WUI (Writing under the influence)

Somebody once said we are all Americans, sometimes born in the wrong places.
On a warm autumn day in 1986, while enjoying beer with my college buddies,
I decided to join my new homeland.

I've come to appreciate the ideals that helped create this great country.
Liberalism, political-correctness, multiculturalism and moral equivalence
are destroying it.

This old house Grovenet Wal*Mart Visiting Poland American wine better than French.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

 

Answering BDS victims

There is an older guy who every Thursday afternoon stands next to the library with a sign that says " Bring our troops home" or something to that effect. He is sometimes joined by one or two equally misguided folks but more often than not, rain or shine he just stands there hoping for a miracle or another treasonous news anchor (i.e., Cronkite.)

Our local newspaper have written several pieces on him showing how unbiased the liberal media really are and has given him more than ample opportunity to publish his own anti Bush and anti capitalist screeds as well.

His last, as often happens when war opponents get really desperate, went overboard.

So I wrote a rebuttal which was published today.

The following are (from the bottom) several pieces on the war protester, his latest guest column and my answer to him and many others in Forest Grove who have lost their senses.

For completeness, these are his other opinions on Wal*Mart, Bush, and more war. There are others but they are as unhinged it's not even worth to mention them.



Guest Opinion
GWB is no FDR (thank goodness)
, Feb 27, 2008
It is called BDS or Bush Derangement Syndrome. Its sufferers often engage in something called acute case of political projection: accusing one’s political enemies of actions one often engages in or defends if carried out by one’s political allies.
BDS sufferers often hail virtues of past U.S. presidents, some of whom came very close to becoming totalitarian tyrants and who are more easily comparable to Hitler or Stalin, while accusing the current occupant of the White House and his supporters of trying to take over the country in some evil conspiracy (“Just say ‘no’ to steady diet of fear,” Guest Column, News-Times, Feb. 20, 2008).
FDR is one such past president. With his famous words “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself” he managed to convince the nation to give him a blank check to squash any dissent and to implement constitutionally questionable domestic policies that together with countless other socialist experiments that followed over the last 70 years are slowly bankrupting the country.
It is indeed ironic that BDS sufferers use FDR as an example against George W. Bush. After all, it was FDR who put thousands of Americans in concentration camps, went around the US Congress to aid the British and tried to pack the Supreme Court with his cronies to preserve the New Deal.
During World War II, FDR carpet-bombed many enemy cities and his successor dropped two atomic bombs on Japan killing hundreds of thousands of civilians, but it is George Bush who is mercilessly criticized because a few ruthless killers are held in Guantanamo and another few prisoners in Iraq were photographed with underwear on their heads.
While we are facing an enemy more cruel than Nazis or fascists or communists, the enemy who is clearly intent on destroying the West, BDS victims pretend that the enemy doesn’t exist and the frequent outbursts of indiscriminate Muslim violence can be managed by police actions and by constant appeasement.
For the past seven years, BDS sufferers have been feeding us “steady diet of fear” explaining to us how George Bush, Republicans and evangelical Christians will take over the country and create some kind of theocracy with unlimited police powers.
Isn’t it ironic that while BDS victims are sure that people in the United States are “intimidated by arbitrary arrests” they feel free to publish their screeds on the pages of local newspapers?
But there is good news for the many stricken with BDS and the rest of us who have to put up with their antics. They all will be cured next January when George Bush finally steps down.
And step he will. Because he, unlike FDR and many with BDS, has the respect for the original meaning of the U.S. Constitution.
Krystof Zmudzinski lives in Forest Grove.
Copyright 2008 Pamplin Media Group, 6605 S.E. Lake Road, Portland, OR 97222 • 503-226-6397



Guest Opinion
Just say ‘no’ to steady diet of fear
, Feb 20, 2008

‘The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.’



America was trapped in a terrible, worldwide crisis when Franklin D. Roosevelt spoke those words in his first inaugural address in 1933.

It was during the depths of the Depression. Millions were unemployed or struggling to make a bare living, their life savings vanished in the nation’s overwhelming financial collapse.

Then came the new president’s voice on the radio, assuring Americans that fear – “nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror” – was our greatest enemy. In coming years, that strong, piercing voice on the radio would become familiar to all Americans during Roosevelt’s broadcast Fireside Chats – calming despair, bluntly discussing the nation’s crises, boldly advancing a New Deal to renew hope in the hopeless and put Americans back to work.

