Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who’s More Clueless, Oprah or Joe Biden?

If we ever needed more proof of just how clueless the left in America is, these two noted individuals, TV personality Oprah Winfrey and career politician Joe Biden show us beyond any shadow of doubt that they remain completely detached from reality.

Oprah was interviewed recently by Parade magazine, mostly on her soon to be launched TV Network. After the usual gushing praise and ass-kissing, readers were treated to the following little exchange.

Can I ask about President Obama? Are you concerned, disappointed?
"No. I think that no one understands until you’ve been in that seat the enormous pressure to please and satisfy everybody. And I think instead of being grateful for where we are and what he has done, we’ve forgotten that we were on the brink of a depression when he took over this office. And as everybody celebrates the holiday season and sits around with their families, regardless of your circumstance, we could’ve had breadlines. How soon we forget that."

Depression? Breadlines, Oprah?

Just this morning, an email arrived in my inbox from barackobama.com with the name of Joe Biden attached. He chimes in much like Oprah did.

“ I've been in Washington for almost 40 years. I've seen a lot of Congresses come and go. But I can't remember a group of lawmakers who accomplished more than the folks who just wrapped up their work.”

“With their help, we repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and ratified the START arms control treaty. We passed a new law to rein in the abuses on Wall Street and protect consumers. We reformed the health care system and passed the Recovery Act to get our economy growing again.”

“Two years ago, we were staring into an abyss. The financial crisis was the worst this country has faced since the Great Depression.

“But this Congress passed the largest set of tax cuts for the middle class since President Reagan, the largest education reform since President Johnson, the largest infrastructure investment since President Eisenhower, and the largest clean-energy bill ever.”

“Now -- even though we still have a ways to go -- the economy is growing again.”

When Democrats took control of Congress, unemployment was 4.6%. When Obama took office unemployment was at 7.7%. November 2010 unemployment is 9.8%.


We also see that the 111th Congress Added More Debt Than First 100 Congresses Combined.

According to Rasmussen Reports for December 28, 2010, “28% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Thirty-nine percent (39%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -11.”

Just prior to the mid-term elections, the Washington Post said about the Democrat Speaker of the House, “Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) heads into the midterm elections less popular among U.S. voters than at any other time in her historic tenure.”

Voters turned Democrats out of the House in near historic proportions, setting up this lame duck congress that just rammed some of the worst legislation we have seen down the country’s throats.

Joe Biden is moderately wealthy, but has lifetime benefits we can only dream of from his career in government, all paid by the taxpayers.

Oprah is wealthy beyond anyone’s wildest dreams as well. They are insulated from the actual suffering of the masses they try to convince how much better off they are.

Neither seems prepared to “redistribute their wealth,” but are only too ready to redistribute someone else’s.

If Oprah has breadlines on her mind, it must be from visions of her staring in a remake of the late 1930’s depression era book and later propaganda movie, the Grapes of Wrath, A John Steinbeck story about “a poor family of sharecroppers driven from their Oklahoma home by drought, economic hardship, and changes in financial and agricultural industries. Due to their nearly hopeless situation and in part because they were trapped in the Dust Bowl, the Joads set out for California. Along with thousands of other “Okies,” they sought jobs, land, dignity and a future.”

And who comes to their rescue? Government!

Of the story, Steinbeck is quoted as saying, "”I want to put a tag of shame on the greedy bastards who are responsible for this [the Great Depression and its effects].”

Sounds very familiar to me.

Sounds too like the breadlines are more a possibility now than I’ve seen in my entire adult life.

Obviously, Oprah and Biden have completely detached themselves from the reality of what is happening in America.

What would we do without wealthy Democrats, wallowing in their own wealth and greed, telling us we are too stupid to know how much better off we have it with ever increasing taxes, unemployment and strapping future generations with unimaginable debt?

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Repeal Lame Duck Democrats Destruction of DA/DT in 112th Congress

Contributed by Rees Lloyd

As a former enlisted man who joined the Army at the age 17, as do many recruits, I know about the enormous power of non-commissioned and commission officers over the lives of those in the enlisted ranks. I think it is unconscionable for members of House, Senate, and the White House to congratulate themselves on voting to compel young enlisted men and women to serve under openly practicing homosexual non-coms or officers, including predatory homosexuals, who may have a sexual rather than military interest in them, and who have enormous power to retaliate if their advances are rejected.

Just how does a young man or woman subject to military discipline, culture, and control, protect himself or herself, and seek redress, from unwanted sexual interest, advances, or assaults? A member of the military in the ranks is often at the mercy of non-coms or officers, including in duty assignments which can not only be the worst of unwanted duties but assignments which can put them in harm's way at risk of loss of limbs or life.

Simply stated: Military life is not civilian life. A victim of "sexual harassment," predation, or actual assault in the military cannot respond to such sexual abuse as can a person in civilian life. Enlisted personnel cannot, without great fear of retaliation, report a non-com or officer for homosexual misconduct. A member of the military cannot respond to an advance by a homosexual non-com or officer with crude language, or threats of physical action that would be used in a civilian situation. A member of the military cannot physically ward off unwanted homosexual contact by a non-com or officer without risk of court martial for a major crime, i.e., "assault on an officer." A member of the military cannot file a complaint with local police, or with local, state, or federal agencies enforcing anti-discrimination laws. A member of the military cannot sue a homosexual molester, or the predatory homosexual's employer, i.e., the military branch in which the victim serves.

A member of the military cannot simply "quit and get another job" if subjected to unwanted homosexual attention by a superior, as a civilian can if harassed by a supervisor. Military personnel are in the their military branch for the duration of their period of enlistment, even if a homosexual clone of Chester the Molester is their platoon sergeant, First Sgt., or an Officer. One can't "resign" from the military because of unacceptable working conditions, including predatory homosexual superiors.

Consider: Just what does a 17-year-old heterosexual recruit, male or female, do when a 35-year-old same-sex predatory non-com or officer decides to join that 17-year-old in the shower, or latrine, or field tent, or common area, and not only "tell" about but act out his or her homosexuality?

For one personal example of homosexuality in the military, even when it was forbidden, when I was stationed at Ft. Bliss in Texas, I was dating a bright, young, woman of my age who joined the Women’s Army Corps because she grew up in extreme poverty in the South and thought the WAC would provide her with opportunities. Instead, she begged me to marry her to get her out of the WAC, which was possible then, and quickly divorce once she was out. Why? Because, even though she was not personally a victim -- she visibly had a man to protect her -- she couldn't take the almost nightly attacks on young WACs by older lesbian non-coms. In the barracks of Ft. Bliss in that Vietnam-era, such attacks were not silent affairs. Anyone who served in such barracks will understand what I mean about the acoustical effects of sexual activity.

I didn't marry that fine young woman as she asked, so she could escape from predatory homosexual female non-coms, but I have never forgotten her, or her anguish, anxieties, and disgust, at being caught in a situation in which she was under the control of predatory homosexual WAC non-coms and could not extricate herself from that situation. We even strolled about the WAC area arm-in-arm to make a display of our relationship and her heterosexuality, making it clear that she was attached to a man, if not engaged. She informed me that she deliberately told the other women that while I was a nice guy to her generally, I had a violent temper and was wildly jealous about her. Who knew what I might do if she was molested?

Truth was, at 17, she wasn't making it up. Like many others coming to the Army from some very rough streets in a Midwest steel town, I was a wild man; resistant to orders and barely controllable even under military discipline, which I admit I often observed in the breach. My one stripe was pulled off so often I stopped sewing it on and attached it with velcro--easier for the sergeant to pull off. Had I been advanced upon or assaulted by a homosexual in the Army, including a non-com or officer, at that still-wild age, there would have been mayhem, the consequences be damned. What are young heterosexual men and women in military service to do now that open homosexuality is not only not forbidden, it is approved?

