Sunday, July 30, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
(Washington, D.C.) The grassroots anti-Leftist group Protest Warrior has announced plans to hold a counter-demonstration in Washington, D.C. on August 12th from 11:00am until 2:00pm in downtown Washington. Protest Warrior plans to confront the far-left group International A.N.S.W.E.R. and will rally for the right of America and Israel to defend against Islamist terrorism.
Protest Warrior will be handing out literature on the origins and true goals of International A.N.S.W.E.R.
Brendan Steinhauser, a Washington, D.C. member of Protest Warrior said, “This anti-Israel group pretends to support peace, but in reality it is a totalitarian organization. We will be handing out literature that details their connection to the Workers World Party, a subversive communist organization that supports the terrorist group Hezbollah.”
Bob Miller, Protest Warrior D.C. chapter leader added, “The communist front group A.N.S.W.E.R provides aid and comfort to the enemies of America and Israel. Israel was attacked by Hezbollah and has the right to self-defense. A.N.S.W.E.R refuses to recognize this right, and would rather condemn Israel and support her enemies.”
A.N.S.W.E.R. is a far-left group whose acronym stands for, “Act Now to Stop War and End Racism.” One of its aims is to “Stop the Threats Against Venezuela, Cuba, Iran & North Korea.” Organizations on its steering committee include groups such as the Muslim Students Association, the Korea Truth Commission and the Party for Socialism and Liberation. The group has the same office as the Workers World Party, and there is overlap in the leadership of both organizations. The WWP has called Hezbollah and Hamas “liberation forces.”
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
We'll let the man himself, Neal Boortz, write the burst this week. Well, not really. From Neal's Nuze of 24-Jul-06 at his web site:
FAIRTAX STATUS REPORT
The FairTax movement is going strong my friends, stronger than you might imagine. I can assure you that the FairTax is attracting an ever-increasing degree of attention in Washington. I wish I could share the details, but the wonderful world of politics is such that it is much better to let the people involved spill the beans than to jump the gun by disclosing their interest or involvement ahead of time.
There have been three events in recent months that have really peaked interest among the political class. First was the debut of The FairTax Book on the New York Times Bestseller's list for paperbacks. We're still there ranking very high in the business category. Second was the FairTax rally in Atlanta a few months ago. When we packed a room full of 4,500 people, and then turned another 4,000 away, the shockwaves were felt inside the Beltway the very next day. On the morning after the rally Congressman Linder, who had returned to Washington overnight, was buttonholed by a number of colleagues to explain "just what it was you did there in Atlanta last night."
Last week's Georgia primaries in Georgia also opened some eyes. The FairTax was on the Republican primary ballot in three metropolitan Atlanta counties, and in each county the idea of replacing the income tax with the FairTax was approved by over 85% of the voters. When a reform idea as huge as the FairTax receives that type of an approval rating people, especially politicians, take note.
Another thing happened last week that impressed a number of high-ranking DC political-types. I received about 15 emails from people who told me that they originally had no intention of participating in the primary ... UNTIL, that is, they heard me say that the FairTax was on the ballot. Those emails are now in the hands of some of the most powerful people in Washington.
Simply put --- when you have an issue that (1) sends people to the polls who would otherwise not vote, and (2) gets the support of over 85% of the voters, you have an issue that can drive an election. Politicians know it.
Now ... what's next?
ORLANDO! THAT'S WHAT!
This coming Saturday on the steps of the Orlando City Hall we're going to have a rally in support of the FairTax! Our Orlando affiliate, News Talk 580 WDBO has done a spectacular job of setting this rally up, and Jesse The FairTax Babe has added a pancake breakfast to hungry rally participants!
Come on, folks. We can do this! We can bring about this massive transfer of power from the government to the people, but only if you'll get off your keesters and help us out!
Yesterday afternoon I was talking to a friend in Naples. I told him we were trying to get at least 10,000 people in front of the Orlando City Hall, and asked him if he was going to come to the rally. He told me that if there were going to be that many people there, then it wouldn't make much difference if he showed up or not!
That, my friends, is the type of thinking that can lead to a small turnout; and a small turnout takes a lot of steam out of the FairTax movement.
I can promise you that if we put 10,000 into downtown Orlando for this rally it will be the talk of Washington the next Monday. What happens on Saturday will have a lot to do with whether or not we make any progress toward making the FairTax a prime issue in this Fall's election.
WE NEED YOU!
Yes. It's a sacrifice. Reform like this doesn't happen without sacrifice. You can be a part of a revolution here. It can't be done with you sitting on your hands.
The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to join us, please e-mail Terry or Jonathan. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Corporal Rusty L. Washam
Lance Corporal Matthew Ryan Barnes
Lance Corporal Steven L. Phillips
Lance Corporal Daniel Freeman Swaim
Lance Corporal Ryan J. Sorensen
Lance Corporal Norman W. Anderson III
Corporal John R. Stalvey
Corporal Michael C. Kaufer*
*Cpl. Kaufer's death occurred in an accident stateside shortly after the Battalion returned this spring.
Monday, July 24, 2006
Who are they? What are their goals?
- Anti-war front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party
- Founded after the 9/11 attacks to oppose the War on Terror
- A major organizer of the massive anti-Iraq war rallies
- Opposes embargo against Communist Cuba
- Supports convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal
International ANSWER (an acronym for "Act Now to Stop War and End Racism") is a front group for the Marxist-Leninist Workers World Party (WWP), which uses the anti-war movement as the vehicle by which it promotes Communist ideals and condemns American society, American foreign policy, and capitalism.
Founded on September 14, 2001, three days after the World Trade Center attack, the group's initial mass demonstration was held on September 29, 2001 in Washington, D.C., to protest the Bush administration's impending war in Afghanistan. In July 2002, ANSWER's focus shifted to preventing a war in Iraq, as the likelihood of a U.S. invasion there grew.
The speakers include prominent members or leaders of various activist and Communist organizations; celebrities and entertainers; and politicians - often members of the Democratic Party's Progressive Caucus.
They maintain that America, more than any other country on earth, constitutes the greatest threat to world peace and humanity's survival.
While no speaker at the March 15, 2003 rally was publicly identified as a member of the WWP, at least seven are in fact party members (Brian Becker, Larry Holmes, Teresa Gutierrez, Sarah Sloan, Sara Flounders, Imani Henry, and Judi Cheng). Through these speakers and organizers, the WWP controls the tenor of ANSWER and its message. Thus it is not surprising that ANSWER's politics are broadly anti-capitalist and severely critical of American policies.
An investigation of ANSWER's member organizations and national organizers reveals its close links to the WWP. The initial call to form a new peace coalition, dated September 25, 2001 and located on the WWP Website, is signed by a number of prominent WWP members, including Teresa Gutierrez, Monica Moorehead, Gloria La Riva, Leslie Feinberg, and Deirdre Griswold. The first press releases put out by the coalition, on September 24, 2001, are from Ramsey Clark, Teresa Guiterrez, and Brian Becker.
Since the early 1990s Clark, the former Attorney General under President Lyndon Johnson, has worked closely with the Workers World Party - through the WWP-founded International Action Center (IAC). Guiterrez and Becker are members of the WWP's Secretariat - its highest decision-making body. Monica Moorehead and Deirdre Griswold are also Secretariat members. Typically, IAC staff and volunteers are WWP members. Another key player for ANSWER is founding member (and member of the organization's national steering committee) Richard Becker.
