Tuesday, November 08, 2016

Post-Election Observations...

In reading the highly toxic posts on Facebook from friends and others lamenting Donald Trump's victory, what I find most curious in all this the-sky-is-falling, and our-children-are-doomed reactionary rhetoric is that not a single one of them has stepped up to acknowledge the obvious Hillary Clinton was a highly flawed candidate not easily likable, totally unethical, in-your-face dishonest, morally bankrupt, and brazenly corrupt. 

Did any of them even bother to read any of the Wikileaks material? It is literally a treasure trove of documented information detailing how Hillary and the elitists around her flaunted the law the rest of us are expected to live by, or pay the consequences. Our nation witnessed how Hillary and DNC openly screwed Bernie Sanders right out of the nomination without a second thought a nomination which he rightfully earned and yet lemming Democrats still supported her anyway. The biggest irony, to me at least, is that had Democrats played the game honestly and by their own rules Bernie most likely would have beaten Trump.

So where do we go from here?

If you saw Trump's acceptance speech, you saw him openly reach out to those who didn't support him. He was more gracious and presidential than at any time during this nasty, ugly campaign. If you actually listened to Hillary's concession speech, you heard her ask her supporters to graciously accept Trump's invitation to work together and open their minds to cooperating with the President-Elect. If you listened to President Obama's speech after Hillary's, you heard him echo that same theme of unity and cooperation now that the outcome has been decided.

I question whether or not Trump's highly strident opponents are even capable of that, but I certainly hope they will at least try to give him an even break. That said, Trump needs to act quickly and decisively on some issues which if done right, may actually win some of them over. The first and foremost in my mind at least is the replacement of Obamacare. Not its repeal but its replacement. I understand why this is a major issue to so many. For example, mothers with children who are dependent upon it for the medicine that keeps their children alive are very scared by the uncertainty and justifiably so. For them, and the millions of others who depend on it, there needs to be a seamless transition to a better, more efficient, less costly system not its elimination. 

Trump needs to immediately begin reaching out to our allies in the world community and building bridges that reassure them he isn't a war-monger. Their first and foremost common goal should be the total defeat of ISIS. I also think he needs to reach out to Cuba and let them know he won't cave in to pressure to shut down the new relationship Obama has established. Cuba is a huge American business opportunity just waiting to happen 90 miles off our shores.

There's a lot of other things he needs to pursue as well, and I'm confident he will move America forward. The real question is how much political and anarchist opposition will he face from Hillary supporters for no other reason than he's Donald Trump as opposed to bona-fide philosophical differences? The only advice I can offer is what I learned to do from my training with Tony Robbins and that's in any negative situation to ask yourself two questions "What's good about this?" and "What opportunities are hidden in this adversity?" 

The bottom line is that the sky isn't going to fall; our kids aren't doomed; and the stock market isn't going to crash all because Donald Trump is our President. And more to the point, the sun will rise tomorrow. It's my sincere hope that the Hillary supporters will put aside their differences even if just in the short term so all of America can have an honest chance to come together like we did after 9/11 and seize the opportunities that await us, because as Hillary said, we are all "Stronger Together." Carpe Diem America!        


My final thoughts on the election...

A number of people have asked me why I support Donald Trump since he is a (fill in the blank(s) here). The answer is simple. For me, it's about what he isn't. What he isn't is a proven dishonest, unethical, corrupt pathological liar who has enriched himself by selling influence and favors that have jeopardized America's national security. 

I'm not even a Republican but an Independent voter. I proudly registered as a Democrat on my 18th birthday, and in all these years don't believe I ever left the Democratic Party, but do believe it has left me. The party that was once the champion of justice and hard-working Americans has become nothing more than a shell of its former self, and today is little more than a mouthpiece for, and vehicle to, change America into a Socialist nation — which will benefit the elites in power, while the rest of us support them with ever-increasing taxes.

Was Donald Trump my first choice? Hell No. Personally, I liked Ben Carson and Carley Fiorina. But the bottom line is that Trump beat 16 of the most powerful Republicans in the country — fair and square — losing only two primaries in the process, coming in a close second in both. Meanwhile Hillary had to blatantly cheat to beat a 76-year old Communist who rightfully earned it out of the nomination, brazenly demonstrating a level of absolute political corruption never before witnessed in American politics. 