I reflected much on the memory of my relationship at Ft. Bliss with that decent young WAC from the South who abhorred the homosexual reality she was trapped in, when my own elder daughter elected to follow in the footsteps of her great- grandfather, her grandfather, and her father (me) and join the military at 17, right out of high school, in order to serve her country in this time of war against terrorism. She is the fourth generation in America and all four have served. Had the military by Act of Congress made acceptable and even advocated as a norm the kind of homosexual conduct I had witnessed pertaining to my WAC girlfriend described above, I would have done my best to dissuade my daughter from joining the service rather than risking that kind of homosexual degradation.

Does any one of those liberal "progressives" who voted to impose open homosexuality in the military seriously believe that homosexual predators can be kept out of the military, or controlled in it? Have the female members of House and Senate considered the impact on young women who will be exposed to predatory lesbian non-coms and officers, of which there is no shortage? Does anyone seriously believe that predatory homosexuals, male or female, will not be attracted to the armed forces, or remain in, with all those young "targets of opportunity" in the ranks, and Congress approving of open homosexuality?

Consider, especially, those troops in combat zones, and their parents and loved ones back home worrying about them. Just how much confidence can they have that their lives and limbs will be equally valued and defended if their officer or non-com, or fellow troop, is having a homosexual affair with one or more of the other troops? Can they have confidence that they are not at risk if some of the troops are in homosexual relationships with each other, or with non-coms or officers? Will non-coms and officers, or troops, who have a homosexual interest or relationship with one or more of the troops, not act to save their "significant others" before other troops? Can anyone say with confidence that a homosexual in a sexual relationship with a troop will not act to save that troop first, or otherwise favor that troop so as to keep him or her out of harm’s way as much as possible? In that regard, do men and women, no matter how decent, not act first to save their own spouses or children, rather than someone else's spouse or child, in a disaster, accident, or other life-threatening situation? Why would anyone think homosexuals would not act in the same way when the object of their homosexual love is the one at risk?

Liberal "progressives" are great at imposing on American citizens policies which cannot affect them. DA/DT is a prime example: Most in Congress modernly have not served in the uniform of their country. The present President of the United States never deigned to serve. He is only the second president of the modern era not to serve, other than liberal progressive Bill Clinton. Ironically, it was Clinton who in fact established DA/DT in his regime. Clinton never served, and distinguished himself, it should be remembered with disgust, by chatting on the phone with a member of Congress about troop decisions while being serviced below by Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office. Why should anyone be surprised that such liberal "progressives" as Obama, the President Who Bows From the Waist, and Clinton, President Fellatio, would be in favor of elevating anal and oral intercourse to a norm in the military

We are told by the same Democrat Liberal Progressives who have destroyed DA/DT that open homosexuality in the military will not be a problem, including as to unit cohesion, putting enlisted men and women at risk, and that they can control homosexual predators. Really? Just look at Liberal Progressive Portland, the Principality of Political Correctness, which reportedly strongly supports abolition of DA/DT. Portland could not even keep its predatory homosexual Mayor Sam Adam from preying on a 17-year-old male intern in the City Hall Men’s Room in the now infamous Beau Breedlove affair. What a field day such a homosexual predator would have in the closed military circumstance now that open homosexuality is to be the military norm.

Those voting for abolition of DA/DT and for the norming of open homosexual conduct as acceptable in the military, all those politicians in House and Senate and the President-Who-Never-Served, are preening in their self-righteousness in establishing a military policy which will never affect them, and is unlikely to affect their sons and daughters, since the progeny of those liberal "progressive" legislators are unlikely to have an economic incentive to join the armed forces.

I believe that the incoming 112th Congress should repeal this Lame Duck Democrat Liberal Progressive destruction of DA/DT. Such fundamental changes in the military culture, and the Military Code of Justice, and leave it to the military to decide what to do and how to do it. The most important voice in the ultimate decision should be the members of the military most immediately affected, -- combat troops.

The ultimate decision should not be made by liberal self-defined "progressive" politicians, bureaucrats, self-interested predatory homosexuals like Portland's Progressive Mayor Sam Adams, or military personnel far from combat and unlikely to have to depend on a homosexual with a sexual interest in him or her or in some other troop with whom they may have a homosexual crush or be a bedmate.

Further, unless and until the action of the Lame Duck Obama-Reid-Pelosi 111th Congress is repealed, every member of the House and Senate, as well as Obama, He Who Bows From The Waist, and his White House gaggle of liberal "progressives" creating their Brave New Homosexual Military World, should be compelled to shower daily with the homosexual Barney Frank in the Congressional gym. If they won't do that, then they should not inflict a similar fate on members of the American military, and their families.

Indeed, Americans should repeal the Lame Duck Democrat DA/DT destruction in the 112th Congress, and repeal of them in House and Senate who voted for it, and real him who so gushingly signed it, in the 2012 election.

In support thereof, I urge you again to read the report in WorldNetDaily.com by Eugene Koprowski on the growing response of troops and veterans to open homosexuality in the military: "Vets Protest Plan Opening Military To Homosexuals"

[Rees Lloyd is a longtime civil rights attorney, a veterans activist, and, among other things, a member of the Victoria Taft Show Blogforce.]

BLOG AUTHOR NOTE: The Department of Defense now has a Sexual Assault Prevention and Response program, where Troops are being inundated with ads informing them just what sexual assault is and how to report it. While a step to correct an dangerous situation, unless there is physical evidence it largely amounts to who is believed, the senior NCO, Officer or a young enlisted man.

In fiscal year 2009 a total of 3,230 restricted and unrestricted reports of sexual assault were filed, representing an 11% increase over fiscal year 2008.

As reported in the Department of Defense Fiscal Year 2009 Annual Report on Sexual Assault in the Military, page 359 “During FY09, there was a strong education campaign, Navy/Marine Corps-wide, to educate Sailors, Marines and civilians about sexual assault reporting options (Restricted and Unrestricted), services available to victims of sexual assault, and crime prevention. Training focused on defining criminal behavior so that more personnel within the Department better understand and recognize a sexual assault. As Sailors and Marines receive this training ad become better educated about the SAPR program, they have begun to report their sexual assault victimization in larger numbers. By way of example, male victim reports nearly doubled in FY09 and rose from 9% in FY08 to 17% in FY09.”

Our Troops do not deserve to be further saddled with even more of the above at a time they are expected to fight a two front war.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Soldier's Christmas Poem

For all who have served or are currently serving, especially those who might be far from home, or have missed having holidays with their families.

Have tissues on hand.

As Christmas draws to a close, please remember those far from home and their families.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Grandma Got Molested At the Airport

Shouldn't Real Heroes Receive Honor Too?

Once again we are approaching the end of another year. As usual, we are treated to a remembrance of so-called celebrities who have passed away during the year. Celebrities that produced movies, acted in or starred in them, singers, songwriters, book authors, and the whole gamut of those who entertain us or otherwise make millions of dollars creating fantasies for us to lose ourselves in.

The Seattle PI gives us 40 Celebrity Deaths for 2010, containing such names as, Teddy Pendergrass, Jean Simmons, J.D. Salinger, Peter Graves, Robert Culp, Lynn Redgrave, Lena Horne, Art Linkletter, Patricia Neal, Tony Curtis and many more.

Most all of us have viewed, read or listened to these celebrities and have enjoyed their work over the years and their passing is no doubt sad.

Yet, looking over the list, I noticed some names not listed. Names like Melvin E. Biddle, David H. McNerney, David C. Dolby, Nick Bacon, Vernon Baker and John William Finn. These names don’t actually merit the listing as celebrities, even though each one did more for all of us than all of the celebrities in the world. Who are the men behind these names?

Melvin E. Biddle was an Army private first class in Company B of the 1st Battalion, 517th Parachute Infantry Regiment during World War Two. During the Battle of the Bulge, he reconnoitered the German lines alone, killed three enemy snipers, and silenced four hostile machine gun emplacements.

David H. McNerney was an Army first sergeant in Viet Nam who assumed command of his company during an attack by a numerically superior North Vietnamese force. Although wounded, he organized the unit's defense, exposed himself to hostile fire in order to mark and clear a helicopter landing site, and refused to be evacuated until a new commander arrived the next day.

