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Wednesday
Nov212018

Even More Thankful!

Living in America is, to me, in and of itself, plenty to be thankful for! The fact that Columbus set sail a half a millennia ago to discover a New World, where the gospel could be promoted and spread, set the stage for the greatness that would become America. Even his name ‘Christopher’ means Christ bearer.

And this Thanksgiving season we are truly beginning to see America becoming great again!

I saw a coffee mug on-line (which will be available soon at the Beacon office) that has the inscription; “The Best Part of Waking Up is Donald Trump is President”. A nice take, I thought, on the old coffee jingle many of us grew up with.

And while the message is somewhat glib and intentionally simplistic, it bears some truth as well.

It has been on my mind lately how similar Ronald Reagan’s popularity and ascendency to the presidency is to the steady and increasing love for this president.

Similar too were the circumstances when both came into office. In Reagan’s case we were crawling out of the Jimmy Carter “Malaise” full of defeat and despair. Not unlike the economic and social chaos that Barack Hussein Obama left in his wake. Never in my lifetime had I seen an America as divided as what Obama had set in motion. Racial tensions and class envy had been stirred up to a boiling point, and the whole take-a-knee when our national anthem was being presented was just a symptom of the seeds of division he had sown.

But Donald J. Trump, like Ronald Reagan before him, has struck a chord, like those played by Lee Greenwood in his ballad “Proud to be an American” that reached out and ignited the American spirit once more. Oh, I know, there are still those who aren’t proud, but the ones who are, are standing tall and not backing down. And they have a champion in the White House.

We can all be thankful; for the economy, the best in decades, for the low unemployment rate (especially among blacks and Hispanics), for the tax relief (with more to come) which has stimulated this economy, for the investment capital that has come home to our shores and reinvigorated our manufacturing sector, even to the extent of restoring our lost steel industry, for the end of the constant threat of ISIS and their surrogates, for the establishment of active diplomatic ties with North Korea and China, for shoring up our historic friendship with Israel and moving our embassy to Jerusalem, for the pushback on the pro-abortion industry and the exposure of the monstrosity of Planned Parenthood’s trafficking in dead babies, replacing that with the new Heartbeat legislation and a president who has placed constitutional judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, and all of this and more, in just his first two years in office.

Oh, we still have the radical progressive socialists in the Democrat Party, and their surrogates in Antifa and other radical fringe anarchists, and of course their willing accomplices in the media and entertainment industry, but they too, are starting to crumble. Just as in the Kavanaugh hearings, the election fraud and attempt to overturn the legitimate results of this November election are exposing these anti-American zealots for who they are. And intuitively Americans don’t like it. The Walk-Away movement is growing.

Americans are attracted to a positive message of “you can do it” and that we can still achieve greatness, individually, and as a nation, and aspire to enjoy the fullness of life that our unprecedented freedom and independence has fostered these past 238 years.

This Thanksgiving I am thankful especially for our family, both near and not as near, our five children and twelve grandchildren, aunts and uncles, cousins, and dear friends. They are the source of our joy, our hope, and our legacy. I am particularly thankful that my Aunt Susan made it out of the inferno in Paradise that destroyed her family’s house and the entire community they called home forty plus years. But she remains hopeful and thankful, what an inspiration!

I am personally thankful to have the opportunity to share some thoughts each week with you, that we may be an encouragement to one another, and spread the message of freedom far and wide and above all keep the torch of liberty alive for the generations to follow.

Wishing you a Great American Thanksgiving Celebration with your family and friends!

Thursday
Oct112018

Good Ole' Boys

This week has been quite revealing when it comes to the Douglas County Commissioner race.

We’ve had conflicting polls about the front-runners, one candidate drop out, and at least one sitting commissioner (so far) endorsing a candidate. That in itself is quite unusual; in fact the last time (if not the only time) I can remember that happening is when Doug Robertson endorsed Joyce Morgan for reelection when she was challenged by Marilyn Kittelman. That didn’t work out too well though because Marilyn defeated the 16 year incumbent in her own party!

