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A Challenge to Colin Kaepernick- by a Marine Combat Veteran August 31, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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Recently, professional football player Colin Kaepernick made a political statement by refusing to stand for the National Anthem.  Former (I know..you are never a “former Marine”) Marine Sgt. (Recon Marine, and Scout/Sniper) Travis Cox recorded a video explaining to Mr. Kaepernick challenging him to ‘do more’ than just ‘sit’.  I agree with Travis and want to add that respect is fundamentally different than ‘pride’.  I believe that Kaepernick’s actions were simply disrespectful. Please share.

Help Louisiana Flood Victims! August 17, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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louisiana-flooding-081316-4As everyone is aware, Louisiana is dealing with devastating floods.  An estimated 50,000 people have been displaced and a dozen have died.  Please consider donating to help those flood victims.  My open letters go viral…how about we try to make this go viral and get some needed help to those in Louisiana!?

Here are some ways you can help (thanks CNN!)

Every little bit helps!  Consider helping.  Thanks!

An Apology to Mr. Khan, Mrs. Smith & Gold Star Families August 3, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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HeadshotChris2013_COMPRecently, I wrote an ‘Open Letter’ to Mr. Khizr Khan that generated quite a bit of controversy.  I had referenced that Captain Khan’s sacrifice was his own.  In reading numerous Gold Star family comments from both sides of the isle, I believe an apology to the Khan family, Mrs. Smith and all Gold Star Families is in line. I was hopeful that I would have had the opportunity to make this last night in a more public forum but I was unable.

While I personally do believe Captain Khan’s sacrifice was his own, I have learned that my own position on this issue does not reflect the views of many Gold Star Families.  I should have been more circumspect in my comments and taken more time to understand the feelings of those families before opining.  There is no other way to say it: I am sorry and I have learned.

I want to thank those who took the time to comment directly and professionally to allow me to see both sides of this very sensitive position.

Respectfully,

Chris Mark

Scarlet Letters, Stereotypes and Tolerance August 2, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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HeadshotChris2013_COMPTwo days ago I wrote a blog post related to the DNC.  The post has since gone viral and over 4,000 people have commented.  While the vast majority of comments have been positive, and supportive there are people who disagree with my position. That is expected and part of our great nation.  Some of these people have made valid arguments and have been polite and professional.  While this post was intended to make a point to a small audience it has created a social experiment.

I have truly been taken aback however by sheer number of vulgar, vitriolic comments stereotyping me and all Republicans and, in particular, Trump supporters.  Let me be clear.  There were some nasty comments by Trump supporters but not at the level of the other side.  Even when I wrote my post on Mrs. Palin the vast majority of ‘right wing’ comments simply accused me of being a ‘closet democrat’ but did not  launch attacks like these.  I want to share some of the comments from Hillary Clinton supporters:

  • The Republican Party is a terrorist group
  • Go F%%K Yourself
  • You are a F%%king racist
  • You are a F%ggot
  • You are Uneducated
  • You believe Gays shouldn’t have any rights and everyone should carry an AR 15 to work
  • Do I really have to guess what you look like you inbred sister f%%king hillbilly
  • You piece of garbage, trash, facist, racist, zenophobe
  • When did we become a nation of redneck hillbillies?
  • Trump and his supporters, the fact that they are a bunch of racist and bigots
  • You would not have made that comment if the Khans had been White and Christians
  • You all need to stop clinging to your God and guns
  • Please tell me where to meet you so I can spit  in your face
  • I want to slap you
  • You are a traitor
  • You are retarded

The list goes on and on…these (including the physical threats) are from the ‘Tolerant left’ in response to the fact that I said I would vote for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.  With regard to the White and Christian comment I pointed out that I had written a blistering piece on Sarah Palin who is both White and Christian.  This did not seem to matter.  The coup de grace however is this gem:

  • “You are a f%%cking racist Chris.”
    • I responded politely asking the reader to query everything I have written and find where I was racist.  Her reply?
  • “Just because your posts and other comments are not racist does not excuse you from being a racist.” (emphasis added)

So simply by virtue of supporting someone that this person does not agree with paints one as a racist.  In short you are guilty of racism with zero evidence until they “excuse you” from that label?  This is the height of intolerance from the tolerant Hillary Supporters.

