East Penn School Board Member Julian Stolz, someone I know and like despite disagreeing with much of his politics, has said some pretty controversial things lately in Social media that have put him in some hot water. Julian is opinionated but in my opinion, it is all much ado about nothing. He is young, and just getting started.
But Lehigh County Executive Candidate Scott Ott has a plethora of colorful quotes and opinions that he has issued for public consumption on the Internet in the last decade. Some of this stuff is so disturbing you can't believe he actually wrote or said it. If someone is running for elected office, you want to believe that they will take the job seriously.You also want to believe that they realize they represent everyone, not just the few that voted for them, and they have a duty not only to serve all, but RESPECT ALL. After reading through Mr. Ott's so called "satirical" views concerning many different groups, none of which he either belongs to or has affection for, I am sure of one thing: There's a whole bunch of us that he looks down upon in society. The only purpose we serve in his eyes is to be ridiculed and disparaged. Those are not things most people look for in their leaders. In fact, it is the kind of thing I saw in most cowardly bullies.
I am a United States Army Veteran, a member of the American Legion, and I don't think too highly of would be politicians/half assed so called journalists who mock military Veterans and the plight many of them face after service. So today's entry will concentrate on what Scott Ott erroneously thinks is funny about Veterans.
In April 2009, during his first run for County Executive, Scott Ott suggested in the Washington Examiner where he was a regular contributor that Democrats view war veterans as poorly educated and deeply troubled. I know Mr Ott has a degree in Journalism from Penn State, but nowhere in his resume did I see any doctorates in Psychology. I also didn't see any military service time on there, so I can't figure out where he got the qualifications to make such judgements about military personnel, or what makes him think he knows where we came from or what our education levels are. I could argue all day on that point, but instead I want to remind everyone of one thing that all Military members do:
We Stand ready to defend your freedoms. One of those freedoms is the right to free speech. I will defend to the death Mr Ott's right to say and/or write incredibly insensitive things.
But I will also exercise my right to point out that I find much of what he has written and claims to be "satire" to be incredibly insensitive to the plight of many military veterans. I am going to use two instances in the not so distant past to illustrate my point.
Here is the first quote, from a Washingtom Examiner piece in April 2009:
"After the Department of Homeland Security sparked a firestorm of protest from right-wing extremists over a nine page report on the "resurgence in radicalization and recruitment among right-wing extremists groups, DHS chief Janet Napolitano announced today that her department would soon release a similar report on leftist groups via twitter. The "Rightwing Extremism" report warned that the current economic crisis, and the election of a black President, could inspire returning war veterans and others to join violent groups plotting against their own nation......Meanwhile Napolitano said she would meet with veterans groups to apologize for what many saw as a disparaging characterization in the report on right-wing extremists. "I would say that I am sorry if some of our deeply troubled war vets misunderstood our report because of their limited education" Ms Napolitano said. "After all they joined the military because they had no other options. We at Homeland Security should be sensitive to folks who didn't have the benefit of a liberal arts education, or the kind of wisdom that comes from high level policy meetings in Washington D. C." (Scott Ott, Examiner April 17, 2009)
Mr Ott took a legitimate news report on right wing extremists groups in America and twisted it into what he thought was a humorous piece that demeaned the new Obama administration.
Mr Ott thinks this is funny. This is his idea of satire, mocking Military veterans.This was not a one time thing, In the years before John McCain became the Republican nominee for President in 2008, he was a constant butt of Mr Ott's humor.
To further illustrate Mr. Ott's lack of compassion, or disdain for any veteran who has served, let's go back to March 2007 when Scott Ott published his TOP TEN REASONS TO NOMINATE JOHN MCCAIN FOR PRESIDENT on his SCRAPPLEFACE blog
10. Years as POW in Solitary Confinement prepared him for isolation of White House "Bubble"
9.Won't accept Presidential paycheck, since at 72 he can live off Social Security
8.More exciting presidential news conferences as reporters vie to light his fuse
7.To beat him, Libs will have to get through his gang of 14
6.Unlike Senators, Presidents have term Limits
5. He has a lock on the black vote, because his middle name is Sidney, Like Poitier
4.Won't surrender to anyone, since war injury prevents raising hands above head.
3.No longer despises "Agents of intolerance" on whacko religious right
2. Definition of "Surge" starts with 200,000 new boots, and Al Sadr dangling from a rope
1. Not beholden to the Republican Party or Other Special interest groups.
Scott Ott published this on his Scrappleface Blog on March 1, 2007.
John McCain is a decorated War hero who spent more than 5 years in a Vietnamese POW camp under brutal conditions. He has served Our country all his life, and while I have different politics, I respect him. How is this funny? The entire list offends me, but number 4 is so blatantly disturbing that I cringe every time I read it. How do you mock a man's horrific war injury?
On this list alone, Ott mocks POW's, Social Security Recipients, and African Americans and makes it looks unnaturally easy.
Mr Ott has a right to say whatever he wants, but what a person says and does also shows a great deal about what kind of person they are, and just where they see you in the scheme of things. Mr. Ott has shown me in his writings that he does not respect those who have served this country, among others.
Mr Ott continually presents himself as a good christian and follower of the word of Jesus.
I wonder what Jesus would say about his attitude towards our wounded heroes?
I would urge all my brother and sister veterans to take a pause before considering voting for this man at any level. He seems to think it all is a great big joke. Well it isn't. We need serious leaders who know what they are doing, and treat ALL the people they are elected to serve with respect. I do not believe Scott Ott will do that, and I guarantee you, come November, there will be mailings to every Possible Lehigh County Voter pointing out how Scott Ott feels about each and every one of them.
Veterans are just one of the groups Mr. Ott has mocked. I don't trust any person who disparages an American hero such as John McCain, or jokingly refers to any of my brother or sister veterans as deeply troubled because of our "so called" limited education. The plight of veterans returning home from the last decade of wars is no joking matter. Veterans are not uneducated, as a matter of fact, the military puts a high priority on education for all personnel, making higher education opportunities available for active duty members even when serving in the field. But Mr. Ott wouldn't know that, the closest he gets to any military personnel, past or present, is when he is trying to figure out a way to cut their services locally, so he can honor his pledge to kill off all useful government.
We need leaders at the local level dedicated to making sure services are available to area veterans who desperately need them. Mr. Ott has vocally expressed his desire many times to refuse any and all pass through funding from higher levels of government that would fund those services. We can not trust him as County Executive to ensure he will do the right thing and take care of those in need.
Veterans services are not an entitlement program, they are keeping a promise made to those who have served. The only thing Mr Ott seems to promise is that he will continue to mock us to further his political career and agenda.