Thursday, May 27, 2021

24 Notes That Tap Deep Emotions -- The Story Of Taps

What is Taps? 

The bugle call "Taps" signals that unauthorized lights are to be extinguished. This is the last call of the day. The call is also sounded at the completion of a military funeral ceremony. The story below is of how Taps came about. I'm posting the story of "Taps" as written by someone who is considered a "Taps Historian." His article is below:

24 Notes That Tap Deep Emotions 
by Jari Villanueva, Taps Historian

Of all the military bugle calls, none is so easily recognized or more apt to evoke emotion than “Taps.” The melody is both eloquent and haunting and the history of its origin is interesting and somewhat clouded in controversy and myth. 

The use of “Taps” is unique to the United States military, as the call is sounded at funerals, wreath-laying ceremonies and memorial services. “Taps” originally began as a signal to extinguish lights. Up until the Civil War, the infantry call for “Extinguish Lights” was the one set down in the Infantry manuals which had been borrowed from the French. 

The music for “Taps” was changed by Major General Daniel Adams Butterfield for his brigade in July, 1862. Butterfield was not pleased with the call for “Extinguish Lights” feeling that it was too formal to signal the day’s end. 

With the help of the brigade bugler, Oliver Willcox Norton, he created “Taps” to honor his men while in camp at Harrison’s Landing, Virginia following the Seven Days’ battles during the Peninsular Campaign. Butterfield did not compose “Taps” but actually revised an earlier bugle call. The call we know today as “Taps” existed in an early version of the call “Tattoo” which had gone out of use by the Civil War. 

Butterfield knew this early call from his days before the war as a colonel in the 12th New York Militia. As a signal at the end of the day, armies have used “Tattoo” to alert troops to prepare for the evening roll call. Butterfield took the last 5 and a half measures of the “Tattoo” and revised them into the 24 notes we know today. The new call soon spread to other units of the Union Army. 

Oliver Willcox Norton wrote about the experience later in his life: 

“During the early part of the Civil War I was bugler at the Headquarters of Butterfield’s Brigade,... One day, soon after the seven days’ battles on the Peninsular, when the Army of the Potomac was lying in camp at Harrison’s Landing, General Daniel Butterfield sent for me, and showing me some notes on a staff written in pencil on the back of an envelope, asked me to sound them on my bugle. I did this several times, playing the music as written. He changed it somewhat, lengthening some notes and shortening others, but retaining the melody as he first gave it to me. After getting it to his satisfaction, he directed me to sound that call for “Taps” thereafter in place of the regulation call. The music was beautiful on that still summer night, and was heard far beyond the limits of our Brigade. The next day I was visited by several buglers from neighboring brigades, asking for copies of the music which I gladly furnished. I think no general order was issued from army headquarters authorizing the substitution of this for the regulation call, but as each brigade commander exercised his own discretion in such minor matters, the call was gradually taken up through the Army of the Potomac.” 

The earliest official reference to the mandatory use of “Taps” at military funeral ceremonies is found in the U.S. Army Infantry Drill Regulations for 1891, although it had doubtless been used unofficially long before that time, under its former designation, “Extinguish Lights.” 

The first use of “Taps” at a funeral was during the Peninsular Campaign in Virginia. Captain John C. Tidball of Battery A, 2nd Artillery ordered it played for the burial of a cannoneer killed in action. Because the enemy was close, he worried that the traditional three volleys would renew fighting. 

The origin of the word “Taps” is thought to have come from the Dutch word for “Tattoo”- “Taptoe.” More than likely, “Taps” comes from the three drum taps that were beat as a signal for “Extinguish Lights” when a bugle was not used. 

Other stories of the origin of “Taps” exist. A popular myth is that of a Northern boy who was killed fighting for the South. His father, a Captain in the Union Army, came upon his son’s body on the battlefield and found the notes to “Taps” in a pocket of the dead boy’s Confederate uniform. 

