Monday, April 30, 2007

Death by 1000 cuts



Death by 1000 cuts
By Frank Antenori
April 29, 2007

The Chinese call it “ling chi” or the “lingering death.” First implemented in 960 A.D., the Chinese torture technique uses slow, shallow, slicing so as to not kill the victim. While no single cut is lethal, the combination of hundreds of small cuts eventually leads to death.

I could think of no better analogy than to describe what Gabrielle Giffords and the Democrats are doing to our country. Consumed by a vehement hatred of the President and a fundamental desire to reduce our country to a whimpering socialist state that mirrors the likes of France and Germany, the Democrats have been working feverishly to dismantle our military, strangle our economy and tax the living life’s blood out of every family in America.

Ms. Giffords, ran on what many would call a “moderate” platform. She talked tough on immigration, said she would fight terrorism, support our military, and promised she’d be “business friendly” and not raise your taxes. She evidently was successful in convincing 54% of voters in the last election that she wasn’t an “extreme liberal,” just your average tire changing “cuddly” pro-business moderate. I bet many are beginning to regret voting for her.

Since she left sleepy little Tucson for the marble halls of Congress, she has been nothing short of a poster girl for the far left. After 269 votes on the House floor, Giffords has voted lock step with Nancy Pelosi and the rest of the Democrat far left 98.52% of the time. Giffords is counting on no one noticing, and with a left wing media facilitating the “ling chi” by keeping many of her votes low key, she’s counting on it.

You see, the Democrats know that more than two-thirds of Americans do not support their socialist agenda. One need only look at the ’06 election and how the Democrats avoided the topics of tax increases, gun control, abortion, or cutting off funds for the war to realize the Dems are well aware they’ll squander their control of Congress if they go too far. So they’ve been quietly passing bills with tax increases, new restrictions on small business, controls on our military and federal law enforcement agencies, and expanding the welfare state.

Just three months into their majority, the Democrats’ 2008 proposed budget will impose the largest tax increase in history on American taxpayers—totaling nearly $400 billion over five years. Families with children, low-income families, and small businesses all would be hit with hundreds if not thousands of dollars in increased taxes. Every Arizona family with an income over $30,000 will pay more taxes.

If you’re one of 48 million married couples, the Dems want to punish you by reinstating the marriage penalty; an average increase of $2,899 more a year. If you’re an elderly couple on a fixed income, earning $40,000 a year, your taxes will go up by 156% in 2011, from $583 to $1,489 thanks to Giffords and her tax and spend liberal friends.

Why do they want to raise your taxes? Is it to cut the deficit like Giffords promised? Nope, it’s for billions of dollars of pork to facilitate their socialist agenda and pay back all of their special interest groups. You pay more taxes and some guy in Georgia gets a $74 Million check from the Dems to store his peanuts.

The latest polling showed only 9% of Americans support tax increases, 69% said they’d rather see government reduce spending (February 2007 PSRA/Pew Research Center poll). So much for the “will of the people” I guess, Ms. Giffords.

Giffords and the Democrats are hell bent on destroying and dismantling our military by withholding much needed funding. No matter how you spin it, the Dems are weakening our national security and putting our troops at risk.

In the military supplemental funding the President asked for is a $3 Billion request for Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Vehicles. Commanders in Iraq and Afghanistan are clamoring for the vehicles because they have reduced American casualties by 70% since they’ve been fielded. As of yet, not a single U.S. Troop has been killed while riding in an MRAP. Because of the little political stunt being played by the Democrats, for every week the supplemental is not approved dozens of Americans will be killed or wounded because of the delay in purchasing these vehicles.

I want to know Ms. Giffords are you really concerned about the troops? As far as I’m concerned, you don’t care. You’d rather lick the heels of Nancy Pelosi and the anti-war left than ensure our troops have what they need to ensure they come home alive and in one piece.

Just last week while Giffords and her friends played politics with American lives, two units assigned to Fort Huachuca's 11th Signal Brigade, the 269th Signal Company and Headquarters Detachment - 504th Signal Battalion, were deactivated and their 200 soldiers reassigned elsewhere. Giffords promised during the campaign to protect Davis-Monthan and Ft. Huachuca from potential Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC). I’ve been involved with the BRAC commission in the past. You don’t secure the livelihood of a base by letting soldiers and units be reassigned somewhere else. You protect the base from the BRAC by getting soldiers, and new missions assigned TO the base. Wake up Sierra Vista, that cute little Congresswoman you voted for is about to flush your economy down the drain.

