Monday, November 30, 2009

Legion hails Supreme Court decision to hold photographs

Decision affirms Legion’s fight to protect troops from publication of harmful images

WASHINGTON (November 30, 2009) -- The American Legion today praised the Supreme Court for vacating and remanding an appeals court ruling which would have ordered the release of photographs of detainees allegedly being abused by their U.S. captors. The Supreme Court ordered the 2nd U.S. Court of Appeals to take another look at the case due to a recent change in federal law, advocated by The American Legion, which allows the government to withhold the release of the photographs.

“This is a victory for our troops,” said National Commander Clarence E. Hill. “Too often images are used to inflame tensions in the Middle East and are used as propaganda by terrorists. Whether these pictures depicted torture or not, we may never know. But we do know that the president, some members of Congress and many military leaders believed it would put our troops at greater risk. This may be a defeat for the ACLU but it is a victory for America.”

In a May 8 editorial in The Wall Street Journal, then-National Commander David K. Rehbein asked, “A picture may be worth a thousand words, but is it worth the life of a single American soldier? Is any photograph worth the life of your Marine Corps daughter? Or your neighbor’s deployed husband?”

The editorial garnered mentions in Time Magazine, blogs and other media. As Rehbein appeared at a media event in the Capitol with U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn to criticize the pending release, The White House announced it had reversed its earlier decision to release the photographs which were requested by the American Civil Liberties Union.

“We are still very much at war,” Hill added. “The American Legion is calling on all Americans to remain aware of that and remember that our troops are in harm’s way and need all the support that their fellow citizens can offer. The American Legion will always oppose any efforts to undermine our troops. It’s one thing to say that you support the troops. It’s another thing to mean it.”

With a current membership of 2.5-million wartime veterans, The American Legion was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 14,000 posts across the nation.

Media contact: John Raughter (317) 630-1350, Cell (317) 441-8847 or Marty Callaghan,(202) 861-2700, Cell (317)445-3029. A high resolution photo of Nat. Cmdr. Hill is available at

I must add that I too wholeheartedly concur with the courts decision. There is absolutely no valid reason to release photos from a scandal 6 years old other to incite outrage among those our Troops are trying to win over today.

Our Troops are over there fighting, dying and doing what they can to help bring a chance for freedom to those who have never known it and to have that freedom there protect us from a repeat of September 11, 2001 here.

They have a CIC who appears to give less about them than he does his golf game and flittering around the world apologizing to everyone and bowing before foreign royalty.

They have been anxiously awaiting reinforcements for 4 months with some hope of an announcement this evening.

They are fighting for us. The least we can do is fight for them.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jon Russell Says, “The People Deserve To Know The Truth”

Jon Russell, 33 year-old city councilman from tiny Washougal, Washington is making quite a name for himself in his bid to run against incumbent Democrat, Brian Baird in the 2010 elections. His campaign manager/blogger labels him as “Courageously Wading Into Troubled Waters” for throwing his fellow Republican mayor of Washougal under the bus as news of unaccounted for monies surfaced just days before this year’s election.

Others, less enamored with Russell, label him a political mercenary, inexperienced and even opportunist. Whatever we label him, he is a legitimate candidate who claims he is the one best suited to be nominated to run against Baird.

That Russell quickly began distancing himself from the scandal and appeared to take a leadership role is without question. He issued a lengthy statement to supporters on October 30, days within the release of an audit critical of Washougal finances and mayor Stacee Sellers.

Russell seems to absolve himself of any responsibility or accountability in the scandalous events leading up to this audit and makes some very direct claims pertaining to him self in that release, ending with the sentence, The people deserve to know the truth.”

I couldn’t agree more with that statement. I’m not too sure Jon or his campaign manager/blogger will, though.

On Jon’s facebook page, an October 23, 2009 posting made the claim of,

We just received word from a source that one of Jon's Congressional competitors contacted the City to ask for his City Council attendance record. It looks like the silly season of politics has started.”

Yes, it does appear the “silly season” is well underway, since this information is readily available on Washougal’s website for any who wish to see it without making any request to the city. In fact, that is where I went to ‘fact check’ Jon’s amazing claims he made in distancing himself from the fallout of the State Audit.

To settle any attendance claims, Jon only missed 7 meetings in his entire time on the council, giving him nearly a 90% attendance rate. I’d rate that as very good.

What may not be so good for Jon is looking over the council meeting minutes and comparing what is recorded in them with some of Jon’s other claims in his letter to supporters.

While minutes might not show contentious exchanges they do show voting and opposition in their summaries of the meetings. After being accused by those from within the Russell campaign of “eagerly manipulating this to reflect negatively on Russell,” that same person recommends “stepping back and looking at the facts (not the innuendos).” Where better to find those “facts” than the council meeting minutes?

We are told that Jon began seeing troubles the State Audit found back in 2007 and was unable to do anything about it because he could not rally support from the council’s “progressive majority in lockstep with the Republican mayor."

From reviewing the minutes and how voting on motions went, excluding motions to adjourn naturally, I found that Russell voted in agreement with the “progressive majority and the Republican mayor” some 89% of the time, voted against them only 9.5% of the time an abstained only 1.5% of the time.

After the mayor’s challenger read his letter sent to the State Auditors about the cities finances at the August 17, 2009 meeting, Russell voted with the “Progressive majority and Republican mayor” 74% of the time, against 26% and no abstain votes in that few weeks.

While he might not have been able to “rally support” from the “Progressive majority,” it appears to me they received plenty of support and agreement from him.

Jon tells us that the mayor made an internal rule that Council members could not ask anything of department heads and that he “was the only one to question this internal rule.”

