Wednesday, June 11, 2008


Mind the whiplash, we're about to switch voices and topics again (sorry, still haven't had time to organize this mess...)

There's an article on BBC news here alleging that $23 billion dollars has been misused, stolen or "just not properly accounted for" in Iraq.

$23 billion.

I'm trying to understand that number in a reasonable way but it's simply too large.

$23 billion.

Apparently there's what the BBC is calling a "gagging order" (which I think is a lovely phrase and far more interesting than gag order. I quite like the idea but mostly if it's applied to the people perpetrating the fraud - "Oi! You! GAG!!") which means 70 court cases cannot even be discussed.

70 court cases of fraud.


There are some frightening numbers being flung around here aren't there?

Keep in mind that the government that has apparently happily tossed around $23 billion that it's (also apparently) not terribly concerned about finding again is the same government that did not follow its own laws to ensure that contractors working in the area were properly protected.

I wonder how much that would have cost?


wheelsonthebus said...

You sound angry. I wonder why...

Anonymous said...

I'm scared now... Oh uummmm, can you tell the Childs 1, 2, and 3 I said hello? Pleasssse.? - Cadet

Charmed said...

Just got this in e-mail form today (sorry it's long!)

How many zeros in a billion?

This is too true to be funny.

The next time you hear a politician use the word 'billion' in a casual manner,think about
whether you want the 'politicians' spending YOUR tax money.

A billion is a difficult number to comprehend,but one advertising agency did a good job of putting that figure into some perspective in one of it's releases.

A billion seconds ago it was 1959.

A billion minutes ago Jesus was alive.

A billion hours ago our ancestors were living in the Stone Age.

A billion days ago no-one walked on the earth on two feet.

A billion dollars ago was only
8 hours and 20 minutes,
at the rate our government
is spending it. While this thought is still fresh in our brain...
let's take a look at New Orleans ...
It's amazing what you can learn with some simple division.

Louisiana Senator,
Mary Landrieu (D)
is presently asking Congress for
to rebuild New Orleans . Interesting number...
what does it mean?

Well... if you are one of the 484,674 residents of New Orleans
(every man, woman, and child)
you each get $516,528.

Or... if you have one of the 188,251 homes in
New Orleans , your home gets $1,329,787.

Or... if you are a family of four...
your family gets $2,066,012.

Washington, D. C
< HELLO! >
Are all your calculators broken??

Accounts Receivable Tax
Building Permit Tax
CDL License Tax
Cigarette Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Dog License Tax
Federal Income Tax < BR>Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Fishing License Tax
Food License Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Gasoline Tax
Hunting License Tax
Inheritance Tax
Inventory Tax
IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Marriage License Tax
Medicare Tax
Property Tax
Real Estate Tax
Service charge taxes
Social Security Tax
Road Usage Tax (Truckers)
Sales Taxes
Recreational Vehicle Tax
School Tax
State Income Tax
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Tax
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Recurring and Non-recurring Charges Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Utility Tax
Vehicle License Registration Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Well Permit Tax
Workers Compensation Tax


Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago...
and our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt...
We had the largest middle class in the world...
and Mom stayed home to raise the kids.

What happened?
Can you spell 'politicians!'

child 2 said...

maybe they were using it for spec ops? they might be keeping it quiet to protect their guys out there. maybe it's being used for search and rescue missions?

pam sprecacenere said...

I instantly recongnized your always contageous sense of humor after googling you while remembering our days in Wildflecken, Germany in 1990-91 when I was pregnant with my firstborn (Alley - now 17!)and - at my baby shower for her - you gave me the lovely book (still have it!) "Days of Dreams and Laughter".

I remember once we were digging through the Germans' trash and you found a basket WITH NO BOTTOM IN IT and - through BELLY LAUGHING - said "oh well! it's old! they do that!" and quickly found some use for it! Hahahahha!

I remember Kirk with great fondness as I do YOU! I remember child #1 rocking in a tiny chair we had while chanting "rocky-rocky-rocky!" and your pregnancy with child #2 and then #3!

I remember in Texas your handpainting the signs for my little store (still have them and the wooden drawer knobs you handpainted to resemble bits of quilts (still have them on my antique pie safe!)

I remember visiting you all at your parent's house in NM after moving back to the states! Still have the photos of that trip with the kids bundled up in snow gear!

I have thought of you all often over the past couple of decades as I remember that time in Germany as one of great discovery and independance on the brink of parenthood for the very first time! I've since been blessed with a son who will turn 12 next month and identical twin girls who will be 11 in Sept.

I would love to hear from you!!!

Pam (formerly Fuller) in Florida

For Kirk said...

Wheels - yes... just a little! Actually what really makes me angry is that after Kirk went missing, after it should have been clear that there were problems with how contractors were being dealt with they still didn't change anything so other families are facing all of this stuff when they shouldn't be. It's never going to be fixed for us, I accepted that ages ago, but it should have been fixed for other people and honestly I have no sense that it has been even now.

cadet - yes it is scary! And I passed along the message. Child 3 is at camp now, Child 2 is house-sitting and Child 3 is working but they all said hello back with enthusiasm.

Charmed - thank you for that! Billion is so huge a number it's hard to wrap my head around it and I find those comparisons really, really useful. $250 billion?? Geebuss...

Child 2 - Ummmm... I doubt it. Much of it apparently went right into the pocket of the Iraqi defense minister who is now on the run with his private jet...

Pam - HI! I was just thinking of you the other day. I remember that basket as well. It was a grape basket and you pulled it out, looked at the missing bottom and said, "but it's so STURDY!" Junking in Germany... good times! Please feel free to email me at Hope all of you guys are doing well - very strange to think of Alley as 17!