While the composition of ANSWER went unpublished through late 2001 and into 2002, by late February 2002 the organization's press releases began to contain references to a "steering committee" of several organizations. One of the earliest lists can be found in a call to action from February 27, 2002. While this committee has undergone a few changes since 2002, it has, overall, remained relatively stable. As of February 2004, it included the following organizations, all of them on the far left of the political spectrum: the Stalinist International Action Center (IAC) and its two sub-units, the Korea Truth Commission and the Partnership for Civil Justice Legal Defense and Education Fund; Bayan - USA / International; the Free Palestine Alliance; the Middle East Children's Alliance; the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organizing (IFCO) /Pastors for Peace; the Nicaragua Network; the Mexico Solidarity Network; the Kensington Welfare Rights Union; and the Muslim Student Association of the U.S. & Canada.
Notwithstanding the varying degrees of support provided by all the aforementioned groups, ANSWER's closest connections are, by far, with the WWP and the IAC (which is controlled by the WWP). This is clearly evident when one compares the contact information for ANSWER with the contact information for those other organizations.
ANSWER's Washington, D.C. office, at 1247 E Street SE, is the same as the IAC's Washington office; the two organizations also share the same phone and fax numbers. ANSWER's San Francisco office, at 2489 Mission St., room 30, is in the same building as the San Francisco offices of the IAC and WWP, which occupy rooms 24 and 28, respectively.
In other words, when a person calls ANSWER, he is in effect calling the International Action Center and the Workers World Party.
For more information:
Discover the Network
Protest Warrior—DC Chapter
Sunday, July 23, 2006
A couple of bits from RightsideVA's report:
Several times during the debate Webb stated that we do not have an exit plan in Iraq because [ the administration?] doesn’t want to leave Iraq. He also questioned why we need 4 bases in Iraq if we are going to leave. Senator Allen responded by saying "Instead of having our troops all over 100 different places all over Iraq in dangerous, precarious situations, they ought to be on four bases. It's good operationally and safer for them, and those bases will ultimately be turned over to the Iraqis," He also advised Webb that we still have bases in Germany, Japan, Kuwait, Cuba, and numerous other countries that welcome our presence there. He also stated many things have changed since the attacks of 9/11...Kilo at Spark It Up! has this to say about Webb and RR plus the new Webb campaign signs that will be going out this week (or so rumor has it).
Webb would not look at Senator Allen when he was being asked a question or replying. He blinked a lot and at times look agitated. The Senator showed his experience and the importance of addressing his opponent, the audience, and those asking the questions. He also presented his opinions and beliefs in a sincere and informative manner. Webb is new to this and it shows. I am sure he will improve with “Coaching” but you must know and believe in what you stand for and advocate. You should have seen the faces of the local Augusta County Democrats when Webb said that Ronald Reagan a model to him… Priceless…
UPDATE: The Ward View has this take on the debate. And also these blogs:
Commonwealth Conservative, From On High, Virginia Virtucon, Mason Conservative
Saturday, July 22, 2006
But Allen, a Republican former governor, used his long experience in Virginia to stump Webb, forcing an embarrassing admission from the first-time candidate that he knew nothing of a major proposed Hampton Roads port project.OUCH!
Allen asked Webb to elaborate on his ideas for the proper use of the 2,500-acre manmade peninsula in Portsmouth created from mud dredged from the Elizabeth River ship channel.
Webb paused an uncomfortable moment. "I'm not sure I know where Craney Island is," he conceded. "Why don't you tell me."
"Craney Island's in Virginia," Allen replied, affecting an exasperated look as he schooled Webb on the history of the site and why it's important now. Congress is considering an expansion of the site to accommodate a major international terminal that could create thousands of jobs in Hampton Roads.
UPDATE: Coverage of the debate from Richmond.com
UPDATE: Washington Post chimes in.
UPDATE: Richmond Times Dispatch here and hereand here
One of the things I've had a problem with is writing a post and then trying to find what other bloggers have written on the subject so I can link to them. Very time consuming (at least the way I was doing it) and it never failed that I would get sidetracked by some other interesting bits along the way. Then it would be a mad rush out the door to get to work on time and nothing would be finished.
I wrote a post on stem cells that followed along those lines yesterday. This evening I decided to try out the Handy Dandy Virginia Search Tool from BlogNetNews to see what folks had been writing on the subject. I was very pleased with the results, especially when I saw my post listed. heh.
Here are a few of the blogs I could have linked to in the original post if I had used the search tool in a timely manner:
Spark It Up!
From On High
Fact of the Matter
Friday, July 21, 2006
1. An armed man is a citizen. An unarmed man is a subject.
2. A gun in the hand is better than a cop on the phone.
3. Colt: The original point and click interface.
4. Gun control is not about guns; it's about control.
5. If guns are outlawed, can we use swords?
6. If guns cause crime, then pencils cause misspelled words.
7. "Free" men do not ask permission to bear arms.
8. If you don't know your rights you don't have any.
9. Those who trade liberty for security have neither.
10. The United States Constitution (c) 1791. All Rights reserved.
11. What part of "shall not be infringed" do you not understand?
12. The Second Amendment is in place in case the politicians ignore the
13. 64,999,987 firearms owners killed no one yesterday.
14. Guns only have two enemies: rust and politicians.
15. Know guns, know peace, know safety. No guns, no peace, no safety.
16. You don't shoot to kill; you shoot to stay alive
17. 911 - government sponsored Dial-a-Prayer.
18. Assault is a behavior, not a device.
19. Criminals love gun control -- it makes their jobs safer.
20. If guns cause crime, then matches cause arson.
21. Only a government that is afraid of its citizens tries to control
22. You only have the rights you are willing to fight for.
23. Enforce the "gun control laws" we ALREADY have, don't make more.
24. When you remove the people's right to bear arms, you create slaves.
25. The American Revolution would never have happened with gun control.
26. "A government of the people, by the people, for the people..."
Hat tip to Hawgske & friends at River City ABATE
Thursday, July 20, 2006
The press release on the Webb campaign site titled Allen Votes Against Stem Cell Research: Webb Joins Reagan, Warner in Support of Potentially Life-Saving Research addresses the recent Senate vote on "stem cell research" and in my opinion is a sad, unethical piece of propaganda.
No where in the press release is the bill number mentioned (H.R. 810) and absolutely nowhere in the press release can you find the words HUMAN EMBRYONIC STEM CELL RESEARCH which are plastered all over the text of the actual bill. Instead Webb refers only to "stem cell research" in his references to the legislation.
H.R. 810's sponsors gave it the euphemistic title "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act" in hopes, no doubt, that voters would not read beyond that. Well, perhaps Mr. Webb didn't read further either. His vision on healthcare can be found here. Go ahead and click the link it is a fast read - all of six sentences.
Adult stem cell research and embyonic stem cell research are two distinct issues and not to make that distinction is tantamount to a lie of omission. (See Modern Propaganda Techniques #21)
From Webb's press release: Nancy Reagan has been a leading advocate for ethical stem cell research. She believes that expanding stem cell research can be President Reagan’s living legacy. “She has made the case,” wrote Washington Post columnist David Broder, “that voting for stem cells is doing it for the Gipper.”As President Ronald Reagan's Secretary of the Navy for 10 months, he might have gotten close enough to recognize the beautiful soul that made Reagan a true humanitarian and a great man.
