Monday, February 28, 2005

Islam - The Religion of Peace or The Religion of Honor Killings?

Clarity & Resolve: It's gonna be a glorious day.

Apparently Germany has more than just problems with Anti-Semitism. The solution told to Jews in Germany by the police was to not wear anything indicative of their religion when out in public. The German government has also turned a blind eye to Muslim Honor Killing of wives and daughters!

From Patrick:
The five Muslim women killed in recent months were murdered by their
husbands or partners because they had "insulted" the family honour by wanting to
end the relationship.

One woman was strangled; another drowned in a bath. In another case, a 21-year-old Turkish woman who was forcibly married to her cousin was stabbed to death on the street by her husband in front of their three-year-old daughter. Police records show that 45 "honour killings" have been committed within Germany's two million-plus Muslim community in the past eight years. Now that at least five have occurred in just four months in Berlin alone, the German authorities and local Turkish leaders are desperately trying to find out why.

Available GMail Accounts

I have available GMail accounts if anyone is interested. Send me an email and I'll send an invite.

On another note, just got back from the Dentist. Ugh. Thought I was going in for a small thing and ended up getting novacaine so the bottom right side of my mouth is still numb. I'm trying not to drool on my keyboard. Had an abcess with my gum, thank you lord for me not needing a root canal. But my mouth is throbbing cause my dentist had to dig around in my gums. Finally get home after stopping to pickup penicillin (yup no derivatives) and my garage door won't stay closed. Messed around with that and finally got it to work.

Hey GW - I asked him if he'd heard about that new compound for filling cavities and he hadn't. So, I'm emailing it to him. I'll be over to get the info. What was kinda interesting is they now have this tube/dispenser that releases a powder like polymer into your gum to fight the infection. It does a slow release over 10 days. Ok, thats all I have on my dental situation.

Iraqi Artifacts Returned By Soldier, FBI

HoodaThunk?: Iraqi Artifacts Returned By Soldier, FBI

Link from Mudville Gazette to this story. Shows the character of some of our Troops. What a good person to do what he did!

Jimmy Carter Charity involved in Saddam Oil Scandal

NY Post

Well isn't this velly interesting.

Excerpt:
But the donations — each worth several hundred thousand dollars — are being looked at by law-enforcement agencies and at least one congressional panel to determine whether they were part of a broader effort by Wyatt and Vincent to curry favor with Saddam's regime as well as influential opinion makers in this country who opposed U.S. sanctions on Iraq.

The shipments were made at a time when Vincent, a former Iraqi Olympic athlete and Virginia-based geophysicist, was being paid $5 million in cash and sweetheart oil deals by Saddam to act as a secret agent inside the United States to influence American policymakers and undermine sanctions, according to his recent testimony in Manhattan federal court, where he pleaded guilty to criminal charges.

Friendship Force, started in 1977 by President Carter and the late Wayne Smith, a former U.S. diplomat and pal of Carter and Vincent's, seemed an ideal target for Vincent's secret operation.

Boxers Muhammad Ali and Max Schmeling, actor Kirk Douglas, media mogul Ted Turner and former Soviet Foreign Minister and Georgian President Eduard Schevardnadze were on the group's advisory council. Rosalynn Carter is the honorary chairwoman.

Wyatt also may have had an ulterior motive for these donations.

Sources close to the probe told The Post he "scored points" with Saddam's government with the shipments.

Iraqi Oil Ministry documents released last fall indicate that Wyatt was the largest U.S. recipient of Iraqi vouchers that enabled him to buy Iraqi oil at below-market prices.

Wyatt made a $23 million profit from these deals and is among about 20 American individuals and companies involved in oil-for-food deals that are now subject to an investigation by the U.S. attorney in Manhattan.


So, let me understand this. If Jimmuh Cartuh doesn't like the law then I guess he just circumvents it. After all, he seems to have an affinity for dictators and despots.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

The Truth About US Foreign Assistance

The Daily Demarche: Putting the "D" in "ODA"

Released by the Senate Republican Policy Committee released this memo last week and Dr. DeMarche has posted some interesting commentary on the subject.

Of all the facts and figures in the report, though, this one is my favorite:

United Nations: In 2004, the U.S. contributed 22 percent of the U.N.
budget or $362 million…Germany, France, and the United Kingdom combined spent
$343 million or 21 percent.

I also like the reference to the President's Millennium Challenge Account:
But I would like to remind the President, the Congress and the directors of
the Millenium Challenge Account that each and every one of those billions of
dollars was generated by an American worker, and to date many of us are less
than pleased with the results we have seen from the spending of our hard earned
money. Let's redefine our foreign aid goals and pursue them with all the might
and focus we can generate.

Mudville Gazette Test

Greyhawk is revamping the innards of his blog.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

I support the Troops but not the war....blah blah...phoneys

Marine Corps Moms

Deb at Marine Corps Moms does a really super job of ripping this self indulgent, delusional, anti-war, Michael Moore wannabe and the tripe he's peddling. Whenever I hear about a left-winger saying they just want to bring the troops home and that's how they support the troops. I really want to punch them. If it's someone I know, I usually ask how exactly they support the troops. Do they write letters? Do they send packages? Do they donate to any of the troop support organizations out there? No - they never do any of these things. They are liars, liars, liars.

Go read what Deb has to say.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Reminder for 2008

I know it's a bit early but I was reminded of this picture from a commenter at Lucianne and couldn't resist posting it. Hillary is in her chameleon/transmutation stage (she has been since last Fall). She's trying to mutate herself into a centrist to appeal to the ignorant masses who she thinks will forget the transgressions of her involvement with William Jefferson Clinton's administration. After all, wasn't one of their slogans, two for the price of one. Course - we dearly paid for that great deal, didn't we. Don't forget, we'll get the same deal again if she were to be elected to the Presidency......ooooooo....I just had a shiver run down my back.

Image Hosted by ImageShack.us

Lance Cpl. Christopher LeBleu needs Type O Blood Donors

Michelle Malkin

Help get the word out for this Marine.

LOMA LINDA, Calif. (AP) - A Marine who received a liver transplant because of a near-fatal infection that developed after his return from Iraq may now need a bone marrow transplant.
Lance Cpl. Christopher LeBleu, 22, has a "high probability" of needing the transplant because he has developed aplastic anemia, which has caused his bone marrow to stop producing enough red blood cells to keep him alive, Loma Linda University Medical Center officials said Wednesday.

The hospital appealed for blood donors with Type O blood to join a registry of potential bone marrow donors so doctors can find a potential match for the Marine.
They also appealed for people to give blood that can be used for additional transfusions for LeBleu, who was stationed at Twentynine Palms before he was hospitalized in January.

Question

Just curious, could anyone help me out, I'd like to figure out how to reduce the appearance size of a jpg without having to save the pic to my ftp site and all that. Can it be done with the html code in linking the jpg?

Historical Timeline for Social Security

Mark Alexander: What Social Security crisis?

I know most of this posting is from Mark Alexander, but he just does such a wonderful job of succintly driving home the salient points of this whole issue.

.........James Madison, who said, most eloquently, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents...." Madison further noted, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."

However, those words were long lost on FDR, who eviscerated federalism in his relentless endeavor to make the central government the agent of salvation for all ills. In June of 1934, he announced to Congress one lasting example of that endeavor -- his intent to create a nationalized Social Security program, ushering the United States into the ranks of Europe's welfare democracies. The nation was in the midst of the Great Depression, and FDR was funding his political dynasty by redistributing wealth. After all, as noted by George Bernard Shaw, "A government that robs Peter to pay Paul can always depend upon the support of Paul." FDR's plan, like all unbridled populist-entitlement programs, was popular with the democratic majority -- and helped ensure his re-election to office three times.

Here is where I have never understood people who laud the governance of FDR! He is the father of the US decay down the road to socialism. We are now finally, having to pay the piper for this slide in robbing from Peter to pay Paul. And as Shaw says, of course Paul can be relied on for support in this endeavor. Unfortunately, even supposed Conservatives find nothing wrong in
this thinking. They'll just raise taxes or raise the cap on SS which is the same thing just worded in a different way. Here's a little historical recap of the events which followed FDR's path:

........Soon, congressional amendments added benefits for spouses, minor children and survivors, and by 1950 the program assured virtually universal coverage.

****1972 saw the addition of the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program (AKA "welfare"), ****1975 the addition of annual Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) assured the SS juggernaut's exponential growth.

****1977 - Medicare became an independent entitlement, spun off from the Social Security system. Today, despite its humble beginnings, the Social Security system confronts our young people with the grim prospect of paying for unfunded promises made to past generations.

...... Predictably, though, the latest retort from the Left is, "What insolvency? What crisis?" Indeed, these do-nothing Demos claim the Fed's IOUs in Social Security's
so-called "trust fund," combined with minor tweaks to the system, will keep it
solvent for generations.

.....For generations, every dime forcibly taken from worker paychecks -- ostensibly to finance the non-existent SS "trust fund" -- has been taken from that fund and applied to other massive entitlement programs.

......when SSI was formed, life-expectancy was 61 years, which is to say, most Americans did not make it to 65. Now, however, average life expectancy is 77.

