Sunday, October 29, 2017

A Faulty Retelling of "The Vietnam War"


By Oliver North
October 16, 2017
Richard Nixon kept his promises, Ken Burns did not

When Richard Nixon was in the White House, I was in Vietnam and he was my commander in chief. When I was on Ronald Reagan’s National Security Council staff, I had the opportunity to brief former President Nixon on numerous occasions and came to admire his analysis of current events, insights on world affairs and compassion for our troops. His preparation for any meeting or discussion was exhaustive. His thirst for information was unquenchable and his tolerance for fools was nonexistent.

Mr. Nixon’s prosecution of the war in Southeast Asia is poorly told by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick in their new Public Broadcasting Service documentary “The Vietnam War.” That is but one of many reasons Mr. Burns‘ latest work is such a disappointment and a tragic lost opportunity.

It’s sad, but I’ve come to accept that the real story of the heroic American GIs in Vietnam may never be told. Like too many others, Ken Burns portrays the young soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines of the Vietnam War as pot-smoking, drug-addicted, hippie marauders.

Those with whom I served were anything but. They did not commit the atrocities alleged in the unforgivable lies John Kerry described to a congressional committee so prominently featured by Mr. Burns. The troops my brother and I were blessed to lead were honorable, heroic and tenacious. They were patriotic, proud of their service, and true to their God and our country.

To depict them otherwise, as Mr. Burns does, is an egregious disservice to them, the families of the fallen and to history. But his treatment of my fellow Vietnam War veterans is just the start. Some of the most blatant travesties in the film are reserved for President Nixon.

Because of endless fairy tales told by Ken Burns and others, many Americans associate Richard Nixon with the totality and the worst events of Vietnam. It’s hardly evident in the Burns “documentary,” but important to note: When Richard Nixon was elected president in 1968, he inherited a nation — and a world — engulfed in discord and teetering on the brink of widespread chaos. His predecessor, Lyndon Johnson, was forced from office with a half-million U.S. troops mired in combat and fierce anti-American government demonstrations across the country and in our nation’s capital.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick may not recall — but my family remembers: It was Lyndon Johnson who sent my brother and me to war. It was Richard Nixon who brought us home. It is very likely we are alive today because Mr. Nixon kept his word.

That’s not the only opportunity for accuracy Mr. Burns ignored. He could have credited Mr. Nixon with granting 18-year olds the right to vote in July 1971 with the 26th Amendment to our Constitution. (Does Ken even recall the slogan, “Old enough to fight — old enough to vote!” He should. Mr. Burns turned 18 that same month.)

President Nixon pressed on to all but finish the war. As promised, he brought our combat units home, returned 591 prisoners of war to their wives and families, ended the draft, leveraged the conflict to open ties with China and improved relations with the Soviet Union. He pushed both Communist giants in Beijing and Moscow to force their North Vietnamese puppet into a negotiated settlement. Yet he is portrayed in the Burns documentary as a cold-blooded, calculating politician more interested in re-election than the lives of U.S. troops in combat.

Contrary to the film’s portrayal, Mr. Nixon had a complicated strategy to achieve “peace with honor.” His goal was to train and equip the South Vietnamese military to defend their own country in a process he called “Vietnamization,” and thereby withdraw American troops.

President Nixon succeeded in isolating the North Vietnamese diplomatically and negotiated a peace agreement that preserved the right of the people of South Vietnam to determine their own political future. Imperfect as the Saigon government was, by 1973 the South Vietnamese had many well-trained troops and units that fought well and were proud to be our allies. This intricate and sophisticated approach took shape over four wartime years but receives only superficial mention in the Burns and Novick production.

Despite Democrat majorities in both houses of Congress, Mr. Nixon — a deft political powerhouse — attained consistent support from America’s “Silent Majority.”

If Mr. Burns read President Nixon’s memoir or his two successive books in which the former president recounts his emotional anguish at the war’s toll — “No More Vietnams” and “In the Arena” — there is little evidence in the PBS production. Instead, Mr. Burns cherry-picks from the infamous “Nixon tapes” to brand the president as a devious manipulator, striving for mass deception — a patently false allegation.

By the time President Nixon resigned office on Aug. 9, 1974, the Vietnam War was all but won and the South Vietnamese were confident of securing a permanent victory. But in December 1974 — three months after Mr. Nixon departed the White House — a vengeful, Democrat-dominated Congress cut off all aid to South Vietnam.

It was a devastating blow for those to whom Mr. Nixon had promised — not U.S. troops — but steadfast military, economic and diplomatic support. As chronicled in memoirs written afterwards in Hanoi, Moscow and Beijing, the communists celebrated. The ignominious end came with a full-scale North Vietnamese invasion five months later.

Despite the war’s end — and the trauma that continues to afflict our country — there is little in the Burns so-called documentary about the courage, patriotism and dedication of the U.S. troops who fought honorably, bravely and the despicable way in which we were “welcomed” home.

The PBS “documentary” frequently reminds viewers of the “gallant nationalist fervor” among the North Vietnamese. But the South Vietnamese are portrayed as little more than conniving urchins and weak pawns of the imperialist Americans.

In a technique favored by the “progressive left,” Mr. Burns uses a small cadre of anti-war U.S. and pro-Hanoi Vietnamese “eyewitnesses” to explain the complicated policies of the U.S. government. Mr. Burns apparently refused to interview Henry Kissinger, telling the Portland Press Herald he doubted “Kissinger’s authority to adequately convey the perspectives of the U.S. government.” This alone disqualifies this “documentary” as definitive history on the Vietnam War.

Though Mr. Burns and his collaborators claim otherwise, the real heroes of “The Vietnam War” were not U.S. protesters, but the troops my brother and I led. They fought valiantly for our country and the president who brought us home.

Since meeting President Nixon in the 1980s, I have always remembered how he understood the incredible sacrifice of American blood in the battlefields of Vietnam. He was dedicated to ending the war the right way and committed to sustaining American honor. He kept his promise to bring us home.

Ken Burns and Lynn Novick failed to keep their promise to tell all sides about the long and difficult war in Vietnam. Like John Kerry, they have committed a grave injustice to those of us who fought there.

-- end of article.

Editor's Note:

Retired U.S. Marine Col. Oliver North was a Marine platoon leader in Vietnam, He is a recipient of the Silver Star and the Bronze Star for Valor, as well as two Purple Hearts.

I'm re-printing this here to get the other side of the story out to folks. There are two sides to what took place in Vietnam. Sadly, the side of the those who condemn America's involvement there is the side which we hear most often. 

Tom Correa

Friday, October 27, 2017

Ranch Rifles & The .30-30 Round

According to a Gregg County Game Warden, East Texas resident Joe Clowers killed this huge wild hog right in his backyard. He killed the massive feral hog with an AR-15.

While the report that I read did not indicate whether he was using a standard .223 round or a bigger .308 round that's offered in many AR-15s today. Joe Clowers' home in Union Grove, Texas, and is now minus one very large hog. The massive hog was supposedly wreaking all sorts of havoc on his property and that of his neighbors for what at least the past five years. The hog had been preying on the fawns in the area. 

Mr. Clowers told the Houston Chronicle, "My property lays between some populated areas and I try to maintain an environment like a sanctuary or nursery for the deer to raise fawns." He also said, "He was the big daddy. I called him the bush beast." 

As for that beast, Mr. Clowers has stated that the big hog will be mounted and hung as a trophy on a wall in his home. 

Texas has the largest feral hog population in the United States. At what is an estimated population of 4 million wild hogs, the state of Texas has a wild hog problem that seems to be getting worse every year. 

