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Romanos III Argyros

Romanos III Argyros, or Romanus III Argyrus, was Byzantine emperor from 15 November 1028 until his death. He was a Byzantine noble and senior official in Constantinople when the dying Constantine VIII forced him to divorce his wife and marry the emperor's daughter Zoë. Upon Constantine's death three days Romanos took the throne. Romanos has been recorded as a ineffective emperor, he disorganised the tax system and undermined the military leading a disastrous military expedition against Aleppo. He fell out with his wife and foiled several attempts on his throne, including two which revolved around his sister-in-law Theodora, he spent large amounts on the repair of churches and monasteries. He died after six years on the throne murdered, was succeeded by his wife's young lover, Michael IV. Romanos Argyros, born in 968, was the son of an unnamed member of the Argyros family; this may have been either Pothos Argyros who defeated a Magyar raid in 958, or Eustathios Argyros, known only for commissioning a poem in honour of Romanos II in 950.

Romanos' grandfather was the son of another Romanos Argyros, who had married Agatha, a daughter of Emperor Romanos I Lekapenos. Romanos had several siblings: Basil Argyros, who served as general and governor under Basil II, he served with the rank of protospatharios. In this capacity he persecuted heretics at Akmoneia, he was promoted to the post of quaestor and became one of the judges of the Hippodrome, the High Court of the Empire. In this role he is mentioned in the Peira, a compendium of legal decisions compiled by the noted jurist Eustathios Rhomaios, he was promoted further to the rank of patrikios and the post of oikonomos of the Great Church, while continuing to preside over the High Court. Under Emperor Constantine VIII he held the post of urban prefect of Constantinople, which made him the formal head of the Senate and one of the emperor's chief lieutenants. Late in 1028, Constantine VIII lay on his deathbed. Wishing to secure the Macedonian dynasty, but having no son, he summoned Constantine Dalassenos from Antioch to marry his oldest daughter, Zoë.

Dalassenos, the doux of Antioch was an experienced military commander, influential patrician, unswervingly loyal to the ruling house. The emperor's advisors preferred not to have a strong military figure as the new emperor, persuaded the Emperor to choose Romanos instead, as a more pliable and less travelled candidate. Constantine VIII forced Romanos to marry Zoë, aged 50 at the time; the marriage took place on 12 November 1028, three days Constantine VIII died, leaving Romanos III as emperor. The new emperor was eager to make his mark as a ruler, but was ineffectual in his enterprises, he idealised Marcus Aurelius, aspiring to be a new philosopher king, sought to imitate the military prowess of Trajan. He spent large sums in endowing churches and monasteries, he endeavoured to relieve the pressure of taxation on the aristocracy, which undermined the finances of the state. Previous emperors had attempted to control the privileges of the nobles over the common people. Coming from the aristocracy himself, Romanos III abandoned this policy.

This failure to stand up to the aristocrats allowed them to exploit the rural mass of landed peasantry, who fell into a condition of serfdom. This in turn undermined the traditional recruiting base of the Byzantine army; the combination of a reduced tax base and fewer native-born troops had long-term consequences. As revenue declined, the subsequent impoverishment of the state weakened the military's recruitment power still further. In 1030 he resolved to lead an army in person against the Mirdasids of Aleppo, despite their having accepted the Byzantines as overlords, with disastrous results; the army camped at a waterless site and its scouts were ambushed. An attack by the Byzantine cavalry was defeated; that night Romanos held an imperial council at which the demoralised Byzantines resolved to abandon the campaign and return to Byzantine territory. Romanos ordered his siege engines to be burned. On 10 August 1030 the army made for Antioch. Discipline broke down in the Byzantine army, with Armenian mercenaries using the withdrawal as an opportunity to pillage the camp's stores.

The Emir of Aleppo launched the imperial army broke and fled. Only the imperial bodyguard, the Hetaireia, held firm. Accounts vary on the battle losses: John Skylitzes wrote that the Byzantines suffered a "terrible rout" and that some troops were killed in a chaotic stampede by their fellow soldiers, Yahya of Antioch wrote that the Byzantines suffered remarkably few casualties. According to Yahya, two high ranking Byzantine officers were among the fatalities, another officer was captured by the Arabs. After this defeat the army became a "laughing-stock". Despite his victory, the Emir of Aleppo opened negotiations and signed a treaty that made Aleppo an Imperial tributary and allowed for a Greek governor to preside over the cit

Citizens Against Government Waste

Citizens Against Government Waste is a 501 non-profit organization in the United States. It functions as a think-tank, "government watchdog" and advocacy group for fiscally conservative causes; the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of CAGW, organized as a section 501 organization and therefore is permitted to engage in direct lobbying activities. According to its web site, "CAGW is a private, non-partisan, non-profit organization representing more than one million members and supporters nationwide. CAGW's stated mission is to eliminate waste and inefficiency in the federal government." Located in Washington, DC, CAGW was founded in 1984 by industrialist J. Peter Grace and syndicated columnist Jack Anderson. Peter Grace was chairman of President Ronald Reagan's Grace Commission or President's Private Sector Survey on Cost Control. Thomas A. Schatz has been president since 1992. CAGW produces a number of publications critical of; the Congressional Pig Book Summary is an annual list of their sponsors.

