Sunday, January 29, 2017

Let's Call It "Cowboy Fitness."


Dear Friends,

I started a post titled "Health and Fitness." And yes, I was going to give you information that I've gathered from web sites, health magazines, and medical journals. I figured between that information, and that what I've learned in the Marine Corps and from friends into bodybuilding and fitness in days gone by, I'd have some pretty good information to pass on to you.

Yes, I started a post titled "Health and Fitness" but deleted it.

Instead, I started thinking about how the other day I took advantage of the nice weather to repair water troughs and repair broken water pipes during our latest freeze. I started thinking about how the next day I dug some small trenches to divert water and some others so that I could put in more PVC water pipes to replace the leaking pipes. I also repaired some corral fencing after I unloaded my pickup load of sixteen 85 to 90 pound bales of alfalfa.

I thought about working our Mustang mare the other day before having to dig six post holes. I thought about mucking stalls, replacing chewed up boards in our barn, and painting the new boards with a no-chew mixture. I thought about how a couple of weeks ago I moved sixteen 12 foot panels and a gate panel. I recalled how I carried each panel about 70 yards to where my new round pen would go. I recalled manhandling each panel and hooking them together to make the pen. And yes, I recalled thinking this is why guys my age make things permanent instead of portable.

It's called "chores," and that's what needs to be done when looking after a place. Granted they're not like the everyday chores of making sure we have wood cut and split for our wood stove, or feeding our dog and cats, and of course feeding our horses, or cleaning stalls. The chores for upkeep around a place can be a great workout of sorts, but you already know that that's where I'm going with this.

Besides the regular chores that come up and keep me busy on a daily basis around our place, I open up our local American Legion on Monday afternoons at 4 o'clock. That is if I can ever remember to drop what I'm doing and get my butt over there and not keep my friends waiting.

Yes, being the 2nd Vice Commander of our local American Legion is a kick in the ass. Being a veteran, I like giving to our local veterans club. Over the years I've become more and more responsible for a lot of the operation of our post, but that's OK. Truth is, all in all, though I'm in charge of the bar, the kitchen, the post's building maintenance, and a few other aspects of our post, I actually delegate a lot of things that need to get done.

So showing up at 4pm, I volunteer to open and work behind the bar for a few hours. Then, after I come home, my wife usually has dinner waiting. And after dinner, I usually feed the second feeding for our horses. It's then that go outside and look into the stars and feel at peace and close to God. It's then that I tell the Lord how I miss my loved ones now passed. Yes, it's also then that I beg God to bless those I love who need help.

After I come in from checking the horses, and doing what I do, that's when I sit at this computer. That's when I try to read e-mail or write a post. That's when I smile hearing my wife laugh at one of her goofy shows on television. OK, or cuss out some politician on the news.

Today is Sunday, and this morning I ran over to open our American Legion post for a small birthday party. Yes, a private party. Someone new to the area, visiting, asked me what we charge for the use of our post? I told them that we're supposed to charge a few hundred but we make exceptions for folks.

As I'm sure you've heard me say a thousand times, Glencoe, California, has a population of 189. And frankly, I'm not really sure of exactly how many folks live in the town of West Point about 7 miles to the east or in Railroad Flat about 6 miles to the south. But all together, I really don't think there can be 2,000 people if we combine all who live around these parts.

So no, when someone came to me and asked to schedule a private party, especially us knowing that it was for a small surprise 80th birthday party for a resident from around here, our post won't charge her family to have it at our post. It's simply not the way we are.

So since I was determined to write something when I got home tonight, and I decided that I wanted to write something about health and fitness, I thought maybe I'd write something on workout schedules, using weights or a cable machine, on repetitions and sets, and the importance of intensity and length of workout. Then I laughed and thought about how a beer or two a day is now said to be good for us, and how would I ever work that new research finding into a section on diet and exercise.

Yes, I was certain that today I was going to write about staying fit. But instead, I decided to write you about how my wife and me are busy staying busy. And yes, I decided how staying busy doing things is as good as hitting the gym.

Yes, I thought about how my wife and I went to town a few weeks ago to pick up a load of road-base gravel. And yes, how we laughed while shoveling the gravel in an effort to get it unloaded onto our driveway before it started raining cats and dogs.

So what is this country fitness program? 

Part of it's the chores that I've mentioned. It is the work that I've mentioned. It goes to what it takes to live in the country and take care of livestock and horses. It goes to what it takes to just maintain a place in the country.

Yes, it takes a never-ending to-do list that's for certain. And yes, it seems as though there are always fences to fix, gates to hang, bales to buck and stack, animals to feed, stalls that need mucking, pens that have manure to needs to be hauled. Of course this time of year, my hands are frozen and my arthritis acts up. And yes, working in cold water and mud is not my favorite thing. But then again, I know things have to get done. And yes, that too is a part of the "Country Fitness Program."

Whether it's clearing brush, cleaning corrals, hauling manure, or fixing fence. unlike most folks in the city, most country folks just take things in stride and take care of things that need doing. If that means hard work, then so be it.

I figure my fitness program is one where I stay busy, sometimes busier than others times. But all and all, stay busy. Right now the weather is the pits. Fact is problems like broken water pipes and frozen water troughs take place in winter. That's just the way it is.

Like everyone else who lives in the country, my wife and I get busy when the weather's better. Yes, mostly preparing for next winter. And while I'm not working as hard in the winter, other than problems that come up here and there, my "fitness program" is still taking place because I'm trying to keep on top of those problems. Yes, movement is like that. Besides, someone has to. And friends, as everyone knows, big or small, problems certainly won't fix themselves.

Because the ground is soft, tomorrow I will take on a fence-post that needs replacing. And yes, I may muck stalls to stay on top of things. I may bath two horses and work three, but that might wait until Tuesday.

I figure that I can get that done before I need to go to my Mom's house to do some chores there. She's 82 and pretty independent, but she's still 82 and needs a hand now and then. And yes, the Lord really frowns on a bad son.

So there you go, there's my article on health and fitness. It is my "ranch, farm, country sort of fitness program"  Oh heck! How about we just call it "Cowboy Fitness." It's works by working and keeping busy.

It's a great program and easy to stick to. All you have to do is want to clean up around your home and property, do your chores, don't let your junk pile up too high, garden, plant, enjoy being outside, and keep things up. Yes, put things away, keep fences mended, cut, split, and bring in your wood to keep your stove fired up!

If you look around your home, I'm sure you too can skip the gym membership and find enough activity to keep you busy. For me, while the pounds might not be melting off, they're not coming on either. And frankly, I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Tom Correa



Friday, January 27, 2017

Johnny Ringo -- Life and Death In Arizona

Dear Friends,

In my article Johnny Ringo & The Mason County War, we talked about how John Peters Ringo, better known as Johnny Ringo, arrived in San Jose, California, at age 14, and there became a petty criminal before leaving and heading to Texas at 20 years of age.

We talked about who he fell in with and how he became involved with the Mason County War. And yes, we talked about how this Old West legend, became a gunman when he and another man ambushed a friend who had his face in a wash bowl.
We also talked about how multiple arrests, newspapers, and word of mouth, built him a reputation as a bad hombre that may have really been undeserved. 

When we left off, he became a legend simply because of newspapers in Texas. And now, he arrives in Cochise County, Arizona Territory in 1878 with Joseph Graves Olney, alias "Joe Hill", a friend from Texas who he met during the Mason County War. A friend that he was drifting with for some time.

Folks in Arizona first take note of Ringo on December 9th, 1879. Yes, that was when a 28 year old drunk Ringo actually shot unarmed Louis Hancock in a Safford, Arizona, saloon. The story goes that Hancock refused a drink of whiskey from Ringo by stating that he really preferred beer instead.

On December 14, 1879, The Arizona Daily Star commented:

"Last Tuesday night a shooting took place at Safford in which Louis Hancock was shot by John Ringo. It appears Ringo wanted Hancock to take a drink of whiskey, and he refused saying he would prefer beer. Ringo struck him over the head with his pistol and then fired, the ball taking effect in the lower end of the left ear, and passed through the fleshy part of his neck, half inch more in the neck, would have killed him. Ringo is under arrest."

Yes, according to reports, Ringo hit Hancock with his pistol and then fired a shot at him with obvious intent to kill. But as with a lot of gunfights in the Old West, being drunk doesn't help one when trying to shoot someone, and no being real close to your target didn't always help either.

This is proven true again here, because even though he was very close to Hancock, he missed Hancock almost completely with the exception of nicking the man's ear. And though Ringo was arrested, he was released on bail. And yes, he also failed to appear when he was supposed to go in front of the Pima County Grand Jury in March of 1880.

Believe it or not, on March 3, 1880, Ringo wrote Pima County Sheriff Charles Shibell a note to explain why he missed his court date:

"Dear Sir, being under Bond for my appearance before the Grand jury of Pima Co., I write to let you know why I can not appear--I got shot through the foot and it is impossible for me to travel for awhile. If you get any papers for me, and will let me know, I will attend to them at once. As I wish to live here I do not wish to put you to any unnecessary trouble, nor do I wish to bring extra trouble on myself. Please let the Dist.-atty know why i do not appear, for I am anxious that there is no forfeiture taken on the Bond."

