Archive for December, 2009

December 31, 2009

New Year 1971 – Will I Ever Get Out Of Viet Nam?

by lewwaters

Since I told the story of my first Christmas in Viet Nam, I also add that New years 1970 was once again spent with me sitting on the same perimeter bunker I sat on just the week before on Christmas. It was another uneventful night, though.

New Years 1971 was one of those memories no one wants, but laughs at today.

By late December 1970, I was eager to go home, since I had been in Vietnam since July of 1969. All in all, I have to say it was probably the worst trip of my entire life. It should have been the best.

To start with, when I went over to Camp Holloway, in Pleiku, to pick up my manifest ticket, some weird nut came running up to me and threw his arm around my shoulders. Unlike today, that was frowned upon back then. He was wearing fatigues with a Warrant Officer insignia and Captains Bars. Even after our best Jungle Juice party, we didn’t get that weird. His aide snapped a Polaroid of us and while he was treating it, I found out that it was Rick Jason, none other than the star of the TV Show, Combat. After realizing this, I thought to myself, “Whoopee, I just want out of this country.”


Since then, I have come to appreciate what Mr. Jason was doing there and visiting the Troops of such an unpopular war.

Later that same day, I hitched a ride on a ‘Huey’ to Nha Trang to sign in at the replacement center. To my amazement, I was scheduled to leave the next day, leaving me to believe I would be home on New Years day. I grabbed some chow and settled in to a bunk in the transient hooch to grab some shuteye.

Waking up the next day, I took my last in country cold shower, threw away my faded and worn Jungle Fatigues and put on my Dress Green Uniform, which I had brought back over with me after my extension leave in July.

All of us scheduled on the flight huddled together under a shed to await the planes arrival to fly us home. It turned out to be on Flying Tigers, a cargo line no less. We waited and waited and after a few hours a Sergeant let us know that the plane was having engine trouble in Japan and that Flying Tigers had sent another one from the states. I sat there losing count of how many flights left before our plane arrived, still in full Class A Uniform, sweating in the heat.

Finally, as the sun was setting on New Years Eve, we were told that the plane had arrived at nearby Cam Rhan. We boarded a bus, drove to the Airbase and headed up the gangplank to the beautiful DC-8. Some one had a radio on and AFVN played Peter, Paul & Mary’s, Leaving On A Jet Plane. The sight of that plane was one of the most welcome sights I ever saw. I entered it and no sooner found my seat, than four other Army guys and I were bumped from the flight in favor of some Air Force dudes.

Of course, our duffle bags with clean clothes, shaving equipment and such remained on the plane, now heading to the world. We were promised seats on the next flight out. I spent New Years watching two Vietnamese women fighting over an inflated balloon at the terminal, until one of them popped it. Unable to contain my excitement, I drifted off to sleep on the wooden bench.

The next morning, we were placed on another Flying Tigers plane. Personally, by this time, I couldn’t care if it were a Cessna Bird Dog, I just wanted out of that country. As was normal, when the airplane lifted off and the wheels left Vietnamese soil, we all went nuts cheering, clapping and just being guys. We were served a breakfast and I settled back until a few hours later, we landed at Yakota Airbase, Japan, for refueling.

Unbeknownst to me, this turned out to be the very same plane that was experiencing engine trouble at the beginning of my little odyssey. As it turned out, it was again having engine trouble and we were told there would be a yet another slight delay. You know, there just isn’t much to do at the Yakota Air Force terminal for hours on end all day!

By the time they said the plane was fixed, another Flying Tigers plane, with the exact flight number as ours, had recently landed. Not wanting the flights to get mixed up, they roped off a corridor for us to follow to our flight. Of course, we all stayed within that corridor, right?

The Flight Attendants did a quick headcount, to insure none of the guys from the other flight had snuck on to our plane. It turned up two extra people than the manifest showed. So, we spent another two hours while they checked our tickets and I.D. To say tempers where flaring would be a gross understatement. Even the flight attendants, usually calm, good natured and friendly, were sounding like sailors over the planes intercom as they too were becoming irritated.

Come to find out, the head attendant had grabbed the wrong manifest in the first place and was counting for the other flight. A full Colonel onboard, also going home, stood up and informed the flight crew that if they wished to live a peaceful life, it would behoove them to get that plane off the ground and headed eastwardly, quickly.

Fortunately for the flight crew, liquor was not served to GIs on MAC flights.

We landed at McCord Air Force Base late afternoon, but still New Years Day. We found our gear waiting for us, just outside the U.S. Customs. Since it had been there so long, they all but strip-searched us, probing tubes of toothpaste, cutting open containers of talcum powder and such. Finding no contraband, we cleared Customs.

Since I had taken my dress greens back to Vietnam with me and wore them home on this flight, I was put on a bus to SeaTac airport to get a connecting flight home. With all the delays, I must have looked and smelled a sight. I did, at least, get a shave at the barbershop at Yakota Air Base, so I wasn’t as bad as I could have been.

Not knowing much about what airlines went where on the West Coast, I stopped at the first counter I ran in to for a ticket to Redding, California, where I was to meet a young lady I had been writing to and who would became my first wife. United Airlines booked me on a flight to San Francisco to make a connection to Hughes Airwest, then back up to Redding that evening.

Arriving in San Francisco, I ran to the other terminal to make my connection, only to discover, that since it was New Years Day, flight crews had been given the evening off and the flight to Redding had been canceled. The next flight was at 6 A.M. the next morning. Little did I know that I could have made a direct flight from SeaTac to Redding by Hughes Airwest, as the ticket agent then explained. Thanks a lot, United.

Realizing I was to enjoy yet another evening in an airport, I headed for the nearest bar in the airport for a couple beers and then went looking for a comfortable bench to fall asleep on. No sooner had I leaned back and closed my eyes than a Security Guard came along and informed me I wasn’t allowed to sleep in the airport. The entire night was spent with me catching catnaps between his rounds.

I got on the flight at 6 the next morning and headed to Redding, smelly, sticky and just grungy as all get out. No one said anything around me, which surprised me, looking back today. I was met in Redding by the young lady and being as grungy as I was, not to mention sleepy from playing cat & mouse with San Francisco Airports finest, acted like a complete dork.

