Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Services at the Resurrected Mojave Veterans Memorial Cross

Shortly after the end of World War One, a small group of Veterans erected a plain, simple cross in the middle of the vast expanse of the Mojave Desert, far away from civilization to honor their fallen brethren.

The wooden cross erected in what was open land in 1934, sat silently in the desert, subjected to the weather, occasional vandals but maintained by those Veterans and later by friends of the Veterans.

The land was made part of a Federal Reserve in 1994 and due to deterioration of the original wooden cross, caretakers replaced it with a metal cross, somehow enraging a park ranger, Frank Buono who waited until he retired on a comfortable taxpayer paid pension, to seek the assistance of the ACLU to file a lawsuit to have it removed.

The court battles lasted over a decade, seeing the cross at one time fully covered a in a wooden box, just in case someone drove over a hundred miles out of their way and happened to stumble across the cross in the middle of nowhere to ensure their sensitivities would not be offended.

Even after the courts ruled the cross could be uncovered, unknown vandals snuck into the desert and stole the cross in the dead of night while the ACLU fought against a replacement being allowed erected on the original spot.

Eventually, the case was settled with a land swap first offered at the beginning of the controversy and the replacement metal cross that was stolen was found, re-erected and rededicated.

Veterans and freedom loving Americans won one.

My friend and former ACLU attorney, Rees Lloyd forwarded me a short post he has authored reporting that now, for the first time in over a decade, 2013 will see Easter Sunrise Services held at the Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross.

I’ll let you read Rees’ words for yourself.
Comrades, Colleagues, and Patriots:

Allow me perhaps politically incorrectly (for which I have absolutely no apology), to wish one and all – “Happy Easter!”

It is a particularly happy Easter for me because -- as told in the accompanying story published by -- for the first time in some twelve years Americans will be able to exercise freedom of religion by attending Easter Sunrise Services at the resurrected Mojave Desert Veterans Memorial Cross.

This is because patriotic Americans, including particularly the wartime veterans of the VFW and The American Legion, took a stand for freedom of religion and defeated the self-righteous, intolerant, totalitarian, secular-extremist progressive liberals of the ACLU, the Taliban of American Liberal Secularism, who sued for over ten years to destroy that Cross in the desert honoring veterans.

I salute and thank all those who stood, fought, and caused the ACLU ultimately to surrender in its cross-destroying secular-cleansing fanaticism, attempting to transform America by wiping out our own American religious history and heritage from the public square, and thus from the public memory and contemporary public mind.

Most particularly, I thank the two self-described “ordinary Americans trying to do the right thing” at the heart of this victory for religious freedom, Henry and Wanda Sandoz of Yucca Valley, CA, modest models of American patriotism, possessed of common sense and humble faith in God and country, without whom the ACLU could not have been defeated and the Cross honoring veterans resurrected.

Please, on this Easter weekend, a time of resurrection, take a moment to read about Henry and Wanda Sandoz and this victory for freedom in, which has provided the most accurate, most consistent reporting on this long battle against the ACLU for religious freedom for over a decade in and WND’s “Whistle-blower” magazine, for which I thank, its founder Joseph Farah, Managing Editor David Kupelian, and all of its editors and reporters:

This Easter, a cross the ACLU can't touch

--Rees Lloyd
(Life Member Riverside Post 79; Past Commander District 21;
Co-founder and Director, Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of The American Legion Department of California.)

Yes, inviting news to read the ACLU lost one and people are once again free to exercise their choice of religion, even when they choose out in the middle of nowhere.

But we cannot let our guard down with one victory. Sadly, Veterans Memorials remain under assault all across America by Secular Atheist groups who demand their destruction if they contain a simple cross, even though they might have stood peacefully for several decades.

For an even longer time than the Mojave Desert Cross Memorial, a Memorial Cross has stood proudly in La Jolla, California, it also being replaced later, in 1954, the Mt. Soledad Cross has been the subject of an ACLU assault since 1989 to have it declared “unconstitutional.”

This assault has yet to be settled as litigation continues.

The fight goes on as we battle Secularism to preserve our Veterans Memorials.

But we can take a few moments of respite this Easter to once again reflect on what our freedoms cast and honor not only the resurrection of Christ, but pay homage to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in order for us to worship as we choose.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Governors Fight Job Growth While Facing Massive Budget Gaps

Gov. Jay Inslee
Both the State of Oregon and Washington have been experiencing budget gaps exceeding $1 Billion for the last few years. While we have remained mired in this ongoing “Great Recession,” both states continue to struggle with issues of decreasing revenues while also moving ahead on wasteful spending projects, addressing Public Union contracts and a growingly frustrated private sector depending on entitlements to survive, unable to find viable employment.

