Wednesday, February 27, 2013

We Will Stand With You

The latest song from Micheal & Angela Souders featuring the great kids from Tussing Elementary School. We Will Stand With You is dedicated to Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Get the FREE sheet music, and share your love with them, too.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Facebook Pulls Heterosexual Appreciation Page

Facebook is likely the premier social networking site, having grown immensely since it was first brought online years ago. Millions of people have joined and promoted several causes, many quite controversial and of questionable taste, without even a bat of the eyelids from facebook.

Some have been very objectionable such as a page labeled “Ann Romney’s Magical Mormon Cunt” depicting Mrs. Romney with vampire fangs.

Complaints on that offensive page received a reply from facebook of, “we were not able to confirm that the specific page you reported violates Facebook’s Statement of Rights and Responsibilities.

You judge if the page would be considered objectionable to you in the screenshot below.

That particular page is now gone, presumably because the election is over and whoever set it up took it down. But there are others people find objectionable like, Wolf Butchering, Cooking and Recipes seen by many as an animal abuse page.

Facebook sat idle while two men shared child porn on their pages.

There have been pages demeaning our Troops and Veterans that facebook let stand.

So why would they find a page promoting heterosexuality objectionable and pull it down?

A few months ago a page was created called Heterosexual Awareness Month that stood for heterosexuality and approached the subject with humorous cartoons and images. It did not bash homosexuals, but said there was nothing wrong with being heterosexual, since we are male and female for a reason in nature.

As we all know, agenda driven homosexual activists despise heterosexuality and want their lifestyle promoted over any other, even though they cannot reproduce amongst themselves. They cry hate and homophobia any time someone speaks up in appreciation of heterosexuality, even though those people never say anything about homosexuals.

To those types in the homosexual community, and not all homosexuals buy into it, any mention of heterosexuality is enough to send them in a frenzy.

I would have to think that is what was behind the creation of the facebook page, Stop “Heterosexual Awareness Month” that bills itself as
“dedicated to stopping LGBT HATE GROUPS on facebook like the so-called ‘Heterosexual Awareness Month’ page.”
“They are not spreading awareness... they are spreading animosity.”
While these sort of groups have no problem promoting the made up word “homophobia,” they have made up a derogatory definition of the term “heterophobia” of
“a neologism used as a snarl word to delegitimize the gay rights movement's campaign for equal treatment and an end to anti-gay bigotry.”
Standing up for the natural order of male & female is anathema to them and must be silenced. No tolerance or acceptance given at all. None, just their agenda is all that is to be promoted today in the new politically correct times we live in.

The creators of “Heterosexual Awareness Month” were equally astonished to find their page removed without warning or notice and sent out the notice,
“We did not approach the protection of marriage as many others have done in the past, but with a humorous and more satirical point of view. We had almost 6400 fans, we kept our posts as clean and fun as possible, and we were shut DOWN. How’s that for First Amendment rights? Someone remind me again about equality. Being a heterosexual and pro marriage is now considered ‘in violation of policy,’ apparently.”
They have opened a new “Heterosexual Awareness Month” page and will continue to promote our lifestyle, the natural order if you will as the struggle to stop the bashing and demeaning of heterosexuals continues.

As for facebook, I can’t say how disappointed I am that they would do this while letting obvious hateful sites remain.

It may be popular to follow the idiotic P.C. nonsense, but to actually shut down the promotion of heterosexuality while allowing homosexuality to reign throughout their site doesn’t endear me to them and might make me reassess my involvement with facebook.

At the very least, they should be ashamed of themselves.

UPDATE: It looks like facebook caved to SHAM (Stop Heterosexual Awareness Month) again. As stated in the post, these homosexual activists will not tolerate anybody not in line with their views.

Some examples taken from SHAM’s facebook page

Friday, February 22, 2013

Patty Murray, “We Have To Destroy The Middle Class In Order To Save It”

Patty Murray, Democrat Senator from Washington State, following the lead of all other Democrats, portrays herself as a “Champion of the Middle Class.” They swept to power in both houses of congress in the 2006 elections by that claim, bashing President George W. Bush and the spineless Republicans who failed to counter the claims with truth.

The middle class has never been worse off since.

