Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Typical Speeds for Horses

Translated into practical terms and other units, these figures may be extrapolated into the following estimates. Note that these are for relatively fit, normal horses either carrying a rider (under 175 pounds) or pulling a light vehicle over flat, dry roads. 

These speeds might exhaust an unconditioned animal (don't try this at home, kids!), particularly on bad roads, in hot weather, with heavy loads, or over hilly terrain; but might readily be exceeded by an elite-caliber world-class equine athlete. 

Even in healthy, fit individuals the higher speeds could not be maintained for more than a few days in succession without substantial weight loss and careful attention to the condition of the hooves as well as the water and caloric intake of the animal.

Typical Speeds For Long-Distance Horse Movement
GaitTypical sustained speeds for very physically fit individuals
(meters per minute)
Typical sustained speeds for very physically fit individuals
(km per hour)
Typical sustained speeds for very physically fit individuals
(miles per hour)
Ten hour's travel distance for very physically fit individuals, with 10 minutes rest per hour
Walk80 - 120 m/min5 - 7 km/hr2 - 3.5 miles/hr15 - 25 miles
Trot210 - 300 m/min13 - 18 km/hr5 - 8 miles/hr40 - 65 miles
Canter300 - 420 m/min18 - 25 km/hr7 - 11 miles/hrUsing fresh horses every hour, 55 - 90 miles
Gallop420 - 730 m/min25 - 44 km/hr11 - 19 miles/hrUsing fresh horses every hour, 90 - 150 miles


Monday, March 20, 2023

The Stupidity Of Thinking Climate Change Is A Bigger Threat To Humanity Than Nuclear War

I'm amazed at how the Biden Administration has the Federal Government including our Defense Department and now our Armed Forces, all peddling the insane notion that "Climate Change is a bigger threat to humanity than Nuclear War." I mean really, how seriously stupid can someone be to really believe that?

While it doesn't surprise me that President Joe Biden says "Climate change is a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear war," or that he says if Climate Change isn't addressed in the United States today "We’re going to have a real problem." No, none of that sort of rhetoric surprises me when coming from Democrats today -- especially coming from the likes of Joe Biden. 

In all honesty, I've never thought Joe Biden was very bright. In fact, he's never presented himself as a very intelligent man. Maybe that's the reason that it didn't surprise me when, during a speech at a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee fundraising event in October 2022, Biden brought up nuclear weapons and flippantly said that there's a possibility of our experiencing "Armageddon."

While he always comes off as a vindictive individual who likes to throw out smart-ass wisecracks and likes being photographed in his Corvette wearing his aviator dark glasses, as President of the United States Joe Biden actually scared the Hell out of people by saying, "Putin was not joking when he talks about the use of tactical nuclear weapons or biological or chemical weapons. We have not faced the prospect of Armageddon since Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis. I don’t think there is any such a thing as the ability to easily use a tactical weapon and not end up with Armageddon."

Biden was commenting on Russian President Vladimir Putin's threat of using nuclear weapons in Russia's war with Ukraine. In September of 2022, while addressing Russia's concerns regarding NATO giving arms and equipment to Ukraine, Putin said, "I want to remind you that our country also has various means of destruction, and for separate components and more modern than those of NATO countries, and when the territorial integrity of our country is threatened, to protect Russia and our people, we will certainly use all the means at our disposal."

In response to what Putin said, Biden tells the world that Nuclear War is a possibility.  

Then in January 2023, during a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in New York City, Biden makes the insane claim that "Climate Change is a bigger threat to humanity than Nuclear War."

He actually said, "If we don’t stay under 1.5 degrees Celsius, we're going to have a real problem. It's the single-most existential threat to humanity we’ve ever faced, including nuclear weapons. And so we have a real big problem."

Let's all understand that while there are environmentalists and some scientists who say that Global Warming, also known as Climate Change, may be linked to more severe weather events such as hurricanes and droughts, the effects of Global Warming, or Climate Change if that's what you prefer to call it, are not projected to cause the Earth to become totally uninhabitable. Making the Earth uninhabitable is something that Nuclear War would do.

Since the infrastructures of nations will be destroyed, and our planetary biosphere will certainly be adversely affected by the spread of worldwide radiation and firestorms, Nuclear War means that life as we know is gone and life would become primitive for the survivors. 

Democrats who steadfastly accept the stupidity coming from Biden and other brain-dead fanatic environmentalists, those who truly believe that Climate Change is a bigger threat than a Nuclear War, should understand that even a small-scale Nuclear War would produce global ramifications that make the worse predictions of Climate Change look like a picnic. 

While the ramifications of a small-scale Nuclear War would already be seen as horrendous, imagine what a large-scale Nuclear War would bring. Besides a total and complete collapse of civilization, infrastructure gone, zero law and order, widespread death from radiation poisoning and starvation, medical services gone, communications gone, transportation and supply lines gone, travel gone, food gone, no electricity, gas, or any sort of power, a large-scale Nuclear War would destroy the Earth's biosphere which means that plants, crops, and all of the livestock that we harvest for food will have either been destroyed, killed or will starve to death. Of course, along with the livestock that we harvest, such as cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats, all other animals on our planet will have been killed or suffer and die from the same widespread starvation. 

Does that really sound like something that is not a bigger threat to the world than increased bad weather from Climate Change which the world may or may not experience for a thousand years? And really, let's think about this a moment, while it's extremely unclear where Joe Biden gets his information from to form such insane reasoning as he does, does anyone with a single brain cell really believe that we can compare the unproven effects of Climate Change to the known horrors that would be Nuclear War?

And here's another thing, we know what Nuclear Weapons can do because we have used them and have tested them and thoroughly understand their capability. On the other hand, Climate Change has never materialized nor been proven to be real even after waiting for some sort of solid proof of its existence over the last 30 years. Predictions of what Climate Change can do has all come from computer models which are now being challenged because the data was faulty and none of the predictions have taken place. 

Climate Change supporters predicted an apocalypse that has not happened. Sea levels have not risen, polar bears are not extinct, and the world has not come to an end as was predicted. To add to the frustration of Climate Change supporters, their "theory" that Global Warming is warming the poles has been rendered mute because the average temperatures in the Arctic have actually dropped over the past 50 years. That is an inconvenient truth that Climate Change supporters don't want to talk about or even acknowledge. What also isn't talked about is how scientists do not agree that there is catastrophic Global Warming taking place because of the burning of fossil fuels. Scientists are disputing this because that claim is "based on unsupported assumptions," skewed computer models, inaccurate data, and data that has been purposely withheld for political reasons because it's data that disputes the theory of Global Warming and its causation. 

This and other factors have many Climate Change scientists in disagreement about whether Global Warming is even taking place. And frankly, because Climate Change is looking more and more like a hoax, many people, including myself, now see Global Warming /Climate Change as a scam that's being perpetuated as a means for the government to exert more control over our lives.

While "Climate Change" is supposed to refer to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, we have to make sure that people understand that some of these shifts in temperatures and weather patterns are natural. While "Climate Change" is the most "popular" issue talked about today, it does not pose a risk to our existence -- especially when compared to the effects of Nuclear War.

Frankly, I don't know anyone dumb enough to accept what Biden is selling. Surely, no sane person would think that Climate Change is a bigger threat than the real possibility of a Nuclear War with Russia, China, North Korea, or Iran when it gets the bomb. 

And while I know that Biden is an 80-year-old man with cognitive problems, he should understand that right now, even without Iran getting a single nuke, there are enough nuclear weapons stockpiled to wipe out most of the world’s population. Experts say even a small-scale Nuclear War would blanket the globe in dangerous radiation and may be enough to trigger a "Nuclear Winter." Such a Nuclear Winter would decrease sunlight and lower temperatures to such a point that it would finish off most survivors.

I can't help but be amazed that we have people today who are dumb enough to think that Global Warming, or the more in-vogue name "Climate Change," is a bigger threat to our National Security than a Nuclear War. As shocking as it may be, there are obviously some who have no idea how a Nuclear War would end humanity completely. Not through extended droughts or the possibility of more hurricanes, but by way of a nuclear apocalypse.