If you haven't read the Wikileaks material, you should. While the Lamestream Media is in Hillary's pocket and has pointedly ignored what Wikileaks has exposed, It makes Trump — for all his faults — look like a saint in comparison to Hillary. I believe Trump will clean house — expose and fix the corruption that has infected our government right down to the local level in many cases — like in Broward County, Florida, where I grew up for example... 

Hillary met with Brenda Snipes, the Supervisor of Elections there, last week. My late brother actually worked for her when he died, as well as for the previous Supervisor of Elections, the late Jane Carroll. He once told me that in comparison to Carroll, Snipes is the most dishonest, blatantly partisan public official he'd ever seen in 20+ years of working for Broward County government. This week, an employee came forward and exposed Snipes' office for filling in thousands of absentee ballots for Hillary and other Democrats. Is there a connection there? You decide... 

How any thinking woman can support and vote for Hillary Clinton after she has vilified all the women her husband has had affairs with, abused, and raped is totally beyond me. I wish someone would explain it to me in a way that makes sense and doesn't reek of the double-standard of partisan hypocrisy.

Trump may be a lot of bad things, and I agree this is the most difficult choice America has ever faced. But I do believe Trump loves America and will surround himself with smart, experienced people who will reinforce the Constitution, clean up the corruption Clinton is banking on to be elected, and bring America back from the brink of extinction that Obama has led us down the path to. Hillary has publicly stated she will continue leading us down Obama's path — until the America we all know and love is gone — and making herself even richer in the process.  

I think that perhaps a lot of people are voting for America more than for Donald Trump, and voting against everything Hillary Clinton is, and stands for. They're voting for what Obama promised, but never delivered — honest Hope and Change.

I hope that answers your question about why I support Donald Trump...

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Is Trump Right About The Press?

I recently read an article someone posted on Facebook from Politicusa.com headlined "Trump Says Freedom of the Press Must Go Because 'He's Not Like Other People.'" That's certainly a bit over dramatic. But as a member of the working political press for most of my adult life, and serving as a former elected official, I can certainly understand Trump's frustration with a "free press" that refuses to tell the entire truth, or adhere to journalistic ethics when it doesn't suit their political agenda. 

Obama took control of the press early on by restricting press access of journalists who disagreed with him and his policies — and access is the lifeblood of the press. By doing so, he dictated not only the political agenda from that point forward but the press coverage of it as well. That lesson wasn't lost on Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders. or the Democratic establishment as a whole. That also has a lot to do with why the FBI investigations of Hillary or the riots at Trump rallies by Bernie supporters paid by George Soros aren't getting a lot of Lamestream Media (LSM) coverage. Meanwhile, every outrageous Trump utterance gets major media attention and anything positive he does is ignored. It's why his daughter gets peppered with questions about her father's attitude towards women, while no card-carrying member of the LSM would ever dream of asking Chelsea Clinton that very same question. 

The LSM has become little more than the Extreme Left's Press Office. It's why Political Correctness, Black Lives Matter, the Muslim and Mexican invasions have all been shoved down America's collective throat along with Travon Martin, Freddie Gray, and Michael Brown while Kate Steinle was pointedly ignored.

The six questions every ethical journalist is supposed to answer in an unbiased manner in any news story are "who, what, when where, why and how." After answering those in a factual manner, the reader should be able to make up his or her own mind about the subject matter. When was the last time you read a so-called "news" story that wasn't slanted in one direction or another?  And to be fair, the right wing press is just as bad. However, except for FOX News, the right doesn't have the major mass media exposure of CBS, MSNBC, Politico, et.al.

I often wonder where the Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's of today's press are. Because the media coverage is so absolutely politically biased, Trump thinks libel laws need to be reformed, making it easier to sue. However, those laws are written in such a way that a "public figure" such as Trump or your local public official can't sue for libel or slander (Williams v. NY Times) — no matter how inaccurate, untrue, intentionally slanted and/or blatantly biased a story is, unless they can prove "intentional malice" beyond a shadow of a doubt — which is exceptionally difficult. 

Having been on the receiving end of obvious intentional distortions and half truths from a certain member of the local press, and who's editor refused to exercise any kind of ethical restraint, I certainly understand Trump's frustration. It became my policy to not even talk to that reporter, but to have questions emailed and the answers sent back the same way. That way I had a record of exactly what was asked and how it was answered. 