I remember the big expensive print ads and mailers Doug bought including a picture of Joyce and him and the slogan; “Keep the Winning Team”. But our ads for Marilyn countered with; “Sometimes in order to keep the team winning, you need to trade players! “ The voters agreed and they did. Outspent almost three to one Marilyn went on to be elected Douglas County Commissioner.

Commissioner Chris Boice came out today with a full-on endorsement of local sporting goods store owner Tom Kress.

Boice is in his second term as commissioner, having run to fill the vacated seat of Doug Robertson who quit less than halfway into his 9th consecutive 4-year term as Douglas County Commissioner. Boice was only to have filled the remaining approximately 2 years of Robertson’s term, but somehow got legal counsel to make the case to let him have a full four year term. And now he’s decided who he’d like to have in the seat next to him on the board.

Tim Freeman, a former City Councilman in Roseburg, and former State Representative, this week was reported to have paid for a new political poll to see who was leading in the commissioner race. He said he didn’t “have a dog in the fight” but wanted to get a feel for how the race was doing in the event that he endorsed someone.

Also of note is that Freeman’s former campaign consultant Chuck Adams is the consultant for Kress. The poll, which was at odds with an earlier poll released by Alek Scarlartos’ campaign, shows Kress trailing Skarlatos by only one percentage point, while Skarlatos’ poll conducted by Remington research showed he led Kress by almost two to one. The Remington poll has Skarlatos at 35% and Kress at 16%.

Retired Army Aviation Logistician Dan Loomis, after returning from his European vacation, and finding he was trailing the two front runners by double digits, dropped out of the race unexpectedly on Sunday October 7, just a little more than two weeks before the ballots were to go out. Loomis gave the nod to Kress and said he hoped his supporters would follow his lead. Loomis will still be on the November ballot, although he has withdrawn.

Meanwhile the rest of the field, including democrat Jeremy Salter, are polling with single digits, most with less than 5%.  So this race for Douglas County Commissioner is clearly between Boice’s guy Kress and Alek Skarlatos. 

Thursday
Oct112018

Time for New Young Blood in County Government

 

By Marilyn Kittelman

The political atmosphere today is ugly and violent. Since President Trump was elected the hatred has risen to a whole new level. People no longer make any attempt to hide their true feelings, which may be the only benefit – you know where you stand.

It all began ramping up the night of Trump’s victory. I clearly remember in Portland, a group of thugs who went to a high end car sales lot and began smashing car windows and vandalized vehicles to show just how unhappy they were with the outcome of the election. Never mind that Trump had no connection to the owner. But somehow the vandals felt totally justified to express their unhappiness by destroying private property.

I believed that after those adult children threw their temper tantrums, arrests would be made and people would go back to living their lives, but that wasn’t to be. This week social media has been inundated with photos of people having been violently attacked for their political positions. A man was beaten up for wearing a Trump hat and a lady was shoved down stairs. People were forced to leave restaurants simply for expressing their support of a sitting President.

This week, Johnny MacKay from Vancouver, Washington, left his Nissan Titan pickup parked at a bar overnight. His truck, which had Trump stickers on the bumper, exploded during the night, completely totaling the vehicle after it was engulfed in flames. The vandal spray painted TRUMP on the side of the truck prior to setting it on fire. If you don’t agree with the left, they will retaliate – no one on their side is suggesting tolerance anymore.

When I was Commissioner things were nasty. A man delivered black prunes to a commissioner meeting (I called him up to the podium and thanked him). I received hate mail and death threats. And for several years after leaving office, there was a hate website in my honor. The worst was the haters following my kids around, publishing videos of them and adding nasty comments. But those pranks and negativity certainly never rose to the level that elected officials are dealing with today.

So why would someone run for office?

That is a question I was able to ask three different candidates for the position of County Commissioner, in my office in the past two weeks. I visited with them and was having trouble deciding who I would vote for until yesterday. And now I can tell you that I will be voting for Alek Skarlatos.

There are two main reasons why I decided to announce my support of Skarlatos. The first was my comfort level after having talked with him personally. I knew his background, but had never talked with him. The second reason, and just as important, was my discomfort from the good old boys closing ranks around his opponent. First the positive…

You probably know that Alek, along with two of his buddies, on a train to Paris, stopped a gunman who could have caused a lot of death and destruction. Because of Alek’s bravery and willingness to do what needed to be done in a dangerous situation, he was awarded the U.S. Army Soldier’s Medal from the President of the United States. He also received France’s highest decoration, the Legion of Honour.

