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Mike Mason Profile – Candidate House District 61 – Hemp acreage grows by leaps and bounds

By Pat Sunderland
Published: Published September 5, 2018

According to the Colorado Department of Agriculture, the regulatory agency for the cultivation of industrial hemp, nearly 1,200 acres have been registered for the growth of hemp in Delta County. An additional 104,282 square feet of indoor space is registered for hemp.

Ty Odle, Western Slope Extractions, reports that acreage might have been higher had growers not faced the uncertainty of water to irrigate their crops this year. “The drought kept quite a few people from growing, knowing they would likely run out of water early,” Odle said.

Located on Rogers Mesa, Western Slope Extractions is one of several hemp processing facilities in Delta County.

Odle started his business a year and a half ago with the goal of providing a local option for growers looking for someone to extract CBD oil from their hemp. “There’s a lot more hemp being grown this year … a lot more than last year, and I think it’s here to stay. The demand for CBD products is growing fast.”

So fast, Odle says, he and his three employees could be selling more oil to clients who are looking for large quantities.

He explains there are two sides to hemp. The first is fiber, for which farmers need to grow hundreds of acres. Because hemp can be labor intensive, no one in Delta County is into that kind of volume yet, he said. Then there are the high CBD strains used to produce salves, tinctures and gel caps.

Harvest will be ramping up throughout the month of September, with the peak occurring in October. Odle explains the hemp is harvested by hand, after the grower has verified the delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration does not exceed three-tenths of one percent (0.3%) on a dry weight basis.

After the plants are harvested, they’re dried and stripped of the buds and leaves, which are sent to a processing facility like Odle’s. Some processors buy the product outright; others do a split, meaning they keep a portion of the oil in exchange for their services.

Most new growers — meaning most of the folks Odle works with — don’t have the contacts to sell their oil once it’s been extracted, so he helps with that aspect as well. He also provides a “white label” program, making retail products for the growers to sell themselves.

Mike Mason counts himself as one of the growers who is still learning and expects to keep learning as the hemp industry changes “before our very eyes.”

“The demand for CBD oil is through the roof,” Mason said. “The processors can’t get enough.”

He said he’s been visited by a processor from the Front Range, and from California investors who would like to help him expand his operation. But he’s content to grow his operation slowly, learning as he goes and keeping risk at a minimum.

“If you want to do this, do an acre,” he recommends. “That’s more than enough to get your feet wet. Learn with that before you commit to 40 acres.”

Mason said five acres is as large as he’s willing to go, due largely to the cost of plants but also taking into account how labor intensive hemp can be.

He said he wound up pulling weeds by hand, so next year he’ll be looking for an easier option. Some growers lay down plastic in the rows between plants, but he’s seen the wind pick up the plastic, along with the drip system, and whip it around through the plants.

While hemp can be very hardy, there are big risks. Seeds are hard to come by and may have unknown THC levels; clones can run $5 apiece. You can put too much nitrogen on your plants and wind up killing them. When it comes to finding someone to refine your product, you have to find a reputable handler. “There are definitely risks involved,” Mason said, “but the biggest is keeping the right THC balance.”

He and other growers would like to see the THC level raised to 1 percent. “Then almost all varieties would pass and we wouldn’t have to harvest early,” Mason said, explaining that the higher the THC, the higher the level of CBD oil.

There’s currently a lot of research going into plant varieties, with the goal of keeping the THC low while maximizing the CBD levels. The latest thing from Oregon is a variety known as “cherry wine,” a variety that Mason plans to start indoors over the winter. “There’s a whole lot of energy going into hemp, and what you can do with it,” he said.

So why is CBD oil in such high demand?

“It’s growing by leaps and bounds because it’s so effective,” Mason said.

“My personal experience is having had stage four renal cell caricinoma. The oncologist prescribed narcotics for the intense pain. CBD oil allowed me to reduce the amount of narcotics to control the pain.”

CBD oil is also touted as an effective treatment for anxiety and depression, inflammation from arthritis, sleep disorders … even acne (

“There has to be something to it or the demand would not have skyrocketed,” Mason said. “And all of this is without massive advertising campaigns, just word of mouth.”