Based on my own personal experience on both sides of the media fence, both as an elected official, and as a political columnist, Editor and Publisher I agree with loosening up the libel laws to some extent. Making it easy to sue for any story critical of a public figure, would be going way overboard. However, there is only one allowable and recognized defense in a libel suit The Truth. 

In my opinion, making the press responsible for telling the truth or paying for their obvious bias would be a healthy start to restoring true ethics in journalism. Editorial commentary belongs on the OP/ED page, not the front page, where sadly, it now resides more often than not.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

What Do Trump Supporters REALLY Want?

As someone who made a living for the majority of my working life as a political observer and commentator, I view the rise of Donald Trump as a triumph of our political system - NOT its downfall as so many establishment politicians in BOTH parties, as well as the Lamestream Media (LSM) want you to believe.

The majority of people supporting Trump are NOT the nut jobs, racists, misogynists, and basic morons the political establishment - with the help of the highly biased LSM - would like to convince you they are. The truth is, both parties, as well as the LSM are scared sh*tless of Donald Trump. Why? Because they have absolutely no leverage that will allow them to exert the kind of control over Trump that they have over Hillary, Bernie, Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Romney, et. al. Trump is not beholden to anyone but the voters - and that's as it should be

The political establishment's biggest fear is the threat a President Trump represents to the liberal's socialist, one-world government ambitions, and taxpayer-funded elitist lifestyles, coupled with Conservative's fear of loosening the financial and political strangleholds they've had on the American people for generations

For the most part, Trump supporters don't care he is rude, crude and obnoxious. To them, his outrageous politically incorrect pontifications are a breath of fresh air. They find it absolutely amazing that a politician is actually saying out loud what many people are privately thinking. Most supporters are ordinary, hard-working Americans who honestly believe BOTH parties are hopelessly corrupt. They're frustrated and very angry, sincerely believing government elitists and the shadowy, behind the scenes political establishment don't care what's best for America, they care what's best for them. They believe the political establishment power brokers own the system, have rigged it in their favor, and the American Dream has become an endangered species. And to a great extent, they're right.

A good many of them are ordinary Americans - small business people and working class folks who grew up during a better time in our nation. They came of age with the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King preaching non-violent racial equality - not the Black Lives Matter brand of blatantly violent, anarchist racism. They grew up when hard work got you ahead, earned you more money, and opened career doors - unlike today's $15 an hour minimum wage, burger-flipping entitlement mentality. They grew up when differences in religion weren't a reason for a beheading, or for broadcasting it over the Internet. They grew up in a country where philosophical, economic, racial religious, sexual, and all the other differences dividing America today, were not only tolerated, but were respected and celebrated. That's why Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan resonates so strongly with them. They remember when America was great.

Younger Trump supporters long for the same American opportunity their parents and older peers once experienced and still believe in. They understand there is more than enough blame to go around about how we got to where we are today. But to them, it's become a case of, "fix the problem, not the blame." Today's sharply divided America is NOT the nation these people want to raise their children in, or pass on to their grandchildren. They see Donald Trump as offering the ONLY hope they have of "fixing the problem" and creating a better life, and better country, for themselves, their kids, and their grand-kids. That's because they've lost all faith in our current political system and in its so-called "leaders."

In spite of what the LSM would have you believe, many Trump supporters are Democrats and Independents who tend to lean left. Many also believe it's past time for a woman to be president. However, they view Hillary's blatant, in-your-face dishonesty along with her complete and total lack of ethics as offering only more of the same politically corrupt elitism - which doesn't give them any real reason to support her. Meanwhile, any thinking person who understands basic 6th-grade math also understands that in spite of all the promises of "free stuff," Bernie's "Democratic Socialist" platform is nothing more than a shortcut to financial hardship and a lower standard of living - both individually and collectively - and a much faster way to get there than the path we're already on. 

However, they also realize Cruz, Rubio, Kasich, Romney, and the Republican establishment offer nothing substantially different and/or better for them over the long term than the Democrats - it will just be more of the same, and business as usual. The party's attempts at trying to stop Trump have backfired, just reinforcing their view that a hopelessly corrupt system is actively working against them to preserve the political status quo for the benefit of the elitists in power. It's certainly a very sad commentary on the status of our political system today. However, it's what is driving the millions of new voters Trump's candidacy has awakened, and brought into our political process. 