So - at a minimum, when this program was initiated, retirees were not really even expected to receive benefits unless they lived 4 years longer than average life expectancy.
......President Bush has proposed the incremental privatization of some SSI taxes by allowing individuals under age 55 to invest in personal retirement accounts (PRAs). Additionally, Congress must resolve to index benefits to inflation.

Here I thought the age for the personal investment was 40 or 45! That means I might be able to get in on the deal. I like this section:

The PRA plan would "cost" about $664 billion in "lost" SSI revenue over the next ten years. Of course, this lost SSI revenue is merely revenue that's been moved to PRAs, and thus isn't available to "borrow" from the SSI trust fund for other entitlement programs -- and that's why the Demos are hopping mad. Still, all Americans need to understand that the PRA plan does not fully address the revenue shortfall crisis looming on the horizon. That crisis can be resolved only when Congress commits to bringing SSI benefits in line with SSI revenues.

USS Total Failure

Froggy Ruminations: What a Putz

In his kind and gentle way Matthew at Froggy Ruminations eviscerates Jimmuh Cartuh.

Excerpt from Froggy:
But then, “We don’t go to sea to go to war,” Carter said during a tour of the sub. “We go to sea to preserve the peace.” Whatever dickhead.

After reading what Matthew has to say, don't miss the commenters.

Court: Man Can Sue Over Surprise Pregnancy

My Way News

This is a warning to all men and women, there's a child involved in this activity. So, don't be selfish. Now, as for this lowlife female who uses subterfuge to get a baby and then sues for support! Where exactly do these women hatch from or what rock have they climbed out from under? There is a dangerous disconnect occurring with women today and I fault feminists and schools. That might be redundant but I guess you could throw political incorrectness in the mix too.

Unbelievable:
Phillips accuses Dr. Sharon Irons of a "calculated, profound personal betrayal" after their affair six years ago, saying she secretly kept semen after they had oral sex, then used it to get pregnant.

He said he didn't find out about the child for nearly two years, when Irons filed a paternity lawsuit. DNA tests confirmed Phillips was the father, the court papers state.

Phillips was ordered to pay about $800 a month in child support, said Irons' attorney, Enrico Mirabelli.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Family of Suspect in Bush Plot to Sue U.S.

ABC News: Family of Suspect in Bush Plot to Sue U.S.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck then........

Guess the jig is up for the US Government. They've been found out and the parents of the Islamic terrorist wannabe are going to sue the US Government for forcing Saudi Arabia to detain and torture their innocent naive little son! Yup, according to the parents, "The Saudi government are slaves of the Americans". Okaaaayyyy.

Guess that little old Al Qaida handbook comes in mighty handy in situations like this, you know, the one that says if you're caught to scream bloody murder about torture cause well we all know the Americans are stupid infidels. Hey, Ramsey Clark will probably show up to defend this 23 year old ADULT male who people keep calling a boy. Got news for you folks, he's an adult, not a boy. He's also an Islamic loving Osamba Bin Laden loving terrorist (allegedly). Course we do know he trained with Al Qaida and along with just a few little details on his personal computer. But hey, don't let those little piddly facts get in the way of Jihad.

Excerpt:
The family of a 23-year-old accused of plotting with al-Qaida to kill President Bush said Thursday they want to pursue a lawsuit accusing the administration of being behind their son's detention and alleged torture in a Saudi prison.

Ahmed Abu Ali "was tortured on orders of the USA; they are monsters," his mother, Faten, said outside a federal courtroom.

The young man's father, Omar, said, "The Saudi government are slaves of the Americans" and the U.S. government is lying when it says his son was under Saudi control for the 20 months before he was flown to the United States and charged.


I'm expecting to hear a raft of support for the US Government from CAIR to decry terrorism and the targeting of murdering the President of the United States any day now. That large Arab Muslim community in Detroit, I'm sure that they will all come out in support of the US efforts to protect itself. Bwaaaaa. Sure, that'll happen when pigs fly!!

Go Fish!

Silflay Hraka: Fishes of Iraq: Aspius Vorax

Came to this link from Dadmanly and just couldn't resist posting the picture myself.




Hey a soldier needs a little downtime too ya know! What actually is a bit interesting is the kind of fish and how they finally figured that out. These army guys, know someone, who knows someone else and so on.......

Syrian Officer Admits Training Terrorist to Behead on Video

The Jawa Report: Syrian Officer Admits Training Terrorist to Behead on Video

Of course we all know, Syria has nothing to do with the terrorists operating in Iraq. And oh btw, I've continued my belief that Saddam's WMD were moved to Syria.

Jawa Report:
Just when you thought all of the beheading posts had ended, Iraqi television broadcasts a confession of a man who trained the mujahadin to behead their victims. There's more: he's a Syrian military offier.

A little birdie keeps telling me that the reason there were no Weapons of Mass Destruction found in Iraq was because they were moved to Syria. I have tended to downplay that suspicion. Oddly, with each passing day that theory seems more and more plausible---even likely.

Canadian health care

Craig Westover

Here's a really horrendous example of what you get with nationalized health care. I have a friend and neighbor who has lived in the US for over 40 years but has never become an American citizen and refuses to acknowledge the defects inherent in a socialized country of which Canada has become. This is a tragic story that need not have happened and guess what? They can't sue or litigate anyone, why? Because it's socialized health care.

Excerpt:
In Emergency, we were told no MRI's were performed on Christmas Day. Ever. With great family pressure, a MRI was performed on Boxing Day. The diagnosis: No tumour. "Sphenoid and left ethmoid sinus disease." The diagnosis, even to laymen, was not logical.

A copy of the MRI was obtained and my radiologist son from Minneapolis flew in. While I set the table for dinner, he sat at a computer table reading the fateful MRI. With sadness, he informed us his brother's problem was not a sinus infection. It was a baseball-size tumour in the nasopharyngeal area, extending back to his C1 vertebra and eating into his skull. No wonder he had pain. With dread, it fell to one brother to inform the other he had advanced cancer.


Just remember this story the next time someone tries to buffalo you with a Hillarycare type healthcare system!

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

What Kind of Dog Are You?

BLACKFIVE

I'm so disappointed... :-( I took the Dog profile and I'm a Pekingese!! This dog breed has never appealed to me. Got my Maltese buddy in a default kind of way and I love her but don't think I'd ever get another small dog like her. The quiz itself is a lot different than the ones you find at Quizilla (?) and is associated with a movie.

You Want Answers?

Stanford Review: California Congresswoman looks plain silly

Came to this posting via Mudville Gazette. The actual transcript is pure Rumsfeld. It's the comments which are clever and hilarious:

Cordeiro Said.....

Being a Highly Trained Professional Linguist, I put the above conversation through a politically incorrect translator and came out with the following translation:

RUMMY: You want answers?
SANCHEZ: I think I'm entitled to them.
RUMMY: You want answers?
SANCHEZ: I want the truth!
RUMMY: You can't handle the truth! Lady, we live in a world that has walls. And those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. ..............

Good Stuff, don't miss it.

Miracle on Ice

Being one of the biggest Herbie Brooks fans I forgot to post something on one of the most memorable victories of all times (heh IMHO) and that is US Olympic Hockey victory over the Soviets of 1980. If you're interested in seeing the Bronze Statue of Herbie which was christened a year ago at the St. Paul River Center (Xcel Arena) go to my sidebar to My Photos and click on the St. Paul Ice Palace 2004 link. I have many (lol - too many probably) photos of Herbie.

The United Nations: Could Things Get Any Worse? YES!

OpinionJournal - The Real World - Claudia Rosett

I find this pretty darn interesting considering Kofi Anan wrote an editorial in the last couple days about how "relevant" and "needed" the UN was in todays world. As I heard someone say on the radio yesterday, when you have to say how important you are then you are NOT important. The bad news continues to spill out of the UN and the MSM is largely absent from reporting on this. SHAME ON THEM! Seems that Kofi has a bad habit of ignoring problems presented to him until somehow the issue appears to finally be breaking into the MSM. This finally happened (after almost a year of Kofi's knowledge) with Ruud Lubbers (Commissioner of UN Refugee Office). Seems Mr. Lubbers like YOUNG girls. It was the girls fault since she neglected to tell him she was not yet 16 years old. Get that? Sixteen years old, so this old man thinks it perfectly normal for him to be sexually abusing 16 year old girls. And good old Kofi lets him stay on for almost a year. Claudia Rosett has more on the UN and it's Human Rights office in Beijing where fleeing North Koreans are turned away. Read her commentary and weep. How long does this go on? How long does the United States continue to stand by and fund this not only useless organization but harmful and complicit organization in Human Rights abuses. Where's Amnesty International now?

Gender Genie

Bunker Mulligan

This was an interesting test. In a recent posting James Joyner of Outside the Beltway talks about: Why So Few Female Pundits? So, now Bunker has a link to a tool which guesses at your gender based on a sample of your writing. So I used a posting which was just based on weather and an event I was going to be attending. I at least got close to 400 words for the test. Had tried several times by inserting text from a few postings most of which were between 250 and 300 words, all came out Male.

Words: 373

Female Score: 446
Male Score: 1092

The Gender Genie thinks the author of this passage is: male.

When you correct the guess this is the response one gets:
That is one butch chick.
Whoa....guess I'm in trouble here!

According to Koppel and Argamon, the algorithm should predict the gender of the author approximately 80% of the time.

