ARC's 1st Law: As a "progressive" online discussion grows longer, the probability of a nefarious reference to Karl Rove approaches one

Friday, April 08, 2005

Why progressive Westerners never understood John Paul II

Read this Mark Steyn

Brian adds:
This is by far the best section. If you read any two paragraphs it should be these:

We live in a present-tense culture where novelty is its own virtue: the Guardian, for example, has already been touting the Nigerian Francis Arinze as "candidate for first black pope". This would be news to Pope St Victor, an African and pontiff from 189 to 199. Among his legacies: the celebration of Easter on a Sunday.

That's not what the Guardian had in mind, of course: it meant "the first black pope since the death of Elvis" - or however far back our societal memory now goes. But, if you hold an office first held by St Peter, you can say "been there, done that" about pretty much everything the Guardian throws your way. John Paul's papacy was founded on what he called - in the title of his encyclical - Veritatis Splendor, and when you seek to find consensus between truth and lies you tarnish that splendour.



Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Ezra Klein - UCLA Junior or 2 Year Old?

Now, the Social Security "debate" (which entails republicans saying "everything's on the table, let's talk" and the Dems saying "WHAT ME WORRY?") is difficult to follow. One thing that is NOT difficult to understand is that when the government gives itself a T-Bond, promising future payment on that T-Bond, it's like me borrowing $20 out of my sock drawer and putting an IOU in there, promising to pay it back in 20 years (plus "interest"). Ezra Klein gives this stunningly idiotic commentary on Nacy Pelosi's likewise idiotic thoughts:

What've You Done to My Government?

Pelosi's really on the right track here (See Matt? I show the love). If Bush is denying the legitimacy of US Treasury Bonds, then that, not Social Security, is the real issue here. What's happened that America cannot pay back its debts? If our situation was truly so dire, shouldn't our president have known that and not pushed for deficit-worsening tax cuts or Medicare expansions? If we can't pay for the trust fund, can we pay the Chinese? Is there any chance they'd try to extract payment militarily? What about corporate investors? What about individual investors? Exactly who are we going to stiff? And if we're not going to welch to any of those investors, why are we not paying the trust fund back? Bush is like a kid with a mouth full of crumbs and a stomach ache who, when caught putting the lid on the cookie jar, turns and says "Cookies? We didn't have any cookies." This is either his fault or it's not happening.

If Democrats are smart, Republicans will rue the day they adopted this fake trust fund defense. The questions it raises about how our government is being run are much more serious than the doubt it casts on Social Security. The trust fund is, in essence, simply a government debt. The government runs thousands of different debts payable to millions of different sources. We've been doing that since the country's inception, and it works because we always pay back our debts. If we stop paying what we owe, our economy will crash. Bush and friends have thus adopted a line of attack that, far from nailing Social Security, is targeted right between their lying eyes, about six inches above their lying mouths. Debt repayment is the function of the government. Bush is the leader of the government. If the government can't pay back its debts, he better explain why, and quick. To paraphrase Alexis Bledel from Sin City, "Don't look now cowboy, but you're running out of valley".
The government could pay back the trillions in debt that the Social Security Trust Fund will incur (beginning in 2017 and reaching apocalyptic levels in 2041), but the way to pay for that debt is with (then current) tax revenues. So, if the then-current tax revenues are not sufficient to pay for that SS debt, either the promises are left unfulfilled OR we impose exhorbitant tax increases. And we're not talking about rolling back Bushie's tax cuts... we're talking about much more than that.

THAT'S THE PROBLEM, EZRA!! We're looking at a situation where taxes will hit astronomical levels in 30 years in order to keep the current cr@ppy social security returns afloat. Through the power of compound interest, this blow can be lessened... but I know, I know... your side is LOOKING FORWARD to confiscatory tax policies.

A littleq quiz, Ezra. I know, you probably don't have ANY training in economics, finance, or business... you probably are enrolled in basket-weaving at UCLA and I realize you're just a junior and all... but this really isn't that tough.
Which results in a higher amount in 20 years:
  1. $1000 in your sock drawer?
  2. $1000 in a bank account earning 3% interest
If you said 2, you are correct.

Heck, my 3 year old gets this... when will Ezra? (Don't worry, Ezra.. I'm sure you'll have a bright future in Democractic party politics... it's unfortunate that the same can't be said of the Democratic party, though. But hey, big fish in a little pond can be kind of cool, right?)

***UPDATE***
Flopping Aces comments here

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Killing Over Quality of Life

H/T Glenn Beck

Welcome to the Bizarro world that these folks have provided us... I'm waiting for the Twinkie Meister and his minions to comment...

[...]In a situation recalling the recent death of Terri Schiavo in Florida, an 81-year-old widow, denied nourishment and fluids for nearly two weeks, is clinging to life in a hospice in LaGrange, Ga., while her immediate family fights desperately to save her life before she dies of starvation and dehydration.

Mae Magouirk was neither terminally ill, comatose nor in a "vegetative state," when Hospice-LaGrange accepted her as a patient about two weeks ago upon the request of her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, 36, an elementary school teacher.

Also upon Gaddy's request and without prior legal authority, since March 28 Hospice-LaGrange has denied Magouirk normal nourishment or fluids via a feeding tube through her nose or fluids via an IV. She has been kept sedated with morphine and ativan, a powerful tranquillizer.

