Saturday, May 31, 2008

Democrats Losing the White Female Vote?

At least this one older lady says so.

Seems no matter which way a Democrat turns today, they are either a Racist or a Sexist if they aren't behind the one othr Democrats feel they should be.

Too bad the GOP isn't running a decent candidate to take advantage of this 'melt-down.'

UPDATE: Adding insult to injury, the Obama camp is making overtures to politely give Hillary the Boot!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Bushelvik Revolution?

A cursory knowledge of World History shows how the now defunct Soviet Union was born out of the Bolshevik Revolution, plunging that country and several others ‘annexed’ by the Soviets into decades of darkness and oppression.

One wonders if history will record how the hatred of George W. Bush was used to plunge America into the same type of darkness and oppression?

Much like the Bolsheviks, today’s Democrat Party tells voters how ‘evil’ the Bush administration is and promises them the sun, wind, moon and stars, if only they will elect the Democrats. In 2006, it worked and Democrats took control of both legislative houses of government. Republicans lost their spine, if they ever had it to begin with and ran like scared little rabbits every time the Democrats said ‘boo.’

A former member of the administration has released a book he claims to have written himself, excoriating the administration, immediately jumped on by Democrats in a positive way. Ignored is just who all the publisher of the book is tied to, far leftists who desire to recreate a Socialist America in the pattern of the now defunct Soviet Union.

Standing back and looking at the claims in the newly released book taints what little credibility Scott McClellan may have ever had. From news releases, the book appears filled with Liberal talking points that have been debunked time and again.

Such hatred of a President is a first in my lifetime. Even the avowed evil of Richard M. Nixon pales in comparison to the hatred spewed towards George W. Bush. The hatred settled in as Socialist Democrats were forced to admit that Bush did in fact actually win the contested and very close 2000 election fairly. Denial set in almost immediately and ever since we have heard how Bush stole the election or he was “selected, not elected.”

The hatred appeared to subside for a short while after the horrific attacks of September 11, 2001, but didn’t stay subdued for long. Many Democrats who backed the President on going after Extremists and even advocated deposing Saddam Hussein in Iraq, decided to claim now they were “lied to” by the President, ignoring their many years of calls for the removal of the Iraqi Dictator.

The demonizing of George W. Bush had begun and spineless Republicans began fleeing from him, thinking only of their own retention of their lucrative elected office. In 2006, the years of effort came to fruition as Democrats swept back into Congressional Power. Spineless Republicans sat back and licked their wounds as they abandoned conservatism and conservative leaders.

Now Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi (D. Ca.) ran on a policy of “A New Direction” bashing Bush, the War on Terror and conservatism in general. Campaign promises of “getting Bin laden” and “doubling the Special Forces” have been long thrown out. Efforts to withhold funding of our Troops in Harm’s Way have failed, but cries of the Troops failing have prevailed, leading up to her giving credit to Iran for the success seen in the ‘surge’ under General Petraeus.

Democrat candidates for President waste no time piling on Bush for failing, setting up an “Imperial Presidency,” dividing the country and laying fault for every malady that has happened to the country at his feet.

The Republican candidate distances himself from the administration and plays ‘nice’ while the hatemongering Democrats push for more taxes and pander to voters who seem to have forgotten the freedoms and liberties America was founded on.

Democrats promise “free” medical care, higher minimum wage, government paid child-care, government bailouts if you make a bad loan, government required manufacturing goals, forced bio-fuels and much more are made, enticing voters into giving up more liberty and freedom to suck at the government teat. Traditional honors are ignored in the haste to win more votes by pandering.

Promises of securing our borders are abandoned and previously passed measures defunded as waves of Illegal Immigrants flow across our borders, some seeking a better way of life, some possibly intent on causing harm.

Through it all, Bush and Republicans shoulder the blame, not the Democrats who craftily undermine the very fiber of American society by pushing Socialist agenda after agenda through Congress.

Anti-war Democrats gloss over their real intent passing a GI Bill increasing college credits for a single enlistment, not revealing the measure has the potential to strip our Military of much needed experienced NCO’s, during a time of war and leaving the country poorly defended should another terrorist attack occur.

All of this is but the tip of the iceberg as Democrats slowly move America towards a cheap copy of the failed Soviet Union. Law abiding citizens are threatened with the loss of self-protection by efforts at gun control, while criminals are coddled as ‘victims’ of a non-Socialist Society. Gas prices soar while Democrats make measure after measure denying us the use of our own resources, leaving us even more dependent upon foreign oil sources or without adequate personal transportation, instead becoming dependent upon government supplied public transportation.

Under the guise of “Global Climate Change,” the public is brainwashed into believing doom is just around the corner if they don’t give up more freedom and liberty and of course, their paychecks in the form of increased taxes.

All the while, Democrats bray about Bush “fearmongering” about another terrorist attack, ignoring decades of attacks against the United States and other countries.

Those that serve in America’s Military swear an oath to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic…,” with all too many failing to see just who the "domestic enemy" really is.

Voters seem to ignore our constitutional freedoms and liberties and just like the Russian Peasants that allowed the Bolsheviks free reign believing they would get something for nothing, vote in those promising to give them “free” entitlements in exchange for their vote.

I still wonder how history will record this "Bushelvik Revolution" as Democrats strip away our constitution and replace it with their Socialist agenda.

UPDATE 1: For the Bushelviks and those they have misled, The President Has Kept Us Safe

"Other cities around the world became targets: Madrid, Glasgow, London and Bali; the entire nation of Denmark; and, of course, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. Here in America, however, the focus moved from concerns over counterterrorism measures and the abuse of presidential authority to the war in Iraq, the subprime mortgage crisis, the failing economy, the public meltdown of Britney Spears, and now, the presidential elections.
All this time Americans have been safe from suicide bombers, biological warfare and collapsing skyscrapers, while the rest of the world has been on red alert. And yet President Bush is regarded as the worst president in American history? Sorry, I must be missing something here

UPDATE 2: Presidency of George W. Bush -- the first 48 months (scroll down a couple comments)

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Lose Your Home For Flying The American Flag?

