In honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Wednesday, January 01, 2014
Let there be no mistake, I do not make light of the accident and in spite of the dangers such a derailment and fire posed for the small town of Casselton, seeing the towns people evacuated and subsequently returning in a short period, the lack of injury is noticeable.
As we saw in Canada, it could have been much worse.
But, it also must be put in perspective as those actively opposed to an oil terminal at our Port and the jobs such an endeavor will bring latched onto the accident immediately for their purposes, “never let a good crisis go to waste.”
Much like major airline crashes, such derailments as seen recently make headlines for biased media since they are relatively infrequent. An article from the Grand Forks Herald states, “While derailments aren’t rare, releases of hazardous materials from derailed train cars happen infrequently in North Dakota, statistics show.”
They also cite, “From January 2000 to October 2013, the Federal Railroad Administration recorded 71 derailments involving hazardous materials in North Dakota” and add, “Only three of the 71 derailments involved releases of hazardous materials…”
By contrast, Amtrak passenger train derailments, like was seen in Florida in 2002 and in Louisiana in 1993 make big news because of the loss of life, but I don’t recall activists suggesting or protesting against Amtrak.
But, freight trains hauling oil that produces fire, large fireballs and a lot of dense smoke, are perfect visuals for activists to hype and use to further their anti-oil agenda, ignoring all human need for jobs.
While the focus and blame is placed on the train and the load, the actual cause is normally ignored as is only about 10 cars out of over 100 cars actually burned.
We see some issuing their usual “this is a wake-up call” broadcast over the accident, left out is reports of the ‘why’ of the accident.
In this particular case, a video camera is reported to have been installed at the head of the oil train and it recorded “the crash as it slammed into a car of a derailed grain train.”
It is reported, “When the oil train arrived, the other train transporting grain and soy bean had already derailed, and one of its cars was lying in the oil train's path. The oil train slammed into it and burst into flames.”
Do we hear anybody opposing shipping grain by rail? No and here we see that this accident is a result of a train carrying grain derailing in the path of the train carrying oil.
Nowhere yet have I read the exact cause of the explosion and fire, but it is widely known that grain dust is highly volatile, many grain silos across the country experiencing fires and explosions throughout the years. I can’t help but wonder if a spark was created when the trains collided that set off the overturned grain car first and subsequently, the oil cars derailed after the impact.
OSHA warns: “Grain dust explosions are often severe, involving loss of life and substantial property damage. Over the last 35 years, there have been over 500 explosions in grain handling facilities across the United States, which have killed more than 180 people and injured more than 675.”
Storing and handling grain is also very dangerous and even though the Port of Vancouver already has a grain terminal and has for several years, we see no groups flocking before City Council or the County Commission demanding they end their operation due to the dangers involved.
No, but we do see the usual malcontents hyping the planned construction of an oil terminal at the Port of Vancouver due to the perceived dangers of oil when the Lazy C copied and pasted the AP report.
In a facebook discussion, one such malcontent exclaimed, “There WILL be an incident here if this is built just a matter of when. Wake up” with another saying, “Tick, tick, tick. The countdown to another rail accident is already on.”
No one worries about the grain storage facilities at the port, though or the trains coming into or through town hauling grain with its explosive grain dust.
We all eat bread, so we need the grain. But, we all also drive cars, motorcycles or use many items derived from petroleum, so we need the oil as well and will continue needing it in the future since oil is responsible in many ways for the lifestyle we have come to enjoy in America.
As happens in other accidents, this one will be investigated and recommendations made to hopefully prevent a repeat. Tracks will be fortified if need be, maintenance of trains will be scrutinized and improvements made. After all, with all of the cries of “corporate greed,” it seems missed that such accidents hamper profits and cause losses.
I expect activists will return to City Council and the County Commission, blasting oil shipments coming through town, opposing the oil terminal and using this accident for “proof” of what will happen.
But not one will call for closing down the grain terminal even though it is equally as hazardous.
Posted by Lew Waters at 2:04 PM
Friday, November 22, 2013
It was a typically warm Friday afternoon in Hollywood, Florida as the students of South Broward High School filed into the bleachers in the football field around 1:30 in the afternoon for a pep rally.
We were released from class early for the pep rally as there was an important Basketball game scheduled that evening with our across town rivals from MacArthur High School and the principal wanted us to be charged up for a win.
South Broward was a pretty large school, even back in 1963, making me, a 15-year old sophomore one of just under 3,000 students’ enrolled sitting in the bleachers.
All of us were excited, classes were let out early for the Pep Rally, we had a weekend of fun facing us since we lived so close to the beach, just over one mile away.
To us, the world was at peace. Castro’s Revolution in Cuba, a little over 200 miles south of us had been over, the Bay of Pigs invasion and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 were behind us. Civil Rights demonstrations were popping up on TV occasionally, but they were far north of us and even though we too were segregated then, racial unrest seemed to be for others in the south, not us.
Few people had heard of Vietnam and the Berlin Wall, even though fairly new, was thousands of miles away.
As typical teenagers, we didn’t have a care in the world and were just expecting another weekend of sun and fun in South Florida as we all joked and poked each other in the bleachers as we wondered why the Pep Rally was delayed.
Then Mr. Phares, the Principal came out and instead of leading off the Pep Rally, solemnly informed us all to report immediately to our Home Rooms, not giving us a clue why. So, we emptied the bleachers and headed off to our home rooms.
