Archive for November, 2009

November 29, 2009

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

by lewwaters

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.

November 25, 2009

How Democrats Dishonor Thanksgiving

by lewwaters

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?

November 25, 2009

An Iranian-American Patriot Speaks

by lewwaters

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.”

November 25, 2009

Unemployment Rate Growth, June 2007 to Today

by lewwaters

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.

November 24, 2009

Climategate – Hide The Decline

by lewwaters

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

November 18, 2009

Dept Of Homeland Security Investigating Rev Manning

by lewwaters

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 his criticism of Obama.

He expects imminent arrest.

Source & Video

November 13, 2009

Troops Need Reinforcements, Not Another Memorial

by lewwaters

Vietnam MemorialTwenty-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.

DSC03947DSC03944

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.

November 13, 2009

Mr Obama, Our Troops Are Dying!

by lewwaters

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.

November 11, 2009

FBI: Threat Against Baird “Not Serious,” Will Kathie Durbin Apologize?

by lewwaters

Brian Baird 7 Yesterday, November 10, 2009, we were treated to an update finally on the Brian Baird death threat saga from this past August. After many emails, phone calls and pressing comments from bloggers, readers and citizens within Washington States 3rd Congressional District, the local paper of record, the Columbian, published the article, FBI to investigate alleged threat against Baird.

If readers recall, this all began this past August when congressman Brian Baird announced he would hold no town hall meeting with constituents. After some disparaging remarks by Baird, he relented, apologized and held the town halls.

August 19, the day after the first town hall, he was heard at a Rotary Club luncheon making another comment of, “if there is a Ryder truck parked out front, it has my name on it.

Clark County Conservative covered this and a statement of offense released by Clark County GOP Chair Ryan Hart, Brian Baird Steps On His Tongue Again.

Ever the apologist for the congressman, the Columbian’s Kathie Durbin, who attended the luncheon and according to anonymous sources did not even hear the comment, blasted Mr. Hart for this release, covered at Baird Milks Ryder Truck Comment for the Columbian article, Death threat disclosure by Baird draws criticism.

Also of note is that another local blogger, Bob Koski, called and was told by the Capitol Police that no Police Report was filed, leading the Columbian to print their articles, Capitol Police told about possible Baird threat and Press Talk: Moving forward on the Baird story by managing editor, Lou Brancaccio critical of bloggers on the matter.

Needless to say, the Columbian was more critical of Ryan Hart than Brian Baird for continuing to make another assertion and in reference to his Ryder Truck comment, they did not even justify it by good English, they made no sense in their defense.

The whole thing seemed to drop at the August 24th article by Brancaccio. We heard no more until October 24 I personally picked up the baton from Koski and began making my own phone calls back to Baird’s D.C. office and Vancouver office and eventually to the Capitol Police Department themselves. I even emailed Brancaccio inquiring about what is the status of the investigation into the death threats and was told, “no updates” covered at Congressman Baird, What Happened To The Death Threats?

In the ensuing weeks, I and several other readers began leaving comments on the Columbian website inquiring about the investigation and lack of information on any updates. Basically, all were either ignored or we received the occasional, “they release no information on ongoing investigations,” which is what the Capitol Police Department spokesman told me too.

Over 2 weeks later, yesterday November 10, the front page of the Columbian ran, FBI to investigate alleged threat against Baird with once again, Ms. Durbin gleefully rubbing readers noses that questioned the validity of the alleged threats or questioned no updates on it into the “fact’ that it had moved ahead to an FBI investigation.

She said, “But he incited a new flare-up on Aug. 19 when he alluded to the death threat in an offhand comment at a Rotary Club luncheon without explicitly explaining the reference. McVeigh used a Ryder truck in the bombing.

At the time, Clark County Republican Chairman Ryan Hart called the remark ‘just unbelievable.’

Baird responded that his brief comment had been ‘taken out of context for cheap political gain’.