Of course what's now making the problem of feral hogs even worse, whether it's their destructive capabilities or their predatory behavior, is that these days wild hogs are a menace to many in Texas cities and suburbs. It's true, it's not just ranchers and farmers that have to be concerned about the dangers of wild hogs. According to a number of sources, wild hogs are more and more finding their way into suburbs. That's a fact that is even more true as development extends into areas that were their domain.  

One report mentioned how folks in Texas worry about living with things like mosquitoes and fire ants, snakes and scorpions. I've been to Texas, and frankly those folks down there adapt to their environment as well as anyone can be expected to do so. The other thing about folks in Texas is that they don't really "worry" about much when it comes to living in Texas.  That includes dealing with wild hogs.

A couple of my readers from Texas have written to tell me that the solution to rid Texas of the feral hog problem is actually pretty simple. They and others believe that it all comes down to vigilance and taking action. That means staying armed. If you spot one, you shot it.  

Frankly, that's what it sound like happened to Mr. Clower. Because he knew that the beast was doing what he did where he was living, that means he himself could be at risk of being attacked. So knowing that, he said that he always stayed armed when visiting his deer feeders in case the beast charged him. 

I've never hunted feral hogs in Texas, but I have in California. A friend from Texas and I were talking about shooting feral hogs. I told him that when I hunted wild hogs here in California, I found that the first shot, that first crack of a rifle, had them running. He said he uses a semi-auto rifle with a larger magazine when hunting feral hogs for that reason. He said it gives him a better chance to take more than one shot in a hurried situation. Of course, as most know, a rifle like an AR-15 automatically cycles and re-chambers that next round for that shot. It is certainly faster than using a bolt action rifle. as well as faster than a lever-action rifle. Frankly, I'm sure any AR-15 is faster since any semi-auto rifle takes the human factor out of the re-chambering process.

Now, while the simply fact of the matter is that a semi-auto rifle re-chamber rounds faster than a bolt-action or lever-action rifle can, I prefer a lever-action rifle as my ranch rifle. While for me here in Glencoe, California, don't have a problem with feral hogs, I do worry about mountain lions.

My idea of a good ranch rifle is any rifle of sufficient power that it can be used to bring down both game and predators. While I understand and respect the whole reasoning behind using a rifle like an AR-15, or a Ruger Mini-14, or even an SKS, with large magazines when hunting wild hogs, I like my Marlin lever-action rifles.

Fact is lever-action rifles are probably the most common truck guns or ranch guns out there. While most AR-15s and Ruger Mini-14s use the .223 cartridge, and the SKS uses the Russian 7.62×39mm, I like the old standby .30-30 Winchester cartridge.

Because I see a "Ranch Rifle" as more of a "Livestock and Game Rifle," as also a "Saddle Gun," which can also be used as a self-defense weapon, I prefer a lever-action rifle in .30-30 round. My preference is the Marlin 336 because I just like it's lever action.

Please understand that I am not being critical of anyone who uses an AR-15 platform, or a Ruger Mini-14, or whatever else they prefer. I see one's choice of a "ranch rifle" as just a matter of preference and proficiency.

I knew an old World War II veteran back when I was volunteering at the base stables in Camp Pendleton in the mid-'70 who swore, absolutely swore, that there was no better ranch rifle than his 1903 Springfield in .30-06. While I respected the '03 Springfield as a great rifle, I felt there were others, what I thought may be a better, choices out there at the time. And though to me there were others more compact ranch rifle out there to be had, the '03 Springfield was his preference and there was no talking the old timer out of it.

As for myself today, I guess I'm sort of the same way. While I was trained with the M-14 and the M-16 in the Marine Corps, and I assure you that I'm extremely proficient with both, the M-14 is my preference over the two. But for me, since I prefer a more compact ranch rifle than my beloved M-14, I prefer a lever-action for use as a ranch rifle. It's all just a matter of preference.
Marlin Model 336C in .30-30
Part of the reason for my lever-action preference is that the .30-30 is a living legend. It is probably one of the most effective game cartridges ever designed. Out to 200 to 300 yards, a .30-30 round is all that is needed to bag most of what America has to offer in small game. And as for predators, a .30-30 will definitely do the job of stopping one in it's tracks.

Today, the two most popular lever-action hunting rifles in the world, the Winchester Model 94 and the Marlin Model 336. They are fast handling lever actions which are considered nearly perfect for woods and brush country hunting. Both are chambered with the very effective .30-30 Winchester cartridge.

I love the Marlin Model 336C simply because it is a rugged never fail rifle. It has a reputation for incredible dependability. Some people say it's "Monte Carlo grip" is a sort of "pistol-grip," but frankly it shoulder's like a rifle with a regular rifle stock in contract to the AR-15 which really does have a "pistol grip."

The .30-30 Winchester cartridge, "thirty-thirty" as it is most commonly known, was America's first small-bore sporting rifle cartridge that was specially designed for the use of smokeless powder back in the day. The .30-30 Winchester (Win), or .30 Winchester Center Fire (WCF) cartridge was first marketed in early 1895 to be used in the Winchester Model 1894 lever-action rifle. Because it was chambered for the Winchester Model 1894 carbine and rifle, it was also known as .30 Winchester Centerfire or .30 WCF.

When the cartridge was chambered in the Marlin Model 1893 rifle, rival gunmaker John Marlin used the designation .30-30, or .30-30 Smokeless. The added -30 stands for the standard load of 30 grains of early smokeless powder, according to late-19th century American naming conventions for black powder-filled cartridges. Marlin Firearms Company and the Union Metallic Cartridge Company later dropped the Winchester appellation "WCF" on their rounds as they did not want to put the name of rival Winchester on their products.

The modern designation of .30-30 Winchester was arrived at by using Marlin's variation of the name with the Winchester name appended as originator of the cartridge, though .30 WCF is still seen occasionally. This designation also served a purpose in avoiding a lot of confusion with the different yet similarly-shaped .30-40 Krag, which has been referred to as ".30 US" and ".30 Army".

The .30-30 is considered to be the "entry-class" for modern big-game hunting cartridges, and it is common to define the characteristics of cartridges with similar ballistics as being in ".30-30 class" when describing their trajectory. While it is very effective on deer-sized and black bear-sized game, most commercial loads are limited in effective range of approximately 200 to 300 yards.

In Canada and the U.S., the .30-30 cartridge has also been used to bring down moose, caribou, and pronghorn. One source says that modern opinions in Canada on its suitability for moose are mixed. Yet it appears many moose have been taken with the .30-30, so no one should rule it out as good for that purpose. Of course, it is pretty much agreed that the .30-30 is not a good choice for hunters who wish to shoot larger game at longer distances say over 100 yards. The reason is that the cartridge, with its flat or round nosed bullets, does not meet minimum energy standards required for moose hunting in many places. In fact, while the .30-30 is legal for hunting moose in Newfoundland, Canada, game authorities do not recommend its use.

One of the primary reasons for the .30-30's popularity among deer hunters is its light recoil. Of course, a light recoil can be a real plus with chambering that next round. Average recoil from a typical 150-grain bullet in a 7.5-pound lever-action rifle is about half that of a comparable rifle chambered for the .30-06 Springfield.

Because the majority of rifles chambered in .30-30 are lever-action rifles with tubular magazines, most .30-30 cartridges are loaded with round-nose or flat-nose bullets for safety. If you're asking what this have to do with safety, well a round-nose or flat-nose bullets prevent a spitzer-point bullet from setting off the primer of the cartridge ahead of it in the tube magazine during recoil and possibly resulting in potentially catastrophic damage to both firearm and shooter.

This was a concern as far back as the late 1890's when the Savage Arms Model 99 was introduced in 1899. The Savage Arms Model 99 came out with a rotary magazine just to avoid that issue.

