Monday, March 23, 2020

Typhoid Mary's Refusal To Change Killed Others

Dear Friends,

While all of us have to take measures to deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic, a few of you have written to ask if isolating is really needed to combat this crisis. A couple of you have told me about family members who refuse to take this seriously enough to change their social lifestyle and stay home. A couple of you have also said that you can't get through to some of your family member who don't realize that they can be carriers --knowingly or not.

So now, since a couple of you have asked about her, let's talk about a woman who went down in history for all of the right reasons as a notorious disease carrier. Many of us know her as "Typhoid Mary." What you may not know is that she was a very healthy carrier the whole time she was infecting others. It's true. As an "asymptomatic carrier," she was a very "healthy carrier" of typhoid fever.

Typhoid fever is a deadly communicable disease that kills over a hundred thousand people worldwide each year still today. Typhoid fever, also known simply as "typhoid, is a bacterial infection. It's actually a type of Salmonella and the symptoms vary from mild to severe, but usually starts about 6 to 30 days after exposure.

Symptoms are similar to those of many other infectious diseases. Typhoid fever starts out slow with the victim having a high fever, overall weakness, abdominal pain, constipation, headaches, and vomiting in the first few days. After that, those infected get a skin rash with rose colored spots. That's all just the beginning. 

By the second week, most patients become agitated, and experience confusion and delirium. The "muttering delirium" led doctors back in the day giving typhoid the nickname "nervous fever". And soon, the victim's spleen and liver becomes enlarged and tender. Liver enzymes become elevated. If the patient lasts into the third week, the patient will experience intestinal hemorrhaging due to gastrointestinal bleeding. Intestinal perforation can be fatal. Of course, this is all accompanied by respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and acute bronchitis. Without treatment, this can all go on for weeks to months.

Typhoid is spread by eating food or by drinking water that's been contaminated with the feces of an infected person. Yes, human feces. Keep in mind that sanitation conditions of congested cities of the late 1800's and early 1900s were horrible. Those living there at the time were at risk of all sorts of diseases just living in the squalor taking place back East. 

As for today, think about places like San Francisco where people are defecating on the streets. Risk factors include poor sanitation and lousy hygiene, or non-existent hygiene practices as seen in many big cities. Of course, travelers to Third World countries put themselves and others at risk. 

Then there are those people who may carry the bacterium, and are still able to spread the disease to others, but aren't affected. Mary Mallon became known in the newspapers as "Typhoid Mary" because she was one of those carriers who was never ill. 

Mary Mallon was born on September 23rd, 1869, in Cookstown, Ireland. She emigrated to the United States in either 1883 or 1884. Upon arriving in New York City, she lived with her aunt and uncle for a time before finding work as a cook for a few wealthy families. 

From 1900 to 1907, Mary Mallon worked as a live-in cook and servant for seven different families in New York City. Remember, typhoid is spread by eating contaminated food or by drinking contaminated water. 

Investigation later showed that in 1900, within two weeks of her starting a job as a cook, the residents where she was cooking all developed typhoid fever. Then in 1901, another who she cooked for started to develop the symptom of typhoid fever. In that home, one of the servants who hate what she cooked died a week later. When she went to work for another family, she was fired after seven out of the eight people living there came down with the fever. 

Again in 1906, while working in Long Island, it took only two weeks for 10 family members to come down with typhoid fever. Later, after getting another position as a cook with other families, the same thing happened. 

She was the common denominator when looking at what was making those families ill. Wherever Mary Mallon was hired to cook, those families came down with the fever. 

In late 1906, a typhoid researcher who was a sanitation engineer by trade, George Soper, was hired by an infected family to investigate what was taking place. It was Soper who said that Mary Mallon may have been the source of the outbreak. He said so in a paper published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in June of 1907.

According to George Soper in his paper: "It was found that the family changed cooks on August 4. This was about three weeks before the typhoid epidemic broke out. The new cook, Mallon, remained in the family only a short time and left about three weeks after the outbreak occurred. Mallon was described as an Irish woman about 40 years of age, tall, heavy, single. She seemed to be in perfect health."

Soper discovered that Mary Mallon was the woman who matched the physical description of the Irish cook involved in every one of the typhoid outbreaks. Though she was known to have left their employment or was fired after an outbreak started, remarkably for the time, Soper found her after she was connected to a household where she was the cook. It was a household where the daughter of the family died of typhoid fever. 

