Friday, July 27, 2018

A Word on #WalkAway

Readers have no doubt seen or heard of the #WalkAway campaign where citizens lay claim to having been a Democrat for some time and for various reasons grew tired of the party and “walked away” from it to join the Republican Party.

As with many things where politics are concerned, we also see claims that the campaign is fake or not representative of how people actually feel. There is even been effort to sully the campaign by the use of stock photos of models, denied by the originator of course.

Regardless of whether or not the campaign used the stock photos or has given honest accounts of people fed up and walking away from the party, I can verify that people are in fact walking away. But is it all that unusual for people to be disillusioned and switch parties?

No, not really.

I have said many times in the past that I too was a Democrat at one time, born and raised in a staunchly Southern Democrat family in South Florida that viewed supporting or voting for a Republican tantamount to high treason.

And no, my family wasn’t of the failed Dixiecrat movement, although by and large they were ambivalent towards Civil Rights in the 1960’s, wrongly believing that the segregation then was “just the way things were.”

Growing up I heard much praise for President Harry Truman, elected just months after I was born in 1948, where the famous image of him holding the newspaper with the headline “Dewey Defeats Truman” was recorded for history.

They didn’t think much of President Dwight D. Eisenhower during his two terms and in 1960 were quite conflicted in the race between John F. Kennedy and Richard Nixon, Eisenhower’s Vice President, due to Kennedy being Catholic and fears of the Pope in Rome directing his decisions.

As we know, Kennedy won the election only to be cut down by an assassin’s bullet in 1963 in Dallas, Texas, elevating his Vice President, Lyndon Baines Johnson into the Presidency.

In 1964 Johnson won the election in part by promoting Civil Rights for Black people and drawing more of them to Democrats.

By 1968 I was grown and had moved out of my parents home and was supporting myself, but facing an unpopular war, Vietnam. Johnson had already declined to run and the race again saw Richard Nixon running as a Republican against Johnson’s Vice President, Hubert Humphrey.

Humphrey ran on claims of continuing Johnson’s war on poverty and Civil Rights while Nixon campaigned on restoring law and order to the country after the tumultuous years of the late 1960’s and to offer new leadership in ending the war in Vietnam, declared a “stalemate” by Walter Cronkite earlier in the year.

This was perhaps the first time I gave sincere consideration to a Republican over his claims on Vietnam as well as likely some rebellion on my part against by staunch Democrat parents.

Nixon won by a very slim margin in the popular vote, 43.42% to Humphrey’s 42.72%, but received a significant Electoral College victory, 301 to 191.

Days after Nixon was inaugurated I received my Draft Notice and enlisted in the U.S. Army rather than be drafted.

When the 1972 election rolled around I had completed an extended tour in Vietnam and was now married and stationed in Germany, still supportive of Nixon and missing out on much of the Watergate shenanigans that dominated the news in the U.S.

By my return to the U.S. in March 1974, Vice President Spiro Agnew had already resigned and been replaced by then Speaker of the House, Gerald Ford who went on to become President when Nixon also resigned in August 1974.

Again, I felt conflicted, sold out by the Republicans I moved towards while remaining a Democrat. We had a President that had not been elected in the regular election, but appointed and awarded the office by default.

So I guess it was no surprise that in 1976 I once again backed the Democrat, Jimmy Carter, the former Governor of the State of Georgia.

Now stationed in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina I vividly recall the ads promoting Carter with, “will you let the North whip us again?” As a Southerner this only broadened my support to see a true Southerner back in the Presidency.

Carter won by a small margin against Ford, 50.1% to 48% and an Electoral Vote of 297 to 240. I eagerly waited for Carter to be inaugurated and continue the process of restoring the country still reeling from the tumultuous 60’s.

However, that did not happen. No, Carter became the biggest sell out ever when his first official act in office was to declare amnesty to Draft Dodgers that fled the country to avoid serving in Vietnam.

I took this as the ultimate betrayal from someone I supported in large part to how we were treated by the country upon our return after our tours were finished in Vietnam. Those of us lucky enough to return, that is. To me it was direct slap in the face, the equivalent of declaring those who ran as ‘heroes’ over those of us obeying the law and serving.

It was to me, a breach to never be repaired and in 1980 I proudly voted for the Republican again, Ronald Reagan, primarily to see Carter ousted, as he was.

I now considered myself a full on Republican, lending my support and voted down the line for many years, until after becoming directly involved in the Clark County Republican Party, I saw and was a target from party leaders because I supported a Republican over their chosen one in the 2010 election.

Again, feeling sold out by party, I continued to support most Republicans and not trusting too many Democrats. I even allowed myself to be talked into supporting Republicans I disliked personally and felt should not be elected, all for “party unity.”