Accuracy Results
Am I right?
yes 153598 (59.61%)
no 104054 (40.39%)
257652 total responses since September 13, 2003

Does this mean anything? Probably not but I found it interesting.

RACE FOR THE CURE - Breast Cancer Foe Gives Big $$ to Top Abortion Provider

CNS News

So Race for the Cure grants almost half a million each year to Planned Parenthood. Hmmm. And they don't see a problem with that, pretty ironic considering that there are supposedly studies which link abortion to breast cancer.

Excerpt:
A foundation that uses events such as the "Race for the Cure" to raise money to fight breast cancer is jeopardizing women's health by using some of those funds to support local chapters of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, according to a former advisor to the foundation.

examination of Planned Parenthood's recent annual reports shows that while the organization's overall revenue has increased five years in a row and the number of abortion procedures performed at Planned Parenthood clinics has soared during the same period, the number of breast exams conducted at Planned Parenthood facilities in 2003 (the most recent year available) fell by 13.3 percent
.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Iraqi women 'no better off'

The Australian: Iraqi women 'no better off' [ 22feb05 ]

So Amnesty International says:

"Women have been subjected to sexual threats by members of the US-led forces and some women detained by US forces have been sexually abused, possibly raped."

Amnesty said several women detained by US troops had spoken in interviews with the group of beatings, threats of rape, humiliating treatment and long periods of solitary confinement
.

I'd sure like to see some documentation on this, these are all allegations which I think have serious credibility issues. I also find it difficult to believe that US Soldiers are the cause of the dangerous situation. Wouldn't that be caused by the terrorists [oh yeah, I forgot they're Insurrgents] who are without care murdering Iraqi's. Seems to me that there was some pretty damning evidence found in the mosques's where the boy cleric Sadr had kidnapped Iraqi's held.

But of course, like the venerable institution the United Nations, I'm sure that Amnesty International wouldn't lie or exaggerate these stories. I'm also sure that all allegations have been checked for their veracity. Uhuh....sure. I suppose all of these 'supposed Iraqi women' would prefer to have Saddam Hussein and his sons and henchman back in the helm. We know that Amnesty International has gone after the United Nations with the same verve and vigor regarding Daphur and within the UN itself. Well, I could be wrong about Daphur since those incidents have only been known to be happening for the last year and a half. Come on, gotta give poor old Amnesty International a break here. They need a bit more time to go after their brethern Kofi Anan. Poor Kofi has all this corruption breaking all around him so they want to cut him some slack.

I personally am sick and tired of these sick organizations and their anti-US/anti-US Military agendas. I sure hope they get no American taxpayer funding in any way shape or form!

New Homeland Security Warning System

SlagleRock's Slaughterhouse

This is a definite must for all to see. Don't miss this Early Warning System!

Effigy Makers Car Pics

The Jawa Report

Jawa found some interesting linkages with the couple who had the hanging Soldier effigy. Turns out they have some rather intolerant signs on their Porsche!

Two Defining Scenes of This War

A Day In Iraq

From Michael:
Yesterday I saw two familiar scenes of this war. Only one will you see on your nightly news, specifically CNN.

I wished the Media would report the other scene Michael talks about for a change or that this was the norm and the IED's were there occassional. But of course, that will never happen.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Atlanticist small talk is all that's left

Telegraph Opinion Mark Steyn

This is classic Steyn. But he did answer a question for me. I've been wondering why President Bush has been bothering with the dog and pony show to Europe when it's pretty obvious that nothing of substance has changed with these countries in their stance towards the U.S. But Mark Steyn the 'splainer of all that is confusing says:

International relations are like ex-girlfriends: if you're still deluding yourself you can get her back, every encounter will perforce be fraught and turbulent; once you realise that's never gonna happen, you can meet for a quick decaf latte every six – make that 10 – months and do the whole hey-isn't-it-terrific-the-way-we're-able-to-be-such-great-friends routine because you couldn't care less. You can even make a few pleasant noises about her new romance (the so-called European Constitution) secure in the knowledge he's a total loser.

There's more goodies about the Euro's and their lack of military might and what they have contributed to the fight in Afghanistan or should I say lack of?

The Face of Change

Varifrank

Varifrank has an interesting write up on change with a particular focus on Media. It's a very clever Marshall McLuhan type piece. How today we have the 'Old Media' kicking and screaming while resisting change. The emergence of blogs have forced these changes today, but don't hang on too tight to the 'New Media' since that too will change. It's the world in which we live. While many changes can be good, not all have to be.

Excerpt:
People of her generation began to talk of their role of “Speaking Truth to Power”, exposing corruption and “making to world a better place”. It became intoxicating. She could become famous she told herself, just by writing a few little stories.

She could become an “authority”. She could change government policy, all because you could get hired by a newspaper to write stories. There was no competition; she had the consumer and the publisher right where she wanted them.

She used to march in protests in college, she wanted to change the world, now through the new found world of “Activist Journalism”, she could.

Now she mattered. Now she were important. The world listened to her. They watched her breathlessly help make policy on Sunday morning Political Shows, where the “old men” asked her to appear to give your opinion. She was “speaking truth to power”.


I remember Gwen Ifill from PBS (she was the journo who moderated one of the 2004 debates), someone asked her why she had chosen journalism for her profession. Her response was "to make a difference in the world". This tells all bout many in journalism today. I thought journalism was about 'reporting' the news, not manipulating, creating or making a difference in the world. Hmmm.

Putting Her Skills to Use

*The Patriette*

I like this posting from Kelly. She always finds these neat little stories. Call me a sap but I really like to read stories like these. Helps to balance out all the political wranglings of everyday blogging.

There are so many ways to help our troops. Just ask this Marine Mom who helped do some redecorating at Brooke Army Medical Center (BAMC):

Bush’s mad cap idea

I know to most people Social Security is the ultimate in boring but the ramifications to the economy are significant, especially to small business. Interesting commentary by Kudlow on Bush's comment about raising the salary cap for Social Security:

Wall Street economist Michael Darda has also turned in some startling numbers. Eliminating the $90,000 ceiling on payroll taxes would boost the top marginal income-tax rate to 47.6 percent from 35 percent. Darda estimates that after-tax returns on marginal work effort would fall from 65 cents to 52.4 cents on the extra dollar earned, a 20 percent decline.

Ironically, Harvard’s Feldstein argued that hiking the wage cap would create a dead-weight loss on the economy and would lead to significant tax evasion by small-business owners who have chartered as S-Corps or LLCs. Consequently, the net revenue gain from a wage-cap increase might be only $14 billion if the cap were hiked to $110,000. While damaging the economy in terms of rolling back incentives to work, this small revenue yield would do virtually nothing to solve the pending Social Security financial problem.


Is it just because of the battle of the 'classes' (poor vs rich) that people are always wanting to raise the salary cap? To me, demographics show what should be changed is the age qualifiers along with the add-ons to Social Security outside of retirees.

The Yankee or Dixie quiz

Where are you from? Came to this via Bookworm who came to it via PalmTree Pundit.

I came out a Definitive Yankee. Need to get more Y'all into my vernacular!!

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Denmark's Anti Immigration Laws

Gee Dubya

GW found an interesting story about the dilemma facing Sweden regarding immigration. Part of the article talks about Denmark's new immigration laws:

Denmark now restricts asylum admissions, welfare payments, and citizenship and residency permits for reasons of family unification. Danes under 25 who marry foreigners no longer have the right to bring their spouses into the country.

Recruitment drive for Iraqi Army draws thousands

Centcom News


SOUTHERN IRAQ – An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 men arrived by foot, bus, and other vehicles by sun up Feb. 14, at an airfield outside an Iraqi Army base in an effort to join Iraq’s army, officials said.

Of that, approximately 5,000 made it through a screening process that led them onto the base, which is home to several thousand Iraqi Soldiers and a contingent of U.S. service members, officials said. Most will be transferred to other bases in Iraq to supplement existing units.


I thought this picture was encouraging in that Iraqi's want to be responsible for Iraq.

Friday, February 18, 2005

Hey All

Today went to visit the parents in rural western Minnesota. On the way I drove through 2 mini snowstorms. I had decided to get the seats of my Explorer upgraded to heated seats which I was told when I bought the vehicle could be installed. Dropped the vehicle off at the local dealership and my Mom and I headed off to the nearest metropolis (Alexandria, MN) with me driving my parents PURPLE Escort sedan (yes it is purple). This is their runabout gas saving car which my Mother loves (go figure?) My Mother is the shopping Queen. She doesn't necessarily buy but what she does buy is good value for the buck. As usual, she has to stop at the grocery store (at least 2 of them) to buy whatever it is she has coupons for. We arrived back at the Dealership and I signed a form for the recall thingy I had done and was waiting for the service guy to tell me how much I owed for the heated seats. No charge! Whoa. Guess what? I've been driving around in subzero weather when I already had heated seats in the vehicle (unbeknownst to me of course). I had been told when I bought the vehicle used that it didn't have that particular feature but it could be added. In the end I'm happy, I have my heated seats and it didn't cost me any additional dollars. It's interesting the looks you get when driving around in a purple Escort even in rural Minnesota! I might also add, small town dealerships are such a joy to deal with in comparison to metro dealerships. No bull involved.

