Trump-Rejecting Republican Has Plan to Drive Gun Owners from GOP

H/T AmmoLand.

It will most likely be gun owners running his never Trumper ass out of the GOP.


U.S.A. – -( “The Trump-rejecting Florida Republican who has a plan to fix the GOP Miami Mayor Francis Suarez has a message for leaders in Washington,” Politico reports. “Start thinking more like mayors.”

“Suarez is a Cuban Republican, but he doesn’t match some of the usual headlines surrounding Cuban American voters,” we are told. “For one, he didn’t vote for Trump in the 2020 election. He doesn’t have a great relationship with DeSantis, either, and has criticized him openly and done little to support him politically. He even voted for DeSantis’ 2018 Democratic opponent, Andrew Gillum.”

In other words, he voted to help empower the Biden gun-grab agenda. And he tried to inflict a gun-grabbing, crystal meth-abusing, adulterous vomiter supported by socialists who sing songs about killing their enemies with knives and guns on his gun-owning constituents. I’m not making any of that up.

You’d think for a Cuban American, Suarez would understand the evil of the “¿Armas para que?” violence monopoly the tyrant Castro imposed to enslave the island under communism. You’d think the experiences and insights of those who escaped and know the essential relationship between an armed people and freedom would be the stronger influence.

Instead, Suarez in effect says that in order to win elections, more Republicans need to join him in demanding prior restraints on a fundamental right via so-called “universal background checks” that, according to the National Institute of Justice:

“Effectiveness depends on the ability to reduce straw purchasing, requiring gun registration…”

Suarez in effect says that in order to win elections, more Republicans need to join him and his fellow mayors in demanding to criminalize and indefinitely delay private transfers.

And naturally, when it comes to immigration policy, Suarez says the winning strategy for Republicans is to favor “new shapers” (those would be foreign nationals) over “ourselves and our Posterity.” That’s despite all credible polling and all real-world experience proving cultural terraforming combined with a “pathway to citizenship” runs consistently around 70% to 30% in favor of  Democrats and citizen disarmament.

That, of course, is right in line with Establishment Republican interests, the ones who, like Suarez opposed the agenda that Donald Trump campaigned and that those who voted for him consider existential.

So it’s no surprise we see former House Speaker John Boehner, now that he no longer needs our votes, declaring “America First …  is one of the nuttiest things I’ve ever seen,” and “that gun control would be a top priority ‘if’ he were Speaker now.” And it’s even less of a surprise to see former President George W. Bush throwing out words that play right into Democrat hands like “isolationist” and “nativist” and not forgetting to throw the right to keep and bear arms under the bus:

“Bush remained hopeful that a more moderate Republican — one who supported reasonable gun reform measures, increased public school funding and a path to citizenship for undocumented workers, among other policies — could succeed in the party’s 2024 presidential primary.”

That’s despite an NRA endorsement that, tellingly, only mentioned “hunting and sport shooting” and promoted the asinine contention that “the Constitution gives people the personal right to bear arms.” (With former Democrat aides Wayne LaPierre and Chris Cox being the only gun group “leaders” with Trump’s ear, no wonder he got the “give’ business wrong.)

Are Republicans really stupid enough to believe they can take the fire out of the bellies of their core constituents and give the Democrats everything they demand? And still not be ruthlessly attacked as “extreme”?

What is it leftist influencers are now saying about Boehner? His betrayal only earned him their contempt. And do you think they’re motivated to take back the “renegade right-wing extremist” charge against Bush? Even with his inner circle making a big show of abandoning the GOP?

This is what Suarez says Republicans need to project in order to win? That and be like Bloomberg’s mayors?

“GOP leadership has no clue what their base believes in,” Wayne Allyn Root writes on He lists 14 statements he made at GOP events where he was the keynote speaker, each resulting in “wild applause” from the attendees, the very Republican voters the tone-deaf  GOP establishment refuses to acknowledge, let alone listen to.

So naturally, Nikki Haley, the epitome of an establishment Republican, is considering Suarez as a running mate if she decides to run for president in 2024.

It’s almost like their goal is an elephants’ graveyard.

The Women Who Rode Miles on Horseback to Deliver Library Books

H/T Atlas Obscura.

I learned something new about libraries during the Depression.

Librarians are amazing.

A group of "book women" on horseback in Hindman, Kentucky, 1940.

A group of “book women” on horseback in Hindman, Kentucky, 1940. KENTUCKY LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES

They were known as the “book women.” They would saddle up, usually at dawn, to pick their way along snowy hillsides and through muddy creeks with a simple goal: to deliver reading material to Kentucky’s isolated mountain communities.

The Pack Horse Library initiative was part of President Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Progress Administration (WPA), created to help lift America out of the Great Depression, during which, by 1933, unemployment had risen to 40 percent in Appalachia. Roving horseback libraries weren’t entirely new to Kentucky, but this initiative was an opportunity to boost both employment and literacy at the same time.

A pack horse librarian at an isolated mountain house, carrying books in saddle bags and hickory baskets, year unknown.
A pack horse librarian at an isolated mountain house, carrying books in saddle bags and hickory baskets, year unknown. UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY LIBRARIES SPECIAL COLLECTIONS RESEARCH CENTER.
The WPA paid the salaries of the book carriers—almost all the employees were women, making the initiative unusual among WPA programs—but very little else. Counties had to have their own base libraries from which the mounted librarians would travel. Local schools helped cover those costs, and the reading materials—books, magazines, and newspapers—were all donated. In December 1940, a notice in the Mountain Eagle newspaper noted that the Letcher County library “needs donations of books and magazines regardless of how old or worn they may be.”

Old magazines and newspapers were cut and pasted into scrapbooks with particular themes—recipes, for example, or crafts. One such scrapbook, which still is held today at the FDR Presidential Library & Museum in Hyde Park, New York, contains recipes pasted into a notebook with the following introduction: “Cook books are popular. Anything to do with canning or preserving is welcomed.” Books were repaired in the libraries and, as historian Donald C. Boyd notes, old Christmas cards were circulated to use as bookmarks and prevent damage from dog-eared pages.

