Monday, November 06, 2006

Tax Cuts For the Rich

Local politics is pretty interesting. It is a microcosm of the national politics. One contestant for Governor complains that the incumbent raised taxes in spite of a pledge to lower them.
What is interesting about this to me, is that she is from the "No Tax Cuts for the Rich" party. The governor did, in fact, lower income taxes. He raised property taxes. Now, income taxes are taxes on the working families of Alabama. Property taxes are taxes on the people who own property. Normally, that would be the "rich". So we have a tax increase on the rich and a tax decrease on working families and the Democrats are upset by it. Aren't they supposed to be the ones in favor of helping the poor working class?
And then there is John Kerry. He thinks President Bush should apologize to the troops in Iraq. The troops think Kerry owes them an apology. You have probably seen the picture of the sign "Halp us Jon Carry, we r stuk in Irak"
Tomorrow we vote.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Dave and Blarney Discuss Elections

Blarney:This time the Democrats will win both houses of Congress, thanks to Mark Foley.
Dave: Why is that, Blarney?
Blarney: Voters are outraged, and rightly so, about the Republican handling of this mess.
Dave: What is it, exactly, that the Democrats dislike about the incidents?
Blarney: Well, isn't it obvious?
Dave: Here are the facts as I understand them: Foley is a homosexual. He sent "overly friendly" email messages to a young page. He sent sexually explicit Instant Messages to an adult page, even engaging in "internet sex". There was no documented physical sexual contact. He resigned as soon as the situation became public. So, are you offended by his sexual orientation?
Blarney: Absolutely not. Everyone has a right to their own orientation.
Dave: Ok, then. Are you offended by sexually explicit instant messages?
Blarney: Well, the emails went to a minor.
Dave: Yes, but they were not sexually explicit. Foley engaged in internet sex with an adult male page, not the one he sent emails to. But can I assume that you oppose the North American Man Boy Love Association (NAMBLA)? Do you condemn their agenda?
Blarney: Well, no. We don't have uptight mores about sex.
Dave: Well, then what is it?
Blarney: Hastert should have done something about Foley much sooner.
Dave: But what is it that you find reprehensible about Foley? Was it that he sexually approached someone over which he had some authority? Did you find Bill and Monica to be reprehensible by the same standard?
Blarney: Well, no. That was a private matter between two adults. You conservatives had no right to attack Mr. Clinton for receiving "favors" from Monica.
Dave: And the fact that Mr. Clinton was married has no bearing on it?
Blarney: Of course not. We are enlightened.
Dave: You will of course recall that Mr. Clinton initially denied everything. Foley, on the other hand, admitted his actions. Is that what you find offensive?
Blarney: The leader of the House Republicans should have known what was going on and done something about it.
Dave: About what? What is the action that you find so horrible? NAMBLA openly advocates homosexual sex between adults and children. You don't seem upset with them. Bill Clinton used his office - the Oval Office - to engage in oral sex with an intern. You people rushed to defend him.
Blarney: Well...
Dave: And I find it strange that the same people who protest about tracking terrorist conversations think it is appropriate to expose emails between individuals in Congress.
Blarney: But...
Dave: Now, I do find Foley's behavior as a Congressman reprehensible. I am outraged that he would approach a subordinate. I am opposed to NAMBLA. I just can't figure out what you think was so horrible, based on previous discussions.
Blarney: It's an election year.
Dave: Right. Thanks for being open about the motivation for outrage on the Left.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Watchmaker

Here is a beautiful poem, suitable for sharing with your children or grandchildren. You can even download the poem with music for a mere $5.

My friends Hawkeye and Camojack will like it and will probably have an extended post at their sites.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Space Tourist

In case you haven't heard, Anousheh Ansari, an Iranian born woman, has just completed her paid vacation on the International Space Station. She has her own blog with videos from space that you might find interesting.
Enjoy the videos and celebrate the fact that an Iranian woman was the first entrepreneur in space. Robert A Heinlein had it wrong.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

You Have to Read This

You may have seen some of the following in an eMail that has made a few laps around the net. Click here for the original author's update and comments.
Here is a sample:
You are America’s axis of idiots. Your Collective Stupidity will destroy us. Self-serving politics and terrorist abetting news scoops are more important to you than our national security or the lives of innocent civilians and Soldiers. It bothers you that defending ourselves gets in the way of your elitist sport of politics and your ignorant editorializing. There is as much blood on your hands as is on the hands of murdering terrorists. Don’t ever doubt that. Your frolics will only serve to extend this war as they extended Vietnam. If you want our Soldiers home, as you claim, knock off the crap and try supporting your country ahead of supporting your silly political aims and aiding our enemies. Yes, I’m questioning your patriotism. Your loyalty ends with self. I’m also questioning why you’re stealing air that decent Americans could be breathing. You don’t deserve the protection of our men and women in uniform. You need to run away from this war – this country. Leave the war to the people who have the will to see it through and the country to people who are willing to defend it.