In March of 1907, Soper met with then 37-year-old Mary Mallon who worked as a cook at a Park Avenue brownstone. When he demanded that she give him a sample of her blood, urine and feces, she became enraged. Soper later wrote: "It did not take Mary long to react to this suggestion. She seized a carving fork and advanced in my direction."

George Soper found her and immediately accused her of causing the illness and deaths. Of course Mary Mallon became angry and rejected the notion that she was the cause of the outbreaks, after all, she was healthy. Besides the distrust of authorities by immigrants fresh off the boat, at the time it was unheard of for a healthy person to be a "disease carrier." 

No one at the time realized that an individual can become infected from consuming contaminated food and drinks prepared by an infected individual who shows no symptoms of the disease. Of course not one at the time realized that someone who recovered can also be a carrier. Today, we know that the spread of many infectious diseases fall under the "80–20 rule" which says 80% of the disease transmission is conducted by only 20% of people in any given population. In the case of Mary Mallon, it's believed that most of Mary Mallon's transmissions which infected others were through her handling food.  

Besides George Soper, New York City's public health officials were also looking for a common denominator and found that she was it. When they got involved, they tried to restrict her from cooking as a way to make a living. Surprising for the times, they didn't want to quarantine her on a permanent basis. At least that was their plan initially. But frankly, that changed because she refused to comply with the city's request to stop handling food -- and the newspapers put pressure on the authorities to quarantine her. 

After newspaper got the story, they ran with it. They saddled her with that moniker "Typhoid Mary". Then in 1908, the Journal of the American Medical Association also labeled her "Typhoid Mary" after a news story which also pointed out how the city of New York refused to act.  

Because of her continued refusal to give up the only occupation that she believed she was able to do, and the pressure from the newspapers, New York City's public health officials ordered that she be quarantined as a prisoner on one of the islands that surround Manhattan. While in prison, she was forced to give stool and urine samples. And while she maintained that she was not the carrier, tests results for those samples showed that she carried the disease. 

Mary Mallon was freed from quarantine in prison after agreeing that she would stop working as a cook. On February 19, 1910, Mary Mallon agreed that she was "prepared to change her occupation (that of a cook), and would give assurance by affidavit that she would upon her release take such hygienic precautions as would protect those with whom she came in contact, from infection." 

Upon her release from quarantine, she was given a job as a laundress. Since that position paid a lot less than cooking, she changed her name to Mary Brown and took jobs cooking. It is said that for the next five years, Mary Mallon was hired to cook in several restaurant kitchens. She even took a cooking job in a local hospital under an assumed name, and was working there when a typhoid outbreak took place. Of course, outbreaks of typhoid followed her wherever she worked.

By 1915, those who believed that "disease carriers" should not be kept in isolation started to change their minds. Helping to change their minds was the fact that Mary Mallon was responsible for other outbreaks. In those, people also died. Because of her failure to cooperate, she was found and arrested.

On March 27, 1915, under sections 1169 and 1170 of the Greater New York Charter, Mary Mallon was held in isolation quarantine at a clinic located on North Brother Island. She spent the rest of her life in quarantine at the Riverside Hospital. She remained there until she died of pneumonia at age 69 on November 11, 1938. Mary Mallon's body was cremated. 

I find it interesting that doctors believed that Mary Mallon likely passed along typhoid germs by failing to vigorously wash her hands before handling food. But there is something else, though it is believed that temperatures necessary to cook food would have killed the bacteria, some wonder just how did she transfer the germs? Well, it's believed that Mary Mallon did so through one of her more popular dessert dishes which was ice cream with peaches. After dishing the ice cream, she would cut up the raw peaches. 

Her not washing her hands and cutting up the peaches was the perfect transferable state for germs.  According to George Soper, "I suppose no better way could be found for a cook to cleanse her hands of microbes and infect a family."

New York saw thousands of cases of typhoid fever by 1910. It's believed that thousands of asymptomatic carriers probably walked the streets of New York. Of course, who knows how many were cooks and food handlers who didn't wash their hands? 

She lived in isolation for 26 years in large part due to public opinion which turned against her when she refused to change and stay out of the kitchen. Mary Mallon was linked to 47 people being infected and 3 deaths as a result of her negligence, poor sanitation habits, and stubbornness. But, because she used more than one alias while refusing to change her ways and give up cooking for a living, it's speculated that she may have infected hundreds and caused the death of at least 40 people. Frankly, as with all such speculation, we'll never know the honest truth about that.

