Monday, April 25, 2016

Should We Allow Foreigners To Vote in American Elections

This question was sent to me in this way, "Why shouldn't we allow Foreigners to vote in American elections? Why can't they have a say in picking our leaders? Are you a racist? Do you hate Mexicans?"

First of all, I'm not a racist. But I do want everyone entering the United States to do it legally and not illegally. Not much to ask. Besides, what's the problem with doing it legally? Nothing!

And by the way, it's not just Mexicans who are coming here illegally. Fact is, people from just about every country in the world sneak in to bypass the process. Why should they do so when others are doing it legally?

For the woman who wrote me, please ask yourself how would you would feel if you were standing in line for a movie and someone cut in line and tried to get in free after you paid?

Oh, I forgot that a number of people seem to have forgotten that our parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, or someone in our family paid the price to get in and assimilate. But most likely, that really doesn't matter to the one's who are willing to allow illegal Foreigners in our country.

As for allowing Foreigners to vote in American elections? Why should we Americans even be asked if someone other than a non-United States citizen should be able to vote in American elections? The question itself is insulting. 

Of course "only citizens" should vote to install our representatives. Why should anyone from a foreign land have a say in who leads us? Why don't you go to Mexico and tell them that you want to vote in their election? Write me, and tell me how that went?!

What other country in the world has ever allowed Foreigners for any country to come in and pick their leaders or have a say in their policies? None! And friends, I have taken the time to look into this. Every nation requires that you must be a citizen to vote in one of their elections.

If you know of a country that has an open voting system where Foreigners can vote in an election there, without being a citizen of that country? Please let me know what nation that is.

Because friends, from everything that I can find, no other nation in the history of mankind has allowed the people of another nation to pick their leaders or say influence another nation's course. And yes, that's exactly what we are doing by allowing Foreigners to vote in our elections.

So why should we allow Foreigners to vote in our elections? It would be the very same thing as allowing Mexico or China, or any other sovereign nation to vote and subsequently pick our next President, our Congressmen and women, our Senators, Governor, Legislators, County Sheriffs and Judges. 

Right now, even without Foreigners voting, we have a problem with bringing in Muslims who refuse to assimilate because their religion forbids them from doing so. These Muslims are being made citizens even though their loyalties are with their homeland and its customs -- not ours. 

Can you imagine the day when Muslim refugees, people not yet citizens, vote because Democrats want to give away our precious right? Do you think that Muslims would vote into office people who hate Israel? I do! How about voting in someone tough on Islamic Terrorism? Not a chance!

And how about voting in Sharia Law in place of Constitutional Law in places where say a small population is Muslim like in many cities? Now add in illegal Muslims voting and they can change policy and politics very easily.

If they could vote right now, without becoming citizens, would Muslims vote to install Sharia Law here in the USA? Would they use the power of the ballot to eliminate Women's Rights, legalize child molestation, legalize male and female rape and stoning and honor killings here in America just as it is where they left? Absolutely they would. They are proving that in Europe.

Right now, all of which is legal could become illegal if the people using the power of the vote, use it to turn our American culture on its ear. Now, can you imagine if referendums were left to Foreigners to vote on? What sort of America do they want?

Do you think, if Muslims were given the chance to vote in new laws in America, they would steer our government and society to be more like where they came from? I certainly do.

If we allow Foreigners to vote, then why not just hand out absentee ballots at our embassies around the world so that ALL of those nation can vote to change our American laws and our system of Constitutional government? 

To quote the Immigration Services, "citizenship is the common thread that connects all Americans. We are a nation bound not by race or religion, but by the shared values of freedom, liberty, and equality."

Throughout our history, the United States has welcomed newcomers from all over the world. The contributions of immigrants have helped shape and define our nation into the country which we know today.

More than 200 years after our founding, naturalized citizens are still an important part of our democracy. By becoming a U.S. citizen, one has a voice in how our nation is governed. Why allow Foreigners a voice, especially when we Americans don't have a voice in how their home countries are governed?

Citizenship offers many benefits as well as some equally important responsibilities. Demonstrating one's commitment to this country, the United States, and our form of government, our laws, our customs, is a significant part of being an American citizen.

As citizens, should we allow Foreigners to vote in American elections, or should we should take our role seriously and as important as it is? As citizens our rights and responsibilities should be exercised, but also respected.

As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that freedom from tyranny comes in many forms. Once upon a time, I thought tyranny was only that of a national dictator such as Adolf Hitler and Fidel Castro. Both had in common the ideology of making citizens slaves of the state, peasants of an all powerful central government supported by threats of prison or death.

I've learned that tyranny can come from government agencies, and from the federal level as well as the state. Tyrants in America come in the form of political appointees, government officials, and even in the likes of California Governor Jerry Brown who just gave the power of the vote to Illegal Aliens here in California. Yes, imagine that!

Here in California where we could have put it to the citizens to vote on, it wasn't. Instead it was decided on by the Governor and the Democrat Party, then simply shoved down our throats to be taken as the law -- like it or not. And yes, all with the applause of the all powerful Democrat Party which runs California.

Yes, like some two-bit dictator, California Governor Jerry Brown demanded that non-citizens get the vote. Working with his cronies to get it done, they merely rubber stamped it and gave him what he wanted. California has proven itself to be just another Third World nation with a controlling junta.

Yes indeed, in the last few years of the Obama administration, America has certainly shown that we can be no different than a Banana Republic in so many ways. Obama and the politically protected criminals in the Democrat Party, the "Ruling Party," has America acting no different than some of the most political corrupt Third World countries. Through back room deals with Union leaders and other Leftists, paying bribes, promising political favors, making threats, all is seen these days as "business as usual" in California and around Obama's America. It is all to skirt the will of the people.

Democrats pass laws like allowing Illegal Aliens the right to vote, all the while knowing that they have to skirt the will of the people to put such agendas into place. They know real well that if they didn't use such underhanded tactics, that the will of the people will fight them. Yes, fight them to ensure that America remains a free and prosperous nation.

Friends, even though I believe our government is corrupt these days as never before, we are still the melting pot for those wanting to come here legally to assimilate. Because of that, I still don't believe that our citizenship should be taken as lightly as the Democrat Party apparently does.

We should certainly not allow the actions of filth to cheapen what our citizenship means by allowing Foreigners to have our right to vote.

And frankly my friends, that's what it's about. It's part of the Left's agenda. It's all an attempt by the Democrat Party to cheapen American citizenship. It is an attempt on the part of the Left to make American citizenship meaningless. They do it because they see our citizenship as meaningless, and that's why they see nothing wrong with giving Foreigners our right to vote.

Democrats see giving away our right to vote only as a means to cranking out more voters for the Democrat Party. Our rights and benefits that come along with being an American citizen means absolutely knowing to them. One can see that by how little value they place on the rights and benefits of being an American.

Frankly, while I see Conservatives holding American citizenship in high esteem, I don't think Liberals, Democrats, care if they are doing harm or doing what's right for America. I simply don't think they care one way or the other. 

I see Democrats as being as self-serving and devious as Lucifer when it comes to getting what they want. Yes, just as evil and conniving, all while believing the good be damned.

Yes, that's the way I see it.
Tom Correa

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Stun Guns Are A Legal Alternative

Friends, while I'm not going to discuss the particulars of my sister's divorce or what I was told about how she was cheated on, battered, and abused during her marriage. My concern is for her safety these days.

This is because her soon-to-be-former-husband has made a number of threats against her life. And friends, these are not "alleged" threats simply because I've seen them and verified them to be real. 

Fearing for her safety and security even more so in recent months, my sister has gone to the El Dorado County Court to request and obtain a Restraining Order against him. Believe it or not, after she appeared in Court and explained her fears and worries to a judge to obtain a Restraining Order, all as the law instructs with evidence in hand, she was turned down and refused a Restraining Order. 

Yes, California's El Dorado County Court turned her down even though she had presented to the Court evidence in the form of texts and voice messages which she saved for the Court to see. The evidence is clear and in his own words, it was all clearly showed to the El Dorado County Court. The court took note of the numbers of threats and every specific of what was texted and said in his own words.

After being refused, nervous, full of anxiety, fearing for her life, not knowing where to turn for help, she asked the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department for help and maybe get some sort of advice as to what to do next. She was looking for any sort of advice. But believe it or not, they refused to give her any help or advice as to what to do to help protect herself. 

Yes, in an America where law enforcement is worried about be sued, we have law enforcement too afraid to even give a nervous and afraid woman advice as to how to protect herself.

Friends, that in itself is just sad. And while I know that El Dorado County Sheriff's Department has it's own reality television show, their refusal to advise or help my sister is a pitiful commentary on just how useless the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department truly is in regards to protecting its citizens.

