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June 5th 2008

About Me

L

et’s see if I can remember all my Navy Brat postings: Oakland, Washington DC, Turkey, Washington DC, Key West, Pacific Grove, Tokyo, South Bend (while Dad was on a spy ship and we couldn’t tag along), Yokosuka. I figured it out once — 20 schools between kindergarten and high school graduation. A wonderful experience that left me thinking a military career was not for me. Too bad.

I graduated with a degree in journalism from Indiana University and was a reporter for about a year before the cynicism of the profession drove me out, leading to the discovery that freelancing is a very good diet. Too good. Thanks to a couple great guys, I found my career in PR in 1976 and couldn’t be happier. For more on that, see the PR tab or visit my firm’s Web site.

The true definition of my life is this: Christian, husband of Incredible Wife, father of Incredible Daughters 1, 2 and 3.

The political definition is this: Despite being raised in a military family, I was raised in a liberal family, and gladly wore the mantle through my hippie and anti-war years when, yes, I drank the Kool Aid. I was also an environmentalist, actually the president of an environmental group in the mid-70s that fought (successfully, unfortunately) to stop a nuclear plant.

I held stubbornly to my liberal beliefs through Carter, despite the economic and foreign policy chaos he caused, but my liberalism was no match for the power of Reagan, so I’ve been happily conservative for more than 20 years. I’m still a conservationist, but having seen the environmental movement become a socialist litigation machine, I dropped that moniker in the 80s.

Two things got me into blogging: My long-time friend Hugh Hewitt, and seeing on Little Green Footballs Dan Rather’s copy of the supposed IBM Selectric-typed, pre-kerning Bush National Guard deferment letter morph without so much as a jiggle into a freshly typed, kerned Word version of the same.

You can always reach me at email2laer[@]yahoo[dot]com.

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  1. Lauren M

    The new site looks FANTASTIC Laer!   Really, it’s fun to read.  Nice work.

  2. Colleen Sahlas

    This is a great website.  Thanks for sharing your views and fascinating insights!  God bless, Colleen Sahlas 

  3. Michael Carr

    I bookmarked your blog a few weeks ago from another blog link.I read about 30 blogs a day, and I want to compliment you on your blog, both for the content and the look.Excellent content, Great look.Michael Carr 

  4. JT

    I’m really taken aback at the anger you hurl around this blog site. How is being an environmental advocate a bad thing? Environmentalism = public health. Clean water and an ecologically functional planet is much better than mucking around in toxic sludge.Hopefully you will learn to truely open your heart, eyes, and mind, and rid yourself of this hate – it is blinding you!  

  5. Laer

    JT, I doubt if you’ll be back, but you’re not reading me very well, and you’re not viewing the environmental movement very well.  We moved beyond your simplistic view of the movement years ago.  Clean water and clean air have been taken care of, endangered species protections are intact and functional, and systems are in place to protect the grand achievements we’ve accomplished. Now the movement has turned anti-capitalistic and is profoundly opposed to all growth.  It whips up unrealistic fear and uses litigation to raise money.  It is stubborn and inflexible, and it costs people billions upon billions of dollars – for example, here in California, its refusal to look at other solutions on the Delta smelt has reduced water deliveries to So Cal by 30%, which will result in billions of dollars in higher costs for water, while there were other solutions worthy of pursuit.
    I am not opposed to the old environmental movement; heck, I was president of one of those groups.  It’s what it’s grown into that bothers me.

  6. JT

    Actually – I am back to see if you responded! Thanks for a non-rantful, reasoned statement. I do agree that I appear to have misread you. Of course I disagree with your statements about environmentalists though.I am a geologist and water scientist by training, and spend my time restoring landscapes that have been destroyed by human impacts. I can tell you with absolute certainty that we do not have clean water OR clean air. How can we be DONE with the clean water movement when 25% of our freshwater fishes face extinction? When more than 100,000 US citizens a year die of illnesses perpetrated by poor air quality? When we have altered our climate processes to the degree that we are now faced with increased incidences of coastal flooding, catastrophic storms, desertification, and mass extinctions (yes – global climate change is real – read the science, not the media sensationalism….)I agree that environmental regulation can be cumbersome, bureaucratic, and, as you say “anti-capitalistic”. But we know that markets will not self-regulate in terms of environmental protections (or, for that matter, anything else – as we see in the current economic crisis).Environmentalists are trying like hell to create a world in which the overall human quality of life is maximized.Unfortunately we are in the situation where so much of our infrastructure and economy in California was planned and constructed prior to human knowledge or concern about how ecological systems would be impacted. Now we are paying the piper.Our use of water in this state is already unsustainable. And if you live in the South – you live in a desert. The Delta smelt is simply the message bearer…   

  7. Laer

    Well, JT, I honor your experience in the field, but you certainly make some claims that are unsubstantiated or stretched. “100,000 US citizens a year die of illnesses perpetrated by poor air quality” is such a canard.  As I understand the stat, it is a tally of various respiratory causes of death with a model applied.  Most of those who die are elderly with systems failing from multiple causes, yet because chronic respiratory failure or something like it is written as the cause of death, they become one of the 100,000.  Show me one 16 year old who keels over and dies because of something he breathed.