Desecrating the American Flag in America is a legitimate means of political protest, protected under the First Amendment, stated a Supreme Court Ruling in 1989. Veterans flying the flag, on the other hand, have been threatened with losing their homes.

In 1999, a United States Marine Veteran ran afoul of the Indian Creek Phase III-B Homeowners Association, in Jupiter, Florida. George Andres, a Patriotic former Marine waged a 4-year battle with the Homeowners Association over the association’s decision that the flagpole he erected on his front lawn did not meet restrictions on residents.

The Homeowners Association initiated foreclosure proceedings on Andres home when he refused to remove the flagpole the American Flag was flying from. The courts sided with the association.

The Florida legislature passed a retroactive law protecting the display of the American Flag “in a respectful manner, as long as it is removable,” which then Governor Jeb Bush signed in to law, but it was initiated after the association won their lien on Andres’s property. A 2003 court ruling stopped the foreclosure and sent the association and Andres to Arbitration.

Andres won the arbitration and was allowed to leave the flagpole and American Flag flying from his property. Undeterred, the association filed yet another foreclosure lawsuit to cover their legal fees, which they lost.

In July 2005, the US Legislature passed and President Bush signed in to law the “Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005.” The law states,

“A condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association may not adopt or enforce any policy, or enter into any agreement, that would restrict or prevent a member of the association from displaying the flag of the United States on residential property within the association with respect to which such member has a separate ownership interest or a right to exclusive possession or use.”

Thinking this may be the end of confrontations between Homeowners and Homeowners Associations proves false, as Clermont, Florida resident and U.S. Navy Veteran Jimmie Watkins is currently discovering. Watkins has been sent a final notice from the Sussex homeowners' association in Clermont that he must remove the flag or face legal action.

Section 4 of the “Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005” states under Limitations,
“Nothing in this Act shall be considered to permit any display or use that is inconsistent with -- (2) any reasonable restriction pertaining to the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag of the United States necessary to protect a substantial interest of the condominium association, cooperative association, or residential real estate management association.”

In other words, the act gives one the right to display the American Flag, but grants the Homeowners Association the right to determine “the time, place, or manner of displaying the flag,” effectively stripping homeowners of the very right the act grants them.

Another homeowner in Avery Park, Georgia became at odds in 2006 with a Homeowners Association. Roy Johnson, son of a Viet Nam Veteran decided to challenge his Homeowners Association over restrictions they placed upon display of the flag.

This case was settled with Johnson being allowed to keep his flagpole, but with several strict restrictions and guidelines.

Associations claim the issue isn’t the display of the flag, but displaying it on flagpoles, citing they decrease property values. They prefer flying flags from angled posts in brackets that can be taken down. However, in the case of George Andres, flying his flag in such a manner would leave the flag brushing against the bushes in his yard.

In each of these cases listed, surrounding subdivisions all have flagpoles. Other residents are not filing complaints, just members of the various Homeowners Associations, who claim it isn’t about the flag. Each H.A. chimes in with words of these Patriots “must follow the rules.”

I, for one, find it very disturbing that in 1989, the United States Supreme Court ruled it a protected right to desecrate our flag, but Veterans and Patriots that desire to fly our National Flag must face years and thousands of dollars of litigation to retain the right to honor the American Flag.

Something is terribly wrong in our country that we have allowed ourselves to be lulled into sleep while such a backwards state has festered.

What other country denies citizens the right to honor their flag yet legalizes desecration of it?

Beam me up, Scotty.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Clark County Pays Tribute to Veterans

A crowd of some 500 gathered today to pay homage and respect to Veterans and add ten names of Clark County residents who sacrificed their lives in the War on Terror at the Clark County War Memorial, located at Historic Vancouver Barracks in Vancouver, Washington.

Ceremonies kicked off at 11 AM with welcoming remarks by Colonel Daniel York followed by the posting of the colors, playing of the National Anthem, recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the Invocation, given by Chaplain, Colonel Kerry Haynes.

Members of the Evergreen High School Choir, located in Clark County, Washington, sang our National Anthem.

Representative Brain Baird, Democrat from Washington’s 3rd District, was introduced and gave a short but stirring talk on what we Americans owe our Veterans who selflessly give of themselves, especially those who pay the Ultimate Sacrifice. “Our (service members) make us proud every day. They are the finest America has to offer,” Congressman Baird said.

Vancouver’s Mayor, Royce Pollard, a retired Commander of Vancouver Barracks, gave an impassioned talk honoring Veterans, pausing several times to collect himself. Pollard reminded those in attendance, “Our military serves us so that we can be free.”

He went to say, “That’s what Americans do. We must never forget those names etched in granite are real people who sacrificed their lives,” as he contrasted suicide bombers to 19 year-old Ross McGinnis, who sacrificed his own life by throwing himself on a grenade, instead of jumping to safety from his machine gun atop his Humvee.

Spc. McGinnis will be Posthumously awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, America’s highest award for Valor for his selfless act in saving the lives of his fellow soldiers.

Brigadier General Eldon Regua gave one of the most stirring talks of the day as he recited a poem written by 7 year-old Caleb Howard, son of Sgt. Bryce D. Howard who gave his life in Afghanistan, August 28, 2007. Caleb stood alongside General Regua as the General read his Poem, My Dad, My Hero, to a quiet audience. All in attendance rewarded Caleb’s efforts with a Standing Ovation.

The 104th Division Band played a medley of the Armed Services Anthems as Veterans of each Branch was asked to stand to be honored.

The Band also very softly played “America, The Beautiful” as family members came forward to lay wreaths of the ten names being added to the Memorial, each escorted by an Honor Guard from their Branch of Service.

Mayor Pollard, Congressman Baird and General Regua laid a floral wreath honoring Clark County’s fallen Heroes from previous wars.

Major General Garry Dean, recently assigned to the Pentagon, honored us with an unscheduled visit. General Dean, whose children will be graduating local schools this year, credited his daughter with letting him know today’s Ceremonies were being held so he could attend.