Nowhere in the minutes is there any record of him questioning such a rule.

Lest you think that is something that would not be recorded, council member Paul Greenlee expressed his disappointment with no scheduled workshops citing that “the mayor can speak with staff at any time but council cannot have discussions outside of a scheduled meeting” at the October 6, 2008 meeting.

Jon also said in his letter,

For two years I have been asking for a profit-loss statement for the different city events that the administration had sponsored.”

The only thing remotely close to that I found in the minutes was from the November 3, 2008 meeting when Jon “mentioned he had reviewed the budget and would like to see a detailed budget,” but also added, “it was a good job.”

Disturbing to me is Jon’s words of,

For years I was unable to rally any alarm because of the extreme loyalty of the progressive majority on the Council, which followed the Mayor in lockstep.”

The last I heard, Progressives are more aligned with the Democratic Party, which mayor Sellers challenger, Sean Guard belongs to. Russell claims to also be a Republican, just as mayor Sellers was. While we may have RINO’s and liberals in the party, I do not find those I would call “Progressives” within.

And don’t forget, Russell voted in agreement with that “Progressive majority” 89% of the time.

In the beginning of his letter to supporters, Jon lays claim to, “I take no delight in leading our council in an inquiry of our current Mayor’s troubles,” yet it was he who pushed for a rapid censuring of mayor Sellers and began calling for her resignation and impeachment if not submitted. Jon appears to have appointed himself Judge, Jury and Executioner before the State Auditors complete any investigation into the matter.

In all I see a lot of excuses given to distance himself from his own lack of performing his job on the council. As I said earlier, how would he rally the support of 434 other House members, many of whom are also “Progressives,” when he couldn’t rally any with 6 council members?

Jon seems to have burst on the scene locally just a few years ago, having moved here like many of us have. That he has political aspirations is a well-known fact around Clark County. While he rightfully attacks Congressman Baird over his lack of addressing many economic issues facing the country today, he neglects and covers-up his own lack of proper performance in the same sort of financial matters for the city of Washougal.

We were just days ago told of how he flaunts his record on tax cuts, due to a 1% decrease he sought for Washougal property taxes. But, we see no mention of when his company, Northern Concepts LLC campaigned on behalf of the Port of Vancouver for one of the largest tax increases ever proposed for our community.

Most telling from the article on his “flaunting his tax cut record” is Jon’s own words,

This gives me the ability to say, ‘Hey, I do support tax cuts’.”

Is there some reason you did not already have that “ability,” Jon?

What leaves me scratching my head trying to figure out is in reading Jon’s own “About Jon” page on his campaign website. Missing from his long list of accomplishments, jobs and positions held is any mention at all of his company, Northern Concepts LLC.

In fact, there is very little mention of this company of his anywhere, even though it was “the first to be recognized through the Camas-Washougal Chamber’s new ‘Business of the Week’ program.”

Only Jon knows why he isn’t as proud of that as he is every other listing on his web page.

Jon tells supporters in his letter, “I will fight for open and transparent government.” Jon’s campaign manager/blogger tells us he is “exactly the sort of person we should have in the office of U.S. Representative from Washington’s 3rd Congressional District.”

From what I discovered in comparing his claims versus what is recorded in the official Washougal City Council Meeting Minutes, and in Public Disclosure Commission filings, he is nowhere near what we need or deserve representing the 3rd District on the US House of Representatives.

Although I initially asked readers to support David Castillo in his quest to unseat congressman Baird before Jon entered the race, I was willing to give Jon a fair chance to show he was also suited for the position.

After seeing his subtle attack on Castillo at the September 30, 2009 Central Committee Meeting and how fast he has been to throw a fellow Republican under the bus in favor of a Democrat candidate and how he seems to be padding a resumé while not being totally forthright with voters in the 3rd District, I can in no way get behind such a person.

Placing that ‘R’ behind his name does not make him anything in my eyes nor should it automatically garner support from voters.

I desire to see Brian Baird voted out of office and replaced by a strong advocate for the 3rd Congressional District, not just another slick politician sporting a Used Car Salesman Grin on his face and enamored with himself.

I encourage you all to review the council minutes for yourself and see what is recorded in them. It’s time to Be The Party, not use the party.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

How Democrats Dishonor Thanksgiving

In 1939, Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt, struggling with the Great Depression, decreed Thanksgiving should be moved from the last Thursday of November to the second from last, to give shoppers more shopping time for Christmas and hopefully boost sales.

Back then, Christmas season did not begin in August, but the day after Thanksgiving.

The public largely ignored Roosevelt's folly and eventually, the tradtional date of celebration was reinstated in 1941 when Congress passed a law setting the date of Thanksgiving.

In 2009, Barack Obama, who has shattered all spending records for first year presidents further harming our economy, has left the date of Thanksgiving alone and even participated in the annual pardon for the turkey.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, however, released a Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet filled with DNC talking points and propaganda designed to help you parry any pesky comments brought on at your dinner table if you have to endure those ridiculous Republican relatives.

From the DCCC email sent out to all who receive them,

If your family is anything like our families, turkey and stuffing won't be the only thing being served up this year at Thanksgiving. Sooner or later that one Republican relative we all have sitting at the other end of the table is bound to bring up politics.

To make sure you're ready, we wanted to bring you our special Thanksgiving edition of @Stake.

Thanksgiving Cheat Sheet

Just in case your Republican friends or relatives at Thanksgiving try to repeat anything they've heard from Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, or by reading Sarah Palin's Facebook page, we wanted to help you respond with the truth.

Isn't it great to have Democrats helping you enjoy your day of Thanksgiving?