We headed to the peoples house she was staying with, where they held a little delayed Christmas for me complete with a few gifts and all. First, I took a shower, threw away my underwear, and shopped for a set of civvies.

Relaxing and enjoying being back in the USA, I began nodding off on their couch, until the Christmas tree they decided to burn started popping. The man was a WW2 vet and seemed to understand why I all but did a back flip over the couch and told the girl to show me to the room I was staying in, where I fell asleep again, on top of the electric blanket.

December 30, 2009

Whiny Ron Paul Blames America Again

by lewwaters

Supreme cult leader and whiner extraordinaire, Ron Paul, Libertarian/Republican from Texas, who was twice defeated miserably in runs for president, has continued the whiny performance we saw in the debates he participated in during the 2008 campaign.

Paul, known for blaming America for the terrorist attacks against our country during those debates, continues blaming America for the latest but thwarted attack on Christmas Day.

Asked by Larry King on the December 28, 2009 show about the thwarted attack on this past Christmas Day aboard NWA Flt 253, Paul whines in response, “One thing that is missing here is never asking the question what is the motive? He said why he was — he did it. He said it was because we bombed Yemen two weeks ago. That was his motive.”

Once again, Paul blames America for terrorist attacks against us.

Apparently Paul whines more than doing his homework. As pointed out by ABC’s Jake Tapper,

“Omar Abdulmutallab was in the field long before that airstrike. (He purchased his plane ticket in Ghana the day before, in fact, and had been in Yemen for months before).”

Paul somehow, as brilliant as he supposed to be, completely missed simple news reports that the plan was put in place and tickets purchased prior to the December 17 strike in Yemen. How do you retaliate for something that had yet to happen?

Trying desperately to interrupt Stein, Paul keeps on whining, “why,” “What makes them terrorists” and “They’re terrorists because we’re occupiers” in response to Steins answer of, “They’re terrorists and murders because they are psychos.”

Ben Stein rightfully lays into Paul pointing out his anti-semitism by telling Paul, “No, we’re not occupiers. That’s the same anti-Semitic argument we’ve heard,” which just brings out more whiny words from Paul, accusing Stein of a “vicious attack,” in his normal nasal whiny voice.

Cry me a bucket of tears, Paul.

Ron Paul and his glassy eyed worshippers make the claim that they are the true heirs to the legacy of Ronald Reagan and that Reagan would agree with Paul’s naïve view of foreign policy and fighting terror.

If any of them actually did their homework and researched what Reagan actually stood for, they would choke on that claim.

In the July 1975 issue of the Libertarian magazine, Reason, Reagan was interviewed and asked about Viet Nam (the war on terror had not started yet, for you Paulies). He replied about the outcome,

“Once you are going to commit yourself to a combat role and you’re going to ask young men to fight and die for your country, then you have a moral obligation as a nation to throw the full resources of the nation behind them and to win that war as quickly as possible and get it over with, and this is where we made the mistake: to pour half a million men in there, to kill 54,000 young men in a cause that Washington, that the government was unable or unwilling to win.”

Who better fits the statement of “unwilling to win” than Ron Paul?

He’s not only unwilling to win, he blames America while ignoring obvious evidence to the contrary.

Little wonder why Paul never progressed beyond single digits in true polls last year and only won some 35 delegates.

December 29, 2009

Pack It In Jon; It’s Not Going To Work

by lewwaters

Showing even more inexperience than he has with his failures to provide proper oversight on the Washougal City Council, Jon Russell persists in acting like he has a chance in the upcoming election.

Apparently some local Ron Paulies have come running to his aid and helped stack an online unscientific poll to boost him to a second place position, just a hair under Republican opportunist, Jaime Herrera, legislative aid to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, turned state representative.

The truth is shown in campaign funds raised, which places Jon in a distant third place, far behind every candidate except David Hedrick, who although not gaining any steam, displays more guts and honesty that Russell has to date.

That online poll stacking trick didn’t work for Ron Paul, but apparently they think it will help boost Jon, who really doesn’t stand a snowballs chance in this election as more people jump in.

All Jon stands to do now is split the GOP ticket, which just may enable the Democrats to finish in the top 2 primary positions.

Sorry Jon, one opportunist in this campaign is enough.

Showing even more inexperience, Jon now announces Seven Town Hall Meetings in January & February showing he actually doesn’t have a grasp on what town hall meetings really are or what function they serve.

“A town hall meeting is an informal public meeting. Everybody in a community is invited to attend, voice their opinions, and hear the responses from public figures and elected officials, although attendees rarely vote on an issue. In today’s heterogeneous communities with large populations, more often, town hall meetings are held so that people can influence elected officials in their decision making or to give them a chance to feel that their voices are being heard.”

What a town hall meeting is not is campaign event, which is what Jon is actually holding. The clever renaming to “town hall meeting” fools no one, as Jon holds no official power of any sort outside of one seat on the Washougal, Washington city council.

If Jon were holding real town hall meetings he might be faced with hard questions from constituents asking things like why, in his 2007 campaign for city council, did he pay a young single woman $700.00 over 2 months for “campaign consultant,” when the young lady lists her profession as an “Independent Beauty Consultant?”

We all know Jon likes to look pretty, but c’mon, $700.00 in 2 months for a small town city council seat?

Add that to Jon’s rush to throw a fellow Republican under the bus as he distanced himself from the scandal that sunk mayor Stacee Sellers re-election bid and his admission of failing to rally support amongst 6 council members to perform the oversight of the alleged misuse of city funds he claims she prevented him from doing, it becomes clear Jon is just another agenda driven politician trying to get on the fast track to that $175,000 a year salary and access to perks available to House members.

I think we’ve had enough of cheesy politicians whose main goal is to fatten their wallets and travel the world on our dime.

It’s time we had real representation in Washington’s Third Congressional District.

Pack it in, Jon. No one is falling for the snow job.

December 29, 2009

Democrat Diverted Millions of Dollars From Aviation Security and Explosives Detection

by lewwaters

In all of the defenses being foisted upon the American public over the Obama administrations poor performance in regards to the Christmas Day thwarted terrorist attack aboard Northwest Airlines Flight 253 just prior to landing in Detroit, Michigan, an amendment submitted by Democrat Senator Christopher Dodd (Conn) (who avoided serving in Viet Nam by managing to get into the Army Reserves) has surfaced that previously slipped under the wire.