It is believed that the use of Nuclear Weapons by any one nation may in fact trigger a nuclear apocalypse that will end humanity as we know it. The mass detonation of nuclear weapons would cause widespread destruction and radioactive fallout globally. As I said before, the result is what is called a "Nuclear Winter." And yes, if people are dumb enough to think cow farts and gas stoves can adversely affect the environment, they don't have any idea how the entire world would be affected by widespread radiation as the result of a Nuclear War. 

Environmentalists can forget about oceans rising or extended droughts since a Nuclear War would render most of the Earth completely uninhabitable. And besides nuclear weapons destroying entire cities, the potential aftermath involves the complete loss of modern technology due to electromagnetic pulses, firestorms, and widespread radiation sickness that will most likely kill off survivors. The worst-case scenario is the extinction of humanity and the end of all biological life on Earth. 

For those Climate Change crazies who think "depopulation" is the best "cure" so that their supposed "Global Warming" hoax can work out, they may be happy to know that a Nuclear War would contribute to a total collapse of civilization.  So yes, if widespread radiation sickness doesn't do what most fear will happen, a complete breakdown of society and the economic collapse that follows are sure to lead to widespread starvation. All leading to possible human extinction.

If a Nuclear War, something that would make the Earth an uninhabitable wasteland, sounds like it is less of a concern compared to Climate Change then there's no stopping the stupidity of people from accepting the lie that "Climate change is a bigger threat to humanity than nuclear war." 

And to be very honest, those are the very people that Biden hopes are dumb enough to believe him. They follow him without ever questioning his skewed logic -- or being suspicious of what motivates him politically or monetarily. They are the exact same people who still believe that accepting Biden's lies is better than accepting the truth. Yes, they are Kool-Aid drinkers who blindly follow him. 

Tom Correa

Saturday, March 18, 2023

Horse Winter Care -- The Winter Blues

For most of us who find ourselves snowed-in or having our travel restricted, we can get what some call "Cabin Fever" from staying inside too long. What some folks call "Cabin Fever" is defined as "irritability, listlessness, and similar symptoms resulting from long confinement or isolation indoors during the winter." 

Well, believe it or not, being cooped up in a pen in a stable or a stall in a barn all day can have similar effects on horses. Some find the boredom and isolation the perfect time to fall into bad habits like wood chewing, stall circling, stall weaving, and other such things to show their frustration with being confined. 

Turning them out and getting them as much pasture time as possible will help reduce the chance of your horses starting such behavior. And while some say stall toys like plastic apples help out to break up their boredom, I found that my horse just ignored them when I tried hanging them in their stalls. 

As most of us know, horses like interaction with people and other animals. To me, the best thing that I can do to help my horses is to set them up with companion horses "that they get along with." 

That's the key phrase, "that they get along with." The last thing I want to do is for them to be next to a biter or a kicker. Especially one that I know they just don't get along with. I had that happen once back years ago when the folks who ran the place where I was boarding my horse actually put a biter in the next stall.

That mean son of a buck tried to bite the hide right off of my horse from over the rails. It would have if I hadn't had my horse blanketed. Instead of biting into my horse, it ripped a chunk out of my horse's blanket. 
So, with us knowing that that can happen, it's essential to address their need to be social by providing them with company "that they get along with." And by the way, that may mean using something other than another horse as a companion. As crazy as it might sound, I had a horse that couldn't get along with any of my other horses -- but it did like a huge goat that decided to make my place its home for a while. 

It was so big that it made my neighbor asked me if I was going to "strap a saddle" to it. And yes, I have to admit that it was a chunky goat. That goat served the purpose that winter. Sadly, I found out later that it was a runaway from a neighbor's herd. And though that goat wasn't around here for more than a single winter, that goat was around long enough to help that ornery horse settle down and not act so irritable about being inside instead of out.  

So, if you can't turn your horses out because of the weather, and you're looking for an alternative to getting them more pasture time, I've found that companionship works when it comes to helping your horses knock off some of the ill effects of being confined. So yes, just like us, good companionship with folks that we get along with works wonders when fighting the winter blues that come with being cooped inside so much. 

Tom Correa

Sunday, March 12, 2023

Dear Conservatives, I Apologize -- By Dr. Naomi Wolf

My "Team" Was Taken In By Full-Spectrum Propaganda

There is no way to avoid this moment. The formal letter of apology. From me. To Conservatives and to those who “put America first” everywhere.

It’s tempting to sweep this confrontation with my own gullibility under the rug — to “move on” without ever acknowledging that I was duped, and that as a result, I made mistakes in judgment, and that these mistakes, multiplied by the tens of thousands and millions on the part of people just like me, hurt millions of other people like you all, in existential ways.

But that erasure of personal and public history would be wrong.

I owe you a full-throated apology.

I believed a farrago of lies. And, as a result of these lies, and my credulity — and the credulity of people similarly situated to me - many conservatives’ reputations are being tarnished, on false bases.

The proximate cause of this letter of apology is the airing, two nights ago, of excepts from tens of thousands of hours of security camera footage from the United States Capitol taken on Jan 6, 2021. The footage was released by House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) to Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson [].

While “fact-checkers” state that it is “misinformation” to claim that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi was in charge of Capitol Police on that day, the fact is that the USCP is under the oversight of Congress, according to — the United States Capitol Police:

This would be the same Congress that convened the January 6 Committee subsequently, and that used millions of dollars in taxpayer money to turn that horrible day, and that tragic event, into a message point that would be used to tar a former President as a would-be terrorist, and to smear all Republicans, by association, as “insurrectionists,” or as insurrectionists’ sympathizers and fellow-travelers.

There is no way to unsee Officer Brian Sicknick, claimed by some Democrats in leadership and by most of the legacy media to have been killed by rioters at the Capitol that day, alive in at least one section of the newly released video. 

The USCP medical examiner states that this Officer died of “natural causes,” but also that he died “in the line of duty.” Whatever the truth of this confusing conclusion, and with all respect for and condolences to Officer Sicknick’s family, the circumstances of his death do matter to the public, as without his death having been caused by the events of Jan 6, the breach of the capitol, serious though it was, cannot be described as a “deadly insurrection.” 

Sadly, though the contrary was what was reported, Officer Sicknick died two days after Jan 6, from suffering two strokes.

There is no way for anyone thoughtful, even if he or she is a lifelong Democrat, not to notice that Sen Chuck Schumer did not say to the world that the footage that Mr. Carlson aired was not real. Rather, he warned that it was “shameful” for Fox to allow us to see it. 

The Guardian characterized Mr. Carlson’s and Fox News’ sin, weirdly, as “Over-Use” of Jan 6 footage. Isn’t the press supposed to want full transparency for all public interest events?

How can you “over-use” real footage of events of national relevance?

Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate minority leader, did not say the video on Fox News was fake or doctored. He said, rather, that it was “a mistake” to depart from the views of the events held by the chief of the Capitol Police. This is a statement from McConnell about orthodoxy — not a statement about a specific truth or untruth.

I don’t agree with Mr. Carlson’s interpretation of the videos as depicting “mostly peaceful chaos.”

I do think it is a mistake to downplay how serious it is when a legislative institution suffers a security breach of any kind, however that came to be.

But you don’t have to agree with Mr. Carlson’s interpretation of the videos, to believe, as I do, that he engaged in valuable journalism simply by airing the footage that was given to him.

And remember, by law that footage belongs to us — it is a public record, and all public records literally belong to the American people. “In a democracy, records belong to the people,” explains the National Archives.

You don’t have to agree with Carlson’s interpretation of the videos, to notice the latest hypocrisy by the Left. My acquaintance and personal hero Daniel Ellsberg was rightly lionized by the Left for having illegally leaked the Pentagon Papers. The New York Times was rightly applauded for having run this leaked material in 1971.

I do not see how Mr. Carlson’s airing of video material of national significance that the current government would prefer to keep hidden, or Fox News’ support for its disclosure to the public, is any different from that famous case of disclosure of inside information of public importance.