UPDATE: Now you have to read this.

Dave and Blarney Discuss Academia

Blarney: I've been thinking about our last conversation.
Dave: That's good. What new thoughts do you have?
Blarney: You tricked me.
Dave: Excuse me?
Blarney: You got me to accept your labels of "insane" and "fraud". That was a mistake on my part. I dislike labels.
Dave: Really? What would you call someone whose grip on reality is gone, or who intentionally deceives people?
Blarney: Either "Bush", "Cheney", or "Rumsfeld". But I digress. One person's insanity could be another person's reality.
Dave: You mean like whether or not aircraft hit the Twin Towers on 9/11?
Blarney: No, I mean like whether Iraq is a quagmire. Or the people working in the towers were little Eichman's. Each of those opinions is a possible truth.
Dave: Possible truth? What are you talking about? Something is either true or false.
Blarney: You only say that because you are unaware of the new trends in education.
Dave: You mean allowing someone to spell "cat" K-A-T?
Blarney: Right. All opinions are equally valid?
Dave: Including my opinion that this idea is just stupid?
Blarney: There you go again being judgmental.
Dave: Ok, then. How about Harvard University President Lawrence Summers' opinion that, just possibly, women and men are each better at different things? Is that a valid opinion?
Blarney: Of course not. That's right out there with "Intelligent Design".
Dave: But I thought the rule was "all opinions are equally valid"?
Blarney: Well, in general yes, but some opinions are more equal than others.
Dave: So, your opinion is as valid as mine?
Blarney: Exactly.
Dave: But mine might not be as valid as yours?
Blarney: Now you're getting it.
Dave: {sigh}

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Dave and Blarney Discuss Jesus

Blarney: I know why the Christians hate the Jews.
Dave: What are you talking about?
Blarney: Well, you know how Mel Gibson let out that anti-Jewish tirade? He's the one who made that movie about Jesus. The Jews killed Jesus and so Christians hate them.
Dave: Blarney, you are so confused. Jesus was a Jew and it was the Romans who killed him. If Christians should hate anybody, it would be the Italians, not the Jews. But Christians cannot hate either of them.
Blarney: Why not?
Dave: Because it was all part of a plan to redeem mankind from Satan. You see, my sins and your sins are what put Jesus on the cross.
Blarney: Sin is such an outmoded term. And who are you to call me a sinner? That's pretty intolerant, if you ask me.
Dave: I included myself in the sinner group and, in fact, listed myself first. We have all sinned and fallen short of God's standard. That's the whole point of redemption.
Blarney: What's so special about Jesus, anyway?
Dave: Well, Blarney, that is one of the central issues for Christianity. Is or was Jesus God?
Blarney: I'm not sure how to answer that. I wouldn't want to offend you.
Dave: It's really a simple question with only two possible answers. Is Jesus God?
Blarney: Well, I know that a lot of Christians think he was. I'm sure his followers at the time were really impressed.
Dave: Yes, Blarney, but the question is really about what you think. Is Jesus God?
Blarney: Well, aren't we all gods in some sense?
Dave: Answer the question. Is Jesus in the same class as the one true God? Is He the same as God?
Blarney: Well, the Jews and the Muslims don't think so. He was a great moral teacher, though.
Dave: Again, it isn't about what others think. It is about what you think. And Jesus could not have been a great moral Teacher if He were not God. Is Jesus God?
Blarney: Well, in the sense that you mean, I would have to say no. I'm sorry if that offends you.
Dave: I'm not offended, OK, so now let me ask you, did this Jesus, who is not God, think that He was God? Did He believe that?
Blarney: Well, how can you ever know what someone believes unless they tell you.
Dave: Work with me, Blarney. Do you think He believed He was God?
Blarney: Well, I can't really be sure, but I guess He did. I mean, yes.
Dave: OK, so this Jesus, who was not God, believed He was God. That makes Him insane, doesn't it?
Blarney: Well, maybe I was wrong. Maybe He really knew better, but just wanted to reinforce His teachings by letting people think so.
Dave: Sort of like Ward Churchill pretending to be an Indian so he could be an authority on Indian affairs?
Blarney: Yes, that's it.
Dave: Doesn't that make Him a fraud?
Blarney: You're being awfully judgmental.
Dave: See, Blarney, that's the point. Either Jesus was God, or He was insane, or He was a fraud. There is no other choice. "Great Moral Teacher" only applies if He were not insane and not a fraud.
Blarney: Ah, there's the flaw in your argument.
Dave: Excuse me?
Blarney: You assume that someone can't be a teacher if they are insane or a fraud. That's not true. Those are not things that disqualify an individual from teaching, or even being a college professor.
Dave: You can't be serious. And besides, the issue is not "teacher" but "moral teacher", even "great moral teacher."
Blarney: That's the trouble with you right wing types. You are so judgmental. We liberals would never stop someone from teaching just because they are insane or frauds.
Dave: {sigh}