Winning office in the early 1990’s as just a “Mom in tennis shoes,” the now 62 year-old has shown herself to be more of a “Mom in muddy shoes,” sparing no effort to retain her cushioned seat of authority, promoting a Progressive agenda on the backs of the middle class while catering to big labor and selected corporate special interests.

Deflecting any and blame, Murray and other Democrats ignore that unemployment among the middle class quickly doubled after they assumed control of congress and the entire government with the election of Barack Obama in 2008.

Murray first came to office in 1993 along with President B.J. Clinton, giving them full control of the government. Unemployment was sitting at 7.3% still reeling from the disastrous luxury tax Democrats drew up and convinced President George H.W. Bush to sign into law in violation of his famous “read my lips, no new taxes” pledge. The promptly made their tax a campaign issue against him and used it to oust him from office and elect B.J. Clinton.

As history shows, the luxury tax against the wealthy decimated the middle class as the wealthy either stopped buying the items with the higher taxes of bought elsewhere, putting companies that employed the middle class to manufacture luxury items out of business.

The 1994 elections saw Murray relegated to minority party status as Republicans led by Newt Gingrich won control of both houses of congress based upon their “Contract with America.” By 2000 unemployment had dropped as low as 3.8%.

In the years leading up to the 2006 elections, unemployment went up and down with the economic recession of the early 2000’s, the most devastating terrorist attack in history and going to war to fight terrorism. Yet unemployment never exceeded 6.2% and averaged 5.1% for the years 2000 through 2006.

When Murray and the Democrats assumed control of congress in January 2007, unemployment sat at 4.6% as the wailed how bad the economy was and such a number of unemployed was “unbearable.”

By the time Barack Obama was inaugurated unemployment was 7.8%, quickly exceeding 10% and only dipped slightly under 8% for a very short period leading up to the 2012 election.

As boring as this may be to read, it is to give you some back ground on just how well these so-called “champions of the middle class” have benefited the middle class in America. The relevance is in that Patty Murray graced Clark County with her presence recently stumping for the largest and most expensive project ever to hit our region, the Columbia River Crossing that will replace both spans of the Interstate Bridge linking Clark County to Portland, Oregon and that is primarily designed to force Clark County’s middle class to not only accept Portland’s financially ailing light rail that we have voted down in the past, but to pay for it as well.

In promoting the boondoggle heavily opposed by the middle class taxpayers in Clark County, Murray, taking aim at the County Commissioners the middle class turned out in droves to support and elect to oppose the CRC, labeled their recent effort in passing a resolution opposing the CRC by a 2 to 1 margin as ‘turning their backs on the region’s economic development.’

Speaking before a select group of special interest business owners in the Columbia River Economic Development Council (CREDC), Murray took aim at the selection of the middle class she boldly claims to “champion” condemning the recent actions of County Commission to end tax dollars paid to CREDC since they support the CRC and light rail when voters have clearly rejected it, most recently by proxy vote defeating the proposed sales tax increase intended to fund light rail operations & maintenance.

Apparently clueless, Murray lied with, “A light rail component is absolutely necessary to secure federal funding for this project.”

Although claimed for many years, it was revealed that the federal government has no such requirement for light rail in their mandate of some form of rapid transit being part of such projects. Less expensive buses or even a bus rapid transit would fulfill the need and still qualify for the federal funding.

Oblivious to such an ambitious project being a burden on the middle class that has seen over 4 years of double digit unemployment in Clark County, Murray calls for “local revenues and tolling” to pay for the monstrosity that would be more affordable if not for forcing light rail to be part of it.

Those so-called “local revenues” currently being discussed amount to an additional 10 cent per gallon gas tax that would return Washington State to the highest gas tax in the nation, a $20 additional fee for yearly licensing your car, the possibility of an increase in the employer tax, the fee of $25 added to bicycles that cost at least $500 and whatever else our Democrat controlled legislature can dre4am up to stick it to the middle class.

Addressing the numerous design flaws uncovered in the project, such as inadequate clearance for river commerce traffic that would put businesses upriver out of business or cause them to lay off middle class workers to cut back on their services as well as several downtown businesses being displaced and torn down to accommodate the eyesore bridge, Murray says, “any further attempt to change the current bridge design will cause years, if not decades of delay.”