When I first wrote this story, I left out one thing because I couldn't prove whether it was true or not. Supposedly, before there was a vaccine, doctors are said to have believed that the typhoid fever bacteria lived in the gallbladder of the host. Supposedly they wanted to remove her gallbladder to "cure" her, but she wouldn't let them do the surgery since the death rate during surgeries at the time was incredibly high. The rest of that story says that after her death, they did an autopsy and found the typhoid fever bacteria present in her gallbladder. There's no telling whether that story is true or no. It might simply be just myth.

While, I was contacted by my reader Vivian Schuler who researched this. Vivian sent me what she found. According to Science Today: Humans who harbor these bacterial communities in their gallbladders, even without symptoms, are able to infect others with active typhoid fever, especially in developing areas of the world with poor sanitation. The disease is transmitted through fecal-oral contact, such as through poor hand-washing by people who prepare food. Scientists and physicians have known for decades that these bacteria, Salmonella enterica serovar Typhi, accumulate in the gallbladder. In fact, the most widely accepted treatment of chronic typhoid infection is removal of the gallbladder.

Knowing this, thanks to Vivian Schuler and Science Today, I can report that it's a safe bet to say that the story about finding the typhoid fever bacteria present in Mary Mallon's gallbladder during her autopsy is probably true.  

As for Mary Mallon, the poor gal was a "healthy carrier" of the disease. Yes, no different than today where some who appear very healthy are carrying the bacteria for the Coronavirus. She was able to pass it onto others by handling food while exhibiting no symptoms herself. That too is happening today with the Coronavirus. As for her becoming the first known "asymptomatic carrier" of typhoid fever, it's only that way because she was linked to those outbreaks. It's said that there were probably others, but she was the one who was found and stopped before she could do more harm.

She needed to be isolated so that others would not become infected and die. That's why we are going through what we are today with the mandatory isolation taking place. Many today are carriers who may appear perfectly healthy right now. I can't help but wonder how many carriers out there are refusing to change their lifestyle and isolate to save others, especially those they say they love.

In the case of typhoid fever with the symptoms starting anywhere from 6 to 30 days after being exposed, a healthy carrier could be long gone after exposing others. So no, they might not even know they're the ones who are spreading the disease. Of course that goes to Mary Mallon's legacy as "Typhoid Mary," which as most know is a term used for anyone who spreads disease -- knowingly or not.

Tom Correa

Thursday, March 5, 2020

American Socialism On Reservations Has Never Worked

Dear Friends,

I was corresponding with a reader about the Left's desire for Socialism and the upcoming presidential election. As I stated to my friend in a letter, for me, the choice is clear. We have to get out the vote for Donald Trump and fight the lunatics on the Left. They don't care who suffers as a result of their ignorance about several issues.

One issue is energy production. They have no idea what it takes to create electricity. They certainly don't know what it takes to power electric cars or builds them. I find it ironic that most of them are built with petroleum products and powered by hazardous waste batteries. Of course, the Left wants electric cars, but they don't want to build the power plants to power them.

They see coal as a bad thing, yet they don't understand that coal is used for more than just energy -- such as for the production of iron for building buildings. As for oil production, the Left has no idea that 47% of every barrel of oil goes into making the more than 6,000 manufactured products that we all use every day -- including cell phones and just about everything behind the counter at their local Starbucks. And though they think solar and wind power are the answer, they don't realize that those two methods of creating power are the least reliable and the least productive.

As for the Global Warming Hoax, the Left is way too dumb to know when they are being had. They really think paying more in taxes, giving up 70% of their paychecks to the government under Bernie Sanders' plan will somehow stop the weather from changing. Talk about not very smart.

As for wanting to surrender their Constitutional rights, or their idea that no one needs to be responsible to pay their debts, or their child-like view of Socialism and their idea that everything should be free, I can't believe that they are truly that dumb. The Left's propaganda machine supports the idea that no one has to pay for anything. And sadly, there are fools on the Left who are so stupid that they believe they will get everything free without having to pay for it in some way, shape, or form. Talk about child-like mentalities. They really think a nanny state is a good thing.