For the record, I believe my sister should carry a stun gun with as heavy a charge as one can carry legally. While this is not a perfect defense, and really there is no such thing as a perfect defensive tool while even guns and knives have their limitations, a stun gun is better than nothing. It is certainly more than the reality television stars of the El Dorado County Sheriff's Department will provide her.

Now as for the use of stun guns and other "arms" as legal options to protecting one's self, there is great news on this from none other than the Supreme Court of the United States just last month.

On March 22nd, 2016, in Jaime Caetano v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court overturned that decision in what was their first decision since the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

This is important because it actually addresses the Liberal argument against "types" of arms covered by the Second Amendment. For years, part of the Liberal argument against certain firearms and other weapons, such as an AR-15 rifle or a stun gun, is that such weapons do not fall under the Second Amendment because such arms were not around in 1789 when the Bill of Rights was created.

The March 22nd ruling was unsigned and unanimous, and was generally presented as an objection to the Massachusetts court’s argument that "stun guns were not the type of weapon Congress would have envisioned in 1789 when the 2nd Amendment was written."

The terms "arms" means "weapons" and does not only mean guns. And yes, the Oxford English Dictionary defines "arms" as "weapons". To "bear armed" is to "Possess or carry a weapon." "the right to bear arms." The Supreme Court of the United States agrees.

In 2011, a Boston woman, Jaime Caetano, was beaten so badly by her ex-boyfriend that she ended up in the hospital. So when a friend offered her a stun gun to protect herself, she took it.

Boston Police found Ms. Caetano's stun gun in her purse during a shoplifting investigation at a supermarket in 2011. She told police that she needed it to defend herself against her violent ex-boyfriend. She had already had obtained multiple Restraining Orders against him, but that did not stop his attacks.

Massachusetts is among only five states that ban stun guns and Tasers for private citizens. And even though she told the police the situation, they arrested her for having the stun gun.

During Ms Caetano's trial, she testified that her ex-boyfriend repeatedly came to her workplace and threatened her. But that all stopped one night when she showed him the stun gun. She said that he "got scared and left me alone."

Again, even though that was the case, Ms Caetano, was found guilty of violating the state of Massachusetts law that bans private possession of stun guns, devices that deliver an electric shock when pressed against an attacker. Yes, as incredible as it seems, the state appears to have rather she be beaten to death than have a way to defend herself.

Her lawyer, Benjamin Keehn, argued in her appeal that a stun gun falls within the meaning of "arms" under the Second Amendment. Mr. Keehn wrote in a legal brief that the state's ban "cannot be squared with the fundamental right to keep and bear arms." He also argues that self-defense outside the home is part of the core right provided by the Second Amendment.

The case went to the Supreme Court to determine whether a state law that prohibits private citizens from possessing stun guns infringes on their right to keep and bear arms granted to all Americans under the Second Amendment. 

The great news for Ms Caetano is a win for all Americans because in the case of Jaime Caetano v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court has held that the Second Amendment extends to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding, citing  as precedent District of Columbia v. Heller (2008). The Supreme Court also held that this "Second Amendment right is fully applicable to the States," citing as precedent McDonald v. Chicago (2010). 

The case that the Justices all cited as their benchmark precedent was District of Columbia v. Heller which was a 2008 Supreme Court decision that overturned Washington D.C.'s ban on handguns. That decision called Washington D.C.'s ban "unconstitutional." And yes, it was a decision famously penned by the late Justice Scalia.

This is the Supreme Court's first Post-Scalia Second Amendment decision which turned out to be surprisingly unanimous. The Justices struck down a 2015 Massachusetts court ruling which said stun guns were not covered under the protections of the Second Amendment. In fact, in a simple two page brief, the Justices unanimously argued that based on the Second Amendment case District of Columbia v. Heller that the Massachusetts court's ruling could not stand for the following reasons:

First the Supreme Court said that the Massachusetts court statement that stun guns are not protected because they "were not in common use at the time of the Second Amendment’s enactment" was inconsistent with the law in that District of Columbia v. Heller clearly states that the Second Amendment "extends to arms that were not in existence at the time of the founding."

Second, the Massachusetts court stated that stun guns are "unusual" because they are "a thoroughly modern invention." By equating "unusual" with "in common use at the time of the Second Amendment's enactment," the Supreme Court's second explanation is the same as the first in that it is inconsistent with Heller for the same reason.

Finally, the Massachusetts court used "a contemporary lens" and found "nothing in the record to suggest that stun guns are readily adaptable to use in the military." But, the Supreme Court did not agree and instead said that the Heller precedent rejected the proposition "that only those weapons useful in warfare are protected."

While this is great news for people who need protection against the government regarding carrying stun guns and other arms, for me it has a bigger because it addresses our ability to arm ourselves and not be required to depend on the government for our safety or our security.

Justices Alito and Thomas made additional comments on this ruling addressed this:

"A State’s most basic responsibility is to keep its people safe. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was either unable or unwilling to do what was necessary to protect Jaime Caetano, so she was forced to protect herself.

To make matters worse, the Commonwealth chose to deploy its prosecutorial resources to prosecute and convict her of a criminal offense for arming herself with a nonlethal weapon that may well have saved her life. ...

If the fundamental right of self-defense does not protect Caetano, then the safety of all Americans is left to the mercy of state authorities who may be more concerned about disarming the people than about keeping them safe."

What Justices Alito and Thomas wrote is very important because this upholds the meaning and spirit of the Second Amendment in that though a "state’s most basic responsibility is to keep its people safe" some states are "either unable or unwilling to do what was necessary to protect" us.

As in the case of Ms. Jaime Caetano, she was forced to protect herself and the state of Massachusetts decided to attack her for doing so even though it was clear why she had possession of the stun gun. Yes, they actually charged and prosecute and convict her of a criminal offense for arming herself with a nonlethal weapon that may well have saved her life.

Yes, as insane as that sound, the state of Massachusetts did in fact prosecute her for providing herself with some sort of protection against a known threat. And frankly, this is horrific in my book because it tells me that the authorities in Massachusetts were more concerned with punishing an already battered and afraid woman than understanding the peril she is in.

Justices Alito and Thomas are absolutely right when they stated "If the fundamental right of self-defense does not protect Caetano, then the safety of all Americans is left to the mercy of state authorities who may be more concerned about disarming the people than about keeping them safe."

So there we have it, this reaffirms part of the reason that we Americans have the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. It is there to tell the government that we have the right to protect ourselves -- especially when the government, Federal, State, County, or City governments, cannot or will not do so, or even threatens us if we do.

While this is a victory for 2nd Amendment supporters, it's a bigger victory for women like my sister who have been abused and are now being threatened. It is great that they can now find an alternative that is legal to carry.

For her and others to have some sort of "arms" on them as a defense right now as a result of this Supreme Court decision is a real big deal -- especially since if attacked she, like others, cannot depend on local law enforcement to be there.

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

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Hollywood: City Of Propaganda And Hypocrites

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Historian

For the life of me I will never understand why so many of the American people are so enamored with Hollywood and the many hypocrite actors and actresses which love to push their ideals upon the American people.

These folks are no more intelligent than the rest of us. But because of their so-called fame, it gives them a national pulpit from which to speak and push their agenda of socialism in many cases.

To give an example of Hollywood hypocrites, now Hollywood liberals are threatening to leave the United States if Donald Trump wins the election because they don't "like" him.

Below is a very short list of thespians, no, I didn't say "lesbians," which have made millions of dollars using guns in their movies. For those who may not know, thespians is another word for actors.

Many of these thespians believe that the American people shouldn't own guns but yet many of them do, or at least have bodyguards who carry weapons. It's good for them, but not for you.

These hypocrites are: Alec Baldwin, Kevin Bacon, Beau Bridges, George Clooney, Kevin Costner, Michael Douglas, Kevin Cline, Jack Nicholson, Liam Neeson and Sylvestor Stallone, not to speak of Jane Fonda and Drew Barrymore.

The list above is but a very short list of these anti gun thespians. To list them all would take up this whole column.

Are you, or are you not a hypocrite if you use an object to make millions of dollars, but yet be against that object in reality? I don't know about you but that defines a hypocrite in my book.

As far as Hollywood propaganda goes, it is sad that in this day and age many of our young people believe that Socialism is being social with the likes of Facebook and such. The group of young people who think that's what Socialism is, are easily fooled by the so called famous people.

All one has to do is listen and use common sense when many of these Hollywood types speak out about what they believe in.

Again, the list of thespians above also prove my point about how they use their popularity to spread the propaganda of Socialism. Anytime these people of upper class, or so they believe they are, spout off about anything that we the people shouldn't be doing, but yet they themselves are doing, they spout their Socialist beliefs.

The old saying goes, do as I say, not as I do. This applies to Hollywood.

While these people of wealth in Hollywood ride around in limo's, fly around in private jets, drive huge Hummers, as well as other million dollar vehicles such as Rolls Royce, Ferrari, and Lamborghini's, they have the nerve to tell us that we should drive vehicles that get a certain amount of fuel mileage or we are being un-American.

