Friday, September 7, 2007

Traitors.

I just finished reading the transcript of the new Bin Laden Tape. I have to write about my disgust for the two soldiers that he quoted. Apparently, two soldiers with the 2nd Infantry division, Corporal Joshua Lake and Specialist Michael Vassell, decided that they were going to get a little loose with their tongues to a foreign national, who happened to also be a reporter. During their interview, they said the following:

"We got grenades going off. We've got an IED blowing up your vehicle. And then you're expected to go back in those four to six, four to five hours and get, and relax to come back out and do another six hours," Lake said. "You don't have time, you just don't have time to do it."

"Because we have people up there in Congress with the brain of a 2-year-old who don't know what they're doing. They don't experience it," Vassell said. "I, I challenge the President or whoever has us here for 15 months to ride along, alongside me. I'll do another 15 months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day for 15 months. I'll do 15 more months. No, I - they don't even have to pay me extra."

Bin Laden goes on to quote them and use their testimony to further his cause. As a former Petty Officer in the United States Navy, I have the following to say:

Uniform Code of Military Justice, Sub-chapter X, Punitive Articles

888. ART. 88. CONTEMPT TOWARD OFFICIALS

Any commissioned officer who uses contemptuous words against the President, the Vice President, Congress, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of a military department, the Secretary of Transportation, or the Governor or legislature of any State, Territory, Commonwealth, or possession in which he is on duty or present shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

892. ART. 92. FAILURE TO OBEY ORDER OR REGULATION

Any person subject to this chapter who--

(1) violates or fails to obey any lawful general order or regulation;

(2) having knowledge of any other lawful order issued by any member of the armed forces, which it is his duty to obey, fails to obey the order; or

(3) is derelict in the performance of his duties;

shall be punished as a court-martial may direct.

904. ART. 104. AIDING THE ENEMY

Any person who--

(1) aids, or attempts to aid, the enemy with arms, ammunition, supplies, money, or other things; or

(2) without proper authority, knowingly harbors or protects or gives intelligence to or communicates or corresponds with or holds any intercourse with the enemy, either directly or indirectly;

shall suffer death or such other punishment as a court-martial or military commission may direct.

934. ART. 134. GENERAL ARTICLE

Though not specifically mentioned in this chapter, all disorders and neglects to the prejudice of good order and discipline in the armed forces, all conduct of a nature to bring discredit upon the armed forces, and crimes and offenses not capital, of which persons subject to this chapter may be guilty, shall be taken cognizance of by a general, special or summary court-martial, according to the nature and degree of the offense, and shall be punished at the discretion of that court.

Were I his superior, I would write up charges and read them their rights.

Loose lips sink ships.

Mr. Thompson Speaks Out About Osama

“Apparently, Osama bin Laden has crawled out of his cave long enough to send another video, and he is getting a lot of attention and ought to be caught and killed.

“We also need to understand that when he is caught and killed, somebody will replace him.

“We like to personalize things in this country, sometimes a little too much. Somebody will replace him. He represents the fact that we are in a global conflict and are going to be for some time.

“The most important part of how we deal with that has to deal with the resolution of the American people and political leaders.”

Mr. Thompson said this while on the road in Iowa, and I would like to credit his website, http://fredfile.fred08.com/2007/on-the-road-freds-statement-on-osama-bin-laden-from-mason-city-iowa/#comment-8987 for supplying the quote.

I would like to add my voice to his:



I have to absolutely agree with Mr. Thompson. Unless we as a country can demonstrate that we have the guts to stick out this idealogical struggle against barbarism and savagery until it is through, we will fail, and the world will become a dark place.

So, when are we through? Lord willing, there will be a day when we can relax a little, breathe a little easier, and tell our children about the challenges our generation faced. However, it is more likely that we will continue this struggle, and pass it on to our children. If history teaches us anything, its that the forces of evil men are constantly trying to erode the borders of civilization.

We cannot for a minute let down our guard. We cannot for a minute allow the enemy to gain the momentum. We must gain and stay in control of the struggle, or we will lose that which we hold most dear–our freedom.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Social Security Reform

At work, this evening, a group of us were discussing Fred Thompson's recent announcement to run for POTUS. His announcement, from his website, can be found here: http://www.fred08.com/index.aspx

Somewhere in there, and while long, I found it a worthwhile clip to view, Mr. Thompson talks about the necessity of reforming Social Security. Now, we all know that this has been nearly a taboo subject for most politicians for many years. Even suggesting that Social Security be done away with or changed has been tantamount to political suicide.

Mr. Thompson doesn't say in this clip how he would change Social Security, though I hope details are forthcoming. At work, however, we definitely discussed it, and at some points the discussion got quite heated.

The view one of my coworkers put forth was that we should just keep paying Social Security to the people already receiving benefits, and everyone else would just be out of luck. He said just consider the amount of money you have already paid in as a tax. He went on to explain that since the Social Security pool was essentially a miscellaneous government petty cash fund these days, we couldn't live without the revenue. He went on to suggest that the country would go bankrupt if it had to continue to pay Social Security.

I agree with him that Social Security need to be ended. Now, that's in a large part because I think that it is a system that even at its inception was designed to tax our children for our prosperity (talk about taxation without representation!), and that it exceeds the federal government's mandate, as described in the constitution--I do not believe that it is the government's responsibility to provide for you in your old age. I think that's your job, or hey, maybe we should foster a culture in our country that values older family members instead of shipping them off to some "retirement" home (reminiscent of a Soilent Green processing facility)-but I digress.