David C. Dolby was an Army specialist four in Viet Nam who, when his platoon came under heavy fire that killed six soldiers and wounded a number of others, including the platoon leader, led his platoon in its defense, organized the extraction of the wounded, and directed artillery fire despite close-range attacks from enemy snipers and automatic weapons. He single-handedly attacked the hostile positions and silenced three machine guns.

Nick Bacon was an Army first sergeant in Viet Nam, who when his and another Platoon lost its leader, took command of both platoons and led both against the remaining enemy positions. During the evacuation of the wounded, Bacon climbed the side of a nearby tank to gain a vantage point and direct fire into enemy positions, despite his exposure to enemy fire. He was credited with killing at least 4 enemy soldiers and destroying an antitank gun.

Vernon Baker was an Army Lieutenant during World War Two that, with the platoon he was leading, killed 26 enemy soldiers and destroyed six machine gun nests, two observer posts and four dugouts near Viareggio, Italy.

John William Finn was a Navy Chief Petty Officer during the attack on Pearl Harbor at the outset of World War Two. Even though being repeatedly wounded, he continued manning a machine gun from an exposed position throughout the attack.

Six men, six names that barely made mention in any media, other than maybe a mention in their local media. None were famous for silver screen appearances, noteworthy novels or award winning television series. No, they weren’t famous at all actually and that is what is saddest today, no one actually knew these men’s names.

You see, they are the rarest of all men, the bravest our country has seen and the rarest amongst the bravest. They were all survivors of their battles to be personally awarded the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest award for bravery and valor, while still living, most having been awarded posthumously.

They didn’t entertain us, write memorable books or songs. No, they fought for and protected our freedoms, giving us the opportunity to live in the freest nation in all of history. They stared death in the face and survived.

They didn’t make millions of dollars nor did they do what they did for reward or notoriety, most never believing they deserved the medal they were awarded.

No, they weren’t celebrities, they were so much better. Yet, their passing merits little notice, unlike that of the passing of others who would use ‘stunt doubles’ to portray the actions these men actually did.

I guess it is a matter of what is really important to us, our entertainment or our freedoms.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Patty Murray Out of the Closet: Brags of Disdain for Straight Troops

I have long maintained that Washington State’s senior senator, Patty Murray has no real appreciation of love of our Military, in spite of her public proclamations of just that. Last evening, December 20, 2010, she all but openly admitted her disdain in an email expressing her happiness over her voting to repeal the so-called ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ policy implemented by former president Bill Clinton in 1993.

Murray’s email said,
“Last week, I proudly cast my vote for legislation to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy. For far too long, men and women with the courage and commitment to serve our nation have been asked to hide the truth about who they are. This is shameful, it’s bad policy, and it needed to end. In a speech on the Senate floor prior to final passage, I urged my colleagues to repeal this failed policy and told the story of Major Margaret Witt, from Washington state, who was discharged under DADT.”

While Murray’s words are wrapped in gushing praise, she obviously did not bother to actually discuss the issue with front line combat Troops, but relied upon claims of a small segment of people in the Military who knew they would be ousted for declaring their sexuality and did so anyways.

Does she care anything at all of the vast majority of combat Troops, the ones who actually do the fighting, not serve in support capacity that vehemently expressed opposition to having to serve alongside homosexuals, worrying about such matters like unit cohesion and respect for chain of command?

How could she when she ignores their voices to embrace only the voices of the homosexuals?

I have long asked and never received an answer as to why is it, if someone really has “the courage and commitment to serve our nation,” it must be done so by declaration of one’s sexuality? What is the advantage of openly declaring yourself a homosexual?

Is it just so they “feel good?”

And what of our Military during war time? Did actual defense of the nation matter? I think not considering the Obama administration manipulated the opinions of our Troops in a DOD survey.

Had it played any role in the decision, it would have been noted that in reply to a question of “Was the effect on the unit’s ability to work together (knowing a fellow troop was gay)” was answered “Mostly negative or equally negative/positive 84.1%. Positive 15.9%”

A question on the effect of unit trust if DADT was repealed drew a response of “85% of Marine Combat Arms, 75% of Army Combat Arms, 64% overall say Negative, Very Negative, or Mixed impact.”

Some 24% responded they would leave the military or think about leaving sooner than planned if repealed, which would amount to nearly a half-million experienced Troops. Even if lesser numbers decided to end their careers early, the impact on Military readiness during war could be devastating to our National Defense. You can read through the actual report here.

Did any of that play a role in Murray’s continued pandering? How could it since she boasts of “PROUDLY casting her vote” for repeal and forcing those who stand between us and our enemies to endure the glares and possible harassment by homosexuals?

Also not taken into consideration by Murray and her cronies is what regulations will now need to be reviewed, implemented or rewritten, again while we have Troops fighting for their lives in Afghanistan and the potential of flare-ups in Iraq as we are winding that one down.

Nowhere in our society are male and female Troops required or expected to share toilet facilities or even shower together. But, with this repeal, Straight Troops Must Shower With Gays which alone is going to create tensions, especially within the confines of Navy ship or Submarine.

Would you feel comfortable feeling you were being ogled by someone of your own sex, merely for their sexual pleasure? We cannot and should not share showers with those of the opposite sex for that very reason, but somehow, we are to believe that a homosexual will not let his eyes wander to the naked body of a buffed out Marine?

And, if he acted upon that eyeful lust? If rejected, will the other soldier be expected to just accept being ogled? If the homosexual is superior in rank, will he use that rank to “penalize” the one rejecting him?

It has been known to happen when advances of male superiors are rejected by female soldiers. Why would we expect any difference from homosexuals? Are we to suddenly believe they are morally superior?

Yes, regulations are in effect to deal with such wrongs. But, Senator Murray and her cronies ignore that an increase in investigations and courts martial can only hinder our Troops effectiveness during war, not help it.

But to Sen., Murray, not of that matters nor was considered as she is “PROUD” to no allow homosexuals to openly declare their sexuality, combat Troops be damned.

Like other Democrats, their expressions of appreciation for our Military are a smoke screen for their actual disdain. To them, the Military is a tool for implementing their social changes, experimentation, not a fighting force of unique individuals ready to step between the country and her enemies.

How can any sane human being place the desires of a few over the welfare and defense of an entire nation?

Patty Murray is finally out of the closet and has openly declared her actual disdain for our Military.

Monday, December 20, 2010

"Forgive the expression, 'A Christmas Party'?"

How ridiculous that the assault on Christmas is now an expression requiring a request for forgiveness when spoken on air by NPR reporter Nina Totenberg.

The transcript of her words, spoken in the broadcast discussion over the recently defeated Omnibus Bill,
"I want to say one thing about the budget that didn’t get passed, the omnibus bill. You know, we talk a lot about – we just passed this huge tax cut in part because business said, you know, we have to plan, we have to know what kind of tax cuts we have. Well, these agencies, including the Defense Department, don't know how much money they've got and for what. And I was at – forgive the expression – a Christmas party at the Department of Justice and people actually were really worried about this. These are law enforcement people don't know exactly what kind of money they can spend for what."

Will John Laird or Lou Brancaccio or any other media editors pick up on this blurb and editorialize on how silly her words are? Don't hold your breath.

After all, haven't we been told that it is us who are being silly and creating a problem where none exists?

Will "Christmas" one day be transformed into "Expletive Deleted" by the politically correct media types?

H/T Newsbusters.com

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Chicago Mayoral Candidate Meeks: “Minority Should Apply to Blacks ONLY!”

Lighting off a firestorm in the Chicago Mayor's race, candidate James Meeks, an African-American touched off a firestorm in the city when he was asked why “African-American businesses got a 7 percent sliver of Chicago’s $1 billion spending pie through Aug. 31, down from 8 percent a year ago.”