At such severe economic times as we have seen since 2008, one would think growing private sector jobs to rebuild lost revenues would be a paramount duty. But not so with both states under heavy control of the Democrat Party.

Gov. John Kitzhaber
Oh, they pay a lot of lip service on job creation, usually mentioning “Green Energy” jobs that rely on revenues to remain in business or be created. But when push comes to shove and massive job growth stares them in the face, they turn away.

Sad to see, but from Barack Obama on down and all across America, potential well-paying jobs have not been created due to government foot dragging, environmental over-concerns and simple short-sightedness.

While the struggling middle class faces the highest sustained energy prices seen in our country and with unemployment and underemployment unreasonably high, millions of jobs sit in limbo while politicians drag their feet over coal exports, opening up known oil and gas reserves for recovery and building the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta Canada to the Gulf of Mexico where Canadian Shale Oil would be refined by American middle class workers and exported to other countries in need.

In the Pacific Northwest currently it is Coal Exports to Asia that has become the target of those opposed to letting middle class workers regain decent wage jobs in the private sector.

With plans to construct newer export terminals in both states, you would think the governors of both states would gladly accept those newly created jobs and begin recovering from the economic morass both states have been mired in now for 5 years or more. But not so with both Governor Jay Inslee of Washington and Governor John Kitzhaber of Oregon.

Even though numerous studies have shown claimed dangers along the rail routes coal trains would take to arrive at the terminals are overblown, both Governors have taken it upon themselves to request additional studies, not American use of coal, but potential dangers of countries like India and China using coal.

In a letter to the Council of Environmental Quality asking the White House to “investigate the climate impact of exporting coal.”

In their request they state a need for a “full public airing of the consequences of substantial new investments in coal generation and the infrastructure to transport coal, extending the world’s reliance on this fuel for decades.”

Pushing back, the Alliance for Northwest Jobs and Exports, an “Alliance of companies, labor, civic and other organizations who understand the importance of exports to our region and want to strengthen our trade economy” issued their own statement today, March 26, 2013.

In the statement, Lauri Hennessey, spokeswoman for the trade advocacy group said, “Just last week the U.S. Senate voted to oppose any new requirement or regulation that federal agencies account for greenhouse gas emissions in their analyses under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Such a requirement could be particularly damaging to the Northwest, where trade and exports are so vital to the local economy.”

Mike Elliott, Spokesman for the Washington State Legislative Board of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET) added, “We have always been and remain committed to making these projects a reality. We will continue working with the Oregon and Washington Governors towards the best outcome for these multi-commodity facilities.”

Don Brunell, president of the Association of Washington Business says, “Existing federal law requires exhaustive environmental review of development projects to ensure that our environment is protected. In addition, Washington has some of the most stringent environmental standards in the nation and every project must meet or exceed those standards in order to go forward. Imposing additional, unwarranted and unnecessary regulatory burdens in an attempt to derail a particular project would set a dangerous precedent that will jeopardize our state’s economic future. We continue to support a balanced approach that ensures both environmental protection and economic opportunity.”

Both governor’s, with the support of far leftist Senators like Oregon’s Ron Wyden throw us out of balance by demanding time consuming studies that block construction of the terminals while at the same time, both advocate a multi-Billion dollar boondoggle bridge project to replace the current functional bridge spans between the two states on Interstate 5 that people on both sides of the river continue to say we do not want.

We don’t need decades, if not generations of debt, tax increases, tolls on top of tolls and other forms of repayment to be heaped on the backs of struggling middle class workers while these two governors obstruct real job creation.

Both advocate “Green Energy” sources like windmills, even though windmills have been shown to also be overly expensive, unreliable and inefficient, a Spanish study indicating the loss of two jobs for every job created.

Can we forget Representative Robert Kennedy Jr. breezing into our town years ago to preach against the use of coal while at the same time standing opposed to the construction of a wind farm in his own backyard of Nantucket Sound where they would remain reliant upon gas and coal fired electricity plants?

But the importance now is jobs. We need jobs so people can not only care for themselves and their families, but rebuild state coffers for legislators that can’t seem to get their overspending under control.

Asian countries have decided they will bring lower cost electricity to remote regions of their countries and increase their manufacturing base by using coal. If the concern really is the environment, doesn’t it make more sense for them to be able to purchase and use America’s low sulfur coal than forcing them buy higher sulfur coal mined in other regions?