In other words, we are crossing a bridge in the dark at high speed and seen in the headlights ahead that the bridge is washed out. But, we have gone too far now so just keep going over the edge, even though we know it is going to kill us.

Ignoring the concerns of the struggling middle class in both states of Oregon and Washington, Murray flippantly states “no plan is perfect” and adding, “the CRC plan has been agreed upon and studied time and time again.”

Who agreed upon it? Surely not the middle class that has been denied promised votes time and again since we first defeated the notion in 1995.

And what studies? The glossed over reports that ignored the many design flaws associated with the current design?

Moving ahead with this boondoggle promises to add about $2,000 a year to the average Clark County middle class citizen who must travel to Portland for a job, since neither Murray or her party will do much to attract jobs to our county. Oh, she claims they work hard to “create jobs” on this side of the river, but where are they? Why have we been burdened with over 4 years of double digit unemployment?

And if they are about “creating jobs,” why do they continue to block expansion of our ports to accommodate shipping coal to Asia who is going to buy and use coal no matter what we may think. Why do they continue to deny recovering our own energy sources resting beneath our own land and within our borders? Or even the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Alberta, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico where a refined product would be shipped to foreign lands?

These are all middle class jobs denied due to restrictions placed on the backs of job creators prepared to hire middle class workers.

But for Patty Murray to portray herself as a “Champion of the middle class” and then condemn the actions the middle class elected two County Commissioners to take is completely hypocritical, as is expecting the middle class to be forced to accept and pay for a project that instead of being a benefit to us, will bankrupt us.

It’s as if Murray and the Democrats stand before us saying, “we have to destroy the middle class in order to save it.”

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Of Firearms, Coffee and Legislation

Saturday February 16, 2013 saw a large crowd of over 160 people assemble at Coffee Villa in Orchards, Washington. We assembled to meet new friends, discuss pending legislation, politics or whatever came to mind. Most came armed with a gun strapped to their hip to show support for our right to “keep and bear arms” that is once again under assault as government, unwilling to give up their arms, tries to pass new laws to inhibit our right to self defense by a firearm.

I was pleased to see favorable media coverage from both KGW News in Portland as well as our own local newspaper of record, the Columbian. To be honest, coverage was much better than I expected, having seen biased coverage in the past concerning guns and favoring efforts to further restrict our right to own one.

Many may think that many armed people in a small space, standing in a long line to order and be served their coffee is a recipe for disaster. Not so, as everybody in attendance came to show those with an abnormal fear of guns that guns in the hands of private citizens is nothing to be fearful of. Everybody respected each other’s space as discussions were carried on throughout the establishment.

While several subjects were discussed, the main focus was on legislation pending concerning guns, both efforts to preserve our freedom and those to further inhibit it. Most knew of some of the legislation, but not all were aware of just how many bills have been proposed and are currently pending in our state currently as not every bill makes it into the news.

HB 1012 by Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-23) An act relating to justifiable homicide WITHDRAWN, would have repealed the Stand Your Ground law

HB 1147 by Rep. Roger Goodman (D-45) “Modifying first degree unlawful possession of a firearm provisions”

HB 1371 by Rep. David Taylor (R-15) “Adopting the Washington state firearms freedom act of 2013 and establishing penalties”

HB 1588 by Rep. Jamie Pedersen (D-43) “Requiring universal background checks for firearms transfers”

HB 1612 by Rep. Mike Hope (R-44) “Concerning information on firearm offenders”

HB 1676 by Rep. Ruth Kagi (D-32) “Encouraging safe storage of firearms”

HB 1703 by Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-27) “Promoting firearm safety through an education program funded through fees on firearms and ammunition and creating a sales tax exemption on gun locks”

HB 1729 by Rep. Judy Warnick (R-13) “Prohibiting the possession of firearms by a criminal street gang associate or member”

HB 1788 by Rep. Liz Pike (R-18) “Allowing public school districts and private schools to adopt a policy authorizing permanent employees to possess firearms on school grounds under certain conditions”

SB 5479 by Sen. Karen Keiser (D-33) “Establishing a process for voluntary temporary safekeeping of firearms with law enforcement agencies”

SB 5604 by Sen. Brian Hatfield (D-19) “Creating ‘National Rifle Association’ special license plates”

SB 5625 by Sen. Adam Kline (D-37) “Requiring universal background checks for firearms transfers”