There is no evidence to back up the story or the existence of the Captain or his son. As with many other customs, the twenty-four notes that comprise this solemn tradition began long ago and continue to this day. Although General Butterfield merely revised an earlier bugle call, his role in producing those twenty-four notes gave him a place in the history of both music and of war. 

Today, “Taps” is sounded as the final call every evening on military installations and at military funerals. In 2012 Congress recognized “Taps” as the “National Song of Remembrance.” 

More information on Taps and bugling in the United States can be found at “There is something singularly beautiful and appropriate in the music of this wonderful call. Its strains are melancholy, yet full of rest and peace. Its echoes linger in the heart long after its tones have ceased to vibrate in the air.”- Oliver Willcox Norton 

The above information has been taken from the Veterans Affairs website: 

Tom Correa

Sunday, May 23, 2021

The Story of Billy Mulligan

The article below is from eyewitness Lell Hawley Woolley, a member of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1856:

William Mulligan was shipped out of the State on the steamer "Golden Age" on June 5th, 1856, with instructions never to return under penalty of death. However, after three or four years of absence, he returned to San Francisco. 

He was often seen on the street but was not molested until sometime in the summer of 1862 when he got a crowd of boys around him on the crossing of Prospect Place and Clay street, between Powell and Mason streets. It was not long before he had trouble with them and shot into the crowd, injuring a boy, however, not seriously. 

The police were soon on the ground, but Mulligan had made his way into the old St. Francis Hotel on the corner of Clay and Dupont streets which was vacant at that time. The police came and they were directed to the building where Billy could be found. 

When the police entered they found they were half a story below the floor of a very large room in the second story. Billy was called upon to surrender. He told them that the first one that put his head above the floor would be a dead man, and knowing the desperate character they were dealing with, they thought it best to retire and get instruction from the City Attorney, who told them they had a right to take him dead or alive, whereupon they proceeded to arm themselves with rifles and stationed themselves on the second floor of a building on the opposite side of the street from the St. Francis on Dupont street, and when Mulligan was passing one of the windows the police fired. 

Mulligan dropped to the floor, dead as a doornail. He was turned over to the Coroner and has not been seen on the streets since. Charles P. Duane is another one of twenty-seven men who were shipped out of the State and returned. He shot a man named Ross on Merchant street, near Kearny. I do not remember whether the man lived or died, or what became of Duane.

-- end.

Lell Hawley Woolley was born in New York in 1825. He lived in Vermont and left there in 1849. He crossed the plains to California by mule train, took up gold mining in Weaverville, California, and later turned to hotelkeeping in Grass Valley, California. After he married, he moved to San Francisco. 

As a businessman, he joined the 1856 Committee of Vigilance when the call went out. He was in San Francisco when the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance of 1856 rose up and took control of the city. He chronicled what he saw, and published his eyewitness account later. 

The account above is an excerpt from the publication, "California: 1849-1913, or The Rambling Sketches and Experiences of Sixty-four Years' Residence in that State," by Lell Hawley Woolley, member of the Society of California Pioneers and of the Vigilance Committee of 1856. Oakland, Cal., De Witt & Snelling, 1913.

Monday, May 17, 2021

COVID Vaccine Liability -- People Should Be Held Responsible


So now, in a world full of lawsuits, let's talk about "COVID-19 Vaccine Liability."

Back in the 1970s and 1980s, the public began to focus on the injuries caused by vaccines. That led to an increase in vaccine-related litigation. The target of the lawsuits was vaccine makers. Because of fears that increased liability would drive vaccine manufacturers out of business, Congress intervened in 1986 with the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act (NCVIA). 

The NCVIA Act established a court program for vaccine injury claims that caps damages while allowing an injured party to be compensated without proving that the maker committed any wrongdoing. Because the best vaccines may harm some individuals, the act limited liability for manufacturers while ensuring that injured persons receive compensation. The Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund provides funding for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program to compensate vaccine-related injury or death petitions for covered vaccines administered on or after October 1, 1988.