It's said that Pima County District Attorney Hugh Farley was not understanding and asked the court to revoke his bond, and to issue a warrant for Ringo's arrest.

As for his whereabouts? Well, Ringo resurfaced on April 2nd, 1880, in Shakespeare, New Mexico, where he and M.C. Blakely sold a mining claim to John E. Price for $1000. Then just a few days later on April 7th, 1880, Ringo executed a power of attorney to James B. Price of Missouri. 

This power of attorney granted Price six months to sell a different mining claim for $2000, that claim was supposedly owned by Ringo. The claim was said to be located in the San Simon Mining District, called the "Sydury Johnson Mine."

So when does he get involved with the "cow boys" of Tombstone fame? In Tombstone, it's said that Ringo had a reputation as having a bad temper. And while I can't find anything proving it, no records of him killing anyone else than what took place in the Mason County War, it is believed that he had participated in robberies and killings with the "cow boys." And yes, the "cow boys" were a group of rustlers and outlaws made up of the Clantons, the McLaurys, and others. 

It had to be in 1880 that he met and befriended Ike Clanton. The reason that I say it had to be 1880, even though some say early in 1881, is because in July of 1880, John Ringo, Ike Clanton, Joe Hill and George Turner drove a fairly large herd of cattle to the San Carlos Indian Reservation. After selling the beef worth around $2000, the men were seen in the town of Maxey and then in Safford. 

By October of 1880, Ringo was listed as an election judge in San Simon. Yes, believe it or not, John Ringo became a delegate to the Pima County Democrat Convention. Yes, he was a Democrat. He served as an election official in San Simon which is located near the border with New Mexico in southern Arizona.

On October 19th, 1880, The Tombstone Nugget wrote: 

"San Simon. J. C. Clanton, inspector; John Ringo and A. H. Thompson, judges; polling place Joseph Hill's house."


By November 1st, 1880, an official land purchase notice was filed by John Ringo and Ike Clanton in Silver City, New Mexico. They apparently partnered up by then. As for the notice, they purchased 320 acres of grazing and farming land in the Animas Valley which is located approximately 30 miles north of Guadalupe canyon. Their 320 acres of land would be known as the "Alfalfa or Cienega Ranch."

About now is when he meets a real gunslinger, a true man-killer, the then famous Ben Thompson.

The story goes that sometime in April of 1881, Ringo left Arizona and went to Texas. He gets to Austin. Then on May 2nd, 1881, after spending some time in a brothel, at his hotel he discovers that his money is gone. Ringo gets flustered and thinks the three young men who were seated in the hotel hallway have his money.

Ringo pulls a gun and commanded them to hold their hands up, and he searches them. Since he did not finding his money, the story goes that he smiled at them and simply went to his room. The three men are angry and run to the City Marshal's office to report what just took place. The Austin City Marshal is Ben Thompson.

Austin City Marshal Ben Thompson was a very notorious Texas gunman. No wanting someone else to find out what took place, he personally goes to Ringo's room. When he got there, Ringo made the mistake of refusing to open the door. 

The story goes that Ben Thompson kicked in the door with a gun in his hand ready to end young Ringo's life. When a shocked Ringo realizes who he's messing with, he submits without incident to being arrested for disturbing the peace and carrying a pistol in a town that doesn't allow them. 

After spending the night in jail, John Ringo paid a $25 fine plus costs and was released. Ringo left Austin. And yes, some say he left with the thought of never going back.  

In early August of 1881, Ringo is said to have rode into Galeyville. There on August 5th, 1881, Ringo got into a poker a game and began to lose all his money. 

While there are a lot of stories about shootouts across poker tables, with shooters missing each other more than hitting each other, this is where the story gets a little strange. You see, supposedly Ringo was out of money and instead of simply bowing out and leaving, he asked for the men at the table to loan him some money so that he could continue playing. Now they probably don't know him. And like today, weren't about to lend money to a stranger. So while I'm sure they laughed a lot, they refused. 

Angry at their refusal to loan him money, he leaves the saloon only to show back up with a man named Dave Estes. Then the two promptly hold up the poker game. Yes, they show up and rob the poker players and make off with about $500 and steal a horse. 

Have you notices that the I haven't mentioned Johnny Ringo at the shootout at the lot near the OK Corral on October 26th, 1881, when Virgil and Morgan Earp were wounded, Holliday grazed, and Tom and Frank McLaury and Billy Clanton were killed?

Well, he wasn't at the OK Corral in October because he was visiting his sisters in San Jose, California. By the time he returned in November, the OK Corral had been over for a month.

And yes, on November 26th, 1881, after returning from California, John Ringo and Estes were indicted for the robbery. No telling what happen to Estes or the horse. But soon, Deputy Sheriff William Breakenridge went to Galeyville to bring Ringo back to Tombstone to answer the indictment. 

Folks can say what they want about "Billy" Breakenridge, but that guy had guts and was certainly seasoned. What do I mean by seasoned? Friends, after leaving Wisconsin at the age of 16, Breakenridge joined the United States Army and served under Colonel John Chivington with the Colorado Territorial Militia during the Sand Creek Massacre. 

Yes, he was there at Sand Creek when a 700-man force of Colorado Territory Militia attacked and destroyed a village of friendly Cheyenne and Arapaho encamped in southeastern Colorado Territory. They killed and mutilated an estimated 70–163 Indians. And yes, about two-thirds of whom were women and children.

Following his stint with the U.S. Army, he moved on to Arizona and took up a job as a lawman. So basically all of this stuff about Billy Breakenridge being someone without guts and not having real sand is all non-sense. I believe, in reality, he was a tough hombre.

Breakenridge finds Ringo and returns to Tombstone with Ringo in tow on November 29th. Then on December 1st, 1881, he was brought before Judge William Stillwell's court. He pleads not guilty and was released on bail. But of course, when no witnesses against him showed up the following day, the charges were dismissed.

To give you a timeline of what is taking place in Tombstone at that time, on December 28th, 1881, Virgil Earp is ambushed while walking down Fifth Street that night. It's generally accepted the Ike Clanton was in on the ambush because his hat was discovered near the scene.  

Assassins are believed to have been on the second story of an unfinished building across Allen street. They shot Virgil in the back and left arm. He was hit by three loads of double-barreled buckshot from about 60 feet Dr. George E. Goodfellow removed 4 inches of shattered humerus bone and was able to save Virgil's arm. Yes, Virgil survived the attack. But his arm is nearly ripped off by the shotgun blasts, which left it useless for the rest of his life.

After the attempted murder of Virgil, his brother Wyatt wrote Crawley Dake on December 29th to request an appointed as Deputy U.S. Marshal for eastern Pima County. 

After Virgil Earp was nearly killed by unknown assailants, Wyatt Earp claimed that Ringo was one of the men responsible. Rumors also circulated that Ringo had been involved in various crimes. In January of 1882, rumors began to spread that Ringo was involved in a recent stage robbery. When Ringo appeared in Tombstone, he heard the talk and is said to have become furious. So angry in fact, that he actually walked out into the streets to confront Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday who happen to be there at the time. 

Since he believed that they were responsible for the accusations, he decided to take it up with them then and there. During the argument, which some believe nearly resulted in a gunfight, Town Constable James Flynn stopped things from escalating when he stepped in and grabbed Ringo from behind. Flynn then took Ringo, Holliday, and Earp before Police Court Judge A. O. Wallace.

On January 18th, 1882, The Tombstone Epitaph reported:

"J.H. Holliday, Wyatt Earp, Ringo arrested for carrying deadly weapons. Earp discharged, Holliday and Ringo fined $30 each."

Remember that Tombstone had a gun ban, yet everyone still carried. The public simply did what people did back East and carried concealed. When Virgil was City Marshal, he gave a wink and a nod to friends who wanted to carry a gun. For others though, he enforced the town ordinance with fines. 

On that day Wyatt Earp's charge of carrying a gun was dismissed because he was still a Deputy U. S. Marshal at the time, and as such he was entitled to carry a weapon. 

A month later, on March 18th, 1882, Morgan Earp was killed while playing pool in Campbell and Hatch’s billiard hall. Yes, he was shot and killed by an assassin who fires a rifle shot through the pool hall window. In the next week, believing that the courts which were on his side are no longer, using his authority as a Deputy U.S. Marshal, Wyatt Earp and his brother Warren, and a few others, go on a killing spree that some justified as a vendetta against those suspected in the attacks on his brothers. 

Those suspected of being involved in Morgan’s assassination were hunted and killed. Among the victims were Frank Stilwell who was shot in Tucson, Florentino Cruz who was shot to death in a wood camp, and Curly Bill Brocius who was supposedly shot in Iron Springs. The only reason I say supposedly is because no one has ever produced either Brocius' body or grave to prove he was in fact killed. And the only supposed witnessed to Wyatt Earp killing Brocius is the outlaws and Wyatt.
  
Because of the murder of Frank Stillwell who was in Tucson to testify in from of the Grand Jury there, the Grand Jury issues arrest warrants to bring in Wyatt and Warren Earp, Doc Holliday, "Turkey Creek" Jack Johnson, and Sherman McMaster for the murder of Frank Stillwell.

During this time, Johnny Ringo was deputized by Cochise County Sheriff Johnny Behan. While some say it was an effort by Behan to protect Ringo from the Earps by making him a peace officer, within weeks most of Ringo’s friends were either dead or had been chased out of the area.