SB 5635 by Sen. Adam Kline (D-37) “Granting courts discretion to deny restoration of firearm rights to a person who has been involuntarily committed for mental health treatment when it appears the person is likely to engage in violent or unsafe behaviors”

SB 5711 by Sen. Adam Kline (D-37) “Requiring universal background checks for firearms transfers”

SB 5737 by Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) “Banning the sale of assault weapons”

SB 5739 by Sen. Ed Murray (D-43) “Promoting public safety by expanding local authority to enact ordinances restricting firearms in parks and recreational facilities”

That is the list of current bills proposed in the latest legislative session after the tragic shooting we saw in December at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut. All but one is still on the table, some looking likely to pass.

Ironic is the one bill withdrawn, HB 1012 by Rep. Sherry Appleton (D-23) was due to threats received, according to Rep. Appleton. The irony is that if the bill had passed and some hothead actually did come after her, the very bill she proposed would have barred her from defending herself.

Not all of the bills would restrict our right to bear arms. HB 1371 for instance would actually preserve our freedom to bear arms from federal law for a firearm manufactured in Washington State.

Liz Pike’s HB 1788 is perhaps the only real “common sense” bill that would actually protect vulnerable children in schools by allowing local school districts the authority to decide for themselves if qualified teachers and other permanent staff would be permitted to carry a weapon in the school after being properly licensed and undergoing the proper training.

SB 5604 perhaps should not be included in the list since it does not directly apply to guns, but it does allow us to show honor for the National Rifle Association who, even though many of us have our problems with them, remains the largest group lobbying on our behalf to keep and bear arms.

In looking over the bills, don’t be deceived by titles. Bill authors like to make their proposed law sound reasonable and necessary and often, what the bill really stands to do is not revealed in the title. HB 1588 for example, while sounding a bit reasonable, but prevent you from inheriting your fathers or grandfathers gun without paying for another background check and waiting an even longer, unspecified time period that you currently do to obtain a Concealed Carry Permit. You would have to submit even if you hold an active CCP and already own a gun.

HB 1703 is another deceptive bill that would add another tax to gun purchases and even to each individual round of ammunition you purchase, supposedly to pay for an education program legislators have decided to push, neglecting that most gun owners already receive proper education from association or clubs they belong to.

SB 5479 supposedly authorizes local authorities to accept a firearm for safekeeping if you voluntarily surrender it. What is not made known in the title is the safekeeping is in 30 day increments and in order to retrieve the firearm, you must once again submit to another background check, paying up to $50 for the check.

HB 1676 claims to “encourage the safe storage” of a firearm, but actually mandates it along with penalties if you fail to. It also mandates signage in gun stores of gun safes and it being unlawful should a child obtain your firearm, even though it claims otherwise.

As we repeatedly have seen with seat belt and cell phone laws, first passage was said to never be intended as a reason to pull someone over and fine them, but they end up doing just that with successive legislation. Incremental steps is the order to accomplish what is desired and ultimately, the desire is to follow suit of other “enlightened” countries and ban our gun ownership, even to the point of confiscation as some legislators are proposing in Missouri and Minnesota.

In what I would label a Cloward~Piven effort, when two college professors schemed a strategy of collapsing the American economy by overwhelming the welfare system, legislators with no respect for the second amendment are trying to overwhelm the legislature with legislation in hopes of some of them passing and gently chipping away at our right to keep and bear arms.

Once a small victory is achieved, as we saw with incremental steps towards homosexual marriage being legalized, you can expect further legislation in the future in what will undoubtedly be labeled “common sense compromises” to further “protect” us from ourselves by removing our right to own and use a firearm one small step at a time.

This is why gatherings as was held yesterday at Coffee Vila are more important than some may realize. It brings people together, not just to show off a firearm (none were unholstered) but to discuss and make each other aware of efforts to infringe upon our constitutional right.

Once they succeed, we will not only be at the mercy of armed criminals who ignore the law, as they do in other countries where gun ownership is very limited or banned, but we also become subjects to the whims of government, likely a tyrannical government feeling free to impose their will upon us, leaving us no option but to submit.

There are those who will come in saying I am overreacting, a conspiracies, off my rocker or what have you. But, history clearly shows what happens to free people when their government decided to disarm them and they readily complied.