Following a Rifle Volley by the Southwest Washington Veterans Honor Guard, the playing of taps by a lone member of the 104th Division band and the Vancouver Pipe Bands recitation of Amazing Grace on the Bagpipes, the Ceremony was closed with a tribute by Colonel York and Benediction by Colonel Haynes.

A large turn out was present by the Patriot Guard Riders, who circled the event, each holding an American Flag honoring fallen Heroes.

Solemnly, many of the audience moved towards the Memorial to view the names etched and the wreaths as the audience dispersed.

Leaving the area with my wife, I had the honor of stopping to briefly talk to Congressman Baird and thank him for the support he has shown our Troops and the successful completion of their mission.

Congressman Baird went on to thank me for my time in the Army and Viet Nam.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Memorial Day 2008

For this years Memorial Day, I have chosen to place my dedication to our Honored Dead elsewhere, at, an International Forum. Please stop by and read my words there by clicking either of the links above.

Please remember this Monday, May 26, to take a moment of your time at 3 PM and give thanks that we are still a free people, thanks to the blood and sacrifice of our Military Heroes.

Never to be Forgotten Strangers across the sea remember sacrifices of American soldiers.

Hungry For Money, California Democrat Proposes Porn Tax

Calderon dances with Villagairosa .......................................................... Shelley Lubben

Democrats and other leftists around the globe have never hidden they love to tax any and everything. Bottled water was proposed, coffee, alcohol, tobacco, gasoline, even babies have been subjected to proposals for tax. But a tax on Pornography?

Yes, Pornography, the scourge of the religious and sanctimonious among us, is the latest to fall under a Democrats proposal to raise needed revenue to make up budget shortfalls in California. California Assemblyman Charles Calderon, Democrat from Montebello has proposed a 25% tax be placed on the “gross revenues from the sale of pornographic magazines, photos, books, films and videotapes, and on the gross earnings of live sexually explicit entertainment and pay-per-view pornography provided to hotel guests.”

Calderon’s AB 2914 is estimated to produce an extra $665 million a year for the cash strapped state buried in entitlements. Assemblyman Calderon said,
AB 2914 would tax adult entertainment and adult entertainment venues in a manner similar to the way in which cigarettes and alcohol are already taxed in this state. This measure would tax adult entertainment in a comparable manner, with the intent to use the funds to address the various secondary effects associated with the production and consumption of adult entertainment. The secondary effects of production are especially noteworthy as California is the capital of the adult entertainment industry in the United States.”

Secondary effects” include testing and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, health care and mental health treatment as well as law enforcement efforts at combating it.

Calderon also claims the bill makes no moral judgment on the states lucrative pornography business, estimated earning some $3.5 billion a year,
it merely asks the industry to help mitigate some of its ancillary effects in the state that is its production capital.”

Fellow Democrat, Cathleen Galgiani of Livingston, has signed on as a Chief Co-sponsor of the bill.

Ex-Porn Star, Shelley Lubben, who supports the bill and campaigns on its behalf through a group known as Pink Cross says,
“[The] tax is justified because of the ill effects porn has on performers and consumers. Everything from addiction to drugs or sex itself, assault, disease, rape and prostitution can be counted as side effects of the industry.”

Opponents feel it would drive porn jobs out of the state or cause a drastic drop in revenues from reduced sales. Some have even brought up the possibility of the measure being unconstitutional, with legal opinions on the measure’s content currently mixed.

State Republicans have indicated they would oppose the measure because it is a tax increase, leaving the measure short of the 2/3 majority needed to pass the measure and impose the tax.

After a hearing earlier in the month the bill has been placed in the “suspense file,” leaving it able to be retrieved at a later date, or dead for this legislative session.

This writer has always maintained that Democrats would tax your ass if given the chance. California Democrat Charles Calderon proves they indeed would.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Oregon's Own "Impeach Team"

Combining the style of a Ghostbusters commercial with the look and sound of a Three Stooges comedy short, three long shot first time leftist congressional candidates have pooled resources to become “the Impeach Team,” to urge impeaching the president.

Looking more like warmed over hippies who haven’t had a cause since they engaged in wholesale bashing of American Troops and badmouthing their country during Viet Nam, the three candidates, Mark Welyczko, Joe Walsh and Nancy Moran, have set up a mutual website asking their districts to “put them in the impeachment column to support H.Res 799 to impeach Dick Cheney, and to support Wexler's call for impeachment hearings.”

Labeling their little bevy the Impeach Team, showing their complete ignorance in regards history, our constitution and common sense, the three claim, “Cheney is instigating Bush’s ‘abuse of signing statement’s,’ Bush has literally declared himself above any law and the retirement of Admiral Fallon shows invading Iran to be ‘imminent.’

None of the three has an ounce of political experience between them.

Mark Welyczko, 53, seems to feel suited to “counter the Administration’s assault on our constitution” due to extensive background in tractor-trailer driving and other blue collar work. Notable in his platform, “we need to stop funding the occupation and start funding the return of our Troops to their families.”

Mr. Welyczko claims no Military or other government experience, but does claim studying Criminal Justice ……… in High School.

Joe Walsh, 66, claims 9 years experience in the U.S. Navy, filed as an objector to the Vietnam War in 1970, and released with an Honorable Discharge in 1971. He boasts of extensive experience in “activism” since “the appointed President took power by the decision of the Supreme Court.”

Other notable experience for Mr. Walsh, “protesting in front of Rep. [Earl] Blumenauer’s office for over six months, expect to continue until he calls for the investigation and indictment of both Dick Cheney and GW Bush or they leave office in Jan 09.”

Nancy Moran, 67, claims Social Work, Conservatorship and Disability from a severe car accident. Additionally, she claims “fascination with Politics.” Admitting a dislike for former Democrat President Lyndon B. Johnson and elation when he announced he would not run for a second term, she adds, “I wish Bush would do that--I know his term is almost up, or is it?”