This past July 2009, Dodd attached an amendment to the Department of Homeland Security Appropriations Act, 2010 “reducing aviation security appropriations by $4.5 million in favor of firefighter grants,” shown to be highly ineffective.

Dodd’s amendment SA 1443 states in part, “The total amount of appropriations under the heading ‘AVIATION SECURITY’ under the heading ‘Transportation Security Administration’ under title II of this Act, the amount for screening operations and the amount for explosives detection systems under the first proviso under that heading, and the amount for the purchase and installation of explosives detection systems under the second proviso under that heading are reduced by $10,000,000.”

I’m sure that this unnecessary diversion of funds for explosives detection at airports had nothing to do with support from the Firefighters Union in his failed bid the presidency, right?

Apologists for the Obama Democratic cartel try to divert attention away from their lack of protecting the American public with wild claims that Senator DeMint is single handedly blocking any nomination of a new chief to TSA, ignoring that the agency has an acting head and that Obama lolly-gagged around for some 8 months before even proposing a permanent head to the TSA.

Also ignored by pundits wishing to protect Obama, Democrats have kept the House and Senate bogged down for months with the rush to Health care reform and Cap & Trade, ignoring the increasing threat of terrorist strikes against America since President Bush left office.

Hopenchange is beginning to look like hope we can survive the 4 years of Obama and change to a government that actually is willing to protect the country, not just take from defense during a war to give to Union supporters.

December 24, 2009

Castillo Statement on Senate Health Care Vote

by lewwaters

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Our elected officials in Washington D.C. should be focusing on reigning in the out-of-control cost of health care, increasing access to those not covered, and ensuring that those of us happy with our coverage can keep it. This is what they promised us and they have yet to deliver.

Instead, they have chosen to steal $500 billion from Medicare – from a promise we made to our parents and grandparents. In addition, the Senate bill includes a government mandate that will force Americans to purchase health insurance or face a fine, or jail time. It is an unconscionable overreach of government authority that I believe will be deemed unconstitutional.

Also, I am by no means convinced that federal funds will not be used to fund abortions, and the majority of Americans have been consistent in their view that taxpayer dollars should not be used to pay for this procedure.

It is time that our elected representatives listen to the American people, or be replaced by those of us who will.

SOURCE

David Castillo for Congress, WA 03

December 24, 2009

Christmas 1969, In Viet Nam

by lewwaters

Repost from December 2009

I can still vividly recall my first Christmas in Viet Nam. I was one of the ‘lucky’ ones who pulled perimeter guard Christmas Eve and into Christmas morning.

But, it was a quiet night, no problems.

I recall how odd it felt, Christmas Eve and Morning, sitting behind sand bags, an M-16 beside me and an M-60 machine gun in front of me, flares and an assortment of grenades with my steel pot on my head and flak jacket over my chest prepared to “light ‘em up” if need be.

Shortly after dawn, the poor guys who drew day guard on the bunker on Christmas Day relieved us and we went back to the ‘hooch’ for a little sleep.

We were on a stand down so no missions were scheduled and Christmas Day itself, we didn’t have to go down to the flight line to work on the helicopters, it was actually a day off, a real day off.

Some time shortly after noon, a bunch of packages showed up, I believe from the Red Cross, wrapped and with small tokens in them, some cookies, a card, just little items from home.

Some guys had received packages from their families with crumbled cake, stale cookies; some little token that brightened their time. Didn’t matter what it was, all were appreciated, especially the unexpected Red Cross packages as they came from home.

The Mess Hall had turkey, a welcome change from what they jokingly referred to often as Roast Beef, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, a regular Christmas meal with the Mess Cooks wearing Santa Hats and a small minimally decorated tree on a table just inside.

Whatever services the Chaplain held Christmas morning I missed since I was catching up on some sleep after pulling guard duty all night. But in a strange way, it was a peaceful and nice day; even with war all about us and the red clay dust of Viet Nam all over us.

The calmness of that afternoon almost felt out of place, after being in country nearly 5 months. The fear I felt arriving at Ben Hoa earlier that year was now hidden more from view. But, that afternoon, it was not there at all.

Even though we doubled up on guard duty during the stand down, ‘Charlie’ respected it that year.

It was my first Christmas ever away from home, family and friends, although I had made new friends there.

Mostly older teens and young twenties, we became boys again in the midst of a war as we laughed, swapped trinkets from our packages, took time to play ball or listen to stereo’s of somewhat latest releases someone received from home.

It was an odd but pleasurable Christmas Day, that Christmas 1969 in the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.

Strangely enough and I cannot for the life of me understand it, I cannot remember a thing about Christmas 1970, my second Christmas in Viet Nam.

Within days, I was on that freedom bird heading back to ‘the world,’ arriving New Years Day 1971.

As non-eventful as Christmas 1969 was, it is forever embedded in my memory.

December 23, 2009

We The People by Ray Stevens

by lewwaters
December 23, 2009

Sen. Feinstein: Congress Has “Unlimited Authority” to Mandate Health Insurance

by lewwaters

For all Americans who thought our constitution placed limitations on government, think again now that the dictatorial Democrats have seized complete and total control of the country.

With attitudes like Senator Dianne Feinstein displays, you are no longer a free people, but servants of the Socialist Democrats.

VIDEO SOURCE

If Democrats now believe they have “UNLIMITED Authority” to impose whatever they wish upon us in healthcare, what else do they feel they have “UNLIMITED Authority” to take, mandate or push off on us?

Let it not be forgotten, this is the same Senator Feinstein who just days ago introduced legislation to block a solar farm power plant construction in her backyard, the Mojave Desert.

Senator Feinstein Seeks to Block Solar Panels In Mojave Desert

Yet, this is also the same Senator Feinstein who adamantly opposes drilling oil for our energy too!

Feinstein: On The Issues

Vladimir Lenin, Joseph Stalin, Nikita Kruschev and others must be smiling from their graves as they see their premonition coming true, “we will bury you.”