Trivializing the Presidents...

For first ladies, a matter of taste

Sometimes women wonder why they aren't taken seriously. Here's an excellent example. This is another situation [I think] of a writer trying to trivialize or denigrate men while puffing up women. I'm sure this woman thinks this is 'oh so cute!' and while she also make a mark for the feminists of the world. Instead, she's just looks plain stupid!

On Presidents Day we're supposed to remember those great men who have led our country through the centuries. But, really, how much could they have accomplished on an empty stomach?

So on Monday, let us also remember the culinary contributions of the first ladies, who not only kept their men fed, but in some cases, had a great deal of influence over what the nation ate as well.

Parachute Landing Game

BLACKFIVE: Parachute Landing Game

I give this link to B5 for the weekend. Just in case you need a new skill to master. The Parachute Game. I as usual suck at these kind of games.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Anesthesia Helps!

Marine Corps Moms

See what happens with a wounded Marine coming out surgery and still under the anesthesia. I guarantee a smile.

Beware the Law of Unintended Consequences

The Daily Demarche: So happy together...?

The Daily Demarche posits an interesting theory regarding the assassination of Lebanon’s former PM Rafik Hariri. Check it out and let me know what you think.

President Jimmy Carter and the "killer rabbit" - the true story, with the picture

From Lucianne: President Jimmy Carter and the "killer rabbit" - the true story

I don't personally remember this incident so it was fun for me to see the former President being attacked by a 'killer rabbit'. Aside from the situation of Jimmy Carter becoming a disgrace of a former President (IMHO) but he's also goofy as a wabbit along with his former Attorney General Ramsey Clark (defender of Saddam Hussein).

Cartoons from Aljazeera on US Military Killing Journalists

Aljazeera.Net English - Home Page

I try to avoid giving any traffic at all to lowlife Media like this BUT, here is the what Eason Jordon and his anti-US Military rants produce. It's pretty disgusting. So, for all of those politico talking heads who say this isn't really a big deal - You Are Wrong!!

There isn't a separate url for the cartoons. Go to the bottom of the page and you will see the topic Cartoons - The Price of Iraq Policy.

People I'd Like B*tch Slap

Sarah at Trying To Grok tells us about a teacher employed by the US Army. She's referring to an email received by Greyhawk. Simply unbelievable is all I can say. BTW - if you didn't know Greyhawk is back from Iraq. He called into Hugh Hewitts show last night to let everyone know. Cool!

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Check Out War, Truth, and Videotape

Gee Dubya

A spinoff of Easongate.com, the people who have now established the War, Truth, and Videotape blog will continue the quest....see GeeDubya for the rest of the story.

Embattled PBS Chief Will Step Down in 2006

SF Gate

I heard about this particular program on PBS from Michael Medved's radio program. But I had only caught a minute of it. So, I thought it was interesting to run across this today. Aren't you happy your tax dollars are going for:

She drew recent criticism from both liberals and conservatives for "Postcards From Buster," in which the title character, an animated bunny named Buster, traveled to Vermont _ a state known for recognizing same-sex civil unions. Though the focus was on farm life and maple sugaring, the episode, entitled "Sugartime," featured an actual lesbian couple.

Of course, you notice she was not let go, she will fulfill her 3 yr term! No agenda here...no siree.

Update on Sergeant Bozik and Jayme

BLACKFIVE

I've linked to this story previously, back in the beginning when Joe was originally injured. What you will see with this last update from B5 is a story of courage and true love. Hard to beat that combination!

The End of the Cold War: Testing the Left's Central Thesis

New Sisyphus

I urge you to check this out because it is an outstanding posting. And I especially like this statement:

The Right isn't convincing people--its arguments simply don't have the same exposure--so much as the Left is convincing people that the Left isn't right.

Common ground between the politics of slavery and the politics of Social Security?

Star Parker: Transforming moral problems into politics

I found this to be an interesting argument. If the US were to do a 'do over' would Social Security ever be set up the way it is today. The answer is an emphatic no. The reason there is such a storm over SS reform is financial which was one of the same reasons against the elimination of slavery. Not only was it a State's Rights issue but the financial impact to the South was huge.

Excerpt:
Bottom line: The transition costs of unwinding ourselves out of the bind of the institution of slavery seemed far too high.

And:
Franklin, the visionary, knew slavery could not go on and knew that the longer the nation waited, the challenge of ending it would grow only more complicated and painful.

And:
We are saddled today with a government program, designed many years ago, that diminishes the wealth, benefits of ownership and freedom of every working American.

There have been numerous attempts over the past decades to fix Social Security. These attempts have only prolonged the agony and made the exit more painful and complicated.

When we look back 200 years, we wonder how great men could have turned away their eyes. I wonder today whether the outcome of the great Social Security debate will reflect the ideals of a free nation or calculations of entrenched political interests.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Army's 10-year, $600M expansion project is transforming Grafenwöhr

European and Pacific Stars & Stripes

Can someone please explain to me WHY in the world we are doing this? I thought these base developments were a thing of the past? We're moving out of some bases in Germany but then expanding another base in Germany? I also thought that the overseas bases were set to be shorter term rotations so families would not be included. I'm so confused!! Is this another situation where political lobbying by a German official played a card with some Congressman or Senator? When the Pentagon is requiring the elimination of defense development but at the same time spending huge dollars on this?

Excerpt:
GRAFENWÖHR, Germany — While some military communities around Europe contemplate their fate after the announcement of a $430 million military construction proposal for Europe in 2006, Army officials at the Grafenwöhr training area have a different concern.

As the home to the Army’s largest development project in Europe — a colossal $600 million to $700 million effort to transform an isolated training base into the region’s flagship installation — officials here wonder just how fast they can expand.

THE BABY WHO SURVIVED THREE ABORTIONS

Mirror.co.uk

This really makes you wonder how often this occurs!

The boy was delivered by doctors in hospital - just hours after his mother left an abortion clinic.

She claimed she had been told that an ultrasound scan had confirmed the child was dead - but shortly afterwards she went into labour.

The 24-year-old mum - who has not been named - changed her mind about wanting to keep the baby after she felt him move on her way home.

Her son is now two years old and is the first long-term abortion survivor to have been born so prematurely.

Muslims seek tolerance

North Jersey Media Group

I find this to be almost a humorous headline. I thought maybe the Muslims were speaking to their own peers about tolerance towards Christians and Jews but of course no, that's not the situation. It's all poor poor me, I'm being persecuted for absolutely no reason whatsoever. First of all, they are not being persecuted. It might just be they are being held accountable for their charitable contributions and what is taught in their mosques'. It could be that because most of what is said by their 'religious' organizations is to defend terrorists and murderers. Or, it could be that by their silence regarding the Jihadists or Islamists in their midst there is guilt by association.

Excerpt:
"The American Muslim community has never felt so insecure and apprehensive due to discrimination and intolerance," Khalid said. "Our government's actions following 9/11 have impacted and continue to impact tens of thousands of individuals in ways which seriously violate our Constitution. They include ethnically and religiously based interrogations, detentions, raids and closures of Muslim charities."

Here's a suggestion, why don't you try to help the US fight the war on terror instead of assisting the Jihadists and Islamists in their cause.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Fort Carson captain prepares for redeployment (main heading: Amputee heading back to battlefield

Rocky Mountain News: America At War

Oh my, what a story this is! This man is a god, how someone finds in themself this kind of courage and strength I don't know. But I do know that he has my abject admiration and that goes for his wife too.
Thanks to Blackfive for the link.

Excerpt:
With the aid of a specially designed spring-action prosthesis, Capt. David Rozelle runs at Fort Carson. "I don't work out every day because I want to be ripped like I was when I was 18," he says. "I do it because it's what you need to do to make these prosthetic devices work." Within a month, Rozelle, 32, will become the first Army amputee certified to return to the same battlefield where he was wounded.

Targeting Journalists

Mudville Gazette

Interesting interview with the embedded reporter on the Palestine Hotel bombing. Pretty much dispels the myth that the journalists were targeted.

What Concessions Did Kofi Annan Make to Saddam?

The Counterterrorism Blog

The question posed is pretty darn interesting in that I've never heard about this before. So, not only was CNN complicit with Saddam but Kofi gave concessions to Saddam in order to start the OFF Program. Why? This makes no sense, d'oh, stupid me, we're talking about the UN here and they are so intellectual and nuanced my little pea brain couldn't possibly understand.

There's NO Bias in the Stinkin' News Media and I'll Show You

trying to grok

Since I never watch 20-20 or for that matter 60 Min I wouldn't have seen this. Sarah has an interesting commentary on the difference between reporting on Abu Ghraib and the UN Workers Raping children in the Congo. They have photos of the UN Workers too. Does anyone see this splashed across the headlines - hmmm. Nope! How about 20-20's webpage? Is this show or referred to in a major way? Nope!
Check out what Sarah has to say.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Disease, unwanted import

The Washington Times - Special Report

This is not news to me but The Wash Times does do a great job of accumulating and disseminating in context the costs and dangers of illegal immigrants, legal refugees without sponsors or even with sponsors and travels of immigrants to their home countries.