Pack horse librarians start down Greasy Creek to remote homes, date unknown.
Pack horse librarians start down Greasy Creek to remote homes, date unknown. UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY LIBRARIES SPECIAL COLLECTIONS RESEARCH CENTER.


The book women rode 100 to 120 miles a week, on their own horses or mules, along designated routes, regardless of the weather. If the destination was too remote even for horses, they dismounted and went on foot. In most cases, they were recruited locally—according to Boyd, “a familiar face to otherwise distrustful mountain folk.”

By the end of 1938, there were 274 librarians riding out across 29 counties. In total, the program employed nearly 1,000 riding librarians. Funding ended in 1943, the same year the WPA was dissolved as unemployment plummeted during wartime. It wasn’t until the following decade that mobile book services in the area resumed, in the form of the bookmobile, which had been steadily increasing in popularity across the country.

Pack horse librarians cross a log bridge to reach home used as a distribution center for a mountain community, year unknown.
Pack horse librarians cross a log bridge to reach home used as a distribution center for a mountain community, year unknown. UNIVERSITY OF KENTUCKY LIBRARIES SPECIAL COLLECTIONS RESEARCH CENTER.


In addition to providing reading materials, the book women served as touchstones for these communities. They tried to fill book requests, sometimes stopped to read to those who couldn’t, and helped nurture local pride. As one recipient said, “Them books you brought us has saved our lives.” In the same year as the call for books, the Mountain Eagle exalted the Letcher County library: “The library belong to our community and to our county, and is here to serve us … It is our duty to visit the library and to help in every way that we can, that we may keep it as an active factor in our community.”


Atlas Obscura has a selection of images of the Kentucky pack horse librarians.

Children greet the "book woman," 1940.
Children greet the “book woman,” 1940. KENTUCKY LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
"Sometimes the short way across is the hard way for the horse and rider but schedules have to be maintained if readers are not to be disappointed. Then, too, after highways are left, there is little choice of roads," c. 1940.
“Sometimes the short way across is the hard way for the horse and rider but schedules have to be maintained if readers are not to be disappointed. Then, too, after highways are left, there is little choice of roads,” c. 1940. KENTUCKY LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
Book delivery to a remote home, 1940.
Book delivery to a remote home, 1940. KENTUCKY LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
A man reading to two small children, c. 1940.
A man reading to two small children, c. 1940. KENTUCKY LIBRARY AND ARCHIVES
The library in Stanton, Kentucky, 1941.
Packing saddle bags with books, date unknown.
A trunk full of donated magazines, c. 1940.
A trunk full of donated magazines, c. 1940. KENTUCKY LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
Making a scrapbook, c. 1940.
Making a scrapbook, c. 1940. KENTUCKY LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES
Front porch delivery, c. 1940.
Front porch delivery, c. 1940. KENTUCKY LIBRARIES AND ARCHIVES

CO Bill Banning People Convicted Of Violent Misdemeanors From Owning Guns Advances

H/T Bearing Arms.

This is typical of the anti-gun crowd trying to fix a nonexistent problem.

By federal law, only those convicted of felons or domestic violence are barred from owning a firearm, not people with lesser charges such as violent misdemeanors like a simple assault charge. This is probably a good thing since so many of those misdemeanor charges spawn out of youthful indiscretions or momentary lapses of judgment and aren’t indicative of a broader pattern.

If they are, they usually end up resulting in a felony charge sooner or later anyway, and the problem takes care of itself.

Then again, in the wake of a mass shooting, everything goes on the table, especially in an anti-gun state like Colorado. Now, they’re looking to bar people convicted of violent misdemeanors from owning guns.

The first of three bills introduced after the mass shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder cleared its first committee late Wednesday night.

If it becomes law, the bill would prevent people from buying a firearm for five years after being convicted of certain violent misdemeanors, including some crimes of child abuse, sexual assault, cruelty to animals, and violating a protection order.

The man arrested for the shooting in Boulder pled guilty to a violent misdemeanor for punching a high school classmate in 2017. Investigators say he passed a background check in order to buy his gun.

“Persons convicted of violent misdemeanors are more likely to be arrested for violent crimes in the future. Communities should not be forced to tolerate risks like this, as the people of Boulder now know too well,” said Peter Fog with Colorado Faith Communities United To End Gun Violence.

Dr. Garen Wintemute, head of California’s Violence Prevention Research Program, told lawmakers that research in his state found people who have been convicted of violent misdemeanors and purchase a gun legally are 9 times more likely to be arrested for murder, rape, robbery or aggravated assault when compared to gun buyers without a criminal record.

See, this is one of those vague stats anti-gunners like to throw around. Nine times more likely than…what? If the chances of being charged with any of those crimes are 0.0001 percent and it jumps up to 0.0009 percent, then it’s really not much of an issue. The odds are still ridiculously good that someone isn’t a threat.

They throw around numbers like that to scare people, but they don’t give you a frame of reference with which to truly understand what those numbers mean.

Regardless, though, I’m going to repeat my position from every time they try to expand the list of prohibited people. If the crime is severe enough to strip someone of their constitutionally protected rights for the rest of their life, then they’re severe enough to be upgraded to a felony.

If you can’t do that, then clearly they’re not that big of a danger, now are they?

Of course, this isn’t all the bill tries to do, either.

The bill also closes what gun control advocates describe as the “Charleston loophole” — a federal policy allowing a licensed gun dealer to sell a weapon to someone if their background check isn’t completed within three days. Under the bill, the seller would have to get the results of a Colorado Bureau of Investigation background check before transferring a gun.

So now they can deny anyone the ability to purchase a firearm by simply dragging their feet indefinitely. After all, that’s why there was a limit to how long a person had to wait in the first place. People were concerned that was a possibility, so they capped it at three days to return a check. If not, then one is assumed to have passed, then no one had to worry about being held up indefinitely from exercising their Second Amendment rights simply because of bureaucratic BS.

Colorado, however, doesn’t care about your rights. They’re going to tread violent misdemeanors like violent felonies and take a big, steaming dump on everyone else’s rights while they’re at it.

It’s a beautiful state, but there’s absolutely no way I could put up with that.

The Enduring Mystery of H.H. Holmes, America’s ‘First’ Serial Killer

H/T Smithsonian Magazine.