Her nephew, Ken Mullinax, told WorldNetDaily that although Magouirk is given morphine and ativan, she has not received any medication to keep her eyes lubricated during her forced dehydration.

"They haven't given her anything like that for two weeks," said Mullinax. "She can't produce tears."

The dehydration is being done in defiance of Magouirk's specific wishes, which she set down in a "living will," and without agreement of her closest living next-of-kin, two siblings and a nephew: A. Byron McLeod, 64, of Anniston, Ga.; Ruth Mullinax, 74, of Birmingham, Ala.; and Ruth Mullinax's son, Ken Mullinax.

Magouirk's husband and only child, a son, are both deceased.

In her living will, Magouirk stated that fluids and nourishment were to be withheld only if she were either comatose or "vegetative," and she is neither. Nor is she terminally ill, which is generally a requirement for admission to a hospice.

Magouirk lives alone in LaGrange, though because of glaucoma she relied on her granddaughter, Beth Gaddy, to bring her food and do errands.

Two weeks ago, Magouirk's aorta had a dissection, and she was hospitalized in the local LaGrange Hospital. Her aortic problem was determined to be severe, and she was admitted to the intensive care unit. At the time of her admission she was lucid and had never been diagnosed with dementia.

Claiming that she held Magouirk's power of attorney, Gaddy had her transferred to Hospice-LaGrange, a 16-bed unit owned by the same family that owns the hospital. Once at the hospice, Gaddy stated that she did not want her grandmother fed or given water.

"Grandmama is old and I think it is time she went home to Jesus," Gaddy told Magouirk's brother and nephew, McLeod and Ken Mullinax. "She has glaucoma and now this heart problem, and who would want to live with disabilities like these?"
[...]
Ron Panzer, president and founder of Hospice Patients Alliance, a patients' rights advocacy group based in Michigan, told WND that what is happening to Magouirk is not at all unusual.

"This is happening in hospices all over the country," he said. "Patients who are not dying – are not terminal – are admitted [to hospice] and the hospice will say they are terminally ill even if they're not. There are thousands of cases like this. Patients are given morphine and ativan to sedate them. If feeding is withheld, they die within 10 days to two weeks. It's really just a form of euthanasia."

Ken Mullinax does not want that to happen to his aunt. He pointed out that one of the ironies in this tragedy is that the now-helpless woman worked for years as a secretary for a prominent local cancer doctor.

"She devoted her whole life to helping those who heal others, and now she's being denied sustenance for life," he said.

Mullinax said he has begged Gaddy to let him take on full responsibility for his aunt's care.

"If she would just give us a chance to keep Aunt Mae alive, that's all we ask," he said. "They [Beth and her husband, Dennis Gaddy] have a family and Beth is a teacher, and it was just getting to be a lot of trouble. But I'm the caregiver for my mom, and Aunt Mae could move in with us. We'll buy another house with a bedroom and we'll take care of her. She can move in with us once she can leave the hospital."
This is so reminiscent of the Nazi euthenasia/eugenics program... This sounds like some sort of sick SNL skit (with the "she's old and it's time to go to Jesue"). WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON IN OUR HEALTHCARE / LEGAL PROFESSIONS?!?

More at Instapundit and Thrown Back

***UPDATE***
Well, Majikthise & Co do comment on killing... and I think this accurately reflects their (lack of) respect for (human) Life. (Too many old folks wastin resources, dude... Save my monkey!!)

***UPDATE 2***
Grandma Mae is back in Alabama-Birnmingham receiving treatment for her heart condition. However, the granddaughter that wanted to send grandma "to see Jesus" has blocked any of the family members in Alabama from visiting her.

BTW, Ollie & Lindsay never commented... I s'pose some southern grandma probably wasn't worth the bytes.... you know how those southerners can be...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Another Cop Killer for the Left to Celebrate

H/T Ace

Leftist Cop Killer who seeks to take down the evil corporations is on trial. Fortunately, he's defending himself (as is his right)...

COLUSA, Calif.

The coming revolution against the United States government was announced on the Internet via a manifesto by a self-described "proud and insolent youth," a college sophomore who sought to be our leader. This was to be the spark:

At 1:27 a.m. on Nov. 19, 2002, Officer David Mobilio of the Red Bluff Police Department was working the graveyard shift when he pulled his cruiser into a gas station in his quiet little farm town. As he stood beside the car, the 31-year-old husband and father of a toddler was shot three times, twice in the back and once in the head, at very close range.

Andrew Mickel, accused of killing California police officer David Mobilio, says he incorporated as "Proud and Insolent Youth."

Beside Mobilio's dead body, someone left a handmade flag with a picture of a snake's head and the words "Don't Tread on Us."
Now, yes... this guys a nutball. But how much of the rhetoric in his manifesto (originally posted on the SF Indy Media Center) parrots the verbage of the International ANSWER folks? It's similar to the whackjobs of the 90s that put poisonous ideas into Tim McVeighs head... although International ANSWER surely isn't seen by the MSM as being the radicals that they are... As are the losers @ IndyMedia...

Here's part of his manifesto, but it all reads like something straight out of an International ANSWER pamphlet, a Michael Moore film, or a class taught by Ward Churchill:
The real reason for sending our soldiers-
1- There is an OIL pipeline soon going into Afghanistan that has been long planned, but that the Taliban would not allow U.S. companies to build.
2- Iraq is sitting on top of one of the richest OIL fields in the world.
The truth is that George Bush is risking our soldiers and killing foreign innocents so that he can STEAL OIL.

