Monday, October 29, 2018

A Divided America

As readers might have noticed, I have been posting on how divided we in America are. I have done so because our divisions are not improving, but seemingly getting worse, much worse. And we don’t have to be so divided.

I have no desire to see the country slide once again into a civil war and pray we never get to that point.

To that end, I was honored to be included in a project led by the Wall Street Journal as they crisscrossed the country speaking with citizens from across the political spectrum on the division and how each of us are dealing with it.

I’m a Fish Out of Water

The project in its entirety can be viewed at Voices From a Divided America

Remember, we don’t have to continue down this road to civil war. We must learn again how to be civil and listen to each other.

I don’t believe we are quite past the point of no return, but we are getting closer every day.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Will it Matter What Party a Tyrant is in?

Tyrant, a word that has been thrown around quite a bit over the years with too few understanding the exact meaning of it. Yes, all understand the dictionary meaning to be a cruel and oppressive ruler, but too often it is attached solely on the basis of disagreeing values and views.

Contrary to the claims of some, neither President Trump nor former President Obama were “tyrants,” in spite of far different views and governance style.

Understand too, we are embroiled in the midst of a somewhat cold civil war. Not shooting and imprisoning each other just yet, but an escalating war of ideals led by factions of fringe far left and far right, both of whom desire one party rule under their personal views.

It’s largely forgotten, or never learned that our founding fathers held differing views at the founding of our country and had some fairly harsh arguments while writing our constitution and Bill of Rights.

But they were able to rise above those differing views and write a constitution that has stood the test of time and served all of us very well as the founders wrote into the constitution the means to amend it to rectify issues and even denials of constitutional rights withheld to some citizens over the years.

And that area is where we are headed for trouble as left and right factions are ‘taking it to the streets’ and battling each other, both claiming to stand for law & order, but both violating our laws on peaceful assembly and protest, to the point of attacking each other physically.

And of course, each side blames the other for the escalation in violence while absolving themselves even though both show up prepared to do battle.

Too often spineless politicians sit back and ignore the violence, some even hampering the Police in controlling the mobs as we recently saw in Portland, Oregon when Antifa took over an intersection, harassing drivers while Police sat back.

This is not the America I grew up in nor is the America I served to defend in the U.S. Army, but it’s what we have become. And it’s getting worse.

More and more we hear cries of a country divided as feuding factions refuse to work together or seek common ground to resolve issues facing the nation. Any that suggest moderation are quickly shouted down with ridicule or smears, regardless of side.

And therein lies the big problem with both sides of this warming civil war the country is facing.

Should either side win they will want to hold on to their power, but to do so they would have to squelch any opposition as the other side will want to become the prevailing power, just as they are doing now and have shown their willingness to battle for control.

Neither side would be willing to peacefully submit to the other.

So to what lengths would the fringe far right or left resort to in order to maintain control and squelch resistance and revolution to take over?

Maybe that was the wisdom behind General Grant’s decision after the first civil war to allow the defeated Confederates to return to their homes with their dignity intact “with an individual parole pass certifying that the men would not take up arms against the United States” instead of being arrested and imprisoned.

Do you think either faction today would offer such a “parole” or whether the paroled side would honor it? I don’t envision either side offering or abiding by any offers of benevolence from the other.

Given the ever increasing violent militancy we have all seen across the nation by fringe factions, peaceful coexistence seems to be a goal neither are interested in.

So where does that leave the rest of us caught in the middle of these militant demonstrations and riots as spineless politicians sit idly by or are more interested in taking verbal pot shots at each other instead of resolving the issues affecting the country?

Should either of these fringe factions ever gain control over the country we all would be subject to whatever restrictions they would place on liberty’s to prevent the other fringe faction from usurping their power. Be it disarmament, ending voting or restricting who may run for office, it would affect us all as leaders became more and more despotic to retain their power.

Fortunately, we are not in any immediate danger of that happening, even with the recent mailings of what is supposed to be bombs sent to prominent Democrats. Bombs so ridiculous looking many have said they should be stamped ACME on the side as one more of Wil E. Coyote’s hair brained efforts to catch the Road Runner.