He replied, “The word ‘minority’ from our standpoint should mean African American. I don’t think women, Asians and Hispanics should be able to use that title. That’s why our numbers cannot improve — because we use women, Asians and Hispanics who are not people of color, who are not people who have been discriminated against.

He continued, “I don’t believe white women should be considered in that count ….You have white women in the category. They receive contracts. Then, white men receive contracts. Where does that leave everybody else?”

Chicago “currently earmarks 25 percent of all city contracts for minorities and 5 percent for companies owned by women.”

In trying to put out the fire, hours after the remarks Meeks said he would only exclude white women if elected mayor.

Read more at the Chicago Sun-Times

James Meeks Tries to 'Clarify' Comments on Women, Hispanics and Asians Not Being 'Minorities' : MyFoxCHICAGO.com

Anti-Israel Ads On Seattle City Buses?

Reported by Seattle's KING 5 News, A group calling itself the Seattle Mideast Awareness Campaign is paying nearly $2,000 to place the ads on some Seattle Downtown buses.

Spokesman for the group claim the ads are geared towards Israels attacks 2 years ago on Gaza, that were intended to stop rockets attacks on Israel and the smuggling in of weapons used against Israel. Group spokesman, Ed Mast stated, "I wouldn't say it's an anti-Israel message any more than any complaint about a country is anti-that country. We would like Israel to stop violating human rights. We would like Israel to give equal rights to its Palestinian citizens and its Palestinian subjects who live under occupation," even though the ads contain inflammatory words of "our tax dollars at work" and feature photos of children.

Linda Thielke, King County Metro Transit spokesperson claims, "As a government, we are mindful of the provisions in state and federal constitutions to protect freedom of speech. So, we can't object [to] these campaigns simply because they offend some people."

Would Ms. Thielke so adamantly defend ads depicting a burning Qu'Ran? Would they freely post an ad featuring Jesus Christ on the Cross, atoning for mankind's sins? I think the notion of "offending some people" would be entirely different under such circumstances.

For Ed Mast and others, I'll leave you a few photo's of Palestinian "children."

I don't imagine you will see any of these photo's donning the sides of Seattle Buses any time soon.

See also American tourist Christine Logan found stabbed, bound in Israel

Government Take Over of Food, Restaurants, (Land?) in Offing for Multnomah County. Food As a "Right."

Contributed by Victoria Taft, KPAM 860

Think I’m exaggerating? As promised, I’m now blogging what I’ve pointed out all week on the program: on January 27th the Multnomah County Commission will consider the “Multnomah Food Action Plan.” Find it HERE. This trojan horse represents itself as a way to fight hunger while at the same time getting rid of what its authors determine is “unhealthy” food. It puts the government at the forefront of making food related decisions for you; including where you buy it including government sanctioned, “food hubs.” It encourages more people to be put on welfare and government housing. The plan calls for manipulating the urban growth boundary, urging land trusts, and forcing people to grow food on empty lots. It would look better on paper if the authors considered private property rights and individual liberty in their plan, but alas, in the People’s Republic this is a plan that has at its heart, “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need. HERE.” It’s a socialist utopian dream--which has never worked and which seeks to use our money to accomplish it. It makes food--and maybe even shelter--a right. Instead of working, able bodied people will have to do virtually nothing to support themselves. If you think times are financially tight now, just wait till Multnomah County becomes an even bigger welfare magnet than it already is. As Margaret Thatcher once observed, “The problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other peoples' money.”

This plan is breathtaking in its scope. It calls for the county to direct how people receive food in so called “food hubs,” assigns the county the duty to “reduce unhealthy food availability [think McDonalds lawsuits],” reduce property rights with its plan to “establish an agricultural land trust,” “increase acceptance” and “promote enrollment” of the food stamp program (SNAP), make it “easier” to eat more healthfully--by diktat--of course. In short, it would put government in charge of what access you have to food. And the plan makes a foray into housing calling for the county to “create sustainable living conditions.”

And it’s all done in the name of ‘social justice.’
Multnomah County, like much of the country, is at a critical juncture in fixing its food system. Currently, we have a two-track food system: those who can afford it have access to sustainable, locally grown, healthful foods, while the poor have few healthful food options in their communities, and even fewer economic resources to purchase such foods. Hunger, food insecurity, and health disparities result from a system that perpetuates economic inequality and social injustice. The scales must be rebalanced.
There are some things that I like in the food plan such as production of food for the poor and a seed library to share seeds. But they’re only effective if free people can decide to involve themselves in such programs.

“Empowering,” “funding,” “creating,” “fund opportunities for,” “increasing opportunities for,” “develop incentives,” mean we’re going to pay for this “new” plan to take over the marketplace. Furthermore, the avowed goal to hook more people on welfare is unseemly and wrong. When did it become government’s job to make it easier for people to shirk their own responsibilities?

Worse, millions of taxpayer dollars will undoubtedly be wasted on this program before we arrive at the point where it’s obvious government can’t solve the problem of people wanting to eat french fries.

Among the groups urging more government involvement--if not takeover--of the food available in Multnomah County are those whose fortunes will rise with the government’s increased involvement.

ReCode Oregon meets in the “Che” (Guevarra) room of a local church. Their goal is “legalizing sustainability.” Various farmer’s markets support the plan. We can agree that farmer’s markets are wonderful community assets. But they’re private and they’re “markets.” They would become even more beholden to  government under this plan.

TransitionPDX is a group created to agitate for government control of food. The group invokes the belief of ‘peak oil’ and ‘climate change’ as reasons to transition to government control over food.

The reasons for needing the program according to the food plan web page? Well it reads like they sat down and threw everything against the wall. Objectives appear to be in conflict with the other.
• About 36,000 people in Multnomah County access emergency
food boxes each month.
• Only a small portion of the food we consume is locally grown.
• Over half of all adults in Multnomah County are overweight or obese.
• Chronic disease such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and stroke is on the rise.
• About 30% of Multnomah County children receive food through the SNAP food assistance program.
• The average age of an Oregon farmer is 58 years.
On one hand people are hungry but on the other hand the do gooders want to deprive them of fast food or out of town sources of food.

On one hand they claim to be concerned about the poor but on the other hand they want to drive up the cost of food by having most of it from local sources.

On one hand they say 30% of children are on the food stamp program--a huge number--and on the other hand call for a higher number of people to be on welfare.

On one hand they claim more people should grow food and on the other hand they want to use the force of government regulation to deprive people of private property rights to do it.

For free markets--literally--and free peoples this plan is a disaster. Making food and shelter a ‘right’ sounds like a laudable goal, until you realize that when government takes over, things have a tendency to rise in price, not to mention it disincentivising taking care of oneself. When lesser things become a ‘right’ government takes control of it and people come to expect it.

We become Greece.

I want to help people. That’s why I give to charity. Government is not and should not become a charity.

[Victoria Taft may be heard daily, Monday through Friday on KPAM 860, Portland, Oregon from 11:00 AM to 3 PM. She blogs at her own blog, VictoriaTaft.com]

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Will Repeal of D.A.D.T. Lead to the Reinstatement of the Draft?

As all know, the Senate passed the repeal of the controversial Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy implemented by former president Bill Clinton that allowed Gays to serve in the Military, so long as they keep their sexuality to themselves. All that is left now is for Barack Obama, who campaigned on repealing the policy and allowing Gays to openly declare their sexuality within the ranks of the Military to sign it into laws and for the Pentagon.

Repeal passed by a 65 – 31 margin in the Senate, 8 Republicans abandoning so-called Republican principles and joined by 2 Independents to help Democrats pass their long sought after repeal. Sens. Scott Brown of Massachusetts, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, Mark Kirk of Illinois, George Voinovich of Ohio, Richard Burr of North Carolina, John Ensign of Nevada and Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine.