Don’t be confused by the date and time of the posting, the article disappeared for a bit and reappeared after some questions of where did it go from the online page.

Within hours of the article, managing article Lou Brancaccio left a “teaser’ in the comments section of, “Make sure to read Wednesday’s Columbian print edition. There is a follow to this story that took me completely by surprise, mainly because of timing. One day we report the FBI is investigating this case. The very next day….. It will only be in the print edition in the morning.

As early as I could make it to the nearest newsstand, I broke my vow of not paying for a copy of the paper and bought one to see what I expected to see, a sub-headline of Threat to Baird not serious, FBI says.

Kathie Durbin wrote this one also and seemed a bit more subdued in tone as she wrote, “The FBI said Tuesday it has closed its investigation of an alleged death threat against U.S. Rep. Brian Baird after concluding that the message left on Baird’s Washington, D.C., office phone in August did not constitute a serious threat.

The article has since come available online and can be read HERE.

I am left to feel that the whole death threat matter was dropped in hopes it would just go away and to supply a little cover of Baird. As said before, the Ryder Truck comment made August 19 at the Rotary Club comes across more like a attempted joke being told that totally bombed, not an explanation of any threats received.

Of most importance, the matter is resolved and rather quickly too it seems once the public began applying a little pressure. But, a few questions remain too that ought to be answered.

There should be no reason now not to release the original Police Report Baird’s office claims they submitted. We should be able to see if Koski was correct or if he was mistaken in when or if a real police report was filed and if one was, what date it was reported.

Also, will Kathie Durbin apologize to Ryan Hart and the Clark County Republicans for her insinuations last August? She gleefully repeated our being offended at the insensitive comment on the Ryder Truck yesterday, but just dropped and ignored it all today.

I don’t know about you, but I seriously feel Ryan Hart is owed an apology from Ms. Durbin as is Bob Koski if no Police Report was filed when claimed.

Whether she will step up and issue one is another matter entirely.

November 11, 2009

David Castillo: Thank A Veteran Today

by lewwaters

David Castillo For Congress Header jpg

Friends,

What a remarkable and wonderful country we live in! I am continually amazed and inspired by the generosity, hard work, and ingenuity of the American people. And, on Veteran’s Day, I am again reminded of the incredible sacrifices our service men and women, their families, and our veterans have made.

In the military, you learn what the concept of sacrifice truly means – and you begin to understand that sacrifice takes many forms. President Andrew Jackson once said “you must pay the price if you wish to secure the blessing”. This is the attitude that so many veterans, and their families have taken. They recognize that each one of us must give of ourselves, in some way, in order to “secure the blessings of liberty”. I learned in my military experience that sacrifice can be a form of generosity. Giving of yourself to your country.

Today, we honor the 24 million veterans who proudly walk among us – those who have served and defended this great nation. We also should remember the families who waited, worried, and wondered while their loved ones were in harms way.

I am so proud to have served in the United States Navy, but I am prouder of the wonderful people that I served with. I want to thank Turk Shekem, my Commanding Officer at HS-6 who is one of the finest men I have ever met. Thank you to Chief Gene Whately for having faith in me and helping me grow. Thank you Bryan Stidham, Joe Garcia, Andy Blancas, Drew Parks, Eli Ramos, and the other members of HS-6 who made my experience so educational.

It is not cliché to acknowledge that we have the freedoms we have because brave Americans are willing to risk their lives in defense of those freedoms. Ours is a remarkable system in that men and women freely volunteer to put themselves in harms way so that we can live the lives that this country gives us the opportunity to live.

In the airport, at the supermarket, in the park, or on your street – thank our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines for their service.

God Bless!

David Castillo Signature

 

 

 

Web sites where you can show your appreciation for our Veterans.

USO

Veterans of Valor

VFW: Veterans of Foreign Wars

The American Legion

Mom4RMarines

Operation Gratitude

Air Compassion for Veterans

November 9, 2009

An Open Letter To American Muslims

by lewwaters

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

November 7, 2009

Castillo Calls Baird On Anti-Israel Stance

by lewwaters

David Castillo 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.