And even though Ringo continued to deny any involvement in the attack on Virgil or the death of Morgan, he left and is said to have gone to California until things cooled down.

In April of 1882, Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday travel to Colorado, where the state's governor, Frederick Pitkin, denies Arizona's request that the two men be extradited back to Arizona to face murder charges resulting from the killing of Frank Stillwell.

Johnny Ringo had ridden with Sheriff Behan's posse and then left town, most believe for California. He resurfaced in Tombstone on May 7th, 1882. 

The Tombstone Epitaph reported his return: "Jack Ringold is in town." 

Fact is he returned because his robbery hearing was scheduled to begin on May 12th, but it was rescheduled to May 18th. As with the way things are even today, no witnesses were available to testify against Ringo and the court dismissed the compliant against him. They also returned his $3000 bond. He then left town again. 

By July 2nd, Johnny Ringo was reportedly back in Tombstone. Reports say he appeared depressed and was drinking heavily. After a day of heavy drinking, Ringo supposedly headed toward Sulphur Springs for more whiskey. On July 8th, he left Tombstone for the last time.

The next day, July 9th, he was seen in Galeyville. It's said that he continued to drink heavily. Then on July 11th, he had left town. And yes, that was the last time he was seen alive.

On July 14th, 1882, Johnny Ringo was found dead. Yes, James Yoast was hauling wood when he noticed, in his words, "a man in the midst of a clump of trees, apparently asleep."

When he sees his dog "smelling at the man’s face and snorting," Yoast decides to investigate what's going on. That was when he found Ringo’s dead body which had already turning black because it was lying there for hours. Yes, in the middle of a few trees was Ringo's lifeless body seated at the base of a large tree.

He had a bullet hole in the left temple. It looked like suicide. A coroner’s jury did in fact rule that Johnny Ringo's death a suicide. 

Many believe someone killed Ringo. Their reasons for thinking so is that his boots were missing. His coat had been torn and strips of his shirt had been used to bind his feet. His rifle was leaning against a tree close to him. In his right hand was his Colt .45 Peacemaker with only one spent shell. Ringo’s horse was later found roaming the canyon area with his boots tied across the saddle.

The Tombstone Epitaph wrote: 

"Many friends will mourn him. And many others will take secret delight in learning of his death."

Ringo is buried near West Turkey Creek, near where his body was found. The location of his grave is on private property right off of Highway 181 in southeastern Arizona. His grave can be visited with permission from the property owner. 

It is interesting to note that when looking at Ringo's life, one can't help but wonder what made him a legend? It's said that Louis L'Amour wrote that he had found nothing in Old West history to commend John Ringo as a "bad" man. Friends, there is no record that he ever actually had a single gunfight. While Louis L'Amour wrote that he did not understand how Ringo got to be such a "bad man" in legend. I don't either.

From everything that I can find about Ringo, he was a hot head, he had bad tempered and it certainly got worse when he was drinking.  Imagine that. Really, how many of us have known men just like that? And no, that doesn't make someone a legend.

In the next installment on the Johnny Ringo story, I'll take a look at conspiracy theories pertaining to his death. I take a look to see if it was indeed murder or really suicide. I'll look at who took credit for killing him and why they couldn't have done it, who maybe could have really done it, and more.

Tom Correa

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Are Democrats Trying To Assassinate Trump?


Dear Friends,

There is a reason that I don't trust anything that comes out of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC news organizations. It is the same reason that I don't trust a Liberal bigot to tell me something about Dr. Ben Carson. Yes, their prejudice against the good doctor means that I can't trust anything coming out of their mouth.

The same goes for the prejudice, the hostility and the absolute hate coming from those same Liberal news organizations toward Donald Trump. It's an "in-your-face hatred" that's way above simply "not liking" our new president. And yes, that's putting it mildly.

I really don't have to go into what commentators like Chris Matthews and the other ultra-Left on those mainstream media news stations have said about him. They are not even clever enough to hide their loathing of Donald Trump. The venom is incessant and they are really very open about it. And yes, frankly that really surprises me. I really would think they wouldn't want their hate for Trump to be so obvious. But friends, it really is.

Of course their openness about their hatred for Trump serves the purpose of my knowing absolutely unequivocally where they stand. They despise him in a way that leaves no doubt that they hate him. Call it revulsion, disgust, contempt, or whatever else you want, fact is they hate Trump in the same way that the Ku Klux Klan hates black-Americans. Yes, in the exact same way Black Lives Matters hates white-Americans.

Yes indeed, the Liberal mainstream media's openness about their deep seated hatred for our new president goes to my first point in this blog post: Liberal news organizations truly make no secret about their animosity and out and out hatred for President Trump. And that, well that goes to the heart of why I avoid those news organizations.

Friends, besides not being dishonest about their ill "feelings" toward Trump, they're also not very stealthy, covert, or simply sly about it either. No, they hate Donald J. Trump deeply and they are very public about it. Yes, they're very open about it.

Their hostility, animosity, antipathy, toward Trump certainly means that their news will be presented in ways that are biased against him. Yes, that's why Liberal news organizations should not be trusted.

They are prejudice against Trump and Conservatives in general. They don't have any idea what impartiality means as they demonstrate their partisanship, favoritism, and unfairness. I believe they knowingly to that while skewing reports to inflame the passions, the bigotry, the intolerance, of their follow Liberals.

The Liberal media has an attitude of hate for Trump and Conservatives, and they're not afraid to show it. Their prejudice and one-sidedness, the way they color their stories, and way they attempt to sway their followers, the way they distort and slant to foster hate.

Yes, they are really out in the open about it. You don't need a poll to tell your what you can see for yourself. These people have hate speech about Trump and Conservatives all the time. That's just who I see them to be. They hate anything and anyone that goes against their beloved Democrat Party and Liberal ideology.


One can't help but see it. Liberal hate is out in the open and people see it for what it is.

To say they detest Trump would be an under-statement. They hate him deeply, so deeply that one has to wonder if it's something personal. I hope it's not, but one has to wonder simply because it's such an intense hate that it reminds me of my hatred for child molesters, rapists, baby killers, and those who attack the weak and defenseless.

It's the same sort of hate that I feel for anyone, and yes I know one person right now, who has threatened my family members. Friends, granted this is all just my opinion but that's what I see coming from ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, and a few people on FOX News.

On November 15th, of last year, just a few days after the election, a post-election Media Research Center poll showed that 78 percent of the voters said that the media coverage during the 2016 Presidential Election was biased. And yes, 59 percent said the press favored Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. 

While 97 percent said they did not allow any of the bias from the media to impact their vote, 69 percent of voters said the media is not honest and truthful. And yes, while I thought the figures would be much higher, I totally agree that the mainstream media is not honest or truthful.
So is their hatred for Trump the same as my hatred for the Obama administration? 

No, it's not the same because I didn't hate President Obama personally. In contrast, the Liberal media apparently hates President Trump personally.

But, while I didn't hate Obama personally, I grew to hate his ineptness in office. And I certainly grew to hate his policies. His policies stunk! He proved himself to be incompetent and a joke to the world. And yes, I hated that. I disliked him on a level of not liking the actions of a bureaucrat or an administrator, I saw his horseshit conduct in office as someone who was just incompetent and uncaring. I saw him as not putting America first. And frankly, I couldn't understand why a president wouldn't put the concerns of our nation first.

So as for hating what he was doing to our nation, yes I admit to hating his actions. I didn't like the constant flow of regulations which he was putting into place on a daily basis. He was strangling our economic productivity, our industry, our ability to provide for our families, our ability to grow food without restrictions, or provide energy for our nation, or properly educate and not indoctrinate our children in schools. I hated the fact that he would not control entry into our nation for the sake of security.

I hated Obama's actions. He implemented policies to benefit his wealthy donors, benefit his voters, benefit the United Nations, and all was being applauded by our enemies and our economic rivals. Yes, all while dividing our nation as never before.

In many of the posts that I wrote taking him to task for his lousy policies, I always stressed why I hated his policies and how I wanted his Socialist policies to fail. I stressed how our nation's principles do not jell with socialist principles. Freedom and Socialism are polar opposites.

I wanted his policies to fail and he leave office in disgrace. I got my wish on January 20th, when he left knowing that he attempt to turn our nation into something that it is not has failed miserably.

His accomplishments, the Obama legacy, is that he added $10 Trillion to our debt with absolutely NOTHING to show for it. In our entire history prior to Obama, through 43 presidents, we accumulated a debt of a little less than $10 Trillion.

What did we have to show for almost $10 Trillion of debt before Obama? 

Well, to name a few things that our nation spent money on, we had a Revolution and the War of 1812 where we had to rebuild Washington D.C. after it was burned to the ground by the British; we had the Louisiana Purchase; two Industrial Revolutions; we had the cost of a War with Mexico and later the Civil War; the cost of the Indian wars in the Old West and our involvements overseas which people really don't hear about; we bought the state of Alaska; we fought and paid for two World Wars as well as other wars such as Vietnam and other recent wars; we've built dams and railroads, and we built the greatest highway system on earth; and yes, among other things, we sent men to the moon. Friends, that's just a small example of why we went into debt prior to President Obama.