As we entered our Home Rooms, I couldn’t help but notice that Mrs. Pauline Watkins, my Home Room teacher as well as my World History teacher had been crying. This was her last year teaching as she was retiring at the end of the school year, and even though in her 60’s at the time, she had never seemed emotional to me, so seeing her red, puffy eyes puzzled me, especially given the unexpected announcement of no Pep Rally against our arch rivals.
Mrs. Watkins didn’t say anything other than for us to take our seats. Once seated, she informed us that President John F. Kennedy had been shot in Dallas, Texas just minutes before an asked for all of us to lower our heads and pray for him.
It couldn’t have been a couple minutes later that Mr. Phares announced over the PA system that President Kennedy had died of his wounds and the Basketball game that evening was cancelled.
Mrs. Watkins tears flowed freely and I believe all of us sat there with lumps in our throats at the news as it was just days prior that he had visited Miami, Florida, just 20 miles south.
We learned of assassinations in history, but to have one happen now really threw us all.
Who did it? Our peace was shattered, was it by Castro? The Soviet Union’s Nikita Khrushchev? Were we to end up at war? Were we going to be invaded or see the dreaded nuclear holocaust we grew up in fear of?
No one knew and our young imaginations ran rampant until we got home and our parents were glued to the television sets, all programming on all three networks broadcasting them reporting news on the assassination.
That is all that was on and it didn’t take long for reports of the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald to be reported, as he was quickly linked to the killing and reports out of both Cuba and the Soviet Union were quick to deny any involvement in the assassination.
The conspiracy theories had not yet surfaced, it was all too fresh and the country was numb, reeling from the shock of it all. There hadn’t been an assassination in 62 years when William McKinley was killed in 1901, when our grandparents were but babies.
Being teenagers, it didn’t take long before we became bored with the repetitive news reports on all stations, all other programming cancelled. Even our favorite AM radio stations were more focused on news of the assassination than playing the top 40 of the time.
The Basketball game was cancelled, but this was South Florida where there seemed to always be something for kids to do, even if just hanging out.
It was long before my two closest buddies of the time, Dennis and Corky, stopped by, also bored and wanting to get out of the house. We walked around town looking for others, but it was almost eerie, businesses closed, lights turned off all up and down the main street.
Unlike other Friday nights, there were few cars out and about.
We headed to the Arnold Palmer Putter Golf course and it was closed, lights off. Same with the trampoline court next door, lights off and gate locked.
We walked to the Ice Cream Parlor kids often hung out at and it was also closed.
Even the hamburger driven-in, usually hopping on Friday nights, was closed.
We walked around for a couple more hours and finding nothing open, bid each other goodnight and headed off to our individual homes as curfew was coming soon.
While largely taken for granted today, television for 24 hours was very odd to us back then. And even though television broadcast all night through the weekend, all that was on was news of the assassination and Kennedy’s life.
Camelot was being born as his short administration became a mythical time that it really never was.
We saw as Air Force One off-loaded his casket into a hearse. We witnessed Lyndon Johnson being sworn in as President, Jackie Kennedy standing next to him with her husband’s blood still on her jacket, dress and gloves. We watched as Oswald and his rifle was paraded and scenes of the “sniper’s nest” were broadcast. On Sunday, we saw him also be shot by Jack Ruby, dying shortly after.
By Monday, schools across the country were closed as the hastily assembled funeral was also broadcast, the country laying President Kennedy to rest in Arlington Cemetery and the eternal flame lit, even before it was fully constructed.
Looking back 50 years ago, November 22, 1963, we seemed to have lost our innocence, or at least the perception we had of innocence.
The decade was to become the most turbulent one in history, racked with race riots, more assassinations as Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy, JFK’s brother were also to be gunned down before the decade ended.
Racial unrest exploded across the south and even up north in Chicago and Boston, also in Los Angeles as the Watts riots exploded in 1965.
Vietnam quickly escalated as did the anti-war faction that began opposing not just the war, but those of us sent off to fight it.
College campuses saw a great deal of student unrest that I can’t recall ever hearing of before.
We will never know if it would have been different had Kennedy lived or even if he would have had a second term in office.
We will never know if he would have been able to quell much of the violence we all witnessed or if he would have pulled us out of Vietnam before it became the quagmire it did. All of that will remain idle speculation, each individual imagining for themselves how it would have been.
Did the assassination of Kennedy have anything to do with the way the decade of the 1960’s turned out?
Is there any merit in any of the multitude of conspiracy theories still being debated today, 50 years later?
All of that too will likely never be known, at least not in our lifetimes.
But all I do know, that one weekend, everything seemed to stop in America. We were ripe for invasion if any enemy had a mind to. Luckily, none did.
But something happened then and life as we knew it seemed to be forever changed.
And, I can’t say for the better.
Posted by Lew Waters at 1:30 AM
Monday, November 18, 2013
I received a notice by email from Politico stating, "Senate Republicans have blocked the nomination of Robert Wilkins to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, the third such rejection to the court in three weeks. Wilkins failed to garner 60 votes to break the GOP filibuster, 38-53."
"The fight over judges could spill over into another confrontation over changing Senate rules by a majority vote, in which Senate Democrats seek to curtail the GOP's filibuster use by invoking the so-called 'nuclear option'."
For refutation of their threat of the so-called "nuclear option," let's look at some words spoken by the former sweetheart of the Democrat party, now deceased, Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts, from back in 2005 when the Democrats were blocking judicial nominations left & right.