The U.S. military is being used to steal this Oil. But our military does not exist to murder people so that the American rich can steal these dead people’s resources. It exists to protect our country and our lives. The government and corporations have bastardized our military away from us, endangering us and our soldiers for their own monetary gain.
They’ve been doing it for a long time.
But many veterans, after leaving the service, step back and look at U.S. foreign policy to see it for what it is.
As a response to President Reagan’s imperialistic attacks throughout Central America in the 1980’s, Charles J. Liteky, veteran and holder of the Congressional Medal of Honor, publicly renounced and returned his Medal. The Congressional Medal of Honor is the most coveted, highest possible honor a U.S. service-person can receive, and Liteky basically said, ‘If this is what our military is about, then I don’t want it.’
But even further back than that-
Major General Smedley Butler, a U.S. Marine, looked back on his 33-year career, which took him to combat in over 5 different countries, and determined that, “War is a racket… conducted for the benefit of the very few at the expense of the very many.”
Smedley Butler [... once] he retired, though, he realized and publicly stated that he had given all those years and sweat and blood, simply to make foreign lands safe for Wall Street. Butler proclaimed, “To Hell with War!” and went on to state that to get rid of War we must take the profit out of War.
[...]
The American government is violent all over the world to protect its ill-gotten money and goods.
But the American People don’t have the right to profit off foreign deaths and silently enjoy our position, then scream bloody murder when those foreigners react to our violence with violence.
If we refuse to recognize what our government is doing and why, if we refuse to realize that American lives are no more, and no less, valuable than other nation’s, then we deserve the ‘terrorism’ that we are forcing these people to commit.

So our government is sold out to corporations, and corporations are destroying the world.
Let’s do something about it!
Which is why I incorporated in the State of New Hampshire. The New Hampshire State Constitution, in the Bill of Rights, guarantees the Right to Revolution.
Main sign that he's either stupid or insane:
Mickel wrote that he was incorporating to shield himself from prosecution. He urged everyone to join his board of directors. His stock would be free. He called for insurrection. A national strike. Mass resistance. "But don't do anything you're uncomfortable with," Mickel added, "and don't pressure anyone else into anything they're uncomfortable with."
He thinks that by becoming a corporation, he can shield himself from any illegal activity. what a nut.

Surely the Left won't justify this whackjob's actions right? Well, this guy at IndyMedia goes after AP for not covering "corporate murder." Some in Portland see this as an FBI setup. and yes, some at IndyMedia came to this cop killer's defense:
A Torrent on the Web

In the days after his manifesto showed up online, the Independent Media Center sites where it appeared were alive with messages debating the act.

A writer in Seattle urged "solidarity with cop killers" and celebrated that "another one bites the dust." A poster in Washington, D.C., suggested that Mickel, with his military service, might be a government "agent provocateur" engaged in "a disinformation ploy" to discredit the aims of the left. Somebody in Oregon wrote, "I'm not worried about the dead cop -- [expletive] him." Instead, the message continued, "I'm worried about playing into their hands. Shooting that cop will be remembered as the first major step in publicly criminalizing anti-corporate activism."

Other voices emerged. "So now he's some kind of martyr? He's a cold-blooded murdering coward," wrote one from Seattle. Someone else worried that the independent media sites, which are open forums and generally take a left-leaning stand against the Iraq war, the Bush administration and excesses of global corporate capitalism, was serving as a kind of "incubator . . . a magnet for deranged losers."
And we all know that the Left just can't get enough of cop killers, transforming them into political prisoners.

So, is this guy the Left's new Mumia Abu Jamal?


And just so we don't forget, here is a picture of Officer Mobilio:


Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Drudge Flash: Plame investigation close to end

Drudge has a flash saying that the Plame investigation is near a close. Interesting tidbit:
Fitzgerald is not likely to seek an indictment for the crime he originally set out to investigate -- whether a government official knowingly exposed a covert agent. Fitzgerald may instead seek to charge a government official with committing perjury by giving conflicting information to prosecutors. Developing...

Hmm.. Government official. Note not a white house official, but government official. Tie this with the fact that he still wants to talk to the two reporters. Liberal reporters. Reporters who are trying everything under the sun to avoid testifying in secret.

I've always thought that this would eventually not expose Andrew Card or Karl Rove like the Kossacks were hoping for, but rather someone tied to Wilson who leaked his wife's name to elevate him to star-status, and begin the cries for "scandal". Surely Wilson and Plame are better off after the leak than before.

Looks like we will soon see, once the "reporter's shield" issue is resolved.... Waiting with baited breath.

Update: Here is the link to the washpost story. It looks like its been complete for 6 months. The only thing holding it up is the reporters refusal to testify. This despite the Media's push to have the investigation in the first place. As the old saying goes: be careful what you wish for.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

WTF? Leo for VP?

Would somebody please confirm that what I saw last night on the West Wing wasn't some flu-induced, drug-enhanced, apparition?

For those of you who may have missed the show, Santos (Jimmy Smits) was made the Dem nominee for President after basically saying "screw you" to the entire party. What do they do to reward him? Of course, nominate him. But the kicker was they picked Leo McGary (Bartlett's former Chief of Staff) as his VP nominee.