I don't think so, after all, how many of these people do you see driving around in a Volt, Prius, or Smart Car?

Now please don't get me wrong, there are some good decent people in Hollywood, people like Tom Seleck and Clint Eastwood, as well as others who do not buy into the Hollywood norm but the numbers on that side are not near the numbers on the opposite side.

The reason Hollywood can't put a stop to the people who I've just mentioned is because they have such big names. Now, think about what I just said? This goes to prove how Hollywood is full of phonies, because even though many of these people strongly disagree with the likes of Seleck and Eastwood, they will sure bend over backwards if it's going to make them millions of dollars. That alone shows me that these people have no morals or real values.
Personally, I have no use for Hollywood. These people are no better then you or me, but they believe themselves to be because many people in this country put them upon a pedestal and they do not belong there.

If anything, I can think of a few that should be deported for their un-American views.

While I don't know if you agree, that's the way I see it.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

The United States Didn't Want Hawaii

Back on June 19th, 2011, I posted an article about how the Hawaiian legislature elected a new King and the turmoil and revolution that vote actually started. The article is titled: When King Kalakaua Needed U.S. Marines in 1874

Over the years, while I get a lot of emails about most of what I write, this article has generated a lot of emails. Much of it was absolutely great and I can only say thanks for the great words of encouragement. I'm very happy that you like my work. While that is more the case than not, others are not very nice. But being honest, I sort of expected that when I wrote something that I knew some folks just don't want to hear.

I knew that some of the responses would not be what I hoped. But while that's the case, I didn't expect people to write things that I can hardly believe. And frankly, some people have actually written me saying that I made up the whole thing to discredit the Kingdom of Hawaii for some reason. Some have written saying that I'm simply trying to rewrite history and that my article is a work of fiction.

To those out there saying that I made up the story, no I didn't make it up! I'm simply not that creative. I could never create the treachery and deceit, the power grabs, the turncoats, the coup after coup. I'm not able to disregard real honest and factual events that took place like those who only focus on things that meet their agenda.

For me, I have no agenda when it comes to reporting history. Whether it's exploring the truth using available evidence to support what did or did not take place with people or places in the Old West or other periods of American history, I like my history real and supported by fact and not unsubstantiated myth. It don't like trying to connect the dots using conjecture that's not supported with hard facts.

As for Hawaii, I love Hawaii and would never try to discredit Hawaii for any reason. My family originates from Hawaii. I have grandparents, great-grandparents, and even great-great-grandparents buried there. When my family left Portugal back in the mid-1800s, they arrived in Hawaii as "Contract Labor," otherwise known as "Indentured Servants." And yes, the Kingdom of Hawaii brought them there. My family arrived during the times of Kings and Queens. While not Hawaiians by blood, they were Hawaiian subjects under the Monarchy. Yes, they were in fact Hawaiian Subjects long before they became Americans. And yes, because I can trace my roots to those Hawaiians, I treasure my Hawaiian heritage no less than someone of Hawaiian blood.

As for those saying that I'm trying to rewrite Hawaiian history, you're a fool if you think so! I simply report history with as much of an objective eye as one can have. I love history and hate those who try to rewrite it. I see history as our best form of education. So really, why would I want to rewrite what took place when I love its lessons and what it teaches us about ourselves.

My interest in history goes back to when my grandfather would tell me stories about the way things once were, how people did things, about old technologies, how the blending of cultures took place, the way people fought to survive during tough times, and how people did things for others. I admire those people because of what made them who they were -- their ethics, morals, and their will to prevail.
Anyone who has read my articles, especially those on Old West history, knows that I do a lot of research to give you my readers the real story and not the fabrication that many of us are led to believe is true.

I was called all sorts of things when I wrote about Wild Bill Hickok ambushing David McCanles. I was told that Wyatt Earp couldn't have been a pimp, and arrested as a pimp at the time when many say he was supposed to be a Buffalo Hunter. I was told that I had to be wrong about Doc Holliday being a bad shot or when I said that Tom Horn's hanging was nothing special. I can deal with name-callers. They mean very little to me. What I hate are those who rewrite history to benefit themselves or their cause.

Like it or not, it is a historical fact that as a result of the Hawaiian government's request, two Marine Detachments were landed to restore order to the rioting in Honolulu. It is just the truth that American Marines fought a rebellion instituted by the opposition candidate there, restored order, took over the government, and after a few weeks of being in complete control of the Hawaiian government actually handed it back to the Hawaiian monarchy and assisted with the orderly coronation of King David Kalakaua in 1874.

It is a fact that during the fighting, U.S. Marines actually seized government buildings. They occupied the Palace grounds but did not the Palace itself, seized the city armory, the Hawaiian treasury, the Hawaiian Police station house, the Honolulu jail, and the Honolulu Courthouse which was their main objective. All in just a few days, and in just over a week restored order.

Lately, I've been told that a plot to overthrow King Kalakaua in 1888 and a revolt in 1889 never took place. I'm told that Liliuokalani, who planned an insurrection against her own brother King Kalakaua never happened. Really, did I really make that up?

Facts are facts, and in July of 1889, Liliuokalani planned an insurrection against her own brother King Kalakaua. And yes, with the help of Robert Wilcox and 150 armed men, they occupied the Palace and attempted to have King Kalakaua either abdicate or proclaim that the 1864 Constitution was to replace the 1887 Constitution.

The fact is supporters of King Kalakaua did take up arms against those insurgents. Volunteer riflemen from what was called the Missionary Party turned out to support the government. A legation was on hotel premises where Mr. Merrill, the U.S. Minister requested U.S. Marines again be landed to assist in the matter.

It is a fact that a duel between Liliuokalani's insurgents and volunteers began with rifle fire. Some say small artillery was moved into position but never used. By evening the fighting ended, and the insurgents surrendered to the U.S. Marines and the Missionary Party. These are historical facts!

King Kalakaua reigned for 17 years until he died in 1891. He decided to take a trip to San Francisco to visit America and improve his health. The great King died of a stroke, kidney failure, and liver cirrhosis in San Francisco, California, on January 20th, 1891.

In keeping with King Kalakaua's wishes, his sister Liliuokalani ascended the throne becoming Queen on January 29, 1891. Whether people want to accept it or not, her monarchy would indeed be faced with scandal, attempted coups, and revolution, all one after the other. Like it or not, her reign reads like a road map to abdication. And as I said before, the only question is "To who?"

I'm told I'm making it up, but the facts don't lie. In March 1892, an abortive revolution was led by the Ashford brothers and R.W. Wilcox of the Liberal Party. The objective was to establish a Republic and then educate the people for future annexation to the United States. Ironically, the very same conspirator leader Robert Wilcox who was so willing to help Liliuokalani overthrow her brother, then wanted to overthrow her.  After being arrested. a month later all charges were dropped and the conspirators were released.

I love history. I think moviemakers and writers can do more with real history. I think the real story is, in most cases, a lot more fascinating than the legend and the fabricated made-up make-believe garbage that many accept as true. In the case of the Old West, many of the colorful personalities of the times were made even more colorful by way of bullshit artists called Dime Novelists. I find that today's movie makers are full of those same Dime Novelists who it seems can't tell the truth if their lives depended on it. But friends, my grandfather was right when he said, "Just tell the truth, people won't believe it anyway." Besides, I believe real history makes a better story.

And yes, I love history's ironies. I find it ironic that Queen Liliuokalani supported the same Wilcox in an attempted coup against her own brother King Kalakaua -- only to have the same man attempt one against her. It seemed as though karma came around in full swing.

Less than a year later, on January 14, 1893, Queen Liliuokalani proposed to promulgate a new constitution that would give her powers of virtually absolute monarch not seen since Kamehameha The Great. She wanted to take control of the Legislative, Judicial, and Executive branches of government in the Kingdom. Many in Hawaii, including many in the government, saw this as too much intrusion by the Queen. That was when a group of mostly European, German, American, Hawaiian business leaders, and other Hawaiian subjects who formed a "Committee of Safety" overthrew the Kingdom to seek annexation by the United States.

United States Government Minister John L. Stevens, responded to a request from the "Committee of Safety," and requested that a company of Marines aboard the USS Boston be sent to the palace.

From January 16th to April 1st of 1893, the U.S. Marines were back in Hawaii. The fact is that the Marines again landed to protect American lives and property at the request of the Hawaiian government. Yes, it was the Hawaiian government that requested the presence of U.S. Marines. The Marines didn't simply just land on their own or at the orders of the American government. Besides, why would the American government want to "invade" Hawaii since the United States already had a Reciprocity Treaty with the Hawaiian government which gave them all sorts of benefits to use the harbors in Hawaii?

Unlike in 1874, in 1893 the American Marines did not fire a shot. They did not take control of any government building, seize any property, jail anyone, or conduct any combat action. They were positioned across from the Palace at the request of the Hawaiian government in charge and waited for orders. That's it. They did nothing else but wait.

