Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Battlefield Cross & Memorial Day

The Battlefield Cross
Dear Friends,

For me, Memorial Day has always been a very special day.

Maybe it's because I grew up being taught to respect our military and understand what they sacrifice. Maybe it's because I learned at a young age that those who fight for our liberty and freedoms, themselves live lives without many of the liberties and freedoms that civilians take for granted. 

Of course, maybe it's because I knew of those who served and died in Vietnam. Maybe it's because I was in the last Operation during the fall of Saigon in those last days of the Vietnam War. 

And yes. it could be that I really understand how those serving die in all sorts of places in all kinds of circumstances. Yes, whether it is in war upon war, engagement after engagement, conflicts big and small, those serving in our military die for us. 

Yes, besides the great wars such as World War One and World War Two, Korea, and Vietnam, there are those who were sent in to retrieve the SS Mayaguez and free 33 American Merchant Marines -- and were Killed In Action freeing those Americans. 

Yes, there were those sent serve in Beirut, Lebanon, when a Muslim suicide truck bomber killed hundreds of our troops there. And yes, our troops have died in Granada, Panama, the Gulf War, Iraq, Afghanistan, aboard the USS Cole, and even at the Pentagon during 9/11.   

For me, I don't take them for granted. And frankly, that's probably because I know that while those serving carry the load of the nation and die while doing that, there are those who demand all of the benefits of citizenship -- yet shirk their duty to serve our nation.

So yes, we should understand and appreciate that Memorial Day is our time to pay them some respect to those who died while serving, to salute them, and honor them. It's our day to set a few moments in a year aside to thank those who paid the biggest price there is for us. All for us, all so that we may remain free.

Now with the addition of a Battlefield Cross to our American Legion post here in tiny Glencoe, California, we have come close to completing our memorial to those who have died while serving in our nation's armed forces. Yes, to those who've paid the supreme price in defense of our nation.

For those who have never been taught or simply wonder how I and others know they died making the supreme sacrifice in defense of our nation, it is because they died while serving as the defenders of our way of life, our society, our culture and traditions, our America, our family and friends. Yes, they died while serving in defense of you and me and those we love. 

While some may argue the politics of every war, before, during, and after every war, we are not going to do that here. Today, we are not going to do that. 

Instead, today, I'm going to talk about the Battlefield Cross which is also known as the Fallen Soldier Battle Cross or simply a Battle Cross. It is a symbolic replacement of a cross. It acts as an appropriate marker on the battlefield or at a base camp, or at a Memorial Day service, to honor Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines.

The practice of using the Battlefield Cross is said to have started during the American Civil War when so many died on American soil and the dead filled field upon field. But their are reports that say the practice was started earlier as a means of identifying dead bodies on a battleground before they were buried or removed. One report says the practice may go back to ancient times when helmets were placed atop swords stuck in the ground next to fallen warriors. 

While today the cross is used a lot less as a means to identify the dead where they lay, it is used for those on bases as a way of attending the funeral when not possible to do so. And yes, it is used as a way for those still living to mourn.

Today, for us, the purpose for the Battlefield Cross is that and to show respect and honor our dead. And since memorial ceremonies are tributes to the deceased, the Battlefield Cross is a visible reminder of our comrades, sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, fathers or mothers, all who have died while serving in our nation's armed forces.

The Cross itself is made up of a service rifle stuck into the ground with the fallen's helmet placed atop the inverted rifle. While the fallen's dog-tags are sometimes placed on the rifle, the fallen's boots are placed next to the rifle. 

The helmet, as personal an item as a warrior can have, signify who he or she is. The inverted rifle signals a time for prayer. The combat boots represent the final march of their last battle.

Memorial Day is a federal holiday. It is a day for remembering. Memorial Day is observed every year on the last Monday of May and is the one day a year we honor all of those who fought their last battle.

On Memorial Day we honor those who's dying breath stirs Old Glory, and who's memories and love we hold dear. God Bless them all.

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

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Nellie Cashman -- Woman of the West

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Old West Historian

When the majority of people who understand the terms used back in the 1800s hear the term "camp followers," they understand that for the most part this term related to the "soiled doves". Or by today's definitions, ladies of the evening or hookers.

But unlike what many believe, it's not quite true that all camp followers from that time period made their living through the dubious trade of prostitution. That is especially true for one very smart business woman by the name of Ellen Cashman -- better known as Nellie.

Nellie Cashman was born in 1845 in Queenstown, County Cork, Ireland. She and her sister Fannie were brought by their mother to the United States in 1850 to escape the great famine of Ireland. The family first settled in Boston where when they were old enough, Ellie and Fannie both held jobs before moving on to Washington D.C. and then onto San Francisco California about 1865. 

Nellie who had a wondering spirit then decided to move again bringing her to several mining towns within the state or territory of Nevada, including Pioche and Virginia City where she worked as a cook while all the time saving her money. 

In 1872, Nellie opened "The Miners Boarding House" at Panaca Flat, Nevada, while always being a friend to the miners by helping them even when they had no money. She helped by feeding them, giving them a room, and even taking care of them when they were ill. Miners and others began to call her the "Angel of the Camp." 

In 1874, Nellie headed North with about 200 other miners from Nevada to a gold strike in the Cassair Mountains in British Colombia where on Telegraph Creek she opened another boarding house for the miners.

During this time Nellie heard about several miners that had been trapped in a snowstorm in the Cassiar Mountains. Nellie organized a rescue party with six men and several pack animals carrying approximately 1,500 pounds of supplies and set off to find the miners in peril. 

The situation was so dangerous that the Canadian Army wouldn't even mount a rescue mission. But after hearing about Miss Cashman's attempt, the commander sent his troops to find her party and return them to safety. Nellie refused to return without the trapped miners. 

After 77 days with snow as deep as 10 feet in places, Nellie and her rescue team trudged on until they found 75 stranded miners with most of them suffering from scurvy. So Nellie, along with her team, nursed them back to health by loading them up with Vitamin C.

Once the Cassiar gold strike played out Nellie moved on to Tucson, Arizona, in 1879 where she opened the Delmonico Restaurant which was the first in Tucson owned by a woman. The Delmonico was a very successful restaurant and holding true to herself, Nellie often gave food to the hungry for free as she had done time and time again before coming to Tucson. 