Excerpt:
Contagious diseases are entering the United States because of immigrants, illegal aliens, refugees and travelers, and World Health Organization officials say the worst could be yet to come. In addition to a list of imported diseases that includes tuberculosis, sickle cell anemia, hepatitis B, measles and the potentially deadly parasitic disease Chagas, officials fear what could happen if the avian flu, which is flourishing among poultry in Southeast Asia, mutates so that it is capable of human-to-human transmission through casual contact.

And:
Concerns about imported disease prompted the State Department on Jan. 21 to temporarily suspend travel to this country by Hmong refugees from the Wat Tham Krabok camp in Thailand. The order came after federal health officials learned of at least 25 confirmed cases of TB among refugees from that camp who had resettled in California, Wisconsin and Minnesota.
And:people from outside the United States accounted for 53.3 percent of all new tuberculosis cases in this country in 2003. That was up from fewer than 30 percent in 1993. In 2003, nearly 26 percent of foreign-born TB patients in the United States were from Mexico. Another third of the foreign-born cases were among those from the Philippines, Vietnam, India and China, the CDC report said.

And:
Mr. Tancredo's worries were prompted, in part, by the rising migration of Hispanics to the United States and a potential increase in the number of cases of Chagas disease, which is spread by insect bites in South America and which can be spread through blood transfusions. It is curable in its early stages, but kills about a third of the people infected if it is not caught in time.
And:
According to a survey by the American Hospital Association (AHA), hospitals in 24 Southwest border counties in Arizona, California, Texas and New Mexico reported uncompensated care totaling nearly $832 million in 2000. A subsequent report prepared for the U.S.-Mexico Border Counties Coalition determined that about 25 percent of those nonreimbursed costs resulted from emergency medical treatment provided to undocumented immigrants.
And:
A report by CIS, using 2004 data, "found that 35 percent of [all] immigrants don't have health insurance, and an estimated 65 percent of illegals don't have it," Mr. Camarota said. In contrast, fewer than 13 percent of U.S. natives and their children lack health insurance, the analysis showed. In 2002, he said, the federal government spent $2.5 billion to provide families of illegal immigrants with Medicaid and another $2.2 billion to provide medical treatment for uninsured illegals.
"State and local governments probably spent another $1.6 billion on top of that providing health insurance for illegal aliens," said Mr. Camarota, whose group analyzes Census Bureau data.


The next time someone tells you that illegal aliens fill a gap for workers and that it is a cost saving to consumers is full of it. We are paying for these workers in the form of taxes!!

Read the whole report and weep. In addition to the costs there is the frightening aspect of diseases which had virtually been eliminated from our shores. No more.

Saturday, February 12, 2005

Comments

Installed Haloscan this morning so all comments are gone.

Friday, February 11, 2005

They are so damn young

Marine Corps Moms: February 06, 2005 - February 12, 2005 Archives
Oh you have to go read this email on when the 1/8 Marines arrived back in Kuwait.

..Trucks and humvees that looked like they had just come through a shredder. Their equipment was full of shrapnel blast holes, and missing entire major pieces that you could tell had been blasted by IEDs. These kids looked bad too! I mean, sunken eyes, thin as rails, and that 1000 yd stare they talk about after direct combat.

Just in time for the Weekend.....A Code in my Node

This is just so unfair. I wanna sue somebody - but who? Left work early and finally went and bought the digital camera I've been wanting since Thanksgiving. Used my Christmas money. New toy. But first, a nap. Then I also got some additional ram for my pc and a replacement dvd r/w to replace the one I think I just wore out. That's my first order of duty is to get that stuff replaced. Then if I feel better tomorrow it's out on the lake to take some pictures with my new and improved camera. Have a good weekend all.

WFOR-Ft Lauderdale: Newborn Thrown From Car, Rescued By Another Driver

UPDATE: This is all a hoax or the woman who claimed this occurred was actually the Mother and the baby was never thrown from the car. Strange.

What is wrong with people!!

NORTH LAUDERDALE (CBS4 News/AP) A baby believed to be only a few hours old was thrown from a car onto a North Lauderdale street.

The Broward Sheriff's Office says the boy was rescued by a passing driver in the 7300 block of Kimberly Boulevard. The infant was taken to a nearby a nearby sheriff's office and then by helicopter to Broward General Medical Center.

Authorities say the baby boy -- weighing 8 lbs, 2 ounces -- is doing remarkably well. CBS4's Joan Murray reports the car was not moving at the time.

Doctors believe the boy may have been born as recently as Thursday morning. Police are searching for two eyewitnesses who are said to have been near the scene when the infant was thrown from a car window.

Democrats Demand Bush Halt Attacks on Reid

Ledger-Enquirer.com: AP

What a bunch of whiney babies. Good Grief. These guys (and I use that term very loosely) can dish it out but when the heat is on them then they cry. After the grilling they've given Condoleeza Rice and Alberto Gonzales and now the Homeland Security appointment you'd think they would know turnabout is fair play. But noooooo. Not for the whiney boys and girls of the Democrat Party. Annoying, very annoying.

Senate Democrats demanded Thursday that President Bush order a halt to personal attacks on the party's leader, Sen. Harry Reid, and expressed regret they had failed to mount a stronger defense for his defeated predecessor.

"This is a new Democratic party," Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a news conference called to release a letter telling Bush to muzzle his "political operatives." ........

"This is the Abu Ghraib defense, that a few renegade soldiers are responsible for their own behavior and the commanders are not accountable," said Durbin, second in the leadership behind Reid. His remarks were a reference to claims by military officials that a few low-ranking enlisted personnel were responsible for the shocking conditions at a U.S.-run prison in Iraq. .........

The letter to Bush was signed by all the Senate's Democrats except Reid, as well as Sen. James Jeffords, an independent from Vermont.

The RNC distributed a 13-page compilation of criticisms, dissecting Reid's voting record and accusing him of obstructing Bush's agenda over the years. One portion of the document notes that the Nevada lawmaker lives in a costly condominium when he is in Washington - a point that Democrats said has no bearing on policy disputes with the White House.

Did you notice the comment about Abu Ghraib. Whoa...can't leave that out of any discussion. Cuz as we all know, President Bush and SecDef Rumsfeld directly told Graner and the airhead clerk to have a nude pyramid of prisoners. etc. I don't think I'll go any further with that description. Waaaaa Waaaaa

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Senator Calls for Release of Comments by CNN News Chief -- 02/10/2005

Senator Calls for Release of Comments by CNN News Chief -- 02/10/2005

Well it looks like Eason's Fables has hit the big time I hope.

Sen. George Allen (R-Va.) called the comments by Eason Jordan, the head of CNN's news division, "outrageous and wrong," and said he wants to see the videotape of Jordan making the comments.
"I guarantee if any other official or person, a public official, made a statement like that, even if they were retracting it, they would say 'Hey, this is recorded, this is taped.' I think we ought to see what he said," Allen told Cybercast News Service.

The precise nature of Jordan's comments, made January 27 at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, is unclear because videotape of the meeting has not been released. But others who attended the session have quoted Jordan as saying he knows of 12 reporters killed by allied troops in Iraq.

Back by Popular Demand (Me): Place the State Race

This is a fun little pastime. In fact it can be addicting. Let me know how you do. I don't remember what my score was at the time but I'll check it out again, I'm just afraid cause I get too addicted to this kind of stuff.

Bush Admin. "strongly supports" REAL ID Act (Sensenbrenner Drivers' license Bill)

The Tar Pit

Go read about the bill from Tarpit. This is very good news and I hope this sails through. Yeah - I know, quit dreaming!

It's Official: Lakeside Flasher Won't be Running

Ok so the Lakeside Flasher reference is an inside joke. But the esteemed Sr. Senator from Minnesota - Mark Dayton, won't be running for re-election. Whew am I relieved! Actually, I am. The man is just not all there and has the look of someone who will sleep with his eyes open. Have you ever encountered a person who sleeps with their eyes open? No? Well, I have. The first presentation I ever had to give before a BOD's, the CTO was also the son of the owner (founder) of the company. He grew up with a platinum spoon in his mouth and was a very nice man but just a peg off all the time. During this presentation I kept getting distracted by him because he was sitting there and all I could see were the whites of his eyes! Let me tell you, it was distracting. Afterwards, my co-workers (in glee I might add) asked me how things went? Of course I started to tell them about the whites of his eyes and they were already laughing. Seems they knew about this condition of his (sleeping with his eyes open) and purposely didn't inform me cause they thought it would be a good joke. Yeah - some joke. It actually was pretty funny and if I hadn't so nervous during the presentation I might have seen the humor at the time.

So, now Minnesota has a Senate seat wide open for all. Let's see who is going to run? hmmm. Maybe Al Franken (yeah - that would be fun), Jesse Ventura (more fun cause it won't be so easy for him this time around with the blogs), Mike Ceresi (the tobacco baron attorney) and then we have Republicans. Maybe Rod Grahams (former Senator defeated by Dayton), Mark Kennedy (current Rep), Tim Pawlenty (Governor), Brian Sullivan (hmmm, now Brian I certainly wouldn't mind).

Beneath Contempt

Shot In The Dark: Beneath Contempt

This is an amazing story. Amazing in that it's difficult to believe a MN State Trooper thinks it's perfectly normal to write this letter in the MN Trooper Union Monthly Newsletter. Mitch Berg has a good prequal to the letter for some of the references made by the Trooper:

From Mitch:
Are you, like many Minnesotans, tired of having your taxes jacked up endlessly by a legislature that cares more about feeding the state bureaucracy than about your family's bottom line?