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Things to Ponder

I was going to do a Dave and Blarney, but right now I am just in a random musing kind of mood. This post was triggered by something I heard on the radio. The weather forecaster said something about the "normal" rainfall for this time of year. Followed by a remark about the temperature being "higher than average" for this time of year. For some reason, I actually thought about what he said, instead of just filing it away in the recesses of my mind.
What exactly, is "normal" and "average"? Well, if you followed the links you see that one definition of "normal" is "average". And of course, you know that to determine an average, you add all the values and divide by the number of values (that, strictly speaking is the mean as opposed to the median). Anyway, the whole concept of mean and median is that some values are above and some values are below. That is, on any given day, the high temperature is either higher than, equal to, or less than the "average" high for that day. And this is somehow "news"?
That set me off on another silly phrase: "trade deficit". Or "balance of trade". The whole concept of "trade" as opposed to "theft" is that I give you something I value less than the item you have if (and only if) you value my item more than the one you already have. In any other instance, one or the other of us would have to resort to force, the threat of force, or deception. The whole concept of trade is that both parties are satisfied with the outcome. So then, how can you have a "trade deficit"?
Of course, what is usually meant is that we are buying more things than we are selling. In that regard, I have a deficit of trade with Wal-Mart. They have yet to buy anything from me (with the possible exceptions of items I returned because I already had one or wanted something else). And yet, I am not deprived. My stuff has increased. Stuff has value. I traded my money for it.
OK, that's all for now.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

House vote on same sex marriage

Each chamber of Congress must pass a resolution for a Constitutional amendment by a 2/3 majority. It would then go to the states where 3/4 must ratify. To put that in numbers, you would need 67 positive votes in the Senate and 289 positive votes in the House. So, with only 236 votes, the amendment failed in the House. It is no surprise that most of the Democrats voted no. On a straight party vote, there would have been no chance (231 Republicans, 201 Democrats and one independent). Only 34 Democrats supported the amendments. Twenty-seven Republicans voted against it. Here is the text of the amendment:

`Section 1. This article may be cited as the `Marriage Protection Amendment'.

`Section 2. Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution, nor the constitution of any State, shall be construed to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any union other than the union of a man and a woman.'.

Here is the vote:

(Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents=Sanders)

H J RES 88 2/3 YEA-AND-NAY 18-Jul-2006 2:00 PM
QUESTION: On Passage
BILL TITLE: Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to marriage





















---- YEAS 236 ---

Bishop (GA)

Davis (AL)
Davis (TN)



Peterson (MN)
Scott (GA)
Taylor (MS)
Thompson (MS)

---- NAYS 187 ---

Diaz-Balart, L.
Diaz-Balart, M.
Fitzpatrick (PA)


Johnson (CT)




Pryce (OH)
Schwarz (MI)



---- NOT VOTING 9 ---

Brown (OH)
Davis (IL)

Johnson, Sam


Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Fourth of July

I think it is good to reflect on what it really means to be an American. Some folks have no concept of history beyond their own personal experience. So let me direct you to a few articles that are well worth the read today:

Kenneth Copeland discusses the flag and the anthem that refers to it in The Star Spangled Banner.

Bill Whittle discusses civilization as a whole in Rafts.

The Patriot Post talks about a Nation of Resolve. (Pemanent link).

Cassandra, as always, stands Behind The Flag.

And here is a quote from Ronald reagan:

"The day of our nation's birth in that little hall in Philadelphia, [was] a day on which debate had raged for hours. The men gathered there were honorable men hard-pressed by a king who had flouted the very laws they were willing to obey. Even so, to sign the Declaration of Independence was such an irretrievable act that the walls resounded with the words 'treason, the gallows, the headsman's axe,' and the issue remained in doubt. [On that day] 56 men, a little band so unique we have never seen their like since, had pledged their lives, their fortunes and their sacred honor. Some gave their lives in the war that followed, most gave their fortunes, and all preserved their sacred honor... In recent years, however, I've come to think of that day as more than just the birthday of a nation. It also commemorates the only true philosophical revolution in all history. Oh, there have been revolutions before and since ours. But those revolutions simply exchanged one set of rules for another. Ours was a revolution that changed the very concept of government. Let the Fourth of July always be a reminder that here in this land, for the first time, it was decided that man is born with certain God-given rights; that government is only a convenience created and managed by the people, with no powers of its own except those voluntarily granted to it by the people. We sometimes forget that great truth, and we never should."
—Ronald Reagan
Have a great day.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Why Pick on the NYT?...