There were many people on the train, heck there are many people every day that are in situations where they could stop something bad from happening (as in all of those situations I mentioned previously regarding the terrorists attacking people they don’t agree with since the election), but most people just don’t want to get involved. They won’t do what is necessary to fix things.

Remember what Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Alek engaged, he didn’t have to, but he did.

Some have criticized Alek because of his age, but that too has benefits. Courage is most often demonstrated in young men, not old. The older we get, the more we safety up, that’s just human nature. In the political climate we are in now, I believe his age may be beneficial, he isn’t young in life experience.

Alek said he wants to use his position to advocate for training people to work in industry. He has met with business owners who can’t find enough properly trained drivers, welders, and other tradesmen to fill the need. What a benefit it would be to have local training, family wage jobs and fill needs in our own community.

I also admire Alek’s wiliness to join the Oregon Army Nation Guard. He could have gone to business school or worked his way up the corporate ladder, but instead he gained real life experience defending our country. He was deployed to Afghanistan and the acting adjutant general of Oregon referred to Skarlatos as “a true citizen soldier who displayed the courage each of us would hope to find in ourselves.”

 

The engagement on the train drew a lot of attention which opened doors for him to star in a movie (as himself) directed by Clint Eastwood and to participate in a season of Dancing with the Stars. You might ask how that prepares him for a position as Douglas County Commissioner, and I will tell you. The importance of the contacts Alek made is unmeasurable. The number one job of a Commissioner is to advocate for our issues in front of people who have the power to do something about them.

Whether that is lobbying back in Congress to get more timber out of the woods, or bring training and job opportunities to Roseburg, the exposure Alek has had and the caliber of people he has met will open doors for him that no current commissioner, and certainly not to any other candidate, has.

And now the negative…

This past week Commissioner Tim Freeman made front page news for personally funding a poll to benefit the other commissioner candidate. Today, Commissioner Chris Boice wrote a letter publically endorsing the same candidate. In Boice’s endorsement letter, he states that he will work with whoever is elected and that Commissioner Freeman will do the same. There is a reason why Commissioners are not legally allowed to discuss county business in private and that doing so constitutes an illegal meeting. Can you imagine the danger if these two commissioners colluded to elect the third commissioner?

Having three commissioners working in collusion is not a good thing. To keep a balanced perspective, there needs to be three independent thinkers working for the best interest of the county, not furthering an agenda created behind closed doors.

If you are having trouble deciding who to vote for, pick up the phone and call them personally. I believe that will do it for you.

Marilyn Kittelman was elected to the Douglas County, Oregon, Board of County Commissioners in November 2, 2004. She served four years. Her greatest accomplishment, while in office, was to pass an ordinance making it illegal in Douglas County to seize private property for increased taxes or anything except the strictest interpretation of the Constitution. Marilyn and her husband John raised and home schooled their three children on their ranch in Yoncalla.

 

Angus, the oldest, has an Interdisciplinary Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Special Education from OSU and will attain his PhD from U of O in the summer of 2018. Sage has her Bachelor’s & Master’s Degrees in Industrial & Mechanical Engineering and is a PhD Candidate to OSU, first year. McCrae has a year of college and is currently working full time on the ranch, his help has been an essential part of his parents success. John trains Cutting Horses and renovates neglected homes to once again show pride of ownership . Marilyn owns Cutting Edge Real Estate, a thriving company with five brokers and sales that continue to exceed each previous year. She is President of the Million Dollar Club for the 3rd year and has personally sold over $71 million of real estate.

 

Tuesday
May222018

Freedom of Speech for Free!

Roseburg, Ore- It all started when Roseburg High School Junior, Fletcher Case, ordered a tee-shirt on-line from Danny Duncan with the slogan, Virginity Rocks.