“As Nancy Reagan has so eloquently reminded us, we cannot turn our back on this issue,” said Jim Webb. “Responsible stem cell research holds too much potential for too many people to be obstructed by politicians. The President should immediately sign this legislation into law and give new hope to the victims of disease and their families.”
"Doing it for the Gipper" is not doing it to humans in the earliest stages of life. The thought of someone freezing, extracting, slicing, dicing or mutating what was a glorious gift from heaven makes my skin crawl. Adult stem cell research is the only ethical path and is proving to be the most promising.
President Reagan's own words:
"My administration is dedicated to the preservation of America as a free land and there is no cause more important for preserving that freedom than affirming the transcendent right to life of all human beings, the right without which no other rights have any meaning."
"That unless and until someone can prove the unborn human is not alive, we must give it the benefit of the doubt and assume it is. And, thus, it should be entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
"We cannot diminish the value of one category of human life -- the unborn -- without diminishing the value of all human life."
I stood across the street from them and was unable to read all but 2 of their signs the print was so small. The other 2 signs had too much verbiage on them to translate if you were driving by. I think the gist was Israel bad, Hezbollah misunderstood, U.S. downright evil. One lady made me laugh. She had hand printed her protest signs on the back of Tim Kaine for Governor yard signs.
It was a pretty colorless display even for an anarchist protest until an elderly lady showed up with a rainbow peace flag. Which got me to thinking how cool it would be to have a huge Marriage Amendment Rally with everyone waving rainbow flags. After all, God gave us the rainbow as a sign after the great flood. Noah and his family then began to repopulate the earth. Yes, it's time to take back the rainbow!
For awhile it was just me counter-protesting 20+ moonbats and I couldn't help but think of Israel surrounded by people and nations hating her, wanting to destroy her and disperse her people.
One of the people who joined me on the sidewalk has parents who are leaving their home in Europe to come here. They are Jews and no longer feel safe there. Another Jewish friend who came immigrated from Russia as a child with her family. A friend of theirs joined us before it was over.
The Richmond Police and a Capitol Hill Police Officer were very kind. It was a good day to be in Richmond.
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Do you want to know why I support the FairTax? Check the various issues below and see how the Income Tax, a Flat Tax, and the FairTax would affect each situation.
FairTax - Proposes repeal.
Federal Income Tax - No change.
Flat Tax - No change.
FairTax - Individuals do not file. Businesses need only to deal with sales tax returns.
Federal Income Tax - Very complex; 20,000 pages of regulations; I.R.S. incorrect over half of the time.
Flat Tax - Withholding continues. Individuals and businesses must still track income and file income tax forms.
FairTax - Record all business expenses and is subject to IRS audit? No.
Federal Income Tax - Record all business expenses and is subject to IRS audit? Yes.
Flat Tax - Record all business expenses and is subject to IRS audit? Yes.
FairTax - 23% Linder/Peterson FairTax Act of 2001 (H.R. 25). Employees receive 100% of pay. Social Security and Medicare funded from consumption tax revenue, not your paycheck. (H.J.Res45) - Will repeal the 16th Amendment.
Federal Income Tax - Used by lobbyists and the wealthy for tax-breaks and loopholes. Used by bureaucrats for social engineering.Flat Tax - Rep. Armey’s H.R. 1040 has some problems, but is far superior to current law.Flat Tax - Rep. Armey’s H.R. 1040 has some problems, but is
far superior to current law.
Cost of Filing
FairTax - No personal forms are filed. Significant cost savings.
Flat Tax - Significant simplification costs are somewhat reduced.
FairTax - Un-taxes wages, savings, and investment. Increases productivity. Produces significant economic growth.
Federal Income Tax - Taxes savings, labor, investment, and productivity multiple times.
Flat Tax - Imposes a tax burden some of which is still hidden in the price of goods and services.
FairTax - Taxpayers pay the same rate and control their liability. Tax paid depends on lifestyle. All taxes are rebated on spending up to the poverty level.
Federal Income Tax - The current tax code violates the principle of equality. Special rates for special circumstances violate the original Constitution and are unfair.
Flat Tax - The flat tax is an improvement over the current income tax, but it is still open to manipulation by special interests.
FairTax - Foreign companies are forced to compete on even terms with U.S. companies for the first time in over 80 years.
Federal Income Tax - Current tax code places unfair tax burden on U.S. exports and fails to neutralize tax advantages for imports.
Flat Tax - A flat tax taxes exported goods and does not tax foreign imports to the U.S., creating unfair competition for U.S. manufacturers and businesses.
FairTax - As the Founding Fathers intended, the FairTax does not directly tax individuals.
Federal Income Tax - Current tax code requires massive files, dossiers, audits, and collection activities.
Flat Tax - A flat tax still requires personal files, dossiers, audits, and collection activities.
FairTax - 45 states now use a retail sales tax.
Federal Income Tax - The 1913 income tax has evolved into an antiquated, unenforceable morass, with annual tax returns long enough to circle Earth 28 times.
Flat Tax - A flat tax just won’t stay flat. Starting out nearly flat in 1913, the income tax grew out of control with top rates over 90% until the Kennedy administration.
FairTax - Reduces rates by an estimated 25-35 percent. Savings and investment increase.
Federal Income Tax - Pushes rates up. Biased against savings and investment.
Flat Tax - Reduces rates 25-35 percent. Neutral toward savings and investment.
FairTax - Increases investment by U.S. citizens, attracts foreign investment.
Federal Income Tax - Biased against savings and investment.
Flat Tax - Neutral toward savings and investment.
FairTax - Abolished.
Federal Income Tax - Retained.
Flat Tax - Retained with reduced role.
FairTax - Makes U.S. manufacturers more competitive against overseas companies.Escalates creation of jobs by attracting foreign investment and reducing tax bias against savings and investment.
Federal Income Tax - Hurts U.S. companies and decreases available jobs. Payroll tax a direct tax on labor.
Flat Tax - Positive impact on jobs. Does not repeal payroll tax on jobs.
Man-hours required for compliance
FairTax - Zero hours for individuals. Greatly reduced hours for businesses.
Federal Income Tax - Over 5.4 billion hours per year.
Flat Tax - Reduced.
FairTax - Reduced tax rates and fewer filers will increase compliance.
Federal Income Tax - High tax rates, unfairness and high complexity harm compliance.
Flat Tax - Reduced tax rates and improved simplicity will improve compliance.
Personal and Corporate Income Taxes
FairTax - Both are abolished.
Federal Income Tax - Retained.
Flat Tax - Retained in a different form.
FairTax - Increases.
Federal Income Tax - Inhibits productivity.
Flat Tax - Increases.
FairTax - Increases savings.
Federal Income Tax - Decreases savings.
Flat Tax - Increases savings.
FairTax - The FairTax is highly visible and easy to understand. No tax is withheld from paychecks.
Federal Income Tax - The current tax code is hidden, embedded in prices, complex, and incomprehensible. Taxes are withheld from paychecks.
Flat Tax - The business component of the flat tax and payroll taxes are hidden and would be embedded in prices. Taxes are withheld from paychecks.