So, with that, we can all see that "vaccine manufacturers" are protected by Federal law. While that is plain to see, with the advent of the COVID Vaccine, there is a bigger question today: 

Are the organizations ordering, mandating, those making vaccines mandatory liable against any sort of vaccine-related injuries or deaths resulting from their forcing people to be vaccinated?

So, how about the people who order you to get a vaccine? The list grows longer every day. 

Schools, including universities, are mandating that students attending classes be vaccinated. In California alone, it is estimated that over a million students and staff members in the University of California system are being forced to get a vaccination and providing proof of such a vaccination before being allowed on campus or attending classes.

Someone should advise those mandating such a policy that making such a policy comes with responsibility.  Yes, financial obligation. Since schools are not protected in the same way that vaccine manufacturers are protected under the law, schools should be held legally and financially responsible for any and all vaccine-related injuries or deaths. 

Are insurance carriers covering universities, such as the University of California, okay with the schools opening themselves up to numerous lawsuits in the future due to their mandating COVID vaccines? Are insurance companies, those who insurer schools with such draconian mandates, increasing the cost of covering them? If not, then shouldn't insurance companies increase the liability insurance of schools making such policies? 

Suppose an insurance carrier finds out that a business has a policy of knowingly hiring arsonists. Should that insurance carrier have the right to raise the company's fire insurance premiums or drop them altogether? The same applies to liability insurance. Suppose those insuring schools learn of policies that put their students in potential danger of vaccine-related injuries or deaths through mandate and coercion policies. Shouldn't insurance carriers have the right to raise the liability insurance premiums of those schools or drop them altogether?  

And really, it shouldn't stop with schools. Insurance providers should be looking at increasing liability insurance premiums of employers forcing employees to either be vaccinated, especially those threatening their employees with losing their jobs if they refuse to get vaccinated. 

The reason is simple, actions have consequences, and entities should also be held financially responsible for their actions. 

Tripping, slipping, and falls are among the most common causes of all workers' compensation claims. Because of wet or oily surfaces, spills, loose rugs, icy walkways, poor lighting, clutter, uncovered cables, and uneven walking surfaces, tripping, slips, and falls account for more than one-third of all personal injuries in the workplace. Companies spend a lot of money to prevent such things from happening. Among the many things done to cut down on such workplace-related injuries, companies promote good housekeeping practices be followed by employees. Companies also require that their employees wear proper footwear. And, of course, companies work hard to reduce how much exposure their employees have to hazardous surfaces. While there are other on-the-job hazards, companies work hard to reduce workplace injuries of all sorts.  

As I said, to cut down on workplace-related injuries, companies spend a lot of money trying to reduce their employees' exposure to hazards. Many companies do so to keep their workers' compensation claims down. The reason is simple. Such claims impede production and cost companies dearly.

Now there are employers requiring employees to be vaccinated with the  COVID vaccines. Please understand that COVID-19 vaccines are not without side effects. Some are minor, but some are so severe that those taking the vaccines have died. It's a fact, more people have been killed due to taking the COVID-19 vaccine than any other vaccine in our history. The number is staggering as more than three thousand vaccinated Americans have died due to taking the vaccine. That has created fear and understandable apprehension about taking any COVID vaccine. 

That brings us to the companies' role and legal responsibility, which require taking the vaccine as a condition of employment. Since some companies require that their employees be vaccinated as a condition of their job, Americans should understand that employers doing so put themselves in the position of assuming responsibility for any adverse reactions to the COVID Vaccine incurred by their employees. 

Suppose an employer requires that their employees need to be vaccinated with the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. In that case, any adverse reaction to the vaccine will be considered "work-related." Because adverse reactions are recordable, employers who force their employees to get a COVID-19 vaccine are legally responsible for those work-related injuries or deaths. 

So now, we know that we can't hold companies like Pfizer and Moderna financially responsible for severe side effects or death after getting a COVID vaccine. But the federal government does not grant that same immunity from liability to companies and schools mandating that you receive that vaccine, especially if it was ordered as a condition of employment. 