Only a short time later, by 1880, Nellie decided to move to the new silver boom town of Tombstone, Arizona, with excitement and riches exploding in the area known as Goose Flats.

Once Nellie arrived in Tombstone, for a short while, she ran a shoe and boot store before opening the Russ House Restaurant. Legend has it that Doc Holliday was present at the time in which one of the customers began complaining about the food which everyone else seemed to be enjoying. Holliday then pulled his side arm and told the customer "repeat that!". The customer then replied, "Best I ever ate."

No one knows if this legend is true or false in this day and age, but with everything I have read about Holliday being quick tempered I would not be surprised if this were true.

While in Tombstone, Nellie helped many different people in many different ways. Being of Catholic faith she helped raise money to build the Sacred Heart Church by raising funds for the project while at the same time working as a nurse. Even before the church was completed she convinced the owner of the Crystal Palace Saloon to allow Sunday services to be held there until such time the building would become ready. 

She also helped raise money for a miner's hospital, the Salvation Army, and the Red Cross, all while still helping the miners who had fallen upon hard times, earning the respect of all in Tombstone, she soon became known as the "Angel of Mercy" and the "Angel of the Camp" once again.

Nellie's sister's husband died in 1881, and at that point Fannie and her 5 children came to live with her in Tombstone. 

In 1883, the Bisbee Massacre had taken place and the men were sentenced to hang on March 8, 1884. Tickets for the hanging were handed out by Sheriff Ward and when there were no more tickets to be had, a business man in Tombstone built bleachers around the scaffold planning to sell more tickets to the event. 

Nellie did not believe that death should be celebrated, so she pleaded with Sheriff Ward to place a curfew upon the town at the time the hanging was to commence. Sheriff Ward conceded to Miss Cashman and the majority of people in Tombstone were not allowed to witness the gruesome event.

After the executions of those five men was complete, they were buried together in Tombstone's Boot Hill cemetery and a plan was hatched to steal the bodies for research at a medical school. Nellie got wind of this deed and hired a few miners to stand guard over the graves for ten days straight, and to this day the remains of those five killers still reside in their Boot Hill resting place.

Fannie died in Baja, California, leaving Nellie to raise her five children, so she sold the Russ House in 1886 leaving Tombstone with the children and traveled around Arizona to such places as Nogales, Prescott, Harqua Hala, Yuma, and Jerome. Nellie began working part time at prospecting and setting up more restaurants. 

Later Nellie and the children wondered to the mining camps in Wyoming, Montana, and New Mexico. Despite constantly moving around, all five of Fannies children became successful citizens.

In 1898, Nellie headed for the Yukon setting up yet another restaurant and a mercantile in Dawson City where once again she helped miners in need. Later on, Nellie moved to Fairbanks where she opened a grocery store in 1904 while working claims she had purchased in the area when she had the time.

Nellie finally settled down in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1923 where she died of pneumonia in 1925. Nellie never married, it never fell within her plans. 

She was truly an amazing woman and at the age of 80 she drove a dog sled team a distance of 750 miles from Koyakuk to Seward through snow, ice, and bitter cold.

How many women, or big strong men, living in this day and age, could do the things this lady accomplished during her time? Not many I suspect.

Terry McGahey is a writer and Old West historian.

This once working cowboy is best known for his fight against the City of Tombstone and the historic Tombstone City Ordinance Number 9, America's most famous gun-control law. He was instrumental in getting it repealed and having Tombstone fall in line with the state of Arizona.

If you care to read how he fought Tombstone's City Hall and won, please click: The Last Gun Fight -- The Death of Ordinance Number 9 (Chapter One)

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

America's No. 3 Killer Needs More Regulations

Where is the demand for more regulation? Where's the demand for Background Checks? Why aren't these people being screened for mental health problems? 

Am I talking about gun buyers? Gun owners? Gun violence? Am I talking about a shooter who is performing some heinous act of violence on the innocent? Am I talking about a criminal act by someone who should have been stopped?

No, I'm not talking about a shooting, a fellow gun buyer, a fellow gun owner. No, I'm not talking about any of us who are considered society's "villains."

I am talking about Medical Errors! I am talking about the dangers of Health Care. I'm talking about professionals who should not be working in the field of medicine. I'm talking about the exact same thing that happened to me just a few months ago when a medical error almost cost me my life.

In my case it had to do with my being prescribed an increase in high blood pressure medicine. The increase dropped my blood pressure to dangerously low levels. My wife rushed me to the ER and they couldn't believe that I was even on such medicine.

I was informed that night that I was close to dying and that after I was stabilized, the my treating physician found that I did not need high blood pressure medicine at all. Today, I don't take any high blood pressure medication. And yes, I feel great. 

So now you say, that was me but really how big a problem can it be? And frankly, I can understand how people can be a little suspect that I may be blowing things out of proportion. When I told a friend that I was doing this article, he asked, "Is it really dangerous or am I just exaggerating the problem?"

How bad is Medical Errors in America?

Well, a report came out on May 4th, 2016, which speaks directly to the dangers of going to a hospital, or being treated by people who we are conditioned to trust. Yes, dangers! Dangers because the studies revealed that Medical Errors are the 3rd leading cause of deaths in the United States.

Yes, Medical Errors are now the number three killer in America right behind Heart Disease and Cancer.
In fact, if we combine all of the annual deaths from guns, suicide, and car accidents, then double that amount, and that still wouldn't add up to the known 251,454 people the Johns Hopkins Hospital researchers estimate have lost their lives to medical errors each year. And guess what, another report stated that that figure is only half of the true number.

Yes, according to the studies, the 250,000 number may be understating things. It may be much much higher. As stated in the study: "We believe this understates the true incidence of death due to medical error because the studies cited rely on errors extractable in documented health records and include only inpatient deaths." 

Those records are hampered by the way we report medical errors: poor to none is what the researchers found. Why, well because the CDC doesn't even track these deaths. And frankly, even the New York Times has noted that Medical Error is not a cause of death that would appear on a death certificate.

While the researchers of this study would like to see a "preventable complication" field added to death certificates, they know full well that that will never happen because it opens Medical practitioners up to lawsuits.

The study notes that "the most commonly cited estimate of annual deaths from medical error" is a 1999 Institute of Medicine report that put the ceiling at 98,000 deaths, and the head of health care quality at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center tells the Washington Post that what's happened in the 17 years since that report is "discouraging and alarming": Basically, there has been no improvement, with the exception of hospital-acquired infections.