You don’t have to agree with Mr. Carlson’s interpretation of the videos, to conclude that the Democrats in leadership, for their own part, have cherry-picked, hyped, spun, and in some ways appear to have lied about, aspects of January 6, turning a tragedy for the nation into a politicized talking point aimed at discrediting half of our electorate.

From the start, there have been things about the dominant, Democrats’, and legacy media’s, narrative of Jan 6, that seemed off, or contradictory, to me. (That does not mean I agree with the interpretation of these events in general on the right. Bear with me).

There is no way to un-hear the interview that Mr. Carlson did with former Capitol police officer Tarik Johnson, who said that he received no guidance when he called his superiors, terrified, as the Capitol was breached, to ask for direction.

That situation is anomalous.

There is always a security chain of command in the Capitol, at the Rayburn Building, at the White House of course, and so on, which is part of a rock-solid “security plan.” [].

There are usually, indeed, multiple snipers standing on the steps of the Capitol, facing outward. I made note of this when I was researching and writing The End of America. There is never improvisation, or any confusion in security practices or in what is expected of “the security plan”, involving “principals” such as Members of Congress, or staff at the White House. I know this as a former political consultant and former White House spouse.

The reason for a tightly scripted chain of command and an absolutely ironclad security plan in these buildings is so that security crises such as the events of Jan 6 can never happen.

The fact that so much confusion in security practice took place on Jan 6, is hard to understand.

There is no way to not see that among the violent and terrifying scenes of that day, as revealed by Mr. Carlson, there were also scenes of officers with the United States Capitol Police accompanying one protester who would become iconic, the “Q-Anon Shaman”, Jacob Chansley - and escorting him peaceably through the hallways of our nation’s legislative center.

I was oddly unsurprised to see the “Q-Anon Shaman” being ushered through the hallways by Capitol Police; he was ready for the cameras in full makeup, horned fur hat, his tattooed chest bare (on a freezing day), and adorned in other highly cinematic regalia. 

I don’t know what Mr. Chansley thought he was doing there that day, but so many subsequent legacy media images of the event put him so dramatically front and center — and the barbaric nature of his appearance was so illustrative of exactly the message that Democrats in leadership wished to send about the event — that I am not surprised to see that his path to the center of events was not blocked but was apparently facilitated by Capitol Police.

A point I have made over and over since 9/11 is that many events in history are both real and hyped. Many actors in historic events have their agendas, but are also at times used by other people with their own agendas, in ways of which the former are unaware. Terrorists and terrorism in the Bush era are one example. This issue was both real and hyped.

“Patriots” or “insurgents” (depending on who you are) entering the Capitol can be part of a real event that is also exploited or manipulated by others. We don’t know yet if this is the case in relation to the events of Jan 6, or to what extent it may be the case. That is where a real investigation must come in.

But as someone who has studied history, and the theatrics of history, for decades, I was not at all surprised to see, on Mr. Carlson’s security camera footage, the person who was to become the most memorable ‘face’ of the ‘insurrection’ (or the riot, or the Capitol breach) — escorted to the beating heart of the action, where his image could be memorialized by a battery of cameras forever.

There are other aspects of the Jan 6 breach that seemed anomalous to me from the start. I study the relationship in history of buildings such as The White House and the Capitol, to the US public; I follow the way in which the public is either welcomed into or barred from these structures.

The White House itself and the Capitol steps have always been open to US citizens and foreign visitors. They are public buildings. The gallery of the Capitol is open to the public, so anyone can observe Congress in session. That is why, indeed, the gallery was constructed as it was. The US government website,, explains that anyone can watch Congress in session; tickets to the gallery are available from one’s Representative. 

You can also enter the Capitol, show ID, and visit the Exhibition Hall, though websites encourage visitors to Congress to join the guided tours. Passes to the gallery are also issued to foreign visitors when they walk in: 

In other words, it is normal for citizens who have passed security to be inside the Capitol, even wandering the halls together — though they need gallery passes if they wish to observe Congress in session.

Indeed, inaugurations have been open public events in which the US citizenry simply entered the building for the celebration; this tradition lasted from President Jefferson’s inauguration in 1801, to 1885.

Things got very chaotic indeed in 1829. “On March 4, 1829, Andrew Jackson upholds an inaugural tradition begun by Thomas Jefferson and hosts an open house at the White House.

After Jackson’s swearing-in ceremony and address to Congress, the new president returned to the White House to meet and greet a flock of politicians, celebrities, and citizens. Very shortly, the crowd swelled to more than 20,000, turning the usually dignified White House into a boisterous mob scene. Some guests stood on furniture in muddy shoes while others rummaged through rooms looking for the president–breaking dishes, crystal, and grinding food into the carpet along the way. […]

The White House open-house tradition continued until several assassination attempts heightened security concerns. The trend ended in 1885 when Grover Cleveland opted instead to host a parade, which he viewed in safety from a grandstand set up in front of the White House.”

And inaugurations were not the only occasions in which US citizens approached their public buildings in Washington.

The Bonus Army, which massed in the summer of 1932, during the Depression, to claim the financial “bonus” promised to veterans who had served in World War I, is an example of citizens assembling peaceably at the Capitol. When I was an undergraduate, we were taught that the Bonus Army sat on the steps of the Capitol and lobbied the legislators who were entering and leaving the building. I remember from my history textbook, images of crowds seated on the Capitol steps in 1932.

“[M]ore than 25,000 veterans and their families traveled to Washington, DC, to petition Congress and President Herbert Hoover to award them their bonus immediately. Fortunately for the marchers, Pelham Glassford, the local police chief and a veteran of the war himself, made accommodations for this influx, including the creation of an enormous camp in the Anacostia Flats […]. Glassford understood that Americans had an inherent right to assemble in Washington and petition the government for the “redress of grievances” without fear of punishment or reprisals. […]

On June 15, the House of Representatives passed the new bonus bill by a vote of 211 to 176. Two days later, some 8,000 veterans massed in front of the Capitol as the Senate prepared to vote, while another 10,000 assembled before the raised Anacostia drawbridge. The police were anticipating trouble because of the large crowds. The Senate debate continued until after dark. […]

When it appeared that the bonus would not be paid, many of the marchers refused to leave, and President Hoover ordered the Army to evict them. Using tear gas, tanks, and a troop of saber-wielding cavalry commanded by Major George S. Patton, U.S. Army chief of staff General Douglas MacArthur drove the marchers out of Washington and burned their main camp on the Anacostia Flats.” 

I mention the massing of the Bonus Army on the Capitol steps in 1932, to note that the dominant narrative around Jan 6 today, often implies that it is an act of violence or of “insurrection” simply to march en masse peacefully to the Capitol.

But we should be wary of allowing history to be rewritten so as to criminalize peaceful, Constitutionally-protected assembly at “The People’s House.”

Massing peacefully at the Capitol and other public buildings, is part of our rights and inheritance as citizens, and this use of our First Amendment right to assemble has a long history. Indeed, the public has traditionally had the right peacefully to enter the Capitol — to obtain passes to events, to gallery seats, and to witness the proceedings in other ways.

The Capitol is not a sealed space exclusively for legislators, but it is one that is supposed to welcome the public in an orderly way. 

We should not be encouraged to forget this.

The violence of Jan 6 and its subsequent service as a talking point by the Democrats’ leadership, risks its use also to justify the closing off of our public buildings from US citizens altogether.

This would be convenient for tyrants of any party.

Leaving aside the release of the additional Jan 6 footage and how it may or may not change our view of US history —- I must say that I am sorry for believing the dominant legacy-media “narrative” pretty completely from the time it was rolled out, without asking questions.

Those who violently entered the Capitol or who engaged in violence inside of it, must of course be held accountable. (As must violent protesters of every political stripe anywhere.)

But in addition, anyone in leadership who misrepresented to the public the events of the day so as to distort the complexity of its actual history — must also be held accountable.

Jan 6 has become, as the DNC intended it to become, after the fact, a “third rail”; a shorthand used to dismiss or criminalize an entire population and political point of view.

Peaceful Republicans and conservatives as a whole have been demonized by the story told by Democrats in leadership of what happened that day.