So what did Americans get for the almost $10 Trillion of debt under Obama?

New roads, bridges, highways? No. We got nothing for it. Really, nothing. He used the money to create ObamaCare which forces Americans to use it or be fined; he armed Iran and ISIS; he helped build Muslim Mosques in Europe and Africa and Indonesia; he spend a $100 Million on his vacations around the world; he gave over $200 Million to the Palestinians just before leaving office, but seniors on Social Security and disabled veterans did not get a raise in 8 years; he implement more and more regulations, all the while increasing the size of our government bureaucracy; and yes, he made his environmentalist friends rich. Other than that, we have nothing to show for the almost $10 Trillion which Obama spent while in office. .

Did I want Obama's policies to fail? You damn right I did! Did I see actions like what I stated above to stop? Absolutely! 

But while I wanted his policies to fail, I've always stressed how I hoped and prayed that he would not be harmed, that his family would not be harmed or attacked, that he would complete his term in office. I did not see violence as the answer to what Obama was doing in office. I knew that if something happened to him that a wave of his stalled legislation would pass and we would suffer for his being killed.

And I guess, that's part of what I see going on with the Liberal mainstream media today. Unlike how Conservatives felt about Obama, Liberals hate Trump before he has even started his term in office.

My friends, I truly believe that the hate coming out of ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, and MSNBC has inspired others to assassinate Donald Trump. Yes, I believe that the Left is already coaxing their followers to actually kill President Donald J. Trump right now.

Granted that this is just my opinion, but I see a segment of our population attempting to persuade their followers to assassinate a sitting president.

Of course, while the Liberal media hated George W. Bush viscerally. Yes, deep seated and emotionally without justification or cause. And while there were protests signs calling for the assassination of George W. Bush, I don't remember any network such as those which I've mentioned actually trying to manipulate the emotions of their followers to get someone to kill Bush like they are doing right now against Donald Trump.

Has the Liberal mainstream media been trying to demonize Donald Trump? Fact is the Democrat controlled mainstream media painted a target on Trump's back more than a year ago when they started comparing him to Adolf Hitler.

They give commentary, their opinions, which have consisted of constantly calling Trump "Hitler" and describing him as an evil that must be stopped by any way possible. Even on the day of his inauguration, Christ Matthews called his speech "Hitlerian."

And yes, they have spread FAKE NEWS to discredit him, brought fourth women to make unsubstantiated accusations only to find out that those women worked for the Clintons, and have over and over again made incendiary false claims to incite someone to try to kill Trump. I believe that that's the goal of Democrats.

Since they could not beat him in the election, I believe that they now want to resort to assassination as a way to eliminate him. They see this as a way to stop his efforts to make our nation great again.

Are Democrats trying to manipulate their followers so that one will assassinate President Trump? I believe they are. And friends, right or wrong, that's what I see them doing. That's what I see as their intent.

Democrats know that they can influence the thinking of their followers. They know that many of their followers don't think for themselves. They know their people run on emotion and not logic or intelligence. The rioting, the burning of cars, the looting, the vandalism all proves that they are an emotional group

Liberals are indoctrinated to believe that a weak mind is too easy to manipulate. They understand the old Communist tactic of repeating lies over and over again until people believe them. And really, all it takes is one to believe the FAKE NEWS, the lies, coming out of the Liberal media. If they can manipulate just one, then the Liberals in the mainstream media will get what they want.

Don't think it only takes one? 

Remember the gay Democrat man who accosted and harassed Ivanka Trump who was with her children on a Jet Blue flight. Because she did not have security with her, it was fortunate for her that that out of control Liberal didn't physically attack her or her children.

And how about this from June of last year when a 20 year old British man attempted to assassinate Donald Trump at a Las Vegas campaign rally. 

According to the official criminal complaint, Michael Steven Sandford, a Brit who entered the United States illegally, overstayed his Visa, and had "knowingly attempted to engage in an act of physical violence against Donald J. Trump in the Mystery Theatre in the Treasure Island Casino, Las Vegas, Nevada, a building where Donald J. Trump was receiving protection from the U.S. Secret Service."

The Associated Press reported at the time: 

A British man arrested at a weekend Donald Trump rally in Las Vegas tried to grab a police officer’s gun so he could kill the presidential candidate after planning an assassination for about a year, according to authorities.

U.S. Secret Service agents said Michael Steven Sandford approached a Las Vegas police officer at the campaign stop to say he wanted Trump’s autograph, but that he then tried to take the weapon.


The criminal complaint said Sandford was arrested after grabbing the handle of an officer’s gun while trying to remove it from a holster.

Sanford told authorities that he went to the Battlefield Vegas shooting range the day before the rally and fired 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol to learn how to use it. Police detectives who visited the range spoke with an employee who confirmed that he provided Sandford shooting lessons, according to the complaint signed by Secret Service Special Agent Joseph Hall.



Wonder what made him do such a thing?

Wonder what made him decide to come to America and try to kill Donald Trump? I believe it's a safe bet to believe that it was the constant hate speech coming out of the Liberal media being directed at Donald Trump.

I believe if another assassination is attempted on now President Trump, I will certainly blame the Liberal media for their complicity in that murder. Of course later when questioned about their lack of ethics, their yellow journalism, about the fact that they may have had a hand in what was done? I can see them say they have the right to their venomous speech because of the First Amendment and their right to Free Speech.

Most likely they will conveniently not remember that no one has the right to incite a panic or attempt to create injury upon another by yelling "Fire" in a theater. Yes, just the same as no one has the right to vandalize and loot and set fires in the name of free speech. Fact is even free speech has it's limits.

So do I think the Liberal media will tone it down? I certainly don't see that happening!

I've never made a secret that I'm a Conservative who supports President Trump. I pray for his safety and security. I really believe there are Democrats who want to see him assassinated.

Because I believe that to be the case, my hope and prayer for the future is that President Trump has enough security to stop Liberals from getting what they want. Yes indeed, while I truly believe that Democrat want to see him killed, I will continue to pray for President Trump's safety and security. I will hope and pray that Democrats are not successful in getting what they want.
And yes, that's just the way I see things.

Tom Correa


Sunday, January 22, 2017

Obama Is No Longer The President

One cold day in late January, 2017, an old Veteran approaches the White House from across Pennsylvania Avenue where he’d been sitting on a park bench.

He speaks to a U.S. Marine standing guard and says, "I would like to go in and meet with President Obama."

The Marine looks at the old Veteran and says, "Sir, Mr. Obama is no longer President and no longer resides here. President Donald Trump is now the President and the occupant of the White House."

The old man says, "Okay, thanks" and walks away.

The following day the same old Veteran approaches the White House and says to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Obama."

The Marine again tells the old Veteran, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Obama is no longer President and no longer resides here. President Donald Trump is now our President and the occupant of the White House."

The man thanks him and again just walks away.

The third day the same old Veteran approaches the White House and speaks to the very same U.S. Marine, saying, "I would like to go in and meet with President Obama."

The young Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looks at the old Veteran and says, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Obama. I've told you already that Mr. Obama is no longer the President and no longer resides here. Donald Trump is now our President. President Trump is now the occupant of the White House. Don't you understand?"

The old Veteran looks at the Marine, smiles and says, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it."

The Marine snaps to attention, salutes, smiles and says, "See you tomorrow Sir!"



Friday, January 20, 2017

Johnny Ringo & The Mason County War


A reader wrote to ask me if Johnny Ringo was a real person or just some mythical character out of some writer's imagination? 

Let me start this by saying that Johnny Ringo's grave is found with an Arizona State Historical Landmark marker along the West Turkey Creek right there in Arizona. And no, he's not buried in Boothill Cemetery in Tombstone as some think.  

On July 14th, 1882, the now famous Johnny Ringo was found dead at the base of a large tree along the West Turkey Creek Valley in Cochise County, Arizona. He had a bullet hole in his right temple.  

On May 3rd, 1850, in Greensfork, Indiana, he was born John Peters Ringo. Some writers say their family surname was "Ringgold" because it was a name he is believed to have used upon being arrested on more than one occasion. But frankly, I haven't been able to verify where "Ringgold" came from. 

He was believed to have died on July 13th, 1882, at the age of 32, the day before he was found dead. His years as a known outlaw were between 1875 and 1882. Yes, a mere 7 years or so. 

We know he was born in Indiana. We also know his family moved to Liberty, Missouri, in 1856. We also know that he became a cousin of the outlaw Younger brothers through marriage when his aunt Augusta Peters Inskip married Coleman P. Younger, who was the uncle of the outlaws.

We know that in 1858, his family moved to Gallatin, Missouri where they rented property from the father of John W. Sheets, who coincidentally became the first "official" victim of the James-Younger gang when they robbed the Daviess County Savings & Loan Association in 1869.

We also know that on July 30th, 1864, while his family was in Wyoming in route to California, his father Martin Ringo shot himself accidentally. The wound killed him instantly. The story on that is that his father was pulling the shotgun to him by the barrel when it accidentally discharged with a full charge to his face.

A letter sent back to Liberty, Missouri, described the terrible accident. The letter was later published in the Liberty Tribune

"Just after daylight on the morning of the 30th July Mr. Ringo stepped outside of the wagons, as I suppose for the purpose of looking around to see if Indians were in sight, and his shotgun went off accidently in his own hands, the load entering his right eye and coming out at the top of his head. At the report of his gun I saw his hat blow up twenty feet in the air, and his brains were scattered in all directions. I never saw a more heart-rendering sight; and to see the distress and agony of his wife and children was painful in the extreme. . . ."