So now, we demand mental health screening and Background Checks for citizens wanting to purchase a firearm but we do not require any sort of screening process of people who have our life in their hands?  

And yes, besides killing over a quarter of a million Americans each year, the people making these "errors" are what is driving Heath Insurance through the roof. Our Heath Insurance costs go up because of someone's decision and that creates deaths, lawsuits, and higher Malpractice Insurance premiums which are passed on to us.  

Now, I would like this cause of death to be called "Staff Incompetence," but that's just me. You see, I feel calling a bad or wrong decision by a medical staff a "Medical Error" -- that only downplays the fact that their decision resulted in the death of someone in their care. 

Calling someone's death which resulted by "medical error" downplays the fact that it was someone's fault, lapse of judgement, someone's transgression or wrongdoing. 

So where's the hoopla? Why isn't there regulations as to how long one can work a shift and still make decisions? Why isn't their screenings to find out if a person is even qualified to prescribe or administer medications? Why isn't there Background Checks to stop practitioners who have had one too many malpractice lawsuits, or has had mental health problems? 

Why not vet those in the medical profession with the same concern that we do someone buying a gun? After all, we should not give a free pass to heath care professionals who are administering medications and treatments that can kill us -- and are doing just that! 

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

Monday, May 23, 2016

CCW Application Procedure for Calaveras County

CCW Application Procedure 

For Residents of the Unincorporated Areas of Calaveras County
The authority to carry a concealed weapon (CCW) is set forth in California Penal Code Sections 26150 through 26225. These sections state in part:

PC 26150 The Sheriff of a County, upon proof that the person applying is of good moral character, that good cause exists for the issuance, and that the person applying is a resident of the County, may issue that person a license to carry a pistol, revolver, or other firearm capable of being concealed upon the person.

Per Sheriff Gary Kuntz: "It is the policy of the Calaveras County Sheriff’s Department to review each application for a license to carry a concealed weapon. There is no state law which ENTITLES a person to be issued a license to carry a concealed weapon.”

Under the Penal Code, the Sheriff of the County has the authority to issue a State of California permit to carry a concealed weapon. However, if you reside within an incorporated area in Calaveras County, your application for a CCW should be made with the highest ranking law enforcement official that has jurisdiction over your place of residence.

In recent years, there have been several Court decisions that have made the Sheriff vicariously liable in civil cases where the holder of a concealed weapons permit used a weapon when not appropriately trained, or used it in an unlawful or unreasonable manner. Some law enforcement agencies have virtually stopped issuing CCWs. I do not intend on ceases to issue such permits.

“My policy regarding CCW permittees and alcohol/drug use is zero tolerance. Use of a controlled or illegal substance while in possession of a concealed weapon permit nullifies and voids the permit.”

Who Does Not Need a CCW?

A citizen does not need a CCW in the following situations:

1. To possess a loaded firearm in one’s residence, personal property or place of business.
2. To carry an unloaded weapon going to or returning from a shooting range, hunting, or sporting event involving firearms, provided it is in a locked container other than a glove compartment or utility box.
3. To possess or carry an unloaded rifle or shotgun.

Concealed Weapons License (CCW) 

The Sheriff may issue a CCW under the following conditions: 

1. The applicant is a full-time permanent resident of Calaveras County.
2. The applicant is of good moral character.
3. The applicant has good cause for carrying a concealed weapon.
4. The applicant has completed the required CCW training certification course.

Departmental Restrictions on Issuance of a CCW 

An applicant will be refused a CCW under the following circumstances:
1. The applicant is not a full-time permanent resident of Calaveras County. (There are some exceptions for employees of the County)
2. The applicant is the subject of a restraining order issued by any court.
3. Conviction of Driving Under the Influence of Drugs/Alcohol within the past five (5) years.
4. Conviction of a felony.
5. Conviction of a misdemeanor offense which renders one unlawful to possess a firearm under PC 12021, as follows:

PC 136.5      PC 241         PC 246.3     PC 12034b      PC 140         PC 243    
PC 247         PC 12034d   PC171b       PC 244.5         PC 417         PC 12100a
PC171c        PC 245         PC 427.2     PC 12320a       PC 171d       PC 245.5     PC 626.9      PC 12590

6. Convicted of PC 148 (resisting or interfering with a peace officer); or PC 242 (battery); within the past five (5) years.
7. Conviction of a drug offense under the Health & Safety Code within the past five (5) years.
8. Other cause to question residency, good cause for carrying a concealed weapon or suitability for carrying a concealed weapon.
9. A CCW will not be issued for any employment related purposes.

CCW License Initial Request: 

Any omissions or false information given on the application is immediate cause for rejection of the application.

CCW Application Guidelines: 

Applicant must be a current resident of Calaveras County and must be able to prove full-time permanent residency. Applicant must be a minimum of 25 years of age.

At the time of the application, the applicant must present to the Sheriff’s Department the following documentation: 
  • Valid California driver’s license
  • Proof of Residency
  • Non-refundable Application fee of $ 20.00 (PC 26190(b)(2)) 
**The Sheriff’s Department will not accept incomplete applications**

The application will be submitted to the Sheriff for review. If the Sheriff determines that good cause for issuance exists, the applicant will receive written notification to proceed with the required firearms training. (PC 26202)

If the Sheriff determines that good cause for issuance does not exist, the applicant will be given written notification of that determination. (PC 26202)

The applicant will be required to complete a Firearms Certification Course (8 to 16 hours) and provide proof of completion within 60 days of the Sheriff’s good cause notification.

Please contact the CCW Liaison to schedule an appointment for the inspection of the firearm(s) and applicant fingerprinting.
  • Non-refundable DOJ fee of $93.00 due and payable (PC 26190(a)(1)) 
Please allow up to 45 minutes for this appointment. The weapons to be listed on the CCW (maximum of two) must be brought to the Sheriff’s Office unloaded.

Please allow up to 8-10 weeks for the clearance from the State Department of Justice.

If/when clearance is received from the DOJ; the applicant will be assigned a CII number. At this time, the applicant’s history is also received from the FBI and DMV.

The firearms are then researched to verify ownership and status. Upon completion of the applicant’s background check, the file will be forwarded to the Sheriff for final review.