A notable exception to the "no pointed bullets" guideline for bullet selection in rifles with tubular magazines are the new flexible "memory elastomer"-tipped LEVER Evolution cartridges as produced by Hornady today.

The soft rubber tips of these bullets easily deform under compression, preventing detonations while under recoil in the magazine, yet also return to their original pointed shape when that pressure is removed, thus allowing for a more efficient bullet shape than previously available to load safely in such rifles.

The more aerodynamic shape results in a flatter bullet trajectory and greater retained velocity downrange, significantly increasing the effective range of rifles chambered for this cartridge. Yes, the new type of round increases the hunter's range.

As I said before, the .30-30 is by far the most common lever action rifles. From my experience, among lever-action rifles out there, Marlin Firearms Company lever-action rifles in the .30-30 round as a ranch rifle simply can't be beat. From deer to mountain lions, from wild hogs to bears, the .30-30 round have been proven successful for generations.

That's just my preference.

Tom Correa

Monday, October 23, 2017

Why Do So Many Democrats Hate So Insanely?

Dear Friends

A few of you have written to ask the question, "Why do so many Democrats hate us so insanely?" By "us", one reader wrote, "hate Americans who just have a different outlook on life, like different things than they do, those of use who believe babies shouldn't be killed and sold for parts, or are Christian, or are Conservative, or are Republicans, or who are Trump voters."  

A long time ago, I wrote a blog stating that I'm no different than you my readers in that I'm not some "Political Scientist" who has been educated in all of the theories as to why the Democrat Party acts the way it does. Like you, I can only judge them by their actions. Yes, the same way you do.

Of course, by their actions, I'm talking about what they say versus what they do? If they are indeed working for us versus if they are actually working for their political donors? If they are obstructionist when it comes to stopping things that benefit we the American people? Or if they don't see the burden that they place on Americans when they create needless regulation and increase our taxes?

While I see RINOs, Republicans In Name Only, like John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who are just as bad as any Democrat out there.  I see Democrat politicians as people who are more concerned about lining the pockets of their wealthy donors. I see Democrats as the party of higher taxes, more regulations, just obstructionists who are not for American manufacturing, better paying jobs, or prosperity in America.

Looking at the actions of some Democrats, and all of the hate that they constantly direct toward President Trump, I can't help but wonder if those Trump Haters are way too emotionally tied to hating a President Trump because he is White and a Republican. It seems they are.

I've found that they cannot be reasoned with. In fact, I really believe that they cannot understand anything other than their hate for others who do not think and feel and vote as they do.

I remember seeing this sort of thing when President Richard Nixon was in office, though certainly not to this degree. I saw this same sort of hate for Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H. W. Bush, and George W. Bush. But no, I've never seen this type of venomous deep seated hatred on the part of some Democrats for a Republican President as I now see directed toward President Donald Trump.

Sadly, they have a history of hate. They have a history of doing anything to get power and control over others. They're a political party that has shown this over the years.

I'm not kidding about a history of hate, the Democrat Party created the KKK, they created segregation, and Jim Crow laws. They opposed Women's Rights and they filibustered the 1964 Civil Rights Act. They have supported Communism, Socialism, and Dictatorships.

Today they fund ANTIFA, and it wasn't that long ago when Democrat President Obama invited the hate group Black Lives Matter to the White House. Remember how the Obama administration brushed aside the Black Panther Party thugs who were threatening White voters at polling places with clubs. 

And please, let's not forget how some Democrats have openly called for the assassination of President Donald Trump since he was elected in November of 2016. Yes, with absolutely no repercussions for doing something so criminal as to incite the murder of the President of the United States.

By the way, these are facts. Our knowing these facts has made it so that none of us should be surprised at how low Democrats will go. There are some Democrats out there who are still angry about the 2016 Presidential Election. Of course they are constantly fueled by the rancor that has come from Hillary Clinton since she lost last November. She is on television all of the time these days spewing hate for President Trump.

And let's not even talk about the late night talk shows that were once watched by millions of Americans because they were funny, they're not these days. Almost every channel is a hate Trump fest. And sadly, their material has gotten very old. Then again, more sadly is their claims that they don't care if Conservatives, Republicans, and specifically Trump supporters watch their show.

Some like the jerks in Hollywood and in the music business have actually told Trump voters that they aren't allowed at their concerts or to their movies. Imagine if a Republican entertainer told Democrats, and specifically Hillary Clinton voters, not to watch their movies or go to their concerts.

Really, only Democrats hate like that. And yes, it is selective hate.

Remember when Democrat women marched in a protest against President Trump. They were joined by all sorts of Hollywood millionaire actresses who condemned the president for things that he said over a decade ago in his private life. You remember how they dressed with pink hats and dressed as giant vaginas.

Well, where were those women dressed as giant vaginas when Democrat President Bill Clinton sexually assaulted a number of women in the White House? Not something simply said, but physically assaulted women by grabbing and groping them. There was no outrage from Democrats who were supposedly defenders of women. They were silent and still call Bill Clinton the best President they'd ever had.

And how about this big time Hollywood Democrat political donor who sexually assaulted a great many of those women who protested President Trump, but remained silent about one of their own who actually sexually assaulted, raped, and threatened many of those same pink hat wearing actress? Where are those actress with pink hats protesting "one of their own"? Hypocrites. They're just hypocrites.

And by the way, President Trump does not have an "Enemies List" like Richard Nixon did. But President Obama had an "Enemies List," no different than Nixon did. So really, where was the hate for Obama's illegal activities while he was in office. Yes, things like gun smuggling assault weapons into Mexico which no one ever answered for, what about that? And how about Obama violating the Constitution by enacting laws while bypassing Congress?

Why wasn't the Left angry as Hell about that? They weren't, instead they excused Obama's lawless behavior and were silent about what was taking place, probably out of fear that they better shut up. We forget that everyone who disagreed with Obama was called a "racist." Obama could have burned the Constitution and those of us will to point that out would have surely been called "racist."

Obama acted as though he wanted to be a Dictator. He did that by way if edicts and bypassing the legislative process. Trump has not. The only thing Trump has done by Executive Order was rid America of regulations and programs illegally signed into law by Obama.

President Trump cannot find it in himself to hate an entire segment of the American population, but Obama did by hating Republicans, Whites, Conservatives, Christians, and others on his "Enemies List." Obama's own Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel once said, "Fuck Republicans" when it came to working with Republicans over Health Care. I believe Rahm Emanuel was just echoing the sentiment of Obama himself.

Can anyone imagine the uproar if President Trump's Chief of Staff would say "Fuck Democrats"? All Hell would break loose. Of course nothing of the sort took place when Rahm Emanuel said it because the Democrat Party is in collusion with the Mainstream News Media. They gave Obama a pass on that, the same way they covered for him the whole 8 years while Obama was in office. Democrats were not angry about that, because they see Democrats acting badly as being OK.

While President Trump has tried to reunite our nation, and really return us to the days of a color-blind society which we had before Obama took office, Obama worked every angle and "didn't let any tragedy go by" to divide our nation on all sorts of levels, economically, socially, by religion, and by race. No outrage from the Democrats over that. And frankly, there are too many example of selective anger from Democrats to mention here.

So why are they so angry? Why do they hate us?

Well, I believe Democrats are angry because they are not in control of the government which they used against our own citizens. They seem to believe making others the focus of their hate is how they think they will regain power. Yes, the same way Nazis in Germany gained power and sought control over the German people in the 1930's. The Nazis blamed the Jews for all of their problems. The Democrats are blaming Trump voters and trying to paint us as being the problem with America, all because we don't want Socialism, Communism, government controlling our lives. They hate us for making America great.