Did you send a buck or two to the Taxpayer's League, or vote for Governor Pawlenty and your state legislator because they took the TPLoM's "No New Taxes" pledge?

According to the head of the Minnesota State Patrol's Trooper's Association, you're no better than a racist, cop-murdering thug.

Read on.


The LARK Program

Got this link via Jeremy at American Warmonger. Go check it out cause it's a great solution to the prisoners at Gitmo. I suggest all of those at the International Red Cross and the ACLU be the first foster-hosts of these prisoners!! That's just a teaser for this great letter. BTW - The LARK Program is a gift from 'The Donald' himself (that's Donald Rumsfeld of course!).

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Clinton on the Social Security crisis

The American Thinker
This is just great. He's got quotes from President Clinton on speeches he gave in 1998 alone on the crisis looming for Social Security.

One quote:
This fiscal crisis in Social Security affects every generation. We now know that the Social Security trust fund is fine for another few decades. But if it gets in trouble and we don't deal with it, then it not only affects the generation of the baby boomers and whether they'll have enough to live on when they retire, it raises the question of whether they will have enough to live on by unfairly burdening their children and, therefore, unfairly burdening their children's ability to raise their grandchildren.
* * *
In 1960, there were 5.1 Americans working for every one person drawing Social Security. In 1997, there's still 3.3 people working for every one person drawing Social Security. In 2030, the year after the Social Security trust fund supposedly will go broke unless we change something, at present projected retirement rates -- that is, the presently projected retirement age and same rates -- there will be two people working for every one person drawing Social Security.”
* * *
And if nothing is done by 2029, there will be a deficit in the Social Security trust fund, which will either require -- if you just wait until then -- a huge tax increase in the payroll tax, or just about a 25 percent cut in Social Security benefits.
[From: REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT ON SOCIAL SECURITY -- February 9, 1998 -- Gaston Hall, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C.]

What a HYPOCRITE!

Governor: U.S. owes for inmate entrants Arizona Daily Star

This is the same Governor who opposed AZ's Proposition 200 which requires state government workers to establish legal status prior to the state providing entitlements to applicants. This is the same Governor who appealed to the courts to stop this proposition from becoming law.

Excerpt:
Gov. Janet Napolitano is telling the newly chosen U.S. attorney general to pay Arizona's $118 million bill for housing illegal entrants over the last 18 months - or take the prisoners off the state's hands.
In a letter to Alberto Gon- zales, Napolitano said the Justice Department has all but ignored its obligation under federal law to either take custody of criminals who are not in this country legally or pick up the costs to the state.
That totaled more than $71 million in 2003, Napolitano said, but Arizona got less than $6.9 million.
It may soon get worse: The proposed budget submitted to Congress by President Bush proposes eliminating all payments to all states.


When George Bush was governor of Texas he pulled the same monkey business on the Federal Government.

Fifth Avenue farmers

John Stossel

Hah - John Stossel pulls out a great story on Farm Subsidies.
Excerpt:
Farm country? When politicians start handing out subsidies, you never can tell. Hundreds of federally subsidized farmers live in New York City. Among them is Mike Sonnenfeldt. He lives in the same building as Steven Spielberg and Steve Martin, and he gets cotton subsidies. I asked him whether he grows any cotton.
"I have no idea," he said.


And:
The politicians don't talk much about people like Mike Sonnenfeldt. They talk about protecting "family farms." Democratic vice-presidential candidate John Edwards spoke of "fighting for family farmers." Actually, big agribusinesses receive most federal farm subsidies, but some of the money does reach real, live family farmers, such as Fred and Larry Starrh.
The Starrhs grow mostly cotton on their 12,000-acre spread in California. It's hard to think of them as needy with all that land, but without subsidies, they say, they couldn't make a profit.
Most businesses that can't make a profit go out of business. Woolworth closed. So did TWA. So do 20,000 restaurants every year. It's that freedom to fail that has helped make America as prosperous as it is, because it frees people to do more productive things.
But not on subsidized farms. When the Starrhs can't make a profit, you give them a handout, although Fred Starrh refuses to call it a handout. "I look at it," he says, "as a way to maintain a viable agriculture in this country."

These "farmers" have 12,000 acres and they can't be profitable????? Well, smack me down. Or rather I should say "Smack them down" they don't deserve to stay in business.

Ending red-state welfare as we know it.

Rich Lowry:Townhall.

What really bugs me about farm subsidies is that this is just another name for corporate welfare. Just think about it, Ted Turner gets farm subsidies, Sam Donaldson gets farm subsidies, Cargill, ADM.....all of these corporations get farm subsidies. How stupid is that? Yet, when anyone tries to touch this sacred cow all the small time farmers get their undies in a knot. However, most of these small time farmers are actually corporations too. There's a website if I can find it again where you can find out who is getting how much in subsidies. Farmers have gotten pretty ingenious at playing the welfare queen to drink at the trough of the US government.

Excerpt:
As The New York Times recently reported, farm income doubled during the past two years, and -- holy soybean! -- farm subsidies still went up 40 percent. Farmers game the commodity markets to get both high prices for their products and high federal subsidies. It goes to show that few things are as addictive and distorting as a government handout.

and
"The subsidies reward the guy who gets higher yields with higher subsidies, and he's able to buy out his neighbor and get even bigger," says Dennis Avery, an agriculture expert at the Hudson Institute.

Ten percent of farms -- i.e., the biggest ones -- receive 60 percent of the subsidies. According to Brian Riedl of the Heritage Foundation, giant Riceland Foods got $110 million in federal largess alone last year. By his calculation, the feds could guarantee every full-time farmer an income of $35,000 a year at a cost of "merely" $4 billion. Subsidies now run roughly $15.7 billion annually.


The small time farmer is an illusion of the past. They just don't exist anymore. Most farming families have consolidated themselves to corporations and may include many family members under one umbrella they are actually huge corporations such as Cargill or ADM.

Pentagon Sets Rules of Engagement for Journalists

ScrappleFace

Thanks to Mudville Gazette for this link. Truth is stranger than satire moment.

Per Scrappleface:

"The new rules are designed to make it easier for our personnel to distinguish between the two, since they're often found together and have similar objectives."

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Sign the Easongate Petition

Sign the Easongate Petition

Please go and sign this petition to urge Eason Jordon to release the transcripts of the World Economic Forum.
From Blackfive:
Easongate has been created in light of Eason Jordan's recent statements at the World Economic Forum in Davos, where he accused American servicemen of intentionally targeting and killing journalists in Iraq. These are serious charges that should not have been made without supporting evidence, which he did not provide. American servicemen and women are risking their lives daily and it is wholly inappropriate for a man of his stature and influence to make baseless claims in front of an international audience. As an experienced journalist, he fully understands the impact of his words and the effects on his audience. Mr. Jordan has a past history of making such statements.

Our hope is that CNN will launch an investigation into Mr. Jordan's past and recent history, and take appropriate action. The staff of Easongate is not confident CNN will address this situation without external pressure, however, so we hope to provide the means for the public to place pressure on CNN to act.

Defeat Law of the Sea Treaty

Phyllis Schlafly: Opportunity knocking: defeat Law of the Sea Treaty

I have heard Frank Gaffney talk about this treaty on Hugh Hewitts radio program. Sounds to me a lot like an unelected council called the Metropolitan Council we have in the Twin Cities except this is international and has far reaching consequences which would be difficult to reverse once enacted. Like the Met Council the overreaching tenacles of this treaty threaten the citizens of this country. Yet there is much support for the treaty! Why? Reagan - no[no surprise], Clinton - yes[no surprise], Lugar - yes [no surprise], Cheney - yes [Big surprise].

Law of the Sea Treaty [LOST] - seriously that's the acrynym. I would say this acrynym says it all in that the US will basically have LOST it sovereignty.

In a nutshell here's what Phyllis says:
give its own creation, the International Seabed Authority, the power to regulate 70 percent of the world's surface area.
give the authority power to levy international taxes.
give the authority power to regulate ocean research and exploration.
give the authority power to impose production quotas for deep-sea mining and oil production.
give
the authority the power to create a multinational court system and to enforce its judgments.
no guarantee that the United States would even be represented on the authority's tribunals.

People need to start contacting Senators to lobby against this treaty approval.

Ten things to know about the federal budget

MSNBC

Here's a nice condensed analysis of the Federal Budget. There's some interesting things to note in it:

From 1962 to last year, outlays ranged between 17.2 percent of GDP and 23.5 percent of GDP. Last year they amounted to 19.8 percent of GDP.
So as a rough yardstick, federal spending has been about one-fifth of the total economy.


In 1962, when Kennedy squared off with Soviets over nuclear missiles in Cuba, U.S. defense outlays were nearly half of all federal spending, or about 9.3 percent of GDP.
Last year, they were 20 percent of all federal spending or 3.9 percent of GDP.


Twenty years ago, the three big entitlements [my insert: Medicare, Medicaid & Social Security] accounted for 30 percent of federal outlays. Last year, they amounted to 42 percent of spending and by 2015 they’ll be 55 percent.