Sometimes it is hard to recognize the devil when he is staring you in the face.

The infamous “devil in the White City” remains mired in myth 125 years after his execution

Illustration of H.H. Holmes in front of newspaper headlines
Mired in myth and misconception, the killer’s life has evolved into “a new American tall tale,” argues tour guide and author Adam Selzer. (Illustration by Meilan Solly / Photos via Wikimedia Commons under public domain and

Four days before H.H. Holmes’ execution on May 7, 1896, the Chicago Chronicle published a lengthy diatribe condemning the “multimurderer, bigamist, seducer, resurrectionist, forger, thief and general swindler” as a man “without parallel in the annals of crime.” Among his many misdeeds, the newspaper reported, were suffocating victims in a vault, boiling a man in oil and poisoning wealthy women in order to seize their fortunes.

Holmes claimed to have killed at least 27 people, most of whom he’d lured into a purpose-built “Murder Castle” replete with secret passageways, trapdoors and soundproof torture rooms. According to the Crime Museum, an intricate system of chutes and elevators enabled Holmes to transport his victims’ bodies to the Chicago building’s basement, which was purportedly equipped with a dissecting table, stretching rack and crematory. In the killer’s own words, “I was born with the devil in me. I could not help the fact that I was a murderer, no more than a poet can help the inspiration to sing.”

More than a century after his death, Holmes—widely considered the United States’ first known serial killer—continues to loom large in the imagination. Erik Larson’s narrative nonfiction best seller The Devil in the White City introduced him to many Americans in 2003, and a planned adaptation of the book spearheaded by Leonardo DiCaprio and Martin Scorsese is poised to heighten Holmes’ notoriety even further.

But the true story of Holmes’ crimes, “while horrifying, may not be quite as sordid” as popular narratives suggest, wrote Becky Little for last year. Mired in myth and misconception, the killer’s life has evolved into “a new American tall tale,” argues tour guide and author Adam Selzer in H.H. Holmes: The True History of the White City Devil. “[A]nd, like all the best tall tales, it sprang from a kernel of truth.”

The three-story building at the center of the H.H. Holmes myth
The three-story building at the center of the H.H. Holmes myth (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

The facts are these, says Selzer: Though sensationalized reports suggest that Holmes killed upward of 200 people, Selzer could only confirm nine actual victims. Far from being strangers drawn into a house of horrors, the deceased were actually individuals Holmes befriended (or romanced) before murdering them as part of his money-making schemes. And, while historical and contemporary accounts alike tend to characterize the so-called Murder Castle as a hotel, its first and second floors actually housed shops and long-term rentals, respectively.

“When he added a third floor onto his building in 1892, he told people it was going to be a hotel space, but it was never finished or furnished or open to the public,” Selzer added. “The whole idea was just a vehicle to swindle suppliers and investors and insurers.”

As Frank Burgos of PhillyVoice noted in 2017, Holmes was not just a serial killer, but a “serial liar [eager] to encrust his story with legend and lore.” While awaiting execution, Holmes penned an autobiography from prison filled with falsehoods (including declarations of innocence) and exaggerations; newspapers operating at the height of yellow journalism latched onto these claims, embellishing Holmes’ story and setting the stage for decades of obfuscation.

Born Herman Webster Mudgett in May 1861, the future Henry Howard Holmes—a name chosen in honor of detective Sherlock Holmes, according to Janet Maslin of the New York Times—grew up in a wealthy New England family. Verifiable information on his childhood is sparse, but records suggest that he married his first wife, Clara Lovering, at age 17 and enrolled in medical school soon thereafter.

Holmes’ proclivity for criminal activity became readily apparent during his college years. He robbed graves and morgues, stealing cadavers to sell to other medical schools or use in complicated life insurance scams. After graduating from the University of Michigan in 1884, he worked various odd jobs before abandoning his wife and young son to start anew in Chicago.

1895 newspaper detailing Holmes' so-called murder castle
A highly exaggerated 1895 newspaper report detailing Holmes’ so-called murder castle (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

Now operating under the name H.H. Holmes, the con artist wed a second woman, Myrta Belknap, and purchased a pharmacy in the city’s Englewood district. Across the street, he constructed the three-story building that would later factor so prominently in tales of his atrocities. Work concluded in time for the May 1893 opening of the World’s Columbian Exposition, a supposed celebration of human ingenuity with distinct colonialist undertones. The fair drew more than 27 million visitors over its six-month run.

To furnish his enormous “castle,” Holmes bought items on credit and hid them whenever creditors came calling. On one occasion, workers from a local furniture company arrived to repossess its property, only to find the building empty.

“The castle had swallowed the furniture as, later, it would swallow human beings,” wrote John Bartlow Martin for Harper’s magazine in 1943. (A janitor bribed by the company eventually revealed that Holmes had moved all of his furnishings into a single room and walled up its door to avoid detection.)

Debonair and preternaturally charismatic, Holmes nevertheless elicited lingering unease among many he encountered. Still, his charm was substantial, enabling him to pull off financial schemes and, for a time, get away with murder. (“Almost without exception, [his victims appeared] to have had two things in common: beauty and money,” according to Harper’s. “They lost both.”) Holmes even wed for a third time, marrying Georgiana Yoke in 1894 without attracting undue suspicion.

As employee C.E. Davis later recalled, “Holmes used to tell me he had a lawyer paid to keep him out of trouble, but it always seemed to me that it was the courteous, audacious rascality of the fellow that pulled him through. … He was the only man in the United States that could do what he did.”

Holmes’ probable first victims were Julia Conner, the wife of a man who worked in his drugstore, and her daughter, Pearl, who were last seen alive just before Christmas 1891. Around that time, according to Larson’s Devil in the White City, Holmes paid a local man to remove the skin from the corpse of an unusually tall woman (Julia stood nearly six feet tall) and articulate her skeleton for sale to a medical school. No visible clues to the deceased’s identity remained.