Giffords and her colleagues are also sending a message to our enemies that we’ve lost the war, that we can’t win, that they are cutting off funding to our troops in the field to force a withdrawal (surrender). The Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion has implored Democrats to “Set aside troop withdrawal language and get our troops the funding they need. Artificial troop withdrawal deadlines would ultimately break the morale of our troops in the field and directly jeopardize their safety.” I guess Giffords knows better than several million veterans because she once again voted to play political football with our troops by attaching a mandatory timeline to the emergency funding bill.

Another little tidbit the media failed to mention was that the day after her vote the local price for a gallon of gas jumped ten cents from $2.77 to $2.87. Did anyone notice how quiet the Democrats have gotten when it comes to gas prices? Gas has risen twenty-four cents since the Democrats first voted to hog tie our troops and almost eighty cents since they took control of Congress. All of a sudden you don’t hear a peep out of the media.

I won’t even get started on what Giffords is doing for “immigration reform” because I’m still trying to figure out what allowing illegal immigrants and their children to attend state universities and pay in state tuition has to do with securing the border, but whatever it is, Giffords is all for it.

She’s also for legislation to “defund” some of the most effective border security efforts, put restrictions on the Border Patrol, give welfare benefits to illegals and allow “chain migration” and she also supports Federal legislation that will overturn Arizona’s Prop 200.

We’re not even a quarter of the way through Giffords’ first term. She’s got nineteen more months to keep slicing and dicing the taxpayers, the military, small business, and national security.

Better stock up on those bandages and call for a medic. I can only imagine what the next 19 months has is store.

Frank Antenori is a retired Special Forces Soldier and veteran of Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq. He is also a former candidate for the Republican nomination for Congress in Congressional District Eight.

16 comments:

Anonymous said...

is there an email address for tips?

Sirocco said...

I suspect the first poster left her emaill address by accident. If Framer or Ace sees this, you might consider cutting and pasting her reponse into another post and deleting her first one.

Framer said...

Pinkiris said. . .

Fantastic analysis. If only we had a bigger media outlet, they would be storming the castle!

Pinkiris

Good catch Sirocco.

Framer said...

Yes, we do have an address for tips, ideas, complaints, and inquiries. . .

arizonaeighth @ yahoo.com.

Anonymous said...

Great as usual Frank! Giffords does show a funny way of protecting Huachuca by allowing 200 soldiers to be deployed elsewhere. It's like in Monty Python and the Holy Grail where one knight wants to confuse the killer rabbit by running away. "Sire, could we protect the base by giving away a couple hundred billets?" "Shut up and go change your armor" She sure did say that she was going to protect the base, well, she's certainly protecting it...from our own troops.

Sirocco said...

Sigh ... I initially held off on responding to this post, but I am bored this morning, so what the hell.

Regarding votes, about the only to agenda items which have come up with have been at all controversial are immigration policy matters and timelines on the spending bills. In both cases, Giffords' votes have reflected not only the majority view of the country but the majority view of the district.

(Recent polling indicating 64% nationally favor timelines attached to the supplemental spending bill. In AZ the figure was 51%. On immigration, polling last October showed a narrow percentage favored her approach regarding immigration, although it was within the margin of error.)

Frank tries to obfuscate this by discussing "cutting funds", but that's not what the bill before the President today would do. When the President vetos it this afternoon he really _will_ be effectively "cutting funds".

On just about any other vote passed so far (which includes a lot of things like naming libraries) it's not at all "controversial" that she voted with Pelosi or anyone else.

Regarding cutting goverment spending, probably the fastest way to do it would be to get out of Iraq -- there's what, $100 billion or so saved right off the top?

Anyhow, the "tax increase" will largely come from rollback of the cuts in capital gains, dividend and estate taxes implemented by the Bush admnistration, and so, despite the numbers you cite, will rest largely upon the wealthy. Also, non-defense, non-emergancy spending will only account for $22.5 billion next year, increasing by 2.4% a year for three years (according to Robert Novak).