The nation’s founders understood that those in power might believe rules don’t apply to them. That’s why they put in place a democracy that preserves our rights and freedoms through checks and balances. These checks and balances protect mainstream values by preventing one party from arrogantly imposing its extreme views on the nation.You can read or copy the 11-page speech in full here
The Constitution grants the President a check on Congress by allowing him to veto any measure that he believes crosses the line.
Throughout our history, the Senate, has structured its processes to reflect its unique powers. For such irreversible steps as conferring lifetime judicial authority, it has given its minority the ability to protect our republic from the combined tyranny of a willful Executive Branch and an equally willful and like-minded small majority of Senators. Thus we allow the minority to speak as long as necessary to stimulate debate and compromise, and to prevent actions that threaten the balance of powers, or seriously offend a substantial minority of Senators.
In these circumstances, we Senators have not only the right, but the obligation, to use every power at our disposal, within the Senate’s rules and traditions, to focus the attention of the Senate and the nation, and ultimately the President, on the overreaching abuse of power by the White House and the Republican majority. That’s what our Senate powers and our Senate rules are meant to do. That’s what checks and balances are all about. That’s why the filibuster exists.-----
In short, neither the Constitution, nor Senate Rules, nor Senate precedents, nor American history, provide any justification for selectively nullifying the use of the filibuster. Equally important, neither the Constitution nor the Rules nor the precedents nor history provide any permissible means for a bare majority of the Senate to take that radical step without breaking or ignoring clear provisions of applicable Senate Rules and unquestioned precedents.
Fortunately, the vast majority of Americans’ share our commitment to basic fairness. They agree that there must be fair rules, that we should not unilaterally abandon or break those rules in the middle of the game, and that we should protect the minority’s rights in the Senate.
If it was wrong for Republicans, isn't it also wrong for Democrats?
But, it shows that Democrats want to live by their standards and impose their standards on others with no regard of people have differing values.
Where they were accusing George W. Bush of stacking the courts with conservatives, they now seek to stack those same courts with liberals that care more about a liberal agenda interpretation of laws, some even seeking decisions of foreign courts over our own laws, all to justify whatever the agenda du jour is.
In short, Democrats seek to have their cake and eat it too, continuing their push towards an oligarchy with their party alone ruling, a party that has repeatedly shown a desire to recreate the failed Soviet Union.
Posted by Lew Waters at 4:14 PM
Thursday, November 07, 2013
Tuesday, November 05, 2013
But the state of mudslinging in our political campaigns has reached a level that now prevents us from seeing more highly qualified people run for public office.
And by that I do not mean that relevant matters pertaining to a candidate should not be brought out, but specious claims, false linking, attacking supporters or family members and other such underhanded tactics, to “win at any cost” has degraded our politics to a state that not only do we have a problem enlisting qualified candidates, many people no longer even wish to vote.
Media, nationally and locally carries much of the blame, in my opinion, as they have lost all sense of objectivity and have promoted a bias favoring their own points of view, covering for candidates or parties they favor and even creating false allegations to smear office holders and candidates they do not favor or who run against those they do favor.
Blatant lies told to get elected are forgiven and even excused, provided the person switches to supporting what media favors, as in the case of incumbent mayor Tim Leavitt locally, flipping on opposing tolls and Barack Obama nationally over his disastrous Obamacare.
We saw local media supporting false allegations against a PAC set up to oppose Leavitt while ignoring blatant lies told about Leavitt’s opponent, Bill Turlay by a PAC supporting Leavitt.
We have seen endless assaults against 5-term Republican State Senator Don Benton for over 20 years by local media along with an unprecedented excess of 40 articles, editorials and columns against the very legal appointment of him to head the county department of environmental services.
Reading editor Lou Brancaccio’s weekly screed you would think County Commissioner David Madore has led a political machine of pure evil, backroom deals and domineering the county in a one-man rule for years, even though he is the most junior commissioner, in office less than a year.
In regards to the Vancouver mayor’s race between Tim Leavitt and Bill Turlay, Brancaccio wrote, in an effort to make the Vancouver mayor’s race about Commissioner Madore,
“If Turlay wins, it will signal that we like what Madore has been doing over at the county administration building, and you can pretty much guarantee the Madore way will grow bolder.”
“If Leavitt wins, it will signal that we’re growing tired of where Madore is leading this county.”
Yet, they are not in a hurry to give credit for the transparency in County Government instituted at the behest of Commissioner Madore, just where they can denigrate or sling mud at him.
Supporters of candidates are not immune from the vitriol thrown around as baseless allegations are leveled against former candidates who put their support behind another they feel would better represent.
Such is the case with Battle Ground’s former city council candidate Cherish L. DesRochers after she endorsed Lyle Lamb and received what she sees as a threatening message from the wife of incumbent council member, Mike Ciraulo.
|Click image to enlarge|
Ciraulo wasn’t immune either as he was subjected to allegations of improper fundraising over a poker party held on his behalf, that also amounted to little.
And his camp leveled allegations against others on the Battle Ground city council over alleged wrongdoing of other members of the city council in changing how Battle Ground selects their Mayor.
That allegation also amounted to nothing.
We have seen Democrat 49th Legislative District Representative Jim Moeller joyously post on his facebook page of baseless allegations of Republicans strongly oppose women in office, citing a highly questionable poll.
Yet we also saw Moeller gleefully comment to a Republican woman he defeated in the last election, “I beat you like an old rug” in the online comments section of the local paper of record.
Voter participation in this year’s election was hoped to be around 40%, but so far turnout has been just under 19%, expected to increase, but doubtful to come anywhere near a dismal number of 40%.