It is said that his family buried Martin on a hillside alongside the trail before moving on to settle in San Jose, California. We know that the Ringo, or as some assert was actually "Ringgold", arrived in San Jose, California, and made a permanent home there.

As a teenager, Johnny was in trouble with the local law as a petty criminal. Some say he was an adolescent drunk and juvenile delinquent. But John Ringo was listed in the 1870 San Jose City Directory as living with his family and working as a farmer, and he was also listed in the Federal government California Census for 1870. So all in all, we know he did not leave San Jose before 1870.

His sisters later recalled that he left San Jose with a harvesting outfit in early 1871. Where Ringo went from there is anyone's guess, but he was in Burnet, Texas, by 1874.

We know this because that was the first mention of John Ringo in a shooting incident. On December 25th, 1874, yes, on Christmas Day, he was seen shooting his pistol in a public square and charges were filed against him.

In April of 1875, the first known criminal indictment against John Ringo was filed for the use of a firearm in the public square and disturbing the peace. On April 14th, an arrest warrant was issued for John Ringo. He was taken into custody and then released on bond. He was ordered to appear in court in July to answer the charge against him. He would be arrested on this by the end of the year.

Ringo then migrated to Mason County, Texas, where he befriended an ex-Texas Ranger named Scott Cooley. Cooley was said to be the adopted son of a local rancher by the name of Tim Williamson.

Trouble started when two American rustlers, Elijah and Pete Backus, were dragged from the Mason jail and lynched by a predominantly German mob. But according to records, what became known locally as the "Hoodoo War" was officially called the "Mason County War," and it began on May 13th, 1875, when Tim Williamson was arrested then murdered by a hostile mob headed by a German farmer named Peter Bader.

Tim Williamson was brutally murdered by a mob while he was being escorted to the town of Mason by Deputy Sheriff John Wohrle. When attacked, Williamson pleaded but deputy Wohrle refused to aid Williamson. Then when Williamson attempted to escape as the mob descended on him, believe it or not, deputy Wohrle shot his horse from under him. This left him at the mercy of the mob which killed him.

The San Antonio Herald reported the following:

"The Day the news of Williamson's murder came to the Ranger camp, to which force Cooley at one time belonged, he sat down and cried for grief for the loss of one he said was his best friend in the world and declared then that he would have revenge."

Scott Cooley rode into Mason and discretely learned the names of the men who were responsible for his adopted father's death. After that Cooley and a bunch of his friends, which of course included Johnny Ringo, conducted what was called a "terror campaign" against their rivals.

Cooley's first act of vengeance was to kill deputy Worhle because he was the man that had arrested Williamson and allowed him to be killed. It is said that Cooley retaliated by killing the local German ex-deputy sheriff John Worhle on August 10th.

Scott Cooley is said to have shot Worley, scalped him, and then threw his body down a well. So yes, when they say Cooley already had a reputation as a dangerous man, and was respected as a hard as nails Texas Ranger, they weren't just kidding.

After Cooley supporter Moses Baird was killed, that's when Johnny Ringo supposedly committed his first and only known murder. That was on September 25th, when he and another killed the man who led Baird into the ambush. His name was James Cheyney.

The story goes that Ringo and a cohort by the name of Bill Williams rode up in front of the house of James Cheyney, Cheyney came out unarmed and invited both of them to come inside. He then turned and began washing his face in a wash bowl on his porch. Ringo and Williams shot and killed him right there with Cheyney's face in his wash bowl. No, not exactly what you'd call a gunfight..

They then rode to the house of Dave Doole, another man believed responsible for the Moses Baird ambush, and called him outside to do the same to him. But when they saw Dave Doole come out with a gun, they fled back into town.

If folks today think that it's only today that a gun can be a deterrent to men wanting to do someone harm, take note of what took place that night in 1875. When the two killers wanted to carry out their heinous crime, they were deterred from following up on their plans when they saw their prospective victim was armed and ready.

On September 29th, just four days following the killing of Cheyney, Scott Cooley, John Baird, and several others, ambushed Dan Hoerster, Peter Jordan, and Henry Plueneke as they rode down the street in Mason. Hoerster was hit by four bullets and killed instantly. It is said that Scott Cooley mistook Charley Bader for his brother Pete and killed him.

And while Ringo bragged that he was in on those murders, there is no record of Ringo being involved in those killings. Fact is, the now famous Johnny Ringo was known to be involved in only one murder. That's it, just one and it was an ambush of James Cheyney who wasn't even looking at him when he and a cohort killed him. 

In December, John Ringo was arrested based on the disturbing the peace indictment, which was filed in April by the Burnet County Sheriff. 

On December 6th, 1875, after posting a $150 bond, Ringo was released from the jail. His sureties were backers of their side in the Mason County War, among them were J. R. Baird and George Gladden. Both of these men were active participants in the Hoodoo War. 

By the end of December, John Ringo and Scott Cooley were arrested for threatening the lives of the Burnet County Sheriff and his deputy. Both men were jailed in Burnet, Texas, by Sheriff Strickland. 

Having them in jail most have felt like sitting on a keg of dynamite with any minute it would explode. And yes, it is said that their arrest caused serious concern regarding their friends willingness to try to bust them out of the Burnet jail. 

To prevent any attempt to free the men, the lawmen there decided to take the men to Austin where the jail was said to be harder to break out of. And yes, it's said that while en route to Austin, all concerned received a great deal of attention in the newspapers. 

Some say that Johnny Ringo's name being publicly reported in newspapers in the area as "Ringgold" lent to the confusion over his true name. Others say he gave the Ringgold when he was arrested. 

The news that Ringo and Cooley had been arrested was reported throughout Texas. The two men were held in the Travis County jail until the end of January of 1876, when they were then brought by ten men to Burnet to appear before the grand jury there.

On February 1st, 1876, the two notorious Mason County gunman were indicted for threatening the County Sheriff and his Deputy. Two days later, on February 3, 1876, Ringo and Cooley made an application for a change in venue to have their court case transferred to another county. After pleading not guilty, their case was transferred to the new venue of Lampasas County. 

During the trial Ringo was publicly linked to the death of Deputy John Wohrle of Mason County, though it was widely known that he was not involved in that killing. And yes, for some reason, like say a desire to simply get rid of the hard case, that fact really didn't matter to the jury.

So by March of 1876, John Ringo was tried and convicted in Lampasas County for threatening the sheriff and his deputy. An appeal of the conviction was filed and the conviction was later reversed. The case was not scheduled to be heard again until 1877. In the meanwhile, Ringo was to remain in custody.

Since that didn't sit right with their friends, in May of 1876, several men freed Cooley and Ringo from the Lampasas jail. And yes, as usual, news of their escape spread quickly in the Texas newspapers. 

Though many considered the Mason County War over, antagonisms of one sort or another continued for several years in the area. By June of 1876, Scott Cooley was reported to have died. And over the next several months, newspapers published several reports about John Ringo. While most were yarns at best, they had established quite a notorious reputation for him.

On October 31th, 1876, the Texas Rangers and a party led by the Llano sheriff, captured John Ringo and George Gladdin. Both men were brought to Austin to be placed in the Travis County jail. Their being escorted into town caused a great deal of excitement. 

The Austin Statesman wrote the following:

"On Sunday, three desperadoes, men who have been a terror in the counties of Mason, Llano, Burnet, Lampasas, etc, were brought to Austin and lodged in the new jail . . . John Ringo is the party taken from the Lampasas jail last May by about forty men. He has been convicted of threatening the life of Sheriff J. J. Strickland, of Burnet, and was regarded as one of the most desperate men in the frontier counties. . . . "

Ringo remained at the Travis County jail in Austin. And of course this story would not be complete without the story that one of Ringo's cellmates was the known killer John Wesley Hardin, but I can't find anything to confirm that. 

While Ringo was in the Travis County jail, his conviction for threatening the Burnet Sheriff and his deputy in December 1875, was reversed by the appellate court. But also at that time while in the Travis County Jail, he was indicted by the Mason County Grand Jury in November of 1876 for killing James Cheyney. The original indictment was destroyed by a fire. But on May 18th, 1877, a substitute indictment against Ringo was filed. 

So on October 29th, 1877, an arrest warrant was issued against Ringo in Mason County and the sheriff took Ringo into custody on November 1st, 1877. He was then transported to Mason and held in the jail until his court date on November 12th. Ringo's case was continued and on November 19th, seven Texas Rangers transported him back to the Travis County jail. While en route to Austin, it appears that Ringo was taken to Llano county in November of 1877.

In December 1877, Ringo's attorney filed a writ of Habeas Corpus and demanded that a bond be set for his client. Ringo was then brought back to Mason, and on December 20th, 1877, Ringo was released on a $2500 bond with an order to appear before the court on May 10th, 1878.

Well, before May, while on bond, on February 4th, 1878, Ringo was arrested by five Texas Rangers in Junction City, Texas for disturbing the peace. He was released after giving a bond. 

