Thursday, May 20, 2004

Viva Italy!
You tell them!

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

BWEEEUUUUUAAAAARRRRRKKKK!!!!!

Ok, I've had it. Send in a Blackhawk. Like I said, bank sharply north over Paris; continue for some 250 kloms; prominent terrain features are two low hills and a river. I'll light a big fire in my garden. We would like to take our cat with us too.

The UAW loses another one. Let's hope this is one more nail in the coffin of this dinosaur.

For those who were participating in the conversation about the FairTax below, here's the response I received from one of their representatives regarding the repeal of the 16th amendment:

Dear Scott,

       Hello, I'm District Coordinator for the 18th Congressional District in PA and your question was forwarded to me for a response.

       With respect to the 16th Amendment.........there are several points we need to cover.  I understand your concern......and shared it at one time......but I now believe it to be unfounded.

       First,  You correctly observe that there is nothing stopping the government from implementing a sales tax while retaining / maintaining the income tax now.  Indirect, consumption based taxation (National Sales Tax) was in fact what the Founders envisioned for the US......and it's written into the body of the Constitution.  All the 16th Amendment really does is permit the Fed's to go further, and allows for the DIRECT, UNAPPORTIONED taxation of our income.  The 16th Amendment is what allows them to reach into your paycheck before you've seen a dime of it, and feast on the first fruits of your labor....and it must be repealed, in time.

       Second, you also correctly observe that HR 25 does not repeal the 16th Amendment directly because only a simple majority is required to pass this tax act........but a SUPER majority is required to pass a Constitutional Amendment.  We don't want to stall the passage of this bill, which will abolish the IRS and the Internal Revenue Code  (those are two very important goals of HR 25) while waiting for a Constitutional Amendment to pass.  So, you are correct, passage of HR 25 without the repeal of the 16th Amendment will leave the door open to future, direct, unapportioned, taxation of income.

       Third,  We have been told by House Majority Leader, Tom Delay, that he will use some procedural device, which I confess I do not fully understand, to link the two bills (HR 25 and Repeal of the 16th Amendment) so that effectively one will not become law without the other.  I confess to having a disagreement of opinion on this point........as I believe that the abolition of the IRS and repeal of Title 26 of the US Code (Internal Revenue Code) are laudable goals in their own right.  Even if, you assume for sake of argument, that the US Congress decided to re-impose the Income tax on some disfavored group........it couldn't possibly be any worse than what we have today. 

       I passed the CPA exam in 1992, and for the last 5 years I've been a student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh........studying Taxation and Law.  God willing, I will graduate next June with a dual degree......MS Taxation and a J.D.  I've spent a lot of time and money studying this monstrosity.........and I am absolutely convinced that if you set about the task of designing a complex, convoluted, inefficient, burdensome system of taxation.........you couldn't do any better than what we currently inflict upon ourselves.  In my humble opinion, Title 26 and the IRS must go even if we do not repeal the 16th Amendment immediately.

       Worst case scenario as I see it, is that HR 25 fails to pass, and we are left with this mess.  A slightly better scenario involves passage of HR 25 and the imposition of a sales tax with a significantly streamlined income tax (Remember, HR 25 repeals all but a small piece of Title 26), better yet......a sales tax with no income tax in place but with the 16th amendment in place.......best solution.........a sales tax concurrent with repeal of the 16th.  There is a spectrum of possibilities here.  I guess the best analogy I can use is to a war with a series of battles........I think we need to fight each battle in turn........and win the war by winning the battles...hence we need to pass HR 25 if at all possible.

       I hope I've answered your question.......if not, please feel free to reply. 

All the best,  Betty Male, PA - 18th Congressional District Coordinator

Monday, May 17, 2004

IGC Coucil Head Murdered.
This is just going to get worse before the turnover in Iraq I'm afraid. They're stepping it up, but I doubt in a place like Iraq, the citizens are going to be any more terrorized than they were before. In fact, there's a lot of evidence that they've had it, and are starting to take it upon themselves to help get rid of these thugs, and that's the best news yet.

Sunday, May 16, 2004

Liberals believe that Fox News must be stopped becuase of it's right wing slant. They are wrong. Fox News must be stopped because they keep Geraldo Rivera on the air. What a clown...
Here's an interesting thing. Somehow, this job with Spirit of America has made both my husband (a rabid conservative), and my mother in law (a rabid liberal) proud of me. I believe that this will be one of the secrets to their sucess. Liberals that believe in nation building and helping all of those poor people that our military is "putting out" in their homelands will happily give. So will conservatives, who know darn well that half the battle militarily is getting the locals behind you, which you can accomplish through helping them to work for themselves, giving them some ownership in the rebuilding process, and thus building the trust essential for good intelligence for our mil guys.

Don't be surprised if my postings drop dramatically in the next week or two, I've already got an enormous project to start in on tomorrow. I'm so ready to dig into this! But I really had this post that I've been wanting to write for a long time. I just hope Jonah doesn't steal it from me before I get to it! He mentioned that he had been thinking about it, but just hadn't gotten himself totally wrapped around it yet. I however, have one more thing that I believe has added to this particular issue that is a huge catalyst for the way that it has ended up today. Well, I can't start writing it at this time of night, so I'll save it and hope to get it done tomorrow night.

I once saw a Twilight Zone episode where some people in a normal, everyday American town become convinced that aliens (the outer space kind, not the kind that get amnesty) have landed near their neighborhood. As time goes on they become increasingly paranoid, and as night falls they begin to turn on each other, even though nobody can be sure if they have actually seen an alien. The episode ended with two aliens observing the interaction of the humans, and they say something to the effect of "you see, we will just let them destroy themselves." I can't help but think we're doing them same thing sometimes in the war on terror. Victor Davis Hanson echos this sentiment here.

I just thought that I'd mention that today is Armed Forces Day. There are lots of great organizations supporting the armed forces efforts out there right now. Here is a great site that lists a bunch of them, what they do, and what you can do to support them.