We must fight back by educating ourselves on what each bill intends to do, not just what authors claim.

We must contact each of our elected officials and let them know we do not support these bills and do not wish them to.

We must preserve our freedoms and liberties if we wish to pass them on to our children.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Changing Minds on the CRC

The Columbia River Crossing Project, a bloated effort to replace the aging spans of the Interstate Bridge connecting Southwest Washington and Portland, Oregon and force Clark County Washington to accept extending Portland financially ailing light rail was considered a “done deal,” just accept it, it’s happening, regardless of how the taxpayers that will be forced to foot the bill for decades thinks of it.

For a long time we have heard from the likes of Mayor Tim Leavitt, former Mayor Royce Pollard, Representative Jim Moeller, County Commissioner Steve Stuart, Portland’s former Mayor Sam Adams, current Portland Mayor Charlie Hale end many more ego-inflated elected officials that our resistance to “modernization” was futile, “it’s coming, deal with it.”

While most of us agree replacing the bridges is a good idea, we in Clark County have long resisted the notion of we must accept Portland’s deep in debt light rail. And the tide just may be turning as more and more, we see former supporters switching to opponents as efforts to peel back the shroud of secrecy that has long enveloped the CRC is back and light is shined on some very questionable procedures.

In the forefront of that effort has been Acuity Group PLLC, an accounting firm located in our community of Vancouver, owned and operated by forensic accountant, Tiffany Lemay Couch and her husband Rusty who have been pouring over a document dump received after a Freedom of Information Act request was fulfilled.

This blog and others have communicated with Acuity Group in the past and posted reports issued on some highly suspicious accounting procedures, payments and budgeting items that just don’t seem to add up. CRC supporters and the Columbian, our local newspaper of record have tried their best to demean the efforts. Even WSDOT rebuked one such report with their own people from within, laughingly calling it an “independent review.”

Undaunted by such obvious efforts to justify the bloated project, Ms. Couch has continued her work digging through the document dump, uncovering more and more questionable items and budgeting of projects well outside of the projected CRC benefit area inside Oregon that Washington taxpayers will end up paying for.

She has spoken before groups, city council, the county commission and caucuses at our State capitol and yesterday, February 14, 2013 appeared before the Washington State Senate Transportation Committee presenting her findings and that was very well received by many.

You can view that testimony below.

The entire hearing may be seen HERE

I urge you all to view Ms. Couch’s testimony and listen to what she reports. Contrary to what her detractors, those who wish to plunge our area into decades of high debt to force us into accepting Portland’s folly a short distance into our community, she did not undertake the task to arrive at a preconceived conclusion, she values her professionalism and reputation far too much for that.

No, she approached CRC as she does every other audit she does, receiving high praise for her expertise, even from those who have demeaned her work auditing the CRC.

We have to ask ourselves, why the effort to hide much of what is happening with the CRC. A public project as expensive as this one is projected to be, the most expensive project our region has ever undertaken, should be open and transparent, seeking public support and not steamrolling over citizens questioning.

But in spite of those who feel they can ram this project down our throats, people’s eyes are opening. Legislators are asking more questions and some are questioning the worth of this project.

Many thanks go to the professionalism and expertise of Tiffany LeMay Couch and her husband, Rusty. Combined with the efforts seen by Senator Don Benton, Senator Curtis King, County Commissioners David Madore and Tom Mielke, City Council Members Jeanne Stewart and Bill Turlay and numerous citizen activists, the shroud of secrecy is falling down and people are changing their minds.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Obama’s SOTU or SNAFU?

Once again we find ourselves preparing to have our ears tickled by Barack Obama as he speaks before both houses of congress and the nation to give the annual ‘State of the Union’ speech where he undoubtedly will speak of how well the country is doing under his tutelage and how well off citizens are, whether we actually are or not.

He is expected to cover “his plans to create jobs, tackle gun violence, and pass comprehensive immigration reform” as Nancy Pelosi, unarguably one of the worst Speakers of the House in our history, famously known for stating “we have to pass the bill so you can find out what is in it” regarding Obama’s signature ‘Obamacare’ legislation, a direct contradiction of Obama’s campaign promise of a transparent government.

She also makes mention in this same email seeking support for Obama of this “ambitious agenda.”