The fact is that they were there because of the potential unrest as the internal crisis within the Hawaiian government continued. About 160 Marines landed, and were given specific orders by Captain G. C. Wiltse to "land in Honolulu for the purpose of protecting our legation, consulate, and the lives and property of American citizens, and to assist in preserving public order."

Friends, that sounds a great deal like why they were called up in 1874. And yes, the Marines had seen the riots and rebellion of 1874 in Hawaii, and it was less than 20 years past that they had to "preserve public order" in Honolulu. They understood very well just how bad it could get.

Like it or not, from what I've read, the Marines were there as "U.S. Peace-Keepers" only. Marines were at the time stationed at Arion Hall, the U.S. Consulate, and the U.S. Legation, under "orders of strict neutrality" and to stay out of any potential line of fire between the Provisional Government and Royalist Forces. They were not to take sides and wait for the outcome of Hawaii's internal political mess.

Hawaiian History says that the Queen surrendered to "the superior force of the United States of America," but what did the under 200 Marines do to make her think they were a "superior force"? Besides the fact that they would have been outnumbered by the Hawaiian people, they didn't do anything but camp out and await orders.

As I've said before, American Marines landed and positioned themselves at the legislation building across from Iolani Palace and camped out. They sat and waited for orders, and when they were told to return to their ship -- they returned to their ship the USS Boston.

On January 27th, 1893, following the overthrow of the monarchy, the Provisional Government created Hawaiian military forces which were put under the command of Colonel John Harris Soper.

The Hawaiian military forces consisted of four Infantry Companies: three National Guard companies and one Regular Army company. The Hawaiian National Guard companies were Company A which was made up of ethnic German volunteers, commanded by Charles W. Zeiler; Company B which was made up of members of the Honolulu Rifles, commanded by Hugh Gunn; and Company C made up of ethnic Portuguese volunteers, my great-grandfather was supposedly a part of that unit, commanded by Joseph M. Camara. The regulars, not volunteers, were Company D, made up of B Company, from the Honolulu Rifles, commanded by John Good.

I'd like to see the look on the faces of some of my relatives when they find out that the Provisional Government who over-threw Queen Liliuokalani actually had formed an Infantry Company made up of ethnic Portuguese volunteers, a few who were relations, to ensure they stay in power.

All of the Hawaiian military was active under the Provisional Government of Hawaii. And yes, they were used in the Leprosy War in 1893.

In 1894, the Republic of Hawaii increased the Hawaiian National Guard and its Regular Army by 1,000 when the United States threatened to invade Hawaii. Yes, the United States threatened to invade the island nation of Hawaii if those who overthrew the Queen did not put her back on the throne. Yes, that is a part of history that is conveniently left out of today's Hawaiian History books.

The Hawaiian National Guard and Regular Army were also used under the authority of the Republic of Hawaii during the 1895 attempted coup led by Robert Wilcox and the former Queen.

After Hawaii was annexed becoming the Territory of Hawaii in 1898, all of the Hawaiian military forces entered service in the Army National Guard system and became part of the Hawaii Army National Guard there. Am I making this up? No. This is all a matter of historical record.

So now, ever wonder what Texas and Hawaii have in common when it comes to joining the United States?

Could it be that so-called "American expansionists" didn't want Texas or Hawaii? It's true, but we'll look at that in a few moments.

If you didn't know that the United States threatened to go to war with Hawaii in 1894 and invade the island nation of Hawaii if those who overthrew the Queen did not put her back on the throne? That really happened!

The rest of the story regarding why the United States didn't want Hawaii has to do with United States President Grover Cleveland wanting absolutely nothing to do with Hawaii as a territory or a state or anything. He wanted the Provisional Government, and then the Republic of Hawaii, to simply give the government back to the Queen.

As for the Queen, she was all for regaining her throne. But also, it is said that she wanted to behead all involved in her overthrow. At least, that was her position at first.

In the last days of President Benjamin Harrison's administration, the new government of Hawaii led by Sanford Dole petitioned for annexation by the United States. The United States consul in Hawaii John L. Stevens took it upon himself to recognize the new government on February 1, 1893, and forwarded their proposals to Washington D.C..

With just one month left before leaving office, the Harrison administration signed a treaty on February 14th and submitted it to the Senate the next day with President Harrison's lackadaisical recommendation for annexation. President Harrison may have realized that Americans did not want Hawaii as part of the United States the same way Americans didn't want Texas in the 1840s.

Since the U.S. Senate was against Hawaii Annexation, they refused to vote on it. Since incoming President Grover Cleveland was against it, he withdrew the treaty shortly after taking office.

In late 1893, James H. Blount, Cleveland's newly appointed American minister to Hawaii arrived in Hawaii and expressed President Cleveland's desire to give Hawaii back to the Queen. It is a fact that Blount spoke with the Queen and all interested parties -- which included the Annexationists in power and the Restorationists who wanted to put the Queen back on the throne.

President Cleveland agreed with Minister Blount that the Queen should be restored. Albert S. Willis replaced James Blount as President Cleveland's next American minister to Hawaii. He too set out to negotiate with all parties and even offered the crown back to the Queen on the condition that she pardon and grant general amnesty to those who had dethroned her.

She initially refused and wanted to behead all involved in her overthrow, but soon changed her mind and offered clemency. The problem was that this delay was said to have compromised her political position, and by then President Cleveland wanted nothing more to do with Hawaii or its request for annexation. He in fact released the entire issue of the Hawaiian revolution and possible annexation to the United States Congress for debate. He knew full well that there were many anti-Annexationists in Congress, especially the Senate and that it would linger there for years without any action being taken.

People can say that Hawaii was part of some supposedly American expansionist policy, a supposed American Imperialism of some sort, but from what I can see -- they are wrong.

The fact is President Cleveland saw Hawaiians no differently than he saw American Indians, which he saw as being nothing but "a problem." He saw them as being possible "wards" to be taken care of like the way he saw American Indian tribes. For this and a few other reasons, including his belief that America should not be like the European Imperialists who wanted their flags planted on every piece of foreign soil they could, President Cleveland was totally against having Hawaii join the United States.

Remember, between 1865 and 1898, America had military involvement in Panama, China, Mexico, Nicaragua, Formosa, Japan, Uruguay, Colombia, Hawaii, Egypt, Argentina, Chili, Korea, Haiti, and even Samoa. None of which became American colonies.

In fact, if the United States wanted to take over Hawaii, why did the United States give it back to the Hawaiian Monarchy in 1874 when United States Marines took over all of the government there? Instead of just reinstating order and handing it over to the Hawaiian monarchy, America was in the perfect position to declare it their own -- but didn't.

President Cleveland did not want Hawaii to be part of the United States and said so in many letters. His fervent objections to allowing Hawaii to become part of the United States are proof that the United States government was not behind the overthrow. And yes, besides President Cleveland, the U.S. Senate at the time did not want Hawaii to become part of the United States. These facts alone disprove the claim that the United States was behind the Queen's overthrow. But no, those facts don't serve the anti-American attitude in Hawaii by some today.

Frankly, let's be honest here and look at what took place. If the United States was behind the overthrow, then they had a strange way of showing it. For instance, if the United States was behind the coup, why be against taking over Hawaii once the coup was successful?

Why be against annexation? Why even go so far as to threaten the Hawaiian Republic with war if those involved in the Queen's overthrow don't put her back on the throne?

Does that make any sense if the United States was really behind the overthrow? Why threaten war and demand that people reinstate the Queen if you supported the people who overthrew the Queen?

Fact is, since the United States didn't want to annex Hawaii, for the United States to annex Hawaii -- believe it or not, "Annexationists" in Hawaii had to actually go to Washington D.C., and bypass the President to lobby Congress for annexation. Friends, while the lobbying paid off in the House, it did not work in the Senate which was staunchly against the annexation of Hawaii.

On July 4, 1894, the Republic of Hawaii with Sanford B. Dole as president was proclaimed. It was recognized immediately by the United States, Great Britain, France, Japan, Italy, Germany, and other governments.

Upon the inauguration of William McKinley as President of the United States on March 4, 1897, the Republic of Hawaii resumed pushing for annexation with the United States with the hopes of finding a more receptive president in the White House. They already had two American presidents who passed the buck and didn't want Hawaii to join the United States, so their prayers were answered in President McKinley.

By 1898, President McKinley saw the islands as having gained strategic relevance in the wake of the Spanish-American War. But frankly, it was a lot more than just the Spanish-American War that made President McKinley give serious consideration to Hawaii.

Although the United States was secure in knowing that it had a good relationship built on trade and military assistance, which included a treaty with Hawaii, at the time, Britain, France, Germany, the Dutch, and Japan had shown interest in annexing the islands for themselves.