The point is, while vaccine makers are exempt from liability, employers and schools are not. Subsequently, they can be sued by those experiencing severe side effects. That's especially true if those side effects resulted from being forced to take the COVID vaccine or lose your job. 

Since some employers are starting to require COVID-19 vaccines, we should all understand that, by law, our getting any vaccine is strictly voluntary in the United States. Such practices as requiring COVID-19 vaccines are nothing less than forcing people to take a potentially dangerous vaccine. That should not go unaddressed. 

Because of that, COVID vaccine liability should be something that insurance carriers and attorneys look into today. Poor policies have repercussions, and people must be held legally responsible for harming others.

Tom Correa

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Stanley Clifford Weyman -- Con Artist And Imposter

Stanley Clifford Weyman, the three sons of Princess Fatima Sultana of Afghanistan, Princess Fatima, and Prince Zerdechene of Millan in Washington, D.C., during a visit to see President Harding.

It's believed that Stanley Clifford Weyman started tricking people in order to get their money by pretending to be people that he wasn't at an early age. We're not talking about a criminal who simply uses an alias. As an imposter and con artist, he played the part of naval officers, a doctor, a lawyer, a Serbian diplomat, an ambassador, and a reporter at the United Nations.  Believe it or not, he even pulled off, making people think that he was the United States Secretary of State in the Hoover administration. But frankly, those are just some of the scams that we know of.

It's said that Weyman's first hoax was as a United States Consulate representative to Morocco in 1910. After that, he then impersonated a military attaché from Serbia and a U.S. Navy Lieutenant at the same time. He actually used the identity of the U.S. Navy Lieutenant as a reference for the military attaché from Serbia and vice-versa. 

He didn't get away with it and was caught. But really, that didn't stop him from living it up at the finest restaurants in New York City before he was eventually arrested and sent to prison for a few years for fraud. 

After being released from prison in 1915, he took on the role of Lieutenant Commander Ethan Allen Weinberg, Consul General for Romania. He had a U.S. Navy uniform made to fit. He bought medals at pawn shops. He was an imposture of the highest caliber, and he was taken seriously even though he was a fake. 

How serious was he taken as Lieutenant Commander Ethan Allen Weinberg, Consul General for Romania? He inspected the USS Wyoming with no questions asked. The USS Wyoming was a battleship that was only commissioned in 1912 and anchored on the Hudson River for repairs in 1915.  

Weyman was shown around by the ship's Captain. As he was being shown around, he would actually stop periodically to question crew members. He was even heard reprimanding a sailor for a uniform infraction. As usual with such con-artists, no one questioned his identity or bothered checking his credentials. Imagine that. No one on that ship bothered to ask questions. He simply took it upon himself to show up and do what he did, and the crew let it happen.

Following his inspection of the USS Wyoming, Weyman celebrated his hoax by throwing a lavish dinner for all of the officers of the USS Wyoming. That party was held at the very expensive Hotel Astor in New York City. As for the bill, Weyman charged it to the Romanian Consulate in Washington, D.C. 

One story says the Romanian Consulate heard about what was going on and complained to the State Department. Then the Bureau of Investigation (BOI) stepped in to investigate. The Bureau of Investigation was established in 1908. Its name was changed to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) in 1935. The other story goes that two Bureau of Investigation agents happened to be in the hotel and recognized Weyman. 

It's said that Weyman was the center of attention until two Bureau of Investigation agents crashed the party. He was immediately arrested. Legend says Weyman complained that they should have waited until after dessert to make their arrest.

When reporters informed the Captain of the USS Wyoming of the fraud, the Captain responded. "Well, all I can say is the little guy put on one hell of a tour of inspection." 

That scam is what Stanley Clifford Weyman became best known for. And really, many at the time who read about it in the newspapers were surprised to find out that he only received a year in jail for pulling it off. 

He wasn't even out of jail for six months when in 1917, he impersonated a British Army Air Corps officer calling himself Lieutenant Royal St. Cyr. In this case, he was arrested when he was on an inspection tour of the Brooklyn Armory after someone called the police. For that, he was given three years in prison. 

