Saturday, May 15, 2004

Those who frequent DowneastBlog know that I am an enthusiastic supporter of the FairTax, a proposal to abolish our current tax system and replace it with a national retail sales tax. I'm on their mailing list, and lately there has been some great news regarding the progress of this proposal. It has been officially proposed in the House by Rep. John Linder (R) Georgia, and in the Senate by Saxby Chambliss (R) Georgia and Zell Miller (D) Georgia.

Recently House majority leader Tom DeLay has gotten behind the FairTax bill, officially known as H.R. 25, and has made his intentions clear to put this bill on the front burner. This idea was once thought to be too radical to ever see the light of day, but it's acceptance in the house and senate has been impressive. In a recent meeting between congressman Linder and Alan Greenspan, Greenspan stated that he thought the proposal was a good idea, but that the biggest obstacle to its adoption would be governmental inertia. Indeed, such sweeping reforms are often seen as too difficult to pass, so it is very hard to get members of the legislative branch to act to further such a bill. However, with the current momentum of this bill, it looks like there is a good chance that this could happen. While there will be the usual opposition to those who prefer our current "progressive" system of taxation, the fact that H.R. 25 is designed to support all current government programs gives it a fighting chance of getting support on both sides of the aisle.

I encourage all of you to check out the FairTax website and look at the details of this proposal and get behind this revolutionary idea. I believe that it would have an incredibly positive effect on all Americans, and would go a long way to getting this country back in line with what it's founders intended.

Thursday, May 13, 2004

Alright guys, I've got to blog all of this because I have to share it and Tom's gone, he'll be off the site for the next 4-5 days as he is in Bozeman, MT with his brother Mike.

We are finally are catching up on e mail the other night, including the mail that comes to this site, and lo and behold there are all of these e mails for me from when Instapundit and Buzzmachine blogged on the Iraq laptop project.
Tom starts out by saying "hey there's some e mail here for you from AYS, did he send it to your other address?" and I reply "no, can you forward it to our inbox?". "Sure", he says. Next minute, I hear "Kerry, there's some guy from the Chicago Tribune that wants to do some interview or something about the Iraq thing." I'm thinking, he's got to be reading that wrong. Nope. There's e mail from TruthLaidBear website generously offering help, and best of all from Marc Danzinger at Spirit of America. So I'm sorting out all of this mail and sending out replies and such, but not expecting too much to come of it.

Well, over the past couple of days, Marc and I play phone tag and tonight we finally get in touch. By the end of the conversation, he has handed me my dream job, and apparently I have handed him a dream "employee", and we're both thrilled.
So I'll be working for Spirit of America, and they have generously offered to help me with more computers for Iraqi bloggers that didn't get them on the first round!
I am so thankful for the great work that Marc and Jim and their team are doing, and for being willing to give me a chance at to work with them on this fantastic project.

I also got my biopsy results back today from my surgery and no sign whatsoever of the dreaded "C", which I expected to be fine, but it was nice to have it confirmed.

In bad news today, we found out that our 8 month old Golden Retriever puppy (Orion) has hip dysplasia, and we are likely looking at a $5000-$6000 hip replacement operation once he is full grown. He's on meds to help control the symptoms, but those will never fix the problem, and well, it's a long, sad, expensive story. He's obviously uncomfortable right now, so I am feeling for him, he's such a sweet dog.

Don't be surprised if in 8 months you see a Paypal donation link for the dog's surgery! (Don't worry, just kidding!)

God bless the governor of Maryland.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

This is a must read from Ali at Iraq the Model today.
Way to go Kerry! (The good Kerry, my wife. Not the evil, French looking clown from Massachusetts). It's not every day you're mentioned by name on NRO's Corner.
Zarqawi needs to meet some Marines during the night. Faster please.

I suppose he deserves equivalency as well. Well, you know, we step all over these Muslims as all of the other THOUSANDS of photos of Iraqis with US troops show (not to mention the hundred or so we have of Tom's brother with African Muslims) all smiles and thanks for the new hospitals, schools, etc. All interested in Americans, and eager to share culture, food, life.

