Daily Archives: November 19, 2010

Rees Lloyd: Why No Presidential Salute by Obama at Medal of Honor Ceremony?

            A moment of national pride took place recently in the White House when an American soldier, Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, received the Medal of Honor for bravery above and beyond the call of duty in combat in Afghanistan.
            Sgt. Giunta became the first living American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He is now one of only eighty-eight (88) living holders of the Medal of Honor.
            As modest and self-effacing as he is brave, Sgt. Giunta brought further honor to himself by his humility in receiving the nation’s highest medal of valor. While he made no comment in the ceremony, Giunta  said before the ceremony that he was “not at peace” with being “singled out” for the honor as so many other soldiers did so much. And after the ceremony, he said he would trade the honor in a moment if he could bring back those whose lives he attempted to save under enemy fire but was unable to save. He definitely showed that he was an American in whom America could be proud.
            In contrast, there was another “first”  at the ceremony involving the Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Hussein Obama, in whose conduct the nation cannot and should not take pride: As far as is known, Obama became  the first President, the first Commander-in-Chief , not to salute the living recipient of the Medal of Honor after presenting the medal.
            It is a tradition in the military for all military personnel, no matter how high their rank, including the Commander-in-Chief, to salute a holder of the Medal of Honor no matter how lowly his or her rank. If General David Petraeus  was to encounter Sgt. Giunta, it would be the General who would salute the enlisted man, as a sign of respect for that soldier’s extraordinary bravery, but also to show respect to all those who have received the Medal of Honor.
            At all gatherings of veterans of the American Legion, or VFW, or other veterans organizations, if a Medal of Honor recipient enters the room, even a National Convention involving thousands, the proceedings stop to render military honor to that holder of the Medal of Honor. All veterans rise, come to attention, and salute. It is a matter of pride, of respect, of tradition.
            And, as far as is known, it is tradition that every President who has had the honor to present the Medal of Honor to a living recipient, has shown humility, respect, and national pride in that recipient by stepping back and rendering a salute.
            It was missing in action in the Obama presentation.  He is apparently above all that; “like a God,” as an editor of Newsweek once wrote.
            Instead of rendering the traditional salute, after fumbling as if all-thumbs in trying to affix the blue-ribboned Medal of Honor,  Obama, equally awkwardly, tried to “hug” the Sergeant. Yes, a “hug” for the soldier who remained at attention with eyes front in military bearing
            But a “hug” is not a “salute,” even in the Age of Obama. While there may be some comedic value in Obama’s pathetic display, it was more emetic than comedic. I didn’t write about it at the time, so as not to distract from Sgt. Giunta’s receipt of the Medal of Honor. But days have past, and it needs to be said.
            Why? Is it naught but petty carping of poor President Obama? I think not. He is the “Commander-in-Chief” who has in his power the lives of those who serve in defense of the country, which he himself did not deign to do. It is pointing out this man, this professional politician,  repeatedly evidences contempt for America, for America’s traditions, and for Americans who respect those traditions.
            It is as if he loathes the nation he was so desperate to lead, and be loved by, Messiah-like.  It is of a piece with his constant misquoting of the Declaration of Independence by leaving out the words “endowed by their Creator” when speaking of “unalienable rights.”   
            Perhaps more aptly: It is of a pathetic piece with Obama’s penchant for declining to abide by the U.S. Flag Code when the Flag passes to  place his hand over his heart.  Instead, he drapes his arms down and enfolds his hands at his crotch Michael Jackson-style. It is now mocked as Obama’s “crotch salute.” But it isn’t funny. It is contempt by Obama for the Flag, for America.
            Perhaps it is unfair to criticize this  President of the United States for displaying such contempt for American traditions. Perhaps it is too much to expect an American President to salute a recipient of the military Medal of Honor when that president never served in the uniform of his country; has said that the Rules For Radicals of the America-hating socialist revolutionist Sol Alinsky are “seared into my [his] brain;” who launched his political career in Chicago from the living room of the revolutionist Weather Underground rich-brat-bombers Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn;  and who sat for twenty years in a pew of the church of Rev. “God D…n America” Wright, being marinated in hate-filled, grievance-filled, self-defined “anti-white” and “revolutionary” Black Liberation Theology .
            Then again, perhaps it is not too much to expect anyone who would be America’s president to at least respect American traditions, including honoring the Flag, and saluting those who receive the Medal of Honor.           
 [Rees Lloyd, longtime civil rights attorney and American Legionnaire, is the director of the Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of the American Legion Department of California and the Alliance Defense Fund.]   

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Oregon’s Revenue Hole Due Mostly to Greedy Public Employee Union Chiefs

Kulo: What will he say this time?