That $400 billion figure is over 5 years. Let's extend the 2.4% annual increase on discretionary spending for a 5th year as well, and then do some math. That eqates to a toal of $118 billion over 5 years in increased government spending. The rest, $282 billion, would be used for emergencies (like Katrina), defense (like President Bush's war) or, yes, paying off the deficit this administration has catastrophically built up.

"Tax and spend" may not be idea, but it's a lot better than "don't tax and spend anyway", which seems to be the current Republican party philosophy, despite bromides implying otherwise. There is a reason Dems are seen as more fiscally responsible than Repubs, and by a wide margin.

Regarding Fort Huachuca's continued presence, the biggest threat is likely to be water usage. The base is under court order to reduce it's water usage significantly, and having those 200 people leave can only help in that regard. Sometimes you have to give up a little now to gain in the long term.

I'd keep going, but I have a meeting in two minutes. Suffice to say, am am _not_ in the "great analysis" camp. :P

x4mr said...

Wow, Sirocco, you're good.

I have little to add except to echo that none of her votes thus far have been particularly surprising.

I completely reject the application of the general trends directly to Giffords shoulders. I think the entire post could have been written with a picture of just about any democrat in the House right now.

The notion of democrats spending more than republicans has become side splitting laughable, and I concur that tax and spend is more palatable than borrow and spend. Bush I put us, what, $4 trillion into debt. Bush II will get us to $10 trillion at least. We'll need 20 years of Clinton's to dig us out of this hole.

I guess I will just add my opinion that corruption and lying is taking front and center stage, and it is going to crucify the republicans in 2008. From Tenet to Tillman to Plame to Abramoff to Gonzales......

Giffords is a newbie learning the ropes and meeting LOTS of people and making LOTS of connections. Bee will be more formidable than Graf, but he will still lose.

By the way, what do the AZ 8 guys think about STRIVE? I understand Giffords is FOR it.

Anonymous said...

Sirocco

Regarding this comment of yours

"Anyhow, the "tax increase" will largely come from rollback of the cuts in capital gains, dividend and estate taxes implemented by the Bush admnistration, "

Well, well, the cows have finally come home on that logic. 15 years ago when the Republican Congress reduced the rate of increase on social spending, they were accused of "cutting social programs". They didn't "cut" them, they just lowered the annual rate of increase. So now when Democrats roll back tax cuts you try to say that they are not increasing taxes. You Democrats can't have it both ways. If one was a cut then the other's an increase.

Won't even touch the "cutting soldiers from Fort Huachuca saves the base by lowering water usage" line of thought. That's just preposterous. If that's the case, then ship 'em all out and you'll solve the problem completely and have the military equivalent of Monty Python's cheese shop. "It's the cleanest in the district sir". "Well, it's certainly uncontaminated by cheese".

Sirocco said...

Anon,

I don't see your logic regarding the terminology. There actualyl isn't an inconsistency. Regardless, you can call them tax increases if you like -- my primary point was in regards to where the largest burden of increased tax revenue would lie.

Regarding base issues, obviously taken to an extreme it would be absurd. However, in the next few years at least Huachuca is _much_ more likely to be closed as a result of ongoing water issues than over the loss of 200 positions at the base.

Anonymous said...

Sirocco

If the water issue becomes a factor for the base, it will soon thereafter become an issue for the Sierra Vista. The Fort has dramatically cut it's water use and modernized its water distribution system.

The point I was trying to make is that you don't want the Fort lose ANY missions, you want them to gain missions. The current Congresswoman promised to protect the bases (DM and Fort Huachuca) and a few months into her term this happens and there's been not one peep from her on it. You don't protect bases by allowing the loss of missions. It's that simple. This is a very important issue for CD8 and little things like losing missions here and there add up. She's not following up on her promise here.

She's not working on getting us water, she's working on getting us solar power. We've got plenty of juice, we need H2O. It's a big, big issue.

She did vote to take away the secret ballot process for union organizers. Is this one of the "non controversial votes" you cite? Arizona is a big Independent voter state and right to work state...how does that reflect the "majority view of the district"? It doesn't.

Now for you x4mr, your comment about corruption taking center stage, yes it sure is...with Diane Feinstein participating in decisions that resulted in $1.5 billion in appropritions going to her husband's businesses. Yes, I agree that corruption is rampant. You think she's going to resign?