We need to demand both Governor Kitzhaber of Oregon and Governor Inslee of Washington State to stop working against the struggling middle class and allow us to return to decent wage jobs in the private sector.

Their efforts at foot dragging on job creation must be opposed.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Illegal Aliens Produce Ad Wanting Free Healthcare

Unbelievable the gall of someone knowingly in the country illegally and expecting free benefits. How bold that they feel comfortable enough to produce a video ad of their expectations.

Our country is nearly $17 Trillion in debt, millions of citizens remain unemployed, U-6 Unemployment sitting at 14.3% and lawbreakers think they are entitled to freebies.

Not surprising, California, probably the single worse off state in the country, rapidly heading into bankruptcy, losing citizens and businesses daily is set to approve free healthcare for illegal aliens.

Tuition assistance for Veterans in California has been cut and unpaid medical bills just for illegal aliens in California has reached $1.25 billion per year, but California liberals, bleeding heart liberals are poised to give illegal aliens even more benefits.

Read more at Stand With Arizona

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Troutdale Teen Among Heroes to be Honored by the Medal of Honor Society

Most of us know what the Medal of Honor is and why only a few receive it. Unfortunately, many receive it posthumously, having sacrificed their life to save others. Recipients still alive are few in number and like real heroes, wish to honor others who deserve recognition for heroics.

This blog was among many that posted last year of the Medal of Honor Society search for others in civilian life who have bravely risked their own lives to save or benefit others. Hundreds of heroes were recommended, but only a few selected as semi-finalists and now, four have been selected to receive the Citizen Service Before Self Honor from the Medal of Honor Society.

Amongst finalist is 15 year-old Marcos Ugarte of Troutdale, Oregon who risked his own life to rescue a smaller boy from the second floor of a burning home last year.

The story of his heroic rescue made national news and was even a feature in the March 2013 edition of Readers Digest Everyday Heroes.

Also selected for honors was Father Joe Carroll of San Diego, California for his “developing and running a multi-faceted homeless support center offering assistance, counseling and job training, that is now modeled throughout the U.S.,” father/son Jesse Shaffer III and Jesse Shaffer IV of Braithwaite, Louisiana for “during Hurricane Isaac, this father-and-son team used their boat to rescue 120 people from their flood-ravaged town after official rescues were called off.”

Their story was also featured in an April 2013 edition of Reader’s Digest.

Recipients will be presented with their awards on Medal of Honor Day, March 25, 2013 at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.

Perhaps it might be perceived unfair for me to single out Marcos Ugarte, but what with the generational friction often seen, I cannot help but note that there are teens who act selflessly, who care deeply about others and their communities and one day soon will be the adults responsible for caring for our country.

We should be proud of each of these four honorees as well as any who were recommended. It is everyday citizens who act selflessly towards others who keep our country and the world running.

I can only end with, Well Done. Well Deserved

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Deadly Intentions and Sociopathic Tendencies

As a Vietnam Veteran I, along with millions of other Veterans receive healthcare through the Veterans Hospital system. I have received very good care in both the Vancouver, Washington Campus of the Portland Veterans Hospital and at the Portland Veterans Hospital itself. But it seems not everybody has been as fortunate as I have been.

One Veteran, medically discharged from the U.S. Navy has alleged he is the victim of a staff member assigned to care for him while he was an inpatient at the Vancouver Campus. To say the least, this particular staff member has quite a peculiar background that leaves me questioning just how he was able to gain employment at the Veterans Hospital.

An inquiry submitted to Public Affairs Officer, Dan Herrigstad has not yet been responded to. But the history of this staff member, Patrick Henry is well documented as he was the subject of both a book titled Deadly Intentions and two subsequent made for TV movies on his conviction for attempted murder of his ex-wife in Tucson, Arizona in 1979 that led to his being stripped of his license to practice medicine as a Doctor and another on his “itching to exact revenge on those who put him away while at the same time working hard on destroying the sanity of his second wife.”

Dr. Patrick G. Henry graduated from the University Of Arizona College Of Medicine in 1971, marrying the sweetheart he met while a student in 1967 that same year. By all outward appearances he was destined for a brilliant career in Dermatology. But he soon revealed a much darker side unnoticed before.

From an August 18, 1986 People’s Magazine article on the fear his ex-wife retains, we read that Henry began to call his wife by a “private, ugly nickname: ‘Toad’.” He would sometimes sit for hours and just ignore her.