Great Britain, Germany, France, Russia, the Dutch, and the Japanese all had holdings in the Pacific, and all were interested in Hawaii's ports. While some wanted Great Britain over the Japanese and the French, there were those in Hawaii who wanted Hawaii to be part of the Japanese Empire because Japan's Empire stretched far into the Pacific. And yes, Hawaii had already started to recognize a growing Japanese population in Hawaii.

After researching this over the years, I truly believe that several factors had to come together to enable a new treaty of annexation to be signed with the United States on June 16th, 1898. But even then, there was no guarantee that it would take place.

Was it a sure thing to be ratified by Congress? Absolutely not. And frankly, it was because the United States really didn't want it. Two facts that people should understand about the times. 

First, while many make it sound as if the United States was an Imperialist power out planting the American flag everywhere in the world, that simply was not the case. American Imperialism had to do with business instead of gaining territory. If you don't think so, ask yourself why Americans didn't plant our flag in places like Egypt, Haiti, Panama, Korea, and many other places where we saw military intervention while actively protecting American lives from 1865 to 1900.

Don't think so, read this: The Late 1800s - U.S. Military Action Abroad

After reading that information, ask yourself if we had the opportunity to plant our flag but didn't -- especially when comparing our lack of wanting foreign territory to that of Great Britain, Germany, France, and others who were expanding their empires.

While Americans could have planted our flag in Hawaii very easily, especially in 1874 when we had complete control of the Kingdom's government structure, most Americans didn't want Hawaii because they saw Hawaii as being a foreign land.

So where does Texas fit into this story?

Well, while people make all sorts of claims about how American expansionism was in full gear to cobble up territory, most people do not realize that Americans were against the annexation of Texas in the 1840s. Yes, this was the case. In fact, the people in Texas took the American refusal of annexation to heart and actually looked into alternatives to joining the United States. One alternative, believe it or not, included negotiating a return to Mexico at one point. Yes, it's true.

Yes, a treaty regarding the annexation of Texas could not be passed until some political maneuvering took place. Some even called it manipulating the U.S. Constitution. My point is this, if this is how Americans felt about Texas, I really don't think it mattered to most Americans if Hawaii was returned to the Hawaiian monarchy.

As for what took place with the problems and reluctance of the U.S. Senate to approve the annexation of Texas, the success of the joint Congress vote on Texas annexation did in fact set a precedent, known as the "Tyler Precedent," that would be applied to how the United States dealt with a vote on Hawaii's annexation.

Yes, since the annexation of Texas could not be approved in the Senate, both houses of Congress met in a Joint Session to vote on Texas annexation. That's how Texas annexation got around the Senate denying them entry. This same ploy was used to get Hawaii admitted to the United States. Trickery or not, it worked in favor of those who wanted Texas and later Hawaii as parts of the U.S..

I know it is hard to believe that Americans were not the "expansionists" that History Revisionists want us to believe. However, evidence shows that Washington D.C. was against the annexation of Hawaii in the exact same way as they were against American expansion and the annexation of Texas in the 1840s.

Yes, it is a matter of historical fact that Americans were not in favor of the annexation of Texas or Hawaii, and only political maneuvering and a vote by a Joint Session of Congress allowed them to join the United States. Frankly, reading everything that I have on the annexation of Texas and Hawaii, as unbelievable as it sounds, it is very easy for anyone to conclude that the United States may have been for expanding West but really did not want both Texas and Hawaii.

So why all of the trickery to get Hawaii admitted?

Well, remember that for most of the 1800s, there were many in Washington who were concerned that Hawaii might become part of a European nation's empire -- like say that of Great Britain, France, or Germany. This belief was spurred on during the 1830s when Britain and France forced the Hawaiian monarchy to accept treaties giving Britain and France economic privileges.

In 1842, Secretary of State Daniel Webster sent a letter affirming U.S. interests in Hawaii and opposing annexation by any other nation. He stated that no nation should seek special privileges or engage in further colonization of the islands.

In 1849, the United States and Hawaii concluded a treaty of friendship that served as the basis of official relations between the two nations. However, in the 1850s, the Hawaiian monarchy requested annexation with the United States. It was then that Hawaii set about plans to join the United States. And yes, part of the reason was that Hawaii's economy became increasingly integrated with the United States.

The 1875 trade reciprocity treaty was a "free-trade" treaty that benefited the economies of both Hawaii and the United States. This resulted in closer ties, but that treaty would be void if Hawaii was annexed by a European power. And yes, by 1897, that possibility became real and of concern to the McKinley administration.

Remember, in 1893 outgoing Republican President Benjamin Harrison attempted to annex Hawaii through a Senate treaty but failed. When that failed, President Harrison was asked to consider the "Texas Precedent," also known as the "Tyler Precedent," for a Joint Session of Congress vote for the annexation of Hawaii but he declined.

Since Democrat President Grover Cleveland did not want anything to do with the annexation of Hawaii, he actually tried to kill the question. Then when President William McKinley took office in 1897, he resubmitted legislation to acquire Hawaii.

President McKinley knowing that the two-thirds of the Senate support was not going to take place, he invoked the "Tyler Precedent" for the Joint Session of Congress resolution. That was how President McKinley successfully applied the same means of annexing Texas in the 1840s to annexing Hawaii in July of 1898.

As the Senate appeared against the idea of ratifying the new treaty, its supporters took extreme measures by passing the Newlands Resolution. That made the "Tyler Precedent" of the Joint Session of Congress accepted, and the Senate subsequently ratified and confirmed the Newlands Resolution by a vote of 42 to 21. The House of Representatives accepted the Newlands Resolution by a vote of 209 to 91. With that, President McKinley signed the annexation bill on July 7th, 1898.

So there you have it. After 5 years of trying to give it back to the Queen, with even the threat of going to war, the annexation of Hawaii was like that of Texas in that it was passed from one president to another for three administrations almost like an unwanted stepchild -- all until it was finally passed using the same political maneuvering that brought Texas into the Union.

The formal claim of transfer of sovereignty took place on August 12th, 1898 with the hoisting of the flag of the United States over Iolani Palace.

This is all history. And no, I don't have to make it up. It's all there for anyone to find. If one wants to know the truth about what took place, the truth is out there. But frankly, people are not going to find out what took place by being narrow-minded and only accepting what those with an anti-American agenda want us to think.

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

Tom Correa

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Politically Incorrect And Worried About Our Safety

Everyone knows how things are these days with Political Correctness taking over our nation. Fact is, a lot of folks are afraid to call a spade a spade especially when it comes to exercising their freedoms of speech and protest.

We all know real well that if we say anything negative about the criminals crossing our border from Mexico illegally, without documentation and skirting the legal process, then we’re automatically labeled "racist, bigoted, and anti-immigration."

Political Correctness is a way of stopping discussion. Well, call me what you will! First, I assure you that I've been called much worse. And second, frankly I don't give a damn what folks call me!

I don't care what I'm called when it comes to our safety and security. Folks can call me racist, or whatever else they want, it just doesn't matter to me.

As a former Security Consultant for most of my working life, I know hard security decisions means being unpopular and unreasonable to many. That is, until something happens. That's when folks say "well why didn't someone have the balls to take a harder stance and do what was needed?"

Friends, whether it's the security of Nuclear Weapons storage spaces or of a Professional Football Game, security means controlling entry to those people you want in and those you want to keep out. It is just that simple.

And while no one is saying close the borders to Canada or to Mexico to legal immigration, I am saying we should be concerned about our safety and security before politics, political language, votes, money, and power -- things politicians in both parties are more concerned with. 

As for a wall? Why not?

There are many countries in Europe which are finding out that obstacles stop unwanted entry. People have been using walls and fences and other sorts of barriers do work. From the Great Wall of China, to Hadrian's Wall and the Antonine Wall in England, to the Vatican Walls in Rome, to the Maginot Line in France, the examples are pretty much endless when talking about defenses to keep invaders out of a nation until it's safe. While prison walls are meant to keep bad guys in, while not perfect, walls can be one solution to keep bad guys out.

Friends, there is a reason Old West forts have walls, that there are fences around military bases today, that our national laboratories have fences, and we have "fire walls" in computers. They work. And frankly, let's face facts, security barriers are all about controlling entry to letting in who and what we want -- and stopping that which we don't.

Back in the late 1970s, my first couple of years after leaving the Marine Corps, I drove big rigs, worked in a machine shop, and even worked for the Western Pacific Railroad. Those were hard economic times under Jimmy Carter, and soon I found myself using my extensive Marine Corps security training working in private security. 

I found myself being hired to supervise and train poorly trained security guards. It was a job that I didn't like at first because I saw many of them as just working in security until "something better" came along -- certainly not the attitude of a professional. 

Some on the other hand had training, and were very professional, very diligent, and extremely vigilant. While their supervisor, I tried to help them by supplementing what they already knew regarding different aspects of security. 