... What about the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times? They also "broke" the story.
When the Treasury Department learned that the NYT was going to run the story in spite of pleas from both Democrats and Republicans, they (Treasury) contacted the Wall Street Journal and the LA Times to provide them with some declassified information on the project.
See the WSJ article.

House Condemns Times, Supports Swift TFTP

Lots of whereas, followed by
    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

      (1) supports efforts to identify, track, and pursue suspected foreign terrorists and their financial supporters by tracking terrorist money flows and uncovering terrorist networks here and abroad, including through the use of the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program;

      (2) finds that the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program has been conducted in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and Executive Orders, that appropriate safeguards and reviews have been instituted to protect individual civil liberties, and that Congress has been appropriately informed and consulted for the duration of the Program and will continue its oversight of the Program;

      (3) condemns the unauthorized disclosure of classified information by those persons responsible and expresses concern that the disclosure may endanger the lives of American citizens, including members of the Armed Forces, as well as individuals and organizations that support United States efforts; and

      (4) expects the cooperation of all news media organizations in protecting the lives of Americans and the capability of the government to identify, disrupt, and capture terrorists by not disclosing classified intelligence programs such as the Terrorist Finance Tracking Program.
      (Republicans in roman; Democrats in italic; Independents underlined)

            H RES 895      YEA-AND-NAY      29-Jun-2006      7:27 PM
            QUESTION:  On Agreeing to the Resolution
            BILL TITLE: Supporting intelligence and law enforcement programs to track terrorists and terrorist finances conducted consistent with Federal law and with appropriate Congressional consultation and specifically condemning the disclosure and publication of classified information that impairs the international fight against, etc.

      Yeas Nays PRES NV
      Republican 210 8   12
      Democratic 17 174   10
      Independent   1    
      TOTALS 227 183   22

Republican Nay Votes (Sanders is the independent):
Bartlett (MD)
Garrett (NJ)
Jones (NC)

Democrat Yea Votes:
Peterson (MN)
Taylor (MS)
People who did not vote (Democrats in italics):
Bishop (UT)
Davis (TN)
Fitzpatrick (PA)
Green, Gene
Johnson, Sam
Jones (OH)
Moran (KS)
Rogers (AL)

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Update on the "Flag burning" amendment.

Here is the full text of the proposed amendment:
`The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.'
Maybe that is a little broad. What, exactly, would be the power to prohibit? Passing a law? What would constitute physical desecration? Perhaps this was only intended to get around the 1989 Court decision that said these type of laws were "unconstitutional".

Flag Burning Amendment

The vote to propose a Constitutional Amendment against burning the flag failed by one vote (See Article V), 66 to 34. Interestingly enough, three Republicans voted against the resolution:
Robert Bennett (R-UT)
Lincoln Chafee (R-RI)
Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

Any one of them could have voted for the resolution which would have initiated the process of the House of Representatives and then the states considering the amendment. Understand that a two-thirds majority in both houses is required to submit an amendment to the states.
More interesting to me were some of the Democrats who voted for the proposition:
In fact, some were downright surprising.

Global Warming Redux

The Associated Press claims that scientists are praising Al Gore's new movie, An Inconvenient Truth. However, the U. S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works disagrees. Meanwhile, ABC News is looking for "first person accounts" of how global warming is affecting our daily lives.

Have you noticed changes in your own backyard or hometown? The differences can be large or small — altered blooming schedules, changes in plants or animals in your community, erosion or droughts.

Fortunately for them. it is summer and we do have higher temperatures.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dave, Blarney, Ann, and Jack

Blarney: Can you believe how insensitive those Marines are?
Dave: Which Marines? Jack Murtha?
Blarney: No, I mean these guys going around killing innocent civilians. It's just like in Vietnam - you know - My Lai.
Dave: Your lie? Glad to hear you admit it. I served in Vietnam, you know.
Blarney: Wow! I had no idea you were a baby-killer.
Dave: Baby-killer? No, Blarney, I have never performed an abortion in my life.
Blarney: Abortions don't kill babies, they only remove unwanted tissue. It's a woman's right to own her body.
Dave: Blarney, why do you call the "unwanted tissue" part of the woman's body when it will grow into a boy or girl that will exist apart from her?
Blarney: Because it is just a parasite, sucking the life from the poor mother.
Dave: Wow, Blarney, that's the first time you ever admitted you were a parasite. This is refreshing honesty.
Blarney: What are you talking about? I'm not a parasite.
Dave: Well, you are a former fetus. When you were a baby, your parents provided food, clothing, a shelter and all of your other needs. When you aged, you lived off their generosity. How do you support yourself now?
Blarney: I'll have you know my trust fund provides for me. It is MY trust fund, so there.
Dave: And where did you get YOUR trust fund?
Blarney: Only partly from the proceeds on mom and dad's life insurance. The rest came from the lawsuit.
Dave: So, all of it started out as someone else's money. And now it is yours. How do you define a parasite?
Blarney: I'll tell you. Someone like that Ann Coulter broad who picks on poor widows and grieving mothers.
Dave: POOR widows? They got more than $2,000,000 apiece from the government. That's a far cry from poor.
Blarney: What? My trust fund is only $1.6 million. It's not fair that they should have more than me! I'll sue!
Dave: {sigh}