The 2008 Pig Book identified 10,610 projects in the 11 appropriations bills that constitute the discretionary portion of the federal budget for fiscal 2008, costing taxpayers $17.2 billion. Related publications include Prime Cuts, a list of recommendations for eliminating waste in the federal government and Porker of the Month, a monthly press release. Since 1989, the CCAGW has examined congressional roll-call votes to determine which members of Congress are voting in what they view as the interest of taxpayers. CAGW makes public what legislators are engaging in "pork-barrel" spending based on'key' votes for each congressional session. CAGW and CCAGW seek to influence public policy through public education and mobilization for email- and letter-writing campaigns. CAGW claims to have helped save taxpayers $944 billion through its campaigns. CAGW was one of the critics of the 2001 $23.5 billion Air Force plan to lease and buy 100 refueling tankers from Boeing Co. Congress squashed the plan after it was revealed that an Air Force official inflated the price in exchange for an executive job at Boeing.

CAGW was a critic of Sen. John Thune and his efforts to secure a $2.3 billion federal loan for a railroad company that once employed him as a lobbyist. The Federal Railroad Administration cited an "unacceptably high risk to taxpayers" in denying the loan to the Dakota and Eastern Railroad in 2007. CAGW named Christopher Dodd its June 2008 Porker of the Month for accepting a preferential mortgage deal from Countrywide Financial which stood to benefit from a mortgage bailout bill he was pushing through Congress. In 2003, CAGW put out a press release opposed to what it called the "Freeware Initiative" in the State of Massachusetts, which it claimed would have required "that all IT expenditures in 2004 and 2005 be made on an open-source/Linux format."Responding to the press release, the state's secretary for administration and finance, Eric Kriss, denied the existence of a'Freeware Initiative' and said the state was considering ways to integrate disparate systems using open standards such as HTTP, XML and Java.

The St. Petersburg Times reported that CAGW "got at least $245,000 from the tobacco industry", subsequently lobbied on its behalf. Internal tobacco industry documents made available by the 1998 Master Settlement Agreement indicate that CAGW and its affiliates supported the tobacco industry in several instances. In 2001 when an industry-sponsored bill entitled the "Youth Smoking Reduction Act" was introduced in Congress, CAGW provided a letter of support, despite the opposition of most public health organizations. CAGW was contacted to by Phillip Morris to include ASSIST, a federal tobacco control program, in their Pig Book. ASSIST was considered an imminent threat to industry activities at the time. Asked about his group's tobacco work, CAGW president Tom Schatz said, "We have always welcomed contributions to support the issues we support. Many of them have to do with fighting higher taxes and more regulations." Throughout its history, CAGW has been accused of fronting lobbying efforts of corporations to give them the appearance of "grassroots" support.

According to the St. Petersburg Times in 2006, the Pig Book has been used to benefit corporate donors health clubs who donated to CAGW, it listed federal grants to YMCAs. CAGW's president countered. Period."A Senate Finance Committee investigating ties between CAGW and Jack Abramoff in 2006 stated in a report that the non-profits:'probably violated their tax-exempt status "by laundering payments and disbursing funds at Mr. Abramoff's direction. Many consumer watchdog groups opposed the bill; the CAGW launched an ad, now referred to as "Chinese Professor" for the 2010 midterm elections, which portrays a 2030 conquest of an indebted United States by China. Local Asian American extras were used to portray the Chinese students, although the actors were not informed of the nature of the shoot. Columnist Jeff Yang said that in the campaign there was a "b

Liberty cuffs

Liberty cuffs are a form of unauthorized personal decoration applied to the inside of the cuffs of military uniforms, which became popular in the United States Navy in the early 1900s and were imitated by other U. S. military branches starting around World War I. Liberty cuffs were embroidered patches sewn on the inside cuffs of sailors’ uniform shirts or jackets. Decorative stitching on Navy uniform cuffs was banned in 1910, forcing sailors to switch to a covert form of embroidered decoration; the cuffs were noted as popular prior to World War II in the United States Asiatic Fleet, including dragons and other popular regional symbols. Popular World War II imagery included dragons, mermaids, as well as dolphins for those working on submarines and birds for those working with aircraft. Daniel D. Smith, SCPO, USNR. ""Navy Dress Blues, "Tailor-mades" and "Liberty Cuffs"". Navy Data Processor's Association. Archived from the original on 2009-04-19. Retrieved 2019-02-03. CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list "No Liberty Cuffs".

All Hands. Vol. Number 792. United States Navy. 1983. P. 48