This makes sense only in the Hollywood writer's dream where they don't want to fire a current actor and don't want to hire a new one.

So the Dem's nominated a 3 term congressman from Texas who actually still believes the mantra of "hey the reason the public doesn't like us Dem's is that we don't stress our message enough. Did I mention I have a health care plan for free health care?" And a former Chief of Staff (Ed: Whats that? Nobody else knows either) to the current administration as the VP pick. A pick who is an acknowledged alcholic, just had a heart attack (its why he had to leave as Chief of Staff), where there are rumors of war crimes during his stint as a bomber pilot in Vietnam, etc. etc.

Not only that, he's best friends to Bartlett, who used his influence to get Santos nominated. So now it looks like a quid pro quo, so Russell, Hoynes, et. al. will have every reason to leak every bad thing he can about Bartlett and McGary, since he will rightly feel backstabbed.

Obviously anybody who had watched the show knew Santos was going to be picked as the nominee, I mean, he's been on the Today show every week for the past month. But it just seemed so silly that they would pick McGary. Why not pick a McCain look-alike and do the Kerry dream ticket? Oh I forgot Vinick (the Republican nominee) is the McCain candidate in this fantasy world, and he got the nomination right away (Ed: Except isn't Vinick pro-choice and McCain isn't? Nobody else know's McCain's pro-life, the media skips that all the time. Wishful thinking run amok.)

The writers seemed to be saying to the Dem party, "Go ahead and have a floor flight, people will tune in." In reality, nobody would care. And it would show how unorganized the party is, and would form bad blood leading to people staying home. Now Santos has to convince middle of the road republicans, and democrats who were for his opponents. Talk about having to mend some fences. Combine that with the fact that Vinick is Lincoln Chafee material, and Santos doesn't have a shot. (Ed: Except in Hollywood. Yep, except for that)

I'm pushing for Vinick, only cause I want to see Alan Alda's veins have to pop out when he has to talk about Republican issues.

I'm going back to sleep.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Google: A View From Space

H/T Drudge

Google has a map feature which also provides satellite images of the location you search.

Yeah, yeah... I know terraserver provides this ability as well. However, the speed at which Google presents the map to you is faster than mapquest or yahoo maps. And the switch from graphical representation to satellite imagery is much faster than anything I've every seen on Terraserver. And you don't have to click 4 times to get to the location you want. Just type in the address and up it comes.

Here's a link to a Sat image of something you'll recognize...

Man... and, you can just type in a location. Here's what came up when I typed in "St Louis Arch." Possible matches are highlighted and you can click on them to zoom in. Here's the view of it from space. (Busch Stadium is to the west... last year *sniff*)

Nice Job, google! (BTW, any job openings????) ;-)

Brian adds: Personally I like this one. You can see my new hangar.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Kudos to Courageous Canadians!

Kudos go to:

Way to tell your government they can't infringe on your rights willy-nilly! If the ban isn't successful at keeping a lid on the information, why should they still be allowed to infringe on your rights to free speech? If they wanted to keep this stuff secret, they should've held the hearings in private, not in public.

Tell 'em to suck eggs!

Now, if only a few hundred (or a few thousand) more Canadian bloggers followed suit, this ineffective pub-ban would be fall like the house of cards that it is.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled citizens looking for Adscam information

Winds of Change has a good summation of info related to the Adscam scandal. Just couldn't resist the title... if the Canadian bloggers don't want the traffic, just keep sending it down south.
;-)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Nixonian Moment in the North

H/T An Active Mind

From the Globe & Mail:

Chrétien to get early hearing on Gomery
Tuesday, April 5, 2005 Updated at 1:00 PM EST
Canadian Press

Ottawa — Former prime minister Jean Chrétien's legal challenge of the federal sponsorship inquiry will get a speedier than normal hearing in Federal Court.

The court agreed Tuesday to start hearings June 7 on the claim by Mr. Chrétien that Justice John Gomery, the head of the inquiry, is biased against him and should be removed.

It is not unusual for such cases to drag on for months.

But government lawyers filed papers last week asking for this one to be given priority, saying it is urgent to resolve the dispute as soon as possible.

Judge Gomery is due to deliver a preliminary report in November. If Mr. Chrétien is successful in his challenge it could disrupt that timetable.

The former prime minister took his case to court last month after Judge Gomery refused to step aside voluntarily.

More to come
I predicted that this might turn into a nixonian moment for our Canadian friends... The idiocy of the publication ban was the first indication. Now that the former PM is trying to throw Gomery off the scent, will the current PM jump in as well when he's implicated? (Where did I put that popcorn?)

By the way... HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO INVESTIGATE THIS?!?! Report due in NOVEMBER?!?! Based on this nugget (which had ZERO impact on the elections), it seems like this has already been going on for a year....

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Pulitzer Prize Photos

H/T Michelle Malkin and also here

go to this LATimes website to see extraordinary photos from the battle for Fallujah. None of these made it as finalists for Pulitzer prize, although a picture in which an Iraqi is executed by "insurgents" won. This photo essay has narrative from the photographer....

From a photography standpoint, almost any of these are better than the grainy pic that was selected. But I'm sure they support our effort in Iraq, right?