Along with the vitriolic nature of campaigns today, we also see where voters are left disenfranchised, seeing their votes ignored or cast away by politicians.
In spite of voters defeating every measure to fund light rail operations and maintenance for the CRC light rail project, we saw 5 elected officials, Vancouver Mayor Tim Leavitt, City Council members Bart Hansen and Larry Smith, Ridgefield Mayor Ron Onslow and County Commissioner Steve Stuart ignore those past results and approve entering into a binding contract with Portland’s TriMet for funding that very thing, bypassing voters and not even reading the 40-page contract first, much less allowing the public or other elected officials to look it over.
And, we cannot ignore Jim Moeller’s efforts, after voters five times voted in favor of requiring a 2/3 majority vote by the legislature to increase taxes, joining in with public unions to sue constituents and have the votes invalidated, claiming such a requirement would necessitate a constitutional amendment.
And of course, after having citizens votes invalidated, his refusal to support such an amendment when it was proposed by Republicans.
Before you jump in to label me a hypocrite by writing this blog, allow me to remind you that blogs came into being due to the media’s abandonment of all semblance to objectivity, predominantly favoring the liberal view and candidates and often going out of their way to exaggerate allegations against conservatives while minimizing or completely ignoring wrongdoing by liberals.
Blogs are citizen efforts to bring some degree of balance back into the scene and provide fairness. We aren’t perfect, but we try, much to the chagrin of those in the lamestream media.
But this is where our political scene is today. We do have a difficult time getting decent and qualified people to step up to run for office, knowing how they will be trashed because of their desire to see the status quo gone.
We have difficulty getting people to even mark a ballot, disillusioned that their vote even matters.
They fail to recognize that only their votes can change it by choosing better qualified people to be in government.
So here we sit, people out desperately trying to encourage others to get involved and cast their votes while media undoubtedly are rolling their hands, expecting to see the poor turnout favor their desires while the few good and decent people we get to step up to the plate and run are whipping mud from their bodies.
We can wash off the mud from a mud bog, but the mud from political campaigns stays with us far too long.
Posted by Lew Waters at 1:46 PM
Friday, September 20, 2013
We were ticking time bombs, drug addicts, mentally disturbed due to some horrific experience we were forced to endure by the hated government of the time and we were subject to “flashbacks” where we would mentally find ourselves back in some battle, but in reality doing harm or killing innocent people, people we either didn’t even know or our loved ones.
That it was a lie did not even matter, it sold and convinced many to either fear us or to pity us.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) ran a three part series earlier this year showing how Hollywood’s portrayal of Veterans changed during the Vietnam era and remains today mostly negative, March, April and May.
Veterans Organizations have worked double overtime to counter this false narrative of the damaged Veteran as have individual Veterans. We adopted the slogan “Never Again” to signify we would not sit still and allow today’s Veterans to be mistreated for their service as we were upon our return and after.
When factions within the country began once again targeting Veterans as they worked diligently to recreate the unpopularity around the War on Terror they did during Vietnam, I penned Veterans, Warriors and Heroes, not Victims where I brought out that many of those complaining the loudest about “deranged Veterans” are more at fault for the few who do experience trouble than the actual battle experiences they may have endured.
What I did not realize at that time, since I had largely stopped watching network television due to their pathetic programming lacking in talent and substance, was that the CBS network was returning to the era where the Veteran is the ‘heavy’ in crime dramas, running around murdering innocent people as some simple noise they heard set them off on a PTSD fueled rampage.
I am not going to individually go through every episode of every show, but will focus on just two programs, a February 2007 episode of Criminal Minds where “a post-traumatic veteran reliving a war zone” goes on a rampage in Houston, Texas, thinking he back in Mogadishu trying to protect citizens, but killing innocent workers who come down to his hiding place to see what is happening.
The Vet is killed by a sniper in the end, uttering only a hope the child he tried to protect was okay.
I figure that last line was to raise a little awareness, but they forget the many innocent lives the writers have him first kill and that requires assistance from the FBI in profiling who is doing all of the killing.
Fast forward now to popular daytime Soap Opera, the Young and the Restless.
In a nut shell, they brought in a character, Dylan McAvoy played by actor Steve Burton.
The character of Dylan was thought dead in Afghanistan and was the fiancé of the character Avery Clark, played by Jessica Collins.
As it usually is in unrealistic Soap Operas, she falls in love with someone else, thinking her fiancé dead, only to have him return and complicate the new life she is creating. It’s a tired old plot long overused in television.
But they have to drag this story line out even further and make matters worse.
Dylan meets another woman after Avery chooses the other man over Dylan, who has been convalescing in the hospital far away, thinking only of Avery. They have a one night stand, but the other woman is already pregnant from her ex-husband, a bad guy in the show and one she doesn’t want to know she is carrying his baby.
She tells Dylan it is his baby some weeks later and of course, he falls in love, she gives birth prematurely to a full-sized baby boy they name after his father, since they had just gotten married.
It doesn’t take long for him to discover the baby isn’t really his and of course, he is devastated.
He decides to leave is new wife and the baby he thought was his, asking only for a moment in private with the newborn to say goodbye.
But, it just so happens that this occurs during a thunder storm that sends Dylan into a flashback to Afghanistan where a little girl died in his arms that he was trying to save and couldn’t.
He kidnaps the baby to run and save it, sending everybody into a panic looking for him and when finding them couched in a cabin, holding a flashlight thinking it his service pistol, ends up being labeled a lunatic by the baby’s real father, the bad guy in this series.