An Iranian-American Patriot Speaks

Hossein Khorram was born in Iran and escaped with his family during the radical Islamic takeover of the country. He spoke the following speech at the King County Washington Republican Convention Liberty Day Dinner, November 21, 2009.

I would like to start by expressing my gratitude to Chairman Sotelo, and the rest of the King County Republican Party for providing me with this opportunity to speak to you tonight about a subject very dear to my heart - the value of Liberty and Freedom.

You see, I know all about losing liberty and freedom. 30 years ago my family was forced to leave Iran or risk our lives. We had little more than pocket change. But this great country accepted us with open arms and treated us as one of her own.

With Government financial help, I attended college and obtained a degree in Mechanical Engineering. I then worked for a local consulting firm before joining the Boeing Company. Today, thanks to America, and the many Americans who’ve helped me along the way, I’m a successful local businessman and proud to call myself an American citizen.

But I’m not here to tell you about myself. I’m here to tell you about something much bigger than me. I want to talk to you tonight about all the “Hossein’s” of this world who need your help to replace Tyranny and Oppression with Freedom and Liberty.

Sadly the extremist Muslims who are a small minority get all the headlines, and you never hear about the peaceful majority who want to live their lives and bring up their families.

Today many Iranians are fighting for freedom, something many of us in the West take for granted. They’re dying in the streets of Iran, and in its prisons suffering from the most horrific tortures.

The United States has a special place in the world. The freedom and liberty we enjoy, and the constitution that protects such rights, has become an inspiration. Not just for Iranians but for all those across the globe who fight those who have taken away their freedom and rule them by fear and violence. I know because I was one of the oppressed.

With the advent of air travel and the internet we have become a more global community, and just as we affect others with the message of Freedom and Liberty, we are also affected by tyranny and hate. 9/11, a date celebrated by some in countries run by Islamic extremists, is an example of how a terrible act of such hatred and violence can affect our lives. Terrorism breeds fear. But we didn’t cower. We, as a nation, countered that violence by sending our troops, together with troops from around the world, to Iraq and Afghanistan to overthrow regimes protecting Islamic extremists and tyrannizing their people.

I admire, and I’m sure all of you here admire, the courage of our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and believe in them, but we also need to believe in the reasons they are there.

You see, Freedom and Liberty are worth fighting for and are not the sole property of Western nationals, but the right of all mankind.

The United States as the leader of the “Free World” has been the target of those who embrace tyranny and violence, not just because of who we are but because of the fundamental rights we believe in and are willing to fight for. There are many people and nations around the world who wrap themselves in the cloak of Islam, Socialism or Communism and find Freedom and Liberty for all as a direct challenge to their goals of domination.

The Islamic Republic of Iran, by supporting various terrorist organizations, has become a major threat to the security of the United States and jeopardizes our right to enjoy Freedom and Liberty. Having lived in Iran, I can assure you that if the current Tehran Regime acquires a nuclear capability people around the world, including the United States, will live in fear, and some may lose their Freedom and Liberties as my family once did. Unlike North Korea, the Mullahs won’t use nuclear weapons as a negotiating tool; they’ll use them against people they perceive to be their enemies.

At a time when Islamic extremists have only conventional weapons, our media already has refrained from publishing cartoons of the Prophet Mohammad as a direct result of extremist pressure. This is just a small way in which our right to freedom of speech has been limited. Just imagine how many ways our Freedoms and Liberties could be compromised if the Mullahs had nuclear weapons in their arsenal to back up their demands.

President Obama needs to learn from history. History has shown that his current policy, one of appeasement, will sooner or later fail as it has always failed.

In Hopes of normalizing relations with the Iranian regime we looked the other way when Iran provided material support for the 1983 U.S. Marine barracks bombing in Lebanon killing 220 Marines.

We again looked the other way in 1996 when Iranian backed suicide bombers killed 19 U.S. Servicemen at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia.

Appeasement doesn’t work!

Instead, we should be investing our time and efforts in the many “Hossein’s” who are braving imprisonment, torture and death at the hands of the Iranian regime.

This week alone 5 demonstrators were sentenced to death.

Tonight I have a message for you, a message from my heart on behalf of the people of Iran - and that message is that they desperately need the United States, the leader of the “Free World” to start acting as one.

Our President needs to stand up for the ideals we hold so dear, those of Freedom and Liberty. The people of Iran are entitled, as are all people, to those rights. They do not deserve the fate they currently suffer at the hands of their tormentors.

All of you here are key to ending the policies of appeasement currently being pursued by the US government. Please tell your elected officials that we don’t want our Liberties and Freedoms threatened by Rogue States. Urge them to do all that they can to bring pressure to bear on the current Iranian Regime to yield to its people’s cries for democracy.

In doing so you not only help those seeking freedom, but you also help retain and strengthen our own.

Thank you.

Hossein Khorram

“For those who have fought for it, freedom has a taste the protected will never know.”

Unemployment Rate Growth, June 7, 2007 to Today

Color coded by county, how unemployment has grown since the Democrats passed their minimum wage increase in 2007 and took total dictatorial control of the country in January 2009.

Elections do have consequences.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Climategate - Hide The Decline

Climategate: the final nail in the coffin of 'Anthropogenic Global Warming'?

Hiding evidence of global cooling

And, how out of touch is Obama on this scandal?
"Obama said Tuesday the world has moved "one step closer" to a "strong operational agreement" on climate change at next month's Copenhagen summit after his talks with Indian and Chinese leaders."

Sweetness & Light has posted a compilation of several of the emails here

Friday, November 20, 2009

MSNBC’s Norah O’Donnell Grills Young Palin Supporter

Not shown by MSNBC is more of the grilling with 17 year-old Jackie Seal;

O'DONNELL: What is it that you most like about her? What policy?

