems, that same farmer would get exact same ration from the government as a man or woman who just sat on their ass all day and did nothing. 

That means that that farmer, the individual, has no incentive to produce. Why should he? Why should he work to provide food to a hungry nation if there is no incentive for him to do so?  And frankly. that goes for the lazy ass as well.

Why should he or she get off their lazy ass and get a job and provide a service for society when there is no incentive for him to do so?  Why should the lazy ass get a job when they can get exactly what the hard worker is doing but not have to do anything for it?

In a Socialist government, distribution is supposedly equal, does not reward achievement and effort and stifles growth as a people. Don't believe me, find out why the farmers in the former Soviet Union stopped farming? Find out why all Socialist states that fail to embrace Capitalism fail to provide for their people the basic necessities such as food and quality medical care?

Look at the chaos in Venezuela where the Socialist/Communist system is successfully starving it's own people. Don't think so?  Just take a look at that Socialist nation's policies which have successfully emptied story shelves in South America’s fifth largest economy.

Unlike China and Russia who have seen the problems of Socialism and Communism are now enjoying the benefits of Capitalism, Venezuela foolishly refuses to embrace Capitalism and instead resorts to threatening their people.

And frankly, that takes us to one more definition that we should talk about. It has to do with "slavery". Socialism and Communism are forms of slavery. They make people slaves of the government. They make people slaves of the state. They are systems of government which makes the governing class the Slave Master and the working class the Slaves.

And yes, with reward for hard work, Socialism's whip is in the form of threats of retaliation by the government to spur production. Whether Democrats are too stupid to understand it or not, Socialism is another term for the custom and practice of owning and keeping slaves.

Socialism uses a whip no differently than the old slave masters in the deep South used whips. They do not understand anything other than threats and regulations. Don't believe me? Well, ask yourself why we have well over 700,000 government rules and regulations to "govern" private business today? It is called government "control" and violations are enforced by over 70 Federal government law enforcement agencies.

You see, that's the aspect of Socialism that the Democrat Party isn't talking about. Societies that permit themselves to become Socialist societies are societies with people who put themselves in positions where others dominate them. It is submission and forfeiture of all rights.

It is forced labor with no reward. It is the loss of freedom to speak out against the government or challenge those who think they are your masters. Is is a system where you must obey or suffer the consequences of an all powerful government. And yes, that is called slavery. It is a total loss of freedom. 

For Democrats to want to chose Socialism? Well, that mean they have a desire to hand over their rights as human beings, full submission and forfeiture of all rights to the government.

Do Democrats want to be slaves? Is that why Democrats love Socialism? Are they so into wanting total control that they really would hand over all of their freedoms and liberties to control others? While it might be something Democrats want, it is something we need to fight and stop from taking place! 

There is no doubt that America's enemy has raised its Socialist head. It is now very evident who and what we are fighting. Our enemy is the Democrat Party -- the Socialist Party of America.

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

Tom Correa

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Best And Worst Run States

By Terry McGahey

Wall Street rates the best and worst run states by using, debt per capita, budget deficit, and unemployment percentages.

Below I will give you my findings from the Wall Street figures, oddly enough, the worst states are run by liberals and progressives, isn't that strange?

First, the best states:

Number five of the best is Iowa. It's debt per capita is $1,690.00 which is the seventh lowest in the country. Their budget is 20.3 % which is 18th lowest and the unemployment rate is 5.9 % which is 6th lowest.

Number four is Utah. Their debt per capita equals $2,356.00 which is 15th lowest. budget deficit is 14.7%. which is 25th largest and the unemployment rate in Utah is at 6.7%, tied at 11th lowest.

Number three is Nebraska. Their debt per capita is $1,279.00 which is 2nd lowest. The budget deficit equals 9.7% the 34th largest, and their unemployment rate is at 6.7% tied at 11th lowest.

Number two is Wyoming. their debt per capita is $2,694.00 which is 18th lowest. Their budget deficit equals 10.3% which is 32 largest and the unemployment rate is 6.0%, the 6th lowest.

Number one is North Dakota. With the oil boom they jumped to the top of the chart. Their debt per capita is $3,284.00 which is 22nd lowest, the budget deficit equals none, and their unemployment rate is 3.5% which is the lowest in the nation.