The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to join us, please e-mail Terry or Jonathan. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
(IsraelNN.com) United States senators have proposed a resolution supporting the Israeli retaliation against the Hizbullah terrorist war effort, but a key lawmaker is holding it up because the Senate must consider “the suffering that is taking place on all borders."
Sen. John Warner, A Virginia Democrat, wants to revise a paragraph that urges American President George W. Bush "to continue fully supporting Israel as Israel exercises its right of self-defense in Lebanon and Gaza." He said the Senate also must consider how Israel's "extraordinary reaction" might affect the American war in Iraq.
Hat tip to FreeRepublic.com
Forum participants discuss wars
Virginians who have served in Iraq, Afghanistan share stories at T-D gathering
BY MEREDITH BONNY
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
June 18, 2006
Everyone wanted to shake Cpl. Ted Dickson's hand last night.
"I want to thank you for serving our country," Marine Corps veteran Rick Edmunds, 55, told him.
Dickson, a 22-year-old Marine from Powhatan County, recently finished a four-year active-duty stint that included operations in Iraq this year and last. He said he knew what it was like to sit on a wall and "know a handful of guys are waiting to shoot at you."
Dickson shared his story with about 75 people who turned out last night for The Times-Dispatch's Public Square forum at the newspaper's Hanover County production plant. He said he wanted folks to know that there is more going on in Iraq than what they read in the newspapers and watch on television.
"All you ever hear about is people getting killed or wounded," he said.
What most Americans hadn't heard about is how Dickson and other members of the 3rd Battalion, 6th Marines, were able to transform areas in the Anbar province from, in his words, "the worst place in Iraq to one of the safest."
He talked about children returning to their homes with their families, and about Marines sharing candy with them.
"They realized we were good people after all," he said.
Thousands of Virginians have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. To date, 91 have died in the conflicts. Last night, those who made it back, along with veterans of wars past and family members of service men and women, shared their stories.
Thomas A. Silvestri, president and publisher of The Times-Dispatch, moderated the forum. He handed the microphone to Pat Wilkinson, who talked about the sacrifices made by her husband, Virginia Army National Guard Col. Tom Wilkinson of Richmond.
Tom Wilkinson, who returned from Afghanistan in March, is deputy chief of staff of Operations Joint Forces Headquarters-Virginia.
Pat Wilkinson called her husband a hero and said he serves so that "everyone else can eat McDonald's and go to the church that they want to."
"Superman is right here," she said, seated beside her husband.
Kay Springfield of Powhatan County said she was nervous last night. Her 24-year-old son was on standby to leave from Hawaii for his second tour in Iraq within the next 48 hours.
When he returned the first time, she said she felt like "he made it. This is great. The second time it feels a little different."
Folks in the audience chuckled as Springfield described her soldier son's efforts in school as a challenge.
She talked about how he channeled the energy he once reserved for partying into the military.
"They made a man out of him," she said.
Edmunds, a Hanover resident who earlier shook Dickson's hand, said he remembered returning from Vietnam and being called a "baby-killer." He said he doesn't want other service members returning from Afghanistan and Iraq to go through the same thing.
He asked fellow Richmonders to stop when they see someone in the military and thank them.
Master Sgt. Michael Voss, a father of two from Beaverdam, was frank about the impact on families of their loved ones deploying to a hostile environment. He served with Wilkinson in Afghanistan.
"It's a sacrifice that you make," Voss said.
"When I mobilized and deployed, my family mobilized and deployed," he said. "It's very hard on a family."
Monday, July 17, 2006
FARMVILLE, VA- With an eye on the 2007 primary season, the first fundraiser for Virginians for a Conservative State Senate will be held on Wednesday, July 19th at the National Rifle Association’s legislative headquarters at 410 First Street SE in Washington, DC. Dick Armey will be the speaker, along with short addresses by VCSS co-founders Chris Shores and Tres Watson.
The event, which will raise funds to support candidates who oppose higher taxes and support greater fiscal responsibility, will begin at 5pm with a private sponsors reception and will continue with a general reception and short program beginning at 6pm. “We could not have a more fitting speaker for our first event than Dick Armey, a key component of the 1994 Republican Revolution and the Contract with America,” said Shores, VCSS chairman. “He dedicated a large portion of his political career to balancing the budget by reigning in spending, not by levying additional taxes and fees. His example is one that all our endorsed candidates will be encouraged to follow.”
While tickets to the general reception are $50, there are still sponsorships available. The Hon. John and Heidi Stirrup, State Senate candidates Jill Holtzman-Vogel, Mark Tate, Bob FitzSimmonds, and Arin Sime, and Gil Davis are among the many who have already committed their support by becoming sponsors.
VCSS chose Northern Virginia for their kick-off event largely due to the region’s unhappiness with the current leadership of the State Senate. “We have been shocked at the support that VCSS has already received across the state and in Northern Virginia in particular,” said Tres Watson, VCSS Executive Director. “It is obvious that the voters of Northern Virginia are not pleased with the solutions to the problems facing Virginia that the State Senate has proposed and they are willing to send their help out across the state to make a change.”
To RSVP for the reception or to find out more about VCSS, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
All kinds of captions come to mind for this picture of Jim Webb waving that thingy but this is a PG-13 Blog. He's smiling so maybe he thinks he can pull the election
We're in a battle for our survival and we don't even know who the enemy is. As liberals are constantly reminding us, Islam is a "Religion of Peace." One very promising method of distinguishing the "Religion of Peace" Muslims from the "Slit Their Throats" Muslims is by following the al-Qaida money trail.
But now we've lost that ability — thanks to The New York Times.
-- Ann Coulter
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. The head of Alabama's Republican Party has an offer for Democratic Party chairman Howard Dean: She'll pay for the plane ticket if he will come campaign with Democratic gubernatorial nominee Lucy Baxley.
Twinkle Andress Cavanaugh said today she would foot the cost of Dean's flight to Alabama if he'd come stand with Baxley and explain his party's position on issues including abortion, gay marriage, gun rights and taxes.
Baxley spokesman Jeff Bridges says he didn't know whether the Democratic lieutenant governor was interested in campaigning with Dean.
Excerpt from WTVM
Hat tip to AmericanMade1776 at FreeRepublic.com
Saturday, July 15, 2006
Friday, July 14, 2006
SCOTT AND RICHARD WILL BE BACK ON 1140 WRVA FILLING IN FOR MAC WATSON FROM 3-6PM ON FRIDAY, JULY 14TH.
CALL US AT 345-1140 AND LISTEN ON LINE AT WWW.1140WRVA.COM.
ALLEN VS WEBB
YOU THOUGHT THE BUDGET BATTLE WAS OVER IN VIRGINIA! THINK AGAIN!
TERRORIST AMOUNG US THROUGH RELIGIOUS VISAS BY OUR GOVERNMENT
TAX CUTS WORK EVERYTIME!
Thursday, July 13, 2006
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Overcome by the intoxicating presence of a beautiful woman (the heat may have been a factor, too) the Parks and Recreation pleasure police asked Senator George Allen's wife to leave a public event in Alexandria, Virginia because she was "too distracting". No doubt the gentlemen visitors in the park felt let down. No word on how their wives took the news.
Meanwhile, Allen's Navy provided back up.