Few people listening to that firm, confident voice knew that this was a man with paralyzed legs, a man who had dragged himself back from his own depths of despair. Boldly facing the overwhelming national disaster, he called upon Americans for courage and unity.

Be brave, was his message. We are all in this together. We will all come through it together.

Also in 1933, on the far side of the world, another, very different leader came to power.

We are accustomed to think of Adolf Hitler as some sort of unique monster, a creature of superhuman evil. He was not. He was a very ordinary man – a bitter little man who had failed at every profession he tried until he became the leader of a small radical party called the Nazis.

Hitler did not seize power in Germany. He was legally elected to lead that nation, and his Nazi party’s swift, methodical destruction of democracy and personal liberties went practically unopposed.

This was because he did not call for courage and unity from German citizens, but for fear and intolerance – of Jews, of communists, of homosexuals, gypsies, Slavs, anyone who did not fit the glorified image of “the pure Aryan race.”

Germans were repeatedly assured that those “others” were to blame for Germany's defeat in the First World War, and for all Germany's subsequent problems. And ordinary citizens went about their lives secure in the belief that their leader would solve all their problems, while the Nazis swiftly assumed control over every aspect of their lives – crushing any dissent, creating the ruthless SS and the feared Gestapo, taking control of the press, perverting the legal system. By the time some ordinary Germans realized all they had lost, it was fatal to protest.

An American writer, Naomi Wolf, has analyzed the 10 steps that the Nazis – and every totalitarian government before and since – used to undermine and destroy the open societies in which they arose.

Those 10 steps include:

• Invoke external and internal threats.

• Establish a secret police and secret prisons.

• Create an armed force outside civilian law.

• Spy on citizens and infiltrate their organizations.

• Intimidate people by arbitrary arrests.

• Restrict the media.

• Denounce dissent as treason.

• Subvert the rule of law to serve the purposes of the rulers.



Wolf’s book, titled “The End of America,” details how each of those 10 steps has been taken by our own government in the past few years.

Since 9/11, our nation has been fed a steady diet of fear – fear of terrorists, of illegal immigrants, of socialist medicine, gay agendas and secularism.

Be afraid, is the message. Be very afraid.

And, while we were distracted by those fears, the 10 steps were being openly taken toward an all-powerful, unchecked and unbalanced government, at endless war with internal and external threats.

Fear has become a major national industry. Giant corporations like Halliburton and Blackwater, which deal in fear, are being showered with billions of dollars borrowed against our grandchildren’s futures.

And yet, Wolf’s book is encouraging, too, because a peril that is exposed and understood is one that can be defeated.

Democracy is a fragile thing, Wolf writes. It requires constant attention from all its members to maintain it. America does face real and awful dangers – religious terrorism, the loss of industries, a horrifying national debt, a widening gap between haves and have-nots, and destruction of the environment and natural resources.

But these are real, understandable problems. They can be met with courage and unity and the native optimism Americans can draw upon – whenever they are not being led by fear.

We are all in this together. With courage and unity, we can all come through it together.



Walt Wentz lives in Forest Grove.

Copyright 2008 Pamplin Media Group, 6605 S.E. Lake Road, Portland, OR 97222 • 503-226-6397




War critics send message to Congress
Forest Grove -- Residents from four counties call on Congress to wind down war in Iraq and fund services for returning American troops
By John Schrag

The Forest Grove News-Times, Feb 21, 2007

Chase Allgood / News-Times

Ellen Hastay of the West County Council for Human Dignity addresses an overflow crowd at an Iraq War forum Monday evening in Pacific University’s Taylor Auditorium in Forest Grove.
More than 120 people packed a Pacific University auditorium Monday night to hear a series of speakers discuss the mounting cost – in dollars and lives – of the war in Iraq.

The gathering, promoted as a town hall meeting for Oregon’s 1st Congressional District, drew people from four counties, according to Walt Wentz, one of the organizers. Invitations were sent to Sens. Gordon Smith (R-Pendleton) and Ron Wyden (D-Portland) and Rep. David Wu (D-Portland).

Only Wu, whose district stretches from Portland to the coast, sent a representative, Wentz said.

After listening to several speakers, including two veterans of the current war, the group unanimously voted to adopt three resolutions that will be forwarded to Smith, Wyden and Wu.