SEAL: She upholds the Constitution, the document that made this country so great, and that's what we need to go back to. We've gone so far from the Constitution that we're reaping the consequences of that right now.

O'DONNELL: Specifically?

SEAL: Big government. The Constitution was written so that government would be limited and so that it didn't become out-of-control and was in the hands of the people.

Note, Ms. O’Donnell is holding notes to grill Sarah Palin supporters with, the 17 year-old isn’t

Also, O’Donnell states that the 17 year-old voted in last years election. Jackie would have been 16 years old at the time and not eligible to vote.

O’Donnell tried to defend her actions, which is posted at

Ms. Seals blogged about the encounter here

Kudo’s to 17 year-old Jackie Seals. America, we are passing the baton to a very adequate generation.

GOP Rep. Kevin Brady of Texas: Secretary Geithner, Resign

Geithner To GOP: "You Gave This President An Economy Falling Off The Cliff"

Brady fires back at Geithner being on the Federal Reserve at that time.

Left unsaid, complete dictatorial control of both houses of congress by Democrats the last 2 years of Bush’s administration.

“It is a great privilege to serve this president,” Geithner said.

When does someone serve the American people?

On the plus side, Secretary Geithner finally paid some of his owed back taxes.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Dept Of Homeland Security Investigating Rev Manning

Hon. James David Manning, PhD, pastor of the ATLAH Church in Harlem and outspoken critic of Barack Hussein Obama has announced being visited and questioned by CIA agents claiming to be part of the Homeland Security about Rev Manning's criticism of Obama.

He expects imminent arrest.

Source & Video

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Obama Wants His Change Back

Giving with one hand, taking with the other. (Emphasis added)

WASHINGTON (AP) - More than 15 million taxpayers could unexpectedly owe taxes when they file their federal returns next spring because the government was too generous with their new Making Work Pay tax credit.

Taxpayers are at risk if they have more than one job, are married and both spouses work, or receive Social Security benefits while also earning taxable wages, according to a report Monday by the Treasury Department's inspector general for tax administration.

The tax credit, which is supposed to pay individuals up to $400 and couples up to $800, was President Barack Obama's signature tax break in the massive stimulus package enacted in February.

Most workers started receiving the credit through small increases in their paychecks in April. The tax credit was made available through new withholding tables issued by the Internal Revenue Service.

The withholding tables, however do not take into account taxpayers with multiple jobs or married couples in which both people work. They also don't take into account Social Security recipients with jobs that provided taxable income.
[. . .]
"While implementing a credit through reduced withholding is an effective way to provide economic stimulus evenly throughout the year, it is difficult to account for everyone's circumstances," said J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration. "More than 10 percent of all taxpayers who file individual tax returns for 2009 could owe additional taxes."

Separately, the IRS estimated that about 65,000 taxpayers could face penalties for not withholding enough taxes in 2009 because of the overly generous tax credits. However, those taxpayers will be eligible to have the penalty waived, IRS spokeswoman Michelle Eldridge said.
How could they not figure out there would be a problem with spreading it out over the year instead of just sending out a lump-sum check so people would not get more than intended and then have to pay it back (or, Heaven forbid, cut spending and reduce taxes in the first place)? Prime consideration should have been given to the fact that, in order to survive, most families need both spouses working or each working multiple jobs. Perhaps they were dazed and confused by the growing unemployment rate. This change in withholding started in April but they wait until November - just before Christmas and with only weeks left in the year - to let people know they will probably need to pay it back when they file their 2009 tax returns and possibly face penalties (but those may be waived!), all because of DC's own ineptitude?

The depth and breadth of abject stupidity displayed by our leaders in Washington is truly breathtaking. They have no grasp whatsoever of the concept of "unintended consequences," even after their mighty debacle with Cash for Clunkers. Oh, wait... they believe CARS was a fabulous program with even more fabulous results! I, for one, greatly appreciate paying taxes so they can be handed over to someone else to buy a new car. I am financially unable to do this and, therefore, excluded from participating in a program I was nonetheless forced to help fund.

As to the acts of stupidity that created this "overly generous" tax credit problem, Congress is proving how that stimulus just keeps stimulating us, and they are definitely living up to the promise of Making Work Pay.... again and again and again.... Unless, of course, you are part of the +17% that happen to be unemployed or underemployed (more government smoke and mirrors to make themselves look better rather than reporting actual data). They can FUBAR a tax credit program that hurts the taxpayers it was intended to help, so naturally they can manage our healthcare, right?

Sunday, November 15, 2009

America Loses Another Medal Of Honor Hero

Col. Lewis Lee Millett, a Medal of Honor recipient, has transferred to Post Everlasting. He resided for many years in the mountain community of Idyllwild in the San Gorgonio Pass area of Riverside County, CA. I am forwarding for your information the story of his passing in the Riverside Press-Enterprise.

Medal of Honor recipient Lewis Millett dies at age 88

A veteran of WWII, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War, Col. Millett, 88, was one of a kind, and a force unto himself, full of life to its end, with his U.S. Army beret, dashing handle-bar mustache, and jaunty demeanor. He was extremely well-known among veterans because of his presence at so many events and ceremonies pertaining to veterans and their families, even when wheel-chair bound. He was a Life Member of The American Legion.

Col. Millett was awarded the Medal of Honor for valor in the Korean War, to which he was called to service as a member of the National Guard. He noted his membership in the National Guard as the keynote speaker in ceremonies at the National Guard Armory in Banning when he and the San Gorgonio Pass community welcomed home a new generation of California National Guard soldiers who had been called to combat duty in the war against terrorism in Iraq.