What the entrenched political establishment refuses to understand or acknowledge, is that there is a revolution underway. That to millions of Americans, Donald Trump ironically represents what We The People want and need - and the elitists on BOTH sides have failed to deliver. And that is real, true, and honest, Hope and Change.

Friday, January 22, 2016

An Explanation of the Trump Phenomenon

I know I haven’t posted anything on this blog in quite some time, but I’ve been experiencing life away from the poison of politics — especially those in Port Orchard — and found it agrees with me for the most part. However, now and again you come across something that resonates and just begs to be shared.

This is perhaps the very best explanation I’ve seen yet about why Donald Trump has captured the hearts and minds of so many average Americans. And the Trump phenomenon — while upsetting the proverbial apple cart of the political elite in both parties — is obviously something neither the Lamestream Media, Liberals, Conservatives, or establishment Republicans “get.” And that's why they are joining forces to align against him. The question yet to be answered, is can they thwart the will of the American people?

No matter what your politics are or who you support, this is an excellent read and well worth the three minutes or so of your life it will take. The author is the political correspondent for Bloomberg and wrote extensively about Obama — even before he was elected — and he did it with facts and more facts.

“Who is DonaldTrump?”

By Don Fredrick

The better question may be, “What is Donald Trump?” The answer: A giant middle finger from average Americans to the political and media establishment.

Some Trump supporters are like the 60s white girls who dated black guys just to annoy their parents. But most Trump supporters have simply had it with the Demosocialists and the “Republicans in Name Only.” They know there isn’t a dime’s worth of difference between Hillary Rodham and Jeb Bush, and only a few cents worth between Rodham and the other GOP candidates.

Ben Carson is not an “establishment” candidate, but the Clinton machine would pulverize Carson, and the somewhat rebellious Ted Cruz will (justifiably so) be tied up with natural born citizen lawsuits (as might Marco Rubio). The Trump supporters figure they may as well have some fun tossing Molotov cocktails at Wall Street and Georgetown while they watch the nation collapse.

Besides, lightning might strike, Trump might get elected, and he might actually fix a few things. Stranger things have happened. (The nation elected a Marxist in 2008 and Bruce Jenner now wears designer dresses.)

Millions of conservatives are justifiably furious. They gave the Republicans control of the House in 2010 and control of the Senate in 2014 and have seen them govern no differently than Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Yet those same voters are supposed to trust the GOP in 2016? Why? Trump did not come from out of nowhere. His candidacy was created by the last six years of Republican failures.

No reasonable person can believe that any of the establishment candidates will slash federal spending, rein in the Federal Reserve, cut burdensome business regulations, reform the tax code, or eliminate useless federal departments (the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, etc.). Even Ronald Reagan was unable to eliminate the Department of Education. (Of course, getting shot at tends to make a person less of a risk-taker.) No reasonable person can believe that any of the nation’s major problems will be solved by Rodham, Bush, and the other dishers of donkey fazoo now eagerly eating corn in Iowa and pancakes in New Hampshire.

Many Americans, and especially Trump supporters, have had it with:
• Anyone named Bush
• Anyone named Clinton
• Anyone who’s held political office
• Political correctness
• Illegal immigration.
• Massive unemployment
• Phony “official” unemployment and inflation figures.
• Welfare waste and fraud
• People faking disabilities to go on the dole
• VA waiting lists
• TSA airport groping
• ObamaCare
• The Federal Reserve’s money-printing schemes
• Wall Street crooks like Jon Corzine
• Michelle Obama’s vacations
• Michelle Obama’s food police
• Barack Obama’s golf
• Barack Obama’s arrogant and condescending lectures
• Barack Obama’s criticism/hatred of America
• Valerie Jarrett
• “Holiday trees”
• Hollywood hypocrites
• Global warming nonsense
• Cop killers
• Gun confiscation threats
• Stagnant wages
• Chevy Volts
• Clock boy
• Pajama boy
• Mattress girl
• Boys in girls’ bathrooms
• Whiny, spoiled college students who can’t even place the Civil War in the correct century...

And that’s just the short list!

Trump supporters believe that no Democrat wants to address these issues, and that few Republicans have the courage to address these issues. They certainly know that none of the establishment candidates are better than barely listening to them, and Trump is their way of saying, “Screw you, Hillary Rodham Rove Bush!” The more the talking head political pundits insult the Trump supporters, the more supporters he gains. (The only pundits who seem to understand what is going on are Democrats Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell and Republican John LeBoutillier. All the others argue that the voters will eventually “come to their senses” and support an establishment candidate.)