I didn't like what I was hearing from him. I, for instance, have already been paying into Social Security for the past 18 or 19 years. Now, when the government began taking that money out of my checks, it was on the clear understanding that if I became permanently disabled, or if I managed to make it to retirement age without climbing a bell tower and taking out some hippies--only to go out in a hail of gunfire (beats those old folks homes!), I would be rewarded for my lifetime of hard work with a guaranteed return on my investment in my government.

I think that the government does have an obligation to continue its payments to people already receiving SS benefits. I think the government has an obligation to people within, say, 10 years of retirement, who have been counting on SS as part of their retirement plans. I think that they too should receive their promised benefits.

Now, people who aren't yet putting into the debacle known as Social Security, won't be required to start paying into it, under my plan. Nor would the be able to if they wanted. And people like myself, who have contributed for years, would be the only ones to take any kind of loss on this. I would have people in my situation get their money back. That simple. I know it would essentially have been an interest free loan to the government, but hey, I do that every year when I receive an income tax return.

This would be expensive. I understand this. Perhaps it could be broken down by age, with cash rewards being made to people who are of a certain age, and issuing younger taxpayers some kind of government bond for the money. As my generation represents roughly a 15% decline in the population, that may work fairly well, while the Boomers who were counting on it for retirement would still be either fully or partially compensated. It would help defer the cost over many years.

That being said, I think the other way to ensure we can pay for it would be for Mr. Government Man to tighten his belt and curb his voracious appetite for spending Mr. and Mrs. John Q. Public's hard earned dollars. Social programs are the realm of states and municipalities, not the federal government. Read the operating manual.

Anyhow, that's pretty much what I propose. How would you change Social Security. Or would you?

Craig, the Sin-ator

So, this senator, Craig, from the great state that brings you potatoes and nuclear power research gets caught in the bathroom tappin' toes with an undercover officer.

While this sounds like the intro to a joke, the comedy doesn't begin until he starts trying to fight his conviction, declare that he isn't gay, and tries to retract his declaration that he will do the honorable thing and resign.

I don't think that Sin-ator Craig understands that even if he fights and manages to get his conviction overturned (which could only pretty much happen on a technicality), America is still convinced of his guilt. So, pretty much what I'm getting at, Mr. Craig, is that even if you are found to be legally absolved of this, that even if you aren't "gay" and weren't soliciting gay sex in the bathroom of an airport (man--and I thought the hassle you got in the security lines was bad, but The Man is hassling us in the john now? heheh, john.) I'm afraid that we in the Public, have decided your guilt.

And about the whole gay thing. If you like the cock, I have news for you, Sinator, you're gay. Perhaps they didn't cover that during Senate Orientation Day, but this includes Congressional Pages, as well as undercover police officers. Nowadays, times being what they are, you probably would have done better just to admit you like taking it from a dude. The Public would have been kinder.

Of course, for them to just forget about you and let you slip into anominity, you would have had fallen on your sword, like you promised. You would have slipped quietly into the back pages of the newspapers as just another morally corrupt politician. Your retraction of your promise to resign is not only dishonorable, but repulsive.

You are a man in High Office, and as such, you are expected to demonstrate a level of integrity that I would be proud to use as an example to my son. If our leaders cannot be role models to our children, they have no business being our leaders. You apparently have no integrity, and in my opinion, are not deserving of the sacred trust the voters of Idaho have given you.

It is not your closeted homosexuality that offends me. It is your lack of integrity. You are an example of what is wrong in government today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Norman Hsu in the news

I have to admit that I wasn't shocked to hear about the campaign finance scandal that is plaguing The Ice Queen's (Hillary's) efforts. With a little warning about Hsu, she could have avoided all this bad press. If she had only heard this story about him that ran recently in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Norman Hsu recently defaulted on a bid to buy the embattled Pennsylvania Turnpike. In a private bidding war, Hsu was able to submit the winning bid of just over 535 million dollars, this past Thursday, under an assumed name sources claim. After the winning bid was announced, the search was on for the buyer. After days of pouring through records, they finally were able to answer who had won the bid. So if you were wondering for whom the toll sells, it sells to Hsu.

Okay, I made that up. The PPG would never publish that. :)

Raise those young'ins right.

It is important to keep in mind that we are our children's best example of what it means to be an American. I know it's just one more thing for us to do as parents: make the lunches, drive them to soccer practice, prevent them from turning out Democrat--and now add to that we are supposed to make them good citizens too?!?! Sheesh. Shoulda raised German Shepherds, right?

Well, help is here. You can make the start by teaching your child The Pledge of Allegiance. In case you have forgotten it since 7th grade (though in my experience, those of you readers who have been out of 7th grade an appreciable amount of time probably will never forget it) here it is:

Recite by standing at attention facing the flag with the right hand over the heart. When not in uniform men should remove their headdress with their right hand and hold it at the left shoulder, the hand being over the heart. Persons in uniform should remain silent, face the flag, and render the military salute.

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible with liberty and justice for all. (Title 4 USC)

Our First Post...

Welcome to Too Much Liberty. This should be fun.