UPDATE: The Authorities have arrested a suspect in the attempted bombings and as expected, instead of breathing a sigh of relief, many have reverted to using the arrest to further inflame the rhetoric and accuse Republicans.

Fortunately, none went off. It’s uncertain yet if any could have detonated, but it does show how far out of the norm we are allowing things to get whether this was a false flag or dry run for possible future attacks.

For the first two centuries of our country’s existence, we were capable to coexisting and in spite of our differences and at times bickering over political views, we could work through them and make corrections where needed.

We didn’t need to riot in the streets and battle each other to get a point across.

No, we were somehow able to reach a consensus and advance the nation in the best means for as many as possible.

Where and just how we lost that ability is a matter of opinion as I have no doubt the fringe factions today would do battle over that as well, accusing the other of being at fault.

We have to reject the politics of fear and character assassination currently promoted by too many candidates more interested in partisan power over resolving issues facing us.

We must reject these militant factions and call on local leaders to unleash our law enforcement upon them when they get out of hand and demand the courts hold them responsible.

Above all, we must remember we are all Americans and realize moderating demands does not equal mediocrity or cowardice.

If the many generations before us could have meetings of the minds to grant us the greatest amount of freedom and liberties ever, why can’t we today?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Yes, Truth and Integrity Matter

Since she first announced vying for Southwest Washington’s 3rd Congressional District seat occupied currently by Herrera Beutler, the Lazy C and even the local Democrat party largely ignored other Democrats running, Democrats that actually have deep, established roots in Southwest Washington in favor of Long, who somehow seems to have had a swift and sudden revelation that she should abandon her husband and daughter to quickly move from Salem, Oregon to Clark County Washington just in the nick of time to qualify for residency status to run.

Just what this swift and sudden revelation was is never really said, other than Trump won in 2016. The only connection we are told she has to Southwest Washington is 22 years employment teaching at the Clark County campus of WSU, but until July 2017 scurrying back home every evening and weekend to Salem, Oregon.

Disconcerting is her efforts to imply many years of residency in Washington State, claiming she grew up on the “Northwest Coast” instead of the Oregon Coast she actually did grow up on as well as her canard to CVTV of “moving to Oregon” to go to college when she actually was already living in Oregon at the time.

The Lazy C has joined Democrats in downplaying her extensive lifelong ties to Oregon as do supporters who repeatedly grant her bona fides as “she taught at WSU for 22 years.”

She claims, “political polarization is why there is incivility in political discourse” but in most forums launches into her opponent with claims of how she tells “multiple lies.”

Long’s campaign emails, contrary to her claim of “people over politics” are straight party line, demeaning her opponent and at times, the current president.

Long claimed in the past that people should be “willing to listen to understand, not just respond. You should even try to question the position on which you stand.” But has she actually practiced any of that herself? No!

She has made many claims of her efforts to promote civility in politics, but openly despises the president duly elected by voters and our constitution and in my impression, speaks down to audiences as if she were teaching young students, not speaking to adults concerned about issues.

Concerning civility, I emailed her campaign last December asking if she approves of the extreme incivility from her party directed towards Trump and Republicans in general. To date, I have received no answer.

And we must ask, is it “civil” or even combating political polarization to join with other Democrats unable to accept that in 2016, they lost the election and want above all to impeach the sitting president due solely to his winning?

She made no bones in a KGW TV Straight Talk interview on Aug 11, 2018 where she claimed, “then there was the election of Donald Trump and Congresses inability to check him, just sort of rubber stamping everything he does, I started thinking about how it’s more dire than I realized” that she run.

But, he aim also seems to be taking back the House with Democrats, possibly why she left her family for some time in Salem and moved into Clark County instead of seeking office in her native Oregon, there not being a Republican to oppose.

I ponder with that revelation whether Southwest Washington has any appeal to her at all or if the goal is solely to serve the party and Southwest Washington be damned, Oregon would be given one of our Congressional seats.

I’ve already shown how she plays on words with her sleight of hand trick on Oregon’s tolling both I-5 and I-205, where she claims to oppose the tolling, but prefers the decision be entirely left in the hands of the so-called professionals on commissions. She just doesn’t mention they are who are actually promoting and working towards tolling us, that little point not mattering since the money will end up with Oregon for projects away from those corridors.