Col. Millett donated many hours of service at Riverside National Cemetery, where he is one of the Medal of Honor recipients honored at the United States National Medal of Honor Memorial. Nearby at RNC is the U.S. National P.O.W./M.I.A. Memorial, the centerpiece of which is a dramatic sculpture of a bound prisoner of war, kneeling and looking heavenward in an attitude of prayer. It was sculpted by Col. Millett's son, Vietnam War veteran and artist, Lewis Lee Millett, Jr., who waived the entire artist's commission so that the whole memorial, paid for by donations not tax funds, could be completed. Col. Millett joined his Vietnam veteran son at the dedication of the P.O.W./M.I.A. Memorial in his full U.S. Army Uniform.

America has lost one of its bravest, most patriotic, and most colorful, native sons and military heroes, Col. Lewis Lee Millett. May his God and country embrace him as he embraced, and served, each of them.

Please see Medal of Honor recipient Lewis Millett dies at age 88 for more details.

Submitted by
Rees Lloyd
Past Commander and Scribe, District 21 (Riverside County)
The American Legion Dept. of California

Until we all meet again in Flanders Field, Colonel. Rest in Peace, Sir, Well Done.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

NOW Obama Considers The Costs?

After trillions of dollars in debt, billions thrown about on cash for clunkers, first time home buyer credit, bail outs of wall street, banks and corporations, now Obama is concerned about the cost of protecting America and our Troops fighting terrorists?

High Costs Weigh on Troop Debate for Afghan War

"While President Obama’s decision about sending more troops to Afghanistan is primarily a military one, it also has substantial budget implications that are adding pressure to limit the commitment, senior administration officials say.

The latest internal government estimates place the cost of adding 40,000 American troops and sharply expanding the Afghan security forces, as favored by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the top American and allied commander in Afghanistan, at $40 billion to $54 billion a year, the officials said."

How much did September 11, 2001 cost?

How much did the lives of 13 unarmed people, 12 of them soldiers, at Ft. Hood cost?

How much is Obamacare projected to cost?

How much does it cost to flitter around all over the globe apologizing for America?

How much is cap & Trade expected to cost?

"The administration has projected that spending on Iraq would drop by $25.8 billion in fiscal 2010, to $60.8 billion, as most of the troops withdraw.

It also expected spending on the Afghanistan war to increase by $18.5 billion in fiscal 2010, to $65.4 billion, for a net savings on the two wars of $7.3 billion, if no more troops were added."

Where was all this "concern" as the administration plunged us trillions deeper into debt?

Obama Bows To Emperor of Japan

Apparently, Obama forgot again that American Presidents do not bow to foreign royalty. Once again, against all protocol, Obama deeply bows to Japan's Emperor Akihito.

Obama came under fire just mere months ago for his obvious bow to the King of Saudi Arabia, which White House staff denied he actually did.

Given his penchant for bowing and his apparent inability to make a decision on reinforcing our Troops in Afghanistan, maybe he should just "bow out" and let a real leader take over.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Troops Need Reinforcements, Not Another Memorial

Twenty-seven years ago, November 13, 1982, the Viet Nam Memorial was dedicated in Washington D.C. In remembrance of the day, my friend Rees Lloyd sent me the days American Minute, written by William Federer,

The Vietnam War Memorial was dedicated NOVEMBER 13, 1982, honoring 58,000 American troops who died.

U.S. forces inflicted over a million enemy fatalities, yet politicians did not allow a victory.

A former Communist North Vietnamese colonel, Bui Tin, called the American "peace movement" essential: "Every day our leadership would listen to the world news over the radio to follow the growth of the American anti-war movement. Visits to Hanoi by people like Jane Fonda and former Attorney General Ramsey Clark gave us confidence that we should hold on in the face of battlefield reverses."

On October 12, 1967, during Operation Medina, Marine Sergeant George Hutchings of Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 1st Marine Division, had a dozen men killed around him when ambushed by North Vietnamese in the Hai Lang jungle.

Months later, after numerous battles, George was shot three times, bayoneted and left for dead.

He survived and was later awarded the Purple Heart.

Of the Vietnam Memorial, George Hutchings said: "On that wall is the name of Corporal Quinton Bice, who was hit in the chest with a rocket running a patrol in my place.

A Christian, he had shared the Gospel with me, but I didn't understand it till he gave his life in my place."

Very touching and I thank both William Federer of American Minute and my friend Rees for sending it to me.

While not every one who served in that war came away with such understanding, as did George Hutchings, most us came away with a deeper appreciation of freedom and liberty and what it costs to keep. The phrase, “You have never lived until you have almost died, for those who have fought for it, life has a special flavor the protected will never know,” has a special meaning to us others cannot fathom.

The two names shown above hold special meaning to me, as they were two of the 13 from my unit who lost their lives during my time in Viet Nam.

Scott Stanton died, September 8, 1969 from wounds received 4 days earlier, September 4. Everyone felt he was going to survive as he was upbeat and in good spirits. He died in his sleep while on the medevac flight to Japan.

Robert Pilk died instantly July 19, 1970 of wounds he received from enemy fire. The helicopter he was riding in crashed with my best buddy, Ron Strickland sitting in the front seat. Ron survived, but medevaced out to Japan before I was able to see him in the hospital.

I mention them as a reminder, just like George Hutchings above, that war is very personal to those of us who serve and those names etched into granite were real people who are the heroes of every conflict.

They meant something to their Families, loved ones and us.

It is also why we take denigration and destruction of our memorials so personal.

Currently, we are in another war that the anti-war left has succeeded in turning public opinion away from almost as much as they did back during Viet Nam.

We have a leader who cannot, or will not, make any decision on reinforcements for our Troops requested by General Stanley McChrystal back in August!