So half of the country has been tarred by association, and is now in many quarters presumed to consist of chaotic berserkers, anti-democratic rabble, and violent upstarts, whose sole goal is the murder of our democracy.

Republicans, conservatives, I am sorry.

I also believed wholesale so much else that has since turned out not to be as I was told it was by NPR, MSNBC, and The New York Times.

I believed that stories about Hunter Biden’s laptop were Russian propaganda. Dozens of former intel officials said so. Johns Hopkins University said so.

“Trump specifically cited a “laptop” that contained emails allegedly belonging to Hunter Biden”, said ‘CNN Fact-Check’, with plenty of double quote marks.

I believed this all — til it was debunked.

I believed that President Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia — until that assertion was dropped.

I believed that President Trump was a Russian asset because the legacy media I read said so. 

I believed in the entire Steele dossier, until I didn’t, because it all fell apart.

Was there in fact an “infamous pee tape”? So many other bad things were being said about the man — why not?

I believed that Pres Trump instigated the riot at the Capitol — because I did not know that his admonition to his supporters to assemble “peacefully and patriotically” had been deleted from all of the news coverage that I read.

Because of lies such as these in legacy media — lies which I and millions of others believed — half of our nation’s electorate was smeared and delegitimized, and I myself was misled.

It damages our nation when legacy media put words in the mouths of Presidents and former Presidents, and call them traitors or criminals without evidence.

It damages our country when we cannot tell truth from lies. This is exactly what tyrants seek — an electorate that cannot know what is truth and what is falsehood.

Through lies, half of the electorate was denied a fair run for its preferred candidate.

I don’t like violence. I do believe our nation’s capitol must be treated as a sacred space.

I don’t like President Trump (Do I not? Who knows? I have been lied to about him so much for so long, I can‘t tell whether my instinctive aversion is simply the habituated residue of years of being on the receiving end of lies).

But I like the liars who are our current gatekeepers, even less.

The gatekeepers who lie to the public about the most consequential events of our time — and who thus damage our nation, distort our history, and deprive half of our citizenry of their right to speak, champion and choose, without being tarred as would-be violent traitors - deserve our disgust.

I am sorry the nation was damaged by so much untruth issued by those with whom I identified at the time.

I am sorry my former “tribe” is angry at a journalist for engaging in —- journalism.

I am sorry I believed so much nonsense.

Though it is no doubt too little, too late —

Conservatives, Republicans, MAGA:

I am so sorry.

-- Written by Dr. Naomi Wolf and posted on March 9, 2023, on her website.

The article above is an apology written to Conservatives posted on her website, Outspoken with Dr. Naomi Wolf which is a reader-supported publication. 

For me, I want to say that such an article by this best-selling author and Democratic Party insider is a big deal. She has been an advisor to Al Gore, and both Bill and Hillary Clinton, among other top-ranking Democrats. And frankly, her apology to Conservatives, to Republicans, to Trump, to the MAGA Americans that Joe Biden is targeting these days is not going to make her really popular with her fellow Democrats. 

Of course, she has been stirring the pot for a while now, especially when she came out against the COVID vaccine mandates. That alone, the very idea of one of the best soldiers breaking ranks with the rest of those Nazi-acting goose-steppers, didn't sit well with Liberals who take orders and refuse to think for themselves. 

She has proven that she does think for herself. And yes, that is the second strike against her when it comes to belonging to the Democrat Party. That political party really doesn't like that. They like it when their people stick to their script and go with the "talking points" that the higher-ups are putting out. 

So now, while her saying, I'm wrong and I'm sorry, speaks to the quality of her character, she may now have a target on her. Yes, that's the way Democrats work: If you are with us, do what we tell you. 

And frankly, she knows that what I'm saying here is true. And again, it takes an enormous amount of decency and courage to admit that you have been duped by those who you trusted. Yes, including some who you thought were your friends. So, it is a safe bet that her friends in the Democrat Party are not happy with her right now.

But there is something bigger going on than just the Democrats not being happy with Naomi Wolf. 

The bigger point to all of this is that the Democrats and some Republicans in Congress have been caught red-handed being as crooked as possible in an attempt to frame a former President. They are criminal in that they fabricated, invented, created, edited, and orchestrated lies that they told the American public -- lies about what they claimed took place on January 6th, 2020.   

From lying about the details of the death of Capitol Police Officers, to lying about how the supposed "insurrectionists" were armed, to lying about how it was an "armed insurrection" done on behalf of President Trump to overturn the election, and on and on and on, were all lies created by Democrats and a handful of Republicans in Congress who did so because they hate President Trump. 

Because the facts of their deceit are now being revealed, we now know that members of Congress, those who acted out their criminal acts as members of the January 6 Congressional committee, should be charged with conspiracy to defraud the American public. 

Vice President Harris compared January 6 to the "Bombing of Pearl Harbor" and the "Attack on America on 9/11." Surprisingly, she was right. But not for the reasons that she and the Democrat Party's propaganda machine tried to convince us that was the case. Instead, it's because it is bigger than both Pearl Harbor and 9/11 because the federal government, and specifically the Democrats controlling Congress, created a lie to stop President Trump from running for office in 2024. 

It has been proven that the Democrat and Republican members of the January 6th Committee lied while putting Americans in prison. They furthered their lies with the specific intent of creating division and strife in our Republic. And yes, the lies perpetrated by members of Congress put our Republic at risk. 

Congress is responsible for creating and orchestrating, including having conducted faked hearings, to enforce the lie that January 6 was an attempt to put our Republic at risk and overturn an election. All, when in fact, they knew that that wasn't the case. Evidence shows that Congress itself is complicit in this massive fraud that risked tearing our Republic apart. And now, the lies and treachery of those in control of Congress from 2020 to 2023 have been exposed. 

Now the question becomes since Federal law makes it a crime to "knowingly and willfully" give "materially" false statements to Congress, can members of Congress be criminally charged with "knowingly and willfully" giving "materially" false statements to the American public?

And yes, even staunch Democrats, those like Dr. Naomi Wolf, who can honestly think for themselves, are admitting that they have been played by the Democrat Party and sees them as nothing less than suckers so easily fooled by lies that never seems right in the first place.

It would be a small satisfaction to know that the Democrats are about to reap the wrath of those in their party who can think for themselves. Yes, those who understand that Liberal policies built on lies have never turned out well in the end. But frankly, there are those who are willing to look the other way even when such criminal acts of conspiracy, treachery, and deceit are on display for all to see. 

Tom Correa

Saturday, March 11, 2023

The San Francisco Hanging of José Forner 1852

Jose Forner (or Forni) was a Spanish immigrant to San Francisco in 1852. History tells us that Forner was small in size, but was really a pretty bad hombre. In fact, it is recorded how Forner was caught, accused, and released after he stabbed to death a Mexican in broad daylight three months before killing his last victim. 

Forner maintained that Jose Rodriguez had jumped him before stealing his knife and his money. He said he chased Rodriguez. He retrieved his knife and stabbed Rodriguez to death, then retrieved his money. Forner stuck to the story that he was actually the victim and not Jose Rodriguez who he had stabbed to death. 

One of the problems with Forner's story is that other than Forner's own knife being taken from Forner when he was apprehended, Rodriguez was found unarmed. The second problem with Forner's story had to do with the money that he said was his. 

Let's understand that Jose Forner was convicted of murder and stealing $400. Forner was sentenced to death. In 1852, $400 was a lot of money. In fact, $400 in 1852 is equivalent in purchasing power to about $15,541.30 today (2023). The money found on Forner became a problem in Forner's story because Forner was caught with the cash in a Mexican sash.  Such a sash was not something that Spaniards would wear to carry their cash in those days. 

So how would it have been possible for someone who was being chased to be able to put the supposed stolen money in their sash? It was something that Forner could not answer. And while we can't believe every source out there, especially the one that said that Forni's hanging was faked, I agree with the general thought that no one believed Forner's story. Thus, he was hanged.  