Some of this story line can be seen in You Tube clips with more to be added, I’m sure.
But, is it really necessary to almost always portray the heroic Veteran as flashing back to the war and endangering those around him?
Especially since it is not even true.
But television and movies are powerful tools, many people accepting what they see as true, never bothering to actually check.
Why don’t they show Veterans as heroic Police, Fireman, Paramedics or even Icons of business and community, as most are? That is closer to the truth about the overall majority of Veterans.
But no, Veterans must be portrayed as damaged people, still ticking time bombs that even Fourth of July fireworks may send off on a murderous crime spree.
I have written CBS with my complaint on this story line, but doubt my voice will sway them. But maybe the more voices they hear from will have them reconsider and begin properly portraying Veterans in their shows.
It’s just a shame that all of these decades later, over 40 years after the Vietnam War, the same networks that went out of their way to portray and mistreat Vietnam Veterans now elects to do it again.
Well meaning or not, it is just wrong!
Posted by Lew Waters at 1:44 PM
Wednesday, September 18, 2013
No known motive has yet been revealed and there are many questions being asked, mostly centered around security, just who was Aaron Alexis, the 34 year old man said to have entered the building and killed so many and as information is coming out, many are wondering just how this man obtained and held a Security Clearance to access the Navy Yard, much less allow him to buy the shot gun officials now say was used in the killings.
Once identifying Alexis as the shooter, within hour’s reports began appearing in the media of a very troubled man with a history of mental instability, misconduct while in the Navy Reserves and at least two run-ins with law enforcement over gun charges.
While many who knew Alexis were stunned with disbelief of him doing such a heinous act, we began reading accounts of him being “was pushed out of the military because of repeated incidents and arrests” from a quote in the Wall Street Journal Monday evening from an unidentified defense official.
We read of a run-in with the law in Seattle in 2004 where Alexis is said to have shot out the tires of someone’s car that he felt “disrespected” him. He explained that incident as “anger-fueled blackout.”
In 2010 he was said to have shot through the floor of an apartment above him in Ft. Worth, Texas, narrowly missing the occupant, a woman he often complained “made too much noise.” He explained that as the gun going off accidentally while cleaning it.
His own father, when contacted, claimed he “had been involved in 9/11 rescue efforts and had post-traumatic stress and anger-management issues.”
It’s known now that he had been treated for paranoia and hearing voices in his head.
Yet, in spite of such a record, he held a security clearance to enter the Navy yard and passed both an F.B.I. and State of Virginia background check to ‘legally’ purchase the shotgun he used to kill and take a handgun off of one of the security guards.
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel admits “there were a lot of red flags missed in the security clearance process,” adding “Why they didn’t get picked up, why they didn’t get incorporated into the clearance process, what he was doing, those are all legitimate questions that we’re going to be dealing with.”
What is unusual in this mass shooting is the shooter was a Black man. Not that Blacks don’t kill, but we rarely hear of a Black man committing one of these mass killings.
His being Black has nothing itself to do with his mental state nor is it a direct reason for shooting those people, but I can’t help but wonder if it is a reason so many red flags that should have been caught in his records weren’t there?
Referring back to the quote at the top of this post, many people are scared to death to be labeled a racist” today and have been known to bend over backwards when dealing with Blacks because of that fear.
On some occasions, a few Blacks have taken advantage of this “white guilt” to get ahead or allege wrongdoing if terminated from or denied a position.
An NBC Report is claiming a friend saying,
“He felt like he had been cheated out of money from the contract and complained that he was mistreated because he was black. He felt a lot of discrimination and racism with white people especially. He did have the tendency to feel like people owed him something all the time.”
Yet, so many red flags that should have denied him not only his security clearance but the ability to legally purchase a shotgun and ammunition were not in his records when the background checks were performed.
I cannot say with complete confidence, naturally, but I just can’t help but wonder if the attitude his friend described of discrimination and racism from whites was projected unto others over the years and out of fear of being labeled a “racist,” encouraged them not to put those red flags into his records.
Without a doubt, there remains pockets of racism in our country today, but it is nowhere near as prevalent as it once was.
But racism goes both ways today, crossing racial boundaries in both directions.
Black author Shelby Steele wrote a book a few years ago, White Guilt: How Blacks and Whites Together Destroyed the Promise of the Civil Rights Era and in it he says,
“In the age of racism, Whites said Blacks were inferior so as to not see their own desire was to exploit them, their true motivation. In the age of white guilt, whites support all manner of silly racial policies without seeing that their true motivation is simply to show themselves innocent of racism.”
And now I wonder if “White Guilt” has played a role in the deaths of 13 people, including Aaron Alexis, by keeping those ‘red flags’ from being included in his record, out of fear of being labeled a racist?
Maybe too, it’s time we stopped hurling racially charged rhetoric about as if it carries no consequences and realize that we are all in this together.
Posted by Lew Waters at 5:53 PM
Wednesday, August 28, 2013
For instance, the death of Trayvon Martin in Florida where George Zimmerman was instantly identified as a White person, based solely upon his name and the media joining forces with the likes of race baiters Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson in taking a local story and blowing it into an international outrage indicating a major racial problem, but ignoring Zimmerman’s true ethnicity, Hispanic of Black ancestry as well as the actual evidence in the case that exonerated Zimmerman.
Trayvon’s past was to be ignored while Zimmerman’s was picked over with a fine toothed comb as Trayvon ended up being portrayed as a poor innocent Black youth gunned down in the dead of night by an angry White person.