But America does not need a tune-up at the same old garage. It needs a new engine installed by experts — and neither Rodham nor Bush are mechanics with the skills or experience to install it. Hillary Rodham is not a mechanic; she merely manages a garage her philandering husband abandoned. Jeb Bush is not a mechanic; he merely inherited a garage. Granted, Trump is also not a mechanic, but he knows where to find the best ones to work in his garage. He won’t hire his brother-in-law or someone to whom he owes a favor; he will hire someone who lives and breathes cars.

“How dare they revolt!” the “elites” are bellowing. Well, the citizens are daring to revolt, and the RINOs had better get used to it. “But Trump will hand the election to Clinton!” That is what the Karl Rove-types want people to believe, just as the leftist media eagerly shoved “Maverick” McCain down GOP throats in 2008 - knowing he would lose to Obama. But even if Trump loses and Rodham wins, she would not be dramatically different than Bush or most of his fellow candidates. They would be nothing more than caretakers, not working to restore America’s greatness but merely presiding over the collapse of a massively in-debt nation.

A nation can perhaps survive open borders; a nation can perhaps survive a generous welfare system. But no nation can survive both — and there is little evidence that the establishment candidates of either party understand that. The United States cannot forever continue on the path it is on. At some point it will be destroyed by its debt.

Yes, Trump speaks like a bull wanders through a china shop, but the truth is that the borders do need to be sealed; we cannot afford to feed, house, and clothe 200,000 Syrian immigrants for decades (even if we get inordinately lucky and none of them are ISIS infiltrators or Syed Farook wannabes); the world is at war with radical Islamists; all the world’s glaciers are not melting; and Rosie O’Donnell is a fat pig.

Is Trump the perfect candidate? Of course not. Neither was Ronald Reagan. But unless we close our borders and restrict immigration, all the other issues are irrelevant. One terrorist blowing up a bridge or a tunnel could kill thousands. One jihadist poisoning a city’s water supply could kill tens of thousands. One electromagnetic pulse attack from a single Iranian nuclear device could kill tens of millions. Faced with those possibilities, most Americans probably don’t care that Trump relied on eminent domain to grab up a final quarter acre of property for a hotel, or that he boils the blood of the Muslim Brotherhood thugs running the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

While Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s greatest fear is someone giving a Muslim a dirty look, most Americans are more worried about being gunned down at a shopping mall by a crazed lunatic who treats his prayer mat better than his three wives and who thinks 72 virgins are waiting for him in paradise.

The establishment is frightened to death that Trump will win, but not because they believe he will harm the nation. They are afraid he will upset their taxpayer-subsidized apple carts. While Obama threatens to veto legislation that spends too little, they worry that Trump will veto legislation that spends too much. You can be certain that if an establishment candidate wins in November 2016, his or her cabinet positions will be filled with the same people we’ve seen before. The washed-up has-beens of the Clinton and Bush administrations will be back in charge. The hacks from Goldman Sachs will continue to call the shots. Whether it is Bush’s Karl Rove or Clinton’s John Podesta who makes the decisions in the White House will matter little. If the establishment wins, America loses.

Don Fredrick
December 10, 2015

Friday, November 21, 2014

Republicans Blow a Golden Opportunity...

I don't particularly like President Obama and personally feel he is the worst president in the history of our nation. I used to say that about W, and that he was the worst president since Jimmy Carter — who I worked my ass off for, only to be SO sorely disappointed — until Obama came along. For those who are ready to call me a racist for saying so, let me say this... To paraphrase the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King — it isn't about the color of his skin, it's about the content of his character.

Now that I have your attention...

The Republican response to the president's immigration initiative is EXACTLY why the Republicans can never maintain a sustainable leadership position in Congress or the White House — and more importantly, with the voters. They are SO focused on making this president look bad that they are willing to cede millions of votes to the Democrats to do it. That is not only stupid, but highly irresponsible.