November 7, 2009

David Castillo’s Statement On Baird’s ‘NO’ Vote

by lewwaters

Received in email;

In light of Congressman Baird’s statement declaring he will vote ‘No’ on the House version of the Health Care Bill, the Castillo campaign will not hold the previously scheduled press conference tomorrow, November 7.

David Castillo’s statement on Baird’s release:

While I am pleased that Brian is choosing to do the right thing for the voters of the 3rd District, and all Americans, I am still deeply concerned about his reasoning and lack of vision and leadership in this national debate. Even if his concerns with this bill are addressed, the legislation will still do nothing to control the soaring cost of health care in this country.

The Congressman’s ‘no’ vote is not because he opposes the public option or a move toward Universal, government-run health care. His statement is dangerously silent on this issue and his past positions have been favorable toward such a move.

In addition, he does not oppose the tax on insurance premiums for those of us who already have insurance coverage. Instead, he is only concerned that there are no ‘reliable estimates’ on how high this premium penalty will be.

In this economy, any increase – whether you want to call it a tax, fee or premium increase – is unacceptable and detrimental to our families.

Mr. Baird is clearly not supporting free-market solutions to address health care reform. Which means he is willing to support Speaker Pelosi’s bill in some form. His actions right now are purely political and doing nothing more than putting off his support of this legislation until – as he says himself – “the House and Senate together produce one bill.”

To put it in football terms, the Congressman just punted.

Congressman Baird’s announcement may be read fully here

No comment found at the time of this posting from Jon Russell.

November 6, 2009

VOTERS WANTED JACK BACK?

by lewwaters

Submitted by reader;

Jack Burkman’s narrow margin of less than 7% against his opponent, Bill Turlay is not a voter mandate to “ Bring Jack Back”.

Let’s examine Jack’s tax and spend voting record.

Jack’s vote contributed to our current city debt of $212 Million with debt interest payment at $10 Million per year.

Jack’s voted for SIX (6) downtown parking garages with a LOSS of revenue of $280,000 in 2008; Hilton hotel construction $ 72.5 million with $1 Million per year in debt interest payment and $800,00/yr Hilton management fee. Also Jack voted for a TEN-year property tax break for downtown Heritage condo owners.

Jack’s campaign brochure states he will wisely manage our community’s funds. If Jack really managed funds well during his years in office, why have Police and Fire always been used as the pawn to extract more taxes out of the public’s pocket?

Jack’s campaign brochure also states he wants to keep our city safe and secure. Where was Jack’s concern about safety for library patrons when he served simultaneously as a Vancouver Library board member and City council member? Jack consistently voted to keep unfiltered porn in the library, even after the Mayor recommended library board members filter out porn.

Jack’s voting record shows he voted in lockstep with the mayor and never showed any independent thinking of his own. Can you imagine, two years and never finding any issue with which you disagree with anyone else on the council? Is this leadership?

During his time on council Jack demonstrated his inability to interface with the citizens and showed contempt for citizens when they voiced their disapproval on certain issues. Jack had the audacity to say to a constituent – “you are not smart enough to understand how to run the city”. After a public forum at a local school in April 2000, Jack wrote part of a letter to The Columbian where he pitched a fit at the questions being asked by citizens. Now, he wants us to believe he is a thoughtful leader who brings people together (as stated in his campaign brochure)?

Sooner or later the real “Jack” will show up and the voters will realize they have reelected the same Jack who did not serve them well the first time on City council.

Fran Rutherford
Vancouver, Wa.

November 6, 2009

Russell’s Apologists Cover For Poor Council Performance

by lewwaters

Washougal City Councilman Jon Russell, eager to run against current congressman Brian Baird for Washington’s Third Congressional District, recently made news along with the defeated mayor of Washougal, Washington.