Here's the AP site with the winning photos. There seems to be a theme here... Let's show the US forces as the destructors and the Iraqis as helpless victims of imperialist yanks (or courageous fighters). Note this photo (and caption) of one of Michael Moore's Minutemen:

Najaf - A dove sits on the shoulder of a Mahdi Army soldier standing guard near the ancient Imam Ali mosque. The Mahdi Army, a Shiite militia, was fighting U.S.-Iraqi forces for control of the holy city. (Photo by Khalid Mohammed, August 15, 2004.)

It's not that I don't think that some of these photos are worthy of a Pulitzer.... some certainly are. It's that almost every one of them fits this perspective.

***UPDATE 1***
WizBang fisks the "insurgent photo" and explains exactly why it shouldn't have won...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Northern Exposure

Captain Ed demonstrates why the Canadian publication ban is ludicrous... I've been saying the same here and here (and on many Canadian blogs). What I don't understand is all the Canadians pretending that they respect the ban on linking to the information while they all go south of the border to read CQB and other blogs. They're all pretending that this is private information, when it clearly isn't.

Come on, folks... I know you Canadians are a tougher lot than this! Heck, you tamed that wild northern frontier and deal with those unbelievable winters... but you can't get the gumption to tell your government to sod off?

***UPDATE***
I just checked our stats and see that 75% of our puny hits are from Canada. Now folks, I know you're not coming here to read up on Lefty conspiracy theories that are just bonkers (see here and here), although they ARE entertaining to dissect.

I'm sure traffic reports for CQB are also similar. BTW, your IP Addresses have been logged and I'm sending them to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police!!! (if you were scared in the least bit by that last sentence, please let me know by leaving me a Comment.)

***UPDATE 2***
Toronto Sun has this article... seems like the Libs are crying "Vast Advertising Company Conspiracy" at the Adscam scandal.

Harper, PM start war of words

By MARIA MCCLINTOCK, OTTAWA BUREAU

PRIME MINISTER Paul Martin painted the Liberal Party as a victim in the $250-million AdScam scandal yesterday, prompting howls from the opposition that he's more worried about Quebec Grits than Canadian taxpayers. The claim ignited a heated exchange between the PM and Conservative Leader Stephen Harper who accused Martin of having "gall" to take such a stand.

"Liberal spin doctors and Liberal lawyers ... have the gall to depict the Liberal Party as the victim of the sponsorship scandal. Will the government at least have the decency to simply admit that the only victim is the Canadian taxpayer whose money was stolen?" Harper said.

The PM immediately defended his party faithful.

"The Liberal Party consists of thousands of men and women in Quebec and right across this country ... and those members ... should not have to bear the rumours or the burden of the activities of a very small few who may have colluded against the party and against the well-being of Canadians," the PM fumed. "Canadians should have the facts and that is why I called for the Gomery commission ... That is why there should not be an election until Justice Gomery has reported."

Earlier in the day, Martin's Quebec lieutenant, Jean Lapierre, had an emergency teleconference with fellow Quebec MPs who wanted to get information about advertising giant Groupaction ex-boss Jean Brault's testimony last week.

"What I'm really troubled by is the fact that maybe some people that were involved around the Liberal Party, not in official capacity, may have abused the trust that was laid upon them," Lapierre said.

"We may have been a victim of what happened."

NDP Leader Jack Layton called the Grit claim that they've been the victim of fraud "incredible."
Lapierre probably has the same information that Captain Ed has, showing links to officials in the government and the scandal.

Also, here's a flashback to the last election in Canada...

***Update***
sigh... they just don't get it.
Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

The Last Full Measure of Devotion

Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith posthumosly received the Congressional Medal of Honor on April 4th.





There's extensive information available here, from the St Petersburg Times and from the Army here.

Keep his family in your prayers... His sacrifice was truly "the last full measure of devotion."

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Monday, April 04, 2005

Operation Canadian Freedom

Also see more recent post, Northern Exposure...

Captain Ed continues to use his Canadian source to obtain banned information. Clearly he doesn't understand that this information is only suitable for those attending in person.

In the latest update from CQB, Captain outlines connections between Chretien, Adscam, and current cabinet officials under Paul Martin. Here's his close:

So links have emerged in Brault’s testimony to many of the people that Martin kept on as ministers or Parliamentary secretaries – even though Martin assured Canadians that he had thoroughly questioned all of his ministers and ensured that none of them had any involvement in the Adscam controversy.

If Brault’s testimony holds up, the reputations of Chrétien, Gagliano, and their teams will be shredded. But it looks like the reputations of Paul Martin’s Ministers, MPs, and organizers are going to be pretty tattered by the end of this as well.
Now, I thought that this would bring down the government and destroy the Liberal party. However, I'm not so sure, based on the milquetoast responses to the ban by the Canadian bloggers. Plenty of bloggers in Canada are talking about the matter obliquely, but none have the courage to tell Gomery that his publication ban is useless in the internet age. If you want something secret in order to not tamper the jury pool of a future trial, close the doors and only allow counsel in.