We can look back over the past 4 years and see easily that he has been on an “ambitious agenda” alright, but to where?


When Obama was inaugurated January 20, 2009, amid cries of how bad off the country was and blaming former President George W. Bush, unemployment was 7.8% having risen from 4.6% when his party, the Democrats assumed control of both houses of congress and he began serving his first and only term as a Senator from Illinois.

Shortly after being installed as president and pushing through a $787 Billion stimulus package that grew into an $831 Billion stimulus, all to prevent unemployment from exceeding 8%. Within 2 months, unemployment exceeded 10% and remained in the 8% to 9% range the entirety of his first term, dropping back to 7.8% as the 2012 election neared.

It is currently sliding back upward, sitting at 7.9% today.

He funneled tons of tax dollars into several different “Green” companies to stimulate jobs, nearly all of which have gone bankrupt now.

Where there is a strong promise of job growth, our energy companies and the Keystone XL Pipeline project to pump Canada’s Oil Sands to our refineries and ports to foreign sales, Obama continues to block their growth, keeping us more dependent on foreign energy sources.

In addition, unemployment benefits have been extended by his actions to an unprecedented 99 weeks, discouraging many from accepting some jobs that may pay a little less than the government benefit.

Disability claims and food stamp use has skyrocketed to numbers not seen since the inception of those programs as unions, both public and private demand no decrease in their benefits or wages to match non-union workers sacrifices.

Perhaps fitting, two categories of voters who turned out in droves to first elect then reelect Obama, we read that Unemployment for both women and African-Americans is higher today than it was when Obama first took office in 2009.

Gun Violence

Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff and now Mayor of Chicago, Illinois, Rahm Emanuel once famously said, “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Democrats and Obama have faithfully lived by that and we see it once again as they latch hold of the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting to come up with ways to further inhibit American Citizens of their Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

With Obama’s full approval several measures are being proposed ostensibly to combat gun violence. From more universal background checks, forgetting HIPAA Laws prohibit some medical and mental health issues from being shared to calls for limiting magazine capacity and the much feared “assault weapon” ban, even trying to paint gun owners as “racist” and misleading people into believing semi-automatic weapons are the same as what the military uses in battle, states and federal efforts are underway to inhibit our ability to protect our homes from intruders while claiming no such effort is in play.

Ignored in this effort by anti-gun activists is that gun violence if prevalent where stringent efforts have law-abiding citizens prohibited from carrying or even owning a weapon while criminals and gangs ignore the law and shoot victims anyway. A prime example is Emanuel’s own city of Chicago that has some of the most stringent gun control measures in the country and also one of the highest gun violence rates in the country, now exceeding the lawless days of Al Capone during Prohibition.

Ignoring reality, Obama and the Democrats intend to give the entire country similar gun control measures, wrongfully believing criminals will abide by a new law when they ignore the old laws.

Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Call it whatever you want, it amounts to some sort of amnesty for those have illegally entered the country, crossing our borders in violation of our laws, seeking work below the prevailing wage and even though not supposed to, receiving public benefits when the country is struggling economically and our national debt exceeds $16.5 Trillion, far higher than many nations gross national product and the highest external debt of any country on the planet.

Even though Hispanics only amount to about 57% of the illegal alien population, they seem to be the most vocal demanding a degree of amnesty for illegal aliens of Hispanic origin.

This approach was tried in 1986 and proven a complete failure curbing illegal immigration into the country. What Obama now wishes to do is guaranteed to increase the influx of now legal immigrants rewarded for violating our laws and since they were not confirmed to be healthy or properly vaccinated, as was required in the early 1900’s, bringing disease back to the country we once had conquered.

With some of the lowest Labor Force Participation Rates in our history, what will we do with millions more people brought over by those who are rewarded for violating our laws while those who immigrate to our country the legal way stand in long lines, waiting for years to become American Citizens and contribute to our economy, not take advantage of it.

As in past speeches, I expect Obama to once again be longwinded focusing on himself and taking all credit for whatever he thinks is good. While I am sure other subjects will be mentioned since he was reelected even though the country is much worse off today than it was before him, these three are expected to be the main points.

Television will be tied up for hours with nothing else on during his speech and then we will see endless post speech assessments with the alphabet lamestream media networks fawning over how wonderful he is and pondering how the country ever survived before him.