Russell Shows Lack of Experience on City Council

Apologists for Russell now claim Jon was unable to convince “progressive council members” that the actions of the mayor were inappropriate over the two years he claims he saw what was happening and what brought about the current state audit that broke in the last week of the campaign, helping bring about the defeat of the Republican mayor by a Democrat candidate.

Expressing disappointment in what apologists label “political opponents within the Republican Party,” they fail to recognize that in apologizing for Jon, they freely admit to the very claim made by this “political opponent within the Republican party.”

That being, Jon was unable to stand up to a small town mayor of some 9,000 people.

If Jon indeed did see the inappropriate conduct and improper actions of the Republican mayor and brought it up to the rest of the city council, how is it he was unable, in two years, to rally support, although remaining vigilant and voicing his concerns with a greater position of strength?

Personally disappointing is that after admitting Jon’s inability to rally support, we are told Jon is exactly the sort of person we should send to Washington D.C. to stand up to the likes of Nancy Pelosi or whoever would replace her as Speaker of the House.

I would also ask the apologist, if Jon was unable to rally support amongst 6 fellow council members over a 2-year period, how would he rally support amongst 434 fellow congressmen in the House, the majority of which are also “progressive?”

Showing naiveté, or wishful thinking, apologists expect that Nancy Pelosi will be gone in 2010 and the Republican Party will regain a majority within Congress. I certainly hope they are right, but realistically, to regain a one-seat majority in the House, Republicans would not only have to retain every single one of the 177 seats currently held, but gain 80 seats as well.

No thoughts are given from apologists on just how to accomplish such a tall order in such a short time.

Possibly due to being prior to their moving to Clark County, no mention is made just how it is that Jon is now uniquely qualified to defeat a 6 term incumbent congressman, after 2 years of inability to rally support amongst fellow council members or how that translates into a qualification when Jon was unable to make it past the first round to gain the seat on our state legislature vacated by scandal ridden Richard Curtis in 2007 and now occupied by Representative Jamie Herrera.

Also left unexplained is just how Jon came to leave his position as a Legislative Assistant that he so proudly lists as a qualification, after a short time.

In classic Ron Paulian speak, apologists warn, “you should be giving more sober thought to how your words and especially your actions, fit in with the current political landscape,” after a brief reminder of the backing of New York’s conservative candidate over the liberal claiming Republican who backed the Democrat.

I don’t think I need remind anyone that the Democrat won the race, as much as I dislike it.

Fronting an inexperienced candidate with dubious qualifications and who is willing to throw others under the bus instead of accepting responsibility and standing on their own record is far from any “new political landscape,” it just the age-old politics we have all grown tired of.

Is this “new political landscape” standing on a candidates inability to “rally support” as needed? Last I heard, a good legislator must be able overcome the partisan rancor and engage those across the aisle to “rally support” for proposed legislation, not just follow lock step with a majority.

Attacking those who support a more qualified candidate and accusing them of manipulating direct quotes is also more of that old tired political tactic we have grown tired of.

It isn’t manipulating to point out direct quotes. It is, however, manipulating voters to exaggerate a resumé and provide cover for a weak candidate’s inability to rally support on a small town city council or stand up to the mayor of that same small town of 9,000 over a 2-year period.

For newcomers to our community I will only say, maybe you should listen to those who have nearly three decades in the community before you assume to know better for us. This isn’t Los Angeles.

If all your candidate has is ad hominem against others and tearing down opponents at every chance, perhaps he is not so uniquely qualified as you think.

David Castillo is running on his own merits without engaging in ad hominem or taking convenient slaps at others and exaggerating a resumé.

When will Jon Russell?

November 3, 2009

Election Results

by lewwaters

My congratulations to all candidates who won their race and to those who didn’t win, thank you for running your campaigns as you did.

Clark Election Results

November 3, 2009

Unsung Heroes That Won The Cold War

by lewwaters

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.

East German Fence

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.

East German Soldier Leaping

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 218 other followers