On April 18, 1878, Ringo appeared in Mason and filed a sworn affidavit that several men were needed as witnesses in his case. On May 15th, 1878, the District Attorney for Mason County requested that the case against John Ringo for the murder of James Cheyney be dismissed because "testimony cannot be procured to make out the case." 

Out of fear, no witnesses were willing to come forward to testify against the now infamous Johnny Ringo. And yes, after the murder charge against him was dismissed, he settled at Loyal Valley, Mason County. 

And believe it or not, in November of 1878, infamous Johnny Ringo was elected Constable for Precinct#4 at Loyal Valley. And no, I cannot find whether he actually ever took the position or not because by December of 1878, he left Texas and headed to New Mexico. 

By December of 1879, the now infamous gunman Johnny Ringo was known to be in Arizona. 

So if you've ever wondered where Johnny Ringo's reputation came from, the Mason County War is where. Between of his actions and how the newspapers built him up to be really more than he was, he became quite the notorious gunman in the Southwest.

In my next article, I'll talk about his life in Arizona.

Tom Correa


Wednesday, January 18, 2017

We Are Not A Socialist Democracy

By Terry McGahey
Associate Writer / Historian

In the past several years I have heard many statements made by the progressive left and others such as some of the Bernie Sanders followers, referring to our country's political system as a "socialist democracy". This is simply not true!

Even though we may have some socialist programs, such as welfare and others, we are not a socialist run country. Our political system is a republic, not a democracy, and surely not a socialist system.

Even though a republic and a democracy system are very much alike, there is one major difference between those two and the socialist system of government. In a republic or democracy system, there are laws which limit the governments power, in contrast in the socialist system there are no laws prohibiting such.

In other words, the socialist system of government is the law and this puts that system only one small step away from becoming a communist system of government.

As Roger Baldwin, the founder of the ACLU and self proclaimed communist had stated in 1920, "the end goal of socialism is communism."

It's my opinion that socialism and democracy, by the very interpretation of the two are like apples and oranges and the two do not mix, period! Sooner or later one has to overtake the other.

The social democracy ideals began as an ideology that advocated an evolutionary and peaceful transition from capitalism to socialism using political processes in contrast to the revolutionary approach to transition associated with Orthodox Marxism.

In Western Europe, they rejected this Stalinist model by not committing to either and took an alternate path to socialism or to a compromise between capitalism and socialism. Countries which refer to themselves as "social democracies" are, Bangladesh, India, North Korea, Sri Lanka, and Tanzania.

Below are the rates of poverty within those countries as opposed to the United States:

1. Bangladesh has a rate of poverty at 32 percent.
2. India's rate is 29.5 percent.
3. North Korea rate of poverty is at half of their 24 million people or approximately 50 percent.
4. Sri Lanka's rate is at 23 percent.
5. Tanzania has a rate of 33.3 percent.

The poverty rate here in the United States of America stands at 14.8 percent so why anyone would want to live under a socialist democracy is beyond me. The numbers don't lie. And as we crawl out of the major recession, which we have been mired in for the past many years. the poverty rate here in the United States will drop even further. The difference is the countries listed above are not as likely to do so. Also, below are the examples of the human rights records of these so-called "socialist democracies."

In Bangladesh such human rights offences are, torture, persecution of minority communities, attacks against Hindus, attacks against atheists, attacks against Santels, and control of many other aspects of life through the use of intimidation.

In India, from 2002 through 2008, over four people per day died while in police custody with hundreds of these deaths due to police torture. India has the highest number of people living in conditions of slavery which is 18.3 million times more than the next highest nation. Also in India, there are about 12.6 million children under the age of 14 involved in hazardous occupations, and human trafficking is an 8 million dollar illegal business.

North Korea remains among the worlds most repressive countries and all basic freedoms are severely restricted. North Korea practices extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, and forced abortions as well as other sexual violence against it's people.

In Shi Lanka, Amnesty International stated that since 2006 there has been an escalating amount of political killings, child recruitment, and abductions. There is also concerns with violence against women, several reports of torture while in police custody, and state sponsored disappearances and murders.

Tanzania has a forced labor program which allows the government to compel individuals and groups to forcibly work for purposes of economical development, and trafficking of persons. It's also a source and destination country for men, women, and children subjected to trafficking, specifically under conditions of forced labor and or prostitution.  In Tanzania, there are also uses of excessive force, torture, arbitrary arrests, and corruption throughout the country.

The ideals of a socialist democracy government in the minds of many within our country are not as they perceive it to be. As I stated earlier in this article, the two types of governing ideals of socialism and a democracy are like apples and oranges and mix about as well as oil and water. It would only be a matter of time until one would have to overtake the other.

Socialists and Communists have been trying to gain a foothold within our country for years now and by using this so-called idea of a socialist democracy, or as others like to use the term, progressives, they believe their agendas will gain more steam then by using the term socialist which seems to be working, especially within our schools and colleges among our young people.

Again, as I have written above, Roger Baldwin, the founder of the ACLU stated, "The end goal of socialism is communism."



Sunday, January 15, 2017

Dudes In The Old West

Dear Friends,

A reader recently wrote to ask why the word "dude" is used derogatorily in Western movies? He said he was a watching an old Western on television and every time someone said "dude," it was said "with total disdain."

The word "dude" is sort of a sore spot with me. Frankly, I hate the word. I truly hate it. My hating the word "dude" goes back to when I first came to California while a teenager. It didn't take me to long to see that a lot of California people like calling others "dude."

As soon as I arrived from Hawaii, I wanted a job. As a result, I found a job with Hayward Area Recreation Department cleaning a couple of parks on the weekends. Yes, I was the kid who picked up after the Hippies who said they loved the earth yet trashed the parks. Yes, the same Hippies that bathed their kids in the park's toilets.  

It was there in 1972 that I watched drugged out "wasted" Hippies and other druggies interact with each other and beg for change. So for me, the term "dude" always reminds me of some space-case on drugs panhandling and begging, as in, "Hey Dude, got any change man. I want to score a joint dude."

In the early 1960s, "dude" became prominent in what was called the Southern California surfer culture. Also in the 1960s, the term "dude" started to evolve to mean just about any male person. It was a meaning that slipped into mainstream American slang in the 1970s. The term "dude" was widespread by the late-1970s.

The word "dude" is a word used in American slang for just about anyone these days. And yes, sorry to say, there are those people out there who believe the word "dude" applies to women as well as men. And today, well the word "dude" is also used informally to address just about anyone who someone doesn't know.

I remember when I was in the security business, a young man came up to me and said, "Hey dude, some dude is stealing my car. What are you going to do to stop him dude?"

My first thought was, "Dude huh?" My next response was, "Dude, like nothing dude, go call a cop!"

The word "dude" is actually an old word, recognized by multiple generations as a term used for a well-dressed man who is unfamiliar with rural life, someone from the city who is in the country. Yes, the word was used to refer to Easterners. It was a term used in reference to a man with "store bought clothes" and citified ways.

Some say the word "dude" may have derived from the Spanish phrase "lo dudo" meaning "doubtful".  Some say the word may have derived from the Scottish term for clothes, "duddies." This may be true as the term "dude" was first used in print in 1876, in Putnam's Magazine, to mock how a woman was dressed as a man who was referred to as a "dude".

Many years ago, Western movies and television writers did get it right when they had actors use "dude" derogatorily. It really was said "with total disdain" back in the Old West, usually by cowboys and frontiersmen who saw "dudes" as being a lot less than enviable.

In the Old West, the word was used by cowboys to unfavorably refer to city dwellers or even a townie. It was also a term for a "sharpie" -- a dishonest and cunning person, a con artist, a cheat.

Of course from the 1870s all the way up to the 1950s, a "dude" primarily meant a person who dressed like a city boy, a sort of a dandy, a "citified" male, a person who was visiting rural America and stuck out like a sore thumb. Yes, a city slicker!

In the popular press of the 1880s and 1890s, "dude" was a new word for "dandy" which of course meant an extremely well-dressed citified male.  A "dandy" was a man who paid particular importance to how his appearance. He was seen as man who was excessively vain. While some say he was concerned about his dress, appearance, and his manners, many out West referred to Eastern snobs as "dudes".

And yes, some back in the Old West thought gamblers and traveling salesmen known as "drummers," bankers, and others who dressed in sack suits and looked "pretty", were dandies or dudes. Believe it or not, there were a lot of people who saw gamblers like Luke Short, Bat Masterson, the Earp brothers, as dudes because of their "soft" occupations. the way they dressed, and the con men and criminal class that they associated with.

And yes, believe it or not, if shown the picture below most would have thought that the members of the Wild Bunch dressed like "dudes".


Yes, if you didn't know these guys were outlaws, back in the Old West you'd probably think they were just "dudes" from a city back East.

While cowboys in the 1870 and 1880s were known to like bright colorful shirts and did in fact dress to impress young women, a cowboy was definitely not a dude. A cowboy dressed his best to impress the ladies when going to town or a social, his work clothes when dealing with horses, cattle, dust, dirt, sweat, and hard work was not exactly his "Sunday best." No, he was no dude.

As for as a cowboy or farmer getting into his "Sunday best," that meant he was dressed in the best clothing that he had. And yes, getting dressed in fancy clothes also meant getting "all duded up". Yes, it was a version of the word "dude" that's still in use occasionally in American slang today.