He was released from prison in 1920 and soon afterward forged credentials to become a doctor in Lima, Peru. He was arrested there and deported back to the United States. By 1921, he was broke and in need of another scam to make him money. He saw his mark in the form of Princess Fatima of Afghanistan.

It's said that Princess Fatima of Afghanistan had arrived in the United States with two goals. One was to meet President Warren G. Harding, and the other was to sell a 45-carat diamond that she had brought with her. She wanted the money from the sale of that diamond to go toward sending her sons to Eton and Oxford Universities. 

As for her selling that diamond? The sale of that enormous diamond took place while Princess Fatima stayed at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. It was there that she negotiated the sale with some of the biggest names in the diamond business at the time. 

As for meeting President Harding? That didn't happen because of political roadblocks. Actually, Harding's State Department held off from establishing any sort of diplomatic relations with Afghanistan because Great Britain had not yet signed a permanent treaty with the newly independent nation of Afghanistan. So to appease Great Britain, the Harding administration ignored Princess Fatima's desire to meet President Harding.

Okay, this is where the little imposter comes in. Weyman visited Princess Fatima at her hotel suite under the guise of being a State Department Naval Liaison Officer. Even though there was no such thing as a State Department Naval Liaison Officer, it was a nonexistent position. He pretended to be just that.

Once he met her, he started his act by first apologizing to her for the oversight made by the State Department. He then promised to arrange a meeting between her and President Harding. She gave him $10,000 to book passage on the Congressional Limited, the premier expressway from New York to Washington, D.C. The money was also to secure a hotel suite at the Willard Hotel in D.C. 

So now, according to what some say, his getting aboard and inspecting the USS Wyoming was his greatest fete. But for me, I say his pulling off what he did next should be seen as being absolutely unbelievable. 

So, Weyman managed to con the Princess into giving him $10,000 for "presents" as bribes to people in the State Department. He then uses part of that money to reserve a private rail car to Washington, D.C., and get several opulent rooms in the Willard Hotel for the Princess and her entire entourage. 

He visited the State Department. And once there, he insinuated knowing several important political figures. From that, as incredible as it might sound, the con artist managed to get a meeting for the Princess with Secretary of State Charles Evan Hughes. And later, with President Warren G. Harding himself. 

On July 26, 1921, President Warren G. Harding received Princess Fatima of Afghanistan. She was escorted by imposter Stanley Clifford Weyman. It's true. Acting as a liaison between the Princess and the White House, he led Princess Fatima and her entourage, including her three sons, to the White House. He performed the introductions between the President and Princess Fatima and then positioned himself in the group photographs taken on the White House lawn. 

As remarkable as it sounds, it was only after photographs of the event appeared in the newspapers that someone recognized Weyman and called the police. Weyman was sentenced to two years in jail for impersonating a U.S. Naval officer.

When Weyman got out of prison, he was met with an unexpected offer by a newspaper. The New York Evening Graphic is today considered a tabloid. It published its first issue in September 1924. The New York Evening Graphic hired Weyman to get an interview with the visiting Queen Marie of Romania. Supposedly, Weyman passed himself off as the Secretary of State to meet with the Romanian Queen and got an interview for that newspaper. The New York Evening Graphic is said to have paid him well for that interview.

In 1926,  Weyman passed himself off as a doctor, a faith-healer, for Pola Negri, a world-famous Polish stage, film actress, and singer. She was the lover of silent film star Rudolph Valentino. Weyman is said to have shown up at Valentino's funeral with Pola Negri as her personal physician. As strange as it sounds, the imposture issued periodic press releases on her condition before established a faith-healing clinic in Valentino's house. 

During World War II, Weyman was over 50 years of age when he was sentenced to seven years in prison for advising draft dodgers on how to feign various medical conditions to avoid serving. While some say he was an anti-American who sided with the Axis during World War II, that could certainly be the reason that he helped draft dodgers avoid the draft. For whatever reason, he got seven years for doing it and wasn't released until 1948.