Tomorrow’s news will be filled with praise for a wonderful speech and transcripts will be available for me to read since I won’t be able to stomach watching his narcissism on full display.

This will be Obama’s fifth boastful State of the Union speech of how great he is and how bad everything and everybody is that dares disagree with him.

Obama came into office on visions of “fundamentally changing America.”

His “aggressive agenda” is doing just that, leading us into the largest SNAFU the country may ever experience.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

I Don't Believe the Obama Shotgun Photo

I know, you'd be more shocked if I did believe something released on behalf of Barack Obama, but bear with me and see if this newly released photo of Obama supposedly skeet shooting on Aug. 4, 2012 rings true with you.

Just about every media outlet is hailing this photo released by the White House to silence critics over Obama's claim a week ago that he goes skeet shooting all of the time at Camp David. No body believes it, of course and for one week there were no photos shown to support his claim.
Until now, February 1, 2013 with the date given it was taken being on Aug 4, 2012.

Only one little problem that lends support to the many allegations the photo is photoshopped.

Barack Obama was born on Aug. 4, in 1961. In 2012 he turned 51 and according all media outlets then, spent his birthday golfing with plans to helicopter to camp David for a "quiet evening."

Last I heard, skeet shooting with a 12 gauge shotgun isn't very quiet.

Maybe his protectors should have looked over the many news reports of how he spent his birthday before choosing that date to silence critics?

Friday, February 01, 2013

Elected Officials Raise More Questions On CRC

From 3rd Congressional District Representative Jaime Herrera Beutler, to 17th Legislative District Senator Don Benton and to 14th Legislative District Senator Curtis King, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, critical questions are beginning to be asked and recommendations made to clear up the many discrepancies surrounding the Columbia River Crossing project.

Senator Benton has long been a critic, having seen early on in the project that it could not live up to promises or expectations and would be a massive waste of tax dollars as planned. His calls and cries for reining the project and the steady flow of tax dollars in, over $160 Million to date, have been largely ignored and cast aside as what now appears to be the biggest swindle ever to hit Southwest Washington forged ahead amidst growing public opposition.

After many years of inaction by elected officials and the increasing public outcry for accountability and transparency, the public growing tired of the ‘trust us, we know what we’re doing’ attitude of the CRC and C-TRAN, other legislative voices are joining Senator Benton’s and even Congresswoman Herrera Beutler, who initially seemed to be waiting for someone to give her a position on it now seems to be increasing her own opposition, enlisting the aid of 5th Congressional District Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, 4th Congressional District Representative Doc Hastings and Idaho 1st Congressional District Representative Raul Labrador in calling on the Coast Guard for a “full study of the economic impacts of Columbia River Crossing” before permitting the bridge “mitigated height,” having earlier denied the CRC a permit due to the bridge design presented being grossly inadequate for river traffic.

While her continued opposition is uncertain, I welcome this effort to achieve more transparency with the CRC.

Not uncertain is the continuing efforts of Senator Don Benton for not only transparency, but accountability as he seeks answers to a growing list of problems and discrepancies. Acting on behalf of Sharon Nasset of Third Bridge Now, Senator Benton requested the Federal Transit Administration Administrator Peter M. Rogoff to verify the locations of the light rail stations in regards to employment within a 1/2 mile radius at Delta Park in Portland where currently there is a Golf Course, a Race Track and a protected wildlife wetlands, outlined in an analysis of CRC claims prepared by Ms. Nasset’s group.

A July 24, 2012 response from Mr. Rogoff basically diverted the responsibility for verification back onto “local decisions makers,” or if you will, WSDOT, ODOT, Clark County Public Transit Benefit Authority, Tri-County Metropolitan Transportation District, Southwest Washington Regional Transportation Council and Portland Metro.

Also stated was,
“Local project sponsors have provided sufficient documentation to FTA that demonstrates that the LRT stations proposed as part of the CRC project are reasonably located within a ½-mile radius of employment areas identified within your incoming letter.”
The documentation might be sufficient for the FTA, but they apparently don’t bother to ever look or verify claims made by local project sponsors. If they had, how could they miss the light rail stations are located adjacent to a Race Track, Golf Course and protected wildlife wetlands?