Sadly, there are Democrats who hate for the sake of hating. They live on hate like a heroine addict lives for that fix. Sad, but that's what I've seen over the years.

And sadly, there are some Democrats out their that truly believe setting race against race, as well as class warfare, is the way to regain power and exert control over the American people. Not through tolerance or understanding, not through civility and kindness, and certainly not through an exchange of ideas as President Trump is trying to do, but through intimidation and hate.

The hypocrisy from some of the Democrats is incredible. Americans didn't care if Obama was black, half black, or from Chicago. Most Americans hated his economic, social, military, foreign, and domestic policies. I hated his attempts to kill American oil and coal production, his reducing our military, sending American jobs overseas, catering to hate groups, and divisiveness. Because I hated his policies, I was called a "racist." Not an angry Republican, or a pissed off Conservative, or a discontented believer in the Constitution, but a "racist" in an effort to silence my disdain for his policies. Policies that hurt America.

I believe the majority of Democrats today hate Trump, not for his policies as I don't think they can honestly tell you what they are, but because he is a Republican, White, Christian, Conservative, believer in our Constitution and the law of the land. They hate him viscerally. They hate him in the very same way they hate others who are not like them. They hate emotionally, pathologically, for no rhyme or reason. They hate senselessly. And the fact is, when confronted, they really can't even give us plausible reasons, other than Democrat Party talking points, as to why they hate Trump or us.

A recent report in the last few days came out of NBC News saying that our enemy North Korea has military officers who enjoy watching MSNBC's "Morning Joe." Yes, all because those North Korean officers enjoy watching Democrats hate President Donald Trump as much as they do.

I can't help but wonder if there are Democrats who would proud of that? I can't help but wonder if those Democrats are proud of the fact that they are building up the morale of our enemies, while tearing down the morale of Americans? 

Probably so, and that's just the way I see it.

Tom Correa

Friday, October 20, 2017

An American Civil War Battle In France?

A hilltop behind our little town of Glencoe, California, is named Alabama Hill. It was named after a Confederate warship the CSS Alabama by a group of gold miners who were Southern sympathizer during the Civil War. I was looking into the reason why a hilltop near my home is named after the CSS Alabama when I discovered that she had an interesting history. Yes, including being part of an American Civil War battle in France of all places.

Believe it or not, her last battle did in fact take in what I believe was a very unlikely place during the Civil War. The Battle of Cherbourg, as it became known as, took place off of Cherbourg, France, in 1864.

Now if you didn't know that there was an American Civil War sea-battle between the North and South that took place in France, well that makes two of us. Frankly, I had no clue until lately that Union and Confederate Navy vessels engaged each other outside of American waters.

Knowing that those miners here in Glencoe named a hill after the Alabama, let's look at the fascinating CSS Alabama first. Of course, the question becomes why was she there in France in the first place?

The CSS Alabama was a sloop-of-war that was built for the Confederate States Navy in 1862, She was built in England. Her sole purpose was as a "commerce raider". Her job was to attack Union navy and merchant ships. A quirk of history is that she was a Confederate navy warship that never ever docked at an American port, North or South, during her lifespan.

Fact is, the CSS Alabama was built in what was thought to be complete secrecy in England. Her construction was arranged by Confederate agents who worked through a Confederate cotton broker in England. That cotton broker was Fraser, Trenholm & Co who was in fact the Confederacy's overseas bankers. Fraser, Trenholm & Co supported slavery in the American South even though slavery was already outlawed in England. Fraser, Trenholm & Co supported the Confederacy by arranging the sale of cotton for the South, and by arranging the financing and construction of a Confederate fleet of blockade runners and commerce raiders in England. 

Loopholes being what they are when it comes to laws, English laws had loopholes no different than any other nation. Ehen it came to England's neutrality laws, their laws stated that a ship could be designed and built as an armed vessel as long as it didn't carry any armament guns until after it sailed into International waters. So basically, the CSS Alabama was designed and built with Navy regulations of reinforced decks for cannons, magazines storage, gun ports, and other specifications for a warship as long as she did not have guns. 

She was initially named the "Enrica" in May of 1862. Then, as stealthy as possible to avoid detection by a Union vessel the USS Tuscarora which was dispatched to find that new Confederate warship, she is said to have slipped out of England in early July. She had a civilian Captain and crew when she sailed to Terceira Island in the Portuguese Azores. 

Capt. Raphael Semmes and Lt. John Kell 
aboard CSS Alabama 1863
Once in the Azores, she was met by Confederate Navy Captain Raphael Semmes in August. Captain Semmes is interesting to me in that prior to jumping ship from the U.S. Navy and joining the Confederate Navy during the Civil War, he actually served in the United States Navy from 1826 to 1861. That's a 35 year Navy career before joining the Confederates. Also, he's the only Naval officer that I've ever heard of who was supposedly promoted to Confederate Navy Rear Admiral and then later was supposedly promoted to Brigadier General in the Confederate Army.  

Of course, records show that while he only preformed the duties of a Brigadier General in the Confederate Army for about four days, his actual promotion to that rank was never approved of by the Confederate Senate. Fact is, his appointment to that position was never approved because he only held that rank for only a few days before General Robert E. Lee surrendered and the war ended. As for his insistence that he was a Brigadier General, some say that he insisted on being referred to as a Brigadier General so that he wouldn't be hanged for piracy on the high seas after the war.

At Terceira Island in the Azores, the "Erica" was outfitted as a Naval cruiser of the time. She was equipped with six British-made 32-pounder broadside cannons. Forward of the main mast was a 7-inch pivot cannon, and aft was an 8-inch pivot cannon. Those cannons were positions so that they would be able rotate fire port or starboard. She was armed and fast. Fact is, she could make up to ten knots under sail alone. She could do 13.25 knots when using both her sails and steam powered screw which was powered by a 300 horsepower horizontal steam engine.

On July 29th, 1862, the Confederate Navy commissioned her the Confederate States Steamer (CSS) Alabama. She was considered a cruiser that the South designated a "commerce raider." The CSS Alabama's motto was "Aide-toi et Dieu t'aidera." In French, that's translated to "God helps those who help themselves." Her motto is said to have been engraved in a bronze plate on her great double ship's wheel.

The Alabama's crew boarded nearly 450 vessels. They captured, burned, and scuttled 65 Union ships which were mostly merchant vessels. She took more than 2,000 prisoners which she turned over to neutral ships or offloaded on neutral ports. Those figures make the CSS Alabama the most successful "commerce raider" in Maritime History. 

Fact is, as strange as it might sound, the CSS Alabama conducted seven expeditionary raids in areas of the globe that I would have never imagined a Confederate ship having gone to the areas that it did.

For example, the CSS Alabama's Eastern Atlantic Expeditionary Raid from the end of August to September of 1862 took place right after being commissioned. That was when she set sail for the shipping lanes Southwest and then East of the Azores. She is known to have burned and scuttled ten Northern whaling ships to prevent whale oil from being used in the North.
The CSS Alabama's New England Expeditionary Raid was from October into November of that same year. Captain Semmes pointed his ship to the Northeastern seaboard of New England. The Alabama worked that area venturing as far south as Bermuda. Off of Virginia, the Alabama's crew set fire to ten Northern merchant ships.

The CSS Alabama's Gulf of Mexico Expeditionary Raid which was from the middle of November of 1862 to the end of January of 1863. During that time, she supported the Confederate state of Texas against a Union expeditionary force. That action is also known as the Battle of Galveston when Confederate Major General John B. Magruder expelled occupying Union troops from Galveston. The Alabama is know to have sank the Union side-wheeler USS Hatteras.