As you know, I mainly write about American History, focusing on the Old West, everything from vigilantes to Native American tribes. I'm actually amazed that no one has yet to mention how horrible Socialism has been for American Indians on reservations. So let's talk about American Indian reservations and how Indians are considered "wards of the Federal Government."

On March 3rd, 1871, the Indian Appropriations Act was passed. It was an amendment ending tribal recognition and the treaty system. At that time, American Indians were made "wards of the state," which means that they were considered wards of the Federal Government. It also meant that the federal government no longer needed any sort of tribal consent in dealing with the tribes. What happened after that is a perfect example of how Socialism does not work in America. The reason for that is that it's a perfect example of what life is like when the government sees you as its children and them your parent. 

This Is A Cautionary Tale Told To People Ignoring The Lessons Of Our History

We don't have to look to Venezuela, Cuba, or the former Soviet Union to see how Socialism fails. We would all be "wards of the U.S. Government" if we ever give up our freedoms and choose to be in a Socialist government. Native Americans have a pathetic healthcare system, unemployment through the roof, poverty is widespread, so is drug use, alcoholism, domestic violence, incarceration, divorce, depression, and suicides. If Americans want to see the true ill effects of American Socialism, all one needs to do is see how the American Indian on reservations has suffered under such a nanny state.

Yes, my friends, American Socialism has been practiced since the end of the 1870s when Native American reservations were established by the Federal Government. At the end of the Indian Wars, Native American Tribes were rounded up and became "wards of the Federal Government," which is what the Supreme Court labeled them. 

As wards of the Federal Government, Native Americans became slaves of the state, were lied to, starved, and allowed to die rather than be allowed to be free. Sadly, over the last 150 plus years, some Native Americans have looked at death as a way to gain their freedom from the oppression of the Federal Government's Socialist care.

Do you think I'm exaggerating? My friends, 5.2 million American Indians live on tribal lands. While that's only about 22% of America's Native American population, their living conditions are comparable to that of Third World countries. And like Third World countries, the only people profiting from such a Socialist system are crooked government officials, crooked tribal leaders, and shifty contractors, all of who take the lion's share of the funds allocated for those on the reservations.

Since Socialism is supposed to give everyone everything free, why is it that Socialism on the reservations has meant American Indians have seen nothing free? And instead, they live in overcrowded, substandard housing where three or more generations of a family live in small two-bedroom homes. And while most Americans take for granted things like adequate plumbing, available kitchen facilities, telephone or cell service, electricity, cable providers, heating, and air conditioning, Indian reservation housing is mostly absent of such common luxuries. In fact, on reservations, one would be lucky to find amenities such as running water in most reservation households. 

Socialism Equals Poverty

Since poverty is widespread thanks to the American Indian being a "ward of the Federal Government," such amenities are viewed as luxuries. As for employment, the only jobs to be had are either connected to the tribe or with the Federal Governments in some way. The fact is, there are few private employers, if any, on a reservation.

And because of the abject poverty and lack of opportunity, many of the reservation households are overcrowded. Thankfully, there are those who are on Social Security, Social Security Disability, or maybe getting Veterans Disability Pensions because the lack of employment and the below the poverty line wages are all a result of American Socialism in Reservations.

What has this done to the average household on the reservations? What it has done is exactly what has happened to all of us who have struggled. The only way they survive is by getting their extended families to join together to help each other make ends meet. 

Bernie Sanders is always talking about wealthy Billionaires, but he himself is a wealthy multi-Millionaire. And frankly, he doesn't have any idea of how tough things are when trying to make ends meet -- and the government limits you instead of helping you. 

And as for Healthcare For All? Let's talk about Socialized Medicine, Socialism's idea of Healthcare. Since Native American reservations lack the amenities that most Americans take for granted, and their homes are overcrowded while lacking basic heat and cooling, there are increased health risks taking place. Now compound that with the no real accessible healthcare available to them. 

Here's a statistic for you, 55% of all American Indians on reservations completely rely on the Indian Health Service for medical care. But here's the catch, because of not enough funding, the Indian Health Care Improvement Act only meets about 60% of their health needs. Because of the lack of funds being provided to make the Indian Health Care Improvement Act work efficiently, Indian Health Service facilities are restricted to only providing crisis-driven care. 

That means that there is no such thing as adequate and preventative health care for most Native Americans on the reservations. To make matters worse, doctors and pharmacies are completely non-existent in some communities because of the under-funding. 