Even that was to end in 2014 as a more rabid group of partisans took over control of the Clark County Republican Party and began even more unethical and underhanded means to see their questionable candidates and people elected. Few have been.

I again became the target of an even more aggressive campaign of pure hate for exposing their unethical, dark tactics that now sees me no longer publicly supporting candidates or involving myself in campaigns.

Now I vote according to how I perceive the quality of the candidate, regardless of party and avoid candidates appearing to be hard partisans.

I realize this has been lengthy and apologize for dragging on, but I guess the real moral of it all is simply, I wouldn’t make too much of this #WalkAway campaign.

As you see, we voters have long walked away from both parties and will continue to do so as long as they give us such lousy candidates to vote for and utilize questionable campaign tactics.

While the partisan hacks from both parties bicker back and forth and fight each other or political power, the country continues to fall apart. We deserve candidates that actually care about restoring America and not promoting partisan power for either party!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Being Old Doesn’t Make You a Danger

There is little doubt left today that we do have a significant number in our society that wants to disarm citizens, one initiative at a time here in Washington State.

Since initially proposing I-594, Universal Background Checks on Gun Purchases, the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility has become one of the more notable anti-gun groups as year after year they return with more initiatives, incrementally moving us towards total disarmament in little baby steps, all while claiming they respect the second amendment.


There is little doubt in this bloggers mind that if they could get away with it they would confiscate every single privately owned firearm in the state right now.

But they can’t and they know the backlash against such an action as total confiscation all at once would be immense.

So they utilize baby steps, much as we were led into legalizing homosexual marriage over the years and how we saw elements in Vancouver succeed in banning the private use of fireworks to celebrate our Independence on Independence Day.

Along those lines we have our own Lazy C (the Columbian) and other larger media and newspapers engaging in demonizing guns and the NRA every chance they come across.

In the Lazy C we find editorials such as New Era in Gun Debate and Support Walkouts where are urged to heed the “sage advice” presented to us by a group of attention seeking, immature teenagers calling upon us to end gun violence by passing what they proclaim is “common sense gun control,” but never bothering to explain just what that is or means.

But, we are urged to follow their lead on gun control, even though it is also being claimed the self appointed spokesman for the group has been spotted with ‘armed security guards’ walking around New York hawking some book the hastily threw together.

Not to be outdone, the much larger newspaper to the north, the Seattle Times treats us to Dementia and guns: In Washington state and elsewhere, weapons remain in homes where we are told, “An analysis found that about 54,000 of the state’s more than 1 million residents 65 and older say they have worsening memory and confusion — and access to weapons.”

Suddenly, we seniors are being promoted as too dangerous for us to retain our firearms in our homes? Age related lapses of memory means we need to be disarmed?

The article cherry picked a handful of heart wrenching stories of seniors accidentally shooting loved ones telling us, “From news reports, court records, hospital data and public death records, KHN found 15 homicides and more than 95 suicides since 2012, although there are likely many more. The shooters often acted during bouts of confusion, paranoia, delusion or aggression — common symptoms of dementia.”

15 homicides over a six year period barely amount to one weekend in Chicago by comparison. And Chicago homicides are predominantly by younger people, not senior citizens.

And yes, it is commonly known that suicide by gun is the predominant method those choosing suicide use. But Psychologists note, “Statistics do not support a connection between gun control and US suicide rates.”

Then too, if people are really worried about suicide, why did they fight for and get assisted suicide passed in our state years ago?

No one I know of advocates severely unstable and mentally ill people to have a gun and I believe many families placing loved ones in facilities to care for or treat those patients ensures no gun goes in with them, not that I imagine any care facility approves of guns in the hands of such patients.

However, many seniors do not suffer from Dementia or Alzheimer’s. No, they’re just older now and not as strong or flexible as they were years ago, likely making criminals sense they are easier targets for home invasion to steal what valuables or cash they have.

Left out of this article trying to lead people to envision seniors with a gun as dangerous is any account of seniors that have had to defend themselves with their firearm against criminals, even though there are numerous articles over the years of just that;

Disabled Senior Citizen Shoots Home Invader in Self Defense

Armed Senior Citizen Defends Himself Against a Home Invader

Senior Citizen Fires Fatal Shot At Home Invader With A Gun That Sat Around For 30 Years

Senior Citizen Successfully Uses Gun To Defend Himself From Home Invaders in Miami

The above articles are but a small sample of the dozens of articles found within a 5-minute web search. Obviously, seniors needed to defend themselves many times in several separate incidents that gun-grabbers would have denied them if they continue chipping away at our second amendment right to self defense.