We now see the Lazy C and other left leaning media fawning all over Long as if she were some sort of second coming instead of the partisan she actually is. None delve very deep into her Oregon history and stress time and again how she grew up in the Northwest and taught at WSU as her qualifications.

All oppose the president as well; still unable to accept he did in fact win.

Referring back to Long’s claims of how dire it is she run for office to oppose Trump, recall she says Congress just rubber stamps him. But if you hear any words from the far right factions of the Republican party, they too oppose Jaime claiming she does not vote with Trump.

Obviously, unlike Carolyn Long, Jaime Herrera Beutler actually is the very moderate we have long said we prefer and not the extreme partisan Democrat Carolyn Long that seems to desire a return to grid lock with nothing getting done other than partisan barbs shot across the aisle at each other, even more so than is thrown now.

I made no bones in 2010 of opposing Herrera Beutler and still believe David Castillo would have been the better person in office. But he lost and Jaime won and is who we have representing us, not Oregon or California or any other area.

I remain unimpressed with Trump as well, but too can accept he did win and is legally entitled to govern and matters in the country are improving and getting better, unemployment being the lowest in many years, wages being up, taxes being fairer, etc.

Yes, the deficit and debt increase is concerning, but didn’t Obama and the Democrats continually add to our debt, Obama nearly doubling it in 8 years?

Where was Carolyn Long complaining about that? Like so many others, the debt and deficit didn’t matter until Republicans were the majority.

As readers know, in years past I was very involved in covering and promoting events in support of the Veterans Therapeutic Court and have been attending many Veteran events. I often saw Jaime Herrera Beutler present and supporting Veterans.

I never saw Carolyn Long at a single one!

In fact, no one has answered me yet on what involvement or participation has she ever exhibited in any rally, public event, campaign, commission or council meeting or anything in our community? I have never seen her at a single one in all of the years I have lived in Clark County.

But we’re supposed to believe that now; she is the “great white hope” for Southwest Washington?

I’m not buying it and have no doubt that should she lose the race, her move back to Salem, Oregon won’t make any news at all.

In my opinion, in spite of faults, Jaime Herrera Beutler remains the best bet and deserves to be reelected over Oregon’s Carolyn Long.

Sunday, October 07, 2018

Okay, Who Left the Safe Spaces Doors Open?

After weeks of contentious bickering, last minutes sexual allegations no one could corroborate and much wailing and gnashing of teeth, Brett Kavanaugh was finally confirmed to be our latest Associate Justice to the Supreme Court by a narrow 50 to 48 vote, largely along party lines.

I have to state that in all of my 70 years, this was the most pathetic display of underhanded, unnecessary and outrageous conduct on the part of Democrats I can recall.

It’s no secret that Democrats fear a Supreme Court aligning itself more along the lines of a traditional interpretation of our constitution. They have time and again shown the constitution falls well behind their agenda of Socialism for all and Justices such as Clarence Thomas and the late Antonin Scalia and now, Brett Kavanaugh threatens to usurp their decade’s long effort to push the United States more and more leftward.

We heard calls of “believe women” after accuser Christine Ford was outed by some Democrat over her desires to remain anonymous, but somehow that “believe women” didn’t fully extend to the four women she named as witnesses that would not corroborate her allegation from 36 years ago.

Many women saw Kavanaugh as unfairly accused, could be ‘our husbands, our sons’

After multiple interruptions by Democrats on the committee trying to interfere and adjourn the process failed early on, we saw a slate of protesters invited in to the hall disrupting the hearings, such conduct also seen on Saturday, Oct 6 as the Senate conducted a floor vote on Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

Kavanaugh Foes Fill Senate Gallery With Sounds of the Insane

We heard of Senators confronted in an elevator by protesters to change their vote. We heard of Senators families receiving threats that sadly seemed to come from hotheads from both sides of the matter to the opposite side.

GOP senator says wife received video of beheading after Kavanaugh vote

After confirmation yesterday, we saw protesters run up the steps of the Supreme Court building pounding on the doors and trying to get in to disrupt Kavanaugh being sworn in as his took the Oath of Office.