In a display of impeccable insight, she tells us, “All these years I've been talking to anyone and everyone about what I could see happening but though people seem interested they have seemed to become more and more disinterested as the years have gone by, culminating in what we have now; the two biggest criminals ever to walk the earth in the top two political positions on earth sending our young people off to divert us by being hideously maimed and murdered while they steal the last drop of oil in Iraq,” after telling us she could foresee Bush canceling the election to keep himself in office …… after invading Iran.

Maybe there is a reason she sounds slightly pixilated in their commercial.

Does it not occur to these leftists that they are not in office and if they did win, by some miracle, they wouldn’t be in office until the current administration was gone? Do they even realize what impeachment is? Or, is this one more case of “get Bush” because they “got Clinton?”

Do they even realize the House passing Articles of Impeachment doesn’t remove one from office? As in the case of President Clinton, the Senate must conduct a trial on those articles with a two-thirds majority of those present voting for conviction to eject the sitting President from Office.

Throughout our history, the House has impeached only two Presidents and neither was convicted in the Senate, both finishing their terms in office.

In many cases, impeachment calls and proceedings have blended the lines between “political animosity” and actual impeachable crimes, which this all the appearance of being. What leftists like these three, Oregon having no shortage of them, continue to deny, is that George W. Bush really did win the 2000 election in Florida, legally and legitimately and would have without the Supreme Court stepping in to keep the Florida Supreme Court from changing election rules in midstream to benefit Democrat Al Gore.

None of that matters now anyways since the administration has just month’s left in office and facing a hostile House and Senate, meet opposition on just about everything.

It will come as no surprise that not one of these three will win in November. However, for a mere $100.00 donation to keep their comedic radio ad going, you too can receive a $2.50 baseball cap bearing the patch “IMPEACH BOTH,” undoubtedly to be worn by these three and others during the January 20, 2009 inauguration of the next President, where they may be seen waving their signs of “Hurry, Impeach Before They Leave The Stage.”

Sunday, May 18, 2008

May 18, 1980

A date most of the country doesn’t remember, but local people living around Mount Saint Helens on that date recall vividly when nature showed her dark side as the long dormant Cascade Volcano erupted in the early morning hours, spewing untold tons of pollutants into the air.

Twenty Eight years have passed since we witnessed the savage fury of nature as the mountain lost 1,300 feet of her top in mere minutes. Ash and steam poured out the crater almost all day, triggering lightening from the rising cloud. Likened to the explosion of an Atom Bomb, the eruption was heard over 200 miles away in Canada, but strangely, was unheard in the Metropolitan areas of Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon, both within a 50 mile radius that the eruption was not heard.

President Jimmy Carter visited the devastated area and said it looked more desolate than a moonscape. The US Geological Survey released a pamphlet calling the eruption the most deadly and economically destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the United States.

Rescue efforts by National Guard and Civilian workers were difficult, as visibility near the mountain remained nearly non-existent throughout the day. Between 120 and 150 people were rescued due to the extraordinary efforts of rescuers over the next two days. Sadly, 57 people lost their lives, including one couple that died while watching the eruption from 25 miles away.

It has been estimated that over 7,000 big game animals, about 12 million salmon fingerlings in hatcheries, all birds and most small mammals were killed in the blast.

200 homes, 47 bridges, 15 miles of railways and 185 miles of highway were destroyed. The mountain itself lost a cubic mile of material from her summit.

The eruption was caused by a 5.1 magnitude earthquake that started a massive landslide on the North Slope that grew into the largest landslide ever recorded.

Residents near the mountain that were evacuated were allowed to return on Saturday, may 17, to retrieve belongings from their homes. Another trip in to the “Red Zone,” an area established by then Governor Dixie Lee Ray as “prohibited access,” was scheduled on the morning of May 18 for around 10 A.M.

The massive scar that fanned out from the crater has been slowly repairing itself over this past 28 years. Looking at the mountain from the south side, you couldn’t tell an eruption has occurred. Plant life began growing almost immediately as animal life slowly migrated back into the area.

In 1982, 110,000 acres were turned into the National Volcanic Monument, where visitors from all over the world have come to see the devastated area and displays set up along the drive to the nearest point accessible, the Johnson Ridge Observatory, about 5 miles from the mountain.

Wisely, the environment within the Monument area has been left to respond naturally to the savage eruption as Geologists and Scientists study the natural recovery of the devastated area. Unbelievably, outside the Monument area, where logging companies own and maintain the land, human efforts at recovery are lagging behind those occurring naturally.

In the fall of 2004 the mountain began a series of smaller “dome building eruptions” that astonished environmental scientists as they discovered that the smaller eruptions were producing more pollutants released into the atmosphere than all of Washington State’s industries, combined! The mountain even was out polluting a Coal Fired Power Plant in Centralia, Washington, previously thought to be the states top polluter.

Dome building eruptions are very minor in comparison to the disastrous May 18, 1980 eruption. And that eruption, when compared to other historical eruptions, is considered relatively minor as well. Still, it is claimed that Carbon Dioxide, although not an air pollutant, is responsible for Global Warming and that man produces massive amounts of Carbon Dioxide compared to Volcanoes. Ignored today is just how much the Earth’s plant life is dependent upon Carbon Dioxide to grow, produce food and oxygen for mammals.

As the candidates all line up to push some sort of restrictive and punitive measure on us, as the spew their fear mongering, hysterical warnings of doom and gloom if we don’t make radical changes to our lifestyles and agree to pay more outrageous taxes, reflect on the Chipmunk above, 5 miles from the crater of the most deadly and economically destructive volcanic eruption in the history of the United States.

While we have reduced our release of pollutants and will continue to do so, maybe our Politicians need to learn from the lowly little Chipmunk and chill out, relax and smell the flowers. There is no need to panic when the earth itself is continually polluting and man can do nothing to stop it.

As the 28th anniversary of the devastating eruption of Mt. St. Helens draws to a close, we should realize that we have to learn to live with the ever-changing nature of our planet, not think we can change nature to accommodate us.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The Ignoble End Of An Aging Warrior

Warriors have fought in man’s wars since time began. Many are wounded but live to fight another day. Eventually even warriors must pass on and the men that rode on these old warriors are saddened to see them, once proud and bold, pass into history.