     

    And you’re just off on climate change; more and more scientists aren’t buying the “it’s all our fault!” line.  See my post yesterday.  To my knowledge, no one has ever been able to credibly tie increased storm activity to climate change; the record of hurricanes is quite complete and quite long and it disproves the claim.

     

    My primary point is that the needed systems are in place.  Air quality is getting better, not worse.  Ditto for water quality.  More wetlands are being preserved and restored than destroyed.  And on and on.  Credible regulation is good.  Hysteria for the sake of fund-raising and over-regulation is not.  And if the environmental groups focused their attention on less regulated markets than here, they would be doing more good.

     

    Southern California is becoming quite adept at water conservation, BTW, with extensive use of reclaimed water systems and growing behavior change. California as a whole has a sustainable water supply. New York City is unsustainable agriculturally – should people move out from there?  

  8. Robert

    Last month I came across a very well written article that dispels the global warming/climate change melodrama using facts. It can be found at:  http://libertyunbound.com/archive/2008_09/contoski-warming.htmlThis article is not a blog post. It is a rather well-researched piece that shows how much facts are ignored in favor emotionally biased outcome-based research. On an economic level, if entrepreneurial capitalism can be stunted or thwarted then social-welfare statists will hold more sway over public opinion. I don’t think that most people involved in various causes extrapolate their involvement to this end but many so-called movement leaders and their followers do serve as useful fodder for the hopes of those who would like to cement in place a permanent, global political class as well as a permanent and dependent constituency.For those who may be able to articulate a necessary but unasked question of any public figure, please visit my own site and participate in the survey I’ve created. The results should be a lot of fun to review.

  9. dg

    You censored my last response to Lies #11-12.  You are intellectually dishonest, just as Mark Whitten noted.  Shame on you.  I’m through with this site.  It is indeed a waste of time.

  10. Laer

    I censored  nothing.  You rudely ignored my request that discussion on the matter of separation of church and state be terminated.  I merely saw that my request was met, even if you refused to comply.

    The matters you protest on this blog are largely matters that have been debated in the public square for years, or even centuries, with both sides holding their own – which is why the debate continues.  Your idea that you have the intellect to prevail in matters that  continue to be spiritedly debated through arguments, legal decisions, social norms and personal opinions shows you to be arrogant and an intellectual bully.

    I have no need for bullies, so good riddance.

  11. dg

    Shutting down debate (and my final post) to get the last word and censoring are one in the same.  That you cannot even do simple math (e.g., your global temperatures analysis) or address factual rebuttals (e.g., Mark Whitten’s counterfactuals) is hardly a defense of the great ideas that have been debated for centuries.  You confuse your sophism for intellect, which is why Mark Whitten was right to call you out.  And so do I.  Of course, you’ll take this off your site as well and claim victory.  Foolish man, despite a 95% percentile IQ…

  12. dg

    By the way, the bullying is your forcing posts off your site.  You hold that power.  Not me.  That the force of my arguments is greater than your ability to rebut them (which was also true of Mark Whitten’s) does not demonstrate me to be a bully, but you to be inadequate in your facts and logic.  That you resort to ad hominem arguments also does not vindicate you, but reveals your sophistry and faux intellectualism.  Great conservative thinkers, from Burke to Buckley would not be pleased nor impressed…

  13. Laer

    Sorry, DG; it’s not sophistry or faux intellectualism; it’s time.  My time is very limited (yours apparently isn’t), and I have other priorities much more important than digging back through my files to counter your arguments.

    I thought you said you were through with this site.

  14. Anders

    Is anybody really reading all the ridiculous sh.. on this blog??? I don’t even know how I ended up here. Oh, yeah…, I searched for a keyword.

  15. Laer

    Thanks, Anders. I appreciate your self-censorship.

  16. James McFarland

    I found your website for the first time just now.
     
    I have little to add except to say that I am always happy to come across a Conservative website especially one written by a Christian, and one who is able to express himself in a reasoned and intelligent fashion.
     