After being released in 1948, Weyman forged credentials so that he would appear as a journalist to get into the United Nations in Lake Success, New York. He was exposed when a delegation wanted him as their press officer with full diplomatic accreditation. 

While I have talked about what we know Weyman got caught doing, of the people that he pretended to be, he got away with it only because he was discovered. This brings us to the fact is we may never know the full extent of what Weyman got away with. We'll never know how many times he impersonated various government officials, people in the military, and business people of wealth and status while running a con game to swindle others. 

But that's not all of the mystery dealing with this con artist. In fact, while some say he was born Stanley Jacob Weinberg in Brooklyn, New York, on November 25, 1890, I read where that in itself may be false. Some say his real name was Stanley Clifford Weyman, and he was born in Brooklyn in 1891. 

For those who don't think he was always scamming others, keep in mind that Weyman was caught in 1954 for trying to get a home improvement loan of $5,000 for a house that did not exist. That was his mentality. He was always the scam artist. 

Of course, as his several arrests and many years behind bars demonstrate, he didn't fool everyone. In fact, he once failed to convince a judge that he was insane. The judge didn't buy his sob story about not knowing what he was doing when trying to defraud people. The judge simply didn't believe Weyman's con game and sent him to prison for five years. 

He got out of prison in 1959 and met his end on August 27, 1960. Weyman, the con artist who was once mentioned in a 1951 Life Magazine story, a story that called him the "great imposture," was shot dead during a robbery. He was either 68 or 69 years old and working at a hotel in New York City as a porter when he died.

Tom Correa

Monday, May 10, 2021

Fascism Is A Product Of The Left

A reader wrote to ask, "Is Fascism the end result of moving too far to the Right on a Political Spectrum?"

After reading the short and simple question, I immediately thought of a wonderful teacher I had many years ago. For a moment, I actually remembered the first day that I sat in his class, not knowing what to expect after my having returned to school after serving four years in the Marine Corps.

I was gifted to have teachers who encouraged asking questions instead of just accepting what we are fed. He was one of them. And yes, I still remember how he explained to our class why he thought most Political Spectrum diagrams are wrong.

Fascism, as in that of Nazi Germany, is all about putting the needs of a political movement or a regime above the needs and welfare of the individual. It is "a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation and forcible suppression of opposition." It is all about strong autocratic or dictatorial control.

My teacher contented that Fascism, as practiced by Hitler's Nazi Germany, does not belong to the Right of such a diagram for many reasons. He made the argument that merely by the nature and conduct of Fascist governments, their dictatorial nature, and the totalitarian aspects of their systems, Joe Stalin's Soviet Union, Moa's Communist China, Castro's Cuba, and other Communist countries headed by dictators around the world are no different than the Fascist Nazi regime in their practices.

I still remember how he told our class how he felt that the Left doesn't want to face its ownership of fascism in the exact same way that they don't want to face up to owning the practice of slavery. Yes, he said the Left is like a mother who is ashamed to acknowledge that she is responsible for bearing a criminal son.

Almost 40 years later, after attending his classes and seeing what I have for myself, I still agree with his conclusion. Fascism is another creation of the Left that the world could have done without.

So why was he so vehement about Fascism never being a part of the Right in a Political Spectrum? Well, that had to do with simple logic. Fascism is incompatible with the ideals of the Right, which expound freedom and liberty -- not slavery and government control.

The ideals of the Right, that of Conservatism and Libertarianism, is that of less government intrusion in the lives of citizens, a government that observes our God-given Rights, a government with a smaller footprint in society, a government that stays out of the way, doesn't over-regulate, doesn't over-tax, and has a very minimal negative impact on the lives of citizens. Both Conservatism and Libertarianism are all about getting as close to having total individual freedom as can be obtained while still having the government fulfill certain services.

Does any of that sound like fascism? No. It doesn't. As part of the Right Side of the Political Spectrum, both Conservatism and Libertarianism are about creating more freedom -- not less as Fascism, in fact, does in practice. Fascism is the complete opposite of the ideals of freedom.