Beyond walking on water, there was little the Alexandria "servants" could do to stop a Potomac River boat captain from showing her loyalty to the Republican candidate by cruising along the waterfront festival with "George Allen for Senate" banners hanging from the port and starboard sides of her boat.
Inside the Beltway
Hat tip to SDGOP at Free Republic
Commonwealth Conservative posted this yesterday.
Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Folks, I’m telling you… after I was lucky enough to find out about this article in the Gwinnett (Georgia) Business Journal this week, I was asking myself that very question. Why in the heck doesn’t Congressman John Linder run for President? I listened to the 45-minute interview for the article, and read along with the transcript. You know what amazes me? This is a true common-sense man. It’s no wonder he’s been a shepherd for relieving the United States of the 16th Amendment for the past 10 years. You might not recognize his name, but you will definitely recognize the name of the book he co-wrote, and the legislation he wrote - "The Fair Tax."
Not in history that I can I recall has there ever been a book to open at #1 on the New York Times best-seller list and stay there for two weeks in a row, which was about the United States Tax Code. Boring, eh? Well, aparently you haven’t read "The Fair Tax." John’s gotta give his hat off to Neal Boortz, Libertarian talk-show host here in Atlanta, who wrote most of the book. Neal’s depth of knowledge of the tax code and its history, the abuses and wastes of the system as it stands, and his wry sense of humor make it not only a very easy read, but a pleasurable one, as well.
As many of my readers know, I attended the first ever Fair Tax Rally , and it was held here in Gwinnett Co., Georgia. I already wrote my review, and I just wish you all could have been there with me to witness the electricity of the event. I wrote in that article that "It’s Possible," and it is. All you have to do is believe - and be brave enough to want to help affect change.
If the Fair Tax passes, it will be the single largest transfer of power from the Federal Government back to the people in the history of this country. I feel like I am part of that 1% that affects change, as John Stossel pointed out at the rally. I’m one of those "big potatoes" that Herman Cain spoke of. And you can be, too. Only if you believe.
John Linder has also taken a strong stance on illegal immigration, and recently proposed that we adopt the exact same immigration laws as Mexico, verbatim, and he truly believes that what is good for the "Fox," is good for the "Eagle." I do not disagree with him one iota, and I wrote about it in another post.
Everything that I’ve heard and read before today made me swell with hope and pride - but after I listened to this latest interview, I’m even more filled with determination and FIRE, and the motivation to do whatever it takes to help this man succeed in whatever endeavors he chooses. I also plan to encourage him to run for President, although I’m not sure of his aspirations. He’s quite successful as a Republican Georgia Congressman. I am going to try to schedule him as a guest on my show on Wide Awakes Radio, so keep your fingers crossed.
John is right on the money about curtailing government spending, fighting terrorism, true tax reform, securing the borders with no amnesty, and a whole host of other issues. The following is an excerpt from from the full transcript of his interview with Christopher Lancette of the Gwinnett Business Journal:
Let’s jump right into it - explain exactly what the FairTax is.
The FairTax is a bill that would repeal all taxes on income - no more corporate income tax, no personal income tax, no payroll taxes, no self employment tax - no gift tax, estate tax, capital gains tax or alternative minimum tax. Any tax that is pegged to income would be gone, as would the IRS. We would replace that with a consumption tax - a tax of retail sales on personal consumption at final purchase of new goods and services.
Currently, the average taxpayer gives the government 33 cents of every dollar they earn. In our system, they would give the government 23 cents of every dollar they spend. Then we would provide to every household - every household - a cash distribution at the beginning of every month that would totally untax them up to poverty-level spending.
And what’s the status of the legislation?
Well, it has 54 co-sponsors, which is the most it has ever had. We’re going to meet very soon with the leadership of the House and Senate, and the Speaker (of the House - Dennis Hastert) has gotten the President of the United States to agree on meeting with me for an hour. And I believe we (Republicans) have to have a big idea to run on.
You say that all corporate taxes would be repealed. How would that benefit businesses?
Businesses spend a considerable amount of time complying with the tax code. We paid $265 billion in 2004 just filling out IRS paperwork. We spend another $150 billion calculating the tax impact implications of a business decision. There is not a businessman or woman in America that does not think about the tax implications of any choice they want to make. Under our system, we would effectively give the American people a $400 billion tax cut - letting them keep in their pockets all that money they spent on compliance. Businesses would for the first time be able to consider their employees, their customers and their shareholders - and not worry about the government.
The estimates we’ve heard are that compliance costs could decrease by as much as 90 percent. Is that accurate?
That’s very accurate. The only compliance left would be the compliance of the tax collectors - the retailers and the doctors and the dentists who have to collect the tax on personal consumption. Their compliance costs would be about 10 percent of the current compliance costs.
The event you and WSB radio talk show host Neal Boortz held at the Gwinnett Convention Center filled to capacity. Did the large turnout surprise you?
Yes it did. I expected to have a good crowd. We looked for different venues and that was the only one available that had 4,500 seats. We think we turned away 4,500 people. We think another several thousand people heard on the radio that the event was closed down, turned their cars around and went home.
I want to change tracks a little bit … The Republican-controlled White House and Congress have increased federal spending beyond the level of any Democratic administration. Do you think your party has dropped the ball on federal spending?
Put me in that group of disappointed people. We’ve had a Republican majority for 12 years. We have never had a conservative majority. We have 25 Republicans in the Northeast who’ll side with the Democrats on spending issues every time. We saw that it took us a long time to pass our budget - we passed it by one or two votes this year because our moderates wanted us to increase spending as much as the Senate did. So we have had a really difficult time.
When you’re in the majority, you have to pass spending bills to keep the government from shutting down, and you have to make those compromises. I spent 16 years voting for people in the minority - 14 years in Georgia and the first two years in Washington. That’s the easiest thing in the world - you just vote no and go home. When you’re in the majority, you’ve got to pass the bills. I’ve cast more miserable votes in the last 13 and a half years that I did in the previous 16.
You’ve been married to your wife, Lynne, for more than 40 years. How did you meet her?
That’s a long story. I’d finished playing a county-league softball game on July 16th of 1963. My brother and I were standing on a corner having an ice-cream soda when this car pulls up, asking for directions to Cedarwild Lodge in Minnesota. It was a town of 800 people and it’s hard to get lost and we thought, “That’s kind of cool, let’s go out to the lodge.” So we asked why she was in town and she said she’d just dyed her friend’s hair and it had turned blue, so she was sent to town to get another dye to try to fix the problem. So I said to my brother, “Wouldn’t you like to see the gal with blue hair?” So we drove out to Cedarwild Lodge, said we wanted to see the gal with blue hair and was introduced to my wife who, at the time, was quite angry about her blue hair. And three months later we were married. That was 43 years ago this year.
What’s the most frustrating part of a congressman’s job?
Inertia. Alan Greenspan told me that the toughest job is to overcome the inertia in this town. You get set in your ways, just go along step-by-step. My guess is that part of my problem in getting this bill moving is that 90 percent of the Congress has not even looked at it and doesn’t even know it’s there. Just to get them to think, "This is possible, this is do-able, the American people are ready for this," is very frustrating. We tend to get so occupied in doing what we must do that we don’t have time to do what we should do. And that’s frustrating.