Case went to his teachers the week before asking if it would be okay to wear it to school, and heard mixed responses from faculty ranging from, “I don’t see why not”, to, “I’d need to see it first”. Then when his new shirt arrived Case wore it to school, received the blessing of at least one faculty member, but was ultimately sent home because he was told it violated school policy. Following The Roseburg Beacon’s April 11 story about the incident, Danny Duncan said he received over 150,000 Instagram hits and reached out to Fletcher to thank him for supporting his merchandise business and asked if he could come up and thank him by giving away some shirts to other RHS students.

So on Friday May 11, Danny Duncan made good on his promise to Fletch, and having driven all the way from Los Angeles to Roseburg the day before, landed at the Good Vibrations parking lot to “spread some good vibes” to the several hundred students gathered.

The Danny Duncan Crew consists of: Alex Martinez,the official filmmaker (a virgin); Gary Winthorpe, Danny’s ‘life coach’; Kevin (aka Kev) co-star in Danny’s YouTube videos, and Cameron (the little person and a virgin) also a regular in the YouTube videos.

For those, including this writer, who hadn’t heard of Danny Duncan before the Virginity Rocks tee shirt incident at RHS, it might be surprising to learn that the 25 year old Duncan has annual sales of his merchandise, after just a year and a half in business, approaching $3 million.

In the parking lot outside John Hooper’s Good Vibrations, home entertainment, car stereo, and record business, somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-400 students gathered to catch a glimpse of the pop icon Danny Duncan, and hopefully walk away with a free “Virginity Rocks” tee shirt.

Those who showed up, some as early as 5:30 AM, in the dark, were mostly from Roseburg, but some traveled a great distance. Chris Duncan (no relation) 19 years old, drove all the way from Seattle Washington, with his buddies Conner Tomseth, and Kanton Hale, who lives in Washington but grew up in Roseburg.

The atmosphere was festive, reminiscent of waiting for your favorite rock band to take the stage, as the crowd anticipated catching Duncan live, in the flesh.

When Duncan’s black on black Mercedes Benz Sprinter pulled in around 6:50 AM the crowd pressed in close, and as the door rolled open there was Fletch, honorary member of the Duncan Crew, greeting his fellow RHS classmates. What followed was Duncan throwing shirts to the crowd gathered from a high lift supplied by Hooper. There was the predictable scramble, as kids dove to catch the flying shirts. Duncan said his crew packed 500 shirts, which were all given out in a matter of less than 15 minutes, which was none too soon because many had to make it to RHS and other schools for morning class.

A group of young girls clearly disappointed that they didn’t score a shirt, even though they were the very first ones to arrive, told Duncan, and he took their name and address and promise to ship them some.

Other side shows that morning included “Old Man Haircuts” given by Duncan himself, and a few rounds of little people boxing, both regular features of the Duncan Road Shows.

When asked about the slogan that he has made so popular, “Virginity Rocks”, Duncan was forthcoming.

He said that while it was conceived and put out there in good fun, “I have never made fun of virginity; I think it is a very good thing.”

To wrap up the day, after leaving Good Vibrations, the Duncan Crew headed out to Fletch’s place to bake cookies with Grandma Linda. Her account of the cookie bake: “After a few emails and a phone call with Danny prior to the Friday visit, I was actually looking forward to meeting him. Fletcher texted me after the t-shirt give away and said they were all headed to our house and that Danny wanted to bake chocolate chips cookies with me. I couldn’t resist the chance first to meet them and of course my favorite thing… to BAKE. After the introductions of his entourage we tied on our aprons, I fired up my oven as well as my questions for them all. We talked about his start on YouTube, how he picks his things to merchandise and about them and their families. Even as exhausted as they were, Danny scooped out cookie dough and frosted cupcakes as Alex, the video guy, captured it all for future YouTube videos. Whatever his persona is on all the many social media platforms he’s on, Danny Duncan, and his crew, are welcome back in my home anytime”.

Duncan said of his Roseburg visit, “I felt like Fletch supported us, I wanted to come and show my support for him” while helping other students express themselves in the spirit of free speech. And in this case the free speech was literally free in the form of hundreds of free shirts. Duncan told the Beacon he plans to come back to Roseburg again, soon he hopes.