Those who never served in a war don’t understand how men who rode into battle on the modern “steeds” of war come to hold affection for the machinery that took them to war and most often brought them back. Aging Veterans try desperately to restore aircraft, ships, trucks, tanks, ships and boats to pay homage to the machines of war that saw them through many battles.

One such effort began in 1996 as Veterans in Vancouver, Washington acquired PT 659, a 50 ton, 78 foot vessel originally built by Higgins Industries in New Orleans, Louisiana and commissioned August 2, 1945, towards the end of the war, with the noble goal restoring an aging warrior to create a waterfront attraction and historical display for those too young to know of the sacrifices made during World War Two to keep many nations free.

With hulls of mahogany and decks of plywood, the little boats, powered by 3 Packard 1200 HP supercharged V-12 engines, would go up against much larger vessels of our enemies, striking hard and fast. They were used throughout the theaters of WW2, but are best known for their action in the Pacific against the Japanese fleet.

Armed most often with four torpedo tubes, one 20mm stern gun and two pairs of .50-caliber Browning machine guns near their bow; they were fast and highly maneuverable vessels that would harass enemy shipping, avoiding detection. Still, several PT’s and crewmembers were lost during the war. Two crewmembers were awarded the Medal of Honor for their actions.

The heroics of the boats became well known after the war through movies, such as John Wayne’s “They Were Expendable” and later when one PT Commander was elected President of the United States, John F. Kennedy. His actions were chronicled in the movie “PT 109” starring Cliff Robertson. Television added to the mystique of the boats with the successful and highly popular series, “McHale’s Navy.”

Although PT 659 never saw combat, acquiring it for restoration elated many Veterans as so few are remaining today. The boat was in disrepair from many years in the Naval Yard at San Diego, California then in Portland, Oregon for over a decade as parts of her were stripped for the restoration of her sister ship, PT 658, which saw completion.

Costs were astronomical and donations scant. Plans were changed from a waterfront display to cutting the hull open to show visitors the cramped living conditions the three officers and 14 crewmen endured. As those plans fell through, it was decided to donate the boat to the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, but again, costs to ship the boat that distance made the plans unlikely.

At a cost of $350,000 to ship the boat by truck, the museum turned down the offer, opting instead to receive another boat, PT 305 from Galveston, Texas, much closer and cheaper to ship and a boat that actually was used in combat in the Mediterranean.

Realizing the dream of restoration of the old warrior were not to be realized and not wanting to see the once proud boat continue to sit in a weed infested field, it was decided to scrap the aging boat. Jerry Pierce, a retired carpenter and history buff said, “The fact that the poor thing was sitting here, waiting for people to save it, it’s always a shame to see one of these go. But if it wasn’t going to be restored, it’s better to salvage,” as saws began cutting up the hull of PT 659.

All is not lost of the dream, though. Enough parts to fill three 18-wheeler trucks were stripped from the old warrior to be shipped to New Orleans to assist in the $5 million restoration underway of PT 305.

Tom Czekanski, director of Collections & Exhibitions for the National WWII Museum in New Orleans said of the PT Boats contribution in the war, “This was the war where PT boats really made a difference.”

While this proud lady built to fight never saw action and died such an unceremonious death at the hands of chain saws, she will live on through her parts in PT 305, reminding visitors of the sacrifices men must pay in order to remain free.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What Choice In 2008?

With Party conventions approaching, Republicans have thrown their lot behind John McCain while Democrats are still locked in a bitter struggle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. What choice is there for the country?

One of the three mentioned is going to be our next President, like it or not. It seems like many from the Democrat Party and media have already ordained Barack Obama the nominee, demanding Hillary Clinton drop out of the race.

Encouraged by her husband, former President Clinton said, “Don’t believe all this stuff you read in the press, she can still win this thing if you vote for her big enough,” just last week.

Confident that he has already secured the nomination, Barack Obama speaks plans of debating Republican John McCain this summer.

Calls for Hillary to be the Vice Presidential choice have been vetoed by Michelle Obama and Ted Kennedy.

For her part, Hillary spent Mothers Day in West Virginia stumping for every vote she can get in hopes of another win as she enjoyed in Indiana recently.

John McCain, on the other hand, seems poised to glide into the GOP nomination with ease, seeing every other viable candidate drop by the way side.

Some choices we are left with. Obama and Clinton both advocate higher taxes, sure to further erode consumer confidence that has been plummeting since the Democrat Party swept back into power in 2006.

McCain, though, joins his Democrat counterparts in desiring to sign onto the punitive Kyoto Protocol, potentially more damaging to the U.S. economy than even the Democrat love of higher taxes.

Both of the Democrat potentials advocate some form of legalization for the onslaught of illegal immigrants who have flooded over the borders over the years. McCain, though, co-wrote the failed and flawed Kennedy/McCain bill, a “non-amnesty amnesty” bill, so to speak. He now claims he has given up on getting it reintroduced and passed, but on ‘Cinco De Mayo,’ he was quoted, “We get in this kind of a circular firing squad on immigration reform in the Congress of the United States, and the lesson I learned from it is we’ve got to have comprehensive immigration reform,” indicating his desire for a broader approach that includes a temporary guest worker program and tamper-proof ID cards.
There is little doubt whichever Democrat wins, they would nominate Supreme Court Justices to fill expected openings that will swing the court further liberal. McCain claims he would appoint qualified nominees more conservative, but it was he who initiated the so called “gang of 14” compromise in the Senate that kept the filibuster intact and denied some of President Bush’s nominees to the Federal Courts from getting hearings. He also recently mentioned his intent to talk more about the good his “gang of 14” accomplished.

Both Democrat candidates have openly stated their opposition to the battle in Iraq in the Greater War On Terror, both advocating abandoning the fight and allowing the Iraqi’s to flounder on their own. McCain says he will win the battle, but he also has advocated closing of the Prisoner Camp in Guantánamo, Cuba.