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Ehren Watada

A young Army Officer has decided to throw his lot in with terrorists.
Michele Malkin has been on the case, as well as Blackfive. Even Liberal Larry has written about him, so I am late to the game. Here's my two cents anyway.
Once in a lifetime someone has an experience that marks them from that day forward. Apparently that moment lies in the young LT's future.
I am shocked, SHOCKED, that a young man of his obvious dedication to the highest principles has not investigated the 14 UN resolutions of which Saddam Insane was in violation. Nor, apparently, did he hear or read the President's speech on Sep 20, 2001:
Our war on terror begins with al Qaeda, but it does not end there. It will not end until every terrorist group of global reach has been found, stopped and defeated.
Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign, unlike any other we have ever seen. It may include dramatic strikes, visible on TV, and covert operations, secret even in success. We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make. Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.) From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.
Until the rest of the country realizes that we are indeed in a long war that is unlike Vietnam in more ways than I can count, we must keep educating and reminding the feeble-minded.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

House Resolution on Iraq

    Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

      (1) honors all those Americans who have taken an active part in the Global War on Terror, whether as first responders protecting the homeland, as servicemembers overseas, as diplomats and intelligence officers, or in other roles;

      (2) honors the sacrifices of the United States Armed Forces and of partners in the Coalition, and of the Iraqis and Afghans who fight alongside them, especially those who have fallen or been wounded in the struggle, and honors as well the sacrifices of their families and of others who risk their lives to help defend freedom;

      (3) declares that it is not in the national security interest of the United States to set an arbitrary date for the withdrawal or redeployment of United States Armed Forces from Iraq;

      (4) declares that the United States is committed to the completion of the mission to create a sovereign, free, secure, and united Iraq;

      (5) congratulates Prime Minister Nuri Al-Maliki and the Iraqi people on the courage they have shown by participating, in increasing millions, in the elections of 2005 and on the formation of the first government under Iraq's new constitution;

      (6) calls upon the nations of the world to promote global peace and security by standing with the United States and other Coalition partners to support the efforts of the Iraqi and Afghan people to live in freedom; and

      (7) declares that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the noble struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary.

H RES 861 YEA-AND-NAY 16-Jun-2006 11:17 AM
QUESTION: On Agreeing to the Resolution
BILL TITLE: Declaring that the United States will prevail in the Global War on Terror, the struggle to protect freedom from the terrorist adversary

Yeas Nays PRES NV
Republican 214 3 2 12
Democratic 42 149 3 7

TOTALS 256 153 5 19

---- YEAS 256 ---

Bishop (GA)

Davis (TN)

Green, Gene
Larsen (WA)

Moore (KS)
Peterson (MN)

Smith (WA)
Taylor (MS)
Thompson (MS)

---- NAYS 153 ---





Jones (NC)
Miller (NC)

---- NOT VOTING 19 ---

Bishop (NY)
Bishop (UT)
Burton (IN)
Johnson, Sam
Kilpatrick (MI)
Lewis (CA)
Wilson (NM)

Thursday, June 15, 2006

What is a Fair Tax?

Critics of both the Flat Tax and the Fair Tax seem to think both are unfair. Mainly they think they are unfair because the "rich" should pay more than anyone else. But on the other hand, the poor should "contribute something".
Generally, the critics support either no tax at all (good luck with that), or a graduated tax like we have now. Some people refer to this as a "progressive" tax. And it is. Not that it fosters any kind of progress, but because the rate progresses from low to high the more taxable income a person has.
And for the liberal, that is as it should be. What escapes their thinking is that under either system, the really poor get to keep all they earn, and the more a person earns, the more he pays in taxes.
Let's say that we have a flat tax of 15%. Let's further say that every person living in a household gets to exempt $10,000 from taxation. So then, a family of four earning $40,000 would pay zero (0%) tax. A family of four earning $80,000 would pay $6,000 (7.5%) in taxes. A family of four earning $2,000,000 would pay $294,000 (14.7%) in taxes. Notice that the percentage is graduated even under a flat tax.
Sounds fair to me, but the rub is that the first family only winds up with $40,000, the second family winds up with $74,000 and the third family winds up with $1,706,000. To the liberal, that is grossly unfair. Never mind that the third family probably employs a staff and so contributes to their well-being also. Never mind either, what amount of productivity each family has. Only equality of results matter to the communist - er, socialist - er, liberal.
Walter Williams focuses on a different fix: Limit spending to 10% of GDP. (Good luck with that, too.)