The request for verification was submitted to C-TRAN director Jeff Hamm early this month, January 2013. Not receiving a response, his office was contacted by Ms. Nasset only to be told Mr. Hamm never received such a request. After a prompting from Congresswoman Herrera Beutler’s office to please respond, late this afternoon Mr. Hamm finally replied.

As I viewed the reply, I notice it really isn’t a reply for verification on the location of the light rail stations planned for Delta Park, projecting business and job growth in the half-mile radius, but a clarification of “incorrectly cited information from the CRC Draft Components Step A Screening Report, March 22, 2006 regarding travel from five geographic subareas in Portland” in regards to the use of the term “transit riders” in Senator Benton’s letter that “are in fact person trips.”

Also, Mr. Hamm found it necessary to remind Ms. Nasset,
“Note that in FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff’s July 24, 2012 response letter to Senator Benton he states: ‘Local project sponsors have provided sufficient documentation to FTA that demonstrates that the LRT stations proposed as part of the CRC project are reasonably located within a ½ mile radius of the employment areas identified within your incoming letter’.”
In reality, nothing that we don’t see every time efforts are made to shine light on this swindle and get some transparency on claims made of what benefits are in store that just doesn’t add up. Then too, it leaves us wondering why it took Mr. Hamm as long as it did to respond with his diversion?

A very welcome voice from the Washington State Senate was added today as I received a copy of a letter sent to newly installed Governor Jay Inslee from 14th Legislative District Senator Curtis King, who is also co-chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, calling for a change in direction of the project.

Sen. King calls upon Governor Inslee to advocate a Bridge Project that should include sufficient bridge clearance, better traffic flow, eliminates costly light rail, has fiscally prudent transit options and enough capacity for vehicle traffic by designing a one-tier bridge with ten traffic lanes in his Five-Point plan.

This alone was enough to send 49th Legislative District Representative Jim Moeller, a staunch supporter of the current swindle off on one of his usual tangents seen whenever something he supports is questioned.

Under comments at the Columbian’s brief coverage of the letter Moeller rants,
“Sen. King is essentially asking for re-design ‘do over’. A new bridge design that would put us out of the federal funding window for a generation. Over 10 years of study, 160 million dollars spent by both states, expert review panels, six independent governmental agencies approval, a locally preferred alternative and a federal record of decision have already been completed. Sen King proposes 10 lanes, BRT instead of LTR and a lift section among others. All these ideas have evaluated and rejected through an extensive, professional and local process.”
Jim Moeller too seems unaware, or uninterested if you will, of plans to construct light rail stations planned to draw businesses and jobs at a protected wildlife wetlands.

But neither he nor the Columbian have shown much interest in shining any light onto this Multi-Billion swindle that has the sole purpose of forcing Clark County Washington residents into not only accepting Portland, Oregon’s financially troubled light rail, but paying for it along with several other projects in Oregon well outside of the so-called CRC benefit zone.

And yes, Jim, not only is Sen. King asking for a redesign, but your constituents’ have been as well. If we are going to get stuck paying generations of tolls, uproot established businesses in our city, displace hundreds or more jobs, we deserve a bridge that will at least suit our needs, one that we can afford and will not restrict river traffic that would cause the loss of jobs upriver.

In spite of grandiose claims, it has been shown that light rail will only improve travel time for commuters at peak traffic hours by one minute, at most. It has been shown that there is not enough ridership in Clark County to sustain a light rail line that will only extend a couple miles into Clark County with funds going to Portland, Oregon and not circulating in our own struggling community.

Most of all, it has been shown that the only way to really reduce congestion through the I-5 corridor if for Oregon to step up and widen the freeway through their Rose Quarter and Terwilliger Curves area, the two main bottlenecks in Portland. It I also know that Oregon has stated they have no intention of widening those areas, making the new bridge with the same number of traffic lanes as we now have futile.

And not to forget, voters in Clark County have been denied a direct vote on light rail from Portland ever since we first rejected it by a 2 to 1 margin back in 1995. But plans move forwards as if the people no longer matter, other than we are pandered to by politicians for our vote.

Our voices grow louder as our numbers grow to put a stop to this swindle and get a design going that will actually benefit us, not a handful of wealthy promoters pushing these light rail projects off on people all over the country.

We’ve been told time and again that light rail is coming, get used to it.

To those with that attitude, click here.