That it isn’t actually what the evidence showed really happened isn’t important as we saw how the media, with their heavy bias and Democrats with their situational ethics twisted the case every which way they could think of to take political advantage of it.
And nowhere is it more apparent than in media coverage concerning Barack Obama, also of biracial heritage, but you would have forgotten that what with the media coverage always portraying him as a Black man, the first Black man to achieve the highest office in our country.
We are reminded of it so much that if you disagree or oppose policies he wishes to implement, you’re quickly branded a “racist” in an effort to silence criticism as opponents are beat into submission and reminded of times past to when MLK made his famous speech, as if we are still mired deeply in those times.
Looking around us, ignored by media and agenda driven liberal politicians, it is evident that we are not still locked in those times as we see more successful Blacks than ever before, no segregated communities filled with slums where Blacks are made to live, even though large cities still have their ghettoes where all minorities seem locked into because they do take advantage of the means of escape offered, education and working for it, and a list of biracial celebrities unlike we have ever seen before.
Many Mulattos, for whatever reason, deny or ignore their White heritage and cling to their Black heritage today, unlike those of the past that downplayed or denied their Black Heritage to make in this “White man’s world.”
Even though there really is no “White man’s world” any longer, both media and liberals readily go along with this façade we witness their bias and situational ethics on full display in what appears to be an effort to swing the racial pendulum over to promoting the good of Blacks over the Whites.
I’ve noticed it in many commercials where we subtly see more intelligent Blacks correcting the dumb White to sell their product. Not all mind, but from what ads I see, more often than not.
But where this façade shines the brightest is in reporting of crimes, White on Black crime usually quickly labeled a ‘Hate Crime’ while Black on White crimes seem not to be, even when it is glaringly apparent they should be.
We see it in the description given of criminals as media seems to go out of their way to hide Black criminals while ensuring readers and viewers know the race of the White criminal.
We evidence this with the recent murder of Australian ball player, Christopher Lane in Oklahoma by three Black youths because, as they said, “we were bored.”
But wait, one of those youth’s, Michael Jones is biracial, another Mulatto with a White mother and a Black father, just like Barack Obama’s heritage.
While we are repeatedly reminded that Barack Obama is Black, indentifying 17-yearold Michael Jones as Black, along with his two accomplices on Fox & Friends and the Daily caller raised the scorn of Mediaite, a so-called “news and opinion blog covering politics and entertainment” that is actually more of a liberal site established to try to counter the growing popularity of Fox News in 2009 and counter any good news published on conservatives.
It seems that if a person of biracial heritage commits a crime now, they are “White,” and no longer “Black.”
How convenient for race baiters.
The other two charged with the crime are decidedly Black, but all we hear about them is “Edwards and Luna are being charged with first-degree murder, whereas Jones is charged with ‘using a vehicle to facilitate the discharge of a weapon and accessory after the fact of murder in the first degree’,” in another vain effort to paint the court system as racist by charging the “White” person with a lesser crime than the two Black people.
Again ignored, Jones did not shoot, but drove the car the other two were in, got out of and shot Lane to death. So of course he would be charged with the lesser crime, even if they described him by his Black half.
But that wouldn’t fit the agenda of criticizing conservatives who are asking where are the race baiters that created such a stink over the Trayvon Martin incident and where is Barack Obama who spoke out soon after that case blew into a national story saying, “if I had a son, he would look just like Trayvon.”
No, given the messiah-like aura constructed around Obama, no one wants there to be any connection to a criminal like Jones to Obama.
The tragic outcome of this media/situational ethics is an ever deepening divide between us, Whites beginning to distrust Blacks more than before, some Blacks feeling empowered to lord it over others. All the exact opposite of what Martin Luther King dreamt in his famous speech.
One such example would be the outrage of over a recent video gone viral of children “Behaving Badly” quickly seen as “Bullying” of a little White girl by Black children.
Standing back and viewing it, would we see it as racially motivated as claimed if it were reversed or if it all Black or all White Children? I doubt it.
But since it is Black children picking on a smaller White girl, our moral outrage is triggered, much like the biased media succeeded in doing with Trayvon Martin.
Then too, the 12-year old who took the video and posted it online under the title “When white people piss black people off part 1” only helped stoke that outrage.
But as both parents say of this, it is “is a case of children behaving badly and has nothing to do with race,” the children regularly playing together prior to this.
The 12-year old is being punished for it by his father, ‘Eddie,’ and I have to trust the girl’s father that it is acceptable. My only comment to Eddie would be that perhaps you need to take a closer look at some of your son’s friends and acquaintenance’s over the poorly chosen title.
But, this is where we have been brought in this “post-racial” era of Barack Obama, fueled by a biased media that expresses situation ethics and outrage, as well as biracial people are selectively portrayed as Black or White, all depending on how that biased media wishes to stir up hysteria or justify their point of view of who are the good people versus who are the bad people.
It’s really tragic that here we are, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s I have A Dream speech and our distrust of each other is worse than it has been in decades as skin color takes precedence over character.
Posted by Lew Waters at 12:48 PM
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
“I said this from the beginning of the debate to the walk up to the war. I said, Mr. President don’t rush to war, take the time to build a legitimate coalition and have a plan to win the peace. It’s the wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time.” – Sen. John Kerry, August 30, 2004 in opposition to the Iraq war.