Senators Facing the Voters in November

Here is a listing of those Senators up for reelection this year. For your convenience, I put an asterisk (*) next to those that voted FOR the Senate scamnesty bill (S 2611)
*Akaka, Daniel K.- (D - HI)*
Allen, George- (R - VA)
*Bingaman, Jeff- (D - NM)*
Burns, Conrad- (R - MT) C
Byrd, Robert C.- (D - WV)
*Cantwell, Maria- (D - WA)*
*Carper, Thomas R.- (D - DE)*
*Chafee, Lincoln- (R - RI)*
*Clinton, Hillary Rodham- (D - NY)*
*Conrad, Kent- (D - ND)*
*Dayton, Mark- (D - MN)*
*DeWine, Mike- (R - OH)*
Ensign, John- (R - NV)
*Feinstein, Dianne- (D - CA)*
*Frist, William H.- (R - TN)*
Hatch, Orrin G.- (R - UT)
Hutchison, Kay Bailey- (R - TX)
*Jeffords, James M.- (I - VT)*
*Kennedy, Edward M.- (D - MA)*
*Kohl, Herb- (D - WI)*
Kyl, Jon- (R - AZ)
*Lieberman, Joseph I.- (D - CT)*
Lott, Trent- (R - MS)
*Lugar, Richard G.- (R - IN)*
*Menendez, Robert- (D - NJ)*
*Nelson, Bill- (D - FL)*
Nelson, E. Benjamin- (D - NE)
Santorum, Rick- (R - PA)
*Sarbanes, Paul S.- (D - MD)*
*Snowe, Olympia J.- (R - ME)*
Stabenow, Debbie- (D - MI)
Talent, James M.- (R - MO)
Thomas, Craig- (R - WY)
You can contact them by referring to the information here.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Senate Immigration Vote

In case you are wondering how YOUR Senator voted, here they are. The Yes votes are for amnesty - no, wait, it's not amnesty - guest workers. Yeah, that's the ticket.
Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---62
Akaka (D-HI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Bayh (D-IN)
Bennett (R-UT)
Biden (D-DE)
Bingaman (D-NM)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brownback (R-KS)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Carper (D-DE)
Chafee (R-RI)
Clinton (D-NY)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Conrad (D-ND)
Craig (R-ID)
Dayton (D-MN)
DeWine (R-OH)
Dodd (D-CT)
Domenici (R-NM)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feingold (D-WI)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Frist (R-TN)
Graham (R-SC)
Gregg (R-NH)
Hagel (R-NE)
Harkin (D-IA)
Inouye (D-HI)
Jeffords (I-VT)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kennedy (D-MA)
Kerry (D-MA)
Kohl (D-WI)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Lautenberg (D-NJ)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
Lieberman (D-CT)
Lincoln (D-AR)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Obama (D-IL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Reid (D-NV)
Sarbanes (D-MD)
Schumer (D-NY)
Smith (R-OR)
Snowe (R-ME)
Specter (R-PA)
Stevens (R-AK)
Voinovich (R-OH)
Warner (R-VA)
Wyden (D-OR)
NAYs ---36
Alexander (R-TN)
Allard (R-CO)
Allen (R-VA)
Bond (R-MO)
Bunning (R-KY)
Burns (R-MT)
Burr (R-NC)
Byrd (D-WV)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
DeMint (R-SC)
Dole (R-NC)
Dorgan (D-ND)
Ensign (R-NV)
Enzi (R-WY)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Kyl (R-AZ)
Lott (R-MS)
Nelson (D-NE)
Roberts (R-KS)
Santorum (R-PA)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Sununu (R-NH)
Talent (R-MO)
Thomas (R-WY)
Thune (R-SD)
Vitter (R-LA)
Not Voting - 2
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Salazar (D-CO)
And when you finish counting the votes, read this from Blackfive. It's the perspective of an Air Force Colonel on Marines.

Lies and the photos that show it.

Look at this photo from a Newsweek article on May 2:
Insurgents in Haditha executed 19 Shiite fishermen and National Guardsmen in a sports stadium
The caption and the story indicate that these bodies were fishermen slain by insurgents. "Insurgents in another town near Baghdad, Haditha, responded by kidnapping 19 Shiite fishermen and National Guardsmen, lining them up against a wall in a sports stadium and shooting them dead. "
This picture was run with a story by the London Times, indicating that the people were slain by U.S. Marines. The Times has now removed the photo and added an apology.
The Times June 01, 2006

'Massacre Marines blinded by hate'

Corporal claims that his comrades, who were accused of killing Iraqi civilians, lost control

[Note: This story originally appeared with a picture of slain Iraqis whose caption erroneously described the scene as being related to the alleged incidents in al-Haditha. The image was in fact from a separate incident in the area in which Iraqi insurgents are believed to have massacred local fishermen. We apologise for the mistake.]
Probably, much like the case of Ilario Pantano, we will learn that the corporal had a hidden agenda. In the meantime, the false association of the images with the story will foment unrest and violence. Good going, mainstream media.