We’re expecting at any time the revenue forecast from the state economist’s office for Q4. Revenue deficits are expected to be deeper than the $3.00 billion or $3.8 billion that officials have been floating.  Much lower. In fact people I know who have seen the numbers believe the revenue forecast will be about $5 billion lower than what Oregon needs to pay its bills. So much for the windfall from Measures 66 & 67.
In the recent “reset” Oregon commission report, committee members said it was due to unsustainable levels of service (i.e. spending) causing Oregon revenue to go backward not forward. Quote, ” Current Service Levels Are No Longer Sustainable.”
Chief among the culprits is the expensive work force we have on the government rolls. That’s right, government workers who pay nothing toward nearly all of their benefits. Taxpayers pay their PERS contribution AND MATCH and health care benefits at $1200 per employee per month. Now, with the news we discussed earlier this week on the program (The Victoria Taft Show on KPAM 860) about Oregon’s own triple witching numbers:

  • the rate of population growth in Oregon is slowing to 1980 recession levels (here)
  • high unemployment levels(here)
  • revenue hole

you have to ask yourself these questions: who is going to pay for all this and isn’t it time that the greedy public employee union chieftans fell on the sword for the sake of the fiscal future of Oregon?
Look at these numbers from the state’s ‘reset commission’ and ask yourself what sacrifices public employee union chiefs are making to bring down the long term costs of public employees?

Components of 2011-13 Expenditure Increases
Beyond Replacement of One-Time Funds
Millions of Dollars
Payroll Cost Increases (in millions)

  • Restoration of furloughs and 2011-13 Step Increases 156
  • Maintain current state employee health benefits in 2011-13 104
  • Potential Cost of Living Adjustment for State Employees in 2011-13 114
  • PERS (both state and school district costs) 368
  • Inflationary Cost Increases 533
  • Funding for projects started midway through 2009-11 247
  • Higher number of Oregonians qualifying for safety net services 487
  • Increase in Debt Service 247
  • Total Increase 2009-11 to 2011-13 2,256
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Rees Lloyd: Why No Presidential Salute by Obama at Medal of Honor Ceremony?

            A moment of national pride took place recently in the White House when an American soldier, Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta, received the Medal of Honor for bravery above and beyond the call of duty in combat in Afghanistan.
            Sgt. Giunta became the first living American soldier to receive the Medal of Honor since the Vietnam War. He is now one of only eighty-eight (88) living holders of the Medal of Honor.
            As modest and self-effacing as he is brave, Sgt. Giunta brought further honor to himself by his humility in receiving the nation’s highest medal of valor. While he made no comment in the ceremony, Giunta  said before the ceremony that he was “not at peace” with being “singled out” for the honor as so many other soldiers did so much. And after the ceremony, he said he would trade the honor in a moment if he could bring back those whose lives he attempted to save under enemy fire but was unable to save. He definitely showed that he was an American in whom America could be proud.
            In contrast, there was another “first”  at the ceremony involving the Commander-in-Chief, President Barack Hussein Obama, in whose conduct the nation cannot and should not take pride: As far as is known, Obama became  the first President, the first Commander-in-Chief , not to salute the living recipient of the Medal of Honor after presenting the medal.
            It is a tradition in the military for all military personnel, no matter how high their rank, including the Commander-in-Chief, to salute a holder of the Medal of Honor no matter how lowly his or her rank. If General David Petraeus  was to encounter Sgt. Giunta, it would be the General who would salute the enlisted man, as a sign of respect for that soldier’s extraordinary bravery, but also to show respect to all those who have received the Medal of Honor.
            At all gatherings of veterans of the American Legion, or VFW, or other veterans organizations, if a Medal of Honor recipient enters the room, even a National Convention involving thousands, the proceedings stop to render military honor to that holder of the Medal of Honor. All veterans rise, come to attention, and salute. It is a matter of pride, of respect, of tradition.
            And, as far as is known, it is tradition that every President who has had the honor to present the Medal of Honor to a living recipient, has shown humility, respect, and national pride in that recipient by stepping back and rendering a salute.
            It was missing in action in the Obama presentation.  He is apparently above all that; “like a God,” as an editor of Newsweek once wrote.
            Instead of rendering the traditional salute, after fumbling as if all-thumbs in trying to affix the blue-ribboned Medal of Honor,  Obama, equally awkwardly, tried to “hug” the Sergeant. Yes, a “hug” for the soldier who remained at attention with eyes front in military bearing
            But a “hug” is not a “salute,” even in the Age of Obama. While there may be some comedic value in Obama’s pathetic display, it was more emetic than comedic. I didn’t write about it at the time, so as not to distract from Sgt. Giunta’s receipt of the Medal of Honor. But days have past, and it needs to be said.
            Why? Is it naught but petty carping of poor President Obama? I think not. He is the “Commander-in-Chief” who has in his power the lives of those who serve in defense of the country, which he himself did not deign to do. It is pointing out this man, this professional politician,  repeatedly evidences contempt for America, for America’s traditions, and for Americans who respect those traditions.
            It is as if he loathes the nation he was so desperate to lead, and be loved by, Messiah-like.  It is of a piece with his constant misquoting of the Declaration of Independence by leaving out the words “endowed by their Creator” when speaking of “unalienable rights.”   
            Perhaps more aptly: It is of a pathetic piece with Obama’s penchant for declining to abide by the U.S. Flag Code when the Flag passes to  place his hand over his heart.  Instead, he drapes his arms down and enfolds his hands at his crotch Michael Jackson-style. It is now mocked as Obama’s “crotch salute.” But it isn’t funny. It is contempt by Obama for the Flag, for America.
            Perhaps it is unfair to criticize this  President of the United States for displaying such contempt for American traditions. Perhaps it is too much to expect an American President to salute a recipient of the military Medal of Honor when that president never served in the uniform of his country; has said that the Rules For Radicals of the America-hating socialist revolutionist Sol Alinsky are “seared into my [his] brain;” who launched his political career in Chicago from the living room of the revolutionist Weather Underground rich-brat-bombers Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn;  and who sat for twenty years in a pew of the church of Rev. “God D…n America” Wright, being marinated in hate-filled, grievance-filled, self-defined “anti-white” and “revolutionary” Black Liberation Theology .
            Then again, perhaps it is not too much to expect anyone who would be America’s president to at least respect American traditions, including honoring the Flag, and saluting those who receive the Medal of Honor.           
 [Rees Lloyd, longtime civil rights attorney and American Legionnaire, is the director of the Defense of Veterans Memorials Project of the American Legion Department of California and the Alliance Defense Fund.]   