Does Obama exceed his constitutional authority in taking this action? Probably. However, Congress and the Republicans blew a golden opportunity to take the lead on this issue — which would have been the right thing to do — and they made a conscious decision not to capitalize on what could have been a long term sustainable voter bonanza for the party. What they fail to "get" is that it's their loss, and the sheer numbers of immigrants is going to bite them in the ass in the voting booth in the end. What the president has proposed is reasonable and responsible, and they should have been leading the charge for it — taking the issue away from the Democrats — not fighting it. Doing so, would have added millions of immigrants — and their children as they grew up into voting age — to the Republican Party.

I openly admit to getting caught up in the hysteria of what could happen if Obama gave blanket amnesty to all illegals in this country. The simple fact is he didn't do that. I'm OK with what he proposed. It's much more reasonable and responsible than I had anticipated. 

Persecuting this president will only have the negative effect of driving more people to the Democratic Party — just as their stand on abortion and other social issues has done. It seems like there isn't a way for the Republicans to shoot themselves in the foot they haven't thought of, but I have great confidence in their ability to find new and ingenious ways to do it.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

America Is NOT The Greatest Country In The World Anymore

Someone recently shared this clip with me on Facebook, and as we begin heading into the 2014 state and local elections as well as gear up for the 2016 presidential election, I thought it's well worth passing on. It’s actually a clip from the HBO show, The Newsroom. There is an eight-minute version that's much better, but not downloadable. It can be viewed here. However, the sentiments expressed by Jeff Daniels are something that I believe in our heart of hearts most Americans have come to believe.

So how do we restore America to greatness?

I believe we need to reject the divide and conquer culture of divisiveness that has been spawned by both political parties, and overthrow the radicals on both the left and right that have pitted us against each other for their own political gain. Neither the left’s dream of a Socialist America, or the right’s desire to return the the 1950s, will serve our future in this age of technology and globalization. We must come together as Americans — not Democrats or Republicans — and work together to rebuild America into the great nation we all know it’s capable of being.

That begins with electing moderate leaders at every level from the courthouse to the White House
not more of the ideologues on either side that have brought America to this point. We need true leaders with vision, passion, and strength, that understand the art of compromise, and who are willing to sacrifice partisan political advantage for the greater good of America.

At the national level, it certainly isn’t Hilary Clinton — nor is it Rand Paul or Ted Cruz. Who is it? I don’t know, but I sincerely believe that man or woman is among us. We — the voters — need to be strong enough to reject our own political party’s dictates if it becomes necessary to embrace the leader with the courage to stand up for what's right, and do what needs to be done. Personally, I’d like to see Tony Robbins step up to this, but that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

Someone commented on my Facebook post, saying, “Good thoughts Lary , but I think your showing the want to get back to the 50’s here when Ike was in charge and the highways were being built.”

Not true... I have no desire to return to the 50’s. In this age, where technology advances daily, the only technological advance we’ll never see is the ability to turn the clock back. I would like to see a return to strong family values, the ethic of hard work that’s rewarded, and pride in that work, as well as the standard of excellence once again becoming much higher than the mediocrity left leaning Liberals running our major cities and universities have forced us to accept.

Conversely, this is a much different world than it was in the 1950s. Returning to the 50s is an unrealistic expectation in this age of global business, technology, Islamic extremism, the growing gap between the haves and have nots, the drug culture, and the fact selling drugs in the inner city has created more high paying jobs than business in the same areas. This is not to mention the unbridled racism promoted by the Lamestream News Media as well as self-serving demagogues like Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson, that so pervades our country. Just look at Ferguson, Missouri for proof.

That same poster also stated, “People of Faith need to exhibit How God can change lives for the better, not how Faith makes you want to control lives.” Faith is only a partial answer. Although I don't wear it on my sleeve, I am a man of faith who strongly believes God can make a difference in each of our lives, but as long as churches spend more time worrying about the building fund than about saving souls, the expectation they will make a huge difference in meeting the challenges we face in rebuilding the greatness of our nation, is in my view, somewhat unrealistic as well. It’s up to each one of us individually — with the help of God if we so choose to ask him for it — to step up and have the courage to be the change that returns America to greatness.

If this clip does nothing else, I hope it makes you think about America — and what’s once again possible...

Thursday, August 07, 2014

A Word About Commenting On Posts Here...

As with every election season, posts here, because of their tendency to be political in nature, are often commented upon. Our attitude has always been that comments on posts here are not only welcome, but are actually encouraged. 

However,  If you're not willing to sign your name to your comments, I'm not willing to publish them. 