December 22, 2009

AFP Applauds Castillo For “No Climate Tax” Pledge

by lewwaters

Received in email this morning,

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, December 22, 2009
Contact: Phil Kerpen or James Valvo (703) 224-3200

Americans for Prosperity Applauds U.S. House Candidate David Castillo

 

-Signs No Climate Tax Pledge-

 

WASHINGTON, DC—The free-market grassroots group Americans for Prosperity (AFP) today applauded U.S. House candidate David Castillo, running in Washington’s Third District, for signing the group’s “No Climate Tax Pledge.” By doing so, Castillo joins more than 300 candidates and lawmakers on the federal, state and local levels pledging to “oppose legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.”

 
“The one thing elected officials should be able to agree on is that global warming shouldn’t be used as an excuse to hike taxes on citizens and businesses,” said AFP Policy Director Phil Kerpen. “We encourage all of Washington’s elected officials and candidates for elected office to sign the pledge.”

Prominent signers include: U.S. Senators Thune, Brownback, Roberts, Vitter, Wicker, Inhofe, and Coburn; U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner and Minority Whip Eric Cantor; and Lieutenant Governors Bolling (Va.) and Kinder (Mo.)

Cap-and-trade took its first step toward enactment when the U.S. House narrowly passed the Waxman-Markey energy tax bill, which escaped the lower chamber by a scant seven votes despite significant bipartisan opposition. Senators Boxer (D-Calif.) and Kerry (D-Mass.) have begun committee hearings on companion legislation in the Senate. However, key Democratic senators have expressed opposition to attempting to pass cap-and-trade.

President Obama has made no secret of his support for the bill, which would be the largest tax increase in American history. The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has scored the House plan as an $846 billion increase in federal revenue, a burden that will be borne by taxpayers and consumers for decades to come.

“Using the guise of climate change to transfer dollars from hard-working citizens to bureaucratic big government is unacceptable,” said Kerpen. “Regardless of their stance on global warming, this should be common ground for all of our elected officials at all levels of government.”

The pledge is available online at www.NoClimateTax.com. AFP does not endorse candidates. All elected officials and candidates are encouraged to sign the pledge and go on the record in opposition to using the climate change issue to increase taxes and grow the size of government.

Americans for Prosperity® (AFP) is a nationwide organization of citizen leaders committed to advancing every individual’s right to economic freedom and opportunity. AFP believes reducing the size and scope of government is the best safeguard to ensuring individual productivity and prosperity for all Americans. AFP educates and engages citizens in support of restraining state and federal government growth, and returning government to its constitutional limits. AFP has more than 900,000 members, including members in all 50 states, and 25 state chapters. More than 55,000 Americans in all 50 states have made a financial investment in AFP or AFP Foundation. For more information, visit www.americansforprosperity.org

XXXXXXX

Clark County Conservative remains in support of David Castillo to be voted in to replace outgoing incumbent, Brian Baird for Washington Stated 3rd Congressional District. This press release is another reason why.

David did not wait until the run appeared more like an easy run, but was the first to file to go up against Baird. David was prepared for the difficult run and even though not receiving party support early on, did the needed leg worked, raised necessary funds and formed a platform with constituents in mind, not a political future.

As we see, party insiders and favorites are jumping in or exploring the possibility of jumping in. Other candidates laud themselves as “Old-Timers Standing Out in the race,” although they filed after David and remain far behind him in funds raised, supporters and endorsements.

I can’t help but notice that David so far is the only candidate showing to have signed the AFP pledge to “oppose any legislation relating to climate change that includes a net increase in government revenue.”

Of those in State Office, only one, Rep. Dan Roach has also signed the pledge. Jaime Herrera’s name does not appear on the site nor does Joe Zarelli, who is exploring entering the race.

I fully expect others to jump in and sign soon in their ongoing efforts to catch up to and by-pass David.

I am troubled in this race by some things I am observing. David has been stumping all over the 3rd District since June and slowly building support due to his stance on the issues and his integrity and character. GOP Party chairs have not endorsed or supported him or any other candidate, as it should be since the party will support whoever gains the nomination.

I now see the one County Party Chair’s name prominently listed on Herrera’s site and another county party chair promoting Ms. Herrera, neither of which stood behind front-runner David Castillo or other candidates, Jon Russell and David Hedrick.

David has built an impressive endorsement list with Ms. Herrera seeking “co-endorsements” from some.

Apparently not receiving such “so-endorsements,” Ms. Herrera lists all those names under a list, “2008 Endorsements,” people who endorsed her in her run for the state legislator last year, some of whom now endorse David Castillo.

Is this an effort to make her list of endorsements appear larger? Is it really honest to play political games as that?

It should be remembered that Ms. Herrera first announced her bid within 2 hours of Brian Baird announcing he would not seek reelection, while David Castillo has been in the running the previous six months.

I am very disappointed to see Ms. Herrera jump in only after she could expect an easier run for office just as I am disappointed to see the names of 2 county GOP party chairs supporting or promoting her candidacy when both should remain neutral until the nominee is chosen by voters and committee, as expressed to me by one of those chairs.

My support remains with David Castillo, the candidate who wasn’t afraid of a tough run against an entrenched incumbent and who worked diligently to build his support to front-runner status from scratch.

That is the type of person we need representing us in Congress.

UPDATE: Sometime shortly after posting this, it has been noticed that Ms. Herrera has removed the 2008 endorsement list from her website. I applaud her doing so and relying on a more honest list of current endorsements.

December 22, 2009

Save The Planet, Eat Your Dog

by lewwaters

In the ever-expanding quest to reduce carbon and save the planet from the onslaught of global warming, forget studying cow flatulence, riding your bicycle or even recycling your SUV.

Robert and Brenda Vale, 2 New Zealand “specialists in sustainable living at Victoria University of Wellington,” have released their “study” claiming “the carbon pawprint of a pet dog is more than double that of a gas-guzzling sports utility vehicle.”

John Barrett of the Stockholm Environment Institute in York, Britain, was asked by New Scientist magazine to confirm the results. Calculating “eco-pawprints” with his own data, he arrived at “essentially the same results.

Says Barrett, “Owning a dog really is quite an extravagance, mainly because of the carbon footprint of meat.”