As George Costanza said, "we've got to deal with the doubt".

x4mr said...

Will keep my remarks brief, and just note that, agreed, the hanky panky spreads throughout the place. I think it is systemic and won't even pretend the blue participates in building bacon. Still, will stand by my assertion that the corruption outrage in the next 18 months will land far more against red than blue, and solid data and examples are forthcoming and with heat.

The arrogance of certain GOP members got so thick that they even boasted of stuffing the bills with piles of pork, and this is on email and video.

In 2008, it will be about Iraq, the deficit, and corruption. All nightmares.

Sirocco said...

Anon,

I disagreed with the vote regarding secret ballots for union voting as well. Of course, it wasn't one I cited as "representing the majority view of the district", as you are more than capable of distinguishing from what I posted.

... and yeah, that's not an issue that rises to the level of the funding vote or immigration in terms of "controversial".

I fully understand you don't want a base to lose missions. Gaining is preferable. In an ideal world that's what would happen.

On other other hand, losing 200 people is not going to be a make-or-break for keeping the base or losing it, at least not in the near term. The water issues are a much bigger matter.

Now, if the base _continues_ to lose missions and personnel, that may change.

Anonymous said...

Don't mean to nitpick but you said "about the only to agenda items which have come up with have been at all controversial are immigration policy matters and timelines on the spending bills". The union secret ballot vote was quite controvesial. It was a vote that was squarely opposed to her constituents but right in line with her union donors wishes. Gabrielle Giffords is representing special interests...exactly what she decried during the election. Actions don't match words in this instance.

Gabrielle Giffords said she'd fight for DM and Fort Huachuca. She didn't on this reduction. Actions don't match words in this instance. Losing 200 people is a big deal. The multiplier effect of those salaries in the community, the fact that the next 200 is now momentum. She can't get a free pass on this.

Sirocco said...

Anon,

I disagree as to the level of controversy about that vote, but c'est la vie, it's not worth arguing (from my point of view, anyhow).

Sometimes representatives vote in ways that are against the majority views of their district. That happens. The majority is no always "right", or sometimes the representative simply has strongly held views that differ. Do it often enough, and they'll be voted out of office.

I don't think Giffords can or should get a "free ride" on the base matter. Losing 200 people _is_ a lot of jobs, a lot of families gone, etc. She should be (and will be) grilled about it come the next election.

However, in the current scheme of things I still don't see losing those jobs to be the biggest danger in terms of having Huachuca closed. I already conceded that if, in fact, this turns out to simply be the first of many my views on the matter would change.

Anonymous said...

I can't remember reading any article so full of distortions, lies and bullshit in my life.

how to reduce water usage said...

Death by a thousand cuts' is one of the names by which the Chinese method of execution of lingchi (凌遲) is known. While it does not literally involve a thousand cuts, it certainly is horrific -- and captures the imagination. In their book Timothy Brook, Jérôme Bourgon, and Gregory Blue describe what's actually involved, the use of this particular death-penalty in China over the centuries, and, especially, Western misperceptions about it.
The last lingchi execution took place in 1905, but Europeans managed to take photographs of several examples of the gruesome practice before it was put to a stop, making for graphic illustrations that readily helped reinforce Western preconceptions of Eastern barbarism. (Several of the pictures are included in the book.) But Death by a Thousand Cuts tries to put the practice in perspective -- and it is, in fact, hardly more horrific than some of the forms of execution employed in Europe (though the transition to what was perceived as more humane ways of executing people took place earlier in Europe (and America)).
Lingchi was considered the second most severe form of the death penalty and, significantly, its horror-value came not from the suffering felt during the process but rather the end-result. Death was generally not a drawn-out, lingering process: after a few strategic slices of the condemned body his heart was apparently pierced, the actual many cuts and dismemberment taking place only after death. But it was this -- the taking apart of the body by cutting it into small pieces -- that was the actual punishment: by denying the condemned 'somatic integrity' the condemned's hopes for any sort of afterlife were destroyed. It was the worst thing that could be done to someone -- and hence also the most severe form of the death penalty took this to the extreme, calling for the body to be literally pulverised.