The hanging of José Forner was the first legal execution in San Francisco and was witnessed by thousands of people who gathered around the scaffold on Russian Hill. It was a huge event with an extremely large crowd of people present. The sketch above shows how big of an event it was.

Who was the Hangman?

In California, as with other states, hangings were usually carried out by the County Sheriffs. In fact, in 1872, in Erie County, New York, future President of the United States Grover Cleveland was the County Sheriff there. Cleveland actually executed two men while he was Sheriff there. Today, besides being the only President who served two non-consecutive terms in the White House, he's the only President who had to carry an execution while holding a lesser office.

On April 1st, 1850, American hero of the Mexican-American War and famous Texas Ranger Major John Coffee Hays became the First Elected Sheriff of San Fransico County. Historians tell us that John Coffee Hays won by a landslide victory and took office as San Francisco County's First Elected Sheriff on a Tuesday, April 9, 1850. 

As the newly elected County Sheriff, Jack Coffee Hays inherited several problems that not very many other men in his position had to deal with just entering office. Among those problems was the presence of rampant crime, horrid political graft, corruption in the courts, not much of a jail as the county mostly used a ship in San Francisco Bay as a Brig to hold prisoners, and criminal gangs such as the Sydney Ducks who were in control of parts of the Barbary Coast, all that while talk of the people emerging in the form of a Citizens Vigilance Committee swirled about. Yes, that's a lot for any one man's plate. 

Because he was San Francisco County Sheriff, John Coffee Hays had to perform San Francisco's first legal execution on December 10, 1852. The Vigilance Committee of 1851 hanged four men extra-judicially during the year 1851. The political establishment and courts in San Francisco took note of the fact that the Vigilance Committee of 1851 numbered in the hundreds. Some say they numbered close to a thousand members strong. A few years later when the Vigilance Committee of 1856 would emerge to take control of the city, they numbered six thousand members or more.   

Many believe that the rise of the Vigilance Committee of 1851 prompted the San Francisco courts to take a tougher stance on crime. The first man to face lawful execution in San Francisco was Jose Forner. As County Sheriff, John Coffee Hays originally decided to perform the execution in the heart of San Francisco right there at Washington Square. Then plans changed and he was looking into hanging Forner on Portsmouth Square. At one point, John Coffee Hays thought about hanging Forner right in front of the jail. Finally, building a gallows on the peak of Russian Hill was decided on. And yes, they picked that spot because it was "the highest point of the hill" and could be viewed by the entire city. 

The hitch in that plan came when it was found out that the peak of Russian Hill was the original burial ground of the original Yerba Buena settlement. Because of the sensitivity of people not wanting to hang a killer over what was the gravesite of several of the area's earliest settlers, John Coffee Hays had the gallows moved several yards down the hill on the morning of the hanging. While it was a good location, it failed to meet the need for it to be in view of the city -- as a warning to all.

As for the hanging itself, other than a last-minute move of the gallows that morning, the first legal hanging in San Francisco was reported to be sort of uneventful. A large crowd gathered around the gallows in what was described as there being a light rain. 

At precisely one o'clock that afternoon, a local militia group, the Marion Rifles, which consisted of mostly members of the Vigilance Committee of 1851, pushed the crowd back to create a perimeter around the gallows. A second militia unit, the California Guard, which also consisted of mostly members of the Vigilance Committee of 1851, escorted Sheriff Hays, his staff, and Jose Forner to Russian Hill. It's said they actually arrived in an open wagon that was drawn by four black horses.

Sheriff Hays personally led Jose Forner up the gallows stairs before he read the execution order. Forner was then allowed to speak his last words and he again explained that his case was merely self-defense. After his plea to the thousand in the crowd, Forner's legs and arms were then tied and a black hood was placed over his head. A noose was placed around his neck. 

At approximately 1:25 pm, on December 10th, 1852, San Francisco County Sheriff John Coffee Hays did his duty and used a hatchet to cut the rope to let Forner drop. A few minutes later, at 1:30 pm, doctors on the scene pronounced Jose Forner dead. 

Though no one is said to have believed Forner's story given to the crowd, the confession below was given by him as he waited to be hanged. It was published as a broadsheet after his execution on December 10, 1852.

The Confession of José Forner y Brugada

On the day that the killing was done, to wit: On the evening of the 8th of October, about the hour of 4 o’clock, in company with two young friends, talking of going to dine, they did not wish to go so early. I said, well, I would take a walk and see the Steam Paddy work. 

I then parted from my friends and walked towards Happy Valley; and while I was looking at the machine at work, one José Rodriguez (the deceased) came up to me and slapping me familiarly on the shoulder, said, “Hallo, José, what are you doing here?” 

I returned for answer, that I had come out for a walk, I at the same time noticed that the deceased looked strangely at me. After a few moments he asked me to come and take a drink with him, I said no, thank you, that I must away and obey a call of nature, I then left him and went on a sand hill, took off my body my money belt, which contained some four hundred dollars, I laid the belt on the ground: at the same time I took off my knife, that also I laid on the ground; whilst I was in the act of dressing myself, deceased came running up to me, and saw my knife laying on the ground, which he instantly seized, and said, “I want your money,” I said that I had but two or three dollars, which you can have if you wish it.

He answered, “No, you have more and I will have it,” at that moment he jumped towards me, I stepped back to avoid him, when he struck me a blow with the knife, which took effect in the calf of my leg, I exclaimed that he was a d—d scoundrel, what did he mean. He ran down the hill, I after him, he dropped the knife, I picked it up while running after him, he made an effort to get the knife away from me, which I had done afterwards, God only knows, I was frantic with rage. 

I confess that I did intend to kill him, believing at the time, that it was his intention to rob me and perhaps to kill me if necessary in its accomplishment. The money which I had when arrested, was my own, I had worked hard for a portion of it, and the other portion won at cards. I was a cook and confectioner at the Jackson House where I received $125. I also worked at the Nueva Mondo and at the Laguna: from these two places I received between $50 and 60, and the balance of the money I won at cards at the El Dorado, Polka and Arcade: in all about $400

I was born in Valencia, (Spain) in the month of May 1820, of highly respectable parents. My uncle is Alcalde of Valencia, and all of my family, with but few exceptions, hold office under the Spanish government. I am worth in Valencia from $4000 to $5000 in real estate. 

At the age of 16 years, I went to learn the trade of confectioner with my uncle; served with him 5 years; from there I went to Barcelona, and was three years in the service of Don Jina Costa; from thence I went with letters of introduction to the brother of my last employer Don Juan Costa, at Havana, Cuba, worked there two years; then went to my native place Valencia; from there to Madrid; from thence to Barcelona; then again to Havana, was there three or four months in the house of Dominicas; from thence to Vera Cruz, Medico; thence to Puebla; thence to the city of Mexico; thence to Acapulco, from there to the city of San Francisco, where I have been working five or six months. 

I had about $75 when I arrived here. I worked for the proprietors of the Jackson House, the hotel Nueva Mondo and the Laguna. This is the first time that I ever was in prison, and never wronged any man of one dime. The money found on me was my own.


His confession was given as he waited to be hanged. It was published as a broadsheet after his execution on December 10, 1852. It was published under the direction of the keepers of the County Jail and for sale by Bonestell & Williston, Clay St., San Francisco.

As he was on the gallows, Joes Forner gave his last words (translated from Spanish):

“My friends! You have come to see an innocent man die. I die for having killed an assassin. He attempted to rob me; I resisted; he stabbed me and fled. Maddened and smarting from my wounds, I pursued, overtook, and killed him. I am a native of Valencia, Spain. I have but few friends in San Francisco.

I have resided in Cuba, where I have many friends. I was tried by a judge and jury who were utter strangers to me. I could produce no witnesses in my favor. What led to my killing my assailant is known only to God and myself. What I have said is true. After I have spoken these few words I shall never speak more. No doubt those who tried me acted justly according to the testimony. They could not have known the truth. The Americans are good people; they have ever treated me well and kindly; I thank them for it. I have nothing but love and kindly feelings for all. Farewell, people of San Francisco! World, farewell.”