Monday, June 12, 2006

About taxes again

Received the following poem from the Heirborn Ranger. He says he did not originate it, but got it from Dick Sauer who got it from Hank Barlas who got it from Bill Hefner. It is probably in the public domain by now.
Tax his land, tax his wage,
Tax his bed in which he lays.
Tax his tractor, tax his mule,
Teach him taxes is the rule.
Tax his cow, tax his goat,
Tax his pants, tax his coat.
Tax his ties, tax his shirts,
Tax his work, tax his dirt.
Tax his tobacco, tax his drink,
Tax him if he tries to think.
Tax his booze, tax his beers,
If he cries, tax his tears.
Tax his bills, tax his gas,
Tax his notes, tax his cash.
Tax him good and let him know
That after taxes, he has no dough.
If he hollers, tax him more,
Tax him until he's good and sore.
Tax his coffin, tax his grave,
Tax the sod in which he lays.
Put these words upon his tomb,
"Taxes drove me to my doom!"
And when he's gone, we won't relax,
We'll still be after the inheritance TAX
You might want to contact your "Congress Critter" (tip to Ms Right Wing) about supporting either the flat tax or the fair tax.
My personal favorite has become the fair tax, which
  • Abolishes the IRS
  • Closes all tax loopholes and brings fairness to taxation
  • Maintains our current Social Security and Medicare benefits
  • Brings transparency and accountability to tax policy
  • Allows American products to compete fairly
  • Reimburses the tax on purchases of basic necessities
  • Enables retirees to keep their entire pension
  • Enables workers to keep their entire paycheck
    However, some folks disagree. I report, you decide.
  • Friday, June 09, 2006

    Dave and Blarney

    Blarney: Did you hear the latest out of Iraq?
    Dave: Do you mean the news from Bakuba? Yes, that is just wonderful news.
    Blarney: Bakuba? Where is that? No, I mean from Haditha. You know, how the US Marines murdered a bunch of civilians. It is just awful.
    Dave: OK, let's take that one at a time. The incident to which you refer occurred back in November. It is hardly "the latest". Second, it is still under investigation. It has not been established that the Marines did anything wrong. They were responding to an attack which began with an IED and were under fire from at least one of the buildings.
    Blarney: Well, John Murtha is a former Marine and he says they are guilty. Anyway, what about Bakuba?
    Dave: The coalition tracked down and killed Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. They hit his unsafe house with two 500-lb bombs. They also raided 17 locations after they knew Zarqawi was dead and got information leading to another 39 locations, which they also raided. They found several weapons caches and more intelligence.
    Blarney: Yeah, but bin Laden is still at large.
    Dave: Yes, but the coalition got Zarqawi by a tip from the Iraqis. They even had inside information.
    Blarney: Well that would be because some al-Qaida dude wanted to move up. And worse, now Zarqawi's a martyr. The whole thing in Iraq just turned really sour. I tell you, it's a quagmire -- worse than Vietnam. And did you hear about Ann Coulter attacking a bunch of 9/11 widows?
    Dave: Are you referring to the 'Jersey Girls'? They are four, count them, four widows. How many 9/11 widows are there total?
    Blarney: Er, I don't know.
    Dave: Well, how many people died in that attack?
    Blarney: Somewhere around 3,000.
    Dave: OK, suppose only one third were married. How many widows would that be?
    Blarney: You can't just make an assumption like that. That is a trick question.
    Dave: [sigh]

    Sunday, June 04, 2006

    Some of my favorite reads

    I don't post often [sounds of laughter and cheering], but when I do, it is something about which I have genuine passion [sounds of waves crashing].

    I have often let my day job encroach on my evenings. I have even let my family take precedence over my blog.

    So, for those of you who come by just to see if there is something new, I thought I would point you to some classics.

    Of course, you know that the inventor of the internet and role model for Love Story has produced his own documentary [coughing] called An Inconvenient Truth. Liberal Larry has provided an in-depth review of it:

    That’s the “inconvenient truth” that Al Gore tries to awaken us to in his monumental new film. A triumph at Cannes even without any gay sex scenes, An Inconvenient Truth features a colorful ensemble of A-list climatologists and environmental experts, their weighty words and elaborate costumes lending credibility to what would otherwise be blown off as just another bearded lady in the circus sideshow of Al Gore’s mind. However, it is Al Gore himself who steals the show as the reluctant hero who would save humanity from its own greedy excesses, even as he fights his own personal demons. Fitted with a pair of recycled aluminum claws, Gore slashes his way through the veil of right-wing lies and exposes the world to the hard, inconvenient truth they’ve ignored for far too long. Where was this Al Gore during the 2000 presidential debates? Where was he during the entire election? No matter. The same Al Gore whose rugged outdoorsy machismo and pressed flannel shirts won the hearts of butch lesbians everywhere has returned…and with a vengeance.