Longest Consecutive Positive Monthly Job Growth in United States History



August 3, 2018

The United States economy is continuing its longest streak of consecutive positive monthly job growth at 94 months, with 3.9 million jobs created since President Donald J. Trump was elected in November 2016.

Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) monthly Employment Situation Report shows that nonfarm payroll employment rose by 157,000 jobs in July, falling short of expectations, the average job growth per month is 215,000 for 2018—exceeding average monthly gains in 2016 (195K) and 2017 (182K)—once cumulative positive revisions to May and June are included.

Job growth has been strong across the board during the first 18 months of this Administration, and in July the manufacturing and professional & business services industries experienced significant gains. Since President Trump was elected, goods-producing industries (construction, manufacturing, mining, and logging) have added more than 900,000 jobs.

A separate BLS Household Survey offers more indications of a strong, growing U.S. economy. The unemployment rate edged down 0.1 percentage point (p.p.) over the month to 3.9 percent, a 0.9 p.p. decrease since January 2017. This is just the eighth time since 1970 that the unemployment rate has fallen below 4 percent, with three of these occasions occurring in 2018. The unemployment rate for Hispanics has reached another historic low, reaching 4.5 percent in July. This is the second month in row the unemployment rate for Hispanics has reached the lowest level recorded since the series began in 1973. The July unemployment rate for individuals with less than a high school diploma fell 0.4 p.p. over the month to 5.1 percent in July, the lowest level since the series began in 1992. The July unemployment rate for adult men was 3.4 percent, the lowest since December 2000.

The employment-population ratio, which is an important indicator of the share of people who are working, rose by 0.1 p.p. in July to 60.5 percent. This marks its highest point since January 2009 (see figure). Since January 2017, the employment-population ratio has increased by 0.6 p.p., which is a sign that more workers are finding jobs and coming off the sidelines, which is good news for America’s economy.

The unemployment rate declined in July across alternative measures of how we measure the workforce, or labor utilizations, as well. The U6 measure, which includes workers who are marginally attached to the labor force and those employed part-time for economic reasons, declined by 0.3 p.p. over the month to 7.5 percent—its lowest rate since May 2001—again showing that those who had given up looking for work are throwing their hats in the ring.

Today’s BLS Employment Situation Report shows another month of strong job growth and demonstrates that the American labor market is thriving under the Trump Administration’s pro-growth policies.

Colorado oil and gas ballot initiative would bar extraction on more than 80 percent of non-federal land, state regulators say

From the Denver Post 7/10/2018 by John Aguilar

More than 4 of every 5 acres of non-federal land in Colorado would be off-limits to new oil and gas drilling if voters this fall approve a proposed ballot measure that aims to significantly widen the distance wells have to be from occupied buildings and water sources, according to an analysis released this month by state energy regulators.

The report, which doesn’t directly address the initiative’s potential economic impact, comes at the fever pitch of a years long dispute over how and where companies access mineral rights. Supporters call the industry an engine of economic growth, whereas critics point to the fading gap between extraction sites and fast-expanding neighborhoods.

Initiative 97 would establish the minimum setback of oil and gas wells to 2,500 feet — from the current 500 feet for homes and 1,000 feet for schools. Industry advocates warn that would decimate the state’s oil and gas sector, which was cited in a recent Colorado Petroleum Council study for having generated nearly 233,000 jobs in Colorado and contributed more than $31 billion to the state’s economy.

“A 2,500-foot setback would shut down Colorado’s oil and natural gas industry and lead to a massive layoff of over 100,000 local jobs,” Scott Prestidge, spokesman for the Colorado Oil and Gas Association, said Monday. “We hope Coloradans read before they sign any petition that would place this dangerous measure on the ballot.”

Backers of Initiative 97 are gathering signatures to put it on the November ballot. They need to submit to the Secretary of State’s Office just over 98,000 valid signatures from voters by Aug. 6.

“Toxic, industrial and dangerous activity like fracking doesn’t belong in our neighborhoods, near our kids’ schools or near our water supplies,” said Micah Parkin, who sits on the board of Colorado Rising, a fracking watchdog group promoting the measure. “These are really common-sense regulations.”