All three oppose harsh interrogation techniques that may reveal the next major terrorist attack and would bring those terrorists up from Cuba to American prisons, granting them full legal rights to council, which undoubtedly would draw the ACLU lawyers out from out of the woodwork to line up to free those same terrorists.

How would McCain prosecute the battle in Iraq given that he would leave our rear flank unguarded and open to attacks from within?

There is more, naturally, but as one can see, we really haven’t much of a choice in whom to cast our ballot for this year. Of course, leftists prepared to sell out America will readily cast votes for whoever the Democrat is, regardless of claims now being made they would switch to the GOP candidate should their candidate not get the nomination.

It is expected that the Democrats would distance themselves from President Bush, but for McCain to also distance himself is proving detrimental to his hopes as Big Business Donors that donated heavily to George W. Bush are shunning McCain in favor of the Democrats.

Donations are running low for the Republican Party as others distance themselves from President Bush and abandon Reagan Conservatism that American Conservatives voted them into power expecting to receive.

For Republicans, though, McCain is it. Writing in someone, even on principle or throwing away their vote by casting one for Texas Congressman Ron Paul may hand the election to the Democrats. Yet, if McCain wins, as many think, will the country be much better off?

If McCain wins in November and the Democrats keep control of both houses, or gain more seats, even if McCain vetoed any abandonment of Iraq bill, would it be overridden by the Senate and we once again abandon a struggling ally in their hour of need and let them fall prey to despots and terrorists that surely would make the slaughter of Southeast Asia look minor?

Would they succeed in raising taxes anyway and further destroy our faltering economy? Unemployment was at 4.5% when Democrats swept into Congressional power. In the succeeding months it has grown to 5%. More homes are in foreclosure and the Stock Market has ceased the record closings we all enjoyed over the first 6 years of the Bush administration. As a result, home values are in a decline.

As easy as it is to blame it all on Bush, we must remember that no President passes laws, the House and Senate do, both under Democrat control today. Would a Democrat Congress return the favor of McCain’s many expeditions crossing the aisle to side with them? Personally, that is doubtful.

Unspoken but no secret is the desire to move towards Socialism by the left and Democrats. Should they gain more control in Congress, conservatives will have little representation as the leftists sweep over whom we do have.

Regardless of which candidate ends up in the White House, the Presidency seems lost. Better to concentrate more on where the real power is, the House of Representatives and Senate. It is there that the focus to save our country must be placed. It is there where the power of government exists. It is there where we need to stop the leftist Democrats from wresting more power away from Americans in their ceaseless quest to turn America from free to Socialist.

Washington School Districts Short of Funds

It was recently reported that Washington State Schools allowed $13.2 million to slip away over Union Laws on Collective Bargaining. How ironic is it that today they are crying budget shortfalls?

It was just days ago that reports of Washington State Schools Lose $13.2 Million Over Union Laws became known. Today’s Columbian newspaper contains an article, School districts scramble to make good on pay raises mentioning that one Clark County School District, Evergreen, which was slated to receive a portion of the lost $13.2 million grant from the National Math and Science Initiative, is facing a $1.6 million shortfall.

While the grant from NMSI may not have been earmarked for all teachers and every school, receiving a portion of a $13.2 million grant for even some sure could have gone a long way to off setting dwindling funds for schools.

One factor in this shortfall,

“Immediately in 2001-02, Washington’s economy tanked. The state skimped on salary hikes for a few years. Then, given a flush cash reserve from 2007, legislators met teachers union demands and voted to make amends, with catch-up payments starting in 2008-09.”

Also being reported,
Rep. Deb Wallace, D-Vancouver, said legislators know fundamental change is needed. She and colleagues are waiting for recommendations from the basic education funding task force they assigned to find potential solutions by December.

“The definition for basic education is outdated,” Wallace said. “There is absolutely legislative recognition that we have underfunded special ed and basic education needs,” she said.

And yet, wasn’t it the Teachers Union demands that lost Washington State Schools the $13.2 million grant from NMSI?

Nice going, WEA!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Washington State Schools Lose $13.2 Million Over Union Laws

What with the economy in a downturn, the state budget stretched and needed money hard to come by, who in their right mind would allow a $13.2 million grant to schools to be slip through their fingers? Washington State, that’s who.

Last year Washington State won the $13.2 Million grant from Dallas, Texas based National Math & Science Initiative (NMSI). The grants intent was to assist schools with their Advanced Placement programs in math and science that would allow students to earn college credit while still in high school by providing “teacher training and coaching, tutoring for students, materials and equipment, and incentives for teachers and students.”

A snag occurred in the grant when NMSI said they would spend 22 percent of the grant on “merit pay for teachers based on their participation and performance in the program.” Washington State Laws requires all money going to teachers to go through the Collective bargaining process with the Washington Education Association, the teachers union. NMSI desired to pay teachers directly.

State Rep. Bill Fromhold, Democrat from Washington’s 49th Legislative District, who resigned his legislative post as of next year so he could help administer the grant said,

Washington’s collective bargaining laws require that teacher pay be negotiated between teachers unions and school districts.”

Unable to find middle ground, negotiations broke down and NMSI withdrew the $13.2 Million grant. Fromhold added,
it had to do with how teachers would be paid for the time they spent in training, and how they would receive incentives for how well students scored on AP exams. We worked hard to try to find middle ground, but at the end of the day we got caught in the middle of the grant requirements and the collective bargaining laws in the state of Washington that have to be followed.”

He declined to lay blame on either side for the breakdown and withdrawal.

West Seattle High School, one school slated to receive part of the grant originally, had already voted against accepting the grant “in part because of concerns about teachers receiving merit pay for student test scores,” said district spokesman David Tucker.

About 7 schools were listed to receive roughly $114,000 this year, two in Seattle, three in Spokane and two in Vancouver’s Evergreen School District.

NMSI’s CEO Tom Luce said NMSI
understands some states and school districts may have policies that do not accommodate this grant model and we respect those local preferences, this is a voluntary program.”