Cat owners aren’t off the hook either, according to the Vales. They also claim, “Cats have an eco-footprint of about 0.15 hectares, slightly less than driving a Volkswagen Golf for a year, while two hamsters equates to a plasma television and even the humble goldfish burns energy equivalent to two mobile telephones.”

The Vale’s research also concludes, “pets environmental impact is not limited to their carbon footprint, as cats and dogs devastate wildlife, spread disease and pollute waterways.”

Animal rights advocates and lovers aren’t impressed.

Sylvie Comont, owner of seven cats and two dogs says, “I think the love we have for our animals and what they contribute to our lives outweighs the environmental considerations.”

Reha Huttin, president of France’s 30 Million Friends animal rights foundation claims, “the human impact of eliminating pets would be equally devastating.” Reha says, “Pets are anti-depressants, they help us cope with stress, they are good for the elderly”

The Vales aren’t completely anti-animal, though. They also note that you can “offset” the carbon pawprint, or clawprint, by making sure your animal is dual purpose.

Robert Vale says, “Get a hen, which offsets its impact by laying edible eggs, or a rabbit, prepared to make the ultimate environmental sacrifice by ending up on the dinner table. Rabbits are good, provided you eat them.”

SOURCE

Am I the only one ready to put this farce of AGW behind us and start living our lives again?

December 21, 2009

Merry Christmas From The Castillo Family

by lewwaters

David Castillo Republican for Congress

Clark County Conservative wishes you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years.

December 20, 2009

Christmas Spirit Lives In Clark County

by lewwaters


It seems everywhere we turn today, we hear or read of yet another attack on Christmas. Be it Nativity Scenes are banned at a public building or the ACLU is filing charges over some symbol that someone is “offended” by, we see Christmas attacked and denigrated to just another commercialized holiday.

We can argue endlessly about the origins of Christmas or what the meaning behind it really is, even if it is really about Christ or not. Missed in all of that is Christmas is about giving. When we wrap and give gifts to our children we are teaching them to give, not take.

We see and hear so little today about giving to others. I don’t mean the endless cries for welfare, higher taxes and bailouts, but true giving of one’s self to others.

Maybe that is why I was somewhat taken aback this morning as I was sipping on my morning coffee, standing and just looking out my patio door as I saw a large bright red bus drive by, slow down and turn down my street, a cul de sac.

Seeing Fire District 6 on the side and not knowing that they had such a bus, my curiosity was aroused as to why they were here and what was going on.

My wife and I had to see and coffee in hand, walked out to our front yard to see if the bus had made a mistake and was now struggling to turn around.

What I saw was some young children jumping out of the bus at a home down the street where lives a young single woman with children that my wife and I have helped out from time to time. They had bags in hand; delivering gifts, food and whatever else was in the bags to her home. The children and the adults helping them weren’t doing it with frowns, as if it was something they had to do, but were smiling and happily helping someone less fortunate.

This is a program that has been ongoing for the last 12 years. It’s a program by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office called Santa’s Posse and is in partnership with the Rotary Clubs of Clark County, Fire District 6 and Kindercare Learning Centers.

They collect donations of new, unwrapped toys for children of all ages, nonperishable food, toiletry items, and cash at various locations around Clark County. Then they stock food baskets and wrap the presents, this year at the empty Best Buy building in Hazel Dell, so graciously offered by the people of Best Buy.

Witnessing this kind act of giving this morning has replenished some of my own spirit as it reminds me of my childhood when Christmas wasn’t under attack nor were elected officials ashamed of it.

I congratulate and thank the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the Rotary Clubs of Clark County, Fire District 6 and Kindercare Learning Centers for still displaying what I feel is the true meaning of Christmas, remembering our neighbors in need and giving on ones self, not calling on others to do it for them as well as teaching the children who accompanied them this morning what giving really is.

Merry Christmas to all and hopes for a brighter New Year.

December 19, 2009

Castillo Remains Focused and Unfazed By Crowded Field

by lewwaters

An article appearing in the Friday, December 18, 2009 Centralia Chronicle headlines, Candidate Unfazed by Crowded 3rd District Field in regards to current front-runner David Castillo of Olympia, running for the seat incumbent Democrat Brian Baird is stepping down from next year.

I suspect the entry of GOP insiders favorite, Jaime Herrera is expected to shake up those candidates like David, who was the first to file to run against Democrat incumbent Brian Baird, months before Baird announced not seeking reelection.

It hasn’t. As the article notes, “he is still focusing on creating jobs, lowering taxes and pushing for fiscal responsibility,” and carrying his campaign on just as focused as before.

David rightfully tells us, “The saying isn’t ‘when the going gets easy,’ it’s ‘when the going gets tough’. There’s a reason people respect that. It goes to character.”

Character! How long have we desired and looked for a candidate with character?

Is it character to be groomed by party insiders while claiming, “I am not more the same?”

Is it character to throw others under the bus for a scandal in which you didn’t adequately perform your duties?

Is it character to travel for your elected employer and claim nearly $500.00 for meals over a 3-day trip? Can anyone actually eat close to $60.00 worth of food at each meal 3 times a day?

Is it character for a male candidate to pay out $700.00 to a female “Independent Beauty Consultant” over a month and a half as a “campaign consultant?” Does any candidate really need to look that good?

Is it character to say, “I think that we have balanced the budget on the backs of the poor and the powerless,” as you cast a “yes” vote on a state budget bill or enhance your resumé, claiming to be a “highly decorated” peacetime Veteran due to a couple of commendation medals? Shouldn’t just the fact of serving be honorable enough?

Is it character to work diligently to force a multi-billion dollar bridge and light rail on a citizenry that continues to indicate they don’t want it?

Is it character to enter our country illegally, accept an amnesty to seek citizenship, then attend a school becoming a lawyer and now advocate more for others who illegally enter the country?

No, none of that is illegal, but do you feel it shows character?

Since first meeting David I have been impressed by his strength in character. It would be very easy for a lesser person to throw in the towel now with many entrenched politicians jumping in to run for Baird’s seat.

But that isn’t David. His dedication to his fellow man over his desire to climb the political ladder is what has propelled him to the current front-runner position.