Protesters pound the doors of the Supreme Court following Kavanaugh confirmation

We saw protesters lying down in the streets in protest as if citizens could do anything to change the vote.

It seems as if the country’s safe spaces emptied themselves yesterday to let every leftwing kook out to run amuck and wail and cry as if we had suffered a major tragedy. Maybe to them far left it was, but let’s face it, Kavanaugh is only one vote on the bench.

Any expectation of reasonable decorum from elected officials and political groups was dashed as almost immediately the emails began filling my inbox.

Senator Patty Murray (D Wa) sent at 1:17 PM, “Today, the Senate voted to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. I know so many of you are heartbroken right now and wondering what comes next.”, a leftwing group claiming to promote Veterans sent at 1:25 PM, “Mitch McConnell has stolen another Supreme Court seat and with Brett Kavanaugh has moved the court in an ultra right-wing direction.”

Representative Adam Schiff (D Ca) sent at 1:33 PM, “At the end of the day, the truth just didn’t matter to the Republican members of the U.S. Senate. It didn’t matter that their nominee may have committed sexual assault or repeatedly lied during his confirmation hearing.”

“Getting another arch-conservative Justice on the bench was all they cared about.”

Not to be out done, fringe leftist MoveOn sent at 2:08 PM, “A partisan warrior accused by multiple women of sexual assault who spews conspiracy theories against the left and lied his way through his confirmation now sits atop our justice system.”

Kamala Harris (D Ca) sent at 2:29 PM, “Despite serious allegations, a record as a partisan operative and a lack of honesty under oath, a majority of the Senate just voted to place Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.”

Nancy Pelosi (D Ca) sent at 3:03 PM “I’ve never been angrier.”

“I just watched in horror as Senate Republicans confirmed accused sexual abuser, Brett Kavanaugh, to the Supreme Court.”

All prime examples of how the left has decided the cornerstone of our legal system, the presumption of innocence does not apply any longer as long as it is a conservative being accused. That alone ought to send chills down the spine of any of you with a husband, brother or father as they are now subject to condemnation with no possible means at defending themselves based upon any accusation from any time in their past.

Without thinking, they don’t realize removing the presumption of innocence would also strip women of the presumption, leaving them more vulnerable than ever in the workplace or schools.

Just today, MoveOn Political Action sent an email titled, “Make them pay on Election Day” stating, “Outraged. That's just one word to describe how I feel about Brett Kavanaugh's lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court despite the courageous and inspiring protests that have riveted the nation for weeks.”

Democrats went on a full display of hypocrisy as they rejected the very FBI probe they demanded as a “sham” and a “cover-up” when it didn’t go as they wanted.

Truth be damned.

Democrats now vow that if voters return to them the majority in the House, they will investigate and impeach Kavanaugh. On what grounds isn’t said as every allegation they have thrown out remains uncorroborated. But as we have seen, truth no longer matters, just grabbing back control of the country and the courts to do their bidding when they fail to pass laws or policies through legislation.

Although I have not been very impressed with Republicans over the years, we absolutely must not allow these unhinged Democrats to regain control of the country and rip it apart even more than it already is.

They are now showing very clearly that they have no interest in bipartisanship, their only interest being to establish one-party tyranny under Democrats.

This confirmation process has shown how far they are willing to go to disrupt and dissolve the very foundations our country was built on that has served us well over the decades.

Stephen Colbert ‘Late Show’ writer: “I’m just glad we ruined Brett Kavanaugh's life”

And we see supporters, many young that have not had the quality of education we older citizens have in history especially, dutifully leaving their safe spaces to do their bidding to disrupt, disparage and tear down.

We are indeed at a crossroads.

The election weeks from now just may determine whether we remain a free people or fall back into the leftist slide toward Socialism.

Thursday, October 04, 2018

Will Our Deep Divide Doom America?

It seems everywhere we look today we see signs of the deep division we have allowed to foster in our country. It’s near inescapable as time and again we see counter protesters step in to prevent rallies by people with views different than theirs.

They claim to be “anti-Fascists” but rely on the tenets of fascism to break up rallies supporting free speech.

Although in Canada, recently a woman suffered a roundhouse kick on a public street simply for not agreeing with a person’s point of view.