I think Hillary Clinton’s campaign should consider adopting the 1980’s Rush song SubDivisions.  One of the lyrics says:

“Conform or be cast out!”

This is the divisiveness and intolerance in our country today.  If you do not agree with the other and conform, then you should be cast out or denigrated.  So, why am I voting for Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton?  Simple the same reason everyone chooses one candidate over another.  Satisficing. Satisficing is simply prioritizing your criteria and choosing from the best available options.  Some people value social issues more, others may value economic issues.  It is these points on which we actually vote.

Has Donald Trump said things with which I don’t agree? Absolutely.  That being said, he has not compromised national security nor lied to congress about his actions.  He has not allowed the death of 4 Americans (my view). These are the primary criteria on which I am voting.  End of story.  This doe not make me a racist, bigot, or anything else other than a voter who values one option over the other.

 

An Open Letter to Khizr Khan July 31, 2016

Posted by Chris Mark in Uncategorized.
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2,226 comments

Please read “An Apology to Mr. Khan, Mrs. Smith & Gold Star Families”

Dear Mr. Khan,

I want to preface this letter by stating that I respect your son’s sacrifice for this great nation.  By all accounts, he is a true hero that sacrificed himself in service to our country. For that I am thankful.

As a veteran, I watched your comments at the Democratic National Convention with a mixture of sadness, and anger.  The United States has a military comprised of volunteers.  Every single member has made the conscious choice to join the military and serve.  There is not a single service member who has been forced into service.  It is important for all service members (and apparently, their families) to understand that service to this great nation does not imbue one with special privileges or rights.  I found your comments troubling when you said: “Have you ever been to Arlington cemetery? Go look at the graves of brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities. You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”

Does it matter whether Mr. Trump has sacrificed “…nothing and no one?”…has Ms. Clinton “..sacrificed” for this nation?  How about Mr. Obama?   Your comment stating that Mr. Trump “…has sacrifice no one” is alarming.  Are you intimating that YOU sacrificed?  Sir, your son willingly sacrificed himself.   As a father I cannot imagine the pain you must feel but his sacrifice is his own.  He was not forced to serve.

I am troubled that you would allow a party that has little more than contempt for the US Service Member to parade you into the DNC to denounce Donald Trump.  Did you watch when protesters at the DNC booed and heckled Medal of Honor recipient  Capt. Florent Groberg? Did you notice your party interrupting the moment of silence for slain police officers?  Your own hypocrisy in not denouncing these acts and instead using the DNC as a platform to make a political point is disgraceful.  The simple fact is that whether one served or sacrificed does not give greater power to their statements.  One vote is as valuable as another.  That sir, is why our Country is great.  Your condemnation of one person for a statement while standing idly as your party disparages veterans and police officers is the height of hypocrisy.

To conflate the need to prevent potential terrorists from entering our country with the belief that ‘all Muslims’ should be banned is simply wrong and disingenuous. As a reminder, Mr. Trump said: ” “Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life,” The irony of your son’s own death at the hands of these very people in Iraq should not be ignored.  I have little doubt that your son would have recognized the need to protect our country from these very people.  In fact, he held is own troops back so that he could check on a suspicious car.  Your son understood sacrifice and how to protect “his people”…’his soldiers’….’his fellow Americans’…

As you continue to make the media circuit and bask in the glow of affection cast upon you by a party that has little regard for your son’s own sacrifice, and veterans in general, I would ask you to consider your comments and your position more closely.

Respectfully,

Chris Mark

US Marine and Navy Veteran.

 

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