The Alta California newspaper published the following report about the festive atmosphere of the hanging: 

A continuous line of human beings was pressing up the hill all the morning, until a crowd numbering three thousand at least had gathered together [n.b. – nearly a tenth of San Francisco’s population at this time -ed.] …  the assemblage was indeed a singular one — there being at least one-fourth of the number composed of youths, women, and children. Women elbowed their way as near as possible to have a full view of the gallows, whilst others were on horseback and in carriages, riding around with as much gaiety as if on a pleasure drive.

But what was most shocking was to see respectable-looking parents taking their little sons and daughters into such a heterogenous crowd, to witness such a terrible spectacle. Despite the slight rain, they stood it out with heroical fortitude and patience worthy of a better occasion. Before the prisoner had arrived, the small boys amused themselves with playing marbles, the bigger ones with dog fights, whilst others whiled away the time recounting their experience in such matters.

-- end of The Alta California article dated December 16th, 1852.

As for other newspaper reports and editorials of the time? All seem to echo the general feeling about how the people there witnessing the hanging appeared pleased with the outcome. Believing that the hanging would forever stop such a murderer from ever being able to be free to do it again, it's not hard for us today to understand how such a feeling of regaining their security and knowing that they did away with such a killer was reason enough to celebrate. 

It was obviously a different time than the one we live in today. 

Tom Correa

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

The Discovery Of Gold In California -- As Described By John Sutter 1857

Please understand that the entire story below was written by John Sutter himself as it was published in Hutchings’ California Magazine in November of 1857:

The Discovery Of Gold In California 
-- By Gen. John A. Sutter 1857

It was in the first part of January, 1848, when the gold was discovered at Coloma, where I was then building a saw-mill. The contractor and builder of this mill was James W. Marshall, from New Jersey. 

In the fall of 1847, after the mill seat had been located, I sent up to this place Mr. P. L. Wimmer with his family, and a number of laborers, from the disbanded Mormon Battalion; and a little later I engaged Mr. Bennet from Oregon to assist Mr. Marshall in the mechanical labors of the mill. Mr. Wimmer had the team in charge, assisted by his young sons, to do the necessary teaming, and Mrs. Wimmer did the cooking for all hands.

I was very much in need of a new saw-mill, to get lumber to finish my large flouring mill, of four run of stones, at Brighton, which was commenced at the same time, and was rapidly progressing; likewise for other buildings, fences, etc., for the small village of Yerba Buena, (now San Francisco.) 

In the City Hotel, (the only one) at the dinner table this enterprise was unkindly called “another folly of Sutter’s,” as my first settlement at the old fort near Sacramento City was called by a good many, “a folly of his,” and they were about right in that, because I had the best chances to get some of the finest locations near the settlements; and even well stocked rancho’s had been offered to me on the most reasonable conditions; but I refused all these good offers, and preferred to explore the wilderness, and select a territory on the banks of the Sacramento. 

It was a rainy afternoon when Mr. Marshall arrived at my office in the Fort, very wet. I was somewhat surprised to see him, as he was down a few days previous; and then, I sent up to Coloma a number of teams with provisions, mill irons, etc., etc. 

He told me then that he had some important and interesting news which he wished to communicate secretly to me, and wished me to go with him to a place where we should not be disturbed, and where no listeners could come and hear what we had to say. I went with him to my private rooms; he requested me to lock the door; I complied, but I told him at the same time that nobody was in the house except the clerk, who was in his office in a different part of the house; after requesting of me something which he wanted, which my servants brought and then left the room,

I forgot to lock the doors, and it happened that the door was opened by the clerk just at the moment when Marshall took a rag from his pocket, showing me the yellow metal: he had about two ounces of it; but how quick Mr. M. put the yellow metal in his pocket again can hardly be described. The clerk came to see me on business, and excused himself for interrupting me, and as soon as he had left I was told, “now lock the doors; didn’t I tell you that we might have listeners?” 

I told him that he need fear nothing about that, as it was not the habit of this gentleman; but I could hardly convince him that he need not to be suspicious. Then Mr. M. began to show me this metal, which consisted of small pieces and specimens, some of them worth a few dollars; he told me that he had expressed his opinion to the laborers at the mill, that this might be gold; but some of them were laughing at him and called him a crazy man, and could not believe such a thing.

After having proved the metal with aqua fortis, which I found in my apothecary shop, likewise with other experiments, and read the long article “gold” in the Encyclopedia Americana, I declared this to be gold of the finest quality, of at least 23 carats. 

After this Mr. M. had no more rest nor patience, and wanted me to start with him immediately for Coloma; but I told him I could not leave as it was late in the evening and nearly supper time, and that it would be better for him to remain with me till the next morning, and I would travel with him, but this would not do: he asked me only “will you come to-morrow morning?” I told him yes, and off he started for Coloma in the heaviest rain, although already very wet, taking nothing to eat. 

I took this news very easy, like all other occurrences good or bad, but thought a great deal during the night about the consequences which might follow such a discovery. I gave all my necessary orders to my numerous laborers, and left the next morning at 7 o’clock, accompanied by an Indian soldier, and vaquero, in a heavy rain, for Coloma. About half way on the road I saw at a distance a human being crawling out from the brushwood. I asked the Indian who it was: he told me “the same man who was with you last evening.” 

When I came nearer I found it was Marshall, very wet; I told him that he would have done better to remain with me at the fort than to pass such an ugly night here but he told me that he went up to Coloma, (54 miles) took his other horse and came half way to meet me; then we rode up to the new Eldorado. In the afternoon the weather was clearing up, and we made a prospecting promenade. The next morning we went to the tail-race of the mill, through which the water was running during the night, to clean out the gravel which had been made loose, for the purpose of widening the race; and after the water was out of the race we went in to search for gold. 

This was done every morning: small pieces of gold could be seen remaining on the bottom of the clean washed bed rock. I went in the race and picked up several pieces of this gold, several of the laborers gave me some which they had picked up, and from Marshall I received a part. I told them that I would get a ring made of this gold as soon as it could be done in California; and I have had a heavy ring made, with my family’s cost of arms engraved on the outside, and on the inside of the ring is engraved, “The first gold, discovered in January, 1848.” 

Now if Mrs. Wimmer possesses a piece which has been found earlier than mine Mr. Marshall can tell, as it was probably received from him. I think Mr. Marshall could have hardly known himself which was exactly the first little piece, among the whole.

The next day I went with Mr. M. on a prospecting tour in the vicinity of Coloma, and the following morning I left for Sacramento. Before my departure I had a conversation with all hands: I told them that I would consider it as a great favor if they would keep this discovery secret only for six weeks, so that I could finish my large flour will at Brighton, (with four run of stones,) which had cost me already about from 24 to 25,000 dollars – the people up there promised to keep it secret so long. 

On my way home, instead of feeling happy and contented, I was very unhappy, and could not see that it would benefit me much, and I was perfectly right in thinking so; as it came just precisely as I expected. I thought at the same time that it could hardly be kept secret for six weeks, and in this I was not mistaken, for about two weeks later, after my return, I sent up several teams in charge of a white man, as the teamsters were Indian boys. 

This man was acquainted with all hands up there, and Mrs. Wimmer told him the whole secret; likewise the young sons of Mr. Wimmer told him that they had gold, and that they would let him have some too; and so he obtained a few dollars’ worth of it as a present. 

As soon as this man arrived at the fort he went to a small store in one of my outside buildings, kept by Mr. Smith, a partner of Samuel Brannan, and asked for a bottle of brandy, for which he would pay the cash; after having the bottle he paid with these small pieces of gold. 

Smith was astonished and asked him if he intended to insult him; the teamster told him to go and ask me about it; Smith came in, in great haste, to see me, and I told him at once the truth – what could I do? I had to tell him all about it. He reported it to Mr. S. Brannan, who came up immediately to get all possible information, when he returned and sent up large supplies of goods, leased a larger house from me, and commenced a very large and profitable business; soon he opened a branch house of business at Mormon Island.

Mr. Brannan made a kind of claim on Mormon Island, and put a tolerably heavy tax on “The Latter Day Saints.” I believe it was 30 per cent, which they paid for some time, until they got tired of it, (some of them told me that it was for the purpose of building a temple for the honor and glory of the Lord.)