In David, I see a self-made man, a Veteran of the US Navy and someone who comes from a broken family background, who could have very easily ended up on the wrong side of society like many others, if not for the strength, determination and values instilled in him by the single Mother who raised him.

David Castillo brings to the table a strong and discerning position on many issues before us, as noted HERE and on the issues page of his web site.

In the weeks and months ahead, we will be treated to claims of who is the best candidate based on gender, ethnicity, record and even party favoritism. We can expect to hear which one is best for the Democratic Party and who is best for the Republican Party, instead of who will best serve voters of both party’s in the 3rd Congressional District.

Some have experience, even though minimally in the state legislature, city council or advocacy groups. But, in these tough economic times, only one will have experience actually answering to people for handling their money instead of just voting on legislation to take our money.

If you are as tired of the same old pandering politicians and political opportunists as I am, David is the candidate you need to give serious consideration to.

Clearly, he holds the strength of character desperately in need today.

David Castillo For Congress

December 19, 2009

COP KILLER MAURICE CLEMMONS SHOULD NOT HAVE SEEN DAYLIGHT

by lewwaters

Reader Submission:

Maurice Clemmons murdered four of Washington’s finest in Lakewood Washington. It is a travesty that this monster was walking our streets! Every citizen should be outraged that he was released after facing 8 felonies which included punching a deputy in the face and the rape of a 12 year old girl! We voted for three strikes you are out in 1993. What happened?

Also, Jessica’s law which would have kept him locked up for life, was stripped down to a meaningless law by the Democrats and Governor Gregoire. At least the Republican lawmakers in Washington State voted to enact a tough Jessica’s law in it original form. Former Arkansas Republican Governor Huckabee shares responsibility for commuting his sentence down to 47 years which allowed him to be paroled the first time in Arkansas.

Gregoire allowed the release of another hardened criminal, a sociopath named Steven Dozier. Thirty year veteran Detective Mike Ciesynski stated he had rarely encountered a more dangerous person.

Gregoire needs to go! The Democrats who stripped Jessica’s law need to go! The judges who released Clemmons onto the street need to go! We have had enough. Get Justice for our four slain hero’s and that little girl. Take back the justice system in our State. Clemmens is dead but who will they release next to prowl the streets for their next victims. Vote them OUT!

Respectfuly,

Chuck Miller
Washington Citizens for Responsible Government

Clark County Conservative addressed this issue earlier this year after the tragic murder of 13-year-old Alycia Nipp at, Alycia Nipp Did Not Have To Die.

I contacted every representative and senator from both parties for Southwest Washington asking for stronger laws to keep these predators off of our streets.

I received replies from only two, Senator Don Benton and Representative Ed Orcutt, whose efforts were blocked.

No other elected official responded to me.

December 18, 2009

Study: Stimulus Benefited Democrat Districts More

by lewwaters


While ignoring high unemployment within predominantly Republican Districts.

“Democratic districts have received nearly twice as much stimulus money as Republican districts and the cash has been awarded without regard to how badly an area was suffering from job losses, according to a new study.”

“The Mercatus Center at George Mason University reviewed the distribution of $157 billion in stimulus dollars based on publicly available reports and found that there was “no statistical correlation” between the amount of money a district got and its income or unemployment rate.”

SOURCE

Mercatus Center Study

What was all that nonsense last year about Obama bringing America together again?

Has the closure of so many Auto Dealers that donated to Republican candidates over Democratic candidates been forgotten?

Should this regime succeed in highjacking our health care system, will Democrats benefit while American citizens that support the Republicans be left to suffer?

December 17, 2009

Jaime “I’m not more of the same” Herrera

by lewwaters

As we all know by now, Jaime Herrera, state representative for Washington’s 18th district, seems to have finally made up her mind and is solidly running for the seat Democrat Brian Baird intends to leave next year.

I say finally because Jaime initially announced she was running within 2 hours of Baird’s announcement, only to come out the next day saying she was “seriously considering” running. Tuesday, after spending at least the whole weekend “seriously considering” jumping in, she announced she was indeed going to run for the Republican nomination.

She says several people have been after her for some time to run, which I know is at least somewhat factual as many GOP party officials were asking her of her intent last spring after she won against Democrat VaNessa Duplessie to retain the state representative seat she had just been appointed to a few months earlier in December 2007. At that time, she let it be known she was not running, had just gotten married, happy in her job, all of the usual denials.

Jaime says of herself on her web page “I’m not more of the same.” An odd statement considering the speed her campaign being put together indicates to me that she is a favorite of party insiders all the way back to Washington D.C. as her entry into the race is the only one to merit any mention the Hill, “a congressional newspaper that publishes daily when Congress is in session, with a special focus on business and lobbying,” the ONLY announcement of her running that made no acknowledgement of others already in the race several months ahead of her.

Undoubtedly placed there by Jaime’s former boss and political mentor, Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Spokane.

But think a minute, when was the last time you heard any politician, Democrat or Republican running and admitting they actually were “more of the same?” Don’t they all claim to be “not more of the same” and if a challenger, saying something along the lines of “America is on the wrong track” and we need them to put us back on track?

Returning from her job with congresswoman Rodgers in Washington D.C. and winning the appointment to replace Richard Curtis after a 10 year hiatus from the state as rapidly as she did concerns me, though. Another local blogger who has been involved with Clark County politics several more years than I have been says he knows of some shaky dealings that won her the appointment. Although I attended the meeting where she initially won against several others, I had been a PCO only 2 days and do not have the behind the scenes knowledge he does.

I will be watching his blog, Clark County Politics as he reveals what he knows.

Still, I have some concerns of my own with Ms. Herrera, beyond the appearance of opportunism by jumping into the race so soon after Brian Baird announced he was not going to seek his seat again.

Looking over Interest Group Ratings for Jaime, we see she earned,

· 100 from the Washington Farm Bureau, 88 from the Association of Washington Businesses,
· 100 from the Washington National Federation of Independent Businesses,
· 33 from the Washington Conservation Voters,
· 71 from the Washington Children’s Alliance,
· ‘A’ from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund,
· 20 from the Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

Her voting record looks fairly conservative, which causes me concern seeing she has such a low rating from unions, yet supported and voted ‘yes’ on 2 Union supported measures, HB 1329, Providing collective bargaining for child care center directors and workers, HB 1389, granting employees of nuclear power plants a legal and binding document on interest arbitration and shortly after she was appointed to the state house, HB 2449, Providing collective bargaining for child care center directors and workers.