No one, just because they have grown older should be denied their rights or due process, as the anti-gun crowd desires to do.

Overly restrictive gun laws must be defeated, even when they are labeled “common sense.”

Another short web search reveals a number of unarmed senior citizens killed in home invasion robberies.

Stealing words from actor James Garner in the 1966 movie Duel at Diablo, “Death comes soon enough. Anyone who hurries it is a damn fool.”

I would only add any who forces others to be unarmed and easy prey to stronger criminals is not only a fool, but borders on a sadistic cretin with little regard for others.

Sunday, July 08, 2018

Are We Ready to Scrap Capitalism for Socialism?

The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” – Margaret Thatcher

Democratic Socialists of America
It seems many from the left have forgotten the lessons taught to us by history in regards to the old theory of a government based upon Socialism. Socialism is described by a dictionary definition as, “a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

The wording actually sounds fairly nice and manageable, but the reality is what has been intended since long ago by Karl Marx and the Marxist theory is, “a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of communism.”

Those advocating socialism often lecture us as to how fair it is, how we are all equal and we have equality in prosperity and life, escaping the bondage of capitalism where they claim only the wealthy ever prosper from the labors of the poorer workers.

Since I am not a historian I don’t intend to dwell much on the history of the theory here, readers can easily find many articles describing the onset of Socialism and the usual sad outcomes it on reputable sites.

In fact, we need only look at news articles from media sources often advocating socialism on how it is failing to provide the peace, prosperity or security for the masses advocates claim it does.

Fading democracy in Venezuela demonstrates failure of socialism

Swedish Economist Schools Sanders on the Ravages of Socialism

Cuba’s Lessons after 55 Years of Socialism

Some advocates quickly counter claiming they don’t advocate full on socialism, just a portion of it, labeling themselves Democratic Socialists, leading to media struggle to define just what it is.

Advocates roll out example after example of what they label “Democratic Socialism,” roads and freeways, Social Security (I guess they have already forgotten the many years of struggles of those on it), Police, and Firefighters and on they go trying to sell us on the idea of how wonderful life could be if only we succumbed to some form of Socialism.

One main area they have been striving for years to place under socialist ideals is healthcare. We need only look to the New York Times to see the failure of socialized medicine in Venezuela.

But one main area advocates fall back on to describe the “wonderful” nature of socialism that always amazes me is our Military, as seen in today’s Lazy C (the Columbian) editorial by Greg Jayne, You think government is useless? Then hit the road.

It strikes me that Mr. Jayne never served in the Military as he wrote, “For those who quiver at the mention of the word ‘socialism,’ we have some news: The U.S. military is an example of socialism. And we should be thankful for it.”

He doesn’t actually go into just why we should be thankful for the Military being, as he claims, “Socialist,” but if he had actually served any length of time in any of the branches he would realize as a glowing example of a socialist society, the Military would be an abject failure.

Ask any Veteran and you quickly learn you are not free to do what you desire when you desire.

You are under orders to do as told and the pay is among the lowest with little opportunity to increase your pay, other than regular promotions that could take several years to attain.

You are given clothing you must wear and are instructed on how you must act and show respect for a higher rank than you, regardless of what you think of that person.

You are not free to just walk in and resign and if you did just up and walk away, you are subject to federal prosecution.

It must also be noted that since ending the draft in 1973, those now serving do not do so by requirement or for any gain, financial or personal, but out of a sense of duty to protect and defend the nation in a job that must be done, freely giving up certain liberties on behalf of the country.

And in spite of what those who never served claim, our Military functions best in spite of itself. By that I mean Generals design some plan for a mission to accomplish a goal and send it down the ranks. By the time it is ready for implementation, it is the enlisted and NCO’s that often ignore the plan and do what they must in order to accomplish the mission.

Or, as Winston Churchill once quipped about warfare, “In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.”

In his words of how thankful we ought to be that the Military is Socialist, Jayne also seems to have forgotten that in World War Two we and the allied forces fought and defeated National Socialism, aka Nazis.

In Korea and Vietnam we opposed Communist forces, the very system Socialism invariably leads to.

And in December of 1991 the world witnessed the long overdue Fall of The Soviet Union giving millions freedom for the first time in their lives and allowing countries to choose their own destiny as the failure of Communism and its claims collapsed.

Jayne and others advocating more of a socialist society seem to think that only sticking our toes into a vat of boiling acid would be of benefit if we could then pay a little less for a pair of shoes.

You may think I have wandered afar from what Jayne’s editorial is about and perhaps I have somewhat, since he seems to think those opposed to socialism prefer all government functions be privatized. But he’s wrong there.