Now on to the worst run states in the nation:

Coming in at number five is New Jersey. Their debt per capita is $6,944.00 which is 5th highest. Their budget deficit equals 38.2%, the 4th largest, and their unemployment rate equals 9.3% which is the 14th highest.

Number four is Arizona. Their debt per capita is $2,188.00 which is the 12 lowest. Their budget deficit equals 39.0%, the 3rd largest, and their unemployment rate is 9.5% tied at 13th place.

Number three is Illinois. Their debt per capita is $4,790.00 which comes in at 11th highest. Their budget deficit equals 40.2% which is the 2nd largest, and their unemployment rate is 9.8% tied at the 10th highest.

Number two is Rhode Island. Their debt per capita is $9,018.00, the third highest in the nation. Their budget deficit equals 13.4% which is the 28th highest, and their unemployment rate is at 11.3%, the 2nd highest in the nation.

Can anyone guess which state came in at number one? Of course, it's California! Their debt per capita equals $4,008.00. Their budget deficit equals 20.7% which is the 17th highest in the nation, and the unemployment rate stands at 11.7%, 2nd highest in the nation.

With the exception of Arizona, each one of the worst states are run by liberals and progressives. This should prove to people that socialism does not work!

I will never understand how people in these states complain about the problems, yet keep voting for the same old Socialists. Quit doing it! You can't expect things to change for the better if you keep doing the same old things as in the past, by doing this your outcome will always stay the same.

One of the reasons Arizona is in trouble is because they got caught in a situation of circumstances. People from all over the country, especially California, began flooding into Arizona for the weather and jobs. The housing boom was going strong, and then in 2008 the bottom fell out of the economy.

Because of this, there is a glut of homes in Arizona, and one of the first signs of crawling out of an economic down turn is the rise in construction, and with the glut of homes, construction in Arizona is at a low. Now this isn't the only reason but one of the main ones. The timing is what hurt Arizona more than anything else.

The Tombstone Epitaph, LESLIE'S LUCK, Nov.18, 1882

The article below is straight out of the Tombstone Epitaph:

"Billy the Kid" Takes a Shot at "Buckskin Frank."

The Latter Promptly Replied and the Former Quietly Turned His Toes Up to the Daisies

Statement of Frank Leslie

I was talking with some friends in the Oriental Saloon when Claiborne pushed his way in among us and began using very insulting language. I took him to one side and said, "Billy, don't interfere, those people are friends among themselves and are not talking about politics at all, and don't want you about."

He appeared quite put out and used rather bad and certainly very nasty language towards me. I told him there was no use of his fighting with me, that there was no occasion for it, and leaving him I joined my friends.

He came back again and began using exceedingly abusive language, when I took him by the collar of his coat and led him away, telling him not to get mad, that it was for his own good, that if he acted in that manner he was liable to get in trouble.

He pushed away from me, using very hard language, and as he started away from me, shook a finger at me and said, "That's all right Leslie, I'll get even on you," and went out of the saloon.

In a short time a man came in and said there was a man waiting outside to shoot me, but I didn't pay much attention to it. A few minutes later another man came in looking quite white and said Claiborne was waiting outside with a rifle.

To Shoot Frank Leslie.

I then went out, and as I stepped on the sidewalk, saw about a foot of rifle barrel protruding from the end of the fruit stand. I stepped out in the street and saw it was Claiborne, and said, "Billy, don't shoot, I don't want you to kill me, nor do I want to have to shoot you."

Almost before I finished he raised the gun and shot, and I returned the fire from my pistol, aiming at his breast. As soon as I shot I saw him double up and had my pistol cocked and aimed at him again, when I saw, or thought I saw, another man by him putting his arms around him, and lowered the pistol, and when it was discharged the bullet went in the sidewalk.

After I fired, I advanced upon him, but did not shoot, when he said, "Don't shoot again, I am killed," which I didn't but watched him, with my pistol at full cock, as I didn't know what game he might play to get me off guard.

 At that moment Officer Coyle came up and took hold of my pistol hand. I told him to be careful as it was at full cock. I then uncocked it and gave it to him, and said I would go with him. I told him I was sorry; that I might have done more, but I couldn't do less. He then placed me under arrest.  