So what comes after Libertarianism on the Political Spectrum if not Fascism? I was thought that anarchy waited at both ends of the spectrum. From what I've seen, I still agree with that.

A people who allow their nation to move too far to the Right will allow their nation to do away with essential laws. This situation creates a society where there is no government or an ineffective government that fails to maintain order. Such a situation as an absence of government, or a feckless government, creates a lawless society with chaos and mob rule. That's anarchy.

On the other side of the spectrum, on the Left, anarchy is there as the end result of slavery. A people who allow their nation to move to the Left sets itself up for oppression and enslavement while their rights and freedoms are taken away from them. Because the loss of freedoms can only come from the Left, such totalitarian nations have governments that enslave, coerce, and intimidate their people.

Tyranny creates resistance, rebellion, and a breakdown of the law. As with any breakdown of law and order, anarchy, chaos, and mob rule ensues.

It is common sense that a government that asserts more control on its people cannot come from the Right which wants less government control. Since totalitarianism is a form of government that attempts to assert total control over the lives of its citizens, it is in 180-degree contrast with the Right which is characterized by a small central government that wants less interference from the government. The Right is all about wanting a government that exercises little to no control over any aspect of our lives. 

The Left is all about coercion and does not permit individual freedom. In reality, the Left's Utopian government would be akin to a government made up of slave masters. In contrast, the Right's idea of a Utopian government would be one made up of abolitionists. 

The biggest lie that the Left tells us is that Fascism is a part of the Right Side of the Political Spectrum. The second lie that the Left spreads is that "complete control by the government is good for us." 

Those who are selling the lie that Fascism fits anywhere on the Right Side of the political spectrum are selling a bridge. Sadly, there are those who will buy that bridge simply because they refuse to look at what Fascism does in practice. Maybe once they did, then they would see how Fascism and Communism are siblings from the same mother whose name is "Slavery." 

Fascist Communism has disillusioned supporters who like to pretend that a Communist government is one that focuses on equal treatment and opportunities for all citizens. They pretend that is true, even though such a thing has never been the case in Communist governments. The reason, Communism creates a ruling class of oppressors no different than Fascism does. 

People should understand that both Bolshevism and Nazism are dictatorships. Both systems are about complete control. Both systems have slaughtered millions and prove without a doubt that the Left's idea that "complete control by the government is good for us" is just a lie they tell while separating us from our freedoms.  

The irony of all of this is that the Left believes that government control is a good thing -- unless they are not part of those in power. 

Tom Correa

Monday, May 3, 2021

Texas Jack Vermillion -- Member of the Earp Vendetta

I received a letter the other day from a reader who says he doubts there was ever a man known as Texas Jack Vermillion. He said that he thinks "the Texas Jack Vermillion character portrayed in the 1993 film Tombstone is completely fictitious and was only created for that movie, no differently than how other people are invented in other movies." In his letter, he said that he did research and found several "Texas Jacks" but still does not believe that they were real people. 

I can assure my friend that the man known to some people as Texas Jack Vermillion was indeed a real person. While fiction writers do, in fact, create fictional characters with all sorts of "aliases" for films and books, Texas Jack Vermillion was a real person.

Granted, we don't know too much about his early years or the exact location of his birth. But we know that he was the second of 12 children born to William Vermillion and Nancy Owens, and his birth name was John Wilson Vermillion. He was born sometime in 1842 somewhere in Russell County, Virginia.

Some reports suggest that he was a small man, a man of slight build, only about 5' 2" tall, and weighed in at around 125 lbs. throughout his life. It is known that he enlisted in the Confederate Army when the Civil War started in 1861. According to his biography, he was actually in the Confederate Cavalry unit commanded by General J.E.B. Stuart. I haven't been able to find out if he was with Gen. James Ewell Brown "Jeb" Stuart the entire war or when Gen. Stuart died on May 12, 1864. 