Repeal had earlier passed in the lame duck House by a margin of 250-175, 14 Republicans abandoning those so-called Republican principles there. Judy Biggert (IL), Mary Bono Mack (CA), John Campbell (CA), Anh ‘Joseph’ Cao (LA), Mike Castle (DE), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (FL), Charles Djou (HI), David Dreier (CA), Vern Ehlers (MI), Jeff Flake (AZ), Ron Paul (TX), Todd Russell Platts (PA), Dave Reichert (WA) and Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL)

Massachusetts traitorous Senator, John ‘F’in Kerry said of the repeal, “The military remains the great equalizer. Just like we did after President Truman desegregated the military, we’ll someday look back and wonder what took Washington so long to fix it.”

Kerry has a decade’s long history of being wrong on issues.

RINO John McCain of Arizona, leading the Senate opposition said of the repeal, “They will do what is asked of them. But don’t think there won’t be a great cost.”

We hear that the repeal may be implemented incrementally, “service by service or unit by unit,” “after careful consultation with military service chiefs and combatant commanders,” says Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

That “cost” McCain spoke of just might turn out to be the most ironic part of this whole debacle.

After years of protests and marches, the anti-war, anti-military, hate-America left succeeded in seeing the Military Draft ended in 1973. Today, December 18, 2010, those same aging hippies, joined by other malcontents succeeded in getting a policy of allowing Gays to openly declare their sexuality within the ranks of the Military.

Part of their argument, when hearing “67 percent of all Marines, more than 60 percent of special-operations personnel, and 57 percent of soldiers in Army combat units believe changing the law would hurt military efficiency, unit cohesion, readiness, and retention,” was to tell them they needed to “get the hell out of the Military!” These are the guys that actually serve on the front lines and fight the battles, not your run of the mill REMF’s.

As said by Lt. Col. Oliver North, USMC (Ret.) in the article, Gays in the Military: Obama’s social experiment would have devastating effects on the finest military force the world has ever known, “, nearly one-third of all those who are now part of the best-educated, best-trained, and most-combat-experienced military in history will consider ‘getting out’ rather than serve side by side with openly homosexual men or lesbians.”

Lt. Col. North also mentions the very real possibility of, “thousands of our finest, most effective non-commissioned officers will leave the service at the end of their current enlistment and there won’t be anyone around to train the next batch of replacements, assuming they can be recruited.”

What that means, given the current level of Military involvement against terrorists and the threat of terrorism growing under the Obama administration, not diminishing, there is a distinct possibility that the Military might be forced to return to the draft in order for the Military to meets their recruitment requirements!

Imagine that, the very people that pushed for and won an end to forced Military Service are the same ones who have pushed for this forced acceptance of Gays openly serving in the Military and just might now be responsible for the reinstatement of the draft, an end to the “all-volunteer” Military.

The irony of that is glaring!

But, that is the ‘law of unintended consequence.’ So often that gets ignored.

Oh, if it happens it won’t be tomorrow or in the next few weeks. Might not even happen for a couple years, as experienced combat Troops finish out their enlistments and return to a life of being a civilian. But, the possibility of it happening is very real!

Oh, and all of you who think you can follow suit as did draft dodgers in the 1960’s to avoid conscription, you can forget it.

Canada no longer freely accepts draft dodgers and since you pushed for open acceptance of Gays, claiming to be, or actually being Gay will not excuse your being drafted.

You know, this repeal just might turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to America after all.

But not for the reasons you think.

The next few years look like they will be very interesting, for sure.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Dream of the 90's

The rest of the world might have grown up, but not Portland, Oregon.

By Portlandia:

Pure Lunacy on Display

And Democrats wanted this idiot for President?

Obama's Organizing for America pushing for DREAM Act and Repeal of DADT

Barack Obama's group set up to persuade citizen's to buy into his agenda is working overtime today. With our country in dire straights, unemployment increasing, jobs drying up, national debt spiraling out of control and all of the maladies facing the nation, isn't it odd that the main focus remains to be on passing the backdoor amnesty act for children of ILLEGAL Aliens brought to the country when young and caving into Gays who want to force acceptance of their sexuality upon the country.

Don't believe me? I received the following just today in my email.

And, to make sure you do it right with the proper words, they even supply you a script to go along with the names and phone numbers of who to call to encourage calling legislators to pass these bills.

Shouldn't we worry first about getting the nation back on sound economic footing?

Do you appreciate your name and phone number being given out to strangers on an email list?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is Repealing DADT Really All That Important Right Now?

Just in case no one has noticed, our country is in deep trouble. We are spiraling ever downward into an economic depression that seems to have no end. We are borrowing more than ever before, national debt doubling in just 2 years, unemployment is approaching unheard of highs not seen since the 1930’s, jobs are drying up, states are going bankrupt, people’s homes are being foreclosed on, the government is taking over banks all of the time, bailing out large corporations on the brink of disaster and congresses major worry is letting Gays serve openly in the Military?

Why is this even being considered at this time? With all of the problems we are facing, will allowing Gays to openly declare their sexuality in the ranks improve anything in the country?


It will appease a handful of people hell bent on forcing acceptance of their lifestyle upon others, but it will not curb overspending, cut taxes to a reasonable level, create jobs or feed hungry children. It will only appease those who feel their sexuality is so important that they must openly declare it to others within the ranks of the Military.

The so-called Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy was a compromise by former president Bill Clinton to allow gays to serve as long as they didn’t make an issue out of their sexuality. It was bad policy then and it is still bad policy today, reflected by combat Troops who overwhelmingly oppose repealing it.

Oh, I know the Pentagon has floated that poll of pencil pushing desk jockeys who have no problem with Gays openly serving, but the guys at the front of the battles, those in the thick of it who do all of the major fighting have come out against repeal by overwhelming numbers.

Their voices are ignored by activists and politicians who think the Military is nothing more than another social club for their social experimentation.

The Commandant of the United States Marine Corps, General James Amos has expressed opposition to repeal. He says,

“Mistakes and inattention or distractions cost Marines lives. That’s the currency of this fight. I don’t want to lose any Marines to the distraction. I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda [Navy Hospital] with no legs be the result of any type of distraction.”

For expressing his expert Military Commander Opinion, Gay Activists and supporters are calling on him to “step down,” “to fall in line and salute or resign now,” as expressed by Aubrey Sarvis, executive director of pro-repeal advocacy group Servicemembers Legal Defense Network.

How wise it during war to change effective leaders solely to allow Gays to serve openly? Is it wise, during a war that we send our most experienced combat Troops the message that if they aren't willing to accept openly Gay Soldiers in their ranks, they should just get the hell out of the Military?

Last March, giving just one example of how combat Troops may be distracted by Gays, General John Sheehan, USMC, retired testified of an incident that happened in Viet Nam. He stated,
“Senator, in my experience, homosexual marines create problems on the battlefield. Let me give you a case and point.

Early years of Vietnam, 9th Marines, West of Da Nang, rifle company on a ridgeline combat outpost, the intelligence was that the North Vietnamese were going to attack, that night. The unit was put on 50-percent alert, which meant one slept, one stood on watch. About 1 o’clock in the morning, a fight broke out in a foxhole because the young marine was being molested by his squad leader. To the right of that foxhole, there was a machinegun section that opened up and almost killed a combat patrol that was out in the front.

Now, the natural question is, ‘‘Okay. Well, fine, don’t you have rules that deal with assault?’’ and the answer to that is yes.

The real issue, though, was that, after we sorted this whole thing out, the sergeant—the squad leader essentially said, ‘‘Look, I was just adjusting his equipment, waking him up because the—I thought there was something out to the front.’’ He denied it happened.

The young PFC, who was new to the organization, said, “Wait a minute. This really happened to me. He was molesting me.” The unit took sides, naturally. The squad leader was a popular person, been around for a while. The PFC was a new kid. For about 3 days, that unit divided down the middle—those that supported the popular squad leader, those that kind of thought the new kid might be believable.

The only reason we sorted the issue out was because the sergeant committed the offense about 3 days later. But, the real tragedy of this story is, the young PFC continually insisted, for a long period of time, that nobody in his organization believed it happened.

He lost faith in his chain of command.