    I am saddened, as prehaps half of the United States is, by the sorry state of affairs that is taking place in our great nation.  I agree that most of the conservationists have an agenda which is totally counter to the foundation of this country, and will lead us into a form of slavery to the “leaders” of our nation.
     
    I wish you well in your enterprise and your website.
     
    Jim

  17. Laer

    Thanks very much, Jim.

  18. Jim Norman

    Laer,  I’m the guy with the George Washington ‘WTF” sign from the tea party in SA yesterday.  Thanks very much for the vote of “best sign”.   A tea partier in Orlando last month came up with the idea, I saw it on freerepublic.com and knew I had to have it.Best regards.Jim

  19. Beth

    Laer,You should send this page about you to Glenn Beck.  Little Green Footballs is after him right now. Beth

  20. Drew

    Laer,Great site, I came across it while I was researching for a paper I was writing on media bias in the 2008 election. Any idea how to deal with a professor that is pro Obama and believes he can do no wrong, even to the extent of lowering grades on papers…like mine? Anyway, saw that you had mentioned South Bend as a place you had lived. Would that be South Bend, Indiana? I’m from Granger so I thought I would check.All the best!Drew 

  21. Laer

    Nice town, Granger.  My mom is from South Bend, and since we were a Navy family, it became our US home of sorts, even if it was only for a visit every couple years.  I did spend fifth grade there because my dad was stationed overseas on an assignment that didn’t allow families to accompany him.As for your professor, you will need to find some liberal/Democratic commentators and pepole within the mainstream media who agree that the media was out of line.  If that doesn’t hope, I would show the paper and grade to the dean for “the purpose of ensuring academic integrity.”  That will require that you submit an outstanding paper, of course.Good luck!

  22. Clarissa

    I saw a post you did in October, 2005 about a wounded soldier, Jesse Walker.I’m trying to locate him and was wondering if you could be of any help.We were roommates during 9/11 and lost touch with deployments and moves.It broke my heart to hear about him being wounded. I tried to go to Operation Soldier, but they don’t seem to be a functioning site anymore.

  23. Laer

    Sorry, Clarissa, I can’t be of any help. I wish you luck and Godspeed in your search.

  24. William Robertson

    Dear Laer:
    I’m not sure you remember me, I was the General Manager at YLWD from 1990 until my retirement in 2003. We briefly worked together on a few hot items, such as YLWD’s property tax problem in the early 1980′s and a few other issues after that.
     
    A few weeks ago I discovered your site via a link from Michelle Malkin’s site and just wanted to say hello. You have a fantastic site and I just love your perspective on national events, the California stuff, and I really like your views on water and environmental issues, which are always spot on.  You are a brilliant public communicator and this site is witness to your knowledge, skills and ability to present a point of view in a logical, reasoned manner. Your site has become one of four or five sites I visit every day.
     
    Two months after my retirement we escaped from California, the land “fruits and nuts,” to Albuquerque, New Mexico, which is sort of like another land of “fruits and nuts.” At least the air is cleaner here and we love the summer thunderstorms.
     
    Take care…God Bless you for your work.
     
    Sincerely,
    Willliam Robertson
     
    PS. If you see Mr. Kidman, tell him “hi” from me.
     

  25. Laer

    Bill – I’ve often wondered what became of you.  We still work periodically for YLWD – Ken Vecchiarelli is now the GM.

    Thanks for the wonderful compliments, and congrats for getting out of CA.  We were doing a fair amount of work in Albuquerque a couple years ago for SunCal (Atrisco land grant) – I wish I’d known you were there!

    Best wishes and God bless!

    Laer

  26. Disgruntled Stew

    Laer,As I’ve emailed you about modifying or deleting part of post [about Peter Sperling and your jealousy towards rich, albeit perhaps not so bright and decent, liberals], in which you never responded, why are we not able use strike throughs or modify posts? Accidents do happen, and it doesn’t really help your site that much either when you don’t allow a utility to modify posts.

  27. Laer

    Disgruntled – I don’t recall your earlier email, but it wouldn’t have led to a change.  Sperling is who he is; I am who I am.  We are polar opposites politically if not financially.  I have no jealousy of rich liberals. Jealousy means that I wish I could be like them; nothing could be further from the truth.

    If I understand your suggestion correctly, you’d like me to allow reader editing of my blog.  An interesting concept to be sure but go back and read the preceding sentence:  It ends with “my blog.”

  28. Disgruntled Stew

    Maybe I wasn’t clear enough.  I had suggested that this site allow readers’ comments edit options. Sometimes we make typos and grammatical errors..and it seems that your readers’ comment section does not allow any kind of modification.  Moreover, the “strike through” didn’t seem to work when I posted my comments on P Sperling page. thanks.