If approved, the applicant will be contacted to take possession of the issued permit.
  • Final payment of $ 80.00 due and payable (PC 26190(b)(2)) 
If, for any reason, the applicant is denied, the applicant will be notified by mail within thirty (30) days from the time the Sheriff’s Department received the DOJ data. The reason for the denial shall be stated.

The above procedures may be subject to change as this office is notified of new mandates/procedures/changes in fees, etc., from the State Department of Justice.

CCW License Renewal Procedures: 

The standard CCW is valid for two (2) years. Permit holders should not allow the permit to expire before applying for renewal. The renewal process can be initiated up to eight (8) weeks prior to the expiration date. Applicants must apply for renewal in person and present proof of completion of a 4-Hour Firearms Course as required.
  • Non-refundable fee of $ 77.00 due and payable (PC 26190(c)) 
All applicants are responsible for notifying the Sheriff’s Office of any changes on the CCW permit at time of renewal; including changes of address (physical or mailing), employment, weapons, etc.

All information will then be reprocessed as before, with the new dates as well as any changes entered into the system. Again, the applicant’s driver’s license record will be checked; and this updated information given to the Sheriff for his approval.

Applicants should allow approximately four (4) weeks for renewal of the CCW. When approved, the CCW will be mailed to the applicant.

If, for any reason, the applicant is denied renewal, the applicant will be notified by mail within thirty (30) days, and the reason for the denial will be stated.

Transfer of CCW from One County to Another: 

A person holding a valid CCW who moves into Calaveras County must comply with all provisions as indicated in Section II (CCW Application Guidelines). A person holding a valid CCW who moves out of Calaveras County must notify this office and surrender such permit immediately.

CCW Amendments/Modifications 

Amendments/modifications to a CCW must be done in person. These include changes of address or other information, adding and/or deleting a firearm to an existing CCW.

If changes are made prior to the time of renewal; Form BCIA 4502 must be completed and the new or changed information input into the system.

The CCW Coordinator must type the changes on the CCW holder’s original (white) copy of the CCW, as well as the file copy.

The original Form BCIA 4502 is sent to the Department of Justice, and a copy is placed in the holder’s CCW file.

A fee of $10 will be payable at the time of modification for changes prior to renewal. (PC 26190(e)(1))

If changes are made at the time of renewal, the CCW Coordinator will note the changes on the CCW and in the CCW holder’s file.

No modification fee is payable if changes are made at the time of renewal. Waiver of Requirements

No member of the Sheriff’s Department staff, other than the Sheriff, may waive any of the above-listed requirements.

The Sheriff has the discretion to revoke or suspend a Concealed Weapons License (CCW) at any time.

(rev. 3/2012)

Editor's Note: 

The above has not been edited at all and was copied from the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department website. The above CCW Application Procedure applies to Calaveras County, California.

Calaveras County in red
I did contact the Calaveras County Sheriff's Department and found out that all is still in effect with one correction. Where it states "Applicant must be a minimum of 25 years of age" is no longer correct. Applicants now must be a minimum of 21 years of age.

Calaveras County, the county which my wife and I live in, has a population of about 46,000 residents. With over 1,000 square miles in size, we live in remote areas and have to provide our own security.

Yes, this is rural America and residents here who take the CCW courses are trained and have a sense of comfort knowing that they are better able to protect themselves and their families until deputies arrive.

To find out the CCW Allication Procedure in your county, search their website or contact your Sheriff's Department.

Good luck!
Tom Correa  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

To Pee Or Not To Pee ...

That Is The Question!

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/Historian

Well folks our illustrious so-called president has hit a new low in morality that I did not even dream he would stoop too. Of course by now we all know I am referring to his transgender bathroom policy which he hasn't even defined.

It's this person's opinion that there is a very simple solution to this red herring, if you have a male component you use the men's room and if you have the female components you use the women's bathroom, it's just that simple.

A true transgender, no matter if originally a man or a woman, actually now has the components of the opposite sex they were born with, and until such time the operation is complete they should use the bathroom of their original birth sex, simple as that.

I personally believe that this non issue has been put fourth as a magicians slight of hand trick. If you don't want people to see what's really going on you bring full attention to one hand while the other has manipulated a ruse, and I believe this is exactly what Obama is doing.

Get the people up in arms about the transgender issue about where they can pee, while all the time using the slight of hand to bring in the Syrian Muslims, or so called refugees, which will do nothing but promote more violence in order to push his Muslim agenda, which by now, if you can't see what his religious preference is by his Islamic cabinet appointees and his obvious Muslim loving tendencies, while at the same time not standing up for Christianity, then you really are asleep and need to wake up.

The president of the United States of America does not have the legal right to write or carry out a law, only congress can do so. By ordering school districts across our country to adhear to this insane policy or loose their federal funding, it is nothing short of blackmail, which in reality would become law for many school districts which fully rely on the very funding Obama is blackmailing them with.

Yes, it would become an unwritten law, but a law just the same through force of non-funding which many school districts could not survive without. I don't know about you but if I remember correctly blackmail is illegal in this country, but the term "illegal" doesn't seem to be an issue with this so called president, not when it comes to executive orders or illegal invaders from Syria and or Mexico.

The so-called Washington D.C. elite, no matter the party, have forgotten that they are hired by the people to "govern", not to "rule". Many of these Socialist leaning politicians actually believe that it is their duty and destiny to "rule" this country and our people rather than "govern" by our constitution which is actually the job they are paid to do. And in my opinion, this makes them nothing more than traitors to their oath and to the people of the United States of America and they should be at the very least imprisoned for their treasonous acts.

I find it sad that many of our elected politicians, as well as this mentally disturbed so-called president, have reached down so deeply into the bowels of immorality that we now have to allow the possibility of some sicko entering a women's bathroom with the intent of committing harm or voyeurism upon our mothers, sisters, wives, or children. And believe me these things will happen, in fact some of this has already taken place.

Where to pee or not to pee, that is the question? Pee in the restroom where you have the correct parts to do so, period!

While I have no idea how you see it, that's how I see things.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

My Reasons For Supporting Donald Trump

I recently received three very interesting emails from Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters in Europe. The one from the Bernie Sanders supporter demands my shortest response.