So, I would argue the case that, if you look at—and you can say that I’m some old guy that’s been around for a while, and been— probably been around for too long. But, I read the Defense Department’s recently released sexual assault report. And the thing that really bothers me about this issue is that the report says—and this is last year’s report—there’s been an overall 11-percent rise in sexual assaults in the military; 16-percent rise in Afghanistan and Iraq; 32-
—over 3200 cases of sexual—we’re not talking about sexual harassment, we’re talking about sexual assault. Seven percent of those— that’s about 226—male on male assaults, where rape and sodomy took place. And the Department of Defense will clearly indicate that that’s an underreporting.

I would stipulate that, from my days in Vietnam in the early ’60s, when I had this sergeant that almost got a combat patrol killed, that a—226 male soldiers and marines who are molested— that there’s something wrong with our sexual behavior policy.

His testimony begins at Page 16 of the U.S. Senate, Committee On Armed Services Transcript.

What cost not only to our economy, but to families and the national psyche to lose combat Marines due to such actions of one?

Our Veterans Groups have expressed their opposition to repeal.

Back to the point, though. Is allowing Gays to openly serve so damned important that we risk losing Marines and ignoring our growing problems with the economy and families out of work that this one issue must be pushed to the fore right now?

What is so important to appease such a small block of people that we would push for their forced acceptance over managing the growing troubles facing the nation? To me, it is absolutely ludicrous that appeasing Homosexuals is more important to many Democrats in this lame duck congress than are jobs, economic recovery and facing the out of control debt.

If nothing else, this issue should be shelved until more important matters are dealt with and resolved.

Gay appeasement must not take precedence over more pressing National Issues.

Pressure is be mounted to have General Amos ousted as Commandant of the United Marine Corps, due to his expert testimony. Won't you please sign a petition being circulated in support of General Amos?

It is at Petition for Support of USMC Cmdt Gen. James Amos « Victory Institute

“Liberty Milestones”: December 16, 1773, The Boston Tea Party

Contributed by Rees Lloyd

Happy Boston Tea Party Day! December 16 marks the 237th anniversary of the first American “Tea Party” on December 16, 1773.

However, while the Boston Tea Party is an iconic milestone of American liberty, it has not yet been officially recognized as “National Tea Party Day” by Act of Congress.

But it ought to be. Who better to start the effort to establish a national “Tea Party Day” by act of the incoming 112th "Tea Party" Congress than the listeners of patriot Victoria Taft's "Tea Party Of The Air” and readers of her blog?

Many of the oppressive and tyrannical acts of England in deprivation of American liberty which inspired the first Tea Party in December 16 1773 appear to be replicated in different form today by the oppressive and tyrannical Democrat Party regime led by President Barack Hussein Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry (Dirty Deal) Reid, and San Francisco Nancy Pelosi.

Obama-Reid-Pelosi today, with Democrat Party monopoly control over the White House, the Senate, and the House in the 111th Congress, have collectively thumb nosed Americans (and worse) by taxing, spending, and redistributing wealth to those whom they favor with all the haughty contempt for Americans that English King George III and Prime Minister Lord North manifested before Americans rebelled and chose freedom over security.

The American revolutionary “Tea Party” of Dec. 16, 1773, was the culmination of a series of oppressive acts of England to tax Americans “without representation” in the Parliament.

As author William Federer points out in his “AmericanMinute.com” on Dec. 16, 2010, those acts included: “1764 the Sugar Act –taxing sugar coffee, wine; 1765 Stamp Act –taxing newspapers, contracts, letters, playing cards, and all printed materials; 1767 Townshend Acts—taxing glass, paints, paper;” and, in 1773, the Tea Act, which compelled Americans to pay taxes on tea while allowing England’s favored “East India Tea Company to sell a half million pounds of tea in the colonies with no taxes, giving them a monopoly by underselling American merchants."

Rebelling against “taxation without representation,” American patriots led by firebrand Samuel Adams, known as the “Father of the American Revolution,” and a founder of the “Sons of Liberty,” on December 16, 1773, carried out the first, historic “Boston Tea Party” in a manner which I believe reflects the exceptional, and continuing, American spirit and character—bold, daring, determined, willing to sacrifice in the cause of cause of liberty, totally committed to freedom and victory, but carrying out the fight with √©lan and a sense of humor.

That is, these Americans, facing the enormously powerful England, set out to dump the English tea in the Boston Harbor rather than surrender to England’s oppression. These American patriots, many of them Sons of Liberty, facing dread punishments if caught, did so with many of them dressed up disguised as “Mohawk Indians.” As I said, these American patriots had a sense of humor.

At the harbor, these “Mohawks” boarded the three English tea-bearing ships, the Dartmouth, Eleanor and Beaver, and dumped a reported 342 chests of tea in the water. And went home. Nobody, least of all the English, thought “the Indians did it.”

William Federer, author of “America’s God And Country; Encyclopedia of Quotations,” the best single resource on what the Founding Fathers said and wrote of their beliefs in founding America, reports that the statement issued by the Americans of the Boston Tea Party was:

“Death is more eligible than slavery. A free-born people are not required by the religion of Jesus Christ to submit to tyranny, but may make use of such power as God has given them to recover and support their liberties…We implore the Ruler above the skies that He would bare His arm…and let Israel go.”

For those early American patriots, many if not most of who considered America to be the “New Israel,” England would not easily let America go. Rather, England imposed the punitive “Coercive Acts,” also known as the “Intolerable Acts,” meant to beat down the Americans into submission.

Those oppressions failed to kill the American spirit and love for freedom. Rather, Americans, pledging “our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor,” as Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence, declared their Independence, and fought the greatest military on earth for their freedom, from 1775 until the Treaty of Paris of 1783. Many of them did, indeed, sacrifice their lives, and their fortunes, but not their sacred honor, fighting for freedom. Our freedom.

The Boston Tea Party has continued to inspire.

For one instance, in India, Mahatma Gandhi, after leading his successful nationwise protest against England’s monopoly of “salt” in 1939, reportedly presented the English viceroy with some duty-free salt, saying that the salt was “to remind us of the famous Boston Tea Party.”

For further and more immediate example, on February 19, 2009, Rick Santelli, broadcast news financial reporter, saying “President Obama – are you listening?,” rose up in a nationwide broadcast against the Obama administration’s re-distributionist governmental policies to call for a “new Tea Party.” Santelli’s apparently spontaneous protest sparked the rise of the now nationwide Tea Party Movement.

Santelli’s now famous protest also led to the Tea Party in Pioneer Square in April, 2009, called by Oregon’s own unabashed American patriot, Victoria Taft, which drew over 5,000 patriots even in the heart of Portland, the Principality of Liberal Political Correctness.

The Boston Tea Part of Dec. 16, 1773, is, then, truly a milestone of liberty. Those original Tea Party Patriots should be remembered, and honored, by, first, an Act of the incoming 112th Congress to establish December 16th as “National Tea Party Day;” and second, and most importantly, by the Americans of this generation fighting to preserve American freedom for our posterity as those original Tea Party patriots fought to establish and preserve freedom for us.

[Rees Lloyd is a longtime civil rights lawyer formerly with the ACLU, American Legion Life Member and Judge Advocate Post 79; Past Commander and Scribe, District 21; and an unashamed American patriot.]

Monday, December 13, 2010

How To Tell You're Shopping in Texas

Supreme Court Justice Breyer would never find Texas acceptable, not after he decided to rewrite history in favor of gun control nuts.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Public Unions Must Begin Giving Their ‘Fair Share’

Sure to anger many who think their positions within government entitle them to preferential treatment and compensation, but something that is being seen more and more as a much needed act and soon, if we are to ever recover from this deep economic blight we continue to struggle with, unions, public unions especially must begin sharing in the burden of this elongated economic downward spiral.

I don’t blame public unions for all of our troubles, but they have played a significant role in getting us here and I see little from them in helping get us out. For those who will inevitably flock here to cry I am anti-Police or anti-Firefighters, don’t waste your time. I am anything but and I am reminded that we have Troops fighting and dying to protect our country who receive far less compensation than either do.