Tuesday, May 11, 2004

We talked about Nick Berg. So sad. As Jonah pointed out though, AQ says this was "retribution for the offenses at AG" but if it were, it would have been long ago, as both the Iraqis and soldiers knew about this for months and even the Pentagon put out a press release on it in Jan. It was the media's frenzy over the PHOTOS and the subsequent emotion that they were taking advantage of. Berg's death lies with not only the perpetrators, but the media that published the photos, the people that took them, and the abusers. They(AQ)know the left better than I believed now that I think of it. There was a young man tonight that thought it was terrible not to give "moral equivalency" to the photos of Saddam's sons dead, in a discussion of the photos of the prison abuse, people dying in 9/11, etc. As during the days following 9/11 there are those that will try to make it our fault. We pushy, aggressive, horrid, Americans, always trying to save the world. And if we make mistakes along the way, oh shall we pay.

We just spent 7 hours with Jonah Goldberg. Fun, nice, genuine guy.
Tired, need sleep. (Michael, if you are still up, you are certifiably insane.)
It's curious how the Iraqis don't seem to be as upset as our own media is about the prison abuses. Don't hold your breath waiting to read this in the mainstream media.

For those who think that I'm simply one-sourcing this, head on over to the Iraqi blogs and read similar accounts first hand.
I know this is a photoshopped picture but I love it anyway:

Monday, May 10, 2004

OK, I always say this blog is politics and culture, but really, there's no culture, I admit it. I'm getting sick of depressing news, so I'm being the female here and putting in some "culture" (read chick stuff), but the only thing that is going to make this worth reading and funny will be what the "boys" have to add. So here goes.

I love my country. I love that my boys are in little league. I love the forget me nots that Brendan picked for me on Mother's Day. I love the picture that he drew for me. I love that Will still snuggled next to me tonight as we read his latest installment of "Goosebumps". I love my dogs. I love that Tom's youngest brother called to see if I was OK after surgery. I love the way our Irish Setter sleeps with a stuffed animal every night. I love watching the American flag outside the house wave in the wind, and I hate thinking of our troops far away at the same time. I love them for their sacrifice. I love watching Will turn into a soccer boy, having something that is "his". I love having a husband that is my best friend. Did I mention I love the sex too? (Just because I'm female doesn't mean I shouldn't say that, particularly when it is well deserved.) I love my friends. I love that the internet has brought me friends that I never knew. How in the world Michael and Tom live half a world apart with the identical sense of humor still baffles me, and I love it. I love listening to Scott and Tom rant, they make me laugh like nobody else. I love the friends that I have made in Iraq. I love that we're going to meet Jonah tomorrow. I love spicy cheese dip. I love to argue. I love apple crisp (with double crisp of course). I love running (and miss it). I love the ocean and will be there in just 3 more weeks for the three most blissful weeks of summer, listening to the foghorn at nights. Now I can sleep, because for all the John Kerrys of the world, I've reminded myself that there's so much more to be thankful for.
What do you love?
(I can already see the guys posts...America. Sex. Monty Python. Miserable Fat Belgian Bastards.)
I'm sorry but if this is not the most pathetic thing ever.
You can not be a Presidential candidate and start a petition to have someone resign from office....that alone states that you aren't qualified. Wrong or not, demand a resignation, don't petition it. Can you imagine this guy as CIC? God help us.
Conflicting Emotions
OK, so have you seen the photo (it's on Drudge if you haven't) of the Iraqi detainee stripped naked surrounded by "gasp" MP types with military trained "attack dogs"? You know what bothers me about this? NO BACKGROUND!

Is this a guy that was thought to have a bomb strapped to him? If so, it would be reasonable to have had a.) both bomb sniffing dogs there, and b.) him stripped.

The abomination is that there is a photo of it, not necessarily that it occurred.

There's no damned context to these things. Even if the guy was picked off the street for looting, or passing info, or some such thing, (which people that are place in AG are not, but just for argument’s sake) the nakedness could then be an issue, but the dogs? They are on leashes for God's sake; does this really look any different from an episode of "Cops" which America gobbled up gladly on the TV for years? No, not really.