But all in all, the word "dude" was used to refer to Easterners and referred to a man with "store bought clothes". And yes, the word was used by cowboys to unfavorably refer to the city dwellers.

In The Home and Farm Manual (1883), author Jonathan Periam used the term "dude" several times to denote "an ill-bred and ignorant, but ostentatious, man from the city." Most cowboys of the time would have agreed with that.

The implication of an individual who is unfamiliar with the demands of life outside of urban settings gave rise to the definition of dude as a city slicker, or an "Easterner" who is in the West. Because "dude" was also used by ranch-and-homestead-bound settlers of the American Old West to describe the wealthy men of the expansion of the United States during the 19th century, the word "dude" also became synonymous with someone coming West for enjoyment and fun instead of hard work.

This use is reflected in the term "Dude ranch," which of course is a "guest ranch" that caters to folks from the cities who seek more rural relaxation and short lived country experiences. Yes, country experiences that they can take back to the city and brag to their friends about.

Dude ranches began to appear in the American West in the early 20th century. They were for wealthy Easterners who came to experience the "cowboy life."

In the 19th and early 20th century, it was very common for working ranches to take in guests from the East during the "tourist season" as a way to supplement their income. In those days those ranches were still raising and slaughtering cattle or sheep as their primary business. With just a little hospitality, a dude came away with all sorts of adventures to tell the folks back in the city.

So successful were dude ranches in America that in 1926 the Dude Ranchers’ Association (DRA) was created. And since then, yes there are more Dude Ranches, also renamed Guest Ranches, than ever before. And yes, today, as amazing as it sounds, dudes and "dudettes" can experience the West by visiting Dude Ranches and actually paying those places to do the work of ranch hands and live in a sparsely furnished bunkhouse. Imagine that.

While the term "dude" still mean "city-slicker" to some, it shouldn't be mistaken with a "Greenhorn" or "Tenderfoot." These terms are apples and oranges. They are not the same.

It is commonly accepted that most "dudes" believe themselves smarter and more sophisticated than cowboys, farmers, and rural folks. They see cowboys and farmers as inferior to them on the social ladder and would never ever think of becoming one of them. They loath rural Americans and see many of us as "hicks." And yes, this was especially true in the late-1800s.

Back in the early to mid-1800s, a "tenderfoot" was originally a cattleman's name for an imported cow. Later it became the name for people new to ranches and the country life. Same as with the term "pilgrim". All in all, a "tenderfoot" is a newcomer, a novice, especially a person unaccustomed to the hardships of pioneer life. Some called him a Monkey-Ward cowboy, a mail-order cowboy, a flat-heeled puncher, among other things one would call a wannabe-cowboy.

There is not much difference between a "tenderfoot" or a "greenhorn." These are people new to rural life, especially that of the cowboy life. But, even though that's the case, what makes them polar opposites of dudes is that they do have a desire to assimilate.

A "greenhorn" is usually inexperienced, maybe a little naive, mostly a newcomer to cowboy work, a person who makes a lot of mistakes and does things wrong, someone who is unacquainted with local manners and customs of rural America and ranch life. But like the "tenderfoot," they also want to be a part of the community or be good at their job.

My grandpa once told me, "Every cowboy starts out a greenhorn in some way simply because he doesn't have the experience yet. But even with experience, though not a greenhorn anymore, a good cowboy, a good hand, never stops learning."

Cowboys once saw dudes as city slickers who think they know it all and are never open to learning what others can teach them. And that's especially true since many a dude visiting the Old West arrived with the attitude that "there's nothing to be learned from poor farmers and uneducated cowboys."

That may be why many in the Old West believed that a visiting dude really didn't care to be a part of things. It may be because dudes really saw themselves above others, snobs who saw country folks as less then them. And there stands the difference between a greenhorn who has the desire to be a cowboy and that of a dude who doesn't.

Where a greenhorn will one day be a cowboy if he keeps at it, a dude is just a dude and will always be a dude from the city.

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

Tom Correa


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Old West - Interesting Facts - Part 6

There were four Shield Brothers from Texas. They served in the Civil War on the side of the Confederacy. They were considered "Texas Giants" because they were all over 7 feet tall.

Supposedly the habit of spreading sawdust on saloon floors started in Deadwood, South Dakota.

The story goes that this was done because of the amount of gold dust that would fall on the floor. The sawdust was used to hide the fallen gold dust. At the end of each night, it and was swept up and the gold dust was separated.

Hilario Hidalgo and Francisco Renteria were hanged on July 31, 1903, at the Yavapai County Courthouse in Prescott, Arizona.

The Los Angeles Times reported the hanging as follows: During the reading of their death warrant one of the condemned cried out — “I have heard that repeated so often that if it was a song I would sing it to you,” — and with “perfect nerve” checked out, calling only “Adios! Adios!” from the scaffold. 

It was the last hanging in Prescott, Arizona.

James Black was an Arkansas blacksmith and the creator of the original Bowie knife designed by Jim Bowie. Bowie was already famous for knife-fighting from his 1827 sandbar duel. But his killing of three assassins in Texas and his death at the Battle of the Alamo made him, and the blacksmith's knife, legends.

James Black's knives were known to be exceedingly tough yet flexible. Black kept his methods for creating the knife very secret and did all of his work behind a leather curtain.


The skeletons of Buffalo were strewn across the Great Plains after the mass buffalo hunts between 1870 and 1883. Eastern firms bought them up, gathered them, and use them the production of fertilizer and bone china. "Bone pickers” earned eight dollars a ton for the bones.

The famous Reno Gang's claim to fame is that they are responsible for the first American train robbery. They are the first to rob a moving train and to net nearly $13,000 for their trouble. Some sources credit the Reno Gang for inspiring other train robbers such as the James Gang and others.

And yes, America’s first train robbery took place on October 6, 1855 in Jackson County, Indiana, and not in the West as some think. The two bandits, John and Simeon Reno robbed the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad.
During the Civil War, Frank and John Reno were Union Army "bounty jumpers." Those were Army soldier who signed up for the enlistment fee but then disappeared only to re-enlist elsewhere under a different name to collect a new fee. Most "bounty jumpers" tried it more than once.

Of course they were also considered Union deserters. There are questions if Reno brother Simeon was a bounty jumper. There is proof that he was definitely was a deserter. William Reno apparently deserted for a brief enough time to return and be granted an honorable discharge from the Union Army. He is the only Reno brother to have the distinction of having an honorable discharge.

Estimates of how many people lived in North America before the arrival of the European explorers vary from 8.4 million to 112 million. This population was divided into about 240 tribal groupings speaking an estimated 300 different languages.

Born in California in 1859, Charlie Meadows is often called "Arizona Charlie" because he started calling himself that after his family moved there when he was a teen. He wore his hair long for a theatrical effect, and he claimed to be the best sharpshooter in the West.

Of course, if he were a good shot, it is surprising that Bill Cody never used him as one instead of as a wrangler in his Wild West Show.

Yes, in reality, he was just one of the many cowboys hired on by Bill Cody for his Wild West Show. One report that I read said that Meadows found dressing up as an extra exciting.

In fact, he loved acting so much that he opened up his own traveling Wild West Show and billed himself as the "King of the Cowboys". That was before going to Alaska during the gold rush there. There he made enough money to built a theater to preform rope tricks and hire entertainers. But as fate had it, he finally went bust in a card game.

The Oregon Trail, from Independence, Missouri to Fort Vancouver, Washington measured 2,020 miles. An estimated 350,000 emigrants took the Oregon Trail. Out if the those, 1 out of 17 would not survive the trip. The most common cause of death was cholera.


The cowgirl above is Vera McGinnis. She was the first cowgirl to wear pants in the rodeo arena. That took place in 1918. Vera was a World Champion Rodeo Trick Rider and Rodeo Relay Rider.

In late 1849, the famous Kit Carson led the pursuit of a band of Jicarilla Apache who had kidnapped Mrs. J. M. White and her child from an emigrant caravan. The story goes that Carson and a company of Taos soldiers tracked down and killed the Apache, but they were too late to save Mrs. White.

She was found with an arrow through her heart. Along with Mrs. White, Carson's group discovered a Dime Novel lying near her body. The Dime Novel featured Kit Carson as the hero of a story where he single-handedly fought off eight Indians.

During his life Wyatt Earp operated saloon in Nome, Alaska. In the late 1890’s U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe slapped an intoxicated Earp and took his gun away after Wyatt threatened to demonstrate how guns were handled "down Arizona way." This is just proof that the myth that Wyatt Earp didn't drink is just a myth.

Last but not least, Thomas "Black Jack" Ketchum holds the dubious distinction of being the only person ever put to death in the New Mexico Territory for the offense of "felonious assault upon a railway train".

And there you have it.

Tom Correa

Monday, January 9, 2017

Life For Cowboys In 1800s America


Dear Friends,

We all know the picture of the cowboy moving cattle from Texas to the cow towns, and once there getting drunk, then being thrown in jail after getting pistol whipped, or "buffaloed", by a city lawmen like Wyatt Earp. And yes, we can thank Hollywood for that image. After all, movies are the medium which spread such notions of what a cowboy was in the 1800s. 