The growth in the entitlements programs means that discretionary outlays for items such as national parks, AIDS prevention, etc. keep shrinking as a percentage of total spending.

Monday, February 07, 2005

Dispatch From The Front Lines

Villainous Company

For a really great snarky read go here:
Let me unravel for you my tale of horror. Apparently those sniper teams were not sent over to Iraq and Afghanistan to "target" the ENEMY -- oh no! They were dispatched by none other than Karl Rove with a very different mission in mind: to find and eliminate the list of embedded journalists submitted to Head neo-con and Secretary-of-Torture Donald Rumsfeld!

A smarter man than I would have thought of himself and kept his head down. Au contraire, mon frere.... Because at CNN, news is our huckleberry – it’s in our blood. And we’ve had our eye on the military for some time now.

Yes, we know a news story when we see it and when we sink our teeth in, we don't let go
.


There's more too besides this posting. You'll get a definite YES feeling.

Deceptions on the Veteran increases for co-payments on prescription drugs

Michelle Malkin

Michelle does a good job of de-bunking this myth currently being thrown around by Democrats:

Excerpt:
The New York Times reports today that the Bush Administration wants to raise veterans' co-payments for prescription drugs to $15 from a ridiculously low $7 and impose an annual enrollment fee of $250. Does anyone doubt that Democrats are going to talk incessantly about these "cuts"? But here's one thing I bet they won't mention: the Bush proposal is targeted at middle- and upper-income veterans whose disabilities aren't service-related. And here's another: Bush is asking for a total of $71 billion for the Department of Veterans Affairs in the next fiscal year, up nearly 50 percent (from $48 billion) when he took office.

Pretty sleazy of the NYT's if you ask me.

US pledges to give the Palestinian Authority $40 million over the coming 90 days

Jerusalem Post Breaking News from Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World

I can't tell you how this sickens and upsets me. What I would like to know - how will these dollars be accountable? Who gets the money and how is it to be spent? Will this be used by the Palestinian schools to teach their children to hate the West and Israel? Will this be used to fund the private bank account of Hezzbolah? Will this be used to fund the private bank account for Abbas? This is why the announcement disturbs me so much. What are the safeguards to be built into this "Aid" money to assure American taxpayers these dollars will not be funding terrorism? Do I have much confidence in the ability to assure this won't happen. Nope I don't. Why does the US continue down this track with the Palestinians before it is proved they are willing to walk the talk. Why would the US pour money into a group known for deceit and lies?

Excerpt:
The United States pledges to give the Palestinian Authority $40 million over the coming 90 days as part of a quick-action program to aid and ease the lives of Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice announced at a joint press conference with Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah Monday afternoon.

The US government will send the PA a total of $340 million in the coming year, Rice said.

Michael J. Totten: Drinking with Christopher Hitchens and the Iraqis

Michael J. Totten: Drinking with Christopher Hitchens and the Iraqis

Thankyou to Bunker Mulligan for this wonderful link. If any of you watched the CSPAN 2 hour forum on Jan. 30th sponsored by Spirit of American you would have seen Michael Totten as one of the bloggers for the forum. After the forum was over the group went out to dinner. Iraqis, Americans and Christopher Hitchens. You'll get indignant with the Iraqi's at some point cause Michael describes a HUGE fight and I don't mean argument, a fight between the Iraqi's and the Americans and Hitchens. All turns out ok but there's some insight into the Iraqi psyche.

One of the notable quotes Michael relays:

At one point, apropos of something I can’t remember, Ahman said to me: “I can tell you in one sentence how my country feels about your country.”

“Really?” I said. “Can you really boil it down to one sentence?”

“Yes,” he said. “And it is this: Thank you for coming, now please leave and take us with you.”

I laughed because it seemed totally contradictory and totally right.

Double Standards with Corruption: Corporations vs United Nation

The American Spectator

Seems to me that there is a huge gap in how the MSM has treated American Corporate scandals and the United Nation scandals. With the corporate scandals not only were the CEO's considered guilty in the media but President Bush was aligned with this guilt even though the "illegal" activity occurred in the late '90's to 2001. Now however, when it comes to the siphoning of bribes and payoffs from Saddam Hussein to UN officials the MSM considers Kofi Anan (et al) innocent til proven guilty even though the dollars involved in UNSCAM dwarves the dollars with the corporate scandals. The trail of corruption ever widens with this scandal. Nothing is said of the investigator (Volcker) having ties to the UN resulting in a somewhat tepid results from his audit.

Excerpt from Babbin:
The Iraqis weren't passing out oil allocations worth millions just to see if they could. Every bribe Saddam's regime paid was for a purpose. The regime obviously wanted Sevan to do (or not do) something in return for the bribe. But what? In the thoroughly volckered report, there's no mention of the motive for the bribe, or the service Sevan did in return for it. Or even that the "Independent Inquiry" is looking into it. The report says that Sevan's actions "were ethically improper and seriously undermined the integrity of the United Nations." Saying Sevan has ethical problems is like saying the Gambino family has legal issues. Sevan -- who is apparently as crooked as a dog's hind leg -- may be a sacrificial lamb. The U.N. investigators have no interest in digging into the reason for the bribe or what Sevan did because it might just lead them to the heart of the corruption.

Sunday, February 06, 2005

LET THE FINGER POINTING BEGIN

Reuters.com:Former UN Head Boutros-Ghali Defends Iraq Oil Deal

This should be kinda fun to watch. Anan vs Boutros-Ghali - the real question should be which one profited the most!
LONDON (Reuters) - Former U.N. head Boutros Boutros-Ghali refused to take all the blame for Iraq's scandal-tainted oil-for-food program on Saturday, pointing the finger at his successor Kofi Annan.

In Defense of Jim Mattis

Villainous Company: In Defense of Jim Mattis

Just in case you don't go to all of Chester's links Cassandra (Marine Wife) has a great posting on this and she includes the quotes the MSM has been leaving out.

You know it's funny. The media like to talk about balance. How it's so important to "get the whole story". That's why (they intone piously) we must hear over and over again about Abu Ghuraib, and those innocent Iraqi casualties (but not the hundreds of thousands buried in Saddam's mass graves). We need to hear something other than the "party line": the "conventional wisdom".

That's why they can't bear to mention it when one of our boys wins is awarded the Medal of Honor for gallantry.

Perhaps that even explains (in some perverse way) why, when we win an important battle, the headline reads only "10 Marines Killed Today".

They're making sure we get the "other side of the story".

So if balance is so all-fired important, why don't quotes like these get any airtime? They certainly challenge the conventional wisdom about war and Marines. This was General Mattis' guidance to his men:


Why General Mattis and NOT EASON JORDON????

The Adventures of Chester

More of the same old same old. MSM people show their stripes with the bias against the US Military. Chester has it point on. Stories about Mattis have reached a frenzy level yet have you heard anything on this high level executive at CNN...Eason Jordon? Nope.

"Leave revenge to the future"

Mudville Gazette

This is a quote to remember. It's in reference to Hillary and her actions currently. Then there's also:


Friday, February 04, 2005

Eason Jordan: The Shame of the Mainstream Media

New Sisyphus

This is about the best write up I've seen on this amoral disgusting piece of news filth.
Excerpt:
Having personally witnessed the fact that his own employees were, in the pursuit of his business, being ruthlessly tortured by a remorseless and pitiless regime, Jordan did what any good journalist would do: he spoke truth to power, comforted the inflicted, inflicted the comfortable, removed his bureau from Baghdad and ordered his reporters to report the truth about the Iraqi regime to Americans and the rest of the world.

Just kidding! If we were to believe the fairy-tales that float out the most prestigious journalism schools, that is what would have happened. But this was CNN, and telling the truth was not the highest priority. Instead, Jordan did what he had to do to maintain "access" to a murdering band of fascists so that he could be competitive and still deliver the "story," never mind that the resulting story was so much lies and tissue.


There's some tongue n' cheek but mostly it's outrage peeling off the page.

Update: Captains Quarters has some great updates on what he's calling Eason's Fables.
Also, Hugh Hewitt was able to interview Forumblog's Rony Arbovitz (be sure to read this).

GAROFALO COMPARES PURPLE FINGERS TO NAZI SALUTE?

TKS on National Review Online

Just when exactly does the MSM start to hammer at the Vast Left Wing Conspiracy (VLWC) about the screwball idiotic rantings of Air America? If a Conservative radio talk show host had said this it would be screamed from every orifice of the MSM. Just shows that the NeoSoc's have nothing to say so they just call names at people. But this demeaning of our military and the Iraqi's and the Congressional members who in solidarity with the Iraqi's dipped their fingers in blue ink, has to be called on the carpet. She's saying that any troop going to war is too stupid to know what they are doing. Get that? See, that's how the left thinks of the military, just a bunch of stupid testosterone filled males who just want to kill people. Only the Left is intelligent and thoughful.

Garofalo: "The inked fingers and the position of them, which is gonna be a 'Daily Show' photo already, of them signaling in this manner [does the Nazi salute], as if they have solidarity with the Iraqis who braved physical threats against their lives to vote as if somehow these inked-fingered Republicans have something to do with that. And also, the bit of theater about the very distraught parents of the soldier who had died, the point is not if this was a real moment, if it was staged, if it was PR. The point is, is those parents and their son were misled about why that young man went into Iraq. And when he wrote a letter to his mother saying, 'It's my job to protect you now,' protect her from what? The imminent threat of Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction? So don't bring up, 'Is it helpful if the Democrats make some noise' when they're being lied to. That's not helpful, that's not helpful to pundits like you maybe, but it is not helpful to the country when a Republican President and his partisan Republican Party continue to perpetuate myth and dishonesty on the country."