Most distressing is that we also have one, who was once one of our number, repeating his treasonous acts in undermining the Troops as he did back in 1971.

John Kerry likes to stand before our memorials and make grand speeches, but he knows nothing about honor or heroes, allowing him self to be called a “war hero” after 4 months service and obtaining a chest full of medals used to further his political ambitions that he should not be entitled to wear.

In a 1985 interview he was asked, “What exactly makes a hero?” “Basically, you don’t get killed,” he replied.

As William Federer noted above, there are over 58,000 names of heroes etched in stone on the Viet Nam Veterans Memorial. Nearly three quarters of those names are from after the failed North Vietnamese Tet of 1968 Offensive.

Colonel Bui Tin, disillusioned with the communist takeover, defected and moved to Paris, France, where he gave the interview quoted from above. In addition to the above, in reply to the question “How could American have won the war,” he replied, “Cut the Ho Chi Minh trail inside Laos. If Johnson had granted [Gen. William] Westmoreland's requests to enter Laos and block the Ho Chi Minh trail, Hanoi could not have won the war.” Later in the interview, he admitted, “Then Johnson had rejected Westmoreland's request for 200,000 more troops. We realized that America had made its maximum military commitment to the war,” allowing them to just wait us out.

Sound familiar yet?

Tin continues, “We had the impression that American commanders had their hands tied by political factors. Your generals could never deploy a maximum force for greatest military effect.”

Barack Obama is repeating the mistakes of Lyndon Johnson, but unlike Viet Nam, victory in Iraq and Afghanistan does hold importance for the United States.

Barack Obama campaigned on “I will listen to the generals.” So far, he isn’t. He listens more to opportunists like Kerry it seems.

We will build more Memorials to our fallen and those that come back home, we always do. It is the least we can do for those who show the greatest love of fellow man.

Mr. Obama, keep your word. Listen to the Generals, support and back our Troops. Help us keep from having so many names on this next memorial.

Mr Obama, Our Troops Are Dying!

A Blue Star Mom's video letter to Barack Hussein Obama,

Obama, if you aren't going to support and back up our Troops, get them out of there. They don't need to be cannon fodder just to feed your inflated ego. Three months and still, no decision and all ideas rejected?

Oh, but how I miss George W. Bush.

Monday, November 09, 2009

An Open Letter To American Muslims

Once again a rift of fear has risen between our people. The horrific actions of Major Malik Nidal Hasan in the senseless murders of 13 of his fellow American soldiers in Ft. Hood Texas last Thursday, November 5, 2009, has many of my fellow Christians outraged and incensed towards all Muslims in America.

I do not completely share their view.

I am concerned, however. Concerned that this will happen again and yes, concerned of potential backlashes against you, innocent Muslims who just go about their business on a daily basis.

I am concerned when I read of groups of Muslim men arrested for plotting to attack Military Bases inside America.

I am concerned when I read of a young Muslim arrested, thinking he is going to blow up a building in Dallas, Texas.

I am concerned when I read of 16 year-old girl fearful of returning to her Muslim parents due to her exercising her god-given and constitutionally guaranteed right to embrace the religion of her choice in America.

I am concerned when I read of a well to do Muslim man beheading his wife in New York, because she filed for divorce from him and he is operating a TV station aimed at countering negative Muslim stereotypes.

I am concerned when I read of a Muslim father running down his adult daughter and killing her because she has become too “westernized.”

I am concerned when I see footage after a Muslim man serving in our Army and charged with helping those with the scars of battle embedded in their minds coldly murders 13 of their number.

Most of all, I am concerned when I read of a Muslim saying about those murders,

“When a white guy shoots up a post office, they call that going postal. But when a Muslim does it, they call it jihad,” and “Ultimately it was Brother Nidal’s doing, but the command should be held accountable. G.I.’s are like any equipment in the Army. When it breaks, those who were in charge of keeping it fit should be held responsible for it.”

The only area I see where the Army should be held accountable is the fear of reporting suspicious activities coming to light about Nidal Hasan for fear of being labeled a racist or Islamaphobe.

I am disturbed to see Hasan’s actions marginalized by comparing them to those we have termed “going Postal” over the years. Neither can be accepted nor should be excused in any way.

But, with all due respect, those “going Postal” don’t stand on a desk yelling “Allahu Akbar” as they methodically gun down unarmed soldiers in a confined area. Those who went “Postal” did not speak against the Post Office in terms of killing them as acceptable or accusing them of warring against a specific people.

But, where I disagree mostly with Victor Benjamin II, who made those statements is in comparing the two in the first place when a more applicable comparison might be looking back at American Blacks and White Supremacists, primarily the Ku Klux Klan during its heyday in the Southeastern United States.

Reports of lynchings, shootings and whippings of Black Americans for little more than looking at a White woman were not at all uncommon. The Klan enjoyed a large membership hiding behind their white robes and hoods and they also actively perverted the scriptures from our Holy Bible to justify their actions against peoples of color.

Not all Southerners were members of the Klan nor were all Klan members murderers, but can you honestly blame Blacks during that era for looking upon Whites as possible members?

If you were a Black person during those days, would you feel safe and at ease if Klan members who didn’t support the killings stood up and said, “it isn’t the Klan’s fault, we just don’t want the races mixed?”

Yet today, should I look warily upon you, I am a bigot, an Islamaphobe in spite of continual members of Islam sporadically popping up to murder people and invoking the name of your religion.

The Klan was marginalized; their numbers greatly reduced and wiped out in some areas by members who were sickened by the murders by a few. White Southerners infiltrated the Klan and at large risk, exposed them, informed on them and Blacks were granted the rights that should have been theirs all along.