Of course, in most movies cowboys were made to look like young uncouth drunks who were somehow always sitting in on a card game in town. And yes, somehow screen writers almost always portrayed cowboy behavior as almost always lacking good manners, never good at a fight, in over their heads in trouble, as mouthy rowdies just looking for trouble.  

Too bad that's the picture that Hollywood has implanted in the minds of Americans. Too bad cowboys were always painted in ways that they weren't.

As with the cowboys who I was brought up with, I learned early that like Fact is for cowboys in the 1800s, a cowboy’s life was full of hard work, low pay, and very little sleep. And yes, that as always been especially true around roundup time and gatherings. 

As for those few years when the historic cattle drives from Texas moves cows up the trail, hard work was all there was on a trail drive. A drive from Texas to Montana could take up to five months. Cowboys driving cattle to market could expect to make between $25 and $40 per month. The Trail Boss might make as much as $125 per month.

For cowboys on the trail, they moved cattle herds an average of 12 miles a day. Yes, 10 miles a day was the norm but on some days cattle would be pushed to 14 miles depending on water and grazing. And yes, the Trail Boss needed to be tough to be able to deal with cowboys and cattle just so there was no loss of human life or livestock. 

Also, we know that the cattle were branded so the owner could distinguish his steer from the rest. But what surprise you is that several times per trail drive, cowboys actually conducted roundups so that the cattle would be sorted and counted again. 

One of the greatest fears along the trail was stampeding cattle. Cowboys found that the easiest way to contain a stampede was to get the cattle to run in a circle. This would eventually tire them out.

And yes, because of the hard work, a cowboy during the 1800s was a lot like a hand today in that he would go to bed early and he would rise before the sun. If he was with a big outfit then their cook would be up before him to have chuck ready. But if he were with a small outfit of only a couple or more hands, then either he or one of the others would make up a quick breakfast of bacon, beans, bread, and coffee. No, not all ranches had the luxury of having a full time cook hired on. 

On more remote ranches, it's said the cook shack door was usually left unlocked. This was so a cowboy passing by could help himself to a meal in return for performing a few odd jobs such as mending fences, repairing a door or window or something that may need attention around the place, maybe shoeing a horse or two, or maybe chopping wood.

Once a cowboy was out and going, well that's where a working ranch cowboy in the 1800s would differ from a cowboy on the cattle drives. A cowboy on a drive was in the saddle about 18 hours day. He might have caught a few hours sleep on his bedroll under the stars, but if it was his night to tend the herd then he knew that sleep would have to wait.

Because ranch work was left to the "peons", Californio vaquero of the late-1700s and early to mid-1800s didn't do almost any ranch work other than herding and working with horses. "Peons" were Spanish laborers, unskilled farm workers, and those of low rank. Yes, in Old California there was a class system that enabled vaqueros to assume a higher status. 


That's not the case for American cowboys. As for ranch cowboys, sure they spent time in the saddle, sure they roped, sure they branded and castrated cattle, sure they culled out the herd, and sure they did all the things that we know as the duties of a cowboy. But ranch hands were also used for other things no different than today. They did work such as mending corrals and fixing fences, tending to problems with water meant for the herd, constructing barns, sheds, and even homes, fixing wagons, and shoeing their own horses. Yes, ranch hands, like today, had to be a jack-of-all-trades.

Of course back in the 1800s, cowboys came from many walks of life. Very often they were former soldiers and civil war veterans who decided to stay out West. Many were former or retired lawmen, some were outlaws, and even bandits and gunslingers who wanted a new start. 

As we know, predecessors of the Western cowboy date back to colonial times. History tells us that there were cowboys in Florida, Georgia and Alabama, and cattle associations, long before there were ever Great Plains cowboys. We know that it was in Florida that much of the protocol involving branding evolved. 

Both Eastern and Western cowboys had a lot in common, mostly that they were a hard men who worked hard. As with getting any group a men together and putting them together, there are many differing opinions and often not all get along with each other. Diaries show that fights among cowboys did occur from time to time. While camaraderie was present, it wasn't always as harmonious as one would think by what we see in movies.

At a ranch, workdays were just as long as those on the trail drives. And yes, some records say that the living conditions were worse than out on the range. 

We know this because cowboys and ranch hands usually had to share a small bunkhouse, which were known to leak when it rained and hot as hell during the summer. They were also said to be icy cold in winter. The beds were said to be plagued with lice, and sanitation was horrible.


The 1890 photograph above is of three working cowboys from Yankon, South Dakota. This is a picture of common ranch cowboys of the time.

The photograph above is special and unusual at the same time. It is special because men during that time were not usually photographed in their work clothes in a studio setting. Photography was actually pretty expensive and people tended to wear their Sunday best, or the found the flashiest gear they could find from either a friend or props from that the photographer may have on hand.

Yes, the cowboy life in the 1800s was far from what the movies depict. For one thing, cowboys were said to wash maybe once a week in the summer if there was a lake or stream nearby or a tub big enough to bath in. And in the wintertime, most hands would not even think about it until the spring.

As for the cowboys on the trail, rivers and lakes were used. Once getting their cattle to market, the first thing they did was get a bath, a shave, a haircut, and buy things. They bought new clothes, boots, saddles, headstalls, reins, blankets, a horse of their own, a new Stetson, and at $17 maybe a new Colt Peacemaker among other things. And yes, that was usually all before looking for a drink of whiskey or female companionship.

For cowboys at the ranch, if the smell of a roomful of men who had been working hard with horses and cows and chores all day got too bad? OK, a horse trough would work well. But historically, we know that they just wouldn’t bother to bathe unless going into town or to a social event.

As for going into town and sitting in a saloon all night? Fact is that while we know that nights were a lonely time, most hands really wanted to catch up on lost sleep. Sure cowboys would spend his free time playing poker, but mostly that was right there at the ranch. Not very many cowboys looked forward to working 12 to 18 hours a day, then saddle up and ride for 15 to 20 miles or more to the nearest town to play poker when they can get in a few hands of cards right there at the ranch. 

As for holding "Kangaroo Court"?  A kangaroo court being a judicial assembly that blatantly disregards recognized standards of law or justice, and often carries little or no official standing in the territory within which it resides. Yes, they were held at ranches where a cowboy was put on trial for some obscure charge like oversleeping.

Many times fellow cowboys would hold a kangaroo court, or mock trial, to straighten out a lazy cowboy, a shirker, or someone who simply wasn't pulling his weight. As for carrying out a sentence? Most times it involved all hands throwing "the offender" in the horse trough. It would have to be real bad for a cowboy to get fired and sent packing.

Unlike town folk who mostly wore bowlers, derbies, simply because they did not have to worry about the elements, the typical cowboy wore a hat with a wide brim to provide him protection from the sun and the rain. Because cattle kicked up clouds of dust, cowboys donned a bandanna over the lower half of his face. As for chaps and high boots, they were worn as protection from brush, briars, cactus, and cattle, among other things.

While movies depict cowboys wearing guns, most did not because they got in the way. On trail drives, guns were usually left in the chuck wagon. On night watch, guns were forbidden because a single shot could send a quiet herd scattering and stampeding. And no, unless he was a former lawman or soldier, chances were that the typical cowboy was not a skilled marksman.

It's true, contrary to popular believe, most cowboys didn't shoot up towns that they arrived in because most of them didn't carry guns while they were riding. Carrying a gun was a nuisance to the riders because they scared both the cows and the horses.

That's not to say that cowboys didn't have to take up arms now and again. While their work was hard and their workdays lasted for maybe 16 to 18 hours with much of their day spent in the saddle, there were armed conflicts. In most cases, cowboys would encounter shots from hostile Indians. But also, cowboys were the only law within a hundred miles to stop cattle rustlers wanting to steal their steers.

There were about 45,000 working cowboys during the heydays of the cattle drives. Of those, some 5,000 were African-Americans. Another 5,000 are said to have been Mexican-Americans.


To avoid additional strain on their horses, cowboys were usually young and smaller built and not the big men depicted in movies. And yes, it is a fact that many cowboys simply died young.

Whether it was being thrown from a horse in a corral or being trampled by cattle in a stampede on a trail drive, accidents of one sort or another claimed the lives cowboys. Of course, so did disease, as well as skirmishes with rustlers and Indians. 

Even before Owen Wister's "The Virginian" was published in 1902, the American cowboy had become a part of the American soul. On the overall, movies have not shown the reality of life for a cowboy in 1800s America. And maybe other than the fairly recent 2003 version of the film "Monte Walsh" starring Tom Selleck, they probably never will. 

As for a little trivia goes, we know that Theodore Roosevelt was sent to live in North Dakota for health reasons. While there on his ranch, he fell in love with the West and the cowboy life of hard work.

Later he wrote a book titled "Ranch Life and the Hunting Trail." He wrote it before becoming President of the United States. The book was illustrated by famous Western artist Frederick Remington.

So frankly, we know that cowboys in the 1800s worked hard, were tough as nails, and had short hard lives. And yes, because of their toughness, no vision of the American West is complete without the image of the American cowboy. 

We see him tall in the saddle, facing danger, one man against nature's wrath and the outlaws that plague humanity. That image appealed to people and makes the cowboy the symbol of the American West. While the image in the movies is not always accurate, the image of the hard working resilient cowboy will always be the image that is quintessentially American. 

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

Tom Correa