She cited the explosion last year that killed two men and destroyed a home in Firestone as just the most visible illustration of the danger of locating oil and gas operations close to neighborhoods. The incident was blamed on a leaky flowline from a well that hadn’t been capped properly.

In the eight months following that tragedy, there were at least a dozen explosions and fires associated with industry pipelines along the Front Range, a Denver Post investigation found.

Parkin said today’s setbacks aren’t nearly enough, especially when several studies have found that people living near oil and gas operations are at higher risk of developing health problems, including cancer. One Princeton University-led study released last year concluded that babies born within a half-mile of a fracking site were 25 percent more likely to have low birth weights, leaving them at greater risk of infant mortality, asthma and lower test scores.

But some of the studies surrounding the toxicity of oil and gas operations have been questioned, not just by the industry but also by the head of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, who earlier this year criticized the conclusions of a University of Colorado study linking oil and gas well proximity to childhood leukemia.

Oil and gas extraction has moved closer to surging neighborhoods in the state, particularly on the metro area’s northern and eastern periphery, where the Wattenberg Gas Field has proven to be one of the more productive in the country.

And in the last year, escalating prices for oil (it closed at $74 a barrel Monday, compared to around $44 a year ago) have prodded the industry to apply for more well permits. Data from the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission show that output never crested above 10.4 million barrels a month in Colorado in 2016, while in the first three months of this year, the monthly yield has ranged between 11.8 million and 13.2 million barrels.

This month’s COGCC report on the potential effects of Initiative 97 concluded that a 2,500-foot buffer between new wells and occupied buildings and other “vulnerable areas,” like waterways, would eliminate 94 percent of non-federal land available for drilling in Colorado’s top five oil-and-gas-producing counties combined.

Weld County, by far the state’s most productive oil and gas area, would see 85 percent of its non-federal land knocked offline for new oil and gas activity, should the proposed setbacks take effect, the analysis concluded.

The agency’s report did not speculate on the initiative’s economic impact, but CU conducted a study two years ago on that topic when a similar measure was being proposed for the ballot. That measure was disqualified for lack of valid signatures.

The CU study concluded that a 2,500-foot buffer for new oil and gas wells would result in a $7.1 billion hit to Colorado’s gross domestic product in the first five years the setbacks are in place, with 54,000 fewer jobs being generated.

Parkin said while it is important to keep Colorado’s economy humming, “we have to prioritize public safety and health risks first.” She said extraction technology has made such advances in recent years — the practice of horizontal drilling allows energy companies to reach minerals from several miles away — that the setbacks being proposed are not as onerous as the industry is maintaining.

“They can site their wells further away and not right in the middle of neighborhoods and still get access to their resources,” she said.

But Peter Moore, head of pro-drilling coalition Vital for Colorado, countered that his side is ready to fight the effort to put more room between homes, schools and fracking sites.

“The groups behind Initiative 97 want to drive oil and natural gas development out of Colorado, plain and simple,” he said. “The new analysis shows the Colorado energy sector would be devastated by this ballot measure – and the business community refuses to let that happen.”


The Culture of Death and Growing Totalitarianism

Newt Ginggrich
This article was written before little Alfie died this morning. This is a beautifully written and important piece about two small children in England and the government that is forcing them to die. It is an important read. We can’t let this happen in America.
Originally published at Fox News

The British government’s decisions to allow two critically ill babies to die in two years
is a natural reflection of the culture of death and the steady increase in totalitarian tendencies among Western governments.

Last year, the British government ordered life support removed from Charlie Gard, ending his life when he was just 11 months old. Now, Alfie Evans – just 23 months old – has received what amounts to the same death sentence. On Monday, he was removed from life support by court order – against the wishes of his parents.
Then, something remarkable happened. The child confounded his doctors and refused to die.
As of the time I am writing this, Alfie Evans is still alive and is breathing unaided. This is despite the claim made by a medical professional during a court hearing that Alfie would die quickly – possibly in “minutes” – if taken off life support.