The Canadian bloggers seem to think that their tiny, 100-hit blogs will be hunted down by the Federales and they'll be fined or imprisoned. Well, that's ridiculous. Gomery even alluded to the fact that he was stretching when he said his ban included non-news-media websites.
The expression "publication ban" as it is used in this decision, should be taken to have the meaning those words have been given in subsection 486(4.9) of the Criminal Code, which states that "no person shall publish in any way (...) any evidence taken, information given or submissions made at a hearing", in this case, a hearing of the Commission. In my interpretation of this disposition, "broadcast" includes a posting on the Internet.
Colby Cosh (a Canadian journalist and blogger) provides interesting commentary about the publication ban (including the above tidbit) and pleads US bloggers to make the ban impotent by publicizing the story, since the efficacy of a publication ban must be considered before rights can be infringed upon. This would in effect free him and other Canadians up to discuss the information. (sigh)

Members of ARC visited several Canadian blogs today and attempted to post comments with the same material that CQB posted on April 2nd. Within minutes, the blog owners had removed the content, for fear of being hit by their government. Now, this just shows the complaceny that arrives with a little bit of socialism, as you cede power over to the government. You begin to fear the government more than you respect your rights.

From a technological standpoint, there are several issues... I posted this link to google on their comments... is that an infringement of the ban? What about google's cache of the canadian blog's page which contains links to Captains Quarters? Is that considered an infringement? What if I posted the Brault testimony in comments to a completely unrelated post from months ago? Could that blogger be faulted? We then linked to blog pages with links to pages with links to the information. (Isn't this ridiculous?) Would the blogger be held responsible for a link 4x removed from the offending US blogsite?

These are all valid questions (with simple answers). Yet, there seems to be this timidity up north which is extremely disappointing. See the comments from Bound By Gravity for examples of differing attitudes about government and its relationship to the citizen. It's not difficult to pick out the Canadians and the Yanks...

By the way, what difference does it make if Canadians seek out Captains Quarter's Blog from their home computer and get the information or whether they visit a Canadian blog and get the information? Heck, it'd be better if they got the ACTUAL TESTIMONY from reporters that were in the room instead of hearsay and secondhand info... I'm sure that any Canadian blogger charged with infringing the ban would be given plenty of stats regarding Canadian traffic to US sites for this topic. God knows that a lot of my traffic today has been from north of the border. I can only imagine what CQB has gotten today...

If this were to happen here in the US, I'd break the ban and wait for the black&white to pull up and wrestle me for the keyboard. This is the kind of situation where you end up in front of the highest court in the land with your name going into the law books (or in prison with your new best friend, Tiny, who btw won you in the last game of hearts). But, seriously... the likelihood of that, given the idiocy of this situation, is non-existent.

Note to Canadian readers - b l o g s w a r m
if thousands of you are discussing the issue, they'd have to go after each and every one of you. The information is already public in Canada, so what's the use in going after some citizen who simply recognizes reality?

***UDPATE***
Michelle Malkin, The Politicker, and (of course) the guys over at WizBang are discussing as well...

Angry in the Great White North echoes my sentiment that this story, while damaging, won't bring about a sea change in Canadian politics. Although I chalk it up to timidity in expecting more from their government, he sees that the Yankee connection (US bloggers pushing the story) won't settle well with the kind folks up north.

***UPDATE - 4/5 (and more info from 4/5 here***
More Canadian timidity here from the Meatriarchy... *Homer voice* ummm, meeeeat */Homer Voice*... (or perhaps they have their tongue planted firmly in cheek? Oh, wait.. no links to the offensive material, so it can't be that.)

It looks like the AG is going to decide whether to prosecute the canadian bloggers. Their timidity is going to kill them. Talk about trying to get the toothpaste back in the tube... what idiocy!

Perhaps the title of this post should be "Operation Canadian Bacon" instead...

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

As a favour to our friends to the North.....

Feel free to link to our site, where your readership will be able to find the Captain Quarters links below.

As I said in another post below, I'd love to hear how the Canadian government would like to enforce this activity. How many thread levels does it have to go before your no longer linking to the offending material? 2? 3? Does a link to www.google.com cause an offense?

Talk about trying to lock the barn after the horse has escaped....

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: Brian

BuzzFlash sees bushies behind everything

BuzzFlash uses this headline to link to this story in the AP.

Headline:

It's the Oil Stupid -- and the Profiteering! Crude Futures Near Record-High Levels. Bush and Cheney Got What They Wanted.
I could SWEAR that we went into Iraq for CHEAP gas... and Afghanistan for cheap natural gas or something. Not sure how higher pricer per barrel being paid to Middle Eastern countries benefits Bush, Cheney, Halliburton, Occidental Petroleum, etc, etc, but I'm sure the good folks at Buzzflash have an explanation handy for me. Also, isn't it a GOOD thing if those countries get a higher price per barrell (from the perspective of those countries, not from a US perspective). I thought it was our lust for cheap oil to keep our industrial machine humming that lead to the "rush to war."

Oh, and here's some info in the first paragraph of the AP story:
Oil prices briefly topped $58 a barrel Monday, then reversed course, as OPEC considers boosting its supply to address fears about rising demand and potential supply disruptions, even as crude inventories grow.

The head of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries said Monday that a half-million-barrel-a-day increase to its output quota may be necessary, though he reiterated the cartel's claim that the market is adequately supplied.

Light, sweet crude for May delivery was down 47 cents to $56.80 a barrel in afternoon trade on the New York Mercantile Exchange, where prices climbed as high as $58.28. That topped the previous intraday record of $57.70 a barrel reached Friday, when futures settled at a record $57.27.