Collective bargaining is unionization, if you don’t realize it.

Both measures on child care collective bargaining were strongly supported by the SEIU, whose members in St. Louis, Missouri this summer were video taped beating up a Black man, Kenneth Gladney, who was in opposition to the health care reform bill, the Washington Education Association and American Federation of Teachers.

Opposition was from YMCAs of Washington; Washington Parents for Safe Child Care; Washington Policy Center.

Ms. Herrera also accepted campaign donation from the SEIU (Service Employees International Union) during her 2008 run. Her endorsement page lists SEIU Local 925, SEIU Local 775 NW and SEIU Local 1199 NW as endorsers in 2008, among several other Unions.

Did she vote with Unions in an effort to bring her Union rating up? Conservatives usually don’t fair well with Unions nor do they receive support from them usually.

She claims, “I’ve worked with both Democrats and Republicans on important issues.”

President George W. Bush went to Washington D.C. with a strong record of reaching across the aisle as the governor of Texas and we saw how much cooperation he received from Democrats over his 8 years as President, didn’t we?

Jaime is no doubt very attractive, but if a seasoned politician like Bush and many other conservative Republicans who have been sent to Washington D.C. couldn’t get cooperation back from across the aisle, how does she expect to as a novice?

Most people I talk to have told me they are tired of Washington Insiders, party favorites who say they will not follow the direction of party leaders, but owe party leaders and special interests for their office and end up doing just that.

The rapidness of Jaime’s ascension in the political hierarchy, as well as announcing within 2 hours of Baird announcing his retirement smacks of political opportunism. This is a large part of what the TEA Parties have been protesting against across America.

The speed with which the party seems to be dumping a strong candidate who has been doing the legwork, building his support across the district and preparing to break six figures in campaign funds troubles me greatly.

This is part of the very action that cost the party congressional control and the White House as conservatives abandoned the party.

We do not need another elected official who parrots the party line while saying they will not follow the direction of party leaders.

December 15, 2009

Silly Season Hits The 3rd, I’m Staying With Castillo

by lewwaters

Since incumbent congressman Brian Baird made his announcement last week of not seeking another term in office, a wise decision I feel as members of both parties are not happy with him, it seems the field of candidates has begun to grow rapidly.

Understandably, the Democrats weren’t really fielding any one against him when he announced, other than Cheryl Crist who was thinking and gearing up to square off against him again.

For Republicans, we have current front-runner, David Castillo who was the first to file to run against Baird, followed by embattled Washougal city councilman, Jon Russell, who is currently a distant second.

David Hedrick, the former Marine who made news in August with his confrontation of Baird at our town hall just recently threw his hat in the ring and although a good guy and gutsy, let’s face it, he is a novice and really doesn’t stand much of a chance, although I’d label him as more honest than Russell has been with voters.

Democrat state representative Deb Wallace threw her hat in the day after Baird made his announcement.

Republican representative Jaime Herrera announced her intent within 2 hours of Baird’s announcement and then backed off saying she would “seriously consider” entering the race.

Rumblings were heard from Democrats Sen. Craig Pridemore and Rep. Jim Moeller

Today, December 15, 2009, the Columbian tells us, “Pridemore, Herrera running to succeed Baird” announcing both Craig Pridemore and Jaime Herrera are making it official.

We also hear rumors of Sen. Joe Zarelli considering running for the seat Baird is abandoning and the potential of other yet unnamed Republicans and Democrats entering the race.

Democrats jockeying for the nomination is no surprise and there is nothing really out of the ordinary for more Republicans to join in, although my wife and I will continue to support David Castillo over Jaime Herrera.

Don’t get me wrong; Herrera will undoubtedly pull most of her local support from Jon Russell and personally, I think she just may be a better candidate than Jon. I also think she has a bright future in politics as she learns and gains experience.

But, Castillo was the first to enter the race and was in it when it was thought it would be a tough race against Baird. He didn’t wait until the ‘coast was clear’ and the race would be easier. He was in it to win against a very tough opponent who was solidly entrenched.

That is leadership over opportunism, what has been missing for too long in our representatives both in Washington State and Washington D.C.

Castillo has been traveling the 3rd District to build support from the bottom up and show voters he is the different candidate. He hasn’t shied away from voters or gotten embroiled in scandals where he felt he must throw others under the bus to distance himself from.

In late August 2009, the Clark County Republicans and Democrats got together for a friendly softball game to benefit SHARE in Clark County. Castillo, who lives in Olympia, made the drive to appear and play on the Republican team. Neither Jon Russell nor Jaime Herrera were able to make it, although Pridemore did.

The 3rd Congressional District has been a Democrat District for some time, but has begun leaning towards conservatives somewhat in the last few years. We have a real good chance of winning this race with a candidate like David Castillo who has steadily stood up and was prepared for the tough fight to win the congressional seat.

We need that strength and determination in turning America around. We need a candidate who isn’t afraid of a tough opponent and who hasn’t shown that personal ambition is more important than accepting responsibility.

Castillo has shown his willingness to accept responsibility years ago when a dot com company he and three partners tried to get going was caught up in the dot com collapse.

He didn’t point fingers and lay blame on others. He didn’t throw his partners under the bus or pull anything untoward. No, he went through liquidation and rebuilt to where he is today, a financial adviser.

That is fortitude and character, also sorely missing today in our elected officials.

Undoubtedly there will be some more that decide to throw their hats in for what they see now is an easy run. Given the current attitude across the country with the economy worsening so much and unemployment increasing rapidly under their total control in D.C., Democrats have a tough row to hoe.

It is not a sure thing for Republicans by any means, but strong candidates who have shown their willingness for a tough run, displayed fortitude and character like Castillo has, is who we need running.

For my wife and I our support remains with David Castillo, Republican for Washington States 3rd Congressional District.

December 15, 2009

Does Anybody Know Why Are We In Afghanistan?

by lewwaters


Watch this video and pay close attention to the very end, if you still wonder why


A curious question you might ask?