The <em>Chicago Chronicle</em>'s illustrations of Minnie and Anna Williams, two of Holmes' likely victims
The Chicago Chronicle‘s illustrations of Minnie and Anna Williams, two of Holmes’ likely victims (

Larson recounts Julia’s final moments in vivid detail—but as historian Patrick T. Reardon pointed out for the Chicago Tribune in 2007, the book’s “Notes and Sources” section admits that this novelistic account is simply a “plausible” version of the story woven out of “threads of known detail.”

Other moments in Devil in the White City, like a visit by Holmes and two of his later victims, sisters Minnie and Anna Williams, to Chicago’s meatpacking district, are similarly speculative: Watching the slaughter, writes Larson, “Holmes was unmoved; Minnie and Anna were horrified but also strangely thrilled by the efficiency of the carnage.” The book’s endnotes, however, acknowledge that no record of such a trip exists. Instead, the author says, “It seems likely that Holmes would have brought Minnie and Nannie there.”

These examples are illustrative of the difficulties of cataloguing Holmes’ life and crimes. Writing for Time Out in 2015, Selzer noted that much of the lore associated with the killer stems from 19th-century tabloids, 20th-century pulp novels and Holmes’ memoir, none of which are wholly reliable sources.

That being said, the author pointed out in a 2012 blog post, Holmes was “certainly both … a criminal mastermind [and] a murderous monster.” But, he added, “anyone who wants to study the case should be prepared to learn that much of the story as it’s commonly told is a work of fiction.”

Holmes’ crime spree came to an end in November 1894, when he was arrested in Boston on suspicion of fraud. Authorities initially thought he was simply a “prolific and gifted swindler,” per Stephan Benzkofer of the Chicago Tribune, but they soon uncovered evidence linking Holmes to the murder of a long-time business associate, Benjamin Pitezel, in Philadelphia.

Chillingly, investigators realized that Holmes had also targeted three of Pitezel’s children, keeping them just out of reach of their mother in what was essentially a game of cat and mouse. On a number of occasions, Holmes actually stashed the two in separate lodgings located just a few streets away from each other.

“It was a game for Holmes,” writes Larson. “… He possessed them all and reveled in his possession.”

Illustration of H.H. Holmes' execution
Illustration of H.H. Holmes’ May 7, 1896, execution (Public domain via Wikimedia Commons)

In July 1895, Philadelphia police detective Frank Geyer found the bodies of two of the girls buried beneath a cellar in Toronto. Given the absence of visible injuries, the coroner theorized that Holmes had locked the sisters in an unusually large trunk and filled it with gas from a lamp valve. Authorities later unearthed the charred remains of a third Pitezel sibling at an Indianapolis cottage once rented by Holmes.

A Philadelphia grand jury found Holmes guilty of Benjamin’s murder on September 12, 1895; just under eight months later, he was executed in front of a crowd at the city’s Moyamensing Prison. At the killer’s request (he was reportedly worried about grave robbers), he was buried ten feet below ground in a cement-filled pine coffin.

The larger-than-life sense of mystery surrounding Holmes persisted long after his execution. Despite strong evidence to the contrary, rumors of his survival circulated until 2017, when, at the request of his descendants, archaeologists exhumed the remains buried in his grave and confirmed their identity through dental records, as NewsWorks reported at the time.

“It’s my belief that probably all those stories about all these visitors to the World’s Fair who were murdered in his quote-unquote ‘Castle’ were just complete sensationalistic fabrication by the yellow press,” Harold Schecter, author of Depraved: The Definitive True Story of H. H. Holmes, Whose Grotesque Crimes Shattered Turn-of-the-Century Chicago, told in 2020. “By the time I reached the end of my book, I kind of realized even a lot of the stuff that I had written was probably exaggerated.”

Holmes for his part, described himself in his memoir as “but a very ordinary man, even below the average in physical strength and mental ability.”

He added, “[T]o have planned and executed the stupendous amount of wrongdoing that has been attributed to me would have been wholly beyond my power.”

The American Civil War Origins Of The Word ‘Deadline’

H/T War History OnLine.

One of my great grandmother on my dads side relatives died in Andersonville in 1864.

A deadline is something ingrained in modern culture, establishing a time which something has to be completed by, whether that’s a payment, college work, or a project you’ve been assigned to by your boss. For a word so commonly used today, you may be surprised to find out that the term itself is very old. Like many old words, its meaning and usage have varied over time, leading up to how it is known today.


The earliest known uses date back to the 1800s, where the Oxford English Dictionary discovered the usage of “dead-line” in reference to a fishing line with a weight on it to prevent it from moving. In the early 1900s, the word was used in the printing industry as the name of a boundary line on a printing press, beyond which text will not print.

A different kind of “deadline” at Andersonville Prison

Between these was the word’s more morbid usage, and the one that is believed to have shaped the meaning of “deadline” that we know today. This was back in the American Civil War in the Andersonville Prison.

A reconstructed wall of Andersonville Prison.
A reconstructed wall of Andersonville Prison. (Photo Credit: Bubba73 / Wikipedia CC BY-SA 3.0)

Andersonville Prison was a Confederate prisoner of war camp erected in 1864 to hold captured Union soldiers, and it was commanded by Captain Henry Wirz. The conditions in the prison were terribly poor, with about 13,000 of the camp’s total 45,000 prisoners dying over the time it was running. The prison lacked enough food and water for even the guards, let alone the prisoners, many of whom were rife with typhoid fever, scurvy, and dysentery.

Without the luxury of the organization and construction of a dedicated prison, equipped with living facilities and cells, Andersonville had to make do with a simple wooden stake fence 10–20 feet in height to keep the prisoners in.

This wasn’t enough to stop a determined, healthy man from climbing it, and definitely wouldn’t stop a team working together. Prison guards were placed in watch positions and given orders to shoot any man attempting to climb the walls. Even this sometimes may not have been enough, as a man could climb over before even being noticed and targeted.

Volunteers reenact prisoners at Andersonville huddling around a fire.
Volunteers reenact prisoners at Andersonville huddling around a fire. (Photo Credit: National Parks Service / C. Barr)

To give the guards more time to react, Wirz added the so-called “deadline.” This was a literal line of wooden planks or fences placed about 20 feet inside from the outer walls. Orders were given to the guards that any man who crossed the deadline, even by a hair, would be shot on sight without warning. The guards were positioned about 90 feet apart along the wall, giving them a good angle to fire on any would-be escapees.