“There is a reason why no matter what you believe about Syria, all peoples and all nations who believe in the cause of our common humanity must stand up to assure that there is accountability…” Sec. of State John Kerry, August 26, 2013 in support of Military action against neighboring Syria.
Kerry, the scorn of many Vietnam Veterans, this blogger included, for his treasonous acts and ‘testimony’ filled with lies before the Fulbright Commission back in 1971 after his abbreviated 4-month tour in Vietnam, who voted to approve sending Troops into Iraq only to come out heavily opposed a year later when he campaign for the Presidency, who claimed “I actually did vote for the $87 billion before I voted against it” to fund the Iraq War and who said in 2007, “Iraq, as in Vietnam, more American soldiers are being sent to fight and die in a civil war we can’t stop and an insurgency we can’t bomb into submission” somehow now seem to think that we will be able to bomb or stop what is going on in Syria with Military intervention.
We now read of remarks by Kerry supportive of Military intervention as he says,
“President Obama has also been in close touch with the leaders of our key allies, and the President will be making an informed decision about how to respond to this indiscriminate use of chemical weapons. But make no mistake: President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny.”
But we also have known for some time that the crimes of Iraq’s President, Saddam Hussein were well known to the world, including John Kerry.
Even though he labeled Iraq the “wrong war, in the wrong place at the wrong time,” in 2004, he also warned us numerous times of the WMD’s (Chemical Weapons) of Iraq as well as recommended President Clinton take acts to remove Hussein as President of Iraq in a 1997 Senate Floor Speech: We Must be Firm with Saddam Hussein.
After approving of the Iraq War and justifying his YEA vote against his subsequent opposition to the Iraq War when campaigning as President and later when the Democrat party opposed the Iraq War in unity during the 2006 mid-term elections, it was Kerry we heard continually telling the country the only viable Iraq solution is a political one.
That from the same John Kerry who just days earlier, later alleging a “botched joke” told a group of college students,
“You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
Kerry’s flip flopping from Hawk to Dove, Dove to Hawk, depending on which party is in power is legendary.
And now, after years of the Democrat Party campaigning in opposition to war led by Republicans, even though defending our nation after over two decades of Islamic Extremist attacks, we are to believe these same Democrats, especially Barack Obama are well suited to lead the country into another ill-advised war right next door to the very country they so strongly opposed later during the Bush Administration?
Democrats, who in their efforts to portray President Bush as out of touch as he was building the very successful ‘surge,’ claimed U.S. can’t fix Iraq violence as they geared up for the 2008 Presidential Election.
He told the world then that there was “No Military Solution in Iraq’ after earlier saying “Preventing Genocide Isn't Reason to Keep U.S. Troops in Iraq,”
But now and right next door to Iraq, we are told that
“President Obama believes there must be accountability for those who would use the world’s most heinous weapons against the world’s most vulnerable people. Nothing today is more serious and nothing is receiving more serious scrutiny.”
Kerry and the Democrats questioned the intelligence President Bush relied upon. Even then Senator Hillary Clinton, in an appearance on the Larry King show April 24, 2004 said of that intelligence,
“The consensus was the same, from the Clinton administration to the Bush administration. It was the same intelligence belief that our allies and friends around the world shared.”
“But I think that in the case of the [Bush] administration, they really believed it. They really thought they were right, but they didn’t let enough sunlight into their thinking process to really have the kind of debate that needs to take place when a serious decision occurs like that.”
It was Democrats that claimed the intelligence was manufactured, that Bush lied, that he didn’t listen, labeling him a ‘warmonger’ who came to the Oval Office with the express intent of starting a war in Iraq.
But now, it’s all good again? The intelligence is accurate even though other countries are questioning it and warning Obama to not interfere in Syria?
And hasn’t it been Democrats blasting President Bush over the cost of the War on Terror, claiming going into Iraq is what killed our economy?
Can we really afford now to go back next door to Iraq into Syria and support the rebels fighting the Syrian government, knowing that many have admitted their alliance with Al Qaeda, our sworn enemy?
And hasn’t it been Democrats throughout the Bush Administration reminding us that we are not “the World’s Police Force?” But now, somehow we are?
The New York Sun concluded in an Aug 26, 2013 editorial,
“We carry no brief for Bashir al-Assad. We carry no brief for the Islamists who are in arms against the Syrian regime. What we do is predict that if the President takes us into this war and if there is an escalation — if, say, Russia or Iran enters the lists — then neither Mr. Obama nor the next president nor America itself will be able to count on Mr. Kerry. If the going gets rough, he’ll prove to be a summer soldier and fall away, maybe to go treat with the enemy at a future parley at Paris. We’ve always said that history has a way of playing its tricks.”
John Kerry and Barack Obama would do well to recall Kerry’s scripted words spoken back in 1971 on giving Troops “the chance to die for the biggest nothing in history.”
Democrats have long complained of getting involved in civil wars of other nations and yet, here we are poised once again to involve ourselves in another civil war at the behest of the Democrats.
Isn’t it about time we let those oil rich nations all over the Middle East, who do not want the Muslim Brotherhood or other radical extremists in power, deal with what is happening in their own front yard?
Posted by Lew Waters at 2:23 PM
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
I hope this post helps those of you to understand as well as join us in boycotting this movie, also under fire for specious representation of Ronald Reagan.
Excerpt of an undated speech Hanoi Jane Fonda gave at U.C. Berkeley in the early 1970's, where she praises the Communist North Vietnamese and students in attendance applaud upon hearing her gleeful announcement of 34 American B-52's being shot down by the Communist North Vietnamese. That would be a potential 170 American Servicemen dying. Is it any wonder why so many of us Vietnam Veterans despise this person?