So now, we all know that Bernie Sanders has been the Chairman of the Senate Committee of Veterans Affairs, and he didn't do anything to improve the healthcare needs of veterans. And yes, besides what's taking place on American Indian Reservations, that's the other example of how Socialized Medicine is a complete failure. 

As "wards of the Federal Government," Native Americans on reservations were told that the Federal Government would provide for their care and needs. Conditioned to be dependent on the government, American Indians have faced starvation and limited opportunities. Because of this, deprivation is all-consuming, while drug use, alcoholism, mental illness, and depression have led to the highest instances of domestic violence, divorce, and suicide seen in our American society. The result is that Native Americans on reservations have horrible schools, have some of the worse poverty in our entire nation, and don't have adequate healthcare, which the government is supposed to provide. 

Here's what's worse, because of the lack of funding for such Socialist programs as government-provided healthcare, non-existent medical assistance has created all sorts of huge health problems for Native Americans. For example, I read where Native Americans are experiencing a horrible epidemic of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, tuberculosis, and cancer. And sadly, the infant death rate among American Indians on Reservations is 60% higher than for Americans not living on a Reservation. 

These are the realities faced by many Native Americans living on reservations. They should serve as a lesson to non-Native Americans who want to know how bad things can get right here in America under Socialism. It's true. Such is the lesson of Socialism. 

And since we already have American Socialism being practice on Native American reservations, why aren't Americans talking about the truth regarding the evils of Socialism? Doesn't the truth matter anymore? Will anyone ask self-proclaimed Socialist, actual life-long Communist, Bernie Sanders, why Socialism in practice on reservations has failed to work for American Indians? 

Why don't people ask Bernie Sanders how Socialism has failed, and the Free Stuff promised never appeared on American Indian reservations. Since American Indians on reservations live in conditions akin to that of people living in Third World Countries, Bernie and his supporters should be made to address how Socialism kills the human spirit.

If people don't think it does, look to the reservations and see how tough they are.


I find it interesting that when asked by a tribe member to look into the negative ramifications of government-imposed Socialist programs on Indian Reservations since the 1870s, I get tons of hate mail, and the post is read by over 60,000 people. When I write part two, which has to do with how well some tribes are doing after they rid themselves of the Federal Government's mandated Socialist programs, it's read by 300 people. Could it be people who want to read the negative and not read the upside of what's taking place on some reservations?

If people want to read about the positives taking place on reservations that are trying to get out from beneath the draconian Socialist policies imposed on the reservations by the government, click this link:

Tom Correa

Monday, March 2, 2020

A Politically Correct Marine Commandant -- What's That About?

When I was a young man taking the oath as a U.S. Marine, I took my oath to fight all enemies both foreign and domestic, and to protect and defend our Constitution very much to heart. And since I joined the Marine Corps in the early 1970's in a time when I didn't agree with the Liberal Leftist protesters or their messages of hate for America they carried on their protest signs, I resigned myself to the understanding among us who made a vow, a solemn promise, to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States: 

I might not agree with what they say, but I will fight for their right to say it -- because it's a Right that Americans have fought and died for.

That attitude, the ethos of fighting to protect America and our principles even when we do not agree with those asserting their Constitutional Rights including that of free speech in a negative way, is what I was told the Marine Corps was all about. And frankly, I loved it because while ready to fight all enemies both foreign and domestic -- being a Marine also meant protecting and defending the Rights of my bother and sister Americans. It went to the heart of why I was a Marine. It went to the heart of the Marine Corps at the time.

That was 1973. That was 47 years ago. Oh have times changed for my beloved Marine Corps! 

On February 17th, 2020, it was reported that the Marine Corps' 38th Commandant Gen. David Berger not only refuses to protect and defend the Constitutional Rights of his Marines -- but is in fact attacking the very Constitutional rights which the highly decorated Marine General has sworn an allegiance to uphold. He is doing so by attacking the right of free speech of every Marine in the Corps today.

Gen. David Berger has decided that a Marine's right of free speech to display the Confederate battle flag on his or her personal clothing, shirts, jackets, or on their personally owned vehicles as in the case of bumper stickers must stop and be removed. He has decided that the Confederate battle flag is not allowed on Marine Corps installations. His order bans Confederate battle flags, signs, and other Confederate symbols.