While I was specializing in executive protection, I also found myself working strikes. Yes, I was being hired to coordinate others to stop angry Union Strikers who wanted to burn down their employer's buildings and vandalize property. 

Believe it or not, one client was the Alameda County Sheriff's Department when their own deputies called in with the "Blue Flu." It was illegal for them to strike, but not to call in sick. I was called to coordinate the placement of private security guards as a defensive barrier to stop those deputies from vandalizing county property -- specifically their own patrol cars which they had already done the night before I was called out. Yes, that really happened.

Of course, in 1980, I was hired to help stop the problems created by unwanteds at Candlestick Park when the San Francisco 49er football team held their games there. 

In the case of strikes, extreme went both ways, most of the time with small strikes our defensive barriers were vigilant guards in communication to get help as fast as possible. Of course, the other extreme was like what took place at Foster Farms chicken facility when our walls were made up of lines of security guards, multiple police agencies, sheriff's deputies, and Highway Patrolmen and women. All there to keep 1,500 angry strikers from attacking the plant. In all cases, our walls were good old fashion vigilance to sound the alarm when something wasn't right.

In the case of Candle Stick Park, we had huge smooth walls around the stadium. And since the property was ours, we patrolled both sides of the walls. We also had gates where we monitored, searched, and allowed entry to those who had tickets to come in. Yes, as most people already know, this is the way security for all sporting events are handled.

So my question is, why not treat America in the same why we treat any sporting event? Why not treat our border as we would any football game by having walls, fences, and entry points where we can screen who's coming in and let in only those with a ticket.

Back in the day, I was hired to stop the street gangs from nearby Hunter's Point from jumping the fences and creating all sorts of mischief and mayhem in the stadium during the game. The gangs were coming into the games to steal, sell drugs, cause fights, assault spectators, and more. And yes, we also had a couple of attempted rapes which we stopped.

Thirtyfive years ago, we had a third of the security personnel that they use at the games today. So how did we succeed in stopping the violence and mayhem with only what we could afford back then?

Simple: we made an accurate assessment of our security needs, we formed a security plan of attack, we hired good people, afforded them great compensation and training, then we deployed and supervised our assets to make full use of what we needed to accomplish.  

Besides doubling the number of guards at each of the gates checking everyone to see if people were bringing contraband into the stadium, I brought in guards who were specifically trained to deal with those outlaws on both sides of the wall. These guards knew the problems and our objective, and were paid to stop things before they happened by controlling entry.

And yes, we patrolled both sides of our walls. That is a huge part of the success that we had. We tried to stop the problem before he or she entered. And if we saw it taking place and couldn't stop it form the outside, we picked them up on the inside and escorted them back out. It worked very well.

Though I'm now retired, I can say that I've been blessed in that over the years, during lean economic times, I kept food on my table because of my being called upon to help businesses with similar security problems.

On March 20th, 2016, during a visit to the U.S. - Mexico border near Nogales, Arizona, presidential candidate Bernie Sanders called the controversy over immigration "trumped up".  He said, "the so-called immigration problem we face today at this particular moment, is a trumped up and exaggerated problem."

The fool went on to says, "we don't need a wall and we don't need barbwire. We need to fix our broken criminal justice system. First and foremost, it goes without saying that we need comprehensive immigration reform, we need to take 11 million undocumented people out of the shadows, out of fear, and we need to provide them with legal protection, and we need to provide them with a path toward citizenship."

Friends, this man shows how absolutely ignorant he is of the problem. He waves citizenship in their face as an enticement to enter our country illegally! And frankly, the border is not a criminal justice system problem on the border -- the border is a security problem. This is not a "law enforcement problem," this is a security breach of national proportions.

While I have a great deal of respect for law enforcement, let's be honest here, policemen are not trained to conduct security. They are not trained to be pro-active. They are trained to be reactive and investigate what happened, not to stop what might happen or can happen. They are trained to apprehend and arrest, not protect and deter. Most are not security specialists. And frankly, most have not been trained in security.

When an Illegal Alien comes across the border and commits a crime, that is a police problem. We need to protect our citizens before an Illegal Alien comes across the border by stopping them from coming in. We need to stop them before they commit a crime and get away before the police show up to take a report or alert the coroner.

Our Border Patrol is a security force which is being restrained by the criminal justice system that wants them to arrest and detain instead of arrest and return to Mexico. Right now, our "Catch & Release" of Illegals means apprehension and then released by our courts. I believe that our Border Patrol should have the authority to walk someone to a gate and return an Illegal to Mexico.

Our agents should tell them to "Come back when you're legal." Yes, in essence, tell them, "Go buy a ticket if you want to come in." The same thing that every sporting event in the nation does to those breaking the law and trying to get in free without paying.

What we need on the border is a barrier, a fence, a wall, anything that can stop or impede movement across the border. We need entry point where people are screened, searched, and checked for the proper paperwork. We need to deploy highly paid security personnel on both sides of our wall. They need to be trained and supervised to be vigilant and pro-active.

Yes, we need to turn people around at the border -- long before they make it in and being part of the criminal justice system and the courts. 

And while some will call it "simplistic," security barriers, fences and walls do work to stem the tide and help control entry. Like a sporting event, no ticket means no entry. 

We can use today's technology and patrol both sides of our defensive barriers. For example, Israel is under constant threat of war and uses a defensive system to prevent terrorists and invasion. I believe that their "wall" can be modified to be used here. 

As for Bernie Sanders who decided to finally get off his ass and get a job when he was 40 years old, I can assure everyone reading this that it was not in the security field. He knows nothing about what he is addressing in most things, security included. And frankly, his statement amount to an Open Border policy where no one needs a ticket to get in.

Sanders does not accept the reality that we must stop bad guys before they can do bad, just as we should reward good people by allowing them entry. He is not realistic and talks like a fool when it comes to conducting the security of our nation.

So while he and others can laugh at Donald Trump for saying we need a wall, they are the ones who should be laughed at. Because frankly, they have no solutions at all.

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


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

America's Most Venomous Snakes

Since it's again that time of year when the rainy days are becoming fewer and fewer, it is that time of year to throw a blanket and saddle on your horse and get out into the back-country or maybe go out and gather. While out, whether afoot or on horseback, we should all be aware of snakes that are pure trouble to run into.

Yes, there's a very good chance that you may come across a snake of two while out riding. And frankly, while there are a number of fairly harmless snakes, venomous snakes in the United States include Rattlesnakes, Coral Snakes, Water Moccasins / Cottonmouths, and Copperheads. These venomous snakes have glands for secreting venom. They are able to inflict a poisonous bite. The wound they inflict can be deadly. 

Venomous snakes can be dangerous to those who work outdoors, which of course includes cowboys, ranchers, farmers, foresters, loggers, surveyors, landscapers, groundskeepers, gardeners, painters, roofers, pavers, construction workers, laborers, mechanics, and any others including military personnel.

According to what I've read, there seems to be a real disagreement on the number of venomous snake bites recorded every year in the United States. Even though snakes bite an average of 45,000 people a year, venomous snakes bite account for 18 percent of that number. As for the number of deaths resulting from these bites, it is said to be under 20.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), although rare, some workers with a severe allergy to snake venom may be at risk of death if bitten. The CDC, also states that it has been estimated that 7,000 to 8,000 people per year receive venomous bites in the United States, and about 5 of those people die.

Obviously, the number of deaths would be much higher if people did not seek medical care. So yes, it is vitally important for employers to train their workers about their risk of exposure to venomous snakes, measures taken so that they can prevent and protect themselves from snake bites, and what they should do if they are bitten.

Four different species of venomous snakes reside in the United States -- though none of them would rank among the most venomous in the world. These include Rattlesnakes, Coral Snakes, Water Moccasins / Cottonmouths, and Copperheads.


Rattlesnakes are a truly American family of pit vipers and all but two of the existing 27 species are found in the U.S. or Mexico.

Known for their distinctive rattle at the end of the tail, all species of Rattlesnakes can strike at amazing distances and catch their victims by complete surprise.

Rattlesnakes are divided between two genera based on their head scales: "Crotalus" have numerous small scales on their heads while "Sistrurus" have large scales (plates) on their heads.

Rattlesnake venom is "haemotoxic", which means that it "prevents blood from clotting and destroys tissue." The potent and haemotoxic venom causes great pain and damage to tissue and death.

Rattlesnake species include Eastern Diamondbacks, Western Diamondbacks, Mojave Rattlesnakes, as well as the Sidewinder, Timber rattlers, Rock, and Pygmy rattlesnakes. Rattlesnakes vary in size from the 18 inches of the Pygmy rattler to the 84 inches or more of the Eastern Diamondback.

The Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake is a species that inhabits the coastal areas of North and South Carolina, Louisiana and Florida including the Keys. They are found in pine woods, scrubs, palmettos or swamps. And yes, believe it or not, Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnakes are capable of swimming many miles out in the Gulf of Mexico to reach some of the islands off the Florida coast.