She writes, "Socialism and Communism is good for America. You should educate yourself, stop your hate of Communism, feel the "Bern"and embrace Bernie Sanders."

My response, "No, he is a Communist and because of that he is not compatible to what our system of government is based on. Even by threat of death, I will never vote for a Communist, or a Socialist which is nothing but a wannabe Communist. I'm sorry for you if you're really that happy living as a slave to the state!"

The other two emails have to do with Hillary Clinton. The first one is from a man in Germany who writes, "Wait until the debates between Hillary and Trump! She will put Trump in his place when she asks him why is it that he was OK with donating to her previously? What can he say to that?!"

I wrote what I'd like to see Donald Trump reply. I'd like to hear him say, "I donated to your (Hillary New York Senate) campaign because you're crooked and you, Hillary, can be bought! You're so unethical you don't even care who you screw over for a buck! While I doubt that I'd ever need an unethical person as you, Hillary, it's nice to have a crooked politician in one's pocket. If for any reason for entertainment just to see how low you'll stoop for a dollar."

A woman in England wrote to ask, "Why do you support Donald Trump when he is just like Adolph Hitler?"

Now this one had me a little pissed since this is absolute bullshit! In response I wrote her saying.

"First, let's talk about the Hitler thing. I believe that comparing Donald Trump to Adolph Hitler is not right on many levels. But basically, for those out there who are saying such nasty things, please understand that Hitler was a genocidal murderer, an anti-Semite, a psychopath, a maniac. a dictator who used his power to enslave the Germany people, and plunge his nation into a devastating world war. Hitler used his Secret Police to terrorize his own people.

He pushing an ideology of hate, dismissed the law of land for himself, had an enemies list, confiscated guns so that citizens would be defenseless against his henchmen. He controlled the media, he persecuted certain groups such as Christians and Jews. and if people did not agree with his edicts -- then he used the power of his government to attack them, jail them, confiscate their property and even kill them. All of what he did as a leader was meant to control and intimidate his people. Doesn't this sound like Barack Hussein Obama?  

While Donald Trump has done none of the above and has absolutely nothing in common with Adolph Hitler, President Barack Obama is just like Hitler.

Barack Obama is a traitor, a psychopathic liar, an anti-Semite, a Muslim who is pushing an ideology of hate. He is a fraud. He is a man who hates America so much that he wants to change our country. He is a man who has let Americans needlessly die in Libya.

And yes, Obama is a wannabe dictator who wants to "rule" through Executive Orders, edicts, instead of "govern" through the use of the legislative process. He is the only President who has ever used the power of the government to attack Americans, to use intimidation and threats, jailed them, confiscated their property and even kill them as in the case of what took place in Oregon lately on orders from the White House. All of what he does as a leader was meant to divide along racial and economic lines, intimidate and control our people.

So please, please, before you make a stupid statement such as comparing Donald Trump with Adolph Hitler, please realize how truly wrong that is."

Read on, and ask yourself if Donald Trump sounds more like Theodore Roosevelt versus the Liberal Media's smear that he's like Adolph Hitler?

As for safeguarding our homeland by securing our borders so that we don't turn into another Europe with the chaos that's taking place there, Donald Trump says, "A nation without borders is not a nation. There must be a wall across the southern border (no different than Mexico has on it's southern border). A nation that does not serve its own citizens is not a nation. Any immigration plan must improve jobs, wages and security for all Americans."

What's wrong with that? Nothing!

On the Second Amendment and a citizen's right to arm his and her self, Donald Trump who himself has a Concealed Carry Permit says, "The Second Amendment to our Constitution is clear. The right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed upon. Period. The Second Amendment guarantees a fundamental right that belongs to all law-abiding Americans. The Constitution doesn’t create that right -- it ensures that the government can’t take it away."

What's wrong with that? Nothing!

As for enforcing the law to everyone equally, no matter what race, color, greed, sex, religion, or economic class one happens to be, Donald Trump says, "A nation without laws is not a nation. Laws passed in accordance with our Constitutional system of government must be enforced with no one above the law."

What's wrong with that? Nothing!

As far as repealing ObamaCare, Donald Trump says, "ObamaCare needs to be repealed so that free market principles and American working together can create sound public policy that will broaden healthcare access, make healthcare more affordable and improve the quality of the care available to all Americans."

What's wrong with that? Nothing!

Donald Trump has a tax plan with four simple goals:
  1. Tax relief for middle class Americans: In order to achieve the American dream, let people keep more money in their pockets and increase after-tax wages.
  2. Simplify the tax code to reduce the headaches Americans face in preparing their taxes and let everyone keep more of their money.
  3. Grow the American economy by discouraging corporate inversions, adding a huge number of new jobs, and making America globally competitive again.
  4. Doesn’t add to our debt and deficit, which are already too large.
What's wrong with that? Nothing!

Donald Trump Veterans Care Plan:
  1. Ensure our veterans get the care they need wherever and whenever they need it. No more long drives. No more waiting for backlogs. No more excessive red tape. Just the care and support they earned with their service to our country.
  2. Support the whole veteran, not just their physical health care, but also by addressing their invisible wounds, investing in our service members’ post-active duty success, transforming the VA to meet the needs of 21st century service members, and better meeting the needs of our female veterans.
  3. Make the VA great again by firing the corrupt and incompetent VA executives who let our veterans down, by modernizing the VA, and by empowering the doctors and nurses to ensure our veterans receive the best care available in a timely manner.
What's wrong with that? Nothing! 

Donald Trump's Trade Plan:
  1. Bring China to the bargaining table by immediately declaring it a currency manipulator.
  2. Protect American ingenuity and investment by forcing China to uphold intellectual property laws and stop their unfair and unlawful practice of forcing U.S. companies to share proprietary technology with Chinese competitors as a condition of entry to China’s market.
  3. Reclaim millions of American jobs and reviving American manufacturing by putting an end to China’s illegal export subsidies and lax labor and environmental standards. No more sweatshops or pollution havens stealing jobs from American workers.
  4. Strengthen our negotiating position by lowering our corporate tax rate to keep American companies and jobs here at home, attacking our debt and deficit so China cannot use financial blackmail against us, and bolstering the U.S. military presence in the East and South China Seas to discourage Chinese adventurism.
What's wrong with that? Nothing! Get the picture yet? Yes, more like a Theodore Roosevelt America First Conservative!