Most of us do realize we need government. But we also realize we don’t need government ruling and mandating every inch of our lives, controlling us and deciding for us what is best for us while demanding we pay for their programs and policies with ever increasing taxes on our paychecks.

In spite of efforts by Progressives to deny it, we need only look back to the writings of the Plymouth Colony’s first Governor, William Bradford to see how such a ‘communal arrangement’ failed the early Pilgrims.

Winston Churchill again left us words of wisdom Jayne and others should reflect on, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

Sorry, but there is no such thing as just a little poison.

Sunday, July 01, 2018

Climate of Vitriol?

It shouldn’t be surprising to see our local newspaper, the Lazy C aka the Columbian, using the tragic murders of five staff members at The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. This past Thursday, June 28, 2018. It is what they do, following the admonition set years ago by leftwing Rahm Emanuel, “You never let a serious crisis go to waste.”

Following that line, we see Opinion Editor Greg Jayne pen Deadly attack on newspaper terrifying – and inspiring where he editorializes on the shooting, pointing out how within hours of the attack, the newspaper in Maryland published their paper in spite of the tragedy.

I have to agree that getting their paper out in spite of such a tragedy, losing five colleagues and undergoing the criminal investigation of the event is a display of dedication on their part.

But then Jayne had to go off on how essential a free press is and pointing fingers about the “Climate of Vitriol” the country is currently embroiled in.

Of course, his finger points only to the right as he mentions a “conservative provocateur” sending a threatening text, mentions a video blasting journalists and naturally, Donald Trump’s anti-media comments.

What Jayne completely ignores is the media’s own culpability in this “Climate of Vitriol” he bemoans.

While I remain no fan of who occupies the Oval Office currently, how does he miss the media’s ongoing slurs and belittling of Trump every day since he was inaugurated?

While President George W. Bush received similar treatment during his terms, culminating on Dan Rather’s now famous memo dubbed “fake but accurate,” we saw no such effort against either Presidents Clinton or Obama throughout their terms in office.

We have even seen what many consider “mainstream media” heavily condemning fellow journalists working for Fox News as they proclaim “we report, you decide.”

Years ago many of us realized how this mainstream media was spoon feeding to us what they wanted us to hear, tainting news reports with leftwing opinion over actual objectivity.

Nowhere has this been more evident than right here in Southwest Washington with our own print media, the Columbian, leading this blogger to dub them the Lazy C for displaying obvious bias in their coverage of two sex scandals, one against a Republican that saw several articles blasting him within a week and another a Democrat that essentially saw appeals to respect his family’s privacy.

But if vitriol is really a concern of Jayne’s, where has the Lazy C ever apologized for former editorial page editor John Laird’s many labels of citizens as “the Hounds of Whinerville,” “NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard),” “CAVE (Citizens Against Virtually Everything)” “Ankle Biters” and “Cockroaches” in his weekly editorials over many years due to the majority of citizens opposing forcing light rail a short distance into our community from Portland, Oregon, a project the paper supported?

How does Jayne ignore former managing editor, now editor emeritus Lou Brancaccio attacking the ones he labeled “the M&M Boys” in nearly half of his Press Talk editorials over four years?

Yet these same editors were silent when it came to elected Democrats slapping heavier taxes on citizens or pushing unpopular positions on us from Puget Sound.

There is little doubt that here locally and nationally we are embroiled in a “Climate of Vitriol” that grows every day with groups like Occupy and Antifa deciding they have the absolute right to takeover whatever they wish, physically attack peaceful rallies with a different position than theirs.

We have seen lawsuits against bakers and florists because they declined to participate in homosexual ceremonies over religious objections applauded by the media, but little condemnation of an employee of the Trump administration ousted from an eatery, then followed elsewhere and faced with an impromptu protest.

We see the media applauding violators of our immigration laws, promoting them as welcome guests and immigrant citizens while belittling most conservative or Republican citizens supporting enforcing our laws.

We see the media time and again speak out against gun violence without a clue how a firearm actually works, blindly throwing support behind any effort to disarm law-abiding citizens, but never editorializing on how to disarm criminals.

Falsely labeling any semi-automatic firearm as “a weapon of war” is only fearmongering and trying to scare voters to support anti-gun legislation.

In the case of the Lazy C, we see bias even in their policy regarding comments left on their site as conservatives are held to standard liberals apparently are not as many conservatives are banned from commenting on their site while liberals post some really vitriolic comments left unchecked.

A “free press” is indeed an essential part of our Republic, but such a free press absolutely must be objective, leaving personal opinion out of news reports, relegate them to editorials and give fair and balanced reporting on all issues, regardless of which side.

First though, maybe we should demand media begin admitting their own culpability in creating this “climate of vitriol” they now complain about.