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Monday
Feb182019

Presidents’ Day 2019

We have five American presidents alive today; Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama, and our current President Donald Trump. And just three months ago we had the greatest number of living ex-presidents, until the passing of George H.W. Bush.

The thought came to mind this week that not only are we living in extraordinary times, but certainly also a time when the values, principles, and key agendas of past administrations could not be more dissimilar!

And this most recent “peaceful” transition of power from one administration to another, Obama to Trump, has been shocking in its lack of civility and cooperation. In fact any reasonable assessment would conclude that we still haven’t fully transitioned.

At no time in our history has there been such discord and obstruction in that transition, not with the assassination of John F. Kennedy, nor even following the resignation of Richard Nixon after the Watergate cover-up.

I had the occasion this weekend to hear Judge Vance Day give a speech to Oregon Republicans, his first major public appearance since his full exoneration of all charges by the Oregon Ethics Commission and the Oregon State Bar Association on charges related to his not performing same sex marriages. What a speech he gave! Judge Day stood on principle and didn’t in the process violate any laws, nor his faith position or his conscience. Asked if he’d do the same today his answer was “absolutely”.

At this same gathering, Wally Hicks; former Marine, Annapolis Graduate, former legislator and minority whip, and current Josephine County Attorney also spoke. His chosen topic was the status of America. He posed the question “If the Bill of Rights were proposed today, would it pass?”

His answer, “It wouldn’t even get a hearing!”

When you think of the differences today, not just between the living past presidents and our current president, but of all the presidents in American history, it’s hard not to cringe at the degradation of our institutions in general and the office of the presidency. President Donald J. Trump is certainly the closest to our early presidents and their upholding of our constitutional principles of any of the living presidents, and maybe even more than President Reagan. And yet he continues to be vilified by the democrat socialist progressives, the media elite, and even those within his own party.

Presidents’ Day. It is an amalgam of the two President’s birthdays we used to celebrate individually in the month of February; Washington and Lincoln. It’s a time when everything from mattresses to big screen TV’s are marked down for Presidents’ Day sales, a time when most city, county, state and federal, and bank employees get a three day weekend, the last before Memorial Day.

But how many today take the time to reflect on the presidency, especially those who helped forge and hold this nation together, and the people who put them into office? Seriously, we barely give that a thought even for Memorial Day or Independence Day. But it would do us well to consider, and to instruct our young people to observe the heritage and the legacy of these great leaders, not just in American history, but the lasting impact they have enabled America to have on the entire world!

Thank of what was taken for granted back then; life was precious, there were only two sexes, neither government or individuals could spend more than they take in, peaceful trade with all nations but entangling alliances with none, a man’s word was his bond, education was a tool to instruct our youth in the arts, literature and sciences, not to indoctrinate them on shifting social mores, and our military had one primary purpose, to defend the United States of America. But as Wally Hicks pointed out, our current members of the people’s House of Representatives likely could not even agree that we have certain inalienable rights, that were given by God to all men, and that our government was instituted expressly and only for the defense of those rights. Instead they are prone to such outbursts as “f#%@ president Trump”, from the House floor. Imagine even the most partisan opponent of President Lincoln behaving in such a fashion when debating whether or not to go to war with the South in the run-up to the most brutal war in our history.

But America is strong, our people are strong, and because we are a republic, with a constitution, we have been able to weather terrible storms in the past, and I believe with God’s help, and with this current president we will weather this one. But it is incumbent on each one of us to stand together, and stand with President Trump as he fights against enormous odds and powerful interests that are determined that not only he fails, but that America as we know it fails to remain a free republic, and that beacon of hope for the world.

Thank you President Trump, we honor you this Presidents’ Day, and stand with you sir. And may God bless you and bless this great nation!

Sunday
Feb102019

“The State of Our Union is Strong”

Following Speaker Pelosi’s childish attempt to deny the President of the United States his constitutionally mandated directive to give the nation an account of the state of our national affairs, a week later than originally scheduled, President Donald Trump did just that.

And it was certainly worth the wait.

The president’s address to the joint session of Congress, members of his Cabinet, Supreme Court Justices, and honored guests, was filled with the accomplishments of the past year and some since the outset of his administration now entering its third year. The SOU, his second, at 82 minutes in length, was the longest since Bill Clinton’s 89 minutes in 2000, and the third longest ever.

And it was all Speaker Pelosi (on camera the entire time the President was on camera) could do to keep from screaming. To watch her was painful. She kept mouthing words as the president was speaking, moving her jaw constantly as if to adjust something in her mouth, and sending signals to the women in white and others of her party, when they had to reluctantly stand and applaud.

But President Trump never looked or sounded more presidential, or more in control.

He cited the State of the Union as being strong, with over 5.3 million new jobs in America, 600,000 of those in manufacturing. Just last month over 304,000 new jobs were reported.

He stated that our middle class is “bigger and more prosperous than ever before” to a thunderous standing ovation (absent even one Democrat). Five million Americans have been “lifted off foods stamps” and African, Hispanic, and Asian Americans are at the lowest unemployment rates in recorded history. And all this as 157 million Americans are at work, the most in our history.

The President mentioned that with the tax cuts taking affect and the child tax credit being doubled, families are keeping more of what they earn.

For the first time in American history the U.S. is now the number one producer of oil and natural gas of any nation in the world! And for the first time in 65 years we are a net exporter of energy.

“The State of Our Union is Strong”. Another standing ovation, minus the democrats.

President Trump then lowered the hammer for the first time. He said the only things that can stop us are “foolish wars, politics or ridiculous partisan investigations”. The Dems sheepishly murmured their disapproval. But the president went on ‘We must be united at home if we’re to defeat our enemies abroad”.

He called upon the members of the Senate to quit holding up the more than 300 nominees awaiting confirmation.

He went on to implore the congress to act now and confront the “National Crisis” on our southern border. Citing the evidence provided by the U.S. Border Patrol of more than 266,000 arrests at the border over the last two years, including illegals guilty of 100,000 assaults, 30,000 sex crimes, and over 4,000 murders. The Dems didn’t like it, but they have nowhere to hide. President Trump reminded them that “most of the people in this room voted for the wall” in the past. “Walls work and walls save lives” he said and “I will get it built”.

He addressed the rebuilding of our military and the $100 billion that our NATO allies are now paying for their own defense. But he added that we have spent over $7 trillion on wars in the Middle East and warned that “great nations do not fight endless wars.” “It is time to give our brave warriors in Syria a warm welcome home.” And he stated that they are close to a solution to end the Afghanistan conflict.

One of the highlights was when he said he has asked congress to prohibit late term abortions, a response to the New York law touted by Democrats that allows abortion of healthy babies up to the hour of delivery. “Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life” adding “All children are made in the Holy image of God.”

I did not bother to watch the democrat “rebuttal” to the president’s powerful address to the nation.

But one thing is certain, they cannot run from the facts; of a strong economy, record low unemployment, more take home pay for the middle class, less Americans on welfare, new industrial and manufacturing jobs, and a foreign policy that has not only all but ended ISIS attacks, but brought North Korea to the table.

The Dems have nothing to show, but attacks on the president and his supporters, useless witch hunts, and a new hunger for increased abortions.

They are going to have a major struggle to come up with a reason for anyone to support them in 2020.

They have underestimated 45 and the legions that support him, especially with the mounting evidence that we were right in electing him.

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.