Thursday
May102018

Editorial: Mother's Day Cease Fire

I have pondered some of the recent vitriol that’s being hurled about and is accumulating out there on FaceBook, other social media, and the radio and television airwaves in the final days of the May Primary Election, and in addition to recoiling from the same, I wondered; what would our moms think?

Now, to be clear, as a forty-plus year veteran of political campaigns in Oregon, from local commissioner races,to congressional and presidential campaigns, I have seen almost everything there is to see in the way of campaign tactics. I have in fact, in many cases, been responsible for directing some of what goes on in the way of messaging and in creating a campaign strategy and media program. And one thing that is absolutely undeniable is negative campaign tactics work.

I can hear the sucking in of breath now, and can envision the shaking of heads in disdain, as you mumble, if just to yourself, I hate that!

Yeah, I get it, me too! But it doesn’t change the reality. That said, one thing I have always maintained as an unwavering, non- negotiable campaign principle, both in governing myself, and in the directing of the candidates who have hired me, is that an opposing candidate’s record, and their public statements are fair game, negative or not. It’s the record, and usually the most honest way to assess or measure a candidate beyond the sound bites, and stump speeches. How did they vote? Who did they support? What are their public policy positions, especially those positions, delivered in public? Those are the facts, and they are not disputable.

Oh, there is one other criteria for selecting the candidate you can support, which was ingrained in me from very early on by my mom, and later, mother-in-law too, the principle that you should look into who is supporting the candidate. Hmmm? It tells quite a lot really. I could give plenty of examples, but you know exactly what I’m saying.

So on the other side of “negative campaigning” is the flat out false, vicious, personal, ad hominem attacks, based not at all upon someone’s actual record, or public statements, but crafted (or made up out of thin air) with the express purpose of defaming the person and derailing their campaign. Oh, this is an art, or better a craft, that some very high paid consultants employ all too frequently. And in today’s instant media, social networking, etc. it has become even more deceptive, and effective than ever!

One factor that is absolutely essential in the deploying of said negative campaign tactics and ads, is the timing; holding them to the last minute, to such a time when the veracity of the charges cannot be determined, and even when they are, and are proven to be false, the damage caused by the smear is done and cannot be undone.

But back to our moms for just a minute. Do you know that research has shown that every single human being alive today has one, a mom that is. Sadly some have departed, in my case, just the day after Mother’s Day two years ago. I still miss her! But we all have moms, and some of you, statistics say about 50.6% of the world’s population, are at least potential moms; you not only have a mom, but are, or may become moms too!

Motherhood is amazing! It is truly a magnificent design by our creator. And this past week something spectacular occurred in Iowa that honors moms, and would-be moms. It is the Bill signed into law by Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds, entitled the “Heartbeat Bill” which says once a pre-born baby has a discernable heartbeat, they cannot be killed.

We are living in a time where the tide is beginning to turn, and it is turning if favor of motherhood, and of life!

President Trump just issued a statement that declares Abortion is Not a Human Right. This was delivered in a State Department report on human rights, April 24, 2018. He is the first president to participate in the March for Life parade, and has put Planned Parenthood on notice that their days of federal taxpayer monies are numbered.

So as we come into the final stretch of this primary campaign season here in Oregon, and throughout the nation, I thought it would be a fitting way to honor our moms, by calling a Mother’s Day ceasefire on the hostile campaign rhetoric.

Ask yourselves this question; if the mother of the candidate whom you are attacking was sitting in the room when you are offering your perspective on their son or daughter, would you use the same language and tone? Really, would you? How would your remarks about their child make them feel? Would it cause them to smile, and glow with pride and satisfaction? If not, perhaps we can do better. And this ‘mom factor’ applies to you candidates speaking ill of your opponent’s character, and getting nasty about it, and even dishonest. What would your mom say if she was watching, or if she knew?

I am reminded of the truce on Christmas Day during World War I, when the British and German soldiers put down their arms, and shared some smokes, some coffee, and some Christmas cheer. Let’s do this at least on Mother’s Day, and have a political ceasefire.

And then, even perhaps as we rejoin the battle, we can forget what the commanding generals of the warring factions want, and remember that while some things are definitely worth fighting for, we are all human still and we all have moms who we should at least try to make proud in our actions.