This blogger, who pays high property taxes that support Washington’s schools, doesn’t understand how union collective bargaining would take precedence over receiving the much needed additional $13.2 Million.

What is understood is that most assuredly property taxes will increase to satisfy union demands for higher pay for union members.

Read more at Evergreen Freedom Foundation

UPDATE: Sonya Jones has an Op Ed appearing in today's Columbian, Union’s stance hurts teachers, students.

When do we stand up and take the education of our children away from the Teachers Union?

Higher Morale or Higher Morals For The Troops?

Many a Serviceman over the years has enjoyed viewing magazines like Playboy and Penthouse. When you are far from home, fighting an enemy, sleeping and eating in dirty unsanitary conditions, facing death and dreaming of "the World" (the United States for Civilians), viewing such magazines has been known to lift spirits and remind the Troops what awaits them and what they fight for.

Add now that more women are serving in similar duty near or on the front and I'd imagine viewing magazines like Playgirl helps alleviate their stress as well.

If a newly elected Congressman from Georgia, Paul Broun has his way all that may come to a crashing halt. Broun, described by many Republicans from Georgia as the "Accidental Congressman," has introduced a bill, The Military Honor and Decency Act (H.R. 5821) that Broun claims "will right a bureaucratic and moral wrong" closing what the Georgia Baptist says is

"a loophole in current law that is allowing the sale of sexually explicit material on American military installations located both within the United States and around the world."

Pornography and pornographic materials are already banned for sale on Military Bases. A Department of Defense review commission deemed just last year that magazines such as Playboy, Penthouse and Playgirl are not pornographic, but Rep. Broun's proposal would lower the threshold required to deem material sexually explicit.

Broun, who compares himself to Texas Congressman Ron Paul, although they differ on the Iraq Battle claims,
"Allowing the sale of pornography on military bases has harmed military men and women by: escalating the number of violent, sexual crimes; feeding a base addiction; eroding the family as the primary building block of society; and denigrating the moral standing of our troops both here and abroad. Our troops should not see their honor sullied so that the moguls behind magazines like Playboy and Penthouse can profit."

Some Male Troops responded by saying this legislation, if passed, may hurt the morale of the deployed Troops. Not unexpected, some Female Troops would support the ban.

Apparently not taken into consideration is the hard-core pornography and extremely explicit sexual material that is readily available just off base at nearly every Military Base in existence, save the current combat zones. This ban would only affect the sale of the magazines on Base through the Post Exchanges and not the numerous 'Adult' Shops.

Is it really necessary to ban these magazines so coveted by deployed Troops for so many years?

Monday, May 05, 2008

John McCain For President, But Of What Country?

John McCain, “Inconformista Senador Republicano” from Arizona, co-author of the Kennedy-McCain Amnesty Act for Illegal Immigrants and continual thorn in the side of Conservative Republicans and President Bush, apparently has decided his campaign for the election must rely on Hispanics, further abandoning the conservative base that has kept him in elected office.

It was in February 2008 that señor McCain received the coveted endorsement of La Opinión over other qualified conservative candidates. La Opinión is said to be the largest Spanish language newspaper in the United States.

Cited in their endorsement of the Senador was, “Over the course of his career he has demonstrated a deep understanding of the immigration issue and a desire to provide comprehensive immigration reform.” Left out of the endorsement was the word ILLEGAL, the ones who violate our immigration laws to get here and work for less and enjoy the entitlement programs paid for by hard working American Citizens.

It was early in the campaign that señor McCain claimed ILLEGALS were doing the work no American would do and offering $50 an hour to pick lettuce in Arizona claiming Americans cannot do it. One person in the audience accepted the Senador’s challenge, eliciting the reply from señor McCain, “You can’t do it, my friends.”

Public outcry was such that the McCain-Kennedy Amnesty Bill was defeated.

While the Senador has moved slightly away from his pro-ILLEGAL immigrant stance and claims he desires to enforce our borders, he was mum when questioned on the Border Fence, proposed by San Diego Representative, Duncan Hunter, even though he voted for the fence when the bill came to the Senate.

Miguel Perez, in an Op Ed for Creators Syndicate, McCain Empowers Latinos, tells us,

Only McCain, with his admirable posture in support of tolerance for diversity and compassion for illegal immigrants, could win a significant portion of the Hispanic vote…”

He continues,
Mind you, even McCain has hardened his position on illegal immigration. He says he now recognizes that the American public wants the borders secured before we grant some kind of legalization plan to the noncriminal illegal immigrants who are already here.”

In all due candor Mr. Perez, if they are here ILLEGALLY, they are criminals. Maybe not violent criminals, but criminals in violation of standing law! The American public does not want the borders secured before granting ILLEGALS some kind of legalization. We want our laws respected and adhered to!

McCain, seemingly now more interested in pandering to Hispanics than to conservatives, who he seems to enjoy alienating, has further eroded possible conservative support by launching a new web site in Spanish.

The site launch seems coordinated with Cinco De Mayo, a celebration of an important moment in the history of Mexico's path to freedom, celebrated only regionally in Mexico, in the state of Puebla, but widely celebrated in America by Hispanics and non-Hispanics alike. Some mistakenly believe it to be Mexico’s Independence Day, but it actually commemorates a battle with the French in 1862.

Juan McCain has also scheduled to speak before La Raza, a liberal Hispanic group comprised of several smaller groups, most notably MECha, a group not only advocating open borders, but the return of the bulk of the Southwestern United States to Mexico, claiming it was “stolen,” when it fact it was legally ceded to the U.S. and paid for under the treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo in 1848.

Chanting Reconquista, members of MECha wish to ‘rebuild’ the mythical land of Aztlan.

This is whom Senador Juan McCain will be cozying up to in July, trying to get their support while writing off America conservatives who have reelected him in the past.

Let it be said here that I have no problem with Hispanics or any people of other lands. If they desire to immigrate to America, I’m all with them, so long as they do it LEGALLY, as so many others have over the history of our nation and immigration laws.