I also openly admit that in the past, unions have accomplished much good, fighting for and winning safe work places, fair work hours and conditions and reasonable wages from private sector companies. But, somewhere along the way, that was forgotten and far exceeded as business agents convinced union members they were entitled to more and more and gained concessions from companies that were passed along in the way of higher consumer prices. Higher prices that even the union members had to pay, necessitating yet another strike vote for even more compensation which too was passed along in the form of higher prices.

In my personal estimation, a self-defeating vicious circle.

But, somewhere also along the way, unions began figuring out that government workers unionized did not have to negotiate with a company that must remain profitable to stay in business as negotiators seemed to have bottomless pits of money in the form of our taxes paid.

As private sector union membership waned, public sector union membership grew, as even acknowledged by the staunchly left-leaning, pro-union New York Times in a January 2010 article, Most U.S. Union Members Are Working for the Government.

“In its annual report on union membership, the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] undercut the longstanding notion that union members are overwhelmingly blue-collar factory workers. It found that membership fell so fast in the private sector in 2009 that the 7.9 million unionized public-sector workers easily outnumbered those in the private sector, where labor’s ranks shrank to 7.4 million, from 8.2 million in 2008.”

While a later New York Times article makes the claim that “Many Public Employees Will Pay More,” I find the claim hollow and empty when it comes to the public unions in Washington State and Clark County in particular.

With the growing budget deficits, increases in taxes and fees, ever growing unemployment, Clark County remaining the highest in the state at 13%, what real concessions have we struggling taxpayers seen from public employees?

Our illustrious County Commissioners just voted unanimously to pass off yet another 1% increase in property tax for the county general fund, “for health services.” I had the opportunity, along with several other struggling property owners, to testify to the commissioners on our struggles and apparently, our voices went ignored by the 2 Republican, 1 Democrat commission.

In the deal, we are told “the committee voted to have [public union] employees pay higher service costs rather than start taking payroll deductions,” but just what does “service costs” mean? Unless it means county employees begin contributing to their health insurance premiums, that they currently contribute not one dime towards, there is absolutely no relief to struggling homeowners who will pay this increased tax.

Clark County paid $26 Million so far this year alone for health insurance premiums while the 1640 public union employees paid no portion of those premiums. The private sector must pay upwards of 70% of their health insurance premiums.

Then too we read on the decision for public union employees to pay “higher service costs,” “How this is accomplished will depend on the outcome of ongoing [public union] contract negotiations,” by County Administrator Bill Barron.

The city of Kelso, in Cowlitz County just saw their Police Union rejecting a 5% pay cut, which means they will lose 3 Police Officers and 1 Police Clerk. Less Police is not serving the community. And, it must be noted that many in the private sector have received a 100% pay reduction due to being placed on the unemployment rolls.

While the state did reach a tentative agreement with state public unions to have their members pay 12% to 15% contribution to their health insurance premiums, that sum is paltry compared to those of us still struggling in the private sector. Most laughable is seeing that we taxpayers will pay ONLY 85% of their premiums now.

Then too, as the state still faces yet another multi-billion dollar budget deficit, can we forget the outrage expressed by union members over furloughs in the attempt to decrease state spending?

Also not to be forgotten is how we lost a grant in 2008 to our schools because the teachers union in our state couldn’t control the $13.2 Million grant to teachers, the benefactor desiring to handle it directly.

On and on it goes. Example after example could be provided as to how we in the private sector continue to tighten our belts and do without while well paid state workers, public union members, make no or very slight concessions to help weather this deep economic morass we continue in.

Who in government is willing to stand up to these unions? Who will take the bull by the horns and say enough? Obviously the unions will not voluntarily give up a little so all may survive.

Negotiators do not worry about being profitable, they just raise taxes or fees. The public unions pour money in by the droves to defeat common sense approaches that might lower spending, as they did recently in our state against measures to privatize the sale, warehousing and distribution of liquor, currently wholly managed by the Washington State Liquor Control Board, who just happens to be filled with public union members stocking shelves and selling liquor in state owned stores at upwards of $15.00 an hour, with generous benefits and pension, on our dime.

I can’t help but recall back in 1979, as Chrysler Corporation Chairman Lee Iacocca was seeking wage and benefit concessions from the United Auto Workers Union and was asked just what could he guarantee members should they make those concessions as he answered rather matter of factly, “THEIR JOBS!

If public unions are not willing to concede and begin accepting their fair share in this continuing “Great Recession,” they must be broken. They must be decertified. They have become little more than what they were formed to fight, greedy corporations.

Should public union members decide to “walk-off” the job, stage a “sick-in” or otherwise express their unwillingness to help out, with a continuing 13% unemployment in Clark County and nearly 10% statewide, I am sure we would have no problem finding someone willing to fill their positions.

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Vancouver Pays Homage to the Memory of the Pearl Harbor Attack

It was 69 years ago today, December 7, 1941, young sailors and soldiers waking to another Sunday morning in Pearl Harbor Hawaii were suddenly and brutally thrust into the war that would become the bloodiest conflict the world has ever seen, World War Two.

For nearly two hours, waves of Japanese aircraft flew in, dropping bombs, torpedoes and strafing airfields and ships moored in the harbor in an effort to cripple the American Naval Pacific Fleet and prevent our Navy from influencing the war that the Japanese was planning to wage in Southeast Asia against Britain, the Netherlands and the U.S. in the Philippines.

“Four U.S. Navy battleships were sunk (two of which were raised and returned to service later in the war) and all of the four other battleships present were damaged. The Japanese also sank or damaged three cruisers, three destroyers, an anti-aircraft training ship and one minelayer. 188 U.S. aircraft were destroyed, 2,402 personnel were killed and 1,282 were wounded. The power station, shipyard, maintenance, and fuel and torpedo storage facilities, as well as the submarine piers and headquarters building (also home of the intelligence section) were not attacked. Japanese losses were light, with 29 aircraft and five midget submarines lost, and 65 servicemen killed or wounded. One Japanese sailor was captured.”

While the surprise attack was an initial success, it ultimately proved to be a deadly miscalculation for the Japanese that was reportedly noted immediately after the sneak attack by Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto, “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve.

While the quote itself is called into question, the ultimate outcome and somberness of the words are now a historical fact.

69 years later, the city of Vancouver once again gathered on this day to pay homage to those who are still entombed in the rusting hulks of ships still sitting beneath the waters of Pearl Harbor and give respects to the handful of men still living who endured the attack that day and who fought back against the tyranny of the then Japanese government and after defeating them, guide them back to being viable and welcome allies.

Even as a Veteran myself, I can only imagine the untold horror those men experienced that day. They were the same age I was when I served in the Viet Nam War, but I knew I was being sent into a War. They woke up to a massive wave of enemy aircraft attacking instead of the expected peaceful Sunday.

From the tearful admonition of Vancouver’s Pearl Harbor Survivors Association Vice-President Hal Lacey hoping such an attack never happens again to the emotional rendition of God Bless America, sang by Vancouver Police Officer Ray Reynolds, the hour and a half of ceremonies was in appreciation for what these aging men endured.

Retired Navy Commander Larry Commander served as Master of Ceremonies, introducing those survivors who were attendance and guest speakers who included Vancouver Mayor, Tim Leavitt, who although never served in the Military paid deep respects to those who died and those who survived to fight back.

Gene Cole, from Portland’s Chapter #1 of the Pearl Harbor Survivors Association gave a short speech, recalling his own actions that fateful morning and the actions of those he saw fall around him.

A young sailor currently serving as the U.S. Navy Recruiter in the Vancouver area, whose name escapes me, paid his respects and recited the sailor’s creed,
“I am a United States Sailor. I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and I will obey the orders of those appointed over me. I represent the fighting spirit of the Navy and all who have gone before me to defend freedom and democracy around the world. I proudly serve my country’s Navy combat team with Honor, Courage and Commitment. I am committed to excellence and the fair treatment of all.”

