|If his legend wasn’t enough during his short life time, it would soon grow larger when in 1854, the first “fictionalized” account of his life appeared in a San Francisco newspaper and a book by John Rollin Ridge. In The Life and Adventures of Joaquin Murrieta.
Ridge portrayed Murrieta as a folk hero who had only turned to a life of crime after a mob of American miners had beaten him severely and left him for dead, hanged his brother, and raped and killed his wife. According to Ridge’s account, Joaquin was a dashing, romantic figure that swearing to avenge the atrocities committed upon his family, committed his many crimes only in an effort to “right” the many injustices against the Mexicans.
According to the tale, Murrieta fled from his claim only to set up a saloon in nearby Hangtown, where miners began to go missing. One by one, the dead bodies of the miners, all who were said to have been part of the killings at the Murrieta claim, turned up with their ears cut off.
After Joaquin’s supposed death, advertising posters were displayed where the head could be viewed, 1853.
|After fourteen miners had been found dead or missing, a Hangtown settler identified Murrieta who fled once again. Before long, he had gathered up his outlaw gang and began to take out his vendetta against the white settlers through robbery and mayhem. However, to his Mexican compatriots he was generous and kind, giving much of his ill gotten gains to the poor, who in turn helped to shelter him from the law.
There is no evidence that Ridge’s version of the tale is accurate; however, similar atrocities were committed on both Mexicans and Chinese who were living in California at the time.
Over the years, the telling of the tale continued to grow until the dead Mexican outlaw began to be called the Robin Hood of El Dorado and take on a symbolized resistance of the Mexicans to the Anglo-American domination of California. And all throughout Gold Country, tales were told of how the outlaw had stayed at this or that hotel, drank in various saloons, and those who claimed to have actually met or was robbed by the man.
As to what happened to Joaquin’s head, it was finally placed behind the bar of the Golden Nugget Saloon in San Francisco, until the building was destroyed by the 1906 earthquake.
|The head itself would become yet a part of another legend – the ghost of Joaquin. Even today, the tales continue of Joaquin’s headless ghost riding through the old gold fields, crying like a banshee – “Give me back my head.”|
When his father was murdered, Wasil Ahmad vowed revenge. He was barely old enough to hoist a rifle, but still he trained to fight the Taliban. Finally, when the insurgents returned, Wasil found his chance. What he did next made him a legend. And then it made him a target.
President Barack Obama’s legacy might soon be tarnished beyond repair. The long-awaited results from an in-depth investigation into Obama’s past have just been revealed.
Barack Obama’s birth certificate is a fake… a complete forgery, and now evidence to prove it is headed to Congress. Arizona Sheriff Joe Apraio’s investigation into Obama’s birth certificate found multiple “inconsistencies,” which could allow Congress to impeach the 44th president of the United States even after he leaves office, WND reports.
The forensic investigation into Obama’s birth certificate reportedly proves the “birthers” were right all along! Jerome Corsi, Ph.D., a WND senior staff writer, is credited with forcing the Obama administration to release the document in the first place.
Corsi’s book, Where’s The Birth Certificate?, first brought the Obama birth certificate issue to the public’s attention. The Constitution requires a presidential candidate to be a “natural-born citizen” but does not really define exactly what the entails – meaning even though Obama was born to an American woman, he still might not have qualified to run for the highest office in the land.
“I was raised as an Indonesian child and a Hawaiian child and as a black child and as a white child,” Obama once said, according to a report by the Miller Center. Obama spent four years of his childhood living in Indonesia with his mother and stepfather.
Sheriff Joe Apraio’s forensic investigation into Obama’s birth certificate revealed the document presented to the public appears to be identical to and copied from another birth certificate issued in Hawaii just several days after he was born. The exceedingly similar birth certificate reportedly belongs to Johanna Ah’nee.
The items on the supposed Obama birth certificate, which appear to have been copied from the Johanna Ah’nee birth certificate, include the word “Honolulu,” the word “Oahu” twice, two time stamps, and three different Xs. The identical appearance of the Xs was reportedly of particular interest to forensic investigators.
The Xs would have been placed on the original birth certificate documents by moving a typewriter carriage and rolling over the certificate at the same time. Investigators reportedly found it interesting that the stamp made by Alvin Onaka and the April 25th stamp might have been lifted from another document.
One of the expert forensic investigators who participated in the review of the Obama birth certificate was Reed Hayes. He is a court-qualified document examiner and handwriting examiner.
Reed Hayes also operates a business in Hawaii. He has been on the board of Scientific Association of Forensic Examiners for almost four decades. Forlabs, an Italian company which specializes in extracting details and information from multimedia files, produced the results of the Obama birth certificate forensic investigation.