As stated before, the Eastern Diamondback can reach up to 84 inches which makes it the largest venomous species of Rattlesnake in North America. It has no natural enemies and is considered the top of the food chain. Experts say Eastern Diamondbacks can be quite irritable and readily defends itself if it feels threatened. I've heard they attack for no reason as with most rattlers.

As for more trivia regarding the Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake, believe it or not, back during the founding of our nation, the Eastern Diamondback was almost selected as the National Animal of the United States. Yes, there were some who wanted it as America's symbol instead of the American Bald Eagle.

As for the Western Diamondback Rattlesnake, this very aggressive rattlesnake is found in California, Nevada, Arizona, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, and Arkansas. Actually, it is very common over to find them throughout the West in grasslands, deserts, woodlands, and canyons.

The Western Diamondback is known to stand its ground and defend itself vigorously, the first step being when it coils and rattles. This species of Rattlesnake is responsible for many bites and injects a large amount of venom when it does bite.

Although rattlesnake venom isn't as deadly as some other snakes in other parts of the world, the large volume of the injected venom makes Rattlesnakes particularly dangerous. And yes, because of this, Rattlesnakes are considered one of the most dangerous snakes in North America.

After posting this, my friend Kirby Jonas let me know, "The Mojave rattlesnake, while not as large as the diamondback, is the most dangerous species due to the fact that it carries not only hemotoxin but NEUROTOXIN as well.

This snake, like the diamondback, can also be fairly aggressive, and if one is bitten by it, IMMEDIATE medical attention is paramount."

Kirby also said, that "it should be noted is that a large number of rattlesnake bites are 'dry bites.' In other words, no venom, or very little venom, is injected. The reason for this is that when a snake bites a person it is not biting to kill for food, but out of self defense, and it takes a while for a snake's venom to rebuild. Thus, not injecting venom is obviously not something the snake is doing to be nice, but simply a self-preservation tactic -- he is going to need that venom later to disable and kill something he intends to eat."

Coral Snake 

These snakes live in the southern part of the United States, stretching from Florida to Arizona. They are prominent in west central Mississippi and North Carolina and south to the Florida Keys.

Coral snakes are related to the cobra family and can potentially be extremely venomous though they are generally shy and slow to bite. 

Coral snakes thus account for fewer than 1% of venomous snakebites in the United States with most people bitten while handling the snakes intentionally. 

They are small snakes, measuring 39 inches or less. Their fangs are undersized, so many coral snakes are unable to penetrate skin. Though not very long, Coral Snakes cannot strike quickly and must hang on for a brief period to achieve significant envenomation in humans.

Because of this relatively primitive venom delivery apparatus, it is estimated that 60% of those bitten by North American Coral Snakes are not envenomed. There has been no deaths from Coral Snake bites in the United States since antivenin became available. 

Before the availability of antivenin, bites killed 10% of the victims from respiratory or cardiovascular failure. Yes, t heir venom causes paralysis -- in particular, of the respiratory system -- and weakness.

People who survive the bite may need respiratory support for up to a week and may suffer persistent weakness for weeks or even months. While that is said, it is also believed that for venom power that the most dangerous is the cousin to the cobra called the coral snake. 

It frequents a variety of habitats, such as wooded and scrub areas, palmettos and swamps, likes Coral Snakes like to hide in protected places such as beneath debris or flat wood, and it even ventures into residential locations.

The saying "red on yellow kills a fellow" identifies coral snakes from other colorful snakes such as nonvenomous milk snakes, king snakes and scarlet snakes. The coral snake has red, yellow and black bands; if the red band and the black band are separated by a yellow band, you are looking at a coral snake.

Water Moccasin/Cottonmouth
I read where these snakes are primarily located in the southeast United States - Southeast Virginia, west central Alabama, south Georgia, Illinois, east central Kentucky, south central Oklahoma, Texas, North and South Carolina, Florida, and the Florida Keys.

But friends, I've also read where they are found throughout the South. Yes, this snake is one of the most common snakes in the South.

It a semi-aquatic species living in swamps, lakes, rivers, ditches and brackish waters where it is easily mistaken for other harmless water snakes.

Normally these snakes are between two and a half to four feet in length. It is well known that a Cottonmouth will stand its ground and is famous for flashing the inside of its mouth as a warning sign - hence the name "Cottonmouth". 

Some say the cottonmouth or water moccasin is a less deadly snake that has earned a reputation as being aggressive. But frankly, if harassed it will deliver a fairly potent bite. And yes, their venom is haemotoxic and their bites cause gangrene.


Copperheads are the most common venomous snake in the eastern half of the United States -- notably in Alabama, Missouri and Arkansas. 

These short snakes cause 37 percent of venomous bites in the US. 

They derive their name from the copper-like coloring of their head. And yes, copperheads rely upon camouflage and cover for safety.

In case of a danger, they usually freeze and remain motionless until the threat has passed. 

Unless a person steps on them, grasps them, or otherwise comes in very close contact with them, Copperheads will not usually bite.

The relative abundance of Copperheads and their occurrences near human habitations is the reason bites from Copperheads are the most numerous among snake bites in the Eastern United States. Luckily this snake is said to be only "mildly venomous" -- whatever that is -- and bites are very seldom fatal.

However, a bite may still have serious consequences. And the whole idea that a snake is "seldom fatal" is of absolutely no comfort to someone dying from one of those bites.

There are 5 species of Copperheads in North America. Western species seem to have a higher venom toxicity and are much smaller than the Northern and Southern Copperheads.

The American Copperhead is very common over much of its wide range: Eastern Gulf States, Texas, Arkansas, Maryland, North Florida, Illinois, Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, New York, Alabama, Tennessee, and Massachusetts. It is found in wooded and rocky areas as well as in mountainous regions where it is well camouflaged and hard to spot.

Tough Copperheads are not known for their aggressive nature, they will defend themselves vigorously and bite when stepped on or if someone accidentally lies down next to them. Their venom is haemotoxic.

Did you know that Alaska and Hawaii are the only two States that are said to being snake free? It's true. Of all of the 50 States, those two States are the safest to live if you are Ophidiophobia, also known as Ophiophobia, which  is a particular type of specific phobia pertaining to the abnormal fear of snakes.

And yes, this information was compiled from all sorts of sources. I hope you can use it!

Tom Correa

Friday, April 8, 2016

California's Famous Broderick vs Terry Duel

David Colbreth Broderick
David Colbreth Broderick was born on East Capitol Street just west of 3rd Street in Washington, D.C., the son of an Irish stonecutter who had immigrated to the United States in order to work on the United States Capitol.

Broderick moved with his parents to New York City in 1823, where he attended public schools and was an apprentice stonecutter. But at the time, it is also said that Broderick became very active in politics as a young man. 

In 1846, he became the Democratic candidate for U.S. Representative from the 5th District of New York, but lost the election with 38% to 42% for the winning Whig candidate.

In 1849, he moved to California to join in on the Gold Rush. He moved to San Francisco, where he engaged in smelting and assaying gold. Broderick minted gold coins that contained less gold than their face value. For example, his $10 coins contained only $8 in gold. He used the profits to finance his political aspirations. 

After achieving business successes in minting and then real estate, he became a member of the California State Senate from 1850 to 1851. And in 1857, he was elected a Democrat to the United State Senate at a time when the Democratic Party of California was sharply split in two, between the pro-slavery group and the “Free-Soil” advocates. 

Broderick staunchly opposed slavery and especially the expansion of slavery into California. He is said to have worked closely with his political friends to support the anti-slavery movement in California.

David Smith Terry
David Smith Terry was once Chief Justice of the California State Supreme Court and a staunch advocate of making California a Slave State. 

Yes, like many others who move from one place to another, Terry wanted to make where he was living just like the place he left. In this case, that meant he wanted to extend the culture of slavery into California.

Terry was man known for his hot temper and tendency toward violence. Among his outbursts, he was even known to have previously stabbed a political opponent in 1856. 

So yes, it wasn't surprising that when Terry lost his re-election because of his views on pro-slavery, and even though Terry and Broderick had once been friends, he blamed David Broderick for his loss. 

At a party convention in Sacramento in 1859, Terry gave a searing speech, attacking Broderick and his anti-slavery stance. Broderick responded to Terry with an equally unflattering statement and as tempers flared, Terry challenged Broderick to a duel.

At the time of Terry’s challenge, duels were illegal in San Francisco. They had originally scheduled the duel for a few days before September 13, but there was too large a group of witnesses and the duel was shut down by the city police. 

On September 13, they secretly moved the duel located to a ravine near Lake Merced, just south of the city line in what is today Daly City. 