Who better in our history has shown that than those men who endured that fateful day?

Earlier years saw a placing of a wreath into the Columbia River, but as this year’s ceremony was held indoors at E.B. Hamilton Hall, in the Historic Fort Vancouver, aging survivors dressed in uniforms and association colors stood and hung it from the front of the speakers’ lectern.

Aging men who will be lucky to see another commemoration, assisted by walkers and canes, some struggling even to stand, proudly walked up to pay their own homage to fellow shipmates who never returned.

Speaking with these men prior to the opening ceremony filled me with awe of what they endured, what they accomplished and the deep memories each has of that day and the rest of the war.

Older and bent over today, some with graying or balding hair, long widowers, once they were the young warriors and sailors who paid the price that my generation and successive generations remained a free people.

We owe these men a debt of gratitude impossible to repay. We can never give back what they lost that day and I imagine none would accept it if we could, knowing the price had to be paid to remain free.

To a man they are true patriots and Americans, proud of their country, shipmates and fellow Veterans.

As Vancouver Police Officer Ray Reynolds so eloquently sang, “God Bless America.”

Monday, December 06, 2010

Pearl Harbor Day: Survivor S.J. Hemker, USN, Remembering A Day That Should Live In Infamy

USS New Orleans

By Rees Lloyd

As the nation remembers the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, Dec. 7, 1941, “a day that will live in infamy,” as President Franklyn D. Roosevelt memorably called it in his dramatic speech declaring war on Japan, S. J. Hemker, U.S. Navy Veteran, American Legionnaire, and Pearl Harbor survivor, remembers it in a much more up close and personal way:

Ordinarily, we would have been at sea, we were at Pearl Harbor because we had to repair an engine that had been sabotaged at the shipyard back in California. I was up on the fantail of our ship, the USS New Orleans, a heavy cruiser, with the Chief Master at Arms. The Quartermaster was there, getting ready to raise the flag,” Hemker recalls.

“It was 7:55 a.m. when we saw the Japanese planes. They were flying so low I could see the pilots faces in the cockpit. They were grinning at us as they went down toward Battle Ship Row. Grinning at me and the Chief. They were so close, you could have thrown something at them and hit them. A potato, maybe. They were that close. Just skimming the top of the water. Torpedo planes. The pilots grinning at us,” Hemker reluctantly, but vividly recalls.

The loudspeakers blared: ‘Man your battle stations – the Japs are attacking.’ All hell broke loose. It was terrible, horrible, …,” he says, pausing in his remembrance.

I spent the next eight hours down in the magazine loading for our five-inch anti-aircraft guns. We fired everything. If we had been hit, that would have been it for us in the magazine. We would have been blown up. We had a big crane over the top of our ship. I think that’s what saved us,” he states matter-of-factly as to his own circumstance, then somberly relates:

The Arizona capsized. Thirteen hundred men went down with her. Half the guys I was with in boot camp died on the Arizona. That’s where the Memorial is today. They say that oil still leaks out every day. Those guys…they’re still down there,” Hemker says quietly, his voice trailing off, as if physically turning away from a memory, and reality, which is still too painful to talk about.

Getting Hemker to talk about it at all is no easy task. Like many of his fellow World War II veterans, he still doesn’t talk about his war experiences, never expects any thanks or gratitude, and never, ever boasts about it, despite the fact that after Pearl Harbor he served America in battles and combat zones for the duration of WWII, in the Korean War, and in Vietnam.

It’s all in the past. It’s something I lived through, and I don’t talk about it much. I guess because it lasted so long, and it was so horrible—a lot of real good people got killed. I just don’t talk about it,” Hemker attempts to explain to someone who wasn’t there. “You’re learning more than most; I just don’t talk about it. I wouldn’t be talking to you except you say it’s important for the kids to know.”

S.J. Hemker is a member of a generation whose childhood was of the Depression, and whose early adulthood was of World War II, a generation which preserved American freedom and exemplified American values, and has rightly been called the “Greatest Generation.” A generation about whom “it’s important for the kids to know.”

Hemker was born in 1919, and had a small-town, Midwestern upbringing in by hardworking parents in Union, Missouri. He was ten when the Depression hit. “I went to school during the day and worked at the bakery at night. They didn’t pay me; but let me take home the day old bread and pastries. It helped the family. That’s how I learned the baking trade.”

One day shortly after graduating from school in 1937, “I went downtown and there was this Navy recruiter there. He had a Navy car. He talked about ‘seeing the word,’ and ‘three square meals a day.’ That sounded good to me. I was tired of cornbread and beans. I signed up,” Hemker recalls.

After “Boot Camp” at Great Lakes Naval Station in Illinois, Hemker was temporarily assigned to the Base, then to the USS New Orleans out of San Diego. “Many of my boot camp class were assigned to the Arizona; if I hadn’t been given temporary duty at the Naval Station, I probably would have died with them at Pearl Harbor.”

Hemker received a raise from “$17 to $21 a month when I was assigned to the New Orleans.” He spent six months or so on the “deck force,” then “about 18 months in the engine room,” and then one day told the ship’s Commissary Chief: “Hell, I can make a loaf of bread better than you can.” Miffed, the Chief dared him, and Hemker proved his boast. Six months later when there was an opening, the Chief made Hemker the ship’s baker. He then “learned everything –cooking, baking, butchering everything.”

Hemker’s 4-year hitch was just about up, and he thought he would leave the Navy, when Pearl Harbor hit. “That changed everything—we were extended for the duration.”

The duration included Hemker’s participation in what are now historic sea battles, including the Battle of Coral Sea, and Midway “…the turning point of the war, when we sank their carriers,” Hemker says.

The New Orleans had a crew “of about 500. It was small enough that you knew everybody on board by their first names, everybody knew everybody else,” Hemker relates.

One of the battles took place on “November 30, 1942. It was around midnight. The Japanese torpedoed us. It was a triple explosion—the torpedo; then the ammunition magazine for the eight inch guns, then the aviation gasoline. It blew off 192 feet of the bow,” Hemker relates.

Two hundred and three of our crew were killed. 203…almost half our crew,” Hemker says, his voice dropping to a whisper. “I don’t like to talk about it.”

Hemker survived that battle, and many more. In 1945, he was on the New Orleans, “…and we could see the Japanese boarding the Missouri to sign the surrender. I was very, very glad it was over.”

Hemker by then had a number of years in the Navy, so stayed in, and found himself at war again in Korea, and in Vietnam. He served all those battles without major injury, and retired.

His three sons from a first marriage, all served the nation: Robert, who retired from a Navy career like his dad; William, who served in the Army in Vietnam; and Earl, who served in the Coast Guard in Vietnam.

Hemker remarried, and he and his Hazel were married for 32 years before she died fifteen years ago. For the last 13 years of their marriage, Hazel was bedridden, and could do nothing for herself. Hemker did everything for her, with love, and without complaint.

She would have done the same for me,” Hemker says. “We were in love.”

Now 91 years old, Hemker is still roguishly handsome, has a sharp sense of humor, and is universally admired by his comrades in the American Legion, in which he continues to serve America. “I’m not able to do what I used to do, but I do what I can,” Hemker says.

On Patriot Day, 9-11-2010, Hemker was honored by being named Grand Marshall of the Annual Stage Coach Days Parade in Banning, California, where he now lives in retirement. “I was glad to do it,” Hemker says, “serving with all my comrade veterans, from all the military services on Patriot Day. Even more people died on 9-11 than died at Pearl Harbor. We Americans should never forget. If we forget our past, we won't have a future. As free people, anyway."

As Pearl Harbor Day is again observed, Hemker notes: “I don’t think people remember it, and what it means, the way they used to. That’s too bad. A lot of us can’t forget. An awful lot of really good people died to keep America free. They shouldn’t be forgotten.”

[Rees Lloyd is a longtime civil rights attorney, a veteran, and an activist member of The American Legion.]

To read more of the heroic exploits of this ship and her crew, please read USS New Orleans (CA-32