For any who wonder why we boycott and still despise Hanoi Jane, hear her in her own words. In July 2011 on her personal Blog, Fonda said, “I have never done anything to hurt my country or the men and women who have fought and continue to fight for us.” She has never apologized, she only expressed regret over the famous photo of her sitting at the anti-aircraft gun. She still stands by everything else she said or did.
And now she tells Vietnam Veterans we need to "get a life?"
It should also be remembered, prior to the Tet of 68 offensive, where the Communist forces were all but decimated, contemplating negotiating a surrender according to many, less than 20,000 American Troops had been killed. From Tet until we pulled out in early 1973, nearly 40,000 more American Troops were killed. Tet was also the turning point where the anti-war left, many actually supporters of the Communist North, gained in popularity and acceptability in America. Their efforts resulted in twice as many troops being killed and untold numbers of Vietnamese as they prolonged a war that was close to over in 1968.
Interviewed and published in the October 2005 issue of Vietnam Magazine, North Vietnamese General Nguyen Duc Huy was asked, “After the war, Giap told a group of Western reporters that Communist losses in the Tet Offensive were so devastating that if the Americans had kept up that level of military pressure much longer North Vietnam would have been forced to negotiate a peace on American terms. Do you agree?”
General Huy responded, “If the American army had fought some more, had continued, I don’t know. Maybe. I can’t say what would have happened.”
Interviewed by the Wall Street Journal in August 1995, former North Vietnamese Colonel Bui Tin, who became disillusioned with the Victorious Communist Liberators and defected to France was asked and responded;
Q: Was the American antiwar movement important to Hanoi's victory?
A: It was essential to our strategy. Support of the war from our rear was completely secure while the American rear was vulnerable. Every day our leadership would listen to world news over the radio at 9 a.m. to follow the growth of the American antiwar movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda, and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark and ministers gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses. We were elated when Jane Fonda, wearing a red Vietnamese dress, said at a press conference that she was ashamed of American actions in the war and that she would struggle along with us.
Q: Did the Politburo pay attention to these visits?
A: Those people represented the conscience of America. The conscience of America was part of its war-making capability, and we were turning that power in our favor. America lost because of its democracy; through dissent and protest it lost the ability to mobilize a will to win.
Now deceased but also held in disdain by many Vietnam Vets, Walter Cronkite who reported on the failed North Vietnamese Tet of 68 Offensive, “Who won and who lost in the great Tet offensive against the cities? I’m not sure. The Vietcong did not win by a knockout, but neither did we. The referees of history may make it a draw. It seems now more certain than ever that the bloody experience of Vietnam is to end in a stalemate. But it is increasingly clear to this reporter that the only rational way out then will be to negotiate, not as victors, but as honorable people who lived up to their pledge to defend democracy, and did the best they could.”
In a 2000 speech, General Frederick C. Weyand said of his meeting Cronkite in Vietnam, “After Tet, General Westmoreland sent Walter Cronkite out to interview me. I was in Command of the Forces in the South around Saigon and below and I was proud of what we'd done. We had done a good job there. So, Walter came down and he spent about an hour and a half interviewing me. And when we got done, he said, ‘well you've got a fine story. But I’m not going to use any of it because I’ve been up to Hue. I’ve seen the thousands of bodies up there in mass graves and I’m determined to do all in my power to bring this war to an end as soon as possible’.”
“It didn’t seem to matter that those thousands of bodies were of South Vietnamese citizens who had been killed by the Hanoi soldiers and Walter wasn’t alone in this because I think many in the media mirrored his view…”
“When I was in Paris at the Peace Talks, it was the most frustrating assignment I think I ever had. Sitting in that conference, week after week listening to the Hanoi negotiators, Le Duc Tho and his friends lecture us. Reading from the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Herald Tribune, the Atlanta Constitution, NBC, CBS, you name it. Their message was always the same. ‘Hey, read your newspapers, listen to your TV. The American people want you out of Vietnam. Now, why don’t you just go ahead and get out?’ So finally a Peace Agreement was signed that everyone knew would be violated and with no recourse or hope of enforcement on our part.”
Gen. Weyand did not hold the media to blame, but they cannot be exonerated either in my estimation.
Hanoi Jane did more than just her part by traveling to North Vietnam, not just having her photo taken at an anti-aircraft gun, but also making a series of radio broadcasts from North Vietnam, aimed at demoralizing the American Troops and supporting the Communist North Vietnamese.
Prior to her trip to North Vietnam, she was instrumental in the production of an anti-Army film, F.T.A.
This is but a portion of why so many of us despise Hanoi Jane, Walter Cronkite, John F’n Kerry and more. If you are still unable to understand our why, I don’t know if you ever will.
Posted by Lew Waters at 8:05 PM
Monday, August 19, 2013
Seen on KOIN 6 News:
It's always nice to see the media follow-up on blog posts. KOIN reported this story on May 22, 2013 VA hospital worker’s criminal past was TV movie giving no credit to anyone else.
This blog reported on it on March 5, 2013 Deadly Intentions and Sociopathic Tendencies
The Sky Valley Chronicle referenced the story with full credit to this blog on April 3, 2013 THE "DEADLY INTENTIONS" DOCTOR Where is he now?
That I can find, the local newspaper of record, the Columbian, has yet to discover it, even though it happened right under their noses.
Posted by Lew Waters at 2:26 PM