But even this display of the power of the human spirit to defy the expectations of the supposedly rational and objective state did nothing to sway the minds of the British courts and state-run medical apparatus.
On Wednesday, another legal appeal by the parents to be allowed to try and save their son’s life was denied. The secular system has asserted its right to define what lives are worth living and is determined to prevent its authority from being questioned. Alfie Evans’ life – like Charlie Gard’s before him – has been determined to be limited by the standards of the secular state – and therefore without value.

These tragic government-imposed death sentences for innocent infants should frighten all of us about increasing secularism in society and the steady shift towards a totalitarian willingness to control our lives – down to and including ending them – on the government’s terms.

This is a direct assault on the core premise of the Declaration of Independence. We Americans asserted that we “are endowed by [our] Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” In the American Revolution, in our fight against the British crown, we asserted that rights come from God not from government.

However, our secular, liberal culture increasingly dismisses the concept of God and asserts that our rights come from a rational contract enforced by government. In the original American model, we asserted our God-given rights against the power of a potentially tyrannical government. In the emerging left-wing secular order, since there is no God, our rights depend on a secular state controlling itself.

Britain is giving us a vivid, tragic sense of how dangerous and heartless government tyranny can be once God is rejected and there is nothing between us and the government.

Ironically, this latest decision was made the same year Stephen Hawking died 55 years after he was diagnosed with ALS (commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease) and told he had only two years to live. Apparently, the British government learned no lessons from Hawking’s remarkable lifetime of work and achievement, which he pursued despite having to battle an extraordinarily challenging illness. In fact, in 1985, Hawking contracted pneumonia while he was writing A Brief History of Time, and his wife was asked if his life should be terminated. She refused, and Hawking went on to live another 33 years and publish one of the most acclaimed books of the 20th century, which has since sold more than 10 million copies worldwide – all after it had been suggested he be taken off life support.
Hawking should be a permanent reminder that the human spirit is more important than the human body and that the will to live and achieve should not be destroyed by the state.

Yet, in the very country which produced and nurtured Hawking, the government still ordered the removal of life support from two babies. In both cases there has been an organized alternative to government-imposed death.
Charlie Gard’s condition was potentially treatable by an experimental process in the United States. An American hospital and other organizations were willing to treat him. Supporters gave more than 1.3 million pounds (about $1.8 million) to pay for the travel and treatment. His parents wanted him to have the chance to live. However, the British bureaucracy took time to consider if he could go. During that bureaucratic process, his condition worsened. Then, having allowed his condition to worsen by refusing to say yes, it was too late. During the bureaucratic deliberation, Charlie’s parents and those who wanted to try to save him were told they had no right to help their own child. The child belonged to the government, and the government would decide whether he had the right to live.
This year, Alfie Evans had international support for an opportunity to live. The “Pope’s hospital”, Bambino Gesù Pediatric Hospital, has offered to treat Alfie (as it did with Charlie), and Pope Francis has publicly appealed to the British government to allow the young child to be taken to Rome. An air ambulance was sent to Alfie’s hospital earlier this week to bring him to the doctors who wanted to try for a miraculous cure.

In a real sense: What better place is there to hope for a miracle than in the Pope’s pediatric hospital, which has helped many children with rare diseases?

This appeal for hope fell on the deaf ears of the state, which refused to allow Alfie’s parents to transfer their child to Rome. In fact, The Telegraph reported that despite a judge ruling that Alfie’s parents could “explore” taking the child home, doctors treating the child have been against this because they fear that “in the ‘worst case’ they would try to take the boy abroad.”

In other words, the “worst case” scenario would be for Alfie’s parents to seek medical help to save their child.
This is monstrous. It is difficult to understand the arrogance and coldness of British judges who prefer to order death rather than allow parents to fight for the lives of their children. Yet at least twice in two years we have seen a supposedly free country’s court system impose death on its most innocent citizens.
Some of this cruelty and inhumanity is a function of the growing culture of death and the expanding sense that secular values must drive religious values out of public life.

Some of it comes from a National Health Service which must bureaucratically define what is worth investing in and what is not. In a world of limited medical resources, little babies with rare conditions become expendable “for the greater good.” The fact that we are all diminished makes no difference to the atheist bureaucratic left.