With oil prices up nearly $15 a barrel since the year began, U.S. motorists are spending an average of $2.15 per gallon for regular unleaded gasoline and analysts believe pump prices could rise further as the summer driving season approaches.
[...]
While the U.S. supply of crude oil has been growing steadily for more than a month, refiners are expected to draw down those inventories in the weeks ahead as they ramp up gasoline production to meet summer demand, said oil broker Ed Silliere of Energy Merchant Intermarket Futures in New York.
So, OPEC is increasing output, but perhaps too late for the amount of demand they're seeing. I won't get into the fact that OPEC is a cartel (a monopoly) and thus goes against every fundamental principle of free trade & capitalistic theory, but suffice it to say that cheap oil could be had if these countries operated under free market principles.

Finally, the AP story hints that increased prices will be experienced as refineries here in the US will be drawing down on their current inventories as they prepare for the summer driving season. What in the heck does that mean? Why would they draw down on inventory when they expect increased demand during the summer? Easy - they have to burn up their current inventory of "winter gas" which has fewer "environmnetally friendly" additives and then will have to start producing summer gas. Keep in mind that each city in the US has its own blend of gasoline, so the stuff I put into my tank here in St Louis is different than what I'd put in if I were up in Chicago. This added complexity and requirement that refineries "customize" gasoline for individual cities has a lot to do with the increased cost of gas.

So, the Buzzies see a Bush/Cheney/Rove/Guckert motivation behind every little piece of news, but fail to understand the BASICS of the issue at hand. I'm no oil & gas guy... just a guy with a laptop with a business degree. Man, I'll never be able to figure these tools out!

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Freedom on the march - Showdown

Well, it looks like Captain Ed has really ticked off the corrupt Canucks. Over the weekend, he posted excerpts of the testimony which was part of a publication ban (commented on here), meaning that any information about the hearings couldn't be printed, posted online, etc. Apparently, the Canucks didn't learn from Stalin, Mao, et al that information wants to be free free free and bloggers like Captain Ed of Captain's Quarters are more than willing to open the cage and let it out.

Here's how the blog controversy is being reported:

A U.S. website has breached the publication ban protecting a Montreal ad executive's explosive and damning testimony at the federal sponsorship inquiry. The U.S. blogger riled the Gomery commission during the weekend by posting extracts of testimony given in secret Thursday by Jean Brault.

The American blog, being promoted by an all-news Canadian website, boasts "Canada's Corruption Scandal Breaks Wide Open" and promises more to come. The owner of the Canadian website refused to comment yesterday.

Inquiry official Francois Perreault voiced shock at the publication ban breach, and said the commission co-counsel Bernard Roy and Justice John Gomery will decide today whether to charge the Canadian website owner with contempt of court.

"We never thought someone would violate the publication ban," Perreault said. "Maybe we were more confident than we should have been."
CQB has created an entire Canadian section, for easy browsing.

Here's the original post on CQB which put the canucks over the edge. Nealenews.com provided just a link to this page and they're looking at shutting him down.

And here's how the Canucks are trying to combat this free flow of information. (I really thought they were smarter than this.)
Despite the publication of the material in an American blog and its review by thousands of Canadians, the Gomery Commission insists that the information is not public. Perreault warns Canadians that any link to CQ or even a mention of the blog name in any Canadian publication could lead to prosecution:
Perreault warned that even if Brault's testimony has been outed by a U.S. website, it doesn't mean it's now public information.

"Anyone who takes that information and diffuses it is liable to be charged with contempt of court," Perreault said.

"Anybody who reproduces it is at risk."
Well, you've been warned, my Canadian neighbors.
How.... Canadian...

Although, as mentioned here, there are plenty of people in power who'd like to see the blogs go away (or at least regulate them to death).

And, just to stick my middle finger in the air to the corrupt canucks, here's a copy of pertinent details from CQB's post on April 2nd:
On Thursday, Jean Brault began his testimony, subject to the publication ban, and revealed a massive pattern of corruption going to the highest levels of the Liberal party and government. Brault testified to hundreds of thousands of dollars of bogus transactions designed to benefit the Liberal Party of Canada over a period from 1994 to 2002.

Most of the illegal campaign contributions involved Brault either hiring “employees” -- who were in fact working full time on Liberal Party activities -- or paying invoices for Liberal Party campaign expenses (which were never declared as such) or making untraceable cash donations to Liberal officials. In exchange for helping the federal Liberals in Quebec, Brault received millions of dollars in federal advertising contracts.
[...]
In exchange for these large contracts for little or no work, Brault kicked back generously to the Liberal Party, putting Liberal organizers on his payroll while they continued to perform party work (including, at one point, Prime Minister Jean Chrétien’s brother, Gaby Chrétien), paying invoices to other companies for work actually done for the Liberal Party, and giving large donations -- in cash -- to the Liberal Party through Renaud or Liberal Party organizer (and close associate of Public Works Minister Alfonso Gagliano) Joe Morselli.
[...]
Towards the later part of the sponsorship program, the friends and associates of Public Works Minister and former ambassador to Denmark Alfonso Gagliano, some of whom have been linked to organized crime, played a larger role in the schemes.

At one point, Gagliano associate Tony Mignacca told Brault that if he didn’t rehire Renaud (who had left Groupaction to start a new company), he would lose his newly acquired contract with Via Rail -- Canada’s state-run passenger rail service. Brault broke down in tears after he recounted this testimony. At a meeting in 2001 with Joe Morselli, Brault said that he arranged to have the meeting in an overheated room in a restaurant -- so that Brault could ask Morselli to take off his coat and ensure that he wasn’t carrying a body pack.