The CSS Alabama's South Atlantic Expeditionary Raid took place from February to July of 1863. That was when the Union Navy started to hunt down the Alabama in earnest. The reason was that she burned and scuttled 29 Union merchant ships while raiding off the coast of Brazil. Yes, Brazil.
The CSS Alabama's South African Expeditionary Raid lasted from August to September of that same year. She patrolled off the coast of South Africa while working with the CSS Tuscaloosa to stop Union shipping.

The CSS Alabama's Indian Ocean Expeditionary Raid was from September to November. She made a 4,500 mile journey across the Indian Ocean, all while evading the Union gunboat USS Wyoming. During that time, the Alabama sunk three Union merchant ships near the Sunda Strait and the Java Sea.

The CSS Alabama's South Pacific Expeditionary Raid in December of 1863 was her final raiding expedition. During that time, it's said she sunk a few Union merchant vessels in the Strait of Malacca before finally heading to Confederate friendly France for a refit and repairs.
Those seven expeditionary raids took 657 days. During that time, the Alabama was at sea for 534 days of those 657. As stated before, she never visited a Confederate port. Yet even though that's the case, it seems as though she traveled all over the world. 

As for the Union's response to "commerce raiders" such as the CSS Alabama, they were not completely asleep at the wheel when it came to trying to stop them. In fact, before the "Erica" ever left England heading for the Portuguese Azores for armament, the Union's USS Tuscarora was in Southampton, England, with the mission of intercepting the Alabama. Sadly for the Union, the Tuscarora wasn't successful at stopping her at the time.

Capt. Winslow & officers aboard the USS Kearsarge 
So now after almost two years of sinking Union merchant ships pretty much all over the globe, the CSS Alabama returned to European waters for a refit, repairs, replenishment. Of course, it's a safe bet to say that the crew wanted time ashore as well. She put into the port at Cherbourg, France, on June 11th, 1864.

The Union's sloop-of-war the USS Kearsarge arrived on June 14th to meet her, and sink her. She was a Mohican-class United States sloop-of-war named after New Hampshire's Mount Kearsarge. She was built and commissioned at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine, on January 24th, 1862. She could do a top speed of 11 knots under sail and steam, and was armed with two 11 inch cannons, four 32 pounderss, and one 30-pounder. Her mission was to search out Confederate commerce raiders and blockade runners, and sink them. 

The USS Kearsarge was actually a bit smaller and almost 3 knots slower than the CSS Alabama. She also had one less gun than the Alabama, and they were small than which the Alabama was armed with.

While smaller, slower, and having less guns, she had one advantage over the Alabama. It was a secret that the Alabama's Captain did not know about. The Kearsarge was built to take hits while hunting Confederate commerce raiders. What that means is that it had a concealed iron chain armor cladding over its wooden hull. That armor was disguised, concealed, with wood. It's true, it was concealed behind 1 inch boards painted black to match the upper part of the ship's hull color. This cladding was positioned along Kearsarge's port and starboard mid-section down to her waterline. This was to protect her engines, boilers, and coal storage. 

I found it interesting that the Portuguese in the Azores did work on both Union and Confederate ships during our Civil War. For example, the same port that outfitted the CSS Alabama with British armament in July of 1862 had also installed the armor cladding on the USS Kearsarge's hull when she was in port in the Azores earlier that same year.

The USS Kearsarge left Portsmouth Navy Yard on February 5th, 1862, and immediate headed for the coast of Spain. After a brief three day stop in the Azores, the three says that it took to put on her armor, she steamed to Gibraltar to join the gunboat USS Chippewa in the blockade of the CSS Sumter which was also a Confederate commerce raider.

In early 1862, the CSS Sumter was making repairs in Cadiz, Spain, which was neutral during our Civil War. The Sumter was then forced to British Gibraltar. During the Union Navy's blockade which kept her there, she was unable to get the repairs and after almost a year of being guarded by a number of different Union warships, she was abandoned. 

Yes, as strange as it sounds, the Captain and crew of the CSS Sumter ended up just abandoning her in December of 1862. The CSS Sumter's Captain was none other than Confederate Captain Raphael Semmes. After he left the Sumter, he and his crew were reassigned to the Alabama which was in the Azores.  

From the neutral port at Cadiz, Spain, from November of 1862 to mid-March of 1863, the USS Kearsarge searched for the Alabama. The Kearsarge is said to have searched for the Alabama all along the coast of Europe and down the North African coast. The break for the Kearsarge came when a Union agent in France sent word of the whereabouts of the Alabama.

The USS Kearsarge arrived at the mouth of the horbor in Cherbourg, France, to find the CSS Alabama on June 14th, 1864. It was there that the Kearsarge took up a position at the harbor's entrance. It was there that she waited for the Alabama to come out and fight.

This must have felt like a second chance for Confederate Captain Semmes in command of the Alabama. He was face to face with one of the ships that got the better of his last ship the Sumter. Maybe that's why the CSS Alabama's Captain Raphael Semmes reportedly sent a challenge to the USS Kearsarge's Captain John Winslow for a ship-to-ship duel on the open sea. Imagine that. 

Mindful of French neutrality, Union Captain Winslow took the Kearsarge out away and clear of French waters. No one questioned whether or not Captain Winslow would answer Captain Semmes challenge. The challenge suited Captain Winslow just fine as he led the Alabama out to sea almost seven miles from the Cherbourg harbor in France.

On June 19th, 1864, two American warships, one Union and the other Confederate, fought an American Civil War battle in France of all places. After four long days of refitting his vessel, drilling his men and preparing for battle with the Kearsarge, the CSS Alabama steamed out of Cherbourg harbor. The Alabama was escorted by the French Navy ironclad Couronne and a British yacht the Deerhound. Some reports say that two other French Navy warships escorted the Alabama out to sea and remained close to the battle to make sure that the fighting stayed out of French waters.

It is said that the Kearsarge steamed further out to sea as the Alabama approached. Some say Captain Winslow wanted to make sure that the Captain of the Alabama couldn't make a run for the French harbor if fate fell out of favor for the Confederate ship. Some say Captain Winslow simply wanted fighting room.

Either way, at 10:50 a.m., on the morning of June 19th, 1864, at a distance of about a mile, Captain Winslow spun the USS Kearsarge around and head straight for the CSS Alabama. When Captain Semmes saw the Kearsarge turn, and expose her starboard side, the Alabama opened fire. She was the first to open fire, and she continued to fire as the Kearsarge got closer.

As soon as the ships closed to about a half-mile of each other, it was then that the Kearsarge turned again and opened fire. And it was then, that the ship's reportedly engaged at a circular course of engagement, both firing mainly from their starboard side cannons. Witnesses stated that the ships neared to within 600 yards of each other.

Going in opposite directions, and then turning about to counter the other, the deadly dance at sea took place with cannon and smoke and death. During the battle, the armored hull of the Kearsarge was hit twice. The first shell hit was to the starboard side. It was one of the Alabama's 32-pounders. That hit would have sank any normal hulled ship, but all it did was cut part of the chain armor and dent the hull planking underneath. The second hit from one of the Alabama's 32-pounders actually exploded. That shell broke a link of the chain cladding and tore away some of the 1 inch boards covering the armor. One of Alabama's massive 100-pound shells hit the Kearsarge's sternpost but failed to explode. A piece of that post with the shell still lodged in it survives as a museum piece today.

Fact is, though the CSS Alabama hit the USS Kearsarge a number of times, the shells caused relatively little damage. As for the CSS Alabama, she was not fairing well at all as whole parts of her were being exposed. Soon Captain Semmes twice turned his vessel and tried to run back to Cherbourg harbor just as Captain Winslow suspected he would. Captain Winslow stopped each attempt by using the Kearsarge to cut him off.