Those who say they favor socialism must be made to confront this inhumanity, which is an integral part of socialist implementation. When the government controls everything, the government defines everything, and humanity is crushed beneath petty rules and petty rulers.

In America, we are watching the steady growth of intolerance and the totalitarian impulse. Look at the campuses which now seek to control speech. Look at the polls which show young people are being educated into support for censorship. Look at the California legislature which is considering legislation that, taken to its logical conclusion, will outlaw the sale and distribution of the Bible and the Koran (the secular society sees both as intolerant, dangerous documents).

When you read about these two babies being denied life support by a supposedly free government, remember what John Donne warned when he wrote “any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.”

In these two years, we have seen two babies effectively sentenced to death by a government we would once have considered humane. What will the next horror be?

Electoral College Statistics

In their infinite wisdom, the United States’ founders created the Electoral College to ensure the STATES were fairly represented. Why should one or two densely populated areas speak for the whole of the nation?

The following list of statistics has been making the rounds on the Internet. It should finally put an end to the argument as to why the Electoral College makes sense.

Do share this. It needs to be widely known and understood.

– There are 3,141 counties in the United States.

– Trump won 3,084 of them.

– Clinton won 57.

– There are 62 counties in New York State.

– Trump won 46 of them.

– Clinton won 16.

– Clinton won the popular vote by approx. 1.5 million votes.

– In the 5 counties that encompass NYC, (Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Richmond & Queens)

– Clinton received well over 2 million more votes than Trump. (Clinton only won 4 of these counties; Trump won Richmond)

– Therefore these 5 counties alone, more than accounted for Clinton winning the popular vote of the entire country.

– These 5 counties comprise 319 square miles.

– The United States is comprised of 3,797,000 square miles.

When you have a country that encompasses almost 4 million square miles of territory, it would be ludicrous to even suggest that the vote of those who inhabit a mere 319 square miles should dictate the outcome of a national election.

Large, densely populated Democrat cities (NYC, Chicago, LA, etc.) DO NOT and SHOULD NOT speak for the rest of our country!

But that 319 square miles are where the majority of our nation’s problems foment.

President Trump’s State of the Union Address

The text of the President’s State of the Union Address, January 30, 2018

Just a couple of the many wonderful lines in the President’s delivery.

“My duty, and the sacred duty of every elected official in this chamber, is to defend Americans, to protect their safety, their families, their communities, and their right to the American Dream. Because Americans are dreamers too.”

“Over the last year, the world has seen what we always knew: that no people on Earth are so fearless, or daring, or determined as Americans. If there is a mountain, we climb it. If there is a frontier, we cross it. If there’s a challenge, we tame it. If there’s an opportunity, we seize it.”

The “Documentary”, Vietnam – Opinions from those who were there

Several folks have asked me what I thought of Burns/Novick “documentary” on Vietnam. I finally finished watching it this past weekend. The more I watched, the less I liked it because the series clearly took the apologist’s perspective of not only the war, but also the political and social events which occurred simultaneously in the United States (which definitely adversely influenced the actual conduct and outcome of the war, treatment of our POWs, and treatment of our Vietnam veterans).

What I am sharing here is NOT an request for anyone to tell me or any other Vietnam vet “thanks for your service.” I believe Terry Garlock’s story, set for publication tomorrow, is a valid critique of what I call a docudrama that aired on PBS last fall. You may think it’s long, but the televised series was 10 two-hour episodes so the critique’s length is justified.

I have said many times that I was convinced by the time (July 1971) I deployed to Vietnam as an advisor to a Vietnamese infantry regiment that I believed the battle against “communism,” the Viet Cong and the North Vietnamese was NOT winnable because US politics and public sentiment was against the war and because the majority of Vietnamese people outside of their political elite just wanted the war and the killing to be over. I still stand by that assessment. However, that does not mean that our military should not have given or did not give our best effort to fulfill the commitments and promises of our American Presidents and other political leaders. I believe our military gave our best effort (under ever-growing political constraints) to fulfill our mission to help the South Vietnamese repel the Communist takeover of The Republic of Vietnam. Our military did not fail or “lose” the war; simply put, we were ordered to withdraw our support of the South Vietnamese. As the American military followed those orders, the South Vietnamese lost the ability and will to continue fighting the Communists who then took over governing the whole country.