By the way, what he is saying goes along with what Americans want. That is so plain and simple that even Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders supporters can understand and like -- especially since neither Clinton or Sanders have any sort of detailed plans on how to help America. Both Clinton and Sanders want to help the rest of the world first and screw Americans!

Donald Trump taps into the discontent that more and more Americans are feeling these days. Our discontent has everything to do with how I described Obama and the dictatorial actions he has taken, as well as how the Federal Government has been acting more like a slave master instead of a servant of the people.

And frankly, the tremendous crowds of supporters for Donald Trump and the hate that he has gotten from the political establishments of both the Democrats and the Republicans does not surprise me. Trump supporters are Americans who have reached a tipping point in regards to electing career politicians who are worthless as teats on a boar hog!

We want our America back! And yes, the political establishments of both the Democrats and the Republicans are frightened because they are both crooked and there is a new sheriff in town!  

Both the Democrats and the Republicans are attacking Trump with everything they have but now they're finding out just how strong his support is since their crooked careers may be at an end.

A lot of people write me expressing their frustration with an inept, corrupt, bias, self-absorbed Obama who attacks Christians and supports and arms ISIS. My readers write worried that wishy-washy Liberal policies will turn America into Europe. And frankly, lately they have lost a great deal of faith in Republicans who are proving to be just as Liberal as Democrats. 

Donald Trump has promised us that he will not except Muslim refugees because of the threat they represent. Yes, that is what Europeans should have not done. Instead a number of European nations have simply surrendered it's countries to Muslim invaders who want to change those countries once they're in. 

So yes, there are a lot of very good reasons why many of us are supporting Donald Trump. But mostly, whether some like it or not, it's because he says that he is willing to do the unpopular things that need to get done for the good of our country. So imagine that for a moment, we have someone running for office who is not a career politician and wants to do good for America. 

We Americans need a fighter who will fight for what's right and not for what's Politically Correct as with what's taking place in Washington and Europe these days. We need positive change, and certainly not simply more of the same which the Democrat Left and Liberal Republicans have given us.

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

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Ed Masterson vs Bob Shaw, 1877

My article The Killing of Ed Masterson, 1878 was a big hit. Now a few of you have written asking for more information on Ed Masterson's shootout with Bob Shaw.

From what I can determine, Ed Masterson was without a doubt a fearless lawman. He was seen by people who knew him as an honorable and decent man, as well as an important man in his community.

Below is are newspaper accounts of the Dodge City gunfight between Ed Masterson and Bob Shaw.

Dodge City Times (10th November, 1877)

Last Monday afternoon one of those little episodes which serve to vary the monotony of frontier existence occurred at the Lone Star dance hall, during which four men came out some the worse for wear; but none, with one exception, being seriously hurt.

Bob Shaw, the man who started the amusement, accused Texas Dick alias Moore of having robbed him of forty dollars, and when the two met in the Lone Star the ball was opened.

Somebody, foreseeing possible trouble, and probable gore, started out in search of Assistant City Marshal Ed. Masterson, and finding him hurried the officer to the scene of the impending conflict.

When Masterson entered the door he descried Shaw by the bar with a huge pistol in his hand and a hogshead of blood in his eye, ready to relieve Texas Dick of his existence in this world and send him to those shades where troubles come not and six shooters are not known.

Not wishing to hurt Shaw, but anxious to quiet matters and quell the disturbance officer Masterson first ordered him to give up his gun. Shaw refused to deliver and told Masterson to keep away from him, and after saying this he again proceeded to try to kill Texas Dick. Officer Masterson then gently tapped the belligerent Shaw upon the back of the head with the butt of his shooting iron, merely to convince him of the vanities of this frail world and to teach him that all isn't lovely even when the goose does hang antitudilum. The aforesaid reminder upon the back of the head, however failed to have the desired effect, and instead of dropping, as any man of fine sensibilities would have done, Shaw turned his battery upon the officer and let him have it in the right breast, the ball striking a rib and passing around came out under the right shoulder blade, paralyzing his right arm so that it was useless, so far as handling a pistol was concerned. Masterson fell but grasping his pistol in his left had he returned the fire giving it to Shaw in the left arm and the left leg, rendering him hors du combat.

During the melee Texas Dick was shot in the right groin, making a painful and dangerous though not necessarily a fatal wound, while Frank Buskirk who, impelled by a curiosity he could not control, was looking in at the door upon the matinee, received a reminiscence in the left arm, which had the effect of starting him out to hunt a surgeon. Nobody was killed, but for a time it looked as though the undertaker and the coroner would have something to do. The nerve and pluck displayed by officer Masterson reflects credit both upon himself and the city, which has reason to congratulate itself upon the fact that it has a guardian who shirks no responsibility and who hesitates not to place himself in danger when duty requires.

Dodge City Times (8th December, 1877)

City Marshal Edward Masterson receives the congratulations of his many friends without a show of exhalation. Notwithstanding the fact that considerable feeling was manifested against the removal of Mr. Deger, no one accuses Mr. Masterson of seeking the position. In fact he preferred to retain his old position as Assistant, which gave him the same salary and engendered less responsibilities. As an officer his reputation is made, and it is a good one.

Dodge City Times (30th March, 1878)

City Marshal Masterson contemplates organizing a tramp brigade for the purpose of clearing the streets and alleys of the filth and rubbish that has been accumulating for a year or so. There are about thirty tramps now sojourning among us, all of whom have no visible means of support and are liable to arrest under the vagrant act.

Ford County Globe (10th April, 1878)

At ten o'clock last night. City Marshal Edward Masterson, discovered that a cowboy who was working for Obum of Kansas City, named Jack Wagner, was carrying a six-shooter contrary to the City Ordinance. Wagner was at the time under the influence of liquor, but quietly gave up the pistol. The Marshal gave it to some of Wagner's friends for safe keeping and stepped out into the street. No sooner had he done so than Wagner ran out after him pulling another pistol, which the Marshal had not observed. The Marshal saw him coming and turned upon Wagner and grabbed hold of him.

Wagner shot Marshal Masterson at once through the abdomen, being so close to him that the discharge set the Marshal's clothes on fire. Marshal Masterson then shot Wagner.

About this time a man named Walker got mixed up in the fight. He, it appears, was boss herder for Obum, and Wagner was working under him. He also got shot once through the left lung, and his right arm was twice broken.