Some reports say he also served under Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest. This is believed to be the case after leaving Jeb Stuart's unit. Of course, his serving under Gen. Forrest adds to the myth that he may have been a founding member of the Ku Klux Klan after the war ended. While some say Gen. Forrest was instrumental in starting the KKK, other reports say Forrest was not since he joined the Ku Klux Klan two years after its founding. We do know that Forrest was elected the Klan's first Grand Wizard.

Though that is not verified, Jack Vermillion had gone to Pulaski, Tennessee, after the war. Pulaski is the birthplace of the Ku Klux Klan. After that, he was in Sullivan County, Tennessee, where he supposedly married Margaret Horton on September 6, 1865. Legend says that the couple moved from there to Eastern Missouri. There also reports that say he may have taken a position as a Deputy U.S. Marshal there. 

As for his family, it's said that they had a daughter and a son. That was at the same time that a diphtheria epidemic hit Eastern Missouri. The epidemic is said to have killed his wife and children while he was away. Supposedly after that is when he moved West, where he surfaced in Dodge City, Kansas. It is also said that he reported ended up in Montana about that time. 

It was in Tombstone, Arizona, in either 1880 or 1881, that Jack Vermillion reportedly killed a man. While I haven't been able to find any record of anyone by his name or alias as killing anyone in a gunfight over cheating at cards or otherwise, I believe that's just the myth. 

That myth also states that the gunfight was seen as unfair by the local law at the time, and Jack became a wanted man with a bounty on his head. Supposedly, it was on the Wanted Poster that he first became known as "Texas Jack" Vermillion though no one knows why he would have been called "Texas Jack." As for the story of him being on the run from the law there in Tombstone, if he were on the run and supposedly fled Tombstone, what was he still doing in Tombstone in 1882 when he joined the Earp vendetta?

But before we go on, the question comes up, why was John Wilson Vermillion known as "Texas Jack" since he was actually from Virginia? As with many folks who pick up a handle for reasons unknown, one story has to do with his love of Texas horses. 

During the Civil War, horses in the Southeast were being depleted pretty quickly. Many there were seen as "half-starved plodding animals pulling tons of supplies over muddy tracks." Because of the need for horses, especially cavalry horses, horses were brought in from Texas. Let's remember that Texas was on the side of the Confederacy and contributed both horses and manpower to the war effort. 

So, would it be unusual for someone in the Confederate cavalry to prefer fresh Texas mounts? Probably not. Was that enough to earn him the name Texas Jack? I don't know if any of us will ever know the answer to that question. For me, I saw guys in the service get saddled with a nickname for less than that, but who knows -- especially when he was supposedly known later to some folks in Idaho as "Shoot-your-eye-out-Jack."

As for his shooting someone that can be verified, we know that in Tombstone, Arizona, Jack did ride with Wyatt and Warren Earp, Doc Holliday, Sherman McMasters, "Turkey Creek" Jack Johnson during the vendetta ride. We do know that he was later named in the murder charges of Frank Stilwell along with Wyatt and Warren Earp, Doc Holliday, and the others later. 

Was he was one of the men who, along with Wyatt and the others, took turns shooting the already dead Frank Stilwell with multiple weapons? Probably not since it's believed that he joined the Erap vendetta ride the day after the Earps and the others murdered Stilwell. But, he was with Wyatt and the others when they fled Arizona after a Grand Jury charged them with First Degree murder in the death of Stilwell.  

After fleeing Arizona one step ahead of the law, it's said he returned to Big Stone Gap, Virginia, in 1883. While there, he supposedly married again. But some question that since it's believed that he was in Colorado with Wyatt in 1884 and then part of the Soapy Smith Gang in Idaho by 1886. It was with this outlaw gang that he picked up the name, "Shoot-your-eye-out-Jack." And really, while that sounds like that could be an interesting story, I haven't been able to find out what's behind it. 

At a family reunion in 1900, he was photographed with a woman who was said to be his wife. In 1911, Shoot-your-eye-out-Jack passed away quietly in his sleep. Such is the tale of Texas Jack Vermillion.

Tom Correa