I believe slanted docudramas like the Burns/Novick series are attempts to appease and smooth over lingering malcontent of Americans my age about American involvement in Vietnam. Such attempts allow those who misunderstood, disrespected and/or mistreated Vietnam veterans, especially those who did not volunteer for military service, to feel OK about how they felt and acted toward the Vietnam era military. To me, that is counter to this country’s values and efforts to defend freedom and those who seek it.

Propagandists masquerading as historians
by Terry Garlock
Scheduled for publication Wed, Jan 31 in The Citizen, a local Fayette County, GA newspaper
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I was only one of many Vietnam veterans who wrote opinion columns criticizing the Vietnam War film by Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, opining their work seemed more like propaganda than history. In doing so I occasionally used “Burns” as shorthand for the pair, to which Ms. Novick emailed me her objection. She is correct, I should consistently include her name as co-producer because she is equally culpable in the hit piece they brazenly call a documentary.
So, Ms. Novick and Mr. Burns, this is for you. My back-handed compliment is that your wholly inaccurate film is a slick rationalization for aging Americans who, decades ago, loudly encouraged our enemy while we were killing each other in combat. For those harboring doubts about actively opposing us in their youth while we served our country in a war, your film may have supplied just the soothing salve they need.
You bent the truth in your film too far, too consistently, too repetitively, and omitted too much to leave any room for me to believe those errors, omissions, distortions, half-truths and complete falsehoods were remotely accidental.
Like a house of distorted mirrors, you portrayed the murderous and avowed Stalinist Ho Chi Minh as a nationalist driven by reunification of North and South Vietnam rather than his real commitment to Communist conquest of free South Vietnam. Your film repeatedly depicted the war as unwinnable, the North Vietnamese cause as just, war crimes between the two sides as morally equivalent, American troops as victims, South Vietnamese as mere bit players, all that and much more of your content completely opposite of the truth. You selected for dominant interviews from the tiny percentage of American combat veterans with a grievance who joined the protestors when they returned home.
I cannot know the motivation in your hearts, but I have the stark impression that your plan from the very beginning was to delegitimize America’s role in the war and justify the anti-war left by very selectively emphasizing negatives and minimizing positives to shape the film’s message to your liking.
There is a tragic irony in protests by the anti-war left and your justification for them. The noble cause of the Vietnam War was trying to stop the spread of Communism in Southeast Asia, especially important given the hegemony of China in the region. Even so, while we answered our country’s call and honorably performed our difficult duty, leadership in the White House and Pentagon created a patchwork of micromanagement and idiotic war-fighting limitations, obstacles that got thousands of us killed while preventing victory. Those egregious and very real failures alone would have been worthy of protest, but your buddies on the left either didn’t notice or felt compelled to manufacture their own demons, like John Kerry’s fantastic lie that we were raping, murdering and rampaging in Vietnam like Genghis Khan.
The outrage is our enemy’s daily atrocities against their own people, juxtaposed against how we Americans defended and helped those civilians in a hundred ways, both ignored by the news media while American troops were maligned.
Ms. Novick, you were just eleven years old when America withdrew from Vietnam in 1973, so you might have missed personally knowing the effects of false stereotypes about Vietnam and its veterans.
Like so many others, I came away from that experience with my eyes opened, having learned by watching young Americans the true meaning of honor, courage and trust. Those men and women were then and still are the finest people of character I have ever known.
I saw my fellow helicopter pilots fly into enemy fire routinely, taking mortal risks to protect civilians and their brothers, and I saw grunts do the same crazy things for each other. I flew gun cover for Dustoff crews braving enemy fire to pick up wounded, and I flew gun cover for LRPs sneaking in enemy turf, the bravest men I have ever seen; if you have an open mind, read Six Silent Men by Gary Linderer to understand how bold our Rangers were.
I saw doctors, nurses and orderlies drive themselves to physical and emotional exhaustion every day as they struggled to send us home alive, and still we found time to send medical help to poor villages where medicine had never been seen. There was much to admire, and when I finally wrote a book my title tells my sentiments: Strength and Honor: America’s Best in Vietnam.
Anti-war voices were overwhelming, and America never knew what a fine job their youth had done in Vietnam, despite impediments imposed by our own government, despite collaboration with the enemy by our own fellow citizens.
When we came home, the country seemed to us to have turned principles upside down. Wearing the American uniform invited hostility while refusing to serve was somehow a virtue. These remarkable troops, young enough to be called boys but now battle-hardened men, never lost a single significant battle against a very tough enemy, but they didn’t know how or want to engage in political argument. And so many like me kept their head down and went on with life. Nobody wanted to hear about our experience anyway, for two reasons.