This isn't about censorship, or about my choosing to ignore anything that disagrees with what I've written here. It's simply about commenters having the courage of their convictions, and the willingness to own their words. Nothing more. Nothing less.

We've all seen the rude behavior and hatefulness spawned by people hiding behind anonymous screen names on the Kitsap Sun site. While the paywall has discouraged some of that, there's still a fair amount of it going on. The Sound Publishing papers make commenters sign in to Facebook before they can comment as a way to keep the discussion civil, which I think is a pretty good solution. Unfortunately, since this blog is hosted by Google, that option isn't available to us.

What has prompted this post, is a rash of unsigned comments on some recent posts that I actually would have liked to publish, but won't because "Anonymous" isn't anyone's name. I believe that if people are forced to own the things they say, the quality of the discussion increases — as does its civility.

I hope you understand and agree. So in the future, sign your name and email address (which we don't publish or use in any other way) for verification, and look for your opinion to be published. It's just that simple.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Sheriff's Deputies Openly Oppose Hauge’s Re-election

While the Kitsap County Deputy Sheriffs Guild hasn’t determined which candidate it will endorse for Kitsap County prosecutor, it has decided which one it won't endorse — incumbent Russ Hauge.

“The prosecutor’s office is a mess, and Hauge is responsible for that, stated Guild President Jay Kent. "We are not going to get the office’s problems fixed until he leaves the office.” In its strongly worded statement, the Guild said that while it was still assessing the other three candidates —
Bruce Danielson, Tina Robinson, and Bob Scales — it had decided to officially oppose Hauge and encouraged the voters to consider one of the other three in the August 5 primary.

Kent explained that the Guild took the unusual position of issuing an “anti-endorsement” because of its strong opposition to Hauge. He said the Guild wanted more time to assess the other three candidates, but that it was “firmly set” against Hauge’s reelection.

Kent explained that the Guild and its members had “no confidence” in the Prosecuting Attorney Civil Division. Kent said, “We are especially unhappy with Hauge’s management of civil law matters. For our members, how the civil lawyers handle cases matters as much if not more. If our members get sued they are supposed to be defended by an attorney from the civil division, but most of our members would consider demanding that outside legal counsel be appointed if certain of Hauge’s attorneys were assigned to their case.”

He went on to say, “We have seen his civil attorneys up close, and we would not want them handling our matters, given their recent performance.” Kent acknowledged that the way Hauge’s attorneys handled a number of recent cases with the Deputies Guild and other County labor unions influenced its assessment. But he added: “Yes, they have interfered with our labor contract, and are a big part of the reason we have been working without one since 2009. But it’s their overall performance and apparent incompetence that have alarmed us the most. As Deputy Sheriffs we are held to a high performance and ethics standard — and should be — but Hauge needs to hold his own deputy prosecutors to a similar standard.”

Kent mentioned that two of Hauge’s deputies recently were cited by the Washington State Public Employment Relations Commission for withholding records from the Guild and being less than truthful to an arbitrator about it. “Our deputies would be fired if they lie, but as far as I know Hauge’s hasn’t done anything to investigate these deputies.”

Kent also mentioned the Guild had identified other “ethical lapses” by Hauge’s deputies. Hauge’s chief civil prosecutor Jacquelyn Aufderheide was also cited by the Public Employment Relations Commission for unlawfully interfering with an agreement between the emergency dispatchers union and the County.

He said that the Guild was concerned that another one of Hauge’s deputies had admitted to what the Guild viewed as “potential tampering” with a lawsuit between the Guild and the County by “improperly” talking to County judges while the case was pending. Kent noted that the lawyer later changed her story about the context of that exchange despite the fact that court transcripts demonstrate otherwise. “It’s clear one of her versions of the story was untrue, yet we have seen Hauge take no action on this whatsoever.”

Guild Vice President Andy Aman expressed similar concerns about the County’s civil lawyers. “Of course our members are frustrated that they interfere with our contract and litigate everything to death, without apparent purpose. But just as big of a concern for us is the apparent lack of professionalism we have directly observed. I would not want them representing me if I were personally sued.”