  29. Laer

    Sorry, Disgrunt, Sperling just sets me off. Your idea caught the eye of my blog’s designer extraordinaire, Dale of Okie on the Lam fame, and he’s found a widget that will allow readers to edit their comments.  He’ll upload it in the next couple days, after some pressing deadlines are met. Stay tuned.

  30. Laer

    Laer — The edit comments plugin is now instatlled, however it won’t be retroactive and it must set a cookie at the time of comment posting which allows WP to “know” who wrote it.

    There is a 20 minute time limit from the time of comment posting wherein the comment author can edis his/her own comment. An edit link is automatically provided until that time perior expires. 20 min. should give anyone time to re-think their comment and/or catch any typos — of course, if they were using FireFox browser they would have spell check built in.

    Take care — Dale

  31. David Marshall

    The Court of Veterans Appeals, Chief Judge’s “Constitution, Statutes and Regulations” “policy freely ignored” by “The Veterans Health Administration” and the VA Secretary are below,i.e., PARAGRAPH 9 with 1 & 8 as background.  It is now 15 years later without his advised Congressional oversight and accountability.  Your loved ones health care is lost!
     
    Please hold your Congressional Representatives responsible.
     
    The complete 16 paragraph “STATE OF COURT” transcript is available on request. Previously at, and now missing from, hyperlinks:  http://www.goodnet.com/~heads/nebeker and http://www.firebase.net/state_of_court_brief.htm
     
     
    STATE OF COURTCHIEF JUDGE FRANK Q. NEBEKERSTATE OF THE COURTFOR PRESENTATION TO THEUNITED STATES COURT OF VETERANS APPEALSTHIRD JUDICIAL CONFERENCEOCTOBER 17-18, 1994{as it appears in Veterans Appeals Reporter}PARAGRAPH NO. 1:
    I will speak to you today about my view of the state of the Court and the scope and chain of authority within the veterans’ benefits system. Let us remember that Board mistakes and inconsistent results were deemed to warrant review and oversight on a case-by-case basis where the results were adverse to the claimant. Hence, the Court was created and began its operation five years ago today. Before the advent of judicial review, that system, as now, functioned in a two-tiered operation-agencies of original jurisdiction and the Board of Veterans’ Appeals. Whether the former were within the direct chain of authority under the Board, or acted as a separate surrogate of the Secretary seemed of no concern for many years.——————–PARAGRAPHS 2 through 7 in TRANSCRIPT.——————————————PARAGRAPH NO. 8:
    Imagine, if you will, the creation of a government of a new state in our union, or one in the world of emerging nations. In that state, there is an Executive and a Supreme court and a Court of Appeals. At the local level, however, there are adjudicative bodies which initially resolve disputes. But, the Constitution leaves the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals with direct authority over the local adjudicators. It is only when the Executive can be persuaded to issue the proper order that these local adjudicators must obey. Thus, the locals determine, quite independently of the courts, when, and how they will decide matters before them.. I dare say, you know of no viable republican form of government with such a system, and it is not hard to see that it would not work well.PARAGRAPH NO. 9:
    I believe my message is clear. There is, I suggest, no system with judicial review which has within it a component part free to function in its own way, in its own time and with one message to those it disappoints — take an appeal. That is, I am afraid, what we have today in many of the Department’s Agencies of Original Jurisdiction — that is AOJs — around the country. Neither the Court, through the Board, the Board, nor the General Counsel has direct and meaningful control over the Agencies of Original Jurisdiction. Indeed, it is also clear that the VHA — the Veterans Health Administration — ignores specific directives to provide medical opinions as directed. And this is resulting in unconscionable delays. Let us examine judicial review. Remember, the Court and the Board do not make policy, the Secretary and Congress do. The Court simply identifies error made below by a failure to adhere, in individual cases, to the Constitution, statutes, and regulations which themselves reflect policy — policy freely ignored by many initial adjudicators whose attitude is, “I haven’t been told by my boss to change. If you don’t like it — appeal it.” (Emphasis added)——————–PARAGRAPHS 10 through 16 in TRANSCRIPT.——————————————- – - End – - -

  32. Fred C. Dobbs

    Mr. Pearce–
    I stumbled upon your blog while doing an unrelated subject search. So let me get this straight: you’re a Reagan-admiring, right-wing, Christian PR guy who is going to whip those deluded Leftists into shape?

    Good luck with that.

  33. Rob

    I recently came across an old posting you did on your previous site concerning a friend of mine, SSGT Jesse Walker, and wanted to say thanks for covering the story by Operation Soldier! I cannot find an Operation Soldier listed on the web though…there are variations, but which is the right one?

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