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