For the past few weeks we have witnessed what can only be described as a circus over the nomination of D.C. Court of Appeals Judge Brett Kavanaugh to fill the seat on the U.S. Supreme Court being vacated by retiring Justice Kennedy, several Kavanaugh protesters being arrested for their egregious activities aimed at elected officials offices as Georgia Senator David Perdue urges Republicans to “fight back against paid protesters.”

Differing points of view is not new to us in the United States, our constitution was the result of some real knockdown, drag out fights that as I have read, threatened to derail the founding of our country. But the founders were able to compromise to create the country we know today that has granted more freedom and liberty to citizens than any before it.

But the division seen today borders on pure hatred of fellow citizens for disagreeing with ones views on any number of matters and has resulted in violence at times.

President Abraham Lincoln, two years prior to the outbreak of our Civil War quoted from the Bible, “A house divided against itself cannot stand,” words that stand as true today as back then as history records the bloody conflict that saw “brother against brother” as families chose sides only to be ripped apart by the fighting.

Likewise, asked about what form of government the founding fathers settled on, Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “A republic, if you can keep it,” essentially indicating it would be up to future generations to keep and protect the government and country they established for us.

To this end we see many political pundits and media personalities proclaiming the country is either just as divided or even more divided then during the time of the Vietnam War as the country was embroiled in riots and college protests.

Whether we are or not isn’t as important as those promoting that same view are all too often also the very ones driving the wedge between the people in the country as left or right, people are once again choosing up sides.

We see a willing media praising one side, but condemning the other when they do pretty much the same thing.

As we saw after the 2000 election, once again the media seem dead set in unseating the winner of the presidential election with biased reporting, which Trump freely accommodates by feeding them all of the ammunition necessary to trash him on a daily basis, unlike their coverage of the previous occupant of the Oval Office, Barack Obama.

We see it from academia as too often conservative thought is ridiculed and conservative speakers shunned or even banned on campus, too many professors teaching what to think instead of how to think as minority groups seem to prefer returning to segregation on campus with their “safe zones” where contrary words or thought isn’t permitted.

This when education is paramount to keeping the Republic given us by our founders, Thomas Jefferson warning, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was-and never will be.”

Accurate history and civics courses seem to take a back seat today to social issues and indoctrination of our youth as some have no idea of why previous generations fought Fascism, Nazism and even Communism across the globe, when the Civil War was fought or even who the current leaders of the country are.

The very Berkeley campus that saw the birth of the ‘free speech movement’ in the 1960’s today faces demands of inclusion of views considered offensive by today’s students and many faculty.

Yes, we definitely are a “house divided against itself” as left or right, factions fight to have their views prominent over the other while a large number of us are stuck somewhere in the middle and others just pull the covers up over their heads hoping it all goes away someday.

Will we ever be able to overcome this deep divide before our country self destructs?

If so, how?

Frankly, I don’t know. What I do know is that neither side has all of the answers, never did, never will. The fringe factions from either side can only provide us with tyranny as each would struggle to maintain their control if they ever took complete control of the country, the goal of each side I believe, to be the prominent power in the country and keep it however they had to.

Over the past year I did make a small attempt at bridging the divide by a small facebook group that invited both sides in to discuss issues and seek some middle ground. Sad to day, that effort seems to have fallen by the wayside as it seems there is little interest in meeting towards the middle currently.

I also participated in a national interview pertaining to our deep divide last October that I had assumed also fell by the wayside, but was recently told will be broadcast online sometime in the middle of this October.

The project is interviews across the country of ordinary people from both sides on our views of this division and how we each handle it and hopes for an end to the deep division.

One point I remember expressing was while leaders of both parties struggle and fight for partisan control, there is a whole country falling apart out here.

It should be upon them to break this deep division, but as we see with the Kavanaugh debacle, they are only interested in deepening the divide for partisan control, the hell with the citizens and our well-being.

So it falls upon us, you and me to fight the divide and return to the days of respectful disagreement and where possible, compromise for the good of all, not just one party.

The United States of America is a precious gift bestowed upon us. No, it’s not perfect, but it is our home and we should appreciate this gift by pulling together to save it from falling apart

Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.” - John F. Kennedy