I have Iraqi friends. I absolutely think it is one thing to have someone put on a box naked, with a hood, attached to wires and be told that if they fall off, they die. The people that came up with that one, military court isn't good enough for.

But there is no proof, there is no context, and that in as far as I can tell is the problem. I have asked myself, what if this was a terrorist, and they had confirmed it, and they were using this as psy ops interrogation technique...would I have a problem with it? If I am honest with myself, I, like most Americans, just wouldn't want to know about it. But the American in me would want to be certain first that this person was who we thought they were. This is going to be one of the worst problems in this new war we face, mark my words. You can't always tell who the bad guys are.

The Million Mom March came up a bit short according to the Washington Post: "The rally lacked the star power, and certainly the numbers, of the first Million Mom March in 2000, when hundreds of thousands of women flooded the Mall on Mother's Day. Organizers this time put the crowd at close to 3,000, a figure that could not be confirmed because police no longer estimate crowd sizes."

Imagine that.
Wow, I've got to get used to this new editing format.
OK, my turn to post a link or two. Jonah had a column on this on Friday that is interesting in the context of asking what the media's role is in these things? He says a lot of the same thing that Scott did. Here's the column.

Now, for my other question. How do you all feel about Rumsfeld? I have really thought about this hard and long. I love Rummy, but I must admit that thoughts have been running around in my brain like track stars on this. Why he didn't inform Bush when this first started in January? Did he assume that Bush already knew and didn't "want" to know more? Did he purposely keep it from him to protect him? No, he assumed that it was an isolated incident.

Here's a column from Safire today on Rumsfeld. It's good, short, and to the point.

"In last week's apology before the Senate, Rumsfeld assumed ultimate responsibility, as J.F.K. did after the Bay of Pigs fiasco. The Pentagon chief failed to foresee and warn the president of the danger lurking in the Army's public announcement in January of its criminal investigation into prisoner abuse. He failed to put the nation's reputation ahead of the regulation prohibiting "command influence" in criminal investigations, which protects the accused in courts-martial.

The secretary testified that he was, incredibly, the last to see the humiliating photos that turned a damning army critique by Maj. Gen. Antonio Taguba into a media firestorm. Why nobody searched out and showed him those incendiary pictures immediately reveals sheer stupidity on the part of the command structure and his Pentagon staff."

That's what bothers me. We'd better see some heads roll on his staff. If we don't, my faith in Rummy will be lessened I fear.

Sunday, May 09, 2004

So it's looking like this prison abuse thing is actually turning out to be the issue that is going to stick on this administration. The Democrats have thrown everything but the kitchen sink at the president, but thus far nothing has seemed to resonate much with the American people, until now. Of course, we're all appalled with what happened in those prisons, but a lot can be told from people's reactions to this event. Some of us want the perpetrators of those acts punished, along with those in the chain of command who knew of these procedures. We'd also like to see this done quickly and decisively so that we can begin to repair the damage done to our image in that region, and get on with making this great undertaking work. There are others who would like to see this scandal continue to develop like a festering wound so that it drags down the entire administration and our efforts in Iraq as well. These people would gladly hand Iraq to the mad mullahs just to get the current president out of office, and they believe this scandal is their means to that end. Their concern is not for the Iraqis who were abused, or for the population of Iraq in general, or for our own soldiers. These are just tools to be used to further a political agenda. Where was the outrage when Saddam Hussein was committing acts far worse than this on his own people? Where was the outrage when millions were being slaughtered in Rwanda? Where was the outrage when American civilians were being killed and their bodies dragged through the streets just a few weeks ago? We're supposed that the left has reached their breaking point over acts that, let's face it, probably occur in our own prisons on a daily basis? Please, the selective morality is truly sickening.

Let's fix the problem, but let's not lose sight of the big picture here. There's no doubt in my mind that these acts will cost the lives of American soldiers. The longer the scandal goes on, the more our servicemen are at at increased risk. Perhaps those calling for resignations and yet another ridiculous congressional hearing should consider this fact before engaging in more petty political maneuvering.