It's true. The Alabama's sides were torn open by Union shells. And close to noon, as the action continued, the CSS Alabama headed for shore in an attempt to get back into French waters and safety now a few miles away.

Soon water flooded the Alabama's engines and they stopped. That was when Captain Semmes struck his colors. With that, both ship's cannons went silent. Captain Winslow is said to have stopped the Kearsarge uncertain as to whether or not the Alabama had actually surrendered or if it's battle flag had simply been shot away.

There is a story that a white flag was seen, and with that Captain Winslow called for a cease fire. The story goes on to say that the Alabama renewed her firing when the Kearsarge ceased firing. With that, Captain Winslow opened fired again with a vicious barrage. This went on even though the white flag was still flying.

All firing stopped again when Captain Semmes sent one of his longboats to the Kearsarge with a message of surrender. In his message, he also requested assistance in rescuing his crew. After that, for the next 15 to 20 minutes while the Alabama slowly sank, her crew tried getting safely away from the Alabama as she slipped beneath the sea. The Battle of Cherbourg ended when the CSS Alabama loss power and began to sink. Several of its crew were killed, and many were wounded. Among the wounded was Captain Semmes himself.

The Alabama's survivors were rescued by the Kearsarge and by the British yacht the Deerhound. The British yacht Deerhound went along side of the Kearsarge to ask Captain Winslow if they could assist in rescuing the Alabama's officers and crew. The Alabama was sinking fast. The Deerhound is said to have picked up between 39 and 42 crew members, which included Captain Semmes and 11 to 14 of his officers.

After the Deerhound picked up those survivors, she turned and sailed off back to Southampton, England. By going to England which was an ally of the Confederacy during the Civil War, they avoided capture and prison. Of course those Confederate sailors who made it to the Kearsarge were lucky to be alive, but they did become prisoners of war.

There is a story that Captain Winslow's officers aboard the Kearsarge watched in anger as the Deerhound left the area and headed back to England with the Confederates aboard. It's said that the officer begged him to fire upon the Deerhound for taking escaping prisoners, but Captain Winlow refused to do that.

The Battle of Cherbourg lasted by some accounts an hour and twenty minutes. The CSS Alabama sank out of sight. It is belived that about 40 of her crew were killed, and 70 became prisoners of war. The 39 to 42 Confederate sailors aboard the Deerhound escaped to England. As for the USS Kearsarge, she walked away from that battle the victor with one crewman killed and two others wounded.

I find it interesting that the wounded Captain Semmes is said to have thrown his sword into the sea just to deprive the Kearsarge's Captain Winslow of being handed his sword upon surrender. I also find it interesting that the Alabama out shot the Kearsarge almost 2 to 1 with little to show for it.

Believe it or not, as hard as it is for me to believe the figures, only 28 shells actually hit the Kearsarge. That's 28 rounds out of what is believed to have been at least 370 that the Alabama fired during the battle. In contrast, the Kearsarge only fired 173 projectiles with most of her rounds hitting the Alabama with effect.

Some say poor gunnery skills on the part of the Confederate gunners turned the battle against the Alabama. Some say it was the quality of the Alabama's powder, fuses, and shells. They say that the Alabama's powder and shells were in a deteriorated condition during that fight. But frankly, I really don't know how anyone would know that? Besides, the Alabama's gunners fired at least 370 rounds so that show that the powder couldn't have been bad. The problem the Alabama had was it's failure to hit its target.

And while some would insist that the Kearsarge go lucky that day, for me looking at what took place, I really believe that Union victory goes to a combination of factors. First, the armored hull of the Kearsarge was a huge advantage. Second, the Union gunners who were simply good at their job.

And lastly, the difference between the ships was a factor. They were designed with specific missions in mind. Very different missions. The CSS Alabama was designed to sink poorly or completely unarmed merchant ships. While the CSS Alabama did have bigger guns than the USS Kearsarge, the Kearsarge was designed with an armored hull to do battle with other ships of war.  I believe that gave the Union Navy an advantage that day. The day an American Civil War battle was fought in France.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mass Shootings Have Long History

As we all know, on Sunday, October 1st, concert-goers in Las Vegas, Nevada, came under attack by a ruthless killer intent on slaughtering as many innocent people as possible.  The killer opened fire from a 32nd floor hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort in Casino. His target was a crowd of 22,000 concert-goers 400 yards below attending the Route 91 Harvest festival, a country music festival. 

His rampage lasted a little over 15 minutes. Sunday's mass shooting left 59 people dead and 527 injured or wounded. It panicked concert-goers who tried to take cover while being completely unaware at first of where the gunfire was coming from. No one suspected a room on the 32nd floor of a nearby hotel where the killer could just rain down fire.

The Las Vegas Police SWAT broke into the killer's room and found Stephen Paddock dead by suicide. This horrific tragedy is now considered the deadliest mass shootings in modern American history. 

As for motive, the big question as to why Paddock did it? No one knows. And frankly, I don't think anyone ever will. No, it's not like the Orlando, Florida, mass shooting where we know that it was a Muslim terrorist attack targeting gays. 

In Orlando, Florida, on June 12th, 2016, 49 people were killed and 58 were wounded. Muslim terrorist Omar Mateen walked into the Pulse nightclub as the club was hosting a "Latin Night." before he was killed by Orlando police.  The Pulse is a gay nightclub in Orlando, and many of the victims were Latino.

During the shooting, Omar Mateen called the Orlando Police to swear allegiance to the ISIS. It is the  deadliest act of Muslim terror in the United States since September 11th, 2001.

On April 16th, 2007, Virginia Tech University, South Korean-born Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at the school, killed more than 30 students and 2 instructors. In two separate attacks about two hours apart, he killed 32 people, and wounded 17 more before committing suicide.

The 2007 mass shooting on Virginia Tech University's campus remains the deadliest school shooting in United States history. Yes, considered worse because of the numbers of innocent people killed than what took on December 14th, 2012, at Sandy Hook Elementary School where 26 people were killed and 2 were wounded.

Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, saw killer Adam Lanza enter the secured school and killed 26 people inside the school. Twenty students between the ages of 6 and 7, and six teachers were killed in a shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Minutes before he went to the school, the 20-year-old Adam Lanza murdered his mother at their home using her rifle. Adam Lanza committed suicide when the police arrived at the school.

In Killeen, Texas, on October 16th, 1991, George Hennard drove his pickup truck through the glass front window of a Luby's restaurant. He then began shooting patrons and staff inside.  All toll, 23 people were killed and 27 people were wounded before he finally shot himself dead. 

On July 18th, 1984, James Huberty shot 40 people at a McDonald's restaurant in the San Ysidro district of San Diego, California. Among those that the 41 year old Huberty murdered was an 8 month old little boy and a 9 year old girl. Among those he wounded was a 4 month old baby girl.

Before he went out to commit mass murder, according to the New York Daily News, he told his wife, "I'm going hunting. Hunting for humans." His shooting spree was ended when Huberty was shot and killed by a San Diego SWAT Team sniper positioned on a nearby roof. He killed 21 adults and children while wounding 19 others. 

Back on August 1st, 1966, the University of Texas-Austin, saw a sniper on the observation deck of the University of Texas's main building, known as the Tower, shot dozens of people. 

In that mass shooting, local police actually got assistance from Texas students who used their own hunting rifles to try to pick off the shooter. All toll 15 died and 31 others were wounded. But what many do not realize is this, those students who used their rifles to put pressure on that sniper in the Tower actually minimized the number of people killed that day. 

The shooting lasted a little more than 90 minutes. It ended when police officers were finally able to storm the Tower and shoot the killer dead.

On December 2nd, 2015, another mass shooting that was a Muslim terrorist attack took place when married couple Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire on unsuspecting folks inside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. 