In the event of a mass prisoner revolt, the guards could retreat from their watch positions to a series of artillery emplacements around the prison, usually meant to defend it from outside attack, but in this circumstance, they would be turned inwards to rain fire on the prisoners.

After the war

Andersonville Prison was liberated in May 1865, and the true extent of the prison’s conditions became clear. As the prison commander, Wirz received most of the blame, and angry Americans wanted justice for those in the prison.

Wirz was tried and charged with war crimes, sentenced to death, and then hanged. Despite this, Wirz’s responsibility for the prison’s despicable state has been questioned.

A volunteer reenacts a guard standing watch over the prison at dusk.
A volunteer reenacts a guard standing watch over the prison at dusk. (Photo Credit: National Parks Services / C. Barr)

On multiple occasions, it is reported that Wirz requested more food and supplies for the prison, as he was well aware of the conditions and extreme overcrowding, which was also affecting his own men. He was also reported to have attempted to exchange prisoners with the North to reduce the overcrowding.

Regardless, the deadline in Wirz’s prison became infamous. The term would be used loosely until the 1920s, when it began being used in the U.S. media industry to refer to a time when a writer must complete a story for publication.

So today, this term may still have negative associations with time limits, where if crossed you may receive financial or disciplinary actions, but back in the mid-1800s, the consequences of crossing the deadline were much, much worse.


Edgar Harrell, last surviving Marine of USS Indianapolis sinking, dead at 96

H/T Fox News.

R.I.P. Edgar Harrell.

Harrell and the seven other surviving members of the crew received the Congressional Gold Medal.

Edgar Harrell, the last surviving Marine of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War II, has died.

Harrell died Saturday, according to an organization devoted to preserving the ship’s legacy. He was 96.

The Facebook group said in a post that it was “shocked and saddened” by the news.

Ed was beloved among the group, and traveled the world sharing the story of his ship and shipmates,” the group wrote. “He joined the crew as a sea-going marine in 1944, meaning he was one of the best of the best. During his time aboard ship, he helped guard components of the atomic bomb. After the torpedoing, he was a hero amongst his shipmates.”

“Of course, we’ll miss his passionate telling of the rescue story, and how he felt the Lord’s comfort throughout the ordeal,” the post added. “With the passing of James Smith earlier this week, and now Edgar, there are only [five] living survivors. Let’s all do what we can to keep their Legacies alive.”

Harrell, with his son David Harrell, published a book about his experiences titled “Out of the Depths” in 2005.

“A Marine survivor describes swimming for five days in shark infested and carnage filled waters in the greatest catastrophe at sea in the history of the U.S. Navy,” the book’s description reads.

In 2020, Harrell and the seven other surviving members of the USS Indianapolis crew received the Congressional Gold Medal on the 75th annivesary of the ship’s sinking

Just days after delivering its secret cargo to the island of Tinian in July 1945, the Indianapolis was struck by Japanese torpedoes on July 30, 1945. Nine hundred men went into the ocean — only 316 survived, according to the National World War II Museum. A PBY flying boat and the USS Cecil Doyle rescued survivors.

“The Indianapolis disaster remains one of the worst — and most controversial — tragedies in US Navy history,” according to the museum.

Mother’s Day 2021


The woman that founded Mothers Day Anna Jarvis  came to regret the commercialized racket Mothers Day became and tried to repeal the day.

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. In the United States, Mother’s Day 2021 will occur on Sunday, May 9. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day traditionally involves presenting moms with flowers, cards and other gifts.

History of Mother’s Day

Celebrations of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honor of the mother goddesses Rhea and Cybele, but the clearest modern precedent for Mother’s Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”

Once a major tradition in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, this celebration fell on the fourth Sunday in Lent and was originally seen as a time when the faithful would return to their “mother church”—the main church in the vicinity of their home—for a special service. 

Over time the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, and children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of appreciation. This custom eventually faded in popularity before merging with the American Mother’s Day in the 1930s and 1940s.

Ann Reeves Jarvis and Julia Ward Howe

The origins of Mother’s Day as celebrated in the United States date back to the 19th century. In the years before the Civil War, Ann Reeves Jarvis of West Virginia helped start “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” to teach local women how to properly care for their children.

These clubs later became a unifying force in a region of the country still divided over the Civil War. In 1868 Jarvis organized “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” at which mothers gathered with former Union and Confederate soldiers to promote reconciliation.

Another precursor to Mother’s Day came from the abolitionist and suffragette Julia Ward Howe. In 1870 Howe wrote the “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” a call to action that asked mothers to unite in promoting world peace. In 1873 Howe campaigned for a “Mother’s Peace Day” to be celebrated every June 2.

Other early Mother’s Day pioneers include Juliet Calhoun Blakely, a temperance activist who inspired a local Mother’s Day in Albion, Michigan, in the 1870s. The duo of Mary Towles Sasseen and Frank Hering, meanwhile, both worked to organize a Mothers’ Day in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some have even called Hering “the father of Mothers’ Day.”

Anna Jarvis Turns Mother’s Day Into a National Holiday

The official Mother’s Day holiday arose in the 1900s as a result of the efforts of Anna Jarvis, daughter of Ann Reeves Jarvis. Following her mother’s 1905 death, Anna Jarvis conceived of Mother’s Day as a way of honoring the sacrifices mothers made for their children.

After gaining financial backing from a Philadelphia department store owner named John Wanamaker, in May 1908 she organized the first official Mother’s Day celebration at a Methodist church in Grafton, West Virginia. That same day also saw thousands of people attend a Mother’s Day event at one of Wanamaker’s retail stores in Philadelphia.

Following the success of her first Mother’s Day, Jarvis—who remained unmarried and childless her whole life—resolved to see her holiday added to the national calendar. Arguing that American holidays were biased toward male achievements, she started a massive letter writing campaign to newspapers and prominent politicians urging the adoption of a special day honoring motherhood.

By 1912 many states, towns and churches had adopted Mother’s Day as an annual holiday, and Jarvis had established the Mother’s Day International Association to help promote her cause. Her persistence paid off in 1914 when President Woodrow Wilson signed a measure officially establishing the second Sunday in May as Mother’s Day.