First, everybody already knew all the answers about Vietnam, they had seen it on TV. Second, in those days the Vietnam War was a shunned topic, something dirty not discussed in polite company.
Even some family members skirted the subject, wary of the rumors they heard about rampant war crimes, drug addiction and vets prone to snap into violence. During his first visit home, Tony Foster’s mother asked him what kind of drugs he was on.
False stereotypes took root from repetition in a media leaning hard against the war. Movies reinforced the lies with absurd stories and unreal characters that indulged Hollywood’s ridiculous fantasies of the war. Period fiction followed suit, and TV dramas occasionally created a Vietnam vet when they needed an unbalanced, unpredictable and dangerous character.
Spreading these attitudes has consequences. Not everyone thought the worst of us, but enough did to change the national mood.
Even small slights left lasting impressions. Jay Standish escorted his date to their seats near the front of an off-Broadway theater, proudly wearing his Marine Corps dress blues, prompting boos from many in the audience. A Sgt. named Chip went to see a Priest for pre-marital counseling wearing his Army dress greens, and the Pries t told him to come back when he was wearing decent clothing.
Vietnam vets learned to leave the war off their resume to avoid rejection in the first cull of job applicants. They soon knew to keep quiet in college classes since anti-war professors used their grading pen as a weapon.
ROTC membership plummeted and some professors wouldn’t accept members as students. Military recruiters were ejected from campus. The uniform was not popular, as R.J. DelVecchio learned by hostility to his Marine Corps uniform at the University of Maryland and was advised not to wear it again on campus. Wearing a uniform made some feel invisible waiting to be served in a restaurant.
Drew Johnson, who ferried Navy aircraft to Vietnam over an extended period, returned through California airports at least two dozen times and saw the escalation of vitriol aimed at our returning troops by anti-war protestors who, by my measure, were unfit to shine a veteran’s shoes. Officials and most in the public merely looked the other way while protestors yelled “babykiller” and worse at returning vets, threw nasty splatter packets at them and frequently used their own spit.
In 1971, my commanding officer told me to remind my men not to wear their uniform off-base, for their own personal safety.
Some anti-war tactics were despicable. An F-105 fighter pilot I will leave nameless bet his life every time he flew into North Vietnam through the toughest air defenses in the world. When he was shot down, even before his wife received official notification, anti-war activists called to say her husband was a baby-killing a**hole and deserved what he got.
There were many thousands of these uncouth episodes incited by fabrications from the anti-war left, and they were made worse that they were aimed at Americans who served honorably and sacrificed much. And yet every Vietnam vet I know is proud of their service, fiercely patriotic and doesn’t want even a shred of sympathy.
They do want one thing. They want the truth told about them, their enemy, their war.
Now, after forty something years, Ms. Novick and Mr. Burns, along comes the misrepresentation you call a documentary, very pretty but with only fleeting intersections with the truth and reviving conflict long ago buried. It seems, to me at least, that you pre-planned your strategy to build up to your conclusion in support of your friends on the left, “The Vietnam War was a tragedy, immeasurable and irredeemable.”
Even with 10 episodes over 18 hours, you left out vital pieces of the story. In 1974, in the aftermath of Watergate, Democrats were elected in a landslide and the new Congress violated America’s promise by cutting off funding for South Vietnam’s se lf-defense. Then when the Communists attacked South Vietnam in massive force, Congress refused to honor America’s pledge to come to their aid. The left’s view seems to be North Vietnam’s conquest had the happy result of reunification. Senator J. William Fulbright, who provided the forum for that spectacular liar John Kerry, said about the fall of Saigon that he was “. . . no more depressed than I would be about Arkansas losing a football game to Texas.”
Trivializing the human cost of Communist victory, you didn’t mention tens of thousands of executions, the million or so sent to brutal re-education camps, the panicked populace fleeing in rickety overpacked boats and dying by the tens of thousands. You neglected North Vietnam’s obscene practice of bulldozing South Vietnamese graves, and the influx of North Vietnamese to take over the best farms, businesses, homes and jobs in South Vietnam. And you swept under the rug America’s shame, the betrayal of our ally, never mind the genocide by Communists as they murdered two million in Cambodia next door.
All in all, Ms. Novick and Mr. Burns, kudos on the slick appearance mixing photos, film clips, tilted narration and sad music to set the mood for your biased content. I think you have succeeded in making your semi-factual slop believable to a naïve public, and students in schools you send it to will likely lap it up because they don’t know better.
That means we will need to redouble our efforts to tell the story true.
As I tell students when I speak to them about the Vietnam War, “Why does this ancient history matter to you? Because you need to know how a false history takes root, and you need to be smart enough to beware propaganda when you turn on TV news.” Or watch a film labeled a “documentary.”
Terry Garlock lives in Peachtree City, GA. He was a Cobra helicopter gunship pilot in the Vietnam War.