When he did speak, the conversation was often directed towards what he would “do with anybody who crossed him.”
“I’d get even no matter how long it took me. First I’d stick pins in their eyes.... If you put a knife in their lower abdomen—stick it straight in—you can pull it up in a single movement and cut someone wide open.... That’s one of the most painful ways to die. I’d take explosives—not big ones; they’d have to be small, or I wouldn’t be able to stay close enough to watch.... If it was a woman I’d put it in her vagina and ass.... I’d stand close and watch while they went off.”
We also read,
“On a vacation trip to Florida, she was swimming alone in a remote lake when Pat shouted to her to get to shore fast and not to look back. She swam furiously and as she did, Pat aimed his camera and clicked away. She hit the beach just seconds ahead of an alligator. When she broke down sobbing, Henry laughed hysterically.”
After some very dangerous incidents involving their infant son and much soul searching, his wife had had enough and left him in 1974, moving back to Tucson, Arizona to live with her parents and filing for divorce.

We read that
“within a year Henry remarried, adopted his new wife’s two daughters and settled into the life of a suburban Baltimore physician. He waited three years and eight months from the day his wife left him before returning to Tucson in disguise, planning the revenge he had so often described to her.”
Through the diligence and suspicions of an American Airline’s ticket agent, in 1977 Henry was caught trying to leave Tucson with an attaché case found to contain a “.32-caliber pistol, nine bullets, a glass cutter, glue, pliers and a plumber's helper, as well as 23 firecrackers, string, three books of matches and a double-edged hunting knife.”

Questioned by Police in Dallas, a really bizarre scheme involving false identity, a cheap wig and padded clothing to disguise himself was revealed, resulting in his being indicted and tried in 1979. It took the jury about six hours to reach of verdict of guilty for attempted murder in the second degree.

He was sentenced to 5 to 15 years and was released on parole in 1986 after serving 6 ½ years of the sentence, Warden Lloyd E. Bramlett describing Henry as “Pretty much a model inmate. No violence. No discipline problems,” even though 3 years earlier he had been shifted to maximum security when it was discovered he might have been laying the groundwork for an elaborate escape.

Contrary to his Lawyers claims of “He has too much to lose. He’s got a wife. He’s got two children he loves. He wants to continue in the practice of medicine,” Henry wasn’t to stay out of trouble very long.

He settled in Mobile, Alabama where he worked as a Physician’s Assistant while trying to have his Medical License reinstated.

In late August 1987 he was again arrested after his second wife contacted Police after finding “a munitions box in her home containing manuals on explosives and fake identities, as well as a pistol” along with a quantity of marijuana.

FBI agents arrested Henry on drug charges. In March 1988 he was sentenced to 15 years in prison on Federal marijuana and weapons charges, prosecutors alleging he “planned to use blood serum containing the AIDS virus in a revenge scheme and planned to kill a former Federal prosecutor.”

District Judge Emmett Cox ordered Henry to “a prison where he could receive psychiatric treatment.”

Unknown to me when he was released, he ended up moving to Portland, Oregon where he at some time became employed by the Veterans Hospital as a CNA at the Vancouver Campus and in 2011, is alleged to have “terrorized one of the patients” between April and September.

Apparently unable to catch him in the act, it would take until September 2012 before he was caught placing nails under this same patient’s car tires when he would return to the campus for outpatient care or volunteer work with other Veterans.

According to Court documents I obtained, He was summoned into court at the direction of the Vancouver City Attorney’s Office, making his first appearance on Feb. 28, 2013 in front of Judge Darvin Zimmerman who placed him immediately on supervised release and ordered him to have no contact with the victim or the Veterans Administration campus.

Charged with attempted Third Degree Malicious Mischief, a gross misdemeanor, he is next scheduled to appear in Clark County District Court on April 24, 2013 and is to remain in the immediate Portland / Vancouver Metropolitan area where he shares a home with his wife Helene in Portland.

I am unable to confirm at this time whether he is still employed with the VA or has been placed on administrative leave.

But I am concerned with how such a person, whether he once was a doctor or not, came to be employed at the facility, caring for patients or why he was allowed to remain after complaints were leveled against him.

The victim claims he has tried to submit TORT claims for damages, but has been denied by all levels of the Veterans Administration and is currently seeking legal help in pursuing his claims.

This will be updated as more information becomes available.

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Kira Davis - You Can't Ban Evil

Kira Davis, a young Black Conservative woman explains why the Second Amendment is important to keep and why today's Americans should oppose gun bans