Archive for February 22nd, 2009

February 22, 2009

Republicans, Still Standing Up For You

by lewwaters

Published in the February 26, 2009 Vancouver Voice

The eulogies given for the Clark County GOP after the results of the last election are indeed premature. While we didn’t gain seats in the legislature and even lost one, 4 incumbents retained their seats and are gladly taking a stand to give you real relief, not plunge you further into debt or tax you more than you already are.

The issue of upgrading the I-5 bridge remains a hot issue with some deciding we will have Portland’s Light Rail, like it or not. The former Mayor of Portland, Tom Potter and Vancouver’s Mayor, Royce Pollard both are on record as desiring to “force people out of their cars.”

Currently, Senator Craig Pridemore (D) has a bill proposed, SB 5540, that places the final decision for adding Light Rail into Clark County in the hands of just a portion of Clark County voters, while voters in the entire county would be taxed to support and maintain the extension of Portland’s Max Line into Vancouver.

Clark County voters rejected this extension by a 2 to 1 vote years ago, but our Democrat officials seem ready to force it on us. As a January 10, 2009 Oregonian article put it, “Light rail is coming to Vancouver. Deal with it.”

In a reply to me, Senator Pridemore said, “the ultimate decisions regarding the configuration of the I-5 Bridge as well as any local tax options that will be part of it will be made by locally elected officials and local voters.” Sounds reasonable enough, but only technically correct.

Senator Don Benton (R) further clarifies SB 5540 and states, “the locally elected officials mentioned are not directly accountable to the voters of Clark County. The CTRAN board of directors is what is known as a federated board, not directly elected but appointed from various bodies throughout the county.”

Senator Benton also tells me, “SB 5540 does not clarify where or what size the taxing district will be, that will be left up to the CTRAN board of directors, a body that is not directly accountable to the voters.”

In looking out for Clark County taxpayers, Senator Benton has proposed SB 6040 “that calls for a county wide public vote before any more state money is spent on the Columbia River Crossing Project.”

At a time of such economic turmoil, shouldn’t we voters and taxpayers be given a clear voice in deciding a multi-billion dollar expenditure that is projected to only benefit some 3 percent of those who cross the Columbia River daily?

Governor Gregoire and Senators Murray and Cantwell are eagerly looking forward to receiving hundreds of millions of our tax dollars returned to us under the federal stimulus plan to help with transportation projects. Do you really believe Clark County would receive much of that money over King County’s Alaska Way Viaduct project?

Senator Benton is not alone in looking out for citizens of Clark County as Representative Jaimie Herrera, recalling the violation of New Orleans citizens Second Amendment rights after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when all legal guns were illegally confiscated from law-abiding citizens, leaving them virtually defenseless against roving looters and gang members, has proposed a bill, HB 1832, to “repeal the prerogative of the Governor, upon declaring a state of emergency, to prohibit private citizens from carrying firearms on their person, away from their home of residence, during the declared state of emergency.”

In such a state or emergency, when the authorities would be extremely busy and over taxed, who would protect us but ourselves?

As Democrats work to impose higher taxes on us instead of identifying waste and cutting it out, the few Republicans we still have in the legislature stand fast in trying to protect our rights and income.

When the next election rolls around, look at who stood up for us versus who stood for the state and choose accordingly.

February 22, 2009

What is Racism?

by leaortiz

Here I am going to try to expain this with a simple analogy.

Two priests are walking through the woods. Suddenly they hear a womans cry for help. “Please help me, please!” There stands a woman fully nude. As they tried not look at her bare body, a conversation ensued that since the woman was nude, she most definitely was someone to be avoided and one preist cautioned his brother to steer clear of the woman of ill repute. After listening to the cries, one of the priests went over to talk to her as the other priest was mentally tormented by the situation and stayed behind.

Once the first Priest reached the woman, she said, “can you please help me? As I was bathing, the river washed my clothing down the stream and I have nothing to wear.” The other preist was appalled to watch his companion hand over his own garment to her. He stayed with her and talked to her until she was warm and dry.

As they walked back towards the church, the preist that had witnessed what went on between his brother and the nude woman did not speak to his companion. Eventually the long silence was broken when the Priest that had helped the woman said, “My brother, you have been silent this long journy. Is there a reason as to why?” “Well,” spoke the other Priest, “it really bothered me that you went and had the conversation with the nude woman and gave her your cloak.” To which the first Preist said , “aahh, is that what is torturing you my brother? This happened earlier this morning and all this time you have held this in and let it eat at you? Let me explain what really was going on,” as he explained the whole thing to his companion.

My question on racism is this, to you that think you have been wronged. Who is wrong in the above parable? Was it the Priest that helped the nude woman? OR was it the second Priest that harbored ill will towards his brother and misunderstood what was had happened earlier in the day? Projecting his very own views of what is right and wrong and determining for himself what his brothers motivations were in speaking to the woman.

The answer can only be yours.

We all have what we feel is our own sense of right and wrong and all too often use it to label someone else as a racist because of a certain situation or happening. Those are feelings that are stirred up from the mind, our own mind. When we are one on one with someone, as a person of ethnicity, it is not hard to determine for myself when I see racism. To project it onto another simply because we don’t like a certain word, or skin color spoken of, or even a slang, that comes from within our own minds.

For instance, I once called a friend of mine “Negrita,” in jest. Needless to say, I got the head turn to look at me and ask, “what did you just call me”? She often referred to herself and those around her as black girl. Hearing that in another language stopped her dead in her tracks as it sounds too much like the english equivilant of a racist slang.

Having to explain you are not racist should just not have to be done. Also projecting racism onto others to incite a “racial guilt” does not accomplish anything but to further divide our nation.

As a nation that has just voted in our first Black President, we as a nation can say, as does the National Black Republican Association, “America is now free of the past ‘white guilt’ that has been a horrible mark on our nation. The nation has shown with it’s vote that we no longer harbor the hatred or racial divide that is now a part of our American past.”

It would be nice if President Obama would step up and let this be known to the nation. It would help to completely heal any wounds still felt as a nation and as a people.