“We had two experts from two countries in separate disciplines of forensics that came to one conclusion: Barack Obama’s long form birth certificate it not authentic,” the report said.
Mike Zullo, the lead forensic investigator involved with the report, quoted details from the investigation by Hayes: “The (nail in the coffin) that proves that Certificate of Live Birth is inauthentic is the exact lineup of numerous entries on both [certificates].” Zullo added the experts likened the evidence they found to prove the Obama birth certificate is a forgery to being as reliable as a fingerprint.
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In the latest bit of fun, senseless drama to hit the Electoral College since Donald Trump became the president-elect, a group of 10 electors says that they will not cast their ballots until they are given an intelligence briefing on foreign intervention in the 2016 presidential election.
The movement of 10 electors — nine of whom were pledged to Democrat nominee Hillary Clinton — has drawn the support of Clinton’s campaign.
The open letter was posted to Medium by elector Christine Pelosi — yes, daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi — demanding that they receive information about Russia’s alleged interference in the 2016 campaign.
“The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations,” the letter read.
Meanwhile, former Clinton campaign manager John Podesta came out and said that he supported the demand.
“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” Podesta said in a Monday statement. “Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed.”
“Each day in October, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump,” the statement continued. “Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”
You may perhaps remember Podesta as the man who fell for the phishing scam that led to some of the document hacking. If he had been slightly smarter, we wouldn’t even be talking about this.
Of course, the idea that this “did not receive the attention it deserved by the media” tells me that Podesta wasn’t watching much TV during the campaign months. I understand that the man was busy, but the fact that he’s overlooking the breathless manner in which the media tried — and is still trying — to tie Donald Trump and his campaign to the Kremlin shows that Podesta is either completely clueless or believes that Hillary Clinton and everything she claims deserves to be judged by the media in more or less the way she herself judges it. In fact, I’m not terribly sure those two are mutually exclusive.
Russia is the latest scapegoat in a blame game in which Clinton and her surrogates have lain her failure to capture the presidency at the feet of everyone but the candidate herself. It was fake news last week, James Comey the week before. Next week, who knows?
What has come to be called “political correctness” used to be known as “good manners” and was considered part of being a decent human being. The term is now employed to write off any speech that is uncomfortably socially conscious, culturally sensitive or just plain left-wing. The term is employed, too often, to shut down free speech in the name of protecting speech.
The political correctness movement has gone way too far. While the original intent of political correctness may have been good (to encourage tact and sensitivity to others’ feelings around issues of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, physical abilities, and such), the effect of political correctness has been to make everyone avoid these topics altogether — thereby hindering our ability to get comfortable in living and working with those who are different from us. It’s gone so far that political correctness has become a bigger problem than the problem it was intended to address!
It doesn’t really matter whether the PC Police come from the Right or the Left; the result is the same. These days everyone is so afraid of being called “sexist” or “racist” or “anti-Semitic” or some other career-killing label, that we all tiptoe carefully around diversity issues, and avoid them altogether if we possibly can.
But the question is: How are we ever going to be able to live and work together more comfortably if there’s a whole herd of elephants in the room? If we can’t talk about our feelings, fears, aspirations, anxieties, assumptions, hopes, worries, dreams, and concerns, how can we ever build trust with those who are different from us? If we can’t talk about differences that puzzle us, or things we’re curious about, without fear of giving offense, then how can we ever overcome our ignorance about cultures and races — or even the opposite sex?
If we must constantly self-censor any conversation pertaining to race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or physical ability, then we are doomed to perpetuate the very barriers we say we want to overcome.
To those who serve in today’s PC Police, I understand that your intentions are good. But there is often a big gap between intent and impact. I would invite you to consider the impact of your censorship and finger-wagging, as well as your inclination to self-righteous, moral indignation. You don’t realize it, but you’re effectively throwing a wet blanket over public (and private) discussions of vitally important issues. You’ve gone too far in your efforts to protect everyone’s feelings. You’re essentially imposing a gag order on the whole of American society, and in so doing, you’re hindering our progress in getting to know one another and to understand others’ different perspectives, viewpoints, feelings, and life experiences.
Lighten up, please. Resign from the PC Police. Give us all a break.
More than a month after the U.S. presidential election, the tumult shows no sign of dying down. In fact, the noise around the roles of hacking and cyber intrusions in the vote rose several decibels Monday, following a weekend of charges that Russia put its thumb on the scales in November’s election. But the resulting political debate, fueled by accusations that President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters and potential Cabinet members were complicit in the hacks or, alternatively, that the Democrats are sore losers trying to undermine the incoming administration, is obscuring the larger geopolitical issues at play. What’s more, it overlooks the fact that cyber intrusions are only the latest tool in a time-honored tradition of electoral meddling.