Aman explained that he recently watched Aufderheide in court trying to get a brief filed well after the filing deadline. “She explained to the judge that she didn’t know that there was a deadline for filing the brief. First of all, I just didn’t believe her but if that’s true that the chief civil prosecutor doesn’t know what the rules are for filing a brief that’s also very concerning. Frankly, I was embarrassed for her as I watched.” Aman noted that “they seem to make a lot of mistakes and then make excuses for those mistakes.”

Monday, July 14, 2014

Mayor Matthes Takes Another Cheap Shot

I have made it a point NOT to publicly comment on anything Port Orchard Mayor Tim Matthes does, doesn’t do, or what passes for leadership and/or management these days at City Hall. The ONLY exception was to point out the blatant lies contained in his Citizens Report on the annexation of the Bethel Corridor. In that report, he stated the Council NEVER discussed the costs of service delivery — in spite of the fact there was more than a YEAR of public process — including numerous Finance Committee meetings, several City Council meetings, and in a number of public hearings involved.

In that report, he stated, “When discussions were happening regarding the Bethel Corridor annexation, it was touted that the annexation would bring in a lot of revenue. What was never discussed was the costs to provide service and what the impact would be to the City.”

That is either a blatant lie — or the words of someone completely uninformed about the entire annexation process for Bethel, and how the City went about it — in spite of his being a member of the City Planning Commission at the time. You can find my response here.

Last week, Matthes attempted to imply that I was involved in some kind of sinister back room deal that gave away the City’s water right to C&M Golf LLC, owners of McCormick Woods Golf Course. Nothing could be further from the truth. C&M Golf owns the well in question — NOT the City. With this mind, Councilman Rob
Putaansuu was quoted in the Port Orchard Independent as saying, “This is petty politics, it really is. I think this whole situation is politically motivated and Matthes is trying to point to something Lary Coppola (former mayor) did wrong.”

According to the Independent, Putaansuu said Matthes' questions about the Well 4B water rights have been answered. He noted Matthes sent out an email asking the questions, but he doesn’t think the Mayor really wanted answers to those questions.

“He never included the city attorney (Greg Jacoby) in the email requesting the information,”
Putaansuu told the Independent. “He (Jacoby) is the one who could have provided the information. There was an email send out Friday (July 4) by the attorney that answered all of the mayor’s questions.”

The agreement he is questioning was originally approved by the City Council in 2003 — when Jay Weatherill was Mayor. The Department of Ecology (DOE) didn’t approve it until 2005, when Kim Abel was Mayor, and the City didn’t receive the final DOE approval paperwork until 2008. Why it took the state so long to issue that approval and deliver the final paperwork to the City is a mystery that can only be solved in Olympia. However, City Attorney Greg Jacoby has confirmed this timeline, and in 2008 it was he that advised me to sign the agreement — just as the sitting Mayor is obligated to sign any other Council-approved document.

Had the agreement been delivered to the city in a timely manner by DOE, either Mayor Weatherill or Mayor Abel would have signed that document and this would be a total non-issue. So if petty politics ISN'T the reason for this to come forward now, any thinking person has to wonder WHY Mayor Matthes and his political mentor Gil Michael, have brought it forward at all, because in the end, the City benefited. As
Putaansuu has suggested, it appears to be petty politics at its worst. Or perhaps my wife and I looking at homes in McCormick Woods recently has spooked Matthes, who is rumored to want another term as Mayor.
 
Michael also called for Councilman Jerry Childs and Putaansuu to recuse themselves from this issue because they play golf at McCormick Woods. This is an inane request, that borders on the absurd. All he is doing is trying to cast doubt on Putaansuu and Childs' integrity in the minds of low-information voters — something that in my view he’s no stranger to doing.

The truth is, Childs and Putaansuu have done absolutely nothing wrong. Michael also points to Putaansuu's support of C&M Golf partner Shawn Cucciardi when he ran for Port Of Bremerton Commissioner in 2011 as another reason to recuse himself — in spite of being Chair of the City's Utility Committee. His support of Cucciardi has nothing at all to do with THIS issue, and it was done as a private citizen — NOT as a council member. It is absolutely no different than Michael’s political support of Council members Fred Chang and Bek Ashby. Using Michael’s logic, they both should have to recuse themselves as well.

In the future, I would appreciate it if the Mayor and Mr. Michael would acquaint themselves with the actual facts before implying I'm involved in something sinister, and attempting to implicate me in it with NO proof whatsoever. Their cheap shots at me, at my character, and at my integrity, have gotten real old.