-- end of article

Editor's Note: 

The above article was printed in the Tombstone Epitaph on November 18th, 1882.

After the recent death of William Bonney, the other "Billy the Kid," Billy Claiborne demanded to be called "Billy the Kid".

On November 14, 1882, noted gunfighter Frank Leslie and Billy Claiborne became involved in an argument over Leslie's refusal to accommodate Claiborne by calling him "Billy the Kid." On that day Franklin "Buckskin" Leslie shot the Billy "The Kid" Claiborne dead in the streets of Tombstone, Arizona.

Why the Epitaph waited four days to report the gunfight is a mystery to me.

Leslie's reputation as a mankiller brought him trouble after his drinking companion and fellow gunman John Ringo was found dead in July 1882. It is said that some Tombstone citizens, including Ringo's friend namely Billy "The Kid" Claiborne, were convinced that Leslie had murdered Ringo.

Even though they could not prove it, many took it as fact. And yes, it is believed that Leslie shot Claiborne dead because Billy Claiborne was probably seeking vengeance and the notoriety that would come from shooting a Leslie.

Claiborne unwisely decided to publicly challenge Leslie. He should have used better judgement. Maybe he should have used the same sort of judgement that kept him alive at the OK Corral. Fact is, Billy Claiborne ran away like a frightened rabbit from the scene as the O.K. Corral gunfight was about to start.

While Claiborne was able to say that he was a survivor of the gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Claiborne's reputation suffered once the story of his running away became known. Later, he tried to claim that he had killed three men who had ridiculed him for running from the fight -- but there was never any evidence of that taking place.

Claiborne should not have tried to clean up his reputation by trying to kill Frank Leslie. That sort of stupidity cost him his life.

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

Tom Correa

Friday, October 9, 2015

OK Corral Gunfight -- Tombstone Epitaph, October 27th,1881

The article below is straight out of the Tombstone Epitaph:

Coverage of the Gunfight and Subsequent Developments

October 27, 1881


Tombstone Daily Epitaph - October 27, 1881

Three Men Hurled Into Eternity in the Duration of a Moment

Stormy as were the early days of Tombstone nothing ever occurred equal to the event of yesterday. Since the retirement of Ben Sippy as marshal and the appointment of V.W. Earp to fill the vacancy the town has been noted for its quietness and good order.

The fractious and much dreaded cowboys when they came to town were upon their good behaviour and no unseemly brawls were indulged in, and it was hoped by our citizens that no more such deeds would occur as led to the killing of Marshal White one year ago.

It seems that this quiet state of affairs was but the calm that precedes the storm that burst in all its fury yesterday, with this difference in results, that the lightning bolt struck in a different quarter from the one that fell a year ago.

This time it struck with its full and awful force upon those who, heretofore, have made the good name of this county a byword and a reproach, instead of upon some officer in discharge of his duty or a peaceable and unoffending citizen.

Since the arrest of Stilwell and Spence for the robbery of the Bisbee stage, there have been oft repeated threats conveyed to the Earp brothers -- Virgil, Morgan and Wyatt -- that the friends of the accused, or in other words the cowboys , would get even with them for the part they had taken in the pursuit and arrest of Stilwell and Spence.

The active part of the Earps in going after stage robbers, beginning with the one last spring where Budd Philpot lost his life, and the more recent one near Contention, has made them exceedingly obnoxious to the bad element of this county and put their lives in jeopardy every month.

Sometime Tuesday Ike Clanton came into town and during the evening had some little talk with Doc Holliday and Marshal Earp but nothing to cause either to suspect, further than their general knowledge of the man and the threats that had previously been conveyed to the Marshal, that the gang intended to clean out the Earps, that he was thirsting for blood at this time with one exception and that was that Clanton told the Marshal, in answer to a question, that the McLowrys were in Sonora.

Shortly after this occurrence someone came to the Marshal and told him that the McLowrys had been seen a short time before just below town.

Marshal Earp, now knowing what might happen and feeling his responsibility for the peace and order of the city, stayed on duty all night and added to the police force his brother Morgan and Holliday.

The night passed without any disturbance whatever and at sunrise he went home to rest and sleep.