As you look back not only on your political life but your personal life are there people that stand out in your mind that made a real impact on you?
One who really moved me was Ronald Reagan. I spent more time with him than with any president. I traveled on his campaign plane in 1976 whenever he was in the Southeast. Every time I’d see him he’d forget who I was. But he knew who he was. I’ll take the guy who doesn’t know me but knows himself any day.
If every state had congressmen like John Linder, this country would run smooth as glass, and there would be a no-nonsense way in dealing with any obstacle that comes our way. It would be a good idea to not only read this partial transcript in the article, and here, but also leave your feedback because I’m sure it will be passed along to Mr. Linder.
Again…. why doesn’t this man run for President? I’d definitely vote for him. And, Herman Cain as Vice President! Oh, yeah, and Neal Boortz could be in charge of Homeland Security. Look out U.N., Human Rights Watch, ACLU, and all the other bleeding-heart, international law-loving, peace-at-any-price crowd idiots! You all would be in for quite a surprise. HAHAHA!
If you don’t want to listen to it on my blog, you can download the full MP3 for podcast. Whichever way you choose, I urge you to listen intently to the entire interview… then you tell ME that John Linder isn’t someone you’d like to have in the White House soon!?!? Talk about flying under the radar! Well, my radar is up, and Linder is on it - I’m going to urge him to fly like the eagle he is!
Listen to the interview here.The FairTax Blogburst is jointly produced by Terry of The Right Track Blog and Jonathan of Publius Rendezvous. If you would like to join us, please e-mail Terry or Jonathan. You will be added to our mailing list and blogroll.
Monday, July 10, 2006
The show yesterday was titled - From the Ballpark to the Battlefield: Baseball and World War II. One of the more interesting people interviewed was Yogi Berra. I had either forgotten or never knew that he served in the Navy and participated in the D-Day invasion at Omaha Beach. (Also interesting is that when Yogi returned after the war he played for a team in New London, CT - I imagine the town didn't kick a lady out of her house to build the stadium, but nowadays they would.)
Also interviewed was Bob Feller, the first MLB player to volunteer for active duty. Mr. Feller signed up for the Navy just two days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor (found the info here - 1942: When Baseball Went to War).
There aren't many athletes who I consider heroes, but those who gave up or interrupted their baseball careers to serve our country during WWII are most certainly heroes. Even if you missed the most recent War Stories episode you should make an effort to watch some time, it is an excellent show.
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Really the bottom line is that "same sex marriage" is a "Lifestyle" choice period. You are free to pursue it... go for it, but do not even for one minute think about "embedding this lifestyle in our tax code"... It doesn't make sense, and if you think people are "scamming the system now", wait until same sex marriage gives you a tax break!Virginia Conservative Analysis has posted the text of the amendment and some pertinent faqs.
NOVA Townhall posts a report from the Family Foundation.
Saturday, July 08, 2006
Some Virginia blogs of the lefty persuasion would like us to think otherwise. Here and here for example.
Actually, it is a fascinating story, although I can understand why Jim Webb isn't penning the screenplay for this one. The underdog, Ollie North, who sustained back and knee fractures his plebe year in a car accident, through sheer determination and grit fought his way back to health, out of leg braces and faced classmate Jim Webb for the coveted title of Brigade Boxing Champion. Webb had been boxing since his early teens, was dubbed the better boxer of the two and was expected to win. He didn't.
I guess when your candidate is fuzzy once you get past his anti-Iraq War stance you might be tempted to invent stories to flesh him out a bit and make him larger than life. Throwing a cape over Webb's shoulders and sewing a big W on his chest is more honest, in my opinion, than fabricating fairytale endings to real incidents.
Oooops! On second thought, better not make it a W.
UPDATE 07-09-06 by f mcdonald One of the posters linked above left this explanation in our comments which I believe is sincere and should in fairness to Richmond Independent be posted here.
"I wrote the Virginia Centrist post. It looks like I was wrong, but it wasn't intentional. I read it somewhere, and obviously the source was incorrect. I wasn't trying to mislead anyone."
So tonight I'm hitting all my favorite blogs to catch up and get stopped dead in my tracks at Andi's World. Remember this inspiring photo of two great men, President Bush and SSgt. Christian Bagge?
If you can stomach it, click here to see what Historians Against The War have done with it.
It is worse, if that's possible, than the crap the Democrat Party of Virginia have linked on their website.
Historians Against The War have a speakers bureau featuring five persons from Virginia locations - four of them universities. All five richly deserve this week's EDUCATED INTO IMBECILITY AWARD for associating themselves with the denigration of good men who have given so much to preserve the freedoms these mortarboard maroons enjoy.
This Week's Recipients:
Library of Congress
Falls Church VA
Rebecca de Schweinitz
University of Virginia
Dept. of History
Kimberley L. Phillips
College of William and Mary
George Mason University
Dept. of History
Friday, July 07, 2006
Virginians for a Conservative State Senate are pleased to announce their first fundraiser will be held on Wednesday, July 19th at 5:00 PM at the National Rifle Association's Legislative Headquarters at 410 First Street, Washington, DC. VCSS is honored to announce that the Honorable Dick Armey, former United States House of Representatives Majority Leader will be their guest at the event.
"While we intended to remain true to our grassroots, it will still take quite a bit of money to mount successful challenges in our targeted races," said Chris Shores, Chairman of VCSS. "With the support of both the conservative Republican Community as well as the majority of Virginians who simply want to see lower taxes and more responsible government, we are confident that events like this fundraiser and our breakfast club will provide the capitol we need to mount successful RINO hunts."
Admission to the event is $50 with sponsorships available at $250, $500, and $1000 levels. If you wish to attend the event or find out more information about the PAC, you can contact VCSS at vcssenate @ yahoo.com***.
***remove spaces in email addy
Good looking enough to be movie stars themselves but over qualified and waaaaaay too smart, the Tanker Brothers are sticking it to Cindy, Sean Penn and Susan Sarandon. I'm signing up now, come on over and join the fun!
Because one Tanker Brother is worth (at least) TEN Sean Penns!
Okay, here's the deal: In light of the stupid "Rolling Fast" Stunt that the Crazy Hollywood Left and Conde Pinko have come up with, we here at the Tanker Brothers have decided to come up with our own version: "The 2006 Tanker Brothers Rolling Victory Fast!"
But we need your help: pledge to fast for one day. Just one single day to show your support for those of us who would stand in Crazy Cindy's way. Support us like this: we're proposing a "Rolling Fast", Hollywood Style. I'll kick it off: I will pledge to fast for the first day (we'll kick this off on Sunday, 9 July 2006), and hand it off to someone, Sean Penn-style. In this case, it will be Cav Tanker. If you wanna take part in this, click the Comments section and sign up for a day. We ask that you keep it in Chronological order: in other words, the first person to sign up will sign up for Tuesday, the next person for Wednesday, and so on and so on.
Wednesday, July 05, 2006
His current focus is the 2006 elections and in particular Sen. George Allen's campaign and Thelma Drake's re-election in the 2nd District. Look for some good insights into national issues also as well as other Virginia and Hampton Roads hot topics.
Hmmm... I wonder if hrconservative is short for Hard Rock Conservative? Guess you'll have to read the blog to find out!