This is just the beginning of Brault's testimony. If the Gomery Commission can corroborate Brault, then the reek of corruption goes through all levels of the Liberal party and may explain their ability to out-campaign the Conservatives. After all, they've siphoned off hundreds of millions of government dollars to promote their own party and to guarantee their monopoly on power. They hijacked the Canadian tax base to fund their own campaigns and hide the financial trail.
This really could be a Nixonian moment for the Canucks. I'll grab some popcorn and watch it all come tumbling down.

***UPDATE***
No comment ANYWHERE on the Leftist blogosphere... despite the ramifications this has on blogging, freedom of information, etc... I s'pose their affinity for the Libs up in Canada prohibits them from commenting and they're just obeying the publication ban. BTW, I could swear that Eric Blumrich did a flash ad attacking Stephen Harper, the Conservative candidate... can't seem to find it, though. Anyone know where it's at? Perhaps he just linked to some whacked out canuck who did it, but it reminded me of his "style" (if you can call it that).

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Color Update

In tribute to the University of Illinois, the colors for the site have been updated. We probably won't go back to black (as it's a little hard on the eyes, even though it puts the bajeebers into the Lefties). Comments/Criticisms of the color template welcome in the comments section for this post.

I-L-L / I-N-I

(P.S. It's a shame they won't let Chief Illiniwek do his halftime performance. It's very respectful and can put a chill in those who see it (unless they're hyper-pc'd whackos who show up with their panties in a bind. More info on Chief Illiniwek and the Illiniwek from Wikipedia.)

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Bloggers - We Will Regulate You!

H/T InstaPundit

I'm sure this will go over well...

San Francisco May Regulate Blogging

By Michael Bassik, 03/31/2005 - 3:15pm

Just when you thought the Federal Election Commission had it out for the blogosphere, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors took it up a notch and announced yesterday that it will soon vote on a city ordinance that would require local bloggers to register with the city Ethics Commission and report all blog-related costs that exceed $1,000 in the aggregate.

Blogs that mention candidates for local office that receive more than 500 hits will be forced to pay a registration fee and will be subject to website traffic audits, according to Chad Jacobs, a San Francisco City Attorney.

The entire Board is set to vote on the measure on April 5th, 2005. I wonder if they'll be forced to register their own blogs!

The legislation was written by Supervisor Sophie Maxwell.
[...]
This reminds me of the scene in Trading places, where the two brothers are shouting "TURN THE MACHINES BACK ON!!! GET THE TRADERS BACK ON THE FLOOR!! GET BACK IN HERE!!!" They realize that they can't allow people to freely express their opinions.

It seems that this bill is targeted towards the Kossacks and the Ollie Willies' who are paid hacks but don't tell anyone. My thinking on this, consistent with campaign finance reform, is that the best way to fix the problem is disclosure and transparency. If DailyKos and Ollie had posted that they were paid by Dean campaign et al and put that link on their main page and any page on their domain, then everyone would understand their bias.

BTW, I'm not paid by any political candidate - although, I'd sure like it if I was!!! ;-)

Brian adds: What I don't get is how they define "local". A San Franciscan resident who logs into their blog from home? From the Office? From Denver International airport? This is just another example of the board of supervisors thinking they can control things that are outside of their control. Hell, so many blogs are anonymous, anyway. Who would sign up to allow for an audit of their blog? No thanks. St., it looks like we need to start following local issues in San Francisco (shudder). Maybe we can get a "please let us come and audit your website" email. That would be a fun response to write.

Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler

Sokwanele Update on Zimbabwe

This post from Sokwanele's blog shows why it's so important that the foreign election monitors really should have done everything in their power to document election fraud. There's plenty of evidence of intimidation, but it doesn't appear that they'll consider "troubling" anything other than violence.

Why do South Africans deserve basic human rights, but we dont?
It seems to me that as long as there is no violence that the observers see with their own eyes, these elections are going to be declared free and fair by the group of friends that Mugabe invited to his party. Anyway, it is a joke for them to suddenly say 'no violence, therefore free and fair'. We all know there was a lot of violence during the last elections and that didn't stop these same people declaring the elections free and fair then either. If violence is an issue, then what were they doing the last time?

Anyway, they're all missing the point. Even if there was no violence at all, no intimidation, no fear, no manipulation, Zimbabweans would still vote for the opposition, any opposition.

You try living in a country where life expectancy is 38 years, where we have the worst AIDs stats in the world but can't even afford to buy an asprin, where elderly pensioners who have no money have to take care of all their grandchildren after their own children have died, where parents can't get jobs and have to choose which of their children they'll educate over others, where eating rats has become a reasonable alternative to meat, where we can't afford to buy a bus ticket to go to the rural areas. You try living in a country where waving at the president has become a crime, or joking about a corrupt politician can end you up in jail.

If you lived in a country like that, wouldn't you also want to vote out the government who created the mess and give someone else a chance to get it right? I don't understand why Zimbabweans don't deserve what South Africa and other countries have, why we have to live under a different set of standards? We want the freedom to make our own choices too.

I don't care about Tony Blair and the west and all that stuff Mugabe was going on about. All I care about is my future and my children's future and how my parents are going to manage to survive when they are too old to work. I am sick with worry about what I'm going to do next. I can't cope anymore. How are we going to survive even a few more years under this government?
Your Co-Conspirator,
ARC: St Wendeler