A short time afterwards one of his brothers came to his house and told him that Clanton was hunting him with threats of shooting him on sight.

He discredited the report and did not get out of bed. It was not long before another of his brothers came down, and told him the same thing, whereupon he got up, dressed and went with his brother Morgan uptown.

They walked up Allen Street to Fifth, crossed over to Fremont and down to Fourth, where, upon turning up Fourth toward Allen, they came upon Clanton with a Winchester rifle in his hand and a revolver on his hip.

The Marshal walked up to him, grabbed the rifle and hit him a blow on the head at the same time, stunning him so that he was able to disarm him without further trouble.

He marched Clanton off to the police court where he entered a complaint against him for carrying deadly weapons, and the court fined Clanton $25 and costs, making $27.50 altogether. This occurrence must have been about 1 o'clock in the afternoon.

The After-Occurrence

Close upon the heels of this came the finale, which is best told in the words of R.F. Coleman who was an eye-witness from the beginning to the end. Mr. Coleman says:

I was in the O.K. Corral at 2:30 p.m., when I saw the two Clantons and the two McLowrys in an earnest conversation across the street in Dunbar's corral. I went up the street and notified Sheriff Behan and told him it was my opinion they meant trouble, and it was his duty, as sheriff, to go and disarm them. I told him they had gone to the West End Corral. I then went and saw Marshal Virgil Earp and notified him to the same effect. I then met Billy Allen and we walked through the O.K. Corral, about fifty yards behind the sheriff. On reaching Fremont street I saw Virgil Earp, Wyatt Earp, Morgan Earp and Doc Holliday, in the center of the street, all armed. I had reached Bauer's meat market. Johnny Behan had just left the cowboys, after having a conversation with them. I went along to Fly's photograph gallery, when I heard Virg Earp say, "Give up your arms or throw up your arms."

There was some reply made by Frank McLowry, when firing became general, over thirty shots being fired. Tom McLowry fell first, but raised and fired again before he died. Bill Clanton fell next, and raised to fire again when Mr. Fly took his revolver from him. Frank McLowry ran a few rods and fell. Morgan Earp was shot through and fell. Doc Holliday was hit in the left hip but kept on firing. Virgil Earp was hit in the third or fourth fire, in the leg which staggered him but he kept up his effective work. Wyatt Earp stood up and fired in rapid succession, as cool as a cucumber, and was not hit. Doc Holliday was as calm as though at target practice and fired rapidly. After the firing was over, Sheriff Behan went up to Wyatt Earp and said, "I'll have to arrest you." Wyatt replied: "I won't be arrested today. I am right here and am not going away. You have deceived me. You told me these men were disarmed; I went to disarm them."

This ends Mr. Coleman's story which in the most essential particulars has been confirmed by others.

Marshal Earp says that he and his party met the Clantons and the McLowrys in the alleyway by the McDonald place; he called to them to throw up their hands, that he had come to disarm them.

Instantaneously Bill Clanton and one of the McLowrys fired, and then it became general. Mr. Earp says it was the first shot from Frank McLowry that hit him.

In other particulars his statement does not materially differ from the statement above given.

Ike Clanton was not armed and ran across to Allen street and took refuge in the dance hall there.

The two McLowrys and Bill Clanton all died within a few minutes after being shot.

The Marshal was shot through the calf of the right leg, the ball going clear through.

His brother, Morgan, was shot through the shoulders, the ball entering the point of the right shoulder blade, following across the back, shattering off a piece of one vertebrae and passing out the left shoulder in about the same position that it entered the right.

The wound is dangerous but not necessarily fatal, and Virgil's is far more painful than dangerous.

Doc Holliday was hit upon the scabbard of his pistol, the leather breaking the force of the ball so that no material damage was done other than to make him limp a little in his walk.

Dr. Matthews impaneled a coroner's jury, who went and viewed the bodies as they lay in the cabin in the rear of Dunbar's stables on Fifth street, and then adjourned until 10 o'clock this morning.

The Alarm Given

The moment the word of the shooting reached the Vizina and Tough Nut mines the whistles blew a shrill signal, and the miners came to the surface, armed themselves, and poured into the town like an invading army.