Colorado State GOP – We Support President Trump’s Tax Reform Plan

From the Colorado State GOP – We Support President Trump’s Tax Reform Plan

Thursday in Washington, Congressional Republicans passed the 2018 budget, which forecasts the largest tax cuts in US history.

Later that evening in Denver, Vice President Mike Pence brimmed with optimism to a ballroom full of Colorado Republicans: “I’m going to make a prediction tonight: We’re going to pass the largest tax cut in American history, and we’re going to pass it this year!”

Once passed, tax reform will be yet another bullet point on President Trump’s list of promises kept.

Tax Reform

American citizens and businesses have been strapped with a growing number of taxes over the last thirty years. The burden has slowed wages and growth. President Trump’s tax reform will cut away the anchors and unleash the American Dream once again.

Trump’s tax reform strengthens Americans. Although the details remain to be negotiated, the general framework is designed to work a middle-class miracle.

Keep more earnings with lower income families by doubling the standard deduction.
Improve quality of family life by expanding child tax credits.
Adjust tax brackets to provide relief for the middle class.
Provide for bigger paychecks to existing employees and facilitate the creation of new jobs by reducing business taxes.

Tax reform will breathe new life into the American family and the American economy.

Another Promise Kept

Tax reform will be yet another tremendous accomplishment realized in the short time since President Trump’s inauguration, when Abraham Lincoln’s promise, that “government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth,” echoed from Trump’s pulpit:

“…to all Americans, in every city near and far, small and large, from mountain to mountain, from ocean to ocean, hear these words. You will never be ignored again. Your voice, your hopes, and your dreams will define our American destiny.”

Since that inspirational speech on the White House steps, Trump has delivered:

– National safety. ISIS is on the ropes. Raqqa has fallen.
– Border security. Illegal immigration is significantly down, as much as 80% in some border towns.
– Less red tape. Business regulations have been drastically cut. Businesses are more competitive under new freedom, unafraid to follow their dreams.
– More sensible judiciary. The appointment of Justice Gorsuch, a strong conservative, has changed the Supreme Court for the better.
– Commitment to rebuilding the military. The most powerful military the world has ever seen is rising up again.
– Record stock market. Stock values have risen rapidly, reflecting market confidence.
– Jobs. Unemployment is the lowest it’s been in 17 years.
– Patriotism. The culture is reacting strongly against displays of disrespect for our national symbols.

Along with these changes comes the tremendous rise in optimism that President Trump has spearheaded.

Look around. People are happy. People are excited. Seldom has there been a president with Trump’s ability to speak directly to the hearts of voters. Seldom has a president made such an impact with his words.

Fortunately for our nation, President Trump is making an impact with his promises as well.

America is back.