Besides shooting everyone they could inside the building, the couple also planted three homemade pipe bombs in the building. Happily, they failed to detonate. All toll, they killed 14 innocent people while wounding another 22 wounded before the couple fled the scene and were killed by police. 

On August 20th, 1986, a part-time mail carrier by the name of Patrick Sherrill shot 20 fellow postal workers at the US Post Office in Edmond, Oklahoma. The attack ended when Sherrill fatally shot himself in the head. This was the first of a number of shooting involving postal workers between 1986 and 1999. This killing of 14 people and wounding 6 others, inspired the expression "going postal."

Another mass shooting that was a Muslim terrorist attack took place at Ford Hood, an U.S. Army base near Killeen, Texas. That Muslim terrorist attack on November 5th, 2009, left 13 people dead and 30 wounded.

It all took place with Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist became a Muslim terrorist, and decided to wage "jihad" on his fellow American soldiers. It is the deadliest mass shooting to take place on a U.S. military base. As for Nidal Hasan, he was sentenced to death in 2013 and remains in prison to this day.

Five years later, in 2014, Fort Hood was the site of another shooting spree which left three people dead and 14 wounded.

Below is an article that you may find interesting. I did. 

Mass Shootings Have Long History

By Rossella Lorenzi 

Senior Correspondent — Discovery News
December 20th, 2012

He came along with a shotgun on his shoulder while a group of children were playing in front of the school. Without warning or provocation, he raised the gun to his shoulder, took deliberate aim, and fired into the crowd of boys.

Although it sounds sadly modern, the account was published in the New York Times more than a century ago.

Dated April 10, 1891, the article described an elderly man firing a shotgun at children playing in front of St. Mary's Parochial School in Newburgh, NY.

"None of the children were killed, but several were well filled with lead," the report said.

More than a century earlier, on July 26, 1764, a teacher and 10 students were shot dead by four Lenape American Indians in Greencastle, Pennsylvania, in what is considered the earliest known U.S. mass school shooting.

Indeed, killing or trying to kill a mass of people is not a modern phenomenon. For as long as there has been history, there have been gruesome mass murders.

"The terms amok, a Malayan word, and berserk, a Norse word, have been used to describe individuals going on killing sprees. Both terms have been around for centuries, which reflects the fact that mass murder is neither a modern nor a uniquely American phenomenon," Grant Duwe, director of research at the Minnesota Department of Corrections, told Discovery News.

Defined as bloody events that occur within a 24-hour period and that involve a minimum of four victims, mass murders have occurred all over the world, in different times, societies and cultures.

Some of the earliest recorded cases include the 1893 killing with guns and swords of 11 people (including an infant) in Osaka, Japan, the 1914 shooting of 7 people in the Italian village of Camerata Cornello, not to mention the case of German spree killer Ernst August Wagner.

In 1913, he stabbed to death his wife and four children in Degerloch, near Stuttgart, then drove to Mühlhausen an der Enz where he opened fire on 20 people, killing at least nine, leaving two animals dead and several buildings burned to the ground.

In 1927, South African farmer Stephanus Swart shot dead at least 8 people and injured 3 others in Charlestown, South Africa, before committing suicide.

In 1938 almost half of the population of the rural village of Kaio, near Tsuyama city in Japan, was murdered as 21-year-old Mutsuo Toi killed 30 people with a shotgun, sword and axe, injured three others and then shot himself to death.

Between 1954 and 1957, William Unek murdered a total of 57 people in two separate spree killings in the Belgian Congo.

He first killed 21 people with an axe, then shot dead ten men, eight women and eight children, slaughtered six more men with the axe, burned two women and a child, and strangled a 15-year-old girl.

More recently in the bloody timeline of shooting sprees, some of the most dramatic incidents include the 1987 Hungerford massacre in England, where gun enthusiast Michael Ryan shot 16 people dead and wounded another 15 before committing suicide, the 1996 Port Arthur massacre in Australia, where 28 year old Martin Bryant killed 35 people and wounded 21 before being caught by police, and the 1996 school shooting in the Scottish town of Dunblane.

There, failed shopkeeper Thomas Hamilton opened fire at a primary school, killing 16 children and a teacher before turning his gun on his mouth.

"I could have been one of those children," tennis player Andy Murray wrote in his autobiography, "Hitting Back."

Britain's highest ranked player, Murray was eight when Hamilton burst into the school and began shooting. He and his 10-year-old brother Jamie escaped the fire by hiding under a desk.

In the United States, two mass murder waves characterized the 20th century. One appeared in the 1920s and 30s and another in the mid-1960s, following a tranquil period in the 1940s and 50s.

The two waves, however, were qualitatively different, according to Duwe.

The author of "Mass Murder in the United States: A History," Duwe researched 909 cases of mass killing that occurred in the United States between 1900 and 1999.

"The first mass murder wave in the 1920s and 30s was comprised mainly of familicides and felony-related massacres, which, then as now, are less likely to garner extensive media coverage," Duwe said.

On the contrary, the second mass murder wave from the mid-1960s through the mid-1990s consisted of a greater number of mass public shootings, similar to the recent Aurora movie theater shooting and Newtown school shooting.

These incidents "have always captured a great deal of interest and concern," Duwe said.

Marked by the 1966 Texas Tower shootings where student Charles Whitman climbed a 27-story tower on the University of Texas campus shooting dead 14 people and wounding 31 others, the mid-1960s do not actually represent the beginning of an unprecedented mass murder wave in the United States.

"Since 1900, the highest mass murder rate was in 1929. Mass public shootings are one of several types of mass murder and generally account for roughly 10-15 percent of all mass killings in the U.S.," Duwe said.

According to the criminologists, the 1990s had the highest number of mass public shootings with a little more than 40 -- an average of a little more than 4 each year. The number of mass public shootings dropped below 30 in the years between 2000 and 2009.

"This year, however, the U.S. has had at least seven mass public shootings, which is the highest number since 1999," Duwe said.

-- end of article.

Rossella Lorenzi is the archaeology correspondent for Discovery News. She lives in Florence, Italy, and she says she divides her time among an 18th-century Florentine house, virtual archaeological digs, and travels to report on new historical discoveries. She writes for Discovery News, Fox News, CBS News, Yahoo, Scientific American, HuffPost, Mashable, LiveScience, and Archaeology Magazine.

Her article points to the fact that mass shootings happen all over the world. The perpetrators are of every race and color. Contrary to what some on the Left are now saying after the Las Vegas Massacre, these acts are not committed only by White men. Mass shootings are not just an American problem, contrary to what some in the Media are now saying.

As for what made Paddock do it? This tragedy has no rhyme or reason to it. And frankly, people can guess and wonder and speculate until the cows come home, but I don't think we'll ever really understand what drove him to do it. We will never really understand the premeditation, the deliberate act of planning such an attack, and the big question as to why people like Paddock do what they do when it's pure evil. 

Just as no one knows why some folks are so consumed with hate for President Trump, Republicans, and Conservatives, that such a person will shoot up a baseball game between Congressmen, I believe that no one will ever truly understand how someone is so consumed with evil that they would want to rain gunfire on innocent country music concert-goers. And while some in the mainstream media are trying to say that mass shootings only take place in the United States, please don't believe that. That's just a lie.

Tom Correa

Monday, October 2, 2017

The NFL Is A Disgrace

As we all have found out last year, former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick hates America. He proved that to everyone when he refused to stand and give proper respect to our flag and our nation during the playing of "The Star-Spangled Banner"when he was being paid millions of dollars to play football. 

He said his kneeling during our National Anthem was his way bringing attention to what he called social injustice toward Black Americans. Specifically, his protest was in line with the Black Lives Matter propaganda that says America's law enforcement purposely mistreats Blacks because of their race. 

