Wednesday, April 19, 2017

No Longer Indifferent on Benton Nomination to Selective Service

Don Benton
As we all know by now, former 5 term state senator Don Benton has been nominated by President Trump to head the Selective Service, aka the Draft to those of us old enough to remember that era.

I see no need to delve into the history of the draft, but also realize there is little chance it will be reactivated to induct young men and possibly young women into the Military.

That being said, I have been largely indifferent to the nomination of Don Benton or that he never served in the Military himself in any capacity. Although if approved he would be the first ever to head the department without Military Service, it really made no difference to me in large part due to the unlikelihood our youth would once again be conscripted.

I have supported Don over the years and have defended him, some of the time when his actions might have seemed indefensible.

That has now changed due solely to a flippant comment Don made to the Reflector in an article, Benton’s role in D.C. changes.

The article ends with;
“Although he himself never served, Benton brought up that he comes from a military family, with his father being a naval officer who helped prepare for the invasion of Normandy in World War II and both of his older brothers being veterans themselves.”
“‘I don’t think you will find anyone who understands the commitment and the sacrifice more than I do,’ Benton said.”
I have called out many, both Democrat and Republican for relying on relative’s Military Service to bolster their public image. That is their relative’s service, their valor, their sacrifices, not yours.

What they did is not yours to claim.

What you did is what matters.

I also must take great exception to Don’s claim of “I don’t think you will find anyone who understands the commitment and the sacrifice more than I do.”

Don is too young to have been caught up in the draft when it was active, but he will never know the sinking feeling you get when starting off life as a young man to receive the letter “ordering” you to report for “immediate induction” into the Armed Services. Especially when the country is deeply embroiled in an unpopular war with riots and demonstrations going on against it.

Since he never felt it necessary to enlist, he will never know what Basic Training is like.

He will never know what being rocked out of your bunk in the wee hours of morning to the sound of incoming mortar rounds or a sapper attack is like.

He will never know what standing armed guard and hearing unknown noises behind you is like.

He has no idea of what forming a close friendship with a buddy, only to see him cut down is like.

He has no clue what coming home to a country you love only to be spat upon or otherwise castigated for serving in the Army is like.

He has no understanding what jumping at sudden, loud noises or being wary of strangers coming too close to you for the rest of your life is like.

No Don, you have not earned the right to make such a claim of understanding what our sacrifices were.

It is knowledge that cannot be learned from accounts made by your relatives, reading books or watching movies. It can only be gained by first-hand experience.

So no Don, you are dead wrong. There are hundreds of thousands of us, millions of us that did don the uniform. That did serve and fully realize what our commitment and sacrifice is and was.

You are not with us and whether you support us or not, are not entitled to make such a claim.

As many of us Vietnam Veterans have said time and again, “If you didn’t go, you wouldn’t know.”

Monday, January 23, 2017

Protesting is Good, Again


Funny thing about the words spoken in the video, and if you note the exclusion of a major group of protesters in it, the stated attitude did not seem to apply when a mixed group of Conservatives, Liberals and Independents joined together nationwide in 2009 to protest Obamacare.

That’s right, the group known as the TEA Party (Taxed Enough Already) was ridiculed, lambasted, labeled racist (as nearly any disagreement with Obama was for 8 years) and marginalized often by the media, including our own Lazy C.

I recall a significant turnout at Esther Short Park of TEA Party activists that they did not even bother to send a writer to cover, even though over 1500 people attended it.

In fact, John Laird, former political page editor penned back then, Political rallies: just huffin’ and puffin’ where he wrote, “But at the tea party, angry protesters will frown and snarl ‘No!’ and ‘From my cold, dead fingers’!”

Late in November 2009 Laird penned Coming soon! A giant anger-palooza where he wrote claims of, “This was the year their crusade was born, and the screaming and kicking hasn't stopped yet,” “town hall meetings have become boisterous, bigoted shout-downs where the only things that matter are volume and venom,” “when a president wins the Nobel Peace Prize, a large segment of Americans actually boo” and “This year we increasingly heard, ‘I want my country back!’ proclaimed by people who had difficulty accepting the will of the national electorate.”

Laird somehow seemed to have forgotten just months earlier how President George W. Bush was greeted by boos, jeers and singing of “Na Na Hey Hey Goodbye” as he walked out at the inauguration of Barack Obama.

Are we not today hearing the cry of “I Want My Country Back” from those protesters marching throughout the country who seem unable to accept the will of voters in the latest election?

By 2013 Laird was describing TEA Party activists as “Political piranhas” in an editorial.

That is in addition to when we citizens took a stand against the bloated Columbia River Crossing Light Rail project labeling us as “cockroaches,” “Hounds of Whinerville” and more.

And just today we read in the Lazy C’s opinion page, In Our View: Marches Grab Attention,
“Demonstration of what makes America great sends message to administration” and “It was a remarkable demonstration of what truly makes America great. Dissent, it has been said, is the highest form of patriotism, and Saturday’s events rank among this nation’s most memorable patriotic outpourings.”

And it wasn’t just our local Lacy C. Main media blasted TEA Party rallies, even blended pro-second amendment rallies with TEA Party in an effort to label us as armed malcontents.

No, protesting wasn’t seen as noble or how to effect change throughout the 8 years of Obama, just the opposite.

And as much as I distrust Trump’s ability to do what he says he will do or that it will improve much, it is the media and their bias and double standards responsible for him being elected.

A large number of citizens are fed up with being manipulated and lied to by biased, dishonest media that portrays dissent as “patriotic” only when a Republican is in office.

So go ahead and make your noise, falsely think you are doing something great and noble by burning businesses and cars or beating up on people that disagree with you.

Then in 4 years, thank yourselves again should Trump win a second term.