Likewise, we need your help in defeating radical Jihadists. I believe you when you say they do not represent your religion, but I see they come from your midsts. They worship at your Mosques and listen to your Imams. They walk freely amongst your number and sit in your homes. It falls upon the Muslim community as a whole to expel the radicals, to expose the hate preaching and to point out those who approve of the bloodshed to the proper authorities.

Too few of you step up and expel those Imams that preach hatred between us. Not enough of you speak out and condemn these acts. We cannot do it without your help in revealing what is going on around you.

Just like it was the White’s responsibility to eliminate the threat posed by the Ku Klux Klan against Blacks, it is now your responsibility to help eliminate the threat that comes out of your Mosques and communities.

Help us mend the rift of fear before we see more senseless murders committed in the name of God. Help us understand and see the common ground we may share. It is not enough for you to issue statements of disagreement AFTER such an incident. You must help us stop them BEFORE they happen.

I neither intend nor wish you any harm. I wish only peace upon you.

I pray you wish the same for us.

Lew Waters

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Castillo Calls Baird On Anti-Israel Stance

In late September, the United Nations Human Rights Council, known for turning a blind eye to violations of Human Rights in third world dictatorships while pointing accusing fingers towards free Democracies in the west, issued yet another biased report accused both “Israel and the governing Palestinian group Hamas of committing war crimes during their conflict in December of 2008 through January 2009.”

The report, known as the Goldstone Report named after Justice Richard Goldstone, Head of the UN Fact Finding Mission received the sanction of the U.N. Security Council.

Shortly after the Goldstone Report was released, Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida’s 19th District introduced House Resolution 867, “Calling on the President and the Secretary of State to oppose unequivocally any endorsement or further consideration of the ‘Report of the United Nations Fact Finding Mission on the Gaza Conflict’.”

Showing strong bi-partisan support, the bill had 202 co-sponsors and passed by a 344 to 36 margin. Of particular concern to several House members was the report equating Israeli Soldiers, protecting and defending their homeland, to Hamas terrorists.

Our Representative from Washington State’s Third District, Democrat Brian Baird, bucking his own party members was not one of the 344, but was instrumental in gaining 35 others to join him in voting against the measure.

Unbelievably, Baird appeared on Al Jazeera TV defending his opposition to the House Measure and chastising his colleagues. (he appears about 1:40 into the video linked).

Prior to the vote on HR 867, Baird submitted a statement to the Congressional Newspaper, Roll Call titled “Israel and Gaza Deserve Better Than H.Res. 867.” He placed the same statement on his website, “Israel and Gaza Deserve Better than a Misguided Resolution.”

Of particular concern to this blogger, as a U.S. Army Veteran of Viet Nam, is Baird’s claim of, “I have seen firsthand the devastating destruction of hospitals, schools, homes, industries and infrastructure. Much of that devastation was wrought using U.S. manufactured and paid for weaponry.”

Baird, to his credit, did travel to Gaza, but AFTER the fighting ceased. Apparently, he is unaware of the tactics of the Palestinians and Hamas in securing world sympathy in their ongoing efforts to “push Israeli’s into the sea” and revealed in the documentaries Hamas Militant Palliwood and Pallywood.

David Castillo, Republican challenger running against Baird issued a statement criticizing Baird for his stance.

Castillo, who served at the Department of Homeland Security under President George W. Bush said, “Brian Baird is practicing moral equivalency as a strategy in this volatile region and what we need is moral clarity. It is unconscionable to compare Israeli soldiers defending their sovereignty as a nation and the cowardly act of terrorists indiscriminately shooting rockets into innocent civilian populations.”

The Centralia Chronicle ran an article, Baird, Castillo Spar on Israel, Hamas addressing Castillo’s concerns over Baird’s stance and subsequent appearance on Al Jazeera TV, “the ones that run the tapes of Bin Laden and Al Qaeda,” said Castillo.

While I appreciate Baird traveling to Gaza, seeing the destruction on a guided tour after the battles cease gives any real insight other than there was a battle there. Seeing what tour guides wish you to see and carefully guiding you to those they wish you to speak to can leave you thinking you got an accurate view of what happened, when you just got scammed.

Israel has been making concessions for decades and still, Palestinians deny their right to exist, still firing rockets randomly into civilian populated areas and crying when retaliation comes.

Israelis have the oldest known claim to the land, dating back to early Biblical Times and achieved state status in 1948, followed immediately by attacks from neighboring Arab countries. Initially, at the end of World War One and upon the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, Israeli’s were told they would receive all land west of the Jordan River in what is known as the Balfour Agreement.

By the time they achieved statehood in 1948, they received barely a sliver of land originally promised that they continue to defend and cultivate.

Castillo is correct in criticizing Baird for his stance. Israel has been in agreement several times and has signed on to all sorts of peace agreements between the peoples. Palestinian leadership has reneged on every single one, firing rockets into Israeli settlements and sending in suicide bombers. Israel has often showed great restraint but fights back when need be.

Castillo, a Veteran of the US Navy, member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion says, “I have defended and served this country for most of my adult life. I will not stand by quietly as an elected representative of the people subtly suggests that America is wrong for supporting a friend and ally.”

Instead of seeking out reasons to condemn Israel and going on Al Jazeera to placate leftist anti-Semites, Baird might recall the words spoken by former Israeli Golda Meir, “We will have peace with the Arabs when they love their children more than they hate us.”

There lies the solution, congressman Baird. Not in condemning America, Israel or colleagues in the House that can clearly see how wrong you are.

Baird continues to come down on the wrong side of issues important to the well being of America and our allies. He has clearly lost touch with citizens and the time has come to replace him as our Representative.