The chosen weapons were two Belgian .58 caliber pistols. It is said that Broderick was completely unfamiliar with this type of gun mechanism. Terry in contrast knew it well and in fact spent the previous days practicing with one. 
Similar to the pistols used.
At the moment of the duel, the men stood only 10 yards apart. And it was reported by the many eye-witnesses that just before the final "one-two-three" count started, because of his pistol's hair-pin trigger Broderick's pistol went off and fired into the dirt. 

Now with an empty single-shot pistol in his hand, witnesses reported that Broderick simply stood tall and refused to cower as Terry slowly took aim directly at Broderick's chest and fired the fatal shot. 

Below is how the duel was reported at the time:

On Friday, Sept. 16th, ’59, at half-past 9 a.m., Hon. David C. Broderick, Senator of the United States from our State, died from the effect of a wound received in a duel, fought on Tuesday morning last, with David S. Terry, formerly Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California.

With the manner of his wounding we have nothing to do; the daily press, in their partisan opinions, have given many different statements in regard to it, and to them we refer for the particulars of the duel; our task is merely to speak of a fallen hero, a good man gone to his death.

For days previous to his dissolution, the gloomy countenances of the whole people told how great was the feeling for the wounded man, and the groups of sad faces at all points in the city, showed the intense anxiety for his welfare. 

All hopes, however, proved fallacious, and while the bright sun was shining over our beautiful country, while everything in nature was arrayed in loveliness, and while a multitude of eager friends were awaiting the results of the efforts of his physicians, the spirit of the great man, the self-made leader of senates, the warm friend, the truthful and magnanimous antagonist, passed from the body and took its silent flight to the great unknown world of space.

Not only does a State mourn for its champion and defender, not only does the population of the Pacific slope wail for the loss of its favorite, but a whole confederacy—a whole people, are full of sorrow and regret for his death. As was said of another, “The heart of a nation is throbbing heavily at the portals of his tomb. ”

For years, Mr. Broderick has battled for principles which he considered right and of late he has exercised all his strength of mind and body for the advancement of those principles. Just having ended a political campaign with credit to himself, and full of high aspirations for the future, he has been cut down in the prime of his life, and all his hopes and fears are now as one.

Cold in death, the body, which formerly contained a mind such as only a God could create, lies calmly awaiting what disposition is chosen for it. There will be parade and pomp and a gathering of multitudes, but will these indemnify us for the loss we have sustained? Will the funeral ceremonies do ought towards healing the terrible wound in the body politic?

No! for such a man can never have his placed filled, he will always be missed. When occasions of this kind are forced upon us, we feel too deeply the great effect, the years will pass before the sacrifice will be forgotten. Time cannot entirely obliterate it, and the memory of the people will cling tenaciously to the circumstances.

For our State, we are sorry. The shock sustained in consequence of this last terrible act will have a tendency to injure it deeply. We have, from the first days of California, have been more or less stained with the blood of our people, and the efforts of the cooler portion of our community have been unsuccessful as to the prevention of these foul blots.

One after another of the damning consequences arrive, and California is forced to recede instead of advancing in the paths of civilization. When will we cease to be so terribly scourged and take our place among the enlightened of the age?

If not soon, we will cease to exist as a people, for strife and bloodshed will annihilate us. Let us hope that a better spirit will hereafter prevail, and let us also hope that the successor of Mr. Broderick will be as honest and upright in the discharge of his duty.

California Police Gazette
September 17, 1859

David Smith Terry was born in Kentucky on March 8, 1823, the son of Joseph R. and Sarah D. (Smith) Terry, who moved to Texas as a young boy. He was a younger brother of Benjamin Franklin Terry. And although he became a lawyer, a judge, a politician, and a soldier, and achieved fame in California, and though born in Kentucky, David Terry considered himself a true Texan and a Southerner. 

He studied law in the office of his uncle-in-law, T. J. B. Hadley, and in 1845 was admitted to the bar at Galveston. He served in Capt. Samuel L. S. Ballowe's company in the Col. John C. Hays's First Regiment of Texas Mounted Riflemen in the Mexican War and participated in the battle of Monterrey in 1846.

In 1847, he lost the election for district attorney of Galveston. In 1849, he joined the gold rush to California where he failed as a gold miner but achieved rapid financial and political success in law practice at Stockton. 

In Galveston in 1852, Terry married Cornelia Runnels who was the niece of Hardin R. Runnels who later became governor of Texas. The Terry's had six children.

In 1855, Terry was nominated for a place on the California Supreme Court by the American Know-Nothing party and surprisingly won over the Democrats.

By 1859, David Terry was an ex-California Supreme Court Chief Justice when he killed United States Senator David Broderick in California's most famous duel.

After the duel, Terry was was of course now looking at a hanging rope in his future, so he quickly claimed to have only grazed him with a flesh wound when in fact his bullet entered Broderick's chest and lung. 

It is said that despite the doctor's best efforts, Broderick fought for his life for three days before he died at 9:20 a.m. on September 16th, 1859. His last words were, "They killed me because I'm opposed to slavery and a corrupt administration."

Upon Broderick's death, the people of San Francisco were outraged by what they saw as a murder -- a political assassination. Soon San Francisco Vigilantes wasted no time in organizing to go after Terry to hang him, but San Francisco Police Department's Captain of Detectives I. W. Lees and Detective H. H. Ellis proceeded to Terry's home with a warrant against him. 

Det. Ellis described the Terry arrest:

“Lees and I procured a warrant against Terry and had it properly endorsed. We then proceeded to Terry's home. When we arrived within about one hundred feet of the house, a window was thrown open and Calhoun Benham, Tom Hayes, Sheriff O'Neill and Terry leveled shotguns at us and told us to 'halt.'
We did so and announced that we were officers with a warrant for Terry. He stated that he was certain that he would not receive a fair trial and feared violence at that time, but agreed to surrender three days afterward in Oakland. 

Knowing that he would keep his word in this, as we also knew he would do when he told us that if we came nearer to his house they would all shoot, we decided to allow him to dictate terms. 

He surrendered as per agreement, and the case was heard by Judge James Hardy in Marin County, a change of venue having been granted because of the alleged prejudice against Terry in San Francisco. This case was dismissed but Terry was subsequently indicted by the Grand Jury in San Mateo County. The point was then raised that he had been once in jeopardy, and being well taken, that case was also dismissed."

After things calmed down for Terry, he actually resumed his law practice until 1863 when he returned home to Texas to join the Confederate Army. During the war, he was reported to have been wounded at Chickamauga but still raised a regiment in Texas. By the end of the war, he was a Colonel. 

While some say he was run out of Texas and others say he couldn't handle life under Martial Law during Reconstruction there, either way after the war, like many former Confederates, Terry lived for a time in Mexico where he is said to have engaged in farming and ranching. And yes, surprisingly for a man who claimed Texas as his home, he returned to California in 1868 to practice law again. This time in the city of Stockton. 

Then, believe it or not, by 1878, Terry was again involved in California politics in the Democrat Party and actually served as a prominent member of the California Constitutional Convention which rewrote California's 1849 State Constitution.

Terry's wife died in December 1884, and his only surviving son, Samuel, died in April 1885. In January 1886, a 62 year old Terry married Sarah Hill who was 25 years younger than him.

As for karma, some say it was simply a matter of justice finally getting around to taking care of David Terry when after 30 years, on August 14th, 1889, Terry himself was shot dead by Deputy United States Marshal David Neagle while threatening Supreme Court Justice Stephen Johnson Field. Deputy U.S. Marshal Neagle was assigned to Justice Field as a bodyguard after threats from Terry. And yes, believe it or not, it is said that Justice Field had been a close friend of Broderick. 

Terry never made it back to his beloved Texas and is instead buried next to his first wife in the family plot at the Rural Cemetery in Stockton, California. Not too long after David Terry's death, Sarah Hill Terry was committed to the Stockton State Hospital for the Insane in 1892. She died there in 1937 and was also buried in the Terry family plot in Stockton.

California's most famous duel drew national attention. Senator Broderick's death turned him into a hero and a martyr for the anti-slavery movement. Terry and his Southern sympathizers were accused of assassination.  
Senator Broderick's San Francisco funeral was attended by thousands of mourners. Senator Edward Dickinson Baker, a close friend of Abraham Lincoln, gave the moving eulogy expressing the widely held belief that Broderick was indeed killed because of his anti-slavery stance, saying, 
"His death was a political necessity, poorly veiled beneath the guise of a private quarrel. . .What was his public crime? The answer is in his own words; 'I die because I was opposed to a corrupt administration and the extension of slavery.'"

The City of San Francisco erected a large monument in the now gone Laurel Hill Cemetery and named a downtown street "Broderick Street" in his honor. Also Broderick County, Kansas Territory, and the town of Broderick, California, were named in his honor.

All in all, one can't help but see the Broderick vs Terry duel as a reflection of the nation's larger and more violent divisions. Many feel that the duel actually helped to push the nation closer to war. They're probably right.

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