I have to agree, but that is one asked by a reader of our local paper, The Columbian in the December 14, 2009 Letters To The Editor and titled Deploying more troops is regrettable.

How have people been lulled back to sleep after September 11, 2001? How has the left forgotten and ignored how they demeaned President Bush’s efforts in Iraq by crying often, “Afghanistan is where the fight is” or “Afghanistan is the central front in the War on Terror?” Is that not a question frequently put before us by those who said Iraq was a folly and was drawing needed resources away from the real war in Afghanistan?

Failed 2004 Democrat candidate for president, John ‘F’in Kerry is one of the more vocal ones who expressed strong opposition to Iraq while calling for more resources to Afghanistan and now, talks of abandoning Afghanistan too, just as he advocated when he stabbed Viet Nam Veterans in the back in 1971.

He is far from the only one, though. On September 14, 2001 a rare display of bi-partisanship authorized President Bush to take Military action. It passed in the Senate by a vote of 98 to 0 and the House, 420 to 1. Then chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, Senator Joe Biden said, “The nation is resolute, and I have every confidence we will prevail.”

The Republican whip in the House, Tom DeLay said, “The president can act with patience and deliberation because the American people are united behind our duty to vindicate freedom.”

Apparently that “resolute feelings” and “united” notion held little meaning for all too many as we are told in an October 13, 2009 New York Times article, “Mr. Biden has been Mr. Obama’s in-house pessimist on Afghanistan, the strongest voice against further escalation of American forces there and the leading doubter of the president’s strategy” now that he is vice president.

December 10, 2009

Herrera and Wallace Announce Run For Baird’s Seat

by lewwaters

As the shock of yesterdays surprise announcement from incumbent Brian Baird, Washington’s 3rd Congressional District of not seeking another term in office, Republican Jaime Herrera, State Representative for Washington’s 18th Legislative District and Democrat Deb Wallace, State Representative for Washington’s 17th Legislative Districts, have announced an intent to run for the seat Baird is giving up.

Herrera is in her first elected term in the State House, having been previously appointed to replace former State Representative, Richard Curtis, after he resigned in disgrace.

Herrera, 31 and recently married, has compiled a mediocre-business record in her time in the House, scoring a perfect 100 in 2008 on votes important to the National Federation of Independent Business, and garnering an 88 rating from the Association of Washington Business, in spite of throwing constituents over board in favor of the SEIU backed forced unionization of childcare centers. She previously served as a policy assistant to Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers in Washington D.C. before returning to her native Clark County in order to obtain the seat vacated by Curtis.

Herrera says she entered the race after extensive calls for her to run saying, “This tells me that the people of our region are concerned about the direction of our state and country. I share those concerns,” even though many still wonder Did Herrera Even Read HB 1329?

Wallace, has 4 terms representing the 17th District as a Democrat. Former President of the Downtown Vancouver Association, she also has served on the boards of Lower Columbia River Estuary Association and 211-INFO. She recently gained favor with many Clark County residents from both sides of politics for her efforts at ending Oregon residents sales tax exemption when they make purchases here.

Wallace is married with 2 grown children and has lived her 21 years.

In a release appearing in the Columbian, Thursday Dec 10, Herrera is quoted now as saying she is giving the idea “serious consideration” and will “make an official announcement about her plans next week,” seeming to back off the definite sounding announcements of yesterday when she threw her hat in the ring less than 2 hours after Baird announced his retirement.

Current front-runner for Baird’s seat, Republican David Castillo remains confident, looking forward to a clean and interesting campaign.

As soon as Herrera again announces she definitely will run next week, she undoubtedly will draw much support from Jon Russell, whom she easily defeated in 2007 for the appointment to replace Richard Curtis.

Mouthy former US Marine, David Hedrick, who made national News this past August for confronting Baird at our Clark County town hall, also has filed to run, but doesn’t seem to be gaining much steam currently. An official entrance into the campaign will surely finish off both Russell and Hedrick’s bid.

After the shocking announcement of 6 term Baird not seeking re-election yesterday, Clark County Senator Craig Pridemore and State Representative Jim Moeller also expressed a desire to run for the open seat, but have not yet made any actual announcement.

December 9, 2009

Castillo Statement On Brian Baird Not Seeking Re-Election

by lewwaters

Castillo Ready to Step In and Lead

Statement by David Castillo:

In light of Congressman Baird’s announcement today, I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his service to the citizens of southwest Washington. As I have traveled up and down the district over the last few months, I ran into more than a few people who spoke highly of the time he spent in the district meeting with constituents. While we may not see eye-to-eye on many issues I do send my sincerest appreciation for his service to the public.

Today’s announcement does not change my focus on the issues that matter most to the people of the 3rd District: job creation, lower taxes, fiscal responsibility and national security.

I look forward to continue leading on the issues that matter most to this district and all Americans.

# # #

With Congressman Baird stepping down, Castillo is the fundraising leader as of the last FEC report on October 15. He has also amassed a list of endorsements from within the 3rd District, as well as statewide. (See below)

He is a member of Rotary International, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the American Legion. He is a veteran of the United States Navy.

Mr. Castillo and his wife Callie live in Olympia with their three-year-old son Caidan.

Key Endorsements
Attorney General Rob McKenna
Former Attorney General Ken Eikenberry
Former Congressman Randy Tate
Senator Don Benton
Senator Dan Swecker
House Minority Leader Richard DeBolt
Rep. Gary Alexander
Rep. Ed Orcutt
Rep. Glenn Anderson
Rep. Cary Condotta
Rep. Larry Crouse
Rep. Doug Ericksen
Rep. Bill Hinkle
Rep. Joel Kretz
Rep. Kirk Pearson
Rep. Skip Priest
Rep. Dan Roach
Rep. Jay Rodne
Commissioner Tom Mielke, Clark County
Treasurer Rose Bowman, Lewis County
Former Mayor Cy Myers (Winlock)
Mayor Ken Jones (Tenino)
Councilman Chad Taylor (Chehalis)
Councilman John O’Callahan (Tenino)
Councilman Troy Van Dinter (La Center)
Councilman Bill Bates (Centralia)

You may find out more about David Castillo at David Castillo for Congress

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