Jarvis Decries Commercialized Mother’s Day

Anna Jarvis had originally conceived of Mother’s Day as a day of personal celebration between mothers and families. Her version of the day involved wearing a white carnation as a badge and visiting one’s mother or attending church services. But once Mother’s Day became a national holiday, it was not long before florists, card companies and other merchants capitalized on its popularity.

While Jarvis had initially worked with the floral industry to help raise Mother’s Day’s profile, by 1920 she had become disgusted with how the holiday had been commercialized. She outwardly denounced the transformation and urged people to stop buying Mother’s Day flowers, cards and candies.

Jarvis eventually resorted to an open campaign against Mother’s Day profiteers, speaking out against confectioners, florists and even charities. She also launched countless lawsuits against groups that had used the name “Mother’s Day,” eventually spending most of her personal wealth in legal fees. By the time of her death in 1948 Jarvis had disowned the holiday altogether, and even actively lobbied the government to see it removed from the American calendar.

Mother’s Day Around the World

While versions of Mother’s Day are celebrated worldwide, traditions vary depending on the country. In Thailand, for example, Mother’s Day is always celebrated in August on the birthday of the current queen, Sirikit.

Another alternate observance of Mother’s Day can be found in Ethiopia, where families gather each fall to sing songs and eat a large feast as part of Antrosht, a multi-day celebration honoring motherhood.

In the United States, Mother’s Day continues to be celebrated by presenting mothers and other women with gifts and flowers, and it has become one of the biggest holidays for consumer spending. Families also celebrate by giving mothers a day off from activities like cooking or other household chores.

At times, Mother’s Day has also been a date for launching political or feminist causes. In 1968 Coretta Scott King, wife of Martin Luther King, Jr., used Mother’s Day to host a march in support of underprivileged women and children. In the 1970s women’s groups also used the holiday as a time to highlight the need for equal rights and access to childcare.

Forgotten Hero: Henry Johnson Fought Off Dozens Of German Soldiers In WWI

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. Henry Johnson Hero.

Despite the large array of medals and decorations created to honor those who performed incredible acts of bravery, many individuals are never recognized for their actions. This is often due to prejudice, political opinions, and nationality getting in the way of the reward being applied to its rightful recipient.

One such case is of Henry Johnson, a soldier in the first African American unit in the U.S. Army to see action in WWI.

Henry Johnson would go above and beyond the call of duty, fighting in hand-to-hand combat against overwhelming odds, while saving a fellow soldier in the process.

Henry Johnson enlisted in the National Guard

Johnson’s early life is clouded in mystery, even to himself. He claims to have been born July 15, 1892, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, but whether this is true or not is unknown as he also used different dates on different documents.

In his early teens, he worked as a railway porter, carrying goods and luggage. He enlisted into the Army in mid-1917, after learning that the New York National Guard 15th Infantry Regiment was recruiting. This regiment only recruited black soldiers.

Johnson’s regiment was deployed to France, where he arrived in January 1918. From the get-go, the eager regiment — now renamed to the 369th Infantry Regiment and would later become known as the “Harlem Hellfighters” — was relegated to menial tasks like cleaning and moving goods.

The regiment was temporarily handed over to the 161st Division of the French Army by General John J. Pershing. It is believed that the reason for this detachment was that Pershing wanted to give African American soldiers a chance to advance in leadership, which they could not do in the segregated American Army.

Detail from a World War I poster depicting Johnson's heroism
Detail from a World War I poster depicting Johnson’s heroism. (Photo Credit: Bettmann / Getty Images)

The French Army had no such issues and gladly accepted the men as reinforcements, kitting them out with French equipment. Johnson and his regiment were deployed to Outpost 20 near the Argonne Forest.

On the night of May 14, 1918, Johnson was unaware that he was about to experience the fight of his life.

Johnson, along with fellow soldier Needham Roberts, was on sentry duty on the edge of the forest. Their sentry shift was due to finish at midnight. Two soldiers approached Johnson and Roberts to relieve them of their watch.

A nighttime raid was Johnson’s chance to be a hero

Johnson, quickly recognizing the young men’s inexperience, opted to stay with them on watch rather than leave. Roberts returned to his trench to sleep, but Johnson soon could hear movement, rustling, and the clipping of wire cutters.

Suddenly, out of the darkness, a swarm of German troops attacked his position. Calling for help, Roberts ran back to Johnson’s aid, but was struck by shrapnel and was out of action. He wasn’t completely out of the fight, however, as he passed hand grenades to Johnson, who threw them at the advancing Germans.

Once the grenades ran out, he opened fire with his rifle, being hit in the side, head, and hand in the process. Eventually, Johnson’s rifle jammed, becoming a hand-to-hand weapon instead, being swung like a bat into the enemy. Fighting for his life, he was caught on the head with a devastating blow. Falling to the ground, dazed, and beside his now shattered rifle, he got back up and unsheathed his 14-inch bolo knife.

Sgt. Henry Johnson – American Hero of WWI (Photo Credit: National Archives at College Park)
Sgt. Henry Johnson – American Hero of WWI (Photo Credit: National Archives at College Park)

He thrust, hacked, and chopped with his knife, killing one man with a single strike. Noticing the Germans attempting to drag away the injured Roberts, Johnson leaped upon them, stabbing one of them in the ribs before fending them off.

Overall, the gruesome exchange lasted for around an hour before reinforcements arrived, forcing the Germans to flee. His incredible effort had saved the lives of both him and Roberts, who received medical attention for their wounds, in Johnson’s case totaling 21 injuries.

The morning sunrise illuminated the scene, revealing pools of blood, equipment, and four dead German soldiers. It is estimated he inflicted injuries to another 25–30. Word of Johnson’s legendary stand spread quickly, earning him a promotion to sergeant and the nickname “the Black Death.”

For his effort, the French awarded Johnson the Croix de Guerre, one of their highest awards, before sending him back home to the U.S.

William Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts standing with their French Croix de Guerre medals in 1918. (Photo Credit: US Army)
William Henry Johnson and Needham Roberts standing with their French Croix de Guerre medals in 1918. (Photo Credit: US Army)

After such an ordeal, many soldiers would return home to a hero’s welcome, which Johnson did to an extent, but it was a bittersweet achievement. Many publications of the events quickly glossed over his race, or avoided mentioning it at all. He gave his all and returned to a country celebrating his efforts while still regarding him as an inferior citizen.

After the war’s end, the Harlem Hellfighters participated in a victory parade, with Johnson upfront. Still, they were not allowed to parade alongside white troops.

The final years of Johnson’s life mirrored the first, slipping into obscurity after the war while receiving disability payments from the government. It remains unclear how much his injuries affected his later life and job opportunities.

Johnson died on July 1, 1929, of myocarditis. The full extent of his actions wouldn’t be appreciated until he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart in 1996 and the Medal of Honor by Barack Obama in 2015.

‘Not Just Our Family’s Story’ — Late WWII Veteran Served As Bombardier Aboard B-24 Liberator In China

H/T War History OnLine.

R.I.P. Howard Ewing Wyss  Hero.

Howard Ewing Wyss was raised the last of five children on a small farm near Russellville in Moniteau County, Missouri. Following his graduation from high school in nearby California in 1935, he spent the next few years working a number of jobs as the country strived to recover from the Great Depression.


Howard met his future wife, Berniece Parrish, while the north and south Moniteau County youth gathered at a freshwater spring on Sunday afternoons, explained his son, Mike Wyss. He asked her to a show in California and they soon began dating.

The couple married on December 22, 1940, while Wyss was employed driving a truck for his older brother’s transportation company. At the time, much of their work came with delivering supplies used to build the hundreds of buildings on the developing Fort Leonard Wood.

There was little time to celebrate their new marriage because only two months earlier, the 25-year-old Wyss was mandated to register for the military draft. On February 17, 1941, the Jefferson City Post-Tribune reported that he was among 23 local inductees scheduled to report to “Jefferson Barracks to undergo examinations in preparation for one year’s army training.”

From there, he was assigned to the 35th Division and transferred to Camp Robinson in North Little Rock, Arkansas, for a year of training. Several months later, he decided to pursue a military direction other than infantry when he volunteered to serve in the U.S. Army Air Forces.

“I think he decided if he was going to war, he’d rather be above it all,” said Mike Wyss.

Howard Wyss is pictured with his wife, Berniece, in this photograph from the early 1940s. Drafted in WWII, Wyss served as a bombardier aboard a B-24 Liberator in China. Courtesy of Nancy Wyss
Howard Wyss is pictured with his wife, Berniece, in this photograph from the early 1940s. Drafted in WWII, Wyss served as a bombardier aboard a B-24 Liberator in China. Courtesy of Nancy Wyss

The veteran’s daughter, Nancy Kruse, added, “He was going to become a pilot but failed the test because of his depth perception. That’s when he went on to train as a bombardier on the B-24s,” she added.

The aviation cadet attended Army Air Forces Bombardier School near Big Spring, Texas. Throughout the next several months, he completed a number of ground courses and target missions over a practice area while learning to use technology such as the Norden bombsight — a highly classified instrument that increased bombing target accuracy.

Sadly, on July 28, 1943, Wyss’s older brother Nobel, who was a radio operator aboard a B-17 Flying Fortress, was killed when his aircraft crashed 28 miles south of Fort Morgan, Colorado, while on a training mission. Both Wyss and his wife traveled to Mid-Missouri for the funeral.

Becoming part of the 10-man crew of a B-24 Liberator — a four-engine heavy bomber — Wyss was transferred to the West Coast to participate in patrol missions from locations such as Blythe Army Airfield. Their duties included searching for enemy submarines along the coast between Santa Monica and Santa Barbara. His wife, Berniece, moved to California to be with her husband.

“Sometime later, he left the states with a group of 20 planes and 200 men heading for duty in China,” said Mike Wyss. “On the way over, his plane developed engine troubles and had to land in Cairo, Egypt, for a few days for repairs.” He continued, “While there, they were able to visit the pyramids.”

Wyss’s older brother, Nobel, was killed during a stateside training mission in 1943 while serving as a radio operator on a B-17 Flying Fortress.
Wyss’s older brother, Nobel, was killed during a stateside training mission in 1943 while serving as a radio operator on a B-17 Flying Fortress.

Nancy Kruse remarked, “When they finally made it to China, our father volunteered for as many missions as possible because once you reached a certain number of missions or flight hours, you were sent back to the states. He wanted to get back home to mom as quickly as possible.”

On a small piece of paper, Wyss wrote that he was stationed near a small town along the southeastern coast of China, from where he and his fellow crewmembers of the 374th Bombardment Group flew a mission in search of Japanese ships. He penned, “We sank seven ships, at least one loaded with Japanese troops.”

Wyss further explained that they did not have the protection of American troops and were soon driven further inland by Japanese forces. They continued flying coastal missions although from a much greater distance.

Nancy Kruse explained, “He was often in the belly turret of the plane and some of these missions might last 10 hours or longer.”

Later in the war, Wyss’s crew was among a group of aircraft sent to bomb Japanese ships in the fortified Takao Harbor in Taiwan. Because of the heavy defenses encountered, they circled from a safe distance while the aircraft in their group were individually dispatched on bombing runs.

“They believed it was too dangerous to send all the planes at once,” said Mike Wyss. “My father was in the ninth of ten planes and, along with the tenth plane, watched as the first eight were shot out of the sky.” Somberly pausing, he added, “Fortunately, he and the final plane survived their bombing run.”

When Wyss returned to the states in late 1945, only two of the 20 planes and 100 of the 200 crewmembers with whom they had traveled overseas remained. Following his discharge, he and his wife moved briefly to Rolla, where the veteran attended college on the GI Bill.

In later years, the couple raised a son and daughter while building a successful meat processing and locker plant in the Russellville community in addition to pursuing other professional endeavors. He remained in the Air Force Reserve, retiring as a major in 1960.

Wyss and his wife have since passed, but his children remarked that it was not until his final years that he chose to share snippets of his military service. For most of his life, he focused his attention on being a father and investing countless hours in earning a decent living to support his family.