Marshal Masterson walked across the street to George M. Hoover's saloon, where after telling that he was shot, he sank to the floor. He was immediately removed to his room, where in half an hour he expired.

Walker and Wagner were nearly all night insensible, and none thought that either of them could live through the night. However, morning has come and neither are dead; both are in a very precarious condition and their chances for recovery very small.

The city is in mourning; every door is draped with crape; business is entirely suspended till after the funeral of Marshal Masterson, which will take place at two o'clock p. m., and will be attended by everybody in the city.

Marshal Masterson will be buried in the Military Cemetery, at Fort Dodge.

Dodge City Times (13th April, 1878)

Died. In this city, on Tuesday, April 9th, in the 26th year of his age, Edward J. Masterson, City Marshal.

The subject of this sketch was born in Henryville, Canada East, on September 22d, 1852, and removed to Wichita, Kansas with his parents in 1869, where he continued to reside until attaining his majority when he left his home and became one of the first inhabitants of this city.

In June 5, 1877 he accepted the appointment of Assistant Marshal, and in the December, 1877, having displayed marked adaptability for the position, he was promoted to the Marshalship, in the discharge of the duties of which he continued until his unfortunate death.

Possessed of a geniality of temperament, a kindness of heart and a richness of personal bravery, he had many warm friends and admirers.

As an officer he followed the dictation of duty, striving at all times for its honest and complete discharge and gaming for himself the dignity and respect that of necessity followed from his determined intrepidity.

He died in the service he performed so well, and has added one other to the list of those who, living, were so many representatives, each of his day and generation, but who dead, belong to all time, and whose voices ring down the ages in solemn protest against the reign of violence and blood.

-- end of articles.

For me, it sounds as though a lot took place in a very short span of time. And luckily, Ed Masterson was not killed.

Tom Correa

Thursday, May 5, 2016

"Days of '49" Wagon Train Parade

Living history exhibits are extremely important when trying to teach others about days gone by. That is true today since a lot of young people see history as boring and not interesting.

Events like the Kit Carson Mountain Men "Days of '49" Wagon Train shows the public just how "The 49ers" traveled from the East over the Great Plains to California.

The "Days of '49" is the perfect living history classroom because people are taken in by the wonder of the covered wagons, the assorted breeds of horses, the mules, the teamsters, the cowboy and cowgirl reenactors, and the beauty of the parade. The entire presentation teaches how life was during the great Western migration from Missouri to Oregon and California from the 1830's to 1869.

The Amador County annual event, the colorful Kit Carson Mountain Men "Days of '49 Wagon Train" re-enactment through the California Gold Country was held last weekend April 28th to May 1st.

The authentic wagon train of a dozen horse-drawn covered wagons followed California's "Golden Highway," more commonly known as Highway 49, on a 3 day journey. They started at an encampment at the Amador County Fairgrounds in Plymouth, and headed south through Drytown, Amador City, Sutter Creek, and into Jackson. All as a celebration of California’s pioneer heritage.

Of course, the public was encouraged to join in on the fun and visit with the teamsters, the cowboys and cowgirls, and the other reenactors at the various stops along the way.

While it started last Thursday when Highway 49 became a wagon train trail, Saturday the wagon train was camped at the Kennedy Mine. All of the wagon train reenactors and the public were welcome to enjoy a barbecue dinner and a Gold Rush variety show on the Kennedy Mine Amphitheatre outdoor stage.

The great food was catered by the wonderful folks of the Laughton Ranch. The music was great and everyone enjoyed the entertainment, the horses, the vintage wagons, and of course those who were making the effort to keep Old West history alive.

While my wife and I sat eating, we struck up a conversation with another couple sitting near us. Come to find out, they owned one of the covered wagons. Well, soon enough, we started talking history of the wagon trains and their love of the history of that era. 

Yes, Dennis and Antonia Amaral have been involved in wagon trains, the horses needed to pull them, the equipment, tack, and all other aspects of what's needed for wagons for a little over 8 years. And yes, I enjoyed hearing how they actually put on presentations about wagons and other aspects of Old West history at local schools up near their home in Pilot Hill.

They are great folks who are just as friendly as one could wish to meet. I loved how they were so involved in keeping our Old West history alive. I admired both for their dedication in getting every little detail historically accurate. And yes, I admired how they endured my questions and didn't find me too much of a bother.

On Sunday, May 1st, the Wagon Train left their Kennedy Mine encampment and traveled down Jackson Gate Road and then onto North Main Street to Main Street Jackson.

By 11:00am, more or less, the Kit Carson Mountain Men Wagon Train "Days of '49" Parade began at Main Street Jackson. And yes, all who lined the streets included my wife and I were there for the parade. This time, I had my camera ready to take as many pictures as possible.

After the parade, the Wagon Train returned to their camp at historic Kennedy Mine near the iconic Kennedy Tailing Wheels and the head frame of one the deepest gold mines in the world. It was then that my wife and I got a chance to talk with Dennis and Antonia about their wagon which come to find out has a history all its own.

In the case of Dennis and Antonia's wagon, it originated from the Ponderosa Ranch. Yes, when the famed Bonanza television set finally closed its doors as a tourist attraction in 2004, they were able to acquire one of the wagons. 

I had visited the Ponderosa in Lake Tahoe a few times. The last time I visited the Ponderosa was in 1999. And yes, it was one of those places where Old West history jumped out at you from just about everywhere. 

Many think the Ponderosa Ranch was just the Cartwright home, but it was a lot more. Fact is, the whole "set" had parts of Virginia City just out of view of the cameras when shooting the scenes at their home. Yes, besides the Cartwright home, the main attraction was the ranch's version of Virginia City.

On the show, the ranch was always said to be about a "two-hour ride" on horseback from Virginia City. For the record, the Ponderosa's Virginia City was 40 miles from the real Virginia City.

The Ponderosa Ranch had activities, concessions and souvenirs, a haunted house, and panning for gold. Its amusements were based on Western movies and television shows. Believe it or not, people were actually getting married at the Church on the Ponderosa Ranch.

And yes, I remember the long rows of sheds and small barns filled with antiques, vintage tack, wagons, buggies, and their parts, and more of everything Old West to use as props for the long running series. 