We finally have a strong challenger facing him that has served America, does come from humble roots and has a clear vision for Washington State and America. David Castillo is that challenger and is ready to be sent to Washington D.C. to give us the strong representation we deserve and need and to have a representative on the right side for America.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Obama Sort Of Expresses Regret On Ft Hood Shooting

But first, he must give shout outs and addresses White House conference attendees. Only then does he get around to mentioning the “horrific shooting” at Ft. Hood, Texas.

NBC Chicago gets it. Obama's Frightening Insensitivity Following Shooting

"instead of a somber chief executive offering reassuring words and expressions of sympathy and compassion, viewers saw a wildly disconnected and inappropriately light president making introductory remarks."

"The disconnect between what Americans at home knew had been going on -- and the initial words coming out of their president's mouth was jolting, if not disturbing."

Monday, November 02, 2009

Unsung Heroes That Won The Cold War

By Lew Waters

Once again we prepare to honor those who have served in all of our wars, paying special homage to those who did not return from our wars. Nearly all of us who served in combat zones over our history view those whose names are etched in stone on the many Veterans Memorials as the true heroes of our conflicts.

Viet Nam is labeled as “America’s Longest War” due to our involvement in that country from 1950 to the fall of Saigon in 1975. That 25 years pales when considering that after World War Two, we began engagement in a much longer war, but a more quiet war, a war where our Troops did not fire weapons at the enemy but stood at the ready nonetheless, training for a battle that never materialized.

The “Cold War” was fought with political conflict, military tension, and economic competition with the increasingly threatening build up of the most brutal weapons known to mankind that never were used.

That war lasted 46 years, 1945 to 1991 and was manned by many millions of heroes who often fought boredom in lonely outposts in the Arctic, walked along a fenced border in Europe or flew many hours circling in pre-staging areas armed with nuclear weapons awaiting the order to return any attack against our nation from the very formidable enemy we fought against, the Soviet Union and the oppressive stranglehold that ideology had on so many European countries as they attempted to spread their influence on peaceful nations.

While the world sat on the brink of nuclear annihilation and moved as close as it ever has during the early 1960’s, it never saw the feared nuclear confrontation between the two superpowers, in spite of our engagements in both the Korean and Viet Nam wars.

On November 9, 1989 the world witnessed the beginning of the end of the Soviet Empire as a wall built to divide the city of Berlin Germany came crumbling down, opened by citizens of the divided city who longed to be free and to freely visit relatives who lived on the free side of the city.

President Ronald Reagan’s famous speech where he uttered the ominous words, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall” two years earlier, saw their fulfillment. The wall dividing Berlin and the fence dividing the country opened up and freedom returned to that half of the country.

By December 1991, the world watched as the Soviet Union itself collapsed

Much credit was given to President Reagan for winning the Cold War, with some preferring to grant credit to President Jimmy Carter for starting the collapse in the late 1970’s.

Truth be known, all presidents who came along during the time of the Cold War continued policies set in motion by President Harry S. Truman shortly after World War Two. It was he who initiated the Berlin Airlift in 1948 to break the blockade of Berlin initiated by the Soviets to force allied powers out.

While we tend to give accolades to presidents and generals for victories, it is the hard work and extraordinary efforts of the common soldiers and officers who flew those planes, loaded and unloaded them and who directed aircraft safely in and out of Berlin that broke the blockade.

Likewise, as we feared invasions from communist nations close and far away or nuclear annihilation from ICBM attacks, it was the common soldiers who again manned sub-freezing temperatures across the northern hemisphere in lonely radar stations in what was called the DEW Line that kept vigil should a Soviet launch begin.

It was common men and women who sat in offices in front of monitors and screens watching 24 hours a day 7 days a week in undisclosed locations watching for any warning sign of a pending attack.

It was ordinary people who joined a peace-time Air Force and who manned bombers armed with nuclear weapons circling the edges of our nation 24 hours a day 7 days a week, leaving their posts only when a relief flight came up top take over.

It was people from all over the country, all races, all colors, descendants of all nationalities who enlisted out of high school or answered the call of the nation in the draft and who served their two years along the borders of Europe, the DMZ of South Korea, Japan, the Philippine Islands and lonely posts spread across the globe and prepared to fight off any enemy that would be foolish enough to try to conquer our nation from outside.

Some of these same people joined in the silent service of our Naval Forces, above and below the surface of the world’s oceans who, like the Air Force’s Strategic Air Command kept constant vigil far away from their homes to keep America and her inhabitants safe from oppression.

Many protected those of my generation who fought in Viet Nam and those who served elsewhere as we grew into adults and learned from their sense of duty to stand up to the oppression of communism and carry forth their vigilance.

As we approach this 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it is to those Cold War Warriors who never had to face the enemy head-on, who didn’t have the chance to earn medals of valor, who may have never collected hazardous duty pay, but stood at the ready should they have been called that I dedicate this Veterans Day to this year.

It is to their service and sacrifice that supplied the deterrent we all took for granted that I recognize this year.

Whenever we may feel their contribution to our greatness as a nation was not worth as much as ours, remember the famous photo from 1961 of the East German Soldier leaping across the wire in Berlin to the free west as the city was being divided by the communists.

To all my brothers and sisters who served throughout the Cold War, standing watch on cold and miserable nights around the world, well done. Your steadfastness and readiness is what won the Cold War. Your combat may have been boredom, but you stood watch, keeping America safe, always at the ready.

“A veteran - whether active duty, retired, national guard, or reserve - is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The 'United States of America', for an amount of 'up to and including my life.'” (Author unknown)

Thank Your Military

Thank you too all who served.