The resolutions call for:

• The members of Congress to oppose any new appropriations for the war and use existing funding to withdraw U.S. forces from Iraq immediately.

• Rep. Wu to provide his constituents with a detailed report on the cost of the war.

• The members of Congress to stop any escalation of the conflict with Iran.

The forum was organized by the West County Council for Human Dignity and Pacific’s Department of Peace and Conflict Studies.

Kristin Ludwig, a member of the human dignity council, said it was an exciting evening.

“I can’t think of another event happening in a long time that matched the town hall in spirit and energy,” the Forest Grove resident said. “It was an amazing and inspiring example of grassroots democracy.”

Participants pledged to work together throughout the 1st Congressional District to hold the representatives accountable.

Organizers said that in addition to sending the resolutions to congressional offices, they plan to publicize the resolutions throughout the members’ districts.

Copyright 2008 Pamplin Media Group, 6605 S.E. Lake Road, Portland, OR 97222 • 503-226-6397




A solitary man’s plea
By Nancy Townsley

The Forest Grove News-Times, Jan 10, 2007, Updated Jan 10, 2007

Chase Allgood / News-Times

Every Thursday during the afternoon rush hour – rain or shine – Walt Wentz mans his post across from the Forest Grove library on the north side of Pacific Avenue.



There, from about 4:30 to 6 p.m., he stands and holds a large sign with a simple message: Bring Our Troops Home.

Sometimes he spends the hour-and-a-half completely alone as cars whiz past and no one seems to take notice.

Other days he gets waves and horn honks from people who seem to agree with his point of view. The occasional catcalls and middle fingers shoved out of truck windows don’t bother Wentz all that much, he said.

After all, he noted, they have the right to their opinion.

His unvarnished belief is that the war in Iraq – which began 3½ years ago and just before the New Year claimed its 3,000th military death – has already been going on far too long.

“I remember Vietnam, and I saw our peoples’ lives being thrown away in the same idiotic fashion – in an open-ended ‘war’ with crazy rules of engagement and an enemy that was indistinguishable from the populace we were supposedly liberating,” said Wentz, 64.

The retired associate editor of Ruralite, a Forest Grove-based magazine covering rural electrical cooperatives, actually began his protest shortly after the war started, in March 2003, with a one-man candlelight vigil in Rogers Park.

The effort was “in memory of the troops killed up to that time,” Wentz said. “Eventually I decided I was wasting time in a solitary personal homage to dead soldiers when I could try to help save a few live ones.”

That was when Wentz decided to park himself downtown, in a spot that might draw attention to what has turned into the third-longest military conflict in U.S. history – after the Revolutionary War and Vietnam, according to National Public Radio’s Web site.



Response positive

The response to his protest has been “overwhelmingly positive,” Wentz said.

“Mainly it’s horn taps, thumbs up, grins and waves,” he noted. “I’d say the percentage is about 15 positive to one negative.”

He smiles at everyone who responds, no matter how.

“I’m not there to argue – just to say what everyone has been thinking for a long while now.”

Once in a while, Wentz gets involved in conversations with curious passers-by who wonder why he stages his silent protest week after week, month after month.

He tells them he doesn’t want to get into politics, because that’s “divisive and time-wasting.” But he’s up front about his contention that the war in Iraq will continue, whether American troops leave or stay.

“Sadly, it’s unrealistic to say, ‘Stop the war.’ We can’t impose a democracy on people whose primary motivation for the past 5,000 years has been to seize power and wealth for their own religious sect or tribe or clan or family.

“But all that is too complicated for any sign I could hold up without a forklift.”

Wentz said he saw no reason to “go into the morality” of the war “or the shifting rationales or the oil or anything else about how or why we got into the war.”

His vigil is singly focused on getting soldiers home from the Middle East.

“I’m just sticking to the obvious facts,” Wentz said. “We’ve been pushed into a wild-goose chase, and are squandering the people and the international goodwill and the resources we need for the real problems here at home.”

With dozens of young men and women from Forest Grove and the surrounding communities presently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as a military veteran himself, Wentz is loathe to criticize the individuals fighting overseas.

“I don’t have any children or grandchildren in the military, but everybody over there is somebody’s child, brother, sister, father, mother, husband or wife,” Wentz said.

Rather, he disagrees with a U.S. military policy that he believes serves no positive end.