While this sounds as asinine as it comes, Gen. Berger has ordered the removal of all Confederate flags, bumper stickers and other similar items from Marine bases. Please understand, anyone can use any symbol to represent hate. The same goes for people lying about what represents hate. Anyone can say anything does, even when it doesn't.

A few years ago, there were a large number of asinine people on the Left who said the Gadsden Flag was a symbol of hate because it was being flown, along with many other historic American flags, at Tea Party rallies. The Gadsden flag was used at those rallies to remind Obama and the government that tyranny will not be tolerated by a free people.

The Gadsden flag is a historical American flag with a yellow field depicting a timber rattlesnake coiled and ready to strike. Below the rattlesnake are the words "DONT TREAD ON ME".

In 1775, Congress authorized the creation of a Continental Navy starting with four ships. To accompany the Continental Navy on their first mission, Congress also authorized the mustering of five companies of Continental Marines. During their first mission, some of the Marines took with them a yellow flag emblazoned with a fierce rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike, with thirteen rattles, and sporting the motto "DONT TREAD ON ME".

Today, as was the case over 200 years ago, the Gadsden flag does not represent hate. It is a historic symbol of America's fight against tyranny. It is a symbol of deviance against unjust rule. The Confederate flag does not represent hate no differently than the Gadsden flag does not represent hate. 

The Confederate flag was designed to represent deviance against a federal government that Americans in the South saw as overstepping their authority when governing. It was carried into battle by Americans in the Civil War in their fight against those they saw as forcing them into submission. Today, it is a cultural symbol of the American Rebel spirit of independence. It is also a flag representing Southern heritage in their fight against what they saw as tyranny. 

Even though Confederate flags, bumper stickers and similar items are incapable of causing harm and does not represent hate coming from any group, in fact simply goes to the pride of one's heritage as Southerners, Gen. Berger wants them removed from Marine Corps bases according to a new directive from the Commandant. And frankly, I can't help but wonder if he will bad the Gadsden flag as well -- even though that was the first flag carried by our Continental Marines.

Gen. Berger has told his commanders to begin implementing the order or develop plans to do so by February 28, 2020. The order was included in a memo that Gen. Berger sent out calling for more recruiting of women in combat positions and for more restrictions on Marines accused of domestic violence. He also wants to expand maternity leave for pregnant Marines. 

As for his order banning the Confederate battle flag on Marine Corps bases, he simply ordered "the removal of all Confederate-related paraphernalia from Marine Corps installations." But there has not been an incident to incite such an action. It's true. A Marine Corps spokesman said the order was "not generated by any one incident, and instead stemmed from a broader concern about the issue."

We should all understand that members of the military have been involved in racial incidents for years. While that doesn't excuse such things, to my knowledge Confederate paraphernalia has had been at the root of those incidents. In most case, it simply has to do with hate from both blacks and whites.

You think I'm oversimplifying things? When I was in the Marine Corps in the early 1970's and part of the Marine Detachment aboard the USS Hancock, we were trained in riot control because the Sailors had race riots on other ships at the time. At the time, we were told that black Sailors were assaulting white Sailors for no reason other than skin color. Yes, so much for Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of ignoring color of skin. 

Later when stationed in Marine Corps Base Camp Pendelton in 1976 and '77, I was on Instructor duty at Correctional Custody when I heard about 7 black Marines using screwdrivers to attack and stab 14 white Marines at an area Enlisted Club. That incident turned into a real circus. The white Marines who were in a conference room holding a meeting regarding local youth sports were accused of holding a Ku Klux Klan meeting. 

It was national news in no time at all. In fact newspapers started running stories about how the Ku Klux Klan had some sort of presence in Camp Pendelton and the Marine Corps in general. Even though those news stories were all lies designed to inflame the situation, soon enough America's military haters started holding protests at Camp Pendelton's Main Gate. 

Included in those protests were black political activists, I believe Rev. Jessie Jackson showed up, too ready to capitalize on the false reports about the Ku Klux Klan having a foothold in the Marine Corps. Right after the black political leaders showed up, believe it or not, a Ku Klux Klan leader showed up get his face in front of television cameras and on the news. To the credit of the Marine General in charge of Camp Pendelton at the time, both the Klan leader and the black activists were not allowed on base. 