Of course he never mentioned weather those trying to kill a police officer were shot and killed BECAUSE they were trying to kill a police officer. Then again maybe he was too stupid or simply too ignorant to understand the reality of the world we live in. Maybe he is either too dumb or too naive to understand the basics of our civilization. Maybe he it to out of touch with reality because of his being pampered in life. Maybe he is to out of touch because he made millions of dollars while playing a game. Maybe he is incapable of understanding that when one breaks the law, there are consequences no matter what height, weight, sex, color, or race you are. 

This year, a great number of NFL players have picked up where Kaepernick left off. This year, it is believed that 1 in 8 NFL players disrespectfully kneels instead of stands respectfully when America's National Anthem has been played in stadiums across our country.

And yes, as I see it, those who are kneeling are proving to the world that they are truly classless ingrates, nothing but a bunch of spoiled millionaires who would probably have nothing if it weren't for the opportunities that our great nation as afforded them.

They are probably too dumb to understand that they have reached the pinnacle of their sport here in America and would never been able to do such a thing in any other nation but America. Yes, if for any other reason the simple fact that we are the only nation that plays football. They were given the opportunity to strive to be the best and become professionals at what they do. They were given that chance here, yet they don't have the smallest bit of class to stand during our National Anthem as say "Thanks." Yes, ingrates. Nothing but ingrates.

During a speech at a rally in Alabama on September 22nd, President Trump called for NFL owners to fire their players if they engaged in such disrespectful conduct. Challenging the NFL owners, he told the crowd at the rally, "Wouldn't you love to see one of these NFL owners, when somebody disrespects our flag, to say, ‘Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. Out! He’s fired. He’s fired!'"

Frankly, when I heard President Trump say that, I felt he was talking to me. I would love to see one of the NFL owners say, "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now. He's fired" when they see a player disrespecting our flag,

Yes, a large number of polls show that the vast majority of Americans believe the NFL player protest as being done by a bunch of ingrates, believe that the players as nothing but a bunch of pampered millionaires, beleive that they are only doing this because they are a bunch of no class wealthy ungrateful jocks who are catered to by the NFL. And yes, a vast majority of Americans believe like I do in that President Trump was speaking for all of us when he said "Get that son of a bitch off the field right now" if an owner sees one of his players disrespecting our flag. 

Predictably, in the days that followed that rally, President Trump was hammered by the Liberal Media for using such language even thought they themselves have used worse language to describe how they view President Trump on any given day. And yes, this is the same Liberal Media who raved about how wonderful it was when Barack Obama invited the hate group Black Lives Matter to the White House even after knowing that they had committed racist hate crimes by beating and killing White and Hispanic Americans.

There is no difference between the NFL and ANTIFA because they both HATE America.  

I believe that those NFL players who are kneeling are no different than ANTIFA, and other hate groups such as Occupy Wall Street and Black Lives Matter which are sponsored by the Democrat Party. And yes, the Liberal Media is really no different than those ingrates that are kneeling during our National Anthem. Their common denominator is their hate for America. 

What amazes me is how the NFL thinks that they are representing America and that OK with Americans? They don't represent America in the exact same way that ANTIFA, Black Lives Matter, and the Democrat Party doesn't represent America today. And no, it's not OK with Americans. Liberals sure, but not real Americans.

If the NFL players want to do something constructive, then maybe, just maybe, they'd have the cojones to take on the real issues plaguing Black Americans? Yes, not take a knee during our National Anthem to protest cops, but show that they have what it takes to speak to the real issues such as Black on Black crime which is an epidemic today. 

Talk about how more Black Americans are slaughtered by other Blacks than the cops, Whites, Hispanics, Asians, anyone else that one can name. Talk about how 16% of the American population which is made of Blacks is responsible for 54% of all homicides in America. Talk about how Blacks murder Blacks to such an extent that Blacks are responsible for 97% of all Black homicides. 

If anything, why don't these self-righteous NFL players use their wealth to speak to the Black Community as a whole about the problems that plague them?

Why no talk to their fellow Blacks about the soaring abortion rate of Black Americans, the out of this world incarceration rate of Blacks, the out of sight crime rate among Black teens, the increasing number of Black dead-beat dads? Why not talk about Blacks who use race as a way to benefit their bank accounts while stirring divisiveness and contempt? 

Why aren't these disgraceful NFL players addressing the need for the police, or how to better cooperate with the police? Why not figure out ways of working with the police instead of protesting the police? Why not take a hard look at what fighting the police has gotten them?

As a result of 8 years of Barack Obama trying to divide America by race, Americans are more divided by race than we have been in the last 40 years. As for what effect the Black Community's open hatred of the police has had on their lives, the police are patrolling Black neighborhoods less than ever. Subsequently, crime in the Black Community is higher today than it's been in 10 years.

Why are the police patrolling Black neighborhoods less? For one thing, police have very little support in the Black Community. The Black Community has demonized the police to such an extent that the police rightfully fear lawsuits, ruined careers, terminations, being placed in no win situations, and even facing the possibility of being arrested for not conforming to political correctness which rules most big American cities because of Democrat mayors. 

Of course many departments face the problem of having their enforcement methods questioned by Liberal city administrators and the Black Community in general. And the irony of all of this is that the police are in a no win situation as never before. City administrations and the Black Community screams when the police are doing their jobs and when the police withdraw and play it safe. 

Yes, I know a few police officers who have written saying that using deadly force to safe their own lives can be the end of their career and their families financial security. One officer wrote to say, he now carries insurances to protect himself from his own department, his city administrators, the Black Community's legion of lawyers, the Federal and State governments. He said that most officers are feeling hampered and can't do their job to such an extent that they have decided patrol other sections of their cities and let the Black Community police themselves. Yes, that sounds like a no win situation. 

So are ingrate NFL players trying to help out and maybe make a bad situation better? No. Instead the NFL is now inspiring Black teens and small children to do the same as they do. Around the country there are a number of school football programs that have been cancelled simply because there are coaches who approve of children want to emulate the disgraceful actions of their NFL heroes. 

While the NFL is teaching a whole new generation to disrespect American traditions, our National Anthem, and our flag, the NFL and its disrespectful players are not completely getting away with this scott free. They are now realizing that actions have consequences. 

For example, DirectTV announced that it would break its own rules and allow outraged fans to cancel their sports package, and get a full refund. Along with this, sponsors are withdrawing their ads, viewer ship is down, and ticket sales are down drastically. Because fans see the NFL as condoning disrespect for our flag, fans are declaring war on the NFL by hitting them right in the wallet.

The Washington Examiner has just reported that NFL ticket sales have plummeted nearly 20 percent since the start of this season. And it's not only game day ticket sales that are down as some teams are reporting that season ticket holders are not renewing. The low ticket sales combined with the fact that NFL merchandise sales are at an all time low, this proves that the American people are angry that multimillionaires are nothing but spoiled classless ingrates.

Yes, most Americans agree with President Trump that their actions should not be tolerated and they should be fired. But since it appears NFL owners support what their players are doing, fans realize that their only action is to boycott the NFL.

If the NFL thinks that we the American people will just sit by and do nothing while a bunch of spoiled rotten millionaire players through a tantrum and spit on our flag, they have another thing coming. While they think we need them, and that we everyday Americans are the all racist because we refuse to support their disrespectful conduct, they and the Left-leaning groups who are supporting them are drastically under-estimating the effect that a boycott will have.

Somehow or another, maybe it's simply because of their huge egos, the NFL believed that they can insult America, our flag, our Anthem, our Troops who are fighting right now overseas, our Veterans, our citizens as a whole. Well, we're now proving them wrong.

Tom Correa