In this three stooges episode of a campaign, we are looking at three candidates, one of whom will be our next president. None of the three seem prepared to protect America, but instead are pandering to special interest groups.

Senators Obama and Clinton seem prepared to transform America into a socialist mecca. Senador Juan McCain seems prepared to have us annexed by Mexico.

God help us.

UPDATE: If we are to believe The Hill, señor McCain is Courting the Right Wing. According to the article, unnamed "Right-wing leaders" "are working on a list of demands to pin him down on choosing judges with a conservative philosophy."

Connie Mackey, vice president of Family Research Council Action Fund said, “That is the one issue where conservatives could hold their nose and get behind his candidacy.”

No mention throughout the article of his embracing ILLEGAL immigrants and weak stance on curbing and dealing with the millions of ILLEGALS in the country today.

Our alleged "leaders" may embrace McCain, but he has yet to reach down to the common conservative voter.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

The Crime Of Toy Guns

Tennessee State Representative, John Deberry, has proposed legislation aimed at curbing realistic looking toy gun sales and use by declaring the use of them “in a threatening manner” to be a “misdemeanor.”

DeBerry, a Democrat, has introduced the legislation seeking to join 21 other states that have enacted such legislation against toy guns since 1990. DeBerry’s bill, if passed, would make it a misdemeanor “to intentionally display or expose an imitation firearm in a public place in a threatening manner,” with exceptions granted for “justifiable self defense, lawful hunting, and displays such as a museum collection.”

While this writer acknowledges he isn’t a legal scholar or the most intelligent person in history, could someone explain just how one manages “justifiable self defense and lawful hunting” with a toy gun?

Federal Law currently mandates that toy guns be equipped with an orange tip, distinguishing them from real guns. Toy gun grabbers fear criminals could easily remove or paint over the tips. They fear also that real guns could be disguised with such a tip.

Deberry said,

It only takes 30 seconds for a kid to either take a marker or some paint, or shoe polish, and that orange tip is gone.”

Invoking the usual fear tactic, he added,
It’s important that a child cannot walk into one of these little convenience stores, plop down a dollar and walk out with something that can get him shot on the spot without question.”

Apparently the Representative doesn’t shop much if he feels a realistic looking toy can be purchased for a dollar!

Seriously, how many small children buy toys to walk out and brandish them at police? Aren’t our Police constantly under fire for shooting too quickly as well today?

An article from 2003 appearing in The Christian Science Monitor contains a photo of a New York City Police Officer supporting toy gun bans and holding a very obvious toy water pistol that couldn’t possibly be mistaken for a real gun.

The article then describes the saga of twin 14 year-old girls who robbed a bank holding a “toy air-pellet gun.” Anyone with even a cursory knowledge of guns knows that pellet guns and BB guns are not toys, but real weapons designed for limited use against small varmints or for training purposes. Toys they are not!

A 1987 New York Times article informs us of a proposed Los Angeles, California ordinance that defines realistic toy guns as “any device or object manufactured of plastic, wood, metal or any other material that can reasonably be perceived as an actual firearm.”

Exempted are “non-firing collectors’ copies of weapons,” such as the photo of the Civil War Revolver shown above. That particular replica looks and feels more realistic than any toy I ever had, but it was exempted while plastic toys were not, in Los Angeles.

Florida state Senator Gary Siplin, a Democrat whose felony conviction on a 2006 grand-theft charge was overturned last year, has a bill that prohibits carrying a paintball gun in a vehicle. He fears youngsters who may brandish paint guns from cars might use toy guns to commit armed robbery.

Siplin says,
Sometime these people try to go into a store and try to rob it with a toy gun, and if the police come they may shoot thinking it’s a real gun.”

And the problem with that is?

NRA spokesman Ashley Varner expresses her opposition to toy gun bans as “silly” due to the ineffectiveness of them to “deal with issues of crime.” She said,
It won’t eradicate the human element of the crime. It doesn't target getting criminals off the street.”

No Ms. Varner, it does not. But a criminal stupid enough to brandish a toy gun and go up against Police armed with real bullets and guns is very likely to be “gotten off the streets.”

We are also told of a case where a 20 year-old waved a plastic Uzi at an off duty Police Officer and was arrested for “aggravated assault,” as he should have been. Jurors acquitted the young man because they “felt the officer should have been able to tell it was only a toy.”

Is that the fault of the toy manufacturer, or did the District Attorney place an inadequate assistant up against a really slick Defense Attorney and fail to properly prosecute the case?

Would issuing the young man a monetary fine have deterred him and others more than a properly prosecuted case resulting in prison time?

Any crime involving the use of a gun, be it real or a toy, merits strong prosecution and in this writers opinion, a lengthier prison sentence. It is long past time to address the real problem, the criminal!

Friday, May 02, 2008

"Miracle Man" Sgt. Merlin German Dies

Sgt. Merlin German, who was severely wounded in Iraq by an IED and survived burns over 97% of his body, died unexpectedly April 11, after a routine surgery to place skin on his lip.

Sgt. Merlin German, 22 years old, is described by those who knew him as an inspiration. His determination at survival after such a devastating injury drew the interest of President Bush, actor Chuck Norris and other VIPs he met, most notably the doctors who treated him and other wounded heroes at Brooke Army Medical Center.

Lt. Col. Evan Renz who directs the Army Burn Center at Brooks said, "There is no way to adequately describe what Merlin did for us," referencing German's strong determination and mentoring the newly arrived wounded.

BAMC commander, Brig. Gen. James K. Gilman said, "Love is the only word strong and powerful enough to describe how we all felt about Merlin," adding, "If Merlin were here today, there is no doubt in my mind what he would say: 'Fight through, stay strong and overcome because we are warriors.'"

Sgt German has spent 17 months at BAMC as an inpatient and underwent more than 100 surgeries, only to succumb. An autopsy is planned.

America has lost a Warrior and Hero, but God has gained an Honor Guard.

Rest in Peace, Sgt German. Semper Fi.

BAMC's 'Miracle Man' didn't let injuries hurt his spirit

Sgt. Merlin German, Marine burned in Iraq, dies