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
I served for over four years in the United States Army, defending this country and this flag. I believe in conservativism, and the conservative message.
I know the history of this country. I know about America's history with slavery and its history with Native Americans. I also know that we have done more to correct those social problems than any other nation in existence.
I love the flag of this country, and I love all of my brothers and sisters in the armed forces who are out there defending this country. I believe that "In God We Trust" is more than just a saying, it is a compass to guide us, and should not be removed from anywhere in our government.
Many years ago on this day, the founding fathers of this country set our nation on a course that would bring a nation into existance that would benefit not just its citizens, but people all over the world.
Thank God, for the United States of America.
May she wave forever!
Monday, July 03, 2006
Instead we have an extremely ill-conceived and ill-concealed effort by politicians and bureaucrats to undermine a war that is bravely and courageously being fought by men much nobler than they regardless of how many medals these bloviating political jerks dangle in front of the cameras.
But politicians can't wreak havoc on their own. Oh no. If our media gave a rat's ass about the truth we would be getting daily reports about the real progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, not just a body count like it's some kind of score on a video game. They have justly earned the title "Enemedia" that's for sure. In fairness, let's include our local media, also, which parrots in print and on the air without question whatever the big guys feed them.
Any normal person with even a small portion of common sense understands the concept of propaganda. When you consistently berate, condemn and ridicule your own side, the enemy takes notice and is strengthened and encouraged. Why? Because you have shown your weakness. All they have to do is hold out long enough and they believe we will cut and run.
Look what Sen. John Kerry's words and actions did to POW's and Viet Nam Vets. Mr. Jim Webb Jr. used to understand that. Kerry once again falsely accuses our Troops in REAL time and is enthusiastically embraced by Webb. What the heck is that? What happened? Politics happened. John Murtha, too, has turned on his own. They cry and whine "You can't criticize me! I'm a veteran! You haven't earned the right to criticize me!"
Whoa up there boys! I earned the right to criticize you the day I was born. I'm an American citizen and just like you I have the same THE SAME right to free speech. It isn't earned, it is a right. Unlike you bozos, I realize that there are consequences to my speech and actions and unlike you, I will accept responsiblity for them. If you can't handle that, exit stage left to China, Viet Nam or Cuba where they gleefully suppress dissent and torture is always an option.
Your words and actions put our Troops in harm's way. That is a fact no matter what motives you attribute to yourselves. If you can't see that it's because your ocular nerves are being compressed by hugely inflated egos constrained by your undersized craniums.
And by the way, this isn't about your patriotism as it is clear our definitions are not the same. I, for one, am questioning your motives, reasoning and at this point, your sanity.
There is a new game now brought about in part by the machinations of politicians, media and military bureaucrats. They are ruining honorable Marines and Corpsmen. They are ruining their reputations and bankrupting their families to prove what? That insurgents can make accusations and they must be listened to.
Look at what they've done to the Haditha Marines, the Hamdaniya Marines and others. All on hearsay. All to be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness. This is already having an effect on the ground in Iraq and will inevitably result in the loss of more American lives.
This Independence Day let us pray for our Troops deprived of their Freedom that they and their families will continue to find strength and comfort through the grace of God and that Justice will roll down like a mighty river. And let us get down on our knees and thank Him for all the good decent men and women in our Armed Forces who serve us so courageously and so well.
Here is a link to a video of a huge rally at the gates of Camp Pendleton and a Grandfather supporting his Grandson.
A list of the Hamdaniya Marines and links for defense funds:
Lance Cpl. Robert Pennington, of Mukilteo, Wash.
Pfc. John Jodka III of Encinitas, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Jerry Shumate Jr. of Matlock, Wash.
Cpl. Marshall L. Magincalda of Manteca, Calif.
Lance Cpl. Tyler A. Jackson of Oceanside, Calif.
Sgt. Lawrence G. Hutchins III of Plymouth, Mass.
Cpl. Trent D. Thomas of Oceanside, Calif.
Navy Hospitalman 3rd Class Melson J. Bacos of Franklin, Wisc.
Here's a summary of some information that is in the Department of Defense's May 2006 Measuring Stability and Security in Iraq report, each point is listed along with the page number on which the statistic can be found.
1.) Twelve provinces, containing more than 50% of the population, experienced only 6% of all attacks., pg. 3
2.) That is to say, that half the population never sees violence 94% of the time. Hardly sounds like a descent into chaos, does it?, pg. 3
3.) Far from being a madhouse of fighting, more than 80% of terrorist attacks were concentrated in just 4 of Iraq's 18 provinces., pg. 3
4.) On May 20, 2006 there was a successful Vote of Confidence for the new Prime Minister, his Cabinet, and his Program, pg. 2
5.) This Vote of Confidence was for the government created by the Dec 15, 2005 elections, in which 77% of the people voted., pg. 3
6.) The total number of Iraqi soldiers and police who have completed initial training and equipping is approximately 263,400, an increase of about 36,100 since the last report (Feb 06)., pg. 4
7.) As of May 2006 there were 268 Independent Newspapers and Magazines, 114 Commercial radio stations, and 54 Commercial television stations in Iraq. -graph, pg. 13
8.) There are only 800 qualified, independant judges in Iraq's legal system nationwide, with an estimated need for 1200. However 150 new judges will graduate from a two year training program in 2007, and 150 more judges will then begin the program, working steadily to provide Iraq with the qualified judges a robust legal system needs., pg. 13
9.) Hardly a month goes by without threats or acts of violence targeting judges, however security for judges has been enhanced (housing, security details, etc.) and now attacks on judges are down 47% from May 2005., pg. 14
10.) "The international donor community, apart from U.S. contributions, has pledged $13.5 billion in assistance, much of it in the form of low-interest loans; as of March 2006, more than $3.5 billion had been disbursed."-direct quote, pg. 17
11.) "The Iraqi government continues to make progress in reducing its external debt. Iraq’s high level of Saddam-era debt (approximately $125 billion) precluded it from borrowing abroad and levied an unmanageable burden on its economy. The agreement of Paris Club members (plus Korea) in November 2004 to reduce their claims on Iraq by 80%, combined with similar treatment from non-Paris Club creditors, will help bring Iraq’s debt to sustainable levels. Thus far, Iraq has qualified for a 60% reduction in Paris Club claims and will qualify for an additional 20% reduction after three years of successful performance under the Stand-By Arrangement and successor arrangements. As of May 2006, 17 of the 18 Paris Club creditors had signed such agreements."-direct quote, pg. 19
12.) "There is evidence Iraqi private sector activity continues to expand. U.S. Government agencies attempt to spur private sector activity with microfinance loans, bank lending to small- and medium-sized enterprises, capital market development, business skills development, vocational training, investment promotion, business center support, and creation of economic zones." -direct quote, pg. 22
13.) There were a total of about 34,000 newly registered businesses in Iraq by March 2006, up from a total of about 25,000 in March 2005. -graph, pg. 22
14.) "More than $1 billion in electricity projects have been completed. An additional $1.1 billion worth of projects will increase transmission stability and add 500 MW of generating capacity."- direct quote, pg. 24
15.) "..as of April 28, 2006, there were 6.4 million cellular telephone subscribers and 1.0 million landline connections. This reflects a 30% increase in cellular subscribers since the last report and more than a 200% increase in telephone access since the end of 2004." -direct quote, pg. 26
16.) In March 2006 there were 4578 actionable tips received from the population by Iraqi security forces. That's 10 times more calls that people were willing to make to the government than the same time a year ago (Mar 2005 had only 483 actionable tips) -graph, pg. 45
17.) "Through U.S. Government-funded water projects, large- and small-scale water treatment facilities have been rehabilitated or constructed, expanding access to potable water for an estimated 3 million people at a standard level of service. More projects planned or under way will provide access to clean water to an additional 5.4 million people at a standard level of service and will also improve the water supply for rural residents." -direct quote, pg. 27
18.) "More Iraqis have access to sewage collection and treatment today than in 2003. More than 5.1 million people have access to sewage service." -direct quote, pg. 27
Finally there's this long blurb about what kind of training the new Iraqi soldiers are receiving, it is well balanced and extensive:
19.) "The basic training system, consolidated under the command of the Iraqi Training Brigade, continues to develop, and training has continued apace. All three Iraqi Training Battalions are now formed and fully operational. This has significantly increased the Iraqis’ ability to train capable soldiers in sufficient quantities for force generation and replacement needs. New recruits continue to attend a 5-week program of instruction at the Kirkush Military Training Base and An-Numiniyah. Upon graduation, they receive additional specialty training. Depending on their military occupational skill assignment, the training varies from three to seven weeks. This specialized training develops infantry, armor, administration, communications, transportation, maintenance, and military police skills, among others. Other training initiatives, such as the Military Intelligence School, the Signal School, the Bomb Disposal School, the Combat Arms Branch School, the Engineer School, and the Military Police School, contribute to the professionalization of the Iraqi Army through teaching diverse soldier specialties necessary to conduct and sustain counter-insurgency operations." -direct quote, pg. 54
The second half of the report is all about the military situation in Iraq (pages 46-62). Who the enemy is (rejectionists, former regime loyalists, al qaida), what patterns their attacks have been trending to, and which enemy performs which actions. If you have an interest in a very detailed (and, of course, unclassified) view of the military situation in Iraq, read the second half of the report starting on page 46.