So soon as the secret was out my laborers began to leave me, in small parties first, but then all left, from the clerk to the cook, and I was in great distress; only a few mechanics remained to finish some very necessary work which they had commenced, and about eight invalids, who continued slowly to work a few teams, to scrape out the mill race at Brighton. 

The Mormons did not like to leave my mill unfinished, but they got the gold fever like everybody else. After they had made their piles they left for the Great Salt Lake. So long as these people have been employed by me they have behaved very well and were industrious and faithful laborers, and when settling their accounts there was not one of them who was not contented and satisfied.

Then the people commenced rushing up from San Francisco and other parts of California, in May, 1848: in the former village only five men were left to take care of the women and children. The single men locked their doors and left for “Sutter’s Fort,” and from there to the Eldorado. For some time the people in Monterey and farther south would not believe the news of the gold discovery, and said that it was only a ‘Ruse de Guerre’ of Sutter’s, because he wanted to have neighbors in his wilderness. From this time on I got only too many neighbors, and some very bad ones among them.

What a great misfortune was this sudden gold discovery for me! It has just broken up and ruined my hard, restless, and industrious labors, connected with many dangers of life, as I had many narrow escapes before I became properly established.

From my mill buildings I reaped no benefit whatever, the mill stones even have been stolen and sold.

My tannery, which was then in a flourishing condition, and was carried on very profitably, was deserted, a large quantity of leather was left unfinished in the vats; and a great quantity of raw hides became valueless as they could not be sold; nobody wanted to be bothered with such trash, as it was called. So it was in all the other mechanical trades which I had carried on; all was abandoned, and work commenced or nearly finished was all left, to an immense loss for me. 

Even the Indians had no more patience to work alone, in harvesting and threshing my large wheat crop out; as the whites had all left, and other Indians had been engaged by some white men to work for them, and they commenced to have some gold for which they were buying all kinds of articles at enormous prices in the stores; which, when my Indians saw this, they wished very much to go to the mountains and dig gold. 

At last I consented, got a number of wagons ready, loaded them with provisions and goods of all kinds, employed a clerk, and left with about one hundred Indians, and about fifty Sandwich Islanders (Kanakas) which had joined those which I brought with me from the Islands. The first camp was about ten miles above Mormon Island, on the south fork of the American river.

In a few weeks we became crowded ,and it would no more pay, as my people made too many acquaintances. I broke up the camp and started on the march further south, and located my next camp on Sutter creek (now in Amador county), and thought that I should there be alone. The work was going on well for a while, until three or four traveling grog-shops surrounded me, at from one and 8, half to two miles distance from the camp; then, of course, the gold was taken to these places, for drinking, gambling, etc., and then the following day they were sick and unable to work, and became deeper and more indebted to me, and particularly the Kanakas. 

I found that it was high time to quit this kind of business, and lose no more time and money. I therefore broke up the camp and returned to the Fort, where I disbanded nearly all the people who had worked for me in the mountains digging gold. This whole expedition proved to be a heavy loss to me.

At the same time I was engaged in a mercantile firm in Coloma, which I left in January, 1849 – likewise with many sacrifices. After this I would have nothing more to do with the gold affairs. At this time, the Fort was the great trading place where nearly all the business was transacted. I had no pleasure to remain there, and moved up to Hock Farm, with all my Indians, and who had been with me from the time they were children. The place was then in charge of a Major Domo.

It is very singular that the Indians never found a piece of gold and brought it to me, as they very often did other specimens found in the ravines. I requested them continually to bring me some curiosities from the mountains, for which I always recompensed them. 

I have received animals, birds, plants, young trees, wild fruits, pipe clay, stones, red ochre, etc., etc., but never a piece of gold. Mr. Dana of the scientific corps of the expedition under Com. Wilkes’ Exploring Squadron, told me that he had the strongest proof and signs of gold in the vicinity of Shasta Mountain, and furthers south. A short time afterwards, Doctor Sandels, a very scientific traveler, visited me, and explored a part of the country in a great hurry, as time would not permit him to make a longer stay.

He told me likewise that he found sure signs of gold, and was very sorry that be could not explore the Sierra Nevada. He did not encourage me to attempt to work and open mines, as it was uncertain how it would pay and would probably be only for a government. So I thought it more prudent to stick to the plow, not withstanding I did know that the country was rich in gold, and other minerals. 

An old attached Mexican servant who followed me here from the United States, as soon as he knew that I was here, and who understood a great deal about working in placers, told me he found sure signs of gold in the mountains on Bear Creek, and that we would go right to work after returning from our campaign in 1845, but he became a victim to his patriotism and fell into the hands of the enemy near my encampment, with dispatches for me from Gen. Micheltorena, and he was hung as a spy, for which I was very sorry.

By this sudden discovery of the gold, all my great plans were destroyed. Had I succeeded for a few years before the gold was discovered, I would have been the richest citizen on the Pacific shore; but it had to be different. 

Instead of being rich, I am ruined, and the cause of it is the long delay of the United States Land Commission of the United States Courts, through the great influence of the squatter lawyers. Before my case will be decided in Washington, another year may elapse, but I hope that justice will be done me by the last tribunal — the Supreme Court of the United States. 

By the Land Commission and the District Court it has been decided in my favor. The Common Council of the city of Sacramento, composed partly of squatters, paid Adelpheus Felch, (one of the late Land Commissioners, who was engaged by the squatters during his office), $5,000, from the fund of the city, against the will of the tax-payers, for which amount he has to try to defeat my just and old claim from the Mexican government, before the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington.

Monday, March 6, 2023

Alone With a Broken Rib - Bucked Off a Horse in Montana!

I was sent this great video about an experience that a Montana cowboy went through back in December 2022. I was asked if I could post it on my blog. After watching it, I decided that this is a very good blog video that can help riders -- especially those who find themselves in such a fix. 

My belief has always been that we don't stop learning. So, I'm posting this here so that others can see how the unexpected happens, especially when you are least prepared and in remote circumstances, even to experienced cowboys. 

While this happened to Trinity Vandenacre when he was out and alone in a remote area while making his blog video, I've heard of similar incidents taking place and happening to others -- including a few old-timer back-country horsemen and working cowboys who were out gathering in an isolated area. 

The point is that this happens. And yes, after watching this, I really feel that this video is a great training tool for others to learn something very important from this cowboy's experience. 

Major Lesson Learned: Horse accidents can happen at any time even to experienced cowboys.

So who is Trinity Vandenacre? Well, he is a Montana cowboy, a rancher, and a good Christian, who comes from a long-time Montana ranching family. From what I can gather, besides ranching, he also has various businesses including his Youtube Life in the West video blog which he uses to blog about Montana Ranching.

I've now watched a few of his videos and enjoyed them so much that I'm now a subscriber. His depiction of Montana ranching in his videos is outstanding. They really go to the heart of his trying to show how truly misunderstood ranching is these days. 

Sadly, especially in our schools, the cattle industry as a whole is being depicted as something that it is not. Ranchers, like farmers and dairymen, are not villains out to harm the land or our way of life. In fact, the exact opposite is true. Ranchers, farmers, and dairymen, those men and women who work from daybreak and late into each night, are the very people who keep America fed. They are America's heroes.

It's Trinity Vandenacre, his family, and the many others who are in the cattle industry, those working in agriculture farming, who are our real heroes. They understand the land and recognize the increased demand for food. They meet the task of providing food to us every day. And yes, that's why American ranchers and farmers should be praised for what they do.  

His videos help to tell folks why cattle ranchers should be praised and not vilified. Without ranchers and farmers, America goes hungry. And frankly, I like Trinity Vandenacre's videos because they are very well done while making that point.

The video blog below is called Alone With a Broken Rib - Bucked Off a Horse in Montana! 

I believe it was published on Dec 18, 2022, and he describes this video as follows:

"Horses can be very dangerous, and I paid the price for being overconfident in my horse and my knowledge of horses. This is a story of a video of a great horseback ride gone terribly wrong, leaving me Along with a Broken Rib many miles from help! I was bucked off a horse at a very bad time. Please watch the end of the video for an explanation of what happened and how you might be able to avoid this in the future."