Here's the point Giraffalo - just shut your big yapping trap. You aren't intelligent and you aren't thoughtful. You're a windbag!

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Donald Rumsfeld's message to our troops

Marine Corps Moms

I really like Donald Rumsfeld.

Excerpt:
On January 30th in Iraq, the world witnessed an important moment in the global struggle against tyranny, a moment that historians might one day call a major turning point. America's men and women in uniform, who were instrumental in the liberation of Iraq, were there to witness this moment as well. .........

So to all of you who are serving on freedom's front lines, and to your families, I offer my deepest appreciation and respect. To those who have lost friends or loved ones during this conflict or who have been injured in defense of our freedom, find comfort in knowing that your sacrifices have historic meaning. And know that one day, the people of Iraq and Afghanistan will find a way to thank you, as I do, from the bottom of my heart.


Iran & Syria Squirm

Clarity & Resolve: This is part of the solution.

I really like Patricks Picture of President Bush!

Why black Americans should favor President Bush’s social security plan - Larry Kudlow

Kudlow's Money Politic$

I'm not sure why anyone would not understand why Social Security needs to be changed but apparently there are people out there that still believe there's a little lockbox with their name on it for SS. When SS started the qualification age was 65 yrs old. By todays standard that should be 75 years old. Why not just change the freakin age and be done with it! I also think Congress needs to weed out many of those on SS due to other reasons outside of age. Like druggies, alcoholics, obesity.....this program was never intended to cover made up disabilities. I've got no issue with those who have true disabilities either physical or mental but these "disabilities" are personally invoked and don't tell me it's in the genes! I'm serious about just changing the age and yes it will affect me but then I've never planned on SS nor have I planned on retiring at 65.

Anyway, Larry has some good points for Black Americans to support the plan. It will be interesting to see how the so-called Black Leadership picks up on this. How much you bet they rip George and the Republicans a new one? I'm guessing it boils down to racism, course that would be racism on the part of Jesse and Al and NAACP and Julian Bond and who's that Nation of Islam guy.
Update: Louis Farakon!

Stop the Presses! We have a News Alert!

FOXNews.com - Syria and Iran are unhappy about the Presidents speech

Well gee .... ya think? Guess his speech must have been pretty successful then.

From Fox:
Iran and Syria rejected President Bush's charges that they sponsored terrorism, with an Iranian official calling the claims groundless Thursday and the Syrian information minister saying the democracy that Washington seeks for the Middle East cannot come through force.

"Road of Providence is Uneven & Unpredictable"

The road of Providence is uneven and unpredictable -- yet we know where it leads: It leads to freedom.

That was an absolutely wonderful speech by President Bush last night. He did a great job even though he mentioned his Guest Worker Program. The Democrats looked silly and ineffectual. Harry Reid sounds just like Tom Daschle...blech! Are there only Metrosexual Men in the Democrat Party? What a namby pamby wussy soft voiced whiner. So, I suppose you want me to tell you what I really think. LOL.

I've got an Financial Audit to finish up for tomorrow so posting will be light.

BTW - I loved the last sentence of GW's speech. It's a keeper.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

CNN's Eason Jordon at Davos accuses US Military of Murdering a Dozen Journo's

HughHewitt.com

Go to Hugh's site cause he's got a huge load of links talking about this. This is a BIG deal and Jordon (if you remember Jordon appeased Saddam to keep CNN in Iraq thru the '90's) is trying now to back away from saying this to the Euro's and Arab's.

Just in case there is anyone who stops here I want them to be aware of this "Blatherlike" storm brewing.

Illegal Immigration is a moral issue

VDH's Private Papers::Illegal Immigration is a moral issue

If you haven't read VDH's Mexifornia, I can tell you it's well worth the read. VDH is well acquainted with Mexican culture and heritage since that's his heritage. He counterpoints the issue of 'filling jobs no one else will do' that is a usual excuse for acceptance of illegal aliens from Mexico. What the true situation is that the illegals drive down the wages in a cash basis system and what used to be entry level jobs have become permanent jobs for illegals. I get pretty angry when listening to Hugh Hewitt or Michael Medved or a slew of other radio talk hosts who poo poo the issue on illegals taking jobs from Americans.

Excerpt from VDH:
As President Bush's guest worker proposals slog through Congress, new reports suggest that there may be not 8 million, but almost 20 million illegal aliens in the United States, a population larger than most entire states. $400 billion in taxes—almost the current annual budget deficit —are not collected due to a growing underground cash economy.
AND:
The hallowed assimilationist formula has too few overt defenders these days —even though measured, legal immigration, English emersion, multiracialism instead of multiculturalism, and integration have ensured that past legal immigrants from Mexico are among America's finest citizens.
AND:
Is it moral for employers to count on illegal industrious workers, usually without English or education, to undercut the wages of American citizens—as if a laborer remains youthful and hale in perpetuity with no need of social entitlements when disabled or impoverished years later? No wonder employers claim that they are only providing a service to Mexico's poor.
AND FINALLY:
And is it equitable that laws must be sacred for most, but not for some? Do we really want a bureaucratic system near collapse from fraudulent Social Security numbers, off-the-books wages, false names, cars without registration and insurance, even as millions abroad queue up to enter our shores lawfully? Are we to tell waiting Punjabis or Filipinos to certify their education, skills and method of support—even as we ask far less of those who break the law to cross the border from Mexico?

Who, then, is the real moralist? Is it the police officer who stops an illegal alien but cannot call immigration authorities? The contractor who knowingly accepts falsified identification and pays untaxed cash wages? The La Raza ("The Race") activist who promotes ethnic chauvinism for those to whom it will prove most deleterious? Perhaps the grandstanding Mexican consul who faults the United States for his own country's callousness?

Or is it the rest of us, who in fear of being slurred as "racists" or "nativists" often keep silent—just when candor and honesty on all sides are needed now if we are to avoid becoming an amoral apartheid society with a permanent underclass in the shadows?


Anyone who thinks a 'Guest Worker' program will entice Mexican workers to come to the US and work for a couple years and then go home is delusional.




Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Chris Matthews Suggests U.S. Soldiers Forced Iraqis to Vote

Media Research Center

This guy is just plain sick! There's no other excuse for his demented craving for violance and failure with the elections in Iraq.

Excerpt:
Chris Matthews' animus toward President Bush's Iraq policy is so great that on Sunday night he raised the possibility that U.S. soldiers forced Iraqis to vote. He asked Brian Williams: "Was it that clean? Was there no pushing by American soldiers or coalition forces to make people vote or discourage them from not voting?" Williams rejected to notion of any coercion. On Friday night, Matthews foresaw disaster before Sunday's vote: "Is it likely we're going to see a massive, Tet-style, like we had in Vietnam, explosion of opposition over the next 24 hours? They're really gonna throw out everything they've had at these elections to try to bring them down?"

Excerpt:
Matthews soon turned to New York Times White House reporter Elisabeth Bumiller: "I guess there's two questions I'm gonna ask you, they're both rough. You may not have an answer to either one. Is it likely we're going to see a massive, Tet-style, like we had in Vietnam, explosion of opposition over the next 24 hours? They're really gonna throw out everything they've had at these elections to try to bring them down?"
Bumiller rationally refused to speculate: "Chris, I have absolutely no idea. I'm sitting here in Washington. The White House doesn't think so."

There's more if you go the link. Williams to his credit was responsible in his response to Matthews. But this guy is just sick! He really wanted to find something bad that our troops had done to coerce Iraqi's to go out and vote.





World Economic Forum is "Taking Responsibility for Tough Choices,"

A Jolie Good Time On "corporate social responsibility" and being stood up by Angelina. BY BRET STEPHENS Tuesday, February 1, 2005 12:01 a.m. EST

This almost reads like a movie comedy, unfortunately, it isn't a movie nor is it a comedy! Here's what so-called "leaders" of the world (except for our very own President Bush) think is important today:

The forum takes place on the eve of Iraq's elections. Yet there's just one session on Iraq and just one on terrorism, and neither gets top billing. Instead, the conference is dominated by the themes of climate change and the plight of Africa, which seems to reflect the attitudes of the conferees. At a town-hall style meeting Wednesday, 700 forum participants are asked to choose what they think is the topmost global priority from a list of 12. Poverty comes in first at 64%, followed closely by "equitable globalization" and climate change. By contrast, only 24% pick the global economy, and only 19% pick trade.
What gives? The forum, remember, is often held to be the world's premier gathering for rapacious plutocrats, neoliberal globalizers and assorted hangers-on. And it is: Of the 2,250 participants, 50% are classed as "business leaders," including 500 chairmen and CEOs, while only 9% hail from nongovernmental organizations. Yet forum-think leans sharply leftward--so much so that Democratic Sen. Joe Biden and Rep. Barney Frank fall well to the right side of the Davos spectrum.


Get that Biden and Barney Frank (gasp gasp) fall well to the right of most in attendance!


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