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

One More Thing About Cell Phone Scramblers Secretary LaHood

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood thinks God installed him in his position and so thinks he has the right to tell you what you can and can’t do inside your car. Distracted driving is bad, but LaHood says cell phones ALWAYS cause a distraction and should be shut off while inside a car. He says he’s looking into having scramblers installed on every vehicle to STOP people (passengers included) from using their cell phones (story here).
We thought we’d actually talk to someone who KNOWS about this technology and this is what he told us:

  • They’re illegal to sell to civilians, 
  • Put out an extraordinary amount of radiation if deployed for long periods of time (which presumably they would)
  • The cost would be prohibitive (starting at $5000-$10,000 per vehicle) to deploy

Here’s my discussion yesterday with the President of Antenna Systems and Solutions, Mike Tadrose, who oversees one of the few manufacturers in the United States of this technology.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

Oregon’s Revenue Hole Due Mostly to Greedy Public Employee Union Chiefs

Kulo: What will he say this time?

We’re expecting at any time the revenue forecast from the state economist’s office for Q4. Revenue deficits are expected to be deeper than the $3.00 billion or $3.8 billion that officials have been floating.  Much lower. In fact people I know who have seen the numbers believe the revenue forecast will be about $5 billion lower than what Oregon needs to pay its bills. So much for the windfall from Measures 66 & 67.
In the recent “reset” Oregon commission report, committee members said it was due to unsustainable levels of service (i.e. spending) causing Oregon revenue to go backward not forward. Quote, ” Current Service Levels Are No Longer Sustainable.”
Chief among the culprits is the expensive work force we have on the government rolls. That’s right, government workers who pay nothing toward nearly all of their benefits. Taxpayers pay their PERS contribution AND MATCH and health care benefits at $1200 per employee per month. Now, with the news we discussed earlier this week on the program (The Victoria Taft Show on KPAM 860) about Oregon’s own triple witching numbers:

  • the rate of population growth in Oregon is slowing to 1980 recession levels (here)
  • high unemployment levels(here)
  • revenue hole

you have to ask yourself these questions: who is going to pay for all this and isn’t it time that the greedy public employee union chieftans fell on the sword for the sake of the fiscal future of Oregon?
Look at these numbers from the state’s ‘reset commission’ and ask yourself what sacrifices public employee union chiefs are making to bring down the long term costs of public employees?

Components of 2011-13 Expenditure Increases
Beyond Replacement of One-Time Funds
Millions of Dollars
Payroll Cost Increases (in millions)

  • Restoration of furloughs and 2011-13 Step Increases 156
  • Maintain current state employee health benefits in 2011-13 104
  • Potential Cost of Living Adjustment for State Employees in 2011-13 114
  • PERS (both state and school district costs) 368
  • Inflationary Cost Increases 533
  • Funding for projects started midway through 2009-11 247
  • Higher number of Oregonians qualifying for safety net services 487
  • Increase in Debt Service 247
  • Total Increase 2009-11 to 2011-13 2,256
Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com

One More Thing About Cell Phone Scramblers Secretary LaHood

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood thinks God installed him in his position and so thinks he has the right to tell you what you can and can’t do inside your car. Distracted driving is bad, but LaHood says cell phones ALWAYS cause a distraction and should be shut off while inside a car. He says he’s looking into having scramblers installed on every vehicle to STOP people (passengers included) from using their cell phones (story here).
We thought we’d actually talk to someone who KNOWS about this technology and this is what he told us:

  • They’re illegal to sell to civilians, 
  • Put out an extraordinary amount of radiation if deployed for long periods of time (which presumably they would)
  • The cost would be prohibitive (starting at $5000-$10,000 per vehicle) to deploy

Here’s my discussion yesterday with the President of Antenna Systems and Solutions, Mike Tadrose, who oversees one of the few manufacturers in the United States of this technology.

Tell ’em where you saw it. Http://www.victoriataft.com