“Every one of those troops who dies in Iraq is a wasted sacrifice made by some family here at home,” said Wentz, who served in the Air Force from 1960-64 as a member of the Strategic Air Command during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

“Military people are patriotic,” Wentz noted. “That patriotism shouldn’t be abused. Those lives shouldn’t be thrown away in a fake war.”

For the first five months or so, Wentz was the lone protestor on the Pacific University sidewalk. Last fall, he was joined by Forest Grove resident and anti-war advocate Kevin Boardman.

Besides the two men, “one sweet lady has joined in a couple of times,” Wentz said.

“The number of us out there doesn’t really matter,” he noted. “Somebody just has to speak up and let people know they aren’t alone in thinking the troops need to be brought home.”



U.S. DEATHS SURPASS 3,000 MARK

As of Monday morning, at least 3,011 members of the military had died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to the Associated Press. The U.S. Department of Defense Web site, www.defenselink.mil/news, lists 3,000 deaths, including 2,015 as a result of hostile action and seven civilian casualties.

Copyright 2008 Pamplin Media Group, 6605 S.E. Lake Road, Portland, OR 97222 • 503-226-6397

Comments:
Is it possible that you are both correct? FDR not only violated the constitution in almost everything he did, but possibly knew of the bombing of Pearl Harbor prior to the attack and covered it up by putting the entire blame on the fleet commander.
But Bush has also made a mockery of the Constitution by signing agreements with Canada and Mexico that are only to be made by the Congress. U.S. citizens have been locked up in Gitmo without formal charges or even a lawyer for years in total violation of the Constitution. Bush just this month signed an agreement with Canada to allow their military to come into this country in the event they are needed in case of a disaster or civil unrest. What type of civil unrest would necessitate the use of Canadian soldiers?
In Presidential Directive 51 Bush has stated that in the event of a disaster or attack of his determination, he will assume the complete control of all federal, state, local and tribal governments in complete violation of the constitutional division of powers. When told of this directive, our congressman Peter DeFazio asked to look at the parts of the directive that were classified and not available to Congress. He was told no even though he is on the Homeland Security Committee and has the highest of clearances. This is still being sorted out months later.
The main job of the president is to defend the Constitution and yet we still have open borders 6years after 9/11.
 
That was my point or at least that was the point I was trying to make. I don't think we have US citizens in Gitmo. However, if we do but we picked them up on a field of battle, they belong there.

My other point was to refute his argument that we live in some kind of a fascist state where people are disappearing from the street.

I'm very sensitive to this because people in my country used to disappear in the middle of the night for speaking out against our communist tyrants.

Lastly, there is a question of who is ruining the US economy more: GWB's wars or FDR's social programs.

First, we should never decide to go to war or not because of how much it would cost. If the war is necessary, the way WWII and I would argue both Afghanistan and Iraq were, than the price tag is irrelevant. That is after all the sole (and regulating the commerce) purpose of the federal government.

FDR's programs will bankrupt this country much more quickly than any war we will ever engage in. What's worse, those programs are not allowed in the US constitution.

Again, I'm perplexed by GWB's critics who praise FDR. Both men may be guilty of similar "crimes" but the financial cost of FDR's policies is at least 100-fold greater.
 
Dear P.I., thanks for commenting on my blog. I know that we would have much in common from following your comments on your blog and Daniel's.
As far as no one being taken to Gitmo that was a U.S. citizen you only need look to Jose Padilla. He is was a U.S. citizen arrested in Chicago that Bush designated an illegal enemy combatant and transferred to Gitmo. Almost 4 years later he was finally transferred to Miami Florida to face criminal conspiracy charges. I'm certainly not defending Mr. Padilla, but I do defend the Constitution in respect that any American is entitled to all the protection it affords.
I believe that our Constitution is what separates us from all other nations and if we loose any of our liberties we loose what makes this country great.
As far as fighting the war on terror and the Muslim extremists, I don't think winning this war is possible anymore than winning the war on drugs or the war on poverty. However we can secure this country by securing our borders and ports and not allowing criminals to come to this country. We also can severely restrict legal immigration to this country to those such as yourself that are of a benefit to us. We also need to insist that immigrants are truly here to become Americans and not amend our culture and institutions to suit them.
While I do see radical Islam as a real threat, I don't believe we can ever end it with violence. We can only defend our country from invasion and try to practice Democracy and Capitalism in a positive way that will change the hearts and minds of those that mean us harm.
Keep up the good work!
 
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