The last three pages address conditions for withdrawal, and basically say those conditions must not be based on any set timetable, but instead be a reaction to realities on the ground, otherwise ultimate success will be compromised.
In summary, the Report on Progress concludes with this lengthy excerpt:
20.) "Arbitrary deadlines or timetables for withdrawal of Coalition forces—divorced from conditions in Iraq and the region—would be a serious strategic error, as they would suggest to the terrorists, Saddamists, and Rejectionists that they can simply wait to win. No war has ever been won on a timetable, and neither will this one. Lack of a timetable, however, does not mean that the Coalition’s posture in Iraq is static. On the contrary, the Coalition continually adjusts its posture and approaches as conditions evolve and Iraqi capabilities grow.
As Iraqis take on more responsibility for security, Coalition forces will increasingly move to supporting roles in many areas.
As security conditions improve and as the Iraqi Security Forces become more capable of securing their own country, Coalition forces will move out of the cities, provide transition teams, reduce the number of bases from which they operate, and conduct fewer visible missions, but remain postured to assist. Although the Coalition military presence may become less visible, it will remain lethal and decisive, able to confront the enemy wherever it may gather and organize...
Coalition troop levels will increase if necessary to defeat the enemy or to provide additional security for key events, like the recent referendum and elections. But the goal, over time, is to reduce Coalition forces as Iraqis continue to take on more of the security and civilian responsibilities themselves. " -direct quote, pgs. 64,65
Saturday, July 01, 2006
Last three paragraphs:Today, a new generation of American patriots is defending our freedom against determined and ruthless enemies. At this hour, the men and women of our Armed Forces are facing danger in distant places, carrying out their missions with all the skill and honor we expect of them. And their families are enduring long separations from their loved ones with great courage and dignity. Our troops and our military families deserve all our support and gratitude, and on this 4th of July weekend, I ask every American to find a way to thank those who defend our freedom. To find out about efforts in your community, please visit the website AmericaSupportsYou.mil.Giving the Democrat's response was Mr. James Webb, Jr. I read it first and then listened to the audio and two words came to mind: vegan and buzzkill. He has a nice, manly speaking voice but no matter what part of the speech he was reading he only changed up or down on the last word of a sentence and spoke in the same mild tone whether relating his family history or dissing the President for playing politics with the War in Iraq. He complimented the dedication of our Armed Forces for their willingness to serve.
As we celebrate the 4th, we also remember that the promises of liberty contained in our Declaration apply to all people. Because Americans believe that freedom is an unalienable right, we value the freedom of every person in every nation. And because we are committed to the God-given worth of every life, we strive to promote respect for human dignity. Today, all who live in tyranny and all who yearn for freedom can know that America stands with them.
As citizens of this good Nation, we should be proud of our heritage, grateful for our liberty, and confident in our future. Two-hundred-and-thirty years after America declared its independence, the spirit of '76 lives on. And our Nation remains proud to carry freedom's torch. We still place our trust in the protections of divine providence. We still pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor to freedom's defense. And we still believe in the promise of freedom for all.
Thank you for listening.
Last three paragraphs: When our political leaders do not act wisely, our military people pay the price. I've been involved with the military all of my life - as a Marine, as a novelist, as a journalist, in Beirut when the Marines were there in 1983, and in Afghanistan two years ago, as an Assistant Secretary of Defense and as Secretary of the Navy. I've seen things work well, and I've seen things work badly. And through it all, I have believed strongly that when things aren't working well, it is the responsibility of our leaders to admit it, and to fix the problem. Some say that speaking out against a war is disloyal to the troops. Whoever says that should consider what it's like to be a troop, wishing someone would speak the truth.The I-Me-We factor for President Bush = 4, Mr. Webb = 20
As the occupation of Iraq has continued to drag on, some of our most distinguished retired generals, as well as many members of Congress with strong loyalties to our military, have suggested different approaches for America to remove itself from this quagmire. Rather than weighing these suggestions fairly as Americans, this Administration constantly chooses to play politics, dismissing well-intentioned concern with such trivial phrases as "cut and run." I'm reminded of another time, with a leader who truly understood war. In 1952 General Dwight Eisenhower, who had led us to victory in Europe in World War Two, strongly condemned the conduct of the Korean War as "an appalling failure." He claimed "the old Administration cannot be expected to repair what it failed to prevent." And he gave his pledge to "review and examine every course of action open to us with one goal in view: to bring the Korean War to an early and honorable end." And you know what? When he was elected President, he did that.
We need this kind of leadership today. I'm running for the Senate in the hope that I might bring a fresh voice, and an experienced set of eyes, onto the problems of our country. We need to redirect the efforts of our national security posture. We need to bring the Iraq War to an early and honorable end. We need to begin bringing troops home soon, as the first step toward a complete military pullout from that country. We must do this in order to free up our dedicated military people to fight the war we need to win – the war against international terrorism - and so that we can have the mobility to confront the other strategic challenges, such as the threat of an emerging China.
If I am elected, I will work toward those goals. And those who are serving our country will have no greater friend. I'm Jim Webb, from Virginia. Thanks for listening.
(We's and Our's relating to the nation or groups other than family are not counted)
Hat tip to FreeRepublic.com and Bearing Drift.