A few moments served to bring out all the better portions of the citizens, thoroughly armed and ready for any emergency.

Precautions were immediately taken to preserve law and order, even if they had to fight for it.

A guard of ten men were stationed around the county jail, and extra policemen put on for the night.

Earp Brothers Justified

The feeling among the best class of our citizens is that the Marshal was entirely justified in his efforts to disarm these men, and that being fired upon they had to defend themselves, which they did most bravely.

So long as our peace officers make an effort to preserve the peace and put down highway robbery -- which the Earp brothers have done, having engaged in the pursuit and capture, where captures have been made of every gang of stage robbers in the county -- they will have the support of all good citizens.

If the present lesson is not sufficient to teach the cow-boy element that they cannot come into the streets of Tombstone, in broad daylight, armed with six-shooters and Henry rifles to hunt down their victims, then the citizens will most assuredly take such steps to preserve the peace as will be forever a bar to such raids.

-- end of article.

Editor's Note:

I do find it interesting how The Tombstone Epitaph  covered the gunfight versus how the Tombstone Nugget covered it. They were both covering the same shooting but came up with two different views of what took place. Imagine that.

I hope you enjoy reading these old newspaper articles as much as I do. Whenever I post an article from a newspaper archive, I try not to edit a single word. I usually leave in all of the misspellings and punctuation errors as they were printed in the paper at the time. The only change to that policy is if the spelling of a word is so bad that it sounds like a foreign language when it isn't.

Hollywood has distorted much of the Old West and what the American culture in the 19th Century was really like, So frankly, even with their biases, I find old newspapers a great insight as to how people really lived in the Old West.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Schools Have Become Target Rich Environments

By Terry McGahey

In this day and age we try to understand why we have so many school shootings and who or what carries the blame for this problem. This situation seems plain to me, it's the responsibility of the Liberal Left, Progressives, and RINO Republicans.

These are the people who are responsible for the many deaths of our elementary, high school, and college students across our country.

These so called gun free zones have become nothing more than free fire zones within a target rich environment where the perpetrator has free reign for up to ten minutes or so before the police can respond. Yes, I blame those people I mentioned and accuse them of being accessories to the crime of school shootings, and they should be held responsible in court as such in my opinion.

In our country we have plenty of well trained veterans who need jobs, and who would be perfect for protecting our students while on campus. These veterans, for the most part, are not the physiologically damaged individuals that Liberals and our so-called president would have us believe they are.

I have known and met several of the veterans who have come back from overseas and they are good decent Americans who believe in our country and our constitution. Isn't that a novel idea in this day and age?

No matter how many gun control laws they put into place, people with ill intent will always find a way to get their hands on a weapon. These people will steal one, pick one up off the streets, or yes, even buy one legally if their record is clean at the time of purchase.

There is no way to stop an individual who is set upon the idea of murder except to have someone in place who can take them out before to much damage is exacted upon the innocent. Of course, as we all know, these cowards are the ones with the mental problems so lets quit placing this physiologically damaged handle upon all of our veterans and place it where it truly belongs, on the mentally impaired shooters who have no conscience.

Something else I have wondered about for quite some time now. Are these Liberal, Progressive, and RINO Republicans, allowing these things to take place on purpose?

Maybe that's a far reach, but their inactions on school shootings have shown me that there must be something behind it, why else would a person allow these heinous crimes to continue without actually doing something to put a stop to it?

What I am refering too is simple. The longer they allow these school shootings to take place, the more the people will wear down to the idea of more gun control, that's just my opinion.

How many times have we heard the term, "common sense gun control"? There is no such thing!

If we allow this so called common sense gun control to take place, over time it will progress further and further until they can enact total gun control. This is their long term objective.

These people have proven to me that their objective of total gun control is more important to their Socialistic and Communistic views than the lives of our children and our young adults trying to further their education.

Hitler did the very same thing, he forced gun control upon the people of Germany before World War Two and the imprisonment of the Jewish people, and if you believe that this situation couldn't happen here, you are sadly mistaken.

In closing this article, I believe that we should lay the blame for these school atrocities upon the people who are mostly responsible for these situations, many of our own elected officials who believe that We The People are too ignorant to understand these problems, and who, in the long run, would love nothing more than total control of our people.