One of the things that I remember most, besides the "Hoss Burgers," was a Conestoga Wagon on the site. It was believed abandoned by the Donner Party in 1846. It was recovered in the 1930s when Donner Lake was low. 

As for Dennis and Antonia's wagon, I don't knew how much effort was needed to restore their wagon because the folks who ran the Ponderosa Ranch as a tourist attraction did a great job of making sure all of their equipment was looked after pretty well. Many of the wagons, buggies, carts, and so on were kept in sheds, in small barns, or simply under cover as can be seen in this picture of the Ponderosa Ranch barn.

As you can see, there are a number of buggies as well as spare wheels undercover.  That was a lot of what took place at the ranch to protect thing from the weather.

Even though that may have been the case, Dennis and Antonia sent their wagon to Marcus Wagon Works in Marysville. It's said that if you want quality wagon workmanship when building or refurbishing wagons, then Marcus Wagon Works is who you contact.
Dennis and Antonia Amaral.
Their wagon being pulled by a team of 
Percheron/Welch Cob cross horses.
Painted, varnished, and outfitted with well oiled harness leather for their team of Percheron/Welch Cob cross horses, their wagon is certainly a thing of beauty.

I overheard Dennis telling others that he has learned a great deal from their group of covered wagon enthusiasts. And frankly, I can see how that is a good thing. From tips on how to be a better teamster, to being able to maneuver their wagon better, to learning more about the history behind what they're doing, I can appreciate how one learns from others just as there will be those who'll learn from Dennis.

I tip my hat to Dennis and Antonia, as well as other folks like them. Their passion for covered wagons and the Old West is wonderful to see. Through their efforts, and that of others, all folks with the same dedication to and passion for the Old West, I know we will keep interest in our Old West heritage very much alive. And frankly my friends, that is something we need to do more of. 

I'm part of that generation where us kids were brought up on '50s and '60s Westerns on television and at the movies, we liked how we beat our enemies during World War II, and we liked the idea that our government worked for us and not the other way around. And yes, more of us were rural than urban and we were brought up knowing how to do things for ourselves. 

Being interested in our family and our history, we learned a great deal about the strengths of others, their moral fabric, their abilities to survive and make it through tough times. We learned about self-reliance, having an independent nature, having a "never-say-die damn-the-torpedoes" attitude, maintaining a belief in doing right and not giving in to evil, all the while understanding that it is good to help out one's neighbor while not asking for anything in return. 

These were some of the things that most of us learned in one way or another, and this is what young people today can get out of an interest in Old West history. Learning about true hardship and peril can give youngsters more of a true understanding of those who came before us. 

Right now, many young Americans have very little real appreciation or knowledge regarding what their great-great-grandparents went through. I think this is mainly due to their being unaware of the true nature of what they faced back in the day. 

I see parades like this as a means to inspire and motivate young people to want to ask questions and learn how really tough, really hardy, and really determined people were and can be when seeking a better life. It might teach them that they too are cut from the same cloth, even if society that has programmed them to suppress those positive attributes. 

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

Monday, May 2, 2016

With Trump We At Least Have A Chance

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer/ Historian

No matter if you like Donald Trump or not we as Americans have got to start thinking of our country first, and in my opinion Mr. Trump is the only candidate I see that gives us a chance to revive our country. 

I have to admit, I have heard a few things he has said that makes me wonder a little bit but overall this man speaks his mind, tells it like it is, and is the only one who has been standing up for our military and talking about the Constitution in its true meaning as well as the reality of our sinking economy, debt, illegal immigration, and jobs. 

It is time for we as Americans to face reality instead of walking the path of political correctness. Anyone who does not agree with this only needs to look at what has been going on during this nomination process.

People are being paid to protest Mr. Trump's rallies, people try to disrupt rallies while inside the buildings, and people are committing violent acts and calling it a protest. We are loosing our country people, Wake up! 

Hillary Clinton will do nothing to put this country back on track, she will do nothing about illegal immigration, she will do nothing to strengthen our military, she will do nothing to force corporations to come back to America, and she will do nothing but further George Soros' and Obama's agenda when it comes to gun control, which in reality has nothing to do with crime because it only punishes the honest American citizen, gun control is people control.

The old Democratic Party is gone, it is no longer the Democrat Party of our fathers and grandfathers. It has become the Socialist Party of America and there is very little difference between Sanders and Clinton. 

If John F. Kennedy was running for president today, he would be running as a Republican. Don't believe me? Take the time to look back at his speeches and his policies. Please think about that for a moment if you are an old time Democrat. 

The Republican Party today resembles the old Democrat Party more so than the Democrats do in this day and age. So what's that tell you? It tells me that we all must become Americans again instead of Democrats and Republicans.

As far as illegal immigration, just look at what took place in California during the Trump rally and tell me that we are not in need of a stronger immigration plan and a barrier between the U.S. and Mexico. 

These so called protesters ganged up on, and beat some of the trump supporters, caused total chaos in the streets, destroyed a police vehicle, and while committing these crimes they were waving Mexican flags. 

If these people were here to assimilate and become Americans, they would have been waving American flags instead, while protesting peacefully, which proves to me they are not here to assimilate but here to take advantage of our system. 

Many of these so called immigrants are here because they believe in trying to take California back into Mexico which will never happen. They need to go! They are not Americans, they are Mexican Nationals, and by that statement my point is, even if some or many of those protesters were so called citizens of our country, their heart is still as Mexicans and not Americans, they must assimilate or go home, this is not Mexico.

Another point. Do you truly believe that Hillary Clinton will put a stop to bringing in the so called Muslim refugees? 

If you do, I have a bridge to sell you. She will not stop the influx of Muslims into our country even though it is a proven fact that many of these people want to kill our citizens. 

Is that what you call protecting our country from foreign invaders? Do you truly believe that Hillary will get rid of the Muslim Brotherhood and other Muslims within Obama's cabinet? If you do, the cost of that bridge I have for sale just went up by ten fold, inflation you know. 

I could go on and on but by now you get the drift of this article. If we the people have a chance to save our country, now is that chance.

We no longer need professional politicians setting at the head of the table, we need someone who believes in our Constitution, our people, our sovereignty, and putting this country back on top. I sure do not see Hillary doing these things being that she is the representative of the Democrat Socialist party.

While some might not agree, that's the way I see it.