As for the black Marines who were taken into custody and facing assault charges. At first they stuck to their story that the white Marines were holding a Klan meeting. Their story unraveled when one of the seven black Marines informed on the others during their Courts Martial trail. He made it known that they knew it wasn't a Ku Klux Klan meeting. The black Marines assaulted the white Marines simply because they were white. And with that, the protests and the stories of the Klan's fictional influence in the Corps died.

While the hoopla over the incident died off after the truth came out, there were other politics taking place in the Corps at the time. After a recruit died during training, it seemed there were Congressional investigators running around everywhere. From this, there was a will to please politicians by sacrificing some very good Marines. In those days, if a Marine Instructor had unsubstantiated allegations of maltreatment made against him, his career was over without hearing his side. All to please the political witch-hunters. 

Of course those incident weren't the first incidents that showed how truly political the Marine Corps was in practice. In fact, at the time, the mid-1970's, the Marine Corps had already tried to put women Marines in combat positions. That took place in 1977 to please the very Liberal Carter administration mandates to get more women in roles traditionally dominated by men. It failed. 

Yes, there is a reason that men fight in the trenches. Whether or not politicians want to admit it, combat readiness requires Marines to meet extraordinary physical requirements. Those requirements should not be lowered just so women will be able to meet them. If the Corps lowers it's standards just to allow women to serve in line companies, all to appease some sort of Liberal political agenda, then the Corps lessens itself and Marines will suffer for it. That's not to say that women Marines do not serve a vital function in the Corps. But pushing their presence in a line company as a result of political pressure when women, and not just one or two, cannot meet high physical standards should not take place. The Marine Corps's standards should not be lowers for political reasons. That's what we learned in 1977 when a few units tried it. But really, liberal politicians didn't care to hear that. 

Although that experiment failed miserably back in 1977, Gen. David Berger didn't enter the Marine Corps until 1981. Maybe that's why he wants to try it again. Of course, attempting to do so was in itself an effort by the Marine Corps to please politicians who wanted to use the military for their social experiments back then -- just as it would be today. 

I attribute Gen. Berger wanting to try it again to how little he knows about what was tried and why things failed in the Corps before he became a Marine. Of course if he does know why such a stupid notion as lowering Corps standards just to allow women to serve in line companies failed in its previous attempts to do so, and he still wants to do it, then that in itself shows Gen. Berger might be more politically inclined than I thought. 

In an era of political correctness, it's a shame to see such a decorated Marine as Gen. Berger bend to such social experiments and political dictates as suppressing one's Rights. When reading about the General, one can't help but see a Marine who has risen through the officer ranks with merit. So why he feels it's necessary to address such a free speech issue as Marines waving the Confederate battle flag can only be seen as political. 

It's sad really. Instead of being known as a Marine Commandant who stood up against the negative affects of political correctness on the Corps, he will go down as aligning himself with those who want to tear down Confederate monuments in public places and suppress one's rights of free speech. Yes, all under the guise of "doing what's right" when in fact it's just political correctness. 

I can't help but wonder where politically correct Gen. Berger will stop. Will he issue Dishonorable Discharges to decorated Marines who happen to have Confederate flag tattoos? What if a Marine is from the South, what about his or her pride of heritage? What about the Corps' heritage and tradition and all of the Southerners who have served in the Marine Corps?

And here's something else to think about. Will Gen. Berger attempt to push the Obama administration mandate of eliminating Christian worship from the military by banning Christian services on base? Because I enthusiastically support President Donald Trump, I can't help but wonder if Gen. Berger is prone to carrying out the guidelines of the Obama administration and not President Trump's administration? Since it was clear just a few years ago that the powers-to-be were attacking practicing Christians in the Corps, making them not welcome in our military, as well as attacking the Gadsden flag and the Confederate battle flag, will Marine Corps Commandant Gen. David Berger attack a Marine's right to Christian worship?  

Both our freedom of speech and our ability to worship the religion of our choice are rights protected by our Bill of Rights, rights that Gen. David Berger is sworn to protect and defend -- not attack and limit -- but does that matter to Gen. Berger? Where will Gen. Berger stop in his attacks on a Marine's rights as an American Citizen in accordance to the Bill of Rights?

While I'm in no way disparaging his service to our country, I can't help but wonder about his decision making capability. Since Gen. Berger ordered the removal of all Confederate paraphernalia from all Marine Corps bases, I can't help but wonder if the Bill of Rights even matters to this very political Marine Commandant. Through his actions, his concern to protect and defend the rights of his Marines is questionable at best.

Tom Correa