I hope you enjoyed this and really learned something from this very well-put-together video.

Tom Correa

Friday, March 3, 2023

Here's A Sea Story For You

After going through Boot Camp and then Infantry Training School, I was selected for Sea Duty. Back in those days, the Navy and Marine Corps kept Marines aboard some ships to guard the nukes, run the brig, and be a ground force that could land anywhere if need be. Of course, we also had our assignments during General Quarters.

I came out third in my graduating class at Sea School. And since it was customary for the top three Marines who graduated from Sea School to get their pick of ships, I chose the USS Hancock. The "Hanna," or "Hannah" as some spell her name, was one of 24 Essex-class aircraft carriers built during World War II. Her sister ship, her twin, was the USS Hornet which today sits in Alameda, California, as a floating World War II museum piece.

Back in those days, almost all of the top three graduates of Sea School went to the USS Enterprise. The "Big E" was a showboat and went everywhere around the world. Subsequently, anyone who was aboard the Enterprise was bound to see the world.

The old First Sergeant at Sea School thought I was "nuts" for choosing the Hancock. He probably knew that by then the "Hanna" was the oldest carrier in the Navy, it was the last World War II carrier still in action after more than 30 years at the time. She was also in pretty tough shape. 

My First Sergeant still thought I was crazy even after I told him that I had a great reason for requesting that old ship. The fact is that my older brother was a 2nd Class Boatswain's Mate on the "Hanna." In fact, because I used to take my brother to the ship now and then, I used to go aboard that ship before I ever enlisted in the Marine Corps. Frankly, I knew the ship and a lot of the Sailors.

So from April of 1974 to January 1st, 1976, I was stationed on the USS Hancock (CVA-19) as a member of the Marine Detachment. Of the 3,500 men stationed aboard the Hancock, 54 of us were Marines. We were a part of Ship's Company.

I want to tell you about what the Navy did with us Marines during General Quarters. Believe it or not, while we Marines still had to guard the nukes and take care of the brig, and man a few other positions, most of us were assigned as a gun crew on one of her two World War II era 5-inch (127 mm)/38 caliber guns.

Our Marine Detachment manned "Mount 51" on the starboard side of the ship. I was the gun's "Pointer." While the "Trainer" moved the gun from side to side, I made the barrel go up and down. I also made the gun go bang.

Right next to my brass bicycle seat was a small brass plate on the side of the gun that read, "Built 1939." For me, my manning that gun as our "Pointer," and knowing full well that that gun mount was used in so many World War II battles in the Pacific in 1944 and 1945, made me feel pretty honored to have been a part of her history. Besides being the first U.S. Navy carrier to have steam catapults installed, she had the distinction of being hit with 3 Kamikaze during World War II and surviving.

As for what it felt like to fire that gun? It was great! Nothing that I have ever fired since has ever compared to squeezing the trigger on a 5-inch Navy gun. I can still hear Radar Control say to Mount Control, "Advise Pointer, fire when ready." And yes, I made sure that I did just as that crusty old seadog of a Chief Petty Officer at Gunnery School in San Diego told me, "Remember to shoot with the roll of the ship!" No kidding.

There was that day when our gun mount had a "live shoot" off of San Diego during gunnery practice. All we were supposed to do was get the shell burst in the area of the drone. Instead of merely coming close, I shot with the roll of the ship and blew it out of the sky. The Navy was tickled and one officer called it one of the best shots ever made with a 5" gun. 

Fortunately for some, ships don't tell their secrets. And while the official story was "great performance by the Marine gun crew," I told a few of those very close to me the truth of what happened. That shot was pure luck. Shooting with the roll of the ship or not, the truth is that the damn thing went off just as I was about to stand up from my brass bicycle seat to declare a misfire. I was surprised that I hit the thing.

Because the USS Hancock was a World War II carrier, she burned black smoke when she lit off her pipes and grey when she was about to get underway. At sea, she had an oil slick that was 8 miles long. Slop was thrown off her fantail to the sharks that followed us. We took "Salt Water Showers" when the airedales shifted the fresh water to the catapults for flight ops. We had food rationing, drank something called "reconstituted milk," had cockroach-killing contests, and the scuttlebutt water tasted a lot like JP5 most of the time.

I was 18 years old when I went aboard for the first time as part of her Ship's Company. I was 19 when we left for overseas. Because of her, I saw the Fall of Saigon and what thousand of people fleeing a Communist takeover really looked like. I enjoyed Liberty in Singapore, Subic, Manila, Hong Kong, and Pearl. Since some Liberty ports are better than others, it's natural that Marines and Sailors on Liberty in some ports come back with better experiences than in others. 

As for Sea Stories, it's said that the only difference between a Sea Story and a Fairy Tale is that one usually begins, "Once upon a time...," while the other starts out, "This ain't no shit...". And while that may be true, let's remember that there's always a bit of truth in every Sea Story. 

For example, you should know, no one ever did more to further good relations with the local natives as did the crew of the USS Hancock while on Liberty. Frankly, no amount of booze ever stopped any of us from representing ourselves in a way that can only be considered that of "perfect gentlemen" -- all of "sterling character." Of course, there are those who would argue the point of us ever being "gentlemen" or of "sterling character" -- more is the case when recalling how someone instigated a bar fight or that time some were trying to evade the local police over some obvious misunderstanding.

As for being the model of America's representatives in foreign lands, as we were told we were, the Sailors and Marines of the Hancock took extra pride in knowing that we knew how to resolve touchy situations when calm was called for. That was very true when trying to calm down a father of a local young lady who may have wanted to see the ring that a crew member may have inadvertently promised his daughter. Then again, maybe he wanted to see the helicopter that she was promised? Who knows.

Looking back on those days, though still a teenager at the time, it's a safe bet to say that that was about the time when I learned how language barriers can be tough -- but can be breached. After all, contrary to what some say today, biology says there are only two genders. And of course, as nature dictates, men and women have a way of getting past such things as language roadblocks. 

Of course, it was also about that time that I found out how copious amounts of local jungle juice always add to the confusion when you're trying to avoid being arrested for something that you obviously didn't do. But that, well that's another Sea Story altogether.   

As for my story of what happened, I'm sticking to it. I was never there and I did not do whatever was said. That also included what I've said over the last 48 years when it came to giving adult beverages to a monkey that obviously couldn't handle his booze. 

As for what I wanted for the poor guy, all I really wanted was to bring him back to the states for a better life. And no, it's just a rumor that I registered him as a Democrat or that I wanted to see if I could get him into government -- or maybe run him for president. There's also no truth, that I wanted him to end up a no-so-funny Leftist celebrity on late-night television. 

Most who have been there, those who have associated with a medium-sized primate who can't handle his drinks, will testify to the fact that monkeys love freedom too much to become Leftists. And no, I have no idea how he was almost let loose in the Base Commander's quarters -- or why the Base Commander's wife didn't think that was funny when told about the plan. I have absolutely no knowledge of any of that other than what I heard later. That's still my story. Frankly, I'm still sticking to it. 

As for today, well today, if I feel like it, I can go to the old Alameda Naval Air Station where the USS Hornet sits as a museum piece. Once there, I'll remember how it was to live and work aboard one of the Hornet's sister ships. Being sister ships, both Essex-class aircraft carriers, they look alike. So when I first saw the Hornet in port there, it was a funny feeling really. I remember walking up the brow of the USS Hornet and really feeling as though she were the USS Hancock -- and I was 18 all over again. 

I will always remember the good and bad. And while some might not feel the same, for me it was a part of my life that I wouldn't trade for anything. There should be no surprise with that. After all, it's said that Sailors and Marines have a special place in their heart for the ships that they've served aboard. It's also said that that's more true than not when it comes to one's first ship.

Strange how that works. Then again, knowing of the battles and losses that crews back in the day had to endure, Lord only knows how a World War II veteran would feel when he goes aboard the Hornet.  

Tom Correa