    Of course, you might want to read up on the facts:

    The Real "Inconvenient Truth".

    For background, follow the below links.

    "Is Global Warming Always Bad?," by Patrick J Michaels, November 7, 2004

    "Blowin' in the Wind," by Patrick J Michaels, August 3, 2005

    "Thar She Blows," by Patrick J Michaels, August 20, 2005

    "Warming Unlikely Culprit with Hurricanes" by Patrick J Michaels, October 24, 2005

    Tuesday, May 16, 2006

    It is NOT Amnesty. It is ...

    ... well, ... uh ... let me see now ... I'm pretty sure the President is against amnesty, so it must be ... something else.
    President Bush outlined his bold new plan (Ken Mehlman's words) last night.  The plan? 
    1.  Throw more money at it.
    Tonight I'm calling on Congress to provide funding for dramatic improvements in manpower and technology at the border. By the end of 2008, we'll increase the number of Border Patrol officers by an additional 6,000. When these new agents are deployed, we'll have more than doubled the size of the Border Patrol during my presidency.
    1a.  Throw more money at it
     So we'll increase federal funding for state and local authorities assisting the Border Patrol on targeted enforcement missions.
    1b.  Build more facilities (sounds like throw more money at it)
    We've expanded the number of beds in our detention facilities, and we will continue to add more.
    2.  Create a new "guest worker" program in lieu of the current temporary VISA program.
    Second, to secure our border, we must create a temporary worker program.
    Therefore, I support a temporary worker program that would create a legal path for foreign workers to enter our country in an orderly way, for a limited period of time. This program would match willing foreign workers with willing American employers for jobs Americans are not doing. Every worker who applies for the program would be required to pass criminal background checks. And temporary workers must return to their home country at the conclusion of their stay.
    A temporary worker program would meet the needs of our economy, and it would give honest immigrants a way to provide for their families while respecting the law. A temporary worker program would reduce the appeal of human smugglers, and make it less likely that people would risk their lives to cross the border. It would ease the financial burden on state and local governments, by replacing illegal workers with lawful taxpayers. And above all, a temporary worker program would add to our security by making certain we know who is in our country and why they are here.
    3.  In spite of the fact that employer's now are supposed to verify the right to work, create a new program of identification.
    It is against the law to hire someone who is in this country illegally. Yet businesses often cannot verify the legal status of their employees because of the widespread problem of document fraud. Therefore, comprehensive immigration reform must include a better system for verifying documents and work eligibility. A key part of that system should be a new identification card for every legal foreign worker. This card should use biometric technology, such as digital fingerprints, to make it tamper-proof. A tamper-proof card would help us enforce the law, and leave employers with no excuse for violating it. And by making it harder for illegal immigrants to find work in our country, we would discourage people from crossing the border illegally in the first place.
    4.  Reward those who have violated the law the longest.
    That middle ground recognizes there are differences between an illegal immigrant who crossed the border recently, and someone who has worked here for many years, and has a home, a family, and an otherwise clean record.
    I believe that illegal immigrants who have roots in our country and want to stay should have to pay a meaningful penalty for breaking the law, to pay their taxes, to learn English, and to work in a job for a number of years. People who meet these conditions should be able to apply for citizenship, but approval would not be automatic, and they will have to wait in line behind those who played by the rules and followed the law.
    5.  Let's all just assimilate.

    Fifth, we must honor the great American tradition of the melting pot, which has made us one nation out of many peoples. The success of our country depends upon helping newcomers assimilate into our society, and embrace our common identity as Americans. Americans are bound together by our shared ideals, an appreciation of our history, respect for the flag we fly, and an ability to speak and write the English language. English is also the key to unlocking the opportunity of America. English allows newcomers to go from picking crops to opening a grocery, from cleaning offices to running offices, from a life of low-paying jobs to a diploma, a career, and a home of their own. When immigrants assimilate and advance in our society, they realize their dreams, they renew our spirit, and they add to the unity of America.

    But always remember:

    What I've just described is not amnesty, it is a way for those who have broken the law to pay their debt to society, and demonstrate the character that makes a good citizen.

    Next up, some real eye-opening remarks by Assistant Secretary Julie Myers.  Hugh Hewitt updates that the White House seems serious about real fences.

    We shall see.