His daughter, Nancy Kruse, commented that the family always thought of their dad and grandfather as a very hardworking and dedicated gentleman; working six days a week from early morning till late evening was the norm. “His faith, courage, wisdom, and work ethic will always be our inspiration,” she said.

Mike Wyss added, “We have a great-grandfather who served in the Civil War and know nothing about his service. For us,” he paused, “it’s about making sure these stories are not forgotten; it’s  our family’s story, but also that of so many other families in our great country who have loved ones who served.”

Response to Anti-Gun Brit’s Piece – “A Civilized Society?


  Sir Max Hastings is full of crap and if he has a problem with America, Americans and our guns he can keep his Limey ass in England.


Bloomberg columnist Sir Max Hastings shares his thoughts on guns, crime, and the differences between his native Britain and the United States in “I Grew Up on Guns. Now I’ve Learned to Love Firearm Control.”

Having a father who had brought home keepsake firearms from the Second World War, he claims he became “exceptionally proficient” at taking apart and reassembling guns as a child. This glimpse into his background is provided to preempt the “common response of American enthusiasts to the rest of the world’s horror: ‘Foreigners don’t understand guns.’” That isn’t quite the point. Foreigners – regardless of how well they may handle guns – don’t always understand Americans.

He writes “the association of right-wing patriotism with gun ownership is a recent construct,” with it being a “fiction” that “weapon ownership [is] an inherent part of American identity.” Weapon ownership may not be an integral part of the national identity and remains a matter of personal choice; however, the right to possess and bear arms has something of a longer and more celebrated pedigree. The United States Supreme Court, in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), traced this right back to English precedents that predated the creation of the United States. The “Second Amendment was not intended to lay down a ‘novel principl[e]’ but rather codified a right ‘inherited from our English ancestors.’”

According to Sir Max, it is a truth universally acknowledged that “possession of a gun facilitates homicide… and suicide,” as it “requires absurdly little physical effort, or even psychological commitment, to point and fire a gun.” He states no other country comes close to the scale of gun ownership in the United States, with 400 million weapons, or 46% of all the world’s guns, in private hands. Assuming his information and premise are correct, one would expect the United States to dominate homicide and suicide rates worldwide by a spectacular margin.

Firearms, however, have not propelled America to the top of the charts. The rate of suicide in the United States is below that of Japan, France, South Korea, Poland, Switzerland, Hungary, and Belgium, to name just a few; Russia and Lithuania have rates twice that of the U.S. Likewise, the United States is far from being the global leader in homicides – one source indicates the U.S. rate of “death by interpersonal violence – homicide” in 2017 was just over 6 per 100K, the same as Cuba, Moldova, Argentina and Thailand, and well below that of Guatemala (36.6), Mexico (34.1), Brazil (30.1), Costa Rica (10.4), or all of Eastern Europe (13.0).

Statistics aside, his personal history undermines his claim. Despite growing up in a home with a father who was “potty about” guns, those firearms apparently drove no one in the Hastings household to homicide or self-harm. The only apparent victim of gun violence was a television accidentally shot by Hastings, one of the “wonderfully rackety experiences of [his] childhood.”

A particularly disappointing reference in Hastings’ article relates to the rise in gun sales in 2020, “as the pandemic intensified nameless, undefined fears. Many of these gun owners cannot credibly explain what threat their personal arms are supposed to defend against. It would be hard to shoot a virus, for instance.” The implication – inexplicable for a person of his background and intelligence – is that these gun owners are ignorant, too simple to grasp the nature of COVID-19.

A more rational explanation would look to the riots and “unrest” that swept across the country last year, together with police “stand down” orders and calls to slash law enforcement resources. At least one academic has pointed to these events and the “unwillingness or inability of local authorities to stop looting, rioting, and other lawless and violent behavior” as proof of the importance of the right to have the means of self-defense. Individuals under the impression they have no need to arm themselves because protection is available from the police have very clear and legitimate apprehensions when politicians and others abdicate their responsibility and ignore (or encourage) criminal behavior and a breakdown of the public order.

The self-help option is firmly rejected by Hastings. “If my wife and I found ourselves faced with intruders, I would not think of reaching for one of my guns: Such a response would probably prompt my indictment, for using a firearm with intent to endanger life.” He adds, further, that most of his fellow British subjects “flinch from guns… [and] I have come to believe that my compatriots’ wariness …is a fault on the right side.”

If the case of Tony Martin is any indication, Hastings is entirely correct about the consequences of defending one’s home. Martin, a farmer in an isolated rural area, had been robbed at least six times and notified the police. During a break-in at his home in 1999, he shot at and killed one burglar and wounded another. Martin was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison, although this was later downgraded to manslaughter. The surviving burglar was sentenced to 36 months but was released early; Martin was denied parole because he posed an unacceptable risk to burglars. A probation officer’s report cited Martin’s “unwavering belief that he is the one who has been wronged in the first instance by the burglars in the second by the Criminal Justice System,” as these “entrenched views make him a high risk of behaving similarly in future.” In a further fling against Martin, the career criminal burglar applied for and received legal aid funding for his civil lawsuit seeking damages; Martin was expected to fund his defense himself.

The British “flinch” not just at guns but at any item that may (plausibly or not) be a weapon. A U.K. police website advises that the only “fully legal self-defense product” a person may buy is a “rape alarm” and warns, “You must not get a product which is made or adapted to cause a person injury.” In the same spirit, police “weapon sweeps” of parks and streets display scissors, pliers and a file, a length of pipe and other oddments, a rusty screwdriver, a rustier knife, a bent carving fork, a hockey stick, a handsaw, and cutlery knives. Presented without the police context, Americans would most probably identify these as appropriate scrap metal drop-offs for their local recycling facility.

Hastings maintains that “widespread firearms ownership is a pollutant” and that the British “are a better, much safer society without handguns.” Millions of Americans would disagree. In Hastings’ British version of “Come and Take It,” criminals are free to help themselves knowing their unarmed victims can’t or won’t resist, and authorities appear to have less concern for victims than villains. In his civilized society, criminals have the moral high ground, chairs and narwhal tusks must be used to stop murderers, and it is entirely acceptable that good citizens are unworthy of possessing weapons.

About NRA-ILA:
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