At issue in the current maelstrom is not the sanctity of the voting process itself, but rather the manipulation of voter sentiment by foreign powers. America’s voting method varies from state to state, or even county to county, and uses hundreds of systems to track millions of paper and digital ballots cast by different means at different times. By inadvertent virtue of this arcane system, U.S. ballot boxes are more resistant to direct hacking than perhaps any other voting platform in the world. But the American electorate is not tamper proof.
The U.S. electoral process, flawed though some claim it is, remains the backbone of the country’s political system. The system is designed to be resilient in its complexity, to avoid (or at least deter) the over-concentration of power, and to enable each to express his or her opinion. At the same time, it is also designed to ensure a level of continuity and stability. Trust in the political process, even when the results are dissatisfactory, is essential to preserving national unity and preempting extra-constitutional attempts to alter the political landscape. If the process is seen as faulty or manipulated, national cohesion and the perceived legitimacy of political power will suffer. Consequently, foreign manipulation of U.S. elections is a serious issue.
It is not unprecedented, however. Foreign powers have long used information campaigns, propaganda and political messaging to try to create doubt around one candidate or another and to shape the narrative ahead of elections. The Iranians may well have delayed the release of hostages in part to create an environment conducive to President Ronald Reagan’s election in 1980, hoping for a better deal. In 1996, Chinese fundraising scandals surrounded the re-election of President Bill Clinton (who later paved the way for China’s entry into the World Trade Organization) and Democratic congressional candidates. In fact, there may even be precedent for a president’s complicity in electoral manipulation; Richard Nixon’s campaign tried to influence the collapse of Vietnamese peace talks to facilitate his own election. Russian disinformation campaigns have also been around for years, from rumors of U.S. chemical and biological weapons during the Korean War to stories, allegedly planted by Moscow, of the FBI’s role in President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. One could even argue that European leaders, or at least media and interest groups, fetted Barack Obama during his first run for the presidency, highlighting his differences with his predecessor, with the clear intention of reshaping U.S. policy direction.
Furthermore, the United States is not always the victim of these tactics. Washington has frequently been accused of interfering, more and less overtly, in other countries’ elections, most recently after the U.S. ambassador to the Philippines made critical remarks about Rodrigo Duterte during his bid for office. From Radio Free Europe to the National Endowment for Democracy, America has an array of “soft power” tools at its disposal to shape not just foreign elections, but foreign political systems as well. Attempts to interfere in, or at least influence, elections are the norm in international politics rather than the exception. Though no one wants to admit that his or her victory may have been shaped in part by foreign powers, the world always seems to have its vote, particularly in U.S. elections.
In addition to trying to influence elections directly, foreign powers are always looking for internal information on candidates and parties that they can use to anticipate shifts in U.S. policy or adjust their language and behavior to shape policies. Compared with older techniques such as wiretapping, bugging, breaking into offices or devising ruses to ply information from insiders, cyber tools are far more expedient and less risky. They are also harder to trace, further adding to the confusion.
Despite the outcry over Russia’s hacking activities, we are not on the cusp of a new Cold War. In many ways, however, the world is far more complex than it was during the Cold War — though, on the plus side, the threat of thermonuclear war no longer looms quite as large. The United States and Russia are once again at odds with each other, divided along an array of geopolitical lines, and the former Soviet periphery is once again the scene of heavy competition between the two. But the ideological, political, economic and security dichotomy of the Cold War has since given way to a more diverse global landscape. Today, power is more diffuse, the lines between friend and foe are blurred, and economic integration often coexists with strategic competition. Each nation still has its own interests, but the global framework of “West” and “East” no longer provides an easy rubric.
There is little doubt that Russia, among other countries, tried to craft information campaigns with the intent to shape the U.S. presidential elections. Moscow may even be said to have actively interfered in the race if it did, in fact, selectively release emails. Still, it is hard to argue that its activities were enough to tip the balance, even in a close race. By politicizing the latest instance of foreign electoral meddling to the point where each side of the political spectrum is reduced to solely accusing the other of lying, we risk misplacing the focus on partisan instead of strategic issues.
Perhaps a more productive way to assess the accusations is to ask a few different questions: Is hacking significantly different from a disgruntled staff member’s leak, from loose talk at a bar, or from stolen or misplaced documents? Is a campaign or political party staff member’s email a national security issue or a matter of basic information management? Is U.S. government information better protected than private information? How quickly and effectively is the U.S. intelligence and counterintelligence community adapting to the changing information landscape? How does one balance privacy, freedom and security (a perennial question in the United States)?
And, maybe most important, are U.S. elections at significant risk of true foreign manipulation, or are they simply vulnerable to attempts at information-